Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cthulhu Saves the World Trailer and Screens

Here's the trailer (and freakin' awesome retro-box art) for Zeboyd Games' Cthulhu Saves the World to go along with our preview from earlier today:

CStW is available now on Xbox LIVE Indies for 240mspts
Screens are after the break-

Pokemon Black/White Drop in the US on March 6th

So right around the time of the 3DS launch, Nintendo will also be offering these- the newest in the popular Pokemon franchise, Black & White.

Nintendo of America today announced that the Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version video games will launch in North America on March 6, 2011. The games, playable exclusively on the Nintendo DS family of systems, are a completely new adventure that Pokémon fans old and new can embark on. Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version introduce more than 150 new Pokémon and a new region to explore.
 Full release after the break-

Rock Band 3 Expands With Free Songs

Yes... free.

On January 4th, right along side the (paid) Johnny Cash Pack, you'll be able to download a package of free songs cherrypicked from 'an array of bands representing across punk, rock, metal and indie genres':

  • Abnormality – “Visions”
  • Anarchy Club – “Get Clean”
  • Bang Camaro – “Night Lies”
  • Breaking Wheel – “Shoulder to the Plow”
  • Libyans – “Welcome to the Neighborhood”
  • The Main Drag – “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter”
  • Speck – “Conventional Lover”
  • The Sterns – “Supreme Girl”
  • That Handsome Devil – “Rob the Prez-O-Dent”
Not the biggest, or most well known bands in the world- but free is free.

This freebie will be available across all the Rock Band platforms- Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360... fer nuttin'.

Johnny Cash Joins Rock Band 3

The Man in Black himself appears in RB3 next week in the form of a 9 song track pack that includes:

Johnny Cash Pack 01
  • “Cry, Cry, Cry”
  • “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”
  • “Five Feet High and Rising”
  • “Folsom Prison Blues”
  • “I Got Stripes”
  • “I Walk the Line” X
  • “Tennessee Flat Top Box” X
  • “The Ballad of Ira Hayes”\
That pack will be up for sale on January 4th for 1080mspts on Xbox LIVE, $13.49 on PSN, and 1350 Wii points. All the songs in the pack are available separately as well for the usual prices:

$1.99 USD (160 Microsoft Points) per song
$2.00 USD (200 Wii Points™) per song
$0.99 USD (100 Wii Points/80 Microsoft Points) per song for eligible Pro Guitar/Pro Bass upgrade

Cthulhu Saves the World Joins LIVE Indie Games Uprising

Famous sci-fi/horror villain Cthulhu has a change of heart in the new indie RPG from Breath of Death creators Zeboyd Games.
Cthuhu was all set to plunge the world into insanity and destruction when his powers were sealed by a mysterious sorcerer. The only way for him to break the curse is to become a true hero. Save the world to destroy it!
Sounds like fun. BoD has actually accumulated quite a bit of positive press in the time since it was released and Zeboyd seems to have a firm grasp on how to make a classic console flavored Role Player- add to that the fact that Cthulhu is only 240mspts (that's $3 for everyone in the real world) and you've got a nice little prospect here.

Features and more from the presser after the jump-

Monday, December 27, 2010

Nintendo Download -- 'chick, chick, BOOM' edition

In chick chick BOOM, you throw pianos, pink elephants and sumo chicks or summon slimy giant jellyfish and real UFOs.
I think that pretty much sums it up for this post-Christmas-pre-New Year update. Also available- Fighter's History Dynamite for the Virtual Console.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Activision Sues EA Over Infinity Ward

We really don't even get into this kind of stuff... much... here on the Spark, but this is just waaaay too interesting to ignore. The whole Activision/Infinity Ward thing is becoming a soap opera.

Activision has filed suit against rival company Electronic Arts and is suggesting that the house of Madden has been attempting to lure Modern Warfare developers Infinity Ward away from them as early as 2009.

EA has fired back calling Activision "petty" and "wanting to get paid for their (Infinity Ward's) work".


Castlevania Reboot Gets a Pair of DLC Offerings

Lords of Shadow was a pretty nice game that successfully (and finally) brought the classic Castlevania franchise into the 3D realm. And now the story is going to expand a bit-
In Castlevania Lords of Shadow ‘Reverie’ players will return to the Castle as Gabriel to help Laura, the former servant to the vampire Carmilla, in destroying the unruly evil that was previously kept in check by the recently slain Queen.
Once completed, fans of the series can download the second DLC entitled ‘Resurrection’, which continues the story directly after the end of the game and gives some insight into the dramatic epilogue seen by players upon completion of the game, and Gabriel's ultimate destiny. This will be larger in scope than the first add-on, as it features a final showdown with a very notorious enemy.
Now that sounds promising. Here's to hoping it's Flea-man- who can forget all those classic encounters with the most annoying enemy ever. Ever!!11!!1

Both packs land on Xbox LIVE and the PSN in February- then that little bastard is gonna get what's coming to him.

Dead Rising: Case West Trailer

How about a little Chuck Greene/Frank West combo action to kick off the Holiday weekend-

Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 | Nintendo Wii | PC Games                                

Toasty New Uncharted 3 Screens to Heat up Your Holiday

Without even a release date as of yet, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception has already been named as one of the top games of 2011 and a definite game of the year candidate.

These new screens only add fuel to the fire... *ahem*

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Joins the Rest of EA's iPhone Sale Lineup

Electronic Arts (among others) is having a big iPhone game sale through the Holidays and pretty much everything in their catalog is on big time sale- like .99 big time.

One of the few excepted was the recently released Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which was going for $6.99- but no longer says the mighty EA! The classic fighter is now just a sweet 99. Now, you may remember that we complained a little about the first MK on the iOS being MK3 and not MK2 or even the original. But at .99, if you're any kind of Mortal Kombatant, it's almost a no-brainer kind of thing.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Resistance 3 Screens

Already looking better than the first two games in the series put together (which is no easy task), Resistance 3 is looking better and better.

