Today's news roundup sees a British survey reveal some incredible failure rates regarding the Xbox 360, a Japan-only No More Heroes port to the 360 and PlayStation 3 planned for February, and GameStop play the snitch as they blacklist a rival videogames store.
Following Game Informer’s survey a few months back suggesting 54.2% of American Xbox 360s are faulty, CNET have carried out a similar study on the Brits, with similar results. Of the 1,128 gamers polled, 562 owned an Xbox 360, 473 had a PS3, and 591had a Wii, with some respondents owning more than one console obviously. The results indicated a shocking 60% of 360s suffered the dreaded red-ring of death, with comparably only 16% of PS3s and 6% of Wii consoles having experienced failure.
These 360 figures are further hampered by repeat failures, with 32% of those who have already reported a red-ringed console complaining of more than one failure, while 19% say their console has broken three times or more. It’s important to note this was a self-selected survey, rather than a random sample, so a more representative sample may have yielded slightly different results. Still, any survey suggesting 60% of Xbox 360s in Britain are malfunctioning can’t be a good one. [Cnet]
Marvelous Entertainment announced this week in Japanese gaming mag Famitsu, that the previously Wii-exclusive action game No More Heroes, is set to port on both the Xbox 360 and PS3. For the moment these ports are only available in Japan, with a release date set for February 25th at 5800 yen each. While the graphics and gameplay appear to be largely unchanged, no details were revealed on how the Wiimote-specific controls will be implemented on the PS3 and 360.
Although one new feature did make its way into the announcement. A “Very Sweet Mode,” will be made available upon completing certain conditions, granting you access to unlockable “sexy” costumes for the female cast of No More Heroes. The port is sure to hit the rest of the world eventually, and with this news don’t rule out the possibility of seeing No More Heroes 2 on all three consoles come release. [1UP]
With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 being this year’s biggest game, competition was stiff between rival stores fighting for sales. American Mom and Pop video game stores even resorted to breaking the street date in order to stay competitive with rival gaming behemoth GameStop, a move later costing them dearly. Once a GameStop store in NYC got wind of this, the manager sent a few undercover agents round to investigate, who then purchased an early copy of the game. Upon returning, the manager proceeded to contact Activision to report the Mom and Pop stores of ill practice, leading Activision to blacklist the store. The move of course gives the Mom and Pop stores a harder time selling in the future, while GameStop will enjoy less competition. Still, they did break the rules didn’t they? [DualShockers]
Today's news roundup sees BioWare consider the possibility of Co-op play in the future, Shigeru Miyamoto hint at the chance of the Super Guide feature making its way into Mario Galaxy 2, and Square Enix reveal a collaboration with Eidos Montreal is in the works.
With Xbox Live and PSN, multiplayer is pretty much now available to anyone, at anytime. The rise of this is also marks the increase of Co-op play in games, with even long time single player experiences such as Resident Evil making the jump to team play. BioWare may not be concentrating on Co-op gameplay for the moment, but it is something for future consideration. When questioned on whether future Mass effect and Dragon Age titles will give players the opportunity to work together as a party, Ray Muzkya, co-founder of BioWare, revealed “Sure. We would consider it. We haven't announced anything on that front yet, but those are interesting ideas.”
He points out that while it may make a great gameplay experience, Co-op play would make it “hard to weave a great single-player storyline into a multiplayer experience.” We shouldn’t be expecting Co-op from BioWare anytime soon, but at least we know it’s a distinct possibility for the future. [Videogamer]
For players who get stuck in the New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Luigi pops in to give players a helping hand in what Nintendo call a ‘Super Guide’. After dying several times the game will realise you're in severe trouble and need help. After which a computer controlled Luigi jumps in to navigate through the level for the player. Shigeru Miyamoto has previously suggested Mario Galaxy 2 will be one tough cookie, so will Nintendo include the Super Guide in Mario Galaxy 2?
“Well, as far as the challenge of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is concerned, I think it's going to be a really challenging game, but whether or not we are going to incorporate the Super Guide, I just cannot tell,” said Shigsy. He went on to reveal although he cannot commit to something specific for the moment, “that kind of thing” will likely be incorporated wherever and whenever appropriate. More will likely be revealed before the games release in 2010. [OffcialNintendoMagazine]
Square Enix have recently finished their assimilation of Eidos Interactive, and now it looks like they’re set to capitalise on their purchase. CEO Yoichi Wada reveals Square Enix and Eidos Montreal are currently working together on a something the publisher describes as their first “truly global game”. The new game will represent “the first collaboration between Square Enix and Montreal,” said Wada at the Montreal games Summit, announcing “We would like to be able to create a new title that is made by the group as one.”
