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We're joined by Leo Tan from Capcom for a bumper packed show, filled to the brim with the latest in gaming news and a chance to win copies of Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles and Comet Crash! (Remember to bookmark the podcast page, sign up to our RSS feed, or subscribe and vote for the podcast on iTunes.)
In the latest episode of Start/Select we got hands-on with Pro Evo 10, caught up on Modern Warfare 2 with Robert Bowling at Infinity Ward, and put Luke Anderson through some extensive ODST training! Don't forget that you can subscribe and vote for it through iTunes.
Back in September 2007, Microsoft hosted a Halo 3 launch event at London's Imax cinema. Journalists, fans, and celebrities, such as Pharrell Williams and Carmen Electra, came out to mark the occasion, which went down as the biggest entertainment launch in history at the time.
This year, another huge game is taking a similar promotional route for its launch in the British capital. On November 9, 2009, Activision will launch Modern Warfare 2 in Leicester Square, with a screening of the game for celebrities, fans, and journalists ahead of the global launch the following day.
Activision also announced a partnership with HMV's Trocadero store for the game's official midnight launch, where eager gamers can queue up to be the first to buy the game. The company also announced a separate VIP launch party, which will be held in a secret underground bunker, featuring a performance by "one of the UK’s biggest male artists of 2009."
GameSpot UK will, of course, be attending the midnight launch and donning our smartest suits in order to make it into the VIP party. Stay tuned for news, images, and video on November 9.
How do you feel about putting yourself in with a chance of winning a share of $50,000? Well, that's what is on offer for the winning team at the upcoming launch event for EA and BioWare's upcoming role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins, and we've got three places at the finals to give away to some of you. And for those of you not lucky enough to be selected, we've got a total of 10 download codes for the game's premium digital edition.
If you win, then EA will look after getting you to London for the event and will take care of you while you're here. This includes train travel from your nearest British Rail station, travel within London, and three days of hotel accommodations. All of this--and the game's rating--means that you have to be 18 or over to enter, I'm afraid. If you enter and are underage, you won't get into the event.
Because Dragon Age: Origins - Wardens' Quest is a 24-hour marathon task for teams of four, we need to make sure that you're also up to snuff when it comes to role-playing game skills. Since this is slightly hard to measure, we want you to tell us what your proudest RPG moment is, and back it up with a screenshot or similar picture if at all possible--though this isn't essential. This could be a massively multiplayer online moment--maybe beating a tough WOW hard mode or getting a legendary item--or it might be getting hold of a particularly hard item in a Final Fantasy game. It all depends on what you're proudest of achieving in any sort of RPG you can think of. A screenshot isn't absolutely necessary, but if you haven't got proof, I recommend giving us a bit more background on the moment in question so we believe you.
So, how do I enter, I hear you cry? Well, we've decided to open up all manner of ways for you to do so. You can use Twitter, by tweeting @gamespotuk, you can enter in the comments below, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send us a carrier pigeon--though it should be noted that proof of sending will not count as proof of receipt.
If you want a full copy of the rules for the Dragon Age: Origins - Wardens' Quest event, then e-mail us at the address above, and we'll get them out to you. Normal GS UK rules, terms, and conditions apply to those entering this competition. You have until midnight London time on Wednesday, October 21, to enter.
The event kicks off at County Hall in London--which is in spitting distance of GS UK towers, as it happens--with an orientation session at 2 p.m. on October 27. The competition proper runs from 10 a.m. on October 28 for 24 hours. Team members will take turns playing a single Dragon Age: Origins character of their creation for the 24-hour period, and points will be awarded to each team based on a number of factors, including character level, the amount of exploration you've done, and how much of the game you've completed. Exactly how the scoring will work is under wraps for now, but all will be explained at the orientation event.
Despite having just launched in the UK, many retailers have already cut the price of the PSP Go to just under £200. This marks a £25 saving from the recommended retail price of £224.99.
The discounted PSP Go has appeared at Amazon, Game, Gamestation, Play and HMV. However, other online retailers, such as Zavvi and Tesco.com, have failed to follow suit and are still selling the handheld at its RRP.
The handheld's launch on October 1 was rather low-key, with none of the stock shortages, overnight camping, or armed robbery that marked the PlayStation 3 launch.
