APRIL 2006 NEWS
April 30, 2006
The Sword of Etheria was previously named Oz (as it is in Japan) but was renamed for the European markets. Konami are a gaming powerhouse and this latest release is one that remained pretty quiet until recently. Is this hack and slash worth your time and effort? We give you the full review...
April 29, 2006
According to reports Remedy's very impressive looking Alan Wake will be a no show at this years E3. Apparently the developer doesn't have time to prepare a demo build for the show and doesn't want to stop the flow of steady progress they are making with the game.
April 28, 2006
Continuing their pre-E3 show announcements Sega has today announced that Sega Rally (or Sega Rally Revo as it will be known as in America) is coming to the Playstation 3. The game, which is due out in 2007, includes race course surfaces which dynamically deform upon repeated contact with vehicle tires and changing weather effects. The developers are also promising split screen multiplayer as well as online racing. As yet there are no screenshots, but as soon as they are released we'll post them. Meanwhile we're still awaiting Sega Rally 2006 to be announced for PAL territories - something which seems less likely as time passes sadly.
Sega has announced that World Championship Snooker 2007 will be coming out this year on PS3, PS2 and PSP. Strangely while PS2 and PSP versions were announced in America, they didn't receive confirmation of the PS3 version which is coming out in Europe. Given that Sony are pushing developers to make PS3 game region free Americans should also be able to enjoy the game late this year.
Konami has confirmed they will unveil Pro Evolution Soccer 6 at the E3 show in a couple of weeks. There's not much info yet other then creator Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka will be at the show. The game is certain to make it on PS2 and probably PSP with a PS3 version also possible - although the press release today didn't actually mention specific formats.
Nintendo has annouced their new console will be called the Nintendo Piss... oh, no wait... I mean the Nintendo Wii (pronounced 'we'). I can see plenty of people taking the wee, I mean piss, out of this one. Strange.
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkin War is actually the sixth game in the series, and the third to hit the Playstation 2. This prequel looks at the events that cause the Belkin War, but looks every bit as stunning as previous games, with some additional gameplay features. We don't have a PAL release date yet, but it's still worth drooling over.
April 27, 2006
In the last couple of days a list of rumoured PS3 launch titles has hit the web. Naturally no one is confirming the list, nor where it has come from, however it certainly looks quite possible with the November launch now set in stone. Anyway these are the games we might be seeing if the rumours are true:
- John Woo's Stranglehold
- Tekken 6
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Resistance: Fall of Man
- Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
- Ridge Racer 7
Well yesterday CNN Money mentioned that the PS3 price would not be released at E3 in a couple of weeks time, but now PSM has commented that the PS3 will be released in "the first half" of November, and will have a pricepoint of $US399 ($AU531). It seems about right to us, but we won't know for sure until Sony makes an announcement - be it at E3, or a later date. As always the Australian price will certainly be well above the direct conversion amount and is dependent on the Aussie dollar at the time. Our guess is between $AU699-$799.
LocoRoco is yet another very unique and wonderful looking PSP title. There's plenty to love about this game, and its release here is most welcome. Essentially you control a character by tilting the game world and must see him get from one side of the level to the next. Here's a peek at this June release through Sony Australia.
HOT PXL has a unique name, and also a unique look but game from Atari may just become one of the PSP's key titles this Christmas. Here's an early look at this unique title.
April 26, 2006
God Of War II is, despite numerous denials from Sony, in development and coming to the Playstation 2 in early 2007. This game looks every bit as stunning as the original. Check this preview out and prepare to pick your jaw off the floor!
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has submitted AFL Premiership 2006 to the OFLC for review where it was awarded a G rating. The game is due out on July 20th.
Sony Japan and Sony America have released new firmware for the PSP - Version 2.70. This latest version includes support for Macromedia Flash in the internet Browser, support for AAC audio formats, Chinese text support, while audio from RSS feeds can be saved to the memory stick as well as a host of other bug updates. The firmware is out now.
According to this article at CNN Money one thing we won't hear at the E3 Show from Sony is the price of the Playstation 3. The article states that
"One detail that won't be revealed is the PS3's price, which is bound to cause frustration amongst gamers, but is actually a savvy media move. By withholding those details, Sony gains additional media attention (and a renewed burst of public awareness) when it ultimately reveals the price - likely at the end of summer or early fall."
