JULY 2001 NEWS

Join The Future Gamez Newsletter Now!
Future Gamez sends out a newsletter every couple of weeks to announce major news, interviews and comps etc. To subscribe, enter your e-mail address below;


July 27, 2001

    Hardware
    Are you interested in developing games on the Playstation 2? Have you heard about the Linux kit released in Japan which enables you to program on the system? Of course you have. Well now Sony America are trying to gague interest in releasing the unit in America (and hopefully a PAL one will follow) and have put up a survey for everyone to fill out before deciding to release the unit. Check out this link to let Sony know if you want the unit.

    Games
    Square have confirmed that they have sold 1,832,000 copies of Final Fantasy X in only 4 days after shipping 2.1 million copies of the game. Retailers currently expect the game to sell 2.6 million copies in Japan. The American/European release is not expected until early 2002.

    According to reports surfacing on the internet Electronic Arts are rumoured to be announcing a deal to develop and publish games based on the upcoming Lord Of the Rings movies. While Sierra has the books tied up the movies are recognised as a different property seperate from the books which allows EA to develop games based on the movies. At the moment there is no confirmation fo the deal but when (if) it is announced it is almost certain that the Playstation 2 will feature in the game line-up somewhere.

    Review
    I have added a review to EA Sports BIG's impressive basketball game, NBA Street.

July 24, 2001

    Important Announcement
    Well I've been considering your response to my post a few days ago and after many generous offers I have decided to move the web site back to being dedicated to the Playstation 2 only. Many of you asked if you could review games on other systems, but the way my site is it's mainly the news section and previews of upcoming games that takes the most time, and I would have almost as much work if you sent in reader reviews, but this is something I am considering for the Playstation 2 coverage. The change over to a single format doesn't mean I will be leaving everyone else behind as the forums will remain multi-console for some time coming so you can keep in touch and the site will still cover major announcements from Sony's competitors.
    I just want everyone to know that it's been a fun ride over the last year as a multi-format web site but buying a house really takes up a lot more time then it should (especially when making additions). One thing is certain though, that Future Gamez will provide some of the most detailed an exciting coverage of the Playstation 2 on the web. Stay tuned as the site changes over the coming weeks.

    Games
    Square have confirmed that the English translation of Final Fantasy X will begin in a matter of weeks when the developers get back from much deserved holidays. The voices will all be in English and thanks to the DVD format the game will have subtitles in 5 different languages.

    While talking about Final Fantasy X Square have confirmed that they shipped 2.14 million units of the game in Japan which were all pretty much sold out on the first day of release, July 19.

    Review
    I have added a review to Sony's racing game, ATV Offroad.

July 19, 2001

    This month only gets worse!
    You guys aren't going to believe this, but I am having more trouble with the site, well more or less. I came home from work today and chased the kitten around the back yard and in the process scraped my finger on the wooden fence. Guess what, several 1.5cm splinters embedded themselves under my fingernail on my left hand which is very friggin painful (I believe it was a torture technique during the war). As a result I had to go for surgery, have half my fingernail cut off, and can now only type with one hand. At least the drugs work well. Hopefully I'll be back in a day or two with a couple of reviews.

    Forum Competition
    With almost 2000 messages the Future Gamez Forums are going exceptionally well. And now I have a little surprise. Last month I said there would be a new comp on the site. Well, that is sort of the case. You see, over the next month I will be selecting at least one person to win a prize, as well has holding random competitions. Depending on what system they own I will allow them to select a game from my review copies. There are rules and regulations so check out the COMPETITION PAGE immediately.

July 16, 2001

    Important Announcement
    I have something to say/ask everyone to do with this site. It's not good news as such, but it's better then not letting you know.

    Obviously running a web site such as Future Gamez takes a lot of time. Evert week on average I preview or review about 4-5 games, update the news section every second day or so, update the release schedule and list of releases weekly as well as try to find time to interview many of the developers. As you can imagine it takes up a lot of my time, often up to 25-30 hours a week on top of my full time job.

    As many of you are aware I bought a house over the last Christmas holidays which now means I have to devote more time to other tasks such as mowing lawns, paying bills and in the coming months building 2 covered patios. It's a busy time.

