Home Reviews Features Forums News Downloads
Buy at GameStop.com!
Industry News Archives

February 20, 2004 - March 15, 2004 - See More Archived News


Monday, March 15, 2004
 
[PS2/Xbox] Lucasarts Announces Mercenaries - posted by Erich Becker at 1:05 pm CDT

Lucasarts has officially announced Mercenaries to be developed by Pandemic Studios. The game is billed as an, "...open-ended third person combat-action game..." and will be released this fall for the PlayStation2 and Xbox consoles.

"Set in North Korea where a coup has plunged the troubled nation into chaos, an elite private military company has dispatched a lone mercenary to track down 52 fugitive members of the old hardliner regime --- before they can launch a nuclear attack."

For more information on the game, head on over to the official site

 
[PC] EverQuest Turns 5, Book Deal Announced - posted by Erich Becker at 1:01 pm CDT

Sony Online Entertainment, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the online hit, EverQuest, has released some rather cool facts and figures based on the game. Check them out below:

  • Over 2.5 million copies of the game and its expansions have been sold in box or digitally downloaded since 1999.

  • If stacked end to end, the total number of EverQuest boxes created would reach a height of more than 265 miles, which would stretch out of the Earth’s atmosphere and past the orbit of the International Space Station.

  • EverQuest averages about 250,000 new subscribers every year. Currently, there are more than 420,000 people playing the game.

  • At peak times, more than 100,000 people around the globe will be playing EverQuest simultaneously. Heaviest hours of operation for EverQuest are from 5PM Pacific Standard Time to 11PM PST, with the biggest days being Thursday and Sunday – traditionally, the biggest nights for prime-time television viewing.

  • There are almost 12 million characters created by players within the game. Of these 12 million, more than 3 million have been played in the last six months.

  • The oldest EQ player is 78 (part of three generations of a single family that play together from different states). The youngest is 9 (he plays with his mother and father).

  • There are more than 1 million non-player characters populating the world of EverQuest, made up of nearly 400 unique types of creatures.

  • Total play time for all current players in the game equals more than 184,000 years.

  • Only 17% of the characters played within EverQuest are human. 83% are comprised of the fourteen other fantasy races available in the game.

  • EverQuest currently has more than 420,000 inhabitants, making the game’s population larger than 42 of America’s state capitals. Based on 2000 Census figures, EQ’s population is four times that of Berkeley, CA, Springfield, IL and Gary, IN; three times that of Pasadena, CA, Hartford, CT, Lansing, MI or Tallahassee, FL; twice the population of Orlando, FL, Des Moines, IA, Providence, RI or Richmond, VA; and roughly equal in population to Atlanta, GA, Kansas City, MO, Fresno, CA and Virginia Beach, VA.

  • There are over 350 square miles of dungeons, mountains, plains, valleys, cities and forests to explore in the game.

  • There are more than 40,000 unique items for players to discover, create or buy within the game. More than 3,000 of these items have never been discovered by players.

  • There are almost 100,000 trees within the world of EverQuest.

  • More than 1500 servers run the world of EverQuest, which is the equivalency of one of the world’s top 100 supercomputers. More than 18 miles of wire and cable connect all these boxes together.

  • Over 10 quadrillion bytes of EverQuest data have left the SOE network in the past five years. That’s a ten, followed by 15 zeroes.

Also in EverQuest News:

CDS Books and SOE announced that the companies have joined together to print novels based on EverQuest to be edited by R.A. Salvatore. Publishing of the novels should begin this summer. The books promise to divulge deeper into the plot of the game and show current gamers some new strategies. After Blizzard's successful Diablo, StarCraft, and WarCraft series of books here's hoping these turn out just as well.


Tuesday, March 09, 2004
 
[PC] Enlight Releases Demo for X2: The Threat - posted by Erich Becker at 1:52 pm CDT

Enlight Releases Highly Anticipated Official X2: The Threat Demo; NVIDIA Premieres Demo on Their Nzone Site Today

PARKVILLE, Md. (March 9th, 2004) – Enlight, a leading entertainment software developer and publisher, announced today that the highly anticipated official demo of X²: The Threat is being released through NVIDIA's NZone website (www.nvidia.com/nzone). Taken from the game's final code, the 150 MB demo of X2: The Threat gives gamers an opportunity to experience sandbox mode and tutorials within the core elements of the game: Trade, Fight, Build, Think

A first person space experience, X²: The Threat immerses the player in a dynamic, living, breathing universe, where every event and action has ‘cause and effect' upon the entire gaming environment. In a Universe over twice the size as the original X title, players will discover new worlds and life forms, and can undertake the role of either a trader, bounty hunter, pirate, miner or a strategic combination of them all. In this demo, players begin with a ship from the Argon Fleet and 1 million credits. With an unparalleled open-ended gameplay experience, the four training sessions can be experienced within a special demo universe created by the developers for testing the various features of the game.

