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June 12, 2001 - July 09, 2001 - See More Archived News

Monday, July 09, 2001
Escape :: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Review Up - posted by Erich Becker at 8:16 pm CDT

Anyone who has yet to experience the two wonderful swan songs of the Game Boy Color, should go out and buy them now. Boot up that Game Boy Advance, and experience what could be two of the best games ever released for the Game Boy platform. Reviewer Nelson Romaine lists the criteria for loving or hating this game in his 8 out of 10 review. Check it out with the link below.

"First off, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is not for everyone. This game is definitely fun, and really good to have on long car rides and airplane trips. And for me, it was definitely worth my money. Simply because I like the type of game that Zelda is, many other people will. It's a great game, but hear me out and see if you fill the requirements for loving this game."

Related Links: The Seasons are Changing...

Escape :: Escape reviews....Golf Tycoon? - posted by Erich Becker at 8:14 pm CDT

I think I have the pleasure of letting you know that we have posted a review of Golf Resort Tycoon from Activision Value, but I'm not really sure. This seems to fall into the category of playing a sport that you won't watch on TV because you don't want to be subjected to a coma inducing environment. In any event we do have a review of Golf Resort Tycoon for you, and I think you might want to read it if you are interesting in getting this wonderful (?) game. Here is a snip from the 6 out of 10 review, and a link to the full version from EIC Andy Grieser:

"Budget titles are by nature less than promising — think of them as Little League baseball, with just a few stars moving on over the years to the Big Game -- but occasionally we find a diamond in the rough. Or in this case, a golf ball."

Related Links: FOUR!! Oh wait it got a Six!

Thursday, July 05, 2001
Hardware :: Hardware-Unlimited Reviews the P4 1.8GHz - posted by Erich Becker at 12:16 pm CDT

Hardware-Unlimited, part of the 3D-Unlimited Network, has posted a review of the Pentium 4 1.8GHz.

Here's a clip:
"The Pentium 4 has been out for a while now, released at 1.4 and 1.5GHz back in November then ramped up to 1.7GHz in April of this year. A little over two months later and we are seeing the P4 clock speed boosted yet again to 1.8GHz , albeit not the 200MHZ boost we saw last time. What will the extra 100MHz do for the P4? "

Related Links: See the Full Review

Press :: Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festival - posted by Erich Becker at 12:14 pm CDT

Console, PC and Arcade Games Promoted at Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festival at Mall of America

To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, The Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard has gone to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota to create a major party for the electronic gaming hobby: Twin Galaxies' Video Games Festival, which is a three-day celebration of the greatest games and gaming systems produced in the last twenty years.

Taking up nearly 5,000 sq. ft. in the Mall's Sam Goody Center during the weekend of July 20-22, 2001, the Festival will feature contests, prizes, famous video game superstars and lots of opportunity to play the latest, most popular titles. Filled with games galore - all on free play for the public to enjoy, the Video Game Festival will showcase hot new game titles not-yet-released as well as many of the gaming industry's most legendary games, from PC-based titles to classic console and arcade games of yesteryear.

Among the top events at the show are an Official Console Video Game World Championship.

In addition to tables and tables of home consoles set on free play, featuring a wide variety of game titles such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Crazy Taxi and Gran Turismo, the public is invited to compete in The Official Console Video Game World Championship, which will crown World Champions on the following games: Twisted Metal: Black and SSX for the PlayStation 2, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart 64 and WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the Dreamcast. And, if there is enough demand, additional contests may be added on Perfect Dark, Golden Eye, Crazy Taxi, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and many more.

Also, major contests are planned for PC gamers. STOMPED.COM, a well-established web site that enjoys worldwide fame due to its local Minneapolis gaming center, The Stomping Grounds, will sponsor major championships on the world's top PC titles: Age of Empires, Counter Strike and Quake 3. The Counter Strike event, in particular, will be recognized as a qualifying event for the World Championships sponsored by the CyberAthlete League (CPL).

