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Partners with Gold's Gym to create Cardio Workout for the Wii
Gold's Gym Cardio Workout for the Nintendo Wii is the result of the recent teaming of video game publisher and developer Ubisoft with one of the world's most recognized health and fitness companies, Gold's Gym. It will be licensed by Rocket Co. Ltd., who released a similar game in Japan only in late 2008 called "Shape Boxing Wii de Enjoy Diet."
Ubisoft's senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key had this to say about the partnership and game:
"As a leader in personal training, we are thrilled to collaborate with Gold's Gym on a new cardio workout game. In order to provide an authentic Gold's Gym experience the game will incorporate gym signage and dialogue into the game."
Similar to Wii's most popular fitness game, Wii Fit, this title will also be Wii Balance Board compatabile. While simultaneously tracking burned calories and body weight evolution, Gold's Gym Cardio Workout puts players through the personal training ordeal. A number of work-outs are available to players such as running, sit-ups, and cardio boxing. An array of training modes and fitness levels are also present. Just as well, the more you play the game, the higher the difficulty rating will climb.
With the game, you also get a coupon for a free week of VIP membership at your local Gold's Gym. The game will hit the shelves in North America on March 31st, 2009.
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Hannah Montana and Assassin Creed PSP bundles coming soon!
At Sony Computer Entertainment of America's annual conference, Destination Playstation, two new PSP bundles were announced for later this year.
The first will feature an Assassin's Creed theme, in celebration of the franchise's PSP debut. A special Piano Black PSP comes with the bundle, as we reported earlier, but additional details have yet to be announced.
The other entertainment pack is aimed at fans of Disney's Hannah Montana, including a lilac colored PSP, the new Hannah Montana rhythm game, a UMD containing several episodes from the hit TV show, a 2GB memory stick PRO Duo, and some lovely Hannah Montana stickers.
While the Assassin's Creed edition has not been dated, consumers can expect to see the Hannah Montana bundle in stores this July with a suggested retail price of $199.
Majesco Entertainment announces a new Nintendo Wii series known as "Go Play"
Developer and Publisher Majesco Entertainment has announced a new line of games for the Wii that focus on the motion capabilities of the system.
Entitled Go Play, the line of games will be party and family-friendly. The first that will be rolled out will be Go Play Lumberjax, followed by Go Play City Sports and Go Play Circus Star respectively.
Go Play Lumberjax is scheduled for late spring, and will have the players doing a variety of lumberjack related endeavors in over 15 activities. Go Play City Sports is scheduled to have six classic sports games that will be played on the city streets. Go Play Circus Star will let the players join up in the circus and perform for crowds in at least 15 circus-themed events. All three of these confirmed titles are Wii Balance Board compatible.
Gui Karyo, Executive Vice President of Operations, had this to say about the Go Play games:
"The Go Play brand is intended to deliver on the promise of active, fun, family friendly game experiences. Our first three products intermix every day activities with imagination to define an overarching label that means ‘motion-based fun for everyone."
Angelina Jolie recently took up WiiFit to lose the extra weight from being pregnant
If anybody has been keeping up with the female half of Hollywood's couple Brangelina, they would have known that Angelina gave birth to twins back in July. In a majority of cases, after giving birth there will be some excess weight that wasn't there before. Jolie has been using Nintendo's WiiFit as her solution to this.
Jolie, who you might recognize from the Tomb Raider movies portraying the famous video game character Lara Croft, was persuaded by her children that video games weren't just for fun, but also for educational and excercising purposes. She eventually caved and started playing WiiFit, and apparently, she's pretty good at it.
Her game of choice seems to be "Let's Pilates!", of which she already plays on the hardest difficulty setting. She attempts to log in an hour of it at least three times a week.
When the video of "The WiiFit Girl", a woman that was played WiiFit in nothing but a t-shirt and underwear surfaced, it was the chatted about all over the internet, giving WiiFit some free advertising. Now that a famous actress admits to playing WiiFit, who knows what will happen? Maybe an increase in new moms playing their kid's Wii's (maybe even WiiFit) in hopes of shedding those extra pounds will occur?
Microsoft teams up with Rock the Vote to allow Xbox users to register to vote on Live
More and more Americans don't go out and register to vote. Microsoft and Rock the Vote have come together to hopefully change that. Using Xbox Live, you can not only register to vote on your 360, but also participate in political discussions and polls. Public Service Announcements from Rock the Vote will be available via download from Live too.
Heather Smith, the executive producer of Rock the Vote had this to say about the partnership:
"Xbox is a natural partner to help us reach out to youth voters. To realize our goal of registering 2 million young Americans by this fall, we need to go where young Americans are, and there’s no doubt in our minds that many are on Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE."
