Week in Review: WiiWare Dated, Gears of War 2, Secret EA Franchise in the Works, and more!

Week in Review: WiiWare Dated, Gears of War 2, Secret EA Franchise in the Works, and more!


There were a lot of gaming headlines to mull over this week due to the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.  Here’s a rundown of the most important info every gamer should know.

Nintendo showed the world how it’s done with great Virtual Console releases and a string of announcements at GDC.  The Virtual Console games released on Monday were Ninja Gaiden III for the NES and Phantasy Star II for the Genesis.  The games cost 500 and 800 Wii Points respectively.

Nintendo also revealed that Commodore 64 titles will re-release onto European Virtual Consoles, but there are no details as to when, or even if they will come to North America.

That wasn’t all from the Big N, they released detailed info surrounding the upcoming releases of Wii Fit, WiiWare, and Mario Kart Wii.  Wii Fit will hit stores on May 19 while WiiWare Channel will launch on May 12.  The first original title to be released for the WiiWare Channel will be a neat platformer called LostWinds.  LostWinds will soon be followed by Square Enix’s simulation title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as King.

Mario Kart Wii will launch in Europe on April 11 and probably come out in North America a few days hence.  The best news of all surrounding the title was that multiple control schemes will be employed.  That means beginners and experts alike will get maximum enjoyment out of the title.
Microsoft also lit it up this week.  N+ came out Wednesday for the XBLA and incorporated sweet online play.

At the GDC Microsoft made a couple of presentations that truly knocked our socks off.  Ninja Gaiden II is looking very good with gore galore and it will release on June 3.  Not to be outdone, Cliffy B stole the show at GDC by announcing that Gears of War 2 will be out in November!

Finally, Microsoft gave out their first annual XBLA Awards to the most innovative arcade games found on the Xbox LIVE Arcade.  Bomberman Live, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Pac-Man: Championship Edition took home the top spots for Best Overall Arcade Game, Best Classic Game, and Best Original Game respectively.

The ceremonies didn’t stop there though!  The GDC had its own prizes to award for the best games of 2007 and Portal and BioShock were the big winners with Portal taking home the trophy for 2007 Game of the Year.
There were also a number of new game release dates and future game details announced.  Games of note included Civilization: Revolution, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Halo 3 Legendary Map pack, and a secret new EA title.

Civilization: Revolution will hit store shelves on June 3 in North America and June 6 in Europe.  Aliens: Colonial Marines is being developed by Gearbox Software for Sega and should release sometime in late 2008.  On Friday Bungie revealed some sweet screen shots concerning the Ghost Town map from the Legendary Map Pack which will release this spring.  The most interesting nugget of news came from EA though.  EA Partners and Starbreeze Studios have paired up to re-imagine a classic EA franchise the name of which the two companies have decided to leave a secret.

Finally, Logitech and Insomniac Games rounded out the week of gaming news.  The development of the Logitech Driving Force GT racing wheel for GT 5 Prologue will prove to be a compelling peripheral that should have true racing enthusiasts salivating.  The level of realism and responsiveness the wheel will provide should be second to none.

Insomniac Games made other developers’ lives easier by announcing that they would begin to provide free development knowledge and tools via their website in an attempt to create an environment of sharing, open communication, and cooperation between developers in order to increase the quality of games while reducing the fixed costs.  We say bravo Insomniac, that’s the spirit!

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