Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dynasty Warriors 8 review

The history of ancient China is filled with legends, mythology, and war. Sometimes the people even led normal lives. Dynasty Warriors attempted to use some of these aspects of the ancient world to make an enjoyable experience on your home console. Unfortunately, the key word was "attempted." Dynasty Warriors 8 plays out as a rather boring experience with a tepid plot, lack of character development, and underwhelmingly simple combat system.

Usually, a 20 hour campaign is a great thing to have in a single-player game. It gives players more bang for their buck, allows for a greater plot development, and can really make a lasting impression on your experience. That being said, that is a linear 20 hour game. DW8 has 4 sections of roughly 5 hours each. This would still be satisfactory, except it is the same areas, and the same story. Changing robe colors and spawning on another part of the map is not a separate campaign. You have the same weapons, same moves, same techniques, you just change from blue to green and move a few hundred yards. The story just doesn't go anywhere. There's a bad guy on the throne who is trying to kill a good guy who wants the throne, and they both have 90 billion soldiers to back em up.

Which brings me to the combat system. The ridiculously bad combat system. Want to slaughter thousands of characters at the same time? Trigger Rage mode, hit your Musou attack button, ???, profit. Rinse and repeat the entire area until your kill count is up in the thousands. You can hit 30 people at once with a single sword swipe. That's apparently one very long sword that conveniently shrinks back to standard size if you sheath it. The game is about battle and also magic, but there can't be some realism? Even on the hardest difficulty, you can take a sword in the gut a half dozen times where your enemy dies if you sneeze. The scale from easy to hard was barely noticeable beyond the bad guys taking a couple more hits to kill. And since you wield a magical sword that can shoot lightning (personal choice), it's not that difficult to keep them at bay and eliminate them in droves.

Adding to this simplistic system is the new inclusion of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It sounds like a joke, but it actually is in the game. Weapons have now been given special base traits. These are Earth, Heaven, and Man. Each weapon can only carry one of these at a time, and the game warns you not to choose two weapons with the same option. The reason for this warning, is that some of the mini bosses in the level carry a weapon armed with one of these traits. If you come up against Rock while carrying Scissors, it will take a lot of hits to kill that one guy. However, if you have a Paper in your arsenal, switching to that will cut the work in half. Rock v Rock will obviously make the health back to standard levels, so no matter what you are carrying, you always can switch to make it either standard or advantage. Kind of ruins the point of it.

The sheer number of enemies is another problem. Going toe-to-toe against tens of thousands of opponents sounds great, until you spend 45 minutes killing 5,000 of them only to see them continuously respawn out of thin air with horrible textures and blank faces. They are so easy to kill, you might have wiped out a couple hundred before they even render in, which just causes more to respawn. The repetitiveness of the combat destroys this game more than if they shipped a piece of bologna in the case.

Monotony is not only prevalent in the combat system. The character roster has an amazing number of 70 people. This is astonishing for a game to include, however, why they were able to include that many characters is immediately revealed after the first few times you swap characters. They are all pretty much the same. The voices are different, the lines are different, but the emotionless acting and expressions transition from character to character. They use different weapons better than others, but that doesn't add anything to the game, since I can make one guy use the claws and the hook blades even though he's only good with a sword. It really doesn't alter the game in any fashion and feels like a poorly added gimmick.

Ambition mode is the game's only possible saving grace. You can build your own town by defeating enemies and using the money or items found to establish your community. The novelty of this soon wears off, but you may get an hour or two of fun out of it. There's just not enough content to really keep the mini game going. The coolest thing is the animal companions, but unless you used your horse a lot, this won't really add much to the game for you.

Dynasty Warriors just doesn't have what it takes to stand in the big leagues. A mediocre story, bad combat system, gameplay riddled with bugs, and a depressing cast of characters all compound to make this game a dreary mark on the releases of 2013. You would get more of an impact reading a history book about China than playing this sham of a story. Twisting history to make a game only works if the game is any good, which unfortunately this game is not.

Final Verdict: 5/10

Monday, July 22, 2013

Has the Xbox One's price been secretly changed? Updated 7/23

UPDATE 7/23: Image was taken off a secondary placeholder file. No change in price has been reported.

Original story 7/22: When the Xbox One was revealed and given a $500 price tag, many were put-off by what they felt was a extreme price tag. With the PS4 being released for a full $100 less, those who are more financially strapped may decide to go with Sony, instead of taking a chance with Microsoft's X1.

However, that price may have changed. While not official, this picture is reported to have come from a Gamestop's retail computer. In it, you can see that both the PS4 and Xbox One have console prices of $399.

Now, this may simply be a placeholder pricing that never got changed, or Gamestop may have put in the wrong pricing into their system, but it is very possible that Microsoft has altered their console price and are waiting to reveal the change.

*This story will be updated as more information comes to light*

Edit: Points against legitimacy of computer image include controller pricing (confirmed to be $59), Territory ID #9999, Excel spreadsheet can be easily faked, and price decrease is very dramatic.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dishonored's final add-on pack lands August 13th

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches is the final DLC for the critically acclaimed title from Arkane Studios. Available worldwide on August 13th, (PS3 in EU 14th), it will sell for $9.99/800 MSP.
Continue your journey as the legendary assassin, Daud, and bring his twisted narrative that began with The Knife of Dunwall to a close. After discovering the identity and intentions of Delilah, the leader of the Brigmore Witch coven, you set out to disrupt her from completing a powerful ritual that will spell your doom. Having already been betrayed by your lieutenant, Billie Lurk, you must rely on feuding gang factions—the Dead Eels and the Hatters—to negotiate your way through previously unseen districts of Dunwall en route to Delilah’s stronghold.  Regardless of the way you reach your destination, one thing is for certain – you will finally answer for your treacherous actions and fall before the mercy, or punishment, of the Royal Bodyguard and Assassin, Corvo Attano. Additionally, your power, weapon and item upgrades, Chaos level, and player actions from The Knife of Dunwall will carry over via a compatible save file option.
  Well, there goes August.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Netherrealms reveals 5th Injustice DLC character, and boy is it a welcome addition

Adding to the already fanboy dream of playable DC characters, comes one that should have been included at launch. J'onn J'onzz hits the screen to overwhelming applause at EVO 2013, in one of the most impressive gameplay trailers we've seen yet.

For those who don't know, J'onn J'onzz also goes by Martian Manhunter, the sole survivor of the Martian race. One of the founding members of the Justice League, his absence was noticed immediately by fans of the series. He existed merely as a background character on the "Watchtower" stage.

J'onn is one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet, with a vast array of powers including telepathy, shape-shifting, projecting energy, x-ray vision, phasing, invisibility, flight, and super strength. In some story lines he can also project energy beams from his eyes, something the DLC character mirrors.

For your enjoyment, here is the gameplay trailer.

Also, as an added bonus, we get a John Stewart skin for Green Lantern, something which fans of the Justice League tv series will appreciate, as well as the voice actors both both MM and GL.

Friday, July 12, 2013

'DARK' 2 hours in review

Can't do it. I cannot complete this game. If there was a way to remove the 2 hours I spent with this game from my head, I would do it in a heartbeat. The voice acting is unbelievably bad with zero emotion. If you woke up as a vampire, wouldn't you be freaking out a bit? Not Eric Bane. One of the most flat and shallow characters in this generation of gaming, it's almost cringe worthy to know there will be some sort on monotone narration from him about everything. And I mean everything. "The throbbing in my head is pounding in my temples." Wow, look at that thrilling dialogue.

Your base area is a nightclub, a standard cliche in the Vampire universe. Everyone there is a vampire. The bouncer is a drug addict who's a little slow in the head, the bartender mixes you up a Bloody Mary "house style", and the owner was gifted some freaky techno skills by being bitten. Eric can, well, do nothing.

The story concept is appalling. You need to drink the blood of the vampire who created you or you turn into a ghoul. Great. You have no idea who your attacker is, so the obvious conclusion is "Let's look for clues and track this baddie down!" Oh no, wait. You mean I can just drink some other vampire's blood if he's been around for a few decades? Well that's anticlimactic.

The game revolves around stealth, which is a great idea for a vampire game. However, it is so poorly executed that it becomes frustrating the moment you have to start trying to sneak. Which is the whole time. They try to give you powers that will help, except they also made them with severe draw backs. Sneaking requires you to go very slow and avoid making any noise. However, your character makes as much noise crawling as he does running. Areas where your path is blocked by broken glass requires you to use your teleport ability, but your character makes as much noise teleporting as you do crunching the glass. So that guard who was suspicious before? Yep, still gonna be suspicious. Which leads you to the next issue. The Combat. There is none. You can punch a guy only if they don't know you are there. If they spot you, you have to run through a door which they can't follow, wait for them to reset, and then follow them and punch em. So realistic.

