NOVEMBER 2003 NEWS
November 29, 2003
November 27, 2003
The PSX, which combines a Playstation 2 with DVD burner will be released in Japan on December 13th this year. The top model, which inlcudes a 250GB HDD, will cost a little over $AU1000 which is superb value given that most DVD burners only come with a 40GB HDD. No word yet on when, or even if, the system will make it to Australia.
Zone of Enders: The Second Runner is possibly the best mech game released on Playstation 2. Indeed Chris has been playing and enjoying this recently released mecha combat game from Hideo Kojima (he's the one that makes a little game called Metal Gear Solid). Here's a review of his latest stunning title.
November 25, 2003
There is a god, who just needs to look down and smile upon Australia. Confirmed this week is the news that publishers Conspiracy Games will be bringing Sega's 3D Ages games to Europe, which includes 14 titles at this stage. The first five games due in Q'1 2004 include Fantasy Zone, Golden Axe, Monaco GP, Phantasy Star and Space Harrier. We can only hope these titles, which haven't been selling as well as expected in Japan with only 10,000 sales each or less, will still make it to Australia. I'll be first in line.
Sony Europe has confirmed they have sold 150 million units of software on the Playstation 2 in Europe. This is since the console launch on November 24, 2000.
Pro Evolution Soccer 3 had over a million pre-orders in Europe, and with the series becoming well known for quality gameplay this game promises to be the greatest in the series to date. While there is no online gameplay the 8-player multitap support goes a long way to ensuring a fun title. Here's a full review of Konami's stunning soccer game.
November 22, 2003
ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT, INC. INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES ‘WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RUGBY’ FOR PLAYSTATION 2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, XBOX AND PC
Hard-hitting bone-crunching, high-impact arcade rugby from the developers of Jonah Lomu Rugby is set to kick the competition into touch in March 2004.
London, UK, November 21, 2003 – Acclaim Entertainment International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ.SC: AKLM), today announced World Championship Rugby for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, Xbox and PC. The game is being developed by Swordfish Studios, one of the UK's respected independent game development studios. Based in Birmingham and with over 10 year’s development experience, the team was responsible for one of the most critically acclaimed rugby video games – Jonah Lomu Rugby.
“World Championship Rugby will set the new benchmark for rugby games,” commented Larry Sparks, Vice President, Marketing, Acclaim International. “The same highly talented development team, still together under Swordfish Studios, was responsible for creating one the greatest rugby games of all time. Since that original game the studio has received countless requests from gamers wanting a follow-up. I’m quite sure that fans of the original will be delighted to hear that the team is now committed to delivering the most compelling, hard-hitting, highly playable rugby game for next generation systems and PC. It will be a game that really delivers what they want - a game that’s so real it hurts!”
“It’s great to be working with a publisher that genuinely shares our passion for the game and we are really looking forward to working with them,” commented Trevor Williams, Managing Director, Swordfish Studios. “We really enjoyed developing the original Jonah Lomu game; but with our cutting-edge technology, designing a rugby game for next-generation consoles is even more exciting. We are totally focused on ensuring World Championship Rugby delivers on our promise to give gamers and fans the best rugby game yet.”
World Championship Rugby will be released in March 2004 for the PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System, Xbox and PC. Further information and screenshots can be found at www.worldchampionshiprugby.com.
SSX3 is one of those game that you just know is going be great. After playing the game for hours, and hours, and hours, its safe to say that the best snowboarding game just got better. EA Canada have put a lot of new features, including online gameplay, into this game and the results are stunning. Here's the full review.
November 20, 2003
Sega America has confirmed that work on their updated Vectorman has been stopped. Work on Altered Beast is continuing for a 2004 release.
Atari Australia has confirmed that both Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and ESPN NBA 2K4 has been pushed back a week until December 5th.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is possibly the best platform game ever! I certainly think this is the best on Playstation 2. With some fantastic action and puzzles this game will have you hooked. Developed at UbiSoft Montreal this game also has some stunning visuals and sound which help add to the atmosphere. Here's the full review of this stunning title.