To see the complete list of events and sponsors, go to

Friday, June 29, 2001
ESCAPE :: Crazy Taxi 2 Review Posted - posted by Erich Becker at 4:59 pm CDT

We have a new console review for you today, and it comes from Senior Reviewer, Erich Becker (me). The game is Crazy Taxi 2, the sequel to the top selling Dreamcast and Arcade game. Check out this snip from the review, and hit the link to see the full darn thing:

"This is what players are greeted to once they boot up Crazy Taxi 2 for the first time on everyone’s favorite little "console that could," the Sega Dreamcast. Hitmaker is back and the Crazy Taxi formula is left virtually unchanged with its fast speeds, great music and all-around fun factor that keeps you coming back for more and more. This is why people push hundreds of dollars worth of quarters at this machine in arcades everyday: This kind of insane fun is something that we thrive for as human beings. You won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your fix this time, because Crazy Taxi 2 is only to be found on Dreamcast, and for a very reasonable $40."

Related Links: Make some Crazy Money!

Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Media :: Altec Lansing Speaker System Earns Top Design Award - posted by Erich Becker at 11:54 am CDT

5-Piece ATP5 Delivers Excellent Sound With Distinctive Styling

MILFORD, Pa., June 25, 2001 - Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc., the leading developer of multimedia audio equipment for the retail and OEM markets, won a prestigious 2001 Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) for the advanced technology product, ATP5. Designed in conjunction with ION Design, the ATP5 5-piece speaker system received honors in the computer equipment category by earning the IDEA Bronze Award for excellence in design.

The ATP5, the newest in the line of slim profile speakers from Altec Lansing, delivers 80 watts of 4-channel surround sound. The system elegantly combines in each satellite two advanced technology microdrivers and one down-firing mid-range driver. Four satellites are paired with a powerful 40-watt wood cabinet subwoofer for a perfect space saving solution for unparalleled surround sound from games, movies and music.

"Altec Lansing is honored to receive high acclaim from a distinguished industry organization such as the IDSA," said Mark Lucas, president and chief executive officer, Altec Lansing. "The IDEA award for the ATP5 validates Altec Lansing's commitment to delivering leading audio products that offer not only great sound but also outstanding design."

The ATP5 is available now at major computer retailers in the U.S. and Canada at a suggested retail price of $179.95.

About IDEA
The goal of the Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) program is to foster business and public understanding about the impact of industrial design excellence on the quality of life and the economy. Encompassing 11 categories from business equipment to furniture and medical devices, the 2001 IDEAs were announced in the June 25 issue of Business Week magazine. The winning designs for both actual and potential products were chosen from 1,260 entries in the annual competition co-sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Business Week.

About ION Design
Located in Edgewater, N.J., ION Design is an award winning industrial design and engineering practice. Over the years ION has developed many successful products for the consumer electronics, industrial and medical markets. Listed among Business Week's roster of top design firms over the last four years, ION designs products to the highest standards of functionality, usability and aesthetic appeal.

For additional information about Altec Lansing and its award-winning line of audio products, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.altecmm.com or call toll-free at 1-800-258-3288.

# # #

Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc.

Altec Lansing Technologies, Inc., based in Milford, PA, USA, is a leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and support of high quality multimedia personal computer and home entertainment sound systems, and a line of headsets, headphones and microphones for personal digital media. The company employs about 1,500 people worldwide. In addition to the company's headquarters, Altec Lansing has offices in Austin, TX, Cary, NC, Houston, TX, Hyram, UT, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The company also has an ISO 9002 and SA8000 certified manufacturing facility in The People's Republic of China.

GameCube :: Spy Hunter and Red Card Soccer Rumored for Cube - posted by Erich Becker at 11:53 am CDT

Spies out of Midway had relayed rumors that Spy Hunter (currently in development for the Playstation2) and Red Card Soccer, could be hitting our favorite Nintendo console in 2002. No solid information has been given, and Midway has not officially announced the titles, so they are just rumors, but good ones at that. Spy Hunter is a remake of the classic game of the same name.

Thanks to IGNCube for the story.

GameCube :: Super Monkey Ball Confirmed for Launch - posted by Erich Becker at 11:50 am CDT

SEGA announced that Amusement Vision's Super Monkey Ball will be a GameCube launch title in Japan this September. There is still no word on the game as a North American launch title when the console hits our shores November 5th.

Thanks to FGNONLINE for the story.

Monday, June 25, 2001
Media :: New Portal for Asheron's Call - posted by Erich Becker at 8:03 pm CDT

JUNE 25, 2001


Microsoft today announced that The Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty Expansion Pack will be available this holiday at retail locations throughout North America. The first of its kind for the franchise, this expansion pack includes the original Asheron's Call as well as many new features and a compelling new landmass. Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will be available at retail for only US$19.95 and will include one free month of play.

