image I’m normally able to measure a good game based on my hands-on experience. I normally try out all of the modes – play thorough it etc. and write down my thoughts for your enjoyment.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I’m going to have to write my thoughts of a very good game, based on someone else’s hands-on experience.

You see, I did not plan for my wife playing this game constantly from the moment the disc arrived in the mail. Understand – my wife has never played a game on my PSP until now, and Buzz Master Quiz has been in the PSP constantly over the last few days – Now that is the measure of a very good game!!

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In the process of the Activision Blizzard merger some decisions have been made that will anger a fair few gamers. Sierra and Vivendi games currently in development have either been migrated into the Activision stable of titles or put on hold while final details are decided.

Games that will be kept are Prototype, Spryo, Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and one unannounced title. Titles that have not been taken over to the Activision brand are Ghostbusters, 50 Cent Blood in the Sand, Brutal Legend and others. This means that the games will either be published by someone else or close production.

Who will take over these games? At this point in time all we know is that it doesn’t look like it will be Activision, I doubt that they will be be canned completely but as to wether they will still be published under Sierra or if a third party picks them up remains to be seen.

It must be a little tough sometimes being in charge of a PAL region, getting berated by random people (me) about the delays experienced in one of the smallest markets in the world (NZ). David Reeves fortunately was brutally honest when we talked at E3 and some points rung true, others……..

You can listen to the full interview in the last podcast (here) but after the break are a few of the highlights.

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With the recent announcement that Games for Windows Live Membership would be free to play for PC users came a not announced surprise for some Silver subscription Xbox Live users. It was found that in cross platform capable games such as Shadowrun silver members could play on Xbox Live.

It has since been confirmed that all cross platform games are able to used online by Silver members, these games include Shadowrun, Universe at War, and Lost Planet: Colonies Edition. Microsoft has confirmed to Shacknews that the current free to play situation for these games will no longer exist after the next dashboard update suggesting that this was not intentional and it is a bug that they intend to fix.

Arcade Xbox is starting a promotion this week outlying the next month’s releases for the Xbox Live Marketplace, the first of which will appear this week, Geometry Wars Retro Evovled 2. The next on the list really interests me as well, it is Braid, a puzzle game that involves time manipulation.

You might hear some fuss on the Internet about a promotion where you can win prizes, ignore it all, we live in New Zealand. Full details of all the games and prices after the jump.

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prodtour3_bmp_jpgcopy This year’s Madden is only a few weeks away and there are a few new features that we already know about in the form of the "holographic" training mode and new animation control. There are a few Madden nuts at ButtonMasher so if you plan on getting it jump over to the forums and set up some games or even a league.

Past the break are the remaining 6 screens.

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Featured in last weeks ButtonMasher Podcast were these two interviews. The first is with EA Sports President Peter Moore, we talk about Rugby, Cricket and the changing face of EA. David Reeves then gets a few of the questions from community members and the resulting answers may surprise…….

You can listen to them individually or enjoy the whole podcast here.

Hell, why not subscribe in iTunes or to the RSS Feed.

crossGalagadetail Has Napier’s (and possibly NZ’s) highest score in Frogger? In NOL’s case some retro gaming needle-craft. NOL LUV DI is a longtime Xbox.com forum member as well as one of the ButtonMasher locals. It seems NOL’s wife puts her cross stitching skills to good use making NOL some pretty awesome retro arcade cross stitches.

They are quite hard to photograph through the glass – the larger size photos are here if you want them. In full size view you can see reflections.
I do the patterns up for my wife and occasionally she will fit one in amongst her real cross stitching for me.
They stand just under 60 centre metres tall and about 50 across.
They look heaps better in real life than in the photos.

Past the break are some pictures.

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suckem I like Halo.  Big surprise.  But not enough to ever tolerate Halo-Kart.  Now that the “Halo” brand is owned by Microsoft and Bungie is back to being its own boss, I along with many others fear for what might happen to our beloved franchise.  Thankfully, the projects currently underway do not contain the words Kart, or Party.  But with three upcoming titles already slotting into the “Halo Universe” how much more can they possibly squeeze out?  We have Halo Wars, the mysterious (perhaps only imaginary) Peter Jackson project and the next Bungie project.  Frank O’Conner (former Bungie community manager, now looking after the Halo brand at Microsoft) assured fans that they will “explore not exploit” the Halo universe.

“The Halo universe is really, really big now.” “Literally the Halo games have only covered one year; a couple of months within a year in fact.”

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