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Monday, November 30

New Xbox 360 Cases

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

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

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

Thursday, November 26

Happy Thanksgiving

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

Wednesday, November 25

Black Friday 2009 Deals

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

NFL PowerRankings, presented by Jerhawk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MW2 Team Tactics Video

Tuesday, November 24

Rumor: A New Project Gotham?

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

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

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

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

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

NFL Picks: Week 11 Results / Week 12 Picks

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

Here are the wild picks from Week 11:

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

The results from Week 11 alone:

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

Finch865 and Castortroy4206 did not pick.

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

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

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

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

*Green Bay @ Detroit (Thursday early game)

*Oakland @ Dallas (Thanksgiving afternoon)

N.Y. Giants @ Denver (Thanksgiving evening)

*Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Miami @ Buffalo

*Cleveland @ Cincinnati

Indianapolis @ Houston

Chicago @ Minnesota

Carolina @ N.Y. Jets

Washington @ Philadelphia

Seattle @ St. Louis

Arizona @ Tennessee

*Kansas City @ San Diego

Jacksonville @ San Francisco

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (Sunday Night)

New England @ New Orleans (Monday Night Battle)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, November 17

Left 4 Dead 2 Video Review

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

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

NFL Picks: Week 10 Results / Week 11 Picks

Welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here are those wild picks from Week 10:

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

The results from Week 10 alone:

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

Finch865 and Castortroy4206 did not pick.

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

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

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

Miami @ Carolina (Thursday Night Wild-cat)

Indianapolis @ Baltimore

*Washington @ Dallas

Cleveland @ Detroit

San Francisco @ Green Bay

Buffalo @ Jacksonville

*Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

*Seattle @ Minnesota

Atlanta @ N.Y. Giants

*New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

Arizona @ St. Louis

San Diego @ Denver

*N.Y. Jets @ New England

Cincinnati @ Oakland

Philadelphia @ Chicago (Sunday Night)

Tennessee @ Houston (Monday Night)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16

Modern Warfare 2 DLC

Activision is planning two map packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 -- one less than was released for Call of Duty: World at War. CEO Mike Griffith said, plainly, "We plan to launch two separate map packs for this title." We already knew that two map packs would be timed 360-exclusives, so these would seem to be those promised packs.

Thursday, November 12

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review

Welcome back everyone to this edition to review with Blazen. I want to thank Jerhawk for doing the last review of Forza 3, he did a great job. For this week I am going review Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Many of you went and got the game at the midnight showing like I did. All I can say, is this game blew my mind out of the water.

The first Call of Duty can out on October 29, 2003. That is when we got the first real
taste of WWII. Then many more WWII games came out which, I think got really old fast. Then Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is what really made the Call of Duty sky rocket because, it brought us the current war and the new guns and technology of today.Activision Blizzard Inc. announced that they sold 4.7 million copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, or $310 million (U.S.) of sales, on its first day, setting a new record for the video game industry. Now with Modern warfare 2, with all new guns, perks, attachments, and maps bring a whole new look in the game.

My pros
  • Great graphics feels like you are in the game. The detail of the guns and people are amazing. The blood on the screen makes it feel like you are injured.
  • The campaign is really good. The story line is very detailed and it keeps you in it from the get go. It does take time to beat. On veteran it took me 8 hours.
  • The online is great. New game modes fun like, 3rd person mode which, are 4 on 4 and it was fun. The maps are much better but not as big as World at War. The perks are a lot better they took away some, added new ones, or modified some.
  • They also added a new game mode called Special Ops. This mode you can either play with a friend or by yourself, it’s like a new campaign.
  • They added new kill streaks to where you level up the different type of kill streaks you can change.
  • Also you can change you title of you name and the emblem to change it’s just something fun.

My Cons
  • The campaign is to short I think that it should have been longer. Also it has some Controversy to it with the airport level, and at the end.
  • I have a moded controller that I bought a long time ago and it still works for this game so that means people can still cheat.
  • The maps have too many hiding places where people can sit and build a campfire and roast marshmallows.
  • They took out some fun perks and added some pointless ones.
  • The servers kind if suck they always kick people when you have a party.
  • These are some miner ones but, I think the one that I really dislike is 3/4 of the game modes you can not be in an Xbox live party chat. I think it’s stupid who cares if you have 6 people you are playing with and want to play team death match. I can maybe see just search and destroy but most of them is dumb, that just Grinds my Gears.
After all that’s said I am going to the game
I would really recommend if you have not already to buy this game. We even got Jerhawk to but this game he does not like tactical shooting games but he loves this one. I want to thank everyone for taking the time out of youre day to read this, and please to not hesitate to post a comment saying what you think of the game or the review.

