November 25, 2008

Disney Video Games Get Families Playing Together This Holiday

BURBANK, Calif. – (November 25, 2008) – Kids want to be entertained, families want to spend time together and parents want value when purchasing holiday gifts this season. Disney’s wide array of exciting video games bring families together without emptying piggy banks this holiday shopping season. Disney has the entertainment that kids want, and parents looking to get the most value for their dollar can bring Disney video games home to the living room for quality family time or take them on-the-go during holiday travel.

With kids of all ages and families playing video games in greater numbers, Disney Interactive Studios has games for everyone. Whether it’s get-up-and-play games for the Nintendo Wii, hot music games at easy prices, adrenaline-pumping action sports games, trivia games, mobile games on-the-go, Nintendo DS portable games or bringing the season’s hottest movie-inspired games into living rooms, Disney Interactive Studios’ entertainment will generate endless hours of memorable fun.

“Disney is a brand synonymous with creativity and quality entertainment that families can trust,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios.” Our line-up of games offers great value for the entire family, especially during a time when budgets are tight and value is critical for holiday shopping.”

Video games rank as one of the top four types of consumer electronics on gift wish lists for adults and teens this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. With games for all major platforms, Disney Interactive Studios has everyone in mind for providing engaging interactive entertainment for this winter and beyond.

Products have been rated for age appropriateness by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). Details about ratings can be found at

Disney Interactive Studios’ 2008 holiday season video games, mobile games and iPhone games lineup includes:

With Ultimate Band, you don’t need to break the bank buying instruments to rock out with this peripheral-free performance music game. Use the Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ to become the ultimate “air band” as you perform to more than 30 hip indie and mainstream hits. This storyline-driven game also lets players create and customize characters that reflect their own unique personalities and attributes. For rocking-on-the-go, the Nintendo DS version features exclusive songs and puts players in the studio to let them create and perform their own tracks.

* Available on Wii and Nintendo DS
* ESRB Rating: E on Nintendo DS and E 10+ on Wii

Go airborne with PURE, an action sports game that features vertigo-inducing massive aerial jumps and spectacular airborne tricks in photo-realistic real-world locations. Players take on opponents in races and freestyle events to compete in the PURE world tour. PURE has been selected for numerous industry awards, including the IGN Editors’ Choice Award and the prestigious Game Critics Award for Best Racing Game of E3.

* Available on Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 system, Windows PC and mobile
* ESRB Rating: E

Whether it’s a slumber party, birthday party or a social gathering that needs to be pumped up, this game will be a hit with anyone who likes to belt out pop tunes. Disney Sing It is the only karaoke video game that challenges players to out-sing friends with songs and videos from favorite Hollywood Records artists, such as Miley Cyrus, Jesse McCartney, Aly & AJ and more; and Disney Channel Original Series and Disney Channel Original Movies such as Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and High School Musical. Available on Wii, Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation 2 systems, and Windows-based PC

* ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

Bolt is inspired by the computer animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, but the video game follows a unique storyline, taking place within the high-action television series featured in the film. In the game, players must take on the personalities of super-dog Bolt and his companion Penny to utilize their unique talents and superpowers to save the world and Penny’s father from the evil Calico. The game captures the cinematic look of the movie with a mix of intrigue, combat, action and platform-style gameplay.

* Available now on Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation 2 systems, Wii, Windows-based PC and Nintendo DS. Mobile available soon
* ESRB Rating: E to E10+

Based on the new Disney Parks attraction, mobile users can join Woody, Buzz and the gang for wacky and fun carnival games on their phone to earn points redeemable for unique unlockable prizes. Toy Story Mania features one button quick-play for beginners and hidden targets and combo rewards for advanced players. The Academy Award® nominated song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from the original “Toy Story” movie is also featured in the game.

* Available now on mobile

High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE! features songs from all three “High School Musical” films and allows kids to dance along to the music while playing as their favorite Wildcats. Bundled versions with “High School Musical” branded dance pads are also available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 system as an added bonus for players who truly want the complete dance party experience.

* Available on Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 system and Windows-based PC
* ESRB Rating: E

Fans can now take their favorite “High School Musical” stars on the go with two portable games. An all-new Nintendo DS title is a rhythm-based game with brand new music from the theatrical release of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.” Players take “High School Musical” themed quizzes to find out which Wildcat they have the most in common with. Fans use captured dance photos to create memorable layouts for the East High yearbook – the “High School Musical” way. Mobile gamers choose from two unique storylines based on Troy or Gabriella and improve personal attributes by balancing academics and performance skills while interacting with the other Wildcats to become the most popular Wildcat at East High. Mini-games include a brain challenge and a dancing rhythm-based game.

