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Thursday, April 28

Madden NFL 12 Features & Trailers

EA Sports have announced today the first set of features for Madden 12 by giving us some details of the gameplay and presentation. The big details that are huge for the game includes custom playbooks, a new tackling system, authentic team entrances, expanded rosters, and Dynamic Player Performance. Trailers for the gameplay and presentation has been announced and has been added to the feature.

More of the Madden Features and Trailer after the break.

Monday, April 25

XBLN DiRT 3 Preview

Today here on XBLN, we are previewing, DiRT 3. This game is set to be released in the US on May 24th. DiRT 3 is an off-road racing game developed by Codemasters. Codemasters is a very experienced studio in the racing genre and created games like TOCA Race Driver and GRID. Codemaster have been working on Colin McRae Rally series since 1998. DiRT 3 has several race types however, it is mainly focused on the rally discipline, a point-to-point motorsport that takes place on a variety of surfaces including dirt, pavement, gravel and snow.

Rest of preview after the break!

Play with XBLN in the Gears of War 3 Beta

With the Gears of War 3 beta starting for those who preordered the game, come out to night and play with us as we chainsaw down the competition and rule over the Locust! Add Deus Legend, Blazenhawks, or Jerhawk to your friends list if you want to play.

Thursday, April 21

Xbox Live Network Gold Standard Quality

Here at Xbox Live Network, we are setting a new gold standard for the quality of  content available on our site. We are doing away with the run of the mill news articles and information you'll find on other sites. The only news you'll see here are "major" news related articles. We are striving to provide you with the most in-depth and XBLN exclusive material that we can. All information from now on will be purely based on information we have received and research for our articles. Some things like some gameplay videos and images are a thing we can't help but to obtain from a third party source, but for some things like our Gears of War 3 Beta footage is something we have provided exclusive to you guys before the public beta was released. We are looking to bring even more exclusive content than ever before. We have some new content such as our At The Movies Reviews and Entertaiment and our XBLN NFL Mock Draft. Please continue to stay tuned to Xbox Live Network and you will not be disappointed as we bring you more content than ever before.

-Deus Legend
XBLN Editor-in-Chief

Tuesday, April 19

Mortal Kombat Review

Mortal Kombat combines the novelty of extreme violence with a great fighting engine. My favorite moments with Mortal Kombat were always playing against a friend (Gamespy’s Ryan Scott is a beast), but I was disgusted by how unbalanced some of the single-player challenges are.
Even still, Mortal Kombat is a great game. It’s not the most polished fighter out there, but it has a distinct flavor and it’ll be a hit at gamer get-togethers. I’ll leave you with some friendly advice: show your friends Noob Saibot’s default Fatality. It’s amazing.
IGN Ratings for Mortal Kombat (X360)
Rating Description
out of 10
6.0 Presentation
The story is entertaining but cheesy. You can’t skip or pause the cutscenes -- isn’t it 2011?
7.5 Graphics
Much of the art style is still “stuck in 1992,” as our own Arthur Gies described it. Character models themselves look respectable and the environments are awesome.
9.0 Sound
Incredible sound design when it comes to special effects. Voice acting is surprisingly good, if not a little over the top. Music is fitting but not as strong as the effects.
8.0 Gameplay
Great combat system that’s best enjoyed with a friend locally. Online multiplayer works but was sluggish by comparison. Aggravating single-player imbalances.
8.5 Lasting Appeal
Ridiculous amount of content to unlock, including costumes, Fatalities, special codes, art, and more. Mortal Kombat's longevity will depend on how the community reacts to it.


XBLN 2011 NFL Mock Draft

# Team Player Position College
1 Carolina Marcell Dareus*  DT Alabama
2 Denver Von Miller OLB Texas A&M
3 Buffalo Cameron Newton* QB Auburn
4 Cincinnati A.J. Green* WR Georgia
5 Arizona Blaine Gabbert* QB Missouri
6 Cleveland Julio Jones* WR Alabama
7 San Francisco Patrick Peterson* CB LSU
8 Tennessee Aldon Smith** DE Missouri
9 Dallas Tyron Smith* OT USC
10 Washington Nick Fairley* DT Auburn
11 Houston Robert Quinn* DE UNC
12 Minnesota Jake Locker QB Washington
13 Detroit Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
14 St. Louis Mike Pouncey OG Florida
15 Miami Mark Ingram* RB Alabama
16 Jacksonville Da'Quan Bowers* DE Clemson

New England  Cameron Jordan DE Cal
18 San Diego Corey Liuget* DT Illinois
19 NY Giants Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College
20 Tampa Bay Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
21 Kansas City Stephen Paea DT Oregon State
22 Indianapolis Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
23 Philadelphia Brandon Harris* CB Miami
24 New Orleans Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State
25 Seattle Ryan Mallett*  QB Arkansas
26 Baltimore Aaron Williams* CB Texas
27 Atlanta J.J. Watt* DE Wisconsin
28 New England Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
29 Chicago  Benjamin Ijalana OT Villanova
30 NY Jets Marvin Austin DT UNC
31 Pittsburgh Nate Solder OT Colorado
32 Green Bay Derek Sherrod OT Mississippi State

NCAA Football 2012 Sneak Peak

This video shows off some new team introductions as well as a sneak peak of some gameplay footage. It looks like they've added some new features to the opening of the games. You may notice that at 1:13 in the video, it shows the new 3D grass that they've brought back to this year's game.

This video focuses on the new lighting improvements that they've installed in this year's game. I didn't hear them mention anything about progressive lighting that occurs throughout the course of the game, but I'm sure this is a huge step towards that feature.

The above video from SportsGamerShow.com breaks down 25 new plays that will be added to this year's NCAA Football game. A lot of these plays look good on paper, but will they fit your scheme? I'm personally looking forward to the new Dime 3-3-6 play Dbl Loop 3.

And just revealed is the NCAA Football 12 cover, featuring Alabama RB Mark Ingram.

That's all the info we have for NCAA Football 12, we hope to have news about online dynasty and game play improvements. Stay tuned to XBLN for more news about your favorite Xbox 360 games!

Sunday, April 17

XBLN Gears of War 3 Beta Footage!

As promised, our Gears of War 3 Beta footage! We have more coming soon and we are working on the quality so don't worry.

New Games in April

So Here at Xbox Live Network, we are always trying to think up of as new things we can do to supply you guys with as much game info as possible. Each Month we are going to give you a list of all the new games that are coming out. You can tell us which one you can't wait for or ones you think are not worth buying. See after the break for Aprils Games!

Saturday, April 16

Around the Hawk: Dirt 3 Gameplay

The above video is actual game footage from Dirt 3.

This video is the release trailer for Dirt 3, available May 24, 2011.

Battlefield 3 - 12 Minutes of Gameplay Footage Trailer

Gears of War 3 Beta Footage Coming!

Xbox Live Network have their hands on the Gears of War 3 Beta. Stay Tuned Saturday for a live stream via XBLN LIVE! The stream will be in the embedded video at right or here.

*UPDATE* We will upload videos straight to youtube. Be sure to keep checking our youtube channel here. Sorry about the change, but we will get that footage out to you guys.

Friday, April 15

New Battlefield 3 Trailer

Thursday, April 14

Netflix Get Kinect Controls

Microsoft are releasing some spring updates with Kinect-enabled Netflix control. Kinect will work with a on screen curser. Officially from MS: Netflix via Xbox 360: "With Xbox LIVE, take your Xbox 360 online and browse the full Netflix library to find the movie or TV show that you want, or launch Netflix from the Kinect Hub and select from one of the recommended titles using your voice and hand gestures as the remote control."

A Microsoft representative further detailed Netflix's Kinect functionality saying that all Netflix films will be navigable with Kinect, but only "recommended films" through the Kinect sub-Dashboard Netflix application will be selectable.

Sunday, April 10

DiRT 3 Party Mode Details

Revealed today were some Dirt 3 Mulitplayer details. There will be a new Party mode in the game and will have 3 mini-games and they are all non-racing, including:
  • "Invasion," in which players drive around an open lot, crashing into cardboard robots while avoiding cardboard skyscrapers.
  • "Outbreak," which sees one player "infected" with some sort of automotive ailment, symbolized by their car turning bright green. The player can spread the disease to others by colliding with them, and the last healthy player wins the game.
  • "Transporter," a capture-the-flag title where players must grab randomly-spawning flags and return them to their home base, avoiding their fellow players.

