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PSP Hacks, Mods and Expansions Review
game: PSP Hacks, Mods and Expansions
review | 01/28/06 | Shawn Rider
The PSP hacking scene is difficult to keep a handle on, even as a web-based magazine, where we can publish articles regularly covering the latest development. In the past month several new tools and utilities have come out that any PSP enthusiast has already read about on any one of a number of good PSP hacking, mod and homebrew websites. So when GF! received two new books about hacking the PSP, we were skeptical that they could possibly be as good as a quality website, but hoped they could at least be more detailed, better organized, and feature more helpful illustrations for some of the basics of PSP hacking. We first looked at Dave Prochnow\'s PSP Hacks, Mods and Expansions. Boasting on the book\'s cover includes both a \"Money Saving Coupons\" emblem and a laundry list of tips that begins with \"The Top 10 UMD Movies\" and \"Which Are the Top 10 Games Worth Buying?\" We embarked with a happy outlook: Heck, we didn\'t even realize there were 10 games worth buying on the PSP... Check out Shawn\'s review here.
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New Chromehounds Screens
game: Chromehounds
news | 01/27/06 | Shawn Rider
Sega is unloading on the Xbox 360 with both Full Auto and Chromehounds coming out in the coming weeks. Chromehounds is based on an alternate Cold War history that places you in charge of a big, destructive robot fighting for one of three factions. Developed by Armored Core veterans, From Software, Chromehounds has the pedigree to be a very good game. The screens look gorgeous, and we are excited to get our hands on a playable version of this one. Get the details here.
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Full Auto Demo Available Now on Xbox Live
game: Full Auto
news | 01/27/06 | Shawn Rider
Sega sends word that Full Auto has officially gone gold. This announcement coincides with the release of a bunch of new screens, which we\'re featuring here, and an Xbox Live demo, which we\'ve downloaded and raged through. The verdict is still out on this one-- the demo is a bit skimpy, and we haven\'t gotten a lot of time with it yet. In the meantime, check out these new screens and get the details on this chaotic action racer in our recent preview. All of which lies behind this link.
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Booth Babes: An Ongoing Controversy
feature | 01/26/06 | Shawn Rider
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced yesterday that they would enforce a $5000 fine on any company who violates a more modest \"booth babes\" policy at their Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), to be held May 10-12, 2006 in Los Angeles. E3 has long been known in part for the models companies hire to attract attendees to their booths. Some companies hire people dressed like main characters, others just hire a few pretty ladies with fancy underwear.

Coverage of this story inspired us to re-post a GamesFirst! classic. Back in 2001 we did a short documentary at E3 delving into the question of Booth Babes. We\'ve re-encoded it for iPod support (should work for all PC platforms, too), and we\'re re-releasing the video today. Check it out.
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Final Fantasy XI 360 Beta Released
game: Final Fantasy XI
preview | 01/25/06 | Matt James
Final Fantasy has been a holdout series, maintaining its PlayStation 2 exclusivity for the larger part of this previous generation. (Square Enix did give in and release some Final Fantasy games for Gamecube and GBA in the past few years.) The Xbox 360 will break down those walls. Not only is Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi bringing a series of exclusive games to Xbox 360 with his new company, but Final Fantasy XI will arrive on the platform, too. The latest copy of Xbox Magazine features a Final Fantasy XI beta test disc for Xbox 360 owners. If you\'re a fan of FF, then you\'ll want to check this out. Our man, Matt James, has the rundown on the beta test experience.
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SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 Review
game: SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006
review | 01/24/06 | Matt James
SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 on the PSP is almost identical to its PS2 counterpart: The graphics are quite nice, the control remains enjoyable, and the full depth of play is retained. Including loads of wrestlers, some great WiFi multiplayer, and a management mode that adds a whole new layer to the wrestling game, SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 is a must-play for portable-gaming wrestling fans. Get the full review from Matt James right here.
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GF! Mailbag
feature | 01/21/06 | Matt James
Matt\'s back with the first of the 2006 Mailbags, full of international flavor. We\'ve got some feedback about our glowing review of Kutoka\'s Creatures and Creatures Exodus titles from the developers. And of course we\'ve got the requisite letters suffering from \"TLI\"-- Too Little Information. You tell us: How DO you get engineers to build siege machines on the top of large towers? Is it some kind of riddle? Check out the latest reader mail right here.
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Shadow Hearts 3: A Whole New World...Sort Of
game: Shadow Hearts 3: From The New World
preview | 01/20/06 | Amanda Bateman
The Shadow Hearts RPG series returns with its third installment, From The New World. Join Johnny Garland and his crew as they set out to solve the mystery of his family and past, all while mastering skills and battling monsters. All of this takes place in a funky anime version of New York in the 1920s, giving it total niche cred. This one is sure to become a cult fave and maintains the quality of the Shadow Hearts series. Check out Amanda\'s preview here.
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Nintendo in 2006: Reggie Speaks, Promises Resolutions
news | 01/20/06 | Chris Martin
Reggie Fils-Aime, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo of America, likes to make huge claims, like comparing the sales of a handheld to the sales of a home console. Still, when it comes charisma, Reg has it in spades. In a recent News.com interview, the Big N\'s Big Man affirmed the company\'s commitment to doing things differently in the New Year, including releasing their next-gen system at a lower price point than the other two major console-makers. Get a full summary here.
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GameTap and Logitech Team Up
game: GameTap
news | 01/19/06 | Shawn Rider
GameTap and Logitech have teamed up to offer gamers a discounted membership, and a solution to the issue of playing classic home console games on a PC keyboard and mouse. Logitech will release a GameTap branded, dual analog controller, modelled very much like the PlayStation 2 controller. The controller earns GameTap subscribers a discounted rate, too. Get the details here.
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Videogame Industry Tops $10.5 Billion
news | 01/16/06 | Shawn Rider
As reported by GameDaily Biz, NPD Funworld calculates the videogame industry\'s take last year at around $10.5 billion. It looks like games have reached a major milestone, and that is thanks to some (possibly) surprising trends in 2005: portable gaming and female gamers. Sure, the Xbox 360 launch was a major boost to the industry in Q4, but the success of the industry in a highly transitional year (new console launches are never great for software sales) is attributed to handheld gaming and female gamers. Get more on this story right here.
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PSP finally outsells the DS in Japan
news | 01/15/06 | George Holomshek
It took a while, but Sony\'s PSP was finally able to top the Nintendo DS in sales last week (January 2-8) in Japan. As reported by Joystiq, this is the first time since April of 2005 that the PSP has outsold the DS. Sony managed to move 132,757 PSPs off shelves and the DS jumped into shopping karts 91,379 times. George has the details in this News blurb.
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The A-Z of Cool Computer Games Book Review
game: The A-Z of Cool Computer Games
review | 01/15/06 | Shawn Rider
The A-Z of Cool Computer Games is a robust survey of computer games and gaming history centered on the British gaming experience. As such, this book focuses on, mainly, European and British computers, games, consoles and arcade machines that were popular in the UK in the late 20th Century. For folks who fondly remember their old Speccy this is a trip down memory lane. For those of us across the pond, it\'s a peek into a wonderful bizarro-land of gaming: An alternate dimension of interactive entertainment that often intersects with our own gaming heritage.
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GF! Weekly Wrap-Up #16
podcast | 01/13/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val Townsend, the Atomic Goddess, takes gamers on an audio adventure through the recent history of video gaming. In addition to a summary of recent news, Val has reviews of Kameo: Elements of Power (XB360), Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath (PC), and those cute little GelTabz (multi). Rounding out this week\'s podcast is a preview of Square/Enix\'s Code Age Project, which spans games on mobile phones, PS2, and a comic book series. Serve yourself up a heaping helping of steaming hot podcast goodness, right here.
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Everything We Know About the I.C.E. 360 Modchip
game: ICE Modchip
feature | 01/13/06 | Aaron Stanton
Has the Xbox 360 been successfully modified? This is the question that\'s been on the modding community\'s mind since InfinityMods.com claimed to have a functioning modchip in-hand. Is it true? In this article, we look at the time-line of everything we know about the I.C.E. modchip, and include an interview with Team I.C.E.

What does I.C.E. stand for? When is the expected ship date for the chip (early Feb., by the way). If you have doubts about the I.C.E. modchip, then this article certainly won\'t put them to rest, but we help keep you informed.
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