. Although I'm not sure where they got the video, it is very exciting to see Link in action. The footage shows some Wolf-Link fights, some exploring with lanterns, some underwater exploring, some horseback riding arrow shooting, and some kitties! No word yet on when the game is to be released...the best guesses are late spring or early summer.
Joel Stein of the L.A. Times
has momentarily stepped away from editorials that begin, "I don't support our troops"
, to something a little less taboo: Sex, boys and video games
Stein's editorial, prompted by the L.A. City Attorney's decision to sue Take Two
over the Hot Coffee debacle
, is worth reading, as it makes a few good points concerning the lawsuit. I do agree with Stein, whole-heartedly, that it's silly that parents feel duped by the unlockable sex scene, because they "simply wanted to buy their boys a wholesome cop-shooting, hooker-killing, car-stealing game". However, Stein's editorial misses the point that Take Two lied to the ESRB (the ratings boards for video games) concerning the kind of material found in the game.
Continue reading "Sex, boys and video games"
Wednesday - February 1, 2006
I am pleased to report our LB 25 to Life Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
is complete. In it, you will be guided through each and every level of the single player portion of the game. The guide was written based on a "Normal" difficulty. However, because the levels and objectives stay the same between difficulties, the guide will help you get through the game no matter what the difficulty. I have also uploaded the PDF version
of the guide, for those who want to print out the ad-free, printer-friendly and beautifully bookmarked version of the 25 to Life Guide
Every year prior to the Super Bowl, Electronic Arts run a simulation using their most recent Madden
game to see who will win the big game. This year, the Steelers beat the Seahawks 24-19 with a great defensive effort limiting the MVP running back Shaun Alexander to 70 yards and sacking QB Matt Hasselbeck 4 times. Meanwhile, the Steelers offense did enough to win the game behind Super Bowl MVP Jerome Bettis' two TDs and 40 yards rushing. I'll update you on Monday to see how accurate this simulation turns out to be.
Continue reading "EA Simulation: Steelers Win Super Bowl"
Thursday - February 2, 2006
Eidos Interactive has today announced Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
, the seventh title in the Tomb Raider
(TM) series, has "gone gold". This means the master copy of the game has been completed, and it is ready for mass production.
PS2, Xbox and PC versions of Tomb Raider: Legend
will begin shipping across Europe on April 7th. Four days later, on April 11th, the game will find its way to North American store shelves. We will begin a walkthrough for the game as soon as we get our hands on it.
While the press release
offers no specific date for promised PSP and X360 releases, it does state these versions will "follow shortly after".
Pre-order Tomb Raider: Legend
Continue reading "'Tomb Raider: Legend' goes gold"
A report published in the Wall Street Journal and reported in many publications including the Seattle PI
confirms rumors that Electronic Arts has laid off hundreds of employees, affecting about 5% of their workforce. EA spokeswoman, Trudy Muller said, "Every division will be changing to reflect our new priorities." These new priorities include next-gen consoles, internet games (Pogo.com), and online games. EA is the world's largest video game publisher with franchies such as The Sims
, Lord of the Rings
, Harry Potter
, and Medal of Honor
. On a side note, EA is today releasing their 3rd quarter earnings. Analysts do not expect earnings to be good. If anything crazy is announced, I'll update this article.
Having had the bejezzus scared out of me at least a dozen times, I am happy to report that I have completed the rough draft of the LB Condemned(R) Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. I am currently replaying the game, cleaning up the guide while looking for Birds and Metal Pieces. I should have everything complete by the end of this weekend...although the Super Bowl may hinder that prediction a tad. Anyway, boo!
Friday - February 3, 2006
published an article concerning the revised 2006 gaming industry projections of Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter. According to the article, a note Pachter sent to investors (titled "Flirting with Disaster: The Prequel") stated previous analysis on the steady growth of the video game industry had been revised to show a 2006 decline, followed by healthy growth in 2007 and 2008. Pachter bases this revision on the fact that, in the US, console and PC software sales were down 21.6 percent in the three months prior to the release of the Xbox 360, and he assumes this trend will continue through the release of the PS3. I have to disagree.
Continue reading "Analyst: Game industry to shrink in 2006"
Monday - February 6, 2006
One of Gamespot's most recent rumor control
entries homes in on speculation of another LEGO(R) Star Wars(TM)
game. The verdict: there will indeed be another game. This isn't anything surprising. LEGO Star Wars
has sold nearly 3 million copies and is cherished by gaming fans (including me). However, this time around, Eidos will have nothing to do with it as Lucas Arts will most likely be using its tractor beam to pull the franchise back into the Death Star. The next game will most likely cover Eps. 4-6 (the original trilogy).
