Archive for August, 2006

Mario – Back to the Start AMV


Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 for Game Boy AdvanceCheck out this really neat, touching and sad (but also funny) music video from

Created by Jack Bliss, he had this to say about the video, “This is my very first sprite movie starring the characters from Super Mario World featuring the music by Coldplay.

This is a movie that speaks against racism, discrimination, and war, made in a way I hope that people of all age groups and Mario fans can understand, treasure, and pass it [sic] on…I really enjoyed this game as a child and I hope I can share some of its magic with you in a meaningful way.”

It’s a very cool video that you can check out here.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under

Game Openings – Soul Blade


Soul Calibur 3Before there was Soul Calibur, the highly acclaimed weapon-based 3D fighting game that made a huge splash when it debuted on Sega’s Dreamcast console (and would go on to spawn the equally great Soul Calibur II), there was Soul Blade.

Released for the original Playstation (an updated port of the original arcade game) way back in 1997, the game was hailed by critics as a great fighting game but never reached quite the status of the Tekken series. But as time would tell, it would eventually earn quite a higher status than it’s other Namco counterpart by the time we hit Soul Calibur II, considered the more hardcore fighting game when compared to Tekken.

Many of the great characters from the other games made their debut in Soul Blade (called Soul Edge in Japan) and you can see them for yourself in the intro for the game.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under ,

Nintendo DS Lite goes Black in Australia soon, total Ozzy DS sales over 300,000


Nintendo DS Lite Handheld Console (Black)I have a couple of friends in Australia, so I feel obligated to let them know they no longer have an excuse not to own a DS Lite. Because Australia’s highest selling gaming handheld, the Nintendo DS Lite, is about to get a boost with the arrival of a new colour Black!

Retailing for SRP$199.95, the Black version will join the existing Polar White unit on Thursday, September 21st, 2006.

“We are very pleased to introduce Black to the range. I think the colour lends well to the overall design and offers a sharp elegance to the unit. Until now, consumers have really embraced the clean sophistication of the Polar White look – now they have an option”, says Rose Lappin, Director of Sales and Marketing, like any good PR person would.

Nintendo DS Lite, along with new releases New Super Mario Bros. and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?, continue to sell well. This will receive an extra boost when Poké-fans join forces for the release of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team for Nintendo DS, due September 28th. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team will also be available for Game Boy Advance.

Nintendo DS Lite originally launched on June 1st 2006. It features brighter screens, is approximately two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and about 20 percent lighter, all the while maintaining all of the original Nintendo DS features, as well as screen size. Since February 2005 the Nintendo DS, along with the new Lite version, remains the highest selling handheld console in Australia, with an Australian installed base in excess of 300,000 units.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under

Children of Mana DS preview and gameplay video


è–剣ä¼èª¬DS ãƒãƒ«ãƒ‰ãƒ¬ãƒ³ オブ マナThe upcoming Nintendo DS RPG game Children of Mana will arrive in the US on October 30th. A Square-Enix action adventure game with gorgeous 2D art, Children of Mana boasts real-time combat, two to four-player co-op (multiple carts required), and plenty of World of Mana storyline aspects involving a gigantic sacred tree, a magical sword, and a hero that has lost his parents in a catastrophic event. And as such in your quest enemies vary from cute to undeniably ferocious.

According to a Gamedaily preview of the Japanese version (Seiken Densetsu DS) Square Enix has done a marvelous job creating bright and colorful worlds rich with detail. The gameplay may remind you of Zelda, but the artwork is quite unique. There’s no question that this game’s a member of the Mana family. Have a look and see:
Via Gonintendo

Published on August 31st, 2006 under ,

Hazy Haze hints in Free Radical Designs interview


haze screenshot
Haze is an FPS game coming out for PC, Xbox 360 & PS3 early in 2007. Developer Free Radical’s Rob Yescombe, who’s the screenwriter on the game did a big interview with PS3Land. Aside from the already known key Haze features it seems the developer is still testing the PS3’s tilt function, framerate and 1080p screen resolution. Here’s part of the interview.

PS3Land: How does title “HAZE” play into the game?
Rob: Well, to be too specific would spoil a few things. But in broad strokes, a ‘haze’ implies something unclear – something obscured. In the heat of battle, it can be hard for a soldier to think clearly. Haze is also a military slang word, associated with initiation tests and ‘Code Reds’. That said, those definitions don’t necessarily imply the content of the game… We’re enjoying being very non-specific at the moment.

PS3Land: What can you tell us about Jake Carpenter?
Rob: Jake is a young guy, a college graduate. He’s recent transfer from a conflict in Seoul, so he’s well versed in combat but he’s new to the South American war zone where this game is set. He’s pretty much the standard Mantel Trooper – a well-paid tough guy, obeying orders with a smile on his face.

PS3Land: Does Jake follow a fixed storyline, or is there scope to his mission?
Rob: The game is a visceral war story, told over a continuous three-day period. The plot is linear, but there will be some flexibility in how you tackle the objectives. It’s choc-a-block full of rich characters and some really dazzling set-pieces, but it’s not all explosions and gunfire – we think tat downtime is just as important in a dramatic experience. You’re definitely going to feel something for your comrades. Really, war isn’t horrifying because of the blood – it’s horrifying because of who’s bleeding. If you care about the people who die, your gaming experience will be richer. It will mean something.

