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feature | 01/21/06 | Matt James
Matt's back with the first of the 2006 Mailbags, full of international flavor. We've got some feedback about our glowing review of Kutoka's Creatures and Creatures Exodus titles from the developers. And of course we've got the requisite letters suffering from "TLI"-- Too Little Information. You tell us: How DO you get engineers to build siege machines on the top of large towers? Is it some kind of riddle? Check out the latest reader mail right here.
game: Xbox 360
feature | 01/19/06 | Aaron Stanton
Microsoft has received criticism for sticking to the DVD9 format for the Xbox 360. Concerned gamers point out that the 8.5 gigabytes of storage may not be enough to hold next-generation games. Sony's PS3 will use blu-ray, a format capable of storing several times the information of DVD9. But how big are Xbox 360 games? And how much will they grow, really? We take a look at the size of original Xbox titles to see how much they grew between 2001 and 2005, and compare them to the size of the Xbox 360 launch titles to make an educated guess about the DVD9's future needs. The conclusion? Well, you'll have to read to find out, but it generally makes Microsoft look like they know what they're doing. Don't enter a forum debate about blu-ray without reading this article.
game: The Battle for Middle Earth II
news | 01/19/06 | Shawn Rider
EA has announced that they will bring their fantasy strategy title, The Battle for Middle Earth 2 to Xbox 360. The Battle for Middle Earth 2 comes out for PC in February, building on the success of the original. The Xbox 360 version will see a revamp to suit the console controller and will feature Xbox Live multiplayer, bringing serious strategy gaming to the home console for the first time. (No, we're not going to count Starcraft for N64 as a legitimate effort.)
game: Xbox 360
news | 01/18/06 | Shawn Rider
Microsoft and Nissan have teamed up to create a concept car called the URGE that comes stock with an Xbox 360 and Project Gotham 3 pre-loaded. (Have no fear, the game is only playable when the car is parked.) The vehicle is made to turn "echo boomers" on to the hipness that is Nissan, and the URGE was unveiled at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week. The Register has a write-up with more info and quotes, but we've got more pictures. And they're bigger. Click for more.
game: Dead or Alive 4
review | 01/14/06 | Tristan Mayshark
Dead or Alive is one of the most contentious franchises around: Gamers and non-gamers alike tend to either hate it or love it. But don't let the viscous breasts and panty-flashes overcome the quality fighter that is DOA. The series makes its next-gen debut on the Xbox 360, and it's a mixed bag: The graphics aren't going to prompt anyone to upgrade to HDTV, but the fighting game is at its height. Longtime fans are rewarded with a blending of the best features from previous installments, solid online play, and plenty of things to do, unlock, and earn. Get the full review from Tristan right here.
podcast | 01/13/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val Townsend, the Atomic Goddess, takes gamers on an audio adventure through the recent history of video gaming. In addition to a summary of recent news, Val has reviews of Kameo: Elements of Power (XB360), Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath (PC), and those cute little GelTabz (multi). Rounding out this week's podcast is a preview of Square/Enix's Code Age Project, which spans games on mobile phones, PS2, and a comic book series. Serve yourself up a heaping helping of steaming hot podcast goodness, right here.
game: ICE Modchip
feature | 01/13/06 | Aaron Stanton
Has the Xbox 360 been successfully modified? This is the question that's been on the modding community's mind since InfinityMods.com claimed to have a functioning modchip in-hand. Is it true? In this article, we look at the time-line of everything we know about the I.C.E. modchip, and include an interview with Team I.C.E.
