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August 26, 2008

Back to school with the hottest video games

Posted: 05:03 PM ET

Here's the next installment of our "Get Your Game On" series, in which speaks to experts about what's hot in video gaming. This week, G4TV's Morgan Webb discusses the new games kids will be buzzing about in the halls and around the water fountain as they head back to school.

A scene from "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed."

Among the titles we discuss (watch video here):

- "Madden NFL 09," reinvents the series with upgrades to previous modes as well as such new ones as Madden IQ, Online Leagues, and Madden Moments. If there was ever a season to come back to the series, this is it. Throw on some pads and get back into the game.

- "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" lets you become Darth Vader’s secret apprentice and use your light saber to fight the remaining Jedi hiding in the universe. Discover what it's like to feel the powers of the dark side at your disposal.

- "Rock Band 2" brings the crew back together with new ways to customize your music experience plus new modes such as the Battle of the Bands that pits your quartet against other rockers from around the world. In case the new additions aren’t enough, artists like Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, AC/DC, and Metallica will have you playing to sold-out virtual crowds long into the night.

- "Warhammer Online" might come from the people who first made a name for themselves in the tabletop arena, but it’s already gaining loyal supporters in a fight for MMO dominance. The big idea this time around is the realm-versus-realm play that will pit you against an entire army intent on your demise.

- "Spore" takes you on a journey from a single cell in a tiny drop of water to a full-fledged civilization by letting you design, evolve, and ultimately control the fate of your own virtual species. From the genius who brought you "The Sims," this evolution game, due Sept. 7, is easily one of the most anticipated of the year.


Filed under: Gaming

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Tony   August 26th, 2008 6:14 pm ET

I think that this list is pretty badly off – the recent demo of Force Unleashed showed just how not ready (or cool) that game is at this point in time. Looks like it may need another year of development to be truly cool or ready.

Plus this list entirely omits 4 of the most anticipated games of this fall: StarCraft 2, WoW: Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Left 4 Dead (from Valve), and Fallout 3. I'd say those are more wothy of inclusion on this list than the ones actually listed (excluding Spore, which has been widely anticipated for a long time).

Jack   August 26th, 2008 11:07 pm ET

3 out of 4 of those games are anticipated because it's the only games 10-12 yr olds can play.Warhammer is the only one where adults who have the money to build a nice pc can play a game that actully caters to adult play.Console gaming is like going to the playground where as pc gaming is like going to the bar.The only reason games like Spore get the advertising over say EQ2 or Warhammer is because most people can't afford the pc to play it on.Gameplay is by far better on pc and for games like COD4 updates are free.

Ryan   August 26th, 2008 11:19 pm ET

I think this list is missing one key player from 2007 – Crysis. With it's utter realism, intense gameplay, and almost revolutionary physics it takes the cake. Spore's a great pick, thought!

Matt   August 27th, 2008 12:42 am ET

I'm afraid Tony, that CNN is merely playing the numbers game. The highest bidder and safest hit gets reported on such a main-stream news site. Stick to kotaku and other gaming news sites for the lists that you seek.

Kyle   August 27th, 2008 4:07 am ET

I must say that I agree with the list espcially on the warhammer online. I currently played the closed beta and must say its buzz is going more and more every day and PvP gamers are chomping at the bits waiting for its release.

Indiana Yankee   August 27th, 2008 8:45 am ET

[quote]August 26th, 2008 6:14 pm ET

I think that this list is pretty badly off – the recent demo of Force Unleashed showed just how not ready (or cool) that game is at this point in time. Looks like it may need another year of development to be truly cool or ready.


Tony, you do realize that the demo was a small piece of things...didnt even have HD support, and was a early build of the game that they actually released several months ago....surely the final product will be MUCH better than this teaser of a demo.

Also agree with most people....MANY good games were left out of this...and this seems like one persons biased review...I many people are REALLY going to play Spore???

Failed to mention: Guitar Hero 4, Fable 2, Gears of War 2 (how could they miss THAT?!?!)

Jose   August 27th, 2008 8:46 am ET

I agree with matt, it seems the safest games reached this list. I know my freinds like madden for one, as far as the other games, its just "meh". I've seen spore, I really cant see where they hype came from. It looks like a game I would have played when I was 8.

I actually read   August 27th, 2008 9:25 am ET

If all of you complaining about the list would actually read the article, you would see they are talking about kid's game. Most of you are complaining about M rated titles off the list.