X2: The Threat, a recipient of GameSpy's Editors' Choice award and noted by PC Gamer as "a threat worth facing…", has continued to exceed sales expectations across the U.S. Due to its stunning graphics, over seventy ships to operate and the ability to define AI scripts, X2: The Threat has been referred to by many critics as the "long awaited" successor to the genre defining space sims Elite and Privateer.

Developed by Egosoft and published by Enlight Interactive in North America, X2: The Threat also features the NVIDIA "The Way It's Meant to Be Played" seal. The performance, compatibility and reliability of NVIDIA GPUs provide the best platform for experiencing X2: The Threat the way it's meant to be played. For additional information visit http://www.x2-game.com/

 
[PC] Massive Assault Network Beta Test Sign-ups - posted by Erich Becker at 1:49 pm CDT

Wargaming.net is now accepting applications for the upcoming Massive Assault Network’s beta test. Beta testers can sign up at: http://www.massiveassaultnetwork.com/signup.php (all countries are eligible). Candidates are accepted until March 16th, the beginning of the beta test.

Massive Assault Network is the upcoming online strategy, which focuses on online turn-based warfare for hardcore strategy gamers.

“We believe our beta-testers will get the rewarding experience while testing this innovative online product - they will be able to play deathmatches on all 7 planets and enjoy massive ground, naval and air warfare,” said Victor Kislyi, the president of Wargaming.net. “All the beta-testers will get a good deal of personal training from our dedicated Mentors and the enthusiastic Massive Assault players”.

When released, Massive Assault Network will include free deathmatches on a beautiful planet. Other planets as well as participation in tournaments and clan wars will be available for a reasonable subscription fee.

Massive Assault Network is based on award-winning Massive Assault game, which multiplayer’s part has been significantly improved with:

- Integrated ingame chat
- Opponent finder system
- Personal challenge system
- Tournament manager system
- Detailed online statistics

Massive Assault Network is an online 3D strategy game based on original Secret Allies political concept, where two commanders fight for global domination in sci-fi environment.

To sign up for beta test and for more details about Massive Assault Network project please visit:
http://www.massiveassaultnetwork.com.


 
[Industry] Sony Ericsson and Ubisoft Sign Cross-Promo Deal - posted by Erich Becker at 1:47 pm CDT

Sony Ericsson and Ubisoft put the latest gadgets inside the ultimate game

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow(tm)
to feature the P900 smart phone and T637 camera phone

Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, a leading mobile phone supplier, today announced an in-game product promotion for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow(tm), one of the most anticipated video games of 2004. The alliance puts the new P900 smart phone and the T637 camera phone in the hands of operative Sam Fisher, as he wages a one-man war against terrorism.

"The innovative technology featured in the P900 and the T637 made these the perfect devices to add to the intense realism in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow(tm), said Dewey Walsh, Product Marketing Director for Sony Ericsson North America. "The Sony Ericsson P900 smartphone is the ultimate complement to help Sam Fisher complete his missions. With its combination of PDA, phone and camera features, it combines the latest and greatest in mobile technology, outfitting our hero with everything needed to combat evil."

This deal reflects one of the most unique in-game product placements in the history of video games. Instead of being merely an advertisement within the game, the products are integrated throughout the entire experience and the player cannot move forward without using both the P900 and the T637 camera phone to complete his missions. Sam Fisher must use an image captured by the T637 to help the NSA identify the leader of a terrorist group, which has taken over a cryogenics lab in Paris in a race against time. The P900 is also used frequently throughout the game to change weapons and communicate with superiors. The seamless integration of the products into the plot makes this deal the perfect way to subtly reach consumers in the male 18-34 demographic.

Sony Ericsson will support promotions and marketing events for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow(tm) through a national online photo contest, the world premiere event, a consumer email campaign, the availability of downloadable demos of the game on the Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications website and a promotional program making mobile phone and the PC game bundles available to consumers.