Xbox Live has about 12 million users, so if it were as state, it would have about 20 electoral votes towards the elections. At the Democratic and Republican conventions, Microsoft plans to teach delegates about their plans for making a safer experience on the Xbox, by going in detail about the Family Settings. These Family Settings allow parents to restrict access to certain video games, movies, the Xbox Live activity, among other things.
It will begin on Monday, August 25th, which is also the first day of the Democratic National Convention. So if you have a 360 and live in the US, you now have no excuse not to vote!
Penguin unlimited shows off their new DS game protective pouch
You ever get tired of trying to take a whole bunch of DS games with you when you go on a trip and you tend to drop and lose them? Penguin Unlimited decided to have their go at coming up with a simple solution: a game pouch. Running at $14.99 USD and coming in multiple colors, this carrying case could prove handy for a gamer on the go.
With a setup similar to books of trading cards, there are four sleeves to insert DS game cards into, with six slots on each of sleeve. There is also a zipper to seal the pouch when you aren't using it, just so nothing falls out. That could also be used for the hard-core gamers that have more than 24 DS game cards to put in. Richard Huang, Penguin Unlimited's President had this to say about the case:
The 24X DS Game Card Collection Pouch is all about security and convenience. Now even the most active gamer can take DS games anywhere without having to worry about the games being damaged or destroyed.
The official site does mention that the case isn't made of real leather, so no animals were harmed. Plus, on the back of the package, a few funny "DO's and DON'T's" were mentioned, such as do not eat (showing a picture of a guy eating the case), do not burn (showing the case on fire), and do not step on (displaying a foot, hovering above the package on the ground).
A possible attachment to keep skaters from moving off the board might be on the way
Apparently, EA has been thinking about a solution to a problem that frequently occurs with the Wii Balance Board. To keep players from moving their feet off the correct position, a frame type attachment to give the Wii Balance Board a make-over might be shipped with the game. It is supposed to give the balance board more of a skateboard look and feel.
A common problem gamers have with peripherals that you stand on is moving their feet out of the correct position. They will glance at their feet to know how to make the proper adjustments to get set again, but while they are doing this they look away from the screen, which can be a problem. I've personally experienced this problem in games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and believe me, it isn't fun knowing you the amount of points you needed to win you could have acquired from the possible points that flew by when you were looking away.
Though not much is known about the specifics of what it will look like, it will hopefully be able to keep the feet positioned correctly without the player feeling uncomfortable at all.
Digital Comics will be featured for download through WiiWare service
Today, comic publisher Sun Denshi announced something special for the Japanese WiiWare service: digital comics. You will download them like you do WiiWare games, so most will be familiar with it and nothing new will need to be learned. For the amount of Wii Points the comics will cost is so far undetermined, and a release outside of Japan also has no word on it yet.
Sun developed a special viewer for the Wii that will allow you to read the comics. The details for the special viewer are sparse though. It is still unknown whether it will feature it panel by panel, on the whole screen at once, or what other possibiltiy it will pursue. With the new viewer, a new branch has been opened known as Sunsoft Books, which will be exclusively for managing the digital comics and other content related to it.
With the launch will be an original manga from Reiji Matsumoto, a famous manga artist best known for the "Space Battleship Yamato" series (the North American equivalent is "Star Blazers").
After the success of Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, it would have been a safe bet that a sequel would be coming up. Today, game creator Natsume revealed a few details for Rune Factory 2 for the Nintendo DS, including that it will be shown at the upcoming E3 conference, and that it is scheduled to be released sometime in the fall of this year.
Harvest Moon games have captivated gamers, both young and old, for many years since Harvest Moon for the Super Nintendo was released more than a decade ago. Natsume decided to try something new though and created Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon. It involved the same style of gameplay, where you live in a small village, farm, care for animals, make friends, and other things, but it also added a new twist with weapons and monsters to fight, making it more of a fantasy RPG.
Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at Natsume, obviously is pleased with the success of the Rune Factory sub-series. He had this to say concerning it:
"The first Rune Factory title was a great success for us and our fans have been eagerly awaiting a sequel. The Rune Factory series is a great expansion of the Harvest Moon universe; it takes the addictive Harvest Moon gameplay that fans know and love and combines it with the action and adventure of a fantasy RPG. Rune Factory 2 offers better graphics and even deeper gameplay than the first, along with many innovative new features."