According to rumours making the rounds on the net PS3 owners (well, in November) may also be getting a port of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The RPG has been the standout hit of the XBox 360 launch and given that any new console launch is usually starved of RPG's for months it would be a welcome inclusion. Naturally everyone is remaining quiet, but I guess we'll find out at E3 in a couple of weeks - if not before.
Fifth Phantom Saga was one of the first games shown on PS3 at last years E3 show and while we don't have any new screens or info it was a title we didn't preview at the time. Given that it has now been confirmed that this was one of the few games using realtime footage it's well worth a look.
April 25, 2006
Sega has announced their first big pre-E3 game, that being none other then Virtua Tennis 3 - for the Playstation 3. While the game isn't due out until Q'2 2007, it is already looking quite spectacular and promises a career mode, and plenty more mini-games. Expect a preview soon.
Virtua Tennis 3 was, as we reported earlier today, the first major announcement for a new PS3 title at this years E3 show. The game looks spectacular, but as yet Sega have not announced player lists. Still, this is one preview worth checking out.
X-Men: The Official Game is a game which both movie and comic book fans will want to check out. With the third movie only months away one would assume Activision would develop a game based on those events. In fact this game is a prequel to the movie, but also takes inspiration from the comic books.
April 24, 2006
Atari Australia has confirmed that Battlestations Midway will no longer be released on PS2, but is instead heading to XBox 360 and PC only.
According to reports from the UK's Daily Express newspaper Paramount have been happy with the reception of the new Tomb Raider game so much so that they are proceeding with a third movie, and better still, Angelina Jolie will be back as Lara.
Miami Vice isn't a remake of the classic TV show, but is in fact based on the new Michael Mann movie. With the Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx movie coming out later this year a game tie-in was assured. What was suprising was that this is a PSP exclusive. Fortunately it's shaping up pretty well...
April 23, 2006
Vivendi has announced that they are developing Miami Vice for the PSP. The game, which has been developed by coders Rebellion takes place before the upcoming movie, but is timed to be released in July - around the same time as the movie. In the game you play as narc officers Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs hunting down drug syndicates.
SOCOM 3 is an essential purchase for online PS2 gamers, but evern those without the internet should have a look. Zipper Interactive have become one of the hottest developers with one series, SOCOM. This third game will likely be the last on PS2, and it's awesome.
April 22, 2006
Sony America has confirmed that they have dropped the price of the PS2 from $149.99 to $129.99 in the United States, and to $CA139.99 in Canada. Many were expecting the price cut which is the first since 2004. Unfortunately there has been no word of a price cut in any other territories including Australia.
Spyro fans will be pleased to hear that a new game is in the works for PS2. Called The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning the game will show the origins of Spyro, and include several flying levels as well as a heavy emphasis on combat. The game is actually getting a new developer, Australia's own Krome studios have have developed the very impressive Ty platform games so we're expecting great things of the game. Expect to hear more at E3 in a couple of weeks.
Namco Bandai have annouced The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch for PSP. Developed by Nihon Falcom the game is due out in the coming months in America, however a European version has not yet been announced (thank goodness for the PSP's region freeness!).
April 21, 2006
If rumours are to be believed then Ridge Racer 7 is on target to be announced at the E3 show. What's more the game will reportedly support up to 14 players online. No other details are known at thsi stage however we believe the title may be a PS3 launch title - and there's no mention of a XBox 360 version yet.
Undoubtedly one of the big movies this year is Superman Returns and as we revealed around a year ago now Electronic Arts are working on the video game tie-in. Today the company has announced that they have secured the rights to use the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen). The game will be released in June.
Worms: Open Warfare is another game which many old school gamers will be pleased to see on the PSP. In fact, this is the second old school puzzle/strategy game to be released on PSP in as many months with Sony releasing Lemmings - which was also developed by Team 17! This Team 17 title has also returned to 2D graphics, but the gameplay still rocks. Here's our review.
April 20, 2006
Rockstar have announced that their hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories will be released in America on June 6th, and Europe on June 9th. The game, which is of course already available on PSP, will be released as a budget title for only $US20 in America, and £19.99 in the UK. We expect Australia's date to be confirmed in the coming days - although going by past experience we'll be happy if it makes it out within a couple of weeks of the rest of the world!
