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Video Game News from April 2005

Filed Under: PC

Okay, so Beyond Good and Evil is a year and a half old and has been out on the PC for quite some time. However, if you missed this overlooked game, it will now be available in the UK for only ?9.99 as part of Focus Multimedia's "Essential Games" line up. The game still holds a dear place in our hearts as one of the best and most fun games of '03. If you haven't played it, now is your chance to do so. Also, be sure to check out our Beyond Good and Evil Strategy Guide. No word yet on any US re-release of the game but it is available for $20 for the PS2 and $15 for the PC. If you haven't played it and like Zelda-esque games, try this one out!

Continue reading ""Beyond Good and Evil" Price Slashed for the PC"
Posted by Jeremy on April 1, 2005 8:47 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

With thirty-three per cent of North American retailers selling out of the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP), analysts are divided on the success of the launch. Or, maybe I should say, two analysts, chosen by Gamespot are divided on the success of the launch. While American Technology Research's PJ McNealy is "hesitant to draw any macro-level conclusions about the success or failure of the PSP" over the long term, the fact that only 33% of retailers have sold out of the PSP shows a "solid but not spectacular" launch, which, despite the hype, has done little in terms of financial impact on video game publishers.

Continue reading "Analysts Divided on PSP Launch"
Posted by Allison on April 1, 2005 10:01 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Happy April to gamers everywhere! Last month we provided a quick list of release dates for games we were excited for throughout March. We were surprised at the number of Lunbean users who wrote to us in appreciation of such a page. So, since we're all about giving our users what they want, we are pleased to present you with LB's April Video Game Release Picks.

Continue reading "LB's April Release Dates"
Posted by Allison on April 1, 2005 10:24 AM |

We have decided to skip this week's Lunabean Video Game Radio because we feel it's more important to continue work on our Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. We'll be back next week with a full report of everything that's been going on here at Lunabean and in the video game world. Continue reading for some items that we would have talking about had we done a show.

Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio"
Posted by Lunabean on April 3, 2005 4:58 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Over the years Allison and I have become more and more enthralled with RPGs. That is due in large part to KOTOR, the BioWare developed Star Wars RPG that has sold millions and endeared itself into the hearts of many. Although BioWare handed KOTOR II over to Obsidian, BioWare wasn't just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. No, no. In fact, they were hard at work on Jade Empire, a mystical RPG set in a mythological China. Now, BioWare has announced that Jade Empire has gone gold (the master copy is completed)! Early screens and info are simply amazing and we can't wait for the release on April 12! Check out http://xbox.com/jadeempire/ for more info.

Continue reading ""Jade Empire" Goes Gold!"
Posted by Jeremy on April 4, 2005 9:41 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony has a new idea: to become the iTunes of movie downloads. And what better device to play your movies on than a PSP? At least that's the thinking behind Sony's move to digitize 500 movies by next year. The movies would be available for download at MovieLink. They also plan to put the movies on flash memory cards (my guess is a MemoryStick) for mobile phones and, one would guess, the PSP. The problem, of course, is that there is a long tradition of mobile music, popularized by Sony's Walkman, ironically, but no such tradition of mobile movies. Movies are meant to be played on a large screen and are often 1-3 hours long. I just don't get the attraction to watch movies on a mobile device. Music I understand...quick downloads, high quality, the ability to carry 5,000 songs with you, etc. I think Sony doesn't know what it's doing anymore.

Posted by Jeremy on April 4, 2005 9:53 AM |

Filed Under:

The world's largest traveling video game festival, GameRiot, is gearing up for its 2005 journey across the US. Joining forces as sponsors for the event: Nestle, MTV2, and Xbox. Now, how could the PR people put those sponsors together into a cohesive package? Hmm? Oh wait, "MTV2 Presents Nesquik GameRiot Powered by Xbox". There it is. Anyway, this year's tour will visit 85 events in 30 different markets and reach more than 300,000 gamers. Look for ads on Nesquik bottles, on MTV2, and on MTV2's XM Radio channel. For more info and tour dates visit, gameriot.com.

Continue reading "2005 GameRiot Tour"
Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2005 9:12 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Well, kind of. Engadget today is reporting a DS tunneling software package, called DS Linkup, that will allow DS users to connect around the world, via a WiFi connection to the web, I'm guessing. This is not the official Nintendo online software, instead it is being developed by Italian developer Jadrule...is that like Jarule or Jadakiss? Hopefully, Nintendo will soon unveil some online software of their own for the DS.

Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2005 9:33 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Majesco today announced that they have signed a worldwide publishing deal for the upcoming Aeon Flux game, to be released alongside the Aeon Flux movie (Fall '05) starring Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux as well as, Marton Csokas ("The Bourne Supremacy"), Frances McDormand ("Fargo"), Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda"), Jonny Lee Miller ("Trainspotting"), and Pete Postlethwaite ("The Usual Suspects"). Aeon Flux was a popular MTV animated series which ran from 1992-1997. It is set 400 years in the future after a disease wiped out most humans. Theron has signed on to have her voice and likeness included in the game.

Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2005 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to GamesRadar.com, id Software's CEO Todd Hollenshead confirmed Quake IV will be playable at QuakeCon X and will be available for the PS3 and Xbox2. He also suggested that id is very aware of the stagnant PC market and double digit growth in the console market, meaning that more attention will be paid to future releases on next-gen consoles. This doesn't mean that id's PC games are going away, just that the consoles have a new importance. We should expect Quake IV to be leaked anytime now. Just kidding.

Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2005 10:43 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

In a press release distributed by Nintendo this morning, it was announced that the first-ever Nintendo World Store will be opening this spring in New York City's Rockefeller Center. The two-story mega-complex will showcase the "best of Nintendo", with its high-end sampling bars and interactive stations, and it will serve as the new home of Pok?mon Center, the official headquarters for everything Pok?mon. Personally, I'd prefer a Zelda Center, complete with Zelda paraphernalia and a Zelda tattoo parlor. Why a tattoo parlor? Because the world will only benefit from more of this.
Keep updated on the Nintendo World Store by visiting the NintendoWorldStore.com.

Continue reading "Nintendo World Store Coming to NYC"
Posted by Allison on April 6, 2005 11:10 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

OK. Before I say anything else here, I would first like to report my disgust with Eidos for clearly using my body as the model for the next Lara Croft. What's more, they never once asked for my permission. I mean, look at the newest images. Give the lady blue eyes and bangs, and I'm looking in a mirror. Sheesh!
If you are not bothered by this kind of unscrupulous behavior from a video game publisher, and you want to read about the few revealed details on the next Tomb Raider game (Tomb Raider: Legend), please read the press release. I, for one, am going to cool down and wait for the new Tomb Raider site to go live on April 12th.

Continue reading "Eidos Reveals New Tomb Raider Details"
Posted by Allison on April 6, 2005 11:32 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

We have every intention of completing the rough draft of our Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide by the end of the day. At that point, I'm going to play through the game one more time to clean up any loose ends, while snapping a few screen shots. When we have the screen shots placed, we will begin selling the PDF version of the guide. However, for now, please enjoy our free and rough guide, and post any questions you may have on our Chaos Theory Help Thread.

Posted by Allison on April 6, 2005 11:44 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Konami today announced that D12, a popular Hip-Hop group, will be featured in the upcoming game Crime Life: Gang Wars. The Detroit-based rappers will not only provide the main theme track for the game but will also provide voices and likenesses for characters in the game. This is yet another example of the viability of Hip-Hop combined with video games. The game provides a great platform for people to be exposed to new music. Crime Life is set for release in September of '05 for the PS2, Xbox, and PC.

Continue reading ""Crime Life" to Feature D12"
Posted by Jeremy on April 7, 2005 10:31 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

We all remember ilovebees.com, the viral marketing campaign for Halo 2. Now, Microsoft is at it again, this time, purportedly for the Xbox2. Visit ourcolony.net and see what I'm talking about. I won't give you a hint regarding the password for the site as I don't want to ruin anything, but if you do want more info and a hint for the password you can check out this article from Gamespot. I'm currently trying to register a Colony for us Lunabeanies, but the server is very busy and it keeps saying that my many names are all already taken...hmm? If you want to take a look at a few pictures, head here, you shouldn't need a password.

Posted by Jeremy on April 7, 2005 11:21 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

It has been reported that EA's next Bond game, From Russia with Love, will feature Sean Connery's voice and a 1963 version of Connery's likeness. I wonder if Pierce Brosnan has been told that he's out...shhh! I guess he could still star in any remakes of his Bond movies, though. Anyway, an EA Bond game with a young Connery...that will be sweet! In other Bond news...EA has announced GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for the Nintendo DS. No info on a release date yet. For more info, read the following press release.

Continue reading "Sean Connery to Voice and Star in Next Bond Game"
Posted by Jeremy on April 7, 2005 12:09 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Nielson Entertainment group reported yesterday that men spend more money on video games than they do on all forms of music. It also reported that nearly one quarter of all gamers are over 40 years old. DVD sales still trump video games, but that will soon fall as well. The report doesn't point out that the average video game costs $50 while a music download is $.99 and a CD around $15. I wonder if music sales have dropped, leading to video games winning out, or if music sales have stayed steady or even gone up and video game sales have simply become all the more popular. Another interesting stat from the article is that 23% of gamers own a PC, a console, and a handheld while only 8% own all three consoles (that's me!).

Posted by Jeremy on April 8, 2005 10:22 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft today, in a show of patting themselves on the back, announced an all-star lineup of publishers for the Xbox2. They also managed to sneak the phrase "HD Era" into the press release six times. The publishers read like a who's who of the video game world: 2KGames, Activision, Atari, Bandai, Capcom, Eidos, LucasArts, Majesco, Rockstar, Ubisoft, KOEI, Konami, EA, etc. The following press release also has glowing quotes from the various publishers regarding the chance to develop for the Xbox2.

Continue reading "MS Touts All-Star Publishers for Xbox2"
Posted by Jeremy on April 8, 2005 10:32 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Oo, oo, ooo! Sony has today announced its first US sales data for the PSP. Of course, Sony claims that the launch was a huge success, despite what some people say. In its first two days the PSP sold more than 500,000 units and generated over $150 million in its first week, which Sony says outpaces first week sales of any other product in the space, referring of course, to the GameBoy and its various iterations and the DS. This is true, as the PSP costs $250 and the Nintendo DS cost $150 at launch, so yes, Sony made more money. To compare, in its first week the Nintendo DS sold 500,000 units and in the same week, the GBA and GBA:SP sold 800,000 units. What does all of this mean? That more and more people are playing games!

