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Later Night Consoling

So X05 is in full force, and we've got a bunch of nice high resolution Xbox 360 shots for you down in the previews section. There are shots from Bioware's new game Mass Effect, Silicon Knights' Too Human, Realtime Worlds' Crackdown, Rare's Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero, Epic's Gears of War, and more. Some of these games were just announced or confirmed today, so if you haven't heard of them, LNC will enlighten you.

  • Game Announcements at X05

    [xbox]
    A few new titles were announced at X05. Splinter Cell 4 and Castle Wolfenstein are not Xbox 360 exclusive, so you can check out Maarten's posts on the front page for those. Veteran RPG developer Bioware revealed a new Xbox 360-exclusive RPG entitled Mass Effect. Set in the 23rd century, "the real conflict between organic beings and artificial intelligence comes to life in startling clarity." The game is reportedly the first in a trilogy. It will be more action-oriented than some of the company's past efforts, with the player controlling a squad in the name of peace and freedom. Bioware has an official page up for the game, containing some information and a short trailer. Too Human, from Silicon Knights of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GCN) fame, was also confirmed as an Xbox 360 exclusive. The game is certainly not being newly announced. In fact, it has now been in development for all three current major console manufacturers, over the course of three generations. It was originally slated for PlayStation (1), then GameCube, and finally now Microsoft's next-gen system. It too is the first game in--you guessed it--a trilogy (those things are all the rage these days), and is making use of the Unreal 3 engine. Players are cast as cybernetic god Baldur, who must protect mankind from a self-aware force of machines bend on humanity's destruction. The game will feature a "vast number of enemies." The long in development game is set for release in the holiday season of 2006. Electronic Arts confirmed long-standing rumors that its Tiburon studio--responsible for the Madden series--is developing the video game adaptation of the upcoming Superman Returns film, being directed by Bryan Singer. Few details were given about the game, other than that players will "experience a real sense of flying, and master Superman's unrivaled super hero powers in order to save Metropolis." Well, that's good. As tends to be the case with games based on movies based on comic books, the game will draw not only from the film but from the rest of the Superman universe. It is set for release alongside the movie in June of next year.Atari revealed that a new Alone in the Dark game, already announced for PlayStation 3, is also coming to the Xbox 360. Nothing new details were given regardin the game. It is in development by Eden Studios, primarily known for racing games such as V-Rally 3 (PS2, Xbox, PC) and the upcoming Test Drive Unlimited (X360).
  • Peter Jackson's Halo

    [xbox]
    Well, not quite. Peter Jackson, director of such films as Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles, The Frighteners, and The Making of The Frighteners, has been taken onboard the upcoming Halo film adaptation as an executive producer along with longtime partner Fran Walsh, known for her portrayal of "Mother at Park" in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive (Braindead). Fanboys of Halo and/or Jackson whose heads are exploding and whose hearts are attacking should probably bear in mind that the Executive Producer tends to occupy more of a figurehead role on a project, rather than a constantly involved creative force. An actual director has yet to be confirmed. Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later, has written the script for the film. The Producer producers on Halo are Mary Parent, Scott Stuber, and Peter Schlessel. Probably more relevant to the actual end result of the film is the news that Jackson's Weta Digital and Weta Workshop studios will be handling the special effects and physical paraphanelia, which bodes well for Halo's visual aspects. As a result, the movie will be filmed in Wellington, New Zealand. Halo is set for release in Summer of 2007.
  • Xbox 360 Launch Lineup Still Unclear

    [xbox]
    Despite widespread speculation that Microsoft would be releasing a concrete list of launch titles for its upcoming November 22 launch of Xbox 360, the company has remained reluctant to do so. Amid a flurry of confusing and contradictory press release announcements, GameSpot contacted Microsoft to get a straight answer, and were given a list of eight titles out of "15 to 20 Xbox 360 titles available on launch day." The confirmed eight are fairly unsurprising: Rare's Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero, Bizarre's Project Gotham Racing 3, EA Tiburon's Madden NFL 06, EA Canada's Need for Speed Most Wanted and NBA Live 06 and FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, and EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. Three of the confirmed titles are being published by Microsoft Game Studios and the remaining five by Electronic Arts. Microsoft indicated that the full lineup would be revealed "in the next few weeks."
  • Midway Picks up Pitbull

    [ps2] [xbox]
    The industry has been absolutely jam-packed with acquisitions lately, and Midway is one of the publisher that's been doing a lot of acquiring. The latest in this run of buys is UK studio Pitbull Syndicate, the developer responsible for several Test Drive titles as well as the upcoming L.A. Rush (PS2, Xbox, PC). L.A. Rush is the latest in Midway's arcade-born Rush franchise. As is often the case, the developer will be renamed for its owner and location; it will be christened Midway Studios Newcastle. The transaction occurred mainly through the exchange of stock, with Midway trading 199,385 shares. Midway's current stock is valued at $15.63/share, valuing the acquisition at $3.1M.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    EGM writer James Lee takes a few lessons from paid video game coaches to improve his Halo 2 game. Gamasutra has the latest edition of its weekly column, The Esoteric Beat, this week focusing on audio-based games, a hamster ball-like VR device, and human-digital relationships. Esoteric indeed.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
IGN checks out Tecmo's Trapt (PS2).
Xbox/X360
GameSpot has previews of Rare's Perfect Dark Zero (X360), Bizarre's Project Gotham Racing 3, Silicon Knights' Too Human (X360), Climax's MotoGP 2006: Ultimate Racing Technology (X360), Relic's The Outfit (X360), Bioware's Mass Effect (X360), 2K Sports' Top Spin 2 (X360, also DS, GBA), and Visual Concepts' NBA 2K6 (X360, also PS2, Xbox). 1UP looks at Rare's Kameo: Elements of Power (X360), Silicon Knights' Too Human (X360), Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider Legend (X360, also PS2, Xbox, PC), Epic's Gears of War (X360), Ubisoft's King Kong (X360, PS3, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP, GBA, PC), Neversoft's GUN (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC), and Rare's Perfect Dark Zero (X360). IGN checks out Rare's Perfect Dark Zero (X360), Epic's Gears of War (X360), Team NINJA's Dead or Alive 4, and Capcom's Dead Rising (X360). Screenshots: Mass Effect (X360). Crackdown (X360). Perfect Dark Zero (X360). Kameo: Elements of Power (X360). Project Gotham Racing 3 (X360). Ninety-Nine Nights (X360). Too Human (X360). Gears of War (X360). Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (X360, also PS2, Xbox, PSP). Madden 06 (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP, GBA, PC). NBA Live 06 (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC). Movies: GUN (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC).
Multi
GameSpot checks out Pandemic's Star Wars: Battlefront II (PS2, Xbox, PC, also PSP). 1UP looks at Monolith's Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360, also PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Rayman for the Atari Jaguar. "One of the few Jag games that were actually good. Also Ubisoft's first big hit on North American shores." (submitted by r_picmip 5)

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"Oh hell yeah those controllers sucked. I only found Alien vs Predator worked well with it ..."
- r_picmip 5    See all 56 comments


Late Night Consoling

Anybody who has sent me an email since 4PM yesterday, please re-send it. My email account was out of commission. Man, I'm exhausted. Too many press events lately. I keep falling asleep at my computer. But hey, how about that Sam & Max game news, huh? Previews coming soon. I've been writing nonstop today, as you have probably noticed, so please bear with me. Links to the major sites' TGS coverage are in the Misc. Q&As/Features section, and you can find plenty of previews there.

  • Revolution Controller Unveiled

    [nintendo]
    Well, it's still not in its final form, but a work in progress version of the wireless-only Nintendo Revolution controller has been shown by Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. GameSpot Hardware has a detailed report of their hands-on impressions. Like the Revolution console itself, it does not look like the type of product Nintendo is known for producing. It is a sleek, shiny, iPod-white device that more than anything else looks like a remote control. The main component of the controller is held in one hand, and consists of a d-pad, an A button, a B shoulder button, Start and Select buttons, and a Home button (hinting at some kind of OS or media functionality in Revolution?). Rather ingeniously, when rotated 90 degrees, the controller becomes an old-school-esque controller with a d-pad on the left and A and B buttons on the right. The controller also features LED lights indicating whether it is being used by player 1, 2, 3, or 4. Unsurprisingly, it also features built-in rumble technology. So what do you do with your other hand (ok, besides that, har har)? Well, the controller has a port in the bottom to which you hook up a corded secondary component to be held in the other hand. Only one possible configuration--an analog stick with two trigger buttons--was on display, but Miyamoto promised there would be more; in fact, it will even be possible to hook up an entirely new controller configuration if needed. Control itself will make use of some kind of spacial movement recognition. The controller will understand movement in all six directions (up, down, left, right, forward, backward) as well as rotation clockwise and counter-clockwise. So, for example, in a first person shooter, moving the controller around will actually aim the crosshairs on the screen. A modified version of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was used to demonstrate this. GameSpot likens it to a PC FPS experience, with the right hand moving around to aim and the left hand used for moving (though obviously by way of an analog stick rather than WASD). Other uses of the controller as described in the article include controlling a plane by way of actually holding the controller like a paper airplane and guiding it around. There was also an air hockey game in which the player can put spin on the puck through a turn of the wrist. As noted, the device has still yet to reach its final form, but GameSpot provides a pretty thorough look at the type of gameplay it will be capable of. In a shorter article, GameSpot notes that "despite its unorthodox appearance, the Revolution controller has a comfortable feel." IGN has an overview up, this one a bit more succinct. IGN also wrote, surprisingly quickly, a feature hypothesizing many possible gameplay implementations for the controller. There's also a summary from Game Informer. Now that this particular cat is out of the bag, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo plans to follow up on the software side. In addition to the growing list of publishers who have announced support for Revolution, Miyamoto noted that Sonic Team head Yuji Naka is fond of the controller. So, Nintendo, what's next?
  • TGS Game Announcements