Sony recently announced that there would be no way for existing PSP owners with a back catalogue of UMD titles to transfer them over to the download-only PSP Go. However, gamers will be able to download a free copy of Gran Turismo PSP, as well as redeem a further three games if they own any UMD, via the PSP Go rewards scheme.
There are currently 225 games available to download for the PSP Go on the PlayStation Network, as well 13,300 TV episodes and 2,300 movies.
Pro Evo fans in Japan have plenty to be excited about today--Microsoft and Sony have just unleashed two new Pro Evo 10 console bundles that will be available in November costing ¥38,000 (£265).
Image Source: DenGeki
Microsoft's bundle contains the Xbox 360 Elite, a 120GB hard drive, two wireless control pads, and a copy of the game. The Sony bundle includes the new PlayStation 3 Slim, complete with 120GB hard drive, one wireless controller, and a copy of the game.
No European announcement has been made, no doubt causing distress for the millions of Europeans still playing Pro Evo on their PlayStation 2s. However, SCEE did not flat out deny the EU bundles existence when questioned, telling GameSpot UK, "I'm afraid we don't have any details for the Pro Evo bundle at the moment." Microsoft's response also did not deny their existence saying, "No announcements have been made on this for Europe."
The PS3 Slim meanwhile is due to get several 250GB bundles, with gamers able to choose from two titles from the Platinum range, Uncharted 2, or a Blu-ray movie pack containing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Dark Knight, and Sony's official Blu-ray Remote. The Sony bundles will retail for £284.99 while the Microsoft bundles will hit £249.99.
Last week saw the release of two heavyweight rhythm games, Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band. Guitar Hero 5 was promoted on the strength of a brand-new party mode and the ability to play any combination of instruments, while The Beatles: Rock Band brought with it three-part harmonies and, well, the Beatles!
We're number one! Take that, Beatles!
With all the press hype last week around the Fab Four, including rave reviews, the release of the remastered Beatles catalogue, Beatles week on the BBC, and the Times dedicating an entire fortnight to them, many were expecting The Beatles: Rock Band to jump straight in at number one in the UK all-formats sales charts.
It turns out that the pulling power of the Beatles isn't as strong as the urge to watch Kurt Cobain rap, as the game debuted at number four, with Guitar Hero 5 going straight in at number one. Chart Track is reporting that this is the first Guitar Hero game to score a number one on the all-formats chart, with previous titles Guitar Hero III and World Tour managing to hit only the number-four spot. Though not managing to outsell its rhythm rival, The Beatles: Rock Band's entry at four marks the series' highest debut, with previous entries only reaching number six.
Last week's other heavyweight title, the critically acclaimed Dirt 2, jumped straight in at number two, again marking the series' highest position in the chart. The original Dirt only reached number three.
While games consoles have traditionally been used for playing games, Microsoft and Sony have both been touting the home entertainment value of their consoles. Microsoft has offered Netflix movie downloads and Twitter support, while Sony has its Blu-ray drive and media streaming functionality. Another ace up the sleeve for Sony is the BBC iPlayer, which it can access through the integrated Web browser.
However, iPlayer has really become a core feature with the recent 3.0 firmware update, which adds an icon to the XMB and updates the software used to run the player. According to the BBC, this has now pushed iPlayer usage on the console to the point where it now accounts for around 10 percent of all iPlayer viewing, overtaking the Mac at 8.5 percent to become the second-most-popular platform.
Thanks to additional H.264 Flash support, coupled with hardware acceleration and decoding, the new iPlayer videos are streamed to the PS3 at 1500Kbps, which Anthony Rose, Controller Online Media Group and Vision at the BBC, is calling "almost as good as broadcast television!"
BBC's iPlayer service launched in 2007, with the service rolling out to the PS3 and Wii towards the tail end of 2008. GameSpot UK sister site CNET UK recently interviewed Rose, who revealed that the platform uses an astonishing amount of bandwidth, equating to about 60Gbps, or around 7.5GB downloaded every second during peak hours.
Despite the success of the PS3 iPlayer, some users have reported issues with the player icon not appearing in the XMB. According to the BBC, iPlayer will appear only on the dashboard of consoles with serial numbers in the format of CECH-XXX3, which is the code for units sold in the UK.
