January 2009

Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 demo, available in Japan since December, has just hit U.S. shores.  The latest entry in the series is highly anticipated, not least of all due to the success of Resident Evil 4 on  the GameCube, PS2 and Wii.  RE5 marks the series’ first foray onto the PS3 and 360. 

The demo, identical to its Japanese counterpart, is now on Xbox Live and includes both single-player and cooperative modes. The PS3 demo will be available February 5.

If you try it out, be sure to comment and let us know what you think.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed some of Ubisoft’s future plans in a financial report given yesterday, including confirmation that sequels to Assassin’s Creed and Red Steel are in development.

Guillemot also said more sequels in the Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Anno series are on the way. In addition, Ubisoft plans to release three games based on new IP, including I Am Alive, a disaster survival game Guillemot said has been delayed until the 2009-2010 fiscal year because it “will require further development time.”

Electronic Arts is evolving its Spore franchise into four new titles for the Wii, DS and PC, all of which will be created by original developer Maxis.

Galactic Adventures will be an expansion for the original Spore PC game that was released last year. An EA press release says the add-on will allow players to beam to other planets and “play mission-based adventures.” Galactic Adventures will also come with mission-creation tools so players can craft their own adventures and share them through the Spore website.

Creature Keeper will be a standalone PC game for younger children centered on creature creation.

Spore Hero will be the first Wii version of Spore, described as an “adventure game” in EA’s press release.

Spore Hero Arena joins Spore Creatures on the DS and will allow players to put their creature-creations into battle against other alien species.

EA has not released sales information for Spore, although VGChartz.com lists Spore Creatures at 740,000 in worldwide sales.

Rock Band 2 DLC for Wii

January 20, 2009

Harmonix and MTV Games announced that starting today six new tracks will be available in the Rock Band Music Store for the Wii gaming console.  The tracks include “March of the Pigs” and “The Collector” from artist Nine Inch Nails, The Clash’s “I Fought the Law”,  “Rockaway Beach” by The Ramones, and Jummy Buffet’s tracks “Margiritaville” and “Volcano.”  Each track is priced at $2.00 (200 Wii Points).

The new additions to the Music Store are already available on Xbox 360 and PlayStations 3 consoles.  Wii owners can expect weekly doses of the already released content from the other consoles until the entire catalogue is available for the Wii.  Additionally, beginning in February, all future DLC releases will coincide on all three platforms.

Io Interactive is developing a new cartoon-style ninja game, marking a radical departure from its previous dark and violent titles like the Hitman series and Kane & Lynch.

Based on original IP, Mini Ninjas will be released for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and DS this fall, according to a press release from parent-company Eidos.

A trailer and screenshots of Mini Ninjas are available at its official website [www.minininjas.co.uk]. The press release describes the game: “Prepare yourself for a Ninja adventure like you have never seen before! Join Hiro, the smallest hero on the biggest adventure, as he embarks on an epic and electrifying quest to restore harmony to a world on the brink of chaos. Use your skills and mighty Ninja training to battle a magical army of evil Samurai. Harness the power of your Kuji magic and utilise the special skills of your Mini Ninja friends as you travel through a perilous world to reach the final confrontation with the Evil Samurai Warlord in his Fortress of Doom.”

Copenhagen-based Io was formed in 1998 and bought by Eidos in 2004. The company also developed Freedom Fighters for EA in 2003.