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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Busy Shipping Day!

by Rainier on Oct. 16, 2002 @ 10:48 p.m. PDT

EA ships NASCAR Thunder 2003 for the PC. Featuring 69 NASCAR drivers and 175 different car skins, NASCAR Thunder 2003 also offers the deepest NASCAR simulation with real driving physics and the ultimate NASCAR garage to develop the optimal car setup for each track. THQ Inc. released Hot Wheels Bash Arena for PC. Hot Wheels fans will be able to experience the speed, power and performance of Hot Wheels in this ultimate crash and smash, demolition derby-style game for kids. THQ also shipped Red Faction II for the PS2. And to top it all off Black Label Games announced today that it has shipped "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" for the PS2 to retailers nationwide. TDK let us know that Robotech: Battlecry for the GameCube and Robotech: The Macross Saga for the GBA are on their way to store shelves. Atari shipped the biggest fighting game ever, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for the GameCube, to retail stores this week in a worldwide launch of nuclear powered monster mayhem. Read more to get more details, we slapped all the press releases together ...

“We are very excited to bring these Robotech action-adventure titles to the Nintendo platforms,” said Stefan Serwe, vice president of marketing, TDK Mediactive. “We are confident that the many Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance owners will have an equally enjoyable gaming experience as will the legion of loyal Robotech fans.”

The titles are based on Robotech, the animated television series from Harmony Gold, which first aired in 1985. The popular show combined giant transforming robots with compelling sci-fi narratives and was the first major exposure to Japanese animation for many in the United States. After 17 years, Robotech maintains global fan support and continues to be broadcast in numerous countries worldwide.

While supplies last, a special Collectors Edition of Robotech: Battlecry is available exclusively through Electronics Boutique and GameStop. The limited edition box set is packed with extra features, including the game’s soundtrack, an exclusive t-shirt, art and more.

About Robotech: Battlecry

Robotech: Battlecry, developed by Vicious Cycle, is a fast paced, third-person action shooter based on the extremely popular animated TV series. Players assume the role of a new character Jack Archer, a fighter pilot in the Robotech Defense Force. As the intense storyline unfolds, Jack battles it out with the invading Zentraedi alien armada utilizing his versatile Veritech Fighter, a giant transformable mechanized robot that can convert into a high-flying jet fighter, a 40-foot tall humanoid robot, or a hybrid unit that combines elements of both. With a plot set in parallel to the original TV show, Jack encounters classic Robotech characters including, Rick Hunter, Lynn Minmei, Lisa Hayes and even old foes such as Khyron. The stylized, cel shaded animation game spans more than 45 missions set in city ruins, canyons, the skies above Macross City, space, foreign planets and the rings of Saturn.

About Robotech: The Macross Saga

Robotech: The Macross Saga, developed by Lucky Chicken, is a classic shooter that artfully mixes side-scrolling and forced perspective gameplay, where players control one of the characters from the Robotech series, as they try to save Earth. Players battle it out against Zentraedi forces in the transformable Veritech or armored Destroids with up to two people taking on the alien armada in co-op play. A multiplayer option allows up to four players to go head to head via a cable link.

Hot Wheels Bash Arena

"According to NPD TRST data, the number of kids playing games on their PCs increased 33% in 2001," said Peter Dille, vice president, marketing, THQ. "We are excited to be bringing Hot Wheels Bash Arena to this growing segment of the PC market."

"The Hot Wheels brand has tremendous appeal with kids and adults alike. More than 40 million adults grew up playing with Hot Wheels cars and new generations of boys continue to make Hot Wheels the #1 toy in America, according to NPD's TRST data," said Amy Boylan, senior vice president of Boys/Entertainment, New Media at Mattel. "Now tech-savvy Hot Wheels fans will be able to compete head-to-head with the online multi-player feature in Hot Wheels Bash Arena. Up to four players can be online anywhere across the globe."

Hot Wheels Bash Arena for PC challenges players to dodge and crash into opponents with performance-varied Hot Wheels cars in a last-car-standing, interactive demolition derby-style gameplay. The game features 20 authentic Hot Wheels cars to unlock and control in six dynamic multi-level arenas full of hazards. Vehicles will gather real-time damage while in competition, and can use more than 20 offensive and defensive power-ups to restore their condition. As players advance through the Bash Arena championship competition, they work their way toward the ultimate goal of induction into the Hot Wheels Bash Arena "Hall of Fame." The game also features a multi-player option for up to four players to compete online.