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube] [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
    Tokyo Games Show news is getting started, and so the announcements are out in full force. Here are quite a few, grouped by platform and sorted alphabetically by title. Descriptions will be brief: - Ace Combat Zero: Namco announced a a prequel to Ace Combat 5 (PS2), which will take place 15 years before the events of that game. The game looks to keep the same type of gameplay while improving the visuals even further. - Devil May Cry 3 and 4 (PS2): Capcom has apparently finished work on Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, which will ship for PS2 in Japan this Winter. It will include a "very hard" difficulty setting. No word on a North American or European release. Capcom also announced Devil May Cry 4, about which little was revealed. The game is being directed by Hideaki Itsuno of Devil May Cry 3. - Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3): The game was already known to be in development, but now it's official. Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 4 will apparently feature Snake as "an aging cop." Hideo Kojima explains: "[MGS4] is a game for the old people. As a game designer in my 40s, I feel this is something I really need to do. I'll leave the teenage coming of age stories for my younger staff." - Psychic Force on PS3: Taito revealed that a new Psychic Force game is in the works for PS3. The fighting/platforming franchise debuted on PlayStation and had sequels on both PS1 and Dreamcast. - Tourist Trophy (PS2): Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital will be creating a motorcycle-based racing game by the name of Tourist Trophy. It will feature the developer's signature realism. - Way of the Samurai 3 (PS3): Spike announced the sequel for PS3, to be released in 2007. - Xenosaga III on PS2: In addition to the Xenosaga 1/2 on DS news (see below), Namco and Monolith Soft announced the third episode in the series for PS2. The game will feature revamped mechanics. - Bomberman: Act Zero (X360): Hudson Soft will bring good old Bomberman to Xbox 360 next summer. - The Convenience Store X (X360): Hamster is developing a convenience store chain simulator for Xbox 360. - Way of the Samurai Online (X360): In addition to Way of the Samurai 3 for PS3, Spike announced Way of the Samurai Online for Xbox 360. It is set for release in 2006. - Sea Action Game (X360): Success has announced some kind of "sea action game" for Xbox 360, whatever that might mean. - Mizuguchi on DS again: Lumines/Meteos/Rez/Space Channel 5 designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi apparently revealed that his company Q Entertainment is making another game for Nintendo DS. Q's first DS title was the puzzler Meteos. The new game seems to be as yet unnamed, though it will be a music-based puzzle game and will be published by Bandai. - Xenosaga on DS: Namco announced that 2D versions of Xenosaga episodes I and II will be developed for DS. The games will feature the same storyline with some added content and will have some kind of unexplained new system called "P.F." The second game in particular will apparently take gameplay elements from the better-received first episode. - Katamari for PSP: Namco has announced a PSP version of Katamari Damacy. The title roughly translates to "Our Katamari Damacy." There has been little word of the DS version since the announcement in Nintendo Power months ago. - Mizuguchi on PSP again: Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Q Entertainment revealed that he is working on a PSP game entitled Every Extend Extras, E3 for short. No relation to, you know, the Expo. The game is a port of PSP shooter called Every Extend, and is described as follows: "Suicidal explosion game with new feelings. Blow up self to involve enemies!" Alrighty... - Final Fantasy IV on GBA: Complimenting the hopefully-still-in-development Final Fantasy III remake on DS, Square will be bringing Final Fantasy IV (known as Final Fantasy II outside of Japan) to the Game Boy Advance. It will ship this December.
  • Sega and Bizarre to Create Together

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
    Sega has been in developer overdrive lately, forging relationships left and right with well-known developers--Petroglyph, Monolith, Silicon Knights, The Creative Assembly, and so on. Today, another studio joined in the fun. Bizarre Creations, the team best known for Project Gotham Racing, entered into an agreement with Sega to produce "a next-generation franchise." Though no specifics were outline, the company's pedigree would put some sort of racing game at the forefront of speculation.
  • Own Kirby? Get a Stylus

    [ds]
    If you happen to own a copy of Kirby Canvas Curse (DS) and want a free pink stylus (come on, you're already playing a game requiring to draw rainbows), head over to Nintendo's website to sign up. It requires you to register a My Nintendo account and enter the personal serial number that came with the game. The stylus will be delivered to you in several weeks. The Japanese version of the game came with the stylus pre-packaged.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    TGS Coverage: GameSpot, IGN, 1UP, Eurogamer.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3) [GameSpot]. Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence [GameSpot, IGN]. Polyphony's Tourist Trophy [IGN]. Insomniac's Ratchet: Deadlocked [IGN].
Xbox
Q Entertainment's Ninety-Nine Nights (X360) [GameSpot]. Epic's Gears of War (X360) [GameSpot, IGN]. Mistwalker's Blue Dragon (X360) [GameSpot]. From's Chromehounds (X360) [IGN]. Capcom's Devil Kings [IGN]. Eden's Test Drive Unlimited (X360) [GameSpot]. Namco's Ridge Racer 6 (X360) [GameSpot]. Screenshots: Dead Rising (X360). Project Gotham Racing 3 (X360). Chromehounds (X360). Dead or Alive 4 (X360). [eM] -eNCHANT arM- (X360). Rumble Roses XX (X360). Kameo: Elements of Power (X360). Frame City Killer (X360). Final Fantasy XI (X360, also PS2, PC).
Portable
Amaze's Spyro: Shadow Legacy (DS) [IGN]. Bandai and Nana On Sha's Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop (DS) [IGN].
Multi
EA Canada's Need For Speed Most Wanted [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, DS, PSP, GBA, PC]. EA's From Russia With Love - Gadgets Spotlight [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN]. Raven's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse - Iceman preview [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC]. Rockstar's The Warriors [IGN: PS2, Xbox]. Screenshots: Resident Evil 5 (PS3, X360).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Golgo 13 for the NES. "One of the best espionage games ever made!" (submitted by Thrymm1)

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"OWN'd Seriously, people need to actually read the articles about the controller before making ..."
- bigjko    See all 557 comments


Late Night Consoling

Related Topics – Sony, Silicon Knights, Games: Console

Hollah! The cliche "there's no place like home" has never rung truer for me. It felt so amazingly good to not have to be on my feet the majority of the day. I was able to relax, finally catching Episode III and watching the DVD of The Life Aquatic that I had bought the evening before I left. In the coming days, even more of my game impressions will roll in along with a huge post mortem report that I'll split up into two versions, each focusing on different aspects of the trip. As a side note, until we get this fixed, all Xbox 360 media will go in the Xbox section and I'll just stick (X360) to differentiate those titles from the regular Xbox ones. Also, I could use some fresh suggestions of the Console Game of the Evening. Good to be home! =D

  • Nintendo to Reveal All by End of Year

    [nintendo]
    The "announcement" of the Revolution at E3 was as weak as they come, but Nintendo promised that gamers will know all by the end of 2005. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told Reuters, "We plan to give details on when we will launch it, what the price will be, what the controller will look like and how games can be played on it by the end of the year." It's rumored that this will take place at a Spaceworld around the end of summer, a Nintendo-coordinated event that's been shelved since 2001.
  • SEGA, Silicon Knights Partner Up

    SEGA has been on a quest to create positive relationships with Western-based companies and they announced their latest partnership with developer Silicon Knights. SEGA will publish their next-gen title based on an original franchise. Recent works of Silicon Knights are Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Eternal Darkness.
  • Factor 5 Switches from Xbox 360 to PS3

    It was rumored that at least a handful of companies have switched their Xbox 360 development efforts over to Sony's PS3 after seeing the console in action. One of them went on record as Factor 5's president, Julian Eggebrecht, told C|Net that the PS3's Cell processor offered more power to work with. "The choice boiled down to performance. The additional performance allows the gang at Factor 5 to more easily simulate the real world for a better game experience."
  • Too Human for Xbox 360

    [xbox]
    Silicon Knights and Microsoft are teaming up to bring the oft-delayed Too Human to the Xbox 360. Originally a PlayStation title and then shifted to GameCube, Too Human was likened to Blade Runner in its style and story. The game is being planned as the first part of a trilogy on the console.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    [ps2] [xbox]
    TeamXbox has a few choice quotes from the Microsoft engineer working on backwards compatibility for the Xbox 360. GameSpot talks with SCEA's executive vice president, Jack Tretton.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
The Magic Box serves up some shots of Top Spin. GamesAreFun shares their impressions of Soul Calibur III. A trailer of We Love Katamari is at 1UP.
Xbox / Xbox 360
GamerFeed takes a look at The Outfit (X360). TeamXbox shows images for Demonik (X360) and Ninja Gaiden BLACK . They also preview Amped 3 (X360). 1UP has screens of Chrome Hounds (X360).
GameCube
GameSpot has a huge look at The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Images for Battalion Wars, Super Mario Strikers, and Mario Baseball are at The Magic Box. Game Informer has media for Mario Party 7 and Geist. Planet GameCube has images of Kirby.
Portable
GamerFeed previews MediEvil Resurrection (PSP). GamesAreFun details their time spent with Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS). The Magic Box hosts shots of Sonic Rush (DS). Game Informer has media for Electroplankton (DS). Planet GameCube shares impressions of Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA).
Multi
The Magic Box delivers shots of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2, Xbox). GamesAreFun discusses Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2, Xbox, GCN). TeamXbox posts videos of StarCraft: Ghost (PS2, Xbox, GCN). 1UP previews The Godfather (PS2, Xbox). Game Informer sticks up media for 25 to Life (PS2, Xbox) and Tomb Raider Legend (PS2, Xbox). EuroGamer previews Final Fight: Streetwise (PS2, Xbox).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Eternal Darkness for the GameCube. "A game I didn't appreciate much at first. After completing it, I've come to realize what a masterpiece the storyline really is." (submitted by NERodgers).

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"It still was NOT on the 360 iteself like claimed by the original poster."
- TheNarcis    See all 104 comments


Late Night Consoling

Tonight's the night! Across the country, stores are staying open until midnight to sell eager customers plenty of PSP hardware, games, and expensive memory sticks. Over at GameRankings, you can take a peek at the cumulative scores of PSP launch titles. Wipeout Pure is in the lead at 91%, followed by Lumines with 89%. Five titles average 85% or better, which is rather impressive for a launch lineup. Pretty much all the games are garnering above average scores except for NBA and Gretzky (poor Canadians). I think it's important to point out that GameSpot posted their review of Metal Gear Acid and they gave it a much more favorable score than IGN, giving it an 8.2 out of 10. In any case, good luck to those staying out late and I hope you don't buy a stinker! Don't forget to share your impressions.

  • New Spec Ops Game Coming

    [ps2]
    MTV.com talked with Josh Homme of the music group Queens of the Stone Age and in the article the frontman revealed that Rockstar is developing a new Spec Ops game. Homme confirmed that he and bassist Alain Johannes wrote the music for the game. Spec Ops was a series of military action games, once called the "poor man's Rainbow Six" and were published by Take-Two Interactive for the PSone. No details on the new game are available at this time.
  • VU Games Buys Radical Entertainment

    Vivendi Universal Games, publisher of Half-Life 2 and World of Warcraft, announced today that they have purchased developer Radical Entertainment. Radical, which is based in Vancouver, developed The Simpsons: Hit & Run and is currently working on Scarface. "We've had tremendous success working with VU Games over the past few years, and we believe our integration will be extremely positive for the future of Radical," said Ian Wilkinson, president of Radical.
  • SEGA Working with Silicon Knights

    [sega]
    Sega revealed today that they have a struct a deal with Silicon Knights to acquire and publish a next-generation game developed by the Ontario-based company. Silicon Knights' recent hits were Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Eternal Darkness. Last year, the company had a mutual break-up with Nintendo, giving them the opportunity to work on whatever console they pleased.
  • Kollon Coming to US?