November 15, 2003
Sorry about the lack of updates over the last week or so. Both Chris and I have had Uni exams and I had my grandmothers 80th Birthday with relatives coming from all over Australia. But that is all over now and we have a tonne of reviews lined up for the coming weeks, and some of the biggest titles will be reviewed over the coming days including EA's SSX3, UbiSoft's Prince of Persia The Sands of Time and Zone of Enders 2. Stay tuned.
Sony has delayed the release of their highly anticipated Destruction Derby Arenas from November until January 9th, 2004. No reason has been given for the delay.
Click here to get the latest release schedule which was updated today with over 30 additions and changes. If you're after any previews that the page to have a look at too. Enjoy.
November 12, 2003
Electronic Arts has announced that they will publish Namco's Spawn Armageddon in PAL territories. The third person action title is expected to be released in March 2004. Meanwhile Namco have confirmed a track by Marilyn Manson, "Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth" will be used in the game.
Midway have renamed their upcoming ESPionage to Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. The game has also been pushed back from Q'3 2003 to May 2004 and promises to be a great action/adventure title.
Interplay has confirmed that Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II won't be ready for release until January 2004 in America. The game was expected to hit the shelves in time for Christmas. It is believed the fallout with publishers Vivendi has caused the delay. No word yet on a PAL release date sadly.
According to PSM Naughty Dog are already hard at work on Jak III for Playstation 2, and a version of the game for Sony's upcoming PSP.
SWAT Global Strike Team is yet another realistic tactical simulation game. In recent years, particularly due to more powerful consoles, tactical action titles have become unbelievably detailed and more realistic. This game, from Argonaut, looks good and promises as much. Check out the preview before the December release through Vivendi.
November 9, 2003
Confirmation today that Sonic Team's Sonic Heroes has indeed been delayed in PAL territories. While Japan gets the game on December 30, and America in early January PAL gamers will have to wait until February 6th to get their hands on the game.
Atari have also confirmed that Legacy of Kain: Defiance has been delayed from December 5th to January 2004.
The Sims: Bustin' Out is about to be released in Australia, and for fans of the series this will be another must have purchase, those that haven't indulged in The Sims could do worse the check out this title. It has only been a year since the last Sims game was released on the Playstation 2, but this sequel to the life sim promises som massive improvements, including online gameplay. Check out the preview now.
November 8, 2003
Sony Japan have announced that they expect to sell 300,000 copies of Gran Turismo 4: Prologue in Japan when it's releasd just prior to Christmas. The full game is expected to sell around ten times this amount when it's released in 2004.
Is Sonic Heroes going to be delayed or not. Slated for a December 5th release in PAL territories Sonic Team has just announced a release date slip in Japan from December 18 to December 30 to polish the title. Even though the Japanese date has been set at December 18 for some time now Atari Australia has remained firm on a December 5th PAL release. Want to throw some more confusion in. Sega America has been touting a late January release for the game. Expect confirmation/clarification soon.
Although PS2 sales have slowed down in Japan and America (but still well ahead of the XBox and Gamecube) Europe has become a shining light for Sony. Sony Europe has confirmed that sales of the PS2 have increased 25% from sales figures a year ago.
November 7, 2003
This is a somewhat shocking turn of events but it looks like Sony America has blocked the release of Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon in the States. Dreamcatcher Interactive simply issued a statement saying "Sony did not approve the software for publishing in North America". Perhaps the game required too much thinking, oh no wait, perhaps it wasn't based on a sport, oh no even better it wasn't up to the quality of Charlie's Angels or Frogger: The Great Quest which the American's released. Fortunatley Sony Europe has a lot more sense and this excellent looking adventure title will be relase on November 14th through THQ.
Sony America have set a new record with the most players in a single game simultaneously. The game is SOCOM II (which should be released in PAL territories in mid-2004) and the servers logged 22,000 people playing at the same time. This compares to a peak of 14,500 for the first SOCOM: US Navy Seal's in America. Considering SOCOM II was only released on November 4 (2 days ago) it's possible that these numbers will be shattered again soon.
It looks like Interplay and Vivendi Universal have patched up their relationship meaning that Vivendi will once again be distributing Interplays titles through to August 2005.
