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Saints Row 2 Announced

Saints Row 2 Logo

THQ announced that sequel to the GTA-style next gen game Saints Row is in the works. Saints Row was an Xbox 360 exclusive that followed the criminal underworld/open world model of Rockstar‘s key franchise pretty closely but included a character generator and several minor improvements that made it a hit with early 360 adopters.

Saints Row 2 takes place years after the original in the same city (Stillwater), but things have changed with the passage of time. As described in the press release, “Saints Row 2 has a much darker and more sinister story that leads your character down a path of betrayal, revenge and redemption against the city that has left him for dead.”

Unlike the original, which was a 360 exclusive, Saints Row 2 will be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in 2008.

Read More | Business Wire via GamerNode


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Call of Duty 4 Beta Ends September 30th

Call of Duty 4

Robert “402” Bowling from Infinity Ward has posted about some upcoming changes to the Call of Duty 4 beta on his blog. The most significant announcement is the closing of the beta on September 30th, but he also revealed that two days prior the level cap, which has been at 16 for a couple of weeks after being lifted from the initial cap of 11, will go up to 25. That gives beta testers only two days to jump from 16 to 25 before the beta closes down in anticipation of the game’s release November 5th.

Part of the post hinted that CoD4 had gone gold, but Bowling refused to come right out and say it, saving the announcement for more official channels. He did say that Infinity Ward had received congratulations from the Sony of America and the Xbox 360 certification team, which leaves little room for doubt that the game is in the final stages before shipping.

The beta has been an excellent marketing tool for Infinity Ward since the strength of the game is quite evident from the limited, multiplayer-only test version. Even though the game is likely gold, the beta continues for developers to continue gathering data for the inevitable title upgrades and expansion packs. The raising of the level cap so close to the end of the beta is, speculatively, due to the launch of a certain multiplayer juggernaut a few days prior.

Read More | Fourzerotwo's Blog

Inside Halo 3’s $10 Million Marketing Push

Microsoft has known how important Halo 3 will be to their success this generation since before they even announced the Xbox 360. Halo 2 sold $125 million on the first day, but then the original Xbox was just struggling for recognition in the wake of the PS2 juggernaut. Now the 360 holds a tenuous lead in installed base and isn’t selling the way Microsoft may have hoped. If it’s possible Halo 3 may have become even more important to Microsoft’s strategy than they originally hoped. Fortunately, they’ve been planning ahead.

In an article released today on Brand Week, the calculated ten-month marketing efforts behind ‘s trilogy finale is dissected starting from the Starry Nights TV spot launched last November through the public beta this spring/early summer. They talk about the Project Iris viral campaign and the efforts they’ve gone to secure strategic branding partners. This has included the Mountain Dew Game Fuel limited edition soft drink that comes plastered with Halo 3 imagery plus a total of $5 million from Pontiac to help push the launch of the game on September 25.

And they aren’t done yet. Microsoft will begin the full blitz with the new Believe campaign that will lead up to the launch taking place at midnight in over 10,000 stores to give Halo fans a chance to grab the game as soon as possible. It’s an interesting read about the science behind building a monster.

Read More | Brand Week via Kotaku


Harmonix Co-Founder Answers Questions About Rock Band

Rock Band Guitar ControllerThe Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast has an interview this week with Harmonix co-founder and president Alex Rigopulos about their upcoming game Rock Band. In the interview he talks about the game bundles, although light on concrete details he does confirm a band-in-a-box bundle that will include a guitar, drum kit and microphone. However, he goes on to say that the PlayStation 3 version will include a wireless guitar controller while the Xbox 360 version will have to include a wired guitar because Microsoft‘s wireless technology is too expensive to make the bundle reasonably priced. Since the 360 also has only two USB ports, the 360 Rock Band bundle will also be packed with a USB hub.

Rigopulos goes on to discuss the game’s career modes a little, saying there will be both solo career mode that progresses in a linear fashion similar to what Guitar Hero players are used to, but they are also including a less linear band career mode. In this mode you traverse to various venues trying to build up your fan base and in some cases return to previously played locations to maintain your fame there. Also it’s worth noting that the solo career mode will not include a bass career track so your options are vocals, guitar and drums in solo career mode. But Rigopulos did reveal that the finale songs for each career path (and therefore likely the difficulty distinctions throughout) will be different for each instrument, and he even said that at this point the drum finale will be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Click to continue reading Harmonix Co-Founder Answers Questions About Rock Band

Read More | KOXM Podcast

Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console Releases This Week

BonkThere are six new games to choose from this week on and , though none of them are original games (which you expect from VC but even XBLA is arcade ports this week). Plus, most of this week’s games are relatively inexpensive with one exception.

Games this week include Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure, Adventure Island, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Cyberball 2072 and Fatal Fury Special. Details for the releases are below.

Click to continue reading Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console Releases This Week

Read More | Nintendo Press Release

GamerAndy Live! Episode 86: Chocolate Rain

Finally, now that the dust has settled from E3, we have finally found the time to get our thoughts in order and give you an extra-long episode of GamerAndy Live!

