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Star Wars: Force Unleashed

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Spike VGAs: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is a thing


Dec 12
// Brad Nicholson
It’s no Shadows of the Empire II, but we’ll take a Force Unleashed II announcement all the same. In fact, we have taken it and now we’re pushing it around in our mouths, savoring it for the time being.As par...
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GTA IV, Street Fighter IV, more are now 360 Platinum Hits


Oct 06
// Nick Chester
Microsoft has announced today that a bunch of titles have been dubbed "Platinum Hits" based on their top-ratings by critics and sales. The games Microsoft have deemed are both good and have sold well are:  ...

Preview: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

Sep 04 // Ben Perlee
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition (PC and Mac)Developer: AspyrPublisher: LucasartsTo be released: Holiday 2009Considering this is a PC version of the game, you would think some extra special features will be brought. Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, knowing the modding community, consider the best part of The Force Unleashed, the physics engine, all gussied up with Havok and the Euphoria Engine, to be “unleashed,” and played with. That's going to be hot.However, that's all speculation, and what we have here is the exact same special edition seen on consoles, for good or for bad. However, people who are used to the control scheme of PC games would find The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition to be pretty interesting. Walking around is controlled by the "WASD" keys, with force moves applied to buttons on a mouse. Right click is force grip, left is lightsaber, spacebar is jump, E is force jump, R is block, Tab is force lightning, and Q is dash. Since this was a hands-off event, I cannot say that it is better than a control pad, which is supported, although I will admit that the mouse means actions are fast and accurate.The game will offer no support for Windows Live, and currently, there are no plans for direct download.As for the Mac version, which I did not see, I was told that higher-end Macs are going to best run The Force Unleashed, meaning the Mac Pro is probably your best bet in getting this to run optimally. PC-wise, I was told that a two-year-old gaming laptop ran the game, although it was far from perfect, it apparently functions.However, the most exciting portion of my preview was actually a discussion of the exclusive content. While the Tatooine “A Fragile Hope” level is currently available for DLC, the Hoth level will remain only with the The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. For those inspired by a darker, non-canon plot line, this level should be pretty exciting. It offers a different take on this important element of The Empire Strikes Back, now called “The Wrath of the Empire.” Hopefully when a sequel comes along, this will be the direction the dev team takes, and I can guarantee this is one of the more enjoyable elements of The Force Unleashed.Ultimately, it looks like the The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for the PC and the Mac is designed for a rather specific audience: one that loves Star Wars, and one that wants to play this game, flaws and all. If that seems to be your situation, keep an eye out for this port later this year.
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If you played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, you probably know that there were good things and, well, bad things with the game. However, that has not stopped the game from selling well enough (six million copies) for there t...

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The Forced Unleashed 'Jedi Temple' DLC price slashed


Jul 20
// Brad Nicholson
Microsoft’s latest Deal of the Week is stellar. People who missed the first batch of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed downloadable content can now download the “Jedi Temple Mission Pack” for 400 Microsoft Bana...
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Nobody likes to get a bad review, not least the team who worked on last year's Star Wars hopeful, The Force Unleashed. It's clear that the team worked incredibly hard on making the game look impressive with believable Force p...

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Force Unleashed sells 1.5 million units, on track to be the best-selling SW game


Sep 24
// Brad Nicholson
Just like the demo, the retail version of Star Wars: Force Unleashed is breaking records. According to LucasArts, Force Unleashed has sold over 1.5 million copies in its first week and apparently is on track to become the bes...

