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November 11, 2007

NBA Live 08 Review

Review by Matt Congdon
Score: 2 out of 5

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The first EA Sports game that I played was Madden 64. I was horrified. I explicitly asked for NFL QB Club 98 for Christmas, but I was stuck with madden (what does my mom know about football or games). In my eyes this game sucked hard. How can you make a game without an NFL license or endorsements? When wanting to play as the Patriots I was stuck with some team named “Foxboro”, not to mention that the graphics sucked and so did the game play. I would describe it the pinnacle of boring. I promised this would be the last EA Sports game I would buy.
Later in life, I got a PS2 and decided to give EA Sports another chance on a different console. I was thrilled at Madden 2001,. The game kicked ass, and it kept getting better as the years passed. EA Sports produced a string of brilliant games and that kept getting bigger and better. I thought this was the kind of company that was out for the players not the dollars. Their hockey and basketball games all were a lot of fun to play and somehow the developers improved them from year to year.
Of course, EA Sports let me down. They suck again, They have started a long down spiral, passing mediocre a year or two ago and they are now about as bad as I can imagine [[I’m trying to avoid obscenity. Sucks is ok, but I draw the line at shit. MDS]]. NBA LIVE 08 illustrates this point. This game is crap. EA Sports just threw money and a deadline at a development team. It is inexplicable to me how a company can mess up basketball so badly after having good editions for last generation consoles. The game looks alright on an HDTV, but on an SDTV looks very distorted and odd. It seems like there are a lot of fisheye type replay angles. There are so many flaws that, the decent game they might have had for PS2 is now damaged goods.

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October 14, 2007

Midway TNA Impact! World Premiere

I'm down in Atlanta covering the world premiere of Midway's TNA Impact! video game. This is a very cool event focused on what looks to be a very cool game. We've rubbed elbows with TNA wrestlers, played the game against lead designers, drank an awful lot of bourbon, and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. You might even say it's been "Total Non-stop Action".

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I'm going to follow this up with a post tonight about the actual wrestling match. They got us press passes so we can get right up front and hopefully we'll take some great photos. I've also got some interviews with wrestlers that I'm going to post. I had a great time talking to Samoan Joe. He and I both wrestled in high school and then played judo afterwards. And now I write this blog and he beats the crap out of people in an 18 month undefeated streak.

The game looked very good. The wrestlers worked closely with Midway on facial capture, mocap, and the dynamics of the game. The 6 sided ring is there - they're adding cages, glass, and barbed wire later. The version we saw was about 60% complete so it was a little buggy, ie you could throw guys through fences and stuff. It was really fun to play, not like other wrestling games which have traditionally been a mix of button mashing and really hard to memorize combos. I thought that even at this early stage it had a very good feel to it in terms of how satisfying it was to lay the smackdown on someone and the rhythm of counter-attacks and reversals. One thing that I like in particular is the way guys react to getting punched; if you punch a guy in the face he grabs his face, and if you kick him in the gut he grabs his gut.

There are a lot of grapples, reversals, alternate-grapples, and aerial moves. It's pretty fast paced for a wrestling game. There's the beloved Irish Whip, climbing the turnbuckles, and running around the ring. The ropes ripple when you run into them which is a nice touch.

We only played some one on one quick play. They're adding a story mode, create-a-player, tag team, and online play.

Oh yeah, and Samoan Joe says he's going to kill you.

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January 31, 2007

Major League Baseball 2K7

I met with my good friends Anthony (from 2K Sports) and Katie (from Access PR) yesterday and they showed me Major League Baseball 2K7 on Xbox 360 and PS3. It's going to be available on everything except GameCube and Wii (they would have had to create a whole new control system and couldn't do it in time for the season) and it will ship in the first week of March 2007. i was pretty impressed with it. Overall, the graphics and sound are great. The details are all there, from Inside Edge statistics that affect AI on a play by play basis, to 150 signature style individualized player animations, and even to shirts rippling in the wind and little puffs of dirt coming up from player's footsteps. The commentary was reasonably interesting, at least for the few innings that we played. The heckling "Hey, I stole your girlfriend Jeter") was pretty cool.

Here's a screenshot from PS3:
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Pitching controls remain the same, using the "Payoff Pitching" system and now you can even control the catcher and have him call the game. Hitting is the same using the swing stick. On PS3 you also have the option to swing using the controller due to it's 6-axis motion sensing capability. I couldn't get the hang of this during the brief time that I had with the game. They reworked a lot of the fielding so that momentum when running seems more real than last year. They also revamped every stadium, including lighting down to the way that shadows affect hitting. The PIP baserunning makes it easy to control runners.

Here's a screenshot from Xbox360:
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There is online play with online leagues for both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Also new is the ability to manage your budget and set ticket prices in franchise mode.

Here's a PSP screenshot:
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January 24, 2007

EA Demo Night

The other night my good friends at EA invited me to come over and see some of their upcoming titles. Overall, it looks like they have a strong spring liineup. I spent so much time there that they were kidding me that I should help pack up.

Command and Conquer 3 - The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and The Brotherhood of NOD continues as the third Tiberium war begins. This is a pretty solid RTS for Xbox 360. I was surprised at how easy it was to command my troops across the whole map. The PC version ships on March 28 and the Xbox 360 version ships in Spring 2007.
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Def Jam: Icon - What can I say, these Def Jam games are massively popular. This one integrates hip hop music and fighting like never before. The music actually affects the fight. Drive him down with a series of punches that grow stronger because they match the bass line. Environments pulsate and debris flies along with the music. There's also an all new single player story mode that takes you from nobody to hip hop mogul as you build a record label, discover new talent, and become a hip hop icon yourself.
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Medal of Honor Vanguard - I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Everyone likes killing Nazis. This latest installment of the highly successful WWII FPS is back and it looked great. They've simplified the HUD and gotten rid of the medpack system. Now when you're hurt you go hide in the corner and heal. This ships in March 2007 for PS2 and Wii.
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NBA STREET Homecourt - Featuring a brand new game engine that will knock your socks off, this wild street trick basketball game returns. This game is totally next gen with guys sweating, muscles rippling, cloth physics, all very smoothly integrated into game play. A new animation engine makes all the crazy moves you can pull look fluid. New controls let you create hundreds of tricks on the fly. Get ready to defy gravity and practice saying "Not in my house"!
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January 18, 2007

NCAA MARCH MADNESS 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 17, 2007 – Fans can now defend their home court and bring the crowd into the game like never before with NCAA® March Madness® 07, after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped the No. 1 selling* college basketball videogame to stores throughout North America today. Rock the house, stifle your opponents with smothering defense, and create turnovers that lead to easy transition baskets as you punch your ticket to the Final Four®.

NCAA March Madness 07 features Adam Morrison of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats on its cover and is available on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Last year Morrison led the NCAA® in Division I men’s basketball scoring and was selected third overall by Charlotte in the NBA Draft.

This year NCAA March Madness 07 debuts on the Xbox 360 by capturing the intensity and atmosphere that characterize college basketball with interactive, 3-D college environments. Never before have home court and the home crowd meant more as your players rise to the occasion or wilt under the pressure of charged-up, authentic college courts. Feel the intensity rise, then watch as each player responds differently, trying to maintain composure. As the atmosphere heats up your player composure ratings affect the all-new Intensity Control that changes momentum by allowing you to pump up the crowd, motivate your teammates, raise your own composure or even intimidate your opponent. Plus, become immersed like never before by interacting with student sections, school mascots, cheerleaders, and even the band.

Beyond the atmosphere, NCAA March Madness 07 delivers a strategic college basketball gameplay experience by offering custom playbooks for each team through the Floor General Playcalling system, the EA SPORTS™ Lockdown Stick that allows your players to pressure the ball, force turnovers and pester opponents on the court, and an enhanced Dynasty Mode™ with new School Pride and Recruiting features that let you build your school into a national powerhouse. The game features 325 Division I universities and colleges and the popular voices of college basketball with ESPN’s Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler calling the action courtside.

With the most advanced ESPN integration package available in NCAA March Madness 07, fans connected online via Xbox LIVE® will be able to watch college basketball game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans will also be able to download and listen to ESPN radio podcasts as they play NCAA March Madness 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPNews.

NCAA March Madness 07 is developed at EA Canada in Vancouver , B.C. The game is rated “E” for everyone by the ESRB. Learn more about the game at http://www.marchmadness07.com or download new screenshots at http://info.ea.com.

* Based on total franchise unit sales in 2006 according to NPD Data.

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January 2, 2007

KONAMI SHIPS KARAOKE REVOLUTION PRESENTS: AMERICAN IDOL TO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced that Karaoke Revolution® Presents: American Idol for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has shipped to retail stores throughout North America. Based on the #1 hit FOX television series, the game lets players put their singing ability to the test as an American Idol contestant, performing an all-new selection of 40 chart-topping songs while being evaluated by world-famous judges.

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol lets players take on the coveted role of an American Idol contestant in the new American Idol mode as they follow the path of actual contestants on the hit TV show - auditioning, earning an invitation to Hollywood and facing the expert evaluation of three judges, including Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Players can choose to sing 40 all-new songs, ranging from contemporary hits to classics from the 60s, 70s and 80s, using a PlayStation 2 system USB microphone of headset.

Introducing a unique new gameplay mechanic to the series, comments from the judges and popularity with the crowd will determine whether the player moves on to the next round of the competition. Harnessing the unique personalities of Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, the judges will critique specific aspects of the player’s performance through fully-voiced commentary. These segments provide specific feedback for improving the player’s performance while further immersing them in the American Idol experience. Players can also create their own character in the Character Customization mode and even use the EyeToy™ USB camera (for PlayStation 2) to import their likeness into the game.

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol is rated E10+ by the ESRB. The game comes bundled with a USB microphone for a SRP of $54.99 or available as a standalone game, compatible with any USB headset or microphone, for a SRP of $39.99. For more information on Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol, please visit www.konami.com

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November 22, 2006

HARLEY-DAVIDSONR: RACE TO THE RALLY ROARS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

Minneapolis, MN – November 21, 2006 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI ), is giving gamers the chance to stop dreaming and start riding in Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Charge out on the highways and bi-ways across America on fully-upgradeable classic and late-model Harley-Davidson® motorcycles while facing outrageous road challenges.

“Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally offers gamers the chance to ride some of the most recognizable motorcycles in the world in this fast-paced, open-road adventure,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Players experience the thrill of saddling up an American icon and the camaraderie of its brotherhood from their living room.”

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally takes gamers from coast to coast across America exploring classic rides centric to “Harley-Davidson” and the biker lifestyle such as Big Sur, historic Route 66, and the Badlands . Each of the 20 authentic Harley-Davidson® motorcycles including the Dyna®, Softail®, Touring®, and Sportster® are fully customizable and upgradeable with licensed parts and accessories, so there are thousands of possibilities on which to perform the gravity-defying jumps, and high-speed turbo boosts in this game. Plus, it features a soundtrack that captures the attitude of “Harley-Davidson” with tracks by George Thorogood, Heart, Poison, Great White and more.

Harley-Davidson®: Race to the Rally is available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The PC version will be available on November 28 for a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game has been rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB.

About Activision, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $1.47 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006 .

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October 10, 2006

Capcom Releases God Hand for PS2

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ¾ Oct. 10, 2006 — Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games , today announced the release of God Hand™, a stylish over-the-top action game for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system. Play as a drifter bestowed with supernatural abilities who must confront the fate and responsibilities inherent with this new found power. Hand-to-hand combat is at its best when gamers unleash the power of the “God Hand” to deliver righteous punishment onto worthy enemies. The brainchild of Clover Studio’s Atsushi Inaba, acclaimed producer of Okami and Shinji Mikami, director of Resident Evil 4, God Hand promises to deliver dangerous whirlwind adventures filled with slapstick antics. God Hand is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Centuries ago, the world was in imminent doom until a man with the divine powers of god in his arms defeated Demon King Angra. Grateful that Angra’s threat had subsided, people bestowed this fighter with the title “God Hand”. Legend states that to this day, a single clan continues to protect the sacred hands and anyone who acquires such immense power could become a deity or demon. Fast forward to a small town overrun with thugs wielding super-human strength. A gruff drifter named Gene finds his way to this troubled region only to fall unconscious after his right arm is severed while trying to defend a woman in distress. He later awakens to find his limb whole again and is now the possessor of the legendary “God Hand”. Now the burden of being hunted by demonic legions seeking the right hand of god begins.

In God Hand, it’s judgment day as players try to ward off the demons that seek to obtain the coveted appendage. Although Gene may have been granted the strength of the almighty, keeping these foes at bay won’t be easy as evil approaches one after another for the ultimate showdown. Fortunately with a vast repertoire of moves and accompanying canned laugh tracks, delivering deadly blows and crushing attacks has never been so satisfying. Featuring a deep fighting system, customize combos to suit any particular desire by choosing from more than 100 moves or trigger the “Roulette” to execute a number of flashy and often humorous finishing attacks. Or better yet, build up the special “God Hand” meter and unleash the power of god to make attacks effortlessly stronger and faster. It’s Armageddon time!

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September 26, 2006

2K Sports Announces NBA 2K7 Now Shipping

NEW YORK, NY – September 26, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), proudly announced today that NBA 2K7 for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system is now shipping to stores across North America. The top-rated NBA simulation title* continues to deliver stunning visual quality, unparalleled gameplay, and unique innovations that are a trademark of 2K Sports titles.

“Without a doubt, this is definitely our finest basketball effort to date and possibly the finest sports title we’ve made,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “NBA 2K7 delivers the next generation details that sports gamers have wanted. The development team has worked extremely hard to not only set a new standard in visual quality, but also develop new gameplay features that we believe will set a new standard for the next generation of sports games.”

NBA 2K7 showcases the dynamic movements of every single NBA player with the introduction of Signature Style, featuring over 300 unique animations in jumpshots, dunks, dribbles and passes. Athletes in NBA 2K7 look and move exactly like their real-life counterparts, and display the same tendencies and behaviors, bringing intelligence and realism to the next level. Improved arena atmosphere includes enhanced lighting effects and dynamic 3D crowd behaviors, and over 30 new gameplay cameras.

NBA 2K7 brings the most comprehensive game modes for any sports game including 24/7: NEXT, an entertaining Streetball story mode with unique basketball challenges; a completely redesigned Create Player system; and the Association, the most complete franchise mode that includes three-team trades, progressive fatigue and more.

2K Sports continues to lead the online charge with the most comprehensive online features for NBA 2K7, including improved online stat tracking, online tournament features, and the addition of online fantasy leagues.

NBA 2K7 is available for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for $59.99, and for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system for $29.99. NBA 2K7 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will also be coming this holiday season.

For more information click on www.2ksports.com

*According to GameRankings.com average scores of 2003-2006 basketball video games.

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YESSSSS! NBA LIVE 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 26, 2006 – The chance to play with complete control over all of the dazzling passes, signature dunks, jump shots and free throw routines of your favorite NBA stars in the world’s best-selling* basketball video game became a reality today after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped NBA LIVE 07 to stores throughout North America.

Developed by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 features NBA superstar Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets on its cover, and it is available on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game systems from Microsoft, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, mobile and PC. It will ship to stores in North America on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system on September 27th.

On Wednesday, September 27, McGrady and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, who is featured on NBA LIVE 07 packaging in France , will help launch NBA LIVE 07 at the world’s only NBA Store on 5th Avenue in New York City . Beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, the first 150 fans who have registered to pre-purchase the game from the NBA Store will receive an autographed copy of the game from McGrady and Parker and have the opportunity to meet the players.

Outside North America, NBA LIVE 07 will be available to stores worldwide on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 with Parker and Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns on the cover in France, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks on the cover in Germany and Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies on the cover in Spain. McGrady is featured on the cover in North America and all other territories.

This year NBA LIVE 07 introduces ESPN Motion and streaming ESPN radio podcasts delivered right to your console in game through a ground-breaking new ESPN integration package available on the Xbox 360™ and PlayStation®3 consoles. Fans connected online will be able to watch NBA game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption or Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans will also be able to download and listen to ESPN radio podcasts as they play NBA LIVE 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPN News.

Legendary broadcaster Marv Albert and former Chicago Bulls star Steve Kerr call all the action from the best seats in the house as you take your game to the highest level in NBA LIVE 07. With all-new EA SPORTS™ Total Freestyle Control and revolutionary gameplay -- complete with ultra-realistic moves and player emotions --the highly acclaimed basketball video game from the EA SPORTS brand plays as good as it looks. Pull off moves only the pros perform as you replicate the styles of your favorite NBA players. Elevate to the rim for an electrifying dunk and bring the crowd to its feet, or look to your superstars to shift momentum with the game on the line. Featuring all-new levels of ability for your EA SPORTS Freestyle Superstars, the power to switch their skills on-the-fly, and advancements to fan-favorite features like All-Star Weekend and Dynasty Mode™, the hardwood is yours for the taking in NBA LIVE 07.

Developed in Vancouver , B.C., by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation®3 later this year. Learn more about the game at http://nbalive07.com or download new screenshots at http://info.ea.com.

* Based on total franchise sales according to NPD Data.

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The Fast and the Furious PlayStation 2 Drifts Into Stores

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (September 26, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. delivers a drift racing experience like no other, as The Fast and the Furious™ ships for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system and is now available in retail outlets nationwide. The Fast and the Furious is rated ‘T’ for Teen by the entertainment software ratings board (ESRB), and is now available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

“The almost endless customization, the revolutionary drift model and the Japanese Tuner, Classic Muscle and Concept cars featured in The Fast and the Furious video game make this the most authentic drift racing experience yet,” said Makoto Iwai, Senior Vice President of Development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The exclusive promotion with NASA is an additional element that allows consumers to truly enter the world of drift racing with a real-life experience.”

Available inside each copy of The Fast and the Furious video game, customers will receive a $50.00 coupon to be used toward any NASA High Performance Driving Event in the country. Fans will have a real-life opportunity to experience the type of driving seen in the game, but in a controlled and safe environment. Consumers can drive their very own car on some of America’s most famous road courses in a safe environment with no speed limits, no pedestrians, and no tickets!

Inspired by the events of the Universal Pictures’ film and Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD release of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, available on store shelves today, The Fast and the Furious video game features a ground-breaking drift mechanic that makes drifting accessible to both beginning and veteran racing game drivers. Gameplay features revolutionary new systems like the Drift Indicator that make The Fast and the Furious the most accessible realistic drift game yet. Perched at the forefront of the drift racing phenomenon, the video game features a Revolutionary Drift Model that is fun and approachable for players of all skill levels; model cars, cinematic camera angles straight from the movie, unique boss challenges, stunning visuals with over 100 JDM Tuner, Classic Muscle and Concept cars as well as robust customization options all of which encompass the drift racing world!

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September 22, 2006

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES NBA 2K7 FOR XBOX 360, XBOX and PLAYSTATION®2 HAS GONE GOLD!

#1 Rated Basketball Simulation Game Series To Retail At $29.99 on Xbox® video game and entertainment system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and $59.99 for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system

NBA 2K7, the latest in the top-rated* NBA simulation video game series, has gone gold and is set to hit retail shelves on September 26th. NBA 2K7 introduces new standard setting features like Signature Style, improved Shot Stick™ control, enhanced arena atmosphere, online fantasy leagues, and much more.

“I’m very excited and proud of our finest basketball video game title to date,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “NBA 2K7 truly delivers the next generation features in both graphics and gameplay that sports gamers have been wanting for years. I’m really pleased with the hard work and creative thinking our development team has put into this title.”

NBA 2K7 showcases the movement of every single NBA player with the introduction of Signature Style that features over 300 unique animations in jumpshots, dunks, dribbles, and passes. Athletes not only look and move exactly like their real-life counterparts, but will display the same tendencies and behaviors during a game. Improved arena atmosphere includes enhanced lighting and full 3D crowds with their own behavior, and over 30 new gameplay cameras bring the game to life like never before.

NBA 2K7 delivers a wealth of comprehensive gameplay modes including 24/7: NEXT, a new entertaining Streetball story mode with new basketball challenges, a brand new Create Player system, and the Association, the most complete franchise mode that includes three-team trades, progressive fatigue and more.

The integration of music in NBA 2K7 is without peer as the soundtrack, produced by highly acclaimed music producer Dan The Automator, features artists like Mos Def, Fabolous, Hieroglyphics, Tribe Called Quest and many more.

With seamless online play and the most comprehensive online feature set anywhere including complete online stat tracking, online tournaments, and new online fantasy drafted leagues, 2K Sports continues to lead the online gaming revolution.

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September 13, 2006

2K Sports Delivers Unique New Features For NBA 2K7

NEW YORK, NY – September 14, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today new standard-setting features for NBA 2K7. NBA 2K7, the highest rated NBA simulation video game series*, delivers a new benchmark in high-level visual player details with Signature Style player animations. NBA 2K7 also enhances the overall NBA atmosphere with hyper-detailed arenas, enhanced arena lighting, and numerous new camera angles to truly deliver the next generation of basketball video games.

Signature Style elevates next generation animation and adds new level of gameplay strategies as gamers adjust to the different shooting styles of each NBA player. Whether it’s Shaquille O’Neal’s two-handed drop step dunk, Steve Nash’s dribble, Gilbert Arenas’ wrap around the waist free throw routine, Richard Hamilton adjusting his face mask, Allen Iverson’s crossover move, or Shawn Marion’s fadeaway jumpshot, Signature Style comprises over 300 unique animations in shooting, dribbling, and dunking in NBA 2K7.

“Gamers will appreciate the attention to detail to all NBA players in NBA 2K7,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “Utilizing the power of next generation systems, 2K Sports is taking the first steps in bringing the details that sports fans have been looking for in their sports video games. In NBA 2K7, NBA players are recognizable by sight, and through Signature Style, gamers will be able to distinguish NBA players by their movement, positioning, shooting animations, and behavior. 2K Sports is setting the standard with NBA 2K7.”

The level of detail has also been dramatically enhanced around the players, as NBA 2K7 features hyper-detail to every NBA arena. New lighting effects have been authentically replicated to give each court its own look and character. New crowd reactions and animations deliver more life to each of the games, as well as new arena specific elements of mascot animations, dance team performances, and much more. Lastly, users can experience the game with over 30 new camera angles ranging from the birds-eye view from the upper-level seats, to the eye level view from the coach’s cam. All of these cameras are further customizable to any gamer preference, giving gamers hundreds of new ways to watch the best NBA simulation video game for the next generation.

NBA 2K7 will be available for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in September 2006, and will be available in holiday 2006 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system**. More standard-setting features will be detailed in the near future.

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THE PUCK DROPS HERE! EA’s NHL 07 SHIPS TO RETAILERS TODAY

Redwood City, Calif. – Tuesday, September 12, 2006 – The golden age of console hockey returns! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that the NHL® 07 videogame ships to retailers in North America today under the EA SPORTS™ brand. In stores just in time for the opening of NHL training camps, NHL 07 allows players to feel like they can play like a pro without ever touching the ice.

Featuring an unmatched level of freedom and control, NHL 07 represents a watershed moment in the history of the console hockey. The revolutionary EA SPORTS Skill Stick gives users the power to play in the game as it is on the ice, without taking their thumbs off the analog sticks. The left analog functions as your skates and the right as your hockey stick to give you a skill-based execution with an intuitive feel.

Stunning new presentation, AI enhancements and animation overhauls create players who look, act and play like they would in the NHL. Gone are the days when a one-timer was the only way to score in a hockey videogame. Now look to your teammates and know how to best use their strengths with New Player-Specific Behaviors. Be the Playmaker and find your Sniper open in the slot, or let your Dangler make pylons out of the defense.

Off the ice, act as the General Manager in an enhanced Dynasty Mode™. Do whatever it takes to meet an owner’s expectations by properly managing rosters and using your creativity to fit player salaries under the new cap. Whether you’re running the front office or dominating the rink, NHL 07 is the most realistic hockey video game ever created.


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August 30, 2006

ACTIVISION'S MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE SCORES AWARD-WINNING COMPOSERS

Santa Monica, CA – August 29, 2006 – Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that award-winning composers Chance Thomas (Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Lord of the Rings series), Cris Velasco (God of War) and Mark Griskey (Best of LucasArts Original Soundtrack) have scored the upcoming, critically-acclaimed Marvel™: Ultimate Alliance video game. The trio has produced over 50 minutes of original music for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, including arrangements for multiple game levels, the in-game cinematics and the Super Hero™ and boss battle themes.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is Raven Software’s highly anticipated action/RPG that allows players to create their Marvel dream team from the largest roster of Super Heroes ever in an epic quest that will determine the fate of Earth and the Marvel Universe. With over 140 popular Marvel characters and a playable cast of more than 20 Super Heroes, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, gamers will embark on a dangerous journey across exotic terrain and well-known comic book locations like Atlantis, the Shield Heli-Carrier and the Skrull home world in an attempt to defy Dr. Doom and the world’s most notorious Super Villains.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance will be the first Super Hero game available this fall for all next-gen gaming systems. Additionally, the game will be available for current-gen consoles, handheld and PC platforms, and carries a “T” (Teen – Mild Language, Violence) rating by the ESRB.

Continue reading "ACTIVISION'S MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE SCORES AWARD-WINNING COMPOSERS" »

August 23, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.'S PAC-MAN WORLD RALLYT ZOOMS ONTO STORE SHELVES NATIONWIDE

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (August 22, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Pac-Man World Rally™ has shipped and is available in retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube™ and PC.

Developed by Smart Bomb Interactive, Pac-Man World Rally puts players behind the wheel to race through a variety of Pac-Man World environments as Pac-Man®, Jr. Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters such as Mr. Driller®, Mappy® and the Prince from Katamari Damacy™. In the fastest and most exciting kart racing game ever, players can race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with unique weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The newest installment in the franchise also includes the villains of Pac-Man World: Toc-Man, Spooky, Erwin – and introduces the most evil of them all, Pac-Devil!

“Pac-Man World Rally gives fans of all ages the opportunity to enjoy the franchise’s first-ever kart racer,” said John Whitmore, Director of Internal/External Development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The game’s roster of popular classic characters, challenging tracks and finely tuned power sliding mechanics are sure to deliver an unforgettable gameplay experience.”

Players will experience an unprecedented sense of speed as they race against their friends or the computer on fun and exciting new tracks with unique new kart racing features, including:

* Play as Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters! – Play as the iconic characters from the Pac-Man universe, or choose from an all-star cast of classic Namco characters such as Pooka, Fygar, Mr. Driller and more!
* The most outrageous Battle Mode ever seen in kart racing! – Pac-Man and friends have a whole new set of weapons to duke it out in custom single-player and multiplayer Battle Arenas!
* The Pac-Mobile! – No matter what character you choose, if you eat enough Pac Dots on the track you can transform into the giant Pac-Mobile and gobble up the competition!
* Shortcuts galore! – Keep your eyes peeled for Pac-Man’s classic fruit power-ups – they open hidden Fruit Doors that will catapult you into the lead!

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.'S PAC-MAN WORLD RALLYT ZOOMS ONTO STORE SHELVES NATIONWIDE" »

KONAMI ANNOUNCES NEW DETAILS ABOUT KARAOKE REVOLUTION PRESENTS: AMERICAN IDOL

Company Also Discloses Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol’s Chart-Topping Song List Featuring 40 Songs Including All-Time Classics, Contemporary Favorites, And Hits From The Television Show

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 23, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., caught up with American Idol’s famous judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson to get their comments about the upcoming video game Karaoke Revolution®Presents: American Idol for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Gamers will not only come face-to-face with Cowell and Jackson as they rate performances and provide feedback, but Konami’s groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) inside the game will also enable them to critique specific parts of any performance, a first in the award-winning video game’s history.

"Over the years American Idol has produced some amazingly talented singers, but let's be honest most of the people who turn up for the auditions are useless," said Simon Cowell. "For anyone who wants to know what it's like to audition in front of me, now you're about to find out. This game is a great representation of American Idol.”

“The number one show on television and the top karaoke video game around – wow, this is going to be big time!” said Randy Jackson. “It’s amazing what Konami has accomplished in making this game look and feel like the TV show.”

“Our goal with Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol is to deliver the experience of being a contestant on the television program. Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson have become synonymous with the show and having them as part of this game adds one more layer of authenticity,” said Matt Knoles, Product Manager at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “Cowell’s and Jackson’s presence goes beyond just their likenesses. With the addition of our groundbreaking AI, their personality will really be felt in the game as they critique specific parts of a player’s performance.”

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol lets players sing and perform using a USB headset/microphone, as they compete through a fully recreated virtual season of the number one show on television. In their quest to become the next American Idol, players can take part in auditions, earn an invitation to Hollywood and compete through the Semi-Finals and Finals stages just like on the popular television show. As players progress through the game, comments from the individual judges, both positive and sometimes outrageously negative, affect whether or not they move on to the next round of competition. Additionally, Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol offers support for the EyeToy USB Camera (for PlayStation®2). By utilizing the EyeToy Camera, players can put themselves into the game by creating a 3D model of their head, and watch themselves perform on big video screens within the 3D venues.

As they attempt to be named the next American Idol, Konami is providing gamers a selection of 40 songs, including all-time classics, contemporary favorites and, of course, hits from the television program. Selections include songs and video footage of performances from former Idols of the past 5 seasons. The list of songs also include an eclectic variety of genres from contemporary R&B and pop to classic hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“The song list was carefully chosen to ensure that there was something for every taste and generation. We want to give everyone the opportunity to perform their favorites as they attempt to become the next American Idol,” said Knoles. “With signature songs from former American Idol contestants, faithfully designed American Idol venues and a variety of single- and multi-player game modes, Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol is the closest players can get to being on stage without going to an audition.”

The complete list of song titles included in Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol is:

* All My Life
* Alone
* (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me
* Be Without You
* Breakaway
* Build Me Up Buttercup
* Can’t Help Falling In Love
* Crazy Little Thing Called Love
* Dilemma
* Do I Make You Proud
* Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me
* Don’t You Want Me
* Easy
* Every Rose Has Its Thorn
* Flying Without Wings
* Heartbreaker
* Heaven
* Hungry Like The Wolf
* If You Don’t Know Me By Now
* It’s Not Unusual
* Just The Way You Are
* Let’s Stay Together
* Love Will Keep Us Together
* More Than Words
* Photograph
* Piano Man
* Proud Mary Rock With You
* Saving All My Love ForYou
* She Bangs
* Stand By Me
* Stickwitu
* Straight Up
* Sugar, We’re Going Down
* The Real Thing
* Total Eclipse Of The Heart
* Unwritten
* What A Girl Wants
* You And Me
* You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling


Continue reading "KONAMI ANNOUNCES NEW DETAILS ABOUT KARAOKE REVOLUTION PRESENTS: AMERICAN IDOL" »

August 22, 2006

MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the exclusive videogame license of the NFL and PLAYERS INC, is in stores everywhere today. Madden NFL 07 continues to lead with innovation and gameplay by reinventing the running game with the all-new Lead Blocker Control and the new highlight stick so you can run like the real players run. NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode comes to Madden NFL 07 this year, where you can live the life of an NFL Superstar.

Madden NFL 06¸ since its launch, has sold more than 6.5 million copies*, and was the #1 selling videogame of 2005 in North America. Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon, with more than 51 million copies sold (LTD), and the launch day becoming a holiday for many avid fans.

“Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon and, with Maddenoliday, we are honoring all the Madden gamers across the country who line up at midnight and then take off the day to play Madden NFL 07,” said Todd Sitrin, VP of marketing for EA Tiburon and EA SPORTS brand. “We continue to bring innovative changes to the game every year, and now with the improvements in the running game, Madden NFL 07 is even more authentic. You will know how it feels to be actually on the field playing with the pros.”

You now control the running game like never before with Lead Blocker Control in Madden NFL 07. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs.

NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode makes its debut in Madden NFL 07 on the Xbox 360 and is even deeper for the current generation systems. You can create and customize your own player and guide him one Sunday at a time from that position on the field for an all new way of experiencing the game. Madden NFL 07 Franchise Mode is deeper than ever before. On current generation platforms, now scout collegiate prospects with the all-new NFL Draft Scouting System and the College All-Star Game, or watch players around the NFL impact their teams with the new Franchise Player Roles feature. On Xbox 360, participate in an interactive player rehab through mini games.

For the Xbox 360 there is an all-new Mini-Camp mode where you can build up your players attributes by running him through skill-based, combine-type mini-games. In the off-season use Mini-Camp to condition players or rehab injuries to get back on the field faster. Track your career accomplishments in Franchise Mode to earn Madden Gamer Points, then risk your points against the computer or live opponents in the same room.

In its second installment on the PlayStation® Portable system, Madden NFL 07 brings you a new exclusive mini-games -- return kicks, avoid tackles, and players can aim for the high score in “End 2 End.” And for the first time you can transfer an entire season in Franchise mode from your PlayStation®2 to your PSP system.

September 1 in Denver, CO is the kick off to the highly-anticipated 5th annual EA SPORTS™ Madden Challenge, played exclusively this year on the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, with a $100,000 grand prize check for the Finals winner. Void where prohibited. Eligibility Restrictions Apply. Tournament runs on published dates in each city. For additional details and Tournament Official Rules see www.maddenchallenge.com.

Entering its 17th year and with more than 51 million copies sold life to date, Madden NFL Football continues to stand out as the most popular football videogame franchise of all time with a combination of innovative new features and the most authentic football gameplay. Developed in Orlando, FL by EA Tiburon Madden NFL 07 will be available on August 22 on Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, PC (as well as www.downloader.ea.com), PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $59.99 for the Xbox 360, $49.99 for the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox, $39.99 for Nintendo GameCube, PSP, and PC, $29.99 for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. In Europe, Madden NFL 07 launches on PS2, Xbox, NDS, PC, PC Downloader August 25 and on Xbox 360 and PSP September 8. For more information check out www.madden07.com.

Continue reading "MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY" »

August 18, 2006

2K Sports Introduces Cinemotion™ to NHL 2K7

NEW YORK, NY – August 17, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today a new and exciting direction in experiencing the intense action and thrilling drama of an NHL video game with NHL® 2K7’s newest feature, Cinemotion™. Combining new dynamic gameplay camera angle technology, cutscenes, player chatter and unique audio options, Cinemotion truly immerses gamers into the drama of hockey like never before.

“With all of our 2K Sports products, we’re always looking for new ways to enhance and revolutionize the sports video game experience,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “With Cinemotion, we have been able to really take this experience to the next level. Cinemotion creates a completely customizable atmosphere for gamers, introducing several different ways of playing the game in terms of gameplay cameras and music, in addition to other dramatic elements.”

Fans will notice the impact of Cinemotion as soon as the puck drops, as NHL 2K7 features a new dynamic parametric camera angle during gameplay that maximizes the gamer’s vision down the ice. This new camera angle specifically takes advantage of widescreen viewing, giving players the optimal perspective on all that’s happening on the ice. The camera smartly zooms in when there’s intense action along the boards without distracting the gamer. Additionally, gamers will truly appreciate the atmosphere and the character of each NHL arena when using this new Cinemotion camera angle.

The drama of an NHL game is perfectly delivered with cutscenes and player chatter in NHL 2K7. Cinemotion intelligently activates cutscene sequences that are shot from brand new camera angles and perspectives, to include penalty shots, face-offs and scoring. Player chatter adds a new layer of gameplay audio, as players on the ice will shout orders, give encouragement to teammates and react to specific game situations, elevating the drama and excitement.

To fully engross gamers in an all-new NHL experience, sound plays a big part in Cinemotion presentation and users can select between two different sound settings in NHL 2K7. Harry Neale and Bob Cole are back once again to deliver their unique insight and entertaining wit to every game when users select Cinemotion- Commentary. For gamers who want something much different, Cinemotion-Music replaces the commentary with an orchestrated score that dynamically changes with the action throughout every game. With Cinemotion-Music, the score will change based upon the action on the ice to reflect the overall mood. All Cinemotion music options are completely customizable so each user can have their own unique NHL 2K7 experience.

NHL 2K7, the top-rated hockey video game for four-straight years*, is coming in September 2006 to the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system; and will be available in holiday 2006 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system**.

For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

*According to GameRankings.com average scores of 2003-2006 hockey video games.

** This title has not yet been concept approved for the PlayStation®3 system by Sony Computer Entertainment America.


Continue reading "2K Sports Introduces Cinemotion™ to NHL 2K7" »

August 17, 2006

DIRGE of CERBERUS – FINAL FANTASY VII – EXPLODES ONTO RETAIL SHELVES

Los Angeles, Calif. (August 15, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that DIRGE of CERBERUS™ – FINAL FANTASY® VII – (DIRGE of CERBERUS) has shipped to retailers across the nation, exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The blockbuster thrill ride from the creators of FINAL FANTASY VII comes fully loaded with all-new features and bonus content created exclusively for North American audiences.

“Creating the first action game in the beloved FINAL FANTASY series has been an exhilarating experience for us,” said Yoshinori Kitase, Producer, Square Enix Co., Ltd. “Because the series, especially FINAL FANTASY VII, has enjoyed such a loyal following, we took special care with the direction for DIRGE of CERBERUS. In addition, we were sensitive to the difference between American and Japanese gamers, and made substantial changes to tailor the game to both regions. We hope the gamers will enjoy this new facet of the franchise and the continuation of the FINAL FANTASY VII legacy.”

Breakout star Vincent Valentine returns in this adrenaline-fueled action game that propels players into the middle of an ongoing conflict that threatens all life on the planet. With his trusty triple-barreled Cerberus in hand, Vincent will shoot, fight and rage his way through the ranks of a menacing uprising – one that must be stopped at all costs. Featuring fast-paced gameplay from renowned producer Yoshinori Kitase and character designs from Tetsuya Nomura, DIRGE of CERBERUS offers a non-stop ride through the exhilarating world of FINAL FANTASY VII.

Numerous enhancements have been implemented in the North American release, including brand-new missions, a retooled camera system, and speedier action to keep up with American gamers. Fans will also have the opportunity to continue the adventure “on the go” with DIRGE of CERBERUS LOST EPISODE™ – FINAL FANTASY VII –, a mobile title set for release this summer.

STORY

Three years have passed since Meteor's devastating attack on the planet. After piecing together their shattered lives, people are terrorized yet again by sudden attacks stemming from a mysterious military organization known as “Deepground.” Before Meteorfall, these soldiers formed one of Shinra's most secret projects — but with the destruction of Midgar, the soldiers left below the town’s smoldering remains were forgotten. Vincent Valentine must now retaliate against this impending threat with his trusty Cerberus in hand.

FEATURES

Ÿ The first action title in the series delivers an entirely new collection of techniques and maneuvers exclusive to the North American release

Ÿ Tweaks and changes bring the game up to speed for North American audiences – faster gameplay, an enhanced camera system and tightened controls provide gamers with a tailor-made experience

Ÿ Extend the adventure with all-new bonus content that includes exclusive missions, character viewer, sound gallery and more

Ÿ Revisit memorable locations and see familiar faces from FINAL FANTASY VII

Ÿ Utilize a variety of weapons and unleash devastating melee combo attacks

Ÿ Customize and upgrade Vincent’s weapons, including handguns and machine guns, with five different varieties of parts that affect power, range, firing rate and more

Ÿ Fully voiced, cutting-edge CG cinematics in the renowned Square Enix style

Ÿ Continue the adventure on the go with the mobile game DIRGE of CERBERUS Lost Episode– FINAL FANTASY VII –

MARKETING AND ADVERTSING SUPPORT

The launch of DIRGE of CERBERUS is supported by an interactive web site that includes a FINAL FANTASY VII tribute section for fans (http://na.square-enix.com/dcff7/). The tribute section includes questions about the plot of FINAL FANTASY VII which unlock footage from the original game when answered correctly, as well as a survey where fans can vote on their most memorable moments in the groundbreaking game.

The program includes a three-week television campaign from August 13 through September 3 on Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Fuel, G4, MTV, MTV2, Spike and WWE, print advertising in the September and October issues of top gaming media, and a unique rich media online campaign with a major presence on 1UP, IGN, Gamespot, GamePro.com, MySpace and UGO.

DIRGE of CERBERUS Lost Episode – FINAL FANTASY VII –

DIRGE of CERBERUS LOST EPISODE – FINAL FANTASY VII – tells the story three years after Meteorfall, where the original FINAL FANTASY VII ended, with Vincent Valentine struggling to

save the world from Deepground, a mysterious army of bloodthirsty warriors. This action role-playing game will take advantage of all mobile gaming has to offer, allowing players to explore a sprawling world in Battlefield mode, and battle with Deepground soldiers in FPS Battle mode. Familiar features from FFVII, such as materia and limit break attacks, can also be used by Vincent to smash his foes.

Be the first to take a revolutionary step in mobile phone gaming! Available exclusively on Amp’d mobile handsets beginning on August 18, 2006. For more information visit www.ampd.com.

DIRGE of CERBERUS LOST EPISODE – FINAL FANTASY VII – was developed by a Square Enix Co., Ltd. team led by Kosei Ito in collaboration with Ideaworks3D Ltd., a BAFTA award-winning mobile games studio headquartered in London (http://www.ideaworks3d.com). For more about information about DIRGE of CERBERUS LOST EPISODE – FINAL FANTASY VII – visit www.sqexm.com/dirge.

Continue reading "DIRGE of CERBERUS – FINAL FANTASY VII – EXPLODES ONTO RETAIL SHELVES" »

August 11, 2006

EIDOS AND FORD MOTOR COMPANY MAKING BOLD MOVES TOGETHER

San Francisco, Calif. – August 10, 2006 – Eidos Interactive Ltd, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software today announced that it has partnered with Ford Motor Company and Empire Interactive to bring Ford Bold Moves Street Racing to North America this fall 2006 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows.

Ford Bold Moves Street Racing delivers players a chance to race 18 officially licensed high performance Ford vehicles from the classic 1968 Mustang GT to the new scorching hot 2007 Shelby GT500. With plans to make the title affordable enough for every gamer to own, Ford Street Racing is still pushing boundaries by delivering unique features such as the trademarked Maximum Team Control™ that allows players to switch on-the-fly between a team of three vehicles to dominate a race. A progressive damage system also adds a new element of realism to the game, allowing every hit your vehicle takes to affect the appearance, performance and drivability of the vehicle.

“Eidos is excited about being part of Ford’s multinational marketing campaign,” said David Bamberger, US Marketing Manager, Eidos. “New innovative features like Maximum Team Control™ coupled with the best high performance vehicles Ford has to offer ensures appeal to hardcore and casual gamers alike.”

"We are pleased to be able to partner with Eidos for the fourth game in the multi-million selling Ford Racing franchise. The combination of the innovative Maximum Team Control™ feature and the aspirational, high performance Ford vehicles marks a significant step forward for Ford games,” said Ian Higgins, CEO of Empire Interactive.

Continue reading "EIDOS AND FORD MOTOR COMPANY MAKING BOLD MOVES TOGETHER" »

2K SPORTS REUNITES A TRIBE CALLED QUEST FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL 2K SPORTS BOUNCE TOUR

New York, NY – August 10, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), today announced the reuniting of legendary hip hop act, A Tribe Called Quest, to headline the first leg of the 2nd Annual 2K Sports Bounce Tour in 15 cities. This marks A Tribe Called Quest’s first tour in over half a decade. In addition to headlining the tour, an exclusive track from the group will appear on the upcoming ‘Dan The Automator Presents 2K7’ soundtrack with Phife Dawg appearing as a playable character. Joining A Tribe Called Quest on this historic national tour is Rhymefest.

Comprised of Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, A Tribe Called Quest is known as one of the most intelligent and artistic rap groups of the ‘90s with four solid albums and a string of hip-hop classics prior to their 1998 break-up. This heavily anticipated reunion marks one of the top hip-hop happenings of the year.

“I’m excited for me and my group to be a part of the 2K Sports Bounce Tour,” said Phife from A Tribe Called Quest. “It’s a win-win situation for Tribe because we get to be a part of such a dope game, and we get to reach out and touch our fans in these 15 cities. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity. Also, I’m excited because everyone knows I am a sports nut, so being down with the game and also being a character in the game is crazy to me.”

The 2nd Annual 2K Bounce Tour is the latest addition to 2K Sports’ series of annual live events that bridge hip-hop, sports and video game culture by featuring renowned music artists, sports gaming kiosks, projection vignettes and celebrity and professional athlete appearances. The tour will take place in more than a dozen top markets throughout the month of September, with details posted at http://2ksports.com/go/bounce/.

Tour Dates (first leg):

Sept 8 - Las Vegas NV

Sept 9 - Berkeley CA

Sept 10 - Los Angeles CA

Sept 13 - Denver CO

Sept 15 - Chicago IL

Sept 16 - Milwaukee WI

Sept 17 - Toronto ON

Sept 20 - Baltimore MD

Sept 22 - Washington DC

Sept 23 - Atlanta GA

Sept 24 - Lake Buena Vista FL

Sept 28 - Atlantic City NJ

Sept 29 - Worcester MA

Oct 1 - Sayreville NJ

Oct 5 – TBA, NY

“After The Roots headlined last year’s Bounce Tour, we knew we had to raise the bar even further,” said Tim Rosa, director of brand and lifestyle marketing for 2K Sports. “We jumped on the opportunity to reunite the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, whose positive vibe and innovative style meshed perfectly with the 2K Sports brand.”


Continue reading "2K SPORTS REUNITES A TRIBE CALLED QUEST FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL 2K SPORTS BOUNCE TOUR" »

August 10, 2006

SEGA ANNOUNCES SEGA GENESIS COLLECTION FOR PS2 AND PSP

SAN FRANCISCO (August 10, 2006) – SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that the SEGA Genesis Collection for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system will be available at retail this fall. SEGA Genesis Collection will be the most comprehensive gathering of classic SEGA products ever assembled; with over 30 titles in one compilation.

“SEGA has always been, and will continue to be, an innovator of gaming technologies,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. “The Genesis was the first 16-bit gaming system released in 1989, setting a new standard for gaming hardware technology for years to come. SEGA Genesis Collection will take gamers back to experience the golden age of gaming during the 1990s.”

Continue reading "SEGA ANNOUNCES SEGA GENESIS COLLECTION FOR PS2 AND PSP" »

August 3, 2006

Namco Bandai Games America Inc. Announces NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles for PlayStation 2 System

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (August 2, 2006) - Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that "NARUTO(TM):UZUMAKI CHRONICLES(TM)"will be available this Winter, exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Based on the hit animated TV series SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO from VIZ Media airing on Cartoon Network, this action adventure title offers players a chance to become Naruto, the aspiring ninja with the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox Spirit sleeping deep within. Set in a vividly rendered 3D environment, gamers can play through the story-driven missions to save the Hidden Leaf Village from the threat of evil and fulfill Naruto's dream of becoming the Hokage (leader).

"On the heels of the resounding success of 'NARUTO(TM): Ultimate Ninja(TM),' fans of the series have been clamoring for new NARUTO adventures on the PlayStation 2," said Naruo Uchida, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.'s Senior Vice President. "With 'NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles,' we will deliver another layer of gameplay depth to the franchise by introducing an original storyline and providing an opportunity for fans to engage in large-scale ninja combat, all the while exploring familiar locations of the Naruto universe in an adventure setting."

"NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles" introduces a lush, never-before-seen 3D world that will test the players' Ninjutsu skills as Naruto, the feisty orphan who wants to become the most respected and admired ninja of all time. A brand new story drives the missions as players experience the trials and tribulations of a ninja-in-training - fierce competition from fellow students and constant challenges from their teachers. Players can collect status-boosting chips and plates to customize all aspects of Naruto's abilities and face-off against multiple enemies using either close combat moves or long-range weapons like shurikens and explosive cards. With familiar characters like Kakashi, Sasuke and Neji that can swoop in for assistance, "NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles" offers mini-games and lethal attacks straight from the popular anime series to satiate any aspiring ninja.

First introduced into the Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine in Japan in 1999, NARUTO -- by revered creator Masashi Kishimoto -- quickly became Japan's most popular ninja manga. In 2000, NARUTO was expanded into a series of graphic novels with more than 65 million copies sold in Japan. NARUTO consistently ranks as one of the most popular titles serialized in VIZ Media's SHONEN JUMP monthly manga anthology and one of the top graphic novel titles (also published by VIZ Media) in the United States. VIZ Media was named the Master Licensor in February 2005, obtaining the television, home video and merchandising rights to NARUTO for North America and Latin America.

Continue reading "Namco Bandai Games America Inc. Announces NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles for PlayStation 2 System" »

2K Sports Announces Diverse Music Lineup from Sub Pop Records for NHL 2K7 Video Game

NEW YORK, NY – August 2, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today that independent rock music pioneer Sub Pop Records, among other record labels, will provide music tracks from its diverse catalog for NHL 2K7.

Featuring an eclectic mix of uniquely spirited music inspired by the individuality of hockey, NHL 2K7’s soundtrack features 18 songs, including tracks from influential Sub Pop artists such as Postal Service, Hot Hot Heat, Sleater-Kinney and Mudhoney.

NHL 2K7 will feature the following Sub Pop Records’ tracks:

• Arlo- Runaround

• Band of Horses- Wicked Gil

• Hot Hot Heat- Talk to me, Dance with Me

• Kinski- Hot Stenographer

• Love as Laughter- Temptation Island

• Mudhoney- Empty Shells

• Nebula- Giant

• The Postal Service- Brand New Colony

• Seaweed- Losing Skin

• Sleater-Kinney- Rollercoaster

• The Constantines- Working Full-time

• The Thermals- I Hold the Sound

“Sub Pop is the leader in bringing the underground sound to the mainstream without compromising their integrity,” said Tim Rosa, director of brand and lifestyle marketing for 2K Sports. “Because we share this mindset when developing our games, NHL 2K7 is the perfect vehicle for Sub Pop to stay true to its vision.”

"While Sub Pop and hockey are rarely mentioned in the same breath, the vibe of our music really suits the action of NHL 2K7," said Steve Manning, Publicity/Marketing Director, Sub Pop Records. "Because 2K Sports values authenticity in its games with the same passion we treasure authenticity in our artists, we knew this partnership would resonate with fans of both the sport and our music."

The top-rated hockey video game for four-straight years*, NHL 2K7 introduces a groundbreaking presentation system that will engross gamers with a completely different way of playing a hockey video game than ever experienced before—a new look, new sound, and new feel bring raw emotion and exciting drama. New additions to ProControl™ empower players to turn up the defensive pressure on specific opposing players. Combined with high-quality visual details and the most comprehensive franchise options available, including the new rivalry mode, and NHL MVP Joe Thornton on the cover, NHL 2K7 elevates the realism of the sport, delivering the best hockey game on any system.

NHL 2K7 is coming in September 2006 to the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system; and will be available in holiday 2006 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

Continue reading "2K Sports Announces Diverse Music Lineup from Sub Pop Records for NHL 2K7 Video Game" »

EA ANNOUNCES 55DSL COLLABORATION WITH NEED FOR SPEED CARBON

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that fashion street wear brand 55DSL will be coming to Need for Speed™ Carbon. Exclusively designed items from 55DSL, plus a selection of garments from their ‘Zurka and the 55 Vagabonds’ winter collection, will feature prominently on key in-game characters in the game,developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia. Need for Speed ™ Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads..

