Shippin' Out April 20-25: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Persona 3: FES

Niche gaming rules the week, as headliners join SE's The World Ends With You; Battle of the Bands jams on Wii, NBA Ballers slams 360, PS3.

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As is traditional for this time of year, April has been a fairly quiet month as far as high-profile releases go. However, next week's release of Mario Kart Wii and Grand Theft Auto IV will all but ensure that the month will continue the year's trend of double-digit software sales growth, and this week offers its own retail temptations to tide gamers over.

Having perhaps the biggest week is the Nintendo DS. As seen most recently at Nintendo's press event earlier this month, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Explorers of Time wander onto the best-selling handheld. A spin-off of the role-playing Pokemon series, the Mystery Dungeon line of games has roots in the roguelike genre of dungeon-crawling hack-and-slash gameplay. As with other Pokemon titles, the game comes in two different versions, in which the gameplay is equivalent but a different cast of collectible monsters is on offer.

Square Enix offers up the second high-profile DS game for the week, The World Ends With You. Released in Japan last year under the moniker It's a Wonderful World, Jupiter's The World Ends With You is an action RPG that appeals to the Japanese aesthetic of high fashion on open display in the streets. Players determine their character's demon-vanquishing abilities by what they wear, while at the same time creating new trends in the world around them.

The niche Japanese RPG crowd also has Atlus's Persona 3: FES for the PlayStation 2 to look forward to this week. An extended version of GameSpot's 2007 RPG of the Year, Persona 3: FES offers 30 additional hours of self-inflicted gunshot-wound gameplay in addition to a revisited version of the original game.

On the Wii, THQ will be attempting to tap into the rhythm-game craze with Battle of the Bands. Initially announced as Band Mashups, Battle of the Bands looks to one-up the idea of music as a weapon by giving players live ordnance with which to bombard their opponents. The game features 30 licensed songs, all recorded in their original spirit as well as a number of alternative takes, such as hip-hop or marching band.

Current-generation platforms not created by Nintendo aren't entirely devoid of new content this week, given that Midway will be lacing up NBA Ballers: Chosen One on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The latest installment in the publisher's biannual street-basketball series with RPG sentiments features more than 65 NBA superstars and offers a range of gameplay tweaks, including a more cinematic look and the ability to learn real-life pros' signature moves. Chosen One also supports online multiplayer action.

On the downloadable front, Nintendo and Microsoft have revealed their lineup of digitally distributed games. On the Wii's Virtual Console, River City Ransom (NES, 1989) is a beat-'em-up in the vein of Double Dragon and retails for 500 Wii points ($5). Sega's Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom is a sequel to Phantasy Star II released on the Wii VC earlier this year, and is available for 800 Wii points ($8). On Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, Sierra Online's strategy card game Lost Cities is available for download at the 800 Microsoft points ($10) price point.

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

APRIL 20, 2008
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness (DS)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time (DS)

APRIL 21, 2008
Battle of the Bands (Wii)
NBA Ballers: Chosen One (X360, PS3)
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (Wii VC)
River City Ransom (Wii VC)

APRIL 22, 2008
Chameleon (PSP)
River King: Mystic Valley (DS)
Wild Earth: African Safari (Wii)
Dream Pinball 3D (Wii, DS)
Persona 3: FES (PS2)
Target: Terror (Wii)
The World Ends With You (DS)
Turok (PC)

APRIL 23, 2008
The Red Star (Wii)
Lost Cities (XBLA)

APRIL 24, 2008
No releases have been announced.

APRIL 25, 2008
No releases have been announced.

Discussion

25 comments
jknight5422
jknight5422

Well at least Lost Cities might be something to look forward to. I'd check out Persona, if they at least had it for a PC. I haven't adjusted to the odd video-gamey looking effects of japanese games though...in many ways it looks too childish to enjoy.

thewesman
thewesman

Nobody remembers the Mediocre Awesomeness of the original Legend of the River King?!?! Who DOESN'T like RPG's and fishing combined? .....Everybody?.....ok :*(

nate1222
nate1222

Persona 3: FES has me looking.

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

Whoo hoo! River City Ransom for the NES on the Virtual Console. All I need now is Super Mario RPG, guys, you listening?

renarahma
renarahma

Like Ken Amada Said... Yes Yes Yes....

EPaul
EPaul

Yes Persona 3 FES is out ! *runs to buy game*

BobBurnquist
BobBurnquist

this game looks pretty good i've got pokemon mystery dungeon red rescue team on GBA and thats pretty good so this must be ...........AWSOME i think i should really get this game it looks so kool......i likie like

Maersyndel
Maersyndel

Persona 3. What a freaking fantastic game. :)

ghost867
ghost867

Quiet before the storm eh? Quite = Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and NBA Ballers Storm = GTA IV...

leke
leke

I might get NBA chosen one later in the year when its cheap.

ocdog45
ocdog45

oncae again....the calm before the storm

allmybase
allmybase

I've had my copy of Persona 3: FES preordered since the day the game was officially announced and listed online. It's been a long time coming for someone who's been wanting to experience the game in any form, expansion or not, so thankfully it's ever so close to being in my hands now. As a side note, though, there's a version of The Red Star coming for the Wii? That kind of comes out of left field for me, but I suppose that given it's already sporadic development history, I shouldn't be too surprised anyway. Here's hoping it still holds up well today.

MalachiLiu
MalachiLiu

Must get the World Ends With You

hawaiiinsomniac
hawaiiinsomniac

I'll be at Gamestop on the 22nd. Open! Open! Open! I want Personal 3!!!

Wanderer5
Wanderer5

I simply can't wait for The World Ends With You.:D Hopefully I get it on Wed.

superbeast1370
superbeast1370

Persona 3 FTW!!! I ready pre-ordered (and fully paid)

OldKai
OldKai

I doubt 'The Red Star' is coming out...

_em_
_em_

Persona 3....*drools* lol, Good thing I pre-ordered it! I haven't played a Shin Megami Tensei game before, though I've reallly been wanting to. Thank goodness my first time won't cost me as much as I thought it would. I can't wait! The World Ends With You also piques my interest, but I think I may have to try it out before buying it.

masterjjx
masterjjx

FES!!!!!! Guess I have to play Persona all over again. God I love that game.

Frexie
Frexie

Can't wait for Persona 3 FES!

Lord-Viru
Lord-Viru

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