December 2008 Archives

If, for your New Year's Eve, you prefer word games to heavy drinking, Microsoft has a solution for you. Today, Merv Griffin's Crosswords is available as a download through Xbox Live Arcade.
NintendoOnce again, it's Monday, so (once again) Nintendo has added more downloadable games for the Wii with two WiiWare titles and once Virtual Console game. This week's additions are:
It may be Christmas Eve, but Microsoft has still added another downloadable game for the Xbox 360. This week's addition comes from Eidos. Puzzle Arcade is available for 800 points ($10) and has Xbox 360 owners solving jigsaw puzzles using their console. The game includes around 35 jigsaw puzzles. More are available as premium downloads or can be created using the Xbox Live Vision camera.
Digital Eel, in conjunction with Shrapnel Games, has released Brainpipe: A Plunge to Unhumanity as a download for the PC. The game can be purchased for $15 and is an endurance-run-style arcade game that features eyeball buttons.
Thanks to the upcoming holiday, Sony has released downloadable games through the PlayStation Store early this week:
Activision BlizzardBlizzard, part of Activision Blizzard, is thrilled to gloat that its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft now has around 11.5 million subscribers worldwide following the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has released Global Crisis, an expansion pack for its game Supreme Ruler 2020 as a PC download through its GamersGate portal for $20. The expansion adds 20 new scenarios, a new map and various tweaks and improvements to the original game.
Nyko's Charge Station QuadNyko's Charge Station Quad, designed to keep four Wii Remotes charged and on hand for use, has shipped to stores and is now available for $50.
Nintendo has released another three downloadable games for the Wii:
The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Publisher: Turbine
Developer: Turbine

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 1.8 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 64 MB nVidia GeForce 3 or ATI Radeon 8500 with DirectX 9.0c, 9 GB HD space, 2x DVD ROM, internet connection, Windows XP

"Moria. Once it was glorious, the greatest of Dwarf-cities, but now its fabled halls are filled with shadow and death. Men and Dwarves whisper its name with awe, and even Hobbits know enough to fear it. Known by the Dwarves as Khazad-dum, Moria is a realm far greater than any have imagined. Filled with incredible treasures and unspeakable dangers, the Black Pit has been the bane of many, but has never been fully explored until now."

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts offered more details on EA's plans to cut costs and fire staff. To achieve annual savings of $120 million, EA expects it will incur restructuring charges of $55 to $65 million over the next few quarters. In doing so, EA expects to cut 10% of its jobs worldwide, more than EA previously expected.
Atlus plans to release The Dark Spire for the DS on March 10, 2009. The Dark Spire will be a dungeon-crawl role-playing game in the style of old PC games like Wizardry (and will even feature a mode in which the dungeon appears as a black-and-white wireframe image.
A variety of games have been added to the PlayStation Store today, including new releases for the PlayStation 3 and older games for the PSP:

Hammerin' Hero Coming in March

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Atlus USA has acquired the North American publishing rights to Hammerin' Hero, a side-scrolling brawler for the PSP. The game should be released on March 3, 2009, and has players beating up "corporate evil across Japan."
PopCapPopCap's game Mystery P.I. - Portrait of a Thief is now in stores for the DS. The hidden-object-style game has players tracking the theft of stolen paintings and was developed together with Black Lantern Studios.
CapcomCapcom has shipped the Wii version of Neopets Puzzle Adventure. The game is already available for the PC and DS and has players interacting with the Neopets world by playing variants on the classic games of Go and Reversi.
Developer Red Rocket Games announced itself to the universe today (despite being around since 2005), as a developer of casual games for PC and Mobile gamers. The company was founded by Jung Suh (of GameFly) and Scott Yu (formerly a technical art director at Electronic Arts). The company is headquartered in Shanghai with an office in Bellevue, Washington. Red Rocket plans to use its access to Chinese developers to keep costs low.
GPU manufacturer nVidia is now providing downloadable driver updates for notebook computers with nVidia GPUs. As notebook owners know, such updates were not previously provided, sticking average notebook owners with the same configuration they had at purchase. Recognizing the increasing importance of notebooks in PC gaming (and nVidia's desire to distribute its PhysX drivers), nVidia is improving its support for mobile GPUs.
Square EnixSquare Enix currently plans to release Dissidia Final Fantasy for the PSP in the middle of 2009. The game will feature battle system new for the Final Fantasy series created by the folks behind the system used in Kingdom Hearts as well as plenty of cameos from Final Fantasy's most famous characters. The game itself features characters participating in the epic battle between the goddess of harmony and the god of discord.

