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Gaming Round Up for 8/16/06

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Konami info on Bomberman, RPG fan site announced
The fuse is running short as Bomberman is about to explode into new territories as Konami recently released availability info for its upcoming games.

Bomberman Act: Zero for the Xbox 360, which will allow up to eight players over Xbox Live, is scheduled to be available on Aug. 29. Bomberman for the PSP will allow for up to four players off just one UMD and will be available Sept. 12.

Konami also recently launched a website catering to RPG fans, most particularly Suikoden, Ys, and Lunar Knights. Participation will earn visitors points to redeem for prizes.

XNA gives gamers a chance at creation
Remember the Net Yaroze? Yeah, no one else does either. However, Microsoft is looking to tap the creativity of its gamers with a consumer version of its software tools used to create video games for the Xbox 360.

For a $99 annual subscription fee, XNA Game Studio Express will be available to the public starting Aug. 30. Not only will the software, which requires a Windows PC, allow for the creation of games, but completed games can then be placed for download over Xbox Live.

While the program waters down the difficulty of using the company’s thousand dollar profession tools, some basic programming knowledge is still needed to use the program. While Microsoft will manage and regulate the programs, the creators will still own the rights to their game.

While the software will program software simpler than most titles for the 360, the XNA Express program will allow those to create a game in a matter of weeks.

Khoo comments on evolving PAX
Robert Khoo, Penny Arcade’s director of business development, recently commented on the role of the Penny Arcade Expo, as it relates to E3.

He plainly stated, “We don’t want to be E3,” in the sense of the event focusing on the industry as opposed to the gaming culture and gamers themselves. PAX will be held for the third time this year and bigger plans are set for 2007 according to Khoo.

The event will be held at a venue that triples the size of this year’s and AAA publishers are already reserving space for next year’s event.

Nintendo offers Lites to photo fanatics
Nintendo recently announced a contest that asks gamers to relive their favorite Super Mario moment in a contest that will net the winners DS Lite systems and copies of New Super Mario Bros.

The submissions, in photo or video form, need to involve at least one Mario game and must be submitted by Aug. 25. The top five submissions will each win two Lite systems and two copies of New SMB.

Submissions are made at nintendocontest.buzznet.com. For complete rules, visit buzznet.com.

European party to rock with Guitar Hero II
RedOctane will be showing a sneak peak performance of its anticipated Guitar Hero II at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival in Scotland.

The public screening and party will run on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The screening will feature the new version’s tweaked multiplayer modes, which feature rhythm, lead and bass guitar parts.

While a song list for the game still remains confidential, a selection will be demonstrated at the event.

Tickets are available for free from any Gamestation in Scotland as well as the Odean on Lothian Road.

Xbox Live to be dealt “free” game
Players itching for Texas hold ‘em over Xbox Live will be able to download the game for zilch — no bluffing.

Gamers will be able to take their poker face online in the Xbox 360’s
Texas Hold ‘Em. When the game launches on Wednesday, Aug. 23, users will have 48 hours to download the game for free in a limited-time promotion. After the promotion ends however, players will have to raise and slide in 800 Microsoft Points to download the game.

The game will support up to eight card sharks at one time and will offer three modes of game play complete with achievements, learderboards, and statistics.

The release also lists a few other Live Arcade titles named for release by early September – Time Pilot on Aug. 30 and Scramble on Sept. 6. Both will cost 400 Microsoft Points.

Sega announces collection of Genesis titles
Sega recently announced it would be releasing a compilation of Genesis titles titled Sega Genesis Collection and has finally detailed the full list of games to be included in the package.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros. , Columns, Comix Zone, Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head, Ecco the Dolphin, Ecco II: The Tides of Time, Ecco Jr. , Flicky, Gain Ground, Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, Golden Axe III, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom, Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium, Ristar, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Thunder Blade, Sword of Vermillion, Vectorman, Vectorman 2 and Virtua Fighter made the cut for Sega’s next collection package.

I’ll still keep hoping for Rent-A-Hero in a future edition …

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