October 2011 Archives

According to Statesman.com, developer Edge of Reality told the Texas Workforce Commission that it fired 39 employees after a project for publisher Electronic Arts was cancelled.
Sega Sammy HoldingsSega Sammy Holdings, parent of Sega, announced its consolidated financial results for the first six months of its fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. The six-month period wasn't particularly good for Sega Sammy's video game business, but read on for more details...
Ignite, a racing game for the PC from Nemesys Games and publisher Just A Game can be downloaded to the PC. This racing game includes a single-player campaign that takes place over 35 races (on seven tracks), that rewards high scores with extra nitro boosts.
Publisher Nordic Games and developer Spellbound Studios have released ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif as a download for the PC. This latest role-playing game in the ArcaniA storyline is technically an expansion for ArcaniA: Gothic 4, but has been released as a stand-alone game in which players cope with a volcanic eruption triggered by a Demonic plot.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive, together with Kerberos Productions, has released Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter as a PC download through major download portals. This sequel to the original Sword of the Stars once again features real-time space combat and galactic-scale strategy, but sees the races from the original game established as small empires and new provincial management options in the game's strategic layer.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts announced preliminary financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended September 30, 2011. Read on for more details...
NintendoNintendo announced selected financial results for the first six months (a period ended September 30, 2011) of its fiscal year. Nintendo has also announced that it expects to suffer a loss for the full fiscal year. Read on for more details...
SonySony announced that it will acquire Ericsson's 50% stake in Sony Ericsson, absorbing the mobile handset business entirely into Sony. Sony is paying Ericsson €1.05 billion (around $1.5 billion) for Ericsson's stake, allowing Sony to better integrate smartphone handsets and giving Sony licensing or ownership of important groups of patents relating to phone handsets. Sony expects to manufacture smartphones that will have access to Sony's network of content, including the PlayStation Network. The transaction should close in January of 2012, subject to regulatory approval.
Bohemia Interactive has released its game Take On Helicopters as a download for the PC through several online portals. This simulation has players piloting helicopters using a variety of detailed rotor-wing vehicles over terrain based on detailed data from North America and South Asia.
CapcomCapcom announced certain financial results for the first six months of its fiscal year, a period ended September 30, 2011. Read on for more details...

Batman: Arkham City Review

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Batman: Arkham City Publisher: Warner Bros.
Developer: Rocksteady Studios

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

Gotham City's infamous facilities Arkham Asylum and Blackgate prison have closed. The newly elected mayor, Quincy Sharp, has closed off the older, crime-ridden portions of Gotham to create a massive prison dubbed Arkham City. Placed under the stewardship of the mysterious psychiatrist, Dr. Strange, Arkham City is now home to petty criminals and supervillains alike – all subject to Dr. Strange's mysterious machinations. Unfortunately for the inmates, political prisoners aren't the only innocents stuck in Arkham City – Batman's here too, and he's determined to take down Arkham City.

SegaSega's game Renegade Ops is available as a download for the PC through online portals such as Valve's Steam service. Previously released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, The game has players driving a variety of assault vehicles on behalf of a mobile commando unit to battle a madman who goes by the name "Inferno." The game contains both a single-player campaign and four-player cooperative missions.
Zen Studios has released the "Paranormal" table for its Pinball FX 2 platform through the Xbox Live Arcade program on the Xbox 360. Both the table and the software platform are free, although the table will no longer be free after November 2. The Paranormal table has players using pinballs to help a paranormal detective investigate supernatural phenomena.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released more downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade program, including a zombie survival game, a classic coin-operated racer and a side-scrolling platformer based on a 1950s film. Read on for the names and details...
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter is now available as a download for the PC through Valve's Steam service. This is a turn-based role-playing game that explores the world of the Serious Sam games as Sam and a band of mercenaries face endless waves of Mental's forces.

