Shippin' Out August 13-17: Madden, Metroid, Hexic 2

The second-half of 2007 game blitz kicks off this week, as Electronic Arts officially puts its annual footballer in the game.

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This week, the end-of-year-release onslaught kicks off with EA Sports' Madden NFL 08 blitz of retail shelves on Tuesday. This year's improvements to the franchise of franchise's gameplay include a newly redesigned branching animation system and a heavier emphasis on the "weapons," or outstanding players, on each team.

Having apparently slimmed down during the off-season, Madden 08 will only be appearing on 10 platforms this year. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions lead the price pack at $59.99, with the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions running for $49.99; the PC, Mac, PlayStation Portable, GameCube, and Xbox versions for $39.99; and the Nintendo DS version for $29.99. For the play-by-play on this year's game, be sure to tune in to GameSpot's Madden NFL 08 Launch Center for this week's gameplay marathon, as well as reviews, previews, trailers, and more.

For those looking to sidestep the Madden rush, this week also sees a number of new handheld and console games coming to market. On the handheld front, Kuju Entertainment plays dungeon master in Dungeons & Dragons Tactics on the PSP, while Coyote Console attempts to find a happy middle between modern-day warfare and WWII shooters with Operation: Vietnam for the DS. Also on the DS, Image Epoch's tactical turn-based strategy Luminous Arc hits retail shelves. With its school supplies now properly in tow, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 on the PS2 also reemerges this week.

The downloadable games machine continues to churn on the Wii and Xbox 360, as well. Gearing up for Samus Aran's debut on the Wii with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on August 27, Nintendo has dedicated its Virtual Console updates this month to the Metroid series. Fittingly, the original Metroid is first out of the gate and is available for 500 Wii points ($5). Joining the heavily armored heroine will be Climax Entertainment's Sega Genesis dungeon-crawler Shining in the Darkness for 800 Wii points ($8) and Hudson's labyrinthine actioner for the TurboGrafx-16, Cratermaze, for 600 Wii points ($6).

Appearing this Wednesday on Microsoft's downloadable game service will be a time-traveling dolphin and a mind-bending puzzler. While Carbonated Games' original Hexic came part and parcel with the Xbox 360 Premium package, Hexic 2 will cost all Xbox 360 owners 800 Microsoft points ($10). Already available for the Wii's Virtual Console, Novatrade's Ecco the Dolphin rides the tide onto Xbox Live this Wednesday for 400 Microsoft points ($5).

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

AUGUST 13, 2007
Metroid (Wii)
Shining in the Darkness (Wii)
Cratermaze (Wii)

AUGUST 14, 2007
Madden NFL 08 (X360, Xbox, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, GC, PC, Mac)
Dungeons & Dragons Tactics (PSP)
Operation: Vietnam (DS)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (PS2)
Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon (DS)
Luminous Arc (DS)
Heroes of Mana (DS)
Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing (Wii)
Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 (PS2)
High School Musical: Makin' the Cut (DS)
Book of Mysteries (PC)
Mystery Solitaire: Secret Island (PC)
Prank TV (PC)
7 Wonders of the Ancient World 2 (PC)
1914 Shells of Fury (PC)

AUGUST 15, 2007
Hexic 2 (X360)
Ecco the Dolphin (X360)
ATV/Monster Truck Mayhem (DS)

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something1257

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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brkr12002

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Old school fighting with Fatal Fury. Sweeet!!! Now, if only SNK did an anthology with Showdown and KOF.

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playstation_wii

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I have just enough money! :D

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condemned100

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Bioshock, and Stranglehold.

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packernation31

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How pathetic: High School Musical: Makin' The Cut *shakes head*

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onlineps2player

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No PS3 games?!

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SavoyPrime

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A few RPGs coming out this week. Only 3 of them are probably worth getting though. Persona 3, Luminous Arc, and Heroes of Mana.

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HumanTorch101

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I'm waiting for Stranglehold and then ALL the other marquee games that are coming to the 360. I'm not saying Stranglehold is a marquee game, but it just looks awesome so I am getting it.

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darkzerogamer

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Good thing I stuck with my 360.