55DSL items are specifically tailored to the game, bringing with them the unique style and tone of the brand. Exclusively designed clothing for the game, will be available only through local EA events around the world and pre-order campaigns.

Andrea Rosso, the Creative Director of 55DLS is enthusiastic, “When the opportunity to work with EA, and in particular Need for Speed™ Carbon, came along, it seemed like a natural progression for us. I’m a gamer and I’m going to play this game for sure so to see characters wearing our exclusively designed t-shirts and other items, is really amazing for me.”

“This partnership adds another layer of authenticity to our role in street culture”, says Larry LaPierre, Executive Producer. “Having 55DSL integrated so tightly within Need for Speed™ Carbon adds an increased sense of realism to the game and gives fans the opportunity to wear exclusively designed items that brings them closer to the action.”

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August 2, 2006

2K Sports Names J.J. Redick College Hoops 2K7 Cover Athlete

NEW YORK, NY – August 1, 2006 U– 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that J.J. Redick, former star player for the Duke University Blue Devils (2002-2006) and one of the most highly decorated players in college basketball history, will grace the cover of College Hoops 2K7 and act as its official spokesman.

“It’s an honor to be on the cover of College Hoops 2K7,” said J.J. Redick. “I’m a huge video gamer and have always been a fan of the College Hoops 2K series for its authenticity and addictive gameplay. I’m very excited to be a part of 2K7 and from what I’ve seen so far, this game is going to be mind-blowing."

“We are thrilled to have J.J. as our cover athlete for College Hoops 2K7,” stated Erik Whiteford, vice president, 2K Sports. “He embodies exceptional talent, drive and spirit -- all of the characteristics of a collegiate basketball competitor and winner. J.J. is working very closely with us and our development team, contributing his knowledge and passion for basketball to further ensure the most realistic and exciting college basketball experience.”

Throughout his career with the Blue Devils, J.J. was an integral part of Duke’s basketball legacy, becoming the NCAA’s all-time leader in free throw percentage (.922) while also setting several Duke and ACC records--including career points scored (2,769). In addition, J.J. has earned numerous awards throughout his college career, including the James Sullivan Award, John R. Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year Award, and Adolph F. Rupp Award (twice) while also being named a consensus All-American in both his junior and senior years. Widely considered to be one of the best pure shooters in college basketball history, J.J. brings his talent to the NBA as he begins his professional basketball career with the Orlando Magic this fall.

Coming in fall 2006 for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, College Hoops 2K7 immerses fans into the most compelling and authentic college basketball video game to date with enhanced college atmosphere, post-season NIT™, revamped defensive AI and defensive controls, expanded broadcast presentation and much more. Nothing captivates the nation like NCAA basketball and no other game captures that excitement and energy like College Hoops 2K7.

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FlatOut 2 CRASHES INTO STORES

San Francisco – Aug. 1, 2006 – Empire Interactive, a U.K. computer games developer and publisher, today announced that FlatOut 2 is now available at retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

FlatOut 2 features an updated physics engine with even faster track designs and numerous other improvements, enhancements and additions to make the title the definitive FlatOut experience. With twice as many vehicles, a more sophisticated career mode, additional race environments, an increased number of tracks, twice as many mini-games, as well as brand new and much-requested online multiplayer modes, this title is sure to appeal to hardcore FlatOut groupies.

The FlatOut experience is further strengthened with more than 5,000 fully destructible objects on every track, as well as 40 deformable parts on each vehicle. Greater emphasis is placed on track destruction by offering FlatOut 2 drivers bigger rewards, creating more frantic game play than ever before. Drivers will need to tear into competitors’ cars, trash the local scenery, litter the track with obstacles, while at the same time trying to concentrate on their own race in a bid to cross the line first.

The ever-popular Ragdoll mini-games from the original FlatOut game make a welcome return and are better than ever with 12 Ragdoll events and full online support. New Ragdoll events include a slammin’ basketball game, baseball, royal flush cards and a death-defying Ring of Fire.

Developed by Bugbear Entertainment and distributed by Vivendi Games in the U.S., FlatOut 2 carries a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Game Features
* Bigger variety of race environments including Big City, L.A. Storm Drains, Rocky Mountain Forest, Corn Fields and Desert
* Increased number of tracks with alternate track routes included for the first time
* Enhanced Championship Mode with multiple cups across increasing difficultly levels
* Twice as many vehicles plus additional car types-- muscle cars, sports cars, pickup trucks and compacts
* Garage feature allows player to now own multiple vehicles
* Unlockable bonuses including additional cars, Championship Cups and Destruction Arenas
* Improved opponent AI with each AI driver represented by a character and exhibiting a unique driving style
* MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT:

* Online multiplayer modes - up to six players on PlayStation 2 and eight players on Xbox
* Four player offline split screen Multiplayer mode on Xbox; two player on PlayStation 2
* Now available online! -- Destruction Derby Arenas


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July 28, 2006

2K Sports NHL2K7 and NBA 2K7 Previews

The good news is that they're going to try to have both NHL 2K7 and NBA 2K7 available for PS3 launch. It's not an official declaration that they will have the games, just an announcement of an intention.

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NHL 2K7 This is, of course, the hockey game. They've developed a new concept in hockey game play called "cinemotion", where you can either have no commentary and a dynamically orchestrated soundrack synched to the action, or have commentary. There are a lot of new cut scenes and they've added a lot of player voices in something like 16 different languages. There's a new skating engine and new animations. I am a huge hockey fan and I thought that the game looked extraordinarily realistic. There's a new "parametric" camera angle that is above the rink sort of like the ESPN cameras; it moves in and out, up and down, and you can actually see a line change. The game plays much more fluidly when you can see the whole ice surface, it's really easy to step up in the hole and make a play. The right bumper is a drop pass. The left bumper can be used to send a teammate to shadow or take out a player. In franchise mode trading logic has been tuned and the computer does a better job of balancing team chemistry. There's a rivalry system that builds rivalries over time based on year to year play. There's also something called "opprotunity knocks" where as GM you get a random phone call that you can accept or decline and it can be a good thing or a bad thing for your team. Online leagues are now based on a real point system. Overall, I think the game looked great on the Xbox 360 and I can't wait to play it.

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Marty's Better!

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July 27, 2006

PREPARE FOR ACTION AS SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK TAKE OFF IN THEIR HIGH FLYING QUEST IN NAMCO BANDAI GAMES’ SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARON!

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. has released a brand new set of screenshots for its upcoming title Snoopy vs. the Red Baron featuring Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest of the popular Peanuts® gang!

Set in a world based on the timeless comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes Snoopy on a high-flying adventure to a place only Snoopy could dream up! While slumbering atop his dog house, Snoopy once again imagines himself as a virtuoso flying ace fighting against his archenemy The Red Baron. Soar with Snoopy in his World War I bi-plane, the Sopwith Camel, as he takes on his enemies in sky-high dogfights, no-holds-barred air races and daring missions that take him behind enemy lines.

As you can see from these latest screens, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes fun and adventure to new heights. Guide Snoopy as he gallantly defends the skies, battles side by side with his closest friend and confidant Woodstock and powers up with as much root beer as he can lay his paws on. Fly through vibrant worlds and battle through over 20 missions as you collect clues in an attempt to put an end to The Red Barons evil plans and rescue Charlie Brown!

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July 21, 2006

2K Sports Announces Unique New Features for NHL 2K7

NEW YORK, NY - July 18, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today new standard-setting features for NHL 2K7. The top-rated hockey video game for four-straight years*, NHL 2K7 introduces a completely new skating engine to give users the true on-ice movement of an NHL game. Additionally, Pro Control(tm) receives new enhancements to both offensive and defensive controls, giving hockey fans thrilling new ways to attack and defend on the ice. These new features elevate the realism of the sport, delivering the best hockey experience on any system.

"Year after year, we've been delivering new and innovative ways to play the exciting game of hockey," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "The new skating engine in NHL 2K7 far surpasses anything we've ever produced and the advancements made in Pro Control(tm) add the excitement and control our fans have been craving."

Hundreds of new skating animations have been captured to bring an unprecedented level of high quality to all the skating movements in NHL 2K7. Hockey players in NHL 2K7 will glide, turn, stop, and adjust their movement on the ice with astounding realism. Not only will skating look much more natural, players will also experience the true momentum of skating whenever players dig into the ice to accelerate or carve the ice to make sudden stops. The new skating engine adds both remarkable visual excitement and an entertaining gameplay challenge to all hockey fans. In addition to the numerous new skating animations, several new checking, passing, and shooting animations have been added, making all the action in NHL 2K7 flow with amazing detail.

New gameplay enhancements have been added to Pro Control(tm), giving users offensive and defensive tools to utilize on the ice. While on offense, players now have the ability to execute drop passes, allowing users to setup new screen plays and create new scoring opportunities to catch the goalie off-guard. Pressure Control(tm) brings a tactical element to defensive hockey as players now can instruct teammates to defend opposing players while on the ice. Varying degrees of pressure can be selected - whether it's telling your teammate to shadow a selected opponent or deliver a big check - allowing players new defensive options on the fly. Pro Control(tm) in NHL 2K7 will deliver the offensive and defensive options hockey fans have been asking for,truly delivering the next generation of hockey.

NHL 2K7 --featuring 2006 Hart Memorial Trophy recipient, Joe Thornton on the cover-- will be available for the Xbox 360(tm) and Xbox(r) video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation(r)3 computer entertainment system. More features will be detailed at a later time. NHL 2K7 for Xbox 360, Xbox and PlayStation(r)2 are slated to release in September 2006, with the PlayStation(r)3 coming this holiday season.

For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

*According to GameRankings.com average scores of 2003-2006 hockey video games.

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July 19, 2006

ATARI SHIPS MOST INTENSE DRAGON BALL Z® FIGHTING GAME TO DATE

NEW YORK, NY, July 18, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) today announced that Super Dragon Ball Z® for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Developed by former Street Fighter II producer Noritaka Funamizu’s new studio, Crafts & Meister, Super DBZ® delivers an authentic, more challenging fighting experience, complete with more intensity and unique combinations than have ever been available before in a DBZ fighting game.

Super DBZ gives players an extreme 3D fighting experience in the air or on the ground with characters taken straight from the world of DBZ and levels created in the art style of Akira Toriyama, the original creator of the Dragon Ball manga. Each of the 13 characters and 5 unlockable secret characters in the game, including DBZ superheroes Goku®, Gohan® and Vegeta®, have their own catalog of exclusive attacks and fighting styles that are faithful to the series.

“DBZ devotees and fighting game fans are sure to be excited by our next installment in the DBZ franchise. By working with one of the top fighting game producers in the world, we have developed a deeper and richer fighting experience than ever before,” said Emily Anadu, Product Manager, Atari, Inc. “The combination of the unique character fighting styles and environments created in the original styles of the Dragon Ball manga in Super DBZ will thrill hard core fighting gamers and DBZ fanatics alike.”

Super DBZ has already captured critical acclaim, earning a “GameDaily Nod” at this year’s E3 and a runner-up award for IGN.com’s E3 2006 “Best PS2 Fighting Game.”

Dragon Ball Z video games are the leading anime-based video games, with more than 10 million units sold since May 2002. For additional information on Super DBZ and other Dragon Ball Z video games please visit http://www.atari.com/dragonballz.

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July 12, 2006

Midway Games Holiday Preview

I met with Midway today and saw their holiday 2006 lineup.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar - This is a Turbine developed MMO for the PC that will ship "when it's ready." Beta testing begins around the end of August. They believe that they've created a state of the art MMO set in Tolkein's world. It's a large world where players have to act in groups and changes are persistent. Explore the world and fight monsters to unlock accomplishments and special skills. You can customize your character by developing different skills. It's easy to play, the quest list is showing on the right side of the screen all the time with specific steps that you have to take. There are classes and professions. Bree town is a major gathering place that Turbine forsees as a bustling city full of player and nonplayer characters where you can train and participate in secure auctions. There are huge open areas like the Misty Mountains. Even though I was looking at an alpha build I thought it looked good. You can drag and drop to equip items. Quests encourage you to participate in group activities so there are some social aspects to it.
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Mortal Kombat Armageddon In the seventh of the series for PS2 and Xbox, Midway brings back over 60 characters from the earlier versions. A huge feature is Kreate-A-Fighter where character creation is totally tweakable down to (or up to) breast size. If you add it all up there are millions of combos of different features that you can customize. You can also customize fighting style and button combos and write a bio for your character. Then you can take it all online and battle against other people's characters. There's also Kreate-A-Fatality where you enter a series of 3 button presses and can make your fatility as complex as you want. We're talking about ripping out skulls, spines, beating hearts. There's also a hidden mode that they're releasing information about in August. Konquest mode is bigger and better with better graphics and more realistic melee fighting. It's a single player story driven mode with boss battles that are the classic MK style. There are 20 plus backgrounds, some classics revisited now in 3D. This ships in October 2006 for PS2 and Xbox.
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Mortal Kombat Unchained - This ships in October 2006 also and is for PSP. It's got ad hoc WiFi multiplayer combat. There are 30 characters. Honestly, this looked fine but after seeing the Xbox version the PSP didn't look so great.
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July 3, 2006

Ea TAPs Elliot Sadler as cover athlete for Nascar 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 30, 2006 – With more NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers at the highest level of the sport gaming than ever before, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that its EA SPORTS™ branded NASCAR® videogame, NASCAR® 07, will feature NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler on the cover. The longtime gamer has been heavily involved in all aspects of EA’s NASCAR franchise since he joined the Cup ranks in 1999, including taking home the championship trophy from last years’ EA SPORTS Drivers Gaming Competition in Bristol, TN, making him the perfect driver to showcase on the cover.

“I’m thrilled that EA has chosen me as their cover athlete for the game this year,” said Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M’s Ford Fusion for Robert Yates Racing. “I’ve been a big fan of this game for a while now and play it as often as I can whether I’m on the road or at home.”

“The changes for the game this year are really going to impress folks,” Sadler added. “They’ve brought the excitement and speed aspects of our sport to the forefront and put the control in the hands of the player. It’ll feel like you are right there in the car with me, feeling that adrenaline rush I get every time I’m out there on the track.”

Todd Sitrin, vice president of marketing, EA Tiburon, stated, “Over the years we have watched Elliott deal with some of the most exhilarating racing situations in the sport and come out on top. He represents what NASCAR 07 is all about, dealing with difficult situations and not letting it get to you, but instead focusing on the next opportunity and doing what you can to win.”

About Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler comes from a long line of racing history on the short tracks of Virginia, his home state. He spent two years in the NASCAR Busch Series before joining the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series ranks in 1998 with Wood Brothers Racing. After four seasons, Sadler and Wood Brothers parted ways and he secured a spot behind the wheel of the No. 38 M&M’s Ford at Robert Yates Racing.

2006 marks Sadler’s eighth season of competition on NASCAR’s premier circuit, where he has amassed three wins, a Gatorade Duel victory and six pole positions. Sadler has the distinction of being one of only four drivers to stay in the top-10 in points throughout the entire inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in 2004.

About NASCAR 07

Get an inside look at the incredibly fast and dangerous world of NASCAR racing with NASCAR 07. The control is now in the hands of the player as they attempt to navigate through intense moments with drivers racing inches apart at 200 mph. Push your car to the limit and leave drivers in the dust as all-new effects from screen blurring to camera shaking highlight every detail of the action. Modify your car’s handling to your exact specification with a user-friendly sliding scale that makes for ultimate control behind the wheel. Get a NASCAR 101 racing education in a one-on-one tutorial from Kenny Wallace, then select your favorite driver and invest skill points to help him reach the pinnacle of the sport: The NEXTEL Cup Series championship.

NASCAR 07 will be on store shelves September 6th and is rated “E” for (Everyone) by the ESRB. The game will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and NASCAR® will also be available on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system.

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June 29, 2006

FINAL FANTASY XII IN STORES OCTOBER 31, 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. (June 28, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ interactive entertainment products in North America, today announced that FINAL FANTASY® XII will be available in stores October 31, 2006, exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

In addition, a limited run of the FINAL FANTASY XII Collector’s Edition will be available exclusively at GameStop and EB Games stores, as well as through the e-commerce sites GameStop.com and EBgames.com. Housed within special packaging, the bonus DVD offers Japanese and American promotional trailers, in-depth developer interviews, an art gallery and featurettes focusing on highlights of the FINAL FANTASY franchise.

FINAL FANTASY XII, which has sold over 2.4 million units in Japan since its release on March 16, 2006, will retail for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD) and $59.99 (USD) for the Collector’s Edition.

About FINAL FANTASY XII

Story

As war looms on the horizon, the mighty Archadian Empire begins a campaign to subjugate its neighbors. The small kingdom of Dalmasca shares their fate, and it is here that our tale begins.

Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia’s new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire’s invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world.

Features

- Completely new voiced cut-scenes added for the North American release

- Gorgeous CG cinematics and cut-scenes in Dolby® Pro Logic II combined with real-time graphics rivaling those of next-gen titles

- Shocking plot twists take players on an unforgettable journey

- Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system, enables players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat

- Highly customizable Gambit system allows complete control over character AI during battles

- License board gives the player the ability to customize each character’s skills and abilities


FINAL FANTASY XII has been rated T for Teen by the ESRB. For more information about the ESRB please visit: http://www.esrb.org. For the latest updates on FINAL FANTASY XII and the Collector’s Edition go to: http://www.square-enix.com/na/.

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June 27, 2006

MICRO MACHINES v4 Zips By The Competition and Lands on Store Shelves Nationwide

New York (June 27, 2006) – Grab some friends, start your micro engines and prepare for the craziest and most addictive multi-player mayhem ever as Codemasters ships the classic series MICRO MACHINES v4 video game to retail outlets nationwide.

The ultimate pick-up-and-play racing game MICRO MACHINES v4 brings its own brand of hilarious multiplayer madness to the most fiendish race tracks – right under your nose! On PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system with a Nintendo DS version to follow, MICRO MACHINES v4 is the fastest, most fun mini racer with hundreds of cars to collect, loads of levels to race and tons of people to play. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and is developed by Supersonic Software, creators of some of the most acclaimed MICRO MACHINES games and more recently Mashed and Mashed: Fully Loaded.

Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, the MICRO MACHINES v4 game arrives packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, gamers will be racing their inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

Sport cars, street racers, stock cars, 4x4s, beach buggies, lowriders and muscle cars are just some of the MICRO MACHINES models gamers will be taking out on the improvised tracks around the MICRO MACHINES house, garden and – for the first time – beyond!

Fans of classic MICRO MACHINES games will rejoice in the return of some of the series’ most popular racing arenas. Spin out around the breakfast table littered with cereal spills, tear through the kitchen, turbo boost around the pool table (while avoiding the treacherous pockets), or hit the gas during the drive around the rim of the bath, carefully negotiating the ferocious waters pouring over the edge of the bath.

As well as the familiar feel-good environments, MICRO MACHINES v4 game sees the racing world expand further than any previous MICRO MACHINES game. Go beyond the house and garden tracks and discover what it’s like to race across house roofs, in the sewers, through supermarkets, museums and even down to the farm, with its danger-packed chicken coop!

Of course, it wouldn’t be MICRO MACHINES without an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on the opponents while racing. The MICRO MACHINES v4 game brings all the favorites back, including – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

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June 23, 2006

EA UNCOVERS TOP SECRET IN-GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK FOR MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – June 23, 2006 – Crank it up, gamers! The football pre-season kicks off with a bang as Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) reveals the 35 songs that will be featured in Madden NFL 07, becoming the de facto soundtrack of the 2007 football season. The bone-crunching action and heart-pounding adrenaline of the grid iron is intensified by the game’s one-of-a-kind mix of rock and hip hop.

“Year after year, the music selected for inclusion in EA’s smash hit football series invariably becomes the soundtrack of the football season, moving beyond the game to turn up in football stadiums and on live TV broadcasts,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “The Madden NFL Football franchise is recognized across North America as a driving force behind break-out bands… this year EA does it again.”

Players step onto the field in Madden NFL 07 with the thundering roar of the crowd in the background and the air filled with pounding rock anthems and energizing hip hop beats. Dr. Dre’s protégé who first appeared in NBA LIVE 06 and NFL STREET 2, Bishop LaMont now makes an appearance on Madden NFL 07 with a track featuring Chevy Jones, while Lupe Fiasco is on deck with Jonah Matranga. These hot tracks are included alongside new releases from fan favorites AFI, Audioslave, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday. Also this year, game fans will be spellbound by new music debuts from Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars, Dave Navarro’s band The Panic Channel, and Rise Against whose sophomore record is anticipated to be one of the biggest rock albums of the year.

Again this year, the hip hop production team Da Riffs remixed nearly a dozen original NFL FILMS music pieces will be showcased throughout the menus and in gameplay.

The complete in-game soundtrack for Madden NFL 07 includes:

ARTIST

SONG

30 Seconds To Mars

Battle Of One

AFI

Summer Shudder

Al Fatz

Came Down

Anti-Flag

This Is The End (For You My Friend)

Atreyu

Ex’s And Oh’s

Audioslave **

Revelations

Bishop LaMont feat. Chevy Jones **

The Best

Cartel

Say Anything (Else)

Cord **

Go Either Way

Damone

Out Here All Night

Dashboard Confessional

Reason To Believe

Dynamite MC **

Bounce

Feezy 350

Playa What

Glasses Malone **

Right Now

Hit The Lights

Until We Get Caught

Keane

Is It Any Wonder?

Less Than Jake

Still Life Franchise

Lupe Fiasco feat. Jonah Matranga

The Instrumental

Matchbook Romance

Monsters

Omnisoul **

Not Giving Up

Rise Against

Drones

Riverboat Gamblers

On Again Off Again

Saves The Day

Head For The Hills

Shorty Da Kid **

Get Loose

Spank Rock

Backyard Betty

Sparta **

Future Needs

Taking Back Sunday

Spin

The Panic Channel**

Teahouse Of The Spirits

The Pink Spiders

Easy Way Out

The Rapture**

WAYUH

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

In Fates Hands

The Sleeping

Don’t Hold Back

Trae

Real Talk

Underoath

Ever So Inviting

Wolfmother

Woman

** Indicates song will debut in Madden NFL 07 before being released to retail


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EA ANNOUNCES NEED FOR SPEED™ CARBON

Redwood City, Calif. – June 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Need for Speed™ Carbon is in development and will hit the streets this November. Developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia, Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to reinvent the franchise and continually uncover new and exciting trends in car culture. Canyon Racing is a real test of a driver’s skill and we think it provides a fantastic game play opportunity to lean into,” said Larry LaPierre, the game's executive producer.

What starts in the city is settled in the canyons as Need for Speed Carbon immerses you into the world’s most dangerous and adrenaline-filled form of street racing. You and your crew must race in an all-out war for the city, risking everything to take over your rivals’ neighborhoods one block at a time. As the police turn up the heat, the battle ultimately shifts to Carbon Canyon, where territories and reputations can be lost on every perilous curve. Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of customization giving you the power to design and tweak your crew’s cars in every way using the ground-breaking new Autosculpt™ technology. Represent your car class, your crew, and your turf in Need for Speed Carbon, the next revolution in racing games.

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June 22, 2006

ALEXANDER OVECHKIN LIGHTS THE LAMP WITH EA’s NHL 07

Redwood City, Calif. – Thursday, June 22, 2006 – Washington Capitals rookie phenom Alexander Ovechkin has signed with Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) to be the cover athlete and spokesman for its EA SPORTS™ branded NHL® 07 game. Drafted first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Ovechkin lived up to his potential and put forth the third most prolific rookie campaign in NHL history. Exceeding his freshman status, Ovechkin made his presence known by finishing the season third overall in the League for points (106), tied for third in goals (52), and first in shots (425).

“To me, I feel like your accomplishments have been recognized when you make the cover of a videogame," said Ovechkin. “I have been playing EA SPORTS games for years and am honored to be a part of the NHL® 07 team.”

Ovechkin exploded onto the scene in the 2005-06 season, playing with a level of intensity, passion, and talent that is causing many to label him the new face of the NHL. At the age of 20, he has already won the Valery Kharlamov Trophy as the best Russian player in the NHL and is a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy for outstanding rookie. More telling of his reputation around the League is his nomination for the Lester B. Pearson Award, an honor bestowed upon the outstanding player as voted by his peers in the NHL Players’ Association.

The golden age of console hockey will return when NHL 07 debuts with gameplay innovations that will allow players to feel like they are actually on the ice. Featuring an unmatched level of freedom and control, NHL 07 will represent a watershed moment in the history of the console hockey when it ships throughout Canada and the United States in September 2006. Hockey purists and casual fans alike will feel like they can play like a pro when they pick up NHL 07.

Continue reading "ALEXANDER OVECHKIN LIGHTS THE LAMP WITH EA’s NHL 07" »

JOE THORNTON NAMED COVER ATHLETE FOR NHL 2K7

NEW YORK - June 22, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that NHL All-Star center Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks is the official spokesman and cover athlete for NHL 2K7. The 2005-06 NHL assist and points leader was the catalyst behind the San Jose Sharks' 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs run, and has established himself as one of the best centers in the NHL.

The overall first pick of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Thornton has achieved many awards in his successful career. Named an NHL All-Star three consecutive times, Thornton has been a valuable member of Team Canada in international play, winning a gold medal for Team Canada in the 2004 World Cup, and was named MVP in the 2005 World Championship. In his first year at San Jose, he helped lead the Sharks into the 2006 NHL Playoffs with his diligent work ethic, exceptional passing, and unselfish play. He is the 2006 recipient of the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the League's leader in points at the end of the regular season, as well as a nominee for this year's Hart Memorial Trophy as the League MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Award.

"We're very proud to have Joe Thornton represent NHL 2K7," stated Erik Whiteford, vice president of marketing, 2K Sports. "Joe had an amazing season and it was through his leadership, team-first philosophy, and winning attitude that make him the ideal athlete to be the face of our finest NHL 2K title to date."

"It's a great distinction to have been selected as the cover athlete for NHL 2K7," said Thornton. "The NHL 2K series has been recognized as the top rated and premiere NHL video game for several years and to be associated with such a great product is truly an honor."

Available in Fall 2006 for the Xbox 360(TM) and Xbox(R) video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation(R)3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, NHL 2K7 features completely new and unique skating animations and delivers a fresh look and impeccable feel to each on-ice stride. NHL 2K7 also debuts a unique approach to viewing and experiencing virtual hockey with new dynamic cameras and an innovative presentation system that will immerse players into the intense drama of each hockey game. 2K Sports expects NHL 2K7 to continue the tradition as the best rated hockey game on any system.

For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com

Continue reading "JOE THORNTON NAMED COVER ATHLETE FOR NHL 2K7" »

TRACY McGRADY BECOMES THE NEW FACE OF EA’S NBA LIVE 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, June 21, 2005 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that Tracy McGrady, one of the most explosive and electrifying athletes over his nine-year NBA career, has been selected the new face of NBA LIVE 07, scheduled for release this fall under the EA SPORTS™ brand.

The Houston Rockets forward joins an exclusive list of NBA players to be selected to the cover of the best-selling EA SPORTS basketball franchise*. McGrady will serve as spokesperson and will be the center-piece of NBA LIVE 07 advertising, marketing and packaging in North America and several other countries around the world.

A two-time NBA scoring champion and six-time NBA All-Star, McGrady embodies athleticism and masterful skill, characteristics that the best-selling NBA LIVE 07 videogame brings to life. McGrady led the league in scoring by averaging 32.1 points per game in 2003, when he became the youngest NBA player to average 30-plus points per game since Bob McAdoo in 1974-75, and has remained one of the game’s most popular and entertaining players. McGrady finished 12th in NBA scoring (24.4 ppg) this year and averaged 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. It was the sixth time in his career he has scored more than 24 points a game.

“I’ve always looked upon the EA SPORTS athletes as fan favorites so I’m honored to be named this year’s NBA LIVE 07 cover athlete and join the EA SPORTS family,” said McGrady. “Each year there is tremendous anticipation around the league as players wait to see themselves in NBA LIVE and I feel like this year my virtual self plays more like me than ever before. This is as close to playing in the NBA as you get.”

McGrady joins an exclusive list of superstar athletes previously featured on the cover of the best-selling NBA LIVE franchise, including Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat (2006), Carmelo Anthony (2005), Vince Carter (2004), and Jason Kidd (2003).

This year NBA LIVE 07 will play as good as it looks with gameplay advancements that build upon the depth and authenticity that the NBA LIVE franchise has delivered for more than a decade. Powered by next generation technology that EA showcased at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), NBA LIVE 07 will introduce the next generation of basketball gameplay with EA SPORTS™ Total Freestyle Control, a new feature that gives users more control over athletes than they ever imagined. By introducing a ground-breaking next generation AI system that is both intuitive and intelligent, combined with advancements to fan-favorite features like All-Star Weekend and Dynasty Mode™, NBA LIVE 07 will continue to deliver its award-winning gameplay experience to fans worldwide.

This year NBA LIVE 07 will partner with the worldwide leader in sports to deliver more ESPN content in-game while you play than ever before. The most advanced ESPN integration package with never-before-seen features will be available only through NBA LIVE 07.

The official NBA LIVE 07 website will host news and information on this year’s game, behind the scenes looks at the TV commercial shoots and the making of the game, as well as contests, videos, screenshots and pod casts with some of the top 2006 NBA Draft picks. Go to www.nbalive07.com for the latest news and features for NBA LIVE 07.

Developed in Vancouver, B.C., by EA Canada, the studio which is also home to the popular NBA STREET and NCAA® March Madness® franchises, NBA LIVE 07 will be available on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and PC.



NBA LIVE Cover Athletes – North America
NBA LIVE 07 - Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
NBA LIVE 06 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
NBA LIVE 2005 - Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
NBA LIVE 2004 - Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors
NBA LIVE 2003 - Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets
NBA LIVE 2002 - Steve Francis, Houston Rockets
NBA LIVE 2001 - Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA LIVE 2000 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
NBA LIVE 1999 - Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics
NBA LIVE 1998 - Tim Hardaway, Miami Heat
NBA LIVE 1997 - Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
NBA LIVE 1996 - Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando Magic
NBA LIVE 1995 - New York Knicks vs Houston Rockets


* Based on total franchise sales according to NPD Data.

Continue reading "TRACY McGRADY BECOMES THE NEW FACE OF EA’S NBA LIVE 07" »

NFL Head Coach, the First 3-D Sports Strategy Game from EA, In Stores Today

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – June 21, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) brings to life the triumphs and travails of one of sports’ most gut wrenching jobs with NFL Head Coach¸ a new franchise from the EA SPORTS™ brand. The first 3-D sports strategy game, NFL Head Coach, is now in stores and challenges gamers to manage every aspect of a professional football team and build their franchise from the ground up into a perennial powerhouse as you try to become the greatest coach of all time.

You can manage every detail of a head coach’s job by calling the plays from the sidelines, conducting practice, scouting players and making draft day deals to land the league’s next superstar in detailed, interactive environments. In NFL Head Coach, it is your responsibility to make the right decisions, hire the best people and develop a game plan that will catch the opposition off guard. Find impact players and upgrade your roster via the draft, free agency and trades.

“NFL Head Coach is a completely unique football experience unlike any other football game EA SPORTS has ever created," said Todd Sitrin, vice president of marketing, EA Tiburon, the studio famous for making the top-rated football games Madden NFL and NCAA Football. “Now the focus is on the six days leading up to game day and the strategy behind every coaching decision made. This is the game to decide if you really have what it takes to turn your team into a champion.”

NFL Head Coach includes voice-activated game play so you can use headsets to call plays on game day and receive audio play recommendations from coordinators. Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, hosts scripted sequences as coaching career milestones are reached. The game also features ESPN integration with Mel Kiper Jr. and Trey Wingo.

Developed by EA Tiburon in Orlando, Fla. where Madden NFL Football, NCAA® Football, NASCAR® and Superman Returns™: The Videogame are developed, NFL Head Coach is available on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and PC for $39.99 and is rated E by the ESRB. For more information log on to www.nflheadcoach.com.

Continue reading "NFL Head Coach, the First 3-D Sports Strategy Game from EA, In Stores Today" »

June 16, 2006

Eidos confirms ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider

Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirms today that they are developing a special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider.

The new game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, who recently launched Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, PC and PSP, with versions on Nintendo DS, GBA and GameCube later in 2006.

“Our ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider, is a one-off title to celebrate both Lara and Tomb Raider, it will appeal not only to the loyal fans of the Tomb Raider series but will also attract a totally new audience.” Said Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management at Eidos.

Tomb Raider™ originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold.

The special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider will be available on PlayStation 2, PSP and PC.

Continue reading "Eidos confirms ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider" »

June 13, 2006

Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video

See it in action with the new video now available online at www.codemasters.com/micromachines

New York (June 13, 2006) – Remember what pure fun looks like, as Codemasters unleashes the first video of MICRO MACHINES v4. Multiplayer mayhem like this is the reason friends were invented, as gamers can see for themselves at www.codemasters.com/micromachines.

MICRO MACHINES v4 has now gone gold and is speeding towards its June 27th ship date for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system, and PC with a Nintendo DS edition to follow. The MICRO MACHINES property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

Everything gamers love about the MICRO MACHINES games is back and tuned up several notches. It’s time again to race tiny sports cars around the dinner table firing pint-sized rockets at friends knocking them over the edge. But no hard feelings, what’s a glass of spilt milk between friends? Just a road hazard is all.

Up to four players can challenge each other on MICRO MACHINES v4’s genius household raceways, weaving between train carriages on a model railway or ripping up the baize on a pool table.

A tantalizing taste of the massive fun to be had in this micro world is online now at www.codemasters.com/micromachines. Players can also prepare for the trash talking on the forum at www.codemasters.com/forum.

ABOUT MICRO MACHINES V4
Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, Micro Machines v4 comes packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, players will race inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

There’s an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on opponents while racing. Micro Machines v4 brings all the favorites back – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

* Engage in madcap competition racing with your micro motors on the wildest tracks around your house, garden and beyond...
* Spin out on the breakfast table, turbo boost across the pool table or hit the gas as you race around the rim of the bath.
* Use your arsenal of power ups to blast your opponents with the flamethrower or heat-seeking homing missiles to throw them off course.
* Hundreds of tiny turbo cars to collect or trade. Or, up the stakes when you play for keeps with ‘pink slip racing’.
* Unlock bonus tracks with PSP system to PlayStation 2 connectivity.
* PSP system & DS wireless capability for up to 4-players, PC online multiplay and LAN.
* Unlockable multiplayer and single player content.
* Earn credits to unlock tracks and cars then trade with your friends.
* Track editor choose your own route through the garden or science lab… then challenge your friends to do battle!

Continue reading "Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video" »

CAPCOM® PACKS A PUNCH WITH STREET FIGHTER® ALPHA ANTHOLOGY FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — June 13, 2006 — Capcom today released Street Fighter® Alpha Anthology for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system, a monumental compilation of the Street Fighter® Alpha series. The collection features direct conversions of Street Fighter® Alpha, Street Fighter® Alpha 2, Street Fighter® Alpha 2 Gold and Street Fighter® Alpha 3 which have never before been available together in one package. As an added bonus, the “pint-sized” Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (also released on consoles as Pocket Fighter®), is included which brings the total to five action packed games on one disc. Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is now available at retailers across North America and carries a “T” rating for teen audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). To date, the Street Fighter franchise has sold more than 24 million units worldwide.

All titles in the collection feature three core gameplay options. Arcade mode pits competitors against a series of CPU controlled opponents in order to beat the game. Versus mode allows two players to choose among the cast of characters for intense head-to-head battles. Fighters can practice special moves and combos to hone their skills in the training mode. Additionally, all four Alpha titles feature survival mode as well as a dramatic battle mode which allows 2-on-1 tag team matches.

Street Fighter Alpha brings together a cast of 13 characters from the collective Street Fighter universe. The series’ inaugural title introduces super combos and alpha counters to add a new dimension to fighting. Street Fighter Alpha 2 ups the ante with 18 fighters and several new options including high and low Alpha counters as well as more moves and combos for each character. In addition, the second title launches the Custom Combo system which lets players use up a super meter to perform devastating multi-hit combos. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold is an enhanced version of the previous game featuring different versions of some of the characters. The most robust entry, Street Fighter Alpha 3, includes an unprecedented 25 characters and offers players the choice of three “isms” fighting styles made popular in previous Street Fighter games. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix rounds out the anthology with miniature versions of popular Capcom fighters in fierce battles. Combatants vie to collect power-up gems as they perform an array of special attacks and powerful combos.

Continue reading "CAPCOM® PACKS A PUNCH WITH STREET FIGHTER® ALPHA ANTHOLOGY FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" »

PS2 and PSP Continue to Outsell Current and New Generation

In the month of May, Sony Computer Entertainment America continued to lead the videogame industry with PlayStation 2 and the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system ranking as the top selling hardware and portable platforms in the U.S. according to data released by the NPD Group.

Six years after its initial release, consumer demand for the PlayStation 2 remains strong and it continues to be the most popular console on the market, outselling new generation hardware. May NPD data showed that PlayStation 2 sold close to 232K units compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 which sold 221K units and Nintendo's GameCube which sold more than 33K units.

On the portable gaming front, the PSP system sold close to 160K units in May, making it the top-selling portable platform. Nintendo's Game Boy Advance ranked second selling 152K units, while the Nintendo DS was third with 146K units. In the period since its record-setting launch in March 2005, the PSP system has outsold all other next-generation handhelds in North America, with more than 4.7 million units sold. The PSP system's unparalleled gaming experience and strong first-party and third-party content continue to drive consumer demand in the region.

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June 9, 2006

UBISOFT SHOOTS AND 1 STREETBALL TO RETAIL STORES

San Francisco, CA June 8, 2005 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announced the availability of AND 1® Streetball in retail stores for a suggested price of $39.99. Developed by Black Ops for the PlayStationÒ2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, AND 1 Streetball is the ultimate basketball experience and features all the jaw-dropping moves of authentic streetball.

With unprecedented depth, freedom and control, AND 1 Streetball features the entire roster of sensational AND 1 MixTape Tour players such as AO, The Professor, Spyda and Pharmacist – each with their signature moves and look. AND 1 Streetball also gives you the power to create your own player and your own moves – so you can become the next streetball phenomenon.

The highly immersive Story mode puts you on the AND 1 MixTape Tour – the world’s premier streetball event, where originality and the ability to electrify the crowds will get your name mentioned alongside the streetball legends. But to become a legend in true AND 1 MixTape Tour fashion, you must continue to work on your skills and elevate your game every time you play.

Visit www.and1streetballgame.com for exclusive insider information.

Key features include:

· Experience real streetball

Step into the shoes of the AND 1 players to execute mesmerizing moves like Hot Sauce’s killer crossover, Helicopter’s rim-bending dunks, and The Professor’s no-look passes.

· A basketball game revolution

Build your own character and create your own signature moves using AND 1’s revolutionary Create-a-Move editor, loaded with custom showboating, scoring and celebration moves.

· Can you handle it?

School the competition with I Ballâ„¢ controls, an intuitive control system that gives you fluid and precise command over every offensive and defensive move. Not only will you do it, you will also feel it.

· Become the next AND 1 phenom

Story mode allows you to experience the trials and exhilarations of getting signed to the AND 1 MixTape Team, as seen on ESPN. Dominate the open run, survive the hazing and bring it home in the final game, as seen on ESPN.

· Run it how you want it

Play the game you want to play. Scale your teams anywhere from one-on-one to five-on-five. Run a full-court game, or do a half-court battle – the choice is yours.

· Heavy rotation – station identification

Just like the AND 1 MixTapes, the music soundtrack features a loaded library of unreleased songs. The eclectic mix of exclusive hip-hop tracks represents various styles, including West Coast, East Coast, and the Dirty South Crunk! Each court has its own sound and flavor.

· Online multiplayer

Put your skills to the test against other top players as you showcase your own creative moves and strive to gain a reputation as the best.

© 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. AND 1®, Mix Tape®, and I BALL are trademarks of AND 1. Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Developed by Black Ops Entertainment, LLC. “PlayStation” and the “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Online play requires internet connection and Memory Card (8MB)(for PlayStation 2) (each sold separately). The Online icon is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Live, the Live logo and the Xbox logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or in other countries and are used under license from Microsoft.

Continue reading "UBISOFT SHOOTS AND 1 STREETBALL TO RETAIL STORES" »

June 7, 2006

GUITAR HERO WINS 2006 WORLD CLASS AWARD FROM PC WORLD

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 7, 2006 - RedOctane® is pleased to announce that PC World has honored their videogame "Guitar HeroTM" with a 2006 World Class Award - one of The Best Products of the Year. PC World, the most widely-read computer or business magazine, ranked the hit rock `n roll videogame #19 on the list of "The 100 Best Products of 2006", evaluating each product over the last 12 months based on exemplary design and usability, features, performance, innovation and specifications.

"Products that win PC World's World Class Awards set the standard for excellence in the IT and consumer electronics industries," stated Harry McCracken, editor in chief of PC World.

By comparison, the only other videogame product that appeared on the list was the XBOX 360, which came in at #89.

"RedOctane is honored to receive the prestigious World Class Award from PC World, having seen the high caliber of this year's product list," said Kelly Sumner, CEO of RedOctane. "We are truly proud of the many accolades that have come from consumers and the industry alike and we would like to thank all of those who were involved in making Guitar Hero a great success."

The PC World World Class Awards honor products that meld practical features with innovation and reflect the rapidly changing technology marketplace. This award is added to the many commendations that Guitar Hero has received since its launch last November. This list includes five D.I.C.E. industry awards and an average review score on Game Rankings.com - a site that collates all press comment and reaction - as 92 percent.

The game that has inspired a nation of wannabe rock stars to achieve videogame greatness is scheduled for a new US tour with "Guitar Hero II" on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in November 2006.

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Yuke's Company of America announces D1 Grand Prix for the PlayStation 2

San Francisco, CA-June 7, 2006-Yuke's Company of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yuke's Co., Ltd., and an official sponsor of the D1 Grand Prix Professional Drift Series, today announced "D1 Grand Prix," their professional drift racing simulation for the PlayStation(r) 2 computer entertainment system, D1 Grand Prix is expected to be available in July 2006.

D1 Grand Prix recreates the exhilarating art of drifting, including all the cars, tracks, drivers and physics that has made the D1 Grand Prix the pinnacle series in drift racing. Players will be able to select from 39 American and Japanese drivers, as well as vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Pontiac, and more.

Game features include:
o 13 Driving Circuits from past D1 competitions including Odaiba, Tsukuba Circuit, Autopolis, SUGO, Fuji Speedway, Irwindale, and more.
o Over 40 licensed vehicles to choose from.
o The most realistic drifting physics engine ever in a video game.
o In-depth tutorial teaches players the art of drifting.
o Official D1 Grand Prix car stats, rules, racers and racing circuits.
o Compete in both day and night, clear or rainy day races.
o Enhanced commentary engine lets players hear what the three judges have to say in real time.
o Six modes of play: D1 Series, X-Treme, Time Attack, Survival Mode, Battle Mode, D1 Theater (unlockable movies of actual footage of the D1 Grand Prix, as well as in-game replays of the players' best runs).

Continue reading "Yuke's Company of America announces D1 Grand Prix for the PlayStation 2" »

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES GAMES TO NINTENDO HANDHELD SYSTEMS

BURBANK, Calif. - June 7, 2006 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will launch JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROESTM: THE FLASHTM for Game Boy® Advance system and JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES for Nintendo DS™ system in Fall 2006. Distributed by Eidos Interactive, the games will release simultaneously with the JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES games for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system.

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES: THE FLASH, developed by WayForward Technologies for the Game Boy Advance system, lets gamers play as DC Comics' The Flash, wielding his Speed Force to strike enemies before they can strike back, unlock powerful combination attacks and slow-down time to defeat adversaries in slow motion. As the Fastest Man Alive, gamers also enlist the support of fellow Justice League members by calling in special attacks from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other DC Comics super heroes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES for the Nintendo DS system, developed by Sensory Sweep Studios as a prequel to the console title, lets gamers use the stylus to control and unleash the superpowers of Batman, Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman. Gamers use objects within the destructible environment against enemies at will and also call in devastating attacks from other DC Comics super heroes, like Aquaman and Green Arrow, to help save the world from certain destruction.

About Sensory Sweep Studios
Sensory Sweep, well known for its cross platform technology, is one of the industry's leading independent video game developers. Having worked with publishers such as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, EA, Capcom, 2K, and D3, Sensory Sweep remains one of most sought after development studios and is among the largest independently owned and operated.

Continue reading "WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES GAMES TO NINTENDO HANDHELD SYSTEMS" »

May 31, 2006

STACKED™ WITH DANIEL NEGREANU DEALS TO RETAIL

MTV Presents: STACKED Poker Television Special to Air on MTV2 on June 2nd and on MTV on June 3rd

New York, NY – May 31st, 2006 – Myelin Media, LLC, a publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that their Texas Hold ‘Em game, STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu, has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America. A breakthrough Texas Hold ‘Em video game, STACKED steps to the table with a powerful hand of groundbreaking artificial intelligence, massive online multi-table tournaments and involvement from seven of the most celebrated professional poker players in the modern history of the game. Rated T for Teen by the ESRB, STACKED is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PC, and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99. In addition, MTV will be airing a half-hour special premiering on Friday, June 2nd at 9 PM on MTV2 and Saturday, June 3rd at 9 PM on MTV entitled, MTV Presents: STACKED Poker, to support the release of the highly anticipated title.

“STACKED is the perfect way for a beginner to learn poker,” said Negreanu. “It won’t disappoint the advanced players either, especially when they have to face off against me!”

“STACKED brings the excitement and strategy of professional poker into your home,” said Ken Woo, producer at Myelin Media. “Whether playing alone against the game’s realistic learning AI or online against real world opponents, you will feel the same exhilaration with every big bet, bluff and victory as if you were at the final table of a high stakes tournament.”

“MTV Games was formed with the vision of creating and promoting original video game IP and unique gaming experiences that encapsulate the passions and interests of the MTV audience,” said Jeff Yapp, EVP, Program Enterprises. “STACKED represents the first true MTV Games 360° initiative by delivering a video game experience, television special and an online component with the Stacked Masters multi-table tournaments."

About MTV Presents: STACKED Poker
MTV Presents: STACKED Poker is a half hour special premiering on Friday, June 2nd at 9 PM on MTV2 and Saturday, June 3rd at 9 PM on MTV. The program gets inside the breakout phenomenon of professional poker and highlights the launch of STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu stars in this half-hour special with his unique brand of strategy, intuition and charisma. Shot on location at The Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, MTV Presents: STACKED Poker takes viewers through an explanation of the video game, STACKED, an introductory game of poker with Negreanu, then he faces a group of college age competition, competes against some of the world’s top ranked poker players and ends the show by sitting down at a table with special celebrity guests, Ryan Cabrera and Benji from Good Charlotte, to pass on some of his poker expertise. Throughout, Daniel will occasionally “freeze frame” and address the audience with his unparalleled insights into poker strategy, player tells and insider tips.

The special also kicks off a once in a lifetime opportunity for MTV viewers. The STACKED Masters Tournament is a series of STACKED Multi-Table Tournaments, to be played live online. Four players who meet certain eligibility criteria may be cast to participate in the MTV STACKED Masters Showdown Special. Participants in the special will be flown to Las Vegas, where they will face off against Daniel Negreanu at the final table, for a chance to prove their poker prowess against the best in the business.

Continue reading "STACKED™ WITH DANIEL NEGREANU DEALS TO RETAIL" »

May 25, 2006

Ubisoft Breaks New Territory with DJ Green Lantern in AND 1 Streetball

Today, Ubisoft announces the availability of the AND 1 Streetball Exclusive Mixtape, produced by DJ Green Lantern, the world renown hip-hop DJ who won an unprecedented three Mixtape Awards in 2005 . The 30-minute mix is currently available for listening and downloading exclusively at Rhapsody®, the award-winning online music service from RealNetworks®.

For a for free stream at Rhapsody, follow this link:
http://www.rhapsody.com/djgreenlantern/and1streetballtheofficialvideogamemixtape.

For a free download, follow this link:
http://musicstore.real.com/music_store/album?artistid=793981&albumid=1243999

The exclusive mixtape is a creatively seamless blend of all 13 exclusive tracks from the official AND 1 Streetball Videogame Soundtrack. Also available at retail stores, DJ Green Lantern's AND 1 Streetball Exclusive Mixtape will be a free gift with purchase of the AND 1 Streetball videogame for the PlayStation’2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. AND 1 Streetball will be available in retail stores on June 7 for a suggest price of $39.99.

Continue reading "Ubisoft Breaks New Territory with DJ Green Lantern in AND 1 Streetball" »

UBISOFT BRINGS HIP HOP FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE NATION WITH AND 1 STREETBALL

San Francisco, CA May 25, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's leading video game publishers, announced that its AND 1® Streetball Videogame Soundtrack will feature all original and exclusive tracks from hip hop's hottest rap artists from across the nation. The lineup is a who's who of hip-hop talent ranging from New York's veteran Kool G Rap to Oakland's up-and-comer Turf Talk. The complete videogame soundtrack is available as a gift with purchase of AND 1 Streetball for the PlayStation’2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. AND 1 Streetball will be available in retail stores on June 7 for a suggest price of $39.99.

"What I do and what the streetballers do are the same thing," says rap artist Freeway, who grew up on the same gritty Philadelphia streets as AND1 streetball legend, Aaron "AO" Owens. "We both need to be creative and original to get recognized."

Hip hop and Streetball go hand in hand. Both performances are based on originality and dynamic showmanship. To compliment AND 1 Streetball's showcase of the most talented streetballers from every region, the game's soundtrack will also showcase the most talented hip-hop artists from every region. The AND 1 Streetball Videogame Soundtrack features a loaded and customizable library of exclusive tracks from various hip-hop genres, including Dirty South Crunk, West Coast Hyphy, and East Coast. Each court will have its own sound and flavor players can choose which courts they want to play and which tracks they want to hear.

Zvi Edelman, the exclusive soundtrack's producer, traveled the U.S. recording brand-spanking-new tracks to accompany the regional courts in the game.

1. Clipse ft. DMP: VA Streetz
2. Smitty: Set the City on Fire
3. Bun B & the Middle Fingaz: Hard in the Paint
4. San Quinn: Take Money, Make Money
5. Stat Quo: What's Next
6. Freeway: Stand Up
7. Rhymefest: Coming for You
8. Turf Talk: Put Up or Shut Up
9. BG: We
10. Devin the Dude: Give It and Go
11. Peedi Crakk: It Don't Stop
12. Ray Cash: E-Room
13. Kool G Rap ft. Hammerz & Scram Jones: This is How We Do NYC

Continue reading "UBISOFT BRINGS HIP HOP FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE NATION WITH AND 1 STREETBALL" »

STACKED™ WITH DANIEL NEGREANU STRIKES GOLD

Myelin Media LLC, a publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that their Texas Hold ‘Em game, STACKED™ with Daniel Negreanu, has gone gold for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PC. The most advanced poker simulation ever created, STACKED boasts an exclusive learning artificial intelligence solution, involvement from seven of poker’s most successful and charismatic players, as well as support for massive sanctioned online tournaments.

