Plugged In

‘God of War III’ takes the throne March 16

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It may not be the Ides of March, but for PlayStation 3 owners it’s close enough to shed some virtual blood with Sony’s favorite fallen god, Kratos.

Sony announced this week that the third installment in its “God of War” trilogy will arrive in stores March 16. “God of War III” is the first in the series created exclusively for the PS3.

“God of War III” is available in both a standard edition ($59.99) and a fancy collector’s box ($99.99) that includes an art book, special packaging, a making-of short, game soundtrack and access to special DLC.

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Play baseball video games? Want to win a cool $1 million? Here’s your chance, courtesy of 2K Sports.

The people behind the “MLB 2K” series announced a promotion this week that will award $1 million to the first person to throw a perfect game in this spring’s “MLB 2K10.” The contest begins 12:01 a.m. PST, March 2 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT May 1.

To compete, gamers must play in MLB Today mode and chose the contest option, which resets settings back to default. Entries must be recorded on video, and a DVD must be submitted detailing your accomplishment. For all the details, visit www.2ksports.com/perfectgame.

‘Mass Effect 2′ review blasts off

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“Mass Effect 2,” the second installment of BioWare’s sci-fi RPG trilogy, is now available and I’ve got a full review online at the Video Games section of wvgazette.com. Check it out here. 

ESPN coming to Xbox Live?

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The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft has been in talks with Disney to bring ESPN’s online streaming channel, ESPN360, to Xbox Live for premium (i.e. Gold) subscribers.

Considering Xbox Live already lets gamers connect to Netflix and Last.fm, as well as purchase pay-per-view movies and TV shows, a possible deal with the Worldwide Leader doesn’t seem that far-fetched. Could this be an E3 surprise? We’ll see in a few months.

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PlayStation 3 fans will have to wait a little longer to get their waggle on. Sony announced this week that its motion-sensing controller, which it unveiled at last year’s E3, was being delayed until fall 2010.

The new release window puts the peripheral up against Microsoft’s Natal camera-based controller, which is also expected to ship in the latter half of the year.

‘Army of Two’ sequel hits this week

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January usually isn’t a big month for new releases, but this week marks the beginning of a nice little run on what should be quality titles.

Leading the way this week is EA’s co-op action game “Army of Two: The 40th Day.” A follow-up to the original “Ao2,” “The 40th Day” looks to refine what was already an enjoyable formula. Gamers again assume the roles of mercenaries Rios and Salem, who must use teamwork and strategy to stay alive while on a mission in Shanghai.

The other title of note releasing this week is Sega’s “Vancouver 2010: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games,” which features 14 events and an intriguing first-person camera view.

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Microsoft’s “next big thing,” otherwise known as “Project Natal,” will arrive sometime during the 2010 holiday shopping season, Microsoft revealed during the recently completed Consumer Electronics Show.

While no price was announced, the hands-free gaming device — which has yet to receive an “official” name from Microsoft — will launch this year and several developers, including Ubisoft and THQ, have pledged their support.

The only question that remains is will “Natal” be a serious threat to the Wii’s stranglehold on casual gaming? We’ll find out later this year.

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Next month’s forecast is for rain. “Heavy Rain,” to be exact.

The PlayStation 3 exclusive “Heavy Rain,” from “Indigo Prophecy” developer Quantic Dream, will be released Feb. 23. Like its predecessor, “Heavy Rain” isn’t your typical action game, with a focus more on realistic storytelling and cinematic presentation.

I absolutely loved “Indigo Prophecy” and am really looking forward to “Heavy Rain.” If the trailers are any indication, this could be one of 2010’s best games.