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Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Aug. 28, 2007 @ 5:45 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:

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (PC)

In Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, players will answer up to 11 questions to win one million virtual dollars. The game consists of more than 3,000 challenging questions in 28 subjects, all from grade school textbooks. Similar to the show, players can choose to receive help from one of their five classmates and use "Peek" and "Copy" cheats in order to advance to the next round. If players cannot answer all 11 questions correctly, they must "drop out of school" admitting: "I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader".

With authentic commentary from host Jeff Foxworthy, the game features all of the classmate peer-pressure and wisecracks that fans of the TV show have come to love.

published by THQ's ValuSoft division, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, rated E for everyone, is now available for PC, and via major online gaming portals, for a suggested retail price of $19.99. The NDS version of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? is slated for release this fall, with versions for the PS2 and Nintendo's Wii expected to release in 2008.

Blue Dragon (Xbox 360)

In the timeless battle between good and evil, Shu and his friends fight for the future of humankind as publisher Microsoft Games Studios and developers Mistwalker and Artoon, announced today that the highly-anticipated Japanese role-playing game "Blue Dragon" shipped to retailers across the U.S. Available for the estimated retail price of $59.99 and rated "T" for Teen, the Xbox 360 exclusive challenges gamers to become Shadow Warriors and conquer an ancient magic.

Released to great fanfare and critical acclaim in Japan in 2006, famed game producer Hironobu Sakaguchi of Mistwalker and developer Artoon present "Blue Dragon," a classic turn-based RPG. Featuring the character design of legendary "Dragon Ball Z" artist Akira Toriyama and the musical compositions of Nobuo Uetmasu of "Final Fantasy" fame, "Blue Dragon" brings gamers into a new world of intrigue and illusion as they use their Shadows to battle evil forces who command a magical power thought to have perished long ago.

Exploring a planet littered with ancient ruins, the characters and their shadows travel through a world full of mystery and illusion where the slightest touch can cause reactions of unparalleled magnitude. As the quest progresses, warriors can even create original attack methods or choose to focus on certain areas of expertise.

Taking full advantage of the power of Xbox 360, "Blue Dragon" will engage gamers in a fascinating yet mysterious world, with characters that are brought to life with vibrant colors and detail, conveying the beautiful simplicity and sense of adventure found in this truly next-generation RPG.

Carnival Games (Wii)

Carnival Games is now available at major retailers throughout North America for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The game, developed exclusively for Nintendo's Wii by Cat Daddy Games studio, premiered Saturday, August 25th at the Rockefeller Center flagship location of the Nintendo World Store in New York City.

Carnival Games is designed for up to four players and features over 25 midway and boardwalk favorites, including Alley Ball, Clown Splash, Frog Leap, Shooting Gallery, Balloon Darts, Test Your Strength, Milk Can Throw, Ring Toss, Lucky Cups, Hoops, Day at the Races and the crowd-favorite Dunk Tank.

To add to the carnival atmosphere, players can win over 250 virtual prizes – including animated disco aliens, giant stuffed animals and fuzzy dice – which can be upgraded as their gaming skills improve. Players can customize their in-game characters with items ranging from a Pirate's wardrobe to elephant shoes to Viking horns. Carnival Games is rated "E" for Everyone and is featured in Nintendo in-store kiosks. Carnival Games is scheduled for release in Europe this fall.

Dead Head Fred (PSP)

Dead Head Fred draws players into an original 1940's inspired alternative universe where players will experience an innovative and refreshing twist on Action gameplay as they play as cranium-impaired hero Fred Neuman, collecting, upgrading and strategically switching his head with the heads of enemies to battle through a story of revenge and redemption.

"Dead Head Fred represents all the qualities in a game that we strive to deliver to our customers such as unique gameplay elements, distinctive characters and environments that draw players into the game-world," said Peter Andrew, vice president of product development, D3PA. "We're confident that Dead Head Fred will offer hours of non-stop action and the entertaining twisted and sarcastic humor that gamers enjoy."

In Dead Head Fred, players will adventure as Fred Neuman, a private detective savagely murdered and then resurrected in a bizarre scientific experiment without his memory or his head. Players will embark on a quest for vengeance as they solve their own murder by using the severed heads of enemies to battle their way through challenging but bizarre environments. Each of the 9 different heads offer a unique gameplay mechanic as players utilize special tactics and puzzle-solving to strategically progress through the game. Players will embark on missions and mini-games to increase powers and attacks by acquiring new heads and collect money to purchase more upgrades to battle malformed mutants, ghoulish gangsters, and maniacal mob bosses.

