Batman: Arkham Asylum Preview

Batman is dead in the comic universe. Thankfully that won't stop Eidos and Rocksteady Studios from releasing Batman: Arkham Asylum this August on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. G4tv.com has managed to snag some play time with the game and work our way through a few of the early areas of the game, and so far, Arkham Asylum is just flat-out impressive.

From the solid-yet-simple combat system to the cinematic presentation, this Batman game is not only showing respect to the franchise, but it's doing so with a style all its own.

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Last week we looked at the impact gaming is having on higher education, but that’s not the only way games are connecting to teaching.  Companies like Kaplan, best known for its standardized testing prep programs, are getting into the videogame arena.

Click the jump to see how.

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Amid the shadow of Grand Theft Auto IV and the growth of the industry, people are more aware of videogames than ever, but while the more alarmist wings of the mass media see games as a cesspool of violence, others see potential for sharing knowledge and helping society.

Recently, videogame developers and publishers have been teaming up with schools to legitimize video game creation as a serious form of media and creative expression. One of the most recent examples is the partnership struck between the Indiana University School of Education and software developer Vicious Cycle (Robotech: Battlecry, Dead Head Fred) for the use of Vicious Cycle’s Vicious Engine.

Hit the jump for the entire story.

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When you're made of little plastic bricks and the city is in danger, there's only one thing to do: strap on a scuba mask. Well at least that's the method for Robin in the upcoming LEGO Batman video game. A brand new batch of screens have emerged today showing off the wild and wonderful versatilty of the Dark Knight's (and his red-clad sidekick by association's) power suits. Ralph Lauren is green with envy.

Hit the break to see the rest of the shots. Evil-doers beware!

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Life is meant for rocking out, and Harmonix wants to help you along with a brand new song pack that becomes available next week in the Rock Band store.

For 440 Microsoft Points, you can add "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" from Fall Out Boy, "Date With The Night" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and "It Hurts" by Angels & Airwaves to your set list. Each song will also be separately avaialble for 160 points each.

Tags: Music, Videogames

Call of Duty 4: Splintered Edge »


That sweet looking video above what you're reading is a Call of Duty 4 machinima titled "Splintered Edge," made by one Michael Barnes. X-Play's Anthony Rogers took a few minutes to chat with Mr. Barnes about his extremely polished and cinematic creation, and what it's like to make a digital movie. Hit the break for the full interview.

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You may have heard of Jeremy Soule; he's one of the most prolific musical composers around the video game industry. His resume reads like an all-star list: Guild Wars, Morrowind, Oblivion, Company of Heroes, Supreme Commander, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Secret of Evermore, and the list goes on. As a veteran to the orchestral composition scene, Soule has worked with some of the biggest developers and publishers while crafting original scores that accent and highlight fantasy realms and sci-fi battlegrounds.

He won the inaugural MTV Video Music Award for Best Video Game Score for his work on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and is still the only American-born composer to ever work on a Squaresoft game. Hit the break to read X-Play's exclusive interview with the man himself: Jeremy Soule.

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Tags: Music, Videogames

Another week and another round of legislation vs. video games. This time, Arizona has a bill drafted that may potentially hurt the future of video games.

The bill, if passed by the state legislature, will punish those who "distribute audio, written, or digital materials" that contributes to a felonius or terrorist act. The material would have to be proven to be legally obscene, and convincing evidence would have to be shown that the material was one of the impetuses for the act to be performed.

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Tags: Videogames

Pull up a chair and have a seat. This year's April 1 festivities are some of the best in recent memory, especially around the gaming world, where many companies and media outlets jumped into the act with some truly hilarious and sometimes amazing results.

Make sure you check back to G4TV.com often as we'll keep you updated around the clock with the best side-splitting pranks on this most auspicious calendar day.

Click the jump to check out our carefully compiled list.

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Tags: Music, Videogames

What's better than free massively multiplayer online role-playing games? Free massively multiplayer online role-playing games featuring the Celtic tradition and big-eyed anime characters.

That's just what Nexon America, publishers of other free MMOs like Maple Story (you may have heard of it), is ready to unleash on the good old U.S. of A. Mabinogi, as the game is known, hits the Web this Thursday for free. Like past Nexon titles, players have the freedom to pay as much as they want depending on the experience they want to have (i.e., come in-game items and features can be bought with real-world money to augment the base game).

In addition to fishing, questing, trading, and other MMO staples, Mabinogi will allow players to purchase character cards that will reset their avatar from the beginning, keeping the skills they've learned, and ultimately allowing for better attributes and abilities once leveled up.

