New videogame releases: 11/12 – 11/18

The Fall release bonanza continues on strong this week, with several big games coming out.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) Mario needs no introduction. This is his first big outing on the Wii, and it is most assuredly a paragon of gaming excellence. No Wii owner should be without it.

Assassin?s Creed (PS3, 360) Ubisoft?s next big franchise? The game throws you into the middle of the third crusade, at the end of the 12th century, as an Assassin who likes to get his parkour on while investigating and finally putting the hit on his targets. Reviews have been remarkably split on this one, ranging from 10/10 to 6/10. At least it looks cool.

Contra 4 (DS) Yes, you read that right. Contra. 15 years or so later, the Super Nintendo?s Contra III: The Alien War finally gets a real sequel. Forget all the failed 3D nonsense with the Contra name slapped onto it that has come out over the years since, this is the real deal. Developer Wayforward Studios are reverent scholars of the series, and have come up with a DS game that, not only lives up to its name, but also comes up with a sensible solution to the classic DS problem of how to use the second screen. They just make the levels twice as tall, and give you a grappling hook to quickly get to the top screen! That?s awesome, and now I?m ready to kick some alien ass.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (PS3, 360) IO Interactive are the guys behind the extremely well done Hitman series, and this is their latest offering. The titular Kane and Lynch are a couple of ex-con, straight-out-of-a-Tarantino-film types, no doubt out for revenge and/or a briefcase full of cash. If this sounds like a bad action movie to you, then you?re probably not far off judging from the reception the game has gotten so far. Still, there is something to be said for bad action movies, and by extension, bad action movie games. Rent it first, though.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (PSP) Plus is not a sequel to, but rather an expansion of last year?s Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It adds a mission generator that randomly assembles mission stages from a pool of resources, and an online play mode. Fans of the original game might be interested. Not a bad deal, at $20.

Need For Speed: ProStreet (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2) This year?s Need For Speed curiously eschews illegal street racing for the noticeably lamer legal alternative. The series has historically been shallow racing fun, in contrast to the incredible depth of something like Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport.

Orcs & Elves (DS) This first-person RPG originally appeared on cell phones. It was coded by Doom?s John Carmack himself, over 4 days. If you?re looking for something simplistic and a little retro, perhaps, you might want to give it a look.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (Wii) Take the entire Resident Evil series? narrative over its first three entries, and spin it into a lightgun game, and you get Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. If you liked House of the Dead, you?ll love this.

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