    As a result I am reconsidering the focus of Future Gamez. Over a year ago I decided to go multi-platform when the Dreamcast was looking to fail in all territories. The workload this has provided is enormous, more then I can handle.

    The number of previews and reviews dropped from about 80% of all games (when I just covered the Dreamcast) to about 40% with all formats at the moment. Moving away from a single console has also resulted in a reduction in the smaller news items and the detail in the articles.

    With this in mind I am considering moving back to a single format web site. At the moment I am strongly leaning towards the Playstation 2 (read the reasons before any abuse please) ahead of the Dreamcast, Gamecube and XBox. The reasons are as follows;

    Firstly the biggest thing is that the Playstation 2 interests me the most. Sony are definately in the box seat in terms of the next generation console and their games are varied and solid. The Dreamcast obviously is a dead system and can't even be considered.
    The XBox, while I believe it has plenty of potential, is still a bit of a dark horse and to me still has an indefinite future.
    While the Gamecube will likely be a big success for Nintendo I don't really appreciate, or enjoy, their childish games as much as I should. Yes I like playing them, but I would much rather play something like MGS2 or Final Fantasy or Resident Evil. Something with a more mature aspect.

    With this in mind I believe that a change to becoming focused on the Playstation 2 (and PS3) will be better on my part, and yours. This move will allow me to fucus on that system alone and I can therefor spend a lot more time bringing you every scrap of information. It's a decision that I'm at pains to make, but for my life away from the site and to bring you the best coverage of one system, it must happen.

    Go to this link in the Future Gamez Forums to have your say about the issue.

July 15, 2001

    Playstation 2
    If there were any doubts at all about how great Final Fantasy X would be then you can rest easy. Three Japanese magazines have reviewed the game and the scores are enormous. Both Famitsu and Famitsu PS2 gave the game 39/40 (three 10's and one 9) while The Play Station magazine gave it 29/30 (two 10's and a nine). Now we just have to sit back and wait until early 2002 to see what it's like for ourselves.

    Climax has begun advertising positions for people to work on a RPG on the Playstation 2. Nothing is know about the title yet but the makers of Landstalker on Megadrive and Time Stalkers on the Dreamcast are sure to develop something worth keeping an eye on.

    I have just learned that THQ's Operation Winback, which I previewed only 2 days ago, has just been pushed back from late July to late August.

    XBox
    Capcom have announced they have 5 titles in development for the XBox. As yet only three titles have been announced at E3 including Dino Crisis 3, Genma Onimusha and Brainbox. Expect the other titles to be announced in the coming months.

    Developer
    UEP Systems, who have developed the Cool Boarders series of games have apparently filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo. No word yet if there will be a buyout, or if someone else will pick up the rights to the very popular Cool Boarder series.

July 13, 2001

    Playstation 2
    According to reports from Japan Square's Final Fantasy X has cost the company 4 billion yen. That's about a massive $AU62 million, or more then most major motion pictures.

    From software have delayed the release of King's Field IV in Japan from September 6 to sometime in October.

    I have added previews to a couple of Playstation 2 titles. The first is the Koei developed, THQ distributed Operation Winback while the second game is Interplay's impressive looking Giants.

    Dreamcast
    According to Swirlvision the Dreamcast port of OutTrigger has finally gone gold. The game is scheduled to hit American stores on July 26 while Australians will have to wait a couple more months.

July 10, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Well Gran Turismo 3 may still be a month away in Australia but the game is set to hit the shelves in America within hours, and the fever is building. PS2.IGN have posted a list of the songs on the disc, and it's pretty impressive. They are as follows;
    Again (plays during ending credits) & Are You Gonna Go My Way? / Lenny Kravitz
    Satisfied / 8 Stops 7
    Stop the Rock (Mint Royale Mix) / Apollo Four Forty
    Mad Skillz - Mic Chekka / BT
    Break In / CiRRUS
    Glowl, Mirage, Obscure, Sky scraper & Strike breaker / daiki kasho
    Go Gran Turismo / Dave Aude
    Call It Brisco (And Why Not?) / Elite Force
    99 Red Balloons (Adapted from '99 Luftballons) / Goldfinger
    As Good as it Gets / Grand Theft Audio
    Champion / Grinspoon
    Stone Free / Jimi Hendrix
    Turbo Lover / Judas Priest
    Def Beat / Junkie XL
    Crash / Methods of Mayhem
    Kickstart My Heart / Motley Crue
    Never Enough / Papa Roach
    Super Nova Goes Pop / Powerman 5000
    Determination / Raekwon
    Dogg's Turismo 3 / Snoop Dogg
    She Sells Sanctuary / The Cult

