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Peter Jackson talks Kong sequel

In the sixth installment of Yahoo's unfortunately titled Hollywood Byte column, John Gaudiosi talks with Peter Jackson himself about his involvement with video games. He specifically asks him about the possibility of a sequel to King Kong, taking advantage of the alternate ending where Kong makes it back to Skull Island safe and sound. Jackson responded, "I have been in discussions with Michel Ancel and the Montpellier team, but there is nothing to share at this point in time."

The article illustrates just how in touch Jackson is with games; he gets it, thoroughly. Video games have long suffered as promotional filler for their more important cinematic counterparts. Now we have an Academy Award winning director working on a cinematic adaptation of a game! He says:

"I'm excited that with the new hardware and such amazing leaps forward in technology, I may be able to experience games that even I can't imagine... I have such admiration for the video game development process and the talent behind these games, that giving them more tools, better hardware, and more budget will only lead to more fantastic adventures."

See also:
Peter Jackson visits Bungie, talks shop

Kong is loose with the gamerscore points

Washington Post has a good, albeit basic, article up about gamerscore points. They mention the popularity of King Kong in relation to its easy to earn 1000 gamerscore points. In my review of Kong I mention that it has "accrued a reputation for being especially loose with its gamerscore points." Juxtapose that with the Wahington Post writer's experience with another title: "Having finished up playing the slick World War II game Call of Duty 2 on 'normal' difficulty, for example, I unlocked 150 points for my Xbox 360 gamerscore." 150 points!

The real question is, who oversees the allocation of points? Developers could sell a title they know is crappy just by filling it full of easy points. What if 25 to Life came out on 360 chocked full of easy points? There is a real danger of gamerscore inflation where, depending on which games you play, the time and skill spent might not be commensurate with the points rewarded. Hopefully the disparity evens out as more titles are released.

(Image is from Xbox 360 Achievements.)

Kong Demo and other goodies up on XBLM


Every time we hear about something new on the XBLM, it's like a small dose of Christmas. Just a little bit. Mostly when it's free stuff. Today, the Major announced a glut of new Marketplace content, including: a King Kong demo, Fight Night Round 3 picture packs and themes, new sounds and graphic packs for Crystal Quest, and Hexic and Bejeweled 2 theme packs. Wowza!

As usual, the varied bonus packs are gonna cost ya, but the demo's what we're really interested in, right? If you haven't tried Kong yet, you're missing a really polished and elegant game, if a little short. If the easy 1000 gamerscore points hasn't lured you in already, maybe the demo will.

See also:
Joystiq Review: Peter Jackson's King Kong (Xbox 360)

Xbox 360 vs. PC followup: King Kong


Some of you might remember the original 360 vs. PC bout earlier this month. The results were captured with an SLR camera back then, but FiringSquad has done a review of King Kong which includes some better screen captures from a VGA device. While the PC that tested the game before is obviously different, it still speaks volumes about the contrasting elements between the two platforms.

In reference to the aesthetics being used for something other than just looks, they say "King Kong uses the Xbox 360's graphics capabilities to improve the actual gaming experience."

[Thanks, Alan Dang]

Ubisoft: Don't play Kong on the 360

King Kong RAAWR

Don't squint to see King Kong on the 360 -- play it on the Xbox instead. That's the advice from Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot, who has admitted that Ubisoft tested King Kong on HDTV screens but not standard TVs, resulting in a game that's too dark to play on normal television sets. Not being able to see where you're going is a big problem, and Guillemot admits that "When you play on an Xbox or a PlayStation 2, you start to see that it is beautiful."

Ubisoft may be able to fix the problem, but we suspect that maybe turning your TV brightness up would work instead.

What's your gamertag?

360 liveIt's time for the fanboys to unite. As we've been hearing over the past 24 hours, many of our usual online friends were not able to secure Xbox 360s yesterday. So, it's time to make some new friends (besides, the guys over at Joystiq won't accept our friend requests).

Continuing its long history (3 days now) of bringing gamers together, Xbox 360 Fanboy is providing some bandwidth for you to add your Xbox live gamertag, your zone and your list of 360 games to the comments below.

We'll go first:

Gamertag: Master Rogue (yes, it's lame. So, no need to waste valuable gaming time commenting on the obvious).

Zone: Underground

X360 Games: Quake 4, PGR 3, King Kong, Tiger Woods 2006, PDZ, Call of Duty 2, Condemed, Kameo

Fanboy QuickTake: King Kong

WhoaPicking up Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (geez!) wasn't a part of the plan last night. But the allure of taking on a few mighty Tyranosaurs proved to be too much. The second I added the game to my basket, though, I knew that I was going to be experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse in the near future.

But, you know what? It never happened.

In a word, this games is "Whoa!" That's right: Whoa! King Kong is exactly what I expected a next-gen game to look like. It certainly looks better than the recent PC demo did on a high-end machine. The game really is beautiful to behold from the first minute of gameplay. It's a launch title show piece, and I didn't expect it. What a welcome surprise.

Now, the gameplay isn't necessarily next-generation, but it is solid. And fun. I read a review or two of the game prior to launch that labeled King Kong as a survival horror game. It's a perfect description. This is high-gloss survival horror, Peter Jackson style. And with a unique mix of 1st person shooter and 3rd person platformer/fighter, things never get too boring or repetitive.

Pros: Great graphics, nice atmosphere, fun and fresh mix of gameplay elements.

Cons: Probably not a lot of replay value, short, no online multi-player, the longest title in the history of video games.

Verdict: Buy it!

Agree or disagree? Contribute to this QuickTake with your comments and help your fanboy brothers (and sisters) make an informed buying decision.

Xbox 360 FAQ

xbox 360 faqEverything you've ever wanted to know about the Xbox 360. Ever. All in one handy place for your perusal. Found a frequently asked question that you want answered? Add your questions in comments and we'll continually update this list of FAQs.

[Update - part 2 now available, delving into Xbox Live!]

We'll start off with the absolute basics, as inspired by the BBC's Xbox 360 Q&A.

Continue reading Xbox 360 FAQ

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