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Sunday, August 31

NFL Picks: Week 1 Picks

Well, a few more people have signed up, which is great! But more people would be even better! Here's who we've got so far...

Deus Legend
JRC 865
KRW 215
El Bos

So, let's get it started! Week 1 is basically here, so we'll get the picks going. Here is the list of Week 1 games. Please just comment on this post with a list of the teams that will WIN. Team name, city name, either one is fine with me.

Washington @ N.Y. Giants (Thursday)

Detroit @ Atlanta

Cincinnati @ Baltimore

Kansas City @ New England

N.Y. Jets @ Miami

Seattle @ Buffalo

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans

Houston @ Pittsburgh

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

St. Louis @ Philadelphia

Dallas @ Cleveland

Arizona @ San Francisco

Carolina @ San Diego

Chicago @ Indianapolis (Sunday Night)

Minnesota @ Green Bay (Monday)

Denver @ Oakland (Monday)

I will post my picks in the comment section, and if you can just do the same that'll be great! I will record it on Microsoft Excel and update the scores every week! Enjoy and thank you to those of you who've signed up.

Also, these picks need to be in by Wednesday at Midnight Pacific Time to be elligible please. It will be this same time every week.

If you're wondering what these NFL Picks are all about, just look back at the first NFL Picks post to read the rules for this competition. Just click the little NFL Picks logo on the right hand side of the screen, it'll be the last post. Thank you!

Halo 3 Assembly Map In Action Video

Game Time: Xbox 360 Releases Week of August 31st - September 6th

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (Xbox 360)
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/31/2008

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion ... more

Infinite Undiscovery (Xbox 360)
Infinite Undiscovery
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 9/2/2008

Infinite Undiscovery is the newest fantasy RPG developed by tri-Ace Inc. for next-generation hardware. Players will be drawn into a real-time world woven of countless threads where their choices will ... more

Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball (Xbox 360)
Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 9/3/2008

The first game in the Pirates vs. Ninjas™ series allows up to 8 players to choose from 5 unique teams (Pirates, Ninjas, and three more to be unveiled later), and compete against one another in the ult ... more

FaceBreaker (Xbox 360)
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 9/3/2008

The renaissance of the arcade boxing genre is upon us. Created by the same team that developed the award-winning Fight Night Round 3, FaceBreaker offers irreverent fun, immersive gameplay and eye-popp ... more

NFL Head Coach 09 (Xbox 360)
NFL Head Coach 09
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 9/4/2008

NFL Head Coach 09 provides a complete NFL experience, offering a variety of different ways to control an NFL franchise, on and off the field, in-season and off-season. With strategic game planning fe ... more

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise (Xbox 360)
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 9/5/2008

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise returns us to the pinata garden for a whole new adventure. ... more

NFL Picks: Registration End Date Approaching!

The registration for the 2008/2009 NFL Picks competition will end Monday at Midnight Pacific Time! So far, we only have three people registered! They are...

Deus Legend
JRC 865

Please people! If you are interested, please send me a message on XBox Live, or comment this blog post. For those who are registered, please remember that our picks need to be in by Wednesday at Midnight Pacific time, due to the Thursday night game. I will make a post for that on Tuesday. Thank you all, and please register. It'll be fun!

Saturday, August 30

Moto GP 08 Video

Friday, August 29

Gears of War 2 Achievement List

Before we get to the achievements, here are some of the unlocks you will receive in Gears of War 2 if you have achieved certain things in the first Gears of War:
# Complete Act 1 in Gears of War: Unlock Anthony Carmine multiplayer skin in Gears of War 2.
# Find 10 COG tags in Gears of War: Unlock Minh Young Kim multiplayer skin in Gears of War 2.
# Defeat RAAM in Gears of War: Unlock RAAM multiplayer skin in Gears of War 2.
And now for the achievement list:

