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Mario Kart 64 This Monday’s Virtual Console releases are lead by Nintendo’s classic cart racer, Mario Kart 64 for 1,000 Wii Points, but three other titles have hit was well, including Contra III: The Alien Wars for the Super Nintendo and two Genesis titles, Bonanza Bros. and Comix Zone at 800 points each. Comix Zone has hit a ton of platform in various Sega Genesis collections; Bonanza Bros. has only been in a few. Mario Kart is probably the shining gem in this round of releases, though.

Nintendo’s full press release continues after the jump.

Click to continue reading Mario Kart Leads Virtual Console Monday


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Tomb Raider 6(!)Games Radar has a really interesting and insightful piece about the games that, in their words “had it, and lost it”. Just think Tomb Raider, and you’ve got the idea - these are the games that were fresh, original, and fun, until their producers started hastily making hundreds of sequels and ruining the franchise.

This is a great read, and somebody who obviously knows their games. I shed a little tear for each of the titles on this list.

Read More | GamesRadar.com

Mario Kart 64Nintendo outlined their upcoming releases for the first quarter via press release today. While the first-party Wii-original list is spare, consisting only of Wii Play with a bundled remote launching February 14th, next week will see the release of Mario Kart 64 for the Virtual Console, bringing one of the best entries in that franchise to the Wii. In addition, Nintendo will finally be making the Wii News Channel available on January 27th; hopefully the News Channel will be more fully realized than the Weather Channel. Third-party releases will see SSX Blur coming, which has been getting some decent early buzz. Others include The Godfather: Blackhand Edition and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07; it will be interesting to see how EA handles the Wii remote in its upcoming titles.

The full press release continues after the jump.

Click to continue reading Wii News Channel, Mario Kart 64 Launch Soon


Virtua Fighter 5Sega today announced that their flagship fighter Virtua Fighter 5 would no longer be exclusive to the Playstation 3. While the PS3 version launches in February, Xbox 360 owners will have to wait a few scant months until the Xbox 360 version launches some time in the summer of 2007. The announcement knocks yet another exclusive title off the PS3 list. Full details of the Xbox 360 version have yet to be announced, but one can be sure that when it ships, dedicated devotees of the series will be dissecting both console versions to determine which will be the definitive one. 

Read More | IGN

Virtua Fighter 5Sega’s Virtua Fighter 5 for the Playstation 3 was recently confirmed for release in North America on February 20th, 2007, and 1up was able to talk with members of the AM2 team concerning the console release. The members of the AM2 conversion team were able to confirm that the Playstation 3 version would be based on the version “B” of the game, currently headed to the arcade. The team is hoping to include many of the items available in the arcade version; there are no plans for any kind of micro-transaction support, so these will be locked at launch and will likely trail behind the arcade version. AM2 will also not be supporting any kind of online play; they believe that lag issues will be too difficult to overcome. Given the highly technical devotion to frame counting and timing that many arcade fans have, this would seem to be a reasonable decision. The AM2 team also discusses some of the additional game modes that the console version will support along with rumors of an Xbox 360 version. An Xbox 360 version doesn’t seem likely, but there is some encouragement that AM2 is looking at the platform for other releases.

Read More | 1up

Virtua Fighter StickSega has announced the pricing and availability date for Virtua Fighter 5 for the Playstation 3 in Japan, according to a report from Game Watch. The latest entry in the Virtua Fighter franchise will be released on February 8, 2007, in Japan for 8,190 Yen ($70 US). In addition, an official USB controller for the game will be released one week later for 7,329 Yen ($63). Gamers that pre-order in Japan will get the Playstation 2 release of Virtua Fighter 10th Anniversary Edition as well.

Read More | Game Watch

Alien CrushNintendo today made four new Virtual Console titles available in the US. The titles include Ice Hockey for the NES at 500 points, Gunstar Heroes and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine for the Genesis at 800 points each, and Alien Crush for the TurboGrafx16 at 600 points. The titles are a decent mix; the most interesting is probably Alien Crush, a classic pinball release. Mean Bean Machine, based around the Puyo Puyo play mechanic may also interest puzzle game fans.

Read More | Nintendo

IGN Ratings
Today some of the bigger gaming sites out there finally sat down with pencil and paper (or keyboard and mouse I guess), and started drafting out their reviews for the first batch of Wii games. Their overall thoughts? IGN has taken a look at three titles so far—the pack-in Wii Sports, Trauma Center, and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz—and their reviews range from “Good” for Wii Sports (7.5) to “Impressive” for Trauma Center and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (8.0 and 8.4, respectively).

In general, most of the reviews would play out like you would expect - generally somewhat lackluster / simple graphics, but cool/interesting control schemes that work flawlessly in most cases. IGN noted some control issues with the packed-in Wii Sports, stating that some of the sports seemed somewhat half-baked, but the other 2 titles faired very well in the control department. IGN even went so far with Monkey Ball as to state that “If you’ve been on the fence about the Wii controls, put those fears to rest. True, there is a different technique involved, but once you get the hang of it you will be flying through levels with precision and speed. Now that I’ve played through Banana Blitz, I would not want to go back to the older control configurations.”

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for further reviews - Red Steel and Zelda obviously being the two most interesting, and we’ll be posting our thoughts as well once we’re able to get our hands on the console!

Read More | IGN Wii

Oblivion It is looking like Sony’s Playstation 3 launch may be missing a few titles; Bethesda Softworks recently announced that Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has been pushed back to 2007, according to a report from GameSpot. In addition, rumors have Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog also being delayed to 2007 along with Vivendi Universal’s F.E.A.R. Other titles could potentially miss the launch window at this point, but with so few consoles shipping software availability would seem to be the last thing on Sony’s mind.

Read More | Gamespot

Phantasy Star Universe Sega’s beta program for Phantasy Star Universe on the Xbox 360 was initially supposed to end yesterday, October 18th. However, with Sega’s delays in getting the beta into the waiting public, and then the scheduled maintenance for Xbox Live running longer than intended, the beta has been extended through October 21st. While the download is no longer available, gamers that have the beta will be able to play until the end of the week.

Read More | PSO World

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