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Namco's E3 Lineup Announced

Namco has revealed their extensive of list of titles to be shown during the upcoming E3 event in Los Angeles. It's a hefty list, so here's the dirt, straight from the press release:

New installments of popular Namco franchises will make their debut at this year’s show including "SOULCALIBUR(R) III," "We Love Katamari(TM)," "MotoGP4," "Pac-Man World(TM) 3" and "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary(TM)."

Namco will also be showcasing several highly-anticipated PC titles including "Mage Knight Apocalypse(TM)" and "HELLGATE(TM): LONDON" from Flagship Studios.

An impressive portfolio of renowned children’s licenses will be featured as handheld and console games in the Namco booth including "Atomic Betty(TM)," "The Berenstain Bears(TM) and The Spooky Old Tree," "Hello Kitty(R) Roller Rescue" and "Gumby(R) vs. the Astrobots(TM)."

Namco will continue their handheld support by debuting notable action titles at E3 including "Sigma Star Saga(TM)," "Rebelstar Tactical Command(TM)," "Dead to Rights(TM): Reckoning," "Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires(TM)," "Pac N’ Roll(TM)," "Namco Museum(TM) Battle Collection," and "Bounty Hounds."

Namco will also be shining the spotlight on new original content for consoles including "Urban Reign(TM)," "Payout Poker and Casino(TM)," "Tales of Legendia(TM)" and "Sniper Elite(TM)."

Namco Franchises:
"SOULCALIBUR III" (PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system)
The legendary battle of Soul Calibur and Soul Edge moves to the next phase in "SOULCALIBUR III," the latest installment in the celebrated weapon-based fighting franchise – offering players unprecedented variety in gameplay modes and fighting styles. Players can guide the fate of their favorite character in the narrative Tales of Souls mode, play head-to-head with a friend in VS Standard mode, create their own custom fighters in Character Creation mode and battle as these custom fighters in a real-time simulation in Chronicles of the Sword mode. Players can also engage in unique and original battles in Soul Arena mode and even recount the history of the franchise in Museum mode. With an additional three new characters to the existing family of classic warriors, there is a collection of more than 25 playable characters, each with their own unique fighting style. The epic "SOULCALIBUR III" story continues on the PlayStation2 this fall.

"We Love Katamari" (PlayStation 2)
The cute and loveable Prince is rolling once again to appease all the new fans of his father, the King of All Cosmos, in "We Love Katamari." Players can select the Prince or one of his many cousins to complete the tasks given to them by the fans. Players can also travel to new locations and experience the great gameplay that has helped "Katamari Damacy(TM)" capture the hearts of gamers everywhere. "We Love Katamari" allows players to roll with a friend in the all-new two-player cooperative mode, in which each person controls part of the clump. " We Love Katamari" will be launching on the PlayStation 2 in 2005.

"MotoGP4" (PlayStation 2)
"MotoGP4" gets players ready for the ultimate in motorcycle racing on the PlayStation2. Players will able to reach insane speeds with licensed professional riders, tracks, bikes and all three engine classes from the 2004 season including MotoGP, 125cc and 250cc engine classes. All 16 tracks from around the world are accurately recreated with realistic bike physics, rider animations and wet and dry weather conditions to deliver an unprecedented sense of realism. Plus, "MotoGP4" will allow players to conduct Parts Tests between races to upgrade bikes and improve performance. Get ready to enter the high speed world of MotoGP on the PlayStation 2 coming soon in 2005!

"Pac-Man World 3" (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube(TM), Xbox(R), PC and PSP(TM) portable entertainment system)
Celebrate Pac-Man’s 25th anniversary with the latest in the popular series, "Pac-Man World 3." Help Pac-Man uncover Erwin’s evil plot and save the real world from the collapsing Spectral world. Fortunately, Pac-Man is not alone this time – Pinky and Clyde, the classic Ghosts, will help him along his journey. "Pac-Man World 3" will have an arsenal of power-ups that will let Pac-Man be victorious and save everybody from Erwin’s evil plans this fall 2005 on multiple platforms including the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PSP system and PC.

"Namco Museum 50th Anniversary" (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox)
The single largest compilation of Namco Arcade Classics ever, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary" allows players to explore a virtual arcade hall where each of the game’s classic titles will be standing in its original arcade form. A total of 14 original arcade classics have been assembled, the largest Namco Museum compilation ever assembled. Classics will include "Rolling Thunder," "Pac-Man," "Ms. Pac-Man," "Galaga," "Dig Dug," "Pole Position," "Pole Position II," "Dragon Spirit," and many more! "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary" makes its way on the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox in August 2005.

New PC Titles:
"Mage Knight Apocalypse" (PC)
A select group of heroes must defeat the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity that has been summoned by the forces of Chaos in "Mage Knight Apocalypse." Five unique character classes can be chosen from with hundreds of weapons, armor and abilities to customize. These heroes will battle hundreds of unique enemies with brilliant special effects in a beautiful 3D world. With an unprecedented focus on team combat, fight together as never before using group combo attacks to assault enemies in both single and online modes of play for the PC in 2006.

