Xbox Live On Demand Service, Not Enough Support?

Xbox Live On Demand Service for the Xbox 360
Xbox Live On Demand

The Xbox Live On Demand service is one that is considered quite necessary for Xbox 360 owners every where, whether they know it or not. Not only because it requires no dvd, but it also allows for you to have a safe grasp of your video games without fear of losing them.

First, lets bring up a couple of faults with the Xbox 360, although these may be faults that only exist with some of the older models. For one, the Xbox 360 has been known to crunch on the dvd’s that you place in the drive. Basically, over time, your Xbox 360 dvd’s will get deep scratches on it, to the point where it will become unplayable. Not only is this fact, but it has happened to two of my video games already. Another known fault to the community is how the Xbox 360 tends to lose functionality in the dvd drive. What good is a video game console that can not even play games?

So here is where the Xbox Live On Demand service gets its appeal. Your video games are not in jeopardy of being damaged, since it is completely digital. The only thing that may happen is a mishap, and Microsoft may screw up and lose your data, which has been said to happen before. But this is fairly rare, so you should understand that risks come with everything in life. Also, when your dvd drive fails, or if rather, you can still play the games that are downloaded to your hard drive. This can be a real life saver when half of your gaming library becomes useless. One may question why not just send the console in for repairs, the warranty does not last as long for dvd drive failure, which is a real turn off to many gamers.

However, even with this in mind, the Xbox Live On Demand service does not come to much of a rescue for the

Xbox Live Games On Demand Service
Games On Demand

“wounded” gamer. The service is lacking greatly in support by the major developers in the industry. There are about four good, or at least recent, video games available on the roster and that is far from enough.  The major titles such as Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3, Tekken 6 or even Gears of War 2 are all missing from the library of games available on this Xbox Live service.

This is a really disappointing fact, because I would completely make an entrance into the digital gaming era if it were not for that fact. The pro’s of digital distribution far out weigh the cons, at least when associated with the Xbox 360. Maybe I am biased, but my first current generation console was the Xbox 360, and many believe that it is very poorly made. My Xbox 360 is turning two years old and the dvd drive is severely damaged, although I literally do not move it what so ever. It is in a well cooled environment and it is not even that dusty.  I could care less about the dvd drive functionality if it were not for the fact that the Xbox Live On Demand service was so under supported.

If I have one request to make to the Video Game Industry, it would be to begin taking more interest in the digital distribution market, and begin releasing games on that service within a months of a video games release. It would make many happy.

Monster Hunter Tri North American Release Date announced, Free Online Play

Monster Hunter Tri by Capcom
Monster Hunter Tri

Nintendo and Capcom revealed new information about the Monster Hunter Tri North American edition, detailing its release date, providing exclusive demos and preorder incentives and making the online multiplayer free.

At the summit in San Francisco, Nintendo announced that Monster Hunter Tri will be released on April 20th of this year, and also that there will be no subscription fee required for online play in the North American version of the video game unlike the Japanese counterpart, which was a greatly contested announcement in Japan. Monster Hunter Tri will come with Wii Speak enabled on the online play for free, with purchasable items available in the Nintendo Store.

Capcom also announces that there will be a GameStop exclusive demo of the game to be made available on March 8th. Those who preorder their copy of Monster Hunter Tri, they will get a 500 Monster Hunter Tri Points Card, which you can use to purchase items in the Nintendo Wii or DSi shopping channels.

Monster Hunter Tri will either be available via a bundle with the new Nintendo Classic COntroller Pro for $59.99 or simply with the game alone for $10 less. This is a good deal, because the Classic Controller Pro costs about $20 on its own, so the bundle would save you $10 easily.

This is good news for those of you who are awaiting some of the epic monster killing action to be had in Monster Hunter Tri, be sure to preorder your copy soon.

BioShock 2 Special Edition, Secret Messages on Posters

BioShock 2 Secret Message
BioShock 2 Secret Message

On the 2K forums, a poster who was messing around with a blacklight managed to find secret messages on his BioShock 2 posters that came with his special edition.

