Namco Bandai brings it on

Publisher details lineup including We Cheer for the Wii, Ultimate Ninja for the PS3, and Digimon World Championship for the DS.

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As part of Namco Bandai's Gamers' Day yesterday, the publisher parted the curtain on a number of its more high-profile releases for the year, giving GameSpot hands-on time with Soulcalibur IV, Afro Samurai, and Tales of Vesperia. The publisher also dished out a few dates for its previously announced games, saying that Soulcalibur IV would toe the line on July 29 and the Samual L. Jackson-led Afro Samurai would bare its blade on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this fall.

Previously revealed games thus slated, Namco Bandai today rattled off a spate of new games that would be making their way to gamers' homes in the near future. With Naruto: Rise of a Ninja and Clash of a Ninja Revolution being greeted with tepid reviews on the Xbox 360 and Wii respectively last year, Namco Bandai announced it would be completing the current-generation circuit with Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm for the PlayStation 3 this fall.

Ultimate Ninja Storm is a continuation of the Ultimate Ninja fighter series seen on the PlayStation 2. Namco Bandai promises that more than 25 characters from the animated series will appear in the game, and players will be able to customize their fighters with a number of jutsu maneuvers. A first for the series, Ultimate Ninja Storm affords players the opportunity to freely explore the Hidden Leaf Village and Forest of Death to complete more than 100 missions. The game will also support head-to-head multiplayer fisticuffs.

Namco Bandai also announced a pair of games aimed at Nintendo's platforms. Not content to just give THQ the claim to "the first-ever cheerleading video game" uncontested, Namco Bandai today announced that We Cheer will arrive for the Wii this fall. Whereas THQ's All-Star Cheer Squad will use the Wii Balance Board, We Cheer will rely on the console's traditional motion-sensing controls, with players using a Wii Remote in each hand to control their virtual pom-poms. Players will attempt to match onscreen prompts to more than 30 "smash-hit master recordings...including tracks from Hilary Duff, Aly & AJ, The Plain White T's, and Natasha Bedingfield."

We Cheer features a variety of modes, including both cooperative and competitive multiplayer for up to four players. The game also includes a workout mode, and players will be able to customize their digital personas with a variety of outfits and accessories.

For the Nintendo DS, Namco Bandai is reviving its digital monsters for another go-around with Digimon World Championship. Based on Toei Animation's Digimon Data Squad, Digimon World Championship offers a diverse range of more than 200 Digimon to collect and train for use in 50-plus different in-game competitions. Namco Bandai is promising "a new kind of Digimon game" with World Championship, and gamers will have the opportunity to explore the entire Digital World, using a variety of different hunting-gear items to capture wild Digimon. In addition to a single-player campaign, the game includes support for local and online wireless competitive play.

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