I haven’t seen it myself, but if you fire up Xbox Live today, you’ll get a special EXCLUSIVE peek at an upcoming title. I won’t be reporting on it until tonight, and Capcom will not be releasing any information about it until Wednesday. So have fun you Live members, and remember that you get to see something that is supposedly going to be announced Wednesday!
Archive for February 23rd, 2009
That’s right kids, my favorite gaming platform when I was a kid was the Commodore 64 (C=64 for my homies!). 3 games out, and it’s sweet to see The Last Ninja being released on any platform! Wonder if it’s gonna have the old “load *.* ,8,1″ screen before you play each game. That would just be awesome!
Wii Weekly Update: 1 WiiWare (first ever FPS on WiiWare), and 3 VC titles this week along with C=64 emulation!
Hang onto your hats – and your Wii Remote controllers – as we unveil a set of exciting firsts for the Wii Shop Channel this week. For starters, the new Onslaught marks the first-ever first-person shooter to be released via the WiiWare service. Using the intuitive wireless controls Wii is known for, the game puts players at the center of a pulse-pounding adventure that fans of futuristic sci-fi and multiplayer action will love.
The other big news this week is the hotly anticipated launch of Commodore 64 game titles on Virtual Console. Starting with two classic martial arts games and an awesome car racing title, we’re thrilled to add yet another old-school gaming platform to the mix. Virtual Console already offers classic games that originally appeared on a variety of platforms, and with the addition of Commodore 64, Wii owners can expect even more vintage games to rediscover and enjoy. (Congratulations to those of you who deciphered our hidden hints in last week’s Wii-kly Update – you’ll find a key to all the clues at the end of this installment.)
Nintendo adds new and classic games to the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time every Monday. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week’s new games are:
Onslaught (Hudson Entertainment, 1-4 players, Rated T for Teen-Animated Blood, Violence, 1,000 Wii Points): Onslaught is an FPS that puts you in the middle of a futuristic war between humans and insectoid aliens. Become part of the Elite Interstellar Strike Force and fight against an overwhelming onslaught of alien life forms. Enjoy the rush of mowing down wave after wave of aliens with machine guns, grenades and more. Feel your heart pound as you battle gigantic boss aliens. Beyond the normal game, Onslaught includes additional modes that let you play with rivals from around the world using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Team up with as many as three other players in Free Battle mode, or compete on special maps to see who can get the most points by killing enemies before time runs out in Ranking Battle mode. (Router and broadband access required for online play. For more info, go to www.nintendo.com.)
The Last Ninja (Commodore 64, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older-Animated Blood, Mild Violence, 500 Wii Points): The evil Shogun Kunitoki has long envied the powers of the Ninja brotherhood and would do anything to acquire their knowledge. To this end, he has sworn an oath to their total destruction. Once every decade, all Ninja must travel to the Island of Lin Fen, where they pay homage to the Shrine of the White Ninja and receive further teachings from the Koga Scrolls. Seizing the opportunity, Kunitoki summoned forth all the spirits from the depths of the Nether World and flung their full force against the amassed Ninja. None escaped the wrath of Kunitoki. Word of this unnatural disaster soon reached Armakuni, the last Ninja. Gathering all his courage, he has sworn to wreak a terrible revenge on the Shogun and all his followers. What unforeseen hazards await him?
INTERNATIONAL KARATE (Commodore 64, 1-2 players, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older-Mild Violence, 500 Wii Points): INTERNATIONAL KARATE is a simulation of a karate tournament in which one person can play against the computer or two players can compete against each other. During the game, you’ll fly to various locations around the world. In all stages of the game, a wise old judge will watch over you and award you either a half-point or a full point, depending on how successful a hit has been.
Pitstop II (Commodore 64, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Pitstop II was the first game that brought serious auto racing action to the computer screen-the thrill of battling an opponent, the excitement of fighting for the lead out on the track, and the suspense of struggling to be the first out of the pits. Third-person graphics and a split-screen display allow one or two players to experience the challenge of car racing head-to-head. Six of the world’s toughest tracks are waiting, from Brands Hatch and its hairpin turns to the mile-long straight of Vallelunga. You can practice against the computer, but nothing will compare to the fun of racing against another person. Indeed, Pitstop II proves that car racing was never meant to be a solo sport.
