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News from the Playbox
Forget 2008
Sure it was great... but here's to 2009!

Hey there fellow gamers; ready for another year of video game madness? 2008 was an amazing year in the gaming industry. Despite a recession, the industry pulled in almost $17 billion. Plus, the year saw some of the biggest releases so far this generation with everything from Gears of War 2 to Grand Theft Auto IV to Animal Crossing City Folk to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. We also got excellent entries into yearly franchises with the twentieth anniversary edition of Madden 09, Tiger Woods 09, and a new Raving Rabbids game you could play with your butt.

Perhaps most surprising was just how fit one could get playing video games in 2008. I lost fifteen pounds in about six months playing Wii Fit.

Yes, it was a big year, and one has to wonder how 2009 will be able to live up to it.

Well, I hear rumors of a new Zelda in 09, a new Pikmin, and maybe even a new Mario. Plus, Resident Evil 5 hits this year, we might see Bioshock 2, plus a new Final Fantasy, a new Harry Potter game, and we may even get a chance to bust some ghosts with Ghostbusters. I’ve also heard rumors that EA plans to release a more “western” style fitness game, tentatively titled EA Fitness at this point.

There is much to be revealed about what 2009 holds for gamers, but if even half of what’s rumored and speculative at this point comes true, it’s going to be another stellar year.

But enough of the “what ifs” and the “has beens.” What are we here at the Playbox working on right now? Well, here’s what you can expect to see from us in the coming weeks:

Lord of the Rings: Conquest – Yep, it’s another Lord of the Rings game, this time based on the very popular Star Wars Battlefront games. The game pulls its inspiration from the movies, so get ready to visit Peter Jackson’s version of Middle-earth yet again. We’ll have a preview up soon and a review of the game posted soon after its January 15 release.

Prince of Persia – It’s a whole new start to one of the great franchises of the last generation of consoles. We’re currently playing through this beauty of a game right now, and it’s easily one of the best games of 2008. We’ll post our full review soon.

Mirror’s Edge – It was one of the more unique titles of 2008, and we just posted our full review of this “free runner” first person adventure game. It’s a unique experience and it has its fair share of issues, but we think it’s one you’ll enjoy. Check out the full review now.

Need For Speed: Undercover – EA’s venerable racer returns with an open world, police chases, and heroic driving skills. What does all of that add up to? Not as much as you might think. We’ll have our full review up soon, but the short version: you’re much better off with Burnout Paradise.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe – When this game was first revealed, some thought it was a joke and others thought it was a mistake. However, it may just be one of the best fighters so far this generation. It may not be as hardcore as you’d like your fighting game, and it’s certainly no SoulCaliber IV, but who can resist seeing Superman take on the rogues of the Mortal Kombat universe? Check our full review that we’ll post soon.

So that’s what we’re working on for this first busy month of the New Year. Plus, be sure to check out our continuing coverage of the NFL Playoffs with Madden 09, and our daily updates from our very own Animal Crossing town.

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