--> -->

Read 1PStart’s Lost Planet Review, Win Lost Planet

by JW

Lost Planet
My good buddy over at 1PStart has a contest up where, if you read BB’s review of Lost Planet tomorrow, you could win a copy of the game for yourself. Here’s how you do it:

Go to 1PStart tomorrow and read the Lost Planet review posted by BB. After reading the review, leave a comment about the review. (I suggest you read the review anyways) BB will then use Random.org to pick a comment number at random, and whoever’s comment corresponds with said number gets a copy of Lost Planet. Get it? Good.

Read more about the Lost Planet Giveaway!

Ghostbusters… ’nuff said… [UPDATED]

by JW

People, hold onto your butts. Now, I bet you’re wondering “I wonder what it would be like if Ghostbusters and Gears of War had a baby”…what, you’re not thinking that? Hmm, maybe I’m just weird like that. Regardless, there is a series of videos going around on YouTube that depict a gritty, GoW style game set in a modern day city. From developer “ZootFly” (I never heard of ‘em, either) I present… no, no. Just watch it:

Everything in my being tells me to be calm, and that if this is real it’ll be reported on in good time, but… come ON! Fan or not, you have to admit that the game looked friggen sweet, especially for an unfinished product. A most excellent use of the Unreal 3 engine.

UPDATE: Ain’t it Cool News has a write-up on this potential orgy of awesome, as well as all four videos.

Guess who’s getting Xbox

by JW

According to a report from Reuters, Microsoft is preparing to launch it’s Xbox 360 in China by year’s end. About damn time, considering that they first proposed the idea of launching the console in the “red sea” in 2005. There is a lot of upside possibility with the 360 selling in China, but if it fails it may be a long time before we see another console try it’s luck in a nation of one BILLION potential customers.

The only concern I would have is getting the games past the Chinese Government, who screens the content of each and every game that a publisher wants to release in China. Something tells me that the Chinese people will never, ever see Ghost Recon.

Elder Scrolls IV Gets [Another] Expansion

by JW

I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for more than 70 hours now, and I am nowhere near done. Keep in mind that I’ve yet to buy the Knights of the Nine expansion on the marketplace, nor have I bought any of the add-ons. Suffice to say, Elder Scrolls IV is a HUGE damn game. So naturally, according to PC Zone and PC Gamer, Bethesda wants to give us a SECOND expansion.

The Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles is due to be released sometime this spring (Q2 2007) and will feature new dungeons, enemies, and a whole new continent. The new content will be split in half, with the two sections named “Mania” and “Dementia.” Already, I want to take my girlfriend there for our next vacation. The expansion promises to extend the life of this already long-lasting game by ANOTHER 30+ hours, which leaves me with only one thing to say…

Why, Bethesda? Why are you doing this to me? Was it not enough that you released Knights of the Nine just this past November? Was it not enough that there are enough downloadable items on the Xbox Live Marketplace to keep me happy for the next six months? Apparently not, since you’re already getting ready to give us all your SECOND expansion, less than a year after the first.

Of course, it IS PC only. For the moment. If you ask me, it’ll find it’s way onto Xbox Live before long, otherwise the 360 owners who don’t have a PC powerful enough to run it would throw a fit. If the expansion comes out in June and does NOT come out on both the PC and 360 simultaneously, expect the 360 version to be on the market by the end of August. Keep in mind, these are only speculations on MY part.

The Sunday Grind: January 14th, 2007

by JW

You know, unlike real news, video game news tends to happen only on Monday-thru-Friday. When the weekend comes around, gaming news just stops. I think it’s a conspiracy on their part, though I’m not quite sure. Regardless, you don’t often find great news on a Sunday. With that said…

Crysis on the 360?
…Xboxic has posted a very interesting rumor that Crysis may be brought to the 360. Like Far Cry before it, Crysis would be stripped down to it’s bare essentials if it WERE to be brought over.

Guitar Hero II is Expensive
So, I went into my local Gamestop to reserve a copy of Guitar Hero II because, what can I say, I’m a whore for rhythm games. Regardless, I go in and ask about the game, and turns out that it’s selling (Game w/ Guitar) for roughly $90.

Lost Planet is Popular
So, I guess Lost Planet has already shipped a million copies, and is well on it’s way to being one of the most popular Xbox 360 titles on the market. How ’bout that, considering I was unimpressed with the Demo. All the same, I’ll probably check it out.

