Japan game charts: July 3-9

New Super Mario Bros. on top again, but Namco Bandai gets a pair of new entrants on the list in Xenosaga Episode III and Tekken: Dark Resurrection.

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While Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS remained dominant atop the newly released Media Create weekly sales charts for Japan, there was a good amount of upheaval through the lower ranks.

The week saw a slew of debuts, with 14 newly released titles making it into the top 100. The best debut belonged to Namco Bandai's PlayStation 2 role-playing game Xenosaga Episode III, which came in second. According to Media Create, while Episode III moved a respectable 124,000 copies during its first week, it failed to match Episode II, which sold 186,000 copies in its launch week. Media Create expressed some concern about this, noting "this result is somewhat unsatisfactory given that this is the final chapter of the Xenosaga series, which until now has enjoyed the support of many fans."

Another Namco Bandai title, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, was the next-best-selling new release and the only non-DS, non-PS2 game to crack the top 10, coming in fourth with 49,000 copies sold. The series' debut on the PlayStation Portable will have another chance to put up impressive launch numbers later this month when it is released in the US. On top of that, Capcom's DS action game Rockman ZX (Mega Man ZX in the US) made its debut in the top 10, selling 34,000 copies to claim the sixth spot on the charts.

You can't have new faces in the top 10 without kicking some others to the curb. Those others would be Square Enix's anticipated PS2 release Valkyrie Profile 2, Sony's Boku no Natsuyasumi Portable for the PSP, and Gust's PS2 RPG Iris no Atelier: Grand Fantasm. Valkyrie Profile 2 missed the top 10 cut, but not by much. It placed 11th for the week.

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