North American gamers face a tough choice regarding Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: when you make your own fateful journey to a store to pre-order the game, your choice of store will determine which alternate character costume, with stat bonuses, you will be able to unlock:
  • GameStop (EB Games in Canada) pre-orders will include "Ninja Monkey," who has unlimited use of the "stun" and "plasma" blast for his staff.
  • Walmart purchases add "Classic Monkey," with a costume inspired by the game's source, the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West, and twice the melee attack power -- and it also makes Monkey look even more like Dragon Ball's Goku (who's inspired by the same source text).
  • Best Buy-ers will receive ... "Sexy Robot Trip," who reveals a specific fetish on the part of someone at Namco Bandai by making Trip simultaneously sexier and more robotic. Using this costume doubles the duration (and sexiness) of stun moves.
Additionally, Namco Bandai has announced retailer-exclusive bundles containing more tangible bonuses. Amazon bundles will include "exclusive access" to the game's soundtrack, while Target (and Future Shop in Canada) will offer a bundle with an Enslaved comic book published by Marvel. The source press release is posted after the break.

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NAMCO BANDAI GAMES ANNOUNCES LINE-UP OF RETAILER BONUS ITEMS FOR ENSLAVED™: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST™

Limited Quantity Exclusive Items Include Downloadable Content Packs, Official Soundtrack or Marvel Custom Mini-Comic

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (June 28, 2010) – Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today details on the roster of exclusive incentive items for customers who purchase ENSLAVED™: Odyssey to the West™ from participating retailers. The selection of enticing options ranges from downloadable content (DLC) to limited quantity retail packs that come bundled with the game and bonus item. Additional premium post-launch DLC will also be available and details will be released in the coming months. ENSLAVED for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will be released throughout North America in October 2010.

Several retailers are offering DLC packs including alternate versions of Monkey or Trip which are not only visually distinct, but also provide unique functional advantages that boost the final retail gameplay experience. For EB Games Canada and GameStop pre-order customers, they will receive a code for deadly, ebony-clad "Ninja Monkey." With access to unlimited amounts of otherwise rare stun and plasma staff blast ammo, Monkey turns into a bona fide assassin against his enemies. Walmart and Walmart Canada will offer the game with a download code card for "Classic Monkey," adorned in a striking red and gold ensemble that pays homage to the game's classic Chinese novel influence. This traditional variant also channels the fearsome warrior-spirit into Monkey's melee damage, allowing him to strike with double the power. Best Buy U.S. and Canada customers can get the game with a download code card for "Sexy Robot Trip," a literal mesh of her feminine and technological wiles. This hybrid Trip is both visually and functionally stunning, doubling the duration of all stun moves in the game including Monkey's ranged stun blasts and melee stun charge attacks, as well as Trip's own EMP blasts.

In addition, limited quantity bundle packs that include the game and exclusive bonus item are also available from participating retailers. Amazon.com and Amazon.ca customers will have exclusive access to the official soundtrack for the game, which will be offered as part of a limited set of bundles with the game. World-class musician and composer Nitin Sawhney, whose versatility and talent have helped him score more than 40 films and release eight studio albums, has created the game's captivating, poignant score. Future Shop Canada and Target will offer retail packages which include the game and a mini-comic published by renowned entertainment specialist, Marvel. The custom-created 40-page comic book focuses on Monkey and Trip's origins, with an eye-opening glimpse into their backgrounds which won't be seen in the game.

Developed by Ninja Theory Ltd., ENSLAVED takes players on a gripping, surprise-filled journey as two dissimilar characters form an uneasy union in order to survive their way through a perilous, post-apocalyptic America. In ENSLAVED, players take on the role of Monkey, a strong and athletic, yet solitary figure, who has been captured by one of the mysterious slave ships which harvest the remaining population and take them out west never to return. Trip, a technologically savvy young woman who has also been imprisoned by the same ship, manages to escape. She quickly realizes that Monkey, with his raw strength and power, is her only hope to survive the perilous journey back to her home. She hacks into a slave headband and fits it on Monkey, linking them together – if she dies, he dies... Her journey has now become his and Monkey must now travel west alongside Trip as they traverse a demolished world, under constant threat of capture and mortal peril.

A tactical action-adventure game, ENSLAVED centers on the complex relationship between Monkey and Trip, challenging players to employ a mix of combat, strategy and environmental traversal. With influences and contributions from top music and film industry talent, ENSLAVED combines beautifully rendered graphics and captivating music with seamless animation and engrossing gameplay.

For more information about ENSLAVED, please visit www.enslaved-thegame.com or www.namcobandaigames.com.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.