NewsSpots: PS Store, Halo 3, ArchLord, Shinobi III, and LandStalker

Demo duo hits Sony's network, Bungie shows new multiplayer map, fantasy MMOG now free, Genesis adds two more to Wii's downloadable game service.

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NCAA Football 08 demo kicks up DiRT on PS3
Sony has been stepping up in a big way with its release of game demos for the PlayStation 3 in recent weeks. Kicking off with trials of GRAW2 and The Darkness at the beginning of this month, the console maker added two more to the list as part of its weekly Thursday update, this time for sports fans. PS3 users can get a sneak peek at Codemasters' rally-racer DiRT in anticipation of its September 11 release date. Also available is a demo for EA's collegiate pigskin franchise NCAA Football 08, which arrived on the console in July.

Take 10 paces and then draw, pardners.
Take 10 paces and then draw, pardners.

Halo 3 squares off in Narrows
With preorders for Halo 3 having already put up record-setting numbers, it's shocking that Bungie feels the need to further tantalize players with teasers of its surefire-hit shooter. But that it did at its most recent Halo 3 party, where a brand-new multiplayer map was unveiled. Titled Narrows, the map squares two teams off on opposite sides of a cramped bridge, offering limited room to navigate and ensuring plenty of crossfire. Rated M for Mature, Halo 3 will fly off retail shelves come September 25.


ArchLord gives away keys to castle
Codemasters announced today that its massively multiplayer online game ArchLord is now free to download and play. The free download comes packed in with the game's latest expansion, Episode 2: Season of Siege. For those needing more than just free play to convince them to defy better judgment, Codemasters also announced that it would be awarding a bona fide, real-world suit of plate mail to the first player that attains the game's highest status marker. Attaining this rank entails undertaking a series of quests to earn realm-wide status. Released last October, ArchLord is rated T for Teen.

Small village hamlet not included.
Small village hamlet not included.

Shinobi III, LandStalker planned for Virtual Console
While Sega's 16-bit Genesis isn't the most represented platform on the Wii's Virtual Console, it has maintained a steady stream of updates for the service. Today, the publisher unveiled two more of its gems from days gone by that will make their way to the Wii's VC. Both originally released in 1993, Sega's action adventure Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master and Climax Entertainment's role-playing game LandStalker will arrive sometime in the near future. No release date was pegged for either game. As is standard for Sega Genesis ports to the VC, Shinobi III and LandStalker will run for 800 Wii points ($8) each.

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