This year, gamers can enjoy several different, new, Xbox 360 games during the holiday season. NOTE: All release dates are subject to change.
HALO 3: ODST, Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition and Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition will draw plenty of action attention while Mini Ninjas includes younger gamers in the excitement with transforming enemy putdowns instead of killing scenes.
MagnaCarta 2, an Xbox 360 exclusive, has role playing elements with real time and turn based action amid a civil war storyline packed with cutscenes. The sequel Assassin’s Creed II (Nov. 17) adds upgradeable armor and expanded community elements while Ninja Blade concentrates on reflexes within martial arts battles. Assassin action in Wet covers three continents and Section 8 drops players into immense battle scenarios.
Dragon Age: Origins (Nov. 3, also in collector’s edition) has six playable preludes, which can establish future player storylines while Batman: Arkham Asylum, Guinness Book of World Records' most critically acclaimed superhero game, also has a collector's edition.
Need some scares? Left 4 Dead 2 (Nov. 17) continues intense zombie related action, set in Louisiana. Dreamkiller features heroine psychologist Alice Drake who has special abilities to help her patients combat evil forces.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey showcases Authentic World War II aerial battles and war scenarios in the European theater. Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising lets players fight as special forces, infantry, helicopter pilot, or a tank commander.
The Saboteur (Dec. 8) has unique black and white color incorporation amid World War II action in France. Need more military action? Heroes Over Europe takes to the skies with special one shot aerial “ace kills” while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Nov. 3) has a hardened and prestige edition with night vision goggles.
On Nov. 3, the music game genre expands with LEGO Rock Band which features David Bowie and Queen while Band Hero (also in superbundle) features Taylor Swift. DJ Hero (Oct. 27) has two player beats with a guitar controller and turntable or two turntables. Not enough music? Try Guitar Hero 5, Beatles Rock Band, Guitar Hero Van Halen (Dec. 22), or add the Rock Band: Metal Track Pack.
The Lips Number One Hits bundle features motion-sensitive LED wireless microphones. Brütal Legend injects some action into rock as roadie Eddie Riggs, voiced by Jack Black, saves the world with Ophelia in a special vehicle called ‘The Deuce.’
In Overlord II, medieval action continues with comic dialogue and four multiplayer modes including equal parts cooperative and competitive sets. Other action games include Jurassic: The Hunted (Nov. 3), Way of the Samurai 3, Chaotic: Shadow Warriors (Nov. 10), the sequel Painkiller Resurrection, Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection (Nov. 10), and the RPG shooter Borderlands, which also features vehicle combat and a huge weapons cache.
FIFA Soccer 10 has full circle 360 degree control systems and improved AI, especially goalkeepers and teammates. Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (Nov. 3) enhances online and AI game elements. Madden NFL 10 features an online franchise mode while NBA Live 10 and NBA 2K 10 (also anniversary edition) keep the hoop dreams alive.
Hockey fans can enjoy NHL 10, which features new modes like Battle for the Cup, first person fighting, and an extensive general manager mode including scouting, trading, and hiring.
The snowboarding game series Stoked releases a Big Air Edition on November 24 with new challenges and two fresh mountains to conquer. Tony Hawk Ride (Nov. 17) includes a special skateboard controller and challenges for all ages. Wrestling fans can create-a-superstar or select from 60 famous names in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010.
In Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010, outdoor marksmanship and setting challenges yield “Super Hunter” status. Bass Pro Shops: The Strike puts fishing in player hands with a special rod and reel controller.
Need for Speed Shift helps Electronic Arts helps the popular games series zoom past the 100 million mark. Forza Motorsport 3 (Oct. 27, also in limited collector’s edition) features a new single player mode where players race through a calendar schedule.
Cars Race O’ Ramia, Madagascar Kartz (Oct. 27), and Indianapolis 500 Revolution keeps kids in the pole position. The multi-console release DiRT 2 has a world tour and online play.
Game adaptations from popular movies include Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Planet 51 (Nov. 17), Where Wild Things Are, and Saw: The Video Game where one's conscience comes into play. James Cameron’s Avatar The Game (Nov. 24) packs action adventure on the alien planet Pandora as players create their own character then build skills.
CSI: Deadly Intent puts players on the crime scene case while Bakugan: Battle Brawlers includes more than 200 characters. The Ben 10 Alien Force game series continues with Vilgax Attacks on October 27 while SpongeBob’s Truth or Square (Oct. 26) lets players relive moments from the television series while Plankton helps out in the two player option.
Game show enthusiasts can find Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Game Time (Oct. 26) as well as movie trivia with Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! on November 17.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Nov. 17) and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed — Ultimate Sith Edition (Nov. 3) have all ages action. Tornado Outbreak has platform action with optional two player play.
Tekken 6 expands the fighter roster and features online modes. Other fighting options include Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Fairytale Fights (Oct. 27) and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast (Nov. 10), which has online versus and tournament modes.
Xbox 360 games retailing for less than $20 include Half-Life 2 Orange Box, Mirror’s Edge, Bioshock, Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 1 & 2, Shaun White Snowboarding, Burnout Paradise, and the snowboarding game Stoked.
Xbox Live adds action with Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao, The Warriors: Street Brawl, Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond, South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play, and Zombie Apocalypse where players must survive for 55 days.
Madden NFL Arcade features 5-on-5 football games with a different art style and 13 unique “game changers” while the platformer Airburst has balloon based fun and the unique puzzler Axel and Pixel is set in fantasy environments.
Sam & Max Season 2 – Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space features battles against robots, zombies and unique boss characters in a five episode set with customizable controls and achievements
Want to expand games? Download extra content for IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (more single player missions and new American P47D plane) and Batman: Arkham Asylum (Darkness Map Pack). Xbox Live Gold members can find Twitter, Facebook, and music service Last.fm on the dashboard.
Gift card possibilities for after the holidays include Army of Two: The 40th Day (January 12, 2010), Mafia II (Jan. 26), Bayonetta (Jan.), Darksiders (Jan.), LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 – 4 (Jan.), Bioshock 2 (Feb. 9), Dante’s Inferno (Feb. 9), Prison Break: The Videogame (Feb. 16), and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction (Feb. 23).