xbox 360

Xbox 360

Reflections: Titanfall Beta

Ejecting out of your Titan while it turns into a nuclear bomb and torches your opponent is absolutely thrilling. You can actually sabotage Titans while in soldier mode which keeps the playing field a little more even. My favorite moment over the 25 matches I participated in was ejecting out of my Titan, launching my would-be Titan-jacker into the air, and then shooting him in the face before I hit the ground. I’ve never played a game where I could do that.

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Xbox 360

WET

WET tells an interesting, if a bit convoluted story. The game begins with Rubi watching a suitcase being handed between two men in an ornate room in Chinatown. The suitcase is her target – she needs to retrieve it – and she crashes through the glass ceiling and begins shooting up the place. This leads to a chase where she follows Simmons, the man carrying the suitcase. It turns out the suitcase holds a heart, which a man named Ackers has hired Rubi to retrieve so that he may have heart surgery. He rewards her well and comes back a year later asking if she can go to Hong Kong and find their heir to his crime fortune, Trevor. From there, Rubi travels around the globe through a twisted plot of backstabbing, lies, and falsehoods. She gets beat up a few times, engages herself in high-speed chases, and in the end, prevails.

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Xbox 360

Family Game Night 4

Mr. Potato-Head is the host of the game, and though he is not annoying like the bizarre host of the Family Feud Xbox game (the memory of whom has scarred me for life), he also doesn’t add anything to the gameplay. The animations of the avatars are a bit silly, and not dismissed immediately with a button-click, which makes them a little irritating. The play-by-play voice was a constant, “go get ‘em, tiger” kind of happy, which lost its charm over time. Note to developers: if you want to see how a host can be engaging, perhaps even annoying, and yet bring you back for more, check out theYou Don’t Know Jack series of games.

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Xbox 360

Limbo

I guess the reason why I’m NOT ABSOLUTELY LOVING THIS GAME is because games like Another world and Braid were great simply because they were something different (and if you wanted a game shrouded in obscurity and dripping with existentialism, there’s always Passage and Yume Nikki) They were stand alone games. This whole “guessing game” within games buried in silent mystery and artsy-ness seems to be a new genre emerging. I’m not sure that I like that idea of that so much. It’s not that I don’t like these types of games, in fact I love these games and games that make the player think and feel a sense of immersion, but I feel that it would give new developers an excuse to make a poorer product.

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Xbox 360

Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien

Runner 2 might as well be a checklist of how to do everything correctly in a video game. The gameplay is extremely accessible and enjoyable, coupled with eye pleasing, unique graphics and an amazing soundtrack. Difficulty in the game gradually scales but is unbelievably fair; you start off with a simple selection of moves and then slowly learn all of the combinations required to be successful. There’s also some great humor (the hardest thing to pull off in gaming) and some phenomenal references mixed in to the package that I wouldn’t dare spoil here.

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Arcade Games

Capcom’s Arcade Cabinet Review

One of the potentially biggest issues I can see with Capcom Arcade Cabinet, however, will be the depth of game selection. While several early Capcom arcade titles proved popular when new, the average gamer never saw the majority of them. Capcom’s main claims to fame in the 1980s came from it’s successful Nintendo Entertainment System releases, followed by the Street Fighter II series in arcades the following decade. For every Ghosts ‘n Goblins will be a lesser title such as Son Son that most gamers simply won’t remember.

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Blog

Capcom Arcade Cabinet

Downloading an individual title or pack will also give access to the Capcom Arcade Cabinet ‘platform’ which provides additional features including DIP switch functionality, a music player, and the ability to capture and share screenshots or video. When playing in standard mode, players will be able to access DIP switch-like settings to adjust their number of lives and difficulty, including a Casual Mode which tones down the difficulty level and makes it more attainable to see the end credits. Further features include 2 player online play for certain titles; a global leaderboard; a training mode with infinite lives to hone your strategy and an option to select either the Japanese or international versions of the individual titles.

