We DO NOT HAVE the Ninja Gaiden II demo

For some odd, bizarre, inexplicable and downright EVIL reason, we do not have a demo of Ninja Gaiden II on Xbox Live right now. The Japanese, however, do – it went live for them last night.

Ninja Gaiden 2
Ninja Gaiden 2

If you’re that desperate to have a go on NGII, it is possible to set up a trial Gold account with settings to make the Xbox 360 think you live in Japan. It’s a bit of a chore, involves making a fake Japanese Hotmail account, but can be done.

The one demo we do have, however, is of a racing game called “Crash Time” – a budget “cars” game developed by some Germans that came out in the shops a couple of weeks ago. I’m downloading it for something to do to help pass the time before NGII arrives.

I suspect it’ll be deleted after seven minutes, but it’ll still be seven less minutes to wait until SLAUGHTERING TIME.

Huxley on 360 to feature extra content

The upcoming PC MMO/FPS game Huxley will be followed by an Xbox 360 version full of extra content, according to Official Xbox Magazine.

The game is apparently inspired by Aldus Huxley’s visionary science fiction novel Brave New World, although it’s fair to say that I don’t remember much in the way of PvP rocket battles and mutant-on-mutant violence from the last time I read it. Maybe they have access to some unpublished manuscripts or something.

Anyway, it looks competent enough, with a single player campaign and a persistent MMO game world for large scale multiplayer battles. The PC version is due out towards the end of the year and the Xbox version will follow about two months later.

The console release will feature more background details and access to more ‘secrets’ unavailable in the PC version, whatever that means.

Models Wanted for Fable II cosplay humiliation pics

Oh dear. This could go horribly wrong.

Lionhead are actively seeking fans of Fable who would like to appear in the sequel. And by fans, we don’t mean ‘people who quite enjoyed Fable’, we mean ‘Mentalist Fable Otaku who enjoy dressing up’.

To spice up the interior background textures in the forthcoming sequel, Lionhead are asking for Fable obsessives to send in photos of themselves in a suitably heroic pose. The best (we use the term lightly) of these will be turned into portraits that will be used to decorate some locations in the new game.

Lionhead recommend donning a suitable costume and, ideally, performing some kind of action found in the original game.

If you are going to enter, please by all means send your efforts to us to have a look at. We offer absolutely no prize whatsoever, but we will laugh at you. A lot.

EndWar beta open for signups

Fancy testing the new Tom Clancy tie-in, EndWar?

Ubisoft are holding an Xbox-exclusive private beta test of the game from late June to early July. If you want to take a look and try your best to break their test code you can sign up with your email address at the official EndWar Beta site.

Endwar
Endwar

You will need to be an XBox Live Gold member with at least 3 Gigabytes free on your hard drive and plenty of bandwidth.

To whet your whistle, here is a look at the trailer for the game – which makes all-out global warfare look like quite a jolly, well soundtracked, affair.

Fallout 3 artwork used in Al-Qaeda video?

Oh great, as if gamers aren’t in the papers for all the wrong reasons already..

Get ready for some world-class tarring-with-the-same-brush. Now gamers aren’t just drunk-driving, prostitute-slapping car thieves with a penchant for random murder – now there is a terrorism link as well.

OR IS THERE?

A video entitled “Nuclear Jihad: The Ultimate Terror” has popped up on a couple of websites (apparently) linked to Al-Qaeda. The video contained images of a ‘what if’ scenario that showed how Washington DC might look after a nuclear strike.

The non-profit think tank Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) at first claimed that the images had been created by terrorists in an attempt to illustrate the outcome of a proposed ‘dirty bomb’ attack on the US capital.

Unfortunately for SITE, it was quickly pointed out that the chilling images were actually concept art for Bethesda’s game Fallout 3.

Unlucky, SITE. Still, nice bit of publicity for Bethesda, and a good laugh for the rest of us.

Ninja Gaiden II – UK Demo OUT NOW!

Finally. The day of destiny is here. The NGII demo is online for us UK people right now. It’s 857MB. Start downloading it now. If you’re at work, go home at lunchtime and set it off downloading, then you won’t have to wait for it in the evening.

Here’s my Ninja Gaiden II demo downloading “live blog”. I am literally sitting here, very excited, watching it download. It’s much better than daytime TV. The anticipation is immense. The atmosphere in my lounge right now is electric!

