Based on the animated show Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, Jakers! Let's Explore is an adventure game designed to teach younger children positive lessons. Simplified controls help players interact with Piggley the pig, Dannan the duck, and Ferny the bull as they explore an Irish farm. The game is divided into small episodic stories told via flashback, with each episode also containing a mini-game or two, and the entire adventure finds players collecting stamps that commemorate every animal or plant they meet. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Based on the animated film of the same name, Rise of the Guardians finds gamers joining mythical childhood figures as they fight to prevent the Boogeyman-like Pitch from cloaking the world in nightmares and darkness. Players take on the role of Jack Frost, North (Santa Claus), Bunnymund (Easter Bunny), Tooth (Tooth Fairy), and Sandy (Sandman) as they battle nightmares through 3D levels based on locations in the film. Each character has unique abilities and weapons that can be upgraded, and up to four players can drop in or out of the action whenever they please. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Gamers return to Disney's land of forgotten cartoons for an action-packed adventure complete with new voice acting, musical numbers, and co-op gameplay in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. With the citizens of the Wasteland rebuilding after the events of the first game, earthquakes plaguing the landscape, and a supposedly reformed Mad Doctor promising to help clean up, Oswald calls on Mickey to help restore order. The 3D platforming gameplay once again finds Mickey solving problems and reaching special areas by using his paintbrush to apply either paint or thinner.
Oswald comes along for the ride, serving as a constant AI companion or allowing a second player to drop in or out of the action at any time. He carries a remote control that lets him either fight or befriend other characters, and he can also detach his feet or use his floppy ears to fly short distances. During the course of their adventures Mickey and Oswald will interact with dozens of other characters, including Horace, Big Bad Pete, and Gremlin Gus, and travel to locations like Disney Gulch and the new Rainbow Caverns. And expanding on a mechanic from the first game, the choices players make have lasting consequences that can alter the ultimate outcome of their adventure. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Based on the fourth animated series in the Ben 10 franchise, Ben 10: Omniverse spans two time periods allowing gamers to play as both young and teen Ben Tennyson. Ben can transform into 13 aliens, including such new heroes as Gravattack and Bloxx. Also new to the series is Rook, a playable character that can be used in both the single-player campaign and as the second player in co-op play. While Ben relies on transformations to battle through each level, Rook has a multi-purpose Proto-Tool that can be used as a sword, staff, blaster, or grappler. ~ Jonathan Sutyak, All Game Guide
Activision's stewardship of North America's most popular brand of racing continues as players join all the real cars, drivers, and teams for full seasons of action in NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. Special challenges use performance data from real racecars to let players re-create actual moments from recent NASCAR history, while Career mode lets them take control of a rookie driver, acquire sponsors, practice, qualify, and race with the hope of eventually becoming the Sprint Cup champion. Multiplayer fans can also head online to join up to 15 friends for extra competition. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Gamers can celebrate a new direction in wrestling while simultaneously paying homage to the Attitude Era as they join CM Punk, The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and dozens of other wrestling stars in WWE '13. The biggest addition to this version is the new Attitude Era mode, which lets players join more than 30 wrestlers from the late 1990s and participate in a season comprising more than 60 different matches. Narrative gaps are filled by cutscenes and video packages, and gamers can unlock more than 100 special items as they help the WWF win its TV ratings war with the WCW.
The Predator 2.0 game engine offers players a suite of new animations and controls, including giving wrestlers realistic moves based on the physical size of their opponents, and new Spectacular Moments animations that include ring breaks, barricade crashes, and mid-air catches. The career-based Universe mode returns, letting gamers control every aspect of their experience, from matches and arenas, to alliances and championship belts. Multiplayer fans can join friends for online or offline competitions and co-op matches, and the Creation Suite once again lets players design and share their own wrestlers, finishing moves, and storylines. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Ubisoft's hit dancing sim returns with a variety of upgrades and enhancements, more than 40 new songs, and a new two-player battle mode in Just Dance 4. As always, gamers grab their Wii Remote and dance along to popular music tracks while attempting to mimic onscreen prompts and earn high scores. The new two-player battle mode pits dancers against each other for six 40-second rounds, with the competition over when one dancer's health bar is depleted, while the "Just Sweat" mode has been expanded to include personalized programs and a calorie counter.
Classic Just Dance options like the "Duet" and "Mash-Up" modes return, and players can unlock new routines and up to six challenges for each song. Music selections in Just Dance 4 include songs from Barry White, P!nk, Rihanna, Will Smith, Nelly Furtado, and Flo Rida, with additional tracks available for download. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
NBA 2K13 lets basketball fans return to the hardwood for another season of action by offering them classic teams, enhanced modes, and a soundtrack hand-picked by executive producer Jay-Z. The NBA's Greatest mode lets gamers take control of some of the best teams in NBA history, including Michael Jordan's 1996 Chicago Bulls, while the Association mode allows them to experience the challenges of a full season or the drama of a playoff series. All of the rosters reflect the 2012-2013 season, and a special Tutorial mode is available to help Wii gamers master their moves. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
EA Sports' massively popular soccer sim returns to the pitch for a 20th season of action with five significant gameplay changes, more than 30 real-world leagues, and updated online features. New changes to the A.I. have players breaking down defenses and making runs to open up passing lanes, while more precise dribbling controls give gamers full 360-degree mobility, and first-touch control helps defenders win back possession after errant passes and bad touches. New free kick tools also let Wii gamers adjust their wall defenders or go on dummy runs to confuse the keeper.
The career-based "Be a Pro" mode returns, while the RPG-like "EA Sports Football Club" lets players earn rewards, take on challenges, and level up in a variety of different gameplay modes, keeping track of all relevant stats, and offering up real-world storylines to keep things interesting. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
This compilation is designed to celebrate the 20th birthday of one of Nintendo's most popular and enduring characters by offering six complete games from the Kirby franchise. Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition includes Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The games come in their original forms, with no graphical updates, but the bundle also includes new challenge levels, an interactive series timeline, and a soundtrack. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide