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Video Game News from November 2006

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Many critics blame the less than stellar sales of the Nintendo Gamecube on its launch titles. It's not that they weren't great (in fact, 'Eternal Darkness' and 'Pikmin' are two of my favorite games). The problem was, between the Gamecube's November 2001 launch and the year's end, Nintendo only had eight titles. This time around Nintendo is coming out swinging, with 62 titles promised by year's end, one of them being, of course, a 'Zelda' title.

Continue reading "Nintendo's Wii will boast 62 titles by year's end"
Posted by Allison on November 1, 2006 7:18 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

The lovely folks over at Rare have made available two new multiplayer maps for 'Perfect Dark Zero' for your gaming pleasure. The map pack is free for Xbox Live Gold members and includes two classic 'Goldeneye' maps: Facility and Ruin.

I can't tell you the hours that Allison and I spent annihilating each other in Ruin (the temple). If you could get the grenade launcher and pin your opponent under the ramp when they would go for body armor, you'd always get a kill. Ahh, the memories.

If you would like to get some strategy on the story mode of 'Perfect Dark Zero', check out the Lunabean 'Perfect Dark Zero' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2006 9:36 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

In a mere 18 days I fully expect to be flailing around my living room. No, it won't be due to a massive sugar rush and a room full of bees, but instead due to slashing enemies with the Wii controller in 'Zelda: Twilight Princess'.

To give you an idea of how that will look, Nintendo has posted four videos of people playing 'Zelda: TP'.

It will also be interesting to write walkthroughs for Wii games. I guess wii'll just have to wiing it! Oh, it never gets old!

Watch the videos.

LB's 'The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess' Walkthrough and Strategy Guides (Coming Soon)

Posted by Jeremy on November 1, 2006 10:17 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Because, sometimes, the simplest of jokes are the funniest:

(Hat tip to BoingBoing)

Posted by Allison on November 2, 2006 7:29 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

It's hard to wait for the Wii. A scant 17 days away. Is there any way to make the waiting go by faster? How about I freeze myself with the intention to be reanimated on the day of launch?

That's exactly what Eric Cartman did on the latest episode of 'South Park'. The episode opened with Cartman pacing outside of 'EV Games', trying to pass the time until November 19. Soon, he got the brilliant idea to freeze himself in the rocky mountains and, with the help of Butters ("oh, hamburgers!"), would thaw out on the day of launch.

Of course, that's not quite how it worked out...

Part 2
Part 3

Continue reading "Video: Wii and 'South Park'"
Posted by Jeremy on November 2, 2006 9:29 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

How can EA rip me off? Let me count the ways. EA's latest attempt at pickpocketing is the 'Need for Speed Carbon' unlockables that are being offered on Xbox Live Marketplace. Add all of those upgrades together and you'll be spending almost $50 for something that used to be unlocked using cheat codes.

Admittedly, I have never been a fan of cheat codes, as I feel if you want all of the unlockables you should earn them the hard way...by playing the game. Still, I understand the desire to be invincible or to have the best weapon or the fastest car, and I don't begrudge my fellow gamer these pleasures.

However, what EA is doing is pure evil. Sure, I understand that they're in business to make money, but serio, if they'd lower the price, they'd sell a lot more, and not draw the ire of gamers.

Continue reading "Cheats...for a price -- 'Need for Speed Carbon'"
Posted by Jeremy on November 2, 2006 11:13 AM | | Comments (4)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

I came across this article at BBC.com, written by Rebecca Morelle, an admitted non-gamer. Her task was to go to the London office of Nintendo to play with the Wii to see if Nintendo's strategy to draw in non-gamers is really going to work.

After playing 'WarioWare: Smooth Moves', 'Wii Sports', and 'Trauma Center', she was not very impressed and was more humiliated than stimulated. Then comes the key line, "And then I met Link, in the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess." She goes on to say, "Maybe it was the cute outfit he was wearing, or perhaps it was the fun of using the remote to swipe a sword or ping an arrow, or the fact that there was some kind of narrative to what was going on that made my videogame scepticism lift."

Cha-ching! Narrative. It's the narrative of games that will not only draw in non-gamers, but specifically women non-gamers. It's a good article, so give it a read.

