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Hands of Power

Friday, May 12, 2006, 11:51AM EST

With the notable exception of Nintendo's Advance Wars, there hasn't been much to catch the attention of wannabe generals who fancy strategizing while they travel. Konami hopes to change the situation at E3 however, with three very different handheld titles.

First up is the DS and PSP-bound Steel Horizon (working title). Placed in the context of WWII naval engagements, albeit with a twist, you take control of an armada of battleships, carriers, and submarines, fighting your way through 20 missions using a mixture of turn-based and real-time moves. Alternatively you can battle out control for the sea with a friend using the head-to-head Wi-Fi mode.

Expanding on such functionality is Konami's Online Chess Kingdoms. Adding a new spin to chess on PSP, the game is set in a fantasy world where five realms fight for supremacy with each possessing its own style of chess pieces. The online part of the title comes from the ability to take on other players, as well as update your scores to a centralized player ranking system.

Konami's final handheld strategy game breaks down the boundaries even more, offering cross-platform support for both PSP and PC as players to go head to head in Marvel Trading Card Game. There's a DS version of the game too, which has its own online support, and Konami will be running tournaments throughout 2006 offering cash prizes. As for the game itself, it's based on the Vs. Trading Card Game system and rules, and is set within the Marvel universe so you get to command characters such as Spider-Man, X-men, and the Fantastic Four.

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