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You want ‘em? Go out and get ‘em: next week’s releases

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Photo courtesy of the Virgin Media website.

Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Batman and Rock Band have all come alive through the colorful Lego blocks on consoles over the last five years. This time around, the focus will be on recreating the world of Hogwarts.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will be based on the first four books and films in the Harry Potter series: Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire.

Much like the world of previous Lego games, Lego Harry Potter will allow the player to explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and areas around the school, casting spells, attending lessons and solving puzzles along the way. According to the Lego Harry Potter website, the game is the “largest, most detailed Lego game location ever built.”

Fans will be glad to know that the game still supports the drop-in, drop-out co-op style of play, and with more than 100 playable characters, Lego Harry Potter looks to support the same all ages appeal as the previous Lego games.

Those looking to play with others can have someone jump in at any time through the use of split-screen or they can head online in the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions to find a suitable accomplice there.

Although players start off with a spell-less Harry, progress through the game grants the ability to make potions and learn more spells, which in turn opens up more areas of Hogwarts to explore.

As Harry learns more spells, objects in the way such as this can be moved with a simple flick of his wand. Photo courtesy of the Lego Harry Potter website.

In a preview of Lego Harry Potter, Gamespot reporter Sophia Tong describes the level of destruction and interactivity that happens not only in-game but in the immersive world surrounding the characters, as well.

“What stands out most about Lego Harry Potter when compared to the other Lego games is that almost everything that is in the background can be interacted with in amusing ways,” Tong said. “If you misfire a spell and hit another character or even a professor, he or she will respond by casting a spell on you as well, which will not only harm you, but can come with funny results.”

So whether you’re looking to explore the Forbidden Forest or be crowned champion of the Triwizard Tournament alone or with a friend, those looking to see all that Lego Harry Potter has to offer can pick up the game on Tuesday, June 29.

If less plastic blocks and more mischief is your thing, Naughty Bear is the way to go.

A brand new game by Artificial Mind and Movement, previously known for their work on WET, Naughty Bear is a game that can be as cute and fluffy as it is dangerous.

The story starts out on the Island of Perfection with all its bear inhabitants getting together for a birthday party – all except for Naughty Bear. This one particular bear was not invited to the party because he is too naughty, and even though he attempted to bring a gift to the party, the other bears laughed at Naughty Bear, forcing him to retreat back to his house in shame.

The game itself provides players with a sandbox-style world for them to explore, plan and finally, execute the rest of the bears in order for Naughty Bear to have his revenge.

Featuring over 30 unique environments and useable weaponry, Naughty Bear gives the player the ultimate choice in completing their goal.

Throughout the game, players will receive “Naughty Points” for harassing or taking down the fellow bears of the island. The more daring and devious the mischief, the bigger points a player will receive.

Even though Naughty Bear might look cute, his revenge won't stop here. Photo courtesy of the Naughty Bear website.

Each bear on the island will also react to its current situation and needs based on their individual characteristics instead of through the use of scripting.

In an interview with Computer and Videogames, Senior Developer Dave Richards explained the flowing environment and character interaction in Naughty Bear.

“They all have their personality and they all have needs, so if they want to go to the toilet, they go to the toilet. If they want to dance, they dance. If they want a drink, they go to the fridge,” Richards said.

This element goes so far that the unique bears on the island, all will their own names and personalities, will stay consistent in their responses and decisions.

“You can anticipate what he’s (Sunbeam, one of the islands inhabitants) going to do,” Richards said. “You know his tastes a bit, you know this guy’s a coward so he’s probably going to hide at this point, so I’ll prepare a bear trap.”

Along with its open-world single-player campaign, Naughty Bear also has four mischievous multiplayer modes.

Jelly Wars pits one Naughty Bear against a team of bears that must attempt to survive the Naughty Bear onslaught, while collecting jellies to combine and create the biggest jelly possible. Cake Walk is a free-for-all game type where players have to hold onto a golden cupcake for the longest amount of time to be declared the winner.

Golden Oozy gives one player a powerful gun with unlimited ammo, the “Golden Oozy.” Players have to fight off the player with the Golden Oozy, and after taking him down, the gun becomes up for grabs for the next player to wreck havoc.

