NewsPro Archive

November 2002

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Infogrames Lets Loose Monopoly Party
Andy @ 7:41 PM EST
Infogrames, Inc. raises the stakes for America's favorite game with the MONOPOLY Party game, the new fast and furious kids and teens title available in time for the holidays on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM) video game system. The MONOPOLY Party game comes to next generation video game systems with rules and clever design twists that make for action-packed, fun and frenzied gameplay for both friends and family alike.

"With fast and furious gameplay, the MONOPOLY Party game is the most fun anyone can have in front of their television," said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of marketing for Infogrames. "The MONOPOLY Party game creates an engaging atmosphere that allows for fierce competition with friends and family and is a great way to enjoy the holiday season."

The key innovation in the MONOPOLY Party game is same-time play, which allows players to roll their dice and move at once, resulting in fast, high- energy games that invite fans of all ages to wheel and deal together. Players add to the fun by competing against up to four human or computer players.

The MONOPOLY Party game also includes four 3D board game themes -- "Prehistoric" features wandering dinosaurs, cavemen and all sorts of primitive creatures; "Fantasy" includes magical knights and wizards, goblins and fierce dragons; "Ancient Monuments" highlights the wonders of the ancient world including the great Roman Coliseum along with its glorious gladiatorial games; and "Sci-Fi" features a bustling space station with asteroid storms. Each theme comes with unique animated tokens and themed board properties, as well as detailed and colorful graphics in the center of the MONOPOLY game board. Players can also choose to play on the classic MONOPOLY board.

Adding to the fun of the MONOPOLY Party game is the chance to win the 'Ultimate Party.' The grand prize package includes a flat screen TV, Xbox(TM) video game systems from Microsoft for the winner and three friends and $10,000 for everything else needed to throw the ultimate party. No purchase is necessary to win; see www.monopolyparty.com for rules and details.

The Monopoly Party game continues the success of the original MONOPOLY video and computer game franchise, selling more than two and a half millions units on the PC, as well as a variety of gaming systems and also achieving SCEA's greatest hits status. This great accomplishment proves that the MONOPOLY experience translates to consoles. Additional MONOPOLY game titles include MONOPOLY Casino(TM), MONOPOLY World Cup(TM), MONOPOLY Star Wars(TM) and MONOPOLY Tycoon(TM).

Developed by Infogrames' Beverly Studio, the MONOPOLY Party game has a rating of 'E' for Everyone.

Vivendi Universal Ships Dark Angel
Andy @ 7:39 PM EST
Sierra Entertainment, Inc., a studio of Vivendi Universal Games, and Fox Interactive(TM) announced today that James Cameron's Dark Angel(TM) have shipped to retail locations nationwide. James Cameron's Dark Angel is available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system as well as the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

Based on the hit TV series created by Academy Award® winner James Cameron and Charles Eglee, the saga of Max and Logan continues with James Cameron's Dark Angel(TM). James Cameron's Dark Angel is a third-person action adventure with 25 single-player missions set in six post-pulse environments where players command the Rage fighting system that includes more than 50 hand-to-hand combat and evasive moves that utilize slow motion effects and stealth. James Cameron's Dark Angel is a game for fans of the show and 3rd person action/adventure gamers. In addition to the original storyline, James Cameron's Dark Angel features the likenesses and voice-overs of Jessica Alba (Max) and Michael Weatherly (Logan). Also included -- as a bonus feature -- is an exclusive Jessica Alba photo gallery, cast interviews and much more.

James Cameron's Dark Angel is now available on PlayStation2 and Xbox for a suggested retail price of $49.99 with an ESRB Teen rating. For more information on James Cameron's Dark Angel, go to http://darkangel.sierra.com.

Official TimeSplitters 2 MapMaker Site Launched
Steve @ 6:36 PM EST
The recently released TimeSplitters 2 came out the door with a bang and continues to make it's presence felt, placing high on sales charts across the world!! One of the coolest features of the game is undisputedly the inclusion of the MapMaker! Now if you are like me, and could use a little "guidance" when creating a realm of death for you and your buds, then do I have a treat for you! We here at Eidos are proud to announce the Official MapMaker Website is now live for the world to see! The infamous Monkey makes his return as the host and guide of this official site...just check out the list of available features...

  • Tutorials - Get the skinny on all the detailed aspects of map creation...this is THE spot to check! This section will be updated with new tip and tricks as well!

  • Downloads - Download detailed info on what does what, and how to fully utilize your controller buttons in Map Maker.

  • Monkey Maps - Check back here for more furry updates!

  • Reference - Here you can reference all you may need, from lighting, to item placement, to game logic...this is coming soon!

  • Forums - Jump on the official forums and get feedback/ideas directly from other gamers around the world!

    Just hit the link and let your Monkey do the walking...
    http://www.eidosinteractive.com/gss/legacy/timesplitters2/mapmaker/

    Mad Catz Releases Wireless Controllers for Xbox
    Andy @ 3:10 PM EST
    Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., a leading manufacturer of video game accessories, announced today the launch of the company's first Lynx wireless controller for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. This is the second in the Mad Catz family of Lynx wireless controllers that was first introduced last July with the Lynx wireless for PlayStation 2, PS one and PlayStation. The Mad Catz Lynx wireless controller for Xbox is currently available in major retail stores for a suggested price of $59.99 (U.S.).

    With the Lynx wireless controllers, Mad Catz has developed an easy solution for gamers who want consistent, continuous play without being restricted by cables.

    "As the leader in the video game accessories market, Mad Catz has expanded its line of next-generation wireless controllers to develop the company's first wireless controller for Xbox," said Darren Richardson, President and COO of Mad Catz, Inc. "Coming on the heels of the tremendous success of our Lynx wireless controller for PlayStation 2, launching the Lynx wireless controller for Xbox was a logical next step for us. Now Xbox gamers can experience the same comfort and accuracy of a corded controller with the freedom of a wireless control pad."

    "Mad Catz has always delivered quality products and the Lynx for Xbox is no exception," continued Mr Richardson. "We are continuing to raise the bar with innovative video game accessories by creating the ultimate, wireless gaming environment."

    The Lynx wireless controller features state-of-the-art, unblockable radio frequency (RF) technology. This RF technology provides gamers with complete freedom of movement by allowing a wireless range of up to 50 feet from the console. Mad Catz uses a fully integrated single chip RF solution provided by Micro Linear Corporation in its Lynx for Xbox. This cost-effective technology, gives the Lynx unparalleled performance and conserves power to extend the battery life - up to 160 hours without vibration.

    The Lynx wireless controller for Xbox also includes the following features:

    * Up to four (4) Lynx controllers connected to a single Xbox
    * Macro buttons which program button combinations
    * Dual expansion slots on the base unit connected to the Xbox
    * Analog triggers and action buttons
    * Grooved rubber grips
    * Dual vibration feedback
    * Gameplay up to 50 feet from game system
    * Up to 50 hours of continuous game play with vibration and up to 160 hours without vibration (3 AA batteries) - longer than any other wireless controller on the market.

    For more info, visit www.madcatz.com

    Tuesday, November 26, 2002

    European Xbox Live Beta a Success
    Steve @ 1:36 PM EST
    26th November 2002 - As the XboxTM LiveTM consumer beta draws to a close, thousands of gamers in the UK, France and Germany have had the chance to experience the fun and excitement of the only comprehensive online game service fully dedicated to fast-action, always-connected broadband gaming experiences. And now the fun really begins, as the Xbox Live Test Drive starts its engine and gets ready for the green light on 30th November.

    This month Live has brought a passionate community of Xbox gamers online, playing great games like Whacked!TM (Microsoft Game Studios) and MotoGP (THQ) with other beta testers. These Live pioneers have used the service to find their friends easily; talk to other players during game play through the Xbox Communicator headset; create a special Gamertag that is exclusively theirs and will stay with them as long as they're playing Live; and start building their legend online.

    Now all Xbox gamers with a broadband connection in the UK, France and Germany are invited to join the fun - Xbox Live is designed to work on most broadband services. In addition, Xbox is working with BT Openworld, NTL, Telewest Broadband, Noos and Wanadoo in the UK and France to bring specific broadband offers to gamers this Christmas - visit xbox.com/live for more information on getting connected.

    Gamers can participate in the Xbox Live Test Drive (30th November 2002 – 13th March 2003), by ordering a special Test Drive starter pack online at http://www.xbox.com/uk/live/now (for UK); (for Germany) and (for France). The starter packs, which gamers can order from 30th November until 14th February as long as stocks last, include all the software needed to get playing, plus the Xbox Communicator headset and a twelve-month subscription to the Live service. The benefits to getting in early are compelling - first choice of Gamertags, bragging rights over your friends, and best of all, free months of Live. The included one-year subscription to Xbox Live doesn't start counting down until March, meaning that gamers will get up to three and a half month's play for free.

    Legends of Wrestling II Ships
    Steve @ 1:14 PM EST
    GLEN COVE, NY, November 26, 2002 - Stepping back into the ring with the greatest collection of wrestling icons to ever be assembled in one video game, Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., today announced it has begun shipping Legends of Wrestling II for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy® Advance. Legends of Wrestling II features all new match types and more than 65 superstars, including Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bruno Sammartino, Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner, Sid Vicious and Jerry "The King" Lawler. In addition, the game also features the late comedian Andy Kaufman, who will defend his Inter-Gender Heavyweight Championship.

    "Legends of Wrestling II builds upon the success of its predecessor in every possible way, and we are thrilled to return this holiday season with a 'must-have' title for fans of professional wrestling," said Evan Stein, Vice President of Brand. "Featuring the biggest names in the business, incredible next-generation graphics and game play, as well as countless hours of body-slamming action, Legends of Wrestling II is the game that wrestling fans have been waiting for."

    Legends of Wrestling II offers many exciting new features, including:

  • More than 65 of the greatest wrestlers of all time;

  • Cranium-crushing match types, such as 6- and 8-man Elimination Bouts, Cage, Battle Royal, Ladder, and 3- and 4-way dances;

  • Never-before-seen $15,000 Body Slam Challenge with Big John Studd;

  • All-new career mode, allowing players to battle throughout the United States and the world for the respect of promoters and fans while fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world;

  • All-new DVD bonus footage, including interviews with many of the legends talking about their famed careers, favorite opponents and more (not available in Nintendo GameCube or Game Boy Advance);

  • Signature entrances and taunts for each legendary wrestler, including all new licensed music composed by "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart;

  • Fierce tag-team tournaments with great teams such as The Road Warriors, Steiner Brothers, British Bulldogs, Nasty Boys, Rock-n-Roll Express and more;

  • Advanced ISP system delivering even more bone-breaking one-button combos and reversals for outstanding game play;

  • Create-A-Legend returns bigger and better, allowing players to make their ultimate grappler;

  • All-new dynamic cloth and hair technology enhancing the realism of the wrestlers' movements.

    Legends of Wrestling II is currently available for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Nintendo GameCubeÔ at suggested retail prices of $49.99. In addition, the game is available for Game Boy® Advance at a suggested retail price of $29.99. For more information on Legends of Wrestling II, please visit http://www.acclaim.com

    Monday, November 25, 2002

    Midnight Club II Website Launches
    Steve @ 6:08 PM EST
    Be sure to check out http://www.rockstargames.com/midnightclub2/ for all the latest information on Midnight Club II, which will be coming out early next year.

    Friday, November 22, 2002

    NFL Fever On Monday Night Prediction
    Steve @ 9:41 PM EST
    DETMER LEADS EAGLES TO UPSET OVER 49ERS ON "NFL FEVER ON MONDAY NIGHT"

    No McNabb? No problem.

    At least that's the opinion of "NFL Fever 2003," the best-selling game from Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox video game console. It foresees the Philadelphia Eagles scoring a shocking 27-24 upset of the San Francisco 49ers, behind McNabb's fill-in, Koy Detmer.

    Microsoft Game Studios announced the results of Week 12 of "NFL Fever on Monday Night."

    "NFL Fever on Monday Night" is a simulated highlight reel, game summary and statistics which appears every Friday on www.xbox.com previewing the upcoming Monday Night game. All games are played in incredibly realistic replicas of NFL stadiums, using Microsoft Game Studios' "NFL Fever 2003" for Xbox.

    Before this game, Detmer had previously only thrown two passes this season, but his rust didn't show as he led the Eagles on a 71-yard opening drive ending in a 27-yard field goal by David Akers. The 49ers showed their firepower as all-pro QB, Jeff Garcia hit Cedric Wilson for a 79-yard touchdown bomb. But Detmer and the Eagles kept their poise and drove the length of the field again, this time finishing with a Cecil Martin 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 10-7 Eagles after the first quarter.

