Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Oh, Ikaruga. What can we say about you that we haven't said in the past? We've dropped rumor after rumor in the wake of your pending announcement. Lamented about the wait for your upcoming HD upgrade. We've even been teased by advertisements while we awaited your arrival. Today the teasing continues as your achievements have been revealed. From simple scenarios like beating bosses to unimaginable feats like completing your campaign on one continue - your achievements are no joke. Well Ikaruga, it seems we know everything about you that we can. So would you please hurry up and release already? These 800 MS Points are burning a hole in our pockets!
As you probably know, The March Car Pack costs a medium 400 Microsoft points and includes thirteen new cars for your racing pleasure. And since we know how much Forza 2 fanboys love their vehicles, we've added new car pack photos into their own gallery below for you to gush over. Thank us later. If you have an extra 400 points laying around, we advise supporting Turn 10 and all the hard work they've put into Forza 2 and its abundant DLC. Happy downloading race fans!
Underground street racing? We're surprised no one thought of this idea for a video game a long time ago. They should really look into making a movie or something. Well, at least these 20 screens look good.
Just announced is a brand new (and somewhat limited) EE exclusive Halo 3 yellow ODST action figure that's (surprise!) only available for purchase online at EE. This exclusive figure will be shipping sometime later this October, but can be pre-ordered online for $14.99. Truth be told, it isn't a bad looking "toy", but we'd be a little more impressed if this exclusive EE Spartan was rockin' the Recon ... or a flaming helmet.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Yesterday, Activision announced that they'll be releasing a Call of Duty 4 Game of the Year edition which will feature updated box art as well as an Xbox Live redemption token to download this Spring's upcoming multiplayer map DLC for free. A redemption token worth 800 Microsoft points. Acti didn't mention a firm release date for this special GOTY edition or if it'll be released on any other gaming platforms. And we hope it doesn't. We're greedy fanboys who want everything for ourselves.
While the story is definitely sweet, it also presents the perfect opportunity to deliver some advice: under no circumstances should you place an infant on top of an Xbox 360. Those things get hot. Also, there's no telling what kind of damage a baby could do to a 360 if left untended.
Speaking to the BBC, EA chief executive John Riccitiello was clear that the primary interest EA has in acquiring Take Two Interactive is the company's strong roster of development teams, specifically that of Rockstar Games.
"The big headline here is that our primary interest is in Rockstar and the intellectual properties around Rockstar," Riccitiello said as the April 29 release of Grand Theft Auto IV looms in the distance. Sports gamers have long stated their frustration with the attempted acquisition because it would remove EA's only competitor in the simulation-sports market. Riccitello explained that the sports angle was a secondary thought, "sports games are secondary consideration here," he explained.
While Take Two had declined the initial offer from EA for $2 billion, the acquisition has recently gone hostile. In order to purchase the company from under Take Two executives, EA has put in a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock for $26 each on last Thursday targeting shareholders. Take Two executives have since asked shareholders to hold out on the offer, which is set to expire on April 11 - a mere 18 days before the launch of the GTAIV cash-cow. With the news that EA is targeting new shareholders that are looking to unload a headache, this news looks to get more interesting by the day
Monday, March 17, 2008
The Forza 2 March Car Pack will be available this Wednesday, March 19th via the XBLM for 400 Microsoft points and be comprised of thirteen brand new rides. Masculine rides including Ferraris, Maseratis and even the 360 themed Peugeot 207 Super 2000. Complete car list after the break. Also, to give the Forza 2 community a boost and to celebrate the March Car Pack's launch, Turn 10 will be participating in Xbox.com's Game with Developers program and a special Play & Win will be launched as well. More event details are to come, but for now all you really need to know is that new DLC is this Wednesday ... vroom on.
March Car Pack DLC Includes:
During this weekend's UK Play.com festival, the crew over at button bandits had a chance to play the PAL version of Rock Band (yes, it exists) and obtained a complete track list. The list is nearly identical to its NTSC cousin, except for ten new exclusive additions which we posted after the break. Of course, we can't be sure how exclusive these ten tracks are to the PAL version or if North American Rock Band players will ever have a chance to purchase them. Knowing that, we're fine if we never see these tracks on North American XBLM soil. We'll let our fellow Europeans have this one ... they've suffered enough.
