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Lumines IILumines II has been out in the United States since November, so it seems a bit surprising that Japan is just getting the game now. The other shock, according to Siliconera, is the vastly depleted number of music tracks and videos for the Japanese release. Siliconera indicates that a number of the US and European songs have been removed in Japan, most likely due to licensing issues, with some Japanese replacements. It appears that for music selection, the US edition is the most complete of the three releases. Luckily for users in other territories, PSP game titles aren’t region locked, so those outside the US willing to spend a little more for an import version can get the most “complete” version of the game.

Read More | Siliconera

Gallery: Licensing Bites Lumines II In Japan


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Dewy's Adventure Screenshot, from IGN.com

Konami’s been busting out the announcements today - first it was the PSP-bound Castlevania game, and now a brand new IP for the Nintendo Wii. The latest announcement regards Dewy’s Adventure, an action-platformer that features the story of a ridiculously lovable little water droplet on a quest to save the world or something.

Dewy’s super-powers are, of course, all water-based (you can cool him down to make ice presumably, or heat him up into steam, and Konami seems to be running with the Wii’s tilt-sensitive control mechanics. From the IGN interview:

While we can’t talk about all of his abilities, we can say that the game is controlled entirely using the Wii controller. You hold it [like Excite Truck] and tilt it to tilt the environment and move Dewy. The D-pad can be used to heat or cool Dewy. When Dewy is heated up, he becomes a cloud of steam. He can then strike enemies with bolts of lightning. You can also move the Wii controller in a fanning motion to create gusts of wind or in a side-to-side motion to create an earthquake. These can be used to solve hidden environmental puzzles and combat enemies. There are lots of more abilities that Dewy has, but we want to keep them secret for now.

This game comes from the same producer as Elebits which, even though it had its problems, was a solid launch title for the Wii. Dewy also looks like it will have pretty high replay value, thanks to a built-in level editor, WiiConnect24 support, and multiplayer levels. The game is expected to release in late 2007.

Now all we have to do is sit and wait for the “little drop of Wii” jokes to start pouring in…

Read More | IGN Wii

Gallery: Konami Announces Dewy’s Adventure, Ridiculously Cute Wii Platformer


Crazy Crossword ImageNintendo stated for a long time that they were hoping to open the gaming market to new consumers (read: old folks), but ever since the release of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes A Day, there hasn’t really been a title that I could see either of my grandparents sinking their dentures into. Sure, Big Brain Academy was great, and it revolved around the same concept as Brain Age, but stylistically it was a little more gamer-oriented. And even though they’re under the Touch Generations line, I can’t really see G’pa Cardiff spending much time with Tetris DS or Elite Beat Agents.

Enter The New York Times Crosswords, a game practically screaming for attention from the new “older gamer” set. The New York Times Crosswords will feature, you guessed it, crosswords - and lots of them by the look of it. The cart will include over 1,000 real crosswork puzzles and will allow you to write in answers or use a touch-screen keyboard. It even features both cooperative and competitive 2-player games (no word on whether that will be single-cart based yet), so that G’ma and G’pa can work together or duke it out. Also no word yet on whether the game will be incorporating any features of the Nintendo WiFi Connection,although the ability to download and solve new puzzles would be pretty sweet!

Majesco has a mixed record on the DS, creating such acclaimed titles as Cooking Mama and Age of Empires, but they’ve also released a fair number of quick profit-makers like Brain Boost: Beta Wave and Brain Boost: Gamma Wave (read: one game divided into two equally priced carts). We’re hoping for the best with NY Times Crosswords, though, as it sounds like a game that really has the potential to recapture the casual gaming market when it launches this spring.

See the full press release, after the jump…

Click to continue reading NYTimes Crosswords heading DS-ward, Older Gamers Rejoice!

Read More | Majesco

Gallery: NYTimes Crosswords heading DS-ward, Older Gamers Rejoice!


Castlevania Symphony of the NightMicrosoft today announced a slew of classic titles that will shortly be making their way to the Xbox Live Arcade. The titles announced include:

  • 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Band of Bugs
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Catan (Settlers of Catan)
  • Eets: Chowdown
  • LUXOR 2
  • Paperboy
  • Root Beer Tapper
  • Worms

Specific release dates or prices aren’t available yet for these games, but assuming the prices are fairly reasonable, I expect we’ll see a lot of sales on XBLA next month. Castlevania is the obvious contender for most popular retro title, but Worms, Settlers of Catan and Alien Hominid are also titles that you should definitely check out for your retro library.

Read More | Gamespot.com

Gallery: 10 Classics to Hit Xbox Live Arcade in February


Wii ExciteTruckI suppose that with 50 mini games packed into Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, there were bound to be some good ones and some bad ones. So riddle me this ... how is it that Monkey Target, by far the most fun mini game in the previous titles, is so abysmally bad now? One frickin level, this wierd “Option Ball” thing, and what feels like a wind factor without any sort of on-screen wind indicator? How do you manage to take a great game and make it so terrible? By getting rid of the power-ups and other stuff that made the game so interesting.