BBC article

Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2006 9:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Videos | Xbox | Xbox 360

Back in October, Allison told you about three Xbox 360 titles available at Burger King. Today, I have discovered a trailer for one of the titles, "Sneak King".

I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the new King, but these games are really funny. Burger King has been going for the quirky image for a while and this really seals the deal. These games will be available on Nov. 19 (same day as the Wii launch).

Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2006 10:47 AM | | Comments (3)

I am extremely pleased to announce the completion of the LB 'Bully (Canis Canem Edit)' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. This comprehensive guide contains detailed walkthroughs for each mission, the locations of ALL rubber bands, G&G cards, and gnomes, how to get 100% completion, and general gameplay tips and explanations. It even covers how to kiss boys and which boys you can kiss, not that there is anything wrong with that.

'Bully (Canis Canem Edit)' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2006 11:09 AM | | Comments (163)

Oh happy day! Nintendo has released two new videos of 'Zelda: Twilight Princess' for our viewing pleasure. Can you believe that we are only two weeks away from Wii weekend (the Wii launches on Sunday, Nov. 19)?!? The first video is the intro to the game (note the A+B button at the end of it...A is on top and B is the trigger button of the wii controller). The second video is an amalgamation of gameplay footage. I may just pee myself I'm so excited.

We'll be starting on the LB 'Zelda: Twilight Princess' walkthrough as soon as we pick up our pre-ordered console!

Continue reading "Friday Video -- 'Twilight Princess' times two!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 3, 2006 11:11 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

In case you aren't one of the 60 million people who have read the "Left Behind" series of Christian books, you may not know about 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces' a new video game which debuts tomorrow, on election day. The game centers on the premise that the end times have come, the Rapture has occurred, and the unwashed sinners have been left behind.

Thus, the game begins. You, as a newly reborn warrior of Christ (the Tribulation Force) must convert the undecided before the Antichrist, who heads up the Global Community Peacekeepers, gets his claws into them. The makers of the game are adamant that the game contains "no gore", but do admit to some violence in the game. The game has received a "T" rating from the ESRB.

Continue reading "Cower unbeliever, you've been smote!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 6, 2006 10:21 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

This is pretty impressive. This kid is going to be a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor in about 13 years. Watch out P-Diddy!

Get video codes at Bolt.

Posted by Jeremy on November 6, 2006 11:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming | PC

*drools* OK, I'm not a WoW player, but if I was, I'd be all over this. I wonder if the PS3 can support three monitors.


Posted by Jeremy on November 6, 2006 11:33 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Microsoft today announced that on Nov. 22 they will begin offering TV shows and movies for download to your Xbox 360. The agreements with CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, TBS, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. will allows such programming as 'CSI', 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force', and 'Superman Returns' to play on your Xbox 360. Some of the programming will be available in HDTV.

You can purchase the downloads using Microsoft Points. The TV shows will be purchase-only and the movies are rental-only (this movie will self destruct in 30 seconds). The new service is the major reason that the Xbox Live Fall update was recently released. One can also surmise that this is the reason for the 100GB hard drive spied in South Korea

It's really interesting to see these media companies vying for your living room. We've been hearing about the one-stop-living-room-box concept for a while (one device to rule them all) but it's fun to see it all happening. The PS3 is obviously trying to do the same thing, as is the yet to be seen apply iTV box. I bet Tivo is shaking in their boots. Welcome to the future.

Press Release

Posted by Jeremy on November 6, 2006 8:28 PM | | Comments (0)

I am pleased to report the LB 'Splinter Cell 4: Double Agent' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the Xbox 360 version of the game is complete. And, by 'complete', I mean '100% stealth complete'. That includes the evil supertanker level. That's right...you can't find any of my stashed bodies, not even on your stupid terrorist ghost ship! I'm a frikin' Splinter Cell!

I have already gone through and taken screenshots, which means the downloadable guides will be available shortly. However, for now, enjoy the online version of the 'Splinter Cell 4: DA' walkthrough. Up next: Xbox, PS2 and PC versions...

