Recent Microsoft Xbox 360 Posts



November 18, 2011

Skyrim Overworld Map Could Be Better

There is not a lot to complain about in Skyrim, but a game that you will spend over 100 hours in really does need a fairly functional overworld map. There is no denying that the map in Skyrim is much better than Oblivion, but it still leaves some things to be desired.

1) Why on EARTH are the Dunmer ruins not on the map at all? When you find one, they do not display on the map as a marker of any kind. This is mind boggling, considering some of the best weapons, armor, and smithing items are found within.

2) Why doesn't the map have some sort of legend of any kind, so it is very clear what each icon means.

3) Why doesn't the (missing) legend allow me to toggle on/off specific icons on the map? It gets pretty darn crowded after 100 hours of wandering around Skyrim, and being able to toggle items on/off would sure make navigating the game a bit easier.

4) Why can't the map display the (discovered) paths up mountains? One of my other major frustrations in this game is that you may take a half hour trying to find the ONE way to get to the summit of a mountain. A game like this does NOT need to be artificially lengthened like that.

All four of these things will likely come in the form of mods for the PC version of the game. My fourth issue has already been addressed, somewhat, with a Google Street View-type view of the world map.

Skyrim "The Forsworn Conspiracy" Glitch

This glitch has been the topic of more than one Yahoo Answers topics, but only one of them had the exact flavor of the glitch I had. Yes, this glitch has a few different incarnations, isn't that just grand.

I will try and be as spoiler free as possible. Note that if you are on PC you have one thing the PS3/360 version does not: the console. Like other TES games, you can use the console to step through a quest just like you would debug a program. I am not here to address the PC version or the console in Skyrim. The above link has the correct console commands for you.

During your investigation go back to the shrine EVERY TIME and talk to Eltrys. The quest markers DO NOT tell you to do this. For one, you will get more money out of him, but the real reason is that the quest will not completely bug out. You need to investigate 2 people, investigate both and report to Eltrys. This is one quest where it really DOES NOT help to do all the misc. parts at once. That seems to cause this wonderful little glitch.

After investigating both persons, you will want to go to the treasure house and speak with this guy there. And finally DO NOT go and kill Nepos, as much as you would like to at this point. That may/may not result in the glitch, too (I did not try every permutation here, I do in fact have real work to do today).

Go back to the shrine once you are done in the treasure house. You will immediately be greeted by guards, the quest will complete, and the following quest will start right away!

The Glitch: You head back to the shrine and there is a white waypoint parker hovering next to the right column, but not over the guard himself. Some have said to just use the Wait command for an hour. This did not work for me. Complete the quest as stated above, and everything will come out peachy. Complete the following quest and you will get all your stuff back safely.

May 24, 2009

My 1 vs. 100 Beta Experience

I recently wrote about my impressions on Blogcritics. Check it out if you have not. Saturday night the show was at 7 PM EST instead of 9 PM EST, a much better time of day if you ask me. Again there was no lag to speak of, but Chris Cashman and Jade kept getting cut off mid-sentence for the first part of the show. I guess that cannot be helped. Jade is from Xbox Canada, and was on for a fair bit of the entire show.

There was one person who won it all, beating all 100 Mob members. That was pretty cool to see. Of course in the beta no Microsoft Points are awarded, but winning $125 worth of MSP for a few minutes of trivia questions does not seem that difficult (until you are in the hot seat, of course). They got the woman on the phone to talk about getting through 15 questions and beating the Mob. The entire "live" experience is really a neat thing, on so many levels.

I hope we see a beta soon in the States, and I really hope we hear that 1 vs. 100 goes live for real at E3 this year.

May 16, 2009

I have an Emo Xbox

According to my 360 Voice Blog, I have the superbly saddening "Emo Xbox" badge. I object. I demand a "voice" with the people who run that site. Is it my fault that I have had to buy five Xbox 360 consoles in four years? No, no it is not. When my 360 was down I (mostly) remembered to put up the Vacation Notice.

I will have to ask Ryan what the hell the Emo Xbox badge means.

Fallout 3 Game Corruption Problem

I have a problem but it is not straightforward by any means.

I just got a brand new 360, Arcade, as my last one's DVD drive died. I had an issue that my Gamer Profile got corrupt when trying to use my hard drive on a different 360 until I could afford to purchase a new one of my own.

Continue reading "Fallout 3 Game Corruption Problem" »

November 28, 2008

Microsoft Should Offer These

Why doesn't Microsoft offer Gamercards like this? Kudos to MyGamerCard.net



September 29, 2008

Breaking 20,000 Gamerscore

I have been meaning to post this for about a month now, but at the end of August I broke 20,000 Gamerscore points. Yes, this is another notch on the useless-achievements-in-life list. Oddly enough it was harder than you would think. I actually was sitting at 19,999 for a couple days before I sat back down and got some achievements in Assault Heros 2 (see, I am not as obsessed with these things as some people I know).

September 16, 2008

Castle Crashers Soundtrack a Freebie

And to think I was willing to pay money for it...

Seems someone decided to be generous and put up the entire Castle Crashers soundtrack for free. The music in the game is awesome across the board, though nothing compares to lopping heads off to "Jumper." For the rest, check out the original post on Xbox.com.

September 15, 2008

More Problems With My Xbox 360

You know what, I am getting just a little sick of all this crap. I am on my 4th Xbox 360, after all. This is a referb Elite and lately it is having issues reading games. It thinks they are DVDs (the tray on the Dashboard says Play DVD) or it does not even think anything is in the tray at all, displaying the Open Tray button.

Not that I am one bit surprised, but man I am going to be irritated if I have to send this one in again. Absolutely crap hardware.

If it were not for the games and the fact that all my friends were on Xbox Live, I would start to purchase all my multiplatform releases on the PS3.

July 9, 2008

Teabag Prevention Team Presents: Bungie Day

Because you need to know how to get around Cold Storage.

July 6, 2008

Xbox.com DRM Tool Works Wonders

So, I just got my 360 back from the repair shop in Texas. Sounds like a good time to try out that Xbox.com DRM tool they released. The process is easy and strait forward, and step one went by pretty quickly. Step two however, well that is another story.

Continue reading "Xbox.com DRM Tool Works Wonders" »

June 28, 2008

My 360 Has Come Home!

My (second) referb 360 has arrived at my doorstep. It's such a shame that I was not home Friday to sign for it. So I will be getting it Monday. The first thing I will be doing? Putting that new DRM tool to the test, of course.

June 9, 2008

My (Second) 360 Shipped Back to Texas

Man, who ever thought I would be too busy to bitch about something. Well, it took MS over a week to send a cardboard coffin, but my Elite is shipped back to Texas. I have to give them credit, this is much better than last time (last time they sent the box and forgot the return address label).

And for those who have not had this happen recently, let me give you a tip, a tip that Matt found out when his Elite bit the dust a few months back - UPS will not pick up your dead 360 anymore. They used to, but not any more. Luckily I found out that Staples is an authorized UPS shipper.

So now its a waiting game to get my 360 back so I can finally complete GTA IV. Good thing MGS4 is out this week, I won't even notice that hole in the entertainment stand where my Elite was.

May 22, 2008

My Second Red Ring of Death

Having to live through one RRoD is enough. Far too many people have had to live through two, and that growing list now includes me. My Elite did not last a year. August 2007 to May 2008.

This is rediculous. I payed $300 for the launch 360, and $450 for an Elite, add in all the accessories and games, and you have a rather substantial investment.

