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Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Aug. 25, 2009 @ 6:25 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:

Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3/X360)

Developed by Rocksteady Studios and based on DC Comics’ Batman license, Batman: Arkham Asylum offers players diverse gameplay that pushes the envelope for all action, adventure and superhero games and exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure taking them to the depths of Arkham Asylum.

In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman finds himself trapped inside the confines of Gotham’s psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, Arkham Asylum. The Jokerhas set a trap for the Dark Knight and has conspired with the deranged inmates to eliminate Batman once and for all. Adding to the authenticity of the game are veteran animated Batman voice talents Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, who reprise their roles as The Joker and Batman respectively.

“This has been an immense collaborative effort and we’re extremely proud of Batman: Arkham Asylum,” said Lee Singleton, General Manager, Eidos Game Studios. “From the reactions we have already received, we truly believe it will not only stand out as one of the games of the year but establish itself as one of those rare action adventure games you simply cannot forget.”

“Batman is one of the most recognizable and iconic characters around the world and with the high quality launch of Batman: Arkham Asylum we are establishing the brand as a triple-A franchise,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “We are extremely proud of Batman: Arkham Asylum and consider it critical in developing and growing our key franchises.”

“The team at Rocksteady has poured an immense amount of love and effort into developing a game that Batman fans and gamers will enjoy,” said Sefton Hill, Game Director at Rocksteady Studios. “We’re very proud of Batman: Arkham Asylum. We are excited about the incredible response from the press and even more excited that everyone will now finally get their chance to play the game.”

Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story by Paul Dini, Batman author and five-time Emmy Award winner whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series. Gamers will move in the shadows, instill fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains, including Harley Quinn, Bane, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow, who have taken over the asylum.

Owners of the PS3 version of Batman: Arkham Asylum will be able to take control of The Joker in eight Challenge Maps as he battles wave after wave of enemy do-gooders. The Joker Challenge Maps will be available from launch as free downloadable content through the PlayStation Network. In addition, the PS3 version of the game unlocks the Batman: Arkham Asylum Batcave Outpost in PlayStation Home, an exclusive personal space available to those who purchase the game for PS3. The Batcave Outpost comes complete with the BatMobile, BatWing, and tons of other great features, allowing fans to call the BatCave their own home within Home.

Batman: Arkham Asylum, rated “BBFC 15, is available for Xbox 360 and PS3 for the suggested retail price of £49.99, while the PC edition will will be available for £34.99 on Sept. 18, 2009.

CrimeCraft (PC)

Gamers can now form online gangs and compete against each other in the gritty, urban world of CrimeCraft,where guns, numbers and skill determine who climbs to the top of the heap and rules the streets.

“We are pleased to offer our customers exclusive content that will provide them with an immediate edge against their opponents, said David Benson, Merchant Director, Gaming for Best Buy. “We’re passionate about helping gamers get the most enjoyment from their gaming systems – from having the latest releases to a full complement of gaming platforms, accessories, electronics and services.”

“We believe the community that is being built by virtue of the game and Best Buy’s commitment will enhance consumers’ experience with this exciting game,” said Wim Stocks, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for THQ. “Through our retail partnerships, we plan to continue to enhance online game experiences and consumer involvement as we increase our online game presence in the US and North America.”

Adds Daniel Prousline, vice president of development for Vogster, “The streets of CrimeCraft are ready to be filled with players anxious to leave their mark and earn leader board glory for themselves and their gangs. We are pleased to work with Best Buy as our exclusive retail partner to develop a one of a kind program for their customers.”

Now available in North America for the suggested retail price of $49.95, CrimeCraft will include two months of premium subscription time and an initial stash of gold bars that players can use for in-game micro-transactions. After the two-month free subscription window, a low monthly fee of $9.99 provides players an allotment of gold bars and continued access to the guns-blazing action of CrimeCraft.

In addition to the exclusive retail package with Best Buy, CrimeCraftis also available for immediate digital download through a number of online distribution partners. Each partner offers unique in-game content. More details are available at

CrimeCraft is a Persistent World Next-Gen Shooter that blends a gripping, action-packed shooter experience with the best community and role-playing elements found in massively multi-player games. CrimeCraft is set in a gritty fictional city of the near future, following an ecological disaster of unprecedented scale, where the price of life is far less valuable than one’s reputation. Join thousands of players online as you learn the rules of the street, build your own gang and do whatever it takes to survive amidst the chaos.

Cursed Mountain (Wii)

Set in the late 1980s, gamers take on the role of the fearless mountaineer Eric Simmons as he climbs into the Himalayan mountains on a quest to find his brother, Frank, who went missing while in pursuit of an ancient artefact, known as the Terma, a key piece of wisdom that was written down in ancient times and magically hidden until such a time when the wisdom is needed. As Eric ascends the mountain, he encounters an ancient curse: the souls of the people who died in that region are stuck in bardo, caught in the shadow world between physical life on Earth and Nirvana.

Cursed Mountain was developed by Deep Silver Vienna, and is rated Mature.

Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)

The 3-D action game brings an all-star cast of memorable Final Fantasy characters together in a high-intensity battle environment. Dissidia Final Fantasy, combining fighting game elements with RPG-based character development, offers a brand-new experience based on the franchise that has shipped over 85 million units worldwide.

Enjoy head-to-head combat with friends, abundant customization options and exclusive new features that maximize the action.  The battle between good and evil begins today. What will you fight for?

Cosmos, the goddess of harmony. Chaos, the god of discord. Reigning from distant realms, the two gods had gathered warriors from all lands to lead them in savage war. Cosmos and Chaos were of equal strength. It was believed the conflict would last forever. However, the balance is now broken. Those who answered Chaos’s call created an inexhaustible force. And under vicious attack without relent, the warriors fighting for Cosmos started to fall one by one. The conflict that has continued for eons is now about to end in Chaos’s favor.

The world has been torn asunder, sinking into a vortex of disorder. As for the few surviving warriors, their fates are about to be determined.

Key Features:

  • Legacy: Experience the world of Final Fantasy presented in an action-packed environment where players can glide through the air and dash along walls
  • All-new battle system: Action-based battle system combines all-out brawling with RPG-style character development in an original system developed by the creators of the KINGDOM HEARTS series
  • All-star cast of characters: Fan-favorite heroes and villains from the entire Final Fantasy series come together in one game for the first time in a remarkable new tale with fully voiced CG movies and real-time events
  • Fantasy matches: Players can select their favorite Final Fantasy characters, be they aligned with Cosmos or Chaos, to set the stage for their personal ultimate matchup
  • Familiar series features: Powerful EX Burst attacks bring back memorable battle features from past games such as Limit Break and Overdrive. In addition, longtime fans of the series will enjoy traditions such as summoning monsters or controlling their characters through the classic menu-based system
  • Community: Enhance the experience by trading Friend Cards, creating items, sharing AI characters with other players and even engaging in virtual AI battles made possible by the PSP system’s ad hoc mode
  • Exclusive new features: Features available only in the North American version include an Arcade Mode for an authentic fighting-game experience, a rebalanced battle system, the addition of new voiced events to the story mode and much more

Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream (Wii)

The popular Reel Fishing franchise is known for delivering the most thrilling and true-to-life fishing experience.

"Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream delivers a fun and challenging fishing experience for novice fishermen and master anglers alike," said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at Natsume. "Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as your rod and reel, you'll get to experience bait, lure, and fly fishing in a dozen locations. It's the most complete fishing simulation you can get!"

Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream features picturesque environments, soothing environmental sounds, and a realistic fishing engine where fish flee, dive, and jump just like they would in real life! Players will travel to pristine lakes, raging rivers, and tropical oceans filled with the biggest fish around. With a variety of realistic stages, tons of fresh and saltwater fish, and over 100 pieces of tackle to unlock, Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream has something to offer every angler. Players can raise their catches in aquariums, then release them back into the wild for an even bigger challenge. As they progress in the game, players will even be able to challenge special "boss fish." These fish are the biggest and wiliest in the waters, and players will need to use all the skills they've learned to catch them! Players can also challenge their family and friends in the 2-4 player Versus Mode!

No matter whether players are casual anglers or seasoned veterans, Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream offers tons of fishing fun for everyone! It's the closest you can get to the real thing without putting on your waders!

Natsume's Reel Fishing: Angler's Dream, rated E for everyone, is available at retail for $19.99.

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (Wii)

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody for the Nintendo Wii is a re-release of the Player's Choice Nintendo GameCube game will be a GameStop exclusive with an MSRP of $29.99.

In Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, the Harvest Goddess has been turned to stone and the Harvest Sprites need the help of the player to bring her back. Players need to collect musical notes in order to restore the Harvest Goddess to her former self. There are 100 Musical Notes to collect in total; players will need to complete all manner of farming feats if they want to collect them all.

"We are thrilled that so many fans asked us to bring Harvest Moon: Magical Melody to the Nintendo Wii," said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO of Natsume. "The GameCube version is very hard to find these days, so this will give everyone a second chance to enjoy this fan-favorite game."

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, rated E for Everyone, will be a GameStop exclusive with an MSRP of $29.99.

Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming (NDS)

Set in the world of last year's DS hit Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness, Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming continues the tale of the island and its residents.

"We are excited to bring this all-new, totally unique puzzle game to the Nintendo DS," said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at Natsume. "We know that players will enjoy the wide variety of gameplay modes, playable characters, and fun unlockables that we have planted in this all-new adventure!"

Something strange is happening on Sunny Island! Crops are popping up everywhere and growing out of control! If something isn't done soon, the once-tranquil island will be buried in an avalanche of vegetables! It's up to the player to solve the mystery of this produce predicament as they tame the crops and gather as many vegetables as they can!

Players can choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique story and abilities. See how the mystery unfolds from each character's perspective, and which Harvest Moon characters they meet along the way! The game features a variety of modes including Story Mode, the brain-teasing Mission Mode, and the action-puzzle excitement of Score Attack and Free Play Modes. Players can test their farming skills against their friends and family in Multiplayer Mode, and even play against people who don't have the Game Card via DS Download Play! Players can also unlock character art, music, and some special surprises in the Collection Room.

Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming, rated E for everyone, is available for $29.99 at video game retailers everywhere.

The Bigs 2 (NDS)

Featuring MLB All-Star first baseman and 2009 Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers as its cover athlete and spokesman, The BIGS 2 gives fans the thrilling opportunity to experience BIGS-style baseball on Nintendo DS for the first time.

Utilizing the Nintendo DS stylus and touch screen functionalities, players will be able to hit monster home runs, throw blazing fastballs and make heroic defensive plays that keep the gameplay fresh and rewarding. Incredible power-ups will also be available in The BIGS 2, including the abilityfor players to crush Big Blast home runs and throw Big Heat fastballs past opposing batters. Along with the traditional Home Run Derby mode to test for power hitting skills, the hugely popular Home Run Pinball mode will be included as well. Fans can smack baseballs into Las Vegas windows, billboards and even parked taxicabs - the more targets that are hit, the higher the score.

“We’re excited about offering The BIGS 2 for Nintendo DS and reaching an even wider audience,” said Greg Thomas, senior vice president of sports development for 2K. "With addictive fun and easy to pick-up-and-play controls, The BIGS 2 provides an amazingly entertaining baseball experience for fans and casual gamers of all ages."

The BIGS 2, rated E for Everyone, is now available for the NDS. The BIGS 2 is also available for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, and Wii.

