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About Judy

As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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Monday, April 9, 2007 Shipping Announcements

by Judy on April 9, 2007 @ 11:21 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:

Audition (PC)

Nexon America announced today the release of its massively multiplayer online dance title, Audition, now available for download at http://www.nexon.net. Additionally, Nexon revealed that Hilary Duff will lend her latest single "With Love" to the virtual dance floor, bolstering the library of hit songs already featured in the game.

Audition is a virtual community where players can chat with their friends and battle in intense dance-off competitions. Featuring songs from top artists and dynamic music composed exclusively for the game, Audition is free-to-play and subscription-free.

"One of the biggest ways I connect with my fans is online," says Hilary Duff. "And now with Audition, I have a cool new venue where I can share my music. Not to mention, I can't wait to see all the crazy and original dance competitions featuring 'With Love.'"

Nexon America games are free-to-download at www.nexon.net and utilize an innovative cash shop system (microtransactions), which offers players the option to use real currency to pay for game enhancements. In Audition, players can purchase in-game apparel and accessories, such as designer clothes, hip haircuts, and over 180 faces that come with their own numerous and unique expressions, that enable them to create one-of-a-kind identities. These features are purely optional, and players can try out items prior to purchase in virtual dressing rooms.

With simple directional and space bar keystrokes, Audition players perform hip-hop style dance steps and choreographed routines -- precision timing being crucial. Players compete in various dance modes, each with distinctive special features and moves. Audition's in-game reward system, gives winning dancers "Beats" or currency used to purchase a variety of items from the cash shop.

Nexon America is helping drive the MMOG market in North America to meet the social and entertainment demands of younger, more mainstream consumers. Nexon's first MMO game, MapleStory, has already exceeded 3 million registered users in North America since its launch in 2006. As the pioneer of the microtransaction, or Item Selling business model, Nexon has sold millions of virtual items worldwide through MapleStory and other hit titles such as KartRider and BnB: Crazy Arcade. In 2005, Nexon Corporation reported $230 million in revenue, driven primarily from millions of microtransactions.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales (NDS)

Square Enix announced that the NDS-exclusive Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales has shipped to retailers across North America. Delivered just in time for the Easter Holiday, Chocobo Tales provides gamers with an all-encompassing package that contains a rich multiplayer experience and a classic storyline that will enchant gamers of all types and ages.

Chocobo Tales takes place in a charming world filled with trademark characters from the Final Fantasy franchise. Featuring innovative stylus and Touch Screen functionality, players are challenged by dozens of minigames and microgames as they embark on a journey to rescue their lost friends and restore peace to the land.

Once upon a time, there was a small, peaceful island protected by the crystals of fire, earth, water and light. On this island lived Shirma, Croma and a farm full of cheerful chocobos. Just when it looked like they were all going to live happily ever after, Croma brought back a mysterious book from his latest journey. Without thinking twice, he opened the dark tome and inadvertently invited misfortune upon the island. Every nearby chocobo was sucked into the magical pages of the wicked book!

Unbeknownst to all, Bebuzzu, who had once laid waste to nearly the entire world, was imprisoned inside the pages of the book! Luckily for the good guys, his strength was not fully restored...at least, not yet! Taking the role of a chocobo, players must rescue their friends while stopping Bebuzzu from regaining his devastating powers.

FEATURES

  • Innovative gameplay brings party games into a new era by combining exploration, card combat, minigames and multiplayer into one exciting package
  • Addictive card-battling game brings many Final Fantasy elements to life in a fun 3D pop-up book art style - call upon the powers of the Cactuar, Cait Sith, Ifrit, Tonberry and other creatures to aid you in battle as you challenge the world via Nintendo(r) Wi-Fi Connection
  • Limitless fun after the adventure ends - continue the excitement by engaging in more than a dozen minigames with up to three friends via local multiplayer
  • Test your skills in any of the 23 different microgames that make full use of the dual-screen and Touch Screen functionality
  • A beautiful and vibrant game world comes to life through a unique blend of 2D and 3D elements, creating a fun and inventive art style that puts the player inside a pop-up book
  • Accessible save system offers true portability that caters to your lifestyle - save your game anywhere, anytime

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB and is available at North American retailers for the suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD).

Super Paper Mario (Wii)

Like a story ripped from the pages of a paperback novel, Mario has the ability to switch between a 2-D and 3-D perspective. With the motion-sensitive and pointing abilities of the Wii Remote, this first Mario game for Wii delivers the goods.

At the start of the story, a mysterious villain kidnaps Princess Peach and Bowser, and forces the unlikely couple to get married without any paperwork. Mario, always the hero, sets out to save the day before a rift of dark energy tears the universe apart.

Players solve puzzles, perform new actions, learn fresh abilities and beat bosses using the innovative and action-sensitive remote. Players can even navigate through parts of the game as Peach, and of course, Bowser, whose devastating fiery breath burns like lemon juice on a paper cut.

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