NewsPro Archive

February 2004

Friday, February 27, 2004

Mortal Kombat: Deception Announced
Steve @ 3:03 PM EST
CHICAGO – February 27, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, today announced that the official title for the new version of the world-renowned fighting game franchise will be Mortal Kombat: Deception. Mortal Kombat: Deception is currently in development and scheduled to ship fall 2004 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft.

Shocking and evil, Mortal Kombat: Deception pushes martial arts-style fighting and the Mortal Kombat franchise to new heights with an innovative fighting system, unparalleled depth and brutally intense action that will appeal to long-time Mortal Kombat fans as well as next-generation gamers. The game features lightning-fast hand-to-hand and special weapons combat, secret and returning characters, moves and combinations with new death-dealing battles and fatalities.

“Mortal Kombat: Deception promises to take this revolutionary fighting franchise to an new level”, said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. “With a host of new features including multiple fatalities per character, multi-tiered interactive backgrounds and extensive new game modes, Mortal Kombat: Deception will set a precedent for all other fighting games to follow.”

Thursday, February 26, 2004

MLB Slugfest: Loaded Announced
Steve @ 1:52 PM EST
CHICAGO – February 26, 2004 - Midway Sports, the sports brand of Midway Games Inc., today announced MLB SlugFest: Loaded, the newest title in the adrenaline-style baseball series which, for the first time, takes America’s Pastime online with a host of new gameplay features. Also new for 2004, MLB SlugFest: Loaded will include the addition of the Baseball Mogul(R) engine into its franchise mode, adding great depth and endless re-playability to the game. Midway also today unveiled Sammy Sosa as the cover athlete for MLB SlugFest: Loaded, establishing a relationship with one of baseball’s all-time greats. MLB SlugFest: Loaded is scheduled for release in June 2004 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft.

“The improvements that we’ve incorporated into MLB SlugFest: Loaded offer fans everywhere a deeper, more complete baseball experience while still retaining the over-the-top action Midway Sports games are known for,” said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. “Specifically, the additions of the Baseball Mogul engine into our franchise mode and the ability to play online for both PlayStation 2 and Xbox(TM) Live open up several new, exciting means of enjoying the latest title in the SlugFest franchise. We are also very excited to have one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players, and Chicago’s very own, Sammy Sosa as our cover athlete. Sosa truly embodies what SlugFest is all about: big talent, big hits and over-the-top action.”

About MLB SlugFest: Loaded

MLB SlugFest: Loaded is the only baseball videogame for the 2004 season featuring Midway’s classic fast and furious gameplay with beanballs, hard tags, and over-the-top animations. This year’s SlugFest features today’s greatest baseball players with the addition of over-the-top abilities, including turbo-speed running, highlight reel-worthy fielding, earth-shaking collisions and, as one would expect from a Midway Sports title, the ability for a player to catch fire and turbo charge the game action.

In addition, all-new gameplay features add a measure of depth and adrenaline yet to be matched by competing, simulation-like baseball titles: Customizable Instant Replay, providing gamers with complete control of the numerous camera angles available to get the best view of towering home runs and diving catches, Exploding Scoreboards, giving players the ability to light up stadium jumbo-screens with one swing of the bat, and also, the most updated MLB team rosters available in any game of its kind. Furthermore, players will be able to for the first time in the SlugFest series, take coaching skills, players and/or teams online for both PlayStation 2 and Xbox Live, one of only three 2004 baseball games to have such capabilities. Additional online capabilities will include voice chat using an optional headset and an on-screen sports Ticker Tape that allows players to track ongoing MLB action with a live news feed from MLB.com, offering up-to-date scores and stats. It also fe! atures an Online Tournament Mode which allows online users to match-up at anytime and anywhere against the stiffest competition coast-to-coast where winners take all and the losers goes home. MLB Slugfest: Loaded also includes a completely original soundtrack from new breakthrough bands, including tracks from Ivory Wire, Buckfast Superbee and Flipswitch.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ship Date For Ninja Gaiden Announced
Steve @ 12:52 AM EST
TORRANCE, Calif., February 24, 2004-Tecmo« officially announced today that the ship date for its eagerly anticipated new action title, Ninja Gaiden«, for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft will be Tuesday, March 2, 2004. Gaining an incredible amount of buzz since it was first shown on the E3 floor in 2002, the powerhouse title will ship out to retailers across the country in mass quantities, arriving on store shelves throughout the first week of March.

"Tecmo's focus while developing Ninja Gaiden was to create the best action game ever and with the game only a week away from launch I am proud to say that we have succeeded in this goal," John Inada, Tecmo's General Marketing Manager, said. "Ninja Gaiden will set a new standard in the action genre and we guarantee it was well worth the wait."

Boasting 100% action, Ninja Gaiden will allow the player to unleash their inner ninja with smooth game play, speedy battle sequences, and a variety of advanced acrobatic ninja moves from running and flipping off walls to hanging and swinging on rails. The player will also have a variety of primary and secondary weapons at their disposal that when used in a combination, create advanced weapon attacks such as damaging wall-based assaults and all-powerful ultimate attacks. Xbox™ Live Compatibility, a host of challenging levels and visually exquisite environments are just a few more reasons why Ninja Gaiden plans to raise the bar in the action gaming genre.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Official Website for NBA Ballers Launches
Steve @ 1:12 PM EST
CHICAGO – February 24, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, today announced the launch of the official website for NBA Ballers(TM). Players can now step online and onto the court to get the latest news and updates on the exclusive one-on-one basketball videogame highlighting the fantasy lifestyle of an NBA Superstar by visiting http://www.nbaballers.com

Officially licensed by the NBA and NBA Legends, NBA Ballers is the only basketball game to deliver the pure essence of basketball by highlighting the excitement and intensity of the one-on-one confrontation, along with the necessary additions of a true NBA baller including: chromed-out rides, ice, ladies, tatts and more. Featuring online play for the PlayStation 2, as well as 60 current and 24 NBA player legends, NBA Ballers takes the game out of the arenas and into some of the most lavish NBA player “cribs” for an up-close and personal one-on-one experience that will leave the wannabes at home while determining who owns the title, “Greatest Baller of All-Time.”

