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Video Game News from August 2004

Filed Under: General Gaming

At a Paris press conference the other day, Ubisoft announced that their highly anticipated WWII shooter, "Brothers in Arms," will be delayed until early 2005. The game was originally scheduled for launch this holiday season. Whether the reason is problems with the PS2 development or simply wanting to separate itself from the onslaught of games coming out this Christmas, gamers are going to have to wait a little while longer. Don't worry, though, it'll be worth the wait.

Posted by Jeremy on August 2, 2004 8:59 AM |

Filed Under:

Ahhh Venice. If you happen to be in Venice the first week of September you now have something to do: watch a screening of, "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children," the straight-to-DVD animated sequel to FFVII. The film will be shown at the 61st Venice International Film Festival in their new digital image category, "Venezia Digitale,"...oh, those Italians.

Continue reading "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children in Venice"
Posted by Jeremy on August 2, 2004 9:10 AM |

Filed Under:

We told you last week of the horrific murder of a 14 year old British boy who was beaten and stabbed to death by a 17 year old who was allegedly "obsessed" with Rockstar's game "Manhunt", and used the 14 year old to recreate a murder from the game. Last week the victim's family was asking retailers to pull the game from store shelves. This week, the victim's family has hired a US lawyer and is filing suit against Rockstar for making the game, and Sony for making a console on which the game was played.

Continue reading "Family Sues Rockstar Games"
Posted by Allison on August 2, 2004 9:43 AM |

Filed Under:

As promised, Jer and I dug our heels in and worked hard all weekend on our Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. We're happy to report we put one heck of a dent into it, and I'm willing to guess we have about one more day of work before the first draft is completed. Since we're going out of town immediately after completing the news, today won't be that day. However, we may get home in time tomorrow to finish it up. We expect to have the complete and final version up by the end of the week. WOOHOO! I see the light!

Posted by Allison on August 2, 2004 9:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Do you ever long for the olden days of gaming when you'd type commands like, "talk man," or, "throw rock," into a game like "The Oregon Trail"? The graphics were crude but the story was enthralling. Well, those days are back! Thanks to homestarrunner.com we have "Peasant's Quest," the sequel to the wildly popular "Trogdor". Of course the gang who made "Peasant's Quest" are a bit irreverent to the genre, but it makes the game all the better. Just don't get burninated! Play now!

Posted by Jeremy on August 4, 2004 9:03 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America has today announced that, starting August 15th, gamers will be able to purchase the Metroid Prime Bonus Bundle. The bundle includes a Nintendo Gamecube system, the award-winning "Metroid Prime" game, and a bonus disc that contains a playable demo version of the highly anticipated sequel, "Metroid Prime 2 Echoes". What's more is these two discs are free, making the Metroid Prime Bonus Bundle just $99.99. Read the Press Release.

Continue reading "New Metroid Prime Bundle Announced"
Posted by Lunabean on August 4, 2004 9:45 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Eidos has announced that "ShellShock Nam '67" will be released in North America on September 14th and in Europe on September 3rd. The game is very important for Eidos as they are trying to enter the very popular "war-genre," something that Ubisoft is also trying to do with their, "Brothers in Arms," game. Eidos hopes that the game will start a long and prosperous franchise. The game claims to bring the fear and chaos of Vietnam right to your TV. I'm not sure if I want that. At what point is it too real?

Continue reading "ShellShock: Nam '67 Gets Release Date"
Posted by Jeremy on August 4, 2004 9:57 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Don't go and get your diaper in a wad, this is not going to happen, but according to Forbes.com, Bill Gates would buy up Nintendo in a second if it was ever offered to him. At an analyst conference in Frankfurt, Gates said, "If Hiroshi Yamauchi phones me up, I will pick up at once," adding that he would immediately make an offer on Nintendo if it were ever for sale. Crazy.

Posted by Jeremy on August 4, 2004 10:06 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Just in case you were worried about the backing of Japanese developers for the upcoming Nintendo DS, Nintendo has distributed a press release just for you. According to Nintendo, some 32 companies, including Sega, Capcom, Konami, Square Enix and Namco, have a total of 64 games in development for the new dual screen Nintendo hand-held device. This brings the total of Nintendo DS games in development to a whopping 120. For a list of the Japanese titles, please go here.

Continue reading "Japanese Developers Prepare 64 Games for Nintendo DS"
Posted by Allison on August 4, 2004 10:08 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

We are expecting a slight lull in Lunabean traffic over the next couple of weeks as gamers turn off their consoles and return to their PCs for one of the most highly anticipated games of the season, "Doom 3". If we weren't so busy with the consoles, we'd most definitely be playing this game...but the line has to be drawn somewhere. However, just because we're not playing it, doesn't mean we don't have a handful of Lunabeanies on the message boards ready and willing to answer questions. So, if you find yourself stuck, please, ask a Doom 3 question in the forums.
Purchase Doom 3 from Amazon.com now!

Posted by Allison on August 4, 2004 10:33 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Capcom has confirmed that "Resident Evil 4," will not be available until January 11th, 2005. Even that date seems a bit too early as retailers such as Amazon have the pre-order date set for February 1st or later. However, this still falls into the "Winter 2004" timeframe, kind of. I think it's a smart move. First, it separates itself from the onslaught of other holiday games. Second, gamers who beat their Xmas games within 2 weeks will trade those in and have something on which to spend their money. Third, advertising for the game will be much cheaper after the holidays. Fourth, why rush the development? The game is going to sell like free hotcakes no matter what.

Posted by Jeremy on August 4, 2004 10:35 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

LucasArts has launched its official Star Wars: Battlefront website in preparation for the game's release on September 21st. "Star Wars: Battlefront" is a tactical action game which allows gamers to take part in some of the most famous "Star Wars" battles, both on and offline. Check out the site's gallery for PS2, Xbox and PC screenshots and trailers.
Speaking of "Star Wars", have you pre-ordered the trilogy yet?