    [psp]
    Conspiracy Entertainment sent out a press release stating that they have signed a licensing agreement with Japanese developer CyberFront to localize a PSP game for the North American market. Conspiracy didn't specifically state the name of the game, but the only PSP title from CyberFront is a puzzler called Kollon. The title will release later this year.
  • Namco's Latest Compilation

    [ps2]
    Companies repackaging old arcade titles and selling them as a compilation has been big business as of late. Namco is now doing something different: instead of Dig-Dug and Galaga, they're compiling Tekken, Ridge Racer, Ace Combat 2, Klonoa, and Mr. Driller onto a single PS2 disc. These PSone classics are due out in Japan on June 2.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    [ps2] [xbox] [gcn]
    GameSpot has a video interview with Lumines creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi. They also post a guide explaining how to get video onto your PSP.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
GamesAreFun sticks up some of the first images of Phantasy Star Universe. IGN posts a playtest of the import version of Phantom Kingdom.
Xbox
GamerFeed spends time with Jade Empire.
Portable
GamerFeed takes a look at Death, Jr. (PSP).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Shenmue for the Dreamcast. "It was one (if not) the first RPG where all the NPCs actually had voices. Pushed the Dreamcast to its limits." (submitted by peppermd).

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"It really does suck, especially considering the GC version sold the most : Soul Calibur 2(GC): ..."
- Judicus    See all 82 comments


Late Night Consoling

After finishing both Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 within the past week and a half, I've been really bummed out the last couple of days. These were the two games I was looking forward to most and I just zoomed right through both. I just couldn't control myself. Still yearning for singleplayer adventures heavy with story, I look forward to Knights of the Old Republic II on December 6. If you missed it last night, check out IGN's playthrough of the first planet. The author, who adored the original, sees the sequel shaping up to be an even better adventure. That's good to hear because for a while there, I was getting worried it'd be more of the same without the stellar plot, but it seems Obsidian is doing well with this one.

PS2 Viewtiful Joe 2 Demo Wrecking Memory Card Saves An absolutely awful bug is doing major damage to gamers' memory cards. When playing the Viewtiful Joe 2 demo on the PlayStation Underground winter disc, the demo erases all save files on the memory card in slot one. Sony issued a warning and apology to its users and offered the only solution of removing the memory card before playing the demo.
ps2 Xbox Tecmo President Blasts Sony, Praises Microsoft Tecmo has been, without a doubt, the strongest supporter of the Xbox in Japan. They reinforced their position when Tecmo's president, Junji Nakamura, made some comments about both Sony's and Microsoft's plans for the next generation. For instance, he doesn't appear to be confident with Sony's design decisions. "The CPU was developed for a next-generation game machine, but the hardware is conceived by an appliance manufacturer," he said. "I feel that they're probably trying to use games as a way to increase their power in the home appliance industry." He was very optimistic about Microsoft's future. "I expect that they'll be able to use their experience of the current machine's failure to succeed, even in this country."
PS2 Final Fantasy XII Slow to Get Out the Gate It appears Final Fantasy XII is being delayed yet again in Japan. Originally planned for summer 2004 and then pushed to the end of winter, Square Enix is now saying it won't be released this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2005. With April 2005 now being its earliest release possibility, who knows how long after the Japanese release before it reaches North America.
GCN Silicon Knights Still Developing for GameCube? The break-up between Silicon Knights and Nintendo didn't appear to be completely mutual and it seemed Silicon Knights was going to take its business elsewhere. However, European gaming magazine Cube ran an article saying that the developer of Eternal Darkness is working on an unannounced title exclusive to the GameCube. We may learn more at next year's E3.
PS2 Xbox GCN Misc. Q&As/Features GameSpot talks with Hiroshi Tanaka of Namco about Tekken 5.
  Misc. Media/Previews
PS2 IGN plays with the demo for Nano Breaker and reports in. They also post videos for Shadow of Rome and Final Fantasy XII as well as offer impressions of Arc the Lad Generation. GameSpot reports in with impressions of Tekken 5. They also post shots of Legend of Kay. A few screens of Devil May Cry 3 are at GamesAreFun.
Xbox Twenty new shots of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf at GameSpot. At the Xbox site, gamers can download the Fan Site Kit for MechAssault 2, which is 35MB of media goodies. TeamXbox details the spirits and demons of Jade Empire. IGN tells us the ten best things about Conker: Live and Reloaded.
NDS PSP GameSpot goes DS-crazy with a tech demo video and footage of The Urbz: Sims in the City, Spider-Man 2, and Asphalt Urban GT. 1up shares new details on Ridge Racers (PSP). GamesAreFun talks about the unlockable content for Feel the Magic: XY/XX (NDS). GameSpy contributes plenty of screens for Pokemon Dash! (NDS).
PS2 Xbox GCN GameSpot fools around with the singleplayer of GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (PS2, Xbox, GCN). IGN throws us images of Viewtiful Joe 2 (PS2, GCN), Virtua Quest (PS2, GCN), and NFL Street 2 (PS2, Xbox, GCN).
Console Game of the Evening: Pipe Dream for the NES. "What a simple and addictive puzzle game. I want the LucasArts that made original games like this back." (submitted by BrodieMan).

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"No, not at all, I was speaking in general to most people out there that feel they must be a ..."
- TheNarcis    See all 101 comments


Late Night Consoling

I've spent some time over the last couple of days racking my brain in an attempt to guess what new GameCube peripheral Nintendo's going to unveil at E3, and I gotta admit...I'm stumped. Basically all I came up with was a Nintendo knock-off of Sony's EyeToy (which may be possible...Satoru Iwata's said they're jealous Sony came up with it first, and already compared their new device to it) or an updated version of that stupid LCD monitor they announced two years ago. Whatever it is, I doubt very much I'll care about it very much. I've already said as much here before, but I am not a fan of gimmick games. I think Sony's claims of some EyeToy device being used to gauge player emotions and adapt the game to it to be pure sci-fi (and lousy sci-fi at that), and while I think the EyeToy is very cool, and is clearly a mainstream device, it ain't for me. But then, I thought Boktai's light sensor was a complete joke too, and I know there are plenty of fans of that game. Personally I'll be much more excited if Nintendo shows some amazing games using existing hardware rather than relying on some new external device I won't buy.
n-gage N-Gage QD Formally Announced All the details were pretty much leaked out yesterday, but regardless, Nokia today officially announced the N-Gage QD, the second generation of their cell phone/game system. For details, images and other random crap, check out CNN/Money, GameInformer, GameSpy, GameSpot, IGN, 1UP and HomeLAN, and gamesindustry.biz has an interview with Nokia's Ilkka Raiskinen, who talks about the new device. Also, it went unnoticed by most places, but Nokia also announced today a Call of Duty game that's in the works for the platform, and in case you were wondering, gadget blog Engadget confirmed with Nokia that the "QD" doesn't stand for anything whatsoever.
GameCube Metroid Prime 2 Multiplayer Confirmed According to IGN, the latest issue of GameInformer Magazine has a first look at Metroid Prime 2, and in it a four-player multiplayer mode is confirmed. It's apparently split-screen deathmatch, with each player playing a Samus-like character, complete with morph ball action. Don't hold your breath for online support. The magazine apparently contains the first in-game shots from the game, and IGN says that "the graphics do not appear to be drastically upgraded over Metroid Prime".
GameCube Factor 5 Drops GameCube Just last night it was revealed that Silicon Knights has ended their partnership with Nintendo, and now it looks like another developer close to Nintendo has left the fold...IGN is reporting that Factor 5, the developers of the Rogue Squadron series have effectively dropped the GameCube platform, and will no longer produce games for the system. Of course they don't say what they are working on (although apparently they've hinted at PSP support), so it's entirely possible that they're moving to Nintendo's next platform. The two widely-circulated rumors about Factor 5 have suggested an Xbox compilation of the Rogue Squadron series for LucasArts, and a long-rumored remake of Pilotwings for Nintendo, which some have said was indeed bumped to the N5 (although Nintendo's never commented on it at all).
PS2 Xbox Rockstar Delays Games Along with the surprising news that CEO Jeffrey Lapin has resigned from the company, Take Two Interactive announced today that two Rockstar games have been delayed: Red Dead Revolver for PS2 and Xbox has been pushed back a week (which is much more important on paper, as this puts it at the start of Q3, instead of the end of Q2), while the PS2-exclusive title The Warriors has been bumped to Q1 of next year. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is still on track for release in October. Full Disclosure: on Monday, I become a full-time employee of Take Two Interactive.
GameBoy Advance Guardian Heroes Returns? As noted in this story at 1UP, Amazon Japan has started taking pre-orders for a Guardian Heroes game for Game Boy Advance. So what is this game? Nobody's actually announced anything, so is it a sequel? A remake? An RPG? A rhythm action title? The developer is listed as Treasure, which should comfort those of you whose hearts just skipped a beat.
GameCube PS2 Xbox America's Army Invades Consoles The US Army and Ubisoft announced today a long-term agreement to produce America's Army games for unnamed console systems. It's not entirely clear, but since Ubisoft isn't in the business of giving away games, it's safe to assume that this will be more than just a port of the existing (and free) PC game, although I would guess that any online component would resemble the PC version.
GameBoy Advance Famicom Mini Round Two Confirmed Nintendo of Japan has announced the full lineup for the second series of Famicom Mini releases for GBA (which will be released here as the Classic NES series). This is pretty much the same list we saw here a week ago, only it's official now. The games include Mario Bros, Clu Clu Land, Dr. Mario and Ghosts n' Goblins, and I have to say again that if you're stupid enough to shell out $20 for Mario Bros, you deserve to be parted with your money.
PS2 Konami Making EyeToy Games Konami became the latest company to announce support for Sony's ultra-successful EyeToy peripheral today. Their first EyeToy-compatible game will be called (rough translation) Ape EyeToy, and will be an EyeToy party game based on the Ape Escape series.
Xbox Itagaki's Advice Column Xbox Nation has posted the first of what I hope will be a long-running series of truly bizarre columns. Called "Ask Itagaki", it's an advice column starring my favorite industry ringleader, Tomonobu Itagaki of Tecmo's Team Ninja. In this installment, Itagaki admits that he's currently playing Pokemon, says he'd love to turn The Godfather into a game (sorry, but EA's already working on it!), tells the world what superpower he'd have if given the choice, and offers some hilarious advice for someone with an office crush. On a somewhat related note, in an interview in this month's Official Xbox Magazine, he says that in the future he'd like to make "games based on the war theme" (whatever that means.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube New shots from WWE Day of Reckoning are up at GameSpot and IGN has a look at the MIA (at least in this country) title Giftpia.
PS2 GameSpot has yet another preview of Transformers and The Magic Box has new shots from Jak III.
Xbox The Magic Box has new shots from the Xbox port of SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and CVG has shots from Fable.
GameBoy Advance IGN has posted a hands-on look at Payback.
Console Game of the Evening: Cobra Triangle for the NES. "A cool boat/shooter that had a ton of different gameplay scenarios and upgradeable boats (Gradius style)." (submitted by Dmiller).

