Savage Moon For PSP On The Way

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: PSP, Popular Games, Upcoming Games

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The tower defense title Savage Moon is about to take its act on the road. Fluffylogic has announced that the formerly PS3-exclusive tower defense game will soon be on the PlayStation Portable.
“For the last few months FluffyLogic personnel have been toiling away in an underground bunker to produce the mobile incarnation of the game: Savage Moon: The Hera Campaign – featuring new weapons, new bugs, news maps and new gameplay,” wrote producer Ana Kronschnabl and designer Tom Rawlingson the PlayStation Blog.

New bugs include the Drainer, which emits a “bio-magnetic pulse-field” that can disable human technology, with the humans having developing the Sniper Tower in response. The latter’s name is pretty much self-explanatory, featuring the ability to seek out and destroy the deadliest bug on the map.

Savage Moon: The Hera Campaign is also introducing the ability to play as the Supreme Commander of the armada. Players will be able to take a tactical approach to the bug squashing, with the ability to concentrate their resources into different areas.

The original game was launched on the PlayStation Network last winter. No specific date for the PSP version, but it looks like we can expect it sometime next year.

PSP Go – “Who’s it For?”

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Sony

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Sony has managed to stir up quite a controversy with the release of the PSP Go. Whether it’s because of its omission of physical media, the lack of a UMD-to-digital conversion program, the crappy “bonus” that North Americans got for purchasing one… there’s more than a few reasons that have caused gamers to complain about the newest iteration of the PlayStation Portable. Now even Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, is questioning some of the choices that Sony has made.
Speaking with The Washington Post, Fils-Aime suggested the Go has a “fundamental concept problem in terms of ‘Who’s it for?’ and ‘What’s the benefit?’” And it’s difficult to provide solid answers to either of those questions. For current PSP owners, upgrading to the Go would leave their UMD collections worthless (and trust me, this is not a pleasant realization). Newcomers to the PSP are left to buy only games that are available on the PlayStation Store, and at the price that publishers set — no taking advantage of eBay, used games at GameStop, or a friend’s selection of games. And either way, $250 is awfully pricey.

Fils-Aime’s comments will ultimately only add fuel to the intense debate between the Goers and no-Goers out there. Don’t expect Sony to suddenly change directions because one its competitors doesn’t publicly agree with some of their decisions.

Ar tonelico III details released

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: PS2, PS3, Popular Games, Upcoming Games

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In Japan this week, Namco Bandai Games released the first details for Ar tonelico III, the latest in the RPG series that’s been released faithfully by NIS America over in the States. The new title, a PlayStation 3 exclusive, is set to go on sale January 28 over there for 7329 yen.
The first new game in the Ar series for about two years, Ar tonelico III is once again built around the concept of Song Magic, sung in a unique language known as Hymnos. This magic is the key to both the story and the battle scenes; it can also only be wielded by Reyvateils, who just happen to be really cute anime girls. Aoto, the hero, jouneys with two of these Reyvateils, Saki and Finel, in his journey.

As in previous games, you have the ability to “dive” into the minds of these Reyvateils, helping them unleash their full set of magic. Unlike previous games, though, the heroines have multiple personalities they can switch between, which can alter what abilities they have during battle. In addition, you can pick up parts of songs while diving into the girls’ minds, which you can then put together to form your own magic in the midst of battle.

More information on Ar tonelico III will be unveiled at the Akihabara Entertainment Festival 2009, set to take place this Sunday in Tokyo.

WoW Will Require Battle.Net Login After November 11

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, Popular Games

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Back in March, Blizzard launched a massively updated Battle.net which merged all of their games under one service. World of WarCraft players have received a grace period when it comes to merging their accounts, but that grace period is about to end.

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According to the official site, all current World of WarCraft players will be required to merge their accounts with a Battle.net account by early November. The mandate comes as Blizzard prepares to launch another set of features for Battle.net, including cross-realm chat and the ability to communicate across different games, among other things.

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Blizzard is even throwing in an incentive for players who have been reluctant to make the switch. World of WarCraft users who upgrade will get an in-game pet penguin for their troubles.

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The actual process is pretty easy. Just go here to sign up, then select the option to merge in your World of WarCraft account. World of WarCraft will require a Battle.net username and password starting November 11, so you might as well get it over with now. After all, there’s a penguin in it for you.

BioWare Would Love To Revisit Jade Empire

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Upcoming Games, Xbox

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Remember Jade Empire? BioWare sure does. In fact, according to lead designer Mike Laidlaw, it’s a favorite among those at the studio.
“We will certainly announce it if it’s going to be coming out. At this point, Jade Empire is a staff favorite and a lot of us love it, so we’d love to revisit it at some point,” he told Strategy Informer.

Of course, they have other priorities at the moment. “Right now, we are very focused on Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2,” Laidlaw said.

The original game was an action-roleplaying title set in ancient China, and was released exclusively for the Xbox. BioWare is arguably better known for Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate and Mass Effect, but it appears that Jade Empire has its followers.

If we hear anything, it will likely be after Mass Effect 2 arrives next year. In the meantime, Dragon Age is due November 3.

Female Assassin in Assassin’s Creed II

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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Think that World War II is overused? What about World War II with assassins? Assassin’s Creed II won’t be out until November, but Ubisoft is apparently thinking about the setting of the next game. Even more interesting is the possibility that the assassin would be a woman.
Producer Sebastien Puel told magazine Xbox World 360 (via Computer and Video Games), “We’ve had discussions on [the topic of a female assassin]. It could be really interesting but we’d need to find the right time period and place for that. ”

“Where would that make sense? We don’t want to just decide we want to change and have a female hero as the first inspiration is always the time period, but if you’re talking about, say, World War II the economies in England and France were run by women because the men were off fighting.”

