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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Jackbox Party Pack releases for Xbox One

Jackbox Party Splash

The Xbox One just received a huge helping of party games in the form of the Jackbox Party Pack. The pack contains a collection of five games, all of which can be played from the comfort of your phone or tablet. All players need to do is sign on to game’s website from any internet-capable device and enter the game’s room code, then they can play along with the action on the console. Most games support up to 8 players, expect Lie Swatter, which has a massive 100 player limit.

So what games are in the pack? First and foremost is You Don’t Know Jack 2015, the newest installment of the hit comedy-trivia series. Fibbage XL is a lying-based trivia game that builds on its predecessor, featuring everything from the original release plus over 50% more content. Drawful is a twist on classic drawing games, making good use of the game’s device capabilities by having players draw on their phone. Word Spud has players race to finish unfinished words, complete with adjustable levels of rudeness. Last but not least, Lie Swatter is a true or false trivia game filled with strange and unusual questions.

Jackbox Party Pack is available now for $24.99. Check out some screenshots and the launch trailer after the jump.

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Game of Thrones screenshots possibly leak

telltale game of thrones 2

If these leaked screenshots are to be believed, we may very well have our first look at Telltale’s upcoming Game of Thrones series. The screens, first discovered by @lifelower, do have that certain Telltale style, so we’re inclined to believe they’re legit (or just really good fakes). While the game is going to focus on the little-known House Forrester, it appears that its members will cross paths with some familiar faces from the show.

Telltale recently revealed the first details of the series, which will span six episodes and follow five playable characters. Game of Thrones is coming later this year, but not before Telltale’s other upcoming series Tales from the Borderlands.

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Xbox One November update rolling out

Xbox One November update

A brand new system update for the Xbox One is rolling out now, packed with plenty of fan-requested features. This will be the last major update this year, following 10 consecutive updates that released throughout 2014. This may be the year’s final update, but more feature-rich updates are planned for 2015.

Customization is a big part of the new update. You’ll now be able to set your background image, using either unlocked achievement art or your own imported images. You’ll also be able to customize your profile, letting you edit and display your location and bio. The brand new showcase feature lets you pick your favorite achievements and game clips and attach them to your profile, letting you show off your accomplishments to the world. If game clips are your thing, you’ll now be able to share them through Twitter if you have an account linked to your Gamertag.

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Mojang officially part of Microsoft family

Mojang-Logo
It’s official: Mojang is now a part of Microsoft. The news was tweeted by Xbox head Phil Spencer, who welcomed the developer as the newest member of Microsoft Studios. Back in September rumors of the acquisition starting making the rounds, and were later proven true when Microsoft announced they were purchasing the Swedish indie studio for $2.5 billion. Now that the acquisition is complete, Microsoft officially owns Mojang and their hit game Minecraft. In a recent interview Phil Spencer talked with IGN about the future of Minecraft, stating he wanted to “meet the needs and the desires” of the community.

Source: Twitter

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Xbox sales up thanks to launch in new markets

Xbox One controller

Microsoft has reported a great first quarter, thanks in part to a huge boost in console sales. According to Games Industry International, sales of Xbox consoles were up 102 percent, with Microsoft stating it has sold 2.4 million units.

While the number does not differentiate between sales of last-gen and current-gen consoles, the dramatic increase is believed to be the result of the Xbox One launching in 28 new markets. All in all, Microsoft made a lot of money last quarter, with the Xbox One and Surface Pro 3 heading a 47-percent increase in Devices and Consumer revenue. Microsoft’s total revenue increased 25 percent to $23.2 billion.

Source: Games Industry International

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Opinion: We’ll never need a Minecraft 2

minecraft_title

Earlier this year Microsoft acquired indie developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. It was a big move, and it left many fans wondering how it might effect Mojang’s hit game Minecraft. In a recent interview with IGN, Xbox head Phil Spencer talked about the desire to meet the needs of the game’s community. He said that Minecraft 2 may not make the most sense, and his words were followed by every fan of the game breathing a sigh of relief. Minecraft already does what it was created to do perfectly, why would it ever need a sequel?

