A Circuit City ad, obtained by joystiq seems to confrim a price cut on all three Xbox 360 systems: Xbox 360 Elite, Xbox 360, and Xbox 360 Core.
The new prices will be $449 ($30 off), $349 ($50 off), and $279 ($20 off). They are expected to occur on or about August 12 and the $349 version will come with a free copy of Rockstar's Table Tennis (a very fun game).
This price cut is just in time for Madden '08 and will help sell systems in time for the September release of Halo 3.
This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young... fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.
On the other hand, zombie stories originated in the Afro-Caribbean Vodoun belief system, so for a series that relies on zombies as its main antagonists, exploring the voodoo origins of zombie mythology seems only natural, and in order to do that you are going to end up exploring villages that just don't happen to have many Caucasians in them.
If the game does anything it bolsters the hatred of black zombies already present in the well-established hatred of zombies in general. It teaches us that no matter what color they are on the outside, flesh-hungry reanimated dead people are really fundamentally the same, and should probably be avoided at all costs. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I'd like to think that mankind will band together regardless of race or nationality in the name of preserving the future of humanity and the safety of our precious brainmeats.
Since the game is not really walkthroughable, we don't have any immediate plans to play it, but since Lunabean moderator, Lizking, has challenged us, we'll have to give it a rent as soon as it's available.
Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan analyst, asserts that as prices of graphics processors come down over the next few years Nintendo will reveal a Wii with hi-def output.
Really? The cost will come down and they'll upgrade? Uh, you think so? Wow, what a prediction. Why does this guy have a job again?
We'll be playing much of today, practicing and learning the ins and outs in an effort to come up with a good walkthrough/faq for the game.
If you're interested in playing against us in some wi-fi action, then post on our message boards and we'll get it going.
Our Wii address is: 2555 2606 4086 2135
Our Friend Code is: 360884 150059
We're pleased to announce that we have started a Lunabean Mario Strikers Charged Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.
It's in rookie camp right now, not quite ready for the big leagues, but with some performance enhancing drugs, and the correct weight gain powder, it'll be ready to go in a few short days.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments beyond the scope of the guide, please post them over at the Mario Strikers Charged help thread.
With Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar is setting a new standard for next generation video games. Certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms. We all recognize that perfecting the game is vital and I can assure everyone it will be worth the wait. We owe it to the game's millions of fans, to our dedicated development team, and to our shareholders to make sure that Grand Theft Auto IV is a groundbreaking gaming experience that takes maximum advantage of next generation technology.
It's Monday, and you know what that means! Three new titles on the Wii Virtual Console. And they are:
Oh boy! I may have to buy GALAGA '90. It was my college room mate's favorite game and I played it a great deal myself.
Continue reading "Wii Virtual Console Monday"
For more info on each of these games, read the press release.
If you've been around the Halo block a few times then you probably know that Microsoft does a great job of viral marketing via the use of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), like I love bees, for Halo 2.
Well, now that Halo 3 is a mere seven weeks away, its ARG is heating up. If you head over to halo3.com, you'll see a series of "episodes", three of which are unlocked.
If you choose an episode, you'll get to manipulate a hovering pod. I won't tell you how to access the pod as that's half the fun of discovering what each pod has to say.
If you like this sort of thing (and who doesn't love a sci-fi mystery?) then you can catch up on all of the activity thus far by heading over to halo.wikibruce.com/Home.
Lunabean's unofficial Mario Strikers Charged Game Guide is progressing nicely.
We've added a bunch of strategies and advice, explained all of the gameplay basics, and gone down the list of characters in the game.
Over the next few days we'll be adding more strategies and help topics. Stay tuned for the complete guide by the end of the week!
An update for the Wii came out yesterday (Firmware 3.0). In addition to adding a digital clock to the channels menu, the update allows for USB keyboard support in the Shop Channel, Settings Menu, and Message Boards.
There is not yet any keyboard support for the web browser, but one imagines that it won't be too long until it is supported.
The update also made ineffective the Freeloader discs used by some to play imported GameCube games.
