News Archive


XBLA games to get more Gamerscore points and Achievements

All new Xbox Live Arcade releases will have the option to carry up to 400 Gamerscore points and 30 Achievements, Major Nelson has revealed. This new scoring system will be optional when initially introduced, but will become mandatory beginning in June of this year. The official announcement comes after rumors of it spread across the internet yesterday and Microsoft declining to comment on the change earlier today.

XBLA games currently allow for a total Gamerscore of 200 points spread over 20 achievements, with DLC permitting those numbers to see increases to 250 and 25, respectively. Although Major Nelson has thus far chosen not to issue a statement pertaining to XBLA DLC Gamerscores, website Xbox 360 Achievements claims an industry source has leaked the hardware manufacturer’s plans for downloadable content Achievements.

If their inside man is to be believed, then gamers can look forward to some XBLA games having up to 800 points divided among 62 Achievements when enough DLC is released. Microsoft will purportedly limit the increases to 100 points and eight additional Achievements each quarter, with it capping out at four DLC packs. The DLC claims cannot be independently verified at this time, but Achievement lovers will undoubtedly point to the site’s accurate prediction the new base system yesterday as evidence that its tipster is truly in the know.

We’ve reached out to some of the Gamerscore community for comment, but what do you all think about this change? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Major Nelson and Xbox 360 Achievements


James Silva of Ska Studios hints at Dishwasher 3

James Silva of Ska Studios recently did a postmortem talk about his recent sequel, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and some interesting tidbits came out of it. He talks about the development of the game and what went through to create it and why XBLA is a great platform to develop for. But near the end of the slides, he hints that he wants to make a third game since if James, fans, and Microsoft want it, why not? While Ska Studios is busy finishing up the upcoming punk brawler Charlie Murder, it’d be cool to get a finalized trilogy of The Dishwasher series on XBLA. We’re all big fans of Ska Studios and we’ll keep you up to date on whatever their next endeavor will be.

Source: Ska Studios


Spike and 345 Games announce Bellator: MMA Onslaught

MMA or Mixed Martial Arts is a big deal with a huge fan base and it looks like XBLA will be stepping into some sort of octagon very shortly with Bellator: MMA Onslaught for XBLA. The game is developed by Kung Fu Factory who are also working on the upcoming Girl Fight, perhaps not to take sides on either gender by developing two fighting games. Dan Yang from 345 Games had this to say about the game.

“It was imperative that we create a mixed martial arts game accessible to all types of players not just the hard core MMA fan. Fortunately, with ‘Bellator: MMA Onslaught,’ the player doesn’t need a doctorate in gaming or MMA to enjoy the non-stop action and excitement of the game.”

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Assassin’s Creed composer heading up Class3 score

Undead Labs has announced that Jesper Kyd, the musical composer best known for his work on the Assassin’s Creed and Hitman franchises has signed on to handle the music for their upcoming zombie survival simulator, Class3. Given Kyd’s resume, fans looking forward to the game now know what to expect from the game’s music; quality. Those unfamiliar with the game can get an inside look at the action through this behind the scenes video taken at Undead Labs. In the video you see the only gameplay footage that exists of this CryEngine 3 powered zombie survival affair. Stay hungry zombie fanatics, more Class3 coverage is bound to roll in soon.


Laika Believes announced for XBLA

Austin-based game developers, Minicore Studios have revealed at this year’s GDC in San Francisco that they’re currently working on a new PC/XBLA game named Laika Believes. The game tells the tail of Laika, the first dog to orbit the earth, however in this alternative reality Laika makes it back home as a half robot-half dog with advanced intelligence. She returns to a world where the Soviets have discovered highly advanced tech and stand as supreme rulers of the globe, while America and Great Britain are little more than smoking ash heaps. Against all odds, Laika believes that she can protect the countless lives crushed by the Soviets. The game is said to be a classic Metroidvania platformer, featuring:

  • Massive, nonlinear levels that model the layouts of real locations in a way as of yet unseen in other platformers
  • Large, choice-rich skill trees that let players approach the game how they want to
  • A novel defensive mechanic that lets players turn the firepower of Laika’s enemies against them
  • Smoothly flowing, fast-paced shooting action
  • A story of struggle and hope, full of twists and revelations
  • Rich, evocative art depicting a world overgrown by a technologically ascendant Soviet empire
  • Secrets and rewards hidden in every corner for the determined player

Minicore Studios are aiming for a late 2012 or early 2013 release so it’s a while away yet but we’ve got some interesting concept art for you to check out after the cosmic jump.

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Diabolical Pitch on the mound for 800 MSP on April 4

We announced this week that Grasshopper Manufacture’s Diabolical Pitch would be sliding into home on April 4 but now we finally have a price. The Kinect-enabled baseball throwing fest will be only 800 MSP which is a pretty solid price to throw baseballs at tiger creatures with your buddy. We’ll probably stop all these baseball puns until the review next month but keep a look out for any fastball information (sorry) here or on our sister site at Xbox Kinect Fans.