I can't wait to call Xbox Support in the morning. Matt and I bought our Elites at practically the same time. His Elite got refurbished a month ago or so, and now mine goes down too. This hardware is absolutely horrible.

I mean, I thought the Elite was a better built machine! My launch Premium lasted longer than my Elite did for the love of God!

This all started a few weeks ago when GTA IV came out. It was crashing my Elite really bad, but no other game was effecting it. Today I start downloading stuff from XBLM and watching the Inside Xbox videos, chatting with friends, and the Dashboard is crashing in the same exact manner that GTA IV was crashing.

So I unplug the HDD and the wireless adapter, and turn it on, RRoD. It also later RRoD with the HDD and wireless adapter plugged back in. It now frequently crashes during the boot process, not even getting past the startup animation of the sphere rotating around to the Xbox logo.

There is now a distinct sound of a motor going "reer" when it powers on. And when it freezes there is an 8-bit type sound and then the screen freeze. That sound and freeze thing was happening in GTA IV only for weeks.

I cannot say that I am surprised. Just very dissapointed.

May 20, 2008

Community Games on Xbox LIVE Beta

I think this flew under the radar and I touched on it briefly on our radio show tonight. But having a Premium XNA Creators Club account now has tangable benefits. You can now rate and play other people's games (and submit your own) as the beta period started today. See the XNA blog post about it.

If you are connected to higher educatiuon in any way, the one year subscription is free. But if you listened to our Multiplayer Chat radio show, you already knew that.

Cool stuff indeed. I can't wait to try it out. I just went on to the Creators Club site and linked my Gamertag to my XNA profile.

April 6, 2008

Xbox Mourning: Day 40

Today is the last day. As my Xbox 360 sits literally 15 minutes away in Maumee Ohio at the UPS station, lonely, lacking attention, and likely crying out for me, I await its arrival tomorrow morning.

My 360 officially went through an Emo stage earlier in the week, and how now turned into pure, unadulterated hatred. Since no one told me I could set a vacation time to prevent the poor thing from going through this depressed period, I lost a 209 day playing streak. The sudden stoppage must have made my 360 feel abandoned.

Soon you'll be home. Soon.

April 4, 2008

Mr. Driller sans Online hit XBLA

So this week Mr. Driller made its way to XBLA. The single player is great. As Ryan said, it feels like the Dreamcast version. But the online multiplayer is broken. You simply cannot play a game. The person who is not the host continually resets to the begining of the level, in a loop.

For Namco's sake, they better be hard at work on a patch. It really makes me wonder how a show stopper bug like this makes it past QA and Microsoft's "stringent" certification. 

April 2, 2008

Xbox Mourning: Day 36

It's almost over. It's almost over.

The system was shipped yesterday afternoon after 15 days at the service center. That's absurd Microsoft. You suck. You're lucky your system doesn't.

Now the only question that remains is how long before it dies again.

March 27, 2008

Microsoft Xbox 360 DRM Too Restrictive

Xbox 360 DRM is too restrictive to loyal, paying customers. We are not cheating bastards trying to pull one over on the behemouth Microsoft.

While I am glad to hear that Microsoft has done the right thing for a Consumerist reader, I have the same problem as one of the commenters on that article.

My referb/replaced Premium was a complete POS (not another RRoD but drive issues, freezes, etc) so I went and bought an Elite. My Sega XBLA games are now only playable online.

Continue reading "Microsoft Xbox 360 DRM Too Restrictive" »

March 22, 2008

Xbox Mourning: Day 25

There sits my Xbox,
deader than a box of rocks.

They don't care for you like I do,
and they probably treat you worse than a shoe.

I'm sure you'll be fixed soon,
and then we can back into a gaming boon.

Until then I say,

GET ME BACK MY GOD DAMN SYSTEM YOU LAZY BASTARDS!

Ahem. Sorry.

March 20, 2008

Bully Scholarship Edition Patch Out; My Achievement Glitch

If you have Bully Scholarship Edition for the Xbox 360, Rockstar today gave you one more reason to play the game - a patch that fixes a bunch of known bugs. The game has framerate issues, and a number of hard crashes.

Continue reading "Bully Scholarship Edition Patch Out; My Achievement Glitch" »

March 13, 2008

Xbox Mourning: Day 15

It took a week and a half to get the box from Microsoft after calling them to report what has become the inevitable these days. I called on the 27th of February, the box didn't arrive until the 7th of March.

The UPS guy who delivered it knew when I opened the door what had happened. "Had a 360 huh?" Yeah, yeah I did. He also told me they won't pick them up anymore and I had to take it to a UPS store to drop it off. I did it that day, the 7th. As of this very moment, the 13th, it's still not there. Yeah. This sucks.

Itchy. Tasty.

February 29, 2008

And Another One Bites the Dust

"Oh, the 360 Elites are made better."

My ass. I pop in a rented copy of The Club. It loads fine. Just before I get into the game, the drive starts making this loud grinding noise as if it was tearing the disc to pieces. I quickly eject, and that would mark the final screen I would see off a disc. Nothing else works as far as discs are concerned, the drive sounds like a jackhammer when booting up, and the only thing left are my Arcade games until the coffin arrives.

There goes my 200 straight days of playing on 360Voice.

February 24, 2008

Alexi Eichelberb Must Go; Tiger Woods 08 Rant

Dear EA, I just dusted Tiger Woods 08 off my shelf and fired it up. It is nice to have the free Turnberry, Ailsa course that was in Tiger 07 as DLC, thanks for that. Did you ever release that, or the premium DLC for PS3 owners? I am pretty sure you didn't. Glad I have a 360. 

Continue reading "Alexi Eichelberb Must Go; Tiger Woods 08 Rant" »

February 23, 2008

Microsoft: HD DVD Support for Xbox 360

Strait from the (short) press release:

As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD.  Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market.  As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace.  HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.

Continue reading "Microsoft: HD DVD Support for Xbox 360" »

December 30, 2007

Xbox LIVE is Having a Seizure

Ever since Christmas, Xbox LIVE has had some problems, I attribute this to growing pains over the holiday. But this has been five strait days of up and down service, sort of there service, and just plain unable to connect service.

Major Nelson has addressed the issue, but doesn't really go into details. This is the worst I have seen the service, I sure hope the get things working smoothly soon. Good luck to the LIVE team.

December 11, 2007

Xbox Live 100 Friend Cap

Kotaku is running a quote about the friend cap in Xbox Live, of 100. It was also covered in one of Major Nelson's interviews in the LIVE is 5IVE series.

Here is my comment:

Yes it is a must fix feature, really. I belong to a number of gaming communities and have a number of friends (and yes, some "friends" too) from esch. My list is maxed and I always have to prune. Between my real life friends and my friends from different web sites, 100 is too little.

The PS3 has this same problem, though the dependency of hardcoded 100 from Xbox 1 obviously does not exist on the PSN.

For a much better explanation, download the LIVE is 5IVE Major Nelson interview. I cannot remember which member eof the team he was talking to, but one of them explained the reason why.

Sure it might not be a problem with most, but it is a problem for enough people, including several Microsoft employees, that it is a matter we are bitching about.

Some other comments that are quite relevant:

BY RAZLO
...All of you people condemning people with large friends lists obviously don't play a lot of multiplayer on Xbox Live.

BY RAZLO
I like how people are defending a 100 friend cap like it's a good thing.

