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Saturday, January 31


XBLN LIVE! is back. xsgt Meatloaf and myself played a test game on Madden and all went well. We will explore new ways to utilize XBLN LIVE!, as we do, tune in to here for any projects for XBLN LIVE!

A couple of things I noticed are that we cannot broadcast a live feed in HD just yet but we can broadcast a pre-recorded video in HD. We will try to figure out how to do Live HD soon! Also, we need to find a good balance for bandwidth allocation during Live broadcasts. As we get the kinks out, XBLN LIVE! will be what we always wanted it to be.

Friday, January 30

EA Announce Need For Speed: Shift

EA announced Need for Speed: Shift today which is due out this Autumn. Need for Speed: Shift will be aimed at the racing gamer looking for a realistic experience. It is being developed by Slightly Mad Studios, which is known for their past realistic racers. Games over the past few years have been developed by EA Black Box. The same developers of the Skate and NBA Live Series.

Official Press Release:

Shift into high gear! Designed to deliver a true driver’s experience that reflects contemporary motorsports, Need for Speed SHIFT is built by racers for racers. Need for Speed SHIFT delivers an authentic and immersive driving experience developed by Slightly Mad Studios in collaboration with executive producer Michael Mann at Black Box and senior vice president Patrick Soderlund at EA Games Europe. Slightly Mad Studios includes developers and designers that worked on the critically acclaimed games GT Legends and GTR 2. Need for Speed SHIFT replicates the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars like never before. Players are thrust into the heart of the action with immersive and exciting features including a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit view camera and an all-new crash mechanic, providing an unrivalled sensation of the speed and feeling of racing a car on the extreme edge of control.

Madden NFL 10: Brand New Appraoch?

Info I recieved straight from EA Sports about Madden NFL 10:

"At the start of the year when we all joined the team, we all got in a room and immediately came to a unanimous decision on what Madden NFL 10 was going to be all about. You saw it in the title of the post, but I’ll say it again: “Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL”. “What does that mean?” you may ask…well it means that we have one goal, and that is to make an NFL football game that is as true to life as possible.

We aren’t about gimmicks; we aren’t about fluff; we aren’t about catering to glitchers or cheaters. We’re focused on emulating what you as an NFL fan are used to seeing on TV, and what many of you players and coaches have seen on the field. For every single update we provide you with throughout this year, feel free to call us out if anything doesn’t stand up to our new mantra."

Thursday, January 29

Rumor: Best of Halo Xbox 360 Pro Bundle?

Swedish web store Webhallen has revealed Microsoft's plans to release a "Best of Halo" Xbox 360 bundle, which includes a 60GB Xbox 360 Pro model, 1 month Xbox Live Gold and a copy of Halo 3 and Halo Wars. Schedule for release on February 27th, the bundle has a retail price of 2795 Swedish Krona ($350). So far, this record confirms the bundle for Europe and it remains to be seen if Microsoft will release such bundle in the U.S.


Tuesday, January 27

XBLN Top 5 Plays January Edition

After months off, XBLN Top Plays is back by popular demand with the January 09 Edition. Remember, if you have any plays you think are worthy, send them in to us and we will take a look at them and your play could possibly make the cut. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26

First Fight Night Round 4 Screenshots

What Time is it? GAME TIME:Jan 25th - Feb 1st

Afro Samurai (Xbox 360)
Afro Samurai
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 1/27/2009

He who possesses the #1 Headband, will rule the world! Afro Samurai is the cutting edge game that delivers a new kind of cinematic game experience, a living episode that offers addictive, immersive an ... more

Sunday, January 25

Rumor: Red 360 Coming Soon?

 There is a rumored red console bundle that is said to also come packed with a red controller, copy of Resident Evil 5, an exclusive RE5 premium theme and a redemption code for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD.
We will have more on this rumor if we get more in on it.

NFL Picks: Super Bowl XLIII

The time has finally come! The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and everything is set and ready to go. Our NFL Picks has also come to a dramatic end.

There were no odd picks for the Conference Championship round, since both games were about even in our picks.

