New Releases: Week of Nov 12, 2012 - Do Your Doody Edition!

Ok, lets face it, there is only one release this week that the majority of us care about. We saw the commercials, we watched the trailers, we dug through press releases and now it’s here! My daughters are so stoked for Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze but that pales in comparison to my excitement over LEGO The Lord of the Rings! Guiding little LEGO Frodo through the mines of Moria has long been a dream of mine and I finally get to make it happen!

Ok...tell me you didn’t see that coming? How else am I supposed to play up the single largest multi-platform release of the year? That being said, I expect nearly all of you to be playing the pre-sick day card on Monday to make the inevitable Tuesday call in somewhat believable. 
I almost forgot, beyond the obvious COD release pretty much everything else is aimed at kids. If you don’t have kids you can probably stop reading after COD: Black Ops II.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is developer Treyarch’s first real sequel in the Call of Duty roster of annual releases. Yes there were sequels of Modern Warfare but those were all created by Infinity Ward. What can I say about Call of Duty: Black Ops II that everyone doesn’t already know? You know Trent Reznor of NIN fame is doing the score. You know to expect a single player FPS on rails campaign that has a story...albeit a confusing one at times. You know that the meat and potatoes of the game lies in multiplayer and if you are like me you know you will get your arse handed to you by 12 year olds with reflexes that have yet to even peak. Disheartening? Yes, but still a ton of fun. If you have been living under a rock, COD: Black Ops II drops on November 13th for the XBOX 360, PS3 and PC. PC Players also have the option to download it from Activision or on Steam. Those of you waiting for your WiiU will be happy to know you can pick up COD: Black Ops II on November 18th.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings also finds its way to store shelves on November 13th. Another cutesy LEGO take on a beloved franchise. This game is definitely on my Christmas list but I must admit something here. I love the world Mr. Tolkien created and harbor a large fondness for most things LEGO, but lately these games have lost their magic. Traveller's Tales added voices to LEGO characters and while I believe they think it's a step forward I see it as the opposite. The previous stories told only in grunts, sighs, happy and frighted sounds lent to the fun as the expression on the minifig’s faces and your imagination filled in the rest. The added voices take away from some of that and thus take away some of the games' magic. If you have any version of nearly any game system (and you really wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t) you can play LEGO LOTR on it.
F1 Race Stars is Codemasters bridge between its stable of sim racing games and...well...Mario Kart. Your character drives a cartoony version of an F1 car around equally cartoony (while sometimes accurate to their location) tracks all the while collecting power ups and trying to knock out your opponents. This is less Blur and way more Mario Kart which for the kids is probably a good thing. I am glad to see this priced at the $40 level as if it was a full $60 it would likely remain on the shelf.  F1 Race Stars is available for XBOX 360, PS3 and PC on November 13th.
Midway Arcade Origins for PS3 and XBOX360 (November 13th) is created for all of us who would travel to the local arcade with a roll of quarters on a Saturday and be gone all day. The good news is this collection of over 30 classic coin-ops costs less than three Saturdays did ($29.99) and you can play them over and over and over again without ignoring the quarters lined up on the screen. I admit there is a good chunk of nostalgia tagged onto this one so if you come from the golden era of arcades like I did this may be up your alley. One word of caution-I learned the hard way that my memories of games are far better than the game themselves. While it is nice to revisit those from time to time, games evolved to something far greater and most old games just don’t hold up. Will I buy this for myself? Likely not. Will this be on my Christmas list? Without a doubt!
What? You are looking for more exclusives? Seriously? Halo 4 isn't enough? You know the big jolly guy in the red suit looks down upon you, greedy folk! Shame on you...
Well to be fair, I guess you have COD: Black Ops II DLC to look forward to but..yeah..stop being greedy!
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter universe then this exclusive is right up your Daigon Alley! JK Rowlings Wonderbook: Book of Spells puts you (or really your kids) in the middle of the wizard’s world with the first installment. As the name suggests, players can read, learn and practice spells they heard, read and likely already practiced on the family pets! This is an augmented reality game that requires use of Playstation’s Move controller as well as the Eye Toy. As they wave their “wands” and speak the enchantments they earn experience, unlock new lessons and, most importantly, earn House Points. If you ever thought Hufflepuff seemed to always get the short shaft, here is your opportunity to right that wrong. Wonderbook: Book of Spells apparates into stores on November 13th
If you are a fan of the PS Vita and like to take your COD fix with you then you’ll be happy to know that COD: Black Ops Declassified drops on November 13th in both single and bundle form. Personally, I would like to see the effect on Vita’s sales numbers bundled with a COD game. I have a hard time seeing how that is going to help the poor, poor VITA but then again what do I know?
I combined both Wii and DS releases in this section. I should warn you that I felt I should have at least one game in each ecosystem represented in this article. Normally I wouldn’t write about what I am about to-but I didn’t have much from which to choose. 
Two somewhat current tween girl pop culture games release November 13th. Both soup-lets are into these so if you have tween girls like I do this may resonate. If not...nothing to see here...keep moving.
Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze - best way to describe this is Mario Kart with Monster High characters on roller skates. 
Victorious: Taking the Lead - Puts you in the show as Tori Vega trying out for a role while playing rhythm and dance games to songs from the show.
Shovelware? Yes. Do my girls want these games? Yes. Do I have to buy it for them? I don’t. 
Those of you who have young boys may be interested in Ben 10: Omniverse (November 13th). See previous shovelware have a choice not to buy this for your kids.

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