October 2008 Archives

Asheron's Call Turns Nine

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TurbineTurbine's massively multiplayer online game Asheron's Call is nine years old, today. The game launched on October 31 of 1999, and is not only still running, the game is upgrading the hardware and software that runs the Asheron's Call world.
TurbineTurbine has launched Module 8: Prisoners of Prophecy for its massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online
Aksys Games' latest title, Theresia is now in stores for the DS. The game features two main stories in which players strive to escape a maze while collecting stuff scattered throughout the maze's corridors.
Blueside, the developer behind the Kingdom Under Fire games, has decided to branch out and is currently developing a game for the DS called Princess and Knight. The game will be an action-heavy role-playing game in which players hack through enemies as a knight led by "Mooki, a princess guardian."
Activision BlizzardDancing With the Stars: We Dance! from Activision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is now in stores for the Wii and DS.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing (part of Activision Blizzard) has shipped Quantum of Solace, based on the James Bond film of the same name, to stores in Europe. The game will arrive in North American stores on November 4 for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS and PS2.
Legendo Entertainment has launched its Halloween-themed casual puzzle game Spooky Spirits as a download available through a variety of portals. The game has players matching blocks while enjoying a vaguely spooky theme.

Disney is Well Tattooed

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Today, Disney Online's massively multiplayer online game Pirates of the Caribbean Online is one year old. According to Disney, in that time, players have sunk 121.6 million ships and gotten 288,547 tattoos.

Midway Makes Booty Permanent

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MidwayMidway has decided to retain Matthew Booty, previously named interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Midway games, as the company's permanent President and CEO. Booty has been with Midway since 1991, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Studios.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts reported its financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended September 30, 2008.
SNK Playmore has shipped The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America. A Wii version of the game should ship next month. This is a compilation of fighting games that includes The King of Fighters '94, The King of Fighters '95, The King of Fighters '96, The King of Fighters '97 and The King of Fighters '98.
Harmonix, part of MTV Games, has entered into a partnership with Apple Corps (a company formed in 1968 to administer the Beatles' catalog of music) to develop a music game based on the music of The Beatles. The long rumored game is now officially in development.

Wii is Nerfed

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Nerf 'N-Strike for the Wii is now in stores.
NCsoftNCsoft confirmed that it is working with TransGaming to release a client for its City of Heroes game for Mac gamers. NCsoft expects that by the end of this year Mac owners will be able to participate in its super-powered massively-multiplayer online world.

Dummies Get Three Games

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Electronic ArtsThree new games have been released by Electronic Arts under the "For Dummies" brand. Travel Games For Dummies, Brain Training For Dummies and Poker For Dummies are now all in stores.
Russian publisher 1C has entered into a deal with developer Avalon (responsible for off-road racing games such as 4x4 Hummer) that will see Avalon renamed 1C-Avalon and working exclusively with 1C on games.
AtariAtari, Infogrames' premier label, has signed on to publish The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in the first half of 2009.
NintendoNintendo reported selected financial results for the first half of its fiscal year, a six-month period ended September 30, 2008.
Brash EntertainmentBrash Entertainment's game Six Flags: Fun Park has shipped for the DS to stores in North America. The game includes 40 mini-games based on midway-style games of chance and skill, featuring the license of the Six Flags chain of amusement parks.
NCsoftNCsoft has launched the latest major content update for its massively multiplayer online game Lineage II, called Gracia Part 2.
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode Two from Hothead Games is now available as a download for the PC, Mac, Linux systems and the Xbox 360.
MajescoMajesco Entertainment has shipped Away Shuffle Dungeon for the DS to stores in North America. Unlike every other role-playing game (well... not really) the game has players taking control of a young hero who must aid helpless townfolk. He does so by exploring dungeons the configuration of which is regularly scrambled.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has launched yet more downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade:
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing's game Monster Jam: Urban Assault is now in stores in North America for the Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and DS. The game puts players behind the wheel of 27 monster trucks, racing, performing tricks, crushing things and generally sowing chaos.
Matrix Games has released Close Combat: Wacht am Rhein from Strategy 3 Tactics. The game can be downloaded or ordered as a physical shipment from Matrix Games' site.
MicrosoftMicrosoft's game for the Xbox 360, Scene It? Box Office Smash is now available for purchase. Similar to the Scene It? DVD-based games, Scene It? Box Office Smash has players answering movie trivia often based on film clips. The game is available either as stand-alone software or as a bundle featuring buzzer-like controllers.

Fable II Review

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Fable II Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Lionhead Studios


Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Anyone could end up a hero, from the most powerful mage to a starving urchin. But in most role-playing games, players tend to start off as the urchin. That's certainly the case in Fable II, a game in which players start as a child, grow to become a powerful hero (or villain), ultimately exploring the wide-open world of Albion to become one of the most powerful individuals to pass the time belching and acting out sock-puppet shows since the fall of the Hero's Guild.

Activision BlizzardBlizzard Entertainment, part of Activision Blizzard, announced that it now has 11 million subscribers for its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, barely two weeks away from the release of the next expansion Wrath of the Lich King.
Think Services, the company behind the Game Developers Conference and Game Developer Magazine, recently completed its second Game Developer Census, estimating that there are 12% more employees in game development than last year in North America.
NCsoftNCsoft confirmed that its upcoming massively multiplayer online game Aion: Tower of Eternity is entering open beta testing in Korea on November 11. Fans in North America may be curious what that means to them... well, NCsoft is playing things close to the chest, but it does mean that the game is that much closer to release. NCsoft simply said "We are currently in the process of localizing and culturalizing the game for the western market."

