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Video Game News from April 2007

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

You've got to be kidding me? NYC, the place where corrupt politicians and police chiefs (Bernie Kerkik, I'm looking in your direction) dot the landscape like so many hot dog carts, is raising a stink about Grand Theft Auto IV besmirching this bastion of low crime and high morals. Oy!

Yes, in the New York Daily News on Saturday, "journalists" Ivan Pereira, Michael Saul, and Alison Gendar summarize previous GTAs by saying...

In previous incarnations, players advanced through the game by killing cops, selling pornography to children and killing prostitutes. Details of the latest version have not been released.

Read more lies and hypocrisy...

Continue reading "NYC politicians angry over 'GTA IV'"
Posted by Jeremy on April 2, 2007 8:06 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

April Fools Day is always big in the gaming industry, and yesterday was no exception. Many a gamer was fooled by Wii.TV's future Zelda and many more got a good laugh out of ThinkGeek's WiiHelm.

Yes, there was much joking going on yesterday, however, there was only one joke that really made me laugh, and VGCats.com gets all of the credit for it:

Solid Snake's MySpace

The funny, of course, comes from Raiden's comments.

Posted by Lunabean on April 2, 2007 10:01 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under:

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

  • Star Fox 64 (N64 , 1000 Wii Points)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES , 600 Wii Points)
  • Dragon's Curse (TurboGrafx16, 600 Wii Points)

We're all over Star Fox already. Damn, I love my Wii.

Read Nintendo's Press Release

Continue reading "Wii Monday: Three new titles"
Posted by Lunabean on April 2, 2007 10:26 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Harmonix, creators of the popular Guitar Hero games, have announced their next foray into the music world with Rock Band, a four player game to be published by EA and due out by the end of this year.

The four-piece band will consist of a lead guitar, a bass guitar, a microphone, and a drum set. You can invision the drooling happening at EA over the profits from the peripherals alone.

Anyway, the game will support online multiplayer, meaning that I can finally get that high school band going, with my friends from high school, who are now scattered throughout the country.

Also of interest is unprecedented access to the master recordings from some of the biggest music companies. Seems like they are finally waking up to the notion that the music business has changed.

Rock on, Wayne!

Reuters Article

Posted by Jeremy on April 2, 2007 11:43 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PSP | Sony

If you've been waiting patiently for a PSP price drop, then today is your day! Video game store employees across the country have been working all night, ripping off the $199 pricetags and replacing them with $169 ones. OK, maybe they weren't working ALL night, but they definitely took a few minutes out to make the Sony adjustment.

Dare I make a prediction that the next Sony PSP story we'll hear will be that of a PSP2? Shocking, I know.

Photo courtesy of Joystiq
Posted by Lunabean on April 3, 2007 8:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Back on March 19th, we reported on rumors of a new 'Nights' game coming out for the Wii. Yesterday, SEGA announced that the game is a reality.

Nights: Journey of Dreams will debut for the Wii, as a full-fledged, brand new game (not a virtual console game), just in time for holiday '07.

Like its predecessor, this game will have you flying, twirling and looping your way through Nightopia in a quest to save it from the darkworld of Nightmare.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, a fun platformer is all I care about. As I never played the original, I'm very excited to check out this game. It could be the perfect holiday game.

Posted by Jeremy on April 3, 2007 8:35 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

One of the best games of all time, Resident Evil 4 is coming to the Wii. Via Joystiq, the latest issue of Japanese gaming mag, Famitsu, reveals that RE4 will make its way to the Wii.

This is great news for those of us who simply can't get enough of this creepy and exhilerating game. Sure, we played it on the GameCube and the PS2 multiple times (walkthrough and walkthrough) but we are still super excited for this wii-ified version, complete with motion controls to really take a whack at some of those villagers.

I wonder if Capcom will include some aspects of the creepier version? We'll just have to wait and see.

When more info, like a release date or even a US launch, comes out, we'll let you know.

Posted by Jeremy on April 4, 2007 10:57 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

According to Chart Track, PS3 sales in the UK are down 82% from the first week of sales.

Obviously, everybody expects a drop off after the first week a new console goes on sale, but such a dramatic drop is really shocking. Nonetheless, Chart Track itself says that the number is "meaningless" because of all of the pre-orders, high demand because of the delayed launch, and the fact that so many PS3s were stockpiled that there were actually PS3s available in the second week, as opposed to the launches of the Wii and Xbox 360 which had no stock the second week.

On a brighter side, the 165,000 PS3s sold in the first week is the largest console launch in UK history.

Personally, I think that the numbers are meaningful. The demand wasn't so great that they actually sold out of their nearly 200,000 consoles, so the fact that they had consoles for the second week is significant and shows weakness and an early saturation. The Wii is outselling the PS3 everywhere and that will continue to be the trend until there is either a price drop or some compelling reason (a game? a service?) to make people want to pay that much. I know I don't.


Posted by Jeremy on April 4, 2007 11:23 AM | | Comments (0)

Ubisoft yesterday announced that the Brothers in Arms franchise is coming to the Wii and DS this year in the form of a game subtitled, Double Time.

Brothers in Arms games are my favorite of the three major console WWII franchises as they require a bit of strategy, allowing you to move teams of men into differnet positions. The thought of being able to use the Wii controller to move men, perform hand signals, and aim is quite exciting.

