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Video Game News from March 2007

Filed Under: PC | Xbox | Xbox 360

2KGames announced yesterday the official street dates for the highly anticipated first person shooter BioWare. In North America the game will hit the shelves on August 21st. In Europe, look for it on August 24th. BioWare is a 'Microsoft' exclusive, as the game is only available for the Xbox 360 and PC (Games for Windows).

Things that have piqued my interest in BioShock:

1. It takes place among the ruins of a 1960s Art Deco-infused underwater utopian metropolis called Rapture, which collapsed under the weight of its own idealism.

2. This utopia is loosely based on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

3. It's being touted as a "next generation shooter", with free roaming, RPG elements, smart AI, and the ability to replay the game and have a "totally different experience".

4. It has a mid-August release date. For some reason, I always find myself playing creepy games in August. What's more, few games come out in August, and rarely does a big title come out in August. What does this mean? I don't know, but I like it.

Continue reading "'BioShock' street dates set for N. America and Europe"
Posted by Lunabean on March 1, 2007 8:11 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Market research firm, IDC, recently released a study of the three next generation video game consoles (read article).

Their conclusion? Between now and 2011, nobody will "win" the console war in the way that the PS2 dominated the last-gen consoles. Instead, the gaming market will continue to expand beyond the "hard core" gamer, due mainly to efforts by Nintendo.

The report also prognosticates that for 2007 and 2008, the Wii will outship and outsell the PS3 and the Xbox 360. I could have told you that.

read article

Posted by Jeremy on March 1, 2007 8:49 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

GamePolitics is today reporting that Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards had his Second Life campaign headquarters trashed overnight by some Republican Second Lifers. From the John Edwards blog:

Shortly before midnight (CST) on Monday, February 26, a group of republican Second Life users, some sporting "Bush '08" tags, vandalized the John Edwards Second Life HQ. They plastered the area with Marxist/Lenninist posters and slogans, a feces spewing obsenity, and a photoshopped picture of John in blackface, all the while harrassing visitors with right-wing nonsense and obsenity-laden abuse of Democrats in general and John in particular.
A feces spewing obsenity? Hmm...I'm wondering if the Edwards people just didn't recognize Dick Cheney's Second Life avatar.

Screenshot taken by the Edwards campaign of the dirty work.

I entered Second Life this morning to check the damage, and all has been cleaned up. However, I'm thinking that John John's neighboring property may be owned by slightly classier Republican operatives, for the property is identical to that of John Edwards, however it's a mock campaign headquarters for John Edward, the guy who talks to dead people.

Ah Second Life politics. Where have you been all my life?

Images of what I saw in Second Life today.

Continue reading "John Edwards 'Second Life' HQ trashed, gets new neighbor"
Posted by Allison on March 1, 2007 2:23 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2 | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

While the game has been unofficial for months, THQ officially announced Conan this week for the PS3 and Xbox 360 gaming systems.

While the game is part of the 75 year old Conan brand owned by Paradox Entertainment, the newly released video makes it look more like a God of War copycat...particularly the opening sequence of the video where we see a very familiar boss battle at sea.

Conan video:

While I'm certain it's a fair fight that God of War was the game that ripped off parts of the Conan brand, Sony made it into a game first, therefore THQ is deemed the loser in this originality battle. However, losers can still make some pretty bad ass games, so, despite everything, we look quite forward to Conan hitting the shelves in early 2008 (although it's nowhere near the excitement we have for God of War 2's arrival in 10 days).

Continue reading "'Conan' video confirms 'God of War' comparison"
Posted by Allison on March 2, 2007 8:42 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under: PS2 | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Yup...the headline pretty much says it all, but, to clarify:

1. Take-Two has provided its release plans for 2007, which includes an October 2007 release date for Grand Theft Auto IV. October is the traditional release month for GTA titles, so there's no surprise there.

2. Take-Two has launched a "site" for GTA IV. I have quoted "site" because it's little more than a splash page with a countdown to...

3. The first GTA IV trailer, where we'll get the first details on the game, will be unveiled on March 29th.

4. In case you didn't know already, GTA IV will launch simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Posted by Allison on March 2, 2007 10:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

If your sensors were on yesterday you should have noticed a massive disruption in the forcefield that protects the video game blogosphere, as Kotaku, one of our favorite sources of video game news, found itself blackballed by Sony. Ah, but the story does have a happy ending, where the blogosphere fought back and Sony apologized, but the fact that any of it happened at all is both bizarre and telling.

First, a little history. Earlier this week the executive director of the Game Developers Conference, Jamil Moledina, made the announcement that PS3 owners will be "very happy" next week when Sony's Phil Harrison gives his keynote address at the GDC. Despite the fact that many of us think the most exciting announcement anyone at Sony could make at this time would be one of resignation, it obviously implied Harrison's intention to unveil something new and great for the PS3.

