TGS News

Tecmo's Team Ninja Speaks On The Post Itagaki Era
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Monday, November 03, 2008 4:03 PM

Gamasutra has an interesting interview with two producers from Tecmo's Team Ninja (best known for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series). As many of you know, Team Ninja's Tomonobu Itagaki left the company amidst scandal and controversy. The move was particularly unusual for a Japanese developer, where brash and outspoken personalities are definitely not the norm. Gamasutra talks with Hitoshi Hasegawa and Yosuke Hayashi about the post-Itagaki era at Team Ninja, development philosophy differences on the three major consoles, and its experiment on the Nintendo DS. Here are some interesting tidbits.

On what Team Ninja has been up since Itagaki's departure, Hasegawa said:

"We've been taking some time reformatting and reorganizing our team around, but one thing for sure is that we know what our focus and our concentration and our team goals and objectives are. We've been using time recently in order to make sure that that's what we want to do, and continue to work on existing and future projects."

On Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword's tepid reaction in North America, Hayashi said:

"As a product from a development, concept, and content standpoint, the team is very happy and satisfied with what we were able to achieve and put in the final product. However, we do feel that we fell a little short in trying to communicate that, and have more gamers play what we were able to put in that final product.

It just wasn't the right sort of natural chemistry. It wasn't enough. But we're up for those kinds of challenges, to provide a new and unique way of playing for a given console. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword was a perfect example of that, in providing a hardcore action game experience on a portable machine. That was our challenge at the time, but we'll continue to look at similar challenges in the future."

On developing games exclusively for one console, Hayashi said:

"I agree that if we work exclusively with one console that the final product will be a better game than if we were to create it simultaneously for multiple platforms.

Each system has its own philosophy behind it, so it's a matter if you can concentrate and focus 100 percent to adapt to that, or if you're going to have to balance that out with other titles."


X-Play Web Exclusive: 'Gears of War 2' Behind The Scenes - Voice-Over Sessions
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Friday, October 31, 2008 5:54 PM

While you sit around all weekend waiting for X-Play's Gears of War 2 Special, check out this Web Exclusive behind the scenes video, which takes a look at what goes into a voice-over session for a project as massive as Gears of War 2.

You'll see the actors in the booth delivering the lines that you'll see in the game when it releases on November 7, 2008. The Xbox 360 exclusive is definitely one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

Remember, the X-Play Gears of War 2 Special airs Monday, November 3rd at 8PM ET with exclusive footage and interviews. Check out the awesome teaser for the special right here.

SPOILER WARNING: This footage contains Gears of War 2 spoilers.


'Gears of War 2' Special On X-Play Monday!
Posted By: Mike D'Alonzo - Friday, October 31, 2008 12:15 PM

This Monday, X-Play's assault of new games and special events continues, as we finally get our hands on Gears of War 2, and see what Marcus Fenix is up against this time. There will be video, exclusives, and interviews, as we go deep inside the game and show you what it's all about.

Here's the official preview:

"G4 TV takes X-Play on location to Epic Games in Cary, NC for a behind-the-scenes look at the blockbuster sequel and will officially premiere the opening cinematic of Gears of War 2 in full HD glory. The Gears of War 2 X-Play episode debuts on Monday, Nov 3 at 8pm EST and re-airs each night throughout the week exclusively on G4 TV."

In the meantime, check out this preview of what the show's got in it. We think you're really going to like it.

'Gears of War 2' "Seriously 2.0" Achievement Already Unlocked
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:25 AM

Gears of War came with an achievement named "Seriously..." to get 10,000 kills in ranked multiplayer matches and most gamers never saw it unlocked. Gears of War 2 features an update to the achievement called "Seriously 2.0", which asks gamers to get 100,000 all-purpose kills.

These could be enemy kills in campaign, kills in Horde mode, or kills in ranked or unranked multiplayer. It's certainly less strict, but you'd think that 10 times the number of kills would take a long time, right?

Wrong. In fact, it takes less than 24 hours of played time to achieve.

Hit the cut for the details

Stefan Hobman sent OXM UK the following details about the achievement along with the picture proof:

  • There is NO gamerpic for getting Seriously 2.0, unlike the original Seriously achievement.
  • It's possible to get 100 kills a minute.
  • The achievement can be unlocked in under 24 hours actual gameplay time.
  • The easiest way to get the achievement is by repeatedly playing the last level of Gears of War 2's Campaign mode.

This is good news because we want that 1000/1000 on Gears of War 2.


Casual Gamers To Determine The Fate Of The Xbox 360
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:50 AM

It's easy to see that Microsoft is aggressively targeting the casual market with the Xbox 360. Gamasutra recently conducted an interview with Microsoft product manager Aaron Greenberg that outlined the company's strategies. With an attractively priced (but crippled) product in the Xbox 360 Arcade, new features in the November update geared towards casual gamers, holiday titles aimed at families (Lips, You're in the Movies, Scene It), and partnerships with mainstream vendors like Netflix, its intentions are clear. Considering the enormous success of the Nintendo Wii, it's easy to understand why.

