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Posts with tag Atari

Hands-on: RACE Pro

To say that Sweden-based developer SimBin is kind of good at creating simulation racers would be akin to saying that Shigeru Miyamoto has marginally influenced the direction of video games. Racing, quite frankly, is SimBin's forte. With almost as many accolades as Mario Andretti has championship wins, SimBin has truly mastered the PC as their platform of choice on which to create realistic racing simulations.

That's all well and good, but how will such a thorough level of authenticity transfer over to the Xbox 360, a device with fixed hardware and eight buttons of input? SimBin's answer comes in the form of RACE Pro, a simulation racer developed specifically for the Xbox 360, and one we took for a test drive at a recent Atari press event.

Continue reading Hands-on: RACE Pro

RACE Pro demo before year's end, release in Jan.

Atari and SimBin's rather generic looking racer RACE Pro has just been confirmed for release in January 2009 after initially being slated for release this Fall. With that announcement comes word that a RACE Pro demo (featuring both single and online multilplayer modes) will release to the Xbox Live Marketplace sometime before Christmas. Please, fanboys, try to contain your racing excitement.

Reminder: win Smash Court Tennis 3

Hey kids, don't forget that there's still time to win a copy of Smash Court Tennis 3. Featuring real pros, not so real courts, a create-a-player option and online play, it's ... well, it's tennis (and it has achievements). If that sounds like your cup of tea, head over to the official giveaway post and enter. Remember that we have three copies to give away and you can enter once a day, so come back tomorrow for one last chance before the giveaway ends at Noon (ET).

Fanswag Weekly: Smash Court Tennis 3

It's time for another round of fanswag, folks. This week we've got three copies of Smash Court Tennis 3 up for grabs. Featuring the new Pro Tour mode, Smash Court Tennis 3 allows gamers to create their own custom characters and build their stats as they climb the ranks. Of course, if you don't feel like creating your own character, you can always choose a seasoned pro like Maria Sharapova. You can also take the game online with up to four players. For your shot at a copy, follow these directions:
  • Leave a comment on this post about your favorite tennis shot. Feel free to make one up if you like.
  • You may leave one comment per calendar day, Eastern Time. Posters of multiple comments in a single calendar day will be disqualified. We'll accept entries until 12:00PM Noon, Eastern Time, September 5th, 2008. 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 three winners via a random drawing.
  • Three winners will receive a copy of Smash Court Tennis 3, worth $60
  • Complete giveaway rules can be found here

PS3 Alone in the Dark fixes coming to 360

There are a lot of things that Alone in the Dark does very well. Building yourself a Molotov cocktail and subsequently taping a box of ammunition to it is not without its charm. Throwing said contraption onto a hapless zombie? Well that's just awesome. Unfortunately, other much more simple things, like camera controls, driving and combat can be a chore. Thankfully, it looks like developer Eden games if fixing many of these issues in the PS3 version. Even better, an upcoming patch should implement many of the improvements into the Xbox 360 version.

For example, Edward Carnby, the game's protagonist, now runs by default (rather than when the A button is held). Walking is accomplished by gently pushing the analog stick (what a revolutionary idea). Many other changes, including a better -- and manually controlled -- camera and improved driving controls, improve the game substantially according to Eurogamer. Exactly which PS3 improvements will make it into the 360 version remains unclear, but we'll happily take anything that can improve Alone in the Dark's more annoying aspects.

Alone in the Dark and Wall-E demos now on XBLM

Major Nelson just sent word that, earlier this morning, two new game demos were lovingly placed on the Xbox Live Marketplace and are now available for download. The new demos include a 1.35GB Central Park horror experience in Alone in the Dark as well as a 1.44GB Wall-E demo. We'll probably give Alone in the Dark a test drive, but we're not sure about Wall-E due to his evil attack on Richard. Our fellow blogger couldn't sleep for weeks because of it.

Source - Alone in the Dark demo
Source - Wall-E demo

Video: Alone in the Dark meets Benny Hill

Speeding up a film and adding "Yakety Sax" as the background music makes anything funny. We all know that. While that holds true for this Alone in the Dark video, it's also interesting to note that the additions make it particularly poignant as well. You see, Alone in the Dark has greatness tucked inside of it, but often the greatness is hampered by the difficulty inherent in the simplest tasks.

Case in point, this video covers a sequence early in Alone in the Dark in which the game prompts you to break a car window so that you can open the door and steal it. The only problem is that the game's inventive yet wonky control scheme makes breaking that itty-bitty window about as difficult as taking down a Big Daddy.

Out of curiosity, how many of you out there are trudging through Alone in the Dark despite its faults?

X3F TV -- Points>Life: Shedding Light on Secrets

Each week, X3F tips gamers to the tricks of the trade of Achievement hording in Points>Life. Every week a new achievement is unlocked to help you continue your unhealthy obsession with the Xbox 360 meta-game.

This week in Points>Life we tackle the return of Alone in the Dark. From developer Eden Games and publisher Atari, Alone in the Dark is a strange game to judge. What it does well, it does very well but major technical issues could halt your desire to progress through the survival-horror classic's revamp. Either way bad game design has never been an issue for achievement fiends and this week we uncover three secret achievements in the game.

Due to Canada Day celebrations Points>Life is hitting today rather than Tuesday. Expect Points>Life next week at its regular time.