Since Kotaku's editor and main contributor, Brian Crecente, is an actual journalist, he opted to do some journalistic research and found some fairly solid evidence that Sony is about to launch something called "Playstation Home", a social networking and achievement application. Crecente wrote up the article, titled it Rumor: Sony To Unveil PlayStation Home, and made clear in his writing that this was a rumor, although a well founded rumor.

Continue reading "Sony bullies Kotaku, then apologizes"
Posted by Allison on March 2, 2007 11:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

I love my Wii. I love Nintendo. With that being said, I'm beginning to wonder what's going on with the Mario Factory. It's now March and Nintendo is still having problems filling Wii demand. Granted, demand remains high, but, at what point do we ask if Nintendo is having production line problems, or if they're purposely keeping production low to maintain the media hype?

What's more, the news of today is that of a Mario Party 8 delay, meaning the next 1st party Wii title will be on April 9, when Super Paper Mario comes out. While some are upset that this means a March drought in Wii titles, I'm more worried about what this means for Q2/summer titles, as this is where Nintendo placed the MP8 release.

If this were a Zelda title being delayed, I wouldn't be suspicious in the least. However, the fact that it's a Mario Party title does raise a few flags. It's not as though the eighth incarnation of a board/mini-game mash up is something that's difficult to develop and has unforeseen complications. Nope, this was purely a scheduling move meaning Nintendo needed a game to fill the Q2 gap...which most likely means no Metroid Prime 3 Q2 release, nor any big Nintendo surprises.

Finally, I have to say I'm a bit annoyed that Nintendo quietly moved the date back just a week or two before it was supposed to hit the streets. A solid month warning is the courteous thing to do. Think of all the disappointed kids, Nintendo. Sheesh.

Posted by Allison on March 7, 2007 10:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Take the achievements system from Xbox Live, the Mii avatar system from the Wii, and a dash of "Second Life", mix them up in a blender, and unveil it as the next big thing in online gaming and/or social networking.

That's exactly what Sony did with the new "Home" social networking/online gaming world just announced for the PS3.

Accessed via the console, the "Home" area allows gamers to create their own avatars, buy apartments, clothes, etc., and display their trophies from games played...all in a 3D world.

Continue reading "Welcome 'Home', Playstation 3 -- Update"
Posted by Jeremy on March 7, 2007 10:39 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

More of this, please:

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Sony today announced LittleBigPlanet for the PS3. Think of it as Animal Planet on steroids. Look for the downloadable trial to be released this fall on the PS3, and the official game launch sometime in 2008.

More LittleBigPlanet screenshots and official details

Continue reading "PS3's 'LittleBigPlanet' is beautiful"
Posted by Allison on March 7, 2007 11:56 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PS2 | Sony

What's this? A story on the PS2? That's what I was asking when I started to read this Slate article.

There's nothing shocking in it, just a well written piece about how the PS2 is still the number one selling console and how "God of War 2" is going to be one of the year's biggest games.

If you are out of the gaming loop a bit and want a quick read to catch you back up so that you can impress your friends, then this is the article for you.


Posted by Jeremy on March 8, 2007 8:22 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

The shite has hit the fan at Take-Two, maker of "Grand Theft Auto," "Manhunt," and "Bully".

A quick recap: Take-Two has been under a cloud of investigation for several years from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) due to irregular accounting practices and options backdating.

In fact, last month, former Take-Two CEO Ryan Brant plead guilty to charges that he manipulated the granting of stock options.

Yesterday, word trickled out that a coalition of shareholders representing 46% ownership of the company has decided to oust Take-Two's board of directors.

More about the coup and how 9/11 fits in...

Continue reading "Coup at Take-Two and dirty stock backdating"
Posted by Jeremy on March 8, 2007 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: LB Videos | Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

New Super Mario Galaxy footage was shown at the Nintendo keynote portion of the GDC today. As Lunabeaner Lizking points out, it should be called Super Mario Vertigo.

I will not judge until I get my hands on it. Speaking of, since Nintendo has no release date set for this game, but does provide us with a vague "2007", my money says we'll be lucky if we see it over the holiday season. Sure, it's possible, and it would be great if they pulled it off. However, I'm getting a strong "March 2008" feeling from this one.

Super Mario Galaxy Trailer

Posted by Lunabean on March 8, 2007 3:17 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo DS | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony

Due to a previously announced major stock trade, Nintendo was forced to put a lid on any new and "forward-looking" information at this week's Game Developers Conference. This, of course, made for a rather boring Nintendo keynote. However, it did start off on a high note (from Wired's Game|Life blog):

Waiting for the Miyamoto keynote to start, I’m sitting three rows from the front. Close enough to see Nintendo’s resident BMOC, Reggie Fils-Aime at the front of the crowd, working it with his trademark smile and good will. He poses for pictures, he signs Wiimotes, he presses the flesh with a goodnatured ease that would make even the most seasoned politician weep with envy.

