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PES 2009 demo kicks the XBLM this Thur.

Our Konami friends (yes, we're best friends and no, we don't have to prove it) just announced that a Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 demo will be making its way to the Xbox Live Marketplace this Thursday, October 2nd.

The PES 2009 demo will include a five minute multiplayer exhibition match as well as a few promotion videos detailing the game's new game modes. As far as team selection goes, Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and both Italian and French national teams will be available in the demo. Sadly, the "All Man, All David Beckham" team will not be included in either the PES 2009 demo or retail version.

Silent Hill: Homecoming refused classification in Australia

Looks like the Homecoming won't be hitting the land down under after all. Screen Play is reporting that the sixth title in Konami's Silent Hill series won't be able to release in Australia in its current form.

Silent Hill: Homecoming focuses on violence to rid the world of evil horrors by way of "ramming pipes through enemies' heads and stomping on their faces to pull them out [and] tearing their entrails loose with an axe," as described by Edge Online.

The crux of the issue stems from the OFLC rating standards which currently has a peak rating of 15+ for games, despite the fact that movies and magazines can be given an adult rating (R18+). The Australian government, which maintains the rating system in the country, has said they are looking into adding an adult rating to games but have yet to implement any changes.

Silent Hill: Homecoming will join System Shock 2: Blood Trails, Dark Sector and Fallout 3 as the only four titles to be refused classification in 2008, although the latter two titles were eventually released in a modified form to meet the rating standards. Silient Hill: Homecoming hits the Xbox 360 next week in North America followed by a November release in Europe.

Joystiq's updates the Instrument Compatibility Matrix

Now that Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Revolution are all headed our way, Xbox 360 gamers will soon be flooded with new instrument peripherals. This raises the question: which instruments will work with which games? Joystiq has stepped up to the proverbial plate and provided the answer: the Joystiq Instrument Compatibility Matrix 3.0. If you're planning to pick up any of these upcoming music games (and you really should be), consulting this handy chart is a must. It will be updated as new information is released, so be sure to bookmark it for the next time you've got a hankering for a new plastic instrument.

XBLA: Double D Dodgeball, Coffeetime Crosswords & Live Draft Tracker

It looks like we were in for a surprise on the Xbox Live Arcade after all. Available now for download are three new Arcade titles -- well, two and a half.

First up is Coffeetime Crosswords, a crossword puzzle game with over 150 puzzles. Coffeetime Crosswords features a co-op mode for up to 2 players (local only) to work together to solve difficult puzzles. Coffeetime Crosswords is another stellar Konami release, weighs in at 42MB and is priced at 800MS points.

Double D Dodgeball from Yukes is a dodgeball game (Sup, powers of deduction?). Featuring up to 4 players locally or 8 players online, D-triple is described as a retro-style dodgeball game. The tiny 17MB download is also priced at 800MS points. Originally D-triple was scheduled to hit the XBLA on July 30, so either it was pushed forward, released by accident or something secret was supposed to release but was postponed.

Lastly is the EA Fantasy Football Live Draft Tracker, which isn't exactly an Arcade game, per se. The Tracker acts as the middle man between EA's online fantasy leagues. Using the tracker commissioners who host league drafts offline and in-person can import your fantasy league settings. Once settings are established, players can select their picks with the tool and then upload completed drafts to their online accounts on EA's Fantasy Sports website. The tracker is priced at 400MS points.

E3 XBLA release is ... Coffeetime Crosswords? [update]

You know, ever since Microsoft released DOOM in the middle of X06, we've become used to the idea that we should expect some killer games during big events. Last year's E3 gave us Golden Axe and Sonic the Hedgehog. During GDC this year, Microsoft released demos of XNA Community Games, including the highly anticipated XBLA release Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. Naturally, we were really fired up to see what would happen during E3 next week. So, what are we getting? Coffeetime Crosswords. Yes, SRSLY. Other than that, there will be free Buku Sudoku DLC and Puzzle Quest is joining Arcade Hits at the reduced price of 800 MS Points (a 400 point cut).

Barring any surprises, it's looking like the tradition has been broken.

Update: Looks like we might be getting another XBLA game after all.

Gallery: Coffeetime Crosswords (XBLA)

Konami takes Harmonix to court over Rock Band

When the video game music genre gets too tough to compete, Konami has a master plan. They say screw trying to develop something new and innovative or even attempting to copy their competitors. Why go through all that work when you can sue?

This past Wednesday in a Texas District Court, Konami filed a lawsuit against Harmonix, MTV Games and EA claiming that Rock Band infringes on three of their patents. Specifically, Konami claims that several of their patents from older titles like Guitar Freaks, Drummania, and Pop'n Music were ignored and therefore Rock Band is a franchise based on lies and deceit. What happend to the whole idea of music bringing people together?

Japan gets another shmup: Otomedius Gorgeous, or, Why we need to have another Steel Battalion

While the news that the 360 as a platform is seeing more support from Japanese developers, we do wish that that support was coming to these shores. In a move that reminds us of the good old days of large and unnecessary controllers with even more unnecessary features (hit eject or lose you game save!) the release of Otomedius Gorgeous! will be accompanied by a, ahem, Hyper Stick Pro. Otomedius Gorgeous! is a port of the partially touch-screen controlled popular Japanese arcade shoot 'em up, and to emulate the touch screen the Hyper Stick actually includes a built in touchpad just for this game.

As we said, it seems rather unlikely that this title and its crazy controller will hit western shores, but the above picture reminded us heavily of some of the best overblown controllers of our happy memories. True they are totally unnecessary for most any other game, but these things had a charm all there own, and practicality is not one of them. *Sigh* Oh well, you can still check out the hilariously awesome trailer after the break.