Ubisoft says that the DS version will be out this summer and that the Wii version will debut this fall. When more info is available, we'll update you.

Press release follows...

Continue reading "'Brothers in Arms Double Time' announced for Wii, DS"
Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2007 11:11 AM | | Comments (0)

Can Nintendo do no wrong? So it seems as Nintendo today raised its earnings projection for a fourth time for the fiscal year just ended. (read) Nintendo had expected sales of 900 billion yen, but said that new estimates put sales at 966 billion yen, or $8.1 billion.

Nintendo went on to say that they now expect a "foreign exchange-related profit of 20 billion yen for the 2006/07 business year, rather than its previous forecast of a 10 billion yen loss." (Reuters)

Why the sunny forecast? Sales of the DS, DS software, and the Wii have been strong in the first three months of the year, typically the time when games do the worst. Add to that the strong holiday season and the fact that they're the darlings of the press right now and you can see why their stock price has doubled over the past year.

Posted by Jeremy on April 5, 2007 12:02 PM | | Comments (0)

I am pleased to report that the LB The Godfather Blackhand Edition Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is complete!

This guide walks you through each and every story mission, includes a comprehensive explanation of all gameplay elements, and includes a Hit list. If you're itching to move up from lowly errand boy to Don of the Corleone famiily, this is the walkthrough that you need!

The Godfather Blackhand Edition Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Posted by Jeremy on April 6, 2007 9:49 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Via Kotaku, Ubisoft has unveiled a mysterious site for a new game. The site has streaming audio of a woman's voice giving news.

I've pinpointed the date to 2027, in some sort of post-apocalyptic world where the interim US capital is in Boston and there is an effort to get the government up and running. There is a very Children of Men feel to it.

Other references include electromagnetic explosions, terrorists, the World Cup, both the summer and winter olympics, the Joint Strike Fighter program, and, of course, the obligatory Bible reference: Revelations, chapter 6, verse 4.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Oh, and then there's the face of the guy in the middle of the site. Needless to say, I'm hooked.

Check out the site here: http://jsf28555833-80604722.com/

Post your assumptions or revelations in the comments or on our Message Boards

UPDATE: if you pop the numbers into Google Maps as coordinates ( 28.555833, -80.604722) it points to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, right next to the JFK Space Center. The base is called Patrick Air Force base and its motto is "Control of the battlefield begins here."

Dun, dun, duuuun.

Posted by Jeremy on April 6, 2007 10:25 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo Wii

Score: 7

Electronic Arts has the ability to spit out games to see what will stick. Fortunately for them, they finally made a worthy The Godfather game after many tries on every console.

The Godfather Blackhand Edition is the Nintendo Wii version of the game, and, aside from a few extra missions and abilities, the real draw here is the use of the Wii controllers.

I'm sure you can imagine it now, extorting a business owner by grabbing him with both controllers and throwing him around like a sack of potatoes. Your goal, of course, is to scare him badly enough that he'll want to pay you protection money. This can be done by slamming him into wall (flicking both controllers away from you), punching him (swing your arms), or aiming a gun at him (point the controller at the part of the body you want to threaten...I found the kneecap to work well).

Continue reading...

Continue reading "'The Godfather Blackhand Edition' Review"
Posted by Jeremy on April 6, 2007 3:57 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Microsoft has announced that starting on May 7th, Xbox Live users will be able to text message with the over 260 million Windows Live users on PCs or mobile devices. This marriage of all things Microsoft messaging has been a long time in coming and has been at the core of the Xbox Live business plan.

To help you text, this summer Microsoft will unveil a keyboard attachment for the Xbox 360 controller, as you can see above. It's actually a pretty slick add-on and I applaud the design.

What I don't understand, though, is the desire to text people while playing a game or watching a movie. What's the point? If I'm watching a movie, I don't want to be disturbed.

There are many more enhancements coming with this May 7th update, and you can read the entire list at Xbox.com.

Posted by Jeremy on April 9, 2007 7:53 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Bloomberg today has an informative article detailing how the major US game publishers underestimated the Nintnedo Wii's popularity and are now scrambling to make games for it.

In fact, part of Electronic Arts's 30% drop in revenue is due to the fact that they focused on the PS3. They just released The Godfather Blackhand Edition (walkthrough, review) after scrambling for the past 8 months to port it from the other consoles.

Bloomberg admirably points out the one prescient publisher, Ubisoft, who threw a great deal of support behind the Wii and had two games ready for its launch Rayman Raving Rabids and Red Steel.

Of course, if you had been reading Lunabean news, you'd already know all about this, seeing as we told you about it last summer. Bloomberg really needs to catch up.

Wii success to bring publishers pain (July, 2006)

Ubisoft announces 7 Wii launch games (August, 2006)

Posted by Jeremy on April 9, 2007 8:22 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | PS2 | Sony

LB Review: 5

Platforms: PS2, Wii

EA's latest entry in its classic WWII shooter series is the same glitchy and graphically unimpressive 'Medal of Honor' you played four years ago, without the online capability. Sure, it has its fun moments. Sure, it has its challenging battles. And, sure, it is being sold as the stripped down version of the soon-to-be-released 'Medal of Honor: Airborne' for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. But, with all of that being said, there's little excuse in 2007 for such a piss poor (and short) production from a powerhouse developer and publisher, even if that developer and publisher is EA.