BY ADAMONFIRE
XBL Silver FTW!

December 6, 2007

What does Microsoft have against Bowling Green?

Dear Microsoft,

I find this odd. When I try and update the Location field in my XBL profile, it will not accept "Bowling Green, OH" or "Bowling Green" or "BowlingGreen" or even "B0w1ing Gr33n" or "B0w£1n9 9r33n" but it will take "Bowling" or "Green". I have seen many others list their city and state.

"Your location contains a word or phrases that isn't allowed. Please try again."

So, can you please explain to me why I cannot put in Bowling Green, OH

Thanks,

Ken

UPDATE: I got a response from our MS rep:

You should be aware that recent changes to the Patriot Act have made living in Bowling Green a federal offense, therefore we are unable to process any requests that contain that phrase.

Umm…yeah, so that’s really odd. I have a friend that works in the Xbox LIVE ops center that I’ll check with to see why you’re getting flagged. I’ll give you a holler when I hear back from him.

November 28, 2007

My Gamerscore Passes 15,000

While I am not the Elite Score Whore that Matt is (he has the badge to prove this) I have passed 15,000, and actually made it to 16,000 without breaking a sweat, thanks to Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, The Simpsons Game, and to a lesser extent PGR 4.

I would say 16,000 Gamerscore in a matter of two years is pretty good. I don't have the 52,000 Gamerscore that Matt does, but I don't play as much (or as many games).

According to my Xbox 360 blog, I only play 56.6% of my games (97.3% for Matt). That is probably pretty close. I have had my 360voice account for over a year now, so the data it tracks is pretty accurate.

How to Tell a Hard Landing, with Mass Effect

Interesting read of what is not in Mass Effect.

November 27, 2007

Shrek-n-Roll Achievement Glitch

Most games give you the Achievement Points that you earned while playing the demo if you purchase the game. In fact, the majority of them actually taunt you with them. Not Shrek-n-Roll.

I played through the demo levels, which is three in total I believe, payed for the game, and completed the first full level, getting the "Top of the Class" Achievement for clearing Worchestershire Academy.

The problem is that there is a 5 point Achievement "Get Your Feet Wet" for clearing just the first board. It would not give this to me, even if I started a new game.

I deleted the game, that did not work. I tried on another profile, which worked just fine. So the solution is to go into the System Blade, Memory, Games, Shrek-n-Roll and delete the save file (it will have your Gamertag) and start the game again. Then, you will get the "Get Your Feet Wet" Achievement.

I know I am getting flack for this, but its a fun little puzzle game. In fact, I cannot think of another dual-analog puzzler, at least not like this one.

David Bowie Rock Band DLC is LIVE

In case you did not know, the David Bowie three-pack is up on LIVE for Rock Band. "Heroes" and "Queen Bitch" are covers, but "Moonage Daydream" is a master track. I personally would have rather had an original recording of "Heroes," but oh well.

Guitar wise they are not that difficult, even on Hard -- and that is saying something coming from me. Medium bored me to death, I can't imagine how slow Easy would be with these songs.

I have not tried it with Drums yet, and I am sure they will be difficult songs to sing, but I think it is safe to say that all songs in Rock Band are not easy for me to sing.

All good Bowie songs to download, you should check them out if you have the game. And as with the rest of the DLC, you can cherry pick if you do not want all three.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary DLC Major Bummer for Gamerscore Whores

It really shocks me that none of the major news sites, nor the two biggest gaming blogs (Kotaku, Joystiq) took the time to collect all the facts on this one. From reading the comments, they have left their readers scratching their heads.

If you download Tomb Raider: Anniversary you will only be able to obtain 250 Gamerscore from it, not the full 1000 if you bought the retail disc. It took me little time to confirm this with Eidos. The reason is that Microsoft restricts DLC to have no more than 250 additional points.

Now, for the sake of completeness, here is the information that you might already know: You will need Tomb Raider Legend to play the Anniversary DLC. There are two separate downloads, the first containing Chapter 1, 2, and Croft Mansion; the second containing Chapter 3 and 4. The downloads are 1.5 and 1.6 GB, totaling 3.1 GB of disk space on your hard drive, and cost 1200 MSP a piece.

So, in real world money, 2400 MSP is $30. This is $10 less than the (new) retail disc, and as stated, only comes with 1/4 the Gamerscore.

I bet you can find Anniversary at $30 used by now for the 360, save yourself 3.1 GB on your hard drive, and get the full 1000 Gamerscore.

I am speculating here, but I bet the DLC piggy-backed on to Legend was the best possible solution, as Microsoft does not have any avenue in place for full game downloads. XBLA games are capped at 200 Gamerscore, though I believe they fit into the 250 additional Gamerscore for DLC (though I am not certain on that).

I would think the Anniversary DLC would fit under "Demos and More" but I am going to bet that there is no way to attach Gamerscore to any of the "and More" part of that category.

Back before the 360 retail disc was announced, the DLC of Anniversary made sense. Now, not so much.

November 13, 2007

Beautiful Katamari has 1250 Points

Did you know that Beautiful Katamari has 1250 possible Gamerscore points? Neither did I. Nor did I know a game to have that many points without a download (Oblivion, Gears of War).

I also see no downloadable levels yet. So there is one achievement that, so far, the developer/publisher is making impossible to obtain. Good job guys! Thats even worse than NBA Live 07.

The game is "budget" priced at $40, and the game is fun. It also has a sticker slapped on it that says "Only on Xbox 360." At least for now, its not coming to the PS3, rumors nonwithstanding, of course.

Fun game, I am glad I got it.

November 9, 2007

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 DLC

Tiger 08 has two courses for download. This week Turnberry was released for free. This course was in Tiger 07 so it was odd they did not have it in this year's game. This one is free, did I mention that?

Dural Golf Resort is also available for 400 MS Points ($5) and is a really challenging course that has been in past Tiger games.

While it is nice to see them bringing more and more real life courses to Tiger on the 360/PS3, some of those fantasy courses are really fun to play. Maybe next year?

Talking about the PS3, these two courses are not available on the PlaySation Store. This is not too surprising for me, as DLC on the PS3 has been lucklaster at best thus far.

Guitar Hero III Soundtrack, DLC News

Hey did you know they released a soundtrack for the game? They did, and you should read my review. We always try and come up with nifty subheads for our BC articles, and I am quite proud of mine for this one: The 411 on the DLC including AFI for GHIII on the 360 + Review.

It comes with three songs to play in the game, which is the real reason to get the soundtrack. Well that and the remix of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

In other GHIII news, two pieces of DLC were released, both 500 MS Points ($6.25) and of course this brought the Internet fanboys to a frenzy once again. The three-song packs are from Velvet Revolver and Foo Fighters. I personally like the Foo Fighters one better.

Also, Activision will release the Battle Pack later this month, and proving they are not the new EA (charging for DLC that is already on the disc) this will be free of charge. We will finally be able to play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" outside of the career boss battle.

You know, like it should have been when we got the disc. Like pick up and play co-op should have been on the disc, too. The PS3 is getting the download packs, I guess they are getting the title update sometime in the next century to enable co-op quickplay... but man do Wii owners of GHIII have the short end of the stick on this one -- no title update (that we know of, I am guessing here) plus no DLC (there have been no announcements of DLC coming to the Wii version) which means they cannot play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" outside of the career battle.

I am not upset about it. Naw, no way.

