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Video Game News from February 2005

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

While Allison is slaving away at updating the site, I have the pleasure of writing a LB Mercenaries Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Please keep in mind that the guide is in progress and what you see is a very rough draft. I'll be working on the guide non-stop for the next few days so check back often to see updates. If you don't know what Mercenaries is, think of it like this: remember Bush's infamous deck of 52 cards each representing a terrorist? Well, fast forward about 5 years, put yourself in North Korea, and add in GTA-style gameplay and you pretty much have the game. It is quite fun.

Posted by Jeremy on February 1, 2005 10:58 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

With few exceptions, our European friends often have to patiently twiddle their thumbs as they watch those of us in North America or Japan brag about playing the most anticipated games, as they wait for even the word of a European release date. This was the case with Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which was just last week given a March 4th release date. Well, mes amies, good things come to those who wait. Konami Europe has today announced bonuses for the PAL version of the game.

Continue reading "MGS3 PAL Version Bonuses"
Posted by Allison on February 1, 2005 11:38 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Reuters and the Hollywood Reporter are this morning reporting that James Caan and Robert Duvall have lent their voices and likenesses to the upcoming EA game, The Godfather. In the game they will be reprising their roles of Sonny Corleone (James Caan) and Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). The late and great Marlon Brando granted EA the rights to use his likeness, and he recorded several voice-overs as Don Vito Corleone before he passed away last July. The Godfather is expected to be released this fall.
Read the article.

Posted by Allison on February 1, 2005 12:19 PM |

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

Thanks to GameSpy for their well organized Game Releases: February 2005 page, where we can all discover what games are expected to hit North American store shelves this month. Nothing too exciting seems to be coming out, but we all need some downtime to prepare for the awesomeness that will be the March releases (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, anyone?).
Here at Lunabean we're most interested in the following titles: Project: Snowblind (PS2, Xbox - 2/22), Starfox Assault (GCN - 2/15), and, maybe, since it's a slow month, Robots (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC - 2/22). Sadly, it looks as though Brother in Arms: Road to Hill 30 has been pushed to March 1st (although GameSpy is still listing the Xbox release as 2/15). Ah well.

Posted by Allison on February 1, 2005 1:04 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Earlier this week we reported Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's (SCEE) announcement of a March 9th release date for Gran Turismo 4 in PAL territories. We also mentioned the expectation of an announcement from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) concerning a confirmed North American release date. Today, we're pleased to say, we have that confirmation from SCEA, as they announced today a February 22nd release for this highly anticipated racing simulator. For more information, please check out the official press release.

Continue reading "Gran Turismo 4 Gets North American Release Date"
Posted by Allison on February 2, 2005 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

You lucky Europeans, always getting special edition consoles and sweet bundles like the Resident Evil 4 bundle for only ?89. Sure, we get the games earlier, so I guess we're even. Anyway, the RE4 bundle comes with a limited edition Platinum and Black RE4 branded GameCube, a similar branded controller, a copy of RE4 plus a bonus disc with game movies from RE 1, 2 and 3, Code Veronica and RE: Zero. There is also a playable demo for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The release date is March 18 which will give you plenty of time to study up using the amazing LB Resident Evil 4 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. We even have a SCREENSHOT version! It's one of the best games we've played in some time. Don't miss it!

Continue reading "European Resident Evil 4 Bundle"
Posted by Jeremy on February 2, 2005 10:47 AM |

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

Last night the interactive entertainment industy's best creative talent and business execs gathered in Las Vegas to honor the top video games of 2004, at the 8th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, held during the annual D.I.C.E. Summit. The winners of the awards were judged by game industry peer panels from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Dominating the awards was Half-Life 2, walking away with nine, including "Game of the Year". In second place was Halo 2 which won "Console Game of the Year", in addition to three other awards. The surprise of the evening? An award for Judy Dench for her "Outstanding Character Performance, Female" for Golden Eye: Rogue Agent.
View the winners.

Continue reading "Half-Life 2 Cleans Up At D.I.C.E. Summit"
Posted by Allison on February 2, 2005 11:25 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony yesterday announced a March 24, 2005 release date for the handheld PSP in North America. The PSP, which went on sale in Japan in December, is Sony's handheld system that plays games, movies, MP3s, and ATRACs all on a small UMD disc (Universal Media Disc) that holds 1.8GB of data. The PSP also has 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless and 16 PSPs can battle each other head-to-head. The first one million PSPs shipped will also contain a bonus disc with some demos and the full feature film Spider-Man 2. Sony also announced that the handheld will launch with 24 titles.

