RETURN OF THE KING REVIEW ONLINE (16th December 2003) Our exclusive review of EA Games 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' is now online. Based on the hit film, the game is available on all platforms from our 'Online Store'. For the full review, please visit the 'Latest Review' page or 'Reviews Database'. TERMINATOR 3 COMPETITION LAUNCHES! (15th December 2003) We are pleased to bring you another exclusive competition, to celebrate the launch of 'Terminator 3: Rise of the machines' on Playstation 2. We are giving away a copy of the game, as well as a limited edition keyring and figure. To enter, simply visit our 'Competitions' page! SONY SALES TOP 5 MILLION (15th December 2003) Sony Computer Entertainment UK Limited (SCE UK) today announced that sales to consumers of its PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system had exceeded 5 million units. Demand for PlayStation 2 across the SCE UK has been accelerating, with sales of the market leading console growing faster than Sonys earlier PS one machine by a ratio of over 2.6 to 1. As we approach the festive season, PlayStation 2 sales continue to increase exponentially week on week. We are delighted to reach and pass the 5 million mark, said Ray Maguire, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, There are still big weeks to come as Christmas looms. The rate of sale is incredible even and shows that PlayStation 2 remains the console of choice. Our established market leadership position has no doubt been bolstered by having the largest amount of games and a growing online presence (the current top three games in the All Formats Chart all feature exclusive compatibility with PlayStation 2 network gaming service. We would like to extend a warm thank you to all our trade partners who have helped us to achieve this new milestone. XIII REVIEW ONLINE (15th December 2003) Our exclusive review of Ubi Soft's unique first-person-shooter 'XIII' is now online. The game features cell-shaded graphics and is available for all home consoles as well as PC from our 'Online Store'. For the full review, please visit the 'Latest Review' page or 'Reviews Database'. MANHUNT BANNED IN NEW ZEALAND (14th December 2003) The media classification office in New Zealand has banned Rockstar's ultra-violent PS2 title Manhunt, stating that the availability of the "gruesome" game was likely to be "injurious to the public good." This is the first time that the Office of Film and Literature Classification has banned a videogame product in New Zealand, and according to chief censor Bill Hastings, the decision was taken because despite the "edgy" nature of many recent games, Manhunt went further than any other game previously released. "It's a game where the only thing you do is kill everybody you see," he commented. "The only way you can accommodate the game's images is by an attitudinal shift You have to at least acquiesce in these murders and possibly tolerate, or even move towards enjoying them, which is injurious to the public good." Hastings acknowledges the element of humour in the Grand Theft Auto series, another game which has been targeted by some opponents of videogame violence.However, he seemed shocked by the portrayal of deaths in Manhunt, mentioning specifically some of the "hot" kills in the game. "When you go for the `hot' kill you actually see the snuff film," he explained. "You see the person being killed in close-up. With the plastic bag, for example, you see the victim's mouth gasping for air inside the bag." And yes, Manhunt is available to pre-order from our 'Online Store'! TRUE CRIME 2 ANNOUNCED (12th December 2003) Activision announced today in a press meeting it has planned a sequel to the recently released True Crime: Streets of LA. At its press meeting in New York today, Activision announced that it has planned a sequel to the successful action game True Crime: Streets of LA. No details have been announced as of yet, besides the fact the game will take place in other cities. XBOX 2 TITLE IN THE WORKS (10th December 2003) Climax today confirmed that work is well underway on its premiere next generation game. Developed under the codename Avalon, this impressive new game is to be produced at the company's celebrated Brighton Studio in England, and will debut on the eagerly-awaited PlayStation 3 and Xbox 2. Its experience with vehicle-based games made it the natural home for the game, which will see the studio branch out to include land, sea and air vehicles. Avalon will boast groundbreaking graphics, sensational sound and the gripping gameplay. Enhancing the superior technology of the next generation consoles and the power of the Blimey 2 engine, the game is already at a remarkably advanced stage of development with a fully playable online prototype housed at the Brighton office. "This is an exciting, bold stride forward for Climax," enthused Climax's Head of Brighton Studio, Tony Beckwith. "The fact that we're one of the first independent companies to start work on a next generation project reaffirms our commitment to remaining among the development elite." ONLINE STORE UPDATE! (10th December 2003) Our 'Online Store' has been given a makeover in time for Christmas and features ALL the latest DVDs, Video Games, Music CDs and Books at discount prices! Our store cators for everyone in the UK, USA and Canada, and offers the cheapest prices on the net for all your Christmas shopping! I have even added a 'Gift Ideas' section to each page, for those 'hard to buy for' people! We have massive savings on all the top titles, so visit our 'Online Store' and start saving money now! THE PUNISHER IS COMING (8th December 2003) THQ is to release The Punisher for Playstation 2 and Xbox. Developed by THQ's internal studio, Volition Inc.®, The Punisher, based on the popular Marvel vigilante, is scheduled to make its interactive debut in fall of 2004. "The Punisher is one of Marvel's grittiest heroes delivering a unique brand of vigilante justice that is a perfect fit for the video game universe," said Germaine Gioia, Vice President of Licensing, THQ. "We look forward to working with Marvel in bringing a perfect blend of classic comic book and filmed franchise versions of The Punisher to console gamers across the globe." Tim Rothwell, President of Marvel's Worldwide Consumer Products Group, said: "The Marvel Universe and all of its characters continue to provide engaging content in the interactive arena and THQ is doing a great job translating this popular vigilante to the major consoles. This is a game that will satisfy long-time Punisher fans of the Marvel Comics' series as well as any new fans turned on to the character after his feature film adaptation this April." GTA XBOX UPDATE (8th December 2003) Rockstar Games announced today that the Grand Theft