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January 06, 2003 - January 15, 2003 - See More Archived News


Wednesday, January 15, 2003
 
[Community] D&D Heroes Site Launches - posted by Andy Grieser at 2:38 pm CDT

The official site for Dungeons and Dragons Heroes for GameCube, XBox and PS2 is now live. More on the game:

"Take on perilous quests through never-before-seen planes of existence and carve a path to righteousness. Conquer dungeons, search for gemstones, fight monsters, improve your skills and more as one of four distinct Hero characters: Fighter, Wizard, Cleric or Thief. Immediately immerse yourself in solo games or play cooperatively with up to 4 players. Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes gives you a chance to taste victory as only a true Hero can."

 
[Community] ESCmag Reviewer Starts Blog - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:17 pm CDT

ESCmag reviewer and Canadian correspondent Michael Smyth -- who also helps run the ESCmag forums -- has started a new blog. He's sure to make it big, once he takes my advice and starts posting pictures of scantily clad attractive women.


Tuesday, January 14, 2003
 
[PC] Splinter Cell for PC Delayed till Mid-February 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 2:21 pm CDT

We just got word from Ubi Soft that Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for the PC has been delayed till mid-February 2003. We will have a more solid date hopefully soon.

 
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews The Getaway (PS2) - posted by Erich Becker at 1:57 pm CDT

The good guys and gals over at GamesXtreme have gone out and done a nice review of The Getaway for the PlayStation2. Calling it a darker version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (meaning more lifelike than the some-what cartoony presentation of GTA. Take a look at the review right here after you read this quick snippet:

"If you wanted Vice City a little Darker and more serious this is for you, the capital city never looked so good, and neither did crime!"

Remember to tell them who sent you.

 
[GameCube] Top Angler from XICAT the first Fishing Game on GameCube - posted by Erich Becker at 1:48 pm CDT

XICAT lures gamers with reel fishing fun Top Angler to be first fishing game for the Nintendo GameCube(TM)

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - January 13, 2003 - Xicat Interactive, will lure gamers with reel fishing fun with the release of Top Angler(TM) for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) console. Top Angler (currently available on PlayStation® 2), will be the first fishing game for the Nintendo GameCube(TM).

"Video games are now the number one form of entertainment in the U.S. and fishing is a $30 billion a year industry. It makes perfect sense for us to expand the release of Top Angler," says Reto Bodmer, president of Xicat Interactive, whose company has tripled its sales over the past six months.

Top Angler, offers gamers of all ages a fun, realistic and challenging bass fishing experience. "Our developers (SIMS) went out of their way to make it look and feel like real bass fishing. SIMS has had quite a bit of experience with this genre as well, they developed the best-selling Sega® Dreamcast(TM) version of Sega Bass Fishing(TM). With life-like motion graphics, unpredictable weather and some great fishing holes, the only thing missing is a six-pack," quips Bodmer.

It's quick to learn, yet hard to master and you don?t need to be a fishing enthusiast to enjoy this addictive, good-time game. Top Angler is packed with innovations that allow the player to always have a good day of fishing. Along with the many levels of play, Top Angler has a deep interactive tackle box with over 36 lures, real pole action/response, a zoom view feature and an enhanced live well feature that shows cumulative weight, type of fish caught and lures used. It also boasts real-time scenery and weather changes as well as the split screen fight/underwater view.

Xicat teamed up with SIMS in developing the unique split screen fight/underwater view, which alone makes this game a must see and play. The instant the fish hits the lure, the view changes into the split screen mode. The player experiences the fight from above and below the waterline seeing the valiant twists, turns and leaps of the fish up close on one side of the screen, while the other side reveals the player struggling with their monster bass. "The split screen fight/underwater view is a fun touch and an innovation we are proud to have developed," says Bodmer.

Xicat is planning to cast Top Angler to console gamers in Q1 of 2003. Top Angler will be available for the Nintendo GameCube(TM).

About Xicat Interactive:
Publishing award-winning games for PlayStation2®, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy® Advance, Microsoft® Xbox and Personal Computers, Xicat Interactive, Inc., (http://www.xicat.com/) is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with offices in London and Zurich. A fast-growing innovator in the world of interactive entertainment software publishing Xicat's popular titles include Sniper: Path of Vengeance, ChopLifter: Search & Rescue, U.S. Special Forces: Team Factor, Jane's Attack Squadron, BlackStone: Magic & Steel, Metal Dungeon, Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge, X-Plane, and Gothic which can be found at software retailers throughout North America.


 
[PC] Unreal II: The Awakening Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 1:45 pm CDT

I spotted this over at TechSpot and thougth I would relay the message. Unreal II: The Awakening the sequel to the "Quake-killer" Unreal has gone gold and should be in stores the first week of February. Be sure to check your local retailer in the next couple of weeks to see if the game is available. Expect a review from ESCMAG as soon as the game hits.


Monday, January 13, 2003
 
[Education] Scholarships For Gamers at AIC San Francisco - posted by Erich Becker at 2:01 pm CDT

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GAMERS! THE ART INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA - SAN FRANCISCO ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BUDDING VIDEO GAME DESIGNERS

-April 30 Deadline for High School Seniors, International Students to Apply for Scholarships for Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming Degrees-

SAN FRANCISCO (January 13, 2003) – High school seniors and international students interested in education for a career in the video and computer game industry are invited to apply for scholarships from The Art institute of California – San Francisco. The scholarships support the school’s bachelor degree programs in Game Art & Design and Visual & Game Programming.

