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Luke Skywalker, that guy from that one movie, will make an appearance in Force Unleashed via Downloadable Content, according to Wired (who, in turn, credit IGN). There will be two packs of DLC, one that features classic characters like Luke and Obi Wan Kenobi; the other one will add one new mission to the game.

Does this mean that Luke has travelled back in time, slept with some woman who then gave birth to Darth Vader, thus making Darth Vader and Luke have a hell of a weird father-son relationship? Did I just totally spoil Empire Strikes Back for you? And did I just totally rip-off Futurama? The answer: probably revealed along with the release dates and price tags for this extra content.
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Compose yourself (ho, ho!)

24 Sep, 2008, 16:06 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 22
Well I don't know about you, but I'm bored, so come along and let's see what we can go steal from The Pumpkin Post.

Hmm, what's this? Crimson Cow released some music tracks from the game on the official German site? And look at this, almost as if he knew I was going to swipe them, Haggis even provided direct links to the tracks. Bless his heart.Sounds like a rather "big" score, don't you think? Also, why didn't anyone tell me that sad music boxes were going to be a component of this game? My anticipation just shot through the roof.
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Star Wars: Cash Unleashed

24 Sep, 2008, 07:14 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Wired | Comments: 4
It's a slow news week so we report to you... wired and every other gaming website in the world is writing up that over 1.5 million people (but no PC gamers, naturally) have unleashed their paychecks and pocket money on STFU during its first week of release.

Congratulations all round to the LucasArts marketing department.

In other tangentially related news, TT Games who have brought you LEGO incarnations of your favourite LucasFilm movies (and 'Attack of the Clones') have just released LEGO Batman in the US with other territories following around October 10.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Step right up, step right up, and witness the second greatest fansite you'll see in years! It's enormous! It's magnificent! It's spectacular, and it has the critics go wild! Ladies and gentlemen, you've endured the delays and waited with patience, and so, withour further ado, it is my pleasure to bring to you...Brutal! The Legendary Fansite!. (Admission free for a limited time only.)

Large applause to Thrik, ladies and gentlemen!
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Hey, you. This is the last week to send in your reader opinion about Day of the Tentacle. So quit putting it off you slackers.

Remember, you wouldn't just be wasting your time on some disposal internet fluff! This is history we're making here. Think of the article as a time capsule where your thoughts will be preserved and enjoyed for years to come. Future generations are in your debt.
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Where art thou, Indy?

20 Sep, 2008, 22:33 | Posted by: The Tingler | Comments: 6
So it seems that the rumours about LucasArts re-unveiling Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings this week were false. Oh well, hopefully next week. Or month, or year...

Whatever, but we do have new news on the tie-in novel written by Rob McGregor, who confirms the title once more (fancy doing it too LucasArts?). Some bright spark at TheRaider.net's forum emailed him and received this response:
Thanks for your kind words about my Indy novels. I do have another one coming out, but not until next year. It's related to the sixth generation of the Indiana Jones computer game. Game and novel have the same title -- Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings -- and somewhat similar story lines. My novel was completed months ago and was originally scheduled to come out at the time of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But production on the game was delayed. The current publication date is Fall of '09...
So does that mean we're not getting the game until late 2009?
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Scoop me poop-deck me blodger

19 Sep, 2008, 19:58 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 1
Penny Arcade be havin' anot'er plain with t' land-goose in... actually, I'll just talk English.

Penny Arcade have made a comic about Fracture, the new game from LucasArts, and it's a hoot (the comic, not the game -- tho' the game might be good too).

In other news, Metallus from the planet Molton Elements has sent word that MSNBC have picked their five favourite pirates in computer games, and Guybrush Threepwood ends up in spot five, though I'm sure it's a chronological list.

Mr Brush is popular in the article's comments page, despite, apparently, having a difficult name to pronounce.

As someone once said to someone: "it's French, honey. It's pronounced Gay-brush."
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Me mother's also me sister, yarr

19 Sep, 2008, 19:03 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 2
Yarh you blue-faced poopey pansy: it be th' time dhat t' mighty ship Nightligh' be setting sail fer anot'er darnchy adven're -- man t' sails 'n' swab t' decks or I be confabulating yer tidy wives till t' jill of t' hens be knocking on yer door!

Gander and cribbin at t' new episode of Beneath Monkey Island, and listen again to t' beforehard episodes at t' mainspray.

Salutations amongst t' other-folk? Rum 'n' dandy!
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Avast, ye swabs!

