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Tuesday April 25, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on April 25, 2006 @ 2:02 p.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:

Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (PS2)

Namco Bandai Games America announced today that the next installment of its Ace Combat franchise, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War for the PlayStation 2 flies onto store shelves today.

"Ace Combat Zero's elite new features such as the innovative Ace style gauge system where the game changes based on the player's style, and its increased wingman command, all help to meld Ace Combat Zero into the best yet in the series," said Yoshi Niki, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.'s Business Unit Director. "We are thrilled to have this superior action title hit stores today."

A prequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, Ace Combat Zero takes players 15 years into the past and enmeshes them in the turbulent events that led to the Belkan War. Players assume the role of a mercenary pilot hired to fly for Ustio, a small country invaded by its militaristic neighbor Belka. Flying authentic licensed aircrafts such as the F-15 Eagle or F/A-18 Hornet, players fly through 18 realistic missions as they face off against combat-hardened pilots.

Exciting features of Ace Combat Zero include:

  • Advanced AI Changes the Action: Innovative Ace Style Gauge System factors the player's style of flying and changes different facets of the game accordingly.
  • Personalized Communications: Linked with the Ace Style Gauge System, the Radio Transmission System changes radio communications in real-time according to a player's reputation. In-game messages from allies and opponents acknowledge the skill level of the player.
  • Individualized Enemy Pilots: Brand new to the series, rival ace pilots give players a run for their money with individual flying styles and tactics that require players to elevate their skills to new heights.
  • Enhanced Wingman Command: Wingman commands are now more advanced than ever as players coordinate battle tactics with their wingman.
  • Retrospective Interviews: Cut-scene interviews of rival pilots comment on their encounters with the player, providing an in depth look into the enemy's tactical mindset.
  • VS Mode: Players dog-fight in head-to-head action against their friends to prove who is the true Ace in the group.

Fly high with Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War as it hits store shelves nationwide today.

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (PS2)

NIS America announced today that Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny for the PlayStation 2 has shipped to North American retailers and is in stores now.

The sequel to last year's sleeper RPG hit, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny features improved battle and synthesis systems. The engaging story and faster battles bring more excitement to the RPG genre.

When the alchemy paradise of Eden is shattered, a young boy named Felt must travel to the mysterious world of Belkhyde to prevent his world from total destruction. Aided by Viese, his best friend and foster sister, Felt must discover the cause of Eden's peril, and restore his home.

In Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, players will engage enemies in battle, utilizing the revolutionary Action Cost Time Battle (ACTB) System. Players will have to strategize their attacks, choosing from quick Charge Attacks, enemy delaying Break Attacks, and powerful Skill Attacks to be victorious.

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny allows players to switch between the two main characters. There are two separate stories for the main characters, the battle heavy story of Felt, and the alchemy-researching story of Viese.

Key Features

  • Revolutionary Action Cost Time Battle System.
  • Main character switch system.
  • Extensive Alchemy Synthesis system, with over 300 craftable items.
  • Run, jump, and use items like an action game.

Black & White 2: The Battle of the Gods (PC)

The Battle of the Gods expansion pack for Black & White 2 offers players a host of new challenges in a darker, more sinister game world. In the expansion pack, players return to Eden where something strange has happened: The Aztecs have raised their own evil deity, which must be confronted head-on for control of the land. Players have the freedom to choose how they will rise to this new challenge -- by countering the evil deity's actions with good deeds or attempting to defeat him with extreme evil.

Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods features a brand new creature, two new lands and four new miracles, for hours of expanded gameplay. An all-new enemy unit AI system enhances the battle experience, and players will have to watch out for two new enemy armies and their ultimate weapon: the new enemy creature. Six new challenges and other new content are also available for players to explore.

Black & White 2: Battle of The Gods requires the full version of Black & White 2.

Developed by UK-based Lionhead Studios, Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $19.99.

LostMagic (NDS)

Today Ubisoft announces that LOSTMAGIC, the Taito-developed role-playing action video game for the Nintendo DS system, has released and will be arriving in stores in North America and Europe this week.

"LOSTMAGIC will mesmerize role-playing game fans with its seamless integration of Nintendo DS capabilities in gameplay, such as casting spells and commanding characters with the stylus," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "This game is an illustration of how innovation in game systems generates innovation in game design, delivering a big win for our customers."

In LOSTMAGIC, designed by renowned art director Yoshiharu Sato, peace in the world is challenged by a new evil force. The only hope lies with the wizard Isaac and the seven magic wands left behind by the creator. Monsters wield unimaginable power in this realm, and as Isaac, the player will use the stylus to unleash magic spells and command numerous monster squads in magical battles.

Key Features:

  • Cast Spells With the Stylus ­ Your stylus becomes your ur magic wand! Use different motions to unleash your magic.
  • Evolving Magic System ­ Players can combine up to threeree single spells to create more than 350 magic combinations using a symbol system exclusive to the DS.
  • Collect and Command Monsters ­ Learn to use each monstester’s special skill to gain the advantage in battle.
  • Use the Stylus to Open Up a New Frontier in RPGs ­ Expexperience strategy like never before! LOSTMAGIC's innovative RTS-type RPG makes full use of the unique capabilities of the DS. Control your units directly on-screen using a point-and-click interface that PC strategy gamers have enjoyed for years.
  • Challenge Others via Nintendo Wi-Fi connectivity­ Createate new characters and challenge friends over a Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. In Dueling mode, players can test their magic-casting skills and strategies against each other.

LOSTMAGIC ships with a rating of "E" for Everyone, and a suggested retail price of $29.99.

OutRun 2006: Coast-2-Coast (PSP/PS2/Xbox/PC)

Power your way across 15 new American themed environments from the OutRun2 SP arcade experience. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play, with up to 6 players for a thrilling head-to-head journey.

The enchanting draw of the open road has never been so appealing with the choice of one of 12 fully licensed Ferrari models, featuring the all-new F430 and the dazzling Superamerica. Gamers will feel the throaty whine and that distinctive Ferrari exhaust tone as they power their way across 30 glorious stages from the best of the OutRun2 original, and the new OutRun2 SP arcade experience. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play with up to 6 players for a thrilling head-to-head journey.

With platform specific missions, the player will also be able to unlock PSP exclusive content by connecting with the PS2 version, and vice versa. Stack up the OutRun miles from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way to unlock new tracks, cars and much more! With a girlfriend by your side and open country before you, which route will you take?

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is being developed by UK developers, Sumo Digital Ltd, the team responsible for the critically acclaimed OutRun 2. OutRun 2006: Coast-2-Coast is scheduled for release for PSP, PS2, Xbox and PC.

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