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Monday, October 27, 2008 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Oct. 27, 2008 @ 4:13 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:

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Developed by Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet is a highly anticipated, community-based video game that allows players to control the iconic and customizable SackBoy as they play, create and share their masterpieces in a stitched-together, 3D-crafted material world. LittleBigPlanet invites players of all ages and skill types into an innovative and imaginative experience where they can explore and play through developer and user-generated levels. Additionally, and what sets LittleBigPlanet apart, is players can use the same design tools, materials and stickers Media Molecule built the actual game with to shape or build objects and entire game levels. Players can then share these creations with the LittleBigPlanet community online via PlayStation Network.

"We are extremely excited to see how LittleBigPlanet will revolutionize the scope and expectations of video games," said Scott Rohde, vice president of Product Development, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. "LittleBigPlanet is conceptually brilliant. With the vast online and community features of the game, and the ability to share user-generated content, the game definitely creates an experience with no boundaries."

LittleBigPlanet's central premise of 'Play, Create, Share' is apparent from the moment the game begins, with each of the game's pillars intertwining to encourage players to experience all aspects of this genre-defying title. Players start by entering Story Mode and can begin playing the first of 50 wildly varied pre-loaded levels to learn the various game play mechanics, tools and more. Players quickly begin unlocking various tools and accessories needed to customize their own creations and levels. Soon after, players can access the simple level editor to begin their own creation process, building everything from large, complex environments, clever mini-games to even smaller objects such as wall graffiti or rocket-propelled vehicles. Additionally, LittleBigPlanet supports the PlayStation Eye Camera so players can take photos of real-life objects or creations and import the images to the virtual levels they are creating.

All player creations can be published within the LittleBigPlanet online community, allowing anyone from around the globe to interact with shared levels and objects, provide rankings and user comments, and peruse creations using the extensive search functionality to be sure players can find the level creators or level types they want to play. Adding to the fun, LittleBigPlanet also features cooperative multiplayer gameplay allowing up to four players the opportunity to play and complete their levels offline with friends at home or play online with other members of the community.

With an online showcase that combines the best in social networking, user-generated content and game design, the LittleBigPlanet global community is an extensive social network that invites and encourages players to come together to interact with other creative minds and discover new and original ideas. Not only can players publish their original levels for everyone around the world to see, but players can also provide feedback on shared levels that they have played. Additionally, LittleBigPlanet features a tagging system where players can choose from an infinite catalogue of "tags" that place their customized level in a specific category, so when players search for levels in a "tag" category, their level will automatically appear.

LittleBigPlanet is available exclusively on the PS3 system for $59.99 (SRP) at most retailers beginning this week.

Guitar Hero World Tour (PS2/Wii/PS3/X360)

Transforming music gaming by expanding Guitar Hero's signature guitar gameplay into a cooperative band experience, Guitar Hero World Tour combines state-of-the-art wireless controllers in new online and offline gameplay modes and a Music Studio feature that lets you compose, record, edit and share your own rock and roll anthems. Guitar Hero World Tour is the most complete music game to-date with 86 on-disc tracks from music legends such as The Eagles, Van Halen, Metallica, Michael Jackson and The Doors and featuring in-game appearances by world famous artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Corgan and Travis Barker.

"Only Guitar Hero World Tour has the star power and brand recognition to bring family and friends together to rock this fall," said Dusty Welch, Head of Publishing for RedOctane. "With a massive on-disc set list and a host of downloadable content on the way, new high-quality controllers, including the drum kit controller and a redesigned guitar controller; multiple online and offline gameplay modes, plus the groundbreaking Music Studio music creator and GHTunes, a revolutionary user-generated music hub, Guitar Hero has again set the standard in the music-based videogame genre."

Guitar Hero World Tour delivers more ways to play than ever before. Virtual musicians can live out their rock and roll fantasies by playing either a single instrument, or any combination of instruments within the game, in addition to the full band experience. In addition to all of the online gameplay modes from Guitar Hero® III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero World Tour introduces Battle of the Bands mode which allows eight players to join online and challenge each other band-to-band to determine who is the best of the best. In the Band modes, up to four players can jam together, online or off, as they progress through the game, and in single-player Career Mode, players can jam on any of the instruments in-game utilizing the controllers in branching venue progression enabling them to rock out in the order of their choice.

The game's innovative new Music Studio lets players express their musical creativity by giving them access to a full complement of tools to create digital music from scratch, utilizing all of the controllers, and then play their compositions in the game. Music creators can also share their recordings with their friends online through GHTunes(SM) where other gamers can download their unique compositions and play an endless supply of unique creations.

The Wii version of Guitar Hero World Tour features the exclusive Mii Freestyle mode, an intuitive gameplay mechanic that connects players to music in a whole new way by incorporating their Mii and engaging players with the freedom to create their own groove.

In addition to a newly designed more responsive guitar controller which features a touch-sensitive slide on the neck and microphone, Guitar Hero World Tour delivers a genuine drumming experience by utilizing a realistic drum controller. Featuring three drum pads, two raised cymbal pads and a bass kick pedal, the drum kit controller combines larger and quieter, velocity-sensitive drum heads with soft rubber construction to deliver that certain bounce back when struck with a drum stick that drummers are used to and is easy to set up, move, break down and store.

Guitar Hero World Tour, rated "T" for Teen, is now available for the PS2, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.

All Star Cheer Squad (NDS/Wii)

All Star Cheer Squad is the very first cheerleading video game to deliver real-world cheer and dance routines. In order to ensure the game incorporates the latest authentic cheer action, THQ enlisted Tony G, world-renowned cheerleading choreographer, who is best known for his work in the “Bring It On” movies, as chief consultant for the game.

“All Star Cheer Squad is the first original property from THQ made especially for female gamers,” said Jim Huntley, director of global brand management, THQ. “The game has been designed to bring all of the real action from competitive cheerleading to the more than 12 million tween and teen girls that currently own a Wii or DS*. Featuring four-player cooperative gameplay, along with the ability to customize your own squad and create and share your own routines, All Star Cheer Squad is truly the definitive cheerleading video game.”

In All Star Cheer Squad, players will immerse themselves into the world of competitive cheerleading as they experience the thrill and excitement of the sport through creativity, customization, style and teamwork. Players will follow a year in the life of a cheerleader beginning with tryouts. Working towards becoming the squad captain, players will focus on the ultimate goal of leading the cheer squad to win the all-star championship. Throughout the game, players will experience high-energy gameplay using both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as they learn and perform dozens of realistic cheer and dance moves during one-on-one cheer-offs and squad competitions. As part of the customization feature, players will have the opportunity to choose the appearance of their cheerleader and overall squad from multihued make-up looks and a variety of color coordinated, authentic cheerleading uniforms. In addition, players will encounter CoverGirl branded stage logos, banners and billboards featuring company spokespeople Drew Barrymore and Rihanna integrated throughout challenges, competitions and additional areas within the game. The NDS version of the game will also feature a storyline unique to the system that focuses on the adventure of cheerleading camp, where players will compete to beat the rival camp.

All Star Cheer Squad, rated E for everyone, is the only cheer game that utilizes the Wii Balance Board accessory in order to get the player’s entire body involved, adding to the ultimate cheerleading experience. The game is available at the suggested retail price of $39.99 (Wii), and an anticipated suggested retail price of $29.99 (NDS). In addition, All Star Cheer Squad is scheduled to be available in Europe and Australia next month.

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