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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, September 25, 2007 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Sept. 25, 2007 @ 3:46 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:

Backyard Basketball DS (NDS)

A full-court basketball simulation with arcade action, Backyard Basketball features spectacular new graphics, interactive backgrounds, and realistic gameplay with season mode, stats, minigames, and unlockables.

The best selling kids' basketball videogame of all time, Backyard Basketball is the only official youth basketball game licensed by the NBA. The game includes all NBA teams, uniforms, and logos as well as a roster of animated kid versions of current NBA stars including Backyard Basketball cover athlete and five-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics.

"Being on the cover of Backyard Basketball is an important highlight in my career. I spend a lot of time working with kids, so I know how popular and fun the game is and how it can help kids better understand the rules and strategies of basketball," says Pierce. "I really like that Backyard Basketball is based on solid gameplay like the most sophisticated adult games, but is designed for kids, so it's funny and simple enough to jump in and play right away."

Backyard Basketball combines fun and fantasy with realistic NBA plays and strategies that are appropriate for kids.

Game features include:

  • Current NBA pros as kids including - Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Indiana Pacer's Jermaine O'Neal and the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki.
  • New graphics, arenas, and environments
  • New gameplay, minigames, power-ups, and surprises
  • Authentic action with lower hoops, unique strategy options, and hilarious animations
  • Multiple difficulty levels
  • Full court simulation basketball with arcade elements
  • Season play, single game, and mini game modes
  • Custom team, players, fields, uniforms, and logos
  • Multi-player mode with handicap capabilities

Rated "E" (for Everyone) by ESRB, Backyard Basketball DS has an MSRP of $29.99.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (PC)

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is the next installment in the highest-rated RTS franchises of all time, building on the success of the original Company of Heroes with two new armies and vastly enhanced multiplayer options.

"A year ago, THQ shipped Company of Heroes and shattered all barriers for cinematic intensity in the RTS genre," said Kevin Kraff, director of global brand management, THQ. "Today, we are thrilled to release the next critically-acclaimed chapter in the Company of Heroes franchise and once again establish a new standard for excellence."

"Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts delivers Relic's best RTS gaming experience to date, weaving together the epic stories of the Battle for Caen and Operation Market Garden with countless advancements in soldier and vehicle AI, environmental strategy, and visual realism," said Tarrnie Williams, general manager, Relic Entertainment. "The addition of two new unique armies opens up many exciting possibilities within the Company of Heroes universe, and we are very proud to deliver the highest level of RTS gameplay to our fans worldwide."

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is the next chapter in the critically acclaimed Company of Heroes franchise. Players take command of the German Panzer Elite as they struggle against the might of the Allied forces, or lead the British 2nd Army in the vicious battle for Caen, France. Internally developed by Relic Entertainment, this standalone title does not require the original Company of Heroes to play, features two unique armies with full length campaigns, new multiplayer strategies when combined with the original Company of Heroes, Microsoft DirectX® 10 support, mission persistence, improved vehicle and soldier AI, enhanced physics and a dynamic weather system. Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is fully compatible with the original Company of Heroes, allowing players to wage war with four unique armies.

CSI: Hard Evidence (X360/PC)

Developed by Telltale Games, CSI: Hard Evidence will continue the crime-solving experience of Ubisoft's CSI video game series. Players will join Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the Las Vegas cast to help solve crimes using realistic techniques and lab equipment. The game features forensic reconstructions and atmospheric crime scenes taken directly from the television show, including an all-new garage lab for analyzing large pieces of evidence, improved evidence gathering, lab mini-games and more. There are more areas to explore and increased interaction with the CSI team, resulting in a longer play experience.

CSI: Hard Evidence marks the debut of the CSI franchise on Xbox 360. Players will experience cinematic-style graphics and a user interface that has been completely redone with a console audience in mind, making the game more like the show than ever. CSI: Hard Evidence is rated "M" for Mature and has a MSRP of $39.99 for Xbox 360 and $29.99 for PC DVD-ROM.

DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party (Wii)

Utilizing the unique capabilities of the Wii system, DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party incorporates the motion-sensing Wii Remote and Nunchuk into the traditional mat-based gameplay to prompt players to move their arms while they dance, not just their feet. Fan favorites such as Free Play and Workout Mode return with intense vigor, while all-new modes provide a challenge to even the most seasoned veterans. The all-new Friendly Synch multiplayer mode requires each player to step on the correct arrow or respond to the correct Wii Remote movement in unison, encouraging cooperative gameplay, while an updated Battle Mode heats up the competition to keep players on their toes in the ultimate DanceDanceRevolution dance-off!

"Bringing the critically acclaimed DanceDanceRevolution to the Wii was a natural move forward for the franchise," said, Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "The interactive capabilities of the Wii platform make it a perfect fit for DanceDanceRevloution, and DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party promises to be the most intense and active dance party yet."

Boasting a stellar soundtrack that includes smash-hits from the 1970s to the present, DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party offers a wide variety of musical styles that appeal to everyone, including popular titles such as: Summertime, Disco Inferno, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and 99 Red Balloons. Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party is available for an SRP of $49.99.

DanceDanceRevolution Supernova 2 (PS2)

DanceDanceRevolution Supernova2 capitalizes on the most popular elements of the franchise while adding new game modes and enhanced online capabilities to provide the most compelling DanceDanceRevolution experience ever. The brand new Hyper Master Mode joins forces with original favorites such as Tutorial, Battle, Nonstop and Challenge to achieve mass appeal. Up to 4-player multiplayer gameplay is supported online with the added bonus of EyeToy USB Camera (for the PlayStation 2) support so that players can critique their moves on TV.

"Responding to the overwhelming success of DanceDanceRevolution Supernova, Konami strives to provide a sequel that not only builds upon the strengths of the first title but also provides compelling new content," said Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "DanceDanceRevolution Supernova2 promises to become a cornerstone by providing a rich gaming experience for new players and old-school fans, whether they play alone, with friends in multiplayer mode, or online."

DanceDanceRevolution Supernova2 comes complete with a soundtrack packed with super star artists and hits that will get players moving and stepping to the DanceDanceRevolution beat! Hits include titles from artists such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Ashley Tisdale. DanceDanceRevolution Supernova2 is available for SRP of $39.99 for the standalone video game and $69.99 for the video game and dance mat bundle.

Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire (Wii)

Designed specifically for the Wii system, Dragon Blade is a 3rd person action-adventure game where players unleash the magical powers of a fierce dragon, creating a unique and visually stunning weapon through their sword and arms. Players will utilize an intuitively designed, two-handed Wii control scheme and use both arms simultaneously to emulate the dragon's arms, wings, tail, fire-breathing head and more as they embark on an epic fantasy adventure in more than 20 unique environments in 5 visually stunning worlds. Dragon Blade is available for the suggested retail price of $39.95.

"Gamers have been asking for fun, original games on the Wii and D3PA has answered their call with Dragon Blade," said Alison Quirion, vice president of marketing, D3PA. "Dragon Blade stays true to its game design roots by focusing on the pure beat-em-up, arcade style action that gamers love while taking full advantage of the Wii controls to achieve as close to one-to-one motion as possible so players will truly experience the action like never before."

Featuring an original story by Richard A. Knaak, one of the best-selling authors behind the immensely popular DragonLance series as well as other popular series based on Warcraft, Diablo, and the Age of Conan, Dragon Blade immerses players in a compelling storyline and richly detailed fantasy worlds. Players will use their dragon powers and hundreds of combat options to battle colossal enemies and embark on quests to upgrade their weapons and make them even more powerful over time.

Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire was developed by LAND HO! Co., Ltd and the game is rated "T" (Teen - fantasy violence) by the ESRB.

