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

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Photo courtesy of Seoulstyle.

More than 12 years after Starcraft, the award-winning first game, was released, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty seeks to take over the real-time strategy crown once again.

Returning in the 26th century with characters both old and new to the franchise, Starcraft II is focused around the game’s three species: the Terrans, the Zerg and the Protoss.

While Wings of Liberty is set four years after the events of Starcraft: Blood War, it places special interest on the Terrans specifically. Expansions to the game, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, will turn attention to the Zerg and Protoss, respectively.

Much of the single player campaign is non-linear this time around, allowing players to take jobs for money, and in turn, buy additional units and upgrades. Although each players experience may differ, the game still results in the same conclusion. The campaign is expected to span 26 to 30 missions.

Wings of Liberty also features the same amount of units from the original game. Some units from the prequel may have returned untouched, while others have new upgrades and abilities or have been scrapped entirely.

Units have also been tweaked to include deeper interaction with the game environment, for example, allowing units to have the ability to teleport short distances or scale varying levels of the terrain.

Check below for the cinematic trailer of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.

The game also includes the Galaxy Editor, similar to but more complicated than Starcraft’s “StarEdit” and WarCraft III’s “World Editor.”

In addition to players being able to create Hero-type units and structures and customizing the user interface, for the first time, users can publish and share their respective creations online.

Multiplayer also returns in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and looks to ensure consistent competition this time around.

The biggest change is based around improvement to Battle.net. The site offers ranked games in a new competitive ladder system which promises a fair and equally competitive match-up by pitting similarly skilled players against one another in a redesigned matchmaking system.

Replay is also making a comeback, again allowing players to record and review their past games.

The original game, Starcraft, released in 1998, received a 93 and 88 on GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively. Critics praised the game for its distinctive races, units, spell abilities and bases that provided gamers with a deep and unique experience that can be both challenging yet fun.

The action-packed sci-fi action of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is expected to hit shelves tomorrow, July 27.

Still not sure if your gaming rig can handle Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty? Specs for the game can be found here thanks to GameSpy.

Those looking for some faster-paced bare-knuckle brawling action should be sure to check out BlazBlue: Continuum Shift.

Continuum Shift, the sequel to 2009’s BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, returns as a traditional 2D fighter with competitors duking it out through one to five rounds known as “rebels.”

During each rebel, competitors can fill up the Heat Gauge by dealing damage, taking damage and blocking attacks, which allows them to use advanced techniques such as Distortion Drives, Rapid Cancels, and Counter Assaults, as well as certain character’s special attacks.

To win a round, players must incapacitate their enemy or have more health than their opponent when the round’s timer hits zero.

Photo courtesy of the Blazblue website.

The game adds three new playable characters: Tsubaki, μ-12, a console-exclusive character, and Hazama, as well as newcomer Makoto Nanaya coming later as downloadable content.

In addition to a few new faces in the roster, Continuum Shift also includes new character select art and new and returning gameplay modes.

An early review of Continuum Shift by IGN gave the game an 85 out of 100, stating that although Continuum Shift reuses a great deal of content from the first game, the new characters, stages, modes and story are a welcome addition that’s “still a blast to play.”

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, the first game in the series, boasts an 87 on both GameRankings and Metacritic, scoring high marks for its enjoyable online play and high-quality 2D sprites.

This one-on-one fighting frenzy is available in stores tomorrow, July 27.

Must see of the week!

Photo courtesy of Gamestop.

Gamestop is currently offering the Power Saver Sale, discounting new and used video games from 10 to 50 percent off. The sale also entitles buyers to free shipping on purchases of $39 or more.

Notable discounts include saving $10 off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as well as $20 off Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Skate 3, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Assassin’s Creed II.

More than 100 new and used games are discounted at 50 percent off, according to GamerDeals, with a slew of other ridiculous deals just a click away.

The sale lasts from July 18 to Aug. 8. Those interested can check out the sale here.

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.

Zak Bratton is assistant online editor and is managing editor of CSU-Pueblo TODAY. You can contact him at zc.bratton@colostate-pueblo.edu.

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Week of July 26, 2010

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty – PC

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift – Playstation 3 and Xbox 360

Arc Rise Fantasia – Nintendo Wii

Clash of the Titans – Playstation 3 and Xbox 360

Titanic 1912 – PC

Chuck E Cheese’s: Party Games – Nintendo Wii

Galaxy Racers – Nintendo DS

Lost Secrets: Vatican Mysteries – PC

Hidden Mysteries: Vampire Secrets – PC

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