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End of the Year Holiday Video Game Treasures – Adults

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It’s easy to get lost in the end-of-the-year release frenzy. Fear not. This guide can help you find some unique games for that special someone (or yourself) this holiday season.

Bangai-O-Spirits (DS)
The robotic action game boasts immense battle movements and attacks amid several levels. Fight with missiles, swords, and wall-bouncing bullets in high challenge situations. The level editor is impressive, but even more outstanding is the sound load technology that transforms your level data into a sound file (output through the host DS speaker or audio ear buds or even a PC mic). When shared, this file is interpreted through the microphone of the recipient.

Castlevania “Mania” (DS and Wii)
Franchise fans get a different taste with head-to-head combat platformer Castlevania Judgment (on the Wii) featuring several characters and special interactions with the newest DS Castlevania game Order of Ecclesia. It's the third Castlevania game on the Nintendo DS and features multiple endings and a new Glyph (form of magic) attack system with over 100 combinations.

Far Cry 2 (PC, PS3 and Xbox360)
This action-filled shooter has a wide-open world plus map editing and unique multiplayer modes including bodyguard type scenarios. Nice touches like dynamic weather, realistic gun war and an amazing African setting push this game to the forefront.

Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009 (Wii)
This tough, no nonsense trainer, featured on the TV show The Biggest Loser, takes you to fitness boot camp with the Wii Balance Board. There are wide ranged activities in four types: hill climb, weight loss, intervals and strength training. Flexible settings, from ten to 60 minutes, allow an entertaining and well-planned workout system. Also features a competitive party mode races and challenges for up to two players.

Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii)
Can’t wait for the next season of American Idol? Live out your dream with customizable characters online or compete as the base three judges seal your fate. The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions feature new cooperative mode and downloadable songs.

KORG DS-10 (DS)
Connect to music hardware with the DS software version of the synthesizer studio. Your compositions get more in-depth with each discovery and unique interaction with a seemingly endless options. Music students will be ahead of the learning curve, but creative techniques and amazing gameplay make this title a conveniently portable way to explore music and make some new classics without lugging around all that equipment.

Legendary (PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)
This action shooter centers around saving the world attacked by mythological beasts released from Pandora’s Box. Fight griffons, werewolves, minotaurs, and more.

Mirror’s Edge (PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)
New female hero Faith runs the rooftops in the amazing new action title that demands quick thinking and problem solving as well as razor sharp fighting reflexes. You get a top side view of several urban settings that feature innovative visuals and controls centering on the first person point-of-view.

Monster Jam: Urban Assault (PS2, PSP, DS, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii)
Race to your heart’s content with this detailed and expansive racing game, which features more than 27 different monster trucks. New music tracks, seven game modes, split screen multiplayer modes (up to four), 12 skill competitions and stadiums really ramp up the action.

Populous DS (DS)
Based on the original Populous PC classic and God simulation game, the touch-screen controls utilize the dual screens allowing players to control five elementally-imbued gods, each with their own unique miracles, within an extensive single-player campaign. The multiplayer mode supports up to four players.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (PS2, PSP, DS, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii)
Following the film series, this latest superhero installment lets you put on the red suit or Venom’s black suit as well as control the storyline and impending results. The new combat system puts Spidey’s gravity defying actions into a whole new level.

Tomb Raider: Underworld (PS2, DS, Xbox360, PS3, and Wii)
Lara Croft’s new archeological adventures include the Mediterranean, Thailand , Mexico and the Arctic Sea as she searches the Norse underworld and the mythical Hammer of Thor. You can even find two new downloadable chapters on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace on the Xbox 360 version.

A Vampyre Story (PC)
Developer Bill Tiller (Curse of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones) contributes to a new tale set in Draxsylvania about a young opera singer and Baron Shrowdy van Kiefer. The entertaining dialogue from more than 25 characters and hand-drawn settings provide some unique experiences throughout the story, which also includes some puzzles and brain teasers.

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