Go on a spooky adventure with ’Dead Head Fred’ from Sony.
WORMS: OPEN WARFARE 2
The first “Open Warfare” game had the “Worms” fundamentals down, but it was short on most of the wackier weapons in the annelid arsenal. The sequel adds more of what “Worms” fans love.
The core of the game is, as ever, teams of worms trying to blow each other to kingdom come, for some reason. This edition adds a new set of tricky campaign missions, a puzzle mode and a lab mode (the latter two have specific goals for players to accomplish with certain items and weapons). Earning points in the campaign lets a player unlock new landscapes, weapons and so on. The game’s longevity comes from its highly editable custom game mode. “Worms” commanders also can take the fight online.
And let’s not forget the new weapons: The sentry gun, bunker buster and lightning strike are just a few of the new destructive toys.
SYSTEM: Nintendo DS, also for Sony PlayStation Portable
AGE RATING: Everyone 10-plus
DEAD HEAD FRED
Just in time for Halloween, “Dead Head Fred” puts players in control of a private eye on a spooky adventure.
Well, most of him, anyway. This investigator has had a rough night. He’s been killed and decapitated by a gangster’s thugs, and the only reason he’s ambulatory at all is that a local mad scientist plopped his brain and angry-looking eyeballs into a jar and attached it to Fred’s dead body.
All that trauma has caused poor Fred some amnesia, so he has to rediscover what he was investigating and why it got him killed, battling plenty of creepy creatures on the way. He is helped by putting on different heads, which grants him their powers — his standard head is good at fisticuffs and can turn him invisible, while the Stone Head makes him lumber around with increased strength and allows him to make a powerful shoulder dash.
The game’s got a good sense of humor, great animation and lots of funny lines, but too much salty language and gore to be good for kids.
SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation Portable
AGE RATING: Mature
SIN & PUNISHMENT
The Virtual Console has been a great resource for nostalgic gamers looking to replay old favorites.
But the service is starting to introduce games never officially available in the states.
“Sin & Punishment,” first released in 2000, is among these — the Nintendo 64 game is worth checking out for the novelty (though it’s a tad more expensive than other N64 games on the VC).
The player controls a gun-wielding protagonist as he shoots his way through scads of enemies in the game’s stages, with his constant streams of fire directed by the analog stick or a lock-on mechanism that fires weaker shots. He can move from side to side and jump, but his forward progress is automatic — the game is on rails, much like the airborne “Panzer Dragoon” shooter games.
The 3-D graphics, though dated, look pretty good in motion. There’s a fair bit of voice acting in the game, even if the story isn’t all that coherent.
SYSTEM: Nintendo Wii (Virtual Console download)
PRICE: $12 (1200 Nintendo Points)
AGE RATING: Teen