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PlayStation 3 2009 Gift Guide

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High profile releases complimented with strong graphics and a recent console price drop makes the PlayStation 3 calendar very appealing this holiday season.

The post-apocalyptic action RPG Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition includes post-release content including The Pitt, Broken Steel, Operation: Anchorage, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta. In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Drake returns to recover an artifact left by Marco Polo. Expanded online multiplayer modes offer competitive and cooperative play options. In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (Nov. 10), the military experience gets even deeper with the new cooperative SpecOps mode and with hardened and prestige editions also available.

Demon’s Souls, also available in a deluxe edition with artbook and soundtrack CD, has RPG action with demanding challenges and unique concentration scenarios. Assassin’s Creed II (Nov. 17, also in master assassin’s edition) has open-ended action with all-new weapons and instruments created by Leonardo da Vinci. The God of War: Collection (Nov. 17) features the first two installments with trophy support and improved graphics.

Intense action games include Dragon Age: Origins (Nov. 17), Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Heroes Over Europe, Killzone 2, Chaotic: Shadow Warriors (Nov. 10) and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, the last two of which both have collector’s editions available. Borderlands mixes role playing, first person shooter elements, and a large weapon cache. The new Tekken installment, Tekken 6 (Oct. 27), has online play and a new scenario campaign mode.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey has amazing World War II battles with difficulty levels which match player experience while The Saboteur (Dec. 8) has wide open movements and action in WWII environments. Way of the Samurai 3 lets players choose a path of good or evil while Damnation flings high flying aerial action scenarios and special vision options. The assassin themed Wet features unique third-person-shooter control schemes amid stylistic urban settings.

FIFA Soccer 10 features an amazing 360 degree dribbling system and expanded controls while the essential Madden NFL 10 features an online franchise. NHL 10 expands with a Battle for the Cup Mode while basketball hoop dreams are fulfilled with NBA Live 10 and NBA 2K10. Other sport games include WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (Nov. 3) and Tony Hawk Ride (Nov. 17), packaged with a unique skateboard controller. Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 has terrain challenges, special mini-games, and a full reward system.

Film adaptation games include James Cameron’s Avatar (Nov. 24), Planet 51 (Nov. 17), Where the Wild Things Are, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Ghostbusters: the Video Game. LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Nov. 17) hits about every console possible, including the PlayStation 3. SAW: The Video Game incorporates life or death choices while addressing storylines in the film series.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has 24 playable heroes with online and offline four player cooperative modes while Batman: Arkham Asylum, dubbed ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’ by the Guinness World Records, has strong action and problem solving as the Joker unfolds another master plan.

Tornado Outbreak has player missions and separate time, point, and collection missions. Action platform games include Dragon Ball: Raging Blast which has more than 70 characters and Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (Oct. 27) combines comedy and action. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition (Nov. 3) focuses on Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice," features story elements between Episode III and IV, and includes two additional levels on Coruscant and Tatooine.

Afrika, produced in cooperation with National Geographic, features adventure play as a freelance photographer with more than 100 missions and 70 animals. The fantasy action game Katamari Forever debuts on the PlayStation 3 while LittleBigPlanet: Game of the Year Edition has 18 new levels, bonus costumes and level packs.

Racers can enjoy Fuel, Cars: Race-O-Rama, Madagascar Kartz (Oct. 27) or DiRT 2, which features off-road fun and online events. Need for Speed: Shift matches players with similar experience in a new visual style which continues this long running game series.

LEGO Rock Band (Nov. 3) features real bands including Queen and David Bowie and Band Hero (Nov. 3), also in superbundle, has a E10+ rating and features Taylor Swift. Disney Sing It: Pop Hits (available with or without microphone), DJ Hero (Oct. 27), Karaoke Revolution (Nov. 17), SingStar Latino, and Guitar Hero 5 provide more music variety.

Beatles Rock Band rocks every generation and is also available in limited edition and a special value edition. SingStar Motown (Nov. 10) and Guitar Hero: Van Halen (Dec. 22) features guest acts including Queen, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, and Weezer.

Action mixes in the music genre with two similar games: Brutal Legend, which features Jack Black voicing roadie Eddie Riggs, who saves the world, and Metalocalypse: Dethgame, which features a roadie who battles mutant fans.

PlayStation Network players will discover what the "D-A-C" stand for after extensive Star Trek: D-A-C sessions, which lets players battle against the Romulan Empire and manipulate scenarios with expanded customization. Red Faction Guerilla has downloadable content packs while the Prey in the Darkness Map Pack can expand play in Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Madden NFL Arcade (December) has a different art style for football fans plus 5-on-5 gameplay with all 32 NFL teams and various options. PlayStation Network downloadable content for IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey features six additional single-player missions and a new plane, the American P47D.

Zombie Apocalypse, where players must survive 55 days within seven different environments, also features four player cooperative play. Other action PSN releases include Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond and Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Nov. 27), while seven new time trial maps provide additional content for Mirror's Edge in late January 2010.

Affordable games for less than $20 include Bioshock, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway, Battlefield: Bad Company, Burnout Paradise, Trivial Pursuit, and Stranglehold Collector’s Edition.

Save those gift cards for the shooter Army of Two: The 40th Day (January 12, 2010), Mafia II (Jan. 26), MAG (Massive Action Game, Jan. 26), Bioshock 2 (Feb. 9), Dante’s Inferno (Feb. 9), Two Worlds: The Temptation (Feb. 10), and Prison Break: the Videogame (Feb. 16).

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