European Rock Band Exclusive Tracks:
Zavvi, who are known as one of UK's answers to BestBuy, are offering a special promotion on the Xbox 360 that European gamers won't want to pass-up. Zavvi, formerly known as the Virgin Megastore, has bundled a premium Xbox 360, Ubisoft's best-selling Assassin's Creed, the JRPG Lost Odyssey and the 9000-pound gorilla Halo 3 for the low-low price of £210. The bundle can only be found in select stores at this time, so we urge you to look around.
To put the price into perspective, Zavvi sells the premium alone for £200 and the system alone can be snatched up for as a low as £180 on Amazon. For a few extra Pounds anyone interesting in starting their Xbox 360 library off right shouldn't miss this opportunity. Word of advice, stay away from Bomberman: Act Zero ... we made that mistake once.
It's sort of a lonely week for new releases. It's not that we aren't seeing anything worthwhile, though. Nope, this week we have the much awaited sequel to Rainbow Six Vegas, sagely titled Rainbow Six Vegas 2 to in order to nullify any confusion. Remember, this is the last time you'll be getting your 6 on in Vegas, so get it while the gettin's good (alternately, you could wait until it goes down in price and get it while the gettin's better). Also releasing this week is the latest curiosity from Sega, Sega Superstars Tennis. Alas, it seems Sega has more trouble wedging its beloved characters into the sports genre than Nintendo does, as the game has thus far received only fair to middling reviews.
Currently, the Castle Crashers dev blog is a little bare bones (it did just launch, so be understanding), but already they've posted a brief introduction and an intriguing video where we get to watch artist extraordinaire Dan Paladin create the game's world map in super fast motion. Man does that guy have talent. The Behemoth promises regular weekly updates and a behind the scenes look at the game, so be sure to place a bookmark and refresh often. We know we will, because, truth be told, we have a Castle Crashers addiction that needs to be fed. Feed us The Behemoth, feed us until our tummy hurts with painful joy.
So fanboys, that's where you come in. How they see it, Puzzle Quest fans are a knowledgeable and creative enough bunch to name the new set of DLC in their official Puzzle Quest DLC naming contest. Kicking off later today, you can head on over to the Puzzle Quest's official website through March 21st to recommend a name for the DLC. So, go ahead and get your creativity on, help D3Publisher and make the Puzzle Quest world a better place to live. We have faith you'll do the right thing.
According to information found on Radar Group's website (all of which has since been removed), we learn first off that Prey 2 is real and that that the game was listed for release on the 360 and PC. We also get a tiny bit of information regarding Prey 2's plot with the release of one piece of concept art (as seen above) and a description that reads; "this time, abandoned and framed for the disappearance of his family, Tommy escapes an Earth that no longer wants him for a future that cannot survive without him."
We'll be the first to say that we wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to a game that was rather enjoyable, but we have a hard time believing 3D Realms can juggle the simple task of overseeing the development of Prey 2 and Duke Nukem Forever. One will suffer ... and we're sure you can already guess which of the two that will be. ZING!
You see, since February we've known about a demo because Xbox.com told us one was already available, but upon discovering there was none, we were then informed that a demo was to be released soon. Then, last Friday, we received a press release telling us the Bloodshot demo was already available to European Xbox Live gamers, but alas ... none is available. Now, today, that exact same press release has been re-worded and re-released but minus the details about the demo being on Xbox Live already and replaced with a "coming soon" kind of tone. What the fudgesicle sticks SEGA? At this point we don't know what to believe, who to believe and whether or not the demo is going to be region specific or even rollout by the end of 2008. Get your crap together! We're officially adopting a new Condemned 2: Bloodshot XBLM demo mindset: we're only believing it's a reality when we see it on the Marketplace. Humph!