* Available on mobile and Nintendo DS
* ESRB Rating: E

This sequel to Spectrobes, the top-selling sci-fi action/role playing game exclusively for the Nintendo DS, Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals continues the story of Rallen and Jeena, two planetary patrol officers who discover, excavate, awaken and train mysterious fossilized creatures known as Spectrobes and then use them to battle enemies. Among the new features are more than twice the number of creatures, an online community that tracks results, new collectible code input cards and the debut of an online battle system utilizing the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection.

* Available on Nintendo DS
* ESRB Rating: E10+

Disney TH!NK Fast

This new Disney quiz game that offers more than 5,000 questions ranging from classic Disney trivia to general knowledge. Genie from Disney’s “Aladdin” serves as the host in popular game show style. Variable difficulty settings allow players of all abilities to compete at different levels that match their knowledge.

* Available on Nintendo Wii and Playstation 2 system
* ESRB Rating: E

Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force

This game invites kids to play all new and familiar mini-games in the snow-covered Club Penguin world, giving players a chance to complete secret agent missions, solve mysteries and connect with friends and the Web site in new ways. Players take on the role of a covert agent in the Elite Penguin Force and utilize new gadgets, accessories and vehicles as they investigate mysteries and embark on missions.

* Available on Nintendo DS
* ESRB Rating: E

Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell

Experience the magical world of Pixie Hollow and interact with Tinker Bell and other Fairies on the Nintendo DS through time-based activities and mini-quests to bring on the seasons. Form new friendships, set fashion trends among the Fairies, embark on adventures and explore environments as seen in the all-new “Tinker Bell” movie from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. Because Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell utilizes the DS real-time clock, Pixie Hollow changes with the time of day and season. Players will witness their birthdays being celebrated, fireflies glowing at night and their Fairy friends in costume at Halloween. Special items hidden throughout Pixie Hollow contain secret codes which can be used to unlock items in the virtual world on Due out soon for the iPhone, gamers can play as Tinker Bell and five Fairy friends to complete tasks such as placing dew drops on petals or tilting the iPhone to collect trinkets and solve puzzles. Each Fairy plays differently based on their unique Fairy abilities in speed of flight, agility, endurance gathering pixie dust. Similar to the DS game, players earn codes for unlocking bonus material in

* Available soon for the iPhone and now on Nintendo DS
* ESRB Rating: E

Based on the blockbuster film and franchise, this new “Cars” racing game was created by mDisney’s Living Mobile studio and features fast frame rates, great control and dazzling graphics. Players race as Lightning McQueen and can unlock six other tricked-out racers, each with special abilities. The game includes 15 diverse and challenging tracks loaded with power-ups and hazards, and build-a-track mode lets players create a custom race. Rascal Flatts’ hit song “Life is a Highway” is featured in the game.

* Available now on mobile

ESPN Bowling

ESPN Bowling replicates the fun of bowling with the iPhone. While holding the iPhone, players will swing their arm in the motion of bowling in order to throw the ball down the lane. The speed and angle of the arm motion determines the result. ESPN Bowling includes three game modes: Standard, Target and Precision. Standard mode enables bowling a 10-pin game while Target and Precision modes require completing specific objectives. ESPN Bowling also allows competitors to bowl against others nearby in a four-person game.

· Available soon

© Disney. Product names, dates, pricing and platform availability are not final and may be subject to change.

(Article courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios)


The Perfect Music Performance Game for the Entire Family, Ultimate Band Takes Players from the Garage to Sold-Out Stadiums on Wii and Nintendo DS

BURBANK, Calif. – (November 25, 2008) – Disney Interactive Studios today released Ultimate Band, an all-new musical video game experience for fans of the Wii™ home video game system and Nintendo DS™. Jamming alone or as a member of a band, aspiring rockers of all ages can advance from garage-band beginners to stadium-filling superstars. Disney has brought together a track list of popular favorites and combined it with accessible gameplay to deliver to fans video games with great value and hours of fun. Both games use only the Wii controllers or Nintendo DS stylus to rock making the purchase easy on the wallet this holiday season.

Available in time for the holidays, Ultimate Band invites players to jam to contemporary favorites like “Steady As She Goes” or “Fell In Love With a Girl’ to hard rocking classics like “My Generation” or “Whip It.” There are no expensive single-purpose accessories to buy; Ultimate Band, developed by Fall Line Studio in Salt Lake City, Utah, players use Wii controllers and the Nintendo DS stylus. The Nintendo DS version even allows players to create their own musical masterpieces, laying down tracks for lead, rhythm and bass guitars as well as drum.