This game is abysmal at best. If you want a good comparison, I would rather be stuck playing only Aliens: CM for the next 10 years than to finish playing this game.

Final Score: 1/10

Borderlands 2 ''Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep' DLC review

Borderlands is the epitome of insane fun, insane action, and just plain insanity. And nothing shows that more than the latest DLC release of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. The craziest character in any video game ever, now has you at the mercy of her twisted, freaky mind. Roll for initiative suckas!

First off if you haven't finished the main story quest, do so before starting Tiny Tina's DLC, otherwise the main story will be spoiled for you.

It's time for the first ever game of Bunkers and Badasses! The original Vault hunters are taking a well deserved break (I'm being generous here, I mean what did they actually do during the game?) while the new ones are busy beating some info out of a Hyperion thug. Tiny Tina has decided to liven up the party with a new game she's designed. Reminiscent of D&D (okay, EXACTLY like D&D but with guns), the Vault hunters take on the roles of the current Vault hunters who are shrunk down in size, except they are actually toys because the real ones are busy beating up that thug, but you still are playing as them except you aren't them... It's all very technical. Let's just say the entire thing takes place inside Tina's head.

You travel to the Unassuming Docks (best name for a place, ever) where the sun is shining and there are rainbows in the air. Until Lilith points out that Tina said the land has been taken over by an evil sorcerer who has made it dark and evil. Like a flash the setting changes and Tina now announces the world is dark and "smells like butts and dead people". I almost fell out of my chair when Salvador in-game says "Hey, this place smells like butts and dead people!" A better intro to a DLC, there is none. It's not even 5 minutes in and we're dying of laughter. The mood doesn't dampen directly after when Tina sends an invincible dragon at us which downs us all at the same time. Again, Lilith points out that you can't put an unbeatable boss in the game at the beginning, so Tina admits that's a good point and suddenly we're all back on our feet.

The amount of hilarity in this DLC never ends. Mr. Torgue shows up leading to some of the funniest dialogue in anything ever of all time along with other things (hint: EXPLOSIONS!!!). The references in the game to pop-culture and sci-fi/fantasy elements litter everything. I mean everything. Red shirts from Star Trek, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, even Ellie (fat Ellie, not Last of Us Ellie) is decked out in a slave Princess Leia outfit (shudder).

Now, even though the DLC is chock full of humor, it also has a very delicate side. The world is invented by a psychotic thirteen year old girl, but she is also just a thirteen year old girl. Tina continuously tries to deny that anything in the world is wrong, while the setting of the DLC betrays her as a manifestation of the pain and torment of loss, which shows incredible growth in Tina's character. It really impacts how the writers felt about the story, connecting with the characters in more ways than just sex jokes and foul language. The emotional aspect may linger underneath the funny moments, but it occasionally shines through.

Enemies in this DLC have changed a lot. You aren't just fighting re-skinned skags or raiders. You face creatures like undead skeletons, necromancers, orcs, knights who use swords and longbows, mages who shoot lighting and cast fireballs. There are sprites that can help you if you capture them, or hurt you if you piss them off. Even the trees attack you (literally, the trees try to eat you). There are multiple missions that are beyond incredible and so many more that will just make you tear up from laughing.

The DLC really excels in the story, which is great because, outside of a few select pieces, the loot really doesn't exist. You'll find eridium like mad, which serves a large purpose in this DLC since the slot machines use it this time around, and there are certain weapon chests where you can roll a 20-sided die to get guns, or spend 5 eridium and roll two dice. A couple of new grenade mods really add to the "magic" feel. You can toss fireballs or bolts of lightning, and these mods regenerate your nades over time. The biggest weapon is probably the best one in the entire game. Imagine a shotgun. Now imagine a sword. Now imagine a sword being propelled from the shotgun. Now imagine Mr. Torgue telling Tina to make it "EXPLODE!" Now imagine a sword being propelled from the shotgun, hitting an enemy, exploding into several new swords, all of it culminating in a gigantic explosion of awesomeness! Ladies and gentleman, I give you, the gun that shall never, ever leave my right weapon slot. Ever.

