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New Banjo Kazooie videos and screens

After the Microsoft Gamers Day a while back, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was seen by many in the community as too much of a departure from the older formula. The addition of vehicles, parts, and the creation of the former using the latter wasn't exactly traditional to the series' formula. Despite the fact that what we saw and played was fun, we can definitely say that the bits we had time with weren't exactly reminiscent of the N64 days.

Rare looks to have anticipated the outcry and saved much of the more traditional stuff for later reveal. IGN recently got some media out of Rare that seems designed just for that reveal, the first video introduces you to Showdown Town, the game hub, and where most of the more traditional platforming happens. The second video showcases Banjo Land and displays some of the vehicle creation and editing, as well as some of the quirky world exploration. Get watching!

By the way, listen closely around 4:00 into the first video for what could be a possible mention of a long rumored item.

Gallery: Banjo-Kazooie 3

Continue reading New Banjo Kazooie videos and screens

Halo 3 Series 2 figures now available


We've gotten quite a few questions about it recently, so we thought it might be best to let everyone know that the second series of McFarlane Halo 3 action figures is now available. As before, there are a couple exclusives in the bunch, but the majority of the figures can be found in major retailers and, of course, at Amazon. We opted for the steel gray ODST Spartan, which is exclusive to GameStop. You can find a listings of all the figures and where to find them at the links below.

Source -- Halo 3 Series 2 multiplayer figures
Source -- Halo 3 Series 2 campaign figures

Gallery: Halo 3 McFarlane Figures

You like Sin City's visual effects? So did Ubisoft


Owned. Literally. The stylized look of the Sin City movie was (and still is) quite iconic. With the second movie yet to be made, Frank Miller tied up shooting The Spirit, and now the purchasing of the studio that does the effects, just how much influence does that style hold for the future?

After its acquisition by Ubisoft, Hybride Technologies will supposedly continue to work with its movie partners, but will also work on bringing some of Ubisoft's IP's to the big screen. While this does seem quite out of character for a video game publisher, and it seems even weirder considering how Tom Clancy happy Ubisoft is, but it does open some interesting doors for that Prince of Persia movie.

Ask X3F: Press Start edition


We hope you like this edition of Ask X3F, because you ain't getting one next week. We're going to be at E3, you see, and we imagine most of your questions will be answered by our non-stop, super awesome coverage of the event. Anyhway, to the questions! This week, we've got questions (and answers) about XBLA release dates, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith guitar compatibility, and achievement tracking. As an added bonus, depending on your point of view, we don't have one question about Halo 3 toys this week. We know, it feels weird to us too. Read on, knowledge seekers!

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

Continue reading Ask X3F: Press Start edition

Gamestop gears up for the price drop


As you can see, you shouldn't know about this until Sunday. After all the other leaks surrounding the issue, one wouldn't think it'd be such a big screaming deal. Still, the phone cam shot above looks to confirm what we've already known. However, we shouldn't forget that the majority of gamers don't exactly comb the internet for this stuff, and "window signs," "Pop-ons" (whatever those are) and a gigantic stack of boxes with "oversized price labels" will likely be the first many folks hear of the price drop.

[Thanks Kris]

X3F Live invades Battlefield, update on features [Update]


Update: After playing a single online game, EA's servers booted us right out of play and wouldn't allow us to reconnect. We'll reschedule a real event soon.

You may have noticed some of our regular features have been MIA in recent weeks. In order to prepare for E3 and make time (and room) for special features, some of our content has been put on a temporary hiatus. Until the madness that is E3 subsides we're putting a hold on Community Content, Would You Rather and Points>Life -- technically, just Xav. You may see random special editions of our content during the event as special bonuses, but we're just giving you the heads up incase you were wondering where your favorite feature is.

As you may be aware, if you listened to the latest X3F Fancast -- Richard, Dustin and Alexander will be bringing the show on the road with special podcasts as E3 progresses. It's another way we're keeping everyone at home up to date while allowing the home crew to recharge the batteries.

One thing we can't put on hold for now is X3F Live and considering the popularity of Battlefield: Bad Company on our friends list we're going to be game hunting later tonight (again, just Xav). So tonight from 9 to 10 PM EST watch out for Gamertag: Snypz and hopefully we can cause some mayhem together. This isn't an organized event, but Xav is looking for some game time before the craziness takes over!

Rumor: Gears page hints GOW2 release as Nov 9

Alright kiddies time for some sleuthing courtesy of the Gears of War Official Forums. The Gears site has a new splash page up (above) and in Marcus' hand are some Dog (Cog?) Tags. Immediately upon discovery, there was the speculation that this meant death and loss would play some larger part in the game's story. But then someone decided to take a closer look at the number sequence visible on the tag: 033-116-117-126-071.

Seemingly random right? Nope. Match those numbers with one of these ASCII tables, and you'll get yourself the following letter string: "ESC N O V 9". We'd love to beleive that this was simply thrown in there to mess with the community, but it seems to be too much of a coincidence to be something wholly meaningless. Is this an early "word" on the release date? We sure hope so.

Hit the break for a closer look at the tags.

[Thanks Laron Alexander]

Continue reading Rumor: Gears page hints GOW2 release as Nov 9

Get your own Faith used Mirror's Edge runner bag

Mirror's Edge, that game that's all about first-first person action featuring the lovely main character Faith, will be hitting retailers this Fall and if you're willing to complete a pre-order, you can score some free runner bag swag.

