Quake 4 review video

Quake 4 for Xbox 360Quake 4 is the first game to utilize id Software’s revolutionary DOOM 3 engine. In the Xbox 360 and PC game, you are Matthew Kane, an elite member of Rhino Squad and Earth’s valiant invasion force. Fight alone, with your squad, and in hover tanks and mechanized walkers as you engage in a heroic mission into the heart of the Strogg war machine. But, in this epic war between worlds, the only way to defeat the Strogg is to become one of them. Battle through early missions as a deadly marine, then after your capture as a marine-turned-Strogg with enhanced abilities and the power to turn the tide of the war.

Quake 4 is a solid fps that will definitely take you on a fun ride. Find out more in this Quake 4 video review.

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King Kong creators talk about game development

Question (GameDaily): Obviously creating the official game for the movie is a huge undertaking. What steps were needed to ensure that production stayed on course?

Xavier: The main challenge is to work in parallel with a movie and a universe that is created as you are developing the game. You have to anticipate, to wait for assets to be delivered, and make sure you validate on a regular basis the different choices you make to make sure you are on the right track… while making sure everything still fits in your planning.

Peter J made us feel comfortable because he really did not want the game to be a simple adaptation of the movie but he sees the game as a sister or a brother to the movie and an expansion to his universe. That means he accepted (and was suggesting) differences between the movie and the game in order to meet our constraints and make the best game possible. We also worked with Philippa Boyens (co scenarist) to make sure we were respecting characters and tone.

You need a lot of exchanges, and we were lucky to go to New Zealand five times to breathe some of Kong’s air!

Question: It must have been an incredible experience working with Peter Jackson. Do you have any interesting anecdotes you can share?

Michel Ancel: When we first met in Los Angeles, I discovered that Peter had just finished playing Beyond Good & Evil, our latest creation. He asked the people around him for a special pencil just to get an autograph on a copy of the game. It was an incredible situation.

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Bungie explains Halo character in DOA4

Initially, game developer Team Ninja wanted, and asked very politely, for Master Chief in Dead Or Alive 4. Well, we (Bungie) balked at that. Master Chief is busy, fictionally speaking. We left him at the end of Halo 2, involved in a very large scale galactic conflict with world-ending repercussions. Fictionally speaking, he just wasn’t available for fisticuffs.

But we loved the idea of seeing a Spartan fight, unarmed. You have to figure they’d be pretty serious pugilistic contenders right? Half ton of bio-mechanically enhanced armor-clad uber-trained soldiering nightmare? Has to have at least a decent right hook.

So we created Spartan 458 – Nicole. And she’s quite a lady. If you define “lady” as ferociously violent killing machine. Nicole was born in the year 2531 in the city of New Legaspi on Mars. At six years of age she was abducted by agents of the Office of Naval Intelligence and conscripted into the Spartan II program. The Spartan II program was the UNSC’s highly successful military project to augment and hone perfect soldiers.

SPARTAN-458’s unit was preparing for a classified mission on Nassau Station when the ONI stealth ship Apocalypso tumbled into real-space – being carried along in the wake of a freak slipspace anomaly. The anomaly intersected Nassau Station; creating a semi-stable “bubble” in the space/time continuum on its way back to the 21st Century.

For the time being Nicole-458 is trapped in the 21st century; guarding Nassau Station’s secrets with all but lethal force (she realizes killing someone in the past could have dire consequences), waiting for the “bubble” to collapse and hopefully returning her to the year 2552.

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Xbox360 Japanese launch failure, sells only half of what Xbox sold

While the Xbox360 is sold out everywhere in America & Europe, of an estimated 159,000 units shipped to retail in Japan, Enterbrain reports that 62,135 of them were sold to customers Saturday and Sunday. However, perhaps most surprising is that Enterbrain’s research found a game-to-system tie ratio of only .91, meaning that a number of people bought the system with no game at all. These numbers are by no means final, however. Another report by Media Create cited only 41,817 units being sold in the system’s first two days.

According to Enterbrain, the best-selling 360 game of the weekend was Namco’s Ridge Racer 6, which sold 29,891 copies. The runners-up were lagging far behind, however–Perfect Dark Zero came in second with 14,897 games sold, and Need for Speed Most Wanted took third place with 6,842 moved out the door.

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The Xbox 360 Launches in Japan! Microsoft’s tri-launch Plan Apparently a Success

Microsoft’s near-simountaneous worldwide launch of the Xbox 360, which included North America and Europe, finally culminated with the release of the system in Japan.

The eastern nation’s support is considered crucial to the success of Microsoft and the Xbox line of systems in the video game realm. While the system has done amazingly well without major Japanese support in Western nations, the support of Japan for the original Xbox was dismal in Asian nations, including Japan, whose consumers weren’t accepting of the American outsider and it’s Western-style console, which was considered much to big and clunky for the Japanese living space, and whose game library lacked Japanese-style games, especially RPG’s, a genre that’s been vital, around the world, to the success of Sony’s systems .