Continue reading "First US PSP Sales Data"
Posted by Jeremy on April 8, 2005 10:48 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

We will definitely finish up our Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide this weekend. We are currently taking screenshots for a screenshot version and will hopefully have the guide up for sale by Sunday. We will also be sure to do a Lunabean Video Game Radio show to appease our raving fans...geez, stop calling! It'll be a busy weekend as we'll be down at the winery tomorrow but we'll be back up to speed on Sunday.

Posted by Jeremy on April 8, 2005 10:59 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft announced this morning it will unveil its next generation Xbox on a May 12th MTV special. The show, hosted by self-confessed gaming fanatic Elijah Wood (known to most as Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings films), will feature actual footage from next-gen games, along with online connectivity and personalization details. While the announcement makes no mention of Microsoft's intention to reveal an official name and release date for the next console, I'd bet a good amout of money that we'll have both by the time the special comes to an end. Look for "MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed" on May 12th at 9:30PM Eastern, and May 13th in other parts of the world.

Posted by Allison on April 11, 2005 12:03 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced the first details of a sequel to last year's Sly 2: Band of Thieves for the PS2. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves picks up where Sly 2 left off, with Bentley confined to a wheelchair as a result of the final battle with Clockwerk, and Murray, taking Bentley's state personally, out on his own after choosing "a path of non-violence and solace". Of course, the team will inevitably reunite once Sly discovers his family fortune is in the hands of, yet another, evil gang of thugs. Look for the game on North American store shelves this fall.

Continue reading "Sly 3 Announced"
Posted by Allison on April 11, 2005 12:25 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

It was a long weekend, but we're oh so pleased to announce the completion of our Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. It's written to get you through every single-player level of the game with a 100% rating, and can be used for the Xbox, PS2, Gamecube and PC versions of Chaos Theory. As always we have an ad-heavy and free version of the guide available to those who need occasional help, as well as downloadable PDF versions, which are ad-free, allowed to be printed, beautifully bookmarked and easily searchable. The PDF versions come in text-only and screenshot formats.

Posted by Allison on April 11, 2005 12:38 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Last week, I told you about ourcolony.net, a viral marketing campaign for Xbox2. Essentially, one forms a "colony" and then gets other people to join. Each day there is a new challenge, usually a word puzzle, that you try to solve. You get points for the number of members you have and the number of challenges your colony completes. If you're interested in all of the ins and outs you can read a good FAQ here. If you want to join our elite colony of super-smart lunabeanies then go here and choose to "Join Existing Colony". The "Lunabean Ant Farm" code is 71705036. Enter that, create a profile and you'll be in. Then, you can join our on going discussion on our message boards. Just think of it...you can tell all your friends and family that you have joined a Colony that asks you to solve puzzles and give up large chunks of your time. Actually, maybe it's better if you keep that to yourself.

Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2005 9:09 AM |

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

EA and Warner Bros. have this morning announced the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire video game for the PS2, PSP, Xbox, Gamecube, Nintendo DS, GBA and PC. According to EA's press release the game will feature Harry, Ron and Hermione as playable characters in both single and co-op modes. It will also feature an all-new spell-casting system, where players will be able to "feel" the magic through their controllers. Clearly, the game will follow the storyline of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (poor you know who), and will be released in Fall 2005 in conjunction with the release of the Warner Bros. movie.

Continue reading "Harry Potter's Goblet Coming to All Systems!"
Posted by Allison on April 12, 2005 9:14 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Start drinking Pepsi now to prepare yourself for a Pepsi/Xbox 360 (Xbox2, Xbox Next, whatever) promotion this fall. According to Engadget, which will not reveal its source, Microsoft will be teaming up with Pepsi to give away 9000 next-gen Xbox consoles in the nine weeks leading up to the launch of the Xbox 360. While Engadget claims the promotion will work in a way similar to the Pepsi/iTunes bottle cap giveaway, they also say Microsoft will be giving away one Xbox 360 every ten minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine weeks. That sounds nothing like the iTunes promotion, but I'm not going to tell anyone...

Posted by Allison on April 12, 2005 9:32 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Last week Ali reported on some early details of the next Lara Croft Tomb Raider game, subtitled Legend. At the time the official site had yet to go live. Well, as of yesterday, the site did go live, albeit in a very limited capacity. To get any content you have to register. Once you do you'll have access to various screens including a 3D screen. The full site will launch this summer. Visit the Tomb Raider: Legend site.

Posted by Jeremy on April 13, 2005 8:50 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Yesterday, Namco announced the latest in its Tales series, Tales of Legendia. The game is scheduled for a Winter 2006 release and is exclusive to the PS2 (although by then, it may be on the PS3). If you are a Lunabean regular, you'll know that the previous Tales game, Tales of Symphonia won our 2004 Game of the Year Award. The Tales games are extremely fun, epic, and magical RPGs. This game is still a long way off, but it's fun to start thinking about it now. For more info, visit the Namco site.

Continue reading "First Info on "Tales of Legendia""
Posted by Jeremy on April 13, 2005 9:54 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that Goldman Sachs, a leading financial analyst firm, is expecting the Xbox2 to launch at a $249-$299 price point and to ship 3 million units by the end of the year. This prediction is partially based on the news that the Xbox2 will premier on MTV. The Xbox2 is rumored to launch in the October/November 2005 timeframe. I agree with Goldman Sachs on the price point. I think anything above the $300 mark will make the new Xbox difficult to move. And, if it is as cheap as $250, then consumers will have a real choice to make between the PSP and the Xbox2 come Christmas time. Of course, if Goldman Sachs oil super spike prediction is correct, we'll all be riding our bikes to get the latest Xbox.

