(Xbox, PC, T-Teen) has shipped and is in stores today. The squad-based first person shooter puts you in the role of commander of an elite unit of the Republic's Clone Army. Set between Ep. II and Ep. III, at the height of the Clone Wars, you'll be tasked with 14 levels through three different campaigns. Although this is a bit of a departure from the normal
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
(Xbox, M-Mature), the highly anticipated WWII first person shooter from Ubisoft, today shipped and will be in stores tomorrow. The game follows the exploits of a group of the 101st Airborne dropped behind enemy lines in preparation for D-Day. You command a squad of 3 soldiers (although you can't switch between them, you stay the same person) in an effort to help the D-Day invasion. The game, Ubisoft's first WWII game, is touted as the most realistic in its genre and has garnered seals of approval from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Patton Museum. To hear a preview of the game, you can listen to LB Video Game Radio
, Feb. 27 podcast. We'll have the game tomorrow and will start on a Strategy Guide soon thereafter. The game comes out for the PC on March 8, and the PS2 on March 15.
Tuesday - March 1, 2005
Yesterday we directed you to CNN/Money's "Game Over" column
which told us of a new analyst report suggesting the next incarnation of the Game Boy Advance is expected to to launch this year. Today gaming sites are abuzz with speculation, rumor, and, most likely, made up information, concerning this next handheld. However, that's not to say all of the buzz isn't fun to read. The UK's The Inquirer
has a nice summary of what's floating around, including a mysterious filing that suggests Nintendo will unveil the Game Boy Advance 2 at E3, the suggestion that the Nintendo DS is moving to the "PDA that plays games" category, a "poo-pooing" of such a suggestion, and speculation that the GBA2 will model itself after the PSP.
In this article
from GamingTarget.com, a part-time library employee and full-time gamer writes an interesting piece detailing the recent development of public libraries carrying video games. I decided to surf my own town library's website and sure enough they carry, several Mario Party
games, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
, Resident Evil 3
, and various other titles. This is yet another sign that video games are mainstream. In addition, many libraries are attempting to attract more teens/young-adults. This is why many libraries now carry comic books, are putting audio books on iPod Shuffles
, and, of course, are carrying video games. Perhaps it's time to visit my local library.
Capcom's highly anticipated Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Inferno
(PS2, M-Mature) has shipped today to stores nationwide. Previews and early reviews of the game have been tremendous for this next incarnation of the Devil May Cry
series, with a review from IGN
calling it a "near-perfect action-packed sequel" which "is going to kick your ass". The "kick your ass" aspect of the game comes from the Japanese Hard mode being transformed into the American Normal mode. Despite the great reviews for the game, I don't think we'll be picking it up. Oddly enough, Devil May Cry
games make me angry. I think it has something to do with the tone of the music and the fact that nothing really dies in the games. A woman needs closure.
Wednesday - March 2, 2005
Sony's foray into the handheld market, the PSP (playstation portable), is set to launch in North America on March 24. Today, Sony has announced that they will have 1 million PSPs ready for launch. Those first million PSPs also come with a bonus, the feature film, Spider-Man 2
, in UMD (universal media disc) format, of course. The "Value Pack" will retail for $249.99 and will include a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones, battery pack, AC adaptor, soft case, wrist strap, cleaning cloth, a demo disc, and an explanation as to why "value" is in the name of this pack. I'd probably lean more toward the "Stick-it-to-you Pack" but hey, I'm not a PSP fan...perhaps that will change.
Continue reading "1 Million PSPs Ready for North American Launch"
According to this article
from GamesIndustry.biz, Vivendi Universal has plans to develop 50 Cent: Bulletproof
, a shoot-em-up game starring rappers 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and other members of the G-Unit. The game will lead the player on an action-packed adventure through the criminal underworld and will undoubtedly have you "party like it's ya birthday." This isn't the first time 50 Cent has expressed interest in video games. In May of last year, we reported
that 50 was thinking about voicing the lead role in GTA:SA
. There is no word yet on a release date or system info.
is today reporting the release of four new Nintendo DS colors in Japan
: Black, white, blue and pink. The black and white handheld systems will be released on March 24th (coincidentally, the same day the Sony PSP launches in the US), and the blue and pink systems will launch on April 21st. At this time there is no mention of similar releases in the US.
View the new colors
Thursday - March 3, 2005
The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has announced a new rating, E10+, which would be placed on games with content suitable for kids 10 and older. The rating is meant to fill the gap between E (Everyone) and T (Teen). Games that had previously been teen, for example, Super Smash Bros. Melee
and Ratchet and Clank
, would now qualify for the E10+ rating. The rating will not be placed retroactively but will be debuting soon. The rating's definition: "Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language, and/or minimal suggestive themes." For more info, check out the ESRB Ratings Guide
and this Reuter's article
Yesterday, Ali and I picked up Brothers in Arms
for the Xbox. The game has received wonderful intitial reviews from various gaming sites and as of yet, we have to reserve judgement. Both Ali and I feel it is a boring game thus far, but to be fair, we do have to play it more. From a gameplay standpoint, it is a very solid, well made, and innovative squad-based FPS. At any time you can zoom out to a sort of "battlefield" view and switch between targets, friendlies, and objectives so that you can "plan" your attack.
Continue reading ""Brothers in Arms" First Impressions"
Speaking to a crowd at the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
European launch press event in Berlin, Hideo Kojima, the MGS
"mastermind" and series' producer, announced that work is already underway on Metal Gear Solid 4
. While few details were provided, the game is expected to launch on the PS3 with a later Xbox360 release. Kojima also informed the crowd that he will be handing the MGS
reigns over to Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo veteran Kenichiro Imaizumi, but he will still maintain a position of power as executive producer. We will certainly keep you updated as more details emerge.
Oh, and for our European friends who will be getting your hands on the awesome MGS3
on Friday, please check out our MGS3: Snake Eater Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Friday - March 4, 2005
Activision today announced a new Call of Duty
game for consoles to be released in Fall '05. The game will be developed by its internal studios, Gray Matter, who developed the PC expansion, Call of Duty: United Offensive
, and Treyarch, creators of the Spider-Man
series. I don't have much hope that this is going to be a great game. The previous Call of Duty
console game, Finest Hour
, was a big disappointment to me and although the Spider-Man
series sells well, they lack technical merit and are generally "blah" games. We'll just have to wait and see how it is when it comes out.
Continue reading "New "Call of Duty" Announced"
Friday - March 4, 2005
Proving, once again, Jon Stewart's Daily Show
tends to do a little more actual reporting than does the mainstream media, an interview with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson revealed for the first time that the upcoming Doom
movie, in which The Rock stars as "the dude", has officially wrapped and is expected to be in theaters this August. As fun as the movie sounds, I, personally, got a bigger kick out of Stewart's reaction to the news, as he's clearly a huge fan of the series. Even better were Stewart's parting words: "I know I mentioned to the Rock sitting at home and playing violent video games, and I realize we have a lot of young and impressionable kids out there. And I just want to let them know that you can
smoke while playing them". Too funny.
Watch Stewart's interview with The Rock
This weekend we'll be playing through Brothers in Arms
and will hopefully start a Strategy Guide for it, pending that we get through the game tomorrow. In the meantime, Ali will get her thumbs warmed up for the Tuesday release of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
. Hey, isn't that a verb tense? I will have finished Brothers in Arms
by the end of the weekend. See, that's what an English degree will do for you. Anyway, the other big event of the weekend will be our second Lunabean Video Game Radio
podcast. We'll record it Saturday and will have it available by Sunday afternoon. Have a great weekend!
Sunday - March 6, 2005
LISTEN NOW (MP3, 40MB, 43 Minutes)
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In this show we give our impressions of Brothers in Arms, discuss the nuances of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, preview TimeSplitters Future Perfect, talk about our recent iPod Shuffle purchase, recap the week that was in Video Game News, examine video game stock quotes, and relay to you the week's upcoming video game releases. We also had a bit of fun so please excuse any giggling and laughing.
Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #2"
Monday - March 7, 2005
On March 2nd we pointed you to an article by GamesIndustry.biz
which revealed that rapper 50 Cent had signed with Vivendi Universal to develop a game based on his personal rags to riches story, called 50 Cent: Bulletproof
. While we are still without a release date or system details, a press release
issued on Friday by Vivendi Universal does confirm GI's story, it includes a few more details about gameplay, and announces the game will be on display at E3.
Read the Press Release
Continue reading "More 50 Cent: Bulletproof Details"
We are pleased to announce the beginnings of the LB Brothers in Arms Strategy Guide
. I have played and written through Chapter 6, "Rommel's Asparagus," and I'll be playing and writing all day today. Check back each day to see updates. For more info on Brothers in Arms
, check out Lunabean Video Game Radio
or visit the official site
LB Brothers in Arms Strategy Guide
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is admitting Nintendo's next generation console, the Revolution, is going to be so far beyond the realm of what gamers and developers believe a console is and should be, that Nintendo is risking the loss of nervous third-party developers.
In an interview by the overseas trade publication MCV
, as reported by Kikizo Games
, Iwata stated, "If the next generation platforms are going to create even more gorgeous looking games using further enhanced functionality, and if that next-gen market can still expand the games industry, I'm afraid that third-parties may not support Nintendo" . However, with that being said, Iwata goes on to suggest this highly secretive console, which will be revealed at E3, has the potential to attract a whole new audience of gamers. Read the article
Do you happen to have $449 burning a hole in your pocket? Well, if that's the case, hop on over to Amazon.com and purchase yourself their very own Amazon.com 5 Game PSP Bundle
. The five games included in the PlayStation Portable
bundle are Wipeout Pure
, Twisted Metal
, Ape Escape
and World Soccer
, each of which are subject to change based on availability. With just over two weeks to the US PSP launch, this is the only way you can purchase the Sony handheld from Amazon, as Amazon has, apparently, cancelled all pending orders for the PSP Value Pack
. Apparently, Amazon has no intention of selling any PSPs, as I don't know anyone who would pay an extra $200 for Amazon to select their games for them.
Last night CBS's 60 Minutes
ran a piece entitled, Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?
which examined the tragic case of Devin Moore Thompson, the 18 year old who brutally and unapologetically killed three police officers in the small town of Fayette, Alabama in 2003. In a scene which, in all honesty, is reminiscent of a mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
, Thompson, who was being booked inside the Fayette police station for trying to steal a car, lunged for the booking officer's gun, shot the officer in the head with it, then proceeded to shoot his way out of the station. He then stole a police cruiser for his escape. Behind him he left three dead men, two of which were police officers. Later that day, when Thompson was caught, he allegedly told the arresting officer, "Life's like a video game. You've got to die sometime."
Continue reading "Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?"
Tuesday - March 8, 2005
Allison mentioned to me this morning that yesterday we forgot to do a news piece telling you about our second podcast of Lunabean Video Game Radio
. Egad, man! Yes, on Sunday we put up our second show for your listening pleasure. You can always check out what's going on with LB Video Game Radio by checking out lunabean.com/podcast
. And, if you want to comment on the show, go here
It seems 50 Cent is ruling the world of video games this week, first with the official announcement
of his upcoming game 50 Cent: Bulletproof
, and now with the news of his custom made Nintendo DS. According to Engadget
, 50 Cent "wasn?t about to settle for some pre-designed skin, yo", so he opted for a custom designed camouflage DS with his "G-Unit" moniker splashed across the front cover. It is an interesting use of the Bling.