The first poker video game to capture the strategy and excitement of the game that has taken the world by storm, STACKED has exclusive license to the university-developed Poki AI system to deliver a remarkably advanced single-player experience. A learning system, Poki observes how each player approaches the game, devising and implementing new strategies for victory and encouraging the player to vary their style of play. Also, featuring seven of the world’s most successful poker pros, players will have the opportunity to go head-to-head against Josh Arieh, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Juan Carlos Mortensen, Evelyn Ng and David Williams, each with a custom AI style that matches their real-world play style.

Further, STACKED takes Texas Hold ‘Em online like never before with MTV STACKED Masters, a breakthrough online system that lets players host large scale tournaments and single game tables with a group of friends. Sanctioned tournaments will be regularly announced on the game’s official web site, letting top ranked players compete in a multi-table ladder structure with hundreds of other players for a shot at poker immortality in the MTV STACKED Masters Hall of Fame.

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May 24, 2006

Rogue Trooper Explodes Onto Store Shelves Throughout North America Today!

Revenge can be yours today, because Rogue Trooper is now exploding onto the store shelves of retailers near you! This sci-fi third-person action shooter based off of the popular comic book series from 2000AD lets you take control of Rogue Trooper, the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, as he sets out on a path of destruction to deal some payback to those responsible for the massacre of his race. Using the skills and abilities of his fallen comrades Bagman, Helm, and Gunnar, whose bio-chips allow them to take a new life in his equipment, Rogue must rely on a mixture of stealth, strategy, and pure destruction to take on full platoons of soldiers and inch his way closer to that sweet, sweet revenge.

Bagman is ready to repurpose enemy gear to make weapon upgrades, or unleash a devastating barrage of micro-mines. Gunnar is ready to act as a turret, great for setting up traps for groups of enemies. Helm is ready to use his hacking skills to gain access to restricted areas, or act as a Holodecoy, useful for a great distraction. Rogue Trooper is more than ready, and is itching for his chance to unleash a fury of destruction down on those who have made him suffer.

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EA and the Jeep® Brand Join Forces in Medal of Honor Airborne

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 23, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) and the Jeep ® brand announced today that they have signed a deal that will give gamers a chance to experience Jeep vehicles in Medal of Honor Airborne™ as they were found in World War II. The classic Willys-Overland Jeep will appear for extended, action-packed sequences in several missions of Medal of Honor Airborne.

Medal of Honor Airborne is the newest installment from EA’s critically-acclaimed Medal of Honor™ franchise which was credited with pioneering the First-Person Shooter (FPS) WWII genre when it debuted in 1999, and is the best selling WWII FPS franchise of all time. By fully controlling the airdrop from the very first step through landing, Medal of Honor Airborne adds a new dimension of player choice by letting the player decide where every mission begins and how it plays out. Building on the key tenets of the franchise including historical accuracy, research, and authenticity, for the first time Medal of Honor Airborne will include fully player-drivable vehicles, including the Willys Jeep.

Jeep played an integral role in the war effort as an indispensable tool in tracking the enemy, exchanging information and moving troops. Over 350,000 Willys Jeep vehicles were built and used during WWII, and at one point the assembly line was pushing out one vehicle every 90 seconds. When driving a Willys Jeep in Medal of Honor Airborne, the player can choose to use it as a mode of transportation, or as a mobile attack platform taking full advantage of a variety of mounted weapons. Authentic to their use in WWII, the Willys Jeep will be able to access more areas than the other drivable vehicles featured in Medal of Honor Airborne, because of Jeep vehicle’s superior four-wheel drive off-road capabilities.

"Video games are quickly becoming the medium of choice for a new generation of consumers and Chrysler Group has been at the forefront of this exciting revolution," said Jay Kuhnie, Director - Jeep Communications, Chrysler Group. "By teaming with Electronic Arts and Medal of Honor Airborne, Jeep is celebrating its history while helping to take this medium to its next level."

“The Medal of Honor Airborne experience begins with unprecedented freedom of approach from the air. With the addition of the Willys Jeep, that freedom continues on the ground, on road and off, and in combat scenarios of all types." explained Patrick Gilmore, VP and Executive Producer at EALA. “This is the first time in any Medal of Honor game that a player will have the ability to drive a Willys Jeep, and we’re very excited to see this new addition increase the fun and intensity of the gameplay.”


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May 23, 2006

Rogue Trooper Ships to Stores Today

His entire race has been set up and massacred by a traitor. As the last survivor of the Genetic Infantrymen, Rogue Trooper isn’t very happy about the situation, so he sets out on a mission for destruction to make those responsible suffer. But before Rogue can bring the vengeance, he must take the first step on his mission for pain and that step happens today as Rogue Trooper ships to stores all across North America! And what better way to see our mean, blue, one-man wrecking machine off to the store shelves than to celebrate his journey by releasing a ton of new assets... 5 new renders, 10 new screenshots and the last trailer to be exact! The wait is over, and tomorrow revenge can be yours when Rogue Trooper hits the store shelves in North America for the PS2, Xbox and PC!

UBISOFT AND TOUCHSTONE TEAM UP TO CREATE "LOST" VIDEO GAME

SAN FRANCISCO MAY 22, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced a long-term worldwide licensing agreement with Touchstone Television to develop and publish a video game based on the Emmy Award-winning television series "Lost." Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreall studio and scheduled to hit retail shelves worldwide in 2007, the game will be offered for home and portable consoles as well as PCs.

"We are delighted to work with Bryan Burk, one of the biggest producers in Hollywood and with Touchstone Television," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft. "That they have chosen us for the adaptation of the cult series "Lost" is the best homage that a producer can make to the creativity of Ubisoft."

"This deal is another example of how truly powerful the "Lost" brand is," said Bruce Gersh, senior vice president, business development, ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television. "We are excited to work together with Ubisoft to create a gaming experience that will allow fans to further immerse themselves into the mysteries and intrigues of the series."

"The creative appeal of"˜Lost" transcends borders with its character driven stories and addictive mysterious mythology," said Julia Franz, executive vice president, Touchstone Television. "It's not enough for fans worldwide to just watch 'Lost,' the game is a wonderful opportunity to organically extend this creative phenomenon into an interactive consumer experience."

"Many of us on "Lost" have been hardcore gamers for years and the chance to work with Ubisoft, a company behind some of our favorite titles, has excited us to no end," said "Lost" executive producer Bryan Burk. "With the ability to tell new interactive stories within the "Lost" universe, we're giddy to be developing a game that, once completed, will be as engaging and fun to play as it is to create."

J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof co-created "Lost" and also serve as executive producers, along with Bryan Burk, Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse. "Lost," which is filmed entirely on location in Hawaii, is from Touchstone Television.

Continue reading "UBISOFT AND TOUCHSTONE TEAM UP TO CREATE "LOST" VIDEO GAME" »

Hitman: Blood Money PC Demo Now Available for Download!

This demo lets you play the first mission of Hitman: Blood Money, teaching you the basics of what it takes to enter the world of high-stakes contract killing. Your mission is to eliminate the man known as “The Swing King,” who has been located at an old broken down amusement park now functioning as a drug lab. Though your objective is clear, it is up to you to determine the best way to perform the execution.

The latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise, Hitman: Blood Money, features enhanced artificial intelligence, a massive arsenal of upgradeable weaponry, as well as the new Blood Money system which allows characters in future missions to react to Agent 47 based upon how much his presence was noticed in the past. Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship May 30th, but you don’t have to wait to find out if you have what it takes to control the world’s deadliest assassin... download the demo now at www.hbmdemo.com and prepare to make a killing!

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May 19, 2006

2K Announces The Da Vinci Code™ Video Game Available Now

New York, NY – May 19, 2006 – 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today The Da Vinci Code™ video game is now available at retail stores worldwide. Developed by The Collective, a division of Foundation 9 Entertainment, the video game is available for PC, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

The Da Vinci Code™ video game is based on the highly anticipated film from Columbia pictures, which is based on Dan Brown’s critically acclaimed, best-selling novel. In the game, players seek to “unlock the code” as they struggle to unravel a 2,000 year old mystery.

“The Da Vinci Code™ video game expands upon the plot in the film and book, allowing gamers to experience new adventures and solve new puzzles,” said Christoph Hartmann, President, 2K. “The game takes players beyond anything they have seen or read.”

An adventure and puzzle game with action elements, the video game features new plot twists and clues. In a race against time, players must try to stay one step ahead of an ominous, covert society that will stop at nothing to protect a secret locked away for centuries. The video game combines stealth, adventure, combat and puzzle-solving elements to create the ultimate adventure.

Key Features:

* Expands upon The Da Vinci Code universe by giving the player new experiences and locations not visited in the film or the book.

* Guide Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on their quest to solve a bizarre murder-mystery and uncover the ultimate treasure protected by an ancient secret society.

* A unique blend of puzzle-solving, stealth, combat and exploration.

* Explore detailed environments and discover hidden clues in world famous locations such as The Louvre, Westminster Abbey, Saint-Sulpice and more.

* Players must solve a wide variety of challenging physical and intellectual puzzles that will ultimately lead them to the resting ground of the Holy Grail.

* Charles Cecil, designer of the critically acclaimed title Broken Sword aided in the game design.

* Featuring an incredibly moving and haunting sound track, from acclaimed composer Winifred Philips.

From director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar®-winning team of A Beautiful Mind and producer John Calley (the Oscar®-nominated The Remains of the Day), comes the film version of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, one of the most popular and talked about novels of our time, with a cast headed by two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany and Jean Reno.

Produced by Grazer and Calley, The Da Vinci Code involves a thrilling murder investigation that unearths a secret that could change the course of history.

Doubleday has completed its 104th printing of the Dan Brown novel which will bring the total number of hardcover copies in print in North America to an unprecedented 12 million. It is the record-setting adult fiction hardcover bestseller, with 161 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, 55 of them at #1. In addition, 5 million paperback copies for North America were printed and released in the U.S. market March 28th. The novel currently has 57 million copies in print worldwide in all formats.

The Da Vinci Code™ is rated T for Teen and is now available at retail stores worldwide.

For more information, please visit http://www.thedavincicodegame.com.

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May 18, 2006

E3 Coverage - Atari

Test Drive Unlimited - The entire game takes place on the island of Oahu. There are over 100 licensed vehicles and 1000 miles of road. It's all pretty much online races. There can be up to 8 player online races. You can drive around randomly exploring. When you encounter another player you can challenge him to a race. Then you lay out the course on the map and start racing. The world can have up to 1000 players on the same server so you probably won't have to race the same person twice, unless you want to. There will be online racing clubs to join. This game ships in September 2006 for PS2, PSP, PC, and Xbox 360.

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Rogue Trooper Has Officially Gone Gold and is Ready to Ship May 23rd in North America!!

Rogue Trooper, the intense sci-fi third-person action shooter has officially GONE GOLD and is ready to ship to the store shelves on May 23rd! The new game based on the comic book series from 2000AD puts you in the combat boots of a betrayed Genetic Infantryman who is hell-bent on revenge. Your comrades have been set up and brutally massacred, and now it’s up to Rogue to make those responsible pay. Vastly outnumbered, Rogue must use his surroundings to his advantage, and rely on the skills of his fallen comrades Gunnar, Bagman and Helm whose bio-chips have allowed them to take a new life in Rogue’s equipment.

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MARVEL AND ACTIVISION'S X-MEN: THE OFFICIAL GAME TAKES A STAND ON RETAIL SHELVES NATIONWIDE

Santa Monica, CA – May 16, 2006 – Inspired by Marvel Entertainment’s legendary Super Hero franchise and serving as a prelude to the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Studios’ feature film “X-Men: The Last Stand,” Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) X-Men: The Official Game premieres today at retail outlets nationwide. The game catapults players into an original storyline that allows them to command the distinct powers of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they battle classic Brotherhood villains including Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Multiple Man and traverse unique environments that showcase each character’s abilities while embarking on an epic quest to save mutant-kind.

X-Men: The Official Game is the first Super Hero game for the Xbox™ 360 video game system from Microsoft and is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo® GameCube™ versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The PC, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The console and PC games have been rated “T” (“Teen” – violence) and the handheld games have been rated “E-10+” (“Everyone 10 and older” – fantasy violence) by the ESRB.

“In X-Men: The Official Game, players will experience the events leading up to the ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ feature film,” said Will Kassoy, vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. “Co-written by Zak Penn, the screenwriter of the film, and legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, and featuring the voice talent of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore and Alan Cumming, the game truly enables players to become a part of the X-Men movie universe .”

For the first time, X-Men: The Official Game lets players truly experience the powers of three popular Super Heroes from the X-Men movie universe by allowing them to take on the roles of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they wield and upgrade their signature powers and maneuver through unique environments designed to showcase their Super Hero abilities. Assisted by other X-Men characters including Storm and Colossus, players will use an advanced control scheme to master and control the characters as they unleash Wolverine’s combat rage, experience Nightcrawler’s acrobatics and teleportation powers and glide through the air on Iceman’s ice slide.

For more information on X-Men: The Official Game, please visit http://www.x-mengame.com.

BradyGames' X-Men: The Official Game Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at http://www.bradygames.com.


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Hitman: Blood Money Has Officially Gone Gold!

Blood money can come in many different forms... bills, coins, and yes... pure GOLD because Hitman: Blood Money is officially finished and all versions are ready for production! The latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise is coming your way May 30th, and with features such as the new Blood Money system which allows the characters in future environments to react to Agent 47 based on how well he previously kept out of the spotlight, Hitman: Blood Money is taking the franchise to a whole new level. With tons of different ways to complete each mission, take control, be innovative, and play the game the way that you want to The time is coming near, and only two weeks remain until Agent 47 can be at your command, so if you haven’t done so yet... prepare to make a killing.

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May 14, 2006

E3 Coverage - 2K Games

NBA 2K7 - 2K did more motion caption on more players so there are more players in the game with their signature moves. For example, Steve Nash pauses every few minutes while dribbling to lick his fingers. Shot stick is more precise so you have more control over your dunks and layups. Players sweat, the clothes ripple. There's online play on all platforms. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships at the beginning of basketball season.

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NHL 2K7 - 2K focused on making gameplay a more cinematic experience. Their goal was to emulate the movie Miracle. As such, players are more graceful and gameplay is more fluid. You can give defensive orders instead of just watching them and hoping they do the right thing. They've got NHL and NHLPA licenses. They promised me that the crap in the current version has been cleaned up, that the inicidence of garbage goals scored from the back of the net is down and that the stats and announcing are accurate. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships in Fall 2006.

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College Hoops 2K7 - This is a basketball game where the more important aspect is coaching. You have to take into account team chemistry, not just grab the ball and drive the lane. The stadiums are realistic. There's an in-depth legacy mode and online play. This game is for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3 and ships in Fall 2006.

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May 12, 2006

E3 Coverage - Capcom

On Wednesday I got to meet with my good friend Alicia Kim and see Capcom's line of upcoming games. Alicia's really the one who launched my career as a game reviewer about 5 years ago when she hooked me up with a Dreamcast and a whole lot of SEGA games.

Lost Planet - You're on a very cold planet. In fact, the whole game is about how cold it is and how much thermal energy you can gain and store. You have to maintain your thermal health in this futuristic scifi 3rd person action adventure. This comes out on Xbox 360 in Q1 2007.

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Dead Rising - This game comes out soon, in August 2006. You're a photo journalist in a mall that's been overridden with zombies. You can use anything as a weapon, and I did. I was beating up zombies with a huge teddy bear. It was hysterical.

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Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins - This game comes out for PSP in September 2006. It's a sequel but everything in it is completely new. It's a 2D side scroller. The great thing is that when you die you come back in at the same spot where you died. This prevents you from having to redo the entire level over and over again until you get it right.

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Capcom Puzzle World - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. It's all previously seen content but new to the PSP. It includes Super Puzzle Fighter, Blank Blank and three versions of Buster Brothers

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Power Stone Collection - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. Again, no new content, just Power Stone 1 and Power Stone 2 ported to PSP. It's a multiplayer fighter with wacky weapons. You collect power stones to unlock abilities and weapons. You can take your own screenshots, so if you beat the crap out of your friend really bad you can take a screen shot, save it to the memory stick, copy it to the PC, and e-mail it to all of your other friends.

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Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. It is 19 Capcom arcade games such as Street Fighter 2.

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Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2 - This is for PS2 and Xbox and ships in October 2006 with 18+ classic arcade games.

God Hand - This is for PS2 and ships in October 2006. Developed by Clover Studios, this can best be described as a samurai game set in a future western style world with funky surf music. It has over the top action and lots of fighting.

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May 9, 2006

KONAMI ANNOUNCES WINNING ELEVEN: PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2007

LOS ANGELES – Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Booth #800 – May 9, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSPâ„¢ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and PC, as well as the series’ debut on the Xbox 360â„¢ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo DSâ„¢. Marking the return of the world’s top soccer franchise, the game extends its leadership position with new international teams, new modes of play and astoundingly realistic gameplay.

The world’s best rated soccer video game franchise, Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 expands upon the series’ unmatched realism with faster gameplay, more responsive control and improved artificial intelligence. Players will now make intelligent runs without the ball, identifying opportunities and pointing to where they would like the ball to be delivered. Similarly, the game is now more physical, with defenders jockeying for position and strikers working to turn their opponent as they receive the ball. The game’s shooting system has also been refined, letting players take more snap shots, while volleys have been updated for more player control.

Players will also be able to enjoy the Beautiful Game in more ways than ever before with new play modes. International Challenge mode lets players compete through four continents of opposition to become a champion, while Random Selection Match lets gamers take the field with a group of players selected at random from a predetermined league or geographic area. The popular Master League mode returns with more options, allowing players to take complete control of their favorite team and control its destiny for an extended period of time.

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FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS OVER THE HEDGET IN ACTIVISION'S NEW VIDEO GAME

Santa Monica, CA – May 9, 2006 – Based on the highly anticipated feature film from DreamWorks Animation, Over the Hedge™ the game from Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) is a wild adventure that immerses fans in a backyard gone crazy, while taking the players beyond the story seen in the movie. Over the Hedge is the only game based on the feature film that lets players relive movie moments and go beyond the film in three different games being released simultaneously for consoles and PC, the Nintendo DS™ and Game BoyÒ Advance. In the games, players assume the roles of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle, Hammy the squirrel and Stella the skunk and turn a suburban neighborhood loaded with obstacles and traps into their personal playground.

“In collaboration with DreamWorks Animation we have developed three unique titles introducing new characters and all-new storylines expanding the Over the Hedge world,” said Kim Salzer, vice president of global brand management, Activision Publishing. “The games give movie and video game fans control of the four main characters and lets them experience firsthand their camaraderie and wacky adventures.”

In the console and PC versions of Over the Hedge, gamers find themselves in suburban madness when they choose to play as RJ, Verne, Hammy or Stella and switch between the characters or engage in two-player co-op with a friend. Comprised of more than 30 puzzle-filled levels, players use golf clubs, hockey sticks and other everyday items as they dodge lasers, defeat enemies and plan and execute heists. Fun mini-games such as suburban mini-golf and golf cart destruction derby extend the game play and offer players a chance to increase their health by collecting snacks, boost their energy through power up items and unlock exclusive content such as concept art, film assets and more.

The handheld versions of Over the Hedge give players two unique adventures. The Nintendo DS version takes place after the events seen in the movie and features an all-new storyline in which the characters must figure out how to save their woodland home from the encroaching home development. Over the Hedge for the Game Boy Advance closely follows the storyline of the movie allowing players to live the adventures of the movie.

Over the Hedge the game was developed for the console platforms by Edge of Reality, for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS by Vicarious Visions and for the PC by Beenox.

Over the Hedge is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube™ and PC are rated “E10+” (“Everyone 10+” – cartoon violence and crude humor – content suitable for persons ages 10 and older.) The console versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and the PC version is available for a suggested retail price of $19.99. Over the Hedge for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance are rated “E” (“Everyone”– mild cartoon violence – content suitable for persons ages 6 and older.) The DS and the GBA versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

BradyGames' Over the Hedge Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at bradygames.com.

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May 8, 2006

EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 4, 2006-- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced its next generation of game titles for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in Los Angeles May 10-12, 2006. EA’s line up of EA SPORTS™ and EA™ branded games for the Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC and mobile phones will be showcased in EA’s booth #1000 in the South Hall. With a renewed focus on original and wholly-owned intellectual property EA will unveil an array of titles and the technology that drives gameplay innovation.

Shown exclusively behind closed doors, EA is presenting its recently announced next generation console action title out of EA Montréal, ARMY OF TWO™; Will Wright’s original PC work in progress, SPORE™; and the newest PC iteration in the acclaimed Command & Conquer™ series, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™.

The EA SPORTS line up will go behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab highlighting the technology that fuels the gameplay innovations for the ’07 lineup. Madden NFL 07 will be playable on the PlayStation 3 console, Xbox 360, PSP system, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

“EA is leading the industry with a new generation of games on a new generation of platforms,” said Paul Lee President of EA Studios. “We’re pushing the technology to provide more innovation in our EA branded games and authentic athletic performance in our EA SPORTS games. We’re also leading the resurgence of PC gaming with groundbreaking titles like Battlefield 2142, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Crytek Studio’s Crysis and of course Will Wright’s new game, SPORE.”

“EA is demonstrating a ground-breaking level of quality and innovation at E3 this year,” said Frank Gibeau, EA Executive Vice President and General Manger of North American Publishing. “Games like ARMY OF TWO and NBA LIVE 07 are going to unleash the power of new consoles like PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. Madden NFL 07 makes great use of the new controller on Nintendo’s Wii system.”

“E3 is a showcase for EA’s portfolio of globally recognized entertainment,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Publishing, Gerhard Florin. “Titles like FIFA Soccer, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II and the Battlefield franchise are among the most popular games in the world.”
EA SPORTS™ branded E3 line up

Along with playable demos that showcase deep new offerings of Madden NFL 07 and NCAA Football 07, EA will feature tech demonstrations of NBA LIVE, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR and FIFA Soccer behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab. These demos will illustrate the new tools and development philosophy that drives gameplay and feature innovation in EA SPORTS games on next generation consoles. Highlighting the EA SPORTS Lab will be never-before-seen technology that delivers authentic athletic performance— the athletic movements, awareness, look and emotional intensity that bring characters to life in EA SPORTS games. The Lab will also feature a demonstration of ESPN content integrated in upcoming EA SPORTS games, including ESPN ticker and ESPN SportsCenter Radio updates.

Madden NFL 07 - With the exclusive video game license of the NFL and its players, Madden NFL 07 continues to be the #1 football franchise in history with more than 51 million copies sold. In its 17th installment, you control the running game like never before. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs. Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 07 will launch in August on the Xbox 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube™, PSP system, PC, Nintendo DS and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is also in development on the PlayStation 3 console and Nintendo Wii.

NCAA® Football 07 - Momentum changes everything—now college football’s most celebrated videogame turns the tide with NCAA Football 07. Whether battling your biggest rival or playing for the first-ever BCS National Championship Game in Dynasty Mode™, success on the field depends on your ability to maintain momentum. Featuring unprecedented graphics that capture every moment in complete detail—from the authenticity of the stadiums, mascots, and marching bands, to the true-to-life look and feel of the players on the field. NCAA Football 07 delivers the most realistic college football experience ever. NCAA Football 07 is scheduled to ship in July on the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, Xbox 360 and the PSP system.

NASCAR® 07* (Working title) - Take risks, be rewarded, and become a champion with NASCAR® 07* on the PSP system. With all-new Adrenaline Moments, use your skill and instinct during the most intense situations and control the outcome by avoiding disastrous wrecks and flying debris. Maintain your focus on dangerous conditions ahead with the new RaceBreaker feature, which guides you through every treacherous moment of the race. With all-new speed blurring, realistic spark and smoke effects, and camera shakes, get your adrenaline pumping and experience the all-out drama and intensity of 190-mph racing with NASCAR 07.

EA™ branded E3 lineup

The EA game line up is as diverse as the audience games reach today. Gamers will have all-new experiences on award-winning franchises or discover completely new franchises; EA titles will demonstrate that next generation has arrived on the console, PC and handheld devices.

ARMY OF TWO™ - You’re not alone soldier, not anymore. At E3, EA unveils details of the action title that has been kept top secret for the past year. Developed at EA’s boutique production house in Montréal, Canada, the new, original game will redefine strategic TWO man cooperative play when it launches on the PlayStation 3 console and Xbox 360 in 2007. ARMY OF TWO will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines where they will utilize unique TWO man strategies and tactics while seamlessly transitioning between playing with intelligent Partner AI (PAI) and a live player. When one man is not enough, it will take an army of two to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world.

Battlefield 2142™ - The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth’s population. The math is simple and brutal: Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech weaponry, including assault rifles, cloaking devices, EMP grenades and sentry guns, players can level the playing field against massive Battle Walkers that control the ground and futuristic aircraft that rule the skies. Massive online* battles for up to 64 players drop gamers on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their team-mates. Battlefield 2142 also introduces an all-new game type for the first time in franchise history: “Titan” mode, which challenges gamers to control the battlefield and destroy their opponent’s Titan - a massive flying warship - while defending their own. Battlefield 2142 is developed by Digital Illusions/DICE Sweden and is slated to ship for PC in Fall 2006.

SPORE – SPORE takes players on an epic journey from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and eventually into the outer reaches of space. Create a creature, then control every dimension of its evolution from pond scum to galactic god. Experience multiple styles of gameplay as your creature advances through different stages of development. Fight for survival in the wild, develop a sprawling metropolis, trade and war against rival civilizations and explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. Every aspect of the universe from creatures to vehicles, buildings to plants, are created by the player and automatically shared with other players, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play. Create, control and explore your universe with SPORE. SPORE is under development for the PC by legendary game designer, Will Wright.

Crysis™ – Crysis is all-new first person shooter from Crytek, the award-winning developers of the critically-acclaimed hit Far Cry. Powered by the revolutionary CryEngine™2, Crysis delivers next-generation PC technology, graphics and gameplay. Set in 2019 after a colossal asteroid crashes to Earth, Crysis begins amidst a tense military standoff between the North Korean and United States governments for control of the impact zone. Amid rising tensions, the asteroid suddenly bursts open revealing a massive alien ship, which begins freezing vast portions of the island and altering the global weather system. The invasion of Earth has begun. Crysis features an epic three-act story of alien invasion where players are able to customize their armor and weapons in real time to confront an ever-changing enemy and a harsh, dynamic environment. Advanced enemy AI employs realistic military tactics, forcing gamers to actively outsmart their opponents rather than simply reacting to them. Crysis is slated to ship for the PC in Winter 2006.

Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™ – The genre defining Command & Conquer series is back! The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of NOD continues…and the third Tiberium War™ is about to begin. Welcome back, Commander. Command & Conquer, the groundbreaking series that put the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre on the map, is returning in full force with Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. This highly-anticipated next chapter takes the popular series back to its roots in the Tiberium universe and features the fast, fluid gameplay that Command & Conquer is known for and a gripping story that will redefine storytelling in RTS games. Experience a revolution in RTS gaming with a breakthrough single player campaign that rewards you for your gameplay style. Add layers of strategy to your gaming experience by building mobile bases, wielding the power of terrifying Ion Storms on the battlefield, or customizing your armies by combining units. Battle it out online with native voice-over IP, integrated clan support, and new spectator modes that let you play RTS games like a sport. Windows PC, 2007.

The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for the Xbox 360 – Now command the epic battles of Middle-earth from your living room couch! Take control of huge armies and venture into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction—all in spectacular high-definition. The game boasts a new, intuitive console-specific control scheme that allows novice players to enjoy the game’s signature Real-time Strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth. As the first game in The Lord of the Rings™ series to be playable over Xbox LIVE™*, add to the intensity of the experience and challenge friends online* to engage in action-packed real-time battles. Summer 2006.

SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME challenges players to master Superman's unrivaled powers to save Metropolis. Based on 60 years of DC Comics and the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME creates the ultimate open-world super hero experience. As the Man of Steel™, you’ll hone your unworldly super powers such as Flight, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath to fight villains that only Superman™ can defeat. SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME will be available on Xbox 360, the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, the PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.

Def Jam® Fight For NY™: The Takeover – Experience the ultimate hip hop fighting game anywhere you go. Master over 180 new fighting moves and 50 new dirty moves in order to win fights and rise among the ranks of your crew. Create your own fighter and battle through over 40 of the hottest artists and celebrities in Hip Hop including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit. With a new story, new moves, new venues, and head to head wireless gameplay, Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover is the summer's must have title for the PSP system.

Continue reading "EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3" »

May 7, 2006

Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo

BURBANK, Calif. — (May 8, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced its largest and most diverse lineup ever of console, computer and handheld video game titles to be showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Booth No. 1024 in the South Hall.

With a broad portfolio of video games that appeals to a wide audience, BVG’s portfolio includes titles inspired by major theatrical releases, popular and award-winning television shows and new intellectual properties.

“Buena Vista Games’ 2006 portfolio features the most diverse and extensive product mix to date, with titles based on the rich movie and television brands of The Walt Disney Company and new original properties that we look to build into evergreen franchises for the future,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “We continue to strengthen our self-publishing business with compelling new games that have broad entertainment appeal across all audiences and all major markets worldwide.”

For console game players, BVG will showcase a broad range of titles including Turok, an FPS game set on a mysterious planet that is based on the Classic Media comic book license; Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action, based on the “super hero movie within a movie” of the box office hit film “Chicken Little”; Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ futuristic computer-animated film; Lumines Plus, the first console extension of the highly popular Lumines puzzle franchise; and Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?, the first console game based on the hit Disney Channel franchise.

For Windows PC users, Desperate Housewives: The Game, based on the award-winning ABC/Touchstone Television series “Desperate Housewives” will be available for game play for the first time.

BVG’s strategy for its kids games portfolio is focused on three endeavors in 2006 – the launch of the Disney on the Go brand; new efforts in handheld preschool learning games with the launch of Disney’s Little Einsteins for Game Boy® Advance; and migrating handheld franchise hits to the console for sophisticated gameplay in a family-safe environment with Disney’s Kim Possible for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

BVG will showcase handheld games for all major handheld platforms (the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance). The company’s handheld portfolio will include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming summer blockbuster movie; Spectrobes, a new original title being developed in Japan; Lumines II, Every Extend Extra and Meteos: Disney Edition, action puzzle games from Q ENTERTAINMENT; and games based on popular Disney Channel properties including “Hannah Montana,“ “Little Einsteins,” “American Dragon,” “Phil of the Future,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “That’s So Raven” and more. Also, BVG will present new titles for young girls based on the Disney Princess franchise including a game based on the upcoming DVD release of “The Little Mermaid.”

Along with its self-publishing business, BVG continues to work with its licensing partners on phenomenal games based on Disney and Disney€Pixar properties. THQ Inc. will showcase Disney€Pixar Cars and Bethesda Softworks will show Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow in their respective booths at E3.

Console Games

Turok*
Turok is an epic, story-driven FPS game set on a dark, mysterious planet in the near future. Players take on the role of Joseph Turok, a former Black Ops commando, now part of an elite Special Forces squad on a mission to take down a war criminal on a genetically-altered planet. After the ship is shot down while approaching the planet, Joseph Turok must use his instincts and elite military training to elude an army of well-trained soldiers, and the ravenous, unpredictable creatures that populate the dangerous environment. Joseph Turok’s mission? Survive at all costs.

Platforms: Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system
Release Date: 2007

Lumines Plus*
Lumines Plus is a pulsing new version of the original PSP system game for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Lumines Plus includes new skins and a two-player battle mode.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Meet The Robinsons
Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated film, is a time-traveling action/adventure game. Players will experience the adventure as Wilbur Robinson, helping him chase the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical robotic hat Doris through multiple timelines in an attempt to thwart their evil plans. The game weaves in and out of the film’s plot, expanding the Robinson world and offering an all-new adventure. Wilbur will have a host of gadgets at his disposal as he battles enemies and solves puzzles while pursuing Bowler Hat Guy and trying not to alter the future.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: 2007

Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action
Inspired by the “superhero movie within the movie” finale of Walt Disney Pictures’ box office hit film “Chicken Little,” Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action features Ace, the superhero alter ego of Chicken Little, and the Hollywood versions of his misfit band of friends: Runt, Abby and Fish-Out-of-Water. The crew of the intergalactic Battle Barn faces off against Foxy Loxy and her evil Amazonian sidekick, Goosey Loosey, who have an evil plan to take over Earth. Battle evil alien robots through multiple levels across the solar system and combat your foes in one of three distinct game play modes: Ace on foot as a soldier, Runt as the driver of an armored tank, or Abby as the pilot of a spaceship. The original Chicken Little and his friends Abby, Runt and Fish we know from the film are featured in cut scenes throughout the game.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?
Kim Possible and her perennial nemesis Shego must grudgingly team up to bring everything back to normal when the minds of Dr. Drakken and Ron Stoppable are switched in this action-packed adventure. It’s now up to Kim and Shego to save the day – together.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Windows PC Game

Desperate Housewives: The Game
A lifestyle simulation game for Windows based on the hit ABC/Touchstone Television phenomenon, Desperate Housewives: The Game lets you become the newest housewife on Wisteria Lane, extending the experience from the TV series through new storylines. As a new housewife, you must uncover delicious scandals and reveal some shocking secrets of your own. The gameplay is a story-driven adventure, in which each episode contains unique plot points and secrets for you to uncover.

Platforms: Windows XP and Windows Vista
Release Date: Fall 2006

Handheld Games

Spectrobes
An original concept and new intellectual property from Buena Vista Games, Spectrobes introduces two junior Interplanetary Patrol officers named Rallen and Jeena who learn of strange, prehistoric creatures called Spectrobes that possess special powers. These Spectrobes hold the key to defeating a vicious and merciless force, known only as the Krawl that threatens to destroy the galaxy. The two heroes embark on a mission to save their galaxy – to do so they must excavate, awaken, train and collect all the Spectrobes they can and battle to defeat the Krawl.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: To Be Announced

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ film, is a swashbuckling third-person action/adventure. Players will engage in game play that reflects the cunning world of the film franchise -- with an abundance of disloyalty, humor and revenge. Players embark on a daring adventure while sword dueling and hunting for hidden treasure in the quest for the legendary Dead Man’s Chest.

Platforms: PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: June 27, 2006

Lumines II
Lumines II is the highly anticipated sequel to the extremely addictive puzzle-based video game, Lumines. Gamers control squares made of four smaller block pieces that are dropped into the playing field one at a time to form same-color squares. The vertical “timeline” sweeps across the playing field from left to right and wipes the same-color squares from the playing field. Unmatched blocks pile up, and the game ends when the pile gets to the top of the playing screen. Advance through many action-packed levels, each with its own musical theme and sound effects.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra is a unique “puzzle shooter,” brought to the PSP system by the creators of the critically acclaimed hit Lumines. Every Extend Extra delivers an addictive gameplay experience through a fusion of arcade-style shooting action, cutting-edge music and visuals. Players evade enemy attacks and then use perfect timing to blast their foes in a colorful display of explosive chain reactions. The bigger the chain reaction results in the higher the score and the larger the rewards.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Meteos: Disney Edition
Meteos: Disney Edition is a new version of the popular galactic action puzzle title Meteos featuring beloved Disney characters.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

BVG will also showcase upcoming handheld titles including for the Nintendo DS:

Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long, Attack of the Dark Dragon
Disney’s Kim Possible: Global Gemini
Hannah Montana
That’s So Raven: Psychic on the Scene
Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble

Games for the Game Boy Advance include:

The Cheetah Girls
Phil of the Future.
W.I.T.C.H.

Licensed Games

Disney€Pixar Cars
Published by THQ, Cars, the video game, is a high performance interactive experience in the open world created in the film, challenging players to relive the excitement created by Lightning McQueen and his friends. Fans will discover unique characters and environments inspired by the film with more than 10 playable characters and 30 races and mini games to choose from. The game features a fully immersive recreation of all major environments introduced in the movie, including Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley, which will offer distinctive racing experiences to players while maintaining the artistic style of the film.

Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube®, Nintendo DS, PSP system, Game Boy Advance, Windows PC and Mac
Release Date: June 2006; Xbox 360 and Wii versions – Fall 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
What’s not to love about Captain Jack Sparrow? Play as Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann as you hack and slash your way through fully interactive environments, including burning buildings, wrecked ships, and misty moonlit caves. One minute you are fighting hordes of enemies and the next you’re evading capture by the Royal Navy. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow is being published by Bethesda Softworks.

Platforms: PlayStation 2 and Windows PC
Release Date: Summer 2006

Continue reading "Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo" »

May 5, 2006

Tarantinos Cult Classic Movie, Reservoir Dogs To Make Its Gaming Debut at E3

San Francisco, CA – (May 4, 2006) – Eidos, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, part of SCi Entertainment Group Plc (SEG), today announced that it plans to publish Reservoir Dogs™ on the Xbox™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and PC for release in fall 2006. The game will be unveiled at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), held May 10-12 in Los Angeles, California.

With multiple DVD releases through Lionsgate, as well as assorted merchandise such as apparel, action figures, posters and novelty items, the film’s cult status has only increased in the years since its theatrical premiere, leading to the next evolution with the video game debut.

Reservoir Dogs is based on the 1992 Quentin Tarantino-directed classic movie about five total strangers who are brought together to carry out a diamond heist. The robbery goes wrong when the alarm is tripped and the cops show up. In the ensuing confusion, four of the robbers make it back to their warehouse rendezvous but it is quickly apparent that one of them is an undercover police officer – but which one?

Staying true to the original plot, this intense, third person shooter follows the progress and planning of the famed diamond heist while filling in some of the cliffhanger questions from the film: What happened to Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown? Where did Mr. Pink hide the diamonds? What actually happened at the heist? These questions and more will be answered as the game unfolds and according to the player’s tactics.

“Almost 15 years after the original debut of Reservoir Dogs, we are proud to reflect one of the most esteemed and duplicated directorial film debuts of all time in a gaming format, said Kevin Gill, US Marketing Manager. “Gaming and movie fans alike will have the unprecedented opportunity to play through the events of the movie as well as experiencing parts of the movie that happened off screen but are tangential to the main plot.”

Continue reading "Tarantinos Cult Classic Movie, Reservoir Dogs To Make Its Gaming Debut at E3" »

EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES

San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, and TT Games, the makers of LEGO® Star Wars™, today confirms a new LEGO™ adventure in BIONICLE™ HEROES, set for release in fall 2006 on PlayStation™ 2, PC, Nintendo Game Boy Advance™, Nintendo DS™, and NINTENDO GAMECUBE™ (NTSC only).

BIONICLE HEROES brings to life the most powerful and exciting LEGO characters ever seen in one game, in an action-packed world of adventure and discovery. Take control of a young hero as he steps out of the real world and into the strange and dangerous universe of BIONICLE. Only by mastering the powers and special abilities of the greatest BIONICLE heroes will he be able to overcome the many challenges ahead.

“2006 is a huge year for BIONICLE. We are providing strong levels of support for the brand in 2006 and we are excited that the same winning team behind the success of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game is making the official BIONICLE videogame”. Said Jay Bruns, Director of Global Partnerships and Alliances for LEGO Group. He added “With such a pedigree of highly entertaining and engaging titles for young gamers, we are really looking forward to seeing the BIONICLE range bought to life in an immensely fun and immersive experience, both for our core BIONICLE fans and for those new to the universe.”

Continue reading "EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES" »

May 4, 2006

Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

You have seen the game, now it is time to take a trip inside the development studio behind Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend. Crystal Dynamics has brought Lara Croft back to the top, and you will find that not only are they skilled at game design, they also have a good sense of humor! In these two video developer diaries you get to hear from members of the development team about what their thoughts are regarding Lara Croft and the new game. Also take a look at some of the design aspects that were used to create the fluid movement system, as well as a nice tour of the sound studio where music genius Troels Folmann works.

Download the videos now over at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158!

Continue reading "Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

May 3, 2006

Get a Glimpse at the Mysterious Wheelchair Man from Hitman: Blood Money in the Latest Trailer!

Agent 47 is set to make his triumphant return in the latest installment of the Hitman franchise, Hitman: Blood Money. As the world’s deadliest assassin, Agent 47 is normally the one stalking the target. This time however, other assassins from his contract killing firm known as the Agency have been ending up on the wrong side of the executions. Sensing that he might be the next target, Agent 47 travels to America to uncover clues about this rival agency which has suddenly entered the fray.Much of this conspiracy is still unknown, but in the latest trailer released for Hitman: Blood Money you can take a first look at the mysterious Wheelchair Man, and it is pretty clear that Agent 47 is definitely not on his good side. Who is this Wheelchair Man and what are his motives... these answers you will have to find out for yourself.

Download the new trailer now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159!

Continue reading "Get a Glimpse at the Mysterious Wheelchair Man from Hitman: Blood Money in the Latest Trailer!" »

Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup

Newport Beach, Calif.--May 3, 2006--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames for the casual gamer, today announced its lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), to be held May 10-12, 2006 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Crave will showcase its titles at South Hall booth #846.

"The past year has been tremendously successful for Crave," said Rob Dyer, COO of Crave Entertainment. "World Championship Poker continues to lead the pack as the first choice of serious poker players, and with brands like VeggieTales we are expanding our presence in the family gaming space. Crave has solidified its position as the leading publisher of casual games on the gaming consoles."

World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In" (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system and Xbox 360(tm)
The third installment of the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahedi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness.

World Championship Poker All-In will support for the EyeToy(tm) USB Camera (for PlayStation®2), which allows online opponents to see each other as they play, in addition to supporting text chat. The Xbox 360 version of the game supports the Xbox Live® online game service including Scoreboards, Voice/Chat and Live Aware.

VeggieTales LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (PlayStation®2 and Game Boy® Advance)
When the citizens of Bumblyburg need help, there is one superhero who they can always count on: LarryBoy! For the first time ever, the amazing smash hit VeggieTales is coming to game consoles in the heroic adventure LarryBoy and the Bad Apple. The adventure platformer game allows gamers to help LarryBoy in his quest to right wrongs and save the good citizens from the Bad Apple and her webs of temptation. Scheduled for an August 1st simultaneous release with the full length feature DVD, now fans can "Be that Hero!"

The VeggieTales brand has sold over 47 million video units & over 6 million audio units in 12 years and is the #1 values-based product line in the U.S. The launch of the new LarryBoy title is the game kids have been clamoring for!

Gun Club (PlayStation®2)
This non-violent target shooter allows gamers to enter the shooting range, steady their nerves, and take aim at the bull's-eye. The game puts over one hundred faithfully recreated firearms in the hands of the player who can try his or her skill in a wide range of immersive 3D practice environments, from indoor ranges with paper targets, to hillsides with watermelons or flying sporting clays. A certification mode challenges would-be sharpshooters' skills, and detailed descriptions and information for every firearm make it a must-have for gun collectors and enthusiasts.

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge (PlayStation®Portable)
The next installment in the popular BMX franchise gives you BMX Legend Dave Mirra (one of the most recognized action sports athletes in the world) as the featured rider and the option to customize player characters. There are 17 levels with 9 different environments throughout the game. With 9 bikes to choose from and up to 4 player ad hoc wireless play, it's time to ride.

Hard Rock Casino (PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®Portable)
Gamers can try their luck at more than 20 different casino games, including table games, machine games, poker rooms and sports bets, while experiencing high-stakes areas, invitation-only tournaments and many unlockable upgrades for your highly customizable character.

Beginning with a modest bankroll, players must amass winnings and establish their reputation as the highest roller at the Hard Rock Casino. Along the way, they will encounter unique tournaments, characters, side tasks and unlockables, keeping the game play fresh and challenges exciting.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (Game Boy Advance)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, from Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, features the somewhat shy Mac and his imaginary friend, Blooregard Q. Kazoo. The game is inspired by memorable episodes from the Cartoon Network hit series and allows fans to control Mac and Bloo as they solve quirky challenges and complete mission objectives. The action takes place in and around Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and features many of the signature characters from the show including Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and more.

Camp Lazlo (Game Boy Advance)
Camp Lazlo is an eccentric animated series from Cartoon Network that chronicles the odd but happy camping life of a Bean Scout named Lazlo and his bunkmates at Camp Kidney. Players can take alternating control of Lazlo, an optimistic, high-energy Brazilian monkey, Raj, a wise and compulsive Indian elephant, and Clam, an eccentric and highly intelligent pygmy Rhino, to compete in a variety of camp challenges, earning the right to represent their camp in a final tournament against - the Squirrel Scouts.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup" »

DreamCatcher Games Announces Line-Up for E3 2006

Toronto, May 3, 2006 – DreamCatcher Interactive Inc. today announced its 2006 line-up for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company will showcase a strong line-up for 2006 and introduce 9 First Look products at the show.

DreamCatcher will show 3 games as featured titles this year that are guaranteed to draw attention. The first is Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, the follow-up title to the highly successful Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None of 2005, and the second in The Adventure Company’s Agatha Christie series. Next up is Genesis Rising, an RTS set in a unique world of genetic engineering with a cross-genre mix of the best elements from strategy and RPG. Last but not least is Painkiller for Xbox®/PSP®, DreamCatcher’s award winning first-person horror shooter. Graphically unmatched, it is designed to satisfy a gamer’s hunger for intense, fast-paced action.

Details on the full line-up follows.

E3 2006 Product Line-up

For Xbox®/PSP®

Painkiller Hell Wars

Developed by People Can Fly

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: Xbox – May 2006

PSP – November 2006

A fast-paced gothic first-person horror shooter designed to satisfy an adrenaline addict’s hunger for action. Painkiller is graphically unmatched. The PAIN engine along with the Havok 2.0 physics engine create a realistic environment in a totally fantastical setting.

Windows® Only

Safecracker

Developed by Kheops Studio

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: August 2006

This new puzzle game will have puzzle enthusiasts and wanna-be safecrackers enthralled! Safecracker is a puzzle game at heart, but infuses key adventure game elements to keep you on your toes. Play an expert safecracker hired by the wealthy family of a deceased eccentric billionaire who has hidden the deed to his riches in one of the safes scattered in his magnificent mansion. Use your experience, wits, deductive reasoning and puzzle solving skills to crack 35 unique safes.

Windows® Only

The Sacred Rings / AURA 2

Developed by Streko-Graphics Inc.

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: September 2006

The sequel to AURA: Fate of Ages, The Sacred Rings will take you on an epic adventure in a dark, fantastical world of magic and intrigue. Explore over 400 beautiful locations using the game’s easy to navigate mouse-driven, point-and-click interface. Interact with numerous characters while you solve challenging and original puzzles and enjoy the spectacular FMV sequences.

Windows® Only

Genesis Rising

Developed by Metamorf Studios

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

This futuristic full 3D RTS game uses the best elements of role-playing games within the context of a fast-paced real-time strategy game. Set in a mysterious futuristic universe where organic machines are built using genetic engineering, take on the role of Captain Iconah to explore and conquer the Universal Heart, the only part of the universe remaining unconquered 3,000 years into the future.

Windows® Only

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Developed by AWE Games

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

Based on the famous mystery novel by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, this second PC CD-ROM adventure game in the Agatha Christie series is filled with spectacular twists-and-turns and includes a surprising ending different from the original novel.

Windows® Only

Dead Reefs

Developed by Streko-Graphics Inc.

Territory: Worldwide

Release Date: November 2006

Dead Reefs is a hauntingly beautiful investigative adventure that takes place on the island of Dead Reefs off the coast of England infamous for the wicked pirate inhabitants and a frightful curse. Set in the tumultuous 18th century, play as Amadeo Finvinero, sent by the King to discover the source of all the evil plaguing the island.

Windows® Only

The Secret Files: Tunguska

Developed by Fusionsphere Systems

Territory: North America

Release Date: August 2006

This X-Files like point-and-click adventure game is based on the mysterious Tunguska phenomenon that occurred in July 1908 in which the Siberian region of Tunguska was engulfed in an inferno of flames that turned everything into debris and ashes. This phenomenon remains unexplained to this day. With its unique mysterious setting, spectacular graphics, and innovative puzzles, The Secrets Files: Tunguska sets the stage for intrigue, drama, and a deep conspiracy to uncover.

Windows® Only

EVIDENCE: The Last Ritual

Developed by Lexis Numérique

Territory: North America

Release Date: October 2006

The notorious serial killer “The Phoenix” is back and the authorities need your help to catch him once and for all. Using an innovative blend of Windows® gameplay and the Internet, the player will explore key cities in Europe and North America. Players will receive live emails from various contacts around the world and can partner up with other players to crack the case. From the creators of MISSING: Since January.


Continue reading "DreamCatcher Games Announces Line-Up for E3 2006" »

May 2, 2006

Rampage: Total Destruction

Score 2.5 out of 5
Midway
If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

It's been twenty years since the original coin-op Rampage hit the arcades. Is this $19.99 value title a worthy follow-up?

Midway brings that arcade classic to the Playstation 2 and Nintendo GameCube in the form of Rampage: Total Destruction! With all new graphics and some new gameplay; without substantialy changing what the game actually is. It's still the same smash and bash game that it ever was. And that's good news.

The story believe it or not loosely follows the original arcade game story, but with slight updates. A group of human subjects were taste testing Scum, inc's. newest soda, Scum Soda. Everyone who tried the drink mutated into a vicious monster who wants to wreak Total Destruction! The Scum Labs guys cryo froze the monsters so they wouldn't get loose, but they, I mean you did.

There are two ways to play Rampage: Total Destruction; by yourself, or with a friend. The Playstation 2 version supports 2 players, and the GameCube version supports 4. You can play through an entire campaign spanning 7 cities, or play King of the City and King of the World, two games where you battle it out with your friend(s) for the most points and the most destruction. Multiplayer is actually pretty fun. There's nothing like a little friendly competition when trying to wipe out a whole city block. Then again, it's also pretty fun to play the Campaign mode together.

Rampage: Total Destruction also includes the original arcade versions of Rampage, and Rampage: World Tour. They'll take you back in time.

The thing that makes Rampage so much fun to play is its complete simplicity, just like the original arcade game. Unfortunately, it may also be the game's biggest weakness, just like the original arcade game. As good as Rampage was at mindless and rampant destruction, and easy to use controls, it eventually becomes monotonous, repetitive and boring. Rampage: Total Destruction has the same effect, even though parts of the game are definitely upgraded from the 1986 original. The game in a nutshell goes like this. Think Godzilla, or every other Saturday afternoon 1950's gigantic monster movie you ever saw. You are a monster, you saw the story above. You walk up and down a city street beating the crap out of a host of buildings, trying to knock them down. While doing this, an ever increasing force is trying to take you out. It starts with just police, then graduates to military; coming at you with tanks and helicopters, etc;. The evil doctor that cryo-froze you in the first place before your escape also comes after you trying to put you back in the freezer so you don't get away. So you have a life bar. As you get hit with bullets, tank shells, and grenades, your health goes down. In order to keep your health up and not turn back into your human form, you have to find things to eat. In the buildings you smash up, you can grab from inside windows all kinds of foods which will give you life. But you can also grab things that will hurt you even more, like radioactive waste, bombs, and hot peppers. You can also grab and eat people, but they don't help your health. It does take care of your police problem though. Once you have destroyed all the buildings in the level, you move on to the next one where things get even more difficult. That's the gameplay right there. When you get through about 10-12 levels, you start to tire of things and end up turning the game off. That's the only complaint, and it's really just the way it is with games like this..