Posted by Jeremy on April 13, 2005 10:25 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

Allison and I are currently working on a Chaos Theory Coop mode Strategy Guide. The Coop guide will be less in-depth than the amazingly detailed and 100% rating-oriented LB Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Strategy Guide (Solo mode). It is to be used to simply get you through Coop mode as we have found many people getting stuck. We'll add the Coop guide onto the Solo guide and we'll make the Coop guide available to those who have already purchased our Solo guide. Stay tuned for details...

Posted by Jeremy on April 14, 2005 11:34 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Many sources, including GamesIndustry are reporting that there is confirmation that the official name for the next Xbox is "Xbox 360". This info comes from an British source who has access to Xbox 360 marketing documents. Speaking under the strict condition of anonymity, the source also reveals that the Xbox 360 will have a white/silvery finish (I'm thinking iPod-esque) and that it has a concave design as if it is "sucking its cheeks". The console will be able to stand upright or on its side. There is no word about where the disc will load or a removable harddrive. As E3 approaches, expect more leaks regarding the Xbox 360.

Posted by Jeremy on April 14, 2005 11:44 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Wouldn't you know that the one time a decent editorial comes out defending video games and the bogus laws legislators are trying to pass to "protect our children from the violence", it's in a small North Carolina newspaper with a circulation of under 15,000. Ah well. Circulation means little to us, as we're more interested in good writing. So, with that being said, check out Ray Waters' Video Games are not the Problem from the Rocky Mount Telegram. He does a nice job of breaking down a specific lawmaker's decision to create a law because she witnessed a two year old being drawn into a video game a ten year old was playing (imagine, a two year old fixated on something on TV), while he also reminds everyone that kids are rarely the ones purchasing violent video games. Parents buy the violent video games, despite clear warnings on the box and from video game cashiers. As Waters says at the end of his editorial, "Let's not blame video games for human stupidity".

Posted by Allison on April 14, 2005 11:53 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Speaking of Xbox news, with the Xbox 360 coming out in late fall 2005, many are left wondering if their current Xbox will be left useless. I found an interesting article from Reuters discussing this question. MS says it will continue to make new games for the Xbox through 2007, but when you think about it, that's only one year and a few months after the Xbox 360 launches.

Continue reading "What's Going to Happen to My Old Xbox?"
Posted by Jeremy on April 14, 2005 11:57 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

In early March we told you about an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson broke the news that he had just wrapped filming Doom, the movie based on the video game, which was expected to be in theaters in August. However, according to the recently updated Universal Pictures Web Site, the movie has been pushed back to an October 21, 2005 release date.

Posted by Allison on April 14, 2005 12:08 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Ubisoft yesterday announced its lineup for E3, May 18-20. Ubi will have on display two games made for the next-gen consoles, Ghost Recon 3 and Peter Jackson's King Kong. I hope that they both will be shown on the Xbox 360. Other games being shown include, AND 1 Streeball, Ubi's first sports game, Prince of Persia 3, Far Cry Instincts, and 187 Ride or Die. Two games will be shown behind closed doors, Brothers in Arms 2 and Myst V: End of Ages. We're big fans of Ubisoft games here at Lunabean. And, with the recent trifecta of Ubi games that we've enjoyed Brothers in Arms, Cold Fear, and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, we're looking all the more forward to this year's lineup.

Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces E3 Lineup"
Posted by Jeremy on April 15, 2005 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

We just purchased LEGO Star Wars and we'll start playing it today. I'm giddy thinking about it. Other than moving LEGO objects with my mind powers, Allison and I will definitely be doing a Lunabean Video Game Radio podcast tomorrow or Sunday. We had to take two weeks off due to our commitment to the Chaos Theory Strategy Guide. After we play LEGO Star Wars we'll be getting on Area 51. I think, for now, we have decided to bypass Jade Empire although we are very interested in playing it. Have a good weekend and look for the Podcast on Sunday!

Posted by Jeremy on April 15, 2005 11:06 AM |

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

According to The NPD Group, a leading marketing information provider, U.S. retail sales of video games rose 32 per cent for the month of March. NPD analysts primarily attribute the rise in sales to the late February release of the highly anticipated Gran Turismo 4, as well as "an improved suppy of video game hardware". This "improved suppy" refers to consoles which were in short supply over the holiday season (PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube), along with Sony PSP, which was released on March 24th. In the seven days the PSP was available for the month, 620,000 PSPs were sold, along with 1.1 million PSP games.
Check out the US Console Games Chart for March 2005

Continue reading "March Video Game Results Arrive"
Posted by Allison on April 15, 2005 11:15 AM |

LISTEN NOW (MP3, 21MB, 23 Minutes)


In this edition we dicuss our now completed Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, tell you all about LEGO Star Wars, a fun and hilarious new game from Eidos, and fill you in on the latest Microsoft viral marketing campaign, Ourcolony.net.

Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #6"
Posted by Lunabean on April 17, 2005 3:18 PM |

Filed Under:

Many sources are today reporting an announcement from video game retailer Gamestop, which states the company will purchase rival Electronics Boutique (EB) for a cool $1.44 billion. The announcement has caused EB shares to jump 35%, making it today's top net gainer on the Nasdaq. Gamestop shares have risen 12%.
The merger is expected to give Gamestop/EB 21-25% of the US video game retailing market, providing Wal-Mart with some serious competition. While we're EB people over here at Lunabean (primarily because the people who work at our Gamestop are rude), we're pleased as punch when any company gives Wal-Mart a run for its money.
USAToday's article

Filed Under: Xbox

While I can't personally confirm the news, as I can't seem to find our copy of Halo 2, Bungie promised on Friday a Halo 2 update to be made available today on Xbox Live. According to Bungie.net, the update will "fix cheats, bugs, glitches and gasp ? tweak some important weapon balance issues". If the update is, in fact, ready, you will receive a message alerting you to it upon logging onto Xbox Live. In the event the update is not available right now, Bungie promises it will "show up in your neighborhood eventually", as the release is being spread out to mitigate server loads.

Posted by Lunabean on April 18, 2005 11:47 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Engadget has posted a short piece about PSP users taking advantage of Sony's offer to exchange PSPs suffering from dead pixels for units with new screens, only to discover the new screens also have dead pixels, and, in some cases, have more dead pixels than the PSPs they traded in. While the Engadget piece is, itself, rather weak, the comments are shocking. It seems the dead pixel issue is very real, with some users complaining of more than 10/unit. There also seems to be a huge problem with dust under the screen, which I find bizarre. For some reason I always picture electronics factories as spotless. I guess that's just not the case...at least, not for Sony.

Posted by Lunabean on April 18, 2005 12:11 PM |

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

As I was skimming video game release dates over at IGN this morning, I came across a title which I either previously missed or simply never registered when it was announced a year ago. The game is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and it's expected to come out this holiday season, in conjunction with the Walt Disney Pictures and Walden media film of the same name. Like the Harry Potter games, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will be based on the movie, rather than the book, and since details of the movie are still pretty scarce, it's hard to determine what that really means.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will be published by Buena Vista Games and will be made available for the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and PC. Only two screenshots are available at this time, but we're expecting a flurry of them to be released at E3, along with many game details. For some spectacular Narnia fun, head over to Disney's fairly awesome Narnia site.

Continue reading "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Video Game"
Posted by Allison on April 19, 2005 11:02 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Nintendo of America has today announced a new color for the Nintendo DS portable gaming system. "Electric Blue" DSes will debut in the US in June, and will become part of the "permanent color in the DS palette". The announcement of the new color comes on the heels of Nintendo's announcement that nearly 2 million Nintendo DS systems have been sold in North America.
Read the press release.

Continue reading "Electric Blue DS on its Way!"
Posted by Allison on April 19, 2005 11:13 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Engadget, our favorite purveyors of video game gossip, is reporting today the "unconfirmed word" that the Nintendo Revolution, Nintendo's next-gen console, will not be on display at next month's E3. As Engadget states, "Nintendo prez Satoru Iwata is reportedly concerned that the console is so filled with mind-blowing awesomeness that he?d rather wait until it?s closer to being released to show it off rather than risk competitors stealing all their great ideas". Instead, Nintendo will focus on the DS and its wireless multiplayer capabilities. Apparently, Engadget has forgotten about last month's GBA2 speculation, which suggested the next-gen GBA will be unveiled at E3.

Posted by Allison on April 19, 2005 11:29 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to an article from CNN/Money, Playboy will announce today its plan to offer nude and non-nude photo galleries to be made available in a format viewable on the Sony PSP. Apparently, the non-nude gallery, along with a 2-3 minute video feature, will be available free of charge. However, if you'd like to see naked boobs on your PSP, you're going to have to pay the subscription fee. As far as I'm concerned, this is a work of genius by Playboy. What better way is there to ensure certain men will remain dependant on Playboy to see a naked woman? After all, there's not much creepier than a man who uses his gaming machine to access porn. It's also a great way to ensure no one else will want to touch your PSP. Nice work Playboy and Sony!

Posted by Allison on April 20, 2005 12:29 PM |

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

Video game publisher Namco today announced it has acquired the interactive entertainment publishing rights to Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip. According to the press release, "partnership allows Namco to create and publish games featuring Peanuts characters and properties, including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Linus and Pigpen for all current and upcoming game platforms through 2009".
Just imagine the possibilities.

Continue reading "Namco Nabs Peanuts"
Posted by Allison on April 20, 2005 12:41 PM |

Filed Under: PC

Sony has today announced plans to launch its own online marketplace, the Station Exchange, in order to provide Everquest II gamers with a "secure method of buying and selling the right to use in game coin, items and characters in accordance with SOE?s license agreement, rules and guidelines." While Sony has been a staunch opponent of selling in-game property for real-world cash in the past (actually forcing eBay to stop allowing such auctions), it now calls the act a "growing secondary market", and guarantees that people who purchase over the Exchange will get what they paid for, something other auction sites don't offer.

