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Video Game News from June 2005

Filed Under: PS2

Sony has launched its official SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALS site for your viewing pleasure. Granted, it's pretty bare bones at the moment, and features the trailer already shown at E3, but the fact that they officially have a place holder for future information is exciting. SOCOM 3 currently maintains a September 13, 2005 release date, and, as all other SOCOM titles, is a PS2 exclusive.

Posted by Allison on June 1, 2005 10:40 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

Gamespot is reporting an announcement from Ubisoft stating that new multiplayer maps for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory will be available for download "soon". The three new levels will be released over Xbox Live intermittently, beginning with "Squat", a versus level, followed by "Nuclear Plant" and "UN HQ", two cooperative levels. In other Chaos Theory news, Ubisoft also released a patch yesterday for the PC version of the game, which is also available on Gamespot.

Posted by Allison on June 1, 2005 11:11 AM |

Filed Under: E3

The usual round of post E3 awards is in full swing. Today, we get the Game Critics Awards which represent game critics from such publications as Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, EGM, etc. Leading the pack with four nominations is Spore from The Sims creator, Will Wright. Also getting nods are Nintendogs, Okami, F.E.A.R., Black, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The winners will be announced on the Game Critics Awards Website on June 7.

Posted by Jeremy on June 1, 2005 11:32 AM |

Filed Under:

Lawmakers in Illinois worked overtime this Memorial Day Weekend, as they voted to ban the sale of violent and/or sexually explicit video games to minors. The bill will hold clerks personally responsible for sales of such games to minors by fining them $1000 if caught. Interestingly enough, these clerks "could defend themselves by showing they did not know the buyer was a minor or that they followed the industry ratings on the games". The bill also leaves it to the stores to determine which games are "adult".

Continue reading "Illinois Lawmakers Vote to Ban Sale of Violent Game to Minors"
Posted by Allison on June 1, 2005 11:37 AM |

Filed Under: PC

I remember playing both Quake and Quake 2 on my little N64 years ago. I think it was my first experience with titles of this genre. It was definitely my first experience with monsters who blew up into bloody chunks. With that being said, this truly amazing Quake 4 trailer looks nothing like the games I once knew, which makes me hope they didn't overreach...if that's even an option.
View the Quake 4 trailer.

Posted by Allison on June 2, 2005 11:43 AM |

Filed Under:

Gamespot is reporting a couple of delays in two big summer titles: Geist for the Gamecube and Killer 7 for the Gamecube and PS2. Geist, the supernatural and spooky first-person shooter, was originally slated for a 2004 release, then was officially pushed back to June 2005, and has now been pushed back to an unconfirmed date in August. Killer 7, Capcom's highly anticipated cel-shaded first-person shooter, which was originally supposed to come out in 2003, has been pushed back from a June 7th release to a July 7th release.

Posted by Allison on June 2, 2005 12:01 PM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

Get your tinfoil hats ready because Destroy All Humans! is coming out later this month (June 21, Xbox, PS2). This highly anticipated game has you take on the role of the alien landing on earth where it is your goal, well, to destroy all humans. Looking at the game's official website it seems there is a fair dose of influence from movies like Mars Attacks and 1950s-ish sci-fi flicks. Also announced is a dedicated fan/marketing site for the game, Alien-Army.com. Here you can win prizes, create fan sites and blogs, and propagate banner ads. Oh, may I?

Continue reading ""Destroy All Humans!" Website Goes Live"
Posted by Jeremy on June 2, 2005 12:02 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Gamespot today, in this article gleaned from the latest issue of Japan gaming publication Famitsu, discovers some very interesting PS3 tid bits. First, the PS3 is set up for a 2.5 in. removable HDD but it may not ship with one. This makes it hard for developers to know if they can utilize it or not. Also, even though the PS3 will have six USB slots, a Memory Stick slot and a compact flash slot it will not have a Memory Card slot which makes one wonder how they'll transfer PS2 saves onto the PS3. Finally, Sony has hinted that the boomerang-esque PS3 controller may get a face lift. Let's remember, it's a prototype and may change a bit before launch sometime next year.

Posted by Jeremy on June 3, 2005 10:18 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Take-Two today announced that it narrowed its losses 44% in the 2nd quarter from a year ago, losing only $8.2 million or 12 cents per share. Meanwhile, sales for the 2nd quarter rose 45% from a year ago to $222 million. In other words, they didn't suck as bad as they did a year ago. Projections for the rest of the year ride on a few key games which were recently delayed from the 3rd quarter to the 4th: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PSP), Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, and Top Spin. Currently Rockstar's (a division of Take-Two) Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and 2KGames' MLB 2K5 are selling very well. Nobody is mentioning the fact that GTA: San Andreas is being released for the Xbox and PC on June 7. One would think it would have a big impact on sales. For more nitty gritty on all of this financial mumbo jumbo read TheStreet.com article.

