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Fall games guide 2017: Your free time is history

Hope you had a nice outdoorsy summer, because for the foreseeable future, you’re going to have a hard time leaving the living room. The fall video game season is just about underway, and the 2017 edition is keeping with tradition by slinging enough massive games your way to tax both your wallet and your eyesight. From Mario to Marvel, here’s what the next few months have in store.

“Destiny 2”

PS4, Xbox One – Sep. 6 | PC – Oct. 24

There are tons of cool games coming out in September, but for “Destiny’s” legion of fans, there can be only one. “Destiny 2,” sequel to Bungie’s insanely popular online shooter, offers a new story, baddies, weaponry, subclasses and features, though mostly it means once again zipping around the galaxy, blasting stuff in the face and rooting around for that sweet, sweet loot. PC players can finally get into the action as well, though their destinies will have to wait until late October.

“Metroid: Samus Returns”

3DS – Sep. 15

Nintendo (NTDOY) broke the internet when they revealed a logo for the long-awaited “Metroid Prime 4” during their E3 presentation back in June. But while that game won’t arrive any time soon, fans can get their hands on a 3DS remake of a Game Boy hit this September. “Samus Returns” hits all the right “Metroid” notes: it’s a 2D side-scroller set in a massive labyrinth that you slowly unlock by collecting awesome new abilities.

“Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Sep. 19

Doctor Strange vs. Chun Li? Mega Man vs. Spider-Man? Mahvel, baby! The legendary brawler is back  this time letting 30 characters from the Capcom and Marvel universes slug it out. It’s also packing a full cinematic Story mode, addressing a major complaint fans had with Capcom’s “Street Fighter V.” Boasting a multi-character tag-team system and Infinity Stone power-ups, it’s aiming to be both deep and accessible. That’s a tricky combo. Here’s hoping these heroes step up to the fight.

“NBA 2K18” 

PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Sep. 19

2K’s basketball blockbuster has led the league for the past decade, and it looks to return healthy and motivated to keep its crown with “NBA 2K18.” So how do you improve the top-rated sports game in the world? How about overhauling the controls, tightening up the graphics and adding tons of features to MyCareer and MyGM modes? This year’s model will also include All-Time teams, letting gamers finally figure out which NBA franchise is the best ever. (Hint: It’s the Lakers. Or maybe Celtics. Um, Bulls?)

Super NES Classic Edition

Sep. 29

While Nintendo’s pint-sized, plug-and-play version of the beloved Super Nintendo console technically releases on September 29, the chance of you walking into a store and buying one — or even just adding it to an online shopping cart — is effectively zero. Due to Nintendo’s inability (planned or otherwise) to meet demand, the Super NES Classic has turned into a pre-order nightmare. That’s too bad, because this $80 box gives gamers 21 Super Nintendo classics in beautiful HD, including all-time greats like “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” “Super Metroid,” “Super Mario World,” and the never-before-released “Star Fox 2.”

“Cuphead”

Xbox One, PC – Sep. 29

Inspired by 1930’s cartoons, “Cuphead” is one of the most beautiful games you’ve ever seen. But don’t let its sweet, surreal look fool you – this is also a brutally difficult side-scrolling shooter. If its looks don’t kill you, a wave of cheerful bullets most certainly will.

“FIFA 18”

PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Sep. 29

EA Sports might be best known in the U.S. for “Madden,” but their other football game is a lot bigger. “FIFA 18” heads to the pitch with a revamped version of its acclaimed story-based Journey mode, tasking gamers with guiding Alex Hunter through another tale of redemption. With over 80 stadiums and just about every major (and not so major) soccer club in the world, it’s as authentic as video game soccer gets.

“Forza Motorsport 7”

Xbox One, PC – Oct. 3

Ferrari on the fritz? Lambo in the shop? Don’t fret! Microsoft’s (MSFT) simulation showstopper will let you live out your fanciest automotive fantasies. This year, “Forza” gets a hefty 4K upgrade, meaning shinier cars, prettier tracks and physics-ier physics. Best of all, it’s about .05% the cost of a new Porsche.

