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Video Game News from November 2004

Filed Under: Xbox

As we experienced and reported here and here, the "I Love Bees" Alternate Reality Game is a viral marketing campaign for "Halo 2". Now that the Nov. 9 release date is quickly approaching, the "I Love Bees" game seems to be coming to a close with a final round of calls going out yesterday. On Nov. 4, however, there is a Combat Training Excercise in four select US cities: San Francisco, New York, Schaumburg, IL, and Austin. To get on the training list you have to send an email to dana with the city and your name in the header. You are given an address and people will be there to match your email to a list. I'm guessing Microsoft will make available playable "Halo 2"s to get some early buzz going. For more information check out the I Love Bees 404 page. And, for more information on Alternate Reality Games, check out this Wired article.

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2004 8:12 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Somebody has a little too much spare time on their hands...to our benefit! Brian Provinciano has created a home-brew GTA game for the original NES called Grand Theftendo, an amalgamation of "Grand Theft Auto" and "Nintendo" for those of you who are a bit slow. Anyway, the game, which is still in development, will be a free download upon completion. Perhaps you can shoot Mario or Luigi? I doubt it.

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2004 8:16 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | General Gaming | PS2

Capcom today announced that "Resident Evil 4" will be available for the PS2 in late 2005. Originally, the game was to be a GameCube exclusive. The GameCube version has a US release date of Jan. 11, 2005. The "Resident Evil" survival horror series has sold over 25 million units worldwide, quite successful by any standard.

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2004 9:52 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC | Xbox

Lucas Arts has unveiled the website for Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) II: The Sith Lords (Dec. 4 - Xbox, Feb. 5 - PC). The highly interactive site begins with you clicking on the Light or Dark side to enter the site. Here you can learn about the gameplay, the story, and download screensavers, wallpapers, and AIM icons. "KOTOR II" is set five years after the events of the amazing, if glitchy, "KOTOR". This is yet another blockbuster game that is coming out this holiday season. I simply can't wait.

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2004 10:04 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft has released information on 8 monsters that you will encounter in the upcoming "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" (Nov. 30). The monsters include: Spike Beasts, Raider, Executioner, Bladedancer, Crow Master, Silhouette, Brute, and Griffin. All of them sound exceptional, as far as monster go, but the Silhouette really peaks my interest with the ability of it to twist into all manner of improbable shapes and quickly avoid attacks. For more information on the game and to see screenshots, visit the official site.

Continue reading "PoP: Warrior Within Monsters Revealed!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 2, 2004 9:01 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

ESPN Videogames and Remington (the shaving people) have announced the Titanium Bowl 2K5, an online tournament for "NFL 2K5" with a prize of $10,000. After you register, play as many ranked games as you can between Nov. 11 and Nov. 24, and you may qualify for the online playoffs. An XboxLIVE or PS2 Online account is required. For more info, visit the tournament site.

Posted by Jeremy on November 2, 2004 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: PC

If you are a Sims player, you can download the Dumbold voting machine, allowing your Sims to vote with all of the complications of the Diebold voting machines that many Americans will be using today! These complications include technical issues that erase your Sims' votes to Baxter the Chimp hacking the system. Oh, and, my favorite, a spoof on P. Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign. Choose to "Vote", and move on. Choose to "Die", and you'll burst into flames right at the terminal. Woo Hoo!
Seriously, though, these are important times. Get out there and vote! Show Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly that you will leave your bong to stand in line for an hour to be heard. Need motivation? Check out Eminem's "Mosh" video. Invest in your future, be heard, and vote!

Posted by Allison on November 2, 2004 11:02 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

As we reported last week, Sony revealed pricing and battery life on its handheld PSP. The battery life was quoted between 4-6 hours of gameplay with the stipulations that headphones were being used, screen brightness was at a certain level, and you weren't playing a graphically intensive game. Now, according to GamesIndustry.biz, SCE president, Ken Kutaragi, states that more graphically intense games may only last 2 hours on one charge. That's not good news for Sony who has taken a lot of flak over short battery life. Yet another reason why I think the PSP will go the way of the N-Gage.

Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2004 8:55 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In what may just be my favorite video game ever, "Tron 2.0 Killer App," has shipped for the Xbox. The game features 60 single player levels and 10 huge multiplayer maps which are fully integrated with XboxLIVE, meaning that up to 16 players can battle it out online. Hey, if it glows blue, I'm in! This game may take a back seat to our current "GTA: San Andreas" Guide and our upcoming "Halo 2" Guide, amognst several others, but rest assured, I shall get to it!