…well, that’s it. It’s Sunday. There’s football. Stay tuned for my NFC/AFC Championship Picks, sponsored by my copy of Madden 07.


by JW

Four simple letters that push the 360 dangerously close to “Home Entertainment System” when I previously considered it to be merely the ultimate gaming machine. Out at CES in Las Vegas, Bill Gates and Robert Bach talked about the 360 a good deal, bringing up many points of good news: That the 360 has sold over 10 million units, that they expect the 360 to sell between 14-15 million units by the end of the fiscal year (In July), and a promise that the Xbox 360’s library of 160 games will double by year’s end. But the big news about the 360 was, indeed, IPTV.

IPTV will allow you to digitally record shows off your TV WHILE you’re playing your game. Basically, imagine having a TiVo that you could play Dead Rising on while the show was recording in the background, and you have a rough idea of what IPTV promises to be. But don’t think for a moment that Microsoft is thinking that this will be an immediate success: They stressed that they realize that IPTV isn’t something people have been clambering for. I know I wasn’t. But they hope that by getting more and more providers to work with them using IPTV software, they can make this available to as many people who want it as possible.

Personally, I love it. I know everyone has had that dilemma where you’re in the middle of a game, and you don’t want to put it down… but you don’t want to miss House, either. Now, if this works out you won’t have to. I can hardly wait.

Microsoft Buying Capcom?

by JW

So, the past couple days there has been a buzz in the rumor mill that Microsoft was planning a buyout of Capcom. The immediate ramifications of this should be obvious to anyone. After all, if Microsoft were to buy out Capcom, that would almost guarantee that franchises such as Street Fighter and (my long-time favorite) Resident Evil would become Xbox 360 exclusives. While this certainly does make my mouth salivate, I also realize that this isn’t true.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has found itself in the depths of the rumor mill. On more than one occasion I go to a tech website to find an entry along the lines of “Microsoft buying Apple?”. In fact, this isn’t the first time I have even heard about Microsoft wanting to buy Capcom. These kinds of rumors go all the way back to the SNES vs. Genesis days, when you’d always hear that Nintendo was going to buy out SEGA to get a Sonic/Mario crossover game.

My point is that anyone who is expecting to see this happen shouldn’t hold their breath. Capcom would have too much to lose in the long run.

…would be nice, though…

Top Five Underrated XBLA Games

by JW

Arguably the best thing about the Xbox Live is the Arcade, where for a small fee you can buy some of the greatest “old school” games ever produced. Now, when you talk about XBLA, you usually wind up talking about how much fun UNO or DOOM is. Not here. I present to you MY (not to be confused with “The”) Top Five Underrated/Unnoticed Xbox Live Arcade games.

5.) Outpost Kaloki X
Outpost Kaloki X is actually a port of a PC title, cleverly titled “Outpost Kaloki.” Sure, it took a bit for the game to get it’s act together — a patch was released on 10/25/06 that fixed a bug which prevented some achievements from being unlocked, but now that the game is working it’s about as good of a city-building sim as you’re going to find for less than ten bucks. It may not have the complexity of Sim City, but that is what gives it it’s great appeal for someone who just wants to throw a space station together and have a quick ten minutes of fun.

4.) New Rally-X

It’s Pac-Man in Formula 1 Racers, how can you not love it? A classic from the 1980s has found it’s home on XBLA, and not only do you not hear about anyone buying it, but you actually hear haters going on about how this game shouldn’t be on there. Well, I say you’re wrong. I say this game is a fantastic blast from the past, and I say that you are missing out if you don’t pick this up.

3.) Novadrome
Novadrome is what you get when you take Twisted Metal, with a pinch of Micro Machines, and a dash of Sci-Fi, throw it in a blender and pour it out on the floor. Maybe not vehicular combat at it’s finest, but it’s certainly no slouch. Throw in the fact that there is always competition online, and you’re looking at a game that you’ll find yourself inexplicably going back to time and time again.

2.) Hexic HD
Yes, Hexic. The game that came with the hard drive. Think about it. It’s a simple, straight forward puzzle game that’s fun, fast paced, and best of all, free. You can’t top free.

But not even a free game can top my #1 underrated Xbox Live Arcade game…

1.) Time Pilot
There is something about Time Pilot that I just love. I think it lies in the fact that Time Pilot gets insanely difficult in it’s own simplicity. All you have to do is shoot all the little green/blue planes/helicopters. Occasionally, you shoot a bigger, green or blue plane/helicopter. But be warned: The jump in difficulty from 1970 to 1982 is staggering, but it goes back down a knotch when you get to 2001.