As promised, here’s a list of the Commodore 64-related clues that were embedded in last week’s newsletter:
In the second paragraph, each sentence contains exactly 64 letters and numbers (not counting spaces or punctuation).
U.S. Route 64 runs from Arizona to North Carolina.
The third sentence ends with a comma and the word “door,” hinting at the name Commodore.
“Brick House” was a hit for R&B group The Commodores.
The athletic teams of Vanderbilt University are known as the Commodores.
Pennsylvania’s Route 286 passes through a town called Commodore.
The phrases “birthday greetings” and “who could ask for more?” are found in the classic Beatles tune “When I’m 64.”
For more information about Wii, please visit wii.com.
Video Game Publishers and Retailers Respond to Court Ruling Overturning California Video Game Restriction LawMonday, February 23rd, 2009
U.S. Ninth Circuit Court Sides with Groups in Challenge to 2005 Law
Following are statements of Bo Andersen, President and CEO of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) and Michael D. Gallagher, President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case of Video Software Dealers Association v. Schwarzenegger (#07-16620), which held a 2005 video game restriction law enacted by the state of California to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
Statement of Bo Andersen: “We are extremely gratified by the court’s rejection of video game censorship by the state of California. The ruling vindicates what we have said since the bill that became this law was introduced: ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content.
“Retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80% enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further. The court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.
“I understand that some government officials will push for the state to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review this decision. The state should not acquiesce in this demand, particularly in light of its budget difficulties. The state has already wasted too many tax dollars, at least $283,000 at last count, on this ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.”
Statement of Michael D. Gallagher: “This is a win for California’s citizens. This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time, and state resources. In the end, common sense prevailed with the court determining that, after exhaustive review, video games do not cause psychological or neurological harm to minors. And, that the ESRB rating system, educational campaigns and parental controls are the best tools for parents to help control what their children play.”
In 2005, the state of California enacted a law to restrict the sale or rental to anyone under the age of 18 of computer and video games that are classified as “violent video games” if the depictions of violence in the games are offensive to the community or if the violence depicted is committed in an “especially heinous, cruel, or depraved” manner. The law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2006.
Prior to the law taking effect, the Video Software Dealers Association (now the Entertainment Merchants Association) and the Entertainment Software Association filed suit against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and others to prevent its enforcement. The plaintiffs asserted that the law’s restriction on the sale or rental of certain violent video games violates their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to freedom of expression and equal protection of the laws and is unconstitutionally vague.
In August 2007, a federal district court judge granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and permanently barred enforcement of California’s video game law. In doing so, the judge ruled that video games are protected by the First Amendment, the law is unduly restrictive and uses overly broad definitions, and the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.
The state of California appealed the summary judgment ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on the appeal on October 29, 2008 at a special sitting at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA.
Additional information and links to case documents are at: http://www.entmerch.org/schwarzenneger.html
Having united forces with rock ‘n’ roll legends Metallica for encore performances and recordings throughout the years, Grammy Award-nominated heavy metal vocalist and Mercyful Fate frontman King Diamond will take to the cyber-stage with Metallica this spring in Guitar Hero Metallica.
Fans, stagehands and groupies alike will have the opportunity to shred and drum with or wail as the digital King Diamond during performances of “Evil.” The song, which originally was recorded in 1983 and is one of the Mercyful Fate songs that comprise Metallica’s “Mercyful Fate” medley, was re-recorded by four of the five original band members for Guitar Hero Metallica. The recording session was overseen by guitarist Hank Shermann in the band’s native Denmark; after which King Diamond laid down his vocals in Dallas, Texas, and mixed the song with J.T. Longoria.
“It’s been absolutely amazing to be a part of this Guitar Hero experience. It was quite a trip to re-record the song ‘Evil’ almost 25 years after the original recording took place. The end result with four out of the five original musicians turned out so much better than I would ever have hoped for,” said King Diamond. “Seeing my animated character take form was totally eerie in a very good way. It’s so strange to see yourself animated in such perfect detail – cross bone microphone, Eye necklace and all. This game looks and sounds METAL all the way. HORNS UP!!!”