Ghost Hunter comes from the same development studio (Studio Cambridge) that brought us Primal, one of the best looking games on PS2 to date. This time this you are hunting ghosts and with some stunning graphics and solid gameplay this is almost certain to be a winner. Check this out now!
November 5, 2003
Electronic Arts Australia has confirmed that Square't highly anticipated RPG, Final Fantasy X-2 will be released in Australia on February 23, 2004. The game was released in Japan on March 13th and has sold well over 2 million copies and has just been confirmed as hitting America in late November this year, several weeks before the expecte December date.
Looks like gamers can relax as Robert Crais has dropped his lawsuit against Activision to stop the release of True Crime: Streets of LA. In an official statement Mr Crais has outlined the reasons. Click here to read the full statement.
Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown is an update to the classic game from the 1980's. With improved visuals and more detail, but essentially the same gameplay this is certain to please fans of the original. With a release due in November there isn't much time until the release but here's a preview.
November 3, 2003
Square Enix have confirmed a delay for Final Fantasy XII. The game was expected to be released by March 31st 2004 in Japan however the company has confirmed it will be delayed until after this date. The re-release of Dragon Quest V has been brought forward to Q'1 2004. Still Square Enix have cut their expected profits by around 25% for the year.
UbiSoft have confirmed they have picked up the publishing rights to Playboy: The Mansion in Europe. The game, which is expected to be released in Q'3 2004, is a simulation of Hugh's mansion and lifestyle (Damn, that reminds me I missed him on Rove last night!!).
Sony America has confirmed that Eye Toy: Play has been released stateside at last. It will be interesting to see how the sales stack up against the million-selling European title. Also remember that Eye Toy: Groove is set to hit PAL territories around mid-November.
Sony has confirmed that they are developing a new Media Processor to run in parallel to the CELL processor in Playstation 3. No performance specs have been announced as yet.
Sony Japan has confirmed a price drop for the Playstation 2 from 24,800 yen to 19,800 yen from November 13th. The colour of the console will also be changed from black to midnight black.
Atari has confirmed the closure of one of Microprose's studios, Hunt Valley. Employing around 35 people the studio was responsible for the D&D Heroes games of late.
Another sad note today with Mucky Foot, the developers behind Startopia has closed its doors. The company was working on a game based on the movie Bulletproof Monk for Empire.
True Crime: Streets of LA is the latest game from Activision, looks set to become the Vice City of 2003. Plenty of action, great car chases and wonderful missions will make this a winner. Oh, Snoop Dogg is in it too! Check out the preview of this awesome looking title now, then go and pre-order it.
November 1, 2003
Well it looks like Sony Europe has confirmed that Siren, the extremely horrifying Japanese developed game, will be coming to Europe in March 2004. The game has been renamed to Forbidden Siren and SCEE has put up site at this URL although there isn't anything to see yet (well, wiggle your mouse around a bit quickly). Expect more news soon.
Recently Sony Japan announced Gran Turismo 4 Prologue for release on December 4th for 2,980 yen ($AU39). The game is essentially a large demo with around 20 cars and 4 tracks. Unfortunately the game won't be released in Europe or America, although Sony America are now apparently 'evaluating' the potential for a release. The full Gran Turismo 4 is expected to be released on February 29 next year. Luckily it's a leap year!
EA Sports Cricket 2004 could be the most anticipated Playstation 2 title in Australia this year. If sales of the 2002 title are any indication then this will be massive. At last Electronic Arts Australia have announced details and provided screens for this highly anticipated sports title. The list of options and extras is very impressive and this title must be checked out ASAP.
According to reports on the Internet Take Two have confirmed that the next Grand Theft Auto will appear on the Playstation 2 in Q'4 2004. Only 12 months to go...
Activision have confirmed that rap superstar Snoop Dogg will be an unlockable character in their upcoming game, True Crime: Streets of LA. After unlocking him you will be able to cruise around the streets solving crimes. I wonder if that will include drug busts?
Sony Europe has confirmed sales of over 1 million units of Eye Toy: Play. Damn, still have to review that title too. Needless to say it's an exceptional party game and is highly recommended.
Take Two has confirmed that sales of Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have topped 20 million units worldwide. Presumably this includes both PS2 and PC sales.
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