What the heck is a Rhythm Thief?

The Nintendo 3DS' latest puzzle game, Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure, is a little bit confusing. You play as Raphael, an art thief desperately searching for clues about his father's disappearance. He steals art but the player records sounds to help him try to solve the ever-present mystery.Occasionally, all those sound samples reveal a Samba De Amigo-like rhythm minigame.

Tomb Raider reboot: Are you playing or watching Lara Croft? (preview)

The feeling I got when I played a preview of the new Tomb Raider game was one of moving back and forth between a movie and a game. That’s exactly what happens when the scene shifts from a movie-like cinematic and the actual gameplay. The effect is a gripping, more personal story that could go a long way toward reviving Tomb Raider as a top-tier video game franchise.

Heavy Rain’s “Lauren Winter’s Theme” highlights the game’s emotional core

While most games cynically indulge their fans’ penchant for explosions and death, Heavy Rain challenges you with a dense narrative thick with atmosphere and character development. A series of tender moments comprise the game’s emotional center, and Normand Corbeil’s haunting score underlines a deeply moving experience. One scene in particular — which tasks you with rocking a baby to sleep — highlights Heavy Rain’s sublime soundtrack and the game’s poignant core.

Earthbound’s battle with Giygas is a soundtrack of absolute terror

In 1995, I clutched an abnormally large box in my hands, wondering at the images and text on its back. I crinkled up my nose at the Master Belch scratch and sniff, unable to fathom what hellish materials the manufacturer had rendered to produce such a foul smell. I plugged in Earthbound, designer Shigesato Itoi's quirky role-playing game, and flipped the purple switch on my Super Nintendo system. And the real world melted away.

5 reasons I choose Halo over Call of Duty

Time for some real talk. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare marks a high point (one of several) in the first-person shooter genre. The precision of design, its near-flawless flow, and the specificity of each individual encounter gets me every single time I throw it on. Oh yes, five years later, I still run my favorite Modern Warfare levels when I get the itch.

Games as six-word short stories

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway once told his fellow writers during one of their famous roundtable lunches that he could write a six-word-long short story. His fellow authors scoffed at Hemingway’s claims. Ol’ Papa told them to throw in $10 each. If he was wrong, he would match their money. He scribbled away on a napkin for a few moments and then passed the napkin around the table.