Shippin' Out 2/4-2/9: Winning 11, MVP 07

Konami's pro footballer and EA's college baseball sim join Super Mario World, the Sims Life Stories, and Root Beer Tapper on this week's docket.

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This week, many gamers in the American Heartland are staying inside to avoid a nasty arctic cold snap. On the East Coast, abnormally warm weather has given way to the traditional February chill. On the West Coast, some of the first rainstorms of an unusually dry winter have finally arrived.

Time to party like it's 1991!

Luckily, there's a fairly robust release schedule this week to help those trapped indoors stave off cabin fever. Foremost among these is Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007, the latest installment in Konami's acclaimed sports series. The franchise returns this week to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable, and also makes its debut on the DS. A PlayStation 3 edition is due out later this year, and will be the first Pro Evo game for the platform.

If footie's not your thing, Electronic Arts is releasing an all-American game this week as well. MVP 07 NCAA Baseball, the only college baseball game on the market, will arrive exclusively on the PS2 for the budget price of $29.99. If you like your sports Canadian and/or extreme, then check out the Xbox and PS2 snowmobile racer SnoCross 2, which stars the Saskatchewan-born X-Games champ Blair Morgan.

It's also a decent week for Nintendo portable fans. Besides Winning Eleven, the DS will get Diddy Kong Racing (check out GameSpot's review for more) and Lunar Knights, the localized version of Bokura no Taiyou: Django and Sabata, the spiritual successor to the Boktai series. Last but not least, one of the top titles for the most venerable portable on the market, the Game Boy Advance, arrives in the form of Final Fantasy VI Advance, a reworked version of the classic SNES game (originally released in North America as Final Fantasy III).

SnoCross! The sensation that's sweeping the frozen nation!

Speaking of SNES games, the week sees the legendary SNES platformer Super Mario World arrive on the Wii's virtual console service. It'll be joined on the download service by Genesis actioner Gain Ground and the TurboGrafx-16 favorite Vigilante. The only other retro release due out is Root Beer Tapper on Xbox Live Arcade.

Though there aren't any PS3 releases set for this week, two other Sony platforms will be getting new games. Both Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI and Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia are slated to come to the PS2, while the PSP will get Capcom Puzzle World and the aforementioned Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007.

On the PC front, the highest-profile release is The Sims Life Stories, the new "laptop friendly," story-driven spin-off of EA's ever-popular series. Other notable PC releases include Blitzkrieg 2: Fall of the Reich, Alien Shooter: Vengeance, War Rock, and UFO: Afterlight.

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

FEBRUARY 5, 2007
Alien Shooter: Vengeance (PC)
Diddy Kong Racing DS (DS)
Dora the Explorer Double Pak (GBA)
Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
Gain Ground (WII)
Geneforge 4 (PC)
Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge (PC)
Super Mario World (WII)
SnoCross 2: Featuring Blair Morgan (PS2, XBOX)
Vigilante (WII)

FEBRUARY 6, 2007
Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia (PS2)
Capcom Puzzle World (PSP)
Lunar Knights (DS)
Monopoly Here and Now (PC)
MVP 07 NCAA Baseball (PS2)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI (PS2)
The Sims Life Stories (PC)
Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (X360, PS2, PSP, DS)

FEBRUARY 7, 2007
Root Beer Tapper (X360)
War Rock (PC)

FEBRUARY 8, 2007
No releases scheduled.

FEBRUARY 9, 2007
Blitzkrieg 2: Fall of the Reich (PC)
City Life: World Edition (PC)
GTI Racer (PC)
UFO: Afterlight (PC)

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