Posts Tagged ‘Xbox Live Arcade’

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale – the good, the bad, the button mashing

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Since most of us here at BG come from a heavy pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons background this was a title that peaked our interests a few months back. This franchise is well overdue for a revamped series that is accessible in multi and single player scenarios. Atari and Wizards of the Coast seem to know this but can they bring our dice rolling fantasy to our console/PC and do it justice? Lets see…

The Bad
I want to end this on a good note so just let me get the bad stuff out of the way. I’m not going to fill you in on a story background, this is a ‘hack and slash’ game. The story seems sort of back seat to you runnning around looting barrells and killing goblins. We all could expect this from an ‘arcade’ type game. So don’t expect heavy dialogue (just heavy dwarf grunting), and missions like – go kill these guys here, go destroy that mine shaft there, escort this fella over here so he can make you a new shiny sword..etc. Very lack luster, but like I said, I don’t care much about that here, what I wanna know is if it’s fun for me, or worth my time to invest the 1200 microsoft points to satisfy my RPG fix on our occasional sober weekend nights.

Im a stickler on customization of my character, I will spend much too much time making my toon. Like hours if I can’t get it right. Outfitting and gear are a big part of RPGs for me. That was my first big dissappointment here. You get to pick one of four basic D&D Class/Races. Elf rogue, Dwarf cleric, Human warrior, and a Halfling mage (with corn rolls). No hair or face options, just what you see is what you get. They could of given us a few Male/Female options atleast. Big minus for me…

This was suppost to be a transfer of 4th edition rules right? Well at 3rd level I seem to have acquired 145hp (If I remember I should have around 25hp). The weapon damages are all accurate why wouldnt the players HP reflect that also? Maybe too many dots or since it’s not turn based combat they decided to give us a nice cushiony buff. Probably for the better, but still… D&D nerds will notice their numbers not adding up.

Button mashing. The combat is lots of hitting ‘X’ over and over with the slight special attack thrown in there…somewhat repetitive. It does work, and well we all kinda figured we’d be spamming and spamming to see how much we ‘crit’ for, or how much our ‘backstab’ hits at. It would of been nice to include some tatics here and there, and maybe multi-ing it with friends could lead to flanking mobs, or kiting strategies to handle some of the swarms of mobs that are hurled at you. Respawns of critters seems to be fast also, for those who are into blind ‘XP farming’.

The Good
Once you get past the button spamming and getting over the “I wanted to play a female dwarf to see if she could have a beard”, this game has some nice appeal for the BusyGamer. Quick runs with your friends, levelling up and searching for new gear I will never get tired of. The weapon and armor merchants have random items that are level based, they do change between saves it sorta seems, since I was frequently returning to vendors to see what they may have added. And these items reflect well on your character, better swords glow, bows have fire around them that do ‘fire damage’, and armors change your appearance accordingly. This is do like. When I upgrade my weapon, it should make me feel ‘upgraded’. I see that instead of adding character options, they just added a ton of different loot.

Blood and stuff. The fighting animations are very stylized. Nice blood splats and poision clouds from deadly arrows were a nice touch. Fireballs look like fireballs. Ice spells keep you rooted with ice shards coming out of the ground. It’s good to see the power of these smaller DL’d games be used, and they didn’t skimp on the effects.

The level maps are pretty big. I found myself really looking at the UI map of the cave areas to see what spots or treasure chests I may have missed. They are well marked with quest givers, vendors, and objectives so you wont get lost and caught back in a horde of respawned baddies.

Levelling seems adequately rewarding, not too fast, actually seemed a bit slow, but over all will make the game a good 12hrs or so to finish. Which is pretty fat for a DL.

The Overall
Good if you want a quick jump in and loot some mobs and try to get some upgraded gear. Good if you like a game that you could probably have fun with over XBLive with your buddies while drinking a beer at the same time. Good if you like attention to detail with some nice casting and magic item effects, that reflect well on your playing style, and good if you understand this is not a Dragon Age, or even Baulders Gate caliber of game. Bad if you want good story, indepth character customization, combat tactics, turn based strategy, or a game that requires you to think a whole lot more than past your ‘X’ button. It’s a quick ‘hack and slash let’s see how fast we can dps this mofo down’ type of game, and that’s exactly what I think WOTC and Atari set out to do.

Ready to ‘Wipeout’ on the Kinect?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Try this from your futon.

Try this from your futon.

(Gamespot) – For many Kinect games, the ability to sidestep self-consciousness is one of the hardest parts to master. However, making a fool of oneself is the primary draw for Activision’s latest Kinect title, as the publisher announced today that it has teamed with ABC to bring the face-plant-prone reality show Wipeout to the Xbox 360 this summer.