Continue reading "LB 'Medal of Honor: Vanguard' Review"
Posted by Allison on April 9, 2007 11:48 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. Can I have a drumroll please?

  • Galaga (NES, 500 Wii Points)
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (NES , Sega Genesis, 800 Wii Points)
  • BRAVOMAN (TurboGrafx16, 600 Wii Points)

While returning to Galaga memories sounds fun, as does checking out this Alex Kidd character, I'm saving my thumbs for tomorrow, for the arrival of Super Paper Mario.

Read Nintendo's Press Release

Continue reading "Wii Monday: Three new titles"
Posted by Allison on April 9, 2007 4:22 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

You do not want to be at Lunabean HQ on May 16th. A groggy, hairy, grumpy monster will be waking up at 4:30 am, lumbering to the TV and will inevitably end up yelling at the cats because the Halo 3 beta won't be downloading fast enough. Until coffee is brewed it will be a real nightmare.

That's right. The Halo 3 beta will be available for download to your Xbox 360 at 5 am (PDT) on May 16th if you a) have a Gold Xbox Live account b) secured a beta invite via a copy of Crackdown and/or c) got an invite via the "Rule of Three" promotion.

The beta itself consists of three multiplayer maps (Snowbound, High Ground, and Valhalla) which give you a sampling of large environments and close-in combat. You'll be able to test out some new vehicles, like the Mongoose (an all terrain vehicle) and weapons like the new Spike Grenades.

Our gamertag is LUNABEAN, so if you see us playing, say Halo.

Production and gameplay video

The announcement

Posted by Jeremy on April 10, 2007 12:51 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

The latest issue of Game Informer magazine is beginning to arrive at the doorsteps of gamers across the country. Inside that GI are the first details of GTA4. According to GTA4.net, here is what they know thus far:

* The protagonist's name is Niko Bellic, which we believe is Croatian or Serbian.

* Multiplayer is set to be announced.

* You can use a cellphone to call your contacts.

* Apparently there are no planes because there is only one city in the game.

* You have a lot of choice over what you want to do. You still have to take orders from people during missions, but you can also choose how you want to spend your time, e.g "I want to hang out with him, or her... I want to go see this guy 'cause he always has something to do..."

* The story unfolds in a number of different ways. R* is giving people more freedom, more choice and more sense of control over their destiny - the structure of the storyline is quite different to previous games.

* The demo which Game Informer played was for the Xbox 360 version of the game.

As a gamer I applaud "more freedom". As a strategy guide writer, I hate "more freedom". As a game industry analyst, I know R* well enough to know "more freedom" means very, very little. It's merely a selling point that will add little to the game.

Posted by Lunabean on April 10, 2007 12:57 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

For a long time it was considered a bit odd if your parents played video games, as if some sort of generational wall was being breached which you were desperately trying to defend. For me, it wasn't that odd.

As a child, my Dad introduced me to Pong and then, to the Atari 2600. We would battle at River Raid for hours and I would inevitably end up throwing my controller as I unsuccessfully attempted to fly through just one more narrow canyon.

Then, as I grew into my teens and the SNES and Genesis came out, what with their multitude of buttons, my Dad fell off of the gaming train and has yet to get back on.

And that brings us to today, where my Dad is actually in the minority of fifty somethings who don't play any sort of video game, much less a casual computer game. Nope he sticks to his paper-based crosswords and Sudokus.

Why this trend?...keep reading...

Continue reading "Boomers beware! You like games, too."
Posted by Jeremy on April 11, 2007 9:22 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

I downloaded the demo of Boom Boom Rocket, a new Xbox Live Arcade game made by EA, and while I'm not a big fan of EA games, I do have to say that they got this one right.

Essentially Dance Dance Revolution, with buttons instead of a dance pad, the game challenges you to set off fireworks to the beat of music as you slowly fly through a city. The visuals are amazing, but are hard to take in because you're concentrating so hard on the buttons.

This is the perfect party game, easy to pick up and understand, fun for others to watch, and quick enough that everybody gets a turn.

I suggest downloading the demo for some free and fun gameplay.

Posted by Jeremy on April 11, 2007 12:55 PM | | Comments (1)

I'm pleased to report that work has begun on the LB Super Paper Mario Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the Nintendo Wii. I'm getting a one to two chapter a day feeling about this guide, which makes me think I'll get it done early next week.

For those who have questions beyond the reach of our guide, please post them on the Super Paper Mario Help Thread on the message boards.

On a gameplay note, was I the only one who was expecting another turn-based RPG out of this game? Hmm. It's a little more of a platform title than what I was expecting. Sure, there are RPG elements, but they feel a bit forced. Perhaps this is how Nintendo was able to get the game out so quickly? I'm not saying I don't like it. It just wasn't what I was expecting. Ah well. Different is good. At least that's what my mom always told me.

The Game Guide: LB Super Paper Mario Walkthrough

Posted by Lunabean on April 11, 2007 6:01 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2 | Sony

What happens when you get a 999,999 hit combo in God of War 2? You get pointed to a no-longer-secret website, islandofrhodes.org, containing developer diaries of two of the game's levels.

It's actually some pretty interesting commentary and lets you in on a few things that were cut from the game due to a lack of time and budget.


