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SEPTEMBER 2004 NEWS

September 30, 2004

    Manhunt Banned!
    Well, it's happened and to be honest it's somewhat unsurprising. The OFLC's Review Committee has overturned the MA15+ rating given to Manhunt and has given the game a Refused Classification rating meaning it can no longer be sold, rented, advertised or exhibited here in Australia. What is really sad is that this review most likely came about due to the uproar over the murder of a teenager in the UK in which Manhunt was mentioned as a cause. It would be interesting to find out if the Western Australian Minister, Michelle Roberts, has ever played the game, or seen it. I told you last week to be quick and snap up the game if you wanted it. Here's the press release...

      29 September 2004
      NEWS RELEASE
      Manhunt refused classification upon review.

      A four-member panel of the Classification Review Board has determined, in a majority 3 to 1 decision, that the computer game entitled Manhunt be refused classification.

      Refused Classification means the game cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia. Any existing stocks of this game held by retailers must be removed from shelves immediately.

      In the Classification Review Boardís opinion, the game warrants a refusal of classification because it contains elements beyond those set out in the classification guidelines and legislation for a computer game at the MA15+ classification.

      Specifically, it contains some depictions of high impact, as well as scenes of blood and gore that go beyond strong. It also contains a high impact theme.

      The Classification Review Board convened to review the MA15+ classification of the computer game in response to an application from the Attorney-General, on the request of the Western Australian Minister with censorship responsibilities, Michelle Roberts, Minister for Justice.

      In reviewing the classification, the Classification Review Board worked within the framework of the National Classification Scheme, applying the provisions of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games.

      The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. It meets in camera to make a fresh classification decision when applications to review classification matters previously determined by the Classification Board are made.

      The Classification Review Boardís reasons for this decision will appear on the OFLC website when finalised.

    Preview
    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 is almost ready to be released. The most realistic military game is heading back to PS2 for a second battle. This game looks sharp, includes online gameplay and may be the best military game this year.

September 29, 2004

    Review
    Mashed was released a couple of weeks ago now after SuperSonic completed development. From the developers of Micro Machines 2 comes this all-new racing game with 4-player support. This is a great title and if you have friends over playing games often it's well worth purchasing.

September 28, 2004

    Games
    Midway have confirmed that Fear & Respect is in development for Playstation 2 and will be released in late 2005. The game is a third person action title set in Los Angeles with movie director John Singleton colaborating on the project. Paramount Pictures has already snapped up the film rights.

    SCi has confirmed that they have grabbed the rights to Highlander, the 1980's movie starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery.

    Review
    Def Jam Fight For NY wasn't previewed on this site, but don't let that put you off. Electronic Arts have just released the sequel to Def Jam Vendetta and vastly improved the game in almost every regard. The graphics are awesome, the fighting intense and, for once, the storyline engrossing. This is a great title for hip-hop and fighting fans. Here's a full review.

September 27, 2004

    Games
    The Tokyo Game show had another big surprise, this time for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Apparently a new mode titled "Monkey & Snake" in which Snake has to battle the Monkey's from Sony's Ape Escape titles. In return Snake will apparently appear in Sony's next Ape Escape title.

    Take Two have released a rather nice new trailer for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The trailer, which has Guns N' Roses Welcome to the Jungle playing the background, shows a variety of scenes from the game. Check it out at the official site.

    Review
    Terminator 3: Redemption is a game that Atari will be hoping can resurrect the Terminator brand after a couple of abysmal titles. Even the price of this game (it's selling for only $46.95 through Games Warehouse) should get you interested. Fortunately a budget price doesn't mean a dodgey game. In fact, this is a ripper. Check out the full review now.

September 26, 2004

    Games
    Atari has confirmed that Pro Evolution Soccer 4 will be release several weeks earlier then expected here in Australia (and other PAL territories) on October 15. Only 3 weeks to go...

    Special Deal
    There's a special deal from our sponsors Games Warehouse for those of you wishing to purchase V8 Supercars 2. Not only are they selling the game for only $92.95 (plus P&H) which is $7 below RRP, but those who pre-order the game will also get a bonus Holden Racing Team keyring. Click on this link to have a look and pre-order this title through our sponsor. With Gran Turismo 4 no longer including online racing, this game looks like it will become the next online racing game of choice.

