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Super Paper MarioWhile Nintendo’s Wii has been getting all the attention, there are still some high profile titles for the Gamecube coming down the pipe. Unfortunately for gamers, some of these titles may see a delay. Siliconera is reporting that Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong Bongo Blast have both been delayed in Japan, with current release dates unknown. In the US, Super Paper Mario has also apparently been pushed back. Nintendo’s official US site and Gamestop are both still reporting the October 9, 2006, release date at this time.

Read More | Siliconera

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Demolition Man, on the Cheap Ass Gamer forum was able to pull together a list of Xbox, Gamecube, PSP, DS, Gameboy Advance, and PS2 titles included in the newest $8.96 clearance sale at Circuit City.  While the sale does not officially start until Sunday July 2nd many people are reporting success picking up games on the list at clearance price.  If your local store doesn’t have the clearance games on the shelf don’t yet despair.  Some of the Circuit City locations including my local stores have already pulled the clearance games, and are holding them in the back until Sunday.

Xbox:
Burnout Revenge
Far Cry Instincts
Halo Triple Pack

Gamecube:
Batman Begins
Chaos Theory
Dragonball Z Sagas
EA Sports Fight Night Round 2

PSP:
Need For Speed Underground Rivals
Spiderman 2
Tiger Woods PGA
Tony Hawk Underground 2 Remix
World Soccer Tour

Nintendo DS:
Advance Wars
Meteos
Burnout Legends
Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge Of The Sith
Texas Hold Em
Tiger Woods 2005

Gameboy Advance:
Grand Theft Auto
Madden 2006
Mario Golf: Advance Tours
Mario Kart Super Circuit
Mario Party Advance

Playstation 2:
Driver Parallel Lines
Eye Toy
Time Crisis: Crisis Zone
Time Splitters
Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland Collector’s Edition

Head over to the Cheap Ass Gamer forums for the full list which includes many more games.

Read More | Cheap Ass Gamer

NHL 07When EA announced their cover athlete for NHL 07 last week, Nintendo fanboys noticed that there was no mention of a Gamecube or Nintendo DS version.  Nintendo followed up with an EA publicist to find out if the list was a final console rundown.  EA did confirm that NHL 07 will not be making an appearance on the Gamecube or the DS, however they confirmed support for the DS with other titles and hope to work with the Wii in the future.  Let’s hope that EA will kick it up when the Wii is released this fall.

Read More | Nintendojo

Energy StarJust in case anyone was wondering how much power a console draws when it is in standby, and when it is running games, DX Gaming has the rundown. They compare several consoles, including the original Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Gamecube, and the Dreamcast, to determine how much power the consoles utilize when off, when at the “dashboard,” and when in use. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the Xbox 360 power brick that that console was the biggest eater of energy, but there were some other interesting data points.

First was that the Playstation 2 in standby consumes as much power as the Xbox 360 in the same state, 2 watts. When powered on, but running no games, the Xbox 360 is the pig, pulling 145 watts, followed by the Xbox at 61 watts, and the Playstation 2 at 23 watts. While running games, the order of the console’s power hunger doesn’t change. The Xbox 360 boosts up to 165 watts, the Xbox jumps to 70 watts, and the PS2 runs up to 30 watts.

DX Gaming also runs some numbers to try and determine the average cost of a console over a year’s time, as well as the watts drawn per cycle. Gamers might have some issue with the estimate of 14 hours per week, and then the Xbox 360 causes problems in the watts per cycle measurement, since it operates a multi-core CPU, the numbers depend on whether one considers the megahertz rating additive, or in parallel. Still, the numbers are interesting, and give some insight into what might be expected from the Wii and Playstation 3 consoles.

Read More | DX Gaming

New videos are beginning to surface via YouTube of Intelligent System’s upcoming 2d action/RPG hybrid Super Paper Mario. Previously, there was almost no official info for the title other than a 30 second trailer at E3.  Based on gameplay footage from the videos, Super Paper Mario looks to be the spiritual successor to the 2004 GameCube title Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The series has always taken an untraditional, humorous approach to the RPG genre and is taking that one step further this time with the inclusion of classic 2d Mario gameplay, various playable characters such as Bowser and Peach, and even the ability to switch between 2D and 3D viewpoints in order to discover new paths. Super Paper Mario is set to be released in Japan on August 3rd and will reach US shores a few months later on October 9th. Heres hoping this promising title isn’t overlooked amidst the hype of the upcoming Nintendo Wii launch.