Well we're not really here to report on movies, but we do when it involves video games. Many of you will be please to hear that a third Resident Evil movie is about to start filming in Mexico (rather then earlier reports of South Australia filming). Called Resident Evil: Extinction the movie will not only see the return of Milla Jovovich as Alice but also Oded Fehr as Carlos Olivera, Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, and Mike Epps as LJ. The movie is being directed by Russell Mulcahy (who directed Highlander) while the story is yet again being penned by Paul W. S. Anderson.
April 19, 2006
Well we're still awaiting the first Guitar Hero here in Australia, but the publishers RedOctane have announced that Guitar Hero II will be released in America this November. The second game will include co-op gameplay and 55 tracks, including 40 licensed (read: real) songs. The second game - which should be available with a guitar, or as a standalone disc, should be available by the end of the year in America. No PAL release has been announced for the sequel yet - but it's almost certain to appear late this year, or early next.
According to Sony Japan's retail site Koei will be releasing a PSP version of Guitaroo Man in that territory on May 25th. To date nothing has been seen of the title, but we would expect that to change pretty quickly with a release a little over a month away.
Do you remember Dave Mirra. That guy who sued Acclaim claiming their games were no good despite his name on them. Well the BMX rider is coming back to consoles this time with Crave Entertainment announcing Dave Mirra BMX Challenge for release on PSP in America for October. The game includes 17 levels and 4-player ad hoc gameplay.
Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is a title worth looking at. The original game from Konami was loved by millions, and loathed by as many - primarily due to the switch to card based gameplay. Kojima Productions have made several changes to make this game more user friendly - although the card based strategy remains. Here's a preview of this impressive title.
Street Supremacy is a Japanese based street racing titles from one of the genre's best developers - Genki. They have a solid track record with racing games and they are about to unleash their first title on PSP through Konami. We have some screens and info.
April 18, 2006
THQ has announced that Destroy All Humans! 2 will be heading to PS2 later this year. The first game was a surprise hit last year, and a sequel is certainly welcome although details remain scarce. Expect to hear more during the E3 show.
Vivendi has announced that Eragon is heading to PS2 and PSP this November. Developed by Stormfront Studios for consoles and PC, and Amaze Entertainment for handhelds, Eragon is based on the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox feature film inspired by Christopher Paolini’s best-selling fantasy novel, featuring Edward Speleers, Djimon Hounsou and Robert Carlyle. The movie is due out in mid-December.
Namco has announced that their very hot (our words, not theirs) Tekken: Dark Resurrection in Japan on July 6, 2006. This would almost certainly mean a release in America and Europe by the end of the year.
SOCOM Fireteam Bravo has taken a while to get out to Australia, but it has been timed to release on the same day as the latest PS2 title in the series. SOCOM has become one of the most respected tactical action games on the PS2. We give you the full lowdown on this very solid action game.
Release Schedule Pages
Just a quick note to let you know we've updated both the PSP Preview & Release Schedule Page and PS2 Preview & Release Schedule Page with quite a few new releases, and a couple of date changes.
April 17, 2006
The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) announced that it has dropped plans to challenge the banning of Mark Ecko's Getting Up Contents Under Pressure. The game was originally classified MA15+, but then re-classified to RC (Refused Classification) after a review at the request of the Local Government Association of Queensland. The IEAA determined that the costs of taking the case to court were far too high, despite the belief that the case against the OFLC was strong. Fortunately for Australian gamers the title has been receiving mixed reviews (averages 69% on Gamerankings), so we're probably not missing out on much anyway.
What doing our usual trawling through the web we decided to check out IR Gurus' web site. Many of you will know that these guys develop the AFL (Australian Football League) titles on PS2 and only last week announced AFL Premiership 2006 for release on PS2, as well as a version for PS2 and PSP for the start of the 2007 season (presumably called AFL Premiership 2007). While looking at their web site we noticed the company is looking to expand its staff with PS3 development now planned. While they also develop other titles (such as Heroes of the Pacific) it seems possible that they will at the very least be considering a PS3 AFL game sometime in the next two years - seeing as Sony has the exclusive rights to the sport. Don't expect to hear anything official for quite some time though.
God Hand isn't the sequel to Sony's stunning God of War but rather an entirely new property from Capcom. Essentially a hand based combat game we can only hope that it fares better then their recent fighting games. Still we have some of the first screens, and a little bit of info, in this early 'pre-E3' teaser.
April 16, 2006
Namco Bandai has announced a new mech battle game for the Playstation 2, Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave. The game will be released in Q'3 in America with no word yet on a PAL release.
April 14, 2006
Rockstar have mentioned to Eurogamer that Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories will be release following their XBox Table Tennis game which is due out on May 26th. A June release for the title, which is still under wraps, seems likely/possible.
Rampage: Total Destruction is a game which will have older gamers sitting up and taking notice of straight away. It was one of the biggest arcade games of its time and this update is more then worthy of attention. Midway have updated their classic monster smashing series with 30 characters, 3D worlds, and some tremendous fun. Here's the worlds first online review!
April 13, 2006
Ubisoft has announced that Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is coming to the Playstation 3. Developers Gearbox are using Unreal Engine 3 to power the game. Most surprising is the news that the game will be released late this year.
April 12, 2006
Activision has announced that they will be distributing Guitar Hero here in Australia. Some of you may recall that Atari announced they had the rights a couple of weeks ago, however that deal fell through at the last minute. The game, which comes with a guitar peripheral has sold an impressive 200,000 units in America and is slated for release here mid year.
Electronic Arts has announced that there will be two Australian music tracks on their upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup. The tracks are Definition by Resin Dogs featuring Mystro & Hau and Hip Hip Hooray (Dub Mix) by Sneaky Sound System. The game is due out in late May.
Exit has been hotly anticipated if only due to the fact it's one of the systems increasinly rare original titles. This looks great, and plays great too. With 100 levels to get stuck into, and even more available for download this is good value. A review.
Guitar Hero was previewed a couple of weeks ago, but now that an Australian release has been confirmed (this time by the correct company) we thought it was time to have another look. What makes this game so exciting, and had us questioning if it would ever be released in PAL territories, is the stunning peripheral included with the game - a guitar. Here an early look at this hot game which is due out this Winter.
April 11, 2006
Ubisoft has announced that the will be releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow this July on PS2. The game has obviously been timed to cash in on the upcoming second movie, although the game will center on the events of the first movie, with Jack Sparrow being the main character in the game. The game is in development at 7 Studios.
Activision have announced that they will be bringing GUN to the PSP. The game didn't quite sell as well as expected on PS2 when released last year, but the company will be hoping the PSP version manages to shift a few more minutes. For the record we loved GUN on the PS2 - a game well worth picking up.
Project Zero 3: The Tormented is the thrid game in Tecmo's horror series, and you can get ready for plenty more frights. This is a fantastic title, and at a budget price. If you like Resident Evil 4 or Silent Hill then you're bound to love this game as well. Our review awaits...
April 10, 2006
Ubisoft America has confirmed that AND 1 Streetball will be released on June 7th in that territory. The game was originally scheduled for release late last year, however this extra time has been used to develop the title further, and to launch alongside the AND 1 Mix Tape Tour in America. PAL territories are also scheduled for a mid year release.
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast was reviewed last week on the PSP and now we have a look at the PS2 version. Essentially the same title this is (yet again) pure brilliance. This PS2 game has a bit better frame rate (not that the PSP one was bad anyway), but also widescreen and 480p support. Most importantly it's a hell of a lot of fun so make sure you check out this review - and then the game.
April 9, 2006
According to reports the news of the PS3 price point from Sony France isn't correct, but rather was a comment on the systems value as a Blu-Ray player. We still expect the PS3 to be pretty pricey, but we'll probably have to wait until E3 to find out. Let the guessing re-commence...
Ubisoft has confirmed that Rayman will be returning to multiple consoles (both current and next generation) in time for Christmas. The best news is that the game is being developed by Ubisoft’s Montpellier studio which is headed by Michel Ancel, creator of the series...
Square-Enix has confirmed they have shipped 1.3 million units of Kingdom Hearts 2 to American stores. The game has still not be confirmed for a European release.
April 7, 2006
It has been reported that Lionhead has been purchased by Microsoft. Normally we wouldn't report purchases by Microsoft however this puts development of a PS2 version of The Movies in question. As many of you would know a couple of weeks ago Activision confirmed they would not publish console versions of the game following disappointing sales of the PC version. Lionhead was going to continue development until a new publisher was found.
April 6, 2006
According to this article on Joystiq George Fornay, president of Sony Computer Entertainment France and vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has mentioned that the Playstation 3 will cost between €499 and €599. Thats between $AU839 and $1007. Yes, it's a lot of money but it seems about right given the cost of Blu-Ray players. Also this report is from a hastily translated French interview, and may be Sony's way or ramping up price expectation prior to a big E3 unveiling. Our guess at Futuregamez is that the system will launch here for $799 or $899.