LB's God of War 2 Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

LB's God of War 2 Review

Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2007 11:07 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Sony today announced that it will stop making the 20GB PS3 effective immediately. There are still some units left in stores and they'll be sold at the current price of $500 until they run out.

Sony cites lack of demand for the lesser PS3 for this decision. The real question is, why did they make it in the first place?

Sony's decision to offer two versions of the PS3 is like Porsche making two very expensive cars, identical, except one has a 1990 Geo Metro engine. Sure, both are shiny, but the person in the market for such a product would never choose a 1 liter, 3 cylinder, 49 hp engine.

So it goes with Sony. If you're asking (or demanding) that your customer drops a minimum of $500 (the lesser PS3) you've already excluded the vast majority of gamers. If a person is willing to pay $500, they're willing to pay $600, and therefore you have the lack of demand for the lesser PS3.

Keep reading...

Continue reading "Why did Sony make the 20GB PS3 in the first place?"
Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2007 12:02 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Whammy bar got you down? If you're one of the unlucky thrashers whose Guitar Hero II X-Plorer guitar's whammy bar isn't responding well, you have two choices: send it in for repairs, or, do it yourself!

Since opening up the guitar doesn't void the warranty, what have you got to lose? Just follow these easy instructions found over at allaboutthegames.net and you'll be reverbing your way to happiness.

Hat tip to GayGamer

Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2007 12:25 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

I first experienced the wonderful pulsating glow of the Wii a day after we set it up. Coming downstairs to a dark house, the living room was emanating an eerie, yet beautiful, blue light. What does this mean? I wondered to myself. Are the cats responsible for this?

Allison and I soon figured out that no nefarious feline activity had taken place and that it simply means you have a message, either from a friend or from Nintendo, whom I consider a friend.

This morning, that blue light caused me to flutter to the Wii like a moth to the flame. I was rewarded with a message saying that the Wii's Opera browser is now out of beta and is a full fledged adult!

Some of the new features include the ability to hide the toolbar, click-and-drag scrolling, and an option to choose your favorite search engine. All in all, it's a pretty rad TV web browser.

The browser is free through through June 30th after which time it'll cost $5. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2007 1:00 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

If you're without a Wii, but are still pining for some new games then why not check out two quirky and funny game demos from Xbox Live: Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia and Shrek the Third. Both are free and together offer you a few hours of decent gameplay.

Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia is a top-down multiplayer cooperative shooter in the vein of such hits as Smash TV. Based in a setting of typical modern-day suburban America, Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia presents an offbeat riff on pop-culture horror with a vast collection of humorous looking mythical and paranormal creatures.

I gave it about 15 minutes and the top-down aspect of it really gave me some problems. Nevertheless, this is a nice change of pace from your normal first person shooter and definitely ranks high on the sarcasm meter. The cartoony characters and highschool stereotypes will make this a popular game.

Up next, Shrek the Third

Continue reading "'Monster Madness' and 'Shrek the Third' demos"
Posted by Jeremy on April 12, 2007 1:24 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS2 | Sony

Yesterday, I told you about a secret God of War 2 website.

Today, I bring news of a mystery, wrapped inside an enigma, smothered in secret sauce. It seems some resourceful/obsessive GoW2 fan, figured out that the word KRATOS is hidden in the background image of one of the site's pages. To help you on your quest, I made you this nice image:

Once you click the hidden letters in the correct order, a new page will be revealed.

You can't stop reading now! More secrets await...

Continue reading "More 'God of War 2' secrets revealed"
Posted by Jeremy on April 13, 2007 11:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

The tragedy at Virginia Tech that unfolded yesterday made my heart ache. As the news trickled in, and the body count began to rise, the pain deepened and the questions of what the hell went wrong began to be asked.

As I flipped back and forth between CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox, and MSNBC, I became angry. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, heading to Blacksburg to cover the wounded, Katie Couric at the press conference, Geraldo en route. Countless other nameless, blank faced infotainment whores "news reporters" hopping into helicopters and corporate jets in an effort to be the first to report "at the scene".

Then, the now-famous i-Report (CNN's version of a viewer sending in video) from the well spoken student of Palestinian descent, Jamal Albarghouti, whose brave and stupid filming of shots fired was abused to the point of nausea.

Continue reading...

Continue reading "'Murder Simulators' blamed for Virginia Tech shootings"
Posted by Jeremy on April 17, 2007 11:09 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: Video Game Videos

Thanks to Lunabeaner, Car1 for pointing out this video of Master Chief vs. Samus.

While the awesomeness doesn't happen until about 3/4 of the way through, it is definitely entertaining throughout. And, as Car1 says, "wait for after the [ending] credits." Indeed. I needed a good laugh.

Posted by Jeremy on April 18, 2007 11:27 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Xbox | Xbox 360

Are you enamored with the Xbox 360 Elite? That sleek black beast that contains a 120GB HDD, HDMI output, cables, a black controller, and a black headset. Well, if you are, Gamestop and EB are offering some incentives to trade in your current Xbox.

Obviously, they want your old box so that they can jack up the price and flip it, however, they are upping what they'll give you. Starting next week, you'll get $250 for your Xbox 360 premium, $200 for the Core, and $50 for an Xbox.

