Posted: May 3rd, 2010 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: Halo 3, News, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | Tags: Halo 3: ODST, Halo Beta, Halo Reach Beta | 1 Comment »
Gamers, get ready. It’s time to dust off your old ODST discs and jump into the Halo Reach Beta. Now if you’re anything like me, chances are that you haven’t touched ODST in months. Now, I really don’t know who this chick is, but she gives us a crash course on the latest in the beta.
Keep in mind that the beta could take quite some time downloading so be patient and don’t hit “B” by accident and cancel your download like I did. Also, a bunch of people over at Joystiq were complaining earlier that their downloads weren’t working. As it turned out, rebooting the Xbox was the cure to this issue so keep that in mind when you come across any issues. Happy killing.
Posted: February 5th, 2010 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: News, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | No Comments »
Microsoft has announced today that they will discontinue the Xbox Live service for original Xbox consoles and games. Here’s what the Major had to say:
While I can’t comment on the specifics, this change will allow us to continue evolving the LIVE service with new features and experiences that fully harness the power of Xbox 360 and the Xbox LIVE community. We did not make this decision lightly, but after careful consideration and review we realize that this decision will allow us unprecedented flexibility for future features.
I don’t understand how ending this service on the old system will allow them “unprecedented flexibility” for the future. If you can remember a little while back, Microsoft also started pulling the plug on XBLA titles that weren’t selling well.
If you are still playing Halo, I suppose your best bet would be to run through Xbox Connect. Ahh, the good old days…
Posted: February 21st, 2008 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Demo, Homebrew, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 1 Comment »
You may have heard the GDC buzz about some XNA Community Games trials available RIGHT NOW for all Xbox Live users. But where are they!?! You need to download the “XNA Creators Club Game Launcher” to get access. This will only be available until February 24th! After that, the launcher will no longer be available for download, but the trials will continue to function until some time next month (17 days from the time of this posting).
To get the Game Launcher, head to the Marketplace. Here is where it’s nested: Game Store | All Games | XNA Creators Club | XNA Creators Club Game Launcher. The naming is particular, since the similarly titled downloads require a Creators Club membership.
Once installed, you will have a new tab titled “XNA Creators Club” in your Games Library under My Games. Navigate to this new category, and hit Y to download games. This should take you to the XNA Creators Club Content download page. There are seven trial games available for download.
This is a very nice taste of whats to come, where independently developed games using XNA will be available for free and pay. From what I gather, publication will be contingent on some type of peer review, rather than the stringent Live Arcade requirements/verification process.
And I urge all college students to cash in on the free XNA Creators Club subscription offering I recently posted about. The free 12-month subscription has a $100 value, and will let you get games RIGHT NOW for free. You will be able to legally install any XNA software freely available on the web onto your 360. What kind of games? How about an NES emulator? No modding, and no getting banned from Xbox Live.
Posted: December 4th, 2007 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: Marketplace, Xbox Live | 2 Comments »
The Major has spoken. Just when I thought Marketplace couldn’t get any better…
I am happy to announce that the latest dashboard update has now been officially released and is in process of being rolled out across the LIVE service. For many of you, the next time you sign in to Xbox LIVE, you will be prompted to receive the update. A couple of things to keep in mind over the next few hours as the update is deployed:
* Youâ€™ll be prompted to accept the update when you sign into Xbox Live sometime in the next few hours. You will only receive the prompt for the update upon sign in. You wonâ€™t get it in middle of a game.
* Regardless of what you have heard, it’s not geographically based. No one area of the world will get it before another.
* If you log out and then back in again, this wonâ€™t force the updateâ€¦it will only anger people on your friends list who will see you sign in, then out, then in, then out â€¦
* Be patient, everyone will eventually receive the update
To the fine folks at Xbox, away message system? Next update maybe? You’ll think about it perhaps? Word, sounds good.
For an in depth list of all the new features in the update, check out Elle’s article.
There’s always room for improvement.
Posted: November 30th, 2007 | Author: Tarun Kunwar | Filed under: Marketplace, News, Xbox Live | 3 Comments »
And they’ve added DIVX! I always thought that they should add some sort of away message system similar to some instant messaging programs. It would let your buddies know if you’re grubbin’ out or rekindling yourself with nature before gettin’ yo game on.
XBox classics and mutual friends? Yawnnn.
A more in depth online profile and some new video features? Yippiee!
Xbox 360 Introduces New Features and Console Enhancements with the 2007 Fall Dashboard Update
Free system update hits connected consoles worldwide on Dec. 4; Xbox Originals, Family Timer and more available through download
As promised, Microsoft is bringing some early gifts to your Xbox 360 just prior to the holiday season. Beginning at 2:00 a.m. PST on Dec. 4, the Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update will be available for all connected Xbox 360 consoles free of charge, bringing an array of new features and enhancements to the leading gaming and entertainment system.
