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End of Week M-M-Monster Consoling!

Back from CES, guys! More previews and interviews to follow next week. Enjoy this console catching up.
  • Pimp slap with your Wii remote

    [ps3] [wii]

    This week, Electronic Arts officially announced the upcoming release of the PlayStation 3 and Wii incarnations of its The Godfather franchise, respectively entitled The Godfather The Don's Edition and The Godfather Blackhand Edition. Both games feature motion-based controls that map the player's hand movements with the system's controllers to in-game character actions. In addition to coming packaged with the Corleone Expansion Pack including new missions, The Godfather The Don's Edition has manhandling controls that utilize the PS3's Sixaxis controller. The Godfather Blackhand Edition also includes new missions, and has a broad range of motion controls, including manipulating enemies by punching, grabbing, swinging, throwing, or hitting with melee weapons such as baseball bats. The game features both standard lock on aiming as well as pointer-based aiming with the Wii remote.

    Both The Don's Edition and Blackhand Edition include two new career paths, the Enforcer and the Operator, with updated features such as interrogating characters to uncover corrupt cops, taking down additional rival family compounds, taking on five new hits, and having access to larger hit squads.

    EA sent along some PS3 screenshots and Wii screenshots as well as a Wii gameplay video. Both new versions of The Godfather are slated to ship to North America in March 2007.

  • Previously exclusive Enchanted Arms to enchant PS3

    [ps3]

    When FromSoftware's RPG Enchanted Arms was released last year for Xbox 360, its cover featured an "Only on Xbox 360" logo in North America, though not on its Japanese release. Some took this to mean that Ubisoft, the game's Western publisher, secured exclusivity rights for its region, whereas FromSoftware would release the game for PlayStation 3 in Japan, where Microsoft's machine has struggled to gain a foothold. Apparently, that first bit wasn't quite true. Without explanation, Ubisoft announced this week that the game is indeed coming to PS3 in North America as well.

    Enchanted Arms on PS3 will include various system-exclusive features, including the option to use the original Japanese voice track or an "all-new English language track." It also has 30 new creatures, Sixaxis motion control for various weapons and puzzles, and some ten minutes of newly created video.

    Ubisoft plans to ship FromSoftware's Enchanted Arms for PlayStation 3 this March.

  • Guitar Hero II 360 to feature new content

    [xbox360]

    When Harmonix's Guitar Hero II is released for Xbox 360 this spring, it will include some additional tracks not included with the PlayStation 2 version of the game, as well as system-specific features such as leaderboards, Achievement points, and downloadable content such as themes, picture packs, and--of course--new music tracks. As for the original songs included on the retail disc itself, there will be ten new to 360, five of which were revealed this week (original performing artist listed in parenthesis):

    - Billion Dollar Babies (Alice Cooper)
    - Hush (Deep Purple)
    - Dead! (My Chemical Romance)
    - Life Wasted (Pearl Jam)
    - Rock N Roll Hoochi Koo (Rick Derringer)

    The remaining new tracks, as well as the tracks to be offered via download, will be announced in the near future. "Guitar Hero is all about feeling like a rock star, and we're adding to the experience by offering our fans an exciting pipeline of new songs, fun and exclusive downloadable content, and the opportunity to see who rocks hardest with an online leaderboard," said publisher RedOctane's Dusty Welch.

  • Kuju has M.A.C.H.inations on PSP

    [psp]

    UK-based Kuju Entertainment is putting the finishing touches on a previously unrevealed "flight combat/racing" game for PSP entitled M.A.C.H. (Modified Air Combat Heroes), which publisher Vivendi Games claims is the first of its kind on the system. Set in the middle of the 21st century, when governments have decommissioned all piloted aircraft in favor of unmanned remote controlled craft, former hobby and fighter pilots acquire the defunct planes through the black market and compete in matches of speed and dogfighting prowess. The game features 11 planes, each of which can be customized with unlockable components. Available gameplay modes include a story featuring a series of tournaments, an arcade mode, a challenge mode, and local wireless multiplayer.

    Vivendi sent over some screenshots and concept art. M.A.C.H. is set to hit North American store shelves for PSP on February 20, 2007.

  • Let's go make some CRAZY ports!

    [psp]

    Remember Crazy Taxi? Those were fun crazy times. Sega is hoping to relive those times with Sniper Studios' upcoming Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars, a "best of" port of the first two Crazy Taxi games originally released on Sega Dreamcast. "With over 2.7 million games sold to date in the Crazy Taxi franchise, SEGA is excited to bring back such a popular series from our vault of classics," said Sega marketing VP Scott A. Steinberg. "Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars is fun, frantic, and highly addictive, and perfect for gamers on the go."

    Fare Wars includes mission-based Arcade mode, Time Trial mode, and the underrated Crazy Box, which gives players a series of 16 increasingly difficult timed driving-related challenges. The game also includes a two-player local wireless multiplayer mode.

