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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Aug. 24, 2010 @ 6:38 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 ...

Mafia II (PS3/X360/PC)

This pistol-packed period piece transports players to Empire Bay, a fully realized and immersive urban cityscape set in America during the 1940s and 1950s. The action unfolds with white-knuckled car chases, explosive gunplay, compelling characters and an engaging narrative set against a backdrop of meticulously detailed period environments that showcase the difference a decade can make in the evolution of music, fashion, advertising and automobiles. Mafia II will be released on August 26 in Australia and August 27 internationally.

"Mafia II is what gamers want in a mob game - the marriage of a compelling story with edge-of-the-seat action and lifelike characters that immerse players in an epic entertainment experience," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "When you add in a setting that accurately reflects a period in history that has never been rendered so beautifully, it sets a new benchmark not just for the action-crime genre, but for any game set in the real world with a rich story to tell."

Born the son of a poor immigrant, Vito is a beaten down Italian-American who is trying to escape the life of poverty that consumed his childhood. Vito, along with his lifelong friend, Joe, will descend into the world of organized crime. Looking to escape the life of hardship that his father led, Vito dreams about becoming a "made man," and together with Joe, will work to prove themselves to the Mafia as they try to make their names on the streets. However, the two quickly realize that life as a wise guy isn't quite as glamorous as it seems.

Throughout Mafia II, players will be immersed in the music from the most influential artists of the time. Mafia II features more than 100 original licensed songs from the 40's and 50's that can be heard blaring from car radios and throughout Empire Bay. Among the most popular offerings of the era are "Ain't that a Kick in the Head" by Dean Martin, "Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker, "Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney, "It Don't Mean a Thing" by Duke Ellington, and "Manish Boy" by Muddy Waters.

The Mafia II demo, which has been downloaded and immensely enjoyed by millions of gamers around the world, is currently available for free from the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace for Xbox 360 and via Steam and select Internet portals for PC.

Powered by 2K Czech's proprietary next-generation Illusion Engine that was built specifically for Mafia II, players will experience the true evolution of the game. Mafia II is available now for the PS3 , Xbox 360, and PC and is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Grease: The Game (NDS/Wii)

Based on the original high school musical that first hit theaters in 1978 and recently re-released, Grease: The Game will ignite Grease fever by giving fans hours of jump-jiving gameplay.

"505 Games is always looking for new ways to engage players with original interactive experiences and our relationship with Paramount Digital Entertainment has allowed us to do just that," said Adam Kline, president of 505 Games (U.S.). "Contributing to the current Grease revival has been a such a rewarding experience for all of us that we are truly excited to welcome a whole new generation of fans with Grease: the Game. With its compelling gameplay, iconic track list and charming graphics, 'Grease' is going to entertain enthusiasts of all ages."

In Grease: The Game players will not only sing and dance to 16 of the movie's iconic songs, they will also engage in all kinds of party fun alongside Frenchie, Kenickie, Rizzo and the rest of the Pink Ladies and T-Birds. There are a number of pick-up-and-play mini-games for the whole family including drag races down Thunder Road against the Scorpions, sports competitions to win a letterman jacket, carnival games at the Rydell Graduation carnival, and even pillow fights with the Pink Ladies. In story mode, gamers can fix up Greased Lightnin' to try to win Sandy's affections with their funky dance moves. Players can also dance their way through much-loved movie moments following Sandy and Danny on their legendary high school journey.

Grease: The Game for Wii allows players to join the student body at Rydell High while dancing and singing using the Wii Remote, the Wii Balance Board and Wii-compatible microphones. In party mode up to eight players can compete in two teams for musical domination. The Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi versions of the game test players' rhythm skills as they tap to the beat of 10 beloved "Grease" tunes. Gamers can also use the camera functionality on the Nintendo DSi to get into the game by uploading their face to their favorite character.

Grease: The Game is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB, and is now available at retail outlets nationwide.

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar (NDS)

"We are so excited that Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar is now available in stores," said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO of Natsume. "The game features a great story, a fun cast of colorful characters, and a multiplayer mode that lets players invite their friends to their farm. With all this and more, we think players will find it to be one of the best handheld games in the series yet."

Zephyr Town's bazaar was once the grandest in the world, drawing customers and peddlers from all four corners of the Earth. These days, though, the bazaar has more tumbleweeds than customers. It's up to the player to turn its fortunes around! They'll raise animals, harvest crops, craft rare delicacies, and then sell their wares at their very own shop. If players can bring prosperity back to Zephyr town, its bazaar will thrive once again, packed with exotic wares that they can purchase to expand their farm!

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar, rated E for Everyone, is now available at retail for an MSRP of $29.99.

