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Back in the saddle: the rest of the Christmas '11 news

Christmas didn't kill us. It made us stronger for the 2012 news apocalypse. Get a round-up of all the "other stuff" that happened over the break below.

La-Mulana coming to WiiWare, other platforms this year

Platformer La-Mulana, in development since 2009, will release this year, developer Nigoro (via Siliconera) has said in a blog post. It's coming out on WiiWare, and two PC screens have been shown, although there's nothing concrete on the second version at the moment.

GT5 XL Edition listed online

Amazon, Newegg and Buy have listed something known as Gran Turismo 5 XL Edition (thanks, Joystiq). No details are given, but it's likely this is the US version of the Spec 2.0 retail release Japan will be getting next month. We'll email SCEE this morning.

Nintendo drops big 3DS Q1 2012 line-up in Japan, releases MGS, RE and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy demos

Nintendo confirmed Q1 Japanese dates for key first- and third-party 3DS titles over Christmas. Ace Combat 3D: Assault Rumble 3D launches next week, Rhythm Thief R comes the week after on January 19, and Resident Evil: Revelations launches on January 26, as previously announced.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy both launch on February 16, while New Love Plus and Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics follow on February 24 and March 1 respectively.

Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater launches on March 8, followed by Dynasty Warriors. Vs on March 15 and Kid Icarus Uprising on March 23. Fire Emblem rounds off the big releases on April 19, and will be the first game on 3DS to offer paid DLC.

Get more on MTV.

Nintendo has also released demos for Metal Gear Solid 3DS, Resident Evil Revelations and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the Japanese 3DS eShop.

Thanks, Andriasang.

Microsoft launches Kinect-less 250Gb 360 in Japan

Microsoft has released a 250Gb Xbox 360 hardware pack without Kinect in Japan. The only other alternatives were a 4Gb model without Kinect or a 250Gb pack with the camera.

The new bundle will set Japanese buyers back ¥29,800.

Vita to get alarm clock, drawing apps early this year

Sony announced two new apps for PlayStation Vita at the Asia Game Show over the break, both of which will arrive for the handheld early this year.

Wake-up Club will allow users to set alarms for themselves. It's network-enabled, allowing you to send alerts to friends. It also supports Trophies, apparently.

The second app is something called Picture Park. Title's in the clue: you can draw things using the touch screen. You can also send your 'art' to your friends via ad-hoc, as well as be able to enter your drawings into a "Contest Mode."

More on Andriasang.

FFXI lawsuit dismissed from court

A court has dismissed a lawsuit from a Final Fantasy XI player that claimed Square Enix didn't disclose monthly fees, late payment penalties and other charges sufficiently.

Esther Leong had claimed $5 million in damages, but her case was thrown out by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 20.

The full story can be found on Gamasutra.

Microsoft bans Avatar gun items from Xbox Live Marketplace

As of the start of this year, Microsoft will no longer sell gun props for 360 Avatars, meaning if you didn't get a Gears 3 Lancer for your Avatar before January 1, you're square out of luck.

Sorry about that.

Vita firmware bumped to 1.51

Sony released a small firmware update for Vita over Christmas, fixing freezing in some games, including Dynasty Warriors Next.

The issue was apparently down to the system's software itself, but not much else specific was said on the matter.

Andriasang has the details.

Relic teases Space Marine surprise for this month

Relic has teased some sort of content involving Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, insisting a "big metal surprise" will arrive this month. A teaser shot suggests it's likely related to the upcoming Dreadnought DLC.

Shack has more details.

12-minute Gravity Daze video does the rounds

Someone's posted a 12-minute video of the Gravity Daze demo that launched in Japan over Christmas. Even off-screen, the movie screams awesome. You can watch it in the boxout to the side.

Watch on YouTube

Gravity Daze demo, recently launched
in Japan.

The Studio Japan game will accompany the European Vita launch on February 22. Thanks, AGB.

Notch working on Minicraft 2, wants a better title

Markus 'Notch' Persson has said he's already working on a Minicraft sequel, but has said he's still looking for a decent name.

Notch, who made the original Minicraft as a a Ludum Dare entry last year, dropped the news on Boxing Day in a tweet.

Jon Blow releases new screens, update for The Witness

Braid creator Jon Blow has provided a status update for upcoming puzzler The Witness, as well as dropping some new screens of the game.

"If you see the different civilizations that came to this island as embodying different philosophies; and you see the structures they built as representative of the way these philosophies led them to interact with the world; and you see further that when they replaced a site, it represents the rejection of some older worldview that they consider no longer useful, then perhaps you start to get some idea of the amount of backstory that can be encoded into the world, nonverbally," he said.

"All of this backstory is also directly relevant to the main story — who you are, why you are on this island, how you may get back home.

"So, to put it another way, the game is constructed so that the more you pay attention to tiny details during your travels, the more insight you will have to the central story, even though it may not be obvious at any given time what a particular detail has to do with that story."

More here.

Battleblock Theater comes back into view

The Behemoth has unleashed ten new videos of puzzler Battleblock Theater, the first update to the game in ages. The developer was behind Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers.

You can find a batch of videos over on Joystiq.

Final Fantasy X most picked game to make you cry

Famitsu readers recently picked Final Fantasy X as the game that would most likely leave you in a blubbering mess.

The list also includes Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Okami, Clannad and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Thanks, Andriasang.

Studio Liverpool details Wipeout 2048's Zombie mode

Studio Liverpool took to the EU PS Blog before Christmas to show off Wipeout 2048's Zombie mode.

The mode, which sees players "start in darkness, alone on the track" before facing wave after wave of zombie ships before inevitably dying, was cut from the game.

Sounds like post-launch DLC to us. More details at the link.


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