Posted by Jeremy on June 3, 2005 10:34 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Back in early May, Allison reported on Nintendogs, the Nintendo DS's puppy simulator, and how it became the fastest selling DS game in Japan and increased sales of the DS fivefold. Today, we learned that the Nintendo DS outsold both the Sony PSP and the PS2 last week. Nintendogs is the killer app that every game company wants. And, with almost an infinite number of spin offs (think additional dog breeds, mini-games, etc.) the game might have Pokemon potential. Nintendogs will be released in the US in August. For more info on Nintendogs continue reading...

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Selling Like Free Puppies!"
Posted by Jeremy on June 3, 2005 11:06 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

The first handheld 3D Splinter Cell has gone gold and will be in stores on June 28. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory for the Nintendo DS will feature all of the moves and gadgets from the console version plus an exclusive new "Swat Turn". In addition, the touch screen will allow players to manage their inventory, switch their goggles, and move the camera. There will also be wireless connectivity between DS's which could make for some very fun bus and/or plane rides. We're excited for this game to come out on the DS as we haven't found many DS titles to our liking as of yet. That's about to change.

Continue reading ""Chaos Theory" DS Goes Gold"
Posted by Jeremy on June 6, 2005 10:09 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary game designer (Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong), in this CNN Money "Game Over" column, states that, "There's not a lot I want to play now," and continues, "the games out there are just too long." Thus is the thinking behind Nintendo's next console, the Revolution. Nintendo, and Miyamoto, want games that people can simply pick up and play without a huge learning curve or a large investment of time. The Revolution will be designed around the question, "what does the average family want from a console?" That very question is what made the original NES a huge success. The NES was launched as "Famicon" in Japan...Family Computer (source).

Continue reading "Shigeru Miyamoto Not a Fan of Today's Games"
Posted by Jeremy on June 6, 2005 10:52 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to this story from GamesIndustry.biz, investment bank UBS has predicted that the Xbox 360 will launch for $299. To do so, Microsoft will be losing $76 per console as the manufacturing cost for each Xbox 360 is said to be $375. This price is in line with what J. Allard, Xbox exec., said on May 27. Nothing is yet official, so stay tuned for more information.

Posted by Jeremy on June 6, 2005 10:58 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

We just got the call from our local EB. Our copy of Medal of Honor: European Assault has arrived and is waiting for pick up. Of course, this means that if you, too, live in North America, chances are the highly anticipated WWII shooter (for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube) has arrived in a store near you, too. The early word on the game is good, although, like most EA games, is not without its fair share of flaws. I'm OK with flaws. We'll let you know our own thoughts and we'll begin a MOH: EA walkthrough shortly.

Posted by Allison on June 7, 2005 11:22 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Late yesterday a new rumor concerning the Nintendo Revolution console hit the world wide web. Many sites were reporting that, according to a Famitsu interview with Nintendo President Saturo Iwata, the previously mentioned catalog of downloadable old Nintendo games to the Nintendo Revolution would be free of charge. Since I can't read Japanese, I went on my own hunt for facts...meaning I checked out sites that could translate the happenings at Famitsu.com for me. What I found was disappointing, but realisitic.
Pro-G.co.uk has posted an update to the Famitsu article, with a rough translation stating the downloads will not be for free, but the online service providing the downloads will be. It is also possible that people who buy new games will get free access to some downloads, making it more of a reward scheme than anything else.
Read Pro-G's information

Posted by Allison on June 7, 2005 11:43 AM |

Truth be told, God of War was a game that evaded the normally pinpoint accurate Lunabean radar of hot games. When it came out, I had no idea what it was about, nor did I really care. I had Chaos Theory to worry about. Then, I started seeing the game begin to pop up on best seller lists, and we started to get many a God of War walkthrough request. Finally, in our most recent lull between game releases, we chose to pick it up. And, you know what? We were idiots. God of War was an awesomely kick ass game which was more than worthy of a Lunabean guide, and our many new LunaPass subscribers and users deserve to have their very own God of War Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. So we made you one. We liked it so much, we even made you one with screenshots.
Lunabean's God of War Walkthrough and Strategy Guide (free and PDF versions).
Posted by Allison on June 7, 2005 11:55 AM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

Seven months after the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PS2, Xbox and PC gamers can finally jump for joy. Rockstar announced late yesterday that the PC and Xbox versions of game are now in stores across North America, and will be in stores across Europe by June 10th. Changes between the PS2, Xbox and PC versions primarily have to do with graphics and visual enhancements, and little to do with differences in gameplay. With that being said, feel free to use our GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide to help you get through the Xbox and PC versions of the game. For fun, I'm going to play through the Xbox version of the game to capture some screenshots. Expect to see the updated guide available within the week.

