Editor: February 2012 Archives

Sony Online Entertainment announced that, as of March 29, 2012, it will shut down the servers for four of its online games: EverQuest Online Adventures, Infantry, Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga, and Cosmic Rift. It's probably no surprise to anyone that old, collectible games and a version of EverQuest built for the PlayStation 2 are being shut down, but EverQuest Online Adventures players will get three months of gold membership privileges for EverQuest and EverQuest II.
Wadjet Eye Games has released Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass as a downloadable game for the PC. The game features the over-the-top theatrics of several wrestlers as they cope with life outside the ring that requires more brains than brawn.

Nexuiz Joins Xbox Live Arcade

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THQTHQ's game Nexuiz is this week's downloadable game for the Xbox 360 released through the Xbox Live Arcade program. Developed by Illfonic and powered by the CryEngine 3, this game is an arena shooter that has the Kavussari and Forsellians resolving conflicts through broadcast arena combat.
Square EnixSquare Enix and Ankama have officially launched Wakfu, a massively multiplayer online game for the PC, Mac, and Linux platforms. Now available in North America as a free download (but with a premium subscription that unlocks access to all content), Wakfu is set in the same fantasy-style universe as Dofus and features turn-based combat resolution.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has launched the latest iteration of its long-running flight simulation franchise, Microsoft Flight. The simulator can be downloaded for free, although some aircraft and regions need to be purchased, so (to be honest) you'll still need to outlay cash to be able to really enjoy the experience.
NIS AmericaNIS America's game Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 is now available in stores in North America. Not surprisingly, this is the sequel to Hyperdimension Neptunia, a game for which no one could think of an even slightly more concise title. The game offers as much as 50 hours of play filled with combo attacks and Japanese-style RPG combat.
SonyFollowing the recent launch of the PlayStation Vita, Sony has already launched the Vita games it has ready, so this week's PlayStation Store update includes a few items for the PlayStation 3 and PSP. Read on for the full list and more details...
AtlusAtlus' game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 for the DS is now available in stores in North America. This strategic role-playing game is the sequel to the last Devil Survivor game and has Japanese high-schoolers, faced with visions of their own deaths facing demons when they try to escape fate.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This compilation includes the Mortal Kombat game released in April, along with all the downloadable content released for the game, as well as digital downloads of Mortal Kombat-related music and the 1995 Mortal Kombat film.
SegaSega, part of Sega Sammy, has released its action game Binary Domain for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. While Binary Domain has arrived in the United States, the game has players sneaking into Japan as covert operatives to combat military-grade robots masquerading as humans through a combination of third-person shooting action and scripted events.

SSX Slides Into Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has released SSX to stores in North America. This latest installation in EA's long-running snowboarding is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and should reach stores worldwide by the end of the week. The game features organized races and social competition, but also gigantic open mountains to explore (as long as you keep going downhill).
NintendoNintendo's game PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond for the Wii is now rolling into stores in North America. The game has Pikachu and his friends exploring Wish Park, searching for and saving missing Pokemon using the abilities of various Pokemon to overcome obstacles and complete activities.
AtlusAtlus Online has launched its Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy Game Knights of the Sky, meaning that the game (previously in beta) now supports a cash shop. This browser-based MMORTS drops players into the Continent of Odyssya, asking players to expand their Sky Castle on behalf of either the Empire or Federation, mustering increasingly larger forces and developing territory.
Square EnixSquare Enix has released Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for the iPad. Rereleased for the PSP in 2007, the game is now available for the iPad and lets iPad owners experience this classic game of turn-based strategy with role-playing elements.
Focus Home Interactive and developer Eugen Systems have released Wargame: European Escalation as a download for the PC. This real-time strategy game explores possible battles for the era ranging from 1975 to 1985, setting NATO nations against the Warsaw Pact countries in theoretical battles based on real situations.
MicrosoftMicrosoft and Remedy Entertainment have released Alan Wake's American Nightmare for the Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade program. Available as a download for 1,200 points ($15), this is a standalone experience related to the original Alan Wake that has Wake working to stop his murderous double and fend off vicious creatures long enough to survive until he sees the Arizona dawn.
PlayStation VitaSony has released the PlayStation Vita to stores in much of the world. Already available in Japan, Sony's latest portable console is now generally available in North America, Europe and Australia. We're not going very far out on a limb to say that FI doesn't anticipate a rosy future for the Vita. While we think there remains a substantial foreseeable future for home consoles that can present games as well as other entertainment, we don't think there's a lot of room for a portable console (as cool as it may be) in a market suddenly dominated by smartphones and inexpensive tablets.