Warwickshire-based publisher Codemasters has announced today that it's handing sales and distribution duties over to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for the upcoming launch of Colin McRae: Dirt 2 on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable in PAL territories, with the exception of Spain, Australia, and New Zealand.
Codemasters will continue to distribute the game on the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and DS, and PC and confirmed to GameSpot UK that Atari will be distributing Dirt 2 in the two southern nations, while existing US distributor Warner Bros. will handle those duties stateside. This isn't the first time SCEE has taken over the distribution duties of a third-party title, with Atari granting Sony an exclusive four-month distribution deal for Ghostbusters: The Video Game on the PS3 earlier this year.
According to a statement issued today, "The arrangement sees SCEE performing sales and distribution for both the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation Portable system editions of the much anticipated off-road racing game." According to Codemasters, the combined download figures for the demo on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 are close to reaching the one million mark.
When asked to clarify why Codemasters had reached this decision, a spokesperson told GameSpot UK that the agreement "Represents an opportunity for a great partnership with the platform holder throughout its PAL network, especially at a time when Dirt 2's launch coincides with the release window for the new PS3 console." While Dirt 2's launch might complement Sony's PS3 strategy, it may face some stiff competition from Sony's internal studios when it comes to the PSP, with MotorStorm Arctic Edge and Gran Turismo to be released in the UK on September 18 and September 25, respectively.
Despite reports that it has already gone on sale in North America, the new PS3 Slim is due to launch on September 1 in the US and UK, with the rest of Europe following on September 3. Dirt 2 will be released on the PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii and DS in the UK on September 11; Europe on September 10; and North America on September 8. As previously reported by GameSpot, Codemasters has reconfirmed that the PC version in on track for a December release, in order to take advantage of DirectX 11 support.
Following similar news in the US, Microsoft has announced a complete reshuffle of its Xbox 360 hardware lineup in the UK. The most welcome change is the Xbox 360 Elite price cut to £199.99, which is a reduction of £30 from its previous price point of £229.99. The Elite is the flagship model in the console lineup, as it's bundled with a 120GB hard drive. The price cut will take effect from tomorrow, August 28--just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend and four days before the launch of the new PS3 Slim console.
While the Xbox 360 Elite sees a price drop, the Xbox 360 Arcade will jump in price by £20, from £139.99 to £159.99. This is in stark contrast to the US, where the Arcade model has remained at its previous price point of $199.99.
Questioned about the matter, Microsoft responded: "We have not made upward adjustments to the trade price of consoles before. A modest increase on the trade price of Xbox 360 Arcade consoles [in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] allows us to offset exchange rate fluctuations and changes in local market conditions while still offering the most affordable console on the market."
The Xbox 360 Pro bundle, which included a 60GB hard drive, will now be discontinued, leaving just the Elite and Arcade models going forward.
In the recent Digital Britain report, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw announced that the UK would fully adopt the PEGI rating system for video games, making it legally enforceable on the three highest ratings--12+, 16+, and 18+. Currently only ratings by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) are legally enforceable, thanks to the Video Recordings Act (VRA) of 1984, under which retailers can be punished with a fine of up to £5,000 or up to six months in prison.
However, it now appears that the Video Recordings Act is no longer legally enforceable, thanks to a legal blunder by the UK government 25 years ago. The BBC is reporting that the then-government failed to notify the European commission about the Act, meaning dozens of current prosecutions have had to be dropped.
The error means that it is impossible to prosecute offenders until the law is passed again, which can take up to three months. Culture, Media and Sport Minister Barbara Follett has written to industry bodies, informing them that "unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the VRA is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts." A Government spokesperson has said that retailers have voluntarily agreed to keep to the rules, while previous prosecutions will still stand.
The mistake was discovered during work on the UK government's Digital Britain project, which aims to boost broadband use and promote new media such as video games in the UK. As well as moving towards adoption of the PEGI system, the government has also formed an all parliamentary group for the computer and video games industry to champion game development in the UK.
In a move strikingly similar to Radiohead's industry upsetting pay what you like deal for its last album In Rainbows, Eidos has announced that gamers will be able to preorder the latest Championship Manager game for as little as a penny, plus a transaction fee.
