February 2007

A demo of the recently released Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 is now available for free download over the Xbox 360’s ever popular Xbox Live. The single player demo will be available exclusively to Xbox Live gold subscribers for the first week before becoming available to all Xbox Live members. So what are you waiting for? Go make with the kicking of balls.

Adventure game enthusiasts take note, as event organizers have announced AdventureCon 2007, a Las Vegas event that aims to celebrate thirty years of adventure games with 10,000 square feet of exhibitions dedicated to the genre. The celebration will be held on August 28-29 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip.

Confirmed guests of honor, with more promissed, include Scott Adams of Adventure International, the first person to publish an adventure game on a home computer. Also excpected are adventure game veteran Al Lowe of Leisure Suit Larry fame, and Oberon Media’s Jane Jensen, author and creator of the Gabriel Knight series, who is also putting the finishing touches on her newest computer game, Gray Matter. More information can be found at the [url=http://www.adventurecon.org/]convention’s official website[/url].

“AdventureCon isn’t just a Zork Festival,” according to Howard Sherman, Chairman & CEO of text adventure game publisher Malinche Entertainment and AdventureCon co-founder. “Although, initially, the vision was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Zork, it quickly grew into an expansive event encompassing the entire adventure game universe.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the world-wide adventure community to show its support for gaming’s oldest and most popular genre,” says Randy Sluganski, owner of popular adveenture game site Just Adventure and fellow AdventureCon co-founder.

Electronic Arts has officially lifted the viel off of SimCity DS for the Nintendo DS. The game, which will allow players to create and manage their own pocket sized city while being on the go, will also leverage the unique capabilities of the handheld when it ships worldwide this summer.

Among the new features introduced in this version of SimCity will be stylus and microphone controls, from blowing into the microphone to put out fires in the city to signing off on mayoral proclamations with the stylus. In addition, the game will take advantage of the handheld’s wireless capabilities, allowing players to communicate and exchange data with each other. Also, the developers have also included a wide array of recognizable international landmarks to spice up the city.

Coming off the heels of the sexually uncomfortable Ar Tonelico, NIS America announced plans to localize Gust’s Atelier Iris 3:Grand Phantasm for the PlayStation 2. The game is currently pegged for a May release.

According to the company, Atelier Iris 3 will feature new designs, characters, and a new story with new gameplay systems that “give players more control and [a more] enjoyable game play experience by featuring the Active Cost Card Battle System and the Symbol Encounter System.” in addition NISA promises that the series synthesis item creation system will be “more interesting, creative and challenging” than previous games.

The game will also no longer feature random enemy encounters, with the game instead adopting of a symbol encounter system, which NISA notes will allow players to “visually confirm and engage [enemies].”

“We take great pride in providing a great gaming experience,” said Haru Akenaga, president of NIS America. “We welcome the new direction Atelier Iris 3 is taking with its combination of new game systems, design, and user friendliness; I can’t wait to play the U.S. version.”

We’re going to try to hunt down our NISA rep for an interview in the near future on this latest sequel.

Ubisoft officials have announced that the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 will feature the sound stylings of composer and music producer Tom Salta, who also worked on the previous game.

GRAW 2 is being developed by the same teams that created the original in Ubisoft’s Paris and Red Storm Studios, with developer GRIN once again developing the specific version for Windows PC. The game is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360, PSP, and PC in March, with the PS3 version scheduled for June.

According to Ubisoft, for GRAW 2 Salta wrote a “more aggressive and expressive original score to enhance the game’s intensive action and memorable, dramatic scenes, with only a few select motif references taken from the anthemic musical score of the first outing.” The multiplayer demo [url=http://www.snackbar-games.com/n2342.html]was just released[/url], so pick it up on Xbox Live and let us know if he succeeded.