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Video Game News from July 2004





Filed Under: Xbox

Last week, we reported on the seemingly endless string of internet rumors regarding Xbox 2 (Xbox NEXT, Xenon) specs. Gamespy.com has come up with a comprehensive look at all of the various rumors regarding the Xbox 2. It's an interesting article and worth reading.

Posted by Jeremy on July 1, 2004 10:10 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | PS2 | Xbox

Atari's DRIV3R is one hot game coming in at number one in both the UK and Australia for both the PS2 and the Xbox. US sales data should be out soon but there is little doubt that it will take the number one spot here, as well. Having finished the game now, I have to say that it is thoroughly entertaining; not a great game but a very good game. Also, check out the beginnings of our DRIV3R Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

Continue reading "DRIV3R #1 in UK and Australia"
Posted by Jeremy on July 1, 2004 10:19 AM |


Filed Under:

A new study published in the June issue of the medical journal Obesity Research has found a strong association between playing video games and childhood obesity. The research team, made of researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The University Hospital of Switzerland, studied the relationship between childhood obesity and environmental and behavioral factors, with a particular focus on sedentary activities. The researchers found obesity links with television watching, paternal smoking and mother?s working outside the home, as well.
More Info

Posted by Allison on July 2, 2004 10:26 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

For those of you obsessed with Atari's "DRIV3R" you can now watch a 12 minute streaming video titled, "The Making of DRIV3R." Simply visit the link, click on "Work" then "Atari" then "Driver 3 Flim." Yes, it says "Flim" like the Swedish Chef would say. Anyway, the film, narrated by Michael Madsen gives some good inside info regarding how this game came together over the course of three years.

Posted by Jeremy on July 2, 2004 10:32 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Here's a sweet story about a little boy named Ben, age 9, who was fighting Leukemia and was asked by the Make-a-Wish foundation what he wanted. Instead of something selfish, he asked that a video game be made that would help cancer-fighting kids take their mind off the pain. Lucas Arts' Eric Johnston stepped in and for six months worked with Ben once a week on the game. "Ben's Game," as it is referred to, entails a kid who, "zooms around the screen on a skateboard, zapping mutated cells and collecting seven shields to protect against common side effects of chemotherapy, which include nausea, hair loss and fevers." You can download the free game from makewish.org.

Posted by Jeremy on July 2, 2004 10:49 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Electronic Arts is pleased to announce "NCAA Football 2005" has "gone gold" for the Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. Since the master copy is complete, the game will, most definitely, be on North American store shelves on July 15th. "NCAA Football 2005" will be the first EA Sports title to have Xbox Live capability. "NCAA 2004" was last year's #2 North American football game, and the #9 North American console game on the market.
Pre-order "NCAA Football 2005" today:
PS2|Xbox|GCN

Posted by Allison on July 2, 2004 10:56 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Yipee and Halleluiah! Our Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords Adventures Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is finally complete. Don't get me wrong...it is a good game. However, the repetitive nature of it starts eatting away at you around level four. So to play through it once, then play through it again while writing a walkthrough, does become quite tiresome. Anyway, I'm done with the complaining. I'll clean the guide up and get the ad-free and printer-friendly version up later today. In the meantime, I will remain in a constant state of happy dancitude, and you can find the guide here.

Posted by Allison on July 2, 2004 11:17 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2

Yeti Sports, the flash game phenomenon that has kept many a Lunabeanie occupied for many a minute has become so popular that a collection of Yeti Sports games will appear on the PSone. The games reached such popularity so quickly because of cute characters (Yeti, penguins, sea gulls, and orcas) and easy gameplay that anybody can learn. Games include, "Super Pingu Throw: The Wind Challenge", "Ice Bear Attack", "Yeti Slot Machine", "Super Orca Slap" and "Pingu Dart". Kinda makes me wish I had a PSone.

Continue reading "Yeti Sports Hits the Big Time"
Posted by Jeremy on July 6, 2004 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Lunabean | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

Lunabean's "DRIV3R" walkthrough and strategy guide is complete! You can help support Lunabean by purchasing the guide for a mere $4.95 or you can check out the free version where you'll have to deal with a few ads. The 41 page guide has strategies for each and every mission and contains maps and locations for all of the Timmy Vermicellis and secret cars. I also wrote up a review of the game. Now you have everything you need to become the ultimate DRIV3R.

Posted by Jeremy on July 6, 2004 10:53 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

According to Gamesindustry.biz, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata continues to believe online gaming is not in great demand and is, therefore, not of utmost importance to the gaming industry. Iwata, who recently explained his theories on online gaming at the Japan Economic Foundation, cited sales figures which he said "proves" online gaming is not an important factor.
While I agree with Iwata that most customers don't want to pay extra money for online play and internet connections still aren't easy enough for some customers, I don't like that he used a PS2 golf title to prove these games aren't selling...particularly when that golf title wasn't a "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" title. If Nintendo wants to stay out of the online gaming market, that's fine. However, there's no need to mislead people about the success (not to mention the tremendous amount of fun) of it.
Read the Article

Posted by Allison on July 6, 2004 11:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

"Paper Mario 2," the follow up to the popular RPG, now has a website. And, if you can read or speak Japanese, you'll actually understand what the website is saying. In the time between now and when you learn the island nation's dialect, you can watch the preview movie. Afterall, images are universal. Was that Yoshi that I saw? Sweet!

