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Viva Piñata

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New Kinectimals Vid Features Fun With Tigers; Possible Gameplay

A lot of people still aren't quite sure what to make of Kinect. Mixed reviews from people who have actually got their hands on it coupled with a moderately-uninspiring lineup of games aren't filling people with confidence. One of the games that does seem to have people most intrigued, though, is Kinectimals. This new video gives a few hints as to what can be expected from this curious game. More after the jump. Read More

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E3 2010: RUMOR: 3DS To Include Achievements?

A video interview with EA's senior director Ryan Stradling on Nintendo's E3 site hints at the possibility of an achievement-tracking system. Could the Nintendo 3DS be home to a full Xbox LIVE-like service? Hit the jump for more. Read More

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Update: First 24 Titles for Xbox 360 'Games on Demand' Announced

At E3 this year, Microsoft announced a service in which 360 users could download popular titles onto their consoles. This service would be much more efficient than the current one, as these titles could be bought with straight up cash instead of the proprietary Microsoft Points. Soon after, this service was named Games on Demand. Contrary to what was posted earlier, North America will have a list of 24 games available at launch on August 11. Games on Demand is just one of many services encompassed in Microsoft's latest update. Other features include an improved Avatar marketplace and expanded Netflix. For a full list of features, click here. After the cut is a list of the 24 titles available at launch. Read More

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Viva Piñata Original Soundtrack Coming July 28th

Fans of Viva Piñata and its arrangement of melodies have something special to look forward to soon, as Sumthing Digital has announced the release of "Viva Piñata Original Soundtrack," to be released on July 28th. From the press release: "The Viva Piñata Original Soundtrack features 25 original musical compositions by Grant Kirkhope who also composed music for games such as Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark and Grabbed by the Ghoulies. The score was orchestrated by Nic Raine and recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra." In addition to a retail release by way of Sumthing Else Music Works, the album can be downloaded digitally through iTunes and Sumthing Digital. Read More

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The Games That Don't Install Well on NXE, and How Much Room It Takes for Those That Do

One of the most hyped features (somewhere after Netflix and Avatars) of the New Xbox Experience is the ability to install games to the Xbox 360's hard drive. However, as Halo 3 has taught us, it's not quite a perfect procedure. In fact, it would seem that there is a small number of titles which don't really see any improvement when installed, thanks to the way the developers designed them. According to Destructoid, these titles are Big Bumpin', College Hoops 2k7, Pocket Bike Racers, Sneak King, Crackdown, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, and Quake II from the Quake IV Bonus Disc (according to NeoGAF). Or, to put it in a different perspective, it's the three Burger King promo games, an out-of-date basketball game, a game most people bought just to get into the Halo 3 beta, and a game most people probably don't want anyone else knowing they own, anyway. Takes a bit of the sting out of it, I figure. So now we know which ones don't work. But of those that do work, how much space will they take up? This is a question that's no doubt on the minds of many... or at least, however many bought a 360 with a 20GB hard drive. Fortunately, Sean has compiled a list over at NeoGAF which answers that very question, along with a few notes here and there about the reduction in load times. However, he notes "I can't possibly verify all of these sizes/notes, just going off of what people tell me. If there's an error please correct it and be nice about it." For your Kombo Konvenience, the list is posted right after the kut... er, cut. Whew, that was close. Read More

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Add Some Killer Instinct To Your Viva Pinata Garden

When Rare unveiled what the Pinata Vision cards were all about, I had no idea that it would extend to things like this. Earlier today, Rare released 3 Killer Instinct themed vision cards for Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. While the cards just scan in as current pinatas with funny little hats, it's cool to see them doing some interesting things with the function. It makes me wonder though, could the Killer Instinct characters be a hint to a future announcement or is Rare just torturing all of the franchises fans? Fulgore, Orchid and Tusk just joined the Piñata ranks as a helmeted Juicygoose, a bosomy Moozipan and a wild Elephanilla. In other words, right after you put their cards in front of your Xbox Vision Cam you will get a special trio of piñatas that share names and features with the KI characters. A football helmet, headphones, clockwork key and extreme sports goggles for Fulgore's goose; fake teeth, Viking helmet and a blonde wig for Tusk's elephant; and lustful lips with a… uh… pearl necklace for Orchid's cow, which as green as the fighter's suit on the Killer games. All animals but Fulgore are considered Wildcard variants and can be used as guardians to protect your garden. -- MundoRare One of these days I really have to start scanning some stuff into my garden. It hasn't been touched since about 2 weeks after I picked it up due to the sheer amount of titles I've been checking out. It's a little creepy but I'm starting to feel like a neglectful parent. I hope none of my pinatas have died of starvation and/or lord-of-the-flies syndrome. Get your Killer Instinct vision cards here. Read More

