With all the success that Activision has had with its full blown Modern Warfare franchise. You had to know that others were going to follow suit. Enter the Medal of Honor series, which looks to leave the toils of the World Wars alone, for the spoils (and possible increased brand awareness) of ‘modern warfare’.

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EA has announced that the Medal of Honor franchise will get a reboot and place gamers in familiar standard times. The game will be set in Afghanistan and follow a character who is “a relatively unknown entity directly under the National Command Authority who takes on missions no one else can handle.” Or in less words, a Tier 1 Operator. EA is promising to make this as authentic to a real life modern campaign, and have been working with real life Tier 1 Operators from the US Special Operations Community.

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EA thinks they can give the single-player experience in the CoD :Modern Warfare franchise a run for its money by stating they will have the “best-in-class single player campaign,” as well as a solid multiplayer experience.

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I for one welcome more modern shooters. I just hope everyone just doesn’t jump on the bandwagon and we start getting more of the same. If anything I think there needs to be more Vietnam inspired shooters. There’s an area that has only been explored less than a handful of times and offers a lot of gameplay options. Just think about it napalm air strikes, booby traps, emphasis on camouflage, etc.

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Yeah somebody needs to make that happen.

The growing cast of Mass Effect 2 continues to expand. BioWare has just released another Reveal Trailer of Samara "the mystic warrior." Who, in the press release’s words, is "an Asari Justicar, who is skilled with immense biotic powers.  Strongly driven by religious duty, she has forsworn family and given up all worldly possessions aside from weapons and armor, to wander the galaxy delivering justice."

 

Sounds like an interesting addition, I never really saw the Asari as a religious type of species so this character should be interesting. For more on Samara check out the three new screenshots on the right, or stay tuned for when we put up the revealment trailer. For now, some guy on YouTube put it up in HD.

The Prince of Persia franchise is receiving a lot of attention. First you have the Disney sliver screen feature due to hit next year. And if you guessed that there would be another Prince of Persia game (because you perceptively ready the title) then you’d be correct!

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The next game in the series is going to break away from the cel-shaded story involving death, glowing trees, and a guy who may-or-may not be a royal heir. The new game will be titled Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, and is could possibly be a direct movie tie-in. So far what is being said about the game is that it will have “fan favorite elements from the original series,” and some new tweaks to keep it fresh.

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One of the more telling things about Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, is the fact that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has stated the game will cater to hardcore and casual gamers. If that’s not a cause for say-what-man? I don’t know what is. Guillemot explains saying, “”The goal is to reach both audiences, the core and casual gamers. It will be a game that will have lots of combat, with the possibility for gamers that are not as good – a level for beginners. In that sense we are trying to cover both groups.”

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While that sounds all nice and politically correct, my first inclination is to scratch my head. Outside of towing the company line anytime that a game needs to be pre-categorized especially using the words ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ I lose a little bit of pre-faith in a title. Especially when Prince of Persia is such a solid franchise already.

Ubisoft is not wasting any time trying to solidify their support for Project Natal. During a a financial earnings call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot threw down the gauntlet in declaring that they expe t to have 10 titles ready “for Natal during the first six months of the launch.”

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If you’re planning for a nice solid “core” gaming experience along the lines of the new stellar Assassins Creed II, then you’re going to be very disappointed. Guillemot states that the titles will be “casual games that we are doing,” which will all be new titles. Just imagine they will be bringing their casual friendly games like Petz, Babyz, and etc. all to your Xbox 360! Excited?

Now that the madness of Turkey Day aka Thanksgiving is over here in the States it’s back to the ever flowing business of video game news! In the new issue of Shonen Jump mag there is a revelation for a new-by-way-of-old character for Final Fantasy XIII, that fans had to know was coming. The character in question? None other than FF XIII mainstay Cid.

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This time around Cid is a Brigadier in the military association PSICOM, and beyond that? There’s not to much more info. Check out the magazine scans to see some images of Cid, as well as two new anonymous characters.

Great scott Batman! We have screenshots to show! Mass Effect and a damn fine interview as well! Well to be fair, the interview wasn’t done by us, but rather EA themselves. We were invited to the actual conference call as it was happening. But due to my internet provider RCN deciding to reset my servers during the call, most of the call was lost. However we do have the first forty minutes for you to listen to on our podcast feed. Be sure to download that, or get off our RSS feed. If you don’t have enough time to bother with pesky skype call conferences. Here are some bullet points from the interview that might interest you:

 

EDIT: Turns out we weren’t supposed to give you the MP3. Sorry!