Continue reading "PSP Launch Date and Titles"
Posted by Jeremy on February 4, 2005 8:56 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

In a recent article from MSNBC, columnist Tom Loftus discusses the sweatshop industry building up around popular online role playing games. Since there is some real money to be made from selling your virtual real estate and characters some evildoers are creating sweatshops where Third World employees are paid very little to play and play and play to build up a character and land. Then, the evildoer will turn around and sell his sweatshop made virtual property to the highest bidder. Now the task is set before legal minds to decide what exactly qualifies as "property" and "trade" in virtual worlds. Perhaps we need a virtual judge to hear trials in a virtual courtroom?

Posted by Jeremy on February 7, 2005 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Today, at an industry show in San Francisco, the CELL processor which will run the PS3 was revealed. The chip has been in development for three years and is a joint project between IBM, Toshiba, and Sony. The CELL processor is revolutionary in the sense that it has 8 small "cores" of processors on one chip as opposed to one large core. This allows the chip to run faster and more effeciently with the ability to share tasks and handle multiple requests simultaneously. The chip is said to run at 4GHz but, in practice, due to its unique design some say it will be up to 10 times faster than the best chip out today. The chip will run the PS3 and Toshiba plans to use it in TVs starting in 2006. For more info about the chip go here.

Posted by Jeremy on February 7, 2005 11:12 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

Ubisoft has released a great trailer for its upcoming and first survival/horror video game, Cold Fear. In Cold Fear, you play the role of Tom Hansen, a U.S. Coast Guard, who has been sent to investigate "a drifting Russian whaling ship in the middle of a howling storm on the Bering Sea". Once you board the ship, some terrifying discoveries are made. Dun dun dun! Check out the Cold Fear trailer, and note the format, as it would give any one of today's movie trailers a run for its money. All its missing is the "In a world..." introduction.
Cold Fear Trailer

Posted by Allison on February 7, 2005 11:19 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Activist gamers took to the streets of the World of Warcraft last week in an effort to protest a game update which altered the character balance of the warrior class. About 150 gamers created new Gnome characters and logged onto the Argent Dawn server to meet up. Abalieno over at The Cesspit took part in the protest, and took some pretty impressive screenshots of it. He also included the transcript of the banning which occurred because he took part in the event. I have to admit, I love this concept of virtual protests. Imagine the possibilities...

Posted by Allison on February 7, 2005 11:53 AM |

Filed Under:

As our website found itself plagued last week with server issues, Jer and I had no choice but to bury ourselves in our work. Luckily, our work is fairly fun and is built around the concept of escapism. This served me well as I blasted my way through Star Fox Assault, and yesterday I began working on a Star Fox Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Jer is pleased to report he's seeing the light at the end of his Mercenaries tunnel, and is close to completing his Mercenaries Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous that Jer got to work through his aggression via a bloody and explosive game. Is that wrong?

Posted by Allison on February 7, 2005 12:04 PM |

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., is set to deliver the keynote address to thousands of game professionals at the 19th annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), March 7-11 in San Francisco. The keynote address is titled, "Heart of a Gamer," and will hit on the game business today, predictions for the future, and the strategic thinking behind the Nintendo DS. Iwata's claim to fame is Kirby, Earthbound, and Super Smash Bros.. We'll recap his speech after he presents it.

Continue reading "Nintendo Pres. to Keynote GDC"
Posted by Jeremy on February 8, 2005 10:12 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

As we reported yesterday, the PS3's CELL processor has been unveiled. The chip, a joint project by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony, is the next generation of chips that will power products from the PS3, to HDTVs to who knows what. Anyway, what follows is everything you wanted to know about the chip but were afraid to ask. Personally, I think this sounds rather impressive, " The prototype chip is 221 mm2, integrates 234 million transistors, and is fabricated with 90 nanometer SOI technology." Sure, I don't know what it means, but as long as it powers my video games, I don't care!

Continue reading "Everything You Wanted to Know About CELL..."
Posted by Jeremy on February 8, 2005 10:19 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Activision today reported record financial results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months ended Dec. 31, 2004. Net revenues for the 3Q were $680.1 million, or up 34% over the same quarter last year. Earnings per share grew 19% to $0.63 per share, compared with $0.53 per share over the same period last year. For the nine months period ending on Dec. 31, Activision recorded record net revenues of $1.2 billion, an increase of 53%. Activision's big hits were THUG2, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, DOOM 3, Rome: Total War, and Spider-Man 2 DS.

Continue reading "Activision Reports Record Earnings"
Posted by Jeremy on February 8, 2005 10:33 AM |

Filed Under: PC

LucasArts has officially announced that the PC version of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has shipped for the PC and will be on store shelves by tomorrow. The PC version of the game, which was already released for the Xbox in December, features "high-resolution textures, optimized screen resolutions and a variety of other graphic card enhancements." While our KOTOR II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is specific to the Xbox, any experienced gamer who wants KOTOR II help with the PC game will benefit from it, as gameplay between the two versions is the same.