Midway tried with Rampage: Total Destruction to add some things to make it good for 2006. They are able to do just that without tampering with the core gameplay from the arcade. For example, in the arcade, you could punch and jump and move. In Total Destruction not only can you punch, but you can also kick, which is great for kicking the side of a building or a tank on the street. Not only do you have the fast punch, which also serves as your grab for items and food and such, but a full powerful punch that can really knock out a piece of a building. Another big change is the move from 2D to 3D, because of course you're working on the PS2 and GameCube. So while with the arcade you more or less climbed up and down the side of a building, in Total Destruction you can also climb up and down the front of it and punch out pieces of building ahead of you. This means that the buildings are also much bigger and need a lot more bashing. You can also jump on top of a building which does damage to it, albeit slower than punching and kicking it. You can also do a down bash which can knock out cars, people, and building tops. Again, all this new gameplay and it still feels like the original arcade game.

Continue reading "Rampage: Total Destruction" »

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 2, 2006) – Leading video games publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today plans to showcase 19 of its highly anticipated console, PC and handheld releases at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, May 10-12, 2006 (booth #824 in the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center).

"This year's E3 marks the debut of our integrated title line-up and exemplifies the industry strength behind the NAMCO BANDAI merger," said Genichi Ito, president and CEO of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. "Our strong commitment to extending popular franchises, creating original content and developing strategic partnerships with key licensors allows us to deliver quality games for all ages, interests and platforms."

New installments of notable franchises to be unveiled at this year's E3 include Xenosaga® EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra, Tales of the Abyss™, Pac-Man World Rally™, Ace Combat® X: Skies of Deception, Tekken®: Dark Resurrection, The Legend of Heroes™ II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch™ and Mobile Ops™: The One Year War.

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. will also be showcasing its highly-anticipated PC titles such as Mage Knight Apocalypse, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and HELLGATE: LONDON from Flagship Studios.

Popular licensed properties making their debut at the show include The Fast and The Furious, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron and Charlie Brown All-Stars.

Renown anime based franchises on display for play include Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, Zatchbell: Mamodo Fury, .hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth, IGPX, One Piece: Grand Adventure, and Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave.

Popular Franchise Sequels:

Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system)

A year has passed since Xenosaga® EPISODE II. Shion has resigned her post at Vector Industries after realizing that the company is deeply connected to the cause of the Gnosis phenomenon. She has thus joined forces with Scientia, an underground organization, in order to unveil Vector's true objectives. Featuring more than eight hours of movies including voiced cut-scenes, Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra is the exciting conclusion to the epic trilogy loved by RPG fans worldwide. Players will experience an updated battle system combining the best aspects of the first two games, while introducing the new Break system. Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra will also feature an extensive mini-game complete with a mini-game map editor. Uncover the future of humanity this Fall 2006.

Tales of the Abyss (PlayStation 2)

Tales of the Abyss puts players in the role of Luke fon Fabre, sole heir to a family of aristocrats. He was kidnapped several years ago, and the shock left him with no memories of his life before. Luke is suddenly thrown into the outside world where he knows nothing of those who might be his friends, or those who already are his enemies. This epic story is told with some of the most realistic character models ever used in the Tales series and beautiful anime cut-scenes by Production I.G. Tales of the Abyss also features the Flexible Motion Battle System where the player controls characters in a free-roaming battlefield. Players can start their epic quest in Fall 2006.

Pac-Man World Rally (PlayStation 2, PSP(PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube, PC)

Pac-Man World Rally lets players race through a variety of environments from Pac-Man World as Pac-Man® , Pac Jr. and other beloved characters from past Namco classics. In one of the fastest and most exciting kart racing games ever, players will race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with special weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The race begins in Summer 2006.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception (PSP system)

Featuring an entirely new world and story, this first PSP system installment of the popular Ace Combat franchise features a suite of highly detailed and realistically modeled licensed aircraft. New additions include original aircraft and wireless multiplayer, ensuring Ace Combat for the PSP system will be a memorable experience. Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception also features a Strategic AI System where mission objectives reflect a player's decision. The PSP system takes flight with Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception in Fall 2006.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP system)

Tekken: Dark Resurrection is one of the most explosive fighting games to arrive on the PSP system. Featuring some of the most realistic graphics on a handheld platform, Tekken Dark: Resurrection will have 19 stages with destructible objects. Players will have the choice of two new characters Lili and Dragunov allowing for more than 30 characters to choose from. This extensive list of characters is possible through character customization with more than double the items seen in TEKKEN®5. Using the wireless connectivity of the PSP system, players can battle friends using their customized characters. The fighting genre will resurrect on the PSP system in Summer 2006.

The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (PSP system)

The popular RPG series makes another appearance on the PSP system with The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch. In this game, players embark on a pilgrimage to find 5 shrines in Tirasweel, and discover a mystery left behind by a mysterious witch. Taking place in a beautiful world inhabited with rich details, players are quickly drawn into the storyline. Enemies appear on the world map, eliminating random battles. They can gauge the player's strength and will "turn tail and run" if they sense the player is stronger than they are. The prophecy is set to take place in June 2006.

Mobile Ops: The One Year War (Xbox 360)

Mobile Ops: The One Year War opens when rebel space colonies launch a brutal bid for independence from the Earth Federation. Advanced ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) has rendered range sensors and communications useless, resulting in the rise of new war machines called Mobile Suits. These ultimate instruments of destruction, capable of metal-clashing hand-to-hand combat, completely redefine modern warfare. Fight on foot, in vehicles and in Mobile Suits in a robust single and multiplayer experience through multiple scenarios and battlefields. Pick your side, choose your weapon and prove your supremacy.

PC Titles:

Mage Knight Apocalypse (PC)
A select group of heroes must defeat the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity that has been summoned by the forces of Chaos in Mage Knight Apocalypse. Five unique character classes can be selected - all with hundreds of weapons, armor and abilities to customize. These heroes will battle hundreds of unique enemies with brilliant special effects in a beautiful 3D world. Players will adventure as they've only before imagined as they explore with a free camera, engage in multiplayer missions. Dynamic enemy scaling and multiple alternate scenarios means near infinite replay-ability. For the PC in Summer 2006.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (PC)

Faithful to the Warhammer® world, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos puts the focus squarely on the battlefield with a real-time combat system that gives the player unprecedented customization and control of his army. This RTS focuses on armies and battling while de-emphasizing the tedious aspects of base and resource management. Players will also have the opportunity to use environments to their advantage, as well as customize Heroes and Champions with inventories and skill trees and challenge opponents in dueling. Choose from a variety of modes for both casual and competitive play coming to a battlefield on a PC near you in Fall 2006.

HELLGATE: LONDON (PC)
HELLGATE: LONDON combines the depth of role-playing games and action of first-person titles, while offering infinite playability with randomly created levels, items and events. The player creates a heroic character and then, completes quests and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.

Licensed Properties:

The Fast and The Furious (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

Inspired by Universal Pictures' upcoming film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, this game will immerse players in the underground world of drift racing – a form of racing that replaces simple drag racing with a rubber-burning, automotive art form that consists of an exhilarating balance of speeding and gliding through a heart-stopping course of hairpin turns and switchbacks. Set in a world related to, yet separate from, the movie, the game features a ground-breaking drift mechanic that makes drifting accessible to both beginning and veteran racing game drivers. The gameplay features evolutionary new systems like the Drift Indicator that make The Fast and the Furious the most accessible yet realistic drift game. Created through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, this must-have racing title drifts to retailers in Summer 2006.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron (PlayStation 2, PSP system, PC)

While snoozing atop his doghouse one day, Snoopy has a magical dream. Just like in the celebrated Peanuts® comic strip, he becomes a virtuoso flying ace, piloting his World War I bi-plane in a heroic attempt to foil the plans of his archenemy, the Red Baron. Join Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang as you soar above six vividly rendered worlds. Pilot Snoopy’s famous Sopwith Camel and other unique aircraft in perilous sky-high dogfights, air races and heart-pounding missions with dozens of comical weapons and gadgets at your disposal. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron takes to the skies in Fall 2006.

Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

The cast of Peanuts has come together in an entertaining and fun pick-up-and-play baseball game, Charlie Brown’s All-Stars. Players can help Charlie Brown end his 900 game losing streak as they play baseball with an incredible cast of more than 30 Peanuts characters. Players can also take part in any of four Party Games, including batting, fielding and pitching contests, as well as a good ol’ fashioned game of “Lucy Says.” As players progress through the game they will have the chance to enjoy classic Peanuts storylines, artwork and unlock tons of bonus content including every baseball-related Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars steps up to the plate in Spring 2007. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Anime Based Franchises:

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (PlayStation 2)

Experience the hit manga and TV series NARUTO like never before. Join Naruto and his friends in their Ninja Academy quests as they battle the best in the land. Fight as one of more than 12 playable characters in interactive stages while performing powerful ninjutsu moves. Players can battle in close combat, use weapons and call on support characters to assist with super attacks or drop off power-ups. Tons of replay value is added with unlockable features and more! Players can enroll in the Ninja Academy in June 2006.

Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Players join Zatch, Kiyo and other characters from the hit manga and TV series ZATCHBELL! as they battle to become the mighty mamodo king! This time, up to four players can choose from more than 20 different playable teams. With three gameplay modes including Story Mode, VS mode and Arcade Mode, players can experience all the action in environments faithful to the TV series. All voice acting is even done by the U.S. TV show cast. Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury hits consoles Fall 2006.

.hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth (PlayStation 2)

The hit video game and TV series returns to the epic fantasy online RPG stage on the PlayStation 2. Years after the events of the first .hack installment, the most popular MMORPG in the world has returned from the ashes as “The World: R2”. As Haseo the Terror of Death, players are thrown into his quest for revenge in his search for the mysterious PK (Player Killer) Tri-Edge. This time, players will interact in the real and virtual worlds with fellow “The World” players through various chats, mails, and fully voiced video news clips. Together with Haseo’s virtual partners, login to challenge and solve the mysteries of “The World”.  hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth arrives in stores in Fall 2006.

One Piece Grand Adventure (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Based on the popular comic and anime series, One Piece: Grand Adventure delivers battles that take place with a new free-moving Vs. Battle action system that will offer hours of entertainment. The game has also been completely revamped with the inclusion of an engrossing Adventure Mode, sending players on various mini-game filled quests as well as allowing players to create their very own band of roving pirates. One Piece: Grand Adventure hits stores in Fall 2006. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

IGPX (PlayStation 2)

The thrill of the popular Cartoon Network series IGPX, comes to the PlayStation 2 in an exhilarating fashion. Delivering the intense chase as you battle against your opponents, IGPX provides a type of thrill never before experienced. By creating a strategic scenario with a variety of formations, players are able to participate in combinations with partners that will deliver high-impact attacks. IGPX takes the flag on the PlayStation 2 in Fall 2006.

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006" »

May 1, 2006

SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. (April 24, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ interactive entertainment products in North America, will have on display entertainment experiences for all platforms at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) to be held May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in South Hall, Booth #746. Square Enix will hold a preview event and reveal special product announcements during its press briefing on Monday, May 8.

“E3 attendees will be immersed in Square Enix’s most diverse line-up ever,” said Daishiro Okada, President and COO, Square Enix, Inc. “We're evolving and growing, extending the Square Enix brand beyond video games to a variety of entertainment vehicles and a broader consumer base bridging the generation and gender gap. Our goal is to provide consumers with the most engaging and immersive entertainment experiences possible and we hope to give attendees at E3 a taste of what’s to come."

Following is a partial list of entertainment products Square Enix will have on display:

PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system

Dawn of Mana

Dawn of Mana™, the first true Mana sequel in a decade, reveals the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and the Sword of Mana™. Breaking the series’ 2D mold, Dawn of Mana brings the world of Mana to three-dimensional life while preserving the atmosphere that fans have come to know and love. Players can see for themselves how vividly characters and monsters move about these new yet familiar surroundings. This installment of the Mana is a true action-adventure, with sweeping plains and mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s a world ripe for adventure!

A World of Sensation

“Touch” is the theme of Dawn of Mana’s world. You can virtually feel realistically rendered, lifelike objects.

The release date for Dawn of Mana will be announced at a later time. Dawn of Mana has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

DIRGE OF CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

Three years after the events of FINAL FANTASY® VII, an unknown group of seemingly unstoppable soldiers appears, bringing a swift and bitter end to the peace enjoyed by the people of the world. The members of this enigmatic group are the ones who were trapped under the ruins of Midgar for three long years—the Deepground soldiers. Vincent Valentine finds himself pursued by several elite members of the mysterious Deepground organization. An unrelenting chain of events leads Vincent to the truth behind his past—and forces him once again to be the key player in a battle for the planet itself and all those living on it.

Just what is the connection between Vincent's past and the recent attacks? When the world is engulfed in darkness, his gun will toll a dreadful dirge…

DIRGE of CERBERUS™ will be released Summer 2006. The ship date will be announced at a later time. This title is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY XII

As war looms on the horizon, the mighty Archadian Empire begins a campaign to subjugate its neighbors. The small kingdom of Dalmasca shares their fate, and it is here that our tale begins.

Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia’s new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire’s invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world.


Active Dimension Battle

The Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system enables players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat. Jarring random battles and their load times are a thing of the past, keeping you in the world from start to finish.


An All-New Combat System

Characters act according to an intricate “gambit” system of actions and reactions that you determine. As they fight, characters earn license points that can be spent to broaden their knowledge of magic, arms and armor.

FINAL FANTASY XII will be released Fall 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA

Hundreds of years before Lenneth’s tale, another saga lies concealed by the gods. The valkyrie Silmeria once served Odin loyally, but after an incident ignited a conflict between them, Odin forcefully reincarnated her as a human. The human soul that would carry her spirit was that of Alicia, Princess of Dipan. Ordinarily, Silmeria’s consciousness would have been sealed, her spirit dormant until she was next summoned… However, the forced transmigration causes Silmeria’s spirit to awaken within Alicia, leaving two souls to inhabit a single body. The spirit that should have been sealed has awakened—a situation Odin will not ignore for long.


Photon Action System

This installment introduces the new Photon Action System to the classic side-scrolling action format found in the original. Projecting photons grants players more freedom to explore and expands the action, resulting in challenging puzzles with clever solutions. Add to that “sealstones” that affect the laws of nature in dungeons, launching strategy to new heights.


Advanced Tactical Combination

The unique, highly acclaimed battle system of the previous game has evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System. Feel the exhilaration of accelerated battles raging across 3D environments for more spectacular and more strategic combat than ever before!

VALKYRIE PROFILE® 2: SILMERIA will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America

Online

FINAL FANTASY XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan

The once sleepy port town of Mhaura has become the center of unprecedented commotion. The cause of this disturbance can be attributed to the arrival of mercenary recruiters from the Aht Urhgan Empire, a land far to the east of Windurst. Starting in the city of the Tarutaru, they have been touting the benefits of their Empire-sanctioned business throughout Vana'diel® in an effort to garner the interest of prospective candidates, and also seek to organize a ferry route from Mhaura to the Imperial capital of Al Zahbi. The majority of the conservative townspeople frowns upon the insistence of their foreign visitors. However, the large number of action-starved Mithran mercenaries is putting pressure on the governor, who is gradually losing her resolve to refuse entry to the Empire's ships.

Why is the Empress so desperate to recruit mercenaries? What trouble is brewing in the Near Eastern land of Aht Urhgan? The road to epic new adventures will soon be revealed...

FINAL FANTASY XI and the brand new third expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan™ are available now on PlayStation 2, Windows® and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. This title is rated “T” for Teen. For more information on FINAL FANTASY XI and all of its expansions please visit: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us

Handheld

Game Boy® Advance

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE

The classic FINAL FANTASY games that premiered on the Super Nintendo® Entertainment System are now making their way to the Game Boy Advance! Hot on the heels of FINAL FANTASY IV ADVANCE (now available in stores), FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE and FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will soon be available to handheld gamers. However, these titles are more than simple ports—every aspect of the games has been reviewed and enhanced. Additionally, a host of brand-new elements have been seamlessly merged with the original games, providing unexpected surprises for longtime fans. With new dungeons, new job classes, and other exciting features, both old-school players and newcomers can enjoy these genre-defining FINAL FANTASY titles in a portable format!

The magic of the FINAL FANTASY classics is returning to gamers’ hands—and soon the wait will be over.

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will both be released 2006. These titles have not yet been rated by the ESRB.

Nintendo DS™ System

Children of Mana

In ages past, an island called Illusia floated at the center of the world. At the heart of the island towered an ancient, enormous tree that stretched up to the very heavens. For ages past, chaos and sorrow had engulfed the world until at last its salvation appeared in the form of a boy, a girl, and a holy sword.

Time flowed on and peace returned. The sword and the tree remained, and they soon came to be known as the Sword of Mana and the Mana Tree. Followers of the Mana Tree returned to Illusia as the world started slowly but surely down the path to recovery.


More Magic with the Eight Spirits

The eight elemental spirits are a staple of the Mana series. These powerful allies aid you with healing and special status effects. They can also unleash fearsome magic upon your foes.


Cooperative or Competitive Gameplay for Up to Four Players

The greatest innovation of this installment of the Mana series is allowing four players to advance the story and solve quests together while maintaining the feel of an action RPG. Players' actions affect each other in a gameplay experience completely unlike previous action RPGS!

Children of Mana™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME

The latest game from the creative minds behind the 2005 RPG classic, Dragon Quest™ VIII: Journey of the Cursed King™, has arrived on the Nintendo DS. The hero of this brand-new action-adventure is a slime—one of the most popular monsters from the Dragon Quest series. The game is set in the kingdom of Slimenia, a peaceful land that is suddenly invaded by a mysterious cartel called “the Plob,” who then proceed to kidnap all the slimes in the capital city of Boingburg. Our protagonist, Rocket, is the only slime left behind, and must embark on a journey throughout Slimenia to save his friends and uncover the Plob’s nefarious plot!


Bounce, Stretch, and Carry

The adventure stages consist of our hero bouncing and stretching, as well as carrying various objects on his head, while solving the mysteries behind each area, and rescuing his captured slime friends along the way. Simple, streamlined controls allow players of all ages and skill levels to take part in the action with ease.


Fierce Tank Battles

Each adventure stage culminates in Rocket hopping aboard a colossal slime-shaped war machine called the Schleiman Tank and battling it out with the enemy’s Monster Tanks. Customize tanks by collecting a vast array of weapons and items. Call upon allies, each with their own individual personality and abilities, to aid in the heated tank battles. Even shoot your fellow slimes so they can infiltrate and sabotage the enemy’s Monster Tank! Pit tanks against a friend’s in exciting player-vs.-player action, using the Nintendo DS wireless multiplayer game feature!

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY III

The only FINAL FANTASY that was never localized—the third installment of the original series—will finally reach North American shores! Lauded as “legendary” by the Japanese fan base, FINAL FANTASY III has been reborn, incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. Using the features of the Nintendo DS to their fullest, FINAL FANTASY III features graphics that have been reworked and remodeled in 3D, while maintaining the mythical FINAL FANTASY look and feel.

This is the fans’ chance to complete the circle. The legend of FINAL FANTASY III is reborn.

FINAL FANTASY III will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Asgard, the realm of the gods, remains locked in an eternal struggle between the benevolent Aesir and the demonic Vanir. With the end of the world approaching, Odin, Lord of Asgard, summons Lenneth Valkyrie to his side. Possessing the ability to hear the thoughts and feelings of men and women in their dying moments, he charges Valkyrie to search Midgard, the world of mortals, to recruit and train the souls of worthy warriors to join the ranks of the Aesir in the Sacred War. VALKYRIE PROFILE®: LENNETH brings the classic PlayStation® game console title, originally released in 2000, to the PSP system with completely new CG cut scenes. tri-Ace, the developers behind the acclaimed Star Ocean® series and Radiata Stories™, introduce new fans to the spectacular combo attacks, unique side-scrolling environment, and gripping storyline that first captivated players six years ago.


Additional CG Cutscenes

To give players a deeper understanding of the plot and to complement the game’s dramatic storyline, additional CG cutscenes have been incorporated. Some of these new scenes contain links to the story of VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA.

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH will be released 2006. This title has been rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

Mobile - Square Enix

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

The Shinra Company achieved the pinnacle of success by monopolizing Mako energy and gaining unstoppable political power. It came at a price though. Many had fallen victim during Shinra's rise to the top, and those with great hatred for the company were far from few. The rebel group Avalanche was formed with the intent of eradicating the Shinra Company and all those within its greedy corporate circles. With its very existence in danger, Shinra was forced to take secret measures. The company entrusted everything to its elite unit: the Turks.

BEFORE CRISIS™ -FINAL FANTASY VII- allows players to take on the role of a new recruit in Shinra's elite Turks unit and conduct various missions and operations. Utilizing the mobile network, multiple players are able to simultaneously participate in real-time combat. Several other features possible only on mobile phones are also included, creating an exciting new experience.

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII- will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

FINAL FANTASY I

Since ages long past, the legend of the Light has been handed down from generation to generation. The legend tells that the world would remain safe so long as the Crystals maintain their brilliance. Should they lose their light, the skies will blacken, the land wither, and the seas rage. In this hour, four warriors would appear--they are the Warriors of Light. Originally released in 1987, FINAL FANTASY's enthralling story and extraordinary graphics spawned a series now numbering twelve core titles. FINAL FANTASY retains its original charm while making the evolution to convenient play on mobile phones.

FINAL FANTASY I will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

Mobile - Taito

3D Space Invaders

Space Invaders are back–now in 3D! Reborn using 3D polygon functions, that timeless classic can now be experienced from new camera perspectives with the press of a button. Set the perspective to first-person and get ready for an exciting, realistic invasion!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Chase H.Q. 3D

Chase H.Q. 3D is the latest version of that legendary, realistic car chase action classic. Originally developed for the arcades in 1988, Chase HQ was ported to various consoles such as the Amiga, the Atari ST, the Commodore 64, the Genesis, the Sega Master System, and the TurboGrafx-16. Today, you can enjoy Chase HQ on your mobile phone. Go undercover and pursue criminal suspects with the help of your operator, Nancy!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Elevator Action 3D

Originally developed for the arcades in 1983, Elevator Action, has been ported to several consoles, such as the Commodore 64, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color, the NES, the Saturn, and the ZX Spectrum, where it has since enjoyed a large and loyal following. Fans of the original and fans of the FPS genre will be pleased to find that classic Elevator Action has now been realized in 3D with crisp graphics, special tactical elements, and fast-paced, FPS action.

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Continue reading "SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006" »

April 28, 2006

EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA

Redwood City, Calif., April 27, 2006 – The chance to play with your heroes for soccer’s most important trophy became a reality this week after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) started to ship the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ game to stores around the world. The event’s only officially licensed videogame has developed enhanced gameplay attributes and stunning graphics that bring to life close to 100 superstars, and captures all of the spirit and pageantry of the real-world tournament. It is the closest fans can come to experiencing 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ without playing in it.

Along with the release of 2006 FIFA World Cup, EA and FIFA announced the extension of their long-term partnership, making EA the worldwide and exclusive FIFA Licensee for soccer action simulation, manager and arcade-style games across all console platforms, PC, handheld platforms, mobile phones and online formats. The on-going partnership will allow EA to continue to bring the most genuine soccer gaming experiences to consumers with the authenticity of the FIFA soccer world, and includes games for the future FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. Working together, EA and FIFA will continue to bring their combined passion for interactive sports entertainment to millions of sports fans around the world for years to come.

“Renewing our strategic partnership with FIFA will enable us to continue to deliver the most authentic football titles to fans who have helped to make our FIFA games the most successful football videogame franchise in the world,” said EA’s Gerhard Florin, Executive Vice President and General Manager for International Publishing.

In 2006 FIFA World Cup, users step into the heart of the action as they play their favorite team or most loathed opponent. Featuring stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, gamers experience the 12 official stadiums as they take their team from qualification to glory. In addition to taking control of one of 127 national teams, players will enjoy groundbreaking new play modes. Global Challenge tests even the biggest soccer fanatic by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history with modern teams. True champions can challenge their friends in eight-way multiplayer matches and take advantage of tremendous in-game un-lockable content such as legendary players and exclusive licensed football apparel.

Continue reading "EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA" »

EA DRAFTS HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER REGGIE BUSH AS COVER ATHLETE FOR NCAA FOOTBALL 07 VIDEO GAME

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that former University of Southern California All-American running back and 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy® Award winner Reggie Bush will appear on the cover of NCAA® Football 07, the newest iteration of EA SPORTS™ best-selling college football video game franchise.

“This has been an amazing year for me and being chosen for the cover of NCAA Football 07 is a great way to end my college career,” said Bush. “I’ve grown up playing EA SPORTS games and never imagined I would see myself on the cover of one.”

Bush, who is expected to be one of the top picks in the NFL Draft this weekend, also won the Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year), Doak Walker Award (Best Collegiate Running Back), 2005 Associated Press Player of the Year Award and The Sporting News Player of the Year Award. Starting all 13 games for the Trojans in 2005, Bush led the nation in all-purpose yards per game (222.3) and yards per rush (8.7), guiding USC to its third straight appearance in the national championship game.

NCAA Football 07 is all about turning the tide and features an all-new momentum system where big plays, defensive stops, and special teams keep you in constant struggle for momentum and can change the game at any time. Unprecedented graphics produce living stadiums that capture every moment in complete detail, including the authentic stadiums, mascots, and marching bands, making NCAA Football 07 the most realistic college football gaming experience ever.

Developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon, NCAA Football 07 will be available in July on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. It will also be available for the first time on the Xbox 360™ and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. The game’s official website is www.ncaafootball07.com.

Continue reading "EA DRAFTS HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER REGGIE BUSH AS COVER ATHLETE FOR NCAA FOOTBALL 07 VIDEO GAME" »

Earache Extreme Metal Racing

Stourbridge, England, April, 28th, 2006 - Metro 3D Publishing, Earache Records and games developer Data Design Interactive unveil the pack shot for the all-action packed racing game ‘EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING’ for PlayStation2, PC and PSP all formats which will be due for shipping on 7th July 2006.

EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING will feature ten evil Earache racing teams burning a lot more than rubber through hell and other wastelands. Along with themed tracks from the combatants on the starting grid there’ll also be a plethora of extreme Earache classics making up the soundtrack of the game from such luminaries as Napalm Death, At The Gates, Cathedral, The Haunted, Hate Eternal, Cult Of Luna, Beecher, Urkraft, Anata, Mistress, Severe Torture and many others.


EARACHE ARTISTS CONFIRMED AS RACING 'TEAMS' :

Mortiis

Deicide

Morbid Angel

Akercocke
Decapitated

Biomechanical
Municipal Waste

The Berzerker

Linea 77

Society 1


Ashley Mortimer, Marketing Manager, Earache Records says:

"Earache prides itself on innovation. As an independent label we've been on the cutting edge of unique and groundbreaking music for 15 years and we relish every opportunity, particularly a new or unusual one. We don't know of any other labels who have released their own game and the cross-marketing possibilities are really exciting. Culturally we don't think music and gaming are so far apart, many music fans play computer games, and nearly all gamers listen to music so we have teamed up with DDI and Metro3D to produce Earache Extreme Metal Racing. Your car shreds the opposition, the soundtrack shreds your ears - what a great combination!"


EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING uniquely was conceived and created by 16 year old Gothic metaller Sky Nash and all started as a possible way to not only keep her amused but potentially to dissuade her from following her overworked father into a gaming career.


Frazer Nash of Frazer Nash Communications describes how his daughter created the game during work experience at developer, DDI: “Sky, then just 15, was given a huge responsibility to design her own (tongue in cheek) game. By the end of the first week, she had created a Gothic-looking game, complete with drafted levels and an awesome soundtrack. 12 months on and with professional development courtesy of Sam King and Mike Rooker (art), Mark Gemmell (production), Karl White and Julian Salter (Programming) at DDI. Aimed to appeal to Goth / Rock music fans the world over, Metro 3D have created EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING - a monster of a game.”


Continue reading "Earache Extreme Metal Racing" »

April 27, 2006

OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME

Santa Monica, CA – April 27, 2006 – Over 140 Marvel characters come together in Activision, Inc’s. (Nasdaq: ATVI) Marvel™: Ultimate Alliance, an all-new action/RPG that features the largest roster of comic book characters ever seen in a video game. Players assume the roles of more than 20 Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, and through their actions determine the fate of both planet Earth and the Marvel universe – revealed in one of multiple epilogues.

“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance delivers a new twist on action/RPGs where players’ actions and choices ultimately determine what happens to the Marvel universe,” states Will Kassoy, Vice President of Global Brand Management for Activision. “This coupled with the game’s enormous character roster will deliver an action-packed experience that comic book fans have been waiting for.”

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a deep, rich gameplay experience by offering total team customization, where players create their own team name, icon and vehicle, as well as establish their team reputation as they play throughout the story. Gamers also have the option to level up each character individually to their liking, or all team members at the same time to keep their heroes balanced. With the game’s new combat system, players battle against the world’s most notorious Marvel Super Villains in the air, underwater, and on the ground, using grappling, blocking and dodging moves, by charging up their Super Hero powers before unleashing them, and using environmental objects as one and two-handed weapons.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a unique storyline where the missions players accept, the objectives they complete, and their interactions with other characters throughout the game directly impact how the story plays out. The game also features a robust multiplayer component where fans can band together with friends as their favorite Marvel Super Heroes, and fight evil in both on and offline cooperative story modes. There’s also a Competitive Mode where the game tracks various in-game stats so players can see how well they stack up against one another – affecting the amount of experience points earned and how equipment is distributed.

Created by Raven Software and C.B. Cebulski, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance will be the first Super Hero game out for all next-gen gaming systems, and will also be available on current-gen, handheld and PC platforms. The game is currently rated RP (Rating Pending) by the ESRB and is planned to ship this fall.

Continue reading "OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME" »

You Wanna Rock? The “Be a Guitar Hero” II Competition Kicks Off

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 26, 2006 – Music game publisher RedOctane® today launched their worldwide search for the next guitar hero! The “Be a Guitar Hero” II competition offers independent musicians the opportunity to have their song featured in game play for the upcoming title “Guitar Hero II™” for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. “Guitar Hero II” is the follow-up title to 2005’s award-winning release, “Guitar Hero™, which rocked the game industry and garnered a stack of awards.

Independent artists are eligible to submit original music for inclusion in the sequel “Guitar Hero” videogame, scheduled for North American release in November 2006. Considered songs must fall in the ‘hard rock’ or ‘heavy metal’ genre with a featured lead guitar. RedOctane will accept music entries through their community website www.beaguitarhero.com and submissions must be completed by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 30, 2006. This newly launched website features an easy submission process so contestants can directly upload mp3’s for contest entry.

The grand prize winner will have their song featured in the top-secret track list for “Guitar Hero II” and is eligible for additional publicity through game launch promotions. Graveyard BBQ, the winner of the first “Be a Guitar Hero” competition, will rock live at the RedOctane booth (Kentia Hall #6521) during the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles next month. Their song “Cheat on the Church” is featured as an unlock song in “Guitar Hero”, currently on retail shelves nationwide.

Rock enthusiasts can visit the community website www.beaguitarhero.com to discuss music in the upcoming game and share game tips. A new photo gallery is now available where fans can upload photos of their favorite “Guitar Hero” moments and modded guitar controllers.

The game that has inspired a nation of wannabe rock stars to achieve videogame greatness is scheduled for a new US tour on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in November 2006. Musical giant Gibson Guitar is also expected to be on board. Like the original “Guitar Hero”, a selection of famous Gibson electric guitars will be available for characters to play.

To learn more about the “Be a Guitar Hero” II competition and to read contest rules please visit www.beaguitarhero.com


Continue reading "You Wanna Rock? The “Be a Guitar Hero” II Competition Kicks Off" »

April 26, 2006

KONAMI TO SPONSOR NASPE EVENT AND SHOWCASE DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION AT THE 2006 AAHPERD CONVENTION

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 26, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced its participation at this year’s AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) Convention. With its groundbreaking game series, Dance Dance Revolution® (DDR), Konami has created a fun and healthy way for children and adults to become more active and realize the benefits of physical activity. DDR will be prominently featured at the 2006 AAHPERD trade show (booth # 1634). This year’s AAHPERD convention is scheduled to be held from April 26th through April 28th at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The AAHPERD convention is one of the largest gatherings of health and physical educators in the nation.

Throughout the convention, Konami will be instructing our nation’s physical education teachers on the associated health benefits of DDR and ways to incorporate the game into their Physical Education curriculum. The company will highlight its recently signed three-year partnership with the State of West Virginia that brings DDR into the physical education or health related curriculum based programs in all of the state’s 765 K-12 public schools. Additionally, Konami will discuss other case studies from across the country of how teachers have incorporated DDR into their PE curriculum, as well as success stories about people who have found health benefits from using DDR.

Complete with a special dance pad that plugs directly into the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft or the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, DDR delivers a healthy workout to people of all ages. For those ready to take their exercise experience to an even greater level, DDR comes with a built-in workout mode that allows players to track how many calories they burn as they play. At the booth, Konami will encourage convention visitors to show off their moves on DDR and even compete with others to win their very own copy of the game.

In addition to the activities at the booth, Konami is also sponsoring a NASPE (National Association for Sports and Physical Education) seminar entitled “Interactive Video Games in K-12.” Moderated by Josh M. Trout of California State University, Chico, the seminar will discuss how new interactive video games can actually help increase physical activity levels as well as help students learn about the physiological functions of their bodies.

“DDR has been proven to be an extremely effective way of promoting weight loss among today’s young people and the game fits in perfectly as part of the physical education curriculum in our nation’s schools,” said Clara Gilbert, Director of Business Partnerships, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “DDR is one of the most innovative video game concepts ever, and it is a fun and entertaining way for kids and adults to develop healthy habits and a fitness-oriented lifestyle.”

Konami will be exhibiting its newest iteration of the game, Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX3 for Xbox, at the AAHPERD show in booth # 1634. Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX3 is rated “E10+” for Everyone 10 and older by the ESRB and is available for an SRP of $39.99 for the standalone video game and $64.99 for the dance mat and video game bundle. To learn more about Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX3 and the DDR franchise, please go to: www.konami.com/gs

Continue reading "KONAMI TO SPONSOR NASPE EVENT AND SHOWCASE DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION AT THE 2006 AAHPERD CONVENTION" »

April 25, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES SHIPS ACE COMBAT ZERO™: THE BELKAN WAR

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (April 25, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that the next installment of its top-selling Ace Combat franchise, Ace Combat Zero™: The Belkan War for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system flies onto store shelves today.

“Ace Combat Zero’s elite new features such as the innovative Ace style gauge system where the game changes based on the player’s style, and its increased wingman command, all help to meld Ace Combat Zero into the best yet in the series,” said Yoshi Niki, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.’s Business Unit Director. “We are thrilled to have this superior action title hit stores today.”

A prequel to Ace Combat™ 5: The Unsung War, Ace Combat Zero takes players 15 years into the past and enmeshes them in the turbulent events that led to the Belkan War. Players assume the role of a mercenary pilot hired to fly for Ustio, a small country invaded by its militaristic neighbor Belka. Flying authentic licensed aircrafts such as the F-15 Eagle or F/A-18 Hornet, players fly through 18 realistic missions as they face off against combat-hardened pilots.

Exciting features of Ace Combat Zero include:

§ Advanced AI Changes the Action: Innovative Ace Style Gauge System factors the player’s style of flying and changes different facets of the game accordingly.

§ Personalized Communications: Linked with the Ace Style Gauge System, the Radio Transmission System changes radio communications in real-time according to a player’s reputation. In-game messages from allies and opponents acknowledge the skill level of the player.

§ Individualized Enemy Pilots: Brand new to the series, rival ace pilots give players a run for their money with individual flying styles and tactics that require players to elevate their skills to new heights.

§ Enhanced Wingman Command: Wingman commands are now more advanced than ever as players coordinate battle tactics with their wingman.

§ Retrospective Interviews: Cut-scene interviews of rival pilots comment on their encounters with the player, providing an in depth look into the enemy’s tactical mindset.

§ VS Mode: Players dog-fight in head-to-head action against their friends to prove who is the true Ace in the group.

Fly high with Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War as it hits store shelves nationwide today. For more action-packed screens and inside information on the game check out the NAMCO BANDAI Games official site at www.namcobandaigames.com

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES SHIPS ACE COMBAT ZERO™: THE BELKAN WAR" »

April 21, 2006

EIDOS CONFIRMS URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE RELEASE DATE AND RELEASES NEW TRAILER

San Francisco, CA (April 21, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced that URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response will be released in North America on June 13, 2006 on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Developed by London-based Rocksteady Studios, URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response gives gamers the opportunity to step into the shoes of a real urban superhero. Play as Nick Mason, an ex-US marine and leading member of T-Zero - an elite police counter-gang unit. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero – the last line in urban defense - teams-up with Emergency Services groups including firefighters, paramedics and police to save the city and combat multiple threats including bombings and hostage scenarios.

“URBAN CHAOS is one of the most anticipated games of 2006 and offers a unique experience right at the heart of a full scale riot,” said Helen Clark, Brand Manager, “for fans of the FPS genre, this will be a highly original and intense challenge.”

URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response offers gamers the latest in gaming advancements including realistic and dynamic city environments where all sorts of extreme action takes place, progressive fire effect technology and fully interactive environments, using Havok 3 technology. Players can utilize members of the Emergency Services to progress through levels and save civilians and partner with the riot shield and use it as a weapon or for protection. In hostage scenarios, gamers go head to head with a twisted enemy to save innocent bystanders. Players are tasked to be the hero the city needs... don’t back down in the face of true Urban Chaos!

Continue reading "EIDOS CONFIRMS URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE RELEASE DATE AND RELEASES NEW TRAILER" »

NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER SELECTED FOR COVER OF EA's MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 20, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that NFL MVP and NFC Champion running back Shaun Alexander will appear on the cover of Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the official videogame license of the NFL and its players. With this year’s focus on the running game, Alexander is the perfect representative for the cover of the most popular football videogame franchise. Last year Madden NFL 06 sold more than six million copies.

“To be on the cover of Madden NFL 07 is a big milestone in my career since I have always been a huge fan of this franchise,” said Alexander. “EA SPORTS is focusing on the running game in this year’s version, so I was honored when I was chosen to be on the cover to represent the improved running game.”

Alexander, who was named the NFL MVP and selected for his third consecutive Pro Bowl this past season, is the hottest running back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,150 yards in each of the last five seasons. As the most valuable player in the NFL he rushed for a league-high 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns on 370 carries. He also caught 15 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown, scoring an NFL-record 28 touchdowns, setting a new single-season rushing touchdown record. In addition, he extended his NFL-record number of seasons with at least 15 touchdowns to five. During the season Alexander became the Seahawks career leader in rushing yards (7,817) attempts (1,717) and 100-yard games (33).


Continue reading "NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER SELECTED FOR COVER OF EA's MADDEN NFL 07" »

EIDOS INTERACTIVE LAUNCHES WWW.URBANCHAOSGAME.COM, THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE!

San Francisco, CA (April 20, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announces a new website for its urban superhero action game Urban Chaos: Riot Response.

Visit the site and tune in to Channel 7, the up-to-the-minute news station at the centre of the action in Eidos’ new high velocity shooter, Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Fronted by intrepid news reporter Lani York, Channel 7 offers a stylized and a fully interactive news service featuring studio news desk feeds and live at-the-scene reporting. Find full detailed briefs and videos on each member of the Emergency Service Team in the Technology today section as well as a complete de-brief on the elite counter-gang unit T-Zero – the last line of urban defense. The new site also offers the Lonely Hearts Club that ensures you always find the perfect match online and never face inferior opposition and all the extras you’ve come to expect including downloadable screenshots, videos, trailers, wallpapers, and email tags.

Urban Chaos: Riot Response lets you fight alongside the brave men and women of law enforcement, the fire department, and Emergency Medical services to take the city back by any means necessary. Play as Nick Mason, a hometown hero and key member of T-Zero, the elite counter-gang unit. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero is all that stands in the way of total anarchy. The city needs a superhero – and that’s you.

Continue reading "EIDOS INTERACTIVE LAUNCHES WWW.URBANCHAOSGAME.COM, THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE!" »

Special Abilities of Gunnar Displayed in the Latest Gameplay Video for Rogue Trooper!

Rogue Trooper, the upcoming third person sci-fi action shooter game based off of the popular comic book series from 2000 AD, puts you in the shoes of the last survivor of the Genetic Infantrymen who were set up and brutally massacred. Rogue sets off alone on a mission for revenge as he fights his way through platoons of soldiers to search for the traitor responsible for the death of his comrades. Though alone on the battlefield, the bio-chips containing the genetic information of his fallen comrades Gunnar, Bagman and Helm, have been implanted in his gear, which allows their personalities and abilities to come to life a second time.

Download the new video now at: http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=161!

Continue reading "Special Abilities of Gunnar Displayed in the Latest Gameplay Video for Rogue Trooper!" »

April 19, 2006

SCEA Media Bulletin: PlayStation Family Continues to Lead Videogame Industry

In the month of March, Sony Computer Entertainment America continued to lead the videogame industry, with PlayStation 2 and the PSP(PlayStation Portable) leading the pack as the top selling hardware and portable
platforms in North America, and PlayStation 2 leading software and accessory sales, according to data released by the NPD Group.

Consumer demand for the PlayStation 2 remains strong, March NPD data showed that PlayStation 2 was the top selling hardware platform selling close to 277K units compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 which sold fewer
than 192K units and Xbox which sold close to 83K units, and Nintendo's GameCube which sold almost 63K units.

On the portable gaming front, in March PSP sold close to 186K units, making it the best-selling portable in terms of dollar sales. Following a record-setting launch last March, the PSP has quickly become a cultural icon and a market-altering force with more than 4.5 million units sold in North America.

NPD data also showed that PlayStation 2 led March sales on the software front, selling more than 6 million units, while software for Microsoft's Xbox sold close to 2.2 million units and Xbox 360 sold more than 1.6 million units, software for Nintendo's GameCube sold close to 1.5 million units. To date more than 345 million units of PlayStation 2 software have been sold in the U.S.

Continue reading "SCEA Media Bulletin: PlayStation Family Continues to Lead Videogame Industry" »

April 18, 2006

ALL-STAR CAST SECURED FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME FROM EA AND WARNER BROS.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 18, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today they have secured an all-star cast for the voices in SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME. The game will feature the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), all reprising their roles from the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Bryan Singer.

Launching with the film this summer on June 28, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME allows players to experience a real sense of flying, and master Superman's unrivaled powers in order to save Metropolis. Based on the classic DC Comics books as well as the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME draws from more than 60 years of comic lore to create the ultimate open-world super hero experience.


Continue reading "ALL-STAR CAST SECURED FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME FROM EA AND WARNER BROS." »

"Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT" Ships for PlayStation(R)2

TXRD_middle.jpg

Newport Beach, Calif.-April 18, 2006-Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced they have shipped the next installment in the popular street racing series, Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. With an incredibly low SRP of $14.99, longtime fans of the franchise and newcomers alike can enjoy exhilarating street racing without a huge price tag.

Tokyo Extreme Racer DRIFT takes the adrenaline of street racing into the mountains and onto very demanding courses. Race genuine production cars on real mountain courses. Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Mini, Volkswagen and more are all there to be tested on some of Japan's toughest terrain in Iroha, Haruna, Rokko and Hakone. State-of-the-art data recording techniques ensure that the courses look, feel and race just like the real thing.

Tokyo Extreme Racer DRIFT has two distinct racing challenges. As a race car driver, you take part in official mountain races during the daytime and then race for pride (and car upgrades and parts) at night. The idea is to earn money from day races to enhance your car and then bet car parts in night races. Sponsors will further enhance your income if you are successful. There are uphill and downhill races, day and night time races, challenging weather and season conditions and a nerve-ending one on one rival racing battle system.

"TXR DRIFT still has the elements TXR fans expect," said PSM 100% Independent PlayStation 2 Magazine. "The driving feels as tight as ever, and the new drift mechanics are enjoyable to master."
"There's a lot of drift-oriented racers out there now, but this is the first one that made me feel as if I was barreling down a mountain road," said GotNext.com.

Game features include:
o Drive and compete in licensed cars from Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Mini, Volkswagen and more.
o Customize your cars in endless combinations.
o Master the driving art of "Drift" and earn respect and victories.
o Race in the picturesque and authentic mountain sides of Japan.
o Compete in official day and unofficial night races.
o Winding hills, changing weather and grueling environments affect the race course and test your driving skill.
o Multiplayer competition with rival races.

Continue reading ""Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT" Ships for PlayStation(R)2" »

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a LarryBoy game!

Newport Beach, Calif.--April 17, 2006--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced they have signed an agreement with Big Idea, Inc to publish the first VeggieTales interactive title for videogame consoles, LarryBoy and the Bad Apple. The action-adventure game features LarryBoy, the popular plunger-headed crime-fighting cucumber featured in several best-selling videos, in his quest to save the citizens of Bumblyburg from temptation.

"The VeggieTales stories are a big hit with children and adults alike," said Rob Dyer, COO of Crave Entertainment. "This agreement supports our continuing commitment to providing quality, family-friendly interactive entertainment that appeals to a wide audience."

The world needs a hero and LarryBoy is that hero! When trouble appears, the citizens of Bumblyburg call world-famous crime fighter LarryBoy! Aided only by his trusted butler Alfred (played with zest by Archibald Asparagus), plunger-headed LarryBoy is everything that his alter-ego Larry the Cucumber is not: bold… confident… relentlessly driven… brazenly heroic. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. While he tries to create this impression, inside, LarryBoy is still plain-old Larry. LarryBoy attempts to save the day with clever use of his super-suction ears and the many features of the Larry-Mobile. Call him a kinder, gentler, slightly slower superhero!

The game is expected to be available in late Summer 2006 for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and Game Boy(r) Advance handheld system for an MSRP of $19.99.

Continue reading "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a LarryBoy game!" »

For Those About to Rock With Guitar Hero II, We Salute You! RedOctane Announces Fall US Tour Date

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 17, 2006 – Get ready for a rock encore! RedOctane® announced today that Johnny Napalm and friends will begin touring the US again this Fall in the new videogame “Guitar Hero II™”. Picking up where Guitar Hero™ left off, Guitar Hero II arrives with a new track list, new venues and additional play modes – including the ability to transform the original Guitar Hero SG Controller into a rhythm, lead or bass guitar.

“Guitar Hero has proved phenomenally successful! Guitar Hero veterans will be able to plug in their Guitar Hero SG Controllers and rock GH II straight out of the box,” said Kelly Sumner, CEO of RedOctane. “We will really push the envelope with Guitar Hero II. Despite the fact there are many months until release, we’re already implementing exciting features and innovations. This fall we’re going to rock everyone’s world all over again.”

The top-secret sequel song list remains firmly in the rock domain, pulling from a mix of classic rock, ‘hair’ metal, heavy metal, modern rock, and alternative titles. More than 55 songs will be featured in the next installment.

Veteran music videogame developer Harmonix® Music Systems has been busy in-studio, enriching this rockstar experience with more features and multiplayer modes. In addition to the traditional head-to-head competition, Multiplayer Co-op Mode allows players to collaborate in order to beat songs, with each guitarist playing a separate guitar track. Available guitar tracks include lead, rhythm or bass tracks, depending upon the song. The Guitar Hero SG Controller used in the first installment will also be compatible with the new game.

Guitar Hero II is the follow-up to 2005’s award-winning release, “Guitar Hero,” which rocked the game industry and garnered a stack of awards including: “Best Offline Multiplayer Game 2005” and “Music Game of the Year 2005” from IGN.com, and “Best Soundtrack 2005” at the Spike TV Videogames Awards. Recently, it picked up five awards at the D.I.C.E. Summit's Interactive Achievement Awards including Outstanding Innovation in Gaming and Family Game of the Year.

RedOctane has confirmed an early glimpse of the upcoming game will be available during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles next month.

Continue reading "For Those About to Rock With Guitar Hero II, We Salute You! RedOctane Announces Fall US Tour Date" »

April 13, 2006

UBISOFT TAKES A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE WITH OPEN SEASON

SAN FRANCISCO, CA April 13, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that the Open Season video game, based on Sony Pictures Animation's first feature-length CG animated film, will be shipping mid- September 2006 on all available video game platforms, two weeks prior to the movie's September 29 release. Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreal studio, Open Season will allow gamers to relive the humor and adventure of the movie by creating a fun and immersive interactive world that conveys the same comedic storyline, zany characters and artistic images projected in the animated film.

"We have been working hand-in-hand with Ubisoft's team to create a game that captures all the fun of Open Season," said Mark Caplan, executive director, interactive at Sony Pictures Consumer Products. "Sony Pictures'™ leadership in digital entertainment coupled with Ubisoft's award-winning development team is a great partnership that brings innovation to both the film and video game businesses."

"Ubisoft is thrilled to be collaborating with the movie production team of Open Season to bring the humorous adventures of Boog and Elliot to the interactive world," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is committed to making the best movie-based video games in the industry. We do this by partnering closely with our licensing partners and movie makers to create an experience that remains true to the spirit of the film but expands it far beyond the theater."

Open Season is a riotous romp in the great outdoors, where the rowdy brood of forest animals turns the tables on a bunch of unsuspecting hunters. When a domesticated grizzly named Boog gets lured into leaving the creature comforts of home by a fast-talking mule deer named Elliot, he finds himself lost in the woods just three days before hunting season. Forced to "rough it" in the great outdoors, Boog goes native, rallying all the forest animals to take back their home and send the hunters packing. The Open Season video game will allow player to relive the movie experience by playing as Boog and Elliot. Game features include:
• Interaction with Beth, Shaw and all of the animal favorites from the Open Season film.
• Throwing skunk bombs, hurling rabbits, using acorn-firing squirrels and pulling outrageous woodland pranks to scare the pants off the
hunters.
• Rolling in a giant snowball, riding the rapids on a floating outhouse, zipping through tunnels in a crazy mine cart ride and taking on more madcap adventures as Boog discovers how to go from mild to wild.
• Ability to challenge friends or team up in hilarious four-player mini-games.

Continue reading "UBISOFT TAKES A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE WITH OPEN SEASON" »

April 11, 2006

Namco Bandai's Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave Scheduled for Lift Off This Fall

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (April 11, 2006) - Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that "Eureka Seven(TM) Vol 1: The New Wave," an exciting mecha combat adventure for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, is scheduled to ship this fall. A prequel to the anime series from Bandai Entertainment, "Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave" promises an intense action-based storyline rife with stunning aerial boarding and thrilling robot battles.