GameStop is running (ha! running!) an exclusive pre-order promotion where all Mirror's Edge pre-orders will receive an exact replica of Faith's runner bag as seen in the game. The runner bag (pictured above), is a stylish banana yellow color, with seven different compartments and enough room to store and carry your Xbox 360 console. Just image how cool you'll look running down the streets, shopping at the mall, carrying your books to school or entering a business meeting with this Mirror's Edge bag. Just imagine!

[Thanks, Neuromancer]

Rumor: Leaked MS email confirms 60GB SKU, more


Well as E3 approaches, it looks Microsoft just can't keep a lid on their announcements. The lowered price on the 20GB unit has been rumored for a while now, and the idea has even been bandied about that its purpose was to clear the shelves to make room for a 60GB unit. While this of course is still waiting on some sort of official word (likely coming around or at MS's E3 press conference), a leaked email supposedly sent out to GameStop and Blockbuster company buyers seems to confirm both the new 60GB SKU as well as a "Live Starter Pack" for Arcade owners, which consists of a 60GB HDD, 3 Months of Live, a Headset, and an ethernet cable, all for $99.99.

Additionally, the email states the 20GB HDD is being phased out altogether and that the 120GB stand alone drive will receive a price cut to $149.99 (HA!). Word is that the 60GB Pro Unit will hit before the month is out and the Live Starter Pack will hit late October or early November. Whether or not the new 60GB SKU will be subject to the new price drop is unknown, but doubtful. Likely the 20GBs at $299.99 are a fire sale, and the 60GBs will still be $349.99.

The full text of the email can be found after the break.

Continue reading Rumor: Leaked MS email confirms 60GB SKU, more

McFarlane opens up H3 camo EVA pre-order

Yesterday, McFarlane opened up the pre-order floodgates, allowing Halo 3 action figure collectors the chance to pre-order the Spawn Store exclusive H3 Active Camo EVA Spartan Soldier figure. Yup, the same camouflaged figure we talked about way back in November. Each figure will cost $12.99 when they release later this year, and with each pre-order you'll be able to snatch up two figures. Don't mind McFarlane's messy online store, be strong and you'll complete your pre-order just fine.

Genius idea: Active camo EVA figure is cool, but active camo Recon figure ... now that's pure marketing GENIUS!

Cliff wants less controller buttons, more waggle

Take a look at your Xbox 360 controller and think of one object you could compare its looks to. Seriously, what do you think it looks like? If you said a martian aircraft due the amount of buttons it has, then congrats, you think just like Cliff Bleszinski.

Talking with CVG, Bleszinski discussed the 360's controller, admitting that "if you look at a controller right now it looks like an alien spaceship." Cliff hopes that next gen, Microsoft creates an Xbox input device that has "fewer buttons on the controller" and recommends doing something more "with a built-in camera or a little motion sensitivity." "You look at the Wii controller with less buttons - they added functionality by doing waggle" Bleszinski explained, "there are other ways of providing interactivity without having every single finger doing something at once on a friggin' controller."

And as much as it pains us to admit this, sorry Cliff, we don't totally agree with you on this one. The Wii is the Wii and the 360 is the 360, try playing a FPS on the Wii or using motion detecting cameras and tell us how competitive or fun it ends up being.

Oh no! It's the Castle Crashers Killer Beekeeper


Is there really anything more terrifying than bees? It seems like every few years there is another killer bee scare. We have a feeling that Castle Crashers just may incite the next one. The latest Castle Crashers character reveal is none other than the Killer Beekeeper. While the name implies that it is the Beekeeper himself who is a killer, we think there's something to be said for the bees he is throwing at the enemy. Just look at the stingers on those things! Clearly, the Killer Beekeeper is no one to be trifled with.

Unreal Tourney 3 on the cheap


Looking to pick up a copy of Unreal Tournament III for the Xbox 360 but want to save a few dollars in the process? Amazon is offering the recently released shooter for the low price of $45, shipping included.

Offered as today's deal of the day, Unreal Tournament III is the latest action packed title from Epic Games -- you might also know them as the guys behind Gears of War 2. Speaking of Gears 2, Unreal Tournament III includes an extra incentive as it features footage of the upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive shooter. We say the footage was the new hawtness, but we already featured it a while back.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Xbox.com's E3 site is fueled and ready to go

E3 2008 is less than a week away when Monday morning, Microsoft will hold their conference and usher in the start of the expo. And just like years previous, Xbox.com and their team of investigative reporters headed up by non other than Major Nelson will be reporting live, dishing out the E3 news mash and asking if anyone wants a second helping. Currently, Xbox.com's E3 page has a preview of the content to come including an official E3 blog, news, videos, trailers and photos sections. It'll probably be a website you'll want to add to your bookmark list prior to next week, on top of your X3F bookmarking, of course. And if you didn't already take our "what do you want from our E3 coverage?" survey, maybe you should voice your opinion and cast a ballot.

Bungie Podcast hints at special E3 announcement

On top of the viral website / radio station rumor that has been circulating the internets regarding a special Bungie E3 announcement headed our way next week, we have rather concrete quotage coming from the mouths of team Bungie during their latest Bungie Podcast.

During the Bungie Podcast, Brian Jarrard asks Luke Smith "isn't there something going on on July 14th, or something like that?" to which Luke responds "yeah, around then." Their hint filled conversation doesn't end there, as Jarrad follows up stating that "somehow that's sticking in my head for some reason. Guess we'll have to see." "Yep, we'll just have to", Luke concurs.

More proof of a Bungie E3 announcement? Something to do with the Superintendent, a Master Chief'less Halo or that mysterious website? So many questions, so few answers and Monday can't come soon enough.

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