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Video: Perfect Dark Zero on the black box


It is no secret that post Microsoft buyout, Rare planned on releasing Perfect Dark Zero to the big, black, original Xbox. But then another console came down the development pipeline, the Xbox 360 was announced, Microsoft needed launch titles and so Rare had to move PDZ's development from the Xbox to the 360. The final product ended up just dandy fine (except for some interesting physics issues), but we always wondered what Joanna Dark would have looked like on the Xbox. Well, our insistent wondering is no more as some of the early tech demo footage of PDZ running on the original Xbox has surfaced.

Watch the pretty Xbox particle effects glisten in the video after the break and admire the crazy amazing polygon count in the video above. True, PDZ may have ended up looking much, much prettier on the 360, but we can't deny the fact that it didn't look all that bad back on the Xbox. Especially those sparks. Original Xbox PDZ spark effects FTW!

[Thanks, Nick B]

Continue reading Video: Perfect Dark Zero on the black box

Rumor: Perfect Dark Zero 2 in dev for 360

We haven't got to chat about juicy gaming rumors for what seems to be ages, so when a new rumor came into our inbox that is so obvious, so ... well, juicy we just had to share. Indian website Gameguru is claiming that they have insider sources within' developer Rare who confirmed that they're working on a 360 exclusive Perfect Dark Zero 2 that's set to be announced late next year. Supposedly, the PDZ sequel will be much darker (aren't all games going the darker route now a days?), based on morality and feature fully interactive environments (which every next-gen game claims). We refuse to say anything bad about seeing a twisted, darker Joanna Dark in a 360 sequel, so here's to hoping this rumor turns out to be true. Rather sad though is the fact that we'll have to wait another year to confirm or deny this PDZ 2 rumor ... oh lucky us.

[Thanks, Stephen Chan]

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.

A real Xbot grabs PDZ achievements


360 Fanboys, Xbots, Micro$ux, these are all words that are bandied about on your typical Microsoft/Sony flame war. We're naturally fond of the fanboy moniker (we're taking it back), but we've got a soft spot for Xbot, too. Xbot evokes the image of Bill Gates leading his robot army towards the impending Robot Apocalypse®, and that makes us smile. Imagine our excitement when we saw this video of a working Xbot. Unfortunately, it doesn't conquer the world, it just plays Perfect Dark: Zero. In fact, it doesn't really even play per se. Created by David Harr (gamertag: Diego Knyte), it just starts another match once the current match ends. Why, you ask? To earn 60 gamerscore points, of course! The robot was built specifically to complete the "Played 1000 Dark Ops Games" and "Played 1000 Deathmatch Games" achievements. It supposedly took 10 hours to design and build. All this to avoid 40 hours of gameplay. That's 30 hours saved! Good job, Diego Knyte!

[Via Live Gamer]

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?

New 360 Platinum Hits for $29.99

It's platinum, get it?Microsoft has officially announced the first batch of Platinum Hits for the Xbox 360. The games are:

Perfect Dark Zero
Project Gotham Racing 3
Kameo: Elements of Power
Need for Speed Most Wanted

Conspicuously missing from the list is Call of Duty 2, the 360's first million seller. The first four Platinum Hits will be available for the bargain price of $29.99 starting October 15th -- the second set should be announced in the spring of 2007. It's a far cry from what we considered a bargain last gen, but it's definitely better than nothing. So, for those of you that haven't picked these up yet, will a $29.99 price tag make you reconsider?

See the full press release after the break.

Continue reading New 360 Platinum Hits for $29.99

Viva PiƱata gameplay revealed


If you've been hungering to know (and see) more specifics regarding Rare's upcoming game, Viva Piñata, take a gander at this massive video demonstration from Leipzig. Clocking in at over twenty minutes long, the video goes over just about everything you've wanted to know, including:
  • Attracting piñatas to your garden
  • Tending said garden
  • Piñata romance (rowr!)
  • Xbox Live features
  • Piñatas, piñatas, piñatas.
The game looks great. Rare's first game developed entirely on the 360 is colorful, vibrant, and overall very nice. Check out the video if you've got the time to kill.

Anyone else think it's strange not to have a third person avatar in a children's game?

PDZ Map Pack One perfectly available

Following a premature announcement that temporarily left Joanna fans in the dark, PDZ  Map Pack One is now perfectly available on XBLM for 500 MS Points. The new content includes four multiplayer maps: Plaza, Rooftops, Trench, and GasPlant.

Fanboys, you've had a day to download. Please zero in with your impressions of the new real estate. Was it worth the price?

PDZ bot personality goes a long way

Are new and improved bot personalities enough to get Joanna Dark  back in the Xbox Live Top 10? Major Nelson has the deets on the new Perfect Dark: Zero auto-update:

DarkOps Bots. AI-controlled Bots are no longer relegated to DeathMatch games. Now they can challenge human players in any of the DarkOps multiplayer games. Just like in DeathMatch games, Bots can be used in either Live games or in offline games.

Additional AI variants for Bots. The PDZ team was not satisfied with just one version of Bot AI. Now a total of eight Bot Personalities are available. Is someone dominating everyone else in a match? Send a Judge Bot after them. Want to add chaos and confusion? Add some Feud Bots into the mix.

Vanilla = Original Bot AI. 
Ghost = Invisible apart from when firing its weapon. 
Judge = Attacks the player with the most kills. 
Bully = Attacks the player with the least kills. 
Venge = Attacks the last person that killed them. 
Feud = Chooses a new random target on each spawn and hunts them down. 
Prey = Picks on the player with lowest armor and health.
Random = Uses a random Bot Personality.


Personality goes a long way. I'm sure plenty of people will dust of their copy, if only to Judge the hell out of the diehard Perfect Dark fanboys who never started using the disc as a coaster.

[Thanks to c_tang77 et. al.]

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