November has traditionally been the biggest month of the year for game releases, both in quantity and in quality. While November of 2009 may not have the sheer number of releases as previous years, it’s still a month when some of the biggest games of the year are hitting shelves. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” “New Super Mario Bros. Wii,” Left 4 Dead 2″ and “Dragon Age: Origins” are among this month’s offerings, which also includes a healthy mix of shooters, sports games, platformers and RPGs.
As always, please remember this list is not all-inclusive, and release dates are subject to change. Now let’s check out November’s games.
Band Hero (DS/PS2/PS3/Wii/XBox 360)–November 3
Activision is also releasing another entry in the “Guitar Hero” franchise this month, and it will launch with a new drum kit. “Band Hero” plays similarly to “Guitar Hero 5” and will include a karaoke mode, as well as the ability to play with Avatars (Xbox 360) and Miis (Wii). The 65-song soundtrack will feature the likes of Joan Jett, Counting Crows, Poison and Cheap Trick. The DS version of the game will come with a drum skin that fits over the DS buttons, eliminating the need to tap on the touch screen when drumming.
Dragon Age: Origins (PC/PS3/XBox 360)–November 3
Bioware’s next epic RPG hits shelves this month, and it’s being billed as a spiritual successor to the “Baldur’s Gate” series of games. Players will choose between one of three main classes and one of six character backgrounds, and they’ll spend a good chunk of time playing through their character’s origin story before encountering the main storyline of the game.
EA recently launched a browser-based game entitled “Dragon Age Journeys” that will reward players with items for them to use in “Dragon Age: Origins.” You can play the game at www.dragonagejourneys.com.
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier (PS2/PSP)–November 3
From High Impact Games (Secret Agent Clank) and SCE comes the follow-up to 2004’s “Jak 3.” In the game’s story, the world is running out of a mystical resource called Eco, which in turn is causing the planet to become unstable, so Jak and Daxter must travel to the brink of the world to find out why. In addition to the usual platforming and combat, the game will include airship segments as well as the ability to play as “Dark” Daxter.
LEGO Rock Band (DS/PS3/Wii/XBox 360)–November 3
Traveller’s Tales and Harmonix have teamed up for the latest entry in the “Rock Band” series, which will feature the popular LEGO building blocks. The soundtrack for “LEGO Rock Band” is geared toward younger audiences, with tunes like “Ghostbusters,” “Walkin’ on Sunshine and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” In addition to Iggy Pop and David Bowie, it was recently announced that Queen will have LEGO avatars in the game, and their classics “We Will Rock You and “We are the Champions” will be included.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (PS2/PS3/PSP/Wii/XBox 360)–November 3
Konami’s popular soccer franchise returns this month, and this year’s new features revolve around giving players more tactical control of teams and players. Sliding scales will allow players to adjust each team’s attacking and defending tendencies, and a card system will allow for the individual tweaking of a player’s attributes on the field. Improvements to player and crowd animations, as well as an upgrade to online modes are also featured in this year’s game.
Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron (PSP/DS)–November 3
The sequel to 2007’s Renegade Squadron puts players in the shoes of a clone trooper that refused ‘Order 66’ and joined the side of the rebellion. Players will be able to move from ground combat to ship combat and engage in space battles. The PSP version of the game will feature up to 16-player multiplayer battles, and the DS version will allow up to 4 players to battle online.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC/PS3/XBox 360)–November 10
Infinity Ward returns this month with the successor to their 2007 blockbuster. The plot of the single player campaign picks up years after the events of the original game, and the Russian Ultra-nationalist group from the first game has risen to prominence once again. Sgt. “Soap” McTavish returns for the game, however players will be taking on the role of a brand new character. The multiplayer mode that made the first game famous is back and improved, and players will now be able to customize the deployables they earn for kill streaks. The perk system will also allow for upgrades.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition (Wii)–November 10
As “Modern Warfare 2” hits store shelves, this port of the original will be arriving for the Wii. Developer Treyarch is bringing over all of the multiplayer features that made Modern Warfare a huge hit, including the leveling system, perks and unlockable weapons. They’re also adding a co-op mode to the campaign, which was not in previous versions of the game.
