Shippin' Out 9/11-9/15: Hockey, Lego Star Wars, Mario Hoops

NHL 07 and NHL 2K7 face off, Legos take on Episodes IV-VI, and Mario brings his game to the DS.


It was definitely game time this past weekend as millions of Americans gathered around their television sets to get a look at their local football teams kick off the NFL season. The lull between NFL games won't be too painful for gamers, however, as plenty of new releases will available between now and the next helping of chicken wings.

Gamers can go from chucking pigskin to throwing octopi this week, with two new hockey releases preparing to cash in on the beginning of the professional hockey season in early October. Electronic Arts is releasing NHL 07 for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC, and PlayStation Portable, and 2K Sports is shipping out NHL 2K7 for the Xbox 360 and Xbox (a PlayStation 2 version is due later this month).

Right on the tail of the onset of hockey's pro season is the beginning of the NBA season, but it appears only one company is ready to dribble out a basketball game. With EA and 2K Sports set to release their games toward the end of the month, Nintendo is stepping up with Mario Hoops 3 on 3 for the Nintendo DS. However, instead of lanky millionaires throwing balls through hoops, the characters on the court are familiar faces from Nintendo's catalog, including Mario, Donkey Kong, and Princess Peach.

Also releasing this week is LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, DS, PSP, and PC. As the title suggests, the game takes on the first three Star Wars movies from the 1970s and 1980s, with a universe built out of the famous children's building blocks.

On the opposite spectrum of action games is THQ's Company of Heroes, a visceral PC real-time strategy game set during World War II. The well-reviewed game puts players smack-dab in the middle of the Allies' push into Nazi-controlled Europe and offers a multiplayer mode for up to eight combatants.

Offbeat games are also in season this week, with two of the stranger offerings making their way to US shores from Japan. Atlus localized the eerie PS2 action game Rule of Rose, and Majesco has imported the wacky DS culinary puzzle game, Cooking Mama.

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

SEPTEMBER 11, 2006
Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games 2007 (PC)
Backyard Baseball 2007 (PC)
Mario Hoops 3 on 3 (DS)
Hoyle Casino 2007 (PC)
Hoyle Card Games 2007 (PC)
Fuel (Xbox)

SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (X360, Xbox, PS2, GC, GBA, DS, PSP, PC)
Joint Task Force (PC)
NHL 07 (X360, Xbox, PS2, PC, PSP )
NHL 2K7 (X360, Xbox)
Rule of Rose (PS2)
Cooking Mama (DS)
Harvest Moon DS (DS)
Faces of War (PC)
Mega Man ZX (DS)
Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales (PC)
Blitzkrieg: Green Devils (PC)
ProStroke Golf - World Tour 2007 (Xbox)
Bounty Hounds (PSP)
Disney's Little Einsteins (GBA)
The Cheetah Girls (GBA)
My Little Pony: Crystal Princess Runaway Rainbow (GBA)
One Piece: Pirates Carnival (GC, PS2)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (PC)
Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. (PSP)
MechAssault: Phantom War (DS)
IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix (PS2)
Bomberman (PSP)

SEPTEMBER 13, 2006
Scramble (X360--via Xbox Live Marketplace)

SEPTEMBER 14, 2006
Company of Heroes (PC)
Great Invasions (PC)

SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
Galaxy of Games 5000 (PC)

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