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Tuesday, December 29

NFL Picks: Week 16 Results / Week 17 Picks



Welcome back to NFL Picks, where the end is in sight. The playoff picture is becoming focused as the path to Miami now goes through Indianapolis and New Orleans.

Here's those standout picks from Week 16:
  • EVERYONE'S CORRECT picks: Green Bay, New England, Philadelphia, Arizona and San Francisco.
  • EVERYONE'S WRONG picks: New Orleans and Minnesota.
  • xxInspirationxx was the ONLY one to pick the Tennessee Titans WRONG on Christmas night.
  • JohnnyX77 was the only one to pick Buffalo and Kansas City wrong in their respective games.
  • JohnnyX77 was the ONLY one to pick Carolina CORRECT in their big win over the G-Men.
  • BlazenHawks was the ONLY one to get the N.Y. Jets CORRECT in their win over Indy.
  • Stopable was the only one to pick the Redskins and got it wrong.
Our only two point conversion game that worked out was Tampa beating New Orleans. Unfortunately, nobody picked the Bucs.

The results from Week 16 alone:

1.) KnightnBattle10 / 12
T2.) Deus Legend / 11
T2.) BlazenHawks / 11
T2.) JohnnyX77 / 11
5.) xxInspirationxx / 10
T6.) Jerhawk / 9
T6.) Stopable / 9

DNP: JRC865, IronHorse1995, Finch865

Our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by Autotrader.com.

1.) KnightnBattle10 / 164
2.) Stopable / 158
3.) JohnnyX77 / 156
4.) BlazenHawks / 151
T5.) Jerhawk / 150
T5.) Deus Legend / 150
7.) xxInspirationxx / 143
8.) JRC865 / 133
9.) IronHorse1995 / 113
10.) Finch865 / 46

The Week 17 schedule. This will be the last week for the two point conversions, due to the playoffs. The New Orleans/Carolina and Indy/Buffalo games will NOT be 2 Point Conversions because those top two teams will be resting their starters, in case you were wondering.

Indianapolis @ Buffalo

New Orleans @ Carolina

Jacksonville @ Cleveland

Chicago @ Detroit

New England @ Houston

Pittsburgh @ Miami

*N.Y. Giants @ Minnesota (Upset Special: Vikings favored by 8.5)

*San Francisco @ St. Louis (Upset Special: 49ers favored by 7.5)

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Green Bay @ Arizona

*Kansas City @ Denver (Upset Special: Denver favored by 13)

*Baltimore @ Oakland (Upset Special: Ravens favored by 10.5 forever more)

Washington @ San Diego

Tennessee @ Seattle

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Cincinnati @ N.Y. Jets (Sunday Night Finale)

Here's the rules for the playoff picks: Wild Card round will be worth 2 points per game, Divisional Round will be worth 3 per game, 4 for the Conference Championship games and 5 for the Super Bowl.

Next week I'll add in all of our divisional winners (worth 5 points each) which will really shake up the standings, and I'll show you guys how our Super Bowl teams are doing that we picked back at the beginning of the season (or Week 10).

A player comparison brought to us by BlazenHawks. This one included Andy Lee, the punter for the 49ers (left) and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar (right).


Humor Corner: Jerhawk Gets a 360 For Chirstmas


A couple of years ago, when the 360 first came out, Jerhawk got a 360 that Christmas. Even though XBLN wasn't around at the time, we still managed to capture footage of young Jerhawk opening his 360.

Sunday, December 27

America's Game: Blazenhawks



This is from our 2nd league. I threw the ball to Devin Hester and it bounced off of him and Chris Henry caught the ball.





This was just a kickoff return. I did not want to take it but I had to and I'm glade I did.

Saturday, December 26

Old Nick Toons Episode Free On XBLM

There are free episodes of some Nickelodeon shows up on the Video Marketplace right now, including:

Rocko's Modern Life
Doug
Rugrats
Hey Arnold


It appears that the first episode of each of these shows is currently Free.

To stream/download, just go to the Zune marketplace, TV, Nickelodeon.

Ads in Madden 10 Causing Some Dismay


In-game advertisements in sports games are nothing new. For the most part they have been integrated well to actually enhance the immersive nature of the sports they are attempting to replicate. Madden 10 certainly has its share of sponsors displayed in differing ways though the majority of which don’t get in the way of the game being played.

However since the latest patch was released there has been a level of discontent building in the community regarding the pop-up ads that appear above the scoreboard before the snap. While these ads were displayed occasionally before the patch they were merely seen as a slight annoyance and only randomly appeared.

Following the second patch however reports from many indicate that the ads appear prior to almost every single play. While the particular ad in question doesn’t get in the way of anything critical it does stand out and in no way is representative of ads seen on NFL telecasts. The 360 gets primarily the Bing ad while the PS3 sees a never-ending stream for Madden Arcade.

Kotaku had a write-up about this very issue earlier today. Given that most of EA is on vacation for the holidays there may be no comment about it coming anytime soon. Response regarding the particular ads from gamers is mixed with some not minding while others find themselves very perturbed by them.

[PP]

Thursday, December 24

Happy Holidays!

We here at Xbox Live Network, would like to wish all of our viewers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mass Effect 2 Dirty Dozen Trailer


Mass Effect 2 looks amazing. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 23

Changing My Gamertag



Hello people, I game going to change my gamer tag. I need some good suggestions. Please leave a comment on what you think my GT should be. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 22

NFL Picks: Week 15 Results / Week 16 Picks



Hello, and welcome back to xboxlivenetwork.com's NFL Picks, hosted by Jerhawk.

