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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Nov. 14, 2006 @ 5:14 a.m. PST

Another day, another batch of games shipped to stores. Instead of giving them all their own posts, we grouped them, and so far there are announcements for:

Eragon (GBA/NDS/PSP/PS2/Xbox/X360/PC)

In Eragon, the video game, players will immerse themselves in the mythical world of Alagaesia and fulfill their destiny as a Dragon Rider. Featuring the voice talents and likenesses from the film's star-filled cast -- Ed Speleers, Sienna Guillory, Garrett Hedlund and Robert Carlyle -- Eragon is an unparalleled action-adventure fantasy experience.

"We are excited to capture the adventure and beauty of Eragon for fans worldwide and to create an interactive experience authentic to the Eragon universe in the official video game of the Twentieth Century Fox film," said Cindy Cook, chief strategy and marketing officer for Vivendi Games. "Gamers will also have the ability to enter the Eragon adventure via multiple gaming platforms, from the comfort of their home with the console and PC versions as well as on the go with handheld and mobile RPGs."

Elie Dekel, executive vice president, Fox Licensing & Merchandising, added, "The world imagined in Eragon is one that is perfectly suited for the interactive platform and we can't wait for gamers to experience this rich universe in advance of the film. We think it will serve as the perfect entree into this fantastic film."

"Our relationship with Fox has proven successful with hit titles such as Ice Age: The Meltdown and Robots," said Pascal Brochier president, Global Retail for Vivendi Games. "Eragon shares the same successful DNA and we expect fans and retailers globally to embrace this wonderful interactive interpretation."

Developed by StormFront Studios, Eragon is available on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system and PC. Developed by Amaze, Eragon is also available on the Game Boy® Advance system, Nintendo DS system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. Developed by Kaolink, Eragon the mobile game will be available on major carriers by early December.

About Eragon for Console and PC

Based on the Twentieth Century Fox film, and author Christopher Paolini's worldwide literary phenomenon, Eragon immerses the player in a magical world of dragons, destiny and adventure. As they fulfill their destiny as a Dragon Rider, gamers will engage in intense battles with an unparalleled magic-based combat system, including stunning finishing moves, multiple grapples and unique counter attacks. The adventure is heightened with dragon flight-based combat and devastating dragon summon attacks. Fantasy fans can also share the adventure with 2 player co-op gameplay.

About Eragon for Handheld

Offering a completely different gaming experience on all major handheld platforms, Eragon will offer Nintendo DS gamers an action-filled combat-RPG with touch screen spell casting and unique dual screen attack mode. Gamers can also sharpen their magic and dragon riding skills in unlockable minigames.

Delving further into the rich story of the Eragon universe, Eragon for the Game Boy Advance is a deep, story-driven turn-based RPG with nine playable characters and fully customizable character skills, along with weapon forging and potion crafting.

Eragon and Saphira take flight on the PSP system in an aerial combat game featuring four person multiplayer in seven different arenas with 12 unlockable arena game types. An extensive single player story mode allows gamers to experience the epic Eragon saga from the dragon's perspective.

EA Replay (PSP)

Produced by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C., exclusively for the PSP, this catalog of 14 EA console favorites from the 90s aims to capture the simple, button-mashing fun that first hooked players all those years ago.

“We wanted to make a game that was authentic to EA’s rich history of genre-defining IP,” said David McCarthy, Executive Producer on the project. “EA Replay is loaded with classic visuals and audio that perfectly emulates the console gameplay you nostalgically remember, while at the same time, delivering a cutting-edge, on-the-go gaming experience.”

By bringing original 90s console games to the PSP, EA Replay rejuvenates the way the classics are played. You can now go head-to-head with friends in multiplayer on select titles, unlock original game art, and save your game at any point.

EA Replay’s compilation of celebrated hits gives you the chance to relive those epic moments that first sparked your gaming passion on-the-go. Included in the retro catalog are popular franchises such as the Strike series, Road Rash and Wing Commander. The complete title list is as follows:

  • B.O.B.
  • Road Rash II
  • Budokan
  • Road Rash III
  • Desert Strike
  • Syndicate
  • Jungle Strike
  • Ultima: The Black Gate
  • Haunting Starring Polterguy
  • Virtual Pinball
  • Mutant League Football
  • Wing Commander
  • Road Rash
  • Wing Commander: Secret Missions

EA Replay will be available exclusively for the PSP system with an MSRP of $19.99. This game has been rated 12+ by PEGI and T by the ESRB.

