Category Archives: Xbox Live Arcade

Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Project Needlemouse is Sonic the Hedgehog 4. The new game will be released episodical on WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 will feature HD graphics, while the Nintendo Wii version will use some sort of motioncontroll. The best part is that Sonic 4 is back to it’s original 2D roots, where Sonic belongs. The first episode will be released Summer 2010.

Here is the full pressrelease from blogs.sega.com:

SEGA® Europe Ltd. and SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced the first game developed specifically for the download market from the world’s fastest hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I will be available via download on Microsoft XBLA, Sony PSN and Nintendo WiiWare, bringing with it the addictive classic 2D side scrolling action that Sonic fans have been waiting for.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I offers sublime 2D gameplay through beautifully rendered HD environments. Fans will be able to speed through each level with the classic Spin Dash move, and destroy enemies using the Homing Attack. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I sees the return of the much-loved special stages and takes players through a variety of different Zones, all inspired by the Mega Drive era.

Each level from Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I is separately selectable from the main menu, making it easy for players to replay their favorite sections as they wish. Long time fans will not be disappointed as they rejoin the action and face all new intense boss battles against everyone’s favourite villain – the ever devious and evil – Dr. Eggman!

“Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I is a return to the classic game style of the original Sonic games” commented Gary Knight, European Marketing Director SEGA Europe Ltd. “It’s great to be able to offer fans of the Sonic series the type of game they have been asking for in a high definition experience.”

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I will be available in Summer 2010 for XBLA, PSN, and WiiWare.

Xbox Live Dashboard update – August 11 & Preview Program

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The next update for Xbox Live Dashboard arrives on August 11. There is also a Xbox LIVE Update Preview Program which you can sign up for to get the update early.

Here is all the new features, copied from Joystiq.com:

Netflix Updates (US only)
Now you can watch movies with your friends no matter where they are and manage your queue from the comfort of your couch.

  • Movie Parties – Xbox LIVE Gold members can sit together in a virtual theater with up to seven friends no matter where they are while your Avatars watch a movie, flirt or even throw popcorn at each other.
  • Manage Your Queue – Browse the Netflix Instant Watch video catalogue, choose from the most popular movies and genres and add to your queue all from the comfort of your couch – no computer required.
  • Enhanced Playback Experience – Enjoy a smooth viewing experience when your internet bandwidth fluctuates.
  • Friends Info – Richer information is now displayed in the Friends channel and in the Guide showing what you and your friends are doing.

Avatar Marketplace

  • Express yourself! Deck your Avatar out with the latest clothing and props from the top brands and game franchises. Please note that only limited content is currently available in the preview.
  • Clothing – Download premium items, including branded apparel from your favorite fashion labels and Xbox 360 games such as “Halo.”
  • Props – You can now equip your avatar with animated items they can carry around and interact with.
  • Awardables – The ability to earn Avatar clothing and props as rewards within games has been added. Please stay tuned for an update on supporting titles.

Games on Demand
Please note that Games on Demand will be available in the preview beginning early August.

  • Enjoy 24 x 7 access to a growing online library of popular full game titles on Xbox LIVE whenever you want them, in the comfort of your living room.
  • Purchase Options – Browse and download a great selection of full Xbox 360 games using Microsoft Points, direct debit, or credit card.
  • Game Manuals – Game manuals for Games on Demand titles can be viewed, downloaded or printed on Xbox.com.
  • It’s Yours Forever! – As with other Xbox LIVE content, Games on Demand titles are linked to your Xbox LIVE account, so you can delete and re-download anything you have already purchased to the same console or another console.

User Ratings
User ratings help you find games that other people think are awesome!

  • Rate it – You can now rate every game on the Xbox LIVE Games Marketplace using a 5-star system.
  • Sort and Find it – Now you can easily find the games that everyone’s been raving about by visiting the Top Rated games in the Browse All category of Xbox LIVE Games Marketplace.

Xbox LIVE Parties
Everyone loves to Party! Check out the new and improved Xbox LIVE Party features.

  • Party Reconnections – If you are accidently disconnected from your party, Xbox LIVE will automatically reconnect you.
  • Streamlined Party Invites – Invites are now just one click away! No need to click through multiple screens to get all your friends together.

Video Display Options

  • We’ve made it easier for you to see your entertainment in the highest resolution possible on your TV using an HDMI connection.
  • Display Discovery – Make sure you can see and hear your entertainment in the highest resolution and sound quality possible with the option to override and select audio and video formats independent of the information your television sends to your Xbox 360 console.

Other Improvements
We’re always listening to you for feedback, and this Xbox LIVE update will include numerous dashboard updates.

  • Gold Member Veterans – Xbox LIVE Gold members get to show it off with a stamp on your Gamer Card that tells people how long you’ve been a Gold member.
  • Indie Games – Xbox LIVE Community Games has been renamed Xbox LIVE Indie Games. We feel this new name better represents the independent spirit of these titles.
  • Achievement Browser – We’ve revamped the Achievements browser so it’s now easier to read through all the achievements while playing a game. You can now also launch a game directly from the browser.
  • Achievements Tracking – A new view inside the profile panel which includes a summary of Achievements earned across all the games played, and shows of all your completed games.
  • Streamlined Navigation – Streamlined navigation, including new entry points in the dashboard for Active Downloads, redeeming codes, recovering Gamertags and more.
  • Voice Messages – No more blank voice messages! When recording a voice message, a warning will pop up if no audio is detected.
  • Friends List Sorting – It’s now easier to find your friends! Find and sort your friends by activity, Gamertag or online status by pressing the Y button while viewing the friends list in the Guide.
  • Memory – Time stamps now appear in the memory area, which particular handy when managing saved games.

Account Management
We’ve made some changes to make your life easier.

  • Subscription Notification – If your Xbox LIVE subscription is about to run out, you will now be notified when you sign into Xbox LIVE.
  • Updates for Invalid Windows Live IDs – If the Windows Live ID you provided has expired, you will now be prompted to update it the next time you sign into Xbox LIVE.
  • Account recovery – We’ve enhanced the account recovery process to make it faster and more reliable.

What does this Xbox LIVE Update not include?
The following features will be coming in future Xbox LIVE updates, which we’ll be sure to let you know about.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Zune video and 1080p Instant On
  • Last.fm

Xbox 360: The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition – only 800 points

The Secret of Monkey Island - Special Edition

This week, on July 15, you can download The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on Xbox Live Arcade for only 800 points. I’m a bit suprised that it’s only 800 points, and not 1200 which look like the new norm. But at this price, it’s a must have title for all that loved the game nearly 20 years ago.

A cool feature is that you can switch between the 1990 PC version with only 256 colours and the new and updated 2009 XBLA version with HD graphics. You can see it in the video bellow.

The Secret of Monkey Island™: Special Edition

Pirates! Adventure! Monkeys! Relive the hilarious swashbuckling misadventures of the wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood as he attempts to become the most infamous pirate in the Caribbean! Back by popular demand, The Secret of Monkey Island™: Special Edition faithfully re-imagines the internationally-acclaimed classic pirate adventure game from LucasArts in gorgeous HD detail.

Featuring an all new re-imagined contemporary art style, hand-drawn and presented in 1080p, complete voice over by members of the original Monkey Island™ franchise cast, a re-mastered musical score using live instruments, plus scene-for scene-hot swap to seamlessly transition between Special Edition and Classic modes at anytime.

  • Hilarious swashbuckling misadventures: Embark on a bumbling misadventure in an attempt to become the most infamous pirate in the Caribbean, win the heart of the beautiful governor, Elaine Marley, and confront the evil ghost pirate, LeChuck!
  • High-definition graphics: The game is all-new and re-imagined with a contemporary art style, hand-drawn and presented in 1080p.
  • Voiceover talent: Complete voice over using original Monkey Island franchise cast members brings the story and characters to life like never before.
  • Renewed music score: Enjoy the re-mastered and re-recorded musical score using live instruments.
  • Special Edition and Classic modes: Scene-for-scene hot swap lets you seamlessly transition between Special Edition and Classic modes at anytime during gameplay.
  • Enhanced gameplay: The all-new intuitive game interface and controls provide a more interactive gameplay experience.
  • Hint system: Not sure what to do next? The in-game puzzle hint system keeps the puzzles fresh and fun.

secret_of_monkey_island_screenshot

Xbox Live Arcade: Worms 2 – Armageddon

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This week – Wednesday July 1st –  on Xbox Live Arcade, you can download Worms 2: Armageddon on Xbox 360. The game is 800 points, I guess. But on the Xbox webpage it’s listed as $800. That should be a big mistprint as you can se in the picture on the right.

Here is the discription of the game, taken from Xbox.com:

Ten years on from Worms™ Armageddon and the turn-based mayhem and destruction continues! Worms™ 2: Armageddon is the most fully-featured digital version of the game ever. With four player online and offline multiplayer, voice support, a raft of new weapons (including the return of some iconic weapons from the past), all-new high-definition landscape themes, new play modes, hats, skins, speech-banks, loads of other customization and to top it all off, a highly-involving single player experience with tutorials, deathmatches, races, fort games, and puzzles. It’s a package as high on fun as it is destruction!

  • Extensive single-player content: Play through three tutorials, three firing ranges, a thirty-mission campaign, plus five secret unlockable missions.
  • Online and offline multiplayer: Battle it out in four different ranked game types and extensive leaderboards.
  • Massively increased customization: Choose from new hats, skins, speechbanks, gravestones, victory dances, and much more.
  • Retro-themed landscape artwork: The high-definition artwork is based on the most loved Worms game ever made.
  • Return of iconic weaponry: You’ve got more than 40 weapons out of the box, including the return of fire weapons and the beloved Holy Hand Grenade.

worms2_armageddon_02

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Xbox 360 Video (IGN.com)

I’m looking forward to play The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on Xbox 360, it will also be out on PC this Summer. In this version you can play with a new and updated graphics or you can switch to the good old gfx, you can do that on the fly.

Here are two videos from IGN.com from E3 2009 earlier this month.