So there you have it, folks. MY, J.W.’s, Top Five Underrated Xbox Live Arcade games. If you have a few credits to waste after buying all those Oblivion add-ons, maybe you should consider checking one of these unnoticed classics out.

Why Console Gaming owns PC Gaming

by JW

1.) You can just jump right in. All that is required with console gaming is the disc, a console, memory card (or hard drive) and a controller. That’s it. No install. No having to check the bottom of the box to see if your 1997 shitbox can run it. You don’t have to tweak the graphic and sound settings if you CAN run the game on your computer. With a console, all you do is plop the disc in the trey, and get to it.

Better interaction online. Xbox Live should be looked at as THE way to do online gaming, console or PC. It’s easy to find a game, everyone has ONE handle, and your friends list ensures that you will always be able to find a friend online to frag with (unless you play Saints Row or Marvel: Ultimate Alliance). With a PC, you have to cycle through an endless stream of empty servers, there is very limited support of voice chat (without Ventrilio, of course) and you always have to worry about playing with that ONE KID still on 56K.

3.) Comfort. Unless you go out and spend a few hundred dollars getting one of those posh, top of the line gaming chairs from Best Buy, you’re usually sitting in a hard, stiff torture device with no neck support, glaring into a monitor that is only a few inches from your face. With a console, you can kick your feet up in a recliner, rest your head on a cushy backrest and power game for twenty hours at a time with little discomfort, outside the obvious need to pee.

4.) Better game selection. This isn’t to say that the PC doesn’t have some timeless classics like Counter-Strike, Half-Life and anything bearing the name of Sid Meier. But to find these gems, you have to be willing to sift through the mountains and mountains of tycoon games and Sims expansion packs. Not to mention half the PC games on the market you probably haven’t heard of. With consoles, you know that if you know of it, it must either be really good, or really bad.

5.) Consoles know their place. The reason why you see so few MMOs and RTS games on a console is because most developers realize that some formats are better on the PC than the console, and they don’t expect you to run out and buy a USB keyboard and mouse to play them. The PC, on the other hand, expects you to just go out and buy a particular brand of controller to play their poorly ported racing or sports game. The console developers get what works and what doesn’t, the PC developers don’t.

6.) No WoW. Sorry, but I’m tired of hearing about how great World of Warcraft is. I get it. Eight million people can’t be wrong. Leave. Me. Alone.

Fellow gamer Brandon over at 451 sister site Gaming MMO has given a rebuttal. He defends all PC gamers by saying that… yeah, I’m kinda right. Although I will admit that Ikea is a great place to get cheap butt-comfort merchandise.

360’s Backwards Compatibility Doesn’t Work [Well]

by JW

When the 360 was launched, Microsoft was big on promoting that the 360 was backwards compatible with “your favorite Xbox games.” Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed that some of the games on the LIST of games that are backwards compatible with the 360 just plain don’t work.

For instance, I am a huge Star Wars geek. I’m a huge sci-fi geek in general, but Star Wars ranks as… probably my #2, behind Trek. So when I discovered that the Knights of the Old Republic games would be BC with the 360, I was absolutely stoked. So when I finally get a chance to PLAY my Xbox 360 around August (I had been in Basic Training in Missouri for the five months prior), I bought both KotOR and KotOR II, along with Halo 2 and Fable to complete my Xbox line-up. Either way, I got home, popped in KotOR and… to say it was buggy beyond all hell would be an insult to buggy games.

When I say buggy, I don’t mean that the framerate chopped every once in a while. I mean that the game barely worked, period. The sound was horrendous, often going completely dead if you played the game for over an hour, there were animation glitches in your character’s movement (namely your guy seemingly transporting clear across a zone), and on more than a handful of occasions the game would just lock up on me, requiring me to go back to the dashboard and vent my frustrations on some Time Pilot. KotOR II did much the same thing, though I’ve yet to have it completely freeze up on me.

Now, as someone who had the games for the original Xbox before it met it’s gruesome fate (My brother tripped and snapped off the disc trey), and on the PC, I know these games work better than they do on the 360. I also know that KotOR and KotOR II aren’t the only games that have this problem: The Prince of Persia titles are equally broken, from what I have heard.

