Monday, December 31, 2007

XYBA Podcast Ep 17

Andy, Eric, Jeff, and Josh are back with the last XYBA Video Game Podcast of 2007. We discuss games we played on holiday and games we got for Christmas. Good times.


00:00 - Intros
00:35 - Games We're Playing :|: Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Gundam, Viva Pinata: Party Animals, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, SceneIt, Call of Duty 4, Half Life 2, Guitar Hero III, Tenchu Z, Transformers, Contra 4, New York Times Cross Word Puzzles, The Simpsons Game, Rock Band,
50:57 - Gaming News
1:02:30 - What We Are Looking Forward to For Gaming in 2008
1:34:38 - Rantz :|: Jeff goes off on Sony and their firmware restrictions


Download XYBA Podcast Ep 17

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Pretty Good at Geometry Wars

Geometry Wars LeaderboardsI'm not good at Geometry Wars: Galaxies, but I'm not bad either. I recently went to San Francisco with the family for holiday and I needed a game to take. So I bought Geometry Wars: Galaxies on the DS. I wasn't a fan of the demo on the Xbox 360 and this game is pretty repetitive, so I get bored with it.

This game is good for trips to kill some time and I had plenty of free time. With all this free time I was able to score in the top ten on one of the planets. You can actually view me on Geometry Wars site. Just go to the leaderboards and go to the planet Minduo. I'm aplusj. Boo yaka. I think I'll try to place higher seeing as how I'll probably be bumped very soon.

On a side note, the Geometry Wars site is pretty cool. They've made it so that it's friendly to browse if you are using the DS browser, Wii browser, or your regular browser. Neat idea.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Give the Gift of MS Points

Well, you could always give the gift, but it used to only be in these gift card forms. Now Microsoft is allowing US members buy Microsoft Points for other gamers, as long as they know those gamers' Windows Live IDs.

Unfortunately, you can't yet buy M$ points for people just by knowing their Gamertag(which would make more sense).

You can buy and give the points from Major Nelson.

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Gamercards Now Track Old Games Too!

After the recent "Fall" Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360, gamercards are now keeping track of when you play original Xbox games on your system as well. The symbol for all older games is a white original Xbox and the achievements are always 0 out of 0.

Now, seeing these older games on someone's gamercard is only available when looking at their gamercard while on Xbox Live. The website xbox.com and other gamercard tracking sites do not show the older games.

It's definitely an interesting little tidbit which will help me to cyberstalk what my friends are doing even more! That's right, I saw you playing Spongebob: The Battle for Bikini Bottom!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Falcoln has landed

The new line of Xbox 360s is on shelves now. But it's not something you'll see advertised. Because all the changes are internal.

Codenamed the Falcoln, the new interior systems reduce power consumption, heat and noise. The older system was known as the Zephyr. Not every system out there right now is using the Falcoln, but you can tell from the box which system it is.

If you are buying a 360 at the store, look on the side of the box where it compares the three different SKUs. At the bottom, there will be a label like this:



If the Watts listed is 175W, it's a Falcoln. If it's 203W(like mine), it's still a Zephyr.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Heroic!

I know many of you will be upset, but I gave Bungie another $10. I bought the Heroic Map Pack today. And I don't regret it!

Rat's Nest is pretty fun. Santana and I were able to dominate on the outer track with a Warthog and when that got destroyed, I was able to jack a Ghost and continue to rain destruction upon the other team. The interior middle can get pretty intense with the various bridges and passages. There's even a hammer in the middle, but I SUCK with the hammer.

Stand Off is very big. On Capture the Flag, I was able to defend the base almost entirely by myself with a shotgun and some plasmas. We were able to score at the last second to win. Regular slayer is fun here too. You can see far across the map on this one. Which is apparently why there are no snipers on the map. There are battle rifles, shotguns, lasers, rocket launchers, Warthogs and Mongooses, though.

Santana really liked Foundry, but I was constantly killed. It's definitely an intense map because the enemy could be in any direction and it's not really that big. The cramped areas definitely make for some interesting situations.

But one of the main reasons I wanted to buy the Heroic Map Pack was for the extra stuff in Forge. I spent a good portion of today making a map on Foundry by deleting everything and building from scratch. There's a lot of options. I did play with a soccer ball for a while, but it didn't make it into my final design.

So go ahead and flame away. I can take it. After all, I'm heroic!

(BTW, this is our 300th post! Hoorah!)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Topless Wii?

Possibly old news to some of you, but a British magazine has put out a series of videos called Topless Wii on the internet. In the videos, one or two girls play a Wii game while topless and you can guess what game they are playing.

For research for this post, I studied the videos. There seem to be 13 episodes so far. In the first eight, there is a blonde and a brunette. In the beginning of each episode, they say the name of the video and then take off their shirts before beginning to play. After episode 8, nobody ever wears a shirt again. In episodes 9-11, it is a new blonde girl. In episodes 12-13, they pair up the two blonde girls. Even though there are 13 episodes so far, they seem to only play the same four games. Of course, it is still the Wii...

While the Wii has a large children's market, Nintendo doesn't seem to be crying about the free publicity these videos are bringing. And of course, it is Europe where nudity is pretty common in advertising.

I will say that Warioware Smooth Moves looks perverted enough when being played by clothed people...

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get Your Legendary Halo 3 Cheap!


So... your 360's been broken since Halo 3 came out and you still don't have a copy? Or maybe you're finally getting a 360 for Christmas. Either way, if you want to get your hands on Halo 3 Legendary Edition for $70 off, check out Wal-mart.

For a limited time, Walmart is selling the Legendary Edition for $60, the price of normal Halo 3 regularly. If you don't want the fancy helmet, they also have the Collector's Edition for $48.

Of course, I don't know anyone who doesn't already have Halo 3 but maybe you do. Could be a Christmas gift for someone. I have been looking for something to buy my mom...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Make Your Own Themes

I found this posting that shows a template for making a background for your Xbox 360 Dashboard. Now you can finally have that theme of your dog!

You can actually make any picture a background by looking at it through the Pictures option and then pressing Y to make it your background. This template makes it so the image isn't stretched or covered by the blades.

The only problem is that whatever picture you make your background is the background for the different sections. You can't make multiple backgrounds.

I even made this sweet XYBA Podcast theme:

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This Game Brought to You... by Army

The Army has opened a new office with the sole purpose of designing video games. These games would be used to train troops in realistic military simulations.

I wouldn't expect these games to ever go to the public(or be much fun). But apparently the military is sick of paying third parties to make their training games and simulators. The new office is part of the National Simulation Center out of Kansas.

The tool kit they are working on now would allow soldiers to create and customize different scenarios. However, it isn't slated for release until as late as 2015. Won't we all be using Virtual Reality by then?

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Gamefly Opens New Shipping Center

I went back to Gamefly almost 6 months ago(according to My Rewards, at least). Honestly, the shipping times have not increased much despite the fact that they opened up an East Coast shipping center in Pittsburgh. But now Gamefly is opening a third shipping center in Tampa, FL.

Hopefully this new center will speed up shipping. If Gamefly ever got as fast as Netflix, then they'd be in business for real. Right now, I only keep my account to check out games I refuse to pay full price for. Whether it's because the game looks too short, has no replay value or just looks bad.

One great thing about Gamefly is that they sell used games for very cheap and free shipping. I do use them for this quite a bit.

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Guess What EA Sent Me? (Part 2)

Remember the extra guitar that I received from EA last week? Well last night I got around to opening it and as I thought it was another Rock Band guitar, but this one was different. At first I didn't recognize the difference, but then I realized there was no cord. This mama jama was a wireless guitar.