Posted by Allison on June 8, 2005 10:49 AM |

Filed Under:

The Chistian Science Monitor has published a terrific article concerning the impact of video games on society and what that means for the future of the industry. Unlike most articles in most publications, CSM doesn't get bogged down in the easy trap of linking video games to violence. Instead, the article explains how the relatively new medium is forming a new generation of thinkers and story tellers who will be forming the "prime engine of our economy and society". It also explains the impact of online gaming and how it has the potential to break down the barriers of borders, language and culture, turning us into a global society. If you love video games, this article is a must-read.
Read CSM's article

Posted by Allison on June 8, 2005 11:09 AM |

Filed Under:

A human version of PacMan, where players are equipped with a wearable computer, headset and goggles, is currently being developed in Singapore. The virtual reality game, where players get the option to play as Pacman or one of the Ghosts, superimposes the virtual 3D game world on to city streets and buildings. A central computer system keeps track of the players' movements with the aid of GPS receivers and a wireless local area network. The game will be showcased at the Wired NextFest 2005 in Chicago, US, which runs from June 24 to 26.
Read the BBC article

Posted by Allison on June 8, 2005 11:29 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Normally, I'd be very excited for a contest that, via XboxLIVE, asks players to search for hidden icons on various levels of a game. Doing so can win you weekly prizes and one grand prize of $1,000,000. Such is the case with Advent Rising. Sign on to XboxLIVE tonight at 8pm EST and start your search (for more details read the press release that follows). You may be thinking, "Wow, what a great contest." And you would be right to do so if the game wasn't so terrible. Apparently, "Gamepro" gave it a 4.5/5 and its "coveted "Editor's Choice" award." Well, I'm here tell you Advent Rising has won the coveted Lunabean "You've already played this game, it was called Halo, and this game doesn't even come close to being a decent game" Award. OK, we're still working on the name. Continue reading for more ranting...

Continue reading "Million Dollar "Advent Rising" Contest Begins Today"
Posted by Jeremy on June 9, 2005 10:31 AM |

Filed Under:

G4's Attack of the Show has interviewed Infinium Labs' President and COO Kevin Bachus (former Xbox visionary), who promises us that, despite missing the November 2004 launch date, and despite a no show at E3 2005, the Phantom gaming console is alive and kicking. While Bachus has the ability to speak in a way that truly peaks my interest in the console, I don't care if it's alive and kicking. The dirty tricks of Infinium Labs' founder Tim Roberts, have actually made me cheer for the demise of the console. While I appreciate the apologies/explanations of Bachus for poor tactics used by Infinium Labs before he arrived there, the infamous HardOCP lawsuit, which turned so many against Infinium Labs, happened immediately after Bachus joined the team. I wish no one ill will, but I would like to see this stain on the video game market be taken out of its misery.

Read G4's interview
Posted by Allison on June 9, 2005 10:32 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Joystiq is today reporting a new red Nintendo DS will be available in Japan on August 8th. At this time there is no news of the red DS coming to America, but I'm sure if we show we're interested in the newly released blue DS, they'll put something even more colorful in our hands. What's more, if those of us in North America show even a fraction of the interest Japan has in the DS's Nintendogs (the puppy simulator which has proven to be the DS's killer app), Nintendo may just make DS's in every color of the rainbow to satisfy everyone.

Posted by Allison on June 10, 2005 10:09 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

The world wide Halo 2 Tourny is nearing completion. Individual winners from each of the 24 world wide zones have been determined and the brackets have been made. Also available are profiles of the players, some of which have some great tips for playing Halo 2 online. I'm rooting for the USA, Hong Kong, and Austria. Why? I don't know. Finalists are playing today. Continue reading for more info...

Continue reading ""Halo 2" Xbox LIVE Tourny Nears End"
Posted by Jeremy on June 10, 2005 10:15 AM |

Filed Under: PS3

Gamespot is today reporting that Ken Kutaragi, SCEA President, hinted that an add-on HDD for the Sony PS3 will run Linux. This adds further speculation to the PS3 HDD debate, namely, that the PS3 won't ship with an HDD and may not even ship with a removable HDD, meaning that any HDD would be an add-on and therefore cost more money. Sony seems to be leaning toward this model of selling the base console and then having a plethora of add-ons for it. Right now, in my opinion, Sony is making the PS3 too complicated. Give me a darn gaming console and leave it at that. Read the article.

