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SSX Review: Vertical Drop

For all intents and purposes, 2012 has been the year in which old franchises are revived for a new audience. So far, we’ve seen new entries in the Syndicate, Twisted Metal, and Kid Icarus franchises and now, the SSX franchise. Simply titled SSX, the newest entry in the series for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 stays true to its roots while giving both returning fans and new fans the next generation SSX experience they’ve been craving.

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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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Mass Effect 3

Unlike Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 left the series on a bleak note. With care being given to avoid spoilers, it’s safe to say that things were not looking good for Shepard and her crew. In Mass Effect 3, releasing for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the war for the galaxy’s survival has come home to Earth. After a pulse pounding action sequence, Shepard finds herself against an enemy more dangerous than any before it; to win, she must unite the races of the galaxy together. However, with many of the galaxy’s species hating each other, Shepard must help put to rest centuries worth of hatred and anger to ensure the survival of them all.

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Crysis 2

Right away, Crysis 2 offers something that the original Crysis never did: a version of the game playable on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in addition to the PC. However, this is not the only change that Crysis 2 making; while some elements of the original game were kept, new elements were also added. In terms of what is the same, the Nanosuit returns, allowing players to activate special abilities to aid in combat situations. For example, Maximum Armor allows you to take more damage before you die while Maximum Stealth allows you to become invisible. Also returning from the original Crysis is the open-ended gameplay; there are multiple ways to dispatch your enemies. Do you snipe them from far away, kill them one by one while you are invisible or use the environment to your advantage, crushing many enemies at once? The choice is yours to make.

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Dead Space 2

Isaac Clarke is no stranger to having a bad day. In Dead Space, Isaac Clarke is sent to investigate the endangered USS Ishimura, and everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Throughout the course of the game, Isaac must stop the ship from becoming destabilized and crashing, defend the ship against asteroids and stop toxic gas from destroying all available oxygen. In addition, the entire crew of the Ishimura has been transformed into Necromorphs: alien like creatures that can only be destroyed by cutting off their limbs. In Dead Space 2,soon available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, Isaac’s bad day turns into a bad three years; having escaped the Ishimura, he has been contained in an insane asylum as no one believes what has happened to him. However, when the Sprawl is taken over by Necromorphs, only Isaac can save humanity.

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Mass Effect 2

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by phnk

From the beginning, Mass Effect was always designed to be a trilogy. However, when the ending of Mass Effect didn’t offer any clues to what the second game would bring, nobody knew quite what to expect when it released. Not content to offer more of the same, Mass Effect 2 took everything you knew about Mass Effect and improved it: better story, better inventory management, better combat and better characters / dialogue helped solidify this Xbox 360 and PC release as one of the best action role-playing games yet. While Mass Effect 2 does tie into Mass Effect, newcomers will not be lost as, for the most part, no major plot points are contingent on the knowledge learned from playing Mass Effect.

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Dragon Age: Origins

Baldur’s Gate, based on Dungeons and Dragons, was Bioware’s first big hit as a studio. When the license to the Dungeons and Dragons franchise was lost, Bioware turned their attention towards creating their own franchises, such as Mass Effect in 2007. Even though Bioware no longer had the license for Dungeons and Dragons, that did not stop them from attempting a swords and sorcery medieval role-playing game of their own; thus, Dragon Age: Origins, releasing for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, was born. Dragon Age: Origins combines a tactical combat system, various role-playing game mechanics and a deep back story to create the likes of something that has not been seen for many years.

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