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Back to School 2012: Games and gear

Once again it's time to hit the books, but when you're done studying there are plenty of top-quality games for back-to-schoolers to enjoy.

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Jeff Bakalar
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1 of 5 Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS XL (August 19)

Is bigger better? We're not sure yet, but that's what Nintendo is pushing this back-to-school season with the Nintendo 3DS XL. Larger upper and lower screens are the only real upgrade here, so it's a little upsetting that we won't see a right analog thumbstick included.
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2 of 5 Gearbox Software

Borderlands 2 (September 18)

Fans of shootin' and lootin' are good hands with Borderlands 2, the follow-up to Gearbox Software's RPG shooter hit. New characters, environments, enemies, and weapons await, all just in time for the start of the school year.
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3 of 5 Valve

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (August 21)

Counter-Strike took up most of my sophomore year of college, so if there's anyone who knows about balancing school work and CS, it's not me. Regardless, one of the most popular online shooters is back and better than ever, offering new maps, cross-platform play, and a whole lot more.
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4 of 5 Vigil Games

Darksiders II (August 14)

The follow-up to the 2010 sleeper-hit, Darksiders II is sure to weave an epic adventure for gamers of all kinds. Following the story of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, players will now assume the role of Death, the brother of the first game's star, War.
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5 of 5 Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. 2 (August 19)

If you're going pick up the 3DS XL, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has got to be the first game you get. Classic side-scrolling Mario is back in a brand-new adventure that will now be getting the 3D treatment.

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