MotoGP '08 Ships to Stores

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CapcomCapcom has shipped its game MotoGP '08 to stores for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PC.

Ben 10: Alien Force - The Game

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D3PublisherBen 10: Alien Force - The Game from D3Publisher is now in stores for the Wii, PlayStation 2, DS and PSP. The game is based on the Cartoon Network animated series and has players acting as Ben (and his various alien forms) along with Gwen and Kevin Levin in this 3D action game.

Fallout 3 Now Available

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Bethesda Softworks' long-anticipated game Fallout 3 is now in stores for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. This continuation of the classic post-apocalyptic role-playing game franchise has players emerging from a nuclear shelter in the vicinity of Washington D.C. to experience life above-ground after nuclear disaster.

Ninjatown Ships for the DS

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SouthPeak GamesSouthPeak Games has shipped Ninjatown for the DS to stores in North America.
CravePBR Out of the Chute from Crave Entertainment has reached stores for the Wii and PlayStation 2. The game is licensed by the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and has players taking on the role of either A bull rider or the bull itself, competing in rodeo-style events.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 to stores. The game should be reach stores shelves by Thursday, October 30 for the PC, while the Xbox 360 version will not be available until November 11.
Neverland Card Battles for the PSP is now in stores in North America. From Yuke's Company of America, the game has players engaging in collectible card battles to progress in a role-playing-style game that was released in Japan on the PlayStation 2.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped My Sims Kingdom for the Wii and DS as well as My Sims for the PC to stores in North America.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift for the PlayStation 3 is now in stores in North America. This sequel to the original MotorStorm brings the MotorStorm Racing Festival to a tropical island in the Pacific, allowing players to race anything from a buggy to a big rig along gorgeous tracks with detailed crash animations.
PopCapPopCap has released Bejeweled Twist as a download from PopCap's site and will soon be available through plenty of other download portals. Instead of simply swapping jewels to match sets of three, Bejeweled Twist has players rotating two-by-two grids of jewels to create sets of at least three gems (and is augmented by gems that create special effects).
Sony's game Little Big Planet for the PlayStation 3 is now available in stores for the PlayStation 3. The game has players taking on the role of one of the many incarnations of SackBoy exploring 3D, platforming-style levels. The big draw of Little Big Planet is the ability to easily create your own levels and experience levels created by other users.
Activision BlizzardGuitar Hero World Tour from Activision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is now on store shelves in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PlayStation 2.
THQTHQ Wireless has launched Pass the Pigs, based on the pig-shaped dice-rolling game, for the IPhone and iPod. Players actually shake the Apple device to roll the pigs and rack up high scores.
NintendoNintendo has released three more downloadable games for the Wii:
THQTHQ has shipped All Star Cheer Squad for the Wii to stores in North America. This cheerleading game supports the Wii Balance Board and has players recreating cheerleading moves choreographed by Tony G, who choreographed the cheerleading in the film Bring It On.
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games and Videlectrix


Platforms: PC and Wii
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 1.5 GHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB 3D video card, DirectX 9, internet connection, Windows XP or Vista

The Fun Machine is broken. Strong Bad's ancient game console that plays Videlectrix games, that is. And while that's a hard thing for Strong Bad to endure, it's all good times in the latest episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. Strong Bad isn't the kind of guy to take a job to earn the great big bag of cash he needs to pay for the repairs (let alone purchase a newer console). Instead, he's got a convoluted plan that has him staging and winning a battle of the bands with all the cast from Homestar Runner. Along the way, he'll even worship at (and desecrate) the altar of his favorite licensed hair band, Limozeen!

The Legend of Kage 2 Review

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The Legend of Kage 2 Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Taito


Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

The Tokugawa government has finally united Japan and ended the Warring States period, but that hasn't stemmed the tide of thugs waiting in line to be executed by Kage. He and a young woman named Chihiro are tasked with protecting a powerful princess – by hacking through a human wall of henchmen and battling the occasional boss.

Namco Bandai GamesNamco Bandai Games plans to close the servers and stop support of its game Hellgate: London on January 31, 2009. Until then, use of the game servers will be free. This marks an unfortunate demise to what was originally a promising game with a fascinating premise.
Atlus' game Master of the Monster Lair for the DS is now in stores in North America. The game has players constructing and customizing dungeons and then clearing the dungeon of the monsters that have taken up residence therein.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has entered into a deal with Universal Pictures to create a movie based on its game Army of Two.
Sony has released two downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 this week:
Autodesk and Avid Technology have entered into a definitive agreement that will see Autodesk "acquire substantially all of the assets of Avid's Softimage business unit for approximately $35 million." Softimage's middleware is used by many in the game and film industry, and Autodesk intends to continue supporting the Softimage product.
UbisoftUbisoft reported certain financial results for the first six months of its fiscal year ended September 30, 2008.
MicrosoftMicrosoft announced its financial results for its fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2008.
WolfKing has launched its Sniper Precision Gaming Surface. The mousing surface is available for $10 and is designed with a large area (305 mm x 254 mm), a slip-proof rubber base and a surface pattern specifically for use with an optical mouse.
NCsoftNCsoft has launched two major content updates for its massively multiplayer online game Lineage in an effort to revitalize the North American presence of NCsoft's original breakthrough game.
Casual publisher Alawar Entertainment has established two new in-house development studios by acquiring a majority stake in Russian developer Friday's Games and Ukrainian developer Five-BN.

