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Shippin' Out March 17-21: Ninja Gaiden DS, Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Headliners prop up a light week of releases, with Wii Worms: A Space Oddity, PS2 MGS: Essential Collection, and PS3 Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds also out.


In 2004, Tomonobu Itagaki and Tecmo's Team Ninja revived the much-revered Ninja Gaiden 2D beat-'em-up series in a 3D action adventure for the Xbox. With an emphasis on technical prowess, intense difficulty, and pagoda-soaking gore, the Xbox version was subsequently given touch-ups with Ninja Gaiden Black and the PlayStation 3-exclusive Ninja Gaiden Sigma. This week, Itagaki's Team Ninja is bringing the post-2004 Ninja Gaiden formula back to Nintendo's platform with Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword for the Nintendo DS, a touch-screen-heavy rendition of master ninja Ryu Hayabusa's travails. For a look at how well that formula translated, check out GameSpot's full review of the game.

Also returning for another round this week is Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. (A PC version is expected to arrive later this year.) With Ubisoft's Montreal studio promising an "explosive finale" to the storyline begun in the elite corps' first terrorist-hunting foray into Sin City, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 offers new weapons, armor, and enemy AI, as well as an expanded suite of adversarial and cooperative multiplayer modes.

A number of platform exclusives also take to retail shelves this week. THQ's hyperbolic annelids find pay dirt for the first time on Nintendo's Wii with A Space Oddity, while Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection arrives on the PlayStation 2 in anticipation of Metal Gear Solid 4's PS3 debut in June. In the meantime, the PS3 has a number of other games out this week, including Clap Hanz's Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds and Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore. On the massively multiplatform front, Sega lobs Superstars Tennis onto the Xbox 360, PS3, PlayStation 2, Wii, and DS.

With no new downloadable games being added to Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday, Microsoft hopes to placate its digital download-enthused crowd with new downloadable content for Forza 2 as well as price cuts for Sierra Online's Assault Heroes and id Software's Doom to 400 Microsoft points ($5). Available this Wednesday for 400 Microsoft points ($5), the Forza 2 car pack adds 13 new autos to the game's already-impressive 340-plus roster, including the Peugeot 207 Super 2000, Audi S5, 2008 BMW M3, Lamborghini LP640, and Ferrari 430 Scuderia. On the Wii's Virtual Console, Nintendo is offering up Spelunker and Super R-Type for 500 ($5) and 800 ($8) Wii points, respectively.

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

MARCH 17, 2008
Dance! Online (PC)
Merv Griffin's Crosswords (PC)
Spelunker (Wii VC)
Super R-Type (Wii VC)
Worms: A Space Oddity (Wii)

MARCH 18, 2008
Diary Girl (DS)
Fantasy Aquarium (DS)
GoPets: Vacation Island (DS)
Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (PS3)
Lost in Blue 3 (DS)
Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection (PS2)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Wii)
Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends (PS2)
Sega Superstars Tennis (X360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS)
Singstar '90s (PS2)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (X360, PS3)

MARCH 19, 2008
No announced releases.

MARCH 20, 2008
Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (DS)

MARCH 21, 2008
No announced releases.

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