Here's those standout picks from Week 15:
  • EVERYBODY's CORRECT picks: New England, Arizona, Philadelphia and Houston.
  • EVERYBODY got the Minnesota Vikings pick WRONG after their loss on Sunday Night to Carolina.
  • Jerhawk was the only one to get Jacksonville wrong after their Thursday Night loss to Indianapolis.
  • Jerhawk and BlazenHawks were the only ones to pick the Cowboys on Saturday Night to take down those Saints, and they got it CORRECT.
  • Jerhawk and BlazenHawks teamed up again to pick against their own team, the Seattle Seahawks, going with Tampa Bay instead, getting that pick CORRECT.
  • BlazenHawks was the only person to go for the 2-point conversion with the Miami Dolphins, but got it wrong. BlazenHawks was also the only person to get Kansas City wrong.
  • Deus Legend was the only one to pick his Atlanta Falcons CORRECT over the N.Y. Jets.
  • Jerhawk got the first 2 point conversion of the season, going with Oakland in the upset over Denver.
The results from Week 15 alone:

1.) Jerhawk / 13
2.) Deus Legend / 11
T3.) KnightnBattle10 / 10
T3.) xxInspirationxx / 10
5.) JohnnyX77 / 9
T6.) BlazenHawks / 8
T6.) Stopable

JRC865, IronHorse1995 and Finch865 did not pick for Week 15.

Now for our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by Southwest Airlines. Grab your bag. It's on:

1.) KnightnBattle10 / 152
2.) Stopable / 149
3.) JohnnyX77 / 145
4.) Jerhawk / 141
5.) BlazenHawks / 140
6.) Deus Legend / 139
T7.) xxInspirationxx / 133
T7.) JRC865 / 133
9.) IronHorse1995 / 113
10.) Finch865 / 46

The Week 16 Matchups. Please have your pick in by kickoff of that particular game you're choosing for. Thank you.

San Diego @ Tennessee (Friday Night Christmas Special)

Buffalo @ Atlanta

*Kansas City @ Cincinnati (Upset Special: Bengals favored by 14 points)

Oakland @ Cleveland

*Seattle @ Green Bay (Upset Special: Green Bay favored by 14 points)

Houston @ Miami

Carolina @ N.Y. Giants

Jacksonville @ New England

*Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (Upset Special: Saints favored by 14.5 points)

Denver @ Philadelphia

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

*St. Louis @ Arizona (Upset Special: Arizona favored by 14 points)

*Detroit @ San Francisco (Upset Special: 49ers favored by 11.5 points)

N.Y. Jets @ Indianapolis

Dallas @ Washington (Sunday Night)

Minnesota @ Chicago (Monday Night Finale)

Also, we will be picking for the six main BCS Bowl games which will be worth one (1) point each. Please have these picks in by the kickoff of those particular games. Good luck!

Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Florida vs. Cincinnati

Citi Rose Bowl (Jan.1): Ohio State vs. Oregon

AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 2): Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 4): TCU vs. Boise State

FedEx Orange Bowl (Jan. 5): Georgia Tech. vs. Iowa

Citi National Championship (Jan. 7): Texas vs. Alabama

This week's player comparison is Randy Moss (left) and Buckwheat (right).



Madden Ultimate Team




Like trading cards? Like fantasy football? Then you'll want to hear all about this new update for Madden 10.

I'd like to take complete credit for Madden Ultimate Team, but I know better than that. Ever since the From the Bleachers days--heck, ever since EA Sports released its collectible card feature back in UEFA Champions League 2006-2007--I've been clamoring for just such a card feature to make its way to other EA Sports games, and I've hardly been alone in that regard. Soon, those requests will be answered with Madden Ultimate Team, an upcoming feature update to Madden NFL 10 that mixes trading card collecting with fantasy football. And best of all? It's free.

If you've seen the Ultimate Team feature for FIFA, then you probably have a good idea of what Madden Ultimate Team is all about. Once you've downloaded the feature, it will become a separate menu item in Madden 10, and after loading it up for the first time, you'll be given a randomized set of cards, enough to get you up and running right away. Playing games with your team, you'll earn credits that you can then use to buy bronze, silver, or gold packs full of more cards you can use to bolster your team. You'll also be able to spend real-world cash to buy in-game credits.

Those cards include players, stadiums, playbooks, coaches, injury cards, and contract cards, and the quality of the card will be reflected in its status as either a bronze, silver, or gold card. Elite players like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady will obviously be gold status, while the majority of NFL players will be either silver or bronze level cards. The players in your initial pack of cards will be mostly bronze with a few silvers thrown in (the equivalent to overall ratings of 75 or below), but once you have some credits in hand, you can start working on improving your talent level.

Want to see more Click Here

Monday, December 21

Mass Effect 2 Infiltrator Class Video


Friday, December 18

Splinter Cell: Conviction Co-op Game Play Video


Convictions co-op is a prequel to the events in the main campaign of this game. It looks fun. We here cannot wait for this game.

Thursday, December 17

Fired Up! Gamer Privacy


When somethings are public, they are public for everybody to see without you "asking" for it. When things are private, they are private and if the person don't give you the information, you go no further.

Privacy was the hot topic this week on XBLN and it is very important to respects people privacy and know your boundaries. Some private things can include a persons name, photos of them, and other information not "given" to you. When the private boundaries are breached, some bad things can happen. Here's a question for all of you, can you trust a person that obtains information about you and go out searching for more information about you without you knowing or giving them permission to?

Friendships are all about trust. If you do anything that can break that trust field, then you are seriously jeopardizing the friendship.