Dance Central 2 Reaches Stores

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MicrosoftMicrosoft's game Dance Central 2 for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor is now available in stores in North America. This sequel to the previously released Dance Central allows two players to dance simultaneously, using the Kinect sensor to help judge how well you dance along to around 100 tracks.
Namco Bandai GamesWe at FI are pretty sure that you were just thinking, "There couldn't possibly be enough Dragon Ball Z video games. Obviously, you were correct, since Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi from Namco Bandai Games is now in stores in North America. Available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this latest Dragon Ball Z game differentiates itself with "Deeper Brand Representation - Fight presentations more closely mirror the animation series."
Sega SammySega, part of Sega Sammy Holdings, has released House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut for the PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move. This is the same lightgun-style shooter that was released for the Wii that revisits the classic House of the Dead franchise in the style of grindhouse films.
Namco Bandai GamesActive Life: Magical Carnival from Namco Bandai Games is now available in stores. The game requires the Active Life mat (a controller similar to a dance mat peripheral) that (in conjunction with this software) will have players jumping around to participate in a variety of carnival-style activities.
AtlusAtlus has released The Cursed Crusade for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Set during the Fourth Crusade, the game takes a supernatural turn as two cursed crusaders seek to save their souls before their humanity is eroded. While the console versions are in stores, the PC version is available as a download through Valve's Steam service.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released Kinect Sports: Season Two for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor. The game includes six new sports (golf, darts, baseball, skiing, tennis and football) that can all be played by jumping around in front of the Kinect sensor.
THQTHQ has released Monster High: Ghoul Spirit for the Wii and the DS to stores in North America. The game has players taking on the role of an undead teenager at a new school "...performing scaretastic assignments..." and "...creeptastic tasks... and vie for the prestigious title of Scream Queen."

Exceribate us with a spoon.

Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has released Squinkies 2: Adventure Mall Surprize for the DS to stores. This follow on to Squinkies (released earlier this year) has players collecting around 600 Squinkies in a mall environment.

Puss in Boots Reaches Stores

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THQTHQ has shipped Puss in Boots based on the DreamWorks Animation film of the same name. The game is available for the Xbox 360 (but requires the Kinect sensor), Wii, DS and should reach stores shortly for the PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move. The game has players stepping into the boots of the eponymous cat, sword-fighting and visiting the locations from the film.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Zoo Resort 3D for the 3DS is available in stores in North America. This simulation has players building a zoo and filling it with around 100 different kinds of animals, then managing that zoo to attract more visitors.
SonyIt's another week of downloads for the PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Store. This week's releases including a classic racing game, another shot at surviving the zombie apocalypse, and a variety of previously released retail games (among others). Read on for the full list and more details...
7sixty and Firefly Studios have released Stronghold 3 for the PC. Even the press release tries to distance the game from Stronghold 2, billing this latest release as the true sequel to the original Stronghold. The game has players once again facing The Wolf, this time with an updated physics engine, by building and defending a keep. This is the first game from 7sixty, and as they say, "...you can almost smell the cow dung and flagons of ale..."
UbisoftUbisoft's game Just Dance Kids 2 is now available in stores. The game is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, and has players dancing along to 40 pop kids' songs using the Kinect sensor, PlayStation Move or Wii peripherals, depending on the platform.
D3PublisherD3Publisher, together with Cartoon Network, has released Ben 10: Galactic Racing for the 3DS. Released last week for other platforms, the game is based on the Cartoon Network show and has players racing through a variety of Grand Prix tracks as one of the many characters from the show.
THQValuSoft, a label of THQ, has released The Haunted: Hells Reach for the PC to stores and leading download portals. Developed by KTX Software, the game was the 2010 winner of the "Make Something Unreal" contest and has players battling the forces of hell across five different modes, including 30 stages of single player challenges, four-player co-operative challenges, a survival mode and competitive multiplayer modes.
SonySony's game inviZimals: Shadow Zone for the PSP is now available in stores in North America. This sequel to inviZimals has players using the included camera and trap card to continue the story several months after the first game. By capturing augmented reality fantasy creatures, players learn of links to ancient civilizations. This game was already released in Europe.
AtariAtari's game Centipede: Infestation is now available for the Wii and the 3DS. This riff on the original Centipede has players taking on the role of a boy named Max fighting off giant bugs in the wasteland. The game mixes elements of shooters and tower-defense as max joins forces with a girl named Maisy with the resources to return healthy plants to the wasteland.
MajescoMajesco has released its game Motion Explosion! for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect Sensor. Motion Explosion! is a party game that has people moving actively in front of the Kinect sensor to play 12 different games.

