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On November 17th when you start up your Xbox you’ll be hit with the Fall dashboard update that will include Facebook, Twitter, and Last.FM. Computers are already over saturated with social networking mediums and now your Xbox can join the fun. I’ve always played video games wondering “Man, I wish I could let all my friends online know what game I’m playing through my Xbox” and now I can finally! (sarcasm). In my opinion, people already update their Facebook statues and Twitter about nonsensical esoteric blurbs, most of which I couldn’t care less about, and I fear this will just make it worse. That aside, however, It’s still a really cool idea that I’m kind of excited to at least check out.

The addition of Last.FM however I find a little more interesting. I’m not entirely sure exactly how Last.FM works because I tried to use it, got frustrated and gave up, but coming from a person who often uses their Xbox to provide the music for a party I think I might get good use out of this addition to the Xbox live experience.

From Xbox.com:

“Sharing your passion for favourite tunes is also a major component for Last.fm on Xbox 360. You can vote ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ for each song to make sure you only hear your latest flames. Creating a play list for the living room is simple too.

There are more than 3.5 million songs available through Last.fm, and you’d need to be some kind of music robot to know them all in an instant! However by checking your friends’ play lists and by seeking out tracks of a similar style or mood you’ll soon be expanding your musical horizons and life doesn’t get any finer than that.

Last.fm for Xbox 360 can be sampled free by all Xbox LIVE members and the full service can be experienced if your status is Gold. However if you choose to take on Last.fm membership plus LIVE Gold membership you’ll gain even more terrific personalisation features.

With a music library so vast that you’ll never tire of it, the greatest games available on the planet; streaming movies and live TV shows plus an online community that’s millions strong, Xbox 360 is always delivering entertainment, your way.

Happy listening!”

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I recently sat down with a South Jersey game designer Joseph Casale. He’s designed two games and is slowly, but surely, working his way to getting his bachelors degree in computer science. I asked him a few questions about his gaming background, how it was making those two games, and what the future might have in store for this up-and-coming game designer:

Download Chris Giovanisci – Interview

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Dear Sonic Team,

I hope you’ve learned from your mistakes and you can deliver this time (because it may be your last chance). I’m a little more forgiving then some of your other fans because, unlike some of them, I actually liked Sonic Adventure 2 (the last good sonic game in my opinion). Excluding the DS titles, because I haven’t played them all, the last couple of sonic outings have been terrible. The last game Sonic was in he could turn into a Warehog! WTF is that!? 

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a comic strip I made of the subject

Luckily, however, Sonic Team has apparently listened to our complaints and they decided to reset the franchise and go back to their roots. Since I’ve been a loyal fan since my first Sega console I’m a little optimistic about this project despite they’re history. Even though a lot of oldschool games are getting redone HD style for the current-gen systems, I have faith in this one. If someone gave me majority control over the Sonic Team I’d just make Sonic Adventure 3 but I like the direction they’re going in. They’re apparently building this game from the ground up and it’s suppose to be a 2d game–or perhaps more like a 2.5d game (2d gameplay with 3d graphics). So far not much is out about the game other than a teaser (which I posted below) and the code name for the project (project needlemouse). It’s suppose to be release in 2010 and I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one because if it fails the Sonic fans they’re trying to please will eat them alive!

Teaser:

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I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this movie. According to history (which is doomed to repeat itself) the movie should be terrible. It’s hard to believe that no one can make a decent movie based on a video game but no top dogs have tried. Disney in association with Jerry Bruckheimer are going to try to do the seemingly impossible. Just because these two powerhouses are making this film it might be good but it’s hard to translate gameplay into movie. Slated for a May 2010 release, here’s the new trailer provided by Machinima.com (because some video sources don’t embed properly)

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Infinity Ward put out a PSA trailer staring, none other than, the Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (or you might know him from the horrible Comcast commercials). The video is some mock PSA with 2 swear words thrown in for no reason. Although, it is funny to hear Cole Hamels drop the P and F words. I’m not sure if this implies that he’s a celebrity voice in the game itself, when it comes out later this month, but it’s still pretty cool none the less. So enjoy this short, arguably pointless, video.

[THE VIDEO WAS REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE DUE TO COMPLAINTS TO INFINITY WARD]

image from http://www.fourzerotwo.com/

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I’ve been waiting for this for a while because, up until now, I wasn’t really into the characters for L4D2. I liked the original L4D crew because they had personality. Definitely stepping it up another notch Valve. They need to make a movie because Value’s production is quite amazing.

Ps: If you pre-ordered L4D2, the demo is available now!

image by gamesmen.co.au

Oaks, PA was host to the GameX expo at the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center. Me and my good friend Joey drove an hour through PA to run amuck in this expo center. Here’s a few pictures of what we saw on our adventure: