We’ve moved!

Posted in General by Shawn Wallace on 17 2006f March 2006

That’s right kids. For awhile, was forwarding here, but we’ve moved into our permanent (well, as permanent as webhosting can be) digs and have gotten a good portion of our database back online. So, fix your favorites to point to instead of here.


Bungie’s cribs

Posted in Blog,Gaming by Shawn Wallace on 16 2006f March 2006

Ever wondered what some of the peeps at Bungie have as their gaming setups? Check out this page for some pics along with specs. Good stuff!

PlayStation 3 officially delayed

Posted in Gaming,Next,PS3 by Shawn Wallace on 15 2006f March 2006

After much speculation, the official announcement has been made that the PlayStation 3, due for launch sooner rather than later, has been delayed to much later, as in sometime around November of this year… maybe. Check it:

Sony will put off the release of its much awaited PlayStation 3 console until November from its planned spring debut because of delays in finalizing its next-generation optical disc technology, the company said Wednesday.

The PlayStation 3 console can be used as a Blu-ray DVD player, but will also read previously released PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, Kutaragi said. It will also have a hard disk drive, broadband and wireless Internet connections, and support high-definition televisions.

New PSP confirmed?

Posted in Gaming,Next,PSP,Rumor Mill by Shawn Wallace on 13 2006f March 2006

According to this post over at Kotaku, the AICN guys have confirmed (somehow) that a new PSP will be coming with a 4 gig hard drive. Here’s a clip:

Seems Sony’s current internal plans call for a release of a refitted PSP around Christmas this year. The device will, indeed, be streamlined (thinner), lighter, boast 4 gigs of memory and a camera.

Check out the AICN article here.

Painkiller: Hell Wars Chat

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 11 2006f March 2006

Want to fire off a few questions to the peeps at People Can Fly about their upcoming Xbox port of the popular FPS shooter Painkiller? Read on to find out just when that opportunity will arise:


DreamCatcher Games today announced that will be hosting a chat with People Can Fly, developers of the upcoming Xbox title “Painkiller: Hell Wars” on Tuesday, March 14th at 3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST.

In “Painkiller: Hell Wars,” gamers play the role of Daniel Garner, who after an unfortunate car accident is trapped between Heaven and Hell. To escape purgatory and find his salvation, he must fight mobs of hellish monsters to stop an imminent Unholy War.

To access the Painkiller chat, you will need an IRC client ( Download and install the client and click on irc://

/Painkiller. As an alternative, the chat can be connected manually by using as the server and #Painkiller as the channel.

Painkiller: Hell Wars is planned for release on March 2006 and has an ESRB rating of “M” for Mature.

Prey weekly update #9

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 11 2006f March 2006

3DRealms has released the ninth weekly update for Prey, this week focusing solely on the Xbox 360 version of the game. Here’s a quick snippet:

We started work in earnest on bringing Prey to the 360 in late June 2005, although we had been looking at the code a little before that to ready ourselves and plan our attack. It was amusing to see on some gaming forums that some posters seemed to think that the announcement about it last month meant that we had just started work on it, this is far from the case.

As our aim was to keep everything as faithful to the PC original as possible, we knew it would be mainly a coding job, with relatively little work needed on the art side. It broke down into a number of tasks – converting the engine itself to get it running on the 360 platform, and the areas where we needed to make changes to better suit the platform – such as the control system, the front end and the integration of Xbox Live.

Click here for the full update.

WarPath Factions Trailer

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,PC,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 9 2006f March 2006

Itching for some more in-game footage from DE and Groove Games’ upcoming sci-fi shooter WarPath? Click here for the WarPath Factions Trailer over at YouTube. Here’s some words to go along with the pretty pictures:

Choose Your Side Wisely In “WarPath’s” Epic Trinity War!

“WarPath” from Groove Games introduces three factions locked in a fierce battle for dominance of Kaladi, a planet rich in resources. Though very different needs draw the Ohm, Kovos and Humans to this valuable planet, they have one thing in common: the desire to gain control at any cost. Strategy and firepower are the only hope for each faction as they stake their claim in “WarPath’s” menacing sci-fi setting.

THQ and Double Fusion team up

Posted in Gaming,Next,Rant by Shawn Wallace on 8 2006f March 2006

Team up to do what you ask? Why, to bring more advertisements to video games! Here’s the official release:



Leading Global Video Game Publisher and In-game Advertising Leader To Work Together Across Upcoming Current and Next-Generation Releases

AGOURA HILLS and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., – March 8, 2006 – THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and Double Fusion, a leader in in-game advertising, announced today a multi-title relationship where Double Fusion will represent three upcoming THQ titles to advertisers and agencies. Titles include new, original properties for next-gen and licensed properties scheduled for release this fall.

“In-game advertising opens up new revenue opportunities for the company, and helps us deliver an exceptionally strong communications channel to our brand and marketing partners,” said Kelly Flock, executive vice president of worldwide publishing, THQ Inc. “We feel that Double Fusion has a very compelling offering that will help us reshape the way marketers deliver content and consumers interact with that content during their game experience.”

“THQ is consistently one of the most innovative publishers in the video game industry and this relationship will further establish in-game advertising as an effective vehicle that provides a huge benefit to gamers, publishers, and advertisers alike,” said Elie Wurtman, Chairman, Double Fusion. “By providing marketers access to a wide range of opportunities in THQ’s titles, from billboards to deep storyline integrations, we’re able to offer a significant value proposition to our partners.”

