Red vs. Blue Season 5 started a few days ago. The first episode is pretty good. Season 4 had a great ending, so I have been waiting for Season 5 to start for a while. You can get the latest episode here.
If you have never heard of Red vs. Blue, the series chronicles the story of two opposing teams of soldiers fighting a civil war in the middle of a desolate box canyon, in a parody of first-person shooter games, military life, and science fiction films. According to Simmons, one of the Red Team soldiers, each team’s base exists only in response to the other team’s base. Although both teams generally dislike each other and have standing orders to defeat their opponents and capture their flag, neither team’s soldiers are usually motivated to fight each other. Teammates have an array of eccentric personalities and often create more problems for each other than for their enemies. Initially intended to be a short series of six to eight episodes, the project quickly and unexpectedly achieved significant popularity following its April 1, 2003 Internet premiere. Therefore, Rooster Teeth decided to extend the series.
If you missed the first four seasons, I uploaded them all to Google Video. You can find them here.
The season premiere of South Park last night was a pretty good parody of World of Warcraft. If you missed it you can watch it here. Hopefully GT won’t take the video down, but there is a chance. So watch it while you can.
As you probably already know, I am a huge fan of Xbox Live Arcade. The system is so easy to use, and it provides an outlet for creative game developers to have their game published. X06 had more then a few announcements about the future of Live Arcade, so here is an update on what has been going on:
TotemBall, the first game to require the camera, should be released tomorrow. Players use gestures read by the camera to control the characters. The game will be a free download.
Doom was released last Wednesday on Live Arcade. I was actually hoping to see classic games like this remade. The Live Arcade version of Doom features multiplayer support, new graphics and sound, achievements, and online leaderboards. I have already spent a few hours playing it and so far it is excellent.
It appears that some Playstation 3 fans have been spreading rumors that Team Ninja’s producer Tomonobu Itagaki, one of the Xbox’s most loyal developers, is leaving the console. One can only wonder how this rumor started, but it probably has something to do with Ninja Gaiden Sigma.
But don’t let that PlayStation 3 version of Ninja Gaiden trouble you. Tomonobu Itagaki is not going anywhere. In fact, he isn’t even working on it. He’s left that up to Yousuke Hayashi, who requested that he be allowed to bring the Ninja Gaiden franchise to a broader audience. Hayashi worked on Ninja Gaiden Black for the original Xbox, so it seems that Sigma is in capable hands.
Check out this interview for more on Itagaki’s love of Sega and Microsoft hardware, as well as a clue as to what he’ll be focusing on after Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 ships (hint: it’s Ninja Gaiden 2)
Microsoft announced plans to make entry-level development with XNA available on the PC for free, and on the Xbox 360 for a yearly fee of $99. As many of you probably know, GarageGames is involved with Microsofts new XNA Game Studio Express. They announced that they will be releasing an XNA-compliant version of its Torque game development environment, which consists of the Torque Shader Engine for 3D development and the Torque Game Builder for 2D development. The Microsoft hosted Gamefest 2006 kicked off yesterday, and with that, a few new videos from Garage Games. They both look pretty cool (but are boring due to lack of sound). One video featured two character models doing some familiar animations. The second video shows off more of the Atlas terrain engine, skiing and a new weapon model we have not seen before.
Shacknews also got an interview with GarageGames’ CEO/CTO Joshua Williams and President Mark Frohnmayer:
Shack: On that end user side of things, does GarageGames have any new games in the works, or are you guys pretty full up with work on your development tools right now?
Mark Frohnmayer: For games? We do have a couple things that we can’t talk about just yet. [laughs]
Joshua Williams: We got a couple things brewing.
Mark Frohnmayer: We’re about to release our first actual legimitate casual game that we developed in house. It just went into beta last week. We’re about to release a new set of levels for Marble Blast Ultra on Xbox 360. We did a whole new set of multiplayer maps that are actually a lot of fun. Then we have another game that’s in the early stages of development that’s going to totally rock. We will give you much more information on that as we get closer.
Shack: Anything related to Tribes? I’m sure you guys get asked that every day.
Mark Frohnmayer: It actually is in a lot of ways a gameplay homage to Tribes, but it’s a very different genre.