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New 360 Platinum Hits for $29.99

It's platinum, get it?Microsoft has officially announced the first batch of Platinum Hits for the Xbox 360. The games are:

Perfect Dark Zero
Project Gotham Racing 3
Kameo: Elements of Power
Need for Speed Most Wanted

Conspicuously missing from the list is Call of Duty 2, the 360's first million seller. The first four Platinum Hits will be available for the bargain price of $29.99 starting October 15th -- the second set should be announced in the spring of 2007. It's a far cry from what we considered a bargain last gen, but it's definitely better than nothing. So, for those of you that haven't picked these up yet, will a $29.99 price tag make you reconsider?

See the full press release after the break.

Continue reading New 360 Platinum Hits for $29.99

Kameo pack adds versus play, achievements


New Kameo content on Marketplace, dubbed "The Kameo Power Pack," is set to add several features to Rare's platformer. The content adds three new modes of play including Expert mode, Time Attack mode, and Rune Battle mode. All modes support two players, the first two being co-op while the third is a versus mode. One interesting tidbit: the new content will actually add 15 new achievements and worldwide leaderboards to the game (anybody know if this gives Kameo more than 1000 achievement points?). Whatever your opinions of Kameo, it's nice to see Rare supporting the game with fresh content this far into its lifespan. Expect to see it hit Marketplace "soon."

[Thanks, MumbleyJoe]

New Kameo contest is calling all designers!

How would you like to design your very own skin for characters in Kameo? Microsoft and Rare are giving gamers a chance to get creative with the Design Your Skin Contest where the artsy type can whip up an original work of art for the elemental warriors or Kameo to be distributed for all the world to enjoy.

This is open to teens and above and involves three things. First, you'll need a unique design. Follow that up with a title like "Roller Ninja Pummelweed" (their example, not mine) and a description of how it all comes together. Eleven winners will be chosen, each corresponding to the elemental warriors and Kameo. Just fire off an e-mail to Kameo_Contest [at] Kameo.com and get that design out there. And be sure to check out the official website for the rest of the rules. Good luck!

Interviews with "Art of Xbox 360" artists


Bytesector has posted interviews with two artists whose work appeared in the "Art of Xbox 360" event held at the Blue Dot Gallery in Toronto last month. The show featured pre-production artwork and screenshots from Microsoft-published 360 titles Perfect Dark Zero, Kameo, and Project Gotham Racing 3. Bytesector spoke with Chris Davie, a modeler Bizarre Creations' PGR3, and Wil Overton, the Lead Art Director on Rare's Perfect Dark Zero. The interviews present an interesting point of view from artists, who're often unsung members of the development cycle.

Read - Chris Davie interview
Read - Wil Overton interview

PDZ and Kameo updates coming soon

Rare's letters page revealed some details on updates for both Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero. According to Kameo's lead designer, George Andreas, "Co-op over Live is currently in the last stages of debugging and should be available very soon. And there are firm plans to release more downloadable content soon after - details of which will be made available soon. Watch this space..."

A response to another post said, "We do have DLC for both Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero on the way, yes. I can't give exact details because nothing's been announced yet, but I believe it's common knowledge that there'll be more multiplayer maps available for PDZ at the very least."

Another response revealed upcoming enhancements to Perfect Dark Zero, "We're making more levels for multiplayer, and we'll be doing a title update to fix some of the annoying issues players have with the game. More news on when exactly that's going to happen will come later on down the line. Clan functionality was supposed to be available from the MGS side, but it didn't make it in for launch."

[Via Joystiq]

Japanese celeb promotes Kameo, succeeds

In an effort to boost the awareness of Rare’s quirky 360 platformer, which is just over the horizon for Japanese gamers next month, Microsoft hired out TV actress Kaori Manabe during an encouraging press conference last Thursday. Taking advantage of a huge 5.1 surround sound and big-screen setup at a local movie theater, guests had the opportunity to witness the celebrity pick up the controller in a fit of competition to see how many monsters she could take out in 90 seconds.

She killed 22. In any case, she seemed to enjoy herself: "It's fun and I can't stop playing," she said with obligation sincerity.

Kameo Holiday Theme... but it's free!

Kameo holiday themeMajor Nelson brings us word of a free Holiday themed... err, theme for your Xbox 360. Featuring Kameo in a Santa hat, this should really appeal to a huge percentage of the hardcore, early-adopter Xbox 360 Fanboy community.

Alright, so what if it doesn't? It's free!

[Thanks, John] 

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]

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

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

MetaReview: Kameo: Elements of Power

Kameo
Troubled by delays, Kameo began as a GameCube title before being moved onto the Xbox and finally seeing release as an Xbox 360 launch title. Rare's last several games, like Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Conker: Live & Reloaded, were disappointing. So how does the latest title from the UK developer measure up:
  • GameSpot (8.7/10): "[Kameo] ultimately provides a rousing, memorable journey that'll be a fine way to excitedly spend some of your first hours with the new Xbox."
  • 1UP (7/10): "Inspiration is taken from multiple sources, a solid-but-unspectacular game is built on that inspiration, every imaginable color and graphical effect is dumped on top of it, and everyone is given an awful pun for a name."
  • GamePro (3/5): "The visuals are stunning, but the weak and repetitive game-play, the vapid cutscenes, and the groan-inducing attempts at humor make this game perhaps one of the most disappointing of the Xbox 360 launch."
There is a large divide in opinion on this title, but with an average ranking of only 78.7% it remains the lowest rated 360 launch title yet.

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