The price tag for the Xbox 360 Elite is $479, so, you'll still have to plunk down a good deal of change to get one. I wonder what they'd give me for my core system with the HDD and wireless controller? That's a curveball they didn't see coming. Maybe I'll just paint my disc tray silver and see if I can fool them.


Posted by Jeremy on April 18, 2007 11:48 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

At a time when video games are once again being bandied about as the reason for a terrible and heinous crime it's good to see some science back up the fact that not only are gamers more grounded in reality when playing a game as opposed to when watching a movie, but that the media coverage of violent games encourages people to go out and buy them.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has released a report which includes some of the following choice comments:
We were particularly interested to see that this research suggests that, far from having a potentially negative impact on the reaction of the player, the very fact that they have to interact with the game seems to keep them more firmly rooted in reality.

People who do not play games raise concerns about their engrossing nature, assuming that players are also emotionally engrossed. This research suggest the opposite – a range of factors seem to make them less emotionally involving than film or television.

Indeed, movies are far more engrossing than games and they allow your mind to wander, to place yourself into that situation. Games, which have strict rules of action and interaction, require the mind to focus on getting through the game, not on the story.

The best games, however, meld great story telling and action which is why I do get emotionally attached to games like Twilight Princess, KOTOR II, or Beyond Good and Evil.

Plus, the study is British, so it has to be smart, right?


Posted by Jeremy on April 18, 2007 11:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Yo. Yo. Yo. When the WSJ gives you a "What, What," you know you're doing something right. Such is the case with Nintendo in this article from the Wall Street Journal.

Once again, the main stream media has framed Nintendo's success as a surprising underdog story when we all know that Nintendo was never at risk from the PSP and had a hit on their hands with the Wii.

Still, it takes some time for the old guard to catch up. If you're still reading news written on paper, and know who Gutenberg was, then you may also find the article to be informative.

Read the article

Posted by Jeremy on April 19, 2007 11:46 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: General Gaming

The other day I had to vent a little about the pure exploitative treatment of the Virgina Tech shootings in the media. Of course, that led to mention of a variety of esteemed experts douche bags, like Dr. Phil and Jack Thompson, who blamed the shootings on video games. Granted the news got these people on because that's what they wanted to hear, but that's another fight.

Now, it comes out that the shooter did not have any video games. In fact, his roommate said that he had never seen the shooter play video games.

Well Joe Lieberman and Hillary, there goes your talking points for the next few months. I wonder what they'll blame it on now, because surely it can't be easy access to firearms for the mentally ill.

Posted by Jeremy on April 19, 2007 12:33 PM | | Comments (0)

Video game hardware sales data for March are in and Nintendo came out on top, with an asterix. Here are the numbers:

  • Nintendo DS: 508,000

  • Sony PlayStation 2: 280,000

  • Nintendo Wii: 259,000 (2.1 million total)

  • Microsoft Xbox 360: 199,000 (5.3 million total)

  • Sony PSP: 180,000

  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance: 148,000

  • Sony PlayStation 3: 130,000 (1.2 million total)

  • Nintendo Gamecube: 22,000

Console-wise, the Wii did come out on top of the current gen systems, however, the PS2 did outsell it, thanks in large part to God of War II.

Time for some analysis...Hammertime!

Continue reading "March sales: Nintendo #1, kind of"
Posted by Jeremy on April 20, 2007 10:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Videos

I've never played Guitar Hero 2 but I love it. Aside from imagining myself playing it, rocking out in my living room, entertaining my audience of two black cats (that's sooo rock n' roll), I thoroughly enjoy watching other people play it, particularly 8 year olds who rock hard! Wait, that didn't come out right. Just watch the video.

Posted by Jeremy on April 20, 2007 10:58 AM | | Comments (0)


If you're here now, you missed the free weekend. But, don't feel too bad because we're offering you a coupon!

Yes, for simply visiting this page hoping for a free guide, you are being rewarded. You can either purchase the individual guide or join the LunaPass.

Zelda Twilight Princess Screenshot Guide - Save $2!
Enter Coupon Code: CPN4455244179

Sign up for the LunaPass (all guides, one low price) - Save $3!
Enter Coupon Code: 1279861FD5


As a special treat each weekend, we'll make available one our our high quality, professional, PDF walkthroughs for you to enjoy, for FREE!

That's right. Between now and Sunday night at 9pm PDT, you can download LB's Zelda Twilight Princess Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, Screenshot Version for FREE, a $7.95 value (Adobe Reader required).

If you like what you see, you can sign up for the LunaPass, our exclusive subscription service which gives you instant access to ALL of our walkthroughs for $15.95.

You can also purchase any of our walkthroughs a la carte by visiting LunabeanGuides.com.

Have a great weekend and happy gaming!

Download Now:
LB's Zelda Twilight Princess Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

Sign up for the LunaPass

Posted by Jeremy on April 20, 2007 11:36 AM | | Comments (3)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

Nearly a week after the Virginia Tech shooting, and with no credible evidence to support it, Tim Russert of NBC's Meet the Press twice suggested that violent video games had something to do with the tragedy.

Take a look at today's Meet the Press and fast forward to the 19:35 mark.

Russert asks the Sec. of Education, Margaret Spellings this leading question: "Has any studies been done about video games, there are reports that Mr. Cho spent inordinate amounts of time looking at violent video games."

