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Spore Now Available

Will Wright’s latest gaming masterpiece “Spore” is now available at retail outlets in North America. The main Spore title can be purchased for either the Mac or PC, while the spin-off titles “Spore Creatures” and “Spore Origins” are available for the Nintendo DS and iPhone/iPod Touch respectively. The game is rated “E” for Everyone.

No word on the once rumored Nintendo Wii version.

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E3 ’08 – Nintendo Announces Wii MotionPlus Accessory

Wii MotionPlus

Nintendo silently unveiled today a new accessory for its Wii’mote called the “Wii MotionPlus.” According to the press release, the new add-on device plugs in your current Wii Remote and redefines game control, by more quickly and accurately reflecting motions in a 3-D space.

“(…)combined with the accelerometer and the sensor bar, allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player’s arm position and orientation, providing players with an unmatched level of precision and immersion. Every slight movement players make with their wrist or arm is rendered identically in real time on the screen, providing a true 1:1 response in their game play.”

More info is expected to be unveiled tomorrow during Nintendo’s E3 ’08 Briefing.

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Ex-Naughty Dogs Form Steel Penny Games

Former Naughty Dog (creators of the “Crash Bandicoot series and the “Jak and Daxter” franchise) employees Jason Hughes and Andrew Gilmour have opened up a new game development studio titled “Steel Penny Games”, which will focus on developing downloadable Nintendo Wii titles for the upcoming WiiWare channel. According to the press release, the new studio designed a proprietary engine that’s geared toward the Wii capabilities, and in the process creating a new intellectual property that will span a series of new titles for the console.

I am impressed with the egalitarian approach Nintendo has taken toward WiiWare developers. It allows the risk burden to shift back onto the creative developers,” explained Steel Penny Games president Jason Hughes.

The new title will blend fantasy themes with various puzzle elements. No word yet on when we can expect to play this title. WiiWare content is expected to launch within the next few months.

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Super Mario Galaxy Review (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy

Nintendo’s storied mascot Mario is back in an all new adventure for the Wii dubbed “Super Mario Galaxy. The latest Mario iteration is the sequel to 2002’s “Super Mario Sunshine” for the GameCube. How has the Super Mario franchise evolved since its predecessor, and how does the famed platformer translate on Nintendo’s Wii?

The game kicks off with Mario being invited by Princess Peach to attend the Star Festival in the Mushroom Kingdom. As Mario makes his way to the castle to meet-up with Princess Peach, the kingdom is suddenly attacked by King Koopa himself, Bowser. Bowser unveils his latest creation, his very own galaxy, in which he proceeds to rip Peach’s castle off of the ground and kidnap the helpless Princess. In the chaos, Mario manages to grab hold of the castle as it’s being hurled out of the ground. Soon after, Mario is awaken by three Lumas (star beings who assist our hero through out the game) who prep him up for his latest journey through Bowser’s galaxy.

Super Mario Galaxy is without a doubt the best looking Nintendo Wii game. The game features bright colours and system-pushing textures that edge out any other Wii game on the market. The intelligent spherical level design puts every other modern day platformer to shame as you never get bored of what the game ends-up throwing at you. Super Mario Galaxy is also played through an auto-camera system (eliminating camera issues that plagued previous 3D Super Mario titles) which makes the game accessible to pretty much anyone.

The latest Super Mario title also contains one of the most entertaining and memorable scores to date.
Galaxy features over a 100 different tracks (mixed in with the traditional Mario sound effects we’ve grown accustomed to) that range from revamped classic Super Mario tracks to new orchestral compositions. At times throughout the game, the musical themes play in sync with the gameplay, adding an interactive musical element to Galaxy. Super Mario Galaxy’s orchestral score was composed by Mahito Yokota alongside original Super Mario Bros composer Koji Kondo (who penned four new tracks for Galaxy).

At first glance, the game’s controls might seem a little intimidating to your average gamer. But in actuality, Super Mario Galaxy features one of the most simplified control schemes in modern gaming. The game is played with both the Wii Remote (Wii’mote) and the Nunchuk. Gamers control Mario using the control stick on the Nunchuk while the Wii’mote uses its “A” button for action sequences (jump, swim, grab and speak) and its “B” button to shoot Star Bits while aiming at the screen. The Wii Remote is also used as a pointer to grab Star Bits.

All of the moves Mario moves that gamers are accustomed to are present in Super Mario Galaxy (backwards somersault, wall jump, long jump, ground pound etc.) The only new move comes in the form of a spin attack that is accomplished by shaking the Wii’mote. The spin move also comes in handy when jumping as it will allow you to make a higher jump.

Super Mario Galaxy also includes a new innovative co-op mode that lets a second player interact with the main player while he’s experiencing the game. To play this point-and-click “Co-Star” mode, Wii owners simply need to have a second Wii’mote. With the additional Wii’mote, player two can collect Star Bits, shoot Star Bits, stop enemies, make Mario jump and spin. This mode is accessible at all times during a game session.

If you own a Nintendo Wii, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Super Mario Galaxy. If you don’t own Nintendo’s latest console, then this game gives you enough reasons to justify purchasing a Wii. There’s something for everyone in Super Mario Galaxy as it’s simple enough for anyone any family member to pick up and contains enough challenges to satisfy hardcore gamers. If you’re only on the market for one Wii title this year, then don’t think twice about picking up Super Mario Galaxy.

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Ghostbusters the Video Game Sequel

Game Informer has revealed that its Dec. issue will feature a cover story on the Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd penned latest Ghostbusters sequel, which will be created in video game form. According to the teaser page on Game Informer, all of the usual suspects (Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd) will return for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PS2 video game. The game is expected to be released in 2008. This game has no relation to the proof of concept that was released earlier in 2007 which featured a “Gears of War” ‘esque Unreal Engine based third person view. This game will be on my radar next year. More on this as the story develops.

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Previous News

Peggle on iPhone OS Available for $0.99

The iPhone OS version PopCap Games‘ highly addictive “Peggle” is available for $0.99 through the iTunes App Store. The catch is that you have until midnight on June 14 to make the purchase. Be warned though, you might have a hard time doing anything else but play Peggle on your iPhone/iPod Touch.

All Your Entertainment in One… Xbox

On June 1, 2009, Microsoft announced several entertainment focused add-ons to its Xbox Live Service during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California. Following the keynote, one thing seemed clear, the Redmond Software giant is poised to push its Xbox 360 platform as the media-centric device for your living room. “Our goal has been […]

Zune Marketplace Post on

Visit to view a post of mine that was published pertaining to the recent Xbox Live Entertainment announcements. Click here to go directly to the article.

E3 2009

E3 kicks off in a few days. I’m interested in seeing what will be brought to the table. Surely there will be alot to talk about in the next few days.

Fallout 3: The Pitt Now Available

This one’s for those looking for some extra “Fallout 3” playtime. The Xbox only downloadable content, “The Pitt” is available for purchase through the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft points and weighs in at 492MB . Below is a blurb taken from the XBLA Marketplace: “Pittsburgh was once the industrial center of the pre-war […]

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