Good Game: BioShock Infinite, Madden NFL 11, Dragon Age DLC, Black Ops, Crimson Gem, and more


New Releases

Madden NFL 11 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP and Wii) — the latest installment in the football giant has a radically redesigned gameplay format called “GameFlow.” Not everyone likes the new format, but I do because it lets you stay in the game instead of spending most of your time in your playbook. This new format also makes the game much easier for newcomers to play the game, which is probably why some veteran players don’t like it. Definitely worth buying if you like football.

DLCs and Demos

Mafia II demo (Xbox Live, PSN) — An open-world setting with a narrative-driven story about a young member of a crime family working his way up, the game does a great job of re-creating an American city in the 1960s. The game is one big Italian-American stereotype, and I could have done without the Playboy magazine collectibles, but the high-quality graphics, open world, cool cars, and Mad Men-esque feel to the game is likely to make the game a hit. We’ll find out when it’s released on August 24.

Red Dead Redemption, “Liars and Thieves” (Xbox Live, PSN) — Rockstar’s first DLC for the excellent Western gives you several new multiplayer characters, maps, and a tomahawk. But it’s really only worth downloading if you play a lot of multiplayer. I mostly play single-player, but I downloaded the DLC just to get a decent female character to play on multiplayer (since you have to reach something like level 20 to unlock any women except the first one).

Dragon Age: Origins, “Golems of Amgarrak” (Xbox Live, PSN) — I love Dragon Age, but I really, really didn’t like this short DLC set in the deep roads below Orzammar. You can read my more detailed review here, but the short version is: cool golems, but frustrating puzzles and too much running around in circles in the dark.

Naughty Bear, “Episode 8″ (Xbox Live, PSN) — In this free DLC, Naughty Bear receives an invite to a cake-tasting party and ends up fighting a “gang of superhero bears led by Danger Bear.” Additional costumes, hats, and weapons included.

Casual Gaming (iPhones/iPad)

Several new games were released for the iPhone/iPad this week (I don’t have an Android yet, unfortunately — Lori’s planning to get one soon — so feel free to mention any new Android games in the comments). Here are a few of the highlightts:

Crimson Gem Saga (iPhone) — A popular JRPG previously only available on PSP.

Little Things (iPad) — If you have good attention to detail and liked Where’s Waldo?, you’ll love this well-made hidden object game.

Madden 11 (iPhone/iPad) — Football on the go. ‘Nuff said.

Let’s Create! Pottery (iPhone/iPad) — More ways to create an ashtray for your dad! Actually, this is a pretty cool game. Although I’m guessing my 9-year-old niece will still love Cookie Doodle more, because it lets you “eat” what you create.

Chuck Gnome (iPhone) — You chuck gnomes at various targets in the game. Seriously, that’s the game! Love it. (Read a more detailed review here.)

Which of these games do you play (or want to)? What are you playing now? Discuss!

Sarah Warn currently runs and writes for TheTorchOnline. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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