Dead Rising 2 prequel – Xbox LIVE Exclusive

Entitled “Case Zero”, Dead Rising 2’s prequel episode will provide the complete Dead Rising experience for fans of the series.

The episode will bridge the first game’s narrative to that of Blue Castle’s entry to the Dead Rising universe. It is set two years after the first game, but three years before Dead Rising 2 and will follow the exploits of new protagonist Chuck Greene as he struggles to escape the desert town of Still Creek with his daughter.

Capcom promises there to be “unique content not available in the full retail release of Dead Rising 2“. As of yet, there is no news regarding price or a release date. What is known is that the “Case Zero” episode will be exclusive to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. And why should that come as a surprise? The original never saw its release on the PlayStation 3… however, there was that one Wii release

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Platinum trumps Gold – Pachter predicts new Xbox LIVE service

Speaking on this week’s episode of Pach-Attack on GameTrailers.com, Michael Pachter believes that Microsoft will soon be ready to hit Xbox LIVE subscribers with what he’d like to call the “Platinum service”.

“I think we’re going to go from Gold to Platinum, and I think Platinum’s going to have a lot of cool stuff and it’s going to be 100 bucks or 150 bucks or 500 bucks. It’s going to be more. And the reason I say it could be that much more… what if they offer you television? What if you get internet TV through Xbox Live? What if they say you can watch WKRP in Cincinnati anytime you want on demand through Xbox Live? Because they could do that, and if they offer you every TV show ever made, every movie ever made, you’ll pay 500 bucks a year for that. Trust me, you will, because you’re already paying that on your cable bill and a lot more.”

I can honestly see myself suckered into this business model if Microsoft were ever to implement it, just as Pachter predicts gamers like myself would, because I utilize my Xbox 360 to encompass all my media and act as a multimedia hub for my room.

Want to watch a movie?
Sure, there’s Netflix streaming!

Want to rent a new movie?
Why not… let’s go over to the Zune Marketplace!

How about some background noise while we socialize?
Okay – do you like Phil Collins? I have him under my “Favorites” channel in Last.fm! (Epic!)

Without a doubt Xbox LIVE is maturing – and with the death of the original Xbox LIVE’s service, the sky’s the limit. It’ll be exciting to see how Microsoft will handle its online gaming service in the near-future.

Difficulty modes added to Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar Games explains in a recent blog that they have “implemented [several] levels of difficulty into the game”. Mostly, the change appears to be in the game’s use of the auto-aim feature.

“Casual mode gives you a full auto-aim system (and faster regenerating health). Normal mode features snap-to-target with precise aiming using the right stick. Expert mode implements free aim with no lock-on at all.”

This would be Rockstar’s first foray into providing multiple difficulty options in their open-world games (no Grand Theft Auto game has ever had the option). We will have to wait and see how successful their risk pans out, but this route should definitely attract those that may find the game either too challenging or easy.

Is Modern Warfare 2 Infinity Ward’s “Swan Song”?

We’ve been lazy here for a while and have been failing to cover – even mention – the slow crippling and death of the studio that made $558 million in a 5-day span (reportedly exceeding $1 billion in 2 months).

As it goes, Activision had accused the heads at Infinity Ward (Vince Zampella and Jason West) for conspiring against the company from threatening Modern Warfare 2’s early development to creating a studio that goes against Activision’s benefit. Thusly, the publisher had fired Zampella and West in early March. The exiled leadership of Infinity Ward then decided to counter Activision’s attacks with a lawsuit of their own, stating that their release was merely a ploy to withhold the hard-earned royalties gained from Modern Warfare 2’s epic sales.

It is a huge mess and the proverbial case of “he said, she said” at this point – however, the repercussions of this case could very well mean the end of Infinity Ward. Several key members of Infinity Ward’s development team have already up-and-left the company (literally in droves).

Zampella and West have already announced plans to head Respawn Entertainment; signing on with Electronic Arts in the process. Talk about a slap in the face for Activision – although, this move might very well have proven the publisher’s case as truth…

Only time will tell whether Infinity Ward has any future left as it’s own studio. Mergers abound – Activision may just find it best to consolidate their Call of Duty franchise developers (that is Infinity Ward and Treyarch). As for the continued support of Modern Warfare 2; if members of the studio continue to jump ship, it’s not entirely out of the question that downloadable content come from Treyarch. Stopping the flow of content would be a foolish endevour on Activision’s part, as the recently released “Stimulus Package” map-pack has already garnered 2.5 million purchases, shattering Xbox LIVE records in its first week (available exclusively for the Xbox 360 at that point).

Time to Grow-up; the Original Xbox LIVE Service Ends Today

Slated as early as February of this year, Microsoft will be ending their service for the Original Xbox LIVE. No more Crimson Skies, no more Battlefront 2, no more Halo 2, and no more… well, that’s about it I suppose.

But come now, Xbox gamers! It’s time to move on and get yourself a 360. Enjoy Halo 3 or ODST (beta for Reach anyone)! On top of that – why not Modern Warfare 2!? And for you haters out there, Bad Company 2 is readily avaliable, as well!

And for those die-hard fans (purists who define anything after Halo 2 as an abomination)… who’s to say “Halo Arcade” isn’t possible? (Perfect Dark anyone?)

Gears of War 3 Announced – Rolling Out April 2011

The enivitable release of Gears of War 3 was announced this week by the creator himself – Cliff Bleszinski. The trailer itself was first shown on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The trailer itself doesn’t reveal much, though from as near as I can tell age has beaten our heroes Marcus and Dom with a hobo stick for quite sometime since we’ve last seen them in 2008’s Gears of War 2.

Cole and Baird are briefly present within the clip, as well as the addition of female COGs. Gamers across the net are imagining the possibilities and implications of battling the Locust hordes with their cootie-ridden cohorts. I myself say: for all we know, they were there the whole time with Carmine-like sissy helmets.