Auto Double Pack for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft will ship to retail stores throughout Europe on January 2, 2004. The Grand Theft Auto Double Pack consists of the best-selling titles Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. BROTHER BEAR REVIEW AND COMPETITION! (8th December 2003) To mark the release of Disney's animated feature 'Brother Bear', we are giving away 2 more cinema tickets to the film of your choice, courtesy of Odeon Southampton. Visit our 'Competitions' section for full details. Also, our exclusive 'Brother Bear' review is now online, and available from both our 'Latest Review' page and 'Reviews Database'. Enjoy! MAX PAYNE FOR GBA ANNOUNCED AND FINISHED! (8th November 2003) Max Payne is the stylish, urban, revenge-driven story of a fugitive cop with nothing to lose. Based in New York City's grimy underground, Max Payne is a fully realized rendition of the best-selling PC and console hit which sold over 4 million units, combining narrative-driven, cinematic gameplay with the latest in handheld videogame technology to deliver what promises to be the most intense Game Boy Advance experience this year. Max Payne's signature action-packed gameplay is now even more accessible on the Game Boy Advance. Max can choose from over 8 weapons as he fights his way through more than 10 levels filled with some of New York City's most sinister inhabitants. By utilizing Bullet Time, players can gain an edge over their enemies with Max Payne's slow motion gunplay technique. Max Payne's classic graphic novel scenes return to tell this twisted story of deception and despair. Max Payne is set to make its debut on the Game Boy® Advance and will be in stores on December 16th, 2003 in North America. OPERATION SHADOW ANNOUNCED FOR N-GAGE (8th November 2003) Nokia today announced Operation Shadow, its second own published title for the N-Gage game deck. Operation Shadow is a war themed 3D action adventure that immerses gamers into the world of heavy combat action, lightning strikes and the latest military equipment. With multiplayer support for up to 4 players via Bluetooth wireless technology, Operation Shadow allows for fast-paced and action-packed competitive game play. "We are thrilled to announce Nokia's second own published game title," said Pasi Pölönen, Director of Game Publishing, Entertainment and Media Business Unit, Nokia Mobile Phones. "Operation Shadow is a great example of how Nokia titles will be known for their innovative use of the mobile multiplayer features of the N-Gage platform. Imagine competing on the death match battlefield, forming a team with your friends and taking each other on. Each player's team can exploit the tactical advantages of the various vehicles as they battle for supremacy and bragging rights." OSAMA BIN CAPTURED (5th November 2003) System 3 announced today its allegiance to CIFR (Criminal Interdiction & Fugitive Recovery) with its commitment to combating world terrorism. The pledge comes as the company makes the groundbreaking news that it is set to release 'America's 10 Most Wanted' on next-gen consoles and PC in 2004. At a time of heightened terrorist awareness, the move reinforces the global sense of crime intolerance and the urgent need for International union in the tracking down of criminals to bring them to justice. 'America's 10 Most Wanted' enlists the military expertise of CIFR's top agent in the hunt for US fugitives listed on the FBI website, including the notorious leader of the Al 'Queda terrorist network Osama Bin Laden and the ousted leader of Iraq Saddam Hussein. Commentary is provided by Dan Rathner, star news anchor for the US television network CBS over licensed news footage from CNN. In game music will be provided by members of So Solid Crew who will also make guest appearances in the game. Industry veteran Mark Cale, president of System 3 said: "'America's 10 Most Wanted' draws its inspiration from a real concern which is engulfing the world the need to stamp out terrorism and violent crime. The game encourages the live capturing of fugitives so they can be brought to justice, thereby flying the flag of justice and strengthening the powers of law enforcement agencies. We invite you to take the patriotic challenge and join the ranks of CIFR." 'America's 10 Most Wanted' is set to release on next-gen consoles and PC in 2004. BRUCE ALMIGHTY REVIEW ONLINE (5th December 2003) Our review of Jim Carrey's hit DVD 'Bruce Almighty' is now online. Visit our 'Reviews Database' for more information! NBA JAM 2004 REVIEW ONLINE (5th December 2003) Our exclusive review of Acclaim's Playstation 2 title 'NBA Jam 2004' is now online. Head over to our 'Reviews Database' or 'Latest Review' page to check it out! NEW HAND HELD CONSOLE FOR 2004 PLANNED (5th December 2003) Tiger Telematics plans launch of latest entry into mobile gaming for Q2 2004. The latest entry into the mobile console space, a unit called the Gametrac, is set to offer GPS positioning and data communications functionality, as well as music and movie playback. The system, which is being developed by Tiger Telematics subsidiary Gametrac Europe, is due for launch in Q2 2004, and sports a comprehensive feature-set for a mobile device, including Bluetooth support and a built in digital camera. Interestingly, however, the device doesn't seem to be built to allow voice calls - making it very much into a game system with added wireless functionality, rather than a replacement mobile phone. It will however support MP3 music and MPEG4 movie playback. The GPS functionality is an unusual addition to the offering, and while it certainly offers potential for interesting gameplay twists - knowing the physical location of everyone in an online game could be a powerful tool in the hands of a good game designer - it seems mostly to have been incorporated with parents in mind, as it will, in theory, enable them to track the location of their wayward offspring wherever they may be. (source: gamesindustry.biz) TERMINATOR PC GAME SHIPS (5th December 2003) Terminator 3: War of the Machines was shipped today to retail stores for the PC a single-player and online multiplayer first-person shooter set in the ravaged battlefields of the Tech Com-versus-SkyNet conflict. Developed by Hungary-based Clevers Games, Terminator 3: War of the Machines allows up to 32 players to face off online as either technologically-advanced SkyNet Terminators or battle-hardened Tech Com Special Forces in an epic multi-player struggle for supremacy. Clevers Games has done a great job of recreating the dark dystopian vision of the films, said Martin Spiess, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Europe for Atari. Terminator 3: War of the Machines puts gamers at the forefront of the battle between man and machine. PC