 
[PC] Far Cry Goes Gold, Two New Demos Await Release - posted by Erich Becker at 1:44 pm CDT

GOLDEN DAYS AHEAD FOR FAR CRY
Far Cry Goes Gold - Ubisoft to Release
Two More Single-Player Demos in Anticipation of Launch

San Francisco - March 09, 2003 - Ubisoft(tm), one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced its highly-anticipated tactical tropical shooter, Far Cry(tm) has gone gold. Far Cry is scheduled to release on March 23, and in anticipation for the Far Cry launch, Ubisoft has commissioned two more action-packed single-player demos to release in March. The Far Cry "Research" demo is currently available online and appears as the featured demo on PC Gamer's April issue demo disc, which hits newsstands on March 16. The third and final demo, entitled "Boat," is a Windows XP demo that will release worldwide on March 15. Far Cry will be available for the PC for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

"We wanted to do something special for the supportive Far Cry community to commemorate reaching its gold milestone," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "More than one million people feverishly downloaded Far Cry's first single-player demo, and we expect to see the same excitement for the upcoming "Research" and "Boat" demos. We know the demos will only increase gamers desire to play the final game on March 23."

Far Cry boasts the critically-acclaimed, proprietary CryENGINE, and its huge game environments, deadly A.I., and the longest view-distance ever witnessed in a first-person shooter are destined to become benchmarks in the genre. The CryENGINE powers the game's non-scripted AI allowing players to play the game again and again utilizing different tactics and strategic approaches each time. Far Cry redefines the meaning of re-playability. Players will experience an unprecedented level of immersion as they uncover the game's many intricacies and unbelievable attention to detail.

Additionally, Far Cry will ship with the intuitive, Sandbox Editor(tm). CryENGINE technology allows for the easiest, most user-friendly map-editing tools ever created. Players can build their own maps, re-construct game levels, and switch from editing to playing on the fly with one simple command. The editor's key component is its "What You See is What You Play" real-time editing feature, allowing players to actually play the game from within the editor itself, making the transition from creating to playing instantaneous.

 
[Xbox] Tenchu: Return From Darkness Cuts into Retail - posted by Erich Becker at 1:41 pm CDT

ACTIVISION ACCLAIMED TENCHU® SERIES STRIKES AGAIN WITH TENCHU®: RETURN FROM DARKNESS™

Santa Monica, CA – March 9, 2004 – Activision, Inc’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Tenchu stealth ninja series is back with Tenchu: Return from Darkness on the Xbox videogame system from Microsoft. Based on the best-selling Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, Tenchu: Return From Darkness brings the acclaimed series to Xbox gamers with several new enhancements including Xbox Live gameplay featuring two-player cooperative stealth ninja action and online death match with 20 playable characters across six maps. Tenchu: Return From Darkness has been rated “M” (“Mature” – intense violence, blood and gore - content suitable for persons ages 17 and older) by the ESRB and is available for $49.99 at North American retail outlets.


Monday, March 08, 2004
 
[PC] Strategy First Teams with Trymedia for Electronic Distribution - posted by Erich Becker at 1:06 pm CDT

Strategy First Teams With Trymedia to Expand Online Game Offerings

Montreal, Canada. Friday March 5, 2004 - PC Game publisher/developer Strategy First is pleased to announce it has entered into a partnership with Trymedia Systems to use their unique distribution technology; ActiveMARK to bring SFI titles to a larger market.

"We were very impressed with Trymedia's technology and are thrilled to be able to offer our products using their distribution model to an ever-increasing online marketplace" says Steven Milburn, Director of Marketing at Strategy First.

Trymedia Systems' digital delivery technology allows customers to download PC games online in a try-before-you-buy format and then purchase desired games without further download time. ActiveMARK game files may also be shared from person-to-person via e-mail, burning to CD/DVD, IM,etc, at which point the title reverts to trial mode. The initial Strategy First titles that can be downloaded from Trymedia through www.strategyfirst.com, www.trygames.com and the entire Trygames Network of affiliates are:

- Dicsiples II: Gallean's Return
- Disciples II: Dark Prophecy
- Disciples II: Rise of the Elves
- O.R.B
- Nexagon: Deathmatch

"By working with Trymedia, Strategy First is choosing to give their fans more options gamers want by encouraging the downloading and even sharing of legitimate game files," remarked Gabe Zichermann, Trymedia's VP of Strategy and Communications.

 
[PC] Rival to Develop Games for the Army National Guard - posted by Erich Becker at 1:03 pm CDT

Rival Interactive announces a new initiative to create multiple video games based on Homeland Defense and Counter-Terrorism for the Army National Guard.

Alexandria, Virginia, March 8, 2004 - Rival Interactive and the Army National Guard today announced that Rival has been awarded the rights to develop computer and video games based on National Guard Homeland Defense and Counter Terrorism initiatives. This agreement will result in Rival creating a PC game specifically for the Army National Guard and a second series of games available for commercial retail release on PC and next-generation video game consoles.

"This is an exciting initiative and we are proud to be part of it," said Jim Omer, president of Rival Interactive. "The Army National Guard is a crucial part of our nation's defense and we are excited to bring their experiences to the gaming community."

