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Column: 'Release This: Dirge Of Nights'

Gamasutra's round-up of worldwide video game releases, "Release This!", checks out an intriguing release list, with the U.S. getting Ninety-Nine Nights and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, and Japan an Xbox 360 sequel to the Dynasty
Gamasutra's 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. Japan takes a nationwide holiday this week, leaving other regions to catch up with several new releases spanning a number of genres. Among these include awaited titles such as Ninety-Nine Nights, Spinout, and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending August 19, 2006. Games Released in the United States:
Nintendo DS:
- Deep Labyrinth
- Freedom Wings
- Konductra

PlayStation 2:
- Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

PlayStation Portable:
- Payout Poker & Casino
- Super Monkey Ball Adventure

Xbox:
- World Racing 2
- Xyanide
Xbox 360:
- Ninety-Nine Nights

PC:
- Backyard Baseball 2007
- DarkStar One
- Jaws Unleashed
- Poker SuperStars II
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Nighty Night
- World Racing 2
Several neglected genres will find new representation in the United States this week, from the Roguelike (Deep Labyrinth) to the shoot-'em-up (Xyanide). The week will also see the release of more conventional fare, like the Dynasty Warriors-styled action title Ninety-Nine Nights for the Xbox 360. The months-delayed PC version of Jaws Unleashed might actually be released this week as well, but only if we're really lucky! Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII details the further exploits of Final Fantasy VII cast member Vincent Valentine, in the unexpected form of a third-person shooter. Fans have long demanded further insight into what occurred during and after the events of Final Fantasy VII, and Dirge of Cerberus is expected to fill in many of these details nearly ten years after FFVII's initial release. The title is only part of Square Enix's campaign to further explore the Final Fantasy VII universe, and is being released in conjunction with other FFVII-related projects like the animated film Advent Children and mobile phone game Before Crisis. Dirge of Cerberus took quite a beating from reviewers when it was released in Japan earlier this year, but the U.S. version to be released this week is said to iron out a lot of the problems associated with the original release, as well as provide an assortment of region-exclusive content. Games Released in Europe:
PlayStation 2:
- Premier Manager 2006-2007
- ProStroke Golf - World Tour 2007

PlayStation Portable:
- Spinout

Xbox:
- ProStroke Golf - World Tour 2007
PC:
- Fire Department 3
- Pathologic
- Pro Cycling Manager 2006
- ProStroke Golf - World Tour 2007
- Specnaz: Project Wolf
- U-Boat: Battle in the Mediterranean
Europe will have several unique titles to call its own this week, as every single entry on this week's release list appears to be exclusive to the region for the time being. This is somewhat remarkable, as Europe has historically been the recipient of many of its titles months after they see release in other regions. Hopefully this will mark an increase in the amount of exclusive software Europe will see in the future. Among the more notable games included in this week's European release list are the PSP racer Spinout, as well as multiple ports of ProStroke Golf - World Tour 2007. The PC platform will also see several new releases, including the survival horror title Pathologic and fire fighting simulation Fire Department 3. Games Released in Japan:
PlayStation 2:
- Daito Giken Koushiki Pachi-Slot Simulator: Hihouden
Xbox 360:
- Sengoku Musou 2
Japan is currently in the midst of a major national holiday period known as Obon, and new releases are all but nonexistent as a result. The week will bring only a pair of new titles, one of which is yet another entry in the hybrid Pachinko/slot machine simulation genre, while the other is an upgraded Xbox 360 port of Sengoku Musou 2. Koei's Dynasty Warriors series has developed a sort of infamy among gamers due to its multiple sequels, ports and upgrades, several of which are released in any given year. The tradition continues with the Dynasty Warriors spinoff series Sengoku Musou (known as Samurai Warriors in other regions) -- a fact that is reflected in this week's Xbox 360 port being released in such close proximity to September's scheduled release of the strategy-oriented Sengoku Musou 2: Empires for the PlayStation 2 in Japan. Samurai Warriors 2 for the Xbox 360 will see release in the United States next month, with a European version due soon after. [Danny Cowan is a freelance writer hailing from Austin, Texas. He has contributed feature articles to Lost Levels Online and 1up.com, and his writing appears monthly in Hardcore Gamer Magazine.]

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