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Friday, October 31

Skate 2 Coming January 2009

I have just recieved news from EA that Skate 2 will be released in January 2009. We do not have a specific date yet but we will post it when we get the news.

Beatles Game Update

A new detail regarding the Harmonix Beatles game came to light today. According to a report in Variety (lots of news from them lately), Harmonix "will be able to select 45 songs from the Beatles catalog recorded during their 1962-69 tenure within EMI" for the game (does that mean Let It Be is off the table?). The article also reports that the chosen songs will be overseen by Giles Martin and his father George, who was previously the Beatles' producer. It remains unknown whether or not the original recordings will be remastered or reworked for the game, with Giles Martin noting, "We are trying to present the songs as they were played, adhering to the (original) mix."

In-game Avatars Explained Video

Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Party

Criterion has been updating Burnout Paradise lately, today they've announced Burnout Paradise Party, an offline party mode for up to 8 people due out in February, where players will complete in simple challenges using innovative pass-the-controller technology. The new mode comes complete with some new menus and new achievements and trophies to be earned by people who can at least pretend they have 7 friends.

Along with the party announcement, they've also announced Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box, also coming in February, which combines all of the recent updates (including Party) into one retail package for those late adapters, offline players, and PC players out there. Yes, The Ultimate Box marks the release of the game on the PC as well.

[Criterion Games Blog]

America's Game:Madden

EA SPORTS World: Madden 09 Video Highlight

This play happen in one of my league games that I was playing the other day.I was the Arizona Cardinals and I passed the ball over the middle to Steve Breaston.I thought I had a nice gain but as I was going out I pulled out the nastiest back juke I have ever seen.After pulling that out I went up field where I broke another tackle and carried another defender in for the touchdown.

America's Game: Epic Lost Battles

Josh Wilson with a Pick-6, trucking Matt Ryan on the way. This was the first offensive play of the game.

An amazing TD pass, first dropped by Nate Burleson as he was up-ended, but then caught by Koren Robinson.
This was indeed an epic lost battle, as my Seattle Seahawks fell just short 21-17 to Deus Legend and his Atlanta Falcons. He had some sweet highlights from this game as well. I'm expecting these to be put on the Top 5 show maybe??

Thursday, October 30

XBLN Top Plays Delayed

We are going to have to delay XBLN Top Plays for October. I am not able to do the show until next week sometime. So there is a little more time get those plays in. Look for the show next week sometime.

Rumor Confirmed: Beatles Game Coming

Rumored 10/29/08:

According to a press release sent out by MTV Games, Apple Corps and MTV will announce an exclusive music project tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM Pacific. Apple Corps is the music company founded by The Beatles in 1968 that administers the catalogue of the mega-band. MTV is the parent company of Harmonix, the developers responsible for the Rock Band gaming franchise.

Put one and one together and you have the announcement of Beatles songs in Rock Band form. Whether this will be downloadable add-ons to Rock Band and Rock Band 2 or a standalone game in the vein of AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack remains to be seen.


MTV, Harmonix and Apple Corp have confirmed that a Beatles music game is in the works, although it won't be released under the Rock Band brand as initially thought. Speaking on a conference call today, Harmonix's Alex Rigopulous said the new game, due for a worldwide release at the end of 2009, "is not just a Rock Band expansion pack" but that it will be a "full-blown custom game built from ground up." He then went on to explain that it will "Take players on an experimental journey of the band", taking in the music and image of the band from the first album Please Please Me right through to Abbey Road.


Wednesday, October 29

Netflix to Debut HD Streaming on Xbox 360

Over at Engadget, Microsoft and Netflix will soon announce that Xbox Live gold members will have access to high definition Netflix movie streaming to their 360s come November 19th. HD movie streaming that isn't available with Netflix's current "Watch Instantly" portal, Roku hardware or Samsung and LG's Netflix enabled Blu-ray players. The HD Netflix roll out will be slow at first with approximately 300 movies being available in HD on day one of the NXE's launch.

New 2009 Nissan Z Makes World Debut in NFS Undercover

EA and Nissan shift into high-gear this holiday! The Need for Speed series continues the tradition of featuring the most desirable cars as Black Box, a studio of Electronic Arts and Nissan today revealed the highly-anticipated all-new 2009 Nissan 370Z. This marks the first time an auto manufacturer has partnered with a video game company for the world premiere reveal of a car. The Nissan Z will be available exclusively in this holiday's hottest action driving title, Need for Speed Undercover, available in North America on November 18 and in Europe on November 21.

The all-new 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19, hitting dealerships in early 2009.

Tuesday, October 28

Around the Hawk: The Sims 3

Do you hate your life? Do you just want to do play video games and pretend it's real life? Then this is the game for you! Coming in 2009, you can now leave your virtual house, but never have to leave your real house! What an amazing world we live in...

Volition Confirms Saints Row 3?

In an interview with play.tm, Associate Producer Dan Sutton has revealed that Volition is already working on a third Saints Row game. Talking about the open ending of the first game that made possible the sequel, Sutton said:
"We've already started work on Saints Row 3, and we have a new direction we want to go in with that which we of course can't talk about.