LB 'Splinter Cell 4: Double Agent' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide (X360)

Posted by Allison on November 6, 2006 8:33 PM | | Comments (7)

'Gears of War', the next killer app (think 'Halo') for the Xbox 360 is shipping today and will appear on store shelves by tomorrow. I called our local Game Crazy and the boss is going to the airport to pick up the shipment, so I should be able to get a copy by late afternoon.

I'll be playing the game tonight, intermixed with election coverage, and I'll begin the LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough tomorrow. Ghost alien armies...you have not yet felt the wrath of Lunabean!

Posted by Lunabean on November 7, 2006 8:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: LB Videos

Hey, what are you doing reading this? Get out and vote! As a special treat, we thought we'd share with you the hilarious 'School House Rocks' spoof which aired on the Daily Show last night.

Posted by Jeremy on November 7, 2006 10:49 AM | | Comments (0)

I picked up my copy of 'Gears of War' about a half hour ago. To save time, I ran out while there were biscuits in the oven. Now that Allison and I are fed, I'll be starting the LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough and strategy guide as soon as I publish this post...in other words, in five...four...three...

'Gears of War' walkthrough

I'll update this post with impressions later today...

Update: 'Gears of War' first impressions

Posted by Jeremy on November 8, 2006 11:35 AM | | Comments (20)

I spent my morning putting the finishing touches on the LB 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' (Xbox 360 and PC) Walkthrough and Strategy (have I mentioned yet that it's the only complete step-by-step 100% stealth guide available?). From there I added some screenshots, and I now have a beautiful downloadable PDF version of the guide available for you here:
LB 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' Walkthrough w/ Screenshots.

Please note, this version of the guide is for the X360 and PC versions of the game. I am now working on a guide for the Xbox and PS2 versions. A Splinter Cell's work is never done...

Posted by Allison on November 8, 2006 8:14 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Gamespot is reporting a nasty little rumor that PS3 versions of 'F.E.A.R' and 'The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion' will not be available this holiday season, despite Sony's earlier word that they would be part of the PS3 'launch window' lineup.

Gamespot's information comes from listings at both EB and Gamestop websites, which now state 'F.E.A.R.' will launch on February 6th, 2007, and 'Oblivion' on January 1, 2007. At the time of publication, both Bethesda and Vivendi failed to comment. We will let you know when this information is confirmed.

This is bad new for Sony, as these two titles were certainly among the top five favorite PS3 launch games. At least I won't feel guilty for ignoring the PS3 while I acquaint myself with the Wii.

Posted by Allison on November 9, 2006 9:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

I'm currently working on the LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough. Below is a quick review of my first impressions.

I haven't been this enamored with a game in long time. It combines some of the tactical elements of another favorite of mine, "Brothers in Arms," with the all out hectic nature of a good FPS. Add to that excellent controls, graphics, and music and you have a real contender for Game of the Year.

Continue reading "'Gears of War' review -- first impressions"
Posted by Jeremy on November 9, 2006 9:44 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

A few months ago I posted a funny promotional video for Appalachia State University, which looked like it had been put together by Mrs. Johnson and her third grade class:

At the time, I had to remind myself that such a video did not reflect the quality of education coming from the school. However, I came across an opinion piece today from an ASU student which, again, showed those third graders were hard at work.

The editorial, entitled, "Video games too inappropriate", begins by telling us all that it is "insane" that 83 percent of homes with children have a video game system. Ah, but not all of these games are in place for "pure evil", as some, "teach languages, help with medical conditions or terminal illnesses and improve problem solving or math skills".

Continue reading "A case for video game censorship -- from Appalachia State"
Posted by Allison on November 9, 2006 10:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

The NPD Group has released the latest video game sales data, which is full of many pleasant surprises. First, video game sales (software and hardware) were up 16% in the month of October ($642 million), as compared to sales in October 2005 ($556 million). Since the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 are launching this month, this increase in sales seems to blow away the notion that the industry inevitably slows before next-gen consoles launch.

Second, it was discovered that unit sales for the year are up 10%, while dollar sales are up 4%. This is because, "the average retail price of the top 100 items was $2.40 less than last year." How does one explain this when Xbox 360 titles range in price from $50 - $70? Because almost all Sony PS2 games have launched with a $40 price tag.

