Capsule reviews of some games recently featured:
Dead Rising 2 -- Once you get past the gory flamboyance, the game gets tedious. Technical glitches abound along with ridiculous dialogue, even for the genre.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions -- Everything that makes being Spider-Man fun multiplied by four.
NHL Slapshot -- A brand new Wii only game with arcade tendencies.
NHL 2K11 -- The game feels a little tired as the series waits for a 2011 reboot. 1/2
NHL 11-- The game plays well and players can collect cards that improve player attributes.
Sid Meier's Civilization V -- New tweaks make the series more elegant and fun, but the premise remains the same: Pick one of 18 historic leaders and build a civilization that will dominate. 1/2
Halo: Reach -- An energetic farewell to the Halo saga, Reach is a prequel to the previous releases. 1/2
Mafia II -- Plenty of period detail, compelling characters, and an excellent plot keep Mafia gamers fully engaged.
DeathSpank -- A savvy parody of the kill-everyone-and-take-all-their-loot games with the addition of ridiculous weapons.
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair -- The mystique may be wearing off. Although the co-op game play is handled well, the visual styles are simplistic and the music doesn't deliver. 1/2
Singularity -- Although similar to other shooter games, this release puts players in the middle of the Cold War with a few twists. 1/2
Crackdown 2 -- Return to Pacific City to find freaks and a new mega-gang. The game is fun but rehashes the original a little too much.
StarCraft II -- Quick, responsive, and engrossing; game creator Blizzard enriches a complex narrative with clear tutorials.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies -- The Japanese role-playing game stays true to its roots while offering a vast array of scenarios.