[update 2] Halo Legends Sweepstakes (sorta) has achievements!

The following is essentially an unpaid commercial for something I think is pretty sweet.

Update 2: I have decided I will continue to update the code list day to day, at least until I complete all of my sets, look to the BOTTOM of the post for the latest!

Have you been following the news about the Halo Legends DVD and Blu-Ray coming soon? I’m a huge sucker for a good story, I love single player video games and their campaigns, I do enjoy the backstory of the Halo universe. In the new tradition, popularized by The Animatrix, Halo Legends will fill in a great deal of Halo lore via anime short films. To celebrate the release on February 16th, 343Industries is putting on a contest, hosted as a Facebook App. You could win everything from an Xbox 360 to copies of the movie, and Grand Prize even gets a trip for two to see 343 Industries HQ (the new home of all things Halo). To sign up, you can just visit HLSweeps.com.

To earn sweepstakes entries, all you need to do is enter the daily codes – doing so can also unlock some very hi-resolution artwork and a trailer for the Halo Legends DVD & Blu-Ray. You earn these nice little achievement bonuses by collecting the “cards” given to you with each code entered. 1 sweepstakes entry & 2 “cards” per code. If the left side of the sweepstakes page doesn’t reflect 32 entries when you’re done with what’s below, you missed something, so try a few more! Get started entering codes on the Facebook app page, and visit HLSweeps.com each day to continue entering them!

To get you on your way faster, I’ve compiled a list of codes from all participating sources. Dating from February 5th, 2010 backwards:

Codes from MySpace:
Daily Code for 02/05/10: JP9MJ9
Daily Code for 02/04/10: RCZJKG
Daily Code for 02/03/10: V9EJNE
Daily Code for 02/02/10: K7VS38
Daily Code for 02/01/10: 29PEJ8
Daily Code for 01/31/10: XB8UF3
Daily Code for 01/30/10: QJFPHP
Daily Code for 01/29/10: 5JSQ87

Codes from Twitter:

Codes from HaloLegendsDVD.com:

Codes from Facebook:
Daily Code for 02/05/10: 97ZA96
Daily Code for 02/04/10: MC9SPB
Daily Code for 02/03/10: FYMK4U
Daily Code for 02/02/10: 52UN9B
Daily Code for 02/01/10: B8TE96
Daily Code for 01/31/10: JUSY4U
Daily Code for 01/30/10: KSJZWA
Daily Code for 01/29/10: QT4C7T

The gaming element of the page will also reflect cards which you have “multiples” of – if you want to unlock the high resolution art or the preview video by collecting these cards, you can trade with other “collectors.” To send a card to a friend, just click the “SEND” button beneath a picture – a window will open asking you to begin typing your friend’s name and you can send away – the person must be on your friends list to send or receive cards from them. I happen to need 5 cards to complete my set: 2, 29, 30, 40, and 48 – feel free to help me out by adding me as your Facebook friend! So start entering those codes on HLSweeps.com!

Update 1: 2/6/10:
Facebook: F29Z7V
Twitter: DMAB9E
HaloLegendsDVD.com: PG9V6W

Update 2: 2/10/10:
Myspace from 2/7-2/10:
Daily Code for 02/10/10: QCE2XQ
Daily Code for 02/09/10: DRFYZF
Daily Code for 02/08/10: ZBF9JH
Daily Code for 02/07/10: RDGYM2

Facebook 2/7-2/10:
Daily Code for 02/10/10: G49DZE
Daily Code for 02/09/10: D8J5U4
Daily Code for 02/08/10: 8R3WKN
Daily Code for 02/07/10: ZE6GX3

Twitter 2/7-2/10:

HaloLegendsDVD.com 2/7-2/10:

DLC: Now or Later? Be heard!

The new industry standard: Downloadable Content (DLC). When PC gaming was in its prime, Expansion Packs for games were all the rage. For the price you paid, typically half the cost of the original game, you could nearly double the content and expand the life of your game.

Not many people minded, we were excited to see more things for our favorite games. Something to tide us over until a sequel arrived. Then came the era of DLC, and downloadable add-ons being annonced before a game was released.

When announced too soon (such as before the game is released), or when underwhelming (for instance, unlocking new costumes which were actually included on the disc for $4), peopple tend to complain. The biggest argument, and sometimes valid, is this: if the content is finished when the game is shipped – why isn’t it on the game disc? Other games release it so soon that it was obviously under development when the game was released – so why wasn’t it released as a free add on, or why wasn’t the game delayed?

After nearly 100%-ing Assassin’s Creed 2’s Xbox Live Achievements, I’m left wanting more. The game shows parts on the map which are inaccessable, and where most of the edges of the game’s map say “area not available” these say “area not available yet.” Try heading to the south of Florence – the other side of the bridge from the exact spot where the game starts. Pay close attention, you’ll notice that “yet” when it’s warning you of Desynchronizing. So there, we know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of time. Meanwhile, the developers are too busy in the process of pretending like it doesn’t exist, so as not to upset the “too sooners.”

Unfortunately for developers, there is practically no happy medium of knowing the time frame to make gamers happy, when it comes to DLC. When RockStar Games released the first expansion for Grand Theft Auto IV, nearly 10 months after the game was released, they obviously took their time, after the game itself was released, to work on something worthwhile. Still, the hype had gone from the game, and while the Lost and the Damned was well reviewed, the sales were admittedly a bit lackluster.

So what is a development studio to do? Too soon, or too obviously planned, and we the gamers ask why it wasn’t part of the retail package. Too late, and the company may not even make back some of the money they put in to the additional content. We know that DLC is a part of our gaming landscape, from this moment on, and companies will spend this next decade getting their timing down and milking us for more money. I don’t mind thinking of DLC as a mid-way point before a sequel, but even I can’t offer the solution as to “when” DLC should be released.

So what say you? When do you want your DLC? Sooner rather than later? Or does new DLC for an “old” game make you go back and play it again? Do you get angered when DLC is offered very near the game’s retail release date? I’m interested in seeing your feedback!

Four Xbox Live Indie Games reviews

After looking closely at the site XBLA Ratings, I thought how very useful it could be for future players and people new to Xbox Live. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the site to check it out, and contribute to it, as I have.

That’s right, I took the time, today, to write up a few things that I had been considering doing write ups on for my own site, and contributing them to theirs. I believe what they’re doing is worth while, and though I may not be any huge name in the industry or anything, I just wanted to put my support behind them. I have contributed four reviews for various Xbox Live Indie games, in an attempt to bring more attention to a unique service that Xbox Live offers, and to help out some of those independant developers. Check each one out below:

Colosseum, Review.

Felix: Tale of the Night, Review.

Neo Terra, Review.

Streets of Fury, Review.

3D Dot Game Heroes: Gameplay promo video #2

3D Dot Game Heroes consistently seems to find itself in some kind of controversy. Familiar characters, music, settings… but if I happened to be Nintendo or anyone from the Zelda teams, I would be flattered.

While I’m not big in to RPG’s, I always thought the pure concept of this game looked great. Screen shots were great to look at, but I have to say, it’s the gameplay video that makes me most interested in someday getting a ‘hands on’ with this game.

Take a look at some great game play footage from Promotional Video #2. It’s another video from mid-October, like the Heavy Rain video we showed yesterday, but I have just been interested in taking a look at some of the more creative titles coming out of Japan, and hopefully arriving in the states some time soon!