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Crackdown leaping through air

As if your Crackdown disc didn’t already have enough worth – it’s your key into the beta, after all – Microsoft and developer Real Time Worlds are planning on releasing nothing short of a mammoth load of content for the game. Through a combination of a title update and two content packs – one free, and one premium – there will be plenty of reasons to keep Crackdown in your 360 drive long after the Halo 3 beta ends.

Before getting into this laundry list of content, one nifty feature that has been implemented is basically a “try before you buy” system. Join up in a co-op game with someone that owns the “Getting’ Busy Bonus Pack” (the name of the 800 Microsoft Point premium content pack) and you’ll temporarily be given full access to everything included in the pack.

Click to continue reading Tons Of Crackdown Content Coming

Read More | Major Nelson

Gallery: Tons Of Crackdown Content Coming


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GoldenEye 007 box art

GoldenEye 007 is one of those titles that most gamers have fond recollections of. Released in 1997, it was the first console FPS that really got it - that is, up until that point, everyone looked at FPSs as something that only worked on PCs. But with a solid combination of single player and multiplayer mayhem, it captured the hearts of N64 owners to the tune of eight million copies sold. It seems only natural that a classic of this caliber would eventually makes its way onto the Virtual Console.

But there’s one problem – when developer Rare was sold to Microsoft, the rights to the title became, as Rare put it, “… caught up in a convoluted web of rights the likes of which would make the Weaver from Perdido Street Station jealous. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, just that a lot of people with a lot of different perspectives are involved.”

Click to continue reading GoldenEye On Arcade Or Virtual Console? “It’s Possible,” Says Rare

Read More | Scribes via Cubed3

Gallery: GoldenEye On Arcade Or Virtual Console? “It’s Possible,” Says Rare


xbox 360 dashboard messaging

The long-awaited Spring Update is finally set for launch tomorrow (Wednesday), with the headline feature being all-new Xbox Live integration with MSN/Windows Live Messenger. This is the third such major dashboard update in the life of the Xbox 360, and contains a long list of new features – but it’s ultimately the weakest of those three releases.

Being able to instant message while gaming, watching movies or doing whatever else on the 360 is certainly a nifty feature, but isn’t going to be worth taking advantage of for the average user – at least not until the mini-QWERTY keyboard is released. USB keyboard support is being added, but unless you’re sitting fairly close (or wireless keyboards are supported), you’ll be stuck typing with the virtual keyboard. And from having sent hundreds over messages over Live, let me say that using that is nothing short of an exercise in patience.

In addition to the IMing capabilities included in the update, the following features have been added:

  • On-screen pop-ups that immediately display the name and gamerscore value of a just accomplished Achievement, allowing gamers to see their progress without leaving or pausing the game. 
  • An even safer way to communicate through Xbox LIVE with enhanced family settings that enable different default settings for video chat and voice chat.
  • A new, standalone Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade houses all Xbox LIVE Marketplace content in one easy to navigate space.
  • Xbox LIVE Arcade enhancements that showcase what games friends are playing directly from the friends list. Boasting about high scores, comparing progress and checking out leaderboards are all easier now as well.
  • Faster access to free, trial version of Xbox LIVE Arcade games through an improved Auto Downloads feature.
  • The ability to fast-forward, pause and rewind video as it is being downloaded on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
  • Owners can now set their consoles to turn off after downloading content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace to help save energy, and download speeds have been increased.

The Marketplace blade will certainly be useful, but what Microsoft is really trying to do is simply make it as easy as possible for you to hand over those Microsoft Points. But the new Achievement notification will be sure to go over well, especially with me, as I’m the type of person who always checks out what achievement I just unlocked - even if I’m in a multiplayer game.

For more details on the free download and a full list of features, check out this page on Xbox.com.

Gallery: Xbox 360 Spring Dashboard Update Hits Wednesday


Double Dragon box artAs was rumored this past week, Double Dragon will be released on the Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday. It’ll be available at 2 a.m. PDT for a fee of 400 Microsoft Points, or $5 in non-virtual money.

It’ll ship with the standard Arcade fare of 12 achievements and 200 achievement points, graphical enhancements, and leaderboards. But the major benefit of picking up Double Dragon will be the two-player co-op, playable locally or over Xbox Live. For $5, you really can’t go wrong with this arcade classic.

Microsoft has also announced six other upcoming Arcade titles – only one of which is a port. Finally, another use for the Vision camera will be available with Spyglass Board Games, a collection of classic board games such as chess and checers. Video chat will be available in game, much in the same fashion that it is in Uno.

The full list of titles can be seen after the break.

Click to continue reading Double Dragon On Arcade This Week, Six More Games Coming

Gallery: Double Dragon On Arcade This Week, Six More Games Coming


GamerAndy LiveWe are back with another episode of GamerAndy Live! This week GamerAndy, GamerEdie, and Gear Live‘s Andru Edwards are behind the mic, bringing you a fresh dose of this week’s gaming news. Be sure to hit us up on the forums and let us know what you think.

SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 79:

  • A recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board threatens Internet radio and independent musicians by increasing costs to webcasters by 1,200 percent retroactively…and even for non-RIAA music. Please send a letter to your representatives to help reevaluate this Draconian and dangerous decision!
  • Sony throws party to celebrate God of War II. Great. The centerpiece of this event? A partially decapitated goat—and guests are invited to reach into the still-warm body, grab handfuls of offal and eat it. Good lord, what were they thinking?!? (Warning: Photo slightly NSFW in the United States for slight nippleage.)
  • Edie discusses the relative difference of “titties,” “boobies,” “boobs,” and “tits.” Andy defines “gazongas.”
  • The Xbox 360 Elite: Does Andru care? Does Edie?
  • Hironobu Sakaguchi (Red Racer, Final Fantasy) + Ken Kutaragi = BFF? Apparently not.
  • Speaking of Krazy Ken: He’s gone. Sony doesn’t want him, and neither does Nintendo, apparently. Sayonara, Sony! Konnichiwa, Mickey-Dees!
  • Andy goes into more detail about his recent PS3 purchase… and it’s not pretty. Andru and Edie also discuss the possibilities for Playstation Home, both pros and cons.
  • Edie still hearts her PS2, and Bully.
  • Andy rails about Kotaku’s recent habit of using countless internal search links in their stories—frustrating as hell, he says.

