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Fanswag: Win Gears of War 2 and a pile of swag!

click to embiggen
This is it kids, the mother of all Gears of War 2 giveaways. In the image above, you can see the following:
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War novel Aspho Fields
  • Gears of War art book
  • Gears of War comic book
  • Gears of War hoodie
  • Gears of War messenger bag
  • One limited edition red wireless Xbox 360 controller
As sweet as this pile of swag it, get this: We have two sets to giveaway. The first prize winner gets the swag stash with the limited edition of Gears of War 2, and our second prize gets the same swag stash with the standard edition of Gears of War 2. Let us assure you, the messenger bag and hoodie are nice. The messenger back even has a laptop pocket. Anyway, enough about the swag. Here's how you win:
  • Gears of War is famous for having a gun with a chainsaw bayonet. Leave a comment on this post describing another object you'd like to see attached to a (virtual) gun.
  • You may leave one comment. Posters of multiple comments will be disqualified. We'll accept entries until 5:00PM eastern today, Friday, November 7th. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. This giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • On Friday, we'll pick two winners via a random drawing.
  • One grand prize winner will receive one Gears of War 2 Limited Edition, one Gears of War novel, one Gears of War art book, one Gears of War comic book, one Gears of War hoodie, one Gears of War messenger bag, one red wireless Xbox 360 controller worth approximately $200 total. One second prize winner will receive one Gears of War 2 Standard Edition, one Gears of War novel, one Gears of War art book, one Gears of War comic book, one Gears of War hoodie, one Gears of War messenger bag, one red wireless Xbox 360 controller worth approximately $190 total.
  • Complete giveaway rules can be found here.

X3F TV -- Gears of War 2: Multiplayer Map Preview Part Two

In our second and final part of our Gears of War 2 multiplayer map preview we take a look at the five remaining maps included on the retail disc. Why do we make this distinction? Well, those of your who purchase a new copy of Gears of War 2 -- sorry rental fans and used game buyers -- will nab five bonus maps. In this view we run through Pavilion, River, Ruins, Security and Stasis and explore weapon placement as well as the environmental effects found in the maps.

Check out our Flashback Map Preview video to check out how those bonus maps stack up against the original versions found in Gears of War and the first part of our Gears of War 2 Multiplayer Map Preview. We're so close to release, we can almost hear the chainsaws.

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X3F Week in Review: October 31, 2008 - November 6, 2008

It's all about Gears of War 2 at X3F this week. You can check out lots of Gears 2 features in the links below, and we have more on the way before the week is out. More importantly though, we have an absolutely huge giveaway going down tomorrow. We're not just giving away the game either. Oh no. It's much bigger than that. You'll find out what it is tomorrow (at 10:00am), but for now we'll just tease you with the image above.

X3F Gears of War 2 launch week

Video: World at War 'slow-mo' launch trailer

Activision and Treyarch just released the official Call of Duty: World at War launch trailer and it comes complete with fire, assassination moves, explosions and a ten gallon jug full of slow motion effects. The kind of super slow motion that only enhances the action on screen. Enjoy the trailer, enjoy slow motion, and enjoy the rock n' rollin' musical track. It's a World at War.

AOL Radio premieres Gears of War 2 soundtrack

If you have nothing better to do than surf the internets, then we recommend tuning into AOL Radio's Video Scores Channel. Not only will you have the soothing musicial beats of your favorite video games pumping through your speakers while navigating the world wide web, but you'll also be one of the first to hear tracks from the Gears of War 2 soundtrack.

All day, every hour, on the hour, the Video Scores Channel over at AOL Radio will be debuting the melodic beats from the Gears 2 soundtrack. Go ahead, gearhead, tune in.

X3F TV -- Gears of War 2: Multiplayer Map Preview Part One

We've already shown you the bonus maps -- only available to people who purchase a new copy of Gears of War 2 -- now we're continuing with the rest of the maps. In this first of two videos we examine the multiplayer maps included on the retail disc for Gears of War 2. Watch as we run through the maps Avalanche, Blood Drive, Day One, Hail and Jacinto showcasing some of the weapons found throughout the map as well as the various environmental effects you'll encounter when the game launches tomorrow.