View images of 50's DS
is claiming to have received confirmation that the extended Zelda trailer, shown only to a select few media people at last year's E3, will be released by Nintendo tomorrow. The release will come when Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference
comes to an end. According to the GDC site
, Iwata is expected to take the stage at the new GDC venue in San Francisco at 10:30am, and the speech is expected to last one hour. If this proves to be true, we will surely and certainly be doing everything we can tomorrow to get our hands on this trailer for your viewing pleasure. For now, remind yourself why we're so excited about this
By "tomorrow" I mean Thursday. That's what happens when you think Tuesday is Wednesday. Sorry, my bad.
Wednesday - March 9, 2005
The kind people over at Gamespy
claim to have a few "inside sources" who have leaked to them the specs of the next generation Xbox (presumably called the Xbox360). While we have come to know and trust Gamespy and their sources, please remember, nothing is fact until Microsoft announces it. With that being said, hold onto your hats, as this is what we're looking at: The Xbox360 CPU will use three 3.0GHz PowerPC cores, there will be 256MB RAM (no word on type, but memory cards will range from 64MB to 1GB), the GPU will be a 500MHz "next-gen" ATI X800, games will come on dual-layer DVD-9 discs (there will be no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD), there will be a USB 2.0 camera for 1.2-megapixel shots and VGA video, and, as previously speculated, the hard drive will be optional. For more details, please check out Gamespy's write up
As if running a marathon isn't scary enough, Nintendo decided to promote its upcoming Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
(to be released on March 14) by entering 50 costumed apes into last Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon. According to Nintendo, "the apes wanted to be in their tip top shape when the game launches". I just hope Nintendo paid the people in the costumes well, as I can't imagine a) running a marathon nor b) doing it in a full costume and mask with a bongo controller hanging from my neck.View the pictures
Continue reading "Apes Run the LA Marathon"
Nintendo has today released several new screenshots for their upcoming supernatural thriller Geist
. In Geist
you play the role of John Raimi, a disease-control agent with the federal government, sent to inspect the shadowy Volks Corporation. Needless to say, the inspection goes horribly wrong, and you end up captured and tortured via crazy experiments, one of which rips your soul from your body. You goal is to find you body, while using your powers to scare and possess any human or animal that crosses your path. Geist
currently has a May 23 release date.View the new screenshots
Continue reading "New Geist Screens Released"
At today's Game Developers Conference
in San Francisco, Microsoft provided its first Xbox360 details. Granted, they didn't announce its official name (we'll stick with "Xbox360" until they do), and Gamespy's "We Got Next" article
really provides us with the info we want (more info here
), but, since this info is directly from Microsoft (and not based on super secret inside sources) beggars can't be choosers, and we'll gladly take anything Microsoft gives us. Read Microsoft's first official Xbox360 statement
Continue reading "Xbox360 First Details - From Microsoft"
Thursday - March 10, 2005
While some drug companies may call it ADD, a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that today's American kids (age 8 to 18) have developed strong multitasking skills as the "new media" (computers and video games) has met with the "old media" (television and radio). Instead of replacing one with the other, today's teens often read or surf the net while listening to the TV or radio. This means, among other things, that while the time kids spend exposed to media hasn't increased much (about an hour from five years ago), the amount of media they actually absorb is much, much more. What does this mean for their future? The study refrained from making any such judgements. Only time and a lot of Ritalin will tell.Read the Reuters article about the study
is today reporting that our good friend Eidos, has hit some difficult times. Yesterday the UK company's stock lost 30% of its value as investors awaited Eidos' six-month results for the period ending December 31, 2004. Today those results emerged, showing an operating loss of GBP 29.2 million. As GI states, "Eidos is now desperate", and talks of a buyout are not only buzzing, but necessary or the Royal Bank of Scotland "has the right to require the Company to undertake an orderly disposal of assets, and/or intellectual property, of an amount equal to the facility plus associated fee". In the midst of all of this, Eidos has been forced to push back release dates for its upcoming Tomb Raider
games to the 2006 fiscal year.
Thousands of UK gamers are expected to hit the streets late tonight to make their way to a handful of stores offering a midnight launch of the Nintendo DS. The DS is priced at ?99, which, as usual, is more than what Americans paid for the same product. ?99 today is worth about US$190, and the Nintedo DS retails here for US$150, which would be about ?78. I guess that's what you get for living in a beautiful country with a rich history. If you live in the UK and you are looking for a place to purchase your DS, Game stores seem to be your best bet, as they are opening 150 stores across the UK and Ireland for the midnight launch.
While we're still waiting on details, the early word
from Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference is that Nintendo will "launch a subscription-free Internet gaming service for its new DS dual-screen hand held gaming device this year. Nintendo's first game for that service will be a version of the hit "'Animal Crossing.'" Iwata also informed the eager audience that the Revolution
, Nintendo's next generation console, "will be ready for wireless Internet gaming and be backwards-compatible with the current generation GameCube". We'll post whatever press releases Nintendo issues as soon as they issue them.
[update]The official Nintendo Press Release
Continue reading "Nintendo to Launch Subscription Free Gaming Service for DS"
As predicted by many, Nintendo has released the newest Legend of Zelda
trailer upon the closing of Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference today in San Francisco. For those of you who prefer the dark and ominous Zelda of Ocarina of Time
, prepare yourselves, as we are pleased to say we have this dark new trailer available for your viewing pleasure right here: New Zelda Trailer
Continue reading "New Zelda Trailer Released!!!"