Posted by Jeremy on July 6, 2004 11:14 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

While reading the People Pages of USA Today (insert laugh here), there was a little article entitled, "PlayStation Plugs into Party Scene". The article explains how three parties were thrown at the PlayStation 2 Mansion in the Hamptons this past weekend. The first was thrown by Paris Hilton, in celebration of her new record label, Heiress Records. The second, on Saturday night, was held by Jay-Z, as he launched his S. Carter tennis shoe. Finally P. Diddy held his White Party at the Mansion on Sunday, as he promoted his non-profit Citizen Change organization, which encourages young people to vote. The only specifics of the mansion in the article are, "a posh pad where hoi polloi frolicked by the pool while the VIPs celebrated in their own enclosed area on a balcony overlooking the party." After looking up "hoi polloi" (common people), I realized I needed more. What is this mysterious PS2 mansion...and why haven't I been invited? Sadly, I Googled it, and I came up with nothing. Which leaves me to believe the rich not only have more fun, but they lie about the amount of fun they're having.
Posted by Allison on July 6, 2004 11:29 AM | | Comments (0)


Filed Under: PS2

Thanks to Gamestop for pointing out an interview with Vin Diesel on ComingSoon.net, where Diesel let it slip that a PS2 version of "Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay" is in the works and is being primed for a holiday release. However, Gamespot checked with a VU Games spokesperson who stated, "at this time there are no plans to do Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay on PlayStation 2." My personal opinion? When spokespeople say "at this time there are no plans", it means "we haven't officially announced it yet, but it's in the works". But, that's just me.

Posted by Allison on July 7, 2004 10:28 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

For years, the US military has used simulators for combat training. These simulators were huge, expensive, and took years to develop. Now, thanks to burgeoning PC power and knowledge learned from video games, these simulators are small, still expensive, and only take months to develop. This article from strategypage.com explains that the newest simulators for the US Army were developed to train US soldiers on how to avoid land mines and insurgent attacks: "Ambush Simulators" as they've been named.

Continue reading "Military Simulators"
Posted by Jeremy on July 7, 2004 10:31 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Ubisoft announced today that "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow" for the Nintendo Gamecube has shipped to stores across North America. According to Ubi's earlier press release it seems the PS2 and Gamecube versions of the game are identical, with the exception of the added GBA interactivity with the Gamecube version. We will check the Gamecube version out to confirm this, but, for now, if you need help, please check out our Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the PS2, as I'm sure our Xbox version will only confuse the Gamecube player.

Posted by Allison on July 7, 2004 10:48 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

I don't know why this is military simulator day here at Lunabean, but it seems to be. Anyway, this article (free reg. req.) from the NY Times details another kind of military simulator, a language simulator where a soldier plays as a "Sergeant Smith" who is approaching an Arab village. All communication must be done in Arabic and Sergeant Smith must be aware of indigenous customs so as not to offend or cause anger amongst the townspeople. The simulator is played out on a laptop, something that many soldiers have access to in Iraq. Let's simply hope that all of this technology helps everybody involved to be more safe.

Posted by Jeremy on July 7, 2004 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft has announced the "Long Beach Booster Pack" for "Project Gotham Racing 2." The booster pack is downloadable via XboxLIVE and costs $4.99US. The pack includes eight new routes including, "The Coastal Run," and "Ocean Boulevard," and eight new cars including the Porsche 911 GT2 Clubsport and the Subaru Impreza 22B STi. In May, Microsoft released the Paris Booster Pack, and it was well worth the $5. I can't wait to free up some time to get some Kudos in Cali.

Continue reading "PGR2 Long Beach Booster Pack"
Posted by Jeremy on July 8, 2004 8:16 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Those Japanese always get the cool gaming stuff! In another example of that, Nintendo Japan has announced 10 new NES Classics for the GBA. They are: Super Mario Bros. 2, Nazo no Murasame, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Shin Onigashima, Famicom Tantei Kurabu: Kieta Koukeisha, Famicom Tantei Kurabu II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo, Castlevania, and SD Gundam World: Gachapon Senshi Scramble Wars. While I don't understand half of those, I do know that SMB2, Zelda II, Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Castlevania would do very well in the US. I sure hope they make it over here.

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

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo has announced their 2004 "Street Team," which consists of 6 teams of 8 spread throughout the US. Their summer job is to play Nintendo games at summer music fests, fairs, and sporting events. To help the teams with their "street smarts" Nintendo has brought in Boise, Idaho's finest, Troy McLain, who placed third on Donald Trump's hit show, "The Apprentice." Troy will be running the LA team from his own "board room" on the beach. I bet I could kick his ass in Mario Golf.

Continue reading "Troy Helps Nintendo Street Team"
Posted by Jeremy on July 8, 2004 8:42 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Thanks to GameSpy for their feature, "Halo 2 - Everything We Know". This first part of the series focuses on weapons and vehicles. If you don't have the time to read the multiple page article, then, perhaps a quote from Bungie co-founder, Jason Jones will suffice: "Halo 2 is a lot like Halo 1, only it's Halo 1 on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas. And, the ninjas are all on fire, too."

