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Left 4 Dead Downloadable Content to be FREE

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The recently announced Left 4 Dead Downloadable Content (L4D DLC) will be delivered to Xbox 360 and PC gamers free of charge.

Due for release this spring, the DLC for 2008’s best-selling new game property on the PC and Xbox 360, is dubbed the L4D Survival Pack and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode (Death Toll, Dead Air). A Critic’s Choice Edition of the game will be heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.

Left 4 Dead is a survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games. Released in November of 2008, L4D has earned over 25 industry awards from outlets around the world.

For more information, please visit www.l4d.com.

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The Check In – No More Heroes a Wii Gem?

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I know I’m a little behind with the times here, but I finally got to purchasing a copy of Suda51’s “No More Heroes” for the Wii (which came out a little over a year ago). I haven’t played through much of the game, but I am really enjoying No More Heroes‘ (NMH) style and gameplay elements. The game might not look as good as a “Ninja Gaiden” or “Devil May Cry” title, but the art style is what makes NMH unique.

I’ve owned a Wii since launch, and I haven’t been really excited about that many titles on the console. Sure a gem creeps up once and awhile and surprises us, but for the most part Wii games are extremely bland and don’t offer anything for hardcore gamers such as myself.

I am always happy when I am able to find a game like NMH for the Wii. It makes me realize that with a little effort, developers can actually make interesting titles for Nintendo’s latest console. If you own a Wii and find the whole gaming experience pretty lackluster thus far, do yourself a favor and pickup No More Heroes. It might make you start believing that the console might one day be for hardcore gamers.

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A Look at Star Ocean: First Departure for the PSP

Star Ocean: First Departure

It’s hard these days to be a PlayStation Portable (PSP) owner. Even if the handheld is selling like hot cakes around the globe, it seems like no publisher or developer wants to commit to releasing titles for the unit. Thankfully, PSP enthusiasts have been receiving their fair share of gaming goodness from Japanese publisher/developer Square Enix. Their latest PSP exclusive is a remake of the popular Tri-Ace developed Super Famicom (the Japanese version of the SNES) role-playing game (RPG) “Star Ocean: Fantastic Space Odyssey“, which never made its way officially to North America (or Europe for that matter).

But is the newly dubbed “Star Ocean: First Departure” worth experiencing?

In Star Ocean: First Departure you play as Roddick Farrence, who, along with friends Millie Chliette and Dorne Murtough, are members of Kratus’ (a small town on the planet Roak) defense force. Our heroes end up in the town of Coule where they discover that its townsfolk are mysteriously turning into stone. As the intro story progresses, Farrence, Murtough and Chliette meet members of the Terran Alliance reconnaissance team who were dispatched to the planet to investigate its stone turning viral outbreak.

The game’s updated visuals are based on an isometrical graphics engine that uses 2D character sprites displayed on pre-rendered backdrops. The graphic engine is reminiscent of the one used in the 1999 PSone sequel “Star Ocean: The Second Story” (which will be released on the PSP in early 2009). What you get is a game with stellar visuals that still manages to convey a sense of old-school 16-bit gaming nostalgia. To add to its visual beauty, First Departure has also been juiced up with fully voiced animated anime styled cut-scenes designed by the world renowned animators at Production I.G.

The revamped Star Ocean also features an improved action-oriented real-time battle system. When a battle ensues, you get to freely control your characters’ actions (you can switch controlled characters by pressing the circle button), while your team mates automatically duke it out in accordance to your strategic commands. Your attacks are controlled using the PSP’s X button, while the special arts and spells can be attributed to the L or R shoulder buttons. A break in action is initiated with a quick tap of the triangle button which brings up the command circle. The command circle enables you to use items, cast spells, assign tactics or flee the oncoming melee. With all this said and done, the combat system is pretty simplistic and won’t take long to master.

Star Ocean: First Departure also boasts an item creation system as well as an extensive skill system that can be used to bolster your party’s attributes. For example, certain skill sets will enable you to customize or create new items based on materials you’ve amassed in your inventory. These items can then be distributed among party members.

Star Ocean: First Departure is perhaps one of the best old-school traditional sci-fi/fantasy RPGs to grace the PSP. Its $39.99USD suggested retail price is also a bargain for gamers (or parents) living on a tight budget. Overall this is an excellent retooling of the original Star Ocean that will keep RPG fans entertained until the series makes its current generation debut with next year’s Xbox 360 exclusive “Star Ocean: The Last Hope“.

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PSP-3000 Coming This Week

The third version of the PlayStation Portable (PSP) is due to start hitting store shelves today and should be in all major gaming retailers by the end of the week. The PSP-3000 sports an enhanced screen and comes with a built in microphone. The new version of the handheld will first be released as a $199 bundle that includes the system, a copy of “Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters”, a UMD of the movie “National Treasure 2”, a digital download from the PSN store (Echochrome) and a 1GB memory stick duo card.

In other news, Sony unveiled that version 5.0 of the upcoming PSP firmware will include access to the PlayStation Store directly through the PSP.

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New Xbox Experience Coming Nov. 19

Microsoft revealed yesterday that their new dashboard, awkardly named the New Xbox Experience, will be pushed out to users on Nov. 19. The dashboard will add a new navigation scheme similar to Apple’s Coverflow combined with Sony Cross Media Bar (PSP and PS3 XMB) and will incorporate avatars that are reminicent of Nintendo’s Miis. The update will be manditory and will replace the console’s current blade system.

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Previous News

Peggle on iPhone OS Available for $0.99

The iPhone OS version PopCap Games‘ highly addictive “Peggle” is available for $0.99 through the iTunes App Store. The catch is that you have until midnight on June 14 to make the purchase. Be warned though, you might have a hard time doing anything else but play Peggle on your iPhone/iPod Touch.

All Your Entertainment in One… Xbox

On June 1, 2009, Microsoft announced several entertainment focused add-ons to its Xbox Live Service during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California. Following the keynote, one thing seemed clear, the Redmond Software giant is poised to push its Xbox 360 platform as the media-centric device for your living room. “Our goal has been […]

Zune Marketplace Post on Decabled.com

Visit Decabled.com to view a post of mine that was published pertaining to the recent Xbox Live Entertainment announcements. Click here to go directly to the article.

E3 2009

E3 kicks off in a few days. I’m interested in seeing what will be brought to the table. Surely there will be alot to talk about in the next few days.

Fallout 3: The Pitt Now Available

This one’s for those looking for some extra “Fallout 3” playtime. The Xbox only downloadable content, “The Pitt” is available for purchase through the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft points and weighs in at 492MB . Below is a blurb taken from the XBLA Marketplace: “Pittsburgh was once the industrial center of the pre-war […]

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