[Thanks, Brian. Via Joystiq]
[Thanks, Brian. Via Joystiq]
Metanet is releasing a 200 MS point N+ Levelpack that's packed with 150 single player levels, 50 multiplayer race levels and 25 multiplayer survival levels. While you're at it, feel free to pick up N+'s July DLC as well. If number puzzles are more your thing, then the new 200 MS point Buku Sudoku Puzzle Pack may just be the DLC you've been looking for. It adds 1200 additional Sudoku puzzles to the mix which the Gamerscore Blog crew kindly broke down to being "six new puzzles for one Microsoft Point!" If taken further, that breaks down to one puzzle for every 0.167 MS points or $0.0020875. See, math can be fun!
[Source Puzzle Quest]
Of the three packs one will be free, one will be multiplayer maps, and the level total for the whole shebang is over 750. Exactly how those seemingly disparate pieces of info come together for the exact details of each pack is still unknown. However we do know that the devs are shooting for 200pts for each of the pay-to-play packs, which seems like the perfect price point to us.
The Ten Days of Ninja Ninja Gaiden II countdown kicks off on Sunday, May 25th when, each day of the countdown, Xbox.com will post a ninja related event including a Family Game Night, GamerchiX game night and even a Game with Developers session on May 26th with the crew who brought us that other XBLA ninja game, N+. So, keep one eye on the Ten Days of Ninja website, keep your ninja-stars polished and increase your ninja skills before June sneaks up on us all ninja-like. And yes, we used the word "ninja" thirteen times in this post.
For those interested in the state of XBLA, the Metanet guys open up a bit more about their point of view. There's also plenty of question's concerning the development of N+ and fans of the game should find some of the questions rather interesting (ever wonder why your game might not always save?)
Posted over on Capcom's blog, Adam "TheBooya" Boyes isn't happy with the Metanet crew and their "solution" to a less than stellar XBLA service. According to Boyes, restricting games probably isn't the answer to everything and agrees that "tastes may vary, but there are many games out there for everyone." Boyes continues to argue various points made by the Metanet crew, everything from how the XBLA isn't like retail, how customers should research products before they purchase and ultimately lands on the one problem he feels needs fixing: How you find the great games. "Instead of complaining that XBLA has hundreds of games that are 'utter shit' and advocating a no-limit release of a billion craptastic games, I think we need to work on lobbying a better system for sorting games." And we think that pill is little more fair, more forward looking and a bit easier to swallow than Metanet's.
In their response blog titled "In Defense of the Apparant Shitstorm", Burns and Sheppard stand behind their anger fueled XBLA rant, but do clarify that they were made prior to N+'s release and right after they learned about Microsoft's new (and less generous) XBLA royalty structure. But like we said, in their response blog team metanet stands behind their earlier comments and actually went on to add to the controversy, saying; "it's not our fault that the vast majority of XBLA games suck! Literally every single person we've ever spoken with is in agreement on this, and yet it's apparently shocking for gamers in general to hear (assuming that's who reads joystiq/kotaku)." There you have it folks. Confirmed. The XBLA has sucky games.
Talking with Gamasutra, they mention that their biggest problem with the Arcade is the fact that Microsoft has too much control over what gets published and what doesn't. An issue that they claim has led to hundreds of craptacular games saturating the service. Burns goes on to say that "the real problem, I think, is that the same people who are deciding what retail games get greenlit are deciding what Live Arcade games get greenlit" and that it's "those decisions that are ruining Live Arcade."
To an extent, we have to agree with our N+ creators. It does sometimes feel either crappy retro games or crappy classics make it to the XBLA while we know full well other Indy games have more potential. That said, smaller developers are still a driving force behind the XBLA, with games like Castle Crashers, Dishwasher: The Dead Samurai and Schizoid leading the way. Also, we can't completely blame Microsoft for favoring big publishers, because, as we all know, they are rolling out a community fueled XNA service this Fall.
As an XBLA game, N+ is in and of itself downloadable content, so it seems a bit strange to see that it's getting some of it's own. Announced today, Metanet will be releasing a total of three downloadable content packs for the game, each with around 200 new levels. If we're lucky, the first pack will feature easier levels and some co-op multiplayer and could hit the Marketplace within three weeks. Co-creator of the game, Mare Sheppard, said:
"The other packs will probably contain harder levels, race and survival multiplayer, and some classic N levels from the original game -- we're just not sure how the content will be distributed among the packs yet,"
The team is shooting for a price of 200 points per pack, with at least one pack being free. And it seems we weren't the only one's who saw the news about the game's user-generated content, as Metanet is working on a title update that would enable level sharing among the community at large, instead of just friends.
Having recently hit the tubes to critical and consumer praise, it seems that the side-scrolling ninja platformer N+ isn't even all the game that it was originally intended to be. In an article over at MTV's Multiplayer blog, N+'s developers go in depth on the game's history concerning the plans for inclusion of an open download/upload space for level sharing (similar to Halo 3's system, which makes one wonder why that was a-okay). In fact, that very feature was implemented in the version of the game that was released onto PartnerNet for testing. However, in the game's last final months of development Microsoft shut the feature down, demanding that it be stripped back to the condition it's in today (with the ability to share user-generated content only available from the folks on your friends list.) With games being handicapped or delayed due to Microsoft's draconian ideas about sharing things, what is the future for the content of XBLM?
Available today for 800 Microsoft points is Metanet Software's highly anticipated N+, a graphically enhanced version of the original N, where you get to become the ninja you've always wanted to be (sorry, no pirates are allowed). N+ features a multitude of levels, a beefy multiplayer experience and a level editor that's sort of like Halo 3's Forge, but in a 2D kind of way. In the gallery below, we've posted 50 brand new N+ screenshots for you to admire and ogle over. Ogle away kids and download N+ straight away.
Metanet Software hinted at its release last week and just made it official today saying that Microsoft made them be hush about its release date, but they just received clearance this morning to confirm its Wednesday debut. N+ will set purchasers back 800 Microsoft points, will come packed full of multiplayer greatness and include 450 different levels of gold collecting enjoyment. Metanet also mentioned that they'll be releasing some additional level packs as DLC in the weeks to come.
You're getting your long awaited N+ fellow fanboys, scream at the top of your lungs and unleash your inner ninja. Karate CHOP!
Place this one in the we'll see category. According to a comment made on the MetaNet Software blog, developers Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns (as poster M&R) hinted at a February 20 release of their upcoming XBLA version of N+. The, formerly free flash based game, promises the standard boost to sound and high resolution graphics found in other XBLA game as well as a multiplayer mode. On the official developer blog for Slick Entertainment, the team behind the XBLA version, N+ passed certification January 10 and has been awaiting a release. The title was nearly released on January 30 but was held back in favor of RezHD and Chessmaster.
In the comments on February 13, M&R told readers, "I don't know.. maybe we can post something tomorrow [about the release], we're still waiting to hear back from Microsoft, because as mentioned it seems like every other game was announced a week early (which led us to believe that was the rule)." Earlier today, M&R posted, "We'll have a proper post soon about the launch party!." While its hardly a confirmation it looks like N+ will be gracing XBLA any time now, we hope.