Among the key new enhancements are the previously announced Xbox Originals game download service, Family Timer parental control feature, and expanded social networking experiences. Xbox 360 owners can also look forward to enhanced navigation, profile and video features and Xbox LIVE Arcade Hits.
This free update will be digitally distributed over Xbox LIVE to the more than 8 million Xbox LIVE members worldwide (Xbox LIVE Silver and Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. Gamers without an Xbox LIVE account can easily sign up for the free network by connecting their console to a broadband internet connection. New features and enhancements include:
MORE DOWNLOAD OPTIONS:
* Xbox Originals – With this new service, announced on Nov. 13, consumers can download-to-own full original Xbox games that were previously only available at retail. The digital shelves will always be stocked with classic titles, such as “Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex,” “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge,” “Halo,” “Fable,” “Fuzion Frenzy,” “Psychonauts,” and more as the catalogue grows over time, at 1200 Microsoft Points per game.
* Xbox LIVE Arcade Hits – On Xbox LIVE Arcade, the Arcade Hits program kicks off where some of the best sellers will become available at permanently reduced prices, making it easier than ever for everyone to build a library of downloadable games! The first games to become Arcade Hits will be “Bankshot Billiards 2″ and “Lumines LIVE,” which will be available for 800 Microsoft Points each, and “Marble Blast Ultra,” “Small Arms” and “Zuma Deluxe,” which will be available for 400 Microsoft Points each. With free trial downloads for every game and over 100 games to choose from, Xbox LIVE Arcade offers something for every member of the family.
NEW WAYS TO KEEP UP TO DATE AND CONNECTED:
Â· Inside Xbox – A new direct feed brings current news straight from Xbox.com into the Xbox LIVE Dashboard providing members an easy, predictable entry point where they can discover what’s new in: game releases, events, and Xbox LIVE Marketplace offers.
Â· Enhanced online profile – Members interested in sharing a few more details about themselves will have the option to go beyond their motto and further personalize their profile with an expanded bio. The extended bios will be visible to “Friends Only” or the entire Xbox LIVE community.
Â· Expanded Friends List access – A quick and easy way for gamers to expand their personal community on Xbox LIVE, members will be able to see the Friends Lists of other Xbox LIVE members, boosting their social networking experience on the service.
ENHANCED OVERALL EXPERIENCE AND CONTROL:
* Enhanced Parental Controls – Family Timer, a strong and flexible new addition to the Xbox 360 Family Settings, enables parents to set the amount of time their Xbox 360 can be used on a per-day or per-week basis by their children or other members of the household.
* New video features – The convenience of full-screen movie previews and enhanced video codec support further expand the options when it comes to the Xbox 360 entertainment experience.
* Easy-to-use navigation features – With several noteworthy changes in the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, from the new Game Store button to the Video Store button to enhanced visuals and descriptions in the video library, Xbox LIVE members can find what they want, when they want it.
These features are just some of the new enhancements Xbox 360 owners can expect as part of the Fall Dashboard Update. On December 4th a list of all the new features and improvements will be posted at: http://www.xbox.com/live.
Posted: September 20th, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Hacks, Halo 3, Rumors, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 9 Comments »
And not just the ending, either. The whole game. As in to download and play. This of course isn’t unusual by any means, especially with a few stores breaking street date, rebel employees, and a flood of copies on ebay. In the right hands (or wrong, depending on your perspective) that equates to a scene release or torrent.
From the looks of it, at least two groups have released Halo 3 in the past two days, with ccclx the only making it onto nforce (nfo).
Today Microsoft has released a minor update to enable support for the future “big button” remote. There is already speculation this update has something to do with Halo 3, and “the banhammer.” While there are currently hacked firmwares to play this release and others on your 360 undetected, Microsoft could once again up the ante and ban all modded consoles that connect to Live. There haven’t yet been any reports of banned consoles after todays update.
Posted: August 28th, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 9 Comments »
Due to the fiasco that was yesterday, registration is open until 7pm PDT tonight (Tuesday 7/28). It’s no longer first come, first serve, so go get your name in the hat. Get over there and register, and while you wait, check out our impressions of the beta here.
Posted: August 27th, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Preview, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 21 Comments »
The CoD4 beta officially comes out today (on a first come first serve basis), so I thought it was a good time to share my impressions thus far. I’ll try to hit all the points that matter. Keep in mind that this is only a beta… not even a preview or demo. Things are likely to change a little.
Graphics: They rock. Technically speaking the game is excellent. The art style is solid, with a few caveats. Despite the new “Modern” setting for the CoD franchise, the three levels included look like they could have been in Call of Duty 2. I personally liked Call of Duty 2’s landscapes, so it’s not so much a complaint as an observation. Overall the games geometry is rather boxy, generally lacking an organic, curvy appeal. It looks very raw, as would be expected in a gritty war shooter. Again, this is more of the games art syle, which is well executed and technologically sound. The game wont disappoint in the looks department.
