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Release This: McRae Rallies UK, Chopin Dreams of Japan

Today's "Release This!" column sees Japan preparing for high-profile titles like Trusty Bell: Chopin no Yume and Ninja Gaiden Sigma, while the U.S. and UK prepare for Tenchu Z, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree and Colin McRae:
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. While Japan enjoys high-profile titles like Trusty Bell: Chopin no Yume and Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Europe and the United States are tasked with finding fun in a glut of license-based titles and ports. Anticipated releases like Tenchu Z, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree and Colin McRae: DiRT provide a glimmer of hope for gamers in both regions, however. The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending June 16th, 2007. Games Released in the United States:
Nintendo Wii:
- Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (#2 on GamerMetrics, 15.01%)
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (#10 on GamerMetrics, 2.87%)
- Scarface (#4 on GamerMetrics, 10.93%)
- The Sims 2: Pets

Xbox 360:
- Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (#8 on GamerMetrics, 5.05%)
- Tenchu Z (#1 on GamerMetrics Most Anticipated New Releases, 21.48% Mindshare)

PlayStation 3:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (#7 on GamerMetrics, 5.08%)

PlayStation 2:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 (#3 on GamerMetrics, 14.27%)
- Raw Danger! (#9 on GamerMetrics, 4.41%)
Nintendo DS:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Time Ace
- Zendoku

PlayStation Portable:
- PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient
- Puzzle Scape
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (#6 on GamerMetrics, 5.28%)

PC:
- Call of Juarez (#5 on GamerMetrics, 6.12%)
- Diner Dash: Flo on the Go
- Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia
- Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
- TrackMania United
Ports and licensed titles make up a large percentage of this week's U.S. releases, as few noteworthy names stand out. Tenchu Z is the week's single most anticipated release, according to IGN's GamerMetrics, while the brain training sequel Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree is likely to be a hit among a variety of audiences. Though it's not reflected in this week's Mindshare data, the PC adventure title Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek is also one of the week's biggest contenders, evidenced by unexpectedly impressive preorder sales at Amazon. The week will also see the release of more low-profile fare like Raw Danger! (sequel to the innovative 2003 survival-based title Disaster Report) and PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient, which has seen high marks from critics in the days prior to its release. Games Released in Europe:
Nintendo Wii:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Legend of the Dragon
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Xbox 360:
- Colin McRae: DiRT
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

PlayStation 3:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

PlayStation 2:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Legend of the Dragon

Nintendo DS:
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
- Touch Darts
PlayStation Portable:
- Dave Mirra BMX Challenge
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai 2
- The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome
- Legend of the Dragon
- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2

PC:
- Colin McRae: DiRT
- DEFCON: Global Thermonuclear War
- The Entente 2: World War I Battlefields
- Patriots: A Nation Under Fire
Multiple ports of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Legend of the Dragon infest the UK this week, as a U.S.-born plague of licensed titles and ports threatens to become a worldwide epidemic. While many gamers are likely to find disappointment in this week's European lineup, rally racing fans will enjoy a worldwide exclusive first look at Colin McRae: DiRT. Early critical reaction indicates that DiRT is not likely to disappoint fans of the long-running Colin McRae series, and given the franchise's reputation for quality, DiRT could soon achieve sales that rival those of the recent Forza Motorsport 2. Games Released in Japan:
Nintendo Wii:
- Mahou Sensei Negima!? Neo-Pactio Fight!!

Xbox 360:
- Trusty Bell: Chopin no Yume

PlayStation 3:
- Call of Duty 3
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma
Nintendo DS:
- Game de Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
- Mizuiro Blood
- Unou Kaiten: Match-Bou Puzzle DS

PlayStation Portable:
- Colin McRae Rally
Like the U.S. and the UK, this week's Japanese release lineup exhibits a similar lack of content. A pair of standout releases make this week an anticipated one for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners, however. Ninja Gaiden Sigma has seen a large amount of coverage and media hype since the PS3's debut, and Trusty Bell is currently a very popular preorder choice among upcoming Xbox 360 titles at Amazon.co.jp. Both games have been awarded high scores in the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, and both are expected to lead software sales for their respective consoles soon after their release. [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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