This is important because Sony and Microsoft are claiming they have to put the price of games for the Xbox 360 and PS3 at a high spot in order to make a profit. However, this report proves a $40 price point is actually more profitable, as people are more likely to buy a $40 game. And, they buy so many $40 games that dollar sales are higher than where they were when the average game cost $2.40 more.

Learn from this, please. It will only serve the industry, and the gamers who support it, well.


Posted by Lunabean on November 10, 2006 8:06 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Nintendo has released video of their North Bend, WA, distribution center packing and readying Wiis. It looks busier than Santa's workshop the week before Christmas. I'd like to see a play-by-play voice over. "It looks like Bob is in the zone as he holds back a box and lets go two. You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him." "Here we see the self-named Mario Bunch loading controllers into their packaging. There's no star here, it's just a great team effort. Countless hours of practice have definitely paid off". Watch the video for yourself and be amazed.

Posted by Jeremy on November 10, 2006 9:31 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

As we've approached the November 19th launch of the Nintendo Wii and 'The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess', I've been constantly checking Zelda.com for new info, while crossing my fingers for official 'Zelda: TP' wallpaper. I am pleased to report that Nintendo has finally updated the site, which now includes an extensive 'Inside Zelda' section, a handful of new screenshots, and (drumroll please) official 'Zelda: TP' wallpaper! Yipee!!

1280 x 1024
1024 X 768
800 X 600

Posted by Lunabean on November 10, 2006 11:06 AM | | Comments (0)

I blocked out a whole slew of commercials from the 80s, most involved kids who rapped about the hip new toy on the block. I guess it was more of a willful blocking, than anything else. Still, the Zelda rap from this commercial never left my brain, no matter how hard I tried.

Have a good weekend! Only one more week (and a couple of days) until the next 'Zelda' adventure!

Posted by Lunabean on November 10, 2006 11:18 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

If you haven't heard much from Nintendo regarding the Wii, that's all about to change. Tomorrow, Nintendo will begin they're marketing blitz, from TV ads, product tie ins, special kiosks at malls manned by Nintendo staff, and contests.

7-Eleven will have specially designed Wii slurpee cups and a limited edition flavor: StrawberrWii Banana. They will give away 711 Wiis. Pringles Snack Stax will have special packaging and Pringles.com will be giving away 100 Wiis. Comedy Central, already extremely kind to the Wii due to the South Park Wii episodes, will be giving away a Wii-an-hour Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.

On the TV front, the "Wii would like to play" ad campaign begins airing this week. Stephen Gaghan, the Oscar winning screenplay writer who penned 'Syriana' and 'Traffic' directed the four spots. John Seale, Oscar winner for best cinematography for 'The English Patient', who also worked on 'Rain Man', 'Cold Mountain', and 'Witness', is the directory of photography for the spots. Not too shabby!

There's a ton more info in the following press release. The wait is nearly over!

Continue reading "Wii marketing plans revealed"
Posted by Jeremy on November 13, 2006 10:46 AM | | Comments (1)

The LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough and strategy guide is nearing completion. Late last night I encountered Raam, super evil villain boss. I spent a good half an hour trying to beat him, but failed. After I publish this story, I'll be back at it, so check back tonight for an update.

LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough and strategy guide

Posted by Jeremy on November 13, 2006 11:20 AM | | Comments (25)

The day after Thanksgiving (aka 'Black Friday') is, quite possibly, my favorite day of the year. There are few things better than waking up from a tryptophan enduced sleep, brewing some coffee, pouring it in my favorite travel mug, then hopping in my car, knowing that I return home I will have a carload full of gifts purchased at ridiculously low prices! I get goosebumps and butterflies just thinking about it.

If you love 'Black Friday', too, I suggest checking out the site BFads.net. They already have 'Black Friday' ad scans and sales lists from many big stores. Here are the most exciting finds for video game lovers (and they are exciting).

Continue reading "Black Friday video game sales"
Posted by Allison on November 14, 2006 8:57 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Punch Jump is today reporting that Best Buy will have a special Xbox 360 bundle for those sorry souls who can't get a PS3. The bundle includes an Xbox 360 premium system and three games for the price of two. No word on what games would be included in the bundle, and perhaps gamers will be able to choose from a pool of games. My guess is they'll offer this bundle for $499, the same price as the lesser PS3.