    Sega plans to ship Sniper Studios' Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars this summer.

  • Free Gears of War content arrives

    [xbox360]

    This week, Epic Games released its promised first pack of free content for Gears of War (X360). Two new maps, Raven Down and Old Bones, are currently available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft's descriptions of the maps are as follows:

    Raven Down: A Raven Helicopter has gone down in the middle of a large scale battle with the omnipresent Locust Horde. Gears have taken out the Seeder and gamers join Delta Forces moving into the crash site from all angles to search for survivors.

    Old Bones: In an attempt to eradicate any traces of human history and culture, the Locust Horde has emerged under Sera's Capitaline Museums and has begun to destroy them brick by brick. Each gamer's mission is to help the Delta Force recapture the museums before all remnants of humankind's existence are obliterated.

    The content is sponsored by, of all companies, Discovery Channel, which will be holding a contest giving away a total of 2 million Microsoft Points over the next three days in conjunction with its current Future Weapons series. To enter, check the contest's official site for the specific time windows during which the points will be given away.

  • Wii gets weekly VC update

    [wii]

    As usual, this Monday the Wii Virtual Console saw a new batch of games available for purchase. This time, NES got one, and TurboGrafx-16 two. For NES, players can pick up the classic shooter Gradius (1-2 players) for 500 Wii Points ($5). For TurboGrafx-16, Hudson released another shoot-em-up, Soldier Blade (1 player) for 600 Wii Points ($6) as well as the classic action RPG Dungeon Explorer (1-5 players) for 600 Wii Points. To achieve five simultaneous players in Dungeon Explorer, players can use a combination of Wii Remotes and Nintendo GameCube controllers.

  • Classic Midway action comes to PS3

    [ps3]

    Sony has made it clear that it intends its PlayStation Store for PS3 to focus on newly developed digitally distributed titles, but that doesn't mean it will be eschewing the classics entirely. This week, Sony Online Entertainment announced that it will be bringing six well known Midway games to PS3 for download: Mortal Kombat II, Gauntlet II, Joust, Rampage World Tour, Rampart, and Championship Spirit. SOE's press release specifically notes that the games were selected based on their multiplayer modes, which will be playable either with same-screen gameplay or online.

    "We knew these titles would be a perfect fit for the PlayStation Network," said Midway chief marketing officer Steve Allison, "and based on Sony Online EntertainmentÂ’s legacy in the online space as well as their intimate knowledge of the PlayStation Network, it was an obvious decision they would be a top company to work with to bring this project to fruition."

    All six games are expected some time in early 2007.

  • Sega to bring more to Wii VC

    [wii]

    As one of the primary contributors to Wii's Virtual Console, Sega announced this week that it has five more Genesis games in the pipeline for the near future. Streets of Rage, Bio-Hazard Battle, Gain Ground, Comix Zone, and Bonanza Bros. will be available for purchase "soon" through the service. The publisher currently has ten titles available on Virtual Console, with the announced batch of five coming "soon."

  • Ms. Pac-Man hits Xbox Live Arcade

    [xbox360]

    This week's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays release was Namco's beloved (and more challenging) Pac-Man followup, Ms. Pac-Man. It is currently available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points ($5). Like other Live Arcade releases, it features Achievements and online leaderboards.

  • Call of Duty 3 map goes Live; more to come

    [xbox360]

    This week Activision released a new map for the Xbox 360 version of Treyarch's Call of Duty 3. Currently available for Xbox Live Gold subscribers as a free download via Xbox Live Marketplace and entitled Champs, the map takes place in Port Royal de Champs, France. Xbox Live Silver subscribers will have access to the map on January 18. That same day, developers from Treyarch will be online playing Call of Duty 3 on Xbox Live from 11am to 2pm Pacific STandard Time, giving players the opportunity to test their skills against those who made the game.

    Furthermore, on January 18, an additional set of Call of Duty 3 multiplayer maps will be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points ($10). The Valor Map Pack will contain five new maps enabled for online, system link, and split-screen multiplayer.

Misc. Media/Previews

Xbox/X360

Movies: Gears of War (X360) map pack walkthrough movie.

GCN/Wii

Movies: The Godfather Blackhand Edition (Wii, also PS3, X360, PS2, Xbox, PSP, PC).

Portable

Screenshots: Sid Meier's Pirates! (PSP, also Xbox, PC). M.A.C.H. (PSP).

Artwork: M.A.C.H. (PSP).

Multi

Movies: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (PS3, X360, PC, also PSP) gameplay movies: movie 1, movie 2, movie 3, movie 4. Burnout Dominator (PS2, PSP).

Console Game Of The Evening Week [Submit Yours!]

Dungeons & Dragons for the Intellivision. "This dungeon crawler chose a minimalist approach to its gameplay utilizing sound effects over fancy graphics to inform you of what beasts lie ahead or how many arrows you had left in your quiver. But then again, it's Intellivision!" (submitted by jehkyb)