Metroid Prime 3 date, Wii/DS schedule announced[wii] [ds]
Nintendo today sent out the planned North American release schedule for Wii and Nintendo DS games during the months of July, August, and September. Most notable among the list's revelations is the announcement that Retro Studios' Metroid Prime 3 Corruption (Wii), which previously had no stated release projection since it was pushed past its initial status as a Wii launch title, will be released on August 20, 2007. Next Level Games' soccer sequel Mario Strikers Charged (Wii) is being released on July 30, 2007; the game ships this week in Europe. Kuju Entertainment's Battalion Wars 2 (Wii) is set to launch during the month of September.
On the Wii third party front, Electronic Arts plans to release EA Redwood Shores' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 and EA Tiburon/EA Canada's Madden NFL 08 in August, with EA Montreal's rhythm-based Boogie (see our Boogie first look) shipping some time during the fall. Outpost Kaloki X (X360) developer Wahoo Studios will release its Space Station Tycoon in August, courtesy of Namco Bandai Games. Gearbox Studios' Brothers in Arms Double Time is slated to be released by Ubisoft in September.
Not all third party games were included on the list. Rockstar Toronto's brutal horror game Manhunt 2 is set to ship July 10, while Capcom's puzzle-based adventure Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbados' Treasure has a general fall release projection.
The Nintendo DS lineup shows more heavy-hitters from third parties. In July, Electronic Arts plans to ship EA Japan's SimCity DS. Eidos will release ODenis Studio's action/strategy game Glory Days 2 (comes with optional 3D glasses! seriously!) during the same month. On August 14, Square Enix will release Brownie Brown's real-time strategy game Heroes of Mana. The strategy genre will also get entries of the turn-based variety that month when Atlus releases Image Epoch's Luminous Arc and THQ releases Team17's Worms: Open Warfare 2. Capcom will keep on plugging with Mega Man in August when it releases the three versions of its Mega Man Star Force. Arcade-style action fans will be treated to Coyote Developments' top-down shooter Operation: Vietnam, released by Majesco that same month.
Following in September will be the next installment in Capcom's Phoenix Wright saga, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations. That month, Ubisoft will release Plato's sublime guitar simulator and music creation tool, Jam Sessions.
On the first party front, Nintendo will release Jupiter's duotone puzzle game Picross DS on July 30. Nintendo's Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day will follow on August 20. Paon's DK Jungle Climber, a followup to the studio's Game Boy Advance game DK King of Swing, will be released on September 10. Finally, Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol, Skip Ltd.'s sequel to its original Chibi-Robo on GameCube, is set for release on September 24.
For the full provided list, including numerous other third-party Wii and Nintendo DS games, check out Nintendo's press release.
I would put GTA4 in what I call a "lockbox"[ps3] [xbox360]
Rockstar Games has announced plans for a special edition set of Rockstar North's immensely anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, X360). Grand Theft Auto IV Special Edition will ship not in a DVD case but in a metal safety deposit box, and will include the game as well as an art book, a partial soundtrack, a Rockstar-branded duffel bag, and a Rockstar-branded keychain on which one may keep the keys to the lockbox.
Grand Theft Auto IV Special Edition will ship alongside the standard games for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 16 in North America and October 19 in Europe. It will be priced at $89.99 in the US.
Riddick to be reprised for current gen[ps3] [xbox360]
Last week, UK trade publication MCV reported that Starbreeze's highly-revewed movie-licensed game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Xbox, PC) would be heading to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The news was soon confirmed by Starbreeze, which stated that the game would be entitled Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and released later in 2007.
Further details were revealed by Pete Wanat, executive producer at publisher Vivendi Games, this weekend on SpikeTV's television program GameHead. Though Assault on Dark Athena is a remake of Escape from Butcher Bay, it will feature new content in addition to its boosted visuals, giving players story extending beyond the events of the source game.
Starbreeze is currently also working on the comic-adapted action game The Darkness for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Shacknews has contacted Vivendi Games with further inquiries.
Police, Extreme, Poison to become Guitar Heroes[ps2]
Following up on its initial announcement and seven-track reveal of Harmonix's Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s (PS2), publisher Activision today revealed seven new tracks that will be featured in the slightly renamed Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. All seven tracks are listed as having been "made famous by" their respective performance artists, suggesting that they are cover tracks rather than original recordings.
The newly announced tracks are The Police's "Synchronicity II," Skid Row's "18 and Life," Billy Squier's "Lonely is the Night," Eddie Money's "Shaken," Faster Pussycat's "Bathroom Wall," Extreme's "Play With Me" (best known from the climax of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure), and Poison's "Nothing But a Good Time."
In unrelated news, Dan Connors, CEO of Sam & Max episodic series developer Telltale Games, once stated during a Shacknews interview, "Heavy metal died because Poison didn't listen to its fans," while speaking on the necessities of developers listening to their core audiences.
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is set to ship for PlayStation 2 this summer.
Rush 'n Attack, Xevious head to XBLA[xbox360]
In another dual-release week, Konami's action platformer Rush'n Attack and Namco's Galaga-based top-down shooter Xevious will be this week's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays games. Rush'n Attack will include both local and online cooperative and versus play as well as the option to play with updated graphics. Both games will feature online leaderboards and a total of 200 available Gamerscore points. According to Microsoft, Xbox Live Arcade's Xevious is the first 100% arcade-perfect port of Xevious.
Rush'n Attack and Xevious will be available via the Xbox Live Marketplace this Wednesday, May 23 for 400 Microsoft Points ($5) each.
Virtual Console sees Kong, Rage, Lazers[wii]
This week's spate of three Virtual Console games exhibits a higher average name recognition than most, with Donkey Kong Country 2, Streets of Rage 2, and Blazing Lazers all making their way to the Wii's download service.
Rare's sidescroller sequel Donkey Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest (Super NES, 1-2 players), first released in 1995, is available for the standard Super NES price of 800 Wii Points ($8). Sega-AM2 and Ancient's well-loved brawler Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis, 1-2 players), first released in 1993, goes for 800 Wii Points ($8). Finally, Compile's classic shoot-em-up Blazing Lazers (TurboGrafx-16, 1 player), is priced at 600 Wii Points ($6).
As usual, check back tomorrow for the Shack's reviews on all three new Virtual Console games.
Movies: John Woo Presents Stranglehold PlayStation 3 Collector's Edition trailer.
Movies: Call of Duty 3 Bravo Map Pack (X360) trailer.
Screenshots: Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbados' Treasure (Wii) (formerly titled Project Treasure Island Z).
Screenshots: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2, Wii).
Screenshots: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2, Wii) character artwork.
Movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PS3, Wii, also PS2, X360, NDS, PSP, PC) trailers. The Darkness (PS3, X360) demon arm movie. Need for Speed: Pro Street (rumored title) teaser trailer.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance. "Classic Zelda action in a modern package. Awesome! Do you have a matching kinstone?" (submitted by shesmovedon)