"Kick his ass and take his name!" someone shouted from a few rows behind me.

"Who?" answered Reggie in mid-autograph.

"Phil Harrison, front row!" Sure enough, there was Phil Harrison, seated dead center, front row. Looks like he could show up on time for Nintendo’s keynote, but not Sony’s.

With a grin and a chuckle, Reggie replies, "Some would say we’ve already done that."

Touchdown. The crowd goes wild.

Too funny, Reggie. Too funny. My hat to you, sir.

Posted by Allison on March 9, 2007 7:50 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

A couple of days ago I posted some very, very pretty screenshots from Sony's upcoming community-based game for the PS3, LittleBigPlanet. At the time I just couldn't believe that they were actual gameplay screens, as they were just too beautiful. Well, we now have a couple of LittleBigPlanet to prove that they are, in fact, gameplay screens. Can you believe it?

LittleBigPlanet Videos:

Continue reading "Friday video -- PS3's 'LittleBigPlanet' still beautiful"
Posted by Allison on March 9, 2007 8:41 AM | | Comments (0)

Nintendo's keynote speech at the Game Developer's Conference, given by legendary Nintendo game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, highlighted the differences between Nintendo games and everybody else's.

Miyamoto said that games today are too violent and that they lack joy and satisfaction. This philosophy on game design was in peril five years ago as gamers moved away from games like "Zelda" and "Mario" and started playing games like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Halo".

Miyamoto admitted that he worried that his style of game design was on its way out. Despite this feeling, he, and Nintendo, soldiered on and made games like "Pikmin," debuted the Nintendo DS and now the Wii.

I'd say that he is vindicated.

More on design philosophy

Continue reading "The Nintendo Difference"
Posted by Jeremy on March 9, 2007 10:10 AM | | Comments (0)

I am pleased to announce that the LB Crackdown Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete!

The walkthrough provides detailed strategies for all 21 bosses, secret entry points for many of them, a run down of all of the skills, and basic gameplay info like controls, the HUD, and more!

LB's Crackdown Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Jeremy on March 9, 2007 6:12 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Nintendo is releasing two new commericial for the Wii, both focusing on the Wii Mii, which will begin airing this week.

Continue reading "Two new Wii commercials"
Posted by Allison on March 12, 2007 11:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

It's Monday, which means three new titles are available on the Nintendo Wii's Shop Channel.

Drumroll please...

  • Tecmo Bowl (NES, 500 Wii Points)
  • Sonic Spinball (Sega Genesis, 800 Wii Points)
  • Double Dungeons (TurboGrafx16, 600 Wii Points)

Click here for game details.

Continue reading "Wii Monday: Three new titles available for download"
Posted by Allison on March 12, 2007 11:48 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS2 | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Gamespot today has an interesting recap of a GDC panel featuring two producers from the wildly popular Guitar Hero II.

The producers wax philosophic about how level design in a platform game was translated to songs in Guitar Hero II. Essentially, in platform games, the player is introduced to basic skills and then is asked to use those skills in more difficult settings while learning new skills along the way.

And thus was the challenge, except this time, with music. The development team had to come up with songs that would mimic this gaming paradigm.

The musical structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo helped provide the structure that game designers often seek when trying to challenge their audience.

As the article continues, the producers get into specific songs and how they relate to the game's difficulty.

Hey, take it for what it's worth, I just found it interesting to think of game design in terms of music.

Read the article

Posted by Jeremy on March 12, 2007 11:49 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: GameCube | Lunabean | Nintendo | PS2 | Sony | Xbox

Below you will find the Lunabean list of Top Ten Underrated games. While some may have received critical acclaim, they just didn't get the attention they deserved. Others, in our opinion, were just unfairly reviewed by critics.

Please note, because they are our underrated games, the list sticks to console titles, and they are all fairly recent games (the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube generation, if you will). Enjoy!

10 - The Operative: No One Lives Forever (PC, PS2)

In No One Lives Forever you play as Agent Cate Archer, a covert agent for UNITY, an international agency tasked with combating terrorism around the world. What's more, Cate, is witty, talented and drop dead gorgeous. With a flower-power 60s backdrop, think of NOLF as 007 Goldeneye meets Deus Ex meets Austin Powers.

Yes, the critics loved this one, but something about Agent Archer intimated the guys and prevented them from actually purchasing it in respectable numbers.

Check out the remaining 9 underrated games!

Continue reading "LB's Top 10 Underrated Games"
Posted by Allison on March 12, 2007 12:44 PM | | Comments (12)

Filed Under: Lunabean | Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. One of my favorite games of all time has come to the Wii Virtual Console. That's right, Tecmo Bowl is here!!!