Rupert Murdoch's New York Post
is hardly a reliable source of information, so classify this one as "rumor".
According to the New York Post
, Bono's private-equity firm, Elevation Partners, is looking to bid on the ailing video game publisher and developer Take-Two (the company responsible for "Grand Theft Auto" titles). If this buyout were to take place, Elevation Partners could merge Take-Two with video game developers Pandemic Studios and BioWare, which were acquired and merged by Elevation Partners just last year
Continue reading "Bono looking to buy Take-Two?"
The New York Times today has an interesting, if obvious, article
(Free Sub. Req.) regarding the current state of the video game industry. If you follow the industry in any capacity, you know that there are many dire predictions and poor earnings warnings. Most of the bad news is blamed on the console transition of going from the current generation of machines to the next gens. Allison, the other day, poo-pooed this notion
and made a good argument that essentially, the games in 2005 were terrible and all the big games we expected were pushed back into 2006.
Continue reading "NYT: Video Game Fatigue"
Tuesday - February 7, 2006
Thank goodness Chibi-Robo
is hitting North American store shelves today, 'cause this place needs a good cleaning!
If you aren't familiar with Chibi-Robo
, it's Nintendo's latest entry in the "not really a game" genre (think Nintendogs
, Brain Age
). In it, you star as Chibi-Robo, a four inch tall domestic cleaning robot. You'll spend your time cleaning, exploring and making it back to your plug before you run out of juice. Reviewers are loving it or hating it. Since it's new and refreshing, I'm expecting to love it...but I'll let you know within the next couple of days.
Official Chibi-Robo site
Tuesday - February 7, 2006
As part of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda
20th anniversary celebration, the company has released a set of Zelda Pixel Blocks
in Japan. Since I can't read Japanese, I can't go into detail regarding the product. All I can tell you is they would have been a lot cooler if they glowed. But, maybe that's just me.
Zelda Pixel Blocks
Wednesday - February 8, 2006
We are pleased to announce the completion of the LB Condemned(TM) Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. This was a creepy game and I will forever be haunted by visions of mannequins and locker rooms. The guide is extremely comprehensive, covering every aspect of the game including all Bird, Metal Piece, and TV locations. I recommend playing this game in the daylight, with the volume turned off, and only looking when you have to ;).
1up has a well laid out article
revealing the voice acting for the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts II
. The talent includes Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Lee, Mena Suvari, Ming-Na, James Woods, Zach Braff, and of course, "7th Heaven's" David Gallagher. Oh, Simon, how far you've come. Once you were a troubled teen, running over people, experimenting with sex and just last week announcing your marriage after seeing Lucy's friend give birth. Now, you are reprising your role as Riku. The future is bright.
Thursday - February 9, 2006
Nintendo today announced a whole slew of features for the Nintendo DS, hot on the heels of their announcement of the smaller, lighter, and brighter, Nintendo DS Lite
. First, in a few weeks, gamers can stop into a participating retail outlet to sample free games beamed to the DS via a kiosk. Second, gamers will be able to chat live with other gamers in certain games like Metroid Prime Hunters
(is this a hint that Nintendo VoIP is coming?). Third, the Nintendo DS Lite will soon launch in Japan and then make its way over to the states, hopefully by late summer, but who knows?
Continue reading "Nintendo DS to Have Chat Feature and More..."
I don't know why I'm so enthralled by the upcoming Driver(TM): Parallel Lines
(March 14, PS2, Xbox). Maybe it's because it's half-based in 1978 (the other half is in 2006) and that's around when I was born. Maybe it's the awesome soundtrack featuring 70's hits like, "Low Rider." Or, perhaps it's because I truly enjoyed DRIV3R(TM)
with its slick in-game movies and exotic locales. Whatever it is lead me to check back on the official site
where they have posted a new trailer called, "Peaches". In it, a few more characters are revealed and you get a good sense of the quality of the movie sequences (did you see Bishop?). I'll be writing a walkthrough for the game when it debuts.
Friday - February 10, 2006
a couple of days ago, I'm here to tell you how much I'm loving my Chibi-Robo
experience. For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm having an original gaming experience. I also have the feeling this game will be a hit with the ladies, as it's really one big puzzle that needs solving, and female gamers, generally, tend to love the puzzles.
