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Shin Megami Tensei Online Beta starts


Shin Megami Tensei Online MMORPG Screenshot

The Aeria Games’ published Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online has sent out their first round of invites to the closed beta test for the PC MMORPG based on the beloved demon-summoning franchise (which includes the Persona, Devil Summoner and Nocturne titles).

Kotaku reports that the invites have begun arriving so if you signed up you’ll want to keep checking your inbox to find out if you’ve been invited to take part in the closed beta test.

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online (”MegaTen” for short) is being developed by Cave Co., Ltd and will be published in America by Aeria Games for both Europe and North America for PC in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. Imagine Online is Cave’s first MMO for PC (Massively Multiplayer Online game) but became a huge success in Japan with a large fan-base, a base that Aeria hopes it can tap into in the U.S. and European markets (as the popularity of MegaTen’s games grows ever larger) as it has done with it’s previous two titles, Last Chaos and Shaiya.

Like a lot of PC MMO’s nowadays, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online will be FREE TO PLAY, using a micro-transaction model for revenue.

Set in a fictional post-apocalyptic Tokyo (sometime between Shin Megami Tensei 1 and 2), survivors attempt to restore the city by defeating demons and solving puzzles. Each player acts as a “Devil Buster.” Success relies on forming an alliance with demons or slaying them.

Features of Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online (MegaTen) include:

* Strategic Real-time Fighting System – Choose between attacking, parrying and defending in real time.
* Diverse Weaponry – Use a wide array of weapons from medieval swords to modern-day rifles and handguns.
* Devil Partnership – Players negotiate with devils to assist in battle and missions.
* Devil Fusing – Players can combine multiple devils to create new breeds.
* Private Dungeons – In addition to the public battle areas, players can access private dungeons to hunt and collect items with their friends.

Published on December 2nd, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , ,

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King review video


Wrath of the Lich King for PCPlayers last visited Northrend in “Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne,” when Arthas Menethil fused with the spirit of Ner’zhul to become the Lich King, one of the most powerful beings in the Warcraft universe. He now broods atop the Frozen Throne deep in Icecrown Citadel, clutching the rune blade Frostmourne and marshaling the undead armies of the Scourge. In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the forces of the Alliance and the Horde venture into battle against the Scourge amid Northrend’s howling winds and fields of jagged ice. Wrath of the Lich King adds a rich variety of content to an already massive game.

Blizzard is back with more war. Find out what else is new in this World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King video review.

New features in the game’s second expansion include:
* Death Knight Hero Class: Create a high-level Death Knight character — the game’s first hero class — once certain challenges have been met.
* Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 80 and gain potent new talents and abilities along the way.
* Northrend: Explore the harsh new continent of Northrend, packed with new zones, quests, dungeons, monsters, and items — and do battle with the undead armies of the Lich King.
* “Inscription” Profession: Learn this exciting new profession and gain unique ways to permanently enhance spells and abilities in the game.
* Siege Weapons and Destructible Buildings: Take the battle to another level with new player-vs.-player game mechanics and new battlefields to wage war on.
* New Character Customization: Change how characters look and express themselves, with different hairstyles and dance animations.

To quote the IGN video review: “With Wrath of the Lich King, World of Warcraft’s play style has been tweaked to be more accessible, addictive, and deeper. Any longtime player is sure to be pleased with what Blizzard’s done here since it gives the higher level population a wealth of new content for play as well as improves the overall look of the world. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to spend hundreds of hours in a virtual space, it helps if it’s pretty. It’s an MMO system that works, as the game’s success underlines, but you’ve got to ask yourself after four years how long this kind of momentumcan last. Perhaps within the next two years, or by the time the next World of Warcraft expansion is released, there’ll be a clearer answer.

As for now, Blizzard is more than content to build on World of Warcraft’s formula, improving and refining nearly every aspect of the game, delivering new quest systems, a better and more focused narrative, loads of new goals to chase by yourself or with friends, and made acclimating to its world’s complexities a process generally free of the headaches of something like CCP’s EVE Online. Those who’ve yet to jump in should absolutely do so; it’s hard to imagine anyone being disappointed with such a well-run, polished product that offers so many reward strata and diverse styles of gameplay.”

Presentation — 9.0
Graphics — 8.5
Sound — 8.5
Gameplay — 9.0
Lasting Appeal — 9.0
Overall — 9.0

Another World of Warcraft expansion pack coming after Wrath of the Lich King (in 2010?)


Wrath of the Lich King - Collector's Edition for PCWorld of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King has become the best-selling and fastest-selling PC game of all time, and already Blizzard has brought up the fact that they are already thinking about the next WoW expansion.

In an interview with MTV Multiplayer, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime had this to say:

We will continue making expansions as long as we have players that want to play World of Warcraft — we want to keep them entertained.” Asked if that means Blizzard will be making expansions forever, Morhaime replied, “Well, probably not forever. But for the foreseeable future, we’d like to be doing regular expansions.”

