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Release This!: Portable Monsters, Babies, and the  Two Thrones

Release This!: Portable Monsters, Babies, and the Two Thrones

November 28, 2005 | By Frank Cifaldi

November 28, 2005 | By Frank Cifaldi
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More: Columns



It's a quiet week in volume, but certainly not in pizzazz. The United States sees the release of a couple notable sequels in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Europe sees its launch of the Xbox 360, with a software lineup only a couple titles shy of the United States' and a similar potential shortage to boot (300k units, according to Reuters), and Japan sees a small rush of licensed games for the holidays, with popular standbys such as Kamen Rider, Dragon Ball Z, and the eigth installment in the Power Pro Kun Pocket series of portable baseball adventures.

This list covers all games released at retail, world-wide, for the week of November 28 through December 4 of 2005.

Games Released in the United States

Game Boy Advance:
Dr. Mario / Puzzle League
Gamecube:
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Nintendo DS:
Elf Bowling 1 & 2, Mario & Luigi 2: Partners in Time, Burnout Legends
PlayStation 2:
College Hoops 2K6, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
PSP:
Pinball Hall of Fame, Tokobot
Xbox:
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
PC:
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

Games Released in Europe

Game Boy Advance:
Dogz, Dynasty Warriors Advance, Snood 2: On Vacation, Trollz: Hair Affair
Gamecube:
Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E.
Nintendo DS:
Big Mutha Truckers
PlayStation 2:
Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E., Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet, DT Racer, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
PSP:
ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Frantix, Go! Sudoku, Lord of the Rings Tactics, Pinball Classics
Xbox:
Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E.
Xbox 360:
Amped 3, Call of Duty 2, Condemned: Criminal Origins, FIFA '06, Gun
Kameo: Elements of Power, Madden NFL 06, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Perfect Dark Zero, Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, Project Gotham Racing 3, Quake 4, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
PC:
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Ski Racing 2006

Games Released in Japan:

Game Boy Advance:
Cinnamon FuwaFuwa Daibouken, Super Donkey Kong 3
Gamecube:
Crash Bandicoot: Gacchanko World (aka Crash Tag Team Racing), SD Gundam Gashapon Wars
Nintendo DS:
Dragon Ball Z: Bukuu Ressen, Futari wa Precure Max Heart: Danzen! DS de Precure Chikara o Awasete Dai Battle, Lucky Star: Moe Drill, Mawashite Koron, Power Pro Kun Pocket 8, Slime MoriMori: Dragon Quest 2 - Daisensha to Shippo Da
PlayStation 2:
BioHazard 4 (aka Resident Evil 4), Chaos Field: New Order, Crash Bandicoot: Gacchanko World (aka Crash Tag Team Racing), Homura, Kamen Rider Hibiki, Kino no Tabi II: The Beautiful World, Tough: Dark Fight, World Tank Museum For Game, Yoshitsune-ki
PSP:
Crash Bandicoot: Gacchanko World (aka Crash Tag Team Racing), Monster Hunter Portable
PC:
Nakaideshi Teatime, Ni~dzuma wa Sailor Fuku, Otome Rensa: Heart of the Distortion



Highlights:

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC)
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft

The third and final act in the current Prince of Persia trilogy combines the atmospheric, puzzle-driven gameplay of Sands of Time with its dark and combat-centric sequel, Warrior Within, by splitting the Prince into two distinct personalities (see above photo). One new feature heavily promoted by Ubisoft is the "Speed Kill System," which enables the Prince - in either form - to execute a quick one-hit kill by sneaking up to an enemy and executing a precise button combination. We haven't seen any proper reviews filed just yet, but early previews seem to show that developer Ubisoft Montreal has addressed and fixed a good number of complaints from the previous game, including the dark attitude, misplaced heavy metal music, and lack of environmental puzzles found in the first installment.

Monster Hunter Portable: (PlayStation Portable)
Developer: Capcom Production Studio One
Publisher: Capcom

The portable version of Capcom's popular Monster Hunter series for the PlayStation 2 sees release in Japan this week. This version has reportedly been optimized for single-player jaunts, with an expanded village hub, item shop, and home area. Also available is a four-player mode, via the PSP's ad hoc feature. Japanese consumer mag weekly Famitsu has rated this game an impressive 34/40, and an American release has been scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (Nintendo DS)
Developer: Alpha Dream
Publisher: Nintendo of America

The sequel to the 2003 RPG Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance sees release in the United States this week, a full month ahead of its scheduled Japanese launch. In this adventure, the brothers Mario find themselves going back in time to rescue the Princess, and end up teaming up with past incarnations of themselves: as babies! The reviews so far have been unanimously high, reporting a script just as charming as the original and a unique use of the DS's dual screens.


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