Green as GrassTrain the rook (any difficulty)10
It's a Trap!Story progression in Act 1, Chapter 210
Escort ServiceStory progression in Act 1, Chapter 410
Girl About TownStory progression in Act 1, Chapter 610
That Sinking FeelingStory progression in Act 2, Chapter 410
Freebaird!Story progression in Act 2, Chapter 510
HeartbrokenStory progression in Act 2, Chapter 610
Longitude and AttitudeStory progression in Act 3, Chapter 310
Tanks for the MemoriesStory progression in Act 3, Chapter 410
Water SportsStory progression in Act 3, Chapter 610
There's a Time for UsStory progression in Act 4, Chapter 210
Better Wrapped in BeaconStory progression in Act 4, Chapter 310
Have Fun Storming the CastleStory progression in Act 4, Chapter 610
And the Horse You Rode in OnStory progression in Act 5, Chapter 110
You Are the Support, SonStory progression in Act 5, Chapter 210
Brumak RodeoStory progression in Act 5, Chapter 410
Does This Look Infected to You?Story progression in Act 5, Chapter 510
Tourist of DutyComplete all campaign acts on Casual Difficulty25
Guerilla TacticianComplete all campaign acts on Normal Difficulty50
Artist of WarComplete all campaign acts on Hardcore Difficulty75
Suicide MissionaryComplete all campaign acts on Insane Difficulty150
CollectorRecover 5 collectibles (any difficulty)5
Pack RatRecover 20 collectibles (any difficulty)15
CompletionistRecover all 41 collectibles (any difficulty)30
One-Night StandComplete 1 chapter in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom)10
Open RelationshipComplete 10 chapters in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom)30
Friends with BenefitsComplete all acts in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom)50
Once More, With FeelingPerform 30 perfect active reloads (any mode)10
Takes a LickingMelee 30 Tickers (any mode)30
Organ GrinderKill 30 enemies with a cover mounted Mulcher (any mode)10
Shock and AweKill 30 enemies with the heavy Mortar (any mode)10
Said the Spider to the FlyKill 10 enemies with a planted grenade (any mode)10
Crowd ControlMelee 10 enemies down with the Boomshield equipped (any mode)10
Smells Like VictoryKill 30 enemies with the Scorcher Flamethrower (any mode)10
Variety Is the Spice of DeathKill an enemy with every weapon in the game (any mode)30
Seriously 2.0Kill 100,000 enemies (any mode)50
Standing Here, Beside MyselfWin 3 matches of Wingman (public)10
Beat the MeatflagCapture 10 meatflags in Submission (public)10
It's Good to be the KingWin 10 rounds of Guardian as the leader (public)10
You Go Ahead, I'll Be FineWin three matches of King of the Hill (public)10
Back to BasicSuccessfully complete the 5 lessons of multiplayer Training Grounds10
Party Like It's 1999Play 1999 rounds of multiplayer (any mode)30
Around the World, AgainWin a multiplayer match on each map (any mode)30
Dirty, Dirty HordeSurvive the first 10 waves of Horde (any difficulty, any map)20
Hoard the HordeSurvive all 50 waves of Horde (any difficulty, any map)30

And here are the other 5 achievements provided by GearsofWar.com.
  • Crossed Swords – Points 10
    Win 10 chainsaw duels (any mode).
  • A Parting Gift – Points 20
    Kill 10 enemies with a grenade while down but not out (any mode).
  • Pound of Flesh – Points 10
    Use a meatshield to save your life 10 times (any mode).
  • Photojournalist – Points 10
    Submit a spectator photo.
  • Kick 'Em When They're Down – Points 10
    Perform all 11 unique executions on a downed enemy.

WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 Create-A-Finisher Video

Halo 3 Assembly Map Pictures

Revealed today at the PAX '08 Event, Bungie unvealed a new/old map Assembly. This is a covenant inspired map, purple like Midship in Halo 2. The pictures will do the rest of the talking.