Posted by Allison on February 9, 2005 10:37 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony has revealed that five of its first-party Playstation Portable (PSP) US launch titles will feature online play. The five titles, from Sony's 989 Studios are ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Twisted Metal: Head-On, MLB, NBA and Gretzky NHL. The games are set to be playable both over local wireless connections and across the internet. For details, please read the article.

Posted by Allison on February 9, 2005 11:07 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Ubisoft has today issued a press release announcing a few additional titles for the Nintendo dual screen handheld, the Nintendo DS. Ubisoft has already released Sprung and Asphalt: Urban GT for the DS, and many are looking forward to its March release of Rayman DS. Now there are a few more exciting titles to which many of us can look forward. These titles include Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, King Kong (based on the upcoming Peter Jackson movie), Bomberman DS, AND (drumroll please) Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory! Now that's what I'm talking about, Ubi!
Read Ubi's Press Release

Continue reading "Ubisoft Reveals Additional DS Titles"
Posted by Allison on February 9, 2005 11:36 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Konami Europe today announced what seems to be a GTA-esque game titled, Crime Life: Gang Wars. The game, inspired by such movies as Boyz n' the Hood, Menace to Society, and personal fave, New Jack City (gotta love your Ice T), places you in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, Grand Central City, amongst gang wars, violence, and treachery. You must protect your own and dish out some pain on adversaries. Does any of this sound like San Andreas? The game will be for the Xbox, PS2, and PC and will be released sometime in 2005. For more info, check out the site here.

Continue reading "Konami Announces "Crime Life: Gang Wars""
Posted by Jeremy on February 10, 2005 11:15 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

2K Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, has today announced it has picked up the exclusive North American publishing rights to SCi Games' Conflict: Global Terror, Carmageddon and Reservoir Dogs. Conflict: Global Terror is the newest game in the Conflict series, which has already sold 2.5 million games in North America. Expect to seeConflict's Delta Team on store shelves this fall. Carmageddon is a remake of an older racing game, and is also expected to hit shelves this fall. Reservoir Dogs, based on Quentin Tarantino's cult classic, is scheduled for PC and console release in 2006.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Take-Two Picks Up Reservoir Dogs"
Posted by Allison on February 10, 2005 11:24 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Every once in a while a game comes along and makes you pause and think, "what's going on here?" That was the case with America's Army and the spinoff Full Spectrum Warrior and I'm getting that same feeling from Energy Airforce: Aim Strike!, a Lockheed-Martin licensed game. If you don't know, Lockheed-Martin is one of the US's largest defense contractors making such war and space machines as the venerable F-16, F-18, F-22 Stealth Fighter, C-130, SR-71, Cassini space ship, and the list goes on. What does Lockheed-Martin have to gain by this? And, who came up with the name of the game? "Energy Airforce: Aim Strike!" Are you kidding me? Well, anyway, the release date is European and I'll update you if this game ever comes out in the US.

Continue reading "Lockheed-Martin Licensed Air Combat Sim"
Posted by Jeremy on February 10, 2005 11:36 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

GameSpy is this morning reporting that Eidos has quietly closed its Ion Storm Austin studio, as they are consolidating to one North American studio in San Francisco. To many, this move marks the end of an era, as the Ion Storm studio gave us some great games, including the Deus Ex franchise and Thief: Deadly Shadows. We wish Eidos the best with this move, and we hope they do, indeed, consolidate and continue to use the talent of the Ion Storm studio.
Read the article.

Posted by Allison on February 10, 2005 11:47 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to this article from GamesIndustry.biz the Xbox 2 (Xenon, Xbox NEXT, etc.) may hit US store shelves in October '05 and hit Europe in November '05. The article states, "Speaking under conditions of strict anonymity, senior American and British development, publishing and retail sources have confirmed the launch window in the past weeks." Even though some say it's too early, that there is a lot left to be done with the Xbox itself, I say let us have it! I can't wait.

Posted by Jeremy on February 11, 2005 8:41 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

We are pleased to announce our LB Mercenaries Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. I just finished it up. As always we offer the free version and the $5.95 PDF version which can be purchased in a variety of ways (click link above). I also wrote up a review of the game if you need to get the gist of it. This weekend Allison and I will together work on finishing up the LB Star Fox Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Have a happy Valentine's Weekend everybody!

