Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Three Burger King games coming (Update: Achievements)

Beginning November 19th, for $3.99 you can get one of three Burger King games along with the purchase of a Value Meal. Developed by Blitz Games, they will be similar to arcade games, and although there are no details about what achievements they will include you will be able to get 200 points from each (Update: Achieve360Points has a list of the achievments). Click read more for descriptions of the games.

From the Gamerscore Blog:

Pocketbike RacerIn the wild world of Pocketbike racing, players race the King and his miniature motorbike crew through five fun, yet challenging speedways. Each track varies in level of difficulty, and players navigate long straights, tight bends and sharp turns at high speeds while attempting to earn enhancements and tools that they can use as an advantage over opponents. Featuring HAVE IT YOUR WAY® customization options, players select a bike and a driver and then hit the track of their choice ­-- a BURGER KING® restaurant parking lot, a construction site, a backyard, the King’s garden or the Fantasy Ranch set. In addition to individual play, four players can race against each other in classic split-screen set-up, or eight players can battle it out online using XBOX Live.
Big Bumpin’Big Bumpin’ looks like a traditional carnival bumper car ride and features familiar BURGER KING® personalities, including the Subservient Chicken and Brooke Burke. But, there’s a catch – Big Bumpin’ arenas come with some big hazards, like surprise saws, bottomless pits and “power up” items that let gamers dole out thundering bumps. With several different types of game play, gamers have a chance to hone their bumper car skills in a variety of challenging scenarios. The game features five theme parks, including the “Ice Box,” “Broiler,” “King’s Court,” “The Deep” and “Monsoon of Doom,” and multiple modes of play for each, such as intense four-player and XBOX Live-supported. Easy to learn. Fun to play. Difficult to avoid a major crash.
Sneak KingPlayers step into the King’s royal shoes and use cunning and stealth to sneak up behind unsuspecting people and bestow them with a delicious meal. The goal of Sneak King is to surprise hungry citizens with BURGER KING® sandwiches and other menu items before they pass out from hunger. Whether in a logging yard, construction site, suburban neighborhood or downtown urban scene -- each rich with detail and hidden pathways -- players can hide out and earn points based on how elaborately the delivery is executed.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Play Gears of War before it's out

You've seen all the videos and read all the previews of how great Gears of War is going to be. But you haven't actually got to play it. Now, that might change. If you are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or San Francisico, on Wednesday, October 4th you can play it after an advanced screening of the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. But come early, because it will be overbooked and it's first come, first serve. They will also be matching tickets and ID, so make sure to bring yours. If you're interested, you can sign up here. If you miss it or it's not in your city, this is just the first of three "Match Made in Hell" events happening in October - just hope next time it's where you live.


Gears of War to feature full co-op play

In an interview on RewiredMind CliffyB reveals some information on Gears of War's co-op. The entire game will be playable in co-op, instead of a few levels added on just for the purpose. In splitscreen, system link, or over Xbox Live, someone can just drop in and play with you, and you can still unlock all the achievements or even play to the end with them (Will there be a way to stop people from joining and playing only the last few minutes of a level with their friends just so they can get an achievement?). If you decide you want to play with a buddy, just invite them and they will join as a spectator of the character they will take over - and when they are ready they just hit Start and take control.
[Via Evil Avatar]


Friday, September 29, 2006

Bringing it Home on Xbox Live Marketplace: List of all content

Since September 20th, there has been lots of new content on Marketplace every day as part of Xbox Live Bringing it Home. Here is a full list of all the content now available as part of it (Click read on for the full list of trailers, gamer pics, themes, demos, and game content):

X06 Arcade Montage
Blitz the League
Army of Two
Tony Hawk's Project 8
Frontlines Fuel of War
X06 Game Montage
Banjo Kazooie
Marvel Ultimate Online
Viva Pinata
Assassin's Creed
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Blue Dragon