Friday, April 8

Mass Effect 3 Details, Multiplayer a No Go!

Game Informer has news on Mass Effect. However none of the details include Multiplayer. Some details include more RPG elements similar to those of Mass Effect 1, with more evolution of powers. Also expected are more weapon modification. All weapons will be usable by all classes, though each class (except for the solider) will be limited to a certain number of weapons that can be equipped for a mission.

For Mass Effect 3's plot, Shepard is on Earth due to the events of the "Arrival" DLC. For returning characters all we know is Liara and Garrus (if he survived) will be playable. Favorites like Wrex and Mordin (again, if they're alive) will also make appearances, whether they'll be full-fledged teammates is unknown.

Tuesday, April 5

At the Movies: Netflix Anime and the Governator

This week, Netflix announced it will expand its Anime selection in the instant queue. So for all of you Anime fans out there, you can now instantly watch episodes of Bleach, Naruto and many others on instant stream. Linky

In other news, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as "The Governator." He will lend his voice to this superhero character in a cartoon TV series, be featured in the new comic book, and will star in a feature film called "The Governator." The release date and cast for the film is unknown.
Personally, I don't know if this is supposed to be a joke, or if Arnold is desperate for money. Either way, I really don't see this being anything big.

At the Movies: Sucker Punch Review

This past week, I went out to the movies. Two times to be exact, and both times I saw the same movie: Sucker Punch. I had been anticipating this film for some time, so my expectations heading into the film were high, which left the door open for disappointment. The rest of the review is after the break.

Fired UP! HomeFront, 2011 Biggest Disappointment...So Far...

When games are hyped up, it is usually for good reasons. Games like Call of Duty, Halo, and others are hyped up a lot and sometimes over-hyped in terms of COD, but that is a different story. Homefront on the other hand, was hyped to the highest without any kind of merit. THQ after this release, again has failed to deliver a game for hardcore FPS gamers. In the past they've tried with games such as Frontlines: Fuel of War and Metro 2033. In this review, you will see exactly why.

Dragon Age 2 Review

Have you ever dreamed of being a hero in a medieval world solving conflicts between Mages and Templars. Well it does not matter because that is what you will be doing in Dragon Age 2. Made by Bioware the company that created Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and both Mass Effects, and anyone that loves role playing games would have high expectations for Dragon Age 2. This is my first review so, I will explain the game in two categories, story and game play. Story is the story of the game, visuals, sound, and anything that has to do with presentation, and game play pretty much describes its self.

Read on after the break!

Monday, April 4

Mortal Kombat Getting Online Pass

An internal email intended for retailers leaked to Joystiq reveals the move, although Warner Bros. is believed to be keeping the online registration code close to its chest, not mentioning it in pre-release marketing or on the game's packaging.

The one-use registration code unlocks online play and without it players will have to pay 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live or $10 on PSN to access online features. Warner Bros. is believed to be pursuing this policy for its future releases, which include F.E.A.R 3 and Batman: Arkham City.

Max Payne 3 details

Rockstar Games has recently given a few details of the upcoming third instalment of Max Payne. Max Payne 3 will be set 8 years after the events of Max Payne 2, in which you will play 3 different ages of Max Payne; from a young Max to a balding middle-aged Payne.

Edge magazine scored an interview with the developers in which they promised a more “sophisticated” part 3, acknowledging how far technology and audience expectation has progressed since 2001.

"Gamers expect a more fully realised cinematic experience, even if the main mechanic is still shooting. And though this is a more linear game for us, people want to be constantly surprised and entertained in new ways."

Unfortunately there is no word of a release date just yet. One thing we do know is that Payne will be leaving the confines of New York and appearing in South-America; Brazil to be more precise. Probably the best news of all is that James McCafferty is being called back to once again lend his vocals to the character he helped shape.

In the meantime you can find a few screenshots over on the official Rockstar website.

Madden 12 Cover Vote

As many of you know EA has set up an vote for the Madden 12 cover athlete. We have not covered it until now because now is when it really matter. To find the vote go here .

We only have 1 major suggestion for people voting don't vote for Drew Brees or Michale Vick just because they already have been on the cover lets get some on new

MLB 2K11 Review

Welcome back to the Review with Blazen. It has been a long time since we have had a review but don’t worry, we are back and we are going to do the best we can to get many reviews out there.