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (PS2/X360)

With unprecedented levels of choice and control, the game brings to life the thrills of being a World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. SuperStar like never before with prominent new features, key product updates and a power-packed roster of WWE SuperStars, Divas and Legends.

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 enables players to experience the thrill of being a WWE SuperStar like never before with key upgrades, next generation graphics and new game play features. Environmental hotspots let players use multiple objects in and around the ring, as well as from crowd members, to inflict damage on their opponents. Players can also get closer than ever to WWE fans as they battle in a new interactive fighting area within the crowd. New ultimate control moves and an enhanced season mode with multiple branching storylines let players take the power of the WWE SuperStars into their own hands, while a brand new analog control grappling system makes fighting more realistic than ever with intuitive movements and new levels of control. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is also packed with significant product upgrades, including an expanded General Manager Mode, updated rosters for both RAW and SmackDown, enhanced online multiplayer game play with voice chat support and more. In addition, the PSP system version includes an exclusive Road To WrestleMania mode, which allows players to select from four unique tournament styles and compete for supremacy in single-elimination battles.

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is rated "T" for Teen and is available for the suggested retail prices of $49.99 (PlayStation 2, PSP) and $59.99 (Xbox 360). The PSP version is scheduled to be available later this month.

NFL Street 3 (PSP/PS2)

In NFL Street 3, gamers can break out of the constraints of traditional gridiron football, take it to the streets and change the game.

NFL Street 3 lets gamers use the super athletes of the NFL to play football both on the ground and in the air. Players can now jump into the air to collect items and game modifiers that exist above the playing field which can now change the way the game is played. Once airborne, players can pull off style moves that rack up even more points. Also new to the game is the ability to control the Game Breakers and pull off extreme power moves that are available to both the offense and defense. Earn and maintain respect week-to-week by dominating games and unlocking new drills to improve your players.

One of the new features in NFL Street 3 is a new game type called Playbook Elimination. This new game type allows players to tear the page out of an opponent's playbook if the offensive play ends in a fumble, interception, loss of yards or an incompletion. The play is thrown out and the player that is ahead when all of their opponent's plays are gone is declared the winner. Other new game types are Yards for Points, Bank, Defensive Scoring and Time Attack.

NFL Street 3 is rated "E" for (Everyone) and is available on the PlayStation 2 console and the PSP system.

Sonic The Hedgehog (X360)

Celebrating his 15th anniversary this year, Sonic The Hedgehog brings his fast feet and feisty attitude to new next generation heights in his most intense, high velocity adventure yet. The game will also ship for the PS3 this holiday season.

Developed by the Sonic Team, players enter the peaceful water city of Soleanna which is ruled by the Princess Elise. Actress Lacey Chabert (Party of Five, Mean Girls) voices the young princess who protects the Blue Chaos Emerald which holds the power to destroy the world. The tranquil city is shattered as Dr. Eggman descends on the city and kidnaps Elise, with an evil agenda to possess this powerful gem. With the fate of Soleanna at stake, only the dizzying speed and unshakeable courage of Sonic and his friends can tip the balance.

Featuring highlights from Sonic's 15-year history, gamers will have the opportunity to play as characters both returning and new. Sonic, Shadow and a new telekinetic hedgehog from the future, Silver, are playable characters with storylines that intersect along the way. Utilizing Sonic's unstoppable speed, Shadow's vehicles and Silver's powerful telekinesis, the vast game environments can be explored in a multitude of different ways, based on the characters' specific abilities. Additionally, favorite Sonic friends including Tails, Knuckles, Blaze, Rouge, E-123 Omega and Amy provide help along the way, and players will have the opportunity to play sub-missions as these cameo characters.

For the first time in the franchise's history, Sonic and the rest of the cast will also enter the human realm. Exploring the town of Soleanna, players interact with its inhabitants to gather information, protect them from Eggman's robotic minions, and purchase new abilities in the shops. Between sequences in these Town Stages, players navigate a variety of fast-paced action environments, from windswept deserts, to lush jungles, to snowy hillsides, to a fiery futuristic city, in an effort to find Dr. Eggman and put a stop to his nefarious plans.

Sonic The Hedgehog for the Xbox 360 is rated "E10+," and has a MSRP of $59.95.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (PC)

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos features ferocious battles on a massive scale, an epic single player campaign, fully customizable units and multiplayer options.