“Middle-earth: Shadow of War”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Oct. 10

The sequel to 2014’s incredible “Shadow of Mordor,” “Shadow of War” puts you back in the ethereal boots of Talion the ranger, who has forged a new Ring of Power and wants to use it to take down Sauron. That means slicing, dicing and enslaving lots of orcs, though you’ll get much more control over your hero thanks to a deeper role-playing and expanded “Nemesis” systems that turn the entire world into a personalized playground. In a year filled with open-world games, this one really could rule them all.

“The Evil Within 2”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Oct. 13

A few years ago, “Resident Evil” mastermind Shinji Mikami transported gamers to the gory glory days of survival-horror with “The Evil Within.” This follow-up expands the nightmare with a bigger world, deeper customization and an emphasis on psychological terror. And probably a couple dozen super gross monsters.

“South Park: The Fractured But Whole”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Oct. 17

Cartman and company are at it again, this time transforming into superheroes for another hysterically NSFW RPG. “The Fractured But Whole” picks up after 2014’s excellent “The Stick of Truth,” giving gamers a dozen new character classes and (butt)loads of turn-based combat hijinks set in and around the not-so-sleepy Colorado town. Will there be strippers? You can bet your space cash on it.

“Super Mario Odyssey”

Switch – Oct. 27

The biggest video game day of 2017 is headlined by the world’s most famous mustached mascot. The first main “Mario” game for the Switch looks spectacular, a return to the open-ended form of all-time greats like “Super Mario 64.” Thanks to a stirring combination of classic “Mario” platforming and inventive new mechanics – you can possess enemies using your hat, for instance – the game won countless awards at the E3 2017 conference in June. If it isn’t on your wishlist, you must be Bowser.

“Assassin’s Creed Origins”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Oct. 27

If you don’t own a Switch, October 27 will be a fine day to clamber around the rooftops of ancient Egypt. Telling the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood, “Assassin’s Creed Origins” is a departure for the long-running (and climbing, and stabbing) series, adding a deep looting system and completely revised combat to the parkour-inspired action.

“Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Oct. 27

Remember when protecting an America overrun with emboldened Nazi scum seemed like a perfectly ridiculous basis for a shooter? Despite its headline-grabbing, white-hot premise, this over-the-top fragfest looks incredibly fun. Once again shoot futuristic fascists in the face as famed Nazi hunter BJ Blazkowicz, though the real star of “The New Colossus” is the game’s sharp writing and insane cast of Nazi evildoers. Who you get to shoot. In the face.

“Call of Duty: WWII”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Nov. 3

After flexing its sci-fi muscles for a few years, the world’s biggest shooter returns to its roots. “Call of Duty: WWII” takes gamers back to the trenches of the European theatre, trading the impossibly mobile exosuits of recent Call of Duty games for the physically grounded realism of World War II. Boasting a full solo campaign, five classes, various multiplayer games and another co-op take on the popular Zombies mode, it’s shaping up to be another big year for “Call of Duty.”

Xbox One X

November 7

The video game console arms race is about to get another jolt. Tailor-made for 4K gaming, Microsoft’s Xbox One X outmuscles Sony’s PS4 Pro to become (upon release) the world’s most powerful home console. Fully compatible with all current and future Xbox One software, it’s built to last. That power will cost you, however: it’s $499, and you’ll need a 4K TV and a fresh new game like “Forza 7” to show off all that new juice. But if you’re in the market for a new system, you won’t find a burlier one.

“Need for Speed Payback”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Nov. 10

The next iteration of EA’s speed demon takes a turn for the “Fast and the Furious,” pushing you to drive like a maniac while taking out enemy vehicles in the most explosive ways possible. Cop chases, deep customization and sprawling environments should hopefully wash the taste of that terrible “Need For Speed” movie out of our mouths.

“Star Wars Battlefront II”

PS4, Xbox One, PC – Nov. 17

How do you follow a hit as big as 2015’s “Star Wars Battlefront?” You add a full single-player campaign set between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens”, for starters. You also add new multiplayer modes, characters and locations spanning the original, prequel and sequel eras. Luke vs. Darth Maul! Rey vs. Boba Fett! Thankfully, this shooter’s release date isn’t far, far away.

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Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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