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Konami Challenges Harmonix, Activision With Rock Revolution

At its recent press event, Konami has announced that it will enter into the music game ring with Zoe Mode's guitar and drum title Rock Revolution, along with a new DS Castlevania, survival adventure Lost in Blue moving to Wii, WiiWare
Konami will become the third publisher to market its own drum peripheral-equipped music game in the West when it ships Zoe Mode's Rock Revolution in the fall, the company revealed during a San Francisco press event this week. Along with that announcement came news of a new Track & Field title, a new DS Castlevania game, a North American release for WiiWare title Critter Round-Up, a Wii sequel to the Lost in Blue DS series, and three more iterations of Dance Dance Revolution. Rock Revolution, in development for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS, will feature guitar, bass, and drum gameplay. Konami claims its hardware will be "the most realistic drum peripheral available" - it out-pads Harmonix's Rock Band controller by two, featuring six drums as well as a kick pedal. The game is set to release this fall. Towards Konami's claims, the set is laid out much more like a real drum set, with the high-hat oriented on the left side, allowing the traditional crossed-arm stance. Cymbals and high-hat pads are also shaped as rounded triangles, typical of professional electronic drum sets. The songs themselves fall behind in the realism department, however - the game's producer admitted all tracks are covers. Longtime Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi introduced the third series entry on Nintendo DS, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, which features a female heroine and lies in the same gameplay vein as the past DS titles. It will ship this fall. "I'm still trying in 2D!" said the producer, known for his love of 2D gaming and his belief that it will endure despite the modern predominance of the third dimension. Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked will bring Konami's Nintendo DS survival adventure series, which company officials have previously called "sleeper hits," to Wii this fall. Once again, it follows the story of two characters stranded on an island, and will feature a number of nature based puzzles. Sherman Oaks-based Epicenter Studios' puzzle game Critter Round-Up, already released for WiiWare in Japan as Animal Panic was officially announced for North American release this May. It is slated for WiiWare release this month with a 1000 Wii Point ($10) asking price. Corresponding with Dance Dance Revolution's ten-year anniversary, the successful rhythm series will have its game ranks bolstered by three with Dance Dance Revolution X for PlayStation 2, Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 for Wii, and Dance Dance Revolution Universe 3 for Xbox 360. X features EyeToy support an an eight-player LAN battle mode, Hottest Party 2 expands on the previous title's Wii remote and nunchuk support, and Universe 3 features online support and adds a playlist-creating DJ mode. All three games will ship this fall.

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