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Tuesday, March 3, 2009 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on March 3, 2009 @ 3:56 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:

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (PS3/X360)

Written by 2008 Writers Guild Award winner Dave Ellis, Eat Lead stars classic 80’s videogame action hero Matt Hazard, voiced by Will Arnett (“30 Rock” and “Arrested Development”). Matt gets his chance to prove to all that he is the king of shooters when new owner of mega game publisher Marathon Megasoft, Wallace “Wally” Wellesley, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”), gives Matt his comeback role.

In Eat Lead everything stops being a game and becomes reality when it is clear that Wally is using the new game to bring about Matt’s death once and for all. With only the mysterious “QA” to help him, Matt must fight against a horde of enemies to keep his game from being over forever.

“Eat Lead is unlike any other shooter gamers have experienced,” said Pete Andrew, vice president of product development, North America, D3Publisher. “With a unique premise and engaging storyline, gamers will be engrossed in a videogame that will keep them reminiscing and laughing for a long time.”

Eat Lead is the first retail product to use the new, Vicious Engine 2 (Ve2), which is licensed for use for other games. Ve2 boasts a number of new and improved features, including an updated lighting engine and modern pixel shader technology.

Developed by Vicious Cycle, Eat Lead, currently rated “T” for Teen, is now available for the Xbox 360 and PS3 for the suggested retail price of $49.95.

MLB 09 The Show (PSP/PS2/PS3)

MLB 09 The Show, rated E for Everyone, continues its hall of fame run, providing fans with ultra realistic gameplay while continuing to raise the bar on unique offerings and subtleties not found anywhere else. With improved franchise and online modes, transitional lighting effects, and customizable fan chants and yells, the series promises to deliver yet another incredible baseball gaming experience to fans everywhere.

With its meticulous attention to detail, MLB 09 The Show offers gameplay and graphics that truly set it apart from the competition, while adding exciting new features to its all star lineup that brings fans closer than ever to the action. Incredible stadium detail and signage, wear and tear on the field, dusk to night lighting transitions, and stadium JumboTron® animations help bring the baseball experience to life.

"As the industry leader, we continue to deliver features that consistently set the standard for next-gen sports gaming," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, SCEA. "With MLB 09 The Show, we are excited to deliver true-to-life gameplay, deeper franchise and season modes, and incredibly realistic detail. We look forward to fans' reactions as they participate in this unparalleled baseball video game experience."

For everyone that is looking to live out their dreams of hitting a clutch homerun or striking out the side, MLB 09's "Road to the Show" returns, providing aspiring big leaguers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the ultimate baseball experience. Further putting fans in the game, players can engage in action from a custom-created player's perspective, this popular feature includes additions such as interactive training and coaching to further encourage player development in the game and allow users to take their player's game to the next level.

As users navigate through a career, the newly available "Online Season Leagues" help raise the stakes by making every play count and statistic matter, thus turning fantasy into a reality that players have complete control over. This new acquisition to the game also allows fully functional drafts and provides players with a flex calendar to play games ahead in the schedule.

MLB 09 The Show brings back the ability to create custom music tracks using the "My MLB Music" feature. However for this year, players are able to edit music tracks to assign batter walk-up tunes using the "Custom Music" feature. Additionally, fans can record their own crowd chants and yells to assign specific players and situations of their choice bringing rivalries to life and into the living room.

As any seasoned veteran will attest, practice makes perfect and with MLB 09 The Show, players can also hone their skills using a wide variety of "Training/Practice" drills, with each set of drills focusing on a different area of the game. Utilizing the "Progressive Batting Performance" feature, players can find their hot zone and are rewarded for superior skills at the plate but are also penalized for hitting slumps.

Also returning for PS3 and PlayStation 2 is "Franchise Mode," complete with the long anticipated 40-man roster. In franchise, fans are in full control and given the responsibility of thinking and acting like an owner, while dealing with issues such as salary arbitration, waiver transactions, and September call-ups along the way. To further experience the challenges of running a team, users must also deal with unhappy players, roster management, and other issues that arise over the course of a season.

MLB 09 The Show for PS3 and PSP brings back the popular "Pitcher/Batter Analysis" feature that details the breakdown of how a batter has performed based on several statistics including pitch type and result. The game offers up 17 different pitch types for players to master and MLB 09 The Show details the different pitch grips and arm angles that hitters must contend. Players are given full control and will be responsible if the pitcher is having trouble locating his fastball, and can gloat when he is hitting his spots.

