AUGUST 2005 NEWS
August 31, 2005
Unless you love under a rock you would be aware that the Playstation Portable launches in Europe and Australia tomorrow. We've compiled a list of most retailers pricing for games and systems. Make sure you check it out as there's some very different bonuses and game pricing as low as $67.99!
August 30, 2005
Although no major department stores are selling any PSP games or the system itself yet BIG W has today put many UMD movies on the shelves. You can access a list of the titles here and BIG W seems to be selling the discs a couple of dollars below their retail prices. The $24.95 RRP movies are selling for just over $21 while the $34.95 movies are selling just above $32.
Worms 4 Mayhem continues Team 17's tradition of yearly updates to their turn based action titles. This version adds a bit more spit and polish to last years game with more customisations available. Still, the series has never regained the 2D glory in our opinion. Here's a review of this latest title for you to check out.
August 29, 2005
Well another PSP title has hit the shelves a couple of days before release, and this time it's Konami's highly anticipated Metal Gear Acid which is available here for $73.95.
Congratulations must go out to Konami whose Dance Dance Revolution Extreme today won the Best Soundtrack From A Video Game at the MTV Music Video Awards in America. The game beat out titles including Def Jam: Fight for NY, Madden 2005, Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and Tony Hawk's Underground 2. Sadly Konami's title has never been released in PAL territories.
Need for Speed Underground Rivals is certain to excite fans of the series with its release as a launch title on PSP. With only days before release we had just enough time to squeeze out a preview meaning we have not previewed every single launch title. With six racing games available at launch each has its unique features. For this game, it's the customizations.
NFL Street 2: Unleashed is set to be unleashed with the Playstation Portable in a couple of days. When it comes to extreme sports games EA's Street titles are among the best. Now, the PSP is getting an upgraded version of NFL Street 2. Here's a look with some of the latest screens of this very impressive game.
August 28, 2005
Well the PSP may still be a couple of days away however our sponsors at Gameswarehouse already have a couple of titles available already. The first is Ubisoft Lumines which is available here for $71.95, while the second is V8 Supercars 2 which is available here for $73.95.
Kingdom Hearts 2 is without a doubt one of the most anticipated titles in the next year on Playstation 2. While PAL gamers will almost certainly have to wait until early 2006 to get their hands on the game Japanese gamers will have it by Christmas. Check out this early preview for the latest screens and info.
August 26, 2005
Well and interesting bit of news from Namco with confirmation that Soul Calibur 3 will be released in Japan on November 24th. What makes this interesting is that it's a month after the October 25th date in America, and the loose October date for Europe. Perhaps a delay for the US/PAL game is about to be announced?
Those awaiting Resident Evil 4 will be pleased to hear that not only will the PS2 version of the game include 16:9 support but also additional weapon (an electric tazer gun) and a side mission for Ada Wong. The game is due out in early November.
Sega has announced its big new title known as Project J on Wednesday. The game is called Ryu Ga Gotoku and is a third person adventure title with more then a passing resemblance to the companies classic Shenmue titles. Apparently the game has cost the company 2.4 billion yen to develop ($AU28.75 million) with the game expected to take around 40 hours to complete. Now at 80% complete the game is due out in Winter 2005/6 in Japan and while a date outside Japan has not yet been set the game will certainly be released at some stage.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is one of those games that you know is going to be brilliant. Each and every year it gets bigger and better and this year is no exception. There will be some changes, as well as new courses and game modes Electronic Arts are trying out a new control scheme using both analogue sticks. Time will tell if it works but here's an early preview of the game.
August 25, 2005
Electronics Boutique has some interesting listing on their American retail site. Firstly the company has Killzone 2 listed for release on 1/1/2006 (which we suspect means an unspecified 2006 release) but the game is listed as a PS2 title. You can see their listing here. What is even more interesting is that they have a Playstation 3 version also listed (viewable here) but is also called Killzone 2 for release on May 1st. Could the game be released on both platforms? Time will tell.
Atari Australia has confirmed that their highly anticipated Colin McRae Rally 2005 won't be available for PSP launch. The title has been delayed until September 23rd. QV Software have also confirmed that Mercury has been delayed from launch until September 21st.
Two highly anticipated games have been given MA15+ ratings here in Australia from the OFLC. The first is Sony's upcoming samurai game Genji while the second is Atari's Total Overdose. In a stunning move we here at Future Gamez only finished previewing these games yesterday to be put up today... Oh the humanity... Check them out.
Genji may look like Capcom's Onimusha titles however this game has several differences. Indeed the producer, Yoshiki Okamoto, has worked on games such as Street Fighter 2, Resident Evil and Devil May Cry. This game, from his newly formed Game Republic studio, looks sensational and is currently scheduled for released here in October. Check out our preview now.
Total Overdose is one of the most over-the-top action packed titles we've seen in a long time. Set in Mexico the game has taken clear inspiration from movies such as Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. This looks like one fantastic thrill ride from start to end. Here's a preview.
August 24, 2005
Sony Australia has confirmed that "AFL Premiership 2005 will be later in September" (then the announced September 8th date). We now believe that the retailers showing September 22nd are probably on the money with the Grand Final only a week later.
Vivendi have confirmed that Delta Force Black Hawk Down which was due to be released last week will be released on September 8th. Crash Tag Team Racing on PS2 has been pushed back a week until November 17th. The PSP version of Crash Tag Team Racing is scheduled for December 1st.
Electronic Arts have confirmed that their trio of PSP titles, namely NBA Street Showdown, Need for Speed: Underground Rivals and NFL Street 2: Unleashed will be available at the PSP launch instead of September 5th as previously reported. Yay!
187: Ride or Die looks great, sounds great, plays great and was a big surprise. The gameplay is as fast as most other racing games but this game allows you to stock up on weapons and blast the opponents away. Even more impressive is that Ubisoft are releasing this awesome game at a budget price.
August 23, 2005
Well only last week the AFL and Sony announced that AFL Live 2005 would be released on September 8th 2005. Today, however, several online retailers such as Gamehead and DVD Crave now have the game listed as September 22nd. Our sponsor, Gameswarehouse, still have it listed as September 8th and when I spoke to Sony's PR company they stated they were unaware of any delays to the title. Could a delay be on the cards? Possibly. More info soon.
Fahrenheit is known as Indigo Prophacy outside Europe (apparently the title was to close to a certain Michael Moore documentary) but it looks like a stunning adventure title. Superb graphics and a very mature theme make this very cinematic in look as well as the storyline which sees you playing a murderer as well as the detectives investigating the murder. Here's our full preview.
August 22, 2005
Australian gamers will be pleased to hear that Rockstar's The Warriors has been given a MA15+ rating here in Australia. The game is expected to be released in October, with free controversy assured.
Atari have confirmed that their fourth Driver title will be titled Driver: Parallel Lines. As yet no gameplay details, images or storyline have been announced.
A quick follow up to Friday's news that THQ would be distributing Majesco titles in Europe, THQ Australia has today confirmed the deal extends here as well. Yippee!
Daxter is a game based on one of the greatest videogame characters, Daxter from the Jak & Daxter titles on PS2. We all know how stunning the PSP launch title lineup is, but the games are going to be coming thick and fast well into future. Here's a preview one of the most stunning upcoming games on PSP.
August 21, 2005
Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call isn't a new game to Japanese or American gamers, it's actually known as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne in those territories. Why the name change? I have no idea. What a surprise it was to see this game get a PAL release thanks to Ubisoft. It's fortunate too as this is one of the best PS2 RPG's in recent times. Here's our review.
August 20, 2005
In case you were unaware Majesco's titles, such as Blood Rayne 2 have been continually slipping and recently were taken off Vivendi's release schedules. We asked for information but never received much of a response. The reason has now become very clear as THQ Europe yesterday confirmed they would be distributing Majesco titles over the next two years. While we haven't been able to confirm Australia as yet, we believe it should extend to Australia as well. Majesco has several big titles on their slate including the quite superb Psychonauts as well as Jaws Unleashed and the upcoming movie tie-in Aeon Flux.