"The Army National Guard keeps our communities safe while defending our country against the threat of terrorism," commented LTC Michael Jones, director of marketing for the Army National Guard. " Now gamers will have the chance to experience the challenges that our forces face every day. From being called on to secure airports, power plants, or Sporting events, to fighting terrorism around the globe, the Guard is always there and ready to take on whatever challenges may present themselves."

The two titles PRISM: Black Shield (Military Version) and PRISM: Threat Level Red (Commercial Version) will take place in the near future, with
the player becoming the newest member of a secretive homeland defense unit known as PRISM. The core PRISM experience focuses on the unconventional application of new and emerging weapons and surveillance technologies in the war against terrorism. PRISM is an acronym for the Preemptive Reconnaissance and Identification Security Mainframe, a new computer system that the government is using to wirelessly hack into video surveillance equipment across America. When terrorist activities are suspected or potential targets are identified, players are called into action. This system will be the backbone of the game that drives both the story and the player.

PRISM's single-player mode will contain a rich storyline that will blend stealth and tactical combat with the all-out action of a first-person shooter.

PRISM will immerse gamers into the dark and dangerous world of counter-terrorism and homeland defense in and around some of the most famous landmarks in the world. The game will feature a multi-dimensional team comprised of elite soldiers and intelligence agents who use next generation "Black Weapons" and cutting edge technologies to combat terrorist groups active on American soil. While the player will be part of the team, the action will be centered and focused on a specific character and his or her actions. The single-player campaign will contain scenarios that include attacks on, and defense of, key U.S infrastructures such as seaports, airports, museums, shopping malls, and areas along the U.S borders. Many missions will take place during major events and in famous locations, such as Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the Hoover Dam and the Pentagon. They will also feature real-world weapons and methodologies of US Special Forces operatives against AI terrorists with their own specific arsenals. US military involvement means that gameplay will require realistic player feedback and levels designed with lifelike scenarios, damage effects, team assaults and tactics in mind.

The game will be based on Rival's state-of-the-art engine and will feature breathtaking environments, advanced character physics models, real military doctrine and cutting edge AI. Advanced multiplayer modes will build on the popularity of cooperative team-based objective play along with new team-based modes.


 
[PC] Nemesis of the Roman Empire Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 12:53 pm CDT

Much Anticipated Sequel Title, Nemesis of the Roman Empire, Goes Gold

Haemimont Games' Highly Anticipated RTS to Hit Stores Soon

PARKVILLE, Md., – (March 5, 2004) –Enlight, a leading entertainment software developer and publisher, announced today that the upcoming PC title Nemesis of the Roman Empire has gone gold. Based on the award-winning original Celtic Kings: Rage of War, Nemesis of the Roman Empire will allow players to experience the most brutal battles of the Punic Wars, including the infamous campaigns of Hannibal the Great.

Nemesis of the Roman Empire has already received high remarks for its unique approach to combining military tactics and real time strategy. The online gaming site AVault called the game "an innovative simulation… one of the first strategy games to truly embrace that concept on a level of realism higher than Age of Empires." In addition, the game has been praised for its portrayal of the historic Punic Wars. "Any game where I'm in control of thousands of men in a pitched battle for survival is ok in my book," said Juan Castro of IGN.com. "(The engine) really shines handling the immense amount of troop movement onscreen."

Featuring epic missions, Nemesis of the Roman Empire casts players as one of four races; the Romans, Carthaginians, Gauls or Iberians. Inspired by the historical Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.), Nemesis of the Roman Empire also features the famous campaigns of Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. In addition, the game will contain two distinctive single-player campaigns, new terrain types, custom maps and special enhancements to the Celtic King engine. While remaining true to the game's original concept, Nemesis of the Roman Empire incorporates real-time strategy and role-playing elements, offering players a unique experience in discovering a conflict that occurred over 2000 years ago.

"Haemimont created a game that incorporates elements of the original while at the same time, improved on the formula," said Trevor Chan, chief executive officer of Enlight Software LTD. "Gamers that enjoyed the original game will be thrilled. Players looking for something unique and different in the RTS genre will be ecstatic."

Nemesis of the Roman Empire is being published by Enlight Interactive in North America and will be available at $29.95 for the PC on March 24, 2004. For additional information on features for this title as well as future updates, please visit the game's official website www.enlight.com/nemesis.

 
[Community] EQ: Champions of Norrath Review @ Gaming Illustrated - posted by Erich Becker at 12:47 pm CDT

EverQuest: Champions of Norrath @ Gaming Illustrated

Gaming Illustrated has reviewed the latest game from Sony Online Entertainment, EverQuest: Champions of Norrath, for the PS2 warding the game a score of 92%. Check out this snipped and read the full review.