gaming fans have a choice: to try to exterminate the human race or defend them against an onslaught of online enemies. Terminator 3: War of the Machines thrusts players into the very centre of the conflict outlined in the Terminator world the struggle of the humans against the sentient machines. The battle rages in both single- and multi-player modes across a variety of vast landscapes taken straight from the theatrical release. TERMINATOR 3 REVIEW ONLINE (3rd December 2003) Our exclusive review of Atari's PS2 movie adaption 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' is now online. Head over to our 'Reviews Database' or 'Latest Review' page to check it out! MICROSOFT'S XBOX IS BULLET-PROOF! (3rd December 2003) When called to investigate a shooting last Friday night, police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland found an unlikely culprit--an Xbox. The Baltimore Sun reports that 34-year old Robert Preston Kersey had grown enraged by his roommates constantly playing their Xbox at high volume. According to the police report, Kersey emerged from his bedroom at 2 a.m. brandishing an automatic pistol. Rather than shoot his roommates, Kersey took aim at the offending Xbox and fired a single shot at the console. While the bullet's impact disabled the Xbox, its thick plastic casing deflected the 9mm round, which ricocheted away harmlessly. Other than the Xbox, no injuries resulted from the incident. Kersey was later booked on two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of destruction of property. DRIVER 3 SIGNS HOLLYWOOD TALENT (3rd December 2003) Atari has signed a blockbuster Hollywood cast to lend voices to its greatly anticipated video game, DRIV3R, scheduled for release in Spring 2004. Michael Madsen, Ving Rhames, Mickey Rourke and Michelle Rodriguez will play the lead roles in the third installment of the gritty, crime-fighting Driver video game series, one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. DRIV3R is being developed by Ataris Reflections Interactive for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. DRIV3R recreates the excitement of a Hollywood-style blockbuster action film and combines it with the adrenaline rush of an action-adventure video game full of sinister criminals, nail-biting car chases and international crime syndicates, said Steve Allison, vice president of marketing in Atari Inc.s Los Angeles studio. By casting the game with top Hollywood talent, DRIV3R truly solidifies the look and feel of an interactive movie. Atari is well known for pushing the envelope of collaboration between the video game industry and Hollywood, and DRIV3R will once again raise the bar for what gamers will come to expect from interactive entertainment. Michael Madsen, who has starred in blockbuster crime films like Kill Bill, Donnie Brasco and Reservoir Dogs, will give voice to DRIV3Rs lead character Tanner, the jaw-breaking undercover cop who dominated the first two installments of the Driver series, and who in DRIV3R will stop at nothing to bring down an international car theft syndicate. Ving Rhames, who has appeared in films that include the Mission: Impossible series, Pulp Fiction and Con Air, will provide the voice of Tanners hardnosed partner, Tobias Jones. Mickey Rourke, famous for his roles in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Thin Red Line and 9 1/2 Weeks, will be the voice of Jericho, the sinister leader of the international crime syndicate. Michelle Rodriguez, best known for her roles in S.W.A.T., The Fast and the Furious and Blue Crush, will provide the voice for Calita, the sexy leader of a Miami car theft ring. DRIV3R is an action-packed driving adventure game that stays true to its roots, incorporating the cinematic gameplay and gritty street crime of its predecessors with ground-breaking graphics and three mammoth, wide-open city environments: Miami, Florida; Nice, France; and Istanbul, Turkey. COMMANDOS PATCH THINGS UP (2nd December 2003) There is a patch available for Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. You can download it from the Eidos website. Following link to download and select More Info for a full fix list: http://www.eidos.co.uk/support/search.html?gmid=135 BACKYARD WRESTLING REVIEW ONLINE (2nd December 2003) Our exclusive review of the new Playstation 2 game 'Backyard Wrestling' is now online. Head over to our 'Reviews Database' to check it out! NEW N-GAGE TITLES FOR 2004 (1st December 2003) Nokia today announced new game titles for the N-Gage mobile game deck, including previously unannounced Nokia published games. Coming during 2004, the latest additions to the portfolio bring mobility to the strategy, action, sports, and racing genres, allowing mobile gamers to play a range of both exclusive N-Gage games and blockbuster titles in a new and exciting way. Titles will include: Ashen, Operation Shadow, Requiem of Hell, Sega Rally Championship, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, Worms, and WWE. EYE TOY 2 COMPETITION (1st December 2003) Have you ever wanted to design a video game? Or ever played the award winning EyeToy: Play and thought of a fantastic idea that would make a great mini game? Well heres your chance to do just that and get to see your idea come to life on the next EyeToy: Play compendium! By logging onto www.uk.playstation.com you can download a design template and, by following a few small design criteria (like using the camera!), youll be able to design your perfect EyeToy: Play mini game. Submit your design to PlayStation.com via e-mail or post before Monday 6th January, and it'll be judged by SCEEs London Studios, the creators of the EyeToy series. The person who submits the best design, as judged by the EyeToy team, will win themselves some fantastic Sony goodies, including an LCD TV and home cinema system, while ten runners-up will each bag themselves a copy of EyeToy®: Groove. But that's not all. Subject to the winning entry fulfilling certain criteria, the best design will be prototyped by the EyeToy team and included in EyeToy: Play 2, due for release Q4 2004. Should you be lucky enough to have your design selected for inclusion in EyeToy: Play 2, you will then have the chance to visit the studios to see your mini-game design being prototyped and developed. For those of you who dont know, EyeToy is a small web type camera that, when connected to PlayStation®2, opens up a new world in home entertainment. EyeToy: Play was the first game to use this innovative technology and offered 12 crazy games. In each of these games the player is broadcast onto the TV via the EyeToy camera to actually take part within the game itself. The players body movement in front of the camera determines the course of events in the game, allowing them to head a football in the