Posted by Allison on July 8, 2004 8:43 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

As reported last month, ESPN and Sega's NFL 2K5, in conjunction with its new distributer, Take-Two (GTA, Max Payne) have aggressively priced the highly regarded game at $19.95. Now, according to both Gamestop and EB Games, the ship date for the game, July 20th, is a full two weeks ahead of Madden. In past years the game comes out after the Madden game. Pretty darn sneaky if you ask me. Take-Two has done a great job in placing this game in a strategic position to make a small, yet significant, dent in Madden's thick shoulder pads. There is no confirmation that the date is correct, however, I'd bet it is.

Posted by Jeremy on July 9, 2004 10:02 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Recently, a small number of XboxLIVE users received an email saying that because their Gamertag was extremely similar to another user's Gamertag that they would have to change said Gamertag, or their account would be suspended in 10 days. To compensate for this inconvenience and/or loss of identity, MS will send a copy of PGR2, Top Spin, or Links 2004 in addition to a year of XboxLIVE (yet to be confirmed). MS claims that they need to get their data in order, not that they are not running out of Gamertags. This has lead some to speculate that EA Games recent acceptance of XboxLIVE is the cause for the changes. Many users are upset, as they have had their Gamertags since beta testing over 2 years ago. I put in an email to the press department at Xbox. I'll update you with any "official" information if I receive any.

Posted by Jeremy on July 9, 2004 10:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2

Many sources are today reporting Sony's announced plans to unveil the PlayStation 3 at next year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi did not reveal a release date, nor an official name for this next console, but he did hint that the PS3 project is running about one year behind the PSP, which is slated to hit Japan by the end of this year and America and Europe by March 31, 2005 (the end of the fiscal year).

Continue reading "PS3 to be Unveiled at E3 2005"
Posted by Allison on July 12, 2004 12:38 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

I believe it was Slim Shady who said, "the FTC won't let me be." Well, maybe that was the FCC. Either way, the FTC, on July 8th, released its, "A Fourth Follow-up Review of Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording & Electronic Game Industries," to Congress. In general, the gaming industry is doing better in voluntary compliance with ESRB ratings however, gaming magazines aimed at teens and pre-teens still contain ads for "M" rated games. Gaming mags are getting around that "rule" by placing ads for "Rating Pending" games that they know will be "M" but aren't yet classified. Very sneaky. Anyway, if you like this sort of dry stuff, the above link is for you.

Posted by Jeremy on July 12, 2004 12:46 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2

Last week I admitted to reading the People page in USA Today where I found details of a crazy celebrity 4th of July weekend at the Playstation 2 Mansion in the Hamptons. "What is this Playstation 2 Mansion," I asked, "and why haven't I been invited?". Today, I'm pleased to report I have found more details of this 12,500 square-foot mansion, however, I am still without an invitation. Bastards! Next up, I'm looking for a picture.

Continue reading "New Playstation 2 Mansion Details"
Posted by Allison on July 12, 2004 1:01 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

It takes a special kind of game that can make a gamer hate it while, at the same time, keeping the gamer compulsively addicted to it. That's how I'd have to sum up Activision's "Spider-Man 2". The special Spidey forces kept me playing through the god awfulness of it, allowing me to create a beautiful Spiderman 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for those of you who also made the mistake of falling for the hype. Prefer the ad-free and printer-friendly version...or you just like supporting Lunabean? Buy the guide here for only $4.95.

Posted by Allison on July 12, 2004 1:16 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

The official game of the 2004 Olympics in Athens has hit store shelves in North America. Athens 2004 (PS2), published by 989 Studios, places you inside 25 Summer Olympic events in the following areas: Track & Field, Swimming, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery and Equestrian. Equestrian! Gymnastics! Well, at least the other events sound exciting. Don't miss the actual Olympics, August 13-29.

Posted by Jeremy on July 13, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Thanks to GameSpot for their posted article, "Miyamoto: DS wireless Internet a possibility". In the article, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto reveals "that it is technically possible for the DS to connect to the Internet using its wireless LAN?as long as a third party develops the appropriate software." Interesting. I wonder how Lunabean would look on a Nintendo DS. I guess we'll have to wait to find out. Read the article.

Posted by Allison on July 13, 2004 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox | Xbox

This morning Ubisoft made some pretty big announcements concerning the third installment of their "Splinter Cell" series. First up, we have a name: "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory". Not bad. Next up, we have a release date (well, it's more of a time frame): Holiday 2004 for PC, Xbox and N-Gage versions. Finally, we have a storyline. I'll let you read the Press Release for those details. Also, check out the wicked cool 3D Screenshot.

Continue reading "Splinter Cell 3 Gets Name and Release Date"
Posted by Allison on July 13, 2004 11:09 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo Europe today announced that "Pikmin 2" has received an October 8, 2004 release date. This is just over a month behind the somewhat sketchy August 30, 2004 North American release date. Want the official Nintendo word on this upcoming sequel? Check it out here: Nintendo's Official Pikmin 2 Info.

Continue reading "Pikmin 2 Dated in Europe"
Posted by Allison on July 13, 2004 11:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Namco's highly anticipated RPG, "Tales of Symphonia," (Purchase) has shipped in North America. The game features a real-time 3D battle system and many other classic RPG elements in the form of "Ex Gems" and a "Cooking System" which allows players to create recipes to cure one another. The website also features a playable Mana Memory Game (think Simon) for a chance to win a GCN. We've never been big fans of RPGs, but this one has peaked our interest. Read on for story details...

