Posts tagged "xbox"

SIMPLE 2006 Vol. 2: THE Weekly Summary Post

SIMPLE 2006 Vol. 2: THE Weekly Summary Post

A weekly summary of what is being talked about quite a bit in the gaming community.

(Running a little late this weekend with the holidays, shenanigans and what not. This week I will return to Saturday posting of this summary.)

Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Update

This week Microsoft released another sizable backwards compatibility update, which comes hot on the heels of yet another thread on NeoGAF pondering the current state and future of Xbox 360 backwards compatibility. The update was forty-eight games and now adds some other titles I just have to pick up like Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly and rare US-release of Sneakers — yeah, don’t poke fun, thanks. On top of that, this most recent update blew a long-running conspiracy theory floating around about Xbox 360 BC on NeoGAF and other message boards out of the water.

This theory was that Microsoft would not release the backwards compatibility option for either an Xbox game that hasn’t been released yet or an Xbox game that also had an Xbox 360 version or both of these. With the inclusion of Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy both of these theories have been disproved. Spyhunter: Nowhere to Run and The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning further adds weight to disproving the theory, something the Gamerscore blog also points out.

Message board poster and PS3 fanboy reveals unknown information, how much of it is true?

General Mayhem forum screenshotHands down,the fastest growing thread on NeoGAF last week was easily this one posted by typhonsentra, where he quoted an excerpt from a thread titled “PS Questions Answered! (Bonus PSP info)” on the General [M]ayhem message board. Many think the Scrivener is an insider, possibly at a Sony first-party developer even, not only based on his information — which would be dismissed would it come from someone else — but because he proved some point by previously mentioning an upcoming PSP bundle and detailing it’s contents including UMD movie titles perfectly. Among other things, Scrivener mentioned that Resistance: Fall of Man currently stands over 20 GB in size, days before the MTV feature on that very title came out. This has made many people believe, beyond the obvious hyperbole when describing some of the games, that he is not only legit, but feeding out information which will come true in time and doing so very deliberately. He even states in the lengthy General [M]ayhem thread that he got approval before posting any information, which did bring up some questions as to what he aims to do.

Apart from all of that, there is no doubt some of what Scrivener says is true, some of it is clearly (fanboy-ish) enthusiasm and some of it is pure speculation (such as the possibility of a 4x Blu-ray drive instead of the announced 2x drive). No matter what anyone thought about him and his information, nobody could stop talking about him and the thread saw all manner of defensive statements, damage control by the opposite side and jokes. Time will tell just how much was frenzied hyperbole and how much was wishful thinking. I have no doubt someone on NeoGAF saved that thread to bring up at a later date to compare.

Assassin’s Creed rumors end, multiplatform confirmed

This week, Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed would be released on the Xbox 360, confirming it as a multi-platform title after revealing it would be PC bound earlier in the week. Since E3 2006 and based on Ubisoft’s statements that Assassin’s Creed was only announced for PLAYSTATION 3, many inferred that the title would be exclusive to Sony’s console. On top of that, Assassin’s Creed picked up a lot of hype at E3 based on the excellent trailer released at E3 (embedded below) and closed doors presentations to the press, seemingly strengthening Sony’s third-party stable.

Discussion started over on NeoGAF around 7:00 PM Pacific when Zonar spotted that IGN had updated their Xbox 360 landing page feature graphic with the Assassin’s Creed news. It was taken down within an hour and speculation ran rife on when the announcement would be official, if the different platforms would get the game at the same time and what reasons and motiviation may be behind the marketing. Luke over at 1Up posted that the October issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly would also confirm the announcement, but that the feature would not answer a lot of these very questions that the guys over at 1Up and EGM were wondering too. Seems those questions will go unanswered for now as the lists for third-party exclusives for any console dwindle by one. At least this great looking title has the chance to be played by larger group of people than if it had stayed exclusive, from what little I’ve seen, Assassin’s Creed deserves it.

Dead Rising

The demo for Dead Rising came out early in the morning this past Friday but I didn’t know until after I had gone into work. So as soon as I got home, I started downloading this 1GB behemoth of a demo. An hour or so later and I loaded it up and… wow. That’s all I can say. Even though the demo is limited to only fifteen minutes of play, I keep going back to it to try more and more things that I’m sure only scratch the surface on how complex this game can be.

Robert Summa over at Joystiq wrote a pretty decent walkthrough/FAQ for Dead Rising, “How to get the most out of your Dead Rising Demo.” Just playing around with all the weapons, including the ones you find like the katana and the Uzi, will take a couple of playthroughs at least. Taking pictures will take another set of playthroughts too, especially if you get the “Weekly Photo Magazine” in Contemporary Reading so you can figure out when best to take photos in the game. It’s bad enough you get extra points for random posters or signs or of the more brutal moments in the game, but the developer saw fit to allow you to take photos down a dress or up a skirt of a couple of the female zombies for a special erotica themed bonus. Very… interesting and oh so wrong.