Posted by Jeremy on February 11, 2005 1:58 PM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Atari and Warner Bros. Interactive today announced The Matrix: Path of Neo for the PS2, Xbox, and PC due out in Q4 2005. This will mark the second Atari foray into the "Matrix" world after their 6 million selling Enter the Matrix. Once again, Shiny Entertainment is heading the development with input from the Wachowski Brothers and Joes Silver. The game will put you into the role of Neo where you will, "relive his most important and memorable scenarios from the complete film trilogy." Sounds like fun.

Continue reading "The Matrix: Path of Neo Announced"
Posted by Jeremy on February 14, 2005 11:57 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Star Fox Assault is officially hitting store shelves today, and we have the guide for you! While we're writing up Silver and Gold Medal strategies, our free Star Fox Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is available for viewing. In its current form you will be able to get through the game and find all of the game's flags. If you're having trouble getting earning the Silver and Gold Medals, simply pretend you're going for a Bronze and take out more enemies in a shorter amount of time...or give us a couple more days where we can provide you with real strategies.

Posted by Allison on February 14, 2005 12:12 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

OK, the obligatory grain-of-salt warning...it is rumored that Nintendo will unveil at E3 in May a productivity pack of software for the popular Nintendo DS which will use Palm OS software and essentially turn your DS into a PDA. This speculation is based upon reports that Nintendo recently licensed the Palm OS from PalmSource and filed a trademark request for something called "V-Pocket". It would seem to make sense seeing as the DS already has a touch screen and stylus. To read some grist from the rumor mill go here and here.

Posted by Jeremy on February 14, 2005 12:16 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Midway has been a busy little publishing company. It was today announced that they have secured a multi-territory agreement to publish video games based on five of Comedy Central's "Adult Swim" programs: Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, Sealab 2021, and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In addtion, Midway sealed the deal on some popular kid fare: Ed, Edd n Eddy, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Dexter's Laboratory. The rights to these properties allows Midway to develop and publish games for console, handheld, and PC platforms. The first "Adult Swim" game is scheduled to ship in late 2006. I'm a big fan of Space Ghost, and of course, Brak. I wonder how they'll make a game out of a cartoon talk show? Very interesting.

Continue reading "Midway and Cartoon Network"
Posted by Jeremy on February 15, 2005 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

WarioWare: Touched!, a new game for the Nintendo DS, is today available in store throughout the US. The game consists of 180 fast-paced mini-games designed specifically to take advantage of the DS's unique touchscreen and microphone. "A mini game might call for a player to use the touch screen to spin a roll of toilet paper, strike a match or chop vegetables. Others ask them to blow into the microphone to tickle someone's ear or to cool a cup of coffee." I think we'll be picking this one up soon.

Continue reading "WarioWare: Touched! in Stores Today"
Posted by Jeremy on February 15, 2005 10:43 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Today in the Wall Street Journal, as reported by MSNBC, EA and Ubisoft are holding talks just a few months after EA bought about a 20% stake in Ubisoft, which Ubisoft deemed "hostile". Just because the two sides are talking, however, doesn't mean anything. In this case, actions will speak louder than words and any more buying up of Ubi by EA will tip the balance of power of voting rights in their favor (currently EA holds 20.88% of voting rights while the two Ubisoft founders hold 22.8%). Since EA purchased its stake in Ubi, Ubi shares have risen 95%. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Posted by Jeremy on February 16, 2005 8:33 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

No offense to the couple of decent games which either have already come out or will soon be coming out this month, but, man, February has been uuuugly on the gaming front. Before you lose heart and get stuck in a February depression, I just want to direct your attention to what lies ahead in March, as next month there are so many great releases coming our way, you just might appreciate the rest you're currently getting during these February doldrums. Please note, all release dates are from IGN, so don't hold us to them. Also remember, we are awaiting the February 22nd release of Gran Turismo 4, which will dull the pain until March.

Continue reading "Fighting the February Doldrums"
Posted by Allison on February 16, 2005 11:05 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

The UK's Inquirer is reporting today an unconfirmed piece of gossip attained by one of their many INQ moles inside one of many Xbox partners. Apparently, Xbox has caught wind of the growing market for wireless controllers, and, because of this, they have decided to make wireless controllers standard on the Xbox 2. The Inquirer also believes the controller isn't going to change much in terms of size or shape from the controller currently shipping with every Xbox, the Controller S.
Read the article.

Posted by Allison on February 16, 2005 11:22 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Is there a black spot on your carpet? Did you experience a warming sensation when moving your Xbox? Well, you're no longer crazy. MS has recalled 14.1 million Xbox power cords after a defect gave some users minor burns and scorched carpets. The recall covers, "all Xboxes made for continental Europe before Jan. 13, 2004, and the rest of the world before Oct. 23, 2003." If your Xbox falls into that time period you can request a new power cord by going to xbox.com or by calling the toll-free number for your country (look at your user manual). The cord will take 2-4 weeks to get to you so be careful and unplug your Xbox when you're not playing it.

