December 2011

Big 360 Titles For 2012

Four big-buzz games in the next year that are almost guaranteed to live up to the hype.

OK, so it’s the end of 2011 and we’ve seen some incredible games out for 360 and XBLA. Just since September we’ve seen Dark Souls, Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. But I don’t want to look back (even though I’m still playing the crap out of 3 of those 4 games). I want to look ahead to what will be coming to the Xbox 360 in the new year. There are some great things lined up for 2012. Here are a few of the ones we’re looking forward to that are getting the biggest buzz.

Castle Miner Z: A Minecraft remake with Zombies, or a standalone free roam with Zombies?

Hello, Xbox gamers! Glad to make your acquaintance. Looking over this space of the interwebs, I note something missing. Where are all the indie games? Well I think I will bring up weekly a few of the newer indie games hitting the scene.

This week's indie game is Castle Miner Z.


Now looking at the clip from Youtube, the temptation to call it a Minecraft rip off is high. In fact the general look down to the crafting screens scream Minecraft. But note the differences – more streamlined crafting. A supposedly larger world. Oh and guns. Craftable guns. These guns also have cross-hairs to assist player aim.


But despite being named Castle Miner Z there is something Minecraft definitely doesn't have. Zombies. 

Next Generation Xbox Will See 2013 Release

New Kinect sensor will be much more powerful
The Kinect was a noble venture on Microsoft's part. It may not have been the breakthrough next-gen gaming device some people chalked it up to be prior to its release, but it at least tried to do something new. The idea behind it was bigger than the technology at hand, though, and as such the device was relegated primarily to casual games, with a few awkward encounters with proper titles that made players wish they just had a damn controller in their hands again. But that idea--that your console could pick up your movements and translate them to in-game actions--that idea is still worth exploring.
Imagine a game where NPCs react to your vocal asides--where a military leader chastises you for swearing, or a suspect you're interrogating picks up on your threatening tone of voice. Imagine gaming that responds to your body language. You wouldn't have to be the controller, necessarily, but you could supplement traditional controller play with a sensitive camera that detected certain gestures or postures. All that sounds pretty neat, still, and we might just see some of it in the next generation of the Kinect.