Madden NFL Arcade Coming Soon

EA has pushed up the release of its upcoming Madden NFL Arcade downloadable game and will be available Wednesday, November 25th on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200.

Tuesday, November 10

Call of Duty MW2 Review

When you look at the total package, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is hands-down one of the best first-person shooters out there, and a truly amazing offering across any system. With that being said, our score comes with a disclaimer. For those planning to check out everything Modern Warefare 2 has to offer – online competition, full co-op Spec Ops mode, as well as the campaign – you’re looking at a no-brainer purchase. For the strictly single player crowd, however, Modern Warfare 2 is surprisingly short, and doesn’t live up to the standard set by previous Call of Duty games. The campaign can be completed in as little as four and a half hours, and the missions make better scenarios and moment-to-moment adrenaline rushes than they do a cohesive, well-told story. If you’re going solo, you’ve officially been warned. Look at the complete Modern Warfare 2 experience though, and there’s no denying its rightful place at the top.

IGN Ratings for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (X360)

Rating Description
out of 10
8.5 Presentation
The graphical presentation is great, but campaign’s storytelling needs work. Single player is short, and doesn’t entirely live up to the Call of Duty standard.
10 Graphics
What was already an impressive graphical engine has only improved over the last two years. More effects, grander environments, and a truly spectacular overall visual offering.
10 Sound
Along with graphical design, Modern Warfare 2’s audio is upped substantially. Authentic weapon sounds and more in-game chatter mix with a beautiful adaptive score by Hans Zimmer.
9.0 Gameplay
There’s no single AC-130 “wow” moment in single player, but it’s fun throughout. Special Ops mode and multiplayer are must-play, and completely make the package.
10 Lasting Appeal
While campaign is short, Spec Ops mode is an awesome addition to the package. Multiplayer is stronger than ever, and truly limitless in replay value.
(out of 10 / not an average)

Week 10: The Turning Point

Welcome back to NFL Picks! Week 10 of the NFL season marks the Turning Point here on xboxlivenetwork.com's NFL Picks. What's Jerhawk talking about, you may be asking? Well, for starters, we will be re-picking for the Super Bowl (if you choose). Also, the 2-Point Conversions will begin again. I will also show you guys a never before seen job interview between KnightnBattle10 and Deus Legend.

We would like to welcome the newest member of the NFL Picks, joining late, Castortroy4206. Welcome aboard!

But first, as always, those crazy standout picks from Week 9:

  • EVERYBODY picked Atlanta over Washington AND New England over Miami, and got both CORRECT.

  • EVERYBODY got the Green Bay Packers WRONG after their upset loss to Tampa Bay.

  • JohnnyX77 was the ONLY person to pick the Houston Texans WRONG against Indianapolis.

  • JRC865 got the Kansas City Chiefs WRONG, but was the ONLY one to pick them.

  • Deus Legend was the lone wolf to pick the Carolina Panthers WRONG after their loss to the undefeated Saints.
  • xxInspirationxx and IronHorse1995 were the ONLY ones to pick Denver WRONG against Pittsburgh.

Our results from Week 9 alone:

1.) Stopable / 10
T2.) BlazenHawks / 9
T2.) KnightnBattle10 / 9
T4.) Deus Legend / 8
T4.) JRC865 / 8
T4.) JohnnyX77 / 8
T4.) IronHorse1995 / 8
T4.) Castortroy4206 / 8
T9.) Jerhawk / 7
T9.) xxInspirationxx / 7

Finch865 did not pick.

Our overall PowerRankings, presented this week by the U.S. Armed Forces. We would all like to thank those of you who help to serve and protect our country every hour of every day.

1.) BlazenHawks / 88
T2.) KnightnBattle10 / 87
T2.) Stopable / 87
4.) JohnnyX77 / 85
5.) JRC865 / 84
6.) Jerhawk / 81
7.) Deus Legend / 78
8.) xxInspirationxx / 75
9.) IronHorse1995 / 73
10.) Finch865 / 46
11.) Castortroy4206 / 8

Since it's Week 10, you now have the opportunity to change your Super Bowl pick if you're unhappy with who you chose at the beginning of the season. You can either decide to stick with the team you chose and go for the 10 possible points, OR you can choose a different team worth 5 possible points. Castortroy, you can pick a team now, but it'll be worth only 5 points if you get it correct.