Before you pass judgment, keep in mind that the Vita has some impressive hardware, including a speedy quad processor, a five-inch OLED touchscreen, a rear touchscreen, dual analog sticks, front- and rear-cameras, a microphone and sensors capable of sensing motion. While the Vita is capable of interacting with the PlayStation 3, Vita owners outside of Japan won't be able to import their PSP games they purchased on UMD. Also keep in mind that if Vita owners want more than the system's paltry memory, they will need to purchase additional memory cards that use a proprietary Sony format.

The Wi-Fi version of the Vita is available for $250, while a 3G/Wi-Fi model (that also requires a monthly data plan costing as much as $50 per month) costs $300. As awesome as the technology may seem, it's FI's opinion that Sony would have to launch an incredible onslaught of inexpensive, exclusive and unbelievably impressive games to make the Vita a viable option, especially since anyone who owned a PSP will have to repurchase legacy content.

The Vita launches with around 25 games, also available as downloads through the PlayStation Store.

SonyIt's another week of updates for the PlayStation Store, but this week is different – the PlayStation Vita is released in much of the world at midnight tonight, so plenty of Vita games are joining the downloadable selection on the PlayStation Store. Many Vita games were already added to the Store last week, but even more join today. Read on for the full list and more details...
KonamiKonami's game Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is now available for Nintendo's 3DS portable console. This is a new version of the previously released Metal Gear Solid title set in the early 1960s, that lets players experience the stealth action game in 3D.

Conquest of Elysium Review

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Conquest of Elysium's Dracolion Publisher: Illwinter Game Design
Developer: Illwinter Game Design


Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 256 MB RAM, 100 MB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Elysium may be filled with vicious creatures, powerful magic, and warring factions, but it's a pleasant and familiar land to anyone who's enjoyed the Dominions series. As in the Dominions games, warring civilizations ally with diabolic powers, ancient gods, and elemental beings to take control of Elysium and build an empire. But unlike the Dominions games, this turn-based strategy title has players battling each other and the AI over a tile-based world.

Asura's Wrath Reaches Stores

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CapcomCapcom has released Asura's Wrath for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. We can't really tell you anything about the story that makes it sound different from God of War, but here goes... The main character is a deity, once worshipped, whose wife was murdered and his daughter stolen. Now, he is betrayed and banished for crimes he did not commit. Developed by CyberConnect2, the game has Asura battling his way through a world that fuses Asian mythology and science-fiction.

Syndicate Reaches Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has released Syndicate a first-person shooter and reboot developed by Starbreeze Studios of the classic game from 1993. The game is available in North America and should reach stores worldwide by the end of the week. Syndicate is set in the year 2069 and takes place in a world where corporations have supplanted governments and corporate espionage is the ultimate career for an ambitious upstart. The game contains both a single-player campaign and a four-player cooperative campaign.

Zuma's Revenge! Reaches Stores

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PopCapPopCap Games, now part of Electronic Arts, has released Zuma's Revenge! for the DS to stores in North America. This port of the popular PC puzzle game has players using the DS stylus to fling spheres to beat matching challenges and defeat evil tiki bosses.
Remedy Entertainment has released Alan Wake for the PC as a download through Valve's Steam service. Released in May of 2010 for the Xbox 360, the game has horror novelist Alan Wake suffering from insomnia and depression in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Wake must somehow survive encountering the same nightmares that he has been writing for a new book.

Hulu Plus is Added to the Wii

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NintendoNintendo has added Hulu's Hulu Plus application to the Wii, allowing Hulu Plus subscribers to access Hulu's premium programming through the Wii console. Hulu Plus subscribers may already be able to access this content through a computer and other consoles, but now the Wii is a viable channel, too.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released more games for the Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade program, including this week's entries Warp and the Epic Quest pinball table. Read on for more details...
SonyIt's a big day for the PlayStation Store. Sony's new handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, may not be generally available, but Vita games are now available through the PlayStation Store. There are token additions for the PlayStation 3 and PSP, but this week is really the Vita's. Read on for the full list of titles and details...
Epic Quest Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and Android
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Max the Knight is a typical adventurer. He collects absurdly powerful loot, wanders through dungeons and enchanted forests, and quests after a wealthy princess. When he acquires enchanted ability-enhancing items after defeating yet another vicious creature, he even wonders "Do these stats make me look fat?" How does Max pursue the ultimate adventuring kit while pursuing the wealth that only rescuing a princess can grant? With pinball, of course!