David Hasselhoff is in Pain

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David Hasselhoff is in PainWith so many game updates out there, it's hard (and often distracting) to cover every piece of downloadable content available, but sometimes downloadable content is too funny to miss. David Hasselhoff will soon be a character in Sony's game Pain, so you'll be able to fling him painfully into buildings and exploding crates.
Zoe Mode, Kuju's (somewhat oddly named) studio in Brighton, UK, hired Keith Robinson and Jennie Flynn.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Celebrity Sports Showdown is in stores today in North America for the Wii. The game has Wii owners playing as celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Fergie, Mia Hamm and Reggie Bush casually competing in sports such as Curling, Dodgeball and Canoeing.
Logitech Premier Edition Wireless GuitarLogitech is introducing a premier edition wireless guitar in December designed for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 systems. This guitar controller is the first of Logitech's emerging series of "premier" controllers and will feature metal frets, metal tuning peg handles, a rosewood fingerboard and wood neck in a one-piece contoured shape with a crimson body.
THQTHQ has acquired the right to publish 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, which will now be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in early 2009.
Crash: Mind Over Mutant Publisher: Activision
Developer: Radical Entertainment


Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and DS
Reviewed on Xbox 360

After Naughty Dog, the original developer of Crash Bandicoot, left the series for the pastures of Jak and Daxter, the orange marsupial has been passed around like a lukewarm beer at a junior-high party. Radical has, perhaps, made the best incarnations of this one-time top mascot, but still can't live up to the work of the original developer. Before this sounds too negative, understand that there's a lot to like about Crash: Mind Over Mutant, including the writing, the voice acting, the music, and some creative new mutants. Unfortunately, the game never overcomes certain major problems, and while there's fun to be had, it's occasional rather than a continuously satisfying experience.

The Incredible Maze Review

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The Incredible Maze Publisher: Digital Leisure
Developer: Digital Leisure


Platform: Wii
Reviewed on Wii

Navigate your way around a series of mazes by tilting the Wii Remote or leaning on the Wii Balance Board, avoiding traps and pitfalls while following twisting paths to the final goal.

The Entertainment Software AssociationIt's no news that the revised format for the Electronic Entertainment Expo for the last two years has been a bust, and FI is just one of many vocal outlets arguing such. This week, news broke (with conflicting details) from a variety of sources about a return to something like the old spectacle that was the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Today, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially confirmed the future status of E3.
AtariAtari has entered into a distribution agreement with cdv Software Entertainment that will see Atari distribute certain cdv games in North America. In particular, Atari will distribute Sacred 2: Fallen Angel for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, as well as the games I Heart Geeks! and My Little Baby.
PSPSony has released the v5.01 update for the PSP to resolve certain issues relating to the v5.00 update that occur when downloading content from the PlayStation Store to a PSP using memory sticks of a certain size.
Legacy Interactive has launched its game Pet Pals: New Leash On Life as a download for the PC. The game simulates the work of a veterinarian, having players diagnose, treat and care for around 30 different virtual pets. A Mac version of the game should be available next month.
MicrosoftMicrosoft and Valve have launched Portal: Still Alive as a download for Xbox Live Arcade.
PlayFirst has released a new time-management game, this one a Halloween-themed daycare game called Daycare Nightmare: Mini Monsters. The game has players taking on the role of Molly, a girl running daycare in Monster Town, trying to take care of vampire, witch and ghost infants.
Activision BlizzardThe Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon from Activision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is now in stores in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2 and DS.
Electronic ArtsMonopoly from Electronic Arts is now in stores in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PlayStation 2. Monopoly features the traditional board game from Hasbro and supports up to four players, but also adds several new boards and play styles.

Lhermite Joins Playlogic

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Playlogic has hired Olivier Lhermite as Managing Director of Playlogic's in-house development studio, located in the Netherlands. Prior to joining Playlogic, Lhermite worked as a technical director on a variety of Electronic Arts sports franchises.
Developer and Publisher Three Donkeys has launched Spectromancer, a turn-based fantasy-themed card game, as a download for the PC. The game was designed, in part, by Richard Garfield, one of the brains behind Magic the Gathering. It has players taking on the role of one of six types of wizards and battling the computer or other players online using a customized deck of cards.
Disney High School Musical 3: Senior Year (not surprisingly, from Disney) is now in stores for the Wii and DS. The Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 2 versions should be in stores next week. The game allows players to dance (or tap) along to songs from all three of the Disney High School Musical films.
LucasArtsThe rumors have been circulating forever, but it's finally official: LucasArts is working with BioWare (part of Electronic Arts) on a massively multiplayer online game set in the Star Wars universe in the same timeframe as the game Knights of the Old Republic.
The 15th major expansion for Sony Online Entertainment's massively multiplayer online game EverQuest, Seeds of Destruction is now available as a download for $40.

Infinite Undiscovery Review

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Infinite Undiscovery Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: tri-Ace


Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Capell, a poor, wandering musician, is imprisoned by the Order of Chains thanks to a case of mistaken identity. His appearance is so remarkably similar to that of Sigmund the Liberator, the single largest thorn in the Order's side, that Capell finds himself incarcerated and interrogated as another man. When freed by Sigmund's "Liberation Force," Capell finds himself with an unenviable choice: join the rebels or risk being imprisoned or killed due to his resemblance to the rebel leader – a rebel leader whose singular goal is to free the moon from bondage.

