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Friday, January 29, 2010

Star Wars Galaxies™ Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege Game Update Now Available

 Help Save Vital Cities from Falling Into Enemy Hands

Beginning today, the Star Wars Galaxies™ Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege game update is available for Rebels and Imperials alike.  Sony Online Entertainment is also offering eligible former players the opportunity to come back to Star Wars Galaxies for free between February 1 and March 1.  With the balance of power in the galaxy at stake, anyone who can tote a blaster or lend support is needed on the front lines!  Eligible player accounts will be automatically reactivated – players can simply log in to rejoin the action! For those who choose to re-subscribe before the free period ends, a special in-game painting will be given as a reward.

Come back now to join in massive invasions and build a legacy in the battle raging across the galaxy – where the movies end, your adventure begins!

FEATURES: Star Wars Galaxies™ Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege includes new, massive invasion warfare scenarios in three major cities featuring:

New Gameplay:

  • Cities will display Imperial or Rebel banners and faction-specific NPCs, quests, terminals and pylons depending on which faction is in control
  • Added support for Factional Mercenaries. Neutral players can align themselves with either faction to participate in city conflicts and earn rewards
  • Mayors of player cities are able to set their city’s factional alignment from the management terminal
  • Fight battles within newly implemented Planetary Regions to determine which faction controls a planet

New Interactive Structures:

  • Defend cities by manning barricades and building defensive turrets
  • Assault enemy cities and take out defense structures and key enemy personnel with the might of AT-AT or Hailfire missile attacks

All New Profession-Based Quests:

  •    Contribute to the battle with profession-specific quests that let players bolster defending or invading forces
  •    Improve and repair defensive structures, revive fallen soldiers, heal fatigue, entertain demoralized troops, slice terminals, scout and sabotage patrol points, and more

Epic New Rewards:

Battle-specific quests such as manning barricades, building turrets and treating wounded soldiers, now grant tokens that can be cashed in for new rewards, including: faction-specific clothing including capes, cloaks and battle-scarred armor; Entertainer glow sticks; bombing-run binoculars; an upgraded personal shield generator and multiple new weapons

The Star Wars Galaxies™ Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege game update is scheduled to release January 26, 2010.

The promotional re-entitlement period begins February 1, 2010 and ends on March 1, 2010.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

ELAN Producers Run Recon

Production Already Underway in San Diego for July Awards Show

SAN DIEGO, CA & VANCOUVER, BC January 26, 2010
- ELAN Awards Founder and CEO Holly Carinci and Gamers With Disabilities expert Dr. Michelle Hinn have just returned from a reconnaissance of the site for the 2010 ELAN Awards scheduled to take place from Saturday, July 17th thru Monday, July 19th in sunny San Diego. Their reports are in and they far exceed expectations.

"It's been exciting, moving this show to the United States," (all previous 3 ELANS have been held in Canada) says Carinci, "but it's a big step. As it turns out, I had nothing to be concerned about. The sites, venues and production components are phenomenal ... they just blew us away! I can't wait for this show to take place because the video game industry is going to absolutely love it!"

The first stop on the recon tour was a stop in L.A. and a trip down the red carpet at the Golden Globes. (Hinn literally took a "trip" on the famous red carpet and broke her ankle but didn't know it until returning home 5 days later!) While there the pair got a chance to experience for themselves the type of awards show they are shooting for on behalf of the video game industry.

"While the Golden Globes are not exactly the awards show we want to produce due to the uniqueness of the video game culture, it's the closest in existence today. Being able to actually attend the Globes' parties and then go from there directly to our own main venue, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego ... well, let's just say that both Michelle and I were very pleased with the selection of our site."

The Manchester Grand Hyatt is the 2010 ELAN Awards' Official Hotelier and will be the location for several of the parties taking place during the 3-day celebration including the Welcome Pool Party, the Champagne Reception and the Dinner Awards Ceremony itself.

