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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:37 am

Song: "Touch of Grey"
Band: Grateful Dead
Album: In the Dark (1987)
Rock Out: Though the song came to be fairly loathed by Deadheads for its perceived pop-iness, perhaps those same fans should pay heed to the lyrics of "Touch of Grey": "Every silver lining's got a touch of grey." Had the song not become so popular, who knows how the band would've fared in its last years leading up to frontman Jerry Garcia's death? Either way, "Touch of Grey"'s inclusion on a Guitar Hero release would certainly happen much to the chagrin of many a Deadhead, though it's presence would paradoxically be keeping Garcia and the band alive for yet another generation. As the song says, "It's even worse than it appears/But it's all right."



Song: "Crazy Train"
Band: Ozzy Osbourne
Album: Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
Rock Out: We love Pat Boone's crooner version of this track from the opening credits of The Osbournes as much as anyone, but there's no outdoing the late Randy Rhoads' six-string solos on "Crazy Train." Influenced by classical guitar, Rhoads avoids the typical power-chord dependency of many metal acts. Yes, crazy -- but that's how it goes…



Song: "Eruption"
Band: Van Halen
Album: Van Halen (1978)
Rock Out: The instrumental "Eruption" is considered to be a hugely influential bit of rock music thanks to Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo, which utilizes a 10-finger piece of artistry called tapping that literally requires both hands on the guitar neck (a method that is now commonplace). The number then segues into the band's famous cover of "You Really Got Me," which wouldn't do half bad as a Guitar Hero track itself, actually.



Song: "Sultans of Swing"
Band: Dire Straits
Album: Dire Straits (1978)
Rock Out: This track first got exposure as a demo on British radio before catching the attention of record industry executives, leading to the recording of the band's eponymous first album and the rerecording of "Sultans of Swing" itself. The song was a top 10 hit in both the U.S. and the U.K., as was the album. It is on the album version of the song that lead singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler's famous six-string solo hails from, a piece that he has honed and expanded on extensively in concert over the years.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:37 am

Song: "How Soon Is Now"
Band: The Smiths
Album: Hatful of Hollow (1984)
Rock Out: No, great guitar music that would make for equally great Guitar Hero tracks need not be relegated to the world of metal and hard rock. If it were, where would maestro Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths, fit in? Lead singer, coauthor, and world-class mope Morrissey's lyrics might not be the best starting number to get your GH-groove party going ("I am the son/and the heir/of a shyness that is criminally vulgar"), but Marr's guitars oscillate wildly in turn, creating one of the landmark tunes of the era and a surefire winner for the game.



Song: "Stairway to Heaven"
Band: Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Rock Out: The ultimate burnout ballad, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's "Stairway to Heaven" starts simply enough with a quiet bit of guitar picking and acoustic play before going electric and then eventually hard and fast, culminating in Page's legendary solo. In its eight minutes of playing time, the track became one of the greatest pieces of rock music ever created… though, of course, the drawback to such a distinction is that it has in the past three-odd decades inspired countless horrible interpretations by pimply-faced teenage rock-star wannabes everywhere. An appearance on Guitar Hero could alleviate that problem once and for all.



Song: "Layla"
Band: Derek and the Dominos
Album: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
Rock Out: The Mamas & the Papas may have said that unrequited love's a bore, but don't tell that to Eric Clapton, who scored his biggest hit ever with "Layla," a song about the famed guitarist's unreciprocated amour for his friend George Harrison's then-wife Pattie Boyd. Of course, the public's love for the song itself didn't come until about two years after its release when it finally scored as a chart-topper, and then again in 1992 when the revamped MTV Unplugged version was released. The late Duane Allman actually shared guitar duties on the original recording with Clapton.



Song: "(Nothing But) Flowers"
Band: Talking Heads
Album: Naked (1988)
Rock Out: We've tried to avoid including more than one song per artist on this list in order to keep it lively, but Johnny Marr does get his second go-round here -- albeit with a different band. The ex-Smiths guitarist guest-starred with David Byrne and his Talking Heads on the group's 1988 swansong album Naked, bringing his signature sound to the increasingly exotic music of the band. No longer restrained by the doom-and-gloom of erstwhile partner Morrissey, Marr's cascading frets are able to achieve a cheeriness they'd previously been rarely afforded -- even in a tune like "(Nothing But) Flowers" which is about, after all, the end of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:38 am

Song: "Dueling Banjos"
Band: Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel
Album: Deliverance soundtrack (1972)
Rock Out: Forever reminiscent of the horrors of Ned Beatty squealing like a pig, "Dueling Banjos" actually dates back to 1955 when it was composed by country artists Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith and Don Reno (where it was called "Feuding Banjos"). And for those who might snicker at the potential inclusion of this track on Guitar Hero IV, we would suggest that you first reexamine your knowledge of the great films of 1970s cinema, and second try spinning out a banjo/guitar duet with the ever-increasing tempo and intensity that Ronny Cox and an inbred hillbilly manage in the film.