Double Fusion’s technology enables advertisers to serve and measure rich-media campaigns within the immersive game environment itself, while allowing game publishers to increase their per-title revenues through advertising.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; these types of deals should ultimately benefit the consumer by bringing the retail cost of the game down a few dollars. However, we know that won’t happen. There is one line in there that cracks me up though:

“By providing marketers access to a wide range of opportunities in THQ’s titles, from billboards to deep storyline integrations, we’re able to offer a significant value proposition to our partners.”

Deep storyline intergrations? Great… so that means we can look forward to the final level in action games being a Mountain Dew can hunt instead of “kill bad guy x” or “escape before time runs out”. Ugh.

Q&A w/ Mark Starrett of Saitek

Posted in Gaming,Hardware,Interview by Shawn Wallace on 7 2006f March 2006

Tonight we’ve got a fine interview with Mark Starrett of Saitek, talking about present and future products, and what’s next for this PC gaming controller developer. Check it:

Gamingnext – Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Mark Starrett – I’ve been the U.S. Marketing Manager for four years, and came to Saitek nine years ago to launch our line of PC Game controllers. I came to Saitek because I’m a gamer at heart, and so is Saitek. My favorites are combat flight simulations, and head-to-head dogfighting. In what spare time there is left, I enjoy motorcycle sport-touring.


Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter launch trailer

Posted in Gaming,PC,X360,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 6 2006f March 2006

GRAW is due out March 9th, and tonight we have the official launch trailer. This game is coming out for multiple platforms, but it looks like the X360 version is going to be the flagship in this trifecta of tactical gaming goodness. Words, then linkage:

This final piece of official trailer goodness for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter lays it all out. Feast your eyes upon stunning in-game footage that will let you know exactly what to expect when you play Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Amazing graphics, intense action, and amazing multiplayer gameplay…Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is ready to help usher in the next generation of gaming…in a big way. See what the critics are already saying about Ghost Recon Advanced…”Look upon this game and cry tears of joy!” Indeed.

Click here to check out the official GRAW launch trailer at YouTube. 

Rainbow Six Vegas officially announced

Posted in Games,Next by Shawn Wallace on 6 2006f March 2006

Rainbow Six Vegas has been officially announced for next gen consoles, due to debut this fall. You can check out the official Rainbow Six games website here or read on for the full press release:


SAN FRANCISCO — MARCH 6, 2006 — Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announced that it is developing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Vegas for  next-generation and current-generation video game consoles. Scheduled for a fall 2006 release and developed by Ubisoft’s award-winning Montreal studio, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas is the fifth iteration of the multimillion-selling Rainbow Six tactical shooter franchise.


Rainbow Six: Vegas revealed

Posted in Gaming,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 5 2006f March 2006

This article over at 1Up reveals the next title in the Rainbow Six series as Rainbow Six: Vegas. I’d give you a snippet from the article but it doesn’t reveal much more than this. Looks like this is due in stores in September. The article also features a single screenshot and a scan of the print mag that will reveal more info on Vegas later this year.

Rockstar to make… a table tennis game?

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 4 2006f March 2006

That’s right kids… the makers of such titles as Manhunt, The Warriors and the Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar Games, has officially announced their next mind-blowing title.

A ping pong game for the Xbox 360.

No… really. Anyway, IGN had the scoop so be sure and check out the goods here.

Will you pick it up? I know I will, and not just because it’s a Rockstar Game (I might only own one or two Rockstar titles) but because it does innovate. 

Mario Race

Posted in Gaming,Vintage by Shawn Wallace on 4 2006f March 2006

Here’s a fun one for you to check out this Saturday. A couple guys race each other in Super Mario Brothers at what looks to be some sort of LAN event. Anyway, here’s some notes from the video:

Jeff Ninneman and Jason Harmer race to finish Super Mario Brothers on NES, circa 2002. No emulators were used.

Watch Ninneman’s screen (left) for an amazing jump at the beginning of Lvl 8-2. Harmer opts out of attempting it.

Harmer’s all-time SMB record: 5:09
Ninneman’s all-time SMB record: 5:11

You can tell they fool around a little bit in this one for the talent show, so it’s just around 6 minutes.

Left Screen/Mario:     Jeff Ninneman
Right Screen/Luigi:     Jason Harmer



Posted in Blog,Next by Shawn Wallace on 3 2006f March 2006

Really, that is the question. What is this Origami thing? The source code of says it’s a “Mobile PC running Windows XP” but, come on… I want to know the mobile gaming implications of this bad boy. I fired off a few questions and this is all I got back.

Is anyone else’s list of anticipated upcoming games just ridiculous? I wish I had enough cash to get all the games I want, but, alas, that’s not going to happen. I guess, on the immediate horizon, GRAW is my number one. I do plan on trading a couple games in to GameStop today and picking up Black. Hearing mixed things about it, but I’m a sucker for all action, no story-type games. What’s on your list of games you just can’t wait to get? Let us know in the comments.

Upcoming reviews? 24: The Game and the Saitek Red Eclipse keyboard. Also, as more games come out (seeing as how we’re getting closer to E3) we’ll be pumping more reviews out then as well. We’ve also got a couple Q&A’s lined up, but I don’t want to divulge those as I’m not sure when they’ll be in.

