Archive for March, 2011


The new DLC for Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit has been out for a couple of weeks now, but I haven’t been able to get some real face-time with it until recently; hence the delay.  There are three new packs for Hot Pursuit and they are Porsche Unleashed, Lamborghini Untamed, and Arms Race/Most Wanted.

Porsche Unleashed

  • This pack contains 5 new SCPD missions and 5 new Racer missions to complete.
  • It contains 3 new vehicles, which include the 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo, the 1988 Porsche 959, and the 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster.  No new hyper class vehicles which was kind of disappointing, but all the cars are fun to drive nonetheless.  If I had to choose a favorite vehicle from this pack it would be the Porsche 959, because it really blends graceful handling with great speed.  This is something Porsche is really well known for and translates well into Hot Pursuit.
  • The pack is 560 MSP ($6) and can be purchased through the Add-on blade on the Xbox Dashboard or purchased through the NFS Store in game.

Lamborghini Untamed

  • This pack contains 5 new SCPD missions and 5 new Racer missions to complete.
  • It contains 3 new vehicles, which include the Lamborghini Countach, Lamborghini Diablo SV, and the Lamborghini Sesto Element.  Just like the Porsche pack there are no new hyper class vehicles added to the line up, but I had more fun driving the new Lamborghini models.  Pound for pound they just seemed to handle better than the new Porsche models.  My favorite vehicle from this pack was definitely the Countach.  The Countach was a defining model for Lamborghini and its futuristic look and performance really made it stand out amongst the other vehicles in its class.
  • The pack is 560 MSP ($6) and can be purchased through the Add-on blade on the Xbox Dashboard or purchased through the NFS Store in game.

Arms Race/Most Wanted

  • Arms Race and Most Wanted are both new online only modes for Hot Pursuit.
  • These descriptions will only make sense to those who have played Hot Pursuit, so I apologize in advance (you shouldn’t be reading this if you don’t have the game anyways, but I digress)
  • Arms Race is a bizarre blend of the traditional Hot Pursuit mode and the conventional race mode.  In this game variant you are in a race to the finish with up to 7 other opponents and have access to all Racer weapons (EMP, Jammer, spikes, and turbo).  You are also dodging obstacles that are being thrown in from this Omni-present police force that puts up roadblocks and sends in Helicopters.  Arms Race isn’t really a blast to play and a race can end for you really quickly if you are not careful.  I didn’t enjoy but you might dig it so check it out regardless.
  • Most Wanted on the other hand is a blast to play.  For those of you familiar with Hot Pursuit have played an Interceptor mission or two (or 20).  Most Wanted for all intensive purposes is team Interceptor.  The only difference is one person on the Racer Team is labeled as the “Most Wanted” and the race will end if they are taken down.  It is up to your teammates to protect the Most Wanted racer from the police and allow the MW racer to escape.  If they are able to escape the whole team wins and is rewarded with some bounty.  These races can either be really long or end really quickly, but regardless of the length they are enjoyable because it is completely un-linear.  You choose your destination and how you get there and that is what will keep this mode fresh for months to come.
  • Arms Race and Most Wanted come together in a single package and is available for 560 MSP ($6) and can be purchased through the Add-on blade on the Xbox Dashboard or can be purchased through the NFS Store in game.

Different kind of Arms Race

Closing Comments:

The new Hot Pursuit DLC is a welcomed addition to an already solid game, but I would have liked to see more for the money and a raise in the level cap.  For those of us who have already destroyed the game are gaining nothing from the additional bounty received from the add-ons and it is pretty aggravating.  Most Wanted is a blast to play, but Arms Race leaves something to be desired and the 20 new missions between the Porsche and Lamborghini packs serve as an adequate distraction from reality for a couple of hours.  I hope they continue to support this game with new DLC, but the upcoming packs really need to bring something completely original to the table (like being able to pilot a helicopter, how fucking sweet would that be).  Anyways I hoped this equipped you with enough information on these add-ons to make an informed purchase decision and for my plug follow me on Twitter @gamersabstact and Facebook to see me blab about random video game related things.

I purchased the Porsche Unleashed, Lamborghini Untamed, and Arms Race/Most Wanted add-ons for a grand total of 1680 MSP ($21).  I invested about 10 hours cumulatively into all new add-ons.

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This week there are quite a few deals running on Xbox Live.  There are the standard deals of the week plus a whole slew of discounted games and add-ons.  I don’t want to keep your from scoring these deals so read them below.