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Late Night Consoling

I'm still playing Final Fantasy X-2, and last night I got up to that part in every Final Fantasy where I spend a week doing nothing but going around the world, leveling up and completing as many side quests as I can stomach. But this is the first time I can recall where I'm totally unmotivated to do so...I don't hate this game, but at the same time, I'm not terribly engaged by it. So my question to anyone that's finished the game is this...will I screw myself over by not massively leveling up before getting on with chapter 5? Those of you that did so, what level were you at when you jumped in the hole? My characters are all around level 34, which is pretty scrawny for a Final Fantasy game. At the same time however, I haven't found any battle to be overwhelmingly difficult so far, so I would hate to waste time leveling up for no reason. Any advice is appreciated.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Silicon Knights Ends Partnership with Nintendo I nearly did a spit-take when I read this one...Silicon Knights, the developers of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and Eternal Darkness have announced that they have ended their four-year exclusivity deal with Nintendo. Prior to joining Nintendo, the company developed a handful of PC titles, including the original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, and it should be pointed out that this doesn't mean the studio will never make another GameCube game again -- it just means they now have the option to develop for any platform they (or their publisher) choose. Does this mean the eternally-in-development Too Human will wind up on Xbox? Don't hold your breath.
n-gage N-Gage 2 Revealed It's not supposed to be formally announced until tomorrow, but Computer and Video Games has nonetheless posted the first real information to surface from Nokia's next N-Gage model. Here's what's confirmed: the phone no longer has the MP3 playback or FM radio, but it takes a huge step forward by putting the media slot on the side. If all that text is too much for you, some pictures of the thing also found their way online today (thanks Engadget for the tip).
Xbox Bungie.net 2.0 Actually, it's probably more like 3.0 or 4.0...Bungie.net goes back to the Myth days...anyway, Bungie today took the wraps off their radically redesigned Bungie.net, which now has all sorts of new community features, including the ability to link your Xbox Live gamertag to your Bungie account (which is now powered by MS Passport). Presumably all of that will be further explored when Halo 2 ships, and to give you all a taste of what's in store, the site has posted a new multiplayer screenshot and song from the game's soundtrack. For still more on Bungie.net, head over to Team Xbox, where they have posted an interview with Brian Jarrard and Frank O'Connor, Bungie's community and content manager respectively.
PlayStation PSX Production Halted? According to GameScience, a Japanese magazine is running a story reporting that Sony stopped production of their PSX uberconsole at the start of this month. Sony PR says the halt is based on current stock levels and waning demand for the system in Japan, although the magazine says the production has been plagued with problems, resulting in "some of PSX's functionality being mismatched." Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
PS2 Devil May Cry 3: Back to Basics? A report on Eurogamer today says that Capcom will indeed announce Devil May Cry 3 at their pre-E3 press conference on May 10th. Furthermore, the site claims that the game "goes back to the original", that is to say, it returns to the style of the first game, which was received much more positively than its universally derided sequel.
PlayStation Hideo Kojima Interview GameSpy has conducted an interview with Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid, who talks about the genesis of the game, how he designs a game like this, and even his thoughts on the PSP. Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
PS2 Xbox MLB Slugfest Interview 1UP's MLB Slugfest interview talks with Adam Boyes, Midway's producer on this upcoming baseball title. He talks about what will separate this game from its formidable competition, and how the game integrates the PC title Baseball Mogul into its franchise mode.
Dreamcast Neo Geo KoF NeoWave Details GameSpot has posted details on King of Fighters NeoWave, the latest game in the venerable series, which marks SNK's graduation from the NeoGeo MVS to Sammy's Dreamcast-based Atomiswave hardware. The game is in beta testing in Japanese arcades, so there are lots of details here, including the character lineup.
GameCube PS2 Xbox New Releases This Week Slim pickins this week...for PS2 is World Tour Soccer 2005, for Xbox is TOCA Race Driver 2: The Ultimate Racing Simulator, and for GameCube and PS2 is Serious Sam: Next Encounter.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube Both The Magic Box and Planet GameCube have a ton of shots from the awkwardly titled Legend of Golfer.
PS2 GameSpot has a new preview of La Pucelle: Tactics and IGN has new media from Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain.
Xbox IGN has yet another preview of Sudeki, and we have a second trailer from The Chronicles of Riddick up at FileShack.
GameBoy Advance IGN has a first look at Duel Masters: Sempi Legends.
PS2 Xbox A new preview of Van Helsing (PS2, Xbox) is up at GameSpot and Rockstar Games has launched their official site for Red Dead Revolver (PS2, Xbox).
Console Game of the Evening: Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for the Super Nintendo. "A rare gem in the sports genre. Griffey didn't have a lot to show but the gameplay made up for anything it was lacking" (submitted by HomIcidE).

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Late Night Consoling

I'm only on the third or fourth mission of the first chapter of Final Fantasy X-2, but I think I need to take some time to figure out the battle system before I proceed. I haven't had too much trouble with the regular or boss fights in the previous missions, but on this new one, I found myself having to use Phoenix Downs in regular random monster encounters, and that's really not a good thing at all. I thought I understood the whole "dressphere" and "garment grid" system, but clearly it didn't sink in much. I figure I'll either RTFM or find a FAQ online to figure this stuff out (I already tried IGN's guide, but that's absolutely worthless in this regard). I hear from a lot of people that once you get the hang of it it's really a cool system, but it just hasn't clicked with me yet. Anyone have any pointers for a newbie?
Nintendo Possible DS Specs Leaked An image said to be from Nintendo's official spec sheet for their DS system has made its way around the web over the last 48 hours. The image, which you can read all about at IGN, is labeled here as "Nitro" which was confirmed as an older codename for the system. The spec sheet has some surprising features listed, including a touch-sensitive screen, 802.11b support (suggesting online gameplay) and some serious horsepower, as it's able to produce as many as 120,000 polygons per second. It should be pointed out that those polygon figures are almost always supreme exaggerations, and don't reflect anything resembling actual gameplay. Still, it's an impressive list of features for the system. IGN has also posted another article containing all the information known to date about the system.
Xbox Pro Evolution Soccer Announced for Xbox Somebody restrain pup...Konami of Europe has announced plans to release Pro Evolution Soccer (known here and in Japan as Winning Eleven) for Xbox. Before you get too excited, you should know that only the European release is officially planned at this time, and no decision has been made as to whether or not it will see the light of day elsewhere in the world. Still, the question on everybody's mind is whether or not it will support Xbox Live (down pup, down!), but those scruffy brits at Computer and Video Games point out that in an older interview, the creator of the series expressed his desire to work on Xbox Live. My guess is that if there's even a tiny chance of this happening, Microsoft will push for it as hard as they possibly can.
Xbox Ninja Gaiden Intact in Europe (For Now) Eurogamer.net is reporting that the rumors that the decapitations have been removed from Ninja Gaiden for its European release are sheer rubbish. But there is a catch: Tecmo has acknowledged that the standards in certain European countries are stricter than here in the US and in Japan, so changes may have to be made. But for now, they intend to submit the game 100% intact for approval in those countries.
PS2 Xbox CNN/Money on N.A.R.C. The latest edition of the Game Over column over at CNN/Money looks squarely at N.A.R.C, the upcoming overhaul of the arcade classic. It would appear that this game is being developed with controversy completely in mind, as the game will actually reward you for taking the drugs you capture from felons, so if you've always wanted to play a game where you can smoke some crack, well then here you go. While the original is hardly a classic, it was a game that was adamantly anti-drug (complete with that corny "WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS" icon with the Presidential seal) so it's a bit disappointing that Midway is so set on turning the name on its head.
PS2 Harry Potter and the EyeToy Proving that the EyeToy is very much mainstream and very much here to stay, EA announced today that their upcoming title Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will contain special games designed for use with Sony's camera add-on. Adding to the game's cachet of gee whiz features is support for the USB headset, as the game will take voice commands as well. For more on these features, consult CVG's hands-on look at the game.
GameBoy Advance Nintendo Announces Joy Spots For GBA Nintendo of Japan has announced an interesting initiative to support their GBA Wireless Adapter, which recently shipped in Japan with Pokemon Leaf Green/Fire Red. Called Joy Spot, the service will be installed in special retail locations, and will allow GBA owners with the adapter to compete against each other, as well as unlock special features in supported games. The first games supported will be the aforementioned Pokemon of course, but also the upcoming Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
Xbox Xbox Bigwigs Keynote at GDC Those rumors about some sort of Xbox 2-Xenon-Ybox-Josephine announcement at the Game Developer's Conference got a bit louder today, as it was announced that Robbie Bach and J Allard will be presenting the keynote address. Details of their speech are of course impossible to find anywhere, but it's being called "Getting to the Game" which suggests...well, nothing really. Use your imagination. I'm coming up with squat.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance New Bionic Commando in the Works? From the unsubstantiated rumors department comes this item at Games Are Fun that Capcom's Studio 8 is working on a revival of the venerable Bionic Commando series. Studio 8 is the same group of people that produced the two Maximo titles, which basically means if this is true, the series' legendary difficulty won't be lost in the revival.
GameBoy Advance Nintendo Cracking Down on GBA Emulation Slashdot Games is reporting that Nintendo has been awarded a patent for emulating a handheld system in software, which they are using to try and shut down a planned Game Boy Advance emulator for the Tapwave Zodiac.
PS2 Tekken 5 at E3? Computer and Video Games has posted a news item relaying a rumor that Tekken 5 may be debuted at E3 in May. The bigger question of course, is will anyone care? I don't know about anyone else, but Tekken 4 came and went without my even noticing it for a second, and unless it features amazing online support, or something that separates it from the pack, there's nothing that will get me to even glance at the game.
Nintendo Gumpei Yokoi Article An article over at Gamers Europe talks about the life of Gumpei Yokoi, one of the true visionaries of this industry, and a man who played an instrumental role in the success of Nintendo. The article isn't particularly long, but it does detail the history of the Game & Watch, one of Yokoi's biggest achievements. It's not quite as detailed when it comes to his other two biggies (the Game Boy and SNES) or his one big failure (the Virtual Boy) but it's definitely worth a read nonetheless.
Xbox New Weekly Halo Update The latest weekly Halo update is out, and this time can be found at Halo Babies. This week's update contains info on a recent visit by the makers of that freaky Master Chief armor, hints at two upcoming magazine previews of Halo 2 and more.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Misc. Interviews GameInformer has conducted an interview with Denis Dyack, the president of Silicon Knights, talking with him about their just-shipped Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and other topics (including his desire to remake Kid Icarus). And on a totally different subject, 1UP has posted an interview with Kudo Tsunoda, the producer of the upcoming Fight Night 2004.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube New looks at WWE: Day of Reckoning are up at GameSpot, GamerFeed, IGN and Planet GameCube.
PS2 GameSpot has new shots from Bujingai: The Forsaken City and impressions of Resident Evil Outbreak, IGN has new looks at Onimusha: Blade Warriors and Black Wind and new details from Street Fighter III: Third Strike and 1UP has an exclusive preview of Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
Xbox Updated impressions from Sudeki are up at GameSpot tonight and IGN has new shots from Dead or Alive Ultimate and Sudeki.
GameBoy Advance GameSpot has some new details from Sonic Advance 3, The Magic Box has new shots from Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Planet GameCube has new shots from Sabre Wulf and IGN has shots from Fullmetal Alchemist (not to be confused with the online PS2 title from Square of the same name).
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameSpot has posted a new preview of Mercenaries (PS2, Xbox) and new shots from StarCraft: Ghost (GC, PS2, Xbox), both GameSpot and IGN have hands-on looks at Red Dead Revolver, IGN has new media from Powerdrome and DRIV3R (both PS2, Xbox) and CVG has new shots from Headhunter: Redemption (PS2, Xbox) which also sports the funniest headline of the day.
Console Game of the Evening: Road Rash 3 for the Sega Genesis. "Cattle prodding cops, crowbars sound like tuning forks, running over pedestrians, beating up women... this game had it all in the 90s" (submitted by moogoperator).

