Last year, Bungie's Halo 3: ODST launched against Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2010 and Scooby Doo First Frights, and still topped the September sales charts handily. This year, the sci-fi shooter series will renew the rivalry, attempting to go two-for-two against adversaries both wild and domesticated by launching day and date with Cabela's North American Adventures and Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Swamp.
The last Bungie-developed Halo game before the developer embarks on a 10-year franchise development deal with Activision, Reach serves as a prequel to the first three games in the series. Based in part on events in Eric Nylund's Fall of Reach novel, Halo: Reach tells the story of the attempted defense of the planet by a small group of Spartan soldiers.
Beyond Reach, the week's biggest release isn't a game at all; it's the PlayStation Move accessory. While Sony's launch lineup of Move-compatible games like Sports Champions and Kung Fu Rider is already on store shelves, the motion-sensing Move controller itself won't hit stores until Friday, September 17. Controllers are sold on their own for $50, bundled with the necessary PlayStation Eye camera and Sports Champions for $100, or with all that and a 320GB PlayStation 3 for $400.
Many high-profile Move titles are set for release in the coming weeks, as is the case with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's PS3 edition of The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest. However, the Wii, PS2, DS, and PSP versions of the family-friendly movie-based action title will arrive this week. It's a busy time all around for WBIE, as the publisher has another multiplatform movie-based game launching in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, as well as the aforementioned Scooby-Doo effort.
The noteworthy new releases don't end there. On Sunday, September 12, Nintendo launches Professor Layton and the Unwound Future for the DS. Like the previous two installments of the series, Unwound Future will see the professor and his young sidekick, Luke, investigate a puzzle-packed mystery. This particular caper begins when Luke receives a letter from his future self and the pair head off to London to see the unveiling of a time machine. Naturally, the presentation goes horribly wrong, and the pair must follow a trail of clues left by Luke's future incarnation to see where it all leads.
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 Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future--DS--Nintendo
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
House M.D.--PC--Legacy Interactive
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
Alpha and Omega--DS--Storm City Games
Cabela's North American Adventures--X360, PS3, WII, PS2, PSP--Activision
Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time!--DS--THQ
Gladiator Begins--PSP--Aksys Games
Gormiti: The Lords of Nature!--WII, DS--Konami
Halo: Reach--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Intellivision Lives!--DS--Virtual Play Inc.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole--X360, PS3, WII, DS--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Phantasy Star Portable 2--PSP--Sega
Phineas and Ferb Ride Again--DS--Disney Interactive
Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp--WII, PS2, DS--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest--WII, PS2, PSP, DS--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Truth or Lies--X360, PS3, WII--THQ
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Duel Transer--WII--Konami
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures--PC--Sony Online Entertainment
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Sony Move controller and hardware bundles