The days are officially short and much of the northeast is still in hurricane recovery mode, but at least the season's blockbuster games are starting to show up on store shelves! There's always that. Here are reviews of two of the biggest titles.
'Paper Mario: Sticker Star'
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Did you think Nintendo would let the holidays go by without a big Mario game for the 3DS? To the uninitiated, the "Paper Mario" series takes players to the Mushroom Kingdom as envisioned by Lady Gaga. These games are weird, wild and, to fans, wonderful. Think "Super Mario World" sprinkled with RPG mechanics and a healthy dose of LSD.
As the name suggests, this new entry is obsessed with stickers. You use them for everything, from battling enemies and healing to solving the game's many amusing puzzles. The graphics are gorgeous, offering a beautiful paper diorama that screenshots cannot do justice to. The only downside is the lack of experience, equipment and other familiar staples of RPGs. It's all stickers, which can take a little getting used to. Once you do, however, you are in for a great time.
Console: Microsoft Xbox 360
When it was announced that the Halo franchise was shifting to a new developer, gamers were rightly concerned. Could 343 Industries keep Master Chief fresh, while still bringing the fun? The answer is a resounding yes.
"Halo 4" is probably the best console-based FPS of all time. It offers a flawless shooting experience that improves on nearly every feature that made the series so beloved. Gunplay is more fluid, the world is more open and the storyline is actually touching. Plus, the multiplayer is brilliant on all fronts.
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