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XBLAFancast Episode 78 – PAX of the Ninja
3 years ago

XBLAFancast Episode 78 – PAX of the Ninja

Perry and Andrew return this week, and bring a whole lot of PAX games to talk about. Before we hit those though we hit the games from the past couple of weeks. Perry brings us what little news there is and then Andrew rounds it out with the triumphant return of Crews Community Corner.

Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question. You can do the same on Facebook, and hey while we're plugging stuff be sure to check us out on YouTube and Twitch.TV. We are also now on Stitcher, so you can stream the show on your smartphone, give it a go!

Big thanks to Chris Green for the awesome theme music, be sure to check out his site BlurredEdge and why not follow him on twitter too @BlurredEdge.

[podcast]http://xblafans.com/xblafancast/XBLAFancastEp78.mp3[/podcast]

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The next big console MOBA is Guardians of Middle-Earth
3 years ago

The next big console MOBA is Guardians of Middle-Earth

Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of or very good at Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA’s). So the thought of playing one based on Lord of the Rings didn’t seem too appealing. But as I walked into Monolith Productions for a studio tour and finally sat down with Guardians of Middle-Earth, I was more impressed than I thought I’d be.

Guardians of Middle-Earth’s sole purpose is bringing the MOBA experience to consoles. Games like League of Legends have propelled the genre to many heights but console MOBA games are few and far between, though Monday Night Combat and Awesomeanuts (the only two I've played) are impressive. They’re giving a great focus with its controls and maintaining layers by finding new strategies to take on your foes.

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Rock Band Blitz Contest: Title This
3 years ago

Rock Band Blitz Contest: Title This

Rock Band Blitz looks to infuse the Xbox Live Arcade platform with even more melodies. Pick any of the 3000 plus songs available to play in the Rock Band …
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Getting sticky with Alien Spidy at PAX Prime
3 years ago

Getting sticky with Alien Spidy at PAX Prime

Alien Spidy is hard. I watched helplessly during PAX East as the game's public relations representative repeatedly subjected himself to the rigors of a particularly nasty stretch of platforming in a cave level. He died. A lot. The level required the game's space spider protagonist to fire off strands of webbing, which he can swing from to progress through the game world, at a series of stalactites with pinpoint accuracy. Missing the dripstones meant his webbing would uselessly hit a section of the cave ceiling that it wouldn't stick to, sending the spider to his doom. Certainly this could be overcome by the simple act of slowing down and carefully lining up shots, no? No. The stalagmites begin to crumble and fall under the strain of Spidy's weight.

It didn't get any easier from there. Another portion of the same level required a deft hand to guide Spidy carefully through a narrow space flanked by rows of pink crystals that were as sharp as they were shiny. More dying ensued. There is no life bar in Alien Spidy; one careless brush with an environmental hazard or enemy results in death. The development team at Enigma Software have offset the high degree of difficulty by liberally sprinkling checkpoints throughout the game's stages. As a result, death is less likely to inspire a controller throw than it is another go…and another one, and another one, and so on and so forth.

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XBLA Fans Monthly Calendar Update: September 2012
3 years ago

XBLA Fans Monthly Calendar Update: September 2012

 

It’s hard to keep track of all those XBLA release dates, they often seem to spring upon you, seemingly out of nowhere, at the last minute not to mention those promised games you were looking forward to that just seem to disappear into the ether without explanation. Now with XBLA Fans new monthly update keeping track, you can start organising your MSP more effectively and schedule in some serious controller time and sick days well in advance.

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Mind of the Ninja
3 years ago

Mind of the Ninja

When Konami's legendary game designer Hideo Kojima shows up to discuss what he's been up to and then proceeds to show it to the world for the first time, it tends to expose the fact that the event he's showing it at has become a bit of a big deal. There was no need for Kojima's traditionally obligatory exclamation points to suddenly appear over the heads of the PAX Prime enforcers to make that much clear. The Big Stealth Game, Metal Ground Solid: Ground Zeroes, was revealed on the big stage to the delight of seemingly everyone watching.

Not all eyes were glued on Kojima, however; back on the show floor PAX's little stealth game was leaving everyone who found their way to Klei Entertainment's little corner in the not-so-little Indie Megabooth equally impressed. The XBLA Fans team had previously gotten our hands on Mark of the Ninja back at PAX East, but that didn't make us any less eager to take it for another spin or to speak with its lead designer, Nels Anderson.

On Friday the game will release on XBLA. Long before getting to that point, however, the studio had to commit to setting out in a completely different direction than it did with its previous work on the Shank franchise. Doing so meant forging a mostly new path, since very few 2D stealth-oriented games had come along over the years to lay down the groundwork. I asked Anderson if that meant Klei had some unique challenges to overcome while developing the game. Laughing, he rhetorically replied, "Um, all of them?"

"All of them, in fact!" the designer exclaimed, now seemingly convinced that it was in fact all of the systems that presented challenges. "Because no one’s ever really done one, right? Like there were a couple very, very small ones, but certainly nothing to this scope or magnitude — at all. So then it’s like, we just sort of had to like really look at 3D stealth games and sort of reconstruct them design-wise. Like, ‘Why did they make the kinds of decisions they made?’ And then take that up a level and translate it back down to 2D.

"I mean, there aren’t templates or schemes to drop in in this context — at all. Which is good, it just means we had to try a whole lot of stuff that didn’t work before we got to stuff that actually did work."

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XBLAFancast Episode 77 – Paradox
3 years ago

XBLAFancast Episode 77 – Paradox

With everyone out for PAX and such, this week I roped in our Video Co-ordinator Shawn and Facebook Guy Kyle. We talk at length about Rock Band Blitz and The Walking Dead (no spoilers though) before moving onto news and then a nice big dose of community talk.

Our previous RSS has run into some issues, so we'll be switching to a new one as of this episode. Unfortunately that means the old iTunes feed is also going to change. But that will take a week or two, in the meantime you can just use the new RSS in iTunes and it will work just the same.

Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question. You can do the same on Facebook, and hey while we're plugging stuff be sure to check us out on YouTube and Twitch.TV. We are also now on Stitcher, so you can stream the show on your smartphone, give it a go!

Big thanks to Chris Green for the awesome theme music, be sure to check out his site BlurredEdge and why not follow him on twitter too @BlurredEdge.

[podcast]http://xblafans.com/xblafancast/XBLAFancastEp77.mp3[/podcast]

RSS | MP3 | iTunes (New link coming soon) Read More

Updated: The XBLA Game with a $300 Achievement
3 years ago

Updated: The XBLA Game with a $300 Achievement

Achievement hunters aren't gonna be happy with this.
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