NBA Ballers will be available April 5, 2004 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

Puyo Pop Fever Coming to North America From Sega
Steve @ 1:10 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO (February 23, 2004) -- SEGA« of America, Inc. today announced that it will publish "Puyo Pop Fever™" in North America. Developed by SEGA's Sonic Team studio, the latest version of SEGA's addictive puzzle franchise offers an enhanced two-player experience that includes an an ultra-intense Fever mode and boosted combo effects. A new story mode, revamped graphics, and new puzzle pieces make this game as irresistible as it is addictive. "Puyo Pop Fever" is scheduled to be released on Microsoft Xbox™ and Nintendo GameCube™ in June '04.

Features:

* New Fever Mode gives a new twist to completing combos and enhances the excitement level.
* New puzzle pieces featuring triple and quadruple sets, and a giant Puyo challenge.
* Multiplayer Mode allows for players to compete head-to-head.
* 3D graphic effect enhances the impact when completing combos.
* Introduces 13 new characters and a whole new story.

MX Unleashed Released for Xbox
Steve @ 12:45 PM EST
CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 24, 2004--THQ Inc. today announced the release of MX Unleashed for PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(TM) videogame system from Microsoft. THQ's internal development studio, Rainbow(TM) Studios, the critically acclaimed leader of off-road videogames, delivers unprecedented realism and game play to off-road fans and gamers alike. MX Unleashed is supported by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, integrating sponsorship of the THQ World Supercross GP/AMA Series, national TV and print advertising campaigns, and cross marketing promotions with industry and entertainment companies. MX Unleashed is now available at major retail outlets across North America.

"Rainbow Studios' award-winning racing physics place them among the top racing game developers in the world," said Jack Sorensen, executive vice president of worldwide studios, THQ. "Again, they have delivered unprecedented intensity and realism while maintaining a balance of superb game play in MX Unleashed."

"THQ and Rainbow Studios are thrilled to offer the quintessential off-roading videogame experience to a wide range of gamers and motocross fans," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "Rainbow Studios is the leader in off-road racing and we're excited to support MX Unleashed with an extensive marketing program, including title sponsorship of the THQ World Supercross GP/AMA Series."

MX Unleashed not only features a robust racing mode that motocross fans have come to expect, but also an expansive Freeworld mode that allows gamers to explore vast environments where they can race against and ultimately drive machines including a helicopter, monster truck, dune buggy, bi-plane, and trophy truck. Freeworld mode also lets players explore hits, jumps and runs in a variety of mini-games; perform stunts like jumping off moving trucks or through hot air balloons; and catch big air off of the treacherous terrain. The game features realistic physics, including a clutch system and independent rider and bike animations, making it the most realistic interactive motocross racing experience to date. The game also features music tracks from a library of licensed music performed by some of the music industry's hottest artists.

For more information about MX Unleashed, visit http://www.thq.com . The THQ World Supercross GP/AMA Series schedule can be found at http://www.supercross.cc.com

Monday, February 23, 2004

The Suffering From Midway Goes Gold
Steve @ 3:47 PM EST
CHICAGO – February 23, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that The Suffering™, the first game of its kind to probe into the very unsettling and seedy underbelly of a maximum-security penitentiary haunted by horrific and grotesque apparitions, has gone gold and will to ship to stores on March 8, 2004 for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

The Suffering™ captures the disturbing and terrifying nature of the horror genre in a compelling third-person action/adventure game set in the mature and gritty world of a maximum-security penitentiary. By alternating periods of tense and terror-filled exploration with frenetic combat sequences, The Suffering™ creates the ultimate experience of terror. In the dark world of The Suffering™, creatures jump out of shadows, fall out of trees, and erupt out of the ground, attacking the player in the most frightening ways possible. Along with a cast of uniquely hardened criminals and guards, players battle not only the ghoulish apparitions besieging the prison, but also the demons of their own forgotten past.

The Suffering Features:

  • 9 gritty and terrifying levels—transverse indoor and outdoor terrain and horror lurking in every dark corner.
  • Amazing character morphing effect—fills your rage meter and transform into a hideous and powerful creature.
  • Over 10 deadly weapons from the shiv to the flamethrower to help you survive this nightmare.
  • A dozen horrific monsters—each representing the means of execution that befell them—stalk your every move.
  • Blood and gore galore, dripping, pooling and splattering every level of your frightening journey.
  • Interact with hardened criminals featuring advanced AI; garner their assistance or end their life on your path to freedom—it’s your choice.
  • 3 distinct endings depending on how you play the game. Are you a cold-blooded killer, a man wrongfully accused or something else?
  • Intricate levels featuring moveable and destructible environments.

    For more information about The Suffering visit http://thesuffering.midway.com For more information about Midway Games visit http://www.midway.com

    Friday, February 20, 2004

    Top 10 Xbox Games of January 2004
    Steve @ 9:18 PM EST
    Here's the top 10 Xbox games list for January 2004 from NPD.