Here are the results from the Conference Championship round alone. Remember each game was worth 4 points each:

Jerhawk / 4
Deus Legend / 4
JRC 865 / 4
Flynn4DaWin / 4
Stopable / 4
xSgt MeatLoafx / 0

Did not pick again: Finch865

Our overall standings heading into the last week of our picks, SUPER BOWL XLIII

1.) Jerhawk / 184
2.) Stopable / 175
3.) Deus Legend / 166
4.) xSgt MeatLoafx / 161
5.) Flynn4DaWin / 159
6.) JRC 865 / 147
7.) Finch865 / 85
8.) El Bos / 7

Jerhawk has clinched the #1 spot and Stopable has clinched the #2 spot. xSgt MeatLoafx can still overtake Deus Legend for 3rd place if they pick differently and MeatLoaf gets the pick correct. Flynn4DaWin can still overtake MeatLoaf if they choose differently as well. Finch865 has clinched the #7 spot, and El Bos has locked up last place with 7 points.

Our Super Bowl picks that we made back in Week 10 have also come to a tragic end. None of our teams will win the Super Bowl!

Jerhawk - Baltimore Ravens (Eliminated by Steelers)
Deus Legend - Atlanta Falcons (Eliminated by Cardinals)
JRC 865 - Tennessee Titans (Eliminated by Ravens)
Flynn4DaWin - Dallas Cowboys (Eliminated before playoffs)
xSgt MeatLoaf - Carolina Panthers (Eliminated by Cardinals)
Stopable - Philadelphia Eagles (Eliminated by Cardinals)
Finch865 - Detroit Lions (This went nowhere fast)

Now the moment we've all been waiting for. The teams have been determined, with all eyes about to be on Tampa, Florida on February 1st. Super Bowl XLIII. Believe in Now.

Arizona Cardinals (12-7)

The potent aerial attack of the Cardinals led by veteran Quarterback Kurt Warner head into Tampa with high hopes and big dreams. After decades of futility and frustration, head coach Ken Whisenhunt will try to defeat his old teams for whom he used to be the offensive coordinator for when they were in and won Super Bowl XL versus the Seattle Seahawks. This is the Cardinals first ever Super Bowl appearance, being the last team since the Seahawks to represent the NFC West in the Super Bowl. Their opponent:

Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4)

With the NFL's #1 ranked defense, the Pittsurgh Steelers look to become the first team to win six franchise Super Bowls. They are currently tied with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys with five Super Bowl victories. Head coach Mike Tomlin is now the third African American coach to be in the Big Game (Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy were the first two). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger captains the Steelers tough and dangerous offense. On the other side of the ball, Strong Safety Troy Polamalu along with the help of the NFL defense player of the year, Linebacker James Harrison, look to slow down the Cardinals offense.

Please have your pick in the Saturday before the game (game is on Feb. 1st). We won't pick for the Pro Bowl.

Thank you all who have participated in TheXBLN.com's NFL Picks. I would love to do this again next year! It was a blast, you guys are awesome. Next season we will have a price for the winner!

Guitar Hero: Metalica Set List

The game will release on March 29th. Here is the set list:

Metallica Tracks
  • All Nightmare Long
  • Battery
  • Creeping Death
  • Disposable Heroes
  • Dyers Eve
  • Enter Sandman
  • Fade To Black
  • Fight Fire With Fire
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Frantic
  • Fuel
  • Hit The Lights
  • King Nothing
  • Master of Puppets
  • Mercyful Fate (Medley)
  • No Leaf Clover
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • One
  • Orion
  • Sad But True
  • Seek And Destroy
  • The Memory Remains
  • The Shortest Straw
  • The Thing That Should Not Be
  • The Unforgiven
  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  • Wherever I May Roam
  • Whiplash
Other Artist Tracks
  • Alice In Chains - No Excuses
  • Bob Seger - Turn The Page
  • Corrosion of Conformity - Albatross
  • Diamond Head - Am I Evil?
  • Foo Fighters - Stacked Actors
  • Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather
  • Kyuss - Demon Cleaner
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Tuesdays Gone
  • Machine Head - Beautiful Mourning
  • Mastodon - Blood And Thunder
  • Mercyful Fate - Evil
  • Michael Schenker Group - Armed and Ready
  • Motorhead - Ace of Spades
  • Queen - Stone Cold Crazy
  • Samhain - Mother of Mercy
  • Slayer - War Ensemble
  • Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster
  • Suicidal Tendencies - War Inside My Head
  • System of a Down - Toxicity
  • The Sword - Black River
  • Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back in Town

Saturday, January 24

TheXBLN.com Awards Show(Part 2)

Welcome back, and thanks for tuning in. Thank you all who helped give your thoughts on our previous topics, and hopefully we will get even more responses this time. Let's continue our awards ceremony!