Posted by Allison on August 5, 2004 9:57 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to many sources Sony has revealed they will be using the new Blu-Ray disc format for use with their third gaming console, presumably named the Playstation 3. Blue-Ray discs are read with a special blue laser and can hold up to five times more data than current DVD discs of the same size. The Blu-Ray specification also allows for reading existing DVDs, meaning the PS3 should be able to play standard DVD movies and PS2 games.
Read more about Blu-Ray Discs (PC World)

Posted by Allison on August 5, 2004 10:54 AM |

Filed Under:

We all know by now the tragic story of Stefan Pakeerah, the 14 year old British boy who was brutally murdered by a 17 year old who was allegedly obsessed with Rockstar's survival/horror game "Manhunt". We also all know that Pakeerah's parents have taken legal action against Rockstar Games, and even Sony, as they blame the game for their son's murder. As you can imagine, this news story has been treated in a very sensationalistic manner over in the UK. In fact the story has been so distorted in its reporting, it has stirred the director general of the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) to stand up and write an awesome open letter to Britain's Home Secretary, the Right Honourable David Blunkett MP. For those of you who feel video games have been wrongfully blamed for horrible and tragic events, this letter's for you.

Continue reading "ELSPA Takes a Stand on Manhunt"
Posted by Allison on August 5, 2004 11:27 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Ubisoft Press Release:
PARIS ? August 5, 2004 ? Ubisoft today announced the launch of the Myst? IV Revelation Website, www.mystrevelation.com, which will allow browsers catch a glimpse of the experience that awaits them in the next chapter of the Myst? saga. The Website truly reflects the amazing work done on Myst IV Revelation by the very talented development team of Ubisoft?s Montreal studio.

Continue reading "Myst IV Revelation Site Launches"
Posted by Allison on August 5, 2004 11:36 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

While exective decisions are few and far between over here, I made one this morning: We are no longer accepting comments on our news stories. To those of you who wrote insightful and thoughtful comments, I thank you and I ask that you bring those comments over to our Video Game News Forums, after all, that's where most people do their commenting anyway. To spammers who find creative ways to bypass our Blacklist filters to up your Google rankings to sell your crappy products...well, we try to keep this site kid friendly, so I can't tell you what I think of you and your ways. Oh wait, I can.

Posted by Allison on August 5, 2004 11:55 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Many sources today are reporting that "Lara Croft" creator, Toby Gard, is returning to the storied series, having joined Crystal Dynamics, the developer charged with erasing the bad memories of "Angel of Darkness" and creating a wonderful new game. This announcment falls directly in sync with talk that Eidos is being courted by EA, THQ and Activision. Perhaps Eidos is trying to get all their ducks in a row in order to look its best for a sale or merger. My guess is that EA will buy them out. It seems to be what EA does.

Posted by Jeremy on August 6, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Ubisoft's stand-alone expansion to 2003's extremely successful "Rainbow Six 3" shipped yesterday and should be on most North American store shelves today. "Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow" has players taking on the role of Team Rainbow as they take on an international cabal of renegade military officers who are trying to create conflict in the oil-rich Black Sea region. "Black Arrow" brags much improved AI and adds a split-screen co-op mode for the campaign missions. It is also one of the first games to take advantage of Xbox Live's recent upgrades, including in-game messaging, clan statistics, and user-created tournaments. "Black Arrow" is rated "M" and has an MSRP of $39.99.
Order Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow today!

Posted by Allison on August 6, 2004 10:18 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Strategy Guide

We couldn't be more pleased to announce the completion of our Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. It was a game that took us by surprise. We wrote the guide because there was nothing else to write, and we ended up really, really enjoying it. Who would have thought we'd love an anime-based RPG? I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Check out our ad-free, printer-friendly and beautifully bookmarked version here.

Posted by Allison on August 6, 2004 10:21 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

The past three weeks have been a blur of primary colors, endless battles, twisted story lines, angry summon spirits and lots of pumpkin trees. What am I talking about? Well, last night, we put the finishing touches on our "Tales of Symphonia" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. It was a daunting task and we're exhausted. In other news...

Continue reading "Lunabean Weekend Report"
Posted by Jeremy on August 6, 2004 10:22 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Lately, there has been a lot of speculation regarding a takeover of Eidos (Tomb Raider, Hitman). According to Gamesindustry.biz it looks as if Ubisoft will be the winner, with a deal near closure in the ?215 million range. I'd be pretty darn happy with this as Ubisoft is my favorite publisher. If they could do to "Tomb Raider" what they did with "Prince of Persia" I'd be one happy camper.

Posted by Jeremy on August 9, 2004 8:59 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Be sure to get your sick notes ready as EA has officially announced the shipment of its oh so highly anticipated "Madden NFL 2005". As the press release reads, "Madden NFL 2005 celebrates the franchise?s fifteenth anniversary by pushing the boundaries of realism forward with new defensive innovations including the Hit Stick, that for the first time make playing defense as fun as playing offense, an immersive new Storyline Central in Franchise Mode, where player chemistry and personalities come alive, and enhanced online features including Xbox Live? support." That's enough to get even me excited...and I completely lack the ability to play video game football.

Continue reading "Madden NFL Ships"
Posted by Allison on August 9, 2004 9:21 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

As documented by many sources "Gran Turismo" creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, recently revealed on Sony Japan's website that "GT4" for the PS2 will be ported to the PSP. Yamauchi notes a similarity in horsepower between the aging console and its sleek handheld cousin and suggests that instead of developing a game from the ground up for the PSP, why not simply port one that is already done. Yamauchi believes that it can almost be a straight port without losing much of the functionality of the console version. Very cool. The PSP is due out next year. "GT4" for the PS2 is scheduled for a Nov. 04 release.

