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  ARCHIVE FOR: Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

Tony Hawk's American SK8Land Screenshots
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 07:00 PM :: In-House: Screenshots :: Comment Now
  Wrapping up another news day, tonight we have a selection of screenshots from X-Men Leg � just kidding, the shots are from Tony Hawk�s American SK8Land.

Tony Hawk�s American SK8Land (Official Site)

In development at Various Visions and arriving as the first 3D Tony Hawk title for the Nintendo DS � or any Nintendo handheld system, Tony Hawk�s American SK8Land builds on the series, making use of cel-shaded arty, while going through seven areas of Los Angeles wile trying to restore skate park, American SK8Land, to normal. The game includes multiplayer support for two players, Wi-Fi support for replays and of course the multiplayer, and the ability to record voices that replay in the game when players are bailing, clearing a gap, performing a special trick, etc. The game will also include a graphical editor for lets player use the DS stylus to customize various game elements (graffiti tags, art, etc), as well as a Classic Mode of play and Create-A-Park mode.
Tony Hawk�s American SK8Land will ship during Fall 2005 for the Nintendo DS.

IEMA Requests Schwarzenegger Veto AB 1179
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 06:17 PM :: General Gaming :: Comment Now
  ( READ ATTACHED PRESS RELEASE ) Following the approval of Assembly Bill 1179 in California, which calls for the ending of sales and rental of violent games to those under 18-years of age, the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) issued a statement revealing that it�s requesting California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger veto AB 1179. The request was done via lengthily letter from IEMA president Hal Halpin, and covers issues such as increased retail cooperation with enforcing ratings and so forth. Below�s a snippet of the letter.
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) is the non-profit trade organization representing the leading retailers of computer and video game products in the United States. IEMA member companies collectively account for almost 75% of the $10 billion annual games business in the U.S. The IEMA, and the retailers we represent in the State of California, respectfully urge you to veto A.B. 1179.

IEMA members take the issue of retailer enforcement of policies inhibiting the sale or rental of "Mature" rated games to minors very seriously; however, we do not believe that legislation is the answer. The IEMA believes that A.B. 1179 is unnecessary, as retailers are firmly committed to voluntarily enforcing and promoting the video game rating system. Second, legislation cannot and will not replace the ultimate role and responsibility of parents in their duty to raise their children, and this bill usurps the rights of parents by restricting minors' access to certain games, even if parents have approved them for their child. Further, federal courts have consistently recognized that video games are constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the restrictions in this bill impermissibly run afoul of that protection. Finally, the bill provides no meaningful standards to assist in determining whether games would fall within the legislation's purview.

The lack of decipherable standards is particularly troubling for those who would be forced to interpret A.B. 1179. The bill defines "violent video games" as those that meet a three-part analysis based on the legal test for obscenity (sec. 1746(d)(1)(A), or that meet federal death penalty standards for killings that are "heinous, cruel, or depraved" (sec. 1746(d)(1)(B)). The obscenity-based inquiry would force manufacturers and retailers to independently apply to each game sold a constantly changing, legally and factually complicated "community standard" that courts and juries have struggled to identify and apply for years. In a similar vein, the federal death penalty standard is one decided by juries on a case-by-case basis, and is ill-suited to providing meaningful guidance on whether the sale of a game will engender liability. Further, the bill sets an impossible threshold by forcing a pre-judgment on whether a particular player will "relish" a virtual action, or whether that player will intend to commit certain actions in the game (e.g., sec. 1746(d)(2)), prior to the sale.

Those wanting to read the full letter and statement should of course click the link above.

ESA Fights Against Michigan Game Law
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 06:16 PM :: General Gaming :: Comment Now
  As the latest in the ongoing situation in Michigan over game violence, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced (thanks Bluesnews & WarCry) that it's filing a lawsuit in Michigan, asking that the new video game laws be overturned. The suit's filed on the grounds that the bill substitues the government's judgement for parents, effectively turning retail outlets into parents ... or so to speak.
"If this law is implemented, it will not only limit First Amendment rights for Michigan's residents, but, by virtue of its vagueness, it will also create a huge amount of confusion for Michigan's retailers, parents, and video game developers," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "I'm confident the court will affirm our position given the rulings on similar statutes in other jurisdictions; indeed, the facts, the science, the law, and the U.S. Constitution have not changed since those decisions were handed down."