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Sonovius

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I am honestly regretting my Wii purchase. Galaxy need to hurry up because it's a dust collector at this point. Not only is 'Billy the Wizard' embarrassing but it makes the console look like its just for cheep, bargain games. Terrible. Bioshock iz pwn.

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GrimBee

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I hope that Ecco has the soundtrack from the Sega CD version - great soundtrack :D At the end of august - metroid prime 3 will be out :D That list would be even more exciting if it went to the end of the month :)

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Superion74

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Looks like I'm getting both Madden 08 and Metroid 3 for my Wii. I don't think Wii has a week where 2 marquee titles are coming out around the same time. More weeks like this will definitely help the system alot.

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Wayward_Son_88

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To me, the only game worth getting on this entire list is Metroid (and maybe persona 3, but seeing as I can't play it I'm not counting it) I'm gonna be playing that all day tommorow.

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Wazzo_Wisto_2

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Metroid P3C, Madden 08, then getting Halo 3, Fifa 08, SSBB,Rock Band, Guitar Hero 3 whoa this year's insane!!! i'm gonna get poor...

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spraynard

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dl'ed the first Metroid today, reserved my copy of Corruption. woooOOOooo!!!

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Generic_Dude

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$10 Hexic? Nah, I'm cool with my FREE Hexic, thanks.

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*Lightchaos-206931739271909150

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yay for Metroid and next week Super Metroid!

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chisoxrule

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This month is financial crunch time with Bioshock & Super Metroid VC coming out next week followed by Metroid Prime Corruption the next week. I haven't bought any games for awhile, now its time to go to town.

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ocdog45

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madden and metroid will last a long time.

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dieworm

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wooooo Go Metroid! Next week, Super Metroid, hands down the greatest game ever!

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TheVinster

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800 for Hexic 2? The same game with a few changes, I'll have to think about it; most likely though, I love puzzle games. Ecco though, maybe, I had that on Genesis.

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Shinedown220

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$10 hexic 2, no thanks.

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Xshinobi

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Yay finally Persona 3 :D

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rl_41

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MADDEN

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guyver23

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madden makes u guys look like n00bs

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pikastar

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This week is gonna be great. Can't wait to pick up Luminous Arc, Heroes of Mana and Rune Factory

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Pete5506

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Saving money for BioShock

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_NeoN

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Interestingly, wasn't that excited after reading thru this week's releases - save for Ecco the Dolphine... good times. ^_^

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_NeoN

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white143papi

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already saved $120 for three of the DS games coming out the 14

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comthitnuong

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I want to see how Heroes of Mana turns out.

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thewolf619

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Metroid, Madden, and Hexic 2!! It's going to be a good week. I may snag a copy of D&D: Tactics too.

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CessPool

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Shining in the Darkness....wow haven't played that game in years!

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mcxps3

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and the onslaught begins i cant wait for warhawk becuz it starts a 3 week continium of 1st party ps3 exclusives all of which ill be getting.

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einsp

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IGN gave madden a 9, i think its gonne be the best madden hands down.

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chibi-acer

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Blagh! Ecco the Dolphin! Spew!!!

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bengalsrz4

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I find it funny that they don't mention Luminous Arc, but they bring up Operation Vietnam.

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PolishPunisher

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Nothing good

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dyns510

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40 bucks for a gamecube game? Isn't that how much the system goes for?

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360player_eq12

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i want madden but gonna wait for the reviews...

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mxpowar

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FATAL FURY: BATTLE ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 !!! Now I can throw out my Neo-Geo :) J/K

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HK-47-M4

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@theweakbear When they say Metroid they mean the original Metroid for the NES, which is now available on the VC.

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soundofspeet

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Wow. Other than Madden, there isn't much for Xbox 360 this week. Still, Hexic 2 will be miiine...

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EmperorIng

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MUST HAVE MADDEN FOR WII

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thewesman

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What is this "Madden" of which they speak? Wow. It must be popular. It's coming out on every system except NES.

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prodigy313

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cant wait to get my hands on madden!

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-The_plague-

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Its the stillness before the storm as all hell breaks loose beginning with bioshock next week

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Lord_Artix

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theweakbear: Metroid for the NES, Virtual Console.

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Cronjob

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Holiday blitz? Isn't it about five months early for that?

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