Continue reading "Tales of Symphonia Ships"
Posted by Jeremy on July 14, 2004 9:58 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

Ubisoft has today announced it is developing a video game based on the original Star Wars Trilogy for the GameBoy Advance. The game, titled "Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force" and created in cooperation with LucasArts, will be released on September 21, 2004, to coincide with the launch of the highly anticipated Star Wars Trilogy DVD.
Read the Press Release and View Screenshots

Continue reading "Star Wars Trilogy to Hit GBA"
Posted by Allison on July 14, 2004 10:12 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

It seems there is no end to the onslaught of "real" military simulator video games. Now, add Take-Two's, "Close Combat: First to Fight," to the ranks of "America's Army" and "Full Spectrum Warrior." The game puts you in control of a 4-man team of US Marines set in an urban environment in a modern mid-eastern city in the year 2006. The US Marines had a significant amount of input for the game because they plan on using "First to Fight" for training. The game utilizes the Marines' tactical formations of "Ready-Team-Fire-Assist" (RTFA) and as such is implemented into the game's AI. Crazy stuff. A little too real, perhaps? I wonder if government contracts for video games will become a significant chunk of sales in the future? The game is set for release in Q4 of 2004 for the PC, Mac, and Xbox.

Continue reading "Close Combat: First To Fight Q&A"
Posted by Jeremy on July 14, 2004 10:19 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

According to an article from GamesIndustry.biz, unconfirmed reports from Japanese retailers have revealed the price of the Nintendo DS to be 19,000 Yen (140 Euro) with a US price of about $180. The DS should hit store shelves in the US on November 11th, one week after the Japan launch. If this plan stays on track, that means that the DS will not only beat Sony's PSP to a US and Europe launch but will signifcantly beat the PSP on price, as well. A perfect holiday gift. I can't wait.

Posted by Jeremy on July 14, 2004 10:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Square Enix, known best for their "Final Fantasy" series, recently released a finacial report (.PDF) where they disclosed their most up to date release schedule in both Japan and North America. If you're interested (and I know you are), please check it out here.

Continue reading "Square Enix Release Schedule"
Posted by Allison on July 14, 2004 10:42 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

EA has today announced the shipment of "NCAA Football 2005" to retail stores across North America for the XBox, PS2 and Gamecube. "NCAA Football 2005" marks the first EA Sports title to have Xbox Live compatibility. Improvements over the last title include a revamped Dynasty Mode, a new Stadium Pulse for exciting the crowd, and stadium building. The game can be taken online with PS2 Online and, as stated before, Xbox Live. Order your copy through us to support Lunabean:
PS2|Xbox|GCN

Posted by Allison on July 14, 2004 10:55 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft today announced that those who pre-order the highly anticipated RPG, "Fable," (Xbox), will also receive a "Making Of" DVD. This offer spans most major retailers including: EB, GameStop, Circuit City, GameRush, GameCrazy and Trans World. The DVD also includes a few playable demos and several game trailers including, "Conker: Live and Reloaded." "Fable" is being developed by legendary game creator Peter Molyneux. "Fable" seems to be a micromanaged RPG; no detail has been overlooked. For example, the longer you are in the sun the more tan you get. Every flower that you step on affects the game. Ultimately, your decisions over the course of your life determine whether you are good, evil, or in-between. "Fable" is due out on Sept. 14th, exclusively for the Xbox.

Continue reading "Fable Pre-Order DVD"
Posted by Jeremy on July 15, 2004 12:10 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

EA today announced its first game for the highly anticipated Nintendo dual screen handheld, the Nintendo DS. "The Urbz: Sims in the City" will be made available in November 2004, alongside PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and GBA versions of the game, released at the same time. According the EA's press release, "Exclusive features for the Nintendo DS version include 24 objects, a unique touch-screen menu system, 5 minigames, 7 characters and 8 pet species that players can create with the special in-game 'gene manipulator'."

Continue reading "EA's The Urbz Coming to Nintendo DS"
Posted by Lunabean on July 15, 2004 12:14 PM | | Comments (3)

Filed Under: PC

When "Doom 3" began production, I was still in the womb. Well, it sure does seem like a long time. Finally, id Software and Activision have announced that "Doom 3" has gone gold (is done) and will ship to US retailers starting August 2nd. Mark your calendars and get your PCs ready. I sure hope it ports to the Xbox.

Continue reading "Doom 3 Gone Gold? Halleluiah!"
Posted by Jeremy on July 15, 2004 12:17 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Baseball just had its mid-season break for the All-Star game which got me thinking about the first half of this year and all of the games that Allison and I have played. I figured that today I could give you a quick run-down of the all-stars in the video game world so far this year and tomorrow I could give you a preview of what to expect for the second half of the year. And away we go...

Continue reading "The Year So Far...and What's Next"
Posted by Jeremy on July 15, 2004 12:35 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft has today announced that one million people are now members of the worldwide Xbox Live video gaming service, achieving the milestone three times faster than other subscriber-based entertainment services like HBO, AOL, and TiVo. Xbox Live membership promises to grow even more this fall as EA's lineup of popular titles, including "Madden NFL 2005", "NCAA Football 2005", and "FIFA Soccer 2005" hit the shelves, along with other highly anticipated Xbox Live titles like "Halo 2" and "Xbox Live Arcade".

