The games of November 2011

What a ridiculous, ridiculous month for videogames

November 20

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Platform: Nintendo Wii

EU: November 18

If you read this deeply into the feature (or simply skipped ahead), we're guessing you might be curious to see what we have to say about Skyward Sword. But really, what's left to say? The second core Zelda game on Wii looks fabulous, is said to be an engrossing and sprawling tale, and has captivated us across several hands-on opportunities. Better yet, the early reviews from our UK sister magazines Edge and Official Nintendo Magazine have been jaw-droppingly glowing – even for a Legend of Zelda release. After 25 years, could the best series entry to date seriously arrive on the Wii, well after the console's star has faded in the hearts of many gamers? Imagine that.

November 22

Serious Sam 3: BFE

Platform: PC

EU: November 25

We've missed you, Sam. Announced more than four years ago, Serious Sam 3: BFE is the first original PC entry since 2005's Serious Sam II, and despite swapping to the slicker Serious Engine 3.5, it looks to deliver the same kind of over-the-top, chaotic mayhem the series is known for. Who needs modern trappings like regenerative health and cover when you can just blast the hell out of dozens of enemies flocking in from all directions? But while we've praised the game in our previews to date, most recently calling it "just plain fun," we simply cannot wait to try out the extravagant 16-player co-op mode. We can't even imagine how bananas that'll be.

WWE '12

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii

EU: November 25

THQ's WWE Smackdown vs. RAW series has always proven a top seller, yet seemed to deteriorate as an experience with each passing year, thanks to sluggish and frankly convoluted core gameplay. Along with the first name change in several years, WWE '12 also shakes up the series’ tired approach with numerous control changes, faster play, and sleeker presentation. New match types are also included, along with a revised roster – but that's all expected. THQ is billing this year's entry as "bigger, badder, and better," but as long as that last note is properly executed, we'll all be a lot happier with the WWE's flagship release.

Tekken Hybrid

Platform: PlayStation 3

EU: November 25

As you might glean from the title, Tekken Hybrid isn't some single entity, nor is it really a complete new game. What you'll get in the package is Tekken: Blood Vengeance 3D, the CG movie inspired by the series, as well as a remastered version of PlayStation 2 classic Tekken Tag Tournament and something totally new, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Prologue. Namco Bandai says Prologue isn't quite a demo, though it's certainly not the full version planned for release sometime in the future – so we're going to assume it's just a bigger-than-usual demo. All that comes in a set for $40, which seems like a fair deal for series nuts.

The King of Fighters XIII

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3

EU: November 25

Thirteen? Really? When on earth did that happen? SNK Playmore's long-running franchise may not have the mainstream cachet of other fighters, but it's clearly continued on through the years, and the 13th entry is coming Stateside via Atlus later this month. We didn't have the highest opinion of 2009's The King of Fighters XII, but XIII is said to swap out several gameplay elements from the previous game in favor of new systems, which will hopefully help it keep pace with the modernized Street Fighters and Mortal Kombats of the genre. Plus, pre-orders get a four-disc series soundtrack set. You love fighting background music!

Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3

Platform: Xbox 360, Wii

EU: December 2

Once upon a time, Karaoke Revolution was a standalone franchise. And it was good. But as competition increased, the franchise spawned by Harmonix lost a step, and it stopped being competitive in a genre dominated by slicker music fare. Then Glee came along, and the series stopped feeling the need to appeal to a wider audience – it could just appeal to the many millions of Glee fans. And since Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3 is the third such entry in one year, we're guessing that's going pretty well for Konami and Glee nerds alike. Good for all of you.

National Geographic Challenge

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii

EU: Now

National Geographic Challenge serves up a trivia-centric affair on all three platforms with 4,000 included questions about animals, nature, art, history, geography, and other related subjects. Up to four players can take part on each console, with mini-games included in the mix and even PlayStation Move support on the PlayStation 3. That's about all there is to share about this budget-priced release, which comes in at $20 on Wii and $30 on the other platforms.

WWE All-Stars

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

EU: November 25

Unfortunately for Nintendo 3DS owners, WWE '12 is only destined for the home consoles at this time – but November 22 also sees the release of the 3DS version of WWE All-Stars, the more arcade-leaning entry that shipped on other platforms earlier this year. All-Stars pulls together super-sized versions of WWE legends new and old, and the 3DS version makes up for lost time by pulling in more than a dozen extra fighters released as DLC on the consoles, along with two new play modes: Gauntlet and Score Scramble. Plus, those hits are sure to look extra-fake with the help of the third dimension.

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