This week, Edie and Hawkes chat up all that happened before E3, during E3, and after E3, including:

OUR E3 COVERAGE
- How Edie spotted Slash, missed Ron Jeremy and got groped by China Doll;
- Edie defends why she thinks Nintendo “won” E3 this year;
- Why Hawkes wasn’t as impressed at Killzone 2 as many others;
- Burnout Paradise;
- John Woo’s Stranglehold;
- Fallout 3;
- Hellgate: London;
- Katamari Damarcy;
- PGR4;
- Assassin’s Creed;
- Why Activision will get sued over Guitar Hero III;
- The big scoop we

almost

had;
- Rumor that E for All may not happen

NEWS
- Peter Moore chucks MS job for EA Sports;
- EA Sports: Hockey-less in ‘08;
- Chocolate Rain;
- Bully revamped for release on 360 and Wii;
- Wii Fit
- MGS4 coming to 360?
- Shoutouts and Shoutats;
- Problems for Unreal Engine?
- X07 gone;
- Xbox extended warantees;
- PS3 price drop…er, clearance sale;
- The Jaime Kennedy Embarassment;
- South Park’s WoW episode nominated for Emmy

Enjoy!


Rockstar Loves Nintendo, Brings Bully and Table Tennis Wii-ward

Posted by Michael Cardiff Categories: Adventure, Take2, Wii

DescriptionWell, it seems as if the constant hubbub over Manhunt 2 won’t be keeping Rockstar away from the Wii. Just recently, Rockstar has announced that they will be bringing Bully (formerly PS2 exclusive) and Table Tennis (formerly 360 exclusive) to the Wii. It seems the company has been amping up support for the little white box. Here’s hoping that these won’t be quick-n-dirty money-printing ports from Rockstar - I’ve come to expect quality from these guys.

Bully will be hitting the Wii (and the 360, by the way!) in a new “Scholarship Edition” that features new bonus content, as yet unspecified. Look for it to drop this winter.

Read More | Take2games.com

Tomb Raider Anniversary to Hit 360, Twice

Lara Croft It’s no secret that I love me some Tomb Raider, so when Eidos announced that the remake of the original game, titled Tomb Raider: Anniversary Edition would only becoming to last-gen (read: PS2) and “new-gen” (read: Wii) consoles, I was a might bit disappointed.

Well, it looks as if Eidos has changed their mind, so color me giddy with anticipation. TR: Anniversary will now be coming to the 360, so you can finally see Lara’s original adventure in all its bump-mapped, pixel-shaded, bloom-lit glory. The really interesting part is exactly HOW the game will be coming to the 360. In its first iteration, TR: Anniversary will be hitting the 360 as downloadable episodic content, starting in September for those that own the excellent TR: Legends. Why? Well, my guess is that they’re meeting MS’s download size requirements by using the in-game engine of Legends, so essentially the Anniversary download will just be new map packs and outfits for Lara. Of course, those of you without the original Legends, or not on Xbox Live will be able to purchase Anniversary as it hits meatspace later in the year in DVD form.

Read More | 1up.com

This Year’s Football Offerings Run At 60 FPS on Xbox 360, 30 on PlayStation 3

Madden NFL 08 cover1UP is reporting there’s a pretty major discrepancy between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of All-Pro Football 2K8, Madden NFL 08 and NCAA Football 08 – the 360 versions will run at 60 frames per second, while the PS3 versions will do just half that. Especially in a football game, that’s a major issue, as minor animations are what really make the on-screen action gel. And this isn’t just an issue one developer is having – EA Sports is the developer of Madden and NCAA, while 2K Sports is behind All-Pro 2K8; clearly, there’s some issue to be had.

“We have already proven that sports titles can run on the PlayStation 3 at true HD with 1080p output with NBA 07,” says Dave Karraker, Sony CEA’s senior director of corporate communications. “If you have questions about specific third-party games, you should speak to those publishers.”

1UP went ahead and did just that. 2K gave a “no comment,” while EA exec Todd Sitrin chose to reply.

“We want to make sure that we give the best experience we can on each platform. In designing a game, there are all sorts of tradeoffs that include frame rate, visuals, features, AI, etc. Football is an extremely challenging sport to replicate because of the number of people on the field, their interaction, and the scope of the environments. As you can see, every company making a football game this year made a decision that the best experience for the Xbox 360 included 60fps whereas the best experience for the PS3 was 30fps. We certainly believe that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are our football products are outstanding experiences and recommend that each gamer look at the entire experience, not just one aspect. We think they’ll be very happy no matter which version of the game they play.”

Head over to the 1UP story for the full scoop and some further analysis on what might be behind all of this.

Read More | 1UP

Guitar Hero ‘80s Final Tracks Unveiled

Guitar Hero II 80s EncoreThe list of songs that will appear in Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ‘80s has been fully revealed with the announcement of the final eight, making for a total of 30 songs. Overall, the list isn’t terrible; it’s got a mixture of everything, from A Flock of Seagulls to The Vapors to Dio, but it just seems to be lacking any true flavor. It feels like a completely random selection of ‘80s songs, as opposed to, say, a really sweet group of ‘80s songs or one that captures a particular aspect of ‘80s music.. We still don’t have any official word on why Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” disappeared after being seen in earlier builds of the game.

The game is set for release on PlayStation 2 on July 24 at a full retail price of $49.99. Nothing has been announced, but 360 Guitar Hero II owners might be seeing a downloadable content package (read: lots of microtransactions) later this year containing these songs.

The newly announced songs:

  • Anthrax’s “Caught In A Mosh”
  • Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”
  • Judas Priest’s “Electric Eye”
  • Dead Kennedy’s “Police Truck”
  • X’s “Los Angeles”
  • The Go Gos’ “We Got the Beat”
  • The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese”
  • Winger’s “Seventeen”
  • Limozeen’s “Because, it’s Midnite”

Click to continue reading Guitar Hero ‘80s Final Tracks Unveiled


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