The story takes place years after the ending of the first installment. Currently, there is no evil happenings anywhere, but it signs have been appearing that the peace won't last for long. Like in all Harvest Moon games, you'll be raising animals, but in this Rune Factory, you will also be raising monsters alongside them. Adventures and quests will also come up for you to go on. Cultivating a farm and a family is still included in this iteration. While you start out as Kyle, once he grows old and dies, you'll be able to play as his son, making Rune Factory 2 one of the first multi-generational Harvest Moon games.
I know that I for one was hoping that there would be a tremendous amount of tricks and other maneuvers that could have been pulled off using the Wii Balance Board. Positioning your feet on certain parts of it and applying different amounts of pressure could have been an excellent combination that would have definitely helped the game's sales. Unfortunately, NGamers Magazine reported that the peripheral will simply be used to move the board left and right.
"You can't use the board to pull off tricks - that's only done with the remote and nunchuck - but along with the likes of Family Ski, Skate It is further proof that what could be achieved with the new peripheral is fresh and exciting."
Of course there would be tricks that would be simply impossible to pull off with just the board, which is where I thought the balance board and the wiimote and nunchuck would be combined. But after hearing that report, I was sad to see that no tricks, not even simple things that wouldn't require much effort such as doing manuals, ollies or nollies, would be performed using the balance board. If they were to use the balance board for simple things such as jumping and the like, it could've freed up more button combinations to perform even more tricks too.
Since all you will be doing with the balance board is standing still, with the occasional adjustments of your feet, I know that I just might have to pass up on getting this game.
PLAY ZONE will feature a series of Wii exclusive party games
Specifics about Ubisoft's latest Wii title, "Sports Party", arrived today as well as the announcement of a new label within Ubisoft known as "Play Zone." Play Zone's objective consists of providing Wii owners with party games that combine a recreational feel and a high fun-factor involved in mini-games meant for multiplayer parties. John Parkes, Ubisoft's EMEA Marketing Director, commented on the division's purpose with this:
"With our new PLAY ZONE party titles, the Wii gamers who like to spend time with friends and family will have fun with the Wii through innovative and involving mini-games. The PLAY ZONE label will provide them with the best games to mingle and compete together in a fun and friendly atmosphere"
Is that "Lawn Darts" I see?
Sports Party will be the first title released under the new division, scheduled for European release on July 11, 2008, and the background and gameplay look pretty simple. You are on a tropical island and have nine sports related mini-games at your disposale. Using the Wiimote, you'll go up against family and friends under one of three difficulty settings. The mini-games really are "mini", providing short sessions so a certain sport doesn't become monotonous due to prolonged playing.
One thing I'm curious about is are there too many similar party style games already out for the Wii? Wii Sports and Wii Play seem to offer the same type of gameplay, and even though it is nothing spectacular, also provide better graphics and the use of user created Mii's. WarioWare: Smooth Moves, EA Playground, and Mario Party 8 also have a similar style, consisting of mainly mini-games. Because of all the party games out there, will the titles released under the Play Zone division do very well at all?
The graphics don't look too amazing, and this screenshot gives off the impressions that croquet is similar to Wii Sports' Golf game.
Top Spin 3 has been announced to be ready for release
2k Sports' latest game, Top Spin 3, is no longer in development and ready to hit the shelves on June 24th in the North America region for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS platforms. Top Spin 3 is 2k Sports' third iteration of the popular "Top Spin" series that has said to have been one of the most real tennis video games out there.
Featuring (in order from left to right) Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, and Andy Roddick on the front cover of the box, three of the world's most dominating tennis players, Top Spin 3 is sure to hold a vast roster to choose from, including past greats such as Boris Becker and Monica Seles. As an added bonus, over 20 of these players have their tennis styles precisely and marvelously displayed during matches. A remarkably in-depth player creator mode lets you adjust and design features of the player from cosmetic aspects such as tattoos and hairstyles, to more physical things such as the screams and grunts, or the movement he or she will use to swing.
The graphics of the Top Spin series have always been praised, and it is no different this time. The weather conditions during matches are very clear, as well as the amazing courts to play on. One of the main attractions though is that you can see the players start to sweat, get dirtier, and start to heat up while you are still enjoying the game! Apparently, an excellent control system is also involved to help give players more control over their players' movements, as well as the racket and ball that they control. Different difficulties for the controls are also included, to give you the chance to understand the basics of the game before moving embarking on the endeavour of mastering maneuvers that even the pro's sometimes have a tough time with.
New modes have also been added in, so the basic world tournament and exhibition modes won't be the only one to keep you occupied. An Online mode allows you to play with a maximum of two separately connected consoles in one of the four online modes available including quick matches and a world tour mode!
The latest issue of Famitsu magazine reveals the available players for Mario Super Sluggers as well as other details for the game. Mario Super Sluggers for the Nintendo Wii is the sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball from the Gamecube that pioneered the baseball world for the Mario series.
