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Game Profile
 Written by John Scalzo  on May 04, 2004

News: Namco lets loose with a ton of sequels to their biggest franchises and Japanese drumming games baby!



Namco has revealed their lineup and boy is it packed with big stuff. Biggest of all is probably the announcement of Tekken 5. Or not really, as Tekken 5 was pretty inevitable and all Namco has revealed at this point is that it's coming. But for more details on everything else Namco has set for 2004 and beyond, read on, courtesy of their press release:

New installments of Namco's best-selling franchises will make their debut at the show, including ACE COMBAT 5, TEKKEN 5, Xenosaga EPISODE II, Dead to Rights II, TIME CRISIS: CRISIS ZONE, Tales of Symphonia and Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2.

Namco will also showcase new original content including Street Racing Syndicate, DEATH BY DEGREES featuring Nina Williams from TEKKEN, Ghosthunter, Baten Kaitos, The Adversary, and Taiko Drum Master (tentative title).

"Namco is showcasing its most impressive line up of new content ever at this year's E3Expo," said Robert Ennis, chief financial and operating officer for Namco Hometek Inc. "We have taken our core franchises to exciting new levels and are introducing some incredible new content with our biggest showing ever at E3. We think convention goers will really take notice of Namco's significant presence this year at the show."

Elevating to new heights in 2004 is ACE COMBAT 5. Introducing Wingman Command, ACE COMBAT 5 is the premier air combat game combining ultra-realistic graphics and dog fighting with the sheer excitement of soaring through the air, destroying enemy planes and ground targets. Players experience the thrill of commanding a squadron, knowing that the squadron's fate is in their hands. The game features over 50 different licensed planes and an intense storyline with over 30 missions, providing hours of non-stop flying action - making ACE COMBAT 5 bigger and better than ever before! Shipping in Fall 2004, ACE COMBAT 5 will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

Nights are filled with high-risk, nitrous-injected, illegal racing on real city streets in Namco's Street Racing Syndicate. With money, pink slips and respect always on the line, and cops lurking behind every corner, SRS is taking street racing games to a new level. Players can customize over 40 licensed cars with authentic parts, cool paint, and anything else bought or won from sanctioned or illegal races. Race in both closed track and open city environments, meet at secret locations or pull up on opponents on the open streets. And for the first time ever, throw down with real-life opponents all over the world via online pink slip races. From hot cars with lifelike physics and damage, to beautiful models picked from the pages of today's top import magazines, SRS delivers the most intense, complete street racing experience ever in a video game. Shipping in Autumn 2004, SRS will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube.

Dead to Rights II marks the return of action-hero Jack Slate and his K-9 companion, Shadow. In this super-charged sequel, Jack and Shadow find themselves once again in the mean streets of Grant City, ensnared in a labyrinth of crime, corruption and betrayal. Dead to Rights II is a third-person action shooter featuring gritty, Hong Kong cinema-style action and innovating new gameplay mechanics such as greater interaction with Shadow; brutal, all-new disarm moves; a lightning-fast 360 degree fighting engine; vicious melee weapon battles; and a dramatic new spherical slow-motion diving system. Shipping in Fall 2004, Dead to Rights II will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video system from Microsoft.

TEKKEN's ultimate assassin, Nina Williams, stars in DEATH BY DEGREES as the voluptuous undercover operative sent to recover a stolen weapon from a disgruntled terrorist who double-crossed his own underground organization. Using a cutting-edge combat system to fight enemies in all directions, DEATH BY DEGREES combines signature moves from TEKKEN with firearms and melee weapon attacks. Shipping in Fall 2004, the game will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

The epic sequel Xenosaga EPISODE II picks up right where EPISODE I left off. With a new, more realistic looking character art style, players can look forward to improved graphics, an improved battle interface and more outdoor environments (rain, snow, rivers, etc.). Xenosaga EPISODE II will be shipping in early 2005 exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

Tales of Symphonia is the latest installment in Namco's enormously popular Tales franchise. Using characters designed by renowned anime artist Kosuke Fujishima, Tales of Symphonia allows players to command real-time battles in a unique 3D battle system that gives them full control over the characters, executing hundreds of special attacks and magic spells. With more than a dozen mini-games and side quests at the player's disposal, Tales of Symphonia offers over 80 game play hours. The game will ship exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube entertainment system in July 2004.

Ghosthunter blends the action and adventure aspects of a third-person shooter with macabre humor. Players battle vengeful sprits and are equipped with a selection of high-tech weaponry and gadgets specially designed for hunting and capturing ghosts. Diverse cinematic locations set the scene and make the game come to life with eerie versions of familiar sights, including an Alcatraz-style prison and a haunted ship. Ghosthunter will be available in the North American market in August 2004 for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

Players can enjoy an unprecedented level of interaction with the environment in TIME CRISIS: CRISIS ZONE, the most ambitious new installment of the TIME CRISIS series to date. Using the GUNCON 2, gunfire has a realistic effect on almost everything in the game: players can blow up items on shelves and tables, shatter glass windows and doors, and destroy beams, statues, and even desktop computers. Players who have two GUNCON 2 guns can select a single- or double-gun game to take down enemies John Woo style, adding a fun and unique element to the game. Shipping in September 2004, TIME CRISIS: CRISIS ZONE will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

In Namco's Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2, players can train and compete in actual Grand Slam tournaments. Create and customize players in Pro Tour Mode, then take them through the tennis rankings all the way to the top. Players compete in the Australian Open, Roland Garros (French Open), Wimbledon, and the US Open against such pros as Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lleyton Hewitt, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Anna Kournikova, and ten others! Shipping in Summer 2004, the game will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

Enter Baten Kaitos on a journey to unlock the mystery of the lost sea in an enchanting story of friendship, betrayal, and prayer. Over 1000 types of "Magnus" cards deliver an intense battle system combined with breathtaking graphics and a world overflowing with character detail. Baten Kaitos will be available for the Nintendo GameCube.



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