    The 49ers scored twice in the second quarter as Garcia found Justin Swift on a 10-yard touchdown pass, and built on that lead with Jeff Chandler's 41-yard field goal. With just 34 seconds remaining in the half, San Francisco led 17-10. But Detmer took over and, instead of running out the clock, threw an 83-yard touchdown pass to James Thrash tying the score 17-17 at intermission.

    The 49ers quickly regained the momentum in the third quarter as Terrell Owens caught a 31-yard touchdown from Garcia and seemingly extinguished Philadelphia's fire.

    But with 3:10 remaining in the game, Detmer led the Eagles on a fourth quarter drive that would have made John Elway smile. Detmer completed five consecutive passes including a game-tying 15-yard touchdown pass to Thrash.

    Philadelphia's scoring drive was a quick one, leaving 1:47 for San Francisco to put together a drive of its own. Garcia proceeded to do exactly that, as he completed lengthy passes to Owens and Tai Streets. It looked as though San Francisco was well within field goal range when Shaun Barber picked Jeff Garcia's sideline pass and returned it 61 yards. Terrell Owens finally brought him down, but the mistake proved costly. Akers nailed a chip-shot 18-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Eagles a shocking 27-24 upset victory over the 49ers.

    Although Thrash was named Player of the Game (six catches for 169 yards, 2 TD), Detmer was the hero of this game completing 19 of 27 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in place of the injured McNabb.

    Last week, "NFL Fever on Monday Night" continued to pick a winner with a correct prediction of St. Louis over Chicago and has now correctly predicted 7 of the last 8 Monday Night contests.

    To see this week's simulated highlight reel, game summary and statistics visit www.xbox.com. Be sure to check back in Week 13 when the New York Jets travel to Network Associates Coliseum to take on the Oakland Raiders.

    "NFL Fever 2003", which features cover athlete and spokesperson Peyton Manning, is available in stores for the suggested retail price of $49.99 exclusively for Xbox.

    "NFL Fever 2003" is an Officially Licensed Product of PLAYERS INC. The PLAYERS INC. logo is a registered trademark of the NFL players. © 2002 NFLP. Team names and logos are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other (NFL-related marks) are trademarks of the National Football League and NFL Properties. © 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    MONDAY NIGHT AND PLAYOFF FEVER FAST FACTS

  • Correctly predicted the exact Super Bowl XXXVI score (20-17 Patriots).

  • Correctly predicted 7 out of the last 8 Monday Night games this season.

  • Correctly predicted the winner of all five NFC Playoff games in 2002.

  • Posted a 6-0 record last season when predicting games including the Rams.

  • Came within ten or fewer points of predicting the game's exact final score eight times

  • Predicted the winner of eight straight Monday Night football games last season and five straight this season.

    150,000 Xbox Live Starter Kits Sold In First Week
    Steve @ 9:31 PM EST
    Sales Hit 150,000 in First Week as Xbox Live Players Storm the Online Arena, Making Xbox Live the First Broadband Service to Surpass 100,000 Subscribers

    REDMOND, Wash. - Nov. 22, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Xbox Live TM service, the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences, has sold 150,000 Xbox Live Starter Kits. Because each Xbox Live account allows guest players, more than 200,000 players have already found their friends, talked trash, and started building their legends in the last week. Xbox Live is the first high-speed online console gaming service to reach these important milestones in the first week of service, including the first subscription-based broadband service to surpass 100,000 subscribers.

    Virtually every Xbox Live Starter Kit at retail locations across the United States and Canada has sold out in less than one week of availability, but new shipments of Starter Kits are already on retail shelves and will be replenished throughout the holiday season. For $49.95 (estimated retail price), the Xbox Live Starter Kit includes a one-year subscription to the Xbox Live service, an Xbox TM Communicator headset and two online trial versions: "MotoGP" from THQ and "Whacked!TM" from Microsoft Game Studios. In addition, a diverse lineup of nine great Xbox Live-enabled games are available at retail, including "Unreal Championship" from Infogrames Inc., "MechAssaultTM" from Microsoft Game Studios, and "SEGA SportsTM NBA 2K3" from SEGA. "SEGA SportsTM NFL 2K3" and "SEGA SportsTM NHL® 2K3" are also available at retail.

    Sales of Xbox Live-enabled games also have shot up as much as 120 percent* in the last week, and Xbox hardware sales have experienced an 18 percent week-over-week increase in the first week of Xbox Live Starter Kit availability, building on strong demand driven by a holiday offer that includes the console, DVD remote and two games for $199 (ERP).

    "Wow, what a first week! More people played Xbox Live in its first week than attended the last two Super Bowls, and have played more games in one week than in the entire history of the National Football League, National Basketball Associations, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball combined. Game players have loudly demonstrated they can't find enough hours in the day to compete in the online arena," said J Allard, general manager of Xbox at Microsoft. "It's been amazing to talk to and play with and against so many players all over the United States and Canada, and this is just the beginning of the online revolution that will fundamentally change video games and digital entertainment forever."

    "We sold out our entire inventory of Xbox Live Starter Kits almost immediately, and we've seen increases in sales of both Xbox hardware and software as well," said Dan DeMatteo, president of GameStop Inc. "Xbox is clearly very popular this holiday season."

    Xbox Live represents the next step in video games, in which people from around the world come together in an online arena to play sports, action and racing games with friends and rivals, and talk with each other as they play. In just one week on Xbox Live, 200,000 online game players and their friends did the following:


    Completed more than 5 million games, approximately 500 games per minute


    Played more than 1 million hours of gameplay. That's more than 114 years worth of straight gameplay in just one week.


    Played more games than have been played in the history of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB combined

    On Nov. 30, game players in France, Germany and the United Kingdom will enter the Xbox Live online arena as part of an Xbox Live Test Drive in those countries. Xbox Live players will be able to compete in cross-Atlantic battles of "MotoGP." On March 14, 2003, the one-year anniversary of the Xbox console in Europe, Xbox Live will launch in eight European countries: France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. In Japan, players of Xbox Live are currently conducting a beta test of the service and will be able to enter the global online arena on Jan. 16, 2003.

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance Arrives
    Steve @ 9:25 PM EST
    CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 22, 2002--(Fatality Friday)

    The Famed Franchise that Shocked the World and Reinvented the Fighting Game Category Delivers a New Experience with Intense Combat and Innovative Gameplay

    Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that Mortal Kombat(R): Deadly Alliance(TM) has shipped for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance.

    The famed franchise that shocked the world and revolutionized the fighting game category now debuts Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, delivering the highly acclaimed series to the next-generation consoles. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance offers a lethal dose of unparalleled brutality, supernatural mystique and a reinvented fighting system. Beginning the next chapter in the battle of good versus evil, two powerful sorcerers - Shang Tsung(TM) and Quan Chi(TM) - join forces to deliver unrivaled fighting action in their quest for supreme mortality.

    "Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has taken the series to a new level with an incredible new fighting system, brutal fatalities and intense sound," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway. "In addition, the game is more than living up to its reputation with gaming press as `the most surprising, accomplished, and addictive game of the year.'" --Game Informer, November, 2002.

    In the game, players engage in hand-to-hand and special-weapon combat, executing secret moves and combinations with new fatalities and deadly body blows. Lethal new warriors are added to the mix along with the return of Mortal Kombat classics -- Scorpion(TM), Raiden(TM), Sub-Zero(TM) and Sonya Blade(TM). Hyper-realistic, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance features progressive physical damage that allows players to view the inevitable demise of their opponents while utilizing three unique fighting styles for each warrior, creating nearly unlimited fighting possibilities.

    In the game, players will also be able to enter the Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance "Krypt," which is comprised of more than 600 "koffins" that players can purchase with "kurrency" earned in the game. The "koffins" are filled with new characters, new arenas, alternate costumes, photos and other hidden surprises.

    Adding to the punishing action in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is Arista Records' Adema, which has recorded a hard-driving, heavy, yet melodic, modern rock theme song titled "Immortal," done exclusively for this new Mortal Kombat videogame and featured as the lead track in the follow-up EP to its self-titled debut album. The album is in stores now. "Immortal" was made available on radio Oct. 14 while the music video for the track began airing on MTV2's Extreme Rock on the same date and is currently live on www.MTV.com.

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance's DVD content will include the "Immortal" song and music video. Also featured in the DVD section is the history of Mortal Kombat and behind-the-scenes interviews with the game's development team.

    In addition, on more than 5,000 movie screens across the country, R-rated moviegoers have previewed a 35 mm Dolby Surround sound cinema spot of the Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance trailer, which reached an estimated 18 million viewers. The national TV spot began airing on Nov. 12, and will continue through the end of the year.

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance marks the next chapter in the Mortal Kombat series with a new engine delivering punishing action that will reward longtime fans of the franchise as well as next-generation game lovers. The Mortal Kombat series is one of the best-selling franchises in videogame history with more than 19 million home games sold.

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance Features:


  • The first execution of the Mortal Kombat franchise on the next-generation systems, allowing for incredible detail and innovative gameplay, taking the series where it has never gone before
  • A completely new fighting system delivering intense combat with three unique fighting styles for each character -- including hand-to-hand and deadly-weapon combat, combined with progressive physical damage -- making this the most detailed fighting experience in the series
  • Favorite warriors from the past return, including Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Sonya Blade and more; new human and supernatural fighters appear, too, each with their own lethal special attacks
  • Brutal new fatalities let players finish off and humiliate their opponents in true Mortal Kombat fashion
  • In-depth and engaging storyline continues the mythology and supernatural mystique of the series
  • DVD content including Adema's "Immortal" music video, the history of Mortal Kombat and behind-the-scenes with the development team of Mortal Kombat
  • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance "Krypt" -- players can earn "kurrency" to purchase items found in more than 600 "koffins," located in the "Krypt." The "koffins" are filled with new characters, new arenas, alternate costumes, photos and other hidden surprises

    Thursday, November 21, 2002

    THQ Ships MX Superfly With Xbox Live Support
    Steve @ 2:24 PM EST
    CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 21, 2002--THQ(R) Inc. today announced the release of "MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael" for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. Developed by THQ subsidiary Pacific Coast Power & Light Co.(R), the latest installment in the successful franchise is the first ever motocross title to support Xbox Live. The online feature allows players to access supplemental content that includes two exclusive tracks and ten additional riders from Xbox Live. "MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael" for the Xbox is now available at major retail outlets nationwide.

    "THQ is proud to be a part of Xbox Live and we expect gaming fans everywhere will enjoy the exclusive downloadable content available through Microsoft's new online gaming network," said Peter Dille, vice president, marketing, THQ. "`MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael' continues to be the top selling motocross franchise and we look forward to Xbox Live introducing the franchise to a new audience."

    About "MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael"

    "MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael" boasts several new features, including an enhanced freestyle mode with all new tricks, expansive environments and wide-open worlds for gamers to explore. Expanded career modes allow riders to earn cash as well as upgrade their bikes and equipment in both racing and freestyle modes. "MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael" also features 11 mini-games, such as "Pizza Delivery," "Golf" and "Target Jumping." A powerful freestyle stunt track editor allows players to create and design the ultimate motocross course. Numerous hidden characters and bikes add to the mix including rock-rap superstar and motocross enthusiast Vanilla Ice. Visual enhancements include new particle effects, reflection mapping and dirt accumulation on riders creating one of the most realistic looking motocross games to date. Players will reap the rewards of racing through an entire season of pulse pounding motocross action while ESPN commentators Cameron Steele and Davey Coombs join in for all the fun.

    Capcom Releases Steel Battalion
    Steve @ 2:22 PM EST
    SUNNYVALE, Calif. — November 20, 2002 - Capcom® Entertainment today announced the release of Steel Battalion™, the exciting new battle-mech simulator exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft. Using an exclusive 40-button controller, players “take a seat” inside the cockpit of 19 different mechanized VT’s (Vertical Tanks) duringa rebellious attempt to over-throw the government. Ultra realistic visual effects and fierce mechanized battles in a first-person perspective create the ultimate gaming experience. Steel Battalion is rated ‘T’ for teen audiences by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and will include both the game and fully interactive controller, selling at the suggested retail price of $199.95.

    As an accolade for its innovative technology, Steel Battalion received a “2002 Best of What’s New Award” fromPopular Science in the Electronics category. Each year Popular Science reviews thousands of new products and innovations and only 100 winners are chosen in 10 categories. To be considered, products must represent a significant step forward in its category. The award was bestowed to Steel Battalion for its 40-button controller that was designed to completely maximize the gaming experience and immerse the player in futuristic warfare.