Read More | YouTube via NeoGAF Forums


DIY Game Chair

Do you feel full of jealousy any time you spy an arcade racing setup being used to own others in Ridge Racer or Project Gotham Racing 3?  Store bought racing chairs are often poorly constructed and expensive or good quality and even more expensive.  Over on the ToolMonger blog there is a how-to for making your own racing chair setup for just $80 in parts.  All you need after parts is the racing wheel and pedals for your particular system.  The project requires welding and isn’t for everyone.  If you decide to tackle the project, the original makers recommend a $380 welder, which is quite cheap for a quality welder.  Judging from all the required welding it is a good thing that video games are good for hand eye coordination. 

If you don’t have the hands on ability to make your own, or are just too busy playing video games, ToolMonger is giving one away!  To enter, just post a comment somewhere on their site by July 31st.

Read More | ToolMonger

HDTVThe Xbox 360 has sought to usher in the era of high definition gaming, and many gamers have purchased HDTV sets to go along with their new Xbox 360s. However, while HDTV offers spectacular pictures at stunning resolutions, there are some issues, the most vexxing of which is HDTV lag. IGN.com tries to dissect the problem, and offer up some solutions to the issue. There are basically two areas where HDTV lag can occur: first, when resolutions other than the native resolution of the television are used, the TV will have to alter the signal to display correctly on the set. This will sometimes require scaling the image up or down in resolution, and may also require converting the signal from an interlaced signal to progressive, or vice-versa, depending on the television type. This conversion takes a finite amount of time, and depending on the television, will either be so quick as to be unnoticeable in gaming, or can be long enough to affect the ability to play games at all.

The second issue occurs when there are additional filtering options offered by the TV. One of the more common is Samsung’s DNIe, but most of the high end HDTV manufacturers will have their own proprietary signal filter that will attempt to improve the picture seen by the user. This process again takes time. Usually it doesn’t take that long for signal processing to occur, but combined with the time taken to scale the image in the previous examples, this can again cripple gaming.

IGN proposes a few solutions to this problem. First, if the gamer hasn’t bought an HDTV set, try to test the set first with some timing intensive games in the store first. Obviously, it will be difficult to bring your dance pad in to work through some 10 foot Dance Dance Revolution tracks, but fighting games are notoriously twitch sensitive.

If you already have a set, try and set your HDTV to as close to native resolution as possible. With some consoles, this will be next to impossible. The Gamecube supports 480P resolution on some games, but most will be 480i. The Playstation 2 will have even fewer 480p games.  Most original Xbox games are also 480p, but some will support 720p and higher resolutions. The Xbox 360 should offer native support for most resolutions, including 480p, 720p, and 1080i. Relying on the Xbox 360’s internal scaler should help resolve the issue in most circumstances.

They also recommend turning off any image enhancement filters on the TV. Some sets offer a “game” mode that passes the signal through without any additional filtering, and this may help as well. Finally, if none of these help, it may be necessary to purchase hardware that has a faster scaling engine than the one in the television set. IGN has a couple of recommendations, including the Micomsoft XRGB boxes that are usually available from import stores like Lik-Sang or NCSX.

Read More | IGN Gear

GBA Micro Young patients in New Jersey may have something to look forward to for calming their nerves soon. As part of a clinical trial, the New Jersey University of Medicine and Dentistry is testing the effects of playing Gameboy games before surgery on levels of anxiety. The researchers theorize that playing Gameboy before surgery might be as effective as certain anti-anxiety drugs in helping young patients cope with stress.

There seems to be a lot of interest among the medical community these days into the uses in videogames in hospital environments.  With studies possibly showing that doctors should play Super Monkey Ball before operating and children should play Gameboy before surgery, maybe we can look forward to a day where gaming consoles are a standard fixture in doctors’ offices.

Read More | Community Dispatch

Among the multitude of news bits about the upcoming Nintendo Wii, gamers can’t stop talking about the launch titles that will go along with this console. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess offers fans a new spin on the traditional Zelda series, but leaves many wondering whether the game will work with the Wii’s newfangled controllers or format? Fortunately, the consensus is that long time fans and newbies alike will not be disappointed by this upcoming installment in the Zelda series.

Click to continue reading A Look At The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess For Wii


Meijer is having a sale on video games this weekend.  Their entire selection of video games is buy one get one 50% off on Saturday from 6 AM to Midnight.  Meijer is located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky (store locator).  They have a good selection of video games for Xbox, Xbox 360, PSP, PS2, Gamecube, GBA, and DS.  In the past I have had luck getting Best Buy to price match Meijer, in case you do not have a Meijer nearby.  This would be an excellent sale to stop by for anyone picking up a Nintendo DS on Sunday.


Read More | Meijer (PDF link)


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