Larian LeQuella   August 27th, 2008 9:40 am ET

Been in beta for Warhammer Online since the start. The Folks at Mythic Entertainment have taken everything good they learned from Dark Age of Camelot, and improved on it in this game. It's stunning to play, and you can bypass the "grind" and strictly play against other people! This is one heck of a fun game!

My wife and daughter really enjoy Rock Band, so we are really looking forward to the next installment. The great thing about #2 is that all your downloaded songs will transfer over. It's a build!

As for making a "list" of anything, it's just one person's opinion... And we all know opinions are like...

KITKATCEO   August 27th, 2008 10:20 am ET

Console games are nice, but nothing is better than MMORPG games! (Guild Wars FTW!!)

Mike   August 27th, 2008 10:45 am ET

Your title is a little bit off. I am 42 years old and I play video games. I am sure there are many other older players too. The Video Game Industry is bigger than the Movie Industry and no one calls movies a child's entertainment. In fact many video "games" are rated 18 years and over and are real world simulators or complicated stategy games that kids do not understand. I love video games and I think the media should give this exciting entertainment the respect it deserves and not lable it just for kids.

bear loc   August 27th, 2008 11:26 am ET

i do agree with indian yank....gears of war 2!!! like how could they miss that...and also i thought the star wars unleashed demo was sick...cant wait for actual game ....its just an opinion people!

Centurion   August 27th, 2008 12:26 pm ET

The list if for game rated E (Everyone) or Teen (Teen). Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead (which is delayed), and Fallout 3 are rated M. I agree that they for got Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 4.

Desmond   August 27th, 2008 1:52 pm ET

Funny, I'm not looking forward to any of those games on the list. As a matter of fact the only thing I'm looking forward to isn't even a game. It's Home, a new on-line feature for the PS3.

Tim in ATL   August 27th, 2008 1:54 pm ET

What does this have to do with science? This is just a video game review. CNN's Science Blog is going downhil fast. Even the FOX science section can do better than this!I

The Dude   August 27th, 2008 2:02 pm ET

Missing Fallout 3? Fable 2? Gears of War 2? Whoever is your "video games editor" needs to catch up on issues. Going down the list, The only game that would appeal to more people than niche players is The Force Unleashed. It could be that it's hard to find games that arent rated 'M' to put on the list. Then again, if that's the case... well, I've never heard of somebody getting a new video game for back to school. What ever happened to notebooks and clothes?

John   August 27th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

I disagree with the Madden 09 pick. With glitches on the PS3, super human AI defense, useless Madden IQ test, and steep learning curve, running away is more likely. The Franchise and Superstar modes are unchanged from '08 and, while graphically beautiful, the frustration from the poor camera angle and seemingly predecided pass/run plays make this game a rental at best.

wtblife   August 27th, 2008 5:29 pm ET

I'am a no life gamer and I thing the games on their list were very good choices.

Everyone of them are highly anticipated or have been highly successful.

DC Duck   August 28th, 2008 3:28 am ET

If you've visited any of the more popular game store websites, you would quickly realize that this list is simply pulled from the top 5 or 10 selling titles at this moment. Furthermore, it is obvious that after the writer chose the titles, they were again order by his or her own impressions.

michelle maria   August 28th, 2008 3:36 am ET

wow.. only one person mentioned starcraft 2 ! the one game i've been waiting ages for, literally. 😛

TRON   August 28th, 2008 12:21 pm ET


Mark   August 29th, 2008 7:47 pm ET


August 27th, 2008 10:20 am ET

Console games are nice, but nothing is better than MMORPG games! (Guild Wars FTW!!)


That's a BIG matter of opinion. They bore me crazy. I've seen friends fall asleep while playing the digital walk that is WOW! Not because of a marathon game session either. Simply due to sheer boredom.

Observer   August 31st, 2008 9:09 am ET

Interesting, every game on this list is published by EA, except maybe the Star Wars one. I don't know if Lucas Arts goes through another publisher or not.

That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but there are a number of highly anticipated titels (many already mentioned) that are not on this list.


Marcon   September 1st, 2008 2:04 am ET

I dont understand why everyone has such an obsession with Spore

Its just a design modeler on top of an AI. There is no game to it. Its like playing with a graphical spreadsheet.

Think back to SimEarth meets Black and White. Sure, they were fun to screw around with, but there is NO GAME

E   September 2nd, 2008 5:26 pm ET

Is everyone really complaining about a video games list on CNN... What did you expect? They're not going to go as in depth as G4's site would for example. Just enjoy that games are getting any kind of good reports.

Denise   September 27th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Just don't buy Madden for the Wii.

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