Scholarship awards are based on the quality of projects submitted by high school seniors who demonstrate ability and commitment in one of the school’s programs of study. Students may qualify for part- or full-tuition scholarships.

To enter, students may obtain a Scholarship Competition Entry Form from The Art Institute of California – San Francisco by emailing aisfadm@aii.edu or by calling the school at (888) 493-3261 or (415) 865-0198. The entry deadline is April 30, 2003.

Student must fulfill general admission guidelines and competition guidelines, including a 250-word essay, educational resume, letters of recommendation and entry form. In addition, students will need to submit samples of artwork relating to each individual program, which may include drawings or illustrations, video game concept development, optional computer artwork, scripting or programming samples for a PC game, or module development for a game. Students should see the entry form for complete details.

The Game Art & Design and Visual & Game Programming programs teach skills needed for entry-level positions within the burgeoning video game industry. The school has offered Game Art & Design since Fall 2001 and its new Visual & Game Programming degree starts January 13, 2003. The Art Institutes system has been receiving widespread attention for its Game Art & Design program, which was recently named among the World's Top Five Game Degree Programs by Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine it its January 2003 issue.

For more information about scholarships or about the school’s degree programs, visit www.aicasf.aii.edu or call (888) 493-3261. Located at 1170 Market Street in downtown San Francisco, the school attracts a diverse mix of students from throughout the Bay Area and the world. The school offers degree programs in Graphic Design, Media Arts & Animation, Multimedia & Web Design, Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming, Fashion Design and Interior Design.

ABOUT THE ART INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA – SAN FRANCISCO

The Art Institute of California – San Francisco (www.aicasf.aii.edu) is one of The Art Institutes (www.artinstitutes.edu), a system of 27 education institutions located nationwide, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. The parent company of The Art Institutes, Education Management Corporation, is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, with 43 primary campus locations in 26 major cities, and with more than 44,000 students as of fall 2002. EDMC’s education institutions offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor's, associate's and non-degree programs concentrated in the creative and visual arts, the behavioral sciences and education fields. EDMC has provided career-oriented academic programs for 40 years, and its education institutions have more than 150,000 alumni.

 
[Multi] Ubi Soft Acquires Nightmare Creatures Brand - posted by Erich Becker at 1:58 pm CDT

UBI SOFT ACQUIRES NIGHTMARE CREATURES BRAND

With the deal, Ubi Soft confirms its commitment to release the latest game in the gothic, action/adventure trilogy in 2004

San Francisco, CA - January 13, 2003 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced today that it has acquired all developing and publishing rights related to the Nightmare Creatures 3, Angel of Darkness (working title) video game as well as the Nightmare Creatures trademark. As a result, the development for Nightmare Creatures 3, started by Kalisto Entertainment, is now being handled by Ubi Soft. The game is slated for release on the latest generation of consoles in 2004.

This new agreement allows Ubi Soft to extend its original and innovative approach to the Nightmare Creatures video games and any related developments. It demonstrates Ubi Soft's long-term vision for its games and furthers the company's strategy to build a diverse catalogue of titles.

"With the rights to the Nightmare Creatures name now secured, we are making sure that players remain as enthusiastic about the series as they have been up until now," said Alain Corre, Ubi Soft's Managing Director for Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America. "The action-packed gameplay and fascinating story of Nightmare Creatures 3 promise to take the fright factor of the genre to new highs."

Set in 19th-Century Central Europe, Nightmare Creatures 3 lets players slip into the role of an agile heroine who works to solve a mystery in Prague during the day. At night, she merges with her accompanying raven to become a formidable fighting creature. The artful use of suspense and tension offers a new and sophisticated gaming experience for horror fans and gamers.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

Nightmare Creatures, Ubi Soft and the Ubi Soft logo are trademarks of Ubi Soft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries.

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Friday, January 10, 2003
 
[PC] UBI SOFT Announces Shadowbane Release Date, New Website - posted by Erich Becker at 10:35 am CDT

UBI SOFT ANNOUNCES SHADOWBANE SHIP DATE AND LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITES

Chronicle of Strife Unveiled

San Francisco - January 09, 2003 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the top 10 video game publishers in the world, today launched two new web sites for Shadowbane, the highly anticipated massively multi-player online (MMO) game. Shadowbane is being developed by Austin, Texas-based Wolfpack Studios, and offers a ground breaking approach to MMO gaming that allows players to permanently change the history, politics and landscape of the game.

The company has unveiled the Chronicle of Strife, an extensive community site for Shadowbane players at http://shadowbane.ubi.com. Besides daily announcements and updates, the Chronicle of Strife features in-depth details of Shadowbane races, classes and disciplines, interviews with the developers and an encyclopedia containing the lore of Aerynth. The site also features a newspaper-styled College of Heralds in which community members report on the evolving politics, religion, war, commerce and other events occurring in the live game world. Ubi Soft has also re-launched Shadowbane.com with a new look and updated information about the game.

Since its launch last year, the Shadowbane beta test has attracted tens of thousands of players. The company is targeting a March 25th ship date for Shadowbane and plans to continue to expand its beta test over the coming months.