Posted by Jeremy on February 17, 2005 8:56 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Vivendi Universal Games today announced a distribution agreement with Majesco to distribute BloodRayne 2 (Xbox, PS2, PC) and Advent Rising (Xbox, PC) to Europe: UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. BloodRayne 2 came out in the US in October and was a huge hit. It will debut in Europe in late May. Advent Rising, "the first in an epic trilogy of sci-fi action games," developed by GlyphX, has the player "make decisions that effect not only what they experience in the first game, but the entire Advent trilogy." Advent Rising is due out in the US in Q1 2005 and has a tentative UK release date of April 1.

Continue reading "BloodRayne 2 Coming to Europe"
Posted by Jeremy on February 17, 2005 9:18 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

The Conoco Phillips 76 Station in Santa Monica is going to be pretty darn busy this February 22. To celebrate the release of GranTurismo 4, Sony will be giving away free gas from 7:00am to 9:00am. And, if free gas isn't enough, you'll be greeted by a Gran Turismo Pit Crew and racing kiosks where you can play GT4 to your hearts content. Two comments: First, it seems Sony is being a little stingy by only offering the gas for two hours and we don't even know how much free gas per vehicle will be allowed. Second, the Conoco Phillips 76 station...remember when those all used to be separate oil companies? Well, I'd suggest taking Cheryl Crow's advice and getting into line, "before the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard." Sorry, had to go there.

Continue reading "Free Gas to Celebrate GT4"
Posted by Jeremy on February 17, 2005 9:37 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

It is a question that has been asked before and will continue to be asked: Is online gaming addictive? The simple answer, yes. The complicated answer, no, if you have the will power to resist the temptation, and further, if it is addictive, is that a bad thing? To add to the canon of discussion on this topic, the BBC has a good article exploring some of the more popular Massively MultiPlayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) including the recently released World of Warcraft that I know a lot of Lunabeanies can admit to playing a tad too much. As for us, well, we tend to stick to the console games because we know we'd get nothing done if we were to take up one of these epic and addictive games.

Posted by Jeremy on February 18, 2005 10:51 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey today has today filed suit against Blockbuster Inc., claiming the video and game rental chain is using deceptive advertising and violating the state's consumer fraud laws with its new "No More Late Fees" rental policy.
"Blockbuster boldly announced its 'No More Late Fees' policy, but has not told customers about the big fees they are charged if they keep videos or games for more than a week after they are due," said the attorney general in a statement released today. Blockbuster is defending its policy, and has released its own statement saying they are both surprised and disappointed in the lawsuit.
Read CNN/Money article

Posted by Allison on February 18, 2005 10:56 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony's handheld gaming and entertainment system, the PSP, is set to launch in the US on March 24. The PSP uses a proprietary 1.8GB disc dubbed UMD (Universal Media Disc) which can hold games, movies, music, etc. Sony has announced the first five movies to be released about a month after the PSP launches: XXX, Hellboy, Resident Evil 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and House of Flying Daggers. The first four movies will retail for $19.95 with the art house House of Flying Daggers retailing for $28.95. Whether or not people will actually buy these movies is still to be seen. Afterall, unless you can pop your UMD into something other than a PSP, the application seems a bit limited. Read the Press Release

Posted by Jeremy on February 18, 2005 11:09 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a knot in the pad of my hand, between my thumb and index finger. This morning, I looked down at my rested hand, and images of Mr. Pinchy, Homer's pet lobster, shot through my brain. This Silver and Gold medal standard we have set for ourselves with our Star Fox Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide has proven to be quite the labor intensive task. It's killing me, and my hand is just furious. Nonetheless, I expect the guide to be complete by the end of this weekend. In the meantime, check out the free version of our growing guide here.

Posted by Allison on February 18, 2005 11:18 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Pizza Hut and Sony have teamed up in an effort to ensure gamers are the fattest people on the face of the earth. According to this information on Sony's official fan site Station.com, if you're hungry and in need of a pizza while playing Everquest II, just type in "/pizza", and a web browser will launch the online ordering system of Pizzahut.com. Once you've filled in your information, you can continue playing while you wait for your hot and steaming pizza to come to your door. Hmm. Now I'm hungry.