As if releasing the newest Zelda trailer
wasn't enough, Nintendo went ahead and released 11 new Zelda screenshots
to go with it. I swear, it's Christmas in March. View the newest screenshots
Continue reading "Eleven New Zelda Screens Released"
Friday - March 11, 2005
In an article today on MSN Money
, Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to offer some
employees pay for the overtime they put in. Recently EA has been lambasted for working many of its employees well beyond the 40 hour mark without compensation. They claimed that during "crunch time" (the final few weeks of a game's development) employees were expected to put in the time necessary, sometimes upwards of 80 hours. Anymore, though, say EA employees, every week is a "crunch week". This move is in response to a class action lawsuit filed against EA by its employees demanding compensation. EA makes a ton of money. I'm happy that they have chosen to address the problem.
We are pleased to announce the completion of the Lunabean.com Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
for the Xbox, PS2, and PC. It is based on "Difficult" difficulty level, gives detailed strategies for each and every mission, and also explains Squad Commands, Situational Awareness, and Multiplayer. Brothers in Arms is a challenging and satisfying WWII First Person Shooter. You can read the Lunabean.com review
to get an idea for the game. Also, multiplayer on XboxLIVE is very fun and addicting. Look for the gamertag LUNABEAN.
Monday - March 14, 2005
1up.com has two interviews that may interest you coming out of last week's GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco. Nintendo's VP of Sales and Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime gave this interview
talking about the DS and the Revolution. He also managed to get a few shots in on Microsoft. Later, J Allard, Microsoft VP and Xbox guru, gave this interview
where he strikes back at Reggie Fils-Aime and discusses Xbox2 plans.
According to Israel's YNetNews
the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has admitted to giving 18 year-old army recruits who play Dungeons and Dragons
the lowest of security clearances. The IDF states that it has found, D&D
players are "detached from reality and suscepitble to influence". It is for this reason that Israeli army recruits who admit to playing the role playing game, are immediately sent for a psychological evaluation, which leads to the decision giving most D&D
players this low security clearance level, that is, if they're not kicked out immediately. Since tens of thousands of youth in Israel play D&D
, many have been forced to keep their dirty secret to themselves, in a sort of "don't ask don't tell" policy. While I'm willing to support the plight of D&D
players around the world, I have to admit that I find acts like this
particularly disturbing, and they don't help when you're trying to convince people that D&D
players are sane.
While many have uniquely modded their old gaming systems over the years, one New York based eBayer is selling an original Nintendo Entertainment System with a very unique feature: It seems to be haunted. According to the eBay listing for the haunted NES
, the seller truly believes something supernatural has taken over the NES he purchased from a Brooklyn thrift shop. Apparently, the day he picked the system up was the day it was donated...by a man who found it in his attic, put there after his son died. Symptoms of the haunting include hearing sounds of human mumbling and laughing, automatic pausing (during key moments), automatic selection of "2-player games", and a cat who won't go near the console. Creepy.
For more details, check the eBay listing
LISTEN NOW (MP3, 34MB, 36 Minutes)
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In this week's podcast we discuss the completion of our Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Strategy Guide, preview Cold Fear, a new survival horror game from Ubisoft, and talk a little about Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. We also discuss big news coming out of the GDC (Game Developers Conference) including the new Zelda trailer, Nintendo DS news, and official Xbox2 plans. In news, Allison discusses Israel's reticence to give security clearance to Dungeons and Dragons players.
Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #3"
Tuesday - March 15, 2005
The Nintendo DS launched in the UK over the weekend selling 87,000 units in two days making it the best 2-day launch of any platform ever (in the UK). The previous record was held by the the GameCube at 69,000 units with the GBA's 2-day launch at 67,000. The DS launched with 16 titles, 12 of which made it into the Top 40. The most popular games were Super Mario 64 DS
, Wario Ware Touched!
, and Rayman DS
. Hopefully, this will mean good things for the DS. I'm still waiting for Metroid Prime: Hunters
in August! For more information about the UK launch, go here
. On a side note, Nintendo also claimed the best Australian launch ever
While I am without an official press release as I post this, a couple of phone calls to my local gaming stations has confirmed the shipment of Ubisoft's first survival horror video game, Cold Fear
, has, indeed, shipped, and will be in stores tomorrow. Every Cold Fear
review I've seen out of Europe (as they got the game a couple of weeks ago), has been great. I've also been sneaking around on some European forums to see if people are having trouble with the game, and they are, so we're very excited to begin a walkthrough and strategy guide for the game as soon as we get our hands on it.
Visit the official Cold Fear site
Buy Cold Fear
from EBGames: (Xbox)
Majesco's Phantom Dust
has been released today. The game, developed then axed by Microsoft, was picked up by Majesco who has decided to offer it for only $19.99, a bold move that saw success with the Sega/ESPN sports game lineup. Anyway, Phantom Dust
is a fast paced action/adventure game where you can earn up to 300 skills and play through 100 single player missions. There is also multiplayer on XboxLIVE where you can earn additional skills only available online, participate in tournaments, and sell, trade, or ante your skills. It sounds like fun but I doubt we'll get to it anytime soon. Still, I'm interested in it due to the low price. For more info, go here
For those of you who have already played Resident Evil 4
, you are more than familiar with the fear that comes with the chainsaw. Now, you have the chance to use the wrath of the saw against those using it against you...or, at least you'll have a controller shaped like one, as today the highly anticipated RE4 Chainsaw Controller
is shipping to game retailers across the US. And, just so you all know, our Resident Evil 4 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
will work with the chainsaw controller.