Here's those Super Bowl picks again for those of you who may have forgotten. These were made before the season started:

Jerhawk: Tennessee Titans (2-6)
Deus Legend: Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
BlazenHawks: Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Stopable: Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)
KnightnBattle10: Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
xxInspirationxx: New England Patriots (6-2)
JRC865: New England Patriots (6-2)
Finch865: Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)
JohnnyX77: Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
IronHorse1995: Dallas Cowboys (6-2)

Now for the Week 10 Matchups. Starting now until the end of the regular season, I will put a little "*" symbol next to the four or five games that I have chosen as the biggest mismatches with the largest point spreads between them. If you go with the upset pick and get it right, you will be awarded two points. If you go with the upset but get it wrong, you'll be awarded with 0 points. If you just decide to go with the favored team and get it correct, you'll get the normal one point. If the game ends in a tie, then everyone will be awarded with a correct pick and the world will explode.

Chicago @ San Francisco (Thursday Night Mike Singletary Bowl)

Atlanta @ Carolina

*Tampa Bay @ Miami

*Detroit @ Minnesota

Jacksonville @ N.Y. Jets

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

*New Orleans @ St. Louis

Buffalo @ Tennessee

Denver @ Washington

Kansas City @ Oakland

*Seattle @ Arizona

Dallas @ Green Bay

Philadelphia @ San Diego

New England @ Indianapolis (Sunday Night not-that-great-any-more game)

*Baltimore @ Cleveland (Monday Night Sleeper)

The point spreads for the five upset games:

Tampa Bay (1-7) at Miami (3-5)
Miami is favored by 9.5 points.

Detroit (1-7) at Minnesota (7-1)
The Vikings are favored by a whopping 16.5 points.

New Orleans (8-0) at St. Louis (1-7)
The Saints are favored by 13.5 points.

Seattle (3-5) at Arizona (5-3)
Arizona is favored by 9 points over the Seahawks.

Baltimore (4-4) at Cleveland (1-7)
The Ravens are favored by 10.5 points over the Browns.
Here's where I found the point spreads: http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_point_spreads.shtml

Please have your picks in by kickoff of the Thursday Night game if you want that one to count. You can just pick for that one, and then hold off on the rest by Sunday. As long as the picks are in by game time. Thanks everyone!
Here's that job interview between KnightnBattle10 and Deus Legend. Did Knight get the job? (Warning: Some material may not be suitable for the younger viewers)

Monday, November 9

Army of Two: The 40th Day Trailer

MW2 Spec Ops Mode Game Play

1 vs 100 Returns Nov. 19

Chris Cashman returns on November 19th at 8 PM EST. So set your primetime schedules!

Friday, November 6

Nine minutes of Mass Effect 2 Gameplay

Skate 3 Trailer

Wednesday, November 4

Around the Hawk: Forza 3 Review

The much anticipated third installment of the Forza Motorsport series hit store shelves October 27th of this year. Since Blazen likes to give a little history lesson in his reviews, I shall give one too.

The word “Forza” is translated as “Power” in Italian. The first Forza was released May 3rd, 2005 for the original Xbox. The game sold over one million copies and received great reviews. The second Forza was released May 29th, 2007. It was the first on the New-Gen Xbox 360, and was a great leap forward in the series.

However, Forza Motorsport 3 is by far the greatest improvement thus far. The creators of Forza (Turn 10 and Microsoft Game Studios) did a remarkable job with the third installment in this franchise. If you even remotely like the sport of racing, Forza 3 is a game you need to pick up.

Here are my Pros:

  • As with the first two Forza games, this one offers the user the greatest amount of car customization and vinyl editing of any other racing game on the 360.
  • The library of cars to choose from is extensive with over 400 cars.

  • Simulation damage in this Forza is greatly improved as you can now roll your car.

  • The online Storefront feature is genius. You can share custom vinyl artwork, photos, in-game movies, even custom tuning set-ups. The user can choose if they want their stuff on the storefront for free so others will download it, or they can set a price on it.

