Friday, March 31, 2006

Character Preview for LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

TeamXbox has posted a preview for LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy where they discuss the many characters available in the game, including porting original characters over from the first game. You can check it out, as well as some new screenshots, right here.

4 New Screens for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (Xbox 360)

EA has released 4 new screenshots for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (Xbox 360) which you can check out at TeamXbox here.

Previous Backwards Compatible Titles Smoothed Out

Yesterday, I reported that Microsoft had updated their backwards compatible emulation software for the Xbox 360 and added three more titles, which is, of course, correct. What I didn't know is that they also were able to bug fix several other problem titles, including Half-Life 2 and Fable: The Lost Chapters.

You can check out the list of bug-fixed titles here, and according to IGN Xbox, these games are now running smoothly on the Xbox 360 in both 720p and 1080i.

Next Halo Title Expected for March 2007

IGN Xbox 360 is reporting that inside sources have told them the next Halo title will be released on the Xbox 360 in March 2007. The anticipation for the title would cut into the launch of both their competitor's new consoles, and hopefully steal some of the business away. Also, the game would release only a few months ahead of the film.

Now whether the next Halo title is the third installment of the series or a prequal as some have guessed, hopefully this year's E3 will tell.

Winning PayDay Numbers for March 30th

28, 38, 59, 69

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nintendo Revolution Specs Unofficially Revealed

ActionTrip has an article up that apparently reveals the specs for Nintendo's upcoming console, Revolution. If these specs are indeed true, than the Revolution is about as powerful as the original Xbox, with a few components being better and a few being worse (On paper, anyway).

If this is the case, I hope Nintendo has a good marketing strategy to compete with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as the GameCube was also generally under-par and didn't do so hot in the current generation.

Xbox 360 Backwards Compatible List Updated

Microsoft has updated their list of backwards compatible titles today, adding Xbox 360 support for 3 new Xbox titles, Black, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and World Soccer Winning Eleven 9.

You can check out the full list here.

Funny thing. I remember the developers of Black stating Microsoft wouldn't support the game as a backwards compatible title and that they were disappointed with that. I guess Micorsoft is doing a better job than even some developers think after all.

Vivendi Executive asking Microsoft to Still Support the Xbox

With Microsoft continually plugging their new Xbox 360, there's little going on with the original Xbox these days. However, since the console is still in such wide use, the Executive VP of Vivendi Europe is asking Microsoft not to abandon their first console and to still support it. He also sites how Sony is still supporting the PlayStation 2.

I still think the Xbox is a great gaming console, and I'd like to see Microsoft continue to support it, however that's really unlikely to happen. And of course Sony's still boosting their PlayStation 2 since the PlayStation 3 isn't even out yet. I mean, about a year prior to the launch of the Xbox 360, you can bet Microsoft was still plugging the Xbox. Heck, in that time frame most of the system's best games were released: Halo 2, Doom 3, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, Jade Empire, etc.

Once the PlayStation 3 arrives, Sony will start supporting the PlayStation 2 less to boost its new product's sales.

Still though, I wouldn't mind Microsoft providing free access to downloadable content on Xbox Live for the Xbox, but I doubt that'll happen at this point.

Anyway, you can read IGN Xbox's article right here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Retrospective of The Elder Scrolls Series

UnderGround Online has written a retrospective of The Elder Scrolls series, even including the portable cell phone games.

You can read the short article that tracks the series from first game to last here.

IGN Xbox 360 Previews The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

IGN Xbox 360 has released a preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, where they discuss creating a control scheme for the console, and they also talk a bit about the campaign and multiplayer set up.

...the game focuses on the great war of the North, a battle between the elves, dwarves, goblins, and Mordor forces out of Dol Guldur. You can fight as any of six factions: the Men of the West, elves, dwarves, goblins, Isengard, or Mordor.

Sounds rather interesting. If they can truly pull off the control scheme, this will most likely be a game to get. Playing through content mentioned in the book and only alluded to in the film should be fun and original, and like the other games based on the films, the production values will most likely be high.

Actually, if I end up liking this game, it'll be the first non-Blizzard RTS that I actually do care for.

