New Family Games This Week: Pro Evolution Soccer 3DS and Lego Star Wars III Special Edition

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In the first of new series of posts looking ahead to the coming week’s family game releases I find myself with an interesting clutch of titles that range from Teen-friendly Pro Evolution Soccer to the Mature-only Neverdead. While there is plenty to enjoy in all these game, here are the titles I think your family will enjoy:

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 3DSPro Evolution Soccer 2012 3DS

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 3DS

Pro Evolution Soccer 3D 2012 ($29.99 3DS) 31st January

ESRB: Everyone (No Descriptors)

Follow up to the 3DS launch title that was surprisingly solid back in 2011. This time around the options for attacking play have been enhanced to enable you to control players off the ball and co-ordinate your strategy better. The computer-controlled players (both on your side and the opposition) have been improved with a focus on distinguishing between defensive and offensive play. Finally, the collision detection is much better in this version — something that the original was criticized for.

Lego Star Wars III Special EditionLego Star Wars III Special Edition

Lego Star Wars III Special Edition

Lego Star Wars III Special Edition (Pre-order DS/Wii) 30th January

ESRB: Everyone (Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief)

This is a re-release of the Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars game with a packed-in Yoda or Darth Vader doll. Not one for those who already own the game, but if you have any children with birthdays next week this limited edition turns the game into a much more substantial present. You do need to weigh this up against the price of the Lego Star Wars III games on their own ($13-$18).

Soul Calibur VSoul Calibur V

Soul Calibur V

Soul Calibur V ($59.99 PS3/360) 31st Jan 2012

ESRB: Teen (Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence)

This is a one-on-one fighting game. The Soul Calibur series dates back to the original PlayStation and has a strong following. Although this release is aimed at diehard fans, families with older children will enjoy the competitive nature of the experience.

Being a Teen-rated game means that it includes the use of guns, swords, and other handheld weapons to hit opponents. The battles are depicted in graphic detail with sounds of impact effects and cries of pain. It’s also worth noting that some of the female fighters have revealing outfits. It also includes some swearing — words like “damn” and “bastard” can be picked out in the dialogue.

Final Fantasy XIII-2Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Final Fantasy XIII-2 ($59.99 PS3/360) – 31st Jan 2012

ERSB: Teen (Drug Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Simulated Gambling, Violence)

This is the latest in the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games that, as its name suggests, follows up the previous game Final Fantasy XIII. Again not a game for younger players, but it does offer an exciting adventure for those old enough to enjoy it.

The fantasy world leads to the use of swords, guns and magical and players encounter a range of fantastical creatures dragons, demons and humanoids. When fights happen they are dramatic and accompanied with explosions, gunfire and on occasion character getting impaled on their swords. Characters in the game are heard using colorful language.

Other games coming out next week include:

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