Ascend: Hand of Kul in open beta today

While the game has been in closed beta for some time now, there had never been any specifics as to when Ascend would see a full release. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that time had come. Available now as an “open beta,” Ascend: Hand of Kul is essentially fully available to gamers on Xbox 360 courtesy of Signal Studios and Microsoft Studios. While billed as an open beta, gamers have access to the entire world and story of Ascend as well as the game’s achievements. I just suspect we’ll be seeing more fine tuning and updates than a standard game release for a while. Stay tuned for a full review.

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The Walking Dead: 400 Days trailer

Upcoming standalone episode in Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 now has a trailer.  It shows off the five characters that will be the focus of 400 Days with the promise that this expansion is “coming soon.”

The Walking Dead: 400 Days coming this summer

400days_keyart_with_infoThe next episode in Telltale’s award winning The Walking Dead game is subtitled 400 Days and will be heading to pretty much everything this summer.  Choices players made in previous episodes will carry over into the new game which will feature five new characters in their very own stories.  Telltale suggested that some of the characters the player meets in 400 Days might show up in Season Two with all the choices they make in the new episode also impacting that storyline.

 

Source:  Joystiq

Far Cry Classic heading to XBLA

Microsoft’s digital distribution platform will be the home to the re-release of the first Far Cry game under the banner Far Cry Classic.  This re-release is heading to XBLA for 560 Microsoft Points ($7) this summer; Ubisoft is describing it as the “ultimate console version.”  This re-release of the classic open-world game is going to boast updated visuals featuring  “stunningly realistic foliage” and “real-time day and night cycles.”  No word yet on a PS3 release.

 

Source:  EGMNOW

LocoCycle heading to Xbox One

lococycle-xboxone

Announced at last year’s E3 as an XBLA title, Twisted Pixel has now revealed that their upcoming LocoCycle is coming to Xbox One as a launch title on the system’s new game marketplace.  They’ve stated that the game is still (for now) in development for Xbox 360, though the release date has been pushed to a “further date.”  I’m almost certain we’ll hear more about this at this year’s E3.

 

Source:  Destructoid

Xbox One will Not be backwards compatible

XboxOne

Microsoft has confirmed that their next console will not be compatible with Xbox or Xbox 360 games.  The reason being is architecture of the x86 CPU that the utilizes won’t allow the games built for Xbox 360’s Power-PC core to run.  So, hold on to your 360 if you’re looking to keep getting mileage out of your games because they’re not going to make the trip to the next generation.  Xbox Live Arcade games also won’t make the transfer for the same reasons, as expected.  However, your Xbox Live Gamertag and all the Achievements you’ve earned will be waiting for you when you boot up your Xbox One.

It’s disappointing that we won’t be able to carry our games of the now into the future, but it’s interesting to see how many similarities there are between the Xbox One hardware and the PS4.  The similarities suggest that cross-platform play may be a possibility in the future, which is an exciting prospect.

 

Sources:  Engadget, Joystiq

It is the Future in this Live-Action Blood Dragon Trailer

Upcoming downloadable game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has a live-action trailer that just oozes 1980s cheesiness.  It’s inarguably the best thing you’ll see today.

Castle of Illusion Remake to be Released this Summer

A 2.5D remake of the classic platformer Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is headed to consoles and PC this summer.  This remake is being developed by Sega Studios Australia and features environments and characters modeled in 3D on a playable 2D plane.  Trailer below:

 

Source:  Eurogamer

Current & Upcoming Sales on XBLM

From now until February 4th, Xbox gamers will be able to pick from a large selection of EA games and add-ons from XBLM.  The games included are Shank 1 & 2, Death Spank and Thongs of Virtue, Dragon Age: Origins and its sequel, and several other games.  The DLC available for discounted prices include several add-ons for DA:O, DA 2, Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3, and more.  Details on the sale can be found on Xbox Live Marketplace.

Coming up this next week for Xbox Live Gold members will be discounts on XBLA games Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, Hydrophobia, Orcs Must Die, and more from 50 – 67% off.  Hydrophobia will be going for $2 (160 MSP), Orcs Must Die and the Alan Wake spin-off episode will be reduced to 600 MSP ($7.50), and the remaining titles will be available for 400 MSP ($5).  The sale begins February 5th and runs through the 11th.

Source:  Major Nelson