Locked and loaded

By MITCH KRPATA  |  September 12, 2007

That’s not all from Nintendo’s hoard of intellectual properties. SUPER SMASH BROS BRAWL should arrive on December 3, bringing mascot-on-mascot violence to a whole new level. Brawl won’t try to shoehorn its fighting mayhem into the motion-based Wii controls. In fact, using the classic GameCube controller is probably the way to go. The franchise does step into the future in a more important way: the newest Smash Bros will include on-line play. It also features the first appearance of a non-Nintendo character — no, not Sonic the Hedgehog. That would be too awesome. But Solid Snake will be a worthy adversary for the likes of Link and Samus Aran.

Unfortunately, that’s all we’ll be seeing of Solid Snake this year, as METAL GEAR SOLID 4 has been delayed at least till 2008. In the interim, we’ll have to make do with the debuts of three major action franchises for the next-generation systems. UbiSoft’s ASSASSIN’S CREED, coming November 13 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, is an action-adventure set during the Third Crusade, with historically accurate depictions of mediæval Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus. And on November 20, two exclusive titles go head-to-head: MASS EFFECT for the Xbox 360 and UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE for the PlayStation 3. Mass Effect is a space epic from the team who brought us Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic; you play as an elite soldier battling an extra-dimensional army bent on the destruction of the entire galaxy. Uncharted is modest by comparison, a swashbuckling romp through a hazardous jungle in search of riches.

These titles have gamers salivating. Now it’s a simple matter of clearing our schedules through St. Patrick’s Day in order to play them all.

ALL RELEASE DATES were accurate as of press time but are subject to change.

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