Posted by Jeremy on June 10, 2005 10:24 AM |

Filed Under:

We would like to apologize for the lack of new Lunabean Podcasts and for today's lack of news. We've had a tough month over here, capped yesterday by the mysterious disappearance of our cat, Luna (the site's namesake). We feel silly, but we're absolutely beside ourselves with this and we need a time out to regroup a bit. Perhaps we'll feel up to podcasting and news reporting tomorrow. Perhaps it will be in a few days...but we'll get there. You know, whomever said "When it rains, it pours" was absolutely correct. I just hope the sun comes out before my doctor's appointment this week...because the way my luck's been going...oy. Good thoughts, everyone, good thoughts. :)

Posted by Allison on June 13, 2005 12:02 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

On August 22, the US will have to get its newspapers and kennels ready as Nintendogs will hit store shelves. In the latest Press Release from Nintendo, we have learned that the US launch will feature three different packages, each containing six different breeds. The three packages are: Labrador Retriever, Chihuahua, and the Miniature Dachshund. Each pack contains a selection breeds for you to nurture into a happy, healthy, and well-trained dog. Thank goodness you won't have to clean up any poop. We can't wait for this title to hit the US and to see if it'll become the phenomenon it has become in Japan.

Continue reading "More "Nintendogs" Fun"
Posted by Jeremy on June 14, 2005 11:00 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo Wii

GamesIndustry yesterday reported on another set of leaked Nintendo Revolution specs. Whether or not the specs are real is besides the point. What is interesting is that Nintendo has firmly declared that the Revolution will not be HD compatible; putting it at odds with the Xbox360 and the PS3. What Nintendo does claim is that, "With the technology being built into the Revolution, we believe the games will look brilliant and play brilliantly. This can all be done without HD." I'm all for that. If the Revolution costs less, is cheaper to develop for, and looks great to the average gamer, then why not? I see it in a music analogy: Only the true audiophiles can tell the difference between CD quality music, an iPod, or a record. For the average music lover (me), I can't tell the difference and I don't want to. Does it sound good? Yes. Then that's all I care about. Same goes with graphics in games.

Posted by Jeremy on June 14, 2005 11:18 AM |

Filed Under:

It's amazing how fast things change. Yesterday, Jer and I were stewing in our own misery. Our beloved indoor cat, Luna, had mysteriously disappeared Saturday night, and the thought of her alone and outside took it's toll. We didn't eat, we didn't sleep, we were a mess. Then, late in the afternoon yesterday, we decided to take one more walk around the thick forest that surrounds our home. We were certain she'd escaped into it, but the density and size made us think it would be impossible to find her. She'd have to come to us when she got hungry enough. On a previous search I had found a perfect kitty hiding spot, where tree roots and leaves created a nice little tunnel. However, it was pretty far away, so I just gave it a quick look and moved on. This time, I had Jer and a flashlight at my side. I had Jer check it out. He, too, was impressed with the perfection of the hiding spot, and aimed the flashlight down into it. Moments before giving up, Jer caught Luna's eyes in the light. Of course, at the time, we thought they could have been raccoon or rat eyes, but we stood strong and pulled our catatonic kitty out. Back home, it took Luna 30 seconds to eat, poop, stretch and act like nothing ever happened. Jer and I collapsed on the floor and giggled like little girls.
Thank you very much for all of the well wishes we received. We never expected such a response. Gamers are good people.

Posted by Allison on June 14, 2005 11:41 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Last week I wrote about the world wide Halo 2 Tourny. The tournament is now over and King Tuur (his gamertag) of the Netherlands is the winner. The final match pitted King Tuur vs. the Japanese winner, aimitux. For winning, King Tuur received some pretty sweet Samsung gear, a personalized Halo 2 Global Championship Trophy and $1,500 cash money. The tournament sounded like a lot of fun. I just wish MS had done a better job promoting it. It would have been nice to see the tourny on ESPN2 or some such network. Ah, but the in the future, such things will happen. Be patient young grasshopper.

Continue reading ""Halo 2" World Champion"
Posted by Jeremy on June 15, 2005 9:58 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Vin Diesel, action star from such movies as xXx, The Fast and the Furious, Boiler Room, Saving Private Ryan, and most importantly, The Chronicles of Riddick, has signed on to play the famous Agent 47 in Universal's upcoming Hitman movie (title still in the works). It was when Diesel played Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick that he formed his own gaming company, Tigon Studios, to oversee the production of the accompanying Riddick game, which went on to sell very well and gained critical kudos, despite the movie's terrible showing. Knowing Diesel's commitment to gaming gives us gamers high hopes for an excellent Hitman game tie-in, probably to be launched alongside the movie sometime in 2006. In the meantime, you can look forward to Hitman: Blood Money coming out this Fall. For more info on this story check out Reuters or Gamespot.