Moxie Girlz Ships for the DS

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GameMill Entertainment has shipped Moxie Girlz for the DS to stores in North America. Based on the line of fashion dolls of the same name, the game has players choosing and customizing a Moxie Girlz character, then engaging in fashion-related mini-games and quizzes.
505 Games505 Games has released Blackwater for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor. Developed by Zombie Studios, the game is named after the private security company (that changed its name and previously provided "support" otherwise known as mercenaries) and has players protecting a North African town by using the Kinect sensor to shoot, throw grenades and take cover.

Pillow Pets Ships for the DS

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GameMill Entertainment has shipped Pillow Pets for the DS to stores in North America. If the name doesn't mean anything to you, this is a game based on a line of plush pillows from CJ Products. It has players collecting and customizing 16 Pillow Pets while exploring the various areas of Dreamland.

Battlefield 3 Reaches Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Battlefield 3 (developed by the DICE studio) is now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in North America and should reach stores worldwide by the end of the week. The multiplayer online sensation that began with Battlefield 1942 has the usual substantive multiplayer mode along with a single player campaign and co-operative mode based around the role of modern United States Marines.
Gameloft, the mobile and casual game publisher related to Ubisoft, has launched an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. For those unfamiliar with ADRs, they are a way of making it easier for United States investors to purchase equity in companies traded on foreign exchanges. In this case, Gameloft's shares have been listed in France. Since this is a way of opening investment to a broader base, it probably means Gameloft is either working with a particular big investor, or hoping to broaden its investor base, potentially with further equity offerings.
XS Games has shipped Bass Pro Shops: The Strike - Tournament Edition and Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt - Tournament Edition to stores. These are new versions of the previously shipped Bass Pro Shops: The Strike and Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt that include new career modes for fans of hunting and fishing gaming.
NintendoNintendo's game Pokemon Rumble Blast for the 3DS has shipped to stores in North America. This is the first full Pokemon game designed exclusively for the 3DS, and has players collecting around 600 Pokemon to train and battle, including Pokemon from the Pokemon White and Pokemon Black games.
Digital Eel (the magnificent folks behind games such as Dr. Blob's Organism) have released Data Jammers: FastForward as a download through Valve's Steam platform. Currently, 20% off the planned $10 price, the game is (kind-of) a three-dimensional combat racing game. But we'll give you Digital Eel's own description:
NintendoNintendo's game Kirby's Return to Dream Land for the Wii is now available in stores in North America. This side-scrolling platformer brings back the adorable, pink creature called Kirby as he ingests enemies to make use of their powers.
Conspiracy EntertainmentA variety of companies (including Cosmic Debris, Conspiracy Entertainment, dtp young entertainment and Tri Synergy) have arranged to finally ship Emily the Strange: Strangerous for the DS to stores in North America. Based on the Emily the Strange character from books and graphic novels, the game has players experiencing six chapters with 65 puzzles and riddles as Emily travels to a variety of worlds.
MicrosoftMicrosoft announced the financial results of its fiscal first quarter ended September 30, 2011. For the quarter, Microsoft announced net income of $5.738 billion, but those of you reading FI are probably more interested in the performance of the Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD), including Microsoft's game-related operations. Read on for the details...
Sony Online EntertainmentSony Online Entertainment has released its game Payday: The Heist as a download for the PC through a variety of online portals. Released earlier this week for the PlayStation 3, this cooperative shooter has four criminals working together to accomplish six massive robberies.
Mad CatzJonah Lomu Rugby Challenge has been shipped from Mad Catz to stores in North America. Developed by Sidhe for the Xbox 360, the game includes 93 teams and stadia in which players can enjoy rugby action.
Focus Home Interactive has released Cities XL 2012 for the PC as a download through a variety of portals including Valve's Steam service. This latest title in the city-building simulation has players balancing services and economic development to ensure an enormous successful city.