Destructoid review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Sep 15 // Dyson
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3, 360 [reviewed], Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, mobile) Developed by LucasArts Published by LucasArtsTo be released on September 16, 2008 Not too long ago, I went to see Star Wars: The Force Unleashed at LucasArts' studio. In my preview, I mentioned that The Force Unleashed looked to be shaping up as a true Star Wars movie wrapped in a video game. From the opening Vader intro to the first boss fight, what was shown displayed top-notch production values along with a very positive nod towards satisfying any series fan. With the final release of the game, I can say that my opinion has not changed. From beginning to end, the attention to detail and presentation is absolutely phenomenal. Each and every cinematic that you see has an almost movie-like quality to it. The quality of the animation and the (believe it or not) outstanding voice talent combine to give the illusion that you are playing an actual movie -- not just any movie, but a Star Wars movie. The Force Unleashed seamlessly interweaves these gorgeous cut scenes into and out of gameplay so well that the usual marked difference between playing and watching becomes very pleasantly blurred.One of the reasons for this blur is that the same amount of effort used to make the cut scenes is also apparent during gameplay. While some games only look good in their cut scenes, The Force Unleashed looks great all the time. Whether it be the detailed environments, the costumes, or just the fluid movement of the unique in-game characters, no penny seems to have been pinched in making everything as visually stunning as it can be. But while the entire visual package is, bar none, some of the best I’ve seen in awhile, a game cannot rest on its appearance alone.  By now you may have noticed that everything about The Force Unleashed’s presentation is impeccable. Since I’m the one telling you that it is, I certainly won’t try and argue against myself in telling you that the game is almost a movie in its own right. As a movie, it’s amazing, but The Force Unleashed also happens to be a videogame. You know, something that is played. And it’s upon playing The Force Unleashed where certain negatives begin to show.As I mentioned in my preview (and as is unmistakable by looking at the game’s box), the entire thrust of The Force Unleashed's gameplay is centered on using, surprise, the Force. While I certainly had my issues when viewing the preview, I had figured it was just my newness to the controls. At the time of writing this, I’ve completed the entire game twice, and I still have issues with the Force controls. A type of floating lock-on determines what your Force powers will be used on. Where the lock-on "square" positions itself is dependent upon what’s in front of you and the direction that you’re facing. This sounds like it should work fabulously, but the AI that the lock-on uses needs some more work. The reason that it needs more work is because the lock-on will shift -- not only when you move, but when the enemy moves, too. Since the Force target square doesn't distinguish between the type of objects you can apply the Force to, consistent and accurate usage of the becomes a trying experience. Allow me to explain. Countless times throughout the title, you’ll be trying to use the Force Grip on an enemy that is right in front of you. More times than not, the enemy will move in a way that will change where or what your Force Grip will attach to. You would think that the next logical choice would be the other enemy that is right in front of you, but you’re wrong. Nine times out of ten, you’ll end up locking onto a crate, or even worse, a crate that isn’t even on the screen. Meanwhile, said enemy and his cohorts, who are still right in front of you, continue to shoot you in the face. This outcome is persistent throughout the title and is most frustrating during any sort of fast action or boss fights, of which there are many. The highest degree of frustration derived from this game also comes from the general use of Force powers during play. While you intentionally start off very limited in the usage of the Force, you eventually gain more experience and more abilities in its use. None of this will actually help you in the melee combat, though. Almost every enemy has attended the “school of cheapness” and has brought its diploma to The Force Unleashed.Enemies swarm, attack, and shoot you incessantly while you are in fighting range, and this makes using the more impressive (or even useful) Force powers somewhat impossible. When dealing with any group of enemies, I found that the best tactic for not dying over and over again was to find something to hide behind and whittle the number of enemies down by blindly throwing them, or throwing something at them, until their numbers were less fatal. The enemy AI is brutal to a fault, and takes away from the game’s intention of using the Force to deal with situations while relegating a majority of the combat to lightsaber melee tactics. I would also like to mention that the second boss battle is, by far, the cheapest boss battle I’ve played in the last ten years. Only upon the second playthrough (with almost fully maxed out Force powers) was he more manageable -- just a warning for your first time through.As you play, you will find yourself routinely irritated by the loose Force controls and the brutal and occasionally unbalanced enemy AI. You may also notice some inexplicable frame rate freezes during the game, especially while playing as Vader, but all other issues are minor and not worth mentioning.Now while it may sound like the entire experience is marred by these control issues, that is somewhat not the case. While these issues are persistent throughout the title and, in my opinion, certainly detract from the overall enjoyment of the game, those who are longtime Star Wars fans will be more than satisfied with their Force Unleashed experience. Without a doubt, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a masterpiece of storytelling and fits magnificently into the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately, as a video game, the gameplay issues in The Force Unleashed are extremely noticeable and hinder a lot of the enjoyment that is derived from the narrative. Score: 7.25 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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One of the many things that can tie a generation together is their shared memory of pop culture. One can easily distinguish another person from their generation by comparing such things as movie quotes, theme songs, cartoon k...