If I don’t chat at ya’, have a great weekend.

Top Spin 2 for the Nintendo DS

Posted in Gaming,NDS by Shawn Wallace on 3 2006f March 2006

We don’t normally just make general posts about games, but this is an exception. I was such a huge fan of Top Spin on the Xbox (especially playing over Live) that I had to get this out there. Slated for an April 3 release, Top Spin 2 will be coming to the Nintendo DS. You don’t even have to like tennis (or sports games, for that matter) to be interested in this title as the production values on Top Spin were top notch, so I have high hopes for this game.

When this game came out, I could count on at least three friends being ready and willing to play this game over Live at any time, and not because they were hardcore gamers. It was simply that this game was so easy to step into. The learning curve was shallow, but mastery takes time.

Get all the ordering details over at GameStop.

Big Guild Wars update

Posted in Gaming,PC by Shawn Wallace on 3 2006f March 2006

A pretty big Guild Wars update has occurred, making some pretty drastic changes in general. The update went live yesterday, so simply starting your Guild Wars client will cause the update to be downloaded and applied. All the details after the jump:


More Microsoft Origami info

Posted in Gaming,Hardware,Next by Shawn Wallace on 2 2006f March 2006

We fired off a few questions to the peeps handling the Microsoft Origami, but instead got some different questions and answers sent back to us. Our questions were gaming-related, but the following questions and answers are pretty general. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Everyone expected you to make an announcement today. What gives?

A: We have not announced any intention of making an announcement today. The site invited visitors to “learn more” on March 2nd, but we never intended to make any announcements today.

Q: When can we expect to hear more?

A: We will have more information to share on March 9. Please stay tuned!

Q: So if we check back, will it be the same teaser-type message, or will you really make an announcement?

A: While we are not sharing details of our news on March 9th, we can tell you that we expect to share significant information about Origami on this date.

Q: Will Origami become a separate sku in the Windows Vista timeframe?

A: Origami machines will run Windows Vista after the OS launches later this year. However, they will not be a separate sku and we do not have any details to share regarding what Windows Vista features will be available on the devices.

Q: Will Origami machines run Windows Vista?

A: Although some Origami machines will run Windows Vista after the OS launches, we don’t have any details to share regarding what Windows Vista features will be available on the devices.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion gone gold

Posted in Gaming,PC,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 2 2006f March 2006

2K Games and Bethesda Softworks have announced that Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the highly anticipated RPG for the PC and Xbox 360, has officially been completed and has been sent off for manufacturing. We should see the game in stores March 20th. The official press release is available after the jump:


Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter golden

Posted in Gaming,PC,X360,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 1 2006f March 2006

That’s right kids, she’s done and is off to manufacturing. Read on for more info and some brand spankin’ new screenies of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, the upcoming tactical shooter on the PC, Xbox and Xbox 360 from Ubisoft and Red Storm.


New Origami info tomorrow

Posted in General by Shawn Wallace on 1 2006f March 2006

Now that Microsoft has officially confirmed their Origami project, we can see that they’re primed to release some new info tomorrow about this new handheld according to a swanky flash animation on the Origami Project homepage. Yeah, the lifestyle stuff is all well and good… I gotta know if we can expect a Halo Mobile version sometime soon!

New And1 Streetball shots and info

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 1 2006f March 2006

Not only do we have 26 new images for you today of the And1 Streetball game in development by Black Ops and Ubisoft, but we’ve got roster details as well. More info and all 26 images after the jump…


WEBZEN to publish Red 5 Studios’ games

Posted in Gaming,General by Shawn Wallace on 1 2006f March 2006

The crew that was part of the development of such gaming classics as Diablo II, StarCraft and WarCraft, have signed a publishing deal with Seoul, Korea-based WEBZEN. Red 5 Studios is set to get their MMORPG published across the globe with this detail. Here’s the official release with all the details:


SEOUL – Feb. 28, 2006 – Global online entertainment company WEBZEN, Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN) today announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with U.S.-based Red 5 Studios, Inc. to publish a new MMOG property. The contract was executed today at WEBZEN’s headquarters in Seoul.

Creating tremendous industry buzz and anticipation since the company’s inception in September 2005, Red 5 Studios was formed by key members behind Blizzard Entertainment®’s World of WarCraft®, including the game’s Team Lead Mark Kern and Art Director William Petras and Online Director for Asia, Taewon Yoon.

“WEBZEN and Red 5 Studios share the same vision and passion to create next generation online games that can successfully suit the tastes and demands of gamers worldwide,” said Nam Ju Kim, CEO, WEBZEN, Inc. “We are confident that projects such as these will help WEBZEN reach its goal of becoming a top global online games publisher.”

The core members at Red 5 studios have proven their development prowess in launching successful online game properties such as Diablo II, Starcraft series and Warcraft III on a global scale. As such, WEBZEN is being heralded for obtaining the company’s promising new game property, which is primed to deliver worldwide market appeal. For WEBZEN, the publishing deal is an important component to its mid-and long-term objective of building a world-class games portfolio.

“WEBZEN offers the optimal environment for developing games, with its world-class technology and overall expertise in online game entertainment,” said Mark Kern, President and CEO, Red 5 Studios. “WEBZEN is becoming a huge force in the global online games marketplace. Their commitment and determination partnered with our unique game concept is a winning combination for a blockbuster title.”