    Many of you have e-mailed me to say that the links to Amazon and Games Warehouse have not been working. I want to thank you for letting us know and for (trying to) support Future Gamez. Some idiot (most likely me - Dave) messed up the code but it should be fixed now. Please use the links at the top of previews and reviews to buy items if you want them as it helps fund this site. Thanks.

    Preview
    WWE Smackdown Vs Raw is certainly one of the most anticipated titles this year and THQ with developers Yukes are going all out to make this game vastly superior to previous titles. With online gameplay now confirmed gamers will be able to compete against the best around the globe. This preview includes the latest screenshots, the complete wrestler roster and a host of other information. Check it out now.

September 25, 2004

    Games
    The Tokyo Game Show is on this weekend and naturally it's packed with all sorts of announcements and confirmations so expect plenty of updates over the weekend. The biggest news to date relates to Gran Turismo 4. Firstly, SCE confirmed that the game will hit all territories before Christmas - Japan on December 3, America and Europe on December 14, although they also said "will be trying to hit that date". In order to meet these dates however Sony have had to remove the online gameplay. Yes, this game will not include the 6-player online racing as expected, however LAN support will still be included apparently. Gamers can take some consolation from the fact that Sony are working on an online version for release at a later date. On a brighter note the game is confirmed to include 650 cars and 50 tracks. Those 50 tracks can also be reversed making around 100 tracks to race on! A new mode of play "B-Spec" allows gamers to tune the cars to perfection and then send them onto the track where you can watch the computer control your car to see how it performs. Interesting! Expect a massively updated preview in the coming days...

    Capcom have announced a new game Demento. The action game sees you player the role of Fiona who is trying to escape from a castle in cooperation with a dog.

    Namco's Death By Degrees, which stars Nina Williams of Tekken fame, has been given a Japanese release date of January 27, 2005.

    SNK Playmore have confirmed they are making a 3D version of Metal Slug for release around Q'2 2005 in Japan.

    Getaway: Black Monday has been given a MA15+ rating in Australia meaning there won't be any cuts to the game, unlike the original. You may remember that The Getaway was Refused Classification here in Australia until a torture scene, of only a few seconds, was removed. Getaway: Black Monday is due out here in November 12.

    Preview
    The Urbz: Sims in the City is the latest game from Maxis, the developers of The Sims and Sim City, and, as you can imagine, it follows a similar style, but this game is set in urban areas with a lot more street cred and looks wonderful. This preview has the latest screenshots and information.

    Hardware
    Sony has confirmed that their upcoming Portable system, the PSP will include support for MP3 playback as well as the H.264/AVG video format - the latest compression format.

    I recently asked Sony Australia about the pricing for the revised Playstation 2 and they replied with the following comment: "At this stage, there's no set RRP, however it will be priced comparitively to the current model." Doesn't really help much but it may not be significantly cheaper then the current model. Time will tell. Another thing to note, and it's not clear from the pictures the other day is that the unit has a flip-top DVD drive, much like the original Playstation. There is not a CD/DVD eject drawer.

September 24, 2004

    Games
    Still no word on Manhunt and if it will be banned here in Australia. A word of advice, if you want it buy it now. Remember it's available at GamesWarehouse.com.au.

    According to GameSpot Take Two America has confirmed it is in negotiations to purchase Juiced from Juice Games following Acclaim's bankruptcy. As Gamespot reports "Under the terms of the proposed deal, which was first revealed in the New York Daily News, Take-Two would pay $8.125 million for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 rights for Juiced, and could pay up to $1.875 million in royalties if the game sold well." The deal will not be finalised until September 30 and there is a chance another company may still snap it up. If all goes well though we could see the game by Christmas.

    Preview
    Spyro: A Hero's Tail is probably a game that won't be on the top of most gamers lists, unless you're under 15 or so. Spyro's back, and he's brought some friends. This game looks better then ever before and younger gamers will love this game without a doubt - but so should older gamers. Here's a preview including the latest screens.