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Force Unleashed breaks demo record, also people like Star Wars


Sep 11
// Brad Nicholson
In a mere eight days after its demo release, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has reached one million downloads over Xbox Live. According to Edge (via OXM) this is a record. I would like to meet the man that keeps track of thes...
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First Jimpressions: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed


Aug 21
// Jim Sterling
As we announced earlier today, a demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has arrived to Xbox Live in downloadable demo form, and we were eager to snap it up and get our hands around this delightfully destructive game. After s...
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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed demo hits Xbox Live


Aug 21
// Jim Sterling
Microsoft has just announced that Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is now available in demo form. The demo has already won praise over at Penny Arcade for its incredible physics and ability to turn everything into a playground ...
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Force Unleashed demo unleashes soon


Aug 17
// Brad Nicholson
According to 360fanboy, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace August 21st. Despite all of the recent issues with staffing, it seems as if LucasArts is still on schedule with the game co...
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Force Unleashed heading to iPhone with fingersaber action


Aug 05
// Jim Sterling
If you're a fan of ridiculously expensive gadgets designed to make you look like the trendiest douchebag in town, then you will no doubt own an iPhone, and might be interested to learn that LucasArts is porting over its highl...

Hands-on with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (DS/PSP)

Jul 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
DS preview: Just like all the other versions, you'll start off Unleashed on the Nintendo DS as Darth Vader. He's on the Wookiee homeworld on a mission to hunt down Rebel scum. Before I go on, I just have to say how hilarious it is hearing the Wookiees make noises on the DS. I couldn't help but laugh every time I killed a Wookiee. They sound like little baby goats! Controls are very simple. You'll move around with the D-pad (or the face buttons for you lefties), L and R are used to block, and all of your attacks are on the touch screen. There are six icons on the touch screen for Force Push, jumping, slashing your Saber, Force Choke, Electric blast and throwing your lightsaber. What's really interesting about this touch screen setup is that you can drag the buttons together to string combo attacks. So, for instance, stringing all of the buttons in a counterclockwise fashion will release a giant Force blast, taking out anything near Vader. There will be over a dozen or so combos that will be available by combining the touch icons. One major thing lacking in the DS version is the ability to use the Force as freely in the console version. You can pick up objects and people, but can't move them around wherever you want to. In one part of the Wookiee level, I needed to lower a bridge with the Force. Whereas you would just pull a bridge down in the console version with the analog sticks, the DS will tell you which buttons you need to press to get the bridge down.  I love the control implementation, but that's really the only good thing about the DS version. The graphics aren't anything special and it really made it hard for me to enjoy myself as I played through the game. There will be a multiplayer mode as well, but we didn't get a chance to check it out. The DS version, along with all the other versions, will be out this September.  PSP preview:In an ironic coincidence, I really wanted to check out the DS version of the game instead of the PSP version. Since Hamza outweighs me by a good 20 pounds, I also didn't want to make a fuss. I did, of course, also do horrible things to his cheese steak sandwich, all the while wondering why mine had an "interesting flavor." Regardless of sandwich shenanigans, I did get some hands-on time with the PSP version of The Force Unleashed. Sadly, I didn't get too much time with it, so I can only give you quick rundown.The PSP and the PS2 versions are reportedly identical versions, but were based on their big brother counterparts. The difference, aside from the whole graphics thing, was that the PS2/PSP version include what are called the Historic Missions. Along with the main storyline, the player can load up one Historic Mission from past Star Wars canon and play it from the bad guy's point of view. I only had the time enough to play through the Darth Vader vs. Luke battle from Empire, but I certainly enjoyed the experience. Staying with the idea that you're going to be playing the antagonist, my role was to have Vader knock that whelp of a son right off that weird pointy thing in Cloud City -- sans arm. I would like to say that I succeeded in that task, but I found that Luke's quite a little punk-ass to fight. The battle scenario also contained the mechanic of the timed button press that we've been seeing in every game ever. As a mechanic I actually enjoy, the only complaint I had was that the prompts weren't very eye-catching. You usually end up not seeing the first one, then having to regain your ground until the prompt was activated again. Overall, I really didn't have all that much time with the game, but the Historic Mission feature was one that I would recommend for any fan of the series. If the remaining content complements these missions well, then I can definitely see this being a worthwhile purchase. Also, don't tell Hamza, but I did something even worse to his drink ;)
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After the marvelous Dyson and I got done playing through the Wii version, we were moved to the handheld versions of the game. Dyson made a mad dash for the PSP version, which is the version I wanted to try out. I didn't want ...

