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NYLatenite's Gamer's Paradise News Archives
Monday, 4 June 2007
THIS WEEK'S RELEASES: JUNE 4TH - JUNE 10TH

Well, it's looking like a mighty light week at retail this time around, but there are a few potential gems in the pile. We'll start off with the biggest title of the week - Tomb Raider Anniversary (PS2 & PC). Crystal Dynamics has officially taken over the franchise following their work on Tomb Raider: Legend and is taking a trip into the past for the next entry in the series by remaking the original Tomb Raider using their updated game engine.

Next up, we've got Call of Juarez (360 & PC) - a gritty western shooter that has me intrigued. Maybe it's my love of Spaghetti Westerns or maybe it's just that I'm so damn sick of World War II shooters, but I really want this game to be a good one.

Beyond that, there are a few fringe titles such as The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Stuff and the retail version of Nintendo's web browser for the DS-Lite, but nothing to really get overly excited about. As for the rest, here's what you can expect to see at retail over the course of the week;

  • Diner Dash: Flow on the Go - PC - 6/5/2007
  • Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu - DS - 6/5/2007
  • Nintendo DS Browser - DS-Lite only- 6/5/2007
  • Planet Puzzle League - DS - 6/5/2007
  • Surf's Up - PC - 6/5/2007
  • UFO Afterlight - PC - 6/5/2007
  • Call of Juarez - 360 - 6/6/2007
  • Call of Juarez - PC - 6/6/2007
  • Hospital Tycoon - PC - 6/6/2007
  • Puzzle Scape - PSP - 6/6/2007
  • Shrek the 3rd - PSP - 6/6/2007
  • Surf's Up - GC - 6/6/2007
  • The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff - PC - 6/6/2007
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary - PC - 6/6/2007
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary - PS2 - 6/6/2007
  • Nancy Drew: White Wolf of Icicle Creek - PC - 6/8/2007
  • Scratches Director's Cut - PC - 6/9/2007

Please keep in mind these are only estimated release dates and could change at any time.


Posted by nylatenite at 3:41 AM EDT
Sunday, 3 June 2007
NCSOFT OFFERS LATEST MMOG FOR FREE

NCsoft, the company behind games like Guild Wars, Lineage and Auto Assault, is trying a new business strategy with it's latest mmog Dungeon Runners... making the game completely free. Here's how it works - after players download the free game client, they can choose to either play the base game at no monthly charge or upgrade to the more advanced game at a cost of $4.99 per month.

It appears that NCsoft is banking on the fact that players will enjoy the standard game so much that they'll be more than willing to pay for access to the advanced game, which includes log-in queue priority, the ability to use more powerful items as well as advanced banking features. The game itself appears to be played in much the same way as the Diablo series, with most actions including movement and attacking being controlled by series of mouse-clicks.

For those of you wondering if you can beat the system, the answer is no. Players downgrading from the advanced game don't lose the "more powerful items" they received while playing under the monthly fee, but rather just lose the ability to use those items until they bring their accounts back to the paid monthly level. In other words, you can't build your character up in the advanced game and then retire to a life of free play with all the benefits you gained intact.

It's an interesting idea and one that I'm sure many people will at the very least try for a short period of time. The question here is how quickly the base game will begin to feel restricted and whether or not players are already hooked at that point. Want know more? Head over to the official Dungeon Runners website to find out how to get started.


Posted by nylatenite at 6:41 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:48 PM EDT
Saturday, 2 June 2007
GAMEFLY STOPS USING PROTECTIVE CARDBOARD MAILERS?

I think everyone who follows this site regularly knows I'm generally a pretty big fan of the service Gamefly provides, but I really have to wonder what the hell is going on over at their headquarters following their latest move.

About a week back, I received my rental of Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 in the mail and noticed that the usual hard cardboard protective sleeve the games are sent in was missing. At the time, I figured it was just a mistake and that there hadn't been a change in Gamefly shipping procedures...

Moving right along, this afternoon, Forza 2 arrived in the mail and once again there was no protective cardboard sleeve... what the game did have was a noticeable scratch across the surface of the disc. While I haven't had a chance to see if the game is affected in any way by the scratch, it's certainly something that really shouldn't be happening.

As a long time member of Gamefly, and as someone who regularly buys games from them, I can only see this as hurting their business model in the long run. Why would I want to buy games from them that I know are probably not going to be in anything close to ideal condition? More importantly, given their somewhat slow shipping times, I sure as hell won't be willing to put up with delays from them when they have to replace games that are scratched and unplayable while I'm paying their monthly fees.

You know, if the added shipping cost of using cardboard sleeves is killing them, then raise the damn monthly rate by $1 a month or the like, but don't take your core service and diminish it. Better yet, here's an idea - stop running those annoying commercials during every single commercial break on some channels. Guess what? If I'm watching the show, odds are I saw the first one - save your money for keeping me as a member once I join.

I'll be shooting an e-mail over to their customer support team once I determine whether or not the game is damaged, and I'll be sure to report back on any reply I get. For now though, you may want to keep this in mind if you plan on using their services.


