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Electronic Arts had previously announced both that it would be focusing more of its development efforts on original IP as well as moving resources to Nintendo’s Wii. Today, EA revealed an original IP game for the Wii called Boogie, a party-style game that will combing dancing and karaoke-style gameplay, which would seem to lend credence to a Wii microphone peripheral in the future. The game is being developed by EA Montreal, developers of SSX Blur. The game’s character design definitely looks interesting, and hopefully third-party developers continue to bring original creations to Nintendo’s console.

Read More | Gamasutra


As the only next-gen console that isn’t getting some Guitar Hero, it’s good to see the user community hacking away at the possibility of playing Hero-like games with the Wiimote. “Tiger” over at the RhythmGamer has posted some videos of himself playing Frets on Fire (a freeware Guitar Hero clone for the PC) using a combination of the GlovePIE Wiimote drivers and some scripts he wrote specifically for the program.

We’re not going to vouch for the authenticity of this necessarily, but these videos look pretty good. Put the Wiimote in a shell that would make it easier to reach the 1 and 2 buttons, and you may have a fully functional solution. Is anyone from Harmonix or RedOctane out there watching this?

Rest of the videos included after the jump…

Click to continue reading Guitar Hero PC Clone Works With Wiimote?

Read More | Rhythmgamer.com

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

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

Kids Love Guitar Hero!

A reader over at Kotaku recently received an extra-long survey about new features or products that could be released in the Guitar Hero vein. Most interestingly, the survey seemed to suggest that RedOctane might be working on titles like “Drummer Hero”, “Keyboard Hero”, or “Vocals Hero”, as we had guessed earlier. This is obviously a very preliminary   test of the public’s feelings on future Guitar Hero titles and spin-offs, but it’s nonetheless exciting to see that we may one day be able to replicate a complete band out of the Hero titles.

Read More | Kotaku.com

Kids love Guitar Hero
It’s been a crazy week for all things Guitar Hero related. While nothing seems able to stop the juggernaut that is Guitar Hero 2 from being released on time, some of the other news we’ve been seeing might be bad news for fans of the series. First off, MTV announced Monday that they’d be purchasing Harmonix, developer of the series, for $175 million dollars.

MTV had this to say about the acquisition:

The acquisition of Harmonix will deepen MTV’s connection to its audience via on-line, mobile and console music gaming, and expand the relationship with both labels and artists through the creation of games based on classic songs as well as future album releases.

If MTV’s responsible with this property, that could be good news. It sounds like we can expect Guitar Hero to be ported to a variety of systems. It also sounds like we’ll be “treated” to something like a micro-transaction-based system for downloading new content. Of course, there’s always more money to be made by charging $50.00 for hastily-made sequels, so we’ll have to wait and see how MTV treats their new baby.

In other news, you might not be able to play with that fancy wireless guitar in the future, at least if Red Octane has anything to say about it. On the 20th, Red Octane sued The Ant Commandos, the company that produces the wireless guitar controller “compatible with” (read: made for) Guitar Hero. Not one to take it lying down, TAC has countersued, saying that RedOctane is actually at fault and stole the design of the guitar controller during a tour of Topwave factory (Topwave is TAC’s parent company).

Harmonix must be having a field day with this - it’s got to be flattering to produce a game so popular that EVERYONE wants in on the action. Now please guys, can we all just get along so that we can start rocking out again? Please, think of the children…

Read More | Joystiq

Read More | Opposable Thumbs

Read More | DigitalTrends

Wii Big Brain Academy Screenshot

With the success of the DS’s brain-training games, it should come as no surprise that Nintendo is planning to try to bring the same magic to the Wii as well. Big Brain Academy, similar in play-style to the DS title of the same name, will be coming to the Wii as a multiplayer game that allows two brains to either compete OR work cooperatively. The game will also support “Mii” characters, allowing you to import your likeness into the game.

The first screenshot of the title can be seen above. So far, the release date is TBA, though we expect it to show up soon after the console hits the streets.

Xbox Live Texas Hold 'EmMicrosoft has announced that the upcoming release of their Texas Hold ‘em game will be available free of charge for 48 hours. Starting Wednesday, August 23, at 1:00 AM Pacific Time, through Friday, August 25, Xbox Live Gold and Silver members will be able to download the Live game at no cost; after this time, the price goes up to 800 Marketplace points. Microsoft is touting a special “persistent bankroll” for the game; players won’t be able to magically reset their chip count, so this should hopefully add more of an incentive for players to play “correctly.” Additional features include 8 player online play and three different gameplay modes.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to pimp their future releases, including a Cloning Clyde picture pack for 100 points, and two new classic arcade releases from Konami, Time Pilot and Scramble for 400 points each.

The full press release continues below.

Click to continue reading Xbox Live Texas Hold ‘Em Free For 48 Hours