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OCTOBER 2006 NEWS

October 31, 2006

    PS3 News
    Think the PS3 is going to cost you a lot of money? Well spare a thought for Sony. According to Sony CEO Howard Stringer Sony's game division is expected to lose 200 billion yen ($US1.71 billion) this year due to the Playstation 3 development and launch. Now that's a lot of money!

    Some bad news for Japanese gamers. We've already seen Sony cut the number of units back to 100,000 and now Nikkei Keizai Shimbun paper is reporting that the launch number will be closer to 80,000 units due to component shortages.

    PSP Reviews
    Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror is one of the most anticipated titles on the PSP this year. If you were playing games in the PSOne days then Syphon Filter would be a series you would certainly have heard of. This PSP title has made up for Gabe Logan's poor PS2 showing. A review.

October 30, 2006

    PSP News
    It has come to our attention that Madden NFL 07 will not be released on the PSP until December 28th. Those looking for Santa to deliver the game on Christmas morning may want to re-write your list for him.

    PS2 News
    Activision has today confirmed that the wireless guitar controllers for use with Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II will ship in Australia in early 2007. As yet there is no price for the controller. Guitar Hero II will be available in stores here on November 15th.

    Just a quick clarification. In last weeks preview of Buzz! The Sports Quiz we stated the developer as Relentless who did the first two games. This third game is actually being developed by Kuju Entertainment.

    PSP Reviews
    B-Boy is a unique game. Based on breakdancing Sony will be hoping this new battle game opens up a new market to them. It has plenty of style, but is there any substance? Michael has taken a look at the PSP version and gives us his full verdict...

October 29, 2006

    PS2 News
    Red Octane has confirmed they will have a wireless guitar controller available for their upcoming Guitar Hero II. The controller will retail in America for $US59.99. No word yet on a price, or release for Australia, but stay tuned.

    PS3 News
    Peripheral manufacturer Hori are apparently considering making a PS3 controller - with rumble technology built in. Of course Hori would require the support of developers to include rumble code in their games so it will likely come down to developer support for the controller before the go ahead is given for it to be manufactured. As we all know Sony has dropped the rumble technology in the Sixaxis due to legal action from patent holder Immersion compatibility issues with the tilt mechanism.

    Speaking about controllers some enterprising person in China has got their hands on a Sixaxis controller and done what pretty much everyone else in this world would be scared to do - pull it apart to have a look inside! Click here to check out the resulting series of 40-odd pictures.

    PS2 Reviews
    Kingdom Hearts II is a game which every PS2 owner should, at the very least, consider adding to their collection. Square-Enix are back with a sequel to their smash hit RPG of 2002 which combines both Final Fantasy and Disney characers and settings in a single uverse. Can the company produce an equally impressive follow-up? Of course they can. Here's our full review.

October 27, 2006

    PS2 Previews
    EA Sports Cricket 07 is almost set for release. With the Ashes series against England almost upon us it comes as little surprise to see EA release a new cricket title. Will this improve over EA Sports' last dismal effort? We take a look.

October 26, 2006

    PS2 Reviews
    Buzz! Junior Jungle Party is, as you'd expect, a party based game. It's aimed at a younger audience, but we (that being some 30-odd year old males) still had plenty of fun with the title. Here's our full review, and the result may surprise.

    Release Schedule Pages
    We've taken a few moments to update the PS2 Release Schedule and Preview Page as well as the PSP Release Schedule and Preview Page. Each page has had around 30 changes or additions so if you want to know what's coming out when, there's only one place to look - Futuregamez.net.

    PS2 Previews
    Buzz! The Sports Quiz is heading to the PS2 in around a months time. We've already seen music, and general trivia based titles, but now it's time for sports. This game is basically the same, but has had a few upgrades including, of course, thousands of new questions for you to answer.

October 25, 2006

    PS2 Reviews
    Dance Factory was a game that promised so much, and we were so keen to enjoy this game especially given the lack of dance mat games in PAL territories. But when a title fails on it's key feature that's leave us bitterly disappointed. Here's a review anyone considering this game should check out rather urgently.

    PS3 News
    Ubisoft today released their financial statement today and it included a few surprises. First the bad news. The company has confirmed that Assassin's Creed and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway will not be released in Q'4 of this current financial year (4th Quarter being January - March) but "will now strengthen fiscal year 2007-08". The good news is that Ubisoft has confirmed that Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 will be released by March 2007 - although platforms have not been confirmed. We can hope that the game will hit the PS3 as well as the (almost certain) XBox 360.

    Avalanche Studios has confirmed they are working on a sequel to Just Cause for release on the Playstation 3.

    Industry News
    Today is a bad day for the industry - and in particular those that like to import games and systems from Hong Kong. Lik-Sang, one of the worlds biggest exporters of games, consoles and peripherals has closed its doors and put the blame squarely on Sony. Now while we are 100% against mod chips here at Futuregamez.net Lik-Sang simply offered us an opportunity to obtain equipment and games not generally available here. Given that the PS3 is region free it makes Sony push even more strange - oh, plus the fact that many Sony bosses have bought from the company in the past makes a farce of the situation. (So much for our Playstation 3 pre-order too!) Here's Lik-Sang's complete press release:

      Hong Kong, October 24th of 2006 - Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang's sales of PSP consoles unlawful.

      As of today, Lik-Sang.com will not be in the position to accept any new orders and will cancel and refund all existing orders that have already been placed. Furthermore, Lik-Sang is working closely with banks and PayPal to refund any store credits held by the company, and the customer support department is taking care of any open transactions such as pending RMAs or repairs and shipping related matters. The staff of Lik-Sang will make sure that nobody will get hurt in the crossfire of this ordeal.

      A Sony spokesperson declined to comment directly on the lawsuit against Lik-Sang, but recently went on to tell Gamesindustry.biz that "ultimately, we're trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not - in PS3's case - backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty".

      Lik Sang strongly disagrees with Sony's opinion that their customers need this kind of protection and pointed out that PSP consoles shipped from Lik-Sang contained genuine Sony 100V-240V AC Adapters that carry CE and other safety marks and are compatible world wide. All PSP consoles were in conformity with all EU and UK consumer safety regulations.

      Furthermore, Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.

      "Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe's ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3. With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don't see fit. It's the beginning of the end... of the World as we know it", stated Pascal Clarysse, formerly known as the Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com.

      "Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally 'won', few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today."

    Sony has responded to Lik-Sang in this article on GamesIndustry.biz in which they state the following:

      Lik-Sang did not contest this case (i.e. they did not turn up and therefore incurred no legal costs). We have been awarded substantial costs against Lik-Sang which have not been paid.

      We would therefore strongly deny that our actions have had anything to do with this website closing (we assume the legal entity is still trading), and would suggest that this release is sour grapes on behalf of Lik-Sang which is aimed to belittle Sony Computer Entertainment and the British judicial system that found against them.

      The purchasing of PSP consoles by SCE employees would be for investigatory purposes. We would also like to express our surprise at a company releasing personal information about its consumers, as this is contrary to data protection principles around the world.

October 24, 2006

    Industry News
    Brisbane (Australia) based Pandemic studios has announced they will be forming a second development team. Already employing around 100 people the company is flush from success of their Destroy All Humans! titles. Their next project aren't know, but the company (including their US divisions) recently lost the contract to develop Star Wars Battlefront III which is now being developed at Free Radical Design. No doubt a third Destroy All Humans! title is possible - hopefully on next-gen systems.

    PSP Reviews
    Mercury Meltdown is the sequel to the hit PSP launch title Archer MacLean's Mercury. The original had fantastic visuals and some unique and highly addictive gameplay. While Archer MacLean may be gone the development team remains - and this sequel promises so much more. Have Ignition Banbury improved a great game further? Here's our full review.

    PS2 Previews
    Canis Canem Edit may not have a familiar name, but I'm sure you've heard of teh game already. You see this is the game formerly known as Bully - a new game from GTA developers Rockstar. It's due out soon so there's just enough time for one last look before release. This looks like another hit title for the company.

    PS3 Previews
    Need for Speed Carbon is a game which we took a quick look at some time ago, but Electronic Arts has just release a swag of new details at the Sony Gamers Day in America. What sounded like a good title, now sounds quite fantastic in part due to the massive number of game modes, and support for the Sixaxis controller's tilt functions. Here's a very much updated preview.

