Shippin' Out: Mario Strikers Charged, Marathon: Durandal

Mustachioed plumber dons his soccer cleats and leads Nintendo-loaded lineup this week; Halo forerunner blasts onto Xbox Live.

With August just around the corner, game publishers appear to be girding their loins for the impending holiday-season blitz, beginning with Madden NFL 08 on August 14. This week, though, saw only one major new game arrive on a single console--the Nintendo Wii.

Tomorrow, the House that Donkey Kong Built will ship Mario Strikers Charged. A sequel to 2005's Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube, Mario Strikers Charged returns the mustachioed plumber and his crew to the pitch for a rousing round of footie, as the Brits may or may not say. Mario Strikers Charged is the second game for the Wii to take advantage of Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection for online play, with the first being Pok�mon Battle Revolution released in June. The game also bears the dubious distinction of being the first Mario-centric game to bear an E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older rating, due to its "crude humor and mild cartoon violence." Mario Strikers Charged retails for $49.99.

With the Nintendo DS's installed base expanding geometrically, it's no wonder the handheld receives a substantial weekly injection of games. Leading this week's DS lineup is Nintendo's puzzler Picross DS, a logic-based game where players use numbers to fill in a grid and create a picture. Players can create their own puzzles and send them to friends, as well as download classic Picross puzzles from previous iterations of the game through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

Accounting for the Xbox 360's only new releases this week is a pair of downloadable titles. Before Bungie was selling Xboxes with the original Halo, it was innovating in the first-person shooter space with Halo's forerunner, Marathon. An updated version of the second installment in the trilogy, Marathon: Durandal debuts on Xbox Live this week and can be had for 800 Microsoft points ($10). Also appearing on Xbox Live this week is Spyglass Board Games for 400 Microsoft points ($5). Included in the pack are the board-game staples chess, checkers, mancala, and reversi.

Today, Nintendo's Virtual Console receives its weekly update of retro titles. The vertically scrolling shooter Start Soldier for 500 Wii points ($5), the platformer Dynamite Headdy for 800 Wii points ($8), and the Breakout clone Drop Off for 600 Wii points ($6) are all now available.

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

JULY 30, 2007
Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)
Picross DS (DS)
Drake & Josh: Talent Showdown (DS)
Chameleon: To Dye For! (DS)
Pet Alien (DS)
Bratz Ponyz (DS)
Star Soldier (Wii)
Dynamite Headdy (Wii)
Drop Off (Wii)

JULY 31, 2007
Glory Days 2 (DS)
Brave Story: New Traveler (PSP)
World Championship Cards (PS2)
World Championship Cards (PSP)
Attack on Pearl Harbor (PC)
Spelling Challenges and More! (DS)

AUGUST 1, 2007
Marathon: Durandal (X360)
Spyglass Board Games (X360)
Ride! Carnival Tycoon (PC)
Let's Ride: Friends Forever (PC)

AUGUST 3, 2007
Combat Mission: Shock Force (PC)

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Discussion

51 comments
RgvXavi
RgvXavi

some of you on XBL are not viewing the greater picture. so the XBLA titles are rolling out a little slower around this time... so what? why don't ya'll check out the movie and tv-series releases and not just focus on Arcade games? so while it may seem they Xbox Live isn't hitting you with new stuff, it really is ya'll just looking at the Arcade releases and not the OVERALL releases. so don't go all whiny an bi*ch about the lack of hot releases. if you can't find any Arcade titles you like then check out some UFC fights in HD, they got some new ones up. i just DLed Couture v Sylvia in HD. or maybe some SouthPark episodes you missed from any of the previous 10 seasons. yup XBL has all the season even this years. not to your fancy?.... then try DLing some Aquateen HF or SpaceGhost. want something more mature? try Reqium for a Dream or The Departed in HD. 300 will be available to DL within a week. there's plenty of stuff Xbox Live pumps out ya'll just gotta expand where you are looking and the content you are looking forward to DLing.

_NeoN
_NeoN

Just like SavoyPrime, if I had a PSP it would have been Brave Story cause there's nothing else there for me.

_NeoN
_NeoN

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

Jebril
Jebril

Mario Strikers and Marathon are the only good or at least somewhat good games coming out this week, either way I'm not getting them, not even in the middle of this gaming drought.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Looks like an uneventful release week. Though if I had a PSP, I would look into Brave Story.

Sergsky
Sergsky

The first Marathon was the best one, but it was developed only for the Macintosh.