A few sources have told me that Microsoft's performance with casual gamers will determine the fate of the 360. If this big holiday push is successful then the future of the Xbox 360 is secure. If system sales are below expectations then expect a big announcement in 2009 about new Microsoft hardware in 2010.

This is a huge and terribly interesting gambit by Microsoft. While the components of its strategy seem solid, they're also a bit conflicting. For example, to effectively enjoy the new features of the November update, Xbox 360 Arcade owners must purchase storage. Purchasing additional accessories negates the attractive price point. Furthermore, it also has the potential to piss off new customers. Several first-time console-buyers are unknowledgable about the differences in 360 models and only see the magic sub-$200 price. They don't realize that they're not getting the full Xbox 360 out of the box.

It'll be interesting to see how the holiday plays out, especially considering current economic conditions. While I'm sure Microsoft will have a strong holiday, I'm not convinced it'll get the casual numbers it desires. I'd bet on a new console announcement from the company in 2009 for a 2010 release. Then again, I once lost $600 in 30 minutes at a blackjack table in Treasure Island, so maybe gambling isn't for me.


Metacritic User Scores Under Siege?
Posted By: James Elkin - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:48 PM

Fanboys have sabotaged Metacritic with thousands of negative votes for Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2, two unreleased games that almost nobody has played. As a result, userscores for both are in the basement, and there’s a growing sense that the newly released LittleBigPlanet is being targeted as well. 

Metacritic games editor Marc Doyle has responded to the problem in writing, promising to “upgrade the registration requirements… in the near future”. In the meantime, he urges users to focus on Metascores.

While painful to industry executives who believe Metacritic’s content can affect sales, it doesn’t seem to be all that surprising. With the site’s growth, some say this kind of behavior was never a matter of if, but when.

Do you read Metacritic user reviews?


'Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts' Demo Now On Xbox LIVE
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:38 AM

The demo for Microsoft and Rare's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has been released on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and is now available for your downloading pleasure.

The demo clocks in at 1.1GB's and will give you a nice preview of the full version, which releases on November 11, 2008 exclusively for the Xbox 360.

Here's the latest trailer for the game.

'Gears of War 2' Launch Trailer
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:56 PM

Here we go fellas... finally! Epic Games drops a launch trailer which signifies the "home stretch" to release.  We would like to say it's been an honor waiting with you all and wish next Friday would get here sooner probably just as much if not a great deal more than you do.

15 years after Emergence Day the fight for survival continues in Epic Games' third-person shooter Gears of War 2 available exclusively for the Xbox 360 on November 7th.

Gears of War 2 Launch Trailer




'Gears of War 2' Soundtrack Details
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:06 AM

Rev up your chainsaw bayonets and make room on your iPod (or your Gears of War 2 branded Zune player), because those excellent folks at Sumthing Else Music Works have announced November 25th as emergence day for the official Gears of War 2 soundtrack album.

So, between Gears of War 2 dropping next week, the life-size Lancer gun shipping at the same time and now the soundtrack album a couple weeks later, November is turning into a full-on Gears 2 emergence month! Which we plan to celebrate with lots of hugs, chainsaws and other bloody finishing moves against online adversaries.

Composed by Steve Jablonsky (yes, the same Steve Jablonsky who did the music for last year’s Transformers movie) and performed by the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the soundtrack, which will be available in both physical and downloadable form, features 27 pieces of music from the game.

Check out the full track listing after the jump.

WARNING: There could be some spoilerific things in the song titles.

Track Listing:

   1. Return Of The Omen
   2. Hope Runs Deep
   3. Green As Grass
   4. Expectations
   5. Finally, A Lead
   6. Armored Prayer
   7. Hold Them Off
   8. Derrick Chase
   9. Building Thunder
  10. Hell Breaks Loose
  11. Bedlam
  12. Breakneck
  13. Landown
  14. Racing To Extinction
  15. If They Can Ride Em
  16. Hollow
  17. Unexpected Changes
  18. March Of The Horde
  19. Highway
  20. Denizens Of The Deep
  21. With Sympathy
  22. Insurmountable Odds
  23. Bump In The Night
  24. Frenzy
  25. Outpost
  26. Finale
  27. Autumn Of Mankind

'Gears of War 2' Documentary Highlights Fans and Achieving Blockbuster Status
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Monday, October 27, 2008 6:00 PM

In this latest (and final) Gears of War 2 developer documentary, Cliff Bleszinski and company highlight the fans that helped shape the franchise and what it takes to be considered a blockbuster.

