Shippin' Out September 10-14: Heavenly Sword, NHL, Skate

Ninja Theory's slick beat-'em-up charges the PS3, as 2K and EA's annual hockey franchises face off and Black Box shows off its new board on the 360; Elder Scrolls IV - GOTY Edition, DiRT, Jam Sessions, Drawn to Life, .hack, Guilty Gear XX, Kengo, and more round out week.

Two weeks after Lair landed to less-than-rapt reviews, Sony is releasing another high-profile PlayStation 3 exclusive. Frequently likened to the popular God of War series since debuting at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Heavenly Sword will try to carve out a niche in the increasingly crowded end-of-year release calendar this week. A demo for the T-rated, $59.99 action adventure is currently available on the PlayStation Network, along with several anime shorts inspired by the game.

Though the first Zamboni of the 2007-2008 NHL season won't officially be making its rounds until later this month, the gaming industry is dropping the puck this week on NHL 08 and NHL 2K8. For 2K Sports' annual entrant to the rink, NHL 2K8 introduces pro-stick controls that emphasize the superstars on each club's roster, as well as redesigned goal-tending mechanics. NHL 2K8 will be available for $59.99 on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and $19.99 on the PlayStation 2. Attempting to counter 2K's offensive charge, EA Sports' NHL 08 features an all-new skating engine, as well as the ability to create custom plays. NHL 08 will be available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for $59.99, the PC for $39.99, and the PS2 for $29.99. An NHL 08 demo is currently available on Xbox Live.

Also this week, EA will attempt to punk Activision's long-running Tony Hawk skateboarding series with Skate on the Xbox 360 (a PS3 version is due later in the month), while Codemasters' off-road racer DiRT skids onto the PlayStation 3 (360 and PC versions were released in June). The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition, which includes the original game plus the Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles add-ons, rides to the Xbox 360 and PC for $59.99 and $49.99, respectively.

Sega's speedy blue mascot seems to be the man of the week, as both Microsoft and Nintendo have added a Sonic iteration to their downloadable game lineups. Already available on the Wii's Virtual Console, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 makes its way to Xbox Live for 400 Microsoft points ($5). Meanwhile, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 zips onto the Wii's Virtual Console for 800 Wii points ($8). NES Play Action Football is also available on the VC this week for 500 Wii points ($5), and Neutopia II joins the original Neutopia for 600 Wii points ($6).

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

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
NHL 2K8 (PS3, PS2, X360)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition (X360, PC)
.hack//G.U. vol. 3//Redemption (PS2)
Professor Brainium's Games (DS)
Drawn to Life (DS)
Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power (PC)
NES Play Action Football (Wii)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Wii)
Neutopia II (Wii)

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007
NHL 08 (X360, PS3, PS2, PC)
Skate (X360)
DiRT (PS3)
Fatal Inertia (X360)
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (Wii, PS2)
Jam Sessions (DS)
Kengo: Legend of the 9 (X360)
Aircraft Power Pack II (PC)
Konami Kids Playground: Dinosaurs Shapes & Colors (PS2)
Konami Kids Playground: Frogger Hop, Skip & Jumpin' Fun (PS2)
Konami Kids Playground: Alphabet Circus (PS2)
Konami Kids Playground: Toy Pals Fun with Numbers (PS2)
Zoey 101: Field Trip Fiasco (DS)

SEPTEMBER 12, 2007
Heavenly Sword (PS3)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (X360)

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129 comments
hooperfax006
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Homerj
Homerj

@hegetshiskeys Actually, if it were a 360 exclusive, it would have scored in the low 7's. Theres a fairly good sized library of high quality games on the 360, so any new game on that platform has to really exceed in comparison to even get a mediocre review score. The best example would be Darkness. The story and art design were brilliant, but it was way short and had a poorly implemented multiplayer tacked on for no reason. That made it compare poorly to other 360 releases....therefore mediocre review scores.

pats_1
pats_1

hegetshiskeys i agree with you bro try to check there reviews in xbox360s lame games compare to ps3 games.... its just not fair tho ..... mybe or "MYBE" most of gamespot reviewers are xbox fanboy .... just my 2 cents

Noreason1907s
Noreason1907s

It may take developers a lot of time and resources to get games to run acceptably on the ps3, but the level of acceptability that ps3 owners demand is far greater than that of the other counsels.

hegetshiskeys
hegetshiskeys

Sorry, but Heavenly Sword deserved at the very least an 8.5. C'mon, if it was exclusively for the 360 the dude would have gave it nothing short of a 9, I know it!! Just because the game is kinda short!!!?? LOL!! Thats probably the most unfair and biased excuse I've ever heard! I think Gamespot needs to hire new "professional" reviewers who are actually dedicated gamers, and not dedicated fanboys. And after reading and watching many of Aaron Thomas's reviews its quite obvious he's a die hard 360 fan, just like the majority of Gamespot. - no offense, but your reviews are terrible, man!!!->>>

lamprey263
lamprey263

one more week for Eternal Sonata and two more weeks for Halo 3 :D

uberjannie
uberjannie

When is gears of war coming out to PC already? xD

allmybase
allmybase

Hehe, I love how it seems like my comment was the only one that gave the new Guilty Gear game any love. *sigh*

malmeid2
malmeid2

Forget all of these games. Lair is the best one of all! /sarcasm

nephthyswandere
nephthyswandere

Are you so desperate for games that you are calling Heavenly Sword, a clear one evening rental a "heavy hitter" and "living up to the hype"? I'm not going to. I'll wait for Blockbuster ot waste their money before I spend even $7 to play it. The biggest piece of this story, who knew that Sonic and the PS2 were still alive and kicking?

