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Gaming News Round-Up: January 4th, 2005

Today's round-up includes fresh news of Castlevania on the DS, the much-awaited announcement of Ensemble's Age of Empires III for PC, and a semi-hilarious g...
Today's round-up includes fresh news of Castlevania on the DS, the much-awaited announcement of Ensemble's Age of Empires III for PC, and a semi-hilarious gaming gaffe by UK tabloid The Sun. - Konami's long-running Castlevania series is coming to Nintendo DS, reports Electronic Gaming Monthly. Currently stuck with the working title of simply Castlevania, the game is actually a direct sequel to Aria of Sorrow on Game Boy Advance. The Enemy Soul system will return with more souls to collect and the ability to trade them wirelessly, while the DS's touchscreen will be limited to "sealing" bosses with a drawn glyph after defeating them. - Microsoft and Ensemble Studios announced Age of Empires III (currently subtitle-less) for PC, to launch some time in the second half of 2005. Unusually for a strategy/simulation game, the title will feature advanced physics courtesy of the Havok engine. However, the time period is a more modern setting than in the past, putting players in the position of a European power looking to secure a foothold in the New World. Aspects of the New World such as European settlements and Native American tribes will come into play, as well as new civilizations, units, and technologies, and the game sports significantly impressive graphics, showcased on the Ensemble Studios website. - Before pointing out the mote in others' eyes, UK tabloid paper The Sun might do well to attend to the beam in its own: a sensational story about the F-word appearing in a Disney game (Monsters Inc.) for Game Boy Advance turned out to be a false alarm, when it was revealed that the offending copy had in fact been a pirated version of the game. The Sun ran verbatim quotes from Mark Stewart, an outraged parent whose child had come to him asking why the E-rated game he'd bought was swearing. The E rating on the cart, which is used only in the U.S.'s ESRB, might have been his first tipoff: the offending word was found in the credits for the ROM dumpers who'd "released" the title onto the Internet and had their version burned on a pirate cartridge, rather than the credits for the people who'd created the game in the first place.

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