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APRIL 2003 NEWS
April 28, 2003

    Review
    Ape Escape 2 is one of those titles that defines a system as something different. Chris Gobbett has taken a look at this very Japanese styled platform game which has been given a lot of press, and soon a release in America. If you're after something different then Ape Escape 2 will almost certianly fit the bill.

    I'm Off
    Although I said that yesterday would be my last update Chris has just sent through a review to be posted. Now, I don't want you all to freak out over the coming two weeks, but I will be on my honeymoon. If I can I'll try to update a couple of times from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but if not you will hear from me the day I come back on May 11th.

April 27, 2003

    Games
    Well everyone knows how big an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan I am, but it has always upset me that his high action movies are rarely made into video games. Where is Total Recall? Where is True Lies? Where is Commando? Recently gamers were treated to the mediocre Terminator: Dawn of Fate which failed on almost every level. But Black Ops are now hard at work on Terminator 3 which is due in the second half of this year. The best news however is that the game will use the likeness and voice of Arnold himself. The game will also feature 5 minutes of video footage created exclusively for the game. Fortunately Black Ops, the developers of Terminator 3 had nothing to do with the previous title but have worked on hits such as Knockout Kings 2002 and X-Files: Resist or Serve.

    Sony have confirmed that they will be showing Gran Turismo 4 at the E3 show this year. There is still no word on damage being included in the game, but it will use an all new engine which would be a good time to implement it.

    Free Radical Design have confirmed that their next title will not be TimeSplitters 3 but rather another action game that has elements of stealth in it. While nothing else is known at this stage the skills of that development team should, at the very least, provide a game that looks stunning.

    According to IGN Mortal Kombat VI will possibly contain online gameplay. As yet there are no details about the game other then it's not expected until late 2004 at the earliest giving developers plenty of time to implement online gameplay if they decide to go ahead with it.

    Review
    Primal has been in development at Sony Europe for several years now. Thanks to the PS2 performance analyzer this third person adventure title looks and sounds absolutely stunning. But how well does the game hold up against other adventure titles and is it really worth spending your hard earned dollars on? Here's the full review with all the answers.

April 25, 2003

    Games
    According to reports surfacing on the Internet Ion Storm will not be releasing Deus Ex 2 on the Playstation 2. But it's not all bad however with rumours also surfacing that the Playstation 2 will get an entirely new game set within the Deus Ex universe. Expect to hear more in a couple of weeks at E3.

    Sega America have confirmed development of two new titles which will both be shown at the E3 show in late May. The first title is Vectorman which is being developed by Pseudo Interactive and is an action game with (as stated by SOA) "15 different weapons and 25 various upgrades as he strives to rescue the planet Gamma 6 from an evil Orbot known as Volt." The second game confirmed is Headhunter: Redemption the sequel to the under appreciated title on Playstation 2 a year or so ago. Once again Amuze have the development duties on the title.

    Level 5 have announced that work has begun on Dark Cloud 3 following success with the sequel which is still to be released in PAL territories. No details have been announced as yet.

    Sega of Japan has announced that their Sega AGES titles, Phantasy Star, Fantasy Zone, Monoco GP and Space Harrier will be released in Japan this August with a retail price fo 2,500 yen ($AU34). Each of the titles will have upgraded graphics and sound. Sega announced some time ago that these titles would be released in PAL territories although dates are to be confirmed.

April 23, 2003

    Games
    Koei has announced that Dynasty Warriors 4 will be release in Europe on June 27. The Australian release, although still to be confirmed, should be soon after that date. The game remains similar to previous games in the series and includes over 50 missions set accross 17 different maps. The game allows you to control 40 different characters and includes 8 different game modes for up to two players.

    According to Gamespot EA's latest title, NBA Street Vol. 2 includes a short video trailer for SSX 3 with a Fall 2003 (Q'3/4 2003) release date mentioned. This sequel is highly anticipated by gamers and the thought of hitting the slopes once more in EA Sports BIG's brand's best series is mouth watering. Expect to hear more at E3.

    Easily one of the best games of 2002 Insomniac Games Ratchet & Clank was a stunning platform game that has to be recommended. Although only hitting the shelves jsut prior to Christmas Sony America has confirmed that the sequel will be released a lot sooner then expected. In fact, the sequel will hit the shelves (in America at least) in November 2003.

