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Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two this Wednesday, 1200 points

*beep*beep*beep* This just in Microsoft has made what we already knew official: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two will debut on the Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday. Arriving at 1200MS Points -- a few dollars cheaper than the original for those keeping score at home -- the second chapter continues the story of Gabe, Tycho and the revenge-seeking hero, You.

To recap, this Wednesday will ask Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with Jeff Foxworthy -- of all people -- provide Marble Blast Ultra DLC and a new achievement and now the sequel to the popular adventure title from HotHead Games. That is an expensive day to be an Arcade fanatic.

Free Marble Blast Ultra DLC coming this Wednesday

In case you missed the announcement conveniently combined with next week's amazing XBLA release on Major Nelson's blog, here's a news tip that is sure to send classic Arcade fans in a frenzy. On Wednesday Marble Blast Ultra will receive free downloadable content. Weeks ago we were tipped to three new achievements that pointed at a MBU map pack and, while not confirmed as of yet, this content may be related. At least we'll be downloading something this Wednesday, amirite?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai coming soon

Let's face it, the food service industry does something to people. The pure inanity of it all will drive ordinary people to lash out at the innocent and do obscene things to their food. And, in rare cases, it can send someone on a blood-fueled spree of undead vengeance. At least, that's the general understanding we have of The Dishwashwer: Dead Samurai. Gamescore Blog has announced that the XBLA game is "coming soon" (that's the news in this post, lest the first few sentences threw you off). Also announced was a new mode called "Phantom Guitar," which allows a second player to plug in either a Rock Band or Guitar Hero guitar and play as, ahem, a phantom guitar which can aid the Dishwasher by damaging and killing enemies.

There is no specific date announced for the game, though the article does use the phrase "in the months to come," so we're hopeful that the game will release before the year is out.

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? releases to the XBLA this week

Jeff Foxworthy's television game show "hit" will be releasing to the Xbox Live Arcade this week in the form of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Make The Grade.

For 1200 Microsoft points (OUCH!), Are You Smarter will test your 5th grader intelligence using 6,000 school-aged questions spread across 21 various school subjects and plenty of Foxworthy humor (for good or bad). Are You Smarter also sports online and local multiplayer for up to four players.

Yes, it's expensive and it's extremely niche, but we're sure it'll satisfy someone in the XBLA market. Let's just hope the game is redneck joke free.

Zombies!!! confirmed for Xbox Live Arcade

After a rumor began circulating over the summer, Twilight Creations officially announced last week that its Zombies!!! board game is headed to Xbox Live Arcade. For those unfamiliar with the game (like us), it's a tile-based game that has players attempting to flee from the "ever-growing zombie horde." So, in other words, it sounds pretty much like the best board game of all time. Zombies!!! is being developed by Big Rooster, which is also working on bringing the board game Wings of War to XBLA. It's also worth noting that Big Rooster was the studio behind the recently canceled XBLA version of Talisman (hopefully not the beginning of a trend). Zombies!!! is expected to release some time in 2009.

[Image: stuttermonkey]

Penny Arcade Episode 2 next week for 1200 points

Microsoft, it would seem, has no pity whatsoever for our aching bank accounts (or cash stuffed mattresses, these days), as it has been officially announced that Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2 will arrive on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday, October 29. The game includes many new gameplay features, including extra difficulty modes, completion tracking, and the ability to transfer Episode One characters into the game. The game will also feature music from The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, a rock group devoted to the writing of H. P. Lovecraft. Perhaps best of all -- and certainly most interesting -- PAAOTRSPDE2 will cost 1200 Microsoft Points, a full $5 less than the 1600 point Episode One. Find another video after the break.

Gallery: Penny Arcade Epidsode 2

Continue reading Penny Arcade Episode 2 next week for 1200 points

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.

Street Fighter 2 HD to release 'very soon'

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has been in development for quite a while and even after a beta test we still don't have a firm release date. Capcom is secretive, that's just how they roll. So, when our Joystiq pals received a teaser email from team Capcom proclaiming that SSFIITHDR would be releasing to the Xbox Live Arcade "very soon", our inner Street Fighter fanboy was tickled with excitement.

Exactly how soon is "very soon"? We dunno, but sooner or later we'll know what "very soon" means and will soon have SSFIITHDR ... soon.

Video: XNA community games on the NXE

Just posted over on Major Nelson's website is a fresh New Xbox Experience video that takes a look at community games and the system that'll be used to bring content to the Marketplace. In the vid, Major sits down with the XNA community team's Kathleen Sanders to discuss the process, who can create games and what we should see heading into November 19th. It looks to be quite the democratic process and one that should bring new experiences and possibilities to the 360.

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]

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.

Talisman quietly canceled

While we must admit we've never played the Talisman board game, we are sad to announce that Capcom has canceled the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. Strange as it may seem, the cancellation was announced not in any official capacity, but in a forum post nearly two months ago. Capcom's Christian Svensson broke the news to an inquitive forum goer, stating that there was a "misfire" at the beginning of development and Capcom had decided not to switch developers because "the costs of moving forward outweighted the potential revenue."

Any hope of the project being resurrected rests with Games Workshop, which once again owns the rights to Talisman.

[Via Joystiq. Thanks, Jonah]

Crazy Mouse also headed to XBLA this week

Chinese developer Ultizen just announced that their arcade title Crazy Mouse will be releasing to the Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday, October 15th. And it'll be the first mainland China game to release to the XBLA.

For 400 Microsoft points, Crazy Mouse purchasers will get to experience 30+ levels of mouse scurrying, four player online multiplayer and all the cheese you can consume in one sitting. Not really, but one could speculate that an unlimited cheese eating buffet offer would help the game sell. As long as there's bleu cheese, we're in.

Castle Crashers patch ready to enter MS cert

The long overdue, much anticipated and highly demanded patch for The Behemoth's Castle Crashers is done. You know, the patch that's supposed to fix the game's online issues. Like we said, it's done, just don't rejoice yet. See, it still has to travel on over to Microsoft certification where (GASP!) it could be rejected for some reason. And we don't have to tell you what a rejection from Microsoft will do to the patch's potential release. We shudder to think. Keep those fingers crossed for a patch release in a month's time, that is, if you still care.

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