The games of September 2012

Sizable sequels and downloadable originals highlight the month's offerings

September 16

Kirby's Dream Collection

Platform: Wii

Seemingly content to accept the Wii's place in the sun, Nintendo's only notable remaining release for the platform is Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition, a disc-based bundle of old favorites starring the pink puffball to commemorate his 20th anniversary. Priced at $40, the set includes Kirby's Dream Land 1-3, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Super Star, and Kirby 64, along with new challenge stages inspired by those from last year's Return to Dream Land, as well as a historical museum, the soundtrack, and episodes of the Kirby: Right Back At Ya! TV series. It's like a Kirby fandom starter kit! Except it's the last thing Nintendo's got for the Wii.

September 18

Borderlands 2

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
EU: September 21

Arguably the month's most widely anticipated release, Borderlands 2 follows up the smash original by delivering more rambunctious, cel-shaded, four-player co-op action in the fantastical world of Pandora. As seen in our myriad trailers, video previews, and interviews, Borderlands 2 maintains the goofy tone of its predecessor while amping up nearly everything else in sight, including the already-insane weapon customization system. And it features four entirely new characters to choose from (with a fifth on the way after launch), though they're evenly matched against the powerful denizens of the land – as evidenced by our terrible teamwork and utter failure in a recent hands-on.

F1 2012

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
EU: September 21

Much like the motorsport itself, Codemasters' F1 franchise typically requires a pretty hardcore devotion to truly appreciate, but the publisher aims to lower the barrier for entry with F1 2012 without disturbing the die-hards. "If you're scared about your beloved sport being dumbed down, don't be," reads our latest preview. "It's still the same great simulation, only now it's being wrapped up like a great video game." Key amongst the additions are a new Young Driver Test, which serves as a tutorial for fresh-faced speedsters, as well as the streamlined Champions Mode career option that complements the usual play modes. But it's still the same precise simulation at its core, albeit with myriad improvements from last year's game.

Street Fighter: 25th Anniversary Collection

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3

Fancy yourself the hardest of the hardcore Street Fighter enthusiasts? Capcom aims to sate your desire for commemorative swag with the Street Fighter: 25th Anniversary Collection on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, which includes Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (with costume DLC), Street Fighter X Tekken (ditto on costume DLC), Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition. Joining the games is a Blu-ray set with a documentary, game clips, and various anime bits, plus an 11-disc soundtrack, a hardcover art book, Ryu's belt, and an eight-inch Ryu statue that lights up at the base. Like we said, hardcore – and expectedly pricy at $149.99.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

Platform: PC, Mac, iOS, Android
EU: September 18

BioWare might be best-known for the likes of Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Star Wars nowadays, but the studio's first big splash came in 1998 with the release of Baldur's Gate – and now Overhaul Games and Beamdog are bringing it back to life with this revised multiplatform release. Using the original source material and its 1999 expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast, the Enhanced Edition improves the visuals, adds additional quests and story content, and offers downloadable content, as well as mod support. It's the first step towards a larger revival of the brand, with Baldur's Gate 2 coming early next year, and a supposed new entry envisioned further down the line.

Kinect Sesame Street TV

Platform: Xbox 360
September 18

Late last year, Double Fine and Warner Bros. knocked it out of the park with Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, a charming Kinect experience that let kids interact with their favorite colorful creatures. Developed and published by Microsoft, Kinect Sesame Street TV similarly puts the iconic Muppet characters at the forefront, but does so via a blend of existing filmed television content and sequences that use the camera to turn your living room into an interactive playground. Eight classic episodes are included with new interactive features in the initial $30 retail release or download, with additional episodes slated for release down the line.

We recommend