Here is a thought Neversoft (and every other developer who seems to be doing this recently -- read: all of them) Lets start putting the content on the disc. It is a really simple concept, and it has worked for years.

October 23, 2007

Gamerscore Breaks 50,000 Mark

Yes, you read that right. There's a new milestone to celebrate in my achievement point whoring. 50K was broken today thanks to the Superstar achievement in PGR4 worth 40.

This means I now have thousands of more points than Ken. I have a countless points lead on that drunken Canadian Jason. And I have more points than Juganawt... Wait. He has how many? Aw son of bitch.

October 3, 2007

Greatest Halo 3 Grenade Tag Ever

Seriously. Try to find one better than this, I dare you. Even if it's staged, it's still a stunning toss.

September 30, 2007

That didn't take long

That didn't take long, the ass holes have invaded Halo 3. The honeymoon is over, we now have to deal with the winning, loud, obnoxious 14-year-olds that will not shut up.

Joy.

September 24, 2007

Halo 3 is "optimized for hard drive"

I have looked at all my Xbox 360 game cases, and have never seen this designation before, but right after the HDTV badge is "optimized for hard drive."

I wonder what that means. Maybe when the hard drive is present, the game loads faster? I have been very pleased with the loading times for the game, both campaign and MP.

Halo 3 MP Servers are Live!

What a long weekend. It was rough, you know, I had to play Halo 3. Tonight I completed the single player campaign, and Microsoft finally turned the Halo 3 servers back on (since Thursday night they had been turned off, meaning no matchmaking).

I got my first double kill and killing spree in my first match, so I am a happy camper.

September 1, 2007

Tiger Woods 08 is Buggy

I really do not see how these things get missed during QA, especially a show stopped like this. In the Tiger Challege there is a Skins challenge that is glitches. Late in the round it will freeze your console.

This means a number of Achievement Points are not obtainable (reminding me of Tiger 06) not to mention you cannot unlock one of the new (beautiful) courses in the game. On top of that, you cannot unlock Henrietta Brockway.

But we are not done with the agony of one of my favorite game franchises. Photo Game Face is also broken. You cannot upload photos to the EA servers. You can use Xbox Live Vision, sure, but uploading photographs would generate much better results.

Someone I played online told me the Tiger Challenge glitch was on Elite 360s only, fancy that, I just got my Elite. However, I just tried it on a non-Elite and it froze too. I hope a patch is on its way.

August 18, 2007

Yet Another Sign of the Apocolypse

If you look at my 360voice page, you will notice that as of Thursday Guitar Hero II surpassed Oblivion on my list of top 10 played games.

Yes, I have played Guitar Hero II more than Oblivion now. Not only that, but more than myself and Jordan has played Oblivion, as he plays it while signed into my account.

Scary I have played it that much, I know.

I have gotten a lot better at it, mainly due to playing Encore: Rocks the 80s so much. The chords in that game are killer.

Xbox 360 Guitar Hero II Glitch

I wonder if this is a common glitch. I talked to my RedOctane PR rep. about it, and he had not heard of it before, but I just talked to Kevin and he had the same thing happen to him.

Both of us had the glitch happen when doing the same thing: deleting a band out of our profile. The next time we went to play the game, it froze the 360, ever time.

The only way to be able to play Guitar Hero II again (on the same profile) is to go into Memory and delete your GH II save file. Meaning you lose all your progress.

Not fun at all.

August 10, 2007

And Another One Bites The Dust

You know, saying that the 360 hardware failure problem has gotten to epic proportions doesn't seem that far fetched these days.

Fellow BC Editor Josh Hathaway is the latest victim of a dead 360. I can't count the people I personally know who have had dead 360s on my fingers and toes anymore, how sad is that!

And its not like Josh played his 360 a ton. He played one game (Madden 07) and did not play every day.

I sure hope this latest batch of Xbox 360 hardware has been greatly improved. The failure rate, whatever it is, is a joke at this point.

June 29, 2007

One Month Later, My Referb Xbox 360 Arrives

It has been one full month, I kid you not. My 360 died on May 27, and I just got it back today, June 29. I would have got it on the 28th had I been home to sign for it. But that is a full month without my 360.

I did not get a new shell, it still says the same serial number, same born on date. But it does have a different serial number, so it must have been a motherboard swap, which I have been hearing about lately.

I had five or six XBLA games to download!

I did get a letter hoping to "regain my trust," and a one month free card for Xbox Live has been included to ease my pain. So, finally, I can get back on Xbox Live.

Savvy readers know I have not been without an Xbox 360. I just have not been able to get online with my other unit. Let me tell you - an Xbox 360 without Xbox Live really isn't worth playing.

June 17, 2007

Ring of Fire parody song

You know, this is all too true. Even the part of the supply problems of cardboard boxes. That was why it took them seven freakin' days the first time.

I just hope I get my repaired 360 this week.

Ring of Fire parody song (MP3)

June 13, 2007

Return of the Return Address Label

Today is a glorious day. The UPS guy arrived, and handed me a box *with* a return address label inside. I slapped it on Xbox 360 Coffin #1 (It has been ready for days) and gave it back to Mr. UPS Truck Driver.

Now, the waiting game starts over. Will I get my refurb 360 in less than 10 days, will it have a second heat sink?

June 9, 2007

Coffin Takes Seven Days to Arrive, Missing Return Label

My Xbox 360 coffin took seven full business days to arrive, not the two to three I was told on the phone. Counting weekends, thats about a week and a half of time to wait. This does not instill much confidence in the "10 days for repair" I was told over the phone.

So it is packed up and shipped back to Microsoft, or rather their cemetery/repair center in Texas. Well, I would have shipped it today had the box come with the return address label that the instructions said are in the box.

So I am now oh hold with Microsoft Support. This same return label problem happened to Juganawt months ago.

So they are canceling the first coffin, and sending another one. I am not very impressed Microsoft.

Actually, right now I am pretty pissed off, because I just found out that I can play none of my XBLA games when not connected to Live. I remember reading about that, but I never though I would have to worry about the new hardware issue.

I am going to assume I will be getting a new piece of hardware, whenever they can send me a coffin with a return address label, and if that is the case, you can be sure I will raise holy hell. I should be able to play my XBLA games that I paid money for when and if I am not online at the time.

Now wait number two begins. Because someone did not double check the contents of the box, I have to wait for a second coffin.

Will the one month free for Xbox Live that I was promised be enough when this is all said and done?

June 1, 2007

I Wait for the Coffin

I called MSFT on Tuesday, and with no questions asked, they are sending a coffin (which I should have tomorrow) to ship my dead 360 back to them. Then wait up to 10 business days, and I will have a repaired unit.

So glad I did not have to pitch a fuss. I was ready to put up a fight, too.

May 28, 2007

Xbox 360 - Nov. 22 2005 to May 27 2007

Son of a bitch. Right when I am going to have some friends over, my 360 gets a Red Ring of Death™. It did this a week ago, and it rebooted just fine. Now it won't turn on at all.

I had plugged in my play and charge kit, was charging my controller, and didn't want to leave the 360 on all night, so I turned it off (because it has the very nice feature for auto shut off). Right when I hit the power button, I got the three blinking red lights. One more push on the button turned if off, never to turn on again.

Maybe it was all the Guitar Hero II play it has seen lately.

It is dead, R.I.P. little buddy. My little blast furnace. I am going to miss ya. 11713 Gamerscore is a lot to through with one piece of plastic and metal, ya know?

