First Details on Upcoming LOTR Game

Based on Warner Bros. Interactive’s official E3 listing, a new Lord of the Rings adventure is set to be unveiled. Aragorn’s Quest will focus on “accessible gameplay set in a friendly, colorful rendition of Middle-Earth.”

Players will make use of the namesake hero’s superb fighting abilities in “the first Lord of the Rings videogame created specifically for kids and their families.”

While details are sparse and Warner Bros. has yet to name the platform(s) upon which Aragorn’s Quest will stake its claim, the family-oriented nature of the game makes us wonder if the latest battle for Middle Earth will be a Wii and/or DS exclusive. With less than two weeks remaining till E3, we will find out soon enough.

Metal Gear Solid Among Classics Headed to PSN

Based on five new ratings released by the ESRB, it would appear that Sony is making good on its promise to pump up the Playstation Store’s “PSone Classics” roster.

Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Spec Ops: Covert Assault, Spec Ops: Range Elite and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six all seem poised to hit the service in the near future.

It’s good to see Sony tighten the reigns on an aspect of their service that has seemingly fallen to the wayside from day one in North America. Expect to hear more about these games and others on June 2 at the company’s Pre-E3 press conference.

Source: ESRB Game Ratings [ESRB via Kotaku]

Team ICO's Next Game Leaked? We've Got The Video!

PlayStation LifeStyle has the world’s first trailer of what appears to be Team ICO’s next game, ProjectTRICO.  We’ve embedded the video below.

Before you get all shocked and amazed, we have it on good faith that this trailer has actually been around for over a year now.  So does that mean we can expect something new for E3?  We’ll just have to wait and find out, but at the very least, it’s great finally being able to see Team ICO’s next offering.  I don’t know about you all, but I’m excited.

3D Realms vs. Take-Two is still on!

First, 3D Realms closes down and posts an official goodbye message on their sites, washing out all hopes of Duke Nukem Forever being completed anytime soon. Then, Take-Two adds more insult to injury by suing a closed-down studio for not completing the game, claiming 12 million bucks in damages. And now, this happens.

Believe it or not, 3D Realms is actually retaliating! Turns out they’re not dead, only the Duke Nukem team have been let go due to not enough funding on the “Forever” project. Also, 3D Realms claims that Take-Two hasn’t funded this project with any money whatsoever…the talk between the two parties was limited to negotiations, talk of actually funding, and publishing rights. No money came between the two on Duke, which resulted in the development team being let go from 3D Realms’ end. The final claim from them is that Take-Two is actually trying to forcefully and tactically acquire the Duke Nukem franchise due to 3D Realms’ fallout.

This is hilarious stuff, people. Too good to be true, indeed. In my opinion, 3D Realms is at fault here even if Take-Two is crossing the line. I mean, come on…has 3D been REALLY developing Duke Nukem Forever for more than a decade? Is it logical to hold on to a game this long? Any developer should have cancelled and restarted development, not keep the same darn thing going on for 12 years! You’re just asking for trouble there. And besides, do you expect me to believe that 3D Realms is telling the whole truth? They lied about their own status for crying out loud! When someone says that they’re closing down, it’s supposed to be final…especially with all the DNF leaks we got after the official goodbye message. I really think that the reason they opened up shop again is because they do not want to lose this lawsuit and in turn pay cash to Take-Two. Contrary to 3D’s claims, I’m pretty sure the publisher funded the project in some way to say the least.

Going down fighting isn’t admirable for once. However, I can see where 3D Realms is coming from. 20 million is a lot of money after all and as of recent times the developer has absolutely nothing to lose in taking the fight to Take-Two. My prediction: Take-Two wins and uses their 20 million to keep Duke Nukem going. Let’s hope they continue on DNF somehow and just release the damn game!

Source: Kotaku

Bionic Commando Is HERE!

After what feels like an eternity, Capcom has finally released Bionic Commando for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time now.  We’re still not sure when we’ll be able to get a review out, but if everything goes according to plan it shouldn’t be too far from now.  The official press release is below.

