Press Play: Start your engines

With the new year now in full swing and everyone returning to work, it’s time to find a way to bring you back to the couch and settle down with some games. Good thing that gaming companies are doing what they can to help out, releasing some top notch titles for 2012 and hinting at what looks like a good year for gaming altogether.

Coming out now…

The Australian Open hasn’t been over for all that long, but many of you are pining for a bit of ball and racquet action, and that’s wear EA’s Grand Slam Tennis 2 comes in. Available this week for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s the first Grand Slam Tennis title in years and features historical matches, a new racquet control system, and support for the Sony’s motion-control system “Move” on the PS3.

If tennis isn’t your thing, then you might want to try a game that encourages you to release the darkness inside of you. Literally. Based on the hit comic, The Darkness II is the sequel to The Darkness that first appeared on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2007. Available for those two consoles as well as Windows PCs, the new game lets you continue the role of a targeted man infected with a supernatural power from hell.

Old school gamers may remember Solid Snake, a character that has graced consoles since Nintendo’s first video game system back in 1987. Well the creators have gone back and remade some of the older titles, bringing them to the next generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in Metal Gear Solid HD collection.

Over on the quirky side of things, we don’t often talk about games on the iPad, but here’s one title that’s sure to raise eyebrows and give you a quizzical look or two. Eufloria HD is a new real-time strategy game available on the AppStore where you play a flower that’s trying to create lots of other flowers by planting seedlings on asteroids. It’s a strange premise that features relaxing sound and minimalist art, and it’s already becoming a game we’re quickly becoming obsessed with.┬áIt’s so unusual, we’ve included a trailer to show you how it works.

And are we still buying video games based off running, jumping, and throwing javelin? Apparently we are, with Sega releasing Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This new Nintendo 3DS title features Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Tails, and a host of other characters from the two franchises competing in the upcoming 2012 Olympic games.

If none of that’s that’s your cup of tea, there’s always the old faithful button masher Soul Calibur, now in it’s fifth instalment in Soul Calibur 5. This one has lots of swords, characters, and a special guest appearance from Ezio, the main character from Assassin’s Creed. We don’t remember if there’s a story to these titles, but we do recall the fourth game featuring Yoda and Darth Vader. Soul Calibur 5 will appear on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.