THQValuSoft, the bargain label of THQ, has released Tiny Token Empires for the PC to stores. The game was available last year in Europe, and can now be purchased in North American retail stores. The game features elements of turn-based strategy–style and ancient empire building, with conflict resolved through match-three–style puzzle play.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has released Crusader Kings II for the PC through certain retail stores and major download portals. It's been eight years since the original Crusader Kings was released, and the sequel is a much-updated chance to enjoy strategy and politics set in Europe of the 11th to 15th century. There are many ways to navigate the role of ruler in Crusader Kings II, but we assume they all end in plague.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Grand Slam Tennis 2 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores. This latest tennis game from EA allows players to virtually participate in all four Grand Slam championships and play against present and past professionals ranging from Rafael Nadal to John McEnroe. The PlayStation 3 version of the game supports the PlayStation Move accessory.
SonySony has released Twisted Metal for the PlayStation 3 to stores. Part of the same franchise that launched in 1995, Twisted Metal once again has players engaged in vehicular combat with over-the-top, dark characters battling in crazy vehicles to have a wish fulfilled by Calypso. In addition to a single-player campaign, the game supports online and four-player split-screen multiplayer play.

UFC Undisputed 3 Enters Stores

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THQTHQ's latest Ultimate Fighting Championship game, UFC Undisputed 3, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores. This latest mixed-martial arts fighting game has players entering the Octogon to battle around 150 UFC fighters. This iteration of the game adds two new weight classes, includes official commentators and lets players fight against the Japanese MMA roster.
NintendoNintendo has released Rhythm Heaven Fever for the Wii to stores in North America. Similar to the game Rhythm Heaven released in 2009 for the DS, this Wii game contains 50 rhythm-based mini-games that have players waving and tapping the Wii Remote to pass "funky" challenges.
MajescoMajesco's game Zumba Fitness Rush for Xbox 360 consoles with the Kinect sensor is now available in stores in North America. Joining Majesco's other Zumba Fitness games, this version uses the Kinect sensor to help Xbox 360 owners participate in a Zumba workout, with a selection of 45 different Zumba classes ranging from 20 to 60 minutes in length.
Activision BlizzardActivision Blizzard announced its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full financial year ended December 31, 2011. While the results are impressive, they do come from the company increasingly focusing on a select few product areas, particularly the Call of Duty franchise and Blizzard's products. Read on for more details...
Russian Publisher 1C has released Men of War: Assault Squad - Game of the Year Edition as a download for the PC. This compilation includes the original Men of War: Assault Squad game of real-time tactical combat, along with all the downloadable content released to date. The game includes five different nations taking part in various battles set during World War II.
Mad CatzPeripheral manufacturer Mad Catz announced its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2011. While the company reported positive net income, its results compare poorly with the same period last year. More importantly, Mad Catz mentioned that it is seeing casual gamers shift away from consoles (and console peripherals) to tablets and smartphones. Read on for the financial results and more details...
Electronic ArtsIn a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Electronic Arts revealed that its Chief Financial Officer, Eric Brown, resigned on February 3. His last day will be February 17, and Senior Vice President Kenneth Barker (EA's Chief Accounting Officer) will serve as the company's interim CFO. When an executive at Brown's level departs on good terms or retires, there is normally a longer transition period. That suggests Barker is heading somewhere interesting or departing on less-than-ideal terms.
GameStopGameStop may be facing publisher's efforts to undermine its bread and butter – used game sales – but the company is excited to remind investors that it paid off its corporate debt on December 16, 2011. Now debt free and wanting to inspire further investor conference (or perhaps attract a different type of investor), GameStop announced that it plans to start paying quarterly dividends. The first such dividend will be paid on March 12, 2012 to shareholders of record as of February 21, 2012. GameStop will pay out $0.15 per share.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released another two downloadable games through Xbox Live Arcade. Similar to this week's releases on the PlayStation network, this week consists of a sequel to a game that sounds like prison violence and a multiplayer shooter that decidedly does not feature Batman.
This week, the PlayStation Store adds several classic games, along with the sequel to a game that sounds like prison violence and a multiplayer shooter that decidedly does not feature Batman. Read on for the full list and more details...
ZeniMaxBethesda Softworks, part of ZeniMax Media, has released the Skyrim Creation Kit for the PC. Along with a high-resolution texture pack (both available through Valve's Steam platform), fans of the PC version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can now more easily make and share content and modifications for the game.
CapcomCapcom's game Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This survival/horror game brings a new Resident Evil storyline featuring Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield to the 3DS, allowing gamers to experience the dark corners of a cruise ship in 3D using the 3DS touchscreen.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts, together with 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, has released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores in North America. The game should reach stores in Europe by the end of the week. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a role-playing game of epic scope in which players battle their way across a world in which immortal factions are warring and mortals are stuck in the middle.
ZeniMaxBethesda Softworks, part of ZeniMax Media, has released the Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores. This compilation includes Fallout: New Vegas along with the add-on packs Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road. There's also plenty of extra equipment released as the Courier's Stash and Gun Runners Arsenal add-ons. This is nearly everything released for Fallout: New Vegas, raising the level cap to 50 and offering several new adventures.
Take-Two Interactive2K Games, part of Take-Two Interactive, has released The Darkness II for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC (through Valve's Steam service) to gamers in North America. Developed by Digital Extremes, the game should be available worldwide by the end of the week. This sequel to the original The Darkness is a shooter that follows the continuing story of Jackie of Estacado. Estacado is the head of a New York crime family and happens to wield an ancient and destructive power. Previously, he used that power to avenge his girlfriend's murder, now he's coping with a full scale gang war that leads to a journey to hell. If that doesn't sound extreme enough, The Darkness II allows players to take action with demon arms while simultaneously firing two weapons with human arms. That's a lot of arms!
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: 38 Studios