Posted by Jeremy on August 9, 2004 9:22 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

It may come as a surprise, as I'm sure you imagine Allison and me driving around in a super-tuned German sports car throwing money out the windows, but in reality, we drive a 5-year-old Kia Sephia (it does have a spoiler). Well, that doesn't discourage me from really wanting the TXS DTEC, which, "turns your Nintendo? Gameboy Advance into a programmable, upgradeable, automotive performance tool for tuning, data logging, and diagnostics." So cool.

Posted by Jeremy on August 9, 2004 9:55 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

If you turned on the news once this weekend, you probably heard the story of "The Xbox Slayings" in Florida. The story is tragic and repulsive, so much so, I can't even bring myself to summarize it (read it for yourself here), however, I do feel the need to question why the media is making such a big deal over the fact that one of the items that was allegedly stolen from the assailant, provoking the murders, was an Xbox.

Continue reading "Florida Murders Barely Involve Xbox...and the Media Loves It"
Posted by Allison on August 9, 2004 10:12 AM |

As we reported last week, there are 64 games in development for the Japanese market for the Nintendo DS. Nintendo today announced that it has 60 games in development for the Western Hemisphere from publishers such as EA, Square-Enix, Capcom, Atari, Sega, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. Some highlights for me include, "Viewtiful Joe," "Tiger Woods," and, "Castlevania." The Nintendo DS (dual screen) is a handheld gaming device with two screens, a touch screen, voice recognition, and wi-fi capabilities. It is due out this Holiday season.

Continue reading "Nintendo DS West. Hemisphere Lineup"
Posted by Jeremy on August 10, 2004 12:55 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to Gamesindustry.biz, although Ubisoft seems primed and ready to buyout Eidos, Electronic Arts may end up swooping in and stealing it from them with a reported cash offer of around $300 million. To fuel this wackiness, it may end up the Ubisoft really has its eye on Codemasters, a privately owned publisher, although Codemasters says it's not for sale. When we hear something definitive, we'll let you know.

Posted by Jeremy on August 10, 2004 1:05 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

The monkies are ba-ack! Ubisoft has today announced "Ape Escape: Pumped & Primed", a "sports-oriented fighting game", is in development for the PS2 and will be released in North America in October of this year. While I'm slightly bummed that the game is a departure from the traditional "Ape Escape" series, I'll take the monkies any way I can get them.
Read the Ubisoft Press Release and see screen shots.

Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces New Ape Escape Game!"
Posted by Allison on August 10, 2004 3:01 PM |

Filed Under:

Thanks to Chris Pirillo and his newest Lockergnome newsletter, Game Invasion for pointing out a little Must See TV heading our way. On September 8, PBS will air "The Video Game Revolution", a two hour documentary on, well, the video game revolution. Based on the website, this documentary looks more in depth than any I have seen to date, as it includes the complete revolution, from Ralph Baer, who first suggested the concept of controlling images on the TV screen in the 1950s, to a couple that met and married as on-line characters and then met and married as themselves. Looking at some of the interview clips, there will also be a focus on the controversy over violent video games. Oy. Check to see when it will air in your area.

Posted by Allison on August 10, 2004 3:38 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Vivendi Universal Games yesterday announced that "Scarface" is coming to consoles worldwide as a third person action shooter. You will play as the gangster of all gangsters, Tony Montana, in a historically accurate Miami amongst other locales such as the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas. The story will be in good hands with screenwriter, David McKenna ("American History X," "Get Carter," "Blow," and "SWAT"), at the helm. The game is slated for an Autumn '05 release. I wonder if it'll be similar to GTA in style. Speaking of, check out the Scarface - GTA connection.

Continue reading "Scarface Coming In Autumn '05"
Posted by Jeremy on August 11, 2004 10:44 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | General Gaming

Nintendo today announced the start date and cities for the Nintendo Fusion Tour which combines current punk and alt rock with Nintendo games. At each venue, Nintendo will, "transform the lobby of the venue into an immersive entertainment space with music, custom lighting and specially designed gaming kiosks featuring the hottest upcoming Nintendo GameCube? games." The headlining band is Story of The Year and support acts lostprophets, My Chemical Romance, Letter Kills, Anberlin and Autopilot Off. The tour kicks off Sept. 18 in Phoenix and will visit a total of 37 cities.

Continue reading "Nintendo Fusion Tour"
Posted by Jeremy on August 11, 2004 11:02 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Ubisoft has today announced "Alexander", a real-time strategy video game based on Oliver Stone's upcoming motion picture, "Alexander", a bioepic based on the life and conquests of Alexander the Great. I have to admit, I am slightly bummed that the game is currently only in development for the PC. But, who knows, if it's successful enough, it just may find its way over to my Xbox.
Read the Press Release and View Screen Shots

Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces "Alexander""
Posted by Allison on August 11, 2004 11:15 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to the Bay City Times for its article detailing the crusade of one Mike Tomich, who after seeing his grandchild having trouble performing simple tasks like picking up objects, noticed that his hands were deformed, apparently from holding a video game controller. He said he has since seen hundreds of such hands, deformed by video game controllers.

Read the Article

Continue reading "Not Just Games, Controllers are Bad for Kids Too"
Posted by Jeremy on August 11, 2004 11:22 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA today announced that dance and electronic DJ, Paul Oakenfold will be the music supervisor for the upcoming "Goldeneye: Rogue Agent". As such, he'll be charged with scoring the game and creating an, "overarching musical personality." Oakenfold is famous for his music as well as for scoring such movies as, "Get Carter," "The Matrix Reloaded," and "The Bourne Identity." I know him as the "Starry Eyed Surprise" and "Ready Steady Go" guy. This is going to be one amazing game.