Lost Odyssey
Rainbow Six Vegas
Halo Wars
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Forza 2 Physics & Damage
Sonic The Hedgehog
Shrek 3
Just Cause
The Darkness
Battlestations Midway
Import Tuner Challenge
Need for Speed Carbon
The Darkness
Virtua Tennis 3
NBA Live 07
Forza 2 Customization
Vista Game Montage
Fusion Frenzy 2
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom
Team Fortress 2
Tenchu Senran
Half-Life 2 - Episode 2

Other Video:
TGS Showfloor video 3
TGS Showfloor video 2
TGS Showfloor video 1

Gamer pictures:
X06 Picture Pack
Halo Wars Picture Pack
Mass Effect Picture Pack
Battlestar Galactica (US Only)
TGS Picture Pack

Fable 2 Theme
X06 Theme
Halo Wars Theme
Forza 2 Theme
TGS Theme

WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2007
Sonic the Hedgehog
Lego Star Wars II
NBA 2K7 (Not in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore or Taiwan)

Game content:
LEGO Star Wars II 360 Downloadable Character Pack (200 Microsft Points - Not in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, or Taiwan)
BFMEII Aragorn’s Journey - Map Pack 1
BFMEII Northern Badlands - Map Pack 2 – (350 Microsoft Points)

The Xbox Live Arcade games Spades, Hearts, Backgammon, and Bankshot Billiards were also updated to work with the Xbox Live Vision Camera. If you already own any of them, an auto update will add the camera support.

The Arcade game DOOM is now on Marketplace

Content Exclusive to Japan

Vampire's Rain
Table Tennis trailer
DOA X2 E3 Trailer
Project Sylpheed

Other Video:
Interview Day 3 Briefing Backstage Pass
TGS Showfloor video Day 3
TGS Showfloor video Day 2
Gamers' Interview
Xbox Live The Party #5
Xbox Live The Party #6
Xbox Live The Party #7
Xbox Live The Party #8
Xbox Live The Party #9
Xbox Live The Party #10
Game Creator Interview

Tenchu Senran


Assassin's Creed gameplay and info (Updated)

From X06, here is the first video of Assassins Creed gameplay:

IGN also has some info on the slight differences between the PS3 and 360 version:

While the PlayStation 3 and 360 versions of Assassin's Creed are virtually identical, Raymond did say that on the 360 the team is putting a special emphasis on achievements. The hardware also allows for improved threading, which will improve even further the crowd AI.

One of the (few) advantages of the PS3 is its better hardware, yet the Xbox 360 is getting better AI. This could be because they have had a year to work with the 360 already, but the hardware is the part that enables the improved AI, not the fact that they know it more thoroughly. This probably won't make too much of a difference, but this isn't the first time a PS3 game is lacking some features from its 360 counterpart.

[Video via Xbox 360 Fanboy]

IGN has updated their article, taking out the part about improved AI and replacing it with this:

And while the 360 hardware enables Ubisoft's team to use multiple threads to enhance the crowd's AI, the end result for the game on both systems will be the same. "While the method for distributing AI load is different on each platform, the AI code itself is the same. Players will experience the exact same crowd results on PS3 and Xbox360," Ubisoft explained.

[Via Evil Avatar]


Star Wars Battlefront coming to Xbox 360

The Official Xbox Magazine on the U.K. reveals that Star Wars Battlefront is coming to Xbox 360. That's not all. Free Radical, the company behind the TimeSplitters games, will be the ones bringing it to 360.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Xbox 360's Holiday game line-up

Xbox 360 games that will be available this holiday:

Gears of War (Epic Games Inc.)
Viva PiƱata (Rare Ltd.)
Call of Duty® 3 (Activision)
Disney·Pixar’s Cars (THQ)
Dead or Alive®: Xtreme 2 (Tecmo Inc.)

