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Release This: 'LocoRoco Yakuza: Unlimited'

Gamasutra's regular round-up of worldwide video game releases, "Release This!", covers all new titles debuting worldwide in the coming week, including Yakuza and LocoRoco in the United States, Test Drive: Unlimited in the U.S. and Eur

Danny Cowan, Blogger

September 4, 2006

4 Min Read

Gamasutra's regular round-up of worldwide video game releases, "Release This!", takes a look at every game title we know to be shipping to stores this week, in an exclusively compiled list. Gamers still reeling from last week's onslaught of new releases will be happy to hear that the comparative quiet of the coming week should offer a moment to catch up on recent purchases. Intriguing titles like Yakuza, LocoRoco, and Test Drive: Unlimited provide a strong incentive to make yet another visit to retailers in the United States and Europe this week, however, while Japanese gamers will soon enjoy games like Kangaeru Exit and Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition. The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending September 9, 2006. Games Released in the United States:

This week's U.S. release list is a bit scaled back compared to last week's torrent of new titles, but a number of significant releases are in store for the region regardless. Headlining this week is the cute-and-cuddly PSP platformer LocoRoco, along with Yakuza, a Sega-produced adventure title described by many as a cross between Shenmue and the Grand Theft Auto series. The coming week will also see the release of Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Volume 1, a compilation featuring several titles (including Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Bejeweled 2) that, previously, could only be downloaded for a fee via Microsoft's Xbox Live online service. The Xbox 360 will soon play host to Test Drive: Unlimited as well, a sandbox-styled racing game that boasts a persistent online world powered by player-created custom challenges. Games Released in Europe:

Europe will receive localizations of several popular titles that previously saw release in the United States this week, with names like Dead Rising, Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins, and Enchanted Arms certain to spur big sales. Meanwhile, two somewhat less familiar titles are scheduled for release on the GBA. Brick 'Em All is a renamed version of the budget-priced Arkanoid clone known in Japan as Simple 2960 Tomodachi Series Vol. 2: The Block Kuzushi, and Funny Cards is a European-exclusive English version of the Japanese card game The Simple 2960 Tomodachi Series Vol. 4: The Trap. Games Released in Japan:

The PSP will be the platform to watch this week in Japan, as a number of extensions to popular series will soon make their debut on Sony's portable system. Kangaeru Exit serves as sequel to last year's well-received puzzle title Exit, while Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2 is the follow-up to the drumless drumming game Taiko no Tatsujin Portable. Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition, on the other hand, marks the latest port of what may well eventually become the most-ported RPG of all time. Originally debuting for the Super Famicom in Japan in 1995, Tales of Phantasia would later find a voice-enhanced rerelease for the Sony PlayStation in 1998. Neither port was ever released Stateside, much to the chagrin of English-speaking RPG fans, as nearly every subsequent entry in the Tales franchise would find a U.S. release, despite the lack of a localized version of the first game in the series. An officially translated English version of Tales of Phantasia would not be seen until the release of a downgraded Game Boy Advance port in 2006, which was published by Nintendo in the United States three years after its Japanese debut. Whether Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition (which is based on the 1998 PlayStation port) will see American release is currently unknown, though given the game's history with localization, Tales fans shouldn't be too optimistic.

About the Author(s)

Danny Cowan


Danny Cowan is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Gamasutra and its subsites. Previously, he has written reviews and feature articles for gaming publications including 1UP.com, GamePro, and Hardcore Gamer Magazine.

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