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PDZ gets new maps, world still turns


It's been a long time since Perfect Dark: Zero received any downloadable content. It should come as a joyful surprise to loyal fans then, that there is a new map pack available for download on Marketplace. It should come as an even better surprise that the content is free. The pack contains two new maps, Facility and Ruin. Both maps are based on classic maps from previous games.

Just curious, but who's still playing PDZ? Any die-hard fans out there? Tell us what has made the game appealing for so long. Will these new maps convince lapsed fans to go back?

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

PDZ Map Pack One perfectly available

Following a premature announcement that temporarily left Joanna fans in the dark, PDZ  Map Pack One is now perfectly available on XBLM for 500 MS Points. The new content includes four multiplayer maps: Plaza, Rooftops, Trench, and GasPlant.

Fanboys, you've had a day to download. Please zero in with your impressions of the new real estate. Was it worth the price?

PDZ bot personality goes a long way

Are new and improved bot personalities enough to get Joanna Dark  back in the Xbox Live Top 10? Major Nelson has the deets on the new Perfect Dark: Zero auto-update:

DarkOps Bots. AI-controlled Bots are no longer relegated to DeathMatch games. Now they can challenge human players in any of the DarkOps multiplayer games. Just like in DeathMatch games, Bots can be used in either Live games or in offline games.

Additional AI variants for Bots. The PDZ team was not satisfied with just one version of Bot AI. Now a total of eight Bot Personalities are available. Is someone dominating everyone else in a match? Send a Judge Bot after them. Want to add chaos and confusion? Add some Feud Bots into the mix.

Vanilla = Original Bot AI. 
Ghost = Invisible apart from when firing its weapon. 
Judge = Attacks the player with the most kills. 
Bully = Attacks the player with the least kills. 
Venge = Attacks the last person that killed them. 
Feud = Chooses a new random target on each spawn and hunts them down. 
Prey = Picks on the player with lowest armor and health.
Random = Uses a random Bot Personality.


Personality goes a long way. I'm sure plenty of people will dust of their copy, if only to Judge the hell out of the diehard Perfect Dark fanboys who never started using the disc as a coaster.

[Thanks to c_tang77 et. al.]

PDZ demo, maps, updates hitting XBLM "soon"


Microsoft just sent out a press-release announcing some new content for their first-party launch title, Perfect Dark Zero. We knew Rare was working on some maps and some fixes for PDZ, but the demo is a nice freebie. So, here's what's included:
  • PDZ demo; Outpost campaign level in solo mode, split-screen co-op, XBL co-op
  • New multiplayer map, Plaza.
  • Auto-update featuring 8 new bot personalities (no word on bug fixes...flying rag doll guy, I'm looking at you)
  • XBL Marketplace downloadable content including four new multiplayer maps (no word on cost).
They don't announce a release date for anything, instead opting for the much more vague release date of "soon." Check out the relevant portions of the press-release on the flipside.

Continue reading PDZ demo, maps, updates hitting XBLM "soon"

COD2 leads weekly Xbox 360 chart

The ELSPA lead chart is up for this week, and Call of Duty 2 has managed to swing the #1 spot, up from 4th last week. Behind it is PGR3 which has remained pretty consistent. Dead or Alive 4 has fallen to third place followed by Perfect Dark Zero and Full Auto. There hasn't been a huge amount of change from the other end of the chart. NBA Live 06 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland bring up the rear with no change.

Check out the full board to see how the rest fared.

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]

PDZ video walkthroughs, on Dark Agent


If you're having some trouble making your way through Perfect Dark Zero, then watching these walkthrough videos completed on Dark Agent difficulty will either:
  • Help you immensely, giving you that little edge you needed to make it through a tricky part...
  • ...or crush your gaming spirit, quickly and wholly, reminding you that no matter how good you think you may be, there are an infinite number of people all over the world who are infinitely better at video games than you are.
Dark Agent can only be unlocked after completing the entire game on Perfect Agent. Cheat Code Central has this to say about Dark Agent mode: "You don't even want to know about the Dark Agent. Only the hardest of the hardcore will see the ending credits on this difficulty level."
[Thanks for the tip, Efrain]

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]

Scratched discs replaced, with PDZ only

Scratched 360 disk
We know why it happens, and how to prevent it, but what about those games that are already scratched? GameSHOUT is reporting that Microsoft is repairing consoles that have a predilection for scratching your $60 games, but will only offer a copy of Perfect Dark Zero as a game replacement. Even if it wasn't PDZ that got scratched. Even if you already have PDZ. The cost of manufacturing a disc versus repairing the console is minimal, so why not go the whole way and do both? We predict this policy won't last long.

[Via Xbox 360 Maniac]

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

PDZ upgrades planned through Xbox Live Marketplace

PDZ logoLucky owners of shiny new 360' and a certain launch title will be happy to hear that plans are in the works to enhance your multiplayer gameplaying:
  • Counter-operative mode allows you to play missions from the perspective of the enemies; planned as a free download via Xbox Live Marketplace
  • Scenario mode gives you different challenges like "taking out bots with only a certain type of gun." Also a free download.
  • Map packs will cost an undisclosed amount of money and will support Scenario mode.
Right out of the gate and we're already hearing about plans for enhancing the retail experience. All this and Xbox Live online play.

[Thanks, CrazedCow]

MetaReview: Perfect Dark Zero

Perfect Dark ZeroDue to the last minute gamble to get PDZ out the door, reviews are just now trickling in. As the 360's biggest launch title, hopes are high and comparisons to Halo are inevitable. Rare's other launch title, Kameo: Elements of Power, was a long time coming and reviews didn't think it the megahit Microsoft was hoping for. Now for Rare's second chance, is PDZ a must-have launch title? Is this the 360's Halo?
  • Talk Xbox (9.7/10): This was the first review out, but they had strong praise. "From the fantastic gameplay to the gorgeous graphics to the incredible amount of replay value, every gamer should experience this game."
  • Team Xbox (8.8/10): "So is Perfect Dark Zero what Halo was for the Xbox? Nope. That shouldn’t discourage Xbox 360 owners from picking up a copy on day one, however, simply because it is still one of the best shooters on the console – especially in the multiplayer arena."
  • Gamespot (9.0/10): The biggest review yet. "However, it's not just all the different modes of play, but rather the sheer attention to detail that separates Perfect Dark Zero from other first-person shooters out there."
Reviews are still coming out but from the looks of things, Microsoft has a hit on their hands. Is it Halo? Apparently not but it's still at the top of the launch pile.

Perfect Dark Zero gambles to make launch

Perfect Dark ZeroPerfect Dark Zero is being promoted as the flagship title for the 360 launch, and it almost didn't make it. In order to get the title in gamer's hands this coming Tuesday, Rare and Microsoft bypassed the sometimes weeks long certification process in order to get the discs manufactured in time. Had the title failed certification it would have been destroyed, the flagship title delayed. That they went ahead is a testament to the team's confidence in their highly-anticipated shooter.  They expect to sell 700k units, making a 1:1 software to hardware ratio. This should be big.

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