September 22, 2004

    Playstation 2 Hardware
    As strongly rumoured last week the Playstation 2 has been re-designed. Sony's press release has all the details including an Australian ship date of October 29 - but no price has been confirmed as yet. What is also interesting is that the unit will obviously be too small to include a Hard Drive, and that Sony at no stage have referred to the unit as a PSTwo. They had trademarked this name some time ago, but don't appear to be using it. Anyway here's the press release...

      PlayStation 2 Gets New Look
      Smaller, Slimmer and Network Ready

      Sydney, 21 September 2004 - Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust.) today announced that a new look PlayStation 2 will become available in Australia on 29 October 2004.

      New Look PlayStation 2 images available at: http://au.playstation.com/newlook. (Note: I have made the images smaller for you to look at - click to get slightly larger. The originals were over 4MB in size - Dave)

      While inheriting the basic functions and design philosophy of the current PlayStation 2, the internal architecture has been completely redesigned, resulting in a slimmer and more lightweight design. Internal volume has been reduced by 75%, weight has been halved, and thickness trimmed down to 2.8 cm (thickness of current model is 7.8 cm). Equipped with an integrated Ethernet port for network gaming, the new PlayStation 2 sets new standards in the fusion of design and functionality.

      Since its launch in November 2000, PlayStation 2, now in its fifth year has reached a consumer installed base of over 1.25 million units in the Australian market. The exciting new design, combined with the success of recent peripheral innovations [EyeToy, SingStar] will position PlayStation 2 for even greater success over the next half of its life.

      The new design PlayStation 2 will be supported by a line-up of exciting and innovative new titles, scheduled for launch in time for the peak Christmas period.

      There are over 800 game titles already available for PlayStation 2, and many more scheduled for launch before the end of the year, including SCEE published titles such as Gran Turismo 4, Getaway: Black Monday, Singstar Party, EyeToy* Play 2 and Killzone, and over 150 more titles from leading third party publishers.

      Commenting at the launch of the new design, Michael Ephraim, Managing Director SCE Aust. / New Zealand said, "We did it for PlayStation and now this time for PlayStation 2. This totally redesigned, network ready model demonstrates the design flair and innovation that has made PlayStation the world's best loved and most successful games console. We are confident that the combination of the stunning new PlayStation 2 design and great Christmas software line-up will encourage a whole new generation of consumers to experience the fun of PlayStation".

    Games
    Some people have been asking me following the review of Madden NFL 2005 if Sega's ESPN titles will be coming to Australia. I can confirm that they will, through Take Two, but as yet the company has not set firm release dates. Expect more news, including confirmation of online gameplay and release dates hopefully by the end of the week.

    As yet there is still no word from the OFLC about the appeal to ban Manhunt here in Australia, almost a full year after release. The appeal was held on Monday - as soon as we get more news it will appear here on this site.

    Preview
    Two updated previews today with new screenshots and the latest information. The first is the highly anticpated DragonBall Z Budokai 3 which is looking more impressive every month and may actually do justice to the series at last.

    The second updated preview is that for Sony/Sucker Punch's Sly 2: Band of Thieves. The first game was superb and this game looks even better. Check out the preview now.

September 21, 2004

    Games
    A quick search on the OFLC web site has confirmed that Vivendi's Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude has been Refused Classification here in Australia. This decision, made on September 9th, means the title can not go on sale unless it is revised a re-submitted for review or appealed. Today I asked Vivendi for comment with Colin stating the following:

      Canít provide too much detail except that the sex/nudity content did not fit within current OFLC guidelines. We are reviewing possible changes to the code, depending on what the options are, will make a decision on whether we will be releasing locally or not. There are no plans at this moment to appeal.

    Review
    Madden NFL 2005 is available now, and sadly still lacks online gameplay for PAL territories. Having said that EA Sports, even with the best NFL video games, isn't content to update rosters on a yearly basis. This year they have totally redone the defensive gameplay, and redone the game AI making is much more realistic - if that was possible. Is this game worth your money? Read the review to find out.

September 20, 2004

    Review
    Star Wars Battlefront is one of the most anticipated titles set in the Star Wars universe for years. For online gamers this is a no brainer, you must buy this game. Casual offline gamers and/or Star Wars fans will also find much to enjoy in this impressive title which finally sees large scale battles with hundreds of characters in the battles.

September 19, 2004

    Games
    According to Sony Japan's website Gran Turismo 4 has been delayed from Fall (Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere) to Winter. As yet it is unknown if this will cause delays to the US or PAL version which are currently expected in November.

    One of the games we are really looking forward to getting our hands on here at Futuregamez is Eidos' upcoming Get on Da Mic, essentially a karaoke game with rap music. Although the final game will include some 40 music tracks Eidos have confirmed 10 of those, and its an impressive list already. The tracks are:

      Rapper's Delight - Sugar Hill Gang
      Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
      Don't Believe the Hype - Public Enemy
      Push It - Salt-n-Pepa
      Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang - Dr.Dre
      Dear Mama - Tupac Shakur
      Gin and Juice - Snoop Dogg
      Still Ballin' (Nitty Remix)" - Tupac Shakur
      The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
      Posse on Broadway - Sir Mix-A-Lot
      Straighten it Out - Unknown

    One of the most anticipated games this month was released a week early yesterday, Capcom's Resident Evil: Outbreak. Look for it in stores now.

    Rumour Mill
    Those of you that have been following this site for some years might remember the little bird that used to drop in with rumours... Well he's back - or at least I think it's him - he's grown into a bloody big pelican so he's not that little any more. Anyway onto the rumour. Next Tuesday Sony Japan will be holding a strategy conference. Ken Kutaragi will be outlining Sony's plans for the next half year - and the rumour is that there's a new console in the wings... an updated Playstation 2 (possibly PSTwo) - possibly for launch by Christmas! There were rumours that the PSTwo was to be announce at E3, but that obviously never materialised. We'll know on Tuesday if its true or not. If not, well pelican for dinner here!

    Preview
    Need for Speed Underground 2 is coming out in a couple of months so time for a look to see what's on offer. If you've already purchased the stunningly awesome Burnout 3 (you don't even need to read the upcoming review to buy that one let me assure you) and checked out the options you would have seen a demo of EA's next racing game. It's looking pretty sweet, with plenty of style.

September 17, 2004

    Games
    Square-Enix have confirmed a new game called Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. The RPG is set one year after the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children the upcoming CG movie, and a sequel to the PSOne game. The main character is Vincent Valentine. Expect more news in the coming months prior to the unspecified 2005 Japanese release.

    Capcom have confirmed that Shadow of Rome has been delayed from November 2004 until Q'1 2005 in America due to crowded market conditions. While the PAL release hasn't been confirmed we can expect it sometime after the American release.

    Take this as a rumour at this stage but according to Famitsu Sega are preparing to release Sega Rally Championship 2005 on the PS2 sometime next year.

    Review
    Shellshock Nam '67 is the first of three Vietnam war games to be released within weeks of each other on the Playstation 2. This game is highly anticipated mainly due to the developer, Guerilla Games, who are working on Sony's big Christmas shooter Killzone. Is this first game from the Dutch developer a winner? Read the review to find out.

September 15, 2004

    Games
    There is a god. Well at least that's what cricket fans will be saying with Codemasters confirming they will be releasing a new Brian Lara Cricket game after five years with no new versions. This will be great news for cricket fans with Electronic Arts not releasing another cricket game this year. The Codemasters title is expected to be released in (English) Summer 2005 - so around mid next year. The game is being co-developed by Codemasters and Swordfish Studios.

    Sega has officially announced Super Monkey Ball Deluxe for Playstation 2 (and XBox). The game will include 300 stages. 114 from the original Super Monkey Ball, 140 from Super Monkey Ball 2, and 46 new levels. All the mini-games from the Gamecube titles will also be ported. The game will be released in early 2005, but according to reports will also be released at a lower pricepoint ($29.95 in America or approximately $AU43).

