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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on March 15, 2011 @ 5:14 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:

We will update this throughout the day when new announcements become available. Read more for details ...

Yakuza 4 (PS3)

In Yakuza 4, the streets are once again filled with conflict, as characters navigate a trying and interwoven path through the underworld in Tokyo. With an even deeper fighting system, three additional playable characters, new street chases and the largest explorable environment to date, Yakuza 4 sets a new standard for the respected series.

“With Yakuza 4, SEGA has brought the uncensored depth and excitement of the acclaimed series to American consumers for the first time,” said Alan Pritchard, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, SEGA of America. “Toshihiro Nagoshi has created a title that enhances the visceral combat of the series while telling an ambitious and intricate story that will resonate with fans around the world.”

Kazuma Kiryu is back in a new chapter of the Yakuza series, where two seemingly unrelated murders will set off a wave of struggle and conflict between the Yakuza clans of Kamurocho. Along for the ride are three new playable characters, each with their own convictions and motives. Yakuza 4 is the largest title in the series, with uncut access to the recreated underground world of Tokyo, including hostess bars, pachinko palaces, massage parlor and karaoke bar. To draw the player further into the deep and interactive world, the living environment is populated with various, themed mini games: Video Arcades, Golf & Bowling, Batting Cages, Pool & Darts, Card Games and Table Tennis.

Yakuza 4, rated M for Mature, is available exclusively on the PS3 for $59.99.

Total War: Shogun 2 (PC)

Total War: Shogun 2 pushes forward the hugely successful Total War series by perfecting the features from previous games such as full 3D land and naval battles and a detailed campaign map, while adding an exciting new multiplayer experience.

Total War: SHOGUN 2 is available now on PC and can be downloaded through the Steam network.

Slam Bolt Scrappers (PSN)

Slam Bolt Scrappers is the ultimate mash-up of crazy, beat-em-up brawling and fast-paced, puzzle building, set inside the explosive Slam Bolt universe. One to four players race to build powerful, weapon-packed towers from colored blocks that drop arcade-style into the playing field in either the gloriously chaotic battle mode or the epic co-op campaign. Each color set will create a different weapon system used to defend against enemy attacks, or go on the offensive with lasers, missiles, and more.

"As a leading publisher of independent titles, SOE is excited to introduce Slam Bolt Scrappers exclusively to the PlayStation Network," said Micah Loucks, Senior Producer at Sony Online Entertainment. "Fire Hose Games is a highly-innovative development team and have succeeded in creating a fast-paced, one-of-a-kind gaming experience that casual and hardcore fans will all enjoy."

Key Features:
  • Devastating weaponry and a high degree of battle variation that provides a deep and satisfying experience with tons of replayability
  • Cooperative campaign where up to four players work together, unlocking new weapons, characters and collectibles along the way
  • Unique gameplay with both button mashing brawling and puzzle-based building that is unlike anything you've ever imagined, yet is still easy to pick up and play
  • A wild aesthetic filled with flying heroes, colorful settings and adorable baddies
  • Competitive multiplayer where up to four players can join the fast and frantic brawl, fighting each other or battling deviously intelligent computer-controlled AI enemies
  • Campaign and Battle modes that take players from Downtown Slam Bolt City, to icy mountaintops, flying sky cities, and even an end of days Armageddon setting, as they take on flying ninjas, winged baddies and giant bosses
  • Seventeen collectable PlayStation Network trophies and unique challenges that unlock tons of different hats for players' in-game brawlers

Slam Bolt Scrappers, the ultimate crowd pleaser party game, is rated E for Everyone with a content descriptor of Cartoon Violence and is now available exclusively on the PlayStation Network for US $14.99.

Halo: Reach - Defiant Map Pack (X360)

Spartans, steel yourselves for a new test of valor and prepare to defy the Covenant! The battle for Reach reignites today with the worldwide launch of three spectacular new multiplayer maps for the top-rated blockbuster shooter of 2010, “Halo: Reach.”

Available exclusively on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points, the “Halo: Reach” Defiant Map Pack features three majestic battlefields set on the besieged planet – including the first ever downloadable Firefight map! With battlefronts set on a giant orbital station high above the burning surface of the planet, hidden inside the forest of a military wilderness training facility, and dug into the remnants of a civilian mining site, the Defiant Map Pack brings awesome new environments for Firefight matches and all competitive multiplayer modes.

  • Condemned: Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach.  Prior to the Covenant’s overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth.  During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6 – 12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All.
  • Highlands: Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach.  The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began.  During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage…but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8 – 16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective.
  • Unearthed: Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater.  The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the meters-thick armor plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won’t be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense.

Developed in partnership with Certain Affinity, the Defiant Map Pack includes all new Achievements worth a total of 150 Gamerscore.

Alongside the launch of the new map pack, “Halo: Reach” is available on Games on Demand today, offering anyone who’s yet to experience the blockbuster prequel to the “Halo” trilogy an easy way to enlist in Noble Team and jump into the multiplayer fray!

Top Spin 4 (Wii/PS3/X360)

Top Spin 4 redefines the way players experience the game of tennis with new, intuitive controls that make gameplay immediately accessible, while offering a deep and rewarding experience for serious gamers who want to plan their strategy, target opponents’ weaknesses and become an unstoppable force on the court.

Top Spin 4 is the most feature-rich title in the history of the franchise. Placing players center court on the baseline of the professional tennis experience, Top Spin 4 includes:

  • Largest player roster ever, featuring pros like as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams, and legends such as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg;
  • More than 4,000 new 2K Signature Style animations;
  • Enhanced Player Creator with all-new Coaching and Development systems;
  • Incredibly immersive online and offline World Tour Career mode;
  • Authentic TV broadcast presentation elements;
  • New online 2K Open mode, allowing players to compete for a chance to win a fully paid trip to the 2011 US Open (subject to the Official Rules)
  • Playable in stereoscopic 3D on both Xbox 360 and PS3 system. (Top Spin 4 will play normally on any television set; however, a 3D HD television with compatible 3D glasses will be needed to enjoy the game in three dimensions.)

“For Top Spin 4, we set out to deliver the authentic experience for tennis fans,” said Greg Thomas, president of product development for 2K Sports. “We licensed 25 of tennis’ top players, both current and legendary; added thousands of animations to capture and portray each pro’s unique playing style and attributes; recorded audio from dozens of real tennis crowds; and developed an unparalleled Career mode to guide gamers through every facet of a real pro tennis career.”

Top Spin 4 is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and is available now in North America on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.

Homefront (PS3/X360/PC)

2027. A once proud America has fallen, her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray. Crippled by a devastating EMP strike the USA is powerless to resist the ever expanding occupation of a savage, nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic.

Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners… or collaborators… or revolutionaries.

Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force in Homefront’s gripping single player campaign penned by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn). Stand alongside a cast of memorable characters as an emotional plot unfolds in this terrifyingly plausible near-future world. Experience visceral, cinematic first person shooter action as you fight your way across Occupied USA using guerrilla tactics, and commandeer military vehicles and advanced drone technology to defeat the enemy.

Multiplayer brings epic warfare to the online arena as infantry, tanks, attack helicopters and combat drones battle across huge, open battlefields. A rich feature set offering layers of tactical depth combined with game-changing innovations like Battle Points and Battle Commander set a new benchmark in online warfare.

Depicting the so-called US Resistance’s futile efforts to deny the liberating Korean People’s Army their glorious destiny, Homefront will prove to be an effective educatory tool for all citizens in possession of an Xbox 360, PS3, or PC.

THQ, who have a long and illustrious history of keeping pampered capitalists entertained with original gaming experiences, are reporting that Homefront has topped pre-order charts across the globe, and will be honored accordingly by the Greater Korean Republic.

“Homefront combines a unique, emotive single player campaign with an incredible online multiplayer experience,” said Danny Bilson, EVP Core Games, THQ. “Kaos Studios has created the definitive large scale warfare experience on console and PC, and innovations like Battle Points and Battle Commander offer a completely new twist on the genre, and make the game accessible and rewarding for newcomers and FPS veterans alike.”