Shadowbane has been called "The Next Great Online RPG" by Computer Gaming World. The game offers online gamers an unparalleled challenge that combines role-playing and strategy. Shadowbane is the first MMO to offer a Dynamic World Model, in which players' actions and decisions permanently change the history, politics and landscape of the game. For the very first time in an MMO, players will be able to determine how the game evolves by building and managing cities, organizing armies, and laying siege to other player-owned kingdoms.

About Wolfpack Studios, Inc.
Founded in early 1999, Wolfpack Studios, Inc. is dedicated to servicing the Internet gaming marketplace. Focused on pushing the boundaries of Internet technology, Wolfpack Studios develops products and services for a worldwide customer base with the mission of establishing a new standard in the areas of virtual 3D environments and persistent world gaming. For more information on Wolfpack Studios' upcoming titles, please visit the company's World Wide Web site at http://www.wolfpackstudios.com.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is a global producer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has also steadfastly partnered with several high-profile companies and is dedicated to delivering consumers with quality videogame titles while offering blockbuster franchises. Founded in 1986, the company has offices in 22 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany and China and sells its products in more than 50 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubi.com .


 
[PC] Silent Hill 2 Patch Available @ Gamer's Hell - posted by Erich Becker at 10:33 am CDT

The latest patch for the survivial horror game Silent Hill 2 from Konami is available to download from the good people over at Gamer's Hell. You download the patch right here, right now and keep up with one of the scariest games known to man.

It scared the crap out of me...

 
]PC] Schanz signs with Heuristic to Bring Dungeon Lords to Europe - posted by Erich Becker at 10:30 am CDT

Schanz signs with Heuristic to bring "RPG fighter" Dungeon Lords to European publishers

Excitement reigns at Schanz International Consultants (SIC): Licensing rights for fantasy RPG Dungeon Lords by D.W. Bradley of Heuristic Park were recently signed up for exclusive licensing representation. D. W. Bradley is one of the leading developers of fantasy RPGs in the U.S., famous for creating three of the Wizardry titles. With 20 years of experience making RPGs, and a proven, proprietary, 2nd generation 3D RPG engine, Heuristic Park has embarked upon making a new type of game that represents a bold step forward for the genre of fantasy RPG games. The working title for this new game is Dungeon Lords, and this new genre is called, "RPG-fighter".

Gerhard Schanz, MD at Schanz International Consultants says " we are sure, just about everyone in the industry understands the worth of a game that comes out of the award-winning, time tested and successful Studio such as Heuristic Park. We consider ourselves privileged to represent this game and to have the opportunity to work with someone like D.W. Bradley. The harmony and mutual understanding were instantaneous."

D.W. Bradley says, "The immediate response and enthusiasm generated by Schanz Games to my newest RPG creation Dungeon Lords has been overwhelming - I am truly delighted to have such a professional calibre organization as Schanz representing Heuristic Park. I am certain that Dungeon Lords is only the beginning of a long and enjoyable relationship together, and with their support look forward to transporting gaming audiences everywhere into new and unexplored universes for many years to come."

Barely within days of signing up the Agreement with Heuristic Park, SIC finalised a publishing deal for Dungeon Lords, for Asia and is now seeking a European publisher for European and North American rights for the game which will first be on PC and then on X-box.

Heuristic Park, Inc. was founded in 1996, but its history goes back much farther. The design team at HP is made up of the same creative talent responsible for such games as Wizardry: Heart of the Maelstrom , Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Wizardry: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, CyberMage: Darklight Awakening, Nox, Unreal: Return to Na-Pali, and D.W. Bradley's Wizards & Warriors. More at www.heuristicpark.com

Schanz International Consultants was founded in 1998 in Deidesheim, Germany. The Consultancy is well described with it's mission statement as ...your link in the gaming industry...The fast growing services of this motivated and value-oriented team are documented at www.schanzgames.com.


Thursday, January 09, 2003
 
[Console] First Official XBox Live Tournament Underway With 'NFL Fever 2003' as Showcase Title - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:18 pm CDT

FIRST OFFICIAL XBOX LIVE TOURNAMENT UNDERWAY WITH “NFL FEVER 2003” AS SHOWCASE TITLE
Top Ranked Xbox Live Players Compete in the “NFL Fever 2003” Gridiron Showdown


Since the launch of Xbox Live on November 15, pigskin fans across North America have been battling it out on what has become the world’s largest and most competitive football arena. After months of blood, sweat, tears and trash talking, it’s put up or shut up time for “NFL Fever 2003”’s elite online players.

Beginning January 10, the top 64 “NFL Fever 2003” ranked players on Xbox Live will test their skills in the first ever Xbox Live tournament. This head-to-head single-elimination tournament will determine the ultimate “NFL Fever 2003” Champion. At stake is ultimate gridiron acclaim and legend status amongst Xbox Live football players.

The winner of the Gridiron Showdown will receive a football autographed by NFL Fever spokesperson and cover athlete, Peyton Manning, a one-year subscription to Xbox Live and a copy of “NFL Fever 2004” (when available). The runner-up will receive a one-year subscription to Xbox Live and a copy of “NFL Fever 2004” (when available) autographed by Peyton Manning. All participants in the “NFL Fever 2003” Gridiron Showdown will receive an Xbox Live tournament T-shirt.

On January 7th , tournament invites were sent out to the top 1,500 Xbox Live ranked NFL Fever players. The top 64 ranked players who accepted the invite have met the following eligibility requirements: at least 18 years of age, owns “NFL Fever 2003”, possesses a valid Xbox Live account and Xbox.com account.

