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01/10/06 | | Shawn Rider
category: industry
Word comes that Take Two, whose publishing label is now 2K Games, has acquired Irrational Games, creators of such amazing titles as SWAT 4, Freedom Force, and the classic System Shock 2. Irrational was also lauded this week with the \"Best PC Developer\" award for 2005 from IGN (for SWAT 4). In addition, the team was cited by Gamespot for \"Best AI\" in a game (also for SWAT 4), and both SWAT 4 and Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich were included on GameSpy\'s top 10 games of 2005 list. Get more on the acquisition here.


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01/07/06 | | Aaron Stanton
category: cool site
The website for the Xbox 360 modchip known as LiThIuM I.C.E. went live in the early hours of January 7th, 2006. While there\'s nothing there yet to cast much additional light on the chip or its creators, one comment on the site does include a date: January 31st, 2006. Is this the release date, or an extension of the two-week pre-order date mentioned on InfinityMods.com? It\'s hard to say. The site also includes information on the chip\'s development time-line, and reseller policies. We\'re all holding our breaths waiting for the site to finish launching, and we\'ll keep you posted.


01/06/06 | | Aaron Stanton
category: happening
InfinityMods.com claims to have a 360 modchip in hand, and will most likely have it available for purchase within 2 weeks. But what do they really mean by that? Turns out, the statement on their front page is somewhat misleading, since another line, deeper into their website, says, \"Preorders to be accepted within approx 2 weeks.\" So the question isn\'t whether or not there is an Xbox 360 chip, but whether or not you\'d be wise to throw in your money on a preorder for a chip you know nothing about. We take a look at all the information we have (which is admittedly very little) and attempt to make an educated guess about the legitimacy of this claim. Does InfinityMods really have a 360 chip?


01/04/06 | | Shawn Rider
category: industry
Bandai and Namco have officially inegrated their North American operations. They are now known as Namco Bandai Games America Inc. It looks like Bandai will be moving into the former Namco Hometek headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Namco is well-known for classic games dating back to Pac Man and Dig Dug, but also for recent hits like the Soul Calibur series. Bandai holds several popular anime/manga/game franchises as well, including Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, .Hack, and many more. Click here for the official press release.


01/03/06 | | Shawn Rider
category: announced
Kodai Djinns are a funky new battle yoyo toy that blends several of the most popular virtual creature fads. The yoyos are computerized and feature a few buttons and a tiny LCD screen. When you open your yoyo, a creature is born, based on the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Raise your creature by \"working out\" with the yoyo, and develop its skills and strengths. Eventually you will unlock solitaire minigames as well as the ability to battle other yoyos and connect to PCs for online battle gaming. Learn more right here.


01/02/06 | | Shawn Rider
category: screens
The Chronicles of Spellborn: What Lies Hidden Must Be Found is a good-looking new MMORPG on the block. Developed by a Dutch group, and featuring a unique graphical style that sets it apart from the typical fantasy game aesthetics, Spellborn might be just the thing for folks tiring of the WoW bump and grind. The teaser site has plenty of info up about the game, as well as some unique \"Choose Your Own Adventure\" styled narratives to help gamers get into the backstory. Check out these new screens and read our previously published preview (link inside) for more.


12/30/05 | | Tristan Mayshark
game: Xbox 360
category: legal
An Xbox 360 demo disc intended for kiosk 360\'s in Europe appears to lack the normal protection of other 360 games, and has been pirated on the Internet. A group known as \"PI\" have released statements about their progress hacking the Xbox 360\'s software protection, including releasing an ISO disc image of the demo disc, which contains demos found in Xbox 360 kiosks.


12/28/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: announced
According to NGC Magazine, and reported by Game Daily, the upcoming Legend of Zelda title, Twilight Princess, will be playable with the Nintendo Revolution controller. This news has not been confirmed by Nintendo, and Twilight Princess will still be officially released for the Gamecube. According to Games Radar, the online affiliate of NGC Magazine (a print magazine published in the UK, US, and Japan), Twilight Princess will support a radical new control style if played on the Nintendo Revolution console with its unique controller.


12/28/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: legal
We reported back in October about an anti-violent videogame law passed by California legislators and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, who has starred in enough violent videogames to know something about the matter. The legislation immediately sparked a lawsuit from the Entertainment Software Association, which argues that the law is both unnecessary and impedes the First Ammendment rights of minors. Yesterday a US District Judge Ronald Whyte issued an injunction against the law, citing the likelihood of the ESA winning its case to reverse the legislation, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.


12/25/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: happening
On behalf of the staff of GamesFirst!, we would like to take this space to wish all of our staff, readers and colleagues a happy, happy holiday season. We wouldn\'t be here without you, and we know that. On our 10th holiday season, we are thankful for all the people who have helped make GamesFirst! what it is today. Our staff is among the best online, and we value your efforts. To our fellow websites (especially the ones who kick down the kind links), we thank you. You know who you are, and you inspire us to do better. To all of the game developers, PR reps, and publishers who work with us on a daily basis, we want to extend our most sincere gratitude. We couldn\'t do what we do without your continued support, and life wouldn\'t be as much fun without you.

And, of course, we want to wish Happy Holidays to our readers. We are proud to be able to serve you for the past 10 years, and we look forward to number 11. Without you, we\'d just be posting up articles for our mothers to read, and although they never complain about our reviews or call us idiots, GF! would feel pretty empty without you. Thanks.


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