Continue reading "Paul Oakenfold to Score Rogue Agent"
Posted by Jeremy on August 12, 2004 11:00 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

Just in case you want to be freaked out a little more, Konami announced that those who pre-order "Silent Hill 4: The Room" (due out 9/7/04) will receive a compilation soundtrack with 20 tracks of vocals and instrumentals; 13 of which are available only in the US. I'm not sure if I, personally, would really want to relive a survival-horror game via the soundtrack. I just can't see, say, excercising to it or blasting it in the car and pulling alongside some random dude. Some dude: "Hey man, what's that you're listening to?" Me: "Oh, the Silent Hill 4 Soundtrack. Does it frighten you?" Dude: "No, but you do." *runs away*

Continue reading "Silent Hill 4 Soundtrack with Pre-Order"
Posted by Jeremy on August 12, 2004 11:23 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Over 5,000 gamers are expected to attend QuakeCon, the annual id Software gathering. This year's feature, well, "Doom 3," of course. With the help of sponsor, Nvidia, it is being billed as the biggest LAN party of the year. Nvidia is also sponsoring a PC Speed Building Contest and an Overclocking Showdown. The event runs through August 15 and is being held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. *giggles*

Continue reading "Quakecon is Underway"
Posted by Jeremy on August 12, 2004 11:40 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The NY Times has an interesting article exploring racial depictions and stereotypes in video games. They mention such games as the upcoming, "GTA: San Andreas," "Def Jam Vendetta," and, "Notorious: Die to Drive," Ubisoft's entry into the "GTA" market due out in '05. What is consistantly missed in such explorations is that if you're under 17, you can't play many of the games in question. Also, video games are an art medium. Shall we remove, "To Kill a Mockingbird," and, "The Bluest Eye," from libraries? Nonetheless, a good read.

Posted by Jeremy on August 12, 2004 12:04 PM |

Filed Under:

Fark.com's latest Photoshop contest is inspired by a comment made by Bill Gates last week, suggesting that he would buy Nintendo in a second, if Nintendo offered. The official assignment reads, "Photoshop what the classic Nintendo games would have been like had they been owned by Microsoft originally". I'm seeing a lot of BSODs. See what others came up with.

Posted by Allison on August 13, 2004 8:43 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Many sources are reporting that the dubba, dubba, dubba, dubba, dubbya bee, has bought out Monolith Productions, a company that they have been doing a good deal of business with anyway. Monolith has been working on the MMORPG, "The Matrix: Online," for several years now for Warner Bros. and they are also repsonsible for "Tron 2.0." The two companies also share some history. Nine months ago, Jason Hall became senior VP of WB Interactive. Where'd he come from? Monolith, a company he cofounded.

Posted by Jeremy on August 13, 2004 8:48 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Rumor Alert! The folks over at Engadget.com are passing along some unconfirmed reports out of the Ziff-Davis Electronic Gaming Summit that Nintendo is feeling increasingly confident that the Nintendo DS will be on the market by Thanksgiving. There is no official word from Nintendo, but parents should learn this phrase now: "Sweetie, put down your game toy and eat some turkey".

Posted by Allison on August 13, 2004 9:11 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Gameinformer.com has confirmed with Nintendo the plan to release four more GBA Classic titles on October 25th. Those four titles are "Dr. Mario", "Castlevania", "Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link", and "Metroid". "Castlevania" will be my first purchase from the list, as the original game for my original NES always froze at the Grim Reaper. So, consider yourself warned G-man, this time, I'm coming for YOU!

Posted by Allison on August 13, 2004 9:33 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

Portland is a lucky town today, as we get to play host to both George W. Bush and John Kerry. Since I'm not willing to sign a GOP loyalty oath, nor am I willing to volunteer at a phone bank for Bush, it's not a possibility for me to even see the President as he visits my town. Ah well, I guess that leaves me with John Kerry. So, Jer and I will be making our way to the Portland waterfront where John Kerry will inspire, Jon Bon Jovi will play, and Leonardo DiCaprio will, well, be Leonardo DiCaprio.

Continue reading "The Lunabean Weekend Report"
Posted by Allison on August 13, 2004 9:53 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

The 23rd of August will be quite exciting for you lucky XboxLIVErs across the pond. Jason Avent, creator of the highly anticipated, "Sudeki," will be on from 19:00 to 21:00 GMT to chat and play some "PGR2." In order to participate, simply add XboxLiveEURO2, XboxLiveEURO3, or XboxLiveEURO4, to your friends' list. Sounds like fun. Too bad I'm in the states.

Continue reading "Europe: XboxLIVE Chat with Sudeki Creator"
Posted by Jeremy on August 16, 2004 11:10 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Attention Campers! If you signed up to attend Nintendo's annual Camp Hyrule, pack your cyber bags and head on over to CampHyrule.com. I have been assigned to Cabin 6. Like real life camp, we've spent the first few hours fighting over a cabin name. It looks like we're going to be known as "Super Scope 6", although there's a strong movement for "The Eternal Sunshine". Oy. Up next we have flag design and Nintendo Haikus. Can't we all just get along?

Posted by Allison on August 16, 2004 11:36 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to this Wired News article detailing a new food stamp program which uses a set of CD-ROM video games collectively titled, "Fantastic Food Challenge," to teach food stamp recipients how to better purchase, use, and store their food. I think that the intentions are good, however, they're forgetting that these people are poor, not dumb. In fact, I'd bet that food stamp recipients are some of the best bargain shoppers already and could probably teach us a few tricks.

Continue reading "Quick, Use Your Lasers on the Expensive Swanson's Meal!"
Posted by Jeremy on August 16, 2004 11:39 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

As we reported last week, Vivendi Universal Games announced that they will be making a game based on the legendary movie, "Scarface." Now, you can visit the official website for the game at www.scarfacegame.com. The game is being developed by Radical, who made The Simpsons: Hit and Run.

Posted by Jeremy on August 16, 2004 11:54 AM |

Filed Under:

Thanks to Gamespot for their article concerning many changes happening over at LucasArts. Gamespot was the first to report last week the rumors of layoffs at the popular publishing company and development studio. Now the LucasArts website has its own statement concerning the 31 layoffs which did, indeed, occur. The changes are happening as part of a "major reconstructuring" effort by Jim Ward, who took over as president in May. LucasArts will be focusing on fewer titles, requiring fewer people. This is all in an effort to "make LucasArts thrive", and to position themselves, "for the long-term future".