"Dead Head Fred is one of the most robust and fully-featured games available on the PSP system," said Eric Peterson, president, Vicious Cycle. "We're pleased to offer fans a completely original IP that takes full advantage of the technical capabilities of the PSP system and offers a compelling gameplay experience."

Dead Head Fred, rated "M" (Mature - Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor and Strong Language), is available for the suggested retail price of $29.95.

Dynasty Warriors Gundam (PS3/X360)

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam brings the fast-paced action-filled excitement of Dynasty Warriors to the futuristic battlegrounds of the rich Gundam universe. Gamers can assume the role of the legendary heroes or villains of their choice and get in the cockpits of their favorite Mobile Suits to fight across a host of battlefields. Play out legendary scenes from the rich storyline of the Gundam multi-verse and view the subtle plot twists through the eyes of each character. Furthermore, unlock additional pilots and suits from six different Gundam series while accomplishing secret missions for limitless replay value. With a variety of game types including Official, Original and Versus Mode, gamers must overcome hundreds of enemies and impossible odds to bring their Mobile Suits to victory.

Created by KOEI's Omega Force development team, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and carries a suggested price of $59.99.

Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms (PC)

Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms features 4 brand new campaigns, including an opportunity to more fully explore The New World that was unlocked toward the end of Medieval II. In the Americas campaign, players will be able to retrace the steps of Hernán Cortés in 1519, as he seeks to explore and conquer The New World. Players can earn the support of Spain and explore the mystery and riches of the New World, or take control of the Aztec or Native American factions and call on the Gods and the bravery of vast armies to see off this new threat.

Three other campaigns will offer more detailed "magnifying glass" campaigns within Great Britain, Northern Europe and the Holy Land, with many more regions than were originally shown in Medieval II. Featuring 13 new playable factions and over 150 new units, Kingdoms will allow players to control thousands of men on a single battlefield and lead them into conflict with new hero characters such as Richard The Lionheart and Saladin, each armed with new, powerful battlefield abilities. In addition, players will use moated forts to garrison vast armies or seize control of key strategic points and explore new technology trees, governed by religion and prestige.

Players can experience a bloody clash between pagans and Christians in the Northern European Teutonic Wars, or take control of one of 5 factions in the Britannia campaign when England faces war on 4 fronts as once conquered lands rise up against them. Kingdoms will also include a new expanded Crusades campaign, where players renew their fight for control of the Holy Lands, with new factions, devastating new units (such as the terrifying Greek Flame Thrower), legendary heroes and powerful holy relics.

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes (PSP)

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes for the PSP delivers intense single and multiplayer team-based action as gamers soar through the ninja ranks to become the ultimate Hokage. Based on the popular animated series Naruto from VIZ Media, Naruto fans can now battle each other using their favorite ninja heroes anywhere and anytime with the game's wireless connectivity function. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and is now available for a suggested price of $39.99.

Developed by CyberConnect2, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes gives gamers the ability to create and customize their own ninja dream squads to battle opponents or trade player's profiles via wireless connectivity, a franchise first! To further maximize the character power-up feature, players can form different team combinations to awaken hidden skills that lie within each group. Depending on the combinations, special team based skills can be unleashed. Gamers can also earn power-up points towards upgrading each character's attack, defense, chakra, speed and even special abilities.

Stuntman: Ignition (PS2/PS3/X360)

In Stuntman: Ignition, gamers plunge into the adrenaline-fueled role of a Hollywood stunt driver, coupling dangerous maneuvers with precision driving to create the greatest stunts ever filmed.

"Stuntman: Ignition combines addictive, pick-up-and-play game mechanics with Hollywood thrills to deliver a completely unique action driving experience," said Dave Miller, global brand director, THQ. "There are plenty of action-packed blockbuster movies in theaters this summer, but only one game that lets players step into the role of a real Hollywood stunt driver."

"Stuntman: Ignition features six uniquely-themed movies with 36 stunt runs along with commercial deals and stunt shows that can be performed in over 25 vehicles," said Dave Gatchel, general manager, Paradigm Entertainment. "The amped up action continues online with several unique multiplayer modes and a stunt constructor feature that lets gamers create their own stunt tracks and share them online."