To get the update, click the "Wii" icon in the lower left of the channels menu. From there go to "Settings" and then scroll to the third page for "System Update".
Thanks to Dan D. for tipping us off to this last night.
Back in December of 2004 it was leaked that EA was to buy a 20% share of Ubisoft. That deal eventually went through.
Today, we have word that EA has upped their piece of Ubisoft to nearly 25% of the voting shares and now own 15.37% of Ubi's capital.
What does that mean? I don't think much. I really don't think that EA wants to take over Ubi. I think they're happy owning a good chunk of them and letting Ubi do what they do best: make good original games (as opposed to the sequel-happy EA).
I also think that EA is smart enough to know that if they took over Ubi, Ubi would lose a good deal of their luster. You want to keep a gem shiny, know what I'm sayin'?
Read the Forbes Article
Other than my wife, chocolate chip cookies, and kittens, there is nothing that I like waking up to more than the pulsing blue light of my Wii telling me that I have a message.
Today, that message was from Nintendo who alerted me to the fact that a preview video of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is available in the Wii Shop Channel.
To get it, go into the Wii Shop Channel, choose "Shop Now" and locate the video. It's a free download. After it's downloaded it's available in the Wii main menu.
In addition to that little teaser, Nintendo has a whole channel in the WiiWare section of the Wii Shop dedicated to Metroid Prime 3. This special channel is 1500 Wii Points. It includes a special cursor and layout, movies and videos. Hmm? I think I'll just stick to the free download.
UPDATE Upon downloading and watching the two movies available, I am guessing that this free download is also what's available for 1500 points. The cursor is different and two of four movies are now available. Maybe Nintendo is just giving it for free for a while.
In an effort to get you excited for the late August release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Nintendo today announced that they'll be releasing the original NES Metroid onto the Wii Virtual Console on August 13 for 500 Wii Points.
The fun doesn't stop there. On August 20, Nintendo will release the SNES Super Metroid for 800 Wii Points. Boy, if I was to get into either of those games again, I might miss out on the launch of Metroid Prime 3.
I better stay away from them. They've already taken hundreds of hours of my life away. I don't want them to suck away any more.
OMG! OMG! OMG! *runs around wildy* *hits wall* *falls down* *attempts to use the Force to make wireless controller come to him* *fails* *gets up wearily and initiates download*
Well, you know what I'll be doing all day.
Lunabean's Unofficial Mario Strikers(TM) Charged Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for the Nintendo Wii contains everything you need to know to win the Striker Cup and to compete against your friends, be they on your sofa or on the Wi-Fi Connection.
This guide covers Game Elements, Techniques and Skills (both basic and advanced), a Breakdown of all of the Players, tried and true Strategies for winning, and a full account of the team that we used to win the Striker Cup (and how we used them).
In other words, if you're looking for Mario Strikers Charged help, you need not look any further!
After reading about it and watching trailers for it, the general public is finally able to get their hands on BioShock via Xbox Live.
The Xbox 360 game, due out on August 21st, is one of the best looking and most exciting games to come around in a long time. It's a first person shooter, developed on the Unreal engine, set in a 1960 underwater dystopia named Rapture.
The city of Rapture was seemingly founded in the mid 1940s as an alternative to Communism, Capitalism and religion. In Rapture, artists need not worry about constraints and scientists can explore the outer limits of their imagination without moral consequence. In fact, much of it is based on the writings of Ayn Rand, including some character names.
Of course, not all goes well. And, it is in this fallen city where you find yourself after a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic. All around you are reminders of what a wonderful place this must have been.
Art is everywhere. It surrounds you and helps to set the scene and tell the story of what used to be. The style mixes that of the WPA art projects and 1940s propaganda poster art. Add to that a good deal of neon, much of it flashing and flickering, providing eerie atmospherics.
And it's the atmospherics that excel so well in this underwater world. Not only do you have the sense of claustrophobia caused by underwater tubes and bathyspheres, but the fallen utopia itself permeates the game, resulting in you being on edge...constantly.
