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Valve's Lombardi talks Portal XBLA, achievements and other platforms

Valve's Doug Lombardi (seen muzzled by an X3F sticker at E3 2008) recently cleared up some confusion regarding the content of Portal: Still Alive for the Xbox Live Arcade in an interview with OXM. "It's just a series of new challenges," Lombardi told the magazine. "[Portal: Still Alive is] another way for people to experience Portal, without having to buy the full Orange Box."

We can't say we're surprised. With such a focus on story we didn't expect Valve to do anything exclusively for the Xbox that would factor into actual canon of the series.

Lombardi later detailed that Valve has new projects in the works for the Xbox 360 but remain firm on its disinterest for PS3 and Wii development. It was also confirmed that Team Fortess 2 that the achievements and content added to the PC version of the game will come to the Xbox 360 at some point, when
Valve has worked out how it wants to package and release that content.

No joke, it's Portal's 'Still Alive' in Japanese

Nearly every fanboy knows about Portal's hit song "Still Alive". A Jonathan Coulton original song performed by Aperture Science's artificial intelligence GLaDOS that has been so popular, it made its way onto Rock Band. Well, now Japanese and not so Japanese Portal fans can experience "Still Alive" a new way, translated into Japanese and sung by Hatsune Miku, a character voice that's included as part of the Vocaloid software package. What more can we say? It's "Still Alive", it's Japanese, it's odd and it's hella' entertaining.

Team Fortress 2 DLC details being worked out

As PC gamers have known for some time, Team Fortress 2 has been receiving some significant updates, including more achievements and weapons. For some time it was unknown what sort of release these updates would see on 360, the existence of the achievements hinting that it would see some sort of release. Speaking at EA's Spring Showcase, Doug Lombardi of Valve said that there would be details coming soon on the content and confirmed that it would be seeing release. Apparently the devs were waiting for enough new content to create a DLC "Pack", which is more conducive to the 360's downloadable content structure. Unfortunately, there is no word now as to whether the pack will be free like its PC counter-part. Hopefully the forthcoming info including good news about the DLC's pricing.

X3F TV -- Points>Life: Your Own Worst Enemy

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 Orange Box. While we could have copped out and threw out one of the easy achievements we tip you off on getting a hand-full of points in this fantastic compilation. Grab points in both Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 by following our guide above!

Music Credit:
"Collateral Damage Pt. 2" by Critical Mood

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Valve: No Portal sequel in 2008

Sad news fellow Companion Cube lovers, Valve just confirmed that gamers won't be able to experience a second round of Portal fun anytime this year. The reason? They simply don't want to make it a rush job.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Valve's Doug Lombardi broke down their decision by saying that they don't want to "quickly replicate it [a Portal sequel] and stick it out there - do the opportunistic thing and cash in on it", and will instead be sticking to a formula where a Portal "successor has to be equally as revolutionary as the first." Lombardi went on to say that "you won't see a new Portal at retail this Christmas because of that. That's the trade off. People want more, but we don't want to give them more of the same right away because that would just be boring."

There you have it, no new Portal funnery this year. But we have a feeling a fully beefed out and revolutionary Aperture Science experience will be headed our way come 2009.

Team Fortress 2: Meet the Scout

Brooklyn Boston born and raised let us introduce you to the Scout; one of the stars of the hit title Team Fortress 2. While you may have thought the scrawny Southie kid was another pawn in the game of tactical shooters, you'd be wrong. In the informative video above we get to learn the truth about the kid who might run like the wind, but won't back down from any fight. You might think this video is a little late to the party, but we dare you to not laugh when the Scout puts a beating on that poor Heavy.

Latest Team Fortress 2 update is now live [update]

Update: We're now more informed about the changes that went into effect with this latest update. Check out all the details here.

Recently, Valve's magical Orange Box received a title update with its sole purpose being fixification of Team Fortress 2. Though, sadly, we don't know exactly what changes the update made seeing that Valve has no central news hub for Xbox 360 Orange Box owners. All we get are PC centric updates like this. Evil Valve. But we're guessing the update has something to do with changes that were mentioned a few months back. We're also hearing from our oh so reliable X3F tipsters that the TF2 update adds the option for 14 player games, auto-balance management and other general class enhancements. Again, we can't be exactly sure what modifications were made seeing that Valve doesn't have a central news hub. Did we get that point across yet? Ahem, Valve, we need you to update us on things like this. Mmkay? And until they do, if while surfing the internets you spot a list or breakdown of what changes were put in place with the latest auto-update, please drop us a line. Thanks much.

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Half-Life 2 Ep 2 demo makes the XBLM colorful

Wowzaz! We've just been blindsided by a new game demo on the XBLM this morning, we didn't even see it coming, but oddly enough we're loving it.

Available for download off the Marketplace to nearly all Xbox Live members around the globe is a brand new, Thanksgiving surprise The Orange Box: Half-Life 2 Episode 2 demo from team Valve. The demo, which we expect to feature only HL2 EP2 fun and not any other Orange Box goods, will take up 732MB of hard drive space and will probably leave you wanting more Orange Box fun ... especially Portal. Speaking of which, we're overjoyed about today's surprise HL2, but where's the Portal demo? We want demand Portal and we want demand cake!

X3F Achievements 101: The Way the World Ends

Welcome to another edition of the weekly Gamerscore whoring extravaganza, X3F Achievements 101. As usual, I'll discuss the latest in unlocking Achievements, or discuss any news that's especially pertinent to the Achievement obsessed. This week covers the painful to play, yet easy to complete Fuzion Frenzy 2, the near perfect list for Halo 3, and the just released Orange Box. All that and more is available after the break, so dive in.

Continue reading X3F Achievements 101: The Way the World Ends

Take a tour of the Team Fortress 2 maps

Alright, so we're beginning to understand the characters of Team Fortress 2, but what about their environment? In what sorts of places will we be wreaking havoc? A series of videos has been released giving a brief glimpse of each of Team Fortress 2's six maps: Hydro, Gravel Pit, Well, 2 Fort, Granary, and Dust Bowl. Unfortunately, all the videos are done in a grainy, almost black-and-white style that doesn't exactly mesh with YouTube. Hopefully we'll see some high resolution versions of these videos soon. Still, you can get an idea of the layout of each map and the game types available on them. We've embedded the rest of the videos after the break.

Continue reading Take a tour of the Team Fortress 2 maps

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