As you can imagine I was pretty excited. I would much rather have the wireless guitar over the wired guitar. But as quickly as I noticed it was a wireless guitar, I noticed something else. The guitar was lacking a certain green color. Something was off just a smidgen. Then I took a closer look at the Xbox 360 jewel (you know the button with the 4 green curves around it that can turn on the console) and to my surprise it didn't have it's signature green X on the button. Instead it said "PS".

At this point my heart broke and all the great moments I imagined having with the wireless guitar disappeared. I'm not sure why EA sent me a PS3 wireless guitar, since I never requested one and I don't own a PS3 yet. Something in their automated system must not have been tested well because they sent me 2 guitars instead of one and one of the guitars is for the wrong console. I started a thread on the Rock Band forums about it. Thanks EA.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Xbox 360 Arcade Review



I bought the Xbox 360 Arcade yesterday to replace my busted Xbox 360 Premium. The Arcade is the new Core system from Microsoft. It's definitely better than the Core system was. Here's some of my thoughts about the Arcade system.

First, what does it come with? The Xbox 360 Arcade comes with a wireless controller, a 256 MB memory card, standard video cables(no HD connection) and a copy of Xbox Live Arcade.

The wireless controller is definitely a nice change from the wired controller that used to come with the Core system. Plus, I've been meaning to get another wireless controller for a long time now.

The 256 MB memory card? Meh. I guess it's alright for saved games if you don't have a harddrive. I just transfered over the harddrive from my dead 360.

Standard video cables are ok if you don't have an HD TV. I used the component video cables from my Premium. One cool thing about all the new 360's are that they all have HDMI outputs, the 360 Arcade included. Unfortunately, the HD TV my 360 is hooked up to is too old to have an HDMI input. If you are lucky enough to have an HDMI input, you'll have to buy the HDMI cable seperately.

Xbox Live Arcade is five XBLA games on a DVD - Uno, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy and Luxor 2. This was a pleasant surprise. I had thought they might just include download codes. This makes up for the fact that I already own two of these XBLA games. Now I can delete them off my harddrive and save a little bit of room.

So far, my Xbox 360 Arcade runs pretty cool. It doesn't heat up too much even after hours of play. It's also pretty quiet. Overall, I'd say some of the upgrades Microsoft has been implementing are working pretty well.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

My 360 finally died!

I was the last of a dying breed. Those whose original Xbox 360s still worked. Then last night, I was replaying Mass Effect and fighting the boss battle at Peak 15 when the graphics started getting lines through them(like when I updated Half-Life 2). I couldn't see and kept dying. Tried a couple restarts and it would still act up. Powered down and went to bed.

Played some this morning and after a short amount of time the lines came back. But now they were everywhere - Mass Effect, the Dashboard, Beautiful Katamari. Powered it down again.

Went back later and got an E-74 error message. I've gotten the E-74 error from time to time since getting my 360 in January 2006. Usually a quick reset and it's gone. But now my 360 refuses to do anything other than show the E-74 error.

An E-74 error means there is a 90% chance it's a scaler chip problem (the "ANA" or "HANA" chip near the AV cable connection). It can also be caused by a faulty AV cable, but I checked that. In rare cases, it is a problem with the GPU.



I talked to Microsoft, and they made me try a bunch of stuff I already tried on my own(unplugging and plugging back in cables, harddrives, etc). Shockingly, none of it worked this time either. So it needs repairs.

Of course, their system is down right now so they can't take my repair order. I should call back in 2-4 hours. And I asked about costs. Since I'm not under warranty and it's not the 3 Red Rings, it'll cost me around $99. Plus the time away from my 360.

I'm thinking about going out and picking up an Xbox 360 Arcade system and just throwing my harddrive on it.

On a positive note, I like the program who answers the phone for 1-800-4MY-XBOX. I've dealt with a few of these programs recently and Microsoft's seemed the most friendly and realistic. Of course, I still had to repeat most of the information to the real person I eventually talked to.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

I Denounce Xbox Originals!



I was playing around with some of the new Xbox Live features after the Fall Dashboard Update. I put my name and location in. I browsed some friends' friends lists. I tooled around the Marketplace and downloaded some free stuff. Then I checked out the Xbox Originals.

Now, as we discussed in the podcast, I was disappointed with the announcement of Xbox Originals since it is $15 a game and there are no additions to them. There are no Achievements, no live capabilities, etc.

Now the layout for the Xbox Originals is pretty nice looking. However, as I was looking at the Xbox Originals on the Marketplace, I noticed something else I didn't like. The size of the files.

I suspected they might be large files. They are complete games after all. But they are between 2-4 gigs each. I rarely have 2 free gigs on my 20 Gig Xbox 360 harddrive! I suspect that as well as being a way for Microsoft to make money off of old games, it is also their way of influencing people to go out and buy the 120 Gig harddrive.

I'm not against playing old games. Old games can be great! But if you want to play them, I suggest you go to the used game stores and try to find them there. Many times, you'll probably find them for cheaper than $15!

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hey look, it's Ryu [update 1]


Capcom released the first jab in its raging demon of screens and info about it's long awaited/overdue Street Fighter sequel.

On a personal level, I don't know that I like the return to the creepy SFII beefcake iterations of the classic SF characters over the more stylized Alpha/SF3 style, but beggars can't be choosers, ya know.

If you can't hold your combos for the EGM issue full of real info, hit the link below to read 5 paragraphs of non-information on 1-up's site and check out a high-res version of the screen shot to the right.

[Link]

Update:
Just kidding! New leaked screenshots reveal Street Fighter 4 to look like a butt:
[Link]

Also, check out this shot of "We <3 Us Some Golfin'" featuring Capcom cameos. +100 points for including Arthur in full knight armor. -1 million for using new-comer Apollo Justice instead of the infinitely more bad-ass Phoenix Wright.

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Culdcept Rocks

I just want to make sure everyone knows about the demo available for Culdcept Saga. Don't be fooled into thinking that it's some sort of Japanese RPG like every other. This is actually a highly addictive mix of board game (think Monopoly) and Magic the Gathering card game. The card system is easy to learn and the mix of random dice action combined with the strategy of a card battle is great fun. I actually got the precursor to this game on the ol' PS2 on a whim and everyone I made play it with me ended up really enjoying it. My only complaint is that this could have easily just been a XBL Arcade download, but since Namco has been in the habit of jackin' people on their games lately (i.e. Katamari should have been $20 for such a short game)I guess I'm stuck.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Guess What EA Sent Me?

Another Rock Band guitar. I'm not sure why, but yesterday when I was tending to the puppies at home I heard a knock at the door. I go outside and I see the UPS man placed another Rock Band guitar box at my door.

I haven't opened it yet, but I have contacted EA asking if the 2nd guitar is a more reliable guitar. Also I didn't accidentally order two because I signed into my EA account and checked the replacement order screen and there's only one order. So if they reply that they only have on record one guitar, then it looks like I gots me a freebie.

Apparently the EA customer support is giving out freebies as well. One thread on the Rock Band forums says that the customer support gave him a free game for his replacement not showing up in time.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Activision - Blizzard Merger

Activision and Blizzard have announced a merger. This merger is valued at over $18 billion. The new company will be known as Activision Blizzard.

This is where I'd put information, but that's pretty much it. Unless you want to know things like Activision is a US based company and Blizzard is owned by Vivendi, a French company. Vivendi will now be the number one share holder of the new company. Activision's current CEO Bobby Kotick will be the chief executive of Activision Blizzard.

The real question is : What does all of this mean for Brian?

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December Game Releases

December’s here already! November seemed to fly by. Probably because of all the good games that I buried myself in. Sadly I don’t think December will have as many good games. What will Santa bring me?