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Some Alone in the Dark footage to ponder

With Alone in the Dark finally shipping this week, we thought it fitting to cram one last post with a few gameplay videos. The first video is a melange of scenes from the game, giving a glimpse at the game's story (and more than a few bleeped f-bombs). It certainly looks exciting, though the other three videos (embedded after the break) definitely reveal some of the clunkier elements cited in European reviews so far (voice acting, controls). As of right now, there aren't exactly a lot of choices for 360 survival horror fans (though there are plenty on the way). As such, will you be overlooking the noted faults in Alone in the Dark in the hope that the game is more than the sum of its parts?

Continue reading Some Alone in the Dark footage to ponder

X3F Impressions: Deer Hunter Tournament

Click to enlarge

Donnie Clay crawled as quietly as possible through thick lines of vegetation. He paused as his head broke free of the brush. In front of him was a jumble of hoof tracks that criss-crossed in every direction. Smiling, Donnie pressed a button on his Xbox 360 controller. "There's a tracking system in Deer Hunter Tournament," he said. "If you find deer tracks and aren't quite sure what they are, you can press a button which will orient you to the track."

Now set on the proper course, the producer of publisher Atari's Deer Hunter Tournament rose to his feet and continued to creep quietly forward. His high-caliber rifle, gripped in gloved fists, was equipped with a thermal scope.

A tracking system, and a scope capable of reading heat temperatures? Yes, Bambi appeared to be doomed -- so long as Donnie was able to claim him faster than legions of other eager hunters.

Continue reading X3F Impressions: Deer Hunter Tournament

Alone in the Dark demo still MIA, still coming

Your memory isn't failing you, way back in April Atari did promise to release an Alone in the Dark demo to the XBLM by the end of May. Thus far, we still haven't seen it even though the game hits retailers this week. But fear not, you can still safely hold out hope for an Alone in the Dark demo, because Atari has re-confirmed with Eurogamer that they still plan on releasing the demo in the "coming weeks". Honestly, we were excited to try the demo simply because we thought it would release prior to the game's official release, since then our demo excitement level has decreased a bit. We also don't know if we should trust Atari's word anymore, so we'll just have to wait and see if their latest promise ends up being fulfilled in the next few weeks.

X3F Impressions: Smash Court Tennis 3

Click to enlarge

No one likes riding in the middle of a car's backseat area. You're sandwiched in, crushed from one side and into the other regardless of which way the driver has to turn, and worst of all, the position is often associated with a derogatory term for the female dog.

If you're cunning, though, the role of middle-backseat passenger can be used to harness the strengths of both your fellow rear passengers for your own good. Forge a temporary alliance during one turn so that you and one passenger crush the other against his door. Then, on an opposite turn, revoke the ceasefire and cause much harm to your former ally.

Namco Bandai's Smash Court Tennis 3 makes similar use of its middle position against its two primary competitors, SEGA's Virtua Tennis 3 and 2K Sports's Top Spin 3. "You've got Virtua Tennis at the arcade end of the spectrum, and you've got Top Spin at the Simulation end," explained Smash Court Tennis 3 producer David Geudelekian during a recent preview event. "Smash Court Tennis very intelligently tows the middle ground. You can jump right into the game and [within] 30 seconds, you can play an arcade-style match: lots of powerups, sensitive aim. But there's also a really deep experience if you want more of a simulation."

Continue reading X3F Impressions: Smash Court Tennis 3

Alone in the Dark producer talks design

At a recent Atari event, the same one in which Phil Harrison stated that Atari would no longer pursue big budget, single-player titles, Gamasutra sat down with Nour Polloni, producer of Alone in the Dark. The interview focuses mainly on the gameplay and design choices that Eden made for the game. Of particular interest is Polloni's thoughts on the game's open design, which allows players to solve problems in ways that make sense to them. Said Polloni, "we didn't want you to search for the golden key to open the door." She emphasizes that players shouldn't be asking themselves what they can't do within the game. In other words, if a player thinks of a logical way to open the door -- smashing it with a fire extinguisher, for example -- it will work. It all boils down to logic and accessibility.

It's really a refreshing idea, and one we'd like to see implemented in more games. The interview is a worthwhile read. We suggest you check it out. Oh, and just so you know Polloni isn't merely spewing hot air, check out Joystiq's (very positive) impressions of the game.

Alone in the Dark sees the light, goes gold

Exciting news Alone in the Dark fanboys, Atari just announced today that the Joystiq approved and fire friendly Alone in the Dark has wrapped up development and has gone gold. Currently being copied to DVD at some manufacturing plant overseas, Alone in the Dark will arrive on the Xbox 360 in Europe on June 20th and a few days later, June 24th to North America. And for comparison's sake, it will release to the PS3 sometime later his Fall. Central Park will not be the same later this month, so we advise walking your dog or doing the picnic thing in the park prior to experiencing Alone in the Dark.

Video: Finally! Some Alone in the Dark enemies

Until now, there hasn't been much talk of the enemies Edward Carnby will be facing in Alone in the Dark. We've seen a few random enemies, but thus far, no real details have been revealed. Thanks be to Eden Games then, as they have released a new developer video that explains the game's enemies and what you'll be doing to combat them. You'd better learn how to dispatch them too, as the video explains they will track you down, even following your trail of blood to do so. Thankfully, Edward can come up with plenty of impromptu weapons using his inventory and the environment. Enough talking about it though. Go ahead and watch the video.

Getting excited yet or do you still need convincing?

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