It's the 20th anniversary of once wonderful fighting game series Soul Calibur. And so to mark the occasion publisher Bandai Namco has released a new Soul Calibur Pachislot game in Japan.
Namco designers responsible for sketching out Soul Calibur's famously buxom female brawlers are governed by a strict set of chest measurements, game director Daishi Odashima has revealed.
Sony has crammed plenty of content onto the PlayStation Store this week.
The most of expensive bits are full downloadable versions of PSP games FIFA 09 (GBP 29.99) and puzzler The Cube (GBP 15.99), which we had no idea were turning up.
However, the most interesting - for us at least - are the new costumes for LittleBigPlanet. Yes, we do like dressing up. There's a free Sack-eating-plant outfit, and four more costumes at GBP 0.79 each: Lily Pad, Hugo (a gorilla), Great Blue and Frost-e. These are bundled together in an Animal Costumes pack for GBP 2.39.
Namco Bandai will finally be offering Darth Vader and Yoda as downloadable Soulcalibur IV characters this week.
No introduction is necessary for our latest console comparison feature; you all know the deal by now. Top notch 24-bit RGB screenshots? Check. HD-derived streaming video with crystal clear h.264 quality? Check. Flame-retardant clothing capable of withstanding the Human Torch's nova-blast? Double-check.
Just a couple of notes before the rows and bitter recriminations commence. Beginning with this latest feature, we're now embedding larger videos. There are also extended versions with even higher resolution available as clickthroughs via Eurogamer TV. Make sure you hit the 'high quality' button to get the full benefits of h.264 encoding. If the cropped, slow motion videos are not good enough for you, full 720p 60FPS downloads optimised for playback on both 360 and PS3 are available on the author's blog.
For more in-depth, studied comparisons, don't forget the exhaustive screenshot galleries that accompany each game. Thanks to Eurogamer screenshot viewer 2.0, you can switch the view between both versions of each game at the touch of a button. All games get 720p shots, with 1080p galleries added where support is available in the PS3 code.
Sony has stuffed Fracture and Soulcalibur IV demos on the PlayStation Store this week.
Ubisoft has strong-punched a Soulcalibur IV demo onto Xbox Live Marketplace.
Soulcalibur IV has battled to the top of the UK all-formats chart this week, becoming the fastest-selling game ever in the fighting series.
Relax, breathe easy. All is well within the Namco fighting game universe. Soulcalibur IV boots up predictably with the usual CG intro loveliness, staggeringly good HD graphics, the full-fat 60FPS gameplay experience and a satisfyingly vast selection of single-player modes in addition to versus and online action. It's everything a die-hard Namco fan would want from the franchise's transition to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - and it's this which is the game's greatest strength and biggest weakness.
To get the bad news out of the way first, Namco has done little to refresh or redefine a genre enduring a terminal decline in popularity. Undoubtedly, Soulcalibur IV is very good and has at least one genuinely brilliant new feature. But in terms of the basic fighting gameplay barely anything has changed since the series' last- gen console outings. The formula that has stood Namco in such good stead has been tweaked yet again, but there has been only gradual evolution since the arcade debut of Soul Edge more than 12 years ago.
Despite the use of the ubiquitous Havoc physics engine, the characters look and move exactly as you would expect. The animations are as pre-baked as they always have been, the input method and control scheme remain identical, and aside from a couple of basic, unremarkable moments, interactions with the backgrounds are extremely limited.
Ubisoft has revealed there are two pre-order deals to choose from for those eagerly awaiting the arrival of Soulcalibur IV.
The BBFC has deemed Soulcalibur IV worthy of a 12 rating in the UK for its "moderate fantasy violence".
Namco Bandai has decided to include the Secret Apprentice from The Force Unleashed in its upcoming fighter Soulcalibur IV.
Soulcalibur IV director Katsutoshi Sasaki has said he is looking forward to competing with Capcom and Street Fighter IV.
Ubisoft has said both versions of Soulcalibur IV will be out in Europe from 31st July.
Namco Bandai has revealed that Soul Calibur IV will be out across the US on 29th July.
Unfortunately European publisher Ubisoft has nothing more than "summer" to offer us at the moment.
Soul Calibur IV (or is it Soulcalibur? No one seems sure) is in development for PS3 and 360. It will feature a fancy Critical Finisher system where you can instantly kill an opponent if you manage to empty their Soul Gauge two times in a row; this fills up when attacking but decreases when defending.
A new Soul Calibur IV character has been unveiled in the pages of Famitsu magazine.
If you're going to Play.com Live at Wembley next weekend, then you will be able to take part in a Soul Calibur IV tournament.
Ubisoft has signed up to distribute Soulcalibur IV for PS3 and Xbox 360 and Soulcalibur Legends for Wii. All three SKUs will be released in summer 2008. Did you like our use of "SKUs" there? We always feel clever when we say SKUs.
Strongest character ever in the series.
Online multiplayer will be introduced to the Soul Calibur series for the first time when the fourth instalment launches on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next year.
Namco Bandai has revealed it's working on Soul Calibur IV for Xbox 360 and PS3.