Posted by Lunabean on July 15, 2004 12:49 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

The US District Court of Seattle has ruled that the state law forbidding the sale of violent video games to minors is unconstitutional, as it is a violation of free speech. The law, HB1009, was originally passed by the Washington state legislature in March of 2003, then was signed in May of that year by Governor Gary Locke (pictured). However, the ban, which called for retail violators to pay $500 if caught selling or renting games to minors, was never enforced as U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik needed time to review the constitutionality of the law. The video game industry welcomes the ruling, and continues "to encourage retailers to voluntarily refuse to sell 'mature-rated' games to children under 17, as movie theaters voluntarily check IDs for youngsters heading into R-rated movie". Read more.

Posted by Allison on July 16, 2004 11:33 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

Thanks to The Guardian for providing some new details regarding the October 2003 theft of Valve's "Half-Life 2" code and the subsequent June 2004 arrest of the malicious hackers. It ends up Valve's action alert to the gaming community provided the help the FBI's Cybercrime Task Force needed to find the culprits. Read the article.

Posted by Allison on July 16, 2004 12:09 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Yesterday, I wrote a summary of the big games so far this year. Today, I'll focus on the games that Allison and I are eagerly awaiting; games that will come out between now and Christmas. And, boy are there a lot of them. In fact, the next two quarters could be the best ever for video game sales, despite the gloomy predictions of Wall Street analysts (what do they know, anyway?). Without further adieu, here are Lunabean's previews of the big upcoming games of '04 (cue music).

Continue reading "...And What's Next"
Posted by Jeremy on July 16, 2004 12:18 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Currently playing at your local Loews Movie Theater: the "Halo 2" trailer. Yes, Microsoft and Bungie will be running the "Halo 2" trailer through August before some of this summer's hottest movies including, "Spider-Man 2," "The Village," "King Arthur," "I Robot," "Catwoman" and "Alien vs. Predator." Allison and I have yet to see "Spider-Man 2," but it's on our list. We'll be sure to get there early to see Master Chief in all of his glory. *drools*

Continue reading "Halo 2 on the Big Screen"
Posted by Jeremy on July 19, 2004 12:31 PM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | PS2 | Xbox

I've been playing "Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy" for the past several days and I've really been enjoying it. With hints of "Mace Griffin" and psychic powers reminiscent of "Force Powers" from "Star Wars" games, this is not your average 3rd person shooter. In fact, it's gotten quite difficult. I've decided to go ahead and write a Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the game. In the meantime if you need help, post your questions on our Message Boards.

And here is the Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

Posted by Jeremy on July 19, 2004 12:43 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Thanks to GTA-San Andreas.com for posting some scans of "GTA: San Andreas" screenshots, as printed in various gaming magazines. Some are better than others, but, what can you do? Until Rockstar releases more screens than the three they already have, we simply have to deal with what we are given.
Scanned GTA: San Andreas Screens
Pre-Order GTA: San Andreas from Amazon.com

Posted by Allison on July 19, 2004 12:52 PM |

Filed Under: PC

As the release date of "Doom 3" approaches (August 3), Activision and id Software have turned their "Doom 3" Website into something more functional than the "Coming Soon" site it once was. Check out the pretty slick Flash site here for info, media and news. Also, this week's Time Magazine has a nice "Doom 3" feature some may find interesting.

Posted by Allison on July 19, 2004 1:07 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The internet rumor mill is active today on word that the publishers of the "Tomb Raider" comic book have let slip that the next "Tomb Raider" game will be ready for summer of 2005. The seventh "Tomb Raider" game is in developement at Eidos's Crystal Dynamics studio after the series was taken away from Core Design because of the huge delays and glitchy gameplay that was "Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness." Word around town is that the creator of "Deus Ex" and ION Storm may have some input into the game as well. That would be very cool. We'll keep you updated as more info comes in.

Posted by Jeremy on July 20, 2004 10:06 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The newest incarnation of the venerable "Madden NFL" series has gone gold and will make it's ship date of August 9th and will hit stores August 12th. It is the first EA game to make use of XboxLIVE. One of the best selling video game franchises ever with over 37 million sold, the newest "Madden" is expected to sell around 5 million copies this year. A side story to this is that Sega and ESPN's "NFL 2K5" is trying to put a dent in the "Madden" juggernaut by coming out earlier than "Madden" and only costing $19.95.

Posted by Jeremy on July 20, 2004 10:19 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PS2

"GTA: San Andreas" will have at least three Death Row Records tracks as part of the soundtrack. The songs are: "Let Me Ride", "Nuthin' But A G Thang", and "Gin & Juice". I'm wondering where Vanilla Ice will fit into this soundtrack ;)?


Posted by Jeremy on July 20, 2004 11:21 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

In today's Houston Chronicle computing column, entitled "Gamers, check under hood because Doom 3 is coming", the minimum system requirement to run "Doom 3" on your PC are revealed. Drum roll please!
? A 1.5-gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 chip or AMD Athlon 1500.
? 384 megabytes of memory.
? Two gigabytes of hard drive space.
? An nVidia GeForce 3 graphics card or better; or an ATI Technologies 8500 or better.
If you're not quite there, check out the column to see what you can do to make your system "Doom 3" ready.

