Shippin' Out August 20-24: BioShock, Brain Age 2

2K's creepy underwater FPS dives into retail alongside Nintendo's mind-expanding puzzle game; Space Giraffe XBLA-bound, Super Metroid headed for Wii VC.

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Now that Madden NFL 08 has been loosed on the masses, the Great Game Flood of 2007 has officially begun. The second week's top title is unquestionably BioShock, from 2K Games and its 2K Boston studio, formerly known as Irrational Games. The PC and Xbox 360 first-person action-adventure is a pseudo-sequel to System Shock, one of GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time.

Featuring the same style of horror-tinged, sandbox-style gameplay as System Shock 2, BioShock submerges players in the dystopian aftermath of the underwater city known as Rapture. Rated M for Mature, BioShock retails for $59.99 on the Xbox 360 and $49.99 on the PC, with a Limited Edition package for both platforms available for $10 more. The PC version of the game is also available for prepurchase and instant access upon availability through Valve's Steam service. Check GameSpot's BioShock Launch Center for more information, including the full review of the game.

While BioShock is sure to transfix many gamers, this week features a robust lineup of other games accompanying the shooter. Headlining the list from the "other" category is Nintendo's surefire hit Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day. Following up on last year's megahit Brain Age, Brain Age 2 offers players more interactive minigames designed to add wrinkles to folks' noodles. It is rated E for Everyone and retails for $19.99.

Microsoft will be updating Xbox Live with two more downloadable games this week. From industry veteran and respected indie developer Jeff Minter comes the "psychedelic" shooter Space Giraffe. The game features 100 levels of trippy stationary-screen shooter gameplay. While Microsoft's original announcement for the game pegs Space Giraffe at 800 Microsoft points ($10), Minter notes on his personal blog that the game will be available for 400 Microsoft points ($5). Also appearing on Xbox Live this week is the hoverboard racer Street Trace: NYC, which can be had for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

Nintendo's "Month of Metroid" rolls on today, as the 1994 Super Nintendo classic Super Metroid blasts onto the Wii's Virtual Console. Available for 800 Wii points ($8), players can reorient themselves with Samus Aran's battle suit in anticipation of next week's release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Available from the Sega Genesis' collection this week is the 1993 action adventure Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, for 800 Wii points ($8). From the TurboGrafx-16, Hudson's action role-playing game Neutopia rounds out this week's Virtual Console update, and it costs 600 Wii points ($6).

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

AUGUST 20, 2007
Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day (DS)
Super Metroid (Wii)
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Wii)
Neutopia (Wii)
Operation: Vietnam (DS)
Rider's World: Competition

AUGUST 21, 2007
BioShock (PC, X360)
Jeanne D'Arc (PSP)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (PS3, PSP)
Two Worlds (PC, X360)
Dave Mirra BMX Challenge (Wii)
Panzer Killer (PC)
Destination: Treasure Island (PC)
Turn It Around (DS)
Brunswick Pro Bowling (Wii, PS2, PSP)
I SPY Fun House (DS)
MetropolisMania 2 (PS2)
The Settlers (DS)
Dragoneer's Aria (PSP)

AUGUST 22, 2007
Space Giraffe (X360)
Street Trace: NYC (X360)

AUGUST 25, 2007
Real World Golf 2007 (PC, PS2)

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