"Turbine is very excited about the Expansion Pack, and our continued relationship with Microsoft. The Asheron's Call franchise is a very important part of our company," noted Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine. "We are firmly committed to developing and delivering high-quality online entertainment."

The Expansion Pack delivers on new additions such as housing and storage, two of the features most requested by our customers. Players will be able to purchase their own homes on designated plots of land, as well as use their residence for secure storage purposes. The Expansion Pack also kicks off the next chapter in the ongoing Asheron's Call storyline by introducing the island of Marae Lassel. Marae Lassel is a sprawling new landmass which will contain new quests, dungeons, and treasures which will all be accessible to all levels of players who purchase the Asheron's Call Expansion Pack.

Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty builds upon the epic evolving storyline by paving the way for the return of an old nemesis. "We don't want to give everything away," says Nik Davidson, producer of the Expansion Pack, "but suffice to say that the name of the Expansion Pack is a big clue."

"Microsoft is making a significant investment in Asheron's Call with both the Expansion Pack and in the sequel to Asheron's Call which we announced earlier this year," explained Matthew Ford, Lead Program Manager for Asheron's Call.

Asheron's Call is a massively multiplayer role-playing game playable exclusively on Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) that draws together thousands of players within a dynamic, 3-D online world. Players can create truly unique characters by choosing between extensive combinations of visual appearance, attributes and skill sets. Asheron's Call immerses players in an intense role-playing environment where they must compete or cooperate with thousands of other online players. An extensive system of allegiance and influence greatly enhances social interaction. The online nature of the game facilitates an evolving and dynamic adventure inside a consistent universe. The game will never be solved because there will always be more areas to explore and quests to complete.

For more information on the game, please visit:


Media :: Voice Talent Announced for SpiderMan 2 - posted by Erich Becker at 11:57 am CDT


Santa Monica, CA - June 25, 2001 -- Comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-ManÒ, Stan Lee, is reprising his role as story narrator in Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Spider-ManÒ 2 Enter: ElectroÔ, the sequel to last year's top-selling Spider-Man(tm) video game. The new title will be available this summer for the PlayStationÒ game console, and is rated "E" (Everyone -Violence - content suitable for persons ages 6 and older) by the ESRB.

Lee is joined by a talented group of voice actors, including Rino Romano (Spider-Man), the voice behind the Spider-Man character in the animated television series "Spider-Man Unlimited." Rounding out the cast of Spider-Man's friends and foes are Dee Bradley Baker (Electro, Hammerhead and Lizard), Daran Norris (Shocker and Sandman) and Katherine Fiore (Dr. Watts), all of whom have worked extensively in animated films and television shows.

In Spider-Man 2 Enter: Electro players take on the role of Marvel's legendary super heroÔ, swinging and webbing their way across New York in a whole new episode of evil. The mission? To thwart the plans of the powerful Electro and stop his doomsday device before it's fully created. All-new web attacks, costumes and fighting combos make Spider-Man more versatile than ever. All-new villains and a Parker's Portfolio of battle snapshots make the world of Spider-Man come alive on the PlayStation game console.

About Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
With a library of over 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused in five divisions: entertainment (Marvel Studios), licensing, toys (Toy Biz), comic book publishing and Internet/New Media. Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, television, home video and the Internet, based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including video and computer games, apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters and plot lines are created by its comic book division which continues to maintain a leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property. For additional information visit the Marvel Web site at http://www.marvel.com.

About Activision, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted revenues of $620 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's World Wide Web site, which is located at http://www.activision.com.

The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Activision's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These important factors, and other factors that could affect Activision, are described in Activision's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this press release are referred to such filings.


Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Dreamcast :: Sonic Adventure 2 Shipped for Dreamcast - posted by Erich Becker at 11:57 am CDT

After 10 years there are only a few characters that we remember from the old school days of video gaming. And with Mario the most recognizable, the next one in line would be Sonic.

Sonic has survived through alot in 10 years, and has become one of the most popular characters ever (here is why people want him to be included in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Melee).

