Wing Commander returns on Xbox Live Arcade[xbox360]
Despite the decades of retro titles to its name, publisher Electronic Arts shied away from Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade service until its recent announcement of rhythm game Boom Boom Rocket from Geometry Wars developer Bizarre Creations. Today, the company announced its next Live Arcade venture, a spinoff of Origin Systems' classic Wing Commander space combat sim franchise by the name of Wing Commander Arena. Wing Commander Arena marks the first new game in the franchise since Origin Systems was closed in 1998 after releasing Wing Commander: Prophecy and the unfinished episodic series Wing Commander: Secret Ops.
Breaking with series tradition--though befitting its host platform--Arena is a much more arcade-flavored take on space combat, with third person 2D gameplay rather than first person 3D. Despite including several non-narrative single-player modes, the game focuses mainly on multiplayer, with various game types supporting up to 16 players. EA notes that no other Xbox Live Arcade game has approached that number of players simultaneously. Screenshots are available here.
"We're really excited to deliver unparalleled multi-player arcade action," said EA VP Chip Lange. "The design for Wing Commander will appeal to both long-time fans of the franchise and immediately engage anyone who wants the melee style action of an arcade shooter."
Wing Commander Arena is being co-developed with EA by Gaia Industries, the studio responsible for the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade game Street Trace N.Y.C. as well as various mobile titles. EA expects the game to launch this summer.
Check back on Friday for an extensive hands on preview of Wing Commander Arena.
Get Juiced (2) during Hot Import Nights[ps2] [ps3] [xbox360] [ds] [psp]
Juice Games' debut 2005 racer Juiced (PS2, Xbox, PC) will be seeing a sequel this year in Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, parent company and publisher THQ announced today. Set for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PSP, and PC, the game focuses on track and drift racing as well as extensive vehicle customization. Events drawn from Hot Import Nights, the tuner automobile show that is the game's namesake, will also be featured within in the game.
"Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights is an amazing extension of the Hot Import Nights lifestyle experience, bringing the modding, characters and racing finale to life for gamers and tuning fans worldwide," said Hot Import Nights event executive producer Michael Munar. "This is the first time a top-tier racing game has blended with a true-to-life global tuner event and we can't wait for its release."
THQ senior VP of worldwide marketing Bob Aniello added, "THQ studio Juice Games is utilizing its vast racing pedigree and proprietary technology to deliver groundbreaking new game-play features in addition to working closely with Hot Import Nights to accurately capture the tuning and street racing culture."
Juice Games' Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights is expected to ship for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PSP, and PC this fall.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Demo 2 II coming soon[xbox360]
Ubisoft sent word today that it plans to release a second demo of the Xbox 360 version of Ubisoft Montreal's upcoming Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Planned for release on Monday, February 26, the free download will complement the previous single-player demo by offering a taste of the game's multiplayer component. It will feature one map, Outpost, supporting up to 16 players in both versus and cooperative modes.
Sega, ESRB announce more Virtual Console games[wii]
Sega today announced four upcoming titles from its Genesis library soon to be available on Wii's Virtual Console. Sword of Vermilion, Vectorman, Sonic Spinball, and Beyond Oasis will all be released "soon," though the publisher declined to nail down specific dates. The games are expected to be priced at the standard Genesis price point of 800 Wii Points ($8).
As it is wont to do, the ESRB website has also inadvertently revealed the identity of several upcoming games heading to Virtual Console. Among them are Castlevania (NES), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES), Gradius III (SNES), and Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) from Konami; Pac-Man (NES) and Galaga (NES) from Namco; and Punch-Out (NES) and Pro Wrestling (NES) from Nintendo. As is always the case with ESRB ratings, no release dates were given.
Screenshots: Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII (PS3, also Xbox, X360, Wii, PC).
Screenshots: Wing Commander Arena (X360).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Michael Jordon: Chaos in the Windy City for the Super NES. "Michael Jordan, 2D action hero! Only you can save the 90s era Bulls with frozen basketballs." (submitted by RevRaven)