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Release This: Solid Eye, Super Strike, Bust-A-Move

The third and final Xbox 360 launch takes place in Japan this week, with a smaller software lineup than both Europe and the United States (albeit with two titles not seen...
The third and final Xbox 360 launch takes place in Japan this week, with a smaller software lineup than both Europe and the United States (albeit with two titles not seen elsewhere). In America, Nintendo makes an aggressive move, with three first-party titles released in the absence of anything from neither Sony nor Microsoft. And in Europe, the big news is Eidos' Championship Manager for the PSP, the first portable version of that region's highly-successful line of soccer management sims. Games Released in the United States: Game Boy Advance Mario Tennis: Power Tour Gamecube: Super Mario Strikers Nintendo DS: Animal Crossing: Wild World, Battles of Prince of Persia, Bust-A-Move DS, Dragon Booster PlayStation Portable Pac-Man World 3, Pinball Hall of Fame, Prince of Persia Revelations PC: Hammer & Sickle, Pac-man World 3 Highlights: Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS) Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo The sequel to the Gamecube's sleeper hit Animal Crossing, which Nintendo reported in a press release yesterday has sold 1 million copies to date, makes its American debut this week. It's hard to describe Animal Crossing to someone who hasn't yet played the game, though "life simulator" is a vaguely close description. The basic premise is that your player's avatar is settling into a new town, meeting the neighbors and picking up the odd job here and there. There's no ultimate goal, nor any kind of scoring system, though the game does gently push a player into wanting to purchase, trade, and collect as many of the game's hundreds of miscellaneous clothing and decorative items as possible. New features to the DS version include much-requested online play and competitive mini-games.

Super Mario Strikers (Gamecube) Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Mario and company have covered a good majority of the major sports now with this new title, which sees our hero making his debut on the soccer field. The art direction in Strikers is a little more dark and aggressive than fans of the plumber might be used to, but then again, so is the gameplay. Previews have been generally positive, praising the frantic pace and fancy super moves, with names like "Brutal Hit" and "Super Strike." And if soccer's not your cup of tea, Mario Tennis: Power Tour is also available this week, for the Game Boy Advance. Games Released in Europe: Game Boy Advance: Dogz Gamecube: Battalion Wars, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Nintendo DS: Battles of Prince of Persia, Burnout Legends, Ford Racing 3 PlayStation 2: Crazy Frog Racer, Ski Racing 2006, Super Rugby League 2 PlayStation Portable: Championship Manager, Namco Museum Battle Collection, Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, Prince of Persia Revelations Xbox: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones PC: Crazy Frog Racer, Diplomacy, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Super Rugby League 2 Highlights: Championship Manager (PSP) Developer: Gusto Games Publisher: Eidos Interactive The extremely popular soccer management sim, which never caught on outside of Europe for perfectly obvious reasons, makes its debut on the PSP this week courtesy of developer Gusto Games, who have so far handled all of the franchise's console incarnations. For those who are unfamiliar with the genre, imagine a more advanced version of fantasy football. New to this portable version, according to publisher Eidos Interactive's official website, are two exclusive game play possibilities: "Challenge Mode" and "Quick-Play 3 Season Mode." The site does not go into specifics, in terms of what exactly what these modes entail. Games Released in Japan: Game Boy Advance: Choujin Ultra Baseball, Sugar Sugar Une: Heart Gaippai! Moegi Gakuen, Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi Gamecube:, Bleach GC: Tasogare Ni Mamieru Shinigami, Densetsu no Quiz Ouketteisen Nintendo DS: Bokujou Monogatari: Colobocle Station for Girls, Kouchuu Ouja Mushi King: Greatest Champion e no Michi DS, Mario Kart DS, Sims 2: Hacha Mecha Hotel Life PlayStation 2: Momotarou Densetsu 15, Monster Farm 5: Circus Caravan, Rogue Galaxy Ryu ga Gotoku, Simple 2000 Series Vol. 92: The Noroi no Game, Sugar Sugar Rune: Koimo Osharemo Pick-Up, Taiko no Tatsujin: Wai Wai Happy Muyome PlayStation Portable: Geki Sengoku Musou, Metal Gear Acid 2 Xbox 360: Every Party, FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Perfect Dark Zero, Ridge Racer 6, Tetris: The Grandmaster Ace PC: Furin Kazoku, Futago Mono: Twin Story of Serina & Haruna, Galzoo Island, Kono Haretasora no Shita de, Last Song, Mechiku, Moon Childe, Noise, Onko Nurse, Osu Mesu Time Slip!, Pastel C++, Ryoujoku Rensa, Seidorei Shiiku Manual, To Heart 2 Highlights: Bleach GC: Tasogare Ni Mamieru Shinigami (Gamecube) Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega Based on the popular Shounen Jump manga franchise, Bleach GC - like its PSP predecessor and upcoming PS2 incarnation - is a one-on-one fighting game. Unlike the others, however, this Gamecube version was apparently developed internally at Sega, and renders its characters using cel-shading, with rather impressive results. Sega is also slated to release a Nintendo DS Bleach fighter next month, developed by Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga and Guardian Heroes creators Treasure.

Every Party (Xbox 360) Developer: Game Republic Publisher: Microsoft Every Party is the second title by former Capcom producer Yoichi Okamoto's independent studio, Game Republic (the first being Genji), and one of two Xbox 360 launch titles exclusive to Japan (the other being Tetris: The Grandmaster Ace). This is a relatively simple, colorful board game designed with the younger folks in mind. Up to four players take turns spinning the wheel to advance on the game board, with each square being the doorway to a simple minigame. Parents can set a handicap mode, to give the kiddies better luck, and can even connect to schoolmates and the like using Xbox Live. Metal Gear AC!D 2 (PSP) Developer: Kojima Productions Publisher: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan The sequel to Konami's PSP launch title once again sees Solid Snake and company sneaking around and fighting via a deck of command cards. There's a new graphics engine at work here, using cel-shading and a bright color palette previously foreign to the series, and several new attacks and effects. However, the big news here is that the game is presented in 3D using a bizarre included peripheral called "Solid Eye," which attaches to the front of the PSP like a set of binoculars. Early reports and previews so far are heavily laced with the words "trippy" and "weird."

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