air, clean windows and even box a robot! Both EyeToy: Play and EyeToy: Groove are both available in shops now. Full competition terms and conditions can be found on www.uk.playstation.com CREATURE COMFORTS REVIEW ONLINE (30th November 2003) Our exclusive review of Aardman's animated DVD 'Creature Comforts' is now online. From the creators of 'Wallace and Gromit' and 'Chicken Run', the disc Features 6 episodes from the new TV series. Head over to the 'Reviews Database' to check it out! TERMINATOR 3 RELEASED (28th November 2003) Atari today announced that it has released Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Game Boy® Advance. Based on this summers blockbuster motion picture, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a first-person action game that allows players to become Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. Developed by Black Ops, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines marks the first time Arnold Schwarzeneggers voice and likeness has ever appeared in a videogame -- the involvement of Claire Danes, Nick Stahl and Kristanna Lokken rounds out the stellar videogame cast. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is another example of how Atari is forging great relationships with Hollywood to make interactive entertainment experiences that bring the true spirit and storyline of films onto home games consoles, said Martin Spiess, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Europe, for Atari. This video game not only allows players to play the movie by matching the plot of the film, but theyll also be able to experience for themselves everything that happened to John Connor before the start of the film. So, players will get to know the answers to some intriguing questions, such as: how was the Terminator sent back this time? How did he kill John Connor? What does SkyNet look like? It really fleshes-out the Terminator universe for all fans of the films. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines features 15 minutes of footage taken straight from the blockbuster film that helps set up key situations and story-related game elements. An additional five-minute segment, filmed by director Jonathan Mostow, exclusive to the DVD and videogame features Arnold Schwarzenegger and sheds new light on the mythology behind the origins of the Terminator. Players will also be treated to extensive behind-the-scenes footage from both the videogame and feature film, including an eight-minute segment detailing the entire making of the game. Stay tuned for an exclusive Terminator 3 competition, coming soon! NINTENDO WINS UK AWARDS (28th November 2003) The creator of the World's most famous plumber, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, has become the first entrant to the Golden Joystick Hall of Fame. This announcement was one of the highlights of today's Computer and Video Games Golden Joystick Awards ceremony, which were presented by TV comedian Phill Jupitus at a glittering awards ceremony at London's Park Lane Sheraton Hotel. In a videotaped acceptance speech, Mr. Miyamoto said: "I'm honoured to become the first recipient of the Golden Joystick Hall of Fame award. I would like to thank all of the game fans and game media in Europe who are helping to energise the video game industry. For more than 20 years I have been fortunate enough to work with very talented people with amazing foresight from the early Donkey Kong days to our most recent, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! I really have enjoyed every minute. It's an amazing industry to work in." Mr. Miyamoto's induction to the hall of Fame wasn't Nintendo's only reason to celebrate at today's awards, as the company also picked up the coveted 'Publisher of the Year' award, while two of its games also received recognition: Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube Game of the Year) and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Most Wanted Game for Xmas 2003). In addition, the company's handheld games machine, the Game Boy Advance SP, beat off strong competition from Sony's Eye Toy and Microsoft's Xbox Live! to be named Hardware of the Year. LORD OF THE RINGS GAME CANCELLED (27th November 2003) Vivendi Universal Games has canceled the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Treason of Isengard for Xbox and PlayStation 2. Scheduled for release in Q4 2003, Treason of Isengard was dropped from the release schedule when it was determined that the game was not shaping up as strongly as anticipated and would likely not satisfy the expectations of Tolkien fans. Vivendi Universal Games remains committed to developing and releasing quality games based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien and we look forward to the release The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring this November, as well as Middle-Earth Online next year. PLAYSTATION 3 TO USE EYE TOY TECHNOLOGY (27th November 2003) Comments by SCEE vice president Phil Harrison suggest that an advanced version of the EyeToy motion sensor is being considered for PlayStation 3. Sony is investigating the integration of a motion sensing device into its next console, and he said the existing EyeToy was a preliminary test for the technology. "EyeToy was a signpost for things in the future," enthused Harrison. "If you can attach very high-resolution, low-cost video cameras you can deduce some quite interesting things about their users. We'll be able to extrapolate eye movement and gestural recognition, more complicated finger movement, and the logical next step of that is to deduce from a person's facial expression and demeanour what their emotion state is." Harrison also discussed the possibility of the PS3 sporting a menu system which was entirely driven by hand gestures. Online multiplayer games could use the feed from the camera for in-game message windows, allowing you to see your opponents and teammates as well as hear them. It's not hard to envisage video cameras being to the next generation of consoles what voice headsets are to the current generation - and Sony would certainly gain a headstart in this area by including one with the console hardware itself. FIRST PAID FOR XBOX LIVE CONTENT RELEASED (26th November 2003) The first paid-for downloadable content on Microsoft's Xbox Live service has appeared, in the form of a new package for MechAssault which adds new multiplayer content to the game for a $5 fee. The new content, labelled as an "objective package", consists of two entirely new multiplayer modes for the game along with three new maps, and is just the latest in a range of updates and bonus material for the game which has been released over Live since the game was launched last year. In order to access the content, gamers need to enable Premium