“We’ve been thrilled by the reaction from gamers and the gaming media alike,” added Kaos Studios' General Manager and Creative Director Dave Votypka. “We can’t wait to join players across the world in intense 32 player online warfare supported by our global fleet of dedicated servers.”

To celebrate the release of Homefront, THQ has issued a documentary that reveals the Greater Korean Republic’s glorious ascendancy, invasion and occupation of the USA, aided in part by the successful development of a nuclear EMP device. You can watch this piece entitled ‘Future History – Uncut’ at the official Homefront YouTube channel.

MotoGP 10/11 (PS3)

With complete rider information, stats and tracks from the 2010 season included on the retail disk, players will also be able to download an update for the 2011 season, providing the most up to date MotoGP experience possible.  Developed by Monumental Games, MotoGP 10/11 gives players the most authentic and realistic motorcycle racing experience equipped with an all new handling system and improved physics from previous iterations.

MotoGP 10/11 has added customizable rider assists to ease players into the simulation experience.  Advanced rider controls such as wheelies, managing weight transfer on the bike, control of the front brakes and tucking in, are among some of the assists riders can set to engage automatically for more forgiving gameplay.  Assists can be turned off according to the rider’s preference; delivering all the control, speed and realistic racing that MotoGP 10/11 provides.

MotoGP 10/11 features the return of its innovative Career Mode which allows players to manage all aspects of their career throughout a season.  The employment of a Public Relations team will earn the player better endorsements while an Engineering staff will research better bike parts, giving riders an edge on the track and off, ultimately letting them make more money and upgrade their employees.  The 10/11 edition of MotoGP includes co-operative gameplay in Career Mode for the first time in the series.  Through local splitscreen gameplay, players can quickly drop in and team up to combine their skills on the track helping the team finance staffers and bike parts to earn a top pole position.

Also returning to the series is MotoGP’s robust online mode.  With up to 20-players competing in Championship Mode, players can take an upgraded bike from career mode to online and see how they rank against the world’s fastest riders.  With spectator mode, riders can scope out the competition while waiting for a new race to start.

MotoGP 10/11, rated E for Everyone, for PS3 is now available in North America beginning March 15, 2011 for $39.99.

Ōkamiden (NDS)

 Japanese mythology and artistic action come to life in Ōkamiden, as players use the stylus to draw their way through an epic adventure. Incorporating the best elements from the award-winning Ōkami series, Ōkamiden introduces the wolf pup named Chibiterasu, a partner system and clever puzzles to deliver a heartwarming adventure sure to please fans of the series and newcomers alike.

Chibiterasu, a young sun god incarnated in the form of a wolf, teams up with a rich cast of characters and their unique skills to fight off a new threat that has leeched the world of its vibrant color. Beyond the battles, Chibiterasu and friends will come to realize their inner potential and accept the responsibilities and kinship that come with being the children of great heroes and gods.

Perfectly suited for the DS, players use the stylus to “paint” on the game screen, wielding a celestial brush controlled by Chibiterasu.  This powerful tool can attack enemies, paint helpful objects into life and perform exceptional feats like controlling wind and raging infernos that will change the world before the player’s eyes. Chibiterasu’s partners have unique abilities of their own, such as Nanami, the mermaid who easily navigates water, helping the player conquer puzzles and face an onslaught of perilous challenges.

Ōkamiden has all the makings of a handheld classic and is perfectly suited for the DS. Consumers can play Ōkamiden on the new Nintendo 3DS unit or the Nintendo DS family of hand-held systems.

Ōkamiden is available for $29.99 USD. Those who preordered the game in the Capcom store receive a Chibiterasu character plush key chain originally available only in the Ōkamiden Limited Edition in Japan.

