editorial | 03/11/06 | Matt James
We felt so bad for Matt having to lug that big mailbag all the way up to the GF! Offices that we moved his desk into the basement where the mail drops directly. Then we forgot about him. As it turns out, Matt's been down there the whole time, trapped under a crate of old Atari Age magazines and sandwiched between a box of old toys and a broken Wizard of Wor machine. Aaron found Matt when he went down to fetch a couple old floppy disks we needed to shimmy up an uneven leg on our new company massage table. It was too late for Matt, but he was clutching this latest edition of the GF! Mailbag in one hand, and had used Legos to spell out something about how Jeremy still can't beat his Gamerscore. Click here for what may very well be Matt's last Mailbag ever (unless we're totally lying to you, which is also possible).
editorial | 03/05/06 | Shawn Rider
Xbox Live is an excellent gaming service, and by all accounts the best thing going for ease of use and consistent reliability. It's the only online game in town so far when it comes to the home console, too. But that is about to change: With Nintendo and Sony both rolling out competing online gaming services this year, Xbox Live needs to be at the top of its game. So far it has been doing well, but we thought we'd help out by offering up a few ideas we have for improving the Xbox Live service. Check out Shawn's editorial here.
comic | 02/21/06 | Aaron Stanton
Zelda's Tingle is probably one of the most unusual and distinctive characters in video game history. The short, stocky little guy in green tights can be more than annoying; he can be downright creepy at times. Yet does Tingle have a secret identity? When he's not out bothering Link, maybe he's a costume designer for Dead or Alive. You have to admit, the similarities are there. Skin tight clothes. Matching ears. Similar creep factor. Read this week's Twoplayer comic, Tingle's Secret Profession.
Twoplayer game comics are published at http://comics.gamesfirst.com.
feature | 02/20/06 | RJ Brooks
They are one of the often unsung heroes of the game development industry. But the consistently high quality of titles has proven numerous times why Treasure is one of the best game development houses in existence. With such fan classics as Gunstar Heroes and Astro Boy in their library, Treasure's games have created a rabid fanbase of twitch gamers and import junkies. Our man, Robert Brooks, has a retrospective of Treasure's games along with five classic retro reviews, each going live over the next week. Check it out here.
podcast | 02/11/06 | Val Townsend
Val brings us another episode of the GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up, packed full of all the best stuff going on in the gaming world. This week, we take a look at two books out now about hacking the PSP: One is great, and the other is not. We also test the Altec Lansing AHS302i headphones, which are well-priced even if not so well-fitting. Finally, we get to the games with a review of Legion Arena for the PC and a preview of the Final Fantasy XI Beta for Xbox 360. Download the latest episode of the GF! Weekly Wrap-Up right here.
interview | 01/31/06 | Shawn Rider
Namco and Bandai have merged their companies, and the resulting reorganization has given birth to Namco Networks, a new company dedicated to mobile gaming. GF! got the chance to speak with Scott Rubin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Namco Networks in North America. Rubin knows the ins and outs of mobile gaming and discussed a lot of topics, ranging from the challenges involved in developing games for mobile phones to the possibility of Katamari Damacy making an appearance on a handset near you. Get the full interview here.
feature | 01/29/06 | Aaron Stanton
Ever since the fan-created make of King's Quest IX was saved from the falling axe, some of us here at GamesFirst have been craving the days when adventure games ruled the PC. Sierra Online Entertainment was one of the biggest boys around, and games like Space Quest, King's Quest, and The Dagger of Amon Ra ruled the land. But how do these games stack up now? Thanks to a company that ports EGA classics into free, download-able VGA environments, you can find out for yourself. Surf over to AGDinteractive.com. If you've never heard of them before, you'll be glad we pointed you in their direction.