What does I.C.E. stand for? When is the expected ship date for the chip (early Feb., by the way). If you have doubts about the I.C.E. modchip, then this article certainly won't put them to rest, but we help keep you informed.
game: Project Gotham Racing 3
news | 01/12/06 | Aaron Stanton
People talk about photo-realistic environments, but we rarely come close to seeing it. Well, at least from a distance, it's pretty clear that Project Gotham Racing 3 on the Xbox 360 comes very, very close. Evilgamerz.com has posted some photos comparing in-game locations to their real-life counterparts, and the result is very cool. We only wish we had thought of doing it first. While we're not savvy enough to know exactly where each one of these locations are (besides being in Japan), it's clear that PGR3 shows them off with near photo-realistic accuracy. Very impressive.
game: Kameo: Elements of Power
review | 01/11/06 | Aaron Stanton
In a bit of a late look at Microsoft's attempt to neutralize Zelda, we play over Kameo: Elements of Power to see just how good it is. The beautiful design and brilliant particle effects dazzle, but is the gameplay enough to make you want to own it? It is, actually, pulling traditional adventuring elements and combining them with unique Rare flavor and character design. It might not be the beginning of a classic game franchise, but it's certainly worth your time until something better hits the stage.
podcast | 01/07/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val checks out the biggest gaming news of the last couple weeks, catching us up on any news we missed while we were stuffing our gullets on stuffing and gullets. She also checks out reviews of PoPoLoCrois for PSP, Kosumi for PC, and Call of Duty 2 for Xbox 360 and PC. After all that, she serves up a tasty preview of Chromehounds, coming soon to Xbox 360 from the makers of the legendary Armored Core series. Get the latest podcasty goodness from your pals at GF!
game: I.C.E. Xbox 360 Modchip
news | 01/07/06 | Aaron Stanton
The website for the Xbox 360 modchip known as LiThIuM I.C.E. went live in the early hours of January 7th, 2006. While there's nothing there yet to cast much additional light on the chip or its creators, one comment on the site does include a date: January 31st, 2006. Is this the release date, or an extension of the two-week pre-order date mentioned on InfinityMods.com? It's hard to say. The site also includes information on the chip's development time-line, and reseller policies. We're all holding our breaths waiting for the site to finish launching, and we'll keep you posted.
news | 01/06/06 | Aaron Stanton
InfinityMods.com claims to have a 360 modchip in hand, and will most likely have it available for purchase within 2 weeks. But what do they really mean by that? Turns out, the statement on their front page is somewhat misleading, since another line, deeper into their website, says, "Preorders to be accepted within approx 2 weeks." So the question isn't whether or not there is an Xbox 360 chip, but whether or not you'd be wise to throw in your money on a preorder for a chip you know nothing about. We take a look at all the information we have (which is admittedly very little) and attempt to make an educated guess about the legitimacy of this claim. Does InfinityMods really have a 360 chip?
game: Fight Night Round Three
preview | 01/05/06 | Tristan Mayshark
Hot on Xbox Live this week is a free demo of Fight Night Round 3, EA's highly anticipated boxing title. Fight Night Round 3 has gotten a lot of press lately as a PS3 launch title, and the demos EA have shown us are incredible. So how does the Xbox 360 version compare to the teasers we've seen for PS3? Pretty much the same. The graphics are amazing and the action looks like it holds up nicely, given the limited demo. Check out Tristan's preview, and then go download it to your Xbox 360!
review | 01/02/06 | Shawn Rider
GelTabz are an unlikely must-have enhancement. They are so incredibly simple they'll have you wondering why more game controllers don't make use of their innovative design. But they are so effective that once you give them a shot, you won't want to play without them. As natural a fit as a baseball glove and a baseball bat, GelTabz are definitely worth a closer look. Get the full review here.
game: FIFA 06: Road To The FIFA World Cup
review | 01/01/06 | Matt James
EA Sports' FIFA franchise is often the only thing going in the US, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Matt James took a close look at FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, the Xbox 360 launch incarnation of the FIFA series, and found that it's probably not worth the upgrade. The visuals are real purty, but the rest of the game just isn't up to par. It's too tough for newbs to pick it up, and it lacks features and roster that the current-gen versions have. Get the full story here.
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