Strategy First, part of Silverstar Holdings, has shipped its game Exodus from the Earth for the PC to stores in North America. Exodus from the Earth is set in the year 2016 and is a first-person shooter in which players need to escape humanity's dying homeworld.
City InteractiveCity Interactive has shipped its PC game Combat Wings: Battle of Britain to stores in North America. This flight combat simulation has players battling Nazi aircraft during World War II.
KonamiKonami has shipped Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for the DS to stores in North America.
MicrosoftFable II from Microsoft's Lionhead Studios is now in stores for the Xbox 360. This action-heavy role-playing game adds a dog and a much freer, larger world to the formula presented in the original Fable.
Electronic ArtsThe PC version of Electronic Arts' game Dead Space is now in stores. This game in which players explore a mining ship invested by an ancient, alien horror was released last week for consoles, and should reach Europe at the end of this week.
Namco Bandai GamesNamco Bandai Games has shipped the PlayStation 3 version of its game Eternal Sonata to stores. The game was released last year for the Xbox 360, and is a role-playing game that occurs within a flashback of a composer's life (experienced on his deathbed).
KonamiKonami has shipped Dance Dance Revolution: Universe 3 for the Xbox 360 to stores in North America. This latest DDR game boasts the longest song list in the franchise's history and the ability to have a dance-off with up to four competitors.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Ships for the PC and Mac

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Aspyr has shipped the PC and Mac versions of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith to stores in North America. Aspyr will also ship a bundle that includes Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith in early November.
D3PublisherD3Publisher has shipped Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 for the Wii to stores in North America. This fighting game for the Wii is one of many Naruto games based on the animated television series of the same name.
Namco Bandai GamesNamco Bandai Games has relaunched the Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation bundle, meaning that the package can once again be found in stores. The bundle includes the game itself, an Ace-Edge flight stick for the Xbox 360, an Xbox 360 faceplate and a copy of the DVD Speed & Angels. The bundle costs $150.
MidwayMidway has shipped Touchmaster 2 and Mechanic Master, both for the DS, to stores in North America.
MajescoMajesco has shipped Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 for the Wii to stores in North America. The game features the trainer from the television series The Biggest Loser guiding Wii owners to weight loss using the Wii controllers and Wii Balance Board.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has shipped Spider-Man: Web of Shadows to stores in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii. A version is also shipping for the PlayStation 2, PSP and DS.
AtariAtari's title What's Cooking? with Jamie Oliver is now in stores for the DS in North America. The title includes cooking instruction (via the DS) for 100 recipes and is better described as an interactive cookbook than a game.
KonamiKonami Digital Entertainment is working with Sprint to bring its mobile games to Sprint customers' mobile phones. Konami has already released Contra 4 for Sprint subscribers, with other games to follow soon.
Square EnixSquare Enix has shipped Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP to stores in North America.
AtariAtari's game Backyard Football '09 is now in stores for the Wii, PC, PlayStation 2 and DS. The game features seven-on-seven football games with kid versions of NFL players from all 32 professional teams.
Take-Two InteractiveTwo new Midnight Club titles from Rockstar Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, are now in stores in North America. Both will be available internationally on October 24.

Far Cry 2 Ships to Stores

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UbisoftUbisoft has shipped Far Cry 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores in North America.

Amazon Acquires Reflexive

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Reflexive Entertainment, the developer and publisher behind games such as Ricochet: Lost Worlds and Monarch: The Butterfly King, has been acquired by Amazon.com. This will expand Amazon's presence in the game market and improve the company's ability to deliver casual gaming to consumers.
Egosoft's game X3: Terran Conflict (sequel to X3: Reunion) is now available as a PC download through the Steam service. The game is a space combat and commerce simulation in which players explore vast sections of interstellar space, fighting or trading with space's many inhabitants.
Take-Two Interactive2K Play, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped Carnival Games MiniGolf for the Wii to stores in North America. Developed by Cat Daddy Games, the game features 25 miniature golf holes arranged into nine courses, played by swinging the Wii Remote.
Philips has been working to game gamers, developers and publishers to adopt its amBX technology (described as "sensory surround") that extends games further into physical space by adding items like fans and light strips to the portfolio of environmental factors (like sound) that can surround gamers. Now, Philips is taking the amBX division and spinning it off from Philips as amBX UK Limited.
Take-Two Interactive2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped BioShock for the PlayStation 3 to stores in North America (the game is already available in many international territories).
NintendoIt's Monday, and that means Nintendo has released new downloadable games for the Wii:

Wii Music Reaches Stores

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NintendoNintendo's Wii Music is now in stores. The game allows Wii owners to grab their Wii Remotes and Nunchuks and simulate the play of 60 instruments by waving the Wii controllers around as if they were playing the instrument itself. The Wii Music software then generates compatible notes based on the motions that result is something sonorous. Up to four players can play together, creating a song that can be recorded and shared with other Wii Music owners.
THQTHQ has shipped Back at the Barnyard: Slop Bucket Games for the DS to stores in North America.
THQTHQ has shipped SpongeBob SquarePants Featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom to stores for the Wii, PlayStation 2 and DS. The game joins the Nickelodeon character who lives in Bikini Bottom (SpongeBob) with other Nickelodeon heroes and villains to collectively fight invading Globs that threaten to destroy the universe.
THQTHQ has shipped Rock University Presents: The Naked Brothers Band - The Video Game to stores in North America for the Wii, PC, PlayStation 2 and DS.
Today, Rock Band 2 reaches stores for the PlayStation 3. The game previously shipped for the Xbox 360, but now adherents to Sony's latest platform can participate in playing along to their favorite music in this game from Harmonix (part of MTV and Viacom) and Electronic Arts.