Sega Europe has confirmed that they will be releasing Sega Classics Collection on PS2. The compilation includes titles such as Golden Axe, OutRun, Virtua Racing, Columns, Monaco GP, Space Harrier, Fantasy Zon and Tant R & Bonanza Brothers. We believe that these games are the updated SEGA AGES titles in Japan which have received a mixed response however they were sold seperately so we're gonig to get much better value upon release on October 28th. The collection is being released in Europe for only £19.99 so we expect the Australian version to also be slightly cheaper then normal.
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe may have one of the longest names in history but the movie is certain to be one of the big hits over Christmas and so will the game. Sony, being the smart people they are, have secured the rights to ensure the game an Playstation 2 exclusive in Europe until March 2006. American gamers will still be able to get Gamecube and XBox versions before Christmas.
According to reports from Europe Eidos have halted work on Carmageddon for PS2 (and PC/XBox) at developers Visual Science. As yet there is no word if the project has been officially canned, or if development will be moving to another developer.
Confirmation from Sony Pictures today that their October UMD Movie releases will all occur on October 12th. A new title has also appeared on the list, Underworld, the vampire/werewolf movie. The company has also confirmed that many of their November releases will be made available on November 23rd. All the titles will retail between $24.95 and $34.95. The full UMD Movie Release Schedule can be seen here.
Playlogic Entertainment has announced that they will be publishing State of Emergency 2 on the Playstation 2 in late 2005. The game is currently in development at DC Studios.
August 18, 2005
AFL Premiership 2005 was officially announced yesterday as being available on September 8th (this year). We've updated the preview with the latest information and screens from Sony. While the graphics aren't mind blowing the game has plenty of new features, including online gameplay, that should make this an essential purchase for ever AFL fan. Oh, did I also mention the great bonus that will come with every copy of the game? All the details are right here.
Juiced was a highly anticipated racing title when it was set for release through Acclaim, then days before they went kerput. THQ paid big bucks for the rights to Juiced after Acclaim's demise and with and extra year of development there were very high expectations. Chris gives us his verdict.
Some terribly sad news today from QV Software. In what is sure to disappoint thousands of Australian gamers Metal Slug 5 has been delayed from October until early 2006. At least we still have Metal Slug 4 coming out on September 25th.
We don't usually report on Microsoft news however the L.A. Times has revealed launch prices for the XBox 360 in America - or should that be two different XBox 360's. The base model will be released for $US299 ($AU391) and doesn't include a hard drive, while an upgraded model will be priced at $US399 ($AU523) but will feature a 20GB HDD, wireless controller, headset, Ethernet cable and wireless television-style remote control. Note that these prices no not include tax. The L.A. Times article can be read here. European Pricing was announced in Germany in the UK the system will sell for £209 ($AU495) and £279 ($AU662) for the basic and loaded units respectively. These prices include the British Tax, or VAT. As yet there's no confirmation on the Australian price but we suspect $549 and $699 would be about right.
August 17, 2005
It has finally happend Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, IR Gurus and the Australian Football League have finally settled on a date for the highly anticpated AFL Premiership 2005 in Australia. Gamers will be able to get their hands on the game on September 8th - that's only 3 weeks away folks. Most of the details are available in our preview but stay tuned in the next day or so for some new images from the game.
According to reports Untold Legends 2 is in development for the PSP and will be released (in America at least) in February 2006. Of course the original game, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, will be a launch title with the PSP on September 1st.
Ubisoft have confirmed that 187: Ride or Die has gone gold and will be released on August 25th in America and Europe. We've been playing the game for a couple of days now and have to say we've been pleasantly surprised with the game - especially given its new lower $AU49.95 retail price.
Atari Australia have confirmed that at this stage both Smart Bomb and Free Running will not be released on PSP here in Australia. I guess given their poor reviews overseas it's not much of a surprise, nor something to miss!
50 Cent: Bulletproof isn't a new song, not a music video from the superstar rapper but rather an upcoming video game. This is a third person action title starring the American rapper and his G-Unit crew. At this stage it's looking pretty nice so check out this preview and be suitable impressed like we were.
August 15, 2005
Just a quick note to let you know we've updated that PS2 Preview & Release Schedule Page and PSP Preview & Release Schedule Page with the latest release dates for each system.
