Coming Soon: The Backorder Bonus*

Soon, I will be unveiling a new feature-series on the website. The Backorder and The Backorder Bonus*. The Backorder is just going to be a very simple segment where I occasionally chime and let you know what game I’ve been playing lately. Most of these games are from a backlog of games that I should have played a long time ago.

These will not be reviews or anything too detailed, but I will give a little bit of feedback and a quick opinion on the game itself.

*As a part of some these Backorder articles, I will sometimes include the Backorder Bonus. The more times I can offer this, I will. The intention of the Backorder Bonus is very much lik a preorder bonus for most new video games today. I intend to give codes for DLC, free copies of games, etc… whatever I can do, that’s what I’ll do! The rules for claiming these will be explained by the post itself, but I have every intention of keeping the first few very simple, to get more people participating!

I won’t be able to offer Backorder Bonuses every time, but I’ll be trying to do offer as many as possible!

Preview: Bayonetta First Climax Demo

A demo was recently released on Xbox Live and Playstation Network in Japan. Luckily, we were able to get ahold of that very same demo. The game is presented by Sega, and that part becomes laughably obvious very quickly, as your character seems to have an affinity for little Gold Rings (ala Sonic the Hedgehog). I didn’t see a purpse for them in the demo, though I quickly racked up about a thousand!

I played through the demo very quickly using it’s default settings. It’s quite easy to get a basic grasp of the controls, but the tutorial mode lets you know that there is a long road ahead to becoming a master.

A few unanswered questions loom from the Bayonetta demo. Fore most in my mind, why the semi-transparent angels won’t interact with you, but fire your weapon and they’ll run like pedestrians in a Grand Theft Auto game. Still, the game play was a very fun experience.

Gameplay was very much like these 3rd person action games thrive on. Mash away at the buttons on your controller, and watch your on screen character seamlessly weave a quilt of combos.

Stealing gigantic weapons from angels, including a trumpet that acts as a rocket launcher, is a quick and easy way to turn the tables of a fight that isn’t going your way. I actually wish the battles were a little more hectic and there were a few more baddies to ping-pong your combos off of.

Anyone who has seen a review or a preview here at WinBreak before, knows that two of my pet peeves are graphics and voice acting. And unfortunately, this is where the game suffers. The music is fantastic, and picks up when you enter combat, much the way the game Wet does. Sadly, the battle clashing sounds aren’t anything ground breaking, your standard crash bam boom stuff. Voice acting is laughably terrible, including the taunt “I’ve got a fever, and the prescription is dead angels.”

The graphics also seem very PS2 era. The environments are much more beautiful and scaled more to the size we expect these days. But I can’t get over the fact that the graphics just don’t meet expectations. They feel washed out, and even the cut-scenes / FMV’s which are pre-rendered, show signs of compression – something that a game on DVD or BluRay probably shouldn’t need! It all looks too much like a PlayStation 2 era game.

The game is extremely self-aware, much like the game I already compared it to, Wet. It’s funny, a little bit camp, but it’s actually quite fun. It plays to Sega fans, and falls right in to the “hot chick kickin’ butt” category that it wants to be a part of oh so well. It’s worth checking out, but don’t expect the wonderful graphical adventure that Heavenly Sword was. But you will certainly enjoy using your feet to shoot semi-automatic weapons!

Xbox 360 to get Streaming TV in the States? In the works!

Xbox owning Americans have been thrilled to enjoy the benefits of Netflix on the Xbox 360’s. Soon we’ll get some streaming music with the Last.fm service, as well as lots of social networking addons this fall. Still, we’ve seen a lot of jealousy when it comes to Sky TV in the United Kingdom.

While we have no clue as of a timeline, it’s clear that, for about a year now, Microsoft has been working with AT&T in North America to look at the possibility of bringing AT&T’s U-Verse TV to the Xbox 360. Why do I say it’s been in the works for a year? Because nobody at Microsoft would even MENTION it if it was supposed to be a super-secret. If they’re talking about it, it must be coming along. So, even though we haven’t heard anything like “we’ll see it this holiday season,” like we expect to see the other social networking addons, this was clearly far enough along that Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment &Devices Division, felt comfortable enough to talk about it clear back in April of 2009.

Well, there you have it. Nothing to worry about, right!? We’ll have TV streaming to our Xbox 360, perhaps as early as 2010! I’ve never used the AT&T U-Verse TV service, I don’t know how much of my television it can provide for me, but it sounds like a start! A lot of people still believe that a Hulu player, with no additional subscription fee, would be a great addition to the Xbox 360, and I agree. But until then, at least we can recover from the thought that we would never have anything to compete with Sky TV. Microsoft’s next secret weapon to make the Xbox 360 everyone’s “home entertainment device” of choice is clearly being worked on, and will hopefully be available by this time next year!

250 GB Modern Warfare 2 themed Xbox 360!

Microsoft’s own official Xbox.com has confirmed the existence of a $399 250 GB Xbox 360. This is in the form of a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Limited Edition Console. It includes 2 black Modern Warfare 2 themed controllers, the black & custom themed console, the new “no it doesn’t exist” 250GB hard drive, and even a standard edition copy of Modern Warfare 2. Even if you think the price of the console and a controller should be no higher than $300, you’re still getting another controller and a game for what the Elite was priced at less than a month ago.

You can even begin the preorders at Amazon.com. It’s a hard deal to pass up!