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PixelJunk Monsters Encore

I’ve recently been playing the hell out of PixelJunk Monsters, a game that we feel is one of the shining stars of the . If you haven’t yet tried it, seriously, go download it. The 2D strategy game is something that we almost can’t stop playing once we start. This is why we are happy to hear that Q Games has made it known that the first expansion pack for the game, titled PixelJunk Monsters Encore, is set to drop on May 1. We can expect a new island, called “Toki,” which will feature an additional 15 levels, as well as a little bit of housecleaning behind the scenes to the overall game mechanics. Even better still, the expansion will include five new songs by Otograph.

Visually, there are a few tweaks here and there that we can expect - weather effects, new tree shapes, and a few other small upgrades. Nothing over the top.

No word yet on pricing details, but this is DLC for a fairly inexpensive game, so it shouldn’t cost much.

Read More |

Destructoid

Gallery: PixelJunk Monsters Encore expansion set for May


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Wii Fit

is keeping the hits coming with their announcement that the long-awaited will be launching here in North America on May 19. The game, which comes packaged with the Wii Balance Board, will be sold for $89.99 - about 1/3 the price of the console itself. So yeah, a tad on the expensive side for a game, but it comes with a fairly unique peripheral, so what are ya gonna do? If you are one of the first 1,000 to pre-order the game at the Nintendo World Store in midtown Manhattan between April 18-20, you even get a free Wii Fit T-shirt. Here’s to fanboys playing balancing games in the hopes of getting in better shape!

Gallery: Wii Fit drops on May 19 for $89.99


If the video above is any indication, and it appears to be genuine, then some stores didn’t get the memo that Grand Theft Auto IV isn’t to go on sale until April 29. It seems that one Tony Warner was able to purchase his copy a couple of weeks early. In the video, Tony shows off the IV case, the disc itself, as well as the game’s intro. If you are completely wanting to get your hands on the game early, we suggest getting out there and looking around. Skip the Gamestop’s of the world and head straight to places that are clueless about these things, like your local Wal-Mart. Let us know if you have any luck. isn’t gonna be too happy about this one.

Gallery: GTA IV sold early in some areas


Okay, so first and foremost, the atrocious PLAYSTATION Store that the PS3 has been sporting is going to be replaced with PS3 firmware 2.30. That is a good thing, because compared to both the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Shopping Channel, the PLAYSTATION Store just performs horrible in our opinion. So good on Sony for changing that up. You can get a look at the new interface in the video above, which Sony put together. It looks a lot better.

Second thing, which is even better than the store upgrade if you ask us, is that the 2.30 firmware update is going to finally bring DTS-HD Master Audio to the Playstation 3, alongside DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. If you are a fan, then this means the world to you if you have a compatible receiver. Be prepared for perfect lossless audio to be read at an “incredible high variable rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second” in 7.1 surround sound. This is the one thing the was missing as a Blu-ray player (well, this, and Dolby-HD), and now makes it pretty much future-proof.

You get all this goodness on April 15th.

Read More |

Playstation Blog

Gallery: PS3 2.30 firmware to bring DTS-HD Master Audio to console, revamped PLAYSTATION Store


Mario Kart Wii

After hitting you with the Japan and European launch dates for , we are happy to bring you the news that the game launches here in North American on April 27th. That’s just a mere six weeks away before we can get our hands on all that racing wheel (Wii-l?) goodness. Just a reminder, Mario Kart Wii ships with the Wii Wheel, which is a plastic steering wheel that the Wii Remote can snap right in to, for a more intuitive driving experience.

“Mario Kart Wii transforms one of our most popular franchises into a race that every member of the family can join,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Driving with the Wii Wheel could not be more natural, and this is one place where speeding is encouraged.”

If you prefer not using the add-on, you will be pleased to know that the game works just fine with the Wii Remote all by its lonesome, as well as with the Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and even the Gamecube controller. Similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo went out of their way to ensure that gamers would be completely comfortable, regardless of their preferred style of play.

Just when we’ve just gotten into Brawl, we are already awaiting our next Wii game purchase. I mean, 16 new courses, 16 classic courses, 10 battle courses, and motorbikes? Who’s with us?