podcast | 01/27/06 | Val Townsend
The Atomic Goddess is back, and this week Val spends some quality time with Dead or Alive 4 on the Xbox 360 and The Movies, out now for PC. Val also takes a peek at Shadow Hearts 3: From the New World for PlayStation 2. And, of course, there's a roundup of the biggest news of the past little bit. It's eight minutes of high-quality podcasting goodness, so dig in, gamers!
feature | 01/26/06 | Shawn Rider
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced yesterday that they would enforce a $5000 fine on any company who violates a more modest "booth babes" policy at their Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), to be held May 10-12, 2006 in Los Angeles. E3 has long been known in part for the models companies hire to attract attendees to their booths. Some companies hire people dressed like main characters, others just hire a few pretty ladies with fancy underwear.
Coverage of this story inspired us to re-post a GamesFirst! classic. Back in 2001 we did a short documentary at E3 delving into the question of Booth Babes. We've re-encoded it for iPod support (should work for all PC platforms, too), and we're re-releasing the video today. Check it out.
editorial | 01/26/06 | Shawn Rider
The state of West Virginia has partnered with game publisher Konami to bring Dance Dance Revolution into hundreds of school physical education programs. The deal will roll out over 700 Dance Dance Revolution arcade machines, beginning with the state's 103 middle/junior high schools. The officials are doing the right thing, but they're citing the wrong reasons. DDR is not a way to combat the sedentary lifestyle of the youth, it's a way to create a modernized physical education curriculum that does what it should: engages students in realistic physical activity. Shawn steps up to the soapbox in this editorial.
feature | 01/21/06 | Matt James
Matt's back with the first of the 2006 Mailbags, full of international flavor. We've got some feedback about our glowing review of Kutoka's Creatures and Creatures Exodus titles from the developers. And of course we've got the requisite letters suffering from "TLI"-- Too Little Information. You tell us: How DO you get engineers to build siege machines on the top of large towers? Is it some kind of riddle? Check out the latest reader mail right here.
feature | happening | 01/19/06 | Aaron Stanton
Microsoft has received criticism for sticking to the DVD9 format for the Xbox 360. Concerned gamers point out that the 8.5 gigabytes of storage may not be enough to hold next-generation games. Sony's PS3 will use blu-ray, a format capable of storing several times the information of DVD9. But how big are Xbox 360 games? And how much will they grow, really? We take a look at the size of original Xbox titles to see how much they grew between 2001 and 2005, and compare them to the size of the Xbox 360 launch titles to make an educated guess about the DVD9's future needs. The conclusion? Well, you'll have to read to find out, but it generally makes Microsoft look like they know what they're doing. Don't enter a forum debate about blu-ray without reading this article.
feature | 01/17/06 | Shawn Rider
The PSP homebrew community continues to crank out cool stuff. The latest major coup is an exploit using the save game system in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories that allows users with firmware over 2.0 and 2.5 to run homebrew applications and games. So far only a few games are working, but we felt like it is a good time to take a look back at some key developments in the world of PSP homebrew. Get the full story here.
podcast | 01/13/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val Townsend, the Atomic Goddess, takes gamers on an audio adventure through the recent history of video gaming. In addition to a summary of recent news, Val has reviews of Kameo: Elements of Power (XB360), Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath (PC), and those cute little GelTabz (multi). Rounding out this week's podcast is a preview of Square/Enix's Code Age Project, which spans games on mobile phones, PS2, and a comic book series. Serve yourself up a heaping helping of steaming hot podcast goodness, right here.
feature | happening | 01/13/06 | Aaron Stanton
Has the Xbox 360 been successfully modified? This is the question that's been on the modding community's mind since InfinityMods.com claimed to have a functioning modchip in-hand. Is it true? In this article, we look at the time-line of everything we know about the I.C.E. modchip, and include an interview with Team I.C.E.
What does I.C.E. stand for? When is the expected ship date for the chip (early Feb., by the way). If you have doubts about the I.C.E. modchip, then this article certainly won't put them to rest, but we help keep you informed.
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