America's Army: Rise of a Soldier is a game with a bit of a history. The original title was released free on the PC a couple of years ago as a recruitment tool for the American Army. The game is now heading to PS2 thanks to Ubisoft and with much more focus on the single player, but plenty of multi-player as well it looks pretty hot. Oh, you'll have to pay for it now too, but this is a vastly improved game and looks to be worth every penny.
DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi is going to have millions of fans around the world excited. Despite the fact that Bandai's DragonBall games have never been the greatest, steady improvements have been made over the years. This latest game looks like the best yet and with a new developer working on the title we can only hope the bring some fresh ideas to the table.
Click here to go to the Future Gamez Forums and post a message. Why? Because it's the easiest way to ask a question and get answers. There are now over 5,100 posts in the forums. It may be quiet, but the good thing about that is the quality of the questions and answers, this isn't a forum for spammers or tossers. See you there.
A quick congratulations to our competition winner from last month who has won themselves a copy of Monster Hunter for PS2 thanks to THQ. The winner was C. Archer of Gelorup. Congratulations.
August 13, 2005
Well it seems that Australian developers Perception wasn't too happy with the press release from JoWood the other day claiming that development of Stargate SG-1: The Alliance had ceased and the game was being taken away from the Australian developers due to quality issues. You see, it turns out the Australian developers own the rights to the game, and JoWooD may have no rights to the game after all. We decided to give you the full press release due to the fact that the game is highly anticipated, and also as it's an Australian developer that has been tarnished. It reads:
PERCEPTION CLARIFIES THE STATUS OF STARGATE SG-1: THE ALLIANCE
Sydney, Australia, 12th of August, 2005; Perception Pty Ltd would like to rectify certain statements that have been made to the press by JoWooD Productions. To be clear, Perception is the official licensee of MGM on Stargate SG-1: The Alliance. Any suggestion that JoWooD has rights to Stargate SG-1: The Alliance upon termination of the contract is incorrect and not based on commercial or legal fact.
Development on the game will continue uninterrupted at Perception’s Sydney studio. Perception is committed to giving fans the best gaming experience possible.
Ben Lenzo, CEO of Perception said, “We view it as unfortunate that JoWooD would elect to make such misleading and libelous comments to the media and the marketplace. Over the last 9 months, JoWooD has openly acknowledged being in breach of contract in a number of areas including many legal and confidentiality breaches as well as several financial defaults for work performed by Perception and accepted by JoWooD.”
Perception has tried to work with JoWooD to resolve these issues for months but to no avail. This resulted in several breach notices being served on JoWooD, giving them ample time to remedy. As these newest issues had not been resolved by the August 5th 2005, Perception gave notice that all outstanding issues would need to be resolved by Monday August 8th 2005, or Perception would terminate its contract with JoWooD.
“It’s disappointing to hear of this so called termination via the press on the basis of a “get in first” tactic. This further suggests that JoWooD do not understand the terms of the contract. We are not surprised by their behavior or lack of appreciation for the goodwill Perception has afforded JoWooD on many occasions,” said Lenzo
Perception has begun personal prosecution proceedings against both the CEO, Albert Seidl and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of JoWooD, Andreas Rudas, for the libelous comments made in their press release and will use all legal remedies available to it for the substantial monies owed to it by JoWooD.
“Perception will not allow its name to be tarnished in such a manner and view such matters extremely seriously and will always protect the reputation of our staff, our products, licensing partners and the company.”
Perception will not discuss any further the outstanding issues with JoWooD in public as legal action is underway. We look forward to the release of Stargate SG-1: The Alliance.
WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2006 was previewed on this site for the PSP a couple of weeks ago but we though we'd have a look at the PS2 version with even more details available as well as some stunning screens. If you were disappointed with last years game get ready for some major improvements.
August 12, 2005
According to Eurogamer.net Electronic Arts have announced plans to publish We Love Katamari in PAL territories. The original title never made it out here but we can tell you from our American version that the game is simply astounding as you roll your sticky ball around a level to pick up objects. It really was a disaster that it never got a PAL release. The sequel though is expected to be released in early 2006... Electronic Arts, We Love You...
PSP MEDIA LAUNCH: PART THREE
PSP Media Launch: Part Three is the one most of you have been waiting patiently for as we look at the games that were on display and give early impressions of each of the titles. This third article wraps up our look at the Media Launch but don't expect the PSP coverage to slow down. This launch is going to be huge. Get ready.
August 11, 2005
PSP MEDIA LAUNCH: PART TWO
PSP Media Launch: Part Two looks at the general reaction of the media to the system, and how fast moving titles such as Virtua Tennis work on the system. The main focus of this update however is the movies coming to Playstation portable, including a list of all the Sony Pictures titles due before Christmast - it's damn impressive too!
To follow on from Part Two of our Launch Party we have updated our UMD Movie and Release Schedule Page with dozens of new titles due before Christmas. Check it out.
August 10, 2005
PSP MEDIA LAUNCH: PART ONE
PSP Media Launch: Part One is the first of our reports from the PSP Media Launch which took place today, Wednesday 10th August, in Sydney. There were a couple of surprises, as well as confirmation of a number of things including firmware versions, launch titles and the massive support coming for UMD Movies. Make sure you read this first report before we come back tomorrow with hands-on impressions of the system.
August 9, 2005
Well we're off to Sydney in a couple of hours where Sony will be holding their PSP Media Launch. While there I'll be able to talk to all the games distributers as well as movie studios. I'm hoping to come back with a tonne of impressions on the launch titles, a look at some of the movies coming out and possibly (hopefully) a few surprises as well. Expect me to report back when I get back on Wednesday (tomorrow) night... Stay tuned.
Mercury is very cool, trust us. When it comes to original titles the PSP is going to be fairly well catered for at launch. This title is one which offers something original as you move your mercury blob through the levels, not only that it looks wonderful too. Here's a preview.
August 8, 2005
According to reports Sega are set to announce a new title on August 23rd at a special event in Japan. Absolutely no details are known but the game will be big given that it has its only announcement event. The game, according to IGN, is being designed by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the producer of Super Monkey Ball, Daytona USA and F-Zero GC.
Metal Slug 4 is among the hardcore of hardcore side scrolling shooters - and that's what makes it so brilliant. This game has some of the best gameplay ever in a game of its type and the translation to PS2 is shaping up quite well. Here's a preview of this very niche but hotly anticipated title from SNK Playmore.
August 7, 2005
Just a quick note that I have completely updated the PS2 Preview & Release Schedule Page and PSP Preview & Release Schedule Page. Check them out for all the release dates and previews of most titles.
Ys Arc of Napishtim is probably a title which few of you would know, or really care about, but you should. Believe it or not but the Ys RPG series is now 20 years old and has a reputation for very solid games overall. Sadly the series is rarely seen outside Japan, but this game may make an impact. Check out this preview.
WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2006 is due out at the end of the year. If you're a wrestling fan then this game will be one to keep an eye on. The PSP version looks great and even includes extra features not found in the PS2 game!
August 6, 2005
According to reports Eidos has renamed Conflict: Global Terror to Conflict: Global Storm in Europe, obviously as a result of the recent terrorist bombings in London. While not yet confirmed we expect the Australian game to also be renamed.
JoWooD has confirmed that they have stopped development on Stargate SG-1: The Alliance. With the game expected to be released in October the publisher was not happy with its progress at Perception here in Australia. The company has the rights to the source code and assets to the game and is currently looking for another developer. This is what JoWood had to say on the matter:
JoWooD regrets to be forced to cancel the development agreement with Perception, the Australian developer currently responsible for the Stargate-SG1: The Alliance license title. “The title in its current form, initially scheduled for an October 2005 release, does satisfy neither our quality requirements nor the fans expectations. We will not release anything that does not do justice to this well known license” says Albert Seidl, CEO JoWooD Productions Software AG. “In recent months we have invested a lot of time and resources in helping Perception finish the development, but we now simply have lost confidence in their ability to finish this project in time and sufficient quality.”
August 5, 2005
Codemasters has confirmed the multi-player Wi-Fi options for their two big PSP launch titles in Europe and Australia. First up is Colin McRae Rally 2005 which will allow up to 8-players to play the game simultaneously. The game will also have an option to download tracks to gamers without the disc so you can trial head-to-head racing.
