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What we are playing: February 5

What we are playing is a weekly column that appears each weekend. Various staff members let the world know what games had them hooked the past week and which ones they look forward to.

Steve Melton – Beat Spider-Man: Edge of Time. It was good, but not as good as Shattered Dimensions was. Still playing Hydro Thunder Hurricane (as always) and downloaded the Rise of the Martian Bear DLC for Iron Brigade.

Todd Pantier – My Final Fantasy XIII-2 time has rivaled the time spent at my full time job this week. The game is awesome and way better than Final Fantasy XIII although I loved it too. During the very little time I was gaming away from FF XIII-2, I played the Iron Brigade’s Rise of the Martian Bear and sneaked a few games of Gears of War 3 multiplayer in there too.

Perry Jackson – My Pac-Man Championship Edition DX addiction came back and it’s becoming a problem. I might have to see someone.

Ryan Reynolds – My mainstay this week has been the new Rise of the Martian Bear DLC for Iron Brigade. Looking forward to writing my review. I also got to dive into the DOTA 2 beta. I’m extremely interested in MOBA games, but I seem to suck at them. I’ve also been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3 with friends here & there.

Christine Mitchell – Got myself addicted to Quarrel this week. Turns out I can only make 4-letter words when under pressure! I also started what will probably be my final playthrough of Mass Effect 2 before 3 comes out. Playing as a Sentinel this time.

John Drawdy – This week I was without internet for most of the week, so many of my XBLA games were in trial mode only (stupid DRM). Out of what I could play I decided this week would be all about Heavy Weapon, glad I finally got around to playing though that.

Nathan Bowring – Dove back into Batman: Arkham City in an attempt to find all of the riddles. Out of every villain in the game, The Riddler is by far the most sadistic. There’s no way I can hit all those buttons in four seconds!

Matt Liparota – Another light week for me, as the real world rears its ugly head again. I spent some time wrapping up the DLC for L.A. Noire and kicked it old school with the original Gears of War. But, as always, I’m still plodding my way through Skyward Sword on the Wii.

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XBLA’s Most Wanted: Crimson Skies

Crimson Skies is a very elaborate universe set during the 1930’s, or to be more accurate an alternate 1930’s. The United States is in ruins, having Balkanized into several small jurisdictions. Planes have become the most common form of transportation, leading to the birth of air pirates.

There have been two video game installments, Crimsons Skies and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. Both games revolve around Nathan Zachary, leader of an air pirate gang known as the Fortune Hunters. Crimson Skies always provided players with great flight controls, minor plane customization and a world that is deep, rich, and very intriguing.

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Avatar Awards: Week of 1/29

Trials: Evolution will be the next game to feature avatar awards. To see more XBLA-based Avatar awards, check out this link. If you want the latest Avatar Award related news as it hits the scene, be sure to follow @AvatarAwards360 on Twitter.

Upcoming games: **Awards are the same for male and female unless specified

Trials: Evolution – Trials and Tribulations T-Shirt, Squeaky The Squirrel pet

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Skullgirls story trailer hints at eighth character

Really, this story trailer speaks for itself. Look at it! Watch it! It’s so cool!

Alright yeah there’s more to this story. Many have been expecting Umbrella to be the eighth character in Skullgirls, but this trailer hints at Umbrella being a recurring story character rather than being playable (at least initially). If she is indeed Parasoul’s younger sister and Parasoul is the previous Skullgirl, that would make Umbrella pretty important as well. Now there’s no confirmation here, all speculation indeed, but the silhouetted figure at the end of the trailer is more likely the eighth character. Hopefully she’s not some overpowered v-13 (Blazblue) character or something to that extent. Either way, the story mode format seems to follow a traditional fighting style fight-by-fight mechanic with dialogue-based character interaction between fights. Who knows if it’s voiced over, would be nice though.

Source: PlayStation Blog 

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THQ teams up with “father” of the Xbox to publish downloadable titles

If you follow the industry closely, you’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about things going on over at THQ as of late. Today however, we’re able to bring you something concrete; THQ is teaming up Seamus Blackley’s new development studio Innovative Leisure to bring a slate of new games to the market that will be be released on various digital download platforms. Blackley, known as the “father” of the original Xbox is joined by names such as Ed Logg, creator of Asteroids, Centipede, and Gauntlet, Van Burnham, Rich Adam, Tim Skelly, Owen Rubin, and Ed Rotberg who are collectively known as creators of arcade classics during gaming’s infancy. While we don’t know much about whats in development over at Innovative Leisure, our hopes are high that some of their efforts will appear on Xbox Live Arcade.

Source: VG247

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Rayman 3 HD priced at 800 MSP


 
Rayman 3 HD will set gamers back 800 MSP when it launches next month, Ubisoft told Game Informer earlier today. As was revealed a few days ago via a launch trailer, the game will be available starting March 21. Ubi’s remake of their 2003 platformer will run at an upgraded resolution of 720p.

Sources: Game Informer and @jimreilly

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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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