Guitar Hero World Tour Drum Set Issues

Activision's full statement follows:
"We have learned that certain drum kit controllers manufactured for Guitar Hero World Tour have sensitivity issues. We believe that these controllers are limited to ones in the earlier manufacturing stages. While we believe that this was an isolated manufacturing issue, we are stepping our efforts to randomly test our drum kit controllers so customers can be assured they work properly. In the event any consumers do experience problems with their drum kit controllers associated with sensitivity issues, Activision will soon be offering a drum tuning kit that will enable players to fully optimize their drums.
Our goal would be to immediately address any hardware issues Guitar Hero World Tour players have with the game. Consumers should visit the Activision Publishing customer support website at www.activision.com/support website or call 310 255-2050 in the U.S. where a customer care representative will assist them. Activision is fully committed to the highest quality manufacturing standards, and to satisfying every Guitar Hero World Tour fan so they can enjoy the best musical gaming experience ever created."

Avatar Store Coming Next Spring

Microsoft will be launching an Avatar store next Spring where gamers can purchase and download additional customization options for their 360 Avatars.

"The plan of record will be to launch a more extensive Avatar Store from spring time onwards next year," said Live EMEA product manager Robin Burrowes. "That store in theory would have branded content in there, game publisher IP stuff in there as well." No surprise there.

Gears of War 2 Launch Trailer


$99 60GB Live Pack Coming Next Week

According to Gamestop and a leaked Circuit City flier, the rumored 60GB HDD Live starter pack will be releasing next week.

The 60GB HDD Live pack includes a 60GB hard drive, a 3 month subscription to Xbox Live and ethernet cable all for $99.

Electronic Arts May Auction Madden Game Cover

National Football League players may get the chance to pay to become the latest victim of the ``Madden Curse.''
Peter Moore, president of video game-maker EA Sports, said discussions are taking place within his company that could have the front cover of its biggest-selling ``Madden NFL'' football game sold to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to the United Way, the NFL's charity partner. More in the link.


Fallout 3 Review

It's rare that a game can hit the mark in so many different and often conflicting areas. Fallout 3 offers freedom without sacrificing a focused story. It delivers fantastic combat without forgoing a deep role-playing system. The characters you meet are engaging and oftentimes hilarious without feeling out of place in this harsh world. The game has a few flaws -- most of them technical -- but it's a case where the whole is greater than the sum. It's a fantastic game with incredible atmosphere that offers fun in so many different ways that you're almost sure to get hooked. This is one of the best games you'll play this year.

IGN Ratings for Fallout 3 (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
9.5 Presentation
The atmosphere and style are everything you could ask for and more. A few bugs and camera issues keep things from perfection.
9.0 Graphics
The landscapes are wonderful. The character models and animations could be a lot better.
9.5 Sound
Excellent voice acting and a soundtrack that completely fits the game's mood. The sound effects aren't bad either.
10 Gameplay
A rare combination of excellent combat and deep role-playing.
9.5 Lasting Appeal
A more focused experience than much of what Bethesda has created in the past that begs to be played for hours and hours. This is one game you won't soon forget.
(out of 10 / not an average)


Monday, October 27

NFL Picks: Week 8 Results / Week 9 Picks

Can you believe that this season is almost half way over? I sure can't. Now that we're so far through the season, one question still remains: Who Wants it More? Yes, this was last year's NFL motto, but I think it's pretty cool. Anyway, here were some weird odd things I picked up when going over our picks:

-JRC 865 was the ONLY person to choose both Cincinnati and Oakland in their respective games, but got them both WRONG. JRC 865 then picked the Miami Dolphins and was the ONLY person to get this pick CORRECT.
-Deus Legend was the ONLY player to pick the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons in their respective games, but got them BOTH WRONG. He was also the ONLY person to pick the Seattle Seahawks, and got that CORRECT. Nice.
-UnKillableBeast was the ONLY playa to get the New Orleans Saints game CORRECT as they defeated San Diego in London.
-EVERYBODY chose the Washington Redskins and the N.Y. "Bretts" in their respective games, and got these CORRECT. Good job team! However, we ALL got the Jacksonville Jaguars WRONG as they lost to the Cleveland Browns.

Here are the results from our Week 8 picks:

T1.) Jerhawk / 9
T1.) UnKillableBeast / 9
2.) Deus Legend / 8
T3.) JRC 865 / 7
T3.) Flynn4DaWin / 7
4.) Stopable / 6

Did not pick: Finch865. What happened?

Here are our XBLN PowerRankings, brought to you by Fallout 3:

1.) Jerhawk / 70
2.) Flynn4DaWin / 68
3.) Deus Legend / 67
4.) UnKillableBeast / 65
T5.) JRC 865 / 63
T5.) Stopable / 63
6.) Finch865 / 38

So, the little engine that could (Jerhawk, which would be me) is in first place, trailed closely by Flynn4DaWin and Deus Legend. It's pretty tight all around.