Warhammer: Battle March Review

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Warhammer: Battle March Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Black Hole Entertainment

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Whether by the Hordes of Chaos or the Empire, villages and cities in the world of Games Workshop's Warhammer are always being ravaged by one force or another. In this real-time strategy adaptation of the turn-based tabletop strategy game, you can maraud as an Imperial army or orcish horde in the seemingly eternal war that plagues the Old World.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Battle March Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Black Hole Entertainment

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 128 MB nVidia GeForce FX or ATI 9600, 3 GB HD space, internet connection, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Whether by the Hordes of Chaos or the Empire, villages and cities in the world of Games Workshop's Warhammer are always being ravaged by one force or another. In this real-time strategy adaptation of the turn-based tabletop strategy game, maraud as an Imperial army or orcish horde in the seemingly eternal war that plagues the Old World.

Take-Two InteractiveTake-Two Interactive released its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2008.
NintendoNintendo has settled a lawsuit that it file against peripheral manufacturer Nyko. The lawsuit accused Nyko of infringing on Nintendo's patents relating to the Wii Nunchuk controller when Nyko manufactured the Kama wireless controller. Nyko will continue to sell a redesigned version of the Kama wireless controller.
MicrosoftThis week's Xbox Live Virtual Arcade release is a free advergame called Doritos Dash of Destruction.
MidwayIn a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Midway confirmed that it will significantly cut its staff and will incur around $20 million of costs related to the company's financial position and change of control.
CodemastersCodemasters' game Rise of the Argonauts has shipped to stores in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game has players taking on the role of Jason, traveling the ancient world and battling mythological creatures.
Sony Online Entertainment, in conjunction with LucasArts, has released the first expansion for the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game, called Squadrons Over Corellia. The expansion adds 250 playable cards and 22 cards redeemable for loot within the massively multiplayer online game Star Wars Galaxies, all of which can be purchased a few at a time.
Developer inXile entertainment has acquired another online property to transform into a game. The company has released console and mobile versions of the internet hit Line Rider. Now, inXile is working on a mobile version of Fantastic Contraption, an online physics puzzle developed by Colin Northway while also working on monetizing traffic to the Fantastic Contraption site.

Deer Drive Ships for the Wii

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Mastiff has shipped its game Deer Drive for the Wii to stores in North America. The game has up to four players participating in a hunting party shooting deer with the Wii Remote.

Peggle Nights Review (PC)

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Peggle Nights Publisher: PopCap Games
Developer: PopCap Games

Platforms: PC, Mac and Xbox 360
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 700 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 8.0, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

It's not enough to attend the Peggle Institute, bouncing balls through fields of pegs, falling into Extreme Fever when pegs are eliminated and racking up high scores. In Peggle Nights, the instructors of the Peggle Institute share their dreams, allowing players to live out their peg-eliminating fantasies in another 60 levels of Peggle-style fun.

Telltale Games has released Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People: Episode 5 - 8 Bit is Enough as a download for the PC and the Wii. This is the last episode of the season and has the game dragon Trogdor rampaging in the real world as the world of video games begins to overlap with that of Strong Bad's reality.
Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People: Episode 5 - 8 Bit is Enough 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 video card with DirectX 9 support, internet connection, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Following Strong Bad's adventures as Dangeresque, he absolutely had to jump. Unfortunately, he did so into an upright, coin-operated Trogdor arcade machine, making the machine itself run amok. When Strong Bad tries to repair the machine, things go from bad to worse, with the Homestar Runner universe overlapping with the world of archaic video games. Can Strong Bad set things right once more? To do so, will he have to kill his own creation?

Space GiraffeLlamasoft has released an enhanced version of its game Space Giraffe (previously released for Xbox Live Arcade) as a download for the PC. The PC version, downloadable from Llamasoft's site, uses a new shader library and gives Llamasoft the ability to add downloadable level packs.
505 Games is working with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to console and mobile swimming games featuring Phelps. The first such game developed under this license should be available in the first half of 2010.
NintendoOther game releases may have slowed, but it's once again a Monday, so Nintendo has once again released more downloadable games for the Wii:

God of War 3 in Development

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A new God of War game is currently in development at Sony Computer Entertainment's Santa Monica Studios, this time for the PlayStation 3. God of War 3 will see Kratos return to battle against mythological creatures using a new engine that will add even more graphical detail to the successful God of War formula.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts is planning to release a third-person action game based on the 14th century epic poem, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. The game will be called Dante's Inferno and is being developed by the same group at EA Redwood Shores that developed Dead Space. Based on the title (and the fact that the "Paradiso" portion of The Divine Comedy probably doesn't require a "dismemberment engine"), it sounds like the game will only explore the nine circles of hell and will restrict its exploration of the poem's elements to those that can be killed or hacked apart.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has signed on to publish Double Fine Productions upcoming game, Brutal Legend, through the EA Partners program. The game was in a state of limbo, following the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision (forming Activision Blizzard), as the game was to be published by Sierra. The game should be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in late 2009.
Storm Eagle StudiosStorm Eagle Studios has released Jutland for the PC as a download through the company's online store. Jutland is a detailed naval simulation and sequel to Distant Guns.
Power Up Forever from Blitz Arcade is now available as a download for the PlayStation 3. The game costs $10 and is a shooter in which the player's ship grows as it powers up, such that not only do enemies get more vicious, but the scale of the game's environment changes as you play. The game was released through Xbox Live Arcade yesterday.
Defense Grid: The Awakening Publisher: Hidden Path Entertainment
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment

Platforms: PC and Xbox 360
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 1.8 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0c and Shader 2 compatible video card, 1 GB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

A millennium of peace has lulled a distant planet into a false sense of security. Fortunately, when the alien invasion began, it was just barely possible to reawaken an ancient defense grid, capable of constructing defensive weaponry emplacements guided by the digitized personality of a long-dead operator. The defense grid needs only one thing to save the planet from a deadly onslaught – an operator capable of balancing the available resources against the planet's defensive needs.

AtariThe Tale of Despereaux: The Game has reached stores for the Wii, PC, PlayStation 2 and DS. Based on the animated film of the same name (in turn based on the book by Kate DiCamillo), the game allows players to take on the role of the eponymous mouse in kid-friendly adventures.
PlayFirst has released its hidden-object game Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar's Eye as a download through casual game portals with a boxed release scheduled for January. The game was developed by Black Hammer Productions and is a sequel to The Nightshift Code. The game is available for both the PC and Mac.
Bethesda Softworks has launched the G.E.C.K. editor for its game Fallout 3. There is also a G.E.C.K. Wiki offering tutorials and explanations of how to create content for the game.
The U.S. Army has released a map pack for its game America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch) developed by students at Champlain College. The maps were developed by Champlain's students in collaboration with the U.S. Army, with 2,500 hours of development time spent on two mission maps.
This month's Psychology & Aging contains a study performed by Arthur Kramer, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, arguing that (using Rise of Nations as a model) video games can improve cognitive functions in adults in their 60s and 70s.
Conspiracy EntertainmentConspiracy Entertainment's game Winter Sports 2: The Next Challenge is now in stores for the Wii. The game allows players to participate in 42 challenges drawn from nine winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing.
Ear Force PX1 PlayStation 3 HeadphonesTurtle Beach has launched the Ear Force PX1 PlayStation 3 Headphones through the company's online site. While compatible with the Xbox 360 or PC, the headphones are designed to allow PlayStation 3 owners to listen and chat wirelessly for $80.
The sequel to the real-time strategy game Perimeter is finally getting ready for North American release. Strategy First, the game's publisher in North America, says that Perimeter II: New Earth is gold, and will reach stores on January 20, 2009.
Two more games are downloadable today for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade:
JoWooDPublisher JoWooD's board previously authorized the company to pursue a share-buyback program that is now going into effect. Over the course of the next year (December 16, 2008 through December 31, 2009), JoWooD has been authorized to repurchase up to 218,856 of its 2,735,695 outstanding shares through the Vienna Stock Exchange to improve the trading performance of its shares. All shares so purchased must be acquired within 30% of the average closing price of JoWooD's stock at the Vienna Exchange over the last 30 trading days.
Logitech G13 Advanced GameboardLogitech is launching a new PC peripheral later this month – the Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard. The ergonomically designed gameboard has 25 programmable, backlit keys and a programmable analog stick. It will support both profiles for individual games (with onboard memory) and the ability to record macros on the fly without leaving a game. It will even include a small LCD panel to show game information.
PlayStation 3Sony officially declared that it will make the beta test for its Home service freely available on December 11. Home is Sony's long promised 3D social space for the PlayStation 3.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts confirmed that it now believes its net revenues and earnings per share will be lower than previously expected for its 2009 fiscal year. According to EA, "The Company is continuing to pursue cost saving initiatives including a reduction of its product portfolio for fiscal year 2010 with additional associated headcount reductions and facility consolidations."
Sony Online Entertainment has launched the item shop for EverQuest and EverQuest II. Players of SOE's premier massively multiplayer online game franchise can now purchase items that enhance their characters for Station Cash (which is a nice name for real money) from within the game.
S2 Games has made its game Savage 2: A Tortured Soul free to download and play. The combination action/shooter/real-time strategy game can now be played without a subscription fee.