If you find out a persons name then fine. Don't go out searching on google, countless people finders, myspace, or facebook trying to find out more about the person without 1) The persons permission 2) Definately don't do this crime behind a persons back without them knowing 3) Don't get busted while you are doing it. And yes, there is a way to find if someone if searching you on the internet.

So to all gamers out there, be careful about who you give your information out to. For starters, it's against Xbox Live's Policy to give out personal information. It is also against pretty much any online mediums policy to give out such information. With all of the identity theft situations and the prominence of it during this recession, how and why would you give such information anyway? You have to keep yourself safe online. Protect your identity because it is the only thing you have on this earth. Its okay if you know the person you are talking to personally and have met them. But to give such information to a stranger, is just strange.

So back to the original question. I would say no because, you simply can't trust a stranger with your information obtained beyond your will. It's a very uncomfortable situation. I suggest if such situation happens to you, just distance yourself from all communication with the person.

So "TRY' to keep yourself safe out there gamers and just play!

Tuesday, December 15

NFL Picks: Week 14 Results / Week 15 Picks



Hello, and welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here are those wild picks from Week 14:
  • EVERYONE's CORRECT picks: New Orleans, Buffalo, New England and Tennessee in their respective games.
  • EVERYONE elected to not go with the 2-Point conversion in the Steelers/Browns game last Thursday night, resulting in everyone getting that pick WRONG. We all went with Pittsburgh.
  • JRC865 and IronHorse1995 were the only ones to go with the 2-point conversion with the Detroit Lions, but got that pick wrong.
  • xxInspirationxx was the only person to pick Chicago over Green Bay, but got that wrong.
  • BlazenHawks was the only one to go with Tampa Bay over the N.Y. Jets, but got it wrong.
  • IronHorse1995 was the only one to pick San Francisco over Arizona on Monday Night, and got it CORRECT.
Our Week 14 results:

1.) KnightnBattle10 / 14
T2.) Deus Legend / 13
T2.) Stopable / 13
4.) JohnnyX77 / 12
5.) Jerhawk / 11
T6.) BlazenHawks / 9
T6.) IronHorse1995 / 9
T8.) xxInspirationxx / 8
T8.) JRC865 / 8

Finch865 did not pick again this week.

Our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by Craftsman: America's most trusted tool.

1.) KnightnBattle10 / 142
2.) Stopable / 141
3.) JohnnyX77 / 136
4.) JRC865 / 133
5.) BlazenHawks / 132
T6.) Jerhawk / 128
T6.) Deus Legend / 128
8.) xxInspirationxx / 123
9.) IronHorse1995 / 113
10.) Finch865 / 46

If you feel like you're down in the standings, just turn that frown upside mister! Don't forget about those divisional picks we made at the beginning of the season worth 5 points each (which haven't been added in yet, that'll be at the end of the regular season) along with those Super Bowl picks.

The Week 15 matchups. It's hard to believe it's already Week 15. It's gone by so fast. Please have your picks in by kickoff of that particular game you're picking for. Thanks!

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (Thursday Night)

Dallas @ New Orleans (Saturday Night Slobber-Knocker)

*Chicago @ Baltimore (Upset Special: Ravens favored by 10 points)

New England @ Buffalo

*Arizona @ Detroit (Upset Special: Cards favored by 11.5 points)

Cleveland @ Kansas City

Atlanta @ N.Y. Jets

*San Francisco @ Philadelphia (Upset Special: Eagles favored by 8.5 points)

Green Bay @ Pittsburgh

*Houston @ St. Louis (Upset Special: Texans favored by 10.5 points)

Miami @ Tennessee

*Oakland @ Denver (Upset Special: Broncos favored by 13.5 points)

Cincinnati @ San Diego

Tampa Bay @ Seattle

Minnesota @ Carolina (Sunday Night)

N.Y. Giants @ Washington (Monday Night)



Here's a player comparison brought to us by Deus Legend. This one includes Howie Long (left) and cartoon character Hank Hill (right).






Mass Effect 2 Engineer and Sentinel Class


Monday, December 14

America's Game JohnnyX

Sunday, December 13

Halo Reach Trailer

Mass Effect 2 Cinematic Trailer

Thursday, December 10

Fired Up! The First Show: MW2 Over Hyped?


Hello, Deus Legend here bring you all yet another show here on XBLN. This show will be called Fired Up! where we rant about random topics in the Xbox world. In this edition, I will get Fired Up! about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Was MW2 one of the most hyped games in the history of gaming? Every store you go into would have banners all over, multiple commercials, pre-order bonuses, and etc. But, was it really worth all of the hype, time, and effort for this game?

After about a good month of playing MW2, I can say that the single player experience in MW2 was top notch and was well worth the roller coaster ride. Then there is the co-op in the game which was also fun and provided a way for friends to team up for random missions. So far, the non-multiplayer portion of MW2 was worthwhile but what about the multiplayer?

Basically in a nutshell, the multiplayer for MW2 is almost the same as MW1. We get new perks, maps, etc. The one thing that is really bringing this game down are the random miscues in the multiplayer. Every once in a while too often, we get the situations where you have a person get shot up so much that you should get credit for two kills instead of one. Or when you are shooting at a guy and they just turn around and give you a nice knife in the face when they should have been dead 5 seconds beforehand. How about the guys that run around in games with the double shot guns stabbing people over and over again til days end? One thing I would like addressed in this game, is how can a guy survive when you are: 1)Shooting them first right in the head, or 2)You somehow miss with a knife but the guy you are trying to knife just turns around and knife you instead.