 

  • "Strict with the frame rate" expect a better frame rate, even when in combat or doing special abilities
  • More weapons classes, and they don’t require "specializations" you pick what you like, regardless of class. Casey presented an example of "Pistols" having a "heavy" focus or a "sub machine gun" focus.
  • Hit detection, and aiming are no longer "RPGed." Headshots are instant kills, your bullets go where you aim them
  • Elemental damage, ability to incinerate and freeze people to death
  • Mass Effect makes unique save data for each time you finished the game. So if you replayed Mass Effect three times with the character, don’t worry, you can pick which playthrough to continue for the next game
  • Inventory system completely overhauled
  • New locations to visit: "Dark" version of The Citadal named Omega, Illium the Asari homeworld, and Tuchanka the Krogan homeworld.
  • It was said before that Commander Shepard can die, but it turns out  you can end up killing your entire crew, either by your own hand or by messing up.

 

As for the screen shots, you should be able to see those on the right hand side. Enjoy!

Microsoft just can’t catch a break. If they aren’t facing possible litigation for trying to crack down on modders. Then they are getting sued by a consumer trying to make a quick buck, and/or get famous. And if it’s not one of those two cases, then it’s a third-party who’s unhappy with them for blocking their product on Microsofts system.

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Datel Design & Development, a third-party company that made memory cards for the Xbox 360 is filing an antitrust suit against Microsoft for its recent policy regarding third-party data storage options. Datel believes that Microsoft is “unfairly favoring its own Xbox 360 accessories” and creating a monopoly on that end of the market.

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“Microsoft’s purpose in disabling Datel’s memory cards is to prevent consumers from choosing a Datel product that offers far better value for the price,” reads a statement from the company’s suit, which also says, “There is no benefit to consumers from Microsoft’s decision to target and disable Datel’s memory cards. To the contrary, Microsoft’s actions will leave approximately 50,000 consumers with useless memory cards and (without the ability to access their data on the cards), forestall innovation, and deprive future consumers of the benefits of competition.”

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While we all know the reasoning behind Microsoft banning third-party storage solutions. I can’t say that Datel doesn’t have a case here. After all if The House of Gates does ban all other storage solutions, that in essence gives them a strangleholdmonopoly on that sector of the market. And last time i checked, those were illegal in most corporate business practices. Besides there’s nothing like some good ‘ole fashioned competition, it brings out the best in companies. And helps us save a couple dollars, as consumers along the way.

Picture this: all major hell is breaking lose in the real world, and you’re in the middle of an intense round of UNO on Xbox LIVE. When suddenly you hear the familiar beep of the LIVE pop-up flasher. Only this time it’s not for a special achievement, it’s notifying you that you might want to put the controller down and get to safety. Sound far-fetched? If you live in New York state, that could soon become a reality.

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InformationWeek is reporting that New York is in the process of redesigning their emergency broadcast system. The new system would allow for major alerts to be sent to Xbox LIVE in the instance of disasters, and other alert worthy events. A quote from the deputy chief information officer, claims this is a pretty good idea “considering the amount of time our youth spend on video games.” And I’d have to agree.

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Video game sales, it’s the stuff that many a good fanatical forum argument is held together by. In an effort to remind everyone –guffawing over CoD Modern Warfare 2 –that there was another high-profile game released; Ubisoft has dropped some sales data of their own.

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In its first week of existence in the retail sector, Assassins Creed II has sold 1.6 million copies worldwide. Furthermore the game sold a full 32 percent better than the original, within the launch time frame. Making it all the sweeter for Ubisoft is the fact that the game has reviewed really well.

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All-in-all you know what this all means. Another sequel confirmed. Book it.

Capcom via Famitsu has revealed three more characters for Super Street Figher IV. If you’re a fan of the classic Final Fight series than you’re going to be jumping for joy. Two of the three new fighters are both from the old Capcom beat ‘em up, and they would be Cody and Guy. Last and certainly not least, is Adon the Muay Thai kickboxer, who first appeared in Street Fighter Alpha.

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There are also some rumors floating around on the street about Ibuki from Street Fighter 3 making an appearance in the game as well, but nothing has been officially released from Capcom. No worries, I’m sure we’ll no more before the game is released next Spring.