Content downloads on their Xbox Live account, and then when they download the Objective Package, $4.99 (£3.63) will be deducted automatically from the credit card they used to sign up to the Live service. This is the first time that this form of paid-for content has appeared on Xbox Live, but it's unlikely to be the last. Many publishers are keen to experiment with this revenue model, which would see developers continuing to work on content for popular games after their retail release and gamers paying a small amount for each new item of content downloaded. HAITIANS PROTEST OVER GTA: VICE CITY (26th November 2003) Activists from the US Haitian community have joined in a protest against Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City at New York's City Hall, claiming that the title "advocates the killing of Haitians as entertainment." The protests follow a feature run by American station CBS in a section called "Shame On You", which alleged that Vice City is a game with an "ugly, racist twist" and accused Rockstar Games and its president, Sam Houser, of "cashing in on racism and violence". "Players are instructed to exterminate an entire ethnic group," howled the report, referring to a section in the game's dialogue which states "I hate those Haitians. We'll take them out, we'll take these Haitians down." "To kill the Haitians like beasts, like nothing, you are attacking our self-esteem, our respect and everything that we have," commented Dr Henry Frank, director of the Haitian Centers Council. "You don't know where you are going to get some crazy mind who will apply exactly what they have seen on the game." To back this up, the report helpfully drags up a self-confessed Vice City addict who told CBS that "I think you have to have a strong mind to be able to play this game and not want to go out and kill people." Of course, the fact that the group referred to as "the Haitians" in the game is in fact a rival drug trafficking group, rather than being a generic term for an entire ethnic group, doesn't seem to have been considered. Never let it be said that the American conservative media would let the facts get in the way of a good dose of outrage. NEW TERMINATOR 3 GAME IN THE WORKS (26th November 2003) Atari today announced the development of a second game based on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the summer blockbuster motion picture from Intermedia, IMF and C2 Pictures. Terminator 3: Redemption will take players for another ride into the post-apocalyptic universe presented in the feature film as they become the series signature icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. A playable demo of the new action game is available with the retail version of Atari's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which is currently available at retail stores in the US, and coming soon in the UK. In development with Atari's own Paradigm Entertainment, Terminator 3: Redemption will feature vehicle and character based combat and exploration from a third-person perspective and be presented in a larger and more diverse Terminator world. FINAL FANTASY 12 NEWS (26th November 2003) Since Square Enix went large with Final Fantasy XII, demonstrating heaps of in-game footage and cut-scenes to an assembled throng in Japan, there's been no let-up in new details on this keenly anticipated title. Latest news is that the camera system will apparently afford the player complete 360-degree control over the action, so you'll be able to scan your surroundings, look at the ceiling, etc. As previously reported, the action takes place in the world of Ivalice, though this won't hamper the developer's creativity; we're assured that this will be a different version of Ivalice. The importance of character's race and class in the game has been re-affirmed, while we're told that non-human characters will play an important role in the game. The development team has also revealed that it has journeyed to Turkey in order to study that country's architecture, as an inspiration for the look of the game's buildings. Other influences on design include India and the art deco stylings of New York. Meanwhile, influences for the game's epic battle scenes stem from the Roman Empire; the main setting of the story is concerned with war. Without referring specifically to changes that will appear in the game, art director Hideo Minaba said in a recent interview that: "it will give a fresh, new feeling, but also at the same time shock you in a good way. The controls and gameplay are quite different." It's also been confirmed that no online elements will figure in the game. There's been no official word of a European release date for Final Fantasy XII, but the game is slated to appear in Japan in the Summer of 2004. (source:cvg) DATEL ANNOUNCES TEAM TALK FOR XBOX (26th November 2003) Datel Electronics announced today the release of TeamTalk, the newest addition to their line-up of Xbox online gaming accessories.TeamTalk, an Xbox Live add-on, features three comfortable headsets and a Voicenet Adapter which allows up to four gamers to communicate through a single Xbox Live account. By simply connecting the Voicenet Adapter to existing Xbox Live hardware, TeamTalk easily transforms Xbox Live from a single spokesperson affair to an activity the whole room can take part in. One of the Xbox's new slogans is 'It's Good to Play Together', and TeamTalk helps make this possible. says Doug Parsons, Managing Editor of Datel Design & Development, Inc. When playing a game over Xbox Live that is able to host multiple players on one live account, TeamTalk gets everyone online and communicating. When a group of friends are taking turns playing a single player game over Live, everyone in the room is able to hear the talking, taunting and strategizing, and is able to add in their own." GAMECUBE IN BIG TROUBLE (26th November 2003) A study completed by a respected market forecast company has revealed that "Nintendo faces the biggest challenge in its corporate history". They have completed a study on the current console race, and they place GameCube in "dead last. The news came as the company published the study on the internet. The study investigates the sales of the three main consoles and predicts how the platforms will do sales-wise for the rest of their theoretical lives. The study not only proves clearly that the PlayStation is way ahead and uncatchable- but that Microsofts Xbox takes the second place spot with ease- leaving the GameCube trailing in dead last- as the study so distressingly put it. The study reveals that the current video game consoles have reached their peak- meaning they are selling the best they will ever do, right now. This means that GameCube nor the Xbox will ever catch up with Sonys PlayStation 2. XBOX GAMES UPDATE (24th