Posted by Jeremy on June 15, 2005 10:15 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox 360

What does a removable HDD, Robbie Bach, and Apple's iPod have in common? Digital music. Bach, head of MS's Xbox unit has been given a new mission: "make Microsoft?s new Xbox a hub for handling digital music...[with] the authority to push for a range of changes, such as setting up a team focused solely on digital music, reorganizing product groups, or acquiring companies." (WSJ, 6/14/05). Remember that removable HDD that MS has on the Xbox 360? I see it as a place where you can pop in your MP3 player and download all of your music. Last Fall, MS quietly launched MSN Music; its own music download store and they are soon to launch their own subscription service as well. Now, they need the killer product...the new iPod which will drive sales of the Xbox 360 and vice versa. Personally, I say throw that out the window and simply let all of us with iPods be able to use them in conjunction with the Xbox 360. Better yet, have Apple design and distribute Xbox 360 iPods that would pop in and out of the 360. Interesting times in the music industry indeed. More...

Posted by Jeremy on June 15, 2005 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox 360

Microsoft and Rare today announced the official website of the Xbox 360 launch game, Perfect Dark Zero. The site contains the normal fare: screenshots, news, wallpaper, and info about the upcoming Perfect Dark Zero comic book. In the future I'm sure they'll be adding videos and more information. Both Allison and I agree that the new look of Joanna Dark is not to our liking. The mature and ruthless Joanna of the original Perfect Dark (N64) is now replaced by a more girlish, cartoony, Joanna. I know PD0 is a prequel, but still. It's like going from Angelina Jolie to Katie Holmes.

Continue reading ""Perfect Dark Zero" Website Goes Live"
Posted by Jeremy on June 17, 2005 9:19 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox 360

Forgive the outdated graphic...we'll work on getting a PGR3 graphic. Anyway, today I found a very informative PGR3 fact sheet which details the features of the upcoming Xbox 360 game. It's no secret that Project Gotham Racing is by far Allison's and my favorite racing series. We even considered getting vanity plates on our Honda Civic that would read, "KUDOS". But, alas, cooler (and more frugal) minds prevailed. Anyway, PGR3 seems to have everything that made the last two games excellent and a few extra features as well. The "GothamTV" interests me: "With GothamTV, gamers can watch any player in the world on live news feeds, get live ticker-tape information when friends break records, and compete with anyone, anywhere, anytime." No word yet on if it'll be a launch title but my money is on "yes".

Continue reading ""Project Gotham Racing 3" Fact Sheet"
Posted by Jeremy on June 17, 2005 9:43 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In this interview with Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for Microsoft?s home and entertainment division (man they need to shorten their titles), Moore suggests that the original Xbox marketing campaign had an edge and an unapproachability to it that scared away many casual gamers. Moore plans to fix that image for the launch of the Xbox 360. Due to the simultaneous world wide launch, there is little room for region-specific campaigns, therefore Moore is going for a lighter, happier, more approachable image for the 360, emphasizing the social aspect of gaming and focusing less on the hard core gamer...not that we'll be left out...it's an Xbox for gosh sakes. Read the interview.

Posted by Jeremy on June 20, 2005 11:40 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

GamesIndustry is today reporting on a marketing research report from DFC Intelligence which predicts that the PS3 will top out at 50% market share with the Xbox 360 topping out at 40% and the Nintendo Revolution, at best, 35%. Currently, the PS2 holds 70% of the market. The report also suggests that by 2009, the global video game industry will reach $41 billion. Currently, the video game biz is between a $10 and $18 billion industry, depending on which report you choose to believe. In general, I agree with both assessments.

Continue reading "PS3 To Get No More than 50% Market Share"
Posted by Jeremy on June 20, 2005 12:00 PM |

Filed Under:

Apparently there's not enough going on in the world today. Instead of opting for, oh, I don't know, anything about something our troops are facing in Iraq, 60 Minutes opted to re-air the craptacular piece they put together last March entitled, "Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?". I examined this piece extensively after it originally aired, and it's more than clear that 60 Minutes, yet again, opted to ignore my criticisms. Clearly they don't understand the power of the Bean. Sheesh.

Continue reading "60 Minutes: Can A Video Game Lead to Murder"
Posted by Allison on June 20, 2005 12:47 PM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

Because we recently moved our strategy guide update to the top of our homepage, we sometimes forget that not all of you come to Lunabean's front page to read Lunabean News (silly RSS feeds), therefore, you don't know our current strategy guide status. So, with that being said, we will do a better job in incorporating our guide status within our news, so everyone knows what we're up to. So, here's the current update: I have made my way to Las Venturas in our updated (for the PS2, Xbox, and PC) GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. I'm taking screenshots as I go along, and I expect it to be done within the next couple of days. Until then, feel free to use the old GTA: SA walkthrough, as it does do the job. In the meantime, Jer is finishing up his Medal of Honor: European Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Also expect to see that within a couple of days. Once those are done, we're going to give both Batman Begins and Conker: Live and Reloaded a look to see if they're walkthroughable.
I hope this clears up any strategy guide questions you may have!

