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GOW knocks Halo 2 from Live top spot


Today is a momentous day. For the first time since, well, ever, Halo 2 has officially been knocked from the number one slot on Xbox Live. If you keep track of Major Nelson's weekly updates on the most played games on Live, you'll know that Halo 2 consistently trumps all other Live titles, even all the fabulous titles on 360. That's right, one original Xbox title is routinely played more than any 360 title. Until now, that is. Of course, now the question is: how long will it stay there?

We'd like to extend our congratulations to Epic and to Microsoft for their success. So, have you made the switch from Halo to Gears?

[Via Joystiq. Thanks, Sherveen Mashayekhi]

March Madness demo (in November?)

We missed this earlier today because we were busy checking out the Rainbow Six: Vegas demo, but it looks like a demo for NCAA March Madness 07 is now available on Marketplace. That's right, the wind is bitterly cold, the sky is gray, and the leaves are falling, so it could only mean one thing: March Madness! Seriously, last time we checked it was November, so it's just a wee bit early, donchathink? At least this demo, unlike the Vegas demo, is available to all Xbox Live members and not just Gold members -- assuming you're in the US or Canada anyway. Go grab the demo and tell us what you think. Is it a worthy basketball title, or should it be put back on the bench?

Rainbow Six: Vegas multiplayer impressions


We just spent the last hour playing the Rainbow Six: Vegas multiplayer demo, and so far it's pretty damned good. First of all, the character creation and outfitting is surprisingly robust for a demo. There are plenty of faces available -- sorry, no Vision support in the demo -- lots of facial hair options, as well as a few different camouflage options. The amount of weapons and armor is very impressive for a demo. There are multiple types of rifles, machine guns, pistols, grenades, and plenty of armor and clothing choices for the whole body. What's more, there are even some gadgets and custom weapon attachments, too. Finally, the game lets you add a three character prefix to your Gamertag. This is great for those who haven't appended Clan prefixes to their tags (or those who don't want to). Unfortunately, none of these options are saved when you quit the demo, so you may not want to get too attached to your avatar.

Continue reading Rainbow Six: Vegas multiplayer impressions

Vegas multiplayer demo infiltrates Live [update 1]


There's nothing quite like a nice Friday demo. For those of you who can't get enough of the Rainbow Six: Vegas demo, you're in luck, because a multiplayer demo just dropped on Live Marketplace. According to the description, there are tons of modes available, including Adversarial, Attack & Defend, and Terro Hunt. Terro Hunt, 4 player co-op game in which your team slaughters hordes of terrorists, sounds particularly fun. We haven't finished the download yet (almost a gig), so we don't know if character creation -- or face mapping -- is available. We'll update you with our impressions as soon as possible.

Update: It looks like this demo is only available for Gold members. Silver members can get this on November 24th. Still, considering it's online multiplayer, how would Silver members play it anyway?

[Thanks, Chris Hipple]

RoboBlitz T-shirt contest: It's over!


Sadly, all good things must come to an end. The Xbox 360 Fanboy RoboBlitz T-shirt contest is over. Before we say goodbye, let's crown our final winner. And the winner one one extra special, extra large men's T-shirt is ... Tony, who will wisely use this brand new shirt to put off doing his laundry for one more day (what about pants?). Congratulations, Tony and all of our other winners. We'll be contacting all of you shortly for your shipping info.

So, how do we let go of a contest gone by? We're not really sure. Look at it this way, you may not have won a shirt, but soon everyone can actually play RoboBlitz. That's something to look forward to, right? We'd like to take a moment to thank Tian Mu of the RoboBlitz dev team, Naked Sky, for making this possible. Thanks, Tian. We'd also like to extend an invitation to other companies for game related swag. People love swag, you silly companies! Send us swag and we'll ceremoniously give it away in a fabulous, buzz generating contest. Seriously, drop us a line. Wait a minute ... do they make Small Arms T-shirts?

Small Arms in time for Turkey Day?


We know, we know. We just won't shut up about Small Arms, but Mike from the Xbox Domain just sent us an interesting find. Check out this list of the official Live Arcade game forums at Xbox.com. Look closely, and you'll see that Small Arms is the only unreleased Arcade game with a forum. What's more, it looks like both the Defender and Small Arms forums were created last night. Is it possible that Microsoft had Small Arms on deck to release and hit a snafu? Was Defender on standby for just such an occasion? We don't know, but we suspect that MS has a pretty large catalog of old arcade titles that are ready to be published at a moment's notice, just in case a bigger game hasn't made it through certification (and of course there are the UNO decks to fall back on). The upshot of all this is that Small Arms just might be releasing next week -- or maybe even as another surprise Friday release à la UMK3. Will Small Arms see the light of day before Thanksgiving? We hope so, because it sounds like the perfect way to wind down after a turkey dinner.

Superman demo doesn't suck, hell freezes


I just downloaded the Superman Returns demo and gave it a quick play through. In short, it's actually pretty good (I invite my fellow 360 Fanboy bloggers to disagree). It seems like for all the crap EA puts on the market, there's always one or two good games, too. It's the law of averages really. After all, if you put out 500* games a year, at least a few of them have to be good, right? Superman, however, is special, and not just because he's Superman either. No, the Son of Krypton has a sordid past in the videogame world. It's arguable that there has only ever been one Superman game that was actually fun, and that was the arcade game -- in fairness, I've never played the NES Superman and I somewhat enjoyed The Death and Return of Superman on Genesis/SNES. Read on for impressions (especially Live Silver members, who, we have just learned, cannot currently download the demo).

