Xbox 360: UNO

Just played my first game of UNO…ever!  I played a tonne of card and board games growing up but never knew what the heck UNO was.  I’d see it around but never actually played it or never saw anyone play.  After listening to a recent Major Nelson podcast on the success of Xbox Live Marketplace and Arcade…I decided to check it out since apparently it was a massive success and broke records for the number of people that purchased it.

After playing it for about 20 minutes, I have to say its a cute and simple game that I could see filling small voids of time and is fun for just about any age.  I like those games because I love when I have things I can play with my niece and nephew.  Though to be fair…my niece can kick my butt in just about any genre of a game so I guess I should instead focus that statement on my nephew.  =-)

Anyhow I recommend it for some mindless fun – it has Xbox Live support and costs a mere 400 points.

Xbox 360 Live Marketplace: Texas Hold’Em – Free for 2 Days

I just read on the gamerscore blog that Texas Hold’Em will be released for Xbox 360 next Wednesday and will be free for 2 whole days.  What this means I assume is that you can download the full unlocked version of the game for those 2 days.  Nice!

Because I love these promos but constantly forget about them when the time comes – I have created an Outlook alert to remind us of it.  No applause necessary – thank you!

Download Appointment Here

It would be cool if they do more stuff like this and maybe offer free downloads of content for those that have uber high gamerscores.  Like for example offer a full download of a game for several days to all members that have a 10000+ gamerscore.  Granted my pathetic score would never see any free stuff but I think it would be cool to offer extra incentives to those that have obviously gone the extra mile with gaming on the platform.

Xbox 360: Frogger Love

While I have quite a full plate this weekend working on some of our various SharePoint 2007 projects, I did decide that I also had to fit a little Xbox 360 luvin into my schedule.  Thanks for the reminder Matt! 

I just downloaded Frogger from the Xbox Live Marketplace.  How cool is that?!?  I have to say I am really becoming a fan of these simple arcade games that are available in the marketplace.  I spent about an hour earlier this morning playing Condemned and then started to feel real guilty for not working so I had to quit on a scene that really could have used more time.  But I took a 20 minute break just a few minutes ago (OK 25 minutes counting the time it is taking me to write this post) and I didn’t have to feel guilty at all.  The arcade games make it easy to waste 15-20 minutes without becoming too much of a time suck.

See here for more of the arcade goodness coming down the pipes.  I can’t wait for Pacman!

Xbox.com New Features : Message Center

A few weeks ago there was an update to Xbox Live and xbox.com that allowed you to add friends online via the xbox.com website. This was an awesome addition since many times when I am talking to people online they will tell me their gamertag and but by the time I log into my Xbox 360 – the information has long left my little brain. Now if I am chatting with someone I can jump right into my Xbox profile and add them.

What is even better now is the upgrade that took place earlier this week that allows you to send messages to people on your friends list through your browser via the xbox.com site. This is the perfect way to line up some gaming prior to firing up your xbox. Not to mention I can type messages much fast with my keyboard than i can with a game controller.

Halo 2 for the PC

According to the Gamerscore Blog…Halo 2 will be released for Vista. This gives us a good indication of timeframe now anyhow.

“Halo 2” is making its PC debut on the Windows Vista platform. The game will have both the single-player campaign and multiplayer experience of the original, as well as the additional maps offered in the “Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack.” Gamers will also have the opportunity to build their own multiplayer levels.

Read more on the release of Halo 2 for the PC here…

Condemned: Criminal Origins – Scary Stuff

This week was a busy one at work and at home so there wasn’t as much time for gaming as I would have liked. However I did manage to slip in 30 minutes of Condemned: Criminal Origins each lunchtime (one of the benefits of living 5 minutes from the office). The game play is such that I could actually cover a decent chunk of the game in short bursts.

If there was one word I could use to decribe this game, it would be creepy. The game runs as a meld of Doom, CSI and Max Payne. You spend much of your time working through dark tunnels and buildings fighting off some very freaky strung out characters. Several times while playing, I have let out a vicious scream when I turned around to find a crackhead with a shovel about to clobber me. Great stuff!

For more information on Condemned: Criminal Origins, check out the following reviews.

Team Xbox – Condemned: Criminal Origins Review (Xbox 360)
GameSpy – Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360)
IGN – Condemned: Criminal Origins

CSI Video Game

Last Night I was bored and figured since I can’t take my Xbox with me when I travel I should at least have a decent PC game that could help pass the time.  Shane has been talking about checking out World of Warcraft for a while so I figured maybe it’s time I pick up a copy.  I haven’t played a MMORPG since Asheron’s Call so I would probably enjoy this. 

Of course, I couldn’t find a copy in any of the local electronics stores so instead I picked up a copy of CSI for a goof.  I love the show (the original one!) so I figured the game might be fun. 

Overall it’s not bad.  A little more lightweight on the strategy than I would have liked.  I was hoping that I would be somewhat challenged by the crime solving but really it’s a bit too easy.  If the game had multiple difficulty modes it would be much better.  But it is a decent time waster all the same.  I blasted through the first 3 crimes but hopefully they get more difficult as you advance.