More The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Reviews

ActionTrip has reviewed the PC version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion here, and they give it a 94 out of 100.

IGN has reviewed both versions of the game, giving each a 93 out of 100. You can find their Xbox 360 review here, and their PC review here. Both reviews are nearly word for word, with various exceptions (such as the PC's Construction Set).

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition (Xbox) Updated Impressions

I have found my new addiction, and it is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition (Xbox). When I picked up the title at the beginning of the month, I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, I only knew that I was looking for something new and hopefully immersive to kill a little time. Well that little time has now become a marathon.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition takes place in the fantasy world of Tamriel, specifically the island of Vvardenfell in the province of Morrowind. Your character is a prisoner who was sent to Vvardenfell and released under orders from the Emporer himself. Why he chose to send you there is a mystery (one I have yet to solve), however once you leave port you are given something few games truly grant their players: Freedom.

Vvardenfell is a very, very large place, and you can go about exploring it in almost any fashion you choose. While you are given the loose outlines of the main quest to follow, there's no time limit or pressure to do so right away. In fact, the designers, Bethesda Softworks, encourage you to wander, explore, and experience the world they've lovingly created. The moto of The Elder Scrolls series is to live another life, and in a sense you can truly do this. Like many more current RPGs, you can create your character by choosing Race, Gender, various appearance options, Class, etc. My character, for example, is Angrin II, a male Imperial Knight born under the Sign of the Lady. Imperials tend to have strong personalities, so they're great at socializing with NPC's, and Knights are rather combat focused with some Restoration Magic skill. As you explore the world, you can try and solve various people's problems, thieve, assassinate, and generally do whatever you want. Almost everyone in the game can be interacted with, and almost everyone can be killed (if you're strong enough).

There are also many different kinds of factions and Guilds that you can join should you feel like it, or you can ignore them entirely. There are Mages Guilds, Assassin Guilds, the native Dark Elven Great Houses, etc. I've presently signed on with the Fighter's Guild, and am embarking on a bunch of side quests for them. Doing side quests, as in many RPGs, will help you level faster and they also tend to lead you to good treasure.

Released in early summer of 2002, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition is beginning to show its age aesthetically. While the environments are all very beautiful and sport weather patterns, cloud movement, and day night cycles, character models are _very_ dated and have somewhat awkward movements. The audio sports some great (but repetative) music, and almost all the in-game conversations are text based, so you'll be reading a lot (and by a lot I mean pretty much any time you're not killing something).

However, it is the world of Tamriel itself that is the main appeal and overall addiction that comes with The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition. While many recent RPGs have more detailed, cinematic, and dramatic storylines and characters, Vvardenfell is just such a richly detailed and living world. The map is massive, and so much of it is accesable. You can climb mountains, delve into tunnels, swim under lakes all in search of new crypts, dungeons, and ruins to explore. There are large towns and villages to explore, all populated with a good number of NPCs, and every area is connected to the main world, and by that I mean you can sail from port to a far off island, or if you feel like, you can actually swim out to it. You can be teleported to a distant location by a Guild Guide, or you can simply huff it on foot, however you want to play it, you can do it. And you'll want to experiment and experience the game in different ways. It is so hard to stop playing once you start, as you always want to find that one more item, barter with that one more Merchant, or see what's over that one last hill; it doesn't end! New challenges, new enemies, and new quests, they just keep coming.

And of course, you don't need to be a Knight as I am. You can be a Sorcerer, a Healer, a Scout, or any of a number of different classes who focus from magic to stealth to combat and who'll need different approaches to take on the various quests of the game. And depending how you play, different quests will become available to you that weren't before, so I expect the replay value to be quite high.

Despite all this praise, though the game isn't perfect and there are a few things that bug me. For example, your Journal, which keeps track of your Quests, is awful in its sorting, and you often have to flip through dozens of pages to find that quest you started a few days ago. There are many items in the game, so many that it becomes daunting keeping track and understanding them all. Heck, I still have potions that I don't know what they do as I'm not good in Alchemy and the game doesn't really give summary descriptions for certian items. Also, no one in Vvardenfell seems to sleep as everyone is always up either standing or walking around, and while guards will arrest you if caught stealing, you can break into someone's house and they'll chat with you like nothing's out of place.