Continue reading "Tron 2.0 Killer App Ships for Xbox!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2004 9:03 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Electronic Arts has announced that they have shipped the RPG, "The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age" (Xbox, PS2, GameCube). This the first console RPG set in the "Lord of the Rings" world. You can choose to play as one of many characters and choose your own path fighting evil forces throughout Middle Earth. I sure hope that they have included several breakfasts and much ale!

Continue reading "LotR: Third Age Ships"
Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2004 9:15 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

"Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal" has shipped and is due in stores by tomorrow, Nov. 4. The third installment of the game features online multiplayer for up to 8 people. The single player story sees, "Ratchet and Clank return to Planet Veldin (the setting of the original Ratchet & Clank) where they've been called upon by the president of the galaxy to stop Dr. Nefarious as he plots to exterminate all organic life." Should be fun. We'll check it out when we have time away from the other huge blockbusters coming out this Xmas. For more information, check out our previous story.

Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2004 9:26 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Eidos today announced another "Hitman" game, "Hitman: Blood Money," due out for the PS2, Xbox, and PC in Spring 2005. Once again playing as Agent 47, you will be paid in cash and how you spend the cash will determine your passage through the game including the weapons at your disposal. We're not big "Hitman" fans here, but we're always willing to give them a try. We'll probably write a walkthrough for the game.

Continue reading "Eidos Announces Hitman: Blood Money"
Posted by Jeremy on November 4, 2004 9:52 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Konami recently released information regarding the voice and soundtrack work for the upcoming release "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" (Nov. 17, PS2). Once again doing the voice work for Snake is renowned voice actor and screenplay writer, David Hayter, who wrote the screenplays for "X-Men," "X-Men 2," and "The Scorpion King." The game will also feature an original soundtrack composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, composer of the soundtracks for "Shrek," "Shrek 2," and "Enemy of the State." With such great hollywood talent, and creator Hideo Kojima's vision, "MGS3" is sure to be one of the most cinematic games ever made.

Continue reading "MGS3 Voice and Soundtrack Info"
Posted by Jeremy on November 4, 2004 10:10 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to Lunabeanie Moderator, Trancemaster, for pointing out this article from the Guardian detailing a graphics patent violation suit lodged against all major game makers by Tektronix. The patent in question was granted in 1988 and covers a technique that almost every game maker uses for 3D modelling. If it's the same Tektronix based right here in Portland, OR (actually, Beaverton, don't laugh), then they have changed their focus from printing to electronic test equipment, but I think they have. The Tektronix group are regulars at the restaurant I work at, so I'll be sure to eavesdrop as much as possible.

Posted by Jeremy on November 4, 2004 10:20 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The Golden Joystick Awards winners have been announced. The industry's longest running awards show received a record 200,000 votes and no clear publisher or game swept anything this year. Some highlights: GameCube game of the year: "Mario Kart: Double Dash!!". Xbox game of the year: "Fable". PS2 game of the year: "Burnout 3: Takedown". PC game of the year: "Doom 3". Publisher of the year: EA. Most wanted game for 2005: "Zelda".

Continue reading "Golden Joystick Awards Announced"
Posted by Jeremy on November 5, 2004 11:38 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

OK...the headline is a tad misleading as NintendoDS.com has been active for quite sometime. However, it is now more than a teaser page. NintendoDS.com is now a fun and functional "Nintendo DS - Touching Feels Good" interactive experience that will teach you even more about the new gaming system. So, go ahead and get your drool cups out and head on over to the newly revamped DS Site!

Posted by Allison on November 5, 2004 11:52 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The New York Times yesterday published an interesting article (free sub. req.) regarding the growing importance of voice acting in video games. What was once an afterthought is now a main component in most games. In addition, much Hollywood talent has been tapped for voice acting including: Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, Peter Fonda, Michelle Rodriguez, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Liotta and Ice-T. The $23-30 billion/year industry sure is growing up.

Posted by Jeremy on November 5, 2004 11:55 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Gamespot is this morning reporting that gamers from several Midwestern states claim to have already purchased Halo 2 (due to be released on November 9th) from local stores. Gamespot cites the Gaming Age forums where photos of the limited edition version of the game have been posted, along with reports of individuals picking the game up at several Meijer stores. Gamespot also provides links to a few of these copies being sold on eBay. Meijer stores operate out of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky, and they are self-described as a "grocery and general merchandise retailer". Specifically, stores in Toledo, Ohio were mentioned by those who claim to have their paws on this game. Ah Ohio. I'll just leave it with that.

Posted by Allison on November 5, 2004 12:16 PM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

You know, if video games really do inspire violence, I'm screwed. Jer and I remain focused on our GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, as we prepare ourselves for next week's Halo 2 release. We honestly think we'll finish the missions up today or tomorrow, and have a final version of it up at the beginning of next week. YeeHaw! Of course, that depends on how many breaks we take to watch the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith trailer posted by one of our favorite Beanies, Car1gt. But, seriously, what better way is there to get your aggression out than a game like GTA: SA? And, after a week like this, it seems half of you (myself included) really needs to get some aggression out. Oy.
Buy GTA: San Andreas today!
LB's GTA: SA Strategy Guide - Rough Draft

Posted by Allison on November 5, 2004 12:33 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

This weekend marked the launch of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade gaming service, allowing Xbox Live members to download classic games as they are released. We are told new content will be available every month, with the added social features of Xbox Live, including multiplayer functionality (when available), scoreboards and voice chat. What do you need? An Xbox Live Arcade disc. You can order the disc for $4.99 (it's free, but you pay for shipping and handling) from www.xbox.com/LiveArcade. These discs will be packaged with Xbox Live Starter kits, and, for a limited time, will come with a full version of Ms. Pac-Man. I would imagine these discs will soon be made available for free at certain gaming stores (although that's just a guess). Once you have the disc, put it into your console and try out various game demos. From here, decide which games you would like to purchase (prices range from $9.99 to $19.99), and they will be directly billed to your Xbox Live account. To see the list of currently available games, please click here.

Continue reading "Xbox Live Arcade Launches"
Posted by Allison on November 8, 2004 8:53 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America has today launched Mario Power Tennis for the Nintendo Gamecube. Jer and I spent hours and hours playing the original Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64, and we will most definitely check this bad boy out. Up to four players can compete on a single screen, which will satisfy both tennis purists and gamers who love their fancy Mario tricks. Look out for the bananas on the court!
Read the Press Release and view screenshots.
Purchase Mario Power Tennis from Amazon.

Continue reading "Mario Power Tennis Launches"
Posted by Allison on November 8, 2004 10:45 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Twas the night before madness and all through the land, not a gamer was sleeping, so they made their demand: "Halo 2 at midnight, we know that you care, don't tell me you don't have it, I see it right there!" So the Gamestops and the EBs decided to give in, "Alright you gamers, fine, here you go, you win." And the people lined up and the stores got it right, "Here are your Halo 2s, now go have a good night".
Sorry about that...I'm in the holiday mood. Point being, if you pre-ordered the Limited Edition version of Halo 2, give your store a call today. Chances are, they are holding a Halo 2 Midnight Madness release party and you can pick your game up tonight! WooHoo!

Posted by Allison on November 8, 2004 11:18 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Strategy Guide

After a long and arduous weekend of playing the game, we have finally finished all of the story missions for our GTA: San Andreas Strategy Guide. We are working on the introduction and on an "Extras" page, which will be coming soon. Hopefullly, by the end of the day, we'll have it all done and we'll put the PDF version up for sale. Stay tuned for updates...

Posted by Jeremy on November 8, 2004 11:51 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Seemingly taking a cue from Nintendo's recent "Touching Feels Good" campaign for the DS, Sony has created its own ear-catching slogan, "What's Yours Called?" complete with mandatory website, whatsyourscalled.com, for the new sleeker, thinner, PS2. Admittedly, the "reborn" commercial on the website does crack me up. For any of you thinking of buying the svelte PS2, remember, it isn't compatible with an add-on harddrive, so, if you're a serious gamer, go with the old version.

Posted by Jeremy on November 9, 2004 9:00 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

With the launch today of Halo 2, the Alternate Reality Game (ARG), I Love Bees, which was part of a viral promotion for "Halo 2", has come to an end. You can view the credits and see all of the people behind the game that had Allison and me driving around Portland with our GPS unit looking for pay phones. It ends up the people behind "I Love Bees" are the same people behind the ARG, "Beast," for the movie "AI". Ah, bees.

Posted by Jeremy on November 9, 2004 9:10 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

In case you didn't get the football reference, EA Sports has announced price cuts for its entire sports line-up. "Madden NFL 2005," "NBA Live 2005," and "NHL 2005," are now at priced at $29.95. "NCAA Football 2005," is now $39.95. You have to wonder if the success of ESPN's "NFL 2K5" which launched at $19.95 has had any impact on EA's decision to make sports games cheaper. After all, they are basically the same game year after year. Why not give the dedicated gamer a break?

Continue reading "EA Sports Games Prices Get Chop Blocked"
Posted by Jeremy on November 9, 2004 9:21 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Happy "Halo 2" day everybody! Although I didn't grab my copy at midnight last night due to the fact that we are finishing up our GTA: San Andreas Strategy Guide, I plan on picking it up today. Just think, at least 1.5 million people will soon be battling the Covenant armies. And they say we're a divided country. I'm excited to check out the online features. I'll be writing a walkthrough for the game, so stay tuned!

Posted by Jeremy on November 9, 2004 9:28 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

"In the first 24 hours we'll have an opening that's (more) popular than any motion picture has ever had in history," Bill Gates told Microsoft shareholders at a meeting yesterday. Peter Moore, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's games division, deemed yesterday a "$100 million day on Halo". Of course, the numbers aren't quite tallied yet, but according to Wired's "Halo 2 Rakes in $100 Million" article the numbers will add up. The midnight launch at about 7000 stores nationwide certainly helped, as "one retailer sold 8,500 units in the first 11 minutes of sales, while another sold 200,000 units by daybreak Tuesday."

Posted by Allison on November 10, 2004 9:50 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Those lucky folks over at IGN have gotten their dirty little mittens on a Nintendo DS. There are a bunch of pictures and a very good explanation of everything that is included in the box. A few highlights include the "thumb strap" which is part of the lanyard and, of course, the demo for "Metroid Prime: Hunters". The "thumb strap" is a little plastic piece that fits over your right thumb giving you a slick way to use the touchpad without messing up the screen with your cheeseburger fingers. The demo of "MP:H" is called "Metroid Prime: First Hunt" and comes in a cardboard cover. The cartridge is much smaller than a GBA cartridge. If you weren't excited about the DS before then this article just might get you there. I can't wait for ours to come in.

Posted by Jeremy on November 10, 2004 11:14 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Strategy Guide

We are oh so pleased to announce the completion of our GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Our GTA: SA Guide takes you through every story mode mission and, because the game is so huge, obviously includes so much more. For those who prefer the ad-free, printer-friendly and beautifully bookmarked .PDF versions of the guide, please go here and throw some support our way:
LB's Downloadable and On-Demand GTA: San Andreas Strategy Guide
LB's GTA: San Andreas Guide by E-mail

Posted by Allison on November 10, 2004 11:26 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to this article from CNNmoney, Microsoft has announced that it sold 2.4 million units of "Halo 2" in its first day. That equals a staggering $125 million, rivaling the weekend earnings of only the largest Hollywood blockbusters, and that was in one day. With sales like that, I would imagine that sales of the Xbox itself are also going through the roof, especially with online play. The dedication of "Halo" fans is amazing with many queing up to 15 hours prior to the midnight launch last Monday at 7,000 retail stores. I imagine there are a lot of sleep-deprived gamers out there right now.

Posted by Jeremy on November 11, 2004 9:24 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS | PS2 | Xbox

EA today announced that the newest "Sims" game, "The Urbz: Sims in the City," (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, GBA) is available in stores worldwide. The DS version will ship on Tuesday, Nov. 16 as a launch title for the DS. In "The Urbz" you have to build up your reputation on the streets so that you can "access the coolest people and the hottest places." There are nine distinct neighborhoods and multiple apartments. For any "Sims" fan, this should be a good one.

Continue reading "The Urbz: Sims in the City in Stores"
Posted by Jeremy on November 11, 2004 9:29 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

"Gran Turismo 4", the latest in the blockbuster "Gran Turismo" series, has gone gold. The game promises to be all the more realistic and all the more customizable. I'm not a big fan of the series as I lean more toward the "Project Gotham Racing" type of racing game...more arcade, less sim. Nevertheless, "GT4" has a loyal and large following. The game will be released in the US on Dec. 14. Pre-Order it Now

Posted by Jeremy on November 11, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide | Xbox

For all of you who have asked, yes, we are going to write a "Halo 2" guide. We just finished up our "GTA: San Andreas" guide and we've been playing "Halo 2" to get a feel for the game. We plan on starting the guide today. Check in on the guide as we write it for the most up-to-date information. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you have on our official "Halo 2" help thread on the LunaBoards.

Posted by Jeremy on November 11, 2004 10:05 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Nintendo has announced a special promotion for the launch of the latest GBA "Zelda" game, "The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap" (Nov. 12 in the UK). "Nintendo has planted six golden tickets in Zelda Limited Edition Pak boxes across the UK. Those lucky enough to find one of the tickets will instantly win a strictly limited edition gold plated Game Boy Advance SP!" Wow, a gold plated GBA:SP. Sweet. I hope that this promotion makes it across the pond for the US launch of the game in January.

Continue reading "Britons Try to Find Golden Ticket"
Posted by Jeremy on November 12, 2004 10:38 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo has announced its early 2005 release schedule for all of its products. While the DS line-up isn't awe-inspiring, it's pretty good and will only get better. The GameCube highlights include "Resident Evil 4" in January and "Star Fox: Assault" in February. There are a lot of good GBA games coming out including "WarioWare Twisted!". Read on for the complete Quarter 1 line-up.

Continue reading "Nintendo's Early 2005 Release Schedule"
Posted by Jeremy on November 12, 2004 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Yesterday, I came upon this blog of a disgruntled spouse of an EA employee. I didn't report it because it is hard to tell if the claims are factual. Now, Gamespot is reporting that a San Francisco law firm (with my namesake) is in the process of filing a class action lawsuit against EA for not paying overtime. I would imagine that EA would settle any such accusation quickly and discreetly. Hopefully the guys and gals who work thier butts off for Joe Gamer get the overtime or compensation that they deserve. If more news on this story pops up, I'll be sure to keep you informed.

Posted by Jeremy on November 12, 2004 11:49 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Take this story with a grain of salt, but the Inquirer (not the US tabloid) is reporting that due to some market research they saw, it seems MS will unveil a non-HD (Hard Drive) and an HD model of the Xbox Next in 2005. The Xbox Next PC, a fully functional media center computer would launch in 2006. This would fit with MS's plan of making the Xbox into your home media device, while at the same time, giving gamers who simply want an Xbox Next to simply buy an Xbox Next.

Posted by Jeremy on November 12, 2004 11:57 AM |

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

It's time to make room for the many holiday games coming out, so I went through the store today and slashed prices! YeeHaw! Also, for those of you who prefer to shop online via PayPal, all of our games and guides can now be purchased using your PayPal account. All of this, AND our games come with free strategy guides. I'd buy from us. :)
Shop the Lunabean Video Game Store.

Posted by Allison on November 12, 2004 8:21 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Despite their terrible loss to the Patriots last night and the fact that McGahee rushed for only 37 yards, I'm still super-psyched about the prospect of being able to play "Halo 2" online against Buffalo Bills' star running back, Willis McGahee. Starting tomorrow, Nov. 16, at 2:30pm EST, sign on to XboxLIVE and look for the gamertag "WMcGahee21". This event is part of XboxLIVE's "Game with Fame" series. Perhaps I can ask him why the Bills suck so bad this year. Oh, wait, I already know...bad offensive line. For more information, go here.

Continue reading "Running Back McGahee to play Halo 2 Online"
Posted by Jeremy on November 15, 2004 10:50 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

I've been hearing some reports that if you beat "Halo 2" on Legendary Difficulty you'll get an odd message in the credits, "Coming Februrary 9th". This has led to speculation that "Halo 3" may be released on that date in 2006, that Bungie may announce "Halo 3" on that date in 2005, or that perhaps some downloadable content will be released on February 9th. My guess, and that's what it is, a guess, is that new content will be available only for those who have beat the game on Legendary, thus rewarding those who are the true "Halo 2" elite.

In other "Halo 2" news, CNet News is reporting that "Halo 2" is being used to sniff out modded Xboxes.

Posted by Jeremy on November 15, 2004 11:05 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Capcom and Nintendo have officially licensed a new Gamecube controller, in the form of a blood splattered chainsaw, to aid gamers as they slaughter their way through the upcoming Resident Evil 4 game. The RE4 controller maintains the same control stick and buttons of a normal Gamecube controller, meaning you could have quite the entertaining Mario Party 6 multiplayer experience...particularly when you consider the controller's built in speaker, which occasionally releases chainsaw noises. Both the controller and RE4 will be released for the GameCube on January 11th.
More info...

Posted by Allison on November 15, 2004 11:20 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo of America has today announced the launch of the highly anticipated Metroid Prime 2 Echoes, which a few lucky gamers may find in stores later today, but most should expect to see it on store shelves tomorrow. As the press release read, "The first-person shooter chronicles the adventures of Samus Aran, the baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy, as she blasts her way through a planet that's been split into light and dark halves." Yeah, we know. More of the same is still just fine when it comes to Metroid games. We'll let you know when we're sick of them.

Continue reading "Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Launches"
Posted by Allison on November 15, 2004 11:34 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Nintendo today released its very own holiday shopping list consisting of, amazingly, all Nintendo products. To be fair, Nintendo probably has the 2nd most wanted gadget of the season with its Nintendo DS, right behind Apple's iPods. In addition, there is "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes," and a great GameCube bundle (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) if you don't yet own one. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to get excited about except for "Paper Mario 2", which is a fun game.

Continue reading "Nintendo Holiday Buyers Guide"
Posted by Jeremy on November 16, 2004 8:33 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA today announced that it has teamed up with Cherry Lane Music Publishing to create Next Level Music, LLC. Next Level Music will be a music publishing company that will, "sign established as well as emerging new artists, acquire publishing catalogs, produce original music and further develop EA's rich catalogue of music." In what is said to be a first in the games industry the new partnership is, "analogous to that of the major music publishing companies founded by the great motion picture studios during the last century." I bet it won't be long before EA announces its own movie studio, too.

Continue reading "EA Enters Music Biz"
Posted by Jeremy on November 16, 2004 8:45 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony today announced that it has been working with Nike Motionworks on the release of EyeToy: Kinetic. The new hardware will include a wide-angle lens which will be capable of picking up all of the various motions involved in this new home workout. There are four areas of discipline: Aero Motion Zone, Combat Zone, Mind and Body Zone, and Toning Zone. The excercises were inspired by tai kwon do, modern dance, kick boxing, aerobics, yogo, and tai chi. The product also allows you to track your improvment and custom tailor exercise routines. Add in a little DDR and you have yourself a home gym.

Continue reading "Forget DDR, Here Comes EyeToy Kinetic"
Posted by Jeremy on November 17, 2004 9:11 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Rockstar today announced details for the 8-CD box set soundtrack for "GTA: San Andreas". The 8-CD set will be released on Dec. 7 in NA and Dec. 6 in Europe. There is also a 2-CD set that will be released several weeks earlier. The 8-CD set features 125 tracks from the game broken down into groups of 15 or 16 tracks arranged by radio station. If you were in high school or college in the early 90s, these songs will be very familiar to you. I just wish you could buy each CD separately.

Continue reading "GTA: San Andreas 8-CD Box Set Details"
Posted by Jeremy on November 17, 2004 9:24 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft yesterday released information regarding the Prince's ability to travel through time in the upcoming sequel, "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within". Using special "warp rooms," the Prince can travel back in time and change history to help him progress in the present. The Prince can also rewind time, similar to "Sands of Time," in order to undo his mistakes or retry that jump that you just missed. There are also a number of special attacks that can be used while slowing down time. This is going to be a great game.

Continue reading "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Time Travel Details"
Posted by Jeremy on November 17, 2004 9:30 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Konami Digital Entertainment - America has this morning issued a press release announcing the shipment of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for the PS2 to retail store nationwide. This newest installment in the MGS series takes gamers through the jungles of the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War era. Players will again assume the role of Snake as he takes on the mission of uncovering and destroying "a newly created weapon of mass destruction". We will begin writing a walkthrough for the game as soon as we get a hold of it.
Order Metal Gear Solid 3 from Amazon and Support Lunabean

Continue reading "Metal Gear Solid 3 Ships!"
Posted by Allison on November 17, 2004 9:50 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

The Halo 2 Strategy Guide is nearly complete. I just finished the game and now have to write an intro and weapons/enemies information for the guide. I also need to spend some time online. By the end of the day today we should have the PDF guide ready for sale in all of its glory. I'll keep you updated.

Posted by Jeremy on November 18, 2004 11:04 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced another Gran Turismo 4 release date delay in both Japan and the US. The highly anticipated racing game, originally slated for release a year ago, has been pushed back to December 28th in Japan (from December 3rd), and sometime between January and March 2005 in the US (from December 14th). A Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesman says of the delay, "Natural challenges with finalizing all the key features and localization issues across worldwide territories have led to the difficult choice of pushing back the release date in order to ensure that Gran Turismo 4 lives up to the exacting standards of the 36 million-plus fans worldwide that have purchased previous versions".

Posted by Allison on November 19, 2004 11:10 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting Square-Enix's newest title, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA), has entered the Japanese charts at the number one spot, selling over 200,000 copies over the weekend. While the original PS2 game sold over 450,000 copies in its first week of release, the 200,000 number is nothing to shake a stick at, as GBA titles, while selling consistently, rarely fly off the shelves at release. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories will be released in the US on December 7th. Kingdom Hearts II (PS2) is currently maintaining a Fall 2005 release date.

Posted by Allison on November 19, 2004 11:28 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

I will admit, the Sunday, November 21st release date for the Nintendo DS has had me scratching my head. Why release it on a Sunday? Since there's no mail service on Sundays, we've been left to assume the DSes are already in stores, just waiting to be released. Now, we have confirmation of that, as Nintendo and EB games have announced that EB stores will be the first retailers to officially launch the new Nintendo handheld at midnight on Saturday, November 20th (tomorrow...eek!). However, with that being said, be sure to call your local EB store to make sure they are taking part in the launch festivities before you waste a perfectly good Saturday night in the local mall.
Also, for those of you who have missed the pre-order opportunity, I found that Amazon, while sold out of the lone DS handheld, does have a few Sims Urbz Nintendo DS Bundles available.

Continue reading "Nintendo and EB Celebrate the DS Together"
Posted by Allison on November 19, 2004 11:51 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft has today announced the Xbox and PS2 versions of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within have "gone gold", meaning the master copy is ready for mass reproduction, and the game is on schedule to be on store shelves on December 2nd. Wait a minute. "On schedule" for December 2nd? Last I heard, the game was delayed until November 30. And all major online retailers maintain the November 30th date. What's this December 2nd crap? And why hasn't the Gamecube version gone gold? What's going on here, Ubisoft? You're lucky we love your games so darned much.

Posted by Allison on November 19, 2004 12:05 PM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide | Xbox

We're pleased to announce that our Halo 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete! As always, we offer you the Free (ad-heavy) version as well as the Downloadable and On-Demand PDF version and the E-Guide (email or CD) version available two different ways: via the LB Store or via PayPal. The guide covers the entire Campaign mode and has info on weapons, vehicles, enemies, and Xbox Live and Multiplayer. I'll see you on Xbox Live (Gamertag: LUNABEAN)

Posted by Jeremy on November 19, 2004 12:50 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

On Sunday morning Allison and I ventured out to find our own little slice of happiness known as the Nintendo DS. We found one without much trouble and also purchased "Super Mario 64 DS." Having played it for several hours I can honestly say that Nintendo has a hit product on their hands, and in ours. The design is remarkable, the graphics are better than I expected, and I get to touch the screen. Sweet! I played a good deal of the "Metroid Prime: Hunters, First Hunt" demo and the controls are revolutionary. The touchpad (in conjunction with the stylus or thumb piece) controls where your gun is aiming, therefore, you have precise and smooth control. I'm guessing it's what you PC gamers love about the mouse-controlled FPS's. Anyway, if you want one of your own, and want to help us, order it via Amazon.com (don't pay attention to the "out of stock" message, they have it).

Posted by Jeremy on November 22, 2004 11:54 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | Strategy Guide

Having completed our "GTA: San Andreas" Strategy Guide and our "Halo 2" Strategy Guide we are now faced with three very important games: "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater," "Metroid Prime 2," and tomorrow's release of, "Goldeneye: Rogue Agent." Allison has been playing "MGS3" for about a day now and will begin the walkthrough soon. I believe that I'm going to cover "Goldeneye" before "Metroid Prime 2" but it's like choosing between children. Either way I need to make sure that I'm ready for "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" on Nov. 30. After those games we plan to tackle, "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords" (KOTOR 2) and perhaps play the newest "Ratchet and Clank." Stay tuned for updates!

Posted by Jeremy on November 22, 2004 12:01 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Rockstar Games has announced that the "Grand Theft Auto" Double CD Soundtrack is now for sale in stores. The double CD features some of the best tracks from the huge line-up of hits in the game. Also included is a stand-alone DVD which contains, "The Introduction," the cinematic prologue to the game. While the two CD set is sure to rock da house, I'm holding out for the eight disc collection due out on Dec. 7. Booya!

Purchase from Amazon

Continue reading "GTA: San Andreas Double CD Hits Stores"
Posted by Jeremy on November 23, 2004 8:14 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

EA's latest James Bond game, "Goldeneye Rogue Agent," is now available in stores. In the game you play as a rogue MI6 agent (not as Bond) who will encounter some of the Bond series' worst villians: Goldfinger, Top Job, Xenia Onatopp among others. You and Goldfinger will work together against Dr. No for complete control of the underworld. Goldfinger equips you with a special Goldeneye that will allow you to see through walls, disable weapons, and create a force field. We'll be writing a walkthrough for the game eventually but "Metroid Prime 2" comes first.

Purchase from Amazon

Posted by Jeremy on November 23, 2004 8:34 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Strategy Guide

After some video game soul searching we have come to the decision to play "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes" and write a walkthrough for it before we play "Goldeneye: Rogue Agent." Hopefully, I can get the walkthrough for "Metroid Prime 2" done before "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" debuts on Nov. 30. If I don't, I'll pick it up after I get done with "PoP". Allison is currently working on a "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" walkthrough.

Posted by Jeremy on November 23, 2004 1:04 PM |

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

LucasArts announced late yesterday afternoon that the Xbox version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II has "gone gold", as the master copy has been completed and is ready for mass reproduction. The original KOTOR topped our list of 2003 video games, taught us to love RPGs, and restored our faith in "Star Wars" games, in general. With this being said, we couldn't be more excited to get our hands on this sequel, which is set five years after the events of the original and focuses on the Sith's hunting the Jedi to the edge of extinction. Oh, and some say it's even better than the original...is it possible? The Xbox version of the game is to be released on December 6th, as the PC version is on track for a February 2005 release.
Purchase KOTOR II from Amazon and Support LB

Posted by Allison on November 24, 2004 8:33 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Thanks to Slashdot for pointing out an interesting phenomenon amongst many a Half-Life 2 gamer. It seems the extreme level of detail and the refresh rate is causing nausea and headaches for many. Check out the Steam powered forums, the PlanetHalfLife forums, and the original post by Slashdot for more details.
Way to go, Valve, way to go.