Best Buy employees have reportedly been instructed to push this bundle on customers, and knowing how adept they are at pushing their warranty program on people, I'd say they will sell a lot of these bundles.

Posted by Jeremy on November 14, 2006 9:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Don't get too excited, this is pure speculation, but if there's a time to do it, it's now. The PS3 and Wii are debuting this weekend and a great way to steal their thunder would be to put out a press release Wednesday night. The media would pick it up all day Thursday. All of a sudden you'd have a three way media blitz instead of the head to head of PS3/Wii.

Another reason to do it now is the short supply of both the PS3 and Wii. Gamers are going to be disappointed this weekend when they realize that there were only 8 PS3s at their local store. What better way to cheer up a depressed gamer than with a spanking new Xbox 360 at a reduced price. Heck, you could even throw in a game, like 'PGR 3' or 'Oblivion'...something that would make the gamer want to play on Xbox Live.

Point is, Sony is reeling, the Wii isn't direct competition, so now is the perfect time to go after Sony's jugular. I predict a $50 price drop on Thursday.

Posted by Jeremy on November 14, 2006 9:22 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

I just got a very bad phone call from Babbages (EB Games, Gamestop). The worker said he had a script to read. It essentially said that due to less-than-expected allocations, I would not be getting a PS3 on launch day but I would be getting one by Christmas. I was the sixth in line for the pre-order. He said the "good news" is that I'm number one for the next shipment, or if somebody fails to pick theirs up within 48 hours. That means that the store is only getting five 60 GB PS3s. He mentioned that they will have available the 20 GB on launch day and I can speak for that if I want it. I'm torn right now. A 20 GB on launch day or hold out hope that I can get a 60 GB within a week or two. Decisions, decisions.

Posted by Jeremy on November 14, 2006 12:45 PM | | Comments (4)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Are you kidding me? Are blue ray diodes grown on a remote mountaintop in the Himalayas retrievable only by tiny faeries on unicorns? It must be because 400,000 PS3s is now 150,000 - 200,000 PS3s. Lazard Capital Market's analyst, Colin Sebastian, surmises as much based on retail numbers.

I'm not a fan of video game analysts as they are usually wrong. However, in this case, it seems that Sebastian has it right. The first indication of this is the phone call I got from Babbages last night saying that I didn't make the cut, even though I was 6th in line for the preorder. They took twelve pre-orders...that was the conservative estimate for how many they'd receive. Now, they're getting five 60GB and two 20GB models. That's about half in my book. Also, there is a report that the second shipment of PS3s for Japan will come in at 30,000 instead of 100,000.

What's that sound I hear? Oh, Sony going bankrupt.

Posted by Jeremy on November 15, 2006 8:58 AM | | Comments (6)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

'Twas the night before launch and outside of the store, many a tent was pitched and expecting many more. The shipment numbers were halved and anger started to grow, amongst those in line with no hope for a console.

Okay, enough of that. It's PS3 launch eve!!! I'll be heading out later today to snap pictures of the lines that have formed at various stores in our area. I'll post the pics here later today, so check back. Stay safe and stay warm, you campers!

Continue reading "PS3 eve - with pictures!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 16, 2006 9:10 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

I'm happy to report that the LB 'Gears of War' walkthrough and strategy guide is complete.

I'm currently replaying the game, this time on "casual difficulty", taking screenshots as I go. I'm also searching for a few final Cog Tags. I hope to have the downloadable PDF versions available by Sunday.

'Gears of War' walkthrough and strategy guide

Posted by Jeremy on November 16, 2006 9:44 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

We've just received an e-mail from Amazon.com saying they will begin selling Nintendo Wiis on 'Sunday morning (PST)'. The fact that they included 'PST' makes us wonder if the Wiis will go on sale at midnight (PST). Otherwise, what's the point of adding 'PST'? Hmm?

We have two Wiis secured at this point, so I don't think I'll be up at midnight to check it out. However, if you want to give it a shot (it's better than camping out outside a store), you should know that they've limited sales to one Wii per household, and they're expecting demand to be quite high as they, "received 100 times more Wii email sign-ups than consoles we'll have available for sale".