The new game from Red 5 Studios is in its initial stages of development, and more details on the title will be released at a later date.

This publishing contract marks WEBZEN’s second global publishing deal, after acquiring in 2005 the worldwide license for All Points Bulletin (APB), David Jones’ online game, for both PC and XBOX360 platforms.

Xbox 360… crossover? Straight-through? Doesn’t matter!

Posted in Gaming,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 28 2006f February 2006

According to this blog post, the Xbox 360 auto-senses whether you’re using a crossover or straight-through ethernet cable and adjusts accordingly. No more wondering if that 150 foot cable for your upcoming LAN party needs to be ended one way or another. Sweet!

Interview: WarPath Q&A with Zandro Chan

Posted in Interview,PC,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 27 2006f February 2006

Today we’ve got a quick Q&A with Zandro Chan, Senior Producer at Groove Games, about WarPath, the upcoming Sci-Fi shooter in development at Digital Extremes.

Gamingnext: Gamers know that WarPath is about three races at war with each other. Can you give us a little more detail behind the singleplayer storyline?

Zandro Chan: Well, the story takes place on the planet Kaladi, an extremely rich world in terms of resources and climate which the three races are fighting over. Basically you have your bad guys, the Ohm – half man, half machine – and they just want to bleed the planet dry of its resources to fuel themselves. Then you have the House of Kovos, neither good nor bad, who are protecting the planet because it’s a holy place for them. Then lastly you have the Humans, your good guys, who are unwittingly caught in the middle of a conflict they never saw coming and are basically just trying to survive.
As players near the end of the game the story takes a twist and a new enemy is introduced – ultimately it culminates in a unique ending for each of the races.


Review: Mario Kart DS (NDS)

Posted in NDS,Racing,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 26 2006f February 2006

What happens when Nintendo ports one of their most popular franchises to their DS handheld with all the game modes you know and love, old and new tracks AND includes support for wi-fi connectivity? Perhaps one of the best handheld gaming experiences out there.



Posted in Blog,Next by Shawn Wallace on 25 2006f February 2006

My first official blog post here at our temporary home. Just in case you’re one of the publishers or developers we work with, snooping around trying to find out what’s going on, here’s the scoop:

We’re getting ready to move to new hosting and get our new CMS installed (which will be based on WordPress) so, in the interim, we’ve simply grabbed some temp hosting here at Over the coming days our old review database will be imported into this one (we’ve got goods dating back to 2002!) so all of our articles should be online within a week. We’ll then start focusing on our new direction (check out the About Us link for more details) but we’ll keep posting up product reviews as we always have, so no worries there.

We’ve got some talented people working behind the scenes (and in front of the scenes as well, if that’s how it’s put), so I’m looking forward to moving onward and upward. As always, should you wish to contact us, feel free to do so by heading over to our contact page.

So, what’s on the immediate horizon for us? A couple Q&A’s and a review of the Saitek Red Eclipse keyboard (which I’m using right now to type this up; I know you were dying to know that). Stick around, things are just about to get interesting.

(I use parentheses alot, don’t I?)

Call of Duty 2 updates

Posted in Gaming,PC,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 24 2006f February 2006

Straight from Infinity Ward:

Call of Duty Community:

As you recall, back in December, we announced plans to incorporate Punkbuster, as well as offer some MP maps to the PC version for Call of Duty 2. We’re happy to report that this PC update is currently in testing and all is going well. In fact, we are testing these now and will be releasing them soon, so stay tuned. With regards to the update, here are a few things to look forward to:

* Punkbuster functionality
* Two new multiplayer maps.
* HTTP redirect in multiplayer, which adds an option for modders to send players to an external website to download their maps and mods.
* Repair of multiplayer exploits and minor bug fixes

We’re also putting finishing touches on the map editing tools for the game and will have those out very soon as well.

On the Xbox 360 side, we’re also happy to tell you that we’re very close to releasing our second Title Update, improving the Xbox Live multiplayer functionality. Here’s what’s coming in that update:

1. Player Lag has been addressed
2. Private Game Lobbies / Reserved Slots
3. Enable Live Host to set custom game options
4. Map Preferences setting
5. Post Game Lobbies (players at end of match will return to lobby)
6. Enemy Player Name Notification
7. Kick Player (host ability)
8. Lobby Game Type, Map and Host Notification

Again, thank you for your support…and stay tuned for future updates!

– Infinity Ward

TimeShift weapons feature

Posted in Gaming,PC by Shawn Wallace on 23 2006f February 2006

Some new information regarding the weapons in the upcoming FPS TimeShift has been revealed, so read on to check out some screens and details.


This small caliber one-handed pistol has excellent accuracy at all distances in primary fire mode. The primary mode shoots individual bullets with a zero blast radius and medium shot power. The ammo cartridges are small, so frequent reloading is required. Due to the small size of the cartridges, you can carry a large amount of spare ammunition. Alt-fire mode is rapid but less accurate and uses ammunition much more quickly than the primary mode.


Tetris DS game modes revealed

Posted in Games,NDS,Next by Shawn Wallace on 23 2006f February 2006

The six game modes that will be featured in the Nintendo DS version of Tetris have been revealed and they sound great! Check it out:

# Touch: This unique take on Tetris really shows off the touch-screen capability of Nintendo DS. Players use a stylus to drag and move Tetriminos in a giant stack to make them fall into horizontal lines. In early levels, they can tap Tetriminos to spin them just the way they need them. Players have as much time as they need to carefully plan their moves, so it plays very differently from the other frantic modes.

# Standard: This Mario-themed mode features the same addictive game play that made the original Tetris so wildly popular. Players guide falling Tetriminos and form horizontal lines to clear them away. Mario runs around Super Mario Bros. levels in the background.

# Catch: In this Metroid-themed mode, players guide a flying block through Metroid-infested levels and seek out falling Tetriminos. Players can spin and maneuver their block to catch falling Tetriminos and create a 4×4 square. Once they do that, the block will explode in all directions and earn points.

# Puzzle: Players solve tricky Tetris puzzles at their own pace using just the Tetriminos provided. Players tap the orientation they want to use and then the Tetrimino will automatically fall into place. There are more than 50 puzzles for players to complete in all.

# Push: The goal of this mode is to clear two lines at a time to move the screen down and push opponents into the red zone. Players just can’t let their own blocks build up too high, or it’s game over. Players also can play this mode with another player using DS Download Play.

# Mission: In this Legend of Zelda®-themed mode, players have to complete the missions that appear on the top screen before time runs out. If they don’t complete it before time runs out, a heap of new blocks will appear on their screen. If they let blocks stack up to the top of the screen, the game is over.

New WarPath trailer released

Posted in Games,Next,PC,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

What’s WarPath you ask? Check it out, and get some hot trailer action (and some linkage) after the jump!:

Three distinct races have converged in a virtual Eden, in the outermost reaches of the galaxy, each with a unique reason for settling this new world. Conflict is inevitable, victory is not.

The Hip-Hop Gaming League is born

Posted in Gaming by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

You’re probably laughing at me right now. “Hip-Hop Gaming League?” Yes. Not only that, Da Commissioner is none other than Snoop Dee Oh Double Gee. You can visit the official HHGL homepage here. Here’s the scoop on what they’re all about:

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 15, 2006) Promising to “change the face of sports and video gaming forever,” entertainer Snoop Dogg today announced the formation of the Hip-Hop Gaming League, a new sports organization melding two of his favorite interests.


Win a copy of Full Auto!

Posted in Gaming,General,X360 by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

That’s right! All you have to do is head over to our partner site,, and post your Gamertag in the comments to this news post. That same post has all the details in regards to rules, who’ll win, my hair color, etc. The winner will get a copy of Full Auto for free! Note that this is an Xbox 360 game, so if you don’t have a 360 and don’t plan on getting one, this contest isn’t for you. Sorry. HOWEVER… keep checking back with as we’ll be having a little diddy of a contest ourselves to celebrate our relaunch. You won’t wanna miss it!

What are you doing still reading? Get clicking!

EA to drop prices on current-gen games

Posted in Biz,GCN,PS2,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

According to this article over at GameDaily, EA will be dropping the pricepoint for current-gen games from $49.99 to $39.99 due to lackluster sales. Dig it:

Two of EA’s most anticipated video games, The Godfather (March 14) and Black (February 28), will retail for $39.95 when they hit store shelves. This is a 20 percent discount on the typical $49.95 debut price, which should make a purchase more appealing to consumers. Many consumers have been sitting back, waiting for next-gen, but because of the Xbox 360 hardware shortages many customers have left stores empty handed, ignoring current-gen software in the process. This has made the console transition more difficult for many publishers in the industry, not just EA.

Personally, I am all over this. I was checking out Black on GameStop‘s website today and saw it was $39.99, and wondered if it was because of the platforms it was being released on. Looks like I was partially right.

Will this make a difference in what I buy? Absolutely, especially if other game pubs get on board with this pricing strategy. $49 versus $39 is a big difference to many gamer’s wallets (including this one). You can bet I’m pre-ordering Black at this price.

via EvilAvatar

Half-Life 2 Episode 2 confirmed

Posted in Games,Gaming,Next,PC by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

No sooner does the truth come out about Half-Life 2 Episode 1, Episode 2 is confirmed over at Computer and Video Games. Here’s a snippet, right up your alley:

“Episode One will not end with an all-encompassing conclusion”, he said, comparing it to Half-Life 2’s less-than-cut-and-dry denouement. He also preemptively addressed any fears that the series will stray from its roots, saying Valve has “to be considerate to our audience in terms of giving them what they want.”

Thanks GameSpot for the scoop.

Welcome to the new Gamingnext

Posted in Blog by Shawn Wallace on 22 2006f February 2006

So, what does it all mean? Where are we going? Is it necessary to look at where we’ve been?

To all of those questions… maybe. :) The new Gamingnext will still have game reviews, so that funky fresh, slightly acidic style you’ve come to know and love will still be here. But, our main focus will shift to upcoming game releases, new tech, new gadgets, new peripherals, and the like.

Thanks for stopping by. We’ve ripped your ticket. Hop on the roller coaster please… we’re about to take a ride.

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (Xbox)

Posted in Reviews,Sports,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 4 2005f November 2005

For a long time golf was considered a boring, old man’s game, but in the 90’s Tiger Woods shattered that entire image. Since then many young people are flocking to the sport, as well as snatching up copies of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise for the past few years.


