The games of November 2011

What a ridiculous, ridiculous month for videogames

November 8

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS

EU: November 8

Battlefield 3 fired the opening salvo in the great military-themed FPS war of the holiday season, and by all measures, it seems to have been a spotty launch. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is destined to ship many millions of copies, but it remains to be seen whether the eighth core-series entry in as many years generates as much love and enthusiasm as its numerous predecessors. Between the single-player campaign, enhanced online multiplayer, and bulked-up Spec Ops mode, it should certainly keep fans busy for a long time to come. And we're curious to see how MW3 resolves the trilogy's storyline, especially after Modern Warfare 2's bafflingly scattershot campaign.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3

EU: February 3, 2012

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection pulls together a trio of beloved series entries – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – with bumped-up visuals on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That alone warrants celebration, especially with a $50 price tag on both platforms, but as widely reported (thanks to the silly name), the PS3 version also includes a "transfarring" feature that lets you share save files with the PSP version of Peace Walker. We're guessing the diehards are ready to drop $80 on the Special Edition, though, which comes with enhanced packaging and a 250-page art book.

L.A. Noire: The Complete Collection

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

EU: November 11

It's been a long wait, but PC owners finally get a crack at L.A. Noire on November 8 via The Complete Collection, which includes access to all of the DLC missions released for the console versions, plus enhanced visuals and 3D support for high-end computers. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners can also pick up the Complete Collection a week later on November 15, though the visual quality hasn't changed since earlier this year. What, those faces aren't expressive enough for you?

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012

Platforms: Xbox 360

EU: November 11

Last year's Your Shape: Fitness Evolved stood tall as the top Kinect fitness option, even besting EA's promising Active 2, and follow-up Fitness Evolved 2012 seems primed to continue that streak by packing in tons of new activities. Ubisoft promises more than 90 hours of included content, with things like Latin dance and kickboxing, as well as a Run the World feature that simulates real-world cities New York, Paris, and London. If your own shape isn't quite where you want it, perhaps this Kinect workout option can help you out.

Cave Story 3D

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

EU: November 11

The wait for Cave Story 3D – following its delay from early summer – has been particularly arduous for 3DS owners seeking some meatier fare to tide us over until Super Mario 3D Land ships, but it's almost here! Unfortunately, it's launching just days before the portly plumber's anticipated release, so it's fair to say that the hype for this upgraded version of the beloved indie platformer might be slightly muted come next week. But even if it sits atop our pile of shame for a few weeks, we'll eventually get around to it. And if Cave Story 3D is anywhere near as great as the earlier PC, WiiWare, and DSiWare versions, you'll want to check it out as well.

Jaws: Ultimate Predator

Platform: Wii, Nintendo 3DS


The last major Jaws game to grace consoles – 2006's Jaws Unleashed – was a pretty ridiculous bit of mediocrity, with sequences where the titular shark would, say, grab a keycard to open some nearby door. As such, we don't have the highest of expectations for this new entry, Jaws: Ultimate Predator, especially with a Teen-rated Wii iteration. But the prospect of a Mature-rated 3DS release admittedly piques our interest, especially since it's developed by n-Space, which has turned out some stellar handheld titles in the past. Being a sleek, underwater killing machine – how could it go wrong? Oh, right: Jaws Unleashed.

Heavy Fire: Afghanistan

Platform: PS3, Wii, PC


If the big-budget, M-rated antics of Modern Warfare 3 are a bit much for your needs, perhaps Heavy Fire: Afghanistan will be more up your alley. This sequel to last year's WiiWare light-gun shooter arrives as a $20 retail release on PlayStation 3, Wii, and PC (along with a 3DS version, Heavy Fire: The Chosen Few 3D, priced at $30) and serves up more than 20 levels of quick-blasting action for up to four players, with 30-plus weapons available in the mix. Cheap thrills are on the agenda here, though 360 owners will have to wait 'til February for their version.

Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking

Platform: Xbox 360

EU: November 4

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, Ubisoft's latest Rabbids game isn't the most alluring Rayman series release of the season – that'd be Rayman Origins (see next week's releases). But this Kinect-exclusive party game may still deliver an amusing spin on typical minigame collections, as evidenced by the clips of stomping the titular creatures in an augmented-reality affair and coloring a picture by frantically moving your head. Remember how much fun the first Rayman Raving Rabbids was for Wii? We're not quite that naïve about motion controlled-games anymore, but here's hoping Alive & Kicking recaptures at least a bit of that magic.

The Black Eyed Peas Experience

Platform: Xbox 360, Wii

EU: November 11

Without disparaging any of the involved artists, Ubisoft going from The Michael Jackson Experience to The Black Eyed Peas Experience is about as abrupt a shift as Harmonix following up The Beatles: Rock Band with Green Day: Rock Band. Regardless of your personal feelings on the Black Eyed Peas, our recent hands-on with the Kinect version (it's also coming to Wii) revealed a dancing experience that's ready-made for hardcore fans. Everyone else will probably just shrug it off as a pop culture aberration, but then again, we assumed the same for their albums – and those always sell like crazy.

Deepak Chopra's Leela

Platform: Xbox 360, Wii

EU: November 11

For many of us, “Leela” is just a character in Futurama, but come next week, it'll also be a Kinect and Wii video game designed with the help of Deepak Chopra, the respected doctor and spiritual thinker. Leela is designed to help you meditate, with vibrant visuals and gesture controls, plus it lets you create personal artwork to demonstrate your “essence,” and then share it online. If you ask us, something about a flashy video game with motion controls doesn't seem like the best fit for calm, meditative living, but we'll defer to Chopra (and you) on that call.

Michael Jackson: The Experience 3D

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

EU: November 11

If you're one of the billions of people who have at some point rocked out to a Michael Jackson song, you might be interested in the belated Nintendo 3DS version of last year's Michael Jackson: The Experience. We thought the console versions were pretty decent, though to be fair, the 3DS version is a much different affair. Rather than serving up a Just Dance-like title, the 3DS game lets you draw shapes on the touch screen in time with classic MJ hits. We don't know if that'll be entertaining, but what other 3DS game will blast "Rock With You" from those tiny speakers?

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