Hamilton Joins Capcom

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CapcomCapcom has hired Mona Hamilton as the company's Vice President of Marketing. Prior to joining Capcom, Hamilton had served in the same post at Midway. Hamilton will oversee Capcom's marketing in North America.
MajescoMajesco has shipped Left Brain Right Brain 2 for the DS to stores in North America. This brain-training-style game has players practicing 20 games intended to increase mental acuity.
AtariInfogrames, parent company of Atari, has signed an agreement to fully acquire Cryptic Studios. Cryptic was founded in 2000, is the original developer of City of Heroes and is currently working on three games. Infogrames will acquire the studio, all of its tools, its IP and plans to integrate Cryptic's staff.

Spectromancer Review

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Spectromancer Publisher: Apus Software and Three Donkeys
Developer: Apus Software, Hidden City Games and Three Donkeys

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 800 MHz Processor, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB Video Card, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

One thousand years ago, Dorlak condensed the astral power of the universe into a Great Prism that nearly allowed him to control all of existence. Dorlak would have succeeded had an assemblage of mages not narrowly defeated him in the War of Darkness. Following the final battle, the Great Prism was shattered into six indestructible pieces, each of which was distributed to a powerful mage. One mage from each of the six schools of astral power, each a bitter rival of the others, formed the council that rules the land of Revnia.

Celestia, the guardian of Revnia, has visited a mage, begging his aid, for the various members of the council have been driven mad by the shards of the Great Prism. With Celestia's assistance, that single mage must amass enough power to defeat all the members of the council and reforge the Great Prism, using it to save Revnia rather than enslaving the land.

Last week, developer Videlectrix (the folks behind Peasant's Quest who are working with Telltale Games on Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People), threw down the gauntlet, launching a "Roomisodic" game featuring Strong Bad's Dangeresque character, clearly poking fun at Telltale Games' success with episodic games. Today, Telltale Games fired back.
Fury and have released the strategy game Strategic Command: WW2 Pacific Theater as a download for the PC. This is the third Strategic Command game, this time exploring battles set in the jungles and islands of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

Splash Damage Acquires Ham

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Developer Splash Damage, the studio behind Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has hired Richard Ham as Creative Director. Ham was previously working as Lead Designer on Fable II and will lead the design team for Splash Damage's project being developed for Bethesda Softworks.
NintendoNintendo has added another three games to the portfolio of WiiWare and Virtual Console games available for download on the Wii:
Lighthouse Interactive and developer Discus Games have released Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942 as a download for the PC. The strategy game is based on the events that took place from May 12, 1942 through May 28, 1942 in which the Nazi German army battled against the Red Army in and around Kharkov.
Hidden Path Entertainment has released its tower defense-style game Defense Grid: The Awakening for the PC through download services such as Valve's Steam. The game features 20 levels in which players battle oncoming enemies by constructing and upgrading towers. The game is available for $20.
Stickman Studios' game Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy is available as a PC download through Valve's Steam today. The game has players controlling a pirate ship and performing 56 missions in which players battle the forces of The Crown in arcade-style action.