"In 2004, the average game buyer was 37 years old and the average game player was 30," Lowenstein said. "Knowing this, our industry creates a wide range of content for a diverse consumer audience, just as other entertainment industries do. And, it's illogical that video games would be treated more harshly than R-rated movies or music CDs with parental warning labels, both of which can be legally viewed and sold to minors. How can you treat a video game based on James Bond any different than a book or movie based on the same subject matter?"

Recapping the law, the law was signed into law by Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, and makes the sale and rental of mature and or adult themed titles illegal to children 17-years of age and younger. Called House Bills 4702 and House Bill 4703 and sponsored by Representative Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Township) and Tom Pearce (R-Rockford); and come as part of a four bill package. See our prior story for more information.

Infected - Release Date Revealed
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 06:16 PM :: PSP: General :: Comment Now
  This afternoon, Majesco announced that Planet Moon Studios upcoming zombie shooter, Infected, will ship during November 2005 for the PlayStation Portable. Infected sets players in New York City during the holiday season, putting players in the role of Rookie police officer Stevens, as a strange virus starts turning normal people insane. The game picks up as Stevens' given a viral gun from a Dr. Schaeffer, who discovers Stevens blood is immune and can destroy the infected. The game will include a single player campaign, as well as multiplayer modes and character creation options. this page has additional information on Infected.

Major League Baseball 2K5: World Series Edition Revealed
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 02:49 PM :: General Gaming :: Comment Now
  ( READ ATTACHED PRESS RELEASE ) Take-Two publishing label, 2K Sports, has announced plans for the release of a World Series Edition of upcoming title, Major League Baseball 2K5. Major League Baseball 2K5: World Series Edition will be host to various new features and extras, including updated rosters, an exclusive World Series Edition DVD, and the 05� All-Star teams. The game will also include modes of play such as: World Series Mode and Pennant Fever Mode. Major League Baseball 2K5: World Series Edition is slated for release during October 2005 for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

EverQuest: Depth Of Darkhollow Ships
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 02:49 PM :: PC: General :: Comment Now
  ( READ ATTACHED PRESS RELEASE ) This afternoon, Sony Online Entertainment announced the shipping of EverQuest Depth Of Darkhollow for the PC. Arriving as the 10th expansion pack in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) series, EverQuest: Depths OF Darkhollow includes new lands, monsters and other creatures, as well as the ability to play as a monster.
On the surface, as the battle between Firiona Vie and Lanys T'Vyl continues to rage throughout the lands of Nektulos, an expedition of Qeynosian miners breached the barrier of Darkhollow. Now a new evil begins to emerge from the underground; far beneath the surface of Norrath. Join EverQuest� Depths of Darkhollow and journey into a world of immorality and devastation, a world that has existed purely as a vast wilderness filled with intelligent predators, destruction and disease. Go forth with courage as the terror that lies deep within these grounds must not be allowed to spread to the surface -- to Norrath.
EverQuest: Depths Of Darkhollow is available via retail and digital download from Sony Online Entertainment.

Tales Of Legendia Website Launched
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 02:47 PM :: PS2: Role-Playing :: Comment Now
  ( READ ATTACHED PRESS RELEASE ) Today, Namco Hometek launched an official teaser website dedicated to upcoming role-playing game (RPG), Tales Of Legendia. The newly launched website includes a game movie, screenshots and of course general game information. Tales Of Legendia is in development for the PlayStation 2, and builds on the Tales series with an all-new Crossover Linear Motion Battle System (X-LiMBS). The game will ship during February 2006.

Sony Combines Studios To Form SCE Worldwide Studios
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 06:58 AM :: General Gaming :: Comment Now
  Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) today announced that it has combined all of its development studios across the globe to form SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS). Effective as of September 1st, 2005, the newly formed SCE Worldwide Studios will be headed up by Phil Harrison, executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who now has the position of president of SCE WWS.
�As SCE enters its second decade, we need to challenge to reinforce our games development power and create new entertainment experiences that will bring out the best of the technology in platforms such as PSP� (PlayStation�Portable), PLAYSTATION�3, and beyond,� said Ken Kutaragi, president and group CEO, SCEI. �With PlayStation, favored by 200 million people all over the world, combined with Phil�s strong leadership, I am confident that the power of our development studios are further empowered to create more new and innovative titles.�

�SCE is unique in having innovative development studios in the US, Europe and Japan, that have each created numerous global hit titles. By combining the wealth of creativity and talent of games development we can dramatically change the landscape of computer entertainment,� said Phil Harrison, president, SCE Worldwide Studios. �I am honored to be taking on that challenge working alongside the best people in the business.�

As always, we�ll have more news throughout the day.