Merchants also have a limited supply of Gold for which to buy items your selling. While this is more realistic and a rather neat feature at first, it begins to get annoying when you want to pawn off some really expensive stuff and simply can't find anyone who can afford the damn thing. It's also a good bit frustrating that should you choose to murder someone and you land the first blow (making it a crime), that every guard in every town or villiage on the entire island of Vvardenfell knows about it instantly, and they'll arrest you on site. Completely unrealisitic.

Another major frustration is loading times. While the game itself sports rather fast loading times for the scope of the world, save game load times are absolutely horrendous, sometimes taking a good minute or even a bit more to load up. This can become a real problem if you're facing a tough opponent and you simply keep dieing.

Still, the above are simple critiques that can't mare what a great experience The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition is. In fact, the shear size of the game, its rich lands and cultures, remind me of the concept that many MMO's try to employ, except this is Single Player only and doesn't feature a bunch of idiots blabbering on about their elite skills and trash talking all the time. Now the only question is how do I stop playing the game so I can begin accomplishing things in real life again?

GameSpot Reviews the PC version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

GameSpot PC has released their PC review of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and they give it a 9.3 out of 10. You can read the review here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360) Review

GameSpot Xbox 360 has reviewed The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion here, and they give it a 9.6 out of 10. This is definitely turning into the must-have game for the Xbox 360.

Controller Layout Revealed for the Xbox 360 Version of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

The controller setup has been reveleaed and briefly tested for the first RTS on the Xbox 360, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II.

The control scheme focuses on a cross shaped reticule that remains in the center of the screen. The left stick will move the camera about the environment, while the right stick controls zoom. The key is that the reticule is context sensitive, meaning that as it highlights a certain object, the commands inherent to it will only be accessible. Highlighting an army for example would bring up move commands, attack orders, etc. The A button is used as the selection tool to select individual units, or you can simply hold down the button and highlight multiple units in a selection set. The right trigger acts as the action menu once objects are selected, in order to carry out commands. The left trigger acts as a “select all” of sorts. The right bumper button can be used to sort units by type and the left bumper is used to add/subtract individual units from the selection set. The X button jumps the camera back to a selected unit if you’ve moved about the map, and the Y button is used to activate a number of hotkey functions. Despite having only a few minutes in-hand, the control scheme was surprisingly easy to work. The real test will be seeing if this holds true throughout the long haul.

You can check out TeamXbox's coverage here, and Gamespot Xbox 360 has a bit more in-depth preview here.

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (PC) 1.02 Patch Released

EA has released the 1.02 patch for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (PC), and you can download it simply by logging into the game's Multiplayer lobby. For patch details, check out the forum post made here.

StarCraft: Ghost Indefinitely Postponed

Not surprising really, since the game has been in development for how many years now? Since September 2002 when the Xbox was less than a year old? IGN Xbox is reporting that Blizzard Entertainment has indefinitely postponed further development on StarCraft: Ghost, and is going to move forward with the next generation consoles.

At present, Blizzard Entertainment has not stated it will release StarCraft: Ghost at all, on the next gen consoles they're now moving to and almost certainly not on the current gen consoles. Perhaps the upcoming novel is all we'll see of StarCraft: Ghost, similar to the long cancelled Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, and aspects of the game's story will be incorporated into Starcraft 2.

Anyway, Blizzard Entertainment hasn't made a good game since Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, which was back in late June of 2002. They do kinda suck now (sorry, but World of Warcraft is a successful money grab to me, and I don't care much for it) which is rather sad.

Play a Game as You Take a Piss (Guys Only)

Apparently urinals now exist that allow you to game as you piss. Your urination essentially acts as the "controller," allowing you to direct the actions of... whatever the game is on a monitor right in front of you. Read more at TeamXbox here.

Half-Life 2: Episode One Date and Price

Not a whole lot going on the last half of the week. ActionTrip is reporting that Half-Life 2: Episode One will be released over Steam on May 31st and cost $19.95 (US). It is expected the expansion will over about 7 hours of gameplay.

At present, it is PC only.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review and Article

TeamXbox has posted their review of the Xbox 360 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and they give it a 9.5 out of 10. You can check out the full review here.