Casual Arcade Games (running all week)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s Decade Duels – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • A Kingdom for Keflings – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Crazy Taxi – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • 3d Ultra MiniGolf 2 – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Costume Quest – 600 MSP (was 1200 MSP)
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon – 600 MSP (was 1200 MSP)
  • Gyromancer – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)

 

Core Arcade Games (running all week)

  • Doom 2 – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Quake Arena Arcade – 800 MSP (was 1200 MSP)
  • Zeit 2 – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • After Burner Climax – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Alien Breed: Evolution – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Alien Breed 2: Assault – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Darwinia+ – 400 MSP (was 1200 MSP)
  • Defense Grid – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Unbound Saga – 160 MSP (was 800 MSP)

 

Awesome Add-On Deals

  • Undead Nightmare Bundle – 1000 MSP (was 1600 MSP)
  • Undead Nightmare (stand alone pack) – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Halo Wars : Historical Battles – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Halo Wars : Strategic Options – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • 3D Ultra MiniGolf 2 : Fairy Tales – 120 MSP (was 240 MSP)
  • Mirror’s Edge Pure Time Trials – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)

 

Deals of the Week (running all week)

  • A World of Kefling – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Worms 2: Armageddon – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Worm 2 Battle Pack – 200 MSP (was 400 MSP)
  • Raskulls – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)

 

April 1st Deals (via Major Nelson, thank you) (only available on April 1st, just wanted to specify that)

  • Fallout New Vegas Dead Money – 400 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Comic Jumper – 400 MSP (was 1200 MSP)
  • Deadliest Warrior – 200 MSP (was 800 MSP)
  • Fable 3 Understone add-on – 200 MSP (was 400 MSP)

Go out and grab these deals while they last and save yourself some money.  I am picking up a points card as I write this.  Also remember to follow me on Twitter @gamersabstract and now Facebook to get your extra fix of The Gamer’s Abstract.


While I was strolling around the internet this morning I came across an interesting machinima on Kotaku.  This is the second time I have found a machinima pertaining to GTA, but this time it is infused with another classic gaming franchise; that being Super Mario Brothers.  The people over at Country Club productions have created something really awesome with this mashup and I look forward to their future work.  I do not want to spoil anything so without further adieu watch these kick ass shorts.

Not to take away from what you have seen, but I can’t help but think of the live action SMB movie.  These shorts are slightly reminiscent, but are a million times better.  If you come across any cool vids drop me a line in the comments section or tweet me @gamersabstract.


Mass Effect 2 has had some of the best DLC to hit consoles ever and today marks the last piece of DLC that will be offered for ME2.  “Arrival” is the last DLC pack and will surely tie up any loose ends before Mass Effect 3 and will serve a perfect swan song for an incredible title.  I will be getting Arrival today, but I will not have a review/impressions up until the weekend.  So stay tuned for more coverage on Mass Effect 2 Arrival.


Another day another deal.  Today at Amazon you can score the Dreamcast Collection for Xbox 360 for $19.99.  At this price is not a bad deal because it includes 4 Dreamcast classics (Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Sega Bass Fishing, and Space Channel 5 Part 2) for about $5 a pop.  So if you are a Dreamcast enthusiast today is your lucky day.  Head on over to Amazon from this link to get your copy.  Happy shopping.


It has been awhile since the Resident Evil franchise has stirred up any newsworthy buzz, but that has all changed.  Some big news for the franchise has recently surfaced and I couldn’t be more excited.  There are 3 Resident Evil projects in the pipeline as we speak.

Don't fuck up, just saying

Slant Six’s rumored Resident Evil game has finally been confirmed and has been titled Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.  It is a mulitplayer horror game that is set in 1998 when the original outbreak occurred in Raccoon City.  Players will take the helm of 4 new characters; Vector, Beltway, Bertha, and Spectre while encountering other known characters from the franchise.  Players will earn XP for their zombie slaughter and can use those points to upgrade skills and other such things.  The game will no doubt be reminiscent of  the RE: Outbreak games, but hopefully it will deliver its own brand of awesomeness.  Slant Six did not impress me whatsoever with Socom: Confrontation, but I am willing to put aside our differences and remain supportive of this project.  Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has a tentative release date of “winter” so keep your eyes peeled.

HD Head Explosions? Yes Please

Second piece of fantastic news returns home to Capcom and has to do with two RE titles that rhyme with gore and load harmonica.  If you were unable to deduce that simple riddle I speak of Resident Evil Four and Code Veronica.  But wait, these games have been out for awhile and have already started to show their wrinkles right?  Yes, but WHAM!!!!  HD remakes for both are coming to the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade this fall complete with upgraded HD visuals and Achievement/Trophy support.  This also marks the first time RE4 and Code Veronica X are on a Microsoft console where last generation they got no love.  I almost forgot, Resident Evil 4 will also include everything from its 75 different releases last gen (Separate Ways and Assignment Ada etc.) and Code Veronica X will not include a Devil May Cry demo.

Claire will look confused in HD this fall

RE fans are going to have an action packed year with these newly announced/confirmed projects and also Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS.  As more information breaks I will be sure to report it swiftly.  Until then go play Resident Evil 4 with only the Chicago Typewriter and the Infinite Launcher, it is silly.