BIONIC COMMANDO® SWINGS INTO A STORE NEAR YOU

Classic Capcom Action Title Comes Back for the Next Generation

SAN MATEO, Calif. — May 19, 2009 — Capcom® Entertainment, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, has shipped Bionic Commando® for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. Bionic Commando is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and carries a suggested retail price of $59.99.

Taking its inspiration from its 8-bit namesake — released on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1988 — Bionic Commando features Nathan Spencer (voiced by Mike Patton, lead singer of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle), a shining example of the technological advances made by the Federal Bionic Armaments Development Division. An expertly trained operative, Spencer is able to target and take out enemies while hanging upside down, climbing a building or even in mid-swing. At close quarters, the bionic arm packs a mean punch, while from a distance; objects such as boulders and cars can be grabbed and launched at enemies.

Bionic Commando harnesses the power of the latest generation of hardware to fully exploit the incredible swing gameplay that made the original title so unique. The ruins of Ascension City and its surroundings provide an engaging environment of towering buildings, suspended roadways and monorails, deep canyons and sheer rock faces that allow gamers to traverse each area via multiple routes using swinging, rappelling, climbing and wall-walking techniques, forcing players to think in three dimensions.

Players will also be able to take their swinging skills from single-player mode and challenge their friends online in a fierce 8-player multi-player game that will be available when the game ships on PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE. Players will need to utilize all the skills honed in single player such as Zip Kick, Death from Above and Adrenaline attacks to show the true power of a Bionic Commando.

The development team behind Bionic Commando represents a unique collaboration of cultures and skills, consisting of an American Producer living in Japan, a Japanese Creative Advisor and Swedish developer GRIN providing a European influence. This partnership provides a further example of Capcom’s strategy to work with the best developer talent while maintaining the unique elements of creativity and approach to game design for which Capcom is renowned.

Punch-Out!! Now Available Folks

 Hey everyone.  Nintendo passed along the usual press release letting everyone know that Punch-Out!! is back in action.  Remember to write those “!!,” they’re important after all.  So yeah, if you’ve been waiting for a killer Wii game, now’s the time to get off your butt and get going. 

NEW PUNCH-OUT!! GAME FOR Wii PACKS A NOSTALGIC WALLOP

Classic Franchise Returns to the Ring with Motion Control,

Multiplayer Action and New Surprises

 Vancouver, BC., May 19, 2009 – Today the world of video game boxing returns to its roots with the launch of the new Punch-Out!!™ game for Nintendo’s Wii™ console. The game brings immersive motion controls to an iconic franchise that has been around since the days of the NES™. Players are invited to step into the ring as underdog Little Mac as they go toe-to-toe with an array of memorable characters, including familiar faces like Glass Joe, King Hippo and Don Flamenco. 

The motion-sensitive Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ controllers turn the swings players make in real life into on-screen punches. Both novice and veteran gamers can pick up Punch-Out!! and punch their way to the top. The optional Wii Balance Board™ accessory (sold separately with Wii Fit™) can be added to provide an extra challenge for advanced players who want to literally bob and weave through their fights. For those who insist on old-school Punch-Out!! purity, the game also can be played with classic NES-style controls by turning the Wii Remote controller sideways. 

Even players who have battled through the original games hundreds of times will find new challenges with Punch-Out!! for Wii. For instance, once Little Mac (with the help of trainer Doc Louis) has pummeled his way through all the contenders, they return to offer him new challenges in Title Defense Mode. Only this time, their traditional weaknesses have been eliminated and players must find new ways to achieve victory. In this mode, the once-harmless Glass Joe now wears headgear, and King Hippo’s vulnerable belly is protected behind a manhole cover. The new twists ensure fans enjoy a completely new play experience. 

For the first time in the Punch-Out!! series, a head-to-head multiplayer mode lets players compete against one another. Both players take on the role of Little Mac and match wits as they trade uppercuts, jabs and body blows. With a series of well-placed punches, Little Mac transforms into the gargantuan Giga Mac, who can land more powerful blows and is more difficult to take down. 

