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GamesFirst! Mailbag
feature | 11/21/05 | Matt James
This week in the Mailbag it\'s clear what\'s on gamer\'s minds: Xbox 360. With questions rolling in daily about the hard drive, backwards compatibility, and media features on the Xbox, we\'re doing our best to keep up. Check out this week\'s roundup of letters to GF! wherein you will witness not only answers to burning Xbox questions, but also the true power Matt wields to bestoweth the highly sought after \"shout out.\"
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Vietcong 2 Review
game: Vietcong 2
review | 11/21/05 | Sean Hilliard
Vietcong 2 puts gamers into the Vietnam War and allows them to play either American or Vietcong forces. Solid gameplay and nice production values make Vietcong a decent title, but a completely stock story and some boneheaded AI prevent it from standing out. Vietcong 2 is still a welcome change from the overplayed WWII games that proliferate these days. Check in with Sean Hilliard for his complete review.
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How To Get Podcasts on Your Xbox 360
game: Xbox 360
how-to | 11/20/05 | Shawn Rider
The Xbox 360 is a powerful media machine, in addition to being a powerful gaming machine. And with all of the new capabilities, we\'re sure to see a lot of fun and funky uses. So we thought we\'d kick off the interesting Xbox 360 media-centered ideas with this quick article about how to listen to podcasts while you\'re gaming. Now you don\'t have to make a choice between the evening news and gaming with your long-distance friends on XBL. And now you can listen to Val review games while you play them. How cool is that? Check it out here.
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How To Maximize the Media with the Xbox 360
game: Xbox 360
how-to | 11/20/05 | Shawn Rider
The Xbox is amazing for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is a whole raft of new multimedia capabilities. Now all media playback is handled by the system, which means you can overlay your custom soundtrack on any game you\'d like. Connect to other PCs on your home network, or to portable devices including PSP and iPod, and you can stream music right into your games. And if you have a PC with Windows Media Center Edition 2005, then the Xbox 360 becomes the hub of your media life: live television, recorded shows, and playback of videos from your PC are just some of the features in the new Xbox 360.
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What You Need To Know About HDTV
feature | 11/19/05 | Jeremy Kauffman
The Xbox 360 and PS3 will both use HD as the standard for all games on those systems. So, what do gamers need to know as they consider upgrading from the old antenae and tin foil combo to High Definition Television? Jeremy gives you the lowdown right here: From the basics of HDTV television and numbers to choosing an aspect ratio, display technology, and even what cords to use. Some call it in-depth. Others stand speechless in awe.
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I Like Watching You: Playing with Privacy in the Gaming Age
editorial | 11/18/05 | Aaron Stanton
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a campus-wide Wi-Fi service that can track when and where you connect, recording your location for up to 12 hours. It could be the next best thing in multiplayer game matching (find a PSP or DS user nearby to hook up a game), but with cities like San Fransisco and Philadelphia already looking into municipal broadband projects, this sort of technology also raises some serious ethical questions. And after recent news of World of Warcraft\'s \"Warden\" program spying on your computer we\'re worried about these issues coming directly to videogames. Sony\'s massive blowout with spyware, rootkits, and a public backlash that will no doubt severely wound the company, will also affect in some tangential way (at best) PlayStation 3 development and launch. Aaron takes a look at these issues and probes the changing face of your gaming privacy.
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Crash Tag Team Racing Review
game: Crash Tag Team Racing
review | 11/17/05 | Matt James
Crash Tag Team Racing comes a year after the old Double-Dash did in the venerable Mario Kart on Gamecube and double-dashed the hopes of many a fan. But don\'t be fooled by the immediate resemblance here: Crash Tag Team Racing might look like a Double-Dash rip-off, but in reality it has much more to offer. Combining a quality Crash platformer with zany, fast-paced racing action, Crash Tag Team Racing is unlike any other game we\'ve played. Still not convinced? OK, then, two words: Ninja Penguins. \'Nuff said. Check Matt\'s review here.
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Spyro: Shadow Legacy
game: Spyro: Shadow Legacy
review | 11/17/05 | Laurie Taylor
Spyro: Shadow Realm is more than a little shady. In fact, it\'s all we can do to keep from making a dragon-doo joke. But this one is for the kids, so let\'s keep it clean. Spyro: Shadow Legacy is a deeply flawed game, with unfinished, glitchy gameplay. It doesn\'t take long for the game to get repetitive, and the fact that half of the game is just the first half with a different color palette doesn\'t help. Check Laurie\'s review for the lowdown on Spyro: Shadow Legacy.