The offer, which went live this morning on the official site, allows gamers to preorder a digital copy of the game ready for download just past midnight on September 11. Though the game can be ordered from as little as 1 penny, there is a £2.50 transaction charge added, bringing the minimum cost of the title to £2.51 – though gamers will then have to pay a further £5 for in-season updates should they decide they want them further down the line.
"This is the first time an initiative like this has ever been tried in the video games market," Beautiful Game Studio's general manager Roy Meredith told magazine Develop. "This is the best Championship Manager the studio has ever made, and we want as many people as possible to try the full new game, as once they try it, we're convinced they will come back again and again."
Eidos may be hoping to entice back some old fans after the developers of the original Championship Manager titles Sports Interactive jumped ship to create its own game, Football Manager, in 2005. The publisher also skipped the release of the 2009 version of the game to allow current developers Beautiful Game Studios more time to improve the title, in an effort to restore the series to its former glory after years of lagging behind Football Manager in terms of both sales and critical acclaim.
Gamers interested in the pay-what-you-want deal have until just before the game's launch on September 10 to get in on the offer, after which the game will return to full price. Fans of a physical product will be pleased to know that a special edition boxed copy of the game, complete with additional CM Season Live updates and bonus DVDs, will be available for £29.99 on traditional retail shelves on September 11.
With GamesCom 2009 kicking off today, rumours are rampant that Sony will be introducing a new slim PlayStation 3 at its upcoming press conference. However, UK trade mag MCV is reporting that Sony may have something else up its sleeve for the show, claiming that SingStar Beatles will be coming exclusively to PS3.
The publication has cited sources from within GamesCom, saying that the title will be an "instrument-free port" of The Beatles: Rock Band and will come bundled with SingStar microphones. The publication has also said that the title will be published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts and will arrive "within days" of the release of The Beatles: Rock Band on September 9 while carrying the SingStar brand.
It should be noted that all previous SingStar games have been developed and published by Sony itself, and no previous SingStar game has received a simultaneous worldwide launch, with many products being region-specific.
When asked for comment on the title, Sony Europe flat-out denied the game's existence, saying it "has no news/plans to release a SingStar Beatles." EA had not returned requests for comment at press time.
[UPDATE] As with Sony, MTV Games has similarly refuted the existence of a SingStar Beatles product.
"MTV Games and Harmonix have the exclusive rights to create music games based on The Beatles per our exclusive partnership with Apple Corps Ltd. Contrary to the rumored reports, there is no Singstar: Beatles software product," an MTV Games representative said in a statement. "There is only The Beatles: Rock Band hitting shelves worldwide on 9/9/09 on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, which players can play as a singing game or as a full band game."
As many of our Web-savvy readers know, shopping online lets you avoid the pushy salesman in Currys and is invariably cheaper than trudging down to your local store only to find what you want isn't in stock anyway.
This is particularly true of games, CDs and DVDs, which are often several pounds cheaper online thanks to an EU tax relief called "Low Value Consignment Relief" (LVCR), among other things. It applies to goods that are imported from outside the EU up to the value of £18 and allows those goods to be exempt from VAT.
Guernsey, not just about cows.
Now, the Guardian is reporting that the government may be attempting to crack down on retailers that base their online operations in the Channel Islands to then avoid millions of pounds in tax using this provision. Letters leaked from Treasury minister Stephen Timms shows that the government believes companies avoiding tax in this way "may be abusing rules."
Currently, nearby Crown dependencies the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey are not part of the UK and as such are outside of the EU. They have become the base of many online retailers, such as play.com, TheHut.com, and high street retailer HMV, which moved its entire online operation to Guernsey in 2005.
A practice often used by retailers is to export goods from the UK to the Channel Islands and then post them back again to customers VAT free. Although consumers are able to make significant savings, the Treasury has estimated that VAT-free sales to the UK from the Channel Islands has created a £110m tax deficit, after sales grew to £620m last year.
HM Revenue and Customs is attempting to use a previous case involving the bank Halifax as a precedent to shut down the practice. In that case, the court established an "abuse of rights" principle that stopped the bank from using complex tax structures to gain an advantage on other banks.
Any ruling against the practice could have a significant impact on online retailers' bottom lines, and so consumers used to the low pricing available from online shopping, could face a rise in prices.