IGN PC has also written an interesting article about the gladiatorial arena featured in the game which you can read here.

PayDay Winning Numbers for March 23

16, 17, 20, 47.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360) Fragmented Cache Data Fix

The Xbox 360 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion uses the Xbox 360's hard drive extensively for game caching game data, however this data can become fragmented causing a great deal of slow down and long loading times.

Bethesda has released their work around, which involves restarting the Xbox 360 and clearing its cache.

You can read how at TeamXbox here.

Call of Duty 2 (Xbox 360) Update Available

Infinity Ward has released its second update for the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty 2. The update will auto-apply the next time you log into Xbox Live with Call of Duty 2, and it contains many multiplayer fixes and enhancements.

You can check out the details at TeamXbox here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

IGN's First Impressions of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

IGN has put up their first impressions of the retail version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for both the Xbox 360 and the PC.

Overall they seem positive, however the game does have a few quirks. Apparently the Xbox 360 version has a bit longer load times than its PC counterpart, as well as some texture pop-in. The PC has some texture pop-in as well, but mainly in forest areas. The third person view is also not so great, especially in combat, however this was also the case with The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

If you're interested in the game, give the impressions a read, as aside from a few minor issues, the game is sounding quite promising. Plus it has Patrick Stewart as the voice of Emperor Uriel Septim VII, and everyone likes Capt. Picard.

Increased Number of Xbox 360's Shipping this Week

Microsoft has announced that starting this week, two to three times the number of Xbox 360 consoles will now be shipped to retailers, greatly increasing the availability of their next generation console.

You can read the news at TeamXbox here.

In the same article, Microsoft lists their upcoming spring line up for the Xbox 360.

Xbox and Xbox 360 Games of Spring 2006

TeamXbox has run a preview of the upcoming titles for both the Xbox and the Xbox 360, and if you ask me, it's a pretty poor line up. In fact, the only title I give a rat's ass about is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, however I most likely won't be playing it for a while.

You can check out the full preview here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Final Countdown Video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Released

Bethesda Softworks has released the final countdown video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which you can check out here. The game will begin hitting store shelves tomorrow for the Xbox 360 and PC.

Edit: Bethesda Softworks is also reporting that PC Gamer magazine has given the PC version of the game a score of 95 out of 100.

Xbox Handheld Rumours are Back

Apparently Microsoft may be developing a proper handheld system after all. TeamXbox is reporting that Microsoft may be creating a portable video game system that will also play movies and music. It will compete with the iPod, but its main competition will be the PSP.

You can read TeamXbox's brief article here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Second Last Countdown Video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Now Released

Bethesda Softworks has released the second last of its countdown videos for the upcoming release of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can download it from their downloads section here.

This video is focused on combat, and aside from being prettier, the mechanics demostrated look very much akin to the FPS combat found in the previous Elder Scrolls titles. It does look as though the player character taking on the crab-like creature was able to perform a block with a single blade, which is something that I don't think I can do in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

PlayStation 3 to Ship with HDDs and Free Online Play

TeamXbox reported yesterday that Sony's upcoming console, the PlayStation 3, will indeed ship with a hard disk and one that's about three times the size of the Xbox 360's hard disk. Also, the Playstation Network Platform will allow free online gaming with its basic service, only charging for massive multiplayer online role playing games and the like, which is in sharp contrast to needing to pay for Gold Membership on Xbox Live to be able to play any games. The Playstation Network Platform with support PlayStation 3 and PSP games on launch, and will ultimately support PlayStation 2 games as well.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft will do anything to alter their online service, and more importantly to me, make their HDD mandatory for all games. Right now, you do not need a HDD to play on an Xbox 360, however if you want to save your games you'll need either one of their memory cards or their HDD. If you ask me, not making an HDD standard on the Xbox 360 was always a stupid move, as the Xbox's HDD was such a great plus for that console (though it apparently cost Microsoft money for every Xbox sold). Anyway, we'll see what develops.

I Should be a Philosopher

Found this on one of Sookie's Blog's, Kappa Alpha Theta. Apparently I should be a Philosipher. No surprise there as I think too damn much, contemplate death as I wait to fall asleep, and scored a mid-90's grade in philosophy class. It's all about perceptions and beliefs, you know.