I’m not wanting to rag on the 360: It’s a great system, and out of all the consoles I own (All of them, sans PS3), the 360 is my absolute favorite. All I am saying is that if Microsoft can release an update that allows you to play Psychonauts, they can find a way to make all their games work. I think they owe us faithful gamers that much.

I totally sold out

by JW

Greetings, everyone! I am James Walker, 451’s resident new guy, and welcome to Xbox 360 Rally… dot com. I’m going to be honest with you guy — I have absolutely NO idea what direction this blog is going to go, but I can assure you that day in, and day out, I will keep you all up to date with the latest (and some argue greatest) news regarding everyone’s favorite console, Xbox 360.

So have a seat, kick up your feet… and shut the hell up. I’m trying to work.

About XBox 360 Rally

Welcome to Xbox 360 Rally, the only home for all the Xbox 360 news that matters, with a touch of “home flavor” not associated with most major gaming sites. Xbox 360 Rally brings you all the Xbox 360 News, Reviews and Previews you could ever ask for, with a healthy dose of sarcasm, and a dash of cynicism to get you through your day.

XBox 360 Rally Author(s)
    » JW

Blogging Flair

--> -->

Gaming Channel Posts

  • Sony's Catch Up to Live Still On the Way
    This Tuesday Sony announced that the firmware update version v2.36 would be coming and it finally hit the Playstation 3. This PS3 update is supposed to help system stability for select titles. [...]
  • -->Latest Test Realm Patch Notes -->
    2.4.3 is on the horizon and there are some interesting changes in the works. I'm really excited about the removal of curse of shadow, which will be lumped into curse of elements. This makes it a [ -->... -->]
  • Blogger Loses 16 Pounds In Six Weeks Using Wii Fit - His Mii Expresses Concerns For His Health!
    When Wii Fit was released in the states last month, not only did it sell out within days, it also prompted a new wave of fitness freakery and another way of people to attempt to lose weight. [...]
  • -->Blizzard Agrees Battlegrounds Queue Has Issues -->
    I'm sure you've been just as frustrated when it happens. There you are, happily waiting for the queue to pop up, and there it is! You quickly enter your Arathi Basin, buff yourself up [ -->... -->]
  • -->Avoiding the red shells - Mario Kart -->
    Those pesky red shells always seem to chase me down when I'm in first place. It's incredibly frustrating. There are some techniques that you can deploy to avoid the red shells. Bananas aren't [ -->... -->]
  • Resistance Fall of Man 2 Gameplay Video
    Sony's attempt at killing Halo with Resistance Fall of Man didn't work all that well. Now fans of the first game and those hungry for more shooter action on the PS3 can check out videos of the game [...]
  • The Pros Show the Wii Fit Girl How it's Done
    So the big thing on the internet is a chick who is wearing underwear playing a boring Nintendo Wii game. Uh, yeah like I can't find something much better than the Wii In case you haven't seen it [...]
  • -->Frag Dominant Takes MLG Tourney -->
    A hotly contested match decided MLG's PC Circuit Arena competition in San Diego. While a number of players lamented the term "e-sport" and have some choice words for the idea that Warcraft is [ -->... -->]
  • Could Nintendo Be Any More Casual? - The Big N Certainly Doesn't Care About "Geeks and Otaku"
    Nintendo has always been the games company that puts fun above all else, sometimes at the expense of innovation, graphics, and moving the game industry forward. In that sense, you could say that [...]
  • All the Gears of War 2 Info... All of it
    If you're looking for up to the date info on Gears of War 2, then I've got a site for you. I recently ran across the Gears of War 2 forums where they are keeping track of about almost anything [...]

Hot Off The Press

  • Soccer Player Bites Referee
    Authorities made an arrest in the alleged assault that happened last Thursday night during a soccer game in Newark. Del., when the ref carded a player for unsportsmanlike behavior. It was a lack of [...]
  • Autism Quote of the Week
    Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. – John W. Gardner [...]
  • Freshwater and the Cross
    For everyone who claims that all home schooling families are crazy fundies who lock their kids in the basement and are secretly abusing them and using home school as a way to cover it up, I present [...]
  • Lecture: Collector's Confusion: Reproductions and Reissues by Sue Slight, Sue Slight, Early American Pat...
    Sue Slight, Early American Pattern Glass Society board member and Iowa Quester, will provide a hands-on workshop to define the many reproductions and reissues of original pressed glass patterns on [...]