    Review
    Devil May Cry 2 is one of the most anticipated sequels to hit the Playstation 2 this year. The original game was a phenomenal success in that it blended hardcore action with some difficulty a cool setting and storyline. This sequel is pretty much the opposite. Aimed at the mainstream, made too easy, seemingly out of place in architecture and a dull storyline.

April 20, 2003

    Wedding!!
    "This Party's Over"... Yep, the wedding has finished not 24 hours ago now and I can happily say that I am now a married man. My wife (damn that sounds wierd still) looked stunning and everything went splendidly apart from me saying that she would "be my husband" during the vows. Well, it certainly got everyone in a more lighthearted mood. It was great to see so many interstate people at the wedding. About half of the 60+ guests travelled more then 1000km to be with us. They either like us very much or were very bored at home - who knows?

    I would like to thank everyone for their very kind e-mails regarding this special occasion. As previously mentioned the number of updates will be reduced this week (although there has been some major news today regarding PS3: see below) and I will be on honeymoon from Sunday 27th but will try to update from a ship in the Pacific if possible. Once again, thanks.

    Playstation 3
    According the Japanese publication Electronic Design Chain, Sony's Ken Kutaragi has announced some surprising details about the Playstation 3 and has dropped a bombshell by saying that the Playstation 3 will not use the CELL processor which has been a joint venture between Sony, IBM and Toshiba. Apparently this new chip will not be ready for production until 2007, putting it outside the Playstation 3's expected launch window of 2005/6. Exactly what will take the place of CELL is unknown.

    Games
    Capcom has announced that it is canning development of 18 titles currently in the works due to losses of 19.5 billion yen (approx $AU280 million). The company currently has over 100 titles in development with poor sales of some titles resulting in re-evaluation. Biohazard 0 for the Nintendo GameCube was expected to sell 1.42 million copies but sold only 1.12 million. Devil May Cry 2 for the Sony PlayStation 2 sold 1.4 million copies instead of the expected 1.66 million while Clock Tower 3 (also PlayStation 2), sold 250,000 copies instead of the expected 450,000. The cancelation of 18 titles will cost the company $US41 million in one off losses, and no titles have been confirmed as canceled to date.

    Shiny and Infogrames have confirmed that Enter the Matrix has gone gold on Playstation 2 (and other systems) and will ship to stores on May 15, the same date that The Matrix Reloaded hits theatre screens accross the globe.

    Just a quick note to let Japanese gamers, and import fans, know that Metal Slug 3, the port of the classic Neo Geo title has been delayed from April 24th until an unspecified date.

    Forums
    Click here to go to the forums and post a message. Why? Because it's the easiest way to ask a question and get answers, be it about release dates, gameplay, or anything else. The forums were re-vamped recently - XBox topics removed etc. Get in there now and start posting some messages.

April 15, 2003

    Hot Damn!
    Well busy times are a coming. Today is April 15. In 4 days I will be getting married. Yes, gamers can find real women - you just have to stop playing with yourself for a while and hunt around. As you may have noticed the updates over the last couple of weeks have been slowing down a little. Not only has it been due to the lack of news worldwide, but also my extremely busy schedule. I'll be off on a honeymoon a week after the wedding so there won't be many, if any, updates until early May. But hey, the updates will continue for another week or so and any major news should be covered - possibly from a ship in the Pacific. Who knows. Before you start complaining I must point out that since this site started as Dreamcast Australia almost 5 years ago now (has it really been that long!) I haven't had more then a week off. Time for a real break me thinks.

    Games
    Take this one with a grain of salt, or a whole bucket of it, but when it comes to rumours about the next instalment in the Gran Turismo series it's well worth a listen. Over the last couple of days the rumours have been growing, and to date, not denials. Here is the news. Apparently Gran Turismo 4 will feature 2,000 cars, more than 100 tracks, and be fully compatible with the PS2 Network Adapter. The online racing will allow up to 8 people to compete and may even include use of the headset to chat to other racers. Remember this is all rumour but hopefully some of this news will be confirmed, or denied, at the E3 show in May. As for a release date. Once again a rumour: Late 2003.