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New 'Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection' from Sega, 40 titles included

Sega has just announced a positively massive collection of Genesis games entitled Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. There are 40 titles planned to be included in the collection from the outset with more unlockable content in addition to that, including more games and interviews with creators. The collection is being developed by Backbone, the same company responsible for Sega's current Xbox Live Arcade offerings (as well as a metric ton of other XBLA classic rereleases). Some of the games included include the Sonic the Hedgehog series, four Phantasy Star titles (!), the Vectorman series, Space Harrier, Columns, and even Kid Chameleon (it's also hinted that Eternal Champions will be included). All the games in the collection have been "converted" to high definition and will be output in 720p. To top everything else, the collection will retail for only $29.99. The only caveat thus far is that it appears the collection won't support any sort of online multiplayer, as the game details page notes that players can play "with a friend from the same console at home."

Still, 40 games for 30 bucks is a damned good deal, and one that older gamers will find particularly difficult to resist. The initial list of 40 games is after the break. Sega plans to announce the unlockable titles "soon."

[Via Joystiq]

Source - Sega's press release
Source - Sega's game details page

Continue reading New 'Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection' from Sega, 40 titles included

Activision 2009 lineup is frigging 'uge

Our older, wiser siblings at Joystiq were lucky enough to sit in on a recent Activision Blizzard conference call, learning lots of details regarding the company's 2009 lineup. Publishing guru Mike Griffith noted that there would be 70 retail SKUs hitting shelves from Activision next year, representing a jump of 40% over 2008. As industry followers might expect, a considerable number of those SKUs will be covered by Call of Duty and Guitar Hero iterations. Joystiq notes that it's unclear if there will actually be multiple Call of Duty titles released, or if Griffith was referring to multiple SKUs of the same title -- i.e. Call of Duty 6 SKUs for PS3, 360, Wii, etc. Make no mistake though, there will be multiple Guitar Hero titles released in 2009 (we bet we can guess one of them).

Beyond those stalwart series, Acti-Blizzard is planning games based on movies including Monsters vs Aliens, Ice Age, Transformers and Wolverine. Also in the works are Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, a "newly reinvented" Tony Hawk, Wolfenstein and another James Bond title that won't be tied to a movie. Finally, there is a smattering of new IP, with plans to release Singularity, Prototype, a new racing title from Bizarre Creations, an unnamed Sierra title that Activision held onto after acquiring the company and some more unannounced titles (Brütal Legend, please?).

Reminder: Win GoW2 COG, huge giveaway Friday

You have less than two hours to enter for a chance to win a copy of Gears of War 2 Limited Edition and the cool neat nifty epic Last Day metal COG tag. It's a promotional item, dont'cha know.

To enter our Gears of War 2 fanswag giveaway, simply make your way over to the official blog and post comment by 5:00PM eastern. Note too that even if you entered yesterday you can enter a second time today. So, get to it!

Also, we wanted to tease everyone in regards to what we have planned for tomorrow's Gears of War 2 launch day giveaway. Let's just say there will be a HUGE Gears 2 fanswag surprise this Friday. Feeling teased yet?

Halo Wars releases in Feb, LE comes with Mythic Map Pack

click to enlarge
Microsoft has announced that Halo Wars, the Halo-themed RTS from Ensemble Studios, will launch in February 2009. Furthermore, the company has announced that a limited edition version of the game will be released and detailed its contents. Retailing for $79.99, the limited edition of Halo Wars includes:
  • Three new Halo 3 (not Halo Wars) multiplayer maps. The maps include Assembly, Orbital, and Sandbox. You might recognize those maps as the upcoming Mythic Map Pack.
  • Halo Wars: Genesis -- A graphic novel by Phil Noto, Ensemble's own Graeme Devine and Halo novelist Eric Nylund. The novel details the first human conflict with the Covenant and "centers around the Spirit of Fire on a mission to discover why the Covenant are so interested in the world of Harvest."
  • The "Honor Guard" Wraith in-game vehicle
  • Six "Leader Cards." Trading cards, we're guessing, or something like them.
  • Spirit of Fire Patch. You know, the iron-on kind. Have fun explaining what it means to your non-gaming friends.
The press release also notes that those who pre-order at certain (unannounced) retailers will get a code to unlock a Warthog vehicle with flame decals.

