Archive for September, 2007

FIFA Soccer 2008 Review

Source: thexboxdomain.com

If you’re a fan of the soccer series “Fifa” from Electronic Arts check out this review done by Gametrailers. The last Fifa game I bought was Fifa World Cup 2006 because I was world cup crazy. Have I bought one since then? Nope.

-Michael “Thrills Killa” Pacheco-

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Xbox Quote of the Year

Source: ps3blog.net

Bungie community rep, Luke Smith, tries to do some damage control on the discovered Halo 3 resolution deficiency debacle:

“In fact, if you do a comparison shot between the native 1152×640 image and the scaled 1280×720, it’s practically impossible to discern the difference.”

Very true! Upscaling doesn’t improve quality at all! That’s why people are upset! ROFL! For once, I actually agree with something Microsoft says about upscaling :)

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Upscaling doesn’t add any more texture or model detail or sharpness, it just blows up the pixels.

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Then, the Microsoft rep proceeds to go off the deep end:

“In fact the reason we haven’t mentioned this before in weekly updates, is the simple fact that it would have distracted conversation away from more important aspects of the game, and given tinfoil hats some new gristle to chew on as they catalogued their toenail clippings.”

640p vs 720p? Sure, most people wouldn’t notice by themselves if they didn’t read about it. But the exact same thing can be said about the 30/60 Madden FPS issue that Microsoft trumpeted to the moon last month.

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UPDATE: OK, even though this is a PS3 fan site, we try not to be obnoxious and blatantly bash the 360. In rather short hindsight, this post was a little bit too much, so to balance this out a little bit, read this newer post.

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Behind the Scenes with Uncharted

Source: ps3blog.net

If Uncharted brings a similar gameplay experience that the first Jak & Daxter game gave us, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Anybody else looking forward to getting Uncharted in November? It’s definitely on my list at the moment.

Behind the Scenes with Uncharted Drake’s Fortune

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Three things PS3 fans should envy about 360

Source: ps3blog.net

Retro Content

While PS3 users are happy to get the occasional PS1 title repackaged in downloadable format, the 360 doesn’t merely get direct ports, but genuinely enhanced versions of classic fan favorites: Doom, Marathon, Prince of Persia, Street Fighter, and now even Rez! And all of these game have upgraded textures and graphics, improved frame rates, a variety of multiplayer options, etc.

PS3 users do get the occasional retro title with enhancements (Super Puzzle Fighter, Lemmings, or MK2), but the 360 seems to get more retro titles, a better selection of them, and much more substantial enhancements.

I’m definitely envious of this. I would love to see more of this type of quality, enhanced remakes.

Hobbyist Development

Microsoft provides attractive hobbyist oriented XNA dev kits with options for 360 distribution. I must mention two counter points to this:

  1. User created content, which is coming to both systems, will be much more relevant in the console world than from-the-ground-up game development support.
  2. There is already a dream hobbyist system, and it’s not a console and probably won’t ever be. I’m talking about the general purpose home PC. Independent and hobbyist developed games are flourishing on the PC and enjoying great success. The success and variety in these efforts is amazing. Check out here, here, and here.

However, despite these two counter points, I’m still genuinely envious of the power and accessibility of Microsoft’s XNA tools and I wish the PS3 had something similar.

(BTW, PS3 Linux is great, but it’s just a limited PC rather than a new tool for hobbyist developers)

Third Party Relations

The 360 seems to get many third party titles much earlier than the PS3. This includes traditionally PlayStation franchises such as Ace Combat and Katamari, which are rumored to come out for the PS3 after a 360 exclusivity period. Even titles such as GRAW 2, which the devs claim was designed from the very beginning to provide full PS3 support, still come out a solid five months earlier on the 360.

And for GTA fanatics such as myself, those upcoming exclusive episodes sound very tempting.

UPDATE: This was supposed to be a genuine and good spirited acknowledgment of the strong points of the competition that would ease tensions and restore a constructive enjoyable discussion forum. This isn’t supposed to kick off a second wave of console war arguments. There are a ton of PS3 advantages that I will not mention those for now.

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Retro Profile: Gradius (NES)

Source: infendo.com

gradius_screen1.gifGradius is a neat little shooter to play on the NES. It was ported over from its 1985 arcade original, and this was also Konami’s first NES game to be released in America. The funny thing is I never saw this game in our family’s NES library back in the day…although we had Contra and Double Dribble. I didn’t discover this game until the second time that I got an NES in the house in 1996. Gradius came with it and I was immediately interested in seeing the game because it had that classic Konami box art. You know–the whole “grey box with the lines on both sides” look. The artwork really jumped out at me and made me want to play it.

