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Nintendo Announces DS Web Browser and TV Software
game: Nintendo DS
news | 02/17/06 | George Holomshek
Nintendo has steadily been releasing details about upcoming products and services that have us wondering if Big N could be the big success story of 2006. The latest news comes from a Japanese press conference in which Nintendo announced a partnership with Opera to bring a web browser to Japanese versions of the Nintendo DS. In addition to the new Internet feature, the DS will also receive broadcast TV capabilities in Japan. Of course, we\'re wondering: When will these features come to the US? George has more details here.
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Samurai Warriors is Gold: Website Even Better
game: Samurai Warriors: State of War
news | 02/16/06 | Shawn Rider
Koei\'s latest historical Asian brawler is heading to PSP in the very near future. Samurai Warriors: State of War has gone gold and is in production as you read this. In addition to announcing the impending launch, Koei also sends word of a revamped website for Samurai Warriors: State of War. The new site is sized and optimized for the PSP\'s small screen web browser. That is a nice touch for PSP owners, who can browse the web with the browser included on the handheld gaming system. Get more details about Samurai Warriors here.
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LoveChess: Age of Egypt Review
game: LoveChess: Age of Egypt
review | 02/14/06 | George Holomshek
Happy Valentine\'s Day, dear readers. From deep within the GF! Office of Love and Videogames, we are pleased to bring you George\'s latest research, a review of LoveChess: Age of Egypt, the sequel to Dutch developer Artmunk\'s LoveChess: The Greek Era. The multiplayer here is unlikely to inspire extended sessions of sultry romance, but it\'s at least a brief diversion from watching Skinamax while playing Fritz 9. Get the full story here.

And be warned: George\'s review is remarkably clean, but LoveChess features depictions of sex, and the screenshots are most likely not safe for work. (Unless you work at Artmunk.)
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Slamdance Gamemakers Competition Announces Contest Winners
news | 02/12/06 | Sean Hilliard
The Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemakers Competition continues to bring innovative, independent gaming to the masses. But just in case you weren\'t able to make it out to Utah for the events, our man Sean has you covered with a complete rundown of the prize winners. From art-game darling, Facade, which took home the Grand Jury Prize, to the PopCap Casual Game award-winner, Odyssey, these are games worth checking out. And lots of them are available for you to download and play. So get the scoop right here.
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GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up #18
podcast | 02/11/06 | Val Townsend
Val brings us another episode of the GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up, packed full of all the best stuff going on in the gaming world. This week, we take a look at two books out now about hacking the PSP: One is great, and the other is not. We also test the Altec Lansing AHS302i headphones, which are well-priced even if not so well-fitting. Finally, we get to the games with a review of Legion Arena for the PC and a preview of the Final Fantasy XI Beta for Xbox 360. Download the latest episode of the GF! Weekly Wrap-Up right here.
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Cult of Mithras Screens
game: Cult of Mithras
news | 02/06/06 | Shawn Rider
Slitherine Strategies recently hit GF! with the very respectable Legion Arena, a Roman-themed strategy war title with a shallow learning curve and some surprisingly good gameplay. Now, they are hard at work on Cult of Mithras, an expansion to Legion Arena that combines ancient history and ancient mythology. Now you\'ll pit Roman legions against armies of ghosts, shadow warriors, or fire demons, and fight for your gods as you battle your way to Elysium. Featuring enhanced graphics noticeably better than the original game, the latest screens from Cult of Mithras look great. Check them out here.
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Ubicom Launches Free Network Testing Tool
news | 02/01/06 | George Holomshek
Ubicom, who made the Stream Engine chip that is used to shape your broadband traffic in the D-Link DGL4300 Gamer Lounge router, has now released a free utility to check your online playability. The OPScore utility is a quick way to get a more robust fix on your online connection speed than most bandwidth testers, but it still runs in-browser (even if that browser is IE because of the ActiveX requirements, which is whack). George has a more complete summary of what OPScore offers, plus links to the free software.
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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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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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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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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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The Movies Review
game: The Movies
review | 01/18/06 | Sarah Wichlacz
Peter Molyneaux\'s latest game achievement is not plagued by overambitious design goals or over-hyped pre-release promises. The Movies is exactly what it was promised to be: A simulation of the movie industry from the dawn of Hollywood to present day. Manage your employees, send actors to rehab, build a studio and become a major mogul in the movie industry. Plus, it has a cool machinima-friendly filmmaking mode that has already led to some interesting creations. Check out Sarah\'s review here.
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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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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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GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up Number 15
podcast | 01/07/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val checks out the biggest gaming news of the last couple weeks, catching us up on any news we missed while we were stuffing our gullets on stuffing and gullets. She also checks out reviews of PoPoLoCrois for PSP, Kosumi for PC, and Call of Duty 2 for Xbox 360 and PC. After all that, she serves up a tasty preview of Chromehounds, coming soon to Xbox 360 from the makers of the legendary Armored Core series. Get the latest podcasty goodness from your pals at GF!
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