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Video Game News from June 2004

Filed Under: General Gaming

If you grew up in the eighties then you probably went to an arcade. Although there aren't a lot of arcades left (if you're in the Portland area you can go to Ground Kontrol) you can still capture all of the nostalgia by making a Paper Arcade. Simply cut and tape the mini-arcade machines together and you can show off your "Defender" history on your desk, on your dash, or by your bed. There are six paper arcades to make: "Defender," "Gauntlet," "Gravitar," "Pac-Man," "Robotron," and "Tempest." Just try not to get caught "playing" them. It may look odd.

Posted by Jeremy on June 1, 2004 9:36 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

Halo 2
Over the holiday weekend, the kind people over at Bungie.net released the first ever 3D screenshot for their upcoming "Halo 2". Update your movie players and check it out:
Lo-Res Halo 2 3D screenshot!
Hi-Res Halo 2 3D screenshot!
Once you've seen it, read about how Bungie made it happen.

Posted by Allison on June 1, 2004 9:49 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

A little over a month ago, Microsoft upgraded XboxLIVE to include some new features. Now, some of these features are becoming available. Most recently, Microsoft announced that they are launching XboxLIVE Alerts and MSN Messenger compatibility. XboxLIVE Alerts allow you to be notified when friends sign on to XboxLIVE or when you get a game invite via cell phone, email, or MSN Messenger. The MSN Messenger compatibility allows IMers to see their "Friend's List" while on MSN Messenger.

Continue reading "XboxLIVE Alerts"
Posted by Jeremy on June 1, 2004 10:14 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Brother in Arms
Ubisoft, one of our favorite video game publishers, has issued a press release announcing a special endorsement for their upcoming D-Day specific video game, "Brother in Arms". The endorsement came from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation, an organization that works to ensure that the legacy of combat veterans is protected and nurtured, and provides support to American troops, veterans, and their families.

Continue reading "Brothers in Arms Gets VFW Endorsement"
Posted by Allison on June 1, 2004 10:48 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Comcast today announced it's Games on Demand service which gives access to over 60 popular PC titles via the Comcast.net broadband service. The $14.95 per month service offers subscribers unlimited access to games such as, "Neverwinter Nights," "Rollercoaster Tycoon 2," "Unreal Tournament," and educational and family titles such as, "Clifford Learning Activities," "Risk II," and "Monopoly." In addition to the games, Comcast, which owns the recently merged G4techTV, will offer exclusive game content from that channel to their subscribers. I can see this working for families with young kids but I don't see any advantage to a serious gamer.

Posted by Jeremy on June 2, 2004 8:02 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | PC | Xbox

Thief: Deadly Shadows
The Lunabean redesign is complete. The Memorial Day Open House at the family winery is behind us. All time (excluding tomorrow, where we have to do the winery books from the weekend) belongs to us and the Bean. HeeHaw! To celebrate we went to Gamestop yesterday to make our next video game strategy guide selection. We went with the intention of purchasing "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", as I was under the misconception that it was released May 25th (see above). Obviously I was wrong. While we will be picking up HP tomorrow and starting a guide for that immediately, we needed to leave that store with something. So, we grabbed "Thief: Deadly Shadows" for the Xbox. What a good selection we made! "Thief: Deadly Shadows" is the third game in Eidos' "Thief" series, and can only be explained as "Enclave" meets "Splinter Cell". Good times. Expect to see a guide for this sleeper hit on Lunabean soon, as one of us will work on it as the other fights their way through Hogwarts. In the meantime, if you have any "Thief: Deadly Shadows" questions, please ask them on our message boards here: Thief: Deadly Shadows Help is Here! If you aren't familiar with the game, check out the site here: Thief: Deadly Shadows Official Site

Posted by Allison on June 2, 2004 8:57 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

While no official press release has been issued, I am confident in speaking for EA when I say Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube versions of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" have shipped and will hit North American store shelves this afternoon and tomorrow. PC and GBA versions of the game are already out, and have been since May 25th (causing me a tad bit of confusion at Gamestop yesterday). We'll let you know as soon as we get it and where you can find our walkthrough and strategy guide when we do.
EA's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban site
View the movie trailer

Posted by Allison on June 2, 2004 9:26 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

Ubisoft today announced that they will publish Stardock Entertainment's, "The Political Machine," a PC strategy game where you play the role of political campaign manager for a presidential candidate. "Players must raise money, take out advertisements, win endorsements and appear on popular TV news shows to answer tough questions about today's most pressing issues." In addition, "Players can design their own candidates or use existing political candidates such as George W. Bush, John Kerry and dozens of historical politicians including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt." I wonder if Karl Rove will buy this one?

