Shippin' Out November 5-9: COD4, Gears of War PC, Mario & Sonic

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, Viva Piñata PC, Koei's Bladestorm, Sam & Max: Season Two, and Super Mario Bros. 3 on the VC all part of November's opening fusillade.

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This year has already produced its fair share of high-profile instant hits with World in Conflict, The Orange Box, Halo 3, and BioShock, to name a few. Now, in November, the retail inferno has become a firestorm. Ringing in the month with a flashbang is Activision's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. As the title implies, developer Infinity Ward has shelved its World War II roots and given the classic shooting franchise a modern-day face-lift. Rated M for Mature, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. A scaled-down, T-for-Teen-rated version will also appear this week on Nintendo's DS.

War is the name of the game this week, as several other conflict-heavy titles come to market. Nearly a year to the day after its console counterpart stormed the sales charts, Epic Games' Gears of War hits PCs this week. The PC version adds five new levels to the original game's campaign, as well as three exclusive multiplayer maps and a game editor for creating user-generated levels. The counterpoint to Epic's brutal shooter announced during this year's E3 Media and Business Summit, Rare's adorable papier-mâchê strategy game Viva Piñata also come to life on the PC this week. Rounding out the big-name PC-exclusive offerings is Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, the first stand-alone expansion to the solidly reviewed epic-sized real-time strategy game from Gas Powered Games.

Saber rattling is also on offer in Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Continuing in its tradition of period-piece beat-'em-ups, Koei's Omega Force Team reenacts the 14th-to-15th-century war of succession between France and England. Those who prefer their sabers to be manufactured in a galaxy far, far away can check out Traveller's Tales' Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. A redux of the first two Lego Star Wars games, The Complete Saga adds in a few new gameplay enhancements and modes, and is available for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and DS.

With Mario and Sonic now set to engage in fireball to spin-dash ball in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in February, once arch-rivals Sega and Nintendo team up in the meantime for some friendly competition this week in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii. Intelligent System's long-running turn-based RPG series also hits the Wii exclusively this week in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Sony's handheld receives a pair of exclusives itself, namely the strategically oriented SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike and Silent Hill: Origins, a prequel to Konami's original survival horror action game.

Like so many aces up its sleeve, Nintendo is busting out Super Mario Bros. 3 to build anticipation for the mustachioed plumber's interstellar jaunt Super Mario Galaxy, which is slated for liftoff next week. One of GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time, Super Mario Bros. 3 is widely heralded as the quintessential platformer and can be had for 500 Wii points ($5) from Nintendo's Virtual Console. Sega's run-and-gun side-scroller Alien Soldier (900 Wii points, $9) makes its first appearance stateside, and Hudson's Power Golf (600 Wii points, $6) rounds out the VC lineup.

Telltale Games' gumshoe pooch and rabbit-like thing return for the first episode of their new season this week in Sam & Max Episode 201: Ice Station Santa for PCs. Lastly, two of the seven downloadable titles Microsoft revealed last week arrive sooner than later, with Sierra Online's polymorphic puzzler Switchball and InterServ International's Word Puzzle available on Xbox Live this Wednesday.

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

NOVEMBER 5, 2007
Alien Soldier (Wii VC)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am (PS2)
Bee Movie Game (Wii)
Bratz 4 Real (DS)
Build-A-Bear (DS)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC, X360, PS3, DS)
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)
Power Golf (Wii VC)
Shrek: Ogres and Dronkeys (DS)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Wii VC)
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance (PC)
The Bee Game (GBA)
The Simpsons Game (PSP)
Tips, Tricks & Trips + Aircraft Collection (PC)
Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals (PC)

NOVEMBER 6, 2007
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War (PS3, X360)
Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII (PS3)
Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2008 (X360, PS2)
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (DS)
Empire Earth III (PC)
Enchanted (DS)
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (PC)
F.E.A.R. Files (X360)
Gears of War (PC)
Ghost in the Sheet (PC)
Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour (Wii)
Horse Life (DS)
Hot Wheels: Beat That (PC, DS)
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (X360, PS3, Wii, DS)
LifeSigns: Surgical Unit (DS)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
My French Coach (DS)
My Spanish Coach (DS)
My Word Coach (Wii, DS)
Ontamarama (DS)
Panzer Tactics DS (DS)
Power Rangers: Super Legends (PS2, GC, PC)
Puzzle de Harvest Moon (DS)
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action (X360)
Silent Hill: Origins (PSP)
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike (PSP)
The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff (PC)
Viva Piñata (PC)
World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets (DS, PSP)

NOVEMBER 7, 2007
Switchball (XBLA)
Word Puzzle (XBLA)
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Beginning of Destiny (PS2)

NOVEMBER 8, 2007
Sam & Max Episode 201: Ice Station Santa (PC)

NOVEMBER 9, 2007
My Pet Dolphin (DS)

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