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Microsoft Consoles Articles

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Xbox 360 Review
Relic takes a break from RTS to bring us Space Marine, and shows us what it means to be one of the God-Emperor's Finest.

Mirror's Edge Review
An exclusive in-depth look at DICE's much anticipated first-person parkour action game.

Turtle Beach Ear Force X2 Review
The headphone market is a hot one for gamers these days, the latest hardware can often offer incredible abilities but at the same time conflict with existing hardware.

XBOX Do It Yourself Guide
The Microsoft XBOX console for many new owners happens to be a reliable system that can go for quite an abusive period. For owners of launch systems and first year systems though this console has proven to be quite troublesome to be the least with the dreaded Thompson Drive. Since this is one of the most common complaints I'm going to run through cleaning proceedure and teardown to remove the old laser assembly and install a new one. Before we go into that I'm required to state the following.

Microsoft Consoles News

Assassin's Creed Unity Season Pass adds 'Dead Kings' story DLC, China-based spin-off

0 comments Rory Young - 9:17pm (PST) Like Share

Man, and I was hoping for Zombie George Washington Returns DLC

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Assassin's Creed Unity is about a month and a half away from its November 11 launch in North America. Pre-release hype is growing to mass capacity and veteran gamers should know what that means in our modern era -- Season Pass announcement time. At least there's no competitive multiplayer packs in this one! Unity's Season Pass will package together story DLC, additional missions, and even an entire spin-off game set in China. No pricing details have yet been revealed.

As ever, there will be a mix of content types with Assassin's Creed Unity's Season Pass. As such, it's likely that everyone will want to look at each piece of the pack and weigh whether it's worth picking up the full Season Pass as opposed to just one or two pieces individually. Here are the three DLC packs included in the Season Pass:

  • Assassin's Creed Unity Dead Kings - A story campaign DLC that takes place after the ending of Assassin's Creed Unity. Described as "the darkest story" explored in the Assassin's Creed franchise, Dead Kings takes players to the rural city of Saint Denis where France's royalty has been traditionally buried. Secrets lie buried here as well. A self-contained story that unlocks weapons, gear, skills and outfits that can carry over to the main game.
  • Assassin's Creed Unity Missions, Weapons, and Outfits - Additional content added to the main Assassin's Creed Unity setting in Paris. The three missions are titled The American Prisoner, Killed by Science and The Chemical  Revolution. Includes "over 30" new weapons, outfits and equipment on launch day.

  • Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China - An all new spin-off title which takes the Assassin's Creed franchise in a 2.5D direction. The side-view standalone game is developed by Climax Studios, not Ubisoft, and takes place in 16th century China. Players take on the role of Shao Jun, a pupil of Ezio Auditore, as she acts out her revenge using stealth and action. Shao Jun first appeared in Assassin's Creed: Embers, a CG short that was released with Assassin's Creed Revelations in 2011, during which the woman (on the run, then) sought out Ezio and beseeched him to train her.

The Season Pass is described to incude over 8 hours of content and pre-ordering the DLC will unlock an exclusive weapon, the War Axe. And while pricing has not yet been announced, the total cost for purchasing the Season Pass will be 30% cheaper than purchasing each piece of DLC individually. 

I'm actually really interested in both the Dead Kings DLC and Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China. The dark nature of the former and the stylized 2D f the latter are great directions for the franchise and I'm glad they're able to be explored as DLC. However, mixing in the third part of the Season Pass, the outfits, weapons, and missions, is extraneous and is only there to justify the price. Basically, everyone's paying for the other two pieces of DLC and getting the other content free. It's not really much of a deal in that regard.

Assassin's Creed Unity launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC starting November 11. Well, that is unless the PC version is delayed as Ubisoft loves to do. Both the game and its Season Pass are likely available for pre-order right now.

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Titanfall: IMC Rising DLC reveal is coming tomorrow via livestream, Respawn teases with gameplay clip

1 comments Lydia Sung - 2:54pm (PST) Like Share

Maybe we'll finally know when it's coming out

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Respawn Entertainment today dropped a minor Titanfall teaser today, by announcing plans to do their big reveal for the upcoming IMC Rising DLC pack. Just remember to tune in tomorrow at noon, for the scheduled Titanfall: IMC Rising livestream.

The livestream, which will be starting at 12:00 PM Pacific, will presumably dish out more details and get more in-depth with the three upcoming maps. Live gameplay and giveaways are being teased, and we might even find out when exactly IMC Rising will be released. When a fan asked via the official Titanfall Facebook about the still-unspecified debut, Respawn only said they would be "revealing more details on the release date soon."

Way to keep us all in suspense. Either way, we know already that IMC Rising is supposed to come out this fall, which could be anytime between now and the end of November. The three new maps were confirmed some time ago as Sandtrap, Backwater, and Zone 18.

As a final reminder, the livestream is set for September 23 at noon Pacific Time. See the teaser clip below.