Then there are the characters who inhabit this world. The splicers, big daddies, and little sisters. The splicers and little sisters are evidently scientific experiments gone bad. The splicers roam the city looking for Adam, the juice of life which powers the city, and appear extremely frightening in their bunny and cat half-masks. The little sisters, dressed in their pink dresses and talking of angels, do nothing to calm any anxieties you may have. Large needles and syringes seem to be a recurring theme.
Continue reading "'BioShock' demo review"
An article in the USA Today states:
On the surface, the releases on 360 and PlayStation 3 look identical. However, when you stack them head-to-head, it's clear which is better. Madden on 360 is fast and fluid, thanks to a sharp jump in frame rate that allows the game to move twice as fast. PS3 owners, unfortunately, are greeted with a Madden that is sluggish in comparison.
Add to that the recent comment from Splinter Cell Conviction lead programmer that "the PS3 can’t handle AI nearly as well as the 360."
What the heck is going on here? The PS3 is supposed to be more powerful than the Xbox 360. Is this just a function of developers having a year head start with the 360 and not yet knowing the PS3, or is the Cell Processor super-powerful when it comes to rendering graphics, but not that great when it comes to smarts?
Joystiq is reporting that some Toys 'R' Us's have broken the street date for BioShock and have begun selling it.
Our local Toys 'R' Us opens at 10am, so I'll call then to find out if they have it. I'll update this post to let you know.
UPDATE: One store said, "I haven't gotten it yet. Call back at 12 or 1." The other said, "The street date is 8/21." It seems that perhaps, that second store had been tipped off because his response was so quick and automatic. That's all he said to me.
I'll follow up at noon to see if the first store hasn't caught on yet.
UPDATE 2: The cat is out of the bag. Toys 'R' Us stores have received a fax telling them not to break the street date. At my local GameCrazy, the employee said that they had received a call from corporate telling them the same.
This is the really bewildering thing about it: it succeeds so stunningly on three different fronts. Not esoteric ones, either, these are the big challenges developers have been struggling to master for decades: narrative, emergence, a sense of place. If another game did just one of these as well as BioShock, it would immediately qualify as a classic. When a game comes along that does all three, we can only be baffled and thankful.
It’s ingenious, enthralling, and a masterpiece of the most epic proportions. So without further delay, would you kindly enter Rapture so that you too can experience the best that video games have to offer?
According to this report from Gamesindustry.biz, at the current pace, the Ninendo Wii may overtake all other consoles as early as October in the UK.
Of course, they are quick to point out that with the release of Halo 3 the 360 isn't going to go down without a fight. I would counter that with the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy, the Wii has a strong counter-punch.
Oh, how I love the console wars.
ABC News is reporting that the Defense Department has put the kibosh on a plan by the Operation Start Up (OSU) Tour, an evangelical Christian entertainment troupe, who planned to send copies of Left Behind: Eternal Forces to troops in care packages.
Why does the Defense Department hate our troops? Oh, wait. The game asks the player to convert "non-believers". The games were to be sent to Iraq. I'm starting to see the problem.Continue reading "DoD smites plans for 'Left Behind' game"
The other day I pondered news that Madden on the Xbox 360 looks and plays better than on the PS3 and that PS3 Splinter Cell Conviction lead programmer said that "the PS3 can’t handle AI nearly as well as the 360."
Now, we have news out of another Ubisoft development team, the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (GRAW) team, saying that, "It's not harder to develop on the PS3 than it is on the 360, it's just a different console. Developers might say it's harder because it just takes time to understand the technology, we're still early in the lifecycle."
There you have it. As I surmised, it's just a matter of time before developers figure out how to get the most out of the PS3. I am looking forward to that day.
Didn't get a Wii last Christmas? Well, you might not get one this Christmas either.
It seems there is a massive shortage of chips out of Taiwan, not only for the Wii, but for other consumer products like laptops.
Due to that fact, the ramp-up in production that Iwata promised earlier in the year has yet to materialize, and may not happen until next year.