Posted by Allison on February 18, 2005 1:48 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Capcom's Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo Gamecube knocked the reigning king of video game sales charts, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, out of the number one position in January. What's more, RE4 is one of the best-reviewed games in years, earning 30 "perfect" ratings from various magazines and online reviewers. According to the NPD Group's January sales tracking report, Nintendo also had a good showing with The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for the GBA (number 3), Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the GBA (number 9), and Super Mario 64 DS for the Nintendo DS (number 10). That's four games for three systems. Not too shabby, Nintendo.

Posted by Allison on February 22, 2005 10:54 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

While we are without an official press release at this time, today is the day when Gran Turismo 4 officially ships to retail stores across the US. GT4 is second only to Half-Life 2 in terms of release delays. As I recall, there was much buzz about a 2003 Holiday release. Now, February 2005, we're all going to experience, what's sure to be, the best racing simulator of all time. Start calling your stores now to see what time they'll be receiving the shipment.
Official GT4 Site

Posted by Allison on February 22, 2005 11:14 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

According to an article published by GamesIndustry.biz, EA is now facing its second class action lawsuit. Both lawsuits deal with overtime pay (or lack there of), and, if nothing else, are bringing to the forefront "Quality of Life" issues for those who work in the gaming industry who are often bound by state laws which exempt certain creative workers for overtime regulations. Even EA's VP of Human Resources announced, "The work is getting harder, the tasks are more complex and the hours needed to accomplish them have become a burden. We haven't yet cracked the code on how to fully minimize the crunches in the development and production process. Net, there are things we just need to fix." Yes, EA, there certainly are things you need to fix.
Read the article

Posted by Allison on February 22, 2005 11:44 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

At the end of January, many Japanese gamers were rather miffed by Sony's response to their complaint of PSP "sticky buttons". SCE president Ken Kutaragi had given an interview to Japan's Nikkei Business magazine where he stated, "This is the design that we came up with. There may be people that complain about its usability, but that's something which users and game software developers will have to adapt to. I didn't want the PSP's LCD screen to become any smaller than this, nor did I want its machine body to become any larger." He went on to assure the .6 percent of PSP owners affected that "it was not a mistake".
Today, it seems it was a mistake, as Sony has offered to repair any PSP suffering from "sticky buttons" for free. Sony has assured gamers that the manufacturing problem has been fixed and will not affect PSPs sold in the US.
Read Gamespot's article for more details

Posted by Allison on February 22, 2005 12:04 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming | PS2 | Xbox

As reported last April, Ubisoft was awarded the future development of the America's Army brand. Well, almost a year later, Ubisoft has announced America's Army: Rise of a Soldier (PS2, Xbox, Summer '05). According to the press release, "Ubisoft is creating the most authentic military console game to date by incorporating true-to-life character progression via an all-new Career mode and gameplay." It sounds like some RPG elements will make their way into this game. I'm on the fence with the America's Army series. Begun as a recruiting tool for the US Army, I don't see the merit of the US Army working with video game makers to create an ultra-realistic game for the PS2 and Xbox other than, of course, portraying the Army as "cool" to would-be soldiers. If they want ultra-realistic I'd recommend watching last night's Frontline Episode: A Company of Soldiers. Putting all the baggage aside it should be a fun game, just remember its roots.

Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces "America's Army: Rise of a Soldier""
Posted by Jeremy on February 23, 2005 8:15 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to GamesIndustry.biz for reporting that Rupert Murdoch's mega-media-corporation, News Corp, is set to acquire British game studio, Eidos (Tomb Raider, Thief, Hitman). Eidos has been courting a suitor for quite some time and News Corp has been itching to get into the lucrative video game market. News Corp owns TV, cable, magazine, satellite, book, and newspaper companies throughout the world including Fox, The Sun, TV Guide, Harper-Collins, DirectTV, New York Post, Sky, The Weekly Standard, The Times, etc. According to the article, Eidos is pleased with the purchase because the studio will not be broken up, which would have been the case if a rival studio had purchased them.

Posted by Jeremy on February 23, 2005 8:43 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

As E3 approaches (May) video game rumors tend to get frenetic. Things are starting a little early this year because of the next-gen console excitement. Recently, we reported on the Xbox2's purported wireless controllers. Now there is information out there from Engaget that the Xbox2 will sport a removable harddrive and could perhaps connect to your TV wirelessly. The removable harddrive would allow you to purchase the base model of the Xbox2 (yes, there will be several models) and add a harddrive later. We'll see what other uses MS has planned for that media bay in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Posted by Jeremy on February 23, 2005 8:56 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

It seems each new day brings a new Xbox2 (Xbox360) rumor. The latest, according to this article at Ferrago.com, is that the Xbox2 will be backwards compatible (let's hope) and will feature a sexy, curvy, sleek, silver design with the focal point being an oversized back-lit power button, a Halo, if you will. It is also speculated that the size of the console will be similar to that of the old PS2 and that it will be able to lay flat or on its side. Going further, the removable harddrive may indeed have some MP3 or other PDA-style capabilities. Imagine an iPod-esque device that you could pop in and out of your Xbox2 that would hold saved game data, music files, photos, etc. And, with XboxLIVE and the purported integration of the Xbox and your home PC, why not make the Xbox2 your digital media station. As always, be sure to stock up on the salt as you'll need a grain or two to get through this bout of speculation. Stay tuned. For more rumors, check out our previous story.

