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Video Games Plus

Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every Thursday.

Kanye West, Charles Barkley, and Commander Shepard? Yep, this week Video Games Plus has news about some of the biggest figures in entertainment, including a look at a special Call of Duty concert with Kanye, a new mode in "NBA 2K12" and a peek into the world of "Mass Effect 3" and "Borderlands 2."

New Mass Effect 3 Details; Fans Vote On Femshep

Many gamers have been anticipating the last chapter of the Mass Effect saga and now we know exactly what day to look forward to -- March 6, 2012. That’s the date Bioware says they’ll have “Mass Effect 3” ready for release.

But one detail that is still up in the air is the exact physical appearance of the female version of Shepard (“FemShep” for short). Bioware opened up fan voting on their Facebook page last week to let gamers choose her hair color.

At last look, the redhead version of FemShep led with over 19,000 votes with the brunette haircolor in distant second with nearly 13,000 votes. Sandy brown haired FemShep is in third with 5,500 votes and blonde is in last place with 5,300 votes. It looks like gentlemen (and most everyone else) no longer prefer blondes.

Other ME3 news bits emerged from Gamescom last week:

  • There will be combat tweaks such as a weapon bench that will allow for the modification and upgrading of weapons and an enhancement of the cover system in combat.
  • The resource mining system (usually the most boring part of the series) is expected to be altered again.
  • The game will utilize the Kinect but not for motion controls, just to give gamers dialogue tree control and squad control through a series of voice commands.

Kanye West To Perform At Call Of Duty XP

It looks like the unofficial King of Hip Hop is teaming up with the king of video games. Kanye West will be performing on day two of Call of Duty XP, a CoD fan convention taking place in Los Angeles September 2 to 3. Activision says it will be the first public performance for West since the release of his and Jay-Z’s album “Watch the Throne.”

Tickets for Call of Duty XP are pricey ($150), but besides the special performance from West, attendees will get a voucher for a free copy of “Modern Warfare 3: Hardened Edition,” hands on time with MW3 and the premiere of the game’s multiplayer and a chance to battle for a $1
million tournament.

There will also be a real-life recreation of “Modern Warfare 2’s” Pit and Scrapyard maps with paintball skirmishes. Here’s hoping Kanye will take to the paintball arena before he hits the stage.

Borderlands 2 Trailer Features New Character

We’ve also seen the first new short teaser trailer and some pretty screenshots for “Borderlands 2” and we’re ready to run to the border.

The 30-second trailer shows off a new character called “The Gunzerker,” which appears to be exactly as you’d think -- a dual-wielding berserker found in traditional fantasy role-playing games but armed with two assault rifles instead of swords. We’ve also learned that “Borderlands 2” is set five years after the events of the original and it’s still on the post-apocalyptic planet of Pandora. This time, though a new dictator Handsome Jack is in charge and he has dumped you out in the Arctic tundra.

We’re guessing that you do a lot of shooting and looting after that.

15 NBA Legends Featured in New 2K12 Mode

We told you last month that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were joining Michael Jordan on the cover of “NBA 2K12,” but the addition of those ’80s superstars was apparently just the beginning.

2K Sports announce recently the lineup of 15 NBA legends that will appear in “NBA’s Greatest” mode, a new game feature in 2K12 where gamers will be able to control the iconic players and pit them against other classic and modern-day teams.

2K say they’ve recreated the players with an uncanny level of detail, including period-specific depictions of their arenas, team uniforms, signature moves, historically accurate broadcast presentation styles and signature moves.

Here’s the list of legends:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Larry Bird
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Julius Erving
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Magic Johnson
  • Michael Jordan
  • Karl Malone
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Bill Russell
  • John Stockton
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Jerry West

There’s a lot of original Dream Teamers on the list, but one glaring omission is Charles Barkley, especially considering his ’85 Sixers appear in the game. A 2K Sports representative talked to Kotaku and they confirmed that they were unable to work out a deal with Barkley.

"We have a very positive relationship with Sir Charles and while we were unable to include him in-game this year for a variety of reasons, we share everyone's hope that he may one day appear in our game,” the rep told Kotaku.

“NBA 2K12,” is coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 October 4.

Follow Ryan Smith on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter

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