Although Allison mentioned the three new Wii Virtual Console games earlier, she failed to understand the significance of Tecmo Bowl.

Released in 1990, when I was 14, this game, and its sequel, Tecmo Super Bowl, consumed hundreds of hours of my time. In fact, this past Super Bowl, I got a little teary-eyed reminiscing about Tecmo Super Bowl.

As you can see, I have already downloaded it and started my first game: Denver vs. San Francisco. In the first picture, you'll see my elated face as I run a play and memories rush back to me. In the second picture you'll see my dreams crushed as San Fran scores a TD on me. Nooooo!!!

Oh joyous day!

Posted by Jeremy on March 12, 2007 1:01 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Summary: If Jet Set Radio Future and Mercenaries got it on, their kid would be Crackdown.

Recommendation: Buy, if only for the Halo 3 Beta.

If you liked: Jet Set Radio Future, Mercenaries, Saint's Row, GunValkyrie

Review: Crackdown (Xbox 360, M-Mature) is yet another offering in the "sandbox" genre of games made popular by Grand Theft Auto 3.

However, as opposed to such games which restrict your gameplay to the normal laws of physics, Crackdown lets you stretch your legs, so to speak, by making you into a genetically engineered super-cop.

What that translates to in gameplay is the ability to jump buildings in a single bound, well, three story buildings. The taller ones you'll have to climb.

And that's where the fun of this game lies: navigating the city.

Read more Crackdown Review

Continue reading "'Crackdown' Review"
Posted by Jeremy on March 12, 2007 3:23 PM | | Comments (0)

LISTEN NOW (MP3, 5.9 MB, 25 Minutes)


It's God of War 2 day!!! In addition to that exciting news, we tell you about our recent Crackdown Walkthrough, and our new review scoring system.

In gaming news, we recap the Playstation 3 "Home" online strategy, the announcement of LittleBigPlanet, the release of Tecmo Bowl for the Wii, and revise the release date schedule that we gave you during our previous podcast.

Show links...

Continue reading "LB Video Game Radio - March 13, 2007"
Posted by Jeremy on March 13, 2007 7:10 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo

I came across this little number by sketch artist Jose Emroca Flores today, and thought it was worth posting.

Truthfully, as much as I love Dark Mario, the artist's web site shows some even better works. The talent that some people have astounds me...particularly since I can't even draw a stick figure properly.

Posted by Allison on March 14, 2007 11:23 AM | | Comments (0)

We're pleased to announce we have put enough game time under our belts to get started on the LB God of War 2 walkthrough and strategy guide.

It is our plan to play and write this guide over the course of the next week, so, please, check in regularly for the latest information.

In the meantime, if you need help past the reach of our guide, then head on over to the God of War help thread on our message boards, which is already quite active.

LB God of War 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.
Posted by Jeremy on March 15, 2007 8:43 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

A New York consumer research firm is reporting that Salt Lake City is number 1 in ownership of video game systems with 32% of households owning at least one system. Wha?

Apparently, this can be explained by Salt Lake City's highly educated and young population. I think it has more to do with the fact that Mormons can't drink, smoke, or have caffeine. Hey, they have to do something.

Kidding aside, according to the report, other high ownership cities are Flint, MI, Lexington, KY, and Toledo, OH, while low ownership cities include Fort Myers and Naples, FL.

I'd like to see the relative economic data on each city and how it correlates. Flint, MI, after all, is one of the hardest hit cities in America (economically speaking) while the Florida cities are snooty tooty and rich (and, obviously, old).

Do more low income people own game machines because it serves as cheap entertainment and an escape? Hey, I make no judgments here, I just think it's interesting.

Posted by Jeremy on March 15, 2007 9:25 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Just an observation here, but Nintendo has begun listing Super Mario Galaxy as a 1-2 player game. I first spotted this at the official game page at wii.nintendo.com, then confirmed it at Nintendo's press site.

While 1-2 players could merely mean the addition of a couple of multiplayer games on the disc, I'm hoping for a little "drop-in/drop-out" action akin to that found in the LEGO Star Wars games. I'm a big fan of this type of multiplayer gaming, as, when executed correctly, it maintains the integrity of the game, while adding a new layer of gaming, if desired, to it.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Posted by Allison on March 16, 2007 8:11 AM | | Comments (0)

For those of you who are neither British, nor in the know (don't worry, I was neither of these things ten minutes ago), today is Red Nose Day, a day designated by Comic Relief as one where they provide the entertainment, while we provide the donations to their poverty-busting charity.

While I'm bummed at this moment that we don't get BBC One, as that is where most of the entertainment is being provided (and it's a fantastic line-up), I am pleased that I can help out in my own way by donating via the Traveller's Tales Games website. In return for my donation of ANY amount, I will receive a cheat code for LEGO Star Wars II which will place a funny red nose on each of the game's characters.