Posted by Allison on August 16, 2004 12:30 PM |

Filed Under:

Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Madsen have joined the cast of the upcoming video game turned movie, "Bloodrayne". They will be joining "Terminator 3" star Kristanna Loken, who will be playing the title character, and Ben Kingsley in the film, which will begin principal photography this month in Romania. "Bloodrayne 2", the video game, will hit stores this October.

Continue reading "More Actors Join Bloodrayne Cast"
Posted by Allison on August 17, 2004 10:05 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC | PS2 | Xbox

"Conflict: Vietnam," the most recent in the "Conflict" series, think "Conflict: Desert Storm," has gone gold in the UK. The UK release date is set for September 3rd. The US release date is set for October 5th. I doubt I'll play this one as I have never been a big fan of the "Conflict" series and there will be so many other great games out at the time. Watch out for Napalm.

Continue reading "Conflict: Vietnam Goes Gold in the UK"
Posted by Jeremy on August 17, 2004 10:10 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Some new gameplay details have emerged regarding burglary and shopping in the upcoming Rockstar game, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" (10.18.04). As opposed to earlier incarnations of the game, not all missions will reward you with money. You have to find money another way; by robbing homes, for example. You need to learn the art of stealth as you canvas rich homes and go room to room inside them. You have a baseball bat for a reason.

Continue reading "More GTA: San Andreas Details"
Posted by Jeremy on August 17, 2004 10:15 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Many sites are today reporting quite the embarrassing situation for Valve. It seems Valve may have accidentally released a file containing ALL of the dialogue from "Half-Life 2" when it distributed some of the initial "Counter-Strike: Source" betas to cyber caf?s last week. According to reports, the file was buried in a .gcf file, which was included for closed captioning purposes. Valve has not confirmed these reports.

Posted by Allison on August 17, 2004 10:31 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2

Capcom has confirmed a North American release date for the sequel to "Viewtiful Joe", moving it from a broad "Fall 2004" release, to a nailed down November 23rd release date. "Viewtiful Joe 2" will be released for the Nintendo Gamecube and the Playstation 2 simultaneously. The original "Viewtiful Joe" was initially released as a Nintendo exclusive, but will be released for the PS2 on August 24th.

Posted by Allison on August 18, 2004 8:58 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

Both Sony and Microsoft have announced price cuts for their repsective consoles in Europe. The Xbox has dropped to ?149.99/?99.99 while the PS2's price was cut only in the UK to ?104.99. To get some perspective on this, you can read this article from IGN or this article from The Toronto Star regarding an International Data Group (IDG) report that says analysts are hoping and expecting another price cut here in the US. I don't think that's going to happen until next year sometime. There are simply too many stellar games coming out in the next few months which will drive sales of consoles with or without the price cut.

Continue reading "European Price Cuts"
Posted by Jeremy on August 18, 2004 9:24 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo has today issued a list of their European late-year video game releases, along with dates, to confirm a happy holiday season to our friends across the pond. While some are disappointed to not see "Star Fox 2" on the list (expected to be released on November 29 in the US), they can take comfort in a November 26th "Metroid Prime 2" release, and a November 19th "Tales of Symponia" release.
Check out the European Nintendo Holiday release list (US dates included).

Continue reading "Nintendo's Euro Christmas List"
Posted by Allison on August 18, 2004 9:36 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

Majesco today announced that it has acquired the rights to Universal Picture's and Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," the movie that single handedly lowered the amount of people swimming in the ocean. The game, due out in 2005, the 30th anniversary of the movie, will have you play as the Great White shark who is being driven crazy by sonic vibrations from an oil rig. You have to solve a series of puzzles to get to the evil oil riggers. Hmm? Sounds fishy. I'd rather be Quint, hunting and chasing sharks. Seems weird to play as the shark. What is this, "Finding Nemo," for adults? Hey, we'll just have to wait and see.

Continue reading "Jaws - The Game"
Posted by Jeremy on August 18, 2004 9:44 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to this MTV.com article detailing Marilyn Manson's voice acting in the upcoming Xbox game, "Area 51," due out in Q1 2005. He plays a sort of omniscient alien narrator, a seemingly fitting role. Also voice acting in this conspiracy theory-laden game is David Duchovny, who did some previous voice work in Ubisoft's underrated FPS, XIII.

Posted by Jeremy on August 18, 2004 10:00 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | Xbox

You know, Allison and I were never really fans of RPGs. And, it still takes a really good one to get us interested. But the first time we played "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic," I realized that I was hooked. And, now, looking around at the various consoles and what they offer, RPG-wise, I'm realizing that the Xbox is the way to go for an RPG fan such as myself. Sure, the PS2 has the "Final Fantasy" series, which for some reason, I am not interested in at all and the GameCube does have some great RPGs, including "Tales of Symphonia" but the upcoming releases of "Fable," "KotOR 2," and "Jade Empire," definitely give the Xbox the edge in awesome blockbuster RPGs.

Continue reading "Is the Xbox the De Facto RPG Console?"
Posted by Jeremy on August 19, 2004 9:53 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to GamesIndustry.biz for their article discussing speculation that the Sony PSP may not launch in North America until Q2 2005. The speculation revolves around comments made by Activsion CEO, Bobby Kotick, "at best a 50-50 proposition that Sony will make its scheduled holiday 2004 Japan launch." A delay in Japan would undoubtedly mean a delay in North America. This information feeds into an earlier report that many developers may not have games ready for the launch of the PSP in Japan. This opens the window all the more for the Nintendo DS to make an impact.