“Disney’s Ultimate Band is a great entertainment value this holiday for anyone who loves music and games,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president, global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “No matter what instrument you choose - guitar, drums, bass or front man, you’ll only need a Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ to start rocking out. DS players need only their stylus to reach rock stardom in Ultimate Band.”

Ultimate Band for Wii allows players to create a band with their own look, style and attitude. By perfecting their musical skills and polishing their act, players can advance their musical careers from playing in the garage to performing before thousands of screaming fans on sold-out stages within the infamous RockDome. Choosing their own stage look and clothing, players can create unique characters that reflect their own personalities and ambitions. As they advance along the path to superstardom, players unlock new songs, venues and accessories that can be used to customize their band members. Players can add a fifth player as the “Effects DJ” and through mini-games on the Nintendo DS version of “Ultimate Band,” trigger fireworks, lights and other effects within the Wii game.

Ultimate Band for Nintendo DS is a rhythm-based music game with a built-in recording studio. Players can jam to current and classic songs using the drums, lead guitar, bass guitar or rhythm guitar. Players can also create their own original songs using the DS touchscreen and stylus to lay down tracks for each instrument and apply creative mixing effects. Ultimate Band for Nintendo DS also includes DGamer functionality which will allow players to engage with others in a secure online community via their DS (Wi-Fi or local wireless connection) or computer.

Ultimate Band has ESRB ratings of E10+ on Wii and E on the Nintendo DS, and is available this holiday season.

(Article courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios)

November 24, 2008

Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Game Studios Announce First “Fable II” Premium Downloadable Content

"Fable II” adventures continue with downloadable content and free pack to release mid-December, 2008

Toronto, ON – November 24 – The epic journey begun in “Fable II,” the fastest selling RPG on Xbox 360, is not over. Starting mid-December, 2008, fans will be summoned back into Albion’s service with the release of the Knothole Island downloadable content pack. The remote island of Knothole is dying: its golden sands and lush vegetation are covered with snow, its people freezing, its treasures buried. Only a hero can face the trials of the three shrines to bring back the sunshine.

Following its release on Xbox 360 on October 21, more than 1.5 million units of “Fable II” flew off store shelves worldwide in the first two weeks. With the release of the first “Fable II” downloadable content, available exclusively on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points, gamers will be invited to set sail for Knothole Island, where new quests, wondrous items and bizarre characters await.

Also in mid-December, fans everywhere will be able to enhance their “Fable II” experience with the release of a free “Fable II” downloadable pack exclusively on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. To engage in co-op gameplay with a player who has already downloaded the Knothole Island content, gamers will need to download the free pack. Both co-op players must download the Knothole Island (Premium) pack in order to play new quests and enjoy the complete Knothole Island co-op experience.

Free and premium downloaders will receive a show of gifts, including Knight’s Boots, Assassins Gloves, a special Weight Loss Potion, collectible silver book and more. Players will also be able to check their standing in over 50 new Leaderboards on

As an additional treat for “Fable II” fans, Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Game Studios have created an all-new Albion dashboard theme in celebration of the launch of the New Xbox Experience. Fans who want to show off their “Fable II” pride can head over to Xbox LIVE Marketplace to download the Albion theme, available now for 250 Microsoft points.

“Fable II” is exclusively available on Xbox 360 and is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB. Please visit: for more information.

(Article courtesy of Microsoft)

November 19, 2008

A New Dawn in Home Entertainment Begins Today!

New Xbox Experience ushers in a new era of entertainment

TORONTO, ON. — Nov. 18, 2008 —On Nov. 19, 2008 a new era in home entertainment begins with the New Xbox Experience, as millions of Xbox 360 consoles will transform in an instant through the power of software. A bold new future begins now, where high-definition (HD) entertainment is delivered in an instant, the best games share the stage with the best movies, and every experience is shared with friends and family in the same room or around the world.

By the end of this month, Xbox 360 will reach another industry-defining milestone: 25 million Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide. It has taken the leading next-generation game and entertainment console just three years to eclipse the total lifetime number of original Xbox consoles sold.

“The future of home entertainment is Xbox 360 — it’s on-demand, it’s high-definition, it’s always social, it’s all in one place,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Corp. “With the New Xbox Experience, we will reach the next generation of Xbox owners, 25 million and beyond. We are at a watershed moment, backed by the largest entertainment brands, with an incredible lineup of entertainment unmatched in any industry.”