Another big deal in the game is the camping. Something that has plagued all FPS games online in the past is present in a very unpleasant way in MW2. I have played a lot of FPS game online and I have to say the MW is the worst where you can have a guy sit in a corner the whole game and get like 25 kills and 3 deaths. It happens in every multiplayer game I play in. It is almost like this game encourages camping a lot of times. Especially playing the Granddaddy of them all for camping, Team Hardcore. Just last night, I was playing a hardcore game and every round this group of guys would just sit and camp. I managed to infiltrate their "camp" and they literally had every angle covered. The camping is a real "Buzz Kill" for this game.

One thing I am trying to figure out, but is this game confused? Is it a tactical or an arcade shooter? From my point of view, this game is leaning towards being an arcade shooter. With all the little perks and such we get in the game, none of that is realistic. Tactical shooters are straight up without all of the little fancy perks and unrealistic uses of gadgets.

If Infinity Ward or whoever makes the next "Modern Warfare", one thing they need to figure out is balance. In MW2, who will win in this battle? A guy with a knife or a guy with an M16? If you said M16, you were wrong. On several occasions, you shoot a guy pointblank in the head with a gun and the guy with the knife somehow swoops in and gets a knife kill on you. How could this happen you may ask? Only Infinity Ward knows for the lack of balance they included with the game. Several game companies have struggled with balance in games but MW2 is one of the most unbalanced games out there.

So back to the original question of this whole ordeal, was MW2 the most over hyped game in history? Simply put, yes. You can argue all you want about it and believe otherwise, but nothing can hide the obvious flaws in this game. The flaws are really bringing down all the good in the game. No, I do not disagree with all the praise the game has received from sites like IGN and GameInformer but, those places will not bring the bad in a game like this. For starters, they do not play the games online against all forms of people. They play in small office settings where all the guys from every big site get together and play before the games release to write up a nice candy review of the game.

There is nothing that can be taken away from this game but the negatives at this point in the games short one month life. The negatives have definitely outweighed the positives. There are better games out there to accommodate your time, money, and energy. This game has fallen short of all the hype it has received from the media a lot of you fall victim of. You can try to believe otherwise but, you have to be in denial to believe the flaws are anything but what they are.

We would like to see what our fellow gamers have to say. Please leave your comments on this subject matter.

Thanks for reading and be sure to tune in to some more Fired Up! segments from us writers here on XboxLiveNetwork.com.

Around the Hawk: Halo 3 Top 10 Luckiest Kills

Here's a funny video of the Top 10 luckiest kills in Halo 3. This is episode 31 of a series of videos created by a group of gamers that specialize in making these Halo 3 top 10 videos on YouTube. This was one of the funniest that I've seen so far, but they're all great.

Tuesday, December 8

New EA Sports Game to be Announced in January



In a time where games are being shaved from the EA portfolio comes news that a new EA Sports game is on the horizon. As tweeted this evening by an EA Canada community manager a new title will be announced in January. So the speculation begins as to what that game will be.

My gut feeling on this is that it will be a WWE offering. The license between the WWE and THQ had its deadline for notice of renewal pass. Once that happened the WWE extended that deadline to December 31st. It is possible THQ informed WWE they did not intend to continue the license at which point EA could have jumped in and made an offer. The announcement coming in January certainly would make sense given the framing of the circumstances. WWE brings an established fan base and wouldn’t be seen as too much of a risk even in these difficult economic times.

The only other thing that comes to mind that would make a big splash would be the return of MVP Baseball. Currently there are no signs that 2K Sports has been able to get out of the third party license agreement, which would open up EA to making MLB games again. However recent financial news has shown why they would want to do just that.

This could also end up being another in the line of downloadable arcade games. Both 3 on 3 NHL Arcade and Madden Arcade are viewed as successes. It seems only a matter of time before an NBA Arcade comes along. As mentioned by wildthing202 is FIFA World Cup 10 but calling that a “new” game would be a stretch since it’s already known to be on the way. EA has released one every World Cup year since 1998.

[PP]

NFL Picks: Week 13 Results / Week 14 Picks



Welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here's the standout picks from Week 13:
  • EVERYBODY chose Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver AND San Diego in the respective games and got them all CORRECT, electing to not go for the 2 Point Conversion opportunities in those games (except the Denver game).
  • EVERYBODY got the Pittsburgh Steelers WRONG in their loss to Oakland.
  • Deus Legend was the only one to get his Atlanta Falcons wrong, but was also the only one to get the Jacksonville Jaguars correct.
  • JRC865 was the only one to pick the N.Y. Giants AND the Miami Dolphins CORRECT. Nice job.
  • KnightnBattle10 was the only person to pick the Arizona Cardinals correct.
Sadly, yet again none of our five 2-point conversion opportunities were successful this week. That Redskins/Saints game could've been our first game to work if not for that terrible collapse by Washington.

Our results from Week 13 alone:

T1.) KnightnBattle10 / 10
T1.) JRC865 / 10
T3.) Jerhawk / 8
T3.) Deus Legend / 8
T3.) xxInspirationxx / 8
T6.) Stopable / 7
T6.) JohnnyX77 / 7
8.) BlazenHawks / 6

IronHorse1995 and Finch865 did not pick this week. As you can see, it was a tough week for everyone in our picks.

Our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by Hot Pockets:

T1.) Stopable / 128
T1.) KnightnBattle10 / 128
3.) JRC865 / 125
4.) JohnnyX77 / 124
5.) BlazenHawks / 123
6.) Jerhawk / 117
T7.) Deus Legend / 115
T7.) xxInspirationxx / 115
9.) IronHorse1995 / 104
10.) Finch865 / 46

The Week 14 Matchups. Please have your picks and changes in before kickoff of that particular game. Thank you.