Put simply, BioShock is an unparalleled achievement. No other game comes even remotely close to it in terms of raw emotional connection. It may still be too early to name a Game of the Year, but after experiencing BioShock in all of its haunting artistic glory, every other game will have to try that much harder to even be considered as a candidate.
No creation is ever truly flawless....The mechanics of the final battle are somewhat familiar, and the enemy voice samples do repeat a bit too frequently. But taken as a whole, as an experience that's richly and utterly complete, and one that engages the player in a constant dialogue, BioShock is virtually unassailable.
BioShock stands as a monolithic example of the convergence of entertaining gameplay and an irresistibly sinister, engrossing storyline that encompasses a host of multifaceted characters. This is an essential gaming experience.
Sure, we're all looking forward to BioShock and Halo 3, but what about those games that are coming out in November and December? You know, the games that we play to escape family gatherings at Thanksgiving. The games that we find under the Christmas tree after so
delicately obviously hinting to a loved one just how much we want it.
Please keep in mind that these are the games that I'm most looking forward to. And, yes, I'm aware that there is a large majority of Nintendo gamers out there who are most excited for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but I never got into those games. I think I will definitely try it out this time around, though.
If you have other suggestions of games that you're looking forward to, let me know in the comments.
Also, we plan on writing walkthroughs and guides for all of these games, so look for those when the games launch.
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - November/December (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Call of Duty has taken a break from its WWII roots and has been redesigned from the ground up. Now set in the modern day Middle East and the former Soviet Republic, the game has you play as the Marines Force Recon and British SAS, aka special forces.
CoD 4 has won all sorts of "Best of Show" awards already and promises to be an exhilarating and intense experience.Continue reading "Top 5 most anticipated holiday games"
Don't get me wrong. I'm very excited for the multiplayer public beta on Xbox Live of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Nonetheless, I am a bit perturbed that Activision is having us, the supportive gamer, jump through a series of hoops to play it.
Continue reading "'Call of Duty 4' public beta requires tokens"
UPDATE - As pointed out in the comments, this is a Beta, not a Demo. I wasn't thinking straight this morning and I was without coffee. So, I withdraw my crabbiness and fully understand that it's a multiplayer Beta. See the comments for more info.
Wired has an excellent article delving into the scientific approach to fun developed by the game testers at Bungie Studios.
Taking it to a whole new level, the game testing lab helps Bungie developers pinpoint problems in the game, such as levels that are too easy or hard, weapons or enemies that are too deadly, or areas where gamers are getting frustrated or lost.
It's a long read, but it's worth it. You'll up your gaming IQ and you'll get excited for Halo 3 all over again.
Just a quick reminder that we'll be picking up BioShock in about half an hour.
At that point we're going to hunker down and start adding to our BioShock Walkthrough and Strategy Guide.
UPDATE 1 - BioShock is in our 360. We'll be updating the BioShock Walkthrough and Strategy Guide daily, so check back often.
If you need help beyond where our walkthrough is currently, then please, post your question on our BioShock help thread.
UPDATE 2 - Well the Demo and the first level of the actual game are quite different. We're working on updating the Demo Walkthrough we currently have, so just be patient and we'll have an update by the end of the day.
GameStop shares are up about 8% after a stellar earnings report. The Grapevine, TX company reported net income of $21.8 million for the quarter as compared to $3.18 million a year ago. That's nearly a seven-fold jump. The stock hit a new all-time high and is currently trading at 47.10. (Read)
Meanwhile, Take-Two's shares have jumped nearly 20% over the past two days due to hype over BioShock and rumors of a takeover bid by EA.
The BioShock hype is just that; hype. Yes, the game will sell better than expected, but as one analyst puts it, it's not the next GTA. (Read)
Ahhh, Boston. That town of universities. Where ideas float freely through the ether, colliding much like atoms in an MIT particle accelerator. Yes, this bastion of liberal thought seeks to venture above the simplified black vs. white moralities.
That's why it's upsetting to see this article from The Patriot Ledger which uses BioShock's "saving" or "harvesting" of Adam (a life serum) from Little Sisters (virus plagued small girls) to suggest a link between viiolent games and real-life violence.
