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Black Friday deals on 360 games

It's that time of the year when consumers wait outside stores for hours on end to get the best holiday deals. Black Friday is the unofficial start of the holiday season, presents are purchased, kids begin to beg Santa for gifts, and a huge amount of money is spent. And what would Black Friday be without leaked ad scans weeks in advance? Word on the street is that Best Buy will be having a sweet $18.99 sale on a few Xbox 360 games including R* Games Presents: Table Tennis, Condemned, Amped 3, and NBA Live 06. So, if you feel like participating in the Black Friday ritual, make the holy trek to Best Buy and pick up a few games ... just be sure to bring a roll of Tums, because we all know the day after Thanksgiving wreaks havoc on the belly.

Fall update won't play nice with Sony 1080p TVs


Angry owners in the AVS forum report that the Fall Update's vaunted 1080p support works as advertised with Samsung HDTVs -- but not with two of Sony's most popular (and expensive) 1080p LCD models XBR2/3:

I just had the time to quickly start poking around with the 360 dashboard update, and I'm sorry to report that 1080p is broken on the XBR2 via both component and VGA. When I select 1080p in VGA, I get a windowboxed picture with tons of info cut off on both sides and a warning from the TV saying "Invalid Signal--Check Your PC Output". Over component, when I select 1080p I get a screen full of static for 10 seconds before the console reverts to 1080i.

Feh. Since the XBR2 is one of the most high-profile, wildely available 1080p displays on the market, you'd think MS' engineers would find a way to get the two to work together, but noooooo...

While it's outrageous to suggest that MS would intentionally blacklist their rival's most popular HDTVs, it is amusingly ironic -- unless you're staring at a $4000 distorted screen right now. Another patch could be imminent. It's worth pointing out that most people on that thread say they're going to return their Sony set, not their Xbox 360. And, as usual, someone comments that an upscaled 1080i signal is indiscernible anyway.

Sidenote: The general public doesn't have a prayer of grasping this stuff.

X360F plays FEAR, needs new shorts


I managed to grab a copy of the latest OXM yesterday, containing the long awaited F.E.A.R. demo. Let's get one thing straight. I have never played F.E.A.R. My PC can run Diablo II and that's fine by me. As you can imagine, I was giddy when I found out about the 360 port of F.E.A.R., and, now that I've played the demo, I'm intrigued to say the least. The game will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played Monolith's other title for the 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins. The environments and the overall tension of the games are very similar. The difference here is that the enemies in F.E.A.R. are run of the mill soldiers -- which makes the appearance of The Ring-inspired Alma that much more frightening. The supernatural elements of the game feel immediately out of place, which intensifies the...um...fear of them.

The only concern I have is whether or not the gun battles will grow stale. That said, the story and horror elements present in the demo are more than enough to pique my interest. The demo is short and barely offers a taste of the action, but horror fans may just want to plunk down the cash for the latest OXM. We promise you at least one genuine scare.

Joystiq reviews Condemned: Criminal Origins

One of Joystiq's very own has a review up of the survival horror game Condemned from Monolith. James landed a copy Monday and has since completed it in around ten hours. The dark, terror-stricken title holds its own and gets an optimistic rating of 8 out of 10. Complete with graphic violence and a hefty "M" rating, he warns that this game is not for the faint of heart, especially youngins. Aside from the short length, the replay value packs enough punch and proves that this is one launch title not to be ignored.

Check out the review over at Joystiq for more information.

Update on Japanese 360 compatability

Japan 360 As suspected, Microsoft has left the decision of region-locking up to the publishers. Play-Asia has confirmed on a Japanese 360 that Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, and Condemned all work fine, while Microsoft published titles PGR3, Kameo, and Perfect Dark Zero do not. They also report European 360s behave similarly with Ridge Racer 6, Amped 3, GUN, and Tony Hawk all work outside of their regions.

So, while Microsoft made region encoding option for publishers, they themselves have opted to lock their titles down. So don't go importing your 360 to get one in time for Christmas.

[Via Gamebrink]

First 10 minutes of gameplay - videos

Kameo videoWe're all fans of the "try before you buy" principle, and sometimes a demo just won't do. Fortunately, some chaps over at XboxyDE have created videos showing the first 10 minutes of gameplay from several launch titles:
  • Kameo (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
  • Condemned
  • PGR3
They're hefty downloads but might be worth a look if you're in two minds about a title.

