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Epic Mickey Collectors Edition Confirmed August 31, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Existance of this leaked out at retailers a day or two ago, but I was waiting for official confirmation before I posted up anything here, and that has come.  Disney’s Epic Mickey will get a full collector’s edition.  It’s quite rare a Wii game gets a collector’s edition, I can’t think of another game for the Wii that has gotten one other than Metroid Prime Trilogy (and that was more of a limited release game than a CE).

The CE will include a behind the scenes DVD, a 5-inch Mickey Mouse figurine, a Wii console skin, and a wiimote faceplate.  It will retail for $69.99 US.

Disney’s Epic Mickey is coming Holiday 2010 for the Nintendo Wii.


What is a Transforming D-Pad? August 31, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Microsoft has announced today that they are releasing an updated version of the Xbox 360 controller with an improved directional pad, called a transforming d-pad, and a new color scheme which removes all the colors from the face buttons of the controller and replaces them with black and white buttons.

A transforming d-pad allows the user to raise the pad or flatten it depending on preference and game, making life a lot easier for fighting game purists.  By turning the pad at the base, you can change the d-pad’s orientation to your liking.

The largest complaint about the Xbox 360’s controller has always been the d-pad, perhaps this will quell that debate.  Other controllers also have complaints as well, for example the Dual Shock 3’s main complaint by most users is that the trigger buttons are rounded down instead of up, causing finger slippage.

The new Xbox 360 controllers are going to be released bundled with Plug and Charge kits on November 9th, 2010 for $64.99 US.

Dead Rising Case Zero Release Today August 31, 2010

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In a brilliant move of marketing, Capcom is actually releasing a standalone game prior to the release of Dead Rising 2, which is supposed to serve as a prequel to the game, set up the new main character, and just be a great way to slay zombies.

Dead Rising Case Zero is out today and is only for download on Xbox Live.  Cost is 400 MS points, or about $5 US.

ATI Brand Discontinuing August 31, 2010

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AMD has confirmed to several media outlets that it will no longer continue to use the ATI brand for its graphics processors, opting instead to continue with the AMD name for them.

Around the time of the shut down of 3DFX (at the time the primary graphics accelerator), many manufacturing companies that built hardware around their graphics api went down with them, leaving only Nvidia and ATI left in the graphics arena, who have been chief rivals ever since, and each had a dedicated fanbase devoted to their side.

AMD purchased ATI several years ago, and owns the company, so they can do this.  ATI’s chief (and by all accounts only) rival Nvidia is still independent.  No other company who produces graphics (including Intel) are even close technologically to the hardware either of these companies are producing.  In fact the stuff Intel made yesterday is pretty much on par with what Nvidia and ATI were making seven years ago.  There’s no comparison, and most modern PC games won’t play on your computer unless you’re using an Nvidia or ATI gpu.

To me this is the end of an era, but it has been coming ever since ATI’s purchase.  The ATI vs Nvidia wars were a staple of PC Gamers between 2000 and 2010 and likely will continue under the new name, but just will not be the same.

Xbox Live Rate Hike in November August 30, 2010

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Microsoft’s representatives have confirmed today that they are raising the price for a year from $49.99 US to $59.99 US. They claim it’s because they’re bringing in some new services to justify the price including something involving ESPN they can’t talk about yet.

As someone who has to pay for his service out of pocket, this news sucks. I play video games, I have no interest in watching ESPN, I don’t even watch the channel, and it’s one of the few meager stations my cable company gets in HD.

Top Five Alan Wake Cutscenes August 29, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Top Cutscenes.

I had so much fun making the Top Ten Halo Cutscenes I decided to do another one, a top five with the game that I’ve been playing almost all summer, Alan Wake.

The game’s sense of story, pacing, tension, drama and humor are perfect, and it was difficult to even pick five of the best, let alone ranking them. But here’s my list of the best cutscenes in Alan Wake.

Scenes were graded based on story, quotable dialog, music, and setting, and given a score based upon each.  I have to say, it was very difficult but totally worth it.

If you haven’t played this game yet, shame on you!

New Halo Reach Live Action Ad August 26, 2010

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The shades of the BELIEVE ad campaign from Halo 3 would be visible even to the poorly sighted.  Too bad there’s no dialog, the old man’s dialog in the museum about the diaorama in one of those ads was what took it from meh to awesome.

Halo Reach is coming September 14th, 2010 for Xbox 360.