Amazon Wii

Posted by Allison on November 16, 2006 9:44 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Last night Ali and I took some pics of the lines outside of various retailers. We discovered that Fred Meyers (like Super Wal-Mart) were holding a raffle at each of their stores for the four (two 20 GB and two 60 GB) systems they each had.

I pulled up at 6:35 am and there were between 150 and 200 people there. The manager was just starting to hand out tickets. He handed out tickets to anybody that came until 6:55 am when the drawing was held.

Continue reading "PS3 launch day - with pictures!"
Posted by Jeremy on November 17, 2006 7:42 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

I actually considered not going with this video today as Nintendo has removed its embedding options, which is something that irks me. Why wouldn't Nintendo want its new 2 minute Wii promo commercial up on every site possible? What kind of deal do they have going with YouTube? What are they afraid of? I want to know!

Ah well. I'll give them a pass today as they'll be giving me a new console on Sunday. Good trade, John Dunbar. Good trade.

Nintendo's 'Wii for All'

P.S. Nice moves with the SmartCar.

Update: Since Nintendo wouldn't let me embed what I wanted to embed, I will embed Al Roker playing with the Wii.

Posted by Allison on November 17, 2006 8:34 AM | | Comments (1)

It was a late night at Lunabean HQ, but we managed to complete two big walkthroughs (thus clearing our plates for the 'Zelda: TP' walkthrough).

First up, we have the LB 'Gears of War' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, which will triumphantly walk you through each and every chapter of the Xbox 360 game. It contains the locations of all Cog Tags, gives strategies for all Bosses, including RAAM, and explains multiplayer modes.

Next, we have the LB 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube versions of the game. This is in addition to the LB 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' Walkthrough for the Xbox 360 and PC versions, which was completed a couple of weeks ago.

Please enjoy!

Posted by Allison on November 18, 2006 6:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Everyone told us we'd love our Wii. Everyone said it would change our lives. However, it wasn't until our bundle of joy arrived that we truly understood how much love there would be, or how drastically everything would change.

The love happens immediately. You pick up your Wii-mote, point it at the screen, and feel how natural it is. There is nothing forced. It's intrinsic.

We began yesterday as most gamers did. After a couple of minutes of set up, we were playing with menus. Jer and I each created our own Wii Miis, then went online. Since we have a wireless connection, getting online was as easy as hitting a button and entering a password. We sent out a few invitations so other Wii Miis would join in our parade, then we hopped on over to the Wii store.

Continue reading "Wii love -- first impressions"
Posted by Allison on November 20, 2006 6:59 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony

Apples and oranges? Black and white? Tom Cruise and sanity? These stark contrasts are apt descriptions of the difference between the launch of the PS3 on Friday and the launch of the Wii on Sunday.

Sony claimed to have had 400,000 systems available to North America at launch. That number is highly suspicious based on the numbers allocated to various large retailers. GameCrazy's 800 stores received a total of 800 consoles. One per store? Really?!? Yes, really. My local GameCrazy only receive one. Fred Meyer, a large NW department/grocery store has 85 stores. They received a total of 412 PS3s for their stores. Locally, each Fredy Meyer had 4 consoles (they were supposed to receive 12). At EBs and Gamestops, we know allocations were halved, if not cut to a third. I was #6 out of 12 pre-orders at Babbages (EB Games) and I didn't make the cut. My best guess is that Sony had about 190,000 consoles at launch.

Compare that with Nintendo...

Continue reading "PS3 vs. Wii - launch numbers - a guesstimate"
Posted by Jeremy on November 20, 2006 8:07 AM | | Comments (2)

Now that we've put a few hours into the game, we're comfortable beginning our 'Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

We will be writing the walkthrough as we play, so please, if you find yourself stuck in the game, give it a look. If your questions haven't been answered, either post them in the comments below, or give our 'Zelda Twilight Princess' Help Thread a look (but, keep in mind, unless you're already a member of the Lunaboards, or have a LunaPass, you won't be able to post there as we had to lock it up for security reasons).

We'll get a first draft out as fast as possible, then we'll begin cleaning it up and collecting the many extras (Poes, you're toast!).

