Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

360 Install Base Passes Original XBox Installed Base November 25, 2008

Filed under: Hardware,Industry,Microsoft,PS3,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 10:41 am
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154466-xbox_xbox360_originalAnd it only took 3 years! This week Microsoft’s Xbox 360 hit the 25 million console mark. Of course, there are almost 150 million PS2s, even today, so who really knows what that says about the state of the console wars.

 

Microsoft seems to have scuppered their plans for a box in every home, and is rather focusing on the 10 million folks on XBox Live. The New Xbox Live Experience still has a few hiccups, like frequent network drop-off, but the company continues to patch the product. Nothing like load testing to put a spring in your step, eh, Microsoft fans?

 

“The Guild” is Coming to a 360 Near You November 24, 2008

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Congrats to Weiner and Twitter friend @feliciaday!

 

The folks responsible for internet sensation “The Guild” have signed a semi-exclusive deal with Microsoft’s Independent Video Channel. The show, a comedy which features the “real life” experiences of a small MMORPG guild, will air its second season exclusively on the IVC for four weeks before releasing the episodes on The Guild’s own site. The deal also includes a holiday episode shot in HD especially for the service.

 

Preview: Hands On With Mirror’s Edge November 7, 2008

Filed under: Games,Previews,PS3,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 7:58 pm
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mirror-s-edge-first-gameplay-footage-1With only a week remaining until its North American release on the XBox 360 and PS3, it is time to delve into Mirror’s Edge.  We’ve been playing the demo here at the Weiner and we’ve got some pretty interesting stuff to report.

 

Mirror’s Edge is a new twist on an old genre – it is a first person parkour game.  As per Wikipedia:

Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK) or l’art du déplacement (Englishthe art of movement) is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body.  It is meant to help one overcome obstacles, which can be anything in the surrounding environment—from branches and rocks to rails and concrete walls—and can be practiced in both rural and urban areas. Parkour practitioners are referred to as traceurs, or traceuses for females.

Founded by David Belle in France, parkour focuses on practicing efficient movements to develop one’s body and mind to be able to overcome obstacles in an emergency.

 

I may not kick your ass, but I'll run like Hell.

I may not kick your ass, but I can run like hell.

The protagonist is a courier named Faith who takes to to the rooftops to deliver important packages in a world where information on the ground is locked up tight. Faith’s world is detailed in shining white with spare primary colors, notably red, indicating your path.  That isn’t to say that the game is linear, but instead the bright accents give you a sense of direction when your body is hurling through space.

 

There is some fighting in Mirror’s Edge, but the action centers on Faith’s movement through the levels.  Weapons are generally used to get out of a jam and then tossed, because combat will slow you down too much.

 

The demo feels solid.  The jump buttons are on the shoulders, which gives your motion a more organic feel as you maneuver through the sky. They offer a couple different configurations, but the default has (Jump/Duck-Slide) mapped to the LB/LT and (Punch/Kick) to RB/RT. (Although RB will also do quick turns.)  It takes a moment or two of getting used to, and then it really feels smooth.

 

There is a definite sense of urgency to the missions, which makes it feel even better when you hit your jumps and turns and swings just right.  In that way it feels like a well-designed platformer, and the pleasure you derive from play is oddly similar to what you might feel when flawlessly completing a level in a Mario game.

 

 

Falling to your death never looked this good.

Falling to your death never looked this good.

The checkpoint system is reasonable, which is good.  You’re going to plummet to your death 20 or 30 times while getting the hang of this thing.  The time trials are not nearly as forgiving – the demo’s “qualifying time” of 2:00 will take more than a few tries.

 

All in all, Mirror’s Edge looks like it has come together well, and shaped up quite a bit from when we saw it at PAX.  Check out the launch trailer here and enjoy the game when it comes out next week.

 

Mega Man 9 DLC is Go! October 7, 2008

Filed under: Games,PS3,Wii,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 5:14 pm
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Not content to merely talk about downloadable content, Capcom this week released not one but two DLC packs this week for the well-received Mega Man 9.  The first is an endless level, which is sort of a brutal Mega Man Le Mans sort of trial.  Go and go and go until you inevitably die.  The second is playable Proto Man!  This MM upgrade gives you a slide, a charged shot, and a forcefield, but doubles damage taken and knockback distance when hit.  

 

The Wii folk are enjoying this already.  360 people can get it Wednesday.  Poor PS3 users have to wait until Wednesday.  But hey, at least its definite!

 

GTA DLC Coming in November September 5, 2008

Filed under: GTA,Industry,Rumors — Gwyddia @ 11:30 pm
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That didn’t take long.

As per Eurogamer and a source inside Rockstar, the GTAIV DLC for XBox 360 is on track for a late November release. According to these sources, Microsoft has paid for two “episodes” of approximately 10 hours each, as well as a slew of new unlockables and achievements.