Shippin' Out 3/19-3/23: S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Armored Core 4, TMNT

THQ's mutant-hunters, Sega's battle 'mechs, and Ubisoft's heroes on the half shell join Virtua Tennis 3 and the PS3 editions of the Godfather and the Elder Scrolls IV at retail.


Since its release last November, the PlayStation 3 has had only a trickle of releases. This week, however, the floodgates open up, with four titles premiering on the platform.

Besides Sega's Armored Core 4 and Virtua Tennis 3, the highest-profile game is the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Bethesda Softworks. The latest version of GameSpot's top role-playing game of 2006 contains the original game plus a bevy of additional content, including the Knights of the Nine quest line. It does not include the Shivering Isles expansion pack, which will be released for the PC and Xbox 360 next week.

A revamped version of Electronic Arts' adaptation of The Godfather is also coming to the PS3 this Tuesday. The "Don's Edition" of the game will feature an expanded storyline and new gameplay mechanics that will take advantage of the Sixaxis controller's tilt sensitivity.

Another motion-sensitive version of the Godfather will also arrive alongside its PS3 sibling. The Godfather: The Blackhand Edition for the Wii will let players beat down their underworld opponents by realistically swinging the Wii Remote and shoot at foes by pointing the controller directly at them like a gun. It will be the first M-rated game for the Nintendo platform since Far Cry Vengeance was released last December.

Also coming to the Wii is the week's highest-profile multiplatform release, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Based on the forthcoming computer-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, which hits theaters on Friday, Ubisoft's action title is hitting every platform besides the PS3 and original Xbox on Tuesday.

Speaking of the Xbox, its successor will get a few titles of its own this week. Besides the aforementioned TMNT, Armored Core 4, and Virtua Tennis 3, the console will see the arrival of Earth Defense Force 2017, the sequel to the cult PlayStation 2 hit Chikyuu Boueigun 2. The biggest puzzle game of all time will also make its 360 debut, courtesy of THQ's Xbox Live-enabled Tetris Evolution, due out today.

Last but certainly not least, a game once considered vaporware will finally materialize on PCs on Thursday. After nearly six years in development, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl will arrive in stores--check back later today for GameSpot's full review of the long-awaited title. Other PC releases of note include the role-playing game Silverfall and the submarine sim Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific.

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

MARCH 19, 2007
Beyond Oasis (WII)
Custom Robo Arena (DS)
Excitebike (WII)
Major League Baseball 2K7 (DS)
QuickSpot (DS)
Splatterhouse (WII)
Tetris Evolution (X360)

MARCH 20, 2007
After Burner: Black Falcon (PSP)
Armored Core 4 (X360, PS3)
Baseball Mogul 2008 (PC)
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (WII)
Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (PSP)
Earth Defense Force 2017 (X360)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3)
Frontline: Fields of Thunder (PC)
Full Auto 2: Battlelines (PSP)
Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade (PC)
The Godfather: The Don's Edition (PS3)
The Godfather: The Blackhand Edition (WII)
Kororinpa Marble Mania (WII)
Petz Vet (GBA)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (PSP, DS)
Shining Force Exa (PS2)
Silverfall (PC)
Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific (PC)
Steel Horizon (DS)
Test Drive Unlimited (PS2, PC)
Theme Park (DS)
UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 (360, PS2, PSP)
Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3, PSP, X360)
Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters World Championship 2007 (DS)

MARCH 21, 2007
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (X360)

MARCH 22, 2007
No releases

MARCH 23, 2007
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)

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