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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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by phnk

The Legend of Zelda series is one of Nintendo’s flagship series, having released more than 10 games across all of Nintendo’s systems. However, one could say the series was getting a bit formulaic, as the game always featured the same puzzles, combat and setting. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, releasing exclusively for the Nintendo Wii, looks to be just another typical Zelda game at first glance. However, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that Skyward Sword modernizes the series in a way no past Zelda game has done. In this story, Zelda and Link are residents of Skyloft, a city high in the clouds above Hyrule. Transportation is made possible by large birds, allowing you to fly from island to island. However, when Zelda disappears to the surface of Hyrule, Link is the only one with a chance of rescuing her.

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Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3, released exclusively for the PlayStation 3, again follows the adventures of Nathan Drake, famous treasure hunter, as he once again seeks not just buried treasure, but a buried city: Iram of the Pillars. For this outing, Nathan is joined by his good friend and father figure Victor Sullivan, who has also appeared in every Uncharted game to date. Like Uncharted 2, you needn’t play past games in the series to enjoy Uncharted 3; while it would help to flesh out the characters, it isn’t required to fully enjoy this game. Uncharted 3 not only deals with present day adventuring, but also deals with Nathan Drake’s past in the form of flashbacks, as many questions about him are finally answered. Fans can expect to see Chloe and Elena return as well along with a few new faces.

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Sonic Generations

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by phnk

In the 80s and 90s, Sonic the Hedgehog, like much Mario, was a household name. Sonic has starred in over 20 games to date, ranging as far back as the Sega Genesis to current systems such as the Xbox 360. Sonic Generations, released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, is a celebration of the many years of Sonic the Hedgehog games. Sonic Generations features the 2D styled Sonic the Hedgehog, star of the classic Sega Genesis series of Sonic games, meeting his 3D counterpart, star of the Dreamcast to current generation Sonic games, for the first time. What this means in terms of gameplay is that each level in the game can be played in two different ways: in classic 2D styled gameplay or modern 3D styled gameplay, effectively doubling the level count.

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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

The Ghost Recon series has seen many changes since its inception in 2001. Not only has the setting of each game changed, many times the era of time the game is based in has changed as well. The newest entry to the series, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, keeps the series’ tradition alive; the game is set in an urban environment while being set in the future. Not all things have changed, as the game is still a third person shooter with a heavy reliance on squad based mechanics. However, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, set to come out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, even looks to slightly alter this mechanic as well.

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Saints Row: The Third

When the first Saints Row game was released in 2006, it was little more than a Grand Theft Auto clone. However, with Saints Row 2, the series started drifting into over-the-top territory; large scale battles and outlandish scenarios helped separate it from the serious tone of Grand Theft Auto. With Saints Row: The Third, also known as Saints Row 3, the series completely eschews realism for over-the-top insanity. In Saints Row: The Third, soon available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the Saints have moved to Steelport to avenge the loss of one of their fallen comrades. This revenge based-story sees the Saints, with you playing their leader, teleport into a virtual world, fight an army of angry clones, pilot tanks and attack planes throughout the city and many more surprises.

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Starfox 64 3D

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by phnk

Much like The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Starfox 64 was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. Also much like Ocarina of Time receiving a 3D upgrade on the Nintendo 3DS, Starfox 64 follows its footsteps and likewise receives a similar upgrade.  Titled Starfox 64 3D, this 3DS exclusive game shrinks Star Fox 64 down to portable form. Everything from the original Starfox 64 is included in Starfox 64 3D: the story mode and the battle mode are both included in this new version of the game. However, while the story mode is unchanged from Starfox 64, the battle mode has been redesigned. Starfox 64 3D does includes some additions over the previous game to help it take advantage of the 3DS’s capabilities.

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Battlefield 3

The main Battlefield series, which has mostly been PC exclusive, has been known primarily for one thing: multiplayer gaming. Single player was regulated to little more than playing the artificial intelligence on multiplayer maps, while the real bulk of the game rested in the game’s online multiplayer modes. Battlefield 3 made two large changes to the franchise. First, it is being released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in addition to the PC. Second, it added in a unique single player mode similar to the one seen in the Call of Duty games. However, Battlefield 3, like past titles, still places a large emphasis on multiplayer gaming.

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Batman: Arkham City

As the follow up to Batman: Arkham Aslyum, Batman: Arkham City is a sequel that is reminiscent of a new comic book arc; new fans can jump in and not feel lost while old fans will appreciate all the references to the past game. Releasing for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Arkham City sees the creation of a new prison by walling off an entire section of Gotham. This prison, dubbed Arkham City, is run by Dr. Hugo Strange and houses all of Gotham’s worst criminals in a free range environment. Batman, sensing that something isn’t quite right in Arkham City, manages to find a way inside the prison where he faces his greatest challenge yet: facing his deadliest foes on their home turf. The story is once again written by famed Batman author Paul Dini.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Picking up where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 left off, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, releasing on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, is the final game in the Modern Warfare trilogy. Like past games, you control a number of protagonists; however, the main protagonist in the game is Yuri, who is part of a task force consisting of Soap and Captain Price. The hunt for Makarov, the main villain in Modern Warfare 2, continues in Modern Warfare 3. Everything in Modern Warfare 3’s story is doubled in intensity, including the content; like Modern Warfare 2, such content may be offensive but like the previous game the option to skip such content remains.

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Catherine

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by phnk

When most gamers think of Atlus, they think of the developer / publisher’s Persona series: an extremely tough role-playing game series with an emphasis on demons and real world scenarios. Catherine, releasing for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, goes in the opposite direction; it combines a visual novel with puzzle-based gameplay to create a unique experience. The story of the game is aimed at an older audience, tackling subject matter you don’t see in video games often. The main character, Vincent, must choose between two women: Katherine, his long time girlfriend or Catherine, the woman he just met but seems to be perfect for him.

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Dungeon Siege III

Even though Dungeon Siege has had two games in its series, many console fans will find themselves not knowing the name; this is due to the first two games being PC exclusive. However, when the series was sold to SquareEnix, who owned the series wasn’t the only thing that changed. With the newest release, Dungeon Siege III, the series will be available for the first time on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 along with the PC. Dungeon Siege III is an action role-playing game, along the lines of Diablo, even going so far as to use the same 3/4 perspective. However, Dungeon Siege III, now developed by Obsidian, does a few new things in an attempt to make it stand out from the crowd.

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Dark Souls

PlayStation 3 exclusive action role-playing Demon’s Souls was known for one thing: its extreme level of difficulty. Death was inevitable from the very beginning of the game and every part of the game was designed to work against you at every level; booby traps, incredibly powerful bosses and environments that actively damaged you are only a small part of the Demon’s Souls experience. When From Software announced Dark Souls, the developers made the claim that they didn’t feel Demon’s souls was hard enough, so expect an even harder game with Dark Souls. It can be said that the developers definitely succeeded with their intention. In addition to the PlayStation 3, Dark Souls is also being released on the Xbox 360.

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