For batters who are more concerned with heating up at the plate, or pitchers who want to bring the heat and create game winning highlights, the "Replay Vault" feature allows players to save each dazzling play to the PS3 hard drive where every key play in the field and clutch at-bat can be replayed at any time. Also new to the highlight system is "End of Game Replays" where users are given an instant post-game summary of the most exciting and important plays of the game.

Fans looking for the ultimate personalized experience, the unrivaled "Player Creator" allows users to create their own player, deciding on their look, pitch/swing style, and even emotions as they create and place themselves in the heat of a pennant race. PlayStation®Eye for PS3 and EyeToy for PS2 are available to even allow users to create the player's face.

Lastly, for fans who never want to miss an inning and like to take the show on the road, MLB 09 The Show for PSP delivers big baseball action in the palm of your hand by utilizing core gameplay features found on the PS3 version. Unique to PSP, MLB 09 The Show will feature "SportsConnect News2Go" which offers fans the ability to go online to select and save the latest news feeds to their Memory Stick PRO Duo and review at their leisure.

Major League Baseball 2K9 (NDS/PS2/Wii/PS3/X360/PC)

Featuring National League Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum, Major League Baseball 2K9 adds to its impressive library of player–specific animations with more than 300 new Signature Style™ animations. Players are brought to life at the plate, on the mound and in the field, to play ball like never before.

This season, Major League Baseball 2K9 offers fans improved two-step Precision Pitching™ controls, deeper Swing Stick™ batting and quick fielding responses for even greater control of the game. The improved batting controls provide the ability to influence hits with timing and aim, improved hit distribution and variety to deliver more hit types including spray shots, pulls, line drives and long bombs. With more than six years of scouting reports infused into the action on the field, Inside Edge produces remarkably accurate player tendencies to ensure players react to in-game situations as they would in real life. Major League Baseball 2K9 also features new commentary, as Gary Thorne provides the play-by-play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving a new perspective and more depth for a true-to-life, insightful broadcast. In addition, Living Rosters has been added this season to provide fresh and active roster updates that guarantee every game is current and automatically updated behind the scenes, so players are never late on a trade and always have the hottest players in their starting lineup.

Developed by 2K Sports’ Visual Concepts studio, Major League Baseball 2K9, rated E for Everyone, is now available for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, and PC. MLB 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars for NDS, rated E for Everyone, is also available today from 2K Sports, while Major League Baseball 2K9 will be coming to the PSP this spring.

Peggle Dual Shot (NDS)

Peggle Dual Shot for NDS features 120 mind-bending levels, including ten all-new “Q”-created levels exclusive to the DS version, 90 challenges, and hundreds of hours of gameplay entertainment.

“PopCap is best known for its addictive, top-selling PC titles, but with the launch of Peggle Dual Shot for DS we’ve now cemented our position as a leading provider in the console market with a title that sets new standards for handheld video gaming,” noted Greg Canessa, VP of video game platforms. “We’ve totally optimized Peggle for the DS, and seriously packed it with an unprecedented amount of gameplay and exclusive content that appeals as much to hardcore players as it does to the traditional ‘casual’ audience. It’s a true cross-over title with nearly unlimited entertainment value.”

Peggle Dual Shot is based on the highly acclaimed original version of Peggle, which combines elements of pinball and pachinko with a dash of billiards and a wealth of indescribable zaniness. In the game, players fire a metallic silver ball from the top of the screen, relying on gravity to propel the ball downwards while it ricochets off unique arrangements of orange and blue pegs. The goal is to clear all the orange pegs from the screen, while earning as many points as possible, before running out of balls. A moving bucket at the bottom of the screen offers free balls, while green power-up pegs unlock special abilities via ten unique and memorable Peggle Masters who guide players through dozens of levels of gameplay challenges. Power-ups include explosive area-clearing blasts, lobster claws that serve as pinball-like flippers and “fireballs” that cut through all pegs in their path.

