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11/11/05 | | Shawn Rider
game: GM Risk
category: cool site
The release of the Google Maps API has led to all kinds of fun experiments, from the Xbox 360 Kiosk maps to Google Map overlays for the NYC subway system and walking tours of people\'s favorite places. One industrious gamer, Teh Diplomat, has written a version of Risk played on Google Map overlays. The game is still being fine-tuned, but for the most part it\'s there and it works. Playing on the satellite map of the world is pretty fun, and Risk is, well, a classic. Check it out.


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11/10/05 | | George Holomshek
category: culture
It seems like everytime we turn around these days, some symphony is cashing in on videogames. Who knew those murder simulators would also become music appreciation stimulators? Then again, what better medium to allow composers dozens of hours of time to work with: It\'s like the ultimate symphonic challenge. The recently announced PLAY! tour will bring some more contemporary game music to the orchestra pit, as opposed to other recent symphonic adaptations of classic videogame music. Check the link to tour info and catch it if it\'s coming near you.


11/09/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: happening
Each week for the next two months, Rare will release a chapter of the Kameo backstory in podcast format. Get your podcatchers all tuned up and point them to the feed, which you\'ll find at http://www.kameo.com posted up for your free download and enjoyment. Kameo, of course, is the long-awaited fantasy action game from legendary developer Rare, which was first seen on N64, moved to GameCube, and will finally see a release as a first-party Xbox 360 launch title. In Kameo you play a shapeshifting faerie who morphs into different tough guy fighters as needed. Check out our previous coverage for more, and get the podcast for the complete backstory.


11/08/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: cool site
1UP.com has a good history of web comics dedicated to videogames. It walks through all the major players, from current videogame comic and freedom-fighting Juggernaut, Penny Arcade, to foundational titles like PvP and 8-Bit Theater. These mighty three have spun off entire genres in a fledgling industry, and many have made their rise side by side with the indy gaming website scene. Of course, there\'s no mention of Twoplayer, which has been recognized by sites like Joystiq as not totally sucking. Nevertheless, it\'s a good read and if any of the comics discussed are not on your webcomic radar, then you are really missing out. Check out the 1UP article here: Will Strip for Games: Gaming Comics Online


11/06/05 | | Aaron Stanton
category: cool site
We\'re only days away from the release of Mario Kart DS, the most recent iteration of Nintendo\'s popular franchise and the first DS title to use Wi-Fi to play on Nintendo\'s online service. This close to release, review copies and test builds have been making their way to various members of the gaming community, including 1UP.com, which now has an article on the Nintendo Wi-Fi adapter. The article shows screenshots of installing the software on a PC, and connecting to it via Mario Kart DS. Give it a week, and you\'ll probably be able to see these screens for yourself.


11/03/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: happening
One of the titles we\'re most excited about this Fall is Peter Jackson\'s King Kong, the game based on the movie. The combination of Peter Jackson\'s visual storytelling and Michel Ancel, Ubisoft\'s resident super game designer, is a potentially dynamic duo that has so far demonstrated an incredible game in the making. Now, Ubisoft sends word that they will host public preview events for the game in New York City and Los Angeles, the week before the game hits stores for pretty much every platform on the planet. The preview events will be major affairs, featuring a full mock-up of Skull Island and 11 kiosks where gamers can experience King Kong, the game, in full big-screen, HD glory on Xbox 360. Get the dates here.


11/03/05 | | Aaron Stanton
game: Phantom
category: industry
Infinium Labs has faced an upward battle for recognition as a legitimate player in the game industry. Ever since HardOCP.com published an article challenging the track record of Infinium Labs\' founder Tim Roberts, the company has been defending itself as much as it has been promoting their products. Numerous delays in releasing the Phantom game console have not helped their case any, and now they\'re facing additional problems. Apparently, the U.S. SEC is now investigating Infinium Labs for what amounts to unpaid taxes and poor payroll keeping. Just one more brick in the wall...


11/03/05 | | George Holomshek
category: industry
Sony recently confirmed to Playstation Magazine that they will utilize a non-centralized system for online multiplayer on the PS3, sticking with their departure from Microsoft\'s Xbox Live or Nintendo\'s Wi-Fi Connection services. Sticking with an online gaming strategy similar to how the PS2 currently handles online gaming means that game publishers have much greater flexibility with their online content. It also means that gamers will need different accounts for each game they play online, and also makes it more difficult for developers to insure an even playing ground in online multiplayer.


11/02/05 | | Aaron Stanton
category: cool site
Is there room on a gaming site for news that\'s not exactly new? We think so. Sometimes things that are old are still cool, even if they\'ve slumped a bit below the radar in recent years. The N64 modding community is an excellent example; modders online have been updating old N64 ROMS for years, including replacing old textures with high resolution images, cell-shaded graphics, and other nifty treats. Around for a while or not, Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still cool in our book, especially in high rez. In the same vein, if you\'re looking for something to drain away your time, check out Lunar Magic, a level editor for the SuperNES title Super Mario World. Yeah, it\'s been around for a while, but if you\'ve never seen it, it\'s new to you.


11/01/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: cool site
One of our most favorite new gaming websites (and we\'ve seen a lot of them) is The Escapist: http://www.escapistmagazine.com . The Escapist is a beautifully formatted PDF and Web zine available for free. They publish weekly, and have quickly risen to the top of the gaming journalism heap. Featuring incredibly smart and well-written articles from both well-known game journalists and newcomers, The Escapist regularly makes us really, really jealous. Their latest issue is up, and it deals with the timely topic of Women in Gaming: developers, players, etc. Check out the latest issue, and then browse their back issues for some of the greatest gaming coverage available.


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