Scared yet?

Today, two totally different bits of news about horror-FPS F.E.A.R. hit our inbox. It's not too hard to decide which is more interesting: it depends entirely on which platform you game on. For PC gamers, the multiplayer F.E.A.R. Combat pack adds - free of charge - scads of new content to the game: 10 modes, 22 maps, 12 weapons... it's pretty nuts. But if you're gunning for a PlayStation 3, it turns out the game will release on (or near) the system's launch date of November 17. So that's nice. After all, nothing says next-gen like a year-old PC game, right? Sure, point out we're hypocrites, since we're so excited about the Half-Life 2 port. That's just how our strange little minds work. Anyway, PC gamers can grab the new content over right now. The rest of you have to wait in wintry lines and fork over wads of cash for the privilege.

Best Buy, worst info

Best Buy has posteda completely laughable listof what it considers likely to be launch games for the PlayStation 3. Is it announced? According to Best Buy, that means it's more or less ready to hit store shelves the second the PS3 does, regardless of the actual truth of the matter. Final Fantasy Versus XIII? Resident Evil 5? Virtua Fighter 5? Sega told us yesterday that it's coming out spring 2007 - but Best Buy knows better, apparently. The only question in our minds is whether it's trying to trick suckers into buying games they won't get for months... or if it's just pure cluelessness. As nice as the conspiracy theory is, we're going to go with the latter explanation.

River raid

Bizarre but potentially pleasing Polish development house Nibris has been making a lot of noise about its DS and Wii games.Screensof Sadness, a black and white thriller for Wii, have been making the rounds for a few months now. Less is known about Raid Over the River, a traditional top-down shooter for the DS. Though the game is still in "early development stage," according to a Nibris staffer, the company has decided to post upa movieof the game in action - and it looks pretty damn cool. Let's hope it plays as good as it looks when it's finally released; the DS could use some feisty old-school shooting action. "We know its [sic] not much but it will show you guys where we want to go with it," explains the unnamed Nibris poster. Check it out for yourselfhere-DivXis required - and let Nibris know what you think at itsofficial website.

The PS3 menu in action has posteda short videoof the PS3's menu system, which has changed a bit since May, but still looks a lot like the PSP's. That's about it - except to make fun of them for pairing it with some absolutely hideous, blaring music that sounds like someone pressed the demo button on a 1987 Casio keyboard.

Oh, Rockstar!

All the other publishers must envy Rockstar. Not just for the sales of Grand Theft Auto. And certainly not for the money troubles. No, it's just because every time the company turns around, somebody's suing them - and creating a lot of great press in the bargain. This time, the sanest man in gaming - rabid lawyer Jack Thompson - is suing the company to try and get an independent look at Bully. He considers magazine editors and the ESRB ratings board to be too in love with murder simulations to give the thing a fair once-over. We're skeptical that his intentions are pure, or in fact that he even understands anything about games - or irony - so we're not sure what this would accomplish. Game Politics hasmore. It also hasa storyon how an LA strip club sued Rockstar - and lost - over a parody in San Andreas. If Jack Thompson needs a lesson in irony, there's a serviceable one.

Tingles in the wrong places

Nintendo's scary fairy, Tingle - y'know, Link's biggest fan - is getting his own game. That's old news. But the company has just posteda new movie on its official Japanese websitethat makes it look... almost cool! Yeah, we're shocked too. We're still awaiting word on whetherthat pollthe company ran a couple weeks back had the result of greenlighting the game for a US release. In the meantime, watch the video and get creeped out... but a little excited.


EA has released new screenshots of its fall sports lineup - NHL 07 getsnew PS3/360 screens, while NBA Live 07 getsgameplay images on the PS2/Xboxand screensof the game's menu system on the PS3 and 360. You won't believe your eyes. Now that we know it has a built in calendar, we're convinced that it's the true revolution in next-gen sports gaming we've been waiting for.

Numbers are confusing

Microsoft... you're so good at public relations, you almost had us fooled! Today, the company releasedsome statisticson the performance of the Xbox 360. It's genuinely impressive that gamers have bought, on average, 4.6 games per console sold. But when MS trumpets 80% of Live members downloading content from the Marketplace, we have to wonder how many of those are big-bandwidth 720p trailers for terrible movies nobody bothered to go see, as opposed to overpriced horse armor. Again, more than 65% of Live gamers have downloaded Xbox Live Arcade games... but no word on how many then actually went on to buy 'em. Slightly more interesting is that MS has committed to shipping 10 million consoles and a total of 160 games by this holiday season... but those are worldwide numbers, so... um... we're not sure what it means for you. MS has also cleared up those nasty rumors that games will be sold HD-DVD once the add-on comes out - it's for movies only, and that's final. Well, that's good.Click hereto find out why they wouldn't want it for games, anyway, even if they could - since we don't actually care enough to retype it with our trademark wit.

August 17, 2006