(Some of the release dates seem even more unreliable than usual. I didn’t even put in Alan Wake which is listed at 12/31 for PS3 and Xbox 360 because I think that is definitely inaccurate.)

DS Titles

December 3
• American Girl: Julie Finds a Way
December 4
• Alvin & the Chipmunks
• Draglade
• Left Brain, Right Brain
• The Golden Compas
• Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008
December 6
• Strawberry Shortcake: 4 Seasons Cake
December 17
• MX vs. ATV: Untamed
• Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command
December 18
• Corvette Evolution GT
• Indy 500 Legends
• Luxor 2

PC Titles

December 4
• Alvin & the Chipmunks
• Quest Pack
• Universe at War: Earth Assault
December 5
• Combat: Collector’s Second Edition
• Left Behind: Eternal Forces Expansion Pack
December 6
• Deal or No Deal: Secret Vault Games
December 10
• The Lost Crown
December 14
• Golden Compass
December 17
• Carrier Strike Force

PS2 Titles

December 4
• Alvin & the Chipmunks
• The Golden Compass
December 11
• Daisenryaku Exceed
• NCAA March Madness 2008
• NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
December 17
• MX vs ATV: Untamed
December 18
• Rock Band (Game only)

PS3

December 4
• The Golden Compass
December 8
• Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
December 10
• BlackSite: Area 51
• Unreal Tournament III
December 11
• Half Life 2 Orange Box
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• NCAA March Madness 2008
December 17
• MX vs ATV: Untamed
December 31
• Afrika
• Sam Suede: Undercover Exposure
• Urban Mysteries

PSP

December 4
• Beowulf: The Game
• The Golden Compass
December 6
• Warriors of the Lost Empire
December 17
• MX vs ATV: Untamed

Wii

December 3
• Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenhaichi 3
December 4
• Alvin & the Chipmunks
• The Golden Compass
December 5
• Godzilla Unleashed
December 7
• Jenga
December 10
• Indoor Sports
December 11
• Pimp My Ride
• Showtime Boxing
• Super Swing Golf Season 2
December 18
• Classis British Motor Racing
• Indy 500 Legends
• Kawasaki Quad Bikes
• Kidz Sports: Basketball
• Mythmakers: Orbs of Doom
• NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
• Rig Racer 2
December 31
• Ping Pong

Xbox 360

December 4
• Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 Bundle
• The Golden Compass
December 11
• NCAA March Madness 2008
December 17
• MX vs ATV: Untamed

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XYBA Podcast Ep 16

The XYBA crew is back with a semi long podcast. Lots of video game talk and little news and no rants. We've been gone for more than a month playing games and now have a lot to talk about.


0:00 - Intro Music
0:58 - Games We Are Playing :|: Mass Effect (we talk about this for a while), Rockband, Guitar Hero III, Assassian Creed, Zelda Phantom Hourglass, Kane and Lynch, Stranglehold, Beautiful Katamari, and Halo 3
55:30 - Gaming News :|: Xbox Live Dashboard Update, Super Mario Galaxy not selling as well as predicted, DLC for Bioshock, R4 Chip for DS costing Nintendo millions, Nintendo Virtual Console does good for it's first year, and more
1:24:09 - Shoutouts
1:24:46 - Outro music


Download XYBA Podcast Ep 16

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DS Breaking Sales Records in the UK


The DS is selling like, well, a Nintendo product that's not the Gamecube. According to the MCV the DS has beaten out the PSP's weekly hardware sales of 185,000 units from September 2005.

The DS sold over 191,000 units in one weak. Nintendo says "Momentum has been increasing on DS sales and to achieve the highest weekly sales figure ever in the history of the games market is fantastic.”




Just as a side note, I participated in the Black Friday sales and the Circuit City I was at was packed full of people buying the new DS Lites that were bundled and customized for Zelda and Nintendogs. It was a good deal to because you got a cool looking DS with a good game.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guitar Repair for Dummies!


For any of you poor saps who were lucky enough to grab your box-o-rock, but unlucky enough to get a busted guitar here's a possible solution. It seems that some impatient maverick took it upon himself to crack open the strum-less ax and fix it freelance. If you also have the gumption to go at yourself he has posted some directions with pics here. Of course I'm sure this would void any warranty if your parts appeared "tampered" with, but for those in need of a quick fix of rocking this may be the way to go. Rock On on soldiers of noise, Rock On!!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Rock Band Announcement Hinted At

MTV, the creators of Rock Band, are hinting that a major announcement will be coming from them very shortly. Rumors run wild on the internet as to what the announcement will be.

Some think it will be a Rock Band update or expansion that will allow gamers to create or use their own music.

A lot of the speculation thinks that the announcement will have some kind of "Hollywood" tie in. I'm not sure what that would be. There's already a game where you make movies, it's called The Movies.

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Friends of Friends Coming to Xbox Live

Microsoft has announced a new feature that will be included in their December 4th Fall Update: Friends of Friends. This feature will allow Xbox Live members to browse their friends' friends lists.

Microsoft says that this feature was inspired from websites like Myspace and Facebook. In such social websites, users are able to find other people they know by browsing their friends' friends lists.

I don't think it will work as well on Xbox Live, though. You can't see as much personal info on Xbox Live. So I could scan Josh's friends list and see his Xbox Live friends, but that doesn't mean I would recognize them.

(And for those that scan my friends list. I just cleaned it out the other day. I'm down to pretty much only people I know from real life. Sorry to those who did not survive the Friends List Purge of 2007, but I got tired of constantly getting notices that so and so was online when I never play with so and so.)

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Bungie Announces Halo 3 DLC

Starting December 11th, you can download the first DLC for Halo 3: a map pack of three new multiplayer maps for 800 Microsoft Points($10).


The first map is called Standoff. It is described as a two base map with some vehicles and turrets.


The second map is named Rat's Nest. It was inspired by the campaign level Crow's Nest and is a primarily indoor map. There are vehicles on the map but expect some tight spaces as well. Ideal for 6-16 players and should be added into the Big Team Battle games.


And the last map is Foundry. Developers expect gamers to have a lot of fun with how much you can change this map in Forge. This level was inspired by the campaign level where you fight the Flood in the warehouse(the level where you should definitely NOT kill the wounded Marines, Josh). Developers say this is a good map for 4-12 players.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Xbox "Fall" Dashboard Update

I say "Fall" since it will actually be released December 4th. I've been collecting some information on the update, but now a whole list of the new features has been leaked. Take these statements with a grain of salt. Right now they look legit, but it could all be fake.

I'm only posting some of the more important or interesting updates(IMHO).

* New Xbox Live Arcade blade - where you can download, play and learn about Xbox Live Arcade
* New clan support - will be able to launch clan games direct from dashboard, can “fold” friends into new clan category in friends list
* New option in Games tab - beta and others, will be launcher for MMO and multiplayer betas
* New option in Marketplace Games tab, search by letter, can be inputted via text pad or console
* Themes can now be animated and may now have sound effects
* New estimated timer for downloads, informing how long download will expect to take
* Filter friends list, will be able to filter friends via games
* New screensaver settings - when away from Xbox 360, screensaver will play for optional time, before screen goes dark
* IPTV Functionality - support for TiVo like PVR options. Will be able to record TV direct. Options include source by channel, director, actor and distributor
* Console will now recognise low Hard Drive space, will inform you immediately if can’t download current item, will automatically download next available that is able.
* Xvid support

There's also this one: "Brand new “web based adver-games” flash games which aren’t downloaded, but are playable bite sized games, accessed via new Xbox Live Arcade Blade"

What is that? Those flash games where I punch George Bush in the face or fight a sumo wrestler? Why would I want that?