Buy the RE4 Chainsaw Controller from EBGames.com
It's a UK handheld kind of day. Earlier I told you the Nintendo DS had the best launch of any platform ever. Now, many sources, including Reuters
have confirmed that the UK PSP launch has been delayed at least a few months. Sony was originally hoping for a late March release but claims that US demand for the March 24 US launch has forced Sony to reallocate European systems to the US. In other words, Sony is claiming that they can't keep up with the pre-demand. I think it has more to do with manufacturing problems, like the PS2 problems pre-christmas
. Anyway, with the huge success of the Nintendo DS, I don't blame Sony for putting a little distance between the PSP and the DS in the UK, even if they are blaming it on "shortages".
Wednesday - March 16, 2005
Thanks to PlanetGamecube.com
for translating the new lineup page
on Japan's Nintendo DS site. Because of them, we now know of three new titles coming out for the Nintendo DS. Notice I said "titles" instead of "games"? These three titles are Nou o Kitaeru Otona no DS Training
("Brain Training for Adults on the DS"), Yawaraka Atama Juku ("Prep School Brain Flexing"), and DS Rakubiki Jiten
. The first two titles are problem solving applications put into a fun "game" format. The last title, DS Rakubiki Jiten
, is a Japanese dictionary which includes English-Japanese and Japanese-English translation tools. Soon enough, I won't need the translations of others, as my little DS will tell me everything I need to know. But, for now, for more details, check out PlanetGamecube.com
Nokia recently announced a major price break for its handheld gaming/phone device, the N-Gage QD. The old price of $199 has been cut to $99 and games which were selling for $35 are now to be released at the $15-25 mark. If you don't know, I get great pleasure out of lambasting the N-Gage and the N-Gage QD. I think that the device tries to be to many things and the original design was so terrible that they had to release the QD only 9 months after the N-Gage launch.
Continue reading "Nokia N-Gage QD Price Slashed"
According to a press release
issued by Song (Delta Air Lines' high-style, low-fare air service), customers on all Song flights will have personal video monitors at each seat, giving them access to 10 pay-per-view digital movies available on-demand $5/movie), MP3 programming available on-demand (free), and a suite of 11 video games ($5 for access to all video games). The video games available are Texas Holdem
(which enables passengers to join one of 10 poker tables and compete against one another on the personal video monitors) Alchemy
, Big Money
, Klondike Solitaire
, Mummy Maze
and Noah's Ark
Continue reading "Delta's Song to Add Video Games to Flights"
Ubisoft today announced that they have signed an exclusive licensing deal with And1
, a company that makes performance basketball shoes and apparel. This marks Ubisoft's second big sports license since announcing it would begin making sports games
in late February. The other signing being that of golf superstar Vijay Singh. And1 sponsors over 100 NBA athletes including Stephan Marbury and Ben Wallace. It's kind of a second-tier signing, but the best of the worst, nonetheless.
Continue reading "Ubisoft Signs Marketing Deal with And1"
Thursday - March 17, 2005
Ubisoft today revealed its product catalog for 2005-2006, announcing that Rainbow Six Lockdown
will be released later than the original late March date, in order to put the game into the '05 fiscal year, and released some financial data. The important part, of course, is the games. Ubisoft has a pretty impressive line-up between now and next March including, Far Cry Instincts
, Prince of Persia 3
, Peter Jackson's King Kong
, Ghost Recon 3
, Spinter Cell 4
, Killing Day
(working title, FPS for next-gens), Brothers in Arms 2
, 187 Ride or Die
(Ubi's foray into the Urban Street Racing genre), and its first sports game, And 1
, a basketball game which will undoubtedly be marketed with the And1
apparel/shoe brand. There's more, so read the entire press release.
Continue reading "Ubisoft Reveals 2005-2006 Line-Up"
, this week, got the opportunity to sit down with Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata for a Q&A session about Nintendo's next console, the Revolution, and, while Iwata did a fantastic job of not revealing any specific details in the interview, he certainly managed to kick my excitement level up a notch. BAM! There's something to be said about confidence in a product when building it up to potential buyers. It's as though it's a make it or break it situation Nintendo is facing, and Iwata knows it, and loves it. After all, who does need better graphics at this point? All of the current consoles can produce photo-realistic graphics if they need to. What we need in the next generation of consoles is
a Revolution. I just hope Nintendo is right in the kind of Revolution we need.
Read the article
Sci, the UK publisher who brought us the Conflict
, and Prisoner of War
, has today announced details of its upcoming GTA-esque game, Total Overdose
. To be released in Summer '05, Total Overdose
takes you on a tequila fuelled rampage through the drug and gang underworld of Mexico as you and your twin brother aim to avenge the death of your father, a DEA agent who never made it home. Judging from the trailer, it does look and feel a lot like a GTA game, but is much more stylized with the ability to run off of walls while shooting and do all sorts of acrobatic feats. We'll just have to wait and see how this one churns out.
Continue reading "Sci's "Total Overdose" Details"
Friday - March 18, 2005
Blizzard Entertainment yesterday announced that World of Warcraft
, its MMORPG, has surpassed the 1.5 million subsciber mark worldwide, and has reached a global peak concurrency - the number of subscribers playing at the same time in each market - of more than 500,000 players. I guess the banning of over 1000 accounts due to "gold farming"
didn't hurt them much.
