Listen to the Joystiq Podcast (because your ears can't read)

Terrence Stasse
San Francisco, CA, USA -

Wow, my first one of these disappeared...

Terrence Stasse
San Francisco, CA, USA -

Wow, my first one of these disappeared...

Geometry Wars 2 release date moved to July 30

Initially set for release on August 6, Activision has moved up the final release date for Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 to July 30. Even after a bit of a disappointment about the co-op situation, it's probably safe to say that we're all still excited for the game. We just wish that there were more games that actually had their releases expedited instead of delayed (we're looking at you Castle Crashers and Bionic Commando). You should also note that July 30 is also the release date for Double D Dodgeball and probably Pirates VS Ninjas Dodgeball as well.

SimCity Lite for XBLA? - A Kingdom for Keflings

So who's read Gulliver's Travels? Raise your hands, don't be shy. Hmmm, more than we would've thought. Those familiar with the tale should remember the island of Lilliput (and its rival) which was the home of, well, tiny people. A Kingdom for Keflings is rather similar in concept: you're a giant among insects (so to speak). From there the game concept adds in some dashes of SimCity and Black & White, as the goal is simply to build a city and castle as well as attract more Keflings.

While coming to us from the same devs who did Band of Bugs, A Kingdom for Keflings looks like it's doing things that we've all seen before. Hopefully Ninja Bee will find the sweet spot of city-building, avatar control, and simply watching the simulation play itself out, so that the game doesn't simply tread old ground.

Footage of Shred Nebula

So after some delays to the project's release, Shred Nebula is finally getting some of its marketing going. With so many twin stick shooters out these days most gamers (understandably) have some reservations about playing more games like them. While it isn't exactly the same as playing the game, videos of gameplay definitely give a much better idea of what the game is really about than just descriptions and screen shots. So for those out there who are looking for something a little more than just words and static images, check the video. To our eyes it looks like s more substantial and traditional take on Geometry Wars and Phoenix. Oh, and the music sounds good too.

[Via Gamerbytes]

XBLA DLC this Wednesday: N+ and Puzzle Quest

They've both been quite some time in coming, and this Wednesday will see the release of new downloadable content for games that are themselves downloadable. N+ will be getting a new level pack which contains 150 single player levels, and 50 co-op levels, all for 200pts (which, as the devs point out, equates to a point per level). As for Puzzle Quest, its player named DLC, Revenge of the Plague Lord, will contain 4 new classes, a new map area, 25 new quests, 40 more items and a raise of the level cap. The Puzzle Quest expansion will be priced at 700pts.

[Source N+]
[Source Puzzle Quest]

New Rocket Riot screens and interview

You know, we need more games with the style of Rocket Riot. When thinking about the way that retro titles should go we definitely prefer this style to that of Mega Man 9. Over at xblarcade there's an interview with the developers that gives some history of the project, as well as what to expect from it. As another twin stick shooter for XBLA, Rocket Riot does its best to differentiate itself with its destructible (and good looking) environments. Also mentioned in the interivew are the origin of the game's name as well as some details out XNA 2.0 (the game was made with it).

Gallery: Rocket Riot

E308: Geometry Wars 2 release date and screens

After the tipoff that Joystiq got about the game, the announcement of Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 wasn't exactly surprising. Still, it's good to get an official confirmation, and after the press conference Bizarre Creations sent around an email announcing the game's release date and providing some game assets. While the conference only gave the date of "next month", the specific date is August 6. There's also supposed to be a trailer coming soon as well, so stay tuned for that.

Gallery: E308: Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 (XBLA)

[Via Press Info]

E308: New Gears of War, website, theme, more

You Gear-heads out there probably already know this, but in the aftermath of the Microsoft press conference, the official Gears of War 2 website received and entire overhaul in preparation of the kick-off of the Gears 2 hype train. The new site incorporates .NET framework and a whole new set of features. In addition to the new site, the Marketplace also has some Gears 2 goodness up for download. The XBLM was recently updated with a new Gears 2 theme an a new video from the conference.

[Thanks to everyone who sent these in!]

E308: Major Nelson updates with tons of new dashboard details: install games to HDD & more

Things are moving really, really, fast in the world of the 360 right now. After the news that the Dashboard would be receiving a makeover, many of you thought that it was the end of the known world. Luckily, Major Nelson has updated his blog with some of the many new details of the new interface. The first of which is that the blades interface isn't going away, it's now just a smaller part of the larger Xbox Guide.

Even bigger though is the option to install games entirely to the HDD for faster load times and no disc drive noise. However, to get the installed game to boot, the disc has to still be in the drive for an initial check to make sure you still own it.

