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Gamers, We Salute You

Two weeks ago, writer Michael Lafferty made his debut with BW on Cobweb, and the first thing you can expect from him is regular video game coverage. Lafferty will preview games released each month, with a few reviews of notable releases in the mix. The following is an excerpt from a piece Lafferty posted about what's up and coming in September. We'll publish reviews of selected games in Rec in the coming weeks.

Halo: Reach

This is a prequel to the original story of Halo with the SPARTAN squad taking on the Covenant on a fortress world. Ranking as one of the most anticipated 360 titles of the year, Reach (the name of the world) features frenetic combat and could well be the best game of the series. Bungie's Halo is one of those games that has immediate name recognition for gamers. Released Tuesday, Sept. 14, for Xbox 360.

Dead Rising 2

Humor, gore and zombies. The weapon-construction system is back, multiplayer is available, and there are a lot of goofy costumes that can be worn when splattering the various casinos and shopping areas with the gray matter of the mindless. I saw this game at a Capcom Captivate media event in Hawaii at the start of summer, and it was certainly entertaining. Tongue is placed firmly in cheek for this one. The lead character has the name of a fictitious company/racing team on the back of his leather jacket--that's actually the name of one of Capcom's bigwigs spelled backward. Releases Tuesday, Sept. 28, for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Gene Simmons provides the narration voice for the title that utilizes a pre-determined set list as players embark on the game's quest mode--a first for the series. The goal is to level up, battle the "Beast" of the underworld and free the demigod of rock. The music is all classic rock and metal. Fans of the Activision series should find the set list appealing. Releases Tuesday, Sept. 28, for Xbox 360, PC, PS3 and Wii.

Final Fantasy XIV Online

The game will look great but did Square Enix take the lessons learned about MMOs and the Western market to heart in designing this game? The game purportedly will release with 3-D technology (if your machine is older, you may not be able to see the it that way), but the real make-or-break--especially with several other solid MMOs set to release this year--will be in the game play. Releases Thursday, Sept. 30, for PC.