Talking gargoyles got you down? Wand just not working the way it should? Getting lost in Hogwarts?
If you suffer from any of these symptoms then you'll be glad that we have a growing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix walkthrough in the works.
In addition to the walkthrough, we have an extremely active Harry Potter: OotP help thread on our message boards. Here, you can share your gameplay experience and help others along the way. Afterall, it is what a good Gryffindor would do.
Let's face it. We all like getting a pat on the back for a job well done. It is for this reason that Xbox Live achievements have become so popular. I mean, who can resist seeking out all of the orbs in Crackdown or earning the Moth Hunter badge in Lost Planet?
However, not unlike the Olympics, these pure and untarnished achievements are soon to be tainted by the pros...that is, they'll be sold to the highest bidder for sponsorship.
As Joytiq reports, the upcoming EA game, NCAA Footbal '08, contains achievements sponsored by Old Spice and Pontiac.
I don't know whether to cry or to welcome what is certain to become a steady cash flow for developers to offset production costs (hopefully giving us better games). I think I'll cry.
The numbers are in for video game sales for the month of May and they are good. Year over year, hardware + software sales climbed 49%, as opposed to a more tepid 20% rise in April.
Here are the highlights:
A new study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concludes that while gamers tend to spend less time on their homework, they spend the same amount of time socializing as non-gamers.
This flies in the face of the conventional (and misguided) wisdom that assumes gamers to be part of the trench coat mafia, holed up in suburban bedrooms, listening to Marilyn Manson, gothing-out their faces with make-up and piercings, getting ready to commit the next school shooting because nobody likes them and their only friends are pedophiles who chat online (okay, maybe I laid it on a little thick there).
In fact, (and I know this is ground breaking), kids who play video games are, well, kids. And, going further, the report found that only 36% of tweens and teens play video games.
While that may sound odd, that was exactly my experience. Going to high school in the early '90s I was exposed to the SNES, Sega Genesis, and the Playstation. Despite the ubiquity of these devices amongst high schoolers at the time, we were all simply too busy to do anything other than have a quick go at Street Fighter II.Continue reading "New Study: Video Games don't create anti-social kids"
Indigo Prophecy (Farenheit in the UK) is one of my favorite games of the past few years. It was the closest thing yet to a "playable movie" that I've ever experienced and it was quite enthralling.
It is for this reason that I'm excited to see what Indigo Prophecy developer, Quantic Dreams, will come up with for the PS3.
Happy Fourth of July! We hope you have a happy and safe holiday!
If you're at a loss for what to do today, may I suggest some Boom Boom Rocket (Xbox Live Arcade...free demo, too) or play some Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Or, just go set off some fireworks...just don't let any land in dry grass.
While it does make me sad, it does save about 100 hours of my life which I would have spent playing online.
I also respect the fact that the developers wanted to focus on a great single player experience and just didn't have time for multiplayer.
But, hey, with the Wii online, don't count out a downloadable add-on at a later date.
A demo for Blue Dragon, the highly anticipated RPG for the Xbox 360, will be available beginning on July 20th and will end on August 3rd.
The demo reportedly contains over two hours of gameplay and will be a 1.1 GB download, so get your broadband ready.
We'll definitely check it out and will start a walkthrough for it as soon as it enters the Lunabean HQ interweb.
Microsoft today admitted to an "unacceptable number of repairs" (source) for the Xbox 360, announcing it would take a $1 billion charge due to the repairs.
Because of this situation, Microsoft has done the right thing...
The company said it would extend warranty coverage to three years to cover the problem and would reimburse customers who had previously paid for repairs related to the three-flashing-lights error message. It also said it has made improvements to the Xbox 360 console.
Despite the $1 billion charge, and missing shipping expectations (11.6 million vs. 12 million), MS says it still expects to be in the black for fiscal year '08, which I believe, would be the first time the Xbox division is profitable for a full year.
Job well done, MS. Unlike many other technology companies, you've admitted to your mistake, said you'd fix the machines for free and extended the warranty to 3 years, which is one of the longest warranties for any consumer electronics product. This will help to maintain confidence in the product and will help with sales.
If your Xbox 360 has gotten the red ring of death, you can try the towel wrapping method before sending it in.
The bad news is they added a second PS3 to the lineup, an 80GB version which comes with Motorsport for the total of $599, the old price.
Now, granted, this isn't necessarily bad news for the gamer, but it is yet another mistake made by Sony when it comes to the PS3. They need to keep it simple. Part of the problem with the original launch was that they also made the 20GB version, leaving the masses in confusion over two SKUs and which one had what.
