Robomodo Archive

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XBLA sets new revenue record, doubles last year’s figures

XBLAlogo

While physical retail software sales appear to have trailed off at this stage in the  Xbox 360′s life cycle, XBLA has reportedly experienced its strongest year yet in 2012. According to the Research and Analysis division of Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC (FADE), the XBLA marketplace saw revenues of $290 million, doubling its reported revenue from the previous year.

Three games in particular were clearly behind this strong performance. It’s perhaps no surprise that Minecraft leads the pack, agonizingly close to the 5 million sales mark with 4,997,000 unit sales, translating to a gross revenue of $97,388,000.

In second place, Trials Evolution shifted 1,002,000 units for a gross revenue of $14,298,000. Similarly, the XBLA version of Telltale’s The Walking Dead generated $10,277,000 in gross revenue from 2,615,000 unit sales.

The remaining seven games in FADE’s top 10 don’t quite reach the lofty heights of the aforementioned, all of them posting between 300,000 and 200,000 unit sales. It’s interesting to note, however, older games like 2008′s Castle Crashers and 2009′s Trials HD continue to enjoy relatively strong sales.

FADE’s top 10 XBLA titles in 2012 are as follows, ordered by gross revenues:

  1. Minecraft (4J Studios) – 4,997,000 units/$97,388,000
  2. Trials Evolution (RedLynx, LTD) – 1,002,000 units/$14,298,000
  3. The Walking Dead (Telltale Games) – 2,615,000 units/$10,277,000
  4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve) – 273,000/$3,973,000
  5. Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) – 252,000 units/$3,778,000
  6. Gotham City Impostors (Monolith Productions) – 258,000 units/$3,698,000
  7. I Am Alive (Ubisoft) – 245,000 units/$3,609,000
  8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD (Robomodo) – 226,000 units/$3,261,000
  9. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Remedy Entertainment) – 206,000 units/$2,903,000
  10. Trials HD (RedLynx, LTD) – 203,000/$2,799,000
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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Revert Pack review (XBLA DLC)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Revert Pack DLC

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a bit of a mixed bag. For the casual player it provides nostalgia with enhanced visuals. The bugs seem minor. For the hardcore it leaves feelings of imprecision in control, and the in-game glitches become like a giant white headed pimple–no matter how much you try to look away it steals your focus. The community and media at large are torn on whether the game is amazing or abysmal. The Revert Pack DLC is more of the same. In the end it comes down to whether you enjoy the core game or hate it. That being said, let’s keep this short and not beat around the bush.

Here’s what we liked:

More to love – For fans of the game the Revert Pack is a must buy. The three greatest levels from Pro Skater 3 (Canada, L.A., and Airport) along with one new music track, Metallica’s “All Nightmare Long”. Also included are four new skaters: pros Steve Caballero and Geoff Rawley and Metallica members James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo. The four new skaters provide decent balance in the game’s starting selection, and the levels are faithfully recreated. The Metallica track is, well, Metallica. You’ll either love it or hate it.

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD gets revert for all levels, plays better with transforming d-pad

With the new Revert Pack (aka Pro Skater 3 pack) looming only days away, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD developer Robomodo has released a title update which reportedly adds the ability to revert in all levels. This is a change from the initial decision made to only allow reverts on the new levels. We have not booted up the game since the update went live, so we cannot yet confirm this information, though several users have reported this new functionality.

The change may come with both welcoming arms and an angry mob with pitchforks. On the one hand those who play the game simply for the fun of it will enjoy being able to string combos into larger numbers. On the other, purists may be upset at the fact that they can no longer play the original levels as the gaming gods intended. Leaderboard junkies will also have to replay levels to attain higher scores as it’ll be much easier to hold a combo.

On a different and more personal note, I took it upon myself to challenge those who are naysayers to the game. While not all of the complaints can be addressed, I wondered if many of the complaints regarding controls weren’t actually the fault of the 360 controller itself — analog sticks are never as precise for performing combos, and the default d-pad is too loose to feel accurate. I had recently purchased the outer shell of the silver transforming d-pad controller, so I set to work disassembling my plain white controller and installing its internals into the transforming d-pad shell. Once assembled I took my avatar for a little skate through the mall.

Now I’m not the most talented gamer out there. I’ll never be in the top 100 on any leaderboards (unless there are only 100 players). That being said, using the transforming d-pad in its “up” position I found that my scores improved by a 15-20% margin. So while it may not be a fix-all for everyone, it does lend a bit of evidence to the idea that not all of the game’s faults lie in software issues. In fact I was so pleasantly surprised I started to look for a way to buy modified shells for my other controllers. I found some really terrible hackjob tutorials on YouTube for installing a transforming d-pad in a stock shell, but I wanted a quality job done on my controllers. I found only one professional outlet that did such, QuickdrawMods. I sent in the front halves of my white, red and black controllers for d-pad conversion. Expect a full review of these soon.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Revert Pack DLC hits December 5

After multiple setbacks, Tony Hawk fans will be able to finally get their mitts on the Revert Pack downloadable content. Launching December 4 for 400 MSP, the pack includes three levels from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: Airport, LA and Canada. When playing each of these levels players will be able to perform a revert to keep their combos going a bit longer. Also included are professional skaters Steve Caballero and Geoff Rawley, plus newly announced Metallica band members James Hetfield (seen above) and Robert Trujillo  (after the jump).

