The 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.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Activision, Bungie, CAPCOM, Driving, E3, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Fighting, Games for Windows, Games for Windows Live, LucasArts, Microsoft, Namco, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Take2, Third Person Shooters, THQ, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade
Over on Gamerscore Blog, a list has been posted with all of the games being shown at E3 that will be available this year. Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live Arcade games, Games for Windows-branded titles, and Games for Windows Live-enabled games. It’s a lot to digest, and with big name games like BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Guitar Hero III, Sonic the Hedgehog (the original, don’t worry), Puzzle Quest, Company of Heroes: Opposing Forces… let’s just say there’s something for nearly everyone.
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It 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.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Action, Activision, Adventure, CAPCOM, Corporate News, Driving, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Hardware, Internet, LucasArts, MMORPG, Mods/Hacks, Music, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Release Dates, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Sony, Special Editions, Sports, Trailers, Ubisoft
I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m coming away from Sony’s presentation more impressed than I was either Nintendo’s or Microsoft’s. They were very straightforward and showed exactly what we all wanted to see: the games.
In fact, this was one of the more impressive E3 press conferences in recent memory – check inside to find out why.
Announced during Microsoft’s press conference not long ago, Genesis classics Sonic The Hedgehog and Golden Axe are now available for Live Arcade. Sweetening the surprise is the pricing; they’ll only cost you five bucks (400 Microsoft Points) each, exactly three dollars less than their $8 Wii Virtual Console counterparts. Sega’s giving 360 owners a discount.
Also announced via the same Live Arcade footage reel was Marathon: Durandal. Development is being outsourced to Freeverse, a smaller Mac-focused outfit who’ve decided to remove the “2” in the games title. This is no mere re-branding: what was shown reveals a major visual overhaul. All of the games sprites and textures have been re-painted, resulting in a more polished version of what staunch Mac addicts got down on twelve years ago. No price or release details, but it’ll have a good home when it arrives: a Bungie classic reborn should sit well with the audience.
The classic Missile Command is now available on Xbox Live Arcade. While it isn’t a particularly exciting game by today’s standards, at 400 Microsoft Points ($5) with update graphics and multiplayer over Xbox Live, it’ll be hard to say no for anyone who played it as a kid.
Maybe this week’s theme was to coincide with the Fourth? “Bombs bursting in air,” you’re blowing up missiles in this game… it makes sense. In my head, at least.
Sure, the Wii already has the Virtual Console, but all we get there are straight ports of classic games. Great for those of us who may have missed games or want to play them again for nostalgia’s sake, and Nintendo & co. can make a ridiculous profit. Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network, to an extent, on the other hand, are home to original titles and encourage independent developers to create titles for the platforms.
WiiWare is Nintendo’s answer. We don’t have many details yet, but we know the first content for the platform should be appearing in early 2008. Pricing has not yet been announced.
The European board game you’ve probably never heard of has made its way to the Xbox Live Arcade. For 800 Microsoft Points ($10) you can download the virtual version of the strategic board game. Catan was very well received (especially by those GamerAndy folks), so hopefully Carcassonne catches on as well and we’ll see more board games in the future.
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Unless you’re from Europe, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the board game Carcassonne before. I sure haven’t, but after giving it a look – and keeping in mind the success of Catan – it looks like we’re getting another solid XBLA release this week. And finally we get another game that makes use of the Vision camera. It still doesn’t quite feel like it was worth $40, though.
The official word on Carcassonne:
Using strategic tactics and a little luck, one to five players take turns selecting from 72 tiles displaying various features of a city including roads, the walls of a castle or fields. The medieval countryside thrives as players and their opponents place tiles and complete towns, roads, and farms while competing to accumulate the most points.
- Special AI settings to challenge any skill level
- Challenge your friends – Up to five players can play over Xbox LIVE or up to four players can play on the same Xbox 360
- Interact with new and old friends alike over Xbox LIVE while you play “Carcassonne” with the Xbox LIVE Vision camera
- Helpful step-by-step tutorial to teach you the game in minutes
- Skill-based matchmaking for ranked games
- The complete “Carcassonne” includes 72 tiles and all rule sets
- “Carcassonne” includes the “Rivers II” expansion set - 12 additional tiles
- Earn up to 200 Gamerscore and 12 Achievements
The game goes live this Wednesday, June 27, for 800 Microsoft Points ($10).
For those of you who think Prince of Persia is a series that began last gen, you’re dead wrong. Prince of Persia was originally a PC title, developed back in 1989. Now the game is resurfacing as Prince of Persia Classic on the Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points ($10). The interesting catch to the game is that you’re required to save a princess… but in under 60 minutes.
The features list is exactly what you would expect from an XBLA game: improved graphics; new traps, puzzles, and enemies; 12 achievements; and leaderboards in three flavors – Normal Mode (complete the game as fast as possible, saving after each level), Time Attach Mode (start from the beginning if that princess isn’t saved in 60 minutes), and Survival Mode (complete the game in under 60 minutes without dying – good luck).