Multiplayer Stock Report: 'Pokemon' Pair, 'Sims 2 Celebration Stuff' & More

Plus: 'Enchanted Arms,' 'Blazing Angels.'

Once a week, I've provided a Stock Report to give you a sense of which games are streaming into the MTV News offices in New York and how companies are trying to grab our attention. The games arrive at my desk throughout the week, hand-delivered by our men in the mailroom. What I receive and am tallying below are the final store-ready copies of games. If I got it, your local gaming store probably got it this week too. I just don't think the game stores get the swag. That's fair. I don't get the giant cardboard stand-ups of Mario and Cloud.

The Stock Report:

»  Number of games at MTV News HQ: 301

»  Last three games to arrive: "Enchanted Arms" (PS3), "Pokémon Diamond" (Nintendo DS), "Pokémon Pearl" (Nintendo DS)

»  Last system to arrive: PS3

»  Last swag to arrive: Three "Pokémon" discs/ drink coasters spotlighting characters Piplup, Chimchar and Turtwig; two Nintendo DS styluses topped with "Pokémon" figurines, all packed with the "Pokémon" games; and a DS wireless headset in a smelly orange cardboard briefcase to get us excited about ... "Pokémon," of course.

Notes on games received this week:

"Blazing Angels" (Wii; *SISW - see below)

»  World War II flight game originally released on Xbox 360 in March

»  Second flight game on Wii, following Konami and Hudson's "Wing Island," one of the worst-reviewed games on the system

»  Experience of using the Wii remote to fly a plane first demoed to MTV News in December 2005, when system was still known as the Revolution (see "First Look: Nintendo Revolution Controller Feels Smooth As Puppet Strings")

»  Flight genre formerly a Nintendo mainstay when "Pilotwings" series launched with both Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64. Flight-centric developer Factor 5, which formerly developed Nintendo's "Star Wars Rogue Leader" games, now working on summer dragon-flight game "Lair" for PS3

»  Ubisoft an early Wii supporter and first company — Nintendo included — to reveal a game for the system to the public. That game, "Red Steel," was a sales success but launched reviewer criticism of Ubisoft promoting quantity of Wii titles over quality. Well-received Ubisoft Wii title "Rayman Raving Rabbids" is counter-argument

"Sims 2 Celebration Stuff" (PC)

»  Expansion pack to "Sims 2"

»  Offers wedding gowns, glowing candles, barbecue sets, birthday cakes, balloons, kids' formal wear, bells, flowers and other items to gussy up "Sims 2" parties

»  Seemingly innocent box of "Stuff" rated T for crude humor, sexual themes and violence

"Enchanted Arms" (PS3; *SISW)

»  Fantasy role-playing game from Ubisoft

»  Released in August 2006 for Xbox 360. That version's MetaCritic score: 69 of 100

»  Box copy follows RPG tradition and attempts to entice with big numbers: "Over 125 controllable creatures." "Over 50 hours of gameplay." (But could "Pac-Man" have claimed "one controllable creature" and "over 50 hours of gameplay"?)

»  Includes "simulated gambling," appeal and reward of which is unknown, despite its inclusion in many games

"Pokémon Diamond" (Nintendo DS; *SISW)

»  Half of latest paired release of money-printing "Pokémon" games

»  Back of box lists compatibility with six other "Pokémon" games; incompatibility with "Pokémon" games from three other Nintendo systems (Game Boy, N64, GameCube)

»  Predominant box color is blue; "Pokémon" character on cover — Dialga — looks like skinny, spiky brontosaurus ... this one's for boys?

"Pokémon Pearl" (Nintendo DS)

»  Half of latest paired release of money-printing "Pokémon" games

»  Back of box lists compatibility with six other "Pokémon" games; incompatibility with "Pokémon" games from three other Nintendo systems (Game Boy, N64, GameCube)

»  Predominant box color is pink; "Pokémon" character on cover — Palkia — looks like a winged T-Rex ... this one's for girls?

»  "Pearl" chosen as Multiplayer test version of the game ... impressions coming Monday

*SISW = still in shrink-wrap (we'll get to them later!)

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