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It was about time, I'd say. After the previous Xbox 360 and PS3 demos, not to mention the full versions of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - all of which were released over the last month - we're now treated to the PC demo of Mercs 2. The package is a solid 1.5 GB, and you can get it from here, here, here or wherever else you (and your connection) feel confortable with.
"The Mercenaries 2: World in Flames free PC demo lets players have a playable sneak preview of the final product.

Players can play an objective from one of the missions, and while they are limited to a relatively small section of the world, there's enough there for players to get a feel for the sandbox nature of the game.

Additionally, we give players a customized load out of awesome vehicles and airstrikes, so that players can get a taste of the toys and destruction that combine to make Mercenaries 2 the premier explosive action game of the summer!"
Veteran anime studio Ghibli is teaming up with game developer Level-5 (Dragon Quest VIII, Rogue Galaxy) for a new Nintendo DS game going by the name of Ni no Kuni: The Another World, or simply Ninokuni. It seems like a pretty cute-, albeit childish-looking fantasy RPG - as can be seen below - and it's scheduled for release in Japan during 2009.

You won't find much else about it on the official website, but the original announcement made in the latest Famitsu magazine does shed some light on what to expect from Ninokuni. Shameless copy-paste from Gamekyo (via AnimeNation) follows.
- The animation in the game is all by Studio Ghibli.
- Level-5's first 10th Anniversary product.
- There will be a book bundled with the game filled with information on various magic crests and spell recipes. This 'Magic Master' book is something that the main character in the game has, and the player will need to refer to from time to time while playing the game.
- There will be a console version of the game, but the hardware is not decided yet.
- They want the console version to offer something different for people that have already played the DS version, the selection of the hardware will be based on which is most suitable for this purpose.
- The exact same book will be packaged with the console version as well.
Despite having gone gold earlier this month and receiving what looked like a final release date for October 3, X³: Terran Conflict isn't quite ready to be put to the test by its hardcore fans, after all. But don't worry, it won't be much longer. According to a recent update posted by German developer Egosoft, they had to push back the game's release to October 10, "due to unforeseen delays in the production process".

Aside from fixing whatever is wrong with it, the devs are also promising to "sweeten the waiting time" with more screenshots, videos and blog entries. And speaking of videos, we seem to have missed a few of them during our extended summer break. Well, no matter, here they are now.

All my bets are lost. I was dead-sure that WotLK would only be released in 2009, but fortunately, it seems that me and my fellow horde of skeptics (no pun intended) were wrong. If you visit the WoW website right now, odds are you'll be greeted with a page announcing the release date for the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion - "In Stores 11.13.08". That's like... really bloody soon! Better get your pre-orders sorted out, fast.

The same thing is also beeing announced by Blizzard in a full-fledged press release, which also sheds some light on when the expansion will land in different territories: November 13 in North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia. November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. And finally November 18 in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The Lich King's wrath will be sealed in a DVD box inscriptioned with a $39.99 price tag, and a special Collector's Edition priced at $69.99 will also be available "in select regions".
Long before there was Heroes of Might and Magic, there was a little game called King's Bounty - a strikingly similar turn-based strategy, that had also been created by the late New World Computing five years earlier, in 1990. Fast forward 18 years, and today we finally have the chance to see first-hand how the sequel King's Bounty: The Legend turned out, thanks to the demo version released by publisher 1C Company, hot off Katauri Interactive's work benches.

The FTP link that came with the press release is pretty useless right now, as it's being hammered down to a crawl, so you might want to try your regular download website of choice. Like WorthPlaying or something. The 700ish MB demo includes the first city in the game, all three character types, multiple quests and dozens of spells. Now if you'll pardon me... let's see what we have here.

Update: After 8 hours of playing the demo, all I can say is... win. Pure win!

Warner Bros. has finally slapped the F.E.A.R. brand - previously owned by Vivendi / Sierra, before being taken over by Activision - on its upcoming shooter Project Origin. Which, after all, was supposed to be a "spiritual sequel" of sorts to F.E.A.R. all along. As such, today they are announcing that the sequel is now properly named F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Pix, cause it happened.

The other news to come out of Warner's press release is the new release date: February 10, 2009 in North America, and February 13, 2009 in Europe. This should hold true for the all three platforms the game is being developed on - PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
"F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, the highly anticipated sequel to the 2005 smash hit game, F.E.A.R., is a blend of advanced visceral combat mixed with seamless game pacing set inside a sinister and paranormal universe that begins shortly before the ending of F.E.A.R. A Special Forces squad is on a routine mission when the city of Auburn is rocked by a supernatural explosion. Alma, a girl with immense power and a thirst for revenge, has unleashed her wrath upon the city and thrown it into chaos. The squad must combat enemy forces and the supernatural as they struggle to find a way to stop Alma and uncover the mysterious forces arrayed against them before it’s too late."
Not all of them, certainly, and particularly not the classic ones (Tie Fighter and Jedi Knight come to mind). But you have to admit, there have been plenty of crappy Star Wars games defecated by Lucasarts' corporate machine over the years. And the fear or such "mistakes" happening again still haunts fans to this day. So why would Star Wars: The Force Unleashed be any different? Well... what does your heart tell you?

What? No midi-chlorians coarsing through your veins? Too bad then, you'll just have to trust the game's producer, Cameron Suey, when he swears on Chewie's grave that The Force Unleashed won't suck - in an interview conducted by EuroGamer (via Kotaku). As far as we're concerned, we have no reason to doubt him, as we heard some great things about the game's Wii version demo'ed at GC 2008.

But still, why did those other Star Wars games suck, anyway? Because Star Wars is "such a great licence", it's "really easy to get excited about that and not set the bar high enough", Suey reckons. Whether it was this lack of ambition, or simply the usual greed that comes with all big licenses, it matters less now. We're just a couple of weeks away from the release of The Force Unleashed on September 19, and they'd better not fuck this one up!

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