GameStop Denies MCV Rumors

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GameStopRumors have been circulating (thanks to MCV) that game retailer GameStop is bidding on real estate being sold by the British Woolworths chain. GameStop officially denied those reports this morning, calling them "completely inaccurate."
MidwayEarlier this week, Sumner Redstone sold his majority stake in Midway Games. Midway has filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission confirming that the change in control gives the holders of $150 million of Midway's debt the option to require that debt to be paid immediately. If Midway fails to pay that debt, than the $90 million the company owes to National Amusements (A Redstone company) would also come due. That sounds scary, but here's why it probably won't mean the end of Midway:
Sony has released new downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store. The latest downloadable addition for the PlayStation 3 is Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer. If you can say it, you can download it for $10. Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer is a shooter in which players (as always) strive to defend Earth. Also, four downloadable games for the PSP have been added, each available for $10:
SouthPeak GamesSouthPeak Games recently acquired GameCock, so SouthPeak is company that today is shipping Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars for the Wii and Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for the DS.
Namco Bandai GamesNamco Bandai Games announced that it is creating both a label and a studio named "Surge." Surge's games will be specifically designed to appeal to western audiences. The first game to be released under the Surge label will be Afro Samurai.
D2C's game PBR Out of the Chute was previously released for the Wii and PlayStation 2. Today, the game was released as a download for the PSP and PC. 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.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has decided to enter the realm of mobile publishing. The company is is currently developing mobile versions of Hearts of Iron and Majesty, presumably for a 2009 release.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts is planning to release NASCAR Kart Racing for the Wii on February 10, 2009, for the launch of the 2009 NASCAR racing season. The game will feature 13 NASCAR drivers on 24 wacky courses. FI suspects that you even have to turn right.
Blaze Classic Controller for the WiiBlaze, a brand of Mad Catz, has released its Classic Wii Controller in Europe. For £15 (around $22), Wii owners can purchase this controller intended for a classic feel when playing Wii Virtual Console games.
Empire InteractiveEmpire Interactive is developing Martian Panic for release in the first half of 2009 on the Wii. The game is a cooperative shooter in which players use the Wii Remote (or even two Wii Remotes) to blast Martian invaders.
Publisher Zoo Digital has released M&Ms Adventure for the DS and Wii to stores in North America. The game has Red, Yellow and Ms. Green (M&Ms from the various television commercials) dealing with a factory disaster immediately before Christmas. The action game was developed by Nikitova. A PlayStation 2 version should be released next year.
MicrosoftThe original Banjo-Kazooie is available as a download through Xbox Live Arcade. The bear and bird's original platforming romp can be purchased for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), allowing players to relive one part of 1998, all over again.
NCsoftNCsoft has launched the "Issue 13" content update for its massively multiplayer online game City of Heroes (and Villains). Called Power and Responsibility, the new content allows characters to have a day job that will continue to develop the character, even when offline. The issue also adds new powersets, balancing and tweaks alongside the ability to start a "Leveling Pact."
Massive, a provider of in-game advertising owned by Microsoft, has signed a few new clients. Blizzard (part of Activision Blizzard) has signed up to have Massive provide ads for the service (and Blizzard's web sites) in most areas of the world. Massive has also signed a multi-year agreement to deliver in-game ads for 18 Activision games on the PC and Xbox 360, including James Bond: Quantum of Solace and Guitar Hero: World Tour.
UbisoftUbisoft has shipped Prince of Persia for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This isn't simply a port of the classic (and comparatively ancient puzzle and platform game). Rather, this game uses the engine from Assassin's Creed to explore the acrobatic Prince's problem in an open-world setting.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS Racing WheelFanatec is planning to launch yet another Porsche-themed racing wheel in February when it releases the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Racing Wheel for the PlayStation 3 and PC. This model of wheel will cost $290 and distinguishes itself by placing a vibration motor on the brake pedal and a wheel made from the same leather used in Porsches.
Take-Two InteractiveRockstar Games, the premier label for Take-Two Interactive, has released the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV to retail stores and through Valve's Steam download service. The game, previously released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, follows Niko Bellic as he becomes embroiled in the criminal side of Liberty City.
PlayStation 3Sony has released the v2.53 firmware update for the PlayStation 3. This update largely improves the experience of browsing the web through the PlayStation 3, improving the way Flash works and certain movie formats display on the PlayStation 3.

