Video Games Plus

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You better hope that your New Year's Resolution involves playing more, not fewer, video games because you're not going to want to take much of a break in 2012.

Mission Impossible on Facebook

nullMission Impossible

Gamers, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab your friends and log onto Facebook to get some super spying done. That’s at least what Funtactix, the makers of the new “Mission Impossible—The Game,” are hoping.

They’ve launched an online social spy game based on the “Mission: Impossible” movie franchise that casts players in the leading role of an underground secret agent who must assemble a team of covert agents, unlock state-of-the-art gadgets and equipment and collect classified intel in order to build an outfit ready to complete elaborate operations in exotic locales around the world.

The game also offers gameplay based on the new movie “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” which hit theaters with a splash last month.

The “Ghost Protocol” themed gameplay includes a classified storyline that precedes the events of the movie, 40 different dangerous missions, and 20 new characters and weapons and gadgets.

The only downside is the lack of Tom Cruise, who mysteriously refuses to appear in video games.

The Return of NFL Blitz

Considering last year’s successful revival of the “NBA Jam” franchise, it was probably inevitable that we’d get a flashy reboot of “NFL Blitz.”

EA has done just that, releasing “NFL Blitz” earlier this week just in time for the start of the real life NFL playoffs. This new version of the arcade favorite is available for download via Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (1200 Microsoft Points and $14.99 respectively.)

If you’ve never played the old school versions, Blitz eschews the realism of “Madden Football” for a 7-on-7 game filled with crazy, hyperkinetic action. Quarters are only two minutes long and it takes 30 yards to achieve a first down. And penalties? Yeah, right.

The main single player mode, dubbed “Blitz Gauntlet” is where players battle their way through a multi-tiered battery of NFL foes, and battling against what EA describes as "fantasy character bosses." If the trailer is any indication, robots, Sasquatchs and zombies are also some of the bosses you can face off against (what, are ninjas and pirates still being locked out?).

The game also features plenty of online modes to choose from, including Blitz Battles and 2-on-2 co-op play.

We can only imagine that the NFL Blitz version of Ray Lewis is even more terrifying than the real thing.

A Happy Holiday for the 3DS

Looks like Nintendo got more than a lump of coal in their stocking over the holidays. The gaming giant reported this week that the 3DS portable system has sold a total of 4 million units, aided by the release of “Super Mario Land 3D” and “Mario Kart 7” – both of which are the first 3DS games to hit the 1 million sales mark in the U.S.

That’s good news for Nintendo, who offered relatively weak set of launch titles that led to some less than stellar sales of the 3D-friendly portable. In recent months, the cost of the 3DS was slashed drastically from $250 to $170.

Wii-wise, Nintendo sold 4.5 million of their frontrunning console in 2011. The company also plans on launching the Wii's successor, the Wii U, sometime this year.

"Star Wars: The Old Republic" Video Game Review

Fire up your lightsabers, PC gamers. The developer behind the 2003 role playing game "Knights of the Old Republic," a game that boasted a plot and characters light years ahead than each of George Lucas' last three films, is now staking out "World of Warcraft" territory with "The Old Republic." It's actually tempting to label it "WoW in space" because the game shares a massive amount of similarities with Blizzard's omnipotent massive multiplayer online game (MMO) – the colorful graphics, the fetch quests, and the hotkey mashing combat.

But the major thing that sets "Old Republic" apart from most MMO’s is the massive amount of storytelling and voice acting that actually makes you feel part of the game's universe. There are about eight classes to choose from between the Empire and Republic sides and each features a unique storyline with countless hours of story-based quests and cutscenes where you can control the dialogue (much like you can in single player BioWare RPG’s like “Dragon Age”). Add that up, and that’s an overwhelming amount of content to dive into.

Like any game of this type, there should be a warning label attached to it that says it can be harmful to the health of your social life, but overall, the Force is strong with this one.

For more from Ryan Smith, follow him on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter

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