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Tuesday April 11, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on April 11, 2006 @ 11:36 a.m. PDT

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:

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (X360)

The first-ever next generation console installment of the Battlefield franchise drops players into the heat of battle on the high tech frontlines with breathtaking visuals, a new physics engine, environmental damage modeling, and an overhauled AI system.

The Xbox 360 version includes all of the content from the Xbox version, plus the three new maps and four new vehicles from the "Warsome Booster Pack" released in December. Players will experience the full effect of the graphics upgrade with spent minigun shells raining down on them from passing helicopters, while bullets score the environment around them and exploding tank shells distort their vision.

"Battlefield 2: Modern Combat delivers the definitive Battlefield experience for the Xbox 360 and offers a great way for gamers to experience the franchise on the next generation system," said EA's executive producer, Jeff Gamon. "Combining the re-engineered A.I. and the stunning graphics of the Xbox 360 bring the battlefield to life like never before."

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat will continue the popular online mayhem started on the PS2 and Xbox which can be enjoyed by up to 24 players. Players can choose to fight for one of four military superpowers: the United States, the Chinese, the European Union, or the Middle East Coalition. The fully-featured single-player game highlights the innovative "Hotswapping" feature, allowing players to instantly take control of any soldier in their squad to stay in the middle of the action at all times. Players can also increase their rank and garner promotions that are tracked globally; all while unlocking Achievements in single-player and multiplayer. (Xbox 360 online play requires Xbox Live)

Developed jointly by Sweden-based developer Digital Illusions and EA's UK studio, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for the Xbox 360 is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $59.99.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend (PS2/Xbox/X360/PC)

Jungles, mountain ruins and ancient tombs built to challenge even the most accomplished armchair adventurer, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is a 3D quest set in lifelike environments ranging from the lush landscapes of Bolivia to steamy African rainforests; exotic Peruvian jungles to the snow-capped Himalayan mountain ruins, and other ancient tombs filled with deadly traps. As the adventure unfolds, the player will learn more about Lara’s mysterious past and see her come to terms with death, betrayal and her own insecurities.

Lara and the player will embark on the adventure together utilizing her legendary physical prowess and agility, made more realistic with a new fluid movement system and real world physics. In addition to her trademark dual pistols, Lara is now equipped with an arsenal of such state-of-the-art gadgetry as a magnetic grappling hook, frag grenades, binoculars, personal lighting device, communications equipment, and GPS tracking to help her solve physics based puzzles and improvise solutions to challenging obstacles.

Lara is arguably the first, and certainly the most recognizable game crossover star. In the ten years since the world first met adventuress Lara Croft, she has become a pop culture icon extending well beyond her Tomb Raider video game franchise. In addition to being the face that sold more than 28 million game units sold to date, Lara Croft is a billion-dollar brand and the inspiration behind music videos, comic books, amusement park attractions and endorsements for products, ranging from hot pants to energy drinks.

She’s been lauded in Entertainment Weekly’s “It” issue of 100 most creative entertainment elite, Time Magazine’s most influential figures of the 20th century and as the only virtual celebrity figure featured in Details’ Sexiest Women of the Year. With two movie spin-offs, 200+ magazine covers and the title of U.K. Ambassador for Science and Technology, the digital diva was honored with a star at the Walk of Game in San Francisco, California.

“Lara has proven that she’s a pop icon with staying power,” said Matt Gorman, Senior Brand Manager at Eidos. “Her personality transcends the medium she debuted in ­ gaming ­ because she represents the feisty independent spirit that we embrace in American culture.”

The game hits retail stores nationwide on April 11 for the PS2, X360, Xbox, and PC, while the PSP version is coming later this year.

Condemned: Criminal Origins (PC)

Developed by Monolith Productions, courageous PC gamers can now experience terrifying drama as they use their instincts, forensic tools, and combat skills to track serial killers and bring them to justice.

