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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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Thursday, November 16, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Nov. 16, 2006 @ 3:53 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:

Gitaroo Man Lives! (PSP)

Gitaroo Man Lives! is the bittersweet tale of U-1, an ordinary young boy who dares to dream of becoming a skateboard master in order to attract the attention of Pico, the most popular girl in school. It is a heartwarming story of a boy triumphing against all odds and overcoming Kazuya, the school bully, winning the girl, and embarking on a journey of young love... then again, looking at U-1, perhaps not.
Actually, it is a spectacular story in which the last descendant of the legendary Gitaroo Man must use his magical guitar to save the planet Gitaroo from the evil Gravillians. This updated version of the original classic is optimized for portable play, and features new songs for the all-new Duet Mode.

Key Product Features

  • Music is the weapon in this fabled rhythm game where you help beautiful loser U-1 transform into rock legend Gitaroo Man and find true love.
  • For the first time ever, share the spotlight in new Duet Mode while jamming to previously unreleased Gitaroo songs Metal Header and Toda Pasión!
  • Battle for rock supremacy in Vs. mode via wireless (ad hoc).
  • Includes all 10 colorful stages from the original including, “Flyin' to Your Heart”, “Bee Jam Blues”, and “Born to be Bone”.
  • Music styles range from Rock, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Latin and more!
  • Single Play, Vs. and Duet Play with three levels of difficulty.
  • Music by COIL, with visual design and illustrations by pop artist 326.

Gitaroo Man Lives! is rated “E” (Everyone) ans retails for US$39.99.

Charlotte's Web (GBA/NDS/PC)

Charlotte's Web is available for the Nintendo DS system and Game Boy Advance, and brings to life one of the most beloved stories of all time. In addition, Charlotte's Web Wilbur and Friends will also be available for the PC. Further enhancing this charming interactive experience is the voice acting of Dominic Scott Kay, who made his debut in the 2002 hit Minority Report. Kay, who voices the role of Wilbur in the feature film, reprises his role on the DS and PC versions of the video game. Charlotte's Web will also be available as a downloadable game on mobile phones via all major cell phone carriers.

Gamers of all ages will explore four fascinating worlds, complete challenging missions and unlock arcade-style mini-games while playing as Wilbur the pig and Templeton the rat in the DS and GBA games. Players will be sent on sweeping scavenger hunts for letters that make up phrases that when woven into Charlotte's web proclaim to the world that Wilbur is an amazing pig. Both versions are loaded with mini-games hidden throughout the multiple levels. The PC CD-ROM game, Charlotte's Web Wilbur and Friends, is the ultimate activity center, packed with numerous individual games including one special game entitled ‘Petting Pen' where players can care for Wilbur.

"Charlotte's Web is one of those special stories that has far reaching appeal due to its heartfelt nature," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "The interactive experience we've created based on this beloved story captures that spirit. This is one video game that the whole family will enjoy."

The game is rated ‘E' for "Everyone" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board and has an MSRP of $29.95 for the DS and GBA, and $19.95 for the PC.

Heroes of Annihilated Empires (PC)

CDV Software Entertainment USA and GSC World Publishing announced today that Heroes of Annihilated Empires has shipped to North American retail outlets. Heroes of Annihilated Empires offers players an exciting mix of RTS and RPG gameplay, set within an enthralling fantasy storyline. Players will be challenged to take on the role of a great hero in an epic battle against the minions of darkness.

Sonic Riders (PC)

Sonic Riders takes gamers on an electrifying ride on air boards at break-neck speeds through a wide variety of tracks.

In Sonic Riders, players race on air boards through over 13 amazingly detailed and challenging courses in either single player or 2-player multiplayer mode. The innovatively designed tracks are filled with objects such as jump ramps for high flying acrobatic tricks and long rails for grinding action. Riders will also ride "Turbulence" – waves generated from other riders – to boost their own speed. "Turbulence" can also be used as a moving half-pipe so riders can perform aerial tricks while racing past fellow competitors.

Sonic Riders, rated "E" for ‘Everyone,' is available at retailers nationwide for an MSRP of $19.95.

Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur (PC)

Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur is available both as a stand alone product via digital distribution and as part of the new Dark Age of Camelot: 5th Anniversary Collection. Developed by EA Mythic (formerly Mythic Entertainment), the titles are available for the PC and require an internet connection to play.

“Over five years the Dark Age of Camelot game has evolved to be a fan favorite around the world,” said Walter Yarbrough, Producer of Dark Age of Camelot. “To mark the fifth anniversary of this epic title, we’re giving our community, both veterans and new players alike, the definitive experience with the 5th Anniversary Collection and presenting them exciting new content and challenges with Labyrinth of the Minotaur.”

Labyrinth of the Minotaur introduces the Minotaur as a new player race to the game, the first in two years. It also adds a new character class, the brawling Mauler, as well as a massive new dungeon and an exciting new Realm vs. Realm® (RvR) game play experience, the fight for the Minotaur Relics.

Dark Age of Camelot subscribers can now purchase Labyrinth of the Minotaur for $19.99 through an in-game menu option.

The Dark Age of Camelot 5th Anniversary Collection is the definitive compilation of the game and contains the original game and all seven expansions, including the new Labyrinth of the Minotaur. Suggest retail price is $29.99.

Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur and the Dark Age of Camelot: 5th Anniversary Collection have been rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

Spider-Man: Battle for New York (GBA/NDS)

Players will web-sling, wall crawl and battle through a bustling New York City as they uncover an all-new chapter in the legendary rivalry between Marvel’s famed Super Hero and the notorious villain.

Spider-Man: Battle for New York is the most customizable Spider-Man game ever for a handheld. Players have the power in the palm of their hands to personalize their experiences by choosing what abilities to upgrade and when, such as Spider-Man’s web maneuvers or Green Goblin’s fire attacks, as they progress through the game. Playing as both good and evil, gamers will experience levels packed with frenzied action, in-depth combat and a host of unique super moves as they embark on the ultimate quest to save New York City from almost certain disaster. The Nintendo DS version features unique touch screen mini-games that let players engage in web drawing, rhythm based objectives and more.

Spider-Man: Battle for New York is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 and is rated “E10+” (“Everyone 10+” – Cartoon Violence) by the ESRB.

Untold Legends Dark Kingdom (PS3)

With Dark Kingdom, we looked at what made the previous two PSP titles so popular, and then took it up to the next level to make a top-quality next-gen game. We focused heavily on game play mechanics and combat, giving players more than 30 levels to hack and slash their way through," said Michael Lustenberger, Vice President, Marketing. "Dark Kingdom will also feature online gameplay, giving players the ability to adventure alone or with up to three of their friends through multiplayer modes as well as delivering content post launch through the PLAYSTATION® Network."

Dark Kingdom will utilize the powerful PLAYSTATION 3 system cell processors for unique physics-based game mechanics including audio, visual and special effects. Players will choose from one of three unique characters to take on their perilous journey, during which they will be able to unlock spells and abilities, and collect unique weapons, armor and other items throughout the game. In addition, the game is completely interactive with the surrounding environment, giving players the opportunity to break or smash objects or use enemy NPCs as living, unwilling weapons. Other next-gen features include support for high definition formats up to 720p, highly detailed graphics, digital surround sound, high resolution textures and detailed character models.

For the epic storyline of Dark Kingdom, SOE engaged renowned fantasy author Keith Baker, writer of several best-selling Dungeons and Dragons and novels. In Dark Kingdom, players have loyally served the king, yet have reason to believe he is being corrupted by dark forces. Sensing distrust, the king sends some of his military off to quell an uprising in the barbaric borderlands. After returning home, players find the land a horribly changed place. It is revealed that the king is responsible for torturing and killing many innocent people, and now players must battle through forests, caverns, villages and the palace, all the while betraying the king in order to save the kingdom!

