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GAME ZONE.

THE LATEST RELEASES IN A CONSOLE WORLD MARIO KART 7, Nintendo 3DS, pounds 34.9 TOO many of us gamers will remember the months of socialising and life in general that we sacrificed at the expense of mastering Rainbow Road on the SNES, in addition to lap after lap of ultra-addictive multiplayer karting madness. Here, the latest instalment of the franchise brings Mushroom Kingdom racing fun into the third dimension on 3DS as, for the first time, drivers explore new competitive kart possibilities such as soaring through the skies or plunging to the depths of the sea. There are new courses, strategic new abilities and customisable karts, which all escalate the racing excitement to new levels, making MK7 arguably the finest of the series to date. That's high praise indeed for a racing experience that has held gamers in the palm of its hand for well over a decade, but once your hands are behind the wheel, you'll see why. PUSS IN BOOTS, Xbox 360, pounds 34.9 A SPIN-OFF kids' action title based on Puss In Boots' first solo foray into the movie world - surely this is a console movie tie-in recipe for disaster, before you even throw Kinect compatibility into the mix? Well, this feline adventure actually turns out to be fantastic, and a brilliant advert for the Kinect peripheral as it approaches its first anniversary. From swordplay shenanigans to rope and beam balancing, the game totally immerses you physically and will have you sweating buckets before you even hit the halfway point. While it's not the longest game, the adventure is so enjoyable from a storyline and gameplay perspective, you'll be back to play through a couple of times to fine tune your fighting style and discover the numerous secrets throughout. Witty, innovative and perfectly pitched for kids and adults alike, Antonio Banderas is onto an Xbox 360 winner with Puss In Boots, and you should jump headlong into the feline fun and games, too. SERIOUS SAM 3, PC, pounds 29.9 A GLORIOUS throwback to the golden age of first-person shooters. As such, this third episode in the Serious Sam series proves to be a rapid firing romp that requires minimum thought to extract maximum gun-toting rewards. That's not to say that it isn't a shooter challenge, though. Wave after wave of scorpions, skeletons and their closest pals will push your shooting skills to the limit, while the superb sound and musical score excels alongside the gloriously gory, over-the-top graphical treatment. It's certainly not a thinking man's shooter, more a reckless release for those gamers desperate to cut loose from the complex console storylines of 2011 and simply blast every last blood cell from the enemies before you. HORRID HENRY: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE BUGLY, Nintendo 3DS, pounds 34.9 HE'S a kind of Dennis The Menace for the 21st Century, living out an all-action boy's life that centres on bugs, gunge and getting on your sister's nerves. Now, his outrageous adventures are hitting the dual screen of the 3DS, featuring three exciting worlds for the titular mischief-maker to explore. Henry must also apply his grey matter to solve a variety of brain-bending puzzles and defeat a few evil bosses along the way in his attempt to rescue Bunny - Perfect Peter's toy rabbit. Kids will love Henry's goo shooter and range of associated ammunition. It all plays out as good harmless family fun to the kind of standard we've come to expect from the handheld 3D system. And, it may well keep your own mischief-makers from causing trouble in your household for a few hours... MARIO & SONIC AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES, Wii, pounds 29.9 MARIO & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games unleashes more than 50 original Olympic-themed events, bringing a whole new dimension to the Mario & Sonic universe. While you can spend hours alone perfecting your technique, it's the multiplayer mayhem where the most enjoyable experience is to be had, utilising the kind of unique control systems that the Wii has become famous for as you battle it out for those coveted gold medals! Where the game really excels is in its comprehensive celebration of London as next year's Olympic host city.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 4, 2011
Words:701
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