    “The power and performance of the Xbox hardware really makes Steel Battalion possible,” said Robert Lindsey, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Capcom Entertainment. “Steel Battalion is a video game unlike any other. The innovative 40-button controller really makes you feel as if you are piloting a mechanizedVertical Tank. Gamers haven’t experienced anything like this before.”

    Using the controller, Steel Battalion players operate a strategic battle mech through 23 action-packed missions fending off dozens of adversaries while in the midst of a massive military coup that has ensued on a Pacific island. With trigger buttons to fire weapons; foot pedals to accelerate, boost and brake; levers to shift gears and move, gamers must utilize the full potential of the controller in order to survive on the battlefield. A diverse arsenal that includes plasma torches and a MK21-6 twin pod rocket launcher will ensure constant variety and plenty of action for even the most experienced pilots.

    Steel Battalion boasts the following features:
    * Players take control of their own VT with an exclusive 40-button simulation controller designed and produced for Steel Battalion.
    * First-person perspective view lets players participate in the action through the cockpit of their own battle machine.
    * Control a Vertical Tank (VT), featuring a variety of weapons such as plasma torches, a 270mm rifle, machine guns and much more.
    * Choose from multiple models of VT’s including the Behemoth, Decider and Falchion each with their own specialized abilities and functionality.
    * 23action-packed missions! Unlock new missions, maps and enemy robots to provide endless action and entertainment.
    * Steel Battalion will make full use of the Xbox hardware in order to create ultra realistic visual effects and realistic mech battles.

    Wednesday, November 20, 2002

    Seablade Ships to Stores
    Steve @ 8:05 PM EST
    FIRST TRUE XBOX ARCADE SHOOTER "SEABLADE" SHIPS TO RETAIL

    NEW YORK, November 20, 2002, - Simon & Schuster Interactive announced today its arcade shooter title "SeaBlade" for the Xbox(tm) video game system has shipped and will be available at retailers nationwide by the weekend. In SEABLADE (Rated: "T" by the ESRB), gamers take control of a futuristic spacecraft that can fly as well as dive below water with the goal of defeating insidious warlords who have overrun the northern hemisphere in the year 2350.

    SEABLADE was developed by veteran game developer Vision Scape Interactive, Inc. which is based in Poway, California (near San Diego). Vision-Scape is the graphics designers behind the breathtaking cinematics in best selling games such as "Everquest," "Twisted Metal 3," and "Might and Magic VI." Taking their expertise in graphic design, Vision-Scape is creating one of most graphically rich, entertaining games for the Xbox.

    ABOUT "SEABLADE"
    Earth in the year 2350 bears little resemblance to the world of the past. A massive subterranean earthquake known as the 'Ring of Fire Cataclysm' slammed the Pacific Ocean floor with the impact of 200 hydrogen bombs. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis of biblical proportions ravaged the planet causing the Greenland ice sheet to melt, radically altering ocean levels around the planet.

    With most of the world's economic centers submerged or leveled, the equator now divides 24th century Earth into the 'Haves' and the 'Have-Nots.' The southern hemisphere continues to prosper under democratic rule, but genocidal battles have fueled the rise of tyrannical despots oppressing and exploiting the ravaged and water-soaked populations to the North.

    Northern refugees managing to escape, tell tales of three mad overlords brutally beating down resistance, major cities garrisoned, and large armies being mobilized to invade the South. Bizarre stories depict the three warlords as almost supernatural beings wielding immense power with strange, giant engines of destruction that emerge from the far northern reaches.

    Scientific and reconnaissance missions sent north to investigate the developing events vanish without a trace. In response to the looming crisis, the Southern government deploys the Argosy, a gigantic super carrier outfitted with a phalanx of SeaBlades; high performance air-sea rescue vehicles capable of flight and water submersion. The Argosy's mission includes: the rescue of northern populations, engagement of military operations against the three, feudal overlords and scientific investigation of the Bering Strait.

    As it moves dutifully north along the Pacific Ocean, the Argosy and its crew must liberate the oppressed people of the northern territories; crush the three feudal tyrants and head towards an encounter with an unknown power in the far northern reaches of the world.

    GAMEPLAY
    SEABLADE is a pure arcade action shooter, merging the best elements of classic arcade shooters into an intense, white-knuckle action game that pushes the limits of the Xbox technology. The single-player experience has the player fighting through 30 progressively more difficult levels and 3 bosses, complete with power-ups which enhance firepower, speed, and defenses.

    Up to four players can battle simultaneously in multiplayer, split-screen style. Unlock ships and technology in the single-player campaign to use in multiplayer battles. Co-op, death match, and boss bash are some of the different types of games available in multiplayer mode.

    More information on SeaBlade can be found at http://www.seabladethegame.com

    Take-Two Purchases Angel Studios
    Steve @ 3:21 PM EST
    NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2002 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. announced today the acquisition of Angel Studios, Inc., a leading developer of next generation interactive entertainment software.

    Take-Two acquired Angel Studios for an aggregate $28 million in cash and 235,679 shares of restricted Common Stock. The Company does not anticipate the acquisition of Angel Studios to have any effect on its previously issued fiscal 2003 financial guidance. Angel Studios will be renamed Rockstar San Diego effective immediately.

    Take-Two and Angel Studios have a long track record of successful partnerships. Angel Studios developed Rockstar Games' best-selling Midnight Club and Smuggler's Run, titles which were introduced at the launch of the PlayStation®2 in October 2000. Both titles are now selling under Sony's PlayStation®2 Greatest Hits program, with global life-to-date sales of Midnight Club exceeding 1.5 million units. Angel Studios is currently developing Midnight Club II, scheduled for release in February 2003. Angel also developed Microsoft's best-selling Midtown Madness for the PC, as well as Capcom's Resident Evil 2 and Nintendo's Ken Griffey Jr. series, both for the Nintendo 64.

    Sam Houser, President of Rockstar Games, said, "Angel has been a valued partner to Rockstar over the past three years, and we are particularly excited about our latest collaboration, Midnight Club II. Angel Studios has a strong history of developing state of the art technology and exciting content. We look forward to the benefits of having Angel work exclusively for us going forward and having them as members of our talented team. Along with Rockstar North, Rockstar Toronto and Rockstar Vancouver, Rockstar San Diego will continue to develop the types of games for which Rockstar has become world-renowned."

    Angel Studios, based in Carlsbad, California, was founded by Diego Angel in 1985 and currently employs approximately 125 developers. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition, the studio has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two, and Angel Studio's management team has signed long-term employment agreements. Along with Midnight Club II, and an additional yet to be announced Rockstar title, Angel Studios is currently working on the highly anticipated Red Dead Revolver, to be published by Capcom, which received several awards at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, as well as a title for another third-party publisher.

    Diego Angel, founder of Angel Studios and President of Rockstar San Diego stated, "We are delighted to be joining the Rockstar team. Rockstar makes the kind of games we love to play and that we most enjoy developing. With our creative and technical talent and Rockstar's proven capability to produce, market and promote their products, we expect to deliver world class entertainment software for many years to come."

    Paul Eibeler, President of Take-Two Interactive, commented, "We have experienced tremendous success with the strategic expansion of Rockstar Games. Rockstar's expertise in the creation of unique intellectual properties and award-winning content has propelled Take-Two to new levels of success, with record market share. This acquisition affords Take-Two the unique opportunity to utilize Angel Studio's outstanding development capabilities to further enhance Rockstar's expanding portfolio of successful brands. We are confident that the products that will emerge from Rockstar San Diego will match the outstanding creative accomplishments that Rockstar has achieved with its titles to date."

    Tuesday, November 19, 2002

    Japanese Mech Shooter, Murakumo, Exclusive to Xbox!
    Steve @ 4:10 PM EST
    Murakumo: Mech Hunter - Exclusive Xbox title to Feature 10 ALL-NEW Missions and Gameplay Mode for the US Market

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 19, 2002 - Ubi Soft , one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced plans to launch the popular Japanese mech-based shooter, Murakumo: Mech Hunter, exclusively for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft. Murakumo: Mech Hunter is a fast-paced, "pursue and destroy" action game that features a variety of innovative, original mechs and adrenaline-pumping action set in city street and skyscraper environments. Murakumo: Mech Hunter is targeted to ship in February 2003.

    "Murakumo's distinctive Japanese-influenced artistic style and intense gameplay set mech gaming standards in Japan, and we plan to bring that winning formula to Murakumo: Mech Hunter here in the US," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing, Ubi Soft Entertainment. "We have enhanced the product by adding new levels and a new trial mode to this already action-packed title, providing US gamers the most intense mech gaming experience possible."

    Murakumo: Mech Hunter features 10 all-new pursuit and destroy missions exclusive to the US version, challenging players to hit boosters, and chase down and destroy renegade mechs through bustling streets and towering city skylines. As a member of the elite mech pilot group, Murakumo: Mech Hunter, gamers battle against a rogue group of computerized Mechs programmed for terror and destruction. Players choose from five different elite Murakumo Mechs, each with their own devastating arsenal and abilities, and several different modes of play, including Scenario Mode, Free Mission and Expert Mission. Murakumo: Mech Hunter also features an all-new Trial Mode, which allows players to challenge 10 Giant, mechanized bosses to beat and record personal best Rank and Clear Time.

    EA Releases 007: NightFire
    Steve @ 1:09 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 19, 2002-Take James Bond higher and deeper than ever before.

    EA announces that it has released the new James Bond game that delivers a complete 007 experience filled with action-packed excitement and intrigue that leaves players shaken...and stirred! James Bond 007: NightFire(TM) takes Bond fans higher and deeper than any previous Bond game with intense, action-packed gameplay on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. The PC version will ship the following week starting on Monday, November 25.

    NightFire offers a deep and rich gameplay experience that epitomizes the Bond universe. The game features an original single player storyline -- written exclusively for NightFire and borrowing from the rich 007-legacy that spans 40 years. As Bond, players operate in the snow capped Austrian Alps and the far reaches of outer space as well as underwater in the depths of the South Pacific to defeat the evil criminal mastermind Rafael Drake, the popular head of a supposedly benign environmental organization who secretly is bent on world domination.

    NightFire features a large variety of missions filled with furious action and stealth, gorgeous women, exotic locales, and sophisticated spy-craft gadgetry that Bond fans expect. Adding to the legacy is the invovlement of actor Pierce Brosnan via cyberscan process for the James Bond character. The game also offers a large cast of villains and allies, both new and familiar to the Bond universe.

    Each of the platforms contains unique features catering to that platform's audience. For example, the console versions feature exclusive driving levels -- developed by the award winning team behind the Need For Speed racing games -- that feature an array of 007-inspired exotic vehicles, including the Aston Martin Vanquish(TM), equipped with weapons and gadgets. The PC game offers exclusive single player levels for extended excitement and robust multi-player support online.

    James Bond 007: NightFire was produced by EA. UK based Eurocom Entertainment Software and EA developed the console versions. Gearbox Software, based in Dallas, TX, developed the PC version. EA will publish and distribute the game worldwide under the EA GAMES(TM) brand. James Bond 007: NightFire will have a "T" rating and MSRP of US$49.95. For more information on NightFire, visit EA's official site at http://www.007.ea.com

    Monday, November 18, 2002

    Be the First to Play MK: Deadly Alliance With WWE Superstar
    Steve @ 5:41 PM EST
    Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that Midway will participate in an integrated advertising campaign that gives gamers a chance to enter to win a trip to New York City and be the first to play Mortal Kombat(R): Deadly Alliance(TM) against a WWE(TM) superstar at The World on Nov. 21, the day before the game's scheduled street date launch.

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is scheduled to be available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the XboxTM video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeTM and Game Boy(R) Advance on "Fatality Friday," Nov. 22.
    "With a hugely successful franchise and loyal following similar to Mortal Kombat fans, The World offers the ultimate venue to host the Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance event with live entertainment, gameplay and a ton of adrenaline," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway.

    Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair Ships
    Steve @ 5:35 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 18, 2002 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and the PC has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Developed by Dragonstone Software, Dragon's Lair 3D features the same fun, pick-up-and-play gameplay that made the arcade version a blockbuster hit in 1983. Now gamers will be able to experience Dragon's Lair 3D with the highest quality graphics and sound available today. Dragon's Lair 3D is rated "T-Teen" and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99 on Xbox and $29.99 on PC.

    "Dragon's Lair is a classic, landmark game that has always pushed the gaming industry's limits in terms of graphics and gameplay," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Dragon's Lair 3D is now the FIRST Xbox title to feature 1080i HDTV compatibility, breathing vibrant color to the characters and environments that jump off the screen!"