The game drops onto retail shelves September 6th 2011, so you've got quite a wait ahead of you- perhaps hitting the jump and checking out some more screens will sooth that impatience?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Secret of Mana Hits the App Store

Is there anyone who doesn't like this game? Secret of Mana three player action, ahh the SNES nostalgia train...

Anyway, SoM is up right now on the App store for the iPhone/iPod Touch for $8.99 and apparently uses a new control scheme that takes better advantage of the touch screen than simply adding virtual buttons. Sounds cool-

Originally appearing on the Super NES way back in 1993, Secret of Mana was the first game in the franchise- and is truly a classic. It's nice to see it make it's iDevice debut... it also gives a us little hope for some more retro stuff.

Oh, almost forgot- All the Square/Enix stuff on the App store is on sale to 'celebrate' SoM's release. So you might want to head over and search- Square/Enix for some early Christmas presents. Ho, ho, ho-

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On January 19, the 3DS Gets... Something

What it will be, we have no idea- but Nintendo will be holding a special 3DS event on January 19th.

In all likelihood, it's going to be a release date and pricing announcement. Maybe show off some box art and bundles as well. Anything new about the fast approaching new handheld (March is the release month) is exciting at this point. After all, this is the first really new hardware to launch since the PS3.

Asphalt 6 Available Now on the App Store

Gameloft has released the next in it's series of super-popular iDevice racers- Asphalt 6: Adrenaline.

The six player game (!) is on the App store now for $6.99 and is probably very much worth it-

The Lord of the Rings: The War in the North Gets a New Site

The official web-site for the upcoming LotR flavored Action/RPG has been re-launched with a few details and screens of the game.

Head over to for more, or hit the jump for the official release-

Monday, December 20, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops Officially Becomes Numero Uno This Holiday

According to numbers published by industry site, BlOps has sold over three million units in the United Kingdom alone this Christmas season. Excellent numbers- and just to give you an idea of how excellent, there were 'only' eleven million in videogame sales combined across the last month.

With this kind of sales explosion going on for the cold war shooter, you have to imagine that it will be declared number one in the US as well. The CoD train just keeps on chuggin along year after year, give Activision a lot of credit here- they've found a recipe that works (and it's a good one to boot) and they're sticking to it.

Nintendo Download -- 'Dragon's Party' Edition

It's actually pretty slim pickin's across the Nintendo platforms this week, that's something that just doesn't make good sense if you think about it for a second. It's going to be Christmas weekend, what better time to load up your online DLC machine than a Holiday where everybody who cares about this stuff probably got points cards in their stockings?

But what do we get? Dragon's Lair 2 and Mario Party... And those are the highlights folks-

Friday, December 17, 2010

Xbox LIVE Update -- 'X-Men' Edition

Xbox Live welcomed a true classic this week in the form of Konami's X-Men Arcade game. Also added was a classic PC game in the form of Quake Arena- and more upcoming sales then you can shake a Strogg at.

Bulletstorm to Include Gears of War Beta

Epic announced today that the (oddly enough) Epic Edition of Bulletstorm will include an invite to the Gears of War 3 Beta test.

Bulletstorm, due on February 22nd, looks like an excellent shooter as it is- put together with the beta and it gets an extra level of awesome. You know, this promo is a lot like the Crackdown/Halo 3 beta bundle from a few years back. Crackdown was a great little game that didn't need the beta to pad it's sales, though it didn't hurt any.

Either way, why complain? Free is free.

Oh, and it should go without saying but- the demo is bundled with the Xbox 360 version of the game only. No GoW for PS3 owners unless you mean the one with the angry Spartan.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fresh Crysis 2 Screens

The developers (and head writer) of FPS-action-sequel, Crysis 2, were not... what would you call it- friendly -for most of the game's developement. If you recall, they were kind of making a point of it to bash genre greats Call of Duty and Halo as much as the could.

Lately though, they've been oddly silent. Maybe it's because they've been making the upcoming Xbox/PS3/PC game look as awesome as possible.

Hmmmmm... yeah, could be. More fantastic looking screens after the break-

So, Where Was Gears of War 3 at the VGA's?

Only creator Cliffy B knows for sure, and he's not talking. Well, he is talking... he's just not saying much.

The Xbox's biggest shooter and, arguably, biggest game period of 2011 was supposed to be shown off at the Video Game Awards on Spike the other day but was pulled at the last minute. The big mystery, just why it wasn't shown off, was sort of explained by Cliff Bleszinski as he spoke to 1up during the actual show.

Not really explaining anything, Bleszinski simply stated that pulling the trailer was a strategic decision. A statement that I suppose translates into 'we didn't want to get overshadowed by anything'.

Watch the interview here.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 iPhone Screens

Well, look who showed up at the iOS party- it's that sly dog Battlefield Bad Company 2! And he's looking... meh. Maybe it's just being spoiled by Infinity Blade, but this just looks old. Like a PSOne game.

More meh after the jump-

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Comes to iPhone

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is coming to iOS soon. If it plays anything like the excellent Street Fighter 4, it'll be a big hit. Other than speculation though, we have absolutely nothing on the game at all except the logo- so if you're an MK fan, you can start guessing now.

At the moment, there's only one thought that comes to mind- why not Mortal Kombat 2? No seriously, they make UMK3 for everything- it's not half as good as MK2... dammit.

Edit: It's out now, for $6.99(!). Graphics look good from the preview screens, although Sub-Zero looks like a bobble-head on that character select menu.

Sonic Spinball Speeds onto App Store

Sonic Spinball may not be the most traditional of Sonic the Hedgehog games, but there's no denying that it's a true classic. The pinball title first appeared on the SEGA Genesis and features Sonic as the 'ball'- bouncing around one of Dr. Eggman's (at the time, Dr. Robotnik, but I digress) fortresses of evil.

Not that the story really makes much of a difference here though. break it down and SS is a fun pinball game with a Sonic twist and some collectibles thrown in for good measure.