Here's the games in Week 9, and there's several key matchups to look out for:

N.Y. Jets @ Buffalo

Detroit @ Chicago

Jacksonville @ Cincinnati

Baltimore @ Cleveland

Tampa Bay @ Kansas City

Houston @ Minnesota

Arizona @ St. Louis

Green Bay @ Tennessee

Miami @ Denver

Dallas @ N.Y. Giants

Atlanta @ Oakland

Philadelphia @ Seattle

New England @ Indianapolis (Sunday Night "Blockbuster")

Pittsburgh @ Washington (Monday Night "Showdown")

So, there they are. Next time we pick, I'll start our "Weekly 2-Point Conversion." I'll list the games that will be upsets, based on record and point spreads. I will try to give that information to you guys if I can, so that should be pretty cool. Some other things I plan on doing later in the season if you're interested to know are:

-Picking for the five major BCS Bowl games for bonus points.
-In the playoffs, our points will increase. This means 2 points for the Wild Card Round, 3 Points for the Divisional Round, 4 points for the Championship Round, and 5 points for the Super Bowl.

If you guys have some suggestions, please let me know on Xbox Live or in your comments.

Thanks everyone, and good luck!

Start Your Engines!!!!

Well as the leaves begin to fall off the trees, it can only mean a few things to gamers like myself... IT IS NEW GAMES!! And there are a ton of them on the way. The newest game that I have had the chance to play is one that I was waiting for along time-Midnight Club:Los Angeles. And it was worth the wait.

The game is a typical Rockstar game. It has very good graphics, sound, items to find hidden throughout the city,looks like a real time city and it is HUGE!! I don't know the exact size of the city but you get the feel as if you are really driving around the city of angels. The only issue is that it might be too hard for the average gamer. The AI in this game is awesome. This is one game in which when you win a race, you feel as if you really did win something.

But even if you lose, you do have the option on most of them to run the race over. And you get rep points for finishing. So at least you get something out the deal. As you get rep points, other items become available to fix up your ride. Most of the races are really long and have alot of turns that you have to negotiate. The only races in which you really don't have alot of turns are the highway races. But even in those races you have to worry about the traffic.

The traffic is one thing that really makes this game stand out. Because the pedestrians will get out of your way, but the other drivers let you know that they have a right to be on the road as well as you. They almost never swerve out of your way. So not only do you have to worry about your opponents but you have to negotiate the traffic. Whether it is the car in front of you, besides you, or a car pulling out in front of you, you will constantly be looking around.

Each car handles differently and you will definitely need to spend some time behind the wheel to get their feel. There are a lot of races and you can also go online to race some real drivers via Xbox Live. But the main thing that you will like about the cars is the customization. Whether you love rims, paint, spoilers, tires, etc.. you can customize it all. Midnight Club is famous for that and they did not disappoint.

I think that the only downfall of the game is the difficulty. As you step up your ride, the computer does the same. I personally like a challenge but at times you still want to just win a few races and have fun. You will definitely have fun but the wins will be well earned and appreciated when the come.

In closing, I give the game a 8.8 out of 10. If the difficulty was alittle less, I would probably give it a 9.3 instead. But either way, it is worth the money and an enjoyable game.

Sunday, October 26

America's Game: The Jerhawk Chronicles

I was playing this guy online who was using Jacksonville, and we both learned that Matt Hasselbeck could fly...

Guitar Hero World Tour Review

Guitar Hero World Tour is a fun title, to be sure, but it's also a disappointment in a lot of respects. A number of things it tries to accomplish were already done better in Rock Band, which you might figure would have provided a simple blueprint to be followed and expanded up, but that's not the case. The music creation tools are a great idea in theory, but the end result isn't as robust as I would have hoped it would be, both in terms of abilities as well as the songs that come out the other end.
The game does have a good bit going for it and can serve to act as a stepping-off point for next year's game, whatever form that might take. Unfortunately, I thought the same of Guitar Hero III, and here we are.

IGN Ratings for Guitar Hero World Tour (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
7.0 Presentation
The customization stuff is quite good, but there are a lot of nagging issues pretty much everywhere.
7.0 Graphics
The character detail is good, though the included character designs are somewhat fugly. But there are lots of texture spots that just look bad and blurry.
8.0 Sound
The soundtrack is awesome, of course, but the output of the music creator is pretty bad.
8.0 Gameplay
The note tracking is loose, which I dig, but the transcription is poor at times. The main mode isn't deep at all.
8.0 Lasting Appeal
The downloadable content support will make or break this score, but outlook is promising. The online stuff can be fun, but the created music will get old fast as the sound quality sucks.
(out of 10 / not an average)


Saturday, October 25

Listen! Its Time! Game Time: October 26th - November 1st


Guitar Hero World Tour (Xbox 360)
Guitar Hero World Tour
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/26/2008

The latest installment from the number one best-selling video game franchise of 2007, Guitar Hero World Tour transforms music gaming by expanding the signature guitar gameplay into a cooperative band ... more

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)
Fallout 3
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/28/2008

Vault 101 – Jewel of the Wastes. For 200 years, Vault 101 has faithfully served the surviving residents of Washington DC and its environs, now known as the Capital Wasteland. Though the global atomic ... more