November 2003) Gamers will have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas when they check out the stunning line-up of Xbox titles due for release in Europe. Titles like family friendly Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Xbox Live-enabled Project Gotham Racing 2 and Rainbow Six 3 have tantalised gamers for months, and they're all here for Christmas - but only for Xbox gamers. Almost 350 Xbox games will be available in total by the end of the year. Multi-platform franchises such as FIFA Football 2004, Medal of Honour: Rising Sun, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and True Crime: Streets of LA, are all here for Christmas. "It's never been a better time to be an Xbox gamer," said Michel Cassius, Senior Director, Xbox Platform and Marketing. "Some of the world's most wanted console games are available this Christmas - and they're only available on Xbox. These exclusives join an already-strong portfolio of titles, the breadth and depth of which is remarkable. Along with Xbox Live, the Xbox games portfolio shows why Xbox is the best-value video game system available today." MAX PAYNE 2 DEMO! (24th November 2003) Rockstar Games has released a downloadable demo for Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. To download it, please visit: http://www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne2/downloads/MaxPayne2DemoSetup.exe MIDTOWN MADNESS 3 DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT (24th November 2003) Microsoft Game Studios announced that three new vehicles are now available to download for Midtown Madness 3. The latest in Microsoft Corp.'s popular "Midtown Madness" franchise, Midtown Madness 3 allows gamers to get behind the wheel of more than 30 vehicles while competing in exciting race modes. Gamers can download these new vehicles: Furious, a modified, two-door imported sports vehicle. Carica, a sports coupe. Carica is a quick, stylish cruiser. LastKraftWagen is a sneaky, deceptive vehicle. LastKraftWagen blends well with the city environment. Microsoft informed us that more vehicles and tracks will be available for download in the coming months. XBOX 2 AND PLAYSTATION 3 ANNOUNCEMENT DATES? (24th November 2003) Rumours persist that Microsoft and Sony will unveil their next generation consoles in Spring 2004. C&VG was first out of the blocks with a story stating that Microsoft will show its next console, codenamed Xenon, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose next March - ahead of Sony unveiling the PS3 at E3 in May. While an Xbox 2 announcement is likely, it will probably just include a list of specifications as opposed to tech demos. The Playstation 3 unveiling seems less likely, with the impending release of the Playstation Portable to promote. The handheld console is due for release in Japan in late 2004, at least one year before Playstation 3 will make an appearence. POP IDOL REVIEW ONLINE (23rd November 2003) Our exclusive review of the Playstation 2 game 'Pop Idol' is now online. Visit our 'Reviews Database' for the full scoop on this contender for the Christmas number 1 slot! WIN BACKYARD WRESTLING! (22nd November 2003) In association with Eidos, we exclusively have 5 copies of Backyard Wrestling for Playstation 2 and 5 limited edition T-Shirts up for grabs for our site members! To win a copy, simply head over to our 'Competitions' page! For even more fantastic competitions, the latest news and exclusive reviews, stay tuned! CRIMSON SKIES REVIEW ONLINE (22nd November 2003) Our exclusive review for the fantastic Xbox title 'Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge' is now online. Head over to our 'Reviews Database' for the full scoop! WIN GLADIATOR: SWORD OF VENGEANCE! (20th November 2003) In association with Acclaim, we exclusively have 3 copies of 'Gladidator: Sword of Vengeance' for Playstation 2 up for grabs for our site members! To win a copy, simply head over to our 'Competitions' page! For even more fantastic competitions, the latest news and exclusive reviews, stay tuned! NEW PLATINUM XBOX TITLES (20th November 2003) Today Microsoft announced a third wave of Platinum Hits, just in time for the holidays. Though some of these games are a bit on the ancient and dusty side, there are quite a number of notable titles included on the list. Platinum Hits come at a mere suggested retail price of $19.99 (£20). The newest members to the Platinum club are: Conflict Desert Storm, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, WWE Raw, MechAssault, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. All games are available to buy from our 'Online Store'. JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS JOINS LOW: SHOWDOWN (19th November 2003) Expanding what promises to be the ultimate wrestling supercard, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, one of professional wrestling's most controversial and mysterious wrestlers, is making his long-awaited return to the squared circle. Acclaim Entertainment, Inc today announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Roberts to appear in Legends of Wrestling: Showdown, which is currently under development with Acclaim Studios Austin and scheduled for release in April 2004 across the next-generation gaming platforms. (source: Smackdown5.com) ROADKILL SHIPS TO STORES (19th November 2003) RoadKill , a mission-based, post-apocalyptic combat driving game, ships today for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Set in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a plague and ruled by gangs, RoadKill allows players to unleash havoc in 40 vehicles with weapons such as machine guns, guided missiles and homing rockets. Assuming the role of the mercenary, players must build a gang following as they battle rival gangs, city guards and anyone else that gets in the way. "RoadKill is an intense gaming experience set to an entertaining soundtrack with a radio system featuring licensed songs and seven hours of original programming that changes as gamers adventure through different cities," said Mike Eglington, Senior Product Manager, Midway Europe. NINTENDO GAMECUBE SALES REPORTS (19th November 2003) The official numbers are in, and they confirm that Nintendo GameCubeTM is upending the console video game market. The Sept. 25 price drop of Nintendo GameCube to an MSRP of $99.99 continues to have a massive ripple effect throughout the video game industry, according to October's Toy Retail Sales Tracking Service (TRSTS): The final October hardware market share among consoles was 35 percent for Nintendo GameCube. It grabbed 10 market share points in October, including nine from PlayStation 2 and one from Xbox. Nintendo sold more than a quarter of a million Nintendo GameCube systems in October, 50 percent higher than any