Now, they've done it again. They need to stick to one darn PS3. For now that should be the 60GB version. Then, in a few months or a year, announce the 80GB version for the same $499.
Last October EA and Steven Spielberg announced a long-term, three-game partnership.
Today, we have some tantalizing details. First, there is "LMNO," the secret title of an action game for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC (March 2008).
Second, there's "PQRS," a game dreamed up when Spielberg played Miyamoto in Wii Tennis at last year's E3. Apparently, Spielberg was so taken with Wii Tennis that it inspired him to make a game for the Wii.
"Really, what that game is about is re-inventing classic blocks, but reinventing them with the Wii remote," Young said, beginning to describe a physics-based puzzle game of block stacking and block toppling. "Blocks can have physical properties. They can weigh different weights or they might explode and vanish, or if two combine they might have a chemical reaction."
Well, count me in as excited.
I've never played Guitar Hero but I love it. I love thinking about how good I'd be at it. I love to imagine screaming at the top of my lungs, "Hello Cleveland!," and then proceeding to rock the stadium like no man before me.
Well, maybe with Guitar Hero 3 (October, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii), I'll finally fulfill my dreams. The big draw this time? Slash!
That's right, Slash, the guitar player of my teen years is to be featured in the game. Add to that a killer line-up of songs including Welcome to the Jungle (Guns n Roses), Even Flow (Pearl Jam), and Paint it Black (Rolling Stones), and you pretty much have the soundtrack of my high school years. Oh, and there's finally a wireless guitar.
Do you know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby. Yeahahhahahahahhahhhhhhhh!!!
Nintendo just wrapped up their E3 2007 press conference and boy was it exciting! I'll post a video of the entire press conference when I find one. For now, here are the highlights.
Holy wow geez. This is what a trailer should be. Metal Gear Solid 4 doesn't look like it'll disappoint.
Well, you may as well throw me into a ball pit full of puppies and kitties. This video game is just so damn cute. I want to squeeze it and play it all day!
Yesterday, Nintendo announced Wii Fit, a fitness game that comes bundled with the Wii Balance Board, a sort of thin step aerobics board that can measure weight and weight distribution.
And, oh, did you see the yoga at the end of the clip? This is exciting for us because we've just started to dabble in yoga and if Wii Fit has a yoga program, we're so in! Now, downward dog!
Rockstar today announced a brilliant PR initiative which asks us, the unwashed masses, to call into the Liberty City talk station, WKTT ("The only station fighting the War on Terror"), and rant about, "Liberty City, America, Liberals, or your Health."
All you have to do is call 1-212-360-2368. You have to be 18 or older and agree to the terms and conditions. More info can be found at wkttradio.com.
Now all we have to do is figure out a way to work "Lunabean" into a rant.
Sony's recent announcement of a $100 price cut on the PS3 was met with a sigh of relief across gaming-dom.
Finally, we all thought, Sony has done something right. Granted, a 60GB and an 80GB PS3 was potentially confusing to the average consumer, but hey, you could get a PS3 for $499, so who was going to complain.
Now, Sony has come out and said that they will no longer make the 60GB PS3 and that the $100 off price will only be valid as long as stock remains. At that point, the only PS3 available will be the 80GB for the too-expensive previous price of $599.
This move effectively gives gamers a double middle finger. First, all of those gamers who purchased the 60GB PS3 for $599 now have a lesser model. Ouch. That hurts.
Second, Sony's "price cut" is really nothing of the sort. It is simply a sale to get rid of the stock of the lesser PS3. It's a dirty, disingenuous trick.
Sony continues to rub consumers the wrong way and this latest move is just one more example.
Yesterday, I mentioned how adept Sony has become at flipping the bird to gamers, this time in regard to the "price cut" of the 60GB PS3 and the soon-to-be-released 80GB PS3 at $599.
Today, we get word that Wedbush Morgan Stanley gaming analyst, Michael Pachter, is predicting that when stock of the 60GB PS3 runs out the 80GB PS3 will replace it at the $499 price point.
I have to disagree. We're talking about Sony here; the company that can't make a smart decision when it comes to the PS3. Judging from the past, there is no evidence that Sony will lower the price of the 80GB PS3.Continue reading "80GB PS3 for $499?!?"
Apparently, when you have two products that essentially print money (Wii and DS), you can go around sponsoring things. Such is the case with the brand new #16 Greg Biffle Wii car.