All Your Friends and Favourite Entertainment, One Remote Control

With the launch of the New Xbox Experience, Xbox 360 owners will enjoy a limitless world where the best games and movies are ready to share with friends across the globe through Xbox LIVE:

•Xbox LIVE Party. Xbox 360 allows you to create a virtual party on your TV with up to seven friends. With Xbox LIVE Party, use voice chat while you play games,1 share photos in real time and entertain friends all over the world.

•Personality plus. Create a customizable, animated avatar and literally jump into the world of Xbox LIVE. Your avatar is your game face throughout the New Xbox Experience and represents your personality — whether you are serving as an Xbox LIVE Party host, playing a game of “Scene It? Box Office Smash” or chatting with a friend.

•Your personal game room. Play revived classics such as “PAC-MAN Championship Edition,” “Galaga Legions” and “Portal: Still Alive” alongside games that put your avatars in the action, such as “A Kingdom for Keflings,” “UNO,” “Hardwood Hearts” and “Hardwood Spades,” exclusively for download from Xbox LIVE Arcade. Xbox LIVE members also will be able to access all of Xbox LIVE Marketplace, including Xbox LIVE Arcade, and even queue content to download straight from

•Games for the community, by the community. For the first time in the history of console gaming, thousands of games developed by the creative community will be available to the public. The Community Games channel on Xbox LIVE will include games made by students, hobbyists and maybe even your next door neighbour, and will be exclusive to Xbox LIVE.

The World’s Biggest Names in Entertainment, All in One Place

No device offers more entertainment than Xbox 360. Major film studios around the world unveiled their plans to offer feature films on Xbox LIVE, truly transforming Xbox 360 into the world’s largest online entertainment center:

•New to Xbox LIVE in Canada: Magnolia Pictures. The studio that released such groundbreaking and award-winning feature films as “The World’s Fastest Indian,” “The Host,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior” will be bringing its slate of compelling feature films to Xbox LIVE in Canada and the U.S.

•Currently available on Xbox LIVE in Canada: Top movie titles from MGM, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Paramount Pictures, Maple Pictures, MPI and The Walt Disney Studios

Xbox 360 Puts You in the Spotlight This Holiday

While Xbox 360 has evolved into a world-class entertainment device, it remains the best place to play games. Along with the launch of the New Xbox Experience, two entertainment heavyweights step into the spotlight, ready to wow audiences across the world. Today is the launch of “Lips” and “You’re in the Movies,” two games that promise to get you on your feet and performing like a star.

•“Lips” is an all-new music franchise exclusively for Xbox 360. “Lips” is the only singing game that offers wireless, motion-sensitive microphones and the ability to sing to a diverse list of included songs representing multiple musical genres, ranging from pop, rock and dance to hip-hop, country and R&B, as well as compatible songs from your music collection.2

•“You’re in the Movies” brings out the movie star in everyone this holiday season with its release exclusively on Xbox 360 coming Nov. 18. It’s the first and only game of its kind that transports players into a magical world of cinema and hilarious improvisations. Using the Xbox LIVE Vision camera, friends and families choose a script, act it out and in minutes watch the often hilarious, always entertaining results.

-Screenshots and article courtesy of Xbox Canada

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Years ago when I was around the age of 16 I remember playing the first Banjo Kazooie on my good friends Nintendo 64. At that time I was only a casual gamer and was finding portions of the game quite difficult and frustrating. When we took a break to get some snacks and drinks, my friend’s little brother who was only 9 at the time picked up the controller and within 5 minutes beat the portion of the game we tried to beat for the past hour. Rare has continued the tradition of stumping adults and allowing younger minds to see things adults could not.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is loaded with great visuals, excellent gameplay and a great gaming experience for the whole family. The story is great and revives the same humour in previous instalments of the game, however, for a younger gamer the amount of text to read in the game may discourage them from playing. However, this creates a great opportunity for parents to help encourage your child to read, while being involved in the gaming experience.

This time around Kazooie doesn’t have any special powers, but comes equipped with a magical wrench that opens a new feature that will excite a little engineer or mechanic in the making. The wrench grants Kazooie the ability to make custom vehicles for Banjo & Kazooie to complete their missions. You can build just about anything your imagination can inspire; with more than 100 parts to find and use to build your vehicles, the possibilities and combinations are near-unlimited. This aspect of the game is great to get your kids imaginations going while they build boats, airplanes, motorcycles, helicopters, race cars, trucks or whatever they desire. Don’t be worried if you’re not the best engineer there is because you have some pre-set vehicles at your disposal and you can purchase blueprints or receive some from your friends on Xbox Live.