    1. NFL Street - EA
    2. Grand Theft Auto Double Pack - Rockstar
    3. Halo - Microsoft
    4. Need for Speed Underground - EA
    5. Rainbow Six 3 - Ubisoft
    6. Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II - Interplay
    7. Splinter Cell - Ubisoft
    8. True Crime: Streets of LA - Activision
    9. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - Ubisoft
    10. Medal of Honor: Frontline - EA

    Hitman Contracts: New Screens Released
    Steve @ 4:12 PM EST
    Eidos released 7 new screen shots of Hitman: Contracts today. Be sure to check these bad boys out. Hitman: Contracts is due out this April.

    Hitman: Contracts Screens

    Eidos Announces Shellshock: Nam '67 - New Screens
    Steve @ 3:09 PM EST
    It's 1967. You've been drafted to fight in the most controversial war of modern times. From napalm bombardments of civilian villages to gruesome VC booby traps, can you survive your first tour of duty in Vietnam?

    Find out this summer when Eidos plunges you into the steamy jungles of Indochina with ShellShock: Nam'67 for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and PC. Under development at Guerrilla studios, ShellShock: Nam '67 is slated to ship this June in North America.

    Shellshock: Nam '67 Screens

    Sting To Be In SHOWDOWN: Legends of Wrestling
    Steve @ 2:11 PM EST
    GLEN COVE, NY, February 19, 2004 – Wrestling fans who have waited patiently for their hero to emerge from the shadows and return to the ring will once again feel the power of the “Stinger Splash,” as Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. today announced that it has exclusively signed Sting to appear in SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™. Currently under development with Acclaim Studios Austin, SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™ features more than 70 wrestlers, brand new “Ready To Brawl” controls, an enhanced engine and all-new licensed venues including Madison Square Garden and the Toronto SkyDome.

    “The addition of Sting to the SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™ supercard is something wrestling fans and Acclaim have craved since the brand’s inception,” said Brian Shields, Brand Manager for Acclaim. “Incorporating a wrestling icon of Sting’s caliber further illustrates our commitment to creating an unmatched roster of wrestling legends.”

    “To return to the ring as a Legend is a huge thrill for me,” said Sting. “I have read the reports and heard the rumors regarding my whereabouts. Well, let it be known that being added to the SHOWDOWN™ roster means one thing and one thing only for my opponents - the Stinger is back to rule the ring! Thanks to Acclaim, this June, all challengers will submit to the ‘Scorpion Deathlock.’ WHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Exclusive images of Sting in Acclaim’s SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™ can be seen at http://www.legendsshowdown.com. Fans can visit the site and register to become part of “The Legends Legion,” a free membership that qualifies them to receive ongoing email updates highlighting the latest gameplay and talent announcements. The SHOWDOWN™ site also provides visitors with exclusive product information and free downloadable content.

    A nine-time World Heavyweight Champion, Sting is regarded as one of the most charismatic and flamboyant wrestlers in the history of the sport. Recognized for his superior athletic ability, Sting has defeated some of the toughest opponents in the wrestling world. Outside of the ring, Sting has enjoyed a career as an actor in film, including the TNT Movie of the Week, "Shutterspeed," and television series, including "Walker Texas Ranger." However, Sting’s most fulfilling activity is working with the Make-A-Wish and Starlight Foundations to help children.

    Sting is the latest addition to the roster of more than 70 legends who appear in SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™, including Diamond Dallas Page, ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Ultimate Warrior. Additional wrestlers will continue to be announced over time, and join such all-time greats as:

    Abdullah The Butcher
    King Kong Bundy
    Rick Martel
    Nikolai Volkoff
    ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert
    Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan
    The Dynamite Kid
    ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham
    Iron Sheik
    ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff
    British Bulldog
    Dory Funk, Jr.
    Hacksaw Jim Duggan
    Ivan Putski
    Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler
    Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka
    Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
    Sabu
    The Sheik
    Terry Funk

    SHOWDOWN™: Legends of Wrestling™ will be available in June 2004 across the next-generation systems at suggested retail process to be determined. For more information on this game, please visit http://www.legendsshowdown.com

    Kapalua Golf Course Now Available for Links 2004
    Steve @ 1:57 PM EST
    Microsoft Game Studios announced today that the Plantation Course at Kapalua is now available to Xbox Live subscribers worldwide for $4.99. The arrival of the new downloadable content bolsters an already feature packed experience for the popular Xbox golf series, “Links 2004.”

    The par 73, 7,263-yard Plantation Course at Kapalua, which hosted the opening event of the year on the professional tour, is the course of the champions. Each January, the course hosts an elite field of the previous year's winners. The grand scale of the course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore unfurls across natural geographic formations and pineapple plantation fields that take your breath away. The addition of Kapalua brings the total number of courses in “Links 2004” to ten. “Links 2004” also features real international courses like St Andrews, Loch Lomond, Grey Wolf, Four Seasons Resort Aviara and New South Wales just to name a few.

    With the cold weather keeping most golfers in doors for the winter, “Links 2004” offers golfers a variety of exciting options for play. Gamers can compete in Stroke, Match Play, Nassau, Skins, Stableford, Best Ball and even Alternate Shot matches. Players can also select the player count, course and course conditions for their match. In addition, “Links 2004” offers online play via Xbox Live. Golfers from all over the world are coming together for a round of golf and “Links 2004” now offers a new “Fast Play” mode, where golfers play simultaneously (not turn based) and a full round can be completed in a fraction of the normal time.

