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XBLAFans Twitch Schedule: Week of 9-29

twitch stream_xbla_fans

This week’s schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, September 30th @ 8:00 pm (CST) – Recurring Tuesday Stream with Marshall.
This week: Defense Grid 2 – As promised, back again with Defense Grid 2.

Thursday October 2nd @ 9:00 pm (CST) – Super Time Force with Jen.

If there is a game you would like to see streamed or previewed, let us know and we will do our best to get to it quickly. Enjoy this week’s stream!

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Chariot coming to Xbox One October 1; will be free for XBLG members

Chariot co-op play on Xbox One

Canadian studio Frima’s couch co-op platformer Chariot will release on Xbox One October 1, and it won’t cost Xbox Live Gold members anything to download it, Frima and Microsoft have announced. While the ID@Xbox game won’t cost XBLG members anything, it will set non-Gold subscribers back $14.99.

Chariot is October’s Xbox One Games with Gold title and will replace Capy Games’ Super Time Force, which remains free for the next two days as September’s title. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 owners with Gold subscriptions will be able to get Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for free from October 1 through the 15th and Darksiders II from the 16th through the 31st.

A launch trailer for Chariot depicts the game’s hook: a princess and her fiancè guide the titular chariot through the game’s environments, all of which are set in “the royal catacombs.” Players will need to push, pull, ride and swing with the carriage, which is actually more of a coffin on wheels. Inside the chariot resides the ghost of the deceased king, and the goal is to locate a suitable burial location for the deceased. Click inside to catch the launch trailer.

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Microsoft announces blue Xbox 360 as part of its 2014 holiday bundles

Xbox 360 Holiday Bundles

If blue is your favorite color and you’ve always dreamed of having a blue Xbox 360, then you’re in luck. Microsoft’s Major Nelson has announced three new holiday bundles that will be available during the 2014 holiday season, and one of them includes a new special edition blue Xbox 360. All three bundles will sell for $249.99 and include an Xbox 360, at least two games and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.

The three bundles to choose from are:

  • Xbox 360 500GB Holiday Value Bundle
  • Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle
  • Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle

With the holiday bundle you get a 500GB Xbox 360, a month of Xbox Live Gold membership and copies of both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Those who opt for the Special Edition Blue bundle will get all of the Holiday Value Bundle items, but with a special edition arctic blue console and controller. The standard bundle is available now at retailers nationwide. The special edition bundle is exclusive to Wal-Mart and will be in US Wal-Mart stores starting October 7.

If you’re like me and you can’t wait to try out the recently released Dance Central Spotlight game, then the Kinect bundle may be the bundle for you. This bundle includes a 4GB Xbox 360, a Kinect, a month of Xbox Live Gold membership and copies of Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, and Forza Horizon. This bundle is exclusive to Target and will be available in stores starting September 30.

Source: Major Nelson

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Slender: The Arrival review (XBLA)

Slender: The Arrival was developed by Blue Isle Studios and published by Midnight City. It was released on September 24, 2014 for $9.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Slender: The Arrival is inspired by the popular PC game, Slender: The Eight Pages and even features a scene similar to the original. There have been few survival horror games on XBLA and even fewer that have gotten the feeling of horror right. This has led to gamers waiting for some time to see a new survival-horror game appear on XBLA, one that could scare the pants off of them. I’m happy to report that Slender does exactly that, even on the easiest difficulty.

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Passing it on: The Behemoth’s Gold Egg Project

The Behemoth's Gold Egg Project

John Baez doesn’t want Asteroid Base’s money. It’s as if the three men who make up the studio are old friends of Baez’s, and on this day they just happen to be patrons of his business. Their money is no good here.

They are not old friends, though. Baez, president and co-founder of indie game studio The Behemoth, only first met the members of Asteroid Base during PAX Prime of 2013. He noticed their still-in-production game Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime had picked up a few awards and had a certain individuality to it. Lovers has a way of causing onlookers to gravitate towards it that’s not entirely unlike the way the game’s pink Death Star has a penchant for attracting the attention of enemy spaceships.

In the game, a pair of benevolent astronauts pilot a neon spacecraft around the universe, wishing only to survive. But then something catches their eyes, something they can’t ignore. A group of evil robots known as “The Haters” have ensnared innocent bunnies and locked them away in jail. The astronauts refuse to stand idly by while innocent creatures suffer, so they show some initiative, scrambling around the bowels of their craft and tinkering away at control stations that unleash firepower of a magnitude that they can only hope The Haters are unable to repel. Despite the protagonists’ violent response, Asteroid Base sees the titular lovers as good Samaritans. The pair have somehow survived this long on their own out in the frightening yet awe-inspiring unsurety that is space, even managing to thrive in it without any support from large, external entities. Now they want to help others like them do the same.