October 23, 2006

    PS3 Previews
    Def Jam: Icon was one of the new titles announced and shown off at Sony's Gamers Day in America recently. This is a radical shift for the series - and one which looks like setting new benchmarks. Graphically it's stunning, but it's the gameplay that could be revolutionary. Here's a very early look at this hot title from EA.

October 22, 2006

    Sony Gamers' Day Conference News
    A couple of other bits we missed from the Conference, and a couple of these aren't quite as good.

    • First of all Resistance: Fall of Man will not include 1080p support. While that news is a little disappointing the good news is that 40-players online is still included!
    • The Playstation 3 will not enhance the graphics of PSOne or PS2 games as the PS2 did to PSOne games. Similarly the system will not upscale DVD's to 1080p. While Sony never said so, I would guess they may have done this to show just how much better Blu-Ray movies are compared to standard DVD's.
    • The Playstation 3 loads Blu-Ray movies very fast - apparently around 10 seconds - which is about 3-4 times quicker then current dedicated Blu-Ray players.
    • The Playstation 3 will be able to play movies off the Hard Drive. As yet Sony has not announced which Codecs will be supported.
    • While Playstation 3 games will be region free, the consoles will still be locked for PS2 games meaning that American's will not be able to play Japanese PS2 games.
    • Sony will be making PSOne games available through their online service. These will be playable on the PS3 and PSP and will include many rare titles. The only games that won't eventually appear may be those with licensing issues. For instance, if a developer licensed music, but only licensed it for a short period of time, or distribution on a Playstation disc.
    • The next PSP firmware update will allow you to download PSOne games from the PS3 for playing on Sony's handheld.

October 21, 2006

    Sony Gamers' Day Conference News
    Sony's Gamers Day Conference was just held in America and it revealed the final pieces of the PS3 launch puzzle. We've compiled all the big news into point form for you to look over - and there were some pretty big announcements.

    • First the (pretty much only) bad news. There will not be a price reduction for the console in America. You will still be paying $US499 or $599 for the system.
    • When you buy your PS3 the box will contain a PS3 system, AC Power Cord, USB mini-cable, one Sixaxis controller (which they announced has a 20 meter range and 30 hours battery life on a single charge), Ethernet Cable and Multi-AV cable with composite connectors (as expected no S-Video, Component or HDMI - Boo!).
    • As a bonus Sony has announced that the first 500,000 Playstation 3 systems (basically all the first shipment, plus a few more) will include a copy of Talladega Nights on Blu-Ray. The retail version of the movie will be released on December 12, so PS3 owners get it a few weeks early. It will also be only the second Blu-Ray movie on a dual layer 50GB disc (the first, Click, was only released in America in the last couple of days).
    • Sony has demonstrated some of the PS3's other capabilitites - one of which includes ripping music from CD's to the Hard Drive.
    • Sony has also demonstrated the PS3 pushing media from the system to the PSP wirelessly. Not only can users stream music, but also videos and pictures to the PSP.
    • First Party software (that is, Sony) will have a suggested price of $US59.99.
    • Peripherals available at launch include the Sixaxis controller for $US49.99, PSOne/PS2 memory card adapter for $US14.99 and in December a Blu-Ray remote control for $US24.99 (this isn't needed to play movies, but like the PS2 remote makes it easier).
    • Sony announced that they will be releasing NBA 07 at launch. The most impressive aspect is that the game runs in full 1080p at 60fps.
    • Sony also announced that MLB '07 is headed to the PS3. There's little else known at this stage, but we (well, perhaps not PAL territories) can expect a release in 2007.
    • Sony has confirmed that downloadable games from the Playstation's online store will retail for $US14.99 or less. People can add money into their accounts either via credit card online, or by purchasing a Playstation card from retail stores.
    • David Jaffe (he of God of War fame showed off his latest title, a downloadable game for Sony's online service called Criminal Crackdown. The game is due for release in February or March.
    • Electronic Arts has announced they now have over 30 titles in development for the Playstation 3. As yet only around a dozen have been announced.
    • Sony confirmed the online store will have a downloadable demo of Motorstorm available from launch day.
    • Finally Sony has listed the games available at launch - and it's impressive with 21 titles in total. There are a couple of surprises. Firstly Koei's Fatal Inertia - despite being announced as a launch title in the aborted March PS3 launch isn't there, and EA's NBA Live 07 is also missing - probably a good thing given recent reviews. Here's the list:

October 19, 2006

    PSP News
    Some good news for PSP gamers today with Rockstar confirming they are going to release The Warriors on the system before Christmas. The PS2 version, which we reviewed here, was quite an impressive title - and certainly one of the best movie tie-ins of all times. No word yet as to the content of the PSP version, or if it will differ from the PS2 game. Expect more news soon.

    Konami are keen to get on the retro bandwagon and have just announced three new packs to be released in Japan next January for 3,980 yen. The first pack is Salamander Portable and includes Salamander (1986), Life Force (1987), Xexex (1991), Salamander 2 (1996) as well as an unannounced title. The second is Parodius Portable and includes Parodius da! (1990), Gokujou Parodius: Kakou no Eikou wo Momomete (1994), Sexy Parodius (1996), Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius - forever with me - (1996), and an unannounced title while the third pack Twinbee Portable includes Twinbee (1985), Detana Twinbee (1991) Twinbee Yahho! Fushigi no Kuni de Ooabare!! (1995), Pop'n Twinbee (1996), and - you guessed it - an unannounced title. No word yet on a release outside Japan.

October 18, 2006

    PS3 Online News
    Well there's been a bit of movement in terms of downloadable content on the PS3 in recent hours, with some leaks including titles that we'll be seeing hitting the system. Titles include the previously announced FlOw which will run at 1080p and make use of the SIXAXIS tilt controls. Also leaked though (these are meant to be announced at the Sony Game Day event in America later this week) are a 1080p, tilt controlled action game called Blast Factor, Go Sudoku which looks like a jazzed up version of the PSP title (which we reviewed here), Lemmings 2, and Swizzleblocks from Sony. Third party games include Crash Carnage Ciaos, Wheel of Fortune and Gripshift - which we are very much looking forward to given the stunning PSP version we reviewed upon release. You can read all the details, and get the first screens here.

    PS2 News
    It has been confirmed that British retailers PC World, Currys and Dixons will not carry Rockstar's upcoming game Canis Canem Edit (aka Bully) citing a need to adhere to family values. It's not as bad as it sounds as all three retailers are owned by one company, DSG International. Strangely enough, despite the game only receiving a BBFC 15 rating the company is still selling several BBFC 18 rated games. Publicity never hurt anyone - or any product really. Expect this game to fly off the shelves upon release in late October.

    PS3 News
    According to Eurogamer sources from within Rockstar have confirmed that Grand Theft Auto IV will include exclusive downloadable content - just like the XBox 360 game albeit with different content. The Xbox 360 version will apparently include two downloadable episodes. It is unclear what downloadable content will be in the PS3 version.

    PSP Previews
    V8 Supercars 3 Full Throttle is coming soon to a PSP near year. Several months ago (February 2006 to be precise) Codemasters released their third game in their racing series on the PS2 to rave reviews (including ours), and now it's headed to PSP - with support for 12-player races too! Here's an early look.

October 17, 2006

    PS3 News
    Speaking to Eurogamer Sony's Phil Harrison has confirmed that several of the PS3's launch titles "getting up close" to the 25GB limit of Blu-Ray discs, and that by next year several titles will be pushing the capacity of a dual layer 50GB disc. While the discs may use pre-rendered movies Phil also mentions high quality textures, 7.1 audio and speech contribute to the large game sizes.

    Sony has confirmed that the PS2 USB Headset will be compatible with the PS3. As yet there has been no mention of PS3 titles using the headset, however it will ensure backwards compatibility with PS2 titles such as SOCOM.

    PSP Previews
    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas isn't just heading to next generation systems, but also handhelds. We've seen plenty from the uber impressive PS3 version, but now you can feast your eyes on this spectacular PSP version with Ubisoft recently releasing screens and info. In fact, this game will sit perfectly next to its bigger brother.

    Star Wars: Lethal Alliance is due out by the end of the year. Millions of people the world over love Star Wars, and now Ubisoft is preparing an all new title for the PSP. We haven't seen too much (or should that be nearly enough) yet, but what we have seen is impressive. Here's a preview with the first batch of screens.