    Splinter Cell Ships Nationwide
    Steve @ 5:34 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 18, 2002 - Video game fans rejoice! The hottest title to hit the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft this holiday season, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(tm), is on its way to United States store shelves today. Developed by Ubi Soft Entertainment's Montreal studio only for Xbox this holiday season, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has won numerous awards including the E3 Game Critics Award for best action game and the ECTS overall best game of the show award. The tension-filled stealth action espionage thriller also earned the highest game review score ever given by Official Xbox Magazine-a 9.6, which earned it an Editor's Choice Award. (Official Xbox Magazine December, 2002)

    "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is one of the year's best action games," said Ed Fries, vice president of Game Content, Xbox. "The intense storyline keeps you holding your breath with every step you take. The use of lighting in this game is not only stunning; it really improves the overall experience as the player blends into the shadows to avoid detection. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell really shows what Xbox is capable of as a console, and the developers have created a masterpiece that is sure to be a huge holiday hit."

    Storyline:
    You are Sam Fisher. A lone shadow-operative in a world where lost seconds can allow terrorist plans to become deadly reality. You operate in the heart of hostile territory. Spy. Steal. Destroy. Assassinate. Just don't ever be seen. Because when the stakes are this high, the choice between leaving a witness or a corpse is no choice at all. When two CIA agents mysteriously vanish in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the NSA's secret sub agency, Third Echelon, deploys Sam Fisher-its most capable splinter cell operative-to recover them. Fisher soon uncovers a deeper conspiracy: a plot that threatens to destabilize the world order and spark nuclear conflict.

    Details:

  • Covert stealth-action featuring a compelling original storyline and characters inspired by the world of Tom Clancy and endorsed by the famous author.

  • Revolutionary lighting, shadowing, animation, physics, and sound effects create an astonishingly realistic tension-filled experience.

  • Diverse stealth techniques including sniping, split jumping, zip lining, rappelling, and using human shields bring gameplay possibilities to a new level.

  • Experimental intelligence gadgets (night/thermal vision goggles, prototype weapons and surveillance gear, etc.) give Fisher the edge against his enemies.

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell carries a "T" (Teen) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at $49.99.

    Saturday, November 16, 2002

    Nightcaster II: Equinox Coming Next Month
    Steve @ 6:39 PM EST
    Buffalo, New York - November 15, 2002 - To coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft, Jaleco Entertainment™ announces a whole new world of spell-casting with the brilliant action shooter Nightcaster II: Equinox™, crafted exclusively for Xbox.

    Nightcaster II: Equinox combines spell and melee combat as the husband-and-wife team of Arran and Madelyn use tactical skills and practical magic to battle goblins, trolls, dragons and other demons in a lush, 3D fantasy world. The original Nightcaster, published by Microsoft for Xbox debuted last year. However, Nightcaster II: Equinox, sets itself apart from the previous edition by delivering dynamic graphics and a quickened game pace for the most intense spell-casting action yet.

    Two players can work together to combat the creatures of the night, playing on the same screen. Dual analog control allows multi-directional firing so characters can cast a spell in one direction while moving in another. Additionally, as characters fight through the levels, they gain knowledge and skill, giving them heightened power. The player is constantly engaged - either by the more than 30 spells, four bosses or the nearly 40 enemies - and points are awarded for style as well as skill.

    Nightcaster II: Equinox was developed and published by Jaleco Entertainment. It is due in stores mid-December.

    "Truth be told, it is very hard to compare the first game with Nightcaster II," said Jaleco Entertainment Producer Adam Maxwell. "Everything, even the game's environments, which are now lush and alive with custom shader effects, bump and specular mapping, have been given such a drastic overhaul that the two games don't really compare. This team has been working since the day Nightcaster shipped to create a new gaming adventure. Our one goal has been to make a game that is countless times better than the original."

    Nightcaster II: Equinox is rated T. For more information on Nightcaster II: Equinox, go to http://www.jaleco.com

    Friday, November 15, 2002

    Xbox Live Arrives! 14 Xbox Live Games; 50 On the Way
    Steve @ 5:06 PM EST
    LOS ANGELES - Nov. 15, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that tens of thousands of U.S. and Canadian video game players are expected to rush to retail stores today to purchase the Xbox LiveTM Starter Kit so they can enter the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences. Once at home, players will be able to come together online on Xbox Live to connect, play and talk with each other during their game sessions and join the thousands of beta testers already playing nine launch titles.

    "The online arena is officially open, and the days of sitting alone silently playing video games in the living room are over," said J Allard, general manager of Xbox at Microsoft. "We're thrilled to be bringing the next step in social entertainment and community to console gaming. This is uncharted territory for most players, and we can't wait to see friends connect and have rivals duke it out to become the superstars and heroes of Xbox Live."

    With Xbox Live, players can connect with each other across the country, chatting with old friends and meeting new ones to share game experiences online, no matter where they are or what time of day it is. With a broad lineup of sports, action, racing, first-person shooters and role-playing games set to roll out in the coming months, XboxTM players will be able to test themselves against a wide variety of opponents on a unified service.

    Today, more than 10,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets began selling the Xbox Live Starter Kit for an estimated price of $49.99 (U.S.)/$79.99 (CDN). For the average price of a new game, the kit includes a one-year subscription to Xbox Live, the highly anticipated Xbox Communicator headset, and online trial versions of THQ Inc.'s "MotoGP" and "Whacked!TM " from Microsoft Game Studios, so players can start competing against their friends right away. All Xbox units come with a built-in Ethernet port and hard drive, enabling any Xbox owner to plug into Xbox Live through almost any high-speed Internet service provider.

    Retail programs will be supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that will include advertising, retail communications and promotional activities.

    "There's a tremendous amount of anticipation around online gaming this holiday," said Peter Roithmayr, vice president of merchandising at EB Games. "Our presales indicate that gamers can't wait to get connected to Xbox Live. We're on track to sell our entire allocation on day one."

    Nine Xbox Live-enabled games are already on retail shelves, and up to 14 total are scheduled to be available at retail by the end of the holiday season. Among the titles expected this holiday are these:


    "MechAssault" (Microsoft Game Studios). In "MechAssaultTM ," players pilot the most powerful weapon of the 31st century, a 40-foot-tall walking tank known as a BattleMech. In this third-person action game, players can destroy every structure in the world. Players choose from 10 BattleMechs, ranging from quick 30-tonners to menacing 100-ton war machines, all with different weapon configurations and armament. Players will challenge themselves in more than 20 single-player missions. "MechAssault" also launches as one of the premier titles on Xbox Live. Players can enjoy an onslaught of high-intensity multiplayer action, with enough downloadable content to keep the destruction fresh for a long time to come.


    "NFL Fever 2003" (Microsoft Game Studios). Easy to pick up and start playing, "NFL Fever 2003" delivers all the action and excitement of the National Football League, allowing gamers to create, play and control their ultimate NFL team. With the opportunity to earn all the accolades and honors of an NFL superstar, "NFL Fever 2003" challenges hard-core football fans and gamers to be the best in the world. The realism and gameplay of "NFL Fever 2003" provide gamers and football fans with the ultimate NFL experience.


    "Unreal Championship" (Infogrames Inc.). The latest addition to the "Unreal" universe will immerse console gamers in the adrenaline-packed first-person frag-fest that has revolutionized PC gaming. Designing the game specifically for Xbox and the Xbox controller, developer Digital Extremes has incorporated console-specific features such as joypad-activated special moves, double jumps and power-ups to keep gamers glued to their couches with knuckle-whitened tension.


    "Tom Clancy's Ghost ReconTM" (Ubi Soft Entertainment). Eastern Europe, 2008. War has broken out on the borders of Russia, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. That's when the call goes out for the Ghosts: an elite handful of specially trained Green Berets, armed with the latest technology and trained to use the deadliest weapons. Their mission: Spearhead the way for a NATO peacekeeping force and keep the lid on the conflict before it mushrooms.


    "Tom Clancy's Splinter CellTM" (Ubi Soft). "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" has won numerous awards, including the E3 Game Critics Award for best action game and the ECTS overall best game of the show award. The tension-filled stealth action espionage thriller also earned the highest game review score ever given by Official Xbox Magazine, a 9.6, which earned it an Editor's Choice Award. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.


    "SEGA SportsTM NFL 2K3" (SEGA Sports). Building upon championship-caliber gameplay and presentation, "NFL 2K3" raises the bar with new lifelike player animations, convincing play-calling intelligence, an on-the-fly audible system, a redesigned Franchise Mode, and a brand-new ESPN broadcast system with the famous overlays, scores and highlights beloved by all sports fans.


    "SEGA Sports NHL® 2K3" (SEGA Sports). With more than just familiar faces and numbers, "SEGA Sports NHL 2K3" delivers player realism down to size, skill and behavior, resulting in individuals that exhibit accurate styles of play. Now grinders battle for pucks in the corners and against the boards, elite players see the ice and create opportunities, and fast skaters exploit their speed. The only online hockey video game this season, "SEGA Sports NHL 2K3" is the closest thing to actually stepping onto the ice.


    "SEGA SportsTM NBA® 2K3" (SEGA Sports). Imagine jump shots so real players actually adjust their movement in midair based on distance from the hoop and defensive pressure; a passing touch that gives players the control to skirt a defender or start a fast break; and dribble moves that let them jab left, rock right, cross over, spin and much more. SEGA Sports "NBA 2K3" has captured the essence of true NBA-style basketball and given the gamer complete control in the ultimate pro basketball simulation.


    "SEGA Sports NCAA® Basketball 2K3" (SEGA Sports). SEGA expands its library of sports simulations by bringing its dominant basketball lineage to the college hardwood. Complete with more than 300 Division I teams, authentic rankings system including a weekly top 25 and bubble watch, classic and custom tournaments and a comprehensive Legacy Mode, "SEGA Sports NCAA College Basketball 2K3" delivers the most-authentic college basketball experience this winter.


    "ToeJam and EarlTM III: Mission to Earth" (SEGA). Gamers can join ToeJam, Big Earl and Latisha as they set out on a mission to recover the 12 sacred Albums of Funk. Utilizing Funk-Fu and a zany assortment of gadgets, players will battle the evil Anti-Funk to pump funk back into the world. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.


    "Capcom® vs. SNK 2: EO" (Capcom® Co. Ltd. ). Players now have the opportunity to fireball, uppercut and trash-talk any challenger from opposite ends of the continent. Players can join 44 brawlers from Capcom's legendary "Street Fighter" and SNK's world-renowned "King of Fighters" series as they battle for universal domination. To settle the score, a massive martial arts event is arranged to eliminate all conflicts. Many of the world's most famous warriors have entered, and the public is crazy with anticipation. This will be the ultimate collision of strength and power.


    "MX Superfly Featuring Ricky Carmichael" (THQ®). This next installment in the top-selling motocross series boasts several new features, including an enhanced freestyle mode with all-new tricks, expansive environments and wide-open worlds for gamers to explore. A powerful freestyle stunt track editor allows players to create and design the ultimate motocross course. Players will reap the rewards of racing through an entire season of pulse-pounding motocross action and be able to download new tracks, bikes and rider skins through Xbox Live. Numerous hidden characters, including rock-rap superstar and motocross enthusiast Vanilla Ice, and bikes, add to the mix while ESPN commentators Cameron Steele and Davey Coombs join in for all the fun. Downloadable content of this game will be available for Xbox Live.

    Full versions of "Whacked!" from Microsoft Game Studios and "MotoGP" from THQ, two online trial games included in the Xbox Live Starter Kit, also are available at retail.


    "Whacked!" (Microsoft Game Studios). "Whacked!" is a fast and furious combat game in which eight demented contestants are pitted against each other in the world's most irreverent and dangerous game show. When contestants take the stage, all hell breaks loose as free-for-all combat ensues. Contestants must use power-ups and zany weapons such as giant staplers and rubber-ducky grenades to flatten their opponents to win a once-in-a-lifetime grand prize.


    "MotoGP: Online Demo" (THQ). In "MotoGP: Online Demo" players will have access to 23 riders as well as three courses: Jerez, Mugello and Sachsenring. The demo version lets gamers check out two gameplay modes: "Play Live" allows them to race against 16 other Xbox Live players and trash talk with the three closest riders using the Xbox Communicator, while "Time Trial" lets them attempt to set the best lap time in a solo race. For those who already own the full version of "MotoGP," the Xbox Live Starter Kit will completely unlock online play for all the tracks in the game.

