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SketchFighter 4000 Preview
game: SketchFighter 4000
preview | 12/26/05 | Aaron Stanton
Though large publishers like EA and Ubisoft might get most of the mainstream media coverage, the most creative companies sometimes tend to be smaller, less well known. Ambrosia Software, creators of Darwinia, have come up with another instantly recognizable success. Now heading into Beta, SketchFighter 4000 is an action exploration game that\'s defined by its presentation. The entire game looks like it was drawn during third period on a notepad.
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Xbox 360 Hacked Using PSP?
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/24/05 | Shawn Rider
OpenXbox360 has posted a link to a YouTube video that supposedly shows a regular, retail version of the Xbox 360 playing an unsigned, burned copy of Perfect Dark Zero by using a hack that involved running some program on the PSP. No details about the hack or methods involved are known so far, and the video could easily be a fake. But it\'s a slow news day here on Xmas Eve, and it\'s a curious video. Check out the video for yourself, as well as the post on OpenXbox360, and keep an eye on this as the story develops.
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Get Your Xbox Live Diamond Card
game: Xbox Live
news | 12/24/05 | Shawn Rider
Microsoft has announced a new perks card for members of their Xbox Live Gold service. Gold level members now qualify for a free \"Diamond\" card, which is an actual, real gamercard you can carry in your pocket. Now you can show off your Xbox geekiness even when you\'re away from your console. And wait, it doesn\'t stop there: The Diamond card qualifies holders for special deals and discounts at an array of retailers. If you\'re a Gold level member of Xbox Live, sign yourself up.
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GF! Weekly Wrap-Up #14
podcast | 12/23/05 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val takes a look at a bunch of the reviews we couldn\'t fit into other podcasts. We rundown some of the best games of the season, including the wild-west adventure game GUN, the vehicular mayhem of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the stylish Project Gotham Racing 3, alien warfare in Quake 4, and the handheld racing action of Mario Kart DS. We\'re cutting the crap and getting right to the goods. Check it out.
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Kingdom Hearts is Back Again
game: Kingdom Hearts II
preview | 12/23/05 | Amanda Bateman
Chances are you\'ve already heard about it. Chances are you\'re also greatly anticipating it. A few of you are already playing it. It\'s time to dust off your trusty old Keyblade and give Donald and Goofy a call, because Kingdom Hearts II for the PlayStation 2 is out in Japan, and is on its way to the States very soon. In the meantime, you can refresh yourself by picking up a copy of Kingdom Hearts...in comic form.
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AGSDE Expo Asia 2005: The PS3 Construction
feature | 12/23/05 | Aaron Stanton
The 4th Asian Game Show & Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 in Hong Kong might not be showing off anything cool from Microsoft, but they\'ve certainly got something from Sony. GamesFirst editor Aaron Stanton takes a quick peek at the show floor the day before the expo opens to the public, and reports on the warm fuzzy feelings he got at seeing the PlayStation 3 logo being raised above Sony\'s booth. AGSDEE might not be as well known in the west as E3 or CES, but it\'s an opportunity to see hands-on what Sony plans to offer. You\'ll want to keep an eye open as the four day exposition kicks off.
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Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species Review
game: Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species
review | 12/22/05 | George Holomshek
Zoo Tycoon 2 managed to keep a number of people up late into the night in its original form, and now there\'s an expansion to help add hours to the fun. Microsoft\'s new expansion gives you things like sky trams, official Jeep tours, and a gun-less FPS element, but is there really anything new here? We take some time to run through Zoo Tycoon\'s new elements to see if there\'s enough depth here to justify a $30 purchase.
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How to Find an Xbox 360
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/21/05 | Shawn Rider
Via Major Nelson (the Xbox Live Director of Programming), we discovered Sean Alexander\'s blog posting about how to keep track of recent Xbox 360 shipments. Alexander describes a method of using the Ben\'s Bargains Xbox 360 Shipment Tracker along with URLy Warning, a program that allows you to monitor web pages for any changes. By following the simple instructions outlined on Alexander\'s blog, you can be sure to find the Xbox 360s as soon as they arrive in your neighborhood. Check it out.
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Quake 4 Review
game: Quake 4
review | 12/21/05 | Jeremy Kauffman
Quake 4 arrives on the Xbox 360 and all of its next-gen processing glory and gore. Built on the Doom 3 engine for super-hot graphical prowess, this time out ye olde Quake features both a single-player Strogg hunting single-player story and the intense arena action we\'ve come to expect from the series. But can a few Halo-like improvements rocket-jump Quake 4 to the top of your holiday wishlist? Check Jeremy\'s review to find out.
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Chromehounds Preview
game: Chromehounds
preview | 12/20/05 | Shawn Rider
Chromehounds is a big mech action title coming to the Xbox 360 this spring from Sega and FROM Software. FROM Software is best known as the makers of the fan-favorite Armored Core series, which makes them immensely qualified to tackle a next-gen heavy robot game. Taking place in an alternate history centered around Cold War land grabs, Chromehounds looks to bring big battles and big mechs to a console near you next Spring. Get the full preview here.
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Xbox 360 Hacking Gets Started, Suggested Laser Beams Fail as Deterrent
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/18/05 | Aaron Stanton
Before it was released, Xbox 360 engineer Chris Satchell went on record as saying that the system would include security measures, \"the hacker community has never seen before.\" At the time we could only speculate what that meant. Microsoft was claiming the system would be close to unhackable. Now, it looks like the hacking community is making progress. Turns out that members of Team PI Coders have found a way to pull source files off the Xbox 360 as games are loaded. Let the race begin.
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Xbox vs. Xbox 360 with Video Capture: Side-by-Side Comparisons
game: Xbox 360
feature | 12/12/05 | Aaron Stanton
Last week, we here at GamesFirst published a side-by-side comparison of King Kong on the Xbox and Xbox 360. By looking at nearly identical games, it\'s interesting to see the graphical differences between the two. However, the Xbox 360\'s major differences are in the ability to render dynamic lighting and environmental effects, which are difficult to see in static screenshots. As a result, we\'ve redone the article using side-by-side video capture from each system. The differences are both more obvious, in the cases when a difference is visible, and more underwhelming, when certain key scenes are difficult to distinguish between the two. Take a look, and decide for yourself.
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Auto Assult Turns up the Throttle on MMORPGs
game: Auto Assault
preview | 12/11/05 | Tristan Mayshark
NCSoft\'s promising new entry into an admittedly crowded MMORPG market may pave some new ground and bulldoze a few mountains along the way. Auto Assault is a vehicle-based MMORPG that puts you into a bleak future landscape dominated by greasemonkey aliens with high-powered weapons. A public beta is in-progress right now, so check out Tristan\'s preview to get more info.
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Quake 4 Review
game: Quake 4
review | 12/07/05 | Blaine Krumpe
id Software is a lumbering juggernaut in the industry, and their new Doom 3 engine is one of the most incredible technologies to hit games. So, of course, we were stoked to get our hands on some Quake IV action, built on the Doom engine. Raven Software handles the development duties this time out, and for fans of high energy running and gunning, Quake IV doesn\'t get much better than this. Blaine takes it for a spin and delivers the review of the PC version. Can it hold up to the high expectations of the fragging masses? Check here to find out.
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Hammer & Sickle Review
game: Hammer & Sickle
review | 12/05/05 | Sean Hilliard
Hammer & Sickle is the latest turn-based RPG to hit store shelves. Does it stand up next to previous hits like Fallout and KOTOR? Do Soviets really have more fun? Are a hammer and sickle in-game weapons? Is Rambo cool enough to merit his own skill set? Or should this game just be nuked? Find out in Sean\'s full review.

EDITOR\'S NOTE: Our initial version of this review featured some inaccurate information about the character classes available in H&S. We have since corrected our review, and we apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.
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