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Late Night Consoling

(A quick note: my internet connection's on the fritz, so if this goes up late, I apologize). My copy of this month's issue of GameInformer arrived here at the loonyBin yesterday, and I eagerly read through the exclusive preview of Resident Evil 4. I must say, I'm pretty impressed. I gave up on the survival horror genre long ago (not even Eternal Darkness held my interest long enough for me to finish it), but it sounds like there are just enough changes here to make it feel original and different. Look for details on this to (officially) hit the web in the near future. Anyway, what I also was looking forward to reading was GameInformer's preview of Killer 7, and I came away from it just as confused as I was before. I think this game is going to be either absolutely brilliant or a jumbled mess of sheer nonsense. I dig the phildickian idea that all seven lead characters are just personalities in one guy's head, but so much of this game sounds too weird to actually work. Here's a quick excerpt as an example, "...you don't actually move in 3D in the environments. Instead you choose a direction from a variety of choices, like South Hallway or Room #302 and then you have the ability to move either further down that linear path, or turn back to the choices you previously made." Say what? Throw in a style that looks strangely like Flashback or Out of This World and I just don't know what to make of this game.
PS2 Sony! Sony! Sony! Sony held their Gamer's Day event yesterday, and as you would expect, there was some news. Most shocking was word that Dark Odyssey wasn't in fact the latest Dark Cloud title from Factor 5, but rather an early production name for God of War, a new medieval action title from the creator of Twisted Metal. Also announced was a new fall release date for Gran Turismo 4, word that Hot Shots Golf Fore! will keep its online gameplay when it's released in North America this summer and some new details from Killzone. For reports, head over to GameSpot, IGN and GameInformer.
Xbox Danny Elfman Composing Fable Theme Well I just got a whole lot more interested in this game...Microsoft announced today that none other than Danny Elfman, the former front man for Oingo Boingo and composer of everything from the Spider-Man and Batman scores to the opening music from The Simpsons, will be composing the theme song for Fable. As you might expect, this has caused the game to be delayed for another 18 months. I kid, I kid. It's still scheduled for release later this year.
GameCube PS2 Xbox More GoldenEye Wackiness gamesindustry.biz has posted an update on their GoldenEye scoop, with word that Scottish developer Visual Science (whose previous work includes Formula 1: Career Challenge) will be developing the title. More intriguing however is this item at 1UP, which says that the current issue of EGM promises an exclusive first look at the game, which they say will let you, "play the villain and take on 007 in this FPS that shakes up the Bond-universe timeline and continuity like a perfect martini...made in the Twilight Zone." What's particularly interesting is that this story won't be on the cover as was planned, but instead will be something that "might just be even bigger."
PS2 Virtua Fighter 4 Final Tuned Announced At the big AOU 2004 convention in Japan, Sega announced Virtua Fighter 4 Final Tuned, another arcade revision of VF4. This new version contains a Challenge Mode that is said to be similar to the Weapons Master mode from Soul Calibur II. For preliminary details and shots, consult The Magic Box and 1UP.
Neo Geo SNK Moves Beyond MVS After a record-setting 15 years of active development, SNK is finally graduating from their venerable NeoGeo MVS platform. At the AOU 2004 show, SNK Playmore has announced three new games, which will all use Sammy's Atomiswave arcade system instead. The games are all continuations of long-running MVS titles: The King of Fighters 2004, Samurai Spirits AW and Metal Slug 6. If you're worried about another NeoGeo 64, you can take some solace in the fact that these will almost certainly retain the same gameplay as their predecessors.
PS3 Team Bondi Interview Eurogamer.net has conducted an interview with Brendan McNamara, who recently founded Team Bondi, a new developer comprised largely of former Team Soho alumni. Brendan can't say much about their project, just that it's in development for the PS3 and will likely take just as long to complete as The Getaway did (so don't look for it any time soon).
PlayStation Sidhe Interactive Gets Grant for PSP Development New Zealand developer Sidhe Interactive has announced that they have received a government research grant from Technology New Zealand to fund development of a new title for Sony's PSP handheld. Government grants of this sort are quite common for film production (as they heavily promote the places they're filmed in) but I can't recall of any other such grant money being awarded for game development. Anyone know of anything like this?
PS2 New Xenosaga Episode II Battle System Details 1UP has posted new details on the battle system from Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose. Taking a concept featured in a few other recent RPGs, multiple characters will be able to team up for special combination attacks. Four images are in 1UP's report, each showing a different combo move.
PS2 Xbox Is Whiplash Cruel to Animals? I don't even know where to start with this one...the Crystal Dynamics-developed, Eidos-published title Whiplash is being criticized by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and others in the UK, where the game goes on sale next week, as promoting cruelty towards animals. Whiplash of course is the game in which you play as a rabbit chained to a weasel, who you can fling around, as you free trapped animals. I'd like to point out that I have it on good authority that no actual animals were harmed in the production of the game (except for that one rabbit that participated in the QA process...but he was pretty disturbed to begin with).
GameBoy Advance Spyro and Crash Cross-over It's not exactly Capcom vs. SNK here, but nonetheless, Spryo the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot are crossing over into each others' worlds. The games are Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, and the pair are separate side-scrolling platform titles that of course can be connected to one-another to unlock special features in each.
PS2 Sonic Team Interview Cube.IGN's Sonic Team interview talks with director Yojira Ogawa of Sonic Team about Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution, as well as some other topics, including how likely a fifth single player Phantasy Star RPG is.
Xbox New Links 2004 Course Available Microsoft has released another new course for Links 2004. The latest, the Plantation Course at Kapalua golf resort is now available for download over Xbox Live. Like the previous course released, you'll have to pay a $4.99 fee in order to get it.
PS2 GameCube Misc. Interviews Computer and Video Games has conducted an interview with Don L. Daglow of Stormfront Studios, talking with the studio's president about their upcoming title Forgotten Realms. Also, HomeLAN talks with Steve Wickes, the producer at Swordfish on their spy shooter Cold Winter. Both games are PS2-exclusives (although Forgotten Realms isn't explicitly so -- the PS2 version is just the only one that's been announced). Also, Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack has answered some questions about Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes in IGN's forums.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube New media from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is up at Cube.IGN and new goodies from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords+ are up at both IGN and 1UP.
PS2 GameSpot has new previews of Seven Samurai 20XX and Transformers, as well as new media from Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3, GameSpy has their own preview of Seven Samurai 20XX, GameInformer has new shots from Red Dead Revolver and Crimson Sea 2, IGN goes hands-on with Onimusha Blade Warriors, GamerFeed goes hands on with Samurai Warriors, and while it's not really a PS2 title, a new trailer from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children can be found at both IGN and Games Are Fun, taken from the FFX International + Last Mission disc.
Xbox New impressions of Ninja Gaiden can be found at GameSpot, IGN and GameInformer, Team Xbox previews Knights of the Temple and has new media from Conan and IGN has new movies from Sudeki.
GameBoy Advance IGN has all sorts of goodness from Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon, GameSpot has new media from the new Famicom Mini re-releases of Super Mario Bros, Ice Climber and Star Soldier, CVG has shots from Steel Empire and The Magic Box has new shots from Metal Slug Advance and Mega Man Zero 3.
PS2 Xbox GameSpot has posted a preview of ESPN Major League Baseball, a Fight Night 2004 developer's diary and new media from DRIV3R (all PS2, Xbox) and both HomeLAN and GameSpy have new previews of MTX Mototrax (PS2, Xbox).
Console Game of the Evening: Thrill Kill for the PSOne. "Easily the greatest fighting game that no one got to play. Got cancelled just before release. What can you expect from a game with violence meters instead of health bars." (submitted by her0d).

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Late Night Consoling

Here's a weird and kinda cool little thing...insert credit has posted an image of the HotRod, a dental imaging device that looks exactly like an Atari Jaguar. If you're scratching your head in disbelief, take a look at the image (out of courtesy I won't link directly to it). According to the AtariAge forums, Imagin purchased the old molds from Atari "some years back" and that's why the thing looks so much like a Jaguar. What I want to know, is who looked at the Jaguar and said, "Eureka! That's our IntraOral Camera device!" Maybe he had been playing a bit too much Tempest 2000. A few hours of that and you probably shouldn't drive, let alone operate dental equipment.