Posted by Allison on April 20, 2005 1:26 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In an attempt to solve the most recent Ourcolony.net challege (Microsoft's new viral campaign to promote the Xbox360) I found myself temporarily convinced the answer had something to do with Perfect Dark Zero, the highly anticipated prequel to the N64's Perfect Dark. Perfect Dark Zero evaded this generation of consoles as Rare, the game's developer, was purchased by Microsoft, and, seemingly, put on the back burner. Well, after grasping at straws, and after finding clues about a "Federal Base", I was certain it had something to do with the game. After doing some research, I didn't find the answer to the puzzle (although Lunabeanie KilGrey did), but I did find a piece at TVG.com concerning a mysterious e-mail they received revealing possible details of Perfect Dark Zero, along with an article from CNN stating the game will appear at E3. Point being, all of my work last night may not have provided the answers I wanted, but I couldn't be more pleased with what I found.

Posted by Allison on April 21, 2005 12:23 PM |

Filed Under: PC

While we're not PC gamers over here at Lunabean (I know, we should be, but we just don't have the time), we absolutely can't wait for the release of Age of Empires III this November. It is for this reason that we thank Gamespy for their wonderful preview of the game, providing us with details concerning combat, micromanagement, strategy, graphics and a touch of gameplay. According to Gamespy, if the game holds up to the preview they received, Age of Empires III will be nothing short of "spectacular". In the case you're not reader, let the new screenshots speak for themselves.

Posted by Allison on April 21, 2005 12:42 PM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Vivendi Universal has today issued a press release announcing its lineup of actors lending their likeness and voice talent to the upcoming Scarface: The World is Yours video game. While Al Pacino, the star of the film, has agreed to lend his likeness to the game, it seems his character's voice will come from someone else. Scarface stars Steven Bauer and Robert Loggia (Manny Ray and Frank Lopez, respectively) have fully signed on to the game, while Jay Mohr, Cheech Marin, James Woods, Miguel Sandoval, Robert Davi, Michael Rappaport and Michael York will provide voice talent.

Continue reading "Scarface Actors Revealed"
Posted by Allison on April 21, 2005 12:57 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

LucasArts today announced Star Wars Battlefront II, a sequel to the best selling Star Wars game of all time, Star Wars Battlefront. It is set for a Fall 2005 release for the PS2, Xbox, and PC. New to this game is all-new space combat, playable Jedi, and settings straight from Episode III. The space combat sounds fun, with the ability to board ships and attack them from the inside. You'll also be able to play at least one Episode IV battle. The original is my favorite Star Wars game of all time, having spent many hours on XboxLIVE reliving famous battles and generally kicking butt! I can't wait.

Continue reading "Star Wars Battlefront II Announced"
Posted by Allison on April 21, 2005 1:10 PM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

LucasArts today released a fact sheet for the upcoming game, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The game will launch two weeks before the movie, on May 5 for the Xbox and PS2, and will feature third person Jedi action. You'll be playing as Obi-Wan and Anakin with their full range of Jedi powers at your disposal. I expect to see a lot of "Force Power" used in the game. You really can't beat Force Pushing a swarm of enemy droids off a cliff. You'll also see some Dark Force Powers being used in the game which include shockwaves, crush, and burn. You'll play through 16 levels across four movie worlds. It sounds like a lot of fun. I hope it lives up to the expectations.

Continue reading ""Revenge of the Sith" Fact Sheet"
Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2005 1:26 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

IGN yesterday, via a Spanish games publication Hobby Consolas, published new info on the next Zelda game for the Gamecube. The new game promises 70 hours of gameplay, an environment two to three times larger than Ocarina of Time, spectacular horseback battles, a new village, Taoru Village, which serves as a sort of hub and tutorial area with mini-games, and, of course, realistic graphics. As Strategy Guide writers, this sounds like a daunting task, but we're up to it. The game still has no official release date or title. We hope to get more info at E3.

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2005 1:38 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

As we reported on April 11, the Xbox 360 will debut on MTV on May 12. Today, the teaser ad for the unveiling has hit the web. Unfortunately, there is nothing revealed in the ad other than how to make a good teaser commercial. There is also some green running through it just to give it that Xbox touch. Although nothing is learned from the ad, it is still a cool ad, and worth the 10 seconds it takes to watch it. Watch the ad.

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2005 1:54 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to this Bloomberg.com report, Sony isn't doing very well. Analysts predict Sony will probably post a 70.3 billion yen ($658 million) loss in the quarter ended March 31, the biggest in two years. Despite cutbacks, thousands of layoffs, and other cost-saving efforts, the outlook appears bleak. This is because of a weak US economy and falling electronics prices, especially in the TV, DVD, and cell phone business. This makes the PSP all the more valuable to Sony. They hope it becomes the next iPod. Sounds like they're grabbing at straws to me.

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2005 2:03 PM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

Have you played the new LEGO Star Wars game yet? If not, go out and get it now. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, an even teens drowning in solitude and angst will get a kick out of this little number. If you need help, check out our growing LEGO Star Wars Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Jer has already completed the walkthrough of the game and is working on locating each and every ship cannister for complete LEGO satisfaction. May the LEGO Force be with you, Jer.

Posted by Allison on April 23, 2005 3:11 PM |

LISTEN NOW (MP3, 25MB, 29 Minutes)


In this edition we dicuss our LEGO Star Wars Strategy Guide, the merger of Gamestop and EB Games, and E3 news such as info on Perfect Dark Zero, Zelda, the Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Revolution.

Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - Podcast #7"
Posted by Lunabean on April 24, 2005 6:16 PM |

Filed Under: E3 | Xbox

Boy was it a busy weekend! Due to some fervent activity at Ourcolony.net, the Xbox 360 viral marketing/ARG, we have in our possession some "real" pics of the Xbox 360. I say "real" because MS never actually confirms these things, but from all reports, this is it! You'll see the sleek concave design, the removable (I'm guessing it's removable) HDD on the left (this one has a 40GB), two memory slots with what looks to be a 64MB card, an infrared receiver port on the left for the wireless controllers, a large power button, a disc tray (you can tell the size of it if you consider half of the machine is the disc tray), and something else on the right that Engadget claims to be a hidden panel for USB, for add-ons or wired controllers. It's so nice! How many months do I have to wait? Grrr!

Continue reading "Xbox 360 Pictures!!!"
Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2005 8:37 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

I am both embarrassed and ashamed to say I have never played Katamari Damacy, the 2004 Namco release for the PS2 starring a lovable alien Prince who is assigned to pick up Earth's garbage in an effort to replace the accidentally destroyed stars of the galaxy. The innovative and unique gameplay (no buttons involved), combined with humorous situations and funny environments, turned Katamari Damacy into one of the 2004's most addictive and surprising hits. Because of the North American success of the game that launched with a $19.99 price tag, Namco has today announced a sequel, We Love Katamari to be released later this year for the PS2.
Read Namco's Press Release for Details

Continue reading "We Love Katamari Announced"
Posted by Allison on April 25, 2005 11:40 AM |

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox

Video game publisher Midway has today announced the shipment of AREA 51 to retail stores across North America. AREA 51 is the latest installment of Midway's AREA 51 franchise, and is being promoted as a "story-driven, first-person action thriller" for the Xbox, PS2, and (on May 23rd) PC. Early reviews have been great, with many a Halo comparison. Personally, I'm looking forward to another game with the main character being voiced by David Duchovny (XIII being the other one), and I'm very interested in Marilyn Manson's performance as Edgar, the helpful gray alien. We will get the game first thing tomorrow and see if it needs a walkthrough. If you're interested in more details, check out yesterday's Lunabean Video Game Podcast where we discussed the game, or the official press release.

Continue reading "AREA 51 Invades Retail Outlets"
Posted by Allison on April 25, 2005 12:12 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe issued a press release yesterday afternoon announcing a September 1, 2005 PSP release date for our European friends. Europe's PSP will launch as a "Value Pack" bundle, similar to what we saw (and are still seeing) in North America. The Value Pack will include "the PlayStation Portable system with a pouch, 32MB Memory Stick Duo?, Battery Pack, Headphones with Remote Control, AC Adaptor, Wrist Strap, cloth and a video/music/game sampler Universal Media Disc? (UMD?) including several non-interactive game demos". The bundle will be priced at ?249 in Europe and ?179 in the UK. For you currency nuts, that's about US$322 in Europe and US$340 in the UK.

Continue reading "Europe Gets a PSP Release Date"
Posted by Allison on April 26, 2005 9:16 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Have I told you today how much I love the plethora of rumors that inevitably emerge during the weeks before E3? Even if they're completely unrealistic, they let you dream momentarily...at least until someone obsessed with facts comes around to point and laugh at you. Well, I am currently in a happy and dreamy place after reading an article from GamesRadar, which picked up the writings of an ex-EA employee as he speculates what Nintendo may have in store for us. In addition to the not so exciting and almost expected mention of "gyroscopic control, touch-screen integration and a proprietary PDA device as part of the controller", the blogger goes on to suggest 3D image projection may be part of the deal. Now I'd call that a Revolution.
Read the article and dream away.

Posted by Allison on April 26, 2005 9:31 AM |

Filed Under:

Earlier this month Ubisoft made quick mention of a Prince of Persia 3 game as part of its impressive E3 line-up. Yesterday, Ubisoft distributed a press release specific to an official announcement of the development of Prince of Persia 3 (working title). As always, the game will be made available on all consoles and the PC, and it is scheduled for release later this year. For more details, check out the press release.

Continue reading "Prince of Persia 3 Formally Announced"
Posted by Allison on April 26, 2005 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

The kind people over at Gamesarefun.com have picked up the latest issue of Nintendo Power and are showing off the images inside. Despite their lack of quality in the scanned images, they remain full of Zeldalicious beauty. Even more can be found over at Gamefront.de (scroll down), which claims to have a few more details via a German version of EGM. These details include confirmation of no voice acting nor GBA connectivity in the game. Zelda, Ganon, fishing and cucco gliding are all making a return. There will be another "significant item", like the Ocarina in OoT or the Baton in WW. Battle will be much like it was in Wind Waker, with a few changes. Link will have the ability to communicate with animals, and he may even have a "sidekick" (I'm thinking along the lines of Navi). Finally, the subtitle has yet to be determined, but it will be "mysterious". Hmm.

Posted by Allison on April 27, 2005 10:23 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

As I explained last week, a bad lead from the OurColony.net Xbox 360 viral marketing campaign led me down a dead Perfect Dark Zero path, where I failed at solving the puzzle at hand, but I discovered the highly anticipated game is expected to be shown at E3. On Sunday's Lunabean Video Game Radio Podcast, Jeremy and I discussed what we found and contemplated the title being an Xbox 360 launch game. Today I've discovered a few sites which are flat out calling it a "launch title" or saying its very likely. Here they are: EuroGamer, GamesRadar, Ferrago, Spong.