Like I do with all my others I am going to give you a brief history about the game and here we go, 2K Sports studios was created in 2000 where there first games that they came out with was NBA 2K, NHL 2K and NFL 2K. And over the years, 2K Sports has been the little brother of EA sports since they have been around. 2K Sports released their first ever Baseball game in 2002, which was call World Series baseball 2K2. World Series Baseball was the name until 2004 when 2K Sports changed the name to ESPN MLB Baseball. Than that following year, the name was changed to what it is right now at Major League Baseball 2K

Epic Expecting 1 Million Players For Gear 3 Beta

Epic Games says it's expecting a million Xbox 360 owners to join in with the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta when it launches later this month.

Access to the Xbox Live trial, which is set to kick off for Gold subscribers on April 25, can be gained by pre-ordering Gears 3 from Gamestop.
Owners of the Bulletstorm Epic Edition will gain access to the beta a week earlier on April 18.

The beta will include three new game modes and four maps, all running on dedicated servers.

Saturday, April 2

Madden Creator Suing EA

The creator of the original John Madden Football video game is suing Electronic Arts .

Robin Antonick, who developed the first
Madden title released in 1988 for MS-DOS, Commodore, and Apple II platforms, claims EA owes him a substantial amount of unpaid royalties. Antonick says the contract he signed with the publisher in 1986 was never terminated and in fact remains in force to this day.

Madden 12 Trailer

So this is your first look at Madden NFL 12

Microsoft Upping Game Disc Capacity by 1GB

Microsoft is currently working on some changes that will expand the capacity of Xbox 360 game discs, but exactly how the extra space will be used has not yet been confirmed.
The changes come in the form of a new disc format which will add about 1GB worth of space to the overall capacity, and will be put through the paces by beta testers who will use an updated version of the Xbox 360 dashboard.

Battlefield 3 Release Date

So today it was announced by EA and Dice that Battlefield would be released in November 3rd. It's something that I have been waiting for since the last Battlefield.

Please leave comments on what you think about the release date and the game.

Friday, April 1

MLB 2k11 $1 Million Challenge

Yesterday the MLB 2K11 Million Dollar Challenge has gone live and so far no one has won it just yet. I have tried myself and it is super hard because all of these glitches in the game. What 2k11 should have done, was bring out a patch for the game before the challenge started.

SSX: Deadly Descents Details

EA Sports’ SSX: Deadly Descents was recently given details have now been released on the umpteenth installment in the popular snowboarding franchise, including the fact that the game is approximately 13 months away from completion.
Creative director for SSX: Deadly Descents, Todd Batty, told the world in the March 2011 issue of OXM some extra details regarding the forthcoming title. Courtesy of GNT, check out the game’s latest details below:
  • Campaign – where you tackle the 9 Deadly Descents, Explore, and Live Events. Live events is most likely going to be for online events.
  • Plot – You play as ‘Jack’ part of the SSX corporation to tackle the 9 deadliest mountains around the world. We will also see 3 returning characters from old titles, including Zoe Payne.
  • Rewind feature – This will enable you to rewind but there will be a penalty of some sort for using it.
  • 9 Peaks with around 200-300 Tracks/Paths
  • You can pick the track you wish to descent and pinpoint which path the helicopter drops you to start.
  • 9 inputs down to 2 – In older versions of SSX, you could pull a variety of moves with nearly every button on the game controller, now it seems all tricks and movements will be done with just the 2 thumb sticks, the left stick jumps and does spins; sweeping motions with the right stick do tricks.
Batty also told the magazine that SSX: Deadly Descents still has a ways to go until completion; a 13 month development time is expected for the game, so a 2012 release is more or less accurate.

Forza 4 Preview

With our first official article since being back, we bring you a Forza 4 preview. Looks to be very in depth this time around, check out the video!

April Fools? The Power is Back!

Hello XBLN fans, back on 12/31/10, it was announced Xbox Live Network will be no more, was it the truth? How could XBLN be shut down? Well apparently, that is not the case, and WE ARE BACK! We are going to bring new and exciting things to the site. Also, all of our shows we be back as well so Around the Hawk fans, don't worry. We are going to announce something huge in the coming days. So stay tuned and Welcome Back to Xbox Live Network!

-Deus Legend
XBLN Editor-in-Chief