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Posts with tag RareStudios

Create-a-Rare-Developer results are in!

The winner of Piñata Island's Create-a-Rare-Developer contest has been chosen. For those that don't recall, the purpose of the contest was to create a new piñata species (named after a Rare developer) for Viva Piñata. It looks like Piñata Island received loads of outstanding entries. In the end, though, it was the Goldipop (pictured above) that beat the odds and won the grand prize (a wild-card piñata). The piñata is named after Andy Pollington, fights with anchors and contains delicious orange suckers. Hit the "read" link to check out the runners-up and honorable mentions.

Has a 360 game inspired you to create anything artistic lately?

Perfect Dark Zero sequel on the way?

Seems like a good day for rumors springing from magazines, so why not add one more? This one comes to us courtesy of the Official Xbox Magazine. It seems that a recent press release regarding the next novel in the Perfect Dark series also mentioned a forthcoming sequel to the game itself. Given that Perfect Dark is really one of the only existing Rare IPs that Microsoft can leverage (Donkey Kong is out for obvious reasons), it makes sense that they would be gunning for a sequel. Perfect Dark Zero suffered from more than a few issues, no doubt brought on by a monstrous development cycle that saw the game jump from Gamecube to Xbox to Xbox 360 (the same thing that happened to Kameo, by the way). Considering these previous issues, a sequel designed from the ground up for the 360 is just what the doctor ordered. Still, with Halo 3 coming out later this year and a Gears of War sequel presumably falling in 2008, we wonder where Perfect Dark would fit.

For our two cents, we'd rather see a great sequel to Kameo, as the 360 is woefully short of decent platformers. At any rate, a sequel to Perfect Dark is all but assured. The only question is when.

Snag Jetpac for free from Gamertag Radio

So, have you played Jetpac Refuelled? Did you like it? By chance, did you like it, but not quite enough to spend 400 points on it? Maybe you just like free stuff. If any of this applies to you, head on over to Gamertag Radio, where Godfree and the gang are giving away a free copy of Jetpac Refuelled. Entering the contest is a snap, but you'll have to head over there for yourself to find out how. Hit the "read" link for the complete lowdown. Don't forget to tell GTR who sent you.

Jetpac lands on XBLA, shoots floating brains

Sure, it's not as exciting as, say, the Xbox 360 Elite, but there is a new Live Arcade game out this week. That game, as previously announced, is Jetpac Refuelled. Does it break the 50MB limit? No, quite the opposite in fact. Jetpac Refuelled clocks in at a dainty 21MB. So, go download the trial and see what you think. Should you desire to, ahem, go all the way, the full version can be had for 400 points.

Anyone enjoying the game so far?

Video: Jetpac's happy rainbow lasers

To help get the word out about next week's Xbox Live Arcade release, Jetpac Refuelled, Microsoft has released a trailer of the game in action. A small segment of the video is devoted to the retro version of the game, but the meat and potatoes, as it were, are spent on the Refuelled mode. The game is pretty sharp (and widescreen, by the way), with plenty of things happening on screen. There are tons of enemies to avoid whilst building your rocket ship, but fortunately there are some pretty effective weapons as well. The multiplayer mode, in which players race to build and fuel their rocket and be the first to escape, looks like it could be a lot of fun, too. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think. Should you desire to check it out in HD, head over to GameTrailers.

Viva Piñata demo now available

A demo of Viva Piñata is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Clocking in at just under a gig, the demo promises to let you raise your own sparrowmint piñata. Viva Piñata vets will know that sparrowmints are available fairly early in the game, but the demo should give players about 30 minutes to an hour plenty of gameplay. Considering the high hopes that Microsoft originally pinned on the game, we wonder why it took this long to release a demo. With any luck, maybe this will convince more gamers that Viva Piñata is worth checking out. Trust us, if you give it a chance, you'll find that Viva Piñata is very addictive.

Update: It looks like the demo has more gameplay than we thought. Enjoy.

First (blurry) shots of Jetpac Refuelled

Spanish website, Meristation, has posted the first shots of the upcoming Jetpac Refuelled for Xbox Live Arcade. For those with short memories, Jetpac Refuelled was recently uncovered as Rare's top-secret XBLA game. A remake of the original Jetpac, Refuelled looks to be much the same, with the addition of updated graphics, of course. Unfortunately, the shots posted are pretty blurry, but they still give us a good idea of what to expect from the game. Anyone have fond memories of the original? How many MS points would you spend on the XBLA version?

[Via Evil Avatar]

Rare making Live Arcade title

CVG reports that a recent issue of Edge magazine mentions that Rare is working on an Xbox Live Arcade title. The original title is reportedly under the direction of Nick Burton, who has previously worked on Starfox Adventures and Kameo: Elements of Power. Burton is heading up a ten man team to create the title. There isn't much more information available at this point, though it's a safe bet that the game will be colorful and quirky. While Rare's recent track record has been spotty, Viva Piñata proved that Rare can make an addicting game when they set their minds to it. Here's hoping the mystery Live Arcade title is up to snuff.

[Via Joystiq]

Rare's brothers in charge call it quits

Two of Rare's three founders, Chris and Tim Stamper, have decided to pack their bags and head for greener pastures. While some may assume that this departure is the result of Viva Piñata's undeservedly low sales and a string of games that failed to live up to their potential -- Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero -- Microsoft assures the world that the brothers are "simply leaving to pursue other opportunities." Studio veterans, Mark Betteridge and Greg Mayles will take over the roles of Studio Director and Creative Director, respectively.

