Shippin' Out January 8-12: Lost Planet, Arthur and the Invisibles

[UPDATE] Capcom's long-awaited 360 shooter joins Atari's Euro-cartoon tie-in on this week's slim slate of new releases, which also features The Shield.

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As is the case every year, the first weeks following the December holiday season offer little in the way of new game releases. The second seven-day period of 2007 is no exception, with less than a dozen new titles being offered up to the North American public.

Foremost among the week's offerings is Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, the eagerly anticipated sci-fi shooter for the Xbox 360 that is due out on Friday. Capcom, the game's publisher, is hoping to emulate the success of another of its January releases, Resident Evil 4. Originally released for the GameCube in January 2005, the game, which was later ported to the PlayStation 2, went on to become a best seller and earned accolades, including GameSpot's Game of the Year award.

Parents not too keen on their younger children blasting frozen arachnids from space will have another option this week. Arthur and the Invisibles, Atari's adaptation of the Luc Besson-produced animated film, flutters onto a variety of platforms this week, including the PC, PS2, DS, and Game Boy Advance. Like its movie inspiration, the game follows the adventures of Arthur, a boy who gets shrunken down and discovers a tiny land inhabited by a race known as the Minimoys in his backyard.

Only two other games will arrive in retailers this week: the historic strategy title Heart of Empire: Rome (PC) and the not-so-eagerly anticipated horse-riding sim Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge (PC). However, four more prominent titles will be made available online, including Ms. Pac-Man on Xbox Live Arcade and a trifecta for classic game lovers on the Wii's Virtual console: Gradius (NES), Soldier Blade (TurboGrafx-16), and Dungeon Explorer (TG16).

[UPDATE] One last-minute addition to the week's slate was The Shield, Aspyr Media's PS2 and PC adaptation of the popular crime show on the FX cable network. The game was originally timed to coincide with the premiere of the show's sixth season, which has since been pushed back until later this year.

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

JANUARY 8, 2007
Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge (PC)
Gradius (Wii) (via Wii Virtual Console)
Soldier Blade (Wii) (via Wii Virtual Console)
Dungeon Explorer (Wii) (via Wii Virtual Console)

JANUARY 9, 2007
Arthur and the Invisibles (PC, PS2, DS, GBA)
Heart of Empire: Rome (PC)

JANUARY 10, 2007
Ms. Pac-Man (X360) (via Xbox Live)

JANUARY 12, 2007
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (X360)

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