19 Sep, 2008, 15:59 | Posted by: A Pirate! Yar! | Comments: 5
Yarrr!
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The Tiller talks AVS, godhood

19 Sep, 2008, 13:39 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 3
Those mad fools over at Adventure Classic Gaming are at it again with this splendid interview with Bill Tiller about all things A Vampyre Story. A snippet:
Designers and artists once worked at LucasArts during its prime are worshipped as almost demigods by classic adventure game fans. In consequence, expectations are very high for A Vampyre Story to revive the spirit of classic LucasArts adventures. How do you deal with such high expectations of your work?

Well, let’s be realistic; adventures are a good solid market, but they have suffered a bit from the variety of genres out now that weren’t there 12 years ago. So consequently the sales and budgets have been affected. So if people expect us to have the same size and scope of Grim Fandango or Curse of Monkey Island, it just isn’t going to happen on half or 1/3 of those game budgets. But on the other hand 3d makes creating assets go a lot faster and look better. So some things will be better than those old games and some things won’t. That’s just the reality of today’s market place. And that is fine; we just have to take that into consideration when making our production plan. And if the game sells really well then who knows? Maybe we will be back to selling the same number of units we did in the mid to late nineties, and the next game can be even bigger.

As far as the design and humor go I just stick to the hope that my training under Brian Moriarty, Hal Barwood, Larry Ahern, Jonathan Ackley, Sean Clark, Peter Chan and Bill Eaken pay off. I’m pretty sure it will. I don’t know how it will measure up to those classic titles, but I think we have created a really fun game that people will enjoy.

About the wee bit of fame we get, I enjoy it because generally I am a shy person and am a little nervous meeting new people. But when I meet LucasArts fans they already seem to like me so I am not so nervous, which is a nice change. Though I could still make a bad impression but I am at least not as nervous about it. But trust me I am so full of insecurities that I’m pretty sure no amount of fame will ever go to my head. I’m just happy people are looking forward to my game and like what they see so far because I want to keep making it for them. It’s sort of like I have a bargain with the fans: I will work my ass off and do my best to make a fun, beautiful adventure game for you, if you just buy the game and help me pay the bills. It’s a good deal for me and the fans I think.
Much is learned, and there's even some new artwork in there, so there's really no defendable reason for you to not be there by now.
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Fracture Unleashed...

18 Sep, 2008, 21:42 | Posted by: The Tingler | Comments: 2
... in demo form. If you're still not sure about LucasArts' only original IP this year, now you can give it a go on Xbox Live before the game's release on 7th October. This means one thing - Sam & Max Wii will be wiping the floor with it.
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Sam & Max coming to Wii October 7th

17 Sep, 2008, 22:30 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 2
Telltale says so! Pre-ording from Gamestop gets you a bonus CD with "videos and other special features."

International release info is said to be coming soon.

Update: As Jake informs us in the comments, this bonus disc features the content of the second disk of The Adventure Company's retail release of Season 1, which included a brief behind-the-scenes video, episode trailers, concept art, the free music tracks available from Telltale's site, and desktop wallpapers.
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LucasArts ships The Force Unleashed

16 Sep, 2008, 13:41 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 3
If you're one of the people interested in this game you probably don't need to be told this, but today LucasArts has released the long-awaited Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS and PSP.

It is my hope that this experimental and low-key game finds its audience.
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Yay! Today is the release of the second episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, available both on WiiWare (for 1000 Wii points) and on PC from Telltale's web site (for $8.95).

Hopefully you also know that, as with Sam & Max, PC customers can get the whole durn season from Telltale for $34.95, and if you've already bought one episode and want the full deal, you can take advantage of their upgrade offer as well.

Update: And Wired loves it! 8/10. (Gamepro says 4.75/5, while IGN slaps an 82%; Wiiware World likes it a little less but they're still getting used to episodic, I suppose).

So...an average Star Wars title or a kickass (ho ho!) adventure game? The choice is yours.
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The reviews for The Force Unleashed are out and it doesn't suck (you go, LucasArts!), but it isn't wowing the critics either. While some are calling it "not bad, but flawed," (Eurogamer, Gamespot), others were not so happy. Here's a round-up:

Eurogamer: "[...]despite moments of riotous, blissfully creative carnage, The Force Unleashed ultimately falls short of its lofty ambitions - despite a concerted effort to Jedi mind-trick you into acquiescence"; 7/10.

Wired: "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed isn't a bad game, but it is a disappointing one. And it's all the more disappointing because you can see, mired in the boring levels and bad cameras, glimpses of fun ideas"; 5/10

Gamespot: "When the game caters to its strengths, it soars; when it deviates, it flounders. Regardless, it's still a more than worthy entry in a long line of licensed Star Wars games, and a good action game in its own right"; 7.5/10 (both for PS3 and Xbox360; this is the highest score so far; the Wii version got a 6/10).