*Pittsburgh @ Cleveland (Thursday Night) (Upset Special: Steelers favored by 10 points)

*New Orleans @ Atlanta (Upset Special: Saints favored by 9.5 points)

*Detroit @ Baltimore (Upset Special: Ravens favored by 13.5 points)

Green Bay @ Chicago

Seattle @ Houston

Denver @ Indianapolis

Miami @ Jacksonville

Buffalo @ Kansas City

Cincinnati @ Minnesota

*Carolina @ New England (Upset Special: Patriots favored by 13.5 points)

N.Y. Jets @ Tampa Bay

*St. Louis @ Tennessee (Upset Special: Titans favored by 13 points)

Washington @ Oakland

San Diego @ Dallas

Philadelphia @ N.Y. Giants (Sunday Night)

Arizona @ San Francisco (Monday Night)

Saturday, December 5

New Backbreaker Details Emerge




While Backbreaker has been largely quiet since being shown to some media outlets at E3 there have been a few things discovered over that time including the publisher and potential release date and price. Now Backbreaker has finally stepped out and delivered additional details on the game. The current release date listed by Gamestop of April 27th would fit in the spring time frame now mentioned and appears to be a real date and not a placeholder. That date has not been confirmed though so it could change. The discounted price of $49.99 seems likely but this has not been confirmed either.

Madden 10 Patch #2 for 360 Next Week





In a message sent out by senior producer Phil Frazier the status of the patch for the 360 version of Madden 10 has been provided. It is now targeted for release late next week.

Tuesday, December 1

NFL Picks: Week 12 Results / Week 13 Picks






Welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here's those wild picks from Week 12:
  • EVERYONE'S CORRECT picks: Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota AND San Diego.
  • EVERYONE got the Miami Dolphins game WRONG since the Bills won instead.
  • BlazenHawks was the only one to pick Oakland wrong in his attempt to get a 2-Point conversion.
  • Deus Legend was the only one to pick Tampa Bay wrong in his try at a 2-Point conversion.
  • Jerhawk was the only one to get Cleveland wrong in his attempt to get a 2-Point conversion.
  • IronHorse was the only person to pick the Redskins wrong after their close loss to Philadelphia.
  • Jerhawk and xxInspirationxx were the only ones to pick St. Louis wrong in their loss to the Seahawks.
  • Jerhawk and JohnnyX77 picked the Arizona Cardinals wrong, and were the only ones to do so.
  • JohnnyX77 was the only person to pick the Steelers wrong after losing to the Ravens.
Unfortunately, none of the 2-Point Conversion games worked again this week. They will eventually!

Our results from Week 12 alone. Everyone did great with high scores down the board:

T1.) Stopable / 14
T1.) IronHorse1995 / 14
3.) JRC865 / 13
T4.) BlazenHawks / 12
T4.) KnightnBattle10 / 12
T4.) xxInspirationxx / 12
7.) Deus Legend / 11
T8.) JohnnyX77 / 10
T8.) Jerhawk / 10

Finch did not pick this week.

Our overall PowerRankings presented this week by Staples: That was easy

1.) Stopable / 121
2.) KnightnBattle10 / 118
T3.) BlazenHawks / 117
T3.) JohnnyX77 / 117
5.) JRC865 / 115
6.) Jerhawk / 109
T7.) Deus Legend / 107
T7.) xxInspirationxx / 107
9.) IronHorse1995 / 104
10.) Finch865 / 46

The schedule for Week 13. Please have your picks in before that particular game kicks off. Thank you.

N.Y. Jets @ Buffalo (Thursday Night from Toronto)

Philadelphia @ Atlanta

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

*St. Louis @ Chicago

*Detroit @ Cincinnati

*Tennessee @ Indianapolis

Houston @ Jacksonville

Denver @ Kansas City

Oakland @ Pittsburgh

*New Orleans @ Washington

*San Diego @ Cleveland

Dallas @ N.Y. Giants

San Francisco @ Seattle

New England @ Miami

Minnesota @ Arizona (Sunday Night Flexed Game)

Baltimore @ Green Bay (Monday Night)

Your InsideEdge for the five 2-Point Conversion opportunities in Week 13:

St. Louis Rams (1-10) vs. Chicago Bears (4-7)
The Bears are favored by 8.5 points.

Detroit Lions (2-9) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)
The Bengals are favored by 13 points.

Tennessee Titans (5-6) vs. Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
The Colts are favored by 7 points.

New Orleans Saints (11-0) vs. Washington Redskins (3-8)
The Saints are favored by 9.5 points.

San Diego Chargers (8-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-10)
The Chargers are favored by 12.5 points.

Just in case you were wondering, at the end of the regular season, I'll add up our division winners and tack those onto our scores. Some divisions have already been clinched up, or are very close to being clinched, so a few of your have more bonus points that you don't know about yet.

Here's another NFL comparison that I've come up with. This one includes Viking's team owner Ziggy Wilf (left) and actor Eugene Levy (right) from the American Pie movies and many others.










Monday, November 30

New Xbox 360 Cases



Those who recently purchased some of this holiday's biggest titles for Xbox 360, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, probably noticed something a little different about their game cases. The circular-style holes behind game discs and instruction manuals are not production errors. It's a new effort by companies to become more environmentally friendly by reducing excess packaging materials.

Hong Kong-based case manufacturer Viva Group recently rolled style the new style of casing dubbed the 'Eco-Box' which significantly reduces CO2 production emissions. The Eco-Box is already being used by movie studios for DVDs, but now it has begun appearing in the videogames industry.