During their site inspections Carinci met with and accepted PSAV Presentation Services' proposal to handle the production elements of the awards ceremony. "The staging and design of the room that Doug Evans of PSAV presented were more-than I hoped for before we arrived," says Carinci. "There will be times when all of us will feel as though we are actually in the middle of a video game."

Dr. Hinn's and Carinci's awareness of the video game industry's quality of life means that the only speeches that will be made during the 3 days of the ELANS will be ones made while accepting an award. And while the evenings are filled with adult-only parties the days have purposely been kept clear for their guests to actually have a chance to enjoy an industry event as a family. "When selecting the new host city for the ELAN Awards, what our attendees and their families could enjoy in-and-around our event was a top priority" says Carinci. For this reason we asked Jenna Bisesi, National Sales Director from the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau to show us what her city has to offer our guests, either single or with families and I can tell you this much ... I'm ready to move to San Diego!"

Submissions are open until April 16, 2010.

The Application to Judge can be downloaded and filled out electronically from the 2010 ELANS welcome page
www.theelans.com. 

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shiren the Wanderer Walkthrough



Get a guided tour (and some survival tips) from project lead Scott Strichart as he navigates the massive RPG adventure, Shiren the Wanderer!

As the ronin warrior Shiren, youll wander the old country, encountering dungeons filled with snow, sakura, walls of fire, and more. Control up to 3 party members and stay alert as you wander through dungeons, collecting items and outthinking your enemies! Easy mode lets newcomers find a foothold in the dungeons while Normal mode presents a more rigorous challenge for veterans.

Available February 9, 2010.

For more information, visit:
http://www.atlus.com/shiren 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE PERFECT BUNDLE FOR HUNTING SEASON:
MONSTER HUNTER® TRI AND WII CLASSIC CONTROLLER PRO

Bundle Will Bring the Highly- Anticipated New Controller and Popular Franchise Together for the Ultimate Monster Hunting Experience on the Wii System

SAN MATEO, CA, and REDMOND, WA, - January 25, 2010 - Capcom® Entertainment, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, and Nintendo of America today announced an exciting new bundle featuring one of the most highly anticipated titles for 2010, Monster Hunter® Tri, and combining it with the new Classic Controller Pro™ for the Wii™ system. The Classic Controller Pro's more traditional control configuration will give gamers the ultimate Monster Hunting experience when the bundle becomes available in North America this April at a suggested retail price of $59.99.

"Monster Hunter Tri has made a huge splash in the Japanese market, and we're confident the bundle with the Classic Controller Pro will give fans in North America plenty to get excited about," said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America's vice president of Licensing. "Gamers of all kinds enjoy playing games on Wii. Monster Hunter Tri delivers an incredible new experience on Wii, while the Classic Controller Pro gives players even more control options for their favorite Wii games."

The new Classic Controller Pro includes a second row of shoulder buttons and ergonomically friendly grips. The Classic Controller Pro plugs directly into the Wii Remote™ controller, and until now, has been available only in the Japanese market.

The Classic Controller Pro will be compatible with more than 450 Wii, WiiWare™ and Virtual Console™ games. The Classic Controller Pro bundled with Monster Hunter Tri will be black, while both black and white versions of the controller will also be available separately at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game will also be available without a controller at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Making its North American debut on Wii this spring, Monster Hunter Tri is one of the most strikingly beautiful titles developed for Nintendo's Wii system. Pushing the hardware to the limit, Monster Hunter Tri depicts a living, breathing ecosystem where humans co-exist with majestic monsters that roam both dry land and brand new sub-aqua environments – a first for the series. Offering the player varied control configurations to suit their style of play, players can choose between the Classic Controller Pro, Wii Remote™ and Nunchuck™, or Classic Controller™ to slay the monsters that inhabit the world.

The Monster Hunter series has sold over 11 million units worldwide and has become a social phenomenon in Japan giving rise to training camps, dedicated festivals and numerous licensed products. According to Media Create, Monster Hunter Tri sold 520,000 units in its first week of release in Japan and became the leading title sold across all platforms for the week of its release.

For more information about Monster Hunter Tri, please visit:
http://press.capcom.com

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Monday, January 25, 2010

New Super Mario Bros Wii Sells 10 Million Copies Worldwide!

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Japanese business web site Nikkei.Net is reporting that NSMB Wii has now sold over 10 Million copies worldwide. According to the site the game sold this impressive number in only 8 weeks. This makes NSMB Wii one of the the fastest selling games on record. 

In America the title has sold over 4.5 million copies. In Japan it has sold just over 3 Million and in Europe sales are also approaching 3 Million units sold.

Earlier this year, outspoken NOA front man Reggie Fils-Aime predicted the game would outsell at least one version (360 or PS3) of Modern Warfare 2, a game heavily favored to be the best selling game of the year. At the time many people saw his prediction as a ridiculous boast. However time has shown Reggie was correct. And if anything he may have understated the success of NSMB Wii. In the US, during the month of December, NSMB Wii outsold both versions of Modern Warfare 2 combined.

Although we hate to dwell on sales figures this news comes as a welcome surpise to the retro gamers on our staff. NSMB Wii is the cutting edge in modern, retro style gaming. We are very happy this wonderful game has been greated with open arms by fans all around the globe.  Happy gaming!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Borderlands Developer Confirms New DLC
and Plans to Raise Player Level Cap

A representative from Gearbox Software, the developers behind the cult hit Borderlands, have recently confirmed new DLC and plans to raise the player level cap. A member of the Borderlands team had this to say on their official forums:

"Sorry, I haven’t gotten to post on the forums in a while! After finalizing Zombies DLC, the team and I began reading the DLC feedback around the forums on the wants and desires. Guess what, level cap increase anyone? Got it and it's awesome. Hopefully we can get a full announcement out to you guys soon but, man is this the biggest DLC we have made. So don’t worry, we are working really hard right now on both the update (that solves a bunch of issues) and the DLC. More to come guys!!" [1]
 
This news comes as a great surprise to Borderlands players everywhere. The game combines elements from the RPG genre, with traditional FPS style gameplay, set in an open world enviroment. The possibilities for new DLC are endless. Also, raising the player level cap will allow for tougher challenges, a possibility that's sure to excite the hardcore gamers who love this title.

More as this story develops. Until then be sure to visit the Official Forums of Gearbox Studios.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

E3 2010 Registration Now Online!
Show Dates: June 15th to June 17th

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The madness begins! Registration for the 2010 E3 Expo is now online. Video game fans everywhere have begun the countdown to the greatest show on earth. Last year the E3 Expo returned to its roots. The show was a massive carnival of sights and sounds. All of the major industry players were on hand.  It was an expo filled with fun, excitement, and big surprises. 

The 2009 Expo was a major success.  It gave the video game industry a serious boost in a year filled with economic uncertainty. This once again proved the vital importance of the E3 Expo.  This year event organizers promise the 2010 Expo will be twice as big as the 2009 show! So get your registration in early as things are sure to fill up fast.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE

REVIEW OUR COVERAGE OF THE 2009 E3 EXPO

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trauma Team Walkthrough 
First Gameplay Footage: Endoscopy



Endoscopy: "Endoscopy is a broad term used to described examining the inside of the body using a lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope. In general, an endoscope is introduced into the body through a natural opening like the mouth or anus. Although endoscopy can include examination of other organs, the most common endoscopic procedures evaluate the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and portions of the intestine." [1]

Get educated in the brand new endoscopy gameplay mode in the premier medical game, Trauma Team! Then, stick around to find out what other medical surprises are in store for you in the other 5 modes!

What's your specialty?

Available April 20, 2010.

For more information, visit:
http://www.atlus.com/traumateam
 
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Online Registration for DEVASTATION 2010 is now open

This year's event already has 17 official game titles and 22 individual tournament events! Knowing us, we will probably add a few more titles to the official list, not including what the various player communities and Supporters/Exhibitors bring and run at the event. Here is a quick sample of the tournament games you will see: Tekken 6, Super Street Fighter IV, Halo 3, Madden NFL 10, Quake Live, Guitar Hero 5, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and DJ Hero just to name a few...

