Shippin' Out April 5-11: Nintendo DSi

Camera-equipped portable launches busy week at retail including further Chronicles of Riddick, The Godfather II, Ninja Blade, and Rhythm Heaven.


The long-awaited North American launch of the Nintendo DSi is finally here. The camera-equipped iteration of Nintendo's popular portable system hit US shelves Sunday morning, trailing its Japanese launch by nearly half a year.

Having to wait five months for a new platform? What do you think this is Nintendo, Europe?
Having to wait five months for a new platform? What do you think this is Nintendo, Europe?

A new system launch ordinarily means a flood of new games at retail, but the DSi's exclusive debut lineup is available strictly through Nintendo's DSi Ware downloadable store. However, the new-fangled system will play the newly released DS game Rhythm Heaven just fine.

On the non-portable front, things are looking grim in tone, if not in quality. The M-for-Mature-rated EA game The Godfather II puts players in the thick of the cinematic storyline, while Starbreeze Studios' The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena takes the original Escape From Butcher Bay and amps it up for the current-generation systems with extra single-player content and new multiplayer action. Both games are set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Not fast, but almost certainly furious.
Not fast, but almost certainly furious.

PC users can also look for Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, the second stand-alone expansion to Relic Entertainment's critically acclaimed real-time strategy game. As might be expected from an expansion, Tales of Valor includes more single-player campaign missions, as well as new units, multiplayer modes, and maps.

For gamers who like real time but prefer action to strategy, there's the Xbox 360-exclusive Ninja Blade. Developed by From Software, Ninja Blade puts players in the tabi of a modern-day shadow warrior on a quest to cleanse Tokyo of a legion of monstrosities.

The PSP is also getting a bit of Japanese flavor this week in the form of Dragon Ball: Evolution and Hammerin' Hero. The former is a fighting game tie-in for the upcoming feature film starring Chow Yun-Fat and is based on the popular animated series. The latter title, published by Atlus, is an old-school beat-'em-up starring a hero who uses his massive mallet to crush corporate greed.

Check back later in the week for GameSpot's reviews of the week's debuts. For a full rundown of every new game, check out the New Releases page.

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