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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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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Jan. 21, 2009 @ 7:34 a.m. PST

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:

Skate 2 (PS3/X360)

Skate 2 ups the ante in delivering all the grit, creativity and culture of skateboarding with all-new tricks that allow players to truly skate it their way – on and off the board.

“Skate 2 is the perfect next chapter for the Skate franchise,” said Executive Producer, Scott Blackwood. “We expanded and deepened our original ideas and incorporated feedback straight from our passionate fans. With all new features, more challenges and a rich world, the game continues to celebrate skateboarding, while still innovating the genre in an unparalleled way.”

Skate 2 delivers the white-knuckle, camera shuddering speeds that players crave with breakneck death races. The new Thrasher Hall of Meat mode is the answer for gamers who find spine-tingling enjoyment in bone-crushing wipeouts and bails. For players simply looking for skateboarding action, Skate 2 lets them show-off their style like a pro. Equipped with double the bag of tricks and the ability get off the board to move objects around, players can now create their own epic skate spots which can then be shared and experienced by others around the world.

Developed by Black Box, Skate 2, rated “T” for Teen, is now available on the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

SimAnimals (NDS/Wii)

SimAnimals challenges you to engage, touch, move and try to control a wide range of wild animals as you journey deeper and deeper into the forest. You control an on-screen animated hand that allows you to reach out and touch, pick up and move everything in the game from foxes and bears to trees and flowers. Cohabitate with these animals in their natural surroundings, and based on how you treat them, the animals will come to know and love – or dislike you! Have fun developing relationships with wild animals and their families, and experience the humor and drama of surviving in the wilderness.

“We are thrilled to ship SimAnimals, our brand new title from The Sims Studio, which we feel defines a brand new category of animal video games,” said Sam Player, Executive Producer for SimAnimals. “SimAnimals utilizes the Wii remote and the Nintendo DS stylus to create an immersive and tactile experience that allows you to easily and intuitively become part of the wood’s expressive, quirky and sometimes surprising action. We can’t wait to see what types of stories our players are going to tell using animals instead of people as their actors.”

Wild animals abound! You will meet a host of friendly wild animals including deer, squirrels, rabbits, hedgehogs and owls. And also some mischievous characters like foxes, raccoons, badgers, crows and bears who love to stir up trouble. Get in the middle of the action as they all come together in your very own forest setting for a wild time!

Solve challenges and achieve goals throughout the game, because the animals need you to help them thrive. Discover secrets, unlock forest areas and uncover one-of-a-kind objects and wild animals, some with special abilities, by successfully completing tasks. It’s survival of the fittest, as you find out who the troublemakers are and who the good guys are to make sure everyone gets along – or not! In SimAnimals on the Wii, take up to three of your friends with you on a forest adventure in cooperative play mode! The forest, filled with exciting wildlife, is big enough for you and your pals.

And, SimAnimals is tailored for the Nintendo DS. Interact directly with the animals in their environment using your stylus, while your Nintendo DS microphone lets you become the wind. Blow into the mic to gather fruit from trees, spread blossoms, and see what else happens!

Developed by The Sims Studio, SimAnimals, rated E for Everyone, has an MSRP of $49.99 for the Wii version and $29.99 for the NDS.

Ar tonelico 2 (PS2)

Ar tonelico 2 marks a new approach to the RPG genre by seamlessly combining simulation with role-playing. Gamers can not only customize weapons and items, but now design their character’s personalities, skills, and appearance through virtual interaction. Also past events will intersect with future game play as well as the outcome of the game.

The region of Metafalss surrounds Infel Pira, the second Tower, which is said to represent the Goddess Frelia of the Trio. A mysterious epidemic called Infel Pira Dependency (IPD) has been killing Reyvateils. Croix, a young knight from the Church of Pastalia, is sent to contain the epidemic. However, many more challenges await, which lead him to unraveling the mysteries of the planet Ar Ciel and seek the legend handed down by the people of Metafalss: the lost Song of Metafalica.

Key Features:

  • Cosmoshphere: Ar tonelico features a revolutionary system that combines character development with skill acquisition. By diving into the Reyvateil’s subconscious world, one gets to know the character of the team member better, while acquiring new spells.
  • Song Magic: When the fronline attacks an enemy, the song magic gauge increases. After a certain level, the Reyvateils are able to cast a powerful magic attack by singing.
  • Replakia: Song magic can be powered up by Replakia which are replicas of Reyvateils you have saved. The more Replakias you have, the stronger and more unique your song magic becomes.
  • Synchronity: In this latest installment, song magic is cast by 2 Reyvateils. If their emotions are more closely synched, the stronger the magic becomes.
  • Emotion Gauge: During battle, how well you cheer your Reyvateil becomes the key to victory.

Big Bang Mini (NDS)

Big Bang Mini, developed by Arkedo Studio, allows players to create their own fireworks display while shooting enemies out of the sky.

In Big Bang Mini, your objective is to destroy wave upon wave of enemies which in turn lights up the night sky with bursts of colorful fireworks. Use the stylus to dodge enemy fire and debris while collecting stars. Specifically designed with the Nintendo DS touch screen controls in mind, Big Bang Mini packs a challenge that any casual or hardcore shooter fan will enjoy.

“Big Bang Mini is a fresh take on the stale shoot ‘em up genre,” said Melanie Mroz, CEO of SouthPeak Interactive. “Its bright colors and fantastic animations make it a joy to watch just as its ever challenging levels and options make it a pleasure to play. We are offering this game at a great price point that make it a must buy for any serious gamer.”

In addition to over 90 levels for players to take on in Arcade Mode, Big Bang Mini also sports a Challenge Mode where players can submit their high scores to an online leaderboard using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection feature, a multiplayer Versus Mode, a task-based Mission Mode, and even a Relax Mode for those that want to shoot fireworks without having to worry about dodging enemies.

Big Bang Mini, rated E for Everyone, is available now for a suggested retail price of $19.99, and comes in a lenticular animated box that demonstrates the game in action.

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