Dark Souls II TGS assets for Crown of the Ivory King tease an icy nightmare

7 comments Rory Young - 1:35pm (PST) Like Share

It's a good thing nothing in this world seems to have a beating heart

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After both Crown of the Sunken King and Crown of the Old Iron King were both astonishingly well received, Dark Souls II fans have been craving the release of the third and final pack. Concluding The Lost Crowns DLC trilogy, Crown of the Ivory King will take players to an ancient, frozen and lifeless castle. Launching on September 24, the one remaining question isn't whether or not it'll be great content, but whether it'll appease fans who know there's no more content left to come.

In the more than a dozen screenshots that were released alongside the ongoing Tokyo Games Show, well, there's very little to be seen. Unfortunately the screenshots aren't particularly picturesque when compared to some of Dark Souls II's more colorful and livelier environments. Ivory Crown's setting is, for better or worse, an icy wasteland. It's hollow, empy, cold and lonely. In other words, it's the perfect place for a Dark Souls II DLC pack to take place, but not so much for a series of screenshots.

One boon of the early look at the DLC is that we're shown a handful of enemies from the region. Undead soldiers covered in shards of ice, a stag of some sort with long, curling horns who is also adorned in icicles, and of course an odd cyclops/golem who seems to have gotten the better of a player. Or maybe these are all enemies also in the main game and I'll get called out for being a Dark Souls noob here.

Dark Souls II's third and final DLC pack, Crown of the Ivory King, will be available starting September 24. In the mean time, hopefully these screenshots can tide fans over. Either that, or they're still busy with Old Iron King. The full game is currently available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Battlefield Hardline Hotwire gameplay trailer is all about fast cars and not getting caught

3 comments Lydia Sung - 7:25pm (PST) Like Share

Unless you're playing as the cops, of course

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Battlefield Hardline has a new trailer showing off the game's "Hotwire" mode. As the name sort of already suggests, this involves cars, and driving them very fast. Depending on which side you pick, one side will be chasing the other in a game of cat and mouse.

In "Hotwire," criminals (that's one side) must quickly get to their marked cars and then get the hell out. Players on the opposing team assume the role of police, who must then chase down these fleeing criminals. The streets are going to very unface for a while, especially when the world becomes your racetrack. This means going well off-road, through narrow streets in urban mazes.

Battlefield Hardline will be out early 2015 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. Be sure to check out some new screenshots below after the trailer.

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Ori and the Blind Forest extended prologue is a real tear jerker, spanning ten interactive minutes

0 comments Lydia Sung - 6:05pm (PST) Like Share

Sad beginnings lead to new adventures

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Moon Studios today released a new video for their upcoming platformer, Ori and the Blind Forest. Not quite a trailer, the 10-minute video instead shows the new extended introduction, complete with its playable moments. Prepare for the feels.

When originally showcased at E3 this year, the intro was considerably shorter and didn't feature any interaction. In it, we see Naru, the adorable little Guardian Spirit, as he is taken in by a stepmother of sorts. The two live quite happily in a forest together, until their world suddenly begins to decay. After this mysterious event, Naru must leave home and begin searching for answers -- about the forest and himself.

Honestly, this fantasy platformer came out of nowhere and won over so many fans after the convention in June. A smooth Metroidvania style meshes wonderfully with the beautiful art style, making Ori and the Blind Forest one of our most anticipated games of the year. Expect to see the game on Xbox One and PC this holiday season.

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Unofficial Destiny PSA: Bungie requests Guardians cease taking degrading selfies with vendors

10 comments Lydia Sung - 1:48pm (PST) Like Share

Please, won't anyone think of the vendors

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Destiny is certainly one of those games meant for lasting value, with a little something for everyone. Well, apparently some folks are having a little too much fun, and Bungie today made a rather clear and concise request regarding the matter. Guys, please stop taking selfies that are degrading to the vendors.

I mean, really. Vendors provide an important service to the Guardians and are no less important than the men and women who venture into the ruins of society on a daily basis. And yet, on a near weekly (sometimes) daily basis, I observe my fellow Guarians freak dancing with the Cryptarch. Others, too, but mostly him.

Taking selfies of these acts is just going too far.

Won't someone please think of the vendors?


Killer Instinct Season 2 trailer showcases Maya, a returning fighter with a massive makeover

7 comments Lydia Sung - 12:48am (PST) Like Share

Not long now, as October release nears

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A new batch of Killer Instinct trailer and screenshots provide a proper unveiling for Maya, a returning fighter and also the first Season 2 character announced. Season 2, for those who aren't yet aware, is like an expansion of sorts for this Xbox One exclusive, set to arrive in October.

Maya has certainly changed a lot since her original incarnation(s), and I dare say it's for the better. Her costume is more modest and no less flattering, now more elegant than revealing. Gone are the leopard skin bikini and bright blonde hair; in their place, Incan gold armor and darker hair pulled into dreads. Also of note might be the marking going up Maya's leg, though we're not yet aware of its significance or if there is any to speak of.