NBA Live 09 Quickstrike and Lockdown Video

Thursday, August 28

More Saints Rows 2 Videos For Your Viewing

NFL Head Coach 09 Demo Hits Marketplace

There's a demo of NFL Head Coach 09 on the marketplace for anyone that's interested. I believe that you could play the first week of the offseason and play a preseason game. I still think that a demo wouldn't be worth it for this game. It is a MUST to get the full game to enjoy all of its features like RPG games.

America's Game: Golf Edition

Well, here are a few highlights that I have had in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09.

This first one is a shot from the rough at Pebble Beach that found it's way to the hole...

This next one was a sweet hole in one on a Par 3 at Wolf Creek.

WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 New and Improved Backstage Brawl

Wednesday, August 27

Gears of War 2 to be Demoed at PAX

According to the official Gears website, from Friday through Sunday during PAX, the Microsoft booth will be hosting 5v5 Gears of War 2 multiplayer matches. Gamers will also get to play the game themselves. Also there will be on-stage "Sinkhole" campaign demonstrations, both Gears writer to the stars Joshua Ortega and Gears artist to the stars Pete Hayes will be there for quick Q&A session and autograph signing.

Saints Row 2: Meet the Ronin Gang

Around the Hawk: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Impressions

This highlight was a just a chip in, nothing special. I'll try to put more highlights on America's Game if they occur. Yes, that is my created golfer, who resembles me very closely I think, and I'm left handed.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is a pretty solid game. I rented it, like most games that I play. So far, it's been really fun with a lot of replay value because there's so many different things that you can do in the game. After you finish creating your player, either with the game face using your camera, or just creating him from scratch, you can do a variety of different things. Actually, you don't even need to create a play if you don't want, but I think that makes this game what it is, since it has the greatest create-a-player feature in my opinion.

With your golfer, you can set out on the PGA Tour, you can step into the Tiger Challenge and do a variety of different skilled golf events, which leads up to taking on a golfer. The biggest "boss" golfer of course is Tiger Woods himself in an 18 hole showdown, which always proves to be the hardest, testing your patience to the maximum! You can tune up your skills with the help of the reliable coach Hank Haney. You can go online, which is much improved this year thanks to the all new Simultaneous Gameplay feature which really speeds up the game and takes away most of the lag.

The feature that I find to be the most fun is the EA GamerNet. While you're playing in an offline game, you will see at random times a little ticker on the course that says "EA GamerNet." At the top of the screen a message will appear displaying the person's gamertag who posted this highlight. This provides from a variety of different shots for you to try to perform and outdo the gamer who uploaded this highlight. Whether it's a long drive you can try to beat, an amazing hole in one, a nice chip near or in the hole, or a long putt, at any given time these will pop up. If you do manage to conquer the gamer's highlight, you will receive a little message showing how many EA GamerNet Points you've just earned from beating this highlight, and then you can post this highlight onto EA GamerNet for somebody else now to try to beat. The highlight stays on there for 15 minutes for somebody to beat. So far, nobody has broken one of mine, but that's probably because not too many have this game yet.

This game is a solid rental for any casual gamer out there, and for you hard core golf fans out there, this could be the ideal game for you. Thanks for checking in, this is Jerhawk reporting.

Tuesday, August 26

Rumor: Halo 4 to be a Launch Title for Next Xbox?

Master Chief's next big outing could herald the launch of the next generation of consoles, with rumour abound that Halo 4 is to be amongst the first wave of titles for the Xbox 360's follow-up console.

Alluded to in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, which has been thumbed by Joystiq, Gearbox is said to be working on the fourth instalment proper in the bestselling series. Gearbox's own Randy Pitchford – currently doing the rounds extolling the virtues of the studio's imminent Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway – was recently quoted as saying of the company's next project, "When you find out what this is, you'll likely agree that I can't oversell this one."

Gearbox is also currently at work on Aliens: Colonial Marines, a full-blooded first person take on the film series that's proved such a rich inspiration for the Halo universe.

