The latest worldwide game release charts sees a healthy variety of gaming genres, from classic compilations (Command & Conquer: The First Decade, Gradius Portable, Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition), to continuations of popular franchises (Siren 2, The Rub Rabbits) to quirky original titles (Drill Dozer, Chibi-Robo, Choco-Inu no Omise: Patisserie & Sweets Shop Game).
This release list, compiled exclusively for Gamasutra, covers every video game product we know to be available at the retail level for the week of February 5, 2006:
Games Released in the United States:Game Boy Advance:Drill Dozer, Sudoku FeverNintendo DS:Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, The Rub Rabbits!Gamecube:Chibi-Robo, Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple PlanetPlayStation 2:Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet, EA Sports Arena Football, Let's Ride: Silver Buckle Stables, Tales of Legendia, World Soccer Winning Eleven 9PlayStation Portable:Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, World Soccer Winning Eleven 9Xbox:EA Sports Arena Football, World Soccer Winning Eleven 9PC:Command & Conquer The First Decade, L.A. Rush, Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition, Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, WWII Tank CommanderHighlights:
Command & Conquer: The First Decade (PC)
Developer: Electronic Arts Los Angeles (after Westwood)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts presents a compilation disc featuring all twelve games in the Westwood-developed Command & Conquer series, which is often credited as creating (or at least, refinding) the real-time strategy genre. The entire series, from the original Command & Conquer (1995) to Command & Conquer Generals (2003) is presented in its original, untouched state, many of them playable on modern operating systems for the first time.
"One of the saddest things a creator has to deal with in this industry is when a product is now impossible to play," product director and Westwood co-founder Louis Castle told Gamasutra in an interview last month. "Not because it's a bad game, but because the platform doesn't exist anymore. We've been prolific trying to bring back landmark products, and our approach in the past has been to update the graphics. But I think this time we did the right thing. Command & Conquer is an event, it's one of the most successful franchises ever done, and it would be very inappropriate to modify it."
In addition to the games themselves, the compilation also features a number of bonuses, including interviews with a number of the original Command & Conquer developers, and a montage of contest winners from an Electronic Arts promotion challenging players to prove who was the "biggest fan," which should be...interesting.
Games Released in Europe:Game Boy Advance:Chicken Little, Totally Spies!Nintendo DS:Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, The Rub Rabbits!Gamecube:Chicken Little, Mario Party 7PlayStation 2:Chicken Little, Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends, Jacked, Psychonauts, Rugby 06PlayStation Portable:ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Breath of Fire III, Death Jr., Pinball Classics: The Gottlieb Collection, Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory, Space Invaders Evolution, Tales of Eternia, World Series of PokerXbox:Chicken Little, Jacked, Psychonauts, Rugby 06, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a PulseXbox 360:Full AutoPC:Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None, American Conquest: Divided Nation, Chicken Little, Day of Defeat: Source, Jacked, Lula 3D, Psychonauts, Rugby 06, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, Winter SportsHighlights:
Psychonauts (PS2, Xbox, PC)
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Double Fine's first title - an action/adventure game designed by Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle creator Tim Schafer - has jumped quite a few hurdles to get to this point. Originally funded by Microsoft as a first-party title for the Xbox, the game was dropped in March of 2004, forcing Double Fine to struggle without funding for a short period. Months later, publisher Majesco picked up the bill, and brought the game to the American market in April of last year. Despite practically unanimous critical praise, the game failed to perform well in the marketplace, and is often blamed for the financial difficulties the publisher now faces. A European release looked increasingly unlikely, until August, when THQ announced a deal to exclusively distribute a number of Majesco titles in the region, Psychonauts included. And now, ten months after the game's American release, and half a year since its European release was announced, Psychonauts - Eurogamer's Game of the Year for 2005 - has finally made it to PAL territories. We wish it well.
Games Released in Japan:Game Boy Advance:Mr. Incredible: Kyouteki Underminder ToujouNintendo DS:Choco-Inu no Omise: Patisserie & Sweets Shop Game, Mr. Incredible: Kyouteki Underminder Toujou, Unou no Tatsujin: Soukai! Machigai MuseumGamecube:Mr. Incredible: Kyouteki Underminder ToujouPlayStation 2:Anya Nisasayaku, Mein Liebe II, Mr. Incredible: Kyouteki Underminder Toujou, Simple 2000 Series: The Zombie vs. Kyuukyuusha, Siren 2PlayStation Portable:Gradius Portable, Nakahara no Hasha: Sangoku Shouseiden, San Goku Shi VII, The Sims 2: Dr. Dominic no InbouHighlights:
Siren 2 (PS2)
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment International
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment International
The sequel to Sony's in-house survival horror game - the movie rights for which were picked up last month by Ghost House Pictures - is being released in Japan this week. Details on the sequel are somewhat scarce in American media, but hands-on previews of a playable demonstration version from last September's Tokyo Game Show were fairly positive, as most American previews tend to be. In particular, the graphical style, atmosphere, and facial expressions seem to be a common praise. While the original Siren isn't necessarily considered a commercial success, it will be interesting to see if this continuation of the series - and, indeed, the film adaptation - will heighten Sony's franchise in the public eye.
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