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MAY 2004 NEWS

May 30, 2004

    Games
    Just a quick note to let everyone know that Gran Turismo 4: Prologue is in Australian stores now. It sells around the $60 mark, but for those of you not able to wait until November for Gran Turismo 4.

    Review
    Transformers is easily the most anticipated PS2 title in the first 6 months this year Transformers has turned out to be a visual tour de force, and the gameplay almost matches it! The game has been out for two weeks in Australian - and has been the number one game on sale here for both of those weeks - and deservedly so. Here's the full review.

May 27, 2004

    Games
    Namco has re-confirmed that Tekken 5 will be released in the arcades in 2004, with the PS2 exclusive title being released in 2005.

    Preview
    Battlefield Modern Combat was a surprise announcement prior to the E3 show this year. Electronic Arts are bringing their online combat game to the PS2, with support for up to 24 players online. The graphics are shaping up pretty well, and gameplay should be great. Check out the preview now.

    Playstation 3
    Sony chairman Nonuyuki Idei has hinted at a release date for Playstation 3 - although he never mentioned the device. He mentioned that Sony are concentrating on a successor to the PS2 (the Playstation 3) as primary product for CELL, with TV's incorporating the processor at a later time. Sony have stated in the past that CELL based products should appear by March 2006... makes it pretty clear really.

May 25, 2004

    Games
    Capcom have confirmed they will be releasing another Onimusha title before the end of 2004. At this stage no platform has been confirmed but the PSP is rumoured.

    Capcom have sold an extremely impressive 157,000 units of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the first day on sale in Japan on May 20.

    Review
    World Championship Rugby has been released for a couple of weeks now, but given a small thing called E3 the review go pushed back. Don't take that as a sign of a poor game - far from it! The Rugby World Cup may have been in 2003, but that isn't stopping Acclaim releasing this highly anticipated, and quite impressive, title from the makers of Jonah Lomu Rugby. Here's the full review.

    Preview
    Jak 3 is the latest platform game from Naughty Dog, the creators of Crash Bandicoot. Naughty Dog have indicated that this will be the last game in a Jak & Daxter trilogy with the story arc coming to an end. Even if you haven't played previous titles this looks great.

May 22, 2004

    Games
    One of the best looking games on XBox is Starbreeze Studios' The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay which received much praise from the E3 show. According to Computer & Video Games, however, development on a PS2 version has begun.

    Movies
    Sony Pictures have confirmed that they have the rights to make a movie based on The Getaway according to reports from Cannes Film Festival where The Getaway: Black Monday is being shown. Expect more details soon.

    Preview
    The Getaway: Black Monday was certainly one of the hot games at E3. When SCEE released The Getaway in 2002 it received wildly mixed reviews. Some people, including us at Future Gamez, loved the game despite some flaws, while others simply hated it. The developers at Team Soho have been working on this sequel for almost two years, and are promising many changes and improvements.

May 21, 2004

    Companies
    Sammy have confirmed they will be buying the remainder of Sega in a deal worth 165 billion yen ($AU2.1 billion) - effectively merging the gaming company into Sammy. Sammy will own over 75% of Sega, up from around 25% at the moment. This will occur on October 1st this year with Sega's development teams - Sega Wow, Sega AM2, Hitmaker, Sonic Team, Smilebit, Amusement Vision, and Digitalrex - being moved back under Sega's name. Sadly Sammy, with a focus on pachinko gambling machines may reduce Sega's R&D budgets dramatically in coming years. It's a sad day for Sega fans...

    Preview
    Athens 2004 is set for release in July this year, just in time for the Olympics in Greece. If you want to get into the olympic spirit then you only have one choice - Playstation 2. Sony have the rights to make a game based on the upcoming summer games and it looks good with some new control methods including dance mat!

    Games
    Could it be that PAL territories will be getting Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow before America. Seems like it with UbiSoft scheduling the release for June 10 in Europe (and presumably Australia) and Juen 18 in America. The game will include a new mission and more impressively perhaps the ability to listen to mission status reports through the USB headset.