Posted by Allison on July 20, 2004 11:30 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Dear God, what have I gotten myself into? "Over 80 hours of gameplay", the game brags. Oh and it's an RPG chock full of anime? If you know anything about me, you know RPGs aren't my forte, and you know I know nothing about anime. So, again, what have I gotten myself into? If there was one decent walkthroughable game coming out within the next two weeks, this wouldn't be an option, but, since there's not, and because the the Lunabeanies love it so, it looks like this is what I'll be doing for the next several days. So, without further ado, I present to you Lunabean's growing Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Check it out if you need ToS help.

Posted by Allison on July 20, 2004 11:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2

Gamespy has today published their first installment of their two part series, "All We Know: Metal Gear Solid 3". If you've missed any "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" details, this is the article for you. If you've flipped through gaming magazines and surfed the web for every MGS3 detail out there...well, you probably won't learn anything new here, but the article does a good job of stirring up the excitement inside. I love 1960s Cold War espionage in made up Russian territories! "MGS3: Snake Eater" is estimated to be released on November 15, 2004 in North America.
Pre-Order MGS3 from Amazon and support our free content.

Posted by Allison on July 21, 2004 10:13 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Last May it was announced that Microsoft and Bungie Studios would make available a Limited Edition "Halo 2: Combat Evolved" set in North America, upon the game's release on November 9th. Today, Microsoft Game Studios announced gamers in the UK will also have this two-disc set be made available to them upon the UK's November 11th release date. The LE "Halo 2" package will come in a metal box and will include a bevy of extras, including the documentary "The Making of Halo 2: Behind the Scenes of Bungie Studios."

Posted by Allison on July 21, 2004 10:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

OK, OK, I'll admit it. I have a completely unfounded disgust for the Nokia N-Gage and it's soon-to-be released sequel, the N-Gage QD. Granted, I have limited experience with the N-Gage, having only played it at a display in a video game store. However, that doesn't stop me from simply hating the idea of trying to shove a bunch of functionality into a little device and then calling it a gaming machine. And, don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy Nokia phones, but there is something that irks me about the N-Gage.

Continue reading "N-Gage QD (Quick Disappointment)"
Posted by Jeremy on July 21, 2004 10:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Late yesterday Activision announced the results of its first quarter for the 2005 fiscal year, ending June 30th. The news was good for the popular game publisher, as net revenue jumped $52.6 million over the same quarter a year ago. This increase was largely do to the success of "Shrek 2", "Spider-Man 2", "True Crime: Streets of L.A." and "Call of Duty".
Activision is currently looking forward to its upcoming and inevitable"Doom 3" success, but this did not prevent them from announcing a handful of sequels to be released in the 2006 fiscal year.

Continue reading "Happy First Quarter, Activision!"
Posted by Allison on July 22, 2004 9:19 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

According to an article from the Dallas Morning News (subscription), the City Council of Mesquite, TX (a suburb of Dallas, which is where Blockbuster is based) voted unanimously to let six Blockbuster stores swap video games with their customers. While the council made jokes concerning their lack of knowledge when it comes to "video game swapping", they acknowledged the young people of the town found game trading to be hugely important and a growing trend. In order to discourage "bootleggers" from trading, swappers will receive store credit in lieu of cold, hard cash for their games. Could this be an indication of things to come to your local Blockbuster? Could be.

Posted by Allison on July 22, 2004 10:06 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

We now have a factsheet of new information regarding Activision's "Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (THUG 2)". First of all, you can make custom tags and stickers in the "Create-A-Graphic" feature and then use spray paint to tag various structures (sounds like "Jet Set Radio Future"). Secondly, there will be all new team play with Team Hawk vs. Team Bam. There are over 20 unique skaters in all and you can customize them extensively. There will be all new ridable objects including the Segway scooter, hospital gurneys, and hot dog stands. Finally, what I consider the most useful new feature, is the ability to use Slo-Mo to focus and learn tricks while in the air. Sweet. I'm so stoked dude! Oh, snap!

Continue reading "THUG 2 Factsheet"
Posted by Jeremy on July 22, 2004 10:12 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Many sources, including Cnet have picked up on the most recent video game sales data from the NPD Group. The data covers the first six months of 2004 and there are really few suprises. Total console video game revenue (hardware and software) totalled $3.4 billion. While the dollar figure of console hardware sales dropped 17% (due to price cuts) actual unit purchases were only down by 1%. Console software sales rose by 4%. In other words, people keep buying and playing video games. Read on to see the top 10 games of the first half of 2004.

Continue reading "First Half Video Game Sales Data"
Posted by Jeremy on July 23, 2004 8:43 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

Late yesterday afternoon, Electronic Arts (EA), the largest third-party publisher in the video game realm, reported a net profit of $24 million for the first quarter (ending June 30, 2004) of the 2005 fiscal year. This is a $5.6 million increase over the $18.4 million net profit EA made over the same period last year. EA attributes the increase with the overwhelming success of games like "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Need for Speed Underground".
EA also reported their one week tracking of the newly released "NCAA Football 2005" is 50 percent ahead of last year's game, and "Madden 2005" pre-orders are "at record levels". This all adds up to a projected $3.3 - $3.4 billion in revenues for the 2005 fiscal year, up 12 - 15% over fiscal year 2004.