“So maybe in this context you were a woman in England during WWII. Why not? Nothing prevents us from doing it.”

Ubisoft is definitely set on going ahead with this franchise. “What’s so great about Assassin’s Creed is that we can just expand and expand,” said creative director Patrice Fortier.

“I’m often asked if we’re doing a third game after ACII… I mean, we could do 35 of these.”

In the meantime though, we’re still waiting for the second game. It’s due November 17 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and will be set in the Renaissance.

Clash of the Titans Game on the Way

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Upcoming Games

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 Oh, Hollywood. What cinema classic won’t you regurgitate these days? Legendary Pictures’ remake of Clash of the Titans is slated for a March 28, 2010 release, and Namco Bandai announced this morning that their videogame adaptation will also be arriving Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 early next spring.
The new film stars Liam Neeson as god-of-gods Zeus, Sam Worthington (the cyborg from Terminator Salvation) as Perseus, and Ralph Fiennes as everyone’s favorite lord of the underworld, Hades. Whether any of the talent from the movie will reprise their roles for the game is currently unclear.

In fact, everything about the Clash of the Titans game is pretty vague at this point. The only nuggets of info in the press release describe an action-adventure romp through the locations made famous by the film, including confrontations with Medusa and the Kraken. Some form of co-operative multiplayer is also mentioned, but exactly how many players — or exactly who will be accompanying the myth’s traditionally solitary hero — wasn’t revealed.

Still, it’ll be exciting to see how well developer Game Republic’s take on Clash of the Titans stands up to next year’s other Greek mythological epic, God of War 3.

DDO Sees “Hundreds of Thousands” of New Players

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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The fantasy MMORPG genre is extremely competitive, to say the least. The steps these games have to take to draw attention away from Blizzard’s 11.5-million-subscriber elephant-in-the-room can be quite drastic. Dungeons & Dragons Online, for instance, recently made their monthly subscription fee — the bread and butter of MMOs — entirely optional. How’s that working out for them? Apparently, pretty well.
Ars Technica spoke with DDO executive producer Fernando Paiz, who explained how giving their game away for free could ultimately prove more profitable than the time-tested $15 a month. “We’re hitting and exceeding our internal targets, so far we’re very happy,” he declared, citing growth that doubled their projections, as well as a shocking 40 percent increase in paid subscriptions. “All aspects of our business are growing. Hundreds of thousands of new players in the world are playing for free, with a very high percentage using the store,” he continued.

It seems that developer Turbine has succeeded in expanding the DDO audience by allowing players to part with their hard-earned dollars at their own pace — either by purchasing individual pieces of content or a more traditional monthly subscription. And in many cases, it’s making them more money per player than it ever would have if they’d stuck with the original business model. “We have a good chunk of the population that is spending more than $15 a month,” Paiz claimed, adding, “The traditional subscription model can only make X dollars off a player. This kind of removes that cap.”

Should DDO continue to gather steam like this, it could signal a sea change in the U.S. MMO marketplace. The genre’s seen plenty of success with microtransaction-supported games in places like Korea, but those trends haven’t exactly transitioned over to the West — not yet, anyway. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Turbine’s bold experiment fares over the next few months, and the impact it has on future releases.

PokéPark Wii Announced

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, Nintendo, Wii

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Americans are still waiting for Pokémon Rumble, but Nintendo has already moved on full Wii title starring the iconic creatures. And it’s not a battle simulator either.
Screenshots of PokéPark Wii have emerged, most of which feature Pikachu doing what it does best — being best. As you might have guessed, the yellow rodent once again takes center stage in this adventure, and he must explore the titular PokéPark, which features a variety of attractions populated by — what else — Pokémon.

Pikachu will apparently be able to befriend the Pokémon around the park, utilizing their abilities to make the various challenges easier. For instance, Flying Pokémon will be useful in the Sky Race. There will also be a variety of tag, battle and quiz mini-games.

Pokémon fans rendered skeptical by the franchise’s less-than-stellar console outings should take note — this is the first console title to be developed by Creatures Inc., which is responsible for the mainline handheld series. It’s due in Japan on December 5, with a North American release likely due next year.

Mass Effect 2 will Release on January 26

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Upcoming Games, Xbox

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The wait for the second game in the Mass Effect trilogy is now done to just a few months — BioWare has announced that the release date for Mass Effect 2 is January 26 in North America, and January 29 in Europe. As promised, the release will be simultaneous on both PC and Xbox 360, unlike the first game.
“Our fans are in for a genuine thrill in the New Year with Mass Effect 2 — the second installment in the trilogy will be of amazingly high quality,” said BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka. “BioWare’s fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this epic sequel, and we couldn’t be more excited to reward them for pre-ordering by delivering some awesome bonus content!”

Along with the release date, which is obviously the big news, BioWare also revealed two different pre-order bonuses, one of which is, of course, exclusive to GameStop.

Those who pre-order at GameStop will receive “Terminus Gear,” which consists of:

The Terminus Armor is designed for use in extreme planetary conditions, increasing run speed and personal shields, and augmenting weapons with an additional magazine of reserve ammo.
The M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon generates a high-powered localized gravity well, accelerating particles to near-infinite mass, and ultimately expanding the selection of heavy weapons available to players when they gear up for combat missions in Mass Effect 2.
If you choose to pre-order somewhere else, you’ll instead be treated to “Inferno Armor,” which gives you faster running speed and improved damage with combat powers.
Now that a release date is locked in, expect to hear plenty more about Mass Effect 2 as we approach January.