Announced at the Spike TV Video Game Awards is a new map pack for Gears of War 2, the map pack (which is now available) includes three maps and costs 800MS Points.

Explosive action takes center stage in these three new Gears 2 multiplayer maps: Flood, Gold Rush, and Fuel Station. Flood features a rising flow of Imulsion that drives the fight into close quarters. Infiltrate an Imulsion factory in Gold Rush, where multiple levels and volatile materials guarantee memorable encounters. Fuel Station delivers a dangerous battle around an abandoned refueling facility.

Too soon? The inevitable divide between those that download it and those that don’t will yet again fracture another fledgling online community. There are still people on my friends list that I play with regularly that haven’t yet downloaded the free Flashback pack that you receive when you buy the game.

Sonic is an interesting little chap, he has been around for almost as long as me, he is one of the most recognisable gaming icons yet the games he has appeared in have received wildly varied acceptance by gamers, in fact a lot of them sucked.

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When Sonic Unleashed debuted earlier this year the colourful presentation and lightning fast pace set high hopes for many of the Sonic believers while the cynics remained cautious, so what is the end result….? Is it the glorious return to form for the classic hero or another steaming pile of ass?

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Nintendo’s Brain Training series was one of the first non-games to hit the DS, and when it sold through the roof and people demanded more it was no surprise to see other companies trying to jump on the next big thing. The Buzz series usually involves a quiz of some sort with players having to “buzz in” with the right answers, but when you have a license and “host” as popular as Sony does, it isn’t too big a stretch to see the Hostmaster appearing in a personal brain challenge style test.

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The worst thing in the world is when gaming “journalists” get in the way of your gaming data, so while life has gotten busy (it is leading up to xmas after all) I’ve forgotten about the readers and their want NEED of weekly sales data. Which game has been topping the charts, who was the survivor of all the AAA titles that released over the last 2 months?

There’ll be some happy faces, some sad faces and some nice and simple confused faces being spread across the internet when you take a look at what is going on in the “All Format” chart. Disney Sing it: Camp Rock right behind Resistance 2 and outselling even Wii Fit, littlebigplanet and Gears of War 2? The world has gone topsy turvy.

Top 10 NZ All Full Priced Gam

Check past the break for a full breakdown of the individual systems and how things have changed up since the week before.

Things to note:

  • Lips is climbing the 360 charts. Will we see this outselling Singstar in the coming weeks? 
  • Rock Band has disappeared of all charts with GHWT still selling strong. 
  • The PS2’s list is filled with family friendly titles, and they’re mostly outselling 360 and PS3 titles.

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Wii Speak has been released in NZ stores, finally allowing Wii owners to engage in unadulterated voice chat. The first title to support Wii trash talking is Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City, which releases alongside this accessory, so you’ll be able to bully your way around the village (and even the city!). Wii Speak and Animal Crossing are available separately (Wii Speak retails for $69.95), or you can buy a limited edition game and Wii Speak bundle for $169.95.

The microphone is designed to be placed near your television, and has a noice-cancelling style feature which reduces game sound being channeled back via the microphone. It claims to be able to pick up sound from your entire living room so you shouldn’t need to shout to be heard. Unfortunately the microphone cannot double as a sensor bar, so you’ll have yet another piece of hardware to find a place for in your entertainment setup.

Wii Speak is sold with a download code that allows you to download the Wii Speak channel, which allows VoIP with console “friends”. There is no ongoing cost for use of the channel, and when chatting with friends you are represented by your Mii which lip syncs as you talk. Voice messages can also be left for friends in their Wii mailbox.

What is a real shame is that Wii games cannot be updated to support this accessory. Voice chat would be a perfect addition to games like Mario Kart, for example. It’s a tough time to be a Nintendo fan.

Now there’s no point posting every time a new Sackboy costume for Little Big Planet is available to download via the PSN, but this one got me all festivey and gooey (eww).

Details below:

The fun start tomorrow (12/11/08), where we will be giving the Santa coat and a set of trousers for all you SackBoys and SackGirls.

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And next week on 12/18/08, you can complete your outfit with a Santa hat and beard that will be available for FREE as well! (But note, the outfit will only be available till January 8th so be sure to download it before then!)

An interesting method of delivering DLC, splitting it up over two weeks. I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this, all I know is I’ll definitely be picking them up.

The day we’ve been waiting for is here! And this is just the beginning…..

Today we announced that PlayStation Home will enter into open beta, and will be available to everyone tomorrow. This milestone represents the very beginning of a long journey together, as PlayStation Home is an ever evolving, always changing, organic experience full of new friends to meet, new events to enjoy, and new content to explore.

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More details and pics’ past the break.

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Disaster: Day of Crisis is a Wii title developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. From the outset, this game defines itself as a “mature” title with it’s M OFLC classification, and (over)-use of the word “shit” early on and throughout the game. It’s almost as if the word shit is this game’s way of telling you that Nintendo does not equal “kiddie”.

Disaster: Day of Crisis is a 3rd person action adventure game with strong rail-shooter elements as well a some driving sections. You play the role of Raymond Bryce, a former marine who used to work as a Rescue Team member, saving people from the grasps of natural disaster. His partner Steve is killed in service during a rescue from the slopes of actively erupting volcano, and Raymond lives with the guilt of not being able to save his partner during their mission.  Ray carries this guilt with him in his new job at Crisis Management, and this delays him from carrying out his partner’s dying wishes – to give Steve’s lucky charm compass to his little sister Lisa.

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Acting like an Ass in the general public is something that a treasured few will ever experience in its purest form, this french guy could probably teach classes on it judging from this video. Don’t get me wrong, it would make my day to see a Mario driving past but you’ve got to feel for the guy on the motorbike.

Moral of the story? Watch out for those bananas!

Check out the creators site. http://nimportequi.com/

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As we head into Christmas, the retailers are starting to show their cards when it comes to what they’ll offer you to entice you to buy your favoured console through them. While Australians are being free money from their PM to spend this Christmas, those on the fairer side of the ditch aren’t so lucky. So here’s a selection of the best current and upcoming deals from bricks and mortar retailers that we’ve been able to dig out from the piles of junk mail lining our letterboxes:

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