Wipeout in the Zone mimics the absurd obstacle courses of its TV inspiration, and players will be challenged with working their way through the show’s challenges by running, ducking, and dodging. Of course, failure is an inevitable and frequent outcome, and players will be treated to visuals of their inglorious digital destruction.

Players will be challenged by more than 30 obstacles, which can be undertaken in one shot or as individual events. Obstacles explicitly called out today include Big Balls and the Smack Wall Sweeper. The game will also include audio commentary from the show’s hosts: John Anderson, John Henson, and Jill Wagner.

EA Sets Stage for World Domination With RISK: Factions for XBLA

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Now taking over the world through your Xbox 360s!

Being a fan of the original board game, I was extremely happy to hear about a RISK title being released for this current generation of consoles. Unfortunately, I remember as well the terrible iterations of electronic versions being put out on the PC during the 90′s and the PS2 version, Global Domination, that just drove me insane. Please EA, don’t screw up this version! (Press Release)

Globally Popular, Strategic Game of Conquest in Development for Xbox LIVE Arcade

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The EA Play Label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced that it is bringing Hasbro’s (NYSE:HAS) globally popular strategy game, RISK, to Xbox LIVE® Arcade (XBLA) in early 2010. Featuring outlandish factions, a unique art style, new gameplay twists and off-beat humor, RISK: Factions promises to challenge and captivate both new and seasoned RISK fans on their quest for world domination.

“For the past half-century, millions of RISK fans have been consumed with ruling the world, underscoring the board game’s enduring appeal,” said Chip Lange, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Hasbro Division. “We’re now going to bring that masterpiece experience to life and add other amazing layers of XBLA-style gameplay that will take conquests to a new level, including the ability to battle players from around the globe for the first time, truly giving new meaning to the phrase ‘world domination’.”


PopCap to Launch Peggle and Peggle Nights on Xbox LIVE Arcade & PSN!

Thursday, November 19th, 2009
Peggle Nights available today Nov 19 in XBL Arcade!

Peggle Nights available Nov 19 on PSN!

Blockbuster Franchise Delivers Compelling Gameplay and Non-Stop Multiplayer Action

(Press Release) – PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of broadly appealing video games, today announced it is expanding its blockbuster Peggle™ franchise with Peggle and the Peggle™ Nights add-on for the PlayStation®Network as well as the Peggle Nights content pack for Xbox LIVE® Arcade (XBLA). A cult fan favorite among hardcore gamers and casual players alike, Peggle and the Peggle Nights add-on pack, published by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), can be purchased beginning November 19 from the PlayStation®Store for US $9.99 and US $4.99, respectively. The Peggle Nights content pack for XBLA will be available for download November 18 for 400 Microsoft points (US $5.00).

Since its introduction in February 2007, the Peggle series, inspired by the classic gameplay of pinball and pachinko, has been downloaded more than 60 million times for PC/Web and has garnered more than a dozen awards from leading industry critics. After launching on XBLA earlier this year, Peggle again received top accolades, becoming an instant best-seller with the addition of its wildly popular, multiplayer Peg Party mode.

“Peggle has become a cult gaming phenomenon, blowing away our original expectations for the game,” stated Ed Allard, vice president of strategic development at PopCap. “With these latest game installments, we’re delivering even more features that appeal to diehard enthusiasts with hours of great gameplay, competitive multiplayer experiences and community elements that the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE communities should really enjoy.”

Peggle and Peggle Nights Add-On Pack for PlayStation Network
The PlayStation Network edition of Peggle brings all the compelling gameplay action of the original PC version, including 55 levels of ball-bouncing madness, 10 unlockable Peggle Masters, Quick Play mode, Duel mode, and 75 Challenge mode levels. For non-stop competitive action, players can choose from two multiplayer options: two-player Duel mode, or Peg Party mode, where up to four players can compete against one another simultaneously.

Peggle Nights, the award-winning follow up to Peggle, transports players into the ‘dream worlds’ of each of the Peggle Masters. With five beautifully rendered and themed levels for each character’s secret dreams and aspirations, Peggle Nights also introduces Marina, an eleventh Peggle Master. The Peggle Nights add-on* for PlayStation Network allows players to enjoy all the levels and challenges in the original PC version of the game and more: 60 levels of Peggle Nights content in the exclusive multiplayer modes; Peggle Nights Adventure mode, including the Nights story; 60 Peggle Nights Challenges; the trophy room; adventure statistics; and three new PlayStation Network trophies.

Additionally, the PlayStation Network versions of Peggle and Peggle Nights offer Remote Play capability and XMB™ support, allowing gamers to stream their own music during gameplay as well as view and play Peggle and Peggle Nights on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) go system. Players can also take advantage of YouTube integration to upload and share replay videos of their best and wildest shots and scores.