In Stuntman: Ignition, gamers plunge into the adrenaline-fueled role of a Hollywood stunt driver, mastering the most breathtaking, death-defying vehicle-based stunts ever filmed. Players can showcase their skills in a wide variety of big-budget action films, commercial shoots and stunt shows while commanding more than 25 unique vehicles, including exotic sports cars, motorcycles and more. The game's unique online multiplayer modes let players battle rival stuntmen on film sets and custom built back-lot arenas, or gamers can build and share their own stunt arenas online with Stunt Constructor mode.

Developed by THQ internal studio Paradigm Entertainment, Stuntman: Ignition is now available for the suggested retail price of $59.99 on Xbox 360 and PS3 and $39.99 on PS2.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 (NDS/PSP/PS2/Wii/PS3/X360/PC)

With the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise, gamers can put themselves into the middle of the action, test their nerves and skills against the best, and then share and compare their shots with other players from around the world in the most innovative iteration ever created.

With EA SPORTS GamerNet, an interactive gaming hub that hosts user-created gameplay online, every shot on every hole of a player's game is recorded. From the opening drive to the final putt in the Playoffs for the FedExCup, EA SPORTS GamerNet is capturing all the shots that make, or break players rounds. With an on-line connection, gamers can then upload their most amazing — and unthinkable — performances on EA SPORTS GamerNet and then earn points and bragging rights by posting video clips for other gamers to play against and by matching challenges set by others.

With Photo Game Face, players will now be able to replicate themselves in the game, down to the finest detail. By simply uploading real-life photographs, players can create in-game characters that look exactly like the real thing with no artistic skill required, giving gamers the unique opportunity to go toe to toe with the best golfers on the finest courses in the world. EA SPORTS GamerNet and Photo Game Face are features exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 also features the PGA TOUR new Playoffs for the FedExCup, offering gamers the thrill of the playoff chase by playing dream rounds at Westchester Country Club, TPC Boston, Cog Hill and East Lake. In addition to many of the top PGA TOUR players, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 also features top LPGA golfers, Annika Sorenstam, Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.

Developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 is available for the Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC, Mac, PSP and is rated E by the ESRB.

The Wild West (NDS)

Developed by Happy Happening, The Wild West offers gamers a non-stop, six-gun fix as they deliver frontier justice via Touch Screen shoot outs.

"The Wild West corrals all of the exciting elements of the old west and packages it up in a fun and affordable DS experience," said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing.

Featuring both 2D and 3D levels, The Wild West lets players choose between two different characters with varying storylines. Successful completion of themed mini-games like Round Up and Darts earns players additional weapons that can be used in the main Story Mode. A variety of challenging bosses between levels will test even the most skilled Touch Screen sharpshooters.

The Wild West is rated E10+ and carries a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Wild Arms 5 (PS2)

12,000 years ago, the world of Filgaia was a land immersed in technology far beyond anything found in the present day. For reasons unknown, however, the citizens of this advanced culture suddenly abandoned their technology, leaving the future of the human race to live in a comparatively primitive state. All that remained of this once great civilization were some scattered mechanical parts and the occasional remnants of a legendary golem—huge mechanical devices built to serve mankind. While use of the old technology remained mostly out of reach, there were some who had begun to research the ancient devices, seeking even the faintest hope of enriching their lives on this desolate world.

The situation changed dramatically about a hundred years ago when a new race known as the Veruni arrived on the planet. Although similar in appearance to humans, the Veruni's superior physical attributes and advanced technology allowed them to quickly establish dominance over mankind. The human race found itself relegated to second-class status, and many citizens were forced to perform hard labor day in and day out in order to survive.

Fast-forward to the present day. In a small town called Capo Bronco on the outskirts of Filgaia, two youths, Dean Stark and Rebecca Streisand, witness an unbelievable event—the giant arm of a golem somehow falling from the sky. Their disbelief grows further when they discover that within the clenched fist of the golem's hand lies a girl with little recollection of her past other than her name—"Avril." This chance encounter inspires Dean and Rebecca to travel with Avril across the wastelands of Filgaia in hopes of helping her regain her lost memories. Little do they know their journey will eventually decide the fate of all mankind...

The ESRB rating is T for Teen. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Wild ARMs series, all launch units of Wild ARMs 5 will contain a special 80-page "The Art of Wild ARMs" artbook highlighting illustrations from the entire 10-year span of the Wild ARMs series in full color, packaged together with the game case in a special embossed foil box. This is the only version of Wild ARMs 5 available at launch and it's still at the same $39.99 suggested retail price. Quantities of the launch edition are limited.

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