For up to the minute tournament updates, in-depth tournament rankings, brackets, forums and news reports visit http://www.xbox.com.

“NFL Fever 2003”, which features cover athlete and spokesperson Peyton Manning, is available in stores for the suggested retail price of $39.99 exclusively for Xbox.


 
[PC Gaming] CDV Software Announces International 'American Conquest' Tournament - posted by Andy Grieser at 12:15 pm CDT

CDV SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL “AMERICAN CONQUEST” TOURNAMENT
“American Conquest” Website Launches as CDV Reignites the Battle for America

Cary, NC - January 9, 2003 - CDV Software Entertainment today announced the international “American Conquest” tournament on their newly launched website, www.war-of-independence.com. Expected to draw more than 4,000 fans worldwide, the tournament will recreate the battle for the Americas and the rivalry between the United States and the United Kingdom.

“American Conquest” War of Independence will run on both sides of the Atlantic between February 14th and May 15th of 2003, culminating in a Los Angeles final at Electronic Entertainment Expo.

A never-before-seen demo of “American Conquest” is now available on the website, so aspiring contestants can sharpen their skills before the tournament starts.

About “American Conquest” Tournament
The free-for-all tournament will be conducted via Internet from February 14th to April 6th. The best 24 players from the United States will battle it out in the second round for the regional champion and runner-up positions starting April 7th.

A similar tournament will run concurrently in the United Kingdom. Once the best players from overseas have been declared, the two continents will go head to head in a Los Angeles final taking place between May 12th and May 15th. Non-US and non-UK players will be included in a “Rest of The World” tournament, and an assortment of prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The European and American hopefuls will win a three-day trip to the finals in LA, including passes to E3. In addition to claiming victory for their country, the winner of the final itself will collect an array of prizes.

More information about the tournament is available at www.war-of-independence.com.

About “American Conquest”
In the year 1492, Christopher Columbus travelled to America and sparked 300 years of heated battles for land, riches and freedom. In eight campaigns spanning more than 40 missions, players delve into epic real-time battles with up to 16,000 soldiers. Discover new technologies, improved fighting units and the dangerous world of diplomacy with “American Conquest.”


 
[PC] URU: Online Ages Beyond Myst Begins Closed Beta Soon - posted by Erich Becker at 7:45 am CDT

URU: ONLINE AGES BEYOND MYST TO BEGIN CLOSED BETA TESTING IN JANUARY 2003

Explorers Invited To Apply

San Francisco, CA - January 8, 2003- Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest videogame publishers, and Cyan Worlds, Inc., developers of the legendary Myst® and Riven(tm), today announced their highly anticipated upcoming online adventure Uru(tm): Online Ages Beyond MYST. Players will have the opportunity to explore and interact with meticulously crafted environments in, around, and beyond the newly discovered underground D'ni empire that predates human civilization. Explorers wishing to help test the game during its beta phase are invited to apply today by visiting uru.ubi.com

"Uru is an ancient word, the earliest word for city. It is rooted in the idea of a gathering of people, which is precisely what Uru will foster," said Rand Miller, founder of Cyan Worlds. "We've been working for almost five years developing the cutting edge technology, detailed design and breathtaking graphics that allow us to build real-time online worlds that go beyond Myst. Imagine being able to explore lush landscapes, ancient deserted cities, mysterious forests, curious swamps -- and that's only the beginning. We're trying to provide an environment that's so engrossing, people will talk about it and share their experience. With Uru the journey is experienced together within the game, with friends, family, even strangers uncovering fantastic places together."

Uru will take advantage of broadband to deliver a continually updated, immersive environment and storyline, with content that grows, changes and evolves constantly. It will also be the first persistent world to support real-time voice communication. Uru is designed to appeal to a broad audience and enable players of all skill levels and interests to experience expansive ages of the Myst universe in a uniquely social environment. Playing their own avatars, hundreds of thousands of players will meet new people, all realistic impersonations of themselves, play games, solve mysteries and embark on a voyage of discovery with friends. Players will be able to customize their level of interaction with other players, choosing to play alone, with small groups of friends or in areas where they can meet new people.

With 12 million units sold worldwide, Myst is one of the most widely recognized and critically acclaimed game brands in history. "Uru represents an incredible evolution in the Myst product line and in online entertainment," said Jason Rubinstein, General Manager of ubi.com. "Fans of the Myst series, online socializers, mystery buffs, Internet chatters, multiplayer online gamers and non-gamers alike will be amazed by Uru. It will definitely raise the bar for an immersive online experience, and we expect it to attract new customers to online gaming and perhaps change the face of mainstream entertainment."

PC users will be able to enjoy Uru, which will be made available through ubi.com, one of the top ten gaming portals. The final version of the game is scheduled to launch in late 2003 with a closed beta test commencing in January 2003. For more information about Uru: Online Ages Beyond MYST, or to apply to be a beta tester, visit http://uru.ubi.com.

©2002 Ubi Soft Entertainment
Myst is a registered trademark of Cyan, Inc. under license to Ubi Soft Entertainment.

About Ubi Soft® Entertainment:
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

About Cyan Worlds, Inc:
Cyan Worlds, Inc., located in Spokane, WA, is best know for Myst and Riven, which received numerous awards, critical acclaim and broad popularity, Cyan has been designing and building immersive interactive worlds since 1987. They currently employ over 40 designers, programmers and artists. For more information about Cyan Worlds, visit www.cyanworlds.com.