Continue reading "Ubisoft to Publish The Political Machine"
Posted by Jeremy on June 2, 2004 12:29 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Harry Potter POA
Our apologies for the lack of gaming news yesterday, but, as we mentioned Wednesday, we had a lot on our plate for Thursday, so, we just didn't get to the news. However, we did get "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"...and that's all that really counts, isn't it? We'll begin playing her within the next couple of hours so we can begin answering the questions many of you are already asking. We'll also let you know as soon as we start putting together a "Harry Potter POA" walkthrough and strategy guide. For now, just ask your questions on the Harry Potter POA" Help Thread on our message boards, and we'll get to them ASAP.

Posted by Allison on June 4, 2004 9:29 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft Japan yesterday announced that they have cancelled the highly anticipated MMORPG, "True Fantasy Live Online." The game, which carried Microsoft's hopes to be their first hit in the Japanese market, was cancelled due to delays in production and the belief that it would not deliver on the promise to be a blockbuster MMORPG. Microsoft has yet to make an impact in Japan and this is a major setback. I do, however, applaud Microsoft for knowing when to axe a project. If it's not going to be a great game then what's the point?

Continue reading "True Fantasy Live Online Cancelled"
Posted by Jeremy on June 4, 2004 9:52 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Lionhead Studios has updated their Fable FAQs to include a US release date for the eagerly anticipated Xbox RPG. Look for "Fable" to hit US store shelves in September 2004, and European shelves in October 2004. While the dates aren't exact, we consider this to be a great improvement over the "2004" date which was offered at E3.
Official Fable Site

Posted by Allison on June 4, 2004 9:56 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

"The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures," the latest Zelda game for the GameCube shipped today. Featuring a top-down perspective and heavy use of the GBA, "Four Swords," promises to be a revolutionary Zelda experience. In order to save Princess Zelda, Link has split himself into four colored copies. He must use each of his personas to solve puzzles, fight, and collect the Force Gems. You can check out the official site.

Continue reading "The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures Ships"
Posted by Jeremy on June 7, 2004 10:21 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo's "Classic NES Series" launches today. The "Retro GBA" features styling from the original NES controllers. In conjuction with the special edition GBA, eight "Classic" games have launched, each at $19.99. The eight games in the series are: Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Bomberman, Excitebike, Ice Climber, and Xevious. I can't wait to get my hands on Excitebike. Continue reading "Classic NES Series and Retro GBA in Stores Today!"
Posted by Jeremy on June 7, 2004 10:43 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Viacom, the mega media powerhouse who owns CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster, Infinity Broadcasting, and Simon and Schuster publishing, to name a few, has yet to bust into the video game publishing business. CEO, Sumner Redstone does own a majority stake in Midway but it's his, not Viacom's. That means that Viacom has been shopping around. Their eyes were set on EA. Then a price came out: $20 billion. Even for a powerhouse like Viacom that was too much. Now, Activision and Take2 are looking pretty good...a bargain $3 billion, plus or minus a few hundred million. No wonder video games aren't cheap.

Posted by Jeremy on June 7, 2004 11:13 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

OK, OK, you can stop hounding us now. Our growing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is in the works, and available for viewing. I spent all weekend playing through the game and putting together a complete POA Wizard Cards, Secrets and Extras page, so I can fly through the walkthrough on this second playthrough. I expect to have the guide complete within the next couple of days, and the final draft up by the end of the week. Until then, if you have questions, please check out our message boards where several HP POA questions have already been answered.
LB's Harry Potter POA Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Lunabean on June 7, 2004 8:32 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

Atari's highly anticipated third incarnation of it's popular "Driver" series, "DRIV3R," has gone gold. It has a North American release date of June 21 and a European and Australian release date of June 22. "DRIV3R" features three huge city environments: Miami, Nice, and Istanbul and voice acting by: Michael Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Michelle Rodriquez and Ving Rhames. This fairly open-ended driving/action game should appeal to anybody who enjoys games like the "Grand Theft Auto" series. Also, check out the info on the soundtrack...