Featuring transformable mechas called LFO (Light Finding Operation), "Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave" introduces Sumner Sturgeon, a budding LFO pilot trainee on a lush, futuristic planet whose primary energy source are "trapars" - invisible energy particles that provides lift for aerial travel. An aspiring elite military officer, Sumner can transform his LFO into its humanoid form to surf the skies on a ref board or remain in vehicle mode to participate in exhilarating high-speed chases. "Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave" offers a variety of gameplay modes as the gamer can switch from playing the character and controlling the LFO mechas in real time. With customizable mechas, this upcoming title guarantees an intriguing storyline and exciting combat in an unforgettable sci-fi world.

Continue reading "Namco Bandai's Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave Scheduled for Lift Off This Fall" »

April 10, 2006

Official TV Commercial Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

Lara Croft is known for traveling the world, however tomorrow it is her new adventure, Tomb Raider: Legend, which is taking a journey as it is set to ship to retailers on April 11th! The wait is over, and the time has come for celebration. What better way to mark the occasion than to deliver you a copy of the official television commercial which you can expect to see on some popular channels soon! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and with the highly detailed interactive environments, it is definitely a game that you do not want to miss! Lara Croft moves with beautiful fluid movement, and her new acrobatic moves coupled with the gaming dynamics brought by gear such as the magnetic grapple make this the most intense tomb raiding experience to date! The commercial features some great action adventure sequences, along with a lot of the stellar praise that Tomb Raider: Legend has been receiving from the press!

Here's the Ad.

Continue reading "Official TV Commercial Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

April 7, 2006

Eidos Releases 6 Spectacular New Videos for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

There are only a few days remaining until the North American launch of the most anticipated game in the Tomb Raider franchise yet! Since the day when you can finally make Tomb Raider: Legend your own is so near, it is time to overhaul you with media, as we are releasing 6 spectacular brand new videos! Tomb Raider: Legend features the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and she has gained some brand new acrobatic moves and gadgets which make traversing the beautiful interactive environments pure joy. These new videos give you another sneak peak at some of the great new features of the game such as how Lara Croft can climb around with beautiful fluid movement, the new magnetic grapple gadget in action, and some of the deadly traps that she encounters in the tombs. On top of it all, we also are showing you a few cut-scenes which are displayed in true cinematic quality.

Continue reading "Eidos Releases 6 Spectacular New Videos for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

April 4, 2006

The Intense Stealth Combat Game Commandos Strike Force Ships to Stores Today!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game is on its way to retailers today, and tomorrow the Strike Force team will be waiting for your command. Commandos Strike Force fuses the first person action shooter genre with intense stealth combat to give you a brand new World War II experience unlike any other game. Using the unique skills and abilities of the three different members of your elite Strike Force team, infiltrate behind enemy lines and strike your foes when they least expect it.

Continue reading "The Intense Stealth Combat Game Commandos Strike Force Ships to Stores Today!" »

March 31, 2006

MIDWAY Shoots And Scores As NBA BALLERS: PHENOM Hits Store Shelves

CHICAGO – March 31, 2006 – Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY), a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, today announced that NBA Ballers: Phenom, follow up to the million unit-plus selling NBA Ballers, has shipped for the Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and is scheduled to be available on April 5 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Midway also announced that NBA Ballers: Rebound for the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system is scheduled for release on May 2.

Backed by a multi–million dollar marketing and promotional campaign, NBA Ballers: Phenom sets a new standard for basketball videogames. The highly anticipated sequel in the NBA Ballers franchise takes flight with even more player customization options and all–new game modes that make NBA Ballers: Phenom the most in–depth and innovative basketball game in Midway's rich basketball history.

"NBA Ballers: Phenom is a unique combination of the franchise's highly praised, fast–paced basketball gameplay and the culture of today's professional athlete celebrity, " said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Midway is continuously looking for ways to improve the player's ability to fully customize and interact with the game environment and to ultimately make decisions throughout the gameplay experience that affect the end result. NBA Ballers: Phenom retains the over the top basketball gameplay that Midway is known for while also offering the player so much more, both on and off the court."
NBA Ballers: Phenom Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Campaign includes:

* National television advertising campaign on multiple mainstream broadcast and cable networks ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, TNT, MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike TV
* SpikeTV’s NBA Ballers Week commenced in April with two (2) NBA Ballers: Phenom–focused episodes of "GameHead" and will continue through launch with integrations across the network's popular programming.
* Large presence during 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend included sponsorship of Club NBA music events, product sampling, and giveaways
* Aggressive online campaign to top-tier enthusiast and mainstream consumer sites including NBA.com, Gamespot.com, IGN.com, and UGO.com, among others
* Print advertising campaign across multiple major video game and consumer publications including FHM, VIBE, Game Informer, and Official PlayStation Magazine
* National launch program across all game retailers, where gamers receive a 16 song NBA Ballers: Phenom Soundtrack featuring video game exclusive tracks by artists like Jin, Basement Beats, and Phife from a Tribe Called Quest. (Limited time offer, while supplies last)
* Dedicated web presence at www.nbaballers.com, the official website of NBA Ballers: Phenom.

About NBA Ballers: Phenom

NBA Ballers: Phenom is a revolutionary sports video game that introduces an entirely new open world and interactive environment, featuring an exciting story mode and even more player customization opportunities than its predecessor. Set in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the player controls his own destiny, embarking on a personal quest to become tomorrow’s NBA phenomenon. For the first time ever in the NBA Ballers franchise, the NBA Ballers: Phenom story mode allows the unique opportunity to develop both on and off-the-court adventures. Players can follow the Baller’s dream by getting noticed on the court and drafted into the NBA, as well as become an entrepreneur off-the-court complete with clothing line, record label and movie deal.
About NBA Ballers: Rebound

NBA Ballers: Rebound is the only one–on–one basketball videogame available for the PSP highlighting the rags–to–riches path from an unknown Baller to today's biggest NBA superstar and is based on the original Midway title, NBA Ballers.

Continue reading "MIDWAY Shoots And Scores As NBA BALLERS: PHENOM Hits Store Shelves" »

March 30, 2006

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Available Now For The PlayStation®2

SAN FRANCISCO March 30, 2006 - Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that its hit title Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has shipped to retail outlets and is currently available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has an ESRB rating of T for Teen and an MSRP of $49.99.

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:

The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) evolving what we know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield. Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the battlefield. They are the “quiet” professionals. They are the Ghosts.

Key Features:
Put on the new lethal, fully-integrated combat system developed by the U.S. Army for its elite soldiers.

The satellite powered CROSS COM communication device:
- Enhances your strategic vision of the battlefield, and allows effortless command of your squad and other allied forces.

- Direct precision air strikes, Apache gunship support and artillery strikes.

Master deadly prototype high tech weapons that are inspired by actual army research programs, like the Crye caseless assault rifle.

Fight through the war-torn streets of tomorrow's Mexico City in exclusively-designed maps.

Continue reading "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Available Now For The PlayStation®2" »

Agent 47 Displays Methods of Accessing His Targets in the Latest Video

In order to execute the perfect hit, a detailed plan of action is needed. However, though planning is essential, the actual implementation is where your life is on the line, and a single mistake could be deadly. In order to gain access to your target, you must use a variety of tactics, all without being seen. This latest video shows Agent 47 in action, as he gets close to his target, and obtains a position to make the kill. Hitman: Blood Money, the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise gives Agent 47 brand new moves to gain access to his targets and puts the decision making in your hands, as the brand new levels provide you with complete freedom to determine how to make the hit. Prepare to make a killing, as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring 2006, for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

Continue reading "Agent 47 Displays Methods of Accessing His Targets in the Latest Video" »

March 29, 2006

SNK PLAYMORE USA Announces THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 for the PlayStation 2

WALL, NJ. - March 29, 2006 - SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION, announced THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006, an original 3D fighting game designed specifically for home consoles, and produced by noted artist and designer, Falcoon. KOF 2006 will ship for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in summer 2006. THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 is the sequel to SNK's first 3D fighting game, THE KING OF FIGHTERS: MAXIMUM IMPACT.

Currently celebrating its twelfth year as one of the most popular fighting video game franchises in the history of gaming, THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 will continue to build on the series' rich history with several new characters, as well as many returning favorites. KOF 2006 will feature characters from THE KING OF FIGHTERS: MAXIMUM IMPACT and a number of hidden characters.

"KOF 2006 will be a perfect mix of speed, beauty and an all-new story line." said Ben Herman, SNK PLAYMORE USA president. "Our fans expect our fighting games to be fast - whether they're 2D or 3D, and KOF 2006 is not going to disappoint them."
About SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION (SNK) develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1978, SNK is one of the largest privately held interactive entertainment content providers in the world. Known for such franchises as THE KING OF FIGHTERS, METAL SLUG, and SAMURAI SHODOWN, SNK continues to be an industry leader by focusing on their rich arcade history. More information on SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION can be found at www.snkplaymore.co.jp

Continue reading "SNK PLAYMORE USA Announces THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 for the PlayStation 2" »

Vicious Gameplay Video Released For Urban Chaos: Riot Response!

When trying to take back a city held hostage by a ruthless gang of pyromaniacs, there is no need to play nice. The new action packed first person shooter Urban Chaos: Riot Response puts you in the shoes of Nick Mason, a true civic super hero in charge of the elite anti-gang unit T-Zero, and you have been given clearance to use any means necessary to take back your city. This week’s gameplay video gives you a sneak peak at what the psychopathic gang known as the Burners have in store for them, and from the looks of the video, they are going to have some serious regrets about ever lighting up their torches. Normally a stun gun is one of the more peaceful weapons, however when innocent civilian lives are at stake, leaving it on a tad bit longer than normal to take out a burner in true pyromaniac style can prove a point. Just in case they didn’t get the message, a few up-close blasts from a sawed-off shotgun should make it clear that the time for playing games has passed.

Continue reading "Vicious Gameplay Video Released For Urban Chaos: Riot Response!" »

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend Has Officially Gone Gold!

It seems as if Lara Croft has acquired the Midas touch, because her latest game Tomb Raider: Legend has officially Gone Gold and is ready for production! Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara Croft’s return to what she does best, as she is set to travel the world raiding the most deadly tombs the series has seen yet. Equipped with new acrobatic moves and beautiful fluid movement, Lara Croft allows you to explore the vastly detailed and interactive environments with such grace that makes the experience like poetry in motion. Action, adventure and beauty... what more can you ask for from a game?

Continue reading "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend Has Officially Gone Gold!" »

New Trailer Released for Rogue Trooper Featuring Stealth Combat!

Rogue Trooper, the new sci-fi action shooter game based of the comic book series from 2000 AD, puts you in the shoes of a pissed off genetic infantryman whose sole purpose is getting revenge on those who set up his race for destruction.

Vastly outnumbered, take on full platoons of soldiers with only the aid of your fallen comrades, whose bio-chips have been implanted into Rogue’s gear. With such a difficult task at hand, the only chance you have at success is to plan out your attack, stay low, and strike when it hurts the most. Luckily for Rogue Trooper, his comrades Gunnar, Helm and Bagman have a few surprises in store for their enemies. Set up Gunnar as a turret, to provide cover fire while you get a better vantage point. Use Helm to act as a Holodecoy to distract your enemies as you attack them from behind. And when the situation calls for an ambush, Bagman is more than happy to lay down a field of micro-mines to ensure that it’s an explosive encounter. These special abilities give Rogue Trooper the edge he needs, and along with his massive arsenal of high-tech weaponry, anyone who stands in his way is in for some pain.

Continue reading "New Trailer Released for Rogue Trooper Featuring Stealth Combat!" »

March 28, 2006

AN EPIC JOURNEY BEGINS AS KINGDOM HEARTS II SHIPS IN NORTH AMERICA

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 28, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc. (Square Enix), the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, and Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today that the highly-anticipated role-playing game (RPG), KINGDOM HEARTS® II, has shipped to retailers nationwide. Exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, KINGDOM HEARTS II is the sequel to KINGDOM HEARTS, one of the top ten best-selling PlayStation 2 titles of all time in North America (Source: The NPD Group, Dec. 2005).

KINGDOM HEARTS II features an all-star ensemble voice cast led by Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”) as the main character Sora, joined by David Gallagher (“7th Heaven”) as Riku, and Hayden Panettiere (“Racing Stripes,” “Raising Helen”) as Kairi. KINGDOM HEARTS II will also feature the voice talents of Jesse McCartney (“Summerland,” Recording artist, “Beautiful Soul” CD) as the mysterious boy Roxas, Brittany Snow (“The Pacifier,” “American Dreams”) as Namine, Christopher Lee (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”) as Diz; Steve Burton (“The Last Castle,” “Taken”) as Cloud, Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That,” “Josie And The Pussycats”) as Tifa and Mena Suvari (“American Beauty,” “Rumor Has It”) as Aerith, all characters from FINAL FANTASY® VII; and Hedy Buress (“Boston Common,” “If These Walls Could Talk”), Tara Strong (“Fairly OddParents : Shadow Showdown,” “Teen Titans”) , Gwendoline Yeo (“Desperate Housewives,” “24”) as the popular female-trio Yuna, Rikku, Paine from FINAL FANTASY X-2. In addition, many of the original Disney film voice actors are reprising their role for this project, including Ming-Na (“ER,” “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”) as Mulan, James Woods (“Be Cool”) as the villain Hades and Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) as Chicken Little.


Since its release in September 2002, the original KINGDOM HEARTS for the PlayStation 2 has shipped more than 2.6 million units in North America. Bridging the gap between the original and the sequel, KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF MEMORIES followed in December 2004 for the Nintendo® Game Boy Advance® system. With the release of the Japanese version of KINGDOM HEARTS II in December 2005 (1 million units shipped during the first three days after the release date), the series has shipped in excess of 7.5 million units worldwide.

The world of KINGDOM HEARTS joins classic Disney characters and worlds together with a new story filled with new characters and environments from the expertise of Square Enix. The result is a remarkable, innovative, original property that has captured the attention of both gamers and critics alike. In KINGDOM HEARTS II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game features more than 100 Disney characters, including the new additions of Chicken Little, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and one of Disney’s favorite villains, Pete. The game also also introduces new, original characters such as Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles FINAL FANTASY VII, VIII, X and X-2.

“KINGDOM HEARTS II is a perfect demonstration of what can be created when two companies with astounding resources come together,” said Daishiro Okada, president and COO, Square Enix, Inc. “The result is an absolutely stunning video game that will engage gamers of all ages in multiple worlds both familiar and new."

“The creative collaboration between the Disney and Square Enix production teams has resulted in a game that is not only innovative but truly remarkable in scope,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “With the addition of new worlds from Mickey Mouse’s classic screen debut in ‘Steamboat Willie’ to the current film franchise ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ KINGDOM HEARTS II covers the spectrum of Disney properties.”

KINGDOM HEARTS II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest, after the events of KINGDOM HEARTS. Sora is looking for his lost friend Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king. The story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself. Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand new.

KINGDOM HEARTS II features a new and improved real-time battle system which provides an increased selection of commands, such as performing special attacks and cooperative attacks with members of your party, adding strategy to the gameplay. Players can also perform the “Drive” to transform main character Sora into his various forms, altering his skills and abilities. Examples include the Brave Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Goofy allowing him to use two Keyblades; the Wisdom Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Donald allowing him to increase his magic power; and the Master Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of both Donald and Goofy and increases both his attack and magic powers. These new features bring additional challenges and excitement to players and further enhance gameplay.


Japanese pop artist Utada Hikaru returns to sing the theme song for KINGDOM HEARTS II. The song titled “Sanctuary,” the English version of its original Japanese release “Passion,” was written specifically for KINGDOM HEARTS II. More information on the artist can be found at http://www.utada.com .

The launch of KINGDOM HEARTS II is supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, driving the message “New Allies. New Worlds. New Adventures. The story is not over.” The campaign rolled out in mid-March and will continue for three months. The broadcast campaign began on March 27 and will run for four weeks. Both :15 and :30 spots will run on networks including Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Fuel, Fuse, G4, MTV and MTV2. The print campaign includes Electronic Gaming Monthly, Game Informer, Official PlayStation Magazine, NewType USA and Disney Adventures. Online advertisements will appear in a variety of sites including 1UP.com, IGN.com, Gamspot.com, Neopets.com, AOL.com, MSN.com, and Yahoo.com.


BradyGames' KINGDOM HEARTS II Official Strategy Guide provides information to assist gamers in helping Sora successfully battle through every world in this highly acclaimed sequel. A comprehensive walkthrough with extensive coverage of all the worlds and detailed area maps with item callouts help players navigate through the game with ease. Players will also learn how to master every mini-game with uncanny efficiency and defeat evil minions with helpful tips and game-tested boss strategies. As an added bonus, a two-sided Gummi Ship foldout containing expert tactics to decisively win each Gummi Ship battle, plus cool artwork of the heroes in their alternate costumes, is provided. Players will also love the Gummi Garage, an all-inclusive list of blueprints and Gummi blocks, to aid them in constructing a top-notch Gummi Ship. The Official Strategy Guide, part of BradyGames' Signature Series, will retail for $19.99 US / $26.99 CAN and is also available online at http://www.bradygames.com .


And for die-hard fans, BradyGames is offering another collectible - a KINGDOM HEARTS II Limited Edition Strategy Guide. This exclusive product features a Signature Series strategy guide with one of four special cover designs-not available anywhere else. A copy of Jiminy's Journal is also included, for players to record their progress through the entire game. With more than 400 stickers, the Jiminy's Journal will help players keep track of characters, treasures and more. A deluxe jacket encases this limited edition package. The KINGDOM HEARTS II Limited Edition Strategy Guide will retail for $29.99 US / $39.99 CAN and is also available online at http://www.bradygames.com for a limited time only.

Continue reading "AN EPIC JOURNEY BEGINS AS KINGDOM HEARTS II SHIPS IN NORTH AMERICA" »

SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPION PITTBURGH STEELERS COACH BILL COWHER TO GRACE COVER OF NFL HEAD COACH FROM EA

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 29, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher will be on the cover of NFL Head Coach¸ available in stores June 20, under the EA SPORTS™ brand. NFL Head Coach is in development at EA Tiburon, EA’s studio responsible for other NFL videogame franchises including: Madden NFL Football and NFL STREET. This is the first-ever 3D sports strategy game where you can experience the emotional rollercoaster of coaching with the most true-to-life and authentic sports strategy game ever created.

Cowher, the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, is fresh off his first Super Bowl title with a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In 14 seasons under the leadership of Cowher, the Steelers have earned 10 postseason berths, captured nine division titles, advanced to six AFC Championship games and have made two Super Bowl appearances. The Pittsburgh-area native is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least eight division titles and ranks ninth in NFL history for longest head coaching service with one team.

“With NFL Head Coach there is finally a game that gives true football fans the chance to strategize and become the head coach of their favorite team,” said Cowher. “Coaching is about leadership and everyone will now see how difficult, but also how rewarding coaching can be.”

NFL Head Coach challenges gamers to build and manage every aspect of a football team from the ground up. A simple conversation system and an engaging graphical interface allow users to immerse themselves into the lives of an NFL head coach. As head coach, you develop a team strategy, execute it on and off the field, and try to build a winning organization year after year. Your status as a coaching legend will rise and fall based on all of your actions as you strive to become the greatest head coach of all time.

Continue reading "SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPION PITTBURGH STEELERS COACH BILL COWHER TO GRACE COVER OF NFL HEAD COACH FROM EA" »

KONAMI SHIPS beatmania TO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 28, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that beatmania™, the first DJ simulation video game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Expanding Konami’s library of leading music video games such as Dance Dance Revolution® and Karaoke Revolution®, beatmania lets players step into the virtual DJ booth as they create music from a number of genres using the game’s unique turntable controller.

beatmania combines fun, fast-paced music with eye catching visuals to create an original experience in the music genre. Using the game’s turntable controller, players perform music by hitting keys and scratching the turntable as indicated by the action on the screen. Players can choose to perform more than 50 tracks, including music by Moby, Timo Maas and other popular songs or select tunes from one of the many leading genres of music, including pop, techno, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, trance and house.

beatmania contains both the original beatmania and beatmania IIDX games that were previously released overseas. Each game consists of several different gameplay modes that make the game easy to learn, yet challenging for advanced players to master. Depending on the skill level of each player, the game can be played with either five keys plus the turntable or the controller’s full seven keys and the turntable for the ultimate intense DJ experience. Players can choose to spin alone or competitively with a friend, and even upload their high scores to an online leaderboard to see how they stack up with the competition from around the country.

“beatmania expands Konami’s leadership in the music genre with a fast-paced experience that recreates the energy of a club and puts the player at the center of the music,” said Jason Enos, Product Manager with Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “With two full games in one package, more than 50 diverse songs to choose from and a turntable controller that brings the hit arcade experience into the home, music fans are in for a treat when they start spinning and scratching with beatmania.”

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March 25, 2006

Get Another Inside Look at the Commandos Strike Force Team in the Latest Developer Video!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game which fuses first person shooter style gamplay with strategic stealth combat is almost at your fingertips. To give you another inside glimpse of Pyro Studios hard at work redefining their successful franchise we have made another developer video available over at Eidos Interactive. This week’s video goes into detail about the teams involved to make the different versions of Commandos Strike Force for the PS2, Xbox and PC, as well as how they strived to make the game set itself apart from other games in the first person shooter genre. There is also a segment that goes into detail about the extensive testing that was done on the title, to ensure that it stands up to their rigorous standards of quality. The wait is almost over, as Commandos Strike Force is set to ship April 4th in North America for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

Continue reading "Get Another Inside Look at the Commandos Strike Force Team in the Latest Developer Video!" »

March 24, 2006

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX & PS2 TO SHIP ON OPENING DAY OF BASEBALL SEASON!

BREAKING NEWS - SAN RAFAEL, CA - MARCH 24, 2006

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX AND PS2 SHIPPING ON OPENING DAY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON!

Baseball fans now have two things to celebrate on April 3rd! Just in time for Opening Day, Major League Baseball® 2K6 for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system ships to retailers across North America on April 3rd.

The only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 catapults gamers into the ultimate MLB experience with a bevy of exciting features, such as addictive gameplay, striking graphics, the new Swing Stick™, Inside Edge™ technology, unparalleled online play, and more.

Major League Baseball 2K6 is rated "E" for Everyone and will be available in North American retail stores for $39.99 on current generation platforms and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and $59.99 on Xbox 360.

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Agent 47 Prepares to Make a Killing in the Latest Video for Hitman: Blood Money!

To be a professional hitman, you must always be prepared. Not having a proper plan put together will only lead to mistakes, and as the world’s deadliest assassin, Agent 47 does not make mistakes. Planning the proper hit takes strategy, wits and precision; the ability to get into position unnoticed, execute your plan, and then leave without a trace. It’s like an art form, and the latest video from Hitman: Blood Money shows the legendary artist of execution at work as Agent 47 puts together a plan that ends with the perfect shot. The latest installment of the Hitman franchise puts you in control, as you determine the best way to make the hit... but be prepared, for the blood will be on your hands.

Download the video now here:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159!

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March 23, 2006

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams

Score 4 out of 5
Rated "M" for Mature
Capcom Entertainment, www.capcom.com

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadown now looms over Japan as Nobumaga's successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power and skill, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi's pursuit for power.

The Onimusha series has long been a favorite of mine. The formula is a good one: present enemies that gradually grow more difficult and couple that with some puzzles to keep the brain as active as the fingers. It works for me. Essentially, your character needs to destroy evil Genma (think of them as spiritual monsters). After you strike down each enemy warrior, you capture his soul and maybe some health. The souls are like experience points that you can use to improve your weapons and characters. You learn special (and devastating) attacks and unleash them on monster after monster.

New to Dawn of Dreams is the ability to control more than one character. The game has been rounded out to be more of an RPG as you contol a party and have the chance to improve your characters skills. This increases replay value, but in my opinion it makes the game more complicated than it has to be. You can give commands to your allies such as tell them to wait, follow, attack, defend, etc. You can combine your power to perform insanely powerful attacks. The cast of characters includes a girl named Jubei, a mysterious monk named Tenkai, the powerful and gorgeous Ohatsu and the Japanese-Spaniard brawler named Roberto. Each character possesses his or her own set of skills and special abilities.

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"Shadow of the Colossus" Dominates 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Five Awards, Including Best Game

SAN JOSE, Calif. - March 23, 2006 - Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation(r) 2 adventure "Shadow of the Colossus" was the recipient of five top honors including Best Game at the 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. The ceremony, produced and hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and presented by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), is the only peer-based, open nomination awards program in the industry where honors are bestowed to developers by developers. Recipients were announced last night at the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Jose.

"Game creators have earned the recognition we give other celebrities such as movie stars and pop singers, and they've provided an undeniable contribution to world culture in light of the hours of entertainment they deliver,"said Jamil Moledina, director, Game Developers Conference. "Games really are a 21st century art form, and our goal in hosting and producing the Game Developers Choice Awards is to validate the achievements of these creative artists."

Nominations were free of charge and open to all IGDA members, ensuring that the nominees reflect the international development community's opinions. The IGDA membership voted on the finalists.

The recipients for the 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards are:

Best Game

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Kenji Kaido, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Fumito Ueda

Audio

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems / RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

Character Design

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Atsuko Fukuyama, Hitoshi Niwa, Shunpei Suzuki, Fumito Ueda

Game Design

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda

Technology

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Visual Arts

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Koji Hasegawa, Masanori Kajita, Hironobu Nakano, Fumito Ueda

Writing

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions / Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Tim Schafer, Erik Wolpaw

New Studio

Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Caroline Esmurdoc, Tim Schafer

Innovation

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems / RedOctane)
- Greg LoPiccolo, Ryan Lesser

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige, Hideki Konno, Shigeru Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Mizuki

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda

Recipients for the evening's special awards were:

Lifetime Achievement

Richard Garriott

First Penguin

Will Crowther, Don Woods

Maverick

Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Community Contribution

Chris Hecker

"Developers fuel the creative engine that propels the gaming industry forward and it is of paramount importance to recognize their hard work producing brilliant games," said Jason Della Rocca, executive director, IGDA.

The 6th annual Game Developer Choice Awards are supported by Platinum Sponsor Motorola and Gold Sponsor AGEIA.

Continue reading ""Shadow of the Colossus" Dominates 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Five Awards, Including Best Game" »

2K Sports Creates All-Star Music Lineup from Matador Records for Major League Baseball® 2K6 Video Game

New York, NY – March 23, 2006 – 2K Sports, the sports publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), today announced that Matador Records, among other record labels, is providing music for the in-game Major League Baseball® 2K6 soundtrack. This is the first time Matador has licensed a block of music for a video game soundtrack to showcase the label’s diverse and revered catalog of artists. Music from Major League Baseball 2K6 will also be featured on the newly launched 2K Beats Internet radio station as a key component of 2K Sports’ extensive 2K Beats music marketing and integration campaign.

Featuring a motivationally-charged and catchy mix of music, Major League Baseball 2K6’s soundtrack features 19 songs, including songs from influential Matador artists such as Interpol, Stephen Malkmus, Pavement, Belle & Sebastian, and Guided By Voices.

Major League Baseball 2K6 will feature the following Matador Records’ tracks:

· Belle and Sebastian - To Be Myself Completely and Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie

· Cornelius - Drop, Count Five Or Six

· Early Man - Closing In (The Medley)

· Interpol - Evil

· Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak

· Pavement - Serpentine Pad

· Preston School of Industry - Line It Up

· Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Grandmother Wolf

· Stephen Malkmus - Loud Cloud Crowd

· The Double - Icy, Idiocy

· Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day

“We are excited to have Matador Records involved with Major League Baseball 2K6, given the label’s strong reputation for representing some of music’s most influential and eclectic bands,” said Tim Rosa, Director of Brand and Lifestyle Marketing for 2K Sports. “Matador’s participation creates a robust and compelling soundtrack that redefines the notion of ‘baseball music’ without tampering with the authentic MLB experience gamers expect.”

“We are pleased to license a wide range of songs from Matador artists for the 2K Sports Major League Baseball 2K6 video game,” said Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy. “Given that our roster is filled with avid gamers and baseball fans, this was a natural fit.”

2K Sports’ new music marketing initiative, 2K Beats, includes an exceptionally deep level of in-game music integration featuring access to artist bios, songs, photos, discography and contact information. Also, as the first Internet radio station by a video game publisher, 2K Beats will feature online artist pages, radio promotions, partnership programs and special events.

In addition to featuring the premier of Major League Baseball 2K6’s soundtrack, 2K Beats radio will include all of the past and present music tracks from 2K Sports’ critically acclaimed titles available for streaming at www.2ksports.com/2kbeats.

“2K Sports is at the forefront of video game, technology and music convergence,” said Tim Rosa. “So, an Internet radio station that showcases the music of 2K Sports is a natural evolution for our brand.”

As the exclusive and only officially licensed MLB® video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 will be available this spring for Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and Nintendo GameCube™. Including innovative features such as Inside Edge technology, Swing Stick™, a new movement system and realistic player collisions, Major League Baseball 2K6 takes the virtual baseball experience to the next level.

Continue reading "2K Sports Creates All-Star Music Lineup from Matador Records for Major League Baseball® 2K6 Video Game" »

March 22, 2006

Stunning New Trailer Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

This trailer is worth watching. The gameplay looks amazingly fluid.

Lara Croft is back in action, and her new adventure is the best looking Tomb Raider game you’ve ever seen! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara’s return to the tombs, which are now larger, more immersive and interactive then ever before, delivering you the true sense of adventure and exploration which made the series rise to the top. Next generation graphics coupled with the beautiful fluid movement of Lara Croft ensure that both the environments and gaming’s lead heroine are absolutely stunning to watch. Her new acrobatic moves along with new gear such as the magnetic grapple make traversing the deadly terrain of the tombs absolutely exhilarating, as you take control of Lara Croft and perform death defying stunts at great heights. The latest trailer gives you another look into Lara Croft’s latest adventure, and it will prove that Tomb Raider: Legend is definitely a game you do not want to miss!

Download the new trailer here at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158

Continue reading "Stunning New Trailer Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX AND PS2 HAS GONE GOLD!

Major League Baseball 2K6 for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the latest in the popular Major League Baseball 2K video game series, has gone gold and is set to hit store shelves on April 11. Major League Baseball 2K6 showcases standard-setting features, stunning graphics, unparalleled gameplay and online play.

As the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 brings baseball to life with a slew of exciting features. The new Swing Stick™ swinging mechanic, Payoff Pitching™, a revolutionary new pitching system, AI-driven Inside Edge™ technology, Pure Motion Physics, World Baseball Classic Mode, new catcher mechanics, and an all-star commentary lineup featuring Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, among other features all contribute to the realism and authenticity of the game.

Major League Baseball 2K6 also includes a motivationally-charged and diverse mix of music tracks from artists such as Stephen Malkmus, Pavement, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai and Guided By Voices.

Major League Baseball 2K6 with these features and more will be available on April 11, 2006 for the Xbox and PS2!

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX AND PS2 HAS GONE GOLD!" »

March 21, 2006

EA’S THE GODFATHER THE GAME WELCOMES YOU TO THE FAMILY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 21, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced The Godfather™ The Game videogame has shipped and is on store shelves today in North America and March 24th in Europe. Gamers worldwide can step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC. Developed by EA, the highly-anticipated open-world videogame is based on the critically-acclaimed book by Mario Puzo and the classic film by Paramount Pictures through a strategic licensing relationship with Viacom Consumer Products. A Limited Edition for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, featuring behind the scenes content including footage from voice over sessions with James Caan and Robert Duvall, also is available in stores. The Godfather The Game for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system will be available later in 2006.

EA’s The Godfather The Game puts the player at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and choose which style to work your way to the top – Il Capo Tutto di Capi. The game goes beyond the films and book to actually create the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s-50s New York City. Relive classic moments from the fiction and experience open-world gameplay alongside unforgettable characters from the film such as Luca Brasi, Sonny, Tom Hagan, and of course, Don Vito Corleone himself. Actors from the film, including Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall, reprised their roles lending their voices to the game.

“The Godfather is one of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable works of fiction in the world and we worked very hard to create the Godfather Interactive experience,” said David DeMartini Executive Producer of The Godfather The Game.

“Our goal has always been to maintain the legacy of The Godfather and empower players to interact in the world based on one of the most remarkable motion pictures of all time,” said Sandi Isaacs, Vice President of Interactive at Viacom Consumer Products. “Electronic Arts has been an exceptional partner and we’re incredibly excited to launch one of the most anticipated games of the year.”

Continue reading "EA’S THE GODFATHER THE GAME WELCOMES YOU TO THE FAMILY" »

March 20, 2006

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH SNOWBLIND STUDIOS FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES VIDEOGAME

BURBANK, Calif. - March 20, 2006 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will launch the JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROESTM videogame, based on the legendary DC Comics' super hero team and developed by Snowblind Studios, for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system in Fall 2006.

The JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES game will feature an original story from award winning comic book and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock, Justice League, Teen Titans, Damage Control, Deathlok).

"In JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES, gamers get to play Batman and Superman together along with an amazing team of super heroes wielding unprecedented powers for stand alone action on consoles and the PSP system," said Jason Hall, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "The game utilizes Snowblind's innovative gameplay technologies and the respected story writing of Dwayne McDuffie to bring fans and gamers some of the best super hero battles in the universe."

"Working on JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES is exciting, because players will get a chance to experience the superpowers of these well-known and loved super heroes together first hand," said Paul Knutzen, Game Designer, Snowblind Studios. "This is a real opportunity to bring the celebrated characters to life in dynamic gameplay, showcasing their individual powers and their incredible capabilities working as a team."

"Comics and videogames go hand in hand, so it's only natural to have a game featuring iconic characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman," noted Paul Levitz, DC Comics President and Publisher. "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will do a great job of bringing the Justice League to life."

Continue reading "WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH SNOWBLIND STUDIOS FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES VIDEOGAME" »

March 16, 2006

Agent 47 Practices His New Moves on a Giant Chicken in the Latest Batch of Screenshots for Hitman: Blood Money!

Normally it’s rare to come across a man in an oversized bird suit, but at the world’s largest party, the Mardi Gras, it’s commonplace. However, what’s definitely out of the ordinary is to see a professional hitman stalking such a man in costume. Sadly for the man in the bird suit, he must have rubbed Agent 47 the wrong way, because in the latest batch of screenshots he is trying out a few of his new kill moves at the bird man’s expense!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Continue reading "Agent 47 Practices His New Moves on a Giant Chicken in the Latest Batch of Screenshots for Hitman: Blood Money!" »

Midway Demos

I met with Midway yesterday at the W Hotel where they had the greatest rice krispy squares dipped in chocolate.

SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run
spyhunter.jpg
This ships on June 19, 2006 for PS2 and Xbox. It's more than the same old SpyHunter because there is an added 3rd person action element staring The Rock. It's pretty melee heavy. I got to play this one and it was a lot of fun. Driving had that exciting combat. I kept dying during the level with the boat. The gun battles and fighting were pretty cool and they really bring a new dimension to the game.

Stranglehold
stranglehold.jpg
This will be Midway's first next generation game for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. It's a John Woo project, the spiritual sequel to Hardboiled. Chow Yun Fat plays Inspector Tequila and the game takes place in both Hong Kong and Chicago. There is environment is massively destructible and rooms look like a gun battle took place there with debris on the ground and the walls being all chewed up by bullets. The theatrical effects are there with blood spray and the animation is very fluid. There's also Tequila Time where you move in real time and everyone else moves in slow motion. It's being developed by the same team that did Psi-Ops and they're using Havoc physics and the Unreal Engine 3.0. Stranglehold is scheduled to ship in winto 2006.

Continue reading "Midway Demos" »

March 15, 2006

JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

Electronic Arts announced today that The Godfather™ The Game has gone gold for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Gamers worldwide will step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC on March 21st in North America and March 24th in Europe. The Godfather The Game will also be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system later in 2006. EA’s The Godfather The Game puts you at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and work your way to the top. For the first time ever, you will go beyond the films and book to actually step into the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s New York City. You will work your way up the mob ranks your own way, choosing just how much force to use as you rise to power.

Continue reading "JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER" »

March 14, 2006

ATARI'S ‘DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES’ TAKES OFF

NEW YORK, NY, March 14, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) today announced that Driver: Parallel Lines, the upcoming Hollywood-style action driving game, has shipped to retail stores worldwide. Driver: Parallel Lines is the fourth installment in the blockbuster Driver franchise that has achieved sales in excess of 12 million units worldwide. Developed by award-winning studio Reflections Interactive, Driver: Parallel Lines is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Driver: Parallel Lines offers an open, fast-paced driving action-movie experience and features an unfolding storyline of double crossing and revenge set over two distinct decades in New York City.

“Driver: Parallel Lines goes beyond the typical driving video game by delivering a cinematic experience reminiscent of a Hollywood-style action movie, coupled with a dual-era storyline, revenge, and an incredible soundtrack that is unparalleled,” said Rick Mehler, Director, Marketing, Atari, Inc. “As the game returns to its roots of non-stop driving action, Driver: Parallel Lines also takes the genre one step further by incorporating Reflections’ top-notch driving physics that will both challenge and exhilarate gamers.”

Driver: Parallel Lines places gamers in New York City during two distinct eras – the 1970s and today – and centers on TK, an 18 year-old driving prodigy seeking fortune and fame. Gifted, popular and arrogant, TK is one of the best drivers-for-hire in town and is known by everyone – from street hustlers, petty criminals, and racer boys to the shadowy crime figures that pay for his skills at the wheel. TK gets involved with a scheming group bent on taking down one of the biggest names in the underground crime scene. However, TK gets double crossed and ultimately is imprisoned for 28 years.

Fast forward to 2006 where the action kicks back in, and TK is older, meaner, and determined on settling some serious scores. TK needs to call on every driving trick in his considerable repertoire to tame the over-powered road machines that 2006 presents him. After twenty-plus years in jail, it’s time to hit the streets once again.

Driver: Parallel Lines boasts a diverse in-game soundtrack consisting of 80+ songs from both eras. A number of hip-hop, punk, rock and dance tracks from a varied roster of artists like Blondie, David Bowie, Funkadelic, Iggy Pop, WAR, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Kaiser Chiefs, Secret Machines and The Dead 60’s are included on the soundtrack. Driver: Parallel Lines also features several amazing new exclusives from ground-breaking artists such as Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Suicide, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arthur Baker, Mylo, Paul Oakenfold, Lifesavas featuring Vernon Reid, and the Audio Bullys.

Driver: Parallel Lines tempts gamers to modify and juice up cars while engaging in the most thrilling Hollywood-style car chases ever. Driver: Parallel Lines provides a free roaming, stylized New York City. With over 30 diverse missions and nearly 50 mini missions that load without wait times, incredibly realistic driving physics, a brand new story and a top-notch soundtrack, Driver: Parallel Lines will be a must-have title for action driving fans. For more information visit www.atari.com/driver.

Continue reading "ATARI'S ‘DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES’ TAKES OFF" »

March 13, 2006

Exclusive World Baseball Classic mode in MLB 2K6 video game

The rip against the “World Series” in other countries has always been that it’s not truly a worldwide event. This has finally changed with this month's launch of the World Baseball Classic tournament. Enthusiastic fans from Japan to Mexico to South Africa are finally being treated to baseball on a global stage.

Whether or not WBC will endure and become a popular tradition is yet to be determined. But in the meantime, baseball fans and gamers alike can experience this historic milestone event exclusively at home with 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K6.

MLB 2K6 is the only major league baseball video game to feature World Baseball Classic as it faithfully replicates all 16 teams, logos, uniforms and authentic all-world tournament structure.

Continue reading "Exclusive World Baseball Classic mode in MLB 2K6 video game" »

March 11, 2006

Brand New Website Update for Tomb Raider: Legend Including a New Trailer!

And you thought that new screenshots featuring Tokyo would be enough for one day! Today we are loading you up with new content by also bringing you a massive new web update! Two new characters have been added,
including the Yakuza boss Shogo Takamoto, and the wealthy media mogul Toru Nishimura. Details about the recently revealed Tokyo level have also been included, along with descriptions for a couple more of Lara
Croft’s new weapons and gear. And how could we possibly forget Lara’s stunning attire that she wears to corporate party in Tokyo? Think that’s enough? We have also added a brand new trailer which shows Lara Croft in some truly breathtaking sequences! Talk about a Tomb Raider: Legend media overload! Head on over to www.tombraider.com now to check out the new assets! Seeing is believing, when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th for the PS2, Xbox and PC, with the Xbox360 and PSP
versions to follow shortly after.

Continue reading "Brand New Website Update for Tomb Raider: Legend Including a New Trailer!" »

Lara Croft Looks Stunning in the Latest Batch of Screenshots Featuring a Stop in Tokyo!

When getting ready to travel the world in search of rare artifacts, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Dual Pistols... check. Magnetic Grapple... check. Cocktail Dress... CHECK!! That’s right, Lara Croft is traveling to Tokyo, and she is definitely dressed to impress! When you are there to crash a party, it’s not a crime to look sizzling in the process, now is it? But why is she there? Well, she needs to collect some information about the rare artifact that she wants to add to her collection, the... now we can’t go and spoil that for you yet! But what we can reveal is a brand new batch of screenshots featuring Lara Croft in one of her beautiful new outfits as she bursts into action on the rooftops of Tokyo!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Continue reading "Lara Croft Looks Stunning in the Latest Batch of Screenshots Featuring a Stop in Tokyo!" »

MICRO MACHINES returns to video gaming as Codemasters confirms plans for MICRO MACHINES v4

MM_kitchen2_151205.jpg

New York (March 10, 2006) – It’s been called “the most playable game in the world” and was the party game of choice for a gaming generation - now a MICRO MACHINES video game is set to return to game screens as Codemasters today announces the revival of its classic series.

A smash-hit series through the 1990s, Codemasters has once again secured the rights to the miniature vehicles for an all-new video game that promises a real return to the MICRO MACHINES game’s much loved, all-out fun, racing gameplay. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

MICRO MACHINES v4 game, titled as a sequel to the last MICRO MACHINES game from Codemasters, is now in development for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC, PSP (PlayStation® Portable) system and Nintendo DS. Scheduled for a summer 2006 release, development is back with the team at Supersonic Software, creators of some of the most acclaimed MICRO MACHINES games and more recently Mashed and Mashed: Fully Loaded.

Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, the MICRO MACHINES v4 game will arrive packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, they will be racing their inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

Sport cars, street racers, stock cars, 4x4s, beach buggies, lowriders and muscle cars are just some of the MICRO MACHINES models gamers will be taking out on the improvised tracks around the MICRO MACHINES house, garden and – for the first time – beyond!

Fans of classic MICRO MACHINES games will rejoice in the return of some of the series’ most popular racing arenas. Spin out around the breakfast table littered with cereal spills, tear through the kitchen, turbo boost around the pool table (while avoiding the treacherous pockets), or hit the gas during the drive around the rim of the bath, carefully negotiating the ferocious waters pouring over the edge of the bath.

As well as the familiar feel-good environments, MICRO MACHINES v4 game sees the racing world expand further than any previous MICRO MACHINES game. Go beyond the house and garden tracks and discover what it’s like to race across house roofs, in the sewers, through supermarkets, museums and even down to the farm, with its danger-packed chicken coop!

Of course, it wouldn’t be MICRO MACHINES without an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on the opponents while racing. The MICRO MACHINES v4 game brings all the favorites back, including –the car-mounted giant hammer!


Continue reading "MICRO MACHINES returns to video gaming as Codemasters confirms plans for MICRO MACHINES v4" »

CAPCOM’S ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS RECEIVES MPSE 2006 GOLDEN REEL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND EDITING IN COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT

SUNNYVALE, Calif ¾ March 10, 2006 — Capcom® today reveals Onimusha®: Dawn of Dreams, the latest chapter in the critically acclaimed Onimusha series, has received the MPSE 2006 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Computer Entertainment. The epic action game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system was bestowed the prestigious honor at the 53rd MPSE awards ceremony held on March 4, 2006 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Chosen by members of the motion picture and television industry, each year the MPSE presents the Golden Reel Awards which acknowledges the year's best work in the various areas of sound editing for movies, television, home video and computer entertainment. Based on the Onimusha franchise which has sold more than seven million units worldwide, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams focuses on the destiny of a new hero whose courage and fortitude must withstand the adversaries that wait in ancient feudal Japan.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the team’s efforts in sound editing alongside other talented groups from the motion picture and television industry,” said Yoshinori Ono, producer, Capcom Co., Ltd. “We take great pride in the production effort that we put behind Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and I am thrilled this project was highly regarded for its technological merits in sound.”

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadow now looms over Japan as Nobunaga’s successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Players assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi’s pursuit for power. This latest iteration exceeds its predecessors and continues the franchise’s artistic excellence by delivering an ambitious saga with more intense gameplay, expansive environment and a new fighting system; creating a deeper and gripping experience that the series is known to deliver. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Continue reading "CAPCOM’S ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS RECEIVES MPSE 2006 GOLDEN REEL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND EDITING IN COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT" »

March 9, 2006

Crave Entertainment News: Return to the Tables with Crave's World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In"

Newport Beach, CA - March 9, 2006 - Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced the third installment in the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In". WCP: All In will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation Portable) system, and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft

WCP: All In features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahidi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness, who parlayed a victory at a Maxim Magazine office tournament into a seat at the 2004 World Series of Poker.

"Our World Championship Poker franchise has quickly gained a reputation as the game for people who like to 'play' poker, rather than just watch it," said Rob Dyer, president and COO. "With new features like Scenario Mode, Multi-table online tournaments, and the Reputation system, World Championship Poker will continue to be the most realistic poker experience on any video game console."


About World Championship Poker: All In
Developed by Point of View, World Championship Poker: All In continues to feature the most innovative one player career mode. Career mode now includes series tournaments, mixed games, and reoccurring home games. Other new features of WCP: All In include:

" 18 types of poker, including Texas Hold'em, Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud Omaha and More.
" Multi-Table Online Tournaments
" Scenario Mode: Players are presented with a series of poker "puzzle" challenges that gradually increase in difficulty.
" Lucky Charms: Players can improve their luck through this Career Mode skill.
" Mixed Games: Play two or more variations of poker during a single game, with the game changing every time the dealer button makes it around the table.
" Play with new pros - in game character likenesses and voices, as well as play styles and iconic signature personality traits for some new pros: Thomas Biehl, Marcel Luske and Erin Ness, as well as returning pros: Howard Ledrerer, Annie Duke, Robert Williamson III, Greg Raymer (PlayStation 2 and PSP System), Amir Vahidi (PlayStation 2 and PSP System), and Paul Darden (PlayStation 2 and PSP System).
" Reputation System: How well you play, your success in mini-games, and a number of other factors enhance (or hurt) your reputation in Career Mode - which unlocks extra tournaments and more lucrative action for you.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment News: Return to the Tables with Crave's World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In"" »

March 8, 2006

Black

Electronic Arts
PS2 version reviewed
Score 4.5 out of 5

Black is a game that brings out some passion in me. It is just downright fun to blow guys away and shoot the hell out of everything. That's what it is all about. And it feels great.

You play as a black operative who is in prison after he went on a mission. It was one of those "you get caught and we'll deny everything" kind of missions. The plot line slowly unfolds through a series of conversations that take place between battles. It's the old telling of the story after it took place. That's about all that matters as far as storyline is concerned. And one more thing, if it moves kill it. Actually, if it's on the screen kill it. Things don't have to be moving to be targets.

This game is a real shoot 'em up FPS. Complete with crazy weapons that you can use to blow enemy heads off and my favorite accurate grenades that blow guys to bits. It's non-stop firing. If you can't get an enemy then destroy his cover and then take him out. For example, if an enemy is hiding behind a car, shoot out the tires of the car, the car drops down, then take the guy out with a head shot. I'm smiling as I write this because it cracks me up that I like to shoot stuff as much as I do. This is frenetic combat, with glass raining down and barrels exploding all over the place. I always wonder what terrorists need with so many exploding barrels in their hideouts...

Continue reading "Black" »

TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER SHI PS TO RETAIL THIS WEEK FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX

SAN FRANCISCO March 7, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has shipped to retail stores for Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has an ESRB rating of T for Teen and an MSRP of $59.99 for Xbox 360
and $49.99 for Xbox. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system version will ship in late March 2006. The PC version will be arriving in May 2006.

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will set a new benchmark for what is possible in graphic quality, content and intense multiplayer action," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Already, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is among the highest-rated games released on any next-generation platform and is being hailed as the killer app for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. This is the game that Xbox 360 owners have been waiting for."

"[Tom Clancy's] Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is not only the best tactical shooter I have ever played, it is one of the most immersive and exciting shooters ever." -- Game Informer Magazine, April 2006

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter should prove to be Xbox Live's killer app on Xbox 360 for months to come"" -- Official Xbox Magazine, April 2006

"Warfighter is by far the best Ghost Recon game in the series and a hands-down must-buy shooter for the 360." -- Electronic Gaming
Monthly, April 2006

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:
The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) evolving what we know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield. Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the battlefield. They are the "quiet" professionals. They are the Ghosts.

Key Features:
• Next-generation gaming technology: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is built from the ground up for next-generation consoles, taking full advantage of powerful technology with amazing textures, lighting and particle effects, multi-windowing, and state-of-the-art physics. Current generations will be built using top technology that pushes those systems to their limits.
• Become the soldier of the future: Gain access to the future of military technology. Using a fully integrated combat system with cutting-edge weapons and revolutionary communication systems (see below), gamers will embody the soldier of the future. Based on actual U.S. Army research, the Ghosts give gamers a realistic view of how war will be fought in the next decade.
• Revolutionary feature: Use the revolutionary Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology. Attached to the soldier's monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones.
• Stunning urban environment: One city, multiple locations. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter takes place entirely in Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities. A stunning, meticulously detailed universe will provide complete immersion in the urban war of the future.
• Top-notch multiplayer experience: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter returns to deliver industry-leading multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for one of the hottest online franchises with a host of exciting new features.

Continue reading "TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER SHI PS TO RETAIL THIS WEEK FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX" »

BioWare/Pandemic Studios Celebrates Creative, Commercial Success in 2005

Los Angeles, Calif. and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, March 7, 2006 — BioWare/Pandemic Studios celebrates a banner year in 2005 with four top ten titles, including three original games. The company, one of the world’s largest independent video game developers, is proud to have received more than 50 industry awards as well as rave reviews from customers and critics alike.

Highlights include:

· Mercenaries™, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, was the best-selling game based on a new intellectual property for all of 2005, according to NPD. This innovative 3rd-person action-shooter also received an IGN.com “Editor’s Choice Award,” scoring an impressive 9.1.

· Jade Empire™, developed by BioWare in Edmonton and published by Microsoft, was IGN's Xbox Game of the Year and one of the top sellers for Xbox in 2005. IGN called Jade Empire “the greatest RPG on Xbox” and rated it a near perfect 9.9 (out of 10). The Associated Press named Jade Empire to its list of the Best Games of 2005, while Metacritic tabbed it as their RPG of the Year and, at the Ninth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, it was awarded Game of the Year in the RPG category.