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Interview: NBA 2K6 on Launch Day
game: NBA 2K6
interview | 11/16/05 | Aaron Stanton
Jeff Thomas of 2K Sports and Visual Concepts took a moment to talk with us about NBA 2K6 for the Xbox 360. On the eve of the 360\'s launch, this is the last chance developers have to throw in a good word before the games hit the market and suddenly have to stand on their own. We take a closer look at NBA 2K6, what things have changed, what things have not, and what you\'re going to want to look for when this title hits your hot new console.
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Interview: The Story Behind Amped 3
game: Amped 3
interview | 11/16/05 | Aaron Stanton
The Xbox 360 is only days away from making its way into your home (if you\'re lucky), and the development community is collectively holding their breaths. In the last minutes before the first reviews begin showing up for games on Microsoft\'s new system, there\'s just a little bit of time for developers to say a word or two about their games before everyone gets a go at them. We take a moment to talk with Indie Built\'s Aaron Connors, Amped 3\'s Story Director, about one of the 360\'s first sports titles.
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Twoplayer Comic: Did You Say Something?
comic | 11/15/05 | Aaron Stanton
Sometimes articles rub people the wrong way. Sometimes somebody criticises a beloved video game, or says the wrong thing in an editorial about Nintendo. Sometimes, though, they just mention the fact that they\'re a girl that happens to play games. This week\'s twoplayer comic is partially in response to the reader reaction we got from an article we published last week called, gamesfirst.com/index.php?id=958\"" onClick="window.open( this.href, '_self' ); return false;" title="">A Look Behind Alice: A Woman\'s Reason for Gaming. The character profile of a casual gamer was received with mixed results. gamesfirst.com/index.php?thisComic=37\"" onClick="window.open( this.href, '_self' ); return false;" title="">Did You Say Something? is this week\'s twoplayer comic.

Twoplayer game comics are published weekly at gamesfirst.com\"" onClick="window.open( this.href, '_self' ); return false;" title="">http://comics.gamesfirst.com.
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Magna Carta: Tears of Blood Review
game: Magna Carta: Tears of Blood
review | 11/15/05 | Amanda Bateman
No, we\'re not talking about a legal document limiting the power of English monarchs in the year of 1215 (But, if you can make a fun videogame about that, we\'d love to see it!). Atlus and Softmax\'s Magna Carta: Tears of Blood is a new roleplaying game for the PS2 that has made its way from Korea to Japan, and is now on its way to make a new niche in the United States. Unlike the real Magna Carta, this game is no guarantee of increased rights for the aristocracy, but it\'s still OK with us. Get Amanda\'s take on it right here.
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Redefine the Grind: Sociolotron and the Atypical Gamer (Part Two)
game: Sociolotron
feature | 11/14/05 | Shawn Rider
Last week we published the first part of Shawn\'s in-depth look at the twisted world of Sociolotron. Billed as the ultimate adult MMORPG, Sociolotron features unprecedented levels of player freedom and sexual gameplay. But Shawn found that, much like novels by the Marquis de Sade, the bizarro sex quickly becomes banal and the real meat of the game lies in the ways players build their characters and live out alternative lives within the game. In Part Two of his feature, Shawn talks to senior citizen male prostitutes, lesbian lovers, and a wheelchair-bound mafioso who commands four in-game sex slaves. He also talks to Patrick Lagny, who has created Sociolotron almost single-handedly, about what motivates him to make such a game.

Needless to say, this article features explicit language and frank descriptions of adult and sexual themes. Reader discretion is advised.
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DOFUS Review
game: DOFUS
review | 11/14/05 | Chris Galbraith
Every once in awhile, a game comes along with solid gameplay and a lot to appreciate, but a very unfortunate name. I\'m remembering Seaman most specifically here. Although maybe if you say it with a native French accent, there is lesspotential for confustion. Afterall it\'s only a small twist of syllable pronounciation that separates DOFUS from a decidedly less attractive moniker. Regardless, DOFUS has a lot to offer: Tactics style RPG gameplay mixed with MMO elements all packaged in an atractive, cartoony package. With an international following and a development team dedicated to iterative improvements, DOFUS is a promising indy game project. Check out Chris Galbraith\'s review, available here.
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Resident Evil 4 for PS2
game: Resident Evil 4
review | 11/13/05 | Laurie Taylor
Resident Evil 4 is a massive lurch forwards for the quintessential survival horror franchise. A completely new control scheme makes RE4 a much more agile, fast-paced game experience, and the storyline is a refreshing departure from the old \"take out the secret Umbrella experiment\" rigmarole we\'ve gotten used to. This isn\'t your mother\'s Resident Evil game. Making its debut on the PlayStation 2 after a huge success on the Gamecube, RE4 is finding a whole new audience. Our woman Laurie gets down to business with Capcom\'s venerable old franchise, and she likes what she finds.
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