Sonic Spinball is available now for the iPhone and iPod Touch via the App Store for $2.99

Microsoft Laments it's Great Faceplate Experiment

In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Xbox global marketing director Albert Penello says that the faceplate failed right from the start for the simple reason that nobody bought one.

This is actually news to me- I knew quite a few people that got several when the console launched. In fact, the branded plates like Gears of War and Halo were in pretty big demand for a while. The only reason that I stopped picking them up was because Microsoft, for all intents and purposes, stopped offering them.

Now, of course, all this is meaningless. The new Xbox 360 s model has no ability to switch out faceplates at all.

Deus EX Human Revolution Pushed Back

Square/Enix has had a rough year. The last Final Fantasy(s) didn't really get all that much praise from the public or the press and the former industry giant is hurting- hurting so much so that they've delayed one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2011, Deus Ex Human Revolution.

SE has told Kotaku that they want more time to polish the game up and basically make sure it's up to snuff before launch. That translates into an April 2011 time frame instead of the previous quarter 1- which was pretty ambiguous anyway.

Extra time can't hurt the project but it also doesn't guarantee anything great if there are already fundamental flaws in the game. At the end of the day, it's way too late to make alterations at the base level. Anything like that would seriously move the release date and muck things up even more for the company.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sonic 4 Avatar Gear Hits Xbox LIVE

Brand new on the Live Marketplace are these Sonic 4 goodies to dress your Avatar in or just to hang out with-
  • Chaos Emeralds
  • Chopper Badnik toy
  • Moto Bug Badnik toy
  • Sonic 4 Ep. I Tee
  • Sonic Plushie
  • Sonic 4 Ep. I Cartridge
Won't you give a Badnik a loving home this Holiday season?

PSN Update -- 'DC Universe Beta' edition

DC Universe hits the PSN in Beta form this week but there's single player button mashin' to be had as well as Konami's classic X-Men arcade game finally comes to consoles.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mortal Kombat Gets a God of War

Mortal Kombat on the PS3 will have the God of War himself, Kratos, as a kombatant. Nothing has been announced yet as far as the Xbox 360 version of the game but Kratos is a fantastic fit for MK, he just 'makes sense'.

Resistance 3 Drops September 2011

Good Lord the games of 2011 are going to break some wallets-

Wow, is it me or does that look significantly better than Resistance 2?

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception Dated

The third Uncharted will land on November 1st 2011. The newest chapter in the adventures of Nathan Drake looks just as good as the last.

There are also a bunch of goodies available on the PSN right now with a special voucher- this is very limited though- as in, it's probably gone right now.

Try your luck here.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The long awaited Elder Scrolls V now has a name: Skyrim. It also has a teaser:

It's not much, but at least it's something... Oh, there's also a release date- 11-11-11 2011 is going to be a big year for gaming, and that might be putting it mildly.

Batman: Arkham City Trailer

Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to the game that turned Batman's gaming fortunes around. As a result, it's easily become one of the biggest and most anticipated releases for 2011.

Mass Effect 3 Available Holiday 2011 on Xbox, PS3, and PC

Releasing simultaneously across all three platforms, ME3 will cap off the Shepard trilogy- but if I had to guess, will be nowhere near the end for the mega-popular series.

Mass Effect 3 will be available Holiday 2011 visit for more.

Super Mario All Stars Limited Edition Now Available

Super Mario All Stars is now available on the retail shelves for the Wii. The collection of games also includes a 25th anniversary booklet and a soundtrack CD featuring many of the most famous Super Mario tunes through the years.
The games included in the Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition are Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3. Each game features the enhanced graphics and updated sound of the original Super NES Super Mario All-Stars game, and all four can be played on the Wii system using one of several controllers: the Wii Remote controller, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro or the Nintendo GameCube controller.
Also included is a Super Mario History soundtrack CD, a compilation of memorable music and classic sound effects from Mario games. It contains tracks from the original Super Mario Bros. game all the way up to this year’s Super Mario Galaxy 2 game. It’s also the first CD release of the “Super Mario Bros. Ground Theme” in North America, widely recognized as one of the most famous pieces of video game music in history.
Mario fans will also be thrilled to find a 32-page Super Mario History booklet filled with interviews, candid photos and rare concept art and design sketches.

Nintendo Download -- 'Darius BBQ' Edition

Not a bad update this week from Nintendo as any week that we get a new VC game is a good one- this time, old-school shooter Darius Twin graces us with it's tiny, slow-moving bullets.

We also get Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ, which sounds delicious, for the DSi, as well as some Christmas themed Karaoke singing- yes, really.

Forza 4 Announced at VGA's

The fourth installment of Microsoft's excellent Forza series was announced by the guys from car show extraordinaire Top Gear at the VGA's on Saturday night- and it's looking spectacular.

Available in Fall of next year, F4 will boast "controller-based racing, and the freedom of Kinect"- What exactly does that mean?
“Forza Motorsport 4” will be the most expansive and vividly realistic automotive experience across any console, bringing you closer to the edge than you’ve ever been before. Through the power of Kinect, players will be able to step through the TV screen and jump into the driver’s seat while the engaging controller-based experience will let you take on the bone-jarring physics, unparalleled levels of customisation, and rosters of dream cars and tracks. Offering game-play that will electrify racing fans and excite car lovers and novices alike, the highest-rated racing franchise of this generation returns in Autumn 2011.
Sounds promising- We're all still waiting for the announcement of something that truly combines controller and Kinect, but I don't think this is going to be it. It sounds from the release that it's going to be a virtual car show (maybe in your garage?) as per the Kinect feature set and the more traditional racing experience when racing on the track.

Either way, Forza is a great series that really picked up it's game with Forza 3- and there's no reason not to expect the world from F4.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Turbografx Gamebox Comes to iPhone

The Turbo is about to hit the App store... in virtual form.

