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Gift ideas for everyone: 'Harry Potter,' Adele, 'Law & Order,' and 'Super Mario 3D'

Your gift list can get long with nieces and nephews, grandparents and friends all needing a present this holiday season. Try a few of these items that are sure to please like 'Winnie the Pooh,' 'Ken Burns: Prohibition,' and the video game 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.'

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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception ($59.99)

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Treasure hunting. Tomb spelunking. Henchmen brawling. Uncharted 3 has all the makings of an excellent "Indiana Jones" movie. In fact, this new title for the Playstation 3 has one thing many video games leave out, a great story. You play as Nathan Drake, a globe-trotting adventurer in search of Sir Francis Drake's lost fortune. Along the way, the game adds more humor and genuine human relationships than can be found in most summer popcorn flicks. While the teen-rated game leans a little too much on gunplay, it at least places the fights amid some spectacular set pieces. Its sinking cruise ship, burning chateau, and other heart-pounding locations provide a wonderful mix of cinematic action and player-controlled reaction. Dr. Jones would be proud.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ($49.99)

As millions of people already know, the Wii's motion controller makes for a pretty good virtual golf club, tennis racket, and baseball bat. But it's taken five years for someone to craft a satisfying simulation of two video-game staples: the sword and shield. In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, simply waggling the Wii controller won't work. You need to swing left when a skeleton's defenses are weak on that side, slash right when you find an opening, and whip the controller around for a spin attack. Each enemy requires different tactics, making this colorful adventure far more entertaining than your everyday button masher. To capture these realistic motions, the game requires Wii Motion Plus, an extra set of sensors that plug into the bottom of any Wii controller. The add-on costs about $25, or you can look for the limited edition of Skyward Sword, which comes bundled with the attachment.

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure ($69.99)

Skylanders taps into the classic boyhood fantasy that toys have a secret life of their own. The game comes with a plastic pedestal and three action figures, each representing a different character in the game. While swashbuckling through the digital world, players can swap in characters at any time by placing a new figurine atop the pedestal. This "portal of power" recognizes the switch because of unique radio chips hidden inside each toy. If the game is a hit with your family, you can unlock bonus areas by buying additional characters ($8 each or three for $20). With such a business model, it's easy to dismiss Skylanders as a game designed for retailers instead of kids. But hold your cynicism. The game is a hoot! The menagerie of monsters is imaginative and fun – both as toys and as digital heroes. Plus, friends and siblings can join in thanks to the game's two-player cooperative mode. Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Windows, and Mac.


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