HK-47-M4
HK-47-M4

Boring! Except maybe Strikers but I don't see enough of a differeence between that and the Gamecube version to justify the purchase,

-Squirrel-
-Squirrel-

Mario Strikers Charged is a must have for me. I adored Super Mario Strikers and everything I have read about this game sounds amazing. This is the beginning of the great titles Nintendo is putting out through the end of the year.

yyr
yyr

whoa, chess, checkers and Othello on XBLA, all for $5? That's a change...NOT milking people for all they're worth. I figured it would be $10 for EACH of those when they finally came out!

druggyjoe3000
druggyjoe3000

wow nothing except martathon for my 360 and look it that no ps3 games (hahaha) and only two arcade games for my xbox this week thats sad this a bad drought

rl_41
rl_41

The summer drought is on.

Da_Meter
Da_Meter

Striker's Charged is in my hands right now!!!

DoubleC3PO
DoubleC3PO

LOL you can get marathon for free and readily available but theyll charge you for it. Keep milkin Bung!

36O
36O

Whoo! Marathon, even though im not buying it, I still like to mention that its a REALLY great game, a classic. And Mario Strkers charged looks awesome and Im thinkin about buyin it.

Red_Orbital_Facade
Red_Orbital_Facade

wow, cant believe people are calling marathon junk. marathon is practically the forefather to the modern shooter, as it took all the things doom failed at and achieved them. not to mention, its long been suspected that marathon takes place 200 years after the events of halo, and that the main character in marathon is actually master chief (the main character in marathon is an elite cybernetically enhanced soldier wearing Mjolnir IV armor). any halo fan owes it to themselves to play the marathon games.

VagrantChild24
VagrantChild24

Mario Soccer is definately leading the week, but Marathon should be decent. Aside from that though, nothing really noteworthy

DJSMITH007
DJSMITH007

The only good game is Mario Strikers, other than that its pretty much junk.

comelstr
comelstr

YEA , Marathon is finally here im gunna get that

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Did you just call Nintendo, "the house that Donkey Kong built"? Blah....

ocdog45
ocdog45

nothing out this week

DarkHero42
DarkHero42

I'm looking foreward to Mario Strikers Charged. I can't wait to try out the Wi-Fi for myself. Its a good thing I already got a good wireless internet connection to back me up. Man I just wish tomarrow would come faster!!

mhder
mhder

I hear from European gamers that Mario strikers is quite good + the online makes it that much better... OR so they say

CaptValor333
CaptValor333

I can finally get Picross... as well as Marathon.

DJ_Lae
DJ_Lae

Awesome. I can pay $10 for Marathon when Bungie released the code for free a couple of years back for all of the Marathon games. What a deal!

XenoGearOmega
XenoGearOmega

Holy nuts, it's Marathon. Are the end times upon us?

TheVinster
TheVinster

I'll definitely be getting the Spyglass Board Games package for 400 MS points this Wednesday. Marathon seems great, but I got Doom for XBLA and didn't enjoy it too much; I guess I just hate the restriction of early FPS'. It also got a bad review on EGM. And lastly, all I have is 400 points so I couldn't get Marathon even if I wanted it. :) Can't wait for mid-August, this week's releases are small-fry compared to what's coming in the next few months.

DarqFlare
DarqFlare

Good stuff, finally an online-playable Strikers game.

finaleve
finaleve

Mario strikers definitely. Online play definitely breaks the usual barrier of 1 per console. Can't wait to pick it up

ganon546
ganon546

Mario Strikers Charged looks awesome, I might pick it up one day.

DeadBullet
DeadBullet

Im urprised with the 8.3that Mario Strikers had on IGN.

dukerav
dukerav

Just Marathon for me, cant wait, its been forever since I played that game.

Pazy160
Pazy160

Marathon is amazing game, soon as i get a 360 its a must buy. Then again I already have all 3 on the PC (legally as well).

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

Nothing too interesting for me. Actually I want to see how Combat Mission does. It didn't look too good in gameplay vids...

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

strikers looks great. and i might be picking up brave story soon.

Jengo07
Jengo07

Tom Magrino, this is an outstanding article! I just loved to read it! Not too wacky that its overboard and not too plain, and you stopped the "mario factory" cliche that is just annoying.

Brambler
Brambler

I wish it was August 14th.

dragonball3900
dragonball3900

I will be getting Strikers tommorow, otherwise I will pass.

AceCometh
AceCometh

We go nearly an entire summer with no big releases for the Xbox 360 and the best we get now is Spyglass Board Games? Pardon me while I yawn.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

Very good chance I will pick up both XBLA games. Nothing else though :( I hate the summer for lack of quality titles.

marioraider
marioraider

Mario Strikers Charged is going to be so much fun =)

thaflu
thaflu

I really want to play Marathon. Thank you Microsoft for trials. I also will rent Mario Strikers Charged one day. The Gamecube version is fun.