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EA Brings Battle to the Xbox 360
game: The Battle for Middle Earth II
news | 01/19/06 | Shawn Rider
EA has announced that they will bring their fantasy strategy title, The Battle for Middle Earth 2 to Xbox 360. The Battle for Middle Earth 2 comes out for PC in February, building on the success of the original. The Xbox 360 version will see a revamp to suit the console controller and will feature Xbox Live multiplayer, bringing serious strategy gaming to the home console for the first time. (No, we\'re not going to count Starcraft for N64 as a legitimate effort.)
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MS and Nissan Team Up On URGE
game: Xbox 360
news | 01/18/06 | Shawn Rider
Microsoft and Nissan have teamed up to create a concept car called the URGE that comes stock with an Xbox 360 and Project Gotham 3 pre-loaded. (Have no fear, the game is only playable when the car is parked.) The vehicle is made to turn \"echo boomers\" on to the hipness that is Nissan, and the URGE was unveiled at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week. The Register has a write-up with more info and quotes, but we\'ve got more pictures. And they\'re bigger. Click for more.
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The PSP Homebrew Battle: A Report From the Front
game: PSP
feature | 01/17/06 | Shawn Rider
The PSP homebrew community continues to crank out cool stuff. The latest major coup is an exploit using the save game system in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories that allows users with firmware over 2.0 and 2.5 to run homebrew applications and games. So far only a few games are working, but we felt like it is a good time to take a look back at some key developments in the world of PSP homebrew. Get the full story 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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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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Dead or Alive 4 Review
game: Dead or Alive 4
review | 01/14/06 | Tristan Mayshark
Dead or Alive is one of the most contentious franchises around: Gamers and non-gamers alike tend to either hate it or love it. But don\'t let the viscous breasts and panty-flashes overcome the quality fighter that is DOA. The series makes its next-gen debut on the Xbox 360, and it\'s a mixed bag: The graphics aren\'t going to prompt anyone to upgrade to HDTV, but the fighting game is at its height. Longtime fans are rewarded with a blending of the best features from previous installments, solid online play, and plenty of things to do, unlock, and earn. Get the full review from Tristan right here.
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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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Comparing PGR3 Screens to Real-life Locations
game: Project Gotham Racing 3
news | 01/12/06 | Aaron Stanton
People talk about photo-realistic environments, but we rarely come close to seeing it. Well, at least from a distance, it\'s pretty clear that Project Gotham Racing 3 on the Xbox 360 comes very, very close. Evilgamerz.com has posted some photos comparing in-game locations to their real-life counterparts, and the result is very cool. We only wish we had thought of doing it first. While we\'re not savvy enough to know exactly where each one of these locations are (besides being in Japan), it\'s clear that PGR3 shows them off with near photo-realistic accuracy. Very impressive.
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Sex in Video Games Conference This Summer
news | 01/12/06 | Shawn Rider
The Sex in Video Games Conference will be held in San Francisco June 8-9 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, San Francisco, CA. The conference theme is \"Exploring the Business of Digital Erotic Entertainment,\" which sounds totally not sexy to us. But the conference gains clout thanks to the involvement of Brenda Brathwaite, Game Designer and Founder and Chair of the International Game Developers Association\'s Sexuality SIG. If you\'ve got a vested (read: business) interest in the future of adult erotic interactive entertainment, then this is the place to go. It should be more scandalous than E3.
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Seed Beta Test Sign-Ups
game: Seed
news | 01/10/06 | Shawn Rider
Beta signups are now open for the upcoming sci-fi MMORPG, Seed. Seed puts you in the role of a colonist settling the tense, perilous planet Da Vinci. A unique cel-shaded visual approach gives Seed the feeling of a graphic novel, and all of the in-game information is designed to uphold this comic book feel: Speech is shown in dialogue bubbles, and the screen is broken into panels. Gameplay is unique, too, focusing on character development and dynamically generated stories that are created for each individual player according to their style. Check out the Seed beta signups in order to get the early bird special this February.
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Take Two Acquires Irrational Games
news | 01/10/06 | Shawn Rider
Word comes that Take Two, whose publishing label is now 2K Games, has acquired Irrational Games, creators of such amazing titles as SWAT 4, Freedom Force, and the classic System Shock 2. Irrational was also lauded this week with the \"Best PC Developer\" award for 2005 from IGN (for SWAT 4). In addition, the team was cited by Gamespot for \"Best AI\" in a game (also for SWAT 4), and both SWAT 4 and Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich were included on GameSpy\'s top 10 games of 2005 list. Get more on the acquisition here.
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Half-Life 2 Review
game: Half-Life 2
review | 01/09/06 | Shawn Rider
One of the great things about Half-Life 2 was the way it scaled to different levels of machine. On a high-end PC it was amazingly beautiful, and on a more regular rig it was still very enjoyable. So you\'d think that the Xbox port of Half-Life 2 would be pretty much awesome: At least as good as the mid-range PC experience. And, for the most part, you\'d be right, as long as \"awesome\" includes a gazillion load screens and the stickiest doorways we\'ve seen in ages. How does it all turn out? Check Shawn\'s review for the details.
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StikAx Review
game: Ministry of Sound StikAx
review | 01/08/06 | Shawn Rider
What does a music and video mixing peripheral have to do with videogames? Not much. But the StikAx sure is fun. The bizarre mixing peripheral feels like an instrument, and the powerful editing software would be a great value even without the actual StikAx. Embrace the media lifestyle convergence and add the StikAx to your list of things to check out in the new year. It might make you the next big WoW machinimaker! Shawn\'s got a complete review here.
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Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play Review
game: Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play Review
review | 01/06/06 | Shawn Rider
Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play is a collection of 21 classic games for PSP. Featuring arcade perfect ports of Spy Hunter, Sinistar, Defender, Paperboy and 720, there are also over a dozen other classic games which have been enhanced to support WiFi multiplayer. These include classics like Gauntlet, Joust and Rampage, but also the cult classics Mortal Kombat I, II, and III. It\'s a UMD full of nostalgia for some gamers, and a lot like what they\'ve already got on their memory sticks for others. Get the full review here.
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Philips Entertaible Debuts at CES
game: Philips Entertaible
preview | 01/05/06 | Shawn Rider
Philips has a crazy idea: Put a 30\" touch sensitive LCD monitor into a sturdy wooden table, make some digital-smarty pawns and dice, and let game developers go crazy on a hybrid digital and real-world based console platform. But it\'s more than a crazy idea: It\'s the Entertaible, and it\'s being shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show 2006. The Entertaible is set to redefine board games and brings us multiplayer touch-oriented gaming. If touching is good by yourself, it must be even better in a group. Get the details on the Philips Entertaible in our preview.
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