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MARCH 2003 NEWS
March 30, 2003

    Letters
    One of the additions to this site with the upgrade is the return of the Letters Page. If you have any questions, queries, statements, arguements or political addresses send them into the usual e-mail address admin@futuregamez.net. Those letters deemed acceptable will be put on the page with a response from myself. Check out the Letters Page now and start sending them in.

    News
    Well it's been a very long wait but the Sega Sports title have finally hit Australia. Gamenation has shipped NBA 2K3, NHL 2K3 and NFL 2K3 to stores. All of these titles are certainly worth a purchase so check them out now.

    I guess if you're looking for something exciting to purchase then you really can't go past UbiSoft's Splinter Cell which is possibly the title of the year to date on PS2. The game was shipped late last week and should be hitting shelves very soon, if not already. If you want to know what all the fuss is about then I suggest you pick up this months Official PS2 Magazine which includes a playable demo of the game. Expect a review soon.

    Overworks have confirmed that they are already working on a sequel to Shinobi which has been release in Japan already but is still a couple of months away for Australia. The sequel won't just include new levels however as the developers are promising a rather different game and fighting engine. A strange move considering the positive reception the first title has received.

    After 2 weeks on sale Square's Final Fantasy X-2 has sold 1,757,481 copies in Japan with 213,987 sales in the last week. This sequel to Final Fantasy X is the first time Square has made a direct sequel in the series but given the strong sales may not be the last sequel. Namco has released Soul Calibur II in Japan and the first day sales put the Playstation 2 well in the lead in terms of sales - but not as much as expected - possibly to other major title releases on Sony's system. Day one saw Playstation 2 sales of 42,628, Gamecube sales of 32,948 and XBox sales of 15,503 units.

    Sega Europe has confirmed that Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution will be released in Euroe sometime in June 2003.

March 23, 2003

    News
    It looks as if the newly formed Sega Europe PR offices may have leaked some information well before time. According to sources on the internet Sega Europe have a rather impressive lineup for the coming months. Not only are titles announced, but also release dates. It must be stressed that this list isn't official with Sega Europe denying it's accuracy. Still, we can hope. Here's the PS2 titles.

    • Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (July)
    • Puyo Pop (August)
    • Altered Beast (October)
    • Initial D (October)
    • Headhunter 2 (October)
    • Sega Rally 3 (Q1 2004)
    • Mister Golf (Q1 2004)
    • Management Soccer (Q1 2004)

    Vivendi and Interplay have confirmed they will be releasing a sequel to the impressive Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The sequel should be out around the end of 2003 and will allow you to select from five customisable characters.

    Konami have confirmed that the PAL version of Zone of Enders 2: The Second Runner will include additional levels, new combat sequences and game modes not found in the NTSC (Japanese of American version). The game is currently expected to be released through Gamenation in September.

    Hudson have confirmed they will be releasing Bomberman Land 2 in Japan on July 10. There is no news on a PAL version yet.

    Review
    Space Channel 5: Part 2 is more of an extension to the original Space Channel 5 title then a total sequel. This game will once again have you transfixed as Ulala moves and dances accross the screen. Can you really pass this game up? Not likely. Here's the full review.

    Forums
    There have been some changes to the Future Gamez forums. Gone is the XBox section replaced with a much more relevant, and important, Playstation 3 topic. With well over 3000 posts (it's dropped due to removal of older and unwanted topics) the Forums are a place to ask questions and get answers. Click here to go to the forums and post a message.

March 23, 2003

    News
    Something which may be of interest to those keeping tabs of console exclusive titles may wish to note that LucasArts have canned the Gamecube version of RTX Red Rock. The game is currently set for release in May and is looking better by the day.

    Apparently developers Sony Bend (formerly Eidetic) are hard at work on a new Syphon Filter game called Syphon Filter Omega Strain. Most interestingly the game is being developed as an online title for both broad and narrowband PS2's in America, but will also include enough offline content to form a full game for those without Internet connections. The game is expected to hit the shelves in America in late 2003. A PAL release is still to be confirmed, but don't expect it until the online services start at the earliest.