With Deus Ex 3 and Thief 4 already in the works for Eidos Montreal, the Square Enix collaboration marks the third in development. Of course they’re still in the beginning stages so don’t expect to hear much for the time being. [DevelopOnline]
Have you ever heard any rock band without drums? They are an essential piece of kit and you can’t form a band without them. Well, for all those people wanting to live the dream you can now get your hands on the Official Rock Band Drums for a mere £19.99 to complete your band.
Amazon is currently offering the cheapest price @ £19.99. The next best price stands at £29.99 from ShopTo, which means you’ll be saving yourself a whopping £10!
A wireless drum kit controller, you must have this in order to complete your rock band. It’s easy to set up and play, so it’s suitable for any age group. It comes with four drum pads and a base pedal allowing for a realistic drumming session.
Thanks to Adam2050 from HotUKDeals!
Today’s news roundup sees the first Fallout MMO screens surface thanks to an ongoing legal battle between Bethesda and interplay, many banned pirated Xbox 360 consoles appear online for sale, while the Wii receives a dedicated BBC iPlayer channel.
The image you see above is apparently among the first to be released proving “Project V13,” or more commonly known as the Fallout MMO, is underway. Interplay has been forced to release these screenshots, due to an ongoing legal battle with Bethesda. Apparently Interplay are taking too long to develop the Fallout MMO they promised so long ago, leading Bethesda to take legal action with the District Court of Maryland to terminate Interplay’s right to develop the MMO, believing their failure to enter full-scale development of the title is a breach of its trademark licensing agreement. Interplay then released a few screenshots, allegedly proving development is underway. The lawsuit began back in September, and still hasn’t reached a conclusion, but as the battle continues, more info is sure to be released. [TheVault]
Following the mass banning of pirates from Xbox Live that’s been taking place over the past few weeks in North America and Canada (apparently up to a million modded Xbox 360s have now been banned), a flood of people have been selling their modified consoles online. Many sellers admit to have their console banned, and are offering their console plus a heap of pirated games for incredibly low prices, with Craigslist being the main method of selling.
Of course access to Xbox Live will be barred, and Microsoft has a warning for anyone thinking of purchasing one of these consoles. “If you purchase a modified console second-hand, the warranty is not transferable and the purchaser assumes the risk for any previous modifications. If you purchase a console that has been previously banned, you will not be able to connect to [Xbox] Live,” said Microsoft in an official statement. [Cnet]
Non-gaming features on a console nearly appear as important as the gaming features nowadays. Sony recently struck success by integrating the BBC iPlayer into the video channel of the PlayStation 3 XMB, going on to become the second most popular method to watch iPlayer, with 10% of iPlayer viewers coming from the PS3.
Nintendo look set to follow suit, announcing the Wii should soon be receiving its own dedicated iPlayer channel on the home menu. The iPlayer was technically available on the Wii through using the Wii’s web browser, but as the BBC promise having its own channel will provide a “faster, high-quality, and improved viewing experience.” [GameSpot]
Mercenaries 2 is all about blowing stuff up. Earn enough money from clients, buy new weapons and artillery and use them to destroy the landscape before your very eyes. Well that’s how I like to play it anyway. But in Mercenaries 2 the world is your oyster, so if you like blowing things up, shooting the bad guys and roaming around a world with no obligations, then Mercenaries 2 has it all.
Thegamecollection are currently offering the cheapest price for Mercenaries 2 at £2.99. The next best price stands at £7.99 @ Gameplay, so you’ll be saving quite a bit!
Mercenaries 2 brings you into a world in conflict, where factions are constantly at war over various reasons. It’s your job as a mercenary to make money out of these factions, with no loyal obligations to any of them. Whoever stumps up the most cash gets your services. You get to choose from three characters, each having their own back story and specialisations. After this you can choose to follow the main story line or just go off and do your own thing.
The world is big with different sections run by different factions, and each faction has a liking or disliking to your character. This depends on whether you have acted hostile towards them or completed missions for them, and this will affect the soldiers’ attitude towards you.
There are many different types of missions ranging from capturing an important target to blowing up an enemy stronghold. When you’ve completed each mission you will get a cash payment, which you can use to purchase weapons, ammo, vehicles and air strikes. This is how the game basically works.
One of the best things about Mercenaries 2 is the destructible landscape and buildings. Some of the explosions are brilliant and the fact that nowhere is safe to hide makes things really interesting. With the second instalment of Mercenaries you can find more features unseen in its predecessor, such as cooperative, swimming and many new types of explosives and weapons.