If you love Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, I suggest you purchase Banjo Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade. Rare, the developer of Banjo Kazooie, has introduced a new feature called Stop N’ Swop. This feature opens up extra content and features within Banjo Kazooie, as you accomplish feats in Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Some of you may already have received a download card for the original Banjo Kazooie, so make sure you download the title immediately for some added fun.

The newest installment in the series is a great family title I am sure everyone will enjoy, but, keep in mind that Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is rated Everyone 10+, for Comic Mischief and Cartoon Violence. The cartoon violence is similar to cartoons like Bugs Bunny & Tweety, Chaotic or Kung Fu Panda. If you allow your children to watch shows like this, then Banjo Kazooie should be fine to let them play as well. If this sounds like a great game for you and your family, pick it up today!

-Screenshots courtesy of Xbox Canada

November 17, 2008

Disney's Think Fast

Disney Th!nk Fast looked like it might be a challenge, so in preparation I sat down with my son and watched as many Disney movies we could. After hours of watching Toy Story, Cars, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Beauty & the Beast and many other Disney titles I felt a lot more confident with my trivia knowledge. With my revisit to the Disney movie world, I popped Disney Th!nk Fast into my Wii and prepared for the ultimate duel against my myself, and any who challenged me.

Playing in the four themed locations is a lot of fun and will delight Disney fans of the movies: “The Lion King,” “101 Dalmatians,” “Littler Mermaid” and “Lilo and Stitch.” Along with the locations to enjoy your trivia matches, you get to pick from some of your favourite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and many more Disney favourites. Three extra characters are unlockable if you attain some high scores in single player mode. This will put the trivia master in the home to the ultimate trivia test.

Disney Th!nk Fast has a single player mode, and a multiplayer mode. Single player has some set rounds that will test the player in a wide variety of Disney Trivia and General Knowledge questions. However, the highlight of the game is definitely the multiplayer mode where you can go head to head against family members and friends. Up to four players can compete as you battle in over 15 different question rounds. Also available in multiplayer games are custom matches. If the standard set games get a bit redundant, or you want to just play your favourite questions rounds, custom matches is your best route.

Being part of the Disney franchise you will not have any worries letting your child play this game on their own and you will feel comforted that this is a game that will help educate your child as well. This is a must have for your next family game night and a great addition to anyone's party game collection.

-Screenshots and Box Art provided by Disney Interactive Studios

November 10, 2008

Disney's Bolt Preview

Early October, I had the opportunity to get a hands-on play through of an early version of Disney’s Bolt. Bolt is a tie-in video game for the movie of the same name coming out on November 21st, 2008. The movie is an animated feature about a regular dog named Bolt who stars as a television super-hero and believes he possesses all the powers that Hollywood magic grants him.

In the past, many video game tie-ins have been near carbon copies of the movie’s storyline. However, the trend now is to build on the story and expand it even further. This is the direction the game has taken, with the players working their way through TV episodes as Penny (Bolt’s TV Owner) and Bolt. The developers at Avalanche Software have plenty of experience with Disney games with releases of Chicken Little, Chicken Little 2 and Meet the Robinsons. They take this experience to create a beautifully done game that children and adults can enjoy.

The basic gameplay is quick and easy to learn, but as you progress through the game the gameplay does becomes a bit more complex through the puzzles that you are required to solve.

Each character comes equipped with some pretty cool special skills. Penny is a technological whiz and has a Wheel-Bar which allows her to slide along ledges, along pipes, ceilings and cables. The Wheel-Bar can also duo as a weapon which Penny can use to perform sneak attacks to knock guards unconscious, or to quickly attack an alert soldier. A few other gadgets at Penny’s disposal are techno-camo allowing her to become invisible for a short time to avoid detection and sleeping gas to put pesky guards to sleep. Penny is quite the computer hacker and she uses this skill to open doors. This action is accomplished by successfully completing a shooter mini-game where you shoot down pods, and eventually open up access points to crack the code.

Bolt on the other hand is one ferocious canine using his super-dog powers adeptly to take down his enemies with a variety of offensive manoeuvres. Bolt at a basic level pounces from enemy to enemy linking his attacks into combos, or he uses his powerful jaws to grab onto an enemy and perform one of his grab moves. His other super-dog powers are Ground Pound, Sonic Bark and Laser Vision. These super powers can also be super charged as Bolt builds up his energy. The super charge comes in handy in defeating some enemies and solving puzzles.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first look at Bolt and look forward to playing the full version when it is released November 18th. This will definitely be a fun game to play with my little one watching on as he really loves dogs and cartoon animations. It will also be a fun way for us to prepare for when the movie comes to theatre November 21st.

-Screenshots and Box Art provided by Disney Interactive Studios