Gaming reviews: Beyond: Two Souls; Pokémon X and Y; Dragon's Crown
Beyond: Two Souls
Sony Computer Entertainment
Following 2010's Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream's latest adventure steps further towards the glow of the silver screen by employing Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page as the main characters. Page's Jodie is born with a mysterious spirit companion and studied by Defoe's fatherly Dr Nathan in a research facility until the CIA coerces her into assisting their operations.
Simple to play, a shake of the control pad does everything from chopping an onion to striking matches, as the action passes through lab rooms to wide-open Navajo desert, and war-torn Africa. The non-linear narrative twists and doubles back on itself, illustrated by lush visuals that squeeze every last cinematic possibility from the aging PS3, making for a compelling experience.
There's been much debate over the actual "gaming" content, but as with last year's The Walking Dead, Beyond: Two Souls shows plot-driven titles can be successful provided the lack of interaction is mitigated by good presentation and storytelling.
Pokémon X and Y
Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Although Pokémon X and Y are the first in the monster-battling series to be fully animated in 3D, there's still the same mixture of colourful critters, simple yet deep RPG-style gameplay and an enormous world to explore. After a run of unambitious iterations, in this sixth generation we see a glorious overhaul of the whole look and feel. You can customise your character, all Pokémon are characterfully animated, and there's a new type: Fairy. No colossal deviations from the formula, but with 80-odd new gribblies and loads to get up to, it remains a stunning gaming experience.
PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
A traditional side-scrolling fantasy hack'n'slash, Dragon's Crown adds RPG elements and enjoyable co-op play. The game revolves around impossibly breasted women and impossibly muscled men battling monsters and demons – so a lot of design choices may put some off. Hidden behind this adolescent design style is a combat and levelling system that adds great depth. You can also play with friends to use each others' strengths to negotiate increasingly hectic stages. With quests that require players to complete challenges on earlier levels, the process feels less of a grind than in similar games.
Life & Style blogs
Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
GTA 5: Christmas arrives in Los Santos as update brings snowball fights, festive jumpers and a homing missile launcher
'Tis the season!: Google celebrates Christmas Eve with second animated Doodle
Christmas 2014: Jesus was not born in a stable, says theologian
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...