Key features in Dark Kingdom include:

  • Next-Gen HD Graphics: Experience next-gen graphics in true high-definition formats. Watch as the fantasy unfolds through vibrant environments, beautifully rendered characters, highly-detailed creatures, and intense battles filled with engaging combat, magical spells and brilliant special effects.
  • Engaging Real-time Physics: Unique physics-based game mechanics will give the heroes of Dark Kingdom the ability to tear through environments and defeat enemies in exciting ways. Knock enemies against walls and watch them tumble to the ground. Smash through crates, pillars and rocks to clear a way through the environment. Or grab creatures and use them as living, unwilling weapons.
  • Epic Storyline: Immerse yourself in an intriguing storyline, as you seek to end an evil king's reign of oppression that he has forced upon your fellow citizens - all told through in-game dialog and cut sequences.
  • Visceral Action RPG Combat: Take complete control of every battle by using chained melee attacks, or an array of spells and special abilities acquired along your journey.
  • In-depth Character Progression: Choose from three unique heroes and unlock new spells and abilities as you adventure! Collect and equip unique armor sets, powerful weapons and other special items that will aid your hero on their perilous journey!
  • Co-op and Internet Modes: Adventure alone or with your friends with a full range of multiplayer support.

Untold Legends Dark Kingdom is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99.

Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm (PC)

Koios Works is known for their work on the acclaimed Tin Soldiers series, which combined battles from ancient history with 3D strategy gaming. Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm will bring the same quality gameplay to a 3D tactical scale set on the Eastern Front in World War II.

David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said "A little over a year ago, we decided that it was time for us to try our hand at the 3D tactical scale. We've worked hard together with the excellent team at Koios Works to bring this project to fruition on a relatively short development schedule. We are very excited about the results. Panzer Command is the first of a series and are already working on the continuation of the series through the development of expansions that will take gamers to the West Front and elsewhere!"

Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm is a 3D simultaneous turn based strategy game where you command either the Soviet or German forces during the desperate attempt to reach the encircled German 6th Army at Stalingrad . Each side has detailed 3D units of the historical vehicles and squads, from Panzer IIIs and T-34s to PanzerGrenadiers, Artillery and Air Strikes. Two campaigns (one German, one Soviet) tie the scenarios together, allowing core units to progress from battle to battle, gaining experience, medals and special abilities. A point system allows players to "purchase" additional units for each mission in the campaign as well as replace losses, forcing decisions on management of resources.

The design for Operation Winter Storm lets first time users sit down and start playing, while allowing hard-core gamers to enjoy the realism and historical accuracy. All campaign battles can also be fought as individual scenarios and two separate skirmish scenarios are included for maximum replayability. The AI can control either side in each battle and a full Play-by-Email system allows for head to head play.

Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm is also the first 3D tactical WWII game where the unit and weapon data as well as the unit art is stored in easily accessible formats to enable mod support and customized scenarios and campaigns post-release.

Shrek Smash N' Crash Racing (GBA/NDS/PSP/NGC/PS2)

Players will take the role of their favorite Shrek characters and zoom, crash and slide their way through 12 enchanted locations using racing and combat skills against an assortment of twisted fairy tale opponents.

"Shrek Smash N' Crash Racing gives gamers a chance to experience a variety of racing challenges, including Tournament and Cup Challenge, and high speed Time Trials that will have them smashing and crashing through the colorful Shrek universe," said David Oxford, Activision Publishing, Inc. "The game features Shrek's signature fun and humor and gives kids a chance to interact with their favorite Shrek characters like never before."

In Shrek Smash N' Crash Racing, gamers take on the role of Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots or eight other Shrek universe characters, and race around on comical vehicles such as Puss in Boots' bull, Humpty Dumpty's egg cup and Gingy's cupcake. With a wide variety of tracks featuring log swings, windmills, moving gates, draw bridges and other gauntlets that test racing skills, players must use their melee accessories, such as Donkey's microphone and Pinocchio's nose, to battle twisted fairy-tale opponents through 12 locations, from Shrek's Swamp to Far Far Away to Fairy Godmother's Factory. Pixie dust, ogre strength and swamp gas will boost speed and strength, as well as thwart players' opponent's progress if gamers fall behind. Players can pit their skills against the game's advanced AI or enjoy the challenge of schooling their friends in multi-player, split-screen action.

Shrek Smash N' Crash Racing, rated "E" ("Everyone"), is available now for the PS2 for a suggested retail price of $29.99 and for GBA for a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game will also be available later this holiday season on the PSP, GameCube and NDS for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

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