Week in Review: Alan Wake and WipEout HD Still Alive, GRIN and Streamline Deal, Leipzig GC 2008 Announcements, and more!

Week in Review: Alan Wake and WipEout HD Still Alive, GRIN and Streamline Deal, Leipzig GC 2008 Announcements, and more!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news over the past week. This weekly article, in conjunction with the Rumor Round-Up, will keep you plugged in and in-tune.

Square Enix announced that Chrono Trigger for DS , the time bending RPG first released in 1995 to critical and fan acclaim on the Super NES, will make its debut November 25, 2008. In addition to dual screen and touch support, the remake will feature an all-new dungeon and a gladiatorial Arena mode.

According to a posting by Remedy CFO Mika Reini on the official Alan Wake Forums, the psychological thriller is still very much alive and getting a whole lot of polish. Unfortunately, the developers ran into a bunch of problems early on that have greatly delayed the game’s release. This, coupled with very limited dissemination of official information, has caused a lot of people to speculate that the game may not be seeing a release. On the bright side, the delays have caused the developer to reflect on core gameplay, and when the game does release it is promised to be polished and quite playable.

According to Michael Shorrock, Director of 3rd Party Relations at SCEA, on the official PlayStation blog, the crew at Sony has been working diligently with the major music game developers (Neversoft/Activision, Harmonix, and Konami) to get all their peripherals to work together on the various companies’ software. This compatibility will include all basic functionality and will be available for all new versions of the games. However, specific capabilities and older versions are not supported by non-official peripherals.

2K Games officially announced that BioShock will be available for the PS3 in North America on October 21, 2008; the European release coming a few days later on the 24th. During our visit to the 2K Games booth at E3 2008, we got a glimpse at the excellent new challenge room mode of play. This will be one of many additions to the game that should enhance the experience.

GRIN and Streamline Studios are coming together with the goal of producing high-quality games. GRIN AB, considered one of Scandinavia’s most sought-after developers of console and PC games, and Streamline Studios, the leading Dutch development studio announced that they have formalized a strategic agreement that will allow both companies to achieve greater flexibility and game development capacity for AAA titles. Certainly Bionic Commando Rearmed was stellar. The partnership should produce a windfall of quality titles in the near future.

Microsoft announced that Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts will only set gamers back $39.99. The game is set for a November 14, 2008 release. As a bonus, those who preorder the title will be given a code to download the ported XBLA version of the original Banjo-Kazooie title, and the code can be used to download the game some two weeks before it releases to the rest of the public at large.

On the official PlayStation Blog, producer Daimion Pinnock of SCEA, anoounced the WipEout HD is coming to PSN this fall. The game will play in 1080p at 60 fps, offer Dolby 5.1 surround, and allow for XMB access to play your own soundtrack. Plus, Trophy support will also be offered. Details on pricing, rating, and release date are still forthcoming.

The “legendary” Sims PC franchise’s latest iteration will be available on February 20, 2009. Also, The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition was announced and will include “an iconic The Sims Plumbob USB Drive, exclusive in-game content, and more!”

SEGA revealed the complete tracklist for the forthcoming Samba de Amigo update. Interestingly, Samba de Amigo will mark the first music game on the Wii to offer DLC support. As such, a three song, downloadable track pack will be available at launch, September 23, including Mambo Mambo – Lou Bega; I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow; Are you Going to Be My Girl – Jet. Click HERE to see the list in its entirety.

This week saw a load of news come in from Leipzig, Germany’s GC 2008. The annual event is gaining in influence and set an attendance record this year. The following news pieces were revealed at the event:

  • Silent Hill: Homecoming is confirmed for simultaneous, worldwide release for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC this November.

  • EA announced that developer EA Canada is creating an all-new tennis franchise for EA SPORTS. The franchise will initially release for Wii with Wii Motion Plus support and subsequently release for all other major systems in 2009. The new franchise will be loaded with licensed players from the past and present, and it will even exclusively feature “the All England Tennis Club – home of The Championships, Wimbledon.”

  • Additionally, EA unveiled the all-new Adidas Live Season feature for FIFA 09. This new mechanic, similar to that revealed for NBA LIVE 09 at E3 2008, will “dynamically update player form in-game to mirror real world performance.”

  • Also, EA secured an exclusive licensing agreement with the Spanish La Liga. That will certainly hurt sales of the next PES. The demo of FIFA 09 will be available for worldwide download on September 11, 2008.

  • Quantum of Solace the video game has nailed down key voice talent from the film. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric, and Olga Kurylenko, among others will lend their talents to the upcoming James Bond title.

  • Similarly, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 will be bolstered by an all-star cast for the series’ infamous cutscenes. “Top actors and actresses, from around the world, [are coming] together to form one of the largest ensemble casts in the history of games.” The list of thespians for the live action scenes includes: Gemma Atkinson, Tim Curry, Andrew Divoff, Kelly Hu, Jenny McCarthy, Ivana Milicevic, Jonathan Pryce, J.K. Simmons, Autumn Reeser, Peter Stormare, George Takei, Randy “The Natural” Couture, and Gina “Conviction” Carano.

  • We also found out that the beloved Xbox 360 controller will receive a slight re-engineering. Available on the GC 2008 showroom floor, the new controller does away with the inaccuracies of the old D-pad and implements a new, much more sensitive one. The controller, aesthetically, will remain identical, but the D-pad now uses an eight axis input rather than just four for more dynamic control.

  • During the Activision press conference at GC 2008, Mii Freestyle – a mode that will allow players to import their Miis into Guitar Hero , was announced. Also, taking a cue from Wii Music, the inclusion of Wii-specific “air drums” controls via the Wii Remote and Nunchuk will take the place of a drum kit.

  • Sony Computer Entertainment America made three important announcements at GC 2008. First, they announced North American availability of an updated PSP. The new system, PSP-3000, features “a new LCD screen and built-in microphone and will be included in two Entertainment Packs.”

  • Also, Sony announced the development of a wireless keyboard that will fit snugly on to your Dualshock or Six-axis controllers. The peripheral is Bluetooth enabled, works with smart phones, and charges simultaneously with the PS3 controller of your choice via USB.

  • Finally from Sony, a new PS3 bundle includes Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, a PlayStation Network voucher for Pain, a DualShock 3 wireless controller, and, of course, a 160 GB PS3.

  • Bethesda Softworks announced at GC 2008 that Fallout 3 is coming to stores on October 28 in North America and on October 31 in Europe. President of Bethesda, Vlatko Andonov, stated, “We are very excited to let gamers get their hands on Fallout 3, the latest chapter in this beloved and highly acclaimed franchise.”

  • SCEE and SOE join to bring popular game worlds to the PS3. DC Universe Online, The Agency, and FreeRealms are the first massively multiplayer online role playing games to result from the arrangement between SCEE and SOE – a partnership that will bring gamers together across the world.

  • Dave Mathews, lead art director at Monolith, stated that Project Origin, the sequel to the acclaimed F.E.A.R., will be delayed until the first quarter of 2009. The title will see a multi-platform release at that time including PC, 360, and PS3.

  • For the sixth time, the Leipziger Messe has awarded the title of “Best of GC” to the most innovative new products at the GC – Games Convention. This year’s winners in nine categories were announced 0n the evening of the 21st. A total of 29 exhibitors at the GC – Games Convention had submitted 122 hardware items and software titles (2006: 85) for the award. Click HERE for details on the nine winners.

Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!

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