Boxed Up Briefs

So hey, this wacky column is back, and LNC is still gone. Cry some more. Seriously though, bear in mind that this isn't a replacement for LNC. The replacement for LNC is...console news on the front page. The purpose of this column is simply to mop up the remains of the day. All will become clear. These are interesting times.

And hey, check this out. Remember back when the PlayStation was going to be the Play Station, and was essentially an extended Super Nintendo?

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  • Demand tracks for inclusion in Rock Band

    Head over to Harmonix's official site for its upcoming appropriately-named peripheral-based rock band simulator Rock Band (PS3, X360, Wii?) to suggest up to four music tracks for inclusion in the game. Shacknews would like to humbly recommend to its readership the following submission lineup: Pink Floyd's "One of These Days," Led Zeppelin's "The Crunge," Queen's "Bicycle Race," and John Cage's "4'33"."

  • Sam & Max to police retail stores in August

    With the completion of Telltale Games' first season of Sam & Max adventure games, publishers The Adventure Company and JoWooD today announced that Sam & Max: Season 1 for Windows will hit retail stores worldwide this August. The package will include a behind the scenes video, a poster by Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell, concept art, and more. It will run $29.99.

    Somewhat confusingly, Telltale will be selling its own boxed release separately through its own site later this month. It is set to include several hours of DVD video commentary, a voice recording blooper reel, the season's 15 machinima shorts, concept art, and more.

  • Gray Matter, Gray Matter, whoa-oh-oh-oh

    Proving that Jane Jensen's adventure game Gray Matter does indeed exist, publisher Anaconda has released the first screenshots from the Tonuzaba Entertainment-developed game. Jensen is best known as the former Sierra designer responsible for the Gabriel Knight series as well as King's Quest VI. This is her first full-scale adventure since 1999's Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.

  • TrackMania United en route to Steam

    Steam's ever-growing library of games has grown by one more with the addition of TrackMania United, the latest in Nadeo's well-received series of PC racers. The game will launch on June 14. Those who preorder before then will receive 20% off the standard $29.99 price.

  • Wave laptop (or DS) around in public, appear insane

    Got a Wii, but feel the burning need to waggle and tilt gaming equipment even when on the go? Kampo Interactive has released a demo of Balance to Win, a puzzle game controlled entirely by the motion sensors built directly into laptops such as IBM's Lenovo ThinkPad. Even more bizarrely, it is possible to use a Nintendo DS as an external wi-fi-based controller for the game with the use of a DS Motion Card.

  • Control video games with the power of love your heart rate

    In other bizarre video game control news, Beijing-based Digital Bamboo has announced the licensing of technology from HeartMatch LLC capable of interpreting real-time heart rate monitoring data as video game input parameters. Digital Bamboo has acquired the rights for all PC and console MMOs and "core games."

    "By incorporating the player's actual physical response into the gameplay," explained president Brett Skogen, "we are able to not only teach players how to control their stress and heart rate patterns, but we have the opportunity of giving them a more compelling, and much more realistic experience."

  • Miscellaneous media

    - Army of Two (EA Montreal; PS3, X360)
    - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (EA UK; Wii, NDS, also PS2, PS3, X360, PSP, GBA, PC)
    - Tomb Raider: Anniversary (Crystal Dynamics; PS2, X360?, Wii, PSP, PC).
    - Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery (aka 1701 A.D.: Dawn of Discovery) (Keen Games; NDS)
    - Shattered Suns (Clear Crown Studios; PC)