    “Links 2004” delivers one of the most realistic and competitive golf experiences available for Xbox. As part of the XSN Sports brand, “Links 2004” offers gamers the ability to create and compete in their own online golf tournaments via Xbox Live while keeping track of hard-earned stats on their own virtual sports page, the centralized website http://www.XSNsports.com.

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    Activision Signs Slipknot for MTX: Mototrax
    Steve @ 3:53 PM EST
    Santa Monica, CA - February 19, 2004 -Activision, Inc. has signed a deal with Roadrunner Records' multi-platinum-selling artist, Slipknot, for the MTX: Mototrax(tm) videogame, which will be available in retail stores nationwide on March 3, 2004. The band will unveil their brand new track, "Don't Get Close" from their forthcoming album due out in May 2004, in the game. Also included in the game is an unreleased instrumental version of "The Heretic Anthem" and the hit "Wait And Bleed" from their first self-titled album. A three-minute Slipknot video will be included in MTX: Mototrax as well as a secret character and bike designed by the band. A special cheat code to unlock the secret character will be placed on the band's upcoming album.

    The soundtrack will also feature 23 vocal tracks and 13 instrumental tracks from some of the most popular metal and punk bands of today along with underground bands, to fuel the fast-paced racing and freestyle action in the game. Players can choose to have an instrumental soundtrack, one with vocals or a combination of the two. For a full listing of the songs please visit http://www.mtxmototrax.com.

    Some of the featured artists and tracks on MTX: Mototrax are:

    VOCAL TRACKS

    A.F.I. - "The Nephilim"
    Black Label Society - "Doomsday Jesus"
    The Descendents - "Everything Sucks Today"
    The Distillers - "Dismantle Me"
    Disturbed - "Intoxication"
    Dope - "B%Tch"
    Dope - "Burn"
    Dope - "Falling Away"
    Dope - "Motivation"
    Dope - "So Low"
    The Faders - "Lonely Punk"
    Faith No More - "Digging The Grave"
    Fear - "No More Nothing"
    Jet - "Take It Or Leave It"
    Metallica - "Motorbreath"
    The Misfits - "20 Eyes"
    Pennywise - "Now I Know"
    Slipknot - "Don't Get Close"
    Slipknot - "Wait And Bleed"
    Static X - "Destroy All"
    The Stooges - "Funhouse"
    Thrice - "Artist In The Ambulance"
    Vaux - "Switched On"

    MTX: Mototrax is the ultimate motocross experience. Players can go online to compete against up to 7 other opponents or immerse themselves in a single-player career mode. Its groundbreaking customization includes a unique track builder, rider customization and realistic bikes and gear from manufacturers like Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Players can experience the high-speed racing action at 60 frames per second as they become king of the track and earn all the fame and fortune of a true champion. Legendary racer and freestyle rider Travis Pastrana is featured in MTX: Mototrax, as well as 12 other top pro riders.

    MTX: Mototrax is being developed by Left Field Productions, makers of the critically acclaimed Excitebike 64. The game will be available for the PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft, and has been rated "E" - (Everyone - with mild lyrics) by the ESRB.

    Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Swings into Stores
    Steve @ 1:22 PM EST
    Santa Monica, CA – February 19, 2004 – It’s time to swing into action as legendary explorer Pitfall Harry in Activision, Inc.’s Pitfall«: The Lost Expedition™, the latest installment in the company’s flagship Pitfall« franchise. Gamers will use Harry’s wit, athleticism and a knapsack of adventure gear to conquer evil foes in more than 50 obstacle-filled levels set in the lush jungles, dark caverns, and ancient Incan ruins of the South American jungle. Pitfall: The Lost Expedition has been rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and is available in North American retail stores for the PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and on the Game Boy Advance for $29.99.

    “Pitfall: The Lost Expedition adds to the classic vine swinging and pit hopping gameplay that the Pitfall series is known for with highly detailed graphics, fast-paced action and unique interactive goals that will keep gamers on their toes,” said Dave Stohl, vice president of Activision Studios. “The all-new adventure also introduces an element of strategy to the gameplay by allowing players to have ‘direct control’ of Harry’s actions by using the analog stick to move his limbs. Whether its climbing glacial caverns with ice picks, paddling his raft across treacherous waters or fighting with enemies using a powerful sling shot, the power is in players’ hands.”

    In Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, gamers embark on an adventure to rescue a lost expedition, stop a vengeful high priest, prevent an archrival from stealing treasures and help a princess fulfill her destiny. Players swing, fight, climb and crawl through more than 50 challenging levels set in unique environments from ancient ruins to treacherous mountain ranges where they must overcome obstacles, brave the elements and battle a host of enemies from scorpions, bats, and piranhas, to insects, natives, mercenaries, bush ninjas and monkeys.

    Fast-paced transitions allow players to jump between adventure and puzzle levels and branching pathways give them the power to choose where to go next. As gamers progress through the game, they will have the ability to complete heroic feats, collect idols and redeem them for upgrades and compete in Native mini-games to hone their skills. With Total Havok’s physics technology, objects like swaying vines and floating icebergs react to their environments in a highly detailed and realistic manner. As an added bonus, the original Atari« 2600 versions of Pitfall!« and Pitfall 2 are unlockable as players make their way through the game.

    Conflict: Vietnam Officially Coming to North America
    Steve @ 12:48 PM EST
    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 19, 2004--Gathering, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., announced today that it has obtained the North American publishing rights for Conflict: Vietnam from SCi Entertainment Group Plc.

    Conflict: Vietnam, the next installment of the Conflict series, is a fictional third person shooter that follows four US soldiers cut off from their unit behind enemy lines during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Conflict: Vietnam is expected to be released in North America in Fall 2004 on multiple platforms.