“Warhammer: Mark of Chaos pushes the boundaries of interactive entertainment, with some of the most visceral battles ever seen in a real-time strategy game,” said Makoto Iwai, Senior Vice President of the Development Group for NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “We have worked closely with Black Hole Entertainment to deliver gamers an immersive and entertaining PC game that truly reflects the renowned Warhammer universe based on the best-selling miniature table top game.”

In Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, the focus is set squarely on the battlefield with a real-time combat system that gives the player unprecedented customization and control of his/her army. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos centers on the armies and battles, while de-emphasizing the tedious aspects of base and resource management. This heroic quest reveals a grand sense of both scale and detail, in which monstrous demons and vast customizable armies clash with thousands of characters in intricately detailed environments. A wide variety of terrain including forests, swamps, plains and tundra challenge players to adapt to their surroundings -- adding a new layer of strategy and providing infinite replayability.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB and has a suggested retail price of $49.99.

SingStar Rocks! (PS2)

SingStar Rocks! is an innovative new title that invites players to step into the spotlight and exercise their vocal chords in an engaging, social experience that encourages even the shyest singer to unleash their inner rock star.

SingStar Rocks! is a hip, competitive singing game with a sophisticated interface featuring real songs and music videos from original artists. SingStar Rocks! comes packed with two microphones that plug into PlayStation 2 via a special SingStar USB converter, offering an instant multi-player experience. Unlike any other singing game on the market, SingStar technology analyzes the player's vocal skills, based on their pitch, tone and rhythm and provides feedback based on how well or badly they have sung. The game is also compatible with the EyeToy® camera allowing players to actually see themselves singing within the game.

"Because SingStar Rocks! features actual songs and videos recorded by popular artists, it adds an element of realism never before seen in a singing game," said Sarah Stocker, Senior Producer, SCEA. "Couple that authenticity with the wide variety of songs and adjustable levels of difficulty in SingStar Rocks!, and you have the perfect party game for any get-together."

Whether hosting a girls night in, or meeting up after a night on the town, SingStar Rocks! serves as the perfect game to keep the party going, with an addictive multiplayer experience for up to eight players. Battle Mode enables two players to challenge each other and sing for the highest scores, while the Duet Mode calls for two players to each sing one vocal part of a duet, and then combines their scores into a total. "Pass The Mic" team games, featuring a variety of different singing challenges - solo rounds, combined duets, medleys and surprise singer selections - ensure that everyone at the party has a chance to show off their superb singing skills.

SingStar Rocks! features 30 fully licensed music tracks from a wide variety of artists and also includes footage of the original videos for each song. The songs span several genres from chart-topping rock, pop, hip-hop and legendary artists, including Fall Out Boy, Gwen Stefani, Coldplay, Jet, Scorpions, KT Tunstall, The Killers, Blur, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and many others. Players can save their favorite performances to Memory Card for future playback, and customize and enhance playback with numerous audio effects.

Singstar Rocks! is rated "E-10+" for "Everyone 10 and older."

F-24 Stealth Fighter (GBA)

“F-24 Stealth Fighter is a fun, on-the-go military flight simulation at a very appealing price point,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing. “With a $14.99 MSRP, this is a great Holiday stocking stuffer for any GBA owner.”

In F-24 Stealth Fighter, recent events in the Middle East, coupled with the continuing hostilities in Iraq have led to runaway political and military instability in Iran. Naval and Air Force aviators conducting operations in the area are at a full state of combat readiness and pilots are authorized to neutralize any threats with extreme prejudice.

With conditions worsening, it is up to players to maintain peace in this volatile region. Backed by the armed might of the F-24 Stealth Fighter, players embark on 20 different land and sea missions to combat the enemy. Pilots will be challenged to master first-person, carrier-based take-offs and landings as well as in-flight refueling. An arsenal of high powered weaponry is at their disposal, including 20mm Cannons, Sidewinder Missiles and Tomahawks.

F-24 Stealth Fighter for the GBA is rated ‘E10+’ and available now for a suggested retail price of $14.99. The Nintendo DS version will launch in early 2007.