Continue reading Japan gets another shmup: Otomedius Gorgeous, or, Why we need to have another Steel Battalion

PES 2009 corners into Europe this Autumn

As some of us pour one out for our fallen countrymen of Portugal, Croatia, Netherlands and Italy, we take solace in the fact that digital soccer football will return to Europe this Autumn. Konami today announced that its popular football franchise, Pro Evolution Soccer, will release its 2009 edition later this year for European consumers. Known for its realism and hardcore gamplay, PES 2009 attempts to capture videophiles with a newly revamped graphics engine and standard pitch-perfect (see what we did there?) animation. While PES 2008 was riddled with wacky bugs, the 2009 season promises to bring the series back to its roots of being the football game to beat. No release dates for other regions have been determined. If it's half as good as they claim it to be, all we can say is hurry!

Gallery: PES 2009

XBLA in Brief: Frogger 2 and Commando 3

Sometimes, we like to think of XBLA in Brief as a public service. We get to tell people about the good games on Xbox Live Arcade like Commando 3, and, perhaps more importantly, warning them about bad games like Frogger 2. We won't go into details here (that's what the video is for, silly!), but suffice it to say that Commando 3 is decent and Frogger 2 ... isn't. Watch the video and give the community your feedback in the comments (whether you agree with our assertions or not).

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Commando 3, Frogger 2 shoot and hop to XBLA

Now available on the Xbox Live Arcade comes Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 from Capcom and Frogger 2 from Konami--each priced at 800 MS Points. The token, weekly, omni-directional shooter WotB: Commando 3 drops three selectable characters behind enemy lines tasked with saving prisoners of war and blowing up everything in sight. A reminder to potential buyers, purchasing WotB: Commando 3 also includes future access to the beta test for Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

Frogger 2 adds a much needed story mode to the classic hopping adventure that tackles such hot-button issues as high gas prices, world economy and wart control. At least part of the previous sentence is not accurate.

Gallery: Frogger 2

Gallery: Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3

Rumor: Original Metal Gear Solid on XBLA?

Given the fact that the fourth game in the series is poking fun at the 360's storage size, and that XBLA is well known for memory restrictions (MGS was bigger than XBLA's limit of 350MB), this rumor doesn't seem too plausible does it? However, the original Metal Gear Solid did find its way to a multitude of platforms and a version of the game (PC) was actually published by Microsoft.

According to Ripten, who say their source spotted "the game on a certain pre-release network", Metal Gear Solid could in fact be on the way to an XBLA release. If their source is to be believed, the game appearing on PartnerNet is almost a guarantee that it will see release at some point (though sometimes many months later, as was the case with Ikaruga.) While the Xbox isn't traditionally the home of the series, a port of the second game did find its way there, so perhaps a port of the first isn't so out of the question after all.

MGS4 takes a jab at non-HD disc formats

This is a momentous week for Playstation 3 owners. You see, Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out this week (perhaps you've heard). Metal Gear Solid 4 essentially is the game that will make the console. Apparently it's not enough just to make a good game, though. It appears that MGS4's creators feel the need to extol the benefits of the PS3 as you play. Alternately, one could argue that the game denigrates certain other consoles. Now, we're not trying to incite any flame wars here (though that's basically inevitable), and we know the video has tongue planted firmly in cheek, but it also smells ever so slightly of "inferiority complex." See the evidence after the break (note: MGS4 fans looking to avoid any spoilers should not watch). And remember kids, we're just the messengers.

Continue reading MGS4 takes a jab at non-HD disc formats

Frogger 2 & Commando 3 xbox.com pages appear

While there has yet to be major news of them, both Frogger 2 and Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 now have their respective xbox.com pages online. Judging from the screens Frogger 2 doesn't look like its Dreamcast cousin, using sprites, a new kiddy art style, and possibly more puzzles. Commando 3 on the other hand is an arcade shooter with that Incredibles/TF2/BFH art style that seems to be gaining in popularity lately. While Frogger is a bit of a quantity, Commando 3 could be a pleasant surprise if it manages to differentiate itself from the myriad of other arcade shooter currently on XBLA. Release dates are of course unknown, but our best guess would be before the month is out.

Gallery: Frogger 2

Gallery: Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3

[Read, Frogger 2]
[Read, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3]

New Silent Hill: Homecoming screens damage psyche

It's a strange kind of excitement when a new batch of Silent Hill: Homecoming screenshots is released. There is happiness at the prospect of any news regarding Silent Hill and there is also the lurking fear that accompanies it. The latest screens keep most of the fear in check, thankfully, as creepiness is kept to a minimum. Sure, we do get some new shots of the nurses (as well as a new monster apparently obsessed with yoga), but we've learned to deal with them. Psychologically, at least, we can (mostly) handle the nurses. Check out the new screens and hope that Homecoming lives up to its predecessors.

Gallery: Silent Hill: Homecoming (5/21/08)

Frogger 2 achievements reveal possible DC port

When Frogger 2 was revealed (courtesy of the ESRB) to be coming to XBLA, there was some speculation as to which version of the game would end up being ported over. There was the original and then the later update, the latter of which was the game with the most content and most recent release, but the Live Arcade has seen older games show up too. Now that the achievements have been revealed, we can see from their details that they definitely refer to things that the later game had, but the earlier didn't. Given that this will be a port, let's hope that the netcode is that of the PC version, because XBLA hasn't had the best of luck with the online portion of Dreamcast ports.

Achievement list after the break.

Continue reading Frogger 2 achievements reveal possible DC port

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