LB 'Zelda: Twilight Princess' Walkthrough

Posted by Allison on November 20, 2006 8:37 AM | | Comments (536)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

Yes, I'm stealing the title from our very own Edgemaster, as he's the one who alerted us to the story, and I think it's quite fitting. Good old Bill O'Reilly has taken some time off making up facts to share with us his views on video games and iPods:
Basically what you have is a large portion of the population, mostly younger people under the age of 45, who don’t deal with reality - ever. So they don’t know what day it is; they don’t know temperature it is; they don’t know what their neighbor looks like. They don’t know anything… because they are constantly diverted by a machine. Now what this does is it takes a person away from reality because they’ve created their own reality…

Oh, and there's so much more...

Continue reading "Bill O'Reilly hates your MACHINES"
Posted by Allison on November 20, 2006 11:32 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Seth Schiesel of the New York Times has given his impressions of his first 30 hours playing the PS3, and it is UGLY. Schiesel's article is peppered with phrases like, "Sony has failed to deliver", "Doesn't seem too complicated, but the PS3 can't do it", "tacked on and unpolished", "Sony’s technologists seem to have won out over the people who study fun", and, finally, "Your company’s new video game system just isn’t that great." Ouch, ouch, and double ouch.

What's interesting about the review (beyond the obvious) is that Schiesel uses the Xbox 360 as the standard for comparison. It's interesting because it's the appropriate comparison to make, yet we haven't seen many such comparisons as everyone is in the middle of a PS3 vs. Wii frenzy (which, really is apples and oranges).

I can't comment on Schiesel's review as I'm still waiting on my PS3 to arrive. However, I can say that reading such a critique has reminded me how perfectly satisfied I am with my Xbox 360. Oh, then there's the Wii, which I can barely put down. Do I really need a third console? I think if I didn't work in the video game industry, the answer to that question would be a solid, "no".

Read the article

Posted by Allison on November 21, 2006 10:09 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony

NextGenWars.com, a website that attempts to track the worldwide sales of consoles based on a variety of sales reports, is currently claiming that Sony has sold 267,000 PS3s and that Nintendo has sold 708,000 Wiis.

Note, this is worldwide sales. That's 90,000 PS3s in Japan, meaning that there were about 180,000 PS3s for North America. That comes in with analysis that Sony, despite claiming a 400,000 launch number for NA, came in well below half of that goal. I don't expect that paltry number to rise very much as shipments of the PS3 are barely trickling in.

Continue reading "PS3 vs. Wii - launch numbers - a better guesstimate"
Posted by Jeremy on November 21, 2006 10:42 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

A few weeks ago Xbox Live TV was announced. Today, on the first anniversary of Xbox 360, Xbox Live TV is available. The current offerings are from CBS (MTV, Comedy Central) and Paramount Picture Studios. For more information check out the page on Xbox.com.

Posted by Jeremy on November 22, 2006 7:55 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Did you miss out on the PS3 or Wii? Don't worry, because there are plenty of Xbox 360s available for the holidays, and the X360 is a fantastic console (some would even say it's a much better console than the PS3). What's more, you can get an Xbox 360 Premium (hard drive included) for only $340 over at Dell.com. All you have to do is add the $400 Xbox 360 console to your shopping cart, and $60 will be taken off at checkout.

What's more, you will receive 15% off anything else you buy, including X360 games. This means that you (or a loved one) could receive a beautiful new X360 console this Christmas, along with 'Gears of War' for only $390.15. That's $10 less than the price of the console itself!

Remember, add the console to your cart to see the discount. And do it now, because we don't know how long this deal with last!

Dell's Xbox 360 deal

Posted by Allison on November 22, 2006 8:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Earlier today I posted about a sweet deal at Dell.com, where you can get a Premium Xbox 360 for only $340 ($60 off MSRP). Now I'm here to tell you about an even sweeter deal over at Amazon.com.

Amazon customers voted (myself included) for one amazing Thanksgiving bargain. The choices were a Mongoose Mountain Bike, a Barbie Interactive Princess, a $100 toy gift certificate + Amazon Prime membership, or an Xbox 360 Core system. All were being offered at steep discounts. Needless to say, the $100 Xbox 360 won.

The sale starts tomorrow (Thanksgiving) at 11 am PST. They only have 1,000 to sell at this price, so practice your mouse clicking skills tonight!

