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Shippin' Out Aug. 23-29: Arkham Asylum, Dissidia

Eidos' comic-book action-adventure game committed to X360, PS3; Square Enix's Final Fantasy 3D fighter hits PSP, with Professor Layton rolling onto DS and Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii.


Although Madden NFL 10 kicked off two weeks ago, this month has yet to see a deluge of noteworthy titles. That will change this week with the debut of numerous prominent titles, including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and Metroid Prime Trilogy.

Batman: This week's ribbon-wrapped gift.
Batman: This week's ribbon-wrapped gift.

Published by Eidos Interactive, Batman: Arkham Asylum follows the caped crusader as he takes on the Joker and other supervillains in the titular madhouse. Cowritten by Paul Dini, producer of TV's Batman: The Animated Series, the game heats up when the Joker wreaks havoc in Arkham. There, he orchestrates a plan to kill Batman and terrorize Gotham City with the help of myriad accomplices. As an added incentive, PS3 gamers will be able to play as Gotham City's quintessential madman in the game's challenge map modes. The PC version of the game, however, won't come out until September 15.

Meanwhile, the PSP will see the release of Dissidia: Final Fantasy, from Eidos parent company Square Enix. The 3D fighter features more than 20 characters from the first dozen Final Fantasy games. In addition to series protagonists, such as Squall, Cloud, and Tidus, the roster includes more villainous entrants, such as Sephiroth. Dissidia retains many Final Fantasy conventions, including summon attacks and role-playing-game-style character development. Alongside the game's August 25 release, GameStop will feature an exclusive, limited-edition PSP bundle package. It includes Sony Pictures' Final Fantasy VII Advent Children on UMD, a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, and a Mystic Silver PSP-3000--all for $200.

Moving from Sony's handheld to Nintendo's, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box will roll onto the DS on Monday. The puzzle game takes the inquisitive scholar on a quaint train ride through a fictional European landscape to solve the mystery of the Elysian box. The sequel to 2008's Professor Layton and the Curious Village, the upcoming Nintendo title features more than 150 puzzles and a tea-brewing minigame.

Another Nintendo-published title, Metroid Prime Trilogy, will charge onto the Wii on Monday. The compilation will include 2007's current-generation debut of the space-faring adventure franchise--Metroid Prime 3: Corruption--as well as revamps of the series' two GameCube installments on a single disc. Both the original Prime and Echoes will be updated with motion controls along the lines of those featured in Corruption. The two games will also support widescreen displays, and players will be able to unlock art and music by achieving a number of in-game objectives.

The Wii will also see the debut of an action adventure game, ominously titled Cursed Mountain. As a mountaineer trekking through abandoned villages and decrepit Buddhist temples, players battle ghosts and solve puzzles through roughly 20 hours of gameplay. Meanwhile, Koei's Warriors Orochi 2 is heading to the PSP following its release on the PS2 and Xbox 360 in 2008. The upcoming hack-and-slash game will introduce new modes, including Dream, Versus, and Survival.

PC gamers will be able to purchase CrimeCraft, an online first-person shooter set in a gritty modern gangland. Players assemble fellow thugs to battle over urban turf in 14 combat instances. On the Xbox 360, 2K Games' NBA 2K10: Draft Combine will slam onto Xbox Live for 400 Microsoft points ($5). Players can create their own players using more than 300 different attributes, compete in five-on-five matchups, and try out other various minigames. The PlayStation Network release is due out September 3.

Meanwhile, Namco Bandai's hand-to-hand action game Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao will slam onto Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Players embark on a quest to recover a powerful artifact from an onslaught of the evil Overlord's forces. The 2D-style game offers several modes, including story, online, and endurance. The XBLA edition comes out Wednesday, with the PSN version due out the next day.

Rorschach, in his spare time.
Rorschach, in his spare time.

With Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2 already out for the PlayStation 3, users of the Xbox 360 and PC will now be able to pick up the same title Wednesday. Based on the Watchmen comic book, the superheroes Rorschach and Nite Owl team up to solve the case of the missing Violet Greene.

PC and Xbox 360 users can also purchase a new retail bundle of Fallout 3 add-ons this week. Bethesda's Fallout 3 Game Add-On Pack: Broken Steel and Point Lookout combines two expansions to the postapocalyptic role-playing game--both of which were previously available for individual download--into one $19.99 retail package for the PC and 360. Rounding out the week's releases is The Sims 2 University Life Collection for the PC, which will pack together The Sims 2 University, The Sims 2 IKEA Stuff, and The Sims 2 Teen Style Stuff.

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 the Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.

AUGUST 23, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

AUGUST 24, 2009
Metroid Prime Trilogy--Wii--Nintendo
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box--DS--Nintendo
The Sims 2 University Life Collection--PC--Electronic Arts

AUGUST 25, 2009
Batman: Arkham Asylum--PS3, X360--Eidos Interactive
The Clique: Diss and Make Up--DS--Warner Bros.
Cursed Mountain--Wii--Deep Silver
Dissidia: Final Fantasy--PSP--Square Enix
Fallout 3 Game Add-On Pack: Broken Steel and Point Lookout--PC, X360--Bethesda
Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming--DS--Natsume
Harvest Moon: Magical Melody--Wii--Rising Star Games
Imagine: Teacher Class Trip--DS--Ubisoft
Logic Island--DS--No Company
Mahjongg Ancient Mayas--DS--Cerasus Media
Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy--PS2--NIS America
Princess Lillifee's Magic Fairy--DS--DreamCatcher Interactive
Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream--Wii--Natsume
Warriors Orochi 2--PSP--Koei
Wizards of Waverly Place--DS, Wii--Disney Interactive

AUGUST 26, 2009
Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao--X360--Namco-Bandai
NBA 2K10: Draft Combine--X360--2K Games
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2--X360--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

AUGUST 27, 2009
Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao--PS3--Namco-Bandai
Shimano Xtreme Fishing--Wii--Mastiff

AUGUST 28, 2009
Beach Fun Summer Challenge--Wii--Midway

AUGUST 29, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

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