Continue reading "DRIV3R Goes Gold and Gets a Soundtrack"
Posted by Jeremy on June 8, 2004 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Take-Two today announced that they have signed a binding letter with SEGA to co-publish and distribute all SEGA ESPN sports games including: ESPN NFL Football, ESPN NHL Hockey, ESPN NBA Basketball, ESPN College Hoops and ESPN Major League Baseball. It seems Take-Two is making a play (no pun intended) to compete with the likes of EA Sports and XSN (Microsoft's sports franchises).

Continue reading "Take-Two, SEGA and ESPN"
Posted by Jeremy on June 8, 2004 11:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

If the title didn't give it away, then let me tell you straight out: This story is not true. Broken
, a satire news site, has included a funny little article in their most recent edition. Apparently, at the most important meeting of democratically elected leaders this year, the topics discussed will include the layout of "GTA: Baghdad", the "Splinter Cell" tournament, and the unveiling of the next XBox console.

Read the Article

Posted by Allison on June 8, 2004 11:21 AM |

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

As posted on the official Ion Storm Forums, "Thief Deadly Shadows" has a critical bug that affects the AI on Expert difficulty. If you start a mission on Expert, then save and load, the AI resets to Normal difficulty. This can be patched on the PC version but we'll have to wait and see what this means for the Xbox version. XboxLIVE, according to MS policy, can only be used to patch online gaming aspects. Will MS allow it to be used otherwise? Will there be a recall? We'll keep you updated.

Posted by Jeremy on June 8, 2004 11:27 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft has added a trailer to their official "Prince of Persia 2" website. While I didn't get to play the first game in this "Sands of Time" series, Jer did and he absolutely loved it. So, with that in mind, and this trailer looking pretty slick, I am calling dibs on writing this strategy guide. Hear that Jer? I've got the dibs!
PoP 2 Trailer

Posted by Allison on June 8, 2004 11:34 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

So, you say you want a Revolution? Nintendo seems to, as "Revolution" is the code-name they've given to their fifth console expected to hit the gaming world in late 2005 or 2006. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is refusing to give details of this new "Revolution", due to fears "competitors will steal the plan", but he promises it will deliver "new ideas" for entertainment, and will, most certainly, be more than just a more powerful Gamecube.

Continue reading "Nintendo Names Next Console"
Posted by Allison on June 9, 2004 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: E3

The Game Critics Awards for Best of E3 2004 have been announced. The big winners: Sony's PSP, "Halo 2," and "Splinter Cell 3." The PSP won Best of Show. "Halo 2" won Best Console Game, Best Online Multiplayer, and Best Action Game. "Splinter Cell 3" took home Best PC Game, Best Action/Adventure Game, and a graphics award. Other winners include: "Def Jam: Fight for NY," "Jade Empire," and "Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat." Personally, I think that the Nintendo DS should have beaten out the PSP.

Posted by Jeremy on June 9, 2004 10:07 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | Xbox

According to an article from GamesIndustry.biz, David Gosen, Nintendo Europe's Managing Director had some strong words for Microsoft regarding the current console cycle: "In every cycle, some manufacturer not profiting from the current cycle is eager to kick-start the next one." He blames MS for pushing up the deadline for new hardware when Nintendo doesn't feel that it's necessary. He seems to suggest that for MS, profitability "is not their key motivation." So what is? Becoming ubiquitous within your home to the point where an Xbox is your central entertainment device.

Continue reading "Next-Gen Thinking"
Posted by Jeremy on June 9, 2004 10:20 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine has written an interesting commentary piece concerning the Xbox, which he seems to believe has failed, and the future of the big black box. What is surprising to me about the article is how Dvorak's view of the Xbox is so different from mine.

Continue reading "The Future of Xbox"
Posted by Allison on June 9, 2004 10:45 AM |

I finally finished "Thief Deadly Shadows" after playing it for 8 days straight. This is a long and epic game combining many elements from some of my favorite games like "Splinter Cell," "Enclave," "Eternal Darkness," and "Silent Hill." I began writing the Walkthrough and Strategy Guide yesterday and will continue to work on it until it is done. You can check in on my progress as I go along. If you have any questions regarding sections that are not yet written, please ask them on our Message Boards.