You scored as Philosophy. You should be a Philosophy major! Like the Philosopher, you are contemplative and you enjoy thinking about the purpose for humanity's existence.





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with

Saturday, March 18, 2006

PC versus Consoles

This debate has been raging since the early '80's if not longer, and it's not going to be settled anytime soon, however I found an interesting article about the subject.

Since I've gotten into The Elder Scrolls series, I've been poking around the site to familiarize myself with the game universe, and there's a great older article from the developers about PC vs. consoles, since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was released on both PC and Xbox.

Here's a quote:

Many times a really good PC game makes a bad console game because of a bad technical fit, whether it's speed or memory. Overall the main things to take into account when doing a console game are -- 1) the controller; and 2) it's on a TV. Other than those two, the fact that it is on a console has nothing to do with "good game" or "bad game."

That is so true, and while a bit of the article's points are dated now, the core concepts still apply today. For myself, I've pretty much gone over to console gaming. This quote here sums up my thoughts rather well:

So which version is better? Depends on who you are. Do you like to play first person games with a mouse or do you like to slouch back on the sofa with a controller? What kind of premium do you place on graphics and performance?

I prefer comfort over the mouse these days, and I've always favoured strong gameplay over pretty pictures. At present, I'll be sticking with my Xbox for a while, and I figure I'll be making the jump to an Xbox 360 and a nice LCD widescreen TV during the course of the summer, depending on how long it takes me to go through The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition.

If you're interested, you can read the whole article right here.

Star Wars: Republic Commando - Triple Zero Review

Star Wars: Republic Commando - Triple Zero is the sequel to Star Wars: Republic Commando - Hard Contact and once again follows the exploits of Omega Squad. As the Clone Wars rage on, Niner, Fi, Darman, and Atin are called back to Coruscant and placed under a black ops mission to seek out and destroy a Separatist terror cell that is destroying key targets in the capital. Leading them on this secret mission is none other than Kal Skirata, the Mandolorian who trained them and many other Commandos on Kamino. Kal is also aided by a notorious ARC Trooper Captain named Ordo, as well as Delta Squad (featured in the video game) and their training sergeant Walon Vau. Two Jedi Knights round out the group.

Star Wars: Republic Commando - Triple Zero is a beautifully written, military sci-fi novel. While it does have some fast paced action, it's main focus is the simple morals behind the clones themselves, and what they really think and feel about the Republic, the war, and their future as living human beings. To read about the clones, soldiers grown and trained from birth to simply fight and obey, experience so many basic things in the world that normal people take for granted provides a real emotional attachment for the reader, as does the revelations and purpose behind their father figure Kal. The Jedi involved also have some deep character moments as they struggle with what the Republic is becoming and how the Jedi order is changing under the constant presure of the war.

Not only does the novel provide a lot of great insight into the clones, it also delves into the Mandolorian language and culture, really fleshing them out and providing them with a solid background. In fact, the use of Mandolorian is so extensive, the novel even includes a glossary of all the Mando terms and words at the back.

Finally, a short story is presented at the end of the book, Star Wars: Omega Squad - Targets, which is actually a mission of Omega Squad's that takes place prior to Star Wars: Republic Commando - Triple Zero and is referenced a lot in the main plot. This provides great clarification to some of the primary novel's backstory.

If your looking for a black ops styled, military sci-fi story, than look no futher than Star Wars: Republic Commando - Triple Zero. The novel is deep and intriguing in a way the films are not simply because it puts you in the perspective of the simple soldier instead of the lofty Jedi, and the base values of family, father and son, and basic human rights that the novel explores provide a solid grip for the reader.

5th Countdown Video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Bethesda Softworks has released their 5th video in their countdown series for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which you can check out here.

Exile and the Kingdom to be Released April 11th

Jeff Martin's first solo album, Exile and the Kingdom, will be released in Canada on Tues. Apr. 11, and is now available for pre-order on

The first single, "The Word is Calling," is now on Canadian radio stations (haven't heard it yet), but the word I've heard is the album will sound more like The Tea Party's original albums.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bungie Announces The Halo Graphic Novel

Bungie has announced today an upcoming graphic novel set in the Halo universe, The Halo Graphic Novel. It'll be released this July, published by Marvel Comics.