Mercenaries 2 isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It’s a fun game and I think it has achieved it very well. Despite the rather harsh critics it is a game worth trying and for a mere £2.99 you really can’t go wrong.
Thanks to Replay41 from HotUKDeals!
Today’s news roundup sees a set North American release date for Final Fantasy XIII, GameStop plan to make DLC available in-store, and Activision file a patent for Drum Hero, as if there wasn’t enough Hero games already.
A puzzle on the Square Enix website a few days suggested the North American release date for Final Fantasy XIII would be revealed today (provided you actually solved the damn thing). Well speculation was right, as a Final Fantasy XIII trailer released today, announced the game will be arriving in North America on March 9th, 2010. Square Enix have been pushing for a spring release for a while now, so its’ good to see they’ve met their target. No word on the European release yet, but hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer than the yanks. [1UP]
With DLC and the inevitable full downloadable games threatening the future of our game companies and all their used games, GameStop have come up with their own strategy to avoid redundancy. To cater for the changing market a new program will be launched allowing DLC to be purchased in stores. Meaning after purchasing in store, the content will be available for you to download by the time you’re home.
Basically whenever a consumer buys a new or used game, they’ll be asked whether or not they’ll want the associated DLC as well. GameStop are taking the digital age very seriously, even creating the General Manager of Digital Media position back in August, with this new program intending to “leverage existing relationships to drive digital sales.” We’ll know more by the time the service is implemented next year. [Reuters]
With several Hero games released already this year, Activision look intent to make more, with a Drum Hero trademark the most recently filed. The application on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website describes the patent as "Toys, handheld games with liquid crystal displays, musical toys; action figures and accessories therefore; arcade games; coin-operated videogames; electric action toys; handheld unit for playing electronic videogames; electronic toy drums".
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything will materialize from this. Activision similarly registered trademarks a while back for Drum Villain and Guitar Hero, with nothing ever coming of those. If we hear more we’ll let you know. [MTV]
Have you ever had enough of the conventional fairytales, where cute fluffy bunnies hop around happily and birds sing their sweet songs? If you have, then Fairytale Fights offers you the chance to take on a hero and go on a psychopathic killing spree, in a bid to once again become famous.
Zavvi are currently offering the cheapest price at £17.95. The next best price stands at £19.99 @ Amazon which means you’ll be saving yourself a few quid.
Fairytale Fights follows Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack (from the beanstalk) and The Naked Emperor as they try to regain fame by going on a killing rampage. It’s basically a hack and slash game with very little going for it.
As you’d expect just by looking at the title, it’s going to be bloody and violent. In fact that’s its unique selling point. There are copious amounts of blood and gore as you slice and dice fairytale creatures, ranging from cute bunnies to ogres. It’s extremely repetitive, with minimal combat features and the enemies are annoyingly hard in some parts. You can expect to complete the main missions in around 8 hours, which for some may be a blessing. It is cooperative and there are other features, such as arena mode where players fight each other to the death.
If by chance you have a deep raging desire, stemmed from an overdose of fairytales as a youngster, to unleash hell upon the fairytale world; then maybe you would like this game. If not – then I suggest you stay well clear.
Thanks to andywedge from HotUKDeals!
Today’s news roundup sees Modern Warfare 2 double first day sales of previous record holder GTA 4, a composer accidently reveal Bully may be set for a sequel, while Microsoft are revealed to be working on a brand new Halo for the “next generation Xbox platform.”
The figures for the first day sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in the U.K. has been revealed, and boy did it do well. Activision reportedly shipped 3 million units to the U.K. to keep up with demand, with 1.23 million of those copies selling in the first 24 hours. These figures double that of previous record holder Grand Theft Auto 4, managing to shift 631,000 copies. No other figures have been revealed at the time of writing, but expect the same kind of feverish demand in any country that can play an Xbox 360 or PS3. [Eurogamer]
Bully or Canis Canem Edit as you may know it as, was a controversial, but well received title. After many years since the first instalment, it looks like Rockstar are finally ready to make a sequel. Composer Shawn Lee spilled the beans when asked if he will be working on any games in the near future. He responded “Yes. It looks like I will be doing the soundtrack for Bully 2 in the not so distant future.” Rockstar of course, “do not comment on rumour and speculation,” so treat this as a rumour until further confirmation. [TheGamingLiberty]
343 Industries, Microsoft’s internal Halo studio, is reportedly working on a brand spanking new Halo game, apparently for the “next generation Xbox platform.” With Project Natal due for release next November it’s possible this is the “next-gen platform” Microsoft are referring to, but considering its not actually next-gen raises some concerns.