Dead Rising juice mixer chartDead Rising juice mixer chartOn top of all this, Robert mentions juices you can mix in the blender located in the Columbian Rostmasters cafe upstairs in the demo area. Shogmaster on NeoGAF did one better and actually not only created a chart to mix these drinks, but went out of his way to see what happens if you mix two of the resulting drinks with each other, to create special, can we say “Stage 2” drinks. And this is all just in the demo. This definitely increases my anticipation level for the full game, due to be out tomorrow, August 8. I can’t wait to get my zombie-killing and juice-mixing on.

One other thing I have found is that the more I play the demo and the more I try to do different things, the more prone I am to dying. First few times, where I was just running around mowing down zombies as well as I could, I was nearly untouchable. I have to work on that.

Forza Motorsport 2 box art revealed

Forza Motorsport 2 box cover art

Over on, among recent posts about Turn 10 boss Alan Hartman’s new Audi RS4 (I’m extremely jealous) and the partnership — in-game and in real life — with AWE Tuning, Che posted an image of the recently approved box art for Forza Motorsport 2. It just looks… really sharp. Doesn’t help me get the game into my grimy hands any sooner though! Oh the torture.





Xbox friends list on Windows Live Messenger

The Xbox tab feature on Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger), which I remember had existed a while back but never tried, has returned, based on Major Nelson’s post yesterday. After a little difficulty getting it to work, and the resulting troubleshooting comment I posted, it was a fully functional tab. While this is still pretty basic — Xbox news on top and scroll down to see a compact, yet fully clickable, version of the friends list you have on — I hope this is just a taste of the type of cross-functionality that we’ll see from Live Anywhere (Gamasutra: “Q&A: Chris Early Breaks Down Microsoft Live Anywhere”) or whatever else. At least during the workday, I can just scroll to the tab to see who is online (especially across different time zones) during the day and what they are up to. It’s nothing beyond mere curiosity, but I could see the potential in sending or receiving game invites over Messenger, especially if with one click it launches, say the Shadowrun session or whichever other Windows Live game.

Xbox Japan – Xbox Friends and a new blog

For the past few months I’ve been in close contact with a few of my colleagues in the Tokyo office of my company and, through them, with Shigeo Tatsumi, Japan Webmaster and community manager of sorts. Part of our conversation have been about sharing information and thoughts about expanding the community relations that Shigeo has been doing for some time already in Japan. When we last talked in early June, Shigeo planned to take the already smart things he has been doing since the launch of the original Xbox to a new level in early July. That time is finally here.Taking a cue from the creation of the Gamerscore blog, Xbox Japan has launched an employee blog for all things community related in Japan. Right now, only Shigeo is writing on the blog, but that might change in the future. So far, he’s posted a lot of things already — from upcoming demos (Zegapain XOR) to videos about the quick charge kit (he’s in the video) and what seems to be a Halo 2 comedy routine to just posting what is new on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I’m interested in seeing where this goes, but I think Shigeo is off to a great start, mixing his own vision with the usefulness of a more official version of and the aforementioned I’ve already got this as an (unfortunately) auto-translated bookmark on my daily list of sites to check out.

Xbox Japan - XboxFriendsThe other part to the community program in Japan is the launch of the Xbox Friends web site. Social networks and networking are fairly big in Japan and it seems a lot of people are connected with their friends in a lot of different ways (in Japan and in the rest of the world naturally). Of course, Xbox Live is supposed to add another way friends all over the world are connected. The challenge in Japan seems to be that just randomly running into someone on Live, who may not even speak Japanese, to play a game with — never mind actually put on your Friends list — is an awkward social situation more often than not. This is where Xbox Friends comes in. From what I understand Xbox Friends basically looks to supplement the existing friends list features on to help gamers in Japan find new friends that share things in common by including information not available on Xbox Live such as prefecture, age and profession among other things. This information was willingly given by the gamers in order to join Xbox Friends, since that’s the whole purpose of the site. On Xbox Friends, gamers can create groups such as clans, guilds, student clubs, etc. and they can also search these groups. On home page for the Xbox Friends site itself, there are three main tabs for search: user search, group search (search for gamer groups according to game genre) and user map search.

Xbox Japan community - Xbox friends usermap - matchviewThis is what the most interesting part of Xbox Friends is — the “user map” function. Basically, you start with selecting a game title and then on the next page you can choose to narrow down your user map search by a few categories. They include: Gamer Zone, prefecture, gender, age (minors cannot be searched), favorite game genre, and profession. The search result is a Flash-based user map and the type of user map you get — score view or match view — depends on what criteria you did or did not select to search by. You can also narrow down the number of results returned by using the 10 – 100 slider bar on the right side, so that the user map you get isn’t too busy and you can pick out a Gamertag to choose from to view. From these results, gamers in Japan can now find someone to request to be a friend on Xbox Live and not have it totally be random. It’s definitely a great idea and something that is needed out there. I hope that Japanese gamers put it to full use.