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Monday December 19, 2011 10:59 pm

3 big holiday game releases to add to your wish list

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Video Games

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

Here we are in the week before Christmas, and while we hope that everyone's got their holiday shopping completed, we know from experience that it's a little too optimistic to think that way. We put together our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide in order to help guide you, but we've heard loud and clear that some of you felt the guide was a little light in the video game area. With that in mind, we've decided to compile three big holiday game releases that we think you should add to your wish list, if you haven't already. The holiday season is chock full of major game releases, so this obviously isn't a definitive list. Instead, it's a look at three titles that we think you shouldn't miss. A big thank you goes out to Sony's Xperia Play, which sponsored this post - if you're looking for the ultimate smartphone that can also run Playstation games, you'll wanna check out the Xperia Play.

These games should all be easy to find at your local Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Gamestop, and the like - so you don't have to wait for slow shipping that might ruin an otherwise perfect Christmas gift exchange. Now, on to the list - click on through for our thoughts!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: One of the most storied franchises in history soars to new heights. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword shakes up the tried-and-true adventure game formula and marks a turning point for the franchise. The introduction of full motion controls to the series enabled by Wii MotionPlus technology enhances player movements while offering the most intuitive play control of any game in the series to date.

Thanks to the MotionPlus technology, Skyward Sword has the most realistic sword combat of any game to date, turning every encounter into a challenge of both brains and brawn. Each swipe is accurately translated, effectively putting Link's blade in the player's hand. Analyzing enemy attack and defense tendencies and counteracting with precise swings of the sword provide a satisfying experience that blends puzzle-solving with a new and distinctly unique combat system.

Explore a massive, multilayered world that seamlessly blends soaring exploration in a sea of clouds with intense ground-based adventuring that blurs the line between the main world and traditional Zelda dungeons. Link soars through the skies on the back of a noble bird and dives beneath the clouds to the continent below in an epic quest that lays the foundation for the events in the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (which just so happens to by my favorite game, ever.)

Batman: Arkham City: This is the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Arkham Asylum from a couple of years ago, and it surpasses it successfully. In Arkham City you become the Dark Knight in a genuinely authentic Batman experience with advanced, compelling gameplay on every level, epic super-villain encounters and unexpected glimpses into Batman's tortured psychology. You can also play as Catwoman with her own storyline in the main game which is seamlessly interwoven with Batman's story arc. Fans of the Batman franchise won't feel cheated out of an authentic experience, as you encounter numerous characters from the Batman universe, including Catwoman, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Penguin, Hugo Strange, Victor Zsasz, Calendar Man, The Joker, The Riddler and others. This game is just straight up fun, and we can't say enough good about it.

Battlefield 3: Battlefield 3 introduces Frostbite 2, the incredible technology that takes animation, destruction, lighting, scale and audio to the next level. Seriously, these are some of the absolute best in-game graphics we've seen in any game, ever, period. Battlefield is know for its vehicular warfare, and Battlefield 3 is no different, upping the ante with a fitting sonic boom as fighter jets headline impressive lineup vehicles. In this war, you take the fight to iconic and unexpected urban locations in the USA, Middle East, and Europe, which means you get a nice mix of locations to explore. Online multiplayer is here as well, support 2-24 players at a time, so you can get those epic big team battles going.

That's it! As we said, we think we've got something for most anyone - a deep RPG-style adventure that kids and adults alike will love, an intense action game based on one of the most iconic comic book figures of all time, and a hot multiplayer war game that brings some of the best graphics to your television set. Let us know what you thought of our picks, and leave your own, in the comments.

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