This week's new release slate marks the return of several long-running--but recently dormant--franchises. Gamers keen on returning to the worlds of Mario Party, Silent Hill, and FIFA Street have completely new entries to pick up for the first time in years.
Leading off this week is Mario Party 9, out now on Wii. The latest entry in Nintendo's long-running party game compilation franchise, Mario Party 9 sports 80 minigames, and for the first time in the series, it has players skipping across the virtual game board together, in a range of colorful vehicles.
Also out this week is Konami's Silent Hill: Downpour for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The first new console installment in the series since 2008's Homecoming, Downpour follows convicted felon Murphy Pendleton in the aftermath of a prison bus crash that leaves him stuck in Silent Hill.
On the downloadable front, thatgamecompany's PS3-exclusive adventure game Journey arrives this week. The game casts players as a robed adventurer, wandering through an expansive desert world, journeying toward a distant mountain. Gamers will encounter other players on their way and benefit from tackling the game's challenges together.
FIFA footy fans are a ways off from the next entry in the core series, but FIFA Street dribbles to retail this week for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game will let players compete in more than 35 locations, from one-on-one battles in parking lots and parks to five-a-side tournaments on the streets of capital cities, with and against club players and real-life street players.
Gamers who would prefer to be off the pitch and in the face of zombies can pick up the PS3-exclusive Yakuza: Dead Souls this Tuesday. Known as Yakuza: Of the End in Japan, Dead Souls won't be a straight port of its Japanese counterpart. Beyond the original campaign from the Japanese version, publisher Sega is bringing over all of the Japanese game's downloadable content and adding an all-new Pachislot minigame.
Lastly, Japanese role-playing game Tales of Graces f arrives this week on the PS3. The game takes place on Efinea, a planet dominated by three kingdoms competing for the right to rule. After losing a close friend, Asbel, the eldest son of a feudal lord, enlists in a knight's academy in his kingdom's capital to learn to better protect those he loves. Asbel's father subsequently dies, and Asbel then takes his place as a feudal lord, and the adventure begins.
For further details, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11:
Mario Party 9--Wii--Nintendo
TUESDAY, MARCH 13:
FIFA Street--X360, PS3--EA Sports
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations--PS3, X360--Namco Bandai Games
Planet Crashers 3D--3DS--UTV Ignition Games
Ridge Racer--Vita--Namco Bandai Games
Shoot Many Robots--PS3--Ubisoft
Silent Hill: Downpour--X360, PS3--Konami
Tales of Graces f--PS3--Namco Bandai Games
Yakuza: Dead Souls--PS3--Sega
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14:
Defenders of Ardania--X360, PS3--Paradox Interactive
Shoot Many Robots--X360--Ubisoft