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Rare Still Relevant to Microsoft's Interests

During his quest to make sure that no company he's ever worked for will ever hire him again, Peter Moore stated in yesterday's portion of his interview with The Guardian that Rare's skillsets "were from a different time and a different place and were not applicable in today's market." Leaping to their defence today was Phil Spencer, who naturally disagrees with Moore's assertion:"Rare is a great studio that continuously delivers high-quality, award-winning titles for the Xbox platform and will continue to do so in the future," stated the newly appointed head of Microsoft Game Studios. "Rare plays a strategic role in delivering games and platform experiences that will help the Xbox achieve our long-term strategy of expanding the customer base to a mainstream audience." ... "The studio's current work that includes the recent release of another critically acclaimed installment in the Viva Piñata series, the reinvention of a genre and a franchise with the November release of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts as well as the avatar system they're delivering as part of the new Xbox experience not only is indicative of the value they deliver to our business but proof positive to our partners and the industry at large of our commitment to this strategy and the platform's continued success," said Spencer. -- GamesIndustry.bizLong story short: How better to compete with Nintendo than to use the company which copied Nintendo when they were a part of Nintendo? I kid, I kid... though, all of this would just be hilariously tragic, should Microsoft pull an Ensemble on them in the near future.nat Read More

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Rare Launches Viva Pinata Community Site and Treasure Hunt

To mark the release of Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, Rare has pulled a Bungie and launched a fully featured community site where players can upload screenshots, check stats, and receive gifts. Along with the site launch, Rare has also let it drop that starting this Friday they will be holding a treasure hunt on Xbox.com. Various exclusive Pinatas will be scattered around on different pages just waiting to be plucked, printed, and forced to breed with other Pinatas in your garden. Sounds like wholesome family fun! "Viva Piñata is back but not everything in the garden is rosy – Professor Pester and his band of Ruffians are determined to cause Trouble in Paradise! To celebrate the launch of Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise Xbox.com is holding a huge Piñata Hunt so that you can unlock exclusive Piñatas featuring unique color schemes and accessories. "All you need to do is put on your best Piñata-hunting hat, head to www.Xbox.com, scour the site for Piñata eggs and click on every one you find! By using your Xbox LIVE Vision Camera and the amazing Piñata Vision feature in Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise you can put the Piñata straight into your garden! Happy hunting!" -- Rare Press Release Not going to lie Internet. I preordered Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, and I cannot wait to start playing it. I missed out on it the first time around and have been waiting for this updated version ever since it was announced. There's just something so vile about breeding Pinatas, but it's vile in that way that it doesn't make you feel like a pervert. They're Pinatas! There's totally nothing wrong with that. Check out the Viva Pinata Community site over at VivaPinata.com. Read More

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No DLC for Viva Piñata, But Banjo-Kazooie Sequel... 'Maybe?'

Unfortunately for Viva Piñata fans, it looks like the series' next release on the Xbox 360 will not be bearing any DLC-flavored treats:"We don't have any plans for DLC. As far as the team is concerned we are taking a break from VP for a while to make something new. But things change quickly in the software industry so next week it may be a completely different story." -- Developer Web Chat via KotakuHowever, not all news from the Rare household is bad this day:"With VP2 out the door and Banjo in its vinegar strokes, we're focusing on getting the Avatars all finished and done for the New Xbox Experience," said Kelion, "After that, it'll most likely be a mix of new projects and hopefully a Banjo sequel.. maybe? Fingers crossed, anyway!" -- George Kelion, Rare Community ManagerHere's to hoping that Nuts n' Bolts will be good enough to warrant more bear n' bird action. Read More

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Media: Viva Piñata 'Museum' Video

