Shippin' Out March 7-13: Final Fantasy XIII

Square Enix's long-awaited multiplatform role-playing game arrives in stores alongside Yakuza 3, Resident Evil 5 Gold, and Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising.

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March Madness doesn't tip off for another week, but the nickname for the NCAA basketball tournament is equally appropriate to describe the month's barrage of big game releases. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 deployed to retailers last week, and next week sees a one-two punch of God of War III and Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.

Retail tsunami incoming?

Those release lists bookend one that is no less impressive, as this week sees the US release for Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This will mark the first time a major installment in the long-running franchise will receive a multiplatform release at launch. (Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time arrived on the DS and the Wii on the same day last March.) For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review or scroll down to watch the video review.

Another Japanese import is set to arrive stateside this week, as Sega's PS3-exclusive Yakuza 3 bullies its way into stores. The open-world crime drama picks back up with former gangster Kiryu Kazuma, who had abandoned Tokyo's underground to establish an orphanage in Okinawa at the end of the last game.

For PC gamers, THQ has the first stand-alone expansion to its Warhammer 40,000 real-time strategy game Dawn of War II. As its name implies, the Chaos Rising expansion will insert Chaos Space Marines into the far-flung futuristic conflict, adding new single-player and co-op campaigns for hardened veterans. The expansion will also be available bundled with the original game in the Dawn of War II Gold Edition.

That's not the only double-dip in the wings this week, as a number of hits are finding themselves in new release sections for the second time this week. Capcom reloads with Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, which includes the 2009 survival horror hit and its various downloadable add-ons. The publisher will also be bringing retro revival Mega Man 10 to the PlayStation 3 as a downloadable title, a week and change after the Wii version's debut, but still ahead of the scheduled Xbox Live Arcade launch later this month.

For further details on the week's games, 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 in the week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.

MARCH 8, 2010
Max & the Magic Marker--WiiWare--TGC

MARCH 9, 2010
Final Fantasy XIII--360, PS3--Square Enix
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition--360, PS3--Capcom
Yakuza 3--PS3--Sega
Foto Showdown--DSi--Konami
Racquet Sports--Wii--Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed 2--PC--Ubisoft
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger--PSP--Aksys Games
Sam and Max 2: Beyond Time and Space--Wii--Atari
Calling--Wii
The Daring Game for Girls--DS--Majesco

MARCH 10, 2010
Scrap Metal--360--Slick Entertainment

MARCH 11, 2010
Mega Man 10--PS3--Capcom
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising--PC--THQ
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II: Gold Edition--PC--THQ
Spectral Force Genesis--DS--Ignition

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