Weekly video game releases: 'Need for Speed World', 'Dragon Quest IX', 'StarCraft II'

Among upcoming video game releases:
Need for Speed World is a free-to-play online racing game with subscription options,
Dragon Quest IX enjoyed phenomenal success in Japan and now arrives in Europe, and
StarCraft II is one of the most important releases of 2010 thanks to its genre-defining ancestry.

Trackmania (Wii), Trackmania Turbo (DS)
Release: North America, July 20. Europe, September 24.
Age rating: Everyone / 3+

The Trackmania games are slick and speedy, with a dedicated online community, and a built-in track editor allowing players to create, share, and race on circuits of their own design - quite often including wild corners, corkscrews, and loop-the-loops. Trackmania Wii brings the trackmania experience to the Wii, with online racing and track sharing; Trackmania Turbo is the series' second outing on DS, adding the online component.
Price: $39.99 (Wii), $29.99 (DS)

Need for Speed World (PC)
Release: Worldwide, July 20.
Age rating: Everyone 10+

Think of this as Electronic Arts' foray into massively multiplayer online games - but using a fast and furious car racer to do it: tons of licensed cars, 240 kilometers of road, and two cities brought back from Need for Speed Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon. Skills are levelled up as players get better, and the game is a free download and playable without payment up to Level 10. Purchasing the Starter Pack opens up the route to Level 50. Other perks include a week's headstart (from July 13) and an extra car. One wonders what the Burnout series will come up with in response.
Price: Free to play, $19.99 for the Starter Pack.
Download from: http://world.needforspeed.com

Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii)
Release: North America, July 20.
Age rating: Teen

This is the developer's first game for the Nintendo Wii, but based on their previous role-players for the Nintendo DS ( Luminous Arc, 7th Dragon) it's safe to say that Arc Rise Fantasia, though not perfect, will certainly have its charms. A young dragon-hunting mercenary is saved from death by a foreign girl who has mysterious powers of her own.
Price: $39.99

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS)
Release: Europe, July 23. North America, released July 11.
Age Rating: 12+ / Everybody10+

One of the most popular Nintendo DS games ever released in Japan, this role-playing adventure sold over 4 million copies in just six months following its initial release last July. Review scores back up the fan frenzy as Japanese magazine Famitsu gave it a rare full marks. It's a huge game in terms of sales, acclaim, and replay value due to the number of downloadable extras. There's also a dual purpose DS stand / loudspeaker in the shape of the cute blue series mascot Slime available from accessories company Hori.
Price: €39.99 / $34.99
Hori Slime Speaker Stand: $49.99

StarCraft II (PC)
Release: Worldwide, July 27
Age Rating: Teen / 16+

The follow-up to 1998's StarCraft, the real-time strategy par excellence, has been in development since 2003 and comes from Blizzard, which is behind World of Warcraft's success. StarCraft II builds on the success of the first in both single and multiplayer modes. Blizzard has learned a thing or two from the WoW experience: Russian, Mexican, Chilean and Argentinian gamers can purchase cut-price retail copies and then top up online play with a subscription service - or buy direct from Blizzard's Battle.net for infinite credits.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99
Collectors Edition: $99.99 / €89.99

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (360 PS3)
Release: North America, July 27. Europe, October.
Age rating: Teen

Quickly establishing itself as an essential entry in any fighting game fan's library, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger took many by surprise with a style and flair that held up under scrutiny. Continuum Shift was bestowed with a good score from Famitsu's four reviewers (9/8/9/8) though Europeans will have to wait a little longer - Calamity Trigger didn't come out there until April of this year so it's a little soon for the sequel.
Price: $39.99
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Fightstick arcade style controller: $199.99

Ace Combat: Joint Assault (PSP)
Release: Europe, July 30. North America, August 31.
Age Rating: 12+ / Teen

This will be the 11th entry to the larger-than-life Ace Combat dogfighting series, first released as 1995's Air Combat on the PlayStation One. Since then it has been on PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and even Apple's iOS. Joint Assault will be the second PSP title but diverges from the series formula in that it uses real world locations - London, Egypt, San Francisco and Tokyo among them. Hopefully, there will be just as many ridiculously oversized enemy planes to shoot down as ever before.
Price: $39.99 / €39.99

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure Architect

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Infrastructure Architect is ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Support - Helpdesk Analyst

    £18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a customer focu...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn