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Video Game News from December 2004

Filed Under: PS2

Ubisoft yesterday announced a new installment of the popular "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six" series. The yet-to-be-named game will have a few changes from previous games in the series. "Team Rainbow, the world's most elite counter-terrorist unit...are called into action and unfamiliar territory to battle a bioterrorist threat. Stakes escalate as they are personally targeted by an evil terrorist organization. Used to protecting the lives of others, Team Rainbow must now embark on a mission to fight and save some of their own." In this installment, you will not only be able to play as leader, Ding Chavez, but you will also play a new sniper role, Dieter Weber. Sounds like fun.

Continue reading "New Rainbow Six Game Announced"
Posted by Jeremy on December 1, 2004 8:48 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

With "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" almost in stores, Ubisoft has revealed some additional information regarding the Xbox LIVE features and the weaponry found in the game. Don't get too excited about Xbox LIVE, though, because you won't be able to play against other gamers but your scores in Time Attack Mode and Arena Survival Mode will be added to the "PoP:WW" scoreboards so you can see how youre Prince measures up. There is also a plethora of information regarding the Weapons in the game. From the Eagle Sword to the Apaosa Axe Ubisoft has really outdone itself. Read on for more information.

Continue reading "Prince of Persia - Xbox LIVE and Weapons Details"
Posted by Jeremy on December 1, 2004 9:19 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

The early numbers are in. American shoppers stuffed 500,000 Nintendo DS's into their baskets during Thanksgiving week, "representing more than 90 percent of all units available in stores across the United States." By year's end, Nintendo expects to sell through its initial 1 million units, and they are quick to point out that it took Apple's iPod 19 months to achieve the same number (of course the iPod is twice as expensive). Factor in that Nintendo sold 800,000 GBA's and GBA SP's in the same week and you see why their profits have tripled. Oh, and the GameCube bundle isn't doing so bad either.

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Selling Like Hotcakes"
Posted by Jeremy on December 1, 2004 9:33 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Thanks to Slashdot for pointing out this mysterious story. It seems that some DS users have been reporting fuzzy images of their games appearing on their TVs. There is a logical explanation of course, from one forum user, "I think that this is the result of the videocable to the top screen is just a little too powerfull. It's also possible to "tap" the video signal from a VGA cable, they both emit very faint signals of what's going through it." It doesn't seem it's intentional, but it's still cool.

Posted by Jeremy on December 1, 2004 10:08 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Every now and again a PC game will catch our attention. And so it goes with "World of Warcraft". The Blizzard MMORPG has become the fastest selling PC game ever having sold 240,000 copies in its first 24 hours (Nov. 23) and an additional 110,000 since then. I point this out because I find it remarkable that the fastest selling PC game in history pales in comparison to the recent launch of "Halo 2". "Halo 2" sold 2.4 million copies in its first 24 hours...ten times as many as "World of Warcraft". If that's not a statement about the state of PC gaming, I don't know what is. Hey, don't get me wrong, if Ali and I had the time we'd probably pick up a PC game or two.

Posted by Jeremy on December 2, 2004 9:03 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to many sources, EA's Chief Financial Officer, Warren Jenson, had some pretty interesting things to say at the recent Credit-Suisse First Boston Technology Conference in Phoenix. First he said, "Darn it sure is hot and dry here." Then, he went on to say that the next-gen consoles will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for EA from graphics to adding emotion to characters. He went on to emphasize the importance of online play and expanding markets like China, Russia, and India.

Watch the Webcast
View a Few Screen Shots of Gaming Possibilities

Posted by Jeremy on December 2, 2004 9:05 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Bungie and Microsoft yesterday announced an updated version of Halo 2 Xbox LIVE Playlists. First, there are two brand new playlists, "Team Slayer," and "Rumble Training." Other tweaks include, "removing the Banshee from the Head to Head matches on Ascension, removing the glitched "Sudden Death" from some Assault games that could cause the match to last forever and we even added a CTF variant featuring Wraiths and turrets on Coagulation." To experience the improvements, simply log on to Xbox LIVE with "Halo 2" in your Xbox. To read about all of the improvements, click here. And, don't forget the LB "Halo 2" Strategy Guide.

Posted by Jeremy on December 2, 2004 9:16 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

EA and Microsoft yesterday announced that the 2005 Madden Bowl will be sponsored by Xbox LIVE. The Madden Bowl, a premier party kicking off the Super Bowl weekend, is held the Thursday before the Super Bowl and pits your favorite NFL players against each other in Madden 2005. In conjunction with this football frenzy, EA and MS have announced the Xbox LIVE Madden Championship. The first 512 gamers who sign up will duke it out in single elimination play for a chance to win a trip to the Madden Bowl in Jacksonville, FL.

Posted by Jeremy on December 2, 2004 9:39 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft yesterday revealed that "Halo 2" has already sold 5 million units since its Nov. 9 launch, breaching the total sales mark of the original Xbox "Halo". With the PC "Halo" added in the franchise has sold over 11 million units, making it one of the most successful games of all time. In addition, the Xbox LIVE community has logged over 28-million hours playing "Halo 2" for an average of 91-minutes, which MS points out is about the length of a major motion picture. "Halo 2" online has already seen 900,000 unique players. Um, I wonder if any businesses are missing 28-million hours, because I know where a few of those hours went.

Continue reading "Halo 2 Reaches 5 Million Sold"
Posted by Jeremy on December 3, 2004 9:25 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean | Strategy Guide

Allison is getting very close to finishing the LB "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. She will have it done by tonight and she will start in on "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" over the weekend. I am about 2/3 of the way through the LB "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it up over the weekend and then get on "Goldeneye Rogue Agent," "Call of Duty," or "KOTOR II". So much to do...so little time. *runs into wall*

Posted by Jeremy on December 3, 2004 11:02 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Again, we are without a press release at this time, but a few calls to our local game boutiques have confirmed that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 has, indeed, shipped and is expected to arrive in most US stores tomorrow. We couldn't be more excited, as the original game was deemed Lunabean's "Best Game of 2003", and the early reviews are simply spectacular. So, go out and get it tomorrow...or order it today. Give yourself a gift this holiday season, as everyone deserves a kick ass video game this time of year.

Posted by Allison on December 6, 2004 10:04 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Last week we told you about a PS2 Holiday Demo Disc, which, due to a glitch, erased the inserted memory cards of those who played the Viewtiful Joe demo on that disc. Now, according to the Playstation Underground Forums, those who lost their precious memory card data can simply call Sony up, report the tragedy, and choose a PS2 game (from a short list) to be sent to them for free. Might I suggest Sly 2: Band of Thieves? For details, please go here.

Posted by Allison on December 6, 2004 10:17 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Strategy Guide

I am oh so pleased to announce the completion of the LB Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. What a game! With it's high learning curve it did take me some time to warm up to it, but now that I'm done...I kind of miss it. Oh well. Time to move on.
Downloadable and On-Demand MGS3 Guide - Ad-free, printer-friendly, beautifully bookmarked and immediately downloadable guide. $US4.95 (Support the Bean!)

Posted by Allison on December 6, 2004 10:36 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

We know many of you count on our guides, and we know many others actually buy games according to which guides we are writing. So, it's the least we can do to keep you up to date on our ever changing holiday video game guide writing schedule. Having just finished up our MGS 3 Strategy Guide, I will begin playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 today. I expect to begin work on the walkthrough tomorrow, and write it as I play.

Continue reading "LB Strategy Guide Update"
Posted by Lunabean on December 7, 2004 2:03 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

With the excitement of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 shipment yesterday, I missed the news of another big December 6th shipment. Luckily, I was reminded as I picked up my pretty, pretty KOTOR 2 game this morning, and I spotted Mario Party 6 sitting right next to it. While Jer and I no longer buy Mario Party games, they are fantastic rentals, and great buys for families, and those who have never played the series. To us, it's a little bit of "more of the same", but, when you like the same, what's wrong with more of it?
Read the press release.

Continue reading "Mario Party 6 Arrives in Stores"
Posted by Allison on December 7, 2004 2:23 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

As Japan prepares for a December 12th Sony PSP launch, a few select gamers have already put their paws on Sony's handheld, and have taken them off long enough to write about the experience. First off, there's Gamespot's Hands On PSP article. How they put together four pages of review without playing a single game is beyond me, but it's interesting, nonetheless. Lik Sang actually received some games with their PSP, allowing them to point out the painfully long load times some games have. Oy. Please resolve this issue before launching the PS3 Sony, please.

Posted by Allison on December 7, 2004 2:48 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Several sources are today reporting a partnership between Nvidia and Sony, which will allow the two companies to co-develop a new graphics processor for use in Sony's next console, the PS3. Nvidia CEO and president Jen-Hsun Huang claims this collaborative relationship has been going on "over the past two years", as Nvidia has worked closely with Sony during the PS3 development. Huang went on to say, "In parallel, we have been designing our next-generation GeForce GPU. The combination of the revolutionary Cell processor and Nvidia?s graphics technologies will enable the creation of breathtaking imagery that will surprise and captivate consumers."

Posted by Allison on December 7, 2004 3:04 PM |

Filed Under:

Reuters is reporting that federal authorities raided three Washington D.C. area game stores on Dec. 1st and arrested two people for "modding" game consoles. According to the article the raid involved a small chain called Pandora's Cube. Pandora's Cube is known for selling $500 "Super Xboxes", which have larger hard drives, and some have up to 15 games installed on those hard drives. These consoles were on open display in the store. The two arrested employees have been charged with "conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and conspiracy to traffic in a device that circumvents technological protection measures".

Posted by Allison on December 8, 2004 12:34 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Last June it was announced that ESPN's NFL 2K5 would launch with a $19.95 price tag. This was all in an effort to attract gamers to the ESPN game, in lieu of EA's more popular $49.99 Madden offering. This was also part of a larger plan, involving all ESPN games, where "high quality products" were to be offered at "value pricing". The plan worked, and ended up stimulating many sales for Sega and Take-Two (co-publishers of ESPN games). However, according to GamesIndustry.biz, the plan was only a temporary solution, and these low prices are not to last.

Posted by Allison on December 8, 2004 12:56 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

As we reported last week, over 500,000 Nintendo DSes were sold in the US during the dual-screened handheld's first launch week. Now, as the DS's launch week is coming to an end in Japan and the Japanese sales reports are beginning to trickle in, it seems our friends across the pond also purchased 500,000+ Nintendo DSes. This adds up to a a global installed base of over a million units, putting it in line with the 2001 launch of the GameBoy Advance. I think I hear Sony's knees shaking.

Posted by Allison on December 8, 2004 1:18 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Have you heard about the success of the Nintendo DS? If not, check out our Nintendo DS News Page for a whole slew of stories showing the overwhelming, and somewhat unexpected, success of the new handheld. New numbers are coming out daily (North American sales now total 700,000), and today, Nintendo has announced it will increase total shipments of the Nintendo DS to North America by 40 percent, to 1.4 million systems before the end of the year. This has made many a sold out retail store happy, and, from what I've heard, Santa is quite delighted, too.
Read the Nintendo Pres Release

Continue reading "Nintendo Boosts Nintendo DS Shipments"
Posted by Allison on December 9, 2004 9:52 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Chris Morris, the gaming columnist for CNN Money, has put together a nice little list of "Video Game Gifts for the Obscenely Rich". Included on the list is a Ballistics Racing Simulator, a Morphis Motion Simulator (only $300,000), a 200" Athens Monitor, and a few other pricey items. Honestly, I'm not sure why these gifts are "for the obscenely rich", as they seem to need to be purchased "by the obscenely rich".

Posted by Allison on December 9, 2004 10:39 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

LucasArts has today announced a January 11th release date for Mercenaries, its upcoming third-person shooter, developed by the Full Spectrum Warrior team, Pandemic. LucasArts also launched the Official Mercenaries Web Site today, which is quite a fun little site, allowing you to shoot enemies and hijacks tanks with the click of a mouse. In the game you will play a mercenary (a civilian gun for hire) in a warring North Korea. It will be released for the PS2 and Xbox.

Posted by Allison on December 9, 2004 11:20 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide | Xbox

We have officially begun work on our Star Wars: Knights of the Old Rebublic II - The Sith Lords Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. So, if you find yourself stuck in this great game, please hop on over to the guide and see if we can help you. If you're stuck in a place our guide has yet to reach, please post your question in the KOTOR II Help Thread on our message boards, and someone will answer you.

Posted by Allison on December 9, 2004 11:30 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

The Associated Press is reporting that researchers have found, "Letting children play video games on a Game Boy in the operating room before undergoing surgery can help relax them better than tranquilizers or holding Mommy's hand". Dr. Anu Patel, an anesthesiologist at University Hospital in Newark, is quoted in the article as saying, "We find that the children are just so happy with the Game Boy that they actually do forget where they are." Patel will present these findings at a medical conference tomorrow. I say start sending these kids Nintendo DSes!
Read the article.

Posted by Allison on December 10, 2004 12:23 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

GamesIndustry.biz is today reporting that Microsoft's Halo 2 (standard editon) tops the US charts for November sales, while the limited edition of the game is at number three. The two are separated by a little game called GTA: San Andreas. The two Halo 2 titles put November sales for the game at 3.3 million, while GTA: SA sold 1.5 million copies, putting its total sales at 3.6 million. The rest of the chart includes EA's Need for Speed Underground 2 (Xbox and PS2 versions), THQ's WWE SmackDown! Vs. RAW, Konami's MGS 3: Snake Eater, Sony's Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal, and one Gamecube title, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Posted by Allison on December 10, 2004 12:42 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Strategy Guide

We are pleased to announce the completion of our Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Our guide will walk you through every part of this huge game, and includes great strategies for taking out all bosses. If you prefer the downloadable, ad-free, printer-friendly and beautifully bookmarked version, please go here and support Lunabean!

Posted by Allison on December 10, 2004 12:50 PM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Growing up my two favorite toys were LEGOs and anything that had to do with Star Wars. 25 years later, it seems the perfect video game has been created for me. LEGO Star Wars (April 2005, PS2, Xbox, PC, GBA) is based on episodes I, II, and III. In it you will play as many popular Star Wars heroes and villains, well kind of. In fact, you'll be playing as the LEGO version of many popular Star Wars characters. Imagine our little Annakin with no knee joints. And, if the characters are like me as a kid, they will frequently lose the clear plastic piece that was the lightsaber. Gosh that used to make me mad. For a preview of the game, head here.

Posted by Jeremy on December 13, 2004 9:46 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

GTA: San Andreas takes a lot of heat for being the epitome of the violent video game that is ruining today's youth and eating away at the soul of society. Well, naysayers, it appears that GTA has thwarted a crime in Santa Fe, TX. According to the local ABC station, burglars in the midst of robbing a Grandma and her three grandsons, at gun point, by the way, heard someone yelling, "This is the police, we have you surrounded." That someone was the TV that still had GTA playing on it. Moral of the story: when playing GTA, turn the volume up.

Posted by Jeremy on December 13, 2004 9:57 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

A world-wide shortage of the new slim PS2s has retailers quivering in their boots and holiday shoppers biting their fingernails as one of the hottest products is rather scarce. Desperate times call for desperate measures and it is therefore that Sony will be using air freight (Europe) to ship the consoles directly from their factories in China to NA and Europe. According to the article, the high cost of shipping will cut in half the margin Sony makes on the PS2. In addition, even though this air lift will help, it won't ease all the shortfalls. In an interesting side bit, part of the reason for the shortages in Europe is that a Russian oil tanker ran aground in the Suez canal causing a major backup. One of the backed up ships is loaded with PS2 for Europe.

Posted by Jeremy on December 13, 2004 10:17 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to Reuters the initial shipment of 200,000 PSPs that were available today for the launch of the PSP in Japan have sold out. This, really, is no surprise as there was such a small number of units to begin with. Sony claims that they will have 300,000 more units available by the end of the year and will have sold through 3 million PSPs worldwide by the end of March '05. In comparison, as we reported earlier, Nintendo expects to sell through 5 million Nintendo DSs by the end of March '05. There's still something in my gut that is telling me that the PSP is the next N-gage. But hey, I could be wrong. The PSP will launch in the US in early 2005 for an estimated price of $185-$190.

Posted by Jeremy on December 13, 2004 10:31 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Thanks to Cubed-3 for pointing out this interesting rumor. It seems that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has mentioned that Nintendo is working on a dictionary/translator application for the Nintendo DS. The software is thought to convert: English - Chinese, English - Japanese, and Japanese - Chinese. Hmm, the Star Trek universal translator does not seem so distant. Think about picto-chatting with a Japanese-speaking person while you type in English. So cool. We'll see if anything happens with this.

Posted by Jeremy on December 13, 2004 10:45 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Electronic Arts yesterday announced that they had signed an unprecedented deal with the NFL and the NFL Players Association for the exclusive rights to use players names, team colors, and stadiums for a period of 5 years. Speculation has the price tag at anywhere from $200-400 million. This announcement comes on the heels of another amazing year for "Madden" sales but at a time of fierce competition from ESPN's "NFL 2K5". This is a remarkable deal. No other NFL football game on any platform can use real NFL names, teams, or stadiums. It looks like if I want to play "NFL 2K6" I'll be using the Buffalo Hills with QB Stew Medsoe and running back Gillis McFahee in Ralph Wilton Stadium. The door is open for ESPN's franchise to have fun with the renaming of players, but when it comes down to it, I think it's pretty damaging and that EA made a great (if rude) deal. Read CNN's article.

Posted by Jeremy on December 14, 2004 8:07 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to many sources including the Chicago Sun Times, Blockbuster has announced a plan to end late fees on movies and games. They will allow a one week grace period after which they will automatically require you to purchase the movie or game, minus the rental fee. Customers can still return the movie or game within 30 days for a refund (read, store credit) but will be charged a restocking fee. Will there be a backlash? Stay tuned.

Posted by Jeremy on December 14, 2004 12:23 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

GamesAreFun.com is reporting problems with the initial shipment of Sony's PSP. The defects, according to the source, seem to be: dead pixels, broken UMD drives, analog nubs not working and/or falling off, PSP is turned on, but does not start up, air bubbles under the screen and dust under the screen. Dead pixels don't bother me a whole bunch as that is fairly common and accepted, but the rest is simply inexcusable. Thus giving weight to my assertion that the PSP is the next N-gage.

Posted by Jeremy on December 14, 2004 12:32 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Most of us have known for quite some time about EA's upcoming The Godfather title, based on both Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 movie and the original novel by Mario Puzo. Thanks to the eye sore that was Spike TV's Video Game Awards last night, and their debut of the The Godfather teaser/trailer, Reuters (read "mainstream media") is also now in the know. Why is this news? Well, it's news because the Reuters article does provide some new and interesting details about the game, but it's also news because games that catch the attention of the mainstream media this early in their production, are usually an overwhelming sales success...even if the games, themselves, aren't that great.

Posted by Allison on December 15, 2004 1:09 PM |

Filed Under:

After the overwhelming success and support of the Final Fantasy concert as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic last May, Square Enix has today announced a new Final Fantasy symphony concert series, to be kicked off on February 19th. The first concert in the series will take place at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL and will be performed by the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and the CPO Festival Choir.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Final Fantasy Concert in Chicago"
Posted by Allison on December 15, 2004 1:25 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

According to many sources, including Reuters, Nintendo quietly put a notice on their website announcing an add-on device that will play MP3s and MPEG-4 video. The device is only slated for Japan and will cost about $50. This is seen as a move to counter Sony's PSP and it's capabilities, however, I don't think Nintendo really cares a whole bunch about the add-ons. They made a solid device that plays games and that's what they'll stick to.

Posted by Jeremy on December 15, 2004 1:55 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Last night, for those of us who were unfortunate enough to watch the Spike TV Video Game Awards, we saw a disservice to everthing that is good in games and a hedonistic display of everything that is bad. From scantily clad women telling us cheat codes to the reunion of Motley Crue, complete with Tommy Lee. The video game industry has finally grown up becoming bigger than the movie industry and permeating all facets of today's pop-culture, however, it's lingering infancy and adolescence was on display last night. If video games want to be taken seriously, they need a serious awards show. Slashdot has a very good opinion piece regarding the show.

Posted by Jeremy on December 15, 2004 2:35 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

"MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf" has gone gold and will be ready for it's seemingly odd release date of December 28 (Feb. 4, UK). The third person shooter is the sequel to the 2002 Xbox release and has a rather loyal following, especially on XboxLIVE. The new version has upped the ante for it's online capabilities including supporting clans with customizable decals and a 3D waiting area (lobby) for players between games. Microsoft also launched http://mechassault2.xbox.com, a mini-site to get all of your mech juices flowing.

Continue reading "MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Goes Gold"
Posted by Jeremy on December 16, 2004 8:53 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today kicks off his campaign to rid his state of the apocalyptic society-ending problem of selling violent video games to kids. Like other unsuccessful state legislators and govs., Blagojevich proposes putting the enforcement into the hands of the retailers. Although the article isn't specific, I'm guessing it's the clerk who would face the, "Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison or a $5,000 fine."

Continue reading "Yet Another State Tries to Ban Violent Games"
Posted by Jeremy on December 16, 2004 9:40 AM |

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

Rockstar yesterday announced that the blockbuster hit Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will be coming to the Xbox and the PC on June 7, 2005 in North America and three days later, June 10, in the Europe. This is great news for any Xbox owner who was holding out hope that it would be released within a year of the PS2 launch. In fact, it's only an 8 month difference between the Oct. PS2 launch and the June Xbox and PC launch. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Continue reading "GTA: San Andreas Confirmed for Xbox and PC"
Posted by Jeremy on December 17, 2004 8:25 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Take-Two and Activision have released their financial results for the fourth quarter and third quarter, respectively. Both companies did extremely well and surpassed their performances from a year ago. Take-Two's net sales for Q4 were $438 million compared to $277.6 million for the same period a year ago. Activision's net sales for the Q3 were $615 million, up from $500 million for the same period a year ago. Take-Two was aided by the release of "GTA: San Andreas," the distribution deal for ESPN's "NFL, NHL, and NBA 2K5" games, and "Conflict: Vietnam". Activision's sales were bolstered by "THUG 2," "X-Men Legends," and "Call of Duty: Finest Hour".

Continue reading "Take-Two and Activision Release Financial Results"
Posted by Jeremy on December 17, 2004 8:55 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

The final weekend before Christmas has arrived and we are in crunch time here at Lunabean. Allison is working vigorously on her "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (KOTOR II)" Strategy Guide and Walkthrough and I have begun playing "Prince of Persia 2: Warrior Within". I'll be starting the Strategy Guide for it on Sunday. If you're looking for a good read, try out this brief history of Star Wars games. Have a great weekend and don't forget that Christmas is only a week away!

Posted by Jeremy on December 17, 2004 9:41 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to Lunabeanie, suicide_samurai for pointing out this story. According to many sources, including Forbes.com, gaming giant Electronic Arts is set to buy a 20% stake in French publisher UbiSoft (Tom Clancy, Prince of Persia, Beyond Good and Evil, XIII). The deal, valued at between $85 and $100 million, still needs to clear US regulators. This move by EA seems to intimate an eventual take-over of UbiSoft although neither company has made any public comment.

Posted by Jeremy on December 20, 2004 9:50 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

If you're a large video game maker then you probably know that the week between Christmas and New Year's is known as "Crunch Week." This is the time when video game companies receive a huge increase in calls and help requests. Nintendo has done a great job these past few years of getting out the word that they will be happy to answer questions and help gamers with their new Nintendo products and games. In fact, while many companies outsource this service, Nintendo keeps it in-house, even having "Game-Play Counselors" at the ready. If you need help with a Nintendo product, call: (800) 255-3700 or visit nintendo.com. Of course, if you need help on a particular Nintendo game, your best bet is to check out our Strategy Guides Page.

Continue reading "Nintendo Readies Staff for "Crunch Week""
Posted by Jeremy on December 20, 2004 10:53 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

As we reported last week, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is waging war against violent video games. In a Washington Times article today, it is reported that "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" ads have appeared on 500 Chicago busses. The ad shows several characters from the game. No word yet from Blagojevich, but I'm sure he'll try to get the ads banned. I wonder if Rockstar had these ads planned or if this is in response to Blagojevich's recent attacks on the game?

Continue reading "GTA Ads do a Drive By of Illinois Gov."
Posted by Jeremy on December 20, 2004 11:25 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Nintendo has released some more stunning sales data regarding their hit handheld, the Nintendo DS. In both the US and Japan, the DS has sold 1 million units and Nintendo announced that they will increase production for this last stretch of holiday shopping bringing the total to 2.8 million by the end of the year. If you're not convinced that the DS is the must-have Christmas present, then you didn't see the "Today Show" this morning, the latest in the DS press circuit. We love ours! Buy Yours from Amazon and support Lunabean!

Continue reading "More Glowing DS Sales Data"
Posted by Jeremy on December 21, 2004 10:12 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

I am pleased to announce that I have begun the LB "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" Strategy Guide and Walkthrough. I'm guessing I'm about 1/3 to 1/2 done so far. The guide is in the rough draft stage, so check back often to see updates. I'm truly enjoying this complex and puzzle-heavy game. Sure, the Prince is jaded and has lost his innocence and the story is sort of lame, but it's still a great game.

Posted by Jeremy on December 21, 2004 10:56 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Being a fan of both Survival Horror games and Ubisoft games, I am very interested in the March '05 release of "Cold Fear", Ubi's first offering in this genre. The basic gist is you are a Coast Guard crewman sent to investigate a drifting Russian whaling ship. Upon investigating it, you realize this isn't any drifting ship. It's a horror-filled drifting ship! The thought of being stranded on an abandoned whaling ship in the middle of the ocean is scary enough. Add in some zombies and other undead and this is a game I won't be able to resist. The game will be available in March '05 for the PS2, Xbox, and PC. A LB Strategy Guide is sure to follow.

Continue reading "Cold Fear Fact Sheet"
Posted by Jeremy on December 22, 2004 9:46 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Speaking of Ubisoft games due in March '05, the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory website recently launched (follow the link and be sure to click "Enter the Chaos Theory Experience" on the right side). This will lead you to a very well done interactive Flash site that pulls you right into the Splinter Cell experience. I got lost in it for a little while. "Chaos Theory" is the third Splinter Cell game and will feature multi-player and campaign modes, much like "Pandora Tomorrow". It will be available for all systems. Boy, March '05 is really shaping up to be a good month for games.

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