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411mania's Release List for the Week of February 23, 2009

411mania gives a rundown on this week's game releases. Highlights include Legacy of Ys: Books I & II, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, Stoked, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

Legacy of Ys: Books I & II (DS)
Ys I and II have seen many ports and remakes since the first one came out in 1987; they've seen the light of day on such systems as the PC-8801, Famicom, Master System, DOS, Apple II, Saturn, and PS2 to name a few. The most widely-known versions are contained in the TurboGrafx-CD compilation, and for years that release was considered the best. It's place at the top was eventually challenged by Ys Eternal as it sported upgraded graphics, effects, and artwork as well as extras like new characters and scenarios. Unfortunately, Eternal didn't include voiceovers and some say that the remixed music was not as good. Apparently, enough people weren't satisfied so another update known as Ys Complete, which is said to have better graphics but an inferior soundtrack, was unleashed. Despite my best efforts, I could not find any agreement amongst Ys fans as to which official release is the definitive version since each of the three does at least one thing better than the others.

Preferences aside, there is one thing that fans of the first two Ys games can agree on no matter which version they've played - Ys I and II have some of the best music you will find in a video game. Every place I visited for info makes note of how awesome the soundtrack is. Knowing this, I questioned whether or not it was a good idea to play the games on the DS for the first time when I could just as easily track down the PC version and patch it or download the Wii VC one. Granted, Legacy of Ys comes with a free soundtrack if you preorder and it is portable. Maybe it would be easier to just flip a coin...

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Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop (Wii)
I did an interview with the producer of Chop Till You Drop at TGS last year. Here are the highlights:

- The control system takes its cues from the Resident Evil 4 Wii remake
- The save system has been overhauled to be more friendly to casual gamers

Honestly, those were the only real positives that he could come up with. From the interview, I could tell that he was at least trying to do a decent port of the 360 game. Whether he's succeeded or not remains to be seen. Most sites have already begun to bash the game even before it's been released, and I don't really blame them after seeing some of the videos that have been popping up. It's obvious that the game won't look and play like the 360 version, but compared to other Wii titles, it might actually be good. If you only have a Wii, it's probably a good idea to wait for reviews from people who have actually finished Chop Till You Drop before completely writing it off.

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Stoked (360)
While a lot of snowboarding fans are excited about this, some are a little hesitant because of the price. $40 out of the gate doesn't exactly scream confidence. It doesn't help that Shaun White scared people away from the genre. If those in the know are to be believed, Stoked is the Skate of snowboarding games. That isn't much to go on, so let's talk about the two other things that people are talking about:

- The dynamic weather and environments - The weather constantly transforms the landscape so you will supposedly have a different experience every time you play. Sounds good in theory.
- It's all back country - This could be good or bad depending on your point-of-view. Those who want rails all over the place for grinding may be disappointed while those who prefer more realistic terrain finally get the game that they've been waiting for.

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The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match (PS2 Import)
The King of Fighters '98 and 2002 are amongst the most played games in the series, so it isn't a surprise that both of them got the remake treatment along with '94. Like the previous remakes, Unlimited Match features new and updated stages, new artwork, and character tweaks. SNK also added characters from KOF '99, 2000, and 2001 to the already impressive roster. The latest buzz is that there are 66 characters in all, most of whom have already been revealed.

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50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3, 360)
I've heard from various sources that Blood on the Sand is actually fun. Then again, the same sources kept saying that Assassin's Creed and Mirror's Edge were the best things ever. While I am not sure about how the game plays, the one thing I do know is that the game's story is all kinds of awesome -

from Amazon's product description: "In 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, players hit the road with 50 Cent and his posse, G-Unit, as an innocent concert tour in the Middle-East turns into a full-fledged war. At its root is a mysterious item that a local promoter talks 50 into accepting in lieu of cash. The problem is that everyone 50 meets seems to want to take it from him, so there is obviously more to this trinket than meets the eye. But what is 50's is 50's and he is willing to bring the hurt down on any and all comers who cross him and try to take what isn't theirs."

my summary: "50 was promised a special skull for holding some concerts in the Middle-East. Unfortunately, some evil villains stole it. We follow 50 as he rampages through the Middle-East to get back what's his."

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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (Movie)
Under certain circumstances, JCVD's Street Fighter is a highly entertaining movie thanks to its wonderfully bad story, acting, and presentation. The Legend of Chun-Li also looks bad, but it doesn't seem like it has enough cheese to elevate it from simply bad to "so bad it's good." Being the optimist that I am, I will be there opening night no matter what. How about you?

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