Best RPG Game:

Jerhawks Winner: Fallout 3
Deus Legends Winner: NFL Head Coach 09
xSgt MeatLoafx's Winner: Fable 2

Jerhawk's take: Fallout 3 was such an impressive game on so many levels. The storyline was incredible, the graphics were spectacular and the replay value was remarkable. I really enjoyed this game, and hopefully some DLC will maybe add on more to this already huge game.

DL: I don't play RPG games and this is the only game that comes close to one. NFL Head Coach had a very niche market and I guess I was one of the people the game was for. It was a pretty fun game to go through to me. We have a review for the game somewhere one the site. Just search for it in the search box.

ML: I don't like Rpg games but this game was fun to play you have to choose to be good or bad.

Biggest WTF Happened There moment:

Jerhawk's Winner: Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter 2 story
Deus Legend's Winner: Gears of War 2 Horde Kaboom
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: When I played Deus on Madden 09

Jerhawk's story: I was playing online co-op missions one day with Deus Legend and a few other people, and I was still a noob at the game. The weapon that I had currently selected was what looked like a suitcase, however I didn't know that it was a trip mine bomb. After dropping a suitcase and nothing happening, I double pressed the right trigger to open the suitcase, which is what I thought it was supposed to do. Instead, the trip mine exploded underneath of me, killing me instantly, leaving Deus Legend to take on the mission by himself.

DL: When Jerhawk, Stopable, Meatloaf, and my self were playing Horde on River and a Flame Boomer was running in laughing "MUAHAHAHA" some one shot his flamer fuel pack in he blew up in the middle of laughing at us. It was hilarious.

ML: I was the Steelers he was Titans I was winning the game by a TD and there was 5 seconds left in the game Deus threw the ball and somehow he got the TD and got the coin toss in OT and won the game.

Best Video Game Hero:

Jerhawk's Winner: Halo's Master Chief
Deus Legend's Winner: Gears of War Marcus Fenix 
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: Master Chief

Jerhawk's Take: Master Chief was the best video game hero icon ever. He had that manly voice, his confident almost cocky attitude and the fate of everyone in this pretend future in his hands. What more could you ask for?

DL: Marcus Fenix leads the Delta Squad in Gears and he has to take on butt ugly Locust out to destroy humanity. He goes out and saves the world twice maybe three times who knows.

ML: Master Chief is a hero is the only guy who can save not just the world but the universe to and he is bad ass.

Best Video Game Villain:

Jerhawk's Winner: Mass Effect's "Saren"
Deus Legend's Winner: Locust Queen
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: The boss from Ninja Gaiden 

Jerhawk's Take: The character Saren from Mass Effect was a true villain, with that crazy face and his extremely condescending attitude.

DL: Hearing her voice throughout the Campaign will make you hate her to death. She commands all the angry Locust to attack you. Someday she may just die!

ML: It was was really hard to beat this boss had three parts to bet him.

Best Commentating Award:

Jerhawk's Winner: WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009
Deus Legend's Winner: WWE SVR 09 
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: NBA Live 08

Jerhawk's Take: "Oh my God! Oh my God! No! No!" The commentators for WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is so funny. That's about it though.

DL: JR and the King are great in the SVR series. "A Chair Shot is a Chair Shot!". Even though the game play is lacking some, the commentary is by far the best in any Sports Game per say.

ML: In my opinion they all suck, it would be be cool if we were our own commentators.

Best Racing Game Award:

Jerhawk's Winner: PGR3
Deus Legend's Winner: Test Drive Unlimited 
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: Need for Speed Underground

Jerhawk's Take: I chose this game because of the great online play. The online for PGR4 sucked, which is why I chose PGR3.

DL: Test Drive Unlimited was a great racing game. The cars handling was sort of generic but you can explore Oahu, and island of Hawaii  and it was over 1000 miles to drive. Test Drive Unlimited 2 looks unlikely with Atari's financial trouble unfortunately.

ML: This game was so fun it felt like it would never end. The music was good and you was able to drag race in that game

Best Graphics Award:

Jerhawk's Winner: Gears of War 2
Deus Legend's Winner: PGR4 
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: Madden NFL 09

Jerhawk's Take: Especially now that I've gotten those HD cables on my HDTV, Gears 2 really stands out in the graphics department.

DL: The city details were amazing in PGR3 and 4. PGR4 just had realistic looking weather on top of what PGR3 offered.