NCsoft Fires Some Austin Staff

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NCsoftNCsoft, South Korean publisher of online games such as Aion, has reportedly laid off as many as 50 staff members in the company's Austin office. In an official statement, NCsoft confirmed that the staff (which was around 150 a bit over a year ago) is now at "over 100" employees. NCsoft also confirmed that some operations have been returned to the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea and "some publishing support has been reduced."
CCPCCP, the company behind EVE Online, has recently experienced a variety of problems, some of which have hurt its flagship massively multiplayer online game. As a result, CCP announced that it plans to refocus its business and lay off 20% of its worldwide staff. Different sources suggest that number will result in the loss of around 100 to 120 staff members in various offices. CCP plans to move staff off of the World of Darkness massively multiplayer online game and put them onto the development and improvement of EVE Online and Dust 514, the persistent multiplayer shooter for the PlayStation 3 based in the EVE universe.
MicrosoftThis week sees the addition of two more games to the Xbox Live Arcade program. Both a PopCap puzzler and a dungeon defense game are available this week. Read on for the names and more details...
SonyThis is a particularly big week for the PlayStation Store, with many games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP added to the assortment of downloadable titles, including the anticipated Payday: The Heist as well as games involving dungeons, chickens, cloud-whales and even a rabbity-thing. Read on for the full list and more details...
UbisoftUbisoft's game PowerUp Heroes for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor is now available in stores. The game has players using their own movements (observed by the Kinect sensor) to transform their Xbox Live Avatar into a superhero that battles evil.
SonySony announced that it plans to release the PlayStation Vita in the United States, Europe, Canada and Latin America on February 22, 2012. The Vita is the successor to the PSP that the PSP Go never was, and (as expected) will cost $250 for the WiFi model and $300 for the 3G model with Wi-Fi (not including a data plan). The Vita still sounds very much as it was described at E3. Sony claims that the Vita will release with a buttload of games (they may not have used that exact term). Sony is still hoping to bridge that gap between portable consoles like the PSP and current smartphones and tablets. Here at FI, we think that's all well and good, but still want to know what to do with our UMDs.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Petz: Puppyz & Kittenz for the DS is available in stores. This latest Petz game has players caring for and playing with breeds of both puppies and kittens. Surprised?
KalypsoKalypso has released its game Tropico 4 for the Xbox 360 to stores. Released this summer for the PC, this latest Tropico game adds new buildings and missions to the series in which players take on the role of the dictator of a tropical island. Only by controlling the people and sustaining the local economy can players stay in power as El Presidente.
SonySony's game Everybody Dance for the PlayStation 3 is now available in stores. The game has players using the PlayStation Move controller to dance along to the official music videos from 40 songs or choreograph custom dance routines for your friends.
UbisoftUbisoft has released Rocksmith for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game has players using a real guitar to play along to a library of songs and comes with a cable to convert the 1/4 inch output jack of a guitar to a USB input. The game brags that it can even teach a novice to play guitar. The PC edition should reach stores in December. The game is available as software (with cable) or as a bundle with a guitar.
Zoo Games has released Minute to Win It, based on the television show of the same name, for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor. The game was released last year for the Wii and DS and features Guy Fieri hosting a variety of 60-second mini-games grouped randomly into 10-round battles.
D3PublisherD3Publisher, in conjunction with Cartoon Network, has released Ben 10: Galactic Racing for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and DS. The 3DS version of the game should reach stores in a few days. Developed by Monkey Bar Games (and Tantalus for the DS version) and based on the Cartoon Network show, the game has players racing through a variety of Grand Prix tracks as one of the many characters from the show.
Warner Bros. game Batman: Arkham City for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores in North America. The PC version should reach stores next month. Following up on Batman: Arkham Asylum, this game takes DC Entertainment's Batman character to a more open version of Arkham City (a prison within Gotham City) and pits him against criminals such as The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman and Harley Quinn.
SonySony and Insomniac Games have released Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for the PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This latest Ratchet & Clank game supports a four-player co-operative adventure in which players can drop in and out as Ratchet, Clank, Qwark or Dr. Nefarious while working to escape the clutches of a mysterious machine.
MajescoAre you tired of raising, training and caring for kittens, puppies and other baby mammals on your handheld console? Majesco has finally introduced a viable alternative – Majesco's game Pet Zombies for the 3DS is now available in stores. Pet Zombies has players caring for (or abusing) a captive zombie "...in a variety of environments where they can shamble, shuffle and lurch." You can even customize the decay on your very own walking dead.
ZeniMax MediaSometimes, game reporting just makes us grumpy. ZeniMax Media, parent of Bethesda Softworks, has contested Mojang's (the studio behind Minecraft) ability to use Scrolls as the name of a game. ZeniMax argues that the name Scrolls infringes on the trademark The Elder Scrolls and could cause confusion among consumers. As we previously noted, Bethesda and ZeniMax aren't being dicks about this. They are obligated to defend their properties, or it becomes harder to protect against infringement in the future. They don't have to win – they just have to try.

