Treasure Hunter November 2012 –Overloading Your Wallet With Holiday Halos, Zombie Black Ops and Vampires (Part 2 of 2)

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The late fall blockbuster season continues with the second part of my Treasure Hunter column for the month. (If you missed part one you can read it right here.) Previously, I touched upon Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and even Hellsing Ultimate. The rest of this column will cover the smaller titles and niche items that may (or may not) have gotten lost in the crowded shuffle.

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On November 18 the Wii U had its North American release. Despite it being Nintendo’s first new console since the original Wii the launch itself was rather lackluster. Thanks to a serious dearth of advertising leading up to November 18 many people didn’t even know the Wii U was a new console. To further complicate matters early adopters ran into an interesting variety of problems with the Wii U. Problems and weird decisions from Nintendo of America aside, the launch of a new console is still exciting. Those who opted for the deluxe version of Nintendo’s hardware received a copy of Nintendo Land in the box, in addition to 32GB of space, stands, charging cradles and even an HDMI cable. It harkens back to the days when launch consoles actually included a game. Those of you who opt to pick up a Wii U Deluxe Set are in luck, as the console is easily available at most retailers. Expect to spend about $350 for your purchase.

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Hitman: Absolution is IO Interactive’s fifth Hitman entry in this long running franchise. The last game in the series was Hitman:Blood Money and it was released in 2007. In this latest installment Agent 47 finds himself in the middle of a huge conspiracy as he’s been betrayed by the Agency itself and is now hunted by the police. The Professional Edition of Hitman: Absolution is bundled with a “making of” video, a hardcover artbook and exclusive DLC gun packs. Agent 47 boldly made his way into stores on November 20 and the Professional Edition will cost you $80.

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It was only a matter of time before Adventure Time saw a video game release. After all, the cartoon is wildly popular among many children and adults (myself included). This quirky show features the strange exploits of Finn and Jake in a fictional world where magic and strange creatures exist. Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! was written by series creator Pendleton Ward, so at least the game’s writing should be on par with the series. The collector’s edition of the game features a Steelbook case, a stylus in the shape of Finn’s gold sword, a paper map of the Land of Ooo, and a bestiary guide book all for the reasonable price of $40 for both the 3DS and DS versions. There is a catch. The Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! Collector’s Edition was exclusive to GameStop and it is sold out online. Local GameStops may still have copies in stock though. Additionally, copies can be found for sale on eBay for much higher prices. Finn and Jake undertook their latest adventure on November 20.

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Right now a lot of PS Vita owners are lamenting the serious lack of software for Sony’s new handheld. Those Vita owners must not be fans of Atlus, because one of the biggest, if not the biggest, RPG release of the year has just dropped on the system. On this blog we’ve talked a lot about Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 and its many releases after the original game. Persona 4 Golden is an enhanced port of the original PS2 game with various graphical improvements, new characters, new social links, new anime cut scenes, new events, new attacks and even new personas to collect. The Vita port doesn’t have the option of playing as a female protagonist like Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 had with its PSP port. Thankfully, enough content has been added to warrant a new purchase. The Solid Gold Premium Edition of Persona 4 Golden contained a variety of stylish goodies for the Vita itself including a protective skin, a face cover and a hard pouch. Stickers were also added to the premium edition for good measure. Only 10,000 copies of the special edition were made and almost all of them sold out well before the game was released. Anyone who pre-ordered the game got the protective skin as a bonus. GameStop still has copies left in stock and there is eBay, expensive prices at all. Persona 4 Golden’s Solid Gold Premium Edition reached out to the truth on November 20 and will cost you $70, or $30 more than the standard edition.

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Bakemonogatari is Aniplex of America’s newest anime release. Like much of the anime being released these days the setting takes place in high school and lots of weird things happen to one poor sap. Case in point? Third year high school student Koyomi Araragi is a normal guy until he’s attacked by a female vampire and temporarily becomes a vampire. He’s able to re
main human thanks to a strange middle-aged man named Meme Oshino. Since that day Koyomi’s life is never quite the same. Strange girls with strange problem often seek him out and the third year feels obligated to help them. Bakemonogatari is based on a series of light novels written by Nisio Isin and was adapted into an anime by Shaft in 2009. Because the series was licensed by Aniplex in Japan it shouldn’t be a surprise their American branch is handling the domestic release. The limited edition set is a Blu-ray release that also includes a 36-page booklet filled with character designs. Aniplex, Blu-ray, and cheap often don’t fit together in the same sentence, so this 15-episode release will cost you $150 on Rightstuf. Thankfully, the series is streaming online for free via Crunchyroll. Bakemonogatari’s strange antics began in North America on November 20.
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