GameCube PS2 Xbox First MK: Deception Image? Fan page Mortal Kombat Online has posted an image they received from an anonymous source, who claims this is from the next Mortal Kombat title, which is rumored to be called MK: Deception. Whether or not the image is in-game or a render is currently being debated among fans, but if you blow it up, it definitely looks like a lower-resolution model that's got bump and/or normal maps on it, which would certainly suggest that it's in-game. No matter what, that's one seriously badass looking Baraka. Thanks IGN for the tip.
Xbox Metal Slug 3 in May SNK NeoGeo USA has announced that the Xbox port of Metal Slug 3 will ship in May. The game is an enhanced port of the arcade/NeoGeo original, and includes Xbox Live leaderboards among other additions. The Magic Box has posted some screenshots from the game, and well...they look exactly like the arcade, so it's difficult to tell if these are really shots from the port or not.
GameCube Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Q&A As the game is now complete, Planet GameCube tracked down Denis Dyack, the head of Silicon Knights to talk a bit about Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, which should be arriving on store shelves in just under a month. In other MGS: TTT news, GameSpot has posted GameSpot and GameSpy have still more hands-on impressions, while Cube.IGN has posted more screenshots from the game.
GameBoy Advance That's a Crapload of GBAs Nintendo announced today that they have sold more than 20 million Game Boy Advance systems in the US since its launch in June of 2001. This puts the GBA ahead of the previous two generations of Game Boy systems, as the original sold 2.4 million and the GBC sold 14.3 million in their first 2 1/2 years respectively.
Xbox 10 Reasons for the Xbox Hard Drive GameSpy has posted an editorial with their top ten reasons why the Xbox Next should have a built-in hard drive. Some of these are a bit more convincing than others, but it's a good read nonetheless if you aren't aware of the various things having an internal hard drive has done for the current Xbox system, and what it could offer in the next generation.
PS2 More MIA PS2 Games The third installment of IGN's recap of PS2 games that were announced (or strongly rumored, anyway) and have since disappeared is online tonight. In this portion they bring us up to speed on Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, A Sound of Thunder and even (snicker) Duke Nukem Forever.
GameCube Donkey Konga Expansion Announced The game itself isn't out here yet, but regardless, Nintendo of Japan has announced plans to release an expansion disc for Donkey Konga. The disc will be out later this year.
N64 Long Lost Goldeneye Level Discovered You gotta hand it to Goldeneye fans...they're a persistent lot. The Detstar Goldeneye Project has revealed "The Citadel", an early test level which was long believed to have been erased completely, but sure enough, can be uncovered through the use of a GameShark. Much like the one that was discovered in Zelda: The Wind Waker, this is still just a test level, but it is kinda cool that it was buried in there so deep. Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
Nintendo N5 Clarification Just a quick clarification: Nintendo will be unveiling their next console system at E3 in 2005 not this year's as was suggested here last night. I apologize to those of you who may have made travel reservations based on this information.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube IGN has new shots from Baten Kaitos.
PS2 GameSpot has new previews of Cy Girls and Transformers: Prelude to Energon, IGN goes hands-on with Phantom Brave and Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, CVG has a hands-on look at Onimusha 3 and 1UP links to some new movies from Gungrave O.D.
Xbox Team Xbox has posted a hands-on look at Tenchu: Return from Darkness.
GameBoy Advance IGN goes hands-on with Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge and has the box art for Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
GameCube PS2 Xbox New media from MX Unleashed (PS2, Xbox) is up at GameSpot tonight, Planet GameCube has new shots from Pitfall: The Lost Expedition (GC, PS2, Xbox) and IGN has new media from Fight Night 2004 (PS2, Xbox).
Console Game of the Evening: The Adventures of Bayou Billy for the NES. "Bayou Billy may go on past the very first alligator, but I've never seen it done, and will not believe that even a Game Genie can do it unless you show me personally." (submitted by f1xxx3r).

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Well it took us a while, but we've finally got the absolutely amazing Ninja Gaiden trailer from TGS 2003 up at FileShack. As we got absolutely zero help from anyone at Tecmo (hey, they won't return my calls), Maarten diligently had a wget session restarting over and over again for two weeks before we finally got it. So here it is, enjoy. It's shaky-cam, but it's very high-quality shaky-cam footage, and it really is awesome, with over three minutes of gameplay footage.

GameBoy Advance Sega Kicks Financial Ass gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Sega has revised their financial forecast for the first half of their fiscal year, and now expects to post a net profit of 5.7 billion yen, which is way up from their original projection of 200 million yen. The success of Sonic Adventure DX and Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution are cited, as is better-than-expected arcade sales.
GameBoy Advance Nintendo Invests in Bandai In a surprising bit of news, it's been discovered that Nintendo purchased 2.7% of Bandai's public shares at the end of September, making it one of the top ten investors in the company, and this has sparked rumors that they are looking to purchase or merge with the company outright. Bandai has its hands in many, many areas that are attractive to Nintendo, including anime, toy and game sales, and Bandai is the owner of such lucrative franchises as Gundam, .hack and Digimon.
New Halo Toys Revealed Toy company JoyRide has updated their Halo page with details on their next wave of toys from the game, which will be shipping next month. Like the first batch these are some pretty darn high quality figures, and featured in this set are red and green variants of the Master Chief, plus the Elite alien and even a Ghost. There are also two sets of 3" miniature figures.
128DD? I rarely come right out and say that a rumor is complete and total hogwash, but that's just what I'm going to do with this one...GamerFeed has posted a news item relaying a rumor that's running in a Japanese gaming magazine, that suggests that Nintendo is working on an external storage device that holds removable 40GB cartridges in a manner similar to Iomega's Zip Disks. Those who have been following this industry for a long time will no doubt realize that this sounds an awful lot like Nintendo's disastrous 64DD, a moronic bit of hardware that produced Ura Zelda and not a whole lot else.
Did Activision Commit a True Crime? With just weeks to go before its release, Activision has been hit with a lawsuit from author Robert Crais, who claims that Nick Kang, the protagonist of True Crime: Streets of L.A. is a ripoff of his character Elvis Cole. The author is looking to block the game's release, which until we hear otherwise, is set for November 4th.
Are BG: DA II and Fallout: BOS Delayed? GameSpot is reporting that EB Games has changed the release dates for both Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. Both of these games are at the center of Interplay's lawsuit with VU Games, although when they originally filed that suit last month, Interplay said they would distribute both themselves to insure their release this year.
Pilotwings on GameCube Successor? Computer and Video Games, which was the source for the first rumor about a new Pilotwings game that's in development at Factor 5, is now saying that the game is behind schedule, and isn't going to see the light of day until 2005. CVG goes on to say that given that timeframe, Nintendo of Japan would prefer to bump the game to their next console. While there's no substance to back this up, this wouldn't be the first time Nintendo's done something like this, and in fact they've done it many, many times, with games like Eternal Darkness being one notable example.
Nokia Hopped up on Goofballs Claiming "Strong Launch" Yeah, you read that right...in a statement on gamesindustry.biz tonight, a Nokia representative is quoted as saying that the N-Gage has sold out at many retailers, and was greeted with a "very positive" consumer response. Of course, they offer no figures to support this, and the only numbers we've seen so far have been dismal, with less than 500 units being sold in some 6,000 retailers in the UK.
Third Party GBA Player Announced UK company Datel, creator of the very cool Freeloader boot disc for GameCube has announced their latest invention: their own Game Boy Advance player. The unit is pocket-sized, and will be priced slightly cheaper than Nintendo's own player, and they're claiming full compatibility with the entire Game Boy Advance library.
MGS: The Twin Snakes Interview 1UP has conducted an interview with Denis Dyack, the head of Silicon Knights, talking with him about Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, their upcoming collaboration with both Konami and Nintendo. The questions deal with the logistics of such an arrangement, whether or not he thinks such a thing will be more common in the future, and how this game differs from the original Metal Gear Solid.
GameBoy Advance Who's there? Nintendo. Nintendo has announced a contest to promote Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga that will be judged by comedienne Kathy Griffin, where fans are asked to send in their original knock knock jokes. Four runners-up will win GBA SP systems with Mario & Luigi, while one winner will walk away with a hefty GameCube/GBA package. I'd enter, but all my knock knock jokes end with, "Dave's not here, man."
kill.switch Music Q&A HomeLAN has posted a Q&A with Kevin Manthei, the composer of the music in Namco's upcoming title kill.switch. As you would expect, the questions deal exclusively with Kevin's craft, and he talks about his background in addition to his work on this particular game.
Tak & The Power of Juju Interview GameSpot's Tak & The Power of Juju interview talks with John Blackbur of Avalanche Studios about their recently released PS2 and GameCube title. Among other things, John talks about Nickelodeon's involvement in the game's development.
GameCube Celebrity Deathmatch Fragged While I can't imagine there are going to be a whole lot of GameCube owners throwing their consoles out the window over this development, Gotham Games confirmed this week that they have canceled the GameCube version of Celebrity Deathmatch. While no official reason is stated, GameSpot's source blames "programming issues" for the game's cancellation.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Q&A A new Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Q&A is up at HomeLAN, talking with Yannis Mallat, the game's producer. Among other things, Yannis talks about the extremely positive reception the game has been getting.
Mega Onimusha A scan from a Japanese magazine that can be found over at Games Are Fun shows Mega Man.EXE from the Mega Man Battle Network GBA games, as a playable character in the upcoming fighting game Onimusha Buraiden. This makes about as much sense as the car from Daytona USA being in Fighters Megamix (okay, maybe a little bit more) but it's still cool for Mega Man fans.
GameBoy Advance Where did they find these kids? A pretty funny article is online over at 1UP, where they took a handful of kids between the ages of 9 and 12 and sat them down in front of classic games like Pong, Mario Bros. and Tetris and recorded their reactions. As entertaining as this is, I suspect that either these kids were totally clueless, or they were intentionally showboating, because I've yet to meet anyone over the age of five who couldn't grasp the concepts of Super Mario Bros. or Tetris within seconds. Especially when you consider of the fact that Nintendo keeps re-releasing those early Super Mario games and kids worldwide are eating them up with a spoon.
GameBoy Advance Misc. Media/Previews GameSpot has new previews of Kya: Dark Lineage and Monster Rancher 4 (both PS2) and new shots from Sudeki (Xbox). Over at IGN they have hands-on looks at Crash: Nitro Kart (GC, PS2, Xbox), Top Gear Rally (GBA) and Dinosaur Hunting (Xbox), along with new media from Donkey Konga (GC), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GC, PS2, Xbox), Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA), FIFA Soccer 2004 (GC, PS2, Xbox), NBA Ballers (GC, PS2, Xbox) and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Xbox) and the first shots from Mario Golf Advance Tour (GBA). Elsewhere online, Games Are Fun links to some new movies from new clips from Resident Evil: Outbreak and has new shots from Shinseki Evangelion 2 (both PS2), GameSpy has new previews of Breakdown (Xbox) and Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm (PS2), The Magic Box has new shots from Sega 3D Ages Vol. 6 & 7 (Bonanza Bros. and Columns) and Legacy of Kain: Defiance (PS2, Xbox), CVG has new shots from Pac-Man Vs. (GC), GameInformer has new media from Time Crisis 3 (PS2) and 1UP has new previews of Maximo vs. The Army of Zin (PS2) and Amped 2 (Xbox). And finally, we've got Namco's promo trailer for Nina (PS2) up at FileShack.
Console Game of the Evening: Comix Zone for the Sega Genesis. "The first game I saw with serious style, and something that hasn't been tried again for awhile (Viewtiful Joe!!)" (submitted by rogleader).