Posted by Jeremy on August 19, 2004 10:37 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Many sources are reporting that EA's "Madden 2005" has broken all sales records for the company with 1.3 million units sold in its first week. Analysts say that the sales this year are outpacing last year by about 35%. In addition, EA has registered over 300,000 new online accounts for both "Madden 2005," and "NCAA Football 2005," showing that online gameplay and killer sports titles go hand in hand.

Continue reading "Touchdown! for Madden Sales"
Posted by Jeremy on August 20, 2004 10:36 AM |

Filed Under:

Movie theater owners in Logan, UT have figured out a way to make video gaming even more addictive. The owners of Cinefour theaters in North Logan are hooking up video game consoles to movie projectors, allowing gamers to play their games on the big screen. The article, out of the The Herald Journal explains how the theater first used the screen for a "Halo" tournament, and how overwhelmingly successful the night was. I can only hope this becomes a trend.
Read the article

Posted by Lunabean on August 20, 2004 10:37 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

KATU, our local ABC news affiliate, is today reporting that Microsoft is closing its sports video-game studio in Redmond and laying off 76 employees. This marks the division's largest single layoff since the Xbox launched. A Microsoft spokewoman is putting a positive spin on the news, stating, "the company no longer has to make as many Xbox games, because third-party developers are filling the pipeline with an abundance of games".

Posted by Lunabean on August 20, 2004 10:54 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

There's not much on the agenda for this weekend...oh, except the LAUNCH OF THE LUNABEAN STORE. We'll be launching it tomorrow morning, so, please check in and shop around.
Hmmm...what else? We're preparing for next week's "Viewtiful Joe" release on the PS2. Upon release, Jer will play through the game and make changes, as necessary, from the Gamecube version, for which he wrote a great Viewtiful Joe Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. The "Viewtiful Joe" release marks a sort of "beginning of the end" for us, as it is followed by non-stop releases of huge games until Christmas, and we'll be writing guides for as many of them as possible. Oy vey! On that note, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Posted by Lunabean on August 20, 2004 11:16 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Rockstar Games e-mailed us a nice little treat last night, the link to the newly launched GTA: San Andreas Website. While surfing the site, check out the "Movies" section for the first GTA: San Andreas Trailer. I swear there's a scene straight from "Boyz in the Hood" in it. Enjoy!

Posted by Allison on August 21, 2004 10:32 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

The Lunabean Video Game and Strategy Guide Store is now open for business! There you will find a selection of our favorite video games, each with its own free LB Strategy Guide. Why Lunabean? Because games should come with help.
Shop the LB Store

Posted by Allison on August 21, 2004 10:45 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2

Over the weekend, Konami released a new trailer for "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater." The trailer was shown at an industry show in Leipzig, Germany. It is the first trailer in English and you're sure to recognize some of the voices. And, watch out for The Boss, she is one bad ass character.

Posted by Jeremy on August 23, 2004 8:50 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The business side of the gaming world is sometimes just as fascinating as the games themselves. Yesterday, the NYT published a great article (free reg. req.) about the gaming biz detailing the similarities to the Hollywood movie-making biz model. I'm sure many of you have read similar articles in the past, however, this one goes beyond the mere Hollywood/video game connections and goes about summing up the gaming industry over the past year or two. If you've felt left out and not sure how the gaming industry works, this is a great primer.

Read the Article (free reg. req.)
And, if you have time read this NYT article about military training via video games.

Posted by Jeremy on August 23, 2004 8:57 AM |

Filed Under:

According to an article out of Reuters UK, Germans have proved to be a tough audience when it comes to violent video games, and video games, in general. The assumption is, with Germany's fairly recent Nazi history, many Germans are still plagued with shame and have developed a natural aversion to violence. While kids today don't have a memory of the atrocities of Hitler's regime, German mothers almost all have parents who lived through it, and German mothers take seriously their "gatekeeper" role, so kids are not getting their hands on these games.
Germans also suffer from "PC bias". According to the article, "Germans loath to shell out for games consoles", so they keep most of their gaming on their computers. When you have a population that plays mostly PC games, you have a population that plays mostly pirated games. It's an interesting article, give it a read.

Posted by Allison on August 23, 2004 10:09 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

In the ongoing saga that is Viacom and Midway Games, today many sources are reporting that Viacom may indeed soon be the owner of Midway Games. You see, Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone owns over 70% of Midway. If his company buys Midway it may be seen as a bit of a conflict of interest. Therefore, Viacom is being careful, filing Friday with the SEC and naming a three person "independent" advisory board to look at the future acquistion of Midway. No matter what, Viacom wants a game publisher to add to their portfolio, especially with Warner Bros. taking similar action. For more info, check out the Gaming Biz story from today.

Posted by Jeremy on August 23, 2004 10:18 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Gamespot is reporting that Mitsuaki Hagishima, a Nintendo spokeperson, has revealed the existence of a square port located next to the Nintendo DS's earphone jack. Gamespot quotes Hagishima as saying, "There?s a little secret to this [hole]. It looks as though you can plug something in there, but the stylus pen is going to be connected to the back [of the handheld], so?we?ll reveal more in the future."
Hagishima also revealed that Nintendo is considering releasing the Nintendo DS in different colors. Lime green for me, please!
Read the article!

Posted by Allison on August 23, 2004 10:23 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Electronic Arts has announced the master copy of "The Sims 2" has been created, and is ready for mass production. "The Sims 2", the sequel to the best-selling PC game of all time, will hit North American store shelves September 14, and will arrive in Europe on September 17.
Pre-Order "The Sims 2"

Posted by Allison on August 24, 2004 11:09 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

ZDNet is today reporting that Japan's Amazon.com site has listed the PlayStation 3 as a product. While the page has no pictures, no new real info, no release date (expect late 2005 at the earliest), nor any pre-order links, several users are already giving it five stars. Hmmm.
Since I don't speak Japanese, the site is quite difficult to navigate, but I'm thinking the PS3 product page is here.