Now that the Revert Pack has an official date, we can’t help but look back to our recent poll about what levels should be included in future DLC. College and Kona were clear winners from Pro Skater 4, so as long as we’re on that note we’re hoping Jango Fett will be included, too. What levels and skaters (be the professional or guest) are you still waiting for?

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Tony Hawk DLC delayed again, pushing for December

Less than a hour ago the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Facebook page was updated to inform fans that the Pro Skater 3 downloadable content pack had been delayed yet again. This marks the second delay for the pack, which was originally set to launch in September. Delays like this can be devastating for long-term game sales and chances for DLC sales as well. There’s a natural crunch to get these things out before players move on, and with all the great AAA retail titles out right now, players are moving on in droves. We hope that the game’s 200,000+ players on the leaderboards will help to stifle the drop-off, as we’re still hoping for Pro Skater 4 DLC.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD DLC arriving next month

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, which hit XBLA just over a month ago for 1200 MSP, will get its first piece of DLC at some point next month. Activision Social Media Manager Dan Amrich slipped in the announcement at the end of his hands-on impressions of the content from Gamescom over in Cologne, Germany this past Saturday. Amrich said that an exact release date has yet to be finalized.

As was previously announced, the pack will cost XBLA gamers 400 MSP and feature three maps: L.A., Canada and Airport. Buyers will also get two new skaters, Steve Caballero and Geoff Rowley, added to the roster. Known as the Revert Pack, the downloadable content for developer Robomodo’s remix will bring back the titular revert move that was originally introduced to the series in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3.

Since the maps of the first two games were created prior to series creator Neversoft Entertainment integrating revert into the franchise’s third game, players will be able to use the move in the DLC maps but not when playing in any of the maps from the initial XBLA release.

Source: Activision

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD DLC gameplay videos

Two new gameplay videos have surfaced during Gamescom 2012, showcasing the some of new DLC levels for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD. The DLC is set to include Airport, L.A. and Canada levels from Tony Hawk 3 and was said to be getting a release approximately a month after the game, which should be any day now. Also included in the pack, priced at 400 MSP, will be veteran Steve Caballero and the revert trick. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD was released July 18 for 1200 MSP, check out our review here and kickflip the jump for the new videos.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD likely to kick flip franchise revival

Tony Hawk made his return to video games earlier this month in the form of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD after the previously annualized series of the famous skater’s namesake took a one-year hiatus. According to statements made by Josh Tsui, CEO of Robomodo, the studio behind the XBLA release that remixed elements of the first two titles in the series, publisher Activision is ready to call it a comeback. Speaking with Gamasutra, Tsui said that “the prospect of a fuller game is definitely on the table — it’s just a matter of when and how.”

On the subject of why digital platforms were the right choice for a stab at a series comeback (PSN and PC versions will eventually follow the XBLA release), the CEO cited simple distribution and low price. “I think for now Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a very good way to reacquaint people to the franchise,” he said. “People are more apt to try games that are smaller and downloadable. Moving forward we’d have to see what our options are for a completely new experience, especially for any new platforms. But for now, downloadable games for a low price allow us great flexibility to try new things.”

It’s an approach that essentially amounted to the polar opposite of the studio’s previous attempt to bring Tony back. Original series developer Neversoft took over development of the Guitar Hero games after Activision acquired the brand but not its dev team (Harmonix), and 2007′s Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground fell off the rails. As Neversoft tried its hand at the then-in-vogue plastic peripheral market, Robomodo got its first crack at Tony Hawk and went in a similar direction.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD ollies into 120k sales in its first week

It looks like everyone was wanting to kickflip into a Darkside grind in the first week of Summer of Arcade. We certainly liked Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD a whole lot and Robomodo told Gamasutra that it sold 120,000 units in its first week on XBLA. Robomodo’s Josh Tsui even said day-over-day sales have been consistent due to word of mouth. It’s pretty great that an HD re-imagining of the classic series is still seminal to many people who play these games. Look forward to the upcoming DLC featuring Steve Caballero and levels from THPS 3. We also hear that it’s pretty great when you wear our Avatar gear — just sayin’.

Source: Gamasutra

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XBLA Wednesday (Thursday) – Video Show pilot

We’ve been doing XBLA Wednesday posts for quite some time (in fact, it was my idea) but originally each post was going to be accompanied by a quick video showing off some of the content released that day. Long story short, we didn’t have the means to accomplish this at the time, and now thanks to cosmic intervention as well as a mild shift in plate tectonics, we proudly present to you the first ever XBLA Wednesday Show! Forgive us the roughness, there was a mix up involving the capture card and a cyber troll while filming, but this should become a weekly thing. With each week, the host-ness level will only increase exponentially! Like with our amazing podcast. As long as there’s something to video-afy, you can bet your buns I’ll be hosting a show in its honor. Perhaps in the future we may even find a way to get the other staff members in on this, but for now, please enjoy the show!

Here’s the original XBLA Wednesday post. Note: In the future we’ll just combine the two.

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