    More than 50 Xbox Live-enabled games - including "Counter-Strike," "Midtown Madness® 3," "HaloTM 2" and "Project Gotham RacingTM 2" from Microsoft Game Studios and "Star Wars® Galaxies: Empire DividedTM " from LucasArts Entertainment Co. - are scheduled to launch in 2003 and beyond. More than 60 game publishers are currently working on Xbox Live-enabled games.

    Gamers who sign onto Xbox Live will benefit from consistent features the service provides across games from all publishers, including these:


    Gamertag. Players have a single identity across the entire global gaming service. Gamertags are a player's call sign or alias. Players only get one gamertag per account, so their reputations will be on the line.

    Friends list. Using the gamertags, players will be able to find their friends online and invite them to a game, no matter which Xbox Live game they're playing.

    Xbox Communicator. Voice communication is integrated into all Xbox Live multiplayer games, enabling teammates and opponents to speak to one another during games. Key elements of this feature exclusive to Xbox include voice masking, global muting and parental control.

    Matchmaking. QuickMatch allows players to enter a multiplay experience with a single button click, and with the OptiMatchTM game matchmaking system, an Xbox Live exclusive, players will be able to select games and opponents based on similar skill levels.

    Ability to download content to the Xbox hard disk. Only Xbox enables console players to download and permanently store both free and fee-based content that can include new levels, characters, missions and statistics.

    A beta program of Xbox Live service is scheduled to be launched in Europe and Japan this year. Gamers in these markets will have the opportunity to join Xbox Live players in North America when the service completes beta testing in early 2003. Xbox Live is scheduled to launch in Japan on Jan. 16, 2003, and in Europe on March 14, 2003.

    Rockstar Games Announces Midnight Club II for Xbox
    Steve @ 4:56 PM EST
    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 15, 2002--Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing division of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., proudly announces Midnight Club II, the sequel to the best-selling PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system launch title Midnight Club.

    Developed by Angel Studios, Midnight Club II is expected to hit retail shelves in the United States for PlayStation(R)2 on February 11, 2003, with versions for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft(TM) and the PC expected to hit in Spring 2003.

    "Midnight Club redefined the racing genre by offering an entirely new freedom and style never before seen in a racing game," said Dan Houser, Rockstar Games' Vice President of Creative. "Midnight Club II evolves those trademark ideas, adds a host of innovative features with a revolutionary new design creating a racing experience that continues the tradition of excellence and innovation expected from a Rockstar title. We believe we are making the fastest and most complete racing game people will have ever seen."

    Midnight Club II moves racing games from tracks to the city streets. The world's most notorious drivers meet each night in three of the world's greatest cities - LA, Paris, and Tokyo, driving the latest performance enhanced cars and bikes and competing head-to-head to make a name for themselves. Now it's your turn. There are no rules. Drive anywhere in the city. Find the fastest route, and win the car.

    Additional information about Midnight Club II is available at http://www.midnightclub2.com

    Harry Potter Ships
    Steve @ 4:54 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 15, 2002--Take the wheel of a flying car and don't be late for a second term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry(TM)! Electronic Arts, the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, announced today it has shipped Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets(TM), J.K. Rowling's second book in the worldwide best-selling series on seven game platforms. The games will be on store shelves November 15, 2002, the same day the highly anticipated movie sequel from Warner Bros. Pictures is released in U.K. and U.S. theatres. Debuting for the first time on next generation game consoles, players get to "Be Harry Potter" on the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM) in addition to PC, Game Boy(R) Advance, PlayStation and Game Boy Color.

    Since the release of EA's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone(TM) last November, the games have sold nearly 10 million units worldwide. This holiday season, the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets videogames will transport fans from the non-magical world to an even richer, deeper interactive adventure of wizards and wonder, while representing an interactive adaptation of the book's story line. With the help of returning friends Hermione, Ron, Hagrid(TM) and Hedwig(TM), players attend new classes to learn second-year spells that will aid them in a quest to uncover the true identity of the "Heir of Slytherin" and protect Hogwarts from the evil force within the Chamber of Secrets.

    Under the supervision of EA, The KnowWonder(TM) studio of Seattle-based entertainment software developer Amaze Entertainment(TM) developed Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets for the PC and Game Boy Color; Argonaut Games, based in London, developed the PlayStation game; Eurocom, based in Darby, England, developed the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance games and Electronic Arts developed the PlayStation 2 game.

    Thursday, November 14, 2002

    Splinter Cell Co-Marketing Deal Announced
    Steve @ 6:09 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, Ca.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2002--Ubi Soft(R) Entertainment, one of the world's leading video game publishers, today announced multiple co-marketing deals for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(TM), one of the most highly anticipated games of the holiday season.

    Generating huge buzz among consumers who set the trends and wield major buying power, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft has attracted SoBe Adrenaline Rush, owned by Pepsi, as well as Palm, Inc., for in-game marketing programs.

    "The technical intensity of Sam Fisher's character is a perfect fit with SoBe Adrenaline Rush," said SoBe Sr. VP of Marketing, Renee Coughlin. "The relationship with the game makes sense, because similar to 'Splinter Cell,' SoBe Adrenaline Rush is engineered to deliver a fun, energizing experience to consumers."

    Both SoBe and Palm will be featured in the actual game, with Sam Fisher getting his top-secret assignments via his special Palm(TM) handheld. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is now featured on SoBe's website at http://www.sobeadrenalinerush.com for a pre launch promotion where prizes include Xbox video game systems, games and more. The game will also be featured at Comdex, which runs November 18-22 in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Palm's theater presentation (booth #7961). Splinter Cell will also be featured within Palm's Software Connection newsletter sent out to approximately 800,000 Palm handheld owners.

    "Associating Palm with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell gives us access to a strong, loyal fan base who are typically the early adopters of the latest technology," said Caitlin Spaan, Director of Marketing Programs at Palm, Inc.

    "We've been approached by many companies looking to take part in the anticipated success of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell," said Jill Steinberg, Media and Promotions Director of Ubi Soft Entertainment. "We believe SoBe and Palm epitomize the spirit of this exciting game and we look forward to their involvement."

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is the most recent addition to Ubi Soft's Tom Clancy franchise, which includes top-selling games such as Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series. The Clancy games are recognized throughout the game industry for consistently delivering a top-notch game experience, earning the Clancy franchise the distinction of being the number two best-selling shooter franchise across all platforms. Each game is stamped with Clancy's signature style: heightened reality, elite forces, the best equipment and the theme of good vs. evil in the struggle against terrorism. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is the first third-person stealth-action game in the series and is expected to broaden the Clancy game fan base by attracting a diverse mix of hardcore and casual gamers.

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ships to retail stores on November 18th.

    Marketing Plan for Rocky Announced
    Steve @ 6:07 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2002--Ubi Soft(R) Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced an aggressive marketing plan in support of its highly-anticipated boxing game, Rocky(TM) - officially licensed by MGM Interactive and based on the series of Academy Award winning Rocky movies.

    Rocky's "Red, White and Bruised" marketing campaign features a multi-million dollar combination of innovative grass roots marketing, highly visible online, print, radio and TV advertising and PR leading up to its November launch and continuing through January 2003. Rocky will launch for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube(TM), and Nintendo GameBoy(R) Advance in November.

    -- Xbox - Tuesday, November 12th
    -- GameCube and GBA - Thursday, November 14th
    -- PS2 - Tuesday, November 19th

    "Rocky is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and we felt supporting such a huge brand required a multi-tiered marketing approach," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "The combination of advertising, PR and grass roots marketing are the one-two-three combination that will compliment Rocky's built-in brand awareness and the fun, adrenaline-pumping gameplay of the Rocky game itself."

    Rocky Mania Thanksgiving Day Weekend

    The highlight of the Rocky marketing blitz is the million dollar television advertising campaign that kicks off Thanksgiving Day weekend. The comedic :15 second spots will air in all major markets naionwide through November and December. The television visibility will coincide with a radio advertising and promotional campaign, together potentially reaching more than 100 million consumers. Rocky's marketing blitz also features new, innovative programs utilizing viral and online mediums. In November, Ubi Soft will sponsor an Editor FIGHT NIGHT with one of the most visited online gaming Web sites, IGN.com. The FIGHT NIGHT will feature a Rocky knockout tournament against IGN's editorial staff when the game launches in November.

    Grass Roots

    The strength of Rocky's brand lies in its popularity with the men, women and children who grew up watching the movies and building the Rocky legend. Naturally, a strong grass roots marketing push was a perfect opportunity to reach out to those same fans across the country, and introduce them to the Rocky videogames. Ubi Soft launched an innovative, online grass roots campaign in November targeting more than 500 different boxing enthusiast and boxing video game sites. Additionally, Rocky was part of two nationwide mall tours - Summer and Winter - hitting top markets across the country. People from San Francisco to New York were able to experience the fun and excitement of the Rocky games months before launch.

    Media Critics Praise Rocky

    Additionally, since Ubi Soft announced its deal with developer, Rage Games, LTD, at E3 2002, it has executed an aggressive PR and print enthusiast advertising campaign. The tremendous positive reactions from editorial influencers have fuelled building excitement for the title. Official Xbox Magazine hailed Rocky's "graphics look astonishing, with some of the best movie-to-polygon translations yet seen." Additionally, Official PlayStation Magazine exclaimed, "We love this game because the boxing more closely resembles the sport than anything before it!" IGN's PS2 editor exclaimed Rocky is "among the best boxing games I've ever played, and while it's all a matter of personal opinion I would easily rank it alongside titles like Greatest Heavyweights, Super Punch-Out, and Muhammed Ali's Heavyweight Boxing."

    "In the UK, our reviews have received tremendous scores of 9 and 10 out of 10 from gaming publications, and consistently sold out in many store locations - creating an instant success and boxing phenomenon in Europe," said Glen O'Connell, director of communications for Rage Games, LTD. "We know Rocky will experience similar spectacular success with American gamers."

    TDK Ships Shrek Super Party
    Steve @ 6:05 PM EST
    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – Nov. 14, 2002 – TDK Mediactive, Inc., a global publisher of entertainment software, announced today that Shrek® Super Party has shipped for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The party genre title will be available at major retail outlets throughout North America, including Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Target.

    As the fun-filled title reaches store shelves, a multi-tiered marketing campaign will launch in support of the new game, highlighted by a feature segment on the TDK Times Square video board. The video piece will debut on November 14 and run continuously throughout the holiday season, concluding on December 31.

    “Party games have always been must-haves for console gamers and Shrek® Super Party is one of the best,” said Stefan Serwe, vice president of marketing, TDK Mediactive. “The numerous mini-games are easy to learn and a lot of fun to play. The mini-games deliver something for everyone with their many different types of gameplay and all are full of the comedy and charm of the original Shrek® movie.”

    Fast-paced fun and multi-player action come to the living room in Shrek® Super Party, an ogre-iffic party game for the entire family. Up to four players can take part simultaneously, all competing to win the most bug juice and have their ultimate wish granted. Players can choose from their favorite characters, including Shrek®, Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad, Donkey, Monsieur Hood and Thelonious.

    As the player(s) progress through the game, they must compete against each other or computer opponents in mini-games along the way. The 30+ mini-games include challenges ranging from outrunning the dangerous “Dragon’s Breath,” to sinking one another in the “Lilly Pad Leap,” to working in tandem to stop the “Castle Crumble,” to catapulting vegetables for points in the “Food Fling.”

    Shrek® Super Party features two game play modes:

  • Tournament – The full virtual board game with integrated mini-games for up to four players.
  • Free-for-All – Players can jump right in and play the mini-games only.

    Worldwide sales of TDK’s Shrek® interactive titles have been highly successful, exceeding 1.2 million units across four platforms to date (Xbox, Game Boy® Advance, Game Boy® Color and PC CD ROM).

    Wednesday, November 13, 2002

    Splinter Cell Goes Gold!
    Steve @ 3:36 PM EST
    Game fans everywhere are excited to learn that today the hottest title to hit the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft this holiday season, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(tm), has gone gold. Developed by Ubi Soft Entertainment's Montreal studio, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has won numerous awards including the E3 Game Critics Award for best action game and the ECTS overall best game of the show award. The game received a 9.6, the highest review score ever given by Official Xbox Magazine, earning it an Editor's Choice Award. According to the editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly, "Splinter Cell will change the way people look at video games."

    "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell sets a new standard for games," explained Ubi Soft Vice President of Marketing Tony Kee. "Ubi Soft is proud to offer the ultimate game experience, combining a new level of player autonomy with incredible visuals to deliver a game that stands miles beyond the competition."

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is the latest addition to Ubi Soft's top selling Tom Clancy line, which also includes the award-winning Tom Clancy Ghost Recon(tm) and Rainbow Six(tm) game franchises.

