Digital Life:You can shop 'til those zombies drop
Dead Rising 2, X360/PS3/PC: A shopping centre is the last place you'd expect to find biting satire but Dead Rising 2 wrings acres of laughs and scares from this sequel to the zombie outbreak in a mega-mall.
Like the original Dead Rising, it lifts its shtick from George Romero's classic horror flick Dawn of the Dead, a sarcastic commentary on our oversaturated consumerism.
The original's narrative suffered because of a tortuous save system, something almost but not fully remedied in DR2.
But if you don't buy into the knowing gibes at mall culture, then Dead Rising 2 boils down to devising ever-more inventive ways to maim a shuffling zombie army as you try to rescue stranded survivors.
Most players will be sustained for a few hours trying various gory combinations of weapons -- motorbike plus chainsaw, baseball bat plus nails, and so on. But immerse yourself in Dead Rising's absurd world -- costume changes, demented characters, and so on -- and a bellyful of chuckles awaits.
Civilization V, PC: The antithesis and the antidote to lightning-fast games, the Civilization strategy series asks you to step back and think as you lead a society of peasants to become the world's greatest nation.
Put down that weapon and pick up that plough, talk your way to diplomatic success, invent fantastic new technology. Or, when all else fails, build an army of giant robots.
Fantastically addictive, Civ 5 crowns the long-running series with better visuals, streamlined controls and better multiplayer.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, X360/PS3: Fresh yet well worn, Warriors of Rock doesn't try to reinvent the music genre the way the forthcoming Rock Band 3 does.
Instead it focuses on a generous helping of new tunes ('Bohemian Rhapsody'!) and a few tweaks that make it more accessible for quick pick-up and play sessions. The new guitar available as a bundle really looks the part too.
Final fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, DS: Comfortingly familiar yet disappointingly cookie-cutter, 4 Heroes of Light embraces much of what we like about Final Fantasy: sprawling stories, pretty worlds and a magpie's eye for shiny stuff to collect.
But etched into its template is the tedium of Final Fantasy's past: frequent random battles, aimless wandering and the endless grind of levelling up.