As the Summer heats up, and the pace of life begins slowing down to take advantage of those long, hot days, new video game releases tend to run a little thin. Though it’s been a good season so far, the past few weeks haven’t seen many must-play games pop up on store shelves. Fortunately, things are looking up.

Electronic Arts is casting a wide net this week. NCAA Football 12 and the many versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 should be all but unavoidable. Gamers looking to brush up on the Elder Scrolls series before Skyrim hits this November should check out the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 5th Anniversary Edition. Downloadable offerings for the week include Ms. ‘Splosion Man and Reefer Madness, the final DLC case for L.A. Noire.

Take a look at the new releases for July 10 through 16, 2011, broken out by platform and date.

Mac

  • Kona’s Crate 7/14

Microsoft Xbox 360

Nintendo DS

Nintendo Wii

PC

Sony PlayStation 3

Summer 2011 isn’t exactly coming up short on blockbuster films, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 may just be the biggest of them all. The film descends on theaters this week, and rampant Potter-mania is all but sure to accompany Harry’s final big-screen outing.

Naturally, a video game tie-in is part of the film’s merchandising blitz, and EA is once again handling the duties. Unfortunately, Electronic Arts has had a rough time with the Harry Potter license, and to date the best game with the young wizard’s name in the title remains LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 (its sequel, LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, is due this Fall). Can Deathly Hallows, Part 2 match the quality of other Summer of 2011 licensed games, such as Cars 2: The Video Game or LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 releases July 12, 2011, for the Xbox 360, DS, Wii, PC, and PlayStation 3.

Though the yearly release of Madden NFL has become the symbolic kick-off for the Fall games season, NCAA Football has the Summer all to itself. For 2011, EA Sports has expanded on the game’s extensive Road to Glory campaign mode in some interesting ways, including giving players the opportunity to earn their virtual coach’s trust. NCAA Football may not be quite as ubiquitous as Madden — it is, after all, available on only a fraction of the platforms that Madden appears on — but for right now, it’s the only game in town. NCAA Football 12 releases July 12, 2011, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

As always, we’d like to hear from you! What games are you picking up this week? What upcoming games are you most looking forward to?

tags: DS, Mac, PC, PS3, Wii

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