Killer Instinct Season 2 will be released for Xbox One on October 15, and brings eight additional fighters to the roster. Numerous "packs" will be available, depending on how much content you're after. The Ultra Edition (priced at $39.99/£34.99/€39.99) will feature the eight fighters, some new costumes and accessory packs, early access to more content, plus a copy of the 1996 Killer Instinct 2 game. The cheaper Combo Breaker Edition ($19.99/£16.99/€19.99) unlocks the eight new fighters, but nothing else. All Season 2 characters can be unlocked individually for $4.99/£3.99/€4.99 each.

Oh, and be sure to watch the trailer through to the end.

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Destiny named best-selling new game franchise 'of all time,' users log over 100 million hours already

6 comments Lydia Sung - 10:11pm (PST) Like Share

And that's just the first week

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Destiny is apparently doing quite well, publisher Activision announced today. In five days, the $500 million in game copies that were ordered and shipped out, most of them went out to paying customers. In five days, worldwide sales exceeded $325 million, and players have since logged over 100 million hours in the game. 

Bungie reports that with over 100 million hours already logged by the end of Destiny's first week, players participated in 137 activities. Yes, that's a lot. Activision went ahead and declared Destiny their next billion-dollar franchise, which doesn't seem like a stretch by any means. The series also proved to be the most successful launch of a new game franchise.

Just this week, the game's first endgame raid, "Vault of Glass," was released. Bungie very confidently wished everyone good luck, while noting the raid would most likely require several sessions to complete. Additionally, more events have already been planned for this month, and those following.


Final Fantasy Type-0 HD coming to North America March 17, Final Fantasy XV demo bundled

2 comments Rory Young - 10:02pm (PST) Like Share

How is this even the same game as the PSP version?

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Before Final Fantasy XV arrives in either late 2015 or 2016, it will be preceded by what could be considered its sister title. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will be launching on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting May 17 of 2015, followed by a March 20 launch in Europe. Accompanying the release date reveal are two other things. First is an all new trailer showing the HD remaster in motion. Second is the huge announcement that a Final Fantasy XV demo titled, Final Fantasy -EPISODE DUSCAE-, will be packed in with the game at launch.

Fans can expect an experience that may be more akin to what we'll get with Final Fantasy XV than any other Final Fantasy title currently available. To be fair, it has been on the market since it launched in 2011 for the PlayStation Portable. Still, a lot of the tech that is going into Final Fantasy XV was also used in the early days for Final Fantasy XV -Type-0. Heck, Type-0's director is now the director for Final Fantasy XV! That's how closely related the two are.

I'd  say that the HD remaster may as well be an entirely different game at this point, when compared to its earlier 2011 iteration. As shown in the trailer, the visual are almost incomparable to its predecessor. All of Square Enix's modern technology has gone into making the game look beautiful. Well, a beautiful as a 2011 PlayStation Portable game can look with upgraded PlayStation 4 and Xbox One visuals.

One final detail to make note of is that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will cost the full $60 price of a new game. Perhaps that much work did go into remastering the PSP game for modern consoles, or perhaps Square Enix is betting that the Final Fantasy XV demo will push sales. I agree.

Final Fantasy Type-0 will be available starting on May 17, 2015 in North America and May 20, 2015 in Europe.


Final Fantasy XV Tokyo Games Show trailer is searching for 2016 in the back of a convertible

8 comments Rory Young - 6:48pm (PST) Like Share

Marry me, blonde lady, and please launch your game already

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It feels like some time since we've seen Final Fantasy XV in motion. There's no way that Square Enix could get past the Tokyo Games Show without a new trailer, however. It's my privilege then to introduce everyone to the Final Fantasy XV TGS 2014 trailer, which focuses almost entirely on in-game combat at exploration. Half of it literally takes place in the back of a convertible. The clash of modern fashion and Final Fantasy tradition is unmistakable. Ah, it feels good to be home.

From that first moment, where four guys in black slacks suits riding packed into a convertible look up to see a giant turtle-like monster bursting forth from the group, the trailer is glorious. In what other game would the party ride around in a convertible fighting knights in full plate mail and wielding automatic rifles. The beautiful contrast of modern style, futuristic technology and fantasy tropes continue from there as dragons take to the sky and that classical Final Fantasy tune closes the video out. It's hard for longtime fans not to swoon just a little.

Reveling in the nostalgia is a disservice to the other awesome portions of the video. Sure, the game features 3D action, but the UI looked minimalist and with a classic flair (those bottom right health bars). The animations of each party member as they dashed and sliced was some of the best I've ever seen in an RPG, not to mention those group action animations. Just the dudes' hair as they drove around in their car was impressive. Take that, Lara Croft and your hair physics technology!

The bad news is that Final Fantasy XV still doesn't have a release date. It's looking more and more like 2016 is the realistic release window for the game's launch in the west. That's not a terrible thing, considering we're most of the way through 2014 already, but with the game now looking to have taken 10 years of development... it wouldn't be unfair to be angry at this point. Watching this TGS trailer should sooth those woes at least a little bit.

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