    Storyline:
    You are Sam Fisher. A lone shadow-operative in a world where lost seconds can allow terrorist plans to become deadly reality. You operate in the heart of hostile territory. Spy. Steal. Destroy. Assassinate. Just don't ever be seen. Because when the stakes are this high, the choice between leaving a witness or a corpse is no choice at all. When two CIA agents mysteriously vanish in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the NSA's secret sub agency, Third Echelon, deploys Sam Fisher-its most capable splinter cell operative-to recover them. Fisher soon uncovers a deeper conspiracy: a plot that threatens to destabilize the world order and spark nuclear conflict.

    Details:

  • Covert stealth-action featuring a compelling original storyline and characters inspired by the world of Tom Clancy and endorsed by the famous author.
  • Revolutionary lighting, shadowing, animation, physics, and sound effects create an astonishingly realistic tension-filled experience.
  • Diverse stealth techniques including sniping, split jumping, zip lining, rappelling, and using human shields bring gameplay possibilities to a new level.
  • Experimental intelligence gadgets (night/thermal vision goggles, prototype weapons and surveillance gear, etc.) give Fisher the edge against his enemies.

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ships only for Xbox November 18, 2002. It carries a "T" (Teen) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at 49.99.

    Acclaim Ships BMX XXX
    Steve @ 1:41 PM EST
    GLEN COVE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2002--

    Hottest Title of 2002 Available Now In More Than 15,000 Stores Nationwide; More Than 2,000 BMX Tricks, Hilarious Characters, Outrageous In-Game Events and Beautiful Women of `Scores' Mark Exciting New Era in Interactive Entertainment

    The wait is finally over for the hottest, most talked about video game of the year, as AKA Acclaim, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., today announced that it has shipped BMX XXX for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. Currently available in more than 15,000 stores nationwide, BMX XXX is a satirical romp in the style of such popular films as "American Pie" and was designed specifically for today's predominantly mature gaming audience.

    "BMX XXX marks a groundbreaking moment in interactive entertainment that illustrates how video games have gotten older and capable of delivering pure entertainment on par with feature films and television," said Ben Fischbach, Senior Brand Manager for AKA Acclaim. "We are thrilled to launch this title, which we believe will be a `must-have' for Xbox owners this holiday season."

    From the pages of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today, to the national broadcast audiences of "CNN" and "The Howard Stern Show," BMX XXX has quickly become the hottest video game of the year. BMX XXX combines outrageous Hollywood humor and characters, beautiful women from New York's famous Scores club, incredible arcade action and a dynamic soundtrack from today's top recording artists to deliver an unparalleled interactive entertainment experience. The version for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system has been edited to eliminate the topless nudity, while versions for Xbox and Nintendo GameCube(TM) will contain topless nudity.

    BMX XXX is currently available for Xbox at a suggested retail price of $49.99. The game will be available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Nintendo GameCube(TM) on November 18 and November 29, respectively, each at suggested retail prices of $49.99. In order to ensure that consumers have their copy the day the game ships, the Company encourages consumers to pre-order BMX XXX or visit any of the 15,000 authorized nationwide retail outlets carrying the product. For more information on BMX XXX, please visit http://www.bmxxxx.com

    Crystal Method Provides Song for Splinter Cell
    Steve @ 1:39 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2002--Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced today that The Crystal Method provided their song, "Name of the Game," to the highly anticipated video game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(TM). The third person stealth-action video game, slated to be one of the hottest holiday titles of the season, delves into the dark shadows of cyber-terrorism, shadow agencies, and covert operations. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is scheduled for release November 18 on the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    "We were blown away when we got a glimpse of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell," said Ken Jorday, member of The Crystal Method. "Scott (Kirkland, other member of The Crystal Method) and I are very hyped that `Name of the Game' was chosen to be included on this project."

    "Name of the Game" was nominated for a 2002 MTV Video Music Award. The Crystal Method also received the Best Act Award at the first DancestarUSA Music Awards. The band recently released their debut mix CD, "Community Service," which contains tracks/remixes by groups like Garbage, Hybrid, Ils, P.O.D., Plump DJ's and Rage Against the Machine. More information about The Crystal Method can be found at http://www.thecrystalmethod.com

    "The Crystal Method gave us something really cool with Name of the Game," said Tony Kee, vice president of Ubi Soft Entertainment. "The song's high energy and driving beat will get players pumped to play Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell."

    Developed by Ubi Soft Entertainment's Montreal studio and shipping exclusively for the Xbox and PC, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has won numerous awards including the E3 Game Critics Award for best action game and the ECTS overall best game of the show award. The tension-filled stealth action espionage thriller also earned the highest game review score ever given by Official Xbox Magazine -- a 9.6, which earned it an Editor's Choice Award. (Official Xbox Magazine December, 2002).

    Tuesday, November 12, 2002

    Ghost Recon Hits Store Shelves
    Steve @ 1:37 PM EST
    Official Xbox Magazine's Editor's Choice Winner Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon(tm) Ships for Xbox

    Most Anticipated Online Game on Xbox Live Hits Store Shelves Soon

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 12, 2002 - Round up your comrades, Xbox(tm) game fans! Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest game publishers is pleased to announce that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon(tm), is on its way to United States store shelves today. Enabled for online play, this tactical battlefield game is expected to be one of the biggest hits on Microsoft's Xbox Live(tm) online game service.

    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was IGN PC (www.ign.com) and PC Gamer's PC Game of the Year, (2001) and the Xbox version will not disappoint. To leverage the power of Xbox, new features and special effects only available on the Xbox platform have been added. These include new lighting, animation, effects and sound that have been worked into the game to broaden the intensity and experience for the Xbox gamer. Furthermore, Ghost Recon pushes Xbox Live to the limit offering everything from multiplayer online play to voice communication capabilities. Official Xbox Magazine, the voice of the Xbox community, has already recognized Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (Xbox) with an Editor's Choice award.

    "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon brings a new level of sophistication to console gameplay," said Ubi Soft Vice President of Marketing Tony Kee. "Through Xbox Live, gamers can talk to one another and engage in cooperative missions using the Xbox Communicator. It's cooperative battle Tom Clancy style-nothing is more realistic." Realism is the hallmark of the award-winning Tom Clancy games, which also include the popular Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six(tm) series and the much-anticipated Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(tm).

    Storyline:
    Eastern Europe, 2008. War has broken out on the borders of Russia and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. That's when the call goes out for the Ghosts - an elite handful of specially trained Green Berets, armed with the latest technology and trained to use the deadliest weapons. Their mission: Spearhead the way for a NATO peacekeeping force and keep the lid on the conflict before it mushrooms.

    Special Features:

  • ALL THE REALISM, SWEAT, AND FEAR FROM THE GAME OF THE YEAR*, with 15 missions, dozens of weapons, and new secrets to unlock!

  • XBOX LIVE BRINGS THE BATTLEFIELD TO LIFE! - Assemble a squad, plunge into battle, and use voice communication to coordinate the ultimate battlefield strategy!

  • MULTIPLAYER WARFARE - Xbox Live Multiplayer, split-screen and system link: Gather up to 16 players to fight against each other in 9 adversarial modes or team up to combat the relentless AI forces.

  • SQUAD-BASED COMBAT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM - Lead your teams through each map in Mission, Firefight, or Recon modes.

  • WEAPONS: Standard and special issue weapons like the M16A2, the M4 carbine and the fearsome and deadly OICW.

  • GAMEPLAY: The total combat experience that teaches a deadly, realistic lesson in how to fight on tomorrow's battlefields.

    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon carries an "M" (Mature) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at $49.99

    Rocky Ships Nationwide
    Steve @ 1:31 PM EST
    Rocky "Gonna Fly" Off Retail Shelves

    San Francisco, CA - November 12, 2002 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's leading videogame publishers, today announced Rocky for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft has shipped. Developed by UK-based Rage Games, LTD, Rocky lets gamers relive each dramatic fight and memorable moment from the Rocky through Rocky V movies. Rocky is rated "T-Teen" and is available on Xbox for a suggested retail price of $49.99.

    "Rocky is a pop culture icon for millions of people, now a new generation can experience this memorable hero that made movie history and inspired Americans," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Through the power of the Xbox, Rocky captures the emotion and adrenaline-pumping action of the movies to perfection!"

    Undisputed Boxing Champion of the World!
    Officially licensed by MGM Interactive, Rocky the videogame is the closest fans can get to the real thing. The hard-hitting, adrenaline-pumping, sports game holds true to the look and feel of the Academy Award® winning movies with everything from accurate boxing styles to gritty arenas. Rocky lets players take on the role of the 'Italian Stallion' who must fight against the most infamous opponents in movie history - Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Tommy Gunn. Rocky features more than 20 individual fighters pulled straight from the movies, plus special hidden characters including Rocky's trainer 'Mickey.' Rocky also features realistic damage including bruises, facial swellings, blood, sweat and tears as the action heats up. Additional game features include:

  • Multiple Gameplay Modes -- a variety of single and multi-player game modes, including: Movie Mode, Knockout Tournament and Exhibition Bout
  • Build Skills through Training - play through a variety of training modes to enhance your boxer's skill and stamina
  • Rocky-style Boxing Action -- players can utilize more than 250 fight moves ranging from attacking hooks, jabs and uppercuts through to defensive blocks, ducks and weaves
  • Famous Locations - varied fight locations from rundown gyms to the world's best-known arenas

    Monday, November 11, 2002

    Dragon's Lair 3D Goes Gold
    Steve @ 6:23 PM EST
    Dirk the Daring Returns in an All-New, 3D Adventure for the Xbox and PC

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 11, 2002 - Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair has gone gold for the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft and the PC. Developed by Dragonstone Software, Dragon's Lair 3D features the same fun, pick-up-and-play gameplay that made the arcade version a blockbuster hit in 1983. Now gamers will be able to experience Dragon's Lair 3D with the highest quality graphics and sound available today. The game is targeted to launch for both versions on November 18.

    The Legend Continues!
    True to the classic arcade phenomenon, Dragon's Lair sets players against the menacing dragon Singe and the evil wizard Mordroc to save the beautiful Princess Daphne. With full control of Dirk the Daring, a valiant but clumsy knight, Dragon's Lair 3D players fight their way through the castle's treacherous, labyrinthine-like halls to overcome new monsters and obstacles lurking in the shadows. Incredible new gameplay includes jumping over flaming pits, climbing ropes to fly across chasms, and battling swarms of the wizard's minions with Dirk's sword and crossbow. Other game features include:

  • 18 large, detailed, action-packed levels featuring more than 40 environments to explore and 250+ rooms with numerous puzzles, traps, power-ups and hidden secrets to uncover
  • A real-time, 3D modeled and hand painted, textured world features new next-generation visuals
  • The first Xbox title to feature 1080i High Definition TV graphics mode, along with 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen support
  • New intro and ending movies hand-animated by legendary animator Don Bluth

    Dr. Muto Now Shipping
    Steve @ 1:39 PM EST
    Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that Dr. Muto(TM), an all-new fully 3-D action-adventure videogame, has shipped for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. Dr. Muto is expected to ship for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) in December and for the Game Boy(R) Advance in 2003.
    Redefining the image of the proverbial "mad scientist," players take on the role of Dr. Muto, a maniacal genius whose latest experiment accidentally destroyed his home planet, except for his laboratory. Now, the mad doctor must rebuild his decimated world by harvesting resources from other nearby planets, while dashing through a stylized universe -- encountering deadly challenges, freakish monstrosities, and battling his arch nemesis, the evil Professor Burnital.
    Gamers assume the role of Dr. Muto and forge through vast levels on four distinct planetscapes: from the junkyard world of Totltec, to the half-drowned water world of Aquem, through the smog-choked skies of Flotos, and finally the forbidden mines of Mazon. Armed with his newest invention -- the Splizz-gun -- Dr. Muto morphs himself into a variety of DNA spliced-up creatures including an alien-spider, miniature mouse and hulking gorilla. By morphing, Dr. Muto gains each creature's abilities and physical attributes -- such as clinging to webs, squeezing into tight spaces and breathing underwater -- all to better crush, outwit and outlast his enemies.
    "Once inside Dr. Muto's insane world, gamers will go mad morphing and mutating into various creatures in the quest for universal supremacy over Dr. Muto's arch nemesis," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway.