Posted by Allison on June 21, 2005 10:12 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft Game Studios announced today that Conker: Live & Reloaded has shipped for the Xbox, meaning look for the "M" rated squirrel to hit a store near you tomorrow. For those of you not familiar with the game, it's fair to say that it's a revamped port of the 2000 N64 title, Conker's Bad Fur Day, which we remember fondly (as we do most games by Rare Studios, which has since been purchased by Microsoft). However, the beauty of this game is supposed to be found within its Xbox Live Multiplayer functionality. As I recall, BFD had several awesome offline multiplayer games, which often pitted you against the evil Tediz (Nazi teddy bears..duh), so, honestly, I believe the online play will be remarkable. Just remember, because Conker is a cartoon squirrel doesn't mean he's for the kids. His humor is hilarious, but definitely of the adult nature.
Conker: Live & Reloaded official website

Posted by Allison on June 21, 2005 10:45 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

We got to play Psychonauts a couple of months ago, as it was released for the Xbox a couple months ago, and we found ourselves loving this game. Chock full of dark humor, Psychonauts is one of the most clever platform titles I've ever played. I am very excited this newest Tim Schafer title (previous titles include Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island games) is now available for the PS2 masses (or will be in stores tomorrow), and I'm even more excited that we already have prepared a Psychonauts Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for you.

Posted by Allison on June 21, 2005 10:55 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In the continuing battle between Sony and Microsoft, Gamesarefun.com is reporting the latest swing by Microsoft. Between June 20th and 30th European gamers have been invited to a Sony special event in Paris where they'll get to put their hands on a PSP for the first time as Sony prepares to launch its handheld in Europe this September. Across the street from this event is a shop Microsoft rented out and splashed across the window a huge banner that states, "Gardez vos forces pour cet hiver", or "Save your strength for winter", which is when the Xbox 360 will launch. Clever, Microsoft. One point for you.
Check out the photos

Posted by Allison on June 21, 2005 11:06 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Sarah Michelle Gellar has signed on to star in Alice, a Universal Pictures film based on the PC game American McGee's Alice, which was published by EA in 2000. American McGee is known best for his lead design work at id Software, where he played a significant role in the designs of both the Doom and Quake series. American McGee's Alice is a "dark adaptation" of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland novels.

Posted by Allison on June 22, 2005 11:19 AM |

Filed Under:

The Screen Actors Guild's national executive committee has rejected a proposed contract which would increase the rate of pay that video game voice actors receive. The proposed contract offered actors a 36% pay increase over three years (with a 25% increase effective immediately). However, the contract did not offer actors any residual payments for those starring in high-selling games (400,000 copies), which was the deciding factor for SAG. Interestingly enough, SAG's sister union, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), approved the terms of the contract, which will go into effect on July 1st.
Read the LA Times article

Posted by Allison on June 22, 2005 11:46 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | PS3 | Xbox

On Monday Jer reported the next-gen console sales predictions of the market research firm DFC Intelligence. According to the DFC report, "the PS3 will top out at 50% market share with the Xbox 360 topping out at 40% and the Nintendo Revolution, at best, 35%". Today we have the predictions of Kagan Research. Kagan takes into account the early release of the Xbox360, and puts the preditions here: "[I]n 2006, the Xbox 360 will have a market share of 54 percent, followed by the PS3 at 27 percent and the Revolution at 19 percent. In 2007, however, the Xbox 360 will lose its lead to the PS3, dropping to a market share of 37 percent, with the PS3 capturing 45 percent." The two research groups aren't that far apart, but it is interesting that, really, the Nintendo Revolution isn't much of a factor for either of them.
Lunabean Research (meaning Jer and me talking about stuff) has concluded that the next gen console war will be between the PS3 and the Xbox360, in that people, when buying a generic "game console" will decide between the PS3 and Xbox360, and the PS3 will win, but by a smidge. The Revolution purchase will be a completely separate decision, based on whether or not people want access to the awesomeness that is Nintendo games.

Posted by Allison on June 22, 2005 12:10 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Strategy Guide | Xbox

I am pleased to announce that the LB Medal of Honor: European Assault Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete! The guide is a Gold Medal guide meaning that it covers every single objective so that you can earn a Gold Medal rating on each mission. At this point, we have a text only Downloadable PDF. I'm trying to decide if the game is worth us making a Screenshot Version. In the meantime, enjoy the guide and try not to get too frustrated with the game.

Posted by Jeremy on June 22, 2005 3:03 PM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

Gamespot is today reporting on a survey taken by Japanese magazine, Otonafami. The findings show that the Nintendo DS is just barely ahead of the PSP when it comes to how many people own it, how many games they have for it, and how many people who don't own it, want it. What I find most interesting is, "Seventy-five percent of PSP owners replied "no" when asked if they were using all of its hardware capabilities. Many PSP owners commented that they don't understand how to use its multimedia functions or that they find it too troublesome." This is the N-gage syndrome. If there are too many features on a handheld electronic device it takes away from its main function. Nintendo has always understood this, which is why the DS is a gaming machine and nothing else.

