Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up for February 18th, 2010

I apologize for leaving everyone hanging last week, but the Xbox Wrap-Up is front and center in its punctual regularity this week and, man, do we have a lot of ground to cover today. It’s another exciting week of Xbox LIVE Arcade, Games on Demand, game add-ons, and more, but with the recent X’10 event from Microsoft, we’re going to be able to lay out some groundwork for the Xbox LIVE service all the way through March. To find out how some of the hottest Xbox releases in the next couple of months will affect your Xbox LIVE usage, keep reading as we dive right in to the news:

Xbox LIVE Arcade – The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
This week brings us another standalone addition. However, it brings us one that has been hyped for quite some time. The Odd Gentlemen’s The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom brings stylish 2-D action and platform puzzling to the Xbox LIVE Arcade for the price of 800 Microsoft Points. If you would like to get up to speed on this independent title turned spotlight release, check out Diehard GameFAN’s recent interview with Paul Bellezza of The Odd Gentlemen. In the interview, Mr. Bellezza described the game as such:

“The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is a 2-D side scrolling puzzle platformer starting the nefarious P.B. Winterbottom – pie thief extraordinaire. The game takes place in a macabre silent film inspired universe and involves Winterbottom’s quest to chase the elusive Chronoberry Pie, which has caused P.B. to become unstuck in time. Because of this, Winterbottom receives the ability to record any of his actions and spawn time clones that repeat his previous actions. With the help of these time clones, Winterbottom can stand on his own head to get to higher places, smack himself or his clones with his umbrella, which is a launching mechanism, and can be in multiple places at once. All of these tricks are good for one thing: Nabbing delicious pie.”

I couldn’t have explained it better myself. Of course, we’ll have a review of The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom in due time, but if you can’t wait until then, of course, there is a demo of the game available on the Marketplace.

Speaking of upcoming reviews, we’re also anticipating a review of last week’s addition, Darwinia+ very soon as well, so keep checking back for that, as well as a review of Chime. Because of my absence, I wasn’t able to promote Michael Merhar’s review of Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment, so if you haven’t seen our site’s review of that Xbox LIVE Arcade addition, please give it a read.

Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week – Battlefield 1943 is now 800 Microsoft Points
Battlefield 1943 must not have been content with just being the final Microsoft deal of 2009, as it surfaces once again as this week’s big deal. That’s not a complaint, though, as this title holds top 10 weekly sales status for Xbox LIVE Arcade titles even when it isn’t on sale. There’s definitely a lot of activity online for this Arcade shooter, and a sale just sweetens the deal. If you still can’t decide if $10 is worth the game’s hype, though, you can consult Matt Yeager’s review of Battlefield 1943 right here on Diehard GameFAN.

Game Add-Ons – Resident Evil 5
After almost a year on the market, Resident Evil 5 now has an entirely new chapter entitled Lost in Nightmares that puts players in the roles of Chris and Jill as they storm Spencer’s mansion. In Resident Evil 5, these prior events were only told through cutscenes, but for 400 Microsoft Points, players can experience this plot firsthand. Downloading the expansion also adds Excella Gionne and Barry Burton to play as in The Mercenaries Reunion game mode. Lost in Nightmares comes to the Xbox 360 prior to its retail release, giving players that still own the disc almost a month to snag this before it hits stores.

If you didn’t check out Resident Evil 5 the first time, you can judge for yourself whether or not you’re missing out with Mark B.’s review of Resident Evil 5. If you’re waiting for the release of the Gold Edition, give our screenshot gallery for the expansion a look over.

Game Demos – Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
SEGA’s upcoming mascot kart racer now has a demo online for those eyeing yet another Sonic outing. I’ve just been too busy catching up on other games to give the demo a test drive of my own, however, if you’re the slightest bit curious about how Sonic Drift will translate into a 2010 game, you can get a free taste before the game release to stores next week. If you want to rev up some media, head over to our Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing screenshot gallery.

Games on Demand – Resident Evil 5, Beautiful Katamari
This week brings two more full retail titles to the downloadable service. Resident Evil 5 was added at the price of $29.99, giving players that don’t want to brave outside stores a chance to also pick up this week’s game expansion. Also, the classic Beautiful Katamari finally hits the North American service at $19.99.

If you’re all about knowing what’s going on in regard to the Japanese Games on Demand service, last week, Shooting Love 200X hit the service … come on, Microsoft, let us download some of this stuff, already. Moving on to this week, though, Viva Pinata: Party Animals has launched on the Games on Demand section.

Avatar Marketplace – Resident Evil 5
Oh, hello, Resident Evil 5. Long time, no see. This week, it seems the game has completely taken over the Xbox LIVE service as RE5 avatar items are now included in the marketplace.

Music Marketplace
With many music game titles receiving expansion content on a weekly basis, it may start to become hard to follow, especially with these updates usually covering up the entire line of recent updates on the Xbox dashboard. This week, new updates unfold for our usual lineup of titles:

Rock Band
Otis Redding – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”
Otis Redding – “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”
Otis Redding – “I’m Sick Y’all”
Otis Redding – “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember”
Otis Redding – “Love Man”
All Time Low – “Weightless”
Alphabeat -“Fascination”
Brian Setzer – “Stray Cat Strut”
The Chemical Brothers – “Let Forever Be”

Guitar Hero (Feb. 18)
Black Sabbath Track Pack
“After Forever”
“Into the Void”

Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy”
J. Geils Band – “Love Stinks”
The Association – “Cherish”

Xbox LIVE Coming to Windows Phone 7 Series
Major Nelson has reported Xbox LIVE will be seeing some of its features being ported to the Windows 7 series of mobile phones. What this means for users with the technology is being able to view leaderboards, see avatars, receive spotlight feeds, add LIVE friends and more. More importantly, features such as collecting achievements and turn-based multiplayer gaming have been announced for the format. Now players won’t have to worry about these items while they are on the go and Xbox LIVE will receive a little bit of portability. We’ll be sure to update everyone as more information becomes available in regard to the service.

X’10 Event Report for Xbox LIVE
Microsoft recently held its X’10 press event and here are some tidbits that will dictate what we will be seeing on the service in the next few months:

As long as you held onto your Halo 3 ODST disc, Xbox LIVE Gold users will have access to the Halo Reach beta beginning on May 3.

Dead Rising 2 will feature a playable demo that will only be making its way to Xbox LIVE. This demo, entitled CASE ZERO, bridges the story between the original title and the sequel and will give players a taste of the new mechanics introduced in Dead Rising 2.

A couple of new product incentives were announced at the event: gamers that pre-order Alan Wake, which releases on May 18, will receive exclusive avatar gear and a dashboard theme. Of course, an Xbox 360 model fashioned after Final Fantasy XIII will see the return of the 250 GB hard drive so you can store more Xbox LIVE content on it, along with downloadable avatar items.

Finally, March is being designated as Xbox LIVE Arcade Block and will see the debuts of Toy Soldiers, Scrap Metal, Perfect Dark (yes, a re-release of the Nintendo 64 original) and the launch of the Game Room.

I’m afraid that does it for this week, but I’ll leave you to process all of this information. Next week, I’ll be back to go over the ins and outs of Xbox LIVE once again.



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