It features one major storyline and a couple shorts, and is written and drawn by some great comic individuals.

To read up on the graphic novel, its contributors and plot outlines, check out Bungie's Weekely Update here.

4th Countdown Video Added for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Bethesda Softworks has released their fourth video in their countdown-to-launch series for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

You can check the video out here.

Another The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Video

Last night, Bethesda Softworks released yet another video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and they also added another story to their fiction section.

You can check out the video here, and the new story here.

Next Halo Title not a Direct Sequel to Halo 2?

TeamXbox is reporting that the next Halo title may not be a direct sequel to Halo 2, but may infact be a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved and focus on the origins of the Forerunners and their relation to both humanity and the Covenant.

If so, odds are that the main playable character wouldn't be the Master Chief. While it would suck to have to wait even longer to see Halo 2's storyline resolved, it would be cool to find out about the Forerunners and different player characters could help broaden the Halo universe nicely.

You can read TeamXbox's article here, and hopefully we'll have more details at this years E3.

Winning PayDay Numbers for Mar. 16th

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday kids, Blogger was having some issues which prevented me from posting. Thankfully, yesterday was a slow news day, so there's not much to catch up on.

Yesterday's winning PayDay numbers are: 07,27,34,61

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Even More Screenshots and Another Video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Bethesda Softworks has released 3 more screenshots for the Xbox 360 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as well as released another video for the game.

You can check out the screenshots here, and the video here.

I haven't even been able to check out the first video yet due to everyone's servers being full, and with more videos continually coming out, I'll probably need to wait a while.

More PlayStation 3 Details

TeamXbox has some more Sony PlayStation 3 details:

Sony is stating that a hard disk drive will be required for games on the PlayStation 3, however they haven't confirmed that a HDD will actually ship with the console. You can read TeamXbox's article here.

Also, the basic details on Sony's online gaming service has been revealed, and thus far it seems a whole lot like Xbox Live. Their online service will launch with the console this November, and you can read its features here.

New Video and Screens for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Bethesda Softworks has released a new video for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as well as 3 new screenshots for the Xbox 360 version. You can check out the video here, and the screenshots here.

Bethesda also reports that the Official Xbox Magazine has given The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion a 9.5 out of 10.

Finally, ActionTrip is reporting that Bethesda is now denying that it's been working on a fifth The Elder Scrolls title. You can read their post here.

Sony PlayStation 3 to Launch Globally in November

TeamXbox is reporting that Sony has officially pushed the PlayStation 3's release date to early November for a launch in Japan, Europe, and North America; approximately a 6 month delay from their original plans. Sony claims the delay is with the finalization of copy protection on their Blu-ray disc media.

Hmm, I bet Microsoft is a little frustrated now seeing as how they didn't need to rush-launch their Xbox 360. They could have taken an extra 6 months to do things like add in an HD-DVD drive and perfect their buggy backwards compatibility. At least this means the Xbox 360 will be the only next gen-system on the market for a year total, akin to the PlayStation 2 from the past generation.

You can check out TeamXbox's article here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Xbox 360 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Screenshots

Bethesda Softworks have released some new screenshots for the Xbox 360 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can check them out right here.

BioWare Opens Second Studio in Austin, Texas

BioWare, the developers behind the amazing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, have opened a brand new studio in Austin, Texas. BioWare Austin is currently developing the company's first massive multiplayer roleplaying game, and both studios are also hiring.

You can read the full details in the press release here.

The Elder Scrolls V in Development

ActionTrip is reporting that Bethesda Softworks is already working on The Elder Scrolls V. Apparently Bethesda has three teams, two of which are working on Elder Scrolls projects. One team is working on patches and expansions for the upcoming The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, while the other is working on the fifth title of the series.

You can read ActionTrip's post here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Elder Scrolls: Arena Available for Free

I've been browsing the official site for The Elder Scrolls, going over the history of Tamriel and the past games, and I discovered that Bethesda Softworks has released the original game, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, as a free download. Originally released in 1994 for the PC, the game can still run on most older systems, and Bethesda has a link to a DOS emulator for newer Windows 2000 and XP based systems.