Viva Piñata was quite an achievement, fellas. 360 Fanboy wishes the Stampers nothing but the best.

[Via Joystiq]

2007 sees Kameo on the big screen?

Kameo was a mixed bag, even for a launch title. The game was beautiful, it played reasonably well, but there was just something missing. The characters lacked spark and the world was perhaps a little too saccharine. Still, it was a decent first effort and it was sure as hell a sight better than Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Rare's first Microsoft effort. It looks like the lukewarm reception was enough for Microsoft, as a Kameo movie appears to be in the works, according to IMDB. The director listed is Sunmin Park, who most recently had a hand in the anime feature, Sky Blue. We haven't watched the film, but Siliconera reports that it was a beautiful, though somewhat empty experience.

Wait a minute, beautiful but empty? It's almost a perfect match! The only other bit of knowledge we have is that the film is slated for 2007. Anyone think Kameo is worth the ever increasing price of a movie ticket?

[Via Siliconera]

Viva Piñata: candy coated crack

360 Fanboy blogger, Dustin Burg, laid his hands on Viva Piñata a few days ago, and my rental copy showed up yesterday. Having finished blogging for the day, I popped the game into my 360. I did nothing else for two hours straight. I only stopped because my wife came home and we were going to dinner. When we got back from dinner (coincidentally, it was Mexican food), I showed Viva Piñata to my wife.

Now, we play a few games together -- mostly dungeon crawlers and puzzle games -- but for the most part, I am the gamer of the house. Still, she loves The Sims and it shares many similarities with VP. She started playing at 7:00 and did not set the controller down until nearly 11:00. The urge to do "just one more thing" is a quality that Viva Piñata absolutely nails. Whether it's meeting the mating requirements for a species, building that house, or just planting seeds, you will always have something you need to attend to. Once you've done that, you'll remember that other thing you wanted to do, and so on and so forth. So, let this be a warning for those who haven't picked this up, and those who want that perfect game for the casual gamers in your house: Viva Piñata will claim your soul and your 360. Remember that before you hand the controller over to someone else "just to try it out."

Metareview: Viva Piñata

Microsoft's Pokémon inspired children's title, Viva Piñata has finally hit the market and is picking up some reviews. Most of the reviews are very positive, though some note that Viva Piñata probably won't satisfy the twitch-happy Gears of War crowd. Then again, it's not really designed for action fans, though many reviews are claiming that it's actually very complex. Sitting somewhere between The Sims and Animal Crossing, Viva Piñata is performing admirably. It currently has an average of 85 on Metacritic.
  • Gamespot (8.3/10) - "It oozes charm and personality from its every papier-mâché-covered pore. While it's accessible enough for those with very little gaming experience (and their children), it also has enough depth to keep any of you with a Pokemon-style "gotta catch 'em all" mentality--or perhaps a penchant for gardening--entertained for many hours."
  • IGN (8.5/10) - "... it seems like a serious oversight to not include the ability to show off your garden in some way to your friends. Here is a game where you spend all of your time cultivating and shaping your garden space -- and you can't show it to anybody on Live. The only way for them to see it is to be right next to you."
  • 1UP (9/10) - "Rare has certainly recaptured its former glory here, and in producing one of the most misunderstood games of the year, it has also produced one of the finest in its history, and certainly one of the most intriguing on 360. To dismiss it as "just for kids" would be foolish. You are not too cool to enjoy this game."
1UP wasn't the only review to share the ironic sentiment that Viva Piñata -- a franchise specifically designed to rake in your kids' cash -- is one of the best Rare games in years. Will Microsoft's famous investment finally pay off?

Presenting some sweet Viva Piñata swag

The package pictured above showed up on Gamertag Radio's doorstep yesterday. The box had a copy of Viva Piñata, a "passport" to Piñata Island, some purple Easter grass, and of course, the piñata. A sweeter piece of game related swag we haven't seen in a long time. Yes, we're afraid that it even tops RoboBlitz T-shirts. Sadly, packages like this rarely make it past the automated Nerf turrets outside Fanboy Towers -- they're not lethal, just really annoying. It's too bad really, because it's a nice bit of kit we could have given away. Speaking of Viva Piñata, has anybody picked it up yet? Is it any good?

An actual Viva Piñata ... piñata?

It's natural really. American Greetings has signed a deal with 4Kids Entertainment to create, ahem, "social expression products" based on Microsoft's would be Pokémon killer, Viva Piñata. These products are to include stickers, gift wrap, gift bags, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments, and (drum roll please) party goods! Oh please, let them make honest-to-God piñatas. I actually saw a Viva Piñata branded piñata while picking up my copy of GOW, but I think it was purely promotional. Besides, it was tiny. It would hold, like, hardly any candy at all. So, if you love (or hate) Viva Piñata and would dearly like to smash your own, your dream is one step closer to reality. Don't get your hopes up just yet, though: the product line isn't scheduled to launch until Fall of 2007.

Full press release after the break.

Continue reading An actual Viva Piñata ... piñata?

PDZ gets new maps, world still turns

It's been a long time since Perfect Dark: Zero received any downloadable content. It should come as a joyful surprise to loyal fans then, that there is a new map pack available for download on Marketplace. It should come as an even better surprise that the content is free. The pack contains two new maps, Facility and Ruin. Both maps are based on classic maps from previous games.

Just curious, but who's still playing PDZ? Any die-hard fans out there? Tell us what has made the game appealing for so long. Will these new maps convince lapsed fans to go back?

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