“After a 15-year hiatus Little Mac is back in the latest installment in the Punch Out!! franchise,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “With the original game’s charm and a slew of new tricks, fans will be eager to crack the nuances of their larger-than-life opponents in their quest to dominate the ring.” 

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other Wii features, visit Wii.com. 

For more information about Punch-Out!!, visit www.PunchOut.com.

New Fallout 3 DLC Announced!

Hey all,

Bethesda just sent out a wicked press release that reveals all kinds of new downloadable content for Fallout 3.  Oh and remember those “exclusive” Xbox 360 and PC download packs, well they’re coming to the PS3 as well.  Full details below.

We are pleased to announce that Fallout® 3 downloadable content (DLC) is coming to PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. We have been working on implementing it for a while and look forward to bringing it to PS3 gamers via the PlayStation Network.  Operation: Anchorage will be released for PS3 in late June, followed by the release of The Pitt and Broken Steel 4-6 weeks apart. Release dates will be forthcoming.

In addition, a new update will be released for PS3 that will allow users to download and play the new DLC. The release date for that update will be announced at a later date.

There are also two new DLCs planned for all three platforms:

·         Point Lookout – Explore a massive new swampland area filled with new quests and content.

·         Mothership Zeta – The aliens have returned, and they’re pissed. Experience an alien abduction first hand and find out if you’re tough enough to survive.

Point Lookout will be available in late June for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 points or $9.99. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live and through token cards available at retail. Point Lookout will be available on PS3 after the first three DLCs have been released.

Mothership Zeta is scheduled for release in late July for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 points or $9.99. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live and through token cards available at retail. Mothership Zeta will be available on PS3 after Point Lookout.

Finally, new Fallout 3 products will be available at retail this year.

Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #1 includes The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC on May 26.

The Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #2 includes Broken Steel and Point Lookout on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC in August.

Retail versions of the game add-on packs for PS3 are not possible and the DLC will only be available for download online via PlayStation Network.

A Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition will be available in October. It will include the original game plus all five add-ons for $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and $49.99 for PC.

Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires Heading To North America

There’s not too much to say, except that the Dynasty Warriors series is continuing.  Are you really surprised?  KOEI just sent word that on June 26th, you can expect Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.  They were kind enough to drop us a press release which goes on to describe what you can expect from the game.  Take it from us, you can expect more or less the same thing from DW6: Empires as you could from all the other titles in the series.  That means lots of action and fairly repetitive gameplay.  Harsh, well we find the series truly starting to show its age.  Actually we found that to be the case some time ago, but best of luck to KOEI just the same.  The press release follows.

DYNASTY WARRIORS®6: EMPIRES COMING TO NORTH AMERICA
Become a lord, a noble officer or lethal invader. Create your own warrior and control the fate of Ancient China in KOEI’s latest action opus.
Burlingame, CA — May 18, 2009 — KOEI, recognized worldwide as the premier brand of strategy and action games, today announced that DYNASTY WARRIORS®6: Empires for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will be available at North American retailers beginning June 23, 2009.
Gamers can pre-order DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires now at: Amazon.com, GameFly and GameStop.
About DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires
Designed for the legions of Dynasty Warriors fans, DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires is game that brings together the best aspects of the action and strategy genres. In this latest edition, players can experience Ancient China’s greatest and most glorious war as an all-powerful lord or as an officer.
As a lord, gamers must think strategically. By deciding when to attack, when to resist invasion, or when to initiate policies, a lord can expand their power and influence. An easy-to-learn “card collecting” system lets players enact policies that will increase their empire’s strength, improve the abilities of their forces, and more. The cards that a player receives will depend on the attributes of the officers and their army.
Players can also pledge their allegiance to a kingdom to become an officer. As an officer, players can suggest policies in the kingdom’s war council, complete missions for rewards, or even turn against their ruler should relations sour.
Most eagerly awaited by fans is a game mode that allows players to create their own warrior. DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires features an extensive character editing system with options to customize a warrior’s gender, build, skin tone, facial features, voice, clothing, weapon and more.
Whomever players choose to be, they can now use mountain ledges and waterways to infiltrate enemy bases and launch surprise attacks on supply depots to change the flow of battle.
DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires is developed by Omega Force and is for 1 to 2 players (offline). This game is rated “T” (TEEN – Alcohol Reference, Violence) by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.koei.com.

DYNASTY WARRIORS®6: EMPIRES COMING TO NORTH AMERICA

Become a lord, a noble officer or lethal invader. Create your own warrior and control the fate of Ancient China in KOEI’s latest action opus.

Burlingame, CA — May 18, 2009 — KOEI, recognized worldwide as the premier brand of strategy and action games, today announced that DYNASTY WARRIORS®6: Empires for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will be available at North American retailers beginning June 23, 2009.

Gamers can pre-order DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires now at: Amazon.com, GameFly and GameStop.

About DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires

Designed for the legions of Dynasty Warriors fans, DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires is game that brings together the best aspects of the action and strategy genres. In this latest edition, players can experience Ancient China’s greatest and most glorious war as an all-powerful lord or as an officer.

As a lord, gamers must think strategically. By deciding when to attack, when to resist invasion, or when to initiate policies, a lord can expand their power and influence. An easy-to-learn “card collecting” system lets players enact policies that will increase their empire’s strength, improve the abilities of their forces, and more. The cards that a player receives will depend on the attributes of the officers and their army.

Players can also pledge their allegiance to a kingdom to become an officer. As an officer, players can suggest policies in the kingdom’s war council, complete missions for rewards, or even turn against their ruler should relations sour.

Most eagerly awaited by fans is a game mode that allows players to create their own warrior. DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires features an extensive character editing system with options to customize a warrior’s gender, build, skin tone, facial features, voice, clothing, weapon and more.

Whomever players choose to be, they can now use mountain ledges and waterways to infiltrate enemy bases and launch surprise attacks on supply depots to change the flow of battle.

DYNASTY WARRIORS 6: Empires is developed by Omega Force and is for 1 to 2 players (offline). This game is rated “T” (TEEN – Alcohol Reference, Violence) by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.koei.com.

Zelda: Majora’s Mask is our lucky 300th VC game!

As most of you know, Nintendo recently celebrated WiiWare’s first anniversary. Now, they’re celebrating 300 Virtual Console games and counting, starting their latest line-up with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the n64. A nice surprise, indeed. About time, too. Europe and Japan had this game on their VCs weeks ago. Lucky them.

There’s lots to say about Majora’s Mask. A lot of fans consider it “the black sheep” of the series. Well, I say that these people have not played and finished Zelda II: The Adventure of Link…as I have. Now, that was some good black sheep there. No joke. Hardest Zelda game ever.

Majora’s Mask holds a special place in my heart. For one, we didn’t have to wait a decade for a new Zelda game to be released back then. I ran to my local game store here in Saudi Arabia, paying around 120$ for that shiny golden import cart. The development team smartly used Ocarina of Time’s game engine to create a completely different experience yet preserving some of OoT’s 3D fundamentals, therefore providing fans with a Zelda game soon after OoT. Storyline-wise, it’s the darkest and weirdest in the series…yet it’s the only one which makes you feel for NPCs due to an extremely deep and interactive side-questing system that involves these very characters during their daily lives. Anju/Kafei, anyone? Speaking of gameplay, this installment comes packed with various transformations (Fierce Deity Link, OMG. Best. Form. Ever.) and a unique yet frustrating save system. Despite having just a couple of dungeons, there’s lots of replay value to be found here.

What makes this download even more special is that you’re getting “the best version”. For the 20 of you who own the GameCube Zelda Collector’s disk, you’ll notice that it’s prone to hangs, crashes, and bugs with the 3D games, particularly Majora’s Mask as the disk itself had a warning of “imperfect emulation”. With the VC version, you’ll be treated with n64’s stability combined with the souped-up hi-res graphics of the GameCube version…perhaps slightly superior in that category too as Ocarina of Time has proven.

The release of Majora’s Mask has renewed my interest in downloading all VC Zelda games. Thus far, I only have A Link to the Past in my Wii. For some strange reason I’d like to re-own all these classics Zeldas despite still holding on to original copies of A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time in addition to the Collector’s GCN Disk and the GBA re-releases of all the 2D installments. Sadly, I have lost my golden Majora’s Mask n64 cart long ago…shouldn’t have lent it to my cousin. Oh well, VC version it is!

Thank you, Mr. Aonuma and company, for this unique ride. I’ve been a fan of you ever since you showed off your directional skills with Majora’s Mask. Looking forward to Spirit Tracks and Zelda Wii!

A Few Variants

Over the last week I’ve picked up a few variants.  Check them out!

Not too bad eh?  I didn’t stop there though, I actually picked up a few others.

And finally there was…

This was a really cool book.  Oh and I almost forgot, check this out!

That’s Seaguy #1 signed by Cameron Stewart.  How awesome is that?  You can thank the guys at Komico.  More like I can thank them, and I did.  I brought in Donuts yesterday to say thanks.  It’s the best comic shop in Montreal and I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone who likes to read comics.  These guys are the best, nuff said.

Red Steel 2 Teaser, false advertising once again?

So, Red Steel 2 is in the works, eh? Why am I not surprised? Despite the critical flop of the first one, it somehow managed to be one of the best-selling third-party games on the Wii. Unexpectedly, it sold pretty decently in Japan as well, for a region that tends to hate FPS games.

So, at first glance of this teaser to the sequel, what do you see? Since I’m a nitpicky son of a gun, let’s play the devil’s advocate first. As Justin Simson noted in our boards, we possibly have a case of false advertising here…exactly like what happened with the first Red Steel. First off, the visuals are just a far cry for Nintnedo’s little system that could. Do you really think that Ubisoft will make the game look this good when it ships? They already broke their promise with the first Red Steel. Unless Ubisoft is trying  to mimic High Voltage Studios’ The Conduit by backing up their ambition with actual work, I highly doubt that Red Steel 2 will look this impressive in real-time.

Second of all, we have the controls. I REALLY hope this works as advertised in this trailer. We all may remember the real differences in Red Steel 1 between the player in the ads and the actual in-game functionality. The player looked really cool using the controllers yet that didn’t really convey any depth whatsoever gameplay-wise. Talk about false advertising.

What this new RS2 trailer is implying is that you can actually flaunt your weapons 1:1 using Wii MotionPlus. That means for once you can look cool playing and that in turn actually conveys something in-game; taunting and stylish sword-fighting. If Ubisoft is able to do that, they’ll be onto something big here. 

Overall, that teaser got me hyped up despite the negatives. I’m trying not to make my expectations too high, yet watching this trailer again is making me believe in Ubisoft. I’m loving the mixture between spaghetti western and Japanese samurai cultures here. Works a lot better than I thought in terms of visual style, setting, and music. Man, that background music kicks ass!

We’ll see what the future holds in E3. I bet Nintendo’s going to pimp the hell out of this game in their conference. Look forward to future impressions as our E3 team tries to get hands-on time with this game. I know Justin Joseph played through the previous Red Steel so he seems to be the most likely candidate to play this sequel.

Welcome Home

Hey everyone.  Ahmed, from COE fame, opened up a COE blog today which will hopefully help us out in getting our E3 out in a timely manner.  Since this is my personal blog, I figured I’d talk a little bit about some of the stuff I plan to pick up tomorrow.  What could that be?  Comics!  I’m a hardcore comic fan and what’s nice about personal blogs like this is that it allows me to talk about whatever I want to outside of games.  Everyone knows I’m Mr. Industry, but with a blog like this I can open up on other stuff.

Amazing Spider-Man #593
Amazing Spider-Man #593

Yup, this is probably the most popular comic I plan to pick up tomorrow.  I got this image from IGN of all places.  Yes I know all about Comic Book Resources and Newsarama, but it was the first image I saw so I linked it here.

I don’t want to be talking forever, but will likely post detailed thoughts in the future.  We’ll see how the other COE members take to this blog, and more things around accordingly.

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