"HELLGATE: LONDON" (PC)
"HELLGATE: LONDON" combines the depth of role-playing games and action of first-person titles, while offering infinite playability with randomly created levels, items and events. The player creates a heroic character, completes quests and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.

Popular Children’s Licenses:
"Atomic Betty" (Game Boy(R) Advance)
Maximus and his minions have once again stirred up trouble across the universe and Betty must defeat them in "Atomic Betty." Betty, Sparky, X-5, Noah and Paloma will all be playable and gamers can play with three at the same time! Betty and her friends will have an arsenal of gadgets and skills to defeat the evil Maximus and will hurtle through the cosmos from the cockpit of their Hyper-Galactic Star Cruiser this November 2005 on the Game Boy Advance.

"The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree" (Game Boy Advance)
Based on the best-selling book, "The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree" is the most crocodile, spider and bat-infested video game in the history of spooky. Choose from Brother, Sister or Cousin Fred and help them find their way back home through the game’s dark, scary levels. Each bear has his own special ability such as strength and jumping and unique objects like flashlights, ropes and sticks. "The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree" will feature its classic and stunning art style in September 2005 on the Game Boy Advance.

"Hello Kitty Roller Rescue" (Nintendo GameCube)
For the first time, Hello Kitty enters a 3D videogame in "Hello Kitty Roller Rescue." Players will be able to save Earth from the misinformed Block-O with the much loved Hello Kitty and Badtz-Maru. More than 20 popular Sanrio characters will help Hello-Kitty throughout her travels. Kitty will also be able to partner up at various stages to fight enemies. And, for the first time, players will be able to enjoy the beautiful Sanriotown in a completely 3-D world that is interactive. "Hello Kitty Roller Rescue" ships for the GameCube in fall 2005.

"Gumby vs. The Astrobots" (Game Boy Advance)
Join the heroic Gumby as he embarks on a perilous journey to rescue his friends in "Gumby vs. The Astrobots." Search for his friends as you meet a huge cast of bendable friends from the Gumby TV show, including Pokey(TM), Prickle(TM), and Goo(TM). Use Gumby’s unique ability to morph, stretch and twist to foil the Astrobots. Traverse the classic Old West or the icy North Pole, even the mysterious Planet Astrobot! "Gumby vs. The Astrobots" will be available in August 2005 on the Game Boy Advance.

Notable Action Titles:
"Sigma Star Saga" (Game Boy Advance)
"Sigma Star Saga" is the first game of its kind – a true mix of RPG depth and character building with a space shooter battle engine. This captivating RPG puts players in the role of a double agent whose mission is to discover the mystery behind six planets the evil Krill have taken interest in. Along with AAA graphics and sound, players will be able to customize weapons with more than 50 different Gun Data items. The story will feature multiple endings with more than 20 hours of gameplay. "Sigma Star Saga" ships on the Game Boy Advance in July 2005.

"Rebelstar Tactical Command" (Game Boy Advance)
The Arelian empire has been in control of Earth for far too long. A new recruit, Jorel, has organized a rebel force that just might be able to crush the Arelian empire in "Rebelstar: Tactical Command." Players must use the environment to their advantage in this turn-based strategy game that utilizes destructible terrain and true line of sight in eight directions. Players can also equip their squad with a variety of weapons including grenades, sniper rifles and missile launchers to take down the Arelian empire. Be prepared for "Rebelstar: Tactical Command" in August 2005 on the Game Boy Advance.

"Dead To Rights: Reckoning" (PSP system)
Jack Slate is back on the streets in this hardboiled action adventure, "Dead To Rights: Reckoning." Jack, and his trusted K-9 partner, Shadow, return to navigate the corrupt underworld of Grant City with cutting-edge graphics, intricate level design and sophisticated enemy AI that will push the limits of PSP system technology. Jack returns with new weapons, new lethal disarms and his trusty dog Shadow to wrestle enemies to the ground. Players will be able to go compete against each other with wireless multiplayer DeathMatch gameplay for hours of reply value. Players take the streets in "Dead To Rights: Reckoning" in summer 2005 on the PSP system.

"Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires" (Nintendo DS(TM))
"Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires" takes place in the dark and violent world of feudal Japan, where two brothers are bound by blood yet locked in battle for the title of Shogun king. After players choose their warrior prince, they can prepare to conquer all neighboring armies and become the ultimate ruler of Japan by commanding armies in real-time battle. Players map out their strategy on the bottom screen and command their armies to execute 3-D battles on the top screen. Players may use diplomacy, military strategy or assassination against their political rivals in mini-games including Forest Duels, Castle Siege and more. Wireless multiplayer action can let up to 16 friends battle it out to become the ultimate ruler of Japan. "Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires" ships on the Nintendo DS in October 2005.

