“Madden NFL 11” (rated E, $60 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $50 on Wii, $40 on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable): If you play Electronic Arts’ industry-leading football games, you’ve probably already picked up the latest “Madden.” One new feature this year that should appeal to more casual players is the streamlined playcalling, designed to keep n00bs like me from getting lost in complicated NFL playbooks. (Sorry, I’m more of a baseball guy.)
“Red Dead Redemption” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 and PS3): The “Legends and Killers” downloadable add-on adds nine new multiplayer maps, eight characters and one weapon, the tomahawk, to Rockstar Games’ Wild West adventure. Additionally, if you play the game’s online multiplayer component this weekend, you earn double experience points.
“Monday Night Combat” (rated T, $15 download for Xbox 360): This third-person action game grafts class-based shooter action onto strategic tower defense gameplay. If you’re a fan of “Team Fortress 2’s” class-based shooter action, this probably won’t dethrone it. But it looks to offer a nice change of pace.
“Dragon Age: Origins” (rated M, $40 for Xbox 360 and PS3, $30 for PC): If you played through my 2009 Game of the Year on the Xbox 360 but haven’t yet bought any of the downloadable add-ons, they’re on sale through Monday. “Awakening,” which is almost like a sequel with dozens of hours of play, will cost you $20. “Warden’s Keep” is marked down from $7 to $5. It’s a shortish additional quest that takes about an hour and gives you a treasure chest in which you can store more items. The story’s not bad, though, if you’re a “Dragon Age” fan like me. “Return to Ostgar,” is marked dowm from $5 to $3. Of the discounted stuff, it’s probably the least exciting, but it’s hard to quibble with a $3 price. I played the game on the PS3, though, so I won’t be taking advantage of any sales.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game” (rated T, $10 download for PS3): This is how publishers should make movie games. Rather than foist $60 games on us that are little more than obvious cash-ins bought by clueless grandparents, make your “movie game” be a well-crafted, $10, “Double Dragon”-style beat-’em-up and sell it via download. If you’re at all interested in the movie or the comic, this is probably a must-buy. There’s no online co-op, though.