At some point very soon, one of the most beloved (and niche) consoles of all time- the Turbografx 16 -is about to open up shop on Apple's App store. The front end, called the Turbografx Gamebox, will be free to download and will include the game World Sports Competition for freezies- other virtual gamecards will cost $3.99 a piece. Initially, there'll be 15 games available- which of course is to be expanded as soon as developer Hudson finds out if this is going to have an audience or not.

This next part is kinda odd- the Gamebox is going to come virtually packed with one other game. This second title will be chosen by Hudson themselves and will rotate by the day. Each day, you'll get exactly three minutes of play time on whatever said game is going to be.

It's not a bad scheme by any means, actually it's sort of cool. Just... odd.

Braveheart Musings

Braveheart for the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad (in HD flavor) comes from developer Gaijin (makers of FPS Modern Combat) and is a medieval flavored action romp with sprinklings of RTS, RPG, and tower defense... does that make any sense? Probably not but that's how I felt as I played through the game on my iPad.

Though mainly touted as an action affair, there are a lot of other elements to the tale of Sir Richard and his quest for the Holy Grail that can't really be contained in the one genre. Although there is a lot of it... action, I mean.

November Sales Numbers Show 360 & DS in the Lead

You already know how the crucial November, and specifically Black Friday, period went for Nintendo- but Microsoft had a pretty nice one too.

The NPD report for November shows a cool 1.37 million units sold by the Xbox company over the November period. That's a monumental jump of 68% from the same time in 2009. Obviously the difference maker was Kinect as the camera/motion controller has already become the best selling peripheral of 2010.

All of this added together gives the 360 a 40% market share of the total worldwide videogame industry.

So there you go- Nintendo DS 'family' in first with 1.5 million and Xbox 360 in second with 1.37- it's shaping up to be a very nice season for the industry.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Billy Joel Comes to Rock Band 3 Next Week

Billy Joel (and his fans) finally get their wish next week as a 12 pack of hits from the piano man land on Xbox Live and the PSN.

Available on Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 system (Dec. 14):
“Big Shot” X
“Captain Jack”
“It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me”
“Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” X
“Only the Good Die Young” X
“Piano Man”
“Say Goodbye to Hollywood”
“The Entertainer"
“The Stranger”
“We Didn’t Start the Fire”
“You May Be Right”

(All tracks are original master recordings)
These tracks will be available for purchase as individual tracks, as well as “Billy Joel The Hits: Rock Band Edition” on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and Wii. Tracks marked with “X” will include Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansions for $0.99 per song.

Price:                    $1.99 USD, £.99 UK, €1.49 EU (160 Microsoft Points) per song
                             $2.00 USD (200 Wii Points™) per song
                             $0.99 USD (100 Wii Points/80 Microsoft Points), £0.59 UK, €0.79 EU per song for eligible Pro Guitar/Pro Bass upgrade
                             $19.99, £9.99 UK, €14.99 EU (1,600 Microsoft Points, 2,000 Wii Points) for Billy Joel The Hits: Rock Band Edition

No 'Downeaster Alexa'? *sigh*

Nintendo Sells 600,000 Wii's Thanksgiving Week Alone

The resurgent Wii moved 1.2 million consoles in November with the bulk (600,000) coming in the week of Black Friday. Makes sense- the Wii has an excellent Holiday lineup this year and a new Super Mario themed bundle out there as well.

What doesn't make a lot of sense is that the DS 'family of consoles' moved an even bigger 1.5 million units. To be fair, the DS is and excellent portable and, like the Wii, there were some new bundles available as well- but with the 3DS right around the corner, we had expected sales of the DS/DSi/DSXL to be sluggish. Not so much.

Well done Nintendo. Full release after the break-

Gran Turismo Series Celebrates 60 Million Served

Sony has announced that Gran Turismo has sold 5.5 million units in just a little under the two weeks that it's been available at retail. That's a very nice number.

Nicer still is that, with that milestone, the GT series as a whole has reached a another- 60 million sold globally throughout the history of the franchise. That includes the Playstation, PS2, PSP, and PS3 versions of the popular racer. The best seller were GT3 A-Spec in North America, GT4 in Europe, and the original Gran Turismo in Japan. Interestingly, the Japanese sales are way lower than the rest of the world- I was under the impression that GT was quite popular in the land of the rising sun. Guess not.

Oh, and the worst selling GT? That would be the PSP version, which had pretty poor numbers across the board. Not exactly a shock since this is the PSP we're talking about, but the portable version of GT is a great game in it's own right- too bad there were so few that got to enjoy it.

Click through the break for stats (see how many you've bought over the years) and the full release-

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine Shots

Some new screens of the upcoming Warhammer 40k third person shooter, Space Marine, have surfaced. Although it's been in the works for quite some time now, there's very little data available on the game.

Here's the latest- a whopping three screens of the game in action! Wheee.

Activision No-Comments on Harmonix/Viacom Break-Up

This is probably the most interesting story right now in the gaming industry- At least publicly anyway. Last month, we reported on the story that conglomerate Viacom was getting out of the games business and selling off it's formerly prized developer Harmonix- and of course, along with them would go the Rock Band series.

Now Harmonix' former home, (and mega publisher) Activision, is commenting on the matter. Sort of. Website Industry Gamers had the opportunity to interview Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hershberg about the split and possible reunion. In a nutshell, he said that Activision has a huge level of respect for Harmonix, but that he couldn't really comment about the situation right now- siting the fact that it is a very complex situation with Viacom and the Rock Band devs.

He then went on to praise the (Activision's own) Guitar Hero brand. But it's actually kind of telling that Hershberg didn't just straight up go on the record with a hard 'we're happy with Guitar Hero and (developer) Neversoft' line.

Honestly, it would be shocking if Activation didn't at least make a play to bring Harmonix' talent back into the fold. It's no secret that Guitar Hero has been playing catch-up with Rock Band since the MTV branded title first launched. The only reason Harmonix is for sale at all is because music games as a whole have been dropping revenue over the last few years and Viacom doesn't really care stay involved with the industry-not because their work is substandard. To the contrary, Rock Band 3 has gotten excellent reviews.

