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Final Fantasy XIII-2, New Versus XIII Trailer, More...

Sure enough, Square Enix has officially announced the Final Fantasy XIII-2 sequel today at its "1st Production Department Premiere" event, confirming last week's rumor. But perhaps of more interest seems to have been the new Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer that was shown there. You can watch it here in a low-quality Ustream version, for now, until a HD version is released next week.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 logo

Aside from these two titles, other topics discussed at Square's event included the game formerly known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII (now called Final Fantasy Type-0), the game formerly known as Kingdom Hearts 3D (now called Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance), and the game still known as Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. A bit more about each of them, below. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Final Fantasy XIII-2, New Versus XIII Trailer, More...'...
Reviews were never “that friendly” regarding LucasArts' latest multiplatform lightsaber mayhem, the game being, many times, valued as “mediocre”. Well, it seems that fans are doing the right thing for once (that being stop believing every little piece of golden bullshit that some “objective” game reviewers and game sites tend to throw at them), since this title sold no more than 5.7 million copies, since its September release.



Obviously, the fact that it IS a multiplatform game helped a bit - well, multiplatform minus the odd PC component – but heck, according to the numbers, it is the fastest selling Star Wars game in the history of... Star Wars gaming.

Ze Source.
Three new Need for Speed games were announced today by Electronic Arts, leaving the gaming world - or at least the part of it that still has some common sense - in a blissful indifference, at best. While some might find the idea of a NFS threesome quite exciting, we dare question how EA will be able to churn out three quality titles in less than a year, after years of pushing the franchise down a steady slope.



Well, no use trolling over spilt booze, so let's get on with the news. As they say in the announcement, "we listened to the gamers when they told us they wanted a wider range of experiences" (big mistake!), so they're now ready to pop the cork off their new NFS games: Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Nitro and Need for Speed World Online.

NFS Shift sounds like your run-of-the-mill racing game (think Race Driver: GRID for instance), and this first screenshot shows nothing spectacular, either. "A racing game built by racers for racers", "a level of realism never before seen in a Need for Speed title", "an incredible authentic and immersive driving experience", "a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit viewpoint", "an unrivaled sensation of racing at high speed" - the usual PR talk. The one true flicker of hope shines from the fact that it's being developed by Slighty Mad Studios, formerly known as Blimey (the guys behind GT Legends and GTR 2). NFS Shift is planned for release on the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP in autumn 2009. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Need for Speed Does A Threesome'...
Sony Japan is taking the fist steps into the PSP online business, announcing that all future first-party products made for this tiny, yet classy and incredible useful console (at least while you're waiting for your booze partners to join you in an all-night alcohol session), will be also available for download. UMD releases will still ship, of course.


This probably comes as a self-marketing thingie for the PSP Store extravaganza, which was also confirmed. So, if you have a store, you are bound to have some games to fill that store. Or something. According to Gameindustry.biz, the first downloadable titles will be something alongside Secret Agent Clank, Patapon 2 and LocoRoco 2.

Japan only so far, though my bet is that a European and a North-American follow-up is soon to follow.
Since we were previously talking about Japan, games, and various other things (actually, we always talk about Japan and various other things), let's take a look at some figures from the Tokyo Game Show, courtesy of Gameindustry.biz.

It seems that this here event is set to break tons of records, including the number of games exhibited – no less than 879 titles, for every platform available. To get into even more details, we have around 19 percent DS games (actually, 18.7, but who's counting), 18 percent mobile games, and around 17.5 PC games. The top of the bottom is gloriously held by the Playstation 3, with a mere 3.5 percent.



And while we're here, let's get into genres. Most of the titles (around 20 percent) will obviously be action-adventure oriented (no wonder, kids seem to like easy stuff these days), with the roleplaying awesomeness of true gaming reaching only 9 percent, followed by simulation and puzzle titles.
As of today, the new president of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) is Shuhei Yoshida. "Who?!", you might ask for various reasons, and I wouldn't blame you. For various reasons. Luckily, for all of us ignorants who haven't been following Sony's constant leadership changes over the past couple of years up close and personal, they provided us with a quick bio of Yoshida-san, which we're generously copy-pasting below.
"Yoshida joined SCEI in 1993, and was one of the initial members in establishing the PlayStation business. He was appointed Producer of the Product Development Department in April 1996, and joined Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. as Vice President of Product Development in April 2000, where he held various positions in product development, producing many global best selling franchise titles. In February 2007, Yoshida was promoted to Senior Vice President, US Studios, SCE WWS."

Commenting on the appointment, the group's CEO and president Kaz "Riiidge Racer" Hirai said that "SCE WWS will accelerate the software development for the PlayStation 3 and PSP platforms and vigorously expand the gaming market", under the leadership of Yoshida. Yeah, like, ganbatte!


Habemus President!
- New Red Alert 3 details have been discussed in the latest BattleCast web-show, including the revelation of the new faction: The Empire of the Rising Sun, "which was produced after a desperate Soviet leadership went back in time to erase Einstein, presumably to stop him creating the atomic bomb". One does not simply erase Einstein.

- Okami finally gets a firm release date on the Wii (or delay, from GameSpot's point of view): April 15. Cool, right on my birthday. But something tells me I'll still be busy air-punching my comrade in Super Smash Bros. Brawl at that time.

- IGN talked to Ubi about the new stuff in Assassin's Creed for the PC, such as four new investigation missions (archer assassination, rooftop race challenge, merchant stand destruction challenge and escort challenge). And they also got some new screens. The PC version is coming in early April, having slipped again.