Review: NHL 06 (Xbox)

Posted in Reviews,Sports,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 6 2005f October 2005

Out of all the professional sports, in the United States hockey has always been behind baseball, football and basketball. But after the NHL got its punishment for being greedy by being grounded for 16 months, they’re looking to attract more fans and make the game more enjoyable for the casual hockey watcher. New rules, such as no more games ending in ties, but instead shootouts, is just one of the few things that the NHL is doing to make the game more attractive. So to go along with all the new excitement about hockey and the NHL, EA Sports has added a plethora of new things to its NHL 06 franchise.


Review: NASCAR 06 Total Team Control (Xbox)

Posted in Racing,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 25 2005f September 2005

How large is the NASCAR fan base that plays video games? Is it worth it to put in the effort if only a select few are going to pick it up? Obviously the lowest tier on the EA Sports title list, the company is hoping to attract more than just NASCAR fans with its latest title, NASRCAR 06: Total Team Control. And they actually might. The game is not a glorified Project Gotham Racing or Gran Turismo type game, the developers are trying to replicate the NASCAR experience as much as they can, and for the most part they succeed.


Review: Darkwatch (Xbox)

Posted in Action,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 21 2005f September 2005

For the first person shooter genre of video games, almost every idea has been created. From James Bond to killing aliens or monsters to blasting away soldiers in war, it would be hard to come up with something fresh and creative. So with that in mind, the folks at High Moon Studios along with Capcom created its new first person shooter with a bit of everything that gamers have grown to love about the genre.


Review: Burnout Revenge (Xbox)

Posted in Gaming,Racing,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 20 2005f September 2005

Last year Burnout 3: Takedown blasted onto the racing game scene on consoles, bringing with it might and mayhem. From the  rocketship-paced racing to the incredible crashes, Takedown firmly planted itself near the crown of arcade racers.  Then, just a couple months back, Takedown’s angry red-headed stepchild, Burnout Revenge, began making waves. Talk of  tracks made for battle, bigger crashes, faster cars, more blood… it’s everything a fan of Takedown could imagine.  But, Takedown left behind some mighty big shoes to fill. Can Revenge live up to the hype?


Review: D-Link DGL-4300 108G Wireless Gaming Router (HW)

Posted in Gaming,Hardware,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 7 2005f July 2005

In working for a large regional ISP, I’ve done many installs of SOHO-type wireless networks. I also have one at home as well and consistently use my laptop from the easy chair to do this and that; my wife’s desktop, because it’s on the other side of the house (and because we have an older home and wired networking just wasn’t practical), is also connected wirelessly. So, when I heard that D-Link had produced a gaming-specific router, and with all the PC gaming and Xbox Live gaming done from home, I had to check this unit out. I can tell you outright I was not disappointed.


Review: Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition (Xbox)

Posted in Racing,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 30 2005f June 2005

Midnight Club 2 was a fun arcade racer with fake cheesy car names like “Cochete” and “Diablo” and limited upgrade ability. With Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition, all that changes. Rockstar Games tapped DUB Magazine to take center stage in this edition of the game, helping them get more than 60 licensed vehicles and the ability to “pimp” them with real off-market auto parts. This has to be one of the deepest arcade racers on the market. (more…)

Review: Doom 3 (Xbox)

Posted in Action,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 26 2005f April 2005

Although some hardcore fans may disagree, the original Doom on Playstation is really what got gamers interested in first-person shooters (FPS). First person shooters were already popular on PC with Castle Wolfenstein 3D and Doom after that, but when Doom hit the console in the mid 90’s that’s when things changed. Since then, there have been many incarnations of the first-person shooter from the likes of Duke Nuke Em’, Goldeneye, Halo, Deus Ex and Chronicles of Riddick, each FPS has outdone the previous. Now does Doom 3, one of the originators of the FPS genre bring anything new to the table? Not necessarily.


Review: Jade Empire (Xbox)

Posted in Reviews,RPG,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 25 2005f April 2005

It’s been in development for years and it’s been talked about even longer. Most gamers were sick of seeing that same trailer over and over again wishing the game would just come out. Well, Jade Empire is finally here and next to the Final Fantasy series has the potential to be one of the best role playing games ever.


Review: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

Posted in GBA,Reviews,RPG by Shawn Wallace on 21 2005f April 2005

The Minish Cap is a 2D adventure on today’s hardware and, frankly, I can think of few other RPG titles that even come close to the quality, fun factory, and sheer enormity “When it comes to classic gaming, you need look no further than The Legend of Zelda series. From the very beginning it has been synonomous with adventure, danger, innovation and just all around solid gameplay. From A Link to the Past to The Wind Waker, you can rarely go wrong with a Zelda game. The Minish Cap simply furthers this mantra, bringing an old-school style RPG to the GBA.


Review: Project Snowblind (PC)

Posted in Action,Gaming,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 7 2005f April 2005

Maybe you didn’t know this but Project: Snowblind started out as an expansion pack (and/or sequel) to Deus Ex and was going to be called Clan Wars. For whatever reason, this plan was veered away from and the game took on a life of its own. The game became Project: Snowblind and a Deus Ex-styled game made it to store shelves. Can Snowblind deliver a unique experience without being called Deux Ex 2?