My system, like so many others, was a lunch day unit. Thankfully, I know how to get this thing replaced, one nice perk of being the Gaming Editor at Blogcritics.

I will keep you posted on how long it takes. Since Monday is a holiday, the clock starts ticking on Tuesday.

Now that I have joined the club, its seems like a lot of people I know have had dead Xbox 360s at some point. Mine didn't even last a full two years!

May 22, 2007

My Gamerscore Tops 40k

That took a while. Thanks to horrible games like Shrek the Third!

April 13, 2007

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

... Will be the death of Matt. He is a freak about that game.

January 31, 2007

Look What I Got Today

ghx-plorer.jpg

I have no idea when the game comes out, so don't ask.

December 19, 2006

GRAW Chapter 2 Price Reduced

GRAW Chapter 2 is now available on Xbox Live for only 600 Microsoft points. For all of you who haven't tried Chapter 2 out yet (or cried like a little school girl at the original price), here's a quick list of what it adds to the original GRAW:

• Continued Co-op Campaign
• Relit Adversarial Multiplayer Maps
• New Game Types
• New Camouflage Patterns
• New Character Customization Faces
• New Weapons

Half off isn't bad, and is well worth it. Though I said that back in June. Once again the early adopters get hit the hardest in the wallet. But hey, the those new co-op levels sure are fun.

December 12, 2006

Lost Planet Art Director Interview

Part 1, 2, and 3, with screen shots and concept art. Also watch the "Theater Trailer" from GameTrailers.com (Trailer 5).

November 30, 2006

Don't Download Texas Hold 'Em Patch

DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE TEXAS HOLD 'EM PATCH. Do not start the game. Check MN's site to see the problems with it. It's deleting bankrolls and high scores... IN OTHER GAMES. People have their Lumines scores wiped clean after downloading.
Matt sent me this via Xbox Live today.

As one commenter put it:

This week's Arcade Wednesday title was a patch to fix Texas Hold 'Em.
Next week's Arcade Wednesday title will be a pactch to fix the patch for Texas Hold 'Em.

November 5, 2006

Need for Speed Carbon Online Works, Sorta

One out of four. I have been able to finish one out of four online matches tonight.

I get disconnected the rest of the time, with this:

You have lost your connection to your current game and possibly to EA Nation as well.
Press START to return to the Main Menu

Hey, at least we have progress. I will play a few more games tonigh, and see if I can complete any more of them.

UPDATE: I got through one more race! Of course the one after than froze my entire Xbox 360. This is not good.

November 4, 2006

Need for Speed Carbon Has Broken Online Play

Big surprise here, I know. Another EA game that has screwed up online play.

This sort of reminde me of Tiger Woods 06. Serious let down EA, really, nice job. The two cop chase modes sounds really great. Now I would like to try them out.

Every time I try and create a match it tells me it cannot, and to try again later.

I hope they fix this soon.

It is also worth noting that the PC users of Carbon are complaining about the same issues.

Why doesn't EA just use Microsoft servers for their games, like everyone else. Microsoft has proven time and time again that they can run servers for online games. And EA has proven time and time again that they cannot.

Here is a quote from an EA Mod "Carbon 13"

We have found a bug in our server software that we've patched this evening. Hopefully that will solve the instability issues. It's worth noting that we are seeing a huge number of players online with 360, quite a few more than we predicted, so we're working hard to keep up with the demand. Apologies for the inconvenience.
So let me get this strait, since you did not expect 360 owners to pick up Carbon (after the wildly successfully Most Wanted) you did not allocate enough servers for people to use the system?

I am beginning to understand why almost every EA game for the 360 has severe lag, or has problems creating online matches.

At least in Tiger Woods 07 you can play a full round of golf, after you look at an annoying flashing "Chose Character/Loading Lobby" screen for 20 minutes.

I will try to play online in Carbon again tonight, and let you know how that goes.

October 16, 2006

EA Asks Money For Cheat Codes

Major Nelson is reporting of some premium content for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, which doesn't even ship until the 17th.

Unlock Golfer – 200 points
Pro Shop – 300 points
Maxed out Player – 200 points
Sunday Tiger– 240 points
Unlock Courses – 200 points

You get these things by playing the game. Do I have to repeat myself? You get these things by playing the game.

Microtransations have officially gone too far. Yes, this is even lower than 160 MS Points for a video about throwing a ball in Madden NFL 07.

September 11, 2006

Ben Heckendorn's Xbox 360 laptop: best mod ever?

Every so often a mod comes along that's so intricate, so amazing, so over the top, that words simply don't do it justice (but we'll try anyway). Ben Heckendorn's Xbox 360 laptop is one such mod.
Source: Engadget

Indeed, I am speechless. That thing rocks!

August 11, 2006

Dead Rising Impressions

The save system sucks, big time. Using the 360's Dashboard to handle everything, you are torn away from the game when you save. Guide Blades swoop in from the left and right, it is all very confusing. Surely they could have covered together a better system. Oh, and you only have one save slot.

When you die (and you will die) you have two options. Save progress and restart the entire game, or load last save. I just started day two and encountered my first auto save.

This is a game you are very likely to play again, so there is no need to force people into only one save file.

Beyond the rotten save system, the game is a hell of a lot of fun.

UPDATE: After playing the game for a few days now, I like the save system now that I understand it. It adds to the intensity and urgency of what you need to do.

July 26, 2006

360 Friendspot

I simply cannot believe the number of ways Xbox Live data has been turned into fun websites. This one is 360 Friendspot who linked up with 360 Voice, the one Ken linked to the other day. They take your favorite games, gender, and Gamerscore (and probably more) to match you with people you'd be compatible with. My insanely high Gamerscore makes it a little harder for me since Achievements are all that matter and I'm so damn good, but it's a fun site nonetheless.

July 24, 2006

Can Your Xbox 360 Blog?

360voice.com has a really neat site you should check out if you are an Xbox 360 user. There seems to be a cottage industry for web sites generating reports from Xbox 360 data, but none integrate things as well as 360voice.

I have used it since April and the feature set of the site has grown by leaps and bounds since then. The longer you have been a user, the more useful the data becomes, as expected.

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July 13, 2006

Hitman: Blood Money Impressions

Hitman has been a great series. Contracts wasn't the best, but since I got it free with my Alienware rig, I played it too. Blood Money adds so much depth. The notoriety system and accidental deaths are great additions to the series. You have to be smart with your money. If you are sloppy, you can bribe officials and witnesses.

The graphics in the 360 version are top notch. This is most apparent in the Marty Gras level "The Murder of Crows." The streets and balconies are lined with hundreds of people. It is quite a sight.

With an emphasis on stealth, this stealth-action game delivers on every level. It is a shame the demo held your hand every step of the way, it might as well given you a blow job too. The game itself is very unforgiving. The offset is the shear number of ways to complete any given objective. This freedom is heightened further in Blood Money more so than in previous installments.

So far my favorite "accident" involved rigging the grill with lighter fluid. You can imagine what happened when a specific someone tried to use it. Evil? Sure. But quite effective.

Plus, it was an accident.

June 23, 2006

G.R.A.W. Chapter 2 Content Note

This was quite annoying. I downloaded that 725 MB Chapter 2 DLC for G.R.A.W. last night. It took forever. When I fired up G.R.A.W. it told me it had a Title Update. So I updated it.

When I went to search for the new co-op missions, they were not there. So I had to download the Chapter 2 DLC again. Oddly it did not just go by quickly the second time like it usually does when you select "Download Again." That, of course, took forever.

