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Portal: Still Alive teleports to the XBLA, requires hard drive

Update: As a commenter pointed out, Portal: Still Alive clocks in at 630MB. Microsoft increased the XBLA limit to 350MB in May. With memory cards capped at 512MB, Portal: Still Alive becomes the first Arcade title that cannot fit on a memory card and requires a hard drive.

Original Story: Is it possible to write this post without the following references: cake, lies and catchy songs? Well, let's see how this works out.

Now available on the Xbox Live Arcade is the Valve title that landed on over 30 Game of the Year lists in 2007 with an additional 14 maps: Portal: Still Alive. Asking 1200MS points, this version of Portal is the same title released last year but includes new challenge maps -- that would be the 14 we mentioned before -- making it a solid package for new gamers to the game. For the rest of us who've played it, we could see the benefit of grabbing the pack if we've ditched our copy of The Orange Box and wanted to net 200 new achievement points. Who here is picking Portal: Still Alive up on the Xbox Live Arcade today?

Hey, look at that. We finished this post without mentioning the cake, lies or the catchy song ... uh, those don't count.

XBLA in Brief: Crazy Mouse, Age of Booty

Let's just put this out there: Age of Booty is really, really fun. We know this because the trial version (the trial version) allows you to try online multiplayer for two days. Why it's taken nearly three years for an Xbox Live Arcade game to offer online play in the trial version, we have no idea. We just hope it's the beginning of a beautiful trend. Oh, Crazy Mouse came out this week too. That's all you really need to know about that one. Check out the latest episode of XBLA in Brief above.

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Portal: Still Alive to bend space on the XBLA this Wednesday [update]

Update: Major Nelson confirmed with us that Portal: Still Alive will be priced at 1200 Microsoft points.

Attention -- the Aperture Science Enrichment Center cordially invites you back to experience its award-winning testing facility very soon on the Xbox Live Arcade. Play it again and for the first time with the complete original, 6 advanced maps and 14 new challenge maps. GamerScore Blog officially announced today that Portal: Still Alive will land on the marketplace on October 22. Unfortunately no price was revealed, which makes us think we're going to have to open the wallet wider than the average 800MS points. We can still dream, together.

[Thanks, HazyCloud]

Free N+ level pack leaps onto XBLM

Tiny ninja fans rejoice! A new level pack for the high jumpin', wall slidin' platformer N+ is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Oh, but that's not all. It's also 100% completely, totally free! So, that's pretty cool right? The folks at Metanet have also annoucned a new "contesque" in which you could win a copy of N+ on your platform of choice. All you have to do is send a picture of an N+ related costume or craft, or a piece of digital art. Head over to Metanet for full details, and go get that level pack!

[Thanks, Brian. Via Joystiq]

Age of Booty plunders and CrazyMouse nibbles XBLA

We've got two new games landing on Xbox Live Arcade today. First up, we have Crazy Mouse, which is about a mouse that is just ka-razy for food. It's kind of like Pac-Man, but with mice, weapons, and food. On the other end of the spectrum we have Age of Booty, a real time strategy game of sorts, which has players scrambling to upgrade their pirate ships and capture hapless towns. Without a doubt though, the best feature of Age of Booty is that the trial version actually lets you try out Xbox Live multiplayer for a full two days. Why haven't we seen this feature before?

We're not sure, but we can tell that Age of Booty is (rum) barrels of fun. CrazyMouse will run you 400 points while Age of Booty requires 800 points of your hard-earned plunder.

X3F TV -- XBLA in Brief: Beat'n Groovy, MLB Stickball, Shadow Assault / Tenchu

This week, after announcing the arrival of MLB Stickball, Microsoft surprised us with two additional titles, Beat'n Groovy and Shadow Assault / Tenchu. Of the three games, let us tell you that Beat'n Groovy is definitely the standout title this week. Let us tell you also that it's the standout title for all the wrong reasons. That should really be the takeaway from this week's XBLA In Brief, even if the other two are decent (particularly Shadow Assault) games. Hear our take on all three in the video above.

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Mega Man 9 "DLC" arrives this week

Capcom has announced that the first wave of downloadable content for Mega Man 9 will land on XBLA this Tuesday, not even a week since the game debuted on the service. The content available will include a playable Proto Man and a new gameplay mode called Endless Attack (you can probably guess how that one works). Official prices haven't been announced, though Proto Man and Endless Attack cost $2.00 and $3.00, respectively, on Nintendo's WiiWare service. Of course, we can't properly gauge what it costs to convince yourself that Capcom isn't screwing you by charging for modes that should have been included with the game in the first place.

The remaining bits of DLC are expected to arrive the week of October 20.

MLB Stickball hits XBLA this week

Well this one came right out of left field. After two weeks of big name games hitting Xbox Live Arcade, we are greeted this Wednesday with MLB Stickball from 2K Sports. We know next to nothing about the title, though a pair of screenshots reveal what looks like stickball featuring super-deformed versions of familiar players from Major League Baseball. Gamescore Blog also notes that players can unlock baseball cards and earn extra points for hitting certain objects. So, breaking a window will earn points then? Count us in.