Posted by Jeremy on June 23, 2005 12:33 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Thanks to Lunabeanie, Li9uid2 for pointing out this story from EcommerceTimes.com which states that the Xbox 360 may very well be compatible with the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. Microsoft is the only major player without a handheld gaming device, so the solution is to make the 360 work with its rivals' handhelds. The article also states that Apple's iPod may also be compatible with the 360. I think this is a good idea. It doesn't discriminate based on the device. Hey, it's the Xbox Live slogan, after all, "It's good to play together."

Posted by Jeremy on June 23, 2005 12:43 PM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

We've been following the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) contract negotionations regarding residuals for voice acting in video games. On Wednesday, the SAG rejected the video game contract which included no residuals but upped pay by 36%. Today, Reuters is reporting that the SAG is reconsidering and will hold a special meeting on June 29 to discuss the offer. Why do we care? Well, we truly believe that good voice acting can make a good game great and conversely, a great game mediocre. I say strike! You've earned your residuals.

Posted by Jeremy on June 24, 2005 10:09 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

This article, from the BBC, details the story of Safura Abdool Karim, who has become the youngest person to be published in the South African Medical Journal. For her science project, Safura interviewed 120 of her classmates to discover if any of them had symptoms of numbness, blistering, or pain in their thumbs. Not surprisingly, many of them do. "Playstation Thumb" is similar to a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI), but is usually specific to the thumb. RSI is usually associatd with adults. Asked if she owns a Playstation, Safura commented, "it's a waste of time."
Posted by Jeremy on June 24, 2005 10:27 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

In the beginning of June, Allison told us that Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory for the Nintendo DS had gone gold. Now, the long wait is almost over as the game has today shipped and will be in stores by tomorrow. The handheld version of Chaos Theory is the first ever 3D Splinter Cell to hit a handheld and will feature an exclusive "Swat Turn" and wireless connnectivity between DS's making for some excellent Spy vs. Merc action. We're so excited about this game, we may have to go out and get another DS.

Posted by Jeremy on June 27, 2005 9:11 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

NPD, a company that tracks game sales, has released their May sales data for North America. Leading the pack was Pokemon Emerald (GBA) with 880,000 units sold and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (PS2, Xbox) with 868,000 units sold. Perhaps most remarkable is that overall sales of software for May increased 30.5% year-on-year. Other big sellers were LEGO Star Wars and Midnight Club III: Dub Edition. For more info, read the article from GamesIndustry.biz.

Posted by Jeremy on June 27, 2005 9:21 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

Allison is almost done with the updated LB GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide (PS2, Xbox, PC). The updated version has a few minor changes and we will now be able to offer a Screenshot version as well. Looking forward, we plan to check out Conker Live and Reloaded, Batman Begins, and Destroy All Humans. If any are worthy of a LB Walkthrough, we'll write it. In the meantime, don't forget about the amazing LunaPass which offers you access to our entire catalog of PDF Walkthroughs for only US$15.95. Happy gaming!

Posted by Jeremy on June 27, 2005 9:31 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

MTV, owned by Viacom, and Midway games have announced a unique alliance to market, jointly sell in-game ads, and collaborate on soundtracks for three upcoming games. This alliance may not be surprising for those of you who read our news and therefore know that Sumner Redstone, Viacom CEO, owns 70% of Midway. The first game under this alliance will be this holliday season's L.A. Rush, an urban racing game featuring the crew from MTV's Pimp My Ride. This is yet another example of how the music, movie, and game industries are all merging into one huge mega entertainment industry.

Continue reading "Worlds are Colliding!"
Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2005 9:10 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In this article from GamesIndustry.biz, Bill Gates, speaking in Tokyo at a joint Microsoft/Toshiba event, intimates that future versions of the Xbox 360 may feature HD-DVD, Toshiba's next-gen DVD standard. Sony's rival Blu-Ray technology will be featured in the PS3. For now, the Xbox 360 will ship with the basic DVD drive. The addition of the HD-DVD for future iterations of the 360 will most likely be more for movie watching than game playing, although perhaps game publishers will publish "HD" versions of their games in addition to the normal "DVD" versions. This is all a push to make the Xbox 360 the center of your home entertainment system and to usher you into the "HD Era".

Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2005 9:19 AM |

Filed Under: Nintendo DS

It appears that the Nintendo DS is a smash hit everywhere. Just three months after the European launch, DS sales have hit 1 million. In fact, over 500,000 were sold in the first three weeks. This puts the worldwide total at over 5 million units sold. Just wait until Nintendogs, hits the US and Europe. And, today, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is in stores for the DS. Now, the good games are starting to trickle out. If only we could get the red version here in the states.