IGN: "Does it deliver [on its [promise]? Yes and no. It does enough things right, especially with regards to giving players the ability to wield the Force like we've never seen before, to make it a play-worthy effort for Star Wars fans everywhere, but it does so with a number of missteps that won't easily be overlooked"; 73%

You can check out more reviews on Metacritic: Wii, Xbox360 and PS3.

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Mata Hari revealed

14 Sep, 2008, 21:17 | Posted by: jp-30 | Source: Amazon Germany | Comments: 11
Well, the game's possible German release date, plus a few other details on Amazon.de have been revealed.
Release date: November 21 2008
Platform: Windows XP / Vista
Price: E39.99

The Mata Hari on the box art has become a little less 'historically accurate' than the teaser art rendering or the real thing, it would seem.

No word yet on when the English version might be released.
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IGN remembers Monkey Island fondly

14 Sep, 2008, 21:17 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 1
So much so that they've written a piece about the game for their "Fond Memories" series. Check out their loving retrospective of the game, which are as we know all the rage these days.

Thanks to Glokidd on the forums for the heads up!
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Strong Badia the Free's release date

12 Sep, 2008, 19:02 | Posted by: Zaarin | Comments: 2

It's not been set yet, but to ease the wait, Telltale has updated their site with another video and more screenshots!

Clicky!

Update by Kroms: Hommigawd, it's on Monday!
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Videogamer caught up with LucasArts at the Leipzig games convention and asked once again the big question: why did you cancel Sam & Max: Freelance Police? Why is The Force Unleashed not coming out on PC? Read producer Cameron Suey's response here.

Suey was of course the man who made the much-mocked comments that this follow-up tries to address.
"Traditionally the way you get a game on multiple PCs is you have to scale the graphics down, right? Unfortunately physics, especially procedural physics, it's impossible to scale it and if you did scale it or turn it off or turn it down it would fundamentally change the way the gameplay works. It would just be too limited for us. It was a difficult decision to make but you can't scale the physics."
Read the rest of his response here.
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Wanna see Mona, the heroine of Bill Tiller's upcoming A Vampyre Story, turn into a bat? Well, as The Pumpkin Post points out, the game's official site has been updated with two extremely brief video clips of Mona performing her bat-transformation power. I most enjoyed the background effects.

The screenshot gallery has also been updated with "two new screenshots," but I can only find one. Anyhow, check it all out! And hopefully we'll all be playing this at the end of next month.
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Fracture Demo Next Week Too

10 Sep, 2008, 18:29 | Posted by: The Tingler | Source: IGN | Comments: 12
LucasArts have just announced that a demo for Fracture is coming to Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Whatever They Call Their Internet next week. It should be available September 18th. The game itself is out October 7th in the US and October 10th everywhere else.

With The Force Unleashed also out and the possible reappearance of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings too, next week's looking pretty rosy for LucasArts. Assuming any of them are actually good...
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Some of the dedicated Indy fans over at the excellent TheRaider.net have noticed product pages for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. At first glance, the page doesn't possess anything of value, containing placeholder cover art and a purported release date of March 1st, 2009 (whatever), but upon scrolling down you'll see an official product description (too long to reprint here, though I'll add it to the database entry).

Sure, this doesn't contain all that much info that we didn't already know, but we've never had an official company line for this game yet, and considering the scarcity of the information surrounding Staff of Kings in general, this marketing spiel is probably worth reading for those hungry for any details. Also, despite the fishy listed date, this is surely an indication that the game's release is somewhere on the horizon.

Major things to point out is that the NaturalMotion and Digital Molecular Matter technology as seen in The Force Unleashed and boasted about during E3 2006 teasers (two and half years old, for God's sake) are still quite present, despite some past rumors to the contrary. Note that it is also claimed that you will get to play through key moments from the movies in the original trilogy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that clash with the whole Having An Original Story thing? Or is it some sort of side mode? Ah well, there will surely be plenty of time to speculate as LucasArts continues to maintain silent on all things Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, which few probably thought would still be in development at this point when it was announced in 2005.

Update: According to Kotaku, we should expect to see LucasArts re-announce the game next week. (Thanks black_sheep and neon_git!)
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The penultimate episode of GameTrailers' in-depth look at all the Star Wars games in existence hit Episode IX (that's nine) today, focusing on the non-X-Wing flying games. That's the Rebel Assault and Rogue Squadron series, and contains possibly the most sinister shot of a GameCube controller I've ever seen. Watch it here.

The next and final episode in the Retrospective will look at the 'other' (re: crap) Star Wars games. Possibly of most interest to us is their promise to also look at "the future of LucasArts", which should be worth a giggle.
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Telltale exits the CSI game

05 Sep, 2008, 03:51 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 6
After making two games for the CSI license, it would appear that Telltale is moving on from that particular series as Ubisoft has announced that the latest installment, CSI: New York, based off the show's second spinoff, will be developed by Legacy Interactive. (They are the third developer to take a crack at CSI adventures games, with the first being 369 Interactive.)