Notch of Mojang tweeted "We won the interim injunction! We can keep using the name "Scrolls". ZeniMax and Bethesda can still appeal the ruling, but I'm very happy. :D" That's good news and as it should be, but this isn't a major victory or a triumph of an indie studio over a major publisher. This is just the usual stuff that happens in our legal system being brought to the fore. Bethesda and ZeniMax did what they had to do, and now is the point when Bethesda and ZeniMax should drop the matter. If they keep going, then they are being dickish.

Grease Reaches Stores

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505 Games505 Games has released Grease for the Xbox 360 with Kinect and PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move. Developed by Zoe Mode, Grease has players using the various systems' motion controllers to sing and dance along to the music and choreography of the classic film Grease.
Her Interactive has released Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes for the PC and Mac to stores. In this latest Nancy Drew game, Nancy Drew investigates an act of arson that leaves the River Heights Town Hall in ashes. While you don't have to purchase this adventure game in which the female teen detective solves yet another crime, Her Interactive will probably think that you have cooties if you don't.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has released The Sims 3: Pets to stores in North America. Owners of an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or 3DS can just purchase the game and play. PC and Mac gamers will need to own The Sims 3 to play this expansion pack. The Sims 3: Pets has slightly different features on each platform, but all versions allow fans of The Sims to play with or as pets in addition to the typical The Sims experience. For PC and Mac owners, a bundle called The Sims 3 Plus Pets is also available that includes both the original game and the expansion.
Logitech Wireless Headset Company: Logitech
Platforms: Bluetooth (including iPad, PC and PS3)

Logitech has released this gorgeous, affordable headset intended for the iPad and iPhone market, but this Bluetooth headset is capable of much more. It can comfortably link to any Bluetooth-enabled device and serve as both headphones and microphone. That makes it ideal not only for the iPad, but for certain PCs, most smartphones and even the PlayStation 3.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Project Aces at Namco Bandai Games

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

A rogue faction of the Russian military is armed with a powerful new weapon and mysterious goals. Only the combined might of international air forces have a chance at intercepting the creme of the defecting Russian Air Force and saving major cities from certain destruction.

Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, together with developer Toys for Bob, has released Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure to stores. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is a crossover product that includes physical toys and software that can run on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, Mac and 3DS or in a browser window. There are around 30 physical figurines that correspond to characters in the gameworld, that can be imported into the game by placing them on a "Portal of Power." In essence, the figures allow players to save the game state, and the Portal interfaces with the player's platform of choice. Then, the figure can be taken to another Portal, importing that character's progress into the game, even on other platforms.
NintendoNintendo's game Professor Layton and the Last Specter for the DS is now available in stores in North America. The game has players exploring a town called Misthallery that's believed to be haunted by a phantom. Players investigate the nocturnal hauntings by unraveling the plot and solving a variety of puzzles. The game also includes a story called Professor Layton's London Life that lets players explore Little London.
by Kyle Ackerman

Take-Two Interactive Software is the company behind some of the most popular games out on consoles, but behind the scenes, there is an extensive history of financial shenanigans. Take-Two owns labels like Rockstar Games, 2K Sports and 2K Play. They're the folks who publish the Grand Theft Auto games, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock, the recent Civilization games and annual sports franchises ranging from baseball to basketball to tennis. They're also controlled by a media company now taking in more pay for running the company than the CEO of any other game publisher.

