Game On: A Shanghai Dog Day afternoon
Kane and Lynch II: Dog Days
When last we met this couple of career criminals, the proverbial was hitting the fan big time as they blasted their way out of jail on the way to some sort of redemption.
The believable characters were the original's strong suit while its shooter gameplay limped over technical hurdles. But you were always drawn to the well-acted interplay between Kane, a volatile mercenary, and Lynch, an under-medicated psychopath.
Dog Days reunites the pair in Shanghai amid a disappointingly short tale of Triads, double-crosses and blood-soaked violence.
The stylised visuals -- as if filtered through a jerky handheld camcorder -- and bustling streetscapes fail to lift K&L II out of the run'n'gun rut it settles into early on.
Online co-op adds a little flavour and team-based multiplayer would have been compelling if not for technical hitches.
Sadly, Dog Days is another game shoved out the door before its time and the huge promise of the K&L partnership goes unrealised once more.
Only masochists need apply to enter the unforgiving world of Demon's Souls.
Hard to say and even harder to play, this is a deep and complex RPG that stubbornly refuses to cede to the modern trend of handholding the gamer.
Its brand of medieval fantasy has a familiar ring and, being a two-year-old Japanese title only just localised into English, the graphics trail the state of the art.
But for the persistent, Demon's Souls can be a rich and rewarding experience. Its cleverest touch is the online mode that enables other players to leave messages, clues or even misdirections to you in the adventure.
So Demon's Souls is punishing, yes, but with a real sense of achievement behind it.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Tied to the new movie about a geek trying to win the girl, SPvsTW riffs cleverly on beat-em-up classics such as Double Dragon with its eight-bit graphics and chiptune music.
Loaded with gaming homages and sight gags, anyone with a fondness for the days of arcades is guaranteed some laughs.
But even for a cheap download, its old-school shtick wears a little thin without online multiplayer.