Hello Kitty Online (PC)

Hello Kitty fans around the world rejoice! Hello Kitty Online (HKO) has officially launched in North America and Europe. To celebrate, Sanrio Digital is offering a collectible Premium Edition Retail SKU available at retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Fans both young and old can share their love of Hello Kitty, either through the free downloadable client or the Premium Edition retail version.

The collectible Hello Kitty Online Premium Edition comes in a specially designed pink and black box that includes:

  • $15 in Sanrio Cash Points to equip your character with premium items
  • Choice of one out of four exclusive and cute virtual pets to be your faithful companion on your adventures
  • Hello Kitty Online game client on DVD
  • Full-color Hello Kitty Online game manual (82 pages)
  • Hello Kitty Online collector's postcards to share with friends...or to keep!

Hello Kitty Online is set in a magical world featuring Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters. Players travel to exciting places such as London, Tokyo and Paris. Along the way they will meet their favorite Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, My Melody, Cinnamoroll and many others. Hello Kitty Online is the first MMOG to integrate true social networking services in the form of blogs, video sharing and Hello Kitty email provided by SanrioTown. The innovative online game boasts a captivating storyline, a myriad of quests, farms, housing, pets, guilds, thousands of options to customize player avatars, and much more. With today's commercial release of Hello Kitty Online the game service now offers an item mall where players have an option to purchase a variety of in-game virtual items to enhance their game experience. The item mall also offers players the ability to use a variety of online payment methods for their purchases. Additionally, Hello Kitty Online branded prepaid game cards will soon launch at key retailers.

"Sanrio Digital has created an entertaining digital world for our fans to engage with Hello Kitty and Sanrio friends in a truly social gaming environment," said Robert Ferrari, vice president of publishing and business development, Sanrio Digital. "To celebrate Sanrio's 50th anniversary, we are excited to launch Hello Kitty Online and offer our Premium Edition Retail SKU to both current and soon-to-be fans."

Retail distribution of the Hello Kitty Online Premium Edition SKU will be managed by Zoo Entertainment across North America. Zoo Entertainment also manages publishing and distribution of Sanrio Digital's Nintendo DS and Wii titles.

"Offering Hello Kitty Online as a retail SKU makes for a great addition to the Sanrio Digital line-up of Hello Kitty gaming SKUs Zoo offers at retail in North America, " said Mark Seremet, CEO, Zoo Entertainment. "We are excited to bring HKO to retail for the fall and holiday season."

Hello Kitty Online Premium Edition, rated "E" for Everyone, is available now at retailers across the U.S and Canada for $19.99, and will be coming soon to Europe.

Ivy the Kiwi? (NDS/Wii)

Ivy the Kiwi? follows the storybook adventures of lonely baby bird, Ivy, as she traverses beautiful 2-D landscapes and challenging obstacles in search of her mother and identity. From the forest floor amidst a bed of leaves, her journey begins as she hatches from her egg and finds herself completely alone. Frightened and unable to fly, she sets off through a dreamy forest on foot. As she wanders, Ivy stumbles upon a single red feather, the first clue to her mother's whereabouts and the catalyst of the little heroine's quest. As Ivy runs back and forth, players of all ages utilize the Wii Remote or Nintendo DS stylus to create the game's signature stretchy and flexible vines that propel Ivy forward, over, and through obstacles before her.

The game delivers an innovative approach to the action platform genre through simple, yet addictive gameplay that caters to fans of different ages and skill levels. The game features over 100 hundred stages for both the DS and Wii versions. In addition to the single-player storyline, up to four players can compete using a single-card via local wireless connection on DS or in split-screen mode on Wii.

Ivy the Kiwi? is rated "E" for Everyone and is available on Wii for the suggested retail price of $29.99 and on Nintendo DS for the suggested retail price of $19.99. Ivy the Kiwi? was developed by PROPE, the development studio led by the legendary Sonic creator, Yuji Naka.

Shank (PSN/XBLA)

Shank tells a classic story of gangland betrayal through a violent, pulp-fiction lens. Gamers play as Shank, getting their hands bloody as they uncover the secrets of Shank's past and the reasons he is hell-bent on revenge. With a deep and intuitive combat system, players unleash a tremendous number of creative combinations as they take down waves of enemies standing in their path. Shank also features a special co-operative campaign, designed to be played with a friend locally, which tells the backstory of the revenge plot. This prequel mission allows players to play as Shank or his partner-in-crime Falcone, with deadly double-team moves and gameplay that encourages teamwork. With its blend of classic side-scrolling action gameplay and stylized animation set against a modern-Western canvass, Shank tells a bloody story of revenge, penned by award-winning game writer Marianne Krawczyk

Shank is available for download now on the PlayStation Network for $14.99, and August 25, 2010 on Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 Microsoft points. Shank is rated “M” for mature by the ESRB.

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