Shippin' Out October 5-10: Fracture, NBA

LucasArts launches new terraforming property, while EA, Take-Two, and Sony start the shot clock on their annual basketball sims.

Three weeks ago, LucasArts hit pay dirt with The Force Unleashed, the latest installment in its 30-plus-year-old, multibillion-dollar-generating Star Wars franchise. LucasArts and Day 1 Studios are now looking to duplicate that success with Fracture, an all-new intellectual property launching this week for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Hoping to distinguish itself on the shooter-flush platforms, Fracture's hook is a terrain-deformation mechanic, in which players will use a variety of futuristic weaponry to literally sunder the earth beneath their foes, among other handy uses.

Fracture's world is most certainly soon to be replete with broken ankles. Speaking of which, EA, Take-Two, and Sony will be serving up their own fancy footwork this week with their respective NBA Live 09, NBA 2K9, and NBA 09 The Inside. EA's NBA Live 09 will see the broadest market, arriving on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, and Wii, whereas Take-Two's b-ball sim will take a bye on the Wii and PSP. Sony's annual hoops game will be available only on the publisher's three platforms, the PS3, PS2, and PSP.

The popular Viz Media anime Bleach returns for its second go-around on the Nintendo DS with this week's release of Bleach: Dark Souls. Also on its second spin, the Spectrobes franchise from Disney Interactive returns for another fossil-hunting expedition in Beyond the Portals. That won't be the only Disney game this week, given that Disney Sing It has also entered the rotation on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Aksys and Arc System will diverge from Guilty Gear's traditional fighter roots this week with Guilty Gear 2: Overture, an Xbox 360-exclusive third-person action-meets-real-time strategy game. 2K Sports isn't typically a partisan publisher, but the Take-Two label has thus far announced that it will be bringing MLB Stickball only to Microsoft's online platform this week. The download is set at 800 Microsoft points ($10).

As for Sony's PlayStation Network, the publisher will see Psyonix Studios' customizable Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars this week. A price point has yet to be revealed for the downloadable game. On Nintendo's WiiWare channel, Gameloft has rolled out the self-explanatory Midnight Bowling (800 Wii points, $8), which will be joined by Riverman Media's puzzler MadStone (800 Wii points, $8).

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

OCTOBER 6, 2008
CID The Dummy (Wii, PS2, PSP, PC)
Dark Horizon (PC)
Game Party 2 (Wii)
MadStone (WiiWare)
Mario Golf (Wii VC)
Midnight Bowling (WiiWare)
Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy (PC)
Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation (DS)
Shining Force II (Wii VC)

OCTOBER 7, 2008
Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune (Wii)
Bleach: Dark Souls (DS)
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (PC)
Can You See What I See (PC)
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant (PS2, DS)
Disney Sing It (X360, PS3, PC)
Etch A Sketch (PC)
Everlight (PC)
Exodus from the Earth (PC)
Fracture (X360, PS3)
Guilty Gear 2: Overture (X360)
Imagine Babysitters (DS)
Imagine Fashion Designer New York (DS)
Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2 (DS)
Line Rider 2: Unbound (Wii)
My Spanish Coach (PSP)
NBA 09 The Inside (PS3, PS2, PSP)
NBA 2K9 (X360, PS3, PS2)
NBA Live 09 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii)
Prey the Stars (DS)
Six Flags Fun Park (PS2, PC)
Sniper - Art of Victory (PC)
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals (DS)
Ten Pin Alley 2 (Wii)
The Guild 2: Venice (PC)

OCTOBER 8, 2008
MLB Stickball (XBLA)

OCTOBER 9, 2008
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (PSN)

OCTOBER 10, 2008
No new announced releases.

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