Dec. 19, 2013 | 2:19 p.m.
“Doki-Doki Universe” begins with heartbreak. A robot is left alone on an asteroid, dumped there by his human family. The robot has only a sentimental, hug-happy balloon as a companion for the next 32 years. Then things get abstract. The game, released this month across numerous Sony platforms by the Bay Area’s HumaNature Studios, has one main objective — to make players feel as much as to challenge them. Like many of the most intriguing of 2013 games, the bright, colored-crayon-like world of “Doki-Doki Universe” wows not by being a technological showcase. Instead, in a year that brought us fancy next-gen game consoles from Sony and Microsoft, “Doki-Doki” impresses by illustrating how a still-growing medium can provide a moving, affecting experience via simplicity. (Check out our picks for the top 10 games of 2013 in the gallery above.) “Specifically,” said […]
Dec. 19, 2013 | 1:59 p.m.
In this time when news is disseminated ever more quickly, The Times asked its critics to list the best of entertainment and culture in 2013 in tweet form. Here are Todd Martens’ selections for the best video games of the year, presented in 140 characters or less. “Gone Home.” (PC, Mac) The family is away, but their secrets are hidden throughout the home. A reminder that everyday drama makes the best fiction. “Papers, Please.” (PC, Mac) Overworked, stressed-out, underpaid, disrespected. The grind? Familiar. The Eastern Bloc immigration setting? Gripping. “Super Mario 3D World.” (Wii U) Mario, only weirder. Here, sport a cat suit to claw, meow and pounce through a crazy, colorful world. Cats! “The Stanley Parable.” (PC, Mac) An ordinary cubicle life is thrown upside down. Imagine if our lives were narrated and directed by Spike Jonze. “Fire Emblem: Awakening.” (3DS) Dragons, swordsmen, wizards. […]
May 05, 2011 | 5:54 p.m.
Four years before Mickey Mouse made his debut in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, Walt Disney wrote a letter to his old friend Ub Iwerks, urging him to come to California and join his studio. Iwerks agreed, and the pair soon set about developing Mickey’s personality and bringing him to life on paper. Now, that 1924 letter is on the block, with a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 to $80,000, at a memorabilia auction next weekend. The auction is being held by Profiles in History, run by appraiser Joe Maddalena of “Hollywood Treasure” fame, on May 14-15 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, as well as online. Among the items up for bid are signed, original animation cels from Disney movies, including the classics “Cinderella” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (around $20,000 each). Also on the block: the fully-operational […]
Oct. 10, 2010 | 10:38 a.m.
It’s the 10 o’clock hour on 10-10-2010, and across the Los Angeles Times, we’re creating top 10 lists. Here at the Hero Complex, we are using the occasion to celebrate sidekicks — those trusty pop-culture pals who forever trail in the shadow of alpha figures but often win the hearts of fans. It was a tough list to assemble, and there were plenty of near-misses. Strong cases could be made for Tinker Bell, Boo-Boo, George Costanza, Dyna Girl, Danno, Renfield, Art Garfunkel and Al Gore — we’re sorry, but really at this point they must be accustomed to the also-ran role. So let’s get on with our companion countdown, in which we nod to a loyal pal, smile and say, “He’s with me.” 10. Mini-Me: The minions of Dr. Evil wanted to keep the criminal mastermind on track with his plans for global domination, and […]