Release This: Sonic and the Secret Crackdown

Gamasutra's worldwide game release list pinpoints major debuts this week from Crackdown in the West, and Virtua Fighter 5 and Sonic and the Secret Rings in the U.S., with exclusive GamerMetrics data on the most-anticipated North Ameri
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. This week will see the multi-region release of Microsoft's Crackdown -- a long-awaited action title whose popularity has soared in the weeks leading up to its release. Gamers in the United States will also receive anticipated releases like Sonic and the Secret Rings and Virtua Fighter 5 this week, while Europe gets Final Fantasy XII and Japan gears up for Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami and Monster Hunter Portable 2nd. The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending January 24, 2007. Games Released in the United States:
Nintendo Wii:
- Sonic and the Secret Rings (#2 on GamerMetrics, 17.79%)

Xbox 360:
- Crackdown (#1 on GamerMetrics Most Anticipated New Releases, 44.23% Mindshare)
- NBA Street Homecourt (#3 on GamerMetrics, 11.13%)

PlayStation 3:
- Virtua Fighter 5 (#5 on GamerMetrics, 8.55%)

PlayStation 2:
- Arena Football: Road to Glory
- Lumines Plus

Nintendo DS:
- F-24 Stealth Fighter
- Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja (#6 on GamerMetrics, 1.88%)
- Meteos: Disney Magic
- Micro Machines V4
- Trioncube (#8 on GamerMetrics, 0.64%)
PlayStation Portable:
- M.A.C.H. (#9 on GamerMetrics, 0.64%)
- Metal Slug Anthology
- Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner (#7 on GamerMetrics, 1.80%)

- Alien Shooter: Vengeance
- Backyard Basketball 2007
- Knights of the Temple II
- Left Behind: Eternal Forces Expansion Pack (#10 on GamerMetrics, 0.50%)
- Maelstrom
- PureSim Baseball 2006
- Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game
- Supreme Commander (#4 on GamerMetrics, 9.90%)
- UFO: Extraterrestrials
- War Front: Turning Point
It should come as little surprise that the Xbox 360's Crackdown comes out on top as the week's most anticipated new release across all platforms. Pre-order numbers have increased significantly in the weeks following an announcement that the title would come bundled with an invitation to the Halo 3 beta. Crackdown is also being received warmly by critics, giving gamers even further purchase incentive. Titles like Sonic and the Secret Rings and NBA Street Homecourt also rate big in gamer awareness and purchase intent, though Sega's Virtua Fighter 5 is seeing surprisingly little attention, considering its high-profile status, running behind Chris Taylor's major RTS Supreme Commander for PC. The PlayStation 3's relatively low installed user base could potentially be to blame for this, as hardware sales have dramatically slowed in the months following its release, and few gamers seem willing to make a major console purchase based on the strength of Virtua Fighter 5 alone. Games Released in Europe:
Nintendo Wii:
- Kororinpa

Xbox 360:
- Blitz: The League
- Crackdown

PlayStation 2:
- Final Fantasy XII
- Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship
- Ghost Rider

Nintendo DS:
- Freedom Wings
- Tennis Masters
PlayStation Portable:
- Ghost Rider
- Rainbow Island Evolution
- The Warriors

- Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition
- Infernal
- The Mark
- Pippa Funnell: The Golden Stirrup Challenge
- Scratches
Europe comes up a little short in new release volume compared to other regions this week, though a number of intriguing titles make for an interesting lineup overall. Final Fantasy XII in particular should prove to be one of the week's most popular releases, as the title continues to be a best-seller in the United States several months after its release there. Exclusives like Rainbow Island Evolution and Kororinpa should otherwise occupy the time of many European gamers this week. Kororinpa is an especially curious case -- the game was a Wii launch title in Japan, and is not expected to debut in the U.S. until late in March. The game remains a critical favorite among those who have played it, as well, making it all the more alluring for intrigued Wii owners. Games Released in Japan:
Nintendo Wii:
- Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami
- Naruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX

Xbox 360:
- Riot Act
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent

PlayStation 3:
- Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom

PlayStation 2:
- Aa! Megami-sama!
- Aoi Sora no Neosphere: Nanoka Franka no Hatsumei Koubouki 2
- Destroy All Humans!
- Grand Theft Auto Double Pack
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri
- Lupin III: Lupin ni wa Shi o, Zenigata ni wa Koi o
- Pachi-Slot Club Collection: I'm Juggler EX - Juggler Selection
- Pachi-Slot King! Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman
- Reijou Tantei: Office Love Jiken
- Shoujo Mahou Gaku Little Witch Romanesque
- Simple 2000 Series Vol. 113: The Tairyou Jigoku
- Simple 2000 Series Vol. 114: The Jokouppichi Torimonochou - Oanechan Go Go Go!
- Soshite Kono Uchuu ni Kirameku Kimi no Shi XXX
- Soukou Kihei Armodyne
- Tennis no Oji-Sama: Card Hunter
Nintendo DS:
- Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan DS
- Catz
- Gakken DS: Otona no Gakushuu Kintaichi Sensei no Nihongo Lesson
- Gamics Series Vol. 1: Yokoyama Mitsuteru - San Goku Shi - Vol. 2 - Ryofu no Matsuro
- Keroro Gunsou: Enshuu da Yo! Zenin Shuugou Part 2
- Nova Usagi no Game de Ryuugaku!? DS
- SimCity DS
- Unou Tanren UnoTan DS: Shichida Shiki Otona no Shun Kan Training

PlayStation Portable:
- Akudaikan Manyuuki: Seigi no Yaiba
- Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan: Airport Hero New Chitose
- Metal Slug Complete
- Monster Hunter Portable 2nd
- Simple 2500 Series Portable Vol. 9: The My Taxi
- WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007

- Trigger Heart Exelica
Japan's release list dwarfs all other regions' this week, with a lineup that includes more than a dozen new games for the PS2 alone. With a variety that appeals to both the mainstream (SimCity DS) and to more specific tastes (Dreamcast shooter Trigger Heart Exelica), gamers of all sorts should find something to like in this week's Japanese offerings. The week's most anticipated Japanese releases include Monster Hunter Portable 2nd (currently leading preorders across all platforms at, and Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami, the first Wii installment in the popular Fire Emblem series of strategy RPGs. [About IGN GamerMetrics: IGN GamerMetrics is an interactive tool designed to report the real-time behavior and interests of visitors to IGN Entertainment's network of gaming enthusiast web sites. Using data collected from IGN's readers, GamerMetrics shows the levels of consumer awareness, engagement, and purchase intent in every video game title released in the U.S. market.]

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