Most years, publishers are tripping over themselves to release their pride and joys during the prime November window. With an inordinate number of top-tier 2009 releases retreating to 2010, though, EA and BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins finds itself in the fortunate position of heading to retail during the first week of November virtually unchallenged.
As confirmed last month, Dragon Age: Origins will take wing on the PlayStation 3 alongside the Xbox 360 and PC editions on November 3. Billed as a "dark heroic fantasy role-playing game," Dragon Age: Origins was first revealed in May 2004 and takes its cues from BioWare's acclaimed Baldur's Gate franchise. Those who purchase the game new will gain free entry to the Stone Prisoner and Blood Armor downloadable content at launch, and the Warden's Keep will also be available on day one for $7 (MSP560).
The rhythm game wars continue this week, as both Activision and MTV Games launch new installments in their Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises aimed at the younger sect. Activision's pop-heavy Band Hero includes 65 songs on the Xbox 360, PS3, PlayStation 2, and Wii, and the publisher said that gamers can import 61 songs from Guitar Hero 5. The DS edition features 30 tunes, as well as a tiny drum-set peripheral compatible with only the Lite model of Nintendo's handheld.
Jaundiced blockheads not being so far off from the rock-and-roll lifestyle, MTV Games has teamed with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on Lego Rock Band. The rhythm game will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii with a 45-song setlist, while DS gamers can strum along to 25 tunes.
Nintendo's platforms receive a couple of new additions to its library courtesy of Ubisoft this week. The publisher's latest installment in its psychotic interstellar bunny franchise arrives, as Rabbids Go Home raids the Wii and DS. Ubisoft also has its Pele- and Mia Hamm-fronted arcade soccer title Academy of Champions taking to the Wii pitch.
More casual than its positively reviewed Need for Speed: Shift, the Wii- and DS-exclusive Nitro features cars with a stylized appearance and controls friendly to rookies and experts alike. Power-ups are strewn across the raceway, and a new graffiti system will factor into overall racing performance. On the Wii, Need for Speed: Nitro can be played with the Wii Remote, Wii Nunchuk, racing wheel, or GameCube Controller.
With Ratchet & Clank adventuring to the PS3 last week, Sony will be bringing a new installment in its other platforming franchise, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, to the PS2 and PSP this week. Also coming to the PSP, as well as the DS, this week is LucasArts' Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. With FIFA 10 scoring glowing critical marks two weeks ago, Konami will touch off its soccer sim Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 this week.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and the Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
NOVEMBER 1, 2009
Rabbids Go Home--WII, DS--Ubisoft
NOVEMBER 2, 2009
My Baby First Steps--WII, DS--SouthPeak Games
Need for Speed: Nitro--WII, DS--EA Games
Playmobil 2 Pack--PC--Dreamcatcher
Sushi Academy--DS--City Interactive
NOVEMBER 3, 2009
Academy of Champions--WII--Ubisoft
Band Hero--X360, PS3, PS2, WII, DS--Activision
C.O.P. The Recruit--DS--Ubisoft
Diner Dash: Flo on the Go--DS--Zoo Games
Disney's A Christmas Carol--DS--Disney Interactive Studios
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom--WII--Take-Two Interactive
Dora the Explorer: Puppy Playtime--DS--Take-Two Interactive
Dragon Age: Origins--X360, PS3, PC--Electronic Arts
Dream Salon--DS--Zoo Games
Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked--WII--Namco Bandai Games America
Hidden Mysteries: Titanic--WII, DS--Activision Value
Hooked! Again: Real Motion Fishing--WII--Aksys Games
Imagine: Babyz Fashion--DS--Ubisoft
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier--PS2, PSP--SCEA
Jewel Master: Egypt--DS--Storm City Games
Jurassic: The Hunted--X360, PS3, PS2, WII--Activision
Lego Rock Band--X360, PS3, WII, DS--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration--DS--Take-Two Interactive
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010--X360, PS3--Konami
Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron--PSP, DS--LucasArts
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Ultimate Sith Edition--X360, PS3, PC--Aspyr
Ultimate Party Challenge--WII--Konami
We Cheer 2--WII--Namco Bandai Games America
NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Agatha Christie: ABC Murders--DS--DreamCatcher
Yoga for Wii--WII--Dreamcatcher
NOVEMBER 6, 2009
We Wish You a Merry Christmas--WII--Destineer