Posted by Jeremy on June 9, 2004 11:05 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Granted, the press release is from London but as we reported earlier, new features of XboxLIVE are slowly becoming available. According to the release, XboxLIVE will this summer launch the "XboxLIVE Arcade," which includes such hits as, "Dig Dug," "Poker," and "Bejewelled." The XboxLIVE Arcade is something that Allison has been wanting for a while. If only they could get a good trivia game going. Ah, the memories of bar trivia. In addition there are XboxLIVE Alerts, Voice Chat, upgraded Friends List, and many awesome LIVE-enabled games due out this summer.

Continue reading "XboxLIVE Summer Plans"
Posted by Jeremy on June 10, 2004 9:22 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

The headline grabbed your attention, didn't it? Well, in yesterday's CNN Money article, Atari CEO Bruno Bonnell thinks it may be just that expensive. However, this is balanced by EA's CEO, Larry Probst, who thinks it'll retail between $199 and $249. Industry experts think that it'll come in somewhere in between. My feeling: unless it's under $200, I won't be buying one and I'm a hard core gamer that buys everything. If the Nintendo DS can not only launch earlier, but at a $150ish price point, it'll dominate. Sony needs to get their PSP strategy together or they may miss the boat.

Posted by Jeremy on June 10, 2004 9:32 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Gamespot has put together a solid piece concerning Nintendo's Next-Gen Strategy as presented at Nintendo's annual corporate strategy conference in Tokyo today. At the conference, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's company president, explained Nintendo's new philosophy.

Continue reading "Iwata Outlines Nintendo's Next-Gen Strategy"
Posted by Allison on June 10, 2004 10:15 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Ubisoft announced late yesterday afternoon that the PS2 version of "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow" has gone gold, and will be ready to ship out to US retailers on June 18th. We've already written a great Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the Xbox and PC version of the game, but, with the PS2's new mission, alternate paths and a scoring system, I know we'll be playing through it again to create a PS2-specific guide. Oh, the tragedy. I'll have to play one of the best stealth games of the year again? How do I do it?

Read UbiSoft's Press Release
Download the PS2 Pandora Tomorrow Trailer (ZIP file)

Continue reading "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Goes Gold for PS2"
Posted by Allison on June 11, 2004 9:12 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

In a surprise move aimed at making a dent in EA's "Madden" franchise, Sega and ESPN have priced their upcoming (August) "NFL 2K5" at only $19.95. This comes as no surprise, really, as the recent press release regarding Take-Two, Sega, and ESPN's deal to distribute sports games says, "We are also adding the compelling element of value pricing to this high quality line, creating a significant point of differentiation for both core and casual gamers." "NFL 2K5" is often referred to as the superior football game but doesn't have the panache of the "Madden" series. Now, $30 of difference may change a few minds. We'll see how EA responds.

Posted by Jeremy on June 11, 2004 9:31 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

Valve Software has to be feeling a little better today concerning the October 2003 theft and posting of their core code for their highly anticipated game, "Half-Life 2", as many, many sources are today reporting several arrests in the case. These arrests have been by the FBI and have occurred in several countries, but details have not been given as the investigation is "ongoing". For more information on this story, we suggest checking out the BBC's coverage.

Posted by Allison on June 11, 2004 9:36 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Ubisoft yesterday made available for download on XboxLIVE two new multiplayer maps: Federal Bank and River Mall for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. This is part of XboxLIVE's "Premium Content" so it'll cost you $4.95, but with detail like unsold copies of Beyond Good and Evil lining store shelves in the Mall, not to mention the spectacular online multiplayer gameplay itself, $4.95 seems like a good deal to me.

Posted by Jeremy on June 11, 2004 9:42 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Lunabean | PS2 | Xbox

I am pleased to announce the completion of our Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. The guide will take you through 100% completion as it includes all POA Card Location, Folio Bruti Pages, Secrets and Extras. I did just finish it late last night, so it does need some cleaning up, but, by the end of the day I expect to have it looking good, and our ad-free and printer-friendly version of the guide available here.

Posted by Allison on June 11, 2004 9:47 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America has issued a warning concerning their Memory Card 1019, Nintendo's newest memory card, which more than quadruples the previous storage capacity of their other memory cards. According to Nintendo's statement, "there may be issues when saving a small number of older games". Luckily, most of the effected games mentioned are not only old, but they're crappy, too. For a complete list of the effected games, please go here.