FIFA 2007 (EA)
(2K Sports/Visual Concepts)
NHL 07 (EA)
Need for Speed™ Carbon (EA)

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH)

Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 07 (EA)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (Ubisoft)
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 (Activision)

Other games for 360 either announced or shown at X06:

Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
(Real Time Worlds
Fable® 2 (Lionhead Studios)
Forza Motorsport™ 2 (Turn 10)

alo Wars (Ensemble Studios)
Half-Life® 2 (EA/Valve)
Lost Planet™: Extreme Condition (Capcom)
Mass Effect (BioWare)
Project Gotham Racing® 4 (Bizarre Creations)
The next game in the “Banjo-Kazooie® Franchise (Rare Ltd.)

Xbox 360 games shown or announced that will also be for Windows:

Alan Wake (Remedy Entertainment)
BioShock (2K Games)
Crossfire (Eidos, Pivotal Games)
Alone in the Dark (Atari)
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men (Eidos, IO Interactive)
Marvel Universe Online (Cryptic Studios)
Shadowrun™ (FASA Studio)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
The next Splinter Cell title (Ubisoft)
World Series of Poker®: Tournament of Champions (Activision)

Guitar Hero II was also announced to be coming to 360.

[Via Gamerscore Blog]


Guitar Hero II coming to 360

Red Octane's game Guitar Hero II is going to be released on Xbox 360. In the press release it says:
"The tour will continue the rockin' gameplay Guitar Hero fans have come to enjoy, and will now include expanded Xbox 360 capabilities," said Kai Huang, president of RedOctane. "With Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360 rock rhythm, lead, or bass guitar tracks with downloadable content and the new X-Plorer® controller, designed specifically for the Xbox 360."

[Via Gamerscore Blog]


HD DVD player: Available mid-November for $199.99

The HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 will be available in mid-November in North America, the U.K., France, and Germany. It will retail for $199.99 and €199.99 (£129.99) in the different territories. Included is the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote, and for a limited time the HD DVD version of King Kong.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Games announced for Xbox 360 at X06: New Halo, Splinter Cell 5, PGR4, and more

New games that were announced for Xbox 360 at X06:

A new Halo game (In addition to Halo Wars) and a completely new original property. From the press release: "A landmark partnership announced between Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The first series will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the “Halo®” universe. The second series will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios will partner with Jackson and Walsh to establish Wingnut Interactive, a studio dedicated to the creation of world-class interactive entertainment." There is no information on what the new property will be about, but Bungie had this to say about the new Halo game on their website: "...we can tell you it will be a blend of gameplay and storytelling quite unlike anything the games industry has ever seen before." If that doesn't get you excited, there must be something wrong with you.

Halo Wars, a Halo RTS. Here are all the details, along with an amazing video.

Another Splinter Cell game (After Double Agent). It will be console exclusive to the Xbox 360. That's right, no Splinter Cell for the PS3 or Wii.

Project Gotham Racing 4

Banjo-Kazooie. From the press release: "The beloved “Banjo-Kazooie” franchise will breathe new, high-definition life on Xbox 360 exclusively from famed developer Rare Ltd.; astonishing next-generation visuals and presentation reunite beloved characters Banjo, Kazooie and Gruntilda — among other fan favorites — with their sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor."

Marvel Universe Online

DOOM for Xbox Live Arcade. It is now available for download, costing 800 Microsoft Points ($10).

Sensible World of Soccer, also for Xbox Live Arcade. From the press release: "Based on the classic 1994 Amiga title, “Sensible World of Soccer” will let gamers choose between the original graphics or an updated, high-resolution look and feel — while still capturing the original’s entire world of football."

Some other news about already announced titles:

Grand Theft Auto IV. Just a few months after it's release (October 16th in North America, October 19th in Europe), two downloadable "epic episodes" will be available, each coming with hours of new gameplay. These will be exclusive to Xbox 360.

Bioshock will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.