The battle of the football game cover stars looks set to get even hotter than usual this year. Konami announced that Argentinean Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, would be adorning the PES 2010 box thanks to its Champion's League licence rights. Pretty good, but with the Premier League licence under its belt, EA has managed to score not one, but three stars for this year's FIFA 10 cover.
The publisher has announced that Wayne Rooney is going to have some footballing chums join him on the cover of FIFA 10, having been featured in five games already. Theo Walcott makes his pack cover debut, while Frank Lampard makes his first FIFA cover appearance since 2006 FIFA World Cup.
All players appeared happy to be on the cover, with Walcott considering it "an honour," Rooney being "delighted," and with Lampard being merely "pleased." Of course, EA were extremely happy about the players involvement with the game, with marketing manager Trevor Uzice describing them as "the very best of English football talent," completely ignoring the fact that gamers will have to look at Rooney's less than aesthetically pleasing, woman repelling face every time they boot up the game. Thanks EA.
GameSpot UK PodcastOn this week's GameSpot UK Podcast, Guy and Mark run through the latest in the world of gaming, including Sony and Nintendo's latest financials, China's ban of gangster games, and a possible dark side to Mickey Mouse. Plus you can win a limited-edition GameSpot Magic 8-ball! (Remember to bookmark the podcast page, sign up to our RSS feed, or subscribe and vote for the podcast on iTunes.)Reviews:Previews:News:London Calling:
Last year, one of the biggest names on the UK high street, HMV, announced that it would be moving into the sale of pre-owned games. The move came in the light of continuing decreases in CD sales and a growth in games and technology for the retailer.
Now, supermarket giant ASDA may also be moving into the used-game market. UK retail trade publication MCV is reporting that the Walmart-owned supermarket plans to capture significant market share in games, part of which will come from pre-owned sales. Though not explicitly confirming the move, ASDA category director Fergal Gara told the publication, "If we want to be a serious player in this market, pre-owned is definitely an area we have to watch. It's not top of our agenda, but we're aware that pre-owned is a huge part of the business for the specialist and not one we can ignore."
The retailer also announced it had hired ex-Gamestation staff to help with its gaming push, including former Gamestation product director Andrew Thompson, who will be the new head of business, and ex-senior product manager Jenny Leach who will be taking up the role of senior buyer.
In the US, several high-profile companies have already moved into selling used games, usually the preserve of specialist retailers. Toys "R" Us currently has a pre-owned service on trial in its New York stores, while mammoth online retailer Amazon has been accepting trade-ins since March. ASDA parent company Walmart also moved into the sector recently, setting up automated e-Play kiosks for trade-ins.
The used-game market is currently increasing in popularity, with recent Nielsen figures showing a 32 percent rise in second-hand game sales in the US. Though the service is popular with consumers who are able to buy games at reduced prices, as well as get rid of old titles, it's less popular with the major console manufactures and publishers who see no profit from the sale of secondhand titles.
At this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft announced its "Games On Demand" feature, allowing users to download full games to their Xbox 360 hard drive and effectively stopping secondhand sales as the games cannot be transferred from the original console on which they were bought. Similarly, Sony's new PSP Go ditches the UMD drive and only allows games to purchased via download.
Announced back at the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus and accompanying game Wii Sports Resort promised much improved remote sensitivity and near 1:1 tracking between the players movements and the action onscreen. Fast-forward a year without its release and Nintendo played up the device again this year's E3. MotionPlus finally saw the light of day in June, albeit without the accompanying Sports Resort. Instead it was left to third-party titles, such as EA's Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 to fill the gap.
You must be at least this happy when playing Wii Sports Resort.
It seems like a lot of gamers out there are the patient type, and the pent-up demand has seen Wii Sports Resort rocket to the top of the UK charts after its release last Friday. It becomes the fourth biggest week-one release for a Wii title behind Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Chart gatekeepers ELSPA also pointed out that week-one sales of the actual Wii console were almost identical to that of the new title, suggesting that a lot of Wii owners are picking this one up. Expect extra accurate Wii injuries to surface over the next few weeks.
The rest of the chart sees little change, with no other new entries. Wii fit still holds a place in the chart at number four, and it will be interesting to see if Wii Sports Resort can top the balance board game's seven consecutive weeks at number one. For more on the game check out the review, or for comedy value, watch GameSpot UK's own Guy Cocker tackle the game in true Nintendo style below!