    Dr. Muto Key Features:


  • Morph into five strange creatures from a gorilla to a spider using Dr. Muto's Splizz-gun to accomplish tasks no human could achieve alone
  • Explore 22 levels through four different worlds as players harvest resources and steal DNA to rebuild their home planet
  • Experiment with the fauna found throughout each world to complete DNA formulas needed to morph into five different creatures, each with unique abilities
  • Assemble and use fiendish devices, weapons and other gadgets that only Dr. Muto could invent
  • Use each world's native Gomer -- genetically engineered slaves
    to trigger switches, activate puzzles and for any other purpose Dr. Muto deems necessary
  • Overcome more than a dozen different enemy types including cybernetically modified robo-dogs, rent-a-cops and heavily armed security droids
  • Ready yourself for a full-on fight with the chief boss of each world before battling face-to-face with your arch nemesis, the evil Professor Burnital, for universal supremacy
  • DVD content includes a behind-the-scenes interview with the development team and a feature on the evolution of Dr. Muto's unique look

    Midway Games Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment software. Midway videogames are available for play on all major videogame platforms including the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance.
    For more information about Midway Games and Dr. Muto visit http://www.drmuto.midway.com

    Pulse Racer Exclusive to Xbox
    Steve @ 1:33 PM EST
    Buffalo, NY (Nov. 8, 2002) - Jaleco Entertainment brings the future of combat racing exclusively to the Xbox video game system from Microsoft with its latest title, Pulse Racer.

    Due in early December, this sleek racer is set in a European urban wonderland where racers careen through futuristic tracks, using the weight of their own bodies and high-tech tools like plasma beams to gain an advantage over the competition. Pulse Racer offers INFINITRAX , a unique, limitless track editing system, that allows players to create any number of custom-tailored tracks to be stored, altered and shared. The INIFINITRAX track generator is one of several hidden game features unlocked by earning racing points. As more points are scored, the player gains more control over track customization.

    "We really simplified the process of operating the track customization feature," said Quincy Roach, producer of Pulse Racer for Jaleco Entertainment. "Using INFINITRAX with the Xbox hard drive and Memory Unit, you can load, copy and trade tracks with your friends. No other racing game on Xbox allows you to do that."

    Pulse Racer also features a pulse-monitoring system for the racer - accelerate too hard and the driver flat-lines, losing precious moments in a game of speed and style. Full body weight shifting of the driver maximizes speed and control. Shoot the plasma beams at the suspended orbs to slingshot around corners. Up to four players can race at once on the Xbox split-screen.

    Developed and published by Jaleco Entertainment, Pulse Racer was designed using Xbox hardware features such as per-pixel lighting, bump mapping and anti-aliasing to enhance the racer's experience.

    Pulse Racer is rated E for Everyone. For more information on Pulse Racer, visit http://www.jaleco.com

    Mario on XBOX?
    Rob @ 2:25 AM EST
    This isn't exactly XBOX news, but when I caught wind of this rumor I just had to pass it along. Much like Sega, it seems that Nintendo is unable to keep up financially with Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo's top developers like Rare have left Nintendo's camp and headed elsewhere. Considering the state of their current financial position, Nintendo themselves have admitted that it would be more profitable and a better business decesion to become a 3rd party developer. Does this mean that the GameCube will be Nintendo's last system? Will we see Mario on the XBOX or one of Microsoft's future systems? No one knows for sure, but anything is possible. Could you have ever imagined Sonic on a Nintendo system ten years ago? Well, as the past has showed us, anything can and eventually will happen.

    Friday, November 8, 2002

    New Third Person Fighting; Stake on Xbox
    Steve @ 7:31 PM EST
    Stake is the ultimate third person, multi-player 3-D arena fighting game exclusively for the XboxTM video game system from Microsoft. It boasts a deep action combat experience, intriguing characters and superior graphics. This game represents the essential elements of a fighting game but goes beyond that with multiple power-up weapons, lots of collectable items, insane combo attacks, special tricks, secret characters, inspiring graphics, 3-D isometric camera views, exciting locations and multiple multi-player modes.

    The concept of the game is to compete with each other and only the craziest and dangerous of competitors reap the cash reward every two years. Now it's Stake time again and everyone is ready for this year's match-up for which Stake competitors will receive riches, fame and command the respect of all who dare defeat them. Three modes of play include Death Match, Team Death Match and Castle Mode.

    Up to four players can compete simultaneously in split-screen combat and the anime-designed characters really bring a unique style to Stake. Players attack the enemy with interactive items including grenades, ice, gasses, hot oil, flaming statues, rocks, and more.

    Features

  • Exclusive 4-player 3rd Person 3-dimensional Combat for Microsoft Xbox
  • Death Match, Team Death Match and Castle Modes
  • Play as nine characters, each with different attacks, defense, speed and special "anger" power levels
  • Four-player split-screen combat
  • Tons of attacks and magic powers exclusive to each character
  • Attack with interactive items: Grenades, ice, gasses, hot oil, flaming statues, rocks and more
  • Castle Mode: Race to light Sacred Flames on your opponents castle
  • Great Xbox-specific textures and effects: 4,000 polygon characters, realistic real-time lighting and shadows, very smooth camera and animation

    The developer of Stake, Gameness Art Software, Inc. was established in August 2000 in Taipei, Taiwan. Gameness Art Software develops real-time 3-dimensional video games for the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation® 2, Nintendo® GameCube® and Personal Computer. The Company is made up of game designers and engineers with years of experience in the video game industry.

    New Ghost Recon Screens
    Steve @ 5:39 PM EST
    Check out the latest screens for Ghost Recon! Ghost Recon is Xbox Live playable, and comes out next week.

    Ghost Recon Screen Gallery

    Kemco Launches US Website
    Steve @ 2:34 AM EST
    Bellevue, WA – November 7, 2002 - Japan-based videogame publisher Kemco, announced the launch of its U.S. website www.kemcogames.com. Publishing and developing games since 1984, Kemco teams are currently creating games for Nintendo GameBoy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

    Kemco’s current projects include Batman: Dark Tomorrow and Woody Woodpecker In Crazy Castle 5, both due out in Q1 2003. Batman: Dark Tomorrow, the first-ever Batman next gen console videogame to be based on the DC Comics license, is promising to feature the Dark Knight Detective he’s never been seen before. Additional game information can be found at http://www.kemcogames.com

    Thursday, November 7, 2002

    Medal of Honor: Frontline Ships
    Steve @ 2:16 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 7, 2002--Storm the beaches of Normandy to defeat the dreaded Nazi scourge. Electronic Arts announced today that Medal of Honor Frontline(TM), the highly acclaimed first person shooter where players travel from the shores of France to the heart of Nazi Germany, has shipped for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    In this latest installment of the award-winning Medal of Honor(TM) series, Lt. Patterson returns and must use the confusion of the real-world offensive Operation Market Garden to infiltrate the German frontline and steal the HO-IX flying wing, an experimental Nazi weapon so powerful that it could turn the tide of World War II. The player will choose from a cache of weapons in their quest to steal the HO-IX flying wing. Players can select a single-player experience or battle friends head-to-head in the split-screen multi-player mode for up to 4 players.

    Medal of Honor Frontline for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox consoles carries a "T"(Teen) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at US MSRP $49.99. Medal of Honor Frontline was developed by EALA.

    We Hit 50 Reviews!
    Steve @ 2:15 PM EST
    With our review of Sega GT 2002, we now have 50 reviews available for you to view. We only want to continue and reach as many quality reviews as possible. Look for reviews of Shenmue II, Hitman 2, Deathrow, and Silent Hill 2 very soon. Thank you, and enjoy!

    Zapper Promotional Video
    Steve @ 1:32 PM EST
    Check out the latest Zapper Trailer/Movie. Zapper is now available nationwide.

    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_quick_low.html
    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_quick_high.html
    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_real_low.html
    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_real_high.html
    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_windows_low.html
    http://www.electricartists.com/zapper/turtle_windows_high.html

    Ms. BMX XXX Contest Announced
    Steve @ 1:29 PM EST
    GLEN COVE, NY, November 7, 2002 - The nationwide search is on for the woman worthy of the title Ms. BMX XXX, as AKA Acclaim, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., today announced an online contest in support of its eagerly anticipated November release BMX XXX. To enter the contest, entrants must visit the game's official web site www.bmxxxx.com and submit a digital picture of themselves, which will be voted on by the site's visitors. One lucky winner will be officially crowned Ms. BMX XXX and flown to New York City with a guest and escorted to the world famous Scores club by "Gary" and "K.C." of "The Howard Stern Show." For more details on the contest, consumers can tune into "The Howard Stern Show" beginning on Monday, November 11.

    "BMX XXX is the most talked about video game of the holiday season and we're looking for that one special person who embodies its outrageous over-the-top entertainment experience," said Ben Fischbach, Senior Brand Manager for AKA Acclaim. "We're confident that consumers will have fun exercising their right to vote by helping us crown Ms. BMX XXX."

    Acclaim's contest is open to legal residents of the United States, who must be 18 years of age or older. Entries deemed obscene, defamatory, offensive or otherwise inappropriate will be disqualified, in the sole discretion of the Company. Official contest rules and requirements can be found at www.bmxxxx.com.

    The first action sports video game designed specifically for audiences over the age of 17, BMX XXX is one of the most talked about titles for this holiday season. Combining outrageous Hollywood humor and characters, beautiful women from New York's famous Scores club, incredible arcade action and a dynamic soundtrack from today's top recording artists, BMX XXX will deliver an unparalleled interactive entertainment experience. The version for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has been edited to eliminate the topless nudity, while versions for XboxÔ and Nintendo GameCubeÔ will contain topless nudity.

    BMX XXX will be available on November 15 for XboxÔ and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system at suggested retail prices of $49.99. The game will be available in mid-November for the Nintendo GameCubeÔ at a suggested retail price of $49.99. In order to ensure that consumers have their copy the day the game ships, the Company encourages consumers to pre-order BMX XXX or visit any of the 15,000 authorized nationwide retail outlets carrying the product. For more information on BMX XXX, please visit http://www.bmxxxx.com

    Xbox Live Title Ghost Recon In Gold Status
    Steve @ 12:29 AM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA., November 6, 2002 -Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest game publishers, is pleased to announce that the eagerly awaited Xbox Live(tm) title Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon(tm) has mastered, achieving gold status. Expected to be the hottest title on Microsoft's Xbox Live online game service, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (Xbox) has already earned an Editor's Choice award from Official Xbox Magazine.

    "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon will rock console gaming to its core," said Tony Kee, Vice President of Marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Ghost Recon showcases Xbox Live by creating a very realistic game play experience. Gamers can talk to one another and plan out strategies or develop maneuvers using the Xbox Communicator, tackle missions cooperatively, or challenge and advance in rank as they complete their missions. The result is a true-to-life battlefield experience that will leave gamers winded from nonstop combat action!"

    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was IGN PC's (www.ign.com) and PC Gamer's PC Game of the Year (2001) and the Xbox version builds on that strong foundation. To leverage the power of Xbox, new features and special effects only available on the Xbox platform have been added: new lighting, animation, effects and sound that have been worked into the game to broaden the intensity and experience for the Xbox gamer. Realism is the hallmark of the award-winning Tom Clancy games, which also include the popular Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six(tm) series and the much-anticipated Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(tm).

    Storyline:
    Eastern Europe, 2008. War has broken out on the borders of Russia and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. That's when the call goes out for the Ghosts - an elite handful of specially-trained Green Berets, armed with the latest technology and trained to use the deadliest weapons. Their mission: Spearhead the way for a NATO peacekeeping force and keep the lid on the conflict before it mushrooms.

    Special Features:

  • ALL THE REALISM, SWEAT, AND FEAR FROM THE GAME OF THE YEAR*, with 15 missions, dozens of weapons, and new secrets to unlock!

  • XBOX LIVE BRINGS THE BATTLEFIELD TO LIFE! - Assemble a squad, plunge into battle, and use voice communication to coordinate the ultimate battlefield strategy!

  • MULTIPLAYER WARFARE - Xbox Live Multiplayer, split-screen and system link: Gather up to 16 players to fight against each other in 9 adversarial modes or team up to combat the relentless AI forces.

  • SQUAD-BASED COMBAT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM - Lead your teams through each map in Mission, Firefight, or Recon modes.

  • WEAPONS: Standard and special issue weapons like the M16A2, the M4 carbine and the fearsome and deadly OICW.

  • GAMEPLAY: The total combat experience that teaches a deadly, realistic lesson in how to fight on tomorrow's battlefields.

    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon carries an "M" (Mature) rating from the ESRB and will be priced at $49.99

    BMX XXX Has Gone Gold
    Steve @ 12:02 AM EST
    GLEN COVE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2002--The holiday season is quickly heating up, as AKA Acclaim, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., today announced that its eagerly anticipated release, BMX XXX, has "gone gold" and into manufacturing for its November 15 launch for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    "With the launch of BMX XXX less than two weeks away, consumer anticipation is at a feverish level," said Ben Fischbach, Senior Brand Manager for AKA Acclaim. "We believe that this will be a `must-have' title for Xbox owners this holiday season."