Marker Man Adventures (NDS)

Players take on the role of Marker Man, a loveable stick figure, who must solve hundreds of physics-based puzzles in order to find his missing canine Doodles. Using the stylus as a creative tool, players can draw simple geometric shapes -- including lines, boxes, circles, triangles and pivot points -- to create machines that will help them progress through 170 levels.

In Marker Man Adventures, the Touch Screen transforms into a canvas where players use creativity and logic to advance from point A to point B within a scrolling world. Throughout the game, power-ups help solve challenging puzzles while dozens of hidden areas offer special surprises. Additionally, themed levels keep the game play fresh as players continue their search for Doodles.

Developed by Glyphic Entertainment, Marker Man Adventures is rated E for Everyone and is in stores now for the suggested retail price of $19.99.

The Clique: Diss and Make Up (NDS)

The Clique: Diss and Make Up is based on the New York Times best-selling young adult book series by author Lisi Harrison, which has sold over seven million print copies in the U.S. Developed by Gorilla Systems, this game promises fans new adventures with their favorite Clique characters as they climb their way up the social ladder in an effort to become a member of the ultimate clique: The Pretty Committee.

In The Clique: Diss and Make Up players are immersed in the fabulous world of “The Clique,” complete with fun fashions, cool classes, after school ‘Jobbies’ and, of course, all the latest gossip. Players can take teen gossip to a new hi-tech level by wirelessly connecting with their real-life clique using BFF mode. This mode enables two players to trade character information and send messages – all while unlocking secret gossip in the game.

Playing as the new girl on campus, fans can customize their character to represent their own unique style. But, in order to rise to the top of the popularity chain, players must take on a variety of challenges and tricky situations as they encounter their favorite characters from “The Clique” books along with new characters created exclusively for the game.

“As WBIE expands its presence in the Casual games space, we know girl gamers are an important and growing segment,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The Clique franchise is very popular among tween girls and we have created a fun and engaging game that girls will really enjoy playing.”

The Clique: Diss and Make Up is rated “E10+” for Everyone 10 and older and is available for Nintendo DS for $29.99.

Wizards of Waverly Place (NDS)

Wizards of Waverly Place, inspired by the popular Disney Channel television series, allows fans to experience familiar faces and places in the world of wizards with five fun and new adventures. Mysterious mishaps start when Alex Russo buys a bracelet off the World Wide Wizard Web to impress a boy. True to Alex’s style, her plan goes awry and her brothers Justin and Max join in on the fun. Alex’s best friend Harper, along with Theresa and Jerry Russo are also featured in the game, taking part in adventures on Waverly Place.

Players can experience the lives of the Russo kids as they explore locations from the show, including the Waverly Sub Station, the Wizards Lair, Tribeca Prep, WizTech, the Russo loft and many more. To complete various tasks throughout the game, fans apply their wizard skills in exciting mini-games by using their stylus to levitate, move and freeze objects. New and familiar story beats inspire the mini-games in Wizards of Waverly Place, such as timed sub sandwich making, casting spells to prep the sub shop, playing a game of 12-ball and organizing loose books in the library that quiz your knowledge of the show.

As the game progresses, players will have the opportunity to find a number of coins and magic trinkets hidden in each of the game locations. Fans can use these items to unlock new wardrobe options to customize clothes for Alex and her brothers.

“In Wizards of Waverly Place on DS, players will experience a brand new storyline along with familiar characters and exciting mini-games,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios, “This is an exciting opportunity for fans of the hit television show to explore and enjoy the world of their favorite wizards.”

Wizards of Waverly Place for Nintendo DS features Disney’s DGamer functionality allowing players to engage with other Disney game players in a secure online community via their Nintendo DS (Wi-Fi or local wireless) or computer. The service allows users to log into their DS and online accounts to create and customize a unique 3-D avatar and persistent profile. Kids can chat, view user profiles of their DGamer friends, and post high scores to leaderboards.

Developed by Black Lantern Studios, Wizards of Waverly Place is rated E for Everyone with Comic Mischief and is priced at $29.99.

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