"Except for a less-than-engrossing story and occasional bugs, Champions of Norrath offers an excellent game experience that piles many features atop its beautiful graphics, it’s liable to remain in the PS2 for a long time. Even with its few performance bugs, Champions of Norrath is a fine purchase for action and RPG fans - casual or serious."


 
[PC] Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire Heads to Stores - posted by Erich Becker at 12:43 pm CDT

Strategy First releases Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire to the market place...

Montreal, Canada. Monday March 8, 2004 – PC publisher Strategy First and developer i Deal Games today announced that their turn-based strategy game Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire has shipped to retail stores nationwide for $19.99 USD.

With this retail release, not only do you get to continue your adventures in Arulco in Wildfire, but the original Jagged Alliance 2 retail release is included in the box with the source code so that modders can tweak the JA experience to their liking.

For more information on Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire please visit www.strategyfirst.com.

 
[PC] Ubisoft Brings CSI: Miami to PC - posted by Erich Becker at 12:41 pm CDT

UBISOFT ADDS CSI: MIAMI TO PRODUCT LINE-UP

Ubisoft Signs Exclusive Licensing Agreement with CBS Consumer Products® To Bring CSI: Miami to PC

Paris, France - March 8, 2004 - Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, CBS Consumer Products and Alliance Atlantis today announced an exclusive licensing agreement for Ubisoft to publish games based on the popular television series CSI: Miami for the PC. This new CSI game is slated to launch worldwide on PC for Winter 2004-05.

Developed by 369 Interactive, CSI: Miami will follow the format of Ubisoft's successful CSI: Crime Scene Investigation game series. Players will solve a number of complex cases working with the stars of the show. Investigation includes using high-tech forensic tools to find the evidence, as well as interrogation and puzzle solving.


Friday, February 27, 2004
 
[Multi] "Everything or Nothing" Praise, "GoldenEye 2" Confirmed - posted by Erich Becker at 3:12 pm CDT

2004 Is EA’s Year FOR Bond… James Bond Videogames EA’s James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Game Achieves Critical and Commercial Success;

Next Bond hit, GoldenEye 2 Under ”Top Secret” Development

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Feb. 27, 2004 – James Bond’s fifth interactive mission for Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, has launched worldwide to critical and commercial success, the company announced today. The EA GAMES™ branded title has achieved critical praise internationally while shipping at #1 in sales across consoles in the US and #2 on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in Japan, making it the company’s most successful Bond videogame debut to date for one of the biggest movie-based franchise in videogames. The game is being released in Europe today.

What critics around the world are saying about Everything or Nothing:

“James Bond returns to the small screen in his finest performance yet.” 4.5/5 – GamePro Magazine
“Graphically rich, with a genuine movie-like feel.” 5/5 Stars – Times of London Newspaper
5/5 Stars – Maxim
“…critics are calling it one of the best James Bond video games ever.” – CNN Headline News
“One of the most unapologetic thrill rides on PS2.” 9/10 – Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK
“Players will be able to feel as if they were James Bond himself.” 9/10 – Weekly Famitsu

“As the #1 console title in the US, Everything or Nothing, EA’s critically acclaimed new Bond game has it all, including original music from Grammy winner Mya and top Hollywood talent such as Pierce Brosnan and Heidi Klum,” said John Riccitiello, EA’s President and COO. “And we’re not done yet—today we’re announcing that we are developing GoldenEye 2 (working title), a game where players become the ultimate villain in the Bond universe,” Riccitiello added.

“Everything or Nothing’s success continues to showcase the enormous strength of our collaborative relationship with EA and Danjaq,” added Travis Rutherford, Senior Vice President of MGM Consumer Products and Interactive. “We look forward to continued success with this fall's release of a new chapter in the Bond saga and the creation of another blockbuster franchise in GoldenEye 2.”

In GoldenEye™ 2, players will explore the dark side of the Bond underworld, playing an agent who was a candidate for 00 status before being dismissed from MI6 for reckless brutality. Players will join ranks with the legendary super-villain Auric Goldfinger, fighting for control of the world’s greatest criminal organization. The game is under development at EA Los Angeles for multiple console platforms, scheduled for release this holiday season under the EA GAMES brand. More details will be forthcoming at a later date.

Officially licensed by MGM Interactive, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is rated “T” (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.95 on console platforms and $29.95 for Game Boy® Advance.

 
[NES] "Super Mario Bros." World Record Broken - posted by Erich Becker at 2:07 pm CDT

Near-Perfect World Record Logged on NES Super Mario Bros.

FAIRFIELD, IOWA - February 25, 2004 - For years, the world record on NES' legendary Super Mario Bros. video game was stalled at 5 minutes and 20 seconds. In recent months, however, increased media publicity on classic gaming has re-ignited player enthusiasm for breaking long-standing records, with world titles falling on titles like Legend of Zelda and Metroid.

And, now, debatedly the most contested NES game of all time, Super Mario Bros., may have been brought to a "near-perfect" finish, as Scott Kessler, of North Carolina brought the record down to 5 minutes and 17 seconds. "Yes, this could be considered a near-perfect performance," explains Twin Galaxies Referee Robert Mruczek, who watched the entire game on videotape before declaring the feat a new world record. "It may be possible to shave 1-3 more seconds off the time," adds Mruczek, "but, that may not happen for a long time."

Recently, fierce rivalries on Legend of Zelda and Metroid for the NES have seen new "fastest time to finish" world records submitted for publication in the forthcoming edition of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records.

"Its a time of heavy competition, spanning multiple generations," says Walter Day, the editor of the Record Book. "A new generation is stripping the older players of their cherished world records. Classic game titles are no longer a thing of the past; they are uniting the different generations with the world records as the unifying link."

To read a full report on the new Super Mario Bros world record, go to:
http://www.twingalaxies.com.


 
[Multi] "Knighs of the Old Republic" Brings in Awards - posted by Erich Becker at 2:04 pm CDT

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic received a prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award last night in London. The award, the British equivalent to the Oscars, named Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as the Xbox Game of the Year for 2003.

In the U.S., Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was recently announced as a finalist in 10 categories in the 7th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, with nominations including "Overall Game of the Year" and "Outstanding Achievement/Innovation in Computer Gaming."

These accolades come on the heels of the unprecedented critical acclaim that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has received so far. The Xbox version has earned over 18 "Game of the Year" nods and is the second-highest scoring Xbox title ever with an average review score of 94.2% (Gamerankings.com). It is also the second highest rated role-playing game of all time.

The PC version has also received numerous "Game of the Year" awards. Including honors from PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, Computer Games Magazine, Gamespot.com and IGN.com, and has an average review score of 93.4% (GameRanking.com). A more complete list of the awards can be found at: http://www.lucasarts.com/products/swkotor/awards.html

 
[Mutli] "MVP Baseball 2004" Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 2:02 pm CDT

EA is pleased to announce that MVP Baseball 2004 has officially gone gold for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PC. The game is set to ship nationwide to retailers under the EA SPORTS brand on Tuesday, March 9.

MVP Baseball 2004 is packed with new gameplay improvements and added depth, creating the most authentic simulation of America’s pastime. The all-new EA SPORTS Pure Swing System and Big Play Control provide complete user control and realism at the plate, in the field, and on the base paths. Add in several new modes, an official Minor League Baseball license, a revamped EA SPORTS Dynasty Mode, and online play for the first time ever on the PS2 (Network Adaptor for the PlayStation 2 console and broadband connection required), and MVP Baseball 2004 is poised to be a grand slam.

MVP Baseball 2004 was developed by EA Canada and is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB. The game’s official website is www.mvpbaseball2004.com.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004
 
[Industry] EA to Close Origin Systems Studio - posted by Erich Becker at 2:09 pm CDT

Electronic Arts announced today that they will be closing their Origin Systems studio in Texas, offering the studios staff positions at the new LA development studio or a severance package. The new development studio has also claimed the life of famed PC developer Westwood Studios, creators of the popular Command & Conquer series.

Origin Systems is responsible for the Ultima series of games, including Ultima: Online.

Source: Nintedojo

 
[PlayStation2] EA to Distrubute KOEI's "Samurai Warriors" in North America - posted by Erich Becker at 2:05 pm CDT

EA SIGNS NORTH AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT WITH KOEI CORPORATION FOR UPCOMING TACTICAL ACTION GAME SAMURAI WARRIORS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., February 24, 2004 - Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company today announced that it has signed a North American distribution agreement with KOEI Corporation for the upcoming tactical action game, Samurai Warriors(tm). Samurai Warriors is developed by Koei's internal development team Omega Force, the studio behind the award-winning Dynasty Warriors series, and is slated for release on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in May 2004.

Set in Feudal Japan, the adventure begins in 1467 after the political power of the Ashikaga Shogunate collapsed and the islands of Japan erupted into a series of civil wars. This era in Japanese history became known as the Sengoku or "warring states" period. Players control Yukimura Sanada, who leads an elite band of samurai and ninja through the hallowed Japanese battlefields of Okehazama, Kawanakajima and inside the embattled walls of Osaka Castle. The epic tale unfolds as players come face to face with gun-toting troops, echelons of ninja, and deadly kunoichi (female ninja) in both historic and fictional battles. With an Active Mission System that triggers distinct missions during every battle, hundreds of different mini-missions within the larger epic battles, randomly changing castle layouts as well as multiplayer support, Samurai Warriors promises to be an unforgettable action adventure.

 
[PlayStation2] Logitech's USB Microphone Now Available for PS2 - posted by Erich Becker at 1:57 pm CDT

Unleash Your Inner Rock Star: Logitech’s USB Microphone for PlayStation 2 Takes Center Stage

A New Dimension in Console Gaming Entertainment; Now Available On Retail Shelves

FREMONT, Calif. – February 24, 2004 – Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI) (SWX:LOGN), a leading provider of gaming controllers for PCs and consoles, today announced that the Logitech(r) USB Microphone for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system, is now available on retail shelves in North America and at www.logitech.com. The U.S. suggested retail price is $19.99.

The Logitech USB Microphone for the PlayStation(r)2, when used with karaoke games such as Konami’s award-winning “Karaoke Revolution” series, provides an entertaining experience at an affordable price. Its sleek design combines a classic karaoke feel with a modern edge. Building on Logitech’s audio expertise, it offers a high degree of fidelity. To more accurately reproduce the karaoke feeling, the microphone comes with a 15-foot cable that allows singers to move freely to the song of their choice.

 
[PC] Strategy First Gives "Jagged Alliance 2" Source Code - posted by Erich Becker at 1:56 pm CDT

Strategy First has great news for Jagged Alliance fans!

Montreal, Canada. Tuesday February 24, 2004 - Strategy First today announced great news for all Jagged Alliance fans. Due to the overwhelming response for Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire, to be released in March 2004, SFI has decided to include the source code for JA2 in the Wildfire box.

"The decision was based on the incredible fan support that Wildfire has generated," says Don McFatridge, President of Strategy First. "We want to keep the Jagged Alliance community active so releasing the source code that allows the modding community to alter the JA experience to their liking was an obvious decision."

Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire will be available in retail stores in Q1 2004 for $19.99 USD and it will include the original title Jagged Alliance 2. For more information go to www.strategyfirst.com


Monday, February 23, 2004
 
[PlayStation2] "Mafia" in Stores Now - posted by Erich Becker at 2:39 pm CDT

Mafia for PlayStation2 is in stores now. The port of the PC game features all the gameplay of the 1930s in a "Grand Theft Auto-like" sense. An Xbox version should debut soon.

"With humble beginnings as a cab driver in the metropolis of Lost Heaven, Tommy Angelo jumps at the chance to gain an in with the notorious Salieri crime family. Taking on whatever roles come his way – hitman, enforcer, getaway driver – he quickly rises through the ranks to become a made man.

Unfortunately, with success come enemies, and friends start getting in the way of business. All too soon, Tommy realizes he’s only got one chance to get out of this with his life and enough money to live happily ever after. If his plan doesn’t work, he’ll be just another hit for a new Salieri up and comer."

 
[GBA] Crash and Spyro Team Up on GBA - posted by Erich Becker at 2:37 pm CDT

CRASH BANDICOOT AND SPYRO THE DRAGON COMBINE FORCES TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE

Top videogame characters guest star in each other's respective adventures for the first time in upcoming Game Boy Advance action platformers

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 20, 2004) - Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced the next installments in the best-selling Crash Bandicoot(r) and Spyro(tm) the Dragon videogame franchises. Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy are scheduled to ship on the Game Boy(r) Advance video game system in second quarter 2004. For the first time, the two renowned characters will meet up in each other's respective adventures in these upcoming action platformers. Albany, New York based studio, Vicarious Visions, is developing the games.

In these single-player side-scrolling adventures, gamers can also link up with as many as three friends for numerous multi-player modes, including Party Games, Wager Games and Card Trading. Players can compete and win in mini-games galore, found throughout the environments, which reward with trading cards -- a new feature for both franchises. Connecting both titles gives gamers the option of unlocking special content and allows them to trade and/or wager the cards with their friends.

"We're extremely excited about putting a compelling new spin on these two immensely popular franchises by joining them together in such a creative way," said Michael Pole, SVP, Worldwide Development, VU Games. "Both titles are completely immersive stand-alone games that maximize the current technology of GBA linking - delivering the deepest Crash and Spyro GBA experiences yet."

In Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, Dr. Neo Cortex (Crash's nemesis) and Ripto (Spyro's nemesis) have accidentally met up through underground portals and are set on taking over the entire universe. In an attempt to share resources and expand their territories, Cortex and Ripto are using portals to flood their two worlds with their evil minions. Crash and Spyro must team up with each other to discover the identity of the new menace and save the universe from this evil plot!

The Crash Bandicoot franchise made its debut in 1996 and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The Spyro the Dragon franchise premiered in 1998 and has sold more than 12 million units worldwide.

 
[Multi] New "Splinter Cell" Website Debuts - posted by Erich Becker at 2:35 pm CDT

Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow's(tm) Official Website Debuts Today!

HQ for Everything You Need to Know About Spring's Hottest Game

February 23, 2004 - Spies and mercenaries infiltrate the Internet! Today, Ubisoft proudly unveils the official website for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Pandora Tomorrow(tm). The completely new website offers a deeper look into Sam Fisher's dark world of espionage. Using extensive flash technology and containing the latest news on the upcoming, highly-anticipated game, the Pandora Tomorrow site will completely immerse gamers into all things Splinter Cell.

Available at www.splintercell.com, the site contains exclusive information on the videogame such as up-to-date news, screenshots and trailers. The site is split into two main parts: single player experience and multiplayer experience. In both sections, visitors can learn about every aspect of the game from information about the characters, weapons and gadgets, to Sam's stealth moves.

Coming soon to the site will be a training course where players may test their potential as a covert Splinter Cell operative by entering a state-of-the-art 3D stealth course. Once the game has shipped, the site will also offer comprehensive online rankings.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow is scheduled to ship March 24, 2004 for the Xbox, PC and GBA.


Friday, February 20, 2004
 
[PC] Castle Strike Demo Available - posted by Erich Becker at 2:21 pm CDT

The demo to the castle-buidling RTS is now availiable from the official site. Here is the developer's line on the game: "Castle Strike is the most authentic RTS-game dealing with medieval warfare and castle construction. It stands out for its focus on combat thanks to the automated management of the serfs, huge amount of siege weapons, special units such as the sapper who can dig tunnels, a complete storyline with a great diversity of campaign missions and much more."

Download the demo today!

 
[PC] Nemesis of the Roman Empire Demo Premieres Today - posted by Erich Becker at 2:17 pm CDT

Nemesis of the Roman Empire Set to Premiere on GameSpot DLX

Demo for Enlight's New RTS Title Debuts at Top Rated Gaming Portal

Enlight announced today that the demo for the upcoming PC title Nemesis of the Roman Empire will premiere today, Feburary 20th on GameSpot. The 150MB demo, available from GameSpot DLX (http://dlx.gamespot.com/), will allow players the chance to experience the ferocious battles that helped bring the Roman Empire to power.

The demo has two playable nations, the Carthaginians and Romans and features two missions, one from each of the single player campaigns. There's also a multiplayer mode and tutorial play. Plus, in the Carthaginian campaign, players can control the Great General Hannibal.

Continuing in the tradition of the award-winning original Celtic Kings: Rage of War from Haemimont Games, Nemesis of the Roman Empire allows players to assume the role of not only the Romans and Carthaginians, but the Gauls and Iberians as well. Inspired by the historical Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.), Nemesis of the Roman Empire also features the famous campaigns of Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. In addition, the game will contain two distinctive single-player campaigns, new terrain types, custom maps and special enhancements to the Celtic King engine. While remaining true to the game's original concept, Nemesis of the Roman Empire incorporates real-time strategy and role-playing elements, offering players a unique experience in discovering a conflict that occurred over 2000 years ago.

Nemesis of the Roman Empire, which is being developed by Haemimont Games and published in North America by Enlight Interactive, will be available at $29.99 for the PC this March. For additional information on features for this title as well as future updates, please visit the game's official website www.enlight.com/nemesis.

 
[PC] Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword Goes Gold - posted by Erich Becker at 2:15 pm CDT

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® 3: Athena Sword(tm) has Gone Gold!

Continue the excitement of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield through the latest mission pack

February 19, 2004 - Ubisoft is pleased to announce that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3®: Athena Sword(tm) has gone gold. Developed at Ubisoft's Milan studios, the mission pack to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield promises to deliver the same action-intensity expected from a Clancy game. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword is scheduled to ship on March 9, 2004.

 
[Xbox] Tenchu: Return from Darkness Pre-Order Prizes - posted by Erich Becker at 2:12 pm CDT

EBGames.com and GameStop.com are both offering a free t-shirt, featuring the assassin Tesshu and the game logo, with the pre-order of Tenchu: Return from Darkness for Xbox. Tenchu ships on March 8 in North America.

You can pre-order the game from these retailers:
EBGames
GameStop.com


 


  Copyright 1998-2002 ESC Magazine
See additional copyright information

news | reviews | features | forums | staff | downloads | contact us

Design and Systems Development by InfoReveal Corp







See Current News Here