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Alan Wake set to rewrite XBLA

IGN have published a new video from the development team behind Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. In the first of series of developer diaries, the team chat about what we can expect from Remedy’s latest title. The game is said to be a stand alone story in which Alan Wake will face his evil double, Mr Scratch. They also compare new gameplay to Tarantino’s From Dusk till Dawn, with hectic combat and leaderboards in comparison to the Stephen King suspense of the original retail game. Story is still a big part of the game however and the developers hope that it will redefine XBLA by raising the bar on quality.

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare releases on XBLA February 22 and Remedy are promising a “hefty” amount of content for the 1200 MSP price tag.

Source: IGN

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Friday Top Five: XBLA Games as TV Shows or Movies

Over the years, we’ve seen many video games turn to Movies or TV shows. From Pac-Man to Sonic to Viewtiful Joe at one point, some of these characters are some we want to see on our small screen when we get home from work or school. So for today’s Friday Top Five, we’re taking some XBLA games and seeing how they would turn out as Movies or TV shows.

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Harvest Moon creator founds Toybox Inc.

Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada has had an interesting couple of years. Since leaving his longtime employer at Marvelous in 2010, Wada joined Grasshopper Manufacture. After a short stint by Suda 51’s side, Wada left Grasshopper and has now formed a new development studio called Toybox Inc. While we know little about what Mr. Wada and Toybox will be working on, new small scale studios are popping up everyday that are dedicated to working on downloadable titles. We only hope that we get to see some of Toybox’ efforts on Xbox Live Arcade!

Source: Siliconera

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Check out the changes to de_dust in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

IGN has put together a great video feature that gives us a tour of de_dust in Counter-Strike over the years since its debut. Starting in 1.6, graduating to Source and then moving on to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta, the clip details just what has changed on dust for this new entry. The game is currently undergoing beta testing on PC, which is where this new footage is taken from. If you’re serious about competing, start studying the new layout and planning your tactics immediately! Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is set to shoot up XBLA this spring.

Source: IGN

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Shank 2’s survival multiplayer character Karina isn’t just a re-skin of Shank

In our recent interview with Shank 2‘s Jamie Cheng, he pointed out that Karina isn’t just the character icon next to Shank’s in the Survival multiplayer. Roughly half the character skins unlockable in Survival Multiplayer, of which there are a total of 16, are Karina characters and the other half are Shank. Shank-alikes play like Shank with his weaponry but have different stats, same with Karina’s. In fact, some of Karina’s weaponry won’t even be usable in the single player at all (since you don’t play as Karina),  so the only way to experience it is to play as Karina. This is pretty awesome news, hopefully it will encourage people to play the multiplayer and try out Karina’s gameplay. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sega looking to publish more XBLA titles in 2012

Sega seems to have found a gold mine in republishing games from their golden days. The Xbox 360 has seen several classic titles come to Xbox Live Arcade. Several Sonic games from the Genesis console, Crazy Taxi, Daytona USA, Space Channel 5: Part 2 and so many more have seen great success. It comes as no surprise that the folks at Sega are looking to bring more fan favorites to XBLA. Producer Yosuke Okunari alluded to new titles in response to a fan tweet. The fan requested that the Japanese hit Spikeout be brought to XBLA. Okunari responded with a general ‘no comment’ on Spikeout, but mentioned that more XBLA titles would be released in 2012, including one that fans will consider “unexpected”. Thanks to @lifelower for the tip.

Source: Twitter

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Microsoft offering free XBL Gold access now through Sunday

Budget-conscious gamers curious to discover what all the Xbox Live Gold fuss is about can find out by taking it for a free test drive now through Sunday. Any Xbox 360 owner with an internet connect can preview the subscription service through this weekend at no cost.

The promotion is meant to tie into Electronic Arts’ Madden Bowl XVIII, with coverage of said tournament beginning tonight at 9 pm EST on ESPN. Celebrities and NFL players will gather together to compete in 3-on-3 matches in Madden NFL 12 in one of the astromical number of events designed to get fans hyped up for Super Bowl XLVI. The game itself will be played out between the New England Patriots and New York Giants this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Source: Microsoft

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Skullgirls receives M rating in Australia

Reverge Labs’ XBLA fighting game, Skullgirls, popped up on the Australian Classification Board’s website today. The Aussie government has handed out an M rating for the game. For those of you not versed in the country’s ratings system, M means that the board found it to have mature material, but did not deem any of its content offensive enough to require any age group to be restricted from purchasing the title. The justification for the rating is Skullgirls’ “mature themes and violence.”

The Konami-published fighter is still without a precise release date, with Reverge stating that it “should be launching early in the first quarter of 2012″ back in September when they delayed it out of 2011. Its submission to and approval by the board is a pretty good indicator that the game will indeed be available before March closes out but obviously provides no guarantee.

Source: Australian Classification Board

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XBLA Fancast Special: Shank 2 Interview

We love ourselves a good 2D anything here at XBLA Fans, so this week we interviewed Jamie Cheng, Founder of Klei Entertainment. Klei is known for many things, but chiefly here on XBLA we know them for developing Shank, a 2D brawler filled to the brim with weapons, stabbing, shooting and most of all, shanking. We’ve interviewed Jamie before about the game, but this time we got in-depth and talk at length about all things Shank, Shank 2 and Klei in general.

Specifically speaking Jamie discusses a bit of his opinions on Shank and how he and his team wanted to improve on what they achieved with Shank. We discuss some of the flaws in Shank and how they’ve been addressed in Shank 2. On top of that, we discuss the reasoning behind choosing a survival mode as this game’s multiplayer mode instead of another co-op campaign. There’s also plenty of Klei-related talk for those interested in learning more about an indie developer.

Any fans of brawlers should check out Shank and Shank 2, the latter of which has had plenty of awesome coverage over the last couple months. There’s single player footage and footage of the new survival mode as well as all kinds of cool things for fans like this Shank 3D papercraft. There have been quite a few changes to the Shank experience for Shank 2 and Jamie and I spare no detail when discussing them, especially with survival mode.

Shank 2 is out on XBLA on February 8 for 800MSP.

 

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Pinball FX2 expansion set to arrive this month

Developer Zen Studios is set to release Epic Quest, an expansion to Pinball FX2, it announced today. The medieval-knight themed table, which will be available to download this month, looks to merge classic pinball with some RPG-lite tropes. It will integrate seamlessly into the Pinball FX2 platform, the developer said, and arrive bundled with a stack of new achievements. Presumably all for a price.

The trailer boasts character progression and a leveling system, but that doesn’t look to extend much beyond a crowded wardrobe. The core pinball experience seems to very much be at the heart of Epic Quest. Hit the jump for screenshots of the new table.

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