    Some people have been asking me about Shellshock Nam 67 which was released last week, two weeks prior to the scheduled release, and if the game has been cut for the Australian release. Here's the official comment from Eidos, the publishers:

      With regards to Shellshock, nothing has been taken out. We had to represent to the board and explain how some of the more contentious areas of the game were in fact in context and justifiable by actual history. So now Australians get to play the same game as Europe, NZ and America.

    Preview
    Resident Evil Outbreak is coming out here in Australia in a little under two weeks now. While the game won't include any online gameplay as it does in Japan and America, but the offline mode looks pretty impressive. Check out the preview with screens and info for this impressive title from Capcom.

September 13, 2004

    Games
    Sony has announced their two big games. The first is called Genji and appears to be an action game where you play Genkuro Yoshitsune in a mission to defeat the Heishi Force who have oppressed your people. The most impressive aspect about this title is that it is being developed by Game Republic, the company formed by ex-Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto.

    The second title is titled Wanda and the Colossus and is being developed by the team behind ICO (and had the codename NICO). This game, however isn't a sequel to ICO though with a totally different world. The game follows a young man who finds the lifeless body of a young girl who's lost her soul. The world is devoid of human life, but is filled with large, and I mean massive, creatures. To defeat them you must climb onto them and find their weak sport. Expect more information on both games at the Tokyo Game Show late this month.

    Preview
    Star Wars Battlefront isn't just for fans of the movies. Indeed this is looking set to become one of the most impressive action titles of all time. After playing this game for some time now it's clear that LucasArts are onto a monster hit. Here's the latest screens and information. Check it out.

September 11, 2004

    Games
    Take Two has confirmed that the US release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been pushed back a week until October 26, and the PAL version until October 29. This is to allow a final round of testing for bugs. The more perfect they make this game the better I say - and one week isn't that long.

    The big news today is Sony's announcement of SingStar Party for Playstation 2. Rather then dribble on here's the entire press release including a full track listing and release date.

      Get the Party Started with SingStar Party Exclusively on PlayStation 2

      Sydney, 10 September 2004 - Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust.) today announced the November release of SingStar(tm) Party, the second title in the popular SingStar series from Sony's London Studio. Released in May this year, the original SingStar encouraged players to unleash their inner rockstar in an innovative game that analysed their pitch, tone and rhythm whilst singing.

      Now, SingStar Party invites players to turn every social occasion into a spontaneous singing session with their friends. Whether you're having a girls' night in, or have just come back from the pub with the lads, SingStar Party is the perfect way to ensure the fun carries on all night long. With a fantastic balance of new tracks ranging from contemporary artists such as Maroon 5 and Scissor Sisters to all-time classics including The Police and Duran Duran, SingStar Party will have everyone battling for their turn on the mic.

      SingStar Party builds upon the concept of the first game, adding a wide variety of multiplayer game modes for between two and eight players. A new competitive Duet Mode enables two players to each sing one vocal part of a duet, competing for the highest scores. New "Pass The Mic" team games, featuring a variety of different singing challenges - solo rounds, combined duets, random battles and surprise singer selections - ensure that everyone at the party has a chance to show off their superb singing skills. Pass The Mic also includes a new "Shuffle Token" feature, which allows players to spin the carousel again if they have randomly been allocated a song they don't like.

      SingStar Party features fully licensed music from a wide variety of artists and also includes footage of many of the original videos for each song. To compliment the new multiplayer gameplay modes, SingStar Party features many traditional duets, such as "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee, but every song in the game has been split into two parts so that it can be played as a duet, if desired. In solo mode, the player can sing a duet with the original artist, for example, if you're singing as Elton John, Kiki Dee will join you.

      EyeToy compatibility allows players to see themselves singing within the game in place of the artist's video. Once players have had their photo taken, it will pop up whenever it's their turn during Pass the Mic, and photos also appear within the game menus, on the high-score screen for example. Singers are also recorded at key moments during their performance so they can replay the highlights afterwards!

      Fans of the first game can take advantage of a special cross-disc compatibility feature that allows them to insert the first SingStar disc at the carousel screen and automatically update their collection with the 30 songs from the original, increasing their SingStar jukebox to 60 songs and also allowing players to sing all of the old songs as duets.