An ad posted on Gamasutra reveals Microsoft are currently hunting for a level designer who has previously worked on at least one big-name title, and is fairly comfortable in their Halo knowledge. Anyone matching the criteria may be offered a job designing and building levels for the next-gen Halo. No more information is given, but we’ll keep you posted when we know more. [ThatVideogameBlog]
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when someone says Mario? I think most people will think of a stubby Italian plumber in blue overalls with a wicked moustache. He’s that famous and has been around so long that even the older generations will be familiar with him. And now he returns – old school style. The new Mario game is expected to be released on the 20th November 2009.
When Super Mario first entered our homes, he was relatively unknown and unappreciated. He first appeared with Donkey Kong, where the player had to navigate Mario up sloping platforms and avoid the barrels the giant ape threw at him, all in order to save the princess. Mario then became better know for his side scrolling adventures, where he gained power ups by eating mushrooms, flowers and other delicacies in the world of Mario. Again, this was to save the rather kidnap-prone princess. This is what made Mario, and eventually a cartoon series was brought out, and as games consoles grew more advanced so did Mario. The series continued to thrive and grow but eventually, in my opinion, lose its original magic.
However, finally Nintendo have gone back to its roots with New Super Mario. The idea of a side scroller may put some people off, what with its primitive technology and gameplay, but don’t be too hasty to judge. New Super Mario follows the basic principle of its original but has made many improvements and more, which any fan of Mario will be proud of.
The graphics have been updated for the 21st Century and so has the sound. It has also been incorporated to work with the Wii controls, so expect to do a lot of shaking and moving with the remote. Mario, Luigi and two toads are playable and you can now ride Yoshi. There are also some guest appearances from the Mario world you would not expect to see. But by far the biggest improvements are to the overall gameplay. You can now play with up to three friends in both cooperative and competitive modes. You also have a new propeller suite and the ability to transform Mario into a penguin. How Mario can benefit from turning into a Penguin, I don’t know. There are also rankings at the end of each level which means you can weed out the weaklings. This, and many more new features are in New Super Mario Bros.
Slapping ‘New’ in front of Super Mario really says it all. You are getting a new and improved experience from this video game. Fans of the original should not be disappointed and even the younger generations can appreciate what we loved to play many years ago, albeit with some modernised features. And those of you that are big fans can appreciate this game even more with the limited edition tin. This is a great multiplayer experience and even if you don’t fancy that, you can always go at it solo and reminisce about the old days.
Thanks to rhys135 from HotUkDeals!
Today’s news roundup sees Project Natal set for November 2010 with a £50 (or less) price tag, EA announce their refocus on established money spinners, and Square Enix complete their assimilation of Eidos.
Microsoft’s stab at the causal market just got a release date, with Project Natal scheduled to launch in November 2010. A behind-closed-doors tour of Microsoft’s UK publishers and studios gave the game away; also revealing fourteen titles will be available from launch, despite nothing being named. I just pray to Jesus Xbox 360 Fit won’t be one of them.
The motion-sensing camera looks set to release for just under £50 when sold on its own, with 5 million units planned to be made available by launch. Thanks to Dealspwner Chris for the tip-off! [MCVUK]
Following EA’s shock announcement of 1,500 job cuts to EA staff as part of their cost-restructuring plan, it appears we’ll see 50% less games from them in the next year. EA CEO John Riccitiello explains from now on they’ll be focusing on established titles; the kind that bring in a boatload of cash. 30 boxed titles are planned for release in the next fiscal year (April 2010 to March 2011), compared to almost 60 boxed titles last fiscal year. The decision to re-focus on established franchises comes as a blow, considering EA were actually starting to make some decent games for a change.
“Electronic Arts has a core slate of games label and sports franchises that we will iterate on an either annual or bi-annual basis” said Riccitiello, stating “all of them are selling or have sold in their most recent edition 2 million units or more.” Anything that doesn’t measure up won’t play a part in the company’s future according to the EA main man. This decision contradicts Riccitiello’s assurance just under a year ago that EA will be looking to support new IPs, on top of his advice that in the midst of an economic recession job cuts and reducing creative risk is “a recipe you would follow at your own peril.” Nice one Riccitiello, way to go back on your word. [MCVUK]
Square Enix is now officially part of Europe. I don’t mean they’ve joined the EU or anything; rather they’ve just successfully rebranded Eidos Interactive as Square Enix Europe, following their acquisition of Eidos’ last March. According to Square Enix Europe president and CEO Phil Rodgers “Today marks a major achievement towards the goals we announced in July and represents the creation of an efficient and powerful structure for game development and publishing.”