For a breakdown of WoW players and concurrencies worldwide, please check out the Blizzard press release
Continue reading "World of Warcraft Reaches 1.5 Million Subscribers"
Microsoft recently announced
that a Lexington, SC, software company, Interactive Data Visualization, will be amongst the first to produce software for the Xbox2. "SpeedTree software is the first ? and currently the only ? program approved specifically for creating photorealistic forest worlds for the next Xbox?s games, said Microsoft executive Tracey Frankcom." "Forest worlds," you say? What's so special about that? Care to see it in action
Continue reading "Next-Gen Trees, Yes, Trees"
Both Microsoft and Nintendo of America are headquartered in Redmond, WA, just outside of Seattle. In fact, their campuses are adjacent to one another. And that was the problem when MS proposed a 2.2 million square feet addition to their campus, infringing on Nintendo's space. To counter the move, Nintendo asked for a 550,000 square feet addition. MS and Nintendo have amicably resolved the situation with MS giving up about 250,000 square feet of their proposal so that Nintendo can have what it wants. To put things into perspective, MS employs about 28,000 workers in the Seattle area while Nintendo employs about 1,000. For more info about these good neighbors and a map of the area, check out this Seattle Post Intelligencer article
The Chicago Tribune
has published a fantastic article
concerning Wednesday's 91-19 House vote in Illinois to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. Why do I call it "fantastic"? Because it deals primarily with the House debate
, which was a lot hotter than the 91-19 vote reflects. For example, Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia almost self-imploded when answering questions about violence against aliens disguised as humans, while Rep. Lou Lang voted for the bill because, "these are disgusting, violent and horrible games", but admitted the bill, as drafted, is "unconstitutional." I say, stop undermining the ESRB, and, instead, back them up and aid in the education of parents about video game violence. That way, we can prevent the sale of such games to minors, without touching their 1st Amendment rights.
Read the article
We are pleased to present you all with our growing Cold Fear Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. We have been pleasantly surprised by this game, which is Ubisoft's first attempt at the survival-horror genre, and like most survival-horror games, it's full of puzzles and missing pieces, which makes a strategy guide all the more necessary. It is because of this that we are actually writing this one as we go, instead of making you all wait for it. However, we do play ahead of where our walkthrough reaches, so, if you're playing this weekend and if you find yourself stuck in a place beyond the reach of our walkthrough, please post on our Message Boards
and we'll do what we can to help.
LB's Cold Fear Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Sunday - March 20, 2005
LISTEN NOW (MP3, 32MB, 34 Minutes)
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We are pleased to offer you our fourth Lunabean Video Game Radio podcast. We fill you in on our LB Cold Fear Strategy Guide, tell you all about the Sony PSP launch, rant about the Illinois State Legislature and their bill about video games, and recap the week that was in the Stock Market.
Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #4"
Monday - March 21, 2005
As we reported in December
, the overwhelming success of the LA Philharmonic's Final Fantasy
concert last May brought about a February concert in Chicago. Today, Square-Enix announced another May concert in LA, the week of E3
. This time, however, "The concert will be conducted by Grammy award winner Arnie Roth and performed by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra and the CSUF University Singers, with special appearances by The Black Mages and additional guest performers who will be announced at a later date." It should be a blast!
Continue reading "Another May "Final Fantasy" in LA"
Gamespot is today reporting
that the official Korean-language Xbox site has listed under its release date section, "Halo 2 X-Pack (Expansion Pack)." If the expansion pack really exists there is no word on when it will launch. Most likely, it will be deployed over XboxLIVE giving gamers more reason to subscribe to the service. If they charge for it, though, I could see a bit of a backlash as many (including me) thought that Halo 2
was cut short in hopes of making more money down the line or to launch a Halo 2.5
on the Xbox2. We'll keep you updated to see if any of this is actually true.
Last week, Ali reported on the Illinois State Legislature's
"Safe Games Illinois Act". Today, the Official State of Illinois News Page
has denounced the release of Midway's NARC
and uses it as yet another example of why the State needs the "Safe Games" act. OK, let me get in my obligatory, "Oy vey!" Read that press release from the Gov. and see if you don't get angry.
Continue reading "Update: Safe Games Illinois Act"
Tuesday - March 22, 2005
The NBA today has announced new non-exclusive deals with various video game publishers. As opposed to EA's exclusive deal with the NFL
and Take-Two's semi-exclusive deal with MLB
, the NBA has signed agreements with EA, Take-Two, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Midway Games, and Atari. This seems like a great deal for the NBA and video game fans as gamers will still have a broad selection of offerings from various publishers and the NBA doesn't have all of its basketballs in one basket, if you will.
Continue reading "NBA Shows Good Teamwork"
Yesterday, I reported on a purported expansion pack
for Halo 2
. Today, on the Bungie.net
site (the developers of Halo
), the rumor is addressed, "Next week, we?re going to have a major announcement about the details of our new maps. Right now, there are some dates, details and ideas out there that are actually wrong, so please take everything you read between now and then with a grain of salt." Keep reading for more info...
Continue reading "Update: "Halo 2" Expansion Pack"
Having taken my very first golf lesson yesterday (I have played, poorly, for many years), my interest was peaked by the Golf Launchpad
that I came across today. The device plugs into a USB port on your computer (or PS2, maybe) and can be used as the controller for various golf games including Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004
. Using your own clubs, the sensors in the pad pick-up your swing path and impact speed and translate it to the swing in the game. Now you can play championship courses and take as many mulligans as you want. It also has a bundled "Swing Analyzer". I think I'll need.
Continue reading "Hey! No Swinging Clubs in the Living Room!"