 
[Xbox] New Tao Feng Trailer Available - posted by Erich Becker at 7:41 am CDT

"Tao Feng" Smashes Through Windows: New Trailer Available Today Through Media Player 9

Microsoft Game Studios today released a new trailer for their upcoming fighter, “Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus,” to coincide with the release of Windows Media Player 9. Gamers can witness the next generation of brutality at http://www.xbox.com. “Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus” features incredibly detailed characters in ruthless hand-to-hand combat. Fully interactive environments and bone-breaking sound effects in 5.1 surround sound provide unmatched gameplay. "Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus" is slated for a March 2003 release, exclusively for Xbox.

From John Tobias, co-creator of the “Mortal Kombat” series, comes “Tao Feng,” the most brutal and lifelike fighting game ever created. On the vicious streets and back alleyways of New China, two fierce fighting sects battle in a race to uncover the ultimate prize. Clothes will tear, blood will spill and bones will break. To the victor, honor and immortality await. Players experience the visceral brutality of furiously intense hand-to-hand combat. The crippling physical damage players inflict appears in real time. Huge interactive arenas are incredibly detailed and fully destructible. When the fight ends, players can witness the devastation of battle.

“Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus” is being developed by Studio Gigante, which was established by John Tobias in 2000.

Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

 
[PC] Microsoft/Relic Release Impossible Creatures - posted by Erich Becker at 7:40 am CDT

Lions, Tigers and "Impossible Creatures" Roar Into Stores Today

Mutant Animals Do Battle in Microsoft Game Studios' First 2003 PC Game Release

REDMOND, Wash. - Jan. 8, 2003 - Imagine a world where great white sharks stalk on land, hippopotamuses soar overhead with bat-like wings, and rhinoceroses move with the speed and agility of leopards. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced the retail availability of just such a place in "Impossible Creatures."

Developed by Relic Entertainment Inc., "Impossible Creatures" is an imaginative computer game that breathes new life into the real-time strategy (RTS) genre by introducing the Creature Combiner, a tool that merges the features and capabilities of more than 50 of Earth's most formidable animals to create thousands of bizarre and fantastic units. Gamers command their unique army of bizarre beasts in 15 single-player battles against an evil madman, or against other players in fast-paced online skirmishes brought to life by each player's imagination and a powerful 3-D graphics engine.

"With 'Impossible Creatures,' we've created the RTS for everyone - a game that will appeal to those who've only played a computer game once or twice as well as hard-core gamers who play more than 30 hours a week," said Alex Garden, CEO of Relic Entertainment. "Because we've based our custom units on something everyone knows - animals - players intuitively understand the strengths and weaknesses of the 'Impossible Creatures,' and can quickly adapt strategies. The result is a fast-paced battle that's never the same game twice."

Players create personalized armies featuring customized units. For example, gamers looking for a strong aerial attack can create a rhino with the wings of a snowy owl; or, if they want to launch an amphibious assault on an opponent's base, they can mutate a killer whale with the arms and legs of a silverback gorilla.

Relic Entertainment also has launched Relic Developer's Network (RDN), a unique Web site dedicated to letting players express their creativity by modifying games released by the company. The RDN site (http://www.relic.com/rdn/index.php) currently features a suite of tools, including mission, objects, FX and sound editors, empowering players to design their own games based on Relic Entertainment's technology.

"'Impossible Creatures' is a great addition to Microsoft Game Studios' diverse portfolio of PC games," said Stuart Moulder, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft. "Top to bottom, from the innovative Creature Combiner to the fast-paced gameplay and the stunning 3-D graphics engine, 'Impossible Creatures' represents the next level of real-time strategy gameplay."

More information on "Impossible Creatures" is available on the official Web site at http://ww.microsoft.com/games/impossiblecreatures/.

Availability

"Impossible Creatures" will be available at leading retailers nationwide, including Best Buy Company Inc., Electronics Boutique and Circuit City Stores Inc., on Jan. 8 for an estimated retail price of $44.95 (U.S.).* The game is rated "Teen" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

About Relic Entertainment

Relic Entertainment Inc., a leading-edge developer of electronic entertainment software founded in 1997 and led by Alex Garden, developed "Impossible Creatures." Relic's debut product, "Homeworld," launched in the fall of 1999 and has since been recognized dozens of times, including winning 1999's Game of the Year award from PC Gamer and 1999's Strategy Game of the Year from Computer Gaming World. Relic currently has two new games under development. It has gained a reputation as one of the best game development studios in the world. Relic is located on the Internet at http://www.relic.com/.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox™ video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC (http://www.microsoft.com/games/), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon™"; Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/), including such franchises as "Halo™," "Project Gotham Racing™" and "NFL Fever"; and Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/), the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "OutSmart™."

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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[Xbox] Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge from Xicat Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 7:36 am CDT

Xicat sets the stage for its latest Xbox(TM) release

Motor Trend Presents - Lotus Challenge

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – January 8, 2003 – Xicat Interactive, Inc. has given the green light to the new video game Motor Trend Presents - Lotus Challenge. The game is set to pull out of the pits on January 28, for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

Motor Trend Presents - Lotus Challenge is nearing its gold master date and previews are garnering high marks (copies are available for preview/review). For race fans looking for a closer trackside view, producer Lenny Kohs and the entire team at Kuju are ready to put you in the drivers seat and answer your interview questions.