ML: The players look almost like the real ones and when the weather comes into play, the fields look great with the weather. 

Best Shooter Award:

Jerhawk's Winner: Gears of War 2
Deus Legend's Winner: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1/2
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: Call of Duty 4

Jerhawk's Take: I really hated this game at first trying to learn the buttons and everything, but this game is really fun to play now.

DL: The weapon variety in the game is nice. The shooting mechanics are great. It had a great cover system. It was a very underrated game that no one played.

ML: I like the modern guns and the modern gear, I had a lot of fun with this game.

Best Cinematic Story Line Award:

Jerhawk's Winner: Mass Effect
Deus Legend's Winner: Halo 3, Gears of War 2
xSGT Meatloafx's Winner: Gears of War

Jerhawk's Take: Mass Effect really had an amazing story to it. This game kept me interesting throughout, and had one of the greatest endings I've ever seen in a video game.

DL: Bungie made up for what they did in Halo 2. Halo 3 had a pretty exciting story line. Gears of War 2 was also equally exciting. Epic made it interesting by adding new ways on taking on the Locust throughout the story.

ML: From the first gears to how ever many more there are going to be. I liked to watch this games cutscenes.

Thanks for watching Part 2, and please post comments about your opinions on these topics so that we can include them in the post. You can also post ideas for more topics in our final part of the awards show. Our grand finale, Part 3, will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, January 23

Rumor: Ubisoft Game Console in 2012?

Ubisoft is preparing for gaming console that they expect to release in 2012.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot admitted that "we have now enough to help us to grow the company for not only next year but to get ready for the coming of the next generation consoles" he believe is "going to happen 2011, 2012." Guillemot explains that Ubisoft will prepare for the upcoming next-next generation by hiring additional employees and investing in technology.

Deus Legends Take: This could get interesting. But can the market really support another console system?

Thursday, January 22

Gamerscore Blog is No More

Over at the Gamerscore Blog, they revealed that their blog will be no more and is officially retired. Microsoft has made the decision to end the GSB in an effort to focus on "community outreach through Xbox.com and through the Xbox dashboard." The GSB crew will be helping create content for Inside Xbox and other projects.

Deus Legend's Take: Gaming has taken another blow. EGM has been wiped out and now Gamescore Blog. Tough economy.

Around the Hawk: Survivor NFL style

Check out this amazing story of a TV show coming to Spike this spring hosted by former Cowboy Michael Irvin. I'm sure Flynn4DaWin will love this, especially after he made fun of the Philadelphia Eagles after the movie Invincible. Put on your pads everyone, we're going to try out for the Cowboys!

Survivor NFL Style

Wednesday, January 21

Humor Corner: Avatars Can Sing!

Tuesday, January 20

Humor Corner: What Halo Would Be Like With Fallout 3's VAT

Skate 2 Review

Skate 2 is a good, lengthy game, and it has moments of greatness, but it’s not great across the whole experience. I’m planning on going back and do more of the unfinished tasks and challenges I have, but I’m sure I’ll continue to swear and be frustrated by the game’s shortcomings (which are easily remedied, as I see it). As I’ve said in similar terms in the past with a couple of other game reviews, playing Skate 2 makes me want to play Skate 3, because I’d like to think that this kind of feedback will give the makers a better understanding of how the next game could be so much better. Give us a big world to skate, a big bunch of reasonable challenges to complete and durable multiplayer over Xbox Live that’ll keep us playing your game well after we’ve finished the Career path. Don’t feel you have to make me do something over and over to prove that I’m getting better as a player. Entertain me, but don’t overwhelm me. Unfortunately, despite all of Skate 2’s entertainment, it is often overwhelmingly discouraging.
There’s even more to do—and more variety in those activities—in Skate 2 than its predecessor, but there are design decisions that were made as the game was being created that are questionable for how they negatively affect gameplay quality.
There are glitches here and there (texture pop-up, 3-D camera foibles, etc.), but mostly New San Van is a gorgeous skate park/city with lots of nuance and skateable terrain.
I wish there was more variety (and entertaining banter) in what the voiceover companion says throughout, and the soundtrack is quickly repetitive if you play for any length of time.
The completist will be busy for some time, given all the Career tasks and other objectives the designers have built into the game.
Skate 2 continues to raise the bar for skateboarding games, but it just wasn’t enough for draw the kinds of raves offered for the first game in the series.

8.9 out of 10