Posted by Allison on November 24, 2004 8:40 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMA) released its annual Video Game Report Card a few days ago causing a ruckus in the news media, a phone call from my Mom, and the usual backlash against anyone who dares play an M-rated game. I'm all for keeping violent, sexual, etc. games out of kids' hands, I really am, but year after year the NIMA (and Senator Joe Lieberman) seem to get more and more out-of-touch with what's really happening.

Continue reading "Annual Video Game Report Card"
Posted by Jeremy on November 24, 2004 8:43 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Strategy Guide

Unlike other games, where we can often write a walkthrough as we go, the Metal Gear Solid games require a full play through before we feel comfortable telling others what it is they should be doing. First, even for those of us who are "experienced gamers", the unique controls take some getting used to, and it's too difficult to play and write under these conditions. Second, MGS games can be played in many ways. You can take out every enemy you come to, you can find ways to evade most of the enemies, you can tranquilize the majority of your enemies, or you can find a happy place in between all of these options. We try to write MGS guides in that happy place, so we have to play through the game to find that happy place. Point being, we have played through MGS 3 and we will start work on the Metal Gear Solid 3 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide today. YAY!

Posted by Allison on November 24, 2004 9:55 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

We hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Ours was quite lovely and we are thankful that we can get back to playing video games. To give you a quick update, I am currently writing a walkthrough for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Allison is writing a walkthrough for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. As soon as "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" debuts, I'll be switching over to it, leaving "Metroid Prime 2" behind for that time. Enough with the Turkey, time to play games!

Posted by Jeremy on November 29, 2004 8:40 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The processor that will not only power the next generation Playstation but will power an amazing array of consumer electronics finally has some details behind it. Yes, the CELL Processor, as it is code-named, is a joint venture between Sony, IBM, and Toshiba. The three companies have been working together since 2001 to make a powerful chip that will power tomorrow's technology. Quick details: It is a "multicore chip comprising a 64-bit Power processor core and multiple synergistic processor cores capable of massive floating point processing." It can also support multiple operating systems at the same time, has on-board anti-piracy security, and is extremely scalable. Look for it in the next few years in devices such as the PS3, digital camcorders, and HDTVs. Sweet.

Continue reading "CELL Processor Key Concepts Unveiled"
Posted by Jeremy on November 29, 2004 9:37 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Thanks to Lunabeanie old school mini cooper for pointing out a major problem occurring when gamers plug a free Sony Holiday 2004 Demo Disc (sent to members of the Sony's US fanclub, the Playstation Underground) into their Playstation 2 consoles. It seems those who sample Viewtiful Joe 2 on the Demo Disc are in for a nasty surprise: A complete erasure of all data on the inserted memory card. Sony has since acknowledged the problem via an e-mail to all Playstation Underground members. They offer their "sincerest apologies" and recommend removing your memory card(s) from your console before playing the demo disc.

Posted by Allison on November 29, 2004 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Nintendo has increased its sales projection for the Nintendo DS to 5 million units by the end of this fiscal year, March 30. At first, Nintendo expected to sell around 1 million units in NA and about 1 million units in Japan. With NA sales out of control and pre-orders in Japan of 2 million, Nintendo now expects to have 5 million or more sold with copies of games in the 15 million unit range. I'd say the DS is a legitimate hit. To boot, Nintendo projects sales of the GBA to be 16 million and software sales for the GBA to be 77 million units. Due to all of this, Nintendo has raised its profit outlook to $875 million, triple the profit of last year. Guess who's back, back again...

Posted by Jeremy on November 30, 2004 8:25 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

As reported by several news outlets, including GamesIndustry.biz, Sony has had to admit to some manufacturing delays for their slimmer, newer PS2. To remedy this situation Sony will cut back manufacturing of its handheld PSP to dedicate more resources to its money-making PS2. This means that only 200,000 PSPs will be available for launch in Japan with an expected additional 300,000 by years end. Not very good numbers for a launch when you consider that the Nintendo DS has 2 million pre-orders in Japan alone. In my mind, the handheld war is over before it has even begun. Did somebody say N-gage?

Posted by Jeremy on November 30, 2004 9:36 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

While we are still waiting for an official press release from Ubisoft, and while Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: Warrior Within page lists the "release date" as December 2nd, a couple of phone calls to our local EB and Gamestop stores have confirmed shipment of the highly anticipated game. Both of these stores expect to have the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube versions of the game on the shelves by tomorrow at noon, meaning all US stores should have the game on shelves by December 2nd, hence clearing up the ship date vs. release date debacle.

Posted by Allison on November 30, 2004 10:24 AM |

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