The 2007 holiday season was defined as much by its many delays as the games that did make it to market. This year, the industry has done a better job of hitting its deadlines, which translates to wave after wave of high-profile releases as the holiday sales tsunami builds toward December.
One game pushed out of late 2007 was Ubisoft and Gearbox's Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. The game has been hit with a number of delays since it was originally pushed to early 2008, most recently bouncing to this week from August. Now with its kit together, the story-driven, squad-based shooter hops from its perfectly good airplane, following the 101st Airborne Division over a 10-day stretch as they attempt to secure an Axis-controlled road behind enemy lines. Hell's Highway will deploy on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Wii gamers will finally have a chance to fire up their own installment in the series, Brother's in Arms: Double Time.
While Warner Bros.' summer box-office smash The Dark Knight arrived without a game-adaptation sidekick, its internally owned Traveller's Tales studio will release its homage to the legendary DC Comics hero with Lego Batman. Descending not so much like a thief in the night as a carnie at a state fair, Lego Batman brings the same style of quirky humor to Gotham as Traveller's Tales' Lego Star Wars brought to George Lucas' revered universe. The game will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, DS, and PC.
The casual-gaming crowd has a number of titles to look forward to this week. On the PS3, Sony has released the latest installment in its European studios' popular Buzz! Quiz TV trivia game. On the Wii, unlikely developer Gearbox--responsible for the aforementioned Hell's Highway--will also ship out Samba de Amigo, a maraca-shaking rhythm game that draws its roots from the widely acclaimed Sega Dreamcast title of the same name. Also on the Wii, Nintendo's platformer Wario Land: Shake It! and THQ's vibrant painting game de Blob are out this week.
With Disgaea 3 hitting the PS3 last month, NIS America will release Disgaea: Hour of Darkness on the DS. NIS' latest revamp of VIZ Media's droll 2003 original grid-based strategy game for the PS2 features a number of game tweaks, including new playable characters and Prinny commentary. In other DS remake news, Nintendo will rerelease the Super NES 2D platformer Kirby Super Star Ultra on its popular portable.
Take-Two may have brought Sid Meier's award-winning Civilization to consoles earlier this year with Revolution, but the publisher isn't yet done with the platform that gave Civ its start. Civilization IV: Colonization for the PC is a spin-off of the 2005 installment, bringing the franchise's signature "just-one-more-turn" gameplay to the New World.
Capcom's 8-bit revival Mega Man 9 leaps onto WiiWare and the PlayStation Network this week for $10 (1,000 Wii points). Both Sony's and Nintendo's digital distribution stores will also receive an additional downloadable title, with the PSN getting the Studio Liverpool-developed futuristic racer Wipeout HD ($20) and WiiWare being stocked with Bplus' puzzle shooter Plattchen: Twist 'n' Paint (1,000 Wii points, $10).
While there's still no sign of Duke Nukem Forever on new-release lists, 3D Realms will be deliver Duke Nukem 3D to Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade this week. The game will cost 800 Microsoft points ($10).
This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).
SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
Baja: Edge of Control (X360, PS3)
Brain Quest Grades 3 & 4 (DS)
Brain Quest Grades 5 & 6 (DS)
de Blob (Wii)
Di-Gata Defenders (DS)
EA Sports '08 Collection (PC)
Hell's Kitchen (PC)
Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)
Medal of Honor: 10th Anniversary Edition (PC)
Mega Man 9 (WiiWare)
My Little Pony Pinkie Pie's Party (PC)
Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase (DS)
Plattchen: Twist 'n' Paint (WiiWare)
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (PC)
SimCity Creator (Wii, DS)
The Price is Right (PC)
The Settlers: Rise of an Empire Gold Edition (PC)
Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)
Zoo Hospital (Wii)
SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway (X360, PS3)
Brothers in Arms: Double Time (Wii)
BUZZ! Quiz TV (PS3)
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 (X360, PS3, PS2, Wii)
Dark Horizon (PC)
Dinosaur King (DS)
Disgaea DS (DS)
Dragon Ball Z: Trilogy (PS2)
Hi! HamTaro Ham-Ham Challenge (DS)
King's Bounty: The Legend (PC)
Lego Batman (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, PC)
Line Rider 2: Unbound (PC)
Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked (Wii)
Margot's Word Brain (Wii, DS)
My Japanese Coach (DS)
My SAT Coach (DS)
Onimusha: The Essentials (PS2)
Pipe Mania (PSP, PS2, DS)
Pure (X360, PS3)
Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk (Wii)
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (DS)
Samba de Amigo (Wii)
Shaun the Sheep (DS)
SingStar Pop Vol. 2 (PS2)
Time Hollow (DS)
Twin Strike: Operation Thunder (Wii)
Warriors Orochi 2 (X360, PS2)
SEPTEMBER 24, 2008
Duke Nukem 3D (XBLA)