That's not to say men and kids won't like it. I think men and kids will love it. However, if you're looking for a great Valentine's gift for a lady friend with a Gamecube, this is it
. To boot, I'm beginning work on the LB Chibi-Robo Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
, which will help all Chibi
gamers get through any sticky moments.
has taken note of a little something published in the "Rumors" section of Electronics Gaming Monthly
magazine, and that's that F.E.A.R.
, the highly acclaimed
and extremely creeply FPS for the PC will be released for the Xbox 360 at some point in 2006. As Worthplaying points out, such a move is, "Not really that much of a stretch as F.E.A.R
developers Monolith have already made Condemned
for the Xbox 360, which used the same engine, so technologically, it should be feasible." We'll let you know as soon as any of this is confirmed, as it would be very good and exciting news.
I came across this Brokeback Mountain Mod
for The Sims
today while I was looking for news and I just had to share it with you. Allison and I have yet to see the movie, but we're happy that Michelle Williams, Jen of Dawson's Creek
fame, is getting some recognition. Anyway, the mod
can be downloaded and you too can utter the phrase, "I just can't quit you."
Over the past few days, the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Create, Entertain) convention has been taking place in Las Vegas. The annual event also includes an awards show, this year hosted by Jay Mohr at the Hard Rock Cafe (see all results
). It was no surprise that Sony's God of War
won the most awards. Taking nothing away from this great game, some were left to wonder where in the world were RE4
Continue reading "D.I.C.E. Awards"
Monday - February 13, 2006
Hasbro and Activision today announced a partnership for a TRANSFORMERS
game to coincide with DreamWorks Pictures' live-action movie, TRANSFORMERS
, due out July 4, 2007. No information regarding the game itself has been released, but I'm sure it will neatly tie into, and most likely expand upon, the movie's narrative. Interestingly, the "world-wide" rights granted to Activision exclude Japan. Obviously Hasbro will want a Japanese developer to make the games for that market. This is actually the first I've heard of the TRANSFORMERS
movie and I really don't know what to expect. Being 8 years old when the brand debuted, I was seriously addicted to everything TRANSFORMERS, so they're going to have to do a pretty good job in the movie and game to win me over.
Continue reading ""Transformers" Game in 2007"
, Atari's highly anticipated shooter for the X360, Xbox, and PC, now has a flashy website
to delight and entertain you. The game features a unique time element that allows the player to manipulate time, sort of like Blinx
. The game is set for a March '06 debut on the X360 and PC and then later in the year for the Xbox. I'm getting excited for a good X360 game. Hopefully, it'll debut in early March rather than later. The website has the normal game website fare: screens, downloads, movies, plot summary, weapons detail, etc. TimeShift Website
If you don't want to cry, don't read this article. According to TVG
, Best Buy has informed pre-order customers that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
will not ship until November '06. This will put it in line to launch alongside the Nintendo Revolution; something that has been speculated upon for months. The theory goes that since the Revolution will be backwards compatible and the Revolution will not have a Zelda
game at launch, that Zelda:TP
for the GameCube will be the huge launch game for the Revolution. It has also been rumored that Zelda: TP
will integrate features which will utilize the unique Revolution Controller; like fishing or sword fighting. We'll update you when we hear more.
Tuesday - February 14, 2006
Just a note to let everyone know that we are very much aware the Lunaboards
are down and we are working hard on getting them back up. Unfortunately we are doing so without the help of Invision
, as, despite their claim of "excellent support" for their paying customers, they have yet to acknowledge tickets opened two days ago.
For those who like details of such problems, here's what's going on. When upgrading to the latest version of the Invision Power Boards there were a couple of issues with the cache folder, making a few things glitchy (ie calendar and private messaging). Jer tried to refresh the folder via our admin control panel, which, subsequently, destroyed our admin control panel. From there, things just began to fall apart, so we opted to delete everything and try again. This shouldn't have been a problem, as we backed up everything. However, it proved to be a problem as our message board database is so large it times out every time we try to reinstall it. Our hosts keep telling us to try new things, which always fail, meaning we have to wait another 45 minute to an hour on hold for them to give us another "solution". Good times. How's everyone else's Valentine's Day going?
