Shippin' Out March 22-28: Wheelman, Wanted, Pokemon Platinum
Vin Diesel's latest, Warner Bros. film adaptation, and Nintendo critter collector join Legends of Wrestlemania, Stormrise, and new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles in stores this week.
After Midway declared bankruptcy earlier this year, there was some question about whether the publisher had shipped its last game. That question will be answered (sort of) with next week's release of The Wheelman for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Although the Vin Diesel-starring action game is ready for release on March 24, Midway is able to do so only due to a strategic partnership with Ubisoft.
Being on substantially more solid financial footing, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be able to bring Wanted: Weapons of Fate to the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 all by its lonesome. Picking up where last year's feature film left off, Wanted centers its action squarely on the "bullet curving" technique shown in the movie.
THQ's Legends of Wrestlemania also has movie ties, although they're more of the They Live, The Princess Bride, and Mr. Nanny sort. As the name implies, the newest WWE game features "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and a host of the wrestling company's biggest stars dating back to the early 1980s.
Although Final Fantasy XIII is still a long ways off, eager fans may tide themselves over with next week's launch of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time for the Wii and DS. The latest installment in the Crystal Chronicles spin-off series follows a teenage hero who sets out on a quest to save a similarly aged girl from a mysterious disease. It will support single-player action, but the game's most distinguishing feature is online multiplayer interconnectivity between the Wii and DS editions.
DS gamers looking for twists on other familiar franchises can also pick up Pokemon Platinum and Gardening Mama. The former game revamps and combines the features of Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, whereas the latter takes Majesco's matriarch out of the kitchen to test her green thumb.
Finally, real-time strategy buffs have options to look forward to, given that Sega and The Creative Assembly release their original real-time strategy game Stormrise on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Set in a postapocalyptic world, Stormrise was designed from the ground up to work on consoles, and casts players in the role of a frontline commander rather than the more typical omniscient general.
For RTS fans who like their genre a little more traditional, Electronic Arts is primed to finally release Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 on the PS3. The Xbox 360 and PC editions were launched late last year.
Check back later in the week for GameSpot's reviews of the week's debuts. For a full rundown of every new game, check out the New Releases page.