And the records just keep on getting broken, and or expanded upon. This time we’re talking about LIVE users, logging on to Facebook. Microsoft released the official numbers for the service, which were pretty impressive.

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For starters, the first week that the service went live, 2 million users logged into their Facebook accounts, from their Xbox 360. What’s even more impressive, is that 500,000 new accounts were created during the first 24 hours of being available. No other numbers were given for any of the other services (Twitter, Last.FM).

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Looks like Microsoft has a hit on their hands with the new added functions. Even though I’m sure MyspaceFacebook being one of the hotter social networking sites, has a little to do with it.

Erik Estavillo was banned from the PlayStationNetwork for posting some hateful comments on one of their games online community forums. Estavillo then tried to sue Sony for violating his “first amendement rights”. That argument was dismissed by the court of law , that claimed he had no case because “Sony is not part of the government.”

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So what does Estavillio do? He decides to sue Microsoft and Nintendo. I’m not making this up. The plaintiff is seeking $75,000 from Microsoft due to “undue stress” from getting the dreaded RRoD on his 360. The legal wording of his claim is as follows, “Microsoft should have to bear the burden that is now put on the shoulders of this disabled plaintiff.”

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Excuse me while I give myself a face palm. Okay I know in The United States, it’s normal to get sued for all types of ridiculous issues. Take that lady that spilled her coffee on herself, sued McDonalds, and won. But this definitely is up there in strangeness. Microsoft has addressed the RRoD issue, I’m even curious if Estavillio’s system is out of the extended warranty Microsoft offered? More importantly who are the lawyers taking these cases? Seriously.

Boy does time fly. It seemed like it was just yesterday that, we were all screaming WTF, when viewing the the Mass Effect 2 teaser trailer that showed Commander Sheppard getting his DOA on. Now its been a healthy amount of time since that initial trailer, we have a lot more information on the game, know that Sheppard doesn’t take a dirt nap, and are two months away from the release of ME 2.

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BioWare isn’t just sitting back and counting the days down until the game is released. In a

Last week, Microsoft was up against it, facing a possible lawsuit from AbingtonIP, because of their massive Xbox LIVE bannings. Well now Microsoft has added their response for all of the world to see. The short and skinny? Microsoft says that it is “well within” their rights to ban people from Xbox LIVE (of course it is).

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It’s no secret that AbingtonIP feels that Microsoft was being a little bit sketchy banning LIVE players, after the release of CoD: Modern Warfare 2. A lot of pundits and gamers alike, were wondering if The House of Gates knew beforehand that certain 360 systems were modded, why the hold up? To which Microsoft answered, “Piracy is illegal and modifying an Xbox 360 is a violation of the Xbox Live Terms of Use. Microsoft is well within its legal rights to ban these users from Xbox Live.” Period.

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So there you have it, straight from the source. And that’s probably the way that they’ll tell it to the judge presiding over the case. As well as showing off the user agreement, which states exactly what they are saying in legal language. The only case I can honestly see AbingtonIP having, is if they can get enough people to come forward that had legal systems that got banned. But even so, is that going to be worth the time and money that it’s going cost to produce results? AbingtonIP, it’s now your move!

Welcome to The End, a new column that I’m going to be writing detailing my final impressions on Xbox 360 games. I’m going to try to keep it to high profile games, but nothing is off the table. Don’t get this confused with a standard review. We have an outstanding review team here at Talk Xbox, what I’m basically going to be doing is filling up space with my personal after-impressions. I’ll try to keep it spoiler free, because I’m aware that many people may not have played the games that I will be referencing. If you have the game and have played it, feel free to comment and let me know what YOU think.

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So now that we got that out of the way, let’s get it started.

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When Ubisoft announced Assassins Creed II I was bit skeptical. While the original game was gorgeous, I just could not get around the repetitive gameplay. Gameplay that at times had me dozing off, only to be awakened by the abrupt vibrating of my controller. No, Assassins Creed was not a terrible game. I just felt that it was missing something.

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So here comes Assassins Creed II, one of the most high-profile games for the Xbox 360. Notable for following a successful new IP, but also for being one of the only titles to be released in the same time frame of Activision’s Modern Warfare 2. While other developers where afraid their game might suffer because of Activision’s titan FPS, Ubisoft stuck to their guns and didn’t budge with the release schedule for Assassins Creed II. All the while touting that the game would correct the “issues” of the first game.