Double Fine Productions' Costume Quest thrilled console gamers last year, and can now be played on the PC through Valve's Steam service. The game is currently available for $15 and includes the "Grubbins on Ice" add-on adventure. Now PC gamers can enjoy this role-playing game set on Halloween night in which Trick-or-Treaters must face an invasion of monsters.
Fallout: Nuka BreakWhen making an episodic film, but trying to keep the budget down, film as much of it as possible inside a dark tent. That's the theme of the latest installment of Fallout: Nuka Break, set in the universe of Fallout: New Vegas. Fortunately, there's still enough betrayal to make it work sitting back, watching and downing a Sunset Sarsaparilla. After the break, watch Episode Four...
The Huffington Post has written a tongue-in-cheek article on how the tax plan proposed by Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain looks a lot like the default tax plan presented in some of Maxis' SimCity games. The idea is funny, although Cain's plan would (compared to the current tax code) significantly increase taxes on lower-income families and lower taxes on those with high incomes. Here at FI, we would like to see a guarantee from the Cain campaign that, should Cain be elected, he won't unleash giant monsters on our nation's cities after he gets bored building police stations and fiddling with sliders.
NintendoIf corporations are people, then Nintendo was glowing with pride when it announced that the Nintendo DS has sold at least 50 million units in the United States. Nintendo was also pleased to let everyone know that it has sold around 273 million pieces of software for the DS family of units, including the underperforming 3DS.
Activision BlizzardBlizzard has introduced the Guardian Cub to its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, significant because this is an object that can be purchased for real-world cash and sold for in-game currency. This, essentially, gives everyone an easy way to "Buy WoW Gold!" if it is accepted by players as an ersatz currency. This has some players shouting apocalyptic, world-ending nonsense, while others emphasize the inherent flaws of the Guardian Cub compared to how games like Eve Online handle the same things. Here at FI, we're in the midst of actually apocalyptic events such as exploding hardware and exhaustion rapidly segueing into ennui, so we'll just link you to someone smart who's blogging about the issue.
Wadjet Eye Games has released Blackwell Deception for the PC. Blackwell Deception is a retro-style adventure game that continues the investigations of medium Rosa Blackwell and spirit guide Joey Mallone as they investigate suspicious deaths and restless spirits in New York City. The game can be purchased and downloaded here.
MicrosoftThis week's new games for Xbox Live Arcade include a classic game for the Sega Saturn and a game based on a recent film that revels in robot violence. Read on for the titles and details...
MicrosoftMicrosoft announced that it has acquired Austin, Texas based developer Twisted Pixel, the studio responsible for games such as The Gunstringer and Splosion Man. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Microsoft has obviously been pleased with Twisted Pixel's recent efforts.
Orcs Must Die from Robot Entertainment, released last week on the Xbox 360 is available as a download for the PC through Valve's Steam service. The game has players using spells, deadly traps and weapon emplacements to defeat an oncoming horde of rampaging orcs.
THQTHQ's game Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet for the 3DS is available in stores. The game was released last year for consoles, but now has a version for the 3DS. The game follows season two of the Cartoon Network series, allowing players to select a squad of Marvel superheroes to battle enemies and solve puzzles.
Namco Bandai GamesGo Vacation from Namco Bandai Games is available for the Wii in stores in North America. The game has players visiting Kawawii Island where there are a variety of resort locales filled with activities ranging from sky diving and surfing to snowmobiling and beach volleyball.
AtlusAtlus' game Mahjong Cub3D for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This game takes the solitaire version of Mahjong matching play and extends it into tile configurations that can be rotated in three dimensions. The game contains around 200 puzzles of a variety of difficulty levels along with the ability to compete head-to-head against another player.
MicrosoftMicrosoft's game Kinectimals: Now With Bears is available for Kinect-enabled Xbox 360 consoles. This is an extended version of the Kinectimals game released last year, now with bear cubs joining the other animals and a new mystery to solve beyond the original plot.
Sega Sammy HoldingsSega, part of Sega Sammy Holdings, has released its game for the DS Aliens: Infestation to stores in North America. The game allows players to recruit up to twenty Colonial Marines to face Xenos in situations inspired by the Alien films.
Namco Bandai GamesAce Combat: Assault Horizon from Namco Bandai Games is available in stores for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This latest Ace Combat game from Project Aces team has players flying a variety of aircraft and helicopters in engagements around the globe for intense encounters of aerial combat.
SonySony has released another update to the PlayStation Store, including several more games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP. This week's big release is Sideway: New York, but read on for the full list and more details...
NASA has released its game NetworKing as a browser-based game, and this is a free game that won't micropayment you into oblivion – it just tries to teach you something. The game has players building a Near Earth-, Space- and Deep Space-Networks to support NASA missions.
Sorcerer's Lair Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Jake and Amanda are two kids who find themselves facing off against an Evil Sorcerer in his ancient magical citadel. Their only route to escape (and a hot cup of cocoa at home) for this brother and sister pair is to survive all the creatures summoned by the Sorcerer and ultimately defeat him. How? With the help of a friendly ghost named Whisper, a bunch of obsidian and a lot of pinball.