I wonder if Biffle even needs to drive anymore or if he'll use the new Wii Wheel to go around the track.
Personally, I'd like to see a bunch of Wii Smart Cars flying around the track, but I guess that's the Mario Kart in me.
Peter Moore, head of Microsoft's Xbox unit, will resign to oversee sports games at Electronic Arts. Taking the place of Moore will be Don Mattrick, a former executive at EA.
David Perry, creator of Earthworm Jim says that the Nintendo Wii will have limited long term appeal because gamers are "attracted to beautiful looking games," thus inferring that the Wii does not have that capability.
Oy. How many times do we need to have the graphics vs. gameplay debate. We all agree that slick graphics are cool. However, we also agree that a great game doesn't necessarily need great graphics.
It's this kind of black vs. white thinking that I'm so sick of. Just shut up and play the games that you want to play.
VGChartz is reporting that the recent price drop of the 60GB PS3 to $499 has driven sales. For the week ending July 14, Sony sold 41,000 PS3s, up from 17,770 the previous week. That's more than a two-fold increase.
Of course, the PS3 was still beat by the DS (97,400), the Wii (76,394), the PSP (50,890), and the PS2 (43,406).
The good news for Sony is, collectively, they held the 3rd, 4th, and 5th spots for hardware. The bad news for Sony is that Nintendo held the 1st and 2nd spot and continues to kick Sony's rear. The bad news for Microsoft is that it's getting its rear kicked by everybody.
Alas, this is but one week of numbers, and as holiday '07 approaches, we'll all get a better idea of how the console war is shaking out.
And all you thought we did was play video games. Geez. No respect.
Yes, we've been busy lately redesigning the site to make it easier to use. Some new features that you may enjoy:
We're continuing to tweak with everything and have a good amount of work left to go, so if you see anything funky, just let us know.
Enjoy the new site!
Rockstar Games yesterday announced that Bully, the prep school-based sandbox game, will be coming to the Wii and Xbox 360 this winter.
Bully was definitely one of my favorite games of the past few years, perfectly capturing the prep school atmosphere, from cliques to the seasons. Ahh, autumn at Bullworth Academy.
We wrote a comprehensive Bully Walkthrough last year, and judging from the press release, there won't be a ton of new stuff in the new games.
If you missed this game, I highly recommend it.
Hometown paper, The Oregonian, today has an article titled, A Piece of the Pixels, which explains that Division I college programs earn anywhere from 10% to 25% of their royalty revenue via Electronic Arts' NCAA Football.
In the case of top ranked teams, such as Florida and Ohio State, we're talking about $150,000 pumped into the programs. Local teams Oregon and Oregon State pull in $95,300 and $60,000 respectively.
What's most interesting is not the money, but that the colleges don't have to do anything for it...well, other than continue winning. Still, EA is advertising and branding these colleges not for free, but actually paying them to do so.
Is it a win-win or another case of amateur athletes being exploited?
Three more titles have hit the Wii Virtual Console.
Just thought I'd share my excitement for one of the games I'm most looking forward to in the next few months (November, 2007).
(I embedded the trailer earlier, but it was automatically playing upon loading lunabean, which was rather annoying. So, that's why I just put the link there.)
I want to make it, but I'm scared that it will suck life out of me.
Viva Pinata, the Rare developed sim game exclusively for the Xbox 360 is jumping platforms to the Nintendo DS. This should not be a shock to you Lunabean readers seeing as Allison reported on this rumor back in February.
Still, now that it's true, we're excited about it. Many of our readers love Viva Pinata, but we just never got into it. Now that it'll be on the DS, well, that may change.
For those of us with an interest in the business side of video games, this week will be a busy one. As CNN Money reports, game makers are seeing some downward pressure in front of their earnings reports.
Activision, for one, who reports this Thursday, has dropped about 15% over the past three months due, in part, to the announcement of Rock Band, a direct competitor to their best selling Guitar Hero.
EA has also seen some downward movement in its stock as investors realized that they put too much weight behind the PS3 and are now playing catch up with the Wii. EA reports its earnings on Wednesday.
Rounding out the top three independent publishers is THQ who is expected to take a loss of $0.25 per share when they report on Wednesday.
Of course, there is Nintendo and their first party titles, which are selling like cheap hot cakes. The article discusses, however, how despite Nintendo's runaway success of late, their tide is not lifting all boats.Continue reading "CNN Money: game makers pressured ahead of earnings"