Because we so applaud the efforts of Comic Relief here at Lunabean.com, we will add to your funny red nose our downloadable LEGO Star War II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for free.

In order to claim your guide, please forward your donation receipt to us at info @ lunabean.com with the subject line "Red Nose Day". Please omit any personal details found within the receipt before sending it our way. Let us know if you'd like the text-only (printer-friendly) or screenshot version of the guide, and we'll send it off ASAP.

Please note, this offer is only good through today, Friday, March 16th, 2007.

Donate now
LEGO Star War II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Allison on March 16, 2007 9:30 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

NPD group, a US retail research firm, has released its US February hardware sales numbers and they are supa dupa for Nintendo, okee dokee for Microsoft, and well, sucky for Sony.

Enough of these technical terms. Let's look at the numbers. The Wii sold 335,000 units, the DS sold 485,000 units, the Xbox 360 sold 228,000 units, and the PS3 sold 127,000.

All of this represents a 53% surge in sales from February of '06.

Some more things to think about...

Continue reading "Feb. hardware sales supa dupa for Nintendo"
Posted by Jeremy on March 16, 2007 9:45 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

I'm not into Armored Core, or even BattleMechs in general. However, this is by far the coolest fort I have ever seen. Imagine that in your neighbors back yard.

If you want to learn how to build your very own mech, then you can read all about how this one was made at the Making of a BattleMech.

Hat tip to Joystiq.

Posted by Jeremy on March 19, 2007 7:39 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

AdvancedMediaNetwork has put together a fairly decent list of free and fun Flash games to play on your Wii. While none are going to blow you're mind, most do serve as fairly decent time wasters (with or without your Wii).

To play these games, simply point your Wii's browser here: http://wii.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=9221 and select from the "must play" games. Have fun!
Posted by Allison on March 19, 2007 7:56 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Last Friday, rumors were running around the internet like a wind up chicken struck with the spirit of Jesus regarding an impending "World Exclusive" in the next issue of Official Nintendo Magazine UK (ONM).

The front cover shows a collection of stars and says, "World Exclusive! Step back in time as a classic game makes a long overdue return." Some resourceful internetters figured out that if you trace the stars, you get the outline of the NiGHTS logo. (See the cover and outline)

More NiGHTS rumor and information

Continue reading "Sega's 'NiGHTS' coming to the Wii"
Posted by Jeremy on March 19, 2007 8:12 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2 | Sony | Video Game Walkthrough

While most people are bummed to return to work on a Monday morning, here at Lunabean.com, we couldn't be more pleased, because, for us, returning to work means returning to our God of War 2 walkthrough and strategy guide.

At this point we have written up about half of The Hall of Atropos, meaning we are more than halfway through the game (and walkthrough). I suspect it will only take a couple more days to finish up the rough draft. When that's done, we'll go back and take screenshots so we can provide you with the best online GoW2 guide.

For now, check out the growing guide here:

God of War 2 walkthrough and strategy guide.

And don't forget our God of War 2 help thread for those who need help that's currently beyond the reach of the walkthrough.

Posted by Allison on March 19, 2007 8:16 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

It's Monday, which means twonew titles are available on the Nintendo Wii's Shop Channel.

Drumroll please...

  • Splatterhouse (TurboGrafx16 , 600 Wii Points)
  • Beyond Oasis (Sega Genesis, 800 Wii Points)

Both titles are new to us, but, from what I gather, Splatterhouse is a sidescrolling monster adveture which happened to be among the first titles to cause a "video games and violence" stir, while Beyond Oasis is an action RPG that was released at the end of the Sega Genesis lifespan.

Have fun!
Posted by Allison on March 19, 2007 9:03 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: General Gaming

While I'm not usually a fan of Wedbush Morgan's, Michael Pachter, I do think he has this one right.

In a research note published today, Mr. Pachter reitereated his "Strong Buy" rating on Activision's stock and raised the fourth quarter earnings forecast from $205 million to $250 million, citing strong first quarter sales data NPD Group, which has the company's earnings up 39% year on year.

The big reason for this, of course, is mega-hit Guitar Hero II, which is set to debut on the Xbox 360 in April for $90 (Guitar included). Secondarily, Pachter notes this week's launch of the PS3 in Europe as another reason to be bullish.

As always, though, Pachter leaves out some important infomation. Yes, Activision has its three bread and butters: Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and now Guitar Hero. That lineup alone makes them a strong company.

However, this summer, they will be releasing games for three of the biggest movies, Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3, and Transformers.

Even if these movie-based games aren't amazing, they'll sell well.

Booya!, Activision. Booya!

