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TrackMania En Route to Nintendo DS

Nadeo's well-received TrackMania series of PC racing games will see an iteration on Nintendo DS, according to a slightly tweaked version of publisher Focus Home Interactive's media blurb on the official website of publisher-oriented event Game Connection.

The relevant passage reads, "The coming months will be exciting and full of surprises with the release of highly awaited games such as Blood Bowl, TrackMania DS, Runaway on DS and Wii, or even sport games dedicated to major events such as the Tour de France." (Emphasis added) Read more »

"Found out today that the above trailer is a fan-made fake, made in July. The YouTube editor ..."
- SlamDunk    See all 17 comments


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? Update: Numerous users have reported difficult to read formatting on this post. You may still have our old CSS style sheet cached. If so, try reloading the page while holding down the Ctrl button.

  • 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

    Screenshots: - 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) Artwork: - Tomb Raider: Anniversary (Crystal Dynamics; PS2, X360?, Wii, PSP, PC). Movies:
    - Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery (aka 1701 A.D.: Dawn of Discovery) (Keen Games; NDS) - Shattered Suns (Clear Crown Studios; PC)

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"I'm going to go against the grain and say I like the name. Plus you can call it Bub for short!"
- Chod    See all 69 comments


PC Screenshot Roundup

Related Topics – Trackmania, Steam, Games: PC, Nadeo

Today we have a roundup of recently released screenshots for various upcoming PC and multiplatform games. Have fun. - Artificial Studios / Immersion Software & Graphics' CellFactor: Revolution (PC) - MercurySteam's Clive Barker's Jericho (PS3, X360, PC) character artwork - JC Entertainment's FreeStyle Street Basketball (PC) - Wargaming.net's Galactic Assault (PC) - Flagship Studios' Hellgate: London (PC) DirectX 10 screenshots - Rapid Reality's Phylon (PC) - Infinite Interactive's Seven Kingdoms: Conquest (PC) - Nadeo's Trackmania United (PC) - Chaos Concept's UFO: Extraterrestrials (PC)

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"In most modern galleries, you don't need to do a full roundtrip to the server ( a full page load ..."
- Function Pointer    See all 23 comments


IGA Exec Talks In-Game Ads

Related Topics – Electronic Arts, Nadeo

Ed Bartlett, founder of in-game product placement firm Hive Partners and now European VP at Hive's parent company IGA Worldwide, spoke with GamesIndustry.biz in an interview publised today about IGA's current in-game ad initiaves, including the company's multi-game deal announced last year with Electronic Arts. IGA has found publishers and developers receptive to advertising propositions, Bartlett said, though interestingly he also noted that "we've seen some resistance from the smaller independent studios." One of the commonly reiterated benefits of in-game advertising and product placement has been its potential to allow smaller studios to remain independent by taking advantage of the model's alternative revenue stream. For example, by signing a sponsorship deal with the Electronic Sports World Cup, Nadeo was able to release its Trackmania Nations for free. "They've gone from the retail copy of the game having only sold tens of thousands to the free download having over 2 million players. By having a bigger audience you bring in more ad revenues which means you can offset the costs even further," said Bartlett. He added, "When you look at a big triple-A console release you're never going to be able to offset the entire cost of the release through advertising." Today's interview comes in the wake of an independent report issued by behavioral research firm Bunnyfoot last month, concluding that in-game ads are currently having little effect on gamers. Bunnyfoot's research focused on sports games, the genre with the longest history of product placement and advertising, and included titles such as NBA Live, SmackDown vs. RAW, Project Gotham 3, and others. "Highest [Sponsor Fixation Index] scores were found with NBA Live and Smackdown Vs Raw; however, recall and recognition figures were surprisingly low; a pattern evident across all titles. Moreover, PGR3 elicited no consumer engagement at all, resulting in 0% on all scores," reads the report.

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"They can spew all the rationalizations they want, but ads have no place in games unless that ..."
- sinclair4217    See all 24 comments


Sunday Afternoon New Releases and ShackReviews

Related Topics – Capcom, Games: PC, Nadeo

Games!