Gallery: GamerAndy Live! Episode 79: Sony Happy Goat Time


Catan

Microsoft continues its string of multiple Live Arcade releases this week, this time with the hugely anticipated Catan along with arcade classics Centipede and Millipede. Catan has had board game geeks waiting eagerly; the Live Arcade version of the classic Settlers of Catan strategy board game will hopefully live up to expectations. The game will sell for 800 points ($10) and features decent single player offerings with a supposedly strong AI along with four player multiplayer support over Xbox Live. Centipede and Millipede get bundled together for 400 points ($5) and promise updated graphical modes. Both titles will hit Xbox Live this Wednesday.

Read More | Gamerscoreblog

Gallery: Live Arcade Gets Catan, Centipede


Pinball FX

Somewhat shockingly, Microsoft is blessing Xbox 360 gamers with another two Live Arcade releases this week. After last week’s somewhat iffy Gyruss and 3D Ultra Mini Golf Adventures comes a couple of more interesting releases. The first is Eets: Chowdown, an updated version of the popular shareware release from Klei Entertainment. The gameplay has been described as a mix of The Incredible Machine and Lemmings, and the HD resolution 2D graphics look sharp for the Xbox 360 release. The game hits Wednesday for 800 MS Points ($10). Also in release this week is Pinball FX, which looks to be a pretty standard pinball release for the console. However, the game will support flipper control using the Xbox Live Vision camera, which seems like it would just be tiresome. The table art looks good, though, and appears to be tailored for HD resolutions. The game will also apparently support online multiplay as well. Pinball FX will also sell for 800 MS points.

Read More | Gamerscoreblog

Gallery: Two Live Arcade Titles For The Second Week Running


Duh!Gamestop, always looking to keep their inventory of used systems and games well-stocked, will be taking the Xbox 360 Core, Xbox 360 Platinum, and original Xbox as trade-in credit towards purchase of a new Xbox 360 Elite (or other purchase). Thus sayeth Kotaku.com and other games websites in the area.

According to Kotaku, you’ll also be able to get a better trade-in deal on your used console… the Xbox 360 Platinum will get you $250 (normally $190), Core packs get you $200 (normally $140), and the lowly original black Xbox will get you $50. That all sounds like a pretty good trade-in deal for a new 360 ‘l33t, but we’ve gotta wonder how exactly Gamestop is hoping to help the droves of Premium owners that want to transfer their data from the 20GB drive to the Elite’s 120GB drive… will you have to sit there and wait for them to do it in-store? Or will they let you keep your 20GB drive for a deposit? Or will they somehow use the magic of the internets’ pipes to get your 20GB worth of Elder Scrolls saves and Xbox Marketplace purchases to you? What’s the deal here? So far, we’re waiting for details on how exactly this operation is going to work. My money is on “not smoothly”.

Read More | Kotaku.com

Gallery: Gamestop Offering 360 Elite Trade-In, Hasn’t Thought It Through


3D Ultra Mini GolfIt looks like two games have managed to pass Microsoft’s certification testing this week, leading to a rare week when more than one downloadable game title hits the Live Marketplace service. One title is an arcade port of the classic circular shooter, Gyruss. For 400 Microsoft Points ($5), gamers can experience the retro shooter and its Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor soundtrack; Microsoft promises both an original and enhanced mode, with 3D rendered graphics. The usual assortment of achievements is included, along with multiplayer support via Xbox Live. The second title to hit will be 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures, ostensibly a sequel to the original PC title, 3D Ultra Minigolf. For 800 Points ($10), gamers will get 36 holes on three different theme courses, online Xbox Live play and a course editor, along with related Achievements and Gamerscore. It isn’t clear from the press release whether custom courses will be shareable online – this would be a nice feature, but it doesn’t seem likely that this would happen.

Read More | Gamerscoreblog

Gallery: Gyruss, 3D Ultra MiniGolf Adventures Hit Live Marketplace This Week


Guitar Hero 2The first Guitar Hero II song packs have hit the Xbox Live Marketplace, according to the Major Nelson blog, and they aren’t cheap. 500 Microsoft Points will get you a song pack of 3 songs. At $6.25 per song pack, this translates to a little over $2 a song. Not only that, but these songs are not original to Guitar Hero 2 for the Xbox 360; all of the songs are from the original set list of the original Guitar Hero. If Red Octane and Activision price the rest of the set list like these first three packs, the whole batch of songs from the original game will cost Xbox 360 gamers over $95. For those still interested, these are the songs included in each pack:

  • Track Pack 1: Bark at the Moon as made famous by Ozzy Osbourne, Hey You as made famous by The Exies, Ace of Spades as made famous by Motorhead
  • Track Pack 2: Killer Queen as made famous by Queen, Take it Off as made famous by The Donnas, Frankenstein as made famous by The Edgar Winter Group
  • Track Pack 3: Higher Ground as made famous by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Infected as made famous by Bad Religon, Stellar as made famous by Incubus

Read More | Major Nelson

Gallery: Guitar Hero Song Packs Hit Live Marketplace


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