A couple of weeks ago, I complained about the same-old-same-oldness of the games I’ve been playing recently. Soul Calibur 3 doesn’t make me feel any better about things. It adds a few new characters, minor tweaks to some old characters’ move lists, and a lame create-a-character feature, but there are no serious changes to the mechanics of the game. It might be unfair to pick on a fighting game for failing to make major advances — classical fighters, like 2D shmups and platformers, are a moribund genre, where the only remaining differentiators are either in presentation or increasingly subtle details of gameplay that only a few die-hard fans can perceive. Nevertheless, there’s no real reason to play Soul Calibur 3 instead of Soul Calibur 2, unless you’re the kind of person who gets really excited about Taki’s new Windroll-Possession transitions or Sophitia’s increasingly flimsy costumes.

Meanwhile, Ratchet: Deadlocked not only fails to bring anything new to the table, it actually takes things away. Clank is now a non-playable supporting character, replaced by a couple of generic robots that follow Ratchet around as he blasts his way through levels that lack the breadth of previous Ratchet & Clank games. Where previous entries in the series were always kind of a potpourri of genres tied together under the banner of “platformer,” Deadlocked makes no bones about being a shooter above all, dropping the characters into a gladiatorial tournament that’s somewhere in between The Running Man and America’s Next Top Model. Wreaking havoc with the game’s various weapons is as fun as ever, but the scaled-back architecture and character interaction is disappointing.