Nothing's better at the end of a good night out then drunkenly coming home, loading up SingStar, and belting out a bit of Bonnie Tyler. Plus, with the recent addition of wireless mics to the game, there's no longer any risk of any cable-related injuries.
They're coming to Singstar, it's not just an excuse for another Girls Aloud picture, honest.
Still, as good as Total Eclipse of the Heart is, crooners the world over will soon have more songs to choose from, because Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced that tracks from Universal Music's back catalogue will soon be available to buy on the SingStore throughout Europe. The first batch of songs will be arriving on August 8, including hits from Girls Aloud, Motorhead, and Tiffany adding to the 1,300 already available on the store.
The Jackson Five's I Want You Back, which is also a Universal song, will be released ahead of the instalment on July 23 "due to popular demand." The announcement was made by SCEE and is only related to those territories covered by SCEE, which includes Australia. Information on other regions was not forthcoming.
Check out the full list of songs to be added in the August update below.
Cher - If I Could Turn Back
Time Elton John - Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long Long Time)
Girls Aloud - Love Machine
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
Hoobastank - The Reason
Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
Keane - Everybody's Changing
Kool And The Gang - Celebration
Lloyd - Get It Shawty
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
Motorhead - Ace of Spades
Musical Youth - Pass the Dutchie
Nirvana - Come As You Are
Patsy Cline - Crazy
Scissor Sisters - Laura
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World
The Cardigans - Lovefool
The Killers - Somebody Told Me
The Police - Don't Stand So Close to Me
Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now
With the current financial climate far from rosy, the last thing that consumers want to hear is news of increasing prices. Unfortunately for gamers it looks like that's about to happen as a games retail trade publication is reporting that upcoming shooter Modern Warfare 2 will have a recommended retail price of £54.99, £10 more than the original, on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The price rise could set an unwelcome precedent, especially as the game is set to be one of the biggest sellers this Christmas. The rise could in turn encourage other publishers to increase the RRP of their own titles. The reason for the price hike is unclear but could be attributed to a number of factors including current exchange rates between the strong Euro and the weak Pound. Rising development costs could also be a significant issue with games such as Assassins Creed 2 having more than 450 people on staff, and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot predicting next-gen games could cost up to $60 million to develop – though Ubisoft's murderous sequel is currently listed as having an RRP of £49.99 on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Though the RRP is £54.99, online retailers such as Amazon and Play have the game available to pre-order for £44.99, having applied a hefty discount. Prices for the special "hardened edition" and the over-the-top "prestige edition", complete with night vision goggles have not yet been announced.
Level-5's Professor Layton and the Curious Village delighted critics and players alike when it appeared back in late 2008. The game combined mind-bending puzzles with an intriguing murder mystery storyline and sumptuous graphics into a highly successful Nintendo DS title. As previously reported, Curious Village came in at number seven on ELSPA's top ten for all game formats list in the first half of 2009.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Nintendo announced a sequel was in the works and has finally confirmed a European release date of September 25 for Professor Layton and Pandora's Box. The puzzlefest has been dubbed Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box in North America and is due out one month earlier than Europe on August 23.
According to the Mario Factory, Pandora's Box reunites renowned puzzle-solver Professor Layton with his trusty sidekick, Luke, as they "set out on a voyage of discovery to uncover the mysteries surrounding the suspicious death of Professor Layton's mentor, Dr Schrader." It appears the duo has discovered a ticket for the Molentary Express train next to Schrader's body and thus "begins their adventure travelling from the big city on the luxury train into the unknown."
"You mean we have to wait two whole months for another adventure?"
In addition to 150 new brainteasers, riddles, and logic puzzles--30 more than the original--Pandora's Box includes three new minigames: Camera, Hamster, and Tea Set puzzles. Camera lets players collect parts to form a camera to take photos of crime scenes, and Hamster requires logic to help your portly pet hamster lose some weight. Meanwhile, Tea Set requires mixing three ingredients to create palatable concoctions.
Returning from Curious Village are downloadable bonus puzzles to keep players occupied once they finish the main quest. According to Nintendo, "a new puzzle will also be available each week for a limited period of time after the game launches." Meanwhile a code from Curious Village will allow existing fans to unlock an exclusive puzzle.