Weekly video game releases: 'Donkey Kong Country Returns,' 'World of Warcraft: Cataclysm'

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The Independent Tech

There are still some high quality games waiting to debut before the end of the year, and among them are the well-rated Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii and well anticipated World of Warcraft: Cataclysm on Mac and PC.

Also fresh out will be the adventurous Epic Mickey, dirt jumps galore in mud-racer Nail'd, epic questing in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and film tie-in Tron: Evolution.

Epic Mickey (Wii)
Europe and Australia, November 25. North America, November 30.
Rated 7+ / Parental Guidance / Everyone

Armed with paint and paint thinner, players choose whether Disney's Mickey Mouse becomes a selfish or selfless hero, befriending or blotting out inhabitants of the Cartoon Wasteland. Each area is based on a Disney theme park or movie, and cut-scenes are faithful to the classic animated style.
Price: €49 / $49 US / $79 AUS
Collector's Edition: $69 US

Nail'd (360 PC PS3)
North America, November 30. Europe, February 4 2011.
Rated Everyone 10+ / 12+

Polish outfit Techland is best known for its grizzled cowboy western Call of Juarez, but here turns its attention to dirt racing. Nail'd has a three month jump on genre competitor MotorStorm Apocalypse, but still has to prove itself against the similar Pure and MX vs ATV: Reflex, both of which are now available at cut price.
Price: $59 US / €39 / £39

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (DS)
North America, November 29. Europe, December 10. Japan, already released. Australia, December 2.
Rated Everyone 10+ / 12+ / A / PG

At last, a new Golden Sun game! The first two for Game Boy Advance were well loved by many thanks to a carefully realized world. In this continuation, the original adventurers' children set off to save the world once more, but find it much altered due to the effects of the Golden Sun itself and the emergence of a new evil.
Price: $35 / €39 / ¥4,800 / $69 AUS / £35

Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
North America, November 21. Australia, December 2. Europe, December 3. Japan, December 9.
Rated Everyone / 3+ / G / A

The next great Wii action game for those who have rinsed Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. Any Donkey Kong Country sequel is approached with caution, lest memories of the treasured 1994 platformer be irrevocably tarnished by an insolent newcomer. Such fears are unfounded when Donkey and Diddy Kong reunite for DKC Returns. It looks and sounds great, and has been met with fine review scores: top marks from 1UP and Destructoid, 9/10 from IGN, GameTrailers, Joystiq and Eurogamer. Fun awaits.
Price: $49 US / €49 / ¥5,800 / $99 AUS / £45

Tron: Evolution (360 DS PC PS3 PSP Wii)
North America, December 7. Europe, Australia, November 26.
Rated Teen / 12+ / PG
PSP, DS and Wii versions rated Everyone 10+ in North America

These titles take place at slightly different points on the Tron timeline - the DS, Wii and PSP versions in the 80s, though it's the 1989 PSP and 90s era 360/PS3/PC versions that tap Tron Legacy's backstory most directly. Each features light cycle and disc battle modes, all have multiplayer, and only the Wii version is without a story mode.
Price: $59 US / €59 / $99 AUS / £49 (360 PS3)
$49 / €39 / $69 AUS / £29 (Wii)
$39 / €39 / $79 AUS / £39 (PC)
$29 / €29 / $49 AUS / £29 (DS, PSP)
Collector's Edition: $129 (360 PS3)
Tron control pads: $49 (360 Wii)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Mac, PC)
Worldwide release on December 7
Rated Teen / 12+ / M

Exactly as implied by the title, World of Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion is designed to tear up the fantasy land of Azeroth as Deathwing the Destroyer wreaks vengeance upon it, resulting in new storylines, missions, dungeons, towns, and creatures. Available on disc from retail and as a digital download from Battle.net.
Price: $39 / €35 / $59 AUS
Collector's Edition: $169 / €75
World of Warcraft subscription: $15 / €12 or less per month

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