Viva passed along some statistical data to show the reduction in CO2 emissions this new packaging provides:
  • 2005/2006 Xbox 360 box: 0.249 lbs of CO2e
  • 2007-current Xbox 360 box: 0.203 lbs of CO2e
  • 2009 Xbox 360 ECO-box: 0.172 lbs of CO2e
  • Difference: 0.077 less CO2e per box 2005-2009; 0.031 lbs of CO2e savings per box 2007-2009
That is a 31% reduction in CO2e since product introduction in 2005 and 15.27% reduction in CO2e since 2007.

Thursday, November 26

Happy Thanksgiving




From everyone from Xboxlivenetwork.com A very happy thanksgiving and don't eat too much.

Wednesday, November 25

Black Friday 2009 Deals



Here are links to all the major stores Black Friday ads. Just click on a retailer to view:


NFL PowerRankings, presented by Jerhawk



This post will be an extension of our NFL Picks series, where I will list my own NFL PowerRankings of teams 1 through 32. You're welcome to post your own opinions and rankings if you wish.


1.) Indianapolis Colts. This team really has everything going for them right now. From Peyton Manning, who's arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, to an improved defense. This team is kind of transforming from a finesse team into more of a power team before our eyes. How is Peyton Manning able to still be a top QB with these unknown receivers outside of Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark? He’s amazing.

2.) New Orleans Saints. A great offense lead by the league’s hottest quarterback matched with a surprisingly powerful and smart defense makes this team my second best team in the NFL. This Monday night’s game against New England will be their toughest test of the season. If they can hold up for this one, they might remain undefeated through the rest of the regular season.

3.) Minnesota Vikings. Who could’ve guessed that Brett Favre would be doing this again? I sure didn’t. This is a complete football team with SuperBowl 44 on their minds. If Brett Favre’s body can hold up, and Adrian Peterson can stay healthy, that dream may become a reality.


4.) New England Patriots. Their head coach has been criticized ever since his 4th and 2 decision against the Colts, and rightfully so. But aside from that, this team is looking very similar to how they’ve looked for the past decade.

5.) Cincinnati Bengals. They had a little hiccup against the Raiders, but this is still a good football team. Stopable may be Carson Palmer’s biggest critic, but if that QB can stay upright like he has all year, then this team can make a big playoff run. Who dey?

6.) San Diego Chargers. They started slow, but they’re back. They just waited for Denver to collapse again, and blew their doors off for the division lead.

7.) Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas is ahead of them for the division lead, and the Cowboys are even ahead of this team team in terms of overall record, but they're not ahead of them on my PowerRankings. The Eagles are still a very dangerous team whose best football is still ahead of them. The absence of Brian Westbrook is really hurting this team right now.

8.) Arizona Cardinals. Kurt Warner got banged up against the Rams this past Sunday, and his presence is a large part to this team’s success. There’s a big difference between Warner and Leinhart leading this team.

9.) Pittsburgh Steelers. The defense got exposed against Kansas City of all teams, and they got swept by their rivals, Cincinnati. A big game against Baltimore on Sunday night can determine this team’s season. Mike Tomlin is a still a great coach.

10.) Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo’s inconsistent season continues. A few weeks he’s up, and then he’s down. He’s too unpredictable to be leading this team deep into the playoffs. If they can even make the playoffs. December is this team’s nemesis.


11.) Denver Broncos. This team’s lucky to be this high after they’ve fallen off the Rocky Mountains and into Death Valley. Head coach Josh McDaniels needs to get a strangle hold on his team and get them going in the right direction before they get bucked out of the playoff race.

12.) New York Gaints. This team just needs to relax, take a deep breath and re-focus. They have what it takes to win.

13.) Green Bay Packers. The Wild Card is still in easy range. The offensive line just needs to protect poor Aaron Rodgers and things can happen. It’s not time to pack the season in yet.

14.) Jacksonville Jaguars. This team is flying under the radar, and that’s probably because of little Maurice Jones-Drew carrying the entire team on his shoulders.

15.) Baltimore Ravens. This team is a puzzle. I’m just not sure where to put them, so I’ll put them here.

16.) Tennessee Titans. I picked this team to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season, and they went 0-6. I jumped off the bandwagon, and now they’ve won four in a row. Chris Johnson’s the best running back in the league right now, and Vince Young is doing a nice job back as the starter thus far.

17.) New York Jets. What happened to Mark Sanchez? He started so strong, and has just fallen apart.

18.) Atlanta Falcons. This team should be higher, but they just can’t break through to that other side. They can do it.

19.) Houston Texans. Here’s another team that can easily be higher on the list, but they just can’t get that big win. Andre Johnson is still so underrated it’s not even funny.

20.) Miami Dolphins. If Ronnie Brown wasn’t injured, this team would be higher. The Wild Cat just isn’t the same without him running it. A good receiver is something that this team should try to find for next season to stretch the field. Ten Ginn Jr. is kind of inconsistent at receiver.

21.) San Francisco 49ers. Mike Singletary’s doing a fine job and Vernon Davis has finally broke through. They just need to find a way to get those wins.

22.) Carolina Panthers. Jake Delhomme needs to keep the ball away from the other team. A simple task that he makes difficult. Kind of unfortunate, since this is a good team.

23.) Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler is a punk crybaby who blames everyone but himself for his failures. The defense isn’t the typical tough Bear’s defenses of old without Urlacher. This team is a mess.


24.) Washington Redskins. They’ve played hard the past few weeks, but it won’t be enough to save poor Jim Zorn.