Review: Untold Legends (PSP)

Posted in Gaming,PSP,Reviews,RPG by Shawn Wallace on 30 2005f March 2005

I can’t say for a fact what it is that draws gamers to simple hack and slash titles, but they seem to get alot of play. The most specific I can get as far as current titles are the ones from Snowblind Studios, such as the Champions series as well as the Baldur’s Gate series for consoles. Well, imagine if you could take the near mindless button mashing goodness of Diablo 2 with you wherever you went. You (almost) can. Untold Legends takes the level up/gather items RPG mindset, partners it with some fine graphics and slaps it on the PSP. The result? Read on.


Review: Star Wars Republic Commando (PC)

Posted in Action,Gaming,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 10 2005f March 2005

What with the massive popularity of squad-based shooters it was high time the Star Wars universe got its butt in gear. Enter Republic Commando. You take command of four highly trained clone commandos called Delta Squad. Your mission? The behind-the-scenes dirty work. Your crew has started and ended wars but the glory has always went to the Generals and Admirals. Can you lead Delta Squad and put the smack down on the bad guys?


Review: Brothers in Arms (Xbox)

Posted in Action,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 7 2005f March 2005

Gearbox software, a little known developer with its roots in porting games, explodes into the limelight with their first original title, Brothers in Arms.  Brothers in Arms is a tactical first person shooter which takes place in the initial days of the Omaha beach landing.  The game follows an elite group of paratroopers through 8 days of intense fighting across the countryside of Normandy.  The inclusion of squad commands and effective fire and maneuver tactics sets this title ahead of the competition to produce something entirely unique, original, and satisfying.


Review: Painkiller Battle Out of Hell (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 7 2005f March 2005

When Painkiller was released last year gamers flocked to its throwback style of run-and-gun gameplay. The gameplay movies released showed Painkiller getting vintage and leaning heavily on the Doom style of shoot ’em up. There was no hook to the game, only to say that the game’s hook was a lack of a hook, so to speak. PK was all about getting your enemy in your crosshairs and pulling the trigger faster than they did. So, when it was announed an official expansion would arrive for PK, titled Battle out of Hell, the masses rejoiced in the thought of more fun locales, enemies and weapons to deal out the destruction.

Could Battle Out of Hell live up to the hype generated by the massive fun machine that was Painkiller?


Review: Mercenaries (Xbox)

Posted in Action,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 20 2005f January 2005

Pandemic Studios has shown that they know how to make a gratifying game. From the Battlezone titles to Full Spectrum Warrior, they’ve exhibited skill and knowledge in creating fresh, fun, playable products. So, if you haven’t played Mercenaries yet and you want to get your hopes up… go ahead. It’s good, dirty fun.


Review: Call of Duty: United Offensive (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 7 2004f October 2004

Call of Duty: United Offensive continues the grand tradition of Call of Duty by pitting players against near-impossible combat situations to see what they’re truly made of. The single player campaign spans across three campaigns, American, British and Russian. Each campaign gets progressively harder (there’s four American missions, three British and five Russian) as you progress until everything culminates with the final mission of the campaign. It’s not uncommon for this mission to cause the following:

  • Spitting
  • Cursing
  • Extreme Discomfort
  • Diarrhea


Review: Half-Life 2 (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 24 2004f August 2004

In 1998 the planet was graced with what would be considered the great single player FPS experience ever played. It was called Half-Life. From the cinematic-style action to the solid level design to the innovative story, Half-Life had it all and left the gaming community not only rattled but clamoring for more.Fast forward to November 2004. Every gamer’s wish comes true; Half-Life 2 is released to the masses. Valve’s infernal hype machine did it’s best over the previous two months to gear gamers up for what was anticipated to be the next greatest ‘thing’ in PC gaming.So, how did it do? Read on!


Review: Doom 3 (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 24 2004f August 2004

The long awaited sequel to what could be considered one of the greatest shooters of all time is upon us. Doom 3, the hotly anticipated third installment in the Doom first person shooter series (did I really need to clarify that?) stormed in the summer of 2004 and took the PC gaming world by storm. However, the frantic pace of the previous installments has been supplanted with an overall frantic anxiousness one could only ascribe to being involved in this universe being taken over by Hell. Could the Doom faithful and elite allow themselves to part ways with the old ‘run and gun’ style for a slower paced, horror-esque experience? Read on to find out.


Review: Psi-Ops The Mindgate Conspiracy (PS2)

Posted in Action,PS2,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 20 2004f June 2004

The marketing blitz that started just a couple weeks before Psi-Ops hit store shelves had me puzzled. It seemed to me this game came out of nowhere and, with the amount of flash ad banners I was seeing on my favorite gaming sites, I knew something was up with this title. After only 15 or 20 minutes of gameplay, I knew exactly what the buzz was about.


Review: Rallisport Challenge 2 (Xbox)

Posted in Racing,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 4 2004f June 2004

Not only does this game shine in the single player aspect but online play, supported by Microsoft’s Xbox Live online service, gives extended life to this title and makes it a must have for racing game aficionados. “Microsoft made a very smart move in releasing RSC2 as an Xbox-only title. Not only does this game shine in the single player aspect but online play, supported by Microsoft’s Xbox Live online service, gives extended life to this title and makes it a must have for racing game aficionados.