Although I have nothing really to back this up, I would imagine that Telltale's abandonment of the license was voluntary rather than a decision on Ubisoft to find a new developer since their games probably sold well (as anything with the CSI name on it undoubtedly does). When Telltale acquired the license in 2005, the "big name" appeal of CSI was more useful to the company then than it is now, when they are busy enough with their own increasingly high profile self-published series. (The two Telltale CSI games remain the company's only example of a traditional developer-publisher relationship.)

Those of you who've never picked up Telltale's CSI games may want to look into Ubisoft's soon to be released CSI Super Pack, a $29.99 compilation that includes Telltale's CSI games as well as the two previous, non-Telltale Vegas titles. Since fifteen bucks apiece is cheaper than I've ever seen 3 Dimensions of Murder or Hard Evidence, look at the other games (which I've never played) as an added bonus.
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Drew Struzan retires

04 Sep, 2008, 15:24 | Posted by: Jason | Comments: 6
The legendary Drew Struzan, inarguably the most famous movie poster artist of all time, has decided to end his seasoned and extensive career. Our friends at TheRaider.net have the full story as well as this quote from the man:
Having been working at not working has produced a guy who could never return to illustration again. It took a lot to attempt the idea of retiring from my 40 years of effort and sacrifice but now that I have, I am delighting in life as never before. I had forgotten how to rest, to smell the proverbial roses and to see the future as opportunity. I am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to do all the work I did. I am well pleased to have been able to give a gift of beauty and peace through my artwork to so many throughout the world. Now I have laid down the burden and have peace and happiness as the reward for my day's labor.
As you hopefully know, Struzan has his fingerprints on a multitude of posters for high profile films, including all of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. (His style of course also served as inspiration for LEC artist Bill Eaken in creating the cover art for Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.) Struzan has recently updated his web site with galleries of his artwork, which includes the unmolested, un-studio-Photshopped versions of his Crystal Skull art, which this thread on TheRaider.net's forums has done a good job of collecting.

Damn.
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With the latest "Secret History" article published, another one looms on the horizon. In roughly a month we will be presenting the eighth article in our retrospective series (already halfway over, if you can believe it), which will of course be about Day of the Tentacle, the loose sequel to Maniac Mansion.

As usual, we want your opinions for our reader section. We will also consider any mini-articles for DOTT that you may have in mind for the article, though if you'd like to write one please give us a ring first so that we can get an idea of what you're doing, and you don't potentially waste your time.

Let's get cracking!
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Good Old Games is a new type of web-site that will have Good Old GamesTM available for download, either 6 or 10 bucks (either way it's cheap cheap cheap).

This already sounds good to me, someone who's main gaming love is for titles released in the mid 90s -- but there is the possibility that the service could be extended to the LucasArts library as well, making GOG.com sound even more appealing. In a recent interview, a (Mr) Manager of GOG said that:
"Some of our holy grails are probably going to be TIE Fighter or X-Wing, some of the other LucasArts adventure games. Stuff like that would be awesome. I'm sure EA has a lot of stuff sitting in their catalog, Wing Commander and things like that."

He then went on to wax lyrically about the X-wing series in particular, and the possibility of providing real boxes and manuals with the games that people buy from the site.

The games will also all be XP and Vista compatible, since GOG.com will have access to the source code of the games. Another interesting detail is that there will be no copyright protection on the games, meaning that downloading it onto different computers will be as easy as farting.

Obviously it's all still in the planning phrase as far as LucasArts titles go, but it does at least look like GOG.com is a web-site to keep an eye on.

The site will launch in September, with games like MDK, Giants, Sacrifice, Kingpin and Fallout already confirmed for release.

jp-30 Update: "If you want to get into the GOG.com Early Access Beta and you haven't signed up yet, enter your e-mail before September 7 at midnight (EDT)." Go here to sign up!
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Ssh, it's a secret (history)

01 Sep, 2008, 10:59 | Posted by: Gabez | Comments: 21
Find out all sorts of interesting facts, like who Sophia Hapgood is based on, and how old Hal Barwood is, in our LucasArt's Secret History on The Fate of Atlantis!

LucasArts is now all about Staff of Kings, but we know that there were games before 3D graphics. Just because it's made up of pixels doesn't mean we don't like it. I love pixels, in fact. I regularly bathe in them.

Thanks to everyone who made The Fate of Atlantis such a sterling game, to Dan Lee for the amazing header art, and to everyone who wrote in to say how much they liked (or didn't like) playing it.

We raise our glasses to you, half-forgotten hero story. "Hears to the Fate of Atlantis, and to all those darling adventures with Sophia!"

Hear hear.
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