Gears of War – Working Together

I know, I know – I decided on Splinter Cell:Double Agent over Gears of War and other games. But this past week I rented and as my XBox 360’s Blog points out I’ve been playing Gears of War with my sons and online friends, and I’m impressed. Graphics, story, music and sounds, and especially the cooperative play.

As fun as multiplayer-battle games are, I have the most fun with games where players are working together toward an objective, and Gears of War‘s co-op shines. Not only can a player join another’s campaign at just about any point without interrupting the story-line, but you’re encouraged and rewarded for doing so. Both players get credit for having completed a section, the second player can earn additional achievements for helping, and both players get credit when one picks up a “COG Tag.” There are sections where cover-fire is just about required to be completed, and as in a real battle whenever one player’s character is injured, the other needs to come back to them and revive them.

In Gears of War, more than any other game I’ve played, co-op really means working together rather than just playing at the same time.

Gaming Decision Made

I made my decision. Between Splinter Cell:Double Agent, Rainbow 6 Vegas, and Gears of War I was torn, but then I picked up Splinter Cell: Double Agent for my son and had a few days to play it before he came home from college that weekend. When he got home I told him he had to buy a copy for himself- I was keeping the copy I’d bought.

Sam FisherI’m really enjoying Double Agent. The solo missions are tough — downright hard — and very good. And I really like the co-op missions (which you get to play in the demo). These are three-person teams playing against AI players; either you’re a set of spies or the folks chosen to defend against spies. Get a couple of friends together and play through the missions as spy first, to learn your way around the various buildings.

There are a whole lot of people diving into Gears of War and Call of Duty 3 today, and that’s cool – there are plenty of games to go around. For now though, I’m happy adding another Splinter Cell to my library.

XBox Live is dead, Long Live XBox Live

Actualmente Xbox.com está en proceso de actualización.

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Estaremos de regreso próximamente con toda la información que necesitas sobre Xbox, Xbox 360, y tus juegos favoritos.

No, no, no… definately not dead, just resting and recharging for bigger and better community gaming action starting soon.

Today’s The Day

If you have an Xbox 360 but aren’t yet signed up with Xbox LIVE, today’s the day (yes, Rob, this means you). Today’s the day to get your butt back home, plug that network cable in and get signed up. At least get signed up with a Silver membership. tiny screencap of Texas Hold 'Em game

Why today? Easy – to get a free game. Free’s good, right? And hey, free’s even better when it’s a game you can play with your friends. Starting this morning, for 48 hours only (and some of those hours are gone already, so you better get yourself movin’), Texas Hold ’em is free to download. So what are you waiting for? Sign up, visit the marketplace and get yer’ poker game, and let me know when you’re ready to loose some chips.

C’mon man, let’s play!

Crystal Quest

Oh my goodness – as if you didn’t need one, here’s the reason to be looking for an Xbox 360. Major Nelson just broke the news of an upcoming game to be added to the Xbox Live Arcade… none other than Crystal Quest!

Screenshot of Crystal Quest on a color Mac

For those who might not remember, or who weren’t fortunate enough to have stumbled across it way back when, Crystal Quest was a really fun game that I played on a Maicntosh SE and the original Color Mac back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It’s an excellent arcade game, very addictive. Every now & then since then I’ve thought of it – I can still hear some of the sounds from the game in my head – and gone looking to see if anyone’s re-published it. I’m really looking forward to this release.

Rumors of Xbox 360 Shortages

PirateT7I haven’t played much Xbox recently; we’ve been busy and it doesn’t help that the good TV’s out of commission. I’m looking forward to Xbox 360, though we may not get one the first week or two of release – we didn’t pre-order.

There are rumors that even those who did pre-order may not get theirs anyway. This was recently posted on one of the forums, by an assistant manager at an EBGames:

I just learned today that we are only getting TWENTY NINE X-Box 360’s on launch day, so I just wanted to tell you all to goto your local EBGames/Gamestop and ask them if they are going to have enough X-Box’s for everying.

His story is somewhat backed up by this Arstechnica item.

True? Not true? Time will tell. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.


update: I’m told that the number of Xbox 360 units initally shipped to each retailer may be different and may be based on the number of orders and the number of accessories & 360 games pre-ordered. An interesting and confusing policy, the way it was described to me. Folks who pre-ordered need to check and if they didn’t order early may be disappointed on first-release day.