XBox 360 Universe Straight from the source
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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    In a recent investor communique, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter noted his belief that Electronic Arts would lose 1.1 million sales due to NBA Elite 11's delay and reduced the company's holiday quarter earnings estimate by $60 million. Also, because the sports sim will miss the beginning of basketball season with its 2011 release, he predicts that by the end of the company's fiscal year next March, Elite 11 will have only sold around 500,000 units -- if it doesn't succumb to the "possibility of being canceled."

    Pachter's note briefly mentions the standalone versions of NBA Jam as "not a true substitute," so we followed up with the analyst extraordinaire to find out why he believes EA's other NBA game can't make up the difference.

    "The standalone versions on PS3 and 360 might sell well, but I question whether they will be priced as $60 games, when the company had previously said it was giving them away with NBA Elite." He continued, "More likely, they'll be discounted to $50 or lower, and gamers will still balk at the price, given that it was going to be bundled with NBA Elite -- and likely will be, if the latter game ever comes out. So I'd say another 200,000 units, maybe."

    As for the Wii version, he explained that the game was coming out anyway for the console, so the lack of NBA Elite may give it a "very small" bump of 100,000 units.

    JoystiqPachter: NBA Elite 11 delay to cost EA 1.1 million sales this year; NBA Jam no savior originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    Sega announced the release date for its Kinect-exclusive animal snowboarding game Sonic Free Riders: November 4, the same day that the Kinect device launches in North America. That's right, you'll be able to use your body as a controller to make Sonic fall down a mountain on day one.

    "Kinect's unique motion sensor means Sonic Free Riders will see family and friends controlling their favorite Sonic characters and their fully customizable hover boards or bikes," Sega's announcement notes, "by twisting, turning and jumping in an exhilarating race to be the first to cross the finish line!" It will see you, and it will judge you.

    Continue reading Sonic Free Riders on board for Kinect launch day

    JoystiqSonic Free Riders on board for Kinect launch day originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 16:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    Housemarque's (Super Stardust HD) experiment in side-scrolling action game meets light/dark projectile absorption a la Ikaruga is a real looker. You can see just how remarkable Outland's visual style and intriguing play mechanic look in motion by rolling the following video.

    Continue reading Trailer and screens for Ubisoft's Outland look outstanding

    JoystiqTrailer and screens for Ubisoft's Outland look outstanding originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    Not content with delivering some of this year's most promising games, October has also decided to become a haven for new versions of last year's standout titles. Living a year behind the rest of us has its benefits, as illustrated by the (now officially announced) "Ultimate Edition" of Dragon Age: Origins.

    Okay, so perhaps the actual illustration on the cover -- depicting slightly smaller cover illustrations -- isn't entirely elegant, but how else do you convey such an impressive amount of value for a $60 video game? Launching on October 26 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the Ultimate Edition packs in BioWare's acclaimed fantasy RPG, the Awakening expansion, all 7 downloadable add-ons (including Witch Hunt) and 37 billion hours of tactical party management, intriguing conversation and moral handwringing.

    If the folks at BioWare really want to pile on the pressure, they'll slip in a note that says, "Hey, try to wrap this up by March, 2011."

    Continue reading Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition hits on Oct. 26

    JoystiqDragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition hits on Oct. 26 originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    Activision has acknowledged that "some consumers" who purchased Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock are experiencing a disc read issue and the company is taking "immediate action" to rectify the situation. Folks who are having a problem should call Activision's customer service center at 800-225-6588. The publisher states that it will "offer existing customers free replacement discs in exchange for any purchased defective disc."

    Joystiq learned of the issue earlier this week and contacted Activision after several reports and one retail tipster told us that his store had received "40 returns" in one day.

    [Thanks, Phil]

    Continue reading Activision taking 'immediate action' on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock unreadable disc error

    JoystiqActivision taking 'immediate action' on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock unreadable disc error originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    We got a chance to play a small section from early on in the freshly revealed Beyond Good & Evil HD yesterday evening at Ubisoft Digital Day 2010. Jade and Pey'j definitely looked higher-poly, while the textures were still clearly in the process of being swapped out. The framerate was a little inconsistent at this stage, but just by running at 1080p the game looked remarkable, even seven years after its 2003 debut.

    Ubisoft couldn't confirm if this remastering should be taken as a sign that Beyond Good & Evil 2 had become a higher priority project at the company. You can, however, bet it will be keeping a close eye on sales of Beyond Good & Evil HD as a gauge of just how quickly it needs to get the sequel out the door.