Posted by Jeremy on March 19, 2007 9:16 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Microsoft is attempting to kick Sony while they're down with the announcement via April's issue of Game Informer magazine that they will be releasing a black Xbox 360 with a 120GB HDD, HDMI input, and an HDMI cable for $US479. The console will also support TIVO-like capabilities (DVR) but will not include an HD-DVD drive.

There is no word yet on when this version of the 360 will debut, or if the DVR features will cost extra. Also, Microsoft will offer an add-on 120GB HDD for under $US200.

UPDATE -- It looks like the system will debut in late April after a Microsoft annoucement earlier in the month.

Read my opinion on the black Xbox 360

Hat tip to Kotaku.

Continue reading "Black Xbox 360 confirmed -- UPDATE"
Posted by Jeremy on March 20, 2007 11:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Capcom has been making some news the past couple of days and here is the breakdown...

First, on March 16th, Capcom announced Project Treasure Island Z (working title), their first exclusive Wii game, which seems to be a sort of Pirate puzzle solving game. Hey, if it has pirates, I'm in! It is scheduled for release this year.

Second, today Capcom announced that Devil May Cry 4 is no longer a PS3 exclusive game and that it is also in development for the Xbox 360 and PC. No word yet on a launch date, but the game will be released simultaneously on the 360 and PS3.

Third, the next Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles is still on track for this year.

Finally, Capcom said that there is "at least one" unannounced game for 2007. Please be a new Phoenix Wright.

Read the press releases

Continue reading "Capcom, the Wii, and 'Devil May Cry 4'"
Posted by Jeremy on March 20, 2007 12:29 PM | | Comments (1)

Writing a walkthrough for God of War 2 meant that Allison and I had to study up on some Greek mythology.

Despite the fact that I took such an intro class my senior year of college, it was an early morning class and sparsely attended. Oh, how I wish I would've paid attention.

Not to worry, though, because the other day Allison found this awesome Greek Gods Family Tree.

The chart has come in handy a number of times, and, with links to Wikipedia, it is a fountain of knowledge, like the Oracle of Delphi...see, I told you I took a class.

If you're playing God of War 2 and are in need of help, head on over to our God of War II walkthrough and strategy guide.

Now study!

Posted by Jeremy on March 21, 2007 10:10 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo DS | PSP | Sony

When I was a wee lad, the portable gaming market consisted of a green and black screen GameBoy and the battery sucking SEGA Game Gear. My how things have changed.

Today, we have the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, and, according to DFC Intelligence, a research firm, the portable gaming market could exceed $10 billion this year.

$10 billion this year!?! Holy wow. That's not the entire gaming industry, just the handhelds.

DFC also states that the Nintendo DS may well go on to become the best selling piece of gaming hardware ever, beating the current record of 115 million PS2s, and, that the combined sales of the DS and PSP, by 2011, could outsell all gaming consoles combined.


Posted by Jeremy on March 21, 2007 10:49 AM | | Comments (0)

LISTEN NOW (MP3, 4.9 MB, 21.5 Minutes)


In today's show we discuss everything God of War II, including our just completed God of War 2 walkthrough and strategy guide.

In gaming news, we discuss the $10 billion portable gaming market, the black Xbox 360, and a variety of announcements from Capcom regarding Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles

Show links...

Continue reading "Lunabean Video Game Radio - March 21, 2007"
Posted by Jeremy on March 22, 2007 7:19 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

With the launch of the PS3 in Europe tomorrow, Sony can't be happy about the sign below, taken at a Newcastle, UK, Virgin store.

Photo from fozi999's flickr

Granted, Sony has been stockpiling PS3s so that they're widely available, still, you'd think that demand would outstrip supply.

I'd imagine that Nintendo has also been stockpiling Wiis and will release a big batch of them tomorrow to directly compete with the PS3.

As anecdotal evidence of the European launch comes in over the weekend we'll be sure to report it to you.

Posted by Jeremy on March 22, 2007 7:48 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

I'm no musical genius, as you can probably tell from the title of this story, still, I found the below video to be quite amazing.

Seems this crafty guy, The Amazing Rolo has created a Wii Loop Machine using nothing but his brains, a MacBook and the Wii remote.

Amazing Rolo indeed! David Silver would enjoy.

Hat tip to Joystiq

Posted by Jeremy on March 22, 2007 8:34 AM | | Comments (0)

Kratos is back, and he's a tad upset. It seems that a certain god has betrayed him and he needs your help to exact some vengeance, God of War style!

Fortunately for you, the LB God of War 2 walkthrough contains a detailed step-by-step walkthrough, solutions to all puzzles, strategies for every boss, locations of Phoenix Feathers and Gorgon Eyes to max out your magic and health, and a breakdown of enemies, weapons, and gameplay. It also includes Urn locations, a walkthrough of Challenge of the Gods, and so much more!