Race Driver: Create & Race (NDS)

Built from the ground up and releasing exclusively on the Nintendo DS, Race Driver: Create & Race lets players control more than 20 of the fastest racing cars on the planet. Players will be able to race these speed demons on 30 of the world's most exciting official race circuits, from Silverstone in the UK to Bathurst in Australia.

The adrenaline doesn't stop there, however, as Race Driver: Create & Race's unique and intuitive track designer gives gamers the opportunity to stretch their creative legs and design their very own race tracks using the Nintendo DS stylus. The track editor allows players select and place track elements, such as hairpin corners, long straights, chicanes and even scenery, to their liking to design unique circuits. Once all the pieces are placed, players can take to their track and experience exactly how it feels in aggressive multiple car races.

Making use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection capabilities, gamers can challenge friends to races on the game's official tracks, as well as host games on their personally created circuits. Race Driver: Create & Race also enables up to four players to go head-to-head, game sharing from only one game card. Further championships and cars can be unlocked from the World Tour Mode and then raced in real-time online and ad hoc multiplayer modes.

Race Driver: Create & Race is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 and is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB.

The Settlers: Rise of an Empire (PC)

In The Settlers Rise of an Empire, the player builds lively, bustling towns in a medieval world. Everything is visible, lovingly animated and realistic. Each settler has his or her own daily routine, with a range of different actions and behaviors that can be observed by the player at all times. By expanding the empire, the player can aspire to become a legendary king or queen.

The most popular features of the predecessors in the series have been retained and many of the fans' requests were incorporated into Settlers Rise of an Empire, creating an all-new Settlers atmosphere. The result is a realistic medieval world, captured in intricate detail. The game features an immersive, yet transparent economic system based on the resources, wares and goods produced by the settlers in their various trades and occupations.

The Settlers Rise of an Empire is the sixth game in the popular PC strategy franchise that was created by Ubisoft's Blue Byte studio and has sold more than six million copies worldwide. The Settlers Rise of an Empire is rated "E10+" for Everyone 10 and Older and has an MSRP of $49.99.

SKATE (PS3)

"The buzz around SKATE has been through the roof this month; everyone's talking about it," said Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President Merchandising, GameStop. "Based on the exceptional demand from gamers the first week, we clearly have a new contender in the skate videogame genre that will be at the top of everyone's must-have list for this holiday."

SKATE delivers an authentic skateboarding experience like no other videogame. The game features innovative Flickit controls that take advantage of the dual analog sticks and a unique and easy-to-use skate.reel feature that allows gamers to capture video footage of their skate session at any time during the game and share the footage online at www.skate.ea.com for other players to view, rate and comment on.

Recently released for the Xbox 360 in North America, SKATE, rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB and 12+ by PEGI, is also shipping in Europe on October 5 for PS3.

World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets (ALL)

World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets features Phil "The Poker Brat" Hellmuth Jr. -- owner of a world record eleven WSOP bracelets -- in a special "Beat The Brat" Heads-Up mode and thrusts players deep into the high-stakes world of tournament poker to face off against other A-list pros such as Johnny Chan, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow on the quest to win the championship bracelet for the $10,000 Main Event and over $60MM in total prize money.

"World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets allows gamers to challenge all of their favorite poker pros in one of the largest sporting events in the world," said David Oxford, Activision Publishing, Inc. "We are proud to deliver intense poker tournament action to gamers who want to experience the high-stakes competition of championship poker from the comfort of their homes."

In World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets, the #1 poker video game franchise returns as players challenge over 30 of the world's top poker champions. With intense heads-up tournament play, expansive poker tutorials, and strategy clips from Phil Hellmuth's Ultimate White to Black Belt Course as produced by iAmplifyVegas.com, players can learn from the very best in the industry and take on all opponents in real-world locations such as Las Vegas and New Orleans.

World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets, rated "T" (Teen), is available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for a suggested retail price of $49.99, the PS2, PSP and NDS for $29.99, and the PC for $19.99.

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