Continue reading "Surprise! EA Still Making Money!"
Posted by Allison on July 23, 2004 9:40 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

Assuming we survive this heat wave that will be consuming Portland today and tomorrow (the mercury is expected to hit at least 103...and we are without air conditioning), Jer is expecting to complete his Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Walkthrough and Strategy Guide this weekend, and I'm expecting to get even farther on my ever-growing Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Once Jer is done Psi-Opsing, he's going to pop on over and help me, so we can fly through the remainder of the Symphonia Guide.
Also, this weekend, we will be escaping to a nice, cool movie theater to see either "The Bourne Supremecy" or "Napolean Dynomite", so look for that report on our Movie Boards. Have a nice weekend everybody!

Posted by Allison on July 23, 2004 10:02 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

I thought I'd seen it all. Now I can die happy. Logan West, a creative genius from The-Elite.net has combined an NES, SNES, N64, GCN, and Gameboy into one beautifully crafted wooden box complete with cool red buttons and a lift top to load GCN games. To see the box, click here. Um, I want one. No, I want two. One to put away in an sealed glass case preserved with argon, and one to play each and every day of my life.

Posted by Jeremy on July 26, 2004 11:21 AM |


Chalk one more walkthrough up for Lunabean. Yes, the Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete! You can read the review and get a gist for the game. We also have it for sale in our Guide Store. There is the all text version or the SCREENSHOT version. You can purchase either one and help support Lunabean, a site that offers free content.

Posted by Jeremy on July 26, 2004 11:41 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to Gamespot and many message board posts, "ESPN's NFL 2K5," football game is experiencing some online bugs. Both the PS2 and Xbox versions are suffering from "login and roster problems" while the Xbox is also having issues with accepting or receiving challenges. The former problem will be fixed by this Friday while the latter will be fixed by August 6. Some are speculating that the rush to beat Madden to the street is the cause for these problems. I say if the game is highly rated, is priced at $19.99 (or less in some stores), and has minor online issues that are fixed then what's the big deal?

Posted by Jeremy on July 27, 2004 8:40 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube

As the release of "Pikmin 2" approaches (August 30th), Nintendo is releasing more screens and trailers. Glimpse the latest images and videos, as Captain Olimar and new pal Louie return to the mysterious planet in search of cash. That's right, this time it's cash, as the company Olimar works for is nearing bankruptcy. Pikmin to the rescue!
For more details, please go here.

Posted by Allison on July 27, 2004 8:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

OK everybody, get your $200 and your crowd-beating stick ready because the Nokia N-Gage QD has hit store shelves in the US. What's that? You don't need a crowd-beating stick because there is no crowd waiting to buy the QD? Well, that may be true but you can still use your stick to beat some sense into those confused few...it's your duty as a sensible American. Yes, the QD, of which I am not a big fan, does solve many of the problems that plagued the original N-Gage. Unfortunately for Nokia, I don't think it will solve the N-Gage's biggest problem: dismal sales.

Continue reading "N-Gage QD Ships"
Posted by Jeremy on July 27, 2004 9:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

Prepare yourselves, as the gaming industry is about to get hit again with a whole new slew of attacks concerning violent games. While we've has some recent and definite wins in this battle, the upcoming releases of "Doom 3", "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas", and "Mortal Kombat Deception" are expected to get legislators up in arms all over again, which just gets me fired up. No one wants kids to play violent games, but taking away their first amendment rights to prevent them from doing so isn't the way to get the job done.
Read the fascinating article that inspired this rant.

Posted by Allison on July 27, 2004 9:34 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

It's not really gaming news, but I know a lot of Lunabeanies enjoy the Anime...and I have to say, playing Tales of Symphonia with Allison is making me more aware of the genre as a whole. Anyway, today, the Anime Network launched. It marks the first time a TV channel has gone from video on demand (VOD) to regular channel. Some of the first advertisers for the new network include, Atari, Nintendo and Capcom.

Continue reading "The Anime Network Launches"
Posted by Jeremy on July 27, 2004 9:37 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

Thanks to GameSpot for their "Spot On: The Halo 2 hype hoax" article, where they look into the URL given at the end of "Halo 2" trailer now being seen in movie theaters nationwide. The URL, ilovebees.com, has sparked many a "Halo 2" rumor, not to mention many a "Wha-huh?" out of the mouths of gamers. Get the details.

Posted by Lunabean on July 28, 2004 9:29 AM | | Comments (0)


Nintendo today officially announced the "DS" development name will be the official name for its new dual screened handheld device when it launches in Japan and North America during this Holiday season. The Nintendo DS has been slightly redesigned with a slimmer profile, larger buttons, a storage slot for the stylus, and stereo speakers. Nintendo also boasts that there are over 120 games in development for the new handheld. I can't wait.

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Name Official"
Posted by Jeremy on July 28, 2004 9:53 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA continues to buy up the competition, further fortifying it's already dominant position with the acquistion of Criterion Software Group from Canon Europe. Not only does EA receive the "Burnout" franchise (they were already publishing "Burnout 3") and the in-development "Black," but more importanly they get RenderWare middleware technology. RenderWare and RenderWare4 (for next-gen consoles) is a common development tool used by many game companies. EA will continue to license RenderWare to competitors, which is sure to draw their ire. What will they buy next?