Hot Wheels cars thundered into the toy world in 1968. More than 35 years later, Hot Wheels is a global brand and Mattel is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of vehicles, playsets and tracks. In addition to leading the way with power, performance and attitude, Hot Wheels cars are also Cool Collectibles(R) vehicles for adults. For the latest information on Hot Wheels, make a break on the information superhighway and cruise over to www.hotwheels.com.

NASCAR Thunder 2003

NASCAR Thunder 2003 features a new physics engine that provides a "hardcore" NASCAR racing simulation. Realistic vehicle dynamics accurately model tire grip and wear patterns, handling and suspension, and collisions. The "Vertex damage model" ensures that each and every impact is unique as each collision's damage is rendered on the fly by this sophisticated technology.

The cornerstone of any good NASCAR PC experience is a rich array of garage options where gamers can create the perfect car setup for each of the 23 Cup Series tracks. The multitude of adjustable options includes fender flares, rear spoiler angles, tire pressure, wedge, gearing, suspension, anti roll bar, and many more are available. Players can configure their car for each race and roll out for test sessions without affecting their NASCAR Cup Series standings. The PC version includes a bonus track, the classic Daytona Beach road course where gamers can race on both land and sand in this '50's style track.

The easy to connect LAN and online play for up to 16 competitors is the ultimate judge for gamers to show off their racing prowess and test the latest car setups against other enthusiast drivers in the online community in a single race mode. Gamers will also be able to update and swap car skins and performance related game aspects through the online communities.

"Our goal was to produce a strong PC simulation that would satisfy hardcore gamers and start to build a loyal fan base with the online community," said Ed Martin, director of NASCAR production, Electronic Arts. "With NASCAR Thunder 2003 for the PC, we have the game to do just that. I look forward to building upon this game over the years to come."

NASCAR Thunder 2003 is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB. Now available on PC, the console versions previously shipped for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, the PlayStation(R) console, Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube(TM). Consumers may purchase the game directly at the EA Store(SM) (http://eastore.ea.com), or by calling EA Direct Sales at 1-877/324-2637, for a suggested retail price of $49.95.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (PS2)

The title is published as part of VU Games' exclusive, long-term agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to develop interactive entertainment based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings" for multiple next-generation and PC platforms. The content of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" for PlayStation®2 derives from the "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first installment of Tolkien's best-selling, world-renowned literary epic. Black Label Games also plans to publish the title for PC in October 2002.

Developed by Seattle-based Surreal Software, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" for PlayStation®2 is a third-person, action- adventure title featuring three members of the Fellowship -- Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf -- as playable characters with unique abilities. In a storyline faithful to Tolkien's masterpiece, players perfect stealth moves as Frodo, combat fierce enemies as Aragorn and cast spells as Gandalf as they journey from the peaceful Shire through the dark depths of Moria all the way to the River Anduin. Orcs, Black Riders, the Balrog and more than 20 other types of formidable enemies stand in their way in this first leg of the quest to destroy the fabled One Ring of Power.

"'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' offers PS®2 gamers and Tolkien fans a sophisticated combat system as well as numerous opportunities to interact with other members of the Fellowship as they explore the seamless environments of Middle-earth," said Torrie Dorrell, General Manager of Black Label Games. "The title represents the hard work of talented creative and technical teams dedicated to transforming a literary epic into an engaging and quality interactive entertainment experience."

"We are thrilled to finally share our vision of Middle-earth with Tolkien's fans and adventure gaming aficionados worldwide," said Vijay Lakshman, Vice President of Production, Online Games, at Black Label Games. "This game is one of the first releases in a long line of rich, diverse products that will explore the enchanting and complex world of Tolkien across multiple genres and gaming platforms in the years to come."

Red Faction II (PS2)

"In addition to being an original, internally developed brand, Red Faction II successfully targets the expanding mature gaming audience," said Alison Locke, executive vice president, North American publishing, THQ. "To ensure Red Faction II's success, we are launching the game with one of our most ambitious marketing campaigns to date, complete with a national TV buy, innovative print ads and extensive consumer sampling."

"Red Faction II offers gamers a complete entertainment experience including a deep storyline, stunning visuals, intense action and groundbreaking Geo-ModTM technology," said Mike Kulas, president, Volition Inc. "We are extremely excited to be delivering Volition's most in-depth action game to date to PlayStation 2 owners this fall."

