Medal of Honor (XBOX, PS3)
Price: $59.99 || Official Site
If there’s one thing you should know at the outset before starting the new Medal of Honor, it’s this: There are no Nazis in Afghanistan. EA went back to the drawing board for this reboot of their FPS War series. We’re thinking no one can trust him after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because gone is Steven Spielberg’s original influence, replaced with military consulting and the game’s grit and realism benefit from that major change. Though you’re no longer playing through the long and highly decorated career of a single character like Lt. Jimmy Patterson, taking on the role of several “Tier 1” operators in various roles within our armed forces in Afghanistan is a satisfying difference. Beyond the well-paced and varied campaign mode, gamers can take on beaten missions over again in the Tier 1 mode where you’re challenged with specific goals within the mission and compete on global leaderboards. Finally, the true test of any current FPS is the multiplayer. Choosing from three classes, Rifleman, Special Ops and Sniper, players wage war with each other and level up to gain access to better weapons and upgrades. Ringing up extra points in between deaths will earn special weapons like mortars or defensive intelligence, just a little bonus for not sucking it up and being cannon fodder when you’re playing as the “Coalition” (U!S!A!) or the “Opposing Forces” (durka durka).
Number of Beers to Enjoy: 6 of something patriotic like Sam Adams....or Colt 45.
Lucha Libre: Heroes of the Ring (XBOX, PS3, DS)
Price: $59.99 || Official Site
Finally, the Luchadores are getting the respect that masked, glistening-haired acrobats deserve. Wow, there’s a sentence we never thought we’d say. Beyond the normal features you’re used to in a wrestling game, Lucha Libre has a deeper grappling component that you’d expect of this version of the sport, with a button matching interface that comes up to secure your pins or break submissions. The game sparkles like a luchador's jheri curls in its weirdest parts. The Mask vs. Hair mode has the loser either getting unmasked or his head shaved, just like we do it here at the Maxim office’s Thursday happy hour. Creating your own luchador is also an exercise in odd, putting together your costume, mask and style. Payoffs come in the form of achievements and abilities unlocked by currying favor with the audience because showmanship counts and the only way to satiate an angry mob is by eye-gouging, scissor-legging and helicopter-your way to victory.
Number of Beers to Enjoy: Una docena de Tecates!
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare)
Price:1200 Points || Official Site
Line up, kiddies, it’s time for your weekly dose of old-school and this week it comes in the form of a spiky, blue blast from the past. After some ill-fated entries in the canon, Sega returns Sonic to his roots in a “2.5D” adventure. Yes, it’s side-scrolling greatness like the days of yore and yes, it’s in glorious HD (at least on XBOX and PS3). The game’s plot picks up in a post-Death Egg destruction world where Dr. Eggman (aka Robotnik) has survived and is revamping his most diabolical gizmos to take down our speedy critter of a hero. Sonic basks in the spotlight without Tails or Knuckles to steal the attention, for better or worse. Though it’s taken a little while longer than we anticipated for Part 1 to drop, we are psyched nonetheless to know that this is just installment one with more coming down the pipe. We don’t know when but we do know that trying to eat a hedgehog as a substitute fix for Sonic greatness is even more painful that our crazy old Papi said.
Number of Beers to Enjoy: 8 swills to help take down that quill pill.