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Publisher 1C Company has just announced the development of IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, a new entry in this venerable combat flight simulator franchise, planned for an early 2014 release. The game is being developed by 777 Studios (makers of Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War), with whom they have formed a joint venture and a new studio named 1C Game Studios.



This venture brings two of the world's leading combat flight-simulation franchises and development teams together under one banner to form a new, dynamic team led by (...)

>  Continue reading 'IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Announced'...
Ubisoft's Romanian studio is back at work on what it usually does best: military sims, be they naval (Silent Hunter 3 and above), aerial or otherwise. In this case, aerial, as yesterday brought the announcement of Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2. The sequel to last year's "over one million units" selling HAWX is planned for release in Fall 2010, for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii platforms.



Much like the previous game, HAWX 2 also promises to plunge fans into an explosive environment where they can become elite aerial soldiers in control of the world's most technologically advanced aircraft. The game is meant to appeal to a wide array of gamers, as players will have the chance to control exceptional pilots trained to use cutting edge technology in amazing aerial warfare missions.

The game's official website is now ready for a very brief inspection, though offering little more than the above artwork. Which, by the way, had the following amusingly erroneous description embedded in its file: (...)

>  Continue reading 'Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Takes Off In Fall 2010'...
Another preorder opportunity has just popped up on the steamy service known as Steam, and this time, it's all about trading goods, raping galaxies, visiting planets and colonizing worlds full of hot virgins. That's right, X3: Terran Conflict is coming soon to a PC near you. Or, more likely, in front of you.

On October 17, players will be able to download the full, digital, product worldwide, while the retail boxed outlet is heading to European stores in the same day. In case you don't know the new and enhanced features that this game will offer, here is a short list:
- A brand new user interface allow full control using only the mouse
- New and improved mouse flight controls
- Several new races and factions, including Earth's primary military force, the Terran United Space Command
- Independent, non-player owned corporations, complete with unique ships and stations, offering new friends or foes to players
- New group management system allowing for better control of large numbers of ships in your fleet
- Over 100 new ships and several new ship classes
- Double the amount of distinct weapons
- The ability to board and capture huge capital ships with your own mercenaries and soldiers
EA is known for its innate ability to spawn countless sequels, packs, add-ons and various other things over a very short period of time, and Spore isn't, God forbid, an exception. A quick tour on the EA Store website reveals Spore: Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, some sort of expansion for the publisher's recent hit, which can be already preordered for the mere price of 19.95 USD.



While I am unsure what this thing will bring to the masses, judging just by its title, a “creature pack” that actually costs this much may not be the best idea ever. But who knows, maybe it has some features that we are unaware of.
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.
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.

The Japanese have found a rather interesting use for two obsolete air traffic control radars, which had previously been used at the Osaka International Airport. Instead of trashing them, they installed them in a nearby park - built on an artificial hill, go figure - and are now using the radars as gaming platforms of sorts.

Nothing fancy, though, just a simulator game for children, "in which they can control landing planes following guidance on a screen", Mainichi writes today (here's a backup of that page, since their stories have a habit of going M.I.A. real fast). Had it been put to proper use - and by "proper" I mean "hardcore" - this would've surely qualified as the most advanced and realistic flight control simulator.

The only issue that remains is mass-producing real radars for common gamers (who wouldn't want one in their backyard?), not to mention the questioning appeal of a flight control sim. As if flight sims weren't unpopular enough.
The salesmen from Sony Computer Entertainment are over-pleased with themselves, for their impressive achievement of having shipped over 50 million games from the Gran Turismo "racing and car-life simulator" franchise. And because they obviously did all the hard work themselves, they're barely mentioning the series' developing studio - Polyphony Digital - just once in their pompous communique.

The series began in late 1997, so the 50 million shipments, spread over a 10 years (and 4 months) timeframe, would average to nearly 5 million Gran Turismo games shipped every year; and presumably a very solid percentage of that sold, too. It would be interesting to see a similar figure from EA's Need for Speed franchise. Wanna bet which one would come on top?

For old times' sake, here's a list of all the Gran Turismo games and "prologues" released over the years:
Gran Turismo - December 23, 1997
Gran Turismo 2 - December 11, 1999
Gran Turismo 3 A-spec - April 28, 2001
Gran Turismo Concept 2001 TOKYO - January 1, 2002
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue - December 4, 2003
Gran Turismo 4 - December 28, 2004
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - December 13, 2007

Oh, and a big-big personal thanks from Gran Turismo producer Kazunori Yamauchi, to all the fans out there. I've only been one for a year or so (since the NFS series is going nowhere fast), and I don't have a single shred of regret for switching over to Sony's team.
"I would really like to thank all the fans who have supported the Gran Turismo series over the years, for all their passion and love of the game. We’d like to continue making every effort to create cutting edge, high quality games, so that we don’t disappoint anyone’s expectations."
A new press release has come up on the Internetz, giving us some insight in the much anticipated (by desk secretaries) Sims 3. Along with a brand new engine that is bound to rock our stinky socks one way or the other (and which seems to be in development for almost three years), EA’s simulation success brags at everyone with the following things, which we will detail a bit, to give you a much deserved shade of Aran light on the matter:

New Seamless, Open Neighborhood - Explore the Neighborhood Freely.
So, you will be able to leave the house, stalk your neighbours’ daughters any way you see fit. Hopefully, such an open neighborhood means fewer locks on the little girls’ bedrooms, and more instant action for us.

New Create A Sim - Create Any Sim You Can Imagine.
…and I certainly don’t mind being a God, also in the virtual world. Sticking to different Sim personalities, like whores, pimps, serial killers and sisters of Ilidan should be a nice addition to the whole game universe. Size is also included here – you can make them small, big, fat, thin, and most especially, white.

New Unlimited Customization - Everyone Can Customize Everything!
And the blah-blah part about “OMG U CAN CHANGE IT ALL!!!!”. Fascinating. They say I can even modify window shades. Or sofas. Now that is really groundbreaking. I can always feel the urge to play this game, over and over again, while my (presumptive) girlfriend is playing around with that new wireless Nunchuk I bought her, to leave me alone.
Taking a cue from the hollywoodian habit of milking games from movies before they even premiere, the Japanese anime and gaming industries are coming together in the production of a Wii game based on the upcoming The Sky Crawlers animation film. The project was revealed in the pages of Famitsu (via Gamersyde), who say that the Wii game is being developed by the Namco Bandai team responsible for the Ace Combat series.

The only reason I give a damn is that the Sky Crawlers anime is directed by Mamoru Oshii, who made a name for himself by directing the Ghost in the Sell animation film and its sequel Innocence (among other anime and live-action stuff). It's based on a novel series which follows a group of young fighter pilots involved in dogfight warfare, during an alternate historical period, and it's animated by Production I.G. The film premieres on August 2 and, by the way, I lied: I don't really give a damn about the game.

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