Peggle Nights Content Pack for Xbox LIVE
Peggle Nights is also being offered as premium downloadable content for Peggle on XBLA*, the phenomenally popular game hit launched on Xbox LIVE Arcade last spring. Peggle Nights features all the great gameplay of the original PC version and more, including new Peggle Master, Marina, as well as the ability to battle friends and foes, and compare Peggle prowess in the four-player Peg Party and two-player Duel modes. The game also features 60 Peggle Nights levels for multiplayer over Xbox LIVE and all single player/local modes; the Peggle Nights Adventure mode, including the Nights story; 60 Peggle Nights Challenges; the trophy room; adventure statistics; and three new Xbox achievements.

The Peggle family of games is available across numerous platforms, including PC, Mac, Web, video iPod, iPod® Touch, iPhone™, 650 models of mobile feature phones and smartphones, Nintendo DS, the PlayStation Network, and Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Xbox Live Avatar Arcade

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Hope they don't run on MS Points.

Hope they don't run on MS Points.

So what’s this all about? Pictures are showing up depicting a handful of Xbox Live Avatars standing at Atari-branded arcade cabinets, similar to the virtual game parlors in PlayStation Home, but instead of joysticks and buttons, the control panels on each of the cabinets have been replaced by Atari 2600 machines. All but one of the marquees on the cabinets are unreadable.

Not onlys is Atari on display in the Avatar arcade, banners hanging from the wall suggest that we may see other old school consoles like Intellivision, or hell who knows maybe even Colecovision. Intellivision games like Shark! Shark! and Star Strike will also be available for play in the Avatar arcade.

“Along the bottom of the screenshots are a series of nearly unreadable button prompts, apparently indicating that players will be able to customize their own arcades, change themes, and edit the machines which machines are in the room” says

Will this happen? Considering all of the signs out there, we are speculating ‘most likely’. That’s too much evidence to be a complete farce. It would be nice to see some more interactive options with our well so decked out Xbox Live Avatars, they are awesomely stylized and need some more functionality. Mine just waves at me when I log on. And I can tell he’s ‘itchin to get up on some ‘Pitfall’ action since I wont spend the 500MS points on that awesome Lightsaber he keeps pointing at. Maybe for Xmas, we’ll see.



Sam & Max are back!

Friday, June 12th, 2009
Is that blue poop? Could be.

Is that blue poop? Could be.

(Press Release) – Sweet swirling red rings of Saturn on a playdate with the junior varsity men’s cheerleading squad, the Freelance Police are on Xbox 360®! Telltale Games is announcing that the dog and rabbity-thing crime-fighting team’s episodic adventures will launch on Xbox LIVE® Arcade on June 17, 2009 with Sam & Max Save the World, a bundle of six award-winning comedy games.

Sam & Max Save the World, which was known as Sam & Max Season One for previous releases, has been enhanced for Xbox LIVE Arcade with achievements, widescreen and HD graphic support, and updates to the gameplay controls. The game is in English with subtitles in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The Xbox LIVE Arcade download will sell for 1600 Microsoft points—less than 300 points per episode.

Sam & Max Save the World is a sitcom-style game with an overarching story that develops across its six episodes. The series kicks off close to home with a trio of former child stars who propagate self-help video tapes with hypnotic qualities throughout Sam and Max’s neighborhood. Each subsequent episode takes the Freelance Police deeper into this mind control plot, from a casino run by unusually cuddly Mafioso to the White House and finally to a disturbingly blissful lunar retreat, where Sam and Max must face down the mastermind behind it all. The Save the World episodes have won a variety of awards, including a “Funniest Game” nod from GameSpot, plus “Editor’s Choice” and “Adventure Game of the Year” accolades from publications including IGN, PC Gamer, and GameSpy.

The June 17 release comes less than a month after Telltale’s Xbox LIVE Arcade debut with Fright of the Bumblebees, the first of four Wallace & Gromit episodes. The remaining Wallace & Gromit games and Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space, the second season of Freelance Police adventures, will be appearing on the channel in the coming months.

Sam and Max got their start in comics in 1987, courtesy of cartoonist Steve Purcell. They have appeared in several formats over the years, including a graphic adventure game, Sam & Max Hit the Road, in 1993; an award-winning animated series in 1998; and an online web comic in 2006, for which Purcell was awarded an Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. The 20th Anniversary Edition of the Surfin’ the Highway comic anthology has been nominated for a 2009 Eisner Award.

Telltale currently develops and publishes episodic series on PC, Wii, and Xbox 360, with plans to expand to additional platforms and channels in the coming year. For more information, visit

Ryu should sport these for better combos.