[Thanks, IGN]

Madden NFL 09 Patch #2 Details and Workarounds

This is straight from the Producer Ian Cummings blog:

1. Kicking play disconnect: If two opponents play a game with two different camera angles, in any situation where a game winning or tying kick was to be made, a disconnect could occur. "ActionCam" forces the game to go into slow-motion to add drama to these late kicks, but unfortunately the Classic camera does not, thus forcing the "disconnect". This has been fixed...all cameras can still be used as well.

Workaround until the patch: If possible, ensure that you and your opponent have the same camera type chosen before starting an online game.

2. Stability issues in the play call / halftime highlights / postgame highlights screens (especially in Franchise mode after training games): This was a hard one to track down as not everyone was seeing it , we did find the issue however with some Instant Replay / cache corruption, and have a fix ready for patch 2.

Workaround until the patch: Save and re-boot after any point where you have entered the game. We learned that the likelihood of this issue appearing is magnified after multiple loads into and out of the game engine. From what we've seen so far, people that have tried playing only one game at a time (or even one Franchise training session at a time), and saving/rebooting afterwards, have had zero crashes.

3. Stability issues with Madden IQ end of game popup: This has been fixed.

Workaround until the patch: Always choose "No" at the Madden IQ end of game popup.

4. "WR direct snap" exploit: Cheesers found an exploit to direct snap to a WR for easy short yardage gain. Not only are we fixing this play (i.e. we aren't removing it), we are also going to be re-setting records for anyone with a winning record that has been found to be using this play.

5. Franchise Progression / Regression (or lack thereof): The lack of higher numbers was a tuning value that I think everyone agreed was just too low. This has been juiced up so you should see more realistic progression now.

6. Edited players don't progress: Players were not progressing after their jersey number (or pretty much any other attribute). This has been fixed.

7. Stability issue when exiting Madden '93 in CE version: This has been fixed.

8. Deep ball glitch: Some enterprising gamers found a way to throw a deep ball while crossing the LOS and hit a receiver wide open at a decent rate. We addressed this by making sure the DB will no longer break on the ball when the QB crosses the line while throwing.

9. CPU running out of bounds: This bug appears when the CPU tries to switch hands while running to the sidelines. This is fixed for patch 2.

10. Penalty sliders ineffective: A common complaint from the hardcore community was the lack of effect from the penalty sliders. We increased these substantially for patch 2.

11. Field degradation: Another common complaint was the lack of field degradation. Our effect was very subtle, which was also getting overshadowed by our lighting and post effects, so we increased this effect for the patch.

12. Stability issue with the Eagles and a full ring meter: We found and fixed a rare issue where the gamer could run into stability issues while using the Eagles in mini-game with a ring meter that was completely full.

13. Play call screen hitch: We found and fixed a bug that was causing a noticeable hitch when exiting the play call screen

14. Prevent Defense issue: We found and fixed an issue where defenders sharing a deep zone/prevent assignment would loosen their coverage (because they thought the other guy was covering for them), which allowed the receiver to get behind them even though they were in Prevent.

15. Brett Favre stats: With the late addition of Brett Favre, we were not able to get his Career and Season statistics into the game for the roster update. This has now been added for patch 2.

16. Defensive Preplay Mis-cue: We found and fixed an issue where defenders would leave their man wide open in a Cover 3.

17. CPU quick-snap: A very common complaint on the forums was the speed at which the CPU snapped the ball. We added a random length of time (no less than 5 seconds) for the CPU to wait and even make pre-play adjustments.

18. Online playbook switch: We found and fixed an issue where playbooks were re-setting to the defaults after the playbook select popup was closed.

I hope this makes everyone quite happy. :-)

The patch is being tested as I write this and will be sent off for verification in the morning, so we are targeting less than a 3 week turnaround from today for this to hit the general public. (Woohoo!) We will also make sure to provide updates as the patch progresses through the 3rd party approval process. As a side note, as of this moment there have been no changes to database schema, so you won't have to re-start your Franchise or delete any files.

