Video games offer presents for full spectrums of ages, tastesWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to fire up your game consoles and personal computers for some games for the holidays (all release dates subject to change).
“Need For Speed Undercover” releases in several formats, and features law-enforcement role-playing with Maggie Q in the voice talent cast, as well a first-time partnership for the world premiere of The Nissan Z. The game and car dropped on Nov. 18. Other multi-console games include “LEGO Batman: The Videogame;” “Fallout 3;” “Call of Duty: World at War;” and “Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway,” a World War II first-person shooter also available in limited edition.
Platform titles include role-playing “Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood;” “Tomb Raider Underworld;” “Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant;” and “Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon.” “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” has the Web Wonder keeping the peace, while New York City is under martial law. “Ben 10: Alien Force — The Game” has loads of puzzle/platform action, while Tom Clancy’s “EndWar” offers military strategy elements set in the third World War. FPS sequel “Far Cry 2” moves to settings in Africa with a limited edition featuring six bonus missions and a handy foldout map.
“Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe,” Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman and company take on Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya, Jax, Raiden and others. The collector’s edition includes a special comic and making of a featurette. The action-filled Fracture features kinetic environments to destroy and manipulate to your advantage.
If you’re looking for action-filled scares, then “Silent Hill: Homecoming” and “Dead Space” fit the bill. “Goosebumps HorrorLand” has spooky adventures in an amusement park format. “Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia” allows players massive options in creature creation, battle and exploration in a theme park setting, while Six Flags Fun Park remediates the real deal.
Movie adaptations include James Bond 007 in “Quantum of Solace;” “Wanted: Weapons of Fate;” and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” plus “Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors” and Shrek’s “Carnival Craze.” If you still can’t get enough movies, try “You’re in the Movies,” a 360 exclusive featuring the Xbox LIVE Vision Camera, which puts players right into different movie genres.
“Shaun White Snowboarding” offers lots of winter sports fun. Other great sports games include “PES Evolution 2009,” “NCAA Basketball 09,” “FaceBreaker K.O. Party,” “Ten Pin Alley 2,” “Celebrity Sports Showdown,” “Ski and Shoot” and “All-Star Cheer Squad,” which incorporates the Balance Board, all provides even more active fun.
The Dance Dance Revolution series celebrates 10 years with “Hottest Party 2” and “Revolution Universe 3.” Music games in the mix include “Guitar Rock Tour” and “Rock Revolution,” which works with other peripherals. Hasbro Family Game Night has a compilation core hosted by Mr. Potato Head, plus new spins on classics.
On the Nintendo DS, students can take their learning on the go with “FutureU: The Prep Game for SAT.” Nintendo DS exclusive “Shaun the Sheep” utilizes Aardman animation (“Chicken Run,” “Wallace & Gromit”), while “Ninjatown” has the appealing title plus lots of strategy-based action. Role-playing titles have a strong showing with “Populous DS” and “Chrono Trigger DS,” which features 13 endings.
The MySims series expands with “MySims Kingdom,” featuring nine new mini-games, while also jumping to the PC, while The Sims2 continues to expand with “Mansion and Garden Stuff.” Unique coaching titles “My Japanese Coach,” “My Chinese Coach,” “My Fun Facts Coach” and “My Stop Smoking Coach” with Allen Carr. Adventure titles include “Time Hollow,” a mystery where a young character investigates his family’s disappearance where players are allowed to explore the past and present simultaneously.
“Tony Hawk’s Motion” is a Nintendo DS exclusive, motion-control title that also includes the similarly controlled Hue Pixel Painter. Retro fans will give notice to the football classic “Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff,” featuring Wi-Fi and wireless multiplayer modes. Other retro action titles include “Commando: Steel Disaster,” “Bangai-O Spirits” and “Metal Slug 7.”
Food fanatics will get “Cooking Guide: Can’t Decide What to Eat?” This is a convenient personal interactive cookbook. “Burger Island” features 30 recipes, as well as 60 levels in five tropical locations, while “What’s Cooking?” with Jamie Oliver continues the cooking craze.
“Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir” offers great seek-and-find fun, while Travel Games For Dummies includes Solitaire, Sudoku and crossword puzzles. A large cache of simulation games for the youngsters, include “My Secret Diary,” “My Dress-Up,” “My Make-Up,” “Babysitting Mania” and “Lovely Lisa.” The Imagine game series continues with “Babysitters,” “Ballet Star,” plus Movie Star, Interior Designer and Wedding Designer.
KORG DS-10 is music creation software based on the MS-10 synthesizer and features a six-track/16-step sequencer where up to eight DS units can be linked via wireless connection to play together or to exchange sounds and songs. “Bangai-O-Spirits” features several fast-paced levels with varying difficulty plus a unique sound-load option, where players can transfer and share data created through the microphone.
Computer users can enjoy playing “Guitar Praise” (purchase at store.digitalpraise.com), which features a large catalog of great music. Role playing fans can choose “EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction,” “World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King,” “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir,” which lets players create their own group, and “Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria” with a collector’s edition also available. “King’s Bounty: The Legend” has amazing fantasy gameplay where players can start a family as they lead their troops in battle.
The multilanguage “The Witcher Enhanced Edition” includes new
dialogue, animations, reduced loading times and expanded item inventory plus the official soundtrack and “inspired by” music. “Damnation” (Dec. 16) features intense firefights in single-player campaign, flexible co-operative play and innovative multiplayer modes. Epic battle titles include “Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI,” “Dynasty Warriors 6” and “Legendary,” a Pandora’s Box action shooter that sets up a full scale war between man and myth.
The revolutionary Nintendo Wii console expands its motion filled game catalog along with “Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked,” “Wario Land: Shake It!” “Mario Kart Wii,” “Wii Fit” and “SimCity Creator,” which features a special helicopter or airplane tour where players can check out their unique creations. Wii Music gives players more than 60 instruments with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers, plus a tone text and playback option lets players watch and share their recordings.
Other Wii exclusive games include “Cake Mania: In the Mix” and “Penny Racers Party: Turbo,” featuring more than 50 customizable vehicles, including Nissan, Toyota, Honda. Other console exclusives include the affordable “Sam and Max Season 1,” “Boogie Superstar,” “Circus Games,” “Skate City Heroes,” “Ultimate I Spy” and “Cooking Mama: World Kitchen,” which has new recipes and an animation album. The new arcade style air combat game, “Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk” is set in a futuristic universe. “Twin Strike: Operation Thunder” and “Ultimate Shooting Collection” have more military action.
The customizable MySims Kingdom expands the series, while considerably reducing the load times from the first game. “Castlevania Judgment” features fighting action as the classic series continues with unlockable interaction with the new Nintendo DS Castlevania game, “Order of Ecclesia. Star Wars: The Clone Wars — Lightsaber Duels,” based on the Cartoon Network television series, features appealing action controls with glow saber peripherals.
Mirror’s Edge features first-person action with several mixed genre elements and a female protagonist who’s an acrobatic courier. PS3 exclusive community-based LittleBigPlanet feature a wide game play scope with online and offline multiplayer modes plus design customizations. A FPS sequel, “Resistance 2,” features 60 player online multiplayer battles plus a collector’s edition. The Xbox 360 exclusive “Gears of War 2” returns to battle with a limited edition and special content filter options.
The world of casual games has greatly expanded and offers a wide range of growing game series, including “Westward II: Heroes of the Frontier,” “Super Granny 4,” “Cake Mania 3” and the new puzzler “Glyph,” which debuts on iPhone(tm) and iPod(r) touch.
The PSP features “N+, Yggdra Union” and “Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters.” The affordable Buzz! Master Quiz makes the jump from the Playstation 2. Players can escape in the role playing game “Star Ocean: First Departure.” Role playing fans should take note of the fourth Persona installment, which came out Dec. 9. It is a PS2 exclusive game.