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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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Tuesday, November 7, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Nov. 7, 2006 @ 5:36 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:

Deal or No Deal (PC)

"Fans of the show are going to be fans of the game," said Howie Mandel, who provided the voice over in the game. "The studio is an exciting place to be and this game expertly recreates the energy, the environment and the emotion of the whole Deal or No Deal experience."

In addition to replicating the TV show, Deal or No Deal for PC contains a customization mode that allows users to create their own family-friendly prizes in the briefcases instead of money. Examples include "Make My Bed" or "A Night at the Movies," adding an extra element of relevancy to gamers at home who can play for the most coveted prize of all - bragging rights.

A combined 48 million people tuned in for the Deal or No Deal program during the Season Premiere Week Event. The show remains a ratings triumph for NBC and is an anchor of the network's fall lineup.

The Deal or No Deal game will be highlighted on a special "Deal or No Deal Thanksgiving Extravaganza" episode to air on NBC this November 23, 2006. The famous Deal or No Deal models will hand out copies of the game during the broadcast and everyone in the audience will receive a complimentary copy.

Deal or No Deal, licensed in conjunction with the Joy Tashjian Licensing Group and developed by Cat Daddy Games, is rated E for Everyone andhas a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2)

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for PlayStation 2 is available now at retailers across North America. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 hits the ground running to give fans and fighting game enthusiasts a remarkable fighting experience by delivering ferocious, high-octane, one-on-one battling in massive destructible 3D environments. Featuring over 120 playable characters, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 offers the highest character roster of any fighting game to date. The game's visuals have reached a new peak of excellence contributing to dazzling and absorbing fast-paced gameplay.

In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 players can try out new vanishing attacks and also trigger transformations exactly as those in the DBZ anime TV series and movies. Nine game modes include tag team battle and multiplayer allow players to challenge their friends to battle in all the visual and technical splendor of the DBZ universe, with more energy, thrills and explosive action than ever.

Final Fantasy XI Vana'diel Collection 2007 (PC)

This exciting collection contains the award-winning Final Fantasy XI stand-alone product, the Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia and Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion packs, and a new foldout Quick Manual including a world map and a starter's guide, all in one convenient budget-priced package.

Final Fantasy XI is the first massively multiplayer online role playing game capable of simultaneous multiplay across three different platforms, allowing players to take up arms together on the PS2, Windows, or Xbox 360 whether they are in North America, Europe or Japan. Now in its fourth year of service, Final Fantasy XI boasts more than 500,000 active subscribers and more than 1.7 million player characters from around the world.

In Final Fantasy XI, players embark on numerous adventures through vast environments in Vana'diel, a persistent world with over a hundred areas to explore, including mountains, forests, glaciers, deserts, oceans, rivers, castles and dungeons. Final Fantasy XI lets players create an alter ego to traverse the world of Vana'diel and gives players the opportunity to form parties with others or play at their own pace. The expansion packs Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia and Treasures of Aht Urhgan are included, adding new jobs, areas, monsters, items and quests while continuing the storyline in new and exciting ways.

The Final Fantasy XI Vana'diel Collection 2007, rated (T) for Teen, is available exclusively for Windows at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD).

Gears of War (X360)

The intense, genre-defining game thrusts players into humankind's epic battle for survival against a nightmarish race of creatures known as the Locust Horde. With its combination of cinematic, visceral gameplay, dramatic storytelling and intense action, and with single-player and multiplayer online play via Xbox Live, "Gears of War is a seminal title for Xbox 360, providing one of the best next-generation interactive entertainment experiences today.

"'Gears of War' is a title we know will deliver on all of its promise, and we expect the game to reach 1 million copies faster than any new titles for Xbox, said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "This holiday is an extremely important one for the entire industry, and Xbox 360 will offer the world unparalleled experiences available only on this console. We've put an enormous emphasis on bringing new and exciting titles to market, and 'Gears of War' is a key example of Microsoft's commitment to developing original and immersive titles for gamers everywhere.