Continue reading Superman demo doesn't suck, hell freezes

XBLA's retro fad continues: Defender

Another Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday is upon us, and this week's entry brings us yet another retro title, Defender. Yay, Defender. Granted, I'm all about Contra and maybe I'm not old enough to have fond memories of Defender, but every week that XBLA gets another Atari/Pac-Man era game, I die a little inside. When I write the headline, all I want to write is: "This week isn't Small Arms" or "Still no RoboBlitz." Where are all these exciting, independent titles? We've only got six Wednesdays left MS! Are you expecting people to buy Arcade titles as Christmas presents?

Again, I apologize to all the Defender fans out there, but it's high time we got another indie release on XBLA.

Halo madness! New H2 maps, H3 public beta!


Okay folks, the big news is here. It turns out that the "BIG" Halo announcement is neither a Halo 3 release date nor the long awaited Marathon Arcade. Is it actually worthy of the capitalized BIG (we all remember the BIG GOW announcement)? Maybe we're overstepping our bounds here, but we're going to say yes. Big yes. It's BIG. It turns out the BIG announcement is actually three announcements rolled into one megannouncement.

The first announcement: new maps are coming for Halo 2! These maps will only be available for Xbox 360 owners sometime in the Spring. Frankly, we're excited. We never would have anticipated something that could make us dust off Halo 2, but there it is. We'd also like to point out that it's a brilliant -- if somewhat dastardly -- move on Microsoft's part to release these maps exclusively on 360. Naturally, there are thousands (millions?) of Halo 2 players that are quite happy playing it on their original Xbox. Sure, they'll probably get a 360 when Halo 3 comes out, and Microsoft knows it. So, if you can't sell those people Halo 3 until next winter, just sell them Halo 2 ... again! We should note that Bungie hopes that Microsoft will eventually make this content available for original Xbox owners, but in the meantime it's a great incentive (for Halo 2 addicts) to upgrade to 360 right now. At any rate, we're excited as hell to play us some new maps. Here's hoping they can squeeze out some new graphical effects offered by the 360. Also worth noting, the new maps mean that MS is taking another look at Halo 2's backwards compatibility glitches, so some of those should be ironed out in the future.

Continue reading Halo madness! New H2 maps, H3 public beta!

Superman Returns demo X-rays Marketplace [update 1]


It looks like Xbox Solution was right, as the Superman Returns demo is now available on Marketplace. Clocking in at just under a gig, it will take you some time to download. As we've said, we're cautiously optimistic about this game, so here's hoping the demo can fill those big red boots. We'll update you with impressions as soon as we get the chance.

(By the way, we're aware of the Halo news. We're working on it. I promise.)

Update: 360 Fanboy has just learned that this demo is currently unavailable to Silver members. Our condolences to you, because it's actually pretty good.

The right price for XBL TV and movie content

November 22nd is coming up and is the magic date in which we'll be able to download movies and TV shows via Xbox Live. We've already touched on what is going to be offered, HD and SD content, along with movie rental and TV ownership. The only problem I foresee with this service is not how much content will be available, but how much the content will cost. If movies cost less than what I could rent them for at the local video store, XBL purchases could be a possible option. Same thing with TV shows. If they are relatively cheap based on what the cost per episode is if I bought the whole season on DVD, then I'd be inclined to make XBL purchases. My magic numbers are $2 SD movie rental, $3 HD movie rental, and $3 SD/HD TV show purchase. What are your magic numbers?

Superman demo tomorrow?


We revealed two weeks ago that a Superman Returns demo was on the way, and now Xbox Solution reports that it should show up tomorrow. We haven't seen anything official regarding the demo (and Xbox Solution curiously neglects to cite the source of their info), so chalk this one up to a rumor for now. If any of you have seen this info reported elsewhere, let us know. Frankly, we hope it does come out tomorrow, because we're actually pretty anxious to give Supes a try. Anyone else out there (cautiously) optimistic about this title?

Lost Planet webisodes 1 & 2 now on XBLM [update 1]


The Lost Planet viral marketing continues with the introduction of webisode 2. This webisode features a little more character interaction, but the meat of the trailer is clips of the actual gameplay, including the mech that transforms into a snowmobile. We really must commend Capcom on its marketing skillz, because they seem to be working. Starting way back in May with the demo, every little snippet gets us more interested in the game -- let's not forget the Turkey Day multiplayer demo either. Check out webisode 2 after the break.

Continue reading Lost Planet webisodes 1 & 2 now on XBLM [update 1]

The better matchmaking method, Gears or Halo?

With all the excitement surrounding Gears of War this past week, I thought I'd compare its multiplayer with that of my other favorite Xbox game, Halo 2. Of course both games have great multiplayer aspects to them and both are quite fun, but for the sake of this blog post I'm not interested in what the multiplayer is like, I'm looking at how the matchmaking system is implemented. I really want to know how easy is it to get into a game that is ranked, how easy it is to setup a game in which your friends can play, and overall how the multiplayer experience is managed. I pick at my brain for these answers to this multiplayer conundrum ... after the break.

Continue reading The better matchmaking method, Gears or Halo?

Small Arms' old name, Lost Planet interview


Our friends at Gamertag Radio recently sat down with some of the team behind Capcom's Lost Planet and got a surprise interview with Gastronaut Studios (the team behind Small Arms). While he was at Gastronaut HQ, Godfree snapped a picture of the above poster. Apparently Small Arms was originally called Hipshot (good change, guys). Listen for talk of Lost Planet multiplayer (six grenade types?!) and plenty of info about the Small Arms development process. Unfortunately, the real questions were never answered. For example, will Devil May Cry ever see the light of day on 360? No answer. What about a Small Arms release date? "Soon." And so, we're back where we started. Still, if you're looking forward to these games, it's worth a listen.

Maybe we should do one of these "podcast" things ...

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