LB God of War 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Allison on March 24, 2007 8:37 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Over the weekend, I read every news article I could regarding the launch of the PS3 in Europe and Australia. The consensus seems to be that it went pretty poorly, with the Xbox 360 outselling the PS3 in some stores, and the launch numbers from Australia coming in behind the numbers for the Wii and 360.

There are a few bright spots, however, and that namely, is that due to the delay Sony was able to stockpile 220,000 PS3s in the UK, more than for any console launch in history. So, if you want one, you can get one.

Here's a list of worthwhile stories about the launch:

PS3 Free LCD TV story - BBC

PS3 Flop or Not? - IT Wire

PS3 launch a dud? - Tech News World

Euroopeans reject PS3 due to price - Playfuls

Posted by Jeremy on March 26, 2007 7:58 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Sony needs to have a team meeting. A nice little get together where somebody with a brain tells them to stop offending their customers, particularly when you're trying to get them to buy a $600 product.

I say this because in an interview with GamesIndustry (read), UK managing director, Ray Maguire, when asked about the discrepency in price between the US and UK, said:

If you take what's considered to be the most expensive and the least expensive – consider the US with its massive land and cheap people. Then you look at the UK – a little island where rent and rates are at an absolute premium, and the cost of people is a lot more.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he's talking business here; that people are somehow monetary units and the people of the US are "cheap people" compared to the expensive people of the UK.

So, even if he wasn't saying that people in the US are cheap, he is saying that he thinks of people as pieces of meat, meant to be relatively priced and compared. Asshole.

Posted by Jeremy on March 26, 2007 8:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Business

Have you bought anything at Gamestop lately? Well, if you did, you helped Gamestop's net earnings rise 53% year on year for the fiscal fourth quarter with net revenues coming in at nearly $130 million or $0.81 per share, just above Wall Street estimates.

Sales for the same quarter were $2.3 billion. That's "billion", with a "b" (why does everybody need to say that?). That's pretty amazing when you step back and take a look at it. $2.3 billion, for one game store, for one quarter. Wow.

Gamestop also announced optimistic guidance for fiscal year '08 and '09 which has caused the stock to surge 11% at mid-day.

Booya! indeed.

Posted by Jeremy on March 27, 2007 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Okay, get ready for another suger sweet Wii story. This time, it has to do with how a Virginia retirement community loves the Wii.

Oddly, from Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand), the story shows how the elderly population is getting some good exercise and social activity by playing the Wii.

Awesome. Go old people!


Posted by Jeremy on March 27, 2007 11:36 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

While video game developer Traveller's Tales confirmed LEGO Batman was in the works last September, the internet is abuzz today with the news that Warner Bros., the owners of the Batman license, will be financing, publishing and distributing LEGO Batman in 2008.

This means that the earlier confirmation by Traveller's Tales has now been officially confirmed, so all of us video game bloggers will publish another story about LEGO Batman being in development. You know us so well.

With all of that being said, I couldn't be more pleased, as the LB LEGO Star Wars II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is one of our most successful strategy guides to date. So, please, drop these little nuggets about the release of LEGO Batman as often as you want...we'll publish each and every one.

Posted by Allison on March 27, 2007 11:47 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Video Game Videos | Xbox | Xbox 360

I was never much of a comic book fan. I always figured, "why read when I can just watch cartoons?" While that definitely excludes me from a certain segment of geek society, I can proudly say that I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, painting my own figurines and creating quests.

But, that's kind of besides the point. The point is that a brand new trailer for The Darkness, a game based on the comic book series of the same name (PS3, X360, June '07) is now out and it looks awesome.

The Darkness trailer link

If you want to learn more about this game, here are a few helpful links:

The Darkness Official Site

The Darkness MySpace page

Wikipedia entry

Posted by Jeremy on March 27, 2007 12:03 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2 | Sony

Score: 8

"God of War 2," (PS2, $50) the sequel to the best selling "God of War," is a fun and gory romp through ancient Greece, complete with mythological themes of revenge, hubris, and insecure gods.

Let's get this out of the way from the start, this is an "M" (Mature) game and kids should not be playing it. It is bloody, has adult themes, and contains some nudity.

LB's God of War 2 Walkthrough

The blood and gore, however, are so over-the-top that it is often funny in a cover your mouth, I can't believe I just ripped off that Wraith's arm and used it to kill him, kind of way. That is, if you like that kind of humor.

Continue reading "'God of War 2' Review"
Posted by Jeremy on March 28, 2007 11:37 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 Elite (previously known as the Xbox 360 black) is official. The new configurartion, on sale on April 29 for $479, includes a 120 GB hard drive, HDMI output, an HD cable, a black controller, a black headset, and of course, that sexy black paint job. Too bad it doesn't have wireless internet built in.

