From Tetris to Batman - New Video Games with Familiar Faces

By Benjamin Krueger

Munich, Oct 24 (DPA) Whether its former New York cop Kyle Hyde - now investigating crime as a detective - or Batman, this autumn making his umpteenth digital return to Gotham City, one thing is clear, old favourites are in fashion for gaming this season.

Tetris is perhaps the most familiar face to return to the gaming world. Despite its senior citizen status - it dominated gaming for children, parents and grandparents decades ago - it doesn't seem ready to throw in the towel yet.

The latest version sells as Tetris Party Deluxe and offers much more than the original. For 30 euros ($41), it offers 20 different play options loaded onto a DS memory card. Many have very little to do with the original, but they're entertaining and provide fun takes on the original Tetris. The highlight is surely the multiplayer mode, where six people can compete against one another.

"Last Window: The Secret of Cape West" offers some gritty entertainment for the DS. Players are called upon to solve the mystery of the Red Star diamond in the crime adventure. Detective Kyle Hyde doesn't just have a professional interest in this case.
It's personal, since the case is linked to the murder of his father.

Just like "Hotel Dusk: Room 215", players can assume the role of Hyde for a second time. Fans of the original won't need to adjust themselves to the system and workmanship. But be warned, Last Window is as text-heavy as the original, and at times seems like an illustrated, interactive novel.

But anyone who likes to solve puzzles and have a good story at the same time is well advised to buy this game, priced at 37 euros.

Not surprisingly, things also turn dark when the Dark Knight is about. In "Batman - The Brave and the Bold", from Warner Interactive (30 euros), players can manhandle Gotham City's villains to their heart's content, and all in a cartoon setting.

Batman isn't alone on these missions. He is accompanied by a host of super hero colleagues including Robin (naturally), Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman, among others. All can be activated at the touch of a button to come to Batman's aid.

The addition of other players adds some diversion to what is, at times, an orgy of violence. Wii owners can also access an additional feature, using the WLAN connection to connect the DS console and play the game on the Wii.

Old faces are also making a comeback on the Playstation Portable (PSP). The role-playing game "Kingdom Hearts" is back with its next installment, "Birth by Sleep". But players are asked to step back to a time before the events of Kingdom Hearts, which was originally released for the Playstation 2.

Once again, publisher Square Enix has melted together the worlds of a variety of Disney films, requiring players to guide characters through three stories where they can meet Donald Duck, Goofy or Mickey Mouse. The game offers long play and a detailed story with lots of twists and turns for 39 euros.

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts has released the eleventh part of its FIFA series with FIFA 11. Game play and steering have improved and it's now possible to give players the stats of their real-life counterparts. The PSP even plays the right fan anthems for each stadium. The game costs 35 euros for the DS, 30 for the PSP version.


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