Sep 12, 2011

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Xbox Week in Review: Week of 9/12/11

Xbox Week in Review: Week of 9/12/11

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the NFL’s opening games this past week as well as the many titles released.  If American football isn’t your thing, we’ve got four arcade titles (as well as two more upcoming this week), a highly anticipated Kinect title debuting, and details on an upcoming dashboard update.

  • Microsoft is planning another overhaul of the Xbox Live Dashboard and is looking to integrate the Kinect peripheral even more.  Gamesradar has reported five of the biggest changes coming including the new look (as seen above.)  The channels have been replaced with an interface very similar to the one found on Windows Phones.  Along from the aesthetic changes and greater integration of Kinect, Microsoft will be allowing players to send out beacons, broadcasting to friends that they want to play a specific game.  These messages can be sent through Xbox Live or Facebook making it even easier to play with friends.  Also, you’ll be able to share achievements through social media outlets with Facebook allowing filtering so friends won’t be bombarded by less impressive accolades.  Finally, Xbox Live is teaming with Bing to bring voice support searches using the Kinect.  Simply saying, “Xbox, Bing Halo” will bring up all media relating to Bungie’s famous franchise.  Speaking of Halo…
  • Last week Kotaku reported that Halo Narrative Director, Ryan Payton, is not only leaving Halo 4, but also Microsoft’s 343 Industries.  Payton was no longer creatively excited for the upcoming Halo trilogy and was so drained that he was diagnosed with severe depression.  Payton said that his vision was different than the teams and he chose to depart, create his own studio (Camoflaj), and is already working on two new games.  Although Payton left 343 Industries, he has expressed that he’s more than confident in the teams ability and is sure that they’ll create a triple-A title.  We’ll all find out ourselves if he’s right when Halo 4 releases late next year.

  •  The arcade had four new releases last week including the Kinect game Leedmees.  Using your body as part of the stage, players must help guide the Leedmees to their goal in this 800 point download.  For those without a Kinect, race through the skies in Skydrift.  Fly and combat against deadly opponents as you explore exotic locations around the planet.  Fans of the vampire (dhampir?) vixen Rayne are in for a treat with BloodRayne: Betrayal, a 2D hack and slasher.  Recruited for one more mission, Rayne must infiltrate a mansion, defeat a deadly horde, and stop an evil plan once and for all.  Both Skydrift and BloodRayne: Betrayal are ready for purchase at 1200 points.
  • The last arcade game released last week is the action-RPG Crimson Alliance.  As I stated a few months ago, if you’ve purchased all five of the Summer of Arcade titles, you’ll be able to download Crimson Alliance for free.  What may confuse some is that Crimson Alliance is free to download for all.  The developers have cleared the confusion themselves stating that the game is technically free for everyone to download, but to experience everything players must purchase character packs.  A single character pack is selling for 800 points while purchasing all three together is sold for 1200.  For those that purchased all five Summer of Arcade titles, you’ll be able to download the three character pack for free.  Hopefully this resolves some of the confusion regarding this Gauntlet style game.
  • This upcoming week the arcade will have two new titles available for download: Radiant Silvergun and Red Bull X-Fighters.  Radiant Silvergun is a schmup that was originally released in arcades and was later ported to the Sega Saturn.  Red Bull X-Fighters is a freestyle motocross game based on the event of the same name.  The former is sold for 1200 points while the latter will set you back 800.  Also, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is getting it’s first piece of DLC and it’s in the form of multiplayer action more similar to the campaign as opposed to it’s current lantern runs.  ‘Shadow Hunters’ is set after the conclusion of the single-player game and players must guide a giant bomb through enemies, recharging along the way as they take out waves of enemies and bosses.  The DLC will be 400 points and if it’s anything like the main game, you should probably download it.  Finally, Twisted Pixel’s The Gunstringer is releasing for the Kinect and will retail for $39.99.  It will include a free copy of Fruit Ninja Kinect, have avatar awards, additional bonus downloads, and looks to be infused with Twisted Pixel’s hilarious sense of humor. 
  • Eurogamer has reported that the Devil May Cry HD Collection is set to release for the PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously.  The ESRB has listed Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening will release for the two systems respectively.  In June, a spanish shop listed that the collection would launch in Europe on November 30th for the PlayStation 3 but as of now the news hasn’t been confirmed.  With the Tokyo Game Show coming soon along with the upcoming reboot, expect a reveal shortly.

That’s the news for the past week along with some upcoming items to look out for.  The XBLA has been pretty excellent the past few months so expect even more as September rolls along.  The final piece of the Gears of War trilogy is releasing next week so be sure to put your preorders in when you get the chance.  Also, if you have yet to enter our contest to win a free copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, do so as soon as you can.  The contest ends in a couple of days and if you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy it, check out Kyle’s Review.

Come back again next Monday for another Xbox Week in Review.  Be sure to check out Kyle’s PlayStation Week in Review for all things Sony.

*Xbox Week in Review is a feature article that recaps the most interesting Xbox news of the week. We also run PlayStation Week in Review for all your PlayStation news of the week.