November Is Slow, But Expect A Few Big-Name Video Game Titles

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This November is a bit of a mixed bag in the video-game industry—a handful of top titles are scattered among a score of titles that should appeal to families and the younger set. If you are a hardcore gamer, there is reason to rejoice with tomorrow's release of the latest title in the Call of Duty franchise. Those that tend toward something a bit more creative and on the cartoon side, should get a major kick out of the Disney offering at the end of the month.

Many titles formerly considered for launch in November and early December of this year have been pushed to 2011, leaving the end of this year a bit lacking in mega-hits. Let’s hit the high notes of the month in the symphony of titles filtering down to retail shelves.



Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, 360) Nov. 9, 2010
If you have not heard of the Call of Duty franchise, find the rock you’ve been living under and throw it in the Boise River. Commercials have started to pop up on television nationwide and the game is one that gamers merely have to hear the franchise tag and then they start to drool. And if you thought the last title raised the bar for the series, Black Ops blows that out of the water. Featuring 18-player online play, 4-player cooperative play, and single-player game that is culled from the world of deniable military operations (you know, the missions that no one acknowledges to do things the general public would be abhorred to know the government was doing). I saw this title previewed at E3 way back in June and it was stunning — a terrific combination of graphical candy, strong evolving story elements and action that is intelligent and challenging.



Split/Second (PSP, 360, PS3, PC) Nov. 16, 2010
This is one of those titles that may have slipped under the radar for a lot of people but has created a decent amount of industry buzz. The controls have been tailored for each platform it appears on and the game features fender-to-fender racing with a few nice twists along the way. Players collect power-ups to unleash attacks on others, but those attacks are not limited to a rocket up the tailpipe of another car. You can drop a building onto a race course (and other racers) to totally alter the track. The game features an online vs. mode and is available across a wide range of platforms.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Limited Edition (360, PS3, PC) Nov. 16, 2010
NFS used to feature flat-out, high-speed racing between non-playable cops and players. The title drifted away from that for a number of years, but with Hot Pursuit, it returns to those roots with a bit of a twist—players can also be the pursuer this time around. Hot Pursuit also features an online component that allows players to compare stats and receive personalized gameplay recommendations from friends. Six exotic cars are featured in the game and include the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, Ford Shelby GT500, Audi TT RS Coupé, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Porsche Cayman S and Dodge Challenger SRT8.

Patapon 3 (PSP) Nov. 30, 2010
At the end of Patapon 2, the little tribe constructed a bridge but didn’t cross it. That was in store for the third iteration of the series, which is scheduled to launch this month. There is a new class, the superhero, as well as four-on-four battles and multiplayer quests. The game is mostly a strategic-style experience but the combat is all based on musical rhythms.

Disney Epic Mickey (Wii) Nov. 30, 2010
If you love the old cartoons and just about anything Mickey Mouse, then Epic Mickey might be the game you have been searching for. It is an action-platforming title inspired by the cartoons of the 1930s and '40s. Mickey is dropped into the Cartoon Wasteland (where retired and forgotten cartoon characters go) and he must find and defeat the evil that threatens the world. The gameplay elements are creative and this is a title that should have broad appeal.