· Star Wars Battlefront™ II, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, made history by surpassing its predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront™ to become the best-selling Star Wars™ video game of all time. With more than 4 million units sold to date, Battlefront™ II was ranked by NPD as the second best-selling game in the United States for 2005 despite having been on the shelf for only two months.

· Destroy All Humans!™, developed by Pandemic in Brisbane and published by THQ, sold more than one million copies adding to the impressive roster of successful original titles the studios are known for. The innovative twist on the classic science fiction flying saucer genre has been delighting critics with its sleek retro design and snappy, irreverent humor. Hailed by Team Xbox as, “Utterly unique and delectable.”

In addition to the awards received for their titles, the studios themselves received significant industry honors. Pandemic Studios was named the “Best Overall Developer for PS2” by IGN, and BioWare was honored as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” for the third year in a row.

“We are truly honored to be sitting amongst our most valued publishing partners on the ‘best of’ lists,” said Josh Resnick, president of Pandemic Studios. “The best-selling entertainment our studios have been releasing over the past few years is made possible by the passion and applied genius of some of the best talent in our industry. At both BioWare and Pandemic, the team ethic is at the center of our success.”

BioWare/Pandemic Studios’ strategy is to continue to invest and take the creative risks to produce exceptional new games, and in particular, new intellectual properties. Collectively, the studios have sold more than 28 million copies of games accounting for more than $800 million in revenue.

“And, the best still lies ahead for BioWare/Pandemic,” added Ray Muzyka, joint CEO of BioWare Corp. “The advent of next generation platforms opens up new vistas for us to experiment with new approaches and fresh ideas. By pushing the limits of these new worlds and building ‘event’ products, and by continually focusing on creating the best place for team-oriented talent, we will continue to drive innovation in the industry and deliver top-quality games to our valued community of fans.”

In November 2005, Elevation Partners, a private equity firm, announced the formation of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, a creative and management partnership of two leading independent video game developers. The joint investment, including future capital needs, is more than $300 million. The companies each have two co-founders, and under the deal, all four became shareholders and senior executives in BioWare/Pandemic Studios. The combined group comprises close to 500 employees, with offices in Los Angeles, Edmonton, Canada, and Brisbane, Australia.

Continue reading "BioWare/Pandemic Studios Celebrates Creative, Commercial Success in 2005" »

NEW CHAPTER IN CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ONIMUSHA SERIES IS BORN AS CAPCOM® RELEASES ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS FOR THE PLAYSTATION®2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif ¾ March 7, 2006 — A new nefarious threat emerges as Capcomâ today announced the release of Onimusha®: Dawn of Dreams, a new epic action game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Based on the award winning, multi-million selling Onimusha franchise, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams focuses on the destiny of a new hero whose courage and fortitude must withstand the adversaries that wait. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams promises to exceed its predecessors by delivering an ambitious saga with more intense gameplay, expansive environment and a new fighting system that allows for the control of various characters throughout the game; creating a deeper and gripping experience that the series is known to deliver. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

“The Onimusha series has been praised by consumers and the press for its addictive gameplay and immersive experience, this new Onimusha is no exception,” said Todd Thorson, director of marketing, Capcom Entertainment. “Even with the success of the first three titles, we went back to the drawing board, reevaluated the series and retooled the gameplay and made something that is fresh, exciting and distinctly Onimusha.”

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadow now looms over Japan as Nobunaga’s successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi’s pursuit for power.

With unbelievably detailed graphics and expansive environments that exceeds its predecessor, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams includes major enhancements to the franchise such as new character interactions and evolved cooperative gameplay elements. With a brand new game system, players can choose a fellow warrior to assist Soki in battle at any given time. Watch as the pair combines their power to perform ultimate attack moves to eliminate enemies. Furthermore, gamers can order his or her ally to wait, attack or act on the defensive. Players can also rapidly change between the two onscreen characters, allowing them to control the partner he or she had escorted into battle and relegating the main hero to ally status. This new system takes advantage of each character’s skill and adds a new dimension to the gameplay.

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams possesses a compelling cast of warriors, each with their own unique abilities, attacks and storyline including: Soki, with his broadsword, is viewed amongst the Oni as the world’s last hope against the Genma and whose power could potentially be humanities greatest threat; Akane, whose mastery of the martial arts grants her extra mobility, and can wield her sword with speed and grace; Tenkai is a mysterious monk who can hear the voices of the dead and use his staff to fend off enemies; Ohatsu is the niece of Nobunaga Oda who uses a grappling hook to swing across gaps and firearms to eradicate the Genma; Born to a Japanese mother and Spanish father, Roberto is a missionary who wants vengeance for the Genma’s persecution of his friends. Unlike Onimusha characters before him, Roberto specializes in hand-to-hand combat.

Continue reading "NEW CHAPTER IN CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ONIMUSHA SERIES IS BORN AS CAPCOM® RELEASES ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS FOR THE PLAYSTATION®2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" »

March 7, 2006

NBA Star and Streetball Legend Rafer Alston Featured in Ubisoft's AND 1 Streetball

Ubisoft's AND 1 Streetball video game will feature NBA star Rafer Alston as the unlockable player "Skip to My Lou." A streetball legend, Rafer Alston is currently the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, average 11.6 points per game and 6.6 assists. Considered one of the best streetball players of all time, Alston achieved his legend status on the hallowed grounds of Holcombe Rucker Park. It was here where Alston was given the nickname Skip to My Lou based on his unique style of play.

Alston is credited as being the catalyst for the AND1 MixTapes. In the late 90s, a tape featuring his playground highlights known as the "Skip Tape" circulated like wildfire throughout the streetball community, eventually landing on the desks of AND 1. Amazed by Alston's moves, AND 1 invited him and other streetballers to Linden, NJ to film a game which would later become AND 1 MixTape #1. The tapes influenced a generation of streetballers and propelled AND 1 to become the definitive streetball league. One of the few streetballers to successfully transition to the NBA, Alston has played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat in addition to the Houston Rockets during his 8 year career

Continue reading "NBA Star and Streetball Legend Rafer Alston Featured in Ubisoft's AND 1 Streetball" »

DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES – A FAST RIDE WITH HOT TUNES

NEW YORK, NY, March 6, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATAR) today revealed first details about the soundtrack to its forthcoming Hollywood-style action-driving blockbuster Driver: Parallel Lines. Alongside over 70 legendary tracks which bridge the game’s dual gameplay eras – 1970s and today – with effortless cool, the soundtrack will include a number of exceptional world-renowned artists from the worlds of hip hop, punk rock and dance to provide brand new music exclusively for Driver: Parallel Lines. The music and artists have been chosen to reflect the two distinct gameplay eras as well as New York City, which has been the inspiration and source to so much of the world’s music.

Working with Nimrod Productions Ltd, one of the most established audio production companies in the video game industry, Atari has selected some of the top artists to supply new exclusive material for Driver: Parallel Lines including Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Suicide, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arthur Baker, Mylo, Paul Oakenfold, Lifesavas featuring Vernon Reid and the Audio Bullys. Interviews with some of the artists involved in Driver: Parallel Lines are available exclusively for subscribers to the official website www.atari.com/driver.

In addition to the brand new exclusives, the two eras will be underscored by a remarkable roster of legendary music, with David Bowie, Blondie, Iggy Pop, WAR, The Temptations, Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, Parliament, and Average White Band amongst those scoring the 1970’s era, and bands including The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Kaiser Chiefs, Secret Machines, The Dead 60’s lend their visceral sounds to the New York cityscape of 2006.

“In taking the successful and stylish Driver brand to iconic New York City in the 70’s and today, we wanted to make sure the soundtrack captured and evoked the setting to really elevate the experience,” said Stephen Baer, Senior Product Manager, Atari, Inc. “The soundtrack for Driver: Parallel Lines draws on an incredible mix of legendary and new talent to create the perfect complement for riveting gameplay.”

“The melting pot of the New York music scene stretches across so many musical boundaries that it seems to effortlessly create an infectious mix, from obscure 70’s gems to classic tracks, and important new bands to the modern day musical heroes,” said Marc Canham, co-founder of Nimrod and the game soundtrack composer and music producer for Driver: Parallel Lines.

Developed by award-winning studio Reflections Interactive, Driver: Parallel Lines is the next installment of Atari’s legendary action-driving franchise. Players can modify and juice up cars while engaging in the most thrilling Hollywood-style car chases ever across a free roaming, stylized New York City with over 35 diverse missions, no loading times, incredibly realistic driving physics, and a brand new story set in 1978 and 2006.

Forthcoming Hollywood-style action-driving Driver: Parallel Lines will be available for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. A must-have title for action driving fans, Driver: Parallel Lines Limited Edition will include a separate soundtrack CD featuring tracks written exclusively for the game from music legends Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, Arthur Baker and other breakthrough artists. Further information about the Limited Edition will be revealed prior to launch.

Continue reading "DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES – A FAST RIDE WITH HOT TUNES" »

Nemesis of Tomb Raider: Legend Revealed

The newest villain in the Tomb Raider franchise has finally been revealed and man is she... mystical! Amanda Evert is an old friend of Lara Croft who was thought to be killed while excavating a tomb while back in graduate school. Little did she know that she would come back from the dead, and let’s just say that the friendship isn’t what it used to
be... While you may think this is a spoiler, we’ve barely scratched the surface because there is definitely more to hear about this mysterious new villainess! Since we know you are shaking in anticipation to take a look, here’s some new screens featuring Amanda in action. There will be much more to see when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th in North America for the PS2, Xbox, and PC, with the PSP and Xbox360 versions to follow shortly after!

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March 3, 2006

Brand New Website Redesign for Hitman: Blood Money Along With a New Trailer

The time is coming near for some serious activity with our friend Agent 47. What better way then to start it off with a brand new redesign for the official Hitman: Blood Money website! Not only does it come equipped with more content such as 20 new screenshots and a new Guide to Being a Hitman video, to up the excitement even more we have included a brand new trailer as well!

Hitman: Blood Money is the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise, putting you in the shoes of the world’s most deadly assassin, Agent 47. Equipped with some new kill moves and a weapon upgrade system, Agent 47 travels to locations in the United States for the first time to work on earning “blood” money by doing what he does best. New to the franchise, the Blood Money system allows players to adjust Agent 47’s notoriety level, which represents his visibility status based on his past methods of achieving his hits. In other words, if you accomplished your last mission by shooting everything in sight, other characters will start to react accordingly by recognizing you as a wanted man. Check out the latest trailer now to see the most recent sneak peak at the game. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Continue reading "Brand New Website Redesign for Hitman: Blood Money Along With a New Trailer" »

Eidos Unveils New Futuristic Site for Rogue Trooper!

Eidos Interactive today launches a new futuristic website for ROGUE TROOPER, a tactical action game based on the 2000 AD comic strip which is set to be released in North America in Spring 2006 for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

The official site is now live at www.ROGUETROOPER.com.

The site is an introduction into the universe of the Genetic Infantryman (G.I.), with detailed information on characters and weapons used on Nu Earth. The hi-tech site is a detailed hub of up-to-the-minute information on the game - allowing you to size up your opposition with detailed briefs on enemies, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, plus a tactical tutorial with a video section illustrating a few of the multiple ways to play the game.

There are a host of downloadable videos, wallpapers and even artwork available on the site, plus a selection of screenshots, including some 360 view shots, which the viewer can navigate around.

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New Commandos Strike Force Team Tactics Video Released by Eidos!

Download Now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=155!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game, not only fuses first-person shooting style gameplay with strategic stealth combat, but also allows for on-the-fly switching between different members of the elite Commandos Strike Force team. This new feature provides you with more options to fit your play style while allowing a completely new element of strategy that puts you in control of the action. To showcase some of the new strategy possibilities by utilizing the different strengths of your commandos, we are bringing you a brand new gameplay video focusing solely on team tactics. Lead a frontal assault with your Green Beret, and take out problematic enemies from a distance with your Sniper; or pick off enemies one by one with your Sniper, and use your Green Beret for protection before they get too close... the choice is yours to decide and the possibilities are endless.

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State of Emergency 2

Published by SouthPeak Interactive
Rated "M" for mature
Score 3 out of 5

The follow-up to State of Emergency, which sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, SOE2 continues the series and the Freedom movement to rid the world of the oppressive Corporation, an evil corporate dictatorship that is intent on the global enslavement of the masses. The game opens like a movie, which sets a very cool tone and the the story unravels around the Justice Corporation's execution of a riot instigator who has been in prison for four years. Spanky sets up the show so the escape can go down during a live television execution and from there is just gets wild.

The third person camera angles are generally pretty good but sometimes leave you fighting enemies that you can't see. This is a challenging game that rapidly goes far beyond easy. At times I felt that it was tedious and repetitive, but all games are sort of like that to a certain degree and SOE2 does keep you hooked through the story. There is a frustrating lack of save points which means that you will have to replay levels over and over again until you reach a save point. And while I'm talking about the bad aspects of the game I'll throw in that SOE2 must have THE weakest sniper rifle of any game I've ever played. It doesn't zoom. What kind of a sniper rifle doesn't zoom? That's, as the great gamer Slim Daddy would say, "unacceptable".

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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See Our Civic Super Hero in Action as Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for Urban Chaos: Riot Response!

Every night you go home, snuggle up under a warm blanket, and have a nice peaceful night’s sleep. Little do you realize that people put their lives on the line to prevent ruthless gang members from turning your humble abode into a blazing light show. The merciless burner gang has taken a city hostage, and they want nothing more than to watch as the city, along with the people in it, turn into a pile of ashes. The time has come to call on the last line of defense. Urban Chaos: Riot Response, the high-velocity action shooter, puts you in control of Nick Mason, a member of the elite anti-gang unit, T-Zero. Equipped with military grade hardware, you have been given clearance to use whatever means necessary to take your city back from the clutches of anarchy. Fight alongside other heroes such as Firemen and Medics, protect the civilians at any cost, and bring the city’s enemies to justice.

View the trailer

Continue reading "See Our Civic Super Hero in Action as Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for Urban Chaos: Riot Response!" »

March 1, 2006

EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 1, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) will celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ - the world’s largest sporting event - with the launch of 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the event’s only officially licensed videogame. The videogame will ship on all platforms including Xbox 360™ in April 2006 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June.

2006 FIFA World Cup, under the EA SPORTS™ brand, will feature stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, 12 official stadiums that will be used at 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and stadiums from each qualifying region. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite team from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the tournament in Germany.

“The FIFA World Cup will be the single most watched sporting event by a worldwide television audience, bringing together soccer fans from around the world,” said Joe Nickolls, lead producer of the game. “Our game, 2006 FIFA World Cup celebrates this passion by capturing all of the national rivalries in-game, enabling fans to play their heroes and be a part of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.”

With enhanced player animations, EA SPORTS has emulated close to 100 of the world’s superstars, capturing their playing styles and individual likenesses. In addition to enabling gamers to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams, the game features new compelling modes of play, including the groundbreaking Global Challenge that will test even the most hardcore soccer fan by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup™ history. Furthermore, the game supports up to eight-way multiplayer matches and boasts a plethora of in-game unlockable content such as legendary players and exclusive apparel.

For the first time ever, the officially licensed game of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be available for download via mobile phones. Upon release, gamers can purchase 2006 FIFA World Cup through major North American carriers and will have the option of downloading either English or the Spanish language version of the game. This robust title features all of the 32 international teams vying for the most coveted title in soccer and offers gamers on-the-go a compelling gameplay experience that truly captures the essence of the sport and this global event.

Continue reading "EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame" »

MLB 06 The Show Ships

You don't have to wait for the World Baseball Classic to start this Friday (3/3/06), nor do you have to make the pilgrimage to Arizona or Florida for Spring Training Ball, and you sure don't have to wait the 33 days, 4 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds until Opening Day to get your baseball action - MLB '06 The Show is here!!!

With the announcement of MLB '06 The Show hitting store shelves today, we wanted to make sure you the latest assets for both PS2 & PSP.

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Get a Taste of Revenge with the Latest Rogue Trooper Screenshots!

How would you feel if all of your comrades were brutally massacred, and the only one left behind with the aftermath was yourself? That’s the case for Rogue Trooper, the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, and he’s pissed off and hell-bent on revenge. Having taken the bio-chips containing the digitized personalities of his dead friends, their souls come alive in his equipment. With the abilities of Gunnar, Helm and Bagman at his side, Rogue Trooper is ready to dish out the world of pain that was dealt to him. Rogue Trooper features intense sci-fi action in a futuristic battlefield where you must use your surroundings to gain the edge you need to take on full armies single-handedly. To give you another
glimpse of the vengeance, we’re bringing you 10 new screenshots!

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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EA’S FIFA STREET 2 SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – February 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that FIFA Street 2, which features gifted Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo on all packaging worldwide, has shipped to retailers under the EA SPORTS BIG™ brand. FIFA Street 2 captures the flair and skill of soccer in an arcade videogame experience that features real players performing over-the-top tricks in authentic locales around the world.

Ronaldo is the new face of FIFA Street 2 after bursting onto the international scene with Manchester United in 2003, where his ball skills and tricks earned him a reputation for being one of the world’s most exciting and electrifying wingers.

“This is quite an honor to be the new face of FIFA Street 2,” Ronaldo said. “The game mirrors the same ideals and philosophies that I use in my approach to everyday football. I played on the street growing up where I had many one-on-one battles, so it’s exciting to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a style of football I’ve been playing all my life.”

FIFA Street 2 builds upon the arcade game experience of the original that was launched last year with a greater emphasis on skills battles, a larger selection of tricks, including for the first-time ever in-game juggling, and a new way to win with Game Breaker. In addition, FIFA Street 2 introduces signature moves for the world’s most skillful star players, juggling mini-games, 10 new venues and a customization package that allows you to create your own soccer playground, your own characters and your own way to play. An overhauled Artificial Intelligence system and advancements in gameplay, including Trick-Stick defense and user control of the goalkeeper, make this new game distinguish itself from the original.

With 320 players to choose from, including the superstars of the game, legendary street masters, or a created character, players can rule the streets and make names for themselves by mastering an arsenal of tricks in FIFA Street 2.

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February 28, 2006

RESPECT RULES THE AVENUES OF METRO CITY AS CAPCOM® RELEASES FINAL FIGHT: STREETWISE™

SUNNYVALE, Calif February 28, 2006 — Capcomâ plans to turn the fighting genre upside down with the release of Final Fight: Streetwise™ for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Set within Capcom’s Final Fight universe, this mission-based action game calls for players to use their street smarts and powerful fighting skills to survive the back alleys of Metro City. The classic Capcom fighting action, expansive 3D environments, and diverse gameplay of Final Fight: Streetwise is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

‘Your fists are the only thing you can really rely on in this world’ are the words uttered by Kyle and Cody Travers. Gaining respect is the only way to survive the streets of Metro City. The Travers brothers have spent years building an indisputable reputation amongst the local gangs and street thugs. No one ever dares to challenge them until a seedy organization kidnaps Cody. In the feverish attempt to rescue his brother, Kyle meets head-on with the forces of a sinister underground boss whose powerful influence has thrown the various districts of Metro City into utter chaos. Now the metropolis is in a riotous turmoil as a mysterious street drug spreads across the city. What’s happened to Cody and is he still alive? Can the anarchy be stopped?

In Final Fight Streetwise, players assume the role of Kyle Travers. As a streetwise underground pit fighter and brother of the infamous Cody from the classic Final Fight series, Kyle must try to solve his brother’s disappearance. ‘Respect’, ‘tension’ and ‘money’ must be quickly earned to attain powerful new fighting skills, hardcore weapons, critical information and a wide variety of NPC (non-playable character) support. Featuring stylized and realistic visuals, the tumultuous energy of Metro City is brought to life with great detail. Explore dynamic environments and encounter intense street fights where players use hand-to-hand and weapon combat. Shocking story twists and disturbing connections are made as this epic story unfolds through adrenaline-pumping action and intense cinematics.

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BLACK ASSAULTS RETAIL SHELVES FROM EA

Chertsey, Surrey, UK – February 28, 2006 – Prepare to go in all guns blazing. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that BLACK™ is now available at North American retailers for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. The game is rated M for Mature with descriptors: Strong Language, Violence, by the ESRB and carries an MSRP of $39.95.

A hotly-anticipated first person shooter from Criterion Games (creators of the Burnout™ franchise), BLACK delivers explosive Hollywood-style gun battles and destruction set against the modern war on terror. BLACK casts players as Sgt. First Class Jack Kellar, the leader of an enigmatic Black Operations team sent in to Eastern Europe to eliminate a traitor.

BLACK challenges gamers to master and exploit erodeable cover in a game world where bullets affect every surface, and nearly everything can be destroyed.

Conceived following a trip to a Las Vegas gun range, the game’s intent is to deliver the loudest, most thrilling weapons and gunplay ever in a videogame … which has earned the game a reputation for being “gun porn” among industry press.

“Guns are loud, exhilarating and utterly terrifying things,” said Alex Ward, creative director, Criterion Games. “BLACK delivers a deep shooting experience that captures the paralyzing sensation of pulling the trigger of dangerous and exotic automatic weapons.”

BLACK will release under the EA™ brand and was developed by Criterion Games in Guildford, UK. The studio is also developing the next-generation debut of Burnout™ Revenge, slated for release on March 7 for the Xbox 360™.

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February 27, 2006

TOCA Race Driver 3 screeches into stores today

New York (Feb. 24, 2006) – TOCA Race Driver 3 hits the streets today and gamers can take a final test drive with the new multiplayer Windows PC demo, now available to download from http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3.

This new TOCA Race Driver 3 demo takes the PC edition online with up to 12 simultaneous players competing for tire-burning victory. Who will fare against the fiercest players in events featuring Mercedes C-Klasse cars in a heavyweight DTM race at Hockenheim, Racing Renault Clios in the Autosport Clio Cup at Brands Hatch or competing in a stock car event with Dodge Chargers at Indianapolis?

The demo is just a taste of the wealth of online and offline racing content that’s crammed in TOCA Race Driver 3. Featuring an incredible 120+ championships spanning 35 different motorsport disciplines, TOCA Race Driver 3 delivers the most motorsport ever.

The game offers two main game modes complete with explosive damage effects, head-to-head online multiplayer racing and a game engine supercharged for a greater degree of simulation. For true to life racing, Pro Career mode puts gamers at the center of the motorsport world, ready to embark on careers across six specialist motorsport disciplines – Open-Wheel, GT, Touring Car, Oval, Off-Road & Rally and Classics. Race gamers can also embark on a World Tour, putting them straight in the driving seat as they leap disciplines and blaze their own trail through the game!

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February 24, 2006

Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for its Upcoming Action Sci-Fi Game ROGUE TROOPER!!

Nu Earth is a poisoned planet where a seemingly endless war rages between the Norts and Southers; a futile struggle, with no end in sight. Based on the popular sci-fi comic book by 2000AD, Rogue Trooper drops you in the middle of the futuristic, hi-tech battle as you take control of the last survivor of the massacred Genetic Infantryman; one whose allegiance is only to his mission and his mission is revenge. Vastly outnumbered, take on entire platoons with only the aid of your fallen comrades whose souls come alive in your equipment. Today you can take a first look into the action, as the first official trailer is now available for download at Eidos Interactive. Rogue Trooper is set to ship for the PS2, Xbox, and PC this Spring, 2006!

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Agent 47 Appears in his Signature Style on the Hitman: Blood Money Box Art!

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With his stylish suit, signature red tie, and simple but deadly weapon of choice, Agent 47 appears on the official Hitman: Blood Money box art with the elements that made him notorious.

The world’s deadliest assassin is back, and the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise puts the blood on your hands as you not only fulfill the contract, but determine how the contract will be fulfilled. Will you keep your identity a secret, and leave the spectators in wonder as to what just took place? Or blast your way to your target, and then pay off the press with your giant wad of blood stained earnings? With the new Blood Money system, the decisions that you make will affect the way that your future surroundings interact with you. Keep your face out of the papers or you are going to have a load of trouble on your hands, unless of course, that’s what you’re looking for. Either way, Agent 47 comes equipped with a new arsenal of moves and weaponry to deal with whatever situation you encounter. Prepare to make a killing, as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring, 2006.

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February 16, 2006

Witness TOCA Race Driver 3’s Damage Engine In Action With Every Scrape, Crash and Smash

No other racing game lets you see and experience the true impact of spectacular race car collisions to the level of what’s seen in TOCA Race Driver 3. In preparation for the game’s launch on February 24th, put on your crash helmet and take a look at the new ‘Damage’ video, now available online at http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3/.

The TOCA series has pioneered the use of damage visuals and physics so gamers can experience the reality of what happens when they don’t remain in total control of a 500bhp race car. TOCA Race Driver 3’s advanced Terminal Damage Engine is hugely rich in its visuals thanks to incredible particle effects and physics that affect the car’s handling and ultimately race results.

The additional particle effects highlight the punishment cars receive: sparks fly spectacularly when cars bottom out and end up grounding the car. Players will witness windshields shatter, wings get ripped off, and spoilers break and fly from the car. Plus, new game effects will show incremental amounts of damage as bodywork realistically deforms around crumple zones during a race.

Delivering 100 times the level of damage effect detail over its predecessor, TOCA Race Driver 3 slams into retail on February 24th for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. Get fuelled up for the release with the new ‘Damage’ video, the playable demo and more online at http://www.codemasters.com/tocaracedriver3/.


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EA’s EA SPORTS RUGBY 06 IN STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Thursday, February 16, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today EA SPORTS™ Rugby 06 has shipped to retailers and is now available in stores. Produced by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C., EA SPORTS Rugby 06 throws you back into the scrum for the most realistic and intense rugby experience yet.

Whether competing in the Super 14, the Six Nations, or the Guinness Premiership championships, players can keep the match flowing with a new off-load passing system, quick line-outs and penalties, a host of new set plays, and more responsive gameplay. Enhanced stadium models, 3D field textures, and authentic atmosphere effects, such as visible player breath, furthers the sense of realism within the game. With more licensed teams than ever before, lead your squad to victory with key impact players whose inspirational moves and special abilities can mean the difference between a defeat and victory.

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FlatOut 2 Wrecks Its Way Onto Consoles and PC

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San Francisco – Feb. 16, 2006 – As worldwide sales of FlatOut crash through the 700,000 mark, the sequel to the much-acclaimed destruction racer is set to accelerate its way onto the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC in the nitrous charged form of FlatOut 2 this June, courtesy of Bugbear Entertainment and Empire Interactive, one of the UK’s leading independent game publishers. Vivendi Universal Games will distribute the title in the U.S.

Featuring an enhanced version of the original’s lauded physics engine with even faster driving track designs, FlatOut 2 also boasts numerous improvements, enhancements and additions to make the title the definitive FlatOut experience. Twice as many vehicles, a more sophisticated career mode, additional race environments, double the number of tracks, twice as many mini-games along with brand new and much requested online multiplayer modes are just some of the exhaustive features that are included in FlatOut 2.

With more than 5,000 fully destructible objects on every track as well as 40 deformable parts on each vehicle, physical interaction in a racing game is taken to unprecedented heights. With a greater emphasis placed on causing destruction on the track by offering greater rewards, game play will be even more frantic than ever. Drivers will need to tear into competitors’ cars, trash the local scenery, litter the track with obstacles, while at the same time trying to concentrate on their own race in a bid to cross the line first.

The ever-popular Ragdoll mini-games from the original FlatOut game make a welcome return and are better than ever with 12 Ragdoll events, a Ragdoll Championship and full online support. New Ragdoll events include basketball, baseball and royal flush cards.

Game Features

* Bigger variety of race environments including Big City, L.A. Storm Drains, Rocky Mountain Forest, Corn Fields and Desert
* Twice as many tracks with alternate track routes included for the first time
* Enhanced Championship Mode with multiple cups across increasing difficultly levels
* Twice as many vehicles plus additional car types--Muscle cars, Sports cars, Pickup Trucks and Compacts
* Garage feature allows player to now own multiple vehicles
* Unlockable bonuses including additional cars, Championship Cups and Destruction Arenas
* Improved opponent AI with each AI driver represented by a character and exhibiting a unique driving style
* MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT
o Online multiplayer modes - up to six players on PlayStation 2 and eight players on Xbox
o Four player offline split screen Multiplayer mode on Xbox; two player on PlayStation 2
o Now available online! -- Destruction Derby Arenas and Ragdoll Mini Games


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February 14, 2006

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES UNIQUE NEW FEATURES FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL® 2K6

NEW YORK, NY – February 14, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today new standard-setting features for Major League Baseball® 2K6. With innovative Swing Stick™ technology, astounding Pure Motion Physics and the distinguished vocal talents of play-by-play broadcaster Jon Miller and National Baseball Hall of Fame® legend Joe Morgan, Major League Baseball® 2K6 is the only baseball video game that matters on any console.

“The development team has worked extremely hard on creating unique and exciting features to appeal to every fan of the game,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “All these new features – the innovations in the batting system, the new pitching mechanics, Artificial Intelligence tendencies driven by Inside Edge™, the new Pure Motion Physics movement system and so much more – combine together seamlessly to create an authentic and thrilling MLB® video game.”

New, exciting features for Major League Baseball 2K6 include:

· Swing Stick™- Using the design and functionality of other top-selling 2K6 games, the Swing Stick mechanic brings a new level of intuitive control, allowing players to use the Right Analog Stick to control the swing of the bat. Timing, guessing the location of the pitch and swing choice are key to successful execution.

· Payoff Pitching™- Introducing a new philosophy to pitching in Major League Baseball video games, pitchers must spot their pitches correctly, taking into account pitch type and break as they throw to a target area.

· Catcher Mechanics- For the first time in any Major League Baseball video game, catchers can call the game, giving gamers playing as pitchers an idea of where and what to pitch.

· All-Star Commentary- The most entertaining Big League commentary returns to Major League Baseball 2K6 as veteran announcer Jon Miller delivers all the play-by-plays and Hall of Fame Legend Joe Morgan calls the on-field action. Additionally, Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Physioc join the team, previewing the team matchups during the season and provide analysis during the playoffs.

As the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 will be available for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube™ and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. Major League Baseball 2K6 is slated for release in spring 2006.

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Atari Ships Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

NEW YORK, NY, February 14, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) and Marc Ecko, the visionary behind several of today’s most respected youth lifestyle brands, today announced that Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Developed by The Collective,

Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is rated ‘M’ for Mature and is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows.

Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure fuses innovative gameplay, a provocative and controversial storyline, an eclectic and renowned voice acting cast, and a musical score featuring some of the most influential voices and sounds of this generation. Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure includes a variety of star-studded voice talent such as renowned hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy, George Hamilton, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam West, Andy Dick, Charlie Murphy, The RZA and Michael “M.C. Serch” Berrin. The soundtrack features an array of licensed music and various original tracks, such as an exclusive version of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya,” remixed by Serj from the band System of a Down; “Clik, Clak, and Spray” from Pack FM; “Book of Judges” from Pharoahe Monch; and “Getting Up Anthem: Part 1,” performed by legendary Hip-Hop artist Rakim and Talib Kweli, the voice of the game’s lead character, Trane. More than 65 graffiti artists have lent their signature tags and art to the game’s urban environments, while six legendary artists – Cope 2, FUTURA, OBEY: Shepard Fairey, Seen, Smith and T-kid – have served as in-game mentors to the game’s lead protagonist.

“Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure breaks the mold of the current crop of games by fusing authentic urban culture with truly diverse gameplay,” said Marc Metis, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Atari, Inc. “With its unique story, talent, music, and gameplay design, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure answers consumers’ call for innovation and originality in gaming.”

Set in the city of New Radius, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure features a world where freedom of _expression is suppressed by a tyrannical city government. In the game, players assume the role of Trane - an unlikely hero just looking to get up until he realizes there is much more at stake. Gamers learn and master various graf skills, starting as a toy (beginner) graffiti artist and using street-smarts, athletic prowess and vision necessary to become an “All City King,” the most reputable of all graffiti artists. During their quest, players risk their lives navigating vertical landscapes while battling rival crews, a corrupt Mayor and the city’s Civil Conduct Keepers (CCK) all in an effort to reach the sweet spots of New Radius, where a well-placed tag brings respect and reputation. Gamers also find themselves with an even greater burden – to use their high-wire graffiti talents to expose the oppressive mayor and set the city free.

A limited edition of Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is also available at select retailers nationwide. The Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Limited Edition is packed into a collectible Getting Up tin case and in addition to the game, includes Marc Ecko's Blackbook, offering an exclusive look inside the game’s development process, a disc featuring a collection of short films, level rundowns, game tips, and “making of” footage, and a silver pen with the Getting Up "X" logo.

The Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Limited Edition also features a soundtrack with four tracks executively co-produced by Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, including an exclusive version of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya,” remixed by Serj from the band System of a Down. Other Combs’ tracks include “Clik, Clak, and Spray” from Pack FM, “Book of Judges” from Pharoahe Monch and “Getting Up Anthem, Part 1,” performed by Talib Kweli, the voice of the game’s lead character, Trane, and legendary Hip-Hop artist Rakim. These songs, plus Rhymefest’s “Wanted” and various scoring pieces from RJD2, are only available on the limited edition.

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HASBRO TAPS ACTIVISION TO PUBLISH RANGE OF VIDEO GAMES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE AND LIVE-ACTION FILM FROM DREAMWORKS AND PARAMOUNT PICTURES

PAWTUCKET, R.I. Feb. 13, 2006– The Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and Activision, Inc, (NASDAQ: ATVI), a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software products, announced today a license that grants Activision the global rights, excluding Japan, to develop console, handheld and PC games based on Hasbro’s renowned TRANSFORMERS brand. The first game will be tied to the much-anticipated July 4, 2007 movie release of the live action TRANSFORMERS film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

The TRANSFORMERS brand has been one of the best-selling boys’ action brands in a wide-range of categories, from toys to publishing to apparel, since its launch as a global property in 1984. Hasbro is currently gearing up to activate one of the Company’s most ambitious marketing and merchandising programs yet to coincide with the live action movie in 2007.

“We are thrilled to work with Activision to bring the widely popular TRANSFORMERS brand to the world of digital entertainment and introduce millions of consumers to our best-known TRANSFORMER and biggest hero of all time—OPTIMUS PRIME,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). “As the leading developer of video games, Activision shares our passion and excitement for the TRANSFORMERS story line. We know this world-class and creative team will bring TRANSFORMERS to life in powerful and exciting ways as we immerse a broad audience in this pop-culture phenomenon.”

“TRANSFORMERS has all of the elements necessary to translate incredibly well into video games,” said Mike Griffith, President and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “We look forward to bringing the Transformer robots to life with the latest interactive technology and graphics.”

The announcement of Activision as the global game publisher for the TRANSFORMERS brand marks the beginning of Hasbro’s commitment to bring its well-known toy and game brands further into the digital media space. This effort follows the reacquisition of its video gaming rights from Infogrames Entertainment SA last June.

“Video gaming is a natural next step for our classic properties as children and adults alike live more of their lives around technology,” said Ritson-Parsons “We see the digital arena as a great complement to the lifestyle experiences that we’re providing to consumers in a variety of categories.”

In addition to console, handheld and PC-based games, Hasbro plans to expand the TRANSFORMERS brand’s reach through ring tones, mobile gaming and a host of other products for gaming fans of all ages.

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February 11, 2006

EIDOS CONFIRMS APRIL 4 NORTH AMERICAN SHIP DATE FOR COMMANDOS STRIKE FORCE AND RELEASES A NEW FMV

San Francisco, CA (Feb 10, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software today confirms that Commandos Strike Force™, developed by Pyro Studios, will be released on April 4th, 2006 on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC in North America.

In a new direction for the multi-million selling series, Commandos Strike Force takes you right into the heart of the action with an innovative blend and first person perspective. Set in war torn Europe amid the backdrop of World War II, take your elite ‘Strike Force’ unit behind enemy lines on a series of linked missions through France, Russia and Norway. Undertake action, infiltration and stealth missions with the Green Beret, Sniper and Spy, using any means necessary to challenge a winning enemy and pave the way for invasion. Enter into battle alone, or take the fight online with your friends.

Commandos Strike Force features an innovative blend of stealth and action gameplay new to the genre. With the ability to freely move within the battlefields players execute attacks with a high degree of control. This gives the player the ability to set ambushes, attack silently and unseen, infiltrate prisoner of war camps, stalk and stab, all while being surrounded by the enemy.

Commandos Strike Force also features several missions where players control two commandos at the same time switching between the two on-the-fly. The game boasts a variety of multiplayer modes, up to eight players online with console and 16 players via the internet.


View the trailer.

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February 10, 2006

SQUARE ENIX AND DISNEY’S BUENA VISTA GAMES UNVEIL ALL-STAR VOICE CAST FOR KINGDOM HEARTS II

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (February 8, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc. (Square Enix), the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, and Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today the all-star voice cast and North American release date for KINGDOM HEARTS® II, the highly-anticipated action role-playing game (RPG) exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. KINGDOM HEARTS II is the sequel to KINGDOM HEARTS, one of the top 10 best-selling PlayStation 2 titles of all time in North America (Source: The NPD Group, Dec. 2005).

The all-star ensemble voice cast is led by Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”) as the main character Sora and is joined by David Gallagher (“7th Heaven”) as Riku, and Hayden Panettiere (“Racing Stripes,” “Raising Helen”) as Kairi. KINGDOM HEARTS II will also feature the voice talents of Jesse McCartney (“Summerland,” Recording artist, “Beautiful Soul” CD) as the mysterious boy Roxas, Brittany Snow (“The Pacifier,” “American Dreams”) as Namine, Christopher Lee (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring”) as Diz; Steve Burton (“The Last Castle,” “Taken”) as Cloud, Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That,” “Josie And The Pussycats”) as Tifa and Mena Suvari (“American Beauty,” “Rumor Has It”) as Aerith, all characters from FINAL FANTASY® VII; and Hedy Buress (“Boston Common,” “If These Walls Could Talk”), Tara Strong (“Fairly OddParents : Shadow Showdown,” “Teen Titans”) , Gwendoline Yeo (“Desperate Housewives,” “24”) as the popular female-trio Yuna, Rikku, Paine from FINAL FANTASY X-2. In addition, many of the original Disney film star voice actors are reprising their role for this project, including Ming-Na (“ER,” “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”) as Mulan, James Woods (“Be Cool”), returning as the villain Hades and Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) as Chicken Little.

KINGDOM HEARTS II will ship to North American retailers on March 28, 2006. Since its release in September 2002, the original KINGDOM HEARTS for the PlayStation 2 has shipped more than 2.6 million units in North America. Bridging the gap between the original and the sequel, KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF MEMORIES® followed in December 2004 for the Nintendo® Game Boy Advance® system. With the release of the Japanese version of KINGDOM HEARTS II in December 2005 (1 million units shipped during only three days after the release date), the series has shipped in excess of 7.5 million units worldwide.

The world of KINGDOM HEARTS joins classic Disney characters and worlds together with a new story filled with new characters and environments created in the renowned Square Enix style. The result was one remarkable, innovative, original property that captured the attention of both gamers and critics alike. In KINGDOM HEARTS II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game features more than 100 Disney characters, and also introduces new, original characters such as Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles FINAL FANTASY VII, VIII, X and X-2. New Disney additions to the sequel include Chicken Little and Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch as summons as well as one of Disney’s favorite villains, Pete.

“We have enjoyed success with the Japanese release of KINGDOM HEARTS II this past December and cannot wait to roll out this title in March in North America – North America is where KINGDOM HEARTS all began,” said Tetsuya Nomura. “The entire team has been working day and night to perfect the North American version and we hope the gamers will find it even more exciting than the original.”

“KINGDOM HEARTS is the perfect creative example of how BVG is growing and developing the Disney brand and relevance in video games worldwide,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “Our excellent relationship with Square Enix has once again resulted in a game that sets the artistic benchmark in developing video games based on popular entertainment intellectual properties.”

“The KINGDOM HEARTS series has given us the opportunity to showcase Square Enix’s expertise in game design and development together with Disney’s memorable worlds and characters. This collaborative project is a situation most can only dream of and we are fortunate to have had this opportunity,” said Shinji Hashimoto, producer, Square Enix. “KINGDOM HEARTS II is packed with even more excitement and amazing adventures and we cannot wait for gamers to experience it for themselves.”

KINGDOM HEARTS II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest, after the events of KINGDOM HEARTS. Sora is looking for his lost friend Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king. The story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself. Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand-new.

KINGDOM HEARTS II features a new and improved real-time battle system which provides an increased selection of commands, such as performing special attacks and cooperative attacks with members of your party, adding strategy to the gameplay. Players can also perform the “Drive” to transform main character Sora into his various forms, altering his skills and abilities. Examples include the Brave Form, where Sora absorbs the power of Goofy allowing him to use two Keyblades; the Wisdom Form, where Sora absorbs the power of Donald allowing him to increase his magic power; and the Master Form, where Sora absorbs the power of both Donald and Goofy and increases both his attack and magic powers. These new features bring additional challenges and excitement to the players and further enhance gameplay.


Japanese pop artist Utada Hikaru returns to sing the theme song for KINGDOM HEARTS II. The song titled “Sanctuary,” the English version of its original Japanese release “Passion,” was written specifically for KINGDOM HEARTS II. More information on the artist can be found at http://www.utada.com .

Continue reading "SQUARE ENIX AND DISNEY’S BUENA VISTA GAMES UNVEIL ALL-STAR VOICE CAST FOR KINGDOM HEARTS II" »

February 9, 2006

Ubisoft Releases First Trailer for Drakengard 2

Today, Ubisoft officially released the first North American trailer for Drakengard 2, exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Developed by Cavia, Inc., the sequel to 2004's popular Square Enix published Drakengard, Drakengard 2 is due in retail stores around the U.S. next week.

Key Features:

Multifaceted air and ground combat: Lay waste to entire armies in the ferocious ground battles, or engage in intense aerial combat as you fly freely through the game world on the back of the dragon.

Face your destiny with a host of companions: Change freely between four playable characters with specific weapons and abilities. They will aid you in battle, as well as accompany you on an epic journey.

Upgradeable characters, weapons and items: A deeper Drakengard experience with both RPG and action elements. Information gathering now plays a key role.

Great improvements from the original: Boss battles have increased in number and challenge, and the ground battle system has been intensified thanks to a new combo system. Now accessories and items can be used to improve your characters.

An epic adventure: More than 20 hours of gameplay featuring epic engagements of the Empire and Union in a magnificent medieval world. Crush enemy forces with 67 different deadly weapons in more than 90 perilous missions.

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February 8, 2006

Black Goes Gold

Break out the earplugs … BLACK has gone GOLD for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

The game will be available at North American retail outlets on February 28. BLACK has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Developed by Criterion Games, the team responsible for the award-winning Burnout series, BLACK casts gamers as Sergeant First-Class Jack Kellar, a seasoned veteran of the US military and the leader of a BLACK ops team sent to Eastern Europe to bring in a traitor.

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February 7, 2006

EA SHIPS ALL-NEW ARENA FOOTBALL VIDEOGAME TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Tuesday, February 7, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Arena Football™, the newest game under the EA SPORTS™ brand, has shipped to stores nationwide. With Arena Football, gamers can now experience the excitement of the indoor gridiron with fast-paced, high-scoring offenses and the ability to send players over the walls.

“EA is the premiere sports videogame developer and we’re thrilled to have worked with them on this project,” said Glenn Horine, President, AFL Properties. “EA SPORTS Arena Football captures the passion of our sport and gives fans an opportunity to experience the action for themselves.”

“The AFL was an amazing league to work with and we strived to create a game that accurately depicts their unique brand of football,” said Mike Taramykin, Senior Producer, EA Tiburon. “Arena Football has features that will appeal to both AFL fans and sports fans alike.”

The all-new Be the Receiver feature allows players to take control of their receiver right from the snap and create routes on the fly, attempting to mix up the defense for a big score. With the new in-game Telemetry system, players can get real-time information such as scoring history, passing tendencies and player health and fatigue levels, allowing them to capitalize on their opponent’s weaknesses.

In Franchise Mode, players can take their favorite AFL® team and build them into a powerhouse by managing depth charts, signing free agents and making trades in an attempt to take home the ArenaBowl championship. Arena Football also allows players to create their own team or choose from more than 30 unlockable historic teams including the Anaheim Piranhas and Iowa Barnstormers.

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February 6, 2006

EIDOS ANNOUNCES URBAN CHAOS: RIOT RESPONSE

San Francisco, CA (February 6, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response, a high velocity, first person shooter where the player confronts real terror in an American city for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system by Microsoft and PC. URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response is scheduled to ship this Spring in North America.

Currently in development by London-based Rocksteady Studios, URBAN CHAOS: Riot Response gives gamers the opportunity to step into the shoes of a real hero. Play as Nick Mason a member of T-Zero, an elite counter-gang unit, putting his life on the line in response to a terrorist threat. Specially trained in all areas of urban combat and armed with the very latest high-tech weaponry, T-Zero – the last line in urban defense, teams-up with Emergency Services groups including firefighters, paramedics and police to combat multiple threats on the city such as bombings and hostage scenarios. Gamers can explore realistic and dynamic city environments where all the intense action takes place.

Sefton Hill, Director of Rocksteady Studios said, “Urban Chaos has been designed to offer something fresh and new for gamers who are looking for a new challenge in the FPS genre. We put the player right in the middle of a full scale riot and it’s no easy ride, this will be an original and intense challenge for gamers.”

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February 4, 2006

Ape Escape 3

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America

Score 3 out of 5

Specter and the monkeys are back and determined to rule the world. Under Specter's command, the mischievous monkeys are taking control of your television and airing programming that will cloud the mind of anyone who watches. Heroes Kei and Yum dash through the TV studios capturing monkeys just as their outrageous shows hit the airwaves.

Kei4.JPG

This game is fun and simple. Chase all the monkeys and capture them in order to save your town. The right thumbstick controls how you swing whatever is in your hand. The monkeys will actually run away from you and dodge. Monkeys will become enraged and knock gadgets or the Monkey Net out of your hands. If you lose the monkey net and it's used against you your play on that level is terminated. The third person camera angle works pretty well for the most part, but there are times when I couldn't see what I was doing.

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February 3, 2006

Torino 2006

Video games based on the Olympics have traditionally been pretty sucky, so I expected very little from Torino 2006. It's essentially a bunch of mini games that are sports related. I think when I was a kid there was a company called Epyx that made a decent summer games. Torino 2006 is fairly standard fare for a genre that is more likely to be collected as a souvenier rather than be played.

Score = 2.5 our of 5

Given the high quality of racing and snowboarding genres one would think that a good winter olympic games game. Apply the knowledge obtained by developing a racing game to the luge and that of developing a snowboarding game to skiing and things should look and feel good.

The speed skating mechanics are pretty good down - the player mashes alternate buttons to generate enough speed to be maintained by a rhythmical, consistent tapping of the two buttons. This imitates the motion of the left and right leg and is one of the only control systems that has an actual feel to it. Timing the presses is required for straightways and curves. You'll need long strides to gain speed on the straightways and short strides in the corner. You can sense when you're getting out of synch (ignore the on screen bars as they appear to have nothing to do with your timing) and do the right thing to get back on track.

torino_122705_02.jpg

Not only are there very few events, but some of them are repeated. Cross-country skiing is included in no less than three different events including the Nordic and Biathlon. There's not much difference between bobsled and luge, only that in bobsled you can move your men left or right, neither of which really matters. In both events you shoot yourself off like a plunger hitting a pinball. Press the button at the appropriate time to generate the most power and your sled will snake its way through icy channels. The analog stick allows you to move to the right or left to avoid hitting the walls. Controls are sluggish at first, but then as your sled or luge speeds up it becomes more responsive.

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Tomb Raider: Legend Ship Date

San Francisco, CA (Feb 2, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirmed today that Lara Croft’s latest and most anticipated adventure, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend™ will begin shipping on April 7th in Europe and April 11th in North America on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC
with Xbox®360 and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system versions to follow shortly after.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh title to be released in the Tomb Raider™ series, which originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold. Lara Croft™ has transcended games in a way no other character has, including action figures, comic books and two major motion pictures starring Angelina Jolie.

Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management, Eidos said: “Everyone working on Legend is buzzing right now, we are all so excited that this totally new incarnation of Lara will capture gamers’ hearts, just as her original game did, and challenge their minds like no Tomb Raider they’ve ever seen.”

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February 1, 2006

CURIOUS GEORGE™ SHIPS!

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (February 1, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Curious George™ has shipped for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system, Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance and PC. Based on the February 10th animated feature film of the same name from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Curious George allows players to jump in and control the world’s most curious chimp through an array of madcap mishaps and mischievous fun. Curious George is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

For more than 60 years, children and adults alike have followed the tales of Curious George – known for his insatiable inquisitiveness and taste for adventure. The story begins as The Man with the Yellow Hat travels to Africa in search of a lost artifact and returns with some unexpected cargo — a precocious chimp named George.

Curious George allows players to meet and interact with their favorite characters from the animated film in this exciting and colorful game world. As the fun-loving George, players can run, jump, climb and swing through 12 action-packed levels including the jungle, museum and Big City. Players must also use the character’s skills, which include crafty escapes and distracting performances, to elude trouble and avoid one entertaining predicament after another. Throughout George’s big adventure, players are encouraged to be curious and explore the “Curious Objects” in each environment – drawers to peek in, machines to activate, trunks to pop open and even chairs to bounce on! Interacting with these objects awards players “Curious Points,” which enable them to purchase items in the Museum Gift Shop including concept art, scenes from the animated movie and accessories for George. Curious George’s bonus features and challenging mini-games provide players hours of replay beyond the main story.

“We couldn’t be more pleased how well this game brings to life the loveable and playful nature of George in both the console and handheld video games,” said Jeff Lujan, business director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “Our partnership with Universal has been instrumental in developing a video game that not only captures George’s more modern look, but also contains countless hours of action and adventure the whole family can enjoy!”

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January 31, 2006

Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 Super Bowl simulation - who will win it all?

Bolstered by a tough defensive effort that limited NFL MVP Shaun Alexander to just 70 yards rushing and sacked Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck four times, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their fifth overall Super Bowl championship in a game simulated by EA SPORTS, downing the Seahawks 24-19 in a preview of what might happen in Super Bowl XL.

The game, which was simulated using the best-selling video game Madden NFL 06 for the Microsoft Xbox 360, played out in a way not unfamiliar to Pittsburgh fans – the Steelers moved out to an early lead using the pass and taking advantage of a timely turnover, and then turned to their relentless rushing attack to hold off the surging Hawks and secure the title.

Playing in his hometown of Detroit, Steelers RB Jerome Bettis garnered Super Bowl MVP honors by scoring two touchdowns in the game to go with his 41 yards rushing, getting his team on the board first with a one-yard plunge late in the first quarter to cap a ten-play, 74-yard drive. The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, and Pittsburgh upped its lead after recovering an Alexander fumble on the Seattle 24-yard-line. Three plays later, Steeler RB Willie Parker took the ball off right tackle for a seven-yard scamper which made the score 17-3 – a daunting margin that very few Pittsburgh opponents have been able to overcome.