      SingStar Party International Track List:
      Alicia Keys - Fallin'
      Ashford & Simpson - Solid
      Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
      Blu Cantrell - Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)
      Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry
      Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
      Busted - Year 3000
      Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
      Destiny's Child - Survivor
      Dido - White Flag
      Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf
      Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart
      Elvis - Way Down
      Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
      George Michael - Faith
      Jamiroquai - Cosmic Girl
      Javine - Real Things
      Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky
      Little Richard - Tutti Frutti
      Maroon5 - This Love
      Natasha Bedingfield - Single
      Pink - Just Like A Pill
      Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mamma
      Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
      Spandau Ballet - Gold
      Spice Girls - Who Do You Think You Are
      The Beautiful South - A Little Time
      The Foundations - Build Me Up Buttercup
      The Police - Every Breath You Take
      Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now

      SingStar Party comes with two microphones that plug into PlayStation 2 via a USB adaptor, offering an instant multi-play experience. In addition, the game is EyeToy(tm) compatible allowing players to actually see themselves singing within the game. SingStar Party will be available this November, exclusively on PlayStation 2.

    Review
    NHL Hitz 20-03 is the third game being reviewed this week that has been sitting around here for over a year, and is another game that probably should have been reviewed earlier. Brodie, as with the other games, has done the review and like what he saw. In fact, this game is one of the best sports games ever according to him. If your interested in picking up a game which is probably available for next to nothing these days this may be your cup of tea.

September 10, 2004

    Games
    According to reports originating on Eurogamer.net Sega are working on a Super Monkey Ball title for PS2. The game will include all the levels from both Gamecube titles, as well as many new levels. Sega has not officially commented on the game yet.

    Review
    Jeremy McGrath Supercross World is another game that has been sitting around for two years without being reviewed, but in this case deservedly so. Brodie has reviewed what is easily one of the worst games ever. When you see this game you'll probably realise why Acclaim no longer exist - which is still quite sad - any company can develop lemons.

September 9, 2004

    Games
    Those of you looking for EA' Burnout 3 which was expected last week need not worry about a lengthy delay as EA have confirmed the game will ship this week. Some stores may have the game by Friday 10th, or early next week. This is one game you don't want to miss.

    Two of the biggest Vietnam war games have been released today. The first is Eidos' Shellshock Nam '67 which was refused classification before being resubmitted and given an MA15+ rating by the OFLC. The second title is SCI's Conflict: Vietnam which continues their successful series. Expect reviews of both games in the coming weeks.

    Preview
    Get on Da Mic is one game which is sure to generate interest - if only for the content. Yes, it's another music game, but this singing title is full of hip hop and rap music - no squeaky pop here. The game will also focus on the bling filled lifestyle of the industry and allow you to buy items to set your image. Here's a preview including the latest screens.

    Review
    Myst III Exile certainly isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. The point and click adventure game died years ago. Hang on a tic. This game was released years ago. Well, yes, but we saw the disc stashed in one of the many piles of games here and decided it needed reviewing. Hell, August was a dead month anyway so we had time. Here's the review from Brodie who really enjoyed the title. Might be worth picking up in some bargain bins.

September 8, 2004

    Games
    Rockstar North has announced that they have signed a deal with Interscope Records to provide the music for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As yet no tracks have been announced however more details will be announced in the weeks prior to the October release.

    According to Eidos the next Tomb Raider game will be shown off at E3 2005 in May next year. The game is being developed at Crystal Dynamics rather then Core Design who lost the development duties following the disasterous reviews for Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness.

    Review
    DJ Decks & FX will be hitting stores this week in Australia (and the rest of Europe). It's not really a game though, but more of a DJ simulation with twin decks to control and mix music together. With around 70 tracks to mix together into a music set this game/program has potential. Here's a review.

September 7, 2004

    Games
    Capcom have confirmed that Killer 7 will not be released in Japan or American until early 2005 (and presumably PAL territories too!).

    Atari have confirmed that several of their upcoming titles will be released at a lower RRP then normal - only $AU49.95. This is due to the financial arrangements with purchasing games direct from America to get a better deal with the Aussie dollar etc. The games include Godzilla: Save the Earth, Test Drive: Driven to Destruction and Terminator 3: Redemption which looks like one of the best action titles this year.

