About Author: Nathan Bowring

Description
I'm a college student always looking for a fun game to play between classes. I've been playing XBLA games for some time now, and I'm a huge fan of the price and creativity of these games. Writing about them is almost as fun as playing them. Almost.

Posts by Nathan Bowring

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Ori and the Blind Forest coming this holiday

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Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest, one of the most beautiful games shown at this year’s E3, now has a release window. As revealed by game director Thomas Mahler at Gamescom, the game will be launching this holiday on Xbox One. Ori is a whimsical Metriodvania taking place in a dark, dangerous forest. Guardian spirit Ori must journey through the forest, gaining strength and skill to conquer the evil that lurks within. Ori and the Blind Forest is just one of the many ID@Xbox games coming soon; you can check out more upcoming games revealed at Gamescom here.

Source: Polygon

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New ID@Xbox games unveiled at Gamescom

Microsoft held their Gamescom press conference this morning, and among the announcements was a new ID@Xbox trailer that was jam-packed with games. Microsoft had a similar trailer back at E3 this year, but this updated version has plenty of new blood. A wide variety of titles were revealed, including third-person MOBA Smite and spaceship builder Space Engineers. There’s also The Escapist, a prison break game from Worms developer Team 17, SuperHot, a time-bending FPS, and Ghost of a Tale, where you explore dungeons as an adorable mouse. Craziest of all is the reveal that Xbox One will soon be getting Goat Simulator, the most accurate farm animal simulator game ever made. Some of the new announcements have trailers of their own, which you can check out after the jump. Previously announced but still unreleased titles like Inside, Cuphead, and Gunscape are also featured in the montage, showcasing the large library of games coming soon to Xbox One. If you want to discover more about games coming to ID@Xbox, check out our profiles on games shown at E3 2014.

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Killer Instinct coming to retail

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Get ready to break some combos: the Xbox One exclusive fighting game Killer Instinct is getting a retail release. Killer Instinct: Combo Breaker Pack comes loaded with content from Season One, including all eight fighters. Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Spinal, Sadira, Orchid, and Fulgore will be ready to fight right off the disk. Getting the game will also prepare you for Killer Instinct Season 2, as it includes a bonus code for the upcoming fighter TJ ComboCombo Breaker Pack hits store shelves September 23 for $19.99, and KI Season 2 will begin later this year.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Minecraft visited by the Guadians of the Galaxy

Minecraft_SkinpackMarvelGotG_WideImage-1024x576By now you’ve probably heard Marvel’s cosmic comedy Guardians of the Galaxy released on Friday and became a huge box office hit. Maybe you were one of the many who saw movie over the weekend. If you loved the blockbuster film, and also love Minecraft, you’ll be pleased to know that you can literally bust blocks with Star-Lord and company. The Guardians of the Galaxy skin pack is available now for $1.99, featuring 24 skins inspired by both the movie and the comics. Check out the complete character list, complete with screenshots, after the jump.

Source: PlayXBLA

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Minecraft Cartoon Texture Pack available now

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What do you get when you cross Minecraft with childhood memories of Saturday morning? A brand new texture pack! The Cartoon Texture Pack makes every block in the world colorful and silly, just like the cartoons of yesteryear. If you’ve ever wanted  to trick your friends with a fake tunnel or drop a piano on the head of an unsuspecting roadrunner creeper, these are the textures you’ve been waiting for. Check out the screenshots after the jump to see all the potential hijinks this pack has to offer. The Cartoon Texture Pack is available now for $1.

Source: PlayXBLA

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XBLA games now support 1000 Gamerscore

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It seems like only yesterday the Gamerscore limit on XBLA received a much-welcomed raised from 200G to 400G. Actually, it was two years ago, but you get the point. Arcade games were finally allowed to have more achievements, but still didn’t have as much as a full retail release. A recent change has increased the XBLA Gamerscore cap yet again, but somehow it flew completely under the radar. A tweet from Phantom Breaker BattleGrounds producer Masaki Sakari pointed out the surprise increase:

“It’s not so well known but achievements for XBLA games on 360 now support 1000 gamerscores too, same as Xbox One games.”

Xbox 360 arcade games are now allowed to have a full 1000 Gamerscore, equal to that found in any retail title. As highlighted by the Xbox Achievements website, Guacamelee! STCE became the first game to support the upgrade when it released earlier this month. The marketplace is still transitioning to the recent increase, so expect some new releases to still be sporting the classic 400G.

Source: Twitter

(Thanks, @lifelower)

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Jimmy Lightning arrives in Peggle 2 DLC

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Peggle 2 is getting a blast from the past in its newest DLC, as an original Peggle Master makes his debut in the sequel. Extreme gopher Jimmy Lightning has returned, bringing with him his improved Multiball Power. Hitting a green peg spawns a second ball, making it easier to clear the board with double the peg-popping potential. The pack also contains 10 new levels, 10 trials, 30 objectives, 3 costumes, and 3 achievements. Jimmy Lightning’s Master Pack is available now on Xbox One for $1.99. Check out some radical screenshots after the jump.

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Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack review (XBLA)

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack was developed by Drinkbox Studios and published by Midnight City. It was released on June 18, 2014 on Xbox Live Arcade for $7.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Guacamelee! may have been their claim to fame, but Drinkbox Studios has been making games long before their luchador adventure. Their previous game, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, began its life as a critically-acclaimed PlayStation Vita launch title in 2012. Two years later, and the handheld game has finally made its way to consoles. XBLA players may be a bit late to the mutant blob party, but better late than never. This is a fantastic port of a fantastic game.

Mutant Blobs Attack stars a particularly grumpy mutant blob, who has been the subject of science experiments until it gets the opportunity to break free. Now it’s out to take on the world, saving fellow blobs and consuming everything in sight. This sidescrolling puzzle-platformer is extremely well-executed, mixing a fun-to-control protagonist with impeccable level design. It may seem simple and silly on the surface, but that’s all part of the charm.

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Opinion: Clementine is ruining The Walking Dead Season 2

Warning: This post contains spoilers from both seasons of The Walking Dead

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The first season of The Walking Dead was phenomenal. It provided one of the strongest narratives in video game history, full of memorable characters and emotionally charged moments. All around the world players instantly latched onto the harrowing and heartwarming tale of Lee and Clementine. The bleak world and tough choices made the game stick with you days after you played an episode. The overwhelmingly positive reception put Telltale on the map, moving them from a company that made niche adventure games to one that can handle some of today’s biggest franchises. The Walking Dead was a success in so many ways, meaning an eventual sequel was a given.

Despite standing on the shoulders of its amazing first season, The Walking Dead Season 2 is not living up to that potential. I loved every aspect of Season 1, which is why I’m disappointed I can’t find Season 2 nearly as captivating. So far, three episodes have released, and like last season they’ve all received critical praise. Unlike last season, I’m not feeling the hype; the story’s not engaging, the characters are underutilized, and the format’s becoming stale. The game’s saving grace is Clementine, but even that may be a problem.

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Happy Wars coming to Xbox One

Happy Wars has become a big name on Xbox 360, reaching 7.5 million downloads since its release. Developer Toylogic has announced that they will be bringing their free-to-play hit to Xbox One. The game will retain its core class-based 15 v. 15 multiplayer mayhem, but will feature enhanced graphics for the new console. Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will be able to battle each other in cross-platform multiplayer battles, and all the progress you made in the 360 version will carry over to the One. The Xbox One will also introduce 4-player split-screen, making it easier than ever to play with friends and family. Happy Wars will be making its next-gen debut later this year.

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