Timeshift

Publisher: Sierra

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Rated: M — Mature

Game type: Shooter

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)

 




What’s the premise?


The nefarious Dr. Aiden Krone has stolen and used an experimental time suit causing untold damage to the time-space continuum. Your job is to take a beta version of the suit — which allows the user to control the flow of time — and stop Krone before he does any more damage.





This game is most similar to…?


A little bit of Halo, with some Call Of Duty mixed in.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


Close-combat kills leave the screen spattered with blood and when you slow time you can literally walk up to enemies and fill them full of holes. Personally, I’d prefer my kids slept at night.





One player or more?


There’s no co-op campaign mode, but the multiplayer matches — featuring the interesting use of time grenades that slow things down around wherever they go off — is quite excellent.





What’s missing?


It’d be nice to have a little more character development, since you never really get a handle on the character you play or much of the world he comes from.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


I don’t give a Van Damme. The ability to slow down time gives you a huge advantage over your opponents throughout the game, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the way you take them out, including using some killer moves that would make Jean-Claude proud.





And in the end?


The ability to manipulate time is a great feature that almost makes up for the notable lack of personality in this solid shooter.










Need For Speed ProStreet

Publisher: EA

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PSP, PC

Rated: E10+ — Everyone 10 and up

Game type: Racing

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Take racing to the next level as you get behind the wheel of one of nearly 60 cars and try to blow past your rivals in four hot race types: Grip, drag, drift and speed.





This game is most similar to…?


Need For Speed Carbon, but with no more road courses.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


There are some scantily clad babes and some pretty dynamic crashes, but not too much to scare off the wee ones.





One player or more?


Take on a friend in the comfort of your own living room or hit the streets against up to eight opponents online.





What’s missing?


Cops. Where did all the cops go? Are they still recovering from all the crashes in Carbon? Boo to not having cops in ProStreet!





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Sing the right tunes. To win at the four different types of races, you’ll likely need a variety of cars and each one will need to be constantly upgraded or tuned so you can keep up with the Joneses.





And in the end?


Need For Speed ProStreet still has some fun action, but no road racing and no police chases definitely takes something away from this usually stellar franchise.










My Word Coach

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: Wii, Nintendo DS

Rated: E — Everyone

Game type: Puzzle

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Test and improve your vocabulary through a series of daily exercises and puzzles either at home on your Wii or on the go on your DS.





This game is most similar to…?


Brain Age.





Is it suitable for younger gamers?


My Word Coach would no doubt be helpful for students looking to move past the basics of language — but good luck getting them to play it over Zelda.





One player or more?


Its just you and about 16,800 words.





What’s missing?


Enough people nearby to be impressed when you nail the definition of phlegmatic.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Don’t fret the big ones. There are some very obscure words thrown in to test you so there’s no need to freak out if you don’t get every one. The game is meant to educate you, so learn and move on.





And in the end?


Knowledge is power and this game can help give you a charge.




jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca