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Richard Mitchell
Tulsa, Oklahoma -

Richard received a BFA from the University of Oklahoma. Foregoing the endless rejection that is the life of an actor, Richard opted instead to follow his true passion, games. Lucky for him, the internet has turned writing about games into a financially viable occupation. Otherwise he would be condemned to a life in hell, also known as community theatre.

Unique NXE Avatar URLs discovered

An anonymous tipster has informed Xbox 360 Fanboy that Avatars -- the cute, customizable user characters that will launch with the New Xbox Experience -- will each have their own unique URL (which won't open in Firefox or Safari, by the way). The URLs in question lead to PNG files of a users Avatar. The URLs lead to images of at least three sizes, as demonstrated in the image above. The Avatars belong to Microsoft's Trixie and Chris Paladino by the way (we tried plugging in one of our own gamertags and were greeted with nothing but the original Xbox logo). There is a full body image along with two smaller images of user created Avatar Gamerpics. All of them are stored at the site, which currently leads to a blank page. Will these images be part of a broader social networking platform? For now, we'll just have to wait until Microsoft decides to share more about the NXE.

Fable II: A Guided Tour of Albion

Fable II has a lot to offer, not least of which is a huge game world. Yes, the kingdom of Albion is vast, playing host to a variety of landscapes and peoples. From the lush pastures of Oakfield to the putrid muck of Wraithmarsh, every region offers up something different. We've gathered up a sample of the areas you'll visit in Albion -- not all of them, there have to be some surprises after all -- and collected them into a handy guide for prospective travellers.

Sit back and enjoy A Guided Tour of Albion.

Xbox 360 Fancast 088: Fable 2 Baby, Yeah!

Given the image above, there's really no beating around the bush with this one: this week's episode of the Xbox 360 Fancast is all about Fable II. We've been playing the game for a couple weeks now, and we're just dying to share. If you think you've got what it takes to listen to us jaw about one of Microsoft's would-be heavy hitters for an hour, you'd better do yourself a favor and click the download link of your choice. Do it, do it because you know you want to.

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Thanks to Richard Elliot for the image!

Hosts: Richard Mitchell (SenseiRAM), Dustin Burg (SuperDunners), Alexander Sliwinski (Sli Xander)

Produced by Richard Mitchell

Music: Intro/Outro: "Electromooq" by Uma Floresta. Break: "Waiting for You" by Pioneers of Flight

For fans: Xbox 360 Fancast Facebook group

Halo 3: Recon team done with Halo after Recon

In an interview with, Bungie's Brian Jarrard made it known that once Halo 3: Recon is complete, the team creating it is moving on to new projects that are not related to Halo. Jarrard stated that there are some map packs on the way, including the Halo 3 Mythic map pack as well as maps associated with Halo 3: Recon, but that the team will move on once the project is complete. According to Jarrard, part of the Recon team will move on to new projects, while others will be moved onto projects already in the works.

Of course, we don't know what any of those secret projects are, so we can't rule Halo out entirely, though Jarrard's words seem to imply that they aren't related to Halo. We'll just have to wait and see. The full interview also includes tidbits on Bungie's community building philosophy, the studio's independence, and how the company feels about the NXE. Hit the source link to check it out.

[Via Joystiq]

Fable II co-op patch is done (seriously this time)

After already announcing that the Fable II co-op patch was complete, Lionhead has announced that the Fable II co-op patch is ... erm ... complete. We're not really sure why the second announcement has gone up. Both mention that the patch is done, ready for the game's launch, and that gamers wouldn't even have known that co-op was ever missing. We're guessing the kicker is that the patch has cleared certification, which was offered as the only caveat in the original announcement. So, just to be clear, the patch is really, really done and those with a copy of Fable II will receive it via an autoupdate when they first start the game.

[Via Joystiq]

Shipping this week: indecision edition

Oh boy. Not only are there eight new games hitting the Xbox 360 this weeks (and Portal on XBLA, lest we forget), but several of them look to be good games. Heavy hitters like Far Cry 2 and Fable II undoubtedly top the list, but there are some other big names in there as well. Check 'em out:
Now, the question is are there any "must have" games on this list for you, or are you strategically withholding your funds for something else?

[Via Joystiq]

Review: Fable II

click to enlarge

During the 15.78 hours I've played Fable II (which the game measures out as 56,796 seconds) I have earned 987,502 experience, completed 13 quests, dispatched 28 trash-talking gargoyles, opened 1 demon door, bought 14 buildings (3 houses, 11 shops), shot 11 enemies in the groin, acquired 4 scars, and -- because I finally felt like getting around to it -- saved the kingdom of Albion from a particularly evil doom. The story begins much earlier than all of that, of course, in the kingdom of Albion, in the streets of Bowerstone Old Town, where Rose and her sibling, known to her as 'Sparrow,' dream of a better life.

Gallery: Fable 2 Review gallery

Continue reading Review: Fable II

Reminder: Extra Life charity marathon is today

This is just a friendly reminder that the Extra Life charity gaming marathon is up and running today. Gamers around the world are currently hard at play earning money to benefit the Texas Children's Cancer Center. If you've registered to be a part of the marathon, we salute you and hope you've brought some caffeine and snacks to the party.

If you weren't able to sign up in time, a rain date is being setup for next Saturday, October 25. Also, don't forget that you don't have to participate in the marathon to contribute. Extra Life will be accepting direct donations until October 28.

WRUP: space dismemberment edition

Welcome, once again, to another exciting edition of What Are You Playing. This week, we're going to do something a little different. Rather than simply asking our community what it's playing, we're going to extend to the question to our staff as well. This will give everyone out there a chance to see not only what we're playing, but also what we think of it. Assuming any of you care about our opinions, it should be highly informative! Don't forget to tell us what you're playing this weekend as well.

Xav de Matos (Snypz): It seems that Dead Space is the only thing spinning in my Xbox this week. 6 1/2 hours in I just found myself in Chapter 9 and I'm really enjoying it. There are some frustrating annoyances (Sup, turret?) but, other than that it has been hella fun. I've spent some time with the Call of Duty: World at War beta but not just enough to make a judgement on it. Expect a full X3F style impressions of the beta very soon

Dustin Burg (SuperDunners): After last weekend's Dead Space gaming marathon, I think I'll be going back to my traditional gaming roots. Lots of Halo 3 gaming. And, if time permits, I should really give the Call of Duty: World at War beta a test drive. That's only if time permits, because there's lots of Halo 3 gaming that is required. Emphasis on "required."

Richard Mitchell (SenseiRAM): Three words: Age of Booty. That game is one of the nicest surprises to come out of Xbox Live Arcade in quite a while. If you like RTS games, board games, or pirates, definitely give it a try. The trial version comes with two days of online play! Beyond that I don't have nearly as much time for Silent Hill: Homecoming as I would like. I've also been dipping into the world of homebrew games on my DS. Pocket Physics is something everyone needs to experience. I'm also playing one other game, but I can't tell you about it. Stay tuned.

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Xbox 360 Fanboy Leaderboard Mk. II

What were you playing? (WRUP archive)

Fable 2 launch trailer asks: Who will you become?

Hot on the heels of the live action destiny trailer, Lionhead has released the official Fable 2 launch trailer. The trailer focuses on the same central theme as the destiny trailer, only this one is composed entirely of gameplay footage. With central question being "Who will you become?" we're treated to a very wide variety of different characters from burly pirates to lithe assassins. We also get a peak at some impressive landscapes. Since the trailer puts for it's question so bluntly, we might as well ask: what do you plan to do when you pick up Fable 2 (assuming you plan to). Oh, and those of you wanting to see the trailer in HD, it's currently available on Xbox Live Marketplace.

Left 4 Dead pre-orders topping Orange Box

If you've pre-ordered Left 4 Dead -- and we wouldn't blame you -- consider yourself part of a new sales phenomenon. Valve's Doug Lombardi made it known yesterday that Left 4 Dead pre-orders at retail are already outpacing those of The Orange Box during the same time frame by 65%. Said Lombardi, "With just over four weeks until launch, Left 4 Dead is showing every sign of topping The Orange Box on both the PC and Xbox 360, at retail as well as on Steam." The upshot of all this? Evidently people like shooting zombies, and apparently they love shooting them with friends.

[Via Joystiq]

XBLA in Brief: Crazy Mouse, Age of Booty

Let's just put this out there: Age of Booty is really, really fun. We know this because the trial version (the trial version) allows you to try online multiplayer for two days. Why it's taken nearly three years for an Xbox Live Arcade game to offer online play in the trial version, we have no idea. We just hope it's the beginning of a beautiful trend. Oh, Crazy Mouse came out this week too. That's all you really need to know about that one. Check out the latest episode of XBLA in Brief above.

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First screens of Fable II's Master Chief outfit

Way back in August, we reported that a Master Chief outfit -- a Spartan outfit, if you want to get technical -- would be making an appearance in Fable II. Now, thanks to DailyGame, we have the first screenshots of the outfit, which is known as Hal's Outfit in the game.. It looks slightly different from the original images. Overall we'd say it's closer to the actual look of the Chief's iconic suit. Also pictured in the new screenshots is the energy sword -- Hal's Sword. It looks nice and all, but it only deals a paltry 22 damage, so let's hope it has some amazing bonus properties. Head over to DailyGame for more images.

John Schappert: 360 can run MGS4

Frankenstein's rumor just keeps on shambling. In the wake of a Konami representative saying that the company was "actively looking into" a 360 version of Metal Gear Solid 4, concerns about the 360's power have come back into play. Speaking to MCV, John Schappert, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Xbox Live, did his best to quell such thoughts saying, "I can't speak on behalf of Konami, but I can shed more light on the fact that we definitely have the power to run MGS4." He adds that there are several games running in "true high-def" on 360 and not on PS3.

Schappert also voices his personal desire to see MGS4 on 360 saying, "I'm certainly in the fan club that would love to see Kojima-san's masterpiece come our way," adding that it would be another example of a franchise that was previously exclusive to another console making its way to the Xbox 360. Was there any confirmation that the game is actually heading to 360? No. No there wasn't. Move along.

[Via Joystiq]

Free N+ level pack leaps onto XBLM

Tiny ninja fans rejoice! A new level pack for the high jumpin', wall slidin' platformer N+ is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Oh, but that's not all. It's also 100% completely, totally free! So, that's pretty cool right? The folks at Metanet have also annoucned a new "contesque" in which you could win a copy of N+ on your platform of choice. All you have to do is send a picture of an N+ related costume or craft, or a piece of digital art. Head over to Metanet for full details, and go get that level pack!

[Thanks, Brian. Via Joystiq]

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