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Leading up to the release of Assassins Creed II, Ubisoft kept everything tasteful. They didn’t go overboard with the ugly-hype machine, and most of the information outside of press releases was contained in informative developer diaries. This is one of the things that made me enjoy Assassins Creed II, while I knew about the general story premise, I didn’t know every single plot detail and twist. The game felt fresh from the start and stayed that way.

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As far as the actual game goes? My experience with Assassins Creed II was leaps and bounds better than the orginal. Ubisoft definitely made good on their promise to correct certain issues. In Assassins Creed I found myself playing missions,not because I wanted to; but because I just wanted to keep the story moving. In Assassins Creed II due to the story, pacing, and added elements, I found myself totally immersed in Renaissance Italy. There’s just so much to see and do.

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In The End

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Liked:

Story

Gameplay

Voice Acting

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Did Not Like:

Camera angles, that lead to your death.

Desmond

Shaun

If you’re the type of gamer/consumer that loves to spend that cashola on lofty ‘Special Edition’ versions of games, you must be independently wealthy. Just kidding! As with any major high-profile game BioShock 2 is getting a limited, Special Edition version. The BioShock 2 Special Edition will come with a 164-page hardcover art book, three posters, and the games orchestral score on CD and vinyl.

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If you’re a music lover, that’s got to be pretty appealing, and it will only set you back $99. No word on how many copies 2k Games is planning on rolling out, but they have said they are doing a limited run.

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BioShock 2: Special Edition will be released along with the standard game, on February 9, 2010

If you’ve never played the original No More Heroes on Nintendo’s Wii, then you missed out on a pretty good game. Sure there are some packaged elements within the game that are a little bare. But what the game does well (boss fights, beating up pitiful foes), it does very well.

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The first screens of the game on the Xbox 360 have emerged, conveniently after the game was announced just a couple days ago. While they do look pretty nice, I’m not sure if it’s going to be enough for me to purchase a game I already own, plus lacking motion controls. That is unless Project Natal, is somehow mysteriously available at retail, between now and when the game is released.

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Check out the pics for No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise right here.

Ah, The United States of America! Home of the free, and one of the only places on the entire planet where you can sue the pants off of someone, for anything.

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Nationwide law firm AbingtonIP are looking to put that statement to the test. They have felt compelled to action, based on Microsoft’s massive banning of over 1 million Xbox LIVE users, with last weeks release of the reigning Entertainment King, Modern Warfare 2. The law firm is putting together a class action lawsuit, that claims Microsoft’s bannings were unjust and maybe a little shady. In the lawsuit AbingtonIP suggest that maybe, The House of Gates banned modders and innocents alike, because they were trying to increase Xbox LIVE subscription revenue?

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The law firm issued this statement, “Microsoft has chosen to use one of the most indiscriminate ‘weapons’ in its arsenal in an effort to combat piracy

We just put up our Modern Warfare 2 review up. You can check it out over here. And from what I’ve heard, it seems like that game is pretty good. But be sure to read the full review so we can tell you in 750 words just how good it is. We also talked about the game a great deal on our podcast if you choose to listen to views as opposed to reading them. Okay cool later.

Raise your hand if you did not see this coming. Today Activision patted themselves on the back, and revealed a little morsel of news, that nobody was expecting. /sarcasm

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Modern Warfare 2 has become the largest entertainment launch in history. Yes that is correct, Infinity Ward’s gun-bang opus managed to make an estimated $550 million dollars. And the game did it in five days. This puts MW 2 as the biggest first-and-five day industry box office ever. That’s over books, movies, and video games.

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The previous records were as follows:

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The largest reported five-day opening worldwide box office gross figures, held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($394 million)

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The largest reported five-day opening domestic box office gross figures, held by The Dark Knight ($203.8 million)

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The largest reported five-day worldwide video game sales record, previously held by Grand Theft Auto IV (6 million units, $500 million)

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The largest reported opening first-day domestic box office gross figures, held by The Dark Knight ($66.4 million)

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The largest reported first-day book sales in dollars, held by Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows ($220 million)

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The largest reported first-day worldwide video game sales record, previously held by Grand Theft Auto IV (3.6 million units, $310 million)

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The record breaking didn’t stop there either. Activision also reported that more than 5.2 million multiplayer hours were logged on Xbox LIVE, on the first day of release. As well as the unlocking of 11 million achievements in MW 2 on the first day.

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