Shippin' Out 3/20-3/24: Godfather, Oblivion, Metroid, Essentials, Katamari

Spring starts off with the launch of several high-profile games, including EA's mob epic, 2K Games' RPG saga, Nintendo's DS duo, and Sam Fisher's and the Prince of All Cosmos' first PSP forays.

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Who says March madness is limited to college basketball? The third month of 2006 has yielded a cornucopia of high-profile game releases, a trend that continues as the first day of spring dawns and actor Gary Oldman (Batman Begins, Sid & Nancy) turns 48.

This week, the Xbox 360 gets two new releases, including the first role-playing game released in North America for the console. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was among the most anticipated launch titles for the next-gen platform before it was pushed back to the spring by publisher 2K Games and developer Bethesda Softworks.

360 owners not amenable to skewering monsters can try their hands at shooting down Messerschmitts. Ubisoft is releasing the week's other Xbox 360 title, Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, the first air-combat sim released for the platform in North America. The game, which is also coming to the Xbox, puts players in the pilot's seat of Allied planes fighting in the skies above Europe and the Pacific during World War II.

While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation Portable versions of Electronic Arts' The Godfather won't be ready until later on in the year, the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC versions are shipping this week. As outlined in GameSpot's full review, the game is a largely faithful adaptation of the 1972 mob-movie classic of the same name, putting players in the loafers of a foot soldier in the Corleone crime family.

Nintendo fans got a double shot of Nintendo DS games this week, with the release of the long-awaited Metroid Prime: Hunters and Tetris DS. Though the pair comes from drastically divergent genres--sci-fi action versus classic puzzle--both allow for online gameplay via Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection. Other DS titles due soon include Tao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon Sea and Worms: Open Warfare, which is also available for the PSP.

Speaking of Sony's portable, owners of the handheld can pick up several other new titles this week. Foremost among them is Splinter Cell: Essentials, the first game from Ubisoft's stealth action series for the platform. For its part, Capcom is releasing two titles for the portable, Capcom Classics Collection Remixed and Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble. Last but certainly not least is Namco's much-anticpated Me and My Katamari, the quirky series' debut on the PSP, and Konami's Metal Gear Acid 2, which shipped a week earlier than scheduled.

Last but not least, PC gamers have the potential to add four titles, including The Godfather and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, to their libraries. Two less anticipated offerings are also available, including SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars and the PC edition of Activision's critically pilloried True Crime: New York City.

For a complete rundown of all the week's new releases, including video reviews, trailers, and other offerings, check out GameSpot's New Releases page.

MARCH 20, 2006
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC, X360)
Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)
Tetris DS (DS)

MARCH 21, 2006
CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution Country (PS2)
Crime Stories (PC)
The Godfather (PC, PS2, XBOX)
Kao Challengers (PSP)
Me and My Katamari (PSP)
Metal Gear Acid 2 (PSP)
Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk (PS2)
River King: A Wonderful Journey (PS2)
Splinter Cell Essentials (PSP)
Suikoden V (PS2)
Tao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal (DS)
The Tower SP (GBA)
Warship Gunner 2 (PS2)

MARCH 22, 2006
Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (PSP)
Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (PSP)
Worms: Open Warfare (PSP, DS)

MARCH 23, 2006
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (XBOX, X360)

MARCH 24, 2006
SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars (PC)
True Crime: New York City (PC)

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