    I have added a review to LucasArts' impressive adventure game Escape From Monkey Island.

    All Formats
    Well there were rumours last week about some sort of takeover or deal between Acclaim and Midway but it now looks like Acclaim have grabbed the rights to distribute their titles in Australia. The first game is Gauntlet Dark Legacy which will be released on Playstation 2 this Friday! Expect more details and confirmation of the deal in the coming days.

July 8, 2001

    Forum Competition
    With almost 2000 messages the Future Gamez Forums are going exceptionally well. And now I have a little surprise. Last month I said there would be a new comp on the site. Well, that is sort of the case. You see, over the next month I will be selecting at least one person to win a prize, as well has holding random competitions. Depending on what system they own I will allow them to select a game from my review copies. There are rules and regulations so check out the COMPETITION PAGE immediately.

    Playstation 2
    Well, PAL territories have been screwed over again. Konami has confirmed some release dates for their highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 2. America will be the first to receive the title with a November 2001 release in time for thanksgiving while Japan will wait until December, as much of their Christmas shopping is left until just prior to the last minute. As for Europe and Australia, it now looks like the game will be release here in early 2002. Sigh.

    One of the hottest games expected this year is Namco's Ace Combat 4 and it now has a date. The game will be released in Japan on September 13 for 6,800 yen. As yet there is no release date for America or Europe but a pre-Christmas release is highly likely.

    Gamecube
    Koei have confirmed they are working on two titles for the Nintendo Gamecube for release before March 2002. Unfortunately there is no word yet on which series' will make it to the system but either Kessen or Dynasty Warriors seem likely following their success outside Japan.

    All Formats
    Infogrames have secured the rights to develop games based on the Terminator movies (the first two only). The games will appear on multiple systems during 2002. As yet there has been no deal made for the upcoming Terminator 3 movie however if these games perform well Infogrames are in the box seat to secure a deal for that movie as well.

July 7, 2001

    I'm Back
    Well I'm back from my trip to Melbourne and updates should resume as usual. Fortunately it has been a pretty quiet couple of days so you haven't really missed much.

    Playstation 2
    Sony Japan has released details of the hard drive unit for the Playstation 2. Two different models will be released in the market. The internal unit will be priced at 18,000 yen (about $AU300) while the external unit will retail for 19,000 yen (about $AU320). The unit will be released on July 19th which is the release date for Final Fantasy X. Sony are hoping to sell a modest 10,000 units in total. Other games confirmed to make use of the unit are Jade Cocoon 2, Beatmania II DX 5th Style: New Songs Collection, Guitaradora: Guitar Freaks 4th Mix and Drum Mania 3rd Mix, Capcom Vs. SNK 2: Millennium Fighting 2001, Atelier Lilie and A-Train 2001. The main use of the hard drive will be to reduce load times to almost nothing. No word yet on a release outside Japan but a release to coincide with Square's massive RPG is likely.

    As promised I have completed the review of Red Faction which is a stunning game. Check it out now.

    XBox
    It looks as if Microsoft are working on another XBox title, or have at least let slip a name. The company has registered a trademark The Unseen as a game for video game console. As yet there are no other details or information about the game.

June 30, 2001

    Site Closure
    Don't worry folks I won't be gone for too long. I'm off to Melbourne for a couple of days for my grandma's funeral. Thanks for all your support and I will be back by Thursday with reviews of Red Faction and Escape From Monkey Island. A quick note though that both these games are superb and I would have no hesitation recommending them. Expect full reviews later in the week.