“Ride the Lightning” with musical icons Metallica and 21 other rockin’ acts in an all new Guitar Hero experience – Guitar Hero Metallica. Enter the world of Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo and experience the intensity and skill of one of the greatest bands of all time. Shred on the guitar controller, rip on the drum kit controller and wail on the mic to a set list featuring over 45 explosive hits from Metallica’s illustrious career and a wide variety of other legendary artists personally selected by the band, such as Alice In Chains, Bob Seger, Foo Fighters, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Queen. Fans will be able to rock as Metallica while performing in venues reminiscent of the band’s epic album covers, themes from their music and real world locales.
Guitar Hero Metallica is being developed by Neversoft Entertainment for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The Wii and the PS2 versions are being developed by Budcat. The game is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB. For more information about Guitar Hero Metallica, please visit guitarhero.com.
New Portable System Offers Customized Gaming Experiences
Nintendo pioneered hand-held entertainment in the ’80s and made it fully mobile with the Game Boy video game system. Now, Nintendo is transforming the way people access, experience, create and share content with the new Nintendo DSi system, the third iteration of the world’s best-selling portable video game system. Nintendo DSi launches in the United States on April 5, 2009, at an MSRP of $169.99. The colors available at launch will be Blue and Black.
“Ever since the arrival of the first Game Boy, consumers worldwide have turned to Nintendo for their portable gaming,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Nintendo DSi builds on Nintendo’s commitment to bringing fun and creative entertainment to everyone, and will allow consumers to personalize and share their very own experiences.”
Some features that will be built into the system and ready to enjoy upon purchase include the Nintendo DSi Camera, Nintendo DSi Sound and Nintendo DSi Shop. The most noticeable feature of the slim Nintendo DSi system is its two cameras – one camera is on the external body, and the second one points at the user when the device is flipped open. As the first truly interactive digital camera in a video game system with 10 different interactive “lenses” that can manipulate your photos, the Nintendo DSi Camera offers an easy way to take and share your photos with family and friends. The cameras also present people with unprecedented ways to interact with their games while giving developers a new tool to devise creative games and experiences. If the touch screen gave Nintendo DS a sense of feel and the microphone allowed it to hear, the two cameras give Nintendo DSi the sense of sight.
Another enhanced feature is the Nintendo DSi Sound application, which serves as both an interactive voice recorder and music player that allows users to play with their music while they listen to it. Users can access different audio filters or control the pitch and speed of recorded voice or music files to alter voices or change the tempo of a song. The mic is located between the two screens when the device is flipped open, and there is also a stereo headphone output that lets users listen to music saved on an SD card, even with the screen shut.
In the world of software, Nintendo DSi will be the platform for the most relevant and fun on-the-go games and applications. The Nintendo DSiWare application will populate Nintendo DSi with software that can be downloaded using Nintendo DSi Points directly to the portable system, just as WiiWare has with Nintendo’s Wii console. Developers big and small are invited to create software that makes use of the properties and functions of the hardware. Nintendo DSiWare games and applications will be available at a range of values, starting at 200 points.
In addition to downloadable games, Nintendo DSi is able to play games made specifically for the system and sold at retail. The system can also play most Nintendo DSTM games, and will have access to a library of more than 850 titles originally made for that system.
Also on April 5, a new Nintendo DS game, Rhythm HeavenTM, will join this roster of games available for both Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DS owners in the United States. Having sold more than 1.6 million copies since its July 2008 launch in Japan and still increasing sales today, this infectious game challenges players to tap and slide the stylus on the touch screen in time to original music created by legendary Japanese pop-star producer TSUNKU♂. Simple gestures with the stylus combined with fun music and quirky visuals make Rhythm Heaven a completely unique musical experience for players of all ages.
Additional features and news of Nintendo DSi will be revealed as April 5 approaches.
For more information about Nintendo DSi, visit www.nintendodsi.com.