Wednesday - February 15, 2006
has today announced a deal with Nintendo which will allow gamers in Japan to surf the internet via the Nintendo DS using the Opera browser. The browser will be sold as a DS cartridge which gamers can insert into their Wi-Fi enabled DSes, then connect to the network and surf away...using both screens of the handheld console, of course. Opera's press release
provided no details on a Japanese release date, nor mention of a North American launch.
is today reporting that the Sony PS3 will launch in both Japan and North America in September and that Sony is working on an online service, similar to Xbox Live, called HUB. The release date is later than many had expected, as Sony is still keeping to a Spring '06
date. Perhaps it will launch in Japan in late Spring and then come to the states by Fall. The fact that Next Generation claims that the US and Japan launch will be nearly simultaneous raises a few red flags for me as Sony is sure to have seen the problems Mircrosoft encountered in their attempt at a world-wide launch. We'll keep you updated.
Thursday - February 16, 2006
On March 3rd, Xbox 360 owners will be able to download a playable multiplayer demo of The Outfit(TM)
, the highly anticipated third person WWII combat game. This game is more open than other WWII games in the genre as you can literally destroy anything in the game and you will earn Field Units whom you can call in to help you. There is a single-player campaign. I'm guessing the structure of this game will be similar to Mercenaries(TM)
. On March 3rd, you'll know where to find me.
Continue reading ""The Outfit" Playable Demo"
We've been hearing a lot of doom and gloom predictions from gaming analysts over the past few weeks as weak holiday sales numbers come trickling in. Allison, last week, analzyed the game analysts
and concluded that they don't know what the heck they're talking about. Enter another good article
today from Gamers With Jobs which basically makes the same point. Wake up people. Gaming isn't going anywhere.
In addition to the browser news
coming from Opera Software yesterday, making it possible for gamers to surf the web with their Nintendo DSes, Nintendo announced a separte Nintendo DS card in the works that will allow gamers to watch digital TV broadcasts. The TV card will come with a TV tuner and antenna, and, like the browser card, the TV card will be first launched in Japan. Depending on how it does, we may or may not see it in North America. I'm guessing we'll see it.
Friday - February 17, 2006
There's a story over at Joystiq
which suggests that you may soon see a DirecTV blade on your Xbox 360 dashboard. Apparently, one could purchase DirecTV service and have it all controlled via one's X360. This would include downloading shows and movies in HD and DVR (Digital Video Recorder) capabilities. I'm all for this kind of service, but I'd like the user to be able to choose what TV company would be feeding the X360. Why couldn't I hook up my Comcast cable to the X360 and immediately have DVR features? Well, Mr. Gates? You know where to reach me.
is reporting on an article from Variety
which states, Paramount Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are cutting back on UMD movie releases because of poor sales. Drama and horror flicks are being cut the most drastically as comedies have proven to be the best sellers for the PSP.
Continue reading "PSP UMD movies slow down"
Monday - February 20, 2006
If you looked at any sort of news site today you probably saw the latest rumors regarding the PS3
. This all began when Joe Osha, a Merrill Lynch analyst, issued a report that the US launch of the PS3 could be delayed to 2007 and that it could cost as much as $800! Sony has denied
the delay rumors and there is no word on the cost. To get a rational point of view on all of this, Gamesindustry
has a good article refuting the main points of the analyst's report. And, from a common sense point of view, Sony knows that it can't launch a console for $800 and they are not in the same financial position as is Microsoft, who can afford to lose money on each X360 and each Xbox. Sony is staying firm to its "Spring 2006" launch window for Japan.
is today reporting on an interview in EGM in which Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime confirms some special Revolution functionality of Zelda: Twilight Princess
is a GameCube game). As I reported last week
the game has been pushed back to November, which puts it in line to launch alongside the Revolution. The goal, of course, is to get people to buy both the game and the Revolution. If there are special features in the game only accessible on the Revolution using its revolutionary controller, then this would be quite the incentive. What would some of those features be?
Continue reading ""Zelda: TP" and the Revolution"
Tuesday - February 21, 2006
Nintendo today announced that on May 7 we'll all be able to get our handheld fix when New Super Mario Bros.(R)
debuts for the Nintendo DS. This all new 2D side-scrolling adventure will feature lush 3D backgrounds, a kidnapped Princess Peach, the nefarious Bowser and Bowser Jr. working in cahoots, and all of your favorite childhood enemies like Koopas and Goombas. The game promises all new Bosses and power-ups like the BlueShell, in which Mario can ride, and a massive Mushroom. This is the perfect game the summer. I can't wait.
Continue reading ""New Super Mario Bros." Gets a Date!"
has a good interview with Microsoft Game Studios GM, Shane Kim, regarding the launch of the Xbox 360 and some vague information on Halo 3
. Although some of this may be categorized as "too much information" for the casual gamer, what I found to be interesting was the talk of the Xbox 360 shortages and perhaps an end to the shortages, "I'm pretty confident we'll catch up with demand in the next few weeks and we'll be able to supply all the demand." I called around to our local video game stores...