Posted by nylatenite at 5:05 PM EDT
Friday, 1 June 2007
LAZY DAY TRAILERS: COLIN MCRAE: DIRT

While it may not be one of the big name titles coming down the pipeline, I've got to say I've been having a blast with the Xbox 360 Colin McRae: DiRT demo. Maybe it's just the fact that the game features not one, but two in-car cockpit views, but this game has definitely caught my attention. It's another case where offering a free demo via the Xbox Live Marketplace has made me take a serious look at a title that I normally wouldn't have even bothered renting.

The video you're about to watch is basically a highlight reel of crashes - which, I might add, are something DiRT does very well. You can almost feel the impacts when you're playing - check it out!

Colin McRae DiRT will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC's on June 19th, 2007.


Posted by nylatenite at 2:06 AM EDT
FREEBIES: SONY SENDING OUT HOT SHOTS TENNIS DEMO

Sony sent out an e-mail yesterday afternoon to advise PlayStation Underground members that they are taking requests for a limited number of demo discs for Hot Shots Tennis. Along with the free demo disc, participating Underground members will also have the opportunity to write a review of the demo and, if selected, have it appear on PlayStation.com. Winners will also receive a copy of the retail game.

"If you love what Hot Shots did for golf, you're going to love how they take it to the tennis court! HOT SHOTS TENNIS hits the PlayStation 2 this summer and we want you to put it to the test!

We're looking for gamers to preview a demo of Hot Shots Tennis before it's July 17th debut and write a review. Reviewers will have a chance to see their review posted on PlayStation.com and win the final version of Hot Shots Tennis!

Go to the Official Game Site to check out more on Hot Shots Tennis and request your preview disc today!" - PlayStation Underground e-mail

One last note - before you go insane looking for the free demo disc link on the game's official site, it's hidden under the tennis ball that appears near the middle of the page (not the one with the headphones) - just mouse over it and you'll see the full pop-up message.


Posted by nylatenite at 1:50 AM EDT
PLAYSTATION STORE: CHAMPIONSHIP SPRINT

A PlayStation 3 port of Atari's 1986 multiplayer racer Championship Sprint is now available for purchase via the PlayStation Store at a cost of $4.99. Since no playable demo is available and because the information at PlayStation.com is sketchy at best, I can't tell you what kind of multiplayer options this one comes with. What I can say is that I really don't see this one translating to a gamepad well - Championship Sprint was just one of those games that was designed with a free-spinning wheel in mind.

"Vroom Vroom! Put your pedal to the metal and race to the finish line in this nostalgic, racing game. Choose from a multitude of different tracks and be the first to make it to the finish line while avoiding oil slicks, water spots and more! Earn bonuses and upgrade your vehicle to be the supreme fast-track racing machine!" - PlayStation Store product description


Posted by nylatenite at 1:33 AM EDT
MAME32 .115.3 RELEASED

Following in the footsteps of the latest MAME update, MAME32 v.115.3, the Windows GUI port of MAME v.115u2 is now available. The same advice I gave about the latest build of MAME apply to this version of MAME32 as well.

Check out the official MAME32 page here for more details and the download links.

  • MAME32 - Official home of MAME32

Posted by nylatenite at 1:14 AM EDT
MAME V.115U3 RELEASED

The latest "update" version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, version .115u3, is now available for download. This update centers on several background updates along with some improvements to the drivers for Berzerk, Beam Invaders, Clay Shoot, Embargo, Tora Tora, and R2DTank. As usual, unless you've been having problems with your current installation of MAME, this update really doesn't hold much for you, so I'd advise sticking with v.115 until the next full release. However, if you're interested in testing the current build, head on over to MAME Testers to find out how to get started.

The updated emulator files can be found at the official MAME page at Mamedev.org. You can Click here to see the full list of what's new in this update.

  • MAMEDev - Official site of the MAME development team

Posted by nylatenite at 1:12 AM EDT
Thursday, 31 May 2007
XBOX 360 HOUR OF VICTORY DEMO NOW AVAILABLE

A demo of Hour of Victory, Midway's entry into the already crowded World War II shooter genre, is now available for download via the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo is available to all Xbox Live members in all regions except Asia and weighs in at 937.60mb.

"Sneak into enemy territory as a Covert Operative, storm the gates as a British Commando, or snipe from afar as an Army Ranger. Each character's unique attributes will be needed to complete your overall objective. Only with these skills working closely together, will you be able to say that you helped define the Hour of Victory™." - Xbox.com product description

Just that the world needed... another World War II first person shooter. How original.


Posted by nylatenite at 1:45 AM EDT
XBOX 360 PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN DEMO NOW AVAILABLE

A demo of Disney Interactive's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the Xbox 360 is now available to all Xbox Live members in the U.S., Canada and Mexico via the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo weighs in at 972.30mb and is comprised of the first tutorial level of the retail game.

"LIVE AND DIE BY THE SWORD! Jack is back in an all new swash-buckling action adventure, Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End from Disney Interactive Studios. Now’s your chance to download this exclusive first level tutorial from the forthcoming game based on the smash hit movies!Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is inspired by the events, environments and characters surrounding the second and third instalments of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Players must demonstrate their cunning, swashbuckling creativity and swordsmanship as they encounter all manner of crazed pirates and cursed creatures in treacherous, exotic locations. Play as the eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann to prevent Jack’s dark past from catching up with him. Look out for the full game on May 22nd, in the meantime; download this first level tutorial demo to get a taste for what’s to come!" - Xbox.com


Posted by nylatenite at 1:45 AM EDT

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