The second title is the extremely hot V8 Supercars 2 (or TOCA 2 for our Euro readers) which will include 12-player Wi-Fi racing. Now that's impressive and sure to be a blast.
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade is one game to keep an eye on especially if you like RPG's. But what's this I hear you ask, a hack n' slash RPG available at the launch of a new system? You'd better believe it. From the makers of Everquest comes this great looking game. Here's the latest screens and info.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix initially sounded like a port of the PS2 game with some new or remixed music. That's not the case with the developers including four new and exclusive areas to explore as well as all the excitement of the original game. Skaters must check this preview out now.
August 4, 2005
Capcom have confirmed that Resident Evil 4 will be released in America on October 25th. The game is currently scheduled for release in Europe in November.
Electronic Arts have confirmed that Maria Menounos will star as an all-new Bond girl in the upcoming game Bond: From Russia With Love alongside Sean Connery. Maria Menounos isn't a name well known but has been a reporter on Entertainment Tonight and played the sexy nurse in the Fantastic Four movie recently.
One game we're keen to have a look at here at Future Gamez is Michigan: Report to Hell mainly due to the interesting premise and the fact that it was developed as the same team as Killer 7. Red Ant have just informed us that the game won't be selling for $79.95 as originally reported but a much more enticing $49.95. Expect a release in a couple of weeks.
Just a quick note to let you know that we've updated our previews of Tiger Woods PGA Tour and NBA Street Showdown with the latest screens and info. If you're getting a PSP this is one sports game to check out.
Burnout Legends. Without a doubt this racing game from Electronic Arts (and developed by Criterion who made the previous games) is set to be one of the hottest PSP titles this year. As well as new features the game includes the best tracks, cars and modes from all three previous titles. This updated preview has new screens, new info and a stunning video clip! Check it out now.
August 3, 2005
The Godfather is certain to generate a lot of interest, even more so now that Marlon Brando is confirmed to be doing voiceovers. Although Electronic Arts recently delayed the game until Q'1 2006 on all platforms this game already looks very, very impressive. Here's the latest info and screens.
Electronic Arts have clarified the status of Marlon Brando's voice being used in The Godfather which is due out next year. After initally announcing the game would include his voice doubts were cast when it was later revealed on he was using breathing apparatus during the session. Today 1Up.com has posted a quote from Electronic Arts Corporate Communications Tammy Schachter who says that "Typically we require multiple sessions with an actor and we were not able to record his complete dialogue before his passing, but fans of Brando and the Godfather will definitely get to hear his voice in the game."
Another tidbit of news from the Square-Enix conference with confirmation that Kingdom Hearts II will release in Japan this Winter (Q'4 2005). There is no date yet for American or European versions.
We missed this one last year but Electronic Arts have apparently bought up developers Hypnotix, the company behind Take Two's Outlaw sports range. The company will be working on the Arena Football League titles for Electronic Arts.
August 2, 2005
Paramount Australia has just confirmed their first batch of Playstation Portable UMD titles for release this November. The confirmed titles include Team America, Spongebob the Movie, Star Trek: First Contact, Jackass the Movie, School of Rock, The Warriors, U2: Rattle and Hum, Mean Girls, Grease, and Top Gun. The titles have been added to our PSP UMD Movie Release Schedule. A great selection of movies (and a concert) but it was The Warriors that caught our eye with Rockstar will be releasing their game around the same time.
Well the big news today is that the dispute between game developers and the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) has finally been resolved. A new contract has been signed which runs until December 31st 2008 and will give actors an immediate pay rise of 25%, and 36% over the entire contract. The actors will not be paid royalties for games that sell in large numbers, a practice that is common with movies. We can all breathe a little easier now guys.
Formula One 2005 is out now. Are you excited? Admittedly the last couple of years have been pretty lean for the Formula One titles on PS2 with some average gameplay, but this 2005 version is a massive improvement with improved complete control over the amount of detail in the game - from full-on simulation to full-on arcade racing. Here's our full and exclusive review.
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