The Game:
Lotus Challenge is truly the most complete racing game to date. By mixing different gaming styles, camera angles, story lines and even a hint of role playing, players can choose multiple paths through the game. Five huge modes offer players a complete tour of the world of Lotus. Stunt mode takes you to the set of a Hollywood blockbuster run by a hotshot director who gives you the play-by-play of the scene he wants you to execute. A multi-player option is available for those who want to challenge others through a championship or single race. Upon winning specific challenges, hidden tracks and cars are unlocked, so if you have already won a race you can go back and test your skills in a faster car.

Game features include:

• 5 game modes: Collection, Championship, Single Play, Multi-player and Challenge, which features a story line with races, stunts and missions.

• 38 licensed Lotus cars including new models, famous classics and race and concept cars

• 28 different races, 22 different stunts/challenges

• Stunning new controller system for a more realistic driving experience – tested and approved by the actual Lotus test drivers

• The first driving game with officially licensed vehicles to feature realistic vehicle damage

• Soundtrack by cutting edge electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid

The soundtrack for the game was created by UK electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid and includes a brand new track Joyride as well as four new remixes of songs from their critically acclaimed album Wider Angle tweaked specifically for Lotus Challenge.

Lotus Tested, Lotus Approved:
Lotus Challenge features a new controller system that makes for a more realistic driving experience, and not insanely harder to master. The system was tested and endorsed by Lotus development drivers and Lotus designers created two unique concept cars especially for the game. Lotus Challenge is the first auto racing video game to bear the prestigious Motor Trend name.

Motor Trend Presents - Lotus Challenge embodies cutting edge simulation racing with the excitement of an arcade thriller. The game is rated E for Everyone and will be released for Xbox(TM) January 28, 2003, with releases for Nintendo® Gamecube(TM) and PC CD-Rom coming in Spring 2003.

About Xicat Interactive:

Publishing award-winning games for PlayStation2®, Nintendo® Gamecube® and Game Boy® Advance, Microsoft® Xbox™ and Personal Computers, Xicat Interactive, Inc., (http://www.xicat.com/) is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with offices in London and Zurich. A fast-growing innovator in the world of interactive entertainment software publishing Xicat’s popular titles include Sniper: Path of Vengeance, ChopLifter: Search & Rescue, U.S. Special Forces: Team Factor, Jane's Attack Squadron, Top Angler, X-Plane, and Gothic which can be found at software retailers throughout North America.

About Kuju Entertainment:

Kuju Entertainment is one of Europe's leading independent games developers. Located in three studios in the UK, with over 130 staff, Kuju has a substantial multi-platform multi-team development capability. With more than 13 years of game development experience, Kuju is currently creating five games for the PlayStation2, Xbox, GameCube and PC platforms. Recent releases include the hit title Microsoft Train Simulator on PC, Fireblade and Reign of Fire for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Kuju Entertainment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuju PLC. Kuju PLC successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in May 2002 (LSE AIM: KUJ). For more information visit www.kuju.com.

About Group Lotus PLC:
Group Lotus PLC is regarded by many as the finest sports car manufacturer in the world. The British based company currently builds the multi-award winning Lotus Elise and the archetypal super car the Lotus Esprit. With a heritage of motor sport wins in just about every sector of motor racing include the Indy 500, Le Mans, the World Rally Championship and 7 Formula World Championships. Past Lotus sports cars such as the Seven, Elite, Elan and Europa have become motoring icons and legendary drivers who have raced for Lotus include Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinnen.

About PRIMEDIA:
Motor Trend is published by PRIMEDIA. One of the world's most innovative media companies, PRIMEDIA is pioneering the concept of targeted scale through its combination of traditional and new media properties. The company capitalizes on its focused content across print, television, the Internet and live events to offer highly effective integrated advertising and marketing solutions in some of the most sought after advertising demographic sectors including teens, automotive, outdoor, luxury, real estate and business-to-business segments. With 2001 sales from continuing businesses of $1.6 billion, PRIMEDIA is the #1 special interest magazine publisher in the U.S., producing more advertising and editorial pages through its more than 250 titles including Seventeen, Automobile, Motor Trend, New York, Fly Fisherman, Power & Motoryacht, Telephony, Ward's Auto World and American Demographics, than any other media company. It is also the No. 1 producer/distributor of specialty video with 18 satellite and digital video product lines, including Channel One Network; and the No. 1 news and information group on the Internet, led by About.com. More information about the company can be found at www.primedia.com.

About Xbox:
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico



Tuesday, January 07, 2003
 
[PC] Raven Shield Demo Mirror and Patch from Gamer's Hell - posted by Erich Becker at 1:57 pm CDT

Gamer's Hell was nice enough to send along a page to download Tom Clancy and UbiSoft's latest demo, Raven Shield, the next in the long line of Rainbox Six games. Be sure to pick up the v1.1 patch if you downloaded the demo previously.

Raven Shield Demo v1.1

Raven Shield Demo v1.1 Patch

Thanks goes out to Gamer's Hell for the links.