other month in 2003, including September. This one-month number also is considerably more than any month of Microsoft Xbox sales so far this year. The projected units sold for October are 300,000 for PlayStation 2, 254,000 for Nintendo GameCube and 176,000 for Microsoft Xbox. And momentum is growing: Reports from Nintendo's largest retail clients show that unit sales are actually up so far in November. GTA VICE CITY DELAYED (19th November 2003) Here's some bad news for XBox owners. The much anticipated Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City double pack has been pushed back to a 2004 release. This means no car jacking action this christmas. TIGER WOODS N-GAGES NOKIA (18th November 2003) Nokia, together with Electronic Arts (EA) today announced that Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 2004 will be released for the N-Gage game deck. Golf enthusiasts will be able to experience some of the best gameplay on the N-Gage to date. The title will make significant use of the connectivity features of the device. As the first sports title that incorporates features from N-Gage Arena, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 brings the excitement and tension of golf into the mobile realm, said Pasi Pölönen, Director of Game Publishing, Entertainment and Media Business Unit, Nokia Mobile Phones. The multiplayer features of the N-Gage game deck enable a completely new way to experience golfing on a mobile device. Now even the most dedicated golf fans can take the experience with them, wherever they go. With advanced game play physics that allow for an unprecedented degree of control, players can earn medals and trophy money as they progress from Amateur to Master. Players will also have the ability to download new game features such as an additional course to further extend their golf game. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 will be available on the N-Gage game deck in the first half of 2004. BLIMEY! PS3 AND XBOX 2 GAMES MADE EASY (17th November 2003) The Climax Group today announced a major technological breakthrough with the unveiling of its next generation game development engine, Blimey 2. MotoGP 1 and 2: Ultimate Racing Technology, Hotwheels World Race, The Italian Job: LA Heist, ATV 2: Quad Power Racing and Rally Fusion: on paper these games seem to share little in common, but one thing binds them all Blimey 1, Climax's first cross-platform game development engine. Acclaimed for its versatility, simplicity, power and user-friendliness, the engine enabled Climax to turn around PS2, Xbox, GameCube and PC games in double-quick time. And now, with a new generation of gaming platforms looming on the horizon, Climax has again stolen a technological march on its rivals by revamping the engine for PS3, Xbox 2 and PSP. Simply called Blimey 2, the new engine boasts a host of enhancements and improvements that will ensure Climax remains among the games development elite. "The Blimey engine has served us well over the last couple years, but Blimey 2 takes us to another level" commented Karl Jeffery, CEO of Climax. "It's more powerful, more adaptable and, most importantly, it keeps us ahead of the competition. We've already got games in development that are using Blimey 2 and we're ready now for PS3, Xbox 2, PSP and any other next generation games platform." TRUE CRIME HEADING FOR PC? (17th November 2003) Activision's GTA-style cop game 'True Crime: Streets of LA may be heading to PC following the appearance of the title on a major retail website. According to EB Games, the PC version of True Crime: Streets of LA is due out in March 2004, but to date we've received zero confirmation from Activision that a PC version of the title even exists. Nevertheless, we spoke to Activision earlier in an effort to sort fact from fiction. When questioned about a PC edition of True Crime, a spokesperson replied: "We don't comment on rumour". However, the spokesperson went on to say, in rather cryptic manner, that we should "Watch this space." Do the math. As ever, we'll keep you informed of updates in the world of True Crime: Streets of LA on PC as and when they happen. But we're willing to bet a significant proportion of our pay packet that it's on the cards, especially considering the success of GTA: Vice City on PC this year. True Crime: The Streets of LA is a Grand Theft Auto-style videogame starring cop-on-the-edge Nick Kang that features driving, plenty of gun-based action and martial arts combat. (source: cvg) CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER COMPETITION (17th November 2003) To celebrate the release of Championship Manager: Season 03/04 this Friday, Eidos is giving you the chance to win two tickets to the Carling Cup final in Cardiff on 29th February 2004. 20 runners up will get a Mitre Shadow football. To be in with a shout simply visit this link - http://www.eidos.co.uk/gss/champman0304/fullreg/registration.html. NEW MIDTOWN MADNESS XBOX CONTENT (16th November 2003) Xbox Live owners can be begin downloading the first batch of new tracks for the online racing title Midtown Madness 3 by the time they finish reading this story. The plan for downloadable MM3 content calls for multiple packages of cars and tracks the first of which was a new pack of cars that will be available for online competition. A pack of new tracks for Washington DC is now available and will include 10 Blitz and 10 Checkpoint mode tracks. The tracks are rated medium to hard when compared to the original tracks available in Midtown Madness 3. NINTENDO CLARIFIES NEXT-GEN REPORTS (15th November 2003) Clairifying media reports, the game giant says the device in question will be neither console nor portable. Contradicting earlier reports in the media, Nintendo is saying that its next generation console will NOT be unveiled at next May's E3 expo. Nintendo's executive director Jinyou Mori clarified that the new product will be a unique item that is different from any traditional machine. "We hope to present a new product in America's expo [E3] next year, which will be completely different from the traditional [machines]. We hope we can release it within the year in Japan", said Mori. "It would be ideal if we can release it simultaneously overseas". When asked if the product was going to be a home console or a portable machine, Mori commented that it will be neither. Nintendo is developing a next-generation game console to succeed the GameCube. However, the company has not made any specific announcements regarding when it will arrive on store shelves, other than saying its release date will be "competitive" with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 2. SONY IGNORES CHINA PIRACY (15th November 2003) You would think that the PS2 released in China would be packed to the gills with