March 4: wallet threat level bright red

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Tomb Raider, one of the best games of this generation and a reboot every bit as exciting as Arkham Asylum or Skyfall, is a dire threat to all wallets. The game diary starts here. It’s one of the few games I’ve ever 100%ed and now that it’s over for me — the multiplayer is pretty much a non-issue — I look forward to vicariously re-enjoying it through your comments.

I’m not sure what to make of Sim City yet. It’s clearly taking a page from the Anno 2070 book, which is a great book to take pages from. But for better and worse, it leans heavily on EA’s forced social gaming shenanigans by presenting tiny pocket cities that rely on other nearby pocket cities, either your own or those of other players. Is this really the best way to do a city builder? Stay tuned.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate can’t make up its mind about whether to use colons or dashes, but it sure knows how to use the Nintendo 3DS for some classic Castlevania. Here’s one of those rare 3DS games where I really like keeping that 3D slider dialed all the way up. And it doesn’t just look great. I wasn’t sure what Konami and developer Mercury Steam were doing with the previous Lords of Shadow other than God of Warring it up. But this handheld version I can really get into for how it feels like a traditional Castlevania with latter day production values. I like the 2D movement (ironic!), the relatively simple combat, and the exploration. Now this is more like it!

The University add-on for The Sims 2 is a gold standards for add-ons. It inserted a new age stage between children and adults, creating in that new stage a rich playful world of college life. Can University Life do the same for The Sims 3, which is already piled high with playful add-on content? Will college be lost in the shuffle with spellcasting, winter wonderlands, and nightclubbing?

Speaking of nightclubbing, the Citadel add-on for Mass Effect 3 is a single-player adventure that gives Commander Shepherd more adventuring on everyone’s favorite space station MacGuffin.

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