October 16, 2006

    PS2 News
    Well it looks like America has some sense after all. Miami-Dade County judge Ronald Friedman has today, after viewing two hours of game footage, determined that Canis Canem Edit (aka Bully) can not be banned much to the chargin of game-hater/fun-hater Jack Thompson. Thompson then released a scathing letter ranting about the judge and... well... who really cares about what Thompson says anyway.

    PSP Previews
    Sega Mega Drive Collection (or Sega Genesis Collection as it will be known in the States) is a compilation of over 30 of Sega's best games on the Mega Drive. With series' including Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star and Ecco among others is this really a compilation you can pass up? We would have to say certainly not. Here's a preview.

October 15, 2006

    PS2 News
    Those of you waiting for our recently reviewed Suikoden V may wish to know that the game, which was due out last week, and originally on the 6th, has been pushed back until the 20th. It's certainly worth the wait though. Let's just hope this is the final short delay.

    QV Software has confirmed that King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 has been delayed from November 14 until March 2007. No reason has been given for the delay.

    I wouldn't be too disappointed with the previous news as QV Software have also announced that King of Fighters XI will be coming to the PS2 in Australia this coming February!

    PSP News
    QV Software has confirmed that Metal Slug Anthology (the compilation that includes every single game in the series) on PSP has been pushed back from November until March 2007.

    PS2 Previews
    Thrillville sounds like some sort of a theme park ride, and you wouldn't be too far off actually. Over the years we've seen Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Park on the PC, and now we have Thrillville from Frontier Developments and LucasArts. Fortunately the game is also headed to the PS2. This sim / management looks pretty impressive.

October 14, 2006

    PS3 News
    Last week a Spanish web site, Meristation, posted the news that the Playstation 3 may be headed for another delay in Europe (and we could assume Australia) until May due to shortages in Japan and America. Apparently the source was none other then Ken Kutaragi himself. Fortunately Sony has now debunked the story on Gameindustry.biz by stating that it was "categorically not true" and that Ken Kutaragi has not made any statements since the Tokyo Game Show. Hmmm...

    PS2 Reviews
    Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is a title which thousands of gamers would be anticipating. Namco Bandai, through Sony in Australia, have released their third game in their highly acclaimed flight sim series on the PS2. We've taken a long look and give you the full run-down on what it's like.

October 12, 2006

    Industry News
    Some rather sad news today with reports from Japan confirming that Capcom are going to close Clover Studio. The development team has been at the forefront of innovative game design with titles such as Viewtiful Joe 2 (and its prequel), as well as the upcoming games Okami and God Hand to their credit. The studio will close in March 2007.

    PSP Previews
    PowerStone Collection is a game which Dreamcast owners will be keen to have a look at. If you're a fighting fan and PSP owner then this is worth looking at. The Dreamcast original was an overlooked gem, now millions more gamers can enjoy this treasure which is due out in a couple of weeks. A preview.

    PS3 News
    Well this is disappointing but Sony Japan has confirmed that the PS3, the ultimate in High Definition entertainment, will not ship with any HD cables. Indeed the box will only include a Composite cable - the worst available option. Why? Well it would certainly be due to almost every TV supporting that, but it ultimately means that those with HD TV sets will have to shell out more for a custom HDMI, or Component, or S-Video cable to use with the system. Fortunately the PS2's component and S-Video cables will apparently work with the PS3.

    Well this may not be the most exciting news ever, but Koei has announced that Mahjong Taikai IV will include 1080p support. This tile based puzzle game is going to tax the PS2 as much as an elephant squishing a mouse (read: it won't take much effort at all) but it's nice to see more support for the (as Microsoft have said) "impossible" resolution.

October 10, 2006

    PS2 Reviews
    Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is the sequel to the hit game of last year. There plenty more to unlock and discover in this game then in last years title, and the gameplay is even more refined. This is a fantastic title and deserving of any PS2 collection. Here's a full review.

October 9, 2006

    PS3 Previews
    Call of Duty 3 is likely to be one of the biggest launch titles on the PS3 - if not the biggest. This third title in Activision's WWII FPS looks like taking the series to all new levels and, on the PS3, will make use of the motion sensing control too! Here's a look at this certain hit.