What exactly is a regular expansion? Well originally Blizzard planned to release a new expansion every year, but that hasn’t quite worked out. “Our goal that we’ve talked about is to put out an annual expansion, but we haven’t quite been able to do that. We had one early last year and now we’re sort of late this year, but we do want to decrease the amount of time in between expansions. Although we’ll probably never get it down to a year between each one because there’s just so much content. We do want each expansion to be considered a big value for players.”

World of Warcraft is the most popular franchise in MMO gaming and perhaps in the gaming industry in general, given it’s sales figures. World of Warcraft has topped 11 million subscribers making it by far the biggest MMORPG around, and the most successful.

Published on November 26th, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tabula Rasa goes offline on February 28, 2009


Tabula Rasa Gameplay Screenshot

NCSoft has pulled the plug on it’s science fiction MMORPG Tabula Rasa, which will go offline on February 28th, 2009. It will be free to play from January 10th, 2009 until the closing date.

In development since 2001 by Ultima creator and long-time series producer, Richard Garriot, Tabula Rasa was released in November of 2007 after a long and tumultuous development cycle as a sci-fi massively multiplayer online role-playing game that blended shooter elements into it’s gameplay for a more action-packed experience.

Tabula Rasa on PCSadly the game didn’t perform well sales-wise and thus NCSoft will no longer be supporting the game, which has come along with massive layoffs from the company as well as Richard Garriot himself stepping down, making for some hard times at the MMO publisher.

Regardless, you may still want to check the game out before it becomes obsolete to check out it’s unique gameplay. The team has also promised that they will be doing some really fun things in the coming months to make it a bitter-sweet end.

Published on November 25th, 2008 under , , , , , , , ,

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expansion pack out now


Mines of Moria Expansion Pack for PCThe Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria is the first expansion pack for The Lord of the Rings Online, the MMORPG game based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien (i.e., NOT based on the flims). Like all expansions packs, the game will add a bunch of new content for players of the subscription based MMO. The game was released today for PC.

The game is available in a normal as well as Collector’s Edition. The Collector’s Edition includes:

Mines of Moria Collector's Edition for PC*Unique premium book packaging
* 3 in-game item tokens
* Exclusive 22” x 22” premium cloth map of the Mines of Moria
* Exclusive special gold plated replica of The One Ring complete with chain and pouch
* Mines of Moria poster
* Middle-Earth map
* Exclusive The Lord of the Rings Online Art and Music Collection with the official Mines of Moria Soundtrack
* Full color Collector’s Edition Starter Guide
* Exclusive Online Community Badge for The Lord of the Rings Online forums

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expands the online world of Middle-earth to let players explore the ancient underground cities of the dwarves, battle epic characters in the depths, face off with the Watcher, be a part of the fateful release of Durin’s Bane, and more.

Here is a list of features in the expansion:

* Speak Friend, and Enter – Moria, called Khazad-dum by the dwarves, was their capital and the grandest of cities. This enormous underground cavern in north-western Middle-earth, comprises an immense network of tunnels, chambers, mines and huge halls that run beneath and ultimately through the Misty Mountains. For the first time, players of The Lord of the Rings Online will enter this ancient city which has served as the foundation for the modern-day dungeon-crawling adventures to battle the hordes of goblins and the Nameless of the Deep and journey through hundreds of new quests within six new kinds of stunning environments
* The Epic Continues — The Mines of Moria represents the beginning of Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. Players can experience six new books as part of this update and participate in the release of Durin’s Bane, battle the Watcher, aid Galadriel and more
* Increased Level Cap — Players will be able advance their characters up to level 60, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests. The crafting system will also expand, giving players the ability to craft even more powerful items
* Discover Two New Classes — The Rune-keeper and the Warden, the first new classes to be introduced since the launch of the game, allow players to build exciting and powerful new characters in The Lord of the Rings Online in diverse new ways
* Forge Legendary Items – The Mines of Moria will introduce Turbine’s new item advancement system to The Lord of the Rings Online. Players will be able to forge weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo’s Sting and Gandalf’s Glamdring. These legendary weapons will level-up along with the player, allowing customization by advancing the item’s virtues, adding runic legacies, modifying its titles and forming fables

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King launches with midnight store openings worldwide


Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack for PCBlizzard Entertainment today announced plans for special midnight signing events at retail locations around the world to commemorate the launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King on November 13. Each location will open its doors at 12:00 a.m. local time, allowing attendees to be among the first to get their copies of the highly anticipated World of Warcraft expansion. Blizzard Entertainment developers and executives will be in attendance to meet players and sign copies of the game, and increased quantities of the Collector’s Edition will be on hand for purchase. Official launch events will be held in the following locations: A New York Best Buy, Anaheim’s Fry’s Electronics, San Francisco’s GameStop, Austin’s GameStop and in addition to these four US locations, similar events will be held internationally in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Taipei, and Seoul. Full details on the specific locations and plans for each of these events can be found at

The January 2007 launch events for the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, drew thousands of attendees around the world. The Burning Crusade went on to sell nearly 2.4 million copies within its first 24 hours of availability, and approximately 3.5 million within its first month. Indicating that anticipation is equally high for the new expansion, has stated that Wrath of the Lich King has ever sold on their site.

KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are in Star Wars: The Old Republic says BioWare


The Old Republic AKA KOTOR 3 logo
Star Wars: The Old Republic’s creative director at BioWare, James Ohlen, has made an interesting remark about KOTOR 3 being part of the PC MMORPG in a recent video interview that you can watch below.

To quote: “One of the things we like to joke about this game… is just the sheer amount of content we’re doing and the fact that when our fans ask ‘Why aren’t you doing Knight of the Old Republic 3?’ …we’re really doing KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12+. We have THAT much content, that many stories, and we really get to do a lot of the things that we wouldn’t have been able to do in KOTOR 3.

One of the things about the type of storytelling that we’re doing, because their stories revolve around a player’s class (his role), we’re able to actually tell stories that are very focused on who the player is. Which is something that other BioWare games haven’t been able to do.”

Watch the KOTOR 3… uhm, I mean, Star Wars: The Old Republic video interview with the developers at BioWare. Part of the team working on the game previously made Mass Effect. Take a look:

If you don’t feel like watching it. The interview mainly talks about the above as well as these highlights:
* The game taking place 300 years after the events in the original KOTOR.
* While there was peace, the Sith empire has now re-emerged and gone to war with the Republic, the game starts when the hostilities begin again.
* The game world will have many planets, some Sith and Republic strongholds and battlegrounds.
* The game alliances are separated into Light Side, Dark Side, and Faction.
* Your choices will effect your personal story. Meaning that any choice you make, you’ll have to live with, because there’s no save button in an MMO.

World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King manual on your computer already


Wrath of the Lich King ExpansionThe World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King expansion pack’s manual already came included with the latest World of Warcraft patch. Albeit it’s just in black and white and slightly outdated with the text still saying in the Death Knight description that runes can be customized, which has long since been removed from the class. Still, there are some good (spoiler free) lore writeups in there.

Here’s how to access the WoW: WotLK manual:
* On your computer, go to your World of Warcraft folder (usually “C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft”).
* Go to the following folder: “\Data\enUS\Documentation”.
* Then open the Wrath Of The Lich King manual by opening this file: “Manual_WLK.pdf”.

Via WoWforums, thanks to Joseph for the tip.

Published on October 22nd, 2008 under , , , , , , , ,

First Phantasy Star Zero trailer


Phantasy Star Zero logo on startup screenPhantasy Star Zero is a new entry in the Phantasy Star universe for the Nintendo DS. Phantasy Star Zero expands on the adventure gameplay mechanics of Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe with a complex offline/online multiplayer mode as well as a general story mode. One of the coolest new features for the multiplayer mode is visual chat. Players have access to a scratch pad on the bottom screen, which they can fill with doodles and send to fellow players. The drawings appear in bubbles above the characters inside the game.

Sega’s marquee RPG franchise is coming soon to the DS. Watch the first Phantasy Star Zero trailer:

Published on October 22nd, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , ,

Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG announced for PC by BioWare and LucasArts


The Old Republic MMORPG PC screenshot
BioWare and LucasArts today announcedStar Wars: The Old Republic, a story-driven massively multiplayer online PC game (MMORPG) set in the timeframe of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchise. Star Wars: The Old Republic, being developed and published by BioWare and LucasArts, represents an innovative approach to interactive entertainment, featuring immersive storytelling, dynamic combat and intelligent companion characters.

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, players will explore an age thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader when war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire divides the galaxy. Players can choose to play as Jedi, Sith, or a variety of other classic Star Wars roles, defining their personal story and determining their path down the light or dark side of the Force. Along the way, players will befriend courageous companions who will fight at their side or possibly betray them, based on the players’ actions. Players can also choose to team up with friends to battle enemies and overcome incredible challenges using dynamic Star Wars combat.

“Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the most critically acclaimed Star Wars game in LucasArts history and a preeminent example of our company’s interactive storytelling heritage,” said Darrell Rodriguez, President of LucasArts. “For a long time, we’ve wanted to return to the franchise in a grand way, and we felt that the best setting for it was an online world that would allow millions of people to participate in the experience together. We knew that the developer capable of working with us to deliver an engrossing story with a fully-realized online world was BioWare.”

“Traditionally, massively multiplayer online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars — combat, exploration and character progression,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., “In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we’re fusing BioWare’s heritage of critically-acclaimed storytelling with the amazing pedigree of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, and adding a brand-new fourth pillar to the equation — story. At the same time, we will still deliver all the fun features and activities that fans have come to expect in a triple-A massively multiplayer online game. To top it all off, Star Wars: The Old Republic is set in a very exciting, dynamic period in the Star Wars universe.”

Added Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Co-Founder and Vice President Development Operations, BioWare and Vice President, Electronic Arts Inc., “Star Wars: The Old Republic is set roughly 300 years after the events of Knights of the Old Republic, a timeframe that is completely unexplored in the lore. BioWare has been able to add to the Star Wars history in developing the game’s story and has created an overarching narrative that players can enjoy, regardless of their play style. Our goal is to offer players an emotionally rewarding experience that combines the traditional elements of MMO gameplay with innovations in story and character development.”

We should have gameplay footage soon.

Published on October 21st, 2008 under , , , , , , ,

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