Spellings answers that there are many such studies and that "we do have evidence that children...exposed to violent television and video games, that that certainly does net out in more violent behavior."

Russert, who can't seem to drop the topic, then goes on to ask Sec. of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, "Any thought of looking into video games and the impact they may have on young children?"

Leavitt gives a very generic answer essentially saying that "we have to look at a lot of things".

Let's debunk and rant, shall we...

Continue reading "NBC's Russert suggests video games involved in VT shooting"
Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2007 10:09 AM | | Comments (0)

I am pleased to announce the completion of our LB Super Paper Mario Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.

Not only does this guide walk you through all eight chapters of this latest Mario adventure, but it includes an extensive "extras" section that will please Character Card collectors, Treasure Map hunters, Cooking experts, and Pit(s) of 100 Trials divers.

Check it out in all of its strategy guide glory here:

LB Super Paper Mario Game Guide

Posted by Lunabean on April 22, 2007 5:56 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Ubisoft, a leading video game publisher of many of our favorite games, along with everying Tom Clancy, has today announced Tom Clancy's Endwar for the "next-generation" consoles.

While there is no official confirmation, Endwar is clearly the mystery game that is being shown off on the Ubisoft website, http://jsf28555833-80604722.com/, which was discovered earlier this month (original story here).

Ubisoft refers to this "strategy game" as one that will pit online opponents in "real global locations" on the "massive battlefields of World War III". Combine this with Jer's awesome detective work that revealed a date on the site (2027...a date begging for WWIII), the use of the URL numbers as Google Map coordinates, and it's clear the mystery game and Endwar are one in the same.

More Endwar details are to be revealed in the June issue of EGM (released in early May). Look for Endwar to hit store shelves in the 2007/2008 fiscal year.

Ubisoft's Endwar Press Release
Jer's detective work for Ubi's mystery site

Continue reading "Ubisoft announces 'Endwar'"
Posted by Allison on April 24, 2007 9:56 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PC

The New York Times on Sunday published a story called, PC Games, Once Down, Show Signs of Rebound. It is a well-written and informative piece detailing the current state of PC games.

If you've been out of it, PC games have taken a back seat, and lost shelf space, to console video games. That is starting to turn around due to a multitude of factors including: PCs can more quickly adapt new technology, PC games tend to be less expensive, World of Warcraft continues to sell like hotcakes, and Microsoft's push to standardize PC games (Games for Windows) so that you'll know what game will play on your PC.

Let me add to that my feeling that a lot of thirty somethings, who grew up playing PC games, are very comfortable with PC gaming. Since they already have a PC, the entry cost to re-enter the gaming world is simply the cost of a game, rather than having to buy a new console.

The article is very interesting and I highly recommend giving it a read.

Read the article

Posted by Jeremy on April 24, 2007 12:25 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony | Xbox | Xbox 360

Allison earlier today made note of Ubisoft's new game, EndWar. At that time, there was no confirmation that the mystery site that Ubisoft launched a few weeks ago had anything to do with the new game, although there was a lot of circumstantial evidence.

I decided to poke around the mystery site again today and was met with a password protected area. After figuring out the password (I'll give the password after the jump, in case you want to figure it out for yourself), and gaining access to the hidden area, it is confirmed that http://jsf28555833-80604722.com is indeed the viral marketing site for EndWar.

What's the code already!

Continue reading "Confirmed: 'EndWar' is Ubisoft mystery site, password req."
Posted by Jeremy on April 24, 2007 12:59 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PSP | Sony

If you haven't been reading our news (Idaho, I'm looking in your direction), then you missed the whole islandofrhodes.org super secret site.

Well, not to worry because you can still reap the benefits, a free demo of the PSP game, God of War: Chains of Olympus. You better hurry though, as supplies are limited.

Get your Demo!

Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2007 7:34 AM | | Comments (8)

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

From Home Media Magazine, IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon predicts that Wii supply will not meet Wii demand until 2009.

That can be taken in two ways. The glass half-full is that the demand for the system is so great that Nintendo just can't produce Wiis fast enough. The glass half-empty is that Nintendo can't produce Wiis fast enough, and by now, they should be able to, resulting in a loss of a good deal of sales as the Wii-effect wears off the mass market consumer.

Pidgeon also says that Q2 should be another good one for Nintendo due to the lack of compelling games for the PS2/3 and the Xbox 360.


Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2007 7:44 AM | | Comments (1)

While Harry Potter games never come close to matching the greatness of Harry Potter films, we do always get a kick out of playing them. It is for this reason that we're pleased to present a first look at EA's new trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

Harry Potter 5 will be released on all consoles on June 25th, a couple of weeks before the film makes its debut. Speaking of the film, have you seen the new two minute trailer for that puppy yet? Goosebumps galore!

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" theatrical trailer

Continue reading "A first look at 'Harry Potter 5'"
Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2007 8:43 AM | | Comments (5)

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Sony

The PC and PS2 versions of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary will debut on June 5. The game is a remake of the original Tomb Raider, but updated with a new engine and a few new elements.

We'll be sure to play this one and maybe even write up a walkthrough for it. If you didn't play the original, this is a great way to catch up.

Read a hands on preview

Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2007 11:15 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

Joystiq has the scoop on the availablity of Wiis and Xbox 360 Elites, this Sunday, April 29.

