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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Portal Pinball out now

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Aperture Science is proud to announce its latest advancement in portal technology: The Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device. After lab testing resulted in only minor casualties, the product has been certified to be shipped worldwide. This device comes equipped for fun with all the quality features you'd expect from an Aperture product. It's got blue portals, orange portals, various cubes, and more robots than you can shake a stick at. Thanks to Aperture's partnership with Zen Studios, Portal Pinball is available now for $2.99 as an add-on for Pinball FX 2 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Check out the trailer below to see the device in action.

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Nero review (Xbox One)

Nero was developed and published by Storm in a Teacup on Xbox One. It was released May 15, 2015 for $19.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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If you asked me what I thought of Nero the moment after I finished it, I wouldn't have been able to say anything. I had just completed a walk through a gorgeous storybook world, and it reduced me to an emotionally exhausted husk. Even as I write this review, I'm not sure if I've fully processed my experience with the game. Either this is one powerful game, or my heart is just really weak.

Nero straddles the line between a first person puzzler and a pure storytelling game. You spend half of the game walking around absorbing the game's text-delivered tale, while the other is spent working on head-scratching brainteasers. It doesn't take long to realize which half is stronger, as the puzzle gameplay often feels superfluous compared to the sections that are just walking and reading. The story a page-turner, but the game itself may be a harder sell.

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Game of Thrones Episode 4 out next week

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So far Telltale's Game of Thrones series has had more than its fair share of adventure, intrigue and death – and it's only at the halfway point. Episode 4: Sons of Winter will be out next week to continue the tragic saga of House Forrester. Whether it be Gared's journey beyond The Wall, or Asher's infiltration of Meereen, or Mira's political workings in a very turbulent King's Landing, every member is playing their part to prevent their House's demise. The episode will be out May 27 on Xbox consoles for $4.99, and as always it comes as part of the season pass. Check out the launch trailer after the jump.

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Portal Pinball coming to Pinball FX 2 for science

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The Enrichment Center would like to inform you that Zen Studios is teaming up with Valve to deliver a brand new pinball testing initiative. Portal Pinball will take you through Aperture Laboratories as you guide Chell and Wheatley through a series of test chambers. Help the duo escape the facility by infiltrating the Turret Factory, teaming up with Atlas and P-Body, and battling GLaD0S. Portal Pinball will quantum tunnel its way to Pinball FX 2 the week of May 25. Check out screenshots of the table after the jump.

Source: Zen Studios Blog

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Mighty No. 9 coming this September

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Developer Comcept has announced that they have partnered with publisher Deep Silver for the release of Mighty No. 9. The Mega Man spiritual successor will be available in the Americas on September 15, and worldwide September 18. The game will be available in both physical and digital form for Xbox One, while Xbox 360 will only see a digital release. The digital version will cost $19.99, while the retail version will go for $29.99.

The partnership with Deep Silver goes beyond a simple release date, as Comcept will be adding more to the game thanks to the extra resources. The game will now be receiving Japanese and French voice-overs along with the planned English, as well as localized subtitles. A DLC pack is also in the works; the "Abandoned Lab" is a new stage which will feature an intense boss battle against Beck's rival Ray. Upon completing the level Ray will be unlocked as a playable character for use in the main game. The DLC will be included in the retail release, and will be free for all Kickstarter backers.

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The Escapists Alcatraz DLC out today

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The prisoners of The Escapists have gotten out of some sticky situations, but this new DLC may be the toughest challenge yet. The new Alcatraz DLC adds a true-to-life recreation of the prison in which you can live, explore, and hopefully escape. Alcatraz is famous for being one of the strongest prisons in the world, known for its high security and numerous breakout attempts. The DLC is out today on Xbox One for $2.99, ready to see if you got what it takes to perform the jailbreak few have accomplished. If you want a brief look at the floor plans, check out the announcement trailer after the jump.

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Kalimba getting DLC and free content

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Kalimba, the fun yet potentially brain-injuring puzzle platformer from Press Play, will be receiving both free and paid content next week. A free update will add two brand new multiplayer modes. Llama mode is a competitive speed run mode where up to six players take turns trying to get the fastest time. Puma mode lets players compete asynchronously as you race against ghosts of friends and AI to compete for leaderboard dominance across 30 specially designed levels. The update will be available April 22.

The new update will be accompanied by two new DLC packs. The Dark Void pack will feature 10 new levels and a brand new game mechanic, while the Co-Optimistic pack will include 10 cooperative levels. The content will be available for free to anyone who owns the game until May 6. Afterwards, the packs can be bought separately for $3.99, or together for $5.99.

Kalimba and its new content will also be making its way to PC very soon. It will be available through Steam for $9.99, and the DLC will follow the same pricing model as its console counterpart. The PC version will launch April 22, the same day the new content launches on Xbox One.

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Ori and the Blind Forest profitable in a week

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Moon Studios CEO Thomas Mahler took to NeoGaf this week to talk about the current state of Ori and the Blind Forest. He revealed that the critical darling has also become a commercial success, becoming profitable within its first week. All the extra money will be going to the studio to fund future projects, so the best way to support the studio would be to buy the game and recommend it to friends. For now the studio is working on a patch for the game, as well as hiring new talent and prototyping new projects.

In another post Mahler goes on to discuss the possible future for Ori and his desire to continue working on the IP with Microsoft. He said that he has an idea where the story could go, stating that "there was actually quite a lot of lore we created that didn't really make it into Blind Forest". It's entirely possible the next entry in the series won't even be a game, as he thinks the story would translate well into a movie.

Source: NeoGaf via gamesindustry.biz

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Xbox One April update out now

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The April system update rolled earlier this week, adding even more features to the Xbox One. Party chat has been improved to make resolving common problems easier. The new troubleshooting guidance will tell users if their privacy settings or network issues are blocking communication.

Game hubs are also receiving some more attention. Hubs will be more visible in the activity feed, showing up whenever a friend follows a new game. Links to a hub can now be reached from the game's achievement page. Speaking of achievements, achievement descriptions will now be a part of the unlock notification. If you still feel the need to open the app, performance updates have allowed it to load faster from notification.

Finally, What's On is now available in the US, UK and Canada. If your Xbox One has been configured for OneGuide, the What's On area will provide links to popular and trending games, movies, TV shows, and game broadcasts. A couple changes from the preview program, voice messaging and dedicated party chat servers, will remain in preview until they have been fine-tuned.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Tower of Guns locked and loaded for April 10 release

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Grip Games is working with Terrible Posture Games to bring their hit FPS Tower of Guns to consoles. This high-octane shooter is built on old-school sensibilities, offering fast-paced action and a hailstorm of bullets. Players will enter the Tower of Guns, a challenging gauntlet made of seven randomly-generated floor. Blast away enemies and defeat giant bosses using an arsenal of big weapons, modifiable equipment and upgradable abilities. Every death will start you at the beginning of the tower and completely reset its layout, but at least you'll start off stronger and better equipped.

Tower of Guns will shoot its way onto Xbox One on April 10 for $14.99. Check out the trailer after the jump.
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