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Mobile Games

Twonky Beam app review

The video quality of the beamed content was just as good as the content appears within the websites themselves. While using the app only a little buffering was apparent early on in some higher quality videos, but at a level far less than often encountered when playing content straight from the built-in XBox 360 applications. Each HD video used to test the application, once streaming on the television, was indistinguishable from broadcast quality programming.

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Xbox 360

Skylanders: Giants

Each Skylander represents one of eight different “elements” like fire, wind, technology, or undead. The levels are divided with multiple gates and hidden areas that can only be accessed by certain elements, meaning in order to fully unlock everything the game has to offer you must own at least one character from every element. If you are defeated, the only way to continue the level is by swapping out figures on the fly, making the game near impossible with only the starter set, but very manageable with a stable of Skylanders figures at your disposal.

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Arcade Games

Midway Arcade Origins

Thankfully I was able to get a lot of enjoyment out a few of the included offerings. Joust and Joust 2 hold up extremely well, as do Satan’s Hollow, Robotron 2084, Spy Hunter, Rampage, and both Gauntlet games (just don’t shoot the food!). Two titles I’d never played before, Wizard of Wor and Bubbles, ended up being my favorites. Smash TV and its sequel Total Carnage also play well with a modern controller, and they still serve as a reminder that most of these games were simply designed to get one more quarter out of the pocket of your Kangaroos. This is certainly a staunch contrast from the “save anywhere, unlimited lives” mentality that permeates game design today.

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Xbox 360

Hitman: Absolution

Multiplayer (a first for the series) also feels very adaptable. Campaign levels are opened up sandbox style; any NPC on the map can be chosen as a target and then sent to your respective friends list. Gamers can place restrictions on the assassinations; you can compete with your friends to see who can complete the hits most efficiently based on the parameters dictated by another player. This adds an even greater level of replay to the game, and it also welcomes the creative contributions of gamers. Hundreds of thousands of player-made challenges have already been uploaded, giving play time a durability that previous entries in the series failed to achieve.

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Blog

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

Launched in 2004, the game was highly acclaimed as one of the best spaceship battle games ever made, and continues to attract fans even to this day. “We re-launched the original Nexus on Steam a while ago, and even now we see a substantial amount of new players buying the game each month”, said Horneman. “We have a very vocal fan base, and know that there’s a large number of people out there who would love to see a sequel made”.

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Xbox 360

Weird Games: Naughty Bear

In Naughty Bear you have an entire island to explore and cause mayhem on. The island itself is divided into four parts with some sections and areas needing to be unlocked. There are a total of 28 levels on the island and tons of different objects to use and obstacles to overcome. Your job is not only to get revenge on the bears who tormented you, but also to avoid the law abiding bears who will try and stop your mischievous ways.

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Blog

Sega Vintage Collection for PSN and XBLA

More retro gaming from the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis are on their way to both PSN and XBLA. Soon you will be able to play the Monster World Collection, which comes with Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy in Monster World and MWIV on May 23. Next up will be the arcade edition of Golden Axe along with Golden Axe 2 & 3 and the Streets of Rage Collection, which will feature all three games. These collections sell for 800 Microsoft Points each.

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Blog

Raptr’s Minecraft Give-a-way for XBL

Raptr is giving away 2,500 copies of Minecraft on Xbox Live for the Xbox 360 as part of their Raptr rewards program. Mojang’s award-winning game Minecraft will be available on Xbox 360. The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full tutorial mode to teach the basics, and an all-new split-screen multiplayer mode on Xbox LIVE. It will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade on May 9, 2012 for 1600 Microsoft Points.

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Xbox 360

Trials Evolution

The multiplayer mode provides the only real issue thus far. At the time of this review, online matchmaking was taking several minutes at a time and would fail altogether on many attempts. Once in a game, however, it ran flawlessly and could easily become a serious competition for many XBox Live fans. Be aware if you lag behind the rest of the pack the camera will turn toward you once the race has finished, putting all eyes on your efforts to complete the track. Hopefully the matchmaking issues can be remedied quickly.

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