The Rabies Blog

Xbox 360 community-friendly blog

Two new titles coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade this week

Microsoft just released details on the two Arcade releases coming this Wednesday to Xbox LIVE.

The first is Marathon: Durandal (800 Microsoft Points) the original Mac predecessor to Halo.

* Epic story: Exclusive to Xbox LIVE Arcade, Marathon: Durandal is a cult classic first-person shooter (FPS) that continues the tradition of great gameplay while remaining faithful to the spirit of Bungie lore as the predecessor to the Halo franchise.
* Upgraded visuals: All images in the game have been redrawn in high definition.
* Modern networking: Marathon: Durandal features a new modern networking layer built with Xbox LIVE in mind.
* Superior control: The redesigned controls take full advantage of the Xbox 360 Controller and enhance playing a first-person shooter on a home console.

The second is Spyglass Board Games (800 Microsoft Points 400 Microsoft Points) a collection of ultra-customizable board games that feature full Xbox LIVE Vision support. Here’s a list of what you can expect from Spyglass Board Games:

* Full featured games: Four classic board games to choose from. Play Chess, Checkers, Mancala, or Reversi.
* Video integration with Xbox LIVE Vision camera: Fully integrated video chat lets you see your opponent. Use the video effects to personalize your game.
* Customizable pieces: Choose custom game pieces that range from traditional marble, to metallic silver, to fuzzy and wiggling gel.
* Twelve achievements: Twelve achievements are offered ranging from easy, such as playing all four games, to more challenging, such as taking all four corners in Reversi.

Both of these downloads will be available this Wednesday, August 1st beginning at 2:00 a.m. Pacific time.

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July 30, 2007 Posted by | Console, Games, Xbox LIVE | 1 Comment

Does the Xbox 360 need a price drop?

It seems pretty obvious that, on the subject of an Xbox 360 price drop, the issue is not so much “if” as it is “when”. All consoles come down in price eventually but what triggers the price change determines when it will happen.

The reason for Sony’s recent $100 drop of the PS3, regardless of what anyone has said, was an attempt to boost poor sales figures. Sony needed to do this in order to compete, period.

The Xbox 360 on the other hand has sold reasonably well, negating the need for a competative drop in price. Microsoft also happens to be looking at one of the best ever holiday line-up of titles this year beginning with the release of Halo 3 in September followed by GTA IV, Mass Effect, BioShock, PGR 4, Blue Dragon and more. These titles could very well serve to sell consoles themselves, again defeating the need for a price drop.

That being said, there are a number of rumors out there that say a $50.00 reduction is imminent although, to the best of my knowledge, these are strictly rumors.

My instincts are saying that we won’t see a significant price drop on the console until sometime next year. Right now, there just doesn’t seem to be any justifiable reason for a price drop. Of couse, now that I’ve put this in writing, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see some major announcement from Microsoft to make me look the fool!

July 30, 2007 Posted by | Console, Game Companies, Games | 6 Comments

New screens and trailer for Resident Evil 5

No, I don’t work for Capcom.

That being said, they’ve just released a new batch of screenshots for the Xbox 360 flavor of Resident Evil 5 ( a couple of which I’ve included in the post).

They’ve also announced that the full trailer for the game is now available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for download.

Check out all the screens from today over at Totally360.com. Creepy!!

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Console, Game Companies, Gaming websites, Xbox LIVE | 2 Comments

300 and Heroes coming to HD DVD and Video Marketplace

Alongside the announcement of the HD DVD Drive price cut, Microsoft also revealed the hit movie 300 and the television series Heroes: Season 1 will be coming to HD DVD and Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace.

300 will be available as an HD On Demand download beginning on August 14th, while the pilot episode of Heroes will be available soon as a free download (for a limited time).

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Community, Xbox LIVE | Leave a comment

HD DVD Drive price drop

Good news for anyone looking to pick up the HD DVD add-on for their 360 came out of Comic-Con 2007 just a short while ago.

Microsoft has announced that the drive will see a price drop from $199 to $179 beginning on August 1st AND anyone that buys the drive between August 1st and September 30th will get 5 free HD DVD movies!

Is the price drop the reason you’ve been looking for to grab the HD DVD Drive?

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Console | 1 Comment

Devil May Cry 4 artwork

I’ve always dug the character art that makes up the early stage of game development. Capcom released some pieces today from Devil May Cry 4, so I thought I’d post them up for any other fans of character art out there.

July 25, 2007 Posted by | Games, Pictures | Leave a comment

Comic-Con coming home

For those of us not fortunate enough to be headed to San Diego for this weekend’s Comic-Con 2007, Microsoft has announced today that Xbox LIVE in cooperation with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will be Bringing Comic-Con 2007 Home for all Xbox 360 owners to enjoy.

Gamers can look for the coverage beginning July 26th through August 7th to appear on Xbox LIVE as well as the website Xbox.com/comiccon. Microsoft is promising full access to all of Warner’s Comic-Con featured game trailers, show panels, movie and TV trailers and sneak peeks, celebrity interviews, show exclusives and customization themes for Xbox LIVE. Plus, action film and comic book fans will have access to an array of exclusive themes from 300 and DC Comics available for download.

If you are planning on attending  Comic-Con then you’re going to want to make sure you join the audience of 6,000 show attendees  at Warner Bros.’  special screening of the film 300 at  Petco Field since everyone who attends will be entered to win one of ten custom limited edition 300-themed Xbox 360 Elite consoles.

Check out these cool consoles below!!

July 25, 2007 Posted by | Community, Console, Gaming websites, Xbox LIVE | 3 Comments

This week’s Arcade titles revealed

Another double-header is coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade this Wednesday with Wing Commander Arena and Super Contra making their collective debuts.

First is the new entry in the Wing Commander franchise from Electronic Arts. In Wing Commander Arena, players make up the elite flying force charged with defeating the evil Kilrathi Empire armada. The game will feature four different modes of gameplay along with nine maps and a “first ever” for an Arcade title; 16 player multiplayer on Xbox LIVE.

The full list of features for Wing Commander Arena includes:

• The first Xbox LIVE Arcade title featuring multiplayer gameplay for up to 16 players over Xbox LIVE.
• Four gameplay modes: Single Player, Multiplayer Team, Free for All, and Duel
• Players can choose from 18 different ships that can be customized with cloaking devices, mines, energy weapons, missiles and more!
• Skill-based matchmaking for ranked games.
• Earn up to 12 Achievements and 200 Gamerscore.

Wing Commander Arena will be available for 800 Microsoft Points

Super Contra comes as a gift from Konami as they celebrate the 20 year anniversary of their original hit title Contra. This updated version of the 1988 upright features the classic heroes Bill Rizer and Lance Bean as they continue the battle against the evil Red Falcon forces. 

Included in the new version of Super Contra:

• Two gameplay modes: single player or two player co-op, either locally on the same Xbox 360 or over Xbox LIVE.
• Players can choose to play with either the original graphics or the enhanced graphics.
• Compete for the weekly and all time high scores on the Leaderboards.
• Earn up to 12 Achievements and 200 Gamerscore. 

Super Contra will be available for 400 Microsoft Points

July 23, 2007 Posted by | Console, Games, Xbox LIVE | Leave a comment

Rockstar troubles

With Rockstar recently receiving an “AO” rating for their upcoming game Manhunt 2, some have started to speculate as to whether the ESRB is intentionally putting the company through the wringer because of the “Hot Coffee” incident in GTA: San Andreas. I’ve also read a few articles which have suggested that Rockstar intentionally submitted Manhunt 2 to the ESRB with content that they knew would get them the scarlet letter-like “AO” rating, strictly to draw media attention to the game.

On the first point, I really can’t contribute any educated comments on the politics within the ESRB (I’ve never spoken to a member of the board), however because of the power the board holds over the industry, it certainly does seem believable that they’ve decided to keep Rockstar on a very short leash.

I do feel slightly more confident in saying that I doubt Rockstar did this intentionally. I’ve had a few conversations in the past regarding the subject of controversial press with a rep from the company and was told that this sort of media coverage is not what they’re looking for. After “Hot Coffee”, the company ran into a great deal of friction over Bully, which was unfairly maligned by many before the game had even been released. Having fought off both of those battles, it wouldn’t really make sense to start all over again with Manhunt 2.

So the question is: Is Rockstar now being over-scrutinized by the ESRB and the media or are they simply just their own worst enemy?

July 23, 2007 Posted by | Game Companies, Games | Leave a comment

Call of Duty 4 gets honors

Activision announced today that their upcoming Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat, from Infinity Ward, grabbed top honors from G4 television by being awarded as both “Best Game of E3 2007” and “Best Xbox 360 Game of E3 2007”.

Congrats to the team at I.W. This game blew me away during E3, as it did many others from what I’ve been reading. I’m thinking that this game could sell more 360 consoles this holiday than Halo 3. In fact, this is the way I would rank the top 3 games coming this fall:

1) Grand Theft Auto IV

2) Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat

3) Halo 3

Drop a comment with your top 3.

July 20, 2007 Posted by | Games | 5 Comments

Capcom at Comicon (that sorta’ rhymes)

Capcom is planning their representation at this year’s Comicon event with the gaming community in mind. Some of the highlights include contests, demos, tournaments, photo and autograph sessions and of course, plenty of gaming titles to try out.Capcom will have gaming stations featuring Zack & Wiki, Harvey Birdman, Mega Man Star Force and Mega Man ZX Advent, Ace Attorney: , Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Rocketmen and Moto GP as well as an area dedicated to those aged 17 and older to give Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles a try.

Another cool feature at the show will be the “boxing ring area” featuring 16 player Lost Planet tournaments, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix tournaments, the EVO finals and performances from several Nerdcore rappers. Attendees should be able to catch all the action, regardless of the crowds, on the 50″ monitors suspended overhead.

Capcom will also have a company store set up where shoppers can grab games,tee shirts, licensed merchandise such as Udon’s rare hardcover Art of Capcom book and some exclusive Japanese merchandise imported specifically for the show. Free goodies are also promised with every purchase.

I’ve included a few digital images of Capcom’s layout which you can check out below. If you’re headed to San Diego for Comicon (July 25th – July 29th) you’re going to definitely want to stop by the Capcom booths.

July 20, 2007 Posted by | Community | 1 Comment

Peter Moore resigns from Microsoft

In a shocking press release today, Microsoft announced that Peter Moore has resigned from his position as corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, which oversees both Xbox and Games for Windows brands.

Moore cited the desire to relocate his family back to San Fransico bay area as the reason behind his decision.

Moore will stay on with Microsoft through August, at which time he will be replaced by former president of Electronic Arts Inc., Don Mattrick.

In my opinion, Peter Moore will be sadly missed. Not only did he contribute tremdously to the success of the Xbox franchise, he was the ultimate representative for Microsoft and its gaming divisions with his class, humor and confidence.

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Community | 2 Comments