KonamiKonami's game DanceDanceRevolution II for the Wii is now available in stores, both as stand-alone software and bundled with a dance mat. The game includes around 80 songs from the last several decades so that players can dance along to a variety of pop hits.
MicrosoftMicrosoft's game Forza Motorsport 4 for the Xbox 360 is now available in stores. This latest installment in Microsoft's premier racing franchise supports the Kinect sensor, in case players are looking for a less-precise way to control their cars than a standard controller. The game allows players to import their profile from Forza Motorsport 3 for a head start in Forza Motorsport 4 and includes tons of licensed cars and polished, high-definition tracks.
Warner Bros. has released its game (developed by Double Fine Productions) Once Upon A Monster. This Sesame Street-themed game for the Xbox 360's Kinect sensor works like an interactive educational storybook in which players accompany Sesame Street characters who need help with a variety of storybook problems.

Wipeout 2 Reaches Stores

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Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has released Wipeout 2 for the Xbox 360 (with Kinect sensor), PlayStation 3 (with PlayStation Move), Wii, DS and 3DS. This follow-up to the previously released Wipeout: In the Zone is also based on the ABC television show Wipeout using one of the various motion controllers (or stylus), players try to maneuver obstacle courses like contestants on the television show.
MajescoMajesco's game Hulk Hogan's Main Event for Kinect-enabled Xbox 360 consoles is available in stores. This wrestling game has players customizing their own wrestler and using their entire body together with the Kinect sensor to battle in the ring and ham it up for the crowd.
NatsumeNatsume's game Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny for the PlayStation 3 and Wii is now available in stores. This latest game in the Rune Factory franchise of action-oriented role-playing games follows two friends who suddenly awaken to discover their souls are trapped in the same body in a completely new world.
505 Games505 Games has released Michael Phelps: Push the Limit for Kinect-enabled Xbox 360 consoles. The game uses the Kinect sensor to have players dive and achieve a swimming rhythm while timing both breathing and turning. The game features both multiplayer races and a career mode that culminates with a face off against Michael Phelps.
CapcomCapcom has released Dead Rising 2: Off the Record for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores in North America. The game is being billed as a "reinterpretation" of Dead Rising 2, released last year that follows up on the original Willamette zombie outbreak and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero by replacing motocross star Chuck Green with photojournalist Frank Cross as he copes with the crowds of zombies overrunning Fortune City with the help of improvised weapons. This new version of the game adds the sci-fi themed amusement park Uranus Zone and a sandbox mode that allows free exploration of the zombie-filled casinos.
Take-Two InteractiveRockstar Games, the premier label of Take Two Interactive, has released the Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This package includes Red Dead Redemption (that reached stores in May of last year) alongside the extra Undead Nightmare campaign and all the other downloadable content released for this Western-themed action game to date.
Magic: The Gathering 2012 - Expansion Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro)
Developer: Stainless Games

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

Windows System Requirements: 2 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, video card with 256 MB VRAM, 700 MB HD space, Windows XP service pack 3 or more recent operating system

This last summer, Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 brought an updated version of Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering collectible card game to the PC and consoles. That game, itself an update of Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers, introduced the new "Archenemy" style of play and included ten decks. For another $5, the Magic: The Gathering 2012 - Expansion adds three more playable decks and an expansion campaign.

UbisoftUbisoft's game Just Dance 3 for the Wii is now available in stores. This latest Just Dance rhythm game has 40 new tracks and several new modes to allow Wii owners to dance along to music while holding the Wii controller.

