Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 10th Anniversary Edition
Platform: iOS, Android
EU: December 6
Last year, Rockstar Games delivered a wallop to the App Store and Android Marketplace (now Google Play) with the low-priced HD re-release of Grand Theft Auto III, and this month, the developer aims to repeat the feat with the Vice City 10th Anniversary Edition. Again priced at just $4.99, the touchscreen version of Vice City will feature high-resolution visuals with updated character models and lighting, as well as enhanced targeting and firing mechanics. If the previous release is any indication, it'll be another stunning value and one heck of a must-have for your supported phone or tablet of choice.
The Walking Dead
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
If you haven't been following Telltale Games' episodic The Walking Dead game series over the past several months, you've been missing out on one of the most gripping interactive tales of our time – one that we awarded a sparkling five stars to in our recent review of the complete five-episode season. Lucky you, though: next week, the entire experience will be released on a retail disc for $30, letting you dive in, evade the undead, and start making some seriously gut-wrenching choices. And for die-hards (or those in the making), a $70 Collector's Edition comes with special packaging and the first Walking Dead comic compendium, which contains 48 issues over more than a thousand pages.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: December 7
Following a pretty well-received launch on consoles last month, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is ready to make its handheld debut on the PlayStation Vita in just over a week, and it comes with a couple of platform-specific additions. We expect the core game to be similar, with a mix of car, boat, and plane racing across a bevy of courses inspired by classic Sega properties, though the Vita version adds motion-based driving and touchscreen weapon usage. As for the Nintendo 3DS version, U.S. retail sites now list it for a February release, so cross that off your holiday wish list if you were waiting for it.
EU: December 12
Free-to-play games don't often arrive with a lot of buzz in tow, but that's exactly what's happening with Hawken as it approaches its long-awaited 12-12-12 launch. The PC mech shooter made a huge impression with many folks at E3 this year, and in our hands-on preview, we praised its fabulous Unreal Engine 3-powered visuals and observed, "When you pair its stunning, stylized graphics and old-school shooter gameplay, you get a mech game that looks fresh but feels affably familiar." With customizable mechs and what we saw as "plenty of depth and nuance to the combat," Hawken has us excited to strap in to a giant walker come next week.
NEOGEO X Gold
Platform: NEOGEO X
One week before Christmas doesn't seem like the most ideal time to launch a new gaming system, but NEOGEO X isn't exactly new. It's a handheld platform with a 4.3" inch screen, pre-loaded with 20 classic NEOGEO titles, like Metal Slug, King of Fighters 95, and Samurai Showdown II, with more playable via game cards. This initial $200 bundle comes with the handheld, a docking station in the shape of the original AES system that lets you play on your TV, and an arcade stick. Retail listings show the standalone handheld coming early next year for $130, so if the bundle seems a little rich for your blood, a slimmed-down option is luckily on the horizon.
Toki Tori 2
Platform: Wii U (eShop), PC
EU: December 20
Two Tribes' debut title Toki Tori premiered on a Nintendo platform back in 2000 (Game Boy Color), so it makes perfect sense for the sequel to pop up a dozen years later on the Wii U eShop. The puzzle-solving platformer looks fantastic running in high definition, and it comes with some Wii U-specific features, to boot. Toki Tori 2 is fully playable on the GamePad screen, if desired, plus the included level editor can be ably controlled via the touch screen. The game was expected in the eShop at launch, though it's since been pushed deep into December, with a PC version also planned to launch in the near future.