PS3Land: The game takes place in South America I’ve read, what kinda terrain should we expect to see?
Rob: Well, rest assured, HAZE isn’t just a jungle shooter – you’ll be travelling from sea level through a huge range of environments up to the top of a mountain and beyond. I’m not allowed to tell you specifics yet, but you’ll know from TimeSplitters that we’re obsessed with providing plenty of variety in locations. You won’t be going to Egypt or a Space Port, but you sure as hell aren’t going to get bored.

PS3Land: Why is Jake fighting The Promise Hand, and who are they?
Rob: Well, The Promise Hand is a faction of guerrillas who have overthrown the government in the Boa region of South America. They’re lead by a vicious warlord and would-be dictator known as ‘Skin Coat’. Skin Coat earned his nickname by flaying the skins of POWs and fashioning the pieces into crude leather, from which he makes his clothes. He is an extremely dangerous man, and his soldiers are terrifyingly dedicated.

PS3Land: What multiplayer modes should we expect to see in HAZE?
Rob: You’ll be able to play the main narrative campaign in four-player co-op, split-screen or online. And, what’s more, the multiplayer maps are going to blow everyone away – they’re objective based, missions that will support two full teams going head-to-head, each with their own specific aims and goals.

PS3Land: If you would like to add anything else about HAZE that would be great. For example: multiplayer features, how the PS3 and Xbox will run multiplayer, etc.
Rob: Actually, one of the cool features we’re implementing is that all the multiplayer maps and objectives are tied into the single player campaign – events that occur in the main narrative will cause incidents in the multiplayer and vice-versa. If you want the whole experience of the story, you’re going to want to play all the multiplayer levels too.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under ,

Codemasters announces FPS game Fall of Liberty for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3


Fall of Liberty from Codemasters
Codemasters (third game announcement from them this week) will publish the FPS game Fall of Liberty for developer Spark Unlimited (makers of Call of Duty: Finest Hour) as a major Q4 2007 title on PS3, Xbox 360 & PC.

Call of Duty Finest HourFall of Liberty will take players to new battlegrounds in World War II – ones born from a changed moment in history that led to the Nazi invasion of 1950s America. Presenting this scenario as a powerful and realistically crafted alternate history, Fall of Liberty will deliver an explosive action experience in a world where famous real-world locations appear startlingly different under Nazi occupation.

Fall of Liberty changes reality by twisting one historical fact: In 1931, Winston Churchill was hit by a taxi on 5th Avenue in New York. In reality, he survived the accident but walked with a cane for the rest of his life. But what might have followed if Winston Churchill had been killed in the accident? Without his voice to lead a country to war, the events of WWII change dramatically; the Normandy invasion never happens and the UK and all of Europe come under Nazi rule by 1945.

Building on the successful conquest of Europe, Nazi intelligence develops superior weapons and vehicles so that on December 7, 1951 they are able to launch an all out surprise attack on America – beginning with a mass invasion of New York.

Unprepared, the invasion stuns America and plunges much of the country into fearsome Nazi occupation. In Washington, the Swastika flies from The White House, and in a show of force to end rebellion, a nuclear attack on Manhattan is being planned. The odds are overwhelming, the reality of the situation shocking, but for players, it’s time to join the resistance and fight a guerrilla war in the newly occupied territories.

“Spark is very excited to be working with Codemasters to bring to life an event gaming experience that will dramatise what might have happened if history had taken a different course,” says Craig Allen, CEO of Spark Unlimited.

He continues: “We share a desire to immerse players in an incredible and intensely realistic vision of an alternative world history that will uniquely define Fall of Liberty in the FPS genre. Codemasters is providing Spark the opportunity to present something radically different than typical WWII scenarios as the player is not cast as a liberator of Europe but as a defender of freedom in enemy-occupied America.”

Published on August 31st, 2006 under

Ridge Racer 7 for PS3 gets loads of new online features


XB360 Ridge Racer 6Namco Bandai revealed in the latest Famitsu magazine that Ridge Racer 7 on PS3 will support up to 14 players to have online head-to-head races or team up for co-op races with relay, time attack, team battle and pair attack options.

There will be 22 courses and a 160 races in the main Ridge State Grand Prix mode. As well as an Arcade mode with two-player splitscreen, Global Time Attack will allow players to face off with the online community and even team up, again via splitscreen, for time attacks in pairs.

For the first time in the series, Machine Connector will let you customise vehicles. Tweaking performance, engine tuning, nitro, exterior customisation and more will be offered, with new decals available via Sony’s online service.