GrimBee
GrimBee

The animations and voice work seem amazing on heavenly sword, but I have never been a fan of button mashing isometric beat-em-ups. Once you played one, you played em all. But Heavenly Sword seems to flesh the combat out with some unique offerings aswell. I prefer this type of action rather than turn based action. But I do think that if the game was any longer - it would become a bit too repetetive. Same as Gears Of War, the war gets to its high-points and offers a great story and character depth (for the type of game it is) - but if it was any longer it would seem a little long in the tooth. Resident Evil - Metroid Prime - Metal Gear - all those games have some puzzles or back-tracking to do, which increases the gameplay for a few hours. For linear games like gear and heavenly - 6 hours is more than enough really. But gears of war gives off some good online stuff, which is why it got a favourable review - longetivity away from the main story. Heavenly Sword, I suppose, lacked in depth for its side-order stuff. Who says games need to have a story which lasts 20 odd hours, I would rather play a brilliant story than a drawn out one. I found myself getting rather irritated by the latest metal gear games because of the constant intercom messages inbetween all the action and cut-scenes. And turn based strategy is very drawn out because you can't walk 3 feet without getting into some random battle. Some games are meant to be the length they are, so its a shame why people would mark it down because it is short. If you can easily replay it and like beat your score - then its worth putting the mark up. I miss scores in games :(

Homerj
Homerj

@StonyShred420 Its just because developers take a lot of time and resources to get anything to run acceptably on the PS3 (see Stanglehold, Halflife Orange Box, GTAIV, Dark Sector....and dont forget the Madden 08 debacle).

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

This says Skate is gunna be released on Sept 11, but now EBGames says its gunna be released sept 13, and so does IGN, but last night EB said it was gunna be released today! Whats the deal?

saadniazi
saadniazi

Sigil-otaku you obviously haven't played the full game. It's got many unlockables. NGS gets repetitive as hell too, just that it looks really flashy and has varied environments ppl like it soo much, i personally do like it, but like any fighting game, it gets very tiresome. This game also has phenomenal grafix, HEAVENLY SWORD to the ones not knowing, and the animation is really slick. oh and NGS' fighting system changes are BS!!!

azad_champ
azad_champ

Heavenly Sword.... The PS3 owners are finally getting a heavy-hitter.

StonyShred420
StonyShred420

Hey, anyone else remember when DiRT first came out on the 360, what 1 or 2 months ago? Way to be behind the times Sony!

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@pats_1: yes, many reviewers have had a chance to review the game becuase they will get review copies. @MChammertime05: The game has already been accused of being repetitive (with most of the fights occuring in small, almost identical arena's). So extending the game would probably have it just be more repetitive. unless we assumed it was ideally all new stuff but even with it just being a 7 hour game it has repetition so I would doubt it. To get a 9 it'd have to be great, not repetitive, have only 3 stances with 1 weapon (and two ranged weapons), could do with more enemy types, could do with more unlockables (it has 0 I think) and the different difficulties aren't too hard and the game would have also benefited if it didn't have an auto block (thats too easy >.>). I'd rather play Sigma cos thats much better.

MChammertime05
MChammertime05

If Heavenly Sword was 14-20 hours, it would have definitely been at least a 9.0

pats_1
pats_1

THEY GIVE A REVIEW ALREADY THE GAME IS NOT OUT YET ???

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@temmehkan: I trust Edge more than all those reviewers and the fact that they go into a lot of detail and list many realistic reasons why the game isn't as good as it should be, I am going to have to say 6 is the lowest score it got from a major reviewer.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@ heviross_2: 8.0 isn't quite living up to the hype when most people were expecting it to be excellent (a 9.0 or more). Not saying the game isn't good but most reviewers gave it between 7 and 8 and I'd consider it a 7 really since it only lasts 6 hours.

herviross_2
herviross_2

Heavenly Sword got a 8.0 from Gamespot so this game definitely lived up to the hype. I'll get it in a week's time :)

Reetesh
Reetesh

Releases looking good :D but the reviews are coming in so late from GS:? looks as if they are buying the game after release like most of Us and then reviewing.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

not the greatest release week. If I didn't sell my PS3 I would have rented Heavenly Sword.

mamad_raiss
mamad_raiss

The most interesting thing here , that ps3 fans most anticipated games in the current year were heavently sword, Lair , Warhawk , Uncharted and Haze . untill now I haven't seen any superb game out of 3 that got eleased . I hope that Haze and Uncharted will get better reviews at least ;). peace peace its not a war ....

dcoaker420
dcoaker420

Skate is awesome but I cant really compare it to anything but Tony Hawk, since that is the only other game in the genre. It almost feels like it should have been called thrasher 2.

McH0TTY
McH0TTY

How? Well, Its much more fun, better music, better gameplay and way longer gameplay of course, and how in the hell is NHL 08 better than HALO 3? NHL 08 will never get an 9.0 or higher like the halo games that always do.

RockToTheLed
RockToTheLed

MCH0TTY, how is a skating game better than a hack and slash? that's like saying NHL 08 is better than Halo 3.

malmeid2
malmeid2

Well I hope Heavenly Sword can live up to the expectations. Lair certainly didn't.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Well I was looking at Heavenly Sword, but I might rent it 1st and than buy it