Microsoft is also putting some old Xbox classics in a downloadable format for 1200 Microsoft Points(about $15). They include "Halo," "Psychonauts," "Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge" and "Fable," among others.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like these games have been improved. There is no online for Halo. There's no achievements. And I'm sure all the other games will be exactly the same as they were on Xbox. Why no achievements? Even Burger King games have achievements! And why no online for Halo? You used to be able to play the original Halo online if you hooked the Xbox up to a computer that had a program that tricked the Xbox into thinking it was system linked instead of online.

There's also rumors that the update will make the Xbox 360 and DivX video 100% compatible.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Xbox Live!

November 15th is Xbox Live birthday. The gaming service turns five years old. Soon it'll be off to kindergarten to learn about tying shoes, the alphabet and socializing with others.

But in order to celebrate the birthday, Microsoft is giving gifts to its Xbox Live members. Free Carcassone XBLA games for everyone! (Provided you log in and download it on the 15th.)

What the hell is Carcassone? Some kind of medieval risk type game with cards. I guess. I really have no idea. It's one of those Xbox Live Arcade games that probably most of us have ignored. It came out in June.

But I'm still happy about Xbox Live turning five. I've enjoyed the service very much. (Even though it's been laggy and buggy the last week or so - growing pains, I guess.) And I look forward to enjoying it for years to come.

Also, anyone who joined Xbox Live in 2002 will get 500 Microsoft points. (I might actually qualify for that. It was close, but for me it might have been January 2003.)

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

November Game Releases

November - a time to give thanks. And many gamers will be thankful for the "perfect storm" of games. I hope you've been saving for the flood of games this month.

 


DS Titles

November 5
• Bratz: 4 Real
• Build a Bear Workshop
• Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
• Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves Mermaid
• Go Diego Go: Safari Adventure
• Shrek the 3rd: Ogres and Donkeys
November 6
• Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
• Enchanted
• Horse Life
• Hot Wheels Beat That
• LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
• LifeSigns: Surgical Unit
• My French Coach
• My Spanish Coach
• My Word Coach
• Ontamarama
• Panzer Tactics
• Puzzle de Harvest Moon
• Spectrobes Collectors Edition
• World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
November 7
• Hannah Montana: Music Jam
November 12
• Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader
• Dr. Suess: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
• Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: Imagination Invaders
• John Deere Heartland
• Mortal Kombat
November 13
• Baby Pals
• Contra 4
• Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends
• Monster Jam
• Need for Speed: Pro Street
• Orcs & Elves
• Petz Catz 2
• Petz Dogz 2
• Petz Hamsterz Life 2
• Petz Horsez 2
• Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
• WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008
November 15
• Garfield Gets Real
• Impossible Mission
• Super Fruit Fall
November 19
• CSI Dark Motives
• Mario Party
November 20
• Corvette Evolution GT
• Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
• Godzilla Unleashed
• Jenga
• Strawberry Shortcake: 4 Seasons Cake
November 26
• Master of Illusion
November 27
• Geometry Wars: Galaxies

PC Titles

November 5
• Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
• Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
• Zoo Vet Endangered Animals
November 6
• Blackbeard’s Revenge
• Democracy
• Empire Earth III
• F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate
• F.E.A.R. Platinum
• Gears of War
• Ghost in the Sheet
• Hot Wheels: Beat That
• Quest Pack
• The Office
• The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff
• Viva Pinata
November 8
• The Lost Crown
November 12
• Alpha Prime
• BlackSite: Area 51
• RPG Collection
November 13
• Beowulf: The Game
• Crysis
• EA Sports 07 Collection
• EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark
• EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer
• Fantasy Wars
• Guitar Hero III
• Imagine: Fashion Designer
• Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
• Need for Speed Pro Street
• Next Life
• Petz Catz 2
• Petz Dogz 2
• Petz Horsez 2
• Sega Rally Revo
• Sim City Societies
• Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back
November 15
• Combat: Collector’s Second Edition
• Left Behind: Eternal Forces Expansion Pack
• Mission: WWI Combat
• Panzer Killer
November 20
• Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of Illuminus
November 26
• Deal or No Deal: Secret Vault Games

PS2 Titles

November 5
• Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am
November 6
• Cabela’s Big Game Hunter
• Yu-Gi-Oh! The Beginning of Destiny
November 13
• Boogie
• Daisenryaku 7 Exceed
• Dancing with the Stars
• Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
• File Pro Wrestling Returns
• Godzilla Unleashed
• King of Fighters XI
• Luxor: Pharaoh’s Challenge
• Monster Jam
• Need for Speed: Pro Street
• NeoGeo Battle Colliseum
• Petz Catz 2
• Petz Dogz 2
• Petz Horsez 2
• Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
• WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008
November 19
• College Hoops 2K8
November 20
• Cabela’s Monster Bass
• Final Fantasy XI Online: Vana’Diel 08
• Final Fantasy XI Online: Wings
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of Illuminous
• Star Trek Conquest
• Swashbucklers

PS3

November 1
• Fifth Phantom Saga
• The Getaway 3
• The Outsider
November 5
• BlackSite: Area 51
• Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
November 6
• Bladestorm: Hundred Years War
• LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
November 13
• Assassin’s Creed
• Beowulf: The Game
• Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
• Need for Speed: Pro Street
• Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back
• WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008
November 19
• College Hoops 2K8
• Medal of Honor Airborne
November 20
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• Time Crisis 4
• Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
November 23
• Rock Band
November 27
• Haze


PSP

November 6
• Chessmaster
• Silent Hill: Origins
• SOCOM US navy Seals Tactical Strike
• The Simpsons Game
• World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
November 13
• Alien vs Predator: Requiem
• Beowulf: The Game
• Medal of Honor Heroes 2
• Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
• Sonic Rivals 2
• WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008
November 15
• FlatOut: Head On
November 19
• Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command
November 20
• Atari Classics Evolved


Wii

November 5
• Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
• Game Party
November 6
• Cabela’s Big Game Hunter
• Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity
• Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour
• LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
• Mario and Sonic: Olympic Games
• My Word Coach
• Showtime Boxing
November 12
• Cruis’n
• Spongebob: Atlantis Squarepantis
• Super Mario Galaxy
November 13
• Geometry Wars: Galaxies
• Luxor: Pharaoh’s Challenge
• Medal of Honor Heroes 2
• Monster Jam
• Need for Speed: Pro Street
• Petz Catz 2
• Petz Dogz 2
• Petz Horsez 2
• Pimp My Ride
• Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
• Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
• Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
• Soul Calibur Legends
• Star Trek: Conquest
• Tomb Raider Anniversary
• WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008
November 19
• Cars: Mater-National
• Nitrobike
• Smarty Pants
November 20
• AMF Bowling Pinbusters
• Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
• Ghost Squad
• Godzilla Unleashed
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• Indoor Sports
• Jenga
• Trauma Center: New Blood
November 21
• Indy 500 Legends
• Mythmakers: Orbs of Doom
November 23
• Kawasaki Quad Bikes
• Rig Racer
November 27
• Cranium Kabooki

Xbox 360

November 5
• BlackSite: Area 51
• Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
November 6
• Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War
• Cabela’s Big Game Hunter
• F.E.A.R. Files
• LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
• Scene It! With 4 controllers
November 13
• Assassin’s Creed
• Beowulf: The Game
• Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 Bundle
• Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
• Monster Jam
• Need for Speed ProStreet
• Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back
• WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2008
November 19
• America’s Army: True Soldiers
• College Hoops 2K8
November 20
• Final Fantasy XI Online: Vana’Diel Collection 08
• Final Fantasy XI Online: Wings
• History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
• Mass Effect
November 23
• Rock Band

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kane & Lynch Release Date Changed

Release dates for games change all the time. It's part of the industry. But surprisingly, this time it's not a delay, it's a move up!



