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Shippin' Out December 4-8: Full Auto 2, MGS: Portable Ops

Car combat and Big Boss join Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and the PS3 Fight Night Round 3 on the week's release docket.


With Christmas less than three weeks away, most of the year's biggest game releases are already out on the market. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't new titles of note still arriving in stores.

Ten months after it socked it to the Xbox 360, Electronic Arts' Fight Night Round 3 steps into the next-gen ring again, shipping on Tuesday for the PlayStation 3. Two days later, Full Auto 2: Battlelines, the PS3 sequel to Sega's Xbox 360 car-combat game, pulls out of the retail garage. (A PSP version is due in early 2007.)

The year's other new console, the Wii, gets a trifecta of movie tie-ins this week: The Ant Bully, Barnyard, and Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Four older games were also rereleased via the Wii's Virtual Console: Donkey Kong, Jr. (NES), Columns (Genesis), Ristar (Genesis), and Victory Run (TurboGrafx-16).

Several notable handheld titles will also arrive this week. The still wildly popular DS will get two high-profile releases, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Kirby Squeak Squad, and two lesser-known offerings, Lionel Trains On Track and Cartoon Network Racing. (The latter game will also ship for the PlayStation 2.)

Five games will arrive for the DS's rival, the PlayStation Portable. Leading the pack is Hard Rock Casino on Monday. Tuesday will see the release of the long-anticipated Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, the third MGS title for the PSP and the first to feature real-time combat. Also due Tuesday are Star Wars: Lethal Alliance and Brothers in Arms D-Day, followed by the PSP WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 on Wednesday. Five PlayStation games were rereleased for the PSP on Monday, although they must first be downloaded onto the hard drive of a PS3, which remain in short supply.

This week will also see Star Trek: Legacy ship for the PC, one week ahead of its Xbox 360 sibling. By contrast, the PlayStation 2 edition of Rayman Raving Rabbids hops into retail on Tuesday, several weeks behind the Wii edition. The only new Xbox 360 game this week is actually a PC rerelease; RoboBlitz will go up on Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday.

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

DECEMBER 4, 2006
Barnyard (Wii)
Cartoon Network Racing (PS2, DS)
Hard Rock Casino (PSP)
Lionel Trains On Track (DS)
Mercury Meltdown Remix (PS2)

DECEMBER 5, 2006
The Ant Bully (Wii)
Brothers in Arms D-Day (PSP)
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
Fight Night Round 3 (PS3)
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (Wii)
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (PS2)
Star Trek: Legacy (PC)
Star Wars: Lethal Alliance (PSP)
Zatch Bell!: Mamodo Fury (GC)

DECEMBER 6, 2006
Kirby Squeak Squad (DS)
RoboBlitz (X360)
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 (PSP)

DECEMBER 7, 2006
Eye Toy Play 3 And Spy Toy (PS2)
Full Auto 2: Battlelines (PS3)

DECEMBER 8, 2006
18 Wheels of Steel: Haulin' (PC)
State of War: Warmonger (PC)

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