Posted by Allison on June 14, 2004 10:51 AM | | Comments (3)

Filed Under: General Gaming

If you have $100,000 and a desire to start your very own video game museum then you should really purchase this amazing collection of video game consoles and games from the past 20 years. From the Super Famicon TV to the NEO GEO to the Playstation's 55,000,000 Celebration Wine (I wonder if it's any good?) this is a mind-boggling collection. If we had $100,000, we'd start the Lunabean Museum of Video Game History, and plop it right next to the Corn Palace in South Dakota.

Posted by Jeremy on June 14, 2004 10:52 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | Strategy Guide

While Jer is slaving away at the goliath that is his Thief 3: Deadly Shadows Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, I have started chipping away at "The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords Adventures", which, for the record, is a blast as a single-player game, too. If anyone has any questions about Link and his latest adventure, please post on our Zelda: Four Swords Help Thread. A walkthrough of the game will be coming soon!

Posted by Allison on June 14, 2004 11:06 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainmnet America) today announced that PS2 sales have grown "twofold" since the price drop to $149 on May 11. Sony claims that this validates their strategic timing and is basically giving themselves a big pat on the back. I say that all of us whose PS2s have failed because it's a crappy machine can finally afford to buy a new one. Also, most consumers knew that a price cut was coming so they simply held off on purchasing it until it happened. Therefore, the influx of sales. I don't know, something about the tone of the press release upset me. Maybe it's because I just got back from a grueling run.

Continue reading "PS2 Sales Double Since Price Drop"
Posted by Jeremy on June 14, 2004 11:10 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo has released the first trailer for the Gamecube's "Mario Tennis". As complete suckers for every Mario sports challenge, we can't wait for this one...although we'll be waiting longer than we expected. We were under the assumption the game was to be released late this year, but Nintendo is now listing its release as "2005". I guess we'll just watch the trailer over and over and over again until it's released.
Watch the Mario Tennis trailer

Posted by Allison on June 15, 2004 11:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

The Associated Press is today reporting three video game makers, (Atari Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Vivendi Universal Games Inc.), have filed a lawsuit against 321 Studios Inc. of suburban St. Louis, for their Games X Copy software, a product advertised as creating, "a PERFECT backup copy of virtually any PC game". 321 Studios has already faced restrictions in their distribution of DVD-copying products, as it was determined by a federal ruling that such products violate the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (.PDF). 321 Studios claims it is the consumer's right to make copies of products they have purchased for reasons of maintaining an unscathed original for archiving and investment purposes. EA's Doug Lowenstein calls the piracy-easing software, a product that is "masquerading as a consumer-friendly tool". Read the Article

Posted by Allison on June 15, 2004 11:49 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Speculation ran rampant at last week's Piper Jaffery conference in New York, as industry execs made predictions based on, well, not a lot. EB Games CEO Jeff Griffiths told attendees that "given the right set of circumstances", Microsoft's follow-up to the Xbox could win the next console war, and will have little trouble capturing 30% of the console market.

Continue reading "Xbox 2 Market Share Predictions"
Posted by Allison on June 15, 2004 12:28 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2

GameSpy has put together a little, "Everything You Want to Know About Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" piece, which includes the history of the series, the storyline of "GTA: San Andreas" and character profiles. I have to admit, however, I'm more excited for tomorrow's update, where they promise to highlight the game's special features and music.
Read the Article

Posted by Allison on June 16, 2004 9:28 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

PlanetGamecube.com has a great preview of a game I had no intentions to get excited about, but am now counting down the days to the June 21 release. The game is "Mario Golf: Advance Tour" for the GBA, which has been advertised as "Role-Playing Golf", and has been developed by Camelot, the company responsible for the beloved GBA RPG's "Golden Sun" and "Golden Sun: The Lost Age". Unlike previous "Mario Golf" games, you are now creating and building your golfer's skills and clubs through competition. I can't wait.
Read the Preview | Pre-order the Game

Posted by Allison on June 16, 2004 9:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

Many sources are today reporting the findings of an experiment which resulted in human subjects being able to control "video games" with their thoughts alone. The subjects, each one suffering from severe epilepsy to the point where electrodes are often directly attached to portions of their brains in order to control seizures, were hooked up with a direct brain to video game connector. Once connected, the subject were able to simply think the word "move", and they controlled the on-screen computer cursor. Fascinating stuff. Read More.