[Update: IGN also has the first eight minutes of Perfect Dark Zero available to watch. Thanks, Don]

[via TheNextBox]

Fanboy QuickTake: Condemned

CondemnedI've played scary games before. The first one that literally had me jumping out of my seat was Aliens vs. Predator for the Atari Jaguar (hey, who are you laughing at?!). But that game (and most "scary" ones since then) only made me jump because of cheap theatrics (such as something jumping from a dark corner suddenly).

Sega's Condemned: Criminal Origins is one of the first games I've experienced that creates a constant atmosphere of complete and utter dread. That's a compliment. You're not going to be "scared" just when something jumps at you, you're going to be on the edge of your seat for most of the game.

The gameplay itself is one part 1st person shooter mixed with one part adventure game. You'll quickly find yourself battling waves of insane (literally!) enemies while searching the dark rooms and halls of the game for the forensic clues that can help you clear your good name.

I've been purposely vague about the story, because the set-up and subsequent twists are much of the fun. Try to avoid any spoiler filled reviews if you can.

Pros:
Immersive graphics, compelling story, truly frightening

Cons: No multiplayer, combat could get repetitive

Verdict: Buy it!

Agree or disagree? Contribute to this QuickTake with your comments and help your fanboy brothers (and sisters) make an informed buying decision.

What's your gamertag?

360 liveIt's time for the fanboys to unite. As we've been hearing over the past 24 hours, many of our usual online friends were not able to secure Xbox 360s yesterday. So, it's time to make some new friends (besides, the guys over at Joystiq won't accept our friend requests).

Continuing its long history (3 days now) of bringing gamers together, Xbox 360 Fanboy is providing some bandwidth for you to add your Xbox live gamertag, your zone and your list of 360 games to the comments below.

We'll go first:

Gamertag: Master Rogue (yes, it's lame. So, no need to waste valuable gaming time commenting on the obvious).

Zone: Underground

X360 Games: Quake 4, PGR 3, King Kong, Tiger Woods 2006, PDZ, Call of Duty 2, Condemed, Kameo

Penny Arcade does 360 camping

PennyThe inimitable Penny Arcade has a comic up regarding 360 camping. In his comments, Tycho provides his typically thorough thoughts on some of the launch titles concluding, "Of course, I like it - but I don't expect a person without a slavish devotion to the passtime to get excited about something as ethereal as 'user experience.'"

He devotes particular attention to launch title Condemned which he calls a "psychological thriller" that "doesn't really have an analogue anywhere else" and also refers to the "second launch" early next year when all the titles that couldn't make launch are released. Good stuff.

Xbox 360 FAQ

xbox 360 faqEverything you've ever wanted to know about the Xbox 360. Ever. All in one handy place for your perusal. Found a frequently asked question that you want answered? Add your questions in comments and we'll continually update this list of FAQs.

[Update - part 2 now available, delving into Xbox Live!]

We'll start off with the absolute basics, as inspired by the BBC's Xbox 360 Q&A.

Continue reading Xbox 360 FAQ

Manual scans to wet your lips

Condemned: Criminal OriginsGameInsider has gone to all the trouble to scan and host manuals for some upcoming titles.  The selection includes Condemned: Criminal Origins, FIFA 2006, and Project Gotham Racing 3. If you really can't wait to get your mitts on these games and want to read the manuals in preparation, give it a shot.  We already did. 

GameFly's most popular 360 rentals

gameflyGameFly's top 10 most requested Xbox 360 titles as of Nov. 15 are:
  1. Call of Duty 2
  2. Perfect Dark Zero
  3. Quake 4
  4. GUN
  5. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  6. Dead or Alive 4
  7. Condemned: Criminal Origins
  8. Project Gotham Racing 3
  9. Madden NFL 06
  10. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Does this seem like an accurate representation of what 360 buyers are looking for?  If so, it's heavy on the FPS and light on the Kameo.  Is Rare's title already forgotten?

[Via Team Xbox]

Xbox 360 Fanboy bloggers (30 days)

# Blogger Posts Cmts
1 Richard Mitchell 199 42
2 Ken Weeks 87 0
3 Dustin Burg 40 0

Xbox 360 Fanboy Contributors

# Contributor Stars Cmts
1 Tucker 10 46
2 epobirs 10 56
3 jc 8 143
4 refinedsugar 7 115
5 Tom Crymes 7 61
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7 Alex Keen 5 27
8 Sense 5 86
9 Morgon 4 25
10 Pixelantes Anonymous 4 54
11 EatingPie 4 31
12 SuicideNinja 3 15
13 Dirk Dorkelson 3 62
14 pennywise969 2 111
15 Oozer 2 30
16 bv 2 9
17 aZTEKv2 2 10
18 Don Wilson 2 124
19 Spartacus 2 16
20 Nick Spacek 2 17

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