Hands-on with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Wii/PS2)

Jul 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The story, as you would expect, is completely the same as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. The game will start you off as Darth Vader as he hunts down a Jedi on the Wookiee home world. After the first level, you'll become the Apprentice, doing whatever your Master (Darth Vader) commands of you. Now, the story may be the same, but everything is presented differently here. With the Wii version, we started off on the second level as the Apprentice, who was on a mission to an Empire ship factory to take on the Rebels and a Jedi -- just like on the Xbox 360 version. In the cut scene that introduced this mission, however, the Apprentice and other key characters were in different positions and locations as the story was unfolding.  The difference also applies to the level design. We're in the same location that we played through on the PS3 and 360 versions, but the designs were completely different on this level. Everything felt more close-quarters and there weren't as many enemies on-screen at the same time. The Wii version isn't being handled by the same team working on the higher up consoles, so things like the Euphoria and DMM engines aren't actually in the Wii version. There is a system in place, though, that mimics these engines as best it can -- so you will see things like realistic ragdoll effects. Control-wise, you use the analog stick to move the Apprentice and you swing the Wiimote to slash with your lightsaber. The Wiimote/Saber has five standard motions with it, and yes, the Wiimote speakers make the proper lightsaber noises when swung around. The Nunchuk's motion sensing feature is used for your Force powers. Push the Nunchuk forward and you'll use your Force push. You'll use both controllers in conjunction to perform certain moves such as the Force Repulse, which has you moving both controllers down towards the ground and will have the Apprentice blast away everything that's near him. Pressing the Z button will pick up objects and people, and to move them around, you'll use the analog stick. When you have enemies up in the air, you can perform combo attacks, such as throwing your lightsaber into an enemy and shocking them with lightning bolts, to plenty more. There are also gun turrets scattered throughout the levels, which are only on the Wii version. When you come across them, use your Force powers to grab the turret. Once grabbed, they will hover near you for a short period of time and automatically target any enemies, saving you the trouble.I can go on, but Dyson more or less covered what you needed to know about the single-player experience. One last thing to note, though, is that you will have the ability to customize the Apprentice, just like in the other versions, by killing enemies and collecting Force Points. Now, time to talk about the multiplayer. The Wii version is the only console Unleashed title to have the "Duel Mode," and it's only going to be local versus. I think the best comparison to Duel Mode would be Power Stone. The arenas are similar as they're a large open space and the fighters have crazy powers with the ability to go into a super strength mode.To start off, you'll have 27 characters to choose from. The characters come from Unleashed, the Star Wars movies and the Star Wars Expanded Universe. You'll be able to pick from Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul and plenty of other iconic characters. Oddly enough, there is no Yoda here. When I asked why there was no Yoda, I was simply told that he's "too small." Well, that makes total sense, as he would be a very cheap character and including him in any kind of a fighting game would ... be ... unfair ... oh wait. Once you've picked your character, you get to choose between one of nine stages ranging from various Star Wars locations. I picked Darth Maul, and Dyson played as Luke Skywalker [Update: I originally said Dyson picked Han Solo. I always get the two confused, my bad!], which probably says a lot of our own personalities, but I digress. Every character has only one lightsaber, so even though Darth Maul should have the double Saber, he was limited to just one. The levels are pretty big and you can almost go wherever you want to. The camera will prevent you from going too far away from your enemy, so even though the levels are big, both players can't actually be too far away from each other. The match type we played in was a simple first to three wins type of deal. When a player is killed, they're respawned almost immediately, but neither player can hurt each other for a few seconds. You can run around freely while waiting to attack until you're given the all clear.All of your powers that you will get in the main game are already opened in Duel Mode so it's a matter of who's the quickest to strike. Full Force Powers are available, too, so you can pick up objects on the map to throw at your opponent or even pick up your opponent. As you fight, you'll fill up a meter located near your health bar. Once it's filled up, your character will become "Unleashed" and all of your powers will go into overdrive. All your attacks become stronger and will inflict some serious damage until you run out of juice. If both players strike at each other with the lightsabers at the same time, a mini-game in the style of God of War takes place. Wiimote and/or Nunchuk icons will appear on the screen in a certain position. This will happen a few times during this Saber lock and the first one to match up each pattern will break the Saber lock and inflict some damage. This will get pretty frantic as you're trying to move your Wiimotes to match the pattern. You have to be perfect, so even moving the controller a bit after matching it up will mess things up.There will be power-ups located on the map as well, ranging from increasing your attack powers or making you invincible, to actually calling in reinforcements such as Storm Troopers who will drop in a small group and blast at your opponent. They aren't invulnerable, though, so you can totally attack these guys.  Overall, The Force Unleashed is quite the experience. I found myself laughing a lot throughout the game. Simply picking up Storm Troopers and throwing them at other soldiers is a blast. Plus, picking up other people in the multiplayer is so much fun. One of the levels that Dyson and I played on had a giant pit in the center of the stage. The match on this level quickly turned into a heated battle of who can pick up and throw the other guy into the hole the quickest. I did have some issues with picking objects up and moving them around, but as Dyson noted in his preview, we didn't really have all that much time to fully get used to the system. I'm sure that with time, I could become a Jedi master. The PS2 version will be exactly the same as the Wii version, except for the motion sensing and Duel Mode features. Look for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to hit sometime this Fall. 
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So, as you read earlier, Dyson and I got to preview Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for every platform. The game is going to be relatively similar for each platform, with a few notable differences here and there. The most evid...