This Week's New Releases

PS2
24: The Game (SCEE Cambridge | Tue. | PS2) Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball MAX'D (WXP | Tue. | PS2; also Xbox in Oct. '05; DS, GBA in Jan. '06; GCN, PSP TBA) MLB '06: The Show (989 Sports | Tue. | PS2, also PSP)
Portable
Generations of Chaos (Idea Factory | Tue. | PSP) MLB '06: The Show (989 Sports | Tue. | PSP, also PS2) MX vs. ATV: On the Edge (Rainbow | Mon. | PSP) Street Supremacy (Genki | Tue. | PSP) Super Princess Peach (Nintendo | Mon. | DS) Ultimate Puzzle Games (Puzzle.tv | Fri. | GBA)
PC
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (Turbine | Tue. | PC) The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II (EA LA | Tue. | PC, also X360 in 2006) The Sims 2: Open for Business (Maxis | Tue. | PC)
Scratches (Nucleosys | Fri. | PC) Swat 4: The Stetchkov Syndicate (Irrational | Tue. | PC)
Multi
Black (Criterion | Tue. | PS2, Xbox) FIFA Street 2 (EA Canada | Tue. | PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP) Final Fight: Streetwise (Capcom | Tue. | PS2, Xbox)
Additional Database Entries Featured ShackReviews: I've been playing some Zuma (X360) and some Wind Waker (GCN), and I swear I am finally going to beat Wind Waker. THIS IS THE WEEK.

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"And... Neopets Petpet Adventure: The Wand of Wishing (PSP) SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow ..."
- sinistarfith    See all 21 comments


Evening Reading

Related Topics – Trackmania, Wack News, Nadeo

So I finally took a break from what seems like a mountain of work and spent a few hours playing TrackMania Nations. As someone who is a huge racing fan and competitive type I find myself truely addicted to the simple fun. I figure it's time for one more yay for the free game. I managed to work my way in to the top 150 ranking and break a few Nadeo records too! Ok try these

- Babies like monkeys - Hey an old tree! Lets cut it up! - Google tells DOJ to piss off - Crop scammers - The science of love
Lastly, here comes Amazon.com's iTunes competitor

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"I love the kickstand on the bike. It kind of ties the whole thing together I think."
- pdub99    See all 4504 comments


Sunday Afternoon Release List and ShackReviews

Well, you guys seemed to like the new release schedule last week, but I realized it's kind of redundant with the ShackReviews database update, so I've combined them. Hopefully this works for you. I'm keeping the same visual format, and just linking to the newly released games that have been added to the database. PC is now included as well, and I've also appended a list of games that have been added to the database but are not new releases. You know how those games get in there? You request them! EDIT: WordPad, of all things, just crashed and I lost this whole update and had to redo it all. I did not have it saved because I am an idiot. Learn from my mistakes: save your work every two seconds. EDIT 2: Woooo, I've got the only update for Sunday! Eat that, Steve and Maarten!

This Week's New Releases

PS2
Inuyasha: Feudal Combat (Bandai | Tue.)
Xbox
The King of Fighters 2002 & 2003 (SNK Playmore | Tue.)
Portable
Advance Wars: Dual Strike (Intelligent Systems | Mon. | DS) Juka and the Monophonic Menace (Orbital | Thu. | GBA) Namco Museum Battle Collection (Namco | Tue. | PSP) Nintendogs: Chihuahua and Friends, Dachshund and Friends, Labrador and Friends (Nintendo | Mon. | DS) Pac 'n Roll (Namco | Tue. | DS)
PC
NIBIRU: Age of Secrets (Future Games | Fri.)
Multi
187 Ride or Die (Ubisoft | Tue. | PS2, Xbox, GCN) Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance (Capcom | Tue. | PS2, Xbox) Big Motha Truckers 2 (Eutechnyx | Tue. | PS2, Xbox, PC) The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (Radical Entertainment | Tue. | PS2, Xbox, GCN) Pump it Up: Exceed (Andamiro USA | Tue. | PS2, Xbox)
Other Database Updates: Featured ShackReviews: I didn't have time for too many video games last week, but I did manage to sneak in some four-player Mario Power Tennis (GCN), and holy crap is it fun. I also went back to Ico (PS2) because, really, you can't really play that game enough. Mainly I'm just trying to keep my head from exploding in anticipation of Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS). It's almost here!

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"Elaboration: When you fight the last group of shadows, in the crypt, note that they have ..."
- Johnny Law    See all 131 comments




Top Games

  1. Resistance 3
  2. Kerbal Space Program
  3. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  4. ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead
  5. Broken Age
  6. Sniper Elite 3
  7. Hearts of Iron IV
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  10. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Most Anticipated

  1. Kerbal Space Program
  2. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  3. Hearts of Iron IV
  4. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  5. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  6. DayZ
  7. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  8. Hegemony Rome: The Rise of Caesar
  9. Wolfenstein: The New Order
  10. Batman: Arkham Knight

Top Rentals

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Beyond: Two Souls
  3. Batman: Arkham Origins
  4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. NBA 2K14
  8. Diablo III
  9. Madden NFL 25
  10. The Last of Us