He goes onto to proclaim the greatness and diversity of “our exceptional gaming brands,” promising a formidable future product line-up. Square Enix’s acquisition couldn’t have come at a better time, with Batman: Arkham Asylum managing to shift over 2 million a month after launch. Games in the works from Eidos include Thief 4, Just cause 2 and Deus Ex. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees Resident Evil 5: Alternative Edition arrive in spring in the form of DLC, EA axe over 1500 jobs in their latest restructuring plan, and Microsoft really crack down on videogame pirates as over 600,000 Xbox Live accounts are banned in the USA and Canada.
Rather than come in disc form as previously speculated, it appears Resident Evil 5: Alternative Edition will arrive as DLC. According to Capcom’s Chris Kramer, feedback from North America, Europe, and Australia contributed to their decision for a downloadable release. Kramer announces we should be “ready to roll” in spring 2010, assuming we hold on to our original RE5 disc.
He teases “new Resident Evil adventures” and a few surprises are in store for when the game arrives. As the Tokyo Game Show revealed, an Episode starring Jill Valentine will feature in the alternative edition, and include support for Sony’s upcoming motion controller, also due for release next spring. More info will likely be made available before the game sees release. [1UP]
Thanks to a “Cost Reduction Plan” designed in order to “provide greater focus on titles with higher margin opportunities,” EA are laying off an incredible 1,500 employees, roughly around 17% of their workforce. EA announced “This action will result in the closure of several facilities and a headcount reduction of approximately 1,500 positions, of which 1,300 are included in a restructuring plan.”
The plan should come into effect by March 2010, reportedly saving the publisher an annual saving of at least $100 million, while costing them between $130 and $150 million to implement. Although EA didn’t specifically announce which sections were cut, rumours suggest EA Tibron, Black Box, Redwood Shores and Mythic are among those affected. [Kotaku]
Microsoft have apparently been given a target of one million banned accounts by the end of Christmas, so expect a lot more angered teens, and hopefully a lot less videogame pirates by the time the holidays are over. [Pinoycosplay]
Sainsbury’s are certainly feeling generous with the run up to Christmas! They are selling a selection of games ranging from Lego batman to Sonic Unleashed from only £5!
Here’s a list of the games on offer:
As you can see the prices Sainsbury’s are offering compared to their next cheapest online counterparts are significantly lower.
Thanks to r simsini from HotUKDeals!
From Take 2 comes the 2009 instalment of the popular NHL series, and with new features such as the pick up and play controls and enhanced gameplay, you’re unlikely to put this one down anytime soon.
Tesco Entertainment are currently offering the cheapest price at £3.97. The next best in-stock price stands at £6.85 at ShopTo.net, which means you’ll save a few quid.
Just in case you don’t know, NHL 2K9 is an ice hockey game which is part of a long running successful franchise. The previous titles have been good in their own parts, but NHL 2K9 has learnt from its past mistakes. One thing that had always been a problem was the steep learning curve required to actually play the game. On par with not knowing the rules of Ice Hockey, some would find this extremely frustrating. But the introduction of the new pick up and play feature allows new inexperienced players to get stuck into the game, without having to master the controls. And for the more experienced players, there is a new hybrid system allowing for a more complex and challenging play.
NHL 2K9 also focuses a lot more on overall looks and gameplay. They have a new skating engine, more realistic collisions, puck handling and bone crunching tackling. Take 2 have also improved the presentation, such as the menu, replays and audience physics. New songs from various rock and punk artists have been added, which really helps get the adrenaline pumping.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy or challenging and deep, then NHL 2K9 offers both. It’s great to play with friends or online, and there’s plenty of re-playability and depth. And for £3.97 you really can’t go wrong.
Thanks to sm182 from HotUKDeals!
For those of you looking for a great deal, or a Christmas present for the youngsters then look no further as the wireless entertainment pack has it all! With Lego Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda and a wireless Xbox 360 controller, Christmas has certainly come early.
Zavvi are offering the cheapest price for The Wireless entertainment pack at £24.95. The next best price stands at £29.05 from Amazon.co.uk, which means you’re saving a few quid. If you were to individually buy Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventure at £10 from Play, Kung Fu Panda £8.95 from Mymemory and a wireless Xbox Controller £19.44 from Amazon, then you’d be spending quite a bit more!