Eidos has moved the game's release up a week from November 20th to November 14th. Apparently, they think they'll fare better on the 14th instead of competing directly with the releases of Mass Effect and Rock Band.

They still have stiff competition on November 14th, though, with Assassin's Creed, Crysis, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Super Mario Galaxy(amongst others).

A move up in release is pretty surprising. I can't remember the last time I saw that. Now I need to make a tough decision. Kane & Lynch or Assassin's Creed on the 14th to suck up my time until Mass Effect on the 20th? I might actually go with Kane & Lynch(I do plan on both eventually).

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Orange Box Update Broke My Orange Box


This morning when I woke up I scanned the gaming news and saw that Valve had put out an Orange Box update. The update primarily had to do with Team Fortress 2. They were trying to fix some of the lag and balance issues. I booted up my system and got the update. Then I tried to continue my Half-Life 2 campaign. That's when disaster struck.

At first, everything seemed fine. The update downloaded, the game restarted. The opening menu was same as it ever was. I loaded up Half-Life 2 from the first menu.


The graphics were all messed up. At first, I thought my 360 might have locked or broke. But the menu looks fine and you can choose any of the options. I decided to try and load my game to see if it was just a minor glitch.


Nope. The game is messed up, graphically. It still sounds fine and I can run around, shoot people, etc. It just looks like crap.

I also checked Portal, the Episodes and Team Fortress 2. All had the same problems. I've searched the forums and haven't found other people experiencing the same problems, but the patch was just released last night so we'll see if it negatively affects other gamers as well.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Xbox 360 Arcade Released

Just when you thought Microsoft had released all the Xbox 360 SKUs they possibly could, they go and release another. Welcome the Xbox 360 Arcade.


The Xbox 360 Arcade has been getting a lot of slack by gaming sites. And to be honest, I probably won't be much kinder.

The Xbox 360 Arcade costs just $279.99 and comes with a 256 MB memory card, a wireless controller, HDMI outputs, and 5 Xbox Live Arcade games (Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition and Uno).

Obviously, it's better than the original Xbox Core system. So what's with all the complaining?

Look at this picture.



If you didn't know any better, you would think it came with 5 real games instead of 5 Arcade games.

A 256 MB memory card? That will fill up in no time. Can that even fit all the Arcade games on it?

The Xbox 360 Arcade is simply Microsoft trying to lure casual gamers into the Xbox world. The price is compatible with the Nintendo Wii. Once players get hooked, they'll have to upgrade to a harddrive to do any real gaming. Not to mention Xbox Live.

I know casual gamers are all the rage right now, but I say screw the casual gamer. Either you're a gamer or you're not, and in my book, casual gamers are not.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Army of Two Delayed

Just the other day I was talking about how much money I was going to have to spend in November and wondering how I would find the time for all the great looking games coming out. Well, EA apparently heard my lament and decided to help out by delaying Army of Two to 2008.

Army of Two has been in development since 2005. The new release date is sometime in the 1st Quarter of 2008 so we should see the finished product by March 2008 at the latest.

This delay is being viewed as strange by many in the industry simply because the delay was announced so close to the release date. In fact, many sites and magazines already had a copy of the game to review. But the game designers say they want to "polish" the game more and make it the best it could possibly be.

While I was really looking forward to some good co-op action, I guess I can wait a little longer. And that leaves me with only four games I NEED to get in November.

In other November game news, I saw an article about how it's being hinted that Assassin's Creed will be in stores November 14th. I had already assumed that to be true since many sites have it listed as a November 13th release, but those release dates can often be off.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Guitar Hero III Demo

A Guitar Hero III demo came out recently for the Xbox 360 in the December issue of OXM. And if you only get yours news from us(you must hate gaming news), you may not yet be aware that you can get this demo for free.

Someone ripped the demo and put it out there on the internet. You can download it and burn the ISO to a CD or DVD then put it in your 360 and find the demo under Demos in the dashboard. It's fully playable, and nobody has raised a fuss about it(meaning it shouldn't get you banned).

There are five songs available on the demo:

* "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" - Pat Benatar
* "Lay Down" - Priestess
* "Even Flow" - Pearl Jam
* "Rock You Like A Hurricane" - Scorpions
* "The Metal" - Tenacious D

I burned it tonight and played it. If you liked Guitar Hero II, you'll like Guitar Hero III. The demo seemed to load very slowly, but I'm hoping that won't be true in the real game.


The graphics are improved and a little bit more realistic in Guitar Hero III. The guitar part of the screen seems even bigger.

A few improvements are that once you start getting a good note streak going, it starts showing the count in the lower left hand corner. It also flashes across the screen every 50 note in your note streak. In the lower right hand corner, you can see how well you are rocking, just like in GH2.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

XYBA Podcast Ep 15

The XYBA Video Game Podcast is back with Episode 15. Andy and Josh host with guests Sean and Nick from the 217 area code.

Download XYBA Podcast Ep 15

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Watch Your XBL Motto!

Attention, Xbox Live members, Microsoft is starting to crack down on your gamer mottos. Right now it is theorized that the gamer mottos are being run through a filter which simply looks for curse words or their variations.

This story has come to light after CheapyD over at Cheap Ass Gamer had his account suspended for 24 hours for the gamer motto "Konichiwa, bitches!" Other users have also reported similar bans.

So, read your Code of Conduct, people! Don't lose out on any precious Xbox Live time.

(As far as I can tell, "jerkstore" is not on the ban list so I'm good.)

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Gilbert Arenas is a Booster!


Washington Wizards basteball star Gilbert Arenas has gone on record as boosting in Halo 3. He created fake matches and had himself win to score himself more experience points. He is currently ranked as a Captain, Grade 1 with 108 XP and a high skill level of 42.

While Arenas says it is simply a glitch in the game he is exploiting, I say no! Boosting is a choice, Gilbert Arenas, and you have chosen to do wrong!

According to your service record, you haven't even played the campaign once. You haven't even taken any screenshots. Shame on you, Arenas. The children look up to you, and you have led them astray.

I challenge Gilbert Arenas to a Halo 3 off. One on one. Bring it!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wii Bit O' News

Nintendo announced at their Fall Conference that the Wii will soon allow DS users to download demos. No more going to Gamestop and standing around looking like some creepy older guy trolling for High School girls.

This is a nice little feature that I'm sure will get a lot of use from the community. Also, the Wii has been updated to allow the use of a USB keyboard. Now typing in those friend codes is a lot easier.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Xbox 360 Deal


Haven't bought an Xbox 360 yet? What are you waiting for? (Sam?) Well, Microsoft is sweetening the pot for you slackers.

For the holiday season, Microsoft is adding two games to their Xbox 360 Premium and Elite bundles. Those games? Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance!

So, by the end of October, both the Premium bundle($349) and the Elite bundle($449) will come with two games. That's a lot better than the zero that my 360 came with. You Johnny-Come-Latelies get all the deals - discount, the choice of the Elite and two free games. Bah.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Bungie is Independent Now

It's official! Bungie and Microsoft have agreed to allow Bungie to return to it's independent status and will now be known as Bungie, LLC. According to the Bungie Weekly Update:

Bungie has long been built on creativity, originality and the freedom to pursue ideas. Microsoft agreed, and rather than stifle our imagination, they decided it was in both our best interests to unleash it. We’ll continue to make Xbox 360 games, and we’ll continue to make amazing games for MGS. In that regard, nothing has changed. All that has changed is that now Bungie Studios is once again, the property of the folks of Bungie Studios. Microsoft is and will continue to be, a brilliant, inventive and creatively collaborative publishing partner. Practically speaking, nothing has changed and you guys won’t see much, if any difference, for a while unless you come to work for us, that is – we’re hiring at http://www.bungie.net/inside/jobs.aspx

It's good to see that it was a friendly-looking split and that the Halo franchise is still in good hands. I can't wait to see what new stuff Bungie brings to the fans.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

October Game Releases

October. Ghosts, ghoulies and video games. Most dates are provided by Gamestop.