Song: "Teen Age Riot"
Band: Sonic Youth
Album: Daydream Nation (1988)
Rock Out: An anthem that's not an anthem, Sonic Youth's "Teen Age Riot" is a song that was created just as the band was on the cusp of their transformation from so-called noise rock to a more respectable, and enjoyable, alternative sound, and one that allowed for the guitar experimentation and pop dalliances that have since become their trademark. After "Teen Age Riot" hit, a guest shot on The Simpsons was all but inevitable.



Song: "Brown Sugar"
Band: The Rolling Stones
Album: Sticky Fingers (1971)
Rock Out: As with many of the bands on this list, there are just so many great, classic tracks from the Rolling Stones that would be amazing to play on Guitar Hero. "Brown Sugar," from the album Sticky Fingers (which also gave us the likes of "Wild Horses" and "Sister Morphine") offers up a tinge of blues with its rock, with a saxophone and piano accompanying Keith Richards' guitar and Mick Jagger's rather sensationalistic lyrics.



Song: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Band: The Beatles
Album: The Beatles (1968)
Rock Out: The Beatles generally aren't the first band that comes to mind when you think about rocking out on the guitar, but in fact George Harrison was considered to be an extremely talented guitarist… though that's neither here nor there regarding "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," which actually features Harrison's friend (and future wife-stealer) Eric Clapton (uncredited) on lead guitar while George handles the acoustic side of things. A beautifully somber song and a highlight of The White Album, isn't this track's title alone enough to get it a slot in Guitar Hero?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Be sure to check back next week for the second part of our Guitar Hero IV Wish List!
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:41 am

New Nintendo Exclusive IP On the Way
Blue Fang and THQ team up on a new casual-friendly franchise.
by Bozon

February 18, 2008 - THQ and Blue Fang announced exclusively through IGN today that a partnership is being made on a brand new videogame property between the two companies. Being developed for Wii and DS (as well as PC), the makers of Zoo Tycoon will be creating an all-new franchise that targets causal gamers specifically.

As of right now, details on the product are sparse, but the news of exclusivity across Nintendo platforms, and the fact that Blue Fang has had tremendous success with the Tycoon series already (also THQ published) could mean great things for Nintendo's casual audience.

"With sales in excess of seven million units worldwide, Blue Fang's Zoo Tycoon franchise as served to expand the casual gaming demographic through its accessible, compelling gameplay," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of publishing for THQ. "We're confident that this new property wills trongly appeal to the new generation of casual players on Nintendo Wii and DS."

Blue Fang president Hank Howie also seems extremely enthusiastic to get this partnership underway, stating that, "THQ's worldwide marketing and sales expertise, long history of strength on the Nintendo systems, and exceptional developer support make them the ideal partner for our new property. We've had a very successful experience working with THQ on the DS version of Zoo Tycoon, and we look forward ot releasing first details of our new game together with THQ later this year."

We'll have more news on Blue Fang's brand new exclusive IP once the two companies are ready to unveil the game, so be sure to check back soon for more details. We may not know much about the game thus far, but a Nintendo-exclusive sim series from the makers of Zoo Tycoon could prove to be a great casual experience if the developer sticks to its Tycoon roots.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:23 am

cool new games death jr is cool
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:48 pm

Since the release of the Wii, expensive HD television sets have lived in fear of meeting an early demise at the hands of a flung Wiimote. Panasonic claims to have designed a Wii-proof flat panel that can withstand the onslaught of Nintendo controllers that have been slipping out of the hands of their users.

According to Register Hardware, the display surface is coated with a special transparent spray that can absorb up to four Joules of kinetic energy. Don't worry -- we had to look up what a Joule is, too. To save you the time: a Joule is "equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves through a distance of one meter in the direction of the force (Dictionary.com)."

Panasonic's set will look like any other flat-panel television, but packs a secret weapon for use against careless Wii players. Pricing and release information is forthcoming.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:07 am

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

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Remember that Sonic game that Bioware was said to be developing? Well here is the name for that game.

Sega is taking a large turn with having Bioware develop this Sonic RPG adventure. From still successful side scrollers, to not so successful 3D games, Sega is now turning to the power of the RPG.

Through the topic of the title, it seems Sonic and the gang are in for a dark tale. With Bioware developing, let's hope it won't be tragic in the sense of Shadow the Hedgehog was a tragic game.

Stay tuned for some pictures and the Press Release after the jump.

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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:14 am

Mario Kart Wii hands-on impressions by IGN

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The release for Super Smash Bros. Brawl is almost here. Nineteen days actually. Well aside from Brawl, Nintendo is making Mario Kart Wii. From all the details we've heard, such as online battle and racing, playing up to 12 players, and more, we are getting excited from it all.

Recently, IGN has received Mario Kart Wii and has written out some impressions for us. I'm not going to write it all here, so I'll give you the link:


IGN Hands-on Impressions: IGN: Mario Kart Wii Preview

Also, Nintencast has put a little list of a new Mario Kart Wii details about new levels, vehicle styles, characters and more! It's only a little list, so bare with me. Here's the list:

D.K’s snowboard Cross is a half pipe sort of track. You’ll be able to drive up the side of them and pull off awesome tricks in the air.
Miis will be spectators in the background.
Luigi’s circuit is still a simple track.
Koopa Troopa will be a playable character.
Coconuts Mall has players driving around a huge mall with multiple routes.
D.K has a new go-kart.
Names hover over players during online play.
Motor bike will be able to be used online.

Finally, numerous sources say that the game will launch in Europe on April 25th, which is just fifth teen days after its ‘confirmed’ launch in Japan. No North American release date has been confirmed. All we know is that it is being released sometime this spring.

Here are some beautiful screenshots of Mario Kart Wii:





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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:35 pm

dude, i already put up the sonic stuff
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:45 pm

sudahi u write to long
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:20 pm

yup but its informational
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:03 am

Rumor: Brawl to launch in the UK in June?

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Via retailers in the UK, it was said that Brawl would begin releasing throughout the PAL regions in June this year. However, Nintendo UK's office has now stated that it "is a rumour and purely speculative, Nintendo is yet to confirm any release dates for Smash Bros."

"As North American preps itself for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and following multiple delays and the game's recent debut in Japan, Nintendo has finally announced - at the Micromania Games Awards in France - that the game will be released across Europe on June 6, 2008."

Although it seems possible, there is a chance that another delay could be imminent. This may be why Nintendo isn't confirming anything right now.

There is still no word on a release date for Australia.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:05 am

Mario Kart Wii to launch on April 11th in UK. (New Info confirmed)

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You would be as surprised as I am. I have just read that Nintendo are going to release Mario Kart Wii in Europe on April 11th, just one day after Japan.

“Mario Kart Wii is an eagerly anticipated launch for Europe and we are confident that all those who have enjoyed playing previous Mario Kart games, in particular the Nintendo DS version will be pleased and looking forward to its arrival. Mario Kart Wii encompasses the core spirit of Mario Kart: an incredibly rich and deep gameplay experience that provides never ending fun. And with the Wii Wheel, every member of the whole family will feel comfortable to join in and experience kart racing regardless of whether they are a karting champion or a complete new beginner.”

“With the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service also allowing friends and family to compete around the globe, we are confident that Mario Kart fans won’t be left disappointed with this installment exclusively on Wii.”

From what I can tell, this game just could give Brawl a run for its money. If Nintendo can get Mario Kart Wii here early, I may be able to forget and forgive for the unconfirmed Brawl release date. Also, new images/art has been revealed about this game, you can check them out below.

(this is slush,soz i cant get the pics)

Also, just to recap on some things about this game that were recently confirmed that some of you may have missed.

Controls:

● Wii Remote
● Wii Remote + Nunchuk
● Classic controller
● GameCube controller

● Controller chosen is automatically detected
● Records saved with a icon indicating which control method was used.

Game Modes:

● Grand Prix mode has 50, 100 and 150cc divisions
● 50cc is kart only; 100cc is bike only; 150cc is a mix of both

Courses:

● 16 classic courses including Peach Beach, Waluigi Stadium, Yoshi Falls, Delfino Square, Mario Raceway, Sherbet Land, Shy Guy Beach and Ghost Valley 2
● 16 new courses including Luigi Circuit, Moo Moo Meadows, Mushroom Gorge, Toad's Factory, Mario Circuit, Coconut Mall, DK Summit, and Wario's Gold Mine

● Classic courses updated to fit new engine but retain their classic look, i.e. Mode 7 style for the SNES tracks

Characters and Vehicles:

● Baby Mario, Baby Peach, Toad, Koopa, Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, and Bowser
● Suspect there may be more characters, including Mii racers
● Each character has six vehicles available from the start: three karts and three motorbikes. The vehicles are split into three categories: normal, character-specific and heavy
● 12 racers per race

● Bikes are slower than karts, but this is balanced by being easier to boost using wheelies
● Kart boosting through powerslides. Hold a slide for as long as possible, then release to boost.
● Drafting included
● Tricks included - flick the controller at the peak of a jump to perform a trick and gain a speed boost on landing.

● Classic powerups return - green & red shells, mushrooms, banana peel, Bullet Bill powerup etc.
● New powerups include a cloud that must be passed from player to player before it shoots lightning and shrinks you, and a POW block that appears over your racer and must quickly be destroyed by jumping into it. Also included is the mega-mushroom which makes your racer grow to a huge size.

Online:

● 12 player online
● Two players can play online on the same machine
● Mario Kart Channel to download records, ghosts, tournaments and weekly challenges, among others

● Comprehensive stat-tracking - race and battle count, distance travelled, number of tricks, WFC wins/losses, tournaments played, how many times you've hit/been hit etc.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:06 am

Mario Kart Wii to include voice chat?

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In the Official European Press Release, something very interesting popped up. It states that you will be able to talk to your friends before races. Either it's with a headset or just texting. We don't know. Here is part of the official press release:

“In addition to all this a new Wii Channel, the Mario Kart Channel, will also be launched with Mario Kart Wii. Players will be able to monitor their ranking against others with data compiled from races completed online as well as also access and share Ghost Data to download. Why not see if your friends are playing by checking their status or even better still set up a room in which you can chat to them before a race starts? Players even have the possibility to join in on their friends races in progress as a spectator and jump into the race when the next course launches. Through this channel, users will be exposed to a host of new online features allowing them to join a community of racing fans from all over the world as well as participate in special worldwide events organized by Nintendo.”

Could we be getting a headset for the Nintendo Wii? Or is that we can only type to our friends, like for taunts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl? I believe that it is just text messaging. But I could be wrong. I would be really happy for Nintendo to bring a headset to the Wii, so I can show my anger against someone across the world.

What do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:09 am

yeah, i've known the voice chat since mi january, my buddy knows a nintendo official on youtube
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:33 am

cool pretty badass
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:29 am

GDC 2008: Wii Ware Interview
IGN sits down with Tom Prata to discuss Nintendo's new service.
by Bozon
February 20, 2008 - IGN sat down today with Tom Prata, senior director of project development with Nintendo of America to discuss the future of Wii Ware. Details have emerged over the last few days on a number of key issues surrounding the service, and we were all ears as Prata discussed the ins and outs of the service for us during today's GDC interview.

Enjoy.




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Prata: Basically we're here today to talk about Wii Ware. We've announced the North American launch date of May 12, and we're really excited to have the opportunity to talk about it here at the Game Developer's Conference together with you. Really Wii Ware is a new service from Nintendo to offer additional content to Wii consumers. Basically we're giving the tools to any developer to make the games that they want to make, and all the dreams and passions that they have and bring them to Wii. We're trying to encourage the philosophy that a big idea can succeed without a big budget. They decide the content, while we provide the lowest barrier of entry into development as we can for them. One of the advantages that we would like to talk about is just the Wii Remote, and the way it relates to a development device. As you know Mark coming from a development background when you first had a chance to play with this device there are instantly ideas that come up and game's that would be great on the system. Putting that feeling together with the low barrier of entry, we feel like it's going to be an outstanding opportunity for content creators to bring something new and fresh, and make games for everyone to enjoy, and then equally for consumers to be able to interact in new and exciting ways with the content that's being created.

IGN: As far as getting a dev kit goes, how difficult is that for a developer? The price is $2,000, but previously Nintendo wanted a ton of specifics. You needed to have a company address that was zoned industrial, and it needed to be a pure licensed developer. It isn't exactly an "open source" feeling in that sense, while it is extremely accessible for those in the position to develop already.

Prata: For non-licensed developers we're encouraging them to fill out a license application so that they can become developers for Nintendo. It is the same type of development you'll do with any retail content, but it's a different type of retail in that sense. The end result is content that will be delivered to consumers digitally, so we're also providing the confidential information in the form of SDK's and the like, so we do require that they're a licensed developer. They can always contact us fill out a developer application though.

IGN: All the restrictions still stand though, correct? A lot of people were thinking that this move is a more "open source" decision, but you'll still need to be a proven, licensed developer just the same, right?

Prata: Yeah. In the end it's still about solid content that consumers can enjoy, so while the size of the team and budget is less restricting, we still want professionals that can secure solid content. In some cases though we have larger companies with smaller groups working on content, and so the breath of the developer content can be a lot wider in that sense. As you're probably aware the resource requirements are going up from generation to generation, so developers are having a harder time having their concepts made into retail packages. Wii Ware allows the opportunity to not only do something different, but actually have that reach consumers they way it needs to. If a developer can dream and create it, the consumer can enjoy it.

IGN: Originally it sounded like a lot of these games were going to be submitted to Nintendo and then would be looked at very carefully internally to decide what would be coming out. Some devs would have huge lists of game concepts pushed through at a time, and only a choice few made the cut. Now it sounds like (from talking with Reggie, and from what we're hearing now) that if a game is ranked by the ESRB, you'll take it. Is that the case now?

Prata: Yes that is the case, based on your conversation with Reggie. Effectively we're leaving the content decisions directly to the developers now. We shouldn't be deciding what makes the cut and what doesn't. We should leave that to the creators of the games, and then let them bring their ideas to consumers, and let consumers decide what is valuable and entertaining to them. You're correct in saying that we're no going to sit back and judge the games before they come out, or the specific nature of the game that is going to come out. And in some ways it's very difficult to do that initially anyways. How do communicate efficiently on a piece of paper what a player is supposed to experience interactively, and to require a developer to make a demo in advance and expend a ton of energy and risk on something up front, only to have that be denied, is really putting developers in a very difficult position. Again, if they want to make it, and they have the passion to do it, Wii Ware is there for them.

