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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Xbox 360, Ps3, Wii, PSP
Any comic fan will tell you that comics have grown up, and contemporary ones often make allegories of real-life current events. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 takes foreign policies on terror and civil rights and adds superheroes into the mix.
Lifting cues from the Secret War and Civil War storylines, Ultimate Alliance makes you, and up to three friends, popular heroes (and you don't even have to dress up in silly costumes).
Gameplay resembles many dungeon crawlers and classic beat-'em-ups in that you pummel anyone who's not on your team.
Partway through — due to the "Superhero Registration Act" — other superheroes wind up on the other end of your fists. And you can choose the "Pro" or "Anti Registration" side and continue battling to make the world a safer place.
And while you're quite formidable on your own, you can team up for a "fusion" attack and clear a roomful of enemies, or do massive damage to a single character. But be careful: Because so much is happening onscreen, the gameplay might slow, or you might accidentally attempt to beat the crap out of your own teammate! —Bryant Franks
Halo 3: ODST
Yeah, the latest entry in the venerable videogame series (for the Xbox 360) is essentially an extended expansion of the great Halo 3. But who cares when the action is this fast and fun? Biggest change: You no longer play as hero Master Chief but as a trooper with a semi-new set of skills. Best of all, the multiplayer mode kicks major ass. Again. —Michael Gallucci