I don’t enjoy talking about myself too much, but here it is. My name is Redmond, and I’m a writer/editor for a mid-size Southern California newspaper, which is part of a larger newspaper group … which means I’ll probably have a different job description in the next year or two.

 Ninety percent of my job has nothing to do with games, but I enjoy writing reviews for the paper (in all of its space-limited glory) whenever I get the chance. I used to write more about games, but as you know by now, newspapers are a constantly mutating animal.

So, as the headline promises, here’s a short review. Hope to post more whenever I have the time (hah, time …) Nice to meet everyone. I’ll try not to leave a mess.


 Lots of superhero games can be enjoyed by kids and their families.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is not one of them.  Actually, this game doesn’t give a damn about your kids.

As the blood sprays and limbs get liberated in this brutal interpretation of the new Hugh Jackman movie, you find that while "Wolverine" may not be the best superhero game out there, it’s certainly among the angriest.

See, it’s not enough for Wolverine to simply kill his enemies while questing in places like Alkali Lake and Africa – he slaughters them, splattering their body parts and innards all over the battlefield like Jackson Pollock did with paint.

It’s all done with feral, flesh-tearing power that veteran gamers have already seen in the "God of War" series as well as "Conan," a 2007 Raven Software product that featured tons of gory sights, like guys with freshly severed arms running around before collapsing.

The main vision of the game is that of an "uncensored" Wolverine – that this is what would happen if you really did have a guy with invincible metal claws given the green light to maul everyone in front of him. In a way, it’s a blunt, honest and refreshing way to pay homage to the character’s abilities

Wolverine’s famed self-healing powers in particular were handled with style, as players can see any holes that get put into him (via gunfire, missiles, explosives, etc.) close up over time.

The game’s got plenty of visual punch and bombastic combos to give fans the satisfying rush of wiping out everyone from trained commandos to robots. Storywise, the game alternates between Wolverine’s past missions in Africa to his current search to find Sabretooth, his nemesis.

However, the "uncaged" approach doesn’t account much for brainpower. A lot of the puzzles I encountered were extremely simple. They were more like annoying action-stoppers than mental challenges. Also, the frequency of the African flashback missions sometimes gave the game a bit of a "Groundhog Day" feel. The action’s cool, but I’m tired of dodging booby traps in ruined temples all the time. If I want "Tomb Raider," I’ll play "Tomb Raider."

Overall, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" isn’t anything more than disarmingly nasty, bloody fun. Good times, especially for fans looking to let off a little steam in the meanest way possible.