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Romance of the Three Kingdoms IVKoei has been milking the Dynasty Warriors franchise for a while, with seemingly dozens of releases hitting every platform from the PlayStation 2 to the Xbox 360. But the series actually spun off from another franchise for the company, the strategic Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. In fact, the Dynasty Warriors release pattern mirrors that of Romance; take a good idea, and run it into the ground with more releases than the public can handle. Still, the SNES release is one of the better entries into the series, and for 800 Wii Points, one can experience the property as it was originally intended. Having this as the sole retro release this week is a disappointment, however.

Read More | Nintendo


Shivering Isles

Bethesda’s expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Obliviion, The Shivering Isles is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The expansion promises more than 30 hours of additional gameplay for one of the best games on the Xbox 360. The add-on sells for 2400 Microsoft Points ($30), basically matching the price of the PC expansion, which makes this the most expensive downloadable content to date. The download also weighs in at almost a gigabyte, so those rumored 120 GB drives might come in handy sooner rather than later. Still, for Oblivion addicts, this expansion should be a great way to pass the time during the upcoming Live downtime, assuming that you can get it downloaded before the service goes down.

Read More | Major Nelson

Twilight PrincessThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess represents somewhat of a rebirth for the franchise, and its creator, Eiji Aonuma, talked about how the turnaround came about. While the Zelda series has certainly hit more high notes than other series, Wind Waker and Four Swords represented a sales disappointment for Nintendo. According to 1up’s report on Aonuma’s talk, the Japanese turned away from Wind Waker because of its complexity, while US audiences couldn’t seem to get past the cartoony look. Nintendo was determined to turn this around with Twilight Princess and the return to a more realistic look was only part of the equation. A number of the design decisions, such as the dual world and the Wii remote controls are discussed by Aonuma, giving some great insight into how Nintendo turned the feedback they were getting from Wind Waker into the massively popular and critically acclaimed Twilight Princess.

Read More | 1up

Blue DragonMistwalker head and Final Fantasy originator Hironobu Sakaguchi today spoke at the GDC and filled in the US audience on the release dates for their RPGs in the US. Blue Dragon, the epic RPG with character design from Akira Torayama will hit the US in August. According to 1up, Lost Odyssey will ship in December for both the Japanese and US territories, with the DS RPG Ash hitting during the holidays as well. Sakaguchi also reported discussed his team’s investigation of the PS3 as a development platform; according to IGN, his thoughts so far are “PS3 is difficult.” It is a little shocking to hear that the company is looking to the PS3 already, but without knowing the exact details behind the company’s agreement with Microsoft, it would be difficult to say when or if something from Mistwalker would appear on the PS3.
Read More | IGN (Sakaguchi on PS3)

Read More | 1up (RPG release dates)

Super Paper Mario EGM’s Shane Bettenhausen has played through a full preview build of Super Paper Mario and he took some time out after completing the game to answer questions about the game at 1up. There’s some interesting ground covered in the Q & A, particularly since not a whole lot is known about the game other than some short previews and some movies of boss fights that have hit YouTube. It was known that the game would neither be a straight platformer, nor an updated version of the other RPGs in the Paper Mario franchise, but the preview gives some insight into how the combination is going to work. The game also looks to feature a lot of content, roughly 27 hours for the main game, plus more for some of the side quests and extras. From previously released screenshots, gamers know the game will support 16:9 presentation modes, but Bettenhausen also clarifies that the title will support progressive scan as well. The preview also briefly touches on the story, characters, and Wii-mote support. The preview screen shots released look great, and this update gives gamers something to look forward to on April 9th when the game releases in the US.

Read More | 1up

Super Paper Mario

Famitsu is showing off a few new screenshots from Super Paper Mario for the Nintendo Wii, now in widescreen mode. Given that Wario Ware shipped with only a 4:3 display mode, hope for true widescreen gaming goodness abounds. The game definitely looks sharp in its transition to the Wii from the Gamecube, with the screens showing off the 3D mode and Mario and Bowser in battles. The game is scheduled to hit the United States on April 9th, with the Japanese release following on April 19th.

Read More | Famitsu

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion IGN’s preview of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion for the Playstation 3 seemed to trigger some debate about the release, particularly regarding the rendering engine upgrades and optimizations and the fact that many of the downloadable modules for the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game would be missing. Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing at Bethesda tried to clear up some of the issues.

First, Hines clarified that the missing content for the PS3 version was not due to any technical limitations of the console. His explanation was that some of the content was not appropriate for the balance of the game for a new player and that for other content, Bethesda simply hadn’t had time to look into developing content for the Playstation Store; he believes that Bethesda will be making some content available at a later date. Bethesda’s decisions here seem a little flakey; saying that delaying the release of content so that gamers could have a better experience seems a little odd considering that an Xbox 360 or PC user that buys Oblivion this week can have the content on day one. Still, given the choice between having Oblivion in PS3 gamers’ hands earlier without Playstation Network support or facing further delays while Bethesda works on implementing downloadable content, one would certainly want to have the game sooner rather than later.

On the new hardware optimizations, Hines admitted that the PC and Xbox 360 would see the shader improvements in an upcoming release, but indicated that certain vague Cell-specific enhancements would be exclusive to the PS3. Specifically what those enhancements are were left undefined.

Read More | IGN

Limited Edition Rev Wings DS

With a new release in the Final Fantasy franchise hitting the DS comes another limited edition DS bundle. When Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings launches for the DS in Japan on April 26th, a special limited edition package including a laser etched Nintendo DS and the game will be available, selling for 21840 Yen, about $180 US. So, Japan gets yet another limited quantity release of the DS tied to a highly anticipated release, while other territories have to deal with the small color selection available. Expect huge lines in Japan for this release; Revenant Wings may be even more popular than the Final Fantasy III and Nintendo DS combination.

Read More | Famitsu

Zelda A Link To The PastWii owners in North America should now be able to download the classic Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past via Nintendo’s online store for the virtual console. The title sells for the standard 800 point level set for Super Nintendo games on the service. Link To The Past is one of the high points of the franchise and the gameplay holds up well after all these years; 800 points for this is a bargain.

Read More | Nintendo Gal

Shivering Isles

Bethesda Softworks announced that Elder Scrolls: Shivering Isles, an expansion for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will be coming to the Xbox 360 and the PC this Spring. The expansion should add more than 30 hours of gameplay to the already expansive title, and will be available through retail channels for the PC, and via Xbox Live for the Xbox 360. Given that the expansion will add a completely new realm to the Elder Scrolls universe, one expects that this expansion will be one of the largest Xbox Live add-ons to date, and possibly one of the most expensive. No mention of the add-on was made for the upcoming Playstation 3 version of the game; this could possibly be included on disc, but this doesn’t seem to be a likely option at this time.

The full press release continues below.

Click to continue reading Oblivion Expansion Shivering Isles Coming This Spring

Read More | Shivering Isles Screenshots