God of War Collection (PS3)–November 10
Whether you’re a fan of the series getting primed for “God of War III,” or someone who’s just catching up on the series, you’ll want to give this collection a look. Featuring remastered versions of “God of War” I and II, this collection will also feature trophies and a demo of the upcoming third installment of the franchise.
New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii)–November 15
The quasi-sequel to “New Super Mario Bros.” for the DS comes to the Wii this month, and it’s packed with features. Up to four players will be able to help or hinder each other through the game, and each level will conclude with players being ranked on their performance. New power-ups like the Ice Flower and Propeller Suit will be making their debut as well. Shockingly, the storyline will involve Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach.
Assassin’s Creed 2 (PC/PS3/XBox 360)–November 17
The saga of Desmond Miles continues in this sequel to Ubisoft’s 2007 hit. In this game, Desmond will be experiencing 15th century Italy through the eyes of another of his descendants. Developer Ubisoft Montreal has made several changes to the gameplay this time around, including getting rid of some of the more repetitive elements of assassination missions. Leonardo Da Vinci will be a major support character for Ezio in the game, who furnishes him with gadgets like his famous flying machine.
Left4Dead 2 (PC/XBox 360)–November 17
Four new survivors will be battling Zombies from Georgia to the Louisiana Bayou when the sequel to last year’s blockbuster arrives this month. Roaming witches, new special infected, and a new Scavenger mode are among the additions in “L4D2.” This game will also feature more of a storyline that stretches across all of the campaigns.
Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (DS/PC/PS2/PS3/PSP/Wii/XBox 360)–November 17
Traveller’s Tales and Lucas Arts have teamed once again to LEGO-ize the exploits of Indiana Jones. All four of the Indiana Jones movies will be the focus of the game, although it won’t be a rehash of content from “The Original Adventures.” For the first three movies, the levels have been created from scratch, and a level editor will allow players to make their own levels to play through.
Little Big Planet (PSP)–November 17
The PS3’s biggest platformer makes its way to Sony’s handheld this month. SCE Cambridge has done their best to bring the entire LBP experience to the PSP, including the robust level creation system and the ability to share levels through either ad hoc or infrastructure modes. Over thirty-five levels and a new Sackboy story should keep PSP owners busy for quite a while.
NCAA Basketball 10 (PS3/XBox 360)–November 17
EA brings its annual college basketball installment to the masses this month. ESPN’s basketball crew will be handling the presentation, and the game boasts improved visuals and dynamic updates that will use real-life Division I rankings to affect the in-game experience.
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles (Wii)–November 17
Like its predecessor, “The Umbrella Chronicles,” this game is an on-rails shooter that takes players through events of previous Resident Evil games from a new perspective. “Darkside Chronicles” will include events from “Resident Evil 2” and “Resident Evil: Coder Veronica.” There’s also an additional chapter that is set prior to “Resident Evil 4.” Players control different characters from the series as they make their way through the storyline.
Tony Hawk Ride (PS3/Wii/XBox 360)–November 17
The tenth installment of the Tony Hawk franchise moves in a new direction, eschewing traditional controls and incorporating a skateboard peripheral. Resembling a real skateboard, “Tony Hawk: Ride’s” board has two accelerometers and several infrared sensors that allow the game to read turns, grinds, hops and other moves and translate them onto the screen. With difficulty settings from “casual” to “hardcore,” the game aims to be accessible to everyone, whether they’ve been on a board before or not.
That brings the CBR Games Roundup to a close for the month of November. We’ll be back in December with a decidedly shorter list of releases. In the meantime, head over to the boards and let us know what you’re looking most forward to this month!