Shippin' Out January 14-18: Nitrobike, Rail Simulator

Eye of the storm continues to pass over retail, as headliners join FlatOut, Samurai Warriors: Katana, and downloadables Burnout 3, Boogie Bunnies, Pac-Attack.

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After a heavily loaded end of the year lineup and an impending and unseasonal ramp up of big-budget titles, most gamers probably won't be overly upset about the lull in titles at retail this week. However, a few drops continue to fall as the eye of the storm passes. While no title stands out above the rest this week, retro gamers may be pleased by the addition of Ubisoft's Nitrobike to the Nintendo Wii's library. Designed by the same team behind Excitebike for the Nintendo 64, Nitrobike lets racers strap a jet-engine to their bikes and hit the boost across off-road courses. Nitrobike offers both single and multiplayer action, as well as online functionality and is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older.

Automation is an identifiable theme for the week. Jack of All Games' Corvette Evolution squeals to a stop on Nintendo's DS. For those looking for a more measured pace, EA's Rail Simulator leaves the station for the PC, with eight different trains chugging across more than 1,900km of track. Sim software takes to the skies as well with Abacus Software's Carrier Strike Force, an add-on that boasts new jets and three aircraft carriers to Flight Deck 5.

Even the downloadable front has a stake in fast-moving vehicles, with Criterion Games' Burnout 3: Takedown being added to Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade as part of Xbox Originals. With Burnout Paradise slated to arrive for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 next week, Burnout 3 can be purchased beginning this Monday for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15).

It won't all be fast and furious this week, however, thanks to the latest installment in Koei's line of Japanese-history-influenced brawlers. Samurai Warrior's: Katana is the developer's first effort on the Wii, and it is joined on Nintendo's popular console by Taito's minigame compilation Furu Furu Park, which boasts more than 30 individual games. On Wednesday, gamers will also be able to face off against legions of bunnies on Xbox Live Arcade with Boogie Bunnies, a match-three puzzler that will cost 800 Microsoft points ($10).

Nintendo only has two titles to add to the Wii's Virtual Console this week. Pac-Attack, a puzzle game influenced more by Tetris than the labyrinthine maze most closely associated with Namco's iconic pellet-muncher, hails originally from the Super Nintendo and will run for 800 Wii points ($8). Riot Zone, originally appearing on the TurboGrafx-CD, is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up and will also cost 800 Wii points ($8).

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

JANUARY 14, 2008
Burnout 3: Takedown (XBLA)
Pac-Attack (Wii VC)
Riot Zone (Wii VC)

JANUARY 15, 2008
Carrier Strike Force (PC)
Corvette Evolution GT (DS)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Hard Evidence (Wii)
Furu Furu Park (Wii)
Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge (Wii)
Miami Nights: Singles in the City (DS)
Nitrobike (Wii)
Samurai Warriors: Katana (Wii)

JANUARY 16, 2008
Boogie Bunnies (XBLA)
Rail Simulator (PC)

JANUARY 17, 2008
No releases announced.

JANUARY 18, 2008
No releases announced.

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