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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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Bethesda Brings Star Trek to the Xbox 360, DS, and PSP
news | 01/26/06 | Aaron Stanton
Though we haven\'t seen much of the Star Trek franchise in the game industry since the release of Elite Force II a little while back, that doesn\'t mean that the series isn\'t still destined for further greatness. Bethesda Softworks, makers of Elder Scrolls and one of the most talented developers in the industry today, has purchased the right to make games based on the Star Trek franchise. They\'ve announced two games, including one title for the Xbox 360, and another for both the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Though they haven\'t announced anything, they\'ve also purchased the rights to create games for the PC based on the Star Trek IP.
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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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Xbox Games Grew 77% Over System Life-Cycle, Suggests 360 DVDs Are (Mostly) Big Enough for Next-Generation
game: Xbox 360
feature | 01/19/06 | Aaron Stanton
Microsoft has received criticism for sticking to the DVD9 format for the Xbox 360. Concerned gamers point out that the 8.5 gigabytes of storage may not be enough to hold next-generation games. Sony\'s PS3 will use blu-ray, a format capable of storing several times the information of DVD9. But how big are Xbox 360 games? And how much will they grow, really? We take a look at the size of original Xbox titles to see how much they grew between 2001 and 2005, and compare them to the size of the Xbox 360 launch titles to make an educated guess about the DVD9\'s future needs. The conclusion? Well, you\'ll have to read to find out, but it generally makes Microsoft look like they know what they\'re doing. Don\'t enter a forum debate about blu-ray without reading this article.
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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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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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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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Kameo: Elements of Power Review
game: Kameo: Elements of Power
review | 01/11/06 | Aaron Stanton
In a bit of a late look at Microsoft\'s attempt to neutralize Zelda, we play over Kameo: Elements of Power to see just how good it is. The beautiful design and brilliant particle effects dazzle, but is the gameplay enough to make you want to own it? It is, actually, pulling traditional adventuring elements and combining them with unique Rare flavor and character design. It might not be the beginning of a classic game franchise, but it\'s certainly worth your time until something better hits the stage.
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Armored Core: Formula Front Review
game: Armored Core: Formula Front - Extreme Battle
review | 01/10/06 | Matt James
Armored Core is a tricky series: Gamers typically love it or hate it. Stat-hounds and customization freaks really dig the hardcore gearhead approach to battle bots, while the rest of us stick to more action-oriented titles for our big mech enjoyment. Nonetheless, the first Armored Core game is out for the PSP. Armored Core: Formula Front-- Extreme Battle is a fan-targeted title, geared towards current fans of the Armored Core series and fairly inaccessible for newcomers. Matt James has the rundown.
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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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Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath Review
game: Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath
review | 12/31/05 | George Holomshek
An interesting hybrid of real-time and turn-based strategy play, Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath does its best to set itself apart from the masses of other strategy games. Set in a hypothetical alternate history that posits the Cuban Missile Crisis led to catastrophic nuclear war, the game has a lot going for it: Optional missions, nuclear wastelands, several different campaigns based on different superpowers. There is a lot to like here, but can Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath stand out among the faceless masses of hardcore war games? George has the review.
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First Bootable Xbox 360 ISO Appears Online
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/30/05 | Tristan Mayshark
An Xbox 360 demo disc intended for kiosk 360\'s in Europe appears to lack the normal protection of other 360 games, and has been pirated on the Internet. A group known as \"PI\" have released statements about their progress hacking the Xbox 360\'s software protection, including releasing an ISO disc image of the demo disc, which contains demos found in Xbox 360 kiosks.
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Judge Blocks California Anti-Violent Videogame Law
news | 12/28/05 | Shawn Rider
We reported back in October about an anti-violent videogame law passed by California legislators and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, who has starred in enough violent videogames to know something about the matter. The legislation immediately sparked a lawsuit from the Entertainment Software Association, which argues that the law is both unnecessary and impedes the First Ammendment rights of minors. Yesterday a US District Judge Ronald Whyte issued an injunction against the law, citing the likelihood of the ESA winning its case to reverse the legislation, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
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TP Comic: FingerBang
comic | 12/27/05 | Aaron Stanton
When half your comic team disappears overseas for the holidays, it\'s hard to keep things running smoothly at a game comic. That doesn\'t explain all of TP Comics recent venture into the bizarrely inconsistent, but it explains a good portion of it. Now that the Xbox 360 is resting next to piles of used wrapping paper and a Christmas tree suffering from dehydration, it\'s easier to find the time to make fun of things. Hopefully that means we\'ll get back into a pattern again here after the new year. Take a look at this week\'s TwoPlayer comic, FingerBang, the \"banned\" ad commercial.

Twoplayer game comics are published kinda, sorta weekly at http://comics.gamesfirst.com.
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