Since my system is good old Windows 98 SE, I didn't need an emulator and got things working, however it is extremely old styled and I don't think I'll be able to get into it. I created a female Wood Elven Assassin named Tim, and began my escape of the Imperial dungeon, however I encountered one very large problem: I couldn't figure out how to attack with my Short Sword. This means a simple little Goblin was able to slay me, and I lost interest. The controls are also real sluggish and lack the responsiveness of 1993's Doom.

What did impress me though was the lore already shown of the world of Tamriel at that time, and how much of it; the races, provinces, and history, are intact and virtually unchanged between The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

If you're interested in giving this classic a try, you can download it from the official Elder Scrolls site here.

Laser Quest's Rules

So last night the guys and I went to play some laser tag at Laser Quest, which happened to be my first time playing the game. Overall it wasn't bad, but lacked a certain... tactical element that I was hoping for.

Once we entered the establishment, I took quick notice of the rules, which included things like:

- I will not run, climb, or jump.
- I will not sit, kneel, or lie down.
- I will not use offensive language.

And worst of all:

- I will not make physical contact with other players. (That takes away beating someone over the head if you turn a corner and end up face to face)

I mean, what the hell? Granted, the game is mostly populated by 10 year olds and I don't want to hurt them, but the above really removes many basic tactical options. It's like Telly said, try playing a Slayer match of Halo 2 with those rules, and you'd have a very boring game.

Anyway, we all went into the maze where you fight everyone, and after a little free for all my associates and I teamed together, took some high ground, and defended it from the other players; sort of holding the fort.

A game lasts about 20 minutes and costs $8.00 flat. You wear a vest which has laser sensors on the chest, back, and shoulders, and you have your gun which also has sensors on the side. The objective is to shot enemies on their sensors while avoiding being "tagged" yourself.

Telly did the best out of all of us, coming in at 3rd place. What can I say, he really knows how to kick the shit out of 10 year olds.

If we ever go and play again, we're all going to play as a squad and hold a position like we did at the end of this game; seeing if we can better our score.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Patches Upcoming for the PC Version of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

ActionTrip is reporting that EA is planning on releasing two patches in the near future for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (PC). The first will address some sync errors in Multiplayer, and the second will include gameplay and balance changes.

You can read ActionTrip's post here.

New Screenshots for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)

Now that I've taken an interest in The Elder Scrolls series, I might as well start covering the sequel, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda has released some new screenshots for the PC version on the official site right here.

The game's looking very nice, both on the PC and the Xbox 360.

The Master Levels for Doom II (Xbox) Complete

This past Monday evening, I finally completed The Master Levels for Doom II (Xbox) on Hurt Me Plenty (Normal) and I must say, though I love almost everything classic Doom, I thought The Master Levels for Doom II rather sucked. Some of them were okay, but they were literally just a bunch of levels thrown in, some of them with really obscure, frustrating design (such as thin invisible ledges, strange run-offs to grab Skull Keys, etc.).

I honestly didn't enjoy them and have no intention of going through this add-on on Ultra-Violence. It's too bad they didn't include Final Doom instead, as a lot of that was great classic Doom fun.

Well, with The Master Levels for Doom II down, I'm presently playing through Doom 3, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Winning PayDay Numbers for March 9th


I got a 71. Can I have a lot of money now?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ex-Bungie and Valve Software Employees form New Game Studio

IGN Xbox is reporting that two former Bungie team members, along with a former Valve employee and a former Microsoft director have formed their own game studio entitled Giant Bite Games.

They're apparently discussing the company's first project, but have yet to release any of the details. IGN Xbox states they plan to develop titles for the next-gen consoles, handheld, and PC.

You can read the article here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

World of Warcraft Korean Launch

Once again, Blizzard Entertainment is resorting to high quality marketing techniques to sell World of Warcraft in foreign countries.

Here's an image from the Korean launch of Blizzard's hugely successful massive multiplayer online roleplaying game.

I bet that bra gives her +3 lift, as well as +7 seduction.

News spotted at ActionTrip.