Online Registration is now open and, until February 13th, at an early-bird rate of $25.00 per player; guests, media and non-competitors enter free of charge. So, if you just want to come and see what all the excitement is about it will not cost you a dime.

Click Here to go to the Website

Click Here to Register Online


DEVASTATION is one of the world's premier consumer gaming events. The event bridges the gap between exciting high level competitive gaming and casual gamers. Whether you are looking for world-class competitive events, exclusive game previews and demos, casual gaming areas, expo booths, or the chance to meet up with players from across the globe, DEVASTATION has something for you.

June 18th-20th, 2010 | DEVASTATION 2010 | Phoenix, Arizona 

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Monday, January 18, 2010

GTA: Chinatown Wars Released on iTouch + iPhone
 


Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars has finally been released for the iTouch / iPhone. The game is currently available on the App Store for the low price of $10. That's quite a bargain for such a content filled game. Surely this is one title that will keep Apple fans busy for hours on end.

Graphically the game falls somewhere between the DS and the PSP version. Colors and lighting are closer to the PSP version. Explosions are bright and neon lighting glows with rich color. As expected, the game retains the amusing touch screen diversions found in the original Nintendo DS game.  In many ways the game combines the best features of both versions.

Although its one of the best GTA games, Chinatown Wars has been mired in controversy. When the game was first released on the Nintendo DS it was critically praised. Its currently still one of the most critically acclaimed games on the system. Unfortunately retail sales fell short of the lofty expectations set by the popular GTA franchise. The game received a lot of unfair, negative press based entirely upon its allegedly poor sales. Several media outlets even declared the title was a "bomb." Some erroneously claimed that the Nintendo DS fan-base didn't want such a mature title.

In reality the game was one of the most heavily pirated titles ever. One major piracy web site actually distributed over 250,000 "patches" that allowed users to play pirated versions of the game. In another disturbing case, a popular image board was flooded with anonymously posted topics offering download links to "pre-patched" versions of the game. This went on for several days in a row. Combined with all the bad press, which all strangely repeated the same themes, (poor sales, no sequel, etc) it almost seemed like there was an organized plan to destroy this game.

Later the game was revamped and released on the Sony PSP. The improved version was quite impressive. Touch screen controls were stripped from the game to the delight of some and the dismay of others. Some people welcomed the changes. One media outlet even claimed this version was superior to the original. Unfortunately this game sold even less than the DS version.

The iPod release gives this fantastic game another chance to reach a new market. Hopefully this time it will get the public attention it so richly deserves.

See Also:

The video posted above comes from the great people at TouchArcade.com. We are avid fans of their site. We highly recommend them as a great source of iPod gaming info. Be sure you read their first impressions article of GTA Chinatown Wars.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Nexon America opens new Web site for MapleStory themed online card game,
iTGC Online

Nexon America launched a revamped Web site for its MapleStory-themed online game, iTGC Online. The updated site contains game information, updates, news, game guides and an introduction video. To access the iTGC Online site go to: http://itcg.nexon.net

iTCG Online is Nexon America’s first free-to-play browser-based game requiring no download. Details of the game’s second beta phase will be announced soon. iTCG Online game play is based on the characters and monsters found in Nexon’s wildly popular massively multiplayer online game, MapleStory.

iTCG Online has also opened a fan page in Facebook where players can connect, view game art and share details of the game with friends. The Facebook page is available now at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/iTCG/248518243426.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

ACT NOW TO PROTECT WEB NEUTRALITY

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On Friday, January 8, 2010, .S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seemed to question whether the Federal Communications Commission has the authority to enforce Net Neutrality. While a final decision has yet to be issued, the court's questioning indicates it will find that the FCC lacks the statutory authority to enforce Net Neutrality. If that becomes precedent, it becomes even more apparent that Congress is the one that will have to act to ensure Net Neutrality is the law of the land.

Net Neutrality is the principle that ensures that Internet users are free to go where they want, and connect with whom they choose online.