The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (Xbox 360)
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/28/2008

In the culmination of the trilogy, players find Sypro teaming up with an unlikely ally - Cynder, his former enemy, to face his most challenging mission to date. As the Dark Master’s (voiced by Mark H ... more

Scene It? Box Office Smash (Xbox 360)
Scene It? Box Office Smash
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/28/2008

“Scene It? Box Office Smash” for Xbox 360 brings movie and trivia fans together for a game that provides hours of laughter as you challenge your friends and family to see whose movie knowledge reigns ... more

MotoGP 08 (Xbox 360)
MotoGP 08
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/28/2008

The official game of the 2008 season, MotoGP 08 features all the riders, bikes and tracks providing the definitive 2 wheeled racing experience. The development team’s overriding aim is to deliver ... more

Disney Sing It (Xbox 360)
Disney Sing It
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/28/2008

Disney Sing It is the only karaoke video game that challenges players to out-sing friends with songs and authentic videos from favorite Hollywood Records artists, Disney Channel Original Series and Di ... more

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 2 (Xbox 360)
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 2
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/29/2008

The madcap Penny Arcade experience continues in Episode Two where gamers return to the deranged 1920s universe of New Arcadia and rejoin Gabe and Tycho of the Startling Developments Detective Agency t ... more

New Game Time Host

We have a new Game Time Host, and also a new Analysts, Saiphrashant LR. Tune in to Game Time Weekly, with new episode posted between Saturday and Sunday.

Network Now Returns!

Network Now has returned and has a new host, our intern, Saluki. Network Now will have all of the breaking gaming news as it happens. Tune into Network Now!

Kobe, A-Rod, Phelps, and Tony Hawk in Guitar Hero: World Tour

This is some funny stuff.

Friday, October 24

Guitar Hero World Tour Launch Trailer

Thursday, October 23

Midnight Club: Los Angeles Analaysts Review Coming Soon!

Jerhawk and I will be posting Midnight Club LA impressions soon. The above image is a test image from MCLA. More Pictures coming soon. Stay Tuned!

Gears of War 2: Last Day Trailer

Wednesday, October 22

Street Ball is Dead

EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed rumors that the NBA Street series is now officially on hiatus.

"We'll still do traditional sports, but we're going to do them a different way," he told me. "Street is a good example. We built a new Freestyle brand to do different things, and we also need to build our own intellectual properties. We rely on other people's IP for everything we do and we need to develop some new things. In the old days we had things like SSX that were our own intellectual property, but since then we've kind of moved away from that. We need a mixture of experiences that are not only for the hardcore, 'it's in the game' crowd. But if Wii Sports has taught us anything, it's that people will sit there and play big head tennis all day long. We need to be able to tap into that audience. We need to have something for that sports fan who might not necessarily be a sports gamer, but who wants that 15-minute experience without having to struggle on how to use the controller."

It also looks like Midway has also put a stop to any future products in the NBA Ballers franchise as the struggling company is trying to buy its way out of the licensing deal it currently has with the NBA.

Skate 2: The Roster Trailer

Far Cry 2 Review

Ubisoft Montreal has done some great things with Far Cry 2, the product of putting a gigantic development staff and what must have been a gargantuan budget behind developing a new kind of first-person shooter on a new engine. The formula still needs work in terms of enemy AI, quest structure, and giving the player more to do to fill in all that open space, but as it is, it's still a standout achievement. More importantly, it has nowhere near as many bugs as something like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a title that bears many similarities. Add to the roughly 25 hour single-player campaign a remarkably easy-to- use map creation tool and a full multiplayer suite, and you've got one of the most complete overall gaming packages of the year, as well as one of the most ambitious.
IGN Ratings for Far Cry 2 (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
8.5 Presentation
Intuitive user interface. Makes effective use of the first-person perspective. Quest structure can get repetitive, story takes a while to really get going.
8.0 Graphics
Impressive effects and a huge overall world. Framerate issues here and there, and the character models can look pretty bland and generic.
9.0 Sound
Terrific weapon effects and ambient sounds, a strong musical score and interesting enemy chatter during combat. Voice acting isn't particularly strong.
9.0 Gameplay
Solid shooting mechanics, a large arsenal that allows for plenty of different approaches to battle, and a sprawling world to explore.
9.0 Lasting Appeal
A standard multiplayer mode is buoyed by a fantastic map editor toolset with a gentle learning curve.
(out of 10 / not an average)


Tuesday, October 21

Around the Hawk: Saints Row 2 User Review

Well I rented Saints Row 2 this week, and it's a pretty solid game. There is, in my opinion, much more action and more missions than GTA IV, however the graphics aren't as impressive. Here are a few positives and negatives about the game:


  • Story Line: An amazing story line with several side missions that will keep you busy for hours. The great thing about the story line is that it's not repetitive like GTA IV was. I thought GTA IV to be like a Hitman game more than a GTA game. In Saints Row 2, each mission variates in several different ways. There may be a mission where the soul purpose is to execute a particular person, or you might go and free somebody from jail, or go hijack a bus. There's so many different types of missions, the story line never gets repetitive.
  • Cut Scenes: The cutscenes are extremely impressive with massive amounts of action and dialogue. In this Saints Row the main character that you create talks a lot, and it's really cool how much dialogue was recorded in the game considering that there's six different voices you can give your character (3 male, 3 female). The cutscenes really keep you on the edge of your seat, and effect you emotionally on several levels if you're really into the game. Some cutscenes are just plain halarious, others very dramatic, some are extremely sad. The cutscenes are done brilliantly, it really makes you feel like you're in the game.
  • Graphics: The in game graphics aren't amazing like GTA IV, but they're fairly solid. The graphics really shine in the main cut scenes, but they can be impressive when playing too, especially the explosion effects.
  • Customization: There is so much in-depth customization in this game, you'll find yourself tinkering around with your character for several minutes if not hours. The character creation is extraordinary, as you can change everything about your guy. My character looks pretty close to me, but I could do better. It's pretty cool too that you can not only change everything about his face and body, but also his facial expression, voice, taunts, fighting style and how he walks. Once in the story mode, you can customize your cribs, your gang's attire, and your gang's cars as well as cars you steal. You can unlock more cutomizable options as you progress through the game, making you want to play through the game to see what else you can change.
But like all games, they have their flaws. Here are the negatives I've found so far in Saints Row 2:

  • Bugs/Glitches: There are WAY too many bugs and glitches throughout the game. It makes me wonder: Did they even test this game?! It's crazy how many times cars will dissapear, random objects will appear or dissapear, and it's annoying watching the game continually load up the background. I was hoping that with the 360 we wouldn't have to experience the constant changing background, but it still happens. Some missions I've done I had to start over because the game would glitch up, causing the mission to not go as planned. This can become very flustrating to the user, making you want to eject the game, especially when you're almost done with a mission.
  • Graphics: Yes I listed this as a possitive, but it's still a negative because it doesn't compare to the graphics in GTA IV. Even though they delayed this game a few months, the graphics don't match up in some areas, taking away from the good this game really has to offer.
That about sums up my review for this game. My overall score: 8 out of 10.

All in all this is a pretty good game that will give you hours of entertainment and quite a few hearty laughs, but some bugs in the game may make you put it down.

Thanks for tuning in.

TheXBLN.com Call of Duty World at War Beta Drawing Winners!

TheXBLN.com is giving away 5 CoD: WaW Beta codes. Just simply leave a comment with your gamertag in the comment section and we will draw names later tonight at about 10 PM EST!

Drawing Closed!

Lucky Winners
Saiprashant LR

Congrats to our lucky winners check your Xbox Messages for the Download Code. Be sure to check TheXBLN.com often. We will have more giveaways soon. We have a nice one lined up. More details on that will come soon as our Creative Director can find the best way to set it all up.

NFL Picks: Week 7 Results / Week 8 Picks

Week 7 in the National Football League saw a lot of blowout games, and our scores across the board were pretty low. That's ok, we're still not even halfway through the regular season. Here were some odd things I noticed when "correcting" our picks:

-EVERYBODY picked the Pittsburgh Steelers, N.Y. Giants and the Tennessee Titans in their respective games, and we all got them ALL CORRECT. Awesome!
-UnKillableBeast was the ONLY person to pick the Green Bay Packers over the Indianapolis Colts, and got it CORRECT. Finch865 and Stopable didn't pick for this game.
-EVERYBODY got the N.Y. "Bretts" WRONG as they lost to Oakland.
-JRC 865 was the ONLY person to pick the Detroit Lions to defeat the Houston Texans, but got it WRONG.

Here is our Week 7 leaderboard:

1.) Stopable / 9
T2.) Jerhawk / 8
T2.) Deus Legend / 8
T2.) UnKillableBeast / 8
3.) Flynn4DaWin / 6
4.) JRC 865 / 5

Finch865 did not pick for this week. Another interesting note, this is the second week in a row that JRC 865 got 5 picks right for that week. You can do it JRC!!

Here is our XBLN.com NFL Picks PowerRankings presented by Midnight Club L.A.:

T1.) Jerhawk / 61
T1.) Flynn4DaWin / 61
2.) Deus Legend / 59
3.) Stopable / 57
T4.) JRC 865 / 56
T4.) UnKillableBeast / 56
5.) Finch865 / 38

So, me and the All-Mighty Flynn4DaWin are tied with 61, but we are being tail-gated by Deus Legend. Hopefully Finch can try to get back in the race.

Here are the Week 8 matchups:

Cincinnati @ Houston (Make-up Game)

Oakland @ Baltimore

Arizona @ Carolina

Tampa Bay @ Dallas

Washington @ Detroit

Buffalo @ Miami

St. Louis @ New England

San Diego vs. New Orleans (London)

Kansas City @ N.Y. Jets

Atlanta @ Philadelphia

Cleveland @ Jacksonville

N.Y. Giants @ Pittsburgh

Seattle @ San Francisco

Indianapolis @ Tennessee (Monday Night)

There won't be a Sunday Night game this week due to the World Series, if your were wondering. Also, I came up with an idea: Starting Week 10, I will list about four games or so that would be games where one team is highly favored over the other team. If we were to pick the upset pick and get it correct, we would get a bonus point, therefore making that pick worth 2 points. I will call it our "Weekly 2-Point Conversion." What do you guys think of that?