Kicking off our RSV2 deal searching fun, we have Best Buy who is offering the game for the standard $59 price tag, but is including a special unlock code for an assault rifle. Yeah, we agree ... a lukewarm deal at best. But we trudge along and see that Circuit City is offering RSV2 for $59 as well, but is throwing in a pair of red fuzzy dice and a gamer's energy kit. A kit that comes complete with beef jerky, an energy drink, some energy gum and a few other goodies. A little quirky, but we approve. Next up is Target who is also selling the game for $59, but is including a $10 gift card as well. And finally, if you have a Fry's electronics store nearby, you can grab RSV2 for the loss-leader price of $39. Analyze all the RSV2 offers, make your purchase this
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The five new achievements have been discovered via Xbox.com and are being hidden under the "Secret" achievements status, broken down into one 100GS, two 50GS and two 25GS achievements. We haven't the foggiest idea to what new Kane & Lynch DLC would be or who would be overly enthusiastic about such content, but if it's free or really cheap (80 Microsoft points?) we'd accept it with open arms. That said, achievement addicts would accept a 250 Gamerscore boost to almost any game no matter the circumstances.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
According to Ripten.com, representatives from Ubisoft at the Play.com Live event at UK's Wembley stadium are telling anyone within earshot that Haze will never see life on the Xbox 360. While there have been signs that all-out exclusivity was in the works, Ubisoft had never officially confirmed Haze would only release on the PS3. Visiting Free Radical Design's official product page for Haze adds to exclusivity confusion with the wording in the features press release, "[Haze] is now scheduled for release exclusively on the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system in May 2008." Which, based on the wording, sounds like it will remain a timed-exclusive only.
We're waiting for the official word from Ubisoft but color us surprised if PS3 does get the exclusivity nod based on Ubisoft's past (and public) love for the Microsoft machine, the déjà vu effect of Assassin's Creed "exclusivity," Free Radical Design's use of a pull quote from the April 2007 issue of 360 Mag [German Edition] on the Haze product page and that new video of Haze writer Rob Yascombe showing off the game in the Free Radical office with visible Xbox 360 development kits in the background of the action.
Yeah ... we think we'll wait for the press release before we call this one confirmed.
Developed by Free Radical Design, makers of the award-winning TimeSplitters series, Haze is a political first-person shooter that explores such subjects as corporate social responsibility and shooting dudes in the face and is set to hit stores this May.
Friday, March 14, 2008
- Fifteen GTAIV Multiplayer Modes
- Hangman's NOOSE
- Car Jack City
- Bomb da Base
- Bomb da Base II
- Mafia Work
- Team Mafia Work
- Team Deathmatch
- Turf War
- Cops n Crooks
- GTA Race
- Deal Breaker
- Free Mode
- Car Jack City
According to a trademark filing found by Kotaku, Sega has "shotgunned" Sonic Unleashed. The filing applies to "video game software [and] computer game programs." Clearly based on that thorough description the newest Sonic game will be a dating simulator.
In all seriousness, this one can't possibly be worse than Sonic's last outing on the Xbox 360 and PS3 - we hope. Also, note that this doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Sonic RPG Bioware is working on. We can't wait to see what Sonic does next. We are so totally serious and not being facetious at all, not really. Oh, and when was Sonic ever leashed.
Mr. Driller Online has a distinct Japanese flavor, with bubbly cartoon characters, a vibrant feel and an extreme use of the color pink. Namco mentions that Mr. Driller Online will stay true to the traditional Mr. Driller gameplay, but add new single player modes as well as Xbox Live functionality including a Solo Battle mode and a four player Tag Battle mode. Take in all the sugar-coated screenshots IGN posted after the jump and analyze the Japanese inspired fun over on Japan's Xbox.com Mr. Driller Online page. Dig it!
Semi-confirming industry analysts' predictions, BioWare senior manager Matt Atwood told CVG that Mass Effect 2 will more than likely be a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. When talking about the Mass Effect trilogy and how it'll be released, Atwood revealed that he believes "we'll be Xbox 360 exclusive for at least a short period of time." Atwood goes on to say that they've "had a great relationship with Microsoft and done very well", but that they are still working out specifics regarding future Mass Effect releases. Later in the interview, it was also revealed that BioWare plans on releasing Mass Effect 2 onto the PC similar to how Mass Effect will be releasing to the PC platform this May saying that "you'll see a PC version not too far away."