 


DS Titles
October 1
* The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
October 2
* Backyard Football
* Crash of the Titans
* Race Driver: Create & Race
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
* Spyro: The Eternal Night
October 3
* Paws & Claws: Dogs & Cats Best Friends
October 5
* Crayola Treasure Adventures
October 6
* Master Jin Jin's IQ Challenge
October 7
* Kurupoto Cool Cool Stars
October 8
* Holly Hobbie & Friends
October 9
* Bleach: The Blade of Fate
* The Cheetah Girls: Pop Star Sensations
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Flipper Critters
* Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck
* Touch Detective 2 1/2
October 10
* Arctic Tale
October 15
* The Bee Game
* Fullmetal Alchemist: Trading Card Game
* Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
October 16
* Avatar: The Burning Earth
* Disney Princess: Magical Jewels
* Fish Tycoon
* Hannah Montanna: Music Jam
* Power Rangers Super Legends
* Prism: Light the Way
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
* Wild Petz: Dolphinz
* Word Jong
October 22
* EA Playground
* The Sims 2: Castaway
October 23
* Chessmaster
* Ed, Edd & Eddy: Scam of the Century
* Front Mission
* Imagine: Animal Doctor
* Imagine: Babyz
* Imagine: Fashion Designer
* Imagine: Master Chef
* LifeSigns: Surgical Unit
* Naruto: Path of the Ninja
* Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots
* Phoenix Wright: Trials & Tribulations
* Pocket Pets
* Rhythm Notes
* Spongebob: Atlantis Squarepantis
* Super Collapse 3
* Zoo Hospital
October 24
* Jackass: The Game
October 29
* Ratatouille Food Frenzy
October 30
* AJ & Aly
* Barbie Island Princess
* Bee Movie
* Ben 10: Protector of Earth
* Build A Bear Workshop
* Neves
* Panzer Tactics
* Puzzle de Harvest Moon
* Shrek the 3rd: Ogres and Donkeys
* The Simpsons Game
* The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 2
October 31
* Dementium: The Ward
* Solitaire Overload

PC Titles
October 1
* Aircraft Power Pack II
* Big Buck Hunter
* Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
October 2
* Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2008: Trophy Buck
* Loki
* Rock Tour Tycoon
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
* World of Warcraft Battlechest
October 5
* Ghost in the Sheet
October 8
* The Chosen
* Hoyle Card Games 2008
* Hoyle Casino 2008
* Hoyle Puzzle and Board 2008
* Monopoly 2008
* Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull
* Pirate's Revenge
* Race 07
* Risk 2
October 9
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Half-Life 2: Orange Box
* Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Expansion Pack
October 15
* Company of Heroes Game of the Year Edition
* Democracy
* Flight Deck 5
* Fritz Chess 10
* Gothic Universe
* The Guild 2 Gold Edition
* Left Behind: Eternal Forces Expansion Pack
* Painkiller: Overdose
* Seven Kingdoms Conquest
* Spellforce Universe
October 16
* 20 Questions
* 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures
* Dawn of Magic
* Death to Spies
* Fury
* Heroes of Might & Magic V: Tribes of the East Expansion Pack
* Quest Pack
* Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa Online
* Sega Rally Revo
* Switchball
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
* You Are Empty
* Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals
October 22
* Agatha Christe: Evil Under the Sun
* Escape from Paradise City
* Game Pack 3-in-1
October 23
* Age of Empires III: Dynasties
* Barbie Island Princess
* Cake Mania 2
* Clive Barker's Jericho
* Culpa Innata
* Dream Day Honeymoon
* Flight Simulator X Acceleration
* Hot Wheels: Beat That
* Imagine: Fashion Designer
* Merv Griffen's Crosswords
* NBC Heads Up Poker
* Panzer Killer
* Rise of Atlantis
* World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
* Yumsters
* Zoo Vet 2: Endangered Animals
October 29
* Dance Online
* Guitar Hero III with Guitar
October 30
* Bee Movie
* Command & Conquer Saga
* Hellgate: London
* NBA Live 08
* The Office
* The Witcher
* Timeshift DVD-ROM
* Universe at War: Earth Assault

PS2 Titles
October 2
* Crash of the Titans
* MLB Power Pros
* NBA 08 Featuring the Life Vol 3
* NBA 2K8
* NBA Live 08
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
* Spyro: The Eternal Night
October 9
* Backyard Football 2008
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Honda: SBk-07 Superbike
* Looney Tunes ACME Arsenal
* Mountain Bike Adrenaline
* Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
October 16
* Avatar: The Burning Earth
* Daisenryaku 7 Exceed
* Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
October 22
* The Sims 2: Castaway with Bonus!
* World Champion Paintball
October 23
* King of Fighters XI
* Moto GP 07
* Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots
* Power Rangers Super Legends
* Spongebob: Atlantis Squarepantis
October 28
* Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with Guitar
October 29
* Cars: Mater-National
* Manhunt 2
October 30
* Barbie Island Princess
* Bee Movie
* Ben 10: Protector of Earth
* Buzz!: The Mega Quiz with 4 Buzzers
* Chaos Wars
* Dancing with the Stars
* High School Musical with Microphone
* The Simpsons Game

PS3 Titles
October 2
* NBA 2K8
* NBA Live 08
October 9
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Folklore
* Sega Rally Revo
October 10
* Warhawk
October 12
* NBA 08
October 15
* Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
October 16
* Oblivion Game of the Year Edition
October 23
* Clive Barker's Jericho
* Conan
* Eye of Judgment
* Ratatouille
October 28
* Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with Guitar
October 29
* Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
* Stranglehold
October 30
* Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
* The Simpsons Game

PSP Titles
October 2
* NBA Live 08
* Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
October 3
* Hot Pixel
October 8
* Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
October 9
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
* Jackass: The Game
* Sega Rally Revo
* Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
October 12
* NBA 08
October 16
* Crash of the Titans
* Spider-Man 3
* SWAT: Target Liberty
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
October 23
* Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles
* Warriors of the Lost Empire
October 29
* Manhunt 2
October 30
* Ben 10
* Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
* World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets

Wii Titles
October 1
* Hot Wheels Beat That
October 2
* Crash of the Titans
* Dave Mirra BMX Challenge
* MLB Power Pros
* NBA Live 08
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
October 8
* Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey
* Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast
October 9
* Bleach: The Shattered Blade
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Looney Tunes ACME Arsenal
October 10
* Mercury Meltdown: Revolution
October 15
* Rockstar Games Table Tennis
* Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
October 16
* Avatar: The Burning Earth
* Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity
* Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
* Victorious Boxer
October 22
* EA Playground
* The Sims 2: Castaway
October 23
* Backyard Football
* Namco Museum Remix
* Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution
* Nicktoons: Attack of Toybots
* Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
* Spyro: The Eternal Night
* Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
October 28
* Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with Guitar
October 29
* Battalion Wars 2
* Manhunt 2
October 30
* Barbie Island Princess
* Bee Movie
* Ben 10
* Dancing with the Stars
* Hannah Montanna: Spotlight World Tour
* Hooked with Free Controller Attachment!
* The Simpsons Game

Xbox 360
October 2
* Crash of the Titans
* FlatOut Ultimate Carnage
* NBA 2K8
* NBA Live 08
* Project Gotham Racing 4
* Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
October 9
* FIFA Soccer 08
* Half-Life 2 Orange Box
* Looney Tunes ACME Arsenal
* Sega Rally Revo
October 15
* Beautiful Katamari
* Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
October 16
* Avatar: The Burning Earth
October 19
* Thrillville: Off the Rails
October 23
* Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
* America's Army: True Soldiers
* Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition
* Clive Barker's Jericho
* Conan
* Naruto Rise of the Ninja
* Tomb Raider Anniversary
October 28
* Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock with Guitar
October 29
* Cars: Mater-National
October 30
* Bee Movie
* Naruto: Rise of the Ninja with Bonus!
* Simpsons: The Game
* Timeshift
* Virtua Fighter 5
* Viva Pinata: Party Animals

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No Assassin's Creed Demo



Jade Raymond confirms that there is no demo planned for Assassin's Creed. Which has been met by disappointment... by me, at least.