Gradius really brought something new, yet practical to the shooter genre. Something that really appealed to me was the fact that you didn’t just shoot a power up capsule and automatically gain a quick upgrade. You have to pick and choose which ability you want to enhance every time you pick up one of those power up thingies. As a result of that kind of power up system, it added in a little strategy element, that still made the game very fun to play. Something else that I found to be very unique, for it’s time, was the Option drones. I never could figure out exactly what they were, but it’s like they had a life of their own. The Options prove to a real big help in any situation that you may run into, as you take on more hordes of enemies. My only regret is that you are limited to only 2 Options. The arcade version let you have up to 4 of them. Even so, 2 Options still work just fine for the NES version.

This is a very good example of an arcade port done right. Nothing is really missing or changed from the original in terms of game play and overall content. The graphics are crisp and easy on the eyes, and the sound effects are very well done too. Not annoying or just plain embarrassing…it fits the NES very well. What I like the most, though, is the music! Despite the limitations that any developers will run into while porting an arcade title to a home console, Konami didn’t let that stop them from making the music mimic, almost perfectly, the original stuff. Not to mention, the music is also quite catchy and you’ll probably be humming some of tunes in your head too.gradius_screen3.gif

There is one thing that many, including myself at times, have found a bit troublesome about the game. When all tricked out with Options and weapons and all that good stuff, you’ll be fine…as long as you don’t get killed. If you die, you’ll be stuck with a slow ship and the basic pea shooter weapon. Sometimes you’ll get restarted to a particularly tough section of a level, and if you can’t move around fairly quickly, then you’re toast. But then again…that’s why they made the Konami code…up, up, down, down….well, you know the rest.

Play or Stay? Gradius is a solid game that most fans of the old school shooter genre wouldn’t mind playing when they have 20 minutes to spare. If you don’t have an NES, you can still download it on the virtual console for 500 points. Happy blasting!

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Call of Duty 4 Beta: We hardly knew thee…

Source: thexboxdomain.net

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Make sure you get your hours worth of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Beta. Today is the final day of the beta and at Midnight PST, servers will go down. The game is still on track for its release; November 6th in North America and November 9th in Europe. You can check out the official website for updates between now and the games release, check it here.

Charlie Oscar Delta -

Thank you for your participation in the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Xbox 360 Multiplayer Beta.

We have spent the last few weeks collecting feedback, talking with you on forums and using your comments to tweak and finalize the game. Your comments have been great and of course, it’s been a blast playing with gamers from across the globe!

At this time, we’re announcing the Beta will end on Sunday, September 30th. In the United States, you can visit GameStop and Best Buy to reserve your copy of the game. International users can visit www.callofduty.com for territory-specific pre-sell programs. CoD4:MW will be available on November 6th in North America, November 9th in Europe.

Thanks again for a great Beta!

-Charlie Oscar Delta Staff

So, for two major release titles, Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare; we’ve had multiplayer betas to give us a taste of whats to come. Now, is this something we could likely see in the future with these types of titles? I certainly think so and hope so. Multiplayer betas give developers a good look at how users will react to the game and are able to receive feedback to help make the experience better. We as gamers should certainly take this opportunity to help developers when these chances are presented to us.

Now the question in hand here is, are multiplayer betas only worth it for FPSs? Is it possible we could see betas for major release RPG titles or even titles from other genres? Or should those genres just stick to demos? What do you guys think?

Jereme “Restless Devil” Puik

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Burnout Paradise- “Steel Wheels Trailer”

Source: thexboxdomain.net

I’m a big fan of the “Burnout” series because I’m a fan of destruction and chaos in video games and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. “Burnout Paradise” will be a day 1 purchase for me and I can’t wait to try it online.

-Michael “Thrills Killa” Pacheco-

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

Game Releases this week (PGR 4 edition)

Source: thexboxdomain.net

These are the games releasing this week for Xbox 360 in the states.

Project Gotham Racing 4

Flatout:Ultimate Carnage

NBA 2K8

NBA Live 2008

Spiderman: Friend of Foe

Crash of the Titans

-Michael “Thrills Killa” Pacheco-

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

The Xbox Domain’s Top 5

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is being "Considered" for Consoles

Source: thexboxdomain.net

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a story driven First Person Shooter set in Chernobyl, Russia is being considered for a console release.  Company GSC Game World wants to expand their market from just the PC sector.  Product Manager, Anton Bolshaknov, explains:

“PC game development is very traditional for ex-USSR and over 90 percent of gamers here play on PCs. However, we are pretty aware of the tendencies in the markets internationally and have been considering console development for a while.”

I hope the 360 gets this FPS, it has become very common to see PC games ported to console.  Half Life 2 and Unreal Tournament 3 were developed first for PC an moved over, why not S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

[Via CVG <= Xbox 360 QJ]

-Matthew “Webnet” Moore-

Published on September 30th, 2007 under

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