Healthy Holiday Gifts

New Platinum Hits games coming in March

The Gamerscore Blog guys are confirming a few games that will be headed to the Xbox 360 Platinum Hits lineup on March 16th in North America. If you didn't know, the Platinum Hits program is a list of games that have been singled out to retail for $29.99, because they "supposedly" achieved greatness during their lifetime. We may not always agree with certain games that come to the Platinum Hits, but nobody can disagree with the cheaper pricetag. Below is a list of games that will become Platinum Hits in North America.

  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
  • Burnout Revenge
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Dead or Alive 4
  • Fight Night Round 3
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
  • Top Spin 2
  • Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis

Black Friday deals on 360 games

It's that time of the year when consumers wait outside stores for hours on end to get the best holiday deals. Black Friday is the unofficial start of the holiday season, presents are purchased, kids begin to beg Santa for gifts, and a huge amount of money is spent. And what would Black Friday be without leaked ad scans weeks in advance? Word on the street is that Best Buy will be having a sweet $18.99 sale on a few Xbox 360 games including R* Games Presents: Table Tennis, Condemned, Amped 3, and NBA Live 06. So, if you feel like participating in the Black Friday ritual, make the holy trek to Best Buy and pick up a few games ... just be sure to bring a roll of Tums, because we all know the day after Thanksgiving wreaks havoc on the belly.

Sunday at X360F: My fanboy cred


So, I was chatting with my new taskmaster and fellow Uno addict, Chris Grant, on Friday. I was informing him that I had experienced a power outage that zapped one of my posts. The outage effectively obliterated the first rendition of this post, if you must know. That's really a shame, as the first draft exuded a perfection that cannot be retold. Had you seen it, there's a good chance you would never have known sadness again.

Anywho, in response to my story, Chris -- bastion of wisdom that he is -- told me I should get a UPS for my computer (no, not PSU, a power supply, silly). This would protect both my valuable computer and my posts. Now, it just so happens that I do own a UPS. It's just not connected to my computer. Read on to sneak a peek at my inner fanboy.

Continue reading Sunday at X360F: My fanboy cred

GTA IV dumps renderware, picks up RAGE

Rumor has it that Grand Theft Auto IV (or GTA4 as the kids call it) will be using Rockstar's RAGE engine (that's Rockstar Advanced Game Engine). Many of you are already familiar with the RAGE engine if you own a copy of Table Tennis. The previous engine, Renderware, is seriously showing its age, and I doubt many will lament its loss. And it doesn't hurt that Table Tennis already looks mighty fine.

Is there any chance we might see Tommy Vercetti both pinging and ponging?

Rockstar's Table Tennis trailer in HD


We know Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis is no joke. Apparently there's a pretty good game to be had once you get over the whole ping pong thing. Check out the HD trailer Rockstar is hosting on their site if your computer can handle it.

Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis HD trailer [.wmv]

Rockstar's Table Tennis website now online

The website for Rockstar's entry into the table tennis genre is now live and offers a myriad of goods to check out. You can view players, screenshots, and even the official trailer which features stunning footage. It still lacks some information, but assures us that it is "Coming Soon." Table Tennis is slated to hit the scene May 23.

Ping pong hasn't been this interesting since 1972.

Joystiq says Grand Theft Ping Pong is no joke

Don't miss Joystiq's hands-on preview of Rockstar Presents Table Tennis:

If you're a ping pong addict, this is another opportunity for you to deepen your involvement with a hobby you already love. This game will satisfy you because -- at least to this ping pong amateur and the two legit ping pong players I brought along with me -- it feels authentic.

...About four hours after the event started, the three folks I had dragged along with me were still eager to continue to play, and none of them consider themselves gamers; none of them own an Xbox 360 or any prior-generation console. If this admittedly small sample size has any predictive power, Rockstar's got a hit on their hands.

Vlad's sentiments seem to echo the IGN hands-on we saw last week. This game already looks like a Gump-like smash with ping pong addicts, however many exist, and apathetic wives. Now what about the hardcore gamers who haven't played an "authentic" game of table tennis since 1993 and can barely feel their own pulse if a game doesn't involve sex or violence?

Has Rockstar gone soft?

Those who waited with baited breath only to learn that the new 360-exclusive game from industry badboy Rockstar is based on Forrest Gump's favorite sport reacted with mixture of why and wtf? The basic gameplay action of table tennis (or Ping Pang Qiu as it's known in China) has a long and storied history in the video game world. Nevertheless, I get the feeling that gamers expected more grit from the creative minds that made running over hookers a national pastime.

Rockstar has taken enormous heat the past few years, as evidenced by this recent petition signed by Wailing Mothers Against Playground Cruelty. One has to wonder if  the accumulated bad press, not to mention the disaster brewed by a certain incident involving overly-warm Folgers, played a role in the company's sudden enthusiasm for competitive table tennis. Maybe Rockstar is eager  to prove that they don't need mature content to capture our imagination. Or maybe they're just relieved that Hillary Clinton can't make Pong 360 an election year issue.

Far too many of us have praised the joys of classic arcade gameplay (and complained about the idiocy of  edgy-for-edgy's-sake fare like True Crime: NYC) to prematurely bitch about a game that could turn out to be the King of Ping. That said,  I would hate to see Rockstar trade in its bloody chainsaw for a pong paddle just to appease a few grandstanding pols and clueless parents. Somebody has to carry the torch for embedded sex and violence.

You can't help but think that Rockstar is a little less Billy Idol these days and a little more Drew Lachey.                                                                                                                                                      

Rockstar presents Grand Theft... Ping Pong?


It's been revealed unto us: the "unexpected" new 360 game that IGN promised to unveil is none other than... Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis! Yup. The bad boys behind Grand Theft Auto are intent on delivering a game experience that puts you inside the seedy, gritty world of underground table tennis... actually, it's not like that at all. Rockstar's Sam Houser says:

"We wanted to create a sports game with the intensity of a fighting game and the sense of speed and control that would make playing it a more intense and more visceral experience than has previously been possible with sports games. It's not just about looking better, feeling better or animating better but about using the power of the hardware to make a game that engages with you on a different physical and emotional level."

We knew they were working on a new franchise for the Xbox 360, but this isn't quite what we expected from them. Wait--franchise? There're going to be more than one. I can see it now: Table Tennis 2K7. The first version of Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis is due in May for a refreshing $39.99.

[Thanks, Matt]

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