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Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Aug. 21, 2007 @ 5:20 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:

Bioshock (X360/PC)

Gamers enter the game as a castaway in Rapture, an underwater utopia torn apart by civil war. Caught between powerful forces and hunted down by genetically modified "splicers" and deadly security systems, players have to come to grips with a deadly, mysterious world filled with powerful technology and fascinating characters. No encounter ever plays out the same and no two gamers will play BioShock the same way.

"With the release of BioShock, we are redefining the shooter experience by providing players with the freedom to decide how to proceed and which actions to take," said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K. "The teams at 2K Boston and 2K Australia have captured the essence of this underwater world and brought it to vivid life in the art design and open-ended storyline. Welcome to Rapture."

In the decaying art deco underwater city of Rapture, players can turn everything they encounter into a weapon, biologically modify their body with plasmids, hack devices and security systems, upgrade weapons, craft new ammo variants, and experiment with different battle techniques.

"The development team has been working on BioShock for years to push the limits in every way possible, so we are excited for gamers to finally experience BioShock as we've always imagined it," said Ken Levine, President and Creative Director of 2K Boston. "We delivered on our promise of bringing gamers a unique and enriching first-person shooter experience that not only challenges their capacity to adapt and survive, but tests their values and commitment to the inhabitants of Rapture."

BioShock's features include:

  • Biologically modify your body with plasmids which are genetic augmentations that empower you with dozens of fantastic abilities including: send Electrobolts storming from your fingertips, unleash a swarm of hornets hatched from the veins of your arms, or strategically turn enemies against one another with irritants.
  • Take control of your world by hacking devices and systems: reprogram enemy security bots into personal bodyguards, modify vending machines to change prices, and transform machine gun security turrets into powerless pieces of metal.
  • Upgrade your weapons at Power-to-the-People stations located through Rapture: craft variants of ammo and plasmids by picking up materials in the city to modify them at U-Invent kiosks.
  • Turn everything into a weapon: the environment, your body, fire and water, and even your worst enemies. BioShock's free form combat options allow gameplay scenarios to be approached with a variety of weapons, active and passive plasmids, environmental objects utilization, exploitation of political alliances, or a combination of techniques. Find your style but know when to adapt.
  • Explore an incredible and unique art deco world hidden deep under the ocean, vividly illustrated with realistic water effects and truly next generation graphics.
  • Make meaningful and mature decisions that culminate in the ultimate question: Do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture to save yourself...or risk it all to become their savior?

BioShock is rated "M" for Mature and is now available for Xbox 360 and PC.

Jeanne d'Arc (PSP)

Developed by Level-5, Jeanne d'Arc is an epic fantasy tale, set in 15th Century France that delivers a mystical adventure inspired by the historic legend of Joan of Arc. Having previously launched the critically acclaimed Rogue Galaxy and Dark Cloud series, Level-5 has directed their talent to the portable arena with this distinctive tactical RPG that showcases stunning graphics, compelling characters, and engaging gameplay. Following last year's successful launch in Japan, Jeanne d'Arc makes its official debut in North America featuring brilliantly detailed environments, a unique team-based attack system, and an immersive storyline bursting with more than 40 hours of gameplay.

"Level-5 has developed a reputation for quality RPG action and Jeanne d'Arc further cements their position as an elite developer in the genre," said Jeff Reese, director, software marketing, SCEA. "With distinctive visuals, innovative gameplay, and a deep story, Jeanne d'Arc pushes the PSP system to new heights and is a must own for gamers seeking the ultimate in portable RPG strategy."

Inspired by the Joan of Arc legend, the story centers on a young crusader named Jeanne and her quest to turn back an unrelenting English army. While the Hundred Year's War rages between France and England, an army of demonic creatures attempts to invade the human world. Blessed with a mysterious armlet, Jeanne is commanded by voices from beyond to use its power to seal away the demon king and recover her homeland once and for all.

Featuring Level-5's signature cel-shaded design, Jeanne d'Arc unfolds across 40 expansive environments where players journey through villages and battlefields to fight for freedom in France. Throughout the game players will have command of up to 14 total characters, both humans and beasts included, in the quest to save the French homeland. All of the characters are highly customizable, with more than 150 different skills and abilities to choose from, and each is associated with a specific weapon type. With an inventive turn-based combat system, players can engage in strategic team-based attacks and defensive schemes controlling up to seven characters at a time. Players are also able to individually develop each character's skill set and transform them in battle to increase power and overall attributes.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Jeanne d'Arc "T" for "Teen."

Turn it Around (NDS)

Turn It Around features 24 different mini-games that include beloved arcade classics along with quirky new challenges.

"Turn It Around's fun turning mechanic and mix of both familiar and unusual games will keep gamers on-the-go occupied with a virtual pocket arcade," said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing.

In Turn It Around players use the DS stylus to spin the turn wheel in 24 mini-games that range from classics like Arkanoid, Elevator Action and Bubble Bobble, to sports games like Golf and Skateboarding, to wacky additions like Packed Train in which players have to keep their balance without getting motion sick. In addition, players can challenge a friend in three multiplayer modes or choose from two different single player modes.

Turn It Around, rated E for Everyone, is now available for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

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