Though a final court decision to settle the FCC's ability to enforce Net Neutrality may not come for months, there's no time like the present to make your voice heard. Make sure to write your Congressman and tell them you support Net Neutrality. It takes just a few seconds to do so.

There are numerous other things you can do to make your voice heard and ensure Net Neutrality becomes the law of the land, allowing us to enjoy our video games online unfettered.

  1. Write your Representative and tell them you support the principle of Net Neutrality
  2. Become a Gamer for Net Neutrality
  3. Spread the word and tell your friends to get involved
  4. Join the Gamers for Net Neutrality Facebook group and share it with your friends
  5. Tweet about this subject, "I'm a gamer and I support Net Neutrality http://bit.ly/16E7gY #netneutrality #eca"

The political landscape has never been better to see Net Neutrality passed as law. After this November's elections, the opportunity may not be as good to move it forward. Please, get involved and speak out!

Thanks,

Brett Schenker, Online Advocacy Manager

Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Metal Slug XX - Official Trailer Now Online



METAL SLUG XX for PSP system is the new addition to the famed METAL SLUG series that captures all the glory of the arcade experience and more. After General Morden is defeated and captured, a mysterious army arrives from the future to save him. They reveal themselves to be Morden's army from the future, and their goal is to provide their future leader with special advanced weaponry to take on his enemies in the present. Classic METAL SLUG characters Marco, Tarma, Fio, Eri, Ralf, and Clark return once again to take on General Morden and his new and improved Rebel Army.

Available February 23, 2010.

For more information, visit:
http://www.atlus.com/metalslugxx
 

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 ELANS Calling for Judges

Looking for Judges Worldwide for San Diego Awards Show
 

NEW YORK, NY & VANCOUVER, BC January 12, 2010 - Now that submissions for the video game award categories are officially open and underway, ELAN Founder and CEO Holly Carinci and Chairman  Justin Townsend (Founder of in-game advertising giant IGA Worldwide) are turning their attention to bringing together the best professionals from around the world to be their judges.

"We are looking for 150 professionals to act as Judge and Jury for this year's show," reports Carinci. "Every year I feel very honored by the people who answer this call. These people are very busy and the fact that they get involved with us as seriously as they do really says something about the integrity of this business. A great example for this year already would be Dr. D. Michelle Hinn."

Dr. Hinn has a PhD from the University of Illinois and runs the world's largest charity for gamers with disabilities. "She's also met Reagan, Bush (41), Carter, Clinton, McCain and most of the Washington Elite including heads of foreign governments. She's sat with the Queen of Spain for an hour for tea, and she's our Head Judge for our award category, "Most Accessible Game"", says Carinci. She shakes her head smiling, "I just love doing this show." Seth MacFarlane 2008

While neither a PhD nor having had tea with a Queen is a requirement to being a Judge for the 2010 ELAN Awards, there is a list of requirements that have to be met and you must apply.  The Application to Judge forms can be downloaded and filled out electronically from www.theelans.com.

While the Official Website for the 2010 ELAN Awards will not be launched until next month, everything you need to download to submit into the award categories is also there and if you do so before January 29th early bird rates apply.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Video Game Voters Network:
A Big Win for Video Games

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Video game players just won a big victory in court against people trying to stifle free expression.

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court issued an injunction against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), which had banned advertisements for certain computer and video games on its trains, buses, and stations. Yesterday's ruling means the CTA must stop enforcing its ban until the case is finally resolved.

This is an important victory for games and gamers. The CTA's attempt to ban video game ads signals a much larger effort to attack gaming as a whole. The CTA hasn't banned ads for other types of entertainment like TV and movies -- instead, it has singled out video games with an unfair rule that infringes on the rights of all gamers.

We've stopped them for now, but our fight isn't over yet. The case hasn't been finally resolved, and the CTA should accept the court's decision and drop its anti-gaming rule.

Illinois VGVN members are doing their part by urging the city to end its fight against games. Now, we need you to do yours. Please encourage your friends to join the VGVN and fight against other attacks on video games across the country. Click here to spread the word:

http://videogamevoters.org/invite

With the support of Video Game Voters Network members like you, we can win this fight once and for all -- and continue to stand up to future attacks on games and gamers.

