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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, March 18, 2008 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on March 18, 2008 @ 5:26 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:

Diary Girl (NDS)

Developed for the NDS, this title provides girls of all ages the ability to interact with friends through their own customizable avatars, as well as organize a calendar and address book in their own password-protected electronic journal.

"The Diary Girl package gives young gamers an organizational tool, mini-games, and a social interactive component, all on their personal DS handheld system," said Rozita Tolouey, Director of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Kids increasingly crave games with a social networking aspect and Konami is dedicated to giving them that and more with this new title."

Diary Girl packs friends, fun and organization in a password-protected electronic journal for Nintendo DS. Featuring a daily calendar and an address book, Diary Girl is a lifestyle accessory for the busiest girl around. Players are given their own avatar to customize with various clothes and accessories, as well as make-up and hair. For the girl on-the-go, advanced DS capabilities allow young gamers to talk to their friends in real time without a cell phone using the WiFi voice chat function of the game, and instant message with the Picto-chat style text messaging service. To complete the Diary Girl package, players can also participate in mini-games including mazes, jig saw puzzles, card matching, and personality quizzes. No girl's DS collection can be complete without Diary Girl.

Diary Girl is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB and is available for an SRP of $29.99.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (PS3)

Developed by Clap Hanz, in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Santa Monica Studio, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds takes the multi-million unit-selling Hot Shots Golf(R) franchise and tees off on PS3 for the first time. As the latest entry in this unique golf series, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds maintains its signature over-the-top visuals and realistic golf physics while adding larger and more detailed courses, more extensive multiplayer options including 50 player tournaments, and an advanced shot mechanic that requires players to carefully monitor the swing motion of each character.

Available post launch, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds will offer consumers a host of downloadable content, including access to match and stroke play modes. Additionally, new courses and characters will become available for purchase over the coming months.

"Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds truly offers a golf experience for everyone, striking a balance between the wacky Hot Shots universe and realistic golfing action that can only be delivered on PS3," said Jeff Reese, director, software marketing, SCEA. "From its intuitive controls, to brilliant graphics, to robust online functionality, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds delivers the most entertaining and quirky golf gaming experience available."

In this brand new chapter of the Hot Shots Golf franchise, gamers have the opportunity to compete with others around the world by participating in sprawling multiplayer Real Tournaments boasting up to 50 players per round. Golfers looking for a more intimate match can engage in online New Real Format, where up to eight players can compete for the top spot. Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds also offers a brand new online lobby where fellow golfers can create customized avatars with more than 300 different options while chatting with each other before joining a game. Best of all, with the real-time stat tracking system, online golfers can see how they measure up with other Hot Shot golfers around the world.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds delivers new courses that take the virtual greens to beautiful and dramatic locations throughout the world including links along the coast, in the woods, through mountain ranges, and in the African savannah. Each 18 hole configuration showcases pitch-and-putt par threes all the way to challenging par five holes, and the courses are expanded and customized to offer larger playable environments, allowing clever golfers to utilize the entire course and neighboring fairways when strategically placing follow up shots. Additionally, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds unveils an Advanced Shot system that requires players to focus on their character's motions rather than a power meter. The Advanced Shot mechanic provides a more realistic experience, as players must monitor both takeaway and impact zone while taking into account distance, club selection, ball lie, and weather.

True to the spirit of the Hot Shots Golf franchise, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds features 15 playable characters and six caddies, each sporting their own distinct look and personality. Each character can be customized in a variety of clothing options while gamers will monitor a range of player attributes including power, control, and accuracy. Also, single-player modes such as Challenge, Stroke, and Training, along with multi-player modes such as Tournament and Match Play, are available to create a more diverse golfing experience each time players hit the links.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds is rated "E" for "Everyone."

Imperium Romanium (PC)

Imperium Romanum lets PC players revisit Rome's most epic conquests, following its ascent into history. Build, Reign, Defend! Set during the Roman Empire's zenith, the goal is to ensure that the glory of the Roman Empire is retained. Players lead their Roman province through natural disasters, crime waves, and threats of war. Monitor the city's prosperity by providing the people with everything from basic necessities to lavish luxuries.

"Imperium Romanum is the genuine historical strategy gaming experience RTS players seek," said Melanie Mroz, CEO of SouthPeak Games. "The immense attention to details – from building structures to the camera's mobility – is unlike anything previously seen in the genre."