The new party system that's built into the interface supports up to eight people and allows for chat, sharing of media, and simultaneous launch of games, all for the entire group. As for the so-called Xbox Live Primetime, it's basically a system that allows users to participate in what amounts to virtual game shows, many complete with prizes and a live host.

The last few bits include a few notes on Avatars, including their integration into Arcade games, future retail releases and of course the newly christened "Live Party". Also, for those techies out there, the update will add 16X10 over VGA or HDMI, and support for 1440x900 or 1680x1050. Oh, and you'll be able to buy anything from the Marketplace via too.

Plus the ol' Major promises that there is still more details to be revealed as the update draws ever closer.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

E308: No new Bungie announcement?

Well, the main Microsoft press conference has come and gone with many a megaton indeed. Still, there was one megaton which didn't rear its head: Just what the heck is Bungie working on, and just why the heck is down "for cleaning"? Well Bungie, all your sly hinting was just to mess with us wasn't it? Hopefully not though, as the site appears to be counting down to something (we'll be watching that sucker, don't worry). While it would be strange for a big announcement from Bungie to not come via the press conference, don't forget that they're independent now and are likely trying to do things their own way.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

E308: Netflix on 360

It's been rumored before, but now it's confirmed. And in a big way, see there no extra cost for live members to watch Netflix movies via the digital distribution of XBLM. Additionally, the Netflix movies that are downloaded can be shared via the aforementioned party system. While the details were a bit scarce, the news that XBLM has as big a partner as Netflix is great start.

E308: Dashboard overhaul and Avatars

After our initial reveal of the Xbox 360 avatars, it was still in the realm of rumors. Now, after the Microsoft press conference, we can be sure that they are absolutely real. And they're just a small part of a much larger overhaul to the entire 360 Dashboard. Avatars will integrated into the larger 360 experience via a community "channel", when your friends come online, their avatars will appear in said channel.

Microsoft is also creating a party system via the community channel which will allow for users to chat in large groups, share the media from their hard drives, and more. Demonstrated was the ability to move the party from photos, to videos, to games all while keeping the party of Avatars and players together.

Also unveiled was "Xbox Live Primetime" which allows for Avatars to be used in a mix of game show, video game and traditional TV. Additionally, Microsoft promises to have "real prizes" available through Primetime.

E308: Microsoft Press Conference Preview

With the Microsoft press conference starting in less than half an hour, it seems that Gamerscore blog has updated via a Microsoft Media Alert in their Video Podcast that showcases the announcements that are going to be made during the conference.

  • Two player local and Xbox LIVE co-op for Fable 2. (Coming Oct. 2008)
  • Gears of War 2 campaign level unveiled and Horde mode (5 player co-op multiplayer)
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour – eight player Battle of the Bands, redesigned guitar, drums, microphone, and studio music creator
  • Rock Band 2 will play all your old music and exclusive on Xbox 360 – new online and instrument options
  • Lips karaoke game with motion-sensitive microphones
  • New avatar system
  • Uno Rush – includes brand new avatar system
  • New Xbox experience (dashboard?)
  • Portal: Still Alive coming in 2008!
  • And more (not announced in the video)
We should have more details on all that and more as the press conference begins and continues on.

E308: Too Human Demo Online now

After all the controversy that has surrounded the game, gamers can finally give Too Human a shot for themselves. While it's possible that the demo of the Norse inspired dungeon crawler might not give one the full flavor of the game considering how story and loot driven the experience is supposed to be. Still, something is better than nothing, especially with a game that has been so divisive as this one. The demo is 1.1 gigs and is online now.

Sorry readers, no Shred Nebula next week

First, we need to apologize to you guys. When we received an email from Crunchtime staff that told us that Shred Nebula had grabbed an open release slot and would be releasing July 16th we jumped at the chance to tell you. Unfortunately it seems that there was some word from the higher reaches of Microsoft and plans changed. And changed fast.

Whether or not that had anything to do with other current events, no one can really say. And while Shred Nebula is back to having no official release date, we'll be sure to keep you informed about the latest happenings with the title. It's really too bad, unless there's something Microsoft has up it's sleeve we're back to *shudder* Coffeetime Crosswords as next week's XBLA release.

[Via Press Info, Thanks very much for the clarification guys!]

Lots of new Gears 2 footage

So the media blitz begins. GameTrailers just put up quite a few new Gears of War 2 videos, kicking off the massive amount of video that's going to hit the tubes during E3. The above video is about 5 minutes of multiplayer gameplay complete with curb stomping and meat shields. The rest of the videos (posted after the break) consist of a single old-map new-map comparison (Gridlock) and map fly-throughs for River, Security, Gridlock, and Day One. Oh, and be wary, this'll use up some serious bandwith.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Lots of new Gears 2 footage

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