    The first action sports video game designed specifically for audiences over the age of 17, BMX XXX is one of the most talked about titles for this holiday season. Combining outrageous Hollywood humor and characters, beautiful women from New York's famous Scores club, incredible arcade action and a dynamic soundtrack from today's top recording artists, BMX XXX will deliver an unparalleled interactive entertainment experience. The version for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system has been edited to eliminate the topless nudity, while versions for Xbox(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) will contain topless nudity.

    BMX XXX will be available on November 15 for Xbox(TM) and the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system at suggested retail prices of $49.99. The game will be available in mid-November for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) at a suggested retail price of $49.99. In order to ensure that consumers have their copy the day the game ships, the Company encourages consumers to pre-order BMX XXX or visit any of the 15,000 authorized nationwide retail outlets carrying the product. For more information on BMX XXX, please visit http://www.bmxxxx.com

    Tuesday, November 5, 2002

    21 New Zapper Screens
    Steve @ 3:08 PM EST
    Since Zapper is shipping this week, here are 21 screen shots that we hope you enjoy.

    Zapper Screen Gallery

    Electronic Arts Ships FIFA Soccer 2003
    Steve @ 2:18 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 5, 2002--Better get back in training. Electronic Arts announces the release today of FIFA Soccer 2003, the world's number one selling soccer video game. The game will ship on six platforms with FIFA Soccer 2003 for the Game Boy(R) Advance shipping on November 12.

    A game developed by soccer players, for soccer players, Electronic Arts (EA) created the EA SPORTS(TM) Soccer Council comprised of stars Landon Donovan, Edgar Davids, Ryan Giggs, and Roberto Carlos. All four athletes were involved in the development process, contributing feedback from a player's perspective in order to ensure that FIFA Soccer 2003 mirrors the world of soccer in both its look and feel.

    FIFA Soccer 2003 offers users the broadest, most authentic representation of world soccer. An official game of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), it also offers over 175 additional licensed entities, including 16 leagues, 450 teams, and 10,000 players.

    With a new game engine, this year's game offers total ball control, new ball physics and dribbling models. The addition of Club Championship Mode, comprised of 18 of Europe's greatest club teams, offers intense friendly and tournament competition, big match atmosphere, the world's top players, the most famous stadiums, and soccer's liveliest fans. Also new to FIFA Soccer 2003, the EA SPORTS(TM) Freestyle Control gives the user total control over their player in order to deke past an opponent.

    A first in franchise history, FIFA Soccer 2003 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft allows users to select their language preference with a choice between English or Spanish, including localized commentary game menus. All other platforms but Nintendo GameCube(TM) will include Spanish menus.

    Midway Ships Defender
    Steve @ 3:05 AM EST
    Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that Defender®, an all-new 3-D version of the popular 1980s arcade classic, has shipped for the XboxTM video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCubeTM and will ship on Thursday, Nov. 7th for the Game Boy® Advance. Defender is also currently available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

    Defender offers players the ultimate in next-generation high-octane action with strategic elements that start where the original Defender left off. In this all-new version, players must battle an onslaught of vicious aliens as they assume the controls of next-generation combat-ready Defender ships to strategically pilot through more than 20 challenging missions spanning the solar system. Defender players execute dynamic tactical maneuvers such as barrel rolls, 360-degree loops and spinning reversals to evade the enemy.

    "This all-new remake of the Defender classic will impress longtime Defender fans as well as next-generation videogamers," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway.

    To add to the high-octane action, rhythmic sensation KMFDM contributed a track entitled "Defender," a remake of Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra," prominently known as the theme song from the 1968 movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." The band's energetic live shows and sound, which artfully incorporates a lot of explosive, metallic elements into one mix, complements the exciting space combat-action gameplay found in Defender. Black Black Records' Trigger also recorded an original techno song, "Vaunt," for the game. The two-piece combo of Todd Crumn and Janed Todd focus their music on a full, beat-driven sound that aims to conjure a different mood, memory or idea.

    In addition, Commander Mei Kyoto, a fledgling Defender pilot, is the voice of renowned actress/singer Traci Elizabeth Lords. Lords is a dynamic performer who has appeared in theatrical films such as "Blade," John Waters' "Cry-Baby" and "Serial Mom," as well as in television series "First Wave," "Melrose Place" and the Stephen King miniseries "The Tommyknockers." Music from her acclaimed techno CD "1000 Fires" has been featured on the soundtracks for "Mortal Kombat®" and "Virtuosity."

    Featuring a new view perspective with a fully 3-D, third-person chase camera, Defender drops players into the explosive action of an alien invasion where they must combine strategic elements with speed and control to outwit the enemy. Ship upgrades are also available with various power-ups including shields, advanced weapons and hyperspace technology, which allows players to strategically relocate the ship to one of several predetermined locations to aid in defeating the aliens. Aliens can be taken head-on in single-player campaign mode or defeated with a friend in the two-player, cooperative campaign mode as you deploy an arsenal of weapons such as a grenade launcher, fast-lock missile launcher, fireball launcher and gas launcher.

    Defender's DVD content offers a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the game with in-depth interviews featuring project director/designer George Collins and producer Matt Candler discussing their experiences remaking the arcade classic for next-generation consoles. Also included is a narrated history of Defender, from its arcade roots to the present, including an interview with its original creator. Additionally, featured in the DVD are "Coming Soon" trailers for Midway's upcoming titles.

    Features:

  • Multiple Game Modes - Single-player campaign mode and two-player (co-op) campaign mode
  • A New View Perspective - Defender is fully 3-D and is played from a third-person chase camera perspective. This gives the player the ultimate in speed and control as they pilot their ship to victory against the alien invaders
  • Instant Action - The controls in Defender are straightforward, making it intuitive in picking up the game and starting Defender training. Weapons are precise and advanced players can use special tactical maneuvers via button combos such as barrel rolls, reverses, etc.
  • Plan Your Attack - The new Defender starts where the old left off. In addition to saving humans and killing aliens, there are tanks and other ground units to position (both defensive and offensive) and bases to defend. Now humans become more than just a body to save - they are a resource to manage
  • Ship Upgrades - Upgrade your ship in between missions - receive upgrades for lives saved. During missions, players can earn multiple power-ups including: shields, advanced weapons and hyperspace technology
  • Advanced Weapons - Utilize more than 30 explosive weapons to aid in squashing aliens and accomplishing missions, such as fast-lock missile launcher, salvo missile launcher, fireball launcher and gas launcher
  • Features an exclusive bonus level unique to the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions
  • Licensed Music - Explosive music from KMFDM and Trigger
  • DVD content includes in-depth discussions with developers, a narrated history of Defender and "Coming Soon" trailers of new Midway titles

    Monday, November 4, 2002

    WWE Raw 2 Info & Features
    Steve @ 2:43 PM EST
    Experience the most brutal wrestling action ever seen backed by the power of the Xbox. World Wrestling Raw 2 explodes into the ring with more than 45 of the toughest World Wrestling Superstars including, The RockTM, Hollywood Hulk Hogan®, and The Undertaker®. Exclusive to the Xbox video game console from Microsoft and developed by Anchor, Raw 2 captures the look and feel of World Wrestling with highly detailed graphics and authentic TV-style presentation complete with Superstar ring entrances and theme music

    Features:

  • Updated roster featuring even more World Wrestling Superstars including, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Rob Van DamTM, DDPTM, Ric FlairTM, the nWo and many more!
  • Multiple match types including Triple Threat, Fatal 4 Way, Battle Royal, King of the Ring and Tables, Ladders and Chairs
  • Compete in a multiplayer season mode with up to four players controlling their Superstar and vying for the World Wrestling Championship!
  • Enhanced gameplay and control scheme
  • Exclusive to the Xbox, rip your favorite music tracks to the hard drive to create the ultimate Superstar entrance!
  • Updated Create-a-Superstar mode
  • Compete in a variety of backstage areas
  • TV style presentation with fully scaled arenas, dynamic lighting and 3D crowds

    Friday, November 1, 2002

    Booster Disc for Sega GT 2002
    Steve @ 7:53 PM EST
    In the most recent OXM (Dec'02), the back page states that there will be an OXM-exclusive booster disc for SEGA GT 2002 in the next issue (Jan '02). According to the mag, the disc will feature 1 new car and 1 new track that you can add on to your SEGA GT 2002 retail copy. Awesome!

    Shenmue II is Waiting for You
    Steve @ 5:15 PM EST
    The wait is over! Fans of the original “Shenmue™” can now continue the epic journey of Ryo Hazuki with “Shenmue II,” the highly anticipated adventure game developed by SEGA® of America Inc. exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft Corp. Available in stores today, “Shenmue II” offers all the elements of a great movie: drama, mystery, suspense and action, as well as a unique gameplay experience that seamlessly blends elements of action, adventure, fighting and role-playing. The game is packaged with the “Shenmue: The Movie” DVD, which will help refresh veteran gamers’ memories and get new gamers caught up on everything that happened in the game’s first installment.

    “Shenmue II” was developed by SEGA-AM2 Co. Ltd., a SEGA development studio, under the direction of world-renowned video game developer Yu Suzuki. In “Shenmue II,” players assume the role of Ryo Hazuki, a young man determined to avenge his father’s death and unlock the mysteries of the Phoenix Mirror. “Shenmue II” continues where “Shenmue” left off, bringing Ryo to Hong Kong with many unanswered questions as he follows the trail of Lan Di, the man who killed his father.

    “‘Shenmue II’ is a unique game, unlike any other. The countless elements and features allow players to go beyond the boundaries of gaming,” Suzuki said.

    Features:

  • A fully immersive world. The world of “Shenmue II” is alive with bustling Hong Kong activity. Day gradually turns to night and back to day. Clouds move across the sky, and sunshine changes to rain. People fill the streets as they go about their daily lives.

  • Complete freedom to explore. Players are free to explore and “live” in Hong Kong. They can work, sleep, move about, fight, gamble and engage in many other activities. The streets are filled with virtually thousands of fully interactive characters.

  • Solid 3-D fighting. Created by the same group that developed “Virtua Fighter,” “Shenmue II” includes an advanced fighting system with more than 50 punches, kicks, holds and combos; it is the most-developed fighting system for a nonfighting game.

    “Shenmue II” is rated T for Teen and is available for $49.99* (U.S. estimated retail price) on http://www.xbox.com/ or wherever Xbox games are sold.

    Conflict: Desert Storm Nominated for Award
    Steve @ 5:10 PM EST
    SCi, a leading British video games publisher, today announce that Conflict: Desert Storm has been nominated for a prestigious International EMMA award.

    The International EMMAs (Electronic Multimedia Awards) recognise excellence in digital media content creation through the acknowledgement of best practice. They are respected for their independence and impartiality and are widely recognised as the most prestigious interactive media awards. The awards are organized in conjunction with an international steering committee comprising experts from all sectors of the industry. SCi's latest video game hit, CONFLICT: DESERT STORM has been nominated in the category of 'Games - Console' and will be judged by an international jury, in Toronto, Canada. The winners will be announced during an online presentation that will take place on the 28th November at 3pm. A series of special celebration events will take place following the announcement of the winners.

    CONFLICT: DESERT STORM is based on the 1991 Gulf War and is a 3rd-person squad-based action, where the player takes control of an elite SAS or Delta Force Unit. Behind enemy lines, the player infiltrates barbaric enemy territory and neutralise key targets. The game, which was released simultaneously for Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2 and PC platforms in September 2002, topped the UK video game charts and has received much praise from all sectors of the video games industry.

    To authenticate the gaming experience and ensure that CONFLICT: DESERT STORM set new standards of realism, the game's developers, Pivotal Games, enlisted the services of Cameron Spence. An ex-member of the 22nd SAS Sabre Squadron, with experience behind Iraqi enemy lines before the Ground War started, Spence provided first hand perspective as a Reality Consultant. Pivotal Games used his knowledge to ensure that the detail of weaponry, terrain, squad tactics, enemy behaviour were all exacting. Additionally, the game's benchmark Artificial Intelligence ensured that all the soldiers and enemies acted as they would in real situations.

    Marketing Manager, Justyna Cielecki added "It's a dream come true for SCi. Not only has Conflict: Desert Storm reached the top of the charts, the EMMAs recognition is yet more evidence of how the game has pushed the boundaries of the genre, as well as being a significant step forward in games design. It's already set a precedent for future titles under the CONFLICT brand".