numerous security measures, but - according to reports - Sony is to release its console in the home of videogame piracy with zero technical bars and gates. This surprising news has lead to speculation that Sony's strategy is simply to make a quick cash-in on PS2's launch in China (the launch is rumoured to be next month), with further reports suggesting that the Japanese giant is banking on Chinese authorities taking measures to tackle the pirates. Sony's rumoured attitude to the launch of PS2 in China is in stark contrast to Nintendo's anti-piracy measures, which it has taken with its iQue console. Nintendo's iQue, which plays N64 and SNES games and is due out in China in December, comes with a 64Mb flash card onto which games are downloaded. This apparently makes it incredibly difficult to pirate iQue software. EA TO RELEASE SPAWN (15th November 2003) Electronic Arts today officially announced plans to publish Spawn: Armageddon for Namco Limited for the GameCube, PS2, and Xbox across PAL territories. Spawn: Armageddon is a thrilling, mission-based action/adventure game that thrusts players into the role of the famous anti-hero, Spawn. Set against the backdrop of a dark, near-future New York City environment, Spawn is caught in the battle of Good vs. Evil . The intuitive controls allow players to maneuver their way through various interactive and destructible environments which include 25 missions with over 60 sublevels, as Spawn struggles to break free of the controlling forces of Heaven and Hell. Based on the first 99 comic books in the Spawn series, Spawn: Armageddon features all of Spawn's signature abilities including his vast arsenal of weapons, Hell Powers, superhuman strength and his living, symbiotic costume. Spawn: Armageddon is scheduled for release in PAL territories in March 2004. XIII GOES GOLD (15th November 2003) Ubisoft announced today that its stylish shooter XIII has gone gold. XIII is an epic, conspiracy-driven thriller set in a highly stylized graphic-novel world, starring the voices of David Duchovny as XIII, Eve as Major Jones, and Adam West as General Carrington. XIII is set to launch on all platforms in November. As an added bonus, the first 300,000 units of XIII Xbox will ship with a two-months free Xbox Live account. RACE FOR CHRISTMAS NO. 1 IS ON (14th November 2003) The main "runners" in the race to the top of the Christmas computer and video games charts were announced today by ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, and Ladbrokes, the UK's favourite bookmaker. The list of games in the running for Christmas No 1 consists of the following titles: 1/2 Favourite Pop Idol, 5/1 Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, 10/1 Eye Toy: Groove 10/1 FIFA Football 2004, 14/1 LOTR: Return of the King, 14/1 The Sims Bustin' Out 14/1 Tony Hawk Underground, 20/1 Manhunt, 40/1 Mario Kart: Double Dash!, 50/1 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Christmas is traditionally the biggest season of the year for video games with the top titles jostling for position right up until the last minute. Pop Idol is an obvious choice with the ongoing TV show culminating over Christmas; both Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings are publishing phenomenons; football titles always do well; and the first EyeToy was a charttopper this summer. Roger Bennett, director general of ELSPA, said: "This is going to be one of the toughest years ever to predict an outright number one, but it looks likely that a family-oriented title will be the festive favourite." A spokesperson for Ladbrokes said: " With Pop Idol fever gripping the nation and the game appealing to all age groups, we believe that this will top the charts come Christmas. We're sure it's going to be a hit. There may even be more people being put down by Simon Cowell at 3pm on Christmas Day than watching the Queen's Speech!" HALO WITH XBOX LIVE RUMOURS DENIED (14th November 2003) Microsoft has denied that a re-release of Halo with added Xbox Live support is on the way, quashing speculation fuelled by what has transpired to be a budget release of the hit game, scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks. A number of factors had aligned to make the Halo re-release look likely - with the discovery of a pre-release announcement for a "Halo Deluxe Edition" Prima strategy guide being one of the key pointers. However, this guide has now turned out to simply be a re-working of Prima's original Halo guide, with new content and the addition of a DVD featuring Halo 2 footage and concept art. NEW NINTENDO CONSOLE NEXT YEAR (13th November 2003) With the release of Nintendo's finanical reports came a bit of a suprise. They are planning on revealing the next Nintendo console at E3 2004, and launching it the same year! This announcement comes as GameCube sales rapidly decline. They are reportedly down 69.1% from 2002, selling only 890,000 units. This announcement could give Nintendo a head start in the next generation console wars. MIDWAY TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MINDS (13th November 2003) Midway Games Inc. today announced Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, an innovative action game that features extensive Psi (mind) powers. Scheduled for release in Summer 2004 on the Xbox video game system from Microsoft and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy is an original, action game experience that tests the player's ultimate weapon -- the mind. "The variety of wide-ranging Psi powers used in Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy offers a fresh, exciting take on the action genre," said Mark Beaumont, senior vice president - entertainment, Midway. "The game strategically integrates Psionic powers and weapons combat, opening up creative new ways for players to experience the game." LEGACY OF KAIN: DEFIANCE TRAILER (13th November 2003) Today the official "Kain" trailer was launched, showing you some of the all-powerful vampire Kain's killer moves. From the insane use of combos and telekinetic powers, to the straight wielding of the Soul Reaver in fierce pack-style combat and his blood sucking finishing moves! Head over to www.legacyofkain.com and click on Gallery/Trailers to view this hot new trailer! Legacy of Kain: Defiance is the next chapter in the multi-million selling Legacy of Kain series. Developed by Crystal Dynamics, the game will be now released on 6th February on PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox. GAME-REVIEWS.NET LAUNCHES! (13th November 2003) That's right folks, not only do we supply you with the latest movie news, but we now bring you the latest video games news as well. All the action still takes place on this site, which can now be accessed from either www.Film-Reviews.net or www.Game-Reviews.net!