It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Officially Announced

The inevitable, but still very much worth talking about, third Nathan Drake adventure will be coming soon to Playstation 3's the globe over. And by 'coming soon' we mean- 'at some point, because there is no official date yet'.

Developer Naughty Dog has tossed everything and the kitchen sink into Drake's Deception. It'll include enhanced hand-to-hand combat, context sensitive melee attacks, and stealth gameplay. That's a lot of new for your money- Also new and exciting is the storyline:
Fans of the franchise and newcomers alike will relish the opportunity to catapult themselves headlong into a real adventure, in a search for the fabled "Atlantis of the Sands." The journey propels fortune hunter Nathan Drake on a daring trek into the heart of the Arabian Desert, a journey that pits him and his mentor Victor Sullivan against the occult treachery of a shadowy clandestine organization and its ruthless leader.  When the terrible secrets of this lost city are unearthed, Drake's quest descends into a desperate bid for survival that strains the limits of his endurance and forces him to confront his deepest fears.
 Oh that sounds good....

Ahhh... I almost forgot- it's got 3D support too (but you could probably figure that was coming...) Full release after the break-

Resident Evil Mercenaries and Revelations Screens

Brand new screens of the pair of new Resident Evil's coming next year for the DS and 3DS have emerged- click through for some of the best looking portable games we've ever seen.

Dungeon Hunter 2 Now Available on the App Store

Gameloft's Diablo-like, dungeon crawler, Dungeon Hunter is one of the better games on the App store. It looks and sounds great and most importantly- it plays well. The sequel, aptly named Dungeon Hunter 2, has been eagerly anticipated by fans. As of last night, that wait is over-

Looks like good stuff. The game is on sale now for $6.99
Full description and details after the break-

Dead Rising 2: CASE WEST Details

If Case Zero was the prologue to Dead Rising 2, then Case West is the epilogue. CW's main draw is the return of the first game's star, Frank West. Apparently, he's back from covering wars and is itching to uncover the dealings of the dastardly Phenotran corporation and their involvement in the zombie outbreaks across the US.

In a co-op game, players take on the roles of Frank and (sequel protagonist) Chuck Greene as they team up to bust some zombie heads and take a bunch of incriminating photo's. Now, are you ready because here's the disappointing part- if you play single player, you have to be Chuck. Frank becomes a sidekick character- albeit one that you don't have to babysit as he can't be killed and will fight along side you. Still, it sticks a little fail into what is overall a win of a campaign.

Full release and more screens after the jump-

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PSN Update -- 'Sales-Fu' Edition

Lots of sales and bundle deals this week on ye olde PSN- the Metal Gear Portable Ops/Peacewalker pack for $29.99 sounds pretty good.

There's also some notable newbies as well with Kung-Fu Live and Alien Breed Assault 2 headlining there. And if that's not enough for you, there's a Spike VGA 'channel' of some kind too!

Read on for the full story-

Xbox European Head Says Kinect Shortages Not Manufactured

Last week industry annalist Michael Pachter claimed that Microsoft and Sony were 'fixing the books', so to speak, about Kinect and Move shortages. Basically accusing the rival companies of trying to get a fervor going over their newest peripherals.

This week, MS UK general manager Neil Thompson, has gone on the record saying that it simply isn't true and that this kind of a thing with new hardware could not be a managed occurrence.

Honestly, there's no proof that what Pachter said is true- but is it really that hard to create a 'shortage'? I doubt it. All you'd really have to do from a manufacturers standpoint is hold back a few shipments.

There's a big negative to doing it in that you'll stand to sell way less product if you screw your 'shortage' up. But this is really nothing new in the industry, Sony has been accused of cutting supply with everything since the PS2 (they might have even done it with the PS1, I can't really remember) and I don't think that we've seen the last of it either.

If you do it right, you stand to whip people into a Cabbage Patch Kid-like frenzy. And you know what the outcome of that is don't you? Hint----> $

Star Wars The Old Republic to Have 10 Year Lifespan

Well this kind of explains this. I'm actually feeling a little dopey not having realized it before, but EA now says that it's projected lifespan for the forthcoming massively multiplayer RPG from uber-dev Bioware, Star Wars The Old Republic, is expected to be a full decade.

Now, who knows if that will actually happen- as unlikely as it is, the game could tank and I doubt that Sony thought Star Wars Online would fail -but it might not be all that crazy. World of Warcraft is still going strong and the release of it's newest expansion pack this week, Cataclysm, is sure to bring both the faithful and the lapsed back in droves.

The MMO recipe is one that works, no doubt, but finding that *just right* mix of ingredients can prove elusive. If Bioware can make TOR work with that same addictive WoW quality and readily support it with expansions, then 10 years isn't a stretch at all.

I just hope that the great single player Knights of the Old Republic series still has a chance for a third outing- not big on MMO's here.

iPad Successor Coming in 2011

It seems like a forgone conclusion that a new iPad would be released this coming year. Now we're starting to hear rumblings that Foxconn (the Chinese manufacturer with all the employee suicides last year) has either started production or will very soon.

Word is that the new iPad will be announced in January and go on sale in March or April. So there you go, the first new Apple news of the New Year.

Rayman 2 Free Today on iTunes

As a part of Ubisoft's Advent Calendar promotion, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is 100% free today for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

The game got pretty mixed reactions as I remember, but hey- who cares if it's free right?

MSN Games Nabs Exclusive Batman: Arkham City Teaser Trailer

On Monday, this trailer will be everywhere- but for right now it's only on the relaunched MSN Games UK site.

Steven Wilson-Beales, MSN Games content editor said: “We are delighted to have secured this exclusive clip of Batman: Arkham City, the much touted big game release for 2011. MSN Games is still in its infancy, so it is great that we have been chosen over other more established gaming sites and portals in the UK. This exclusive heralds a hugely promising future for the channel and we hope to secure many more.”

