Late Night Consoling

By Chris Remo, Oct 06, 2005 8:00pm PDT I was at the store today for a new DS game, and between Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Trauma Center: Under the Knife, I chose the latter. It's much more fun than it seems like it should be. It's also much harder than the preview missions of it that I played at E3. The fast pace and high precision required to complete the surgeries actually gets quite intense. I also hear there are aliens or monsters or something, but I guess I haven't gotten to that part yet.
  • 360 Launch Starting to Solidify

    [xbox]

    Contrary to expectations, Microsoft did not provide a launch game lineup for Xbox 360, slated to ship at the end of November. However, the publisher did give a partial list of eight games confirmed for launch, which was mainly comprised of EA games. Today Take-Two and Activision chimed in with their contributions, though Microsoft has not commented on either of the two announcements. The publishers and their titles are as follows:

    - Microsoft: Bizarre's Project Gotham Racing 3, Rare's Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero
    - EA: Madden NFL 06, NBA Live 06, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, FIFA 06, Need for Speed Most Wanted
    - Take-Two: Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, NBA 2K6, NHL 2K6, Top Spin 2, Amped 3
    - Activision: Neversoft's Tony Hawk's American Wasteland and GUN, Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 2, Raven's Quake IV

    This makes for 17 games that have been announced by publishers as launch titles, which falls within the 15-20 range that Microsoft has been constantly reiterating. There are several other games, however, which many hoped to see at launch, including Monolith's Condemned: Criminal Origins, Team NINJA's Dead or Alive 4, Volition's Saint's Row, and Pseudo's Full Auto. For those, we'll just have to wait and see.

  • Condemned Already Huge Franchise

    [xbox]

    Monolith's upcoming Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360, PC) has been tapped for a film adaptation. The film, which will be entitled Species X, is being written by "The Shield" co-executive producer Kurt Sutter.

    "I'm a big gamer, one who feels that, in the last five years, some of the smartest and most innovative ideas have come out of the gaming world," Sutter said.

    In the course of a murder investigation, the protagonist cop has reason to question who he is as a man, until he realizes he's not a man. A tug-of-war emerges among a faction of good and evil aliens.

    The property is owned by WB Interactive Entertainment, a game publisher owned by major motion picture studio Warner Bros. Sega will handle the actual publishing of Condemned. WB Interactive, apparently already fairly convinced of the game's success, hopes to create a multi-medium franchise rather than simply having either the movie or the film be an adaptation of the other. Designer American McGee has expressed similar desires for properties of his such as Bad Day L.A. and American McGee's Oz.

    The film is set to come out concurrently with the game's sequel, which is reportedly already in development.

  • Extra 360 Content

    [xbox]

    A couple details were revealed today regarding extra non-retail content to be available on Xbox 360. First off, Microsoft and GarageGames announced that Marble Blast Ultra (X360) will be made available soon after launch through Xbox Live Arcade. The all-ages game is part of GarageGames' Marble Blast franchise, and will be exclusive to Xbox Live. Players control a marble through various environments, collecting powerups and avoiding hazards. Presumably, the game will only be downloadable to hard drive-equipped consoles, though a GarageGames representative indicated that it should be small enough to fit on a memory card--if the console supports downloading games to memory cards.

    Microsoft's outspoken Chief XNA Architect J Allard also revealed what will be pre-installed on the 360's hard drive: a documentary called "The Making of Xbox 360" as well as a couple other unidentified videos, an unidentified custom soundtrack, and the puzzle game Hexic. Hexic was designed by legendary Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, and can also be played at MSN Games. The content will be included both on individually sold hard drives as well as the units included in the premium Xbox 360 package.

  • Madden 06 Doesn't Work

    [psp]

    So apparently the PSP version of EA Sports' Madden 06 is just completely broken, causing random crashes and loss of save data. I guess if you have the game, you probably know this already, and if you don't have the game, it doesn't mean much to you, but it seems to have upset The Internet, so I am newsing it. Penny Arcade has a rant and comic up about it, and some kind of protest site has been created. Plus, you know, forum posts.

    The response from EA seems to be fairly minimal, offering a workaround that most claim does not actually fix anything.

  • Online DS Game Details

    [ds]

    Despite yesterday's megaton DS updates in LNC, there are a few tiny details remaining. It was also confirmed that Lost Magic (DS), Taito's upcoming RPG featuring Studio Ghibli artwork, will contain some kind of online mode using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Contact (DS), the RPG from Marvelous and Killer 7 studio Grasshopper, will also feature online support in some way. Finally, Treasure's Bleach (DS) fighting game will be playable online, though that game shouldn't necessarily be expected to make it out of Japan.

  • Mod Chips Legal in Australia

    [ps2]

    The Australian High Court ruled that PlayStation mod chips are legal, and do not commit copyright infringement. Unauthorized reproduction of a PlayStation game is still considered copyright infringement, but the mod chip itself does not enable illegal copying. Mod chips also allow the use of imported games; the High Court as well as other Australian officials consider the blocking of imported games to be a barrier on trade and competition.

    The ruling marks the end of the four-year-long trial of Eddy Stevens, against whom Sony took legal action for modifying PlayStations. It is expected that the arguments presented in the case will be considered by legal teams tackling similar situations in other countries.

  • Weak Holiday Sales Ahead?

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]

    Despite the upcoming Xbox 360 launch, FBR analyst Shawn Milne expects holiday season video game sales to be down five percent in the fourth quarter and 10-15% in September, compared to those same periods in 2004. This is a prediction that has been echoed by various analysts over the last few months. Milne sees the drop being mainly due to the lack of must-have titles in comparison to the huge blockbusters of last year. Certainly, last holiday season was pretty unstoppable, with Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, World of Warcraft, Half-Life 2, and more. However, he predicts that publishers EA and Activision, both of which have extremely long lineups through year-end, will still show solid numbers.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Game Informer sits down with good old CliffyB regarding Epic's Gears of War (X360).

    Eurogamer has the second half of its interview with Clive Gratton about Creative Assembly's Spartan: Total Warrior (PS2, Xbox, GCN).

    Since IGNCube apparently never gets tired of making rendered concepts for possible Revolution peripherals, they've gone ahead and made a completely utterly hypothetical charge station for the controller.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

Screenshots: Suikoden Tactics (PS2).

Xbox

Movies: Mass Effect (X360). Amped 3 (X360).

GameCube

Movies: Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix (GCN).

Portable

1UP goes hands on with Game Freak's Drill Dozer (aka Screw Breaker) (GBA). GameSpot previews EA Canada's SSX On Tour (PSP, also PS2, Xbox, GCN).

Screenshots: Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS, GBA). Dig Dug: Digging Strike (DS). Go! Sudoku (PSP).

Multi

IGN previews Taito's Taito Classics (PS2, Xbox, PC). 1UP checks out Rockstar's The Warriors (PS2, Xbox).

Screenshots: Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers (PS2, Xbox, PC). Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2, Xbox).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

General Chaos for the Sega Genesis. "A 4-player real-time strategy game on a console? It was great decimating all my friends' armies in the game. EA should go back to publishing more original titles like this." (submitted by radjago)

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