Why it works so well

minecraft-2

From the beginning, Minecraft was a game all about building. Not only was the gameplay about letting you create whatever you wanted, but the game itself was designed to be built up into something better. If you look at its original release and look at it now, it’s a very different game. Thanks to Mojang’s constant support with free updates, the game was able to constantly grow into something more grand. Content is constantly being added, and bugs are always being squashed. A sequel could never improve on the Minecraft formula, because its formula is all about improvement. A sequel would be a radical shift away from the pre-established normal of the game, changing it from a single evolving entity to a standard game series with annual static sequels.

Now that Microsoft owns the game, the company’s best course of action to keep customers happy would just be to keep the updates rolling. Minecraft is now on more platforms than ever, catering to millions of players. Everyone who has purchased the game bought it knowing it would receive updates, that the developers would be adding more fun content. It’s essentially an Everlasting Gobbstopper: for a one-time price you get something you can never finish and that will remain good for years to come. If a sequel comes along it will make the original go stale, forever stopping progress in your old worlds. It’d be like a new Skylanders game that wasn’t compatible with last year’s figures, or a new box of Legos that didn’t fit your old pieces. New content shouldn’t intend to be a rigid standalone package; it should be an addition to the big Minecraft toy box.

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November Games with Gold revealed

VolgarrTheViking

A new month is almost upon us, which can only mean it’s time to find out what’s coming up for Games with Gold. Xbox One owners will get to Volgarr the Viking, which launched today on the console. The game harkens back to the days when games would challenge the player, complete with retro presentation and a limited amount of buttons. As the titular Viking it’s kill or be killed as you face off against hoards of monsters and spill tons of blood.

Starting November 1, Xbox 360 players can download Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Grow a beautiful garden to attract exotic animals, raise the piñatas as your own, then send them off to get slaughtered for the amusement of children. Yay! For those looking to fill a desire for destruction, Red Faction: Guerilla will be free from November 16-30. Explore the open world of Mars, saving citizens from the corrupt Earth Defense Force by crumbling buildings and swinging sledgehammers.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Xbox One bundles getting holiday price drop

Group_ThreeBundles_StackB_hires

Xbox One is gearing up for a big holiday season, as Microsoft has revealed a big discount on the console. Starting November 2 and lasting until January 3, 2015 all Xbox One bundles will be available for $50 off their original MSRPs. Kinect bundles will now cost $449, and Kinect-less bundles will go for $349. Most major retailers will feature the promotion, including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Stores, Target, Toys ‘R Us and Walmart.

Three special edition Xbox One bundles will be available for the holidays, all of which will receive the $50 discount. Starting November 2 the Assassin’s Creed bundle  will be available, which includes Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Unity. The Kinect version of the bundle also includes Dance Central Spotlight. The Sunset Overdrive bundle includes a digital download of the game along with a special white console and white controller. For $449 you can get the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle, including a custom controller, a copy of the game, and a console packed with a 1TB hard drive.

To see everything Xbox One has to offer this holiday, check out the video after the jump.

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Magic 2015: Garruk’s Revenge expansion revealed

Magic 2015 - Garruk's Revenge logo

A deadly hunter is storming through the Multiverse, and his power is in your hands. Wizards of the Coast have revealed Garruk’s Revenge, a new expansion for Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers. Players will receive the deck of Garruk Wildspeaker, using it to battle their way through four new campaign levels and a broadened explore level. A victory will increase the deck’s power, and earn you new cards. A set of fan-favorite cards from the Alara block are included in the pack, for use in customizing your personal deck.

Alongside the expansion will come the removal of paywalls. Once the DLC hits, every card released in the main game and its expansions can be earned in-game. Premium Boosters will be re-named Battle Boosters, and can be earned by winning multiplayer matches. Garruk’s Revenge will launch first on PC November 4, and will hit Xbox 360 and Xbox One a shortly thereafter for $4.99.

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Two Telltale series coming to Xbox One

WD-S2-platforms

This year, masters of storytelling Telltale Games released two critically acclaimed episodic series on XBLA, and soon they’ll be telling those tales on Xbox One. Both The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us will be getting next-gen retail releases this fall. Each game will be the complete experience, so you can play the story from beginning to end without all that pesky waiting between episodes. If disks aren’t your thing, both seasons will also be available to download.

For those of you wanting to continue Clementine’s story in the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead Season 2 will get its retail release on October 21. If you’re not caught up on the series, the first season is already available for Xbox One. If noir crime stories and magical creatures are up your alley, The Wolf Among Us will arrive a little later November 4. You can check out the dark and moody trailers for both games after the jump.

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