    Take-Two has published several SCi games, including Conflict: Desert Storm and Conflict: Desert Storm II, which together have sold over 1 million units in North America.

    MTV Music Generator 3 Announced for Xbox
    Steve @ 12:46 PM EST
    New York, N.Y. – (February 19, 2004) – Codemasters, a leading global publisher of interactive entertainment, and MTV: Music Television announced today the development of MTV Music Generator 3: This Is The Remix, the latest generation in the popular music creation and remixing game series. Giving console owners the chance to make the music track of their dreams with ease, the title is scheduled for release in June 2004 on the PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system and for the first time ever on the Xbox« videogame system from Microsoft.

    MTV Music Generator 3: This Is The Remix allows players to create and sample original music tracks as well as remix some of the hottest songs from today’s biggest hip-hop and electronica artists. Players can get in the mix with: “The Way U Move” from three-time 2004 Grammy« award-winner OutKast; rap icon Snoop Dogg’s “From Tha Chuuuch To Da Palace;” “Get Busy” from dance hall reggae star Sean Paul; “This Is My Party” from popular New York-based rapper Fabolous; and famed electronica mainstay Carl Cox’s “Katja.” In addition to these artists, for the first time players have infinite capabilities to bring their favorite artists together by combining samples from their own music collection in a unique remixed track. With technology of this magnitude, everyone’s favorite feuding rappers, squabbling pop icons and artists of multiple genres have an opportunity to unite in a whole new entertainment medium.

    “The MTV Music Generator 3 is the easiest and simplest music remixing product available and for the first time will provide players with the opportunity to create and mix samples from their very own CD collection, as well as popular artists already included,” said Tony Calandra, Director, Interactive Products, MTV. “This series has been a huge success and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Codemasters.”

    MTV Music Generator 3: This Is The Remix is the latest addition to the MTV Music Generator series of games, a brand having sold close to 1 million units worldwide. The game makes original music compilation and detailed remixing simple with an intuitive system capable of delivering a finished track with quality sound results. With creation functionality in a fully-featured Studio Mode, including an editing bay of riffs, beats, bass lines and vocals, aspiring DJs, producers and music aficionados alike can easily assemble professional material in a matter of minutes.

    Players can also achieve instant effects in songs with simple game controller combinations, including manipulation during track play. In a short amount of time, a standard Hip-Hop, House, Trance, Garage, Dance Hall or Drum ’n’ Bass track can achieve personalized flair with immediate ambient, radio, vocal or instrumental additions.

    MTV and Codemasters launched The MTV Music Generator series in October 1999 for the PlayStation«. The product was the first music creation program that allowed users to manipulate over 4,000 pre-recorded riffs and instrument sound effects, write songs, create 3-D videos and participate in a jam session with up to four other musicians.

    For more information about MTV Music Generator 3: This Is The Remix, visit http://www.codemasters.com

    "If You Ruled the Gaming World" Contest
    Steve @ 12:42 PM EST
    What does the future of gaming look like? What are your hopes, dreams and fears? Do you wish you could influence game developers’ decisions, but feel powerless to do so? Microsoft’s “If You Ruled the Gaming World” contest gives you the power to change gaming forever. Tell us what games would be like if you ruled the world and be heard by the biggest developers and publishers in the business.

    If you have provocative answers to questions like “What do you love about games?” or “What do you wish you could do in games?” then we want to hear them. There are two ways to make your voice heard: One way is by answering any or all of the questions found at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/news/0402/ifyouruledtheworld.htm in a 60-second video. Send either a VHS tape or a CDR to: "If You Ruled the Gaming World," One Microsoft Way, Mil B 1125, Redmond, WA 98052. Alternatively, you can email your answers as an attachment to gamefutr@microsoft.com.

    With your answers, we’ll be able to let the world know exactly what you're thinking. We won’t disclose any of your personal information; however, we may want to contact you to hear more of your thoughts. And if we really like what you have to say, we may fly to your house to film you and a friend and/or highlight your hopes on Xbox.com.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    Greg Maddux Back on the Cubs - ASB 2005 Screens
    Steve @ 11:39 PM EST
    First A-Rod Yankee screens, now new Maddux pics have been released. As Greg Maddux rejoins the Cubs, Acclaim has the first screen shots of him. Check them out!

    Greg Maddux ASB 2005 Screens

    Breakdown Goes Gold - Release Date Set
    Steve @ 1:11 PM EST
    San Jose, Ca., (February 18, 2004) – Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. announced today that its unique first person fighting/shooter game, Breakdownü, has gone gold. Exclusively for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft, Breakdown is scheduled to reveal its mysterious plot and sneak onto store shelves on March 16, 2004.

    “Breakdown breaks down the barriers of any existing first-person game category,” said Rod Nakamoto, Executive Vice President of Research and Development. “Combining revolutionary hand-to-hand combat with heavy weaponry, Breakdown provides a twist from your typical first-person game with its story-driven action and intrigue. It’s not just an FPS, it’s also an FPF (first-person fighter) and an FPD (first-person driver)—take your pick—it masters all.”

    Breakdown offers players an unprecedented level of game play realism. With a compelling military science fiction storyline unfolding through the game’s intricate graphics and lifelike animations, Breakdown is a comprehensive first person hand-to-hand and weapons-based action shooter.

    Breakdown is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and will be available in stores nationwide the week of March 16, 2004. For more about Breakdown, visit http://www.project-breakdown.com.

    Acclaim Shows A-Rod as a Yankee in ASB 2005
    Steve @ 1:06 PM EST
    Well, believe it or not, Alex Rodriguez in now a Yankee. You can hate it, love it, or don't really care, but here are some screen shots from Acclaim's All Star Baseball 2005.

