Shippin' Out Oct. 26-Nov. 1: Fallout 3, Little Big Planet, Guitar Hero

Bethesda's futuristic RPG, PS3's belated platformer, and Activision's World Tour joined in stores by Red Alert 3, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, and more.

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The holiday juggernaut keeps rolling along, as evidenced by a Shippin' Out column in which Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift don't even make the headline.

Forcing those worthy titles into the deckhead were Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3, Media Molecule's Little Big Planet, and Activision's Guitar Hero World Tour. Bethesda's release resurrects a long-cherished PC role-playing game series with all the current-generation bells and whistles on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Players emerge from a bunker vault to find the Washington, DC, area devastated after a nuclear war and are free to shape the postapocalyptic story from there.

Meanwhile, there's the belated PS3 exclusive Little Big Planet. Originally set for release last week, the game was delayed worldwide when Sony discovered that one of the background music tracks contained passages from the Muslim holy book, the Koran. With edited versions appearing on shelves this week, Sony hopes the controversy will die down, leaving people free to focus on the game itself and the creative potential of its toolset.

Activision's World Tour introduces the concept of full band play to the Guitar Hero series for the first time, letting players sing and play drums as well as rock out on the tiny plastic guitar. The game features 86 songs, including tracks from legends like Jimi Hendrix and the Doors and more recent acts like At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta. If those don't hit the spot, players can always download tracks from artists like R.E.M. and Metallica or make their own using the game's studio mode. Speaking of Metallica, the game also contains the first trailer for Guitar Hero: Metallica, due out in 2009.

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift gives the PS3 another exclusive title this week. As the sequel to the system's original destruction-focused racer, Pacific Rift adds monster trucks to the mix of buggies and bikes and trades in rugged desert and mountainous terrain for more lush, tropical venues.

Those looking for something a little more cerebral than racing around in circles might be interested in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 on the PC. The latest installment in the real-time strategy series' alternate-universe spin-off adds a new faction: the Empire of the Rising Sun. The game also takes the series' tongue-in-cheek humor to new heights, with units like armored bear paratroopers, which are launched out of cannons into enemy territory.

It's a full week for the casual crowd as well: Sony releases a flurry of SingStar games for the PlayStation 2 and PS3, Microsoft's Scene It? Box Office Smash arrives on the Xbox 360, and EA launches MySims on the PC and MySims Kingdom for the Wii and DS. Equine aficionados are also getting their weekly fix as Petz Horsez Club arrives for the Wii, Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp trots to the PC, and Codemasters brings Bella Sara to the DS and PC.

As for the week's downloadable offerings, the worm has finally turned on Nintendo's Virtual Console service. Shiny's tricky Sega Genesis platformer Earthworm Jim arrives today with an asking price of 800 Wii points ($8). For newer experiences, Nintendo is offering the new WiiWare titles Art Style: Rotohex for 600 Wii points ($6) and Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands for 1,000 Wii points ($10, also available on the PC). Over on the Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft will release Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader on Wednesday for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15).

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

OCTOBER 26, 2008
Guitar Hero World Tour (360, PS3, Wii, PS2)

OCTOBER 27, 2008
All Star Cheer Squad (Wii)
Neverland Card Battles (PSP)
Tornado (DS)
Go, Diego, Go!: Great Dinosaur Rescue (Wii, PS2, DS)
Dora The Explorer: Dora Saves the Snow Princess (Wii, PS2)
The Wonder Pets!: Save the Animals! (DS)
Poker For Dummies (PC)
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (WiiWare, PC)
Art Style: ROTOHEX (Wii Ware)
Earthworm Jim (Wii VC)

OCTOBER 28, 2008
Fallout 3 (PC, PS3, 360)
Little Big Planet (PS3)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC)
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (PS3)
SingStar: Vol. 2 (PS3)
SingStar Country (PS2)
SingStar Legends (PS2)
Scene It? Box Office Smash (360)
MotoGP 08 (360, PS3, PS2, PC)
MySims Kingdom (Wii, DS)
MySims (PC)
Master of the Monster Lair (DS)
Ninjatown (DS)
High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE! (360, PS2, PC)
The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga (PS2, PSP)
Nerf N-Strike (Wii)
Six Flags Fun Park (Wii)
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE The Game (Wii, PS2, DS, PSP)
Monster Jam: Urban Assault (Wii, PS2, PSP, DS)
TV Show King (Wii)
SCORE International Baja 1000 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2)
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (PC)
FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play (Wii)
Onimusha: The Essentials (PS2)
Rubik's Puzzle World (DS)
Shrek's Carnival Craze (Wii, DS, PS2)
Travel Games for Dummies (DS)
Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (PS2)
Zenses Rainforest (DS)
Zenses Ocean (DS)
Petz Rescue Ocean Patrol (DS)
Petz Rescue Wildlife Vet (DS)
Twin Strike: Operation Thunder (Wii)
Pirate's Quest: Hunt for Blackbeard's Box (Wii)
Petz: Horsez Club (Wii)
Bella Sara (DS, PC)
Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp (PC)

OCTOBER 29, 2008
Goosebumps HorrorLand (Wii, PS2)
Ultimate I Spy (Wii)
Backyard Football 2009 (PC)
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Xbox Live Arcade)

OCTOBER 30, 2008
Theresia: Dear Emile (DS)
Combat Wings: Battle of Britain (PC)
Sony has not yet revealed its PlayStation Network releases for the week.

OCTOBER 31, 2008
No releases scheduled.

NOVEMBER 1, 2008
No releases scheduled.

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