If you haven't seen the Viva Piñata "Believe" video, go check that out first. We'll wait. Now then, it seems that Rare (according to Kotaku) has made another piece, the natural follow-up to the first one."On the seventh day, we ran out of candy..." First was better. But this is sort of amusing. Still doesn't beat this, however. In addition, Rare has revealed that the DS game, Pocket Paradise, will be available on September 2nd. Read More

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Nintendo Releases Second-Half Line-Up of Games

In an interesting twist (I guess, maybe they do this all the time, and I never noticed), Nintendo has released their US game line-up for the second half of 2008 and into 2009... to Europe. Some highlights included on the list are Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Call of Duty World at War, Guitar Hero World Tour, Skate It, Mushroom Men, two Star Wars games, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers, Sonic Unleashed, Ghostbusters, and quite a bit more. Better still, Nintendo says that this is an "incomplete" list, meaning more titles could sneak their way into the lineup. Here's hoping more from the Big N themselves. For the full bill of goods (as it stands), both good and bad, click the jump. Read More

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Banjo Kazooie and Viva Piñata 2 Sporting $39.99 Price Tags at Gamestop?

Now, plenty of games are well worth their $60 price tag, but given the chance to save $20, we don't complain. Good thing, then, that two of Microsoft's flagship holiday titles are sprinting out of the gate at $39.99 -- at least, according to a listing on Gamestop's website. As Xbox 360 Fanboy notes, this could be an attempt by Microsoft to sell copies of their games to kids, who lack the disposable income needed to make high-priced game purchases. On the flipside, however, Gamestop is the only site currently advertising this low, low price point, so it could simply be an error. Who knows? Read More

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Microsoft Says it Has More Games for E3 Up its Sleeve

Back about a week ago, we here at Kombo posted an article about the roster for Microsoft at this year's E3. That roster was merely a confirmation list of titles that 360 fans have known about for some time. Titles like Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Too Human, Halo Wars and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. While undeniably a solid line-up, I know I won't be the only person to openly admit a bit of disappointment that came along with the announcement. Well, Microsoft has revealed that they have even more titles in store for us at E3 this year. While not giving away any new games in particular, they assured fans that their presence would be larger than previously expected. Aaron Greenberg, Director of Xbox 360 Product Management, had this to say to the folks at GamePro. We have not announced all of our line-up yet for 2008 but will provide more details at E3 next month…Xbox 360 will continue to be the home to blockbuster games and the most exclusives…By the end of the year we will have over 1,000 games available for Xbox 360, which will be 2-3 times more than any other platform. 1,000 titles? Impressive. Let's hope that the announcements coming next month take us all by awe inspiring surprise. I want to be even more psyched than right now. Mmmmm, Gears 2… . . . . . Read More

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Rare Interested in Wii Development?

All things said and done, Rare has maintained a pretty good relationship with Nintendo, after having been bought by Microsoft back at the turn of the century. They've continued to work with Nintendo, producing games for the company's handheld DS (which parent company Microsoft said they saw as "very viable"), but what about the Wii? In an interview with Spong, Viva Piñata Pocket Paradise Lead Designer Gary Richards and Game Engineer Joe Humfrey offered some interesting comments concerning their titles on Nintendo's platforms. See what was said after the cut. Read More

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Microsoft Announces E3 2008 Roster

Not to be outdone by Capcom, Microsoft has also announced the games they plan to show off at this year's E3. Their list may be a bit smaller, but seems to bear a more concentrated amount of interest: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Fable 2 Gears of War 2 Halo Wars Too Human Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise All those are for the Xbox 360, just in case you hadn't guessed. Hopefully, there will also be some surprises in store. Read More

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Rare: Microsoft Sees DS as "Very Viable"

When Eurogamer went to Rare's studios to try the new Viva Piñata: Pocket Party for the Nintendo DS, the UK studio revealed that Microsoft, which may come as a surprise to some, sees their rival's handheld as "a very viable platform," according to engineer Joe Humfrey. This of course helps to explain the ongoing supply of Rare-created titles, including Diddy Kong Racing, for the handheld since being acquired by Microsoft six years ago. Now, with Viva Piñata, it is of greater interest to the corporate giant to see the property on Nintendo's two-screened moneymaker. "They put the Viva Piñata franchise on TV to reach a broad audience, they put it on PC to reach a different broad audience, and they're doing the same thing with the DS," Humfrey said. "They're trying to widen the audience of the franchise, basically." Read More