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Ace Combat 6 demo flies out next week

In the latest episode of GameSpot's On the Spot, In Joon Hwang, Product Marketing Manager for Namco Bandai, revealed that a demo for Ace Combat 6 should be available on Xbox Live Marketplace next week. Ace Combat 6 is the first in the flight combat series to appear on a non-Sony console and also the first new-gen entry in the series. Hwang notes that the game's support system has been revamped, and players will now be able give commands to naval, air, and ground combat units during play. Expect to hear more about Ace Combat 6 from E3 next week.

[Thanks, Dark Mobius]

Namco E3 lineup confirms Katamari exclusivity?

If you needed any more confirmation that Beautiful Katamari will only roll on the Xbox 360, you need look no further than Namco Bandai's recently released E3 lineup. Eurogamer has the list and was quick to notice that the Xbox 360 was the only platform designated for the title. Is it ironclad proof that Beautiful Katamari is 360 exclusive? No, but it's pretty damned close. Other Namco Bandai 360 games to be shown at E3 include Dynasty Warriors Gundam, Ace Combat 6, Eternal Sonata, and Culdcept SAGA.

Eternal Sonata trailer plucks heartstrings

IGN has posted a new trailer of Eternal Sonata in preparation for E3 next month. We've made it no secret that we adore the eccentric premise of the game, and this trailer only serves to cement that belief. For those of you still unfamiliar with it, the game chronicles the final hours of composer Frederic Chopin. The catch, you see, is that Chopin is asleep and the game occurs inside the fever dream world of his final hours. As you might expect, Chopin's dream world has a lot of musical ties. More than that though, the game is simply gorgeous, something like Howl's Moving Castle in video game form. The game is scheduled to hit U.S. shores in September. We can't wait.

Watch Ace Combat 6 and The Bigs on XBLM

A couple of new trailers landed on Xbox Live Marketplace this morning. First we have a trailer for Ace Combat 6, it's the same cheesy trailer we saw released before, with lots of American pride and important-sounding music (think Armageddon). Our favorite moment is when a woman's voice breaks through the chaos: "I don't know a whole lot about war, but there's something I need to tell you." Yes, the cheese-factor is strong with this one. The Bigs trailer, on the other hand, is straight up balls-to-bat action (still no demo, by the way). You've got big, beefy players, flaming baseballs, and home runs so powerful that they could bring down small aircraft. For those of you without access to your 360, we've embedded it at the top of the post. Enjoy.

SCIV scans: medieval cleavage galore

Hot on the heels of the revelation that Soul Calibur IV will feature online play, images pulled from the related EGM article are beginning to hit the internet. The images come to us courtesy of Xboxygen, and they are quite, ahem, revealing. We are of course referring to the amazingly supported female naughty bits (made even more amazing considering the game takes place in an age before the underwire bra). The image above also reveals a well-wrought thong (or a spectacularly painful wedgie). Ogling aside, the images certainly do look sharp. We also have to point out that one shot contains a dodo. Given that Soul Calibur IV looks to be the last in the series, the fact that it contains an extinct bird seems appropriate. Here's hoping the gameplay does a better job of evolving (ba dum bum, psh!).

Hit the "read" link for more images.

Soul Calibur IV now burns online

This is the sort of thing we like to hear. In the latest issue of EGM, Namco has confirmed that Soul Calibur IV will feature online play. The news comes straight from the game's director, Katsutoshi Sasaki, who says that online play is part of all current-gen consoles and "with the current environment, we really couldn't make SC4 without online play." We would be remiss if we didn't point out that every iteration of Soul Calibur has appeared on a console capable of supporting online play, but we digress. In other news, players will be able to take their custom "create-a-character" avatars online, though Sasaki isn't sure whether or not players will be able to trade them. We shudder to imagine all the Takis and Ivys -- wearing nothing but flesh-tone underwear -- we'll be facing online.

Now, if only we could get Sasaki-San to have a talk with SEGA about Virtua Fighter 5.

[Via Joystiq]

Atari to bring Trusty Bell, AC6 to Europe

Our friends at Xboxygen report that Atari has signed a deal with Namco Bandai to publish both Trusty Bell -- known as Eternal Sonata in the U.S. -- and Ace Combat 6 in Europe. X3F readers will remember that Trusty Bell made a splash in the Japanese market last week, landing in the number 2 sales spot. The game tells the tale of a fantasy world -- actually the fever dream of a dying Frederic Chopin -- in dire straights, and it features many musical motifs. Ace Combat 6 is the latest entry in the long running Namco flight combat series, and is the first to appear on a non-Sony console. It's currently unknown if Atari plans to release the Ace Combat 6 flight stick controller bundle in Europe.

Both games are expected to launch in Europe this fall.

