Shippin' Out Oct. 3-9: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Enslaved, Wii Party

Latest in storied series with 3D graphics hits this week next to Ninja Theory’s action adventure game, Nintendo's minigame collection, and NBA 2K11.

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Last week’s new release slate was spearheaded by zombies and soccer, but this week’s focus is vampires and basketball.

Leading the pack this week is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. First teased in March 2008 and formally announced during the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game drops this week for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Madrid, Spain-based Mercury Steam led development, with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and his Kojima Productions studio serving as support.

This isn't your mother's Castlevania.
This isn't your mother's Castlevania.

As for the game, Lords of Shadow is set in the year 1047 and follows Gabriel Belmont, who is a member of the Brotherhood of Light. Gabriel's quest involves roaming the land in pursuit of pieces of an artifact that can bring the dead back to life, in the process battling nefarious underworld creatures and other mythical monsters and beasts.

Also dropping this week is Visual Concept’s NBA 2K11 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, and Wii. Legendary hall of famer Michael Jordan graces the title’s cover and is featured in the game as a playable character. Further, the game embraces Jordan more fully by including a handful of Jordan Challenges, including “The Flu Game.” In this 1997 NBA Final game, Jordan was violently ill and still managed to tally 39 points in a win. Players will have to match that feat to unlock additional goods.

Though NBA Elite 11 has been indefinitely postponed, EA Sports will still be slamming the hardwood with NBA Jam. The arcade basketball title is due out exclusively on the Wii this week, and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are due out “by the holidays.” The game is a revival of the well-regarded 1993 arcade game of the same name and has been updated with new visuals and gameplay changes. The title sports two distinct modes: classic and remix tour, where gamers can play either in a traditional manner or with an array of new power-ups and battles, respectively.

Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is due out this week on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Set in a postapocalyptic America, the game tells the story of slaves forced to work together for survival. The game's protagonist, the muscular Monkey, is captured by slavers along with the techno-savvy woman Trip. The pair escape, but Trip hacks a slave headband to tie her life to Monkey's, forcing him to protect her as they search for refuge.

On the portable game front, Square Enix this week is releasing Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. The publisher is calling the title a "back to basics" installment in the storied series, and it will afford gamers more than a single-player adventure.

Four-player co-op has been promised for the title, which will be a turn-based role-playing game. It will feature a class system akin to Final Fantasy X-2, with players being able to switch their character's class by changing the hat the character is wearing, Square Enix said.

Also being released this week is the Wii exclusive Wii Party. Having debuted in Japan in early July, Wii Party marks Nintendo’s first stab at the party genre since 2007’s Mario Party 8. The title is composed of 13 distinct game modes and packs in over 70 minigames. Nintendo recently purchased a majority stake in the game’s developer, ND Cube, a team arguably most famous for the Gameboy Advance title F-Zero: Maximum Velocity.

Shifting to the music-game space, Konami is bringing Def Jam: Rapstar to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii this week. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will come bundled with the game and a wired mic for $69.99, while the Wii package costs $59.99.

Def Jam Rapstar is the maiden effort from 4mm Games, a publishing and development label founded in part by two original leaders of Rockstar Games. Ghostbusters: The Video Game studio Terminal Reality, as well as Def Jam Interactive, contributed to the game, where aspiring emcees can sing along with 45 songs from artists like Kanye West, Nelly, and Notorious B.I.G. The game also features a Freestyle mode, in which gamers can drop their own rhymes over tracks laid down by a variety of hip-hop producers.

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, OCTOBER 3
Wii Party--Wii--Nintendo

MONDAY, OCTOBER 4
Deal or No Deal: Special Edition--DS--Zoo Games
Honda Fever--Wii--CokeM Interactive
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs--DS--Nintendo
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge--DS--WayForward

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5
Actual Crimes: Jack the Ripper--PSP, PS3--Gamers Digital
Apache Overkill--PS3, PSP--Playerthree
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction--Wii, PS2, DS, PS3, PSP--D3Publisher
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow--PS3, X360--Konami
Crime Lab: Body of Evidence--DS--City Interactive
Deer Drive--DS--Mastiff
Def Jam Rapstar--PS3, X360, Wii--Konami
Discover 4 Game Pack--PC--Viva Media
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West--X360, PS3--Namco Bandai Games
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light--DS--Square Enix
Freddi Fish and Friends: ABC Under the Sea--DS--Atari
Haunted House--Wii--Atari
Hollywood Squares--Wii--Ubisoft
I Love Puppies--DS--Destineer
Insider Chronicles Triple Pack: A New Perspective on Mystery--PC--Viva Media
Jewels of the Tropical Lost Island--DS--City Interactive
John Daly’s ProStroke Golf--PS3--O-Games
Left 4 Dead 2: The Sacrifice--X360, PC--Valve
Littlest Pet Shop 3: Blue Team--DS--Electronic Arts
Littlest Pet Shop 3: Pink Team--DS--Electronic Arts
Littlest Pet Shop 3: Purple Team--DS--Electronic Arts
Natalie Brooks: Triple Trouble Collection--PC--Viva Media
NBA 2K11--Wii, X360, PSP, PS2, PS3-- 2K Sports
NBA Jam--Wii--EA Sports
Oops! Prank Party--Wii--Hudson Soft
Petz Fantasy: Sunshine Magic--DS--Ubisoft
Sled Shed featuring the Jamaican Bobsled Team--Wii--Southpeak Games
Sports Collection--DS--Ubisoft
Tropico 3: Gold Edition--PC--Kalypso
Vampire Moon: Mystery of the Hidden Sun--DS--City Interactive
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: 3rd Edition--Wii, DS--Ubisoft

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6
Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley--X360--Twisted Pixel Games

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8
Dragon’s Lair Trilogy--Wii--Destineer
Lionheart: King’s Crusade--PC--Neocore Games
WRC: FIA World Rally Championship--PC--Deep Silver

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