Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas Achievements Revealed

Will you prove yourself to be hardcore?

The entire list of achievements for Fallout New Vegas have been posted at Xbox360Achievements and they offer a slight insight into how we'll be spending our time on the strip. Aside from the typical story-based achievements, there's also one for completing the game on Hardcore mode which has been added to New Vegas for gamers who really like a challenge. The mode gives all items weight, and forces players to meticulously manage their health. Check out the full list under "Read more".

Final Fantasy XIV Beta Delayed By "Critical Bugs"

Players hoping to try the next Final Fantasy MMO for free before the game launches in the second half of September have one last obstacle to overcome. A post made on the Final Fantasy XIV Online website indicated that the open beta, which was due to start at 7PM PST today, will be "postponed due to a confirmation of critical bugs." No specific time as to when the beta will instead begin has been announced yet.

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New Xbox 360 Controller Revealed

Microsoft addresses oft-made complaint with a new wireless pad due out November 9 with play-and-charge kit for $65.

In the past five years, Microsoft has encountered a number of complaints regarding its Xbox 360 hardware. The most vociferous of those were likely related to critical hardware failures, but not far behind were gripes about the standard Xbox 360 controller's D-pad, which players felt yielded insufficiently precise inputs for some games like Lumines Live or Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting. 

The former complaint has largely been addressed with extended warranties and newly redesigned Xbox 360 systems. The latter one could also have a solution on the way, as Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has revealed that a newly redesigned Xbox 360 controller will be released later this year.

Vanquish: Rocket-Sliding Into Our Hearts

Is this the real rockstar of third person shooters?

 On paper, Vanquish is likely to get eyes rolling into the back of heads; in SEGA's new game you're a grizzled, cocky space marine in a mech-suit, and it's your job to lead an all-American army against hordes of Russian robots. There is, as you'd expect, cover-based gunplay and rechargeable health – you'd be forgiven for thinking that over the past couple of years you've played this game countless times before.

 It's the other details in the description that you need to be mindful of, though. Vanquish is the fourth game from Platinum, its second HD outing after Bayonetta, and pulling the strings are none other than Shinji Mikami and Atsuhsi Inaba, the two men behind – respectively – Resident Evil and Okami. With that heritage you can expect the unexpected; you may well have played dozens of other cover-based third-person shooters, but you've never played anything like Vanquish.

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UK Charts: Mafia II Puts the Muscle on Kane & Lynch

Dog Days slips as the Cosa Nostra roll into town.

2K Games' mobster sequel Mafia II has clearly made the UK public an offer it couldn't refuse, taking the number one spot from Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days in this week's sales chart turf war. The period-set gangster epic debuted in first place as this week's only new entry according to GFK Chart-Track, despite more strong sales from Kane & Lynch.

Summer favourites Toy Story 3: The Video Game and Red Dead Redemption both slip down a place to make way for Mafia II, landing at three and four respectively, while Super Mario Galaxy 2 creeps up a notch to grab fifth position. The hairy plumber actually occupies five spaces in the Top Twenty this week, as Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart DS both scurry back up to claim numbers 18 and 19.

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WoW Cataclysm: Digging Deep into Deepholm

Deathwing leaves his mark in another world.

Whenever we post a story about World of Warcraft, we invariably see two responses time and time again in our comments section. The first is how ugly it looks with its six year old engine, and the second is how easy it is and how horrible all the players are because of this. Deepholm, the level 82-83 zone in the upcoming World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion seems a stark contrast to our commentators' ideas of the enormous MMO.

 Set within the plane of the earth elementals, Deepholm held the injured and shamed Deathwing as he recovered from his defeat at Hyjal. His presence there, and then his subsequent escape to Azeroth, has shattered the world pillar and opened a rift between Azeroth and Deepholm. This rift has the potential to destroy both worlds, so shortly after you arrive, you are told you need to help repair the pillar.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gearbox Goes Big With Borderlands

 Gearbox today announced its 2009 loot-shooter Borderlands will be getting a new Game of the Year edition packed with everything you'll need to explore the world of Pandora. 

The new edition, available on Oct. 12, includes all four announced downloadable add-ons: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and Claptrap's New Robot Revolution. These will be accessible via download tokens included with the game.

The box also comes with a "complete and comprehensive map" of the Borderlands territories.

Borderlands: Game of the Year will be available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for $59.99 and on PC for $49.99.

via IGN 

DSi, DSi XL get $20 price cut Sept. 12

 Third- and fourth-generation versions of Nintendo's best-selling handheld pick up new $150, $170 price tags next month; DS US sales hit 42.5 million.

Far from the unstoppable juggernaut that it once was, the Nintendo DS and its various iterations have started loosening their grip on the retail sales charts. Last month, the NPD Group reported that the perennial hardware chart topper had been ousted by the Xbox 360, a feat due in part to the redesign for Microsoft's console but also non-stratospheric sales of the DS, which stood at just 398,400 units.

Nintendo will launch its latest assault on the handheld market before April 2011, when it debuts the no-glasses-required 3DS. But until then, the publisher announced today that it would be bolstering its 132 million-unit-selling line of hardware with a $20 price cut for the DSi and DSi XL. Nintendo also noted that DS sales have hit 42.5 million units since the first version of the system launched in November 2004.

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NHL Slapshot Review (Wii)

Skeptical about another peripheral? Don't be. This is fun hockey on Wii.