"The reception that 'Gears of War' has received has been tremendous, said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for "Gears of War at Epic Games. "Designing 'Gears of War' has been a labor of love, and we've poured everything we have into the title. We expect this game to be huge, and it's exhilarating to see that people are as excited about 'Gears of War' as we are.

"We've seen tremendous excitement and demand for 'Gears of War,' as Xbox 360 fans packed our stores across the country during our special after-hours events for their first chance to play the game, said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of Merchandising at GameStop Corp. "'Gears of War' is hands down one of the most anticipated games this holiday, and the pre-order numbers we've received are astounding and second only to 'Halo 2' for the Xbox platform.

"Gears of War from Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios is a third-person tactical action/horror game available exclusively on Xbox 360. It is available now at select retailers and will be available widely beginning Nov. 12, 2006, in the U.S. for the estimated retail price of $59.99, or $69.99 for a special Limited Collector's Edition, which will include a collectible embossed metal box, the "Destroyed Beauty hardbound art book, and a bonus DVD that features the making of "Gears of War, the "Art of Gears of War trailer and the MTV program "Gears of War: The Race to E3.

Microsoft and Epic's celebration of the game's release continues on Nov. 12, with a full slate of activities scheduled on Xbox Live, including a 24-hour leader board tournament for online multiplayer matches, hourly sweepstakes drawings offering the chance to win one of several Samsung HT-P29 Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound systems, Game with Fame sessions with "Gears of War fans Megadeth and members of the Epic development team, and much more. A full list of scheduled events can be found at http://www.xbox.com. In addition, due to the popularity of the highly rated MTV "Gears of War: The Race to E3 broadcast, MTV will feature its follow-up to the program, "Gears of War: The Race to Launch, which follows the birth of the game through the eyes of eager fans waiting for its release and the real-life characters that created it; the program will air on MTV Nov. 13 at 8:30 p.m. and on MTV2 at 9:30 p.m. EST/MST/PST.

"Gears of War begins appearing in the first retail outlets today, with continued rollout to retailers worldwide.

RUSH (PSP)

"With RUSH, players can now experience the popular arcade racing franchise on-the-go," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Players will even have the opportunity to go head-to-head with a friend in a street race or cruise mission using wireless functionality."

Exclusive to the PSP system are several new modes including; Stunt Arena, a huge environment packed with ramps, tracks and other obstacles where gamers can show off their mad stunt skills, and Battle Race, a mode where players go head-to-head in a wireless race riddled with power-ups designed to boost performance or derail an opponent's progress. Also featured in RUSH, are all-new money cruise and multiplayer missions.

Developed by Midway Studios - Newcastle, RUSH is rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB and has a U.S. MSRP of $29.95.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault (PS2)

Developed by Zipper Interactive, Inc., in association with U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, these two unique titles continue the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs' franchise legacy by offering the most realistic SEAL gameplay and most comprehensive teamwork mechanics in the military shooter genre. Established and new fans of the franchise will find that both titles build on the strength of their multi-million unit selling predecessors to create the best single-player experience and most innovative multiplayer gameplay yet.

"We are very excited by what we were able to accomplish with SOCOM: Combined Assault and SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 2," said Seth Luisi, Director of Development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Both titles offer entirely unique gameplay experiences but also share a common thread and interact through 'Crosstalk' which is an innovation only available on the PlayStation platforms. We feel strongly that established and new SOCOM fans alike will find that these two unique titles deliver the best single and multiplayer military action experiences to-date."

First introduced in 2005's SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, "Crosstalk" functionality between SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 is enhanced greatly to combine the efforts of both games' SEAL teams. By completing "Crosstalk Objectives," players can sync their PSP system up to their PlayStation 2 system via a USB cable and transfer Crosstalk data, allowing their efforts in one game to affect events and progress in the other, as well as unlocking items and features.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault builds on the strengths of the multimillion-selling SOCOM franchise to firmly establish both single-player and multiplayer as equally outstanding experiences. The game features all-new 4-player cooperative online play, improved enemy behavior and tactics for enhanced single player and multiplayer gameplay, new missions and maps, and new vehicles and weapons.