Apparently, select stores have been ordered to keep any shipments of the Wii for this Sunday. And, on Friday, Gamestop/EB will release fliers promoting the Sunday sale. So, if you want to know if your store is participating, call or wait until Friday to see if they have the fliers.

Joystiq story

Posted by Jeremy on April 25, 2007 12:14 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

Sony has today announced the Playstation Eye, the next-generation EyeToy for the Sony PS3. Clearly the EyeToy has entered its teen years, as it wants everyone to know it's no longer something to just be played with, and has asked that we all drop the Toy from its name...because it's really grown up now. And, truthfully, it has. I mean, just look at this monstrosity:

The Playstation Eye camera now supports up to 120 frames per second, with a 56 or 75 degree field of view zoom lens (56 closeup, 75 full body). What's more, it's a little more gamer-friendly and functions fully in low-level light.

The microphone also keeps gamers in mind, incorporating multidirectional voice location tracking, enhanced echo cancelling and background noise suppression. This all means that there will be no need to hold or wear a headset to communicate online.

The Playstation Eye will ship this summer and will come with EyeCreate editing software. EyeCreate will allow gamers to save photos, video and audio to the PS3 hard drive, and then manipulate and edit them into "professional-looking movies".

We never brought an EyeToy into Lunabean HQ. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, no EyeToy game ever really piqued our interest. Second, there was always something a little too Big Brother about our TV watching us. Granted, we could get over the latter reason if the former was overcome. Perhaps this next generation Playstation Eye will do just that...maybe.

Read Sony's Press Release for all technical specs

Continue reading "Playstation Eye *clap* *clap* is watching you"
Posted by Allison on April 26, 2007 11:04 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PS2 | PS3 | Sony

Ken Kutaragi, the father of the Playstation, industry icon, and current CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., will step down from his responsibilities in June. He will take on the role of honory board member and technology advisor to Sony CEO Howard Stringer.

This move comes after several other Playstation shakeups, most notably, Kaz Hirai taking over for Kutaragi a few months ago.

Most in the industry, including myself and Allison, believe this is essentially a move to push out Kutaragi after a disappointing PS3 launch. In addtion, it may signal the fact that damaging statements by Sony execs will no longer be tolerated. There has also been a multitude of bad press which I'm sure Sony would like to put behind them.

If only Kutaragi would have read my How to Save the PS3 article, he may still have a job.


Posted by Jeremy on April 26, 2007 11:07 AM | | Comments (0)

Nintendo today announced its numbers for the full fiscal year ending March 31 and let's just say that they're good...pretty darn good. With revenues of 966.5 billion yen (up 90%) and profits of 226 billion (up 150%) Nintendo is rolling in the money.

Here's the breakdown:

  • 23 million DSs sold

  • 123 million DS games sold

  • 5.84 million Wiis sold

  • 29 million Wii games sold

Here's next year's projection:

  • 22 million DSs

  • 130 million DS games

  • 14 million Wiis

  • 55 million Wii games

They also predict revenues to climb by 18% and profits to climb by 20%. Somebody is going to have to find all of the Golden Bugs to upgrade to the Giant Wallet.

Nintendo Press Release
Business Week article

Posted by Jeremy on April 26, 2007 12:09 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Video Game Politics

Hop on over to Xfire.com within the next few minutes for what's sure to be a lively debate about video game censorship.

Starring in today's debate will be California State Senator Leland Yee, the author of the failed California Violent Video Games Bill, ECA President Hal Halpin, video game researcher Matteo Bittanti, Russ Pitts of The Escapist magazine, GamePolitics.com editor Dennis McCauley, and many more.

Since this is a debate of grown-ups, Jack Thompson will not be making an appearance.

If you want to watch the debate, quickly hop on over to Xfire.com and obtain yourself a screenname immediately, as the debate begins in one minute.

Posted by Allison on April 26, 2007 12:41 PM | | Comments (0)

LB Rating: 7

Platform: Wii

Unlike the first two Paper Mario games, Super Paper Mario is NOT a turn-based RPG. It is, instead, a platform game with real-time RPG elements. This means that your character levels up as you progress, gains powers (Pixls, in this case), acquires new party members, has items to use against enemies, and (here's the key) fights these enemies on screen. In a turn-based RPG you are transported to another screen to fight. On that screen you are given a shot at your opponent, then your opponent is given a shot at you (hence, turn-based).

Despite that rather technical explanation, you can think of the game as classic Mario (you even hold the Wii remote sideways, ala the NES controller) with a few twists. The biggest twist, of course, is the ability to switch from 2D to 3D at any time. This gameplay element, as a concept, is quite revolutionary. However, in practice, the novelty of it wears off quickly.

More Super Paper Mario review goodness

Continue reading "LB 'Super Paper Mario' Review"
Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2007 10:30 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PS3 | Sony

The Playstation 3 has had a bumpy ride thus far. Over the past few months I've opined about various wrong turns and I even offered Sony a piece of my mind, for free (I'm still waiting for that 32" Bravia as a thank you...geez), called How to save the PS3.

Today, however, I figured I'd come up with a nice, easy-to-read top 10 list of the missteps Sony has made. So, without further adieu, here we go...