On the Halo 3 beta front, the Xbox Live "maintenance" update today has the internets abuzz with rumors that MS will announce the beta tomorrow. Here's a break down of the action:

Major Nelson's post about the maintenance

Planet Xbox 360

Gaming Bits

Personally, I don't think that the special announcement will be the Halo 3 beta. More likely, it'll be new Gears of War maps or free downloads of some arcade games.

Posted by Jeremy on March 28, 2007 11:57 AM | | Comments (0)

I had the chance last night to sit down with the newest installment of the MOH series, Medal of Honor: Vanguard, and, I have to say, it felt really, really good.

I forgot how much I enjoyed MOH games. Something about them, even with their notoriously glitchy goodness, just feels right. I don't even care that MOH: Vanguard is the "stripped down" version of Medal of Honor: Airborne, which is expected to come out later this year for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. As of this moment, I'm perfectly happy and content with this PS2 and Wii title.

With all of that being said, I will begin work on the MOH: Vanguard Walkthrough later today. Check in often as I expect to update it regularly.

For those who have questions beyond the scope of our guide, please post them in our

LB Medal of Honor: Vanguard Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Allison on March 28, 2007 12:56 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PSP | Sony

I've always loved British schools, what with their "proper" English and tidy uniforms. Now, I love them even more.

In a pilot program beginning after Easter break, the Holyhead Secondary School in Handsworth will use PSPs to teach French, Geography, and History. If the program goes well, the initiative will be rolled out to more schools.

It's nice to see an education system that works so well that they can actually consider using PSPs as a supplement. Here, we're just worried about kids graduating...because they're playing too many video games! Oh the irony.

Posted by Jeremy on March 29, 2007 8:30 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

According to the official Grand Theft Auto 4 countdown clock, we now have 6 hours, 23 minutes, and 50 seconds until the newest installment of the GTA series is revealed. I'm so excited. What could it be? Where could it be?

I'm hoping for a very London GTA, although I doubt I'll get it. Too many people would take issue with the fact that the carjacking victims would be all British and polite about it.

Ah well. We'll find out soon enough. Keep it tuned to Lunabean.com today, and we'll update you with information (and trailers) as soon as we get them.

Posted by Lunabean on March 29, 2007 8:33 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

If you played Crackdown and/or followed the LB Crackdown Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, you know that it can take quite a while to get a four-star Agility rating.

Well, move over you! As this YouTube video shows, you can get the coveted four-star rating in under eight minutes. Now that's what I can some fancy gaming.

Hat tip to gaygamer.net

Posted by Jeremy on March 29, 2007 11:08 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | Xbox | Xbox 360

John Rodman, group product manager for the Xbox platform and Xbox Live, in an article from today's NYT:

We don’t feel like the Wii customer and the Xbox customer are the same thing. We think that as soon as the Wii customer turns 14 they want something else.

Let me tell you what we think, John. We think that dickish corporate mouthpieces need to stop slamming their customer base, or those customers are going to get fed up and stop buying from you. Granted, I know Sony has the market on offending gamers right now, but, if this is the way Microsoft wants to go, nip it in the bud now, ok? OK.

For a moment, let's take away the intentional slam and look at what John Rodman is saying. The man couldn't be more wrong. A friend of mine (30 year old) was telling me how a Wii was recently brought into his office, and everyone gathered around to play. It was loved. Many went out and bought one (or tried).

Now, imagine that Wii was an Xbox 360. What do you think the response in the office would be? "Who's the renob who brought in their shoot 'em up game into the office?", would be my guess.

Next, think about all of the stories of parents and grandparents who have developed a love for the Wii. Or, what about the 30-something gamers who have purchased their first game console in 15 years, because they get it again? The Xbox 360 was out for a year before the Wii, and none of these adult gamers were drawn to it.

And, please, don't take my comments as a slam of the Xbox 360. I love all of my consoles, but, get real. Just because your console offers more bloody and violent games doesn't make it more mature. In fact, I think there's a good debate to be had suggesting that it makes it less mature.

And, again, back off and stop slamming your customer base. It's getting old.

Posted by Lunabean on March 29, 2007 11:09 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

The countdown clock has reached zero and...drum roll please...mehhh....gamers have crashed the site. Yes, we are sitting here clicking our "refresh" button, which of course helps with the load on the server, trying to get in to see the annoucement. Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come...

We'll update you with the info as soon as we can bust through the traffic.


Now gametrailers is down too. What is the web coming to?

UPDATE: Here she is! It's still running really slowly. You can try rockstar itself for various formats or you can try gametrailers.

UPDATE: From the 30 seconds of video we've been able to see, it's NYC! (pace piquante voice), NEW YORK CITY!?!

UPDATE: Now that we've seen it all we can is, that's craptacular. The most anticlimactic game announcement evar! Rockstar should really have done better than this.

Posted by Jeremy on March 29, 2007 11:56 AM | | Comments (0)

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