    A-Rod in ASB 2005 Screens

    Acclaim.com

    Monday, February 16, 2004

    Hitman: Contracts Website Launch
    Steve @ 1:26 PM EST
    Late last week, Eidos informed us that the official website for Hitman: Contracts has gone live. This third Hitman game should be arriving this April.

    Hitman: Contracts Website

    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    Metal Slug 3 Coming May 2004 - New Screens
    Steve @ 2:08 AM EST
    WALL, NJ. – February 11, 2004 – SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK NEOGEO CORPORATION, announced today that the company will ship the first home version of the hit arcade title, METAL SLUG 3, in May 2004 for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft. METAL SLUG 3 will support the Xbox™ Live leaderboard.

    In addition to everything that made the arcade original a worldwide hit, the Xbox version of METAL SLUG 3 will have some brand new features and original missions accessible once you’ve cleared certain conditions. Players can choose from over 10 new slug vehicles exclusive to METAL SLUG 3, including the Slug Copter and the very unusual Elephant Slug, which comes complete with a trunk-spray weapon.

    METAL SLUG 3 features stunning hand drawn animation, detailed backgrounds, and massive bosses and explosions, causing leading gaming site IGN.com to exclaim, “D-d-d-damn! Let 2D sprite-based graphics continue forever!”

    “The METAL SLUG franchise has always been a consumer favorite,” said Ben Herman, SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION President. “Now Xbox owners will be able to compete nationally to see who’s best on this faithful arcade adaptation.”

    Awesome news everyone! This game was great back in the day of Neo Geo.

    Metal Slug 3 Screens

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    Konami Ships Silent Scope Complete
    Steve @ 1:48 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. - February 10, 2004 - Leading videogame publisher, Konami Digital Entertainment - America, a subsidiary of Konami Corporation, today announced it has shipped Silent Scope(r) Complete for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft to retail outlets nationwide. Marking the series' Xbox debut and the only light gun supported precision shooting game for the console, Silent Scope Complete combines four of the franchise's hit titles - including arcade classics Silent Scope(r), Silent Scope(r) 2 Dark Silhouette(tm), Silent Scope EX and the console exclusive Silent Scope 3 - into one game.

    With its renowned precision shooting gameplay and innovative scope, Silent Scope Complete recreates the original, adrenaline-pumping arcade experience by offering light gun support for the first time in the series. Along with the Silent Scope Light Rifle, currently available from Pelican, an advanced targeting system and an innovative 3D sound system, Silent Scope Complete provides players with all the tools necessary to precisely pinpoint and eliminate enemy targets to deliver the ultimate 1st person shooter. Silent Scope Complete is also compatible with the MadCatz Blaster(tm) for Xbox(tm).

    In Silent Scope Complete, gamers must help restore security to the world as they step into the shoes of an anti-terrorist sharpshooter and navigate themselves through more than 50 harrowing missions in order to help stave off rogue attacks. Gamers must efficiently and effectively complete each mission as they are timed and scored for accuracy. Those finding they need to refine their skills will find frenetic mini-games to play on the shooting range.

    Featuring multiple endings, methods to unlock hidden stages and countless hours of play, Silent Scope Complete boasts unparalleled replay value for the genre.

    Silent Scope Complete is rated M for Mature and is available for an MSRP of $39.99.

    To learn more about Silent Scope Complete, please visit http://www.konami.com/silentscopecomplete

    Monday, February 9, 2004

    Burnout 3 Release Date Set for September 2004
    Steve @ 1:48 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 9, 2004--Electronic Arts, the world's leading interactive entertainment software company and UK-based developer Criterion Games, today announced a development and publishing partnership for the upcoming title Burnout(TM)3. The latest title in the critically acclaimed Burnout series is slated for worldwide release in September 2004 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft(R). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    "Burnout is already a hit arcade racing franchise and we are delighted to be working closely with Criterion to take the series to the next level in order to achieve the level of success that the series has always deserved," said Bruce McMillan, Executive Vice President, EA Worldwide Studios. "With its action-oriented game design and remarkable production values, we believe that Burnout is a perfect fit for our racing game portfolio."

    Originally released in 2001, Burnout introduced thrill-seeking game players to an adrenaline-filled arcade-style racing experience. The original title was followed with the release of Burnout2: Point of Impact in 2002. Featuring racing action unlike any other title in the category, the two releases earned widespread critical acclaim and sold over 2 million units worldwide.

    Burnout 3 takes the series even further, now featuring a unique 'crash and burn' racing concept and a one-of-a-kind special effects engine that delivers spectacular visuals. The intensity heats up as players race, and often crash, their way through oncoming traffic in an attempt to claim the top spot. Boasting multiple single-player, multiplayer and online* crash and race modes, Burnout 3 offers players the opportunity to race through busy city streets and be rewarded for taking risks that result in heart-pounding action and electrifying crashes.

    TOCA Race Driver 2 - All New Damage Engine
    Steve @ 1:45 PM EST
    New York, NY (February 6, 2004) – Metal bends, glass shatters, plastic explodes and it’s race over if the player loses control of his vehicle in Codemasters’ TOCA Race Driver 2: Ultimate Racing Simulator (confirmed as official worldwide title of the game), shipping this spring 2004 for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and for PC CD-ROM. Thanks to an all-new Terminal Damage Engine and the most advanced physics ever seen in a racing game -- get too cozy with another car or a trackside barrier and it’s back to the starting line.