Posted by Allison on April 27, 2005 10:58 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

We are pleased to announce the completion of our LEGO Star Wars Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, which is now available for anyone needing help getting through this magical LEGO environment. Beyond the walkthrough you will also find detailed location descriptions for all 170 LEGO Canisters. As always, the guide is also available in PDF format, with our without screenshots. Our LEGO Star Wars PDF Strategy Guide is allowed to be printed and downloaded, it's easily seachable, beautifully bookmarked and ad-free.

Posted by Allison on April 27, 2005 11:25 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Ubisoft, admittedly one of our favorite publishers (Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Beyond Good and Evil, Brothers in Arms, and Cold Fear), has announced record fourth quarter profits. According to this article from GameSpot, sales for the fourth quarter (ending March 31) were $278 million. Sales for the entire fiscal year reached $676 million. Ubisoft relies heavily on its core franchises but has announced it's first sports game (And 1) and recently released its first survival horror game, Cold Fear. They grow up so fast *tear*.

Posted by Jeremy on April 28, 2005 12:56 PM |

Filed Under:

As we reported earlier this month, Sean Connery is set to star in the newest EA Bond game, From Russia with Love. Today, EA sent out the official press release: "From Russia With Love, the game, will be based on the classic Bond film but will also feature some new plot twists, gadgets and characters. Sir Sean Connery, appearing in his first-ever videogame, lent his voice and likeness to the project." In case you're not up on this Bond film from 1963, you can read a quick plot summary. The game is set for a Holiday '05 release on the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube. For more info on the game, Click Here.

Continue reading "Official: Connery to Star as Bond"
Posted by Jeremy on April 28, 2005 1:08 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Nintendo has announced that it has sold five million Nintendo DS's worldwide. These figures are independently confirmed by NPD and Media Create, companies that track sales figures, according to GamesIndustry.biz. The five million is well within Nintendo's prediction of five to six million units sold by March 31. For comparison's sake, the Sony PSP has sold 2.5 million units, but has yet to launch in Europe (Sept. 1). Nintendo does have a five month head start on Sony in this comparison. Sony missed it's prediction of 3 million units by the end of March. I know why. It's too expensive!

Posted by Jeremy on April 28, 2005 1:39 PM |

You asked for it and we listened! We are pleased to announce the launch of our subscription service, the Lunabean LunaPass. With your LunaPass, you will have access to every single one of our PDF walkthroughs and strategy guides (over 75, and growing!) for one low price. Finally, you can download and/or print whatever Lunabean Strategy Guide you need, without going through the hassle of filling out an order form. Finally, you can shop for a video game, knowing that a strategy guide is at home waiting for you. And, finally, you can fully enjoy your video games knowing that, if you get stuck, an easily-searchable and well-written guide is available at your fingertips. Oh, and did I mention that many come with screenshots?
Yes, you can still purchase our guides ? la carte, but, for those of you who play more than one game every six months, the LunaPass is THE option for you.
Get your LunaPass now!

Posted by Allison on April 28, 2005 1:52 PM |

Filed Under: E3

Eidos yesterday announced its E3 line-up which includes two of its biggest franchises: Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Hitman. As we reported earlier this month, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend will be the name of the next Tomb Raider game and will feature an updated Lara and, "dramatically enhanced gameplay features." Well, Eidos, you can only go up from Angel of Darkness as far as gameplay goes. Eidos also announced that Hitman: Blood Money will be shown, starring Agent 47, a B-Character when it comes to stealth action heroes, in my opinion. Also being shown, 25 to Life, a GTA knock off, and Commandos Strike Force. Doesn't sound very impressive to me, but I'm not a big Eidos fan.

Continue reading "Eidos Reveals E3 Line-up"
Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2005 9:21 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

We're still plugging away at the digital enigma that is Ourcolony.net. The latest challenge, an audio file that mentioned, "start in the alley," revealed a picture of the letter 'I'. Hmm? We continue to be addicted to this Microsoft viral marketing campaign. If you want to join the Lunabean Ant Farm (our colony) then visit the lounge and choose, "Join existing colony. Then, enter "71705036". Together (and with our ringer, Kilgrey), we will become a dominant colony the likes of which the world has never seen. Mwhahahahaha!

Continue reading "Ourcolony.net Update"
Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2005 9:46 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi is to step down from his position on the Nintendo board of directors in June, but will continue to act as an advisor to the company. Yamauchi, the great grandson of Nintendo's founder, served as Nintendo's president for 52 years (1949 - 2002) and is credited with turning the playing card company into the video game leader that it is. According to the article Yamauchi was offered "Nintendo's standard director retirement benefit", worth between 1 and 1.5 billion Yen (US $9.5 million - $14.3 million), but turned it down, as he would "prefer to see the money reinvested in the company".

Posted by Allison on April 29, 2005 9:54 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

This weekend will be chock full of deception, conspiracy, heavy weaponry, and, of course, mutated humans. No, I'm not talking about Tom DeLay's latest appearance, but of Area 51 (website), the new first person shooter from Midway. I've played the game for about 6 hours to date and I have to say it is one of the best FPS's I've ever played. We'll be starting a Strategy Guide for the game soon, so if you want to purchase that Amazing LunaPass, you can expect the guide in about a week or so.

We'll also be doing a podcast of our weekly LB Video Game Radio and I hope to get out to the driving range and see if I can fix my slice so that I don't hit any more cars (don't ask).

Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2005 10:15 AM |

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