    While with Ubisoft I thought I might mention a game which I've been playing lately which hasn't been previewed on this site, Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly. To me this is the most scary game I've played in years. Turn the lights off and the sound up and I guarantee it will scare the shit out of you and get the hair creeping along your back. Expect a review in the coming days, but trust me, this game has more atmosphere then the last 3 Resident Evil games combined.

    Take this as a rumour, and EA and Players Inc. are denying the story but news is surfacing that EA is paying Players Inc. $US250 million a year for the next four years to have exclusive rights to use real NFL players names and likeness in their games. This deal was first reported in The Sports Business Journal, a reputable publication in America. Update: This has just been confirmed as false with The Sports Business Journal offering a retraction. Still it makes you think... imagine if a company did snap up the exclusivity to the NFL, NBA, or NHL...

May 20, 2004

    Hardware Sales
    Sony has confirmed they have shipped their 100,000,000th Playstation console. This figure includes the originally release Playstation, and the remodelled PSOne release about 5 years ago. The Playstation 2 has already sold 70 million units in the 5 years since release. Want to take a guess how many Playstation games there are? I can tell you you're not even close. It's about 7,300 titles!

    Review
    Scooby Doo! Mystery Mayhem isn't based on the movies (thank god) but is based on the original comic books and cartoons. Chris is obviously a big Scooby Doo fan as he begged to review this title. In the end he found it to be quite suitable for the license as it turned out as a pretty good game, especially for the younger generation.

May 19, 2004

    Games
    I have just updated the Release Schedule and have added about 20 previews to the site from the E3 show. Check out the page now. Remember this page can always be accessed by clicking the link on the top of this news page, or the Previews link to the left. Expect plenty more updates in the coming days as distributers adjust their schedules with new games.

May 17, 2004

    Games
    The E3 show has passed and while many may be disappointed that the Playstation 3 wasn't shown, or even announced the PSP certainly made up for that. The games displayed were also very impressive, and numerous. Make sure you check out the link below for all the coverage with highlights including games such as Jak 3, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal and Battlefield Modern Combat on show for the first time. Over the next week you can expect a tonne of new and updated previews. Stay tuned.

May 11-15, 2004

    SPECIAL
    2004 E3 Show isn't just a gaming show, it's THE gaming show of the year. All the companies will have major announcements and Future Gamez will be covering it all, and offering a tonne of game previews with screens. Check out the link to the right to get all the news. Be aware that dial-up modem users may need to wait a minute for the page to load. Enjoy.

May 10, 2004

    Preview
    The Red Star is yet another comic book that is being turned into a video game, and this game one looks very exciting and action packed. Prepare for Contra meets Golden Axe in this very exciting game from Acclaim which is due around September 2004. Check out the preview now with the latest screens.

May 7, 2004

    Games
    Sony have announced Eye Toy: Chat which is essentially a communication service using the USB camera so you can video conference with friends. The package will also allow 256 people in a text chat or 16 in a voice chat and will be rounded out with three games Chess, Draughts and Naval War. No word yet on a price or release date in Australia.

    Review
    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 is a game that people have been waiting to get a hold of on PS2 for some time now. Allen has completed his second review for Future Gamez, this time it is UbiSoft's title. The port from XBox to PS2 has taken some time, was it worth it? Read the full review now to get the verdict.

May 6, 2004

    Games
    Namco has confirmed they will be showing Tekken 5 at this years E3 show. As yet no details have been released about the game. Another surprise game to be shown is Crisis Zone, a port of the arcade light gun game.

    According to an interview on Eurogamer Melbourne House have confirmed they will be working on a sequel to Transformers, one of the most keenly anticipated titles on PS2 in 2004. A PSP version is also a possibility.

    Preview
    Van Helsing is coming out in cinemas worldwide this wekend, and the game is also only weeks away in Australia. You control Van Helsing (played by Hugh Jackman in the cinemas) as you try to defeat all manner of evil including Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. It looks pretty good - very Devil May Cry-ish really albeit with simpler graphics. Check out the preview now.

May 5, 2004

    Games

      Ubisoft enters Square Enix’s exclusive circle of partners with an Australia/New Zealand publishing deal for STAR OCEAN TILL THE END OF TIME

      May 4, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, today announces the signing of an exclusive publishing agreement with Japanese video game producer, Square Enix, famous for its FINAL FANTASY franchise. Star Ocean Till the End of Time is slated for an Australian/New Zealand release on PlayStation 2 in Spring 2004.