Marketing highlights for Red Faction II include:

A network and cable television campaign targeted toward 18-34 males. The :30 spot consists of Red Faction II imagery cut to the classic Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit" and will run on NBC, TNT, TBS, ESPN, ESPN2, MTV, FX, E!, UPN, TNN, G4, Sci-Fi and Comedy Central.

A three-month print campaign featuring three consecutive spread ads depicting "The Plight of the Red Faction" with ad creative done in a black and white, photo-journalism style keeping with Red Faction II's storyline. An extensive demo disc campaign distributed via www.redfaction2.com, www.wwe.com, retail outlets and magazine cover mounts. By the time Red Faction II ships, more than 600,000 consumers will have sampled the game.

An exclusive "White Rabbit" trailer distribution through online media and magazine cover mounts.
Pre-sell programs with select retailers that include a special gift with purchase of the game.
Leading up to launch, exclusive email updates to the members of "The Faction" on www.redfaction2.com

About Red Faction II

Featuring an enhanced Geo-Mod engine that allows players to strategically alter and destroy the game environment in real-time, Red Faction II builds upon the experience and technology of the original game. Players will defend their country as Alias, a demolitions expert, with the help of five elite squad members, each specialized in their own means of destruction. Tasked with completing multiple mission objectives in a number of diverse levels, players will have a number of vehicles and an arsenal of powerful weapons at their disposal in a rampage to overthrow the government. Red Faction II features actor Lance Henriksen (The Terminator, Aliens, Millennium) as the voice of squad leader Molov. Refined graphics, enhanced enemy AI and dynamic environments are also featured in Red Faction II along with four-player split screen action including customizable computer opponents.

Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee (NGC)

“Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee captures the epic scope and scale that is the hallmark of the landmark movies,” said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and general manager of Infogrames’ Los Angeles studio. “Godzilla® fans will rejoice at the authenticity of the game, made possible by our close relation with Toho. Gamers are in for the ultimate party game ­ four player slugfests with buildings, gas tankers and cargo ships flying through the air. There’s nothing else like it!”

Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee is a one-to-four-player fighting game that pits gamers as their favorite giant monster against other escapees from Monster Island. The game was awarded “Runner-up” as the Best Fighting Game of the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

In addition to the single-player story mode, the game includes four play styles: Versus mode, pitting between one and four players against each other in an epic battle royal;Destruction mode, a timed challenge to see which player can destroy more of a city in a given amount of time; Survival mode, the ultimate test of a player’s skill, pitting him against monster after monster with the score based on the number of enemies defeated before losing a match; and Melee mode; a two-to-four player multiplayer slugfest.

The game features an epic sense of scope and scale, with 10 massive real-world and fantasy fighting arenas, including San Francisco, Tokyo and the notorious Monster Island, that are fully 3D and totally interactive. Players can pick up and throw buildings and landmarks like Big Ben, toss enemies into vast fuel tank farms and stomp on baseball stadiums. Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee also features additional hidden, unlockable areas. Each city has been created with amazing attention to detail, including working traffic lights, blinking neon signs and moving cars, buses and tanker trucks.

More than 10 licensed monsters, each carefully modeled from the record-setting movie franchise, appear in the game including Godzilla® 90’s, Mechagodzilla™, Megalon™, Destoroyah™, King Ghidorah™, Mothera™ and many more. Each character is equipped with basic fighting maneuvers like kicks, punches, jumps, projectile attacks and blocks. For more hardcore fighting fans, Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee includes a robust combo system and special attacks that are unique to each creature’s abilities from the original movies. Power-ups are dropped into the arena by alien ships and hidden within city buildings, providing health and other enhanced abilities.

While the game focuses on arcade fighting, there is also an additional strategic element involving the humans populating the cities. As each monster moves through a city, causing destruction along the way, the human military will attack with tanks, helicopters, hover jets and laser cannons, launching attacks at the monster that is guilty of the most damage. Players can leverage this element to their favor by forcing or throwing opponents into nearby buildings, thus leading the military to attack and wound their enemy.

Developed by Pipeworks Studios, based in Portland, Oregon, Godzilla®: Destroy All Monsters Melee shipped to most retail stores this week for an estimated retail price of $49.99 and an ESRB rating of ‘T’ for teen.

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