Posted by Allison on June 16, 2004 10:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft Game Studios today announced "Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space" for a Christmas 2004 release for the Xbox. The follow up to "Blinx: Timesweeper," "Blinx 2" promises all new action including the ability to control not only time, but space, making this the "world's first 5-D game." I didn't really enjoy the original Blinx. It got tired and old quickly. Plus, who makes a cat with a time vacuum their main character? Oh well, I hope this sequel is better than the original.

Continue reading "Blinx 2 Announced"
Posted by Jeremy on June 17, 2004 9:14 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft today released new plot details and five new screens for the highly anticipated "Prince of Persia 2." It seems the new enemy is a Dahaka; formed when fate feels it has been cheated. Well, we all know that the Prince cheated fate somethin' fierce in "Sands of Time," so we can only assume this is one nasty Dahaka. The Dahaka's goal is to, "restore things to the way they should have been." Egad! That means the Prince should have died. Well, you can read the rest. And, check out the screenshots.

Continue reading "New Prince of Persia 2 Screens and Plot Details"
Posted by Jeremy on June 17, 2004 9:24 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Lunabean

One of the most laborious walkthroughs Lunabean has ever produced is finally done! Yes, the Thief: Deadly Shadows Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete. It still needs to be broken up, which I'll get to today, but it is all up and ready to help you through any part on which you are stuck. Also, the 82 page PDF Version of the walkthrough is for sale in our Store. 82 pages? Yes, my hands hurt from typing.

Posted by Jeremy on June 18, 2004 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

In a move that will make the Xbox a must-have appliance in the home, Microsoft Japan unveiled plans for its XboxLIVE Video Chat. What looks to be a Logitech Cam, colored black and green, will be the centerpiece in a move to make video conferencing cheap, easy, and widely available.

Continue reading "XboxLIVE Video Chat"
Posted by Jeremy on June 18, 2004 10:19 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

I don't play many PC games and I'm not familiar with the "Spartan" empire building games however, I am intrigued when the Gold Master of a "Spartan" expansion named, "Gates of Troy," is randomly stolen on the streets of London. You see, the gold master was travelling from the duplication plant back to Slitherine (the makers of "Spartan') headquarters when the Royal Mail Postman was mugged and his bags stolen. What the thief/thieves have on their hands, they may not know. They probably think that it's just some AOL offer. Seriously, though, Slitherine should be a little more careful with their gold master. I'm thinking private armed security for its transport. Anyway, an interesting story.

Continue reading "Gates of Troy Masters Stolen"
Posted by Jeremy on June 21, 2004 8:33 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | Lunabean | PC | Xbox

Over the weekend I put the finishing touches on the Thief: Deadly Shadows Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Part of that process included a Thief: Deadly Shadows Review. Also, Eidos has released a patch which fixes the widely reported difficulty select bug where the game would revert to "normal" difficulty upon reloading. No word yet on a patch for the Xbox version.

Posted by Jeremy on June 21, 2004 10:00 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Atari's highly anticipated driving/action game, "DRIV3R," has shipped. As part of the launch you can now check out an exclusive web preview video at www.driv3r.com. "DRIV3R," is Atari's entry into the "GTA" niche of games where you play as a third person character in a large city environment with the ability to enter/exit any car you like and perform missions in a non-linear fashion. This game has been hyped for some time. We'll play it and see if it deserves a Lunabean Walkthrough.

Posted by Jeremy on June 21, 2004 10:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

"Mario Golf: Advance Tour," the world's first role-playing golf game has shipped. Allison wrote up a preview of the game the other day. I'm so excited. The game has GBA - GameCube connectivity so Ali and I can play against each other on the TV without a GBA player. Sweet.

Posted by Jeremy on June 21, 2004 10:13 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

Bungie.net has updated their "Halo 2" concept, print and screenshot galleries to include high-resolution versions of the assets included in the "Halo 2" edition of Game Informer Magazine. Bungie has also added some new level details, which are, of course, "all subject to change".
Read the Story and View the Images

Posted by Allison on June 21, 2004 10:54 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The success of "America's Army," a first-person-shooter recruitment video game released by the Army in 2002, prompted the Army to quietly open its own video game studio this past January in Cary, North Carolina; close to Fort Bragg. The studio consists of a team of 15 programmers who are working on simulation and training programs not only for the Army, but for a variety of services including the Secret Service which has its own virtual White House.