Thanks everyone, and good luck!

Monday, October 20

Fable II Review

IGN Ratings for Fable II (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
8.0 Presentation
The story is nothing special, but Albion is a believable world full of interesting people.
8.0 Graphics
The environments are impressive, and there’s a wide variety of looks for your character. The spells are visually potent.
8.5 Sound
Solid voice acting and a script packed with humor. The music takes some unexpected, but welcome, turns.
8.5 Gameplay
The combat system is a success and for the most part, the economic and morality systems work well, and the dog is a great addition. The co-op, though, is not up to par.
8.5 Lasting Appeal
The main quest is short, but there are numerous other distractions. If you invest yourself in Fable II, you can spend easily spend 30 hours in Albion. If not, you can truck through in under 10 hours.
(out of 10 / not an average)


Midnight Club: Los Angeles Review

Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a great racing experience with a few mars on its paint job. The cars handle fantastically, the city is nearly perfect, the GPS stuff is awesome and customizing your ride is great. It is way too hard, however, even right from the start. Rep points help to make sure you progress even if you can't win anything, but it's annoying to keep coming in at the end of the pack and rarely nabbing the top of the podium. Fans of street racing, and especially the Midnight Club series in general, will find a lot to like here, but don't expect an easy time on the streets.

IGN Ratings for Midnight Club: Los Angeles (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
9.0 Presentation
Fantastic GPS system that lets you explore the city quickly, and the menus are generally get out of your way very quickly.
8.5 Graphics
The city looks fantastic given its scope, though the car models probably could have been a little sleeker.
9.0 Sound
Mostly great soundtrack and awesome engine effects make this a speaker-pusher.
8.5 Gameplay
The cars handle very well, the city is a blast to drive in and there's plenty to do. Unforunately, it's also unforgivingly hard.
8.5 Lasting Appeal
Plenty of events and tons of online options will keep you hooked for a good while.
(out of 10 / not an average)

Halo 3: Recon Last Halo Done By Bungie?

In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, Bungie's Brian Jarrard made it known that once Halo 3: Recon is complete, the team creating it is moving on to new projects that are not related to Halo. Jarrard stated that there are some map packs on the way, including the Halo 3 Mythic map pack as well as maps associated with Halo 3: Recon, but that the team will move on once the project is complete. According to Jarrard, part of the Recon team will move on to new projects, while others will be moved onto projects already in the works.

Sonic Unleashed Gameplay Video

Sunday, October 19

Game Time: Xbox 360 Releases Week of October 19th - October 25th


Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Xbox 360)
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/20/2008

Consistently the most innovative, highest-rated street racing franchise, Midnight Club set the standard of what an open-world racing game can be. Midnight Club: Los Angeles will deliver a truly immers ... more

Fable II (Xbox 360)
Fable II
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/21/2008

Set 500 years after the original game, Fable 2 offers even more choices and features, while building on the core gameplay theme of Fable where every choice continually defines who you become, allowing ... more

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (Xbox 360)
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/21/2008

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows immerse players in an all-new action-adventure saga that gives them unprecedented control, never before seen in a Spider-Man game. Armed throughout the battle and confronted ... more

Guitar Hero World Tour (Xbox 360)
Guitar Hero World Tour
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 10/26/2008

The latest installment from the number one best-selling video game franchise of 2007, Guitar Hero World Tour transforms music gaming by expanding the signature guitar gameplay into a cooperative band ... more

Also Far Cry 2

Saturday, October 18

Dark Vader Coming to Soul Calibur IV

It's no longer a rumor, Darth Vader will be coming to a SoulCalibur IV near you. On Thursday, October 23rd, the once Playstation 3 exclusive SoulCalibur IV Vader character will be available for purchase off the Xbox Live Marketplace. The price will be 400 Microsoft points.

DLC Scrapped for Madden 09, Other Things on the Horizon

Madden 09 producer Phil Frazier made it official today that there will be no downloadable content for Madden NFL 2009. There had been rumors floating around that EA may put together a package containing a few add-ons including an accelerated clock, and extra CPU sliders that some fans had been asking for.

Though the DLC has been dropped, Madden fans still have something new to look forward to as EA has begun the testing of a new tourny system that allows fans to compete in online games for prizes. Expect more news on this exciting new feature around Halloween.

Friday, October 17

Rock Band Tracks for Tuesday

This Tuesday, Harmonix will release 7 Nirvana tracks for Rock Bands Weekly DLC.
  • "Breed" by Nirvana
  • "Lounge Act" by Nirvana
  • "On a Plain" by Nirvana
  • "Poll" by Nirvana
  • "Something in the Way" by Nirvana
  • "Stay Away" by Nirvana
  • "Territorial Pissings" by Nirvana

Need for Speed Undercover: Highway Battle

Midnight Club: Los Angeles The Cops Trailer

Thursday, October 16

Gears of War 2 Multiplayer

Fable II: Magic Combat Teaser

Wednesday, October 15

Fable II: Gun Combat Teaser

Boom,head shot.