Star Wars Galaxies: the Complete Online Adventures (PC)

The Complete Online Adventures includes the base game, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, along with all three of the game's expansions: Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, and Trials of Obi-Wan. In addition, the compilation features a special bonus DVD packed with premium content including:

  • A slide show of Star Wars Galaxies screenshots and never-before-seen concept art, all set to beautifully orchestrated in-game music;
  • Interviews with Star Wars Galaxies production staff, detailing the incredible art, characters and inside stories of the making of the game;
  • Excerpts from the popular "From Pencil to Pixel" book that chronicles the art of Star Wars Galaxies;
  • In-game movie featurettes produced by Star Wars Galaxies fans;
  • Cinematic trailers and commercial television ads produced for Star Wars Galaxies;
  • A demo of the popular PC strategy game Star Wars: Empire at War.

Also, all players who install The Complete Online Adventures will receive an exclusive in-game item -- a personal AT-RT vehicle (one per account) as seen in the Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith movie.

In addition, Star Wars Galaxies subscribers will automatically receive a series of game updates that are scheduled to be released by LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment throughout the remainder of 2006 and into 2007, filled with new gameplay enhancements.

"Just in time for the holidays, the entire Star Wars Galaxies saga can be found in one box, offering you, or the Star Wars® fan on your gift list, an easy way to experience the full richness of the Star Wars universe with thousands of others online," said Jason Willig, senior director online for LucasArts. "The Complete Online Adventures delivers hundreds of hours of gameplay for a fantastic price, along with a bonus DVD filled with premium behind-the-scenes and fan-created content that any Star Wars fan will enjoy."

Star Wars Galaxies is one of the longest-running and most popular online experiences, bringing gamers of all ages and skill levels together in the ultimate Star Wars journey. Jump into exciting adventures that lead you to legendary Star Wars locations including Jabba's Palace and the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina. Begin aboard the Millennium Falcon helping Han Solo and Chewbacca fend off the notorious Darth Vader. Along the way, join with Star Wars characters on missions that span across the galaxy. Ally with the Rebels to fight against the Galactic Empire, or join forces with the Dark Side and crush the Rebel scum. Heroic adventurers can seek their fortune in space or on the ground as a Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Jedi or a host of other unique Star Wars professions.

Throughout the remainder of 2006 and into 2007 LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment are scheduled to add all new content and features to Star Wars Galaxies through a series of downloadable adventures. Featuring such high-value enhancements as a character profession expertise system and epic, high-level quest series, these downloadable adventures provide players new content to explore and new ways to influence the entire Galaxy.

Star Wars Galaxies: the Complete Online Adventures is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99

Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer (PC)

"Our goal with Echoes of Faydwer is to solidly deliver on the best parts of the classic EverQuest feel, while adding plenty of new and exciting places to the world," said Scott Hartsman, senior producer of EverQuest II. "With its rich, vibrant environments, amazing sounds and music, brand new race to play, and the largest collection of places to adventure, Faydwer is shaping up to be a fantastic experience for all EQ2 players, new and experienced alike."

This new EverQuest II expansion is the first to provide content for all players, from level 1 to level 70. Echoes of Faydwer introduces a new playable race, The Fae. This winged, fairy-like race lives in the arboreal city of Kelethin, the new starting location for the Fae, as well as Dwarves, Gnomes, Half Elves, High Elves and Wood Elves. Kelethin is one of many new zones players will explore, all of them based on zones from the original EverQuest, until now separated by 500 years of conflict and cataclysm. Players can also quest through other popular zones from EverQuest, such as Butcherblock Mountains, Castle Mistmoore, Crushbone Keep and Steamfont Mountains.

A new Deity system also awaits players in Echoes of Faydwer. Adventurers can choose to worship one of eight gods from the original EverQuest, opening up a new line of quests for new loot, items and even more powerful spells. Cloaks, a highly requested item from the player community, have also been added to this new expansion, for solo players as well as customizable cloaks for guilds. Echoes of Faydwer includes over 350 new quests, armor, and new horse mounts available to players of all levels.

Players will encounter over 40 new types of creatures, more than 20 new zones and adventure areas, obtain all-new items, equipment, spells and tradeskill recipes and will be able to compete against other players for new PvP (Player vs. Player) rewards for PvP-enabled servers. The Achievement system introduced in the Kingdom of Sky expansion has been enhanced to include additional sub-class abilities, allowing players to further customize their characters' abilities.

The retail version of the game is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99, and includes the base EverQuest II game, the Echoes of Faydwer expansion, and the two previously released expansions, Desert of Flames and Kingdom of Sky. The digital version is also available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and includes the Echoes of Faydwer expansion (requires EverQuest II base game to play).

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