    Extraordinarily detailed, TOCA Race Driver 2’s “Terminal Damage Engine” is the most realistic damage engine ever created for a racing game and affects the performance of each of the different 35 in-game cars. Windows smash, doors can be ripped open, and a head-on collision can end the race. There are no fake “resets” to miraculously restart the player back on his way; he’ll have to do the race all over again.

    Racers get both audio and visual cues when damage is inflicted. In addition to the detailed body-panel deformation and paint chips and bits lying on the race track, drivers will be able to hear the gearbox dropping gears, engine clanking, brakes screaming and other internal malfunctions. When the car’s hurt, the player knows all about it!

    The player won’t be punished too much. “Race Over” means just for that particular race. The save system in TOCA Race Driver 2 saves after every event, so the player will only have to re-run that one race in order to progress.

    The damage model system is based on detailed observation of real-life motor sports crashes for the ultimate in authenticity. Each vehicle model contains thousands of deformation points (and collision consequences are computed in real-time), so the crash effects occur exactly as they would in real life.

    The “Terminal Damage Engine” is fully scaled and allows for relative vehicle weights and forces, and can leave racers without windscreens, bumpers, and doors. Crash into one of the 4-ton trucks and the results are unthinkable.

    TOCA Race Driver 2 boasts the most diverse range of insanely fast motor sports ever seen in one game. 31 championships cover 15 different motor racing styles including GT Sports Car Racing, Street Racing, Rally, DTM, V8 Supercars, Global GT Lights, Rally Cross, Formula Ford, Open Wheel Grand Prix, Classic Car Racing, Super Truck racing, Stockcar Oval Racing, Ice-Racing, Convertible Racing, and Performance Cars.

    TOCA Race Driver 2: Ultimate Racing Simulator will have complete online functionality featuring head to head play for both Xbox Liveü and PC.

    Thursday, February 5, 2004

    Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Screens
    Steve @ 10:45 PM EST
    Pitfall: The Lost Expedition will be shipping sometime this month. Until then, check out these screens:

    Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Screens

    XSN Sports World Championship Finalists Announced
    Steve @ 9:10 PM EST
    After a grueling month long tournament, featuring thousands of the world’s most talented XSN Sports gamers, eight participants remain standing ready to continue their quest for video game immortality.

    Microsoft today announced the eight finalists for the XSN Sports World Championship – the most competitive and intense online sports tournament in the history of console video games. The final round of the first ever XSN Sports World Championship will be held February 12, 2004 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by Xbox Live and NBA Superstars Shaquille O’Neal and Antoine Walker, the XSN Sports World Championship is worth $25,000 to the gamer who rises above the other finalists with expert skills in all XSN Sports games.

    In order to make it to Los Angeles, an XSN Sports gamer had to win a feeder tournament in each of the six XSN Sports game titles: “NFL Fever 2004,” “NHL Rivals 2004,” “Amped« 2,” “Top Spin™,” “NBA Inside Drive 2004” and “Links« 2004. Two at-large gamers were chosen (based on merit) to round out the final eight. Each qualifier received an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles and the right to compete for a chance at the $25,000 grand prize and the bragging rights that come with the title of XSN Sports World Champion.

    On February 10th and 11th, in Los Angeles, the eight participants will battle-head-to-head to determine the top two players. The final round on February 12th will feature one last battle, on a yet to be announced XSN Sports game, to decide the ultimate winner.

    The eight finalists in the XSN Sports World Championship are:

    Robert L. Sapienza, North Tonawanda, N.Y. – “NFL Fever 2004” Championship Series
    Kenneth Tarver, Athens, Ga. – “NBA Inside Drive 2004” Championship Series
    Gary Bryon Moore, Grove City, Ohio – “NHL Rivals 2004” Championship Series
    Josh Thurman, Leesburg, Ga. – “Top Spin” Championship Series
    Dan DeBilt, Fargo, N.D. – “Links 2004” Championship Series
    Ian Smith, Kentfield, Calif. – “Amped 2” Championship Series
    Nathaniel Paul Barrick, Mt. Holly Springs, Pa. – At-large finalist
    David Muellerweiss, Chapel Hill, N.C. – At-large finalist

    Proficiency in all XSN Sports titles is necessary to become the XSN World Champion. Just being the best “Top Spin” player in the world will not cut it in this tournament. Each participant must have developed skills in “Links 2004,” “NFL Fever 2004,” “Amped 2,” “NBA Inside Drive 2004” and “NHL Rivals 2004” as well to have a shot at the top prize.

    Coca-Cola and ESPN Videogames Promotion
    Steve @ 4:10 PM EST
    ATLANTA, February 5, 2004 - The Coca-Cola Company today announced a promotion with the Coca-Cola classic brand and the ESPN Videogames line of exciting sports titles. The program will officially kick off in March 2004 with a national promotion featuring opportunities for gamers to score $10 off ESPN Videogames by purchasing Coca-Cola. ESPN Videogames are produced by Visual Concepts - Sega's sports studio.

    "When we created our national promotion around the phenomenon of electronic gaming, we knew we wanted ESPN Videogames to be a part of it," said Steven Schiller, group director, Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America. "ESPN Videogames are great titles with superior game play and, incredible realism, and in 2004 Coca-Cola fans can score big discounts on these awesome games through this new relationship."

    An innovative under-the-cap program will offer easy-to-redeem prizes of $1 bankable on-line for up to $10 off selected ESPN Videogames titles including basketball, football, baseball and hockey.

    The program will run for eight months, kicking off with college basketball in March and running through the beginning of the football season in October. Sports fans and gamers will also have opportunities to win other sports-themed prizes like ride-alongs in a stock car with a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, as well as ESPN Videogames and Coca-Cola products throughout the promotion.