    JoystiqBeyond Good & Evil HD: see the first screens originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 14:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010JoystiqNews
    Electronic Arts announced this morning that its massively marketed Medal of Honor reboot, launching October 12, has had the highest number of "pre-sells," as it calls them, "in the franchise's 11-year history." Considering the franchise's shaky history for the past eight years, and the absence of bonus goodies like Battlefield 3 beta access, that achievement is kinda like winning the Tour de France on a Harley.

    No actual pre-sell figures were shared by EA. We'll get our first retail reports from the UK charts next month, followed by a much clearer picture from the NPD report in November. Our blessings go out to all the games getting involved in that brutal month's retail warfare.

    JoystiqEA claims Medal of Honor has broken franchise pre-order record originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 14:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    September 30th, 2010MicrosoftPreviews
    This game was classified by the community with the following category scores - Violence=2/3, Sex=0/3, Mature Content=0/3. The land of Ursea is in turmoil. Join the defense of your ancestral grounds against the invading Black tribe. Choose your character among the two very different races: centaurs and hyrons.
  • scissors
    September 30th, 2010MicrosoftPreviews
    This game was classified by the community with the following category scores - Violence=3/3, Sex=0/3, Mature Content=3/3. Winners don't use drugs.
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    September 30th, 2010GamespotPreviews

    We go door-to-door looking for treats in Double Fine's upcoming downloadable game.

     

    Double Fine Productions will release its newest game later in the month, a downloadable title called Costume Quest. This charming role-playing game marks something of a turning point for Double Fine. After previously developing a pair of games in Psychonauts and Brutal Legend--whose retail success couldn't quite measure up to their critical acclaim--the San Francisco studio is shifting its focus from boxed retail products to smaller, less resource-intensive downloadable games. As the first such project from Double Fine, Costume Quest feels very much like the studio is taking a breath of fresh air in the wake of big budget design burdens--its gameplay is simple and uncomplicated, with a story delivered entirely in speech balloons without the help of voice actors. There's also candy. And unicorns. But more on that in a moment.

    Costume Quest gets its name from the central mechanic driving the action throughout the game. As a young child on Halloween night, you're in search of new costumes capable of giving you the superpowers you need to take on the oafish monsters that have kidnapped your sister (or brother, depending on your character selection). The search for those costumes feels like an adventure game of sorts: You run around town looking for specific items hidden away that, once cobbled together, become a full-fledged Halloween costume, such as a robot, the Statue of Liberty, or, much later in the game, a mighty unicorn.

    Aside from making you look cool--and in the case of the unicorn, extremely cool--those costumes mostly come into play when you're swept into a battle against the game's ugly yet oddly endearing monsters. It's a simple turn-based combat system that doesn't bombard you with spells and abilities; instead, it uses a timing system for basic attacks similar to the Paper Mario series. After performing a few of those basic attacks in a row, you can then unleash a special ability unique to whichever costume you happen to be wearing. While hardly a strategy game, the choice of which costumes to wear into a fight--and when to cash in its special ability--seems to be the main focus of your mental processing power in Costume Quest. Will you play as the space man so you can devastate enemies with your don't-call-it-a-lightsaber laser sword? Or will you dress up as the knight so you can buff your defenses with the shield power? And that's all before you get into the potential draw of the over-the-top animations that accompany your special abilities, like the absurd visage of Abraham Lincoln sweeping across a fluttering American flag when you play as the Statue of Liberty.

    All of this dressing up and monster clobbering takes place in suburban Anytown, USA. The game begins in a nondescript neighborhood of residential homes, cul-de-sacs, and tree-lined sidewalks. The Halloween atmosphere is spread on thick, with orange leaves everywhere and children running around town in all manner of costumes. And though the children are fully decked out in Halloween attire, the eccentric adults give the town just as much personality--like the dental health enthusiast who runs an anti-candy bobbing-for-apples game where you have to dodge the worms and parasites because he "only buys organic produce." You'll also go trick-or-treating, which gives the game a random battle element because you never know whether there'll be an adult inside to give you candy (the game's currency) or one of those monsters that has just been caught burglarizing. With a script penned by Tim Schafer, everyone you meet seems to greet you with some sort of humorous overture, like a monster that you catch stealing candy and introduces itself before a battle with, "You remind me of my parents…from whom I am BITTERLY ESTRANGED!"

    All of this amounts to a game that's nothing if not charming. If there's one thing left to be determined, it is how well the battle system holds up throughout the duration of the story because its simplicities might fall prey to repetition in the later stages of the game. But it certainly makes a good introduction. Expect to see our Costume Quest review later in the month.

    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Costume Quest Hands-On " was posted by Shaun McInnis on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 10:33:28 -0700
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