Top 10 Games

1 Castle of the Winds: A Question of Vengeance
2 Subspace - Continuum
3 Warzone 2100
4 One Must Fall 2097
5 Wild Metal Country
6 Hidden And Dangerous
7 Descent
8 The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control 2)
9 Anacreon
10 Wings

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Families, Here Comes Your Xbox 360 (NewsFactor) October 23 @ 8 PM

NewsFactor - As the holiday season approaches, imagine the whole family gathered around an Xbox 360. That picture of domestic gaming bliss is undoubtedly in Microsoft's mind, with its release Monday of the Xbox 360 Arcade for families.

E For All Attendance Lackluster October 22 @ 9 PM

Despite the upbeat tone of IDG's official release about the first 'E for All', commentators are noting that the reported figure of 18,000 attendees is lower than expected. Wired is blunt about it: E For All has nothing on PAX. "Penny Arcade Expo was everything E For All dreams of being: a well-attended show packed wall-to-wall with crazy game fans. But it's also inexpensive: three days and two nights of musical performances for way, way less money than an E For All ticket, let alone the additional cost of Video Games Live. And it's got a whole mess of community events, like panels, gaming rooms, and other opportunities that make E For All's extracurriculars look slim. The show floor is just one part of PAX, but it's practically all of E For All."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Making of The Longest Journey October 19 @ 11 PM

Rock, Paper, Shotgun is hosting an interview/retrospective with Ragnar Tørnquist talking about the classic point-and-click adventure game The Longest Journey. The piece starts off with a surprise: the game was originally intended to be a platformer. "I wanted to tell a story, a specific story - and that's why we ended up making an adventure rather than an RPG or an action game ... We were all fans of the classic adventures from LucasArts and Sierra, and I'd made a bunch of text adventures on the Commodore 64 back in the day, so the genre was a natural match. But in the end it was all about the story, and finding the gameplay mechanics to suit that."

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The '360 Arcade' Made Official October 19 @ 12 AM

The Financial Times (via Gamespot) is reporting that (after having already been in stores for about a week), the Xbox 360 Arcade sku is now official. "The $279 Arcade will include a wireless controller and casual games including Pac-Man [Championship Edition], Uno and Luxor 2. Its launch has been widely rumoured but Mr Bach's comments were the first official confirmation. While Microsoft may hope to steal sales from the Wii with the Arcade, its Premium $349 Xbox 360 faces pressure from the $399 PS3, which has a bigger, 40-gigabyte hard drive, built-in wi-fi and a Blu-ray drive."

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Microsoft Announces New 360 Bundle Packs October 9 @ 2 AM

Starting at the end of this month, you'll be able to get a little more for your dollar when buying a new Xbox 360. Gamasutra is reporting that Micrsoft has unveiled bundle pack versions of the Elite and standard consoles. The $449.99 Xbox 360 Elite and the standard $349.99 Xbox will now both come with packed-in game titles: Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. "Microsoft says both bundles will be available by the end of October and throughout the holidays. The retail packaging bears the company's new model-specific slogans, with the Elite tagged 'Go Big', and the standard 'Go Pro'. On October 3rd, various now-deleted online retail listings showed the existence of a third pack, the $279.99 'Arcade' bundle, which bore all similar markings as the new models, and was tagged 'Go Play' ... As yet, Microsoft has not officially announced the bundle, but all signs point to its imminent arrival."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Leaks Reveal New Xbox 360 Package October 3 @ 10 PM

Gamasutra reports on hints from around the internet adding up to a new sku for the Xbox 360. The new box, the 'Xbox 360 Arcade' pack, is essentially a core pack with an emphasis on Xbox Live Arcade titles, for a low price. "Now, a new listing on Amazon, and a separate page at on Toys "R" Us' retail site that has been consequently removed, indicate an October 25th release date and $279.99 price point. The package shot shown at Toys "R" Us prominently features the five-game Xbox Live Arcade pack-in, with icons for Pac-Man and UNO lending more credence to the Ars Technica rumors. Microsoft has yet to confirm any details of the new model, nor has the company officially declared that the Core model - which originally was marketed with no hard drive, external storage, or HDMI output at the same $279.99 price - has been discontinued."