25.) Buffalo Bills. “T.O. is a no no for Buffalo.” This was the title of a college paper I wrote last year. Looks like I was right.

26.) Seattle Seahawks. There’s a lot I can say about this team since they’re my favorite, along with BlazenHawks, so I’ll keep it simple: We suck. A lack of mental and physical toughness, lack of heart, lack of effort and poor play calling by Jim Mora’s pathetic coordinators have turned this team from a yearly contender into a bottom feeder. We miss Mike Holmgren. Maybe Jim Zorn will be our coach next year?

27.) Oakland Raiders. They beat the Bengals. Victories are few and far between for this team.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs. They beat the Steelers. Victories are few and far between for this team.

29.) Detroit Lions. Hooray, they broke the top 30! Mathew Stafford showed some serious balls last week.

30.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Josh Freeman’s doing very good so far. The rest of the team, not so much.

31.) St. Louis Rams. Head coach Steve Spaguolo’s having a tough time. The organization should really give this guy a few more years though, because this team is young and still two to five years away from contending.

32.) Cleveland Browns. Who’s going to be their coach next year? Charlie Weis? I still think Brady Quinn is a quarterback who can be good; he just doesn’t have the pieces around him. Starting with a solid, reliable coach.

A reminder for the NFL Picks, please make your picks on the other post down below for Week 12.

MW2 Team Tactics Video

Tuesday, November 24

Rumor: A New Project Gotham?


A new Project Gotham Game could well be waiting in the wings, with a Microsoft executive seemingly revealing the existence of a new installment in the arcade racing series in a recent blog post.

Tom Burt, proud owner of a Tesla Roadster, was recently called upon to lend his unique supercar for some forthcoming games projects – and it seems one of them may be Project Gotham Racing 5.

Writing on the Tesla Motors customer's blog , Burt wrote "A team of sound engineers from Microsoft Game Studios (some working on Forza, some on Project Gotham Racing) asked if I was willing to take my Roadster to a track so they could record a variety of sounds."

The Project Gotham brand has been dormant since Bizarre Creations, the developer behind the first four games, was acquired by Activision.

Rumors have placed Forza developers Turn 10 in the driving seat for the new game, and at the very least we should expect the Tesla to turn up in Forza Motorsport 3 in the near future.

NFL Picks: Week 11 Results / Week 12 Picks




We'll now continue on NFL Picks. We're 2/3 of the way through the regular season, and it's shaping up to be a great finish.

Here are the wild picks from Week 11:

  • EVERYBODY picked the Minnesota Vikings CORRECT in their victory over the Seahawks.
  • JRC865 was the ONLY one to get the Thursday night game CORRECT with the Miami Dolphins. However, he was the ONLY one to pick the St. Louis Rams WRONG in their loss to Arizona.
  • Stopable was the ONLY person to pick the Buffalo Bills WRONG against the Jaguars.
  • EVERYBODY got the Pittsburgh Steelers AND the Cincinnati Bengals WRONG after their upset losses.
One of the 2 Point Conversions was successful this week, which was the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, nobody picked the Chiefs, so nobody got the 2 points. Maybe next week!

The results from Week 11 alone:

1.) JohnnyX77 / 12
T2.) Deus Legend / 11
T2.) BlazenHawks / 11
T2.) KnightnBattle10 / 11
T5.) Jerhawk / 10
T5.) JRC865 / 10
T5.) IronHorse1995 / 10
T5.) Stopable / 10
9.) xxInspirationxx / 8

Finch865 and Castortroy4206 did not pick.

Now for our overall PowerRankings presented this week by Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce.

T1.) JohnnyX77 / 107
T1.) Stopable / 107
3.) KnightnBattle10 / 106
4.) BlazenHawks / 105
5.) JRC865 / 102
6.) Jerhawk / 99
7.) Deus Legend / 96
8.) xxInspirationxx / 95
9.) IronHorse1995 / 90
10.) Finch865 / 46
11.) Castortroy4206 / 8

I would like to congradulate JohnnyX77 for being in a tie for the lead. Here was his response on his radio show (by the way he really does have a radio show. Check him out on furiousradio)





Now for the Week 12 games. Remember that we've got 3 Thanksgiving games this week, so try to get those picks in by kickoff of Thursday morning.

*Green Bay @ Detroit (Thursday early game)

*Oakland @ Dallas (Thanksgiving afternoon)

N.Y. Giants @ Denver (Thanksgiving evening)

*Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Miami @ Buffalo

*Cleveland @ Cincinnati

Indianapolis @ Houston

Chicago @ Minnesota

Carolina @ N.Y. Jets

Washington @ Philadelphia

Seattle @ St. Louis

Arizona @ Tennessee

*Kansas City @ San Diego

Jacksonville @ San Francisco

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (Sunday Night)

New England @ New Orleans (Monday Night Battle)

Your InsideEdge for the 2-Point Conversion opportunities this week:

Green Bay Packers (6-4) vs. Detroit Lions (2-8)
The Packers are favored by 10 points.

Oakland Raiders (3-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
The Cowboys are favored by 13.5 points.

Tampa Bay (1-9) vs. Atlanta Falcons (5-5)
Atlanta is favored by 12 points.

Cleveland Browns (1-9) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)
The Bengals are favored by 14 points.

Kansas City Chiefs (3-7) vs. San Diego Chargers (7-3)
San Diego is favored by 13.5 points over KCMO

http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_point_spreads.shtml

We here at xboxlivenetwork.com would like to wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Enjoy the games with your families!

Last but not least, a player comparison that was on Frank Caliendo's picks this past Sunday. This one includes Michael Strahan (left) and Esther Rolle from the 1970's TV show "Good Times" (right).