Monday, May 18th, 2009
These may up your high scores, at the cost of a few style points.

These may up your high scores, at the cost of a few style points.

These ‘one of a kind’ Nike Xbox-Alpha-Dunks sold on eBay for $4000.99. Talk about mega gamer fanboy extraordinaire. I hope that you can get some fancy dates with these kicks! The Xbox 360 shoes are made of leather, and fiber optic wiring, and they feature a Xbox Logo and a battery which will put in a Strobe or Constant light functions (seizures not included). Also the toe is painted with a Tiger Camouflage color (extremely stylin), and of course they were designed for a man. Size 11. $4,000. The Buy It Now Price started at $2,500, but eventually cranked up to 4K, that’s just kooky talk.

I know I have felt ‘over the top’ spending dough on collectible items, but you could get a used car (in a recession) for less than this. Maybe the buyer feels he can achieve better Street Fighter combos, who knows. Talk about foot fetish.


-BG Crew
(special thanks to B. Holcombe for throwing us this info, he’s our ninja sniper extreme!)

A Hasbro-mance on Xbox Live

Friday, March 20th, 2009
Will it let you spell bad words? Try it and see...

Will it let you spell bad words? Try it and see...

This week Hasbro Games along with Electronic Arts now have a nice selection of old school goodies that you can download to your Xbox 360 console. I myself grew up on a few of these games like Scrabble, Boggle, Battleship and Yahtzee. The download is titled ‘Hasbro Family Game Night’ and it provides a platform, or game room, for you to add these family favorites to your online gaming arsenal. The initial download is free but to acquire an online playable version it’s going to cost you 800 Microsoft points ($10). Now mind you that is for each of the titles too. The cool thing is it looks like they will be adding more games as the year progresses.

I picked up Scrabble first and was able to get in a few heated games at launch. At first try the EA server was down (not a suprise being the first day and all), but then it wasn’t long until I was able to find a random group in the ‘Quick Match’ option. As expected, a game of Scrabble is not fast paced at all. I mean you can play your turn, get up, grab another beer, take a bathroom break and come back before your next turn has started. The only peev I encountered was the inability to see the board very well when it is not your turn. I would like to be able to scan for possible word slams before my turn actually starts. I think that would keep that gamepace up and not have to start looking for a high scoring play at the beginning of your turn. Other than that, the onscreen adaptation is nicely done – very stylized and you can even download different room themes to fit your style (some of those are even free which is a plus!).

I plan to pick up a few more of the titles, Yahtzee seems like a good choice next, and I think that it would be nice to see some other Hasbro games like Stratego, or Clue available. I’m sure they will be rounding the bend soon enough.

-Crutchboy Out

Xbox Live Arcade debuts with episodic Wallace & Gromit series

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Wallace & Grommit yip into Xbox Live Arcade

Wallace & Grommit yips into Xbox Live Arcade

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures brings all-new stories, characters, and contraptions to Xbox LIVE® Arcade and PC this spring

Interactive entertainment pioneer Telltale, Inc. today announced that their highly-anticipated episodic series, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, will lead the company’s expansion to Xbox LIVE Arcade this spring. Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures will also be available for PC.

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures will deliver all of the humor and charm of the duo’s popular animated films, with a monthly series of brand new interactive stories in Telltale’s unique episodic format. Alternating between the roles of quirky inventor Wallace and his faithful canine companion Gromit, players embark on their own style of entrepreneurial business ventures, tinker with creative contraptions, and interact with an ever-expanding cast of fun and endearing characters in each episode.

“Our episodic series focus on story, character, humor, and cinematic presentation—very much like a television or film production. This all makes for a great living room experience through the gaming console,” says Telltale CEO Dan Connors . “We’re looking forward to expanding our catalog onto Xbox LIVE Arcade.”

The series’ launch follows the record-setting Christmas Day premiere of Aardman’s new Wallace & Gromit short film, “A Matter of Loaf and Death,” the most watched TV program in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day with 14.3 million viewers. The film also recently won an Annie Award for Best Animated Short and secured a BAFTA Award nomination in the same category.

Showcasing visuals modeled closely after franchise originator Aardman Animations’ clay creations, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures is Telltale’s most cinematic series to date, immersing fans in the stories and interactions with the colorful personalities of West Wallaby Street . The game also features a new direct control scheme for gamepads, designed specifically for Xbox.

Telltale has become the industry leader in regularly delivered episodic games, with the release of two award-winning Sam & Max series and most recently, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. The Strong Bad series became the first monthly episodic set for a connected console, with the finale episode releasing in December on WiiWare and PC. Telltale plans to announce additional titles for Xbox Live Arcade in the coming months.

For more details about Telltale’s games and Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, please visit