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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


Tuesday June 6, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on June 6, 2006 @ 3:01 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:

Astonishia Story (PSP)

Ubisoft today announced that Astonishia Story for the PSP system has released and will be arriving at North American retailers this week.

In Astonishia Story, players take the role of an honorable knight and embark upon an epic journey to recover the sacred Wand of Kinan, a symbol of the kingdom's prosperity and fortune, which was stolen by an evil rogue knight. Brave gamers will seek the help of wizards, fighters, knights and many other mysterious allies to succeed. Players will need to rely on their strength and magic to battle against elves, bandits, sorcerers, and monsters of all types.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-navigate user interface - Powerful one-button command rring icon. Quickly and intuitively control your player. Spend more time enjoying the action and less time navigating menus.
  • Save anytime and anywhere feature - Pick up your adventure whennever or wherever you last left off. It's a convenient feature casual and hardcore gamers alike will appreciate.
  • Humorous and unique characters - Witty and clever dialogue addss to the immersive experience. The game features characters with unique abilities and backgrounds. Character classes include Knights, Mages, Merchants, Fighters, Wizards, Archers, Warriors, Lords, and more.
  • Turn-based tactical RPG - Position and move players during the heat of battle for the maximum advantage.

Developed by Sonnori, Astonishia Story ships with suggested retail price of $39.99 and an ESRB rating of "E10+" (Everyone 10 and older).

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury (PC)

Battlefield 2 today announced that its second booster pack, Armored Fury, is available for purchase over EA Downloader. The battle continues in a brand-new theater as the US forces are fighting on their own soil -- defend your territory against the MEC and Chinese forces, from the Alaskan pipeline to the prairies of the American Midwest. New attack jets and scout helicopters give air combat a whole new level of importance!

Key Features:

  • 3 new maps, from the Alaskan pipeline to the prairies of the Midwest
  • 6 new vehicles including the A-10 Warthog, Fantan Q-5, and Littlebird scout chopper.
  • Radar functionality for scout helicopters and vehicle airdropping.


THQ today announced the release of the "Cars" video game, based upon the highly anticipated Disney/Pixar film at retail outlets nationwide. The game will also be available worldwide in 18 languages, and in more than 40 countries including China, Thailand, Japan, Russia and Poland. Also this fall, the "Cars" video game is expected to release for Xbox 360 and Wii.

"As a leading publisher of video games for all ages, THQ is excited to bring 'Cars' to every major gaming platform, including the next generation game systems," said Kelly Flock, executive vice president, worldwide publishing, THQ. "Disney and Pixar have a legacy of creating blockbuster animated motion pictures with classics such as 'The Incredibles', 'Finding Nemo' and 'Monsters Inc.' THQ's video game adaptations of each of these properties have been top-performers at retail, including games based on 'The Incredibles' film, which shipped more than 7-million units worldwide, and 'Finding Nemo', which shipped more than 8-million units worldwide."

"Combining the creative minds at Pixar Animation Studios and the game development talents at THQ helped to translate 'Cars' into one of this year's most exciting video games for fans of all ages," said "Cars" story artist, Dan Scanlon. "Fans of both the movie and the video games will interact and explore the world of Radiator Springs and the Piston Cup races as we envisioned."

"Disney/Pixar video game properties have experienced tremendous success on a variety of game platforms over the years, and we will continue the brand's tradition of offering high-quality family entertainment to game players worldwide," said Graham Hopper, SVP and General Manager of Disney's Buena Vista Games. "We're proud of our ongoing relationship with the team at THQ to bring these exciting games to life."

The "Cars" video game is a high performance interactive experience in the open world created in the film, challenging players to relive the excitement created by Lightning McQueen and his friends. Fans will discover unique characters and environments inspired by the film with more than 10 playable characters and 30 races and minigames to choose from. The game features a fully immersive re-creation of all major environments introduced in the movie, including Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley, which will offer distinctive racing experiences to players while maintaining the artistic style of the film.

The "Cars" video game was developed within THQ's Studio System, which includes 14 owned studios and more than 25 of the best independent development teams. THQ's critically-acclaimed video game developer, Rainbow Studios developed the PS2, Xbox and GameCube versions. THQ's Locomotive Games, Inc. developed the PSP version, while THQ's Helixe studio developed the NDS and GBA versions.

Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure (GBA)

Advanced Adventure is the only game on GBA that gives fans the chance to experience the origins of the Dragon Ball universe and Goku's® rise to power. Developed by Dimps, the creative team behind past Dragon Ball Z hits including Budokai, Budokai 2, and Budokai 3 for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure is rated 'E10' for Everyone 10 and older.

In Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, players will have the opportunity to relive all of Goku's childhood adventures through a blend of exciting, authentic gameplay that includes side-scrolling, fighting and flying. In addition to the most exhilarating aspects of DBZ combat are sequences featuring all of Goku's childhood techniques and 18 exciting levels in story mode. Based on the Dragon Ball animated series, this "prequel" to Dragon Ball Z gives players the chance to experience Goku's ascension to one of the greatest superheroes in animation, manga/comic book history.

"Atari's Dragon Ball Z games have succeeded because of their ability to authentically capture the distinct characteristics and exciting action of the series," said Emily Anadu, Atari Product Manager. "We are thrilled to offer fans a new spin on the franchise by allowing them to experience the origins of the DBZ universe and the rise of Goku, one of anime's most beloved characters."