IGN: What specific Wii functionality will creators have access to when making a Wii Ware game? Can they save to SD? Can they do online? Wii Connect 24? Is it like a smaller (but full) Wii product, or is it standalone?

Prata: The Wii Ware developers will have access to the same functionality as they would a regular Wii disc game. The specifics you mentioned such as SD and online, Wii Connect 24, and episodic content is all there. They key point I want to stress though is that it isn't required. Sometimes you make a game and it's best expressed as a single player game or multiplayer game, and the advantage here is that we're leaving it to the creators to focus their resources on the areas that best express their ideas. We won't force their hand into functions or features that may or may not add value to the consumer.

IGN: Originally Nintendo had set in place a cap as to how many games a specific company could have on Wii Ware at a time, and that developers would need to swap which titles are currently on the service. Now it sounds like that is no longer the case though?

Prata: That was originally the idea, yes. We wanted to find a fair way for many different companies to participate, and we wanted to avoid the situation where a company that had a ton of intellectual properties or titles would just swamp the service with all their games at once, and shove out a newer company or original idea in the process. We were trying to be a little more democratic and say "Ok, you have a project, please submit it" and control it that way.

IGN: Are you worried that companies will start poring tons of games over at once, and just throw in IR control or tilt control and say "Hey consumers, here's a new Wii game" constantly?

Prata: Yeah. We're trying not to put restrictions on the content creators to do that, so it is possible that people can take a game that was created for another system and make it available for download on Wii now. The difference though is that the Wii remote offers a unique opportunity for designers to do something different, and more options for consumers, so in a sense all the intellectual properties that come to Wii Ware will be unique.

IGN: That brings up an interesting question. Do you have to use the Wii remote, or could you just use the classic controller or take a page out of Smash's book at use the GameCube controller instead?

Prata: Well we definitely think there's a huge opportunity with the Wii remote in creating new concepts and ideas; the Wii remote is widely accepted with consumers now. That being said, it won't be required, and if the creators want to use traditional controls, that option is there. There's a huge opportunity with the Wii remote, but we'll leave it up to them in how or if they want to use it.

IGN: What kind of setup will consumers have when they boot up Wii Ware? Are there going to be features games that Nintendo spotlights, or can you still gift games over to other users like you did with VC titles?

Prata: Well the users experience will be very similar to other Wii channels. There are a number of channels out there that consumers are able to react with, and this will be the same. You'll be able to use Wii points to buy games, you'll download them direct to your system, and they'll be available at different price points as well. There will be a wealth of information on the games both from media and reviews as there always is, but Nintendo of Japan also has the "Everyone's Nintendo Channel" which is used to cover content, and we're working on making that available to the North American market as well. What that will allow is the consumer to find the content and get familiar and more educated with it, and make their decision based on that.

IGN: So you're hoping that people will boot up the Wii, head over to the Everybody's Nintendo Channel to see what's new, and then click over and buy the games they want.

Prata: Exactly, yes.

IGN: Is the "Wii Ware" download channel going to be its own standalone, or it is going to be built into the pre-existing Wii Shop Channel?

Prata: Mr. Aoyama will be speaking on the conception of the Wii channel, and how it all should relate on Friday. But yes, there's basically the Wii Shop channel, and when you go on you'll have the option of going to the Virtual Console section, or the Wii Ware section. And you'll have all the same functionality there with gifting and the like.

IGN: Smash Bros. brings out the idea of downloading trail versions of games and having the ability to demo them to consumers. Has that avenue been explored at all with Wii Ware? Will developers be able to make demos for their games and let users try before they buy? And if not at launch, is this something that could be later implemented?

Prata: We're really focusing on not requiring the developers to make expensive demos, no. We're really looking for a transaction-based business. The developer makes the game, it's made available, the consumer finds something that interests them, and they download the content.

IGN: Based on what Nintendo has seen so far with Wii Ware, how many games can consumers expected at launch, both first party and third party?

Prata: We're still working on the launch plans, and we'll have more details on that as we move forward. We'll be talking more about specific licensors and what games you'll see at launch. There are about 100 games in the works that will be made available for the North American market when it releases, but like Virtual Console we'll be releasing those games in a more systematic fashion, and not have them all available right away. A lot of it will depend on developer schedules, so we'll be working with them to find out when they want their games to hit. Also, about 80% of games are coming from companies that have published with Nintendo, so that's certainly a wide array of talent, and we've got games from companies like Square Enix that you already know about.

IGN: You mentioned distributing the already confirmed 100 games like you have in Virtual Console. Doest that mean that if a developer finishes a game and is ready to go with it they're basically added to the distribution list and have to wait for the few games a week to release, or how will release scheduling be planned this time around?

Prata: The rate of distribution is something we'll still be talking about internally for now.

IGN: Great. Well it looks like we're out of time, but thank you very much for chatting with us about Wii Ware, and we look forward to checking it out once it hits May 12th.