Gameplay: I’ll be honest and let you know I’ve never played too much Call of Duty online. I was disappointed with Call of Duty 2s matchmaking (or lack there-of), which has been completely revamped of Call of Duty 4. If you are a friend of Halo 2/3 matchmaking, you will feel right at home, since it is practically identical. You’ve got party support, playlists, ranking, etc. It’s buttery smooth and should be easy to get together with your friends, find a match, and get in the game.
Game types in the beta in Free-for-all, Team Deathmatch, Team Tactical, and Team Objective (these are essentially the “playlists”). The first two are self-explanatory, both supporting 6-12 players. Team Tactical is for smaller teams of 2 to 3, doing both team deathmatch and Search and Destroy. Team Objective is again 6-12 players and includes Search and Destroy, and Domintation.
Search and Destroy is essentially like Counterstrike. The team on offense has to plant a bomb at one of two locations that the opposing team defends. The offence team wins by planting and detonating the bomb, or killing all of the opposing team (no respawns). Defense wins by killing all of the opposing team or defusing the bomb. Domination feels similar to Battlefield 2, with numerous flags or control points which you must control for the most amount of time.
So far everything is tried and true, essentially the best of numerous games. Where CoD 4 gets creative is with it’s “Create A Class” mode. You can create and save your own classes, complete with weapon selection and upgrades, and the all new perks. In a typical shooter, each class has their own perks inherent to them. A marksman may have truer aim, and a demolition expert may have increased explosives skill. With Create A Class, you pick your own weapons and skills. Do you want to be a stealthy snipers packing a UAV jammer, and how about an RPG just for the hell of it? Done. Increased health? Increased bullet damage? Faster reloading? Longer sprinting? It all sounds great, but of course you can’t have it ALL. You can really customize your playing style, and carefully pick the perks you want.
One of my favorite things about the game is that not everything is available right off the bat. You want to upgrade the scope on your M4? You’re going to need to earn that! If you visit the Barracks, you will see your current goals. You have goals for each of the weapons in your arsenal. If you want to upgrade your M16, you need to use it. The Barracks will tell you at your current level, you need 75 more kills with the M16 in order to get that new scope. There are numerous upgrades for each weapon (ranging from grenade launchers, camo, improved sights, and scopes), so there are numerous sets of goals for each weapon. When the full game comes out, if you want the most coveted gun in the game with the most upgrades, you’re going to have to work for it.
While this is a great reward system and even adds to replayability (who doesn’t want to get the upgrades for ALL the weapons?), I can see it also being a bad thing. If a guy on your team is working on getting upgrades for his Shotgun, he might decide to use it on a level not so fit, and bring down the rest of your team. Ideally you would just be patient and get the upgrades naturally, using weapons as fit, but I can definitely see this happening. Last night I was getting my last 50 kills for an M4 scope upgrade, and I was using that gun whether or not it was the best choice. My kill/death ratio suffered, but I got my scope!
The ranking system also has its ups and downs. You gain experience points for everything you do right in the game. Get a kill, +10. Activate the team UAV, +10. Get an assist, +2 (it softens the pain of someone stealing your kill). You need xxx number of experience points to reach the next rank (not unlike and RPG). The bad thing, is there is apparently no way to LOSE experience. That means if you kept playing and never got better, even if you continually lost, you would slowly but surely climb the ranks. Just imagine if in Halo 2 if you couldn’t level down from losing… ranks wouldn’t be as telling of skill. On the bright side, being on the losing team doesn’t hurt you as much, as long as you perform well on your own. But this kind of tears apart the whole fabric of a team based game.
What really matters is that Call of Duty is fun. It’s shaping up to be a great game, and even with the currently limited map, weapon, and perk selection, it’s a good time and leaves you wanting more.
Posted: August 25th, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Demo, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 1 Comment »
If Medal of Honor is your cup of tea, a demo for the latest brew is now up for download. While I’m feeling FPS over saturation onsetting, a demo is always worth checking out. Plus, I can’t think of many better ways to start a level then jumping out of a plane. The demo weighs in at 970+ MB, so prepare for the usual Xbox Live download agony.
Posted: August 21st, 2007 | Author: Justin Nolan | Filed under: Demo, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 4 Comments »
After a short delay, the demo for EA’s Skate is is now available for download on Xbox Live. While the download is 1.09GB, the Live seems to be speedy this morning and the download is flying (no repeat of BioShock 24 hour download). I believe this demo will allow you upload your skate videos to the skate.reel at skate.ea.com, so show us what you’ve got. Although EA’s website appears to be down right now, surely from from skate fanboys dancing with glee on the forums.