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Hands-on with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (360/PS3)


Jul 07
// Dyson
The other day, the handsome CTZ and I went over to LucasArts studios, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, to go through a comprehensive hands-on with the multiple versions of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. While Hamza...
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What? LucasArts lays off key members of Force Unleashed team


Jun 27
// SRVSLPS
A few weeks ago, LucasArts announced that it was laying off some internal staff as part of its restructuring plans. Yesterday, however, we were shocked to learn that those cuts included key staff that's been working on The Fo...
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New Force Unleashed video spoils us silly. Can you resist the urge to peek?


Jun 12
// SRVSLPS
If you are like the majority of gamers who shun anything resembling a spoiler, then you are going to want to skip this video -- however overpowering the impulse to watch it may be. Those of you willing to throw caution t...

Top 10 most anticipated Xbox 360 games of 2008

Apr 29 // Tom Fronczak
Fronz's Top 10: 10) Mercenaries 2: World in Flames After watching the trailer below, I'm convinced that Michael Bay is involved with this game's production, and while that might be bad if this were a movie, it can only mean a lot of fun awaits in the Mercenaries sequel. In between blowing up entire cities and hitchhiking helicopters, there looks to be enough varied gameplay to excuse the cheesy characters and dialogue. This game, along with many others on both our lists, seems to show a popular trend that games taking place in exotic settings far from America are in high demand this year. 9) Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures World of Warcraft might have millions of more online players to boast, but Age of Conan has millions of more polygons to brag about, and when you want to play a MMORPG that you'll stare at everyday for the rest of your soul-less life, then it's hard to tell which game is the right player poison to pick. I'd even put Age of Conan a few notches higher up on my list if it weren't for that annoying monthly MMO price tag that you have to worry about. 8) Banjo Kazooie 3 I've said it before and I'll say it again. Here's to hoping Rare doesn't kill off another part of my childhood: "Rareware is turning into that grandma plagued with Alzheimer’s — she used to give us some sweet birthday presents and now all she does is call the house 20 times a day with nothing new to say. Rare, please take your pills. We realize the trauma you went through when Nintendo divorced you, but Microsoft isn't that bad, there's no reason you had to take it out on Perfect Dark Zero. And breast feeding Kameo for seven years probably wasn't the best idea either. You might want to copyright Viva Funeral just in case things go downhill soon. I don't think you're ready for another baby, you might want to put Banjo Kazooie 3 up for adoption. Have you considered abortion? I'll mail you Duke Nukem's number." Rare, the Banjo Kazooie games are the only platformer series other than Mario that I still care about. It had better be music notes to my ears, or I'm giving up on you guys forever. 7) Resident Evil 5 A #7 spot might seem low, but a #7 from me means a lot for this game -- because I HATE zombie stories. Especially this series. I hated this series for years, constantly asking friends why they wouldn't just try making a similar game with less annoying cameras and controls. "You just don't get it" is what I was told for years. Then Resident Evil 4 came out in such a fashion, grabbed countless Game of the Year awards with ease, and I refused to play it out of spite. However, after seeing the recent trailer for the fifth game, I don't think I'll be able to put off jumping into this series any longer. I still despise zombies in general, but a survival-horror game that takes place in a jungle should be extremely refreshing from the typical city or woods clichés of the past. I Am Legend was the first zombie movie (other than Shaun of the Dead) that I didn't completely hate, and Resident Evil 5 is looking like it will be the first zombie game that I'll be able to enjoy. 6) Dead Space The trailer for this game reminds me of when I first saw the early BioShock trailers -- that tingly feeling that this game might be amazing. Sure, I thought the same thing about Assassin's Creed, but something tells me Prototype will end up being closer to this year's Ass Creed, and this game will be closer to BioShock. I can't remember the last time a game trailer made me jump in my seat and didn't come with a flashlight mod. Not to mention it looks a hell of a lot like Aliens, one of my favorite movies of all time. And most appealing of all: it's a survival-horror game with NO ZOMBIES! 