Lego Indiana Jones: Original adventures brings the mayhem and fun you’d expect to find in any Lego game nowadays, and mixes it with a large dose of action and adventure you’d want in Indiana Jones. Those familiar with the Lego Star wars Games should feel right at home with this one. It’s very similar to its predecessors, but there is an emphasis on the puzzles within Lego Indiana Jones. Each character has their own special abilities which will help aid the player in solving the puzzles. The cut scenes still retain their outlandish humour, and cooperative play is still extremely fun. And with the three Indiana Jones movies to play through, you’re not likely to tire of this hidden gem anytime soon!
Follow Po, an overweight panda, as he Kung Fus his way across thirteen different levels in a bid to stop an evil warrior from taking the legendary Dragon scroll. Kung Fu Panda is not surprisingly targeted to a younger age group, with its friendly approach to beating the crap out of things. It does a good job of mixing platforming, combat and exploration which will keep the player occupied for a bit. But unfortunately it won’t last long, with a gamer able to complete it quickly at least two or three times. One of the most notable things about Kung Fu Panda is how it looks. The colours, physics and general graphics are great and really help improve the overall gameplay. The sound is also top notch and helps bring the cinematic experience of the movie to the game. If you’re looking for something to pick up and play quickly then this is it.
The Wireless controller will be a great addition to the family as most games are best played with a friend. If you’re planning on playing cooperative on Lego Indiana Jones then you’ll need one of these. It’s always useful to have a spare controller if, heaven forbid, something should happen to the other one. Featuring 2.4 GHZ technology the controller is totally wireless, so no tripping over the cable anymore! You can use it up to thirty feet away and includes an integrated headset port.
Thanks to andywedge from HotUKDeals!
Today’s news roundup sees a Modern Warfare 2 pirate be brought to justice, a Beatle's sons aim to use Rock Band to teach people music, and Nintendo of America President announce the new Zelda may not see a 2010 release.
With Modern Warfare 2 already leaked onto the internet, Microsoft is trying their damndest to stop piracy on the Xbox 360 at all costs. The game became widely available on the internet when 18-year-old American Christian Del Amo got his piracy loving hands on an early copy of Modern Warfare 2, who then proceeded to make illegal copies of the game available on various torrent sites. The whole affair kicked off when a “box boy at a major retail chain” swiped a crate from a major retail chain containing Modern Warfare 2 bundles. The box boy then sold these copies online, letting hacker Del Amo grab an early copy.
He soon cracked the protection around the game, making illegal copies available to all. Unfortunately for him, IPCybercrime, a private investigation firm, was on his case, and thanks to tracks left through social networking sites like Facebook, the firm traced the teen to his modding business in Miami, where he was soon arrested. “If these guys get their stuff out, then they can do some major damage to sales and spoil it for everybody. We plug leaks every day, but this was one of the biggest ones of the year,” said Rob Holmes, owner of IPCybercrime. He then warns other hackers “If you try to do piracy on a large scale, you will get caught. When you use the Internet, you always leave tracks somewhere.” For the law-abiding Modern warfare 2 will be available this Tuesday. [VentureBeat]
Dhani Harrison (son of Beatle George Harrison) previously joined forces with Harmonix to help create The Beatles Rock Band. Now it appears he wants to take the formula further, and create a game that will actually teach players to play music. According to Harrison “I'm working on Rock Band 3' and making the controllers more real so people can actually learn how to play music while playing the game.”
He claims it’s going to happen in as little as a couple of years, and he hopes it can teach people how to play music, rather than merely “pantomime in rhythm.” No word on Harmonix’s take on this, but we’ll hopefully know more when Rock band 3 is officially announced. [ChicagoTribune]
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has recently stated they haven’t committed to a new Zelda in 2010. It appears they’ll be taking the ‘release when ready’ approach, clarifying the game is only “tracking” for 2010. On a positive note however, he did confirm Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M are committed to 2010, so at least some decent games will be released on the Wii next year.
Following this, Reggie made some very bold statements, predicting New Super Mario Bros. Wii will outsell Modern Warfare 2 (only the Xbox 360 edition) by January. “Absolutely. I say that unequivocally,” said Reggie. “Let's take it all the way through the January NPD data -- yes. I'll put that stake in the ground.” Very bold indeed. [GameTrailers]
In today’s news roundup we have a look at the fall in game sales across the globe, an expected release date for the eagerly anticipated Star Trek Online, and to top it off EA’s Spore Islands on Facebook.
It’s been a hard year for us all, what with the financial climate taking a turn for the worse, and we’ve been keeping a weary eye on the pennies. Not surprisingly this has also affected the gaming industry.
According to Enterbrain and GfK Chart-Track, there has been a 6% drop in games sales across the three largest markets (Japan, UK and USA) compared to the previous year at the same time.
