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Release This:  Guitar Hero  Goes  80s ,  Taiko  DS Hits Japan
Release This: Guitar Hero Goes 80s, Taiko DS Hits Japan
July 23, 2007 | By Danny Cowan

July 23, 2007 | By Danny Cowan
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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.

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s heads preorder numbers in the United States this week, while the UK releases of Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl are likely to be top sellers for the next several months. Japan, meanwhile, has a release lineup of more than 40 titles to look forward to, with games like Minna no Golf 5, Taiko no Tatsujin DS, and the Metal Gear Solid Collection currently ranking high in presales prior to their release.

The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending July 28th, 2007.

Games Released in the United States:

Nintendo Wii:
- Alien Syndrome (#8 on GamerMetrics, 5.02%)
- Escape from Bug Island

Xbox 360:
- NASCAR 08 (#3 on GamerMetrics, 11.76%)

PlayStation 3:
- NASCAR 08 (#5 on GamerMetrics, 11.25%)

PlayStation 2:
- Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s (#1 on GamerMetrics Most Anticipated New Releases, 23.94% Mindshare)
- NASCAR 08 (#7 on GamerMetrics, 5.39%)
- NHRA: Countdown to the Championship 2007
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (#6 on GamerMetrics, 8.22%)
Nintendo DS:
- Chameleon: To Dye For!
- Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle (#10 on GamerMetrics, 1.67%)
- Ultimate Puzzle Games: Sudoku Edition

PlayStation Portable:
- Alien Syndrome (#9 on GamerMetrics, 4.49%)
- Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition (#4 on GamerMetrics, 11.52%)

PC:
- Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword (#2 on GamerMetrics, 14.08%)
- It's the Big Game, Charlie Brown

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s leads in Mindshare among all competing U.S. software in a week that offers a more varied lineup and less predictable results than in many recent weeks. The Civilization IV expansion Beyond the Sword is also pulling in large amounts of prerelease interest and anticipation among those surveyed, as are both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of NASCAR 08.

Fans of the RPG genre, meanwhile, contribute large amounts of recorded awareness and purchase intent for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition. After a long RPG drought, this week's offerings -- along with recent releases like Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology and Riviera: The Promised Land -- appear to be revitalizing the genre's American presence.

Games Released in Europe:

PlayStation 2:
- Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
- Rugby 08

PC:
- Rugby 08
Nintendo DS:
- Guilty Gear Dust Strikers
- Pokemon Diamond Version
- Pokemon Pearl Version

A handful of potential blockbusters hide within this week's deceptively small European release lineup. Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is expected to meet with the same success in the UK as it is likely to find in the United States this week, and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are all but certain to take over European bestseller lists for the next several months, as they previously have in other regions.

Games Released in Japan:

Nintendo Wii:
- Dewy's Adventure: Suishou Dewy no Daibouken!!
- Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
- Jigsaw Puzzle: Kyou no Wanko
- Kidou Senshi Gundam: MS Sensen 0079
- Mario Party 8
- Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary

Xbox 360:
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Major League Baseball 2K7

PlayStation 3:
- Major League Baseball 2K7
- Minna no Golf 5
- Wangan Midnight

PlayStation 2:
- Daito Giken Koushiki Pachi-Slot Simulator: Shake II
- Getsumento Heiki Mina: Futatsu no Project M
- Ikki Tousen: Shining Dragon
- King of Fighters Maximum Impact Regulation A
- Mahoroba Stories
- Major League Baseball 2K7
- Metal Gear 20th Anniversary: Metal Gear Solid Collection
- PachiPara 14: Fuu to Kumo to Super Umi in Okinawa
- Sega Ages: Galaxy Force 2 - Special Extended Edition
- Yatohime Zankikou
Nintendo DS:
- Anan Kanshuu: Onne de Kara Kinkyuu Up! DS
- Biz Taiken DS Series: Kigyoudou Inshoku
- Hello Kitty no Oshare Party Sanrio Character Zukan DS
- Ichido wa Yonde de Okitai Nihon Bungaku 100-Sen
- Idol Janshi Suchi-Pai III Remix
- Mame Goma: Honobo no Nikki
- Mimi de Unou o Kitaeru DS: Chou-Nouryoku
- Shikaku Kentei DS
- Simple DS Series Vol.18: The Soukou Kihei Gun Ground
- Simple DS Series Vol.19: Yareba Dekiru! The Micro Step Gijutsu de Oboeru Eitango
- Subarashiki Kono Sekai: It's a Wonderful World
- Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Touch de Dokodon!
- Taka Reet Ura Mahjong Retsuden: Mukoubushi

PlayStation Portable:
- For Symphony: With All One's Heart Portable
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- Idol Janshi Suchi-Pai III Remix
- Sarugetchu: SaruSaru Daisakusen

PC:
- Little Busters!
- Melty Blood Act Cadenza Ver.B
- Memories Off History

Japan's release lineup dwarfs other regions' this week, featuring almost twice as many titles as the U.S. and Europe combined. The list includes several high-profile releases of likely interest to importers, such as the Konami-developed Dewy's Adventure, the touch-based drumming simulation Taiko no Tatsujin DS, and one-on-one fighter sequels Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, King of Fighters Maximum Impact Regulation A, and Melty Blood Act Cadenza Ver.B.

Judging by preorder sales at Amazon.co.jp, Japanese gamers currently show the greatest interest in Mario Party 8, Minna no Golf 5 (Hot Shots Golf 5) and the long-awaited Japanese-language release of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360. Metal Gear fans are awaiting the release of the Metal Gear Solid Collection, an eight-disc set that encompasses the entire series across the PS1, PS2, and PSP. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is generating high presale numbers as well, and could become just as big of a PSP hit in Japan as it continues to be in the U.S. and Europe.

[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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