The article seeks to add credence to Middlesex County prosecuters who claim that a stabbing at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School is directly tied to the alleged criminals play of Grand Theft Auto.
Back in June, Manhunt 2 was effectively banned in the US and UK.
Today, we get word that Rockstar has toned down the game enough to get an "M" rating from the ESRB.
Many of us still think that the original banning was Rockstar's way of getting press for the game and never had any intention of releasing it in July. October 31st seems much more appropriate.
That being said, I don't think we'll be playing this one.
Update: The LB 'Bioshock' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide is now complete! Enjoy it here.
2K Games has been kind enough to release the BioShock Orchestral Score for free. The download is a .zip file of MP3s.
This is perfect for those of you who are freaks and want to listen to this disturbing music over and over. And, for the record, yes, I've already downloaded it and put it in iTunes. I love this stuff.
Now if they would come out with a Rule of Rose original score. Dun, dun, duuuun!
At high noon (well, Pacific Time high noon), the "beta" section of Charlie Oscar Delta will become active and invites to the Call of Duty 4 beta will be handed out on a first come first serve basis.
To get your public beta you need to first register, then, at noon, go to the "beta" section of the site. At that point, the "enter now" button will actually work. You'll have to answer three CoD trivia questions and also hope that their server doesn't crash.
Hey, I know. Let's have an unbiased debate on keeping violent video games out of the hands of kids. But first, let's start it out with a guest who was in Columbine, faced death, and lost a sister and friends to the killers. That won't taint the debate at all (no offense to that poor kid).
Continue reading "Star Jones on violent video games"
Yes, the newly thin Star Jones (did she use DDR to lose that weight?) took on the violent video game debate pitting California state senator, Leland Yee vs. first ammendment and game industry lawyer, Katherine Fallow.
Today's "How To" on iGoogle happened to be How to break a World of Warcraft addiction.
I particularly like the suggestions to take up martial arts and to sabotage your own account.
May I offer an alternative? Watch High School Musical 2. That movie will suck all of the life out of you making you an empty shell of a human being, without any desires whatsoever.
Welcome to the inaugural entry of my very own Lunabean Beer Blogging. Because I've been known to drink a delicious beer here and now, and since I live in Portland, Ore., capital of all beerdom, I figured I'd share with you my beer tasting experiences.
I know it doesn't have to do with video games...or does it? My quest? To share with our loyal audience my thoughts and reviews of beer. Will I succeed? Only time and the beer gods know my true fate. Oh Oracle of Delphi, why do you mock me?
Without further adieu...
Six Rivers Brewery, IPA
I love IPAs (India Pale Ale). In fact, for the past ten years I've been tasting countless IPAs in hopes of discovering that one perfect beer.
Six Rivers Brewery's IPA isn't it. But, it's a worthy contender. It is definitely one of the most well balanced IPAs I've ever had; harmoniously combining the bitter floral hops with the sugary sweet maltiness.Continue reading "Beer Blogging -- Six Rivers Brewery IPA"
Mass Effect, the epic RPG from BioWare (Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic), has a date and boy am I ready. On November 20 you can get your hands on the best game of all time.
Okay, that may be overdoing it but until I played KOTOR I didn't care about RPGs. In fact, it was that game that made me fall in love with story-based games. Now, I'm a big fan. Particularly of this real-time, action-based, RPG style.
You can expect a Lunabean Walkthrough for the game soon after launch.
Mass Effect simply looks amazing. Just check out this video and soak in the nuance and depth of this game.
Dear Mr. Zelnick and Mr. Feder:
Congratulations on receiving a “Mature” rating for Manhunt 2. You’ll live to regret it (trust me), so enjoy it while you can.
I want to bring to your attention the fact that at www.rockstargames.com anyone of any age can order Manhunt 2 and receive it, with no age verification whatsoever. Asking a 14-year-old if he’s 17 is not age verification, now is it?
You also know that the use of a bank card as an age verifier is a violation of all bank card agreements, right?
Govern yourselves accordingly, if you can.
Regards, Jack Thompson