Posted by Allison on August 24, 2004 11:24 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | Xbox

As we reported about a month ago, the URL ilovebees.com was shown for a split second on "Halo 2" trailers in movie theaters. Upon checking out the bee site, you would have found that the site got "hacked" and displayed weird messages and a countdown clock. That countdown clock ended today, August 24. At the time, speculation was that "Halo 2" may be released early or that a playable demo might appear on that day. As we approached the 24th, the "hacked" site went through various stages, most recently updating itself with scores of GPS locations with associated times scattered throughout the US.

Continue reading "ilovebees - The Axon is HOT!"
Posted by Jeremy on August 24, 2004 11:49 AM |

Filed Under:

The comics of Penny Arcade have been entertaining gamers for years. Now, many more will be taking notice as the boys of Penny Arcade are featured in today's Seattle Times Business and Technology section. It seems Penny Arcade is not only entertaining, but they have used a very interesting and successful business model to build their little online empire. Oh, and there will be a Penny Arcade Expo this weekend in Bellvue, WA. Jer and I are considering a day trip...we'll let you know the results of our considerations.

Posted by Allison on August 25, 2004 9:03 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | Lunabean | PS2

"Viewtiful Joe," a unique side-scroller that was previously a Gamecube exclusive, has been ported to the PS2 and officially will be in stores today. Last October, when the game debuted on the Gamecube, I wrote a Strategy Guide for "Viewtiful Joe." I'll be playing the PS2 version starting today to make sure that the walkthrough still holds mustard. Wait? My walkthrough holds mustard? Ewww! Anyway, the two games are reportedly identical save for the addition of a playable bonus character, Dante from the "Devil May Cry" series. It will be fun to replay the game (for the third time). If you need help with the game, please go here.

Posted by Jeremy on August 25, 2004 9:27 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

"Fable", the highly anticipated RPG title for the Xbox, has finally been completed and the master copy is ready to be cloned for the masses. The game has been in development for over four years, under the watchful eye of Peter Molyneux, the founder of the Lionhead studio. For details about "Fable", please check out Microsoft's Fable Site. While there, download the "Fable Fan Site Kit" for some great "Fable" graphics, including a whole slew of screen shots. Also, if you haven't already, you should Pre-Order Fable, as it's sure to be a huge title. "Fable" will be released in the US on September 14.

Posted by Allison on August 25, 2004 9:31 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

According to IGN, the official Playstation website may have momentarily revealed the "Prince of Persia 2" title yesterday. For a short time, those who visited the PoP2 page saw the title, "Prince of Persia Warrior Within". The title was removed shortly thereafter, and replaced, again, with "Prince of Persia 2". Ubisoft was contacted by IGN, but could not offer an official comment.

Continue reading "Prince of Persia 2 Title Revealed?"
Posted by Allison on August 25, 2004 10:01 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Over the weekend, I stumbled upon this MSNBC column regarding in-game advertising. There is also a companion article regarding Activision's partnership with Nielson Ratings to track in-game advertising, something that we reported on back in May. The column, written by Tom Loftus, seems to miss the point regarding how gamers feel about in-game ads, making wrong assumption after wrong assumption.

Continue reading "In-Game Ads...No Duh!"
Posted by Jeremy on August 25, 2004 10:14 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

The official Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory website has a new treat for Sam Fisher fans: A full length teaser trailer. While some gameplay clips have been available for some time, this trailer is the first hint we all get at the storyline. We now know the story will take place in 2007 and it involves a massive blackout, North Korea and some mega bad assitude. Check it out.

Posted by Allison on August 25, 2004 10:29 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America has today announced its fall release schedule for Nintendo Gamecube and Gameboy Advance games (there is no mention of the Nintendo DS, although we're still hoping for a pre-Thanksgiving release). There are few surprises, outside of both "Mario Tennis" and "Mario Party 6" making it to store shelves in time for the holidays. Oddly enough, what this list does reveal is the name of the next "Prince of Persia" game, which is, indeed, "Prince of Persia Warrior Within", confirming the rumors we reported on yesterday. With that being said, on with the list.

Continue reading "Nintendo Announces Fall Release Schedule"
Posted by Allison on August 26, 2004 11:39 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Electronic Arts has today announced The Black Eyed Peas will be producing the soundtrack for the upcoming game "The Urbz: Sims in the City". According to the Reuters report, "console versions of the game will also include nine tracks from the upcoming Peas album 'Monkey Business' recorded in Simlish." "Simlish" is, of course, the babbling language of the Sims. What I wouldn't give to hear "Where is the Love" in Simlish. But that's if, and only if, it's the complete Justin Timberlake version.

Posted by Allison on August 26, 2004 12:09 PM |

Filed Under: PC

The ongoing saga of the "Half-Life 2" release date continues, as those who have pre-ordered the PC game from EB Games learned today. The pre-order patrons received this little note in their inboxes this morning: "We are writing to let you know that we have changed the projected ship date for Half-Life 2 to November, 1st 2004. The publisher did not provide us with a specific date so this is our best estimate only and should not be considered firm. We will update this date again as we receive new information."

Continue reading "Another Half-Life 2 Delay?"
Posted by Allison on August 26, 2004 12:39 PM |

Filed Under:

While gamers have understood the scope of the video gaming industry for years, it seems the "media giants" are just figuring it out now. That, or they're just starting to read the reports which state, when people play these games, they aren't watching TV. Either way, an article out of today's USA Today explains how these media giants (such as Viacom and Time Warner) are trying to get their paws into the gaming action, and how, with the next five year video game cycle approaching, this is the time "ripe for acquisitions". Read the Article.

Posted by Allison on August 27, 2004 8:41 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

In more microphone news today, both Spong.com and GamesIndustry.biz are claiming the mystery port a Nintendo spokeman revealed last week on the Nintendo DS, is for an external microphone of sorts. GI says the port is "designed for connecting a special headset, whose connector would include both audio in and out plugs." I don't know. I liked Lizking's suggestion: "It is a port that taps directly into your wallet and sucks your money out. Nintendo is finally taking the direct approach to draining its customers dry, instead of hiding behind the vail of innovation."