    Review
    Sword of the Samurai, which is known as Kengo 2 in NTSC markets has just hit Australian shelves and Future Gamez is proud to bring you the worlds first review. Sword based games have become more popular in recent times. Does this game make the grade. Read the fukll review from Chrisg to find out.

    New Design
    Well, the work continues in tidying up the site and checking all links etc. If you have any problems I ask you to send me an e-mail to admin@futuregamez.net or drop a message into this thread in the Forums.

    Preview
    Silent Hill 3 is coming to the Playstation 2 earlier then expected with a May/June release date in PAL territories. This scariest game series ever is making a return to the Playstation 2 and looks better then ever. Konami are promising more gruesome monsters, more shocks and plenty of action. This is going to be one big game.

    Soul Calibur 2 finally has a publisher in PAL territories with Namco passing the duties to Electronic Arts. This latest preview includes not only the latest screenshots but also the latest details about this phenomenal looking game. With a release date still not pencilled in expectations are for an August/September release.

March 18, 2003

    New Design
    Well, as you can probably see there is a new design for the web site. There will still be much more work done in the coming weeks. This work includes removing all the old Dreamcast news, adding in a Letters Page, and a Contact page and a few other neat touches. One of the major additions, however, is that of a Search engine so you can search the site for keywords. I still have to change the titles of most pages and it takes a little time to get results, but it does search over 600 documents. Let me know what you think of these changes by e-mailing me at the usual address admin@futuregamez.net. Also, if you have any suggestion let me know via e-mail or in the Future Gamez Forums.

    While I would like to take credit for the re-design there was considerable work, including the graphics and menu, done by Dean Lillie. He works with me at Merrimac State High School and I ask any of you with possible web site work for him to contact him on the following address: swiss_cheeseman@thefreesite.com

    Review
    Contra: Shattered Soldier is one of those games that will have older gamers especially drooling in anticipation. The original game on Super Nintendo is still one of the most loved and cherished titles and is still regarded as one of the highlight of the 16-bit era. Rather then re-invent the game Konami have retained the 2D gameplay and beefed up the graphics, and difficulty. Check out the full review now.

March 15, 2003

    Games
    Just a quick note about Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc which is a very enjoyable title. UbiSoft has informed me that the game has a RRP of only $79.95, not $99.95. This is a great incentive to get out and buy this game as soon as possible.

March 14, 2003

    Games
    Electronic Arts sent out their latest schedule yesterday which contained a couple of new games to look out for on Playstation 2. June 23rd should see the release of Namco's action game, Dead To Rights which will be a modified (for the better) version of the Xbox game released in America last year. Total Club Manager 2004 will be released on October 13th. Somewhat surprisingly Electronic Arts have still not confirmed a date for Soul Calibur II which is expected around Q'3 2003. Perhaps an E3 announcement is looming on that one.

    Square has announced that they have shipped 1.8 million copies of Final Fantasy X-2 to retailers in Japan. The sequel to the hit Final Fantasy X still hasn't been announced for PAL territories but seems a certain given strong sales of the previous game.

    Review
    Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is due to hit retailers accross Australia today and is one of the most wanted platform games in recent years, and why shouldn't it be. The previous titles in the series were both stunning additions to the platform genre. With improved graphics, new enemies and new storyline this looks to be the best game in the series, but is it? Here's the full review.

    Personal
    A quick personal note. March 14th is a pretty big day in my family. Not only is it my dad's birthday but also my soon to be brother-in-law's. Happy Birthday guys!

March 12, 2003

    Games
    Capcom has today announced not one, but two new Onimusha titles for the Playstation 2. As announced at the end of Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny the series will continue to Onimusha 3. More interestingly Capcom have announced a spin off title called Onimusha Buraiden which is more like a 4-player battle in the vein of Power Stone. Onimusha Buraiden may be release in late 2003 while Onimusha 3 will be released in 2004.