Raymond says they're not doing a demo because Assassin's Creed is a sandbox game. She claims that sandbox games are too hard to make demos for because you can't show off much of the game.

I claim bullshit. Crackdown had a demo. It's a sandbox. And it made Charlie want to buy Crackdown. Give me a demo!

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Wha, Wha, What!!!???



These are the software sales figures for Japan for the last week of Sept:


01./--. [360] Halo 3 - 59,000 / NEW
02./03. [DS] Pokemon Fushigi no Dungeon: Toki - 55,000 / 440,000
03./01. [PSP] Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII - 54,000 / 649,000
04./--. [DS] Tamagotchi Petit Petit Omisecchi Minasankyu! - 54,000 / NEW
05./04. [DS] Pokemon Fushigi no Dungeon: Yami - 46,000 / 389,000
06./--. [PS2] Bleach Blade Battlers 2nd - 31,000 / NEW
07./--. [DS] English Test 2 - 28,000 / NEW
08./--. [PSP] Yugioh Duel Monsters GX - 28,000 / NEW
09./--. [PS3] Oblivion - 27,000 / NEW
10./02. [PSP] Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops+ - 25,000 / 119,000

One of these things is not like the other. I did not know there were 59,000 people with 360's in Japan, let alone Japanese gamers that would purchase an American made first person shooter. I can only imagine Hell has frozen over and Billy G is kickin' back a cold one with ol' Mephistophiles while playing a little capture the flag on Xbox Live.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Free Wii Remote Jackets...


...for early customers. If you bought a Wii before the Wii Remote Jackets were included with the system, Nintendo wants to still give you the jackets for free.

Just go to their website to request your Wii Remote Jackets. You need your Wii's serial number, and the maximum number of jackets you can get is four.

The free jackets will start shipping October 15th.

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Rumor :|: Bungie Leaving M$

There is a rumor going around that Bungie and Microsoft are getting a divorce. A blogger posted a supposed email from a person close to Bungie and apparently the real split will take place on Oct. 6th of 2007.

"So heres my big secret. You should google Bungie + Microsoft + separation this week.
You know that big ol BILLION dollar franchise Bungie has created for Microsoft, to show their appreciate Microsoft is letting Bungie leave. Of course Microsoft gets to keep all rights to the Halo franchise, but as today Bungie no longer part of Microsoft. Ask anyone who works there to search the global address book, they're no longer in there. Microsoft was supposed to release the press release today but if they wait till the 10/6 the impact wont effect the quarterly results. However today is the actual official date and the day the NDAs expire, however you still didn't hear this from me."

"Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn't like how MS is constantly trying to "handle" everything they do; the way they market their games, the way they interact with their fans (basically the fact that they do appreciate their fans), and how stingie they are with the profits (comparable to the rest of the industry). So as of today they are their own independent entity. They'll probably make Halo 4 for Microsoft, however hey are also free to create new intellectual properties for whatever system they want. (Even though they prefer the xbox platform)"

"What a way to say thank you."


Gaming journalist have been in contact with Bungie and Microsoft and both parties are stating "no comment" instead of putting the rumor to bed. What do you all think? If the split is true, then who will handle all future Halo 3 add-ons, like maps?

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Monday, October 1, 2007

XYBA Podcast Ep 14

Welcome to lucky number 14 of the XYBA Podcast. Your host Josh talks gaming along with his side kick host Andy. This episode is filled with more Halo 3 than you can fit in your dirty little mouth, but don't blame us because that's all there is to talk about these days.


00:00 - Intro music by Grant
00:39 - Games we are playing :|: Halo 3, Just Cause, Boxhead Co-op, Bioshock, Jam Sessions on DS (Josh plays a little diddly)
05:35 - Gaming News :|: It's really short. Halo 3 is out. Sex Pistols get together to record a track for Guitar Hero III, Japanese company makes a 2nd Life game called "Meet Me", Halo 3 bumped GOW from top Xbox Live game.
11:20 - Roundtable Discussion :|: Halo 3 review of campaign, multiplayer, armor, forge, and theater
34:52 - Games we are looking forward to :|: Army of Two, Mass Effect, Rock Band, Pacman Versus on DS, and No More Heroes
36:28 - Rant :|: Eric's 360 broke for the 2nd time
37:09 - Shout Outs and Outro music



Download XYBA Podcast Ep 14

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Halo 3 = Fistfulls of Ca$h



It looks like Microsoft has something new to brag about. Halo 3's first day sales numbers came back very impressive, the official word from MS: "Halo 3 has officially become the biggest entertainment launch in history, garnering an estimated $170 million in sales in the United States alone in the first 24 hours. The Xbox 360 title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like "Spider-man 3" and novels such as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Not too shabby for the crew at Bungie for the swan song to a franchise that will surely live on in the gaming history books. I haven't picked it up yet myself, but my Magic 8 Ball has assured that it "seems likely" that I will have it by the weekend. Kudos all around MS and Bungie.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Viva Pinata Couple on Myspace

Look at that rockDid you think the Jacksonville, FL couples engagement was sweet? You know the one where they guy asked his lady to marry him by using the game Viva Pinata. Now you can visit them on Myspace and join their friends list.

The myspace page includes videos of the different local and cable shows that covered the story. There are also links to a bunch of blogs that reported the story, including our own, and the couples gamer tags. Now Andy and Dave can have the battle of the wits online through Halo 3 campaign meta game.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Halo 3 Inspires Crime Spree


Not only is Halo 3's impending release inspiring fanboy frenzy, it is also inspiring a crime spree across the country. For the past few days, reports have been coming in from all over the country about people breaking into stores in order to get their hands on Halo 3.

I went to a local Game Force today and noticed the front window had been replaced by a board. As I made idle chit chat with the girl at the counter, I asked if they were ready for Halo 3.

She became agitated and explained that they had been broken into twice in the last three days, primarily for Halo 3. The thieves also took other games(including the cheap version of The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth I was trying to buy) along with Halo 3.

Gamestops have also been a target by thieves elsewhere in the country along with some other stores. Of course, as of this posting there are only about two and a half hours until Halo 3's release at midnight so hopefully the crime spree can come to an end and the killing of the Covenant can begin.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

CoD 4 Beta Coming to an End


All good things must come to an end... like the Call of Duty 4 beta. The last day of the beta will be September 30th when most people will already be busy with Halo 3. But it's not all bad news from Infinity Ward.

Before the beta ends, the level cap will be increased from rank 16 to rank 25. This level cap increase will take place September 28th.

With the new ranks, players will be able to experience a few new perks like Martyrdom(you drop a live grenade whenever you get killed. Good against stabbers), Sleight of Hand(you reload your gun faster) and Claymore x2.

At the higher levels, players will also have access to three new weapons: the G3 assault rifle, the M60E4 machine gun and the Dragunov sniper rifle.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Party Time!!


Well my friends the wait is over. No.. not for Halo 3, but the next best multiplayer experience just to the left of Halo 3. That's right the Viva PiƱata Party Animals demo has hit the XBLM today. So get to downloading all you hopeless romantics, I hear that these sort of games can be a terrific aphrodisiac for the ladies, sometimes even suckering them into marriage proposals (it's worked before).

