by Chris Nafekh
1. Super Mario Maker — Sept. 11
The power to create lies the in palm of the player. With this release, Nintendo gives fans easy access to construct their own Super Mario levels using the WiiU game pad. Scenery and characters from every 2D Super Mario title, ranging from original NES to 3DS, embellish level creation. Builders can construct landscapes for difficulty, friendly competition or just for fun. After uploading the levels online, fans can attempt each other’s creations. Thus, shortly after its release, this game will include an entire database of newly customized, mushroomy landscapes and lava-laden castles for fans to discover and voyage.
2. Lego Dimensions — Sept. 27
In what universe can Gandalf the Grey, Batman and Marty McFly drive the mystery machine down the Yellow Brick Road then use the Tardis to travel space and time? In Lego Dimensions, everything is canonical. This title offers the cartoon violence and pop-culture chaos seen in The Lego Movie, plus the youthful creativity that Lego games are known for. Warner Bros. boasts 14 dimensions, each with vast explorative levels. But the starting pack only includes three dimensions — Gotham City, Middle Earth and The Lego Movie — and only a few characters to choose from. The rest cost extra. The starting pack is expensive, but prices will drop with time.
3. Fallout 4 — Nov. 10
After a preview of Fallout 4 won E3 2015 Best in Show and Best RPG awards, the game is rather anticipated. The series is highly regarded for its post-apocalyptic storyboards, writing and subtle humor. The role-playing style adopted in earlier versions of Fallout is on par with Skyrim, both developed by the Bethesda Softworks. An open-world wasteland of post-apocalyptic Chicago provides plenty of freedom. Fans were disappointed when that freedom disappeared at the finale of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but Bethesda has promised they won’t make the same mistake again.
4. Star Wars Battlefront 3 — Nov. 17
Preluding the release of The Force Awakens (the latest Star Wars film) is a reboot that video-gamers across the globe have waited years to enjoy. The gameplay footage is captivating; beautiful graphics transport players onto foreign planets like Hoth and Endor. The familiar orchestral soundtrack is gripping and captures the essence of adventure. Whether the fight is on terrestrial planes between rebels and stormtroopers or in the sky among X-Wings and TIE-fighters, the creative combat is engaging. This title won Best Online Multiplayer at E3 2015. Up to 40 players can fight these chaotic battles at one time online, making this game much more competitive than its predecessors.