Aussie emulation mash-up: April 14-18

The PlayStation store gets a redesign.

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The release this week of firmware 2.30 for the PlayStation 3 also brought with it the anticipated relaunch of the PlayStation Store. However, it's not all cosmetic updates, and inside gamers will find new downloadable content for Super Stardust HD, the Metal Gear Online beta, and a new expansion pack those still fighting in the Eucadian/Chernovan conflict in Warhawk. The pack features the addition of a new APC, which can carry six passengers and act as a mobile spawn point. A new map called Vaporfield Glacier has also been added. Super Stardust HD also gets some love this week, receiving three new modes: Endless, Survival, and Time Attack.

Although the live switch for the beta hasn't yet been flicked, fans of the series can download the Metal Gear Online client ahead of its start on April 21. The installer is approximately 700MB in size and contains two maps: Blood Bath and Groznyi Grad. The beta period runs for about two weeks and ends on May 6, so be sure to get in quickly if you're interested in trying before you buy. To download it, all you have to do is log on to the PlayStation Store and follow the links from the front page.

Doom is undoubtedly one of the most ported games in history, and this week sees it add Nintendo's Wii to its list of platform appearances. Wii owners can now also download and play Phantasy Star III: Generations. PSIII was originally released on the Sega Mega Drive, and despite being a sequel, is set 1,000 years before PSII. Doom and Phantasy Star III are available now, each for 800 Wii Points.

Xbox Live Arcade gets a big boost this week with a trio of games: Rocky and Bullwinkle, Battlezone, and Ikaruga. Rocky and Bullwinkle is a collection of 100 minigames, 25 of which are gesture-driven by using the Xbox Live Vision Camera. Popular characters from the series are present and playable, including Natasha, Boris, and of course Rocky and Bullwinkle.

1980's classic Battlezone made its debut on XBLA on Wednesday. The graphics have been overhauled and the game now supports 1080i resolution. Online multiplayer has also been added, as well as support for the Xbox Live Vision Camera.

Last but certainly not least in this week's releases is Ikaruga, a vertical-scrolling shooter from Sega. It was originally an arcade game that was later ported to the Dreamcast and GameCube home consoles, and the Xbox Live version supports two-player co-op both on and offline. The updated version also includes a new replay save feature that lets you show off your moves to friends.

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