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Look at CoD 4 Achievements


The list of Call of Duty 4 achievements have been released. I like to look at the lists in order to see if there's anything unusual. Just a quick scan because I don't want to spoil anything in the actual game. But I found the CoD 4 achievement list very interesting.

After playing the beta for weeks, I expected a lot of multiplayer achievements. Maybe achieving a certain rank or number of kills... Possibly killing so many people with Last Stand or shooting down so many enemy helicopters... The possibility for achievements in the multiplayer portion of the game alone are astounding.

So imagine my surprise when I looked through the achievements and counted how many seem to be multiplayer... zero.

That's right. It looks like all 37 achievements are achieved in the single player campaign alone. Which normally I would like because I do much better on the single player achievements than the multiplayer, but it just seems weird since multiplayer is such a big part of CoD 4. I guess this will cut down on players boosting with other people(Josh...).

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wifi Brawling

Nintendo's daily update on their Smash Bros. website was a big one today... confirmation of online battles. Details straight from the page ahead...

This game supports Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. If you connect your Wii to the Internet, you can enjoy linked battles with distant people!
But because this form of communication is greatly affected by the distance between you and your opponent, your brawls may not run smoothly if you’re really far apart—like, for instance, if you’re connecting between Japan and America.
The more distant you are, the worse your connection becomes, and the slower it feels. I apologize, but I hope you understand.
There are two primary connection methods. The names of these methods are "With Friends" and "With Anyone." The menus and structures of each method are pretty different.
With Friends
Wii friends who have registered one another’s names can play together freely.
If you’re registered as friends, you can check each other’s status. If a friend is online and you earn his or her consent, you can enter a battle.
You can even send short messages during brawls!
These short messages are entered in advance, and you send them by taunting. There are four messages for the four directions on the + Control Pad: Up, down, left and right.
With friends, you can brawl any way you like. And there are other modes besides just free-for-alls.
With Anyone
You can also battle with people you don’t know who are looking for brawls. The most important point here is that you will not know each other’s names.
If you think of your opponent as a simple scarecrow, any psychological barriers may melt away.
Your opponent will not know your name or any information about you, and neither of you can send short messages. There will also be no battle records kept for this mode, so whether you win or lose, it doesn’t matter. Just sit back and play.
Now, while you’re waiting for a match to start, you can kill time with a little practice on Sandbag.
We’re planning a number of services that make use of Wi-Fi, but we’ll reveal them gradually with the other modes. Enjoy

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Nintendo.com Forums Say Bye Bye


If you frequent the Nintendo.com forums you'll get a special message from the big N that they are overhauling their site, but the forums have been taken down and may not return.

"Nintendo is working on a major overhaul to Nintendo.com to support the continued success of Nintendo DS and Wii. As we prepare for this huge site update, Nintendo must unfortunately close the Nintendo NSider Forums message boards indefinitely beginning Sept. 17, 2007."

Is this another case of Nintendo not showing love for the hardcore gamer? Are they tuning the site to be more presentable to the casual crowd? No one knows, but this is definitely a strange move to redesign a site. I've heard of sites locking the forums, but to completely delete them is a little extreme.

If you are a hardcore Nintendo fan, be sure to take this opportunity to start your own forums as there is a large group of gamers looking for a home. Hell, Nintendo recommends it. This could be a good moneymaker for some fan out there.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

What Happened to Xbox Rewards?

Anyone remember Xbox Rewards? It was the program where you gained so much gamerscore in order to complete challenges and then received real life rewards. However, there haven't been any new challenges since the first one which started lasted from February until April.

I thought it was a great idea. It was real world incentives to gain gamer points. (For those who aren't already obsessed with them. I am seeking help...) You gain points, you get free stuff. Who doesn't like that?

However, after the first challenge sponsored by Old Spice(which seemed like a poor sponsor for a gaming challenge), there haven't been any more challenges.

What's the deal? Was it a one shot affair? I know they had a lot of problems with people registering and everything with their website crashing and such, but a lot of people are already registered so it shouldn't be as much of an issue.

Come on, Microsoft! We need more challenges!

Just please don't make the reward something like Fusion Frenzy 2 again...

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Call of Duty 4 Countdown

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

XYBA Podcast Ep 13

Lucky episode 13 is up and live. Join Andy, Charlie, Grant, and Josh as ramble on about games.


00:00 - Intro Music by Grant
00:10 - Introductions with your host Josh and his sub host Charlie, Grant, and Andy (he survived by default)
00:33 - Games We Be Playin :|: Bioshock, Guitar Hero II, Just Cause, GTA San Andreas, crap load of game demos
15:27 - Gaming News :|: A bunch of Halo news
32:15 - Roundtable Discussion :|: Game Elements that we would like to see removed and what should replace it.
44:50 - Games Are Looking Forward To :|: Dimensium The Ward, Halo 3, Borderlands, Kane and Lynch, Army of Two, GTAIV, Manhunt 2, and Mass Effect
50:15 - Grants back. I thought he died.
53:55 - Rants about the grief we get about our podcast. People hate us.
1:05:38 - Shoutouts and outro music



Download XYBA Podcast Ep 13

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jacksonville, FL Makes the Gaming News

Jacksonville, FL(our home base) made the gaming news again today so I had to post about it. Even though it's pretty gay.

A Jacksonville, FL man bought his girlfriend an Xbox 360 and Viva Pinata with the simple plan of getting her addicted to the game and therefore the system. It worked, and she loved the game.

So then he decides to propose to her and does it by sending her a diamond his miner dug up with a note asking him to marry her. They were playing in the same room on two different systems. She thought he was joking, but then he pulled out a real diamond ring and asked her to marry him. She said yes.

Boo! Why is this the news from here in the news? Why not something cool? Like free games or systems or anything that personally gratifies me. That's the kind of news I like.

And no, Shane, just because you sent me a box full of ducks on Viva Pinata does not mean I'll marry you...

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Tony Hawk Demo...

As virtual skateboarding fans were forced to wait a few more days for EA's skate to reach store shelves, a demo for the new Tony Hawk game called "Proving Ground" hit the xbox marketplace. I downloaded it last night; My full impressions as Josh would say "after the jump."

Graphics - Garbage. Gameplay - Boring. (On a side note, if you want me to have fun with your crappy game, or want me to enjoy the demo so I'd buy your crappy game, let me use a character that has at least some stats. I would say this is a real example of how a demo can hurt a game, because anyone who's played "skate" and still wants to buy this is crazy.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Farewell FASA


It's official. FASA Studios has closed its doors and all its workers have moved on.

The rumors have been circulating for months, but today the announcement was made that FASA Studios has dissolved. FASA Studios was purchased by Microsoft back in 2004. About half of the FASA Studios workers have been assigned new positions within Microsoft.

FASA has been around since 1980, originally being a publishing house in Chicago of pen and paper roleplaying games like Battletech, Shadowrun, Star Trek RPG and Earthdawn. They were also early computer game creaters, responsible for the MechWarrior series and later the Crimson Skies series.

There will still be Community Manager and Technical Support Manager on the job to help those still playing Shadowrun for the PC and Xbox 360, but everyone else is gone.

The announcement was made on the Shadowrun forums. The news apparently hasn't hit FASA studio's homepage where they still have six job openings...

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Should I Be Worried?



I turned on my 360 last night and as I'm reaching for my guitar to play Guitar Hero, I realize I haven't heard or seen anything on my tv yet. I looked to make sure my system was on and that's when I saw it... the 3 red rings. I turned it off and back on and it worked, but is this the beginning of the end for me again?

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