Imperium Romanum is available now for suggested retail price of $39.99 at retailers everywhere and for digital download. It is rated E 10+ for Everyone 10+.

Lost in Blue 3 (NDS)

In Lost in Blue 3, players guide one of two stranded characters, each with their own personal history, through exotic locales on a mysterious island while surviving the elements to stay alive. Players can work alone or cooperatively with other characters to gather food, explore the island and hunt dangerous wildlife. Completing one character's storyline will unlock the storylines of two additional characters, allowing players to explore the island in different ways, experience new storylines, and uncover different endings. The latest installment in the Lost in Blue series offers multiple characters, a distinct storyline and enhanced game balancing to build upon the innovative game play of the original survival adventure series for the Nintendo DS.

"The updated game balance and the inclusion of multiple characters and storylines have added depth to the brand," said Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Lost in Blue 3 is sure to satisfy devoted fans of the franchise, as well as attract new players to the hit survival adventure series."

Key Features:

  • Guide up to four separately playable characters, each with their own unique strengths and talents that will impact how you explore the island
  • Each character's past gradually unfolds throughout the adventure in several flashback episodes; revealed lost memories may provide clues to help them escape the island
  • Players can spend an equal amount of time between surviving the elements and having fun exploring the island, providing unique gaming experiences
  • Over 20 mini-games that encompass all aspects of a thrilling island adventure, including rafting down rivers and communicating with dolphins
  • Endure the environment and overcome various forces of nature such as lightning strikes and earthquakes; severe weather conditions will affect your character's health
  • Challenge your friends to intense cooking battles via Multi-Card play or use Single Card Download play to share special mini-games

Lost in Blue 3 is rated "E 10+" by the ESRB and is available for an SRP of $29.99.

Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection (PS2)

Featuring the original Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation game console, the director's cut of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, fans and newcomers have the chance to get fully immersed in the Metal Gear Solid universe before the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Additionally, the title comes in a commemorative package with artwork by renowned Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa.

"The Metal Gear Solid series created a unique stealth action genre within videogames, and subsequently became one of the most popular game franchises in the world," said Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. "Now gamers have the chance to experience the evolution of a groundbreaking series in one collectible package. Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection is an amazing value for gamers.

Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and sells for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

Poker Superstars III: Gold Chip Challenge (PC)

Forget watching hours of Texas Hold 'em on sports channels, now you can get in the game. This is the third installment in the Poker Superstars series from developer Funkitron, whose previous two games have attracted both Texas Hold 'em experts and novices alike. The latest edition allows players to customize their character and play as either an amateur or superstar. Starting with $250,000 in chips, players will take on favorite poker pros from FSN's Poker Superstars including Cyndy Violette, Antonio Esfandiari, Barry Greenstein and Jennifer Tilly. With four game modes, players can choose to play a single round or an entire season.

While No Limit Hold 'em has increased in popularity over the years, Poker News reported last summer that the trend seemed to be especially affecting women — they reported that the ladies' World Series of Poker even saw a 13 percent increase in entrants from the previous year. These numbers coupled with Parks Associates' statistics that female gamers make up 62 percent of the casual game audience, and it would appear as though Poker Superstars III has chosen the perfect time to go all in.

"Playing against the best of the poker superstars without having to bring real money to the table is just about as good as it gets," said Mark Cottam, CEO of MumboJumbo. "We're proud to be taking Funkitron's latest series' installment to retail."

Poker Superstars III Gold Chip Challenge retails for $19.99 and is rated "T" for Teen with a Simulated Gambling descriptor. The game is available at retailers across North America and is also available at www.mumbojumbo.com.

Sega Tennis Superstars (NDS/Wii/PS2/PS3/X360)

Developed by Sumo Digital, makers of Virtua Tennis 3, SEGA Superstars Tennis combines responsive, pick-up-and-play controls with fantastic tennis action to deliver an exhilarating and entertaining experience. Each of the 16 SEGA characters has their specialty in speed, power, control, spin, and all-around ability, as well their own unique Superstar power. Each Superstar power pays tribute to the unique characteristics of each character; from Sonic The Hedgehog's Super Sonic transformation, the trail of banana peels left by AiAi from Super Monkey Ball and even the dancing power of Amigo's floating maracas from Samba De Amigo, players will be captivated by the over-the-top atmosphere experienced in SEGA Superstars Tennis.