Japan however has managed to beat the crunch with game sales up at 15%, compared to the 9% drop in the US and 19% drop in the UK. [Kotaku]
On a lighter note there is some good news for you Star Trek fans out there. The release date for Star Trek Online has been announced for February 2nd 2010, the official release in North America being 5th February 2010.
Players get the chance to play as the Federation or the Klingons. You can command your own starship, battle players and build up a crew from scratch. It’s a game to keep an eye on even if you’re not a fan of Star Trek. [1up]
Finally, EA has announced Spore: Islands for the Facebook application. For those of you not familiar with the game, you basically have to create a species, evolve them, raise them on an island and eventually take over other colonies with your mighty army. It’s a tidy little game and good to pass the time, but if you’re used to ignoring requests, then be prepared to ignore a lot more as Spore: Islands comes to Facebook. [Joystiq]
Today’s news roundup sees Warren Spector reveal his intentions for the future of Deus Ex, Marvel reveal both a Thor and Captain America Videogame in their plans, and Oriconlife readers poll Final Fantasy X as the biggest tear jerking game ever made.
Warren Spector, most renowned for his work on the cyberpunk action RPG Deus Ex, currently has his hands full with Epic Mickey on the Wii. Although he hasn’t forgot about the aforementioned series, even attempting (unsuccessfully) to reacquire the rights to Deus Ex back from Eidos. Following this, Spector approached Disney outlining two projects, one of them he refers to as the “spiritual successor” to Deus Ex.
He reveals “There were and still are 'Deus Ex' stories I would like to tell. That story is not done for me, I sort of filed the serial numbers off. 'Deus Ex' was very much a game of the millennium.” Disney now own the rights to both Spector’s projects, and depending on the success of Epic Mickey, may even fund and develop his plans. In fact, considering the wealth of Disney, it may not be outside the realms of possibility to see Spector working on a brand new Deus Ex game altogether. [Variety]
With both a Thor and Captain America movie in the works, of course there’s going to the inevitable game cash-in. I mean, it’s obvious. Marvel’s recent quarterly financial report confirmed suspicious, revealing both games will arrive in 2011. These games will accompany their respective movie, with Thor aiming for a May release, while The First Avenger: Captain America is seeing a slightly later July release.
Not much else is known about the projects, aside from the fact Sega will be handling the publishing and developing duties for both titles, benefitting from experience gained during their work on the (awful) Incredible Hulk and Iron Man tie-ins. [GameSpot]
Games can be emotional. Some even have the power to reduce grown men to tears. But what games has induced the most sniffles in gaming history? Japan’s Oriconlife decided to find out for themselves, polling a total of 500 men to get their answer, ranging from teens all the way up to 40 and above.
According to the results, Final Fantasy X is the most effective tear jerker out there, followed by Dragon Quest V, Final Fantasy VII, Clannad, and lastly Mother 2. Something tells me that if these tests were carried out elsewhere we’d see a much different response. [Kotaku]
Zombies are great. You can punch them, kick them, shoot them and they’ll still come for you. That’s when you decide to get out the explosives and do a proper job. Left 4 Dead offers all of these and more – with heavy cooperative game play and plenty of gun slinging action you can’t pass up.
TheHut are currently offering the cheapest price for Left 4 Dead at £17.73. The next best price stands at £19.94 from Amazon, which means you save a few pounds.
Imagine if you will, being stuck on a roof. You’re with three other survivors you know little about, and all around you, as far as the eye can see, there are zombies. A military plane flies overhead towards the city’s airport and you know that it’s your only chance of survival. Now the only problem is you have to somehow get there and fight your way through a zombie infested city.
You get to play as any one of the four survivors in Left 4 Dead. They only differ in appearance so you won’t be missing out on skills or abilities. The general idea is to find the safest and quickest route through the city and into a safe house without dying. You have to wind your way through buildings, apartments and houses where zombies hide in every corner. You have to help comrades in need, whether they’re injured, pinned down by a zombie or hanging off the edge of a building. There are four main scenarios that play out like mini movies and at the end, credits roll giving the stats of each player.
Unlike most zombie games where you’re trying to find a cure or wipe out all the zombies, in Left 4 Dead you’re literally just trying to survive. This makes for a better more intense game-playing experience. There are times when all you hear is the crackle of gunfire and the screams of your comrades as they call for help. The zombies run (like in 28 days later) and attack in hordes, so you’re always guaranteed a huge gun fight. A feature I love in Left 4 Dead is setting off car alarms, which basically alerts the zombies to your location. They then attack from all directions and in such huge numbers, all you can do is hold down the trigger and hope for the best.