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Sales Hit 1 Million in Europe"
Posted by Jeremy on June 28, 2005 9:28 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Many sources are reporting on an analyst report from Merrill Lynch Japan which claims that Sony will lose about $100 per console in the first year of sales. This translates to a $1.18bn loss. The report also guesses that the price of the PS3 will be $399 based on each unit costing $490 to manufacture. Although the suggested manufacturing costs may be too high, it doesn't lessen the fact that the PS3 will most likely retail for above $300. Losing money on a console is nothing new, just the scale of it is remarkable. In comparison, UBS suggested that Microsoft will lose $76 per console at the $299 price point. Difference is, MS has the cash reserves to absorb that, Sony just doesn't.

Posted by Jeremy on June 29, 2005 10:09 AM |

It took longer than expected, but we're pleased to report LB's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete. This new version has lost its PS2 specific tone, and is more friendly to Xbox and PC GTA: SA gamers. What's more, we've also made available a GTA: SA Strategy Guide with over 200 helpful screenshots. If you're looking for GTA: SA help, you've found it right here.

Posted by Allison on June 29, 2005 10:18 AM |

Filed Under:

CNN/Money's Game Over columnist, Chris Morris, asks this week whether the current box office slump (the worst in 20 years) is an indicator of things to come in the gaming industry. Morris focuses on the recent lack of innovation in both movies and video games to present his theory that, if things don't change, the gaming industry very well could follow in the footsteps of the movie industry. However, he glosses over the suggestion that movie ticket prices and DVD sales/rentals are probably the true nemeses of box office sales, which voids the entire premise that the box office slump could hit video games. Yes, we get your point, Mr. Morris, we don't need anymore GTA rip-offs, but, when it costs more than the price of a video game to take a family of four to a movie (don't forget popcorn and sodas), then the problem isn't innovation. It's cost. We can talk about innovation when people can afford movies again.
Read the article

Posted by Allison on June 29, 2005 10:44 AM |

Filed Under: PC

One of the bestselling fiction series of all time, Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series, will be making its way to your PC as a "real time strategy computer game"...that is if you're not raptured before it gets here. Like the books, the game (Left Behind: Eternal Forces) will take place in the End of Days world, post-Rapture, so all of the faithful are up in heaven partying while the secularists and non-Christians are left in a world of chaos. The Antichrist, I kid you not, has "taken the reigns of power at the United Nations and is gathering the countries of the world under his banner". Your goal is to convert secular units into people who will fight on the side of lightness. The game will offer both single-player and online multiplayer modes. Heaven help us all.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading ""Left Behind" Video Game in the Works"
Posted by Allison on June 30, 2005 10:04 AM |

Filed Under:

Reuters is reporting that online retailer Amazon.com has the lowest prices for video games (before shipping) amongst the top eight video game retailers. Best Buy has the lowest prices as far as brick and mortar stores go (although they'll harass you to exhaustion to get a warranty), whereas Target, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart have the highest. EB and Gamestop (soon to merge into one) have prices slightly higher than Best Buy, making EB, Gamestop, and Best Buy the stores with the lowest prices when you actually factor in Amazon's shipping costs (tell me, again, why a $40 video game doesn't qualify free super saver shipping). Although, truth be told, I've found the best deals to be at Fred Meyer. You can't walk into that store without finding a great game coupon.
Read the articles

Posted by Allison on June 30, 2005 10:38 AM |

Filed Under: Strategy Guide

As promised we gave Destroy All Humans, Batman Begins and Conker: Live & Reloaded a look to see which games are Lunabean Walkthrough worthy. Batman Begins was denied, as it's clear as day what one needs to do to get through that one. Conker was denied, as the single-player game is the same game released in 2000 (with some censoring), and, therefore, already has 1000 walkthroughs written for it. Destroy All Humans was a surprising good time, which I think Jer will begin writing a guide for later today. I'm in the middle of considering writing a first ever Lunabean Nintendo DS guide for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Considering the fact that I was stuck in one spot for two hours yesterday, I'm thinking some people might need some help with this one. I'll confirm tomorrow.

Posted by Allison on June 30, 2005 10:52 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Electronic Arts and draft day seem to be go together like peanut butter and jelly. Back in April, EA revealed next-gen footage of the next-gen Madden NFL during the NFL draft. This past Tuesday, during the NBA draft, EA showed a preview of the next-gen NBA Live. Ali and I don't get a lot of time to play sports games, as we're focused on games for which we can write walkthroughs, but the footage of both of these games is simply amazing. If this is any indication of what next-gen games will look like in general, we're in for some amazing game playing over the next several years.

Posted by Jeremy on June 30, 2005 10:54 AM |

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