 This will be one of the biggest games of next year, go check it out-

Playing Motion Sports Games Leads to More Exercise

Shocking, I know, but according to the American Heart Association and Nintendo:

A new survey from the American Heart Association shows that playing active-play video games can lead players to participate in more real-world physical activity. According to the survey, 58 percent of people who play active-play video games have begun a new real-life fitness activity like walking, tennis or jogging since they started playing the games. Additionally, 68 percent of people who play active-play video games say they are more physically active since they got involved in video games.
Inspired by these results, Nintendo and the American Heart Association are combining fun and fitness this holiday with “12 Days of Getting Active.” A series of daily tips starting today will help make it easy for people to get active, even when they are challenged with busy schedules and sweet temptations. The tips will be posted at, the joint American Heart Association-Nintendo online information center, and will focus on how active-play video games can get everyone in the family engaged in fun, physically active behavior leading into and through the New Year.
Full release after the jump-

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EA at it Again- Says Offline Games are "Finished"

Label President Frank Girbeau has told that he believes that completely offline experiences are finished. This is not to say that they'll be setting up purely MMO style pay-by-the-month type things, they're exploring multiple possibilities, but it looks like they're heading towards some kind of compulsory online component.

Though Girbeau insists that the one shot retail box release is becoming a thing of the past, I couldn't disagree more. There are plenty of players left who are into single player games and those games are hardly lacking in delivering the goods- Bioshock and Batman: Arkham Asylum come to mind right off the top of my head. Story driven, single player, games are hardly finished. In fact they're evolving and truly (if slowly) maturing- the aforementioned games excelled not because of some PvP blastathon, but because of well thought out, offline plots.

Oh, and as far as plot goes- online MMO 'the players make the bulk of the story' type stuff doesn't cut it. 'Linear' has almost become a dirty word but think about it for a second- linear stories are a proven commodity. After all, books and movies aren't exactly choose-your-own-adventure, and I'd hate to see the industry make a mass migration towards a completely connected future. There are just too many good stories out there that can't be told that way and independent narratives that need a scripted and pre-planned path to achieve a satisfying ending.

World of Warcraft might be a money train but would it still be if all games used it's platform? Doubt it.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Screens

Honestly, anything Ghostbusters is exciting- but I was more than a little disappointed that Atari's first Ghostbusters sequel would be DLC only and not a full retail game like it's predecessor.

That disappointment is fading though because the more I look at Sanctum of Slime, the more I like it. It's starting to remind me of the long (apparently) forgotten Ghostbusters arcade game. Also, we previously reported that the new game would place the player in the shoes of the previous game's 'rookie' character- maybe now out on his own. But that seemingly won't be the case as the press release points to a new recruit and will once again take place in New York City.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime will be available on the PSN and Xbox LIVE in 2011. Read on for the full press release and a bunch more screens-

SNK/Playmore Sets up Shop on the PSN

The 21st of this month is the winter solstice- it also marks the opening of SNK/Playmore's new sales space on the Playstation Network. The new venture marks the 20th anniversary of the NEOGEO with a pile of releases for the PS3 and PSP.

Titles will go for $8.99 for the at home version and $6.99 for the portables. Read on for the full release-

LEGOfest Brings Giant Super Mario to the UK

It's too bad that this is in the UK because it's really cool.

A celebration of all things LEGO and LEGO games is coming to the Museum of Computing in Swindon and will include:
Visitors will be able to make their own games characters from LEGO bricks and there will be a chance to play LEGO computer games including N64 LEGO Racers, LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Star Wars. For budding robotics engineers, there will be an opportunity to program their own LEGO MINDSTORMS® robot.
There's also the main attraction, a 9,000 brick strong Super Mario mosaic that attendees can help build. If you're going to be in the area or would just like some additional info, check out the official site. Maybe we can start a petition to get something like this going in NY?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Analyst Michael Pachter Says PSP2 Will be DOA

The successor to the Playstation Portable hasn't even been officially announced yet but industry analyst Michael Pachter has already weighed in on the upcoming portable with news site MCV.

In the piece, Pachter claims that the portable market as a whole won't survive very far into the future with the dawn of the iPod Touch and it's assortment of $1.00 games.

For the most part, I agree with him- one thing though, he sites the declining sales of the Nintendo DS as one of his arguments. The problem with that is that DS sales are more than likely dropping in anticipation of 2011's 3DS launch. I know that if I didn't have a DS right now, I wouldn't buy one with the release of vastly superior hardware right around the corner.

Other than that though, he has a good point. The PSP really never did all that much globally with the bulk of it's more impressive sales numbers coming out of Japan. I personally know more than a few people who routinely sell or trade in their PSP's and buy them back when a desirable game comes out, a practise that further pads sales figures.

Will the PSP2 fail right out of the gate? I hope not but the portable space seems like a Nintendo,  now joined by Apple, dominated space.

Nintendo Download -- 'Ace of the Battlefield' Edition

Fluidity, a water physics based game, comes to Wiiware this week- but it brought friends. We also get a pair of Capcom arcade classics for the Virtual Console (yay!) in Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando and Sonson.

And that's still not all as the DSiware service gets Space Ace. Will Space Ace complete it's quest to appear on every console ever known to man? It's now one step closer, but will it get edged out by Dragon's Lair? No one but Don Bluth knows for sure!

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime in the Works for LIVE/PSN

The good news is that USA Today has broken an exclusive story about the next game in the Ghostbusters franchise (also good news is that there is even going to be a 'next game' in the franchise)

Iffy news is that it's going to be an isometric (lot of that going around lately) action/shooter instead of the third-person romp we got last year and that it's going to be a downloadable game. Though I should say it looks pretty enough.

Bad news is that none of the movie's stars (or characters?) are involved.

Now that that's out of the way, the game picks up after the first 2009's game and stars it's 'rookie' character. Now there's nothing in the USA Today piece about this but if I were guessing I'd say that the story is probably centered on a new 'Busters franchise owned by said rookie.