Gradius Collection (PSP)

Konami today announced that Gradius Collection for the PSP system has shipped to retail stores throughout North America. Delivering more than two decades of top-notch shooting action, the game includes five different Gradius titles, complete with updated gameplay options and a media viewer that lets players relive the history of the legendary Vic Viper.

One of the longest-running and most critically acclaimed franchises in video game history, the Gradius series is known for its adrenaline-soaked side scrolling space shooter action. As players defeat more enemies, they will acquire power-ups that allow them to customize different aspects of their ship and take on increasingly aggressive waves of enemies and colossal bosses.

Gradius Collection includes five classic games for players to enjoy, including Gradius, Gradius II, Gradius III, Gradius IV and the long awaited first North American release of Gradius Gaiden. Gamers can play each game as they were originally presented or can choose to alter different aspects of each title's gameplay for an updated yet timeless gaming experience. Each game can also be played in its original screen ratio or in new widescreen and zoom modes to increase the view of the action.

Taking advantage of the audiovisual capabilities of the PSP system, Gradius Collection features a Gallery Mode packed with content from the series. Players will be able to enjoy videos, trailers and music tracks before returning to the Vic Viper for another dose of pure shooting action.

Gradius Collection is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99.

The Movies: Stunts & Effects (PC)

Building on The Movies' critically acclaimed gameplay, The Movies: Stunts & Effects Expansion Pack gives players the tools to turn ordinary scripts into blockbuster films with the addition of stuntmen, astounding visual effects, a variety of dangerous stunts, a movie-making toolset, impressive new sets and an innovative "Freecam Mode" that allows players to adjust the camera location, angle, field of view and path.

"The Movies: Stunts & Effects Expansion Pack allows players to create scenes that will have audiences on the edge their seats," said Dusty Welch, vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. "From car scenes that end in epic explosions to sci-fi thrillers that feature alien spaceships destroying an entire city, The Movies: Stunts & Effects gives fans what they need to make runaway smash hits."

The Movies: Stunts & Effects Expansion Pack allows players to enhance each scene with a variety of options, including death-defying stunts and various particle and visual effects such as fireball explosions, shattering glass, smoke and lasers. Miniature sets, blue screens and green screens add to the spectacular action with dramatic sweeping angles, larger-than-life scale and the illusion of flying across diverse landscapes. Gamers are further immersed into the Hollywood lifestyle as they train and manage stuntmen, as well as compete for industry awards and achievements by uploading their movies to for the entire world to see.

The Movies: Stunts & Effects Expansion Pack is available for PC for a suggested retail price of $29.99 and is rated "T" (Teen with blood and gore, crude humor, mild language, sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence) by the ESRB.

The Operational Art Of War III (PC)

Matrix Games, in conjunction with Norm Koger and the TOAD team, is pleased to announce the beginning of a new chapter in the history of wargaming. Norm Koger's The Operational Art Of War III is now available for sale via the Matrix Games Online Store for a digital download price of US $39.99. Boxed copies will be available next week.

Norm Koger's The Operational Art Of War series is legendary among wargamers. A masterpiece of flexible design, it allows you to play and create any battle from the entire 20th Century of warfare and up to the modern day, with reasonable accuracy back as far as the 1850s. Originally released by TalonSoft, Matrix Games last year acquired the rights and source code to The Operational Art of War. Now, together with Norm Koger and a new design team, we bring you the definitive release of this unsurpassed operational wargame –The Operational Art Of War III !

David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said, "We are honored and delighted to have a chance to move this great series forward with Norm's cooperation and the hard work of the development team. The Operational Art Of War has given us some of our favorite wargaming experiences and with this new release, it looks like we'll be having a lot of fun for years to come!"

The Operational Art Of War III (TOAW III) is fully compatible with Windows operating systems up to and including Windows XP and includes improved memory management for better performance and stability under all operating systems. TOAW III includes improved combat modeling, an improved computer opponent and a host of new options for players and designers.

Over 130 of the best scenario designs of the last five years are included in The Operational Art Of War III, along with more than 70 classic TOAW scenarios from the original series. Spanning the years from World War I to the post 9/11 Middle East, these scenarios show how flexible and powerful The Operational Art Of War III truly is.

The event limit in scenarios has been doubled, scenario and era-specific graphics, sounds and music are supported and additional supply and fog of war options are available. French and German language support has been added along with a rewritten and updated PDF manual and help file with revised and corrected data to bring players up to date with the latest changes. The Operational Art of War III looks, sounds and performs better than any previous release in the series.

The Operational Art of War III sets a new benchmark in operational wargaming. Step up to the challenge – Master the Art of War!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Double Pack (GBA)

Konami announced today that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Double Pack for the Game Boy Advance has shipped to retail stores nationwide. The title will feature Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: BattleNexus games, both of which effortlessly mix fighting and platforming action with a full roster of characters from the popular television series.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lets players select their favorite Turtle and lead them on a battle against immortal enemy Shredder. Taking on wave after wave of Foot Soldiers, the player is rewarded with unlockable new moves and weapons, while the ever-reliable Master Splinter and Casey Jones are on hand with words of encouragement and tips. Each Turtle enjoys unique attack moves geared towards their chosen weapon, and replay value is enhanced via the many hidden bonuses that line the game's New York setting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus sees the world under attack once again, with only the Turtles capable of repelling the invasion. More than 30 moves are available to the player as they punch, kick and use flying attacks on the game's huge cast of enemies. Battle Nexus also makes use of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance Game Link cable, allowing up to four players to simultaneously test their ninja skills in massive street battles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Double Pack is rated "E" for Everybody by the ESRB and has an SRP of $29.99.

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