  • The Auction House from Forza 2 is back, which is a plus. It’s fun to get in biding wars with other people online. It’s like E-bay on Xbox Live.
  • Career mode is extensive. I’ve been playing the career mode fairly heavily since it came out, and I’m only about 10% through. The career mode looks like it’ll take a long time to complete, which is great. The new season mode is fun, where you start out using F class cars (which are the worst performance cars), and slowly work your way through the first year. There are six years total and they become increasingly longer and more difficult as you progress.

  • Graphics are much improved in this game. Not that Forza 2 had bad graphics, but Forza 3 blows it out of the water.

  • The new in-car camera view is awesome. It almost feels like you’re driving sometimes. The game probably seems much more realistic with the steering wheel as well.

  • Online play is pretty good. New this year is the ability to veto a track, as well as bringing up a vote to the other players in the session to kick a player. This is good to eliminate those dirty players.

Here are my Cons:

  • The soundtrack is mediocre at best. At least you can hear the songs playing during the race, but if you’re like me, you’d rather just listen to the iPod or Zune.

  • The load times can take forever as you wait for the race to start.

  • It takes a long time to join a session when playing Online.

  • There’s only three skill levels to put the computer on. Easy, Medium and Hard. This is somewhat lame if you think about how in-depth the rest of the game is. It would be nice to have a My Skill setting like in Madden, but the computer does race alright on Medium as you progress in the Career mode.
  • The Collector's Edition of Forza 3 is a waste of money in my opinion. For $20 more you only get a few extra cars and tracks. The normal $60 game is the one to get.

I highly recommend this game to even the most casual gamer. If you’ve ever played a racing game before, it probably won’t compare with “Power” Forza 3.

My rating:


Tuesday, November 3

Left 4 Dead 2 Demo Now Available

The demo of Left 4 Dead 2 is available now on Xbox Live.

NFL Picks: Week 8 Results / Week 9 Picks

Welcome back to NFL Picks!

Here are the standout picks from Week 8:
  • EVERYBODY chose the Chicago Bears over Cleveland and got it CORRECT.
  • EVERYBODY got the Arizona Cardinals WRONG after their loss to the Panthers.
  • Finch865 was the bravest of them all this week. He was the ONLY one to go with Buffalo over Houton, San Francisco over Indianapolis, Oakland over San Diego AND Atlanta over New Orleans. Unfortunately, all of these picks were WRONG.
  • Deus Legend also showed some courage by being the ONLY one to pick Seattle over Dallas AND the N.Y. Giants over Philadelphia, but got those both WRONG.
  • Stopable was the ONLY person to get the Jacksonville Jaguars WRONG after their loss to the Titans.
  • BlazenHawks and xxInspirationxx were the ONLY ones to get Minnesota over Green Bay CORRECT.
Our results from Week 8 alone:

T1.) BlazenHawks / 11
T1.) JRC865 / 11
3.) xxInspirationxx / 10
T4.) Jerhawk / 9
T4.) KnightnBattle10 / 9
T4.) JohnnyX77 / 9
T7.) Deus Legend / 8
T7.) Stopable / 8
9.) Finch865 / 6

IronHorse1995 did not pick.

Now for the overall PowerRankings, presented this week by Safeway: Ingredients for Life.

1.) BlazenHawks / 79
2.) KnightnBattle10 / 78
T3.) Stopable / 77
T3.) JohnnyX77 / 77
5.) JRC865 / 76
6.) Jerhawk / 74
7.) Deus Legend / 70
8.) xxInspirationxx / 68
9.) IronHorse1995 / 65
10.) Finch865 / 46

The Week 9 matchups:

Washington @ Atlanta

Arizona @ Chicago

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

Houston @ Indianapolis

Kansas City @ Jacksonville

Miami @ New England

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay (The Bay of Pigs)

Carolina @ New Orleans

Detroit @ Seattle

San Diego @ N.Y. Giants

Tennessee @ San Francisco

Dallas @ Philadelphia (Sunday Night)

Pittsburgh @ Denver (Monday Night)

For those of you who may keep up with what goes on here at xboxlivenetwork.com, you may remember Jerhawk temporarily losing his job as Lead Creative Director. However, as of the November 1st, he has regained his job title back after serving his suspension and probation. Footage has now been released showing exactly what happened to make Jerhawk snap and lose his beloved title that dreaded day:

Next Week on NFL Picks: Week 10 (the turning point).