Dead Space Review

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Dead Space Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 2.8 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0c compatible video and sound cards, 7 GB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Contact has been lost with the planetcracker USG Ishimura, an interstellar mining vessel that literally rips planets apart to refine and collect usable ore. To deal with the problem, engineer Isaac Clarke is part of a small team sent to restore communications with the Ishimura. Upon arrival, the problems turn out to be more serious than simply failed equipment – the ship has been overrun by something horrifyingly alien, and most of the crew have been spread across the decks as a slippery layer of gore. As Clarke battles his way through the Ishimura's decks to restore ship functionality and escape with his life, he uncovers elements of an expansive governmental cover-up and a plot by religious fanatics to end all life in the galaxy.

The release of Little Big Planet has been delayed in many territories. According to developer Media Molecule, "We learnt yesterday that there is a lyric in one of the licensed tracks which some people may find offensive and which slipped through the usual screening processes... a decision was made within Sony that the right thing to do for quality and support of people with no on-line was to replace existing disks." new official release dates should be available soon.


Update: Sony has confirmed that a revised version of Little Big Planet (in which the music does not contain expressions found in the Qur'an) will ship in North America the week of October 27.

Warhammer Online: Age of ReckoningElectronic Arts' Mythic Entertainment unit confirmed that it plans to add two new careers "this winter" (probably meaning early next year). Both will be heavily armored warriors (tank classes), with the Empire getting the Knight of the Blazing Sun and the Dark Elf Black Guard opposing those blazing knights.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, plans to release NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 (in which the NPPL stands for the National Professional Paintball League) later this year. The game will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PlayStation2. It will feature licensed gear and real tournament locations based on the professional circuit for this non-lethal shooting sport.
It's Thursday, and that's Sony's chosen day for unleashing downloads upon the world. Here are this week's downloadable releases for the PlayStation 3 and PSP:
MidwayMidway declared that it has decided to terminate its non-core licensing agreements, resulting in the expectation of a considerably larger net loss for Midway's third quarter than was previously expected.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts is starting a new development team in Austin, TX, that will be located with its BioWare studio in Austin. The new studio features an initial team of 12 members who will focus on making games for Pogo based on Hasbro properties. Pogo Austin's first title in development is Pictureka! Museum Mayhem, a hidden-object game based on the Pictureka! game.
Atlus USA's game Dokapon Kingdom is now in stores for the Wii. The game applies role-playing game elements to a multiplayer party game framework.
CCP Games has plans for a content update dubbed "Quantum Rise" for its massively multiplayer online game Eve Online. The update will include further graphical updates, changes to autopilot routes and weapons linking alongside plenty of rebalancing. More features will be announced for this update shortly.
KonamiKonami has shipped its game Rock Revolution to stores in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and DS.
MajescoMajesco Entertainment plans to release Left Brain Right Brain 2 on the DS in December, sequel to the original Left Brain Right Brain that was released in late 2007. This sequel will include 20 new games designed to promote "speed, accuracy, association, recognition, memory and strategy."
AtariAtari confirmed that two of its Dragon Ball Z games are gold and will be in stores on November 4:
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released two more downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade:
Playlogic Entertainment has entered into a Licensed Publisher Agreement with Microsoft that will allow Playlogic to publish games for the Xbox 360. Playlogic was already licensed to release games for the Xbox, and is currently developing Fairy Tale Fights for the Xbox 360.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has launched its North American pre-order campaign for the collector's edition of The Sims 3, even though the game will not be available on store shelves until February 20, 2009.
For those of you afraid that coin-operated arcades are dead, rest assured, there are a few remaining machines keeping the quarter-gobbling days alive. Today, Golden Tee 2009 was released to bars, hotels and theme restaurants everywhere. The latest version of this arcade golf game features a new cabinet with an HD screen, the ability to upload shots to YouTube and an exclusive soundtrack.
MicrosoftMicrosoft's efforts to convince more consumers to adopt the Xbox 360 by selling the Xbox 360 Arcade appear to have become problematic. When the "New Xbox Experience" launches on November 19, it will require an absolute minimum of 128 MB of storage space to function (the storage unit is 512 MB), with features such as Netflix viewing using even more storage space. As a result, Microsoft is saying "An Xbox 360 Hard Drive is required to unlock all the great features of the new Xbox 360 Experience..." To compensate, Microsoft has opened a storage upgrade site giving the owners of older (and arcade) consoles access to cheaper refurbished accessories.
SegaSega has shipped Golden Axe: Beast Rider for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. The game is a re-imagining of the coin-operated arcade game that appeared in 1989 in which Tyris Flare beats up an awful lot of fantasy characters with the help of beasts that can be ridden.