      Alain Corre, Ubisoft’s managing director for Europe, Asia Pacific and South America, said “We are very proud that Square Enix, one of the best RPG creators in the world, chose Ubisoft as a publishing partner for the new opus of their mythic franchise Star Ocean. It is the very first time in this current generation of machines that this mythic brand will be introduced to Australian and New Zealand gamers and no doubt they’ll praise it as THE PlayStation 2 RPG game of the Year.”

      “We are very excited at the prospect of bringing such a strong title as Star Ocean Till the End of Time to the Australian and New Zealand public,” said John Yamamoto, president of Square Enix Europe. “This demonstrates our commitment to bringing an ever-greater range of quality titles to the PAL market.”

      Star Ocean Till the End of Time uses the same recipe for success as other Square Enix games such as FINAL FANTASY X-2, which adds an intense story to sublime graphics and engaging characters. All these ingredients and much more are gathered in Star Ocean Till the End of Time, offering beginners as well as RPG fans more than 60 hours of renewed pleasure in an original sci-fi universe. During the eventful quest started by two charismatic teenagers looking for their dear ones, every decision has an influence on the variable endings. The exceptional quality of the graphics owes a lot to the use of a new powerful 3D engine. This new feature enabled the creation of breathtaking environments and cut scenes and fantastic effects during battle, without the nuisance of long loading times. The dynamic battle system revolutionizes Japanese RPGs and gives an impressive pace to the game. Indeed, in Star Ocean Till the End of Time, players can fight real time battles and plan their strategy thanks to the absence of random fights and hidden enemies. They can even fight against each other thanks to the two-player battle mode. To add to the experience, Square Enix worked with talented Japanese composer Motoi Sakuraba (Star Ocean: The second Story, Valkyrie Profile) to create an original and immersive soundtrack, available in Dolby Surround sound system.

May 4, 2004

    Price Drop
    Sony has dropped the price of the PS2 in Australia. From May 2 the system will retail for $AU299.95 for a black system or $339.95 for a Silver system - a drop of $AU30 for each system. Both come with a bonus worth $AU100 including a DVD remote control and also a Platinum game from the following list; Final Fantasy X, The Getaway, Gran Turismo 3, Kingdom Hearts, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank , Tekken 4, WRC II Extreme.

    Games
    According to The Magic-Box Capcom has released first details of Devil May Cry 3 for PS2. The story takes place before the original Devil May Cry, in which Dante does not know about his true origin. Dante will be able to choose from a number of styles, such as gunslinger, swordmaster, trickster, royal guard and so on...

    Those of you looking for Star Trek: Shattered Universe in stores might want to wait a couple more days. According to Take Two the game is yet to ship. Unfortunately a date hasn't been set, although it won't be too far away.

    Review
    Sonic Heroes is one of the most hotly anticipated titles from Sega in years. Sonic Team are bringing Sega's mascot to the Playstation 2 for the first time. With teams of three characters to switch between during the levels the game offers something new. Does it work? Have Sega revived their mascot? Here's a full review.

May 2, 2004

    Games
    Codemasters have confirmed that they will be releasing Colin McRae Rally 2005 in Fall 2004. That means we should be seeing the game in Australia around Q'3 2004.

    Midway have apparently confirmed that they are making a sequel to The Suffering following predicted worldwide sales of 500,000 copies of the first game. I have just received a review copy of the first game and can say that all the fuss seems to be worth it. This is one exciting game. Expect a review in a couple of weeks.

    Preview
    Burnout 3 isn't just another racing game, it's the third in one of the most loved series' in recent years. Acclaim have lost the publishing duties on this title, but never fear as Electronic Arts are going to push Criterion's game to all new heights. With online gameplay not guaranteed this game will be awesome.

    Competition
    Thanks to all those people that entered the competition to win a copy of Atari Stuntman. All the entries are in and we here at Future Gamez are proud to announce the winner as... drumroll... Tom Smith. Congratulations, your game will be posted out ASAP. Once again, expect a new competition to online within days.


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