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Shop Watch September

By Russ | August 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm

There is literally something for everyone this month – especially if you dig PC games.

Champions Online for the PC, shipping Sept. 1. Atari’s superhero MMO hits stores and computers multiple ways, with each store offering different bonus content. Wal-Mart is the only place packing the Limited Edition, though. The official website for Champions is offering Lifetime and Six-month subscriptions that net you exclusive access to the Star Trek Online beta later this year, but only until Monday, August 31.  An Xbox 360 version will follow next year.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years expansion for WiiWare, available for download Sept. 7. Square-Enix drops the last chapter of the FFIV sequel this day. How will it all end? Will the world be saved? Will Ceodore form the head? Will it be enough to turn on my Wii again?

Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days for the PSP, shipping Sept. 8. NISA releases another portable port of their flagship strategy RPG series. Aside from bonus material within the game itself, including functions from Disgaea 3, players will be able to buy additional characters and content on the PlayStation Store.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Wii, shipping Sept. 8. Ignition Entertainment is putting out Vanillaware’s follow-up to Odin Sphere, a game I could not stop playing for the life of me. Muramasa looks to move a lot faster than Odin Sphere did with an improved combo system. Those in New York City can get their copies on Sept. 5 at the Nintendo Store during a pre-release party; you lucky dogs.

Time of Shadows for the PC, supposedly shipping Sept. 8. Kalypso is releasing this action RPG that looks to be in the vein of the console Baldur’s Gate releases. Hard to tell whether or not it will be as fun – media is fairly little on this title.

Ultima Online: The Stygian Abyss expansion for the PC, available for download Sept. 8. EA’s Ultima Online celebrates 12 years of adventuring this month. What better way to celebrate than by slaying abyssal fiends?

Mario & Luigi 3: Bowser’s Inside Story for the DS, shipping Sept. 14. Another round of Nintendo’s famous duo has them helping Bowser from the insides. I wonder if there’s an awkward silence when Mario and Luigi run into the cast of Breath of Fire II?

Bleach – The 3rd Phantom for the DS, shipping Sept. 15. Sega is releasing this strategy RPG set in the Bleach universe.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for damn near everything, street-dated for September 15. Activision is one of those companies that likes to release stuff on multiple platforms, and Ultimate Alliance 2 is a big title for them. Ultimate Alliance 2 takes place during Marvel’s Secret and Civil War storylines, both of which will probably be mangled a bit to be digested easier. The gameplay for the X-Men Legends games and the previous Ultimate Alliance were pretty good, though.

Nostalgia for the DS, shipping Sept. 15. Not to be confused with Veidt’s line of perfume and cologne, Nostalgia for the DS attempts to make players remember those exciting trips of the Super Nintendo and PlayStation era, but with 3D graphics. Whether or not this is a good thing remains until the game is played, but it does succeed in looking bright and cheery in an era when RPGs are leaning away from such settings. Except Adventures To Go! – though that title may classify as insipid.

Spellforce 2: Platinum for the PC, shipping Sept. 15. Aspyr Media’s Spellforce series combines RPG dungeon-crawling with wide-scale RTS battles. Another expansion for Spellforce 2 will ship next month.

Dungeon Lords: The Orb and the Oracle for the PC, supposedly shipping Sept. 16. This title was on hiatus and remains to be seen if it will ship. It is the sequel to 2005’s Dungeon Lords on the PC.

Fallen Earth: Welcome to the Apocalypse for the PC, shipping anywhere from Sept. 9 to Sept. 20. This MMO is set in a post-apocalyptic setting that would fit somewhere between the Fallout series and the upcoming Borderlands title.

Aion: Tower of Eternity for the PC, shipping Sept. 21. NCSoft’s next big online RPG ships this day. Again, there’s a ton of pre-order bonuses for the game. The game looks good, and everyone I’ve talked to who has played the game loves it. It might be have some staying power, but it’s time’s decision on that mark.

Adventures To Go! for the PSP, shipping Sept. 22. Natsume quietly announced this title in May. Another strategy RPG, the point of the game seems to be take on quests and make money.

Mytran Wars for the PSP, shipping Sept. 22. This futuristic strategy RPG has been reported on before. Let’s see if it makes it out this time.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for the PSP, shipping Sept. 22 and available for download later that week. Atlus’ port of the original Persona game gives fans a a chance to play the game without all the editing the PSX version received. Atlus is also trying something NISA did previously by releasing it on the PlayStation Store. It may not be a simultaneous release as the PS Store tends to update on Thursdays, but it’s a nice option for those looking forward to the PSP Go or who like digital distribution.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the DS, Street-dated for Sept. 29. Though not a full sequel to Square-Enix and Disney’s strange and lucrative mash-up; Kingdom Hearts Math looks to earn its place with side story predecessor Chain of Memories as something that will inevitably be needed to play in order to understand the next game. Granted, Kingdom Hearts 3‘s CG opening will incorporate this title and Birth by Sleep into the cinematics, but players will still have no clue what is really going on.

Laevatain Tactics for the DS, shipping Sept. 29. The beast in the background of this title’s cover looks ferociously generic, but this strategy RPG looks to have a few things different from the genre, like equipment deciding class and a unit system similar to Last Remnant.

The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road for the DS, shipping Sept. 29. This game looks to be an interesting take on the Oz setting with a slight Dragon Quest battle view and track-ball movement system. The visuals look great, and the game may turn out to be a hit for publisher Xseed.

Some Advice: Quite a few MMOs this month. Champions and Aion are the two most likely to see success, and Champions might be limited when other, similar games come out in the future. With the 360 version not shipping until March, a failure now could scrap that future release date.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is being set up as an ‘A’ release. The first one sold well and had multiple releases with additional content six months to a year later. If you can wait a year for it, the sequel will most likely have the same type of release.

The Persona remake may be have a digital and retail release, but the retail package will probably be a collector’s item. There’s four dark horses in the possible collector’s market this month: Laevatain Tactics, Muramasa, Nostalgia, and the Wizard of Oz. It’s hard to say if these titles will hit the bargain bin next year or not. Historically, the companies producing these games have allowed a small price drop of ten dollars for a limited time at retailers. These games may be hard to find after a few months. Keep your eye on them, and also Target’s clearance rack.

The Future: Dragon Age Origins is now an early November release. 360 and PC owners will have it a week or two before PS3 owners. That’s okay in my book as it frees up more time for Demon’s Souls. Alpha Protocol still has an October release date. Let’s hope it stays there.  Something called Risen also drops next month for PC, 360, and PS3.

All games (with the exception of those marked as street-dated or available for download) will be in stores one day after their release. Release dates also tend to be shipping dates. All release dates are subject to change.

Topics: Shop Watch