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Get Your Xbox Live Diamond Card
game: Xbox Live
news | 12/24/05 | Shawn Rider
Microsoft has announced a new perks card for members of their Xbox Live Gold service. Gold level members now qualify for a free \"Diamond\" card, which is an actual, real gamercard you can carry in your pocket. Now you can show off your Xbox geekiness even when you\'re away from your console. And wait, it doesn\'t stop there: The Diamond card qualifies holders for special deals and discounts at an array of retailers. If you\'re a Gold level member of Xbox Live, sign yourself up.
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Kingdom Hearts is Back Again
game: Kingdom Hearts II
preview | 12/23/05 | Amanda Bateman
Chances are you\'ve already heard about it. Chances are you\'re also greatly anticipating it. A few of you are already playing it. It\'s time to dust off your trusty old Keyblade and give Donald and Goofy a call, because Kingdom Hearts II for the PlayStation 2 is out in Japan, and is on its way to the States very soon. In the meantime, you can refresh yourself by picking up a copy of Kingdom Hearts...in comic form.
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AGSDE Expo Asia 2005: The PS3 Construction
feature | 12/23/05 | Aaron Stanton
The 4th Asian Game Show & Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 in Hong Kong might not be showing off anything cool from Microsoft, but they\'ve certainly got something from Sony. GamesFirst editor Aaron Stanton takes a quick peek at the show floor the day before the expo opens to the public, and reports on the warm fuzzy feelings he got at seeing the PlayStation 3 logo being raised above Sony\'s booth. AGSDEE might not be as well known in the west as E3 or CES, but it\'s an opportunity to see hands-on what Sony plans to offer. You\'ll want to keep an eye open as the four day exposition kicks off.
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Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species Review
game: Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species
review | 12/22/05 | George Holomshek
Zoo Tycoon 2 managed to keep a number of people up late into the night in its original form, and now there\'s an expansion to help add hours to the fun. Microsoft\'s new expansion gives you things like sky trams, official Jeep tours, and a gun-less FPS element, but is there really anything new here? We take some time to run through Zoo Tycoon\'s new elements to see if there\'s enough depth here to justify a $30 purchase.
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How to Find an Xbox 360
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/21/05 | Shawn Rider
Via Major Nelson (the Xbox Live Director of Programming), we discovered Sean Alexander\'s blog posting about how to keep track of recent Xbox 360 shipments. Alexander describes a method of using the Ben\'s Bargains Xbox 360 Shipment Tracker along with URLy Warning, a program that allows you to monitor web pages for any changes. By following the simple instructions outlined on Alexander\'s blog, you can be sure to find the Xbox 360s as soon as they arrive in your neighborhood. Check it out.
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Xbox 360 Hacking Gets Started, Suggested Laser Beams Fail as Deterrent
game: Xbox 360
news | 12/18/05 | Aaron Stanton
Before it was released, Xbox 360 engineer Chris Satchell went on record as saying that the system would include security measures, \"the hacker community has never seen before.\" At the time we could only speculate what that meant. Microsoft was claiming the system would be close to unhackable. Now, it looks like the hacking community is making progress. Turns out that members of Team PI Coders have found a way to pull source files off the Xbox 360 as games are loaded. Let the race begin.
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GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up: Lucky Number 13
podcast | 12/16/05 | Val Townsend
Val Townsend, the Atomic Goddess, is back again with lucky podcast number 13. This week, we take a look at the latest news, including speculation on Nintendo\'s recently hinted \"secret\" regarding the upcoming Revolution console, as well as Clinton and Lieberman\'s Family Entertainment Protection Act. We also have reviews of Perfect Dark Zero and King Kong. Finally, we take a look at Dreamcatcher Interactive\'s cult-hit Painkiller, coming to an Xbox near you in January. Download the latest audio offering from your pals at GF! right here.
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Xbox vs. Xbox 360 with Video Capture: Side-by-Side Comparisons
game: Xbox 360
feature | 12/12/05 | Aaron Stanton
Last week, we here at GamesFirst published a side-by-side comparison of King Kong on the Xbox and Xbox 360. By looking at nearly identical games, it\'s interesting to see the graphical differences between the two. However, the Xbox 360\'s major differences are in the ability to render dynamic lighting and environmental effects, which are difficult to see in static screenshots. As a result, we\'ve redone the article using side-by-side video capture from each system. The differences are both more obvious, in the cases when a difference is visible, and more underwhelming, when certain key scenes are difficult to distinguish between the two. Take a look, and decide for yourself.