    Playstation 2
    Sony has dropped the price of the Playstation 2 in Japan by 4800 yen to 35,000 yen to prepare for the upcoming console war with Nintendo and Microsoft. That is equivalent to $AU555, still quite a bit less then Australia's current $AU699 price point. It's unlikely there will be a price drop here however as the system was permanently dropped by $AU50 only a matter of weeks ago.

    Jack of All Games have confirmed that development of Tropico on the Playstation 2 has been stopped. It's unlikely the game will ever see a release now.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have confirmed that both Luigi's Mansion and Wave Race: Blue Storm will be launch titled in Japan on September 14. Both games will retail for 6,800 yen.

    Dreamcast
    Sega of Japan have either cancelled or moved development to other systems of 5 Dreamcast titles. The games are Alien Front Online, Dynamic Golf, Far Nation, Bikkauiman 2000, and Aqua Panic. No word yet on which titles have moved development to other systems.

    POLL
    You may like to know that there is a new poll on the Main Page. Make sure you cast your vote for which PS2 title you are most interested in immediately.

June 29, 2001

    Sad News
    Sorry if my updates are a little lacking over the next week but my Grandmother passed away on Wednesday the 27th and I'm a little depressed. She'd had a great innings at a few weeks short of 95. Love you grandma.

    POLL
    Just a reminder to everyone that this months poll is about to close. If you haven't voted yet head on over to the Main Page to do so immediately.

    Playstation 2
    I have managed to finish off the review for Electronic Arts' awesome racing game, Rumble Racing. Check it out, you may be surprised like myself.

    I have updated the Playstation 2 Schedule page as well as the Out Now Playstation 2 page.

June 27, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Sony have confirmed that Gran Turismo 3 has been delayed to August 10 as previously reported. This delay is for all PAL territories, not just Australia. Hopefully it's to make some changes to the game and not just for marketing/promotional purposes.

    A couple of big releases have hit the shelves in the last couple of days. Perhaps the biggest is THQ's Red Faction which I have been playing for a couple of days now and is stunning. I suggest that you all head out a pick this one up ASAP. Another game which was released in the last couple of days is the LucasArts developed Escape From Monkey Island.

June 26, 2001

    Lack of Updates
    Sorry about the lack of updates guys but I have been in bed with a severe flu for the last 4 days. I have also been kept busy with a new addition to the family... no folks not a child. A little 9 week old cat, who is still nameless after almost a week. I have also been on a downer as my Grandma is seriously ill in Melbourne. I may have to go down there if things detoriate as the doctors are predicting. If I disappear for a few days you'll know why, but the site will continue as soon as I return.

    Dreamcast
    No Cliché has laid off all it's staff members and effectively shut it's doors. The developer of Toy Commander on the Dreamcast has also ceased development of Agartha on the system and are looking at resurrecting the company. Exactly how remains unclear but it's sad to see the developers of the hit game Relentless/Little Big Adventure close down.

June 23, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Sony has confirmed that they have picked up the distribution rights to Sega's first 7 games on the Playstation 2. The deal will see Sony distribute such potential hits as Space Channel 5 (two games!), K-Project (working title), Virtua Fighter 4, Ferrari F355, Head Hunter and Ecco the Dolphin. No word yet on release dates but Virtua FIghter 4 is expected in early 2002.

    I have added a review to Heroes Of Might & Magic: Quest For The Dragonbone Staff. It's quite a good game so check it out if your after something a little different.


OLD NEWS
2001 :
JUNE  2001 E3 SHOW  MAY  APRIL  MARCH  FEBRUARY  JANUARY 

2000 :
DECEMBER  NOVEMBER  OCTOBER  SEPTEMBER  AUGUST  JULY  JUNE  MAY  APRIL  MARCH  FEBRUARY  JANUARY 

1999 :
DECEMBER  NOVEMBER  OCTOBER  SEPTEMBER  AUGUST  JULY  JUNE  MAY  APRIL  MARCH  FEBRUARY  JANUARY 

1998 :
DECEMBER  NOVEMBER  OCTOBER  SEPTEMBER  AUGUST  JULY  JUNE  MAY  APRIL  MARCH  FEBRUARY  JANUARY