Source: Suda 51


Bloodforge details unveil a bloody end of April release

In an preview on Hookshot Inc., we got additional details on the upcoming Bloodforge from Climax and Microsoft Game Studios. The story so far involves a warrior named Crom, who refuses to kill the gods but they decide to screw his life up by killing his wife. Don’t you hate when that happens? Now Crom isn’t a happy camper and looks to get the revenge he wants by killing the gods and looking for explanations.

Other cool details involve the combat system with X for light and Y for heavy attacks. Pretty simplistic since Climax wants it to appeal to a lot of newcomers who’ll button mash but will learn the intricacies of the system for deeper combat. You’ll need to master the combat to create a bloody mess with your sword or hammer, even claws! You’ll also have a blood gauntlet since you’ll need all that blood from your enemies to make you go into “berserk mode” where you’ll be invincible and slow down time, just enough to be a killing machine.

The game was written in 15 months by 20 people and looks gorgeous. Keep an eye out for this one when it releases at the end of April. No price has been announced but keep your blood pressure high when checking the site for more details forthcoming.

Source: Hookshot Inc.


February NPD Group shows Xbox 360 as top console (again)

The February NPD report is out and it has proved to be yet another solid month for Xbox. Microsoft maintained its place as the top console producer selling 460,000 units of the Xbox 360. That’s good for a 42 percent market share which extended the Xbox’s streak to twelve consecutive months with +40 percent market share. Out of the top 10 best selling games for the month, only the number nine title, Twisted Metal 2012, was not available on the Xbox. Total video game sales for February were $1.06 billion which was comprised of $381.4 million in hardware sales, $464.4 million in software sales, and $215.2 million in accessory sales. Overall video game sales were down approximately 20 percent from February of last year.


Overall hardware sales in February 2011 were $467 million which is an 18 percent decline Y/Y. Overall software sales in February 2011 were $601 million which is an 23 percent decline Y/Y.  Overall accessory sales in February 2011 were $257 million which is an 16 percent decline Y/Y.

In February of 2011, the Xbox had its biggest non-holiday sales month with over 535K units sold which heavily aided hardware sales. Accessory sales in 2011 benefited from the release of the Kinect a few months earlier and those benefits were not present in last month’s sales. As far as software sales, Anita Frazier an analyst from the NPD group said “a decline in catalog sales was a major contributor to the decline in content sales at retail”. This indicates that people used different methods for getting games such as purchasing used games, F2P, add-ons, rentals, or subscriptions. All of these methods are not calculated in software sales however these medians did see a $50 million increase from January ($600 million vs $550 million).


Tony Hawk gets what Tony Hawk wants

Last summer, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk made use of Twitter to call upon fans of his videogame series to vote in their top 10 favorite maps from the series. Fans happily obliged, but Hawk was dismayed when his own fave, Downhill Jam, failed to make the cut. One of the advantages of being Tony Hawk, however, is that people tend to listen when you talk. Since the titular skater is such a mega-fan of the stage, Josh Tsui, co-founder of developer Robomodo, says the team decided to toss it into Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD despite it not cracking into the fan list.

Speaking at San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference, Tsui said that Hawk has remained “very involved” in the development process of the game. He’s also remains a big fan of his own games, and was seen playing the newest title while fielding questions during yesterday’s press event. It wasn’t just for sure either, as he appeared to be one of the best players of the day. Basically, the man has no shortage of clout when it comes to his licensed video game franchise.

As for the game itself, Hawk’s favorite map will join Warehouse, Mall, the Hanger, School II, Venice Beach and Marseilles as the stages in the HD remix, Tsui told you GDC man on the scene, John Laster. In addition, Joystiq has reported that Pro Skater HD could potentially receive some maps from the third and fourth games in the series as DLC. “The dream of doing this is we can throw levels from 3 and 4 and make them downloadable in this,” Hawk told them.

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Frozenbyte talks Trine 2 DLC and a new IP

This summer’s Trine 2 DLC will include six fresh stages, an entirely new story and plenty of new skills to complement some returning old ones, Frozenbyte Marketing Director Mikael Haveri informed our own John Laster today at the Game Developers Conference. Haveri didn’t go into too much more detail than that, but he was willing to divulge that fans can expect lots of puzzles when the content drops. Said puzzles will be based on light, water, low gravity and magnetic elements. The wait to see them won’t be too long, as a teaser is planned for release sometime tomorrow.

Haveri also dropped a few hints in regards to his studio’s next project. Rather than creating another Trine sequel, the team is going to be bringing out a completely original IP. Frozenbyte is targeting a $15 USD price point for the title. While no platforms were confirmed, the pricing strategy indicates that it will likely be coming to XBLA, Steam and PSN.

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