Harmonix and MTV Games announced today the addition of eight remaining tracks from The Cars’ self-titled 1978 debut album to the Rock Band Music Store catalog of downloadable content for Wii home videogame console from Nintendo.
The lineup includes classic rock hits “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “I’m in Touch with Your World,” “Don’t Cha Stop,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Moving in Stereo” and “All Mixed Up.” “Just What I Needed,” also featured on The Cars album, was released to the Rock Band Wii music catalog in January.
This week’s offering comes from the Rock Band Music Store catalog of downloadable content already released to owners of Xbox 360 and PS3. Wii fans can expect a rollout of the previously released downloadable content until the entire back catalogue of more than 570 songs is available. In addition, the regularly scheduled future DLC releases for Xbox 360 and PS3 system will also be available for Rock Band 2 Wii owners soon.
Release Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Cars Good Times Roll
The Cars My Best Friend’s Girl
The Cars I’m in Touch with Your World
The Cars Don’t Cha Stop
The Cars You’re All I’ve Got Tonight
The Cars Bye Bye Love
The Cars Moving in Stereo
The Cars All Mixed Up
(All tracks are original master recordings)
Price: $2.00 (200 Wii Points) per track
Location: In-game Rock Band 2 Music Store
(Wii Points must be through the WiiTM Shop Channel)
** Dates for Rock Band game tracks are tentative and subject to change **
Downloadable content for Wii is purchased via the in-game Rock Band Music Store using Wii Points purchased through the Wii Shop Channel and can be downloaded to the hard drive of the Wii or to an SD card for additional storage. The tracks stream directly from the SD card for seamless play.
International Gaming Gate (IGG) is getting ready to roll out the Alpha Test client for their new free-to-play strategic online game (MMOG) title, Galaxy Online.The client will become available for download on February 23rd at 1:00 PM EST.
Alpha Test will start at 9:00pm EST (GMT-5) on February 23rd. All characters created during the Alpha Test will be saved for future use.
Download Alpha Test Client at http://go.igg.com/download/client.php
Size: 25M ONLY
*Notes for players before starting the Alpha test:
A. Make sure the Alpha account has been activated. If the account hasn’t, click the link below to activate it. http://www.igg.com/member/actigame.php
B. The Galaxy team has prepared a newbie guide for all players. Check it at http://go.igg.com/newbie/newbie.php?acid=17.
CPU: Intel P3 800MHz
Operating System: Windows98/ME/2000/XP/VISTA
HD Space: above 300M
RAM: 512MB RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA RIVA TNT 32 MB
Sound Card: support DirectX sound card
For more information about this game, please visit the official site http://go.igg.com/main.php.
The folks at Tales of Pirates ( http://top.igg.com/ ) want to tell you about a resourceful place— Andes Forest Haven. If you are looking for a place to train, then this is the best choice. There are kinds of BOSSes ranging from Level 3 to Level 65 in the Andes Forest, suitable for all levels of players to train or to even obtain a quick leveling-up.
Players can go to find the Andes Forest Haven by on their own or by directly using the Pass to Andes Forest Haven. It is a massive land filled with all kinds of critters, including: the Lv 27 Rookie Boxeroo, the Lv19 Kiver shroom, the Lv17 Angelic Panda, the Lv 30 Mad Boar and many more. Defeat them and you will obtain tons of EXP. Also you can obtain a considerable amount of drops which are very useful for reproduction.
Players who fancy the forest treasures can use the treasure map to explore. The lucky ones may discover some truly awesome gems, i.e. Unique Gem, Refining Sand, Level 75 gear of any class, a Pass to Lone Tower, or tons of gold.
Go traveling for your dreams! For more info visit http://top.igg.com/
Digital Eel’s Latest Title Available For The Mac!
No longer do Mac users have to look to their PC brothers in envy when it comes to Digital Eel’s latest game, BRAINPIPE: A Plunge to Unhumanity. Originally released in December for Windows it is now also available on the Mac, at the same low price of only $14.95 and available for immediate download through the Shrapnel Games online store, the Gamers Front.