All this exciting tennis action is played out on over-the-top tennis courts inspired by a host of different SEGA worlds. These include Green Hill Zone from Sonic The Hedgehog, Advanced Arena from Super Monkey Ball and many more. Each of these theme park-like tennis venues exudes energetic charm and marvelous style that will delight gamers of all ages.

In addition to the fun-filled experience, SEGA Superstars Tennis features a host of unlockable content ranging from archives of classic SEGA soundtrack music and addicting mini-games that take tennis to new hilarious levels. Whether it's smashing tennis balls into a horde of hungry zombies in the HOUSE OF THE DEAD-inspired Curien Mansion or hitting groundstrokes to help guide "ChuChu" mice in Chu Chu Rocket, up to four players can compete in these comical mini-games. Hidden features will be revealed as players complete different tournament and mission games in the "Planet Superstars" mode.

SEGA Superstars Tennis is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB and is priced at $49.99 for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 system and Wii, $39.99 for the PlayStation 2, and $29.99 for Nintendo DS.

SingStar '90s (PS2)

Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Worldwide Studios, London Studio, SingStar '90s brings a hit list of Grunge, R&B, Rap and Pop music from artists that defined the decade including Paula Abdul, En Vogue, Vanilla Ice, Boyz II Men, Nirvana and more.

Available both as a stand-alone disc and packaged with two high-quality USB microphones, the addition of SingStar '90s as the fifth installment to the SingStar catalogue provides PlayStation fans with over 150 chart-topping songs and music videos to sing, compete and have fun with friends and family. Players can easily access any of the song lists while playing from SingStar '90s, SingStar Rocks!, SingStar Pop, SingStar '80s, or SingStar Amped with the disc swap feature which allows for seamless transition between titles.

"The SingStar franchise has been instrumental in making PS2 a social entertainment hub in the home. SingStar '90s will build on this success and provide fans with the songs and videos that made boy bands and flannel shirts all the rage," said Jeff Reese, director, software marketing, SCEA. "This year will be landmark for SingStar as we continue to deliver compelling content on PlayStation 2 while also revolutionizing the franchise as we bring it to PlayStation 3 on May 20 by giving players access to purchase hundreds of songs and videos across multiple genres, build and customize party playlists, and build a community of user-created performances."

Regardless of music or gaming ability, aspiring rock stars can select from 30 hit songs to sing along with while watching the actual music video on screen. Performing to such crowd pleasing favorites as "U Can't Touch This", "Pump up the Jam", and "Ice Ice Baby", players can take their turn in the spotlight solo-style or share the spotlight with multiplayer modes, including cooperative Duet Mode, one-on-one Battle Mode, and the team-based Pass-the-Mic which accommodates up to eight players. In addition, SingStar '90s is compatible with the popular EyeToy® USB camera which allows players to watch themselves belt it out as the main act and record their performance for playback. Players can also save their favorite vocal performances onto a Memory Card for future audio playback and customize and enhance playback with numerous effects.

SingStar '90s is rated "T" for "Teen".

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (PS3/X360)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is the last chance for gamers to rescue Sin City from an escalating terrorist siege, and will impose heart-pounding action from beginning to end. The best are back and this time winner takes all. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 will push the top-selling franchise to new heights with new gameplay features and groundbreaking co-op and multiplayer modes.

Key Features:

  • The highly acclaimed multiplayer mode in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Vegas has been upgraded to include 13 new maps with more intense face-offs, two new adversarial modes, more rewards and easier access to matches using the improved and intuitive matchmaking system.
  • Create your own identity that persists through both the single player and multiplayer modes and progresses along with you online and offline. Reap the benefits of your single player rewards in multiplayer, and vice versa.
  • Turn single player mode into co-op mode at any time seamlessly with join in progress. Now a friend can jump your story campaign and assist without any change to the story. The single player maps and storyline were created with co-op in mind, with every map having multiple entry points
  • The AI is more challenging than ever. Now, the terrorists are equipped with thermal vision, night vision and shields ? not to mention a multitude of varying tactics ? all of which are guaranteed to give you a new playing experience every time you go into battle. As you progress within the game, you'll be able to outsmart your enemies by taking advantage of intelligence opportunities, such as using thermal scan.
  • Take down the terrorists more effectively using 11 new weapons. New camouflage, clothing and gear allow for the ultimate customizations.
  • Sin City is back and bigger than before. Explore all-new Vegas hot spots and gritty back streets, creating a visual experience that is as challenging as it is breathtaking.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 has shipped to retail stores and is now available for an MSRP of $59.99.

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