Clover heads form new studio with preposterously talented staff[ps2] [ps3] [xbox360] [wii] [ds] [psp]
After developing and releasing two original games late last year, Okami (PS2) and God Hand (PS2), Clover Studio was rather unceremoniously closed by its owner Capcom. Capcom noted that many of the employees of the studio would be integrated into internal Capcom teams, but key Clover staff immediately expressed their intention to break away and form an independent development house.
Now, it seems that three key former Clover developers have done just that with the creation of Seeds, a new company that appears not to have any permanent publisher ties. The site's introductory message, helpfully translated by Wired's Chris Kohler, introduces Seeds' three key figures, who represent a mind-boggling list of development credits: Clover CEO Atsushi Inaba, who produced all of the studio's games; designer Hideki Kamiya, who created the Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe franchises as well as directed Resident Evil 2 (PS1, N64, DC, GCN, PC) and Okami; and Shinji Mikami, who created the Resident Evil franchise as well as directed Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GCN) and God Hand (PS2).
"We are the Seeds that caused the vibrant flowers Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Steel Battalion, Viewtiful Joe, and Okami to come into bloom," reads the introduction, which goes on to state that the studio is currently actively hiring. "Now, with a renewed spirit, we want to once again challenge the world of entertainment. But to do this, we need many, many more seeds... Would you like to make some 'preposterously amazing' games with us?"
The company seems to be off to a good start in attracting talent. Currently among its ranks are developers such as Yuta Kimura, who did visual work on Okami and SCEI's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2); Nao Ueda, a programmer on Okami and various Resident Evil games among others; Mari Shimazaki, a lead character designer on Okami; and Masami Ueda, a composer on several Resident Evil and Viewtiful Joe games as well as Devil May Cry (PS2) and Okami.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed unleashed[ps2] [ps3] [xbox360] [ds] [psp]
With Star Wars: The Force Unleashed having been revealed this month in a Game Informer cover story, LucasArts today officially announced the game by way of its official website. Taking place between Star Wars Episodes II and IV, the game puts a special focus on powerful Force abilities as the player hunts down Jedi as a personal apprentice of Darth Vader. The Secret Apprentice, as the player character is known, has access to four core force powers--push, grip, repulse, and lightning--which LucasArts promise will interact with enemies and environments in impressive ways.
LucasArts is putting great emphasis on the technology used in this game, some of which has already been showcased as part of prior tech demos for unidentified Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. In addition to releasing some concept art today, the company released two tech movie demonstrations, one of its Euphoria AI system and one of its Digital Molecular Matter system.
Officially, The Force Unleashed is coming to "Next-Generation Platforms." Game Informer's story specifically noted PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, though today LucasArts revealed that the game is also in the works for PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PSP. Shacknews contacted LucasArts to clarify the specific meaning of "Next-Generation Platforms" but the publisher declined to elaborate, stating that more information will be released in the coming weeks.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is expected to ship in November 2007.
Our frothing demand for Ikaruga on XBLA increases[xbox360]
Computer and Video Games reports that Treasure's well loved vertical shooter Ikaruga (GCN, DC) is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. The online publication discovered the game on Xbox Live Arcade via a debug console unit. Though the still in development title crashed upon startup, it seems clear that the game will indeed be available through the service at some point in the relatively near future.
Shacknews has sent further inquiries to Microsoft.
Rainbow Six Vegas players to see Red[xbox360]
Ubisoft today announced that it plans to release a downloadable content pack for players of the Xbox 360 version of Ubisoft Montreal's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas. Entitled the Player's Pack Red Edition, the pack will contain three newly developed multiplayer adversarial maps as well as two relit multiplayer adversarial maps and two new game modes.
The new maps are Doscala Restaurant, featuring a well known Italian restaurant; the industrial environment of Marshalling Yard; and Roof, located around a coffee factory. The relit maps are Border Town and Killhouse. Adding to the game's existing modes will be Assassination, in which one side must safely escort a VIP to a set location, and Total Conquest, a time-based control points mode.
The Player's Pack Red Edition is expected to be released by the end of March. Pricing information was not divulged.
Destruction Derby, Full Auto 2 demo to hit PS3 store[ps3] [psp]
Sony sent over an update of what it plans to add to the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Store this week. Among the additions is the PlayStation combat racer Destruction Derby, by Driver series developer Reflections. Like other PlayStation games available through the download service, it is playable only on PSP and will have a price point of $5.99.
Also coming is a free PS3 demo of Pseudo Interactive's Full Auto 2: Battlelines, released in North America last December. Both pieces of content will be added to the store this Thursday.
Bizarre Creations has a studio update including details on its upcoming Xbox Live Arcade title Boom Boom Rocket (X360).
Artwork: Odin Sphere (PS2) character and background artwork.
Screenshots: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas Player's Pack Red Edition (X360). Boom Boom Rocket (X360). Bullet Witch (X360).
Artwork: Bullet Witch (X360) comic artwork.
Screenshots: HOT PXL (PSP, also PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Shaq Fu for the Sega Genesis. "Shaquille O'Neal in a fighting game. What bad decision is next, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile?" (submitted by RevRaven)