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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]

N+ and Buku Sudoku DLC release this Wed.

Sneakily tucked in towards the end of this week's XBLA game release announcement is news that N+ and Buku Sudoku will both be receiving new (and paid) downloadable content this Wednesday.

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!

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]

N+ DLC has gone out to Microsoft

It certainly has been a while in coming (so much so that we were beginning to wonder if something bad had happened to it), but there's finally some news regarding N+'s downloadable content. In a new post over at the Metanet developer blog informs the world that the three DLC packs for N+ has been sent off to Microsoft for final certification before release.

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.

[Via Gamerbytes]

Ninja Gaiden II's Ten Days of Ninja starts May 25th

To prepare ninjas and wannabe ninjas across the globe for the release of Ninja Gaiden II, will be celebrating Ten Days of Ninja. Ninja-kick!

The Ten Days of Ninja Ninja Gaiden II countdown kicks off on Sunday, May 25th when, each day of the countdown, 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.

N+ devs working on new game

For those of us who have been following the N+ developer debacle, this newest interview will hold some new information to absorb. If you couldn't care less, then all you need to know is that the creators of N+ are at work on a new game tentatively called Robotology. The game is a 2D physics-based platformer with grappling hooks and articulated/simulated robots walking around. The graphics are to be similar to N+ in terms of style, but more complex overall, and with all plans currently open to change. No platform has yet been announced for Robotology.

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?)

Capcom responds to N+ outburst, sorting is the real XBLA problem

After hearing about the Metanet N+ developers going on a verbal Xbox Live Arcade assault, Capcom felt the need to semi-defend the service all while pointing fingers at an entirely different issue they have with the XBLA. Sorting of games.

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.

N+ creators stand behind their anti-XBLA rant

Last Friday, we told you about a Gamasutra interview with N+ creators Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard and how angry they were about the XBLA, how angry they were about the services' crappy games and how angry they were about how Microsoft is handling things. Their opinion was nothing but blunt and to the point. Then, shortly after their harsh comments made the internet media rounds, Burns and Sheppard felt the need to post a response in regards to their remarks on their metanet blog and, well ... they have no apologies.

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.

N+ creators vent about Microsoft and XBLA

Both Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard, the creative geniuses behind recent XBLA release N+, are furious about how Microsoft has handled the Xbox Live Arcade and how big publishers have taken over the service. So angry, they go as far as to claim that the majority of the XBLA titles are "all sh*t".

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.

Video: N+, Zelda mashup: The Legend of N

We're gaming fanboys. That's a given. Granted, we're 360 fanboys, but we're fans of video games in general, and Zelda still falls pretty high on our list of best series of all time. That said, we're not quite sure Zelda was the first thing to come to mind when messing around with the N+ level editor. Apparently that's exactly what came to mind for 007craft, who recreated the opening section of The Legend of Zelda all the way through the first dungeon. We're willing to admit it: we had a total fangasm while watching it. Hats off to you 007craft. Hats off. Find the video after the break.

Continue reading Video: N+, Zelda mashup: The Legend of N

N+ DLC on the way

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.

N+ Interview: MS hates User-generated content?

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?

Continue reading N+ Interview: MS hates User-generated content?

N+ ninja kicks its way onto the XBLA

Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday is here and it brings with it a brand new adventurous friend. An obsessive gold collecting friend that goes by the name of N+.

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.

Gallery: N+ (XBLA)

N+ ninja chops the XBLA this Wednesday

A game that seems to have grown one of the biggest groups of pro-XBLA supporters, N+ has been officially confirmed for release to the Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday, February 20th. Tada, w00t and exclamation points for all!!!

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!

N+ likely hits XBLA next week

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.

[Thanks, Russ]

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