- Dark Sector is also coming a bit later than expected, in April, with a demo "likely" to precede the final launch.

- A fresh new release schedule we received from cdv USA lists Sacred 2: Fallen Angel as coming in September 2008 on the PC and Xbox 360. Precicely, yet another delay. Also, Stranger releasing this March 17, Sudden Strike 3 on March 24, and Theatre of War on May 12 (it's been out in Europe since last autumn).

- Demigod, at least, is not getting delayed... yet. Gas Powered Games' new strategy game is "completely playable" and "fairly certain" for a 2008 release. Should be worth the wait, "heck [they] have a giant walking castle as a demigod"!

- A Grimm preview is up on GameTap (the very website that will be launching this dark episodic game in July), with quotes from American McGee, who seems rather frustrated by Disney's versions of the classic murderous fairy tales. "Look at Pinocchio, for instance. In the original story he kills Jiminy Cricket, his conscience. Pinocchio was a real jerk in the original story. But nobody knows that because they've only seen the Disney version."

- A game based on the TV show Dexter is in the works, through a partnership between Showtime Networks and Marc Ecko Entertainment. Right, as in Marc Ecko's Getting Up pile-o-crap from a couple of years ago.

- Sony Japan confirms Skype for PSP from March 18, plus new hardware and limited edition Bronze handheld. Any colour you like.
Destination Playstation is a nice and cozy meeting between Sony representatives, retailers and 3rd party developers, which takes place in Arizona, every year. If you are a console freak, then you probably know about all this bullshit, and even more, if you are a proud owner of a Playstation, be it a handheld, be it a PS3, or be it a PS2 for all those juicy bishojou games out there, you’ll be pretty interested in this.

First off, we’ll get a Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PS3 Bundle in Q2 2008, which will include a nice 80 GB Playstation 3, a retail version of Solid Snake’s upcoming adventure, plus a Dualshock 3 controller, all for only 499.99 USD. The price is good, I must say, the only thing that I do not know for sure is the presence (or absence) of the dreaded backwards compatibility.

Secondly, PSP owners will get a huge boner when this pretty God of War PSP Entertainment Pack hits the shelves, for a mere 199.99 USD. The bundle will include a nice custom red PSP, with Kratos’ face forever carved into the handheld’s back, the upcoming God of War: Chains of Olympus, plus the voucher to freely download Syphon Filter: Combat Ops from the Playstation Store.

Last, but certainly not least, the much awaited Dualshock 3 will finally get its ass on the North American market, starting with April, 2008. It will be charged with no less than 54.99 USD, and it is said to be compatible with over 100 PS3 games. Frankly, I still think Sony lost a LOT with delaying this launch, but, hey, better late than never.

I have stopped thinking weird things about Japan and its inhabitants since I, myself, became obsessed with anything related to that place. Well, almost anything, their little 2D girls especially. We all know that place as a paradise for gamers, with people of all ages, be it youngsters, be it 80 years old dudes that run around in wheelchairs, playing like madmen every game they can possibly get their hands on.

A quick visit to the Kotaku website reveals some nice and interesting statistics regarding the Japanese grannies (you know, those nice old ladies which are supposed to cook a lot, and which provide their grandsons and granddaughters with endless advices regarding the meaning of life), and their time spent in front of a gaming console. From a “pool” of over a thousand obaa-sans, aged between 50 and 69, no less than 41.3 percent own a gaming console.

Not bad. Almost 13 percent are playing games frequently, be it puzzle games, study games or simulators, with a bit of love for action titles, also. So remember kids, next time you have to visit granny on weekends, think twice before rejecting such a kind offer. She might have just bought that awesomely fantastic God of War that you have been drooling on since September. For those who love numbers, here is a short list with the most common consoles that can be spotted in grandma’s living room:
Nintendo DS 65.5 percent
PlayStation (any model) 61.5 percent
Super Famicom (SNES) 36.5 percent
Famicom (NES) 28.2 percent
GameBoy (including Micro) 25.5 percent
GameBoy Advance 17.8 percent
Wii 17.6 percent
PSP 14.2 percent
Nintendo 64 12.8 percent
Sega Saturn 5.0 percent
Xbox (doesn't specify) 4.5 percent
Dreamcast 4.5 percent
Other 2.9 percent
- The PSP version of Need for Speed ProStreet is finally shifting into retail gear this week, on February 22. Time for another NFS soon, eh?... *sigh*... What a drag racing.

- Also on February 22, the PS3 version of Unreal Tournament 3 will be released in Europe. Other releases this week include Dragon Quest Swords (Wii), The Club, Dynasty Warriors 6, and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS).

- The Witcher Enhanced Edition was announced for May 2008, bringing changes in the game's mechanics, better graphics, a MOD editor, and two new adventures (comprising 8 new quests). In other words, they're trying to sell us a fucking patch.

- Second Life goes mobile, by "[reformatting] the online world to fit on mobile phone screens while mapping the keys on handsets to commands in-world". World of Warcraft should take a cue, instead of experimenting with shitty mobile chat features.

- JoWooD and World Forge (Sparta: Ancient Wars) announced a new strategy game called The Golden Horde, which "takes you back to a place in time where the heirs of Dschingis Khan were ready to fight for their honor and glory". Dschingis Khan?! What the fuck! Somebody fire that PR idiot who can't even spell Genghis Khan right. FAIL.

- THQ and Blue Fang Games (Zoo Tycoon) are banding for a new game, in development for the Wii, DS and PC. More zoophilia?

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