Prata: Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:57 pm

GDC 2008: LostWinds First Look
Innovation and beauty in a WiiWare launch game? The winds are with Wii.
by Nix
February 20, 2008 - Nintendo's WiiWare service has Wii owners anxious, both in anticipation and trepidation. The possibilities are great -- many of the most addictive and enjoyable games on Xbox 360 and PS3 are turning out to be the little downloads made by fledgling studios, and giving the power of the Wii controller set to these hungry, creative types will hopefully take the indie gaming movement further. The constrictions, however, have some worried about how much can be done with the service. Let's face it, many of the hardcore have already filled up that half-gig of onboard storage space simply by downloading old NES and Genesis games. Square Enix has shown off its attractive Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles WiiWare, but even that is a simplified and confined concept, and meanwhile most WiiWare developers have shown puzzlers and other tidy little game ideas. Just how much game will developers be able to provide players with their WiiWare creations?

Given the boundless thrills we saw in our first look at the previously unannounced game LostWinds this week at GDC, the worries about WiiWare look to be mooted. Design studio Frontier Developments (the design studio behind the Thrillville franchise and the upcoming game The Outsider) has crafted a platforming/adventure game that spans 22 areas of play in a 3D-modeled world that is detailed down to the blades of grass in the background that blow as you breeze by. It's impressive in scope for a downloadable title, and better still, it delivers on the promise of original and innovative gameplay only possible with a system like the Nintendo Wii.



LostWinds follows the plucky hero Toku on an adventure to save the world of Mistralis from evil. Little Toku is not much more than a regular boy (despite his destiny to be the world's only savior), but following along on his journey is Enril, the wind spirit -- a mighty and mysterious deity of nature that can use the powers of the air around to accomplish great things. Players control both Toku and Enril at the same time -- one hand with the nunchuk moving Toku, other hand with the Wiimote moving Enril as the spirit of the wind (shown in the first screens as just an icon, although the final game will make sure to pronounce the wind spirit as a real presence.) In simplest terms, you have a platforming game (rendered "2.5D" on an old-school 2D plane, only here rendered here with 3D polygons and particle effects) where you control the character with the joystick and then have a "cursor" to interact with the world. The hero carries objects to and fro and talks to townfolk, while the spirit of the wind whips up tornadoes that sweep away enemies and blows steady jet streams that Enril can ride.

Frontier calls the concept here "Single Player Co-Op" -- the more you play, the more you become attached to each character as they team together for their goal. It's gameplay that is incredibly easy to understand at first viewing -- take a look at the Nintendo DS game Kirby Canvas Curse if you want a hint of what can happen here -- and the way that the developers have implemented the dual-character gameplay mechanics promises not only gameplay that anybody can pick up and play (with just a simple download, remember), but that gamers of all skill levels can get a unique and challenging experience out of. If it comes together properly, this is a game that your girlfriend will probably be into, and yet it's also a game that you will be able to do killer moves with that will ring up YouTube views on your tricky speed run. And if you both would like to play in a way that was never intended, you and your girl can turn this "Single Player Co-Op" game into a real co-op game, with one player controlling the boy and the other commanding the wind.


For an example of the kind of play depth in the game, take the "jumping" mechanism. Toku has the ability to jump, but he doesn't achieve much vertical. To traverse the land, Enril will need to blow in to carry Toku on his mighty wind. With one hand, players move the character while with the other, they draw swirls of gusts and breezes that Toku can ride. Whip loops in the air or draw jet streams underneath finished streams and you'll have little Toku flowing through a wind rollercoaster. Enemy interaction is also unique. With the power of the wind, you have choices. The basic gameplay mechanic would be to sweep up the minions of Balasar and them blast them away into the sky. Players can also, however, trap enemies for a short time in a circular puff of air and have Toku run underneath safely. If you're sadistic rather than nonviolent, you can instead "play with" the enemies, gusting them about and smashing them into the ground or into cliffs.



Puzzle elements are also unique and open-ended because of the play system. Your wind spirit will continuously be gaining powers, and there are at least two basic powers to his wind blasts -- hold down the button and you can deliver a powerful blast that can blast away at the ground or carry Toku into the sky (a handy trick if the boy is trying to pull a lever that's longer than he is tall or yanking at a turnip stuck deep in the ground.) Enril will also be able to suck up things such as water and fire from different spots on the map -- in one sequence we saw, the wind spirit blew a fire over to an overgrown thicket, burning it down to reveal a seed that Toku then carried over to another spot to trigger a kind of "plant cannon" that blasted him up to the top of a tall ledge. Stages are stitched together to interconnect and are meant to be explored many times over, and you will be able to back-track to find things you couldn't reach with previously limited powers or to reach new areas that were previously inaccessible.