With the next-gen wars heating up and BioWare getting gobbled up by EA, we're more than happy with an Xbox 360 timed exclusive release as a straight up exclusive 360 release was starting to look unlikely. We just hope BioWare stays on top of their game and doesn't let multiple platform releases mess with their nearly perfect formula.
Hopping over to the software side of life, February was stellar for Xbox 360 games seeing five of the ten top spots. Among the big winners was Call of Duty 4, Devil May Cry 4 and our friends at Harmonix were finally able to break into the top ten with Rock Band selling 161.8K units. Click towards the break to get your fill of February NPD hardware and software sales and let's just hope March brings a turnaround. Otherwise we have a feeling the big guys in Redmond may be forced to do some North American price cutting to stay competitive and strike fear in the eyes of their enemies.
February NPD Hardware Sales
DS - 587.6K
Wii - 432K
PS2 - 351.8K
PS3 - 280.8K
Xbox 360 - 254.6K
PSP - 243.1K
February NPD Software Sales
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - 360 - 296.2K
2. Devil May Cry 4 - 360 - 295.2K
3. Wii Play w/remote - Wii - 289.7K
4. Devil May Cry 4 - PS3 - 233.5K
5. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - Wii - 222.9K
6. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - DS - 205.6K
7. Lost Odyssey - 360 - 203.6K
8. Turok - 360 -197.7K
9. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - PS2 - 183.8K
10. Rock Band - 360 - 161.8K
The folks at GameSpot got their meat hooks on two of the four downloadable maps coming to Call of Duty 4. First and foremost, players will be happy to know that some of the new maps will not be set in the Middle East or Russia. GameSpot got to look at Broadcast and Creek, the first of which being set in the television station seen during the campaign mission "Charlie Don't Surf." The environment from the campaign is faithfully replicated with some design changes made to suit multiplayer. Creek, on the other hand, is set somewhere entirely new, complete with lush greenery, cliffs, a cave and, yes, a creek. The map is "massive" according to GameSpot with lots of places to go. The final two maps are "Chinatown" and "Killhouse." The first is fairly obvious, while the second map was apparently inspired by the training course from the first mission of the game. The price for the DLC remains a mystery as does its release date (though it was originally billed as a "spring" release). Hit the "read" link for GameSpot's full impressions.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Her name is Scheherazade (pronunciation anyone?), she sports a saber-like weapon and comes across as a scantily clad swordswoman who loves the color pink and frilly outfits. That said, we're sure she could beat us down any day. No other Scheherazade details could be lifted from Famitsu's foreign pages, but we expect good old Namco to come to our informative-rescue and announce the entire Soul Calibur IV character list before launch. Until then, we'll try our darnedest to envision Yoda and Scheherazade going head to head in a battle to the death. Odd ...
Street Fighter fans put away those shiny pennies in an effort to purchase a PlayStation 3. Game producer, Rey Jimenez, put fears of a "gimped" Xbox 360 version of the upcoming Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix to rest with the latest blog post on Capcom's official site. "I can officially say that the filesize will not be an issue," Jimenez said. "With great help from the guys at Microsoft, we will be able to offer the same features on both platforms to the same quality as each other. To use the term I've been reading on the forums, neither console version will be "gimped" due to any kind of limitation."
All we can say is phew. This news comes at a perfect time for fans of the series who have recently been told about a beta test program that will be rolling out this Spring. The last thing we can hope for is that the "compression ninjas" at Microsoft will help with that Bionic Commando: Rearmed issue as well.
Scheduled for release sometime this Summer, Certain Affinity's Plunder takes inspiration from Settlers of Catan, but with a pirate themed real-time strategy twist where players take control of various locations all while toppling their opponent. Out of the gate, Plunder will come packed with multiplayer versus locally and over Xbox Live as well as 25 multiplayer maps and allow for map creation. If you can't contain your Plunder excitement, we recommend taking a look at the screenshots in the gallery below and reading over Joystiq's Plunder impressions which they obtained from a recent Plunder play session. Now move along you scurvy dogs.