Similar to the soccer/futbol games Mario starred in, there will be a limited number of players that serve as team captains that you must first pick, and then you'll need to pick the rest of your team from the available players. The team captains are going to be the characters that are the protagonist or play another very important role in multiple games from the Mario series, such as Mario, Peach, Yoshi, and Wario. For the rest of your team, you can use your created Mii's, and/or pick from the following:
Piranha (Packun Flower)
Nintendo and Namco Bandai also told Famitsu about the gimmicks they've added in to make the game a little more difficult, such as bananas and bombs appearing out in the field when playing defense. Famitsu also released details on the multiplayer mode featured in Mario Super Sluggers. It isn't much, but they revealed that a maximum of four players can play in different match-ups from 2 on 2, four against the computer, and others.
Mario Super Sluggers will hit the shelves in Japan in only about a week, releasing on June 19th, while North America has to wait until August 25th!
Some UK female players of Wii Fit get carried away while playing
According to a recent poll by the Telegraph, a UK news website, when some women play Wii Fit, they seem to get too involved in the interactive gameplay. The poll found that every one out of five women have accidently done damage to flower pots, television sets, and even the family pets that might be in the surrounding area, whilst performing one of the many activities featured in the game. Other mishaps that were self-inflicted include pulling muscles, bumping into nearby objects, and a few have reportedly banged their heads a few times on a surrounding surface.
For the study, 1000 women in the United Kingdom were polled, and about 86 percent of them said that they own, or are going to own very soon, a copy of Wii Fit. But remember, this is the UK, where the average home has about 21 square feet of free space, meaning that casualties to players, and surrounding objects really wouldn't be all that uncommon.
Out of the women polled that had damaged objects, they caused an average of £6.55 (approx. $12.80 USD) over the past year. That would estimate to a national £20.1 million ($39,270,574.01 USD) in damages from the vigorous work-outs on Wii Fit.
Wii Fit seems to be obtaining its goal for the United Kingdom by reviving fitness among households. But, it appears as though some gamers seem to get a little too "in the zone", which may result in marring nearby valuables.
Game has broken sales records in Japan, doing well everywhere else
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots, one of the most highly anticipated games for the Playstation 3 system was released on June 12th, not even a week ago. After the first four days of its release in Japan, 476,334 copies were reportedly sold, which already makes it the best selling PS3 title over there. The number is the combined sales of each edition of the game, whether the standard, special edition, or one of the two hardware bundles that it came in.
In the UK, the fastest selling PS3 game, Grand Theft Auto IV, wasn't dethroned. However, Metal Gear Solid 4 took second place, finishing ahead of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. According to videogamer.com's UK Video Game Chart, MGS4 is number one, with Lego Indiana Jones coming in second, and GTA IV in third.
The game's sales have also greatly aided the PS3's console sales (at least in Japan). Usually, ten thousand sales a week is excellent when you compare it to the usual amount of sales for each week over the past couple of months, but with Metal Gear Solid 4 still in its first week of release, 77,208 units have already been sold! Nintendo easily won the console race for the month of May, but if the PS3 continues to sell with the help of MGS4, the DS and Wii might not be sitting so pretty at the end of June.
Unreal Tournament 3 for the Xbox 360 gets an official release date!
Though already released for the PC and Playstation 3 platforms in late 2007, Unreal Tournament 3 for the Xbox 360 console now has a release date, as well as some new features not included in its other versions. The M rated game is set to hit North American shelves on July 7th, 2008, and will hopefully surpass the over one million copies already sold for the other two platforms.
In this edition of the Unreal Tournament series, an invasion has begun that is set to end the human race. Your kin have already been wiped out, so you head into the fray in hopes of saving humanity, as well as taking revenge for your lost loved ones. In a first-person shooter style fashion, you must fight against the incredibly realistic artificial intelligence featured in the enemies. Common FPS modes are included such as Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and Team Deathmatch.
The additions featured in this version that aren't in the already released versions include a split-screen mode, five new maps to play in, as well as two new characters in the storyline. Mark Rein, the vice president of Epic Games, Inc. had this to say about the release:
We're very excited to be shipping Unreal Tournament 3 for Xbox 360. This is a great title and, with two-player split screen support and some very cool new content, Xbox 360 players should be thrilled with this fantastic version of the game.
As another added bonus, a video preview of Gears of War 2 narrated by design director Cliff Bleszinski, and producer, Rod Fergusson is also on the disc. In it, you will be able to see new footage of new modes, weapons, maps, and other aspects of the highly-anticipated sequel.