Condemned: Criminal Origins puts players in the shoes of Ethan Thomas, an FBI agent in the Serial Crimes Unit. His pursuit of relentless serial killers leads him through detailed urban environments filled with terrifyingly real sociopaths who lurk on the periphery of humanity.

"Condemned: Criminal Origins is the innovative psychological thriller that PC gamers have been longing for," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "All the terrifying imagery, emotion, and sound that was praised on the Xbox 360 remains perfectly intact in the PC version."

Condemned: Criminal Origins features amazingly photorealistic environments and true-to-life sound effects that transport players directly to the scene of the crime. Gruesome weapons including paper-cutter handles, wooden planks, and lead pipes ripped from walls can be fashioned from the environment by clever players. With advanced artificial intelligence, enemies don't just run at the player; they find appropriately powerful weapons and then hide in the shadows, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Rated "M" for Mature by the Entertainment Software Review Board, Condemned: Criminal Origins for the PC is available at retailers nationwide for an MSRP of $39.95.

Monster Rancher EVO (PS2)

Players can now fully immerse themselves into the Monster Rancher world which now includes circus performances, towns laden with quests, and epic monster battles. The most recent incarnation of the Monster Rancher franchise also includes the series’ unique media disc input system that creates a multitude of monsters based on the CD, PlayStation 2 game, or DVD the player inserts into the PlayStation 2.

“The launch of Monster Rancher EVO signals the evolution of breeders as we currently know them.” Mike Domaguing, Tecmo’s Marketing Manager says. “EVO incorporates a spectacular story, strategy based breeding, distinctive RPG elements, cell shaded art style, and exhilarating battles in such a way that the players will feel a true sense of breeding mastery. We are extremely pleased to present Monster Rancher EVO to both the new and loyal Monster Rancher fans.”

Accompanying the launch of Monster Rancher EVO are the Monster Rancher EVO collectable cards! For the first time ever, collect all of your favorite monsters on these incredibly vivid and detail oriented cards. Each high quality card features the monster, an explicit description, and that monsters base statistics. These collectable cards are a must for any Monster Rancher breeder! Check the Tecmo site ( for more details on how you can acquire these marvelous collectables!

Monster Rancher EVO introduces an evolution in monster breeding with an intricate character-driven story, a two-phase training system, three-on-three battles and the ability to raise multiple monsters at a time. Players will balance monster breeding with role-playing exploration as they join in the adventures of Julio, a young circus performer with dreams of becoming a champion monster breeder. Traveling with the circus to seven different towns, each with its own story and beautifully rendered unique 3D environment, the player will meet new adventures and new friends who can help with training and breeding monsters.

Major League Baseball 2K6 (Xbox360)

"The Major League Baseball season has now begun for Xbox 360 consumers," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "Our goal for Major League Baseball 2K6 for Xbox 360 was to deliver next generation visual details with a full suite of enhanced gameplay features. We've accomplished this and more, giving Xbox 360 gamers the excitement, challenge and delight of the most authentic video game baseball experience ever created."

Major League Baseball 2K6 includes several original and exclusive features, including astounding A.I. powered by Inside Edge technology, innovative Swing Stick controls, hundreds of new animations based on Pure Motion Physics, and the all-new Payoff Pitching system. Jon Miller and Hall of Fame legend Joe Morgan bring their distinctive style and wit to the world-class commentary, adding wonderful atmosphere to every game. The World Baseball Classic debuts exclusively on Major League Baseball 2K6, adding an exciting international flavor of baseball.

Through the power of Xbox 360, Major League Baseball 2K6 features new visual high-definition details of cloth physics, real-time lighting, high-resolution textures, and 3D interactive crowds. Additionally, every MLB ballpark has been completely redesigned to deliver a vivid and authentic baseball atmosphere.

Major League Baseball 2K6 is rated "E" for Everyone and is the only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game that will be available on every major gaming console, including Xbox 360, Xbox, the PlayStation2, PSP, and GameCube.

The Xbox 360 version is available now for a suggested retail price of $59.99; with the PlayStation 2 and Xbox titles available for $39.99.

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