BRAINPIPE: A Plunge to Unhumanity is a game of international intrigue, exotic romance, and an ostrich named Gwen. Okay, it’s none of those things. In actuality BRAINPIPE is a hypnotic (some might even say mesmerizing, but since mesmerizing and hypnotic mean the same thing why not just call it hypnotic?) journey through the subconscious which leads to either transcending the human race or abject failure. It’s also a computer game. But not a blender.
In BRAINPIPE the player, which would be you once you have purchased the game, maneuvers through a ever-shifting kaleidoscope tunnel using a one-click interface while attempting to collect glowing glyphs and avoiding the savage obstacles that threaten your very sanity. Blast down the tunnel, amassing a score that will impress friends and co-workers. In many ways BRAINPIPE feels like a classic arcade game as seen through the Digital Eel lens; easy controls, addictive gameplay, and the siren song of the high score table.
BRAINPIPE has already been recognized by many fine folks around the world. Bob Mandel of The Adrenaline Vault has it as one of his top casual games of 2008, calling its gameplay “addictive”. He also says, “You get sucked into the mesmerizing setting immediately, and you will not want to blink or turn away for even an instant.” He could have used hypnotic setting, too, ya know.
Joseph Vanburen awarded BRAINPIPE 4 out of 5 err, balls, and feels the game is “…a testament to Digital Eel’s sense of pushing the envelope in game design and content.” Play This Thing!’s 99th also thinks that Digital Eel “…outdid themselves” with the game.
But wait, there’s more! The Academy Awards of the independent gaming world, the Independent Games Festival, has nominated BRAINPIPE in the Excellence In Audio category. The awards will happen on March 25th at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Last time Digital Eel was up for the award they won for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Will they do it again?
To check out all the features of BRAINPIPE: A Plunge to Unhumanity, download a demo, and purchase the game please visit its official product page.
You can also find a nifty gameplay video on the BRAINPIPE forum.
BRAINPIPE:A Plunge to Unhumanity is available as a download for Mac and Windows, priced at a steal of $14.95, through publisher Shrapnel Games.
For more information on other titles by Digital Eel published by Shrapnel Games, or to browse our catalog of award-winning strategy and niche titles from other developers, please visit us at www.shrapnelgames.com, currently celebrating a decade in business. Our latest releases include the real time simulation title Battle Group Commander, Episode One by ProSIM and War Plan Pacific from KE Studios.
The Shining Coast is considered to be one of the best resorts around. There the sunshine is bright and warm throughout the whole year. Every summer, the Angels from Eden gather and celebrate in the party atmosphere. Today, the Angels Online team (http://ao.igg.com/main.php) are very glad to make a brief introduction of this shining beach to all of our players.
Located to the west of the Puqi Island, Shining Coast enjoys many great natural advantages. The warm current from the Atlantis flows towards its lovely beach every spring and autumn. It is known as the Pearl of Atlantis. However, the buildings on Shining Coast are romantic and modern in sharp contrast to those on Puqi Island. It is a flourishing beach community due to all of the tourism and developed commerce.
The developed economy here offers people the chance to live and work in peace and contentment. But, due to that many evil pirates covet the abundant fortunes to be made there. Although the four factions in Eden have sent many soldiers to guarantee the peace, the dastardly pirates are an ever present trouble. Admitted by Michael, the four factions have organized an armed escort; directly led by Michael to effectively protect the people there. For this reason players may often see soldiers drilling on the square.
Puqi Pirate Leader: They always appear at night. They are strong and carry sharp weapons. They have badly intimidated the safety of travelers.
Puqi Pirate: These notorious pirates appear with their Puqi Pirate Leaders to do wrong together. Players can collect a black pirate hood from the head of each pirate.
Crab General: The environment here is well protected so there are many vicious crabs that have hard shells and powerful attack abilities.
Dock Oldman: He always goes fishing at the sea’s edge and also takes charge of cleaning the beach. He hopes that people can help him to keep the beach clean.
Lad Staney: He is really skilled at swimming and diving. If you would like to learn something about the diving, he is always ready to help.
Mouther: He is the famous fruit merchant here. His fruit is cheap but delicious and he operates his business honestly. If you can help him finish a wish, you may obtain a wonderful surprise from him.
For more information about Angels Online can visit