Backyard Baseball 2009 for the Wii, PS2 and PC systems is now available!
Today, the seventh edition of the Backyard Sports' baseball section of the series, Backyard Baseball 2009, was released for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2, and PC systems with prices at $39.99, $29.99, and $19.99 USD. The first released version of the game for the Nintendo DS already hit stores earlier this year. This is also the first Backyard Baseball for the Wii console.
The nostalgic characters and gameplay still haven't turned away fans of the series, especially with the updates and new features of each new version. One of the better additions for this iteration, is that now there is at least one MLB player from each team playable, including ones that have been there since the early Backyard Baseball's, such as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, to players added later including David Ortez, who is featured on the cover.
This backyard baseball actually marks an anniversary of something special. Being one of the few sports games, and the ONLY sports game designed for the younger generation of gamers, that has both the licensees of the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Player's Association (MLBPA), Colin Hagen, VP Hard Goods Licensing for Major League Baseball, had this to say about the special anniversary:
Backyard Baseball 2009 marks our tenth year partnering with this exceptional franchise. It is a fun yet authentic baseball experience for kids and families who may not be ready for the complexity of the more sophisticated sports games.
The backyard sports players are still available to play as though, so favorites such as Pablo Sanchez, Ahmed Kahn, and Pete Wheeler can all be valuable additions to your team. The game modes are the same as they have always been, featuring a home-run derby, season mode, pick-up game, and exhibition modes, with a variety of options and settings to help the player customize and indirectly choose the difficulty setting he/she wishes to play at. But new power-ups for pitching and batting, with new fields and fun unlockables (including a kid version of the Babe Ruth to play as) along with their gimmicks keep the gameplay exciting.
I've personally kept up with the series and enjoyed it since the beginning. I don't know about you, but I'm curious as to how Humongous Entertainment is able to continue adding new things without hurting the game!
Release dates for the multi-platformed Alone in the Dark emerge
Atari recently sent word that Alone in the Dark for the Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Playstation 2 platforms will be released on June 24th in North America, June 20th in Europe, and July 3rd for Australia. The Playstation 3 didn't receive a precise release date, it was noted that it is expected to come out in the Fall of 2008.
Back before Infrogames merged into Atari, they released the first Alone in the Dark on the PC in 1992. It was one of the first 3D survival horror games, which amassed a large fanbase for later sequels and other games in the genre such as the Silent Hill series. In this Alone in the Dark set in Manhattan, you once again play as the paranormal investigator Edward Carnby as you fight through almost everything to uncover a hidden truth about Central Park that has long been protected.
New technology as allowed the player to control Edward Carnby with "real world rules", where basically anything that you can do in the real world, you can do in the game, according to Atari. An example from a recent video would be the use of weapons, you can get creative thanks to this feature. Simply make a hole in a bottle with fuel in it, put tape on it, and throw it at an enemy. It will stick with help from the tape, and now you have a gasoline trail just begging for you to light it. The combinations of weapons you can make out of household products or objects you find lying around is almost endless!
The latest details on WiiWare's Aero Guitar emerge
It seems as though from Guitar Hero and Rock Band's large fan base, it wouldn't really come as a surprise that there would be a few new music game spin-offs. Yudo released details on its new WiiWare title, Aero Guitar, including screens that appear to be similar to other guitar based music games accompanied by peripherals, as well as other music/rhythm based games.
The controls aren't anything other than what you'd imagine they would be: using the WiiMote like a guitar, you must press certain buttons that scroll across the screen. The game comes with an unspecified number of songs, with additional songs becoming available to download later on. Different song-packs will have different difficulty ratings, to draw more players to the game.
Aero Guitar will be released this summer in Japan for 800 Wiipoints. Details on a European and North American release haven't been discussed though.
Not too long ago, Marvelous Entertainment branched off the popular Harvest Moon series with a sub-series creating the game Rune Factory:A Fantasy Harvest Moon. Similar to the Harvest Moon series, you own a farm in a small town, filled with a variety of villagers. The main difference was that you wield a sword, and can use a special type of magic known as Arscode. Gaming websites' reviews rated the game highly, the lowest score being about a 70%. Now, Marvelous Entertainment has announced a new Rune Factory, this time for the Wii, will be released in Japan sometime this year.
Because of the success, Rune Factory 2 was released in Japan earlier this year, but no release for North America has been scheduled. But, keep in mind that both of these games have been for the Nintendo DS system.
In Rune Factory Frontier for the Wii, you'll be playing as the protagonist Laguna, trying to begin anew. As in other Harvest Moons, you try to build up the town you live in, while making new friends and hopefully trying to find that special someone to share your life with.