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DS Lite Unveiled
game: Nintendo DS
news | 01/29/06 | George Holomshek
Nintendo has a history of redesigning and refining technology every couple of years. So it was just a matter of time before big N decided to redesign the Nintendo DS (and don\'t be surprised to see another redesign in two years, but that\'s just our prediction). After a bit of he-said/she-said melodrama, Nintendo has released concrete details about the new Nintendo DS Lite, which is exactly like a Nintendo DS except smaller and cuter. George has nailed down the details here, including the nasty rumors that the smaller size has come at a sacrifice to GBA compatability. Get the full story here.
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Hacking the PSP Review
game: Hacking the PSP
review | 01/28/06 | Shawn Rider
The PSP hacking and homebrew communities are lively places, and there are weekly advances in the effort to add features and content to our PSPs. Sometimes these advances come even too rapidly for us to keep up with, and we can\'t imagine tackling a book about PSP hacking: How could you write something that won\'t be totally outdated a few months after its release? The answer is still not clear to us, but we\'ve finally found a PSP book worth reading. Auri Rahimzadeh\'s Hacking the PSP is the best PSP hacking and modification book we\'ve seen so far. If you\'re the pulp-and-ink kind of tinkerer, skip the others and head directly for this one. Shawn has the full review here.
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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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The Right Moves: West Virginia Officially Adopts DDR Into Physical Education Curriculum
game: Dance Dance Revolution
editorial | 01/26/06 | Shawn Rider
The state of West Virginia has partnered with game publisher Konami to bring Dance Dance Revolution into hundreds of school physical education programs. The deal will roll out over 700 Dance Dance Revolution arcade machines, beginning with the state\'s 103 middle/junior high schools. The officials are doing the right thing, but they\'re citing the wrong reasons. DDR is not a way to combat the sedentary lifestyle of the youth, it\'s a way to create a modernized physical education curriculum that does what it should: engages students in realistic physical activity. Shawn steps up to the soapbox in this editorial.
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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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RIP Review: From Russia With Guns
game: RIP
review | 01/23/06 | Shawn Rider
RIP is a fast-action twitch title that is also relatively easy to pick up and play. The simple action is augmented by some strategic upgrade and skill development elements, which gives it a unique feel. For folks who love a fast-paced shooter with hordes of enemies and a dose of thoughtful strategy, RIP warrants a demo download at the least. Get the lowdown on this independently developed import from Russia in Shawn\'s review.
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Unreal Tournament 2007 Screens
game: Unreal Tournament 2007
news | 01/23/06 | Shawn Rider
Unreal Tournament 2007 serves two purposes: It continues the tradition of cyber-athletic quality FPS gaming, and it showcases the amazingly beautiful Unreal 3 engine,in development now from Epic Games. Evolutionary is the word for UT 2007: The graphics are better, the vehicles are bigger, and the online multiplayer is even more insane. Check out this quick preview and these amazingly beautiful screenshots for more.
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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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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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Meridian4 Announces Shadowgrounds
game: Shadowgrounds
news | 01/19/06 | Shawn Rider
Meridian4 has been having a good new year. They\'ve been picking up games left and right, and the titles just keep looking better and better. These are the kinds of games that I\'d love to see downloadable via Xbox Live, and that you can download and have a great time with on your laptop. That\'s not to say that they\'re low-fi, but they\'re not exactly cutting edge, either. Which can be fun. Their latest announcement is about Shadowgrounds, a sci-fi action title that offers a fresh take on old-school 3rd person shooters. It looks like Ikari Warriors meets Aliens.
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