Wednesday - March 23, 2005
There is some moving and shaking going on in the video game business world. First, we have the on going saga of Eidos (Tomb Raider, Hitman, Thief, Deus Ex
) and the ensuing bidding war
between Elevation Partners (a venture capital firm with Bono on the board) and SCi, the British developer most famous for the Conflict
series. SCi is correct in thinking that the Eidos brand name is undervalued. I don't care who buys Eidos, I just want new Thief
and Deus Ex
games. Second, we have the purchase of Radical Entertainment
(The Simpsons: Road Rage
) by huge mega-conglomeration Vivendi Universal. This one won't affect the average gamer too much but is yet another sign of the times...mergers galore!
Overnight, EA stock fell about 12% from $66.35 (yesterday's close) to a current price of $55 on news that EA lowered its 2005 earnings forecast from $1.82-$1.87/share to $1.62-$1.64/share. That translates to a cut in the earnings forecast from $3.275 to $3.325 billion to $3.1 to $3.125 billion. Hey, what's a few hundred million, after all? EA claims that better-than-expected sales of GTA: San Andreas
, Halo 2
, Half-Life 2
and World of Warcraft
put a damper on their sales with CEO Larry Probst saying, ""Everybody in the industry has been surprised with World of Warcraft...There are people who haven't played games in years who are now spending 20 hours a week playing." Sounds like EA needs to learn a lesson or two from WoW
Get your hundreds of hard-earned dollars ready, because tonight at midnight you can be amongst the first in North America to get your hands on Sony's new handheld, the PSP (Playstation Portable
). Problem is, you might be hard pressed to find the PSP at the $250 price as most retailers are forcing bundled games upon the masses with Gamestop's prices ranging from $380-$520, EB's from $400-$430, and Wal-Mart's $360-$500. Best Buy looks like a good bet if you only want the $250 PSP but they're evil, so you have to contend with that.
Continue reading "PSP Set to Launch"
Thursday - March 24, 2005
As we reported last September
, Take-Two Interactive won the rights to Warner Bros., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
. Now being published by Take-Two's 2K Games brand, the game is set for release in July 2005 for all platforms. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
is based on the upcoming Tim Burton film based on the classic Roald Dahl book. For more info about the game, continue reading...
Continue reading ""Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" Info"
After months and months of convincing myself I don't need the new Sony PSP (Playstation Portable), today, the official North American PSP launch date, I am having a hard time keeping myself away from the nearest game store to buy one. They're sooo pretty and shiny. Still, I've never been much of a sports gamer, and the PSP launch titles
are extremely sports heavy. The one game I was really interested in, Metal Gear Solid Acid
is nothing like other MGS games
, which I didn't know until today. I already have a Game Boy Advance and a Nintendo DS, and, while I love them both, I find myself having difficulty in finding the time to play either. And, as if that's not enough to keep me away, the cost of a PSP, as its currently bundled, plus any one game, would come in right under that $300 mark. That's just too much money for a handheld PS1...no matter how pretty and shiny it is. I'll be waiting for the price drop, thank you very much. In the meantime, I'll spend my extra time reading GameSpy's PSP game reviews
Namco today announced the third installment in the SoulCalibur
series, SoulCalibur III
. The aptly named fighting game will be exclusive to the PS2, have three new characters, many different fighting modes, and the widest variety of fighting arenas of any SoulCalibur
game. Currently, you can visit Namco.com
for some info and screens but the official site
has yet to launch. If you recall, SoulCalibur II
made waves by having an exclusive character for each console, most famously, Link for the GameCube. With this game only for the PS2 we'll have to see if there is any backlash.
Continue reading ""SoulCalibur III" Announced"
We are pleased to announce the completion of our Cold Fear Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. As always, we have also made available an ad-free, printer-friendly and beautifully bookmarked Downloadable and On-Demand PDF version
of this guide, along with a Cold Fear guide with screenshots
. Both options provide a wonderful way to support Lunabean and our free content while getting something great in return!
Friday - March 25, 2005
Unless you are either not a gamer or were out of the country for a few weeks then you may not know that the Sony PSP yesterday launched to throngs of gamers eager to get their greasy little hands on the latest and very expensive handheld gaming device. Gamestops across the US opened at midnight for their pre-order customers and other retailers opened early the next morning. For a recap of all of the crazy activity check out these stories
from Google News. Gamespot has a good Spot On column
regarding the launch. Also, there was some disappointing launch news
out of Rochester, NY.
Continue reading "PSP Launch Roundup"
Earlier this week we reported on rumors of a Halo 2 expansion pack
. Today, Bungie and Microsoft have released the full details. For the official press release from Xbox.com, go here
. Or, for a better run down of all the info from Bungie, go here
. The basic gist is that there will be 9 new multiplayer maps available on a stand alone disc at retailers on June 28 for $19.99. If you are on XboxLIVE, then you will get two free maps at the end of April with an option to buy 2 more. The other 5 maps will be available for download on June 28, the same day the disc goes on sale at retailers. The advantage of the disc is that you get extra bonus features like fly-overs and making-of stuff.
Continue reading ""Halo 2" Multiplayer Map Pack: June 28"
This weekend Ali and I will be hiding in various places around our apartment in a stealthy game of hide-and-seek in preparation for Tuesday's launch of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
. As long as the cats don't give away my location, I think I'll be untrackable unless, of course, Ali uses her thermal goggles. To bide the time, I'm going to head to Blockbuster to rent either TimeSplitters Future Perfect
or Star Wars: Republic Commando
. Also, on Sunday, look for our latest edition of LB Video Game Radio
. Due to some Easter commitments, however, the show may not be available until Monday. Have a great weekend!
