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Spyglass Board Games Xbox Live Arcade

Marathon: Durandal and Spyglass Board Games are now available on the Xbox Live Arcade, as previously announced. Marathon is an old-school FPS originally developed by Bungie, the guys behind Halo. While you may not have had a chance to play it before – or even hear of it – it’s a game that introduced many mechanics into the FPS genre that have been taken for granted for years now, like dual wielding. The game will run you 800 Microsoft Points, or $10. If you liked Doom, be sure to give Marathon a shot.

Spyglass Board Games is a compilation of four very popular classic board games: chess, checkers, mancala, and reversi. Given its cheap price (400 points; $5) and Vision Camera support, it’s definitely something worth picking up if you enjoy any of the included games.

Check after the break for more details on both games.

Click to continue reading Xbox Live Arcade 8/1: Marathon: Durandal And Spyglass Board Games

Gallery: Xbox Live Arcade 8/1: Marathon: Durandal And Spyglass Board Games


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GameVideos has posted a video of an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment’s Phil Harrison, head of worldwide studios, which took place during this year’s E3. 1UP.com’s Sam Kennedy and EGM’s Dan Hsu talk with Phil about Home, LittleBigPlanet, Madden’s 30 FPS woes, the Wii’s success, and more.

Be forewarned that if the pronunciation of the word “beta” as “bee-tah” irritates you, you may want to skip the portion pertaining to Home.

Gallery: Phil Harrison Interview With 1UP


Viva Pinata boxart Xbox 360During Comic-Con last week, Microsoft announced that a Viva Piñata title was in development for the Nintendo DS. Apparently, this isn’t going to be a Party Animals port (the Mario Party-style Viva Piñata title announced during this year’s Microsoft E3 press conference) – instead, it’ll be a full on remake of the Xbox 360 game. It’ll contain all of the piñata found in the Xbox 360 version, as well as some new ones, as well.

“You’ll also be given free rein with an expanded selection of tools and tool actions, upgraded forms of the Journal and Encyclopaedia, and brand new game modes such as Sandbox (for full and easy access to your favourite Piñatas) and Episodes (tying in more closely to the TV series and allowing fans of the show to spend quality time with familiar faces).”

The game will be designed with the unique features of the DS in mind; most specifically, the DS’ touch panel.

“Design, nurture, instruct, protect and care for your garden and animals through direct touch. The DS WiFi service also lets you send prime Piñata specimens to your friends, making the act of parading your Doenut around in a humiliating pirate outfit easier than ever.”

It’ll be interesting to see exactly who gets the publishing rights to the game. Following Microsoft’s acquisition, Rare did still release several games on the Game Boy Advance, all of which were published by THQ. And the recently released Diddy Kong Racing DS, developed by Rare, was published by Nintendo.

Read More | CVG

Gallery: Viva Piñata Headed To The Nintendo DS


Marathon Durandal Xbox Live Arcade

Finally, Bungie’s Marathon. The game that was arguably better than Doom back in the day, but got little no attention because it was released only on Macs. (That’s what they get.) Marathon: Durandal, however, is actually the sequel to the original Marathon which saw a release on both Windows and Mac. The XBLA port was developed by Freeverse, and includes a variety of features that will make it worth its 800 Microsoft Point price tag – HD graphics, Xbox Live play, and co-op.

Spyglass Board Games has been heavily anticipated by many gamers, as for 400 Microsoft Points you get a sweet package of Chess, Checkers, Mancala and Reversi, all with Xbox Live Vision Camera support.

Both games will be available this Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade.

Gallery: This Week on Xbox Live Arcade: Marathon: Durandal And Spyglass Board Games


Wii Fit

Chris Kohler of Wired’s Game | Life had a chat with Reggie Fils-Aime about Wii Fit during E3, and two details came out of it – one of which was particularly noteworthy. As we all expect, the game will cost more than the traditional $50 price point for Wii titles. Research is still being done on the cost of the Wii Balance Board, so that will be what helps dictate the final price. Nintendo knows how well Guitar Hero II on Xbox 360 did at $89.99, so don’t be too surprised if Wii Fitness fell into that ballpark.

The other tidbit was that Wii Fit won’t be seeing a release in the United States this year. Japan will be seeing it by year’s end, but not in the states. Understandable, considering that Super Smash Bros. Brawl is coming in December and Super Mario Galaxy in November. But isn’t Nintendo missing out on a tremendous amount of sales during the holiday shopping season by releasing it in ’08?

Read More | Game | Life

Gallery: According To Reggie, No Wii Fit In US In 2007


Kirby Dream Course

Before you get excited, it’s not the good Kirby. (Well, not what I’d consider good, at least.) The SNES’ Kirby’s Dream Course is the big name title this week, and a week where a Kirby-themed golf game is headliner isn’t really a good week for the Virtual Console. Nevertheless, you’ll also be able to pick up Devil’s Crush, a pinball game and the RPG Shining Force, which may sound familiar because it received a remake on the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

Details after the break.

Click to continue reading Virtual Console 7/23: Kirby, Devil’s Crush, And Shining Force

Gallery: Virtual Console 7/23: Kirby, Devil’s Crush, And Shining Force


Xbox Live Vision CameraThe free update for Texas Hold ‘em, which rolled out yesterday, included a variety of features – including some really great ones. Bug fixes and updates such as Xbox Live Vision Camera support are the headliners here. And the good part for dedicated fans is that bankrolls won’t be reset with the update.

Poker is the perfect fit for the Vision Camera, and finally we’ll have just that. This’ll likely breathe new life into the game, and luckily it’s the type of game that isn’t just a fad – plenty of people still populate Hold ‘em online as it is. While I wish this had come out sooner (like, not 11 months after it was first released), it’s better late than never, especially when you’re referring to uses for the Vision Camera, which are few and far between.

  • Improved usability such as the addition of Custom Match Lists, which allows gamers to view and select which available Custom Match game they would like to join.
  • Improved rich presence in the game, allowing players to not only see what their friends are up to, but also if they just won that big pot!
  • Improved matchmaking and user results.
  • Scoring and screens are more readable than before.
  • Multi-language support including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • New premium downloadable content allows players to customize the in-game environment, and access new gamerpics and themes.

Gallery: Xbox Live Arcade’s Texas Hold ‘em Gets Updated


E3 2007 winnerIt always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”

But we just can’t help it, can we?

Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”

My rundown is after the break.

Click to continue reading E3 2007: The Big Three: Who “Won” E3?

Gallery: E3 2007: The Big Three: Who “Won” E3?


Shigeru Miyamoto Mario Luigi

As with the Microsoft conference before it, I was confined to my hotel Wi-Fi to take in Nintendo’s E3 press conference. But, unlike Microsoft’s, I’m walking away thoroughly and utterly disappointed. I’m going to go ahead and spoil part of the full story from after the break: there was no mention of Smash Bros. being online. Me = worried much.

Set your expectations low before you view the rest after the break.

Click to continue reading E3 2007: Nintendo’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions

Gallery: E3 2007: Nintendo’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions


E3 Microsoft Bringing It Home

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.

Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.

Click to continue reading E3 2007: Microsoft’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions

Gallery: E3 2007: Microsoft’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions


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