Posted by Jeremy on February 24, 2005 10:07 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo today announced four highly anticipated games for release in May: Pok?mon Emerald (May 1, GBA:SP), Donkey Konga 2 (May 9, GameCube), Geist (May 23, GameCube), and Fire Emblem (May 23, GBA:SP). Although I've always had a primal fascination with Donkey Konga, the game we're looking most forward to is Geist. "An unseen supernatural power prowls the hallways, laboratories and chambers of a shadowy corporate compound, terrorizing living beings wherever it lurks. That unseen power is YOU!" And, as a ghost, you can possess the living including animals, humans, and objects, "As a powerful specter, you can deviously manipulate objects in the environment to scare humans and animals. Once you have struck terror in the heart of your prey, you can possess and control their physical bodies and use them to accomplish your objectives." That sounds like a lot of fun.

Continue reading "Nintendo Announces 4 Big Games for May"
Posted by Jeremy on February 24, 2005 10:28 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft yesterday announced two new multi-player maps for MechAssault2: Lone Wolf. The maps are playable via System Link, split-screen and Xbox Live. "The first map, Mountain High, supports five game types: Team Destruction, Check It, Snatch it, Base War and Grinder. The second map, Troubled Waters, is playable in multiplayer Destruction mode and can also be played by either one or two gamers in the offline Grinder mode." I never did get into MechAssault with my limited XboxLIVE time going to Star Wars: Battlefront and Halo 2. Hey, we all have to make sacrifices.

Continue reading "2 New Maps for MechAssault2"
Posted by Jeremy on February 24, 2005 10:38 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Eidos has today announced that the action-packed FPS, Project: Snowblind has hit North American store shelves today for the Xbox and PS2. The PC version will be released on March 16. The game, a Deus Ex spin-off, is more open ended and shooting-centric than its venerable parent series. Many of the models from the Deus Ex games made their way into Project: Snowblind and yes, the requisite Bio-Mods are still there. With the impending purchase of Eidos this may be the last breath of life in the larger Deus Ex world. Note: Eidos claims that Deus Ex and Project: Snowblind have nothing in common to which I say Eidos must be suffering from some snowblindness itself.

Posted by Jeremy on February 24, 2005 10:57 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

If you are a fan of the music in the Xbox RPG, Fable, you can now purchase the soundtrack for the game in stores today. The Fable Theme, composed by Danny Elfman (The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, Batman, Spider-Man, Men in Black, etc.), and the rest of the soundtrack scored by Russel Shaw will be released via Sumthing Else Music Works (sumthing.com). And, if you want to purchase it and help support Lunabean at the same time, you can buy it from Amazon.com.

Continue reading ""Fable" Soundtrack Released"
Posted by Jeremy on February 25, 2005 9:11 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Allison and I have been waiting for Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 for quite some time. First of all, it's Ubisoft's first foray into the WWII genre, secondly, we have found many of the WWII console games to be lacking, so we have high expectations. Well, the wait is almost over. Brothers in Arms has gone gold for the Xbox and will ship March 1. The PS2 and PC versions are set for release on March 15. In addition to the press release that follows, you can check out the official site.

Continue reading ""Brothers in Arms" Goes Gold"
Posted by Jeremy on February 25, 2005 9:19 AM |

Filed Under:

The kind people over at 1Up.com have put together another one of their fun features. This time 1up examines The 50 Most Important Games Ever Made. As the introduction to the piece states, "just as a movie buff needs to understand what made Gone With the Wind so special, avid gamers should know why Donkey Kong was important." They speak the truth.

Posted by Allison on February 25, 2005 9:39 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

I'm so happy to be bringing you Xbox2 (Xbox360) news that isn't a rumor. Yesterday, it was revealed via an interview with Peter Moore, corporate vice president for worldwide Xbox marketing and publishing, that Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy series will be developing two RPG games for the Xbox2 (Xbox360). It isn't a secret that the Xbox bombed in Japan, largely due to the fact that there were few titles that appealed to the Japanese market. Moore said, "It?s quite frankly a mistake we don?t intend to make twice." MS will be giving money and support to Sakaguchi's studio, Mistwalker, to develop the games but few details emerged beyond that. Xbox RPGs are few and far between, but the ones that we do have are excellent, especially, Fable, KOTOR, and KOTOR II.

