Upcoming video game releases: Multiplayer shooter MAG, futuristic action heroism in Mass Effect 2, the brash and bawdy No More Heroes 2, adventure mystery in Shadow of Destiny, and the monstrous sport of Blood Bowl.

MAG (PS3)
Release: North America, January 26. Europe, January 29.
This hugely participative online-only multiplayer shooter is constructed to host up to 256 players in the same battleground, organized into companies, platoons and squads so as to bring some measure of order to the chaotic online carnage. Various pre-order incentives are available: BestBuy, GameStop, GameCrazy, ShopTo.net and Play.com offer extra in-game character designs, Amazon.com has a PlayStation Home tie-in, and US 7-Eleven convenience store chain calls attention to its videogames stock with an extra booklet and wall poster.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99

Mass Effect 2 (360 PC)
Release: North America, January 26. Europe, January 29.
Science-fiction sequel to the 2007 Xbox 360 hit, the expansive action role-player's sequel once more delves into interplanetary conflict, action heroes and heroines, and equally mysterious enemies and allies. The developers are known to have hired over 90 separate voice actors in an effort to invest the sequel with even further depth and credibility. The Collector's Edition comes with a hardcover art book, comic, making-of and behind-the-scenes DVD plus a small selection of in-game equipment.
Standard Edition: $49.99 / €69.99 (360), $39.99 / €49.99 (PC)
Collector's Edition: $69.99 / €79.99 (360), $59.99 / €64.99 (PC)

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle 26 (Wii)
Release: North America, January 26
Loudmouthed and cocky assassin Travis Touchdown returns for another satirical, lewd lampoon of violent video games. The game's developer promises more weapons, moves, characters, and enemies with the same frantic humor as the first No More Heroes, as Travis attempts to take back the city of Santa Destroy from the nefarious Pizza Butt corporation, his title of #1 in the United Assassins Association, and the heart of cool UAA operator Sylvia Christel.
Price: $49.99

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)
Release: North America, January 26. Europe, January 29.
Released in Japan as far back as December 2008 under the title Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, this 2D fighting game is Wii-specific and has a simpler, three-button approach. Buttons have been scaled down but overall quality appears high, according to reviews of the Japanese version. Among the roster of fighters are characters from the Street Fighter games, MegaMan, Viewtiful Joe, and Dead Rising, as well as various personalities from Tatsunoko Production's cartoons including Battle of the Planets (also called G-Force), the Casshern series, and the miniature-to-massive transforming robot called Golden Warrior Gold Lightan.
Price: $49.99 / €39.99

Shadow of Destiny (PSP)
Release: North America, January 26.
Known in Europe and Asia as Shadow of Memories, and previously released on PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC, this shares a development team with the influential first few Silent Hill games. However, though similarly immersive and atmospheric, Shadow of Destiny has more in common with a feature-length episode of TV show Quantum Leap, as a young German man is given the chance to prevent his own untimely death by visiting previous time periods dating back to the 16th century. Innovatively, decisions made in the past affect the character's modern-day town each time he must leap back to prevent his death, and there are multiple endings depending on how the player chooses to proceed throughout the game.
Price: $29.99

Blood Bowl (360 PC)
Release: North America, January 26. Europe, released November 2009.
For anyone wondering what Lord Of The Rings crossed with American football would look like, here's the answer. Based on a popular Games Workshop board game, Blood Bowl features human teams mixing it with huge orcs, battle-hardened dwarves, conniving goblins and swift elves. There are also Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable versions of the game, but North American release dates for those are yet to be announced.
Price: $59.99 (360), $39.99 (PC)

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