Sure enough when I play G.R.A.W. now, the new content is in place, ready for me to play. The new maps are just gorgeous, but I expected no less.

I wonder why I had to do that, because downloading a 725 MB file twice is just annoying, it doesn't matter what the circumstances are.

June 6, 2006

New Burnout Clips!

I F****** HATE BURNOUT CLIPS! I just got one. I am not about to put in Burnout Revenge to see your burnout clips. Hint: you do not need to send them to get your achievement.

And while I am on a rant here. STOP SENDING ME HALO 2 MESSAGES. I cannot read them in the Dashboard, and again, I am not going to put Halo 2 in the drive just to read the message.

And for god sakes, get a better game to play online. Hint: Halo 2 sucks online.

June 5, 2006

Top360Tag.com [update]

Generating reports of Xbox 360 Achievements and Gamertag data has become a cottage industry overnight! Matt sent me a link to Top360Tag.com. So far it offers the most ways to slice and dice the data. It offers a lot, so go check it out.

Continue reading "Top360Tag.com [update]" »

GameVideos Previews Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting

The guys at GameVideos and 1UP have a preview of sorts up for Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting -- the game that will hopefully be the next to hit the Xbox Live Arcade. They say it is Street Fighter, but without the Hyper Fighting part. I guess it is a good thing they didn't go with Street Fighter Alpha 3 after all.

This is not the best press before the game even hits XBLA. A sparse interface and slower play while in Xbox Live seem to be the main complaints. Not being able to change the video or button controls in Xbox Live play are some pretty big oversights, too. Take a look for yourself.

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May 24, 2006

TRITTON AX360 Headphones First Look

One of the many products introduced at E3 this year was the TRITTON Audio Xtreme 360 Headphones.

I just received my review unit today. Setup was a snap. So far I have tested both Mission Impossible (Special Edition) and Condemned on my Xbox 360.

I should have a full review soon but I will leave you with this teaser.

Continue reading "TRITTON AX360 Headphones First Look" »

May 23, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: X-Men - The Official Game

Deep down, we all want to see a revival of genres thought long dead. The beat-em-up is one of those, and why Sega has yet to grace us with a new Streets of Rage remains one of those great gaming mysteries. Then, out of nowhere, we get something like X-Men - The Official Game. Not only are we still wondering what it's the official game of, we're also wondering why we're being charged $60 for a beat-em-up that had its mechanics trounced by Final Fight.

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May 17, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Dynasty Warriors 5 - Empires

It's utterly amazing that a series based on ancient Chinese history with brutally repetitive fighting has made it to its fifth sequel, let alone multiple spin-offs like Empires. It rejects every theory we have on repetition and how much the human body can take. There's a reason for its success, and it comes back to that it's never boring to take out 50 enemies with a single press of a button.

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May 11, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Uno

It's Uno, it's digital, and its only a meager 400 Microsoft Points. That line should be enough to get the point across that if you're fan of this classic card game, nothing should stop you from grabbing this downloadable edition. If you prefer that most of the strategy lies in being physically present to bluff and scream "Uno!," then this probably isn't for you.

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May 10, 2006

E3 2006: Lost Planet Xbox 360 Impressions

Lost Planet isn’t meant to try anything different. Outside of its unbelievably beautiful exterior lies a standard 3rd person shooter involving oddball life forms, mechs, and plenty of fire… lots of fire.

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May 8, 2006

E3 2006: First Wave of Marketplace Downloads

As promised, Microsoft today unleashed the first wave of downloads on the Xbox Live Marketplace as part of its "Bringing E3 Home" campaign. So fire up your Xbox 360 and start downloading! This is the list of downloads available so far:

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May 1, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: MLB 2K6

While not the key to other sports games, the presentation of a baseball game is critical. The sports ample downtime can be enjoyable, tension raised with some camera shots, and classic moments remembered for how they were captured. As usual, it's 2K Sports that handles this the best, with a nothing short of brilliant way of capturing the sport and all of its details. With tweaks to the fielding, this is the best baseball game ever made.

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April 30, 2006

Accessory Review: Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter

Just like the original Xbox, Microsoft offers a Wireless Network Adapter for the Xbox 360. Also like the Xbox version, people are going to complain about the price. That said, the Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter supports more than its predecessor, and is worth the cost if running Ethernet is not an option to you.

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April 23, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: College Hoops 2K6

Hitting their launch date with the only feature rich basketball title, 2K Sports rebounds (pun intended) with College Hoops 2K6. With an already incredible basketball engine to play with, changes from the pro game are minimal. It's the atmosphere, pacing, new shot control, and presentation that makes College Hoops stand alone.

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April 22, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Rumble Roses XX

Pro Wrestling on the NES remains, even to this day, one of the greatest wrestling video games ever produced. With all the advancements developers have made to storylines, crowds fighting, weapons, and graphics, that 8-bit classic still forces comparison. That said it should be logical that another wrestling title with its simplicity would be as enjoyable. The truth is that it could be, as long as it isn't Rumble Roses.

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April 19, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Tomb Raider Legend

"I'm falling in love all over again."

That's one of the early clips of dialogue from Tomb Raider Legends, and a piece of foreshadowing based on what's about to happen to the player. Resurrecting the franchise from utter disasters and slapped together yearly sequels, Legends is the game Tomb Raider wanted to be and should have been all along. You will be falling in love, even before the first level is over.

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April 16, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Top Spin 2

Top Spin 2 is not Virtua Tennis. For those weaned on Sega's tennis franchise, Top Spin is a shock. You hit the ball out of bounds with regularity, there are multiple types of shots, position is crucial, and hit detection is unforgiving. It's necessary to take the Indie Built-developed Top Spin seriously, and if you can make the adjustment from the only other tennis series out there, you'll find the best representation of the sport on any platform.

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April 13, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Blazing Angels

It's not as if the world needed another arcade-styled flight game. We have Ace Combat to take care of that. It's not as if we needed another game set in World War II either. However, none of that is relevant to the gameplay of Blazing Angels, a wild take on the War with enough of a hook to keep you playing.

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April 9, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

Editor's Note: I found this one of the hardest games I have ever reviewed. The sheer size of the game does not lend itself to a short review. Just as Matt predicted, I ended up writing a tome. I cut more than half of that fat out of this review, never to be seen again. It is almost a shame, but those digital bits will never be used as some obscure torture device. I am sure you will agree; it's a good thing. I seriously toyed with the idea of an "Addendum to the Review" but in the end I just do not have time to tie that up in a nice package.

You may want to inform your friends and family before purchasing this game. The reason for this is clearly obvious; because you will not be reachable for weeks, if not months, once you start your adventure in this forth game in the series.

It is unprecedented that a single-player game has as much game play as Oblivion does. The Province of Cyrodil is roughly twice the size of Morrowind, with over 16 square miles to traverse in your journey.

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April 5, 2006

Tomb Raider: Legend Demo On Xbox Live Marketplace

Are you impressed with the new Tomb Raider? I am. But I cannot help but think of a certain rock climbing introduction to this John Woo film I saw a little while ago... Oh yea it was Mission: Impossible II. Well, back to the demo for me.

Xbox 360 Review: Burnout Revenge

We've already come to expect the plethora of ports on the 360. Lets face it: If you're a major corporation and can milk gamers for additional $60, you'd do it to. The problem is that most companies don't do this right, and EA is notorious for it. Burnout Revenge doesn't escape their port problems, but when the game was a classic to begin with, players who never played the first release have the game the way it should be played.

