Waking ‘Dead Rising’

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There’s been early buzz regarding the demo of ‘Dead Rising’ on Xbox Live Marketplace. Rock the Bells took up most of my weekend time, so today will be the first chance I get to deal massive damage to the zombie population. A couple thoughts before plunging in:

– I need depth. The game cannot possibly be all about slaying gobs of zombies, otherwise it would be “State of Emergency” with dead people. Lawrence of All Games Interactive educated me a little on that subject, telling me about how different mall exits and people you encounter along your way veer the player into various storylines. Sounds excellent.

– The game is timed. I like that a lot. There’s are plenty of reasons (challenging element, adds pressure to the player, almost a surefire why to cut down on lulls), but it’s an automatic chance to quote Jack Bauer and yell out, “There’s no time!!” Outstanding.

OK. Off to download. I’m also hoping the game shows up on my desk sooner rather than later.

‘Gears of War’ dropping Nov. 12

Turns out Emergence Day occurs roughtly around the PS3 launch. Via GameSpot, we have learned that Microsoft has confirmed the release date for one of the 360′s most-hyped titles, “Gears of War.” While North America gets the game Nov. 12, the UK gets it on the 17th — right smack on the release date of the PS3.

Nov. 12 falls on a Sunday, which could mean I could have a football/Gears weekend. I won’t say anymore — don’t want to jinx it.

I’m sure this’ll get discussed on AGI, so I won’t pontificate more on this until after the show.

EA and PGA pair up for six more

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Electronic Arts and the PGA have announced a six-year contract extension, focusing on the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Franchise.

I didn’t really get into the Tiger Woods games until they let me create my virtual self — as well as grant me access to the Samoan-looking guy that could drive the ball a mile. The 2007 edition of the game will feature the FedEx Cup points race, which is set to make its real-life debut on the tour in 2007. The current-gen fans will be getting the load of licensed courses and golfers — including LPGA deity Annika Sorenstam. The 360 versions are going to show off some new facial-capturing technology that’s meant to emphasize emotion through detail. Media and fans got a taste of it at E3, with the face of virtual Tiger serving as the creepy example.

‘Street Fighter’ arrives on Xbox Live Arcade

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It’s here. “Street Fighter” — one of the founding fathers of the contemporary fighting game genre (as well as many basic fighting game principles), has been released onto Xbox Live Arcade. My feelings on Street Fighter could take up another entry/column entirely, so I’ll use this space to rattle off the features, according to Capcom.

Oh, BTW, this version is “Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting.”

Online game options

o Before entering a game lobby, users can choose from Ranked? or Player? options

Ranked Match this competitive setting affects a players rating and ranking on the worldwide leaderboard and features 1 vs. 1 fighting with no immediate rematches after a fight

Player Match this casual environment does not affect ratings or rankings and offers the choice of Traditional or Quarter Matches

o Traditional Match 1 vs. 1 fighting which allows rematches at the end of a fight

o Quarter Match entirely new mode for Xbox Live Arcade which is a spectator-based system as a tribute to the arcade roots, allowing online competitors (2 competitors and up to 2 spectators) to use a virtual quarter? to buy into? heated two player matches.

o Once the type of match is selected, players can then choose from three options

Quick Match jump into a match quickly for instant action

Custom Match the best possible match is determined by sorting through a set of filters including number of rounds turbo speed, chat on or off and friends only

Create Match the most popular method for coordinating invite-only matches among friends which allows you to choose among several settings.

Offline game options

Arcade Mode simulates the single-player Street Fighter experience where gamers must work their way through a ladder of opponents until they face off against the final boss.
Vs. Mode allows two friends to select characters and battle it out.

Training Mode lets gamers practice their fighting skills against a CPU character

CPU Battle duke it out against a CPU opponent

Comprehensive leaderboards

Overall the most coveted leaderboard showcases the best overall players from around the globe as determined by a simple point-based system.

Monthly uses the point-based system to designate the best players in the past 30 days

Best Character rankings based on who is the best at using each game character

Consecutive Wins tracks winning streaks to see who has won the most matches in a row

Achievements complete more than 10 offline and online objectives

Fully customizable control options players can map attacks to any of the main buttons and have the choice to map all three punches and/or all three kicks to a single button which simplifies complex moves

Updated menu screens provide easier navigation

Sound options control the volume of the music and sound effects

Transformers!

In case you haven’t been told, there’s a “Tranformers” movie coming out next summer. You can go to the regular movie Web sites and look at the official teaser trailer — or, you can check out this homemade one which I think is better than a lot of the stuff you’ll see. Check it out.

Breast cancer awareness 360

I caught wind of this in chat during the All Games Interactive podcast. Someone is modding (not with a chip or anything, but customizing the case) an Xbox 360 in support of breast cancer awareness. Anyone interested can see the work in progress here.

I also imagine there have to be other modded cases that support various causes, much like “support our troops” or perhaps even gay pride. It’s interesting to see that not all case modding has to do with pure tech.