"Pac N’ Roll" (Nintendo DS)
In "Pac N’ Roll," the inhabitants of Pac-World have been turned into spheres by the evil monster Golvis’ Ghost Light. Pac-Man must roll his way through Ghost-Land, collecting pellets and confronting Ghosts to save his friends and restore peace to Pac-Land. Introducing an innovative new control scheme, "Pac’N Roll" lets players control Pac-Man with the Nintendo DS stylus. Players can roll and dash around diverse landscapes such as the Castle Pac, Gyro-Jungle and Flaming Fortress as well as execute maneuvers such as hairpin turns, immediate stops and precision rolling with effortless strokes of the stylus. "Pac N’ Roll" will roll its way onto the Nintendo DS in summer 2005.

"Namco Museum Battle Collection" (PSP system)
"Namco Museum Battle Collection" presents an all-new treatment of its classics by bringing together many of Namco’s most beloved arcade franchises – with 10 exclusive games for the U.S. version. Taking full advantage of the PSP portable entertainment system’s wireless connectivity, the game allows up to four gamers to battle it out or play together on the classic updated titles. Players will also be able to share the great nostalgic gameplay of the original titles with their friends in the Game Sharing Mode by transferring wirelessly to another PSP system. The ultimate handheld arcade experience will launch this summer exclusively on the PSP system.

"Bounty Hounds" (working title) (PSP system)
The player takes the role of Maximillan, the leader of "Bounty Hounds" – a ruthless band of mercenaries. The mission is to engage in battle with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) spread across planets and unfold a sinister plot between a corporation and ETI that threatens to take over the world. With more than 500 weapons and armor, players face 40 alien species and 40 expansive missions. Advanced enemy AI will adapt to player health and weapon type. Dungeons are randomly generated each time the game is played so no gameplay experience is the same. Wireless gaming will allow players to access rare items to share they can’t get when playing alone! Become a "Bounty Hound" this summer, only on the PSP system.

New Original Content:
"Urban Reign" (PlayStation 2)
From the makers of "SOULCALIBUR(R)" and "Tekken(R)" comes the next level in fighting action – "Urban Reign." Players assume the role of a gritty street brawler who has been hired by one of the city’s dominant gangs to protect its leader. In "Urban Reign," players are thrown into a full-blown turf war, involving gang corruption and street justice that spans from the neighborhood block all the way to the upper levels of city government. By teaming up with an AI-controlled character, players can pull off a host of devastating and destructive combo maneuvers against multiple enemies throughout the game’s 100 missions. "Urban Reign" also supports multi-tap play for up to four players to determine who really rules the hood. "Urban Reign" hits the streets this fall, exclusively for the PlayStation 2.

"Payout Poker and Casino" (PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, and PSP system)
Gas up the Learjet and put the Cristal on ice, because it is time for players to put their gambling skills to the ultimate test in "Payout Poker and Casino." Players will get ready to travel the globe to five of the world’s most exclusive casinos, each shown in a unique 3D interface allowing players to roam the casino floor and choose their favorite game. Run the table and own the game with Texas Hold’em, Blackjack, Baccarat, Slots, Roulette and much more! Players will even have the opportunity to customize their own character with physical features like hair, face and body types as well as a wide variety of clothing accessories. Get ready to win it all this fall 2005 on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, PSP system and PC.
(This title is not officially concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.)

"Tales of Legendia" (PlayStation 2)
The renowned "Tales" series comes to the PlayStation 2 with "Tales of Legendia." This extraordinary new additional to the "Tales" series combines the depth of an RPG with the furiously fast real-time battles of an authentic fighting game. Players can now battle huge monsters with fighting-game-like controls with X-LiMBS, Namco’s new Crossover Linear Motion Battle system. In development for several years, "Tales of Legendia" offers fantastic 3D graphics and an emotionally-charged storyline. "Tales of Legendia" will also feature a unique cast of characters designed by Kazuto Nakazawe, the internationally renowned Japanese artist acclaimed for his animation sequences in “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.” This amazing new RPG experience comes to the PlayStation 2 in February 2006.

"Sniper Elite" (PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC)
"Sniper Elite" takes place in war-torn Berlin during the final days of World War II. As the Soviets and Germans are locked in a life and death struggle, the western Allies fear the looming Cold War. Assuming the role of a lone American sniper trained by the OSS, a player must infiltrate hostile enemy environments using their stealth and sniping skills and keep the Soviets from shifting the balance of power. The player’s mission will span 28 sensitive and challenging missions. When sniping, a player must use gravity, elevation, wind speed and direction, heart rate, breath, posture, background noise and other conditions to successfully hit their mark. When a mission is accomplished, a player can engage in 2-player co-op, 8-player deathmatch or multiplayer network play. Take aim of "Sniper Elite" this fall 2005.

5/12/2005 Aaron Thomas

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