Seattle got another field goal to cut their deficit to 11 points midway through the third quarter, but Alexander was finding no running room and the Steeler defense was bringing constant pressure against Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. Still, the Seahawks managed to close to 17-13 after Alexander finished a seven-play, 66-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a short dive off the left side. Pittsburgh responded, however, by pounding the ball on a clock-chewing drive, taking more than six minutes off the clock by going 73 yards in 13 plays – 11 of them runs – to move up 24-13 after Bettis again scored on a one-yard run.

With little time left, Seattle moved the ball down the field quickly and got six more points as Hasselbeck connected with Darrell Jackson on a 19-yard scoring pass, but their two-point conversion failed, and the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Steelers, who ran out the clock to celebrate their win.

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January 30, 2006

Capcom's RE 4 Achieves Player's Choice and Earns Game of the Year Awards

SUNNYVALE, Calif. January 31, 2006 — Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced its critically acclaimed survival horror masterpiece, Resident Evil® 4, has been awarded inclusion into Nintendo’s Player’s Choice program for the Nintendo GameCube™. The game will be relaunched with new packaging at a suggested retail price of $19.99. In addition to this recent achievement, the rave reviews from press and overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans for both the GameCube and PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system versions have resulted in multiple “Game of the Year” accolades. Based on the popular Resident Evil series, which has sold more than 27 million units worldwide and is Capcom’s highest selling series, Resident Evil 4 is rated “M” for mature audiences from the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Just a few weeks into the year, a number of media have already announced their best of 2005 awards. Highlights include prestigious “Game of the Year” honors from numerous esteemed outlets including Game Informer, GameSpot, GamePro, Spike TV Video Game Awards 2005, UGO.com, G4TV’s X-Play, Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Game Revolution, Lee Enterprises, GameZone.com, New Times Media, WorthPlaying.com, Real Detroit Weekly, GameSpot Readers’ Choice, Blender’s Readers’ Poll, IGN Readers’ Choice and Lawrence.com Gamer’s Voice Awards. Moreover, the GameCube version of the title earned first place status among games for the platform from IGN Cube, GameSpot, GameSpy, GameZone.com, Advanced Media Network and Home Theater Magazine. Resident Evil 4 was also included on lists of top games for 2005 from high profile media including PSM, Play, Associated Press, Cox News Service, Gannett News Service, Universal Press Syndicate, San Jose Mercury News, Maxim Online, Sound & Vision, Tacoma News Tribune, Hartford Courant, Global Gaming League, Punch Jump and The Oregonian.

In Resident Evil 4 players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from Resident Evil 2. It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.

Continue reading "Capcom's RE 4 Achieves Player's Choice and Earns Game of the Year Awards" »

January 29, 2006

FINAL FANTASY XI: TREASURES OF AHT URHGAN AND XBOX 360 VERSION LAUNCH ANNOUNCED

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (JANUARY 27, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ entertainment products in North America, announced a simultaneous launch for FINAL FANTASY® XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan™, the third expansion pack for the title. The long-awaited release of FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will also be available that day. Specifically, retail product and service will be available as listed in the following regions (based on time zone differences) – April 18 in North America, April 20 in Europe and Japan.

FINAL FANTASY XI, the first cross-platform, cross-continent massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) will be accessible on Xbox 360 for the first time to players in North America, Europe and Japan. Gamers will be able to communicate and play together no matter where they are or from what platform they connect - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows® operating system or Xbox 360 (platform based on region availability). FINAL FANTASY XI has more than 500,000 subscribers in North America, Europe and Japan, combined. With the release of the third expansion pack and Xbox 360 version, the world of Vana’diel® will be an even livelier place to visit, expanding the community even further.

Treasures of Aht Urhgan can be played along with the original version of FINAL FANTASY XI (which is required to play any of the expansions) and does not require the Chains of Promathia™ and Rise of the Zilart® expansion packs. The third expansion will be sold separately for PlayStation 2 and Windows users at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). Treasures of Aht Urhgan will be available as part of the complete package for Xbox 360 which includes PlayOnline™, FINAL FANTASY XI and all three expansion packs for the title - Chains of Promathia, Rise of the Zilart and Treasures of Aht Urhgan at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).

Features
- Players will uncover the tales and legends surrounding the the Aht Urhgan Empire.

- New jobs, including the highly requested Blue Mage and Corsair, have been added to expand battle strategies even further.

- Along with additional areas to explore, powerful monsters have also been added, including the Mamool Ja, a powerful tribe of the beastmen that hold dominion over the Mamool Ja Savagelands, a land hostile to the Near Eastern Aht Urhgan Empire.

- Keeping with the FINAL FANTASY XI principles, system enhancements in addition to those listed have been implemented to enrich gameplay in a variety of ways.

- On Xbox 360 gamers will be able to see and hear the world of Vana’diel like never before in high definition video.

- Join a community of over 500,000 with players from around the world and on several platforms.

Services Fees
North American service fees remain the same and are as follows: FINAL FANTASY XI subscribers will receive their first 30 days of access without charge. Aside from Internet service provider access charges, the free trial period will begin on the date players create their first “Content ID” or character. Any additional Content IDs purchased are also available without charge until the end of the free trial period. After 30 days, players can continue to play FINAL FANTASY XI by paying a monthly fee of $12.95 (USD) for one FINAL FANTASY XI character, and can create up to 15 additional characters for an additional charge of $1.00 (USD) per character, per month. Payment for monthly access charges must be made by credit card only (restrictions apply).

System Requirements
FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360
Requirements for Xbox 360 version are as listed: Xbox Live® account, Broadband connection (Xbox 360 does not support 56K connection) and Xbox 360 Hard Drive.

FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows
The minimum system requirements for FINAL FANTASY XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan are as follows: Windows 2000/XP, Intel Pentium III 800Mhz or faster processor, 128MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 compatible sound card, DVD-ROM drive, 56K or faster Internet connection, and GeForce series or Radeon 9000 series video card with 32MB of RAM. A DVD ROM drive is required to install Treasures of Aht Urhgan and the Vana’diel Collection.

FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is pre-installed on internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB)(for PlayStation 2). Available for a suggested retail price of $99.00 (USD), the internal Hard Disk Drive attaches to the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation 2), which connects to both broadband or dial-up networks, and rests in the expansion bay of the PlayStation 2 console.

Continue reading "FINAL FANTASY XI: TREASURES OF AHT URHGAN AND XBOX 360 VERSION LAUNCH ANNOUNCED" »

January 27, 2006

2K Sports Announces Torino 2006

New York, NY - January 25, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), through a uniquepartnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for interactive entertainment software, today announced that Torino 2006(tm) - TheOfficial Video Game of the XX Olympic Winter Games is available now at retail stores across North America, and will be available at retail stores in Europe on January 27th.

Torino 2006(tm) gives gamers the chance to participate in one of the most exciting sporting events of 2006. With a multiplayer mode for up to four players, gamers can compete head-to-head or in turn-based play that simulates the global stage of one of the most exciting sporting events in 2006. The XX Olympic Winter Games will take place in Torino,Italy from February 10-26, 2006.
Additional features of Torino 2006(tm) include:

* 15 different events in eight winter sports disciplines including Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Luge and Skating
* Challenge your skills with three difficulty levels in each discipline
* Enjoy an intense live atmosphere portrayed authentically with expert commentators, TV camera angles, realistic background sound and sparkling scenes of the Italian wintry landscape
* Play against friends and family with the exciting multiplayer mode for up to four players
* Intuitive controls create a fun "pick-up-and-play" capability the whole family can enjoy

"We greatly appreciate the partnership we've had with ISM. Their guidance from the many years of experience working on officially licensed Olympic video games has enabled us to create Torino 2006(tm), a truly exciting and authentic winter sports title," said Matthias Wehner, Marketing Director of 2K Sports.

"We are very pleased to be working with 2K Sports. Their reputation for creating exciting, successful sports games and their marketing expertise will ensure the success of the Official Video Game," said Raymond
Goldsmith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ISM.

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JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 26, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced March 21st as the day The Godfather™ The Game videogame will be on store shelves in North America and March 24th in Europe. Developed by EA, the highly-anticipated open-world videogame is based on the critically-acclaimed book by Mario Puzo and the classic film by Paramount Pictures through a strategic licensing relationship with Viacom Consumer Products. In less than two months, gamers worldwide will step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC. The Godfather The Game will also be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system later in 2006.

EA’s The Godfather The Game puts you at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and work your way to the top. For the first time ever, you will go beyond the films and book to actually step into the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s New York City. You will work your way up the mob ranks your own way, choosing just how much force to use as you rise to power. Relive classic moments from the fiction and experience open-world gameplay alongside unforgettable characters from the film such as Luca Brasi, Sonny, Tom Hagan, and of course, Don Vito Corleone himself.

“The Godfather is one of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable works of fiction in the world; for the videogame, we felt it was important to build a complex and responsive open-world that puts you in the heart of the action,” said David DeMartini Executive Producer of The Godfather The Game. “The deeper you are into the experience the better the game gets,” DeMartini added.


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January 24, 2006

CAPCOM® PACKS A PUNCH WITH STREET FIGHTER® ALPHA ANTHOLOGY FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – January 24, 2006 – You win! The ultimate in arcade brawlers comes home as Capcom® today announced Street Fighter® Alpha Anthology for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system, a monumental compilation of the entire Street Fighter® Alpha arcade series. The collection features direct arcade conversions of Street Fighter® Alpha, Street Fighter® Alpha 2, Street Fighter® Alpha 2 Gold and Street Fighter® Alpha 3 which have never before been available together in one package. As an added bonus, the “pint-sized” Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix® (also released on consoles as Pocket Fighter®), is included which brings the total to five action packed games on one disc. Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is scheduled for release throughout North America in summer 2006. To date, the Street Fighter franchise has sold more than 27 million units worldwide.

All titles in the collection feature three core gameplay options. Arcade mode pits competitors against a series of CPU controlled opponents in order to beat the game. Versus mode allows two players to choose among the cast of characters for intense head-to-head battles. Fighters can practice special moves and combos to hone their skills in the training mode. Additionally, all four Alpha titles feature survival mode as well as a dramatic battle mode which allows 2-on-1 tag team matches.

Street Fighter Alpha brings together a cast of 13 characters from the collective Street Fighter universe. The series’ inaugural title introduces super combos and alpha counters to add a new dimension to fighting. Street Fighter Alpha 2 ups the ante with 18 fighters and several new options including high and low Alpha counters as well as more moves and combos for each character. In addition, the second title launches the Custom Combo system which lets players use up a super meter to perform devastating multi-hit combos. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold is an enhanced version of the previous game featuring different versions of some of the characters. The most robust entry, Street Fighter Alpha 3, includes an unprecedented 25 characters and offers players the choice of three “isms” fighting styles made popular in previous Street Fighter games. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix rounds out the anthology with miniature versions of popular Capcom fighters in fierce battles. Combatants vie to collect power-up gems as they perform an array of special attacks and powerful combos.

Continue reading "CAPCOM® PACKS A PUNCH WITH STREET FIGHTER® ALPHA ANTHOLOGY FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" »

January 20, 2006

PING! EA’s MVP 06 NCAA BASEBALL SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, January 18, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that MVP™ 06 NCAA® Baseball, the first-ever college baseball videogame, has shipped to retailers under the EA SPORTS™ brand. Produced by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C., MVP 06 NCAA Baseball is the latest offering from the makers of the critically acclaimed MVP Baseball™ franchise and celebrates everything that makes NCAA® baseball unique – aluminum bats, dugout clearing homeruns, relentless hustle and stadiums filled with passionate fans and school spirit.

From the same developers that have made the MVP franchise a hit, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball has an all-new Load and Fire Batting system that intuitively emulates stepping up to the plate. The game is the first EA SPORTS game to implement ESPN real-time features including an ESPN ticker and live ESPN Sportscenter radio updates. With 128 of the nation’s top teams, 19 authentic stadiums and a deep college-specific Dynasty Mode™, users can now slug it out on the “Road to Omaha®” with baseball’s brightest young stars.

“Playing to earn a National Championship for the University of Texas was one of the greatest moments of my life; Needless to say, I’m still really nostalgic about it and this is a great way for me to re-live it again and again,” said David Maroul, 2005 College World Series MVP and MVP 06 NCAA Baseball Cover Athlete. “I’ve been waiting for a game like this to come out for a long time. I just can't believe how realistic the game is.”

Complete with an engaging visual presentation and ESPN’s Mike Patrick and former Stanford All-American Kyle Peterson calling the action, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball also features an all-new Custom Ballpark feature, a rich Create-a-Player option and new online* features for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox Live®.


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January 18, 2006

OFFICIAL AND 1® STREET BALL WEBSITE NOW LIVE!

January 17, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest videogame publishers, today announced the launch of the official Web site for AND 1: Streetball, scheduled to ship for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft in March 2006. Visitors to http://www.and1streetballgame.com will be updated regularly with new details, materials, and goodies.

Visitors to http://www.and1streetballgame.com will receive comprehensive product site information, images, and video related to AND 1: Streetball. In addition, visitors can download exclusive music tracks from the AND 1 Soundtrack, watch highlight clips from real life AND 1 MixTape Footage, hop on the 1s and 2s with DJ Greenlantern's mini-game mixing studio, answer a questionnaire to figure out their streetball name and more. The website provides the ultimate AND 1: Streetball experience.

AND 1: STREETBALL WEBSITE: A USER'S GUIDE

Product Site (Updated Regularly with New Details and Materials as Launch Approaches):
Sections include:
oGame Info, with details on game features, storyline, players, moves, multiplayer information, and more.
oDownloadable Music from the official AND 1 Soundtrack
oIn-depth player sections including real life video and gameplay footage
oIn-depth court information
oExtras, with wallpaper, screensavers, webkit, and a winamp skin
oMedia, with screenshots, video art, concept art and comics
Visit early and often as new items will appear frequently!

Continue reading "OFFICIAL AND 1® STREET BALL WEBSITE NOW LIVE!" »

January 17, 2006

25 to Life Ships to Stores Today in North America

Eidos is putting the power of the streets in your hands as the blazing new game 25 To Life ships today! It’s time to shine up your badge, or get your bling on, as the battle for the streets is about to begin. Not only do you get to bump your favorite hip-hop beats in the fight of your life, you can play as one of our unlockable celebrity artists too!
Check out Tech N9ne, Daz, DJ Envy, and Kurupt and put them to use to protect your hood. The time is here.

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JUMP INTO THE NEXT GENERATION WWII FPS EXPERIENCE WITH EA’S MEDAL OF HONOR AIRBORNE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 17, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced Medal of Honor Airborne™, the newest installment from EA’s critically-acclaimed Medal of Honor™ franchise which was credited with pioneering the First-Person Shooter (FPS) WWII genre when it debuted in 1999. While building on the key tenets of the franchise including historical accuracy and authenticity, Medal of Honor Airborne is set to redefine the series by introducing players to an entirely new way of experiencing a WWII FPS – namely the fully interactive Airborne experience. As the first game in the Medal of Honor series to be released on next generation platforms, Medal of Honor Airborne will ship to stores in Winter 2006 under the EA™ brand for the PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, Xbox™ 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, and Windows PC.

Step into the boots of Boyd Travers, Private First Class of the 82nd Airborne Division and engage in battles throughout Europe. From rocky beginnings in Sicily to war-winning triumphs in Germany, each mission begins behind enemy lines, with an intense and fully interactive airdrop. Your ability to determine your own starting point dramatically changes the way each mission plays out. View the entire operation from the air, and then control your parachute to choose your landing spot. On the ground, gather your senses and assess the terrain. A wide variety of authentic, customizable weapons are at your disposal, each with distinct characteristics. Choose your path in this free roaming FPS environment. Medal of Honor Airborne will also feature exceptionally photo-realistic characters, adding to the intensity of the cinematic, story-driven game.

“Medal of Honor Airborne is a step in a new direction for the franchise. While integrating our state-of-the-art, next-gen technology into every aspect of the game, we are introducing innovations that will redefine the series and impact the genre as a whole," explained Patrick Gilmore, VP and Executive Producer at EALA. “By fully controlling the airdrop from your very first step through landing, Medal of Honor Airborne adds a new dimension of player choice by letting you decide where every mission begins and how it plays out.”

The Medal of Honor Airborne development team continues to ensure that the ideals and integrity of the prestigious congressional Medal of Honor are accurately reflected in the game. The producers sought counsel from numerous expert sources to make certain the game is historically accurate and as true to the WWII Airborne experience as possible. Serving as a military spokesperson for Medal of Honor Airborne, Capt. Dale Dye, who has worked as the Military Technical Advisor for the last 7 Medal of Honor games, will help to create a truly authentic experience.


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Ape Escape 3 Ships

Ape Escape® 3 for PlayStation2

· Mesal Gear Solid – In a collaboration with SCEI and KONAMI, play in Mesal Gear Solid mode which parodies the Metal Gear Solid franchise with monkeys as commandos

· Playable characters – Choose to play as either Kei or Yumi at the start of the game with the new ability to transform into various morphs

· Morphed characters – A transformation meter allows various morphs to complete certain battles that include a knight, a western kid, a ninja, a Kung Fu Master and an Arabian prince

· More games – Play two different mini-games including the Super Monkey Throw Stadium where players compete flying distance by throwing monkeys, or the Ultim-ape Fighting game where two monkeys battle using the two analog sticks

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January 15, 2006

UbiSoft Demo Day

I spent several hours with the crew over at UbiSoft on Thursday and Friday and played a whole lot of games. I also met a streetball player named Escalade. I'm like a twig next to him - he's a foot taller than me and twice my weight. Nice guy though.

CSI Three Dimensions of Murder
This is the first 3d CSI game and as such it is much closer to the TV show than previous versions. The opening full motion video is just like the show, and the crime lab is a reproduction based on the set. There's more interaction with characters, then environment and evidence. It's not just pixel hunting anymore. The environment is more complex which means more complex clue hunting. You recreate each crime, process your own evidence, get warrants, in short you do everything. There are 5 cases and the game will ship in March 2006 for PC.

Splinter Cell Essentials
This will ship for PSP in March. There are 9 missions, of which 5 are new. They tried to create the same control system on the PSP, light/shadow meter, danger meter, circle controls the camera, the stick moves Sam, box crouches. The missions are set from when Sam become's a Navy Seal in 1992 until the present day. There's a jail level that is similar to the jail level of Splinter Cell Double Agent (see below). You can save at any time. There's a lot of hiding and shooting. In ad hoc mode you can play spy vs. spy. As always, it is your choice whether to kill or simply immobilize. Content is different on all platforms.

Splinter Cell Double Agent
Same is having a tough time and he's in jail in this forth of the series. In the past, gamers tended to view Sam as a soldier, and the developers really want him to be perceived as more of a "bad ass super spy". He's on NOC - non official cover and if he's caught that's it our governement has no knowledge of him or his mission which is to infiltrate a terrorist cell as a double agent. As a double agent you have to balance the consequences of your actions, balance the good with the evil. For example, should you murder or be discovered? There are some tough moral decisions - the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few. All versions are the same storyline but the missions are different. Escape prision, join terrorist cell, following the storyline exactly or going off on little side explorations. There are some coop elements with NPC companions where you have to help each other over barriers and such. It's a mix of action and puzzles and a design goal was that you shouldn't get frustrated by repetitive trial and error.

And 1 Basketball
This started as a clothing company with the Mix it Up Tour where they filmed streetball and then dub in hip hop tunes. Now it's grown into a streetball tournament with style. There are open runs where anyone plays in the tournament, then a main run where the 5 best players take on the And 1 team. It's authentic in that they mo-capped real players and everyone in the game is based on a real player except for your character. You create your character and then he's in all the cut scene which is a cool attention to detail. In story mode you play tournaments until you earn an And 1 contract. The new control system uses both analog sticks to sort of dial in a move. There are three levels to each move, the setup dribble, the showboat and the ankle breaker. There are 10 national and 4 internation tournaments. There are 13 exclusive tracks on the soundtrack. When you win the game you unlock a special Mix It Up tape. There's online play for PS2 and Xbox and the game ships in the end of March

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January 13, 2006

Ubisoft Announces Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour

SAN FRANCISCO JANUARY 12, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announces that it will release Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour for select current-generation video game consoles in March 2006. In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour, Ubisoft's Quebec studio blends the finest elements of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® series to create the most complete chapter to date. This latest chapter marks the return to the franchise's roots by reintroducing the deeply strategic and tactical gameplay synonymous with the Rainbow Six name, while incorporating classic in-game elements such as vintage maps and weapons, all rebuilt using today's technology. With an SRP of $29.99, Rainbow Six Critical Hour will bring an exciting new seven-mission single-player campaign and 18 multiplayer levels to gamers who want more gameplay from one of the most popular franchises on Xbox Live online gaming service and http://ubi.com.

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January 11, 2006

TALES OF LEGENDIA™ GOES GOLD

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 11, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Tales of Legendia™ for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has gone gold. The latest installment in the renowned Tales role playing series lets players embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of a legendary ship and take on fearsome creatures using a unique fighting system influenced by the award-winning SOULCALIBUR® series.

An original adventure in the Tales universe, Tales of Legendia sets players in a lush game world that is actually a massive ship called the Legacy, a remnant of a civilization long past. Assuming the role of main character Senel, an Alliance marine skilled in an art known as “eres”, players will experience a dramatic storyline and uncover the truth behind the Legacy. In the process, the characters learn the depths of their relationships in an epic tales of love and heroism.

Tales of Legendia combines the depth and storytelling of a traditional RPG with the action and strategy of a fighting game, letting players explore the Legacy and uncover its secrets, while taking on fearsome enemies with the game’s new X-LiMBS (Crossover Linear Motion) battle system. Influenced by the acclaimed SOULCALIBUR series of fighting games, X-LiMBS lets players unleash attacks never before seen in a role playing game such as throws and rapid fire combos and execute potent team attacks. Boasting detailed and vibrant 3D graphics, Tales of Legendia features an all-new cast of characters and close to 30 minutes of anime cut scenes featuring characters designed by artist Kazuto Nakazawa, renowned for his work on the animated sequences in Kill Bill: Volume 1 and the anime series Samurai Champloo.

“With its classic RPG gameplay, innovative battle system and stunning art style, Tales of Legendia sets a new standard for interactive storytelling,” said Yoshi Niki, business unit director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The new X-LiMBS battle system adds a level of fighting depth never before seen in a role playing game, further enhancing the player’s bond with the characters and adding a new element of combat strategy to the series.”

Tales of Legendia is rated T for “Teen” by the ESRB, and will be available in stores this February.

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REVENGE RULES FOR EIDOS’ ROGUE TROOPER

San Francisco, CA (January 11, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of entertainment software, today confirms that ROGUE TROOPER™, a futuristic tactical action game based on the 2000 AD comic strip, will be released in North America in Spring 2006 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and PC.

"Rogue Trooper™ has the attitude, the artillery and the technique to deliver a high quality third person tactical action game experience to players. We're delighted to be working with Eidos on bringing Rogue Trooper™ to gamers everywhere." Jason Kingsley, CEO and Creative Director, Rebellion.

A Genetic Infantryman (G.I.), Rogue is one of an elite regiment of biologically-engineered clone troops, created to overcome Nu Earth’s hostile atmosphere and fight, unhindered, against the brutal Nort War machine. After witnessing the betrayal and annihilation of his entire regiment at the Quartz Zone Massacre, Rogue has gone AWOL, determined to hunt down the traitor general who sent his brothers-in-arms to their deaths.

ROGUE TROOPER™ blends intense third person action and next generation stealth, as Rogue wreaks revenge armed with the very latest experimental weaponry. Rogue’s arsenal offers him a unique advantage over his
opponents; encoded bio-chips containing the digitized personalities of his fallen comrades are implanted in his gun (Gunnar), helmet (Helm) and backpack (Bagman), each offering their full military experience at the player’s fingertips.

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UBISOFT TO DEVELOP VIDEO GAME BASED ON UPCOMING TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CG MOVIE

SAN FRANCISCO JANUARY 11, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) and Mirage Group to develop and publish Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® a video game based on the new CG feature-length film being produced by Imagi Animation Studios and to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in the U.S. and The Weinstein Company internationally. Under the agreement, it is expected that the video game will be available for
gaming consoles in conjunction with the movie's planned release in early 2007.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will be the first all CG animated movie in the history of the franchise. The PG-rated movie will derive its tone from the original comic-book series and will be grittier than the previous live action pictures.

"Ubisoft has demonstrated its strong commitment to making quality license-based games and truly understands the spirit of one of the world's most famous children's brands," said Christian Salomon, director
of licensing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is thrilled to be bringing the Turtles back in an exciting new adventure that will attract the first generation of enthusiasts all the way through to the current and future generations of fans."

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been an international phenomenon for more than twenty years. The property began as an underground comic book and is now one of the most popular licenses; the 4Kids TV show is
broadcast in more than 90 territories and the toys, movies and video games are popular throughout the world.

"We are excited that the Turtles are returning to the big screen in 2007 and pleased to partner with Ubisoft for the creation of a new movie-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game," said Alfred R. Kahn, chairman and chief executive officer of 4Kids Entertainment. "We are confident Ubisoft's commitment to quality, strong international
distribution and presence in the worldwide video game market will complement the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie experience and help generate added excitement for the Turtles brand."

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25 to Life Has Gone Gold!

Eidos has fired off the golden bullet this week as 25 to Life has officially Gone Gold! Be the law, or break the law, there’s only one week to wait before the choice is yours. It’s like you can already hear the sound of the streets ring with gunfire mixed over your favorite hip-hop beats. It’s time to let your own attitude and style shine through as you bring your own personalized character to battle it out with up to 16 players online! Whether you get a blast from throwin’ Molotovs, or prefer to safely pick off your foes with a RSG1 sniper rifle, there’s a weapon to complement any style from our diverse arsenal.

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January 9, 2006

CURIOUS GEORGE™ SWINGS TO GOLD!

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 9, 2006) – Global video games developer and publisher, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced Curious George™ has gone gold for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system, Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance and PC. An action adventure title, based on the February 10th animated feature film of the same name from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Curious George invites players to experience madcap mishaps and mischievous fun as the world’s most inquisitive chimp. Curious George will be available February 1st and is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

For more than 60 years, children and adults alike have followed the tales of the lovable little Curious George – known for his insatiable inquisitiveness and taste for adventure. The story begins as The Man with the Yellow Hat travels to Africa in search of a lost artifact and returns with some unexpected cargo — a precocious chimpanzee named George.

Curious George allows players to meet and interact with their favorite characters from the animated film in this exciting and colorful game world. As the fun-loving George, players can run, jump, climb and swing through 12 action-packed levels including the jungle, museum and Big City. Players must also use the character’s skills, which include crafty escapes and distracting performances, to elude trouble and avoid one entertaining predicament after another. Throughout George’s big adventure, players are encouraged to be curious and explore the “Curious Objects” in each environment – drawers to peek in, machines to activate, trunks to pop open and even chairs to bounce on! Interacting with these objects awards players “Curious Points,” which enable them to purchase items in the Museum Gift Shop including concept art, scenes from the animated movie and accessories for George. Curious George also features bonus features, special unlockables and challenging mini-games to provide players hours of replay after the main story is finished.

“We are excited to be one step closer bringing this lovable character to life in console and handheld video games,” said Jeff Lujan, business director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “By working together with Universal, we’re taking a fresh approach to a classic brand – offering plenty of fun, curiosity and family-oriented gameplay.”

Curious George is developed for consoles and the PC by Monkey Bar Games and for handheld gaming systems by Torus Games through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group.

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Ace Combat Zero

This is a prequel to the successful Ace Combat 5 flight and combat simulator. The Ace Combat style gauge is new. When you go into a mission you can strictly follow your mission or fight against the intercepting plans. How well you do it and what you do will earn you style points. If you just go after money you'll be a mercenary, soldier, etc. The stages change depending on how you play them and what type of style you have.

Enemies fly a lot smarter than previous versions. They'll try to lure you into their wingman's sites, and when you're chasing them . You can give your wingman commands against air or ground targets. Icons show you where targets are. The backgrounds, mountains, the ocean, and the horizon look very good. At the end of every mission you can see your replay. There's also a replay on a grid that shows how you flew the whole mission. There are over 100 rival aces, and downing them brings a cut scene, so you'll want to replay battles in order to beat them all.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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January 3, 2006

CAPCOM REVEALS DEVIL MAY CRY 3: DANTE’S AWAKENING SPECIAL EDITION FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. January 3, 2006— Capcom, a powerhouse in the multi-billion dollar video game industry, today announced Devil May Cry®3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system will join Sony’s “Greatest Hits” collection. Featuring a redesigned package, the special edition will feature a horde of additional content, new options and an additional playable character. In Devil May Cry 3 players take on the role of Dante, the world’s toughest demon slayer, in a fast-paced thrill ride filled with complex storylines, striking graphics and unadulterated stylistic action. The game carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and is planned for release on January 24 at retailers throughout North America for a suggested retail price of $19.95.

Several thousand years have passed since the demon warrior Sparda raised his sword against the unholy world to save the human race. Victorious and assured that evil forces had been confined, Sparda joined mankind and fathered Dante, a half human-half demon son infused with the power of a supernatural lineage. However, Dante was not the only son Sparda had sired. As devoted as Dante was to defeating the forces of evil, his twin brother, Vergil, was consumed by power and upheld the legacy of his sinister ancestors. One moonlit night, a mysterious tower materialized beside Dante's “Devil May Cry” investigative agency. On the rooftop stood his brother along with his inhuman minions goading Dante into a confrontation.

Devil May Cry 3 unfolds an earlier chapter in Dante's history, before the original Devil May Cry, to the fateful clash between Sparda’s twin sons, divided by the divergence of their chosen paths. Along the way, Dante encounters formidable foes and unusual characters including a mysterious man named Arkham and a female hunter named Lady whose mission is to take down all demons, including Dante. These precursory events disclose the complex roots of Dante's character and reveal insight into his clouded past.

Devil May Cry 3 preserves the fast-paced action that has made the series so popular. In addition to its strong roots, the game increases the intensity of gameplay with a new "style" system, which adds an additional level of depth. Depending on preference, players can choose to use short-range, long-range, defensive or evasive play styles. Each system has its own range of gameplay features and players can choose to power up their favorite style for increased special attack abilities. The range of options available in Devil May Cry 3 immerses players in a non-stop, thrilling escapade.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition includes a wealth of exclusive new features:

· New playable character – play as Dante’s evil twin brother, Vergil, with his own unique “Dark Slayer” fighting style

· New “Jester” enemy – previously featured only in cut scenes, Jester has been implemented as a new boss character

· Turbo Option – this new feature boosts the game speed by 20%

· Two continue system options

o Original yellow orb system – use yellow orbs to restart from the last checkpoint

o New gold orb system – continue unlimited times and use gold orbs to resume from the same spot or replay from the last checkpoint if there are no gold orbs left

· Adjusted difficulty levels offer more balanced gameplay as players choose from five options including a new Very Hard mode

· Bloody Palace Mode – Dante is pitted against an onslaught of enemies in this survival mode

· Movie Mode – Unlocked cut scenes can be viewed either one at a time or all in a row

The elements above bolster the impressive offerings of the original Devil May Cry 3:

· Unrelenting, hard-core gothic action

· Fresh new character design – Dante appears younger, but still has his stylish swagger and rock star good looks

· Huge arsenal of weapons – Handguns, powerful shotguns, tricked out guitars and much more

· Combo system – Equip Dante with up to four different weapons that can be swapped at anytime, allowing the freedom to develop a range of fighting moves and combinations

· Customize up to six different fighting styles

o Trickster – Evasive style which allows Dante to deftly dodge enemy attacks with speed and finesse

o Swordmaster – Close-range specialty maximizes the impact of up close attacks with the blade

o Gunslinger – Long-range style that lets Dante blow away enemies with his fire arms

o Royal Guard – Counter attack and guard expertise against strong enemy power

o Quicksilver – Unlockable style that allows Dante to stop time and cause massive damage to enemies

o Doppelganger – An unlockable that produces a replica that fights alongside Dante

· Enhanced graphics – Fully textured rich backgrounds utilizing 3D polygons as well as real time rendering for in game cut scenes and intro movie

· Multitude of demonic enemies – More ferocious than ever before with powerful weapons, the ability to transform and fly and other challenging surprises

· Obtain orbs throughout the game to purchase new weapons, fighting techniques, increase strength and more

· Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II support

· Hidden weapons, items, characters, difficulty levels and more

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December 21, 2005

AND 1 Streetball I-Ball Control System Feature Descrip tion

AND 1 Streetball (Xbox, PS2 March 2006) will raise the bar for sports videos game with its revolutionary I-Ball Controls, an intuitive control system that gives you fluid and precise command over every offensive and defensive move. Not only will you do it, you will also feel it, and it will feel good.

About I-Ball

I-Ball is a dual analog control system allowing you to access an arsenal of amazing streetball moves and flow them together spontaneously. The term "I-Ball" comes from a phrase coined by AND 1. It's an expression that inspires players to develop their own original style. That's what compelled the developers to create this control system, which gives everyone the ability to ball according to their personal style.

Number of Moves

There are over 130 moves in the game, each motion captured from the AND 1 legends including The Professor, AO, Main Event, and many more. This allows you to perform your favorite streetballer's signature moves,
such as The Professor's Midterm, AO's Off the Head, and the Spyda dunk. There are also a number of classic playground moves, ball tricks, dunks, alley oops, and other surprising moves never seen in any other
streetball game.

Types of I-Ball Moves

While the I-Ball system lets you perform a full spectrum of offensive and defensive moves, the system is ideal for carrying out the intense 1-on-1 battles made famous in AND 1 streetball.

Running Moves: These are moves the player can perform while on the run, to get past a defender or showboat their way down the court.
Stationary Moves: Setup moves: Dribbling moves that set you up for more elaborate moves.
Showboat moves: Moves designed to get your defender off his guard.
Ankle Breakers: Moves that juke your defender so bad he gets knocked off balance. A successful Ankle Breaker gives your player a clear path to the basket and a Respect Point bonus.

I-Ball and Respect Points

Respect points measure your baller's ability to amaze the crowd and earn the respect of other players. You won't advance through the game without them. Respect Points are earned as you I-Ball, with the more complex moves earning you more points.

Originality is an important aspect of streetball, and it's also important to the Respect Point system. The more original your moves are, the more points you'll receive. Repeating the same moves over and over won't gain you as many points, nor will they be effective catching your opponents off guard.

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December 19, 2005

Sony Game Night

I went to a Sony party and demo night last Thursday and had some fun. They had the one party feature that virtually guarantees that attendance will be worth it: an open bar.

I played Tourist Trophy, a realistic simulation motorcylce raching game from the same studio that developed GT4. There are a lot of the same tracks as GT but switched around for motorcylce racing. The sound effects are taken from an actual motorcylce going around a track. There are more than 35 tracks and over 100 bikes. The bike handled well, predictably, and consistently. I enjoyed playing this very much. It is scheduled to ship in March or April of 2006.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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25 To Life Preparing You For The Upcoming Online Battles!

25 to Life is going to unleash on the world next month and we've got some updates for you! Prepare for your grand entrance into the online current-day cops and robbers battlefield! The official 25 to Life website has updated game information, the first online features for PS2, Xbox, and PC users, and a new Fansite Kit for the overwhelming numbers who have requested it! Check out the 25 to Life official website and roll on over to the latest locations in 25 to Life from the lavish homes of the city's biggest crime lords to the shadowy, downtrodden streets of Tijuana. Be on the look out for two new characters. You just may happen upon Riggs, a jack of many trades, and none of which are legal or fare. Or you might run into Sergeant Riley, if you can spot this sly police officer quicker than he can spot you. Both Law Enforcement and the Criminal side have new tricks up their sleeves. Check out the new weapons on each side of the law.

When it turns ugly, you'll need to be ready! 25 to Life is shipping in North America in January of 2006 for the PS2, XBox, and PC.

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December 15, 2005

EA NAMES COLORADO CRUSH QUARTERBACK, JOHN DUTTON, COVER ATHLETE FOR NEW ARENA FOOTBALL VIDEO GAME

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – December 15, 2005 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that John Dutton, quarterback for the 2005 Arena Football League™ Champion Colorado Crush, will serve as cover athlete and spokesman for Arena Football™, available in stores on February 7, 2006 under the EA SPORTS™ brand.

In a 51-48 win over the Georgia Force in ArenaBowl XIX this past June, Dutton led the Colorado Crush to its first-ever Arena Football League championship in just their third year in the league, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Dutton, a seven year Arena Football League veteran, previously led the San Jose SaberCats to an ArenaBowl title in 2002 where he was named MVP of ArenaBowl XVI. As the quarterback at the University of Nevada, Dutton helped Nevada earn its first bowl win with an 18-15 defeat over Ball State in the 1996 Las Vegas Bowl.

“I’m honored to be the first cover athlete for this new franchise and very excited about working with EA on Arena Football,” said John Dutton. “I think it’s great that fans can now experience the true action of Arena Football from the leader in sports video games.”

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UBISOFT ANNOUNCES TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL DOUBLE AGENT

San Francisco, Ca – DECEMBER 14, 2005 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 4 (working title), the fourth blockbuster in the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell franchise, will officially be called Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent. The game will be available Spring 2006 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube system and Windows PC.

Following the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell franchise tradition of innovation, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent will completely revolutionize and reinvent the spy action genre by introducing an unprecedented double agent concept and an entirely new breed of game play that adds an exciting new dimension to the gaming experience.

"Ubisoft is excited to have re-imagined the Splinter Cell franchise by introducing Sam Fisher as a double agent, expanding the depth of his character,” said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Gamers are going to find themselves immersed in entirely new territory that will allow Ubisoft to expand on its already captivating Splinter Cell franchise."

With the entirely new direction of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent, Ubisoft has reinvented the best-selling and highest rated espionage franchise. The revolutionary double agent concept immerses players
in the world of international espionage more completely than ever, expanding the story and depth of Sam Fisher's character and evoking players' emotions by drawing them deeper into the gaming experience. Tom
Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent will push the limits of each platform based on its respective technological capabilities, taking advantage of a collaborative development effort between Ubisoft's award-winning development studios in Montreal, Shanghai and Annecy, France. Across all platforms, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent will have the features that have defined the Splinter Cell franchise: amazing graphics, fluid animations, advanced artificial intelligence and open level design. Furthermore, each platform will feature exclusive content and offer a unique game play experience.

"The surprising new direction for the series will certainly excite fans and attract the attention of a whole new group of gamers," said Jeremy Zoss, associate editor at Game Informer Magazine. "As fans of the Splinter Cell series, Game Informer is thrilled to bring our readers a world exclusive first look at Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent," available on newsstands December 22, 2005. Game Informer features an in-depth first preview of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent.

About Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent
Veteran agent Sam Fisher is back. But he's never faced an enemy like this before. To stop a devastating terrorist attack, he must infiltrate a vicious terrorist group and destroy it from within. For the first time ever, experience the relentless tension and gut-wrenching dilemmas of life as a double agent. As you infiltrate a terrorist organization in its American headquarters, you must carefully weigh the consequences of your actions. Kill too many criminals and you'll blow your cover. Hesitate too long and millions will die. Do whatever it takes to complete your mission, but get out alive.

Here's the trailer.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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December 14, 2005

NBA Ballers: Phenom

This morning I met with Midway and they showed me NBA Ballers: Phenom, the sequel to last year's hit NBA Ballers (1.5 million copies sold). The game ships in March 2006 for Xbox and PS2. An updated version of the original, NBA Ballers Rebound will be available for PSP. Although far from complete, the PS2 and PSP versions looked great.

The premise behind the game is that this is an RPG for basketball players. With a deep story mode and a lot of wide open game play there is plenty to do. The story revolves around a series of 2 on 2 tournaments (2 on 2 brings back memories of NBA Jam) and side missions that are like mini-games. Gamers create their character and assign attributes. Later, attributes increase according to how you play the game (if you are strong on D when you play then your character's defensive attributes go up). The other way to increase attributes is to drink a Sprite which is something like drinking a potion in that it gives a temporary attribute boost. Attributes can be boosted also by wearing special items like better sneakers.

As far as in-game dynamics, this game looks good. The character modeling is very strong and the players look like themselves. Because it is 2 on 2 there is now team play calling. The animated trick moves, called "Act A Fool" are hilarious. It's all about showmanship and tricks.

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December 13, 2005

NAMCO ANNOUNCES SNOOPY™ VS. THE RED BARON

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (December 12, 2005) – “This time I’ve got you, Red Baron! This time you’re mine!”…Leading video games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. today announced Snoopy™ vs. the Red Baron, an exhilarating aerial-based action adventure game starring Peanuts® top dog Snoopy and a cast of classic characters. While taking a nap atop his doghouse, Snoopy has a magical dream and becomes a World War I flying ace who must pilot his bi-plane in a heroic attempt to foil the plans of his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. Featuring 50+ single-player and co-op missions, action-packed dogfights and customizable planes across six unique environments, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron will be coming to the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, Xbox® video game system and the PC in Fall 2006.

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron lets players climb into the cockpit to pilot Snoopy’s famous Sopwith Camel and other unique aircraft in perilous dogfights, high-speed air races and heart-pounding missions deep behind enemy lines. As players barnstorm across six massive, free-roaming play fields in search of clues for the location of the Red Baron’s secret hideout, players can upgrade their aircraft with a collection of 25 unique, comical weapons and other unlockable gadgets, including the player-guided Woodstock missile. Classic Peanuts characters including Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Marcie and Sally will aid Snoopy on his mission, providing him with hints and tips to track down the despicable Red Baron.

“Snoopy’s longstanding rivalry with the nefarious Red Baron persona is one of the most acclaimed Peanuts storylines, giving Namco the perfect premise to create a family-friendly video game,” said Jeff Lujan, Business Director at Namco Hometek, Inc. “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron introduces an original gameplay experience with high-flying aerial action that is sure to entertain kids of all ages and extend this classic story’s legacy.”

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December 9, 2005

OUTRUN 2006: COAST 2 COAST DRIFTS ONTO PSP SYSTEM, PLAYSTATION 2, PC

LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (December 8, 2005) - SEGA Europe Ltd. and SEGA of America, Inc. today announced OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, the latest installment in the iconic OutRun series and the first to appear on the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. OutRun 2006: Coast
2 Coast on PlayStation 2, PSP system, will be released on March, 2006 with a PC version to be released soon thereafter.

The enchanting draw of the open road has never been so appealing with the choice of one of 12 fully licensed Ferrari models, featuring the all-new F430 and 575 Super America. Gamers will feel the throaty whine and that distinctive Ferrari exhaust note as they power their way across 30 glorious stages from the best of the OutRun2 original and the new OutRun2 SP arcade experience. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play with up to 6 players in both head-to-head and co-operative play.

"Out Run 2006: Coast 2 Coast represents our strategy to revitalize a stable of recognizable SEGA properties for gamers in the Western markets," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "OutRun conjures up fantastic memories for many hardcore gamers and this mammoth new version is sure to turn a new generation on to a true arcade racing classic."

With platform specific missions, the player will also be able to unlock PSP system exclusive content by connecting with the PlayStation 2 version, and vice versa. Stack up the OutRun miles from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way to unlock new tracks, cars and much more. With a girlfriend by your side and open country before you, which route will you take?

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December 8, 2005

The world is your race track

New York (Dec. 8, 2005) – The world’s most treacherous chicanes, tightest corners, and fastest straights will soon be tangible as Codemasters reveals an incredible line up of more than 80 international racing circuits featuring in TOCA Race Driver 3.

Coming February 24, 2006, to PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the XboxÒ videogame system from Microsoft and PC, TOCA Race Driver 3 delivers more than ever before with over 150 miles of the world’s most celebrated courses, taking racers to 43 locations across 13 countries in the largest collection of race tracks ever featured in one game.

From the most well-known circuits in the U.S., including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Laguna Seca Grand Prix circuit to the UK's iconic Silverstone, Germany's demanding Hockenheim with its gladiatorial stadium section, and the dramatic drops and rises of Belgium's historic Spa-Francorchamps as it blasts through the Ardennes forest. TOCA Race Driver 3 will also take drivers to Australia's V8 championship venues, and the latest tracks on the global racing map: Shanghai International, Bahrain International and Istanbul Park.

Every track has been authentically recreated for the game using real-world GPS topographical data so players are guaranteed to experience them just as real race drivers do. For Mount Panorama (Bathurst), a new geographic survey of the circuit was commissioned exclusively for the game to capture every last detail. Additionally, the game’s enhanced rendering engine means every race course will shine in visual detail with multi-textured surfaces that bring spectacular effects to track objects and the circuits themselves.

Ready to go around the world on more than 80 circuits? Here’s where TOCA Race Driver 3 will take drivers:

Australia

* Mount Panorama V8 circuit (Bathurst)
* Barbagallo – Long, V8 and Short circuits
* Eastern Creek – Grand Prix, V8, Short and Southern Loops circuits
* Queensland Grand Prix circuit
* Oran Park – Grand Prix, South and North circuits
* Sandown Park V8 circuit
* Gold Coast Indy 300 Grand Prix circuit
* Symmons Plains Raceway V8 circuit
* Philip Island Grand Prix circuit
* Hidden Valley Raceway
* Adelaide Street circuit


Bahrain

* Bahrain – Grand Prix, Internal, and External circuits


Belgium

* Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit


China

* Shanghai Grand Prix Circuit


Czech Republic

* Brunn - Brno Grand Prix Circuit


Germany

* Hockenheim – Grand Prix, National and Short circuits
* Lausitzring EuroSpeedway – Grand Prix circuit
* Norisring – Grand Prix circuit
* Nurburgring – Short circuit
* Motopark Oschersleben – Grand Prix, ‘B’ and ‘C’ circuits


Ireland

* Mondello Park – International, National and Short circuits


Netherlands

* Zandvoort – Grand Prix, National, Club and Oostelijk circuits


New Zealand

* Pukekohe Park Raceway


Turkey

* Istanbul Park Circuit


UK

* Donnington Park – Grand Prix and National circuits
* Oulton Park – International, Island and Foster circuits
* Silverstone – Grand Prix, International, National, and South circuits
* Brands Hatch – Grand Prix and Short Indy circuits, plus Rally Cross track
* Bedford Autodrome – GT, North, East, South and West circuits
* Snetterton
* Castle Coombe


USA

* Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval
* Nashville Super Speedway
* Dover International Raceway
* Gateway International Raceway
* Gateway International Raceway Road course
* Laguna Seca Grand Prix circuit


Plus:
Original circuits designed exclusively for the game:

* 3 UK Rally courses
* 3 International Rallycross courses
* 2 Go Kart circuits
* 5 National Dirt Raceway circuits

Continue reading "The world is your race track" »

December 7, 2005

Prepare to enter the Dance Factory, coming April exclusively on PlayStation®2

New York (Dec. 7, 2005) – Set to revolutionize the dance mat gaming phenomenon, Codemasters today confirms that Dance Factory will launch in North America and Europe in April 2006.

Coming exclusively to PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Dance Factory will be the world’s first dance mat game that enables players to personally choose the music tracks they want to groove to – from their own music CD collection! This incredible innovation means that dance gaming is no longer limited to titles with pre-set track lists or music genres.

Dancers load up Dance Factory on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, choose any music CD and watch as the game choreographs dance moves specifically for the track that the player has chosen – live! Then, the player can take to the dance mat stage and get their feet moving to the beats as the dance steps play out on screen. As well as making the moves, Dance Factory will also create animated background visuals to best match the style of any players chosen track and bring their routine alive.

Dance Factory’s innovative beat recognition technology, developed exclusively for the title, ensures that for the first time a dance mat game can span across all music tastes; it works with everything from a classic disco track, to guitar rock, R&B, to the most current dance anthem.

In addition to the unique ‘any CD’ concept, Dance Factory will unleash a whole load of different dance mat gaming modes – including Fitness, Endurance and Recorder. Plus, Dance Factory will also unlock digital music creatures that hide on each and every music CD and get them dancing too!

In the main game mode players dance to the music of their choice and rack up points as they pull off the moves that Dance Factory has choreographed for them. The better they bust their moves, the more points that are awarded with which to unlock additional modes, features and content.

Players will even be able to make Dance Factory part of their workout program with the game’s Fitness mode. The more they move, the more calories they burn and in this mode the game displays a calorie counter so players can see how much they’re working off through the tracks.

When players want to try for an album-long dancing marathon, Dance Factory’s Endurance mode challenges them to dance their way through the entire playlist of a CD – if they can pull off the moves. In Endurance, players have to achieve a pre-set minimum level of footwork accuracy before moving onto the next track on the CD. If players can dance their way through an entire CD, the points awarded for each track are doubled!

Dance Factory will also give players the chance to be the choreographer as well as the DJ too! In Recorder mode, they can set the dance moves for the track of their choice and Dance Factory will record it for them.

With many more innovations yet to be revealed, including how a unique Creature mode will unleash digital dancing companions, Dance Factory will provide the power for everyone to dance to the music they want when it launches April 2006, exclusively for PlayStation 2. Find out more online at www.codemasters.com.

Continue reading "Prepare to enter the Dance Factory, coming April exclusively on PlayStation®2" »

December 6, 2005

Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America

BURBANK, Calif. — (December 6, 2005) — In anticipation of Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s epic feature film release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on December 9, retail support of the movie-inspired video game has been brisk throughout North America and Europe. Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), announced today that the company has shipped more than 2 million units of the multiplatform video game to retail outlets in the two regions. The video game is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance system and PC*.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game launch marks the largest self-publishing initiative executed to date by Buena Vista Games,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “There is great excitement building for the release of the film and that buzz has helped ignite an event atmosphere at retail for the video game. By building upon and expanding the Narnia entertainment experience, BVG is playing an important role as the next content creation engine for the company.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game takes the classic story from the renowned book from C.S. Lewis to new heights by bringing the feature film’s cinematic experience to life in a stunning interactive adventure. Players can take on the role of each of the four Pevensie heroes – Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy – to battle the White Witch’s sinister minions in team-based, action-packed combat.

In the action/adventure console and PC versions, players take on 15 levels of combat and puzzle-solving game play. The console and PC games also feature seamless integration of film footage with game play and includes extensive use of voice talent from the film.

“The ever-expanding video game marketplace is of great interest to me,” said Andrew Adamson, the film’s director. “It was such a thrill to work with the Buena Vista Games and Traveller’s Tales teams to provide creative input for the video game, which has resulted in a beautiful translation of the film into an epic interactive experience.”

"Transitioning from the movie into the video game area is an uplifting experience because every person who has read the book has longed to go to Narnia,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of author C.S. Lewis. “With the video games, people can not only visit Narnia but they can control the heroes' actions. In a sense, they can invent their own adventure within Narnia."

In addition to strong retail support throughout North America and Europe, the game is receiving positive reviews from video game critics. IGN.com, a leading online video game site, recently awarded The Chronicles of Narnia video game the prestigious IGN.com Editor’s Choice Award, an 8.3 out of 10 review score and described the title as “a near perfect example of how to make a movie-based video game the right way.”