Both Bow Wow and Omarion got to share this month's AotM honors, because of their collaborative album Face Off which, according to the press blurb, showcases a "quantum leap in creative and artistic musical expression". And here at X3F, we're supporters of any and all quantum leaping. So go ahead and download their first Face Off single "Hey Baby (Jump Off)" from the XBLM and maybe, if you're up to it, grab a copy of the album at retail. If you do make the purchase, not only will you be supporting both Bow Wow and Omarion, but you'll also be supporting quantum leaping as well.
"Miyamoto-san said it right a long time ago: "No one will remember a late game; everyone will remember a bad game," Dyack reminisces while discussing the reasons behind the nine-year wait since Too Human was first shown at E3 1999. "We believe in that strongly. We live and die by our last game. And, you know, you're only as good as your last game." With that in mind we, along with Dyack, wonder why Silicon Knights gets so much flak for their upcoming trilogy when their back catalog has been nothing but critical "darlings." Awards for Legacy of Kain and Eternal Darkness fill the glass cases of Silicon Knights' St. Catherines, Ontario, office. With such a history, Dyack wonders why people continue to doubt the company's latest piece.
"We have no skeletons in our closet. I wish everyone knew all about the stuff that we've done in the past, but you look at Legacy of Kain, you look at Eternal Darkness, you look at Metal Gear," Dyack proclaims. "Too Human is going to be another one. We wouldn't let it out until then. It's real tough, though. It's real tough. It's not an easy process."
For more on Too Human and Dyack's thoughts on the direction of the industry, read the entire interview.
This new Legacy Edition will feature all of the previously released GRAW2 downloadable content adding an additional 32 multiplayer maps, new game modes and new weapons to the classic (see: older) GRAW2 experience. Ubi didn't mention anything about pricing for the Legacy Edition, so one should expect it to fall in line with pricing for new releases. That said, is there really a point to releasing this Legacy Edition seeing that most of the die hard military shooter fanboys already moved on from GRAW2 to the oh so popular CoD4? Just saying .
Microsoft's own Aaron Greenberg flat out told Reuters that Sony's Blu-ray technology would not be integrated into the 360 saying that "Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience". So, can we now officially put to rest any rumors or talk of Microsoft releasing an Xbox 360 Blu-ray attachment? Please?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Another UEFA tournament equals another UEFA game of course! While that may seem like the extent of our math skills we can say for sure that Electronic Arts have released 8 screens of the stadiums being used in UEFA Soccer 2008. So far it looks as if EA has successfully recreated the stadiums from the Austria and Switzerland hosted event. All we can say is, GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Sorry, we had to.
It's been bandied about before, but now we have real word from Microsoft that they are indeed going to be supporting the defacto winner of the format war. With Sony saying that they were "in talks" with Microsoft, and a clam-like strategy being adopted by Microsoft, no one was quite sure just how spited they were towards Blu-ray. This is jus the confirmation of things though, with Microsoft admitting that it is trying to figure out the best way to connect with Blu-ray, and that it is working on different ways to integrate the Blu-ray devices and technology into Microsoft products across the board, including Windows.
The folks at Freeverse, developers behind the XBLA port of Marathon: Durandal, shot over two screens of their upcoming revamp of the classic title Airburst.
Announced as an XBLA exclusive in October, Freeverse hopes to bring back the excitement of the 2001 Mac OS release. Developed by partner studio, Strange Flavour (who created the original), gamers can expect HD inverted pong-action, injected with insane color.
According to an updated filing for an ESRB rating the upcoming XBLA title, Commandos 3 (aka MERCS) has been renamed to Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3. The name change stems from a few different areas, so here's the run down.
The game is a sequel to MERCS but with the upcoming release of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Capcom decided they can't call their XBLA game MERCS 2. Commando 3 was the original title when it was rumored for the service, but with the release of Bionic Commando Rearmed they decided against that too. So, since the original name of the series is Wolf of the Battlefield in Japan, Capcom opted to go with Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 for the XBLA release.
Phew ... That explanation leaves us out of breath. Let's just hope Capcom releases Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 before Activision drops new details on the upcoming Wolfenstein next-gen title.