Continue reading "US Army's Video Game Studio"
Posted by Jeremy on June 22, 2004 9:45 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

In a 144 page annual report into the games industry, Michael Pachter and Edward Woo of Wedbush Morgan Securities have made some fairly lofty predictions. The report, titled "The Definition of Insanity: Why The Next Console Cycle Will Start Off With A Whimper", provides some new data and insight into the next console war. The prediction that is causing the most hubbub in the gaming industy today is that of the $500 Playstation 3.

Continue reading "A $500 PS3?"
Posted by Allison on June 22, 2004 9:53 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Thank you Trancemaster for pointing out even more disappointing news in the gaming realm today (the first, of course, being the potential of a $500 PS3, below). An article from the UK's The Register claims that sources close to the company are now saying Microsoft's Xbox 2 console will not be backwardly compatible with the current version. In other words, the Xbox 2 will not play Xbox 1 games. Backwards compatibility was an Xbox 2 feature touted early on, as the PS2's backwards compatibility was, arguably, crucial to the console's success.
Read the Article

Posted by Allison on June 22, 2004 10:10 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose, CA will be holding the Third Annual Max Games tournament on July 23rd. The tournament's finals will be held in the IMAX theater. Featured games include: "Halo," "Mario Kart: Double Dash," "SSX 3," and "Super Monkey Ball." Also at the tournament; reps from Bungie to show off "Halo 2" and two of the creators of Red vs. Blue, a popular web mechanime comedy series. I sure hope Portland's OMSI gets a similar tournament. Ali and I would dominate the "Mario Kart: Double Dash!"

Posted by Jeremy on June 22, 2004 10:35 AM |

Filed Under: PC

According to major video game retailers, GameStop and EB Games, the PC version of "Doom 3" has a release date and it's August 3rd. The date is published on both of their websites with GameStop even making a prominent square ad saying, "Release Date Just Announced." No word yet from id Software or Activision but as we reported a little over a month ago, the plan was to release it sometime this summer. The Xbox version has a tentative release date of "fall 2004."

Posted by Jeremy on June 23, 2004 11:22 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

A recent flow of "spec leaks" regarding the Xbox Next (Xbox 2, Xenon) from sources such as Spong.com and xbox-scene.com plus a heavily hyped article regarding the Xbox Next's backwards compatibility have all been shot down by a statement from Microsoft. MS says, "Recent stories in the press about future Xbox products are nothing more than pulp fiction." Granted, specs (fake or not) are fun to think about but are meaningless in a console that still has at least a year-and-a-half before launch.

Continue reading "Xbox Next Specs Called "Pulp Fiction""
Posted by Jeremy on June 23, 2004 11:44 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

ATI's third quarter net income tripled to $48.6 million, beating estimates. The rise is attributed in large part to strong demand for video games which require faster and better chips, especially those in cell phones. Sales for the quarter were $491.5 million which beat the forecast of 465.7 million. Numbers aside, the increased sales bode well for the video game industry.

Posted by Jeremy on June 24, 2004 10:56 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Lunabean

Allison got LASIK eye surgery today at the Casey Eye Institute here in Portland. The high tech mapping and laser has some similarities to a video game as the doctor zaps the cornea into the proper shape. For more information than you wanted to know about it, go here. We're currently in the "after surgery" category of things. Her video game skills are sure to increase with her new spectacular vision.

Posted by Jeremy on June 24, 2004 11:06 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Atari today announced that is has shipped 2.5 million units of DRIV3R worldwide. That is simply amazing seeing as a "successful" game is usually considered to sell around 1 million units. Of course, Atari hasn't sold 2.5 million units to consumers yet, but still the expectations are quite high. As soon as I'm done with the PS2 version of Splinter Cell, I'll check out DRIV3R and see if it needs a walkthrough.

Continue reading "2.5 Million DRIV3Rs"
Posted by Jeremy on June 25, 2004 10:21 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

According to a recent article from Business Week, in-game video game advertising is expected to make some huge gains over the next several years. The latest data shows that about $200 million is spent on in-game advertising per year with estimates saying that number will reach $1 billion by 2008. In a related story, Activision, has teamed up with Nielson Ratings to create a way to track the effectivness of ads in video games.

Posted by Jeremy on June 25, 2004 10:32 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Tecmo yesterday announced that there will be a massive download for it's very popular "Ninja Gaiden" starting sometime in August via XboxLIVE. The download will include new enemies, new weapons, improved AI, new camera angles, a new action engine (makes fighting even faster), and other mystery extras. I'm not a fan of "Ninja Gaiden" but I know many of you are, so in August you'll be very happy.