    Capcom has also recently bought the rights to Resident Evil 5 on the internet. As yet there has been no announcement of the game, but considering they are working on Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube and Resident Evil Online for Playstation 2 it seems quite a way off still.

    Preview
    Matt "The Simpsons" Groening's Futurama was one of the best new cartoons in the 1990's. With some cleaver wit, fantastic characters and locations this series has gathered a large following. After being in development limbo for some time now SCi have finally released details and screens of their game. Fans of the cartoon are sure to enjoy this.

March 10, 2003

    Games
    SCi have confirmed that they have obtained the license to develop games based around the movie Reservoir Dogs. Here's the press release:

      SCi Games Limited (SEG), one of Europe’s leading publishers of computer games, today announces that it has acquired the interactive rights from Artisan Entertainment, Inc. to Reservoir Dogs. Originally released in 1992, ‘Reservoir Dogs’ received critical acclaim when it screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1991. The director was Quentin Tarantino who has since developed a cult movie following around the world.

      Reservoir Dogs is about a gang of six thugs using codenames, such as Mr Orange to protect their identities, who carry out an armed robbery in Los Angeles on a diamond store. But the plan starts to fall apart when the alarm is tripped and the cops show up within moments. Five of them manage to shoot their way out and make it back to a warehouse rendezvous where it becomes apparent that one of them is an undercover police officer - but which one?

      Reservoir Dogs will initially be released by SCi on Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. The game design will remain faithful to the original movie with gamers able to play all the key characters, including the infamous Mr Blonde. There will be the opportunity to take on the role of key policemen, plus take part in large multi-player games. As well as significant amount of combat action involved in the heist itself, which is described in the movie as a "bullet festival", the game will also include a number of highly charged driving escape sequences.

    Preview
    Chessmaster may not be the most exciting game for most people on the market but for those interested in chess this is noy just the only game on the market, but regarded as the best on the PC where there have been numerous titles over the years. This Playstation 2 port not only allows you to play the game, but also learn from one of the International Master of the sport in Josh Waitzkin . This game deserves consideration.

March 8, 2003

    Games
    UbiSoft has confirmed that Tom & Jerry: War of the Whiskers won't be released in Australia due to lack of demand. It was expected to be released sometime in February.

    UbiSoft have also confirmed that Scrabble, which was expected in the coming month, has been pushed back until September. The reason for the delay was a change of development teams part way through the project.

    Preview
    The Great Escape is one of the greatest movies of all time, and is finally being translated into a game. Pivotal Games, the developers of the rather impressive Conflict: Desert Storm have taken the reigns of this title and look to have a winner on their hands. Check out this early preview with screens and info.

March 5, 2003

    Games
    Take 2 have announced that sales of their hit game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have smashed through 8.5 million units. To put this in perspective at an average of $US50 per copy this game would have grossed $US425 million dollars which is more then the worldwide box office gross of Signs, Die Another Day or The Mummy.

    Naughty Dog's Jason Rubin has confirmed that Jak & Daxter 2 is in development and will be officially announced soon. The original Jak & Daxter is one of the best platform games ans a sequel was a no brainer. Expect more news soon.

    Preview
    Metal Gear Solid: SUBSTANCE is an expanded edition of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty with all-new game modes, hidden characters and storylines. The storyline remains pretty much the same as the original game (or else we would be playing Metal Gear Solid 3), but this game also includes over 500 new VR and alternate missions. This is one game, even owners of the original, will want to pick up. Here's a final preview before next months release.

March 3, 2003

    Games
    Electronic Arts have confirmed a new Medal of Honor game for release on the Playstation 2 in Q'3 2003. Titled Medal of Honor: Rising Sun the game is based in the Pacific theatre of war which saw the allies fighting the Japanese.

    Release Schedule
    A reminder to all that Future Gamez has the most up to date Australian Playstation 2 release schedule on the web. TO access this page simply click on the Previews link to the left. This list has been updated today with the latest dates.


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