September 5, 2004

    Games
    Sadly it seems like Acclaim has filed for Chapter 7 meaning that there is virtually no chance at all of the company being resurrected. The companies assets will be sold off to repay creditors. It is believed that the company had $US100 million in debt, and only $US10-50 million in assets. The good news for gamers is, however, that Acclaim's most promising title, Juiced, was actually financed by Fund 4 Games meaning a new publisher will likely pick up the title and release it pretty quickly. The fate of Acclaim's other titles remains unknown.

    Affiliates
    You may have noticed yet another affiliate being added to the site, well not really. I have dropped DStore, mainly due to their high prices which, with shipping included put most of the games above retail prices. The new affialiate for PAL gamers is Games Warehouse, who will also ship to International customers, and who are also very cheap - usually $5-$18 below retail prices. They also have a flat $6 delivery fee per order, a great deal if your after a couple of titles. Check out the banner at the top of this page to check out their web site, links will be placed on all previews/reviews in the coming weeks to make your shopping easier as well.

    Preview
    Karaoke Stage is the latest Karaoke game, this time from Konami - masters of the Dancing genre. While Sing Star lead the way with its release earlier this year Konami's title has some positve and negative aspects compared to Sony's title. For all the details check out the preview now.

September 3, 2004

    Games
    Konami have confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater will be released in Japan on December 16. It had been rumoured that an October/November release was planned. The PAL version won't be available until 2005.

    Sony Japan will be unveiling two new titles on September 10. Both these games are apparently huge titles with NICO rumoured to be one of the games. We'll find out next week.

    UbiSoft have confirmed that Prince of Persia 2 will actually be called Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - quite an interesting title indeed.

    Preview
    Terminator 3: Redemption is going to be the best Terminator title in recent year. Not too hard really given the quality of other games on the PS2. But this game looks like a terrific game in its own right, and one which even non-Terminator fans will likely enjoy. With a release only a couple of weeks away there's just enough time for a last look, as well as some new screenshots.

September 2, 2004

    Games
    It is easily one of the most contraversial games of all time. Indeed it has been blamed for a murder in the UK, it has been banned in New Zealand and now Take Two's Manhunt may suffer the same fate here following a decision to review the MA15+ classification given to the game on October 20 last year. The order has come on the request of the Western Australian Minister with censorship responsibilities, Michelle Roberts, Minister for Justice. Click this link to read the offical release from the OFLC regarding the review which will take place on September 20. If you were thinking about buying this title you'd better be quick. It's available now at this link through DStore for only $68.05.

    Preview
    Forgotten Realms Demon Stone isn't just for D&D fans, nor those of the Forgotten Realms titles - this game looks like a great title for everyone. From the developers of Electronic Arts' super impressive Lord of the Rings titles comes this game, Demon Stone. Stunning graphics, spells and action makes this one of the hottest September titles.

September 1, 2004

    Companies
    Acclaim America has effectively closed down by telling staff last Friday that they are no longer required, and they needn't turn up to work on Monday (yesterday). The developer and publisher who has been a major part of the gaming landscape for the last 17 years has stopped short of declaring bankruptcy apparently. As of last Friday all employees have been sent home, and apparently haven't been paid in America since mid August. One possibility is that Acclaim are trying to continue trading until they can pay off their debts, and obvioulsy wages for a massive part of expenses with over 600 employees worldwide. The news comes as the company failed to renew a loan with GMAC Commercial Finance, and could not secure an additional $65 million loan.

    What about the games? Well Acclaims big upcoming titles such as Juiced, The Red Star, 100 Bullets will almost certainly be picked up by another publisher - although nothing has been announced. It isn't even clear if Combat Elite: World War II Paratroopers which was due out in 3 days time here will make it to the shelves. Australians will also probably be concerned about AFL Live 2005. Once again no news, but as the game is developed by IR Gurus, and not Acclaim, it may be published by someone else (C'mon EA grab this one and throw some money at it!).


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