M.K. vs. DC Universe Release Date Set.

Midway announced yesterday that the highly anticipated Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is slated to hit shelves next month on November16th in the U.S. As a refresher, the game lets you take your favorite M.K. Kombatants and pits them against the super heroes of the DC comics universe. Ever wonder what would happen if sub-zero tried to freeze Superman? Or if Raidens lighting bolts are fast enough to catch the flash? Me neither. But it's sure to be an intresting game that should be worth a look.

Save Up Your $$$

Well, as I look at the calendar I noticed that Christmas will be here before you know it. So I decided to throw out a few games that are sure to be hits, in my opinion, for this upcoming holiday season. These games are listed in no specific order either so don't get upset if your game isn't at the top or on this list at all.

1. Call of Duty: World at War - After COD4: Modern Warfare, they decide to go back to the old days of WWII. Now I enjoyed the earlier games but COD4 was down right awesome. Hopefully this trip back into time doesn't tarnish a great game series.

2. Gears of War 2 - In this, the battle of the Locusts continue. The first one was a great game with some fun online battles. I think that this one will definitely top a lot of gamers wish list.

3. Saints Row 2 - The gangs of Stillwater return to the gaming world.And here is your chance to let them know who is the boss. I am not to sure on this one. The first one was a good game but since then, we have seen GTAIV return to the scene. With that, enough said.

4. Rock Band 2 - The first one set all types of records for downloadable content and this one seems to continue in the trend. If you ever wanted to have a band, this game is definitely for you. This game is taking karaoke to another level of fun.

5. Midnight Club: Los Angelos - This game is one of the original car racing, fix up your ride games. The previous ones were fun and this one seems to pick up where the others left off.

Some other games to keep your eyes out for are Fallout 3, Tom Clancys' End War, Fable 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, and Far Cry 2. These are just a few but there seems to be enough games for each type of personality you have. There will be a James Bond game, James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace, for you double agent super spies. If you want to lay the smack down on someone you will have Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 to see if they can smell what you are cooking. And for the ones that just want to takeover the world you will have Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3.

Whatever your choices are, just save up your money because there are a lot of good games coming out within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 14

Around the Hawk: Fallout 3

This game looks amazing. Enough said.

UFC 2009: Undisputed Trailer

The game play from this trailer looks jaw dropping. I've never seen such fluid motions in a fighting game of any genre. I'm nothing close to a fan of Ultimate Fighting Championship. But if this game plays as good as it looks it will defiantly be worth a peek. The release date is still unannounced but is slated to be sometime next year.

Rumor: Metal Gear Solid 4 to the Xbox 360 After All?

IGN is reporting :

According to a Tokyo Game Show report from Japanese investment research firm Morningstar, Metal Gear Solid 4 may find its way to the Xbox 360 after all. Morningstar published a general article covering multiplatform trends that features a quote from a Konami public relations representative that should fuel rumors for months to come. The rep is quoted as saying, regarding MGS4, “We’re actively looking into a release for the Xbox 360.” While this isn’t a confirmation of it coming, it does lend hope to those Xbox 360 owners who haven’t plunked down money on a PS3.

However, this little quote doesn’t clear the major hurdle Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has listed for the title coming to Xbox 360. He has been quoted in several interviews saying a port was likely impossible due to the game being optimized for the PS3 hardware, specifically Blu-ray discs.

Of course, multi-disc games are no stranger to the Xbox 360 (see: Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and so on), and the New Xbox Experience’s option to install games to the hard drive may allow a “HD Required” tag to be posted on the game - after all, Shivering Isles has that tag

NXE Storage Solution

Microsoft just launched a new Xbox Storage Upgrade website where Arcade and Core owners can request their storage solution. Just enter your console's serial number and ID, then the system will check to make sure your console isn't an Elite or Pro. Once your console is verified to be lacking 128MBs of storage, you'll be given a special offer based on which console you own. The storage solution offers are:

  • Xbox 360 Acade owners: Refurbished 20GB HDD + 3 months of Xbox Live for $30.
  • Xbox 360 Core owners: 512MB memory card for free OR refurbished 20GB HDD for $20

America's Game: NBA Live + Impressions

This happen at the end of a Lakers(me) vs Celtics(CPU) game. I was up big and I was just messing around with Derek Fisher when he swished in this bomb from just behind half court.

While I'm here I am going to just post my quick thoughts on the game and what I think about it overall.Lets start with the EA Sports World section of Nba Live what actually has sound on it what is cool however you can only save highlights from offline games and not online games. This is annoying to me because I usually only play online and I see a lot of great plays that I would love to save but I can't. The game-play is vastly improved but it still has some notable flaws and some little things that really get on your nerves if you are losing. The good is that the rebounding is improved and it actually feels like your guy is going for the ball compared to last year.Also this year if you press the X button by an accident instead of doing a layup from the three point line your guy will go for a shot(most of the time it won't go in).

