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.

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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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