Continue reading "Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America" »

Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America

BURBANK, Calif. — (December 6, 2005) — In anticipation of Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s epic feature film release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on December 9, retail support of the movie-inspired video game has been brisk throughout North America and Europe. Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), announced today that the company has shipped more than 2 million units of the multiplatform video game to retail outlets in the two regions. The video game is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance system and PC*.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game launch marks the largest self-publishing initiative executed to date by Buena Vista Games,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “There is great excitement building for the release of the film and that buzz has helped ignite an event atmosphere at retail for the video game. By building upon and expanding the Narnia entertainment experience, BVG is playing an important role as the next content creation engine for the company.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game takes the classic story from the renowned book from C.S. Lewis to new heights by bringing the feature film’s cinematic experience to life in a stunning interactive adventure. Players can take on the role of each of the four Pevensie heroes – Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy – to battle the White Witch’s sinister minions in team-based, action-packed combat.

In the action/adventure console and PC versions, players take on 15 levels of combat and puzzle-solving game play. The console and PC games also feature seamless integration of film footage with game play and includes extensive use of voice talent from the film.

“The ever-expanding video game marketplace is of great interest to me,” said Andrew Adamson, the film’s director. “It was such a thrill to work with the Buena Vista Games and Traveller’s Tales teams to provide creative input for the video game, which has resulted in a beautiful translation of the film into an epic interactive experience.”

"Transitioning from the movie into the video game area is an uplifting experience because every person who has read the book has longed to go to Narnia,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of author C.S. Lewis. “With the video games, people can not only visit Narnia but they can control the heroes' actions. In a sense, they can invent their own adventure within Narnia."

In addition to strong retail support throughout North America and Europe, the game is receiving positive reviews from video game critics. IGN.com, a leading online video game site, recently awarded The Chronicles of Narnia video game the prestigious IGN.com Editor’s Choice Award, an 8.3 out of 10 review score and described the title as “a near perfect example of how to make a movie-based video game the right way.”

Continue reading "Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America" »

2K Sports Announces Major League Baseball 2K6 - The Exclusive 2006 Multi-Platform Baseball Title

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 5, 2005 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today that Major League Baseball 2K6 is slated for release in early spring 2006. Featuring New York Yankees All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter as the cover athlete and official spokesperson, Major League Baseball 2K6 will debut new features that will set a new standard for baseball video games.

Major League Baseball 2K6 will be the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console including the Xbox 360(tm) and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system and the Nintendo GameCube(tm).

"We've assembled an amazing team to deliver the highest quality baseball title on every major video game platform," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "2K Sports has pushed the boundaries of our entire line-up of games this year and Major League Baseball 2K6 will be no exception."

"With Major League Baseball 2K6, 2K Sports has captured the essence of our National pastime," stated Derek Jeter. "It's been a great pleasure and honor to represent the finest baseball game on any video game system. I'm really impressed with the new graphics and features that Major League Baseball 2K6 will bring to baseball fans everywhere."

As one of the most respected and recognizable Major League Baseball players, Derek Jeter wrapped up the 2005 season by winning his second consecutive Gold Glove award Over the last 10 seasons (1996-2005), Jeter
leads the major leagues with an impressive 1,924 hits and ranks second with 1,154 runs. As the team captain of the New York Yankees, Jeter's charisma, talent and intense drive have earned him numerous awards and
have cemented him as one of the greatest players to ever don the Yankee pinstripes.

Continue reading "2K Sports Announces Major League Baseball 2K6 - The Exclusive 2006 Multi-Platform Baseball Title" »

December 1, 2005

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PRINCE OF PERSIA THE TWO THRONES IS AVAILABLE NOW

SAN FRANCISO, CA December 1, 2005 Today, Ubisoft announced that Prince of Persia The Two Thrones is available now for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube system and PC CD-ROM. Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreal studio, Prince of Persia The Two Thrones blends the best features from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Prince of Persia Warrior Within, and creates an epic experience by combining two playable characters in a masterly balanced gameplay, with the perfect mix of combat, platforming, puzzles and a compelling storyline. Prince of Persia The Two Thrones is rated M for Mature and has an MSRP of $49.99.

“Prince of Persia The Two Thrones is the highly anticipated climax of the Sands of Time trilogy. As exciting as Prince of Persia Warrior Within and as unique as The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia The Two Thrones
will once again prove that Prince of Persia is one of the most innovative and critically acclaimed franchises in video game history,” said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. “An unforgettable gaming experience, Prince of Persia The Two Thrones is poised to rule over the holiday season.”

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2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES COLLEGE HOOPS 2K6 FOR PS2 AND XBOX IN STORES NOW!

2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that College Hoops 2K6 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system is now available in stores across North America. College Hoops 2K6, also available for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, delivers the most exciting new features, fast-paced hardwood action and all the tradition and competitive spirit of NCAA college basketball.

New features to the highly acclaimed franchise such as an enhanced Legacy mode, underclassmen recruiting, high school camps and virtual coaches combine to make College Hoops 2K6 the most comprehensive college basketball game yet.

Additional enhancements include:

 Player Disposition, where the playing time of every player must be carefully balanced to maximize the confidence and focus for each player.

 Coach’s Clipboard, to stress the importance of good coaching with the ability to give players specific direction during timeouts.

 High School Camp, a feature that extends the college basketball experience by letting gamers scout top performing high school players through camp visits and drills.

 Five in-game commentators delivering insightful commentary from Verne Lundquist as the play-by-play announcer, Bill Raftery for color commentary, Bonnie Bernstein reporting from the sidelines and Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg as tournament presenters.

 Real college coaches featuring notables such as Roy Williams, Tubby Smith, Jim Boeheim and Lute Olson.

College Hoops 2K6 for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and Xbox video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is rated "E" for Everyone and available in North American retail stores for $29.99.

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES COLLEGE HOOPS 2K6 FOR PS2 AND XBOX IN STORES NOW!" »

November 23, 2005

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES COLLEGE HOOPS 2K6 NOW AVAILABLE

NEW YORK, NY - November 23, 2005 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that College Hoops 2K6 for the Xbox(r) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is now available at retailers across North America. 2K Sports' highly acclaimed college basketball franchise returns to deliver the most realistic collegiate experience yet, featuring an enhanced Legacy mode, underclassmen recruiting, high school camps, virtual coaches and an unprecedented five in-game commentators.

"Fans love college basketball because it portrays basketball in its purest state; where solid coaching, strong teamwork and school spirit prevail," said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "College Hoops 2K6 incorporates this by introducing new features that make it the most comprehensive college basketball game, delivering the emotion and drama of the college experience like never before."

Bringing personality to the franchise mode are the coaches and multiple commentators. College Hoops 2K6 breaks new ground by featuring real college coaches, including Roy Williams, Tubby Smith, Jim Boeheim, and Lute Olson. College Hoops 2K6 gives gamers in-depth game coverage, enhanced by insightful commentary from Verne Lundquist as the play-by-play announcer, Bill Raftery for color commentary, Bonnie Bernstein reporting from the sidelines and Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg as tournament presenters.

"This is the first time that a video game company has obtained the licensing right to use a large number of college coaches within the body of the video game," said David Kirkpatrick, vice president of non-apparel marketing, The Collegiate Licensing Company. "We think that college basketball fans will revel in the opportunity to have top college coaches walking the sidelines."


In addition, College Hoops 2K6 showcases new features for the franchise such as Player Disposition, the Coach's Clipboard, the High School Camp and many of the elements that made NBA 2K6 a critical success, such as the Strip 'n' Rip System, Shot Stick and V.I.P. System(tm).

* Player Disposition focuses on each player's inherent set of attributes: consistency, focus, and confidence. By utilizing practice drills, scrimmages, and weekly meetings in the game, you try to raise these attributes to their peaks, so that you can heighten your Player Psyche and optimize your players' performances.

* The Coach's Clipboard feature captures the true collegiate atmosphere by stressing the importance of good coaching. The feature gives gamers the ability to give specific direction to their team during timeouts to help coach them to victory. Gamers have total control over individual zone replacements to make the necessary substitutions for improving zone defense efficiency and exploiting an opponent's weaknesses.

* The High School Camp feature lets gamers scout top performing high school players by visiting camps and observing or playing with the top prospects in the country to judge their performance in drills and scrimmages. This feature complements the underclassmen recruiting feature, in which gamers can now recruit high school players at any level and secure interest that will carry over from year to year.

Through the Xbox Live(r) online game service and PlayStation Online, College Hoops 2K6 provides gamers with the most realistic, interactive gaming experience with seamless head-to-head online play. The comprehensive online features also provide stat tracking, buddy list management and online leagues.

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES COLLEGE HOOPS 2K6 NOW AVAILABLE" »

November 17, 2005

ACTIVISION HITS THE GRITTY STREETS OF MANHATTAN WITH THE DEBUT OF TRUE CRIME: NEW YORK CITY

Santa Monica, CA – November 16, 2005 – Gamers can now wield the ultimate power on New York’s city streets with the release of Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) True Crime®: New York City. The game puts players into the role of Marcus Reed, a former gang member turned cop who confronts four of New York’s most deadly crime syndicates as he hunts down the murderer of his mentor, all while cleaning up neighborhoods from Chinatown to Harlem to Times Square. Mastering five fighting styles, advanced weaponry, special driving maneuvers and all-new interrogation tactics, gamers choose to walk the straight line and move up the police ranks or cross the limits of their authority.

“True Crime: New York City is the first game to deliver the ultimate urban drama set against a realistic version of Manhattan,” said Will Kassoy, vice president of global brand management for Activision Publishing. “The game’s deep and diverse gameplay takes players into the city’s neighborhoods, buildings and subways and lets them virtually experience the city in a way that has never been possible in a videogame.”

In True Crime: New York City players turn in or take out shady informants, cold-blooded killers and ruthless criminals as they navigate an authentic recreation of a dynamic, free-roaming present-day Manhattan, which includes landmarks, subways, interiors, GPS-accurate streets and real neighborhoods. If players allow crime to go unchecked in any of Manhattan’s dynamically changing neighborhoods, the crime rate will soar, the streets will fill with trash, potholes and unsavory characters, and buildings and foliage will visibly deteriorate. Alternately, if players clamp down on crime in a neighborhood, crime rates fall and visual improvements will indicate their progress as well.

The game features a voiceover cast of seasoned actors who lent their distinct voice talents to the game’s main characters. The cast includes Christopher Walken as FBI field agent Gabriel Whitting; Laurence Fishburne as drug kingpin Isaiah “The King” Reed; Mariska Hargitay as New York Police Lieutenant Deena Dixon; Mickey Rourke as New York Police Detective Terrence Higgins; Esai Morales as New York Police Organized Crime Unit Chief Victor Navarro; Traci Lords as madam Cassandra Hartz; Beetlejuice as himself; and up and coming actor Avery Waddell as former gangster turned cop Marcus Reed, the game’s main character and Isaiah Reed’s son.

Also appearing in the game is hip hop artist Redman as a secret character in his own unlockable level called “Red Gone Wild.” Redman created two original tracks for the True Crime: New York City in-game soundtrack which features over 80 eclectic songs from NYC raised or transplanted bands, spanning such diverse genres as punk, hip hop, hardcore and rock, bringing a true East Coast sound to the game.

Continue reading " ACTIVISION HITS THE GRITTY STREETS OF MANHATTAN WITH THE DEBUT OF TRUE CRIME: NEW YORK CITY" »

FLOW: Urban Dance Uprising Launches

SAN FRANCISCO November 16, 2005 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Flow: Urban Dance Uprising, the first and only breakdancing and hip hop video game, has shipped to retail exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Flow: Urban Dance Uprising is rated T for Teen and has an MSRP of $39.99.

Flow: Urban Dance Uprising features classic breakdancing gameplay and a soundtrack of hip hop artists including the Sugarhill Gang, Kurtis Blow, and Eric B & Rakim. Gamers can compete against as many as seven other players and choose from a host of dancers that perform classic breakdance moves in one of 10 different urban settings.

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DRAKENGARD 2 Announced

Drakengard 1 was a great game. I remember defeating entire armies while riding my trusty dragon. Hopefully the second will be as good as the first.

SAN FRANCISCO NOVEMBER 16, 2005 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it has signed an exclusive publishing deal with Square Enix to bring DRAKENGARD 2 to North America and Europe. Under the agreement, Ubisoft will distribute DRAKENGARD 2 for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system.

Ubisoft is expanding its prior collaboration with Square Enix. Last year Ubisoft published Star Ocean Till the End of Time for PlayStation 2 and distributed the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows® throughout Europe.

DRAKENGARD® 2 is a role-playing action game featuring knights and dragons that builds on the scenario of the original title. Released in Japan last June, DRAKENGARD 2 became an immediate success, topping Japanese sales charts and selling more than 100,000 copies in its first week of release.

“We are very excited to be working with Square Enix to publish this highly anticipated RPG in North America and Europe,” said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubisoft. DRAKENGARD 2 is a hit in the Japanese market, and we are sure that North American and European gamers will also be thrilled by this fantastic adventure title.

Continue reading "DRAKENGARD 2 Announced" »

November 16, 2005

THE WARDROBE AWAITS

BURBANK, Calif. — (November 15, 2005) — The quest to save the enchanted land of Narnia has begun. Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), brings gamers and Narnia fans an unforgettable adventure with video games inspired by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s epic feature film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” scheduled to release in theaters December 9. The video games are now available at retail outlets in North America for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance system and PC, Buena Vista Games announced today. Players are thrust into a mysterious frozen world where they will play as four heroes -- Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy Pevensie -- to free Narnia from a cold, bleak eternity under the control of the evil White Witch.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video games beautifully translate the film into an epic interactive experience,” said Andrew Adamson, film director. “They demonstrate the importance of having a film team that is involved in the production of the video games inspired by that film. Players will truly feel as if they have walked through the wardrobe doors and into Narnia, where they can control the destiny of the characters.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video games take the classic story from the renowned book from C.S. Lewis to new heights by bringing the cinematic experience to life in a stunning interactive adventure. Playing as each of the four Pevensie heroes, gamers will battle the White Witch’s sinister minions in team-based, action-packed combat. Taking on a variety of creatures including Minoboars, Cyclopes, Werewolves and Ankleslicers, gamers must utilize each hero’s unique combat skills, weaponry and special moves to defeat hoards of enemies, solve elaborate puzzles and advance towards restoring Narnia.

“’The Chronicles of Narnia’ is one of The Walt Disney Company’s most highly-anticipated ventures this year,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “The Narnia video game represents collaboration between film making and game development at its best. The game immerses players into the land of Narnia and lets them experience an extensive adventure beyond the epic film.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PC is developed by Traveller’s Tales and is rated “T” for Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions carry a suggested retail price of $49.99. The PC version carries a suggested retail price of $39.99. The Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance versions are developed by Amaze Entertainment. The Nintendo DS version has an ESRB rating of “E10+” for Everyone 10 and older and carries a suggested retail price of $34.99. The Game Boy Advance version is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99.

About The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video games
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video games uniquely convey the classic story. The console and PC versions are action/adventure games featuring 15 levels of combat and puzzle solving game play. The game also features seamless integration of film footage with game play and includes extensive use of voice talent from the film. Included are numerous unlockable bonus levels and features that reveal secrets about the making of the game. Also, the console and PC versions include a two-player co-op “drop in/drop out” feature in which a second player can easily join a single-player game already in progress.

The Nintendo DS version is an action/adventure game with role playing game features. The Nintendo DS game, which includes 60 maps, utilizes the touch screen for game play options, including managing inventory, conversing with allied creatures, casting spells and controlling one of four possible characters in real-time combat. A wireless multiplayer mode allows up to four people to play simultaneously.

The Game Boy Advance version is an action/adventure game that includes 17 levels of game play inspired by the film. Players earn role playing game-based Nobility power-ups to defeat the minions of the White Witch. The game includes a two-player linked or wireless multiplayer mode (accessories sold separately).

Continue reading " THE WARDROBE AWAITS" »

America's Army: Rise of a Soldier Ships to Retail

SAN FRANCISCO November 15, 2005 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that America's Army: Rise of a Soldier has shipped to retail stores for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Ubisoft and the U.S. Army worked together to develop a new and unique experience for console gamers that features all the action-packed realism that players have come to expect from the America's Army game brand. With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the vast military expertise of the U.S. Army, Ubisoft created the most authentic military console game to date by incorporating true-to-life character progression via an all-new Career mode. The PlayStation2 computer entertainment system version of America's Army: Rise of a Soldier is projected to ship in Q1 2006.

"We are very excited to bring the only official U.S. Army game to consoles," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Working firsthand with the U.S. Army to create this all-new title has ensured the deepest and most realistic military game ever to hit the consoles. Players will become immersed in the complete Army experience while learning what it takes to rise through the ranks in the all-new Career mode."

Built in partnership with the U.S. Army and developed by Secret Level, America's Army: Rise of a Soldier offers the most true-to-life Army experience, allowing players to create a soldier and lead him through the excitement of an Army career. Intense single-player missions and high-adrenaline multiplayer action progress the skills of a soldier as he rises through the ranks.

"Our collaboration with Ubisoft has resulted in the most authentic console game about soldiering in the U.S. Army," said Colonel Casey Wardynski, originator and director of the America's Army game project.
"America's Army: Rise of a Soldier emulates the real Army, allowing players to choose their own career paths. Players can focus on individual Army roles, like Sniper or Grenadier, or experience different roles in their goal to achieve Green Beret status."

Key Features

Unique Career mode: Unparalleled character customization allows players to create a soldier and take him throughout his career from recruit to Special Forces Team Leader.
1. Earn experience points in training and combat missions and use them to increase core skills.
2. Play as an integrated member of an eight-man fire team at first then progress to become a Fire Team Leader responsible for and issuing commands to a fire team.

The only official U.S. Army game on the console: Real active-duty Special Forces operatives consulted with game designers to ensure the highest level of realism in any military game in existence. Authentic weapons, equipment and combat situations come straight from the U.S. Army subject matter experts.

Play it your way: Rise of a Soldier has no linear campaign design; players can choose their own career paths. Either focus on certain roles (sniper or automatic rifleman, for example) or experience different roles in the goal to achieve Special Forces.

Intense Military Action: Quick reflexes, smart tactics, and the use of teamwork are mandatory to succeed in army missions, which plunge players into ultra-realistic combat scenarios.

Multiplayer: Rise of a Soldier will offer a top-notch multiplayer experience with up to 16 players playing on Xbox Live® and online for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Career Mode will be brought online, where players can create and build an online character.

Continue reading "America's Army: Rise of a Soldier Ships to Retail" »

November 14, 2005

Tourist Trophy Announced For North America

SCEA announced the Spring 2006 North American release of Tourist Trophy, available exclusively for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system. Created by Polyphony Digital Inc., developers of Gran Turismo the best-selling worldwide racing videogame franchise, Tourist Trophy offers players more than 80 licensed motorcycles to race in various game modes amongst more than 35 international courses. Featuring gameplay for up to two players, Tourist Trophy captures the fluid movement of man and machine like never before with perfected game physics and graphics for an authentic true-to-life motorcycle riding simulation. Featured licensed motorcycle manufacturers include BMW Motorrad, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and more.

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November 5, 2005

Sniper Elite

Score = 4 out of 5

This is the ultimate sniper game, created for those of us who love picking off enemies who don't even know where we are. Set in spring of 1945 in war torn Berlin, the Russians and the Germans are locked in an epic struggle. The Russian secret service (NKVD) is in Berlin to steal atomic bomb technology from the Germans. Your character is an OSS sniper, disguised as a German and working alone to stop Stalin's forces from controlling the world's nuclear technology. You'll use your stealth and sniping skills to infiltrate hostile enemy environments and wreak havoc.

In the beginning, there are plentiful hints about gameplay displayed on the screen. It's not so easy to control your character. Between the binoculars (left trigger) and the sniper scope (press down on the right thumbstick) it can get confusing. You'll have to plan out your moves using the map which takes a little getting used to, and then advance using your camoflage to blend in while you lurk in the shadows. This is not frenetic battle action, this is methodical and cautious. It's necessary to play the angles and the distances. As long as you can keep the enemy at a distance you have an advantage because of your sniper rifle. You advance inch by inch, constantly scanning the rubble and bombed out buildings for enemy snipers.

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November 4, 2005

Ratchet: Deadlocked

In this latest installment of the Ratchet and Clank series, our heroes are captured while uncovering the mystery behind the disappearance of several other famous heroes. They discover that the missing heroes (including themselves) have been abducted by a deranged media mogul named Gleeman Vox, who intends to use them as contestants on an underground reality combat show hosted in the lawless sector of the universe.

The game starts out with a tutorial during which you'll learn the common controls. And then it's off into the "unethical and completely underground battle sport". Each battle involves entering an arena and fighting against combat robots. You are flanked by your own combat robots and you have some squad based control at your disposal. Destroy the robots in one arena and a gateway opens to the next arena. Each arena is progressively more difficult.

Gameplay is pretty solid with non-stop combat. Ratchet can modify any weapon, which leads to an almost unlimited number of possible weapons and effects. The variation in weaponry is interesting because it affects the way that robot foes are destroyed. Graphics are pretty straightforward. Nothing is all that complex, which is good because it keeps the frame rate up during the insane battle sequences.

Multiplayer gameplay is a blast. All of the single player levels are available for multiplayer use, whether in co-op or some other mode. Co-op requires a lot of communication to lay down crossfires and cut the enemy to shredded hunks of smoking metal. Up to 10 players can compete online in a variety of game modes ranging from deathmatch to king of the hill to conquest.

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November 3, 2005

PRINCE OF PERSIA THE TWO THRONES

Today, Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that December 1, 2005 is the official North American launch date for Prince of Persia The Two Thrones. Reserve the PlayStation2 and Xbox versions of Prince of Persia The Two Thrones and get the official Prince of Persia trilogy soundtrack for free. The soundtrack includes music from Prince of Persia The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia Warrior Within, and Prince of Persia The Two Thrones, along with a color artbook pamphlet and bonus downloads including an exclusive code to unlock a
hidden sword in the game. This special preorder is available now at EB Games, GameStop, and Game Crazy --
http://www.princeofpersiagame.com/us/order.php.

Prince of Persia The Two Thrones is rated M for Mature and will be released for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube and the PC-CD
Rom.

About Prince of Persia The Two Thrones The Prince of Persia makes his way home to Babylon, bearing with him
Kaileena, the enigmatic Empress of Time, and unspeakable scars from the Island of Time. But instead of the peace he longs for, he finds his kingdom ravaged by war and Kaileena the target of a brutal plot. When she is kidnapped, the Prince tracks her to the Palace – only to see her murdered by a powerful enemy. Her death unleashes the Sands of Time, which strike the Prince and threaten to destroy everything he holds dear.

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EA Returns classic james bond TO Shelves in NEW VIDEOGAME - From russia with love

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 03, 2005 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) has shipped the latest installment in the widely successful James Bond™ videogame franchise, From Russia With Love™, starring Academy Award®-winner, Sir Sean Connery. The highly anticipated game is being released on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and available in stores now. A version for the Nintendo GameCube™ will be released in mid-November.

From Russia With Love, the videogame, is based on the classic Bond film from 1963 but features new plot twists, gadgets, weapons and characters as well as a dynamic multiplayer component. Sir Sean Connery, appearing in his first-ever videogame, lent his voice and likeness to the project. Also making their videogame debuts as original Bond girls are movie and TV star Maria Menounos and multi-platinum UK pop star Natasha Bedingfield.

"We think fans of the Bond videogame franchise will be very excited that we were able to bring back the original Bond, Sir Sean Connery, to lend his voice and help the development team tailor the game to his Bond style," said Jillian Goldberg, Vice President of Marketing for EA. "We are excited to give Bond fans of all ages an opportunity to experience the classic Bond film: From Russia With Love as a videogame."

Continue reading "EA Returns classic james bond TO Shelves in NEW VIDEOGAME - From russia with love" »

November 2, 2005

EIDOS’ 25 TO LIFE ARRIVES IN STORES JANUARY 18, 2006

San Francisco, CA (November 2, 2005) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the leading developers and publishers of entertainment software, today confirmed that its third person urban action game 25 to Life will be available in stores beginning January 18, 2006. The game will be released for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and PC.

25 To Life is an ESRB-rated Mature (M) entertainment title created for adults. 25 to Life is the first online true cops and robbers video game that allows gamers to play on either side of the law – as police task forces or as a criminal attempting to fight his way off the streets. The game delivers intense online gameplay for up to 16 players in addition to a rich single player experience.

25 to Life will be available in stores for $39.99 for the PlayStation®2 and Xbox® and $29.99 for the PC. More information is available on the game web site at http://www.25tolife.com.

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November 1, 2005

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® 3: Mutant Nightmare Kicks and Punches Its Way To Retailers Today

Today Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®3: Mutant Nightmare ships to video game retailers nationwide for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Nintendo DS.

Continue reading "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® 3: Mutant Nightmare Kicks and Punches Its Way To Retailers Today" »

Press Release-Majesco Unveils 2005 Holiday Lineup

EDISON, N.J., October 31, 2005 – Showcasing an exciting roster of products for the gamer on everybody’s gift list, Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), today announced its video game lineup for the forthcoming holiday season. With offerings to support every major gaming platform, Majesco’s release schedule is headlined by innovative titles like Infected and hot licensed properties including Aeon Flux and Teen Titans™.

“Video games are one of the most popular gift items for the holiday season and our diverse lineup offers something for gamers of all ages and tastes,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “Whether you’re looking for a competitive game play experience or a great value, Majesco’s upcoming releases offer shoppers quality and variety.”

Highlights of Majesco’s premier holiday lineup include:

Infected (PSP™)

Available November / Rated M / SRP $39.99

One of the most exciting titles available exclusively for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable), Infected features pulse-pounding two-gun action as players cleanse the mean New York City streets of mad, flesh-hungry “Infected.” Planet Moon Studio’s zombie-fest offers an engrossing single-player campaign and four Wi-Fi multiplayer modes that allow players’ avatars to invade opponents’ PSP systems. Infected also features an in-game soundtrack comprised of top metal bands from Roadrunner Records including Slipknot, Ill Nino, Chimaira and more.

Aeon Flux (PlayStation® 2, Xbox™)

Available November 15 / Rated T / SRP $49.99

Aeon Flux bridges the fever-dream essence of the cult-classic animated TV series with the mass-market appeal of the upcoming feature film starring Oscar® Winner Charlize Theron who lends

her voice and likeness to the game. Developed by Terminal Reality, Aeon Flux features a palpitating blend of stealth, speed and acrobatic combat.

Teen Titans™ (Game Boy Advance)

Available Now / Rated E10+ / SRP $29.99

Developed by Artificial Mind & Movement, Teen Titans, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is based on the highly popular Warner Bros. Animation television series and DC Comics characters. In Teen Titans, players switch control between Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven to take advantage of each Teen Titan’s trademark moves and abilities. Players advance through a crime-ridden city of hostile environments as they face off against notorious villains Brother Blood, Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth. Console versions are planned for release in early 2006.

Majesco also plans to release several other titles in its $19.99 value line this holiday season, including:

* Kong: King of Atlantis (Game Boy Advance)
* Strawberry Shortcake Summertime Adventure Special Edition (Game Boy Advance)
* Looney Tunes™ Double Pak (Game Boy Advance)
* ATV Quad Frenzy (Nintendo DS)
* Golden Nugget Casino® DS (Nintendo DS)
* Monster Trucks DS (Nintendo DS)
* Super Black Bass Fishing (Nintendo DS)
* Texas Hold ‘Em Poker DS (Nintendo DS)
* Worms 4: Mayhem (Xbox, PC)
* Majesco’s 3-in-1 Rec Room Challenge (Game Boy Advance)
* 3-in-1 Sports Pack (Game Boy Advance)

Continue reading " Press Release-Majesco Unveils 2005 Holiday Lineup" »

CALL OF DUTY 2: BIG RED ONE LAUNCHES EPIC INVASION ON THE RETAIL FRONT

Santa Monica – Nov. 1, 2005 – Pay attention soldier! Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) has shipped Call of Duty® 2: Big Red One to stores nationwide, putting players in the boots of the highly decorated WWII heroes in the U.S. Army’s famed Fighting 1st Infantry Division, known the world over as The Big Red One. Developed by Treyarch, players are dropped into the most epic and legendary WWII story ever played. In a departure for the Call of Duty franchise, players will get to know their squadmates more than ever before as they fight alongside a single squad to accomplish a variety of missions spanning from Northern Africa to Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Call of Duty 2: Big Red One – rated “T” (TEEN – blood, mild language and violence) by the ESRB – is now available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo® GameCube™ for a suggested retail price of $49.99.

“As a highly decorated unit that served in a variety of combat theaters, The Big Red One offered plenty of action, heroism, danger and grit for us to draw from during the creation of the game,” said Christian Busic, Creative Director, Treyarch. “We were able to take the ‘No One Fights Alone’ theme from the Call of Duty® series and create an even more personal experience for players by following one member of a single squad through some of the epic encounters and amazing battles that defined the war.”

Through the game’s enhanced A.I. – an A.I. system tailored from the original award-winning PC game adapted specifically for play on consoles – squads maximize use of environmental cover and tactical maneuvers, such as flanking, envelopment and fire-and-maneuver behaviors. Additionally, Treyarch employs a new context-sensitive battle chatter system allowing players to hear their squadmates bark helpful orders, updates and communicate as events unfold in the heat of battle. As the missions continue, the A.I. will also harden squad members, maturing their performance skills on the battlefield over time as they become more experienced in combat.

From the blistering desert expanses of Tunisia and Algeria to the skies of Northern Africa and the deadly countrysides of Italy, France, Belgium and Germany, the story follows the actual route of the Big Red One through Operation Torch (North Africa), Operation Husky (Italy), and Operation Overlord (Europe). With new territories come new enemies, including the Vichy French and the Italian Fascists, as well as a host of more than three dozen authentic American, Italian, French and German weapons, all of which are based on actual working models – some so rare, that they’ve never before been seen even in some of Hollywood’s biggest war epics.

“Cinematic intensity and the chaos of battle return with Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, an authentic WWII story that captures the camaraderie and heroism of the real members of the US Army's 1st Infantry Division,” said Dusty Welch, vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. “Treyarch delivers amazing detail in each mission, and by working with military advisors and conducting extensive research, has brought the authentic stories and bravery of the Big Red One to life on consoles.”

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One players may go online for intense Axis vs. Allies team-based multiplayer action on Xbox Live™ and PlayStation®2 Online. The game features four modes of play: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination and Capture the Flag for up to 16 players. Additionally, multiplayer mode offers access to exclusive weapons and maps, as well as vehicle gameplay. For more information, visit www.CallofDuty.com.

A limited Collector’s Edition of Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is also now available for $59.99. The Collector’s Edition includes additional content on the game DVD, featuring interviews with actual members of the Big Red One Fighting 1st Infantry Division, commentaries, a special making of the game feature, bonus footage and more.

Brady Games' Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at bradygames.com.

Continue reading " CALL OF DUTY 2: BIG RED ONE LAUNCHES EPIC INVASION ON THE RETAIL FRONT" »

: THE HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE VIDEOGAME GOES GOLD!

EA and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are pleased to announce that the Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireÔ videogame has gone gold and is scheduled for release on November 8, 2005 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeÔ, Nintendo DSÔ, Game Boy® Advance, and Windows PC. In the following weeks, the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire videogame will make its debut on the PSPÔ handheld entertainment system.

Releasing in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling’s fourth book, the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire videogame offers you the chance to experience all the thrilling moments of the movie and master magic in cooperative play with up to two of your friends.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is mysteriously selected as the fourth competitor in the dangerous Triwizard TournamentÔ and must confront a fire-breathing dragon, rescue friends from the icy depths of the Black Lake, and navigate the twisting mysteries of a vast, enchanted maze. Experience all the adventures of the movie - from the QuidditchÔ World Cup campsite to a heart-stopping duel with Lord VoldemortÔ himself!

For the first time in the videogame series, the magical world of Harry Potter™ comes to life with in-game characters that look like their big-screen counterparts. Explore nearly a dozen cinematic locations that mirror those in the upcoming film.

Join forces with friends to combine and cast spells cooperatively creating more powerful magic than ever before. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all playable characters in this action-packed game where magic is everywhere!


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Capcom Releases Without Warning for PS2 and Xbox

SUNNYVALE, Calif ¾ November 1, 2005 — Capcomâ today announced the release of Without Warning™ for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system and the Xboxâ video game system from Microsoftâ. As part of a global publishing agreement, Capcom is publishing this first title from UK developer CiRCLE Studio, a development house founded by the creators of the world renowned Tomb Raiderâ series. Without Warning is a highly charged third person action shooter set against the backdrop of a brutal terrorist siege of a U.S. based chemical plant. The title features a unique Timeline element and takes place over a 12 hour period, during which players will experience the events from the vantage point of six characters that are caught up in the crisis situation. The game is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

“We are delighted to be working with Capcom on the release of such a significant title,” commented Jeremy Heath-Smith, managing director of CiRCLE Studio. “Without Warning is CiRCLE Studio’s flagship product and partnering with such a respected publisher will be invaluable toward its success.”

CiRCLE Studio Ltd is an independent UK games developer that was founded in 2003 by Jeremy Heath-Smith and Adrian Smith. The Smith brothers share more than 39 years of collective experience in the gaming industry. They are the original founders of Core Design and responsible for numerous software hits, including the Tomb Raider series and one of the world’s most successful video game icons, Lara Croftâ. The development studio is largely comprised of former Core Design staff.

“This global deal marks the first time Capcom has published a title from a European developer,” said Hiroshi Tobisawa, president of Capcom Entertainment, Inc. and president, CE Europe. “As CiRCLE Studio’s first title, Without Warning is momentous for both parties and compliments Capcom’s own internally developed product line. The staff at CiRCLE Studio has a successful track record and they will deliver again with a new title that provides an innovative and intense gameplay experience.”

In Without Warning, a radical terrorist group has targeted and seized the Peterson-Daniels Chemical Facility, a vulnerable location that jeopardizes millions of people from the devastating ecological hazard it imposes if destroyed. Pleas are useless and any direct military assault would be too great a risk. As terrified hostages fear for their lives, their only hope lies with a covert operations team, whose goal is to infiltrate the plant and eliminate the merciless enemy.

The Timeline is a distinctive feature that allows the six central characters to experience events across the same period but from their own unique viewpoints. Characters are controlled individually, with the gameplay automatically shifting to the next, often at critical moments. Cinematic cut scenes unfold the plot and by switching between characters, their individual tales are gradually woven together to create an overall picture of the events that happened during the crisis. The player may also retrospectively view events through the eyes of another character and is therefore not only a participant in the events, but a spectator as well. Furthermore, actions performed as one character could affect the progress of others and players must successfully utilize the strengths of each in order to advance.

Without Warning includes the following features:

· Unique Timeline element

· Play as six different characters and experience the game from each of their perspectives:

o Three members of the covert operations team:

· Kyle Rivers – the leader of the squad with an experienced combat background

· Jack Hooper – the youngest and most inexperienced member of the team for whom this is the first combat mission

· Ed Reagan – the squad’s bomb disposal specialist

o Three civilians with distinct agendas and views on the events:

· Tanya Shaw – a terrified secretary whose only desire is to escape safely

· Dave Wilson – a security guard who was overlooked by the terrorists; his fierce determination drives him as he fights to rescue his co-workers

· Ben Harrison – a news cameraman who is grounded when his helicopter is shot down by the terrorists; his quest is to obtain breaking news coverage, however dangerous it may be

· Diverse gameplay – exploration, puzzle-solving and a variety of mini games including bomb diffusion, lock picking and hostage rescue

· Pick up and play control system – accessible and immediate participation in action-intense, volatile environments

· Objective based gameplay progression

· Advanced physics and lighting effects heighten the dynamic environmental interaction

· Full Motion Video and cinematic cut scenes link storylines together

· Modern environments – a sprawling chemical plant with numerous interior and exterior locations such as treatment plants, loading and storage areas, offices, docks, train terminals and more

Continue reading " Capcom Releases Without Warning for PS2 and Xbox" »

October 31, 2005

Curious George to Ship Feb. 1, 2006

Namco sent out a press release announcing the ship date for Curious George is February 1, 2006. It will ship for PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, GBA, and PC. It looks very cute.

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October 27, 2005

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE HAS GONE GOLD

SAN FRANCISCO October 27, 2005 Today Ubisoft announced that Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, based on Universal Pictures' December 14 release, King Kong, from three-time Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), has officially goneGold on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeâ„¢ system and Windows® PC. The title will launch in North America November 22 at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49.99 and is rated T for Teen.

"Ubisoft is extremely excited to reach this milestone in collaborating with Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group," said Yves Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft. “The response among the media, core gamers and the mass-market audience has been tremendous and we can't wait to launch Ubisoft's most impressive and successful game of 2005 " Peter Jackson "King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie."

While the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft version of Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is slated to go Gold the first week in November, it too will launch on November 22, 2005, alongside its console counterparts and the Game Boy® Advance title Kong The 8th Wonder of the World. PSP
(PlayStationPortable) system and Nintendo DS versions of Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie will launch soon thereafter.

The King Kong Collaboration:Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft, regarded as one of the top innovative minds in the video game industry, and his team at Ubisoft's Montpellier (France) studio are working with Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films to capture and create the King Kong movie dynamics through a unique video game experience.

"It's an absolute pleasure working with Ubisoft on the video game," said triple Academy Award winner and King Kong director Peter Jackson. "Being able to collaborate closely together from day one is of utmost importance, which is why we've given Ubisoft unlimited access to every creative aspect of our film production. We really want the game and the film to be part of the same universe."

We're amazed by Peter Jackson's creativity and what he brings to the project,” said Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft. Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is a creation that closely follows the storyline of the movie yet, as video games have the innate ability to do, will push the emotional tension of the film to even greater depths. Players will experience unprecedented dual game play within a movie-licensed game which alternates between Jack Driscoll in first-person and as King Kong in third-person. These contrasting perspectives will immerse players into the journey featuring epic battles, tough choices and a dynamic experience within the visually stunning environment of Skull Island."

Continue reading " UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE HAS GONE GOLD" »

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is a visually stunning game. Colossi stand as enormous as a mountain and possess massive powers and your job is to kill them all. That's the only way that you can restore life to a dead loved one.

Created by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, developers of the critically-acclaimed ICO game released in 2001 for PS2, Shadow of the Colossus is a single player, third person action adventure game.

Essentially, this game is 12 boss battles. The battles are enormous, covering a lot of ground. You're fighting this enormous (literally as big as a mountain) enemy. How do you bring something like that down? With the help of your magic sword. The sword first tells you where to attack the colossus, then you use it to kill it. Blood splurts everywhere and the earth shakes as the monster goes down. Usually, you have to mount the colossus, then climb up him, then figure out how to get to where you need to go to attack it, and then get it done. It's sort of a big puzzle to figure out how to climb over the colossus and jump over obstacles while trying to be aware that it might try to shake you off at any time.

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EA AND DIGITAL ILLUSIONS ASSAULT STORE SHELVES WITH BATTLEFIELD 2: MODERN COMBAT

Redwood City, Calif. – October 25, 2005 – Hotswap your way to victory! It’s time to prepare for all-out war on the modern battlefields of the world. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Battlefield 2: Modern CombatÔ is available now on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft®.

The first-ever Battlefield 2™ console installment drops players into the heat of battle on the high tech frontlines, entering a new modern era of combat with more firepower and new expansive environments. The single player game highlights the innovative “Hotswapping” feature, allowing players to instantly take control of any soldier in their squad to stay in the middle of the action at all times. Players will fight on both sides of a vicious conflict, and in the end must choose which army they will lead to victory.

In addition to the single-player campaign, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat can be enjoyed within an online multiplayer environment that supports up to 24 players. Players can choose to fight for one of four military superpowers: the United States, the Chinese, the European Union, or the newly formed Middle East Coalition. Players can also increase their rank and garner promotions that are tracked globally.

Armed with the latest modern weaponry, players can choose from more than 30 vehicles including helicopters, and more than 50 weapons, and communicate with one another in real time via a USB headset. (PlayStation 2 online play requires Internet Connection, Network Adaptor and Memory Card for the PlayStation 2. Xbox online play requires Xbox Live™!)

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October 26, 2005

Majesco's Winter Wonderland

I met with Majesco last week and we went over their holiday and spring lineup. Most of it looks pretty good. I'm really excited about Infected.

Teen Titans is due to ship in February 2006 for gamecube, ps2, and xbox. It is up to 4 player story mode coop or arena. In coop mode you can switch between titans at any time to make use of their special attacks. The game has the look and feel of the cartoon with locations from the shows and more than 12 voice actors involved. Each character gets upgrades to his/her special attacks and can pull off combo moves. There are 24 characters to choose from in arena mode, which is an up to 4 player free for all. There are also some puzzle levels that are like retro games, ie pong and invaders.

Jaws Unleashed is due to ship in February 2006 for PC, ps2, and xbox. Built on the Echo the Dolphin engine, this is a story where you play as Jaws and attack and destroy everything. If you're really careful you can disembody your prey before consuming it. They are adding cinematic fatalities to the game. There are more than 12 kinds of boats and different ocean and land areas (mainly harbors and docks) to be explored. The night levels were pretty cool - the moon reflects off the ocean's surface and down below it is murkier than during daylight.

Age of Empires is due to ship for Nintendo DS in January 2006. Built on the success of earlier Age of Empires games this brings a solid foundation to wifi enabled 4 player battles. User profiles track scoring and bonuses so you can compare yourself to friends and enemies. They're currently working on adding more artwork, streamlining game play, and tweaking the battle system to show more graphics in the results. You can use the stylus or the d-pad to control troops. There are 28 missions total, 5-6 per campaign.

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October 25, 2005

Capcom Releases Resident Evil 4 for PS2

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ¾ October 25, 2005 — Capcomâ today announced the release of Resident Evil® 4 for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system. The critically acclaimed survival horror masterpiece arrives on the PlayStation 2 with brand new features, enhancements and exciting surprises. Based on the popular Resident Evil series which has sold more than 26 million units worldwide and is Capcom’s highest selling series, Resident Evil 4 sees the return of a familiar hero on a mission of the highest level. Resident Evil 4 is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

In Resident Evil 4 players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from Resident Evil 2. It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.

“Capcom’s Resident Evil series is synonymous with survival horror. The games have a long standing reputation for introducing innovation and raising the bar to create intensely terrifying experiences for players,” said Todd Thorson, director of marketing, Capcom Entertainment, Inc. “With a slew of new and redesigned concepts, Resident Evil 4 presents a fear more real than ever before. The game is set to revolutionize both the world of Resident Evil and survival horror.”

Resident Evil 4 includes the following features:

· Unsurpassed visuals – Resident Evil 4 features breathtaking 3D graphics and effects

· Behind the camera view – Camera follows the player from behind and allows for intuitive movement

· New never before seen enemies – Creatures that defy the laws of nature!

· Advanced AI – Enemies are now smarter than ever and use their cunning abilities to team up and attack the player en mass

· Enhanced, deeper story elements – Conversations and monologues can be heard in real time

· Action button – Pressing the context sensitive button allows players to perform various actions

· Aim and shoot – Ability to zero in on enemies with weapons

· Exclusive new features for PlayStation 2

o “Separate Ways” – play as Ada Wong in five new chapters that reveal startling insight into the original storyline

o New weapons – Leon’s P.R.L.412 laser cannon and Ada’s gunpowder bow gun unleash explosive power

o New costumes for Leon and Ashley

o Supports true 16:9 widescreen, progressive scan and Dolby Pro Logic II

o $39.99 retail price point

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SOULCALIBUR III Ships to Retail Outlets

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (October 25, 2005) – Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. announced today that "SOULCALIBUR(R)III" has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America. The latest
installment of the most celebrated weapon-based fighting series of all time, "SOULCALIBUR III" continues the tale of souls and swords with three new characters, an incredibly robust character creation system and an unprecedented variety of brand-new gameplay modes. Exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, "SOULCALIBUR III" is rated T for Teen and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99.

“With three all-new characters, unique gameplay modes and an updated fighting engine, 'SOULCALIBUR III' delivers on the expectations of being one of the most respected and distinguished fighting games of all time,” said Yoshi Niki, business unit director at Namco Hometek Inc. “In this installment, players can create personalized characters with unique fighting styles and personalities to truly immerse themselves in the 'SOULCALIBUR' universe.”

"SOULCALIBUR III" introduces new characters Tira, Zasalamel and Setsuka to a roster of more than 25 returning fighters as they struggle for possession of the legendary swords, Soul Calibur and Soul Edge. The game
marks the debut of an unprecedented amount of new gameplay modes, adding to replay value and providing more content than ever for fans to unlock and enjoy. In addition to the existing roster of characters, players can construct their own warriors in the game’s Character Creation mode, selecting from a wide variety of clothing and accessories, fighting styles and weapons to create a truly unique and impressive addition to the lore of the "SOULCALIBUR" series. The original characters can be played in the various VS modes of the game. In addition, characters can be created for use in the Chronicles of the Sword mode, an original mode that expands upon the series’ traditional gameplay with real-time strategy elements. Players can also fight to fulfill a series of special
objectives such as taking down a massive living statue or collecting coins from opponents in Soul Arena mode, learn all of the game’s new moves and combos in Practice mode, and view unlocked game content in Museum mode.

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Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

A few weeks ago I got to play Call of Duty 2: Big Red One while meeting with the good people at Activision. The game is entirely new, meaning a new core engine for GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. They also improved the enemy AI. I could tell. The Nazis don't just stand there and shoot back. They drop back, regroup, even try to flank you. In addition your comrades' AI improves over the course of the game as they become experienced.

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You play as a member of America's most decorated and heroic fighting unit, The Big Red One. You'll have to work with your squad to accomplish a variety of land, sea, and air combat missions spanning North Africa, Italy, and Nazi-occupied Western Europe. The goal of the development team was to "create an epic war movie" and they did. And then they threw you right into the middle of it.

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October 24, 2005

Total Overdose

Get ready to enter a Robert Rodriguez film. BTW, if you haven't seen El Mariachi go rent it. You play as a criminal released from prison to take the place of your DEA Agent brother in the hunt for your father's killers. The whole thing involves shooting your way through the Mexican drug world. You get missions and drive around to them, or you can go directly to the mission and skip the exploration. I'd recommend the exploration because it is not only fun but also the best place for finding pick-ups, some of which like Day of the Dead in which you kill as many people as you can, end up being great bonus opportunities. Driving around or running around you can find a lot of stuff that you can use to improve your character's skills.

It's a fun game. The heart of it is shooting the crap out of everyone and everything. You use the left trigger (L1) to pull off all the dodges and shooting moves, such as walking up a wall, diving left, reversing and diving backwards, all while shooting. You can use vehicles as weapons, ramming into enemies or driving at them and then jumping out of the car before it smashes into them and explodes. Every battle is a guns blazing battle where charging forward using special moves is the way to go. There's no drop back and pick off the enemy like a sniper here; it's all bull forward laying down the lead. It's set against a surreal Mexican background so there are a lot of opportunities for humor. A dark humor pervades this game. I actually found myself laughing aloud at times.

The bad news is that the load times are just ridiculous. It's not that the load times take a long time, but rather that there are so many of them. It seemed like every 2 minutes I had to take a break and watch the game load. It completely ruins the atmosphere to have that many loads. My only other gripe is that vehicle control is not so good. Everything handles like a sled. It is good that there's a way to skip the driving and go right to an objective.

Total Overdose is a fun shoot-em-up set in a stylistic Mexican drug world. It's not for the faint-hearted or little kids. It's a lot of fun to play it.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

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EA Holiday Demos

Yesterday I met with EA and saw some game demos. The most interesting were:

Black is a first person shooter that sets out with the goal of creating a hyper-realistic weapons experience. It's like stepping into some over the top special forces movie. You are pretty much firing incessantly, lobbing grenades and taking cover. There are any number of ways to accomplish something. For example, if you need to get by some enemies who are behind a care you can sneak around the car and shoot them, blow up the car and them with a grenade, or shoot out the tires and then take head shots at the enemies when the car sinks. I played almost a third of a level and it was a blast, literally. It's an all out firefight. It'll be out late February 2006.

Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2 is a PC only real time strategy game. It's pretty cool because it uses the Middle Earth world as a background. You build your castles, recruit your heroes, fight your enemies, and control Middle Earth. It looks beautiful with a lot of detail on the buildings and troops.

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October 20, 2005

From Russia With Love Has Gone Gold

The Lector has been decoded and the message reads: From Russia With Love™, starring Academy Award®-winner, Sir Sean Connery has gone gold on the PS2 and Xbox and will be shipping on Tuesday Nov. 1, 2005! A version for the Nintendo GameCube™ will be released shortly after in mid- November.

From Russia With Love, the game, is based on the classic Bond film from 1963 but features new plot twists, gadgets, weapons and characters. Sir Sean Connery, appearing in his first-ever videogame, lent his voice and likeness to the project. Also making their videogame debuts as original Bond girls are movie and TV star Maria Menounos and multi-platinum UK pop star Natasha Bedingfield.

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October 7, 2005

Activision Demos

This morning I met with Activision and saw three games: Gun, Call of Duty: Big Red On, and True Crime 2: New York City. I'm not allowed to write anything about Call of Duty. I'm sorry. I will say that I enjoyed playing it, but that's to be expected.

Gun is simply breathtaking; it is the first game for Xbox 360 that I've seen that is really stunning. There are parts where the sun is setting over the mountains or on another side of a valley and you have to just stop and look at it. The storyline is just like a western movie. It's 1881 and you and your pappy, Kris Kristofferson, are out hunting. This gives you a chance to learn to shoot. Then all hell pretty much breaks loose. So now you're on your own and you can ride around the West taking missions and/or following the main storyline. You can go to Dodge City or Empire City where you'll meet people who will give you quests. You can be a bounty hunter, a miner, ride for the pony express, just about any profession that belongs. There's even a Texas Hold 'Em mini game where you can win money.

It's all about the gun. Quick draw slows down everyone else for a limited amount of time and lets you mow down enemies. The shutgun is just a fun weapon. Enemies take damage in one of 12 body areas and react accordingly. You can blow someone's foot off and watch them hobble around. You can even shoot someone's hat off and juggle it with additional shots while it is still in the air. Mounted combat is also pretty cool. That's riding a horse and shooting, or using the horse to trample people.

Activision estimates that it'll take about 20 hours to play straight through the storyline. They think if you try all the side missions there's at least 40 hours there. And it looked like a lot of fun to me. Gun for Xbox 360 will be available November 22, 2005.

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September 27, 2005

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

I played a little MKSM this morning. It's a good fighting game. There's a storyline to the single play and co-op modes. It's pretty much a brawler action-adventure game. You smash and bash your way through a tutorial first. The fighting system is directional so you can attack in any direction by pressing the L thumbstick towards the enemy. So it's possible to chain attacks and get combo bonuses. There are a lot of animated fatalities. You and your character learn them through the course of the game and they just get more and more involved and gruesome. It's almost reason enough to play through the single player mode.

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