This DLC is wacky beyond belief. The laughs never end, and while the loot could be better, the stuff we do get is definitely memorable. Gearbox really stepped it up with this DLC, and their dedication shows. Probably the best DLC I've played since Shivering Isles for Oblivion. If you haven't bought this DLC yet, you really are missing out on a great time. Oh, and if you see a certain familiar yellow contraption, follow him. You'll appreciate it oh so much.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Injustice 5th DLC character to be revealed at EVO

With General Zod being the final character in the Injustice season pass, the roster still seems rather small. There are obviously plenty of characters to choose from, but when looking at it from a comic reader's perspective, it could have been so much larger.

Thankfully, General Zod is not the last character we will get. There are of course the rumors of the next batch of DLC characters (from the same gamers we got the first set leaked from) that includes Martian Manhunter, Power Girl, Red Hood, and Sub-Zero (Sub-Zero has since been confirmed will NOT be coming to Injustice). However, until announced, we'll have to make do with what the Injustice devs will give us.

With that in mind, Ed Boon, NetherRealm creative director, tweeted out that the next DLC character will be revealed in a trailer at EVO 2013.
"The EVO Injustice DLC debut video will also feature a new character skin that players have been CLAMORING for MONTHS now! #Evo2013 #GetHype"
My guess is Martian Manhunter, but maybe that's just my hopes and dreams talking.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Microsoft update turns your MSP into a cash balance and gives you only a year to use it

With Microsoft rolling out the latest update for the Xbox 360, one of the biggest changes was implementing the rollover from Microsoft points to actual dollar figures. The goal being to eliminate the controversial policy that gamers have been upset with for more than 6 years. The unfortunate reality, is that it now comes with a stiff price.

Gamers who signed up for the new dashboard beta are getting their first taste of the new system. MSP are being converted and balances are being given out, but they come with a catch. They expire. This information was first posted on the Microsoft FAQ.
When you initiate a purchase or redeem a Points card or code with your Microsoft account after the next Xbox 360 system update, we’ll add to your account an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points, and your Microsoft Points will be retired. The currency we add to your account at the time of the transition will expire on June 1, 2015. However, the currency you purchase and add to your account after the transition will not expire.
Microsoft did not respond to follow up questions when this was pointed out. Many felt that it must be some sort of mistake. That Microsoft really wouldn't tell you that your own money would just go poof. Well, it turns out the truth is even worse than that.

According to this email from Microsoft, you only get one year to use them from the time they are deposited into your account. It was a ridiculous concept when it was 2 years, but now it's only a single year? These are not promotional offers that expire after a certain amount of time. This is your money. Your own money that Microsoft will take away from you for the simple reason of time. Whether it is $8 or $80, this policy is absurd. Microsoft is not a bank that can charge fees for holding onto your money. That is not their business. Their business is to sell products. Instead, they literally are robbing you. I would advise you to stick to Microsoft points for as long as you possibly can and avoid being a participant in this newest dashboard beta.

Gearbox confirms new Borderlands 2 DLC; IP

If you haven’t played the most recent DLC of Borderlands 2, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep, you need to. It is such a well done piece of DLC it would be hard to imagine Gearbox finding a way to top it. But it doesn’t look like they are all that worried.

Gearbox recently confirmed on Nerdist Podcast they are creating more DLC goodness for Borderlands 2.
“Everyone has this expectation that those would be the four DLCs and then that’s it,” Pitchford said. “We’re going to do more. We’re going to do some other things. We don’t have details yet about it exactly.
“We’ve got more stuff in the hopper that we’re planning and that we’re getting pretty excited about. So if you are a Borderlands fan, you don’t have to be afraid that that’s the end of it.”
And what would be a good podcast without a cliffhanger ending? Pitchford left the podcast on this note:
“We are building an original IP for the next generation that we’ll announce sometime later,” Pitchford said.
Damn you, Pitchford! You can’t leave me hanging like this. Just announce Borderlands 3 along with it and all will be forgiven.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Are you ready for some football? NCAA Football ’14 review

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y, NIGHT! “Welcome back sports fan. We’ve got an exciting matchup here for you today. Two long-time rivals going head-to-head to prove who the greatest college team on the gridiron really is.” Hearing announcements like this always puts a little spring in my step during the college football season. Nothing beats grabbing a few slices of pizza, cracking open a coke, and sitting down for a couple hours of my favorite team kicking the crap out of the other guy. Surprisingly, NCAA Football ’14 recreates that feeling pretty damn well.

