Treasure Hunter – Triple-A March Madness (Part 1 of 2)

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If I were a sports fan the title to this article might apply to the annual NCAA tournament better known as March Madness. After all, three Philadelphia teams, Temple, LaSalle and Villanova made it into the tournament. As a graduate of Temple University the news is certainly welcome. That said, I’m not a sports buff, I’m a video game buff. Accordingly, I’m here to talk about the games that are slated to release this month or are already out. The Triple-A floodgates are opening and there are a variety of high-profile titles to look forward to. More importantly, the third month of this year is shaping up to be an excellent time to collect swag.

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If you’re unfamiliar with Crystal Dymanics’ Tomb Raider reboot you may have been living under a gaming rock for the last two or three years. Geoff has crafted numerous articles covering the development of Lara Croft’s origin story. In this reboot Lara has been shipwrecked on a jungle island. The natives are hostile and the young explorer only has one goal, her survival. Swag-loving Tomb Raider fans will probably or have already opted for the Collector’s Edition. In this $100 package the game is bundled with an eight-inch Play Arts Kai figure of Lara Croft, a steel tin designed to look weathered—as if it came from the game’s world, a double-sided poster, a lithographic print, three iron-on badges, the soundtrack on CD and downloadable content in the form of a weapons pack. Additionally, fans who enjoy collecting Xbox 360 controllers will probably want to opt for the Tomb Raider Limited Edition controller for $60. Lara Croft kicked off her tomb raiding reboot on March 5.

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Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is the direct sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The follow-up to the well received console game is a 3DS title which will probably be ported to consoles in the near future. Mirror of Fate takes place 25 years after the conclusion of Lords of Shadow. The story focuses on Gabriel’s ancestors as they confront their destinies. If fans pre-ordered from GameStop before Mirror of Fate’s release date a 3DS cover was included as a bonus. The cover only fits the original 3DS, so XL owners are out of luck. Furthermore, the only way to easily get the cover is to pay eBay a visit and bid on one. Thankfully, the prices aren’t too outrageous. Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate whipped its way into stores on March 5 for the standard $40.

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Fans thought the story of Kratos ended with God of War III. After all, before the third console installment in the series Ready at Dawn developed two prequels in the form of PSP games. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you’ve had enough of God of War), Sony Santa Monica Studios has decided to develop their own prequel for the series. God of War: Ascension takes place six months after Kratos is tricked into murdering his wife and daughter. In order to exact revenge on Ares he must break the blood oath that binds him to the god of war. The only way to break the oath is to defeat the powerful Furies while maintaining his sanity. The God of War: Ascension Collector’s Edition may not be as impressive as GoWIII’s Pandora box but it is still an interesting set. For $80 or $20 more than the standard edition of the game, ardent GoW fans will receive a six-inch Kratos statue, a steelbook case, a digital version of the game’s official soundtrack and downloadable goods, including a pass for future DLC content. If you’re more interested in a new PS3 Sony has you covered. The gaming giant has released a 500GB red Super Slim bundled with Ascension for $350. Kratos began his quest for revenge on March 12.

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In 2010 Blizzard released the long-awaited StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The wait between the original StarCraft and the sequel was approximately 12 years. So it’s fitting the game’s first expansion, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm would finally be developed and released three years later. The story continues with Sarah Kerrigan and her quest for revenge against the Koprulu sector dictator, Arcturus Mengsk. In order to take down the corrupt man Kerrigan undertakes a journey to gather the remnants of the Zerg Swarm. The Collector’s Edition of StarCraft II includes a number of goodies. For $80 fans can collect a soundtrack CD, an art book, a two disc behind the scenes DVD and BD set, a Zerg Rush mousepad and in-game content from StarCraft II, World of Warcraft and Diablo III. StarCraft II enthralled fans all over again on March 12.


Part two of this month’s Treasure Hunter will be posted on Wednesday.

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