Features Archive


Five tips on making great Trials Evolution tracks

Filler maps. It’s a common problem when content tools are released to the public. Trials Evolution is no exception. For every amazing, good, or even decent tracks there are hundreds that you have to sort through. So how do you get yours to rise to the top? How do you make yours a track that doesn’t fall under the filler category? I have to sort through these tracks every day looking for the best of the best, and I’ve got years of video game modding experience under my belt in games ranging from open-source racing to Star Wars titles. While I’ll leave the specifics on Trials Evo track creation to the experts I still want to share five tips that will help you become a better editor. Who knows? You might be come a RedLynx Pick, or even a top download for the week.

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E3 Hands-on: Check out the speed-spidering antics in Alien Spidy

Speed running has been around for as long as games with beginnings and endings have. There are some people out there determined to rush through everything in a game, especially platformers, as quickly as possible. Well Alien Spidy takes speed running, fleshes it out a bit, and presents platformer enthusiasts with a skill-based platformer designed to be played at mach speed.

In Alien Spidy, you play as Spidy (imagine that) as he rushes to find the remains of his ship on Earth. He ventured from his home planet to find a friend of his who didn’t return, and ended up crashing on our humble planet. The story is really a mcguffin to get you crawling around this 2D Earth, dodging all manner of hostile flora and fauna. The world is a scary place when you’re a spider. Read the rest of this entry »


Kinecting with audio: An interview with Mini Ninjas Adventures Sound Designer

Mini Ninjas Adventures, the Kinect focused XBLA follow-up to IO Interactive’s family friendly action-adventure, should be hitting the marketplace this week. To get some insight into the games production, specifically the audio, I recently spoke with the games Composer and Sound Designer, Yarron Katz.

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Minecraft Mondays – Minecraft Tuesday Edition

Props to XMaloX for recreating our logo in-game

Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of Minecraft Monday! Apologies for the delay this week, hopefully this weeks world will make up for the wait.  Each Monday for the foreseeable future, we will be showcasing a community member’s Minecraft world. If you are interested in being featured, please email Shawn@xblafans.com. If you’re new to the world of Minecraft, check our our introductory guide here and find out what over 2 Million Xbox Live players are going on about.

We’ll leave it to our video guru Shawn to give you a tour of this weeks very well-furnished hillside residence.


XBLAFancast Episode 67 – Community punching

Andrew returns from his travels and he brings with him a long list of games he’s been playing. So needless to say the what we’ve been playing segment is dominated by him. Before we head to news we all share our thoughts on Indie Game: The Movie, which is now out to purchase around the web.

Perry hits the news as usual and Andrew rounds things out with the Community Corner.

Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast on iTunes. We appreciate it! Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question. 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.


RSS | MP3 | iTunes Read the rest of this entry »


Weekly Roundup: June 24

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews, and releases from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

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What we are playing: June 24

What we are playing is a weekly column published on Sunday. Select members of the team talk about the games they’ve been playing over the past week and which they’re most looking forward to. 

Perry Jackson - Played through Max Payne 3 and boy, did that game get better reviews than it should. Not that it’s bad, it just has bad pacing issues and Max is super clunky in cover. That being said, the narrative is still rad even if it’s pretty noir-cheese sometimes. Other than that, the Humble Indie Bundle keeps on giving still. Playing through Super Meat Boy with an SNES controller is kind of the best, sorry 360 controller.

Matt Liparota - As summer continues, I find myself revisiting games I haven’t played for a while – I dove back into Skyrim earlier this afternoon, a game I haven’t played too much of because I foolishly bought it during the glut of good games early in the year. I also played a bit of Max Payne 3, a game I’m enjoying well enough but can’t seem to get into enough to marathon through to the end. Late in the week I also dusted off my 3DS to take a crack at some of the post-game content in Pokemon White. Looking forward into next week, I’m excited for the Amazing Spider-Man game – though I’ll probably hold off on picking it up, both to creep on reviews and to wait until I’ve seen the movie when it hits next month (what with it being a sequel and all).

Steve Melton – Stepping away from Trials Evo and Joy Ride Turbo to start another play-through of Mass Effect 3 in preparation for the Extended Cut DLC that comes out on Tuesday.

Todd Schlickbernd – I’ve been playing almost nothing but Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 for a week. After the review and the guide I’m exhausted on Magic, but I genuinely enjoyed every part of it. The puzzle challenges were an absolute beast to complete! I’ve been re-leveling in Borderlands after losing my save file a year ago, I figure I’ll want that completed game save for the new game. Other than that, no more racing games on XBLA for a while developers, I’m good for a while. Except Rush. I could go for another Rush.

Ross Adams – Been slowly making my way through Diablo III: Standard Edition, for how simple it is the combat is really satisfying, especially with the Monk. Also been playing some Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Dark Void, both of which I grabbed in the Games on Demand sale. They’re…well they’re just about worth the four quid I paid, I’ll say that.

James Heiger I played a fair amount of Marvel Pinball: The Avengers Chronicles. It really is a fantastic package. It has been pretty quiet this week otherwise.

Nick Santangelo – I didn’t get too much gaming in this week, but I did make time for my usual dosage of Halo Reach multiplayer.

Nathan Bowring – A slow week for gaming for me. I played a little Minecraft and inched ever closer to reaching Field Marshal rank in Halo Reach.

Shawn Saris - When I haven’t been raging at Starcraft 2 or Diablo III, I have been playing LEGO Batman 2. I love the Lego games and this one is no different. Now that each character has a voice, it just adds to the fun.


And now you, good reader, what have you been busying yourself with? Looking forward to anything special?


Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 – Challenges Guide

Welcome to our Challenges & Encounters guide, two of the key returning features in Magic 2013! This page is for the Challenges, Encounters can be found here. As they were in the past, these puzzles require you to solve intricate victory solutions from abysmal situations. Most of these puzzles require you to win during that one turn, making this a very small, difficult piece of Magic strategy. Since these are puzzles, however, we can solve them the exact same way every time! As such, each solution will be in step by step format, so you can’t possibly miss a beat.

Important: We strongly advise you either view every step before trying these, or you stop the timer after each move, as some steps are between individual card plays rather than entire turn phases.

Again, there are 10 Encounters to go along with the 10 challenges, so if you want solutions or help with those, head on over to the Encounters guide page. Read the rest of this entry »


Straw Poll Wednesday: Which year had the best Summer of Arcade promotion?

What year had the best Summer of Arcade?

  • 2009 (36%, 102 Votes)
  • 2008 (21%, 59 Votes)
  • 2011 (19%, 53 Votes)
  • 2010 (17%, 48 Votes)
  • 2012 (7%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 282

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  • Bionic Commando Rearmed, Braid, Castle Crashers, Galaga Legions, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2


  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Shadow Complex, ‘Splosion Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, Trials HD


  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, LIMBO, Monday Night Combat


  • Bastion, From Dust, Fruit Ninja Kinect, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Toy Soldiers: Cold War


  • Deadlight, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Hybrid, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, Wreckateer

Best of XBLA at E3 2012

Every year, E3 seems more hectic than the last. We spent five hectic days getting our eyes and hands on every XBLA game possible and we’ve picked out eighteen games that stood out from the crowd. Here is the run-down on the very best XBLA titles from E3 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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