Sources: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/115/1157430p1.html ; http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/115/1158020p1.html

EA is losing its Direction(s)

Posted: March 24, 2011 by Tim Utley in News and Updates
Tags: , , , ,

Many companies have gone down this altruistic “green” path in an effort to save our planet, but in reality the only thing they are preserving are their own wallets.  EA is no different.  They have announced that they are cutting all physical manuals from their games to be more “environmentally friendly” (*cough, bullshit, cough*).  I agree that maybe physical manuals can be replaced by digital ones, but don’t make it seem like you are doing gamers a favor EA.  They had originally announced that this was only going to pertain to their EA Sports lineup in favor of video based tutorials, but have since changed it to anything that is being published by the company.  This is just fantastic.  What will the industry take from us next?  Box Art?  Factory Shrink Wrap?  Call me old fashion, but the manual is a sacred part of the videogame package.  EA will no doubt start a trend with this blasphemous move, but money is green and that is what they aim to be.  The days of old are a changing and those of us who enjoy a simple manual will soon have to go without.  If you are as outraged as I am, scream at the top of your lungs, or comment above.


Today Amazon is running an all day Gold Box event for videogames.  The deal of the day is Dragon Age 2 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and PC download.  Dragon Age 2 is on sale for $39.99 for all platforms mentioned.  So if you were on the fence about getting Dragon Age 2 at full retail you can score it now for $20 off.  Here is the link to the deals page.  Happy shopping.

Gold Box Deals (speculation, but pretty sure)

  • De Blob 2
  • Bulletstorm
  • Dead Space 2
  • Some sort of Headset
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (not sure about this one)

New vs. Used: How Everyone Can Win

Posted: March 18, 2011 by Tim Utley in Editorials

It is no secret that videogame industry has a problem with retailers such as Gamestop reselling their products (usually at a discounted price) and they don’t see a cut of secondary or tertiary sales.  From a business perspective I can see how this could be irritating to the videogame industry, but Gamestop and other retailers are using the same model for reselling that EVERY other retail sector utilizes (cars, books, movies, music, etc.).  I would like to propose a solution to this problem, so bare with me.

This is the current model and I believe it is the source of the problem.  The videogame publisher sells its product to the retailer at a wholesale rate.  The retailer then sells it to “us” the consumers for the MSRP.  Average wholesale price on a brand new game is about $52-53.  So retailer X is only making a $7-8 profit.  In great volumes that little amount will add up to a lot, but retailer X isn’t satisfied with that margin so here enters used game sales.  You bring in a game that you bought brand new and sell it back to retailer X and get a portion of what you paid for it (nowadays it is less than half).  Retailer X takes your game and sells it as “pre-owned” or “used” for slightly less than the MSRP of the same game new.  The idea is that you save a few bucks and they make a much larger profit off that sale than the one previously.

I am sorry if I am boring you, but this model isn’t full proof anymore.  With companies like EA instituting “online passes” for their games used games are exceeded the price of their new counterparts.  So when you buy that EA game used for $2 cheaper than the new one and you decide you want to play it online, you better be ready to shell out an additional $10 for those features.  Your used game just became more expensive than a new game, which makes a lot of sense right?  It is pretty obvious the online pass was created to protect new game sales and discourage the purchasing of used games.  I understand that, but when an implementation such as the online pass inconveniences the consumer you begin to have a problem.  Here is what needs to happen.  Retailers that sell used games that require an online pass (which will be most games in the coming years) need to either reduce the price to compensate for the price of the pass or need to purchase additional codes from the publisher and include them with the game.  An online pass is a required component to access online features and used games don’t have redeemable codes included with them.  That is like buying a used car without a transmission.  Pre-owned games used to represent value, but now the represent an incomplete product.  The consumer shouldn’t be punished over these fiscal disputes.

The solution is simple and it really comes down to collaboration between the retailer and the publisher.  Retailers are not going to stop selling used games and publishers know this, so why not get in on the action.  Even if a publisher sold online passes at half price they would still see a taste from used game sales.  This would mean a little less money for the publisher and retailer, but in the end the consumer is benefiting and that is the final component to a winning solution.  If you have any thoughts about this topic feel free to share in the comments section.


This is the first trade-in deal I have ever posted and I probably won’t do it often (unless it is something dynamite).  I just thought today’s deal was particularly awesome and a bit peculiar.  If you agree to trade-in your Sega Dreamcast today at Amazon they will give you a $40 dollar gift card (Amazon is only giving $40 for a 20GB Xbox 360).  Pretty sweet right.  I am all for anything Dreamcast and maybe the DC is making a huge comeback and getting that recognition it finally deserves.  I will not be parting with Dreamcast, but If you feel like being a heretic or just a huge bag of suck then you can offload it for 40 big ones.  Here is the link, go if you dare.