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

The mortal world is being overrun by corrupted, immortal creatures. Only a hero created from nearly nothing, cloned from the dead and resurrected at the Well of Souls, has a chance to unravel the weave of fate and change what seems to be certain doom for the mortal races of Amalur.

Octane 120 Beer ArcadeIs drinking and driving too dangerous and stupid for you? Yet you still want to chug beer behind the wheel? Dream Arcades is selling the "Octane 120 Beer Arcade." This unit includes a high-end gaming PC, projector, wheel controller, pedals and seat. More importantly, it holds a half-barrel of beer connected to an in-dash tap. For around $6,000, you can drink heavily while driving. At FI, we're concerning this might be a gateway peripheral, and could shortly lead to playing combat flight simulations while on methamphetamines and port.
After working so hard to convert its online services to the brand "PlayStation Network," Sony now appears poised to change the branding again. In a notification that Sony will change its Terms of Service agreement, Sony announced that it will change "PlayStation Network account" to "Sony Entertainment Network account." So, the thing Sony worked so hard to convince us was "PlayStation" will now be "Sony Entertainment Network."
KonamiKonami has released The Simpsons Arcade Game for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. This adaptation of 1991 coin-operated arcade brawler has players battling their way through eight Springfield locations to rescue Maggie from Mr. Burns.
THQTHQ announced its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2011. THQ announced that it will entirely refocus its business, and even the Chief Executive Officer took a pay cut. Read on for more details...
Take-Two InteractiveTake-Two Interactive reported its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2011. The company did fine, but not spectacularly, owing to quiet quarter headlined by a basketball game. Read on for more details...
ZeniMax MediaBethesda Softworks (part of ZeniMax Media), together with Aspyr Media, has released the Rage: Campaign Edition for the Mac. This is the full version of Rage, including all the items released as part of the Rage: Anarchy Edition plus the premium Wasteland Sewers missions. Now Mac gamers can also explore a wasteland created by an asteroid falling to Earth and shoot their way through the feudal gangs that remain.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has released Victoria II: A House Divided, an expansion for the strategy game Victoria II that covers the era of the American Civil War. The expansion gives players the option of starting in 1861 to experience the American Civil War, along with the ability to invent new reasons to go to war, invest more heavily in infrastructure and cope with social movements. The expansion can be purchased as a download for the PC and requires the original game.
This week, Xbox Live Arcade gets two more downloadable games, both requiring the Kinect Sensor. One has players moving to the music, while the other is a family-style party game by one of the grooviest developers around. Read on for the titles and more details....
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts announced the preliminary financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2011. While EA spun the results as positive, the company still suffered a large net loss and expects far worse results in the next quarter. Read on for more details...
Gameloft announced selected financial results for its fourth quarter of 2011. For the quarter, Gameloft reported sales of €47.0 million (around $62 million) compared with sales of €39.7 million in the same quarter the previous year. Gameloft credited games such as Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, Six-Guns and Dungeon Hunter 3 for the increase in sales along with sales in emerging countries around the world.
Activision BlizzardActivision Blizzard, the publisher responsible for games including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, announced that it has created a post called "Chief Strategy and Talent Officer." The post will be filled by Humam Sakhnini who has previously served as Activision Blizzard's Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development. As fancy as the title sounds, Activision Blizzard is, essentially, just moving human resources under Sakhnini do to the planned retirement of Ann Weiser, the company's Chief Human Resources Officer since 2007.
Trion Worlds wants to get more players participating in its massively multiplayer online game for the PC, Rift. To that end, Trion Worlds launches Rift Lite today. Rift Lite will allow anyone who signs up for a Trion account to play the full game until their character reaches level 20. This allows interested players to take as long as they want to experience the early game content of Rift an upgrade if interested.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Editor in February 2012.

Editor: January 2012 is the previous archive.

Editor: March 2012 is the next archive.

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