News Bytes 2: Coraline, Rock Band 2, BRAAAAINS

News Bytes 2: Game News Roundup

Hey folks, there’s a lot of news every week in the gaming world. Now, we have this column which will happen every Friday. We’ll skim press releases, and sort out all the big stories. So here are some news bytes to round out your week.

Up, Up: LucasArts and BioWare are bringing Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO to the Masses: Yeah, the AP has already covered this bad boy, but I just had to throw in my two cents. The MMO’s setting will be familiar to Star Wars fans. There have been two games, and several books and comics in the timeframe, and being thousands of years before the movies’ time offers a lot of room for more story telling. Story telling is what BioWare promises to use to put this game apart from most MMOs, as they want it to be a very story driven experience. Of course, Sony’s DCU Online is planning to do the same. This is a little different from the first KOTOR as this time BioWare is no longer an independent Developer, but now owned by game giant EA. This puts two publishers on the title, likely helping it even be made, in lieu of LucasArts’s cuts this year. Check out the first art and early screens in the clicky box.

Down, Down: Game companies getting into the holiday spirit aka BRAAAINS: Have you logged into your World of Warcraft account in the last couple days? Have you played a game of GTAIV multiplayer? Do you hunger for human flesh? These things are not coincidences, as both WoW and GTA are offering up a nice (un)healthy dose of zombies to online gamers. In both games you can contract (and subsequently spread) the Zombie virus, giving you a new skin that, well, looks like a zombie. Brains brains brains, brraaaaaaaiiiinnnnns.

Left, Right, Left, Right: More LittleBigPlanet sillyness: Last week, we heard LittleBigPlanet was recalled/held back due to a song on the soundtrack that quotes the Qur’an. Sony was worried that it might offend people. Prominent leaders from the Islamic community have spoken up about the recall…and derided Sony for it! The general idea seems to be “well, we’re all about human freedom.” The musician in questions says that he’s inspired by the teachings of the Qur’an, and that’s why it sometimes makes its way into his music. Sounds like a LittleBigDeal was made out of, well, Little.

B, A: Rock Band 2’s 20 Free DLC Tracks Announced:  and the crowd goes “who?”. All 20 are “up-and-coming,” or independent bands. Still, it’s more music, and it’s free music, and it makes Rock Band 2’s total initial track listing 104 tracks, not to speak of all the DLC and Rock Band 1 songs already available. The bands and tracks are:

The 88 “Sons and Daughters”; Authority Zero “No Regrets”; Between the Buried and Me “Prequel To The Sequel”; The Cab “Bounce”; The Chevelles “Get It On”; The Cocktail Slippers “Give It To Me”; Dealership “Database Corrupted”; Endeverafter “I Wanna Be Your Man”; The Ghost Hounds “Ashes To Fire”; Hollywood Undead “Young”; Kutless “The Feeling”; The Len Price 3 “If I Ain’t Got You”; Lesley Roy “I’m Gone, I’m Going”; Opiate for the Masses “Burn You Down”; Semi-Precious Weapons “Magnetic Baby”; Shaimus “Like a Fool”; Thenewno2 “Crazy Tuesday”; Tickle Me Pink “The Time Is Wrong”; Underoath “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures”; X Japan “I.V.”

Start: Neil Gaiman’s Coraline: The Movie: The Game: Admit it, your first thought when you heard “Coraline” was being made into a movie was, “I hope they make a game of it, too!” Well, fear not, gentle reader, your wish is D3Publisher (Dark Sector, Ben 10)’s command. They’re putting gamers in the roll of the titular character as she explores her world, collecting items and playing mini-games. Somewhat strangely, the game is being made only for the PS2, Wii, and DS, leaving out so-called “Current Gen” systems PS3 and Xbox 360. With the gigantic installed user base of those three systems, along with the typically more “family-friendly” image, the game is sure to sell to people who enjoy the 3D Stop-Motion film.

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