Thanks for your support.

-- Video Game Voters Network

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Friday, January 8, 2010

NEWS FROM THE ESA:
COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES ENHANCE DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MEASURES

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Computer and video games prove to be effective tools for simulating and training emergency responders for real-life disaster situations, but as the technology advances and the number of players expand, games may eventually play an even larger role in emergency response and preparedness. 

Last month, New York State authorities announced that they are testing a new safety initiative that would incorporate video game consoles into the state's emergency alert system via online gaming networks. The announcement came at New York's Interop Conference, a business technology event focused on promoting new innovations in information technology. New York State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton said that the process is currently in its testing phase, but that the state is working harder to expand its communications efforts through online channels to ensure that emergency alerts reach as many New Yorkers as possible.

Meanwhile, students in New Jersey classrooms began using a new disaster recovery game to learn the critical skills needed to respond to disasters from a business perspective. SPILL, funded by Deloitte & Touche, presents students with a virtual world disaster for which they must develop a recovery plan within the confines of the business world. Students learn environmental and business concepts like negotiation, teamwork and ethics, all while balancing budgetary issues and quality control with the urgency of disaster relief.

These recent initiatives are not isolated cases; in fact, the U.S. government has made investments in video game technology as emergency preparedness learning tools. Last March, the Department of Homeland Security provided a $4.8 million grant to the National Emergency Medical Services Preparedness Initiative to develop a video game with George Washington University that allows paramedics, EMT's and other emergency responders to develop their disaster preparedness skills on the virtual scene of a large-scale crisis. From pandemics to earthquakes, players learn about the equipment needed for particular disasters, what to ask victims, triage, and how to effectively manage something as seemingly unmanageable as a large-scale disaster.

As both public and private sector organizations look for new ways to prepare for all kinds of disasters, computer and video games provide a unique opportunity for emergency responders and citizens to train and prepare for real-world situations in a virtual world. With 68 percent of American households playing computer and video games, their use as a disaster resource could become even more widespread in the years to come. 

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Mystery of the Crystal Portal Arrives on iPhone


G5 Entertainment brings award-winning hidden-object puzzler to handheld devices

Jan. 5, 2010 - G5 Entertainment, known for its best-selling iPhone games like Stand O'Food and Supermarket Mania, today announced The Mystery of the Crystal Portal for iPhone and iPod Touch. The brain-bending hidden-object game was the first-ever winner of the Great Games Award in July 2009, and spent more than 1,000 days in Top 10 charts of the leading casual game portals.
 
When journalist Nicole Rankwist's archaeologist father disappears, the intrepid reporter sets off to discover his whereabouts. The Mystery of the Crystal Portal takes players on a globetrotting journey with Nicole, searching exotic and mysterious locations the world over. With challenging hidden-object gameplay, an intriguing storyline and stunning full-screen graphics, The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is a thrilling escape for gamers of all ages.

The Mystery of the Crystal Portal features includes:

-Unique Hidden Object Gameplay
-Original Storyline
-Stunning Scenes to Search
-Loads of Brain-Bending Fun

The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is available on the App Store.

For more information, please visit The Mystery of the Crystal Portal's Home Page  or the G5Entertainment YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/g5enter.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trauma Team Walkthrough 
First Gameplay Footage: Surgery



The folks from Atlus have just posted this new video showing exclusive footage from their upcoming hospital drama. Learn more about the surgery gameplay from the premier medical game, Trauma Team!

Available April 20, 2010.

For more information, visit:
http://www.atlus.com/traumateam

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nintendo Smashes Holiday Sales Records!
Over 3 Million Wii Sold in December

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NINTENDO ANNOUNCES HEALTHY HOLIDAY SALES FIGURES

As everyone looks ahead to the possibilities in store for 2010, Nintendo of America is looking to extend the glow of the holidays with some fresh December sales information. The following items were announced by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata in Japan:

  • Although official U.S. sales data for December and all of 2009 will be announced by the NPD Group on Jan. 14, it appears that U.S. consumers responded enthusiastically to Nintendo's Wii™ home console in December. Nintendo estimates that December sales in the United States will exceed 3 million units.

