Castlevania: Judgment

The Baltimore Sun

$49.99 for Nintendo Wii. Rated Teen. * 1/2

Aside from the party-centric Smash Bros. titles, fighting games have had a sketchy history on Nintendo systems since the Nintendo 64, and Castlevania: Judgment doesn't break that trend.

Drawing together a roster of familiar characters from the decades-running Castlevania games, along with a few new faces, Judgment is a relatively simple one-on-one fighter - and not very good.

Players can run around freely during matches, and in doing so often end up facing away from each other. Each character has a set of regular and special moves, but the controls are neither precise nor immediately intuitive. Games like this live and die on their fighting systems, and Castlevania: Judgment isn't up to par.

Prince of Persia: The Fallen King

$29.99 for Nintendo DS. Rated Everyone. **

A scaled-down take on the recent reboot of the Prince of Persia series, The Fallen King shares a villain but little else with its console cousin.

Players jump, climb and fight their way through numerous side-scrolling levels in this adventure, in a quest to defeat the evil god Ahriman.

The Prince gains an ally in Zal the Magus, who is partially corrupted by Ahriman's evil but who provides powerful magical assistance. The Prince is controlled with the stylus and touch screen. It works OK, but it's easy to make the wrong move by tapping in the wrong place or at the wrong time. An option to control the Prince with the standard directional pad and buttons would have been very welcome.

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