$100 Xbox 360 Core Package

Posted by Lunabean on November 22, 2006 5:38 PM | | Comments (0)

OK, so it's a duck hunt, but pretend it's a turkey. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! We'll be feasting on the usual turkey, stuffing, and my very own Sausage Bread!!!

If we can manage to stay awake through our trytophane haze, we'll continue to work on the LB 'Zelda: Twlight Princess' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Late last night we finished up the Goron Mines. I wish I could soak in the Goron warm springs.

Posted by Jeremy on November 23, 2006 7:35 AM | | Comments (0)

James Surowiecki, the highly respected financial writer for The New Yorker, focused his attention this week on Nintendo in an article titled, 'In Praise of Third Place'. In it, Surowiecki notes that Nintendo has shattered the conventional wisdom that a company must be number one or number two in its market in order to survive:
Nintendo, though, has not just survived out of the spotlight; it has thrived. It has five billion dollars in the bank from years of solid profits, and this past year, though it spent heavily on the launch of the Wii, it made close to a billion dollars in profit and saw its stock price rise by sixty-five per cent. Sony’s game division, by contrast, barely eked out a profit and Microsoft’s reportedly lost money. Who knew bringing up the rear could be so lucrative?

Continue reading "The New Yorker talks Nintendo"
Posted by Allison on November 27, 2006 8:56 AM | | Comments (0)

Nintendo sure is getting some fancy press. First it was the focus of the week by The New Yorker's financial writer, now the Wall Street Journal is lending some ink the Mario factory's way. However, while The New Yorker focused on the business side of Nintendo, the WSJ opted to focus on whimsical side, with reports of Wii injuries nationwide. Apparently the swinging motion required with many of the Wii Sports titles has caused a few shoulder and elbow pains, along with a number of broken lamps. It's a cute article. Read it here.

Posted by Allison on November 27, 2006 9:56 AM | | Comments (1)

Now that we are emerging from our tryptophane haze, brought on by too much turkey and leftovers, we are making steady progress on the LB 'Zelda Twilight Princess' walkthrough and strategy guide. We made our way through the third temple last night and will continue our quest to bring light and order back to Hyrule.

If you are stuck and in need of help beyond where the walkthrough covers, please check out the 'Zelda TP' comments in this post. Otherwise, use the growing walkthrough.

LB 'Zelda Twilight Princess' walkthrough and strategy guide.

Posted by Jeremy on November 27, 2006 10:50 AM | | Comments (11)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

PC world is reporting that retailers have sold 600,000 Nintendo Wiis. The amazing thing is that 454,000 copies of 'Zelda Twilight Princess' (LB 'Zelda TP' walkthrough) have sold for the system. That's an attach rate of 75%! Talk about a launch game. Nintendo plans to ship 4 million world wide by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, although there aren't any reports regarding sales of the PS3, the best estimates out there say about 250,000. In addition, many consoles were sold without a game and placed directly on eBay. The two launches couldn't have been more different.

Posted by Jeremy on November 28, 2006 8:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: LB Videos | Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Comedy Central's fake conservative news man, Stephen Colbert, got his hands on a Nintendo Wii this weekend. Being the huge Lord of the Rings fan that we know Colbert is, one would think he spent his Wii time getting to know The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. However, staying true to character, Colbert opted to created a Nancy Pelosi Mii. And what game do you think he chose to play against the Democratic Speaker of the House Elect? Wii Boxing anyone?


Posted by Allison on November 28, 2006 10:32 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC

A handful of progressive Christian organizations have called for a boycott of Left Behind Games' first title, 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces'. These groups cite the game's manual and in game-tutorial, stating the game promotes the killing of non-Christians and wrong-Christians, warns gamers that activists are "wolves in sheep's clothing", and suggests that those who seek world peace are actually in cahoots with the Antichrist.

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon defended the game by stating, "Those throwing rocks at our game simply haven't played it through. There is no 'convert or die' in the game. There is no blood, gore or gratuitous violence of any kind. … Left Behind Games' desire is to have a positive impact on an industry that traditionally has had a dark influence on gamers and the world."

Continue reading "Christian groups upset with 'Left Behind' game"
Posted by Allison on November 30, 2006 7:59 AM | | Comments (2)

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