The conclusion to the first season of The Wolf Among Us released yesterday for Xbox 360. The series has only improved as the season has marched towards the finale, …
Warning: This post contains spoilers from both seasons of The Walking Dead
The first season of The Walking Dead was phenomenal. It provided one of the strongest narratives in video game history, full of memorable characters and emotionally charged moments. All around the world players instantly latched onto the harrowing and heartwarming tale of Lee and Clementine. The bleak world and tough choices made the game stick with you days after you played an episode. The overwhelmingly positive reception put Telltale on the map, moving them from a company that made niche adventure games to one that can handle some of today’s biggest franchises. The Walking Dead was a success in so many ways, meaning an eventual sequel was a given.
Despite standing on the shoulders of its amazing first season, The Walking Dead Season 2 is not living up to that potential. I loved every aspect of Season 1, which is why I’m disappointed I can’t find Season 2 nearly as captivating. So far, three episodes have released, and like last season they’ve all received critical praise. Unlike last season, I’m not feeling the hype; the story’s not engaging, the characters are underutilized, and the format’s becoming stale. The game’s saving grace is Clementine, but even that may be a problem.
This November will mark 12 years since the launch of Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming service that currently boasts more than 48 million global users. Ensuring all of those Live members are constantly connected with each other and enjoying all of the service’s many features is paramount to delivering the Xbox experience gamers have come to expect. To pull it off, Microsoft has staffers working around the clock at its Xbox Live Operations Center (XOC) in Redmond, Washington, reports Total Xbox.
As part of their job function, XOC staffers respond to clear-cut problems. The majority of their time, however, is dedicated to ferreting out issues that no one knows about. Team members search for irregularities and investigate them to discover whether or not they are problems that need solving. They can’t guess at whether something is a threat to uninterrupted Xbox Live service or not; they have to know. They have to find out.
Microsoft Gaming Ninja (yes, that’s his real job title) Eric Neustadter informed Total Xbox that his team has to be ready for anything at all times. “It’s a bit like being in the fire department or police, where you have to think through what would I do in [a worst case] scenario. My boss was in the fire department for years, and he went from doing that to running services like this. In a lot of ways, it is a similar mindset.”
Redundancy is Neustadter’s go-to tool for preventing an Xbox Live doomsday scenario. “We have all the things you need to run 24/7/365, like multiple power grids connected into the campus,” he explained. “When that fails, we have diesel generators with huge tanks out there so that we can run for roughly 72 hours without power, and then we can bring in tankers with more diesel and refill the tanks while they’re running. We also have a disaster recovery site… somewhere else on a different power grid with almost all of this replicated so we can go over there and work instead.”
The second season of the popular episodic game, The Walking Dead will debut on XBLA on December 18, reports IGN. The first episode, titled All That Remains will be …
Yesterday, Microsoft pulled back the curtain on its next-generation home game console. Dubbed “Xbox One,” the machine will hit retail shelves at an unannounced date later this year. With E3 right around the corner, Microsoft held back much of its next-generation software, among other things. Still, much was shown and discussed during the console holder’s presentation, and XBLAFans has more than a few feelings towards it all. Read on to find out how we’re feeling about the Xbox One’s look, TV and Kinect focus, lack of game announcements and more.
Nick Santangelo: Let’s start with the obvious. Microsoft came right out and showed the new controller, Kinect sensor and console. Sony of course showed its PlayStation 4 controller back in February but not the console, so that was a pretty big departure. Were you guys happy to see what the box actually looks like? Does that matter to you? Did you like the hardware design?
Ryan Thompson: I thought the design was excellent. I especially enjoyed the textured analog sticks on the controller, which are taking a beat from the MLG Pro Controller, it seems.
Shawn Saris: It was nice to see. It looks like what I had expected. They kept it pretty straightforward, although it does seem a little bland, more like a cable box and not a console full of power.
Shawn Ryan: It’s a bit boxy, but I personally love how it looks. I don’t mind the size either. The controller looks like a great evolution of the 360 design, and to me it just looks “next-gen.”
Ryan Thompson: “Like a cable box” is an excellent observation. (Editor’s note: Perhaps “like an alarm clock” is a more apt comparison.)
Xbox has released a suite of new applications for the Xbox dashboard, confirms Major Nelson. Not all apps are available in all Xbox LIVE regions.
In time …
Xbox SmartGlass will launch this coming fall, Microsoft revealed at its pre-E3 media briefing today. Following up on first details of the application being unveiled to content partners …
Another week has come and gone, and you know what that means, it’s time for another Sunday Roundup. This is where I scour the internet looking for anything we might …
Joy Ride Turbo was developed by BigPark and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released on May 23, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Mario Kart. Since its introduction in 1992 many other games have tried to dethrone it. None have truly succeeded. Nintendo has held their karting trophy high for 20 years now while characters like Sonic, Crash, and Lightning McQueen stand lower on the podium. Joy Ride Turbo seeks to put a boot in the overall-wearing plumber’s … err … pants by throwing aside the licensed franchise and offering great gameplay at a lower price. Joy Ride tosses aside the Kinect controller of its predecessor in hopes that a gamepad will help the game become the best value in karting games out there.
You know what? It succeeds.