Tuesday, November 17

Left 4 Dead 2 Video Review


Whether or not Left 4 Dead 2 is for you really depends on your level of exposure and affinity for the style of hardcore team-focused gameplay Valve is offering here. If you’re still interested in the gameplay, then you’re going to enjoy every aspect of the sequel since it’s improved in all areas, from available game modes to strength of character and personality to replayability and its visual style. After playing, you’ll find it impossible to go back to the first game. Though plenty of other games offer co-operative gameplay against mobs of computer-controlled foes, no other game emphasizes teamwork as strongly as this, and few other games are as satisfying when you’re able to pull through successfully, particularly when competing in Versus mode against four human-controlled boss zombies. If you saw the original and were always curious to try it out, then by all means get the sequel. It is, without a doubt, the better game. Yet despite all the advancements and additions, it’s still very familiar, and something meant to appeal to those who are already sold on the concept. If you’re someone never cared for the game, Left 4 Dead 2 isn’t going to change your mind. Even so, it remains one of the most distinctive co-operative titles out there, and allows for some of the most nerve-searing team-based multiplayer gaming on the market.

IGN Ratings for Left 4 Dead 2 (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
9.0 Presentation
Better characterization and personality this time, both with the survivor characters and the environments. A great HUD keeps the frantic action comprehensible, and the game retains its B-movie tone.
8.5 Graphics
The game isn’t the sharpest out there, but it’s still a great looking product. The sunnier environments and improved animations contribute heavily to this. Xbox 360 users will run into some slowdown.
9.0 Sound
Excellent sound design throughout. Audio alerts you to waiting boss zombies, the weapons and groans and screams all contribute to the atmosphere, and the character voice-overs are appropriately campy.
9.0 Gameplay
It’s a style of game that won’t appeal to everyone, but for what it’s going for, this sequel hits all the right notes. Better combat and superior campaign design.
9.0 Lasting Appeal
With an AI Director that keeps the campaigns interesting and a host of modes that weren’t in the original at launch, there’s plenty more here for fans to enjoy.
9.0
Outstanding
OVERALL
[IGN]

NFL Picks: Week 10 Results / Week 11 Picks


Welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here are those wild picks from Week 10:

  • EVERYBODY picked Minnesota, New Orleans AND Tennessee to win in their respective games, and we all got those CORRECT.
  • Jerhawk and Stopable were the ONLY ones to pick Tampa Bay WRONG in their loss to the Dolphins. This was one of the 2-point conversions that didn't work.
  • xxInspirationxx was the ONLY guy to get the Jacksonville Jaguars CORRECT in their win against the N.Y. Jets.
  • Deus Legend and xxInspirationxx were the ONLY ones to get the Redskins CORRECT after they took down the Broncos.
  • IronHorse1995 was the ONLY one to go for the 2-point conversion with the Cleveland Browns, but got it WRONG.
None of the 5 Upset Specials went through this week. Trust me, some of them will work out this season.

The results from Week 10 alone:

1.) xxInspirationxx / 12
T2.) Stopable / 10
T2.) JohnnyX77 / 10
T4.) Jerhawk / 8
T4.) KnightnBattle10 / 8
T4.) JRC865 / 8
T7.) Deus Legend / 7
T7.) IronHorse1995 / 7
9.) BlazenHawks / 6

Finch865 and Castortroy4206 did not pick.

Now for our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by the Ford F-150. Drive one.

1.) Stopable / 97
T2.) JohnnyX77 / 95
T2.) KnightnBattle10 / 95
4.) BlazenHawks / 94
5.) JRC865 / 92
6.) Jerhawk / 89
7.) xxInspirationxx / 87
8.) Deus Legend / 85
9.) IronHorse1995 / 80
10.) Finch865 / 46
11.) Castortroy4206 / 8

The Week 11 Matchups. There are no more bye weeks for the rest of the regular season, so we will be getting the full 16 games a week until the playoffs in January.

Miami @ Carolina (Thursday Night Wild-cat)

Indianapolis @ Baltimore

*Washington @ Dallas

Cleveland @ Detroit

San Francisco @ Green Bay

Buffalo @ Jacksonville

*Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

*Seattle @ Minnesota

Atlanta @ N.Y. Giants

*New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

Arizona @ St. Louis

San Diego @ Denver

*N.Y. Jets @ New England

Cincinnati @ Oakland

Philadelphia @ Chicago (Sunday Night)

Tennessee @ Houston (Monday Night)

Here are the point spreads for the five games that I've chosen for us to go for the 2-point conversions:

Washington Redskins (3-6) vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-3)
The Cowboys are favored by 11 points.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2-7)
The Steelers are favored by 10 points.

Seattle Seahawks (3-6) vs. Minnesota Vikings (8-1)
Minnesota is favored by 11 points over the Seahawks.

New Orleans Saints (9-0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8)
The Saints are favored by 11.5 points.

N.Y. Jets (4-5) vs. New England Patriots (6-3)
New England is favored by 10.5 points over the Jets.

The link to the point spreads: http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_point_spreads.shtml

Last week we had the chance to change our Super Bowl picks. These were the three people to change those picks, and go down to 5 points rather than 10 possible if their pick is right:

Jerhawk: Changed from Tennessee to Minnesota
Deus Legend: Changed from Baltimore to Indianapolis
BlazenHawks: Changed from Atlanta to Indianapolis

It's been awhile since we've done a player comparison, so here's one brought to us by our good friend JohnnyX77. This one includes Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry (left) and the characters from James Cameron's new movie coming out in December, Avatar (right).