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Gamers in New Zealand often suffer from our small population size and spread out geography, Fighting games have traditionally suffered from this more than your shooters due to a lack of quality internet. Next week (August 15th) will see a fairly large gathering of fighting fans to battle for the crown of supreme Street Fighter IV champion, the event is being organised by the folk at NZISM and will be hosted by RvB in Auckland.

Registration starts at 11am with the fighting to commence at noon, so there is plenty of time between registration and the start time to grab a kebab. There will be prizes for people that perform well along with spot prizes and the entry fee is only 10$ See their website for more info.  

From the guys who gave us The Maw comes a new breed of hero. A man with no Health and Safety policy, a man who desperately wants to fly like a plane, a man hotter than a topless Brad Pitt, a man called, ‘Splosion Man! With a healthy dose of humor and a short fuse ‘Splosion Man hits our screens via the Xbox Live Arcade. Is it a blast to play or is it destine to bomb?

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Recently our forum member An-te-khre-sto brought to our attention that he was having issues trying to buy a PS3 in the Wellington area. He tried a few retailers and quickly learnt they were all out of stock, and that “they would have to order one in”. Strange I thought so I did a little ringing around. It seems he’s bang on the money. New PS3’s through out the country are becoming harder and harder to find. EB games are showing new consoles in stock at less than half of their retail stores. Big player Dick Smith Electronics are low on stock as well. So is this a sign that something new is on the horizon, are retailers and Sony NZ reducing current stock to make way for something new?  With rumours of the PS3 Slim flooding the intertubes I think it’s safe to assume, something new IS coming!

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Overlord was a breath of fresh air, an evil lord of the underworld must raise and command his impish minions to find complete domination. A tongue in cheek approach won me over and I had hopes that the second game would continue this trend, have me wrapped around it’s little finger at its beaconed call while bringing new innovative gameplay in the bundle. Some of my hopes were filled, others not so much.

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The Bigs 2 is not your ordinary baseball game. This is baseball on more steroids than Barry Bonds. From the outset, The Bigs 2 defines itself as a hard-hitting, turbo-powered arcade re-enactment of the classic game that even those only loosely familiar with the rules will be able to enjoy. It will leave traditionalists cringing, but that was probably the point.

Not to be confused with the “EA Sports Big” moniker, The Bigs 2 is published by 2K Sports and is the sequel to the 2007 “The Bigs”. The title of the game is a reference to “the big leagues” – ie. “Major League Baseball”. The confusion with the EA Sports BIG titles is understandable though, as the games have in common an “extreme” artistic style.

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In a very strange turn of events, adventure games have become popular again! First a remake of The Secret of Monkey Island, a new Monkey Island game from Telltale and LucasArts re-releases on Steam. Now news comes that Beneath a Steel Sky is being remastered for the iPhone and may even be brought to other online avenues such as PSP Go and DSiWare.

Nothing about the art sounds like it will be updated unfortunately, but there will be new fully animated cut-scenes, improved audio and of course touch controls. This adventure game from 1994 even seems to have a loyal following in our forums. Revolution Software’s new handheld division, Revolution Pocket, also say that they may be inclined to make a sequel if the game sells well. How crazy is that!? By the way you can download the original game for free from GOG.com. Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered will be released on the App store sometime this month.

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Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, the renamed Japanese super title is the third instalment on PSP of the Monster Hunter series. Boasting over 5oo hours of gameplay spanning some 400 missions. Is this title going to be all quantity and no quality? As this is my first venture into the world of Monster Hunter I’ve quickly learnt one thing, this isn’t a simple hack in slash action adventure game I might have thought it was.

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Several trailers have been released showing off Xbox Avatars in Guitar Hero 5, which means you can import your Avatar into the game. They can also perform alongside Guitar Hero staple characters and featured musicians. Looks alright actually but the mouths obviously don’t have full lip syncing, so it’s something more akin to Lego Rock Band. Check out Neversoft’s band after the break. Continue reading