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Degrees in Game Design Help Gamers and Nongamers
editorial | 12/08/05 | Laurie Taylor
Ted Rueter\'s editorial trashing game studies and game design programs in colleges and universities has really gotten the dander up around the GF! offices. One of our resident gaming academics, Laurie Taylor, who is finishing her PhD in English studying games, responds to Rueter\'s criticisms in the best possible way: refutation and redirection. Laurie points out the wonderfully sensible fact that if people want less violent, better games, then they had better study games in order to find out how to create those new experiences.
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Xbox 360 Core System: More Hub for Your Media Dollar
game: Xbox 360
feature | 12/05/05 | Shawn Rider
It might be heresy, but let\'s consider for a moment the Xbox 360 as a media hub: The gaming features are \"extras\" and the media features are primary. We want to use the Xbox 360 mainly to stream music, images and video from the home computer. How does the Xbox 360 stack up to other media hubs like the D-Link DSM-320 or the Phillips Streamium? Shawn takes a look at some of the key reasons why the $299 Xbox 360 Core System is a good choice for users who might be more interested in media than videogames.
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Project Gotham Racing 3 Review
game: Project Gotham Racing 3
review | 12/05/05 | Chris Martin
PGR 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games to launch with Xbox 360. The Project Gotham series has become a staple of the gaming landscape: The hottest cars and the hottest graphics out there are found in this game. Our man Chris Martin has dreams of tearing up race courses all over the world, and PGR 3 fulfills those dreams. Check in for the complete review.
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A Follow-up: How Much Will Your Xbox Be Worth In 4 Days
game: Xbox 360
feature | 12/03/05 | Aaron Stanton
The Xbox 360 has been disappearing off store shelves, both in reality and online where the shelves are much less tangible. In in article we posted last week, we pointed out that eBay\'s Xbox 360 listings have dropped nearly 3,000 units a day, and we predicted that - if trends continued - eBay would be sold out by December 1st. Well, it\'s now December 3rd, and the question is... did they? Are prices on the rise again? Will Microsoft\'s claim of impending shipments manage to help reduce the online price gouging we\'re experiencing moving into Christmas?
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If They Were As Smart As We Think We Are
editorial | 12/03/05 | Jeremy Kauffman
We all have ideas for the next big thing, an idea for a game that everyone would love. The big difference between us and the rest of the world is that we can write about our ideas and entertain our delusions of \'having a real effect on the industry.\' To those ends, we present \"If They Were As Smart As We Think We Are,\" Matt and Jeremy\'s forum for sharing some of their hare-brained videogame concepts. We invite you to read and respond.
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Comparing Identical King Kongs on the Xbox and Xbox 360
game: King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
feature | 12/01/05 | Aaron Stanton
It\'s easy to want the Xbox 360; Microsoft has managed to put out a very sleek machine. However, what exactly are you getting when you put your money on the counter and head home with a new 360 in hand; better graphics? Better physics? We take versions of King Kong for the Xbox and play them side by side, scene for scene with that of the Xbox 360 version. Then we took pictures and sat them down for your enjoyment. See how well the ending generations of Xbox games compares up to the first generation of 360 titles.
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Fable: The Lost Chapters Review
game: Fable: The Lost Chapters
review | 11/30/05 | Chris Martin
Fable was a major game for Xbox, and in many ways it was a disappointment: It was quick, and many of the insanely innovative game ideas we originally heard about were tamed into merely interesting or innovative ideas. In the end, it could never shake the glory of what had initially been promised when legendary designer Peter Molyneaux first spoke about Fable. Now the Xbox receives the polished and buffed version of Fable that was released earlier this Fall for the PC. Fable: The Lost Chapters adds a bunch of new content to the game, ranging from new bosses to new moves and spells. It\'s a welcome addition to the game, and reminds us why Fable remains a game every Xbox owner must play: It\'s fun. Get the full review from Chris Martin right here.
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