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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Marble Blast Ultra

If Marble Blast Ultra lets us in on any secrets, it's that Live Arcade games can be as advanced as any of the $60 titles sitting on a store shelf. This is arguably the most intense of the current lot, involving superb graphics, insane physics, and simple concept to create the addiction. Oh, and the multi-player is the best thing to happen to this one.

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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Wik - Fable of Souls

It takes guts to try and do something as blatantly different as Wik. To go against the standard gaming grain, especially making a design around one that completely restricts the characters movement, is flat out risky. With the right design though, it can come together, and Wik does marvelously.

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April 4, 2006

Forza Motorsport Backwards Compatibility Update

I have to give the Microsoft Xbox team serious Kudos Points for their latest update to the backwards compatibility list. I still do not understand why every single game released after the November 2005 launch of the Xbox 360 is not backwards compatible, but that is a different story. Besides, I am not here (at this moment) to rant.

Forza Motorsport, one of my favorite Xbox titles was/is on the original list of backwards compatible games. The problem was clear however: it ran like shit. Not only was game play hampered by severely long load times and frame rate issues, but the intro video would not even play at full speed! I am sorry, but I cannot see the problem with emulating full motion video, pre-rendered I might add.

All is forgiven after last week's update, as the game loads just as it did on the Xbox, the game play actually feels like I am driving 100 MPH when I am driving 100 MPH, and most importantly, the intro video runs at full speed. All the herky-jerkyness is gone.

So thank you Microsoft.

Now where is the first party solution to move my gave saves over to my Xbox 360 hard drive?

April 1, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Burnout Revenge

I will be the first to admit, I was not really looking forward to yet another current generation port to the Xbox 360. That card has been played already, repeatedly. But I am coming from a slightly different perspective -- I have not played Burnout Revenge to death. Yep, that's right, I skipped this on the Xbox. I suppose it had something to do with Forza Motorsport.

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March 31, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Outpost Kaloki X

While Outpost Kaloki X looks like a simulation title, it's more of a puzzle game. The idea of building things to attract customers, even in the quirky environment of Kaloki, should lead to some strategy. Instead, its objectives ensure it's closed from the player's ideas, and forces them to follow a specific path to complete them.

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March 29, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Zuma

Everyone who plays Zuma has a deep rooted hatred for it. It's the immeasurable, heated, and downright dangerous type of hatred. Actually, maybe it's not Zuma they hate, but how much people miss out on life because of it.

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March 28, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Mutant Storm Reloaded

Hardly original but with some unique ideas, Mutant Storm Reloaded is the Xbox Live Arcade's fifth dual analog shooter. That's a bit much for anyone, though Mutant Storm is slightly distinct with its tighter gameplay and focus on clearing single rooms with their own challenges. It's definitely more Smash TV than Geometry Wars.

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March 26, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Feeding Frenzy

The great thing about Live Arcade titles is their skill requirement. These simple puzzle and twitch titles require your full attention, and earning Achievements is and actual achievement. That's not true with Feeding Frenzy.

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March 24, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter

When you're in this line of work, there's one severe problem one can run into: being speechless. Yet, after moving through with Ghost Recon for the Xbox 360, it's hard to find words to accurately describe the experience, drama, tension, and nearly flawless gameplay mechanics. This everything a 360 game should be, a new high point, and a blueprint for anything tactical to come in the future.

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Xbox 360 Review: The Outfit

Trying to blend two genres that will hardly blend together at all, The Outfit offers frantic and superb multi-player for a few people. More than a handful of players and the battlefields are filled with too many targets and little organization. The less said about the single player the better.

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March 22, 2006

Xbox 360 Preview: Blazing Angels

Taking WWII out of the first-person genre for the first time in what feels like ages, Blazing Angels isn't re-inventing the arcade flight genre. It follows a familiar line set up by Namco's Ace Combat, but adds a kitschy feel and a superb targeting system. The currently available demo on the Marketplace offers players three levels to try, and it's likely enough to sell this one.

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March 17, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Fight Night Round 3

If you look at the Xbox 360 version of Fight Night Round 3 and believe the only difference are the graphics, you're wrong. It's not a matter of opinion. The first edition of the Fight Night series is a radical change, even if at a quick glance, it doesn't appear so. The technology is used to create the first truly next-gen sports title, and the benefits are stunning.

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March 14, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Gauntlet

It may have been the beginnings of the action-RPG genre, but time is not on Gauntlet's side. Its purpose, sucking down four players quarters at once, is obvious. Blatantly so in fact, and as such, Gauntlet isn't worth playing regardless of the console it's on.

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March 8, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Crystal Quest

Probably one of the top games to land on a list of "games you'll never see remade," Crystal Quest isn't even in the memory of many gaming fans. An obscure Mac title (and later Apple II), this shooter offered some different mechanics to help it stand out, including inertia and a focus on collecting. Only one of those makes it into this remake.

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March 3, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Smash TV

Far better than the sequel it would spawn (Total Carnage), Smash TV is one of gaming's all time brightest action titles. It does almost nothing wrong, and it's one of the few games that can come close to the intensity of Robotron. That's not surprising given Robotron's creator Eugene Jarvis had a hand in this one.

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March 2, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: NBA Live 06

To say the Xbox 360 version of NBA Live 06 is lacking, well, everything, still isn't enough to get the point across. Barren is probably a better word. This is the problem with being spoiled by sports games, and NBA Live 06 is a victim because of it.

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March 1, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Robotron 2084

It's highly doubtful creator Eugene Jarvis knew what he was creating when the concept for Robotron 2084 popped into his mind. The simple "try and stay alive" concept is an idea that would spawn numerous sequels and spin-offs (Smash TV owes everything to Robotron). As such, we've seen the game on multiple incarnations of hardware, and the Live Arcade seems as good a place as any to yet again resurrect this unsung classic.

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February 25, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Full Auto

Back when the Nintendo 64 and Playstation were butting heads, Activision's marketing team released an ad campaign for Vigilante 8. The tagline was simple: "Blow sh*t up." What a shame that line was wasted on a game where the only thing exploding were the cars instead of holding it back for Full Auto. That singular line describes this superbly crafted action title, its hook, and the appeal.

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February 22, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Gun

Aside from dabbling in a few action titles, Neversoft's developmental history is filled with one name: Tony Hawk. If they need to continue on with the tiring franchise to create another game like Gun, every new version of Tony Hawk is small price to pay. Gun isn't particularly brilliant or original, but it eliminates basic annoyances and features a fantastic story that's worth experiencing.

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February 20, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Bankshot Billiards 2

As the most expensive (currently) Xbox Live Arcade game, Bankshot Billiards 2 has to offer something to prove its worth. That it does, with wildly fun multi-player and numerous single player games that have brutally difficult Achievements to unlock. Sadly, the game is a technological disaster waiting to happen, with countless bugs, online issues, and various other annoyances that show you why this is free when you buy the Xbox Live Starter kit.

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February 17, 2006

Xbox 360 Arcade Review: Geometry Wars

Every console needs a showcase title, and rather oddly, for the Xbox 360, that could be the $5 Geometry Wars. While photo-realism is a wonderful thing, rainbow colored particle effects can be just as impressive. This dual analog shooter shows why the majority of your time spent with the Xbox 360 could be in the Live Arcade.

