Video Game Guide

Take Two

Some old favorites get freshened up, just in time for the holidays

December 14, 2011

 

From the classic Super Mario adventures to last year’s popular uDraw GameTablet, many games are getting spiffed up for the holiday season. Take a look at some of our favorite returns.

 

uDraw GameTablet


COURTESY THQ, INC.

THQ, Inc.

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

THQ's uDraw GameTablet—already a hit on the Wii—is now available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ($79.99). The redesigned tablet comes bundled with the enhanced uDraw Studio: Instant Artist, and is sure to turn even casual doodlers into accomplished artists.

The new tablet includes many improved features, including touch-screen abilities. You pinch and stretch the canvas to zoom in or out of your drawing, or put the stylus pen aside and use your fingers as your paintbrush. Built-in controller functions and tilt and motion features also remove the need for a separate controller while playing uDraw games. Owners of the sleek, black Nintendo Wii can also get a stylish black uDraw to match.


COURTESY THQ, INC.

For additional fun, check out uDraw’s Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat (Rated E10+; $29.99 for Wii; $39.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3). Marvel fans can experience what’s it like to be a real Marvel artist. Use the stylus to take command of all your favorite comic-book heroes in their fight against Doctor Doom. Direct Captain America on where to throw his shield by drawing a curved line. Need a boulder to drop on the bad guys? Just draw a circle and one will fall from the sky.

Younger uDraw players will also enjoy Disney Princess Enchanting Storybooks (Rated E; $29.99 for Wii). Bring to life the tales of Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Rapunzel and Tiana through drawing, coloring and musical activities. The pen has never been so powerful—or magical.

 

Super Mario 3D Land


COURTESY NINTENDO

Nintendo of America Inc.

Rated E

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Finally, Super Mario has arrived for the Nintendo 3DS, and boy, was it worth the wait! With Super Mario 3D Land ($69.95), players get the very best of all Mario titles past and present. New and old fans alike will enjoy exploring the lively 3D environments as the red-overall-wearing hero embarks on a new quest to save the Princess.

As Mario, players will take on familiar foes such as the mushroom-shaped Goombas and fire-spitting Piranha Plants, and battle big bosses like Bowser. Power-ups include the classic Super Mushroom, which makes a tiny Mario grow big again, and the Fire Flower, which allows Mario to throw fireballs. But the best power-up of all is the Super Leaf, which is making its first appearance in the 3-D world. The Super Leaf transforms the heroic plumber into a fan favorite: Tanooki Mario. Players can use the Tanooki suit’s tail to attack enemies, or to float down from great heights without the fear of falling. It’s classic Super Mario with a fun, new twist.

Mario fans should also check out Mario Kart 7 for 3DS (Rated E; $69.95). In this updated version, you can race against up to eight players either through a wireless Internet connection, or online. You can also customize your kart for style or, more importantly, for speed. On your mark, get set, go!

 

Tetris: Axis


COURTESY NINTENDO

Rated E

Nintendo of America Inc.

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Tetris enthusiasts will be taken to new dimensions with the timeless puzzle game’s debut on 3DS. Players have more than 20 game modes to choose from, such as the classic marathon mode and the fast-paced Fever mode. There are also fun party-game modes, including the high-stakes Tower Climber—in which you have to build blocks around a cylindrical tower to help a tiny climber make his way up before his health runs out. So, does Tetris: Axis ($29.99) stack up to the original? Our vote: definitely.

 

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land


COURTESY NINTENDO

Rated E10+

Nintendo of America Inc.

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Everyone’s favorite pink puff is back in an all-new adventure. ($49.99) This time, Kirby take a return trip to Dream Land to help a new friend get home. An alien spaceship has crashed on Planet Pop Star and its parts have been scattered. Players will guide Kirby on his mission to collect all of the ship’s parts so that the alien can return home.

New for this game is co-op play. Up to four players can participate in the action together as Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, Waddle Dee or a different color Kirby. As usual, there are enemies standing in the way of Kirby’s mission. Use Kirby’s classic Copy Abilities to gobble up as many of your foes as possible and collect their powers. They include the Whip, in which Kirby wears a cowboy hat and can lasso his enemies, and new Super Abilities such as the Ultra Sword. This ability allows Kirby to swing a giant sword across the entire screen to wipe out any foes standing in his way. Behold the power of the pink puff!

 

Click here to read about games inspired by scenes from the movies.


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