Saturday, February 17, 2007

Could it get any slower?!?

The post-Christmas gaming drought is killing me! I hate this time of year! Since the holidays, only one decent game has come out (Lost Planet) and after a few levels its gone stale. Oh its pretty enough, but the levels are just too long. I've beaten Call of Duty 3, Gears has lost its luster and Winning Eleven Soccer 2007 has been a big disappointment (look for a review soon). Crackdown better bring some relief, otherwise I'm going into my GTA cave until June.
Since the gaming front is as cold as Britney Spears career, gaming news is pretty hard to come by as well, hence the lack of Mole posts. Here's the best I could dig up from the last two weeks.
Halo 3 Beta FAQ - I nabbed this directly from
Q: Is Halo 3 beta registration closed?
A: Yes, phases one and two of the beta have already ended. If you haven’t received an email by this point, then you were not one of the lucky few.
Q: Is there no other way?!
A: If you didn’t get in to either phase, then you can still get in by buying Crackdown , releasing in the US, on February 20th . Inside every launch copy of Crackdown is an invite to the Halo 3 beta.
Q: How will the Crackdown invite work?
A: Once the Halo 3 beta has been activated (start date is still TBD) you simply go to the Downloads menu in Crackdown to download the Halo 3 beta. After that, you will need to launch the Halo 3 beta from within Crackdown. You will need an Xbox 360 with a hard drive and an Xbox Live Gold account.
Q: I’m an experienced beta tester with a PhD in Astrophysics and a minor in messaging Bungie to whine about the beta. Why wasn’t I invited?
A: Microsoft did not choose beta testers based on merit, that would take far more manpower than is realistically possible. Phases one and two were both essentially lotteries or contests. Bungie was not actually responsible for those contests, but rather your local Microsoft Games Studios division. Messaging Frankie, Sketch, KP or any other Bungie employees is futile.
Q: When does the beta start?
A: The beta will not start when Crackdown is released. The beta will go live when it’s ready, which should be sometime this Spring. The team is currently busy whipping the included content into shape. Our goal is to deliver a fun, solid game experience though it will still very much be a “beta.”
Q: How long will the beta last?
A: The beta will only be playable for a limited time. Exact timing is still TBD.
Q: Are there multiple phases to the beta?
A: Not really. The term "phase" applied to the beta registration process. Participants from phases one and two as well as those using Crackdown will be able to get their copy of the beta at the same time. The participants from the Friends and Family program may be able to start playing shortly before the others, however.
Q: What can you tell me about the Bungie Friends and Family program?
A: Not much, at the moment. As we've said, it's just a method for Bungie to get some of its closest community friends into the beta. As we mentioned above, this program will start at a period shortly before the others, the extent of which is yet to be determined.
Q: How many players are going to be in the beta?
A: A lot, many thousands. Let's just say, you won't have trouble finding a match.
Q: How many maps, gametypes, playlists, etc. are we going to see in the beta?
A: Just enough to get the testing data we need while providing a fun game experience yet still leave everyone wanting more. The exact scope is still being finalized.
Q: Will the party system be implemented in the beta?
A: Yes, you will be able to find your friends, join their party and enter matchmaking with them, in playlists which support parties.
Q: Will we be seeing anything that we have not yet seen from the Alpha screenshots (and leaks) in the beta?
A: There are bound to be a few surprises in store for fans. And seeing a fuzzy cell phone video of the alpha doesn’t even begin to come close to actually playing yourself on an HD television with maps that are several months further along in development.
Q: Will we see the function of the mysterious X button?
A: Yes. Whether or not it’ll still be mapped to X is subject to change. And honestly, it won't be all that surprising. Just cool.
Q: Please tell me I get to blow stuff up with the laser.
A:You get to blow stuff up with the laser. Try lining stuff up and then firing through it all. Preferably without teammates in or around said stuff.