Xbox 360 - Slight Regional Lag
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 06:57 AM :: Xbox 360: Action :: Comment Now
  Through Reuters, it was reported today that Microsoft is expecting a lag of a week to ten days between each regional launch for the Xbox 360. Citing comments made by Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach, who was quoted as saying the following at the Reuters Technology and Telecoms Summit in Tokyo.
"We will launch in North America, Europe and Japan in the same holiday season. There will probably be a week or 10 days in between the different territories, just to give us a chance to manage the logistics."
Xbox 360 is slated for release later this year.

Ninja Gaiden Black: Release Date Revealed
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:30 AM :: XBox: Action :: Comment Now
  In another of those stories that slipped by last night, Tecmo announced that Ninja Gaiden Black will ship throughout North America on September 20th, 2005, for the Xbox. The re-release of Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden Black will include the original Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox, Hurricane Packs 1&2, and new levels of difficulty including: Ninja Dog and Master Ninja. The game will also be host to various new enemies, costumes and other content; as well as new cut scenes. Ninja Gaiden Black will carry the ESRB rating of �M� for mature.

Tecmo Classic Arcade Ships
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:30 AM :: XBox: General :: Comment Now
  Last night, Tecmo shipped its compilation title, Tecmo Classic Arcade, to retail outlets across North America for the Xbox. The compilation title includes 11 classic Tecmo games, including: Tecmo Bowl, Rygar, Solomon�s Key, Bomb Jack, Tecmo Cup, Pleiads, Senjyo, Star Force, Strato Fighter, Swimmer, and Pinball Action. Tecmo Classic Arcade carries the ESRB rating of "E" for everyone. As we said in our past report, more on the game can be found on this page.

Trailer Round-Up
By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:25 AM :: Round-Up: Trailers :: Comment Now
  • Far Cry: Instincts (Multi) - Worthplaying
  • Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks (Multi) - Worthplaying

  • Screenshots Round-Up
    By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:20 AM :: Round-Up: Screenshots :: Comment Now
  • X-Men Legends II (Multi) � Official Website
  • Saint's Row (360) � XboxWorld
  • 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Multi) � DigitalEntertainmentNews

  • Interview Round-Up
    By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:15 AM :: Round-Up: Interviews :: Comment Now
  • Hironobu Sakaguchi Blue Dragon Interview (360) - Kikizo

  • Preview Round-Up
    By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:10 AM :: Round-Up: Previews :: Comment Now
  • Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks (PS2) - IGN
  • Driver: Parallel Lines (PS2) � IGN

  • Review Round-Up
    By Andrew 'Talon' Wilson @ 12:05 AM :: Round-Up: Reviews :: Comment Now
  • Metal Slug 5 (Xbox) � DigitalEntertainmentNews
  • Nintendogs (DS) � DigitalEntertainmentNews

  • Morning Brief - Guess Who's Back
    By Kyle 'Pezman' Peschel @ 12:00 AM :: In-House: Morning Brief :: Comment Now
      The stars in the heavens aligned tonight for a brief galaxy wide orgy that allowed me to connect to the internet for the first time in three months. You see, I have been on a quest to get High Speed Internet hooked up in my Brooklyn flat. A worthy enough endeavor you'd think considering I live in New York City. Well... sadly you are mistaken; it seems such a request is simply not possible in a brand new building which sports such features as a Jacuzzi tub and video phone. Apparently the gnomes who were contracted to wire the building, didn�t, and no one thought to notify the tenants before they moved in. Verizon (local DSL provider) is corrupted to the point of not even being aware they offer DSL to my part of Brooklyn. This leaves me dependant upon a 56k modem, which is an archaic monstrosity that I have not owned since the invention the light bulb. In fact, I had to search far and wide to find a store which sold this legacy hardware.

    I'm now connecting through Net Zero � who�s marketing staff are clearly drinking the Kool-Aid when they claim "fast as broadband" - using 3G allows me to load this site in 87 seconds instead of 107. I don't know about you guys but my old Broadband connection displayed GameGossip lovin� the same second I clicked on my favorites. During these massive load times I begin to feel the pain of pop-ups and spy ware which are sucking my available bandwidth dry. This site does not serve any pop-ups, yet while surfing the site, I see the tell tail signs of my pop-up blocker counter moving... this would only mean I'm infected with spyware� bleh. It appears my next quest will be to rekindle my Hunter/Gatherer roots and remove such software from my PC.

    So, let's all rejoice that I'm back online after a 3 month hiatus and sing kum-bah-ya or something.

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