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My PS2-to-GameCube adapter arrived the other night, and although I was somewhat nervous after reading some comments posted here about similar devices, I'm pleased to report that it works like a charm. The two games I heard didn't work with such devices are Soul Calibur II and the GBA Player, and since those are precisely the two I bought this for, I was really quite worried. But work it does, and it's a godsend. For those curious, I'm using the one sold by Lik-Sang, and at only $10, I can easily recommend it to anyone frustrated with the size of the GameCube's d-pad. Since I'm only using this for games I use the d-pad with, I had originally planned on using my first-generation PSOne controller, but apparently the device only works with Dual Shock 1 or 2 gamepads. That's not a big deal, but it does mean my old PSX gamepad is going to sit around unloved for a bit longer. My beef with the GameCube's d-pad is that it's too darn small. Teeny is more like it, and the one on the Dual Shock is an improvement in every way imaginable. I don't see myself using this for anything but games where the d-pad is important, since Nintendo's games are always tweaked extensively for use with their gamepads, but for these two it makes a world of a difference.

GameCube GameCube Outsells PS2 in Japan It's only by a very slim margin, but the latest Media Create numbers out of Japan put the GameCube at 35,600 units sold for the week ending August 31st, while the PS2 sold a mere 35,300. This sudden upswing in GameCube sales is being attributed to the release of Tales of Symphonia and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which marks the first release of two major RPG series for the platform (Japan has always been a very RPG-obsessed market).
GameCube Eidos Drops GameCube Support It's not all good news for Nintendo today, as Eidos Interactive formally announced that they are dropping support for the GameCube platform. Eidos has informally been pulling out of the system all year, and in their announcement CEO Mike McGarvey is quoted as saying the GameCube is, "a declining business."
GameCube PS2 Xbox More Eidos Wackiness In other Eidos news, I was one of many people that was left with my jaw hanging open as I read that the company has actually managed to pull a profit for the fiscal year ending on June 30th. But that wasn't nearly as strange as after reading that this profit was due to four million sellers (Championship Manager 4, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, TimeSplitters 2, and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness), that the company is actually dropping two of them! For reasons only Eidos management is privy to, the company will not be publishing the next game in the TimeSplitters series, and they have also severed ties with Sports Interactive, the developer of the million-selling Championship Manager series. While Eidos doesn't own the IP behind TimeSplitters (allowing Free Radical to go where they please), they do own the rights to Championship Manager, so that series will continue with a different developer at the helm.
PS2 Final Fantasy VII at TGS? Rumors have started circulating that either a remake or sequel to Final Fantasy VII will be unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show at the end of the month. LNC readers may recall Square's previous debunking of such rumors, where they said that even if they did want to make a FFVII-2, the fact that it would require 100% new assets would make that a futile task, and their time would be better spent on an entirely new game. But a remake could theoretically allow them to make two games for the price of one (or 1.5, anyway). But I still wouldn't hold my breath.
PS2 Front Mission 4 Announced Well one game SquareEnix has announced will definitely be shown at TGS is Front Mission 4, an all-new PS2 title in this series of strategy RPGs that features battlin' robots.
GameCube MGS: The Twin Snakes Interview A new interview with Denis Dyack of Silicon Knights is up at IGN tonight, talking with the president of the studio about The Twin Snakes, their upcoming GameCube remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. Accompanying the interview is a crapload of new media, and some hints that this will not be the only Nintendo/Silicon Knights/Konami collaboration.
Xbox Project Gotham 2 Q&A and Geometry Wars Revealed Computer and Video Games has posted a Q&A with Chris Pickford of Bizarre Creations, which is the first in a series of Project Gotham 2 Q&As the site will be publishing over the course of the next week. In addition to other things, this interview reveals that a Robotron-style shooting game will be an unlockable bonus included with the racing game, and it will feature an Xbox Live powered scoreboard.
GameCube PS2 Xbox UK Console Price Drops Revealed CvG is reporting that all three consoles are going to be getting a price drop in the UK in the very near future. Their leaked numbers put a new PS2 package that includes the EyeToy and Groove at £169.99, the bare PS2 system for £129.99, an Xbox package that includes the Xbox Live kit and one free game for£149.99, an Xbox package that includes two games for £129.99, the bare Xbox system for £99.99, a GameCube package with one game for £129.99 and the standalone console for £79.99. Before you get all excited about price drops here, note that these numbers bring the UK in line with the rest of the world (if still slightly more in some cases). If that's not enough for you, even more PS2 bundles are listed at gamesindustry.biz, including ones featuring Gran Turismo 4, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and GTA: Vice City (although not all at once).
Xbox Xbox Live Trial Games Revealed Once you ignore the story reporting on a Halo 2 delay (sorry guys, but it hasn't been a 2003 game for some time now), you'll find a list of games that are going to be shipping with free Xbox Live trials over at Eurogamer. The list includes such notables as Ninja Gaiden, Unreal II and Sega's ESPN line of sports titles, and each of the games on the list comes with two months of free service, although presumably you can only do this once per console.
GameBoy Advance "Million Seller" Revealed? It would appear that the GBA game hinted at by one Japanese magazine to sell "a million for sure; maybe even two" is...a new Pokemon. Video Fenky spotted a mention in another Japanese magazine, which said they'll have more in an issue coming out on October 3rd. If true, that would certainly justify those expectations.
GameCube Pikmin 2 Delayed It's official: Nintendo has pushed Pikmin 2 into 2004. Surprisingly, this isn't just one of those delays where the game will narrowly miss the holiday season...it's been pushed into the second quarter of 2004, in an attempt to "ensure the final product meets the high standards that Nintendo fans deserve."
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance Stan Lee Signs with Activision In an apparent attempt to keep their games from becoming as reprehensible as Acclaim's Marvel licensed shovelware during the 8 and 16-bit eras, Activision has signed Stan Lee as a consultant on their various Marvel titles. I wonder if ol' Smilin' Stan will be able to tell them how to make Marvel Online without everyone playing as Wolverine? (Okay, not everyone...I want to be freakin' Galactus).
PS2 Killzone Interview UGO has conducted a new interview with an unnamed representative from Guerilla Games, the people bringing you Killzone (and you have to imagine they're sighing at actually being able to talk about this game at long last). Thanks HomeLAN for the tip.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance Misc. Media/Previews GameSpot swung by Konami's Editor's Day event, and so they have posted a slew of screenshots and impressions from various titles across all platforms (here's a list of all of 'em). Also at GameSpot is a look at The Simpsons: Hit and Run (PS2, Xbox), a new preview of NHL 2004 (GC, PS2, Xbox) and new shots from Rogue Ops (GC, PS2, Xbox). IGN has new movies showing off Geist, 1080: Avalanche and Mario Kart: Double Dash (all GC), a hands-on look at Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge (GBA), the box art from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA), a hands-on look at Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest (PS2), new shots from Battlestar Galactica (PS2, Xbox), the first screenshots and the box art from the just announced Grand Theft Auto Double Pack (PS2, Xbox) and a new preview of Sega GT Online (Xbox). IGN is also the latest mainstream site to launch an N-Gage-specific site. Elsewhere online, The Magic Box has new shots from Gotcha Force (GC) and Astro Boy (GBA) and Gamers.com links to a new Japanese commercial for the game that will be released here as Drakengard (PS2).
Console Game of the Evening: Sonic CD for the SegaCD. "This is perhaps the best Sonic side scroller to date and my favorite. Made for a doomed system though, this game is often forgotten." (submitted by archon).

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Our buddy Jason is gone for the holiday weekend, so here I am to fill in for the LNC post, and I'll be adding games to the Shack Reviews section this Sunday too. There won't be an LNC on Monday though, as it's unlikely there will be enough news to warrant a post.

GameCube PS2 Metal Gear Solid 3 Interview Over at GamePro you can find an interview with Konami's Hideo Kojima, who is asked about Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. MGS3 Q&As deal with reaction to MGS2, online features, the jungle environment, and the game's title while the Twin Snakes Q&As are about using Silicon Knights as developer, and why they are remaking a game instead of creating a new adventure for the GameCube.
Xbox Xbox Wireless Adapter Tired of the extra network cable Xbox Live brought to your living room? The FCC of all places goofed up and posted on their website that they have approved an Xbox wireless adapter using the 801.22g specification (54Mbps). Microsoft confirmed the approval, but declined to comment further for now. Digitimes.com has a picture of the device. Thanks Slashdot Games.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Your Own Arcade MachineGameSpot is reporting that Fry's Electronics stores will soon have the X-Arcade home arcade machine on display. This $999 product from XGaming allows you to hook up GameCube, PlayStation, PS2, PC, Mac, or Xbox and then play them using arcade controllers as if you were inside a real arcade machine. The machine also includes "thousands of arcade classics" already.
Xbox Unreal 2 Multiplayer Q&A New on GameSpot tonight is this Unreal 2 multiplayer Q&A with Legend's Scott Dalton. Dalton is asked about the similarities between the free PC multiplayer addon and the included Xbox multiplayer options, unique features of the multiplayer mode, use of vehicles, map size and a few other things.
PS2 Manhunt Site Live The guys at Rockstar Games have launched the official Manhunt website, offering what you would think is more info on this game..except it's almost impossible to navigate. There are several screenshots to be found though. Rockstar's survival action game will be released November 19.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Misc. Media/Previews GameSpot has previews of Final Fantasy XI (PS2), Tony Hawk's Underground (Xbox, GC, PS2) and . They also have screenshots from Viewtiful Joe (GC), Morrowind GOTY (Xbox). IGN has also taken a look at Tony Hawk's Underground, and they have a preview of Tales of Symphonia (GC) as well. As far as screenshots they have new ones from Gran Turismo 4 (PS2), Bomberman Kart and Destruction Derby Arenas (PS2). On GameSpy can find a preview of Jak 2 (PS2). Lastly, HomeLAN Fed offers Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox) and Drake (Xbox) impressions.
Console Game of the Evening: Double Dribble for the NES. "This was the first sports game I ever played on a daily basis with my friends. There was always a seemingly "magic" spot on the floor where you could drain 3's all day long." (submitted by MannyM).

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For a couple of weeks now, I've been getting occasional reports from people who say the first story here every night has some kind of wacky pagination going on. I wasn't able to reproduce the problem, but I think I did this evening. I assume those of you reporting a problem are talking about the right side of the first story? As far as I can tell, this only affects IE6, and try as I can to find an explanation, I can't find one. My guess is that it's related to the advertising code, but that doesn't mean there's anything I can do about it. I'm thinking this is happening because of some dumbass way IE is handling the layout code, and I'm stumped to try and find a workaround. Does anyone have any suggestions? Keep in mind that I can't alter the advertising code, just the table code. Suggestions are of course appreciated greatly.