Gears of War 2 makes its emergence day November 7th on the Xbox 360.  After the cut be sure to check out the hauntingly beautiful "Last Day" TV Spot.

Gears of War 2 "Blockbuster Entertainment" Developer Documentary



Gears of War 2 "Last Day" TV Spot



'Gears of War 2' Last Day TV Spot
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Friday, October 24, 2008 11:52 AM

In the video below, Marcus Fenix and the boys of Delta Squad take a minute for themselves to "stop and smell the roses" in this TV spot for Gears of War 2.

With humanity in one of its darkest hours, could this be the "last day" they see the surface?  Gears of War 2 is a tactical third-person shooter from Epic Games exclusively for the Xbox 360. The game ships November 7th.

Gears of War 2 "Last Day" TV Spot 


'Gears of War' Top 5 Weapons Countdown Video
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Friday, October 24, 2008 10:28 AM

In the video below, Epic Games' Gears of War Flashback series finally reaches the real fun with the Top 5 weapons voted on by the fans.  What's your favorite GoW weapon? Take your time but remember the tactical third-person shooter Gears of War 2 is coming around the corner for the Xbox 360 November 7th.

Top 5 Gears of War Weapons

Cliff Notes - Cliff Bleszinski Discusses Michael Bay's Transformers
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Thursday, October 23, 2008 2:21 PM

Gears of War 2 Lead Designer Cliff Bleszinski stopped by X-Play to give us some random gems of pop-culture wisdom. First up, Michael Bay's Transformers, which longtime fans of the franchise believe was the wrong direction to take the series.

Does Cliff agree? Find out in the first edition of X-Play's Cliff Notes.

Make sure to tune into X-Play's Gears of War 2 World Premiere Special on Monday, November 3rd at 8PM ET with an encore presentation on Tuesday, November 4th.

The Xbox 360 exclusive shooter releases on November 7th.

Xbox Live Arcade File Size Limit Evaluated On A "Case-By-Case Basis"
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Thursday, October 23, 2008 10:22 AM

When Portal: Still Alive dropped on Xbox LIVE Arcade yesterday, we noticed that the file size for the game was clocking in close to 700MB. This confused us as we were under the impression that Microsoft had put a limit of 350MB on downloadable games for XBLA.

This is not the case. We reached out to Microsoft for a comment and they let us know that they, "have set file limits as a general guideline. An important part Xbox LIVE Arcade is easy access, and keeping file size down is a vital part of that. Equally important is offering titles with superior gameplay. [They] weigh both considerations on a case-by-case basis, and will make exceptions when [it] makes sense to ensure the best customer experience."

There you go. The 350MB limit is not really a limit at all, and Microsoft is willing to let high-profile games like Portal go above that limit if it means bringing games to LIVE Arcade.

This is a good way for Microsoft to stay competitive as Sony is aggressively pursuing full digital distribution as a way of releasing PS3 games with titles like SOCOM: Confrontation, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, and EA's Burnout: Paradise available to download.

'Lips' Track List Revealed
Posted By: John Manalang - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:26 PM

From Duran Duran to The Jackson 5, Microsoft's sing-a-long title Lips will have you singing "Take On Me" by A-Ha in no time. The title's full track list has been revealed, and it features a wide cast of music artists such as hip-hop's Lupe Fiasco, Alicia Keys and the mentioned artists.

Lips will also allow users to plug in their MP3 music players and sing with their DRM-Free titles, but with no on-screen lyrics. The title's due out this November 18 for the Xbox 360. Hit the jump for the full list.

a-ha "Take on Me"
Alicia Keys "No One"
Aly & AJ "Potential Break Up Song"
Avril Lavigne "Complicated"
Ben E. King "Stand by Me"
Beyonce "Irreplaceable"
Blondie "Call Me"
Chris Brown "With You"
Coldplay "Yellow"
Depeche Mode "Personal Jesus"
Destiny's Child "Survivor"
Dido "White Flag"
Duffy "Mercy"
Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf"
John Denver "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire"
Leona Lewis "Bleeding Love"
Lil' Mama "Lip Gloss"
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos) "Superstar"
Maroon 5 "Makes Me Wonder"
Nirvana "In Bloom"
Peter Bjorn and John "Young Folks"
Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
R.E.M. "The One I Love"
Radiohead "Fake Plastic Trees"
The Ramones "I Wanna Be Sedated"
Rascal Flatts "Stand"
Rihanna "Umbrella"
Roxette "Listen to Your Heart"
Sara Bareilles "Love Song"
Sheryl Crow "Soak Up the Sun"
Taylor Swift "I'm Only Me When I'm With You"
The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
The Fray "Over My Head (Cable Car)"
The Jackson 5 "ABC"
The Police "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
The Raveonettes "Love in a Trashcan"
Trace Adkins "Ladies Love Country Boys"
Weezer "Island in the Sun"
Young MC "Bust a Move"