Luckily, there are some bright spots. Monkey Wars is fun, even if my wife hated it. Two handed independent controls are just too much for her to get her head around. But by far, the most entertaining game was Monkey Darts. That’s right ... darts. You don’t have to, but we held the Wiimote like an actual dart, and you basically make a quick stabbing motion at the screen to fling the dart. The IR receiver in the Wiimote can sense depth from the screen (sensor bar, really) and you can actually see your dart hovering there in 3D space before you throw it. You can play Countdown, 301, or 501, and it’s an absolute blast. All you really need to complete the atmosphere is a chain-smoking retiree in the corner, 80’s hair rock, some beer, and a steak that’s nothing more than charred gristle. Or maybe that’s just the places I’ve played darts.

Click to continue reading Wii: Super Monkey Ball Sucks, Excite Truck Is Boring

Gallery: Wii: Super Monkey Ball Sucks, Excite Truck Is Boring


Elebits Box ArtWe’ve heard an awful lot about titles slipping out of the PS3 launch window, but now it’s looking like the Wii isn’t immune to the same fate. With two weeks before launch, one of the exclusive third-party titles, Konami’s quirky Elebits, has been delayed. Current estimates state that the title will still launch before Christmas, but just barely - IGN is reporting that it may launch now sometime between December 12th and 18th.

Hopefully we won’t be hearing too many more reports of delays from the Nintendo camp. Losing another major title like Red Steel or Zelda could have disastrous consequences.

Read More | IGN Wii

Gallery: Elebits Slips from Wii Launch Window


Lumines Live hit Xbox Live Arcade yesterday, and is easily one of the most anticipated games to hit Microsoft’s game service.  Up until now, DOOM was at the top of the charts as the biggest rip off ($15 for a years-old game), but that title is now squarely on the shoulders of this puzzler from Q! Entertainment.  At least with DOOM, the game was there in its entirety.

Despite ringing in at half again the cost of most other Xbox Live Arcade titles (1200 points, or $15), Lumines is not a complete game.  Within an hour, I was bumping into messages telling me that I needed to purchase additional content (which is not yet available, incidentally).  Outpost Kaloki X offers far more gameplay at half the price.  Coupled with frustratingly imprecise controls, and an experience that isn’t as portable as it is on the PSP, I’m instantly regretting having hoarded points for this game.

Click to continue reading Lumines Live Is A Huge Disappointment

Gallery: Lumines Live Is A Huge Disappointment


Lumines Live Microsoft today announced that Lumines Live will hit the Xbox Live Marketplace on Wednesday, October 18th when the service becomes available after the scheduled maintenance. The game will be made available in two parts; the main Lumines Live game will sell for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) and an “Advanced Pack” with 22 additional skins for 600 Microsoft Points ($7.50). If gamers pony up for the full Lumines package, this would be one of the most expensive Xbox Live Arcade games available to date. Microsoft does not sell a Marketplace Points card that has enough points to buy the complete game; the largest denomination that Microsoft makes available in stores is 1600 points. $22.50 is also more money than the PSP version of the game, which sells for $19.99. Of course, the Xbox 360 version offers features like online multiplayer over Xbox Live and a Skin Edit mode in the basic version; this package may be enough for the casual user as long as the title isn’t nagware.

Update: The “Advanced Pack” is not available right now, and will show up at a later date. Presumably so that gamers don’t look like dorks when they have to buy two 1600 points cards to pay for the game.

The full press release continues below.

Click to continue reading Lumines Live Hits Xbox Live

Gallery: Lumines Live Hits Xbox Live


Lumines II Box

Thanks to a tipster that clued us in before the site goes live, we had a chance to peek around the soon-to-be-released Lumines II website. There isn’t a ton of new information to be found there yet, but we did find some nice-looking screenshots (some of which have been featured on IGN before. However, we did find a really nice high-res pic of the boxart and were pleased to see that Lumines II looks at least as good as the original.

When the site launches in a few days, you’ll be able to download Lumines-themed wallpapers for your PC, Mac, and even your PSP desktop. Hopefully this’ll help tide y’all over until the November 8th launch date!

See all the screenshots after the jump!

Click to continue reading Advance Lumines II (PSP) Box Art, Screenshots

Gallery: Advance Lumines II (PSP) Box Art, Screenshots


Playstation 3 Famitsu recently released the pricing and availability information for a bunch of the Playstation 3 launch window titles in Japan, and Game|Life has a translation. The price list shows information for six of the launch day titles, and three launch window titles, ranging from 5040 Yen ($43) for budget titles to the high end of 8190 Yen ($70) for Armored Core 4. The other titles fall somewhere between the two, with first party titles like Resistance: Fall of Man and Genji 2 priced at 5980 Yen, about $50, and third-party titles like Ridge Racer 7 and Sonic The Hedgehog falling between 7140 Yen ($61) to 7329 Yen ($62). So, at least for right now, it looks like gamers in Japan can expect pretty standard next generation game pricing with only the occasional wallet buster.

Read More | Game|Life

Gallery: More Japanese PS3 Software Priced, Dated


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