Banjo Kazooie Hands On + Video

Banjo Kazooie’s return to consoles is something fans of Rare have been looking forward to for a very long. The wait will finally be over this November according to representatives from Rare at the Microsoft Showcase. When screen shots surfaced a few weeks back there was a buzz that it may have been a kart racing game. It turns out, vehicles are a major part of the game play in Banjo for both single player and mutliplayer. But there’s so much more. Rare has gone to great lengths to provide gamers with the freedom to build anything. No joke, anything. You can build a car, a helicopter, a plane, a space shuttle, and even a submarine if you wanted to. It all comes to shape in a realistic and revolutionary vehicular design garage in Banjo. Your imagination is the limit of what you can make.

The garage starts you off with a very basic blue print of parts you can choose from. There is a science to building your vehicle of choice and I think in this game almost more than any other the smartest player is going to be the most successful. When building a vehicle you have to account for weight, aerodynamics, and fuel use due in part to the game’s use of the Havok physics engine. When you enter the garage you will start with a basic engine, body, and weapon choices. From there you can start to build your creation into anything you want. The preview build present yesterday had 15 pre made designs for us to choose however we were free to edit them if we wanted to. You of course will not start Banjo with the best parts but as you play through the campaign you will gain access to better and better parts. The vehicle design is extremely important. Design a vehicle that isn’t well balanced and you will run out of fuel in mid game or your vehicle may be easily defeated and pushed around. But fear not, you can test your newly minted machine in the car park which is sort of like Banjo’s idea of a half pipe except for vehicles before taking it out and challenging the world. Friends can also join you in the car park and you can show each other your vehicles. Another cool feature of the game in the single player portion at least was starting with a very basic vehicle and as you gain parts throughout the 5 lands in Banjo being able to upgrade on the fly. As you can see in the above video you can go from a vehicle on wheels, to a helicopter, then with the proper engine located in the back a jet. A thinking man’s game of how to best approach a challenge or situation.
Read more…

Top Spin 3 HD Trailer

Price Drop Only Option for Microsoft

Analysts also agree with us in that Microsoft should stop sitting on their hands and making excuses if they want to hinder the freight train like momentum Sony has gained. A price drop at this point only makes sense around the time of GTA4 but we shall see.

In the wake of Microsoft’s announcement at the beginning of this week that it was cutting the price of the Xbox 360 across Europe, The simExchange analyst Jesse Divnich believes a similar move in the US is the company’s “only feasible and economic option” to combat Sony’s PlayStation 3 momentum.

“Whether there is an Xbox 360 shortage or not, it is clear that the PS3 has gained considerable ground on its rival,” he said, as the impact of last year’s PS3 price cut and Sony’s Blu-ray victory become clear.

“Given these past two months and the momentum that the PS3 has gained, Microsoft must react quickly as the PS3’s momentum will only get stronger until Microsoft reacts.”

The Xbox 360 Arcade SKU is now cheaper in Europe than the Nintendo Wii, and half the price of the PS3, and Divnich believes that a similar move in the US is needed.

“In the short-term, Microsoft’s only feasible and economical option is to look at reducing its hardware price in North America to at least slow down the PS3’s momentum until it can implement more long-term solutions to winning the next-generation console war,” he said.

Chris Lewis, Microsoft’s newly-promoted VP of Interactive and Entertainment in Europe, yesterday told GamesIndustry.biz that the price cut would “open up the mass-market floodgates.”

“We enjoy 42 per cent of that revenue share right now in this generation,” he detailed. “That’s a key milestone for us to have met and surpassed. We’re also attaching just a little bit over seven games for every console – considerably ahead of where we stand with our competition.”

Source GI.biz

New 1942 Screenshots

Out of all the arcade games released, this is one I spent most of my quarters on in the arcade. The graphical update it’s received is top notch. Kudos to Capcom for making this one happen.

New Dark Sector Multiplayer Details

Game Types - Dark Sector’s multiplayer is broken up into two distinct game types: Infection and Epidemic.

Infection - The Infection game type is a match between Hayden and the Lasrian military. One player assumes the role of Hayden while all others (up to nine) assume the roles of Lasrian Troopers. Hayden is considered the infected target, and it is up to the Troopers to bring him down. Once Hayden is brought down (“finished”), the Trooper responsible becomes infected and a new round begins. A match will run until either time expires, or a set number of points are reached. The ultimate goal of an Infection match is to have the most number of points when the match is over. Points are granted to Troopers by either stunning Hayden, finishing Hayden, or assisting in bring Hayden down and points are awarded to Hayden by killing Troopers (Troopers can lose points by committing suicide).

As a Trooper, the player will be armed with either an assault rifle or a shotgun, have a couple grenades, and one proximity mine. Troopers can only attack Hayden, and so they can either work together (communicating via a shared chat channel) or go solo. In order to bring Hayden down, they must inflict a set amount damage which will stun him, and then, while he is stunned, perform a “finisher.” The Trooper that performs the “finisher” becomes infected and plays as Hayden in the next round.

As Hayden, the player has no allies, but is armed with a Tekna 9mm, the Glaive, all three Evolutionary Powers, and any weapons dropped by the Troopers or lying around the various maps. Hayden also has access to the elements fire, ice, and electricity (depending on the level) to use against the attacking Troopers.

Epidemic - The Epidemic game type is a team based match between the Lasrian military, and the Agency. Players are divided into two teams where (on each team) one player assumes the role of Hayden, and all others assume the roles of Troopers. Matches end based on a time limit, or point total, and rounds end whenever a Hayden is brought down. Team points are awarded whenever an opposing team brings down the other team’s Hayden, and individual points are awarded to players based on kills and assists (players can also lose points by committing suicide). Players can only communicate with other players in the same team, and can only attack players on the opposing team. Both the Troopers and the Haydens retain the same functionality they have in the Infection game type.

In both game types, players will respawn at designated spawn points when they are killed.

Multiplayer Customization

On the X360, MP games can either be played using Xbox Live, or System Link. On the PS3, MP games can either be played on the Playstation Network, or LAN.

Each multiplayer game type supports up to ten players and has access to five different maps. The maps are unique in size, detail (such as weather effects), and layout. For example, the map called the Deck promotes a more close combat oriented play style, whereas the Court promotes a more team-based play style with its symmetrical layout and numerous opportunities to surround opposition. Multiplayer games can also be customized in terms of time limit, number of players, score limit, and the existence of bots.


A Leaderboard is available for both the PS3 and the X360, however the X360 board uses TrueSkill™ rank and the PS3 uses a traditional scoring system. A player’s score on the board (either PS3 or X360) is based on the multiplayer game performance game performance.

PS3 vs. X360

Both systems will allow players to create, join, and search for multiplayer games. However, only the X360 gives players a Quick game option, a Custom game option, and a Ranked game option. The Quick game option will pick a game for the player based on their preference of Infection or Epidemic. The Custom game option allows players to set up their own games with the customizable settings of time limit, score limit, number of players, and the availability of bots. Ranked games are directly linked to the X360 Leaderboard. A player’s performance in a Ranked game will determine their position on the X360 Leaderboard. The PS3 allows players to search for or create multiplayer games.

Continue Next page