The NCAA franchise has been sluggish the past few years. Lack of innovation and very small changes have left it feeling stagnant, prompting many gamers to switch to the Madden series. With the big names of the pros nailing 60 yard passes or running back a kickoff for a touchdown, the appeal to play in the big leagues is very difficult to ignore. EA seems to have finally understood that and changed how this year’s NCAA game plays.

ncaa 1

While there isn’t a large amount of new content, the changes to the old formulas are very welcome indeed. The core gameplay has been improved on many fronts. AI players no longer have a 360 degree arc of omnipotence. Defense has to be looking at the ball to try and force a receiver to drop the pass. Blocking teams do a fantastic job on stopping QB rushing. Defensive backs can be juked on a run play, and act very believable when diving at the RB. All of these changes give the game a much more enjoyable feel for those who like an authentic football experience. You have short bursts of stamina for sprinting, but the downside is a slight speed loss overall after that burst, very realistic to real life gameplay. Receivers will make every effort to stay in bounds when trying to catch a pass, and QB option plays were reworked to make the best use of the system. Running backs now have the ability to do a hard cut and will actually push off a teammate’s backs rather than just get caught running in place. Players can spin, stiff arm, and leap right over the defensive line to score comes big yardage.


That’s not to say there aren’t any problems. Interceptions, while slightly less random, still occur frequently on both sides. Receivers drop passes just as consistently as they catch them. These instances seem very random. A wide receiver can drop a ball 5 times when completely open, but catch 3 in a row when double guarded? Frustrating issues like these abound in the passing game, where running plays are virtually unstoppable. Quarterbacks frequently seem to be caught in glitches. A play will start where the QB is frozen, the play clock running down without any way to snap the ball. In another instance, a RB’s and QB’s character models merged forming an indistinguishable blob that couldn’t do anything until it was tackled. The kicking system is also very inconsistent. Hitting the exact same power, direction, and wind can cause the ball to go 60 yards one kick, and 45 yards the next. Choosing a field goal play can sometimes load in a punt, meaning your 30 yard field goal attempt is now a touchback turnover.

There are a few very welcome changes to some fan favorite modes. Ultimate team mode has been altered to make it more enjoyable. Players can be evaluated via trading cards and stats, removing the clunky menus from before. Gamers can purchase new trading card packs to build up their team, swapping out the roster however you choose. The auction block adds a bit of excitement to the mix, spending your game winning coins on better players to add to your team.

NCAA trading card

Dynasty mode is a good amount of fun. The menu systems that made the past recruiting systems a bit of an eyesore have been reworked, and the player recruitment has been changed rather drastically and makes for a much more streamlined process. The biggest change with Dynasty is the addition of ‘coach skills’. Customizable skills can greatly alter how your team handles themselves on the field. Player abilities can be changed, coaches can make their team focus and buckle down rather than get full of their egos, and they can even view the past plays of their adversary, allowing for a good chance at guessing the next play. Team this new addition with a massive change in the Power recruiting system, and you’ve got what may be the most fun mode in the game.

Returning modes, like the Heisman Challenge, don’t seem to have gotten the same consideration when the game was being revamped. Playing as the greats is always fun, but where you are the star of the show, you would hope your fellow teammates would be on par, or close to it. Passes are routinely dropped, making those milestone records stay the record, leading to as many curse words being used as watching an actual game. Running plays are as easy as the regular game, so those can be reached relatively easy. The large scale difference in the two kinds of plays can make it extremely frustrating when trying to put away some big time moments. The return of the player reaction ability was unnecessary. It ruins the feel of getting to play in the shoes of the big boys. Yeah, you gain a couple seconds to determine who to pass to, but it’s simply not needed. If you aren’t paying attention you should be penalized for it. Along those same lines is the ‘Mascot Mash-Up’ mode. It’s fun to watch two Roll Tide elephants smother a gigantic dog, but since it’s essentially just a re-skin of the player, it’s mainly more of a gimmick. It’s fun, but after a while you just want to see the regular players go at it.