Despite it being a downloadable game, LostWind is an attractive platformer that, at least in the short video we were able to check out (which we hope to have available for your viewing in the next few weeks), compared favorably with Wii games like Zak & Wiki. Granted, it won't make you forget those overly-expensive rival systems, and there are aspects about the game's graphics that do look to be kept in check to maximize the small download space, but the rich colors and impressive details do present a game we'd love to see more of. What you don't see in the screenshots is how the wind spirit's wind interacts -- as you gust about, plants in the 3D background flutter in the breeze, and if you buzz Toku, his tunic will catch the air. It's a game that is in motion with you, the player. Frontier is right now adding particle effects to enhance the visuals, adding details and effects while also testing concepts for how to represent Enril. Lighting and texturing are already looking nice for the style, and the character design is quite cute -- Toku and the other folks of Mistralis have that "puffy" look of the Professor Layton games, and the enemies in the game look like a cross between the cartoonish Heartless of Kingdom Hearts and the shadowy fiends of Sony's ICO (they're shadowy and formless demons that leak droplets of darkness when you get aggressive with them.) One nice detail about the "2.5D" graphic approach is that you will sometimes see aspects of worlds you've previously explored or will soon visit off in the distance -- the opening of the mine area in the game's first screens, for instance, has the town peeking through an opening, also all rendered in 3D.



LostWind is a concept that couldn't easily be done justice on any other system (the sole exception being the Nintendo DS, of course -- in fact, this game has a very "DS" feeling to it), and yet it's also a small, old-school, play-oriented idea that owes a lot to the timing of WiiWare's introduction. The work of about 12 dedicated staffers at Frontier Developments over a year's cycle, it's the kind of game that could have been overcooked if it had to balloon into a disc-based game, and yet it probably wouldn't have been as compelling as a portable game since the two-character play fits each of the Wii's controllers so well. Frontier is aiming to have LostWind be a launch-period title for the WiiWare service (recently announced by Nintendo as starting this May), and we'll be taking a further look at at LostWind to see how the gameplay measures up to the promise of the video highlights we've seen of it in motion.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:57 pm

GDC 2008: Sawano on Wii Fit
Nintendo director Takao Sawano talks about the creation of the company's hit exercise title.
by Matt Casamassina
February 20, 2008 - Nintendo director Takao Sawano gave a speech at 2008's Game Developers Conference focused on the process of creating the company's hit exercise title Wii Fit. The EAD veteran first revealed that as of last week, the $80-plus peripheral and software package had sold more than 1.4 million copies in Japan since its release in December. He then described the process of designing the Wii Balance Board, the technical perimeters of the device, and how developers might utilize it in unique ways going forward.

Sawano showed a conceptual diagram created by Shigeru MIyamoto which outlined the future of the Wii platform. Interestingly enough, the diagram, which contained references to Wii Sports and "Wii Health Pack" (later renamed to Wii Fit), was conjured well before even the Wii console was competed. Miyamoto also had a thought about the concept powering Wii Fit, which Takao quoted. "I have fun just weighing myself and collecting my weight data," Miyamoto wrote. "So this idea is bound to lead to something interesting."

The developer explained that Nintendo eventually used a mechanic first implemented in the N64 controller -- the rotary encoder -- in the Wii Balance Board.

Sawano turned to Japan's sumo wrestlers for inspiration. The large and heavy athletes oftentimes weigh in excess of 330 pounds and can therefore not be weighed by traditional scales. He noted that in some cases, sumo wrestlers were weighed by two separate scales, placing a foot on each device. This gave Sawano a big "hint" about the development of the Wii Balance Board, which, as we know today, is a single peripheral that very accurately measures the weight, placement and balance shifts of two feet.

He showed off several premature prototypes of the Wii Balance Board, many of them with designs seemingly inspired by medieval torture equipment.


Sawano eventually got to thinking, "Shouldn't we consider making it detect front, back, left and right movement?" When he talked to his development team about this, they said that they were already making fun experiences using just left and right movement, but he refused to accept this limitation. Sawano pondered whether or not adding further front/back shift detection technology to the Balance Board would significantly increase costs and ultimately negate the practicality of including the features.
Eventually, Nintendo created the Wii Balance Board with left/right and front/back measurement gauges -- the same pioneering device that exists today -- with, that is, one major difference: the team tried numerous times to create a slot in which the Wii remote could be inserted and act as the wireless component. Miyamoto saw these designs and suggested that the team make the Wii Balance Board wider. Internally, the team debated just how wide to make the device. It needed to be both comfortable for all users and small enough that it could fit in a Japanese living room.

When the team finally showed the near-finished prototype to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, he responded, "Connecting the Wii remote is a clumsy solution, don't you think?" Sawano knew this to be true, but also had to consider the costs of implementing internal wireless functionality and whether or not such a feature could be accurately translated through the Wii Balance Board without interference.

Sawano also talked about the Wii Fit software and focused mainly on "what makes it so unique." He said that Wii Fit could be called a tool that helps family members measure their health just by playing casually every day. The creator talked about Wii Fit's "body test," which first measures a person's balance and body mass index, ultimately determining a Wii Fit age. He also noted that Nintendo created a WiI Channel which could be accessed from the main interface without accessing the disc; this would enable players to access the body test without loading the game. In fact, they can do it even when another game disc inserted into the Wii console. "However, Wii Channels are limited in size, so it's not possible to include all the features." Therefore, if players want to do some real training, they would have to insert the game disc.