Now Microsoft is doing everything in it’s power to dramatically improve the situation with the 360, and so far initial impressions of the Japanese launch seem to be suprisingly better than expected, or at least that’s how early reports so far have seemed to point.

Microsoft held a 360 pre-launch party for hardcore Xbox supporters at the Xbox 360 Lounge, a nice, plush, brand-spanking new building built solely to give Japanese gamers a chance to check out the 360 early and showcase upcoming Microsoft events. The pre-launch party was only for the hardest of hardcore fans, who’s attendees were made up of invite-only Xbox Live subscribers who had been lucky enough to score a ticket to get in. It started on Friday and ran up until the actual launch of the 360 Saturday morning. By 9pm more than 80 people had already gathered outside the Xbox 360 Lounge to get in. The crowd grew as the hour neared, and it seemed that most of the 120 lucky winners were lined up before the doors opened.

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Interview with John Smedley Re-working of MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies (Part 1)

Last month with the release of the Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit, the game underwent a number of significant changes to try and tune the title to draw in a bigger crowd than current numbers. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that there are literally millions of Star Wars fans, and Sony Online Entertainment [SOE] (publisher) and LucasArts (developer) know that with some improved gameplay tweaks and easier learning curve, the strenght of the Star Wars brand should be able to attact more people to the game.

The changes made include a slimmed down number of professions a gamer can assume, a simpliefied and revamped “early” or “new player” experience, few obstacles in the way of becoming a Jedi, and a streamlined pay model that offers people the ability to play the game for free in the first 10 levels, as well as download the update for free.

The newly released Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit includes the first two expansion packs, An Empirer Divided and Jump to Lightspeed.

Below is GameSpot.com’s interview with John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, who talks about the future of Star Wars Galaxies, what’s behind their new strategy and the future of SOE.

GameSpot: Tell me a little bit about the process that goes into this kind of product management and repositioning in the marketplace. How do you get to that point?

John Smedley: I guess this all started when Jim Ward became president of LucasArts. [As a group], we asked ourselves what could we do to significantly improve Galaxies. Star Wars is a big mass-market IP and we always felt like we had underdelivered on the Star Wars experience.

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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories review video

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for PSPIt’s time to return to Liberty City, the town where all the rules were broken as Grand Theft Auto 3 revolutionized gaming and made the GTA series the biggest franchise on the planet. The PlayStation Portable edition is an all-new game with an original storyline and new missions set in the seedy, sprawling underworld of Liberty City. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories features the interactive, open environment, voice talent and diverse music that have become pioneering trademarks of the series.

The story takes place three years before the events of GTA III and centers on Toni Ciprini, who has just returned to Liberty City after laying low for four years. He killed a rival mob boss, after all, and leaving town is simply the smartest thing to do. Anyway, he strolls into town and lands in the warm embrace of Don Salvatore Leone, who quickly places him under the command of “capo” Vincent Cilli. From here, Ciprini embarks on a journey filled with more blood, explosions, and executions than a stack of Schwarzenegger movies.

As revolutionary as GTA3 was on the PS2. Find out more in this Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories video review.

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Condemned: Criminal Origins review video

Condemned: Criminal Origins for Xbox 360Condemned: Criminal Origins allows players to experience a heightened level of psychological tension as they use their instincts, forensic tools, and melee combat to hunt serial killers and bring them to justice. Agent Thomas, an FBI investigator in the Serial Crimes Unit (SCU), pursues relentless serial killer through detailed urban environments filled with deadly sociopaths lurking on the periphery of humanity.

Gruesome weapons can be fashioned by clever players from the environment: paper-cutter handles, wooden planks and lead pipes ripped from walls can all be used to attack opponents. But watch your step, as enemies don’t merely run at you; they find an appropriately powerful weapon to attack with and then hide in the shadows, waiting for an open opportunity to strike.

Presented in a first-person view for maximum visceral effect, Condemned: Criminal Origins is best played with the surround-sound up and the lights off. Given the power of next-generation hardware, this atmospheric thriller features photo-realistic backdrops, life-like physics, and highly sophisticated artificial intelligence.

One of the most psychologically ruthless games ever made! Find out all about it if you dare in this Condemned: Criminal Origins video review.

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Speaking with Shadow of the Colossus producer

You can’t fail to have heard of a game called ICO on PS2. The wonderful, critically acclaimed SCEI title bombed at retail, but hopes are high for a smash hit with its spiritual successor Shadow of the Colossus. Here’s the interview with the game’s producer Kenji Kaido.

Question (by Kikizo): Can you remind us of the story and setting for Shadow of the Colossus?
Kaido: There’s a young man on a horse, with a girl. You can see that she’s unconscious, and this is because she has lost her soul. He takes her to a temple-like area that exists at World’s End. He is trying to revive her and recover her soul. In order to do that, he has to defeat the Colossi.

Question: What is Wanda’s relationship with the female – is it similar to the relationship in ICO, and what is the relationship between Wanda and the horse?
Kaido: For the relationship with the female character, as with ICO, I want to leave it to the user’s imagination. But the players will know that they are tied together somehow. As for the horse, it is just a partner. It’s not something to be protected or saved like Yorda in ICO.

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