MLB Stickball will be available this Wednesday for 800 Microsoft Points.

Gallery: MLB Stickball (XBLA)

X3F TV -- XBLA in Brief: Mega Man 9, War World

This is a pretty interesting week for Xbox Live Arcade. One one side of things, we have Mega Man 9, a brand new game in the series done in a retro style. On the other, we have War World, which the developers originally announced was scheduled to arrive last August. And yet, even a year from its missed debut, it's still one of the best looking XBLA games out there. So which is worth the dough, tough-as-nails platforming or online twitch multiplayer? Check out the latest installment of XBLA in Brief to find out.

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Duke Nukem 3D takes most played XBLA title of the week

Apparently when Duke told gamers to "come get some," they took him up on the offer. According to Major Nelson, after a four week stranglehold as the most played Xbox Live Arcade title available for the popular downloadable service Castle Crashers has dropped to second place following the release of Duke Nukem 3D, last week. Is it possible the clichéd 90's hero has a place in the industry again? Maybe Duke Nukem Forever is more important that we initially thought. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever will actually be released! Okay, let's not go crazy now.

Duke Nukem 3D on the Xbox Live Arcade transports gamers through the way-back machine to a simpler time of first-person action with nipple tassels and pigs dressed as police officers. Originally released on the PC in January 1996, Duke Nukem 3D follows the title character as he battles an evil horde of enemies through movie theatres, strip clubs and fast food restaurants (to name a few). Rated M for Mature, the Xbox Live Arcade release of the title includes the ability to rewind sections of gameplay, create saved films and boasts numerous multiplayer options.

Mega Man 9 and War World hit the Arcade

Retro and war fans unite. Now available on the Xbox Live for is the retro-sytle adventure Mega Man 9 and the 3D mech action of War World. At 800MS points a piece this week's XBLA releases offer two completely different experiences in another double-shot of Arcade goodness. Survive as Mega Man in the classically designed adventure that is sure to leave a pile of broken controllers strung about your room -or- jump into a giant mech and battle it out in a stylized 3D world against ... you know, other mechs in War World. What are your initial impressions of this week's newest titles?

Mega Man 9 blasts XBLA tomorrow

Remember old school fans and rejoice. Making his triumphant debut on the Xbox 360 tomorrow is Megs himself in Mega Man 9 for the Xbox Live Arcade. Priced at 800MS points ($10), Mega Man 9 was specifically designed to reignite nostalgic thoughts of classic Mega Man adventures on the NES with a retro look, old school graphical glitches and punishing difficulty.

It isn't all wondrous in the world of Mega Man 9 however, as the already released Wii version of the game inadvertently announced all of Capcom's DLC plans for the game. Among the downloadable content are a playable Proto Man with charge and slide abilities and new modes. For perspective, when all leaked DLC is included in the price of Mega Man 9 the retro-style downloadable title increases to an $18 purchase. Do you plan on going retro this week?

New achievements point to Marble Blast Ultra DLC

If a recent update to the achievement list - discovered by Xbox 360 Achievements - for Marble Blast Ultra is to be believed, new content is heading to the popular XBLA title. One of the original Xbox Live Arcade titles to be released, Marble Blast Ultra is the high-definition remake of the popular marble rolling PC puzzler.

The information provided in the three added achievements, which toss another 50 possible gamerscore points int the game, point to new multiplayer maps. Marble Blast Ultra sits on our personal favorite XBLA titles ever and is currently listed as one of the few Arcade Hits and asks 400MS points.

Age of Booty XBLA bound October 15 for $10

We promised we would write this entire post without making a single lame pirate joke and we're sticking to it. Capcom announced yesterday that its Xbox Live Arcade real-time strategy pirate game, Age of Booty, would land on the service on October 15 and will be priced at 800MS points. Capcom, hot off the heels of the successful Bionic Commando Rearmed release and prepping for a Mega Man 9 launch this Wednesday, promises a great experience on the boardgame-esque high-seas.

Age of Booty
from developer Certain Affinity, which once went by the less risqe title Plunder, has already received positive impressions from our sister site Joystiq from preview code in the past. Hopefully the multiplayer-focused, real-time downloadable title will be able to set itself apart when it releases among some of the most anticipated games of the year. Gather ye Microsoft Sea points and prepare for the adventure... Arrr! Well, we almost made it.

Gallery: Age of Booty (XBLA)

Check out the Duke Nukem Forever shots in Duke Nukem 3D

Nabbed all of the achievements in Duke Nukem 3D for the Xbox Live Arcade? Congratulations, you've just unlocked two images for a game that was announced around the time some of you were born! Duke Nukem Forever, which was first announced in 1997, has been the long awaited return of 90's shooter "icon" and CIA gun-for-hire Duke Nukem. Obtaining all 12 achievements in the recently released Xbox Live Arcade release of Duke Nukem 3D unlocked two images for the upcoming (heh) sequel. Don't want to go through all the trouble? Big Download has you covered with a short gallery of the images below.

Gallery: Duke Nuke Forever Screenshots

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