Within its 120 levels, 90 challenges and hundreds of hours of gameplay entertainment, Peggle Dual Shot combines classic elements of Peggle game action with a wealth of new content and unique features, including Bonus Underground and Peggle Zoom. Peggle Dual Shot additionally contains all of the game content featured in the recent PC hit, Peggle Nights as well as ten all-new levels created by Q Entertainment exclusively for the DS version. Optimized specifically for the DS, Peggle Dual Shot makes novel use of the stylus – for example, so players can zoom in to perfect their aim on any shot. They can also enjoy a special Duel Mode, where two players can compete against one another to achieve the highest score, while passing the DS back and forth between shots.

Later this month, PopCap plans to extend the franchise further with the launch of Peggle iPhone and Peggle for Xbox Live Arcade.

PopCap Games' Peggle Dual Shot for NDS is now available nationwide at every major retailer that carries video games for an MSRP of US$29.95.

Littlest Pet Shop Spring (NDS)

“Littlest Pet Shop Spring is the latest addition to EA’s successful video game lineup based on the hip toy brand for pre-teen girls,” said Chip Lange, General Manager and Vice President of EA Hasbro. “Littlest Pet Shop Spring offers a new array of pets, accessories, play areas and mini games just in time for Easter baskets and spring break trips.”

Inspired by Hasbro’s popular girls’ toy brand, Littlest Pet Shop Spring includes all of the favorite activities from the previous Littlest Pet Shop Nintendo DS versions, plus brand new content and features unique to this latest release. In addition to playing with six new pets exclusive to Littlest Pet Shop Spring, including a Lop Ear Bunny, a Fox, a Jack Russell, a Dwarf Bunny, a Porcupine, and a Kitty, girls can now explore a new, spring-themed environment that features new play areas. Girls can also make sure their pets head into spring in style by outfitting their pets in the latest seasonal fashions with new accessories. Additionally, with Littlest Pet Shop Spring, girls can play up to 20 mini-games, including four new games -- Snack Sort, Volley Paws, Remember Me, and Fruit Fling.

“The release of Littlest Pet Shop Spring continues to build upon girls’ admiration for the brand and digital play experience,” said Mark Blecher, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media and Gaming at Hasbro. “The creative and fun content combined with the popularity of the Nintendo DS platform has proven to be a winner among girl gamers.”

Littlest Pet Shop Spring, rated E for Everone, carries a MSRP of $29.99.

SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off (NDS)

Based on Nickelodeon’s upcoming episode airing in April, SpongeBob vs. The Big One, the new SpongeBob SquarePants cooking game offers a full menu of quirky and innovative dishes that can only be prepared SpongeBob-style.

In SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off, Mr. Krabs has signed up to compete in the cooking contest that will determine who will cater Jack Kahuna Laguna’s Big Beach Party. Players will be tasked with assisting SpongeBob, Patrick and friends in running the Krusty Krab and training Plankton’s cousins in the creation of the best deep-sea dishes. Utilizing the Nintendo DS touch screen and stylus, players will slice and dice their way in the Krusty Krab kitchen to prepare more than 100 different zany entrees, such as a perfectly done Krabby Patty, Anemone Meatloaf, Fried Seaweed Sandwiches and other foods. With more than 25 different cooking activities, players will also learn how to cook SpongeBob-style, which will include new and unique culinary techniques such as “skipping,” “painting,” and “slingshooting”. As players progress through the game, they will earn rewards that will allow them to customize and decorate the Krusty Krab restaurant. Loaded with authentic voice-overs from Tom Kenny, the official voice talent of SpongeBob, the game also features wireless cooperative gameplay that will unlock additional Sponge-tacular recipes.

SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off, rated E for Everyone, is available at the suggested retail price of $29.99. This game is also expected to be available in Europe and Australia later this month.

Crown of Glory: Emperor's Edition (PC)

Combining strategy and tactics in one design, Crown of Glory: Emperor's Edition offers gamers an opportunity to test their strength in an age of legends. Crown of Glory: Emperor’s Edition is a major step up from the original in nearly every area, with new detailed Naval Combat, a streamlined economic system, a much stronger AI, beautiful new strategic map, new scenarios and significant interface improvements, just to name a few!

To mark the release of Crown of Glory: Emperor’s Edition, three of the tutorial videos included with the game are now available to give gamers a feel for the addicting gameplay and in-depth game system headed their way! The topics of the three tutorials are The Basics, Land Combat, and Naval Combat. Be sure to check them out on YouTube or download a higher quality version from our website.

