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Skullgirls Encore getting new character

Fukua

Earlier today, Lab Zero Games announced a new character for Skullgirls Encore. Fukua is a palette swap of an existing character and a throwback to a familiar, time-honored fighting genre tradition. In a conversation with Polygon, Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow confirmed that Fukua is available in both the beta and main versions of Skullgirls Encore.

Source: YouTube via Polygon

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New apps arrive for Xbox 360 and Xbox One

MLG App 2

A post on the Xbox Wire website reveals both new and updated apps for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

The lion’s share of the coverage details the Major League Gaming (MLG) app’s release on Xbox 360.  With this app, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can view live streams of gaming tournaments, access an eSport report, as well as take in other original programming.  The most recent broadcast was for the Call of Duty Championship, which included a $1 million prize for the winning team.  Development of an Xbox One version is currently in progress.

Also on its way to Xbox One is MLB.TV.  Previously released and refreshed on Xbox 360, users who subscribe to both Xbox Live Gold and MLB.TV premium can watch all out-of-market regular season games for the 2014 season.

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Satya Nadella’s e-mail to Microsoft employees reveals vision for Xbox

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella yesterday made public an e-mail sent to all Microsoft employees detailing some of the new directions in which the company is turning. The company intends to continue to “thrive and grow in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

What that statement means specifically for Xbox is yet to be seen. Important announcements for the Xbox division include naming Phil Spencer to a new leading role, where he “will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones.”  

In the section’s closing, Nadella praises “…the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences (go, Titanfall!), connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways.” While cloud-computing and streaming has transformed our media environment on the Xbox One, the applications for gaming specifically have tended to lag behind. Hopefully this type of visioning language from Nadella leads to applicable cloud-based technologies for gamers as well.

Source: Microsoft

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Bound by Flame coming to 360 on May 9

Bound by Flame, an upcoming fantasy RPG by Spiders Studio, will be released on Xbox 360 May 9, 2014. The game was originally slated for late 2013 but suffered from a delay so it’s great to finally have a solid release date. Six new screenshots and a trailer featuring unedited gameplay were released to help fans wait until the game’s release. Click ahead for the new screens.

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Hitman: Absolution and Deadlight free in April

Deadlight

April is right around the corner, bringing with it the newest batch of Games with Gold titles. Starting April 1, Hitman: Absolution will be available for free for Xbox Live Gold Subscribers. Absolution is the most recent entry in the stealth franchise, seeing Agent 47 looking for redemption after being betrayed by the Agency. Become a deadly assassin, hiding in plain sight and finding creative ways to take out your targets.

The second game of the month is Deadlight, available starting April 16 and lasting until the end of the month. Randall Wayne is a survivor of a zombie apocalypse, fighting his way through the ruins of 80s Seattle. This sidescrolling platformer was originally released part of 2012′s Summer of Arcade, but did not live up to the promotion’s usual high standards (check out our review here).

Reminder: today is the last day to pick up Dungeon Defenders for free, so make sure you get it while you still can. The Game with Gold program has been receiving criticism due to its game selection, but recently Phil Spencer stated he has been working towards improving the program. What do you think of April’s titles?

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Ska Studios talks Charlie Murder patch

Charlie Murder battle of the bands

Ska Studios revealed the state of the next Charlie Murder patch via a quick little Facebook post on its page. The studio says that all of the “easy” fixes are complete but it is “waiting on some things that are out of [its] hands.” There is still no expected release date for the patch but Ska hopes it will be soon and can’t wait for players to get their hands on it. Charlie Murder is by no means unplayable without the patch and is still an amazing game, so don’t let a few bugs squelch anyone’s interest.

Source: Facebook

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Warface beta now open to all gold subscribers

Crytek’s free-to-play military shooter Warface is now available to download for all Xbox Live Gold subscribers as the game entered open beta earlier this week. The beta will carry over three versus modes from the closed beta and two new co-op settings with multiple mission types and difficulties. Crytek also promise a constant flow of new content, settings and modes along daily new missions built for beginners and experts. Given that Warface is built on the players’ feedback, the developers are keen for beta players to send any feedback or constructive thoughts to feedbackwf360@crytek.com or over at the new forums on warfacexbox.com.

Source: Major Nelson

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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition free to play this weekend

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This weekend, World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition is free to play for all Xbox Live members, no Gold membership needed. The free weekend is rather timely, as well, since all players will get to enjoy obliterating tanks in the last stretch of the Map Madness campaign on the final map, Prokhorovka, which was also released today.

The free weekend ends this Monday, March 31st, at 2:59 AM EST, so download the game and go destroy stuff.

Source: Polygon

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DirectX 12 heading to Xbox One

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GDC was packed with amazing advances in gaming and technology this year. The announcement of DirectX 12 and its development schedule is part of the exciting news. Microsoft plans to get DX12 into the hands of developers before the end of the year, with the SDK coming even sooner. The schedule would allow for games using the DX12 technology to ship as soon as the 2015 holiday season.

Much of the improvement in DirectX 12 is geared towards accessing multiple GPUs in a modern PC. Microsoft stated that this version of DirectX will provide greater support for porting games between Xbox One and PC. Essentially, DX12 will communicate with game engines and hardware with far more efficiency than it previously has. Forza Motorsport developer Turn 10 showed an impressive PC build of the racing franchise using the new technology at GDC. This advancement will certainly be at the forefront of game development this year and next.

Source: Polygon

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Jet Car Stunts coming to XBLA

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Indie developer bitComposer Entertainment’s Jet Car Stunts is coming to XBLA thanks to publisher Grip Games. The game, which will launch this May, will feature 36 courses and a puzzle mode that will invite players to “reach the unreachable.” Multiple difficulties and three different play modes should provide a fair amount of variety.

The gameplay appears to be similar to the early XBLA title GripShift and should be of particular interest for players interested in racers with a strong single-player component, if the two titles’ puzzle modes are as similar as they sound. Control will be more important than raw speed given the technical complexity of some of the jumps…though failure might be as entertaining as success given the physics and damage systems, as the trailer suggests.

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