Gods Eater Burst (PS3/X360/PC)

In Gods Eater Burst the earth has been plagued by terrifying mutant beasts known as the Aragami, and humanity’s last and only hope is an elite group called the Gods Eaters who wield a special weapon called the God Arc. Players will lose themselves in the deep storyline that includes over 90 in-game cut scenes. The furious battle pace will send players battling through more than twice the number of missions from the original God Eater, demanding quick thinking for tactical shifts between weapons to slash, shoot and devour some seriously livid beasts. The Devour Attack adds a new strategic level as players battle into Burst Mode, boosting their stats and acquire special bullets to launch potent attacks.

“Building off the enormous success of the God Eater series in Japan, with over 1,000,000 units shipped, we were very eager to not only release the game in North America, but to release the enhanced version that would offer additional content, missions, and enemies along with the original game for players to enjoy,” said Peter Andrew, vice president of development, D3P. “We have created an enriched, action role-playing game with an intensely addictive story that will draw the player into a thrilling post-apocalyptic world.”

Players will create their own hero and battle against many different types of enemies, picking up items and materials along the way to tailor weapons, guns, and even bullets and shields, boosting their strength and stamina for use in brutal battles. The player will be able to craft unique bullets customizing everything from their strength, patterns, and elemental types. Players can also hunt with AI controlled party members or join hunting parties with up to four players via Ad hoc connection, or connect the PSP system to a PS3 and play online using adhoc Party.

Gods Eater Burst, rated “T” for Teen – Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, and Violence, retails for $39.95.

Top Shot Arcade (Wii)

Up to four players will feel the thrill of the hunt as Top Shot Arcade has over 75 arcade shooting galleries across 15 North American environments. If that’s not enough, Top Shot Arcade also includes 15 outrageous bonus games that have players shooting up some unlikely targets. A few examples of the fun include: Night of the Living Trophies, Trailer Trashin’ and Animatronic Annihilation. From taking down zombified bucks to singing animals, there is a little bit of wackiness and outright entertainment for everybody. Top Shot Arcade is also available bundled with the Top Shot Elite firearm peripheral which makes the game accessible to players as they jump in, point, and take out the targets.

Top Shot Arcade, bundled with the Top Shot Elite, is available now exclusively for Wii with a MSRP of $49.99. Top Shot Arcade itself is also on sale for a MSRP of $29.99. The game is rated T for Teen.

Fit in Six (Wii/PS3)

Today Ubisoft announces Fit in Six, a new fitness game for the PS3 which also utilizes PlayStation Move functionality and for the Wii system from Nintendo which leverages Ubisoft’s USB camera accessory is available at retail.

Developed by Ubisoft Blue Byte studio in Düsseldorf, Germany, the game separates overall fitness routines into six core elements — core body, upper body, lower body, cardio, balance and flexibility — that help you focus on getting fit and reaching your goals. The workouts have been developed by experienced fitness professionals to ensure that every move is performed precisely and effectively. Fit in Six is rated E for Everyone and is available at all major retailers.

Monster Tale (NDS)

Monster Tale is a one-of-a-kind adventure that features an innovative mix of action platform gameplay on the top screen and a deep pet-raising game on the Touch Screen. Nintendo Power calls it "the next great DS game" and Game Informer included Monster Tale on its list of "The Most Anticipated Portable Games of 2011."

The heroic characters in this intriguing tale are Ellie and her mysterious pet monster named Chomp who together set out to reclaim the Monster World from the Kid Kings and their enslaved creature pets. Players control both Ellie and Chomp as they explore and battle through five non-linear kingdoms in Monster World, including the Wicked Treehouse, Demon Express Train, Ancient Ruins and Monster Nightclub.  The Touch Screen serves as Chomp's Pet Sanctuary where he evolves with new abilities as he eats and plays with what Ellie provides from the top screen or buys for him in the store. But when Ellie needs some brute force or protective defense, she can summon Chomp to the top screen to back her up in her quest to save the Monster World. As Chomp develops and gains new attributes, he can grow into 30 unique forms with new attacks while also transforming into useful objects like shields, spikes and bombs. Together Ellie and Chomp will take on scores of baddies that threaten to end their Monster Tale mid-adventure.

Monster Tale, rated E for Everyone, is now available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

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