    "This alliance further establishes ESPN Videogames as a leader in the marketplace," said Steve Raab, senior vice president of marketing for Visual Concepts. "We couldn't be happier to work with Coca-Cola on this national program, as it not only gives consumers another great reason to grab a Coke, but also provides them with a great way to access the sports games they love to play."

    The ESPN videogames program marks the first national initiative in electronic gaming by The Coca-Cola Company in North America. "This partnership represents a unique opportunity to celebrate consumer's passion for sports and electronic gaming, and fully leverage the marketing strengths of our respective brands," said Chip York, senior manager, Interactive Gaming, Coca-Cola North America.

    The Coca-Cola/ESPN Videogames promotion will be featured on 20-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola classic, Vanilla Coke, and cherry Coke in the United States and will be supported by traditional and non-traditional media, including television, radio, print, and on line advertising. In addition, ESPN Videogames kiosks will be integrated into key Coca-Cola marketing and sampling programs throughout the year.

    Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death Announced
    Steve @ 1:58 PM EST
    Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 5, 2004) – Publisher Evolved Games and developer Rebellion« announced today that the legendary Judge Dredd comic book character is coming to life in Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death. The first-person shooter will ship for all of the console gaming platforms as well as for PC in March, 2004.

    “Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death will bring this heroic character to life like never before,” said Daniel Kearns, Sales Director of Evolved Games. “This fast-paced FPS will offer gamers all the action, weapons and effects they crave with a unique comic-book style element that will set it apart from the crowd.”

    Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death takes place in the futuristic 22nd century, where society is on the verge of anarchy and only a select group of elite “judges” can keep Mega-City One under control. Players take on the role of Judge Dredd, one of the city’s top judges who vows to clean up the streets by any means necessary. But when a break-out at the city’s penitentiary unleashes a group of evil judges on to the city streets, Judge Dredd’s plans for stability take a deadly turn.

    Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death is first-person shooter action featuring a huge arsenal of deadly weapons to help combat the city’s scum throughout 11 chapters and more than two dozen levels of gameplay. Over 50 unique characters including zombies, crooks and demons challenge Judge Dredd on his quest. Multiplayer action allows up to 4 players to battle it out in split screen mode.

    For more information on Judge Dredd: Dredd Versus Death please visit http://www.dreddvsdeath.com

    MechAssault 2 Coming Holiday 2004
    Steve @ 1:56 PM EST
    MechAssault moves beyond heavy metal and into the mind of the warrior as Microsoft Game Studios today announced that MechAssault 2 for Xbox« is currently in development and is scheduled to arrive on retail shelves in time for the 2004 holiday season. MechAssault 2 is being developed by Day 1 Studios, creators of the best-selling sci-fi action/shooter MechAssault for Xbox, and guarantees an entirely fresh and exciting gameplay experience for seasoned combat veterans and newcomers alike.

    No longer limited to life within a single BattleMech, gamers take on the role of a full-fledged human pilot, able to pick and choose from a roster of combat vehicles including Tanks, Vertical TakeOff and Landing craft (VTOLs), BattleArmor and of course, BattleMechs. The proper choice of vehicles is key to successfully completing the wide variety of missions in the game and defeating the opposition. Solo gamers will find the single-player campaign is now significantly richer; with a deeper storyline, NPC interaction and missions delivered on the fly.

    BattleArmor, a new and exciting addition, will make its first appearance in MechAssault 2 and play a key role in the action. BattleArmor allows gamers to become one of the deadliest weapons in the MechAssault 2 universe. More than just a protective shell, BattleArmor gives the wearer the ability to hijack enemy 'Mechs, climb buildings, tear through infantry squads and unleash pure devastation on enemy armor. BattleArmor-equipped gamers can even hitch a ride on VTOLs for a quick airborne assault on enemy positions, ensuring the world of 'Mechs will never be the same again.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2004

    Play Celebrities Online Via Xbox Live - Game With Fame
    Steve @ 3:44 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. - Feb. 4, 2004 - Microsoft Corp., creator of the future-generation Xbox« video game system, today announced the launch of Game With Fame, a new program that allows fans to play against some of today's hottest stars on the Xbox Live™ service. The launch event, taking place Feb. 4, will give Xbox Live fans a chance to play "ESPN NFL Football" against today's hottest hip-hop duo and six-time Grammy« nominees, OutKast.

    Xbox Live is the ultimate online gaming experience, giving people the opportunity to play and talk with other gamers around the world any time, day or night. For the Game With Fame program launch, OutKast's Big Boi will take on gamers around the globe live from Los Angeles, where the band will be preparing for its appearance at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards«.

    Throughout the year Game With Fame will host a league of luminaries from music, film, television and sports. Scheduled to participate are The Strokes, Phantom Planet, The Crystal Method, Fefe Dobson and Kings of Leon. Bands including Korn, Hoobastank, A New Found Glory and Thrice have already played with their fans on Xbox Live.

    "Who better to launch Game With Fame than the hottest musical act around: OutKast," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president of marketing for Xbox. "Just as OutKast's music crosses boundaries and connects people, Xbox Live is becoming a way to link different types of people from all backgrounds and walks of life."

    "If you've listened to our music or seen us live, you know OutKast knows how to set it off, and we're about to change Xbox Live forever," said OutKast's Big Boi about the Xbox Live Game With Fame promotion. "Not only will I talk to the OutKast fans out there, but I'll show 'em how we get down in the ATL on 'ESPN NFL Football.'"