UPDATE:  Bungie has confirmed this will be the LAST live-action trailer for Halo Reach.

Halo 1 PC and Marathon Registration for Halo Reach Live August 25, 2010

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As previously mentioned in the news, Bungie is offering a whole bunch of various unlockable awards for players.  Two of those include support for Halo 1 for PC and Marathon: Durandal for Xbox Live Arcade.  By registering these games to your Bungie.net profile, and tying that profile into your Xbox Live account, you will be able to receive a special plate next to your name during Halo Reach matchmaking (similar to the septagon symbol for bungie linked profiles in Halo 2 and 3).

The Halo 1 PC and Marathon: Durandal registration is live.  If you haven’t created a bungie.net profile and you intend to play Halo Reach (seriously, you are and you haven’t?) create one, go into your account options, game settings, and finally nameplate settings.

You will only be able to register Marathon: Durandal if it’s in a recently played slot in your gamer card (I.E. if it’s one of the last 5 games you played on your 360).  Halo 1 PC registration is through your CD-Key, which is located on the sleeve your game came with.  If you’re a mac user, don’t fret, that key is also compatible.

Multi-Player Icons Coming for Halo Reach August 24, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I noticed something interesting in the Bungie Weekly Update that not too many others did.  It seems that they’re taking the famous Bungie Septagon (which can be seen next to gamertags in matchmaking for players that linked their accounts on bungie.net to their Xbox Live profile, dirt easy to do) and taking it a whole step further by awarding all different types of icons to be attached to their multiplayer gamertag.

This is also where the Halo 1 PC key unlock comes in, so read on.

  • The Septagon – This option returns for anyone who links their LIVE account to their Bungie.net account.
  • The DMR – A pro weapon for Pro members. Get Bungie Pro to bump up your File Share, render videos, and get this emblem. Active subscriptions bought in Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST carry over to Halo: Reach, of course.
  • Marathon – Play the full version of Marathon: Durandal on Xbox LIVE Arcade to enable the Pfhor Terminal emblem.
  • Halo 1 – Enter your Halo 1 PC/Mac product key to enable this emblem. Each key can only be used once, so you’d better stop reading this and grab that key before your brother does. Since we have no way to validate who has played the Xbox version, this emblem is reserved for that dedicated community of computer gamers, with over 50k unique users still active each month, 7 years after release. Thanks for sticking with us. It’s been quite a ride!
  • Halo 2 – Automatically available if you played Halo 2 for Xbox on your LIVE account before its tearful retirement. If it’s not active for you, no amount of wheedling will change that, sorry.
  • Halo 3 – Take a guess… On the plus side, there’s plenty of time to head to your local purveyor of fine, shrink-wrapped games to snag a copy if you’re the one person who actually reads the news on our site and hasn’t played this game.
  • Halo 3: ODST – Ditto.
  • Assault Rifle – This fine armament goes to anyone who played the Halo: Reach beta a few months ago.
  • Spartan Helmet – CLASSIFIED
  • HALO – Like Blamite out of a Needler, these faceplate options can supercombine. Unlock the emblems for Halo 1, Halo 2, and Halo 3 to get this special emblem.
  • The Star – Who knows? We haven’t come up with a use for this yet. Maybe we will in the future

There will also be a BUNGIE logo for Bungie employees.

Looks like I have an excuse to play that copy of Marathon which has been sitting on my Xbox’s HD for a few years now.  Also now we know exactly what the cirumstances are for the Halo 1 PC content unlock.  I know a lot of peope (myself included) were expecting to find special armor, but I’m not complaining.

Stay tuned here for when the CD-Key validation goes online.  I’ll try to break that news soon as it happens.

Halo Reach is coming September 14th, 2010 for Xbox 360.

The Latest Mortal Kombat News August 24, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A lot of news has been going around about the new Mortal Kombat game. 

The majority of the characters in the game are going to come from the MK, MK2 and UMK3 games, but there is expected to be a ton of new characters avalible through DLC, which means that if your favorite character is not included on the list, don’t fret, they might be coming at a later point.

My favorite news is the return of the Krypt.  The Krypt, which appeared in later MK games (including Mortal Kombat: Armageddon) was a one stop shopping point for unlocking all of your in-game items.  You would recieve currency through playing the campaign, and with it could unlock things like behind the scenes videos, alternate costumes, concept art, and music.

Mortal Kombat is currently expected in the first half of 2011, and will ship for Xbox 360, PS3, and there’s even a good chance that it could ship for PC at some point.