    Hardware
    Sony Japan have confirmed a new Playstation 2 model will be released on May 15, 2003. Rather then just a couple of revisions to the design the new system has had a major upgrade in the ability to read from recordable DVD formats such as DVD-R, DVD-RW, R+, and RW+. The system will also have an Infra-Red port for the DVD control build onto the front of the system and support for Progressive Scan for DVD's for the premiere viewing experience. Other changes include a 30% less-noisy fan, and a 400g lighter weight than the original model. The system will however lose the IEEE 1394 Firewire Port however seeing as this hasn't been used yet it's no real loss. The system will retail for 25,000 yen (approx. $AU325) and while a PAL version hasn't been announced it may make an appearance later.

    Review
    NBA 2K3 is Sega's premiere basketball game has finally hit the shelves in Australia after a non-release for NBA 2K2 in PAL territories. This game is very much a simulation of the sport, and easily the best ever seen. Check out the review of NBA 2K3 now, you shouldn't be disappointed with this title - despite the lack of online gameplay.

April 8, 2003

    PS2 Bundle
    Sony Australia has announced a new bonus for people buying a Playstation 2 console. As well as the free game offer (which allows you to chose from Ratchet & Clank, WRC II Extreme, Kingdom Hearts, The Getaway, or Sly Raccoon for free) can also pick up an Entertainment Pack for $AU39.95 at the same time. This pack includes My Big Fat Greek Wedding DVD, Top Ten Hits of the Eighties Music DVD, Columbia Movie DVD Sampler, DVD Remote Control, Three Blockbuster Rental Vouchers, Official PlayStation 2 Mini Magazine. An excellent deal well worth picking up if you see it.

    Games
    Sony has announced that both Gran Turismo: Tokyo-Geneva and Final Fantasy X will be the latest games to hit the Platinum range with a pricepoint of $AU49.95. Both games should hit the shelves at the lower pricepoint this week.

    In addition to the above titles Electronic Arts have lowered the price of SSX Tricky and Bond: Agent Under Fire to $AU49.95.

    Review
    Splinter Cell has been the topic of much debate over the last couple of months. Much has been said of Microsoft's insistence that the XBox version be released prior to Christmas last year, and indeed the game sold extremely well and gave the console a massive boost. But the extra 5 months development time has done wonders for the Playstation 2 game. Not only has the game been ported faithfully, but also has an extra mission, better controls, and over 30 minutes of cut-scenes to tell the story. Here's the full review.

April 6, 2003

    Games
    Those of you eagerly awaiting Reflections Driver 3 will be waiting quite a bit longer as the company has announced a delay from late 2003 until Q'2 2004 for the title in America, and ultimately PAL territories.

    THQ has renamed Rainbow Studios' Splashdown 2 to Splashdown Rides Gone Wild. The game is expected to be released in Australia in the second half of 2003.

April 2, 2003

    April Fools
    Well I had some interesting e-mails with some people even asking if I had any screens of the Neighbours game. Alas, it was my attempt at an April Fools that tricked more people then I expected. One year I may actually have to put some effort into it.

    Review
    TAZ Wanted has taken a long time to review, mainly due to the fact I unknowingly dropped the game behind my cabinet which I only moved a couple of weeks ago. Chrisg has been kind enough to whip up a detailed review about the game. If you have kids or like Warner Brothers cartoons then you may want to check this out.

April 1, 2003

    Games
    It appears as if movie/TV game tie-ins have reached new lows. According to a press release send out earlier today development has begun on a game based on the hit TV show Neighbours. While there is no mention of the gameplay in the press release it wouldn't be far fetched to see a lot of inspiration coming from EA's magnificent, The Sims. The game is currently being developed on PC and Playstation 2 and is expected to hit the shelves in late 2003. It will be most interesting to see how well this game is received by female gamers. Here's the press release:

      DEVELOPMENT BEGINS ON NEIGHBOURS(TM) GAME
      One of Australia's most loved TV shows is headed to a PC and console near you. Utilising the latest in 3D technology Neighbours(TM) will allow you to enter the lounge rooms of your favourite families and alter their lives. Not only can you play with todays characters, but also classics such as Jim Robinson, Helen Daniels, Ms Mangle and even Bouncer make an appearance. Development on the title commenced in mid-2002 with completion projected in the second half of 2003. Expect more details soon.

    One game that I haven't managed to do a preview of, but has just hit the shelves for the slightly lower RRP of $AU79.95, is Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. I'm a massive fan of the movies and this Theme Park inspired game looks pretty how. But even more notable is that that the game has been developed right here in Australia by Blue Tongue, and that deserves a mention. Well done on shipping the product guys.


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