David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said “Crown of Glory: Emperor’s Edition is a very worthy sequel to the original classic. The new features, improvements and additional scenarios as well as engrossing strategic and tactical play make this an experience that Napoleonic fans should not miss. Anyone with an interest in the Napoleonic period as well as fans of beautifully designed strategy game should give this game a look!”

The initial release is download-only, with options for boxed copies with printed manuals planned to be available next week. Customers who would like a boxed copy and printed manual should wait for those options to show up in the Matrix Games Online Store before purchasing. Also, customers who already own the original Crown of Glory are entitled to a $10 Discount Coupon off the price of Crown of Glory: Emperor’s Edition. This discount coupon can be retrieved by following the links on the product and store pages.

Glory is Fleeting, Obscurity is Forever...

Two centuries ago, Europe was in the midst of one of the most gripping periods in human history. It was an era that saw cobblers become princes and emperors become exiles, an age of legendary diplomats and brilliant tacticians. Listen to the roll of the drum, the call of the bugle, and see the banners unfurled above the divisions and corps. Wide-eyed recruits march next to battle-scarred veterans, sabers clatter alongside the bags of grapeshot, the wheels of hundreds of caissons rattle, as generals plan and diplomats plot, and all of Europe grasps with desperate hands for… The Crown Of Glory.

This new Emperor’s Edition is a sequel to the acclaimed Crown of Glory and improves on the original in every area, immersing the player in the epic events of the Napoleonic era. A beautiful strategic map with more than 200 provinces covers all of Europe and North Africa, with scenarios and campaigns from 1792 up to 1820. Stronger AI, a streamlined interface and a new simplified economic model to allow players to focus on the aspects of the game they most enjoy. Players take the role of one of the crowned potentates of any of the eight Major powers as well as having the option to play as a minor power such as Poland, Denmark or Portugal.

A turn-based structure allows you to play at your own pace, deciding on the military, diplomatic, economic and social paths of your nation, including treaties, trade routes and levying and supplying military units. While your armies march across a worldwide map with monthly turns, detailed land and naval battles allow you to play at a smaller scale, where your brigades, divisions and ships can be commanded with historical tactics. All battles can be resolved quickly or fought out on a detailed battlefield map.

Each unit has its purpose on the battlefield, with such diverse troops as Jagers, Cossacks, Janissaries and Horse Artillery all modeled for individual strength and morale ratings and each beautifully rendered and animated. Similarly, ships ranging from Frigates to massive First Rate Ships of the Line clash on the seas in battles ranging from skirmishes to decisive fleet engagements, all modeled in great realistic detail.

The eight major powers (France, Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Turkey, Spain, and Sweden) and over ninety computer-controlled minor nations are modeled in rich historical detail. Every effort has been made to bring you as thorough a simulation of the Napoleonic Era as is possible, from the dockyards of Lisbon to the frozen wastes of Holy Mother Russia.

Historical leaders, special abilities, fleets, upgrades, reinforcements, colonialism, guard units and over 100 historical events, give Crown Of Glory: Emperor's Edition a unique and engrossing style. Combining strategy and tactics in one design, Crown Of Glory: Emperor's Edition offers you an opportunity to test your strength in an age of legends.

Emperor's Edition Improvements:

  • New strategic map including a network of roads connecting provinces
  • 70 new movement areas on the strategic map
  • New “Simple Economy” mode for players who want to concentrate on military / diplomacy
  • 6 new minor powers
  • 101 new historical events such as “Reign of Terror,” “Janissary Revolt,” and “Assassination of Paul I”
  • Map zooms in and out smoothly on strategic and detailed combat levels
  • Nations gain Experience and Naval Experience and use these to purchase national upgrades, advanced units, and special training for units
  • Improved orders of battle in all scenarios with historical names for hundreds of divisions and ships
  • New scenarios for 1803 and 1812
  • New scenarios that allow Portugal, Bavaria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland to be player-controlled
  • Changes to strategic A.I. to create more historical decisions for certain nations
  • New “Path of Napoleon” victory condition in which player must try to accomplish all of Napoleon’s goals
  • New rules for inflation and mobilization limits to better model wartime effects on the economy and to limit army sizes to historical levels
  • New rules for march attrition
  • New interface screens for strategic overview, unit and province lists
  • Ability to fight detailed battles at division or brigade level
  • New system of in-game help
  • New music and sound effects

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