Weekly video game releases: 'Scott Pilgrim', 'Madden NFL 11', 'We Sing Encore'

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The Independent Tech

Among upcoming video game releases: Comic book character Scott Pilgrim defeats evil ex-boyfriends on PS3 (and, later, 360), the Madden American Football series shows no signs of stopping, and We Sing is back for more karaoke fun in the Wii's We Sing Encore. Also approaching are Victoria II, Kane & Lynch 2, and the new Lara Croft game.

Madden NFL 11 (360 iPhone PS2 PS3 PSP Wii)
Release: North America, August 10. Europe, August 13.
Age Rating: E for Everyone / 3+

This year, Madden NFL claims to be simpler, quicker, and deeper than before, compressing a full hour-long game into 30 minutes of playtime and making it easier to instruct teams. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints became the latest Madden cover athlete after pulling in the most fan votes. 360 and PS3 were released on July 27.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 (360 PS3), $49.99 / €49.99 (Wii), $39.99 / €39.99 (PS2 PSP)

We Sing Encore / We Sing Vol. 2 (Wii)
Release: Europe, August 13.
Age Rating: 12+

We Sing Encore has 40 karaoke tracks for up to 4 budding singers. 30 of those tunes are shared across European territories, the remaining 10 specific to the UK, Sweden, and Germany. So, for example, along with the B52s, Elton John, Lily Allen, and Rihanna, the UK gets a bit of Will Young and The Proclaimers. German warble to Toploader and hearthrob Roy Black, while Swedes croon with Håkan Hellström and Björn Skifs (aka Blue Swede).
Game only: €39.99
We Sing Encore + 2 microphones: €59.99

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game (PS3 360)
Release: North America, August 10; Europe August 11 on PS3 via PSN. August 25 on 360 via Xbox Live.
Age Rating: Teen / 12+

A side-scrolling video game for up to four players based on a film based on a comic book featuring video games. Think 1980s- and 1990s-style beat-em-ups Double Dragon, River City Ransom, Castle Crashers. Now add a mischievous cartoon style and turn up the pop-culture references to 11 as Scott defeats Ramona Flowers' seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win her heart.
Price: TBC. USA PS3 pre-orders at Ubi.com, $9.99.

Victoria II (PC)
Release: Europe, August 13. North America, August 22.
Age Rating: 12+ / Teen

"I am shaving my head if this project ever sees profit," wrote Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester on the game's official forums after users voted for development on Victoria II to go ahead. Though it stems from the territorial expansion of Europa Universalis, Victoria focused on successfully maneuvering nation states through historic change. Wester fulfilled his promise early in a show of support, but it remains to be seen whether Victoria II can come close to Paradox' biggest hitter Hearts Of Iron III.
Price: €39.99 / $39.99

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (360 PC PS3)
Release: North America, August 17. Europe, August 20.
Age Rating: Mature / 18+

Guns for hire Kane and Lynch find themselves in Shanghai, trying to escape the repercussions of what was supposed to be one last job before a peaceful retirement. The single player campaign focuses on Lynch's antics, though there are of course co-operative and multiplayer modes. Demo versions are available for all three systems.
Price: $59.99 / €69.99 (360 PS3), $49.99 / €49.99 (PC)

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (360 PC PS3)
Release: August 18 on 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade). Mid-September on PC (via Steam) and PS3 (PlayStation network).
Age Rating: Teen

A new perspective for the Lara Croft franchise, as the customary platform traversal is ditched for an overhead viewpoint. Lara discovers a Mayan ruin and an ancient tribesman who acts as puzzle-solving companion sporting spears instead of pistols. The Mayan is controlled either by the computer or by a friend playing on the same machine or via the internet.
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points (~$15/€14)