You'd have to have beaten the fist game to understand why I think that - I'm not going to explain it here. I try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

'Scarlett and the Spark of Life' Musings

Do you like old school adventure games? You know, you move the cursor around the screen till you hit on some hot spots and then you click 'em. You pick up (sometimes nonsensical) items and use them to solve puzzles... If you played PC games 'back in the day', then you more than likely know exactly what I'm talking about. And you more than likely have more than a few fond memories of those old games.

I'm digressing too much here, but memories of Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle- and going back even further -King's Quest, just kept popping into my mind as I played through Scarlett's first adventure on the iPhone.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life is the first part in a new ongoing series of adventure games on the iPhone. It has many of the standard play mechanics of the now classic genre- just converted over from point and click to point and tap. But capturing the feel of those old PC games can be a tricky beast, does Scarlett pull it off?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Could Apple be the Next Big iConsole?

EA seems to think so. Electronic Arts VP Eric Soderlund told industry site MCV that he believes the iCompany could successfully break into the home gaming console market, even though it would be no easy task.

Personally, I think Apple has a great thing going with it's iPhone/iPod/iPad line of devices and entering into the battle for the living room might not be the greatest move right now. While it may be true that there are a lot of fun games on the App store- there are also an awful lot of clunkers... and a metric ton of shovelware.

I would like to see Apple clean the shop up a bit and commit itself to real, retail quality, titles (at least for the iPad, the iPhone is just a mobile platform at heart) before they entered into another level of hardware competition.

At the end of the day there's really nothing to this yet. I don't doubt that Cupertino has plans somewhere, on some shelf, for a game console, but at present this is just a third party publisher waxing poetic- food for though though it may be... don't rush it Apple-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deus Ex Game of the Year Edition is .99 Today

Just to let everybody know- The original Deus Ex (and the GOTY edition, no less) is just .99 today only as part of Games for Windows Live's Daily Deals.

Less than a buck for one of the best action/shooter/RPG mashups ever is a pretty damn good price- and it makes for a nice primer for next year's 'Human Revolution' too.

Xbox 360 Rewards Revealed

(Not all that) Hot on the heels of Sony's Playstation reward program, comes the Xbox version. According to, the program will give you points for watching movies and sports as well as playing games "and more".

Not really sure what the "and more" means but earning MS points for just doing what you do sounds good. It's free to sign up (if you have a Gold level account) and you might be getting an email invite (we did) to take part, but if you don't:

PSN Update -- 'Dead Nation' Edition

Dead Nation, the fantastic looking, isometric action title headlines this week-

There's some other cool stuff as well including some PSOne Import Classics (no regular North American releases though) and some Christmas flavored Little BIG Planet stuff- but DN is really the draw here- and just to let everybody know: it's 20% off if you're a PS Plus subscriber. Nice.

Thor Movie Game Adaptation Adds Starpower

SEGA's game adaptation of one of next Summer's biggest blockbusters, Thor: God of Thunder, has just upped it's ante with a pair of the film's stars lending their voices.

Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the movie, will reprise his role for the game- as will Tom Hiddleston as his arch-nemesis Loki.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life Hits the App Store

It's really nice, as an old school PC adventure game guy, to see even the smallest resurgence of the genre. Lately it seems as though the iDevice has really welcomed the formerly dead point and click, which I guess is more along the lines of point and tap now, into it's friendly confines.

The just released 'Scarlett and the Spark of Life' from Launching Pad Games keeps the rally going.

Scarlett is available now on the App store for $2.99, we'll have a review of the game up soon-

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ships 1 Million

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is the first 'Vania to make a successful jump into 3D space. It's also the first non-DS entry in the series to get any kind of critical acclaim in a while- I'm actually still playing through the game, moving at a snails pace, but it is a quite enjoyable time.

Now Lords has another milestone in it's scabbard: it's shipped a million copies across Europe and the US. And to celebrate this feat, Konami has announced that the PS3 version has been patched and the 360 will be coming along shortly.

The patch covers some save game issues and add a few minor visual flourishes- nothing major.
KONAMI today announced that a patch for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is now available on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The patch will help resolve the "save game" issues related to user interaction with controller buttons (PlayStation button and SELECT), or disconnection of the controller while the auto-save icon is on-screen. The patch will also offer cosmetic upgrades such as ability for the loading screen text to scroll improving user readability. KONAMI will be sending details for a new patch for the Xbox 360® version of the game shortly.
 So if there was anyone out there who was waiting for the band-aid before plunging back into the world of the undead... 

Sony and Microsoft's Motion Gaming Sales About Even

Last week Microsoft announced that Kinect was doing pretty well, now Sony has announced that Move has shipped about 4.1 million units. Shipped being the operative word- actual sales are guesstimated to be around 2.5 million units. Sound familiar?

It should since that's the figure that Kinect had moved (pardon the pun), which would set them even in the sales department. Which way the rest of the Holiday season will go is anyone's guess but remember: Move and Kinect are roughly even in sales, and Move has had a month's head start.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Gets Augmented

Sure you can pre-order the vanilla version of the highly anticipated follow up to Deus Ex-  Human Revolution -but all the cool kids are getting the 'Augmented Edition'. Either way you'll get the pre-order incentive of the Explosive Mission Pack dangled in front of your nose:
The Explosive Mission Pack features an entirely new mission with a special cameo appearance from one of the original DEUS EX characters, plus the Automatic Unlocking Device, the M-28 Utility Remote-Detonated Explosive Device (UR-DED) and the Linebacker G-87 multiple shot grenade launcher.
If you're in the mood to go all in thought and get augmented in a non-extenze kind of way, you'll get:
The Augmented Edition boasts features the same exclusive mission as the Explosive Mission Pack, 10,000 extra credits to buy or upgrade weapons, plus a Huntsman Silverback Double-Barrel Shotgun, the SERSR Longsword Whisperhead silenced sniper rifle, the Linebacker G-87 multiple shot grenade launcher, an Automatic Unlocking Device and the M-28 Utility Remote-Detonated Explosive Device (UR-DED). If that’s not enough, the Augmented Edition also contains an exclusive bonus DVD featuring a 44 minute making of special, game soundtrack, motion-comic (adapted from DC’s official series) plus the E3 trailer and animated storyboard plus the edition will also contain a 40 page art book.
Ah yes... the ever present 'Making Of' disc. Does anyone ever actually watch these things? In all fairness though, you do get some nice little perks with the Augmented version- and for only $10.00 more than standard at $69.99. Not bad.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plasma Globe Racks up One Million Downloads in First 24hrs

Anybody know what a plasma globe is?

