Shippin' Out Aug. 30-Sept. 5: Guitar Hero 5, Champions Online

Activision's latest rhythm game rocks out with Cryptic's new superhero MMOG, C&C Commander's Challenge, Section 8, two PSP fighters, and Gears 2 GOTY Edition.

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Subtlety wasn't exactly what Activision was going for when it announced earlier this year that Guitar Hero 5 would be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Wii during the first week of September. After all, it's not like its archrival is releasing a competing rhythm game based on arguably the greatest rock band of all time a week later, or anything.

Hard to go wrong with a little Johnny Cash.
Hard to go wrong with a little Johnny Cash.

Guitar Hero 5 expands Activision's franchise with 85 new songs, letting gamers jam out using a plastic guitar, bass, drum kit, or microphone. The latest installment also lifts the restriction on the one-instrument, one-player rules that have defined the series. Activision has also introduced forward compatibility to the series, which lets gamers play along to tunes released in previous Guitar Hero games. Guitar Hero 5's full set list can be found here.

On the massively multiplayer online role-playing game front, Atari and Cryptic Studios will be launching Champions Online for the PC this week. A superhero-themed MMOG, Champions Online can trace its roots back to the now-canceled Marvel Universe Online. Like Cryptic's City of Heroes, Champions Online offers a wealth of customization options as gamers do battle against a range of ne'er-do-wells. An Xbox 360 edition is expected later this year.

Sci-fi gamers may also be interested in SouthPeak's Section 8, which will be available for the Xbox 360 and PC this week. With support for up to 32 players in its multiplayer mode, the game has been compared to Dynamix's seminal online shooter Tribes. Xbox 360 shooter fans can also check out Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition, which includes 19 multiplayer maps, the Road to Ruin add-on, and achievements worth an additional 750 gamerscore points.

The PSP is where it's at for fighter fans this week, as both Namco Bandai and Capcom have brawlers on tap. From Namco Bandai comes SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny, which features 20 playable characters, as well as a fighter creator and multiple gameplay modes. Capcom's Fate/Unlimited Codes will be available only through the PSN and features 17 fighters, cel-shaded visuals, and a reworked battle system over previous installments in the franchise.

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 30, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

August 31, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

September 1, 2009
Champions Online--PC--Atari
Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Guitar Hero 5--X360, PS3, PS2, Wii--Activision
Section 8--X360, PC--SouthPeak Games
SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny--PSP--Namco Bandai Games America

September 2, 2009
Defense Grid: The Awakening--X360--Microsoft Game Studios

September 3, 2009
Fate/Unlimited Codes--PSP--Capcom
NBA 2K10: Draft Combine--PS3--2K Games

September 4, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

September 5, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

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