mascot mashup

The inclusion of the ‘Infinity Engine 2’ is probably one of the most welcome changes to the game. With the engine comes the Force Impact System. Seeing a 6’6”, 280 lb. lineman hit a 180 lb. running back used to look very bland. They hit, they go down, rinse and repeat. It didn’t matter what the player models were or the size or position. Everyone reacted the same. With the Force Impact system, this doesn’t happen. Now you see that mountain of a lineman hit the running back and the guy gets pummeled. Lifted off his feet and thrown to the ground, you almost feel your own ribs take that hit. Sound has been improved too. You can hear the helmets crack together like a gunshot, and when you add in the way that players’ bodies move with real life physics, you are genuinely surprised there aren’t broken bones everywhere.

ncaa 2

NCAA Football ’14 is a good amount of fun for football fans. With the announcers, higher-end graphics, legitimate looking commercials at half-time, and the fans chanting in the stadium, you really get the feeling you are watching a real game. The Dynasty mode changes have been reworked extremely well, and there is more than enough re-playability in the core gameplay. With the NCAA franchise being put into a 3rd and 20, gamers were hoping EA could convert on 3rd down. They tossed a Hail Mary and nailed the mark, but ended the game just shy of a touchdown.

Final Verdict: 8.5/10

Xbox Live "Ultimate Game Sale" Day 4

This newest day of sales gives us some great deals on some recent hit titles like the Tomb Raider reboot, and Bishock Infinite.

Ultimate Games on Demand Sale Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Bioshock Infinite $59.99 $39.99 $20.00 33%
Tomb Raider $29.99 $19.99 $10.00 33%
Gears Judgement $59.99 $29.99 $30.00 50%
Metal Gear Rising: Revengence $49.99 $29.99 $20.00 40%
Hitman Absolution $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
XCOM: Enemy Unknown $39.99 $19.99 $20.00 50%
 Plus these titles are still on sale until until Monday, July 8th as well:

Games on Sale now through July 8, 2013 Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
Far Cry Instincts Predator $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Crysis $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
WWE ’13  $59.99 $14.99 $45.00 75%
Mass Effect $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Prey $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
Bulletstorm $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Perfect Dark Zero $14.99 $2.99 $12.00 80%
Dragon Age Origins $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gears of War producer moves on to Mass Effect 4

Chris Wynn, previously the senior producer of Gears of War Judgment, made a surprising announcement on Tuesday. Wynn, who has been a key player in the Gears franchise for the past two games, is leaving Epic and moving on to BioWare.

While the title has not been confirmed to be “Mass Effect 4″ and is merely referred to as  “the next Mass Effect”, it’s not unreasonable to look at it as a continuation game.

Thrilled to announce that I will be joining as the Sr. Development Director on the next Mass Effect! - Chris Wynn
Wynn is not the first high profile member of the Gears team to leave Epic in recent months. Lee Perry left Epic to create his own studio, followed by the previous Gears of War senior producer Rod Fergusson last summer, with design director Cliff Bleszinski leaving in October, and Epic President Mike Capps retiring last December.

Hopefully we get to here more about the new Mass Effect game in the near future.

Assassin's Creed II free for XBL Gold members July 16th

With Xbox handing out two free games every month to gold members, fans were wondering when the games that were advertised at E3 (ACII and Halo 3) would be available. While Halo 3 still has no confirmed date, Major Nelson did give us a heads up about ACII.
That means Free ACII on July 16th. We release two free games/month: One on the 1st & the other on the 16th
 The first free gold game, Defense Grid: The Awakening, came out on July 1st.

Xbox Live 'Ultimate Game Sale' Day #2

We're at that time of year again. Where kids are off during the summer, pool floaties come out of storage, the blistering heat and humidity gives you an excuse to stay inside near the AC... Good times, good times. And also, the Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale! Day 2 is here.

Only available for the next 24 hours:
Ultimate Games on Demand Sale Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Lego Lord of the Rings $29.99 $14.99 $15.00 50%
Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%
Hasbro Family Game Night 3 $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
Monopoly Streets $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
Kinect Sports 2 $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
Rockstar Table Tennis $14.99 $2.99 $12.00 80%

Don’t forget that the following games are on-sale as well until July 8th, 2013.
Games on Sale now through July 8, 2013 Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
Far Cry Instincts Predator $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Crysis $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
WWE ’13  $59.99 $14.99 $45.00 75%
Mass Effect $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Prey $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
Bulletstorm $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Perfect Dark Zero $14.99 $2.99 $12.00 80%
Dragon Age Origins $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%