I actually have one in my office, it's contained plasma inside of a large glass globe- hence the name. As you run your hand along the glass, it follows you with archs of energy- it's a really cool effect. Developer Infinite Dreams has just released a plasma globe sim on the iPhone, and 24 hours later it's been downloaded over a million times. I should mention that it's free. That might have a little something to do with it, but still... even I got it and I have the real deal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn Drops This Week

I'm very excited for Dark Dawn, I have to admit that I never played Golden Sun before- and even though I'm partial to old-schoolesque role players on the DS, I've never been a big RPG guy in general -but this looks like a winner. And just in time for Christmas! What're the odds!?!

Full release and screens after the break-

*Note- Kmart is having an awesome special this week for GS:DD. If you buy the game, you get Dragon Quest IX (also on DS) for half the price and a $10 coupon good towards a future game purchase. It might be time to buy myself a little gift...

The Nintendo Download -- 'Cave Story' edition

Finally, Cave Story debuts on the DSi as a downloadable game- that's really the only 'big' name game this week but lots of folks have been looking forward to it, so maybe that's not really a bad thing-

Splinter Cell 6 Being Worked on Right Now

Shocking, I know, but a sixth outing for super agent Sam Fischer is in development right this second at Ubisoft Toronto. Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond has taken the reins of the series, which if you've played any of the AC games you know bodes quite well for Mr.Fischer.

Ubisoft expects to balloon up, staff-wise, and grow to around 800 staffers for the remainder of the project. No word yet on storyline or release date but of you ask me we probably won't see anything until e3.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Nintendo Black Friday Experience

Somehow Nintendo got some promo shots of Black Friday shoppers out already- it is still Black Friday after all, that was pretty quick guys.

These are from the Paramus, NJ Target-

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, Target employee Anthony M. hands a limited-edition red Wii console to Tara D., 30, of Hackensack, N.J., on a busy Black Friday at the Target Store in Paramus, N.J., on Nov. 26, 2010. Consumers seek out the Wii this holiday season, a great value at a suggested retail price of $199.99, which includes the Wii console, two games, the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers.

In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, Orchid R. of Paramus, N.J., searches the shelves in pursuit of New Super Mario Bros. Wii during a Black Friday shopping trip to Target in Paramus, N.J., on Nov. 26, 2010. Consumers seek out the Wii this holiday season, a great value at a suggested retail price of $199.99, which includes the Wii console, two games, the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Musings

Call of Duty: Black Ops had the unenviable task of following up the biggest CoD ever- Modern Warfare 2. This was a game that is still played by millions religiously and was basically the swan-song for fan favorite CoD developer, Infinity Ward (which has since fallen out with publisher Activision and whose current state is up in the air). Development for this new Call was done by Treyarch, a house who has been maligned and put down by the series faithful. Their CoD games are just flat out not as good as IW's.

At least that was the conventional thought, but does it still hold true?

Playstation Move Holiday Lineup

So you might be wondering what's on tap for PS Move this Holiday season- the answer? Not really anything that you haven't seen already.

The only thing that hasn't been released yet is a title called Playstation Move Heroes, a game that features Jak & Dakster, Ratchet & Clank, and Sly Cooper taking on multiplayer challenges as well as a mish-mashed group of their respective villains.

Actually sounds neat, but we won't be seeing it until "early 2011". The rest of the stuff is all already available at your local 'lectronics shop.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PSN Update -- 'PAC The Lad DX' Edition

Okay, this is more like it-

The big shots this week on the PSN update, clearly, are Pac-Man Championship Edition DX and Arc the Lad II. A great Downloadable game and a great PSOne classic? Don't start spoiling us now Sony...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Direct 2 Drive: 1 in 5 Orders Through December 31st Will be Free

This is maybe the most amazing sales promo ever, direct to PC online retailer D2D is offering a completely free order to every one in five customers through December 31st, right before the ball drops:
The D2D Gives Back 2010 event is an unprecedented promotion featuring free checkouts for 1-in-5 credit card customers worldwide. Customers that make a purchase of any of the 2,500 games available on Direct2Drive have the chance to walk away with their entire order for free, regardless of size or cost. Winners are notified immediately during the checkout process. Total winners to date will be highlighted in real-time via the "D2D Gives Back 2010" ticker located on the site's homepage. "D2D Gives Back 2010" is now live and will run worldwide through 11:59 pm PST on December 31, 2010.
So... who's buyin'? Read on for the full release-

Elder Scrolls 5 in Developement is reporting that a direct sequel to the blockbuster RPG, Oblivion, is in the works!

Their source was pretty in-depth about the game too- saying that it's been in development for two years and that it's a bigger leap over Fallout 3 than it was over Oblivion. The most tantalizing statement came direct from Executive Producer Todd Howard when he said,
"I can say it is on the existing platforms, which we're really happy with. You almost feel like you have a new console when you see the game."
E3 maybe?

Gran Turismo 5 Needs an Update to Get Online

I don't know how long GT5 has been in development, but it's been years. So with that in mind, you'd think that all the features would be ready to go right? Well you might think, but you'd be wrong.

It looks like none of the online multiplayer features are going to be active when you pull the wrapping off your new driving simulator. It's not that the patch is all that massive, it's only 133MB, it's just... well... really?!?

Lots of games need patches on the first day of release these days- which I think is just a by-product of trying to make the preset release date no matter what. The problem here is that GT5 (as I mentioned) has been in development forever. Why this thing isn't complete and disc ready on day one is just silly.