10 - The "Spiderman" font. Why choose a font that already stands for something? It only serves to distract the gamer and make him/her think about Spiderman when they should be thinking about the PS3. On another note, I'm very excited about this week's debut of Spider-Man 3. See, I'm already thinking of something that's not the PS3 by just mentioning the font. My spidey senses are tingling...in a bad way.

9 - Lack of force feedback (vibration) in the controller. Much was made about Sony's decision to emulate the Wii's tilt motion controls. Whether or not you think Sony ripped it off is beside the point. The fact that they couldn't figure out how to get vibration and motion control into the controller, and then, as cover, came out and said vibration is overrated and not necessary, really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

8 - Lack of HD cables. Yet another poor decision by Sony who ostensibly claimed that the true HD buff would want to purchase their own cables when it seems Sony was just too cheap to throw in the very cables that would make the PS3's highly touted HD visuals come to life. This is an example of how being cheap actually ended up costing Sony money.

You can't handle the truth! Keep reading...

Continue reading "Top 10 Playstation 3 missteps"
Posted by Jeremy on April 30, 2007 7:26 AM | | Comments (30)

Filed Under: GBA | Nintendo | Nintendo DS | Nintendo Wii | PC | PS2 | PS3 | Sony | Xbox 360

Update: Since many people are getting to this page looking for our Spider-Man 3 walkthroughs, here are the links:

LB Spider-Man 3 Game Guide (Wii)
LB Spider-Man 3 Game Guide (X360)

Is your Spidey sense tingling? Can you feel the awesomeness that is about to hit theaters this weekend? Do you brave it and fight for a seat at, possibly, the biggest movie launch weekend ever, or do you wait it out? What would Spider-Man do? Hmm.

Whatever your decision, realize the movie is not where the Spider-Man 3 experience ends, as Friday will also mark the release of all Spider-Man 3 video games. And, by video games, I mean many, many video games, as versions of the aracno-hero title will be available for the PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, GBA, DS and PC. Oy. Is that enough Spider-Man for you? If not, check out the cinematic trailer for the major consoles below:

Still need more? How about a couple of great game previews:

Spider-Man 3 Hands-On Preview (Wii)
Spider-Man 3 Hands-On Preview (X360 and PS3)

Take note, the Wii version is completely different from the X360/PS3 version. Yes, they all follow the film, but the Wii version has different missions, original content, and controls that take advantage of the Wii's controller. Also, the Wii and PS2 versions were developed by Vicarious Visions, who also developed the DS and GBA version of the game, whereas the X360 and PS3 versions were developed by Treyarch, the developers of the first two incarnations of the Spider-Man movie games.

At this time, I can only guess the PS2 version is a port of the Wii version. If I find this not to be true, I'll update and let you know.

Posted by Allison on April 30, 2007 10:47 AM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: Nintendo | Nintendo Wii

When Castlevania was released for the NES in 1987, I was one of many who snatched it up. I certainly didn't have the skills I have now, so it took days upon days to make my way through the spooky side-scroller.

Then came the day where I met the Grim Reaper. It was a challenging duel to which I succombed many times. Then, when I opted for the acid over the boomerang, I began doing serious damage to his health meter. I could feel it. He was going down and I was going to move on! It's about time...one more vial of acid and...bzzzzzzzzzzzrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt. Game freeze. Try it again. Game freeze. Again. Game freeze. Erase my profile and start again. Game freeze. Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

Yes, it's tragic, but true. I never got the chance to complete Castlevania for the original NES because of a bum cartridge. How I survived and allowed myself to play future Castlevania's is beyond me. I guess some would call it incredible strength.

Well, today is my day, as Castlevania is one of three games released on the Wii Virtual console. Who would have thought, 20 years later, that I'd finally get closure on a game that has haunted me for years. What will I do with all of this extra strength? Perhaps I'll discover that I'm really a superhero.

  • Castlevania® (NES®, 1 player, 500 Wii Points)
  • The Legend of the Mystical Ninja™ (Super NES®, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points)
  • Shockman (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, 600 Wii Points)

Read Nintendo's Press Release

Continue reading "Wii Monday: Three new titles (that complete my life)"
Posted by Allison on April 30, 2007 1:11 PM | | Comments (0)

Filed Under: PC | Video Game Politics

As reported at GamePolitics, the new Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is being called out for axing marriages due to the assertion that they would inevitably lead to gay marriages, ironic for a company based in Massachusettes.

It is this Salon.com article which has caused all of the ruckus. It is an interesting and well written piece which is well worth a read.

The quote that most people are pulling out as offensive is from Turbine developer, Nik Davidson:

The rule that we tried to follow across the board was: if there’s an example of it in the book, the door is open to explore it. Very rarely will you see an elf and a human hook up, but it does happen; the door is open. Dwarves don’t intermarry with hobbits; that door is shut … Did two male hobbits ever hook up in the shire and have little hobbit civil unions? No. The door is shut.

Tolkien was a conservative Catholic. He went out drinking with C.S. Lewis every night, and the two of them had a worldview that was — well, let’s just say it clashes a little bit with the sensibilities of East Coast liberals who make up the largest population of Turbine.

Let's analyze that quote, shall we?

Continue reading "My Precious - Gay Marriages in LotR Online"
Posted by Jeremy on April 30, 2007 3:47 PM | | Comments (3)

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