Dark Souls Review

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Dark Souls Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: From Software

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Oh, yes. Dark Souls has a plot – something about the world filling with hollow men, undead who are imprisoned until the end of time, and a single hollow one who will fulfill a prophecy. Mostly it's about death. Your death. Over and over. Dark Souls prides itself on being the most difficult game in stores.

Eve Online, the massively multiplayer online game from CCP has been online for almost a decade, and had developed a player base extremely loyal to the unique style of play Eve offers. Well... loyal until this summer, when things went awry. Expensive vanity items offered in the game's recently launched cash shop and only-partially-finished updates had the players up-in-arms. In response, CCP's CEO has offered an extensive apology and promised to focus on Eve's core game in upcoming updates. Read on for more details and links...
MicrosoftThis week's selection of downloadable games available through Xbox Live Arcade includes a game of constant orc abuse, an arcade-style basketball game and two Dreamcast classics. Read on for the full list and more details...
SonyWith the arrival of another Tuesday, Sony has released a new slate of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP. This week's releases include a lot of games previously released on the PlayStation 2 and a more recent PC first-person shooter. Read on for the full list and more details...

Dark Souls Now Available

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Namco Bandai GamesDark Souls from Namco Bandai Games is now available in stores. This spiritual successor to Demon's Souls has been released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and features a living (or unliving world) populated by monsters and the phantoms of other players along with a style of play that is particularly unforgiving.

Rage Reaches Stores

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ZeniMax MediaBethesda Softworks, part of ZeniMax Media, has released Rage for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores. Developed by id Software, Rage has players awakening from a buried capsule after a meteor strikes earth and working to carve out a place in the new world through first-person shooter and driving missions.
NatsumeNatsume's game Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This rhythm and dancing game has players helping Gabrielle recover the soul she sneezed out of her body by dancing her heart out in Monsterville.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has released its game Spider-Man: Edge of Time to stores in North America. Available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS and 3DS, the game is set in both the world of Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099, with both characters working to avert the death of Peter Parker. Beenox developed all the versions of the game except the DS version, that is a platforming adventure developed by Other Ocean.

NBA 2K12 Reaches Stores

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Take-Two Interactive2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, has released NBA 2K12 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, PlayStation 2 and PSP. This latest version of 2K Play's professional basketball game adds the "NBA's Greatest" mode in which players can take control of 15 famous players including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Julius Erving. The game also features a revised shooting mechanic.

Rage Review

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Rage Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: id Software

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

As far back as 2004, scientists noticed an asteroid the size of Manhattan that would approach dangerously close to Earth in 2029. By 2024, it is clear that the asteroid (dubbed "Apophis" after the Egyptian god of chaos) is likely to impact Earth catastrophically. The next year, humanity began the Ark Project, burying capsules deep beneath the earth, programmed to surface years after Apophis destroys most of the planet's surface. These Arks were crewed by people injected with nanotrites, a nanotechnology that allowed for superhuman recovery and could sustain those subjects through a long, cold sleep.

In December of 2029, Apophis grazes the Moon and strikes the Earth, destroying civilization and bringing about an impact-related winter that lasts years and exterminates 80% of life on the planet. The Ark Project should have been humanity's salvation, uniting the bedraggled survivors and restoring technology and hope to humanity. Instead, the program was subverted. Now, a single survivor on an Ark ejected from the Earth and awoken early by an earthquake stands to change humanity's future.

Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has launched its online collectible card game based on the Hearts of Iron World War II strategy franchise, called Hearts of Iron: The Card Game. The game has players taking on the role of Allied, Axis or Comintern (Russian and allied forces) and engaging in card battles featuring appropriate vehicles, strategies and events. The web-based interface makes the game accessible to anyone with a computer, but can also be slow and takes a game or two to fully comprehend.
NintendoNintendo's game Tetris: Axis for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This puzzle game allows 3DS owners to enjoy a variety of versions of the classic puzzle game Tetris with 3D graphics. Players can even use AR Cards to make the play appear as if it takes place in your surroundings.
Today, the Lego Group has released The Life of George, an intriguing combination of physical toy and iOS gaming. The game includes physical Lego bricks and a play mat that acts as a green screen. Players are then challenged to build certain models shown on the screen and use the device's camera to judge the result. The software then provides players with a score based on their speed and accuracy assembling the model.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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