Shippin' Out 11/27-12/1: Wii stealth, PC hobbits, portable pets

Gamers' wallets get a breather as the tide of AAA releases relaxes for a week; Sam Fisher sneaks onto the Wii, EA expands its Tolkien-inspired PC strategy game.

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The year isn't over yet. December will play host to big-name releases like Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for the PSP and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the GameCube. But for now, gamers are going to get a tiny breather and a chance to catch up on whatever backlog of November releases they might have, because this week sees a sampling of interesting titles arriving in stores but few offerings that really stand out.

On the PC, real-time strategy gamers who enjoyed Electronic Arts' The Lord of the Rings, Battle for Middle-earth II can get a second helping of the game with the release of The Rise of the Witch-King expansion. The game takes place centuries before the events depicted in the recent Lord of the Rings films and puts players on the other side of the conflict, in command of the forces of evil.

The Wii gets a trio of postlaunch releases this week, led by Ubisoft's latest Sam Fisher adventure, Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Wii adaptations of the computer-animated films Barnyard and Open Season also arrive this week.

Over on the portable front, the theme of the week is all creatures great and small as a veritable menagerie of animal-themed titles hit shelves in the coming days. EA has The Sims 2: Pets for the PlayStation Portable, while the DS plays host to Hamsterz, Horsez, Catz, and even penguins with a rare game adaptation of an Academy Award-winning documentary, March of the Penguins.

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

NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Cartoon Network Racing (DS)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (Wii)
Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (PS2)
Hard Rock Casino (PS2, PSP)
Mercury Meltdown Remix (PS2)
Online Chess Kingdoms (PSP)
The Sims 2: Pets (PSP)
Hamsterz Life (DS)
Horsez(DS)
Lionel Trains On Track (DS)
March of the Penguins (DS)
Totally Spies! 2: Undercover (DS)
Xiaolin Showdown (DS)
DMZ: North Korea (PC)
Model Train 3D (PC)
The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-King (PC)
Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude (GBA)

NOVEMBER 30, 2006
Barnyard (Wii)
Open Season (Wii)
Catz (DS)

DECEMBER 1, 2006
Cartoon Network Racing (PS2)
Shrek Smash and Crash (PSP)
World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer - All In (Xbox 360)
Great Invasions (PC)
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles: Race to the Rally (PC)
Heroes of Annihilated Empires (PC)

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Avatar image for Re_ensurer
Re_ensurer

Not too much stuff on their that suits me.

Avatar image for LordBaphomet
LordBaphomet

They should stop making anime games period! God what a joke!

Avatar image for Centra
Centra

I can see double sales written all over these rel dates. Imagine big bikers grabing a copy of Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and a copy of shrek smash and crash.... hmmmm, I can these those 2 titles being a must buy.

Avatar image for Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

Wow, this is apparently "kiddie game week" coming up. If there's anything I hate more than a ton of these retarded-ass pixar-style animal movies coming out every week, it's a ton of these retarded-ass kiddie games...does anybody actually buy these??? I can't even imagine little kids wanting this crap...

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jono128

I hope Splinter Cell Wii turns out to be pretty good. It's promising but how does the execution fair?

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Inferno636

SWEET! 11 votes and the game is on a solid 9.0!

Avatar image for marioman50
marioman50

everythings bad except for spintercell for the wii

Avatar image for PiMacleod
PiMacleod

this is a good thing. It means I have more time to play what I have now before GOOD new stuff comes out. I don't know about you guys, but I got at least 5 games I'm in the middle off.....starting another one would be silly.

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nichtnicht

Splinter Cell 4... lets hope it looks better than on Gamecube

Avatar image for SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Wow, a lot of crap titles releasing this week.

Avatar image for princeofgames90
princeofgames90

Man these titles arnt that cool

Avatar image for LivingDeadNinja
LivingDeadNinja

Load of crap. I wanted my Metal Slug Anthology for Wii NOW!

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piecake

only one 360 game - shame!

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skyvader

I see metal slug anthology has been pushed back......AGAIN!!!!!

Avatar image for marco_poalo
marco_poalo

The Sims man. I can decorate my house, have my character eat, go to the bathroom and now play with my virtual pet. I could do all that stuff for real but why? Virtual pets give me that same honest and real companionship. A fake girlfriend is also just a good as the real thing. Have fun with life suckas.