Review: Painkiller (PC)

Posted in Action,Gaming,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 10 2004f March 2004

Painkiller is a shooter in the most unadulterated sense. The game is truly about shooting enemies. There’s no fluff, no night vision, no stealth moves, no squad tactics and definitely no funny happy-go-lucky sidekicks to help you out.    “Painkiller is a shooter in the most unadulterated sense. The game is truly about shooting enemies. There’s no fluff, no night vision, no ‘find this key to unlock this door to go to this room’, no stealth moves, no squad tactics and definitely no funny happy-go-lucky sidekicks to help you out. It’s all about pumping rounds into individuals who are hell-bent (sorry, pun unintended) on perforating you like oh so flimsy notebook paper (sorry, bad analogy).


Review: Jak 3 (PS2)

Posted in Action,PS2,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 1 2004f January 2004

With Jak 3 being the conclusion of this masterful series of action platformers, Naughty Dog has pulled out all the stops, making this title one of the best action titles you can find on the PS2. From the graphics to the gameplay to the production values, there is absolutely nothing here that someone can’t find to like.


Review: Saitek R440 Racing Wheel (HW)

Posted in Hardware,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 10 2003f November 2003

If you’d like to experience some all-out racing, you needn’t visit your local raceway and pay $500 or $1000 for a four-hour ‘Real Life’ race experience. All you need is a racing game and the Saitek R440 Racing Wheel by Saitek. It’s as good as it gets.    “Final lap. You’re buzzing around Talladega speedway, a single stock car in front of you. As you pass the start/finish line for the next to last time you begin to work your magic to make your move. You ease the wheel back and forth, very slight movements, to try and catch that draft off of your opponent. You ease up behind him, hoping to throw some dirty air his way and get him loose so you can slingshot around him. You give his rear bumper a love tap which you feel up through the steering wheel. He has to be intimidated at this point.


Review: Call of Duty (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 29 2003f October 2003

With the impending release of Call of Duty there has been many rumblings in the PC gaming world, namely that of gamers who say ‘we’ve had enough of WWII, why another title?’. Well, I can tell you why … because Call of Duty ups the ante when it comes to WWII shooters. The game uses the venerable Quake III engine yet it looks fabulous. The voice acting is top notch and, I dare say, the gameplay pushes the limits of the WWII shooter. Read on to see what I mean.


Interview: Gabe Newell of Valve Software

Posted in Interview,PC,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 26 2003f August 2003

With the announcement that Half-Life 2 will be available September 30, 2003, we took the time to speak with Valve Software’s own Gabe Newell. “Recently we were afforded the privilege of speaking with Gabe Newell, Valve Software’s Managing Director and head of the Half Life 2 project. We fired off a few quick questions to him concerning Source, the engine powering Half Life 2, and what we can expect from it.

Gamingnext – After all of the movies, both engine/tech oriented and pure gameplay, that came from E3 it’s safe to say that all of the gaming world is now clamoring for Half-Life 2. Can you tell us a bit about the technology used to power HL2?

Gabe Newell – I did a presentation on the engine for Vivendi a little while back. It was about 100 pages long, and we got through it in about 4 hours. I’m not sure really how to condense that all down, but I’ll try. We usually break it down into humans, graphics, interactivity, and AI. Now obviously there’s overlap. For example there’s a special shader for people’s teeth. That could go in the graphics section or the humans section. There’s a lot of intelligence in moving creatures over an LOD mesh – so is that AI, interactivity, or graphics? You get the idea.


Review: Grand Theft Auto Vice City (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 24 2003f May 2003

Greed.  Corruption.  Hawaiian shirts.  This just about sums up the mid-80’s in Miami, Florida.  However, in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (GTAVC) you get one more small variable; guns.  You play Tommy Vercetti, an up-and-comer in the crime world, fresh out of the joint.  You’re sent on what is to be a fairly routine mission for a crime boss and you end up vying for your own stake in Vice City’s web of fear.  It’s a glove that fits Tommy Vercetti nicely.


Review: Halo Combat Evolved (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 3 2003f April 2003

Considering Halo for Windows is one of the most anticipated titles for the PC, possibly ever, I’ve taken great care in considering how I choose to present my review to you. One of the major factors is that the single player campaign for Halo on the PC is identical to the Xbox campaign, therefore a complete review of the single player would simply be a rehashing of old information, at least on the story and gameplay side of things.


Review: Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome (PC)

Posted in Action,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 2 2003f April 2003

The front is expanding!  Soldiers are being called out to join the war on the Italian front, venturing forth to do battle in the Italian and Sicilian campaigns of World War II.  Do you have what it takes to take the hills of Operation Husky and Monte Cassino?  Can you and your fellow soldiers fend off the Axis and lead the Allies to victory?  What’s more, can DICE and EA deliver, yet again, an immersive and satisfactory expansion to their ever-popular Battlefield 1942?  Read on to find out.


Review: Battlefield 1942 (PC)

Posted in Action,Gaming,PC,Reviews by Shawn Wallace on 2 2002f October 2002

Ever since Quake the online gaming masses have banged their fists in request of an online game that can incorporate on-foot combat with vehicles. EA and Dice have risen to this challenge with their World War II offering, Battlefield 1942. Instituting grand battles, offline and online, with the inclusion of land, sea and air vehicles, BF1942 (as it’s affectionately abbreviated) seeks to do all of these things. Well, we can say it’s practically succeeded.