Shippin' Out: Sept. 20-26: Halo 3: ODST, Aion

Microsoft and Bungie's latest sci-fi shooter joins NCsoft's angelic MMOG; Afrika, Katamari Forever roll to PS3, Spyborgs, TMNT Smash-Up brawl on Wii.

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It's well into September, and that means big-name games are going to be the norm in the lead-up to the holiday shopping season. Microsoft and Bungie anchor the current week with the release of Halo 3: ODST, the latest Xbox 360-exclusive installment in their acclaimed sci-fi warfare franchise.

Prepare to drop...
Prepare to drop...

Originally billed as a three-to-five hour expansion pack to 2007's smash hit Halo 3, Bungie's latest evolved into a more reaching (and full-priced) venture over the course of development. Swapping out Bungie's iconic Master Chief for a squad of orbital drop shock troopers, ODST tells a darker story set in the city of New Mombasa. Those who purchase ODST will also be offered a multiplayer beta voucher for Bungie's maybe-last Halo project, Halo: Reach, due next year.

A pair of massively multiplayer online role-playing games will accompany Halo 3: ODST to market this week. Korean MMOG maker Aion will launch its angels-and-demons-themed Aion on Tuesday. Last week, the publisher said that the game had already secured nearly 400,000 preorders, making Aion the biggest MMOG launch of 2009 so far. However, Aion will have a bit of competition from Icarus Games' Fallen Earth, a postapocalyptic sci-fi MMORPG.

Sony's PlayStation 3 has a pair of quirky titles on tap this week. Keita Takahashi's latest matter amalgamator Katamari Forever will offer, according to publisher Namco Bandai, the largest selection of stages, modes, and songs of any game in the series. Meanwhile, Natsume will bring over the Sony Japan-developed Afrika, a safari simulator that lets gamers snap photos of wild beasts on the African steppes. Atlus' original Shin Megami Tensei: Persona will be hitting the PSP, as well.

As will happen, the Wii has two kid-friendly titles coming to its library this week. Capcom's Spyborgs has been billed as an interactive version of "your favorite Saturday morning cartoon" and sees players assuming control of one of five bionically enhanced spies in an effort to take down one of their traitorous former compatriots. From Ubisoft comes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, a multiplayer brawler built in the style of Nintendo's highly popular Super Smash Bros. 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.

Sept. 21, 2009
Fabulous Finds--DS--THQ
Just in Time Translation--DS--THQ

Sept. 22, 2009
Afrika--PS3--Natsume
Aion: Tower of Eternity PC--NCsoft
Animal Kingdom: Wildlife Expedition--Wii--Natsume
Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2010--X360, PS3, Wii
Fallen Earth--PC--Icarus Games
Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun--Wii--D3Publisher
Halo 3: ODST--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Hidden Mysteries: Titanic--Wii, DS--Activision Value
Katamari Forever--PS3--Namco Bandai
Order of War--PC--Square Enix
Scooby-Doo! First Frights--Wii, PS2, DS--WBIE
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona--PSP--Atlus
Spyborgs--Wii--Capcom
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up--Wii--Ubisoft
The Price Is Right 2010 Edition--Wii, DS, PC--Ubisoft
Wacky World of Sports--Wii--Sep 22, 2009 Sega
Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey--Wii, DS, PC, MAC--Ubisoft
Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion--DS--THQ

Sept. 23, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

Sept. 24, 2009
Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft--Wii--Dreamcatcher

Sept. 25, 2009
No new releases scheduled.

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