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TOP PICK — DVD

Peanuts Holiday Collection

(Warner)

This box featuring the three undisputed classics from Charlie Brown and friends makes its Blu-ray debut, just in time for Christmas. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown totally rule, but A Charlie Brown Christmas is the greatest holiday special ever. The dancing, the tree, Linus' speech — all sparkle. Even Lucy glows in the HD setting.

VIDEO GAME

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

(Sony)

The latest entry in this great series is one of the best PSP games of the year. The setting is familiar, and so is the gameplay, but the action and story go a little deeper this time. As warrior Kratos, you take on monsters, armies, and even your own demons as you trudge across perilous landscapes. There's a lot of button-mashing here, but there's plenty of payoff. It looks great too.

BOOK

Mad's Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragonés

(Running Press)

Aragonés is the guy who draws the cartoons that run along the margins of Mad magazine. In other words, he's responsible for a huge chunk of the mag's laughs. This collection goes all the way back to his first contribution from 1963 and includes most of his best pieces. There's an interview here, but the ginormous poster of little sight gags says all you need to know.

CD

Apple Records Box Set

(Apple/EMI)

The Beatles released more than just their own records on their label, as this 15-disc box reveals. They also got behind albums by fledgling singer-songwriter James Taylor, protégés Badfinger, and awesome-haired collaborator Billy Preston. All are from the late '60s and early '70s, and some are better than others — which explains why Apple didn't last long.

VIDEO GAME

Call of Duty: Black Ops

(Activision)

The most anticipated game of the year (for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) doesn't disappoint, loading up on new weapons, vehicles, and maps. The campaign puts more weight on the story this time around, but the multiplayer is every bit as addictive as past outings. Plus, there's a zombie-killing mode, just in case mowing down the undead is more your thing.

Send feedback to mgallucci@clevescene.com

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