Continue reading "Xbox 360 Launch Hindsight"
Wednesday - February 22, 2006
1up has a good retrospective
on 20 years of Zelda
and 20 reasons why we still love the series. I have to say that the most poignant aspect of Zelda
games is that they created Hyrule, with all of its magic, lore, and history. That deep rooted narrative allows for Zelda
references to be tossed around and understood by many of our generation (late 20's, early 30's). Allison and I often reference the Zelda
universe: we often refer to large rocks on the side of highways are Gorons; when we're pooped out after a workout we need a Fairy Fountain; and we often refer to any nuts on salads as Deku Nuts. So, we have problems, whatever.
EA today announced that it will be offering some of its biggest upcoming games for $39.99, including Black
, The Godfather
, and Fight Night Round 3
. This is essentially a pre-emptive move in the face of dwindling game sales. EA blames the current sales lag on the move to next-generation consoles. Allison and I blame poor sales on the fact that there are crappy games out there. If a game is excellent, people will pay $50 for it, no questions asked. By cutting the price on two of its biggest games, we feel that EA is basically admitting that these games aren't going to be good enough to merit a more expensive price. We'll be playing both Black
and The Godfather
when they come out, but I don't think Black
is my type of game. EA refers to it as "gun porn". Lovely.
Thursday - February 23, 2006
Rapper Snoop Dogg recently announced the newly formed Hip Hop Gaming League
(HHGL) which pits various sports and entertainment stars against each other in various tournaments held on the Xbox 360. Snoop has deemed himself "The Commissioner" and says that he is making a groundbreaking entry into a video gaming sports league. The HHGL is currently being sponsored by Xbox and Sprite. Participants in the league include Carmelo Anthony, Tyrese, Method Man, and Chad Johnson, to name a few. I'm not yet sure how the tournaments will be broadcast but I'm sure we expect to see them on SpikeTV.
Earlier this month the video game rumor mill began spinning with the discovery that SEGA had filed a US patent
for a game called Yakuza
. This filing suggested to most that SEGA was bringing Ryu ga Gotoku
, the Japanese action-adventure PS2 title which puts gamers "deep into the world of Japan's infamous underground organisation", to the US. While SEGA, at the time, wouldn't comment on rumors, they have today announced the title will, indeed, be arriving on North American store shelves this summer.
Continue reading "Yakuza coming to US this summer"
Monday - February 27, 2006
As we reported in January
, Utah State Rep., David Hogue, drafted a bill to group violent video games with pornography and explicit nudity laws already on the books. As the Salt Lake Tribune
reported, the bill passed the Utah House 56-8. Rep. Hogue conjured the 9/11 of the video game world when he said regarding the Columbine school shooting, "Would these same kids have done this anyway without watching violent videos? Maybe not." The bill contains a stipulation that parents can go to jail for up to two weeks for purchasing a violent game for their kid. Constitutional issues remain and it is likely that, if the bill passes, it will be struck down as have other video game bills in CA and IL. We'll keep you updated.
Are you somebody who simply can't wait for Kingdom Hearts(R) II
? Do you need to get all of the info, images, and trailers you can? Have you seen all there is to see at the official site
? Then it's time to head over to MTV's PeepShow which this week is featuring Kingdom Hearts II
. The mini-site features a segment of the game's theme song, trailers, and interviews. KH II
is due out at the end of March exclusively on the PS2.
Tuesday - February 28, 2006
I know it's late in coming, but I am about halfway through writing the LB Call of Duty(R) 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
. We decided it was an important game to cover seeing as it is the best selling X360 game. We had a slight window to fit it in and I hope to finish it off by this weekend. Then, we'll get on playing some Black(R)
and 24(R): The Game
. In all honesty, I don't think CoD 2
is anything special. Yes, it is fun and challenging, but we have a ways to go before developers can catch up with the hardware.
Today is a big day in the video game world. 24(R): The Game
and EA's highly anticipated Black(R)
are shipping and should be in stores by tomorrow. Although we're not very excited about Black
do to it being described as "gun porn", we can't wait to play as Jack Bauer for day. 24: The Game
is set between seasons two and three. It features President Palmer, Tony Alemeda, Jack's daughter, Kim, and of course, Jack Bauer himself. I'm guessing there are going to be 24 levels to the game. We'll play both these games to see if they're Lunabean walkthrough worthy.