Saturday - March 26, 2005
LISTEN NOW (MP3, 28MB, 31 Minutes)
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In this edition we preview Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, discuss the Sony PSP, fill you in on our recently completed LB Cold Fear Strategy Guide, rant about Halo 2 Expansion Maps, run down video game releases for the upcoming week, and recap the week that was in the Stock Market.
Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #5"
Monday - March 28, 2005
I'm very close to saying, "I told you so," but I won't because there is no official sales data yet, however, anecdotal sales data shows that not only didn't the Sony PSP sell out of its initial shipment but many retailers barely sold any units and units are still not difficult to find in most areas. Now that you've read that oddly structured sentence you may recall (or heard on LB Video Game Radio
) that Ali and I predicted slow sales due to its high cost and lack of any real functionality other than games. Now, many others are reporting that stores have many PSPs available with one store saying that only 10 of the 80 they had ordered sold through. For more anecdotal evidence of poor sales, continue reading...
Continue reading "PSP Sales Fail to Impress"
According to many sources, including Reuters
, Sony was ordered by a U.S. court to halt sales of its Playstation consoles in the US and to pay $90 million to a California company, Immersion Corp., due to a patent infringment case. Immersion Corp. holds a patent for the technology of a vibrating controller that they claim Sony stole. Sony will not pay or halt sales pending an appeal of the decision. It also begs the question of who's next? Microsoft, Nintendo? They both use vibrating controllers? We'll just have to wait and see.
It's official! Ubisoft has this morning announced the shipment of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
for the Xbox, PS2, Gamecube and PC, is on its way to retailers nationwide. While the Ubisoft press release
states the game will be in stores by March 31st, the vast majority of us can expect to see it in stores as soon as tomorrow. For those who listened to our Chaos Theory
preview on yesterday's edition of Lunabean Video Game Radio
, you're fully aware that this game is expected to blow your mind, as it's become one of the best-reviewed titles of the season, and Gamespy
has gone so far as to deem it "a serious contender for the 'Best Xbox Game of All Time' title".
As has been the case with all Splinter Cell
titles, we will begin a walkthrough and strategy guide for it as soon as we get our hands on the game.
Continue reading "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Ships"
Tuesday - March 29, 2005
Yesterday, we reported on Sony's patent infringement
and the $90 million that they have been ordered to pay Immersion Corp.
. Today, Immersion Corp. has released a press statement summing up their side of the case. Essentially, Immersion is protecting its intellectual property (I wish I had some of that, but I rent) and feels it has a very strong case with CEO Victor Viegas saying, "The Court-ordered permanent injunction to stop the shipment and sale of infringing products in the U.S. is an important indicator of the strength of our case". We'll keep you up to date on any new developments. Continue reading for the full press release from Immersion.
Continue reading "The Sony Patent Infringement Case: Immersion's Side"
The conclusion of a recent marketing report on the video game industry by Phoenix Marketing International has concluded that those who own PS2's are more likely to be casual gamers, that "word of mouth" is the primary source for info on new games and gaming news, and that print publications and gaming web sites are most often cited by specialty store consumers. As is the case with most marketing reports, you can say, "No duh." Since the PS2 has the largest installed base of any console (what is it 70 million now?) it would make sense that there are more casual gamers with that system.
Continue reading "Market Research Shows PS2 for Casual Gamers"
Nationally syndicated columnist, Jacob Sullum, recently wrote this piece
on Hillary Clinton's new found cause of protecting kids from video games. Citing a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study (the same one that said kids today are very good multi-taskers), Hillary has proposed a $90 million study into the effects of violent video games on kids. Once again, we have a politician who doesn't understand what they're fighting against.
Continue reading "Hillary Clinton Joins Anti-Game Force"
Wednesday - March 30, 2005
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has today announced 24: The Game
for the PS2. In an exclusive licensing deal with Twentieth Century Fox, the game is set for release in Fall of '05 and is being developed in collaboration with the show's writers, musicians, stars, and producers. It will be set between seasons two and three and will answer many unanswered questions from the show like where did Chase Edmunds come from and who was behind the assassination attempt of Pres. Palmer? 24
has long been a favorite show of ours here at Lunabean and we've always said it would make a great video game. Obviously, so did the people behind the show. Here's hoping for a good game!
Continue reading ""24: The Game" Announced"
Nintendo Pres. Satoru Iwata and the trade paper Nikkei Business
are at it again in regards to info on Nintendo's next-gen console, Revolution. According to many sources
Iwata reiterated that the console will feature wireless LAN capabilities and will keep development costs low, but shied away from mentioning anything about rumors of the console's controller, purported to have no buttons or control sticks but instead be a programmable touch screen
. Iwata's reasoning, "Controllers for current consoles have more than doubled [in complexity] from older consoles. They may satisfy the hardcore gamers, but they've become too difficult for more casual gamers." Very interesting. Stay tuned for more info as E3 approaches.
Yesterday, Allison and I picked up our copy of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
. We played it for about 10 hours straight and got through the first three levels (we are exploring everything). Today, we plan to begin our Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. The guide will be in rough draft form and will be updated daily until it is completed, so check back often. We'll upload the first chunk of it later today. In the meantime check out our official Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Help Thread
. As far as first impressions go...
Continue reading ""Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory" Strategy Guide"
Thursday - March 31, 2005
According to several sources, including GamesIndustry.biz
, Sony has cancelled a closed-doors preview of the Playstation3 scheduled for March. There was speculation that Sony would do it today (last day of March) however that hope was dashed as today approached. The preview event was to give a select group details about the overall concept and some specifics regarding the PS3. The actual PS3 is still scheduled to be shown for the first time at E3. Sony claims that they didn't want to put pressure on their developers, which is why they cancelled. Yeah right.