Shippin' Out Aug. 28 - Sept. 3: Madden NFL 12

EA Sports' pigskin sim rushes into retail as downloadable stores get Mortal Kombat compilation, The Baconing, Rock of Ages, new BloodRayne, and more.

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The latest Madden NFL effort from EA Sports will meet the franchise's traditional August release window, but just barely. Madden NFL 12 blitzes stores this Tuesday, leading a light week of new releases on the retail front. However, digital distribution storefronts will be welcoming a wealth of high-profile downloadable titles for those who don't fancy EA's long-running series of football sims.

Madden's here, so the NFL season can finally start.
Madden's here, so the NFL season can finally start.

Madden NFL 12 features an overhauled tackling system and new focus on setting the atmosphere with a pregame presentation. The franchise mode has also seen some tweaking, with players able to make cuts every week of the preseason, and a revamped free agency system that has managers bidding against one another for top talent in real time. For more on the changes made, check out GameSpot's review of Madden NFL 12.

That isn't the only new game coming from Electronic Arts this week. The publisher also has the Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles expansion pack set to arrive in stores. The first add-on for the historical twist on the popular life sim adds treasure hunting, challenging players to find hidden objects with the aid of maps and shovels and search for rewards that will benefit their hero sims. Other new items include birds that players can name and train, as well as interrogation chairs.

Codemasters also has a new offering in the form of Bodycount. A modern-day first-person shooter, Bodycount has gamers battling class-based enemies in "outrageous and stylish" gunfights. Players will take up arms in worldwide locations like Africa and Asia, and they can use destructible environments to their advantage.

The final notable new releases in stores this week are actually a wave of budget-priced rereleases. Nintendo is adding four new games to its Nintendo Selects lineup of discount Wii titles, and Electronic Arts is gearing up for the launch of Battlefield 3 with the addition of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3's Platinum Hits and Greatest Hits lines, respectively.

The downloadable front is particularly busy this week, with a host of notable new games coming to Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC digital distribution services. Hothead Games' DeathSpank series continues this week with The Baconing, the first title in the franchise created without the participation of character creator Ron Gilbert. The original Mortal Kombat trilogy gets compiled for violence-hungry fighting fans with Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection, Majesco Entertainment's half-vampire femme fatale returns in BloodRayne: Betrayal, and the Comedy Central show Ugly Americans gets its first game tie-in with Apocalypsegeddon. In addition to those offerings, Atlus combines tower defense, art history, and the thrill of breaking stuff in Rock of Ages, and Zen Studios bolsters its Pinball FX 2 platform with a new table inspired by Twisted Pixel's Ms. Splosion Man.

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

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Selects)--Wii--Nintendo
Super Paper Mario (Nintendo Selects)--Wii--Nintendo
Mario Strikers Charged (Nintendo Selects)--Wii--Nintendo
Punch-Out!! (Nintendo Selects)--Wii--Nintendo

MONDAY, AUGUST 29
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Greatest/Platinum Hits)--X360, PS3--Electronic Arts

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30
Madden NFL 12--X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, IP--Electronic Arts
Bodycount--X360, PS3--Codemasters
The Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles--PC--Electronic Arts
Junior Mystery Quest--DS-Navarre
Junior Island Adventure--DS--Maximum Family Games
Burger Bot--DS--Maximum Family Games
Veggy World--DS--Maximum Family Games
Hoppie--DS--Maximum Family Games
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon--PS3--Comedy Central Games
The Baconing--PS3--Hothead Games
Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection--PS3--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Cladun x2--PSP--NIS America
4 Elements HD--PS3--Playrix Entertainment

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon--X360--Comedy Central Games
The Baconing--X360, PC--Hothead Games
Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection--X360, PC--Warner Bors. Interactive Entertainment
BloodRayne: Betrayal--X360--Majesco Entertainment
Rock of Ages--X360--Atlus
Pinball FX 2: Ms. 'Splosion Man--X360--Zen Studios

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