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The Mastertronic Group showcases April quartet

The Mastertronic Group today announced the four high profile PC titles that will form its April collection of £9.99 releases.

The April collection features a strong mix of game styles and, having enjoyed great success as full-price releases, each game is making its debut as a premium value title. The four titles will be released across The Mastertronic Group's PC Gamer Presents... and M.A.D (Mastertronic Added Dimension) labels, both of which have specific qualifying criteria in order to be considered for release.

SCi's incredible racing title, Richard Burns Rally (scored 82% in PC Gamer) and SEGA/Team 17's maddeningly addictive Worms 3D (90%) will appear on the PC Gamer Presents label, while Ubisoft's stunning first-person shooter, XIII, and SEGA's Sonic Adventure DX will both appear as part of the M.A.D label having enjoyed sales of over 100,000 units as full-price titles.

Hailed as one of the most realistic rallying simulations for any machine, Richard Burns Rally combines seat-of-your-pants racing with sublime control and authentically modelled courses. Having undertaken a forest-based training session, the player is then offered the chance to tour the globe as they pit their planning and driving skills against some of the world's best drivers and the most arduous courses. Every aspect of Richard Burns Rally is polished to ensure that the game's handling and courses contribute to a truly engrossing racer.

Worms 3D takes the legendary madness of Team 17's classic series into a totally new dimension. Retaining the simple, yet compelling premise of the original - players manipulate four, heavily armed worms in an attempt to blow away their rival's quartet - Worms 3D moves the action into a fully 3D play area, with players now moving their army in all directions as opposed to the left and right of the 2D games. Similarly, more skill is now needed to maximise the devastation offered by the game's many weapons. The new third dimension necessitates even more accuracy when using rocket launchers, grenades and air strikes, while the new 3D play area also facilitates the best graphics ever to be seen in a Worms game.

The M.A.D label's launch of XIII sees one of the most innovative first-person shooters released. Based on a famous comic book, XIII casts the player as an amnesiac agent found on a beach who awakes to find himself under attack from mystery assailants. From here, a twisting plot keeps players on the edge of their seat, while the unrelenting action moves at pace from the beach setting to a jet-setting trip around the world. Not only does XIII have a unique plot but the visuals are simply stunning and perfectly mirror those of the original books. Cel-shaded graphics are used to define the many assailants and locations, while comic-style visual sound effects and cut scenes add to the atmosphere immeasurably.

Finally, April sees the return of one of the most famous video game heroes of all time: Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic Adventure DX is a celebration of all that is great about the ring-collecting blue Hedgehog and also stars familiar members of his supporting cast.

Likes Worms 3D, Sonic Adventure DX freshens the franchise with the addition of a 3D play area. Players are invited to control Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Amy and use each character's respective skills to collect golden rings, explore hazard-laden stages and defeat end-of-stage bosses. An ideal introduction to the Sonic series, Sonic Adventure DX is a perfect demonstration of the SEGA hero's enduring appeal.

"We are committed to releasing only the best titles at the premium value price point of £9.99 and these four titles perfectly illustrate that strategy," commented Adam Prichard, Sales Director, Mastertronic. " Equally significant is the fact that we work with key products and franchises - Worms and Sonic really fit the bill having built a huge following down the years."

About Mastertronic Group Limited

Mastertronic is one of the best known electronic entertainment brands in Europe. It pioneered the European console market with its launch of the SEGA Master System, invented the budget retail sector and built an international development and publishing operation under the Virgin Mastertronic label.

The brand was subsequently relaunched as The Mastertronic Group Limited in 2003 by founder Frank Herman, together with Andy Payne and Garry Williams.

The Group now leads the European value publishing sector through its retail brands M.A.D. (Mastertronic Added Dimension), Sold Out (the UK's largest-selling budget operation, acquired by the Group in 2004) and PC Gamer Presents, a unique quality-assured brand in association with the leading games magazine publisher Future Publishing.

The Group also offers, through its wholly owned subsidiary The Producers Limited (also acquired in 2004) a 'cradle to grave' total turnkey service for physical product, from marketing through packaging and warehousing to retail and electronic distribution. In addition, MAD 4 Games, a wireless channel for content delivery to mobile phones was established first quarter 2005.

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