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February 16, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Amped 3

Even if in some fantasy realm you managed to beat Amped 2, Amped 3 is not a game for you. The same goes for fans of the initial game in this series. As such, the radical departure from the realistic snowboarding action portrayed in the entries on the original Xbox has been wiped clean, and what we're left with is a goofy, strange, oddball, wacky, and easy-playing title that wants a bigger portion of the market to experience it.

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February 15, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Quake 4

Back in 1996, Quake 4 would have been an incredible experience. Given that most of its mechanics feel like they did back in Quake 2 (which the story continues from), that's no surprise. This is an all-out frag fest, where more weapons, big explosions, and plenty of gore rule the gameplay. This might have worked on a basic level if the game was technically adept, but it's not.

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February 8, 2006

Xbox 360 Accessory Review: Mad Catz NFL Faceplate

When I first read about faceplates for the Xbox 360 I thought it was pretty dumb idea. Who would want to spend $20 to customize the Xbox 360? I was wrong about faceplates for mobile phones, and totally off base about UMD movies. So we will see how these Xbox 360 faceplates fare. After a few days, though, I like having my favorite NFL team emblazoned across the front of my 360.

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Xbox 360 Review: Condemned

If Condemned featured any cute pink fluffy bunnies, it would show them with their heads off, intenstines spilled, and furry tails spread liberally across the room. That's the type of rabid violence Condemned feeds on, and it wouldn't be the same experience without it. While countless people speak out against the graphic violence in video games, Condemned is the giant middle finger pointed straight upward in their faces, showing how and why it's necessary.

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February 7, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Dead or Alive 4

Cherishing the hardcore audience the Dead or Alive franchise has been built on, this latest sequel strives to do one thing: alienate every mainstream gamer from ever having a chance at winning. For a lesser fighting game, that's all it takes to destroy the gameplay. For whatever reason, but possibly after countless aggravating hours spent on Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive 4 feels like 3-D fighting game perfection.

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February 4, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Need for Speed Most Wanted

Thankfully taking place in broad daylight, Need for Speed Most Wanted takes the series out of the Underground, and result is the best title in the franchise since Hot Pursuit. The variety is incredible, and it's enough to carry the game all the way to the finish. Flaws are noticeable, though by no means severe enough to keep fans of the franchise from a purchase.

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January 30, 2006

Xbox 360 Accessory Review: Mad Catz HeadCOM Pro

Mad Catz has you covered in the Xbox 360 accessories corner. If you are stuck with the Core System, you can save a few bucks by going the third party rout. You may even want to look into this as a replacement to the Microsoft supplied headset. There is a give and take, however.

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January 27, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Tiger Woods 06

From the viewpoint of a die-hard fanatic of EA's Tiger Woods franchise, the first Xbox 360 rendition is impossible to judge. It seems to do everything to cause irritation in a group of loyal followers who understand why the series is the way it is, while at the same time, keeping the basic gameplay that drew people in to begin with. It's easily contains the widest feature set of the disappointing group of launch titles from EA Sports, and that's what carries this latest edition.

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January 20, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Call of Duty 2

Even if the genre is overcrowded, the mesmerizing, addictive, and brutal Call of Duty 2 shows why we needed another World War II title. This unrelenting and harsh video game uses the Xbox 360 not just for its graphical capabilities, but for intensity not possible on a different console. With battles like this, it's hard to believe anyone made it out of the war alive.

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January 18, 2006

Xbox 360 Accessory Review: Mad Catz Game Pad Pro

Third party companies are going to have a problem on the Xbox 360. Microsoft's controller is brilliant, perfectly formed and designed. It's also wireless. Mad Catz produced Game Pad Pro fails to be an adequate replacement, and given the price, you'd be better off spending the extra cash for an official pad.

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December 24, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: Ridge Racer 6

After a disastrous sequel in R: Racing Evolution that Namco is wise to forget, the Ridge Racer series now joins the crowded and strong Xbox 360 racing line up. This is the game for non-car buffs and those who treasure simple gameplay. While the feel is definitely outdated comparatively, the audience for this style is out there, and this is an overly extended fan service for them.

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December 18, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: Perfect Dark Zero

Out on the N64 with a wildly inconsistent frame rate, Perfect Dark made some noise because of its developer (Rare) and great weapon set. That continues on the Xbox 360 with the prequel, Perfect Dark Zero. It's in a bigger crowd now though, and the impact isn't quite there, but this is still a well made FPS.

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December 14, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: NBA 2K6

No one likes to win a battle without a fight. It doesn’t prove anything. NBA 2K6 resoundingly wins round one of the next-gen battle for simulation basketball. And all they had to do was show up at launch. This is because most of NBA Live 06 is just not there in EA’s first baller for the 360.

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Xbox 360 Review: Kameo

In development since the early days of the Nintendo 64, Kameo is one of those games you would never be surprised to see cancelled. After numerous incarnations and consoles, it's here on the Xbox 360. It's hard to imagine what the limited hardware of the N64 would have done to this fantastical, gorgeous, and jaw droppingly beautiful world. It's nice to know we'll never need to know.

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December 13, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: NHL 2K6

Unlike another companies sports titles on the Xbox 360, 2K Sports has done things right. There's not a single feature missing from this upgraded edition of NHL 2K6, and as an already beautiful game of hockey, there's little else they could expect. You'll be getting the same game you would on the Xbox; everything simply looks a touch better.

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December 10, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06

It is really sad to see all the EA Sports titles for the Xbox 360 come up short this season. And Tiger 06 is no exception. For basketball fans there is another game to consider, but not so for football and golf.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 on the Xbox 360 looks amazing. The game is truly breathtaking, especially in HD. The player models have never looked better. Tiger truly looks like Tiger. The modeling and textures for cloth are stunning for sure, but it is the vast courses that really are impressive. The only glitches are slight pop in of shadows, and some stuttering during the introductory flybys. This is barely noticeable, but the pop in is surprising when you think about what the hardware is capable of.

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November 27, 2005

Xbox 360 Review: Madden NFL 06

Not satisfied with the current Madden, the team has created something new for this generation. The changes are subtle, though enough to be noticeable. It's obvious most of the work went towards the new graphics engine, and while that's expected, people may be surprised about the play changes.

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October 14, 2005

Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 hands-on preview

The preview build I took for a spin on final Xbox 360 hardware is running about 75% complete in terms of game mechanics and 90% complete in terms of visuals. And oh what magnificent visuals they are.
Source: The Man Room

Lots of good information here. All sounds promising for this Thanksgiving and Madden football on the 360.

October 12, 2005

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Hands-On 2

We had the chance today to sit down and go hands-on with Bethesda's upcoming role playing epic for the Xbox 360 we continue to be impressed by the title's appearance and depth. Be aware, this preview may get a little technical.
Source: IGN Xbox 360

This one puts to rest the notion of Bethesda watering down their RPG for the - how do I put this nicely - wussy crowd. It seems they have made it more accessible but keeps all the goodness that was Morrowind. Lots more good info on the one true "killer app" of the 360.

October 4, 2005

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Hands-On

After what seems like an eternity of salivating over a few screens and grainy leaked videos, we finally got to go hands-on with Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and it was good.
Source: IGN

In my opinion, Oblivion is the "killer app" for the XB 360, not Perfect Dark Zero. I am still enjoying Morrowind, and I have not started Tribunal or Bloodmoon yet. I have a feeling that Oblivion is going to be bigger then Morrowind is. That is not a bad thing for us RPG fans.




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