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A Retrospective on Planescape Torment September 27 @ 10 AM

Despite the cult status of Planescape: Torment, it was one of the least successful entries in the Baldur's Gate family of games. At the Rock, Paper, Shotgun blog Keiron Gillen has a great look back at the game, with a specific emphasis on the connection between the game mechanics and the story, and the importance of Torment to games as a medium. "While we're a long way from the videogame equivalent of a Tolstoy or a Dostoevsky, for what it's worth, Planescape is as close as we've come, and worthy of real literary consideration. Of course, such dry analysis always turns people away from the Great dead Russians - when it should be remembered these are works full of life and joys and - yes - deep sadness. The same is true here. It's a philosophical buddy-hatey road movie based around the search for the self and the endlessly reiterated question "What can change the nature of a man?". And you find yourself lingering on that. Not just what can change the nature of your character - but what made you and what manner of man are you anyway."

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PA's Khoo Reacts To 'E For All' 2008 Date September 18 @ 7 PM

The last weekend in August has been the comfortable home of the Penny Arcade Expo since the event began. This year, the new 'E For All' event is planned for October, but in 2008 the IDG-run convention is scheduled for the same weekend as PAX. FiringSquad had a chat with Penny Arcade's business manager Robert Khoo, who explained why he's not worried. "If we change our dates at all, it won't be because of this- it's always a challenge to wrestle and negotiate for as much space as possible at the convention center, and since we're expecting 45-50k next year, we take what we can get. Right now we are planning for that same weekend, but if for some reason even more space opens up two weeks before, we'll take it. But I'll be honest with you- since PAX started I've seen my fair share of consumer shows come and go (take IGNLive for instance). It's super hard to run one of these things, and I'd be surprised if E For All lasts longer than this year." They're expecting a mind-boggling 45k-50k people next year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Making of Shiny's Sacrifice September 13 @ 1 AM

At the increasingly enjoyable PC blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Keiron Gillen has up a post on the making of Shiny's Sacrifice . A reprint of an article he wrote for the PC Format site, and with extra materials, it goes into the origins of the title with game designer Eric Flannum. From the article: "'One of the biggest things which stood in the way of Sacrifice appealing more was that there were so many different and new things in it we were asking a lot from the player as far as what they had to learn and accept ... From the visual style, from the lack of a disembodied camera ... RTS players especially had a lot of new concepts to wrap themselves around' Of course, these 'problems' were also some of the things which absolutely distinguished the game. 'It was definitely one of the strengths of Sacrifice - its wacky visual look,' Eric considers the issue, 'but at the same time ... well, there's something about 'an archer' which communicates on a very basic level what that unit does. People don't have to learn. But when you've got a little pyromaniac, there's an extra step of learning. They don't inherently know what he does.'" At the start of his post, Gillen mentions the retrospective piece on the game he wrote for his personal site back at the end of last year, which is also well worth reading. I have to admit, I'll take almost any excuse to talk about this game; it's a sorely underappreciated title.

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Pre-TGS Microsoft Press Conferences Features Rez, Ninja Gaiden 2 September 12 @ 4 PM

In advance of the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft threw a press conference today introducing their newest products to the people of Japan. Highlights from the event include the announcement that an updated version of Rez will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade, and that Ninja Gaiden 2 will be an Xbox exclusive when it releases next year. Other announcements include Lost Odyssey's delay to February 2008 for a US release, more titles for Xbox Live including Every Extend Extra Extreme, Ikaruga, Trigger Heart, Exit and Omega Five, two new Xbox controller colors (blue and pink), and the announcement of a new title developed by Tri-Ace and published by Square/Enix: Infinite Undiscovery.

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