EA Acquires J2M

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has acquired J2MSoft, a Korean developer that makes online games for the PC (such as Taan, RayCity and Debut). The acquisition closed today (terms were not disclosed) and EA plans to use the acquisition to help the company expand its online presence in Asia.
Sony has released its game SingStar: Abba for both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. The karaoke-style game includes Abba's hits and videos.
Square EnixSquare Enix is working with Disney Interactive Studios to develop Kingdom Hearts 258/2 Days for the DS. This will be the first Kingdom Hearts game to grace the DS, and will take place during the year that the character Sora was asleep regaining his lost memories.
Atari plans to bring the Ready 2 Rumble boxing franchise to the Wii in the first half of 2009 with Ready 2 Rumble Revolution. The game will feature 18 cartoonish boxers controlled by swinging the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
Square EnixSquare Enix, together with Disney Interactive Studios, has shipped Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America. The game was originally released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2004, but this fully 3D version is now being released in North America and bridges the events between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.
CD Projekt, together with Atari, plans to release The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late 2009. The game will be similar to The Witcher, released for the PC, but rebuilt for consoles.
D3PublisherD3Publisher has shipped Family Party: 30 Great Games for the Wii to stores in North America. The game includes casual party games that can be enjoyed by up to four players, and was developed by Tamsoft.
MajescoMajesco is planning to pull Mama out of the kitchen and into the garden when it releases Gardening Mama for the DS in the first half of 2009. In the tradition of the Cooking Mama, Mama will instruct players on how to perform a variety of gardening actions and then create things from the plants so grown. For example, strawberries can be raised and turned into jam, or pumpkins can be grown and then carved for Halloween.
True Games has identified the online game it is working on with developer Petroglyph (the studio behind Star Wars: Empire at War). The game is called Mytheon and is an online action and strategy game that will support itself with microtransactions.
SCi EntertainmentSCi Entertainment has filed with the U.K. Registrar of Companies to formally change its name to Eidos. SCi previously acquired Eidos and is now its holding company, but is pursuing the sensible strategy of changing its name to fit its most recognizable brand.

Update: SCi Entertainment confirmed later in the day that its name will change to Eidos plc tomorrow, and its trading symbol will change from SEG to EID.

Chinese game publisher Perfect World is planning to release its massively multiplayer online game Pocketpet Journey West in North America under the name Ether Saga Online. The game will be released in 2009 through Perfect World's U.S. subsidiary, Perfect World Entertainment and is yet another "free-to-play" online game with a youth-oriented anime style.
Chinese game publisher and operator NetDragon is working with Disney to launch a massively multiplayer online game in a Disney-themed world for gamers in China. Disney Fantasy Online is slated for release in the first half of 2009 and will allow players to interact with Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse.

Gears of War 2

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Gears of War 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

A few months after Delta Squad and the Coalition of Ordered Governments detonated a Lightmass Bomb in an attempt to stop the Locust Forces emerging onto the surface of the planet Sera and slaughtering humanity, Delta Squad is trying to save the last vestiges of humanity on Sera. The effects of the bomb are killing many of the surviving humans with a condition called "Rustlung" and cities are sinking into the planet's crust. There seems to be little hope, but Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad are once again going to slaughter thousands of Locust in an effort to end the war once and for all.

Ndoors Acquires CrazyBox

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Ndoors, a South Korean publisher of online games, has purchased CrazyBox Entertainment, the South Korean developer of the online first-person shooter Seven Years of War. Ndoors expects to release an online first-person shooter with the expertise it has acquired from CrazyBox next summer.
Mobile publisher Com2uS has released its time-management game Crazy Hotdogs Tailgate Party on certain carriers in North America. The game has players working to supply a series of tailgaters with hotdogs custom tailored to their specifications.
Namco Networks has launched its mobile game Worst-Case Scenario on certain carriers in North America. The game is based on the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, offering trivia questions concerning how to survive desperate situations such as an attack by an angry alligator.
Peripheral manufacturer ezGear is bringing its Wii MusicPack to stores. Within the month, for $30, fans of Wii Music will be able to purchase a selection of plastic cases for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to enhance the fun of Wii Music. The pack includes drumsticks, a violin and a saxophone. All are designed to make the Wii Remote and Nunchuk feel more like the named instrument.
MidwaySumner Redstone, the media mogul behind Viacom, worked hard to acquire an 87% stake in Midway, taking control of the video game publisher. Now, to maintain control of his media empire after the recent economic problems, Redstone has sold his stake in Midway.
Square EnixSquare Enix plans to release Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time for the Wii and DS in the first half of 2009. The game has players trying to cure the "crystal sickness" that is plaguing a young girl from his village.
NintendoIt's yet another Monday morning, and Nintendo has released yet another slate of downloadable games for the Wii:
THQTHQ has shipped Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon for the Xbox 360 to stores in North America.
Chinese game developer and operator NetDragon has entered into an agreement with Electronic Arts that will allow NetDragon to develop EA's Dungeon Keeper line of games into a 3D massively multiplayer online game in China. For those who don't remember, the Dungeon Keeper games were strategy games released in the late 1990s in which the player ran a dank dungeon into which adventurers would intrude.

About this Archive

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

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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