Monday, August 25

WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 Tag Team Turmoil

Rumor: Xbox 360 Price Drop Again?

Pictured is a Kmart retail adscan from the week of September 7th that lists the rumored Xbox 360 console price cuts: $199 for an Arcade, $299 for a Pro and $399 for an Elite.

Halo Wars Boxart

Friday, August 22

Need for Speed Undercover Preview

Even though it seems like it’s been awhile since the last Need for Speed game on the Xbox 360, it’s only been two years since Need for Speed: Carbon. I guess we’ve all become very used to seeing a NFS game at least once a year, so such a short break seems like a long time. But it’s probably a good thing for everyone involved: it gives gamers a chance to miss the franchise and it gives the developers at Black Box the time they needed to reinvent the game from the ground up. Read the Rest Here!

Game Time: Xbox 360 Releases Week of August 24 - August 30

Tales of Vesperia (Xbox 360)
Tales of Vesperia
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/26/2008

The debut of the Tales series on the Xbox 360, Tales of Vesperia launches the series to new heights of interactive narrative and engrossing gameplay with incredible anime-style graphics, a captivating ... more

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (Xbox 360)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/26/2008

Looking to drive the ball long and straight? Trying to nail the pin with the approach shot? An all-new addition to this year’s game, Haney will assist gamers as they hit the links and try to advance ... more

Castle Crashers (Xbox 360)
Castle Crashers
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/27/2008

Hack, slash, and smash your way to victory in this red-hot arcade adventure from the award-winning development studio, The Behemoth! Featuring hand-drawn characters, Castle Crashers delivers unique hi ... more

Soul Calibur IV Demo Now Available on XBLM

There is a Soul Calibur IV Demo available on the XBLM. The demo is about 696 MB. From the reviews, this game sounds good. For anyone thats interested in a fighting game, be sure to check this one out.

Call of Duty: World at War Game Play

Around the Hawk: Backbreaker

Will this game ever come out? It looks pretty fun...

Around the Hawk: Guitar Hero World Tour

Part 1 of 3 for Create-a-Song.

Part 2 of 3 for Create-a-Song.

Part 3 of 3 for Create-a-Song.


Guitar Hero World Tour new trailer.

This game is really starting to interest me, and it just might top Rock Band 2. I think it'll be a pretty close race between the two games, but together you will be playing with family and friends for many months to come. The create-a-song feature for Guitar Hero looks very in-depth and somewhat complicated for first time users as the videos showed, but with a little practice at this game mode it will add so much replay value to this game. I really hope we can use the Rock Band instruments, or at least the Rock Band drums in Guitar Hero for those of us that don't want to buy a whole new set of "instruments." Hope these videos pump you up for the October release of Guitar Hero: World Tour!

Madden 09, Stopping WR Direct Snap

As most of the hardcore Madden players know there is a deadly glitch infiltrating online games that EA still hasn't patched up. Its the WR Direct Snap Glitch, and it allows the offense to hike the ball directly to a WR. Well I will breakdown a strategy that can slow this glitch down, maybe won't stop it, but it will definitely slow it down.

Ex. Play - Corner Dogs Man

1. Blitz both outside corners.
2. Safeties are in man on the receivers.
4. Use press coverage
5. Playmaker each DE to cover the flats, this covers the slot receiver.
6. Finally, use the MLB and watch the middle.

You can really pick any play and just set it up using these guidelines, but picking a play like Corner Dogs Man takes less steps. Hope this helps.

Thursday, August 21

Introducing XBLN Live!