JRoch on the 2k forums said that he left his three Bioshock 2 posters on his wall, and while messing around with his friends and an old blacklight, he discovered secret messages on his poster. These are just like the ones you will see while playing the video game itself. It took quite some time to figure out this little easter egg and the millions of people who own and/or are interested in this video game had not the slightest clue, whether they owned it or not.

As proof of this claim of a secret message, another 2K forum poster posted images and a video which displayed the blacklighted text. To which 2K Elizabeth simply said “Well, would you look at that.”

This was a very well-played move by the BioShock 2 developers, a move that many of the fans are still excited and shocked at. The secret messages found on the special edition of this game had many fans claiming that their standards have been raised for other special edition games they may purchase in the future, and stating that 2k has pushed the bar once again.

Will Project Natal Ultimately Fail?

Project Natal
Project Natal

Project Natal is Microsoft’s attempt to enter the realm of motion control technology, but will it fare well on the Xbox 360 against the mounting competition?

Take a look at why the Wii Motion Controller is working so well. It is fairly simple actually. The Wii Motion Controller was released as the first of its kind, so to speak, in the current generation of video game consoles. It had no competition at the start and took the video game industry by storm, selling more consoles than any other currently has. Project Natal, however, is entering at a later time alongside the PlayStation 3 motion controller that is coming out, which will certainly give it a run for its money. But besides the problem of competition there is a flaw within the premise of Project Natal itself.

Think about why the Wii Motion Controller has been so successful. Yes, because it is one of the first successful displays of motion control technology on a video game home console, but also because it has two physical peripherals required to control yourself. The feeling of something physical, something that gives you the ability to perform your on-screen actions is more important than what you might think.

Project Natal is a much more complex, arguably, motion control premise. It is a hands-free control scheme that just requires you to make movements in front of a sensor in order for it to be replicated on-screen. Does that sound familiar? Yes, the PlayStation 3 has had its eye toy out for some time now, that performed the exact same thing for months. To be honest, it did not gain much exposure either. Although Project Natal may be more complex than the Ps3 Eye Toy, it does not warrant more exposure to be gained or even more support.

Having a physical controller that allows you to make use of the motion control technology is deemed necessary for the fact that it is more convenient when playing a hardcore or intense game. You can use the controller to mimic a gun, a sword or any object that you may interact with in the game. It is a device that allows you to let your, and the developers, imagination run wild as you enter the digital world and act as if you are really there. Take a look at some of the Wii peripherals or even some of the PlayStation 3 motion controller demos that simulate archery or sword fighting; it can be really amazing. But with Project Natal, you have a hands free interface that seems geared solely to family and party games. Intense games can not be mimicked by such an interface, successfully at all, which takes out many of the video gamers who own an Xbox 360.

So why will Project Natal fail? Project Natal has done the costly job of alienating part of their fan base by coming out with an interface, a technology, that can not effectively perform well in the intense or hardcore gaming niches. As of now, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 motion controllers will most likely see more support from developers as it can get the job done much better than Project Natal will be able to. So for those of you with high hopes for Project Natal, keep hoping, because it seems that Microsoft has done a great hit and miss here.

God Eater Announced For North America

God Eater
God Eater

God Eater, a Monster Hunter-esque Namco Bandai action adventure game for the PSP, is making its way to North America. The company behind this arrival will be D3Publisher, which those of you huge gun/sword tooting fans may want to thank.

God Eater promises to hone more than 100 missions for owners of the game,with cooperative play available, whether it be by AI-controlled teammates or by local adhoc wireless multiplayer. The North American version of God Eater will have support for the PlayStation 3 adhocParty service, which will help you find other players who are too far to play with locally.

This video game is doing extremely well in Japan, currently holding the title as a bestseller, with over 1.5 million demos downloaded. It has sold over 295,000 titles, quenching the thirst of those Monster Hunter loving PlayStation Portable owners in Japan. This game has more of a stylish appeal to it, coming across as having a heavier anime influence on the art direction. However, besides that, it looks and plays much like the game it is obviously inspired by.  D3Publisher has God Eater slated for release in Q3 2010.