    PS2 Reviews
    Let's Make a Soccer Team is a game which had us interested if only due to the Sega branding and development. Rather then concentrating on the on-pitch action this game centers around the management of a club; from marketing to players. It's all here, but is it actually any good? Here's our full opinion.

October 8, 2006

    PS3 News
    Sony has announced that Motorstorm will be released in Japan on December 7th. This is a bit earlier then we were expecting as it had been previously reported/rumoured that the game would be an early 2007 release in America/Europe. It will almost certainly be a launch title in Europe and Australia next March.

    PSP News
    SNK Playmore have announced that Metal Slug Anthology will be release in Japan on December 14. The compilation, which includes all six titles in the series, is due out in PAL territories around November, however we now expect it to be delayed slightly - possibly into next year - expect confirmation soon.

    PS3 Previews
    NBA 2K7 is, fortunately, a stunning looking title on the PS3. With EA's NBA Live 07 receiving dismal reviews around the world (hell, they didn't send out any review copies until after release) gamers have to look elsewhere. 2K Sports' NBA series has always been great, but their first PS3 title in the series is stunning.

    Industry News
    Some things in this world are simply fantastic. One such thing is Katamari Damacy that wonderful game from Namco with the sticky ball (Katamari) that gets bigger as you roll over things. Well one Insurance company seems to like that game as well. Check out this heavily inspired ad which I'm thinking Namco's lawyers may be looking at as well. Classic.

October 7, 2006

    PS2 News
    Electronic Arts have been copping a bit of late. Their latest NBA release, NBA Live '07 has been copping a lot due to a massive list of bugs and incomplete gameplay. Apparently the computer will not substitute players when fatigued, rookies retire after one year in Dynasty mode, some players have incorrect ages (Josh Boone is 57 years old!) and so on. We don't have a copy here at Futuregamez.net (EA have stopped supporting most web sites some time ago!), but IGN recently gave the game 4.9/10 (compared to 9.0/10 last year, 8.9/10 the year before and 8.8/10 the year before that). One of the biggest supporters of the game nbalive.org has been rather scathing of the game, and Electronic Arts could only respond to the bug reports from the forum moderator with the response "Thanks for the comments, we'll look into it.... it may not be fixed this year but we'll try to do better next year" (you can read the entire forum thread here). Be warned folks, NBA Live 2007 looks like a big yellow lemon. Fortunately unlike Madden NFL (which is also receiving some average reviews - although not NBA bad) EA don't have the exclusive rights. Gamers may want to check out Take Two's NBA 2K7 due later this year.

    Well I guess that Electronic Arts aren't all bad. They have just announced one of the most exciting, downright thrilling additions to an upcoming game. The company has just confirmed that "Multi-platinum, chart-topping recording artist / performer / actress / designer / philanthropist / businesswoman, Hilary Duff and her beloved Chihuahua, Lola" will be appearing in The Sims 2 Pets. Oh, we were being sarcastic too. This is quite possibly the least exciting announcement ever - unless you're one of the three gamers that actually wants to play with Duff.

    PSP News
    Nintendo have had a hit on the Nintendo DS with their Brain Training games - but now a very similar title will be hitting the PSP. Sega and Ubisoft have announced Mind Quiz for release on the PSP this November. The game has been developed with the assistance of Dr. Kawashima, who is the Japanese foremost authority of Functional Brain Imaging.

    PS2 Reviews
    Super Dragonball Z is a new Dragonball Z title with the emphasis firmly on the fighting with little story in sight. Michael has taken this game for a spin, and gives us his full verdict - and fans of the series should be pretty happy about it too.

October 6, 2006

    PS2 News
    Not to be outdone by the first announcement Ubisoft have also been kind enough to confirm that they will be distributing Final Fantasy XII in territories including Australia and New Zealand, as well as France, Belgium, and the Nordic territories including Iceland. That's the good news. The bad news is that, as expected, the game won't be released until early 2007 - and that's as accurate date as we have.

    Vivendi has announced that their upcoming PS2 game, Scarface: The World Is Yours is the first game to have all the sound recorded and mixed at Skywalker Sound. The game spent five weeks being mixed in the same way that a Hollywood motion picture is mixed: balancing dialogue, sound effects and music on a THX-calibrated sound stage at Skywalker -- something that has never been achieved before in video game production and ensuring every sound will be heard as the developers intended it. Academy Award winner Randy Thom (Apocalypse Now, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, The Right Stuff, The Incredibles) served as lead sound designer, in his first work in the video game space. The game is due out in Australia on November 30 for $AU79.95.

October 5, 2006

    PS2 News
    Ubisoft has announced that they will be distributing Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VII Dirge of Cerberus in Australia and New Zealan in November 2006 (no specific date yet). The PAL version includes several changes and enhancement from the Japanese game including the main characters movement being sped up 1.2 times faster, faster aiming, double jumping, new cinematics and an extra hard mode. Multi-player is sadly gone due to a lack of HDD here, however we will receive 40 extra missions!

    Some of you may have been asking what's happened to B-Boy which hasn't hit the shelves as yet. Sony have just informed us that the PS2 and PSP versions are due out on October 12th - that's next week.

    PSP News
    Atari and Eidos have announced a new game called Chilli Con Carnage for release on the PSP in Q'2 2007. The game is in development at Deadline games and sees gamers taking the role of Ramiro Cruz. You have been thrown deep into the seedy underworld of Los Toros, Mexico, where he must single handedly create maximum carnage throughout the inner circles of local kingpin, Cesar Morales’ drug cartel. To be honest the game - grapically and setting wise at least - has a similar look to Deadline's recent Total Overdose - one of the most entertaining games in recent times.

October 4, 2006

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed some details of the peripherals that will be shipping for the Playstation 3 this year. First up is confirmation that the controller (Called "Sixaxis" - designating the degrees of movement) will be released in Japan on November 11 for 5,000 yen (about $AU57). The same day sees the Memory Card Adapter which allows you to plug in PSOne and PS2 memory cards via the USB slot will sell for a reasonable 1,500 yen ($AU17). Finally on December 7 Sony will release the BD Remote Control (basically a remote control for Blu-Ray movies - although it isn't required if you don't want it) will sell for 3,600 yen ($AU41). Naturally prices outside Japan will vary. Our guess is that Australians will pay $69.95, $24.95 and $49.95 respectively.

    Take Two's NBA 2K7, which will be released late this year in America, and early next year in Europe and Australia has been confirmed to include support for 7-players in offline gameplay.

    Industry News
    America's largest independent developer Foundation 9 Entertainment has announced they have purchased the non-game assets of Shiny Entertainment from Atari. This means the developers will become a part of Foundation 9 in 2007, however the game properties such as their upcoming Earthworm Jim on PSP and the Matrix license remains with Atari. Foundation 9 Entertainment now includes companies such as The Collective, Backbone Entertainment, Pipeworks, ImaginEngine and Digital Eclipse.

    PS2 Reviews
    Suikoden V may not be a game at the top of most gamers "must have" lists - but if you like RPG's then it probably should be. Konami's latest in their Suikoden series is possibly the best to date. It takes a while to get into, but it will have you hooked. Here's our full review of this great RPG.

October 2, 2006

    PS3 News
    If you take a gander at the latest PSM3 in the UK you may come across some very exciting news. According to the magazine - and Konami are still denying it - Zone of Enders 3 is currently in development for the PS3. The series has been a favourite of creator Hideo "MGS" Kojima so here's hoping we'll be seeing the game in 2007 as the magazine states.

    Sega has confirmed that Sonic the Hedgehog will be released in Japan on December 21st, for 7,140 yen. The game will be a launch title in Europe and Australia next March.

    From Software has announced that Armored Core 4 will be released in Japan on December 14th for 8,190 yen. There is no release date as yet for Europe, but a launch title is possible.

    PSP Reviews
    Ultimate Ghosts n' Goblins may be a remake at heart, but Capcom have totally rebuilt this game from scratch and in doing so created one of the best updates ever. This game is quite stunning visually with some gorgeous 2.5D gameplay and graphics, and is pretty tough as well. Our review gives you the full lowdown on Capcom's latest PSP title.

October 1, 2006

    PS2 Reviews
    As we pretty much expected this late in the year Square-Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy XII won't be released in PAL territories until early 2007.

    PS2 Previews
    Playwize Poker and Casino is coming out in late November in Australia and the game promises not only card games (including various forms of Poker) but many other games you could find in casinos. Sure, the graphics are average, but this could still be an entertaining title.


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