Additionally, players will have the option to select an individual tactical mission area that was previously completed, and play it as a customizable stand-alone, or "Instant Action," mission in 4-player online cooperative play or in single player mode for nearly endless replay.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault also contains the full SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs competitive multiplayer online game with all maps and updates. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault players and SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs players will be able to play together on all SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs maps. The introduction of ten new competitive 32-player maps exclusive to SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault adds even further to this top online franchise on the PlayStation 2.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault is rated "T" for "Teen."

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo (PSP)

Developed by Zipper Interactive, Inc., in association with U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, these two unique titles continue the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs' franchise legacy by offering the most realistic SEAL gameplay and most comprehensive teamwork mechanics in the military shooter genre. Established and new fans of the franchise will find that both titles build on the strength of their multi-million unit selling predecessors to create the best single-player experience and most innovative multiplayer gameplay yet.

"We are very excited by what we were able to accomplish with SOCOM: Combined Assault and SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 2," said Seth Luisi, Director of Development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Both titles offer entirely unique gameplay experiences but also share a common thread and interact through 'Crosstalk' which is an innovation only available on the PlayStation platforms. We feel strongly that established and new SOCOM fans alike will find that these two unique titles deliver the best single and multiplayer military action experiences to-date."

First introduced in 2005's SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, "Crosstalk" functionality between SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 is enhanced greatly to combine the efforts of both games' SEAL teams. By completing "Crosstalk Objectives," players can sync their PSP system up to their PlayStation 2 system via a USB cable and transfer Crosstalk data, allowing their efforts in one game to affect events and progress in the other, as well as unlocking items and features.

Players will command a secret two-man team subset of the most elite and deadly fighting force on the planet through new non-linear mission progression, over 40 authentic real world weapons and a huge area of operation spanning multiple terrain types and environments seen from a unique vantage on this PSP system game. As the SEAL commander, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 players are supported by one AI teammate in executing traditional SOCOM team-based gameplay, as well as more stealthy and secretive operations than players will experience with SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault's four-man team.

Additionally, two new economy systems track players' success throughout the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 campaign. "Command Equity" rewards players through a points-based system as they complete mission goals discover bonus objectives, and rescue civilians. They can then use the points to add new weapons to their armory or purchase air strikes and supply drops. Secondly, "Local Influence" is a rating system that is affected by how players' interact with enemies and civilians and unlocks items such as black market weapons, as well as giving players access to advanced intelligence.

Building on SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo's success as the top online PSP title, players will again be able to form clans and take on their friends for team-based high-action gameplay via a Wi-Fi connection. Up to 16 players in close proximity in Ad Hoc mode and online in Infrastructure mode can compete wirelessly through 3 new game types across all new multiplayer maps and maps from the original SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo is rated "T" for "Teen."

Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS2/Xbox/PS3/X360)

Tony Hawk fans get their taste of the definitive skateboarding experience with the release of Tony Hawk’s Project 8, which ships today to retail outlets nationwide. Reengineered from the ground up for Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 immerses players in the definitive skateboarding experience using ultra-realistic graphics, enhanced physics and extremely responsive controls that simulate the feeling of skating with every trick and bail. The game challenges players to experience the intensity and excitement of skating against some of the world’s top amateurs, as they climb the ranks in an effort to earn their way onto Tony Hawk’s Project 8 Team.

Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is currently available for the Xbox 360 and PS 3 for a suggested retail price of $59.99, and the Xbox and PS2 for $49.99. The PSP version will be available in late-November. The game has been rated “T” (Teen – Blood, Crude Humor, Language, Mild Violence) by the ESRB.

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