Multiplayer is a big thing in Left 4 Dead. I strongly advise you to play it with friends or strangers online for the best experience, because it will seriously make things easier and a lot more fun. You can play with them on the main scenarios or in death match styled games, where half the players are the zombies and the other are the humans.
Left 4 Dead: Game of the year edition offers more maps and more modes unseen in the original version. It is a superb game (one of my favourites) with many hours of game play and re-playability. There’s plenty to do online and what with the imminent release of the sequel, surely you’ll want to get some practice in.
Thanks to adams2318 from HotUKdeals!
In today’s news roundup Shigeru Miyamoto shares news of MotionPlus heading to the next Zelda, after going on to hint at Nintendo’s upcoming cat-based project. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 2 breaks pre-order records, looking on track to becoming this year's biggest game.
A recent Q&A session in Tokyo with Shigeru Miyammoto revealed a few more interesting details regarding Link’s next adventure on the Wii. Shigsy plans to integrate MotionPlus into the next Zelda “to make you feel much more like you're actually fighting while holding a sword in your hand,” said Miyamoto. The aim appears to be to achieve the sensation of actually holding and fighting with a sword, rather than wiggling a Wii remote up and down to simply slash your sword.
The MotionPlus will also allow for an overhaul in the targeting system says Miyamoto. “In the previous game, you aimed at things by pointing at the screen, but this time we'll use MotionPlus to create a much more convenient targeting system and a more pleasurable playing experience.” No word on whether the next Zelda will require MotionPlus to play the game, but with these revelations it certainly seems that way. [Wired]
Following Shigeru Miyamoto’s announcement of MotionPlus featuring in the next Zelda (look above dummy), the Shigster went on to potentially reveal Nintendo’s next big project. At a Q&A session, Miyamoto was asked what his future plans are. He replied by stating he is currently working on developing DS games that can be played in the home, as well as outside as more of a social activity (possibly a ‘spectator game’ Nintendo hinted at for the big-screen DSi XL).
Following this, he left the stage after announcing “I've recently been caring for cats. That is all.” As if this wasn’t a big enough hint, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata took to the stage to confirm the he did indeed “just gave a big hint.” Miyamoto has a habit of turning whatever his current hobby is into some sort of game, and following the success of Nintendogs it appears entirely likely we’ll see a cat-based Nintendo game in the near future. That or else Miyamoto has clearly lost his mind. [Andriasang]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks on track to become the biggest game of the decade, with GameStop USA reporting the game has already broke pre-order records. “As of today, the number of pre-order reservations we've taken for the game is the highest for any title we've ever sold in our 6,200 store network," said GameStop executive Tony Bartel.
The game has been receiving a lot of negative headlines recently, what with the increased price tag, and no dedicated servers, but this doesn’t look likely to stop Modern Warfare 2 from becoming this year’s biggest game. Activision is sure to be looking for a hit after disappointing sales for both their Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises, and it doesn’t look like Modern Warfare 2 will disappoint. [USAToday]
If you like fun, good natured games where it involves you saving the world from a psychopathic samurai warlord, then bring on the Ninjas! From the makers of Hitman comes Mini Ninjas.
Zavvi are currently offering the cheapest price for Mini Ninjas at £17.95. The next best price stands at £21.99 from The Game Collection, which means you save a few quid.
Mini Ninjas follows Hiro, as he tries to find his missing friends and defeat an evil Warlord hell-bent on taking over the world. It follows your stereotypical Japanese styled game where, one must grow stronger and wiser in order to defeat your enemy.
Mini Ninjas doesn’t take itself seriously, which I think improves the overall quality of the game. It’s for kids and adults alike, which is a huge step away from IO Interactive’s Hitman franchise. This can be seen in the cartoon-like graphics, fun sense of humor and lack of gore. The graphics are good, and the scenery really takes you into Japan.
As you progress further in the game you unlock new abilities and spells to use. One that I found fun to play with was the ability to transform Hiro into different types of animals. This allowed me to sneak past guards and stealthily attack them from behind, which brings me onto my next point. The combat is weak. The attacks are pretty basic and there’s not a lot of variety when fighting in close combat. When you find your missing friends you have the option to switch between characters, each specialising in different fighting styles, but on the whole the combat is fairly disappointing.
Mini Ninjas is entertaining and enjoyable which offers the player a good gaming experience. If you can put aside the weak combat and focus on the entertaining cut scenes, humor and visuals, then you’ll certainly enjoy Mini Ninjas.
Thanks to andywedge on HUKD!