Entertainment

Xbox live gets update Tuesday

This Tuesday, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 update will also add a socializing aspect to the Xbox live service.

This will let you connect with old friends and meet new ones from the eight million-plus users on the Xbox live service.

The update will also let you download original Xbox games onto the 360’s hard drive.

Some of the games available Dec. 4 are Burnout 3: Takedown, Halo 1, Fable, Crimson Skies, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex, Psychonauts and Fuzion Frenzy.

All games will be available for 1,200 points each.

The update will also have 84 original Xbox games that will now be playable on the 360.

n Here is something cool for all those Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable owners.

The latest update lets you play all the videos that you have on the PS3 from the PSP anywhere in the world as long as there is Internet access.

Imagine going on a boring road trip, fire up the PSP and you can view all your videos that are on the PS3.

I have used this feature and almost warrants the purchase of the PSP just for that reason alone.

Silent Hill Origins

Silent Hill 1 and 2 were two of the creepiest and frightening games for their time.

The last few games, sadly, weren’t as great as the originals.

Konami is now bringing the series, for the first time, to a hand-held.

The game starts you out as a trucker named Travis trying to save time by cutting through the town of Silent Hill — big mistake.

He is driving along when all of a sudden a little girl appears out of the fog and Travis slams on the brakes and then tries to follow her on foot.

Travis must find his way out of the town and will find out what happened to turn the town into the scary Silent Hill we’re used to.

The visuals look great on the PSP. All the fog and gruesome textures from past games are here in all their glory.

The game truly sends an eerie and unsettling feeling across to the gamer. The sound design is also very good and is one of the creepiest soundtracks that I have heard in the series.

The music intensifies when a enemy is close, making you jump at the slightest noise. The games in the past had some combat issues with the character being almost useless while fighting unless carrying a weapon.

This issue has been addressed with Travis being able to fight hand-to-hand if you are caught without any weapons.

There are plenty of things to use as weapons in Origins from knifes and typewriters to guns.

There are some camera issues that seem to be more problematic during combat which can leave you open to attacks while trying to figure out where the enemy is. The puzzles are back and are better then ever.

Konami has done a great job of telling the story of what happened to turn the town of Silent Hill so evil.

With the improved combat system and of the scariest atmospheres in the series, this is a must for any Silent Hill fan or anyone who enjoys a great fright. Rated M for mature, it gets an eight out of 10 rating from me.

Viva Pinata Party Animals

Last year an original game, Viva Pinata, was overlooked by most was released by Rare.

When I saw a copy of Pinata Party Animals I was secretly hoping it was a sequel to the original Pinata game.

Sadly I was mistaken.

First if you see the original Viva Pinata in stores — pick the game up, it’s dirt cheap — and is a overlooked gem on the 360.

This game is more inspired by the Saturday morning cartoon show.

This is a party game with the lovable characters from the original Pinata and Saturday morning cartoon show.

The visuals are nice and colourful. It does a great job of looking like the great Pinata title that preceded it.

The soundtrack also does a good job or recreating the lively and upbeat feeling.

The game play is what made the original a treasure in many eyes.

The game’s mini games are the standard races, button pressing dances, target shooting and more. The games are easy enough for most people even small children to pick up.

There are some original power ups littering the race track that have some cool effects like one that turns you into a butterfly to fly ahead of the pack.

The games do also get repetitive far to soon. With all the cute and charming characters this just is too shallow too keep even little ones interested for long.

The game also has no options to customize your experience. There are only two modes — online or offline — to choose from.

Without the cute, fun and colourfulness of the Pinata’s this game would lose the interest of the game player even faster. Yet you will still lose interest after a short time. If the game cost less than full price and had some added some mini games worthy of the Viva Pinata license, then I would be more then happy to recommend the title.

This is some simple funny for some younger players. Viva Pinata Party Animals gets a six out of 10.

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