Gamecock Submits to SouthPeak

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GamecockSouthPeak Interactive Corporation has agreed to acquire Gamecock Media for an undisclosed amount. SouthPeak still plans to release Legendary and Mushroom Men later this year.
Halo Interactive Strategy GameGenius Products and B1 Games have shipped the Halo Interactive Strategy Game to stores in North America – it should be available for purchase by the end of the month. The game is based on the Halo franchise and has UNSC Marine and Covenant forces battling on a multi-level board. This is the perfect gift for anyone whose internet connection is so slow that it is faster for them to move board game pieces than play online.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped FIFA Soccer '09 to stores in North America (the game already shipped in Europe) for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, PSP and PlayStation 2. The Wii and DS versions of the game should ship on October 28.
Telltale Games and The Adventure Company have shipped Sam & Max: Season One for the Wii to stores in North America. The game should ship in Europe next month.
Sony's SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation is now available for the PlayStation 3. The game can be purchased as a downloaded from the PlayStation Store or off store shelves for $40, or as a bundle with Sony's "Official Bluetooth Headset" for $60 (The headset will be available as a stand-alone purchase next month for $50).
D3PublisherD3Publisher, together with Tomy, has shipped Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 for the DS to stores in North America.
Yesterday, President Bush signed into law the "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008." The act adds funding for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice to target certain aspects of computer crime and appoints an "I.P. Czar" to the cabinet who reports directly to the president and protects the interests of intellectual property holders.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has shipped Europa Universalis III: Complete for the PC to stores in North America. The game should reach stores in Europe on Friday.
AtariAtari, part of Infogrames, has shipped Deer Hunter Tournament for the PC to stores in North America.
As part of toy manufacturer Tomy's foray into game publishing, Tomy has shipped Penny Racers Party: Turbo-Q Speedway for the Wii to stores in North America. The game is based on the line of Japanese toy cars, and allows players to race around 50 vehicles ranging from licensed cars to wacky constructions.
Empire Interactive, part of Silverstar Holdings, is partnering with PlayFirst to bring several PlayFirst games to the DS, including Diner Dash: Flo on the Go, Wedding Dash, Dream Chronicles and Chocolatier. DS versions of all of these games (already available on the PC) are expected to ship in 2009.

Lovely Lisa Ships for the DS

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Previously, Tomy was primarily a toy manufacturer, but is now branching out into video game publishing with the release of Lovely Lisa for the DS.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' Casual Entertainment Group has two new games (specifically targeted at girls) in stores: Littlest Pet Shop and Boogie Superstar.

Dead Space Ships to Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped its horror-themed science-fiction game Dead Space for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. The PC version will ship in North America on October 20 and all three versions will ship to Europe on October 24.
THQTHQ has shipped Saint's Row 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. As with the original Saint's Row, this open-world game of gang warfare was developed by Volition and should ship in the rest of the world on Friday, October 17.
Firesky Publishing wants to let people know that it is making progress on its massively multiplayer online game Stargate Worlds. The game will begin its closed beta test on October 15, meaning that the game is on track for its scheduled launch in early 2009.
TurbineTurbine, the developer and publisher behind massively multiplayer online games such as The Lord of the Rings Online, is opening a new development studio in Redwood City, CA.
Electronic ArtsFollowing recent rumors, Electronic Arts confirmed that it plans to release expansion content for its game Spore. On November 18, EA plans to release the Spore: Creepy & Cute Parts Pack to expand the content available for the Space stage of the game.
PlayStation 3Sony is launching the v2.50 update for the PlayStation 3 later this month. The firmware update will enhance nearly every aspect of the PlayStation 3 in some way, adding:
MidwayMidway has shipped Blitz: The League II for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America.
PSPSony is launching the v5.00 update for the PSP later this month. This latest firmware update will primarily allow PSP owners to access the PlayStation Store directly, without having to go through the PC or PlayStation 3.
THQTHQ has shipped Tak and the Guardians of Gross for the PlayStation 2 and the Wii to stores in North America.
NintendoOnce again, Monday morning has arrived and Nintendo has released more downloadable games for the Wii. This week, there are two new Virtual Console and two new WiiWare games:
THQTHQ has shipped Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno to stores in North America. The game is currently available for the Wii and PlayStation 2. It should ship for the DS on November 24.
Baseball BossOn Saturday, Challenge Games launched new sets of virtual baseball cards for its online, web-based game Baseball Boss, including a series of cards based on 1957 players such as Mays, Williams and Mantle.
THQTHQ has shipped Bratz: Girlz Really Rock for the Wii, PlayStation 2 and DS to stores in North America.

Linger In Shadows Review

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Linger In Shadows Publisher: Plastic
Developer: Sony


Platform: PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Linger in Shadows is fancy arty stuff. As such, you could argue that reviewing it makes as much sense as reviewing wallpaper or a theme for the PlayStation 3. But the difference is simple. While emerging from the culture of "Demoscenes," Linger in Shadows is billed as interactive art. If it's interactive, it's fair game for a review. Furthermore, it's on the PlayStation 3 (aligning it more closely with games), and since it costs something ($3), Linger in Shadows doesn't get a free ride.

King's Bounty: The Legend Publisher: 1C Company and Atari
Developer: Katauri


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 2.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, GeForce 6800 or Radeon X800 video card or better with at least 256 MB VRAM, 5.5 GB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

The King is in need of a new errand-boy, someone to hunt for treasure, collect tax receipts and search for long-lost objects. Little could the king have known that his humble treasure-seeker would prove so reliable and such an able general that the royal treasure hunter would be dispatched to save the royal heir and save the world.

Secret ServiceActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, plans to release Secret Service later this year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and PC. The game takes place around a presidential inauguration, and has players battling to protect the president in locales ranging from Air Force One to Washington, D.C. landmarks.
THQEarlier this week, THQ promoted three executives to fill a gap left by the departure of Jack Sorensen. In a securities filing, THQ confirmed that Sorensen "will receive payments under his Severance Agreement." That generally means that he didn't leave to "pursue other opportunities." That typically means someone like Sorensen left because THQ wanted him to pursue other opportunities.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts is thrilled to let people know that Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has received 750,000 registrations since its launch in mid-September. That's another 250,000 since EA last gloated. Need we point out that's still more players than Lives of Sewage Engineers can boast?
Eden Games, an internal studio for Infogrames' Atari label, promises that they've fixed everything that was wrong with Alone in the Dark as originally released for the upcoming PlayStation 3 version. To emphasize that, they've changed the name to Alone in the Dark: Inferno.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is hiring Brad Jakeman as the company's Chief Creative Officer.
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Publisher: Atari
Developer: CD Projekt


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9800 (or better), 8.5 GB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Geralt is a medieval mutant – one of a handful of warriors who quaffs foul alchemical brews to gain the power and reflexes necessary to kill the foul beasts and monsters that plague his world. White haired, suffering from an ill temper and a recent case of death, Geralt finds his amnesiac self returning to life just in time to see a stronghold of his fellow mutants robbed and his brethren slain. Fortunately, Geralt (known as the "White Wolf" thanks to his flowing white hair) has the swordsmanship and magical skills necessary to survive an horrific series of events and play a pivotal role in the battle between humanity, non-humans and raw evil.