 
[PC] Medieval: Total War Viking Invasion Exp. Pack Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 1:52 pm CDT

ACTIVISION'S MEDIEVAL: TOTAL WAR(tm) EXPANDS NORTHWARDS WITH VIKING INVASION(tm) EXPANSION PACK

The Longships Of The Norsemen Cast A Shadow Over Europe As Activision's Historical Strategy Game Franchise

Gains A Savage Expansion Pack

Santa Monica, CA - January 7, 2003 - Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced an expansion pack for Medieval: Total War(tm), the critically acclaimed PC strategy game which was honored as the top PC game of all time by PC Gamer (UK). Developed by The Creative Assembly, Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion(tm) turns the clock back to 790AD, when the Viking hordes descended from their Scandinavian strongholds to pillage their neighbors.

Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion challenges players to control eight new factions, including the Vikings themselves, the Saxons, Scots, Irish, Welsh and Picts, and embark on a campaign to dominate the British Isles. With a wealth of new historical heroes, players can lead a range of new units into battle, including Viking Berserkers, Saxon Huscarles and Fyrdmen, while conducting sieges enhanced by the introduction of flaming arrows and boiling oil.

"Medieval: Total War's mixture of epic battles, historical accuracy and brilliant design put the game in a class all its own," states Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion adds to this incredibly formidable mix in what is sure to be one of the best expansion packs of the year."

"We felt the era of Nordic raiders offered the perfect opportunity to add new flavors to the Medieval: Total War experience," explains Tim Ansell, founder, owner and managing director of developer The Creative Assembly. "Players can now sweep west from Scandinavia to raid, pillage and conquer just as they did over 1200 years ago."

Medieval: Total War -- Viking Invasion introduces new features that will be welcomed by fans of the franchise Players can now plan reinforcements and scout enemy formations before taking to the field from a new pre-battle screen. In addition, there will be new playable factions and a new heavy weapon in the shape of the fearsome Organ Gun. Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion is slated for release in the Spring of 2003 and has yet to be rated by the ESRB.

For more information on Medieval: Total War(tm) visit the website at www.totalwar.com. For more information on The Creative Assembly visit the website at www.creative-assembly.com.

 
[PlayStation2] Everquest Online Adventures in Feb. 2003 - posted by Erich Becker at 12:44 pm CDT

Sony Online Entertainment announced today that EverQuest Online Adventures for the PS2 will be available in February 2003 for the PlayStation2 console.

The game allows gamers to logon to a virtual work and combat mythical beasts with thousands of other players as they level up, find new items, and set out on new quests to better the world.

The PC version is one of the most successful online games released next to EA's Ultima: Online which has been in service for almost six years. EOA will carry a monthly subscription price of $9.99.

Set out on your adventure next month. Need more information? Check www.station.com to get the low-down.

 
[Multi] Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Announced for All Platforms - posted by Erich Becker at 12:39 pm CDT

TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL PREPARES TO INFILTRATE OTHER PLATFORMS

Already available for Microsoft's Xbox TM, the internationally acclaimed espionage game is set for launch on other consoles this spring.

San Francisco, CA - January 7, 2003 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced today that it will release Tom Clancy's Splinter CellTM for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system as well as for Nintendo's GameCubeTM and Game Boy® Advance by spring 2003. Impatient fans will be treated to a PC-version of the blockbuster game earlier this year.

Since its initial release for the XboxTM video game system in November 2002, Splinter Cell has gone on to sell 1 million units in North America alone and 600, 000 units in Europe. It boasts an average rating of 94.4 (out of a possible 100), based on a sample of 54 reviews, and was most recently awarded GameSpy's Xbox Game of the Year 2002 title.

Splinter Cell on the Xbox(tm) has already been one of the most talked about games in the industry during this holiday season and the game is now anticipated to be very popular on the other platforms this spring. By expanding the game's release, Ubi Soft confirms its commitment to offer outstanding moments of entertainment to all players as well as its long-term ambition for the Splinter Cell brand.

"With its all-around stupendous reviews and now its record sales, Splinter Cell is blazing a trail the likes of which the industry has rarely seen. We are eager to take the run-away success of this game to an even wider audience," said Yves Guillemot, President and CEO of Ubi Soft Entertainment.

© 2003 Ubi Soft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Splinter Cell, Ubi Soft, and the Ubi Soft logo are trademarks of Ubi Soft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox and the Xbox logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and//or in other countries and are used under license from Microsoft.

TM, ®, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance are trademarks of Nintendo.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.



Monday, January 06, 2003
 
[PC] GarageGames Launches Updated Marble Blast (PC) Demo - posted by Erich Becker at 11:21 am CDT

GarageGames Launches Updated Marble Blast Demo
More Levels and Less Fat - This Demo is New & Improved

Eugene, Ore. - January 5, 2003 - GarageGames announced today the release of an updated demo for their highly acclaimed title, Marble Blast. The updated demo features five playable levels and access to several of the game's power up items. The full version of Marble Blast, available at www.garagegames.com for $14.95, includes 72 levels, a variety of power up bonuses and additional hazards.

"We've taken the same approach to building our demo as we have with our games, by including suggestions from our players in this current release," comments Mark Frohnmayer, the Marble Blast project lead. "We've received great response from those who've played the first demo release and with their input we've made a few improvements, fixed a few undocumented features and added a couple less intimidating levels to introduce players to the game."

"I wanted to review this game fairly, so I waited until I had beat the game. Then I realized that, flush with the excitement of victory, I wouldn?t be very objective. So I waited. Days passed," reports Luc Jordan, a member of the GarageGames community. "I was still playing Marble Blast - on average probably hopping in and out of the game several DOZEN times every day, in the course of my normal activities... Instead of an imprecise, silly party game, Marble Blast gives us a finely tuned, well-oiled, perfectly calibrated FUN MACHINE -- one that will eat your soul and then move along to your friends and family."

The demo is available widely at download sites including FilePlanet, FileShack, GameSpot, HomeLAN, PC Gameworld, Worthplaying and 3D Gamers. Marble Blast is available currently for the Windows platform for $14.95 from www.garagegames.com . Macintosh and Linux versions will be available soon.

About Marble Blast http://www.garagegames.com/pg/product/view.php?id=3
Produced by GarageGames in cooperation with Monster Studios, is the first title to use the Torque Game Engine. The arcade-style action game has players racing against time as they navigate their marbles through moving platforms and dangerous hazards, collecting treasure along the way.

About GarageGames:
Located in Eugene, Oregon, GarageGames http://www.garagegames.com is pioneering on-line game publisher. Their mission is to provide independent game makers with tools, technology, education, team-building information.and, even the market they need to make and sell great games. GarageGames is most famous for bringing the Torque Game Engine, the technology behind "Tribes 2," to Independent developers for only $100.

###

 
[PC] GarageGames Launches Multiplayer Orbz (PC) Demo - posted by Erich Becker at 11:20 am CDT

GarageGames Launches Multiplayer Orbz Demo
Playable Demo lets casual and yOya gamers experience "A Whole New Ball Game"

Eugene, Ore. - January 3, 2003 - GarageGames and 21-6 Productions announced today the launch of the Orbz multiplayer demo. The Orbz demo features dedicated server support and a single-player training mode called Boot Camp. The full version of Orbz, available at www.garagegames.com for $14.95 includes ten additional courses, power-ups and global player rankings.

Orbz, a recently released game in the GarageGames Blast line, has quickly surprised and amazed new players with its simple design and competitive head-to-head, non-violent play. "Words and screen shots fail to express the addictive experience players have had with Orbz," explains Ryan Mette, Vice President of 21-6 Productions, "this new demo version will give gamers a good taste of what to expect from the full version."

"Orbz is a beautifully balanced and incredibly fun game. It's as if the brains over at 21-6 Productions took the basic technique of billiards, the multiplayer experience of Quake, and the look and feel of Super Mario Brothers and combined them in to one big pot; then refined them down to their core elements creating pure addictive gameplay," said Dan MacDonald of Rainfall Studios. "The interface in Orbz is so simple a 5-6 year old child could pick it up with ease, yet true mastery of the game takes practice, leaving Orbz players with hours and hours of replayability as they refine their skills challenging others online with Orbz's global ranking system."

The demo is available widely at download sites including; FilePlanet, FileShack, Fragland.net, GameSpot, HomeLAN, pcgameworld and 3D Gamers. Orbz is available currently in a Windows version for $14.95 at www.garagegames.com , soon to be released in Mac & Linux versions.

About Orbz
Orbz is a multiplayer action/arcade game with simple game play and intense competitive strategy. Using an intuitive two-click interface; players can take aim, set shot power, and launch their Orb at star-shaped targets scattered throughout richly detailed 3D courses. Power-ups provide an added layer of strategy allowing players to gain a competitive advantage against their opponents. Orbz will appeal to a wide variety of gamers because it's easy to learn and makes online play approachable, yet provides enough depth and strategy to challenge advanced players.

About 21-6 Productions:
21-6 Productions Inc. (http://www.21-6.com) is a Colorado-based studio founded in the summer of 2000 by three software engineers with extensive experience in enterprise software development and management. Since late in 2001, the team has grown to include the wide variety of talent needed to develop quality games including management, programming, concept art, 3D modeling, level design, and audio engineering. Their mission is to create a successful game studio by combining their professional backgrounds with their passion for games.

About GarageGames:
Located in Eugene, Oregon, GarageGames (http://www.garagegames.com) is pioneering on-line game publisher. Their mission is to provide independent game makers with tools, technology, education, team-building information.and, even the market they need to make and sell great games. GarageGames is most famous for bringing the Torque Game Engine, the technology behind Sierra's "Tribes 2," to Indie developers for only $100.

Visit the Orbz Product Homepage

 
[Community] Gaming in 3D Takes A Look Back at 2002 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:18 am CDT

A Look Back At 2002

Check out G3D's look back upon the year with such products as Best Reasons Why To Jump Ship and much more.

"The year 2002 will be remembered little for its new technological breakthroughs some say. With this year's lack of excitement at Comdex and dying down hype for some products that never even made it out this year - namely the 'Hammer' Athlon 64 and GeForceFX, it's no wonder the economy hasn't improved, but that's getting off topic.Still, there were a few diamonds in the rough that made gamers and computer enthusiasts alike excited again, including the iPod, Shuttle XPC series, and much more. Let's take a look."

You know you want to read the whole thing, please do so now!


 
[Community] GamesXtreme Reviews Morrowind (Xbox) - posted by Erich Becker at 11:16 am CDT

The good guys and gals over at GamesXtreme have posted a review of the critically acclaimed Morrowind for the Xbox video game console. Check out this small snippet and hit the link below for the full review!

"The game suffers from a whole host of flaws, but if you can see past them you will realize just how much has been achieved..."

Check Out the Full Review!


 


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