Posted by Jeremy on June 25, 2004 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

I am pleased to announce that I have finished a PS2-specific "Pandora Tomorrow" walkthrough and strategy guide. There are some minor differences between the Xbox and PS2 versions which mainly deal with pathways that have disappeared or different ways of getting places. The walkthrough is also FOR SALE as a beatifully bookmarked and easy-to-read PDF. If you have any questions regarding the game go to our boards.

Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2004 8:36 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA has been kind enough to release a new preview movie for the highly anticipated re-quel (a word I made up) "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent." The movie seems to spend most of the time in a missile silo of some sort. And, yeah, I'd have to say the graphics are a tad better than on the N64, but will the spirit still be there? The game is set for release Nov. 15, 2004.

Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2004 9:56 AM | | Comments (0)

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I know, I know. I promised it would be available "soon" two weeks ago. My excuses are as follows. First, my sister had a baby. Yes, we knew he was coming, but we didn't know how much we'd love him and how much time we wanted to spend with him...so there's that. Second, I had eye surgery. I didn't expect to get in so quickly, and going from 20/800 to 20/20 is lovely, but straining. I've had to put aside the gaming for several days, because of it. However, I'm back, I'm focused, and I'm slashing my way through the land of Hyrule. Expect to see the complete guide later this week. In the meantime, check out the growing Zelda: The Four Swords Adventures Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

Posted by Allison on June 28, 2004 10:07 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," a retro-sci-fi movie due out Sept. 17 starring Jude Law, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie has a FREE downloadable game on their website for both the PC and Mac. The flying game is part of the movie's promotion. To find it, go to skycaptain.com and go to Menu > The Game. If you want to see a preview of the movie go here.

Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2004 10:20 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC

It's the one year anniversary of the launch of the fastest growing MMORPG, "Star Wars Galaxies." The game has over 500,000 registered users with about 115,000 of those playing every day. Admittedly, I have never played it, but if I had the time this would be high on my list. The fact that 115,000 people are playing each and every day is quite astounding. A galaxy indeed. Now, if they would only give away free Milky Ways.

Continue reading "Happy B-Day, Star Wars Galaxies"
Posted by Jeremy on June 29, 2004 9:42 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

The internet rumor mill is grinding away at some "Golden Sun" grist. The resulting flour: the popular "Golden Sun" RPG franchise on the GBA may be headed for the GameCube. We'll let you know if any of that flour makes it into the oven. Ah, enough with the metaphors. We'll let you know if there is any official announcement from Nintendo. In the meantime, enjoy some "Mario Golf: Advance Tour" created by Camelot, the same makers as "Golden Sun."

Posted by Jeremy on June 29, 2004 10:03 AM |

Filed Under:

I just got off the phone with my local Gamestop to confirm their first shipment of "Spider-Man 2" for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube has arrived. The game, which follows the plot of the movie (due out this weekend), also includes appearances by Mysterio, Black Cat, Rhino, and other Marvel characters. The early reviews have been great, each one calling it the best Spider-Man game to date. Apparently the half-scale model of NYC with no loading times and no boundaries is amazing. I'll be writing a walkthrough as soon as the burr in my arse Zelda: The Four Swords Guide is complete.

Posted by Allison on June 29, 2004 11:00 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft today announced an opportunity for Xbox Live gamers to pick up a free Xbox Live title, simply by referring a friend to the Xbox Live service. If the referree signs up for a 12 month subscription, the referrer will get their choice of three free Xbox Live titles: "Rallisport Challenge 2", "Links 2004", or "Top Spin".
Go here to start recommending your friends: Xbox Live Friends.

Posted by Allison on June 30, 2004 9:41 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to a recent Bloomberg report Square Enix Co., Japan's No. 2 game maker and the developer of the Final Fantasy games, is considering making titles for the next Xbox. If such a deal were to happen, it would be quite a coup for Microsoft, as Square Enix has been primarily working with Sony's hardware for the past few years. What I wouldn't give to play a little "Kingdom Hearts 2" on my Xbox 2.

Posted by Allison on June 30, 2004 9:59 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

I finished playing through DRIV3R yesterday and work on the walkthrough and strategy guide will begin today. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the weekend but that may be wishful thinking. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the game check out the various help threads on the message boards: Xbox | PS2

Posted by Jeremy on June 30, 2004 10:01 AM | | Comments (0)

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