New Paper Mario, Children of Mana get dates

[UPDATE] Nintendo sets release days for Super Paper Mario, Children of Mana, Clubhouse Games; trio of games coming this October.

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Gamers are often filled in on the "what" before they are on the "when." Announcements of titles can come stacked with screenshots, a trailer, and gameplay details, giving people a great idea of what the game is about. But when gamers want to know when they can get the game, they're often met with "sometime next year," "winter 2006," or an equally vague date.

Today, Nintendo nailed down a few release dates for some upcoming games, giving fans a chance to get a head start on their holiday shopping lists.

The biggest game of the bunch is the new version of Paper Mario, which slyly snuck into Nintendo's E3 press materials but didn't make a personal appearance at the show. Super Paper Mario for the GameCube is now set for release on October 9, slightly earlier than most expected as details on the game are still slim. The game brings the series into another dimension, fusing the familiar 2D gaming with some 3D graphics. More information on the game is available at GameSpot's preview.

Many Square Enix fans have been racking their brains trying to figure out whether or not to import the Japanese version of Children of Mana for the DS, which was released in March. If said gamers can wait until late October, they can get the US version and skip those Japanese language classes. Children of Mana will be released on October 30, the same day as Pokemon Ranger: The Road to Diamond and Pearl. [UPDATE] Nintendo has since changed Pokemon Ranger's date from October 30 to "TBD." However, the company's Web site still listed the game's release date as October 30 as of press time.

Finally, Clubhouse Games from developer Agenda will be released on October 9. The DS title is a collection of 20 board, card, and party games including Texas Hold 'Em Poker, Darts, and Checkers, and features an in-game PictoChat-like feature for trash talking without making a sound.

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