Another great new feature here on Xbox Live Network, is XBLN Live! This is were you can tune in at almost any time and see Deus Legend playing games some may even be online games. Its permanent location will be in our sidebar to the right. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 20

"Beat It" by Michael Jackson Confirmed for Guitar Hero World Tour

As I was looking at a Preview of Guitar Hero World Tour, I saw that "Beat It" by Michael Jackson was a song in IGN's demo of the game. The songs IGN demoed are(Some were already confirmed:

Bon Jovi -- "Livin' on a Prayer"
Coldplay -- "Shiver"
Foo Fighters -- "Everlong"
Interpol -- "Obstacle 1"
Lenny Kravitz -- "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Michael Jackson -- "Beat It"
Linkin Park -- "What I've Done"
No Doubt -- "Spiderwebs"

Check out a game play video of "Beat It"

Read the rest of IGN's Guitar Hero World Tour Preview Here.

Fallout 3 Release Date Confirmed

Bethesda sent us an release date announcement, confirming that the Fallout 3 will storm retailers on October 28th in North America and on October 31st in Europe. This game should be interesting. I am looking forward to this game. I love to see new stuff "different" games out on the market. Look for this game to be added to our XBLN Game Countdown closer towards launch. Anyone thing about picking this up?

Tuesday, August 19

America's Game: Cheaters Edition

Today, I played the worst cheater/glitcher I have ever seen in all of my years of online gaming. This guy named JCash33 was using the Chicago Bears. He would use the Direct Snap Glitch to both receivers, tight end, whoever. Near the end of the game he just ran the clock. At the end of the game, his Time of Possession was 14 minutes and some odd seconds of the game. Now, I'm going to have to scout my opponents now instead of doing quick matches. If I see anyone with Tampa Bay playbook or certain other stats, I will not play them. This clip tells the rest of the story.

America's Game: The Jerhawk Chronicles

This highlight came against the CPU in my offline franchise. I was the Seahawks, the CPU the 49ers. I bombed it deep to Deion Branch, and he came away with another lucky tipped catch.

Too Human Review

This game was hyped up good but is it even worth the time with a average review.

Read IGN review here

Video Review From IGN

Sunday, August 17

Game Time: Xbox 360 Releases Week of August 17 - August 23

Not much this week either. Too Human should be a great game for you RPG fans.

Too Human (Xbox 360)
Too Human
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/19/2008

As the Cybernetic God Baldur, players are thrust into the midst of an ongoing battle that threatens the existence of mankind. An ancient machine presence has forced the God's hand. In the first of a t ... more

Galaga Legions (Xbox 360)
Galaga Legions
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 8/20/2008

The arcade shooter Galaga has captivated players all over the world, and now the legend lives on with Galaga Legions. Featuring table-turning game dynamics, updated graphics and vast waves of ferociou ... more

Star Wars: Force Unleashed Demo Inbound

Lucas Arts just announced that the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed demo will be released to the Xbox Live Marketplace this Thursday, August 21st. The Force Unleashed demo will include a tutorial mode to master the Force Grip power and a complete level of gameplay set in a TIE Fighter Construction Facility.

Friday, August 15

Need for Speed Undercover Coming November

Black Box today announced that Need For Speed Undercover will be arriving November 18 in North America and Novermber 21 in Europe. The game brings cop chases back to the series and features actress Maggie Q. Black Box claims that Undercover "takes the franchise back to its roots" and throws police chases back into the mix.

America's Game: The Flynn Chronicles

In this play McNabb rolled out of the pocket and bomb it out to Kevin Curtis who pulled off the amazing David Tyree catch. You wouldn't think Curtis would be able to pull this catch off but he jump up high and was able to come down with it. Credit to Da Birthday Boy for pulling off a amazing play.

Xbox Live Network Show Revamps

The "Powers That Be" of TheXBLN.com have decided that there should be some changes to our programming line-up. We will be "phasing" out Network Now and Live Top Ten. Both shows will be merged with XBL Network Total Access. In both of these shows place for this season will be Network Spotlight and NFL Picks. Stay tuned for more changes to TheXBLN.com as they are revealed.