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Interactive entertainment

November 21, 2009

Video games have became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world and record breaking sales have shown the popularity of the industry. With the holiday season right around the corner, there are some must have games that would be a treat for any gamer.

If not already purchased, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" should be at the top of any gamer's wish list. The highly touted squeal was released on Nov. 10 and blew away previous sales records of all forms of entertainment. According to game publisher Activision/Blizzard, the game sold an estimated 4.7 million copies for sales of $310 million on its first day in the U.S. and United Kingdom alone. Through the game's first five days it beat all previous first-day and five-day entertainment releases including box office, book and video game sales.

To put the numbers in perspective, the game busted the worldwide Box Office five-day record held by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" which made $394 million and the five-day record for domestic Box Office sales of The Dark Knight at $203.8 million. The game also shattered the largest first-day Box Office domestic figures by "The Dark Knight," $66.4 million, largest first-day book sales held by "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows," $220 million, and the biggest reported first-day worldwide video game sales record, previously held by "Grand Theft Auto IV" which sold 3.6 million units and made $310 million. The game also shattered records for the most players online through Microsoft's X-Box Live and Playstation 3's Playstation Network.

The game created by Infinity Ward is set five years after the events in the first game. Having played through the single player of the game, I can say the story is compelling but can lack some depth and took about five and a half hours to complete on normal difficulty. Added features such as the Special Ops mode, a two-player cooperative mode, and the multiplayer online capabilities make the game really shine and add countless hours of replayability.

Just a little warning for parents who are considering the game for younger children. It is a war game, so violence is going to happen. One level in particular is gut wrenching to play. You take the role of a undercover U.S. Army Ranger in Russia and commit a terrorist act. It is graphic and realistic, but the game also offers the choice to skip the level. I will not go into detail about how the level affects the plot because I do not want to ruin it for those who have not completed the game.

The game also sold well locally in Elkins. Wal-Mart electronics employee Matt Stevens said the game sold 120 units in its first week at the store and about 50 people lined up at midnight for the release of the game.

"The most popular game has been 'Modern Warfare 2' and I think it will be the biggest of the holiday season," Stevens said. "I think second will go to 'Assassin's Creed 2.'"

Stevens said the X-Box 360 and the Nintendo DS have been selling well and will continue throughout the holidays. There are several highly anticipated games out right now including "Left 4 Dead 2" for X-Box 360 and PS3, and "New Super Mario Brothers" for the Nintendo Wii.

Gamers may have some slight flashbacks with they play "The New Super Mario Brothers." The game brings back everything gamers loved about the classic 1991 "Super Mario Work" for the original Nintendo console. The biggest change other than a fresh coat of new graphics is that four people can now play simultaneously.

Stevens said another game that is going to be "huge" is "Tony Hawk's Ride," also by Activision. The game will be released on all three of the major consoles and will feature a special skateboard controller which sets on the floor.



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