PS2 ICO II News This Week? According to PS2.IGN, this week's issue of the Japanese magazine Famitsu will reveal the next project from the team behind the well-regarded game ICO. Since news from Famitsu tends to hit the web pretty quickly, we may have some indication of this as soon as tomorrow.
Xbox Fable Bumped to 2004 Computer and Video Games is reporting that the Lionhead/Big Blue Box RPG Fable has been pushed back from its holiday release date to spring 2004. I missed it at E3, but I heard from several people that it was much farther along (and less ambitious) than they had expected, so this is sort of surprising.
GameCube PSOne N64 Silicon Knights Interview GameSpy has conducted an interview with Denis Dyack of Silicon Knights, the developers of such games as Eternal Darkness and the seminal PSX game Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. It's an excellent interview, and Denis comments on all of the company's various projects, including Too Human (which was the original version of Eternal Darkness for the N64) and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Thanks Slashdot Games for the tip.
PS2 Ecco Meets Jaws? The first details and screenshot from Sole Predator, the next game from Ecco the Dolphin creators Appalossa Interactive, are up at GameSpot tonight. Where Ecco was gentle, this game puts you in the role of a shark being driven insane by low-frequency waves given off by oil drilling. Your goal is then to devour the oil crews, and these enemies are said to have "64 points of disconnection" for you to choose from.
Xbox KOTOR Live Details IGN has posted some details on the downloadable content that's in the works for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Basically we can look forward to new weapons, armor and items (sorry, no extra planets), but specifics are still being worked out.
PS2 GameSpy Hitz GameSpy and Midway announced today that they have reached an agreement, and GameSpy will be providing online middleware for their upcoming sports titles. While it was recently revealed that GameSpy offers GameCube networking middleware, it would appear that today's announcement is exclusively for the PS2 version of these games.
PS2 Beta Test SOCOM II Speaking of GameSpy, they are taking applications for an upcoming limited beta test of SOCOM II. In order to apply you have to first sign up for their e-SEALs thingie, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what exactly that is. On a related note, UGO has a new preview of the game online.
GameCube Nintendo Memories In celebration of the recent 20th anniversary of the Famicom, Nintendojo has posted a comprehensive look back at the system (thanks Slashdot Games). Included in their series of articles are detailed looks at the inner workings of both the Famicom and NES hardware, reviews of classic games and more.
PS2 Crank the Weasel Canceled IGN is reporting that Midway has canned Crank the Weasel, a planned Conker's Bad Fur Day-style platformer that was announced back at E3.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance NeoGeo - thanks Sur3aL! Misc. Media/Previews GameSpot has new shots from Kirby's Air Ride (GC), Onimusha Tactics, Mr. Driller 2 and Mr. Nutz (all GBA), Otogi: Myth of Demons (Xbox), Rogue Ops (GC, PS2, Xbox) and the GC, PS2 and Xbox versions of Pitfall Harry. Over at IGN they have a hands-on look at Starsky & Hutch (PS2), new shots from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Tales of Symphonia (both GC) as well as Bulletproof Monk (PS2), Pokemon Pinball (GBA) and X-Files: Resist or Serve (PS2, Xbox). Elsewhere online, GamePro has a new collection of shots from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2), The Magic Box has the first shots from Samurai Spirits Zero (NeoGeo) and new shots from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (GC) and Gamers.com has new shots from DDRMAX2 (PS2) and really weird teaser images and details from Glass Rose (PS2).
Console Game of the Evening: Road Rash for the Sega Genesis. "The first motorcycle racing game that encouraged violence towards your opponents, and oh did it feel so good." (submitted by Linguica).

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Somehow this slipped under my radar earlier this week, but nonetheless, Nintendo is celebrating the two year anniversary of the Game Boy Advance, which was released on June 22nd, 2001. In those two years, some 300 games have been released, which is pretty impressive, as is the fact that they've sold 6.5 million consoles and 20 million games. And clearly the Game Boy Player for GameCube is proving to be a success, as the just-released combo package has significantly increased GameCube sales in Japan. Looking back on the system's library to date, I see a mixed bag. We've had some real gems (Advance Wars), a lot of really solid titles (Castlevania), some decent retro-releases (the Phantasy Star and Atari Anniversary collections) and a slew of ports, some good (Super Mario World) some problematic (Capcom's buggy Super Puzzle Fighter disappointment). And there are some good games on the horizon, including Super Mario 3 and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. What I would like to see is naturally more original titles, not just re-releases of games I already have. I mean, it'll be nice to have a portable SMB3 and all, but I would like a new Mario game a whole lot more. Hopefully now that they're out of Mario games to port we'll see a new title. Although with my luck, they'll gather up all the Game Boy/Game Boy Color Super Mario Land games and release that as a collection. The system has such a huge install base that you would hope more original games will be developed. I guess the temptation is too great for Nintendo to just keep porting all their best-known SNES games, but hopefully we'll see more Wario Ware-style innovation, and less shoddy ports like Donkey Kong Country (which turned out better on the Game Boy Color than the GBA, which really shouldn't be the case).

Xbox Hackers Threaten to Release Xbox Exploit As noted in this story at News.com, some hackers (who are either being incredibly stupid or very polite, depending on how you choose to read this story) have asked Microsoft to either release an official Linux boot loader for the Xbox or they will release information on an exploit that with a single drop of solder leaves the system wide open for amateur developers and pirates equally. Are they bluffing? We'll know for sure next week, when they'll be forced to show their hand.
PS2 Silent Hill 3 Bonuses in Japan Konami Japan has announced that when Silent Hill 3 is released over there in a few weeks, it will ship with a bonus CD containing five music tracks, one of which isn't actually in the game. Shipping alongside the game, and retailing for about $20, is a special DVD titled THe Art and Music of Silent Hill, which has some 200 minutes (!) of bonus material, including the secret endings for all three games. It's unknown if any of this will be available in this country, where the game is being released in early August. Speaking of Silent Hill 3, GamerFeed has posted links to the E3 trailer for the game, which was posted to Konami's Japanese site.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Shenmue III Announcement Imminent? A news item at GamePro has the news that Sega AM2 has revealed in their latest monthly e-mail newsletter that they will be announcing a new title next month. While this is far (let me repeat: far) from any kind of confirmation about the existence of Shenmue III, they also mentioned that the official Shenmue website will be getting a full relaunch in July. Of course if this game isn't a new Shenmue, it's likely to be the already-announced-but-still-mysterious Virtua Fighter RPG for GameCube, or an entirely new project.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance Former Capcom Designer Resurfaces Also at GamePro is a story reporting that Yoshiki Okamoto, the designer of such classics as Street Fighter II, Final Fight and those great Flagship-developed Zelda games, who left Capcom earlier this year, has started up a new company. While it's only just getting started, the company intends to function as an independent developer for Japanese publishers, and expects to launch a web site in July.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Bond Voice Cast Announced Electronic Arts announced today that they have secured some major players from the recent Bond movies to provide voices for 007: Everything or Nothing. Specifically this list includes Pierce Brosnan (who will be providing more than just his likeness, unlike the last game), John Cleese (as Q), and even Dame Judy Dench as M. In addition to those actors, there's also Willam Defoe and Heidi Klum in addition to the previously-announced Shannon Elizabeth, and Richard Kiel, who provides the voice for the old-school character Jaws.
GameCube PS2 Xbox LeBron James in NBA Live 2004 Yep, that didn't take long...EA Sports has revealed that LeBron James, the recent high school graduate and first pick in the NBA Draft, has already been placed in NBA Live 2004. Details, screenshots and all manner of related NBA draft news can all be found at EASports.com.
PS2 .hack for Less IGN is reporting that .hack://INFECTION, the first of the four-part .hack series, will be dropping in price to $29.99 in the coming weeks. For those interested in knowing such things, the second installment is already out, with the third scheduled for release in October, and the last in December.
GameBoy Advance Sonic at McDonald's As some of you are probably already aware, starting today, and running for the next month, you can pick up handheld games from Sega in McDonald's Happy Meals. Info on all six games (including playable demos of two of them) can be found at McDonald's' web site. Early buzz about the games hasn't been particularly favorable, but it's still a neat idea, and hopefully this won't be the last time something like this is done.
PS2 R-Type Final Headed for North America Shmup fans rejoice! Gamers.com has learned "from sources close to the deal" that Eidos Interactive has obtained the rights to bring IREM's R-Type Final to North America. While no release date has been uncovered yet, it's scheduled for release overseas next month.
GameCube Viewtiful Joe Q&A Computer and Video Games has conducted a Q&A with Atsushi Inaba, the producer of the extremely wacky Viewtiful Joe. While not the most in-depth of conversations, it does shed a bit of light on this game, and should be a good read for those who haven't checked out the playable demo yet (which is available on the $10 GameCube demo disc). For more Viewtiful fun, check out the new movies that are up at Cube.IGN, and Planet GameCube's hands-on impressions of the game.
Xbox New Steel Battalion: Line of Contact Details Some new details and screenshots from Steel Battalion: Line of Contact are up at Gamers.com tonight. Among the tidbits here is a confirmation that you'll be able to customize your Vertical Tank for use in both on and offline play, and that there will be two types of VTs players can use, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
GameCube Eternal Darkness: The Movie? Reports have hit the web that Hypnotic has acquired the rights to make movies or a television series based on Silicon Knights' Eternal Darkness. Of course, the rights have been sold for everything from Dead or Alive to Zero Wing, but that doesn't mean we'll ever see these projects.
GameCube PS2 Xbox GameBoy Advance NeoGeo - thanks Sur3aL! Misc. Media/Previews GameSpot has a preview of the Xbox port of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3, an update on SquareEnix's Drakengard (PS2), new screenshots from the Xbox and PS2 versions of Sega's ESPN NFL Football 2004, the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox versions of NCAA Football 2004 and the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox versions of Madden NFL 2004, as well as new shots from the Xbox port of Dynasty Warriors 4, new shots from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GC, PS2, Xbox), new shots from Sega GT Online (Xbox), new shots from Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild (PS2), new shots from .hack://OUTBREAK (PS2), a new trailer from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox) and a new preview of I-Ninja (PS2). Over at IGN they have a new preview of the very strange Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color, new movies from Mega Man X7 and new shots from Syphon Filter: Omega Strain (all PS2). IGN also has an update on R: Racing Evolution (GC, PS2, Xbox), a new trailer from the North American version of Soul Calibur II (GC, PS2, Xbox) and a preview of the WonderSwan to GBA port of Digimon: Battle Spirits 2. Elsewhere on the web, CvG has a brief preview and gameplay footage from Worms 3D (GC, PS2, Xbox), and Gamers.com has new movies from Kirby's Air Ride (GC) and some new details from SNK vs. Capcom Chaos (NeoGeo/Arcade).
Console Game of the Evening: Sonic CD for the SegaCD. "Arguably the best Sonic title, it has the same fast paced gameplay along with the best graphics and sound the series ever had. The addition of time travel and the CD quality soundtrack made it unique and notably more involved than the Genesis games." (submitted by pyide).

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