Shippin' Out December 11-14: Universe at War, NCAA March Madness 08

Headliners join PS3 shooter trifecta Orange Box, Unreal Tournament 3, and BlackSite: Area 51; Arkadian Heroes, GripShift hit 360, Pokemon Snap, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Baseball Stars 2 on Wii VC.

After the industry worked itself into a tizzy in November, the last few weeks' release schedules have been almost unbearably placid. This week, however, a number of high-profile games arrive for console and PC gamers, led for many by Sega and Petroglyph's Universe at War: Earth Assault for the PC. Created by the studio behind the critically acclaimed Star Wars: Empire at War, Universe at War features action-oriented real-time strategy as Earth makes its last stand against an alien invasion. An Xbox 360 version of the game is planned for next year and will support cross-platform play. Rated T for Teen, Universe at War will invade retail and Valve's digital-distribution network Steam for $49.99.

The PlayStation 3 catches up on its first-person shooter intake this week, with a trio of multiplatform games arriving for Sony's console. Valve's The Orange Box, which comprises the original Half-Life 2, its first two episodes, the multiplayer-centric Team Fortress 2, and the FPS puzzler Portal, has been met with glowing critical reception on the Xbox 360 and PC and has been lauded as one of the best deals of the year. Midway will be contributing the other two shooters. Though the publisher was skeptical of its arrival, Epic Games has delivered Unreal Tournament 3 just before its self-imposed 2007 deadline. BlackSite: Area 51, which sparked controversy soon after it was released for the PC and Xbox 360, also touches down this week.

While the real world won't be lacing up for its annual college-hoops tourney for another four months, EA is getting in the game early with NCAA March Madness 08. Available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360, March Madness 08 features more than 70 classic teams and incorporates the new dynamic post control, which EA hopes will add a real-life feel to dozens of new offensive post moves.

Wanako Studios, the studio behind last year's Assault Heroes, will be releasing its Diablo-inspired dungeon crawler Arkadian Warriors on Xbox Live Marketplace this Wednesday for 800 Microsoft points ($10). Joining the hack-and-slasher will be what developer Sidhe Interactive calls the "definitive" version of its hot-rod puzzler GripShift, which has previously seen release on the PS3 and PSP. The game features new single- and multiplayer content, a deathmatch mode, and leaderboards and can be downloaded for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

In addition to photo sharing and game-gifting functionality, the Wii's Virtual Console has been updated with a trifecta of downloadable titles this week. Pokemon Snap, which first saw release on the Nintendo 64 in 1999, is available for 1,000 Wii points ($10), while the Nintendo Entertainment System version of notoriously devilish Ghosts 'n Goblins arrives for 500 Wii points ($5). NeoGeo classic Baseball Stars 2 is also available this week for 900 Wii points ($9).

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

DECEMBER 10, 2007
Baseball Stars 2 (Wii VC)
BlackSite: Area 51 (PS3)
Ghosts 'n Goblins (Wii VC)
P-38 Lightning (PC)
Pokemon Snap (Wii VC)
Popcap Arcade Volume 1 (X360)
PopCap Hits Volume 1 (PS2)
The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure (PC)
Universe at War: Earth Assault (PC)
Warriors of the Lost Empire (PSP)

DECEMBER 11, 2007
Dai Senryaku VII: Exceed (PS2)
Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge (DS)
NCAA March Madness 08 (PS3, PS2, X360)
Showtime Championship Boxing (Wii)
Super Swing Golf Season 2 (Wii)
The Orange Box (PS3)
Unreal Tournament 3 (PS3)
Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge (Wii)

DECEMBER 12, 2007
Arkadian Warriors (X360)
GripShift (X360)

DECEMBER 13, 2007
No releases announced.

DECEMBER 14, 2007
Indianapolis 500 Legends (Wii)
Kawasaki 4X4 Quad Bikes (Wii)
The Golden Compass (PC)

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Discussion

40 comments
MasterChief725
MasterChief725

maybe i will buy Universe at war...have to see how the reviews turn out!

ctg867
ctg867

Looks like it's actually a pretty good week for the PS3. Pretty cool.

HalfEVILmonkey
HalfEVILmonkey

I can say with absolute certainty that I am extremely pisseed and dismayed about buying the PS3. It is the worst system I have ever bought (at least so far) behind the Atari Jaguar. Even my Sega 32X got more use than my PS3 is getting right now. I think it is a P.O.S. until something truly next gen comes out that hasn't been done better on 360. R&C is the closest but it was just too short

HalfEVILmonkey
HalfEVILmonkey

UT3 is complete garbage dont fall into the trap.

taif06
taif06

Im getting UAW and Arkadian Warriors. Gamertag: ssOffizier, add me to your list for A.W co-op play.

TheGreatGameGod
TheGreatGameGod

NCAA March Madness 08 (PS3, PS2, X360) im gonna get that one hope the score is gonna be good

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

After the many back-to-back weeks of me buying quality games, looks like my wallet will finally get a rest. Nothing of interest for me this week.

demoneyes4
demoneyes4

Arkadian Warriors tonight gamertag Agosta4682, message me :)

Rob_101
Rob_101

UT3 and Orange Box for PS3 owners :)

wwf20112
wwf20112

Def. Picking up arkadian warriors!

LordSpleach
LordSpleach

Pokemon Snap should cost 1 Wii point

jogunther
jogunther

I'm playing UT3 tommorow. See ya there.

zombey1333
zombey1333

Eh...nothing really "OOH AH! LETS BUY THAT NOW!" I'm holding out for the new NiGHTS game...I'm hoping that it hasn't been turned into a cheesy mess of slop like Sonic the Hedgehog.

Agreb91
Agreb91

Not a very good week for the Xbox 360.

TheVinster
TheVinster

Aw I was hoping Metal Slug 3 would be on XBLA this week! Oh well. And hey, Pokemon Snap, when I open my Wii for Christmas I might just have to buy that. What a classic.

ShuuMutou
ShuuMutou

Golden Compass for PC and maybe Pokemon Snap for me. ^^

GrimGravy
GrimGravy

shame 360 version of UT3 will be gimped glad i have a PC to play it :D

_NeoN
_NeoN

Hmmm... Only Universe at War for me this week.

_NeoN
_NeoN

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ocdog45
ocdog45

how is UT3 not a big deal here

Loucetios
Loucetios

seem like UT3 for ps3 will be a good game, IGN hasn;t seen any significant problems with it. Seems to me they finished the single player and are waiting for ppl to buy the game so they can play online to test that

Loucetios
Loucetios

On the playstation blog one of the epic people gave us some tips for UT3, can;t wait to get it :D

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

Oh Hell yeah! :shock: Pokemon Snap is awesome. :D

nitrous1013
nitrous1013

i hope it gets delayed for 360....hahahaha.....yea u heard me...

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

Definitely downloading Arkadian Warriors on 360. Will wait for UT3 on 360 to drop.

matt_dangelo
matt_dangelo

gettin ut3 today, i hope its good, midway im sorry but when your own designer gets fired for saying how bad your blacksite game is, thats jsut sad.

SaxxyGamer18
SaxxyGamer18

I'm sure PS3 people will, who don't have 360 or PC. What is that comment supposed to mean?

Burning_Sun
Burning_Sun

is anyone really gonna buy Orange box for ps3.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Arkadian Warriors (Diablo clone on XBL) has my attention for $10

rogue48
rogue48

I want unreal tournament for Xbox 360 to come out soon!

jakndaxter7223
jakndaxter7223

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]