9:58am Started download

10:10am Still downloading

10:14am Still downloading

10:19am Still downloading

10:23am Still downloading

10:29am Still downloading

10:34am Still downloading

10:36am Still downloading

10:48am Still downloading

10:51am Still downloading

10:53am Still downloading

10:55pm DOWNLOAD COMPLETE!

Demo impressions later today. I am now going to go and play it for two hours on WORK TIME in the name of “reviewing” it.

Metallica to be next Guitar Hero exclusive

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is ideal for fans of the band who want to rock (and possibly roll) like Tyler, Perry, et al but how about those GH fans who prefer their music a bit more.. Metallic?

Activision has confirmed that the next artist-exclusive edition of the Guitar Hero franchise will be Guitar Hero: Metallica – due out in early 2009.

The news slipped out as part of an otherwise dishwater-dull financial statement that Activision filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, Activison state that “In fiscal 2009, we plan to publish Guitar Hero: On Tour for the NDS; Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero: Metallica, and Guitar Hero IV across multiple platforms.”

Which should mean that the game will shamble forth before the end of their financial year, around March 2009.

What isn’t so clear is if GH:M will be based around the ‘classic’ Guitar Hero gameplay or will make use of the promised Guitar Hero: World Tour engine with all the extra instruments, etc. The latter would be great, if only because Metallica have a very distinctive drumming style that would be a bastard to play on ‘Hard’.

Ninja Gaiden II demo – REVIEW

OK, so it’s awesome. It was always going to be awesome. The only thing debatable is the particular level of awesomeness. Very awesome? Totally awesome? Beyond awesome? Awesome upon awesome?

Ninja Gaiden II is certainly fast. Very fast. Faster than the original and bewilderingly quick in places when you’re firing off obliteration techniques and Ryu is little more than a blur as he flashes from fresh corpse to next imminent fresh corpse. The blood is impressive. The “trail of dead” particularly fantastic, with every dead man and puddle of blood staying put. Walking back through a level you’ve just cleansed, knee-deep in livers, spleens and heads of your victims, is a fantastic experience.

The new energy recharge system isn’t offensive in any way, nor does it “dumb down” the game like many were suggesting. And the camera? The oh-so-contentious camera? The love it or hate it camera? It’s the same as it always was. If you can’t handle it, trade it in for Scene It and stop whining.

The demo features the ever-reliable Dragon Sword, the scythe and the all-new claws to muck about with. It’s very big for a demo. It’s awesome upon awesome. The Ninja Gaiden II teaser therefore gets a hardcore, just-like-it-ever-was 10/10.

Lucasarts launches new Fracture website

Lucasarts has a new shooter that they hope will breathe some life into the stale genre. You might say (ho ho) that it will be (chortle) Earth shattering.

Thank you very much – I’m here all week.

The USP in this case is the ability to use terraforming as a weapon against your opponents. Some weapons let you raise or lower the earth, others call forth lava spikes and chunks of rock to both smite your enemies and reshape the terrain to your advantage.

Fracture
Fracture

Plot-wise, Fracture wont be shifting any conceptual boulders – the game is set in a blah blah future world where some factions are fighting each other with different weapons – one side is biotech-based, the other cybernetic. There is something about Global Warming too, although presumably the wanton destruction and tectonic shafting makes a wonky ozone layer a bit irrelevant.

It’s a neat idea, although the last attempt at something like this – Red Faction – didn’t exactly set the world alight.. even in the bits where it let you set the world alight.

The new site has a load of screengrabs and clips of the terraforming antics, and the first official trailer should be live within a few hours. The site also feature a development blog and discussion forum.

Resident Evil 5 definitely not racist

Remember the furore from a few months back, when a few easily-offended types decided that thanks to RE5 being set in some aggressive third-world location and the zombies being largely black for once, the game was clearly “racist”?

Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5

Well look. Capcom’s released a batch of new screens of RE5 today – and the game has some rather disgusting white pikey zombies in it too. It’s not racist. You can murder white people equally.

White people with too much wax in their hair. The game’s producer Jun Takeuchi also defended the game against the racism allegations, telling the internet that “there was a misunderstanding” regarding the trailer and that the design has not been changed since the kerfuffle.