Posted by Allison on August 27, 2004 9:15 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America's press site has updated its "Mario Party 6" information to include a new feature: A microphone controller, called the Nintendo Gamecube Mic. According to the site, "The game comes with a Nintendo GameCube Mic. Now you can control some furiously fun mini-game action with the sound of your voice." The only other information provided comes under a section, "How to Progress Through the Game". After descriptions of "Story Mode" and "Party Mode" are given, "Mic Mode" is explained as: "In Mic mode, players speak into the Mic to answer questions in a game show." Interesting. Very, very interesting.

Posted by Allison on August 27, 2004 9:36 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

The 3rd Annual Lunabean Fantasy Football League (LFFL3) is almost underway starting with the Live Draft tonight at 8:00 PM PST. Allison (Team Kerry) and I (Teh Awesomers) will be there trying to pick the best teams possible. I have highly pre-ranked many a Buffalo Bill in hopes that I'll be able to snag one Travis Henry (see picture) and one Drew Bledsoe. Yes, yes, I'm a Bills fan complete with the heartbreak that was the early 90's. However, at the beginning of this season, I have the Super Bowl in my sight as Bledsoe can only get better after coming off a crappy season and the running back situation is much improved with last year's first round pick Willie McGahee tandeming with one of my favorite Bills, the man, Travis Henry! Will my fantasy team suffer from a Bills-heavy lineup? Who cares? It's fun, oh, and you Lunabeanies are going down!

Posted by Jeremy on August 28, 2004 9:05 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | General Gaming | Lunabean | PS2

Happy Saturday! It's time to fill you in on Lunabean happenings. First of all, if you've missed the various links and changes, we launched the LB Video Game and Strategy Guide Store. Every game that we sell comes with a free LB Guide and many come with Free Shipping! In addition to the games, we are offering E-Guides, which can be shipped or E-mailed to you, and a way to Donate (Free Gift, too) if you feel so inclined. Don't worry, we still have our entire catalog of Downloadable and On-Demand LB Guides. We hope the LB Store offers you a new way to shop for video games and a way for you to help support Lunabean; a site that offers free quality content. Thanks!

But wait! That's not all the news...

Continue reading "LB Weekend Report"
Posted by Jeremy on August 28, 2004 1:15 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Lunabean | PS2 | Strategy Guide

Over the weekend, I completed the LB Viewtiful Joe Strategy Guide and Walkthrough for the PS2 and Gamecube. The game originally debuted last October on the Gamecube and was released last week for the PS2. It's a 2D cel-shaded side-scroller that puts you in control of the hero, Joe who must rescue his girlfriend, Silvia. It's a great game. In addition to the free Strategy Guide we also have a Downloadable On-Demand version and an E-Guide version that can be sent via E-mail or to your home on CD. You can also Purchase Viewtiful Joe and it comes with a free LB Strategy Guide.

Posted by Jeremy on August 30, 2004 8:10 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Recently advertisments for "America's Most Wanted," a game where you hunt terrorists including Osama Bin Laden, have begun to appear around Britain. One such billboard, featuring Osama and reading, "Go Get 'Em," appeared just around the corner from a Mosque in a neighborhood with "scores of muslims." Not the wisest ad placement I've ever seen.
Read the article

Posted by Jeremy on August 30, 2004 8:21 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

The day is finally here! Captain Olimar, his assistant Louie, and the Pikmin are making their way back to Earth in an effort to save Olimar's home planet, Hocotate. I prepared myself for this formidable task by playing the original "Pikmin" this weekend, reminding myself how to most efficiently control the little guys in their multitasking madness. I will save Hocotate, Olimar, I promise I will!
Look for "Pikmin 2" on store shelves later today (in Seattle and Portland area stores), then expect to see it in all US locations tomorrow. We will begin writing our Pikmin 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide the moment we get our hands on it.
Read Nintendo's "Pikmin 2 Ships" Press Release

Continue reading "Happy Pikmin 2 Day!"
Posted by Allison on August 30, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Thanks to Gamespot for their article revealing that the mystery headset port on the Nintendo DS will work with the built-in 802.11b wireless capabilities, thus enabling Voice Over IP (VOIP) communication. VOIP is what XboxLIVE, and a plethora of phone and cable companies are now offering to their subscribers as a replacement for the standard phone. In other words, if you have a wireless hotspot, you can make phone calls for free.

Continue reading "Secret Port More Than a Microphone"
Posted by Jeremy on August 31, 2004 11:16 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC | Xbox

Ubisoft today announced that Amon Tobin will create the soundtrack for "Splinter Cell Chaos Theory" (Xbox, PC, Holidays '04). Tobin will create a moody, immersive soundtrack that will compliment the settings and situations of the game. Although this game is coming fairly quickly on the heels of "Pandora Tomorrow," I have full confidence that it'll be a wonderful gaming experience. Hopefully Amon Tobin will be a large part of that.

Continue reading "Amon Tobin Composing for Splinter Cell Chaos Theory"
Posted by Jeremy on August 31, 2004 11:28 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | General Gaming | Lunabean

Allison and I headed out to our local video game store at 10:30am, just in time for the arrival of "Pikmin 2". The clerk said that he only had a few non-preordered copies and that a few kids had been asking about it earlier. Fortunately, FedEx was a tad late, so we slid right in and nabbed a copy with perfect timing. Take that you kids!!! Mwhahahhahaha! So, yes, we have it. Allison is currently playing it. We'll be writing a walkthrough for it. If you need help in the meantime, visit our forums. "Meehehehhehe" (that's a Pikmin drowning).

Posted by Jeremy on August 31, 2004 11:35 AM |

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