Posted by Jeremy on February 25, 2005 9:43 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

What a deceitful game, this Star Fox Assault was. I sat down with it at the beginning of February and played through all ten missions in two sittings. "I can write a quick guide for this", I said to myself. So, I sat down and began writing. Writing the guide at the Bronze Level was no problem. Not much precision nor strategy was involved. It was when I started going for Silver and Gold Medals that I had to call in my back up team, Jer. When it comes to games where rapid button pressing is essential, Jer's your guy (don't even try to play a Mario Party mini game against him, as he'll smear you). Much to my surprise, Jer even had a hard time getting through Star Fox Assault on the Silver and Gold levels. So, here we are, almost three weeks later, presenting your with our Star Fox Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. I hope you enjoy it, as our hands went through much pain to bring it to you.

Posted by Allison on February 25, 2005 9:55 AM |

LISTEN NOW (MP3, 30MB, 31 Minutes)


In this show, we discuss the LB Star Fox Assault Strategy Guide, our recent playing of Gran Turismo 4, upcoming March games, Nintendo's great January, Xbox360 (Xbox2) rumors, PSP button problems, preview Brothers in Arms, and recap the week in video game stocks.

Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #1"
Posted by Lunabean on February 27, 2005 6:38 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

CNN/Money's "Game Over" columnist Chris Morris says a new analyst report from American Technology Research suggests Nintendo "is planning to ship the next version of the Game Boy portable gaming system by the end of 2005". If this proves to be true, the newest incarnation of the Game Boy would be the third Nintendo handheld introduced to the market in as many years. In an interesting side note, Nintendo is claiming the Nintendo DS Australian launch is the most successful system launch our friends down under have ever seen.
Read the CNN/Money article

Posted by Allison on February 28, 2005 10:36 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Today, Ubisoft announced that it, "has acquired the technology, tools and source code shipped in Microsoft Game Studios team sports games, including NHL Rivals (hockey), NFL Fever (American football), NBA Inside Drive (basketball) and MLB Inside Pitch (baseball)." In addition, Ubi has signed a deal with No. 1 ranked PGA golfer, Vijay Singh which will result in a Singh-titled golf game. Ubi, which had yet to enter the sports genre, is instantly well positioned against EA and Take2 with the deal. Being a European co., I'd expect a soccer (football) game too. Ubi says there is still a lot of innovation left in sports games, "We hope to not only offer sports fans games that have a unique flair and character, but also something that will take advantage of the fabulous capacities of current and next generation consoles."

Continue reading "Ubisoft Enters Sports Genre"
Posted by Jeremy on February 28, 2005 11:12 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

Hot off the heels of an Oscar night near-sweep, Clint Eastwood and his production company are now looking at video games. No, there will be no "Million Dollar Baby: The Game", but, instead, Eastwood's Malpaso Productions will be bringing a "Dirty Harry" video game to the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles, in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Eastwood will lend his voice and likeness to the project, which will be overseen by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. As Eastwood said in a prepared statement, the game will "introduce this memorable film character to new generations on a medium they appreciate".
Read the NYT article (subscription only)

Posted by Allison on February 28, 2005 11:17 AM |

Filed Under:

Last week we told you about an article from GamesIndustry.biz which stated Rupert Murdoch's News Corp was set to acquire the video game publishing company Eidos Interactive. However, this week, Eurogamer.net is reporting that, "News Corp sources have today flatly denied that the company is in any kind of buyout talks with Eidos". Oddly enough, the News Corp staffer who spoke to Eurogamer suggested someone inside the company leaked the rumor then bought the stock and watched it go up. Now, I'm not too knowledgable concerning the world of stocks, but I'm thinking that what this News Corp staffer is suggesting happened is illegal. Of course, these are the people who bring us Fox News, so why should such behavior surprise any of us? Either way, we'll keep you updated when and if this saga continues.

Posted by Allison on February 28, 2005 11:51 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

We are pleased to announce our very first Lunabean Video Game Podcast. If you aren't familiar with the term "podcast", think of it as recorded radio which you can play on your iPod (or any MP3 player with decent storage) or your computer. Podcasts, like RSS feeds, are something you can subscribe to, so they come to you instead of you going to them. For more details and the actual MP3 file, please go to http://www.lunabean.com/podcast/. And, please remember, this is our first attempt at radio broadcasting. We will get better. I promise.

Posted by Allison on February 28, 2005 12:29 PM |

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