While we're intrigued by the graphic novel, we have to admit the inclusion of the Mythic Map Pack is a pretty crafty move. The announcement says that those with the Halo Wars LE will be among "the first to experience the Mythic Map Pack," which implies that they can get their hands on the maps before they become available to the general public. We get the feeling that a lot of Halo players are suddenly very interested in RTS games.

Kingdom for Keflings launches with NXE, Avatars playable

click to enlarge

Gamerscore Blog has announced that A Kingdom for Keflings, the upcoming XBLA game from NinjaBee, will be available on November 19, the same day as the release of the New Xbox Experience. More importantly, GSB has announced something about as surprising as something that isn't surprising at all: Avatars can be used as playable characters in the game. You may recall that the game was shown though not mentioned in a recent video about Avatars. In the game, players can use their Avatar as the giant character, ordering their Keflings around and building their city. As you can see in the screen above, up to four players can play in the same game. The announcement also adds that A Kingdom for Keflings "works perfectly" with the NXE's party system. We hope party experience is a bit more seamless than it is with older 360 games.

A Kingdom for Keflings
will launch on November 19 for 800 Microsoft Points.

Rock Band DLC: Foo Fighters 'Colour and the Shape' album

Next week's Rock Band DLC was just announced (a day early) where Harmonix's hmxsean just informed us that the entire Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape album will be available for purchase off the XBLM next Tuesday, November 11th.

As expected, all twelve The Colour and the Shape tracks (minus Rock Band 2's "Everlong") will be purchasable for 160 Microsoft points apiece or as an entire album for 1600 points. Look below for a bulleted list of next Tuesday's Foo Fighters Rock Band DLC.
  • "Doll"
  • "Monkey Wrench"
  • "Hey, Johnny Park!"
  • "My Poor Brain"
  • "Wind Up"
  • "Up in Arms"
  • "My Hero"
  • "See You"
  • "Enough Space"
  • "February Stars"
  • "Walking After You"
  • "New Way Home"
[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Video: NFS takes on the fuzz, goes Undercover

Embedded after the break is the latest Need for Speed: Undercover trailer "Cop Chase" and, from the title alone, you can deduce that there are cops, chases and cops participating in a chase. Surprising though is that the trailer is actually pretty decent and succeeds in its purpose, piquing our interest and getting us interested in the latest NFS iteration. We're not sure if this trailer is representative of the entire Undercover experience, but here's to hoping it is. Thumbs up to "Cop Chase".

Continue reading Video: NFS takes on the fuzz, goes Undercover

X3F TV -- Gears of War 2: Flashback Map Pack

Tomorrow, one of the most anticipated titles of the year ships with a sizable bonus regardless of which version you pick up. On top of the ten included multiplayer maps in Gears of War 2, Epic Games has included a download code within each new copy of the game to download five additional maps. Taken from the original Gears of War, the Flashback Map Pack not only adds a dose of nostalgia to the Gears of War 2 multiplayer experience but it keeps the action fresh with new designs for each of the maps in the pack.

The waters of Canals have been frozen, Gridlock has been taken over by lush vegetation, Tyro Station seems to have had an upgrade in tech, Mansion appears more abandoned than ever before and Subway had dried up and now rains pieces of ash from the ongoing war.

Want to see the changes for yourself, in action? Check out our video that includes footage from the in-game Battle Camera.

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7-11 breaking Gears of War 2 street date

We've been receiving many reports that 7-11 convenience stores are selling Gears of War 2 before its November 7 release (hey, that's tomorrow!). Even Penny Arcade's Tycho managed to grab a copy early. We're not sure how wide spread it is, but if anyone out there is eager to get their Gears fix right now, head to your local 7-11 and see if you can't snag a copy. We'd suggest being coy about it, maybe just ask to see what games they have. Once you lay your eyes on Gears of War 2, you might say something along the lines of "hey, that game looks pretty neat. I'll take it, good sir (or madame)." Then casually produce your payment, grab the game, and run like mad.

[Thanks to dizzy for the image]

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