On the topic of layups last year you may remember if you pressed the layup button with someone in front of you your guy would just bump into the opponent and chuck it off the backboard usually resulting in a miss.This year if your close enough they will always go for a layup and some of the midair adjustments that they make are amazing.On that topic though it seems as if just about anyone can make circus shots with a high rate what can be very frustrating sometimes.

The new pick n roll controls are awesome and if you master them you can really dominate your opponents.The free throw system is all new but once you get use to it you will find that it is just as easy as last year. This year what you do is there is on the top of the backboard a red line with a section of green in it and you have to release the B button when you get in that green section. Depending on how good your guy is at free throws will obviously impact how big of a green section he has.

While the defenses are vastly improved there are still some notable flaws that need to be fix. Those flaws would be defenders bite sometimes way to much on ball-fakes and defenses don't get back in time way to much(even on made shots). With that said though the defense is much improved and the scores of games compared to last year are way down.I haven't played any dynasty so I can't speak on that but I have played a couple team-play games and it seems like they have improved.One of the things I like is they have a meter that increases when you make a good play and decreases when you make a bad play. What I like about this is it gives you incentive to always try your best even if your team is getting blown out.

Overall NBA Live 2009 is a vastly improved game compared to last year and it is honestly one of my favorite sports games ever.While it does have some negatives I feel as if the positives overshadow those and if you can look past the negatives you can enjoy this great game.

Around the Hawk: Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 Highlight Reel

Wow, this feature really blew me out of my chair when I saw this. I just hope two things with this feature (post a comment if you know the answer)

1.)I hope we don't have to buy this seperately like 2K does with it's highlight creator.
2.)If it does already come with the game, I really hope we can upload these to an online server for others to see, such as on America's Game or the top 5 show or something.

This feature really looks amazing, especially with the sound effects you can add to it. I could fool around with this feature for hours...

Around the Hawk: Backbreaker

What do you guys think of this? In someways, it looks like Blitz. But in other ways, it looks like it could revolutionize football games with the pure physics of every tackle being different. Still not much information about this game yet though, even though I've posted about it three times.

Monday, October 13

NFL Picks: Week 6 Results / Week 7 Picks

Week 6 is over. That's the good news. The bad news: Several teams, including my Seahawks, have been ruined by poor play and injuries. But there's no poor playing in our picks! So with that said, here were some random things I found in our Week 6 selections:

-Finch865 was the ONLY person to pick the Detroit Lions over the Minnesota Vikins, but got it WRONG.
-EVERYBODY picked the Washington Redskins over the St. Louis Rams, and got it WRONG.
-Deus Legend and Finch865 were the ONLY people to pick BOTH the Seattle Seahawks AND the San Francisco 49ers to win, but both got these NFC West teams WRONG.

Here is the Week 6 leaderboard:

T1.) Jerhawk / 10
T1.) Flynn4DaWin / 10
T1.) UnKillableBeast / 10
T2.) Deus Legend / 8
T2.) Stopable / 8
3.) Finch865 / 6
4.) JRC 865 / 5

And here is our overall XBLN.com PowerRankings, brought to you by Saints Row 2:

1.) Flynn4DaWin / 55
2.) Jerhawk / 53
T3.) JRC 865 / 51
T3.) Deus Legend / 51
T4.) UnKillableBeast / 48
T4.) Stopable / 48
5.) Finch865 / 38

The All-Mighty Flynn4DaWin has regained the lead after JRC 865 fell into a funk this week. Close on Flynn's tail is the little engine that could: Jerhawk (that would be me). Some gaps are beginning to appear in our scores, which is expected. Finch865 is still trying to catch up, so don't give up Finch! Who wants it more?

Here is our Week 7 matchups, and this could be a make or break week with many interesting games:

San Diego @ Buffalo

New Orleans @ Carolina

Minnesota @ Chicago

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Tennessee @ Kansas City

Baltimore @ Miami

San Francisco @ N.Y. Giants

Dallas @ St. Louis

Detroit @ Houston

Indianapolis @ Green Bay

N.Y. Jets @ Oakland

Cleveland @ Washington

Seattle @ Tampa Bay   (Sunday Night)

Denver @ New England    (Monday Night)

Good luck everyone, and here are a few tips that I have for you guys:

1.) For those of you who are behind and would like to catch up, try to wait until the majority of the others have picked, this way you can see what your peers have chosen, giving you the option to pick the other way and possibly getting some points that the others have all got wrong. This would probably mean waiting until Friday or Saturday.
2.) Try to pick the upset pick that most others probably won't pick. This way you can get lucky and pick up a point where others have missed.

Also, those NFL Network Thursday Night games begin pretty soon, so I'll let you know when the first one is, sometime in November is when they start. The reason I am telling you this is because I would need the picks in by the Wednesday before that game for the pick to count. If you wanted to, you could just make your picks after that game, but you would lose the point for that Thursday game. Just a little heads up. Thanks everyone!