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Release This!: Madden Fantasy Double Sharp

Gamasutra's round-up of worldwide video game releases, "Release This!", explores a number of significant titles debuting this week, including the massive Madden NFL 07 in the United States, Reservoir Dogs in Europe, and a Nintendo DS remake
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. Game retailers across the United States brace themselves this week for the release of a new Madden title, an annual event that historically results in crowded stores and brisk sales. Madden NFL 07 will also find its way to Europe in the next several days, along with the third-person shooter adaptation of Reservoir Dogs. Japan is the only region that will remain Maddenless this week, but Japanese gamers will hopefully be content with the release of the long-awaited Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III instead. The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending August 26, 2006. Games Released in the United States:
Game Boy Advance:
- Madden NFL 07
- Scooby Doo Double Pack
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Double Pack 2

GameCube:
- Madden NFL 07
- Pac-Man World Rally

Nintendo DS:
- Freedom Wings
- Madden NFL 07

PlayStation 2:
- Madden NFL 07
- Pac-Man World Rally
- World Championship Poker: All In

PlayStation Portable:
- Madden NFL 07
- Pac-Man World Rally
- Rapala Trophies
- World Championship Poker: All In
Xbox:
- Madden NFL 07
- Pac-Man World Rally

Xbox 360:
- Madden NFL 07

PC:
- Barrow Hill
- In the Groove
- Madden NFL 07
- Pac-Man World Rally
- Pony LUV
- Prison Tycoon 2: Maximum Security
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Nighty Night
Few publishers dare to try and compete with this week's release of Madden NFL 07, though a number of budget titles and compilations will still find their way to stores regardless. Some of the more significant releases include the kart racer Pac-Man World Rally and In the Groove, an upgraded PC version of a popular dance simulation arcade title. Madden NFL 07 serves as the clear highlight of the week, with ports seeing release for all eight of the current major platforms. It's interesting to note how drastically the game's retail price fluctuates between ports -- the DS and GBA versions naturally carry a lower cost at $30 each, the PC and (online play-lacking) GameCube ports retail for $40, and the Xbox 360 Hall of Fame Edition will set gamers back $70. It remains to be seen where the planned Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 releases will fall within this spectrum, as no retail price for either version has yet been announced. Regardless of cost, however, the title should remain a popular choice at retailers nationwide, and can be expected to reign at the top of the sales charts for the next several weeks. Games Released in Europe:
Nintendo DS:
- Garfield 2
- Madden NFL 07

PlayStation 2:
- Carol Vorderman's Sudoku
- Cue Academy: Snooker, Pool, Billiards
- Let's Make a Soccer Team!
- Madden NFL 07
- Real World Golf 2007
- Reservoir Dogs
- Stocks and Quarters

PlayStation Portable:
- Carol Vorderman's Sudoku
- Madden NFL 07
- Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
Xbox:
- Madden NFL 07
- Reservoir Dogs

Xbox 360:
- Madden NFL 07
- Ninety-Nine Nights

PC:
- Birth of America
- Madden NFL 07
- Reservoir Dogs
- WWI: Aces of the Sky
John Madden will make his presence known overseas as well, with ports of Madden NFL 07 soon to be available for nearly every currently available platform, with the GameCube and Game Boy Advance being the only exceptions. For those who prefer the European version of football, the week will also see the debut of Let's Make a Pro Soccer Team!, the very first European entry in the Japanese Soccer Club o Tsukurou coaching simulation series, which debuted on the Sega Saturn in 1996. Another title set to make its debut in Europe this week is Reservoir Dogs, an action title based upon the cult favorite Quentin Tarantino-directed movie. Reservoir Dogs is said to elaborate upon many events that went unexplained in the film, much in the style of Electronic Arts' recent interactive take on The Godfather. The title is currently exclusive to Europe, but will be released in the United States in October. Games Released in Japan:
Nintendo DS:
- Dino King Battle: Taiko Kara no Hyuuryuusha
- Final Fantasy III
- Rune Factory: Shin Bokujou Monogatari

PlayStation 2:
- _summer##
- Planetarian: A Dream of a Small Star
- Saikyo Shogi Gekisashi Special
- Strawberry Panic!
- Ultimate Spider-Man
- Wrestle Angel: Survivor
PlayStation Portable:
- Guilty Gear: Judgment
- Kings Field Additional 2
- Moto GP
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Shichida Shiki Training: Unou Tanren Portable
- Simple 2500 Series Portable Vol. 7: The Doko Demo Kanji Quiz - Challenge! Kanji Kentei 2006
- Tama-Run
- Winning Post 6 2006
First of all, yes, there really is a game called _summer## (pronounced "Underbar Summer Double Sharp"). Yes, it has a picture of an anime girl on the cover, and yes, it's a text-based adventure game. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind while reading the Japanese release list is that if a game's title features unconventional punctuation, one or multiple exclamation marks, or pairings of words like "strawberry" and "panic," it's most likely a text-based adventure game. With its competition largely consisting of ports, visual novels, and games previously released in other regions, Final Fantasy III stands out as the most noteworthy title to hit Japan this week. The release is significant, as Final Fantasy III is the only game in the Final Fantasy series of the pre-PlayStation era that has never seen a remake or been ported to another console since its original release in 1990. Final Fantasy III for the DS is a complete remake, featuring 3D graphics and several extra features not found in the original Famicom version. The title is scheduled to be released in the United States in November, an event that will also mark Final Fantasy III's first appearance in the region in any form, as well as its first official English translation.

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