We’ve also just added a new Watchlist feature, which helps you keep track of the movies and TV episodes you want to view later. You can add favorites and new discoveries to your list—then come back anytime to watch instantly. Try it on your Xbox 360, Kindle Fire, or your browser on PC & Mac … and Watchlist is coming soon to PlayStation 3 and Roku.
I’ve never really used Instant Video much on my devices, but after using the Xbox 360 Amazon Instant Video app, the Watchlist feature feels like it should have always been there. Now if they’ll just get an iOS app out…
Last fall, Microsoft and 343 Studios released a “remastered” version of the original Halo with online coop play, achievements, a smattering of Kinect-enabled voice commands, and a complete graphical overhaul. It’s somewhat of a transition title for the franchise as the baton of Halo development has been passed from Bungie to 343 Studios starting with the upcoming Halo 4. As a longtime Halo fan, I hope that this “Anniversary” edition of Halo isn’t any indicator of what the future of the franchise will be like because it’s an absolute turd bomb.
Why? Because the online co-op is completely broken. Here are three reasons why:
When I think of my experience with Fable 3, there’s one description that keeps coming to mind: My First RPG.
Everything from the combat to the storyline to the character advancement system just screams out n00b. It’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on your level of RPG game experience, but as someone expecting a game with a decent amount of substance, I came out of Fable 3 feeling a bit hollow.
The game’s story has an epic foundation with a tale of tyranny and revolution, but felt rushed and predictable enough that I never had the opportunity to feel any sort of connection with any of the characters or situations. At least in Fable 2, I actually cared enough about my dog companion throughout the ordeal that when some tough decisions had to be made, I at least was given pause. Not so in Tres.
It’s a shame, because the entire last act of the game actually hinges on you making some “tough” decisions. If the developers had gotten me more invested into the citizens and characters of Albion, the game would have been drastically changed. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by the maestros at Betheseda or Bioware, having played all of the Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, and KOTOR games.
Combat is enjoyable enough by virtue of being laughably easy and simplistic. You have the customary Fable arsenal of melee, ranged, and magical attacks that correspond to each of the face buttons on the controller. It’s fitting that the only attacks you can do are with the buttons on top of the controller because you could just as well put your face on it and roll from side to side and still come out victorious. Enemies die in a couple of hits and rarely require anything but mashing the button harder to kill. I ended up finishing the game without dying a single time and it wasn’t for lack of trying.
All of the battle situations in the game feel artificial and shallow. There’s no memorable encounters or boss battles to speak of. The game doesn’t even mix up enemy types for you! I could count on one and half hands the number of different enemy types in the game. If the criteria was different enemy behavior, well lets just say that might just be counted on three fingers. It’s like the game designers went “Ok, here’s the skeletons encounter! Let’s just spawn 20 skeletons and have them go at it. Now over here is the mercenary fight. What makes mercenaries different from the skeleton warriors? Well they have skin and hair on them, DUH.”
Many of the quests in Fable 3 feel like they were designed in 2004. There’s way too many generic “FedEx this package to another villager,” “kill x number of bats,” and “escort this dude to here” quests. Again, these are the basic foundations for RPG questing, but after playing through three of these games I was hoping for more. That being said, there were a couple of interesting situations in the game. One involved a deranged talking treasure chest wanting to play chess with you in a haunted house. Another was an almost meta-game take on playing a traditional board game RPG in a medieval setting.
It took me almost two months after Fable 3‘s release to play through it. Why? Because that’s how long it took Lionhead/Microsoft to release a patch for the game fixing critical issues like freezing and crashing. To their credit, I didn’t come across any show-stopping issues during my playthrough. Still, it’s really appalling that broken games are rushed to stores just to make a holiday shopping deadline.
Would I recommend Fable 3? If you’re a veteran of the RPG genre with games like Fallout 3 or Oblivion or even World of Warcraft under your belt, I’d skip this. Even if you’re a fan of the Fable series, there’s really not much fulfillment in terms of story or gameplay to be had here. Your time would be better spent elsewhere. However, if you’ve never played a “serious” RPG video game before or want to introduce someone to the genre, Fable 3 would act as a good set of training wheels. It’s still a solidly executed title at it’s core.
Chair co-founder Donald Mustard:
“We always have some cool ideas on deck, and kind of the inception of Infinity Blade began as a discussion around: ‘If we were going to make a Kinect title, what would we make? What would a Chair Kinect game look like?’,”
Content: QUAKE Arena Arcade
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Jurors, who heard only one day of testimony, left the courthouse with mixed opinions on the case. “When we left yesterday, I was thinking, ‘What are we doing here?’” said juror Paul Dietz, a 27-year-old actor. He said he “probably would have” acquitted.
Windows Mobile has become somewhat of a a joke in recent years, no thanks to the proliferation of Android and iPhone phones topped off by the utterly disastrous Microsoft Kin launch earlier this year. However, after watching this walkthrough video, I admit I’m warming up to the idea that Windows Phone 7 could actually be a good product. (Especially given that its release is imminent.)
I’m particularly interested in the Xbox Live implementation on a mobile device because from the looks of it, Microsoft’s clearly ahead of Apple, Google, Sony, Nintendo, and anyone else in terms of gaming platforms on the go. Not only is there seamless integration with your existing Xbox Live profile, the potential is there for real time multiplayer gaming with not only other mobile users, but with Xbox players.
It’s just too bad it’s confined to Windows Phone 7 devices at the moment. As much as I don’t mind Microsoft establishing another great smartphone platform, I sure as hell aren’t buying a new phone anytime soon. If it works out as promised, I wouldn’t mind paying for the Xbox Live functionality on my iPhone, though. Perhaps it may behoove Microsoft to be the go to service for all mobile gaming, rather than tying it to a potential dead end product.
Start watching at around 9:30 for the Xbox Live stuff. If you want a run down of the entire Windows Phone 7 experience, feel free to start from the beginning. Just try and tune out the awkwardly nerdy interviewer.
The Crysis franchise has long been known for incredible graphics and an open ended single-player experience.
So why am I posting a video of multiplayer footage?
Simply put, it intrigues me. See, Crysis also incorporates interesting suit powers such as super strength, speed, or cloaking. That in it of itself is grounds enough to separate the game from the sea of Call of Duty clones out there right now.
Decide for yourself it’s enough to take a look.
One of my favorite games from E3 2010 was Vanquish. I won’t rehash my E3 preview, but offer you this reminder: Think Gears of War but with blazing fast Japanese robot suits, mechs, and explosions everywhere.
The demo is basically the same demo I played at E3 with an additional tutorial component. You’ll get the beginning of a mission plus an incredibly epic boss fight. Seriously, if your heart doesn’t pump while facing it, you’re not alive. My only complaint with the game so far is that it’s really hard to tell how close you are to death at any given time. I do like to play fairly recklessly, though, so if you’re the conservative type, maybe this wont be a problem for you.
You can grab the demo from the Xbox Live Marketplace or Playstation Network and I implore you to check it out if you are a fan of action games or shooters. It’s a fun, original title that’s definitely on my list of anticipated games this holiday season.
Unless of course, you don’t like fun.