Continue reading "EA Buys Criterion"
Posted by Jeremy on July 28, 2004 10:18 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Hot on the heels of the official movie title announcement (Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith), LucasArts has announced the game of the same title will be released on May 5, 2005, two weeks before the launch of the film. According to the official press release, this "third-person action/adventure game will deliver the ultimate Jedi action experience as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi join forces in fierce battles and heroic lightsaber duels until one?s lust for power and the other?s devotion to duty leads to a final confrontation between good and evil." Dun dun dun!

Posted by Allison on July 28, 2004 10:24 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC | Xbox

Midway Games today announced a multi-product deal with Epic Games to publish three new video games based on the "Unreal" franchise. Under the deal, Midway receives worldwide publishing rights for the three games, including "Unreal Championship 2," an Xbox exclusive game scheduled for 2005. This is a huge deal for Midway, and instantly puts them into the premium PC games market. I enjoy Midway games, so I'm all for it.

Continue reading "Midway Scores"
Posted by Jeremy on July 29, 2004 9:29 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to many sources, including the BBC, the parents of a 14 year old murder victim are calling on retailers and the government to ban Rockstar's (Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Revolver) game, "Manhunt". The killer, 17, is said to have been obsessed with "Manhunt" and mimicked the game using a claw hammer and knife to stab his victim repeatedly. The game carries an "18 Certificate," meaning you can't buy it unless you're 18, which makes me wonder where the real problem lies. Dixons has already pulled the game.

Posted by Jeremy on July 29, 2004 9:40 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA Sports is promoting their soon-to-be released Madden 2005 by declaring a national sickday on August 10, the day the game will hit retail shelves. To help you get out of work or school, EA has posted logoed Jury Duty, Chicken Pox, and Sick Day forms on their site. While I doubt many companies would accept such an excuse, it is a fun marketing idea. So here's to staying home on August 10 and playing "Madden"! If you're new to "Madden," check out the tutorial.

Posted by Jeremy on July 29, 2004 10:55 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo today released it's earnings report for the first quarter. The result: net income has doubled. The increase in sales of the GameCube, coupled with additional software sales due to the larger installed base, has caused Christian Takushi, at Swissca Portfolio Management to proclaim, "Nintendo is back." I didn't think they went anywhere. Anyway, add in the fact that the Nintendo DS will launch this holiday season and that the GameBoy and GCN will still sell well and you have a good looking company.

Posted by Jeremy on July 29, 2004 11:06 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Yesterday Microsoft held its Financial Analyst Meeting 2004 event in Redmond where it was disclosed that the Xbox 2 will not be released next year. Microsoft?s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer, stated "There's no new Xbox in the next year, but, man, are we hard at work on that next Xbox; that's all we'll say. New Xbox Live creativity, "Halo 2," and again innovation fuels growth, innovation fuels growth. It's about as simple as that." Now, this was a financial meeting where fiscal years are often referenced in lieu of calendar years. Since we did just kick off the 2005 fiscal year this month, it might not be as bad as it seems...maybe.

Posted by Allison on July 30, 2004 9:35 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox

After dances in Junior High my friends and I would go to the local Pizza Hut to eat lots of pizza, shoot spit balls, and play "Outrun." As you drove the pixelated Ferrari with your digital girlfriend sitting next to you screaming, a crowd would gather behind, hoping that you would mess up soon so that someone else could get a shot at it. Now, many years later, "OutRun2" is poised for release in October as an Xbox exclusive. Add in a little XboxLIVE and I just may be able to regain some of my early driving glory. Wilkins, you're going down!

Continue reading "OutRun2 Fact Sheet"
Posted by Jeremy on July 30, 2004 9:50 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Today is the last day to register for Nintendo's free online summer camp over at CampHyrule.com. Camp Hyrule will happen the week of August 16 - 20, and it is the place where Nintendo fans come together and discuss everything Nintendo. From the beginning you will be assigned to a virtual cabin where chats are set up with fellow gamers and experts, then you will be tossed into games, art activities and live chat shows. OH, and did I mention Nintendo will be giving away a few Nintendo DS's to some happy campers? Yipee! I'll be seeing you at camp!

Posted by Allison on July 30, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Recently, Rockstar released nine new screenshots for the upcoming "GTA: San Andreas". My favorite has to be the worker at "Cluckin' Bell" who is wearing the chicken outfit with the fire in the background. The more I see, the more I want to play it. Enjoy the screenshots! "Continue reading" to see the screens...

Continue reading "9 New GTA: San Andreas Screenshots"
Posted by Jeremy on July 30, 2004 10:04 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

Can someone please remind me why and how we committed ourselves to writing a Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough and Strategy Guide? It's not that the game isn't fun...it is. It's just a very, very long game and it's a tough guide to write. That, combined with my sloppy RPG skills, and we have the Perfect Storm. WHEN WILL IT END? Thank goodness there are no other walkthroughs to be writing at this time. Anyway, we'll be working hard on the guide this weekend, then we'll be taking a little Monday - Tuesday time off for our anniversary (Golf anyone?). Then we'll be back at it, night and day, day and night, bringing this dang guide to a close. In the meantime, check out the growing guide here, or ask Lizking a ToS question on our message boards. After all, he expects us to be much farther than where we are on the guide...and that just make me mad!
Have a great weekend!

Posted by Allison on July 30, 2004 10:23 AM | | Comments (0)


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