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NWA_31

Cant wait for MGS: PO

Avatar image for VexRed4
VexRed4

ehh... weak!

Avatar image for Gamepro2421
Gamepro2421

lol i agree with you fartys...metal slug next week should be nice on the Wii tho

Avatar image for fartys
fartys

what a terrible list of games

Avatar image for Dante565
Dante565

That is a pretty bad release list. I just want my MGS Portable Ops and my Twilight Princess for Cube. This game list is boring. I will play the new Splinter Cell though.

Avatar image for Myst-Vearn
Myst-Vearn

nothing interesting..

Avatar image for DS_fan_atic
DS_fan_atic

I just hope that there will be enough Wii's for the holidays

Avatar image for poncho88x
poncho88x

Alot of like child games besides splinter cell for the Wii

Avatar image for chrisdojo
chrisdojo

lots of DS games.... nothing worth getting though :(

Avatar image for mansellj
mansellj

Wow, that's a whole lot of crap!

Avatar image for robzan
robzan

The only game here that sounds intessting is Splinter Cell for the Wii...I've read that the same game for Xbox360 was really really great...

Avatar image for shasam712
shasam712

LotR - BfME2: RotWK is possibly the greatest acronym of all time...

Avatar image for DFTricks
DFTricks

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (Wii) sounds like fun but else then that their is not much going on!

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KingofTrolls

What a lame week of releases this is . . . BORING

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kenerhai

alright, barbie and the 12 dancing whatevers!! wheres the xbox version. im sure m$ will jump all over making sure this ones backwards compatible!! barbie always gets priority over at microsoft!

Avatar image for SephirothSyZtem
SephirothSyZtem

wow!,its the end of the year and theres nothing!

Avatar image for TryMe01
TryMe01

Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses sounds like a safe option

Avatar image for Dolacide
Dolacide

Nothing.

Avatar image for jakeboudville
jakeboudville

nothing good to get this week:(

Avatar image for mgsninja
mgsninja

Not much to look at this week.

Avatar image for VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

gmangw: "a march of the penguins game... ill get around to playing that about the time I finish reading O.J.'s book and hanging out at neverland ranch. " Didn't O.J.'s book get cancelled recently? The whole thing would have been a travesty anyways. But it sure would have sold well. Looks like the game selection is slim until God of War 2 arrives next year. No big deal. Sega Genesis Collection will tide me over until then.

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VGMusicFreak

the good fall releases are all already out. Nothing left besides castlevania DS.

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dholmes19

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Nothing else even deserves to be rented let alone bought.

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TintedChimes

hey, where are the good portable games? lame!

Avatar image for MacPhisto1
MacPhisto1

Splinter Cell on the Wii isn't supposed to be very good; I heard they shoehorned it some annoying elements.

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ice_rocman

Myself. Reason? Controller.

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Bathyj

I'm not being a smartarse, I really want to know. Is anyone with a Wii and a X360 going to get Splinter Cell on Wii? I'm really curious, and if so, why?

Avatar image for BrideInDream
BrideInDream

very little of ps2 games :(

Avatar image for Kaintae1134
Kaintae1134

Meh. Same old same old.

Avatar image for gmangw
gmangw

a march of the penguins game... ill get around to playing that about the time I finish reading O.J.'s book and hanging out at neverland ranch.

Avatar image for SixerX3
SixerX3

No PS3 games for me?

Avatar image for Bathyj
Bathyj

Hmmm, this will be interesting to see how SC goes against the XB version. I think this is where Wii will fall down abit. Cross platform games. Anyone with 2 Current Gen (Not Next Gen anymore) systems probably wont get the Wii version of a game unless theres something special about it in the control which I doubt. I mean if you're going to lose quality in graphics and detail plus going to low res (I dont care what anyone says, HD games on a HDTV look great) then you need something to justify that lose. A tacked on gimick like pretending to chuck the controller to throw a sticky cam or something like that isn't going to be enough for me.

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games_pot1

Well only like 5 (around probally lower) more big games coming out this winter but now its going back to the dry season until GoW2 early next year

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nintendorocks

Well, November has come and gone. It was fun.

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jmac777

no good ds / psp games

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