Gallery: Mario Kart Wii set for North American launch on April 27


Mario Kart WiiFinally, after a long period of silence, has finally made release dates public for a few of their more anticipated products: Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, and the WiiWare channel. First up is Mario Kart Wii, which will launch in Japan on April 10th, and Europe the following day on April 11th. No word yet on the US launch date.

The WiiWare channel, which will be a portal to downloading original games to the Wii, will be available on North American units on May 12th. No word on Japan or European launches for WiiWare just yet.

Lastly, Wii Fit, which has been flying off of shelves over in Japan since it’s release back in December, will launch in North America on May 19th. If you are in Europe, Wii Fit will be available in your neck of the woods on April 25th.

Gallery: Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, WiiWare all get release dates


Mario in Zero G

If you’re a hardcore gamer with a Wii, you don’t need to be told that Super Mario Galaxy is looming large on the horizon. With only a week to go until launch, though, Nintendo thought that they should take the time to try to reach those last few folks that’ve been living in a cave for the past year. How did they decide to point your attention towards Mario’s latest space-faring adventure, dear reader? By plunking down a few G’s to send Mario Zero-G, of course!

That’s right, that poor bastard you see pictured above had to ride the “Vomit Comet” in a Mario suit. I’m guessing some intern at Nintendo has been stuck with the task of finding the best way to de-barf a Mario costume right now.

Super Mario Galaxy launches on the Wii on November 12th for $49.99. And it’s going to be awesome, I dare say.

Read More |

GoNintendo

Gallery: “Mario” Goes Zero-G to Promote Super Mario Galaxy


Unreal Tournament 3

Midway announced today in a press release that the PlayStation 3 version of Unreal Tournament 3, originally scheduled to release with the PC version this November as a timed console exclusive, isn’t expected to be released until the first quarter of 2008. David F. Zucker, president and CEO of Midway, said he regretted having to lose the holiday sales from the delays but said, “[W]e remain confident that our technology strategy and product plan position us to grow both revenue and market share as we move into the heart of this console cycle.”

Developer Epic Games’ Mark Rein said in a forum post that the press release included UT3 as an obligation to investors and said that he was still optimistic about a 2007 release, but that they wouldn’t ship until the game was ready and “the best game (they could) deliver.” He also confirmed that the PC version, due out in November, was still on schedule to ship as planned.

Read More | Midway Press Release via Joystiq

Gallery: Unreal Tournament 3 For PlayStation 3 Delayed Until 2008


Saints Row 2 Logo

THQ announced that sequel to the GTA-style next gen game Saints Row is in the works. Saints Row was an Xbox 360 exclusive that followed the criminal underworld/open world model of Rockstar‘s key franchise pretty closely but included a character generator and several minor improvements that made it a hit with early 360 adopters.

Saints Row 2 takes place years after the original in the same city (Stillwater), but things have changed with the passage of time. As described in the press release, “Saints Row 2 has a much darker and more sinister story that leads your character down a path of betrayal, revenge and redemption against the city that has left him for dead.”

Unlike the original, which was a 360 exclusive, Saints Row 2 will be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in 2008.

Read More | Business Wire via GamerNode

Gallery: Saints Row 2 Announced


Description

EA‘s upcoming open-world game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is being pushed back until 2008, further relaxing the pressure on a still crowded holiday season for games. Speaking to developer Pandemic Studios President Josh Resnick, IGN coaxed out a few more details:

We’re adding nothing at this point. Our only goal is to make gamers proud that they own a copy of Mercenaries 2 by making the highest quality next-gen open-world experience the world has ever seen. If that sounds ambitious, then you should see how many cans of caffeine our programming guys have choked down during the past two years of development.

Resnick also complimented Rockstar and said that he wasn’t concerned about competing with Grand Theft Auto IV because, as he puts it, “We know gamers are bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing out a quality gameplay experience, and we’re hoping that scent leads them directly to Mercenaries 2.” He said they were using the extra time to focus on fixing bugs, tuning the physics and working on the mission structures.

The delay was initial rumored because retail outlets adjusted their release dates from late ‘07 to 2008, forcing Pandemic and EA to confirm the delay. Commenting on the leak, Resnick said, “Those dang sneaky retailers! You just can’t seem to keep a lid on something once they hear about it.”

Read More | IGN

Gallery: Mercenaries 2 Delayed Until 2008


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