Sony has once again released a bunch of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP as part of the regular, Thursday, PlayStation Store update:
Sony Online Entertainment has launched Ethernauts, the fifth release in SOE's online collectible card game Legends of Norrath. The game can be played on the PC (or even as part of EverQuest and EverQuest II).
Guilty Gear 2: Overture from Aksys Games has reached stores for the Xbox 360. The game combines the fighting genre from which the Guilty Gear franchise arose with elements of real-time strategy gaming.
Fallout 3 from Bethesda Softworks (part of ZeniMax Media) is now gold, in duplication and should reach stores in North America on October 28, in Europe and Australia on October 30 and in the U.K. on October 31.
AtariYesterday, Atari completed its return to the Infogrames fold. Infogrames has completed the acquisition of all outstanding Atari stock (as previously announced) that it does not own, and Atari's stock has been delisted. Atari is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infogrames (once again).
MicrosoftToday at the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft announced several new games and dated the "New Xbox Experience."
D3PublisherD3Publisher plans to release Family Party: 30 Great Games for the Wii on December 2 in North America. The game will feature (no surprise...) 30 games designed for multiple players to compete on the Wii.
THQ Wireless has launched Playboy Games: Pool Party for mobile phones in North America (the game is already available in most areas worldwide).
KoeiKoei's game Prey the Stars for the DS is now in stores in North America.
UbisoftBy now, gamers understand that video game companies are doing everything they can to maximize profits, from pushing up the price of console games, to inserting advertising content to exclusivity deals with retails. Target is certainly pushing hard on the exclusivity front, and will sell a special edition of Shaun White Snowboarding for the Wii that will include an exclusive mountain and a virtual version of the "Target Chalet." More money for Ubisoft – good for them.
MicrosoftMicrosoft, together with publisher Take-Two Interactive (through its 2K Sports label) and developer Gaia Industries, has launched MLB Stickball as a download through Xbox Live Arcade. Also available today is Shadow Assault/Tenchu.
Taito, part of Square Enix, has shipped The Legend of Kage 2 for the DS to stores in North America. The game has been adapted for the DS from the coin-operated ninja-themed arcade game released 23 years ago.
Activision BlizzardNow that Vivendi Games is part of the monolithic Activision Blizzard, the company quietly revealed that it will shutter the official servers for many of its games on November 1. The full list of games is below:
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped its game NBA Live '09 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PSP (and NBA Live '09 All-Play for the Wii). The game will be on shelves by Thursday.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has promoted Rod Humble to Executive Vice President and Head of The Sims Label of EA. Nancy Smith is no longer at that post, although she remains with EA working on "special projects."

Fracture Reaches Stores

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LucasArtsLucasArts' game Fracture, developed by Day 1 Studios, is now in stores for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has shipped Pitfall: The Big Adventure for the Wii to stores in North America.
Line Rider 2: Unbound is now in stores for the Wii. Genius Products, together with inXile Entertainment, has previously shipped DS and PC versions.
KonamiKonami is developing Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves for the Wii, and plans to release the game in March of 2009. The game will include classic Disney characters and songs along with conventional DDR dancing and play.
Microsoft has donated $1.5 million to the Games for Learning Institute, a joint research project of Microsoft and several universities, to study the application of games to teaching science and math to middle-school students.
Riot Games is planning to release League of Legends: Clash of Fates at some point next year. The game will be a multiplayer online strategy game for the PC in which players take on the role of Summoners, each choosing a champion to join a team of competitors in an online arena.

True Games Hires Jarvis

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Recently formed publisher True Games has hired Peter Jarvis as the company's Chief Technology Officer.

Carbine Promotes Cain

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NCsoftNCsoft has promoted Tim Cain to the position of Design Director at Carbine Studios, an NCsoft internal studio. Cain has been with Carbine since the studio was founded in 2005 and is a co-founder of Troika (the studio behind games like Arcanum). Prior to his promotion, Cain was Programming Director at Carbine.
Ankama is thrilled to gloat that its massively multiplayer online game Dofus has reached 1.5 million subscribers and 10 million players, with 70% of the player base speaking French.

NBA '09 Reaches Stores

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NBA '09 from Sony is now in stores for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PSP. This is the latest iteration of Sony's basketball franchise, and this year includes a full Franchise Mode and "The Life" Mode to follow specific characters.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has shipped its game Crash: Mind Over Mutant for the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and DS to stores in North America.