As soon as EA Sports revealed the Wii-exclusive extension of its NHL franchise – and the fact that it uses a specially bundled "assemble it yourself" plastic hockey stick peripheral – I was immediately skeptical that this game would be worth the plastic it'll bundle. Apart from Nintendo's own Wii Sports franchise, designers have yet to nail Wii remote/nunchuk motion for an immersive experience, and EA Sports' solution – docking a Wii remote and nunchuk in a hockey stick – seemed highly dubious. But after playing the game extensively, I'm sold. NHL Slapshot isn't going to take the place of a true video hockey experience for the die-hard sports fan, but it's hard to deny that it's a whole lot of fun swinging a stick for high powered shots and devastating body checks.

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Xbox Live Gets a Price Hike

Your online gaming on Xbox is about to get more expensive.

Microsoft has announced that as of November 1, 2010, the price for Xbox Live Gold will go up in Canada, the US, United Kingdom and Mexico. The annual fee will go up by $10 in the United States, with one and three month subscriptions also going up in price.

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Hands-On - UAV Recon and Air-to-Ground Battles

We take a flight deeper into HAWX 2's single-player campaign and try out UAV scouting and a little air-to-ground combat.

The high-flying sequel Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 will let you return to the skies as an ace fighter pilot, but the sequel will have plenty of new toys to play with, including a wide array of different aircraft to fly from modern American, British, and Russian forces. In addition, the game will have all-new military tech that won't necessarily involve flying, such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drones, and it will also have a larger variety in its missions, including some that will challenge you to switch from midair dogfighting to bombing runs in a matter of minutes. We've tried out some of this new stuff and have new details to report. Please be advised that this story contains minor plot spoilers.

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Xbox Live fall update targets voice chat

360's online platform GM Jerry Johnson tells Euro crowd that system's audio codec will be improved later this year.

Microsoft traditionally rolls out its biggest improvements to Xbox Live as part of the service's fall update, such as Netflix support, avatars, Games on Demand, and more. However, with Kinect's November 4 launch taking much of the limelight for Microsoft's holiday push, the publisher has been relatively mum on what gamers can expect out of the Xbox 360's online platform later this year.

This week, Microsoft parted that curtain ever so slightly. As reported by UK news site Eurogamer, Xbox Live Studios general manager Jerry Johnson said as part of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival that the publisher plans to update Xbox Live's audio codec to provide better voice communication through the service as part of this fall's update.

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Darkspore Details!

Maxis clues us in on Darkspore's backstory, its game mechanics and how it's inspired by Plants vs. Zombies.

What would happen if Maxis – the studio behind The Sims and Spore – made a Diablo-style action RPG? Well wonder no more, because that's pretty much what Darkspore is shaping up to be: a loot-drop loving, co-op focused action-gaming click-fest. There's plenty more to it, of course, from the science fiction setting and intriguing squad-level strategy, to – once again – the way the game will empower users to create and add to Darkspore's universe.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Red Dead Redemption: Liars and Cheats Pack dated

Rockstar Games' next chunk of DLC for lauded Western dropping on Sept. 21 on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network; $10 content also includes Free Roam pack.

In early July, Rockstar announced four new downloadable content packs for the studio's praised Western, Red Dead Redemption. The first of that bunch, the Legends and Killers pack, hit Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network on August 10. The developer is wasting no time getting back in the saddle, today announcing the next batch of content's release date and how gamers will get more than they expected.

Mafia II: Review

Should you whack somebody to get your hands on this one?

Mafia II is upon us and ushering in a new era of wise guys and made men. If you've been waiting for this one, there is good news – the game is fun. Having shootouts in bars while bottles explode and glass flies, finding a mob hacking your friend to death, and going to brothels are all great times. Still, those moments aren't the entire game, and the accompanying parts hurt the whole.

Mafia II casts you as Vito Scaletta, a young Italian who returns from World War II to find his mother and sister on the hook to a loan shark. Like any gangster in a gangster movie, Vito decides he doesn't want a subpar life of the slums and goes down the organized crime route to make some cash. You'll be with Vito as he whacks dudes, steals cars and tries on all sorts of snazzy outfits.

Rock Band 3: Instrument Controllers Preview

An in-depth look at the new keyboard controller, pro guitar, as well as the improved microphone and drums.

At E3 2010, Harmonix revealed that they would be bringing the music game genre to a whole new level with the addition of Pro Mode, a new gameplay component that would not only allow you to emulate real musicians, but help you on your way to becoming one. The concept brings together software implementation and radical new hardware design, which involves creating new control schemes via wholly new instrument controllers that mimic their real-life counterparts but also produce functional in-game results.

F1 2010 - The final look

Codemasters' official racer heads in to the final stretch.

F1 cars are ferocious things. If you've ever been lucky enough to stand on the banks of Becketts at Silverstone, or indeed at the side of any race track around the world, you'll know this; you'll be familiar with the shrill pitch in the distance that fast becomes a deafening noise, the cars displaying a violence that's sadly neutered on television.

Codemasters' F1 2010 nails this. It's not just in the handling or the speed – though both those aspects acquit themselves well –but in the sound that the first official HD game since 2006 really excels. At the lower end of the power band there's audible grunt; get nearer the redline where an F1 car conducts much of its business and everything seems to raise a decibel or ten as the engine's eight cylinders noisily threaten to eat themselves.

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Fallout: New Vegas Has Robot Sex

"Something wrong with someone if they got to f**k a machine?"

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), a non-profit, self-regulatory board that assigns ratings for videogames, has outed Fallout: New Vegas' steamy sexcapades.

Not only can players have sex with human beings, but they can also have sex with robots, as the rating suggests players will have sequences where it's made apparent for both.

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