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is a game we weren't sure would ever come to Sony consoles after the previous game was an XBox exclusive. Still it's here and while Sega have struggled of late with a string of poor updates to classic series' this isn no longer the case with this stunning update to one of their most loved racers.
April 5, 2006
Sony has announced that their pre-E3 conference will be held on Monday afternoon May 8th, 2 days before the actual show starts, the day before Microsoft with Nintendo still to announce. While details have not been announced about the topic we're pretty certain they won't be focusing on the PS2 any more - although there may still be a few surprises with the old dog...
Sega has confirmed that they have bought out developers Secret Level who are best known for Karaoke Revolution, Magic: Battlegrounds and America's Army: Rise of a Soldier. The company is currently working on a next generation version of a classic Sega property which is expected to be unveiled at this years E3 show (hopefully).
That's not all for Sega with the company also buying Sports Interactive who develop Football Manager.
Samurai Warriors: State of War is Koei's latest title on the PSP. Following the disappointing Dynasty Warriors on the system we were hoping that the extra year of development would provide some changes and enhancements. There are some changes with more strategy being used, but I wouldn't call it much better in terms of quality. Here's our review...
April 3, 2006
In a surprise announcement Sony Australia has today announced that they have secured the exclusive rights to AFL (Australian Football League for the next two year. The company announced that AFL Premiership 2006 will be released on Playstation 2 in July this year, and perhaps even more excitingly Michael Ephraim has stated that the game will also hit "the
PlayStation Portable in time for the 2007 AFL season." The games are, yet again, being developed by Melbourne based IR Gurus.
THQ have done the expected and confirmed that WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2007 will not only be coming to PSP and PS2, but also the PS3. This was expected after it was announced at the TGS a few months ago the Yukes were developing a wrestling title on the system - but is comforting to know it's going to be THQ's superb series rather then a new title.
Lemmings is a series which has millions of fans the world over. During the 1990's it was one of the hottest puzzle games and its appearance on PSP is more then welcome. The game now has some 3D backgrounds, and over 150 levels, but is it one to add to your collection? Of course it is! Here's our review.
Release Schedule Pages
Just a quick note to let you know we've updated the PSP Preview & Release Schedule Page with new releases, and a couple of date changes.
Sorry about the slight downtime yesterday. Futuregamez.net was continuing to move servers which started some time ago. There should be no more upcoming disruptions to the site.
April 2, 2006
April Fools News
OK, some of you got it, but I was amazed how many of you got caught by our April Fools Joke. The PS3 launch is not in fact delayed until May 2007 (as far as we know anyway!) and is still set for November... phew!
Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King is already a monster hit with around 3.5 million sales in Japan, and strong sales in America. In sales it actually far outsells Final Fantasy in Japan. At last those outside Japan get to play as well and Europeans are actually getting several enhancements to make the wait worthwhile. Here's a preview.
It's always good to have a look at the competition, and indeed as the PS3 launch approaches it's nice to know how the competitor is going. In Japan at least the XBox 360 doesn't even rate a mention with only 30,165 sales from January 1 until March 26. So bad is the system selling that rumours are rife that Microsoft are planning a "relaunch" in June with four major titles planned for release. To put it in comparison the PS2 has sold 414,470 units over the same period, and even the Gamecube managed 39,852 sales. On the portable front the Nintendo DS has sold just over 1 million units, and the more expensive PSP 515,551. Oh, sales of the original XBox - 1,183 units this year.
April 1, 2006
God I hate days like this.. One minute it all looks good, and now it looks to still be falling apart. According to a leaked memo from Sony's offices, and despite announcing launch details only a month ago in Japan, Sony apparently have doubts about a November PS3 launch, and instead are targeting a "expected May 2007" launch for PS3. Apparently there are still issues with cost and some components may have to be scaled back. We're not sure what that means, but perhaps a lower CPU/GPU speed, or less RAM. The memo also points to a pricepoint of "between $US599 and $799" in America which is comparible to new Blu-Ray players. Expect to hear more soon.
Well some more sad news today with confirmation that PSP UMD movies are essentially a flop and several movie studios either have, or are considering, stopping production. While some Sony movies topped 100,000 units in America in the first two months many believe this was just initial curiosity. In my mind there's a simple factor for failure. The price. I mean in Australia some movies are $44.95 when the DVD's are under $20 and include a host of extras. It's no wonder they failed.
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