Mabinogi has already reached 7 million players in Asia, and is both vibrant and charming. Just the way we like it.

Get to know Massachusetts bill HB 1423. It's the newest in a long line of anti-video game propositions that would seek to restrict or outright ban the sale of video games that depict violence unless the buyer is over 18. The bill seeks to categorize this type of video game as equivalent to pornography by arguing that violent games lack any sort of artistic merit and/or are insensible to community standards.

In response to this proposed law, the Video Game Voters Network and the Entertainment Software Association are urging gamers in the state of Massachusetts to take a stand against this bill by submitting a letter to their representative stating their opposition to drafting the bill into law. If you're not a resident of Massachusetts there's no need to weigh in on this with your local government just yet, so for now just continue to fight the good fight on all things related to you.

So far legal precedent has favored the video game industry by declaring all previous bills of the same type as unconstitutional, with judges making the point that video games, just like any other form of media, will be protected under the First Amendment.

The VGVN and ESA contacted X-Play to also point out that the ESRB rating system that every game follows is a perfectly satisfactory for informing consumers of in-game content they might find questionable, leaving the responsibility of moderating video game habits up to parents and buyers and not the government.

"Massachusetts deserves better," said RIch Taylor, Senior VP for Communications at the ESA. "The proposed legislation ignores the unbroken chain of circuit court rulings and other decisions that already determined similar laws were unconstitutional. 

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Tags: Videogames

Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine Trailer »


Somewhere deep inside of all of us lies the desire to create masterpieces of the finest culinary quality, to flambé and purée the most delectable ingredients into something of edible grandeur.

Unfortunately, only a select few are ever able to rise to the ranks of chef superstardom, which ultimately culminates with an appearance on Iron Chef America, the Food Network's premiere TV show featuring some of the world's most skilled kitchen masters competeing against one another to see who can come up with the most creative use for the ice cream machine.

But I digress.

Today comes the first trailer for the video game adaptation of Kitchen Stadium's elite competition, Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii. If the Chairman's stern expression and firm delivery of your mission is not clear, allow us to reiterate: this game will be the most authentic Iron Chef experience you can have from the comfort (and safety) of your couch and/or recliner of choice.

When does it come out? Well that's the secret ingredient, and it won't do to taking a peak at it until game publisher Destineer officially announces it.

New 'Haze' Screens


Posted March 13, 2008 - By jfassino

If you woke up and forgot to take your Nectar this morning, worry not: Ubisoft has released a set of new screenshots of the upcoming Free Radical drugged out shooter Haze. They're mostly environmental and vehicle images that show off some of the game areas. Foliage has never looked sweeter, but that might just be the chemicals talking.

Haze is set to be released later this year on the PlayStation 3. Hit the banner to see all the pictures.

Composer Jeremy Soule is no stranger to the video game industry; he's the man behind the music in games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Guild Wars, and Supreme Commander (and the list goes on).

A new image in his discography, however, may hold hints to his newest work. Featuring a large explosion cloud and a question mark, the image pops up the text "Who knows?" when you mouse over it.

Given Soule's past work with Bethesda Softworks, developers of The Elder Scrolls series, it seems quite likely that this orchestral master is tipping his hand for the upcoming post-nuclear role-playing adventure Fallout 3, due later this year.

We will seek the complete answer behind this mysterious pictograph and get to the bottom of it.

EDIT (5.7.08) We got to the bottom of it. Soule's not composing the music.

Tags: Music, Videogames

Clearly Namco has never read the Nintendo style guide. If they did, they would know that Nintendo is insistent upon using the word Wii correctly.

The guide reads, in part, "It is simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii... The name works best at the beginning of declarative statements." So why then does Namco declare an all-inclusive trip of winter fun without using Wii? It is a question that may never be answered.

Regardless of Wii or We, We Ski is the newest game from the publisher. It's got the Wiimote and nunchuk support for carving those nice lines in the powdery slopes. It's got Mii support, allowing you to get some air with your own customized avatar. And it's got four-player multiplayer so you can watch as your friends go flying through the fence during the downhill.

Most important, however, is the fact that We Ski will make use of the Wii balance board that comes with Wii Fit, making it one of the first third party games to use the peripheral. Namco promises a large, snowy mountain for players to explore, complete with different skiing disciplines like moguls and slalom.

The game will be out this Spring; just make sure you save some I's and call it by its correct title. Click the banner for more images.

Tags: News, Videogames, Wii
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