Halo Wars: The Halo RTS

Today a new game based on the Halo universe was announced: Halo Wars. It is a Real-Time Strategy game, made by Ensemble Studios, the creators of Age of Empires (this explains the seemingly unfair shut down of the fan created mod Halogen, also a Halo RTS). Exclusive to Xbox 360, you will control a group of UNSC soldiers, the "Spirit of Fire", and learn more of what happened before Halo 1. You may also be able to play as the Covenant, but the website won't say for sure.
"The folks at Ensemble are the only team we trusted to make a Halo RTS and from what we've already seen (and played), it's going to be awesome," Bungie says on their website. There is no information on when it will be released, but here is a pre-rendered trailer (also available on Xbox Live Marketplace or the Halo Wars website):


Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Week's Releases: September 24th, 2006

Here are the games releasing this week:
Monday, September 25th:
NBA Live 07
Tuesday, September 26th:
Import Tuner Challenge
Wednesday, September 27th:
Just Cause


A black Xbox 360?

On this Gamespot page, there is a Best Buy ad (You may not see it right away since there are a number of different ads, but if you refresh the page enough it should eventually show). It cycles through different gaming products, one of which is an Xbox 360. But the picture displayed is not what you would expect: It shows an all black 360. I captured a picture here:
And if that's not enough, the ad can also be seen here. This is only an ad and so doesn't mean too much, but why would they put a picture showing a black Xbox 360 if they aren't going to sell them? Plus, this is not the first time there have been these rumors. In the October issue of the Official Xbox Magazine, the "Rumor Mole" claims one of its "trusted sources" says there will be a "$600 dollar jet-black Xbox 360 with a built-in HD-DVD drive, an HDMI A/V port, a 250GB hard drive, and TiVo-like PVR functionality." I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this ever happens, but why else would the 360 in the ad be black?

[Via Xboxic]


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Top Games on Live (Week of September 11th)

From Major Nelson, here are the top ten most played games while connected to Xbox Live, based on World Wide Unique Users:

Xbox 360 Top Live Games
1 Saints Row
2 Madden NFL 07
3 Call of Duty 2
4 Test Drive Unlimited
5 Ghost Recon 3
7 Oblivion
8 Texas Hold 'em
9 Chromehounds

Top Arcade Titles (Full Versions)
1 Texas Hold 'em
2 Hexic HD
3 Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
5 Geometry Wars Evolved
6 Time Pilot
7 Scramble
9 Marble Blast Ultra
10 Bankshot Billiards 2

Original Xbox Top Live Games
1 Halo 2
2 Battlefield 2: MC
3 Madden NFL 07
4 Counter-Strike
5 Pro Evolution Soccer 5
6 Splinter Cell Chaos
7 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
8 Rainbow Six 3 BA
9 Forza Motorsport
10 Ghost Recon 2: SS

Overall, Halo 2 is the most played game.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Microsoft sued because of Xbox Live

Paltalk has filed a case against Microsoft claiming that Xbox Live infringes on their patent. Some things from the case (Downloaded from the Inquirer):

Game play on the Xbox or Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live online gaming service infringes the PalTalk patents. As a result of Microsoft's unauthorized and infringing use of Paltalk's patented technology, Paltalk has suffered damages in at least the tens of millions of dollars.

Microsoft has, without authority, consent, right or license, and in direct infringement of the PalTalk Patents used the methods claimed in the PalTalk Patents in this country.

It continues on about how Microsoft has "actively induced" others to use it, and provided software and hardware for use in "practicing the methods" PalTalk has claimed in it's patents.

The patent Paltalk says Microsoft infringed on states:

PalTalk's technology provides for efficient handling of communications between players necessary to maintain a consistent game environment for all players. PalTalk's technology covers a number of aspects of online gaming, including communications through a group message server as well as establishing groups for online play.

There is more, adding details of what it does and how it works.

Whether Microsoft wins this case or not, they have plenty of money to spare if PalTalk decides to ask for it. It probably won't really change anything besides possibly taking a small sum from Microsoft's vast pool of money.

[Via Xboxic]