Q: Will we all have to sign NDAs and never speak of the beta? Will you try to contain screenshots and movies coming out of the beta?
A: Nope. In a perfect world, maybe, but it's hard enough when the participants are just a few thousand MS employees, let alone thousands and thousands of Halo fans. We don't expect anything in the beta to remain a secret. The beta will be covered by a normal user agreement, with lots of caveats about the fact that it's not finished, only lasts for a short time and so on.
Q: What kind of data and feedback is Bungie looking to glean from the beta?
A: We’re looking for a lot of things. Mainly the kinds of things that you cannot otherwise accomplish without the mass of people we'll have, such as stress-testing all of the backend stuff and networking. We’ll be keeping an eye on our forums for general feedback, but the primary goal is to gain valuable technical information that’s only possible when we have tens of thousands of simultaneous players across the world.
Forza Motorsports 2's car list - The game will have over 300 models, here are the first 50 that I know of. The game comes out in May.
2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, 1994 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, 1999 Ferrari 360 Modena, 2002 Ferrari 575M Maranello, 1991 Ferrari 512 TR, 1998 Ferrari F355 Challenge, 1984 Ferrari GTO, 2004 Ferrari F430, 2003 Ferrari Challenge Stradale, 1987 Ferrari F40, 1995 Ferrari F50, 2002 Ferrari Enzo Ferrari, 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT, 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo, 1988 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV, 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV, 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago, 1999 Lamborghini Diablo GTR, 2006 Maserati GranSport, 2004 Maserati MC12, 2003 Porsche Boxster S, 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo, 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3, 2006 Porsche Cayman S, 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 (996), 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo (997), 1987 Porsche 959, 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 (997), 1995 Porsche 911 GT2, 2003 Porsche Carrera GT, 1970 Porsche 914/6, 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
Rainbox Six Downloadable content - I just picked this game up last week (stupid Ubisoft refuses to send me free games, jerks!) and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Yeah, I'm late in warming up to a game that came out in November but at least I'm getting into it now. Downloadable content will be coming out at the end of March (waaay to long after its been launched in my opinion) for a yet to be determined price. Check out what you get below.
Three Brand-New MP Adversarial Maps:
• Doscala Restaurant – A well-known Italian restaurant that is located in the heart of Las Vegas near Fremont Street.
• Marshalling Yard – A service yard situated in the center of an industrial district.
• Roof - A coffee factory has been overrun in the continuing gang violence that is wreaking havoc in this Mexican border town.
Two Revisited And Relit MP Adversarial Maps:
• Border Town – Redux
• Killhouse - Redux
Two New Modes:
• Assassination mode - The goal of the Attackers is to eliminate a high-value asset of the Defenders, who in turn will try to defend and escort the VIP to his extraction zone.
• Total Conquest - This is a team-oriented, static control-point game mode where each map contains three Mobile Radar Installations (control points). To win, a team must activate and maintain control of at least one of the three Mobile Radar Installations for a given period of time.
Xbox Live Rewards Program - If you're as addicted to Achievement Points as I am I have good news for you. Microsoft is now going to give you prizes for being a point pig, at least for a little while. From Feb. 12 to April 12 MS is kicking off the Old Spice Challenge where gamers with earning 1,500 points in a 60-day period. Why is it sponsored by Old Spice? Because you'll need plenty of deodorant after sitting on your ass for 60 days trying to eek out 1,500 achievement points.
Depending on how many points you have when you start, you are eligible for a variety of prizes.
Level 1: 0 — 4,999 : Gamer Picture, Contra (Xbox Live Arcade), level bump to next level
Level 2: 5,000 — 9,999 : Level 1 package, 100 Microsoft Points, T-shirt, level bump to next level
Level 3: 10,000+ : Level 1 package, 200 Microsoft Points, T-Shirt and Fuzion Frenzy for Xbox 360.
Of course there is a catch. This promotion is only available for Xbox Live Gold members 13 years and older and most prizes are only available for the first 70,000 to get to 1,500 points. You'll still probably get a theme and gamer pic but thats about it. It may suck that everyone won't get anything but who cares? Its a brilliant idea. Getting prizes for being the point pig that I am? That's like getting paid to write about video games. If you haven't signed up yet go to to register and get your game on quick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog and thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts here. I am putting together a collection of photos and information on Porsche cars and so far I managed to cover some of the models, and you will find some cool Porsche 911 wallpapers, Porsche Boxster pictures and high resolution Porsche Cayenne photos. I hope you’ll find the website to be interesting, in case you want to pay it a visit.
Enjoy your day!

Michael R.