5) Alan Wake Made by the people who brought us both Max Paynes, this game's older than the Xbox 360 -- is it ever coming out? By pushing PCs to their limits, Alan Wake looked as good as today's Xbox 360 games back in 2005, but its window of opportunity is closing quickly. This psychological action thriller takes place in a beautiful rural environment teeming with mystery, spectacular lighting and vicious weather-induced physics effects. Add to that an action adventure story that looks like what I envision Stephen King's autobiography to be, and you've got yourself a must-buy game for this console . . . if they ever release it. 4) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed We've seen a trilogy that explores the good side of the "force" and loved it. We've seen a trilogy that explored the bad side of the "force" and . . . well I hated a lot of it. In this game you play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice who's basically Luke if he had succumbed to Vader, and most importantly, George Lucas isn't directly involved. Above and beyond that, all you need to hear is the game's specs: ILM motion capture animations, plus the Havok physics engine, plus the Euphoria behavioral animations A.I., plus Digital Molecular Matter interactive game environments. Sold. This game is the equivalent of a fully revved Mustang or tricked out Lamborghini, and I can't wait to replace the sour taste George Lucas left in my mouth with something refreshing. 3) Castle Crashers When a game is basically Gauntlet Legends meets Zelda Four Swords, how can you go wrong? At #3, this artistically appealing action game sits in the exact same spot it did on my list last year. What's changed since then? Several delays and promises that the game will now be even longer and more action packed, with dozens of new unlockable characters and way more content. This is the sort of stuff gamers get promised all the time by delaying developers, but when The Behemoth, the men who brought us possibly the most famous indie game of all time, promises us something, we trust them and wait patiently without asking questions. Instead we bother the Media Molecule developers over why we must wait so long for the equally artsy and cute game LittleBigPlanet. How LittleBig can it be? 2) Fable 2 Characters who age realistically into an infinite amount of outcomes, coupled with environments that consist of trees and blades of grass that grow in real-time. That was supposed to be the first Fable game, so surely the sequel can't be far off from completely filling its shoes. Right? Right! Okay, well Peter Molyneux has been moderately tame this time around, and while he isn't promising us the game to end all games, everything he's shown so far has looked great. His promises of a dynamic world don't sound too far-fetched this time, and the atmosphere of everything revealed to date looks gorgeous and demands exploring. The dog sidekick mechanic looks like it might be the next Agro or Epona-worthy companion to win over the hearts of gamers, and the family and multiplayer aspects both seem to be a leap in the right direction that hopefully other developers emulate in the future. The downside? Don't be surprised if this game, among others on both our lists, slips into a vague 2009 release window. 1) Grand Theft Auto IV As a recent Game Art & Design degree college graduate, this game plucks all the right notes in my heart. Everything that could have been said about this game has already been said, and I agree with most of it, so I'll just mention what I hope to see from this series in the future as I pray that Rockstar leads the industry into a Golden Age of Gaming. I look forward to a day when games can swear freely just like the box office does excessively in its artistic pursuit of storytelling. A day when games can include tasteful or even tasteless and explicit nude scenes just as the box office does far more frequently without media protest. A day when games willingly explore violence and sexuality and homosexuality and racism and all other subjects that have seemingly been untouchable up to now by the game industry, despite the movie industry tackling today's biggest social dilemmas and getting Academy Awards for it as opposed to ignorant assholes on TV trying to prevent freedom of speech and artistic expression. A day when the world realizes that gaming is the number one entertainment industry because the average gamer is nowhere near his or her teen years, and can not only handle mature topics, but longingly begs the industry for them. And if I had to pick a single series that I think represents the millions of gamers trying desperately to shove the pendulum back at the idiots of all ages in the media, it would be the Grand Theft Auto series, and I highly doubt GTA 4 will disappoint. Now excuse me while I pick up my copy and find out for myself. Here's Grim with his own Top 10 list of the most anticipated Xbox 360 games of the year. Grim's Top 10:  10) Castle Crashers  Castle Crashers makes the cut primