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Weekly Gaming News

Eidos Interactive has announced the shipping of the latest in the Tomb Raider series, Tomb Raider Chronicles, which is getting a simultaneous release for Dreamcast, PC and PlayStation. According to Eidos, Chronicles will be “the last in this popular franchise for the PlayStation, and marks an end to the Tomb Raider series as we know it.”

The new title revolves around a memorial service for heroine Lara Croft, and evolves from flashbacks and remembrances as viewed by Lara’s acquaintances. It also includes a level editor that can be used to alter the maps in Chronicles and previous Tomb Raider games, as well as two new outfits for the beloved Ms. Croft.

Eidos is also pushing Chronicles through various advertising campaigns and promotion. Ads will appear in a “multimillion dollar” campaign via online, print and TV ads. Additionally, Eidos has struck a deal with Timex to offer a branded TMX Grip Clip watch, and the company is backing the Tomb Raider movie that will star Angelina Jolie as Lara. Trailers for the live-action film, which is currently in production in England and set for a summer 2001 release, are scheduled to appear in theaters this holiday season.

Sierra Studios announced today that the official expansion pack for Ground Control, subtitled Dark Conspiracy, is now available for free. Consumers must simply go to the Dark Conspiracy website and fill out the order form. Some boxed copies of Ground Control also include the order form. However, all will have to pay the shipping and handling charges of $4.95.

LucasArts has released a patch for the PC game Escape from Monkey Island. Patch 1.1—approximately 1.12 MB—fixes some gameplay problems as well as video card configurations. Click here to find out more and download the patch.

Mattel Media has released Sega Rally 2 Championship for the PC. The game is also available for the Dreamcast. However, the PC version features multiplayer modes over the Internet. In total, Sega Rally 2 Championship has 21 racing courses.

The retail price is $29.99.

bam! Entertainment, Inc. has just released its second game in the Powerpuff Girls series, Powerpuff Girls: Paint the Townsville Green for the Game Boy Color. Players will assume the role of Buttercup in this game, as she saves innocent citizens from the Fuzzy Lumpkins and Gangreen gang. Each level is full of power-ups and dangerous combats.

Powerpuff Girls: Paint the Townsville Green retails for $29.99.

The Video Software Dealers Association released its VidTrac results for the week that ended November 26. The top five games rented were:

1. Driver 2—PlayStation
2. WWF No Mercy—Nintendo 64
3. The World is Not Enough—Nintendo 64
4. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2—PlayStation
5. Mario Tennis—Nintendo 64

Tecmo Inc. has provided some details on its Monster Rancher Hop-A-Bout game for PlayStation, which is due out later this fall. The title offers one- or two-player action through “thrilling and perilous obstacle courses,” and provides the ability to alter the courses as well. A Versus Mode creates head-to-head drama, testing the players’ ability to get through the same course in the least amount of time.
Monster Rancher Hop-A-Bout
will have a suggested retail price of $29.99, and have an ESRB rating of E (Everyone).

THQ announced today that it would continue to increase the number of products for the Rugrats license with Rugrats: Totally Angelica for the PS One platform. The game is currently available for the Game Boy Color. Players will be able to control Angelica in her own “dress-up fantasy.”
The PS One version is expected to release in the spring of 2001.

In Japan, Nintendo reported a recovery in profits for the past six months of its 2000/2001 fiscal year.
Nintendo's parent-only current profit in the April through September period have more than doubled, even though sales dropped about 26 percent as the yen's appreciation against the dollar decreased the value of overseas sales, which account for about 78 percent of the company's sales. Pre-tax profits for the period rose to 51.79 billion yen (approximately $468.4 million), significantly more than last year's 20 billion yen (approximately $180.9 million).
For Nintendo's full fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2001, it forecasts a 78 billion yen (approximately $705.5 million) group net profit on sales of 500 billion yen (approximately $4.52 billion).

For the past few months, there has been little information about LucasArts’ massive online game based on the Star Wars universe. However, LucasArts revealed today that the online game series would be titled Star Wars Galaxies. In addition, the company announced that the game’s official website——would launch on November 30.
Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts, stated, “We see this website as an important step toward building a strong community for the Star Wars Galaxies line of games…We firmly believe that consistent and open communication with fans will be one of the keys to the success of the Star Wars Galaxies experience.”
Verant Interactive has been chosen to be the series’ developer. The only problem is that it will be a while until consumers will be able to play this new game series as testing is set to begin in the late part of 2001.

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