Eternal Sonata Japan's 2nd best seller

Stop the presses, hold the phone, and list some clichés, because an Xbox 360 game has reached the number 2 spot on the Japanese sales charts. Yes, Eternal Sonata, known as Trusty Bell in Japan, clawed its way to the number 2 spot with 49,334 copies sold, beaten only by Practice by Observing: DS Observation Training for the DS. It is unclear how many copies sold were part of the Trusty Bell bundle we reported back in April. If you haven't been keeping track, the Xbox 360 hasn't really fared too well in Japan, so a number 2 game is a momentous occasion indeed. This becomes particularly apparent in light of the fact that Blue Dragon, developed by the creator of Final Fantasy himself, only managed to hit number 4 (though it actually sold more copies). We'll be keeping our eye out for the hardware charts to see if the Xbox 360 got a much needed boost last week as well.

Gallery: Eternal Sonata (AKA Trusty Bell)

Ace Combat 6 stick cheaper than a real jet

Namco Bandai has announced that it will release a special bundle for its upcoming aeronautical adventure, Ace Combat 6. The bundle will include the game, a limited edition Xbox 360 faceplate and the sweet flight stick combo seen above. The stick is manufactured by HORI, makers of the ultra-hard-to-find Dead or Alive 4 arcade stick. But how much does it cost, you say? Not $89.95! No, not $79.95. Not even $69.95! That's right, the Ace Combat 6 bundle will retail for ... $150! The bundle is expected to arrive this holiday season.

Any flight sim junkies out there willing to take the plunge?

[Via Joystiq]

Ace Combat 6 trailer locks on to internet

The first trailer for Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation has found its way onto the intertubes, courtesy of GameSpot. Much to our surprise, the game features jets and the piloting of said jets. The first in the Namco series to appear on a non-Sony platform, Ace Combat 6 looks to up the ante with an emotional plot line centered around terrorism and protecting the next generation (of people, not consoles) from harm. The trailer features lots of interaction between a mother and her little girl, jets, terrorists, and plenty of swelling music. Check it out and tell us what you think.

[Thanks, Dark Mobius]

Free Pac-Man Championship Edition from GTR

We were as surprised and delighted as anyone when we Pac-Man Championship Edition turned out to be such a great game. Whether or not it will go down in gaming history is up for debate. Whatever becomes of Pac-Man CE, right now it's simply a good game. "Sure, it's fun, but what about the price?" you say. Well, we've got you covered. Actually, Gamertag Radio has you covered but we won't be bothered by semantics. The point is that GTR is giving away five copies of Pac-Man CE absolutely free. Head on over for your chance to win. Oh, and did we mention this week's episode features Aaron "this will go down in video game history" Greenberg? Well, it does. Listen to Aaron speak his mind and win free Pac-Man CE. Not too shabby, eh?

Soul Calibur IV revealed, first trailer

Good news for fighting fans, Soul Calibur IV has been officially unveiled for the Xbox 360.The trailer reveals, well, basically nothing. We see some character models, though they could easily be pre-rendered. What's more, they don't even move. Finally, we are treated with a logo and "2008." The text in the trailer also implies that Soul Calibur IV will be the last title in the series. Honestly, there isn't much to learn from the trailer. Let's hope next month's EGM -- whose contents will no doubt spill all over the internets ahead of time -- gives us something we can really sink our teeth into (this is where most blogs will make tasteless Ivy jokes).

[Via Joystiq]

X3F hands-on: Pac-Man Championship Edition

If we told you that Pac-Man Championship Edition is the most significant thing to happen to Pac-Man in years, you'd probably call us crazy. Well, call us crazy, because Pac-Man CE rocks. Quite simply, Pac-Man CE has made Pac-Man relevant again. Yeah, maybe it's not the huge announcement we were all hoping for, but once you put some time into it, you'll find out that Pac-Man Championship Edition has some legs.

Gallery: Pac-Man Championship Edition

Continue reading X3F hands-on: Pac-Man Championship Edition

Eternal Sonata No. 1 on Amazon Japan

The Xbox 360, to put it mildly, hasn't fared terribly well in Japan thus far. Routinely selling only a couple thousand units every week, the 360 needs a serious kick in the pants if Microsoft hopes to make even a modest dent in the Japanese market. For this reason, it's heartening to see an Xbox 360 game claw its way to the top of the Amazon Japan bestseller list. The game in question is the Namco Bandai RPG Eternal Sonata, known as Trusty Bell in Japan. It would seem that demand has crescendoed (get it?) before the game's launch, slated for June 14 according to Amazon Japan. Granted, Amazon is a fickle beast. The number one bestseller could change next week, tomorrow, or even in a couple of hours, but it's nice to see a 360 title beat out the PS2 and even the mighty DS.

The only question now: does Eternal Sonata have the power to sell Xbox 360s in Japan? We'll know soon enough.

[Thanks, alesul]

Gallery: Eternal Sonata (AKA Trusty Bell)

X3F hands-on: Eternal Sonata

If you're crafty enough to find it, an Eternal Sonata demo is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. We downloaded the demo yesterday and took it for a spin. First thing's first, the game is very pretty. While the geometry is actually very simple, the art style and the cel shaded characters are just jaw-dropping. The animation is well done and even the voice acting is decent (the demo features full English dialogue and menus). The big question is: how does it play? Read on to find out.

Continue reading X3F hands-on: Eternal Sonata

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