Next Monday is Labor Day, a national holiday in the US and the traditional end of summer. And once the barbecues have cooled and the last cold beverage has been plucked from the cooler, the week will see the start of the end-of-the-year game flood.
Superhero fans will get a double dose of games on Tuesday, when Warner Bros. releases Batman: The Brave and the Bold (DS, Wii) and Activision ships Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360, DS, PlayStation 3, Wii). Unlike the dark and violent Arkham Asylum, the former title is geared toward a younger audience, with a cel-shaded look and costarring the caped crusader's longtime companion, Robin. Meanwhile, the T for Teen-rated Shattered Dimensions will see four different versions of the famous webslinger trade blows and quips with villains as he tries to reassemble a broken artifact.
Ubisoft is releasing two titles this week in two different genres. After a slight delay, the feint-focused World War II strategy title R.U.S.E. will arrive on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Those same platforms and the Wii will also receive HAWX 2, the sequel to the decently reviewed Tom Clancy-branded air combat simulator.
Hockey fans will also have a pair of games to choose from this week, both from Electronic Arts. NHL 11, the latest annual iteration of EA Sports' rink-and-puck franchise, will ship for the PS3 and X360 on Tuesday. The company is also releasing NHL Slapshot, a more arcade-style hockey game for the Wii.
The PSP will see a major release in the form of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the newest installment in the Square Enix-Disney crossover franchise. The role-playing game lit up Japan's game software sales charts upon its debut in January, selling some 445,000 units within its first week on the market.
Fans of more bizarre Japanese games can sample the Xbox 360-exclusive Otomedius Excellent. Konami's hybrid game combines Gradius-style side-scrolling space warfare with visuals of exaggeratedly proportioned, attractive anime girls.
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.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 (LABOR DAY)
Photo World DSi--DS--Puzzle--Interworks Unlimited, Inc.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
101-in-1 Sports Megamix--DS--Puzzle--Atlus
Aion: Assault on Balaurea--PC--Role-Playing--NCsoft
Batman: The Brave and the Bold--DS, WII--Action--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Brunswick Cosmic Bowling--WII--Sports--CokeM Interactive
Dawn of Heroes--DS--Role-Playing--Majesco Games
Dragon Age: Origins - Witch Hunt--PC, PS3, X360--Role-Playing--Electronic Arts
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep--PSP--Role-Playing--Square Enix
Kung Fu Rider--PS3--Action--SCEA
Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy--DS--Adventure--MumboJumbo
NHL 11--PS3, X360--Sports--Electronic Arts
NHL Slapshot--WII--Sports--EA Sports
R.U.S.E.--PC, PS3, X360--Strategy--Ubisoft
Saints Row Diamond 2-Pack--X360--Puzzle--THQ
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions--X360, DS, PS3, WII--Action--Activision
The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff--MAC, PC--Puzzle--Electronic Arts
Tom Clancy's HAWX 2--PS3, X360--Action--Ubisoft
UFC 2010 Undisputed--PSP--Fighting--THQ
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Amnesia: The Dark Descent--PC--Adventure--Frictional Games
Plants vs. Zombies--X360--Strategy--PopCap
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
No releases scheduled
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
Operation Barbarossa - The Struggle for Russia--PC--Strategy--Matrix Games