  • Nintendo estimates that the portable Nintendo DS™ lineup, including the Nintendo DSi™ video game system, set a new all-time calendar-year U.S. sales record for any console or hand-held system.

  • Nintendo software also continued to perform well. Although the NPD Group will provide the full sales numbers for each game, Nintendo estimates that lifetime U.S. sales of New Super Mario Bros.Wii are approaching 4 million. The game, which is the first Super Mario Bros. game to include simultaneous four-player action, launched in the United States on Nov. 15.

"The millions of people who bought Nintendo hardware during the holidays can look forward to enjoying great games on those systems now and in the future," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for Nintendo DS, and Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros. Wii are all currently providing Nintendo fans with amazing experiences and fun adventures for the whole family."


For more information about Nintendo, please visit
www.nintendo.com.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

AbleGamers.com Awards Bioware’s
"Dragon Age: Origins" 2009 Mainstream Accessible GOTY

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Harpers Ferry WV, January 4, 2010: AbleGamers is proud to present Bioware with the “2009 Mainstream Accessibility Award” for their smash hit “Dragon Age: Origins” for the PC with a score of 9.8 out of 10.

Fully accessible mainstream games are the core mission for the accessible gaming movement. AbleGamers selects one game to represent the most accessible game of each calendar year.  This year is no different, one video game stood out from the rest with accessibility options far beyond what most companies are willing to include.

Mark Darrah, the Executive Producer for Dragon Age: Origins says, “The Dragon Age team is honored to win this award. We try to appeal to as broad of an audience as we can and accessibility is certainly part of this effort. It makes me proud to have the game this well received by this community.”

Dragon Age: Origins offers some of the most astounding accessibility options seen in any game this year.  With only one accessibility complaint, Bioware far exceeded expectations for an accessible title.  However, the relatively small font size was immediately addressed by Bioware, bringing the number of accessibility problems to zero.

The accessibility of Dragon Age: Origins includes:

  • Multiple levels of subtitles - You are given the option of no subtitles, only subtitles, or subtitles plus ambient noise subtitles. In addition, even when selecting no subtitles as your option, the game places subtitles in the interactive cut scenes at the top of your screen.
  • Extreme mobility options - Users can control the characters from multiple camera angles allowing for various play styles.  Players can use the keyboard or both mouse buttons to control the cameras and the characters themselves.  There are precise movements needed in some situations, but most actions are very forgiving and easily managed. Moreover, there is no need for a mouse sensitivity option and on-screen keyboards work perfectly.
  • Colorblind friendly - With the addition of improved fonts, all status bars are easily read no matter the color impairment.
  • Cognitive friendly - Perhaps the most underrepresented disability in mainstream games, cognitive impaired gamers can pause the action quickly and as often as necessary in the heat of the battle. Orders can be issued during the pause, allowing anyone to keep up with the game no matter the level of cognitive impairment.
  • Extra accessibility - Ambient noises, subtle movements, clearly marked terrain, multiple levels of difficulty, and many other small accessibility options.

What makes this title so exceptional is the level of options given to the gamer to choose their level of accessibility.  Options are the key component to adding accessibility without harming the overall gameplay of any title. As long as developers like Bioware continue to add accessibility in layers of options that enhance their gaming titles, disabled gamers will continue to be able to play great titles such as Dragon Age: Origins.

About AbleGamers:  AbleGamers.com is the premier community for disabled gamers founded in 2004 and run by The AbleGamers Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) public charity.  AbleGamers mission is to bring people with disabilities into the digital entertainment space by advocating for the necessary accessibility options. In addition, AbleGamers offers news, reviews, and tips for disabled gamers and their families with guidance on using videogames for rehabilitation and recreation.

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Submitted By: E. Thomas
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