Takao SawanoWii Fit features different categories including yoga, strength training, aerobics and balance games. One unique challenge doesn't even use the Wii Balance Board. Instead, players either hold the Wii remote or put it in their pocket and run in place. On screen, a virtual runner can be seen running through a park. The faster players run in place, the faster the on-screen character moves. Participants can even run for 30 minutes straight. In the aerobics games, players can choose to receive trainer commands from the Wii remote, which effectively enables exercisers to switch to another television video input and watch TV while they work out.
The trainers in the game are more than avatars. Wii Fit actually examines the player's movements on the Wii Balance Board and with the Wii remote as they partake in exercises and the on-screen trainers offer real-time advise based on the analyses created. A short demo of this software in action was shown at Sawano's presentation. The footage on display was grabbed from the European version of WiI Fit and therefore the virtual trainers featured English accents.

The Wii Balance Board can weigh participants up to 330 pounds and features a maximum weight resistance of 620 pounds. It samples measurements at 60 samples per second. It will run for about 60 hours on four AA batteries and will turn off automatically to conserve power when Wii Balance Board-compatible games are not running. Players can control the amount, speed and when force is applied by 360 degrees. Each sensor has the ability to detect movement by 10s of grams for very accurate movement.

Sawano said he hopes Wii Fit will prove to be as successful on a global level as it has been in Japan. He then showed a demo of the Bandai-published Wii Balance Board game Family Ski -- a title that uses the Wii Balance Board in conjunction with the Wii remote ad nunchuk to simulate the process of skiing. Finally, he said that because Wii can now use two controllers -- the Wii remote and Balance Board -- it is possible to control games with greater precision.

"I hope the unique controls will serve as inspiration for your creativity," Sawano told game developers on hand for his speech.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:58 pm

GDC 2008: Sam & Max Dev Creating WiiWare
Episodic gaming comes to the Wii.
by Daemon Hatfield
February 20, 2008 - The Sam & Max graphic adventure games have been rejuvenated recently with a new episodic series released on computers. IGN spoke with developer Telltale about the possibility of bringing the series to the Wii some time ago, and this morning we received confirmation that it does have something in the works -- but it's not Sam & Max.

A press release distributed by Nintendo today reveals that a new episodic gaming series is being prepped by Telltale for WiiWare, the digital distribution channel for the console set to launch May 12. The developer also confirmed the news on its official site, taking the opportunity to clarify that is definitely not Sam & Max.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:09 am

Band Mashups Goes to Battle
It's official: Planet Moon's music game gets a name change.
by Craig Harris

February 21, 2008 - What was once known as Band Mashups, the upcoming Wii rhythm game developed by Planet Moon and published by THQ, is now going by another name: Battle of the Bands.

The name is the only thing that's changing about the game: Battle of the Bands is a one or two player music game where players wave the Wii remote to the beat of thirty licensed songs recorded five different ways: rock, hip-hop, country, mariachi, and marching band.





THQ hinted at the name change when its website altered the Band Mashups page to Battle of the Bands without commenting on the shift. Today, the company confirmed that the game will now go by its new name of Battle of the Bands.

Battle of the Bands will be released this April.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:54 am

Nintendo To Charge Money For Online Gaming

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nintendo's online service is the weakest out of the three current consoles on the market, but we've never complained because it was free.
That's going to change.

Nintendo has announced a "Pay-and-Play" service for some of their online games. This new service will allow gamers to subscribe on a game-by-game basis, depending on the title.
Nintendo project leader Takashi Aoyama had announced this at GDC, but nothing was mentioned if this new service will have voice chat, or any other features than the free Wi-Fi. No price was announced, but we do know that you'll use Wii points to pay.

To keep gamers from getting confused, rather than the traditional Wi-Fi connection logo, there will be a red Pay-and-Play logo.

This is a big disappointment. Nintendo's Wi-Fi service is already laggy as it is, but having to pay for online with no voice chat or any way to communicate? But who knows, maybe Nintendo will add features for those games that you have to pay for. We'll just have to wait and see.
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:55 am

Nintendo announces downloadable content for Wii games

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Following the exciting and bad news from the Nintendo conference at the Game Developers Conference 2008, Nintendo has finally confirmed that Wii games will have downloadable content.

This applies to Wii games, Virtual Console, and Wii Ware titles. The new content will be available for purchase through the games that feature Downloadable Content.

No further details have been released.

As for my thoughts, I am very excited. We can download new songs for Guitar Hero 3; maybe add some online multiplayer to Virtual Console games, maybe later on new Super Smash Bros. Brawl characters? Who knows? The possibilities are insane!
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:19 am

well that sucks so bad Sad nintendo is gonna get sued
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PostSubject: Re: news/reviews/previews   Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:18 pm

only sum services will cost money. SOME!
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