“NCAA Football 11” (rated E, $60 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $40 on PlayStation 2): I am neither a fan of collegiate sports or football, but this year’s NCAA title is drawing decent reviews, and even the most negative review on Metacritic says it differentiates itself enough from “Madden” to be worth a look.
“DeathSpank” (rated T, $15 download for Xbox 360 or PS3): This whimsical hack-and-slash-style game was inspired by games like “Diablo” but written by Ron Gilbert, one of video gaming’s funniest fellows. (He worked on the “Secret of Monkey Island” games along with Sonoma native Tim Schafer.) Joystiq’s review called it “a high point for comedy in games,” and the ESRB’s summary points out that “players are required to collect and crush excrement from demons (e.g., ‘beat the crap out of Demons . . . literally’).” That’s good enough for me. The lone factor holding me back from buying it right away is that the co-op mode is offline, only. In other words, it’s a great game to play with your teenage kid or friend with a good sense of humor, provided they’re in the same room as you.