NBA 2K9 Reaches Stores

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Take-Two InteractiveNBA 2K9 from 2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, is now in stores for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2. This latest iteration in 2K Sports' basketball franchise boasts improved AI and the ability to play online five-on-five matches.
As of the beginning of this month, Kudos 2 from Positech Games has been available as a PC download. The game, like the original Kudos, is a casual life simulation in which players control ten years of a character's life, balancing career success against quality of life. The game can be purchased for $20 from the official Kudos 2 game site.
THQTHQ has reorganized is product development team, promoting three executives following the departure of Jack Sorensen, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Studios.
Got Game Entertainment's PC game Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches is now in stores in North America. The adventure game explores Welsh myths with players taking on the role of a teenage girl facing an ancient and malevolent spirit.
MidwayMidway has shipped Game Party 2 for the Wii to stores in North America. This sequel to Game Party includes several games from the original alongside new party games like "Bean Bags" and "Puck Bowling."
NintendoNintendo has released another four downloadable games under the WiiWare and Virtual Console labels:
Logique Eclectic has launched its hockey simulation GM Hockey 2009 as a download for the PC. The game sets players managing a hockey team and can be downloaded from the GM Hockey 2009 official site.
City InteractiveCity Interactive's game Beauty Factory for the PC is now in stores in North America. The game has players striving to create a cosmetics empire in this cosmetics tycoon-type game.
City InteractiveCity Interactive's game Sniper: Art of Victory is now in stores for the PC. The game has players taking on the role of a sniper holding off Nazi forces during World War II.
KonamiKonami has planned a number of features specifically for Latin American gamers for the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 next year.
City InteractiveCity Interactive's game SAS: Secure Tomorrow is now in stores for the PC. The game is a tactical shooter in which players take on the role of an SAS commando team (the SAS are a special forces regiment within the British Army) combating a terrorist organization.
D3PublisherD3Publisher plans to release Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the first quarter of 2009. The game is being developed by Vicious Cycle Software and stars a video game character as the lead of the... video game.
Codemasters' license to operate the massively multiplayer online game RF Online is expiring, and will not be renewed by Korean developer CCR. As a result, Codemasters will shut down its RF Online servers in Europe and North America at the end of November 9, UK time.
Two previously released PSP games have been added to the PlayStation Store and can be downloaded through either the PC or PlayStation 3. Untold Legends the Warriors Code is available for $15, while D3Publisher's WTF: Work Time Fun collection of mini-games is available for $10.
Netamin Corporation has been working to promote its massively multiplayer online baseball game for years. It began as Ultimate Baseball Online and ultimately transitioned to Cal Ripken's Real Baseball. Now, it appears to have vanished forever. Netamin is no longer maintaining its own domain name and the official game site says, "The service for Cal Ripken's Real Baseball is currently halted until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience."
XseedXseed Games confirmed that it plans to release Maramasa: The Demon Blade (called Oboro Muramasa Youtouden in Japan) in North America next year.
NintendoNintendo announced that it will bring a new chat channel to North American Wii users, but also confirmed that it will release a new version of the DS in Japan.
Take-Two InteractiveWhen Electronic Arts finally walked away from its efforts to acquire Take-Two Interactive, Take-Two Interactive declared that it was "actively engaged in discussions with other parties in the context of our formal process to consider strategic alternatives." Today, Take-Two Interactive declared that those discussions didn't pan out.
Lighthouse Interactive has released A Murder of Crows,its expansion for the PC strategy game Sword of the Stars, a week early and solely as a download.
Nottingham Trent University in the UK, in conjunction with the National Media Museum in Bradford plans to open a National Videogame Archive. "In addition to a treasure trove of consoles and cartridges, the archive will collect and gather a broad range of items from across the industry. It will encompass the wider cultural phenomenon of videogames by documenting advertising campaigns, magazine reviews, artwork and the communities that sustain them – the overall aim being to collect, celebrate and preserve this vital cultural form for future generations."
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Publisher: 2K Play (Take-Two Interactive)
Developer: Firaxis Games


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 1.2 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with 64 MB VRAM, 900 MB HD space, internet connection, Windows 2000 or more recent operating system

In the mid-'90s, Microprose released Sid Meier's Colonization, a Civilization-like game that explored the foundation of the American colonies, diplomacy with and exploitation of the natives, and ultimately rebellion against the mother country. Now, Colonization has been remade, using the engine from Civilization IV, bringing an incredible level of polish to the classic game that saw gamers around the world settling a new continent and declaring independence.

On September 4, Tecmo rejected the friendly takeover bid from Square Enix, but has been pursuing a merger with Koei. Koei and Tecmo are currently discussing the merger and plan to announce details in November for a probable combination in 2009.
Viva Media has shipped its game My Dream Job: Babysitter for the PC to stores in North America. The game has players running a babysitting business while learning facts about childcare.
D3PublisherBy this point, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords has been released for nearly every platform, save the PlayStation 3. So, D3Publisher of America has confirmed that it will release the game for the PlayStation Network this winter. The game will be released as a downloadable bundle alongside the expansion recently released for Xbox Live Arcade, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords - Revenge of the Plague Lord.
XseedXseed Games has shipped Valhalla Knights 2 for the PSP to stores in North America.

Otherland to Become an MMOG

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Publisher dtp Entertainment is working with Singapore developer RealU to bring a massively multiplayer online game based on the Otherland novels to market.
CapcomCapcom Interactive has unified its European and North America mobile games units under a single management team. Midori Yuasa, President of Capcom Interactive, will lead the teams, with Matt Gillis leading commercial activities and Manabu Seko leading Capcom's development in London, Toronto and Los Angeles.
KoeiKoei's game Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation is now in stores for the DS. The game has players running a fashion boutique and competing to set Tokyo's fashion trends.
Microsoft has added two downloadable games to Xbox Live Arcade this week:
GameStopRetailer GameStop has entered into an agreement to acquire Micromania, a French game retailer with 332 locations.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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