The last mode, Assault, matches two rival teams of bears with their own base. While one side attacks, the other defends their “Golden Bear” for one minute. After that, the gameplay switches with the opposite side defending, and the side that was just holding down their Golden Bear will now have it be assaulted by the enemy team.

Naughty Bear and all his devious shenanigans can be found in stores on Tuesday, June 29.

Photo courtesy of the Singularity website.

Must see of the week!

Raven Software’s upcoming first-person shooter, Singularity, might provide a change of pace to the rest of the games being released this week.

Singularity takes place during the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War era, where Russian experiments involving E99 (Einsteinium) have caused a catastrophe, which inevitably leads to a government cover-up.

Players take on the role of Captain Nate Renko, a Special Forces recon squad member sent in to investigate the mysterious island of Katoroga-12. Throughout the game, players will explore an ever-shifting environment as time constantly shifts between 1950 and the present day.

Although Singularity features weapons typical to a first-person shooter, the game also allows the player to utilize an artifact known at the Time Manipulation Device.

The TMD has five functions, with each allowing the player to achieve the desired effect, whether it is on objects and items or enemies.

Age Revert allows the player to an object or human through time. If the player encounters a broken bridge thought to be beyond repair, the TMD can be used to revert back in time to a point when they were complete.

The same goes for objects or obstacles blocking a player’s path or cover that an enemy is stationed behind. When Age Revert is used on an enemy, they can be forwarded in time and turned into a pile of dust and bones or reversed in time, returning to a primal state and attacking friend and foe alike.

Deadlock creates a sphere of energy that stops anything it comes in contact with. Enemy fire and projectiles are restrained once they hit the sphere or it can be used on enemies to freeze them in their tracks.

Impulse causes enemies to be batted around with pulses of energy, resulting in the death of smaller enemies while those that have perished may become tangible again.

Gravity allows the player to target an object and move it around, while freezing it in time. A rocket can be stopped in mid-air, allowing the player to prevent it from exploding at their position.

Chronolight, not unlocked at the beginning of the game, allows the player to view things as they were previously in other time periods in specific areas. With the use of Gravity, Chronolight will allow players to bring objects from the past for use in the present.

If you can’t but help get excited about the descriptions of the TMD’s functions, check out the video below to see Age Revert in action.

Along with the single-player campaign, Singularity will also feature online multiplayer. According to an interview with Raven Software developers at GameVideos, battles will be territory-style, “turf war” combat, with one side playing as the mutant creatures of the island, and the other side as the soldiers hell-bent on stopping them.

Soldiers experience the battle from the first-person perspective and make use of the game’s ranged firearms, while the monsters are played from the third-person point-of-view and will have powerful melee attacks. Both sides will have their own unique classes and special abilities.

Players that can’t wait to see how the story unfolds on Katoroga-12 island can expect to see Singularity in stores on Tuesday, June 29.

The full list of releases is listed below for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS; although releases are still subject to change at any time. Check back next week for more promotional offers and game releases.

Week of June 28, 2010

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 – Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and PC

  • $10 credit at Amazon

Singularity – Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

  • $20 credit and exclusive graphic novel at Amazon
  • $10 off a future order and an exclusive “Red Zek” multiplayer skin at Gamestop

Naughty Bear – Playstation 3 and Xbox 360

  • Exclusive “Freddie Bear” character at Amazon
  • Exclusive “Slasher Bear” character at Gamestop

All Points Bulletin – PC

  • VIP access, unique emotes and more is available for customers that download the game from the Gamestop website (not available in stores)

Sniper: Ghost Warrior – Xbox 360 and PC

Trinity Universe – Playstation 3

N3II: Ninety-Nine Nights – Xbox 360

Deathsmiles Limited Edition – Xbox 360

Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister – PC

10 Minute Solution – Nintendo Wii

Fallen Earth: Blood Sports – PC

Arma 2 – Operation Arrowhead – PC

Arma 2 – Combined Operations – PC

Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip – PSP

The Last Airbender – Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS

Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War – Iron Cross – PC

Vampire Legends: Power of Three – Nintendo DS

Riding Academy 2 – Nintendo DS

TNA: Cross The Line – Nintendo DS and PSP

PDC World Championship Darts 2010 – Nintendo Wii

Wildlife Camp – PC

Florist Shop – Nintendo DS

Junior Classic Books and Fairytales – Nintendo DS

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