Today Sonic Adventure 2 will be shipping to stores and to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Blue Dude with a 'Tude, I would like to salute everyone at Sonic Team for making some of the best games over these past 10 years, and I look forward to seeing the screaming speed of Sonic once again on my beloved Dreamcast.

Playstation2 :: Saliva to record Theme for Spy Hunter - posted by Erich Becker at 11:54 am CDT

FGNOnline reports this morning that new rock group, Saliva (known for the single "Your Disease") will re-record "Theme From Peter Gunn" in a lyrical form and an instrumental form that will be used in the game when it ships this Fall from Midway Home Entertainment. Prepare for the memories, I just hope they don't mess this remake up like Centipede.

Dreamcast :: Half-Life has No Life - posted by Erich Becker at 11:51 am CDT

Half-Life for the Sega Dreamcast has been officially canned by Sierra after months of speculation. Even when the game seemed finished, and ready to go into production, speculation still filled the air, as to if, and when, the game would ship. Well now we have an official release date: NEVER!

Half-Life for Dreamcast was to feature an exclusive new mode called Blue Shift that let you play as a security guard during the first alien assult at Black Mesa, the add-on has been released for PC, and will be included in the PS2 version of the game currently in development.

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Press :: Take to the Friendly Skies with Wilco Publishing - posted by Erich Becker at 5:58 pm CDT

Third Volume of Flight Sim 2000 Add-On Set To Soar End of May

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 16, 2001) E3 Booth 7620, Kentia Hall -- After scoring big with the first and second volumes of its Airport 2000 series, Wilco Publishing is going for a hat trick with Airport 2000 Volume 3, its new add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000. Set for May 23 release, the new edition will reprise the precise airport recreations that originally put the series on simmers’ radar this time with seven new airports. It will also add greater interactivity for each flight adventure, the ability to insert flight plans into the Flight Management Computer (FMC) included for the first time in this volume, and evaluations of desktop pilots’ performance on each flight.

Airports As They Really Look

Airport 2000 is still the only series of its kind that is based on actual visits to and photographs of the airports in question, and Airport 2000 Volume 3 is the latest product of Wilco’s painstaking efforts to obtain behind-the-scenes airport visitation privileges. The result is that San Francisco International, Denver International, Seattle Tacoma, Paris Orly, Kastrup Copenhagen, Berlin Tegel and London Gatwick are recreated in precise detail. The satellite terminals, actual hangars, office and maintenance buildings, radar towers, and taxiways with corresponding ID signs replicate the real thing. So does the new gate numbering system.

The verisimilitude extends to the ambient traffic. Dozens of aircraft liveries populate the tarmac. Cars,- service vehicles-and monorails are in constant motion, as are the passengers walking from building to building in certain terminals. Birds swoop around select runways an industry first. Trees and fences have also been added.

A new docking system requires simmers to align their aircraft properly at the airport gate to allow passengers to disembark. New dynamic jetways move up and down to adjust to the height of the aircraft as it approaches the gate. Tire marks now appear on the tarmac as well as the runways, along with a special new texture that simulates oil leaking from the gear.

Bigger and Better Adventures

The 10 new adventures in Airport 2000 Volume 3 have been built with the ProFlight 2000 adventure generator and include a special co-pilot interactivity module. It is also now possible to insert Flight Sim flight plans into Volume 3’s new FMC for more realistic adventures, and there are more voices and tower messages than ever before. Each adventure is ranked according to complexity, with levels for both intermediate and advanced players.

Seven of the adventures involve flights between the airports in Volume 3; three others link airports between the new edition and Volumes 1 and 2. All adventures feature fully interactive ATC and internal announcements, and crew announcements and cabin calls (“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, may we remind you that this is a non-smoking flight”). All communication from tower to ground control and departure control is audible as well, including instructions from multiple air traffic control centers, vocal captain calls and readbacks.

From Turbo Prop to Jetliners

Three new aircraft have been created for this edition, including a Boeing 737-800, Airbus A320 and Dornier 328 Turbo Prop. In addition to the new FMC, each has moving flaps and ailerons, rotating fans and propellers, animated retractable gear and flap sequences, detailed 3D gear doors, and illuminated landing and navigation lights.

Each instrument panel replicates its real counterpart down to the positions and sizes of the gauges, and details are more readable than in earlier volumes. Also included are transparent windows, 3D pilots, multiple high-resolution day and night textures, and 360-degree cockpit views with front, overhead and pedestal panels for visual variety.

Simmers have the option to increase the number of aircraft taking off, landing or taxiing according to their PC performance to allow a better frame rate. Players can also opt to decrease the building complexity if the default setting slows the sim down too much.

Pricing and System Requirements

Airport 2000 Volume 3 will be sold through computer stores and carry an MSRP of $39 (U.S.). It comes with a multilingual manual, is fully compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, and requires a minimum Pentium 400 MHz with 64MB RAM. A 3D graphics accelerator card is recommended.

Wilco Publishing is the publisher of the Airport 2000 Volumes I and II, 767 Pilot in Command, Tahiti Scenery and Grand Canyon add-ons to Microsoft Flight Simulator, Wilco’s 737 for Fly!, and Hangsim, a PC-based glider simulation. 767 Pilot in Command has received the SimFlight Achievement of the Year Award for Best Aircraft and Best Panel, the AVSIM Award of Excellence, and top honors from FlightSim.com and PCPilot. Wilco takes its name from the aeronautical abbreviation for “Will Comply.” Founded in 1997, Wilco is based in Belgium and can be reached at www.wilcopub.com or via phone at 011 32 2 331 32 90

ESCAPE :: Roboforge Review is LIVE! - posted by Erich Becker at 5:57 pm CDT

We have posted another review! Sometimes real work gets you down, and we can't update as much as we like. Sometimes you also can feel like a nut, and sometimes I bet you don't. Here is a clip and a link to our new review for Roboforge:

"Most likely, there is. Robot mania is sweeping the entertainment world. From Mechwarrior to TV’s Battlebots to One Must Fall, it seems like everyone is going metal. Clearly, this new release from RoboForge is exquisitely timed.

The premise for RoboForge is engaging sci-fi, to say the least. Here’s the plot, from the website promo: "For millions of years a race of beings, whose evolutionary development infinitely exceeds your own, has scanned the universe for sentient life forms. Known as the Adjudicators, they have transcended the constraints of physical being, manifesting only as pure energy, and can navigate the universe effortlessly. Over eons these benevolent nomads have taken it upon themselves to nurture the seeds of civilization and to cultivate knowledge and peace."

See the Full Review by hitting the link below!

Related Links: Crave IT!

Advance :: Game Boy Advance First Impressions - posted by Erich Becker at 5:54 pm CDT

I did get my Game Boy yesterday, but I went to my girl friends house after picking it up, so I didn't get to play it yesterday, but I'm not complaining...

Anyway, I have had a chance to sit down with my lucious Glacier device today, and what can I say, Nintendo has never made a bad piece of hardware. The size, the button placement, the sheer power of this machine is just so right. The only real problem with the hardware is the fact that the screen is not backlit, it is widescreen, but not backlit. I found that it was harder to get enough light to play the system, as opposed to my Game Boy Color. For some reason you need tons of light to see the damn screen, but when you get it, it is all heavenly from there.

Upon picking up my GBA, I decided that some games would also be in order. Seeing as how I'm a classic gamer at heart, I picked up Super Mario Advance, but I have yet to open it. Why? Well I also bought this game called Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Perhaps you have heard of it? The game is amazing. The play mechanics take about an hour to get used to, but I'm outscore myself when compared to my Dreamcast version of the game, Vicarious Visions has done a wonderful job with the port.

I would love to tell you about Super Mario Advance, but as I stated I have yet to open the box, and I may even return it for Castlevania, but from what I remember of the awesome NES, and SNES versions of the game, it is sure to be a classic all over again.

So, I'm not sure why you read this far, because you should be out there buying your own GBA before they are all gone. Why would you want to spend 300 dollars on an overpriced piece of black plastic when you can hold magic in your hands? Get out there and buy a GBA, Now!

Erich Becker

ESCNEWS RETURNS TONIGHT - posted by Erich Becker at 11:42 am CDT

I am back from the sunny ways of LA, and it's time to get back into the groove of things once again. I will be back reporting the news tonight. So tune in for first impressions of the Game Boy Advance, as well as a slew of game impressions from Crazy Taxi 2, Voyager Expansion Pack, and the Game Boy line up.

ESCNEWS. Crave it.


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