The Behemoth knows the feeling. Founded in 2003, the San Diego studio responsible for hits such as Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers chose to go it alone in another dangerous environment. The developer released its games sans publisher in the competitive console gaming space. The Behemoth found success, but it wasn’t easy doing it through self-funding — Baez mortgaged his house, and co-founder Tom Fulp kicked in some of his personal savings to help finance development in the early days. But they did it, and they were successful enough that they’re now in a position of strength.

A few years ago, Baez and Company used that strength to quietly start something called The Gold Egg Project. Gold Egg is a funding initiative meant to help other indies bring their games to market, but unlike a traditional publisher, The Behemoth doesn’t take any of its beneficiaries’ profits — it only wants to help them. Now The Behemoth is helping Asteroid Base, and Baez hopes the studio will one day pass it on.

Being indie

The Behemoth Castle Crashers Knights

For almost as long as there has been game design there have been independent game designers. The term “indie,” while well-established today, is newer. It means something; it’s just that no one seems to be able to agree upon exactly what that something is. So it was for The Behemoth back in 2005 when the tenderfoot studio’s Alien Hominid was winning Independent Game Festival Awards for Innovation in Art, Technical Excellence and Audience Choice.

Baez recalls of that time that “there was a lot of controversy [as to] whether we were indie or not, solely because we were on a console. Other developers said, ‘You can’t be indie because you’re on a console.’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re indie because we funded it.’ Now that’s our definition of indie.”

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Deals With Gold games for September 23-29

Xbox Deals with Gold

Major Nelson has announced this week’s Deals With Gold promotional sales. Xbox One owners can get The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Contrast and 1001 Spikes at a 33-percent discount.

XBLA Fans reviewed Contrast upon its release and enjoyed it. 1001 Spikes, published by Nicalis, looks and behaves like an ultra-hard version of Cave Story — gamers who can handle the final bonus dungeon of the well-regarded PC title will likely find themselves right at home with 1001 Spikes.

Xbox 360 owners have discounts on both of the The Amazing Spider-Man games alongside The Orange Box, Fuse, Syndicate, GRID Autosport and the DLC for Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 to choose from. Enjoy those deals while they last, as they will be replaced with another set this coming Monday.

Source: Major Nelson

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XBLAFans Twitch Schedule: Week of 9-22

twitch stream_xbla_fans

This week’s schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, September 23rd @ 8:30 pm (CST) – Recurring Tuesday Stream with Marshall.
This week: Defense Grid 2 – Released today!

If there is a game you would like to see streamed or previewed, let us know and we will do our best to get to it quickly. Enjoy this week’s stream!

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Xbox One struggles in Japan

Xbox One

The Xbox One recently launched in Japan and it certainly did not have the best of times overseas. In the first week of sales only 23,562 units were moved, making it the lowest sales of any of the “current-gen” consoles in Japan. Both the Wii U and the PS4 sold over 300,000 units in their respective first two days of sales and to make matters worse even the Xbox 360 outsold the Xbox One at launch by close to triple the amount. The Xbox 360 was a running joke in Japan and if Microsoft doesn’t want a repeat performance they clearly need to change their approach to the Japanese market. Luckily, it is still early the console’s lifespan so there is plenty of time for change.

Source: Polygon via Famitsu

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Resident Evil Revelations 2 will release episodically on Xbox in 2015

Capcom's Resident Evil Revelations 2 for Xbox One

Capcom has announced that it will release Resident Evil Revelations 2 on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in early 2015.

At least, that’s when it will begin releasing the game. Breaking from franchise tradition, the sequel will adopt an episodic release format and will be split up into four digital episodes available for $5.99 each. It’s a release format perhaps best known to gamers thanks to another game franchise that pits humans against zombies: The Walking Dead. For its part, Capcom claims that this format is an evolution of the original Revelations‘ chapters format, though those chapters were sold together as a single release.

The publisher will release Resident Evil Revelations 2‘s episodes one week at a time before making the entire game available as a single digital release that will include some sort of additional content for $24.99. A retail version is also planned for a later date, and it will feature even more exclusive content at an MSRP of $39.99. Capcom promises that each episode “will feature hours of terrifying gameplay ending with dramatic cliff-hangers.”

Revelations 2 will put players in control of series mainstay Claire Redfield and task them with confronting the horrors of Redfield’s past. Joining her in the sequel is Moira Burton, who, along with Redfield, has been captured and must find out who took them and why.

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Stick it to The Man review (Xbox One)

Stick It to The Man! was developed and published by Zoink Games. It was released August 28, 2014 on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for $9.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.

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It has been an awfully long time since the likes of Braid, Limbo and Super Meat Boy first began to demonstrate just how innovative and enjoyable smaller, digitally delivered titles could be. Unbelievably, though, there are still independent studios out there that continue to push the envelope. With Stick it to the Man!, Zoink games have done exactly that, delivering an entertaining, polished and highly amusing puzzle/platform game that oozes originality from every pore.

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