A Ranking Browser will display data from racers across the globe, and UFLA Special Events will include content that can be downloaded to the console. Here’s the trailer!
Translated from Japanese by Eurogamer.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under ,

Rainbow Six Vegas behind the scenes


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven ShieldThis update is all about the developer diaries that go behind the scenes at developer Ubisoft Montreal. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas is coming to Xbox 360 on November 7th and to PS3 on November 17th. The team behind the game did some interviews to show how the game is being made. First up is Alexander Parizeau, the producer of Rainbow Six: Vegas.
Next you get to see how Aaron Gilman, animation director, does the motion captures…

And yesterday Maxime Beland, creative director, showed how YOU get to be creative…

Published on August 31st, 2006 under , ,

Oblivion magic users get Spell Tomes update


Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion Collector\'s Edition (DVD-ROM)It can be hard on the pocketbook of any spell-caster in Bethesda Softwork’s epic masterpiece The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (available for both PC and Xbox 360) as it can cost an arm and a leg to get new spells via guilds.

Today Bethesda announced Spell Tomes, a new download for the random treasure generator that adds books with “wondrous and powerful magic spells” to randomly generated loot picked up off of fallen foes or acquired by opening treasure chests. This can be done for only $1 for either the PC or Xbox 360 version of the game, which will allow magic users to more quickly and easily beef up their magic library. Spell Tomes for the PC requires version 1.1.511 to work and can be downloaded at the Oblivion official site store.

Published on August 31st, 2006 under

Capcom interview clears up Lost Planet Xbox 360-exclusivity confusion


Onimusha: Dawn of DreamsGameSpot recently posted an interview with Jun Takeuchi, a veteran developer of the Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Onimusha series, about Capcom’s plans for Lost Planet.

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is one of two exclusive Xbox 360 titles that Capcom developed for the system in it’s show of support, Dead Rising, which was just released, and Lost Planet. Thankfully it looks like the first game has done well, due to good sales and solid reviews, and early indications regarding the success of Lost Planet seem good, the demo, which was recently released on Xbox Live, generated a lot of buzz for this Resident Evil-4 style third-person action/adventure/shooter where you fight massive hordes of alien bugs.

Microsoft fans were put in a tizzy though when rumors started circulating questioning the game’s Xbox 360 exclusivity, due to reports from the Leipzig Games Convention that had the game coming to both the PS3 and 360.

Those rumors were put to rest in this interview, which you can read below. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for the Xbox 360 is set for release in January 2007.

GameSpot: To be clear, will Lost Planet be exclusive to the Xbox 360, or is it being ported to other platforms?

Jun Takeuchi: Lost Planet is an exclusive Xbox 360 title. Typically when the development team sets out to create a game, we focus development of the title on a single platform and for Lost Planet that platform is the Xbox 360. We have no plans at this time of porting to or developing for another console as this would potentially dilute the final product.

When we create a new game, the intent is to create a great product that our fans will enjoy as well as maximize sales and profits to invest back into development and the company. As part of this, we evaluate (in the light of the resources we have) what are the right platforms, technology, market, content and partners are for each title and in some cases a platform company may be an ideal partner in developing a game. Our decisions are always focused around building our business. Which platforms to develop for are constantly evaluated to maximize the companies investment.

GS: How concerned are you when you look at the 360’s installed base in Japan? How do you think Microsoft can better promote and sell its console into the Japanese marketplace?

JT: I think that the real concern is not the size of the Xbox 360 user base, but rather the close-minded tendencies of Japanese developers. Especially in recent years, many publishers are focusing their game development efforts more on the Japanese market with fewer and fewer publishers creating global development strategies.

Even with Japanese games released abroad, many publishers do not take those territories into consideration, even if the game has a very Japanese feel to it (we ourselves have been guilty of this until recently). This is often perceived as the developer just trying to reduce the amount of effort spent on development and forcing a game onto an unsuspecting market.

So, within this current industry atmosphere, we are looking at the global market and making decisions about what games to make based on the tastes of the consumers and gamers across the globe. Of course we wish there was a larger installed user base domestically in Japan, as do all Japanese developers and publishers. But the success of Dead Rising in America is proof that a Japanese developer/publisher can succeed globally with an Xbox 360 title.

I truly hope that Microsoft encourages Japanese developers to not only expand in Japan, but to help them re-emerge as leaders in the global game market. I think that if they can succeed at that, then that will ultimately lead to growing the user base in Japan as well.

GS: How far along is Lost Planet’s development? Will it still make its scheduled ship date?

: Lost Planet will ship globally this winter. Although we have not made any official announcements, I’m happy to confirm it will ship this coming January.

: The demo was released several months ago on Xbox Live. How has the response been?

JT: We are pleased with the response the demo has received. More than 550,000 Lost Planet demos have been downloaded and as I’ve been reading the forums, the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

GS: Can we expect other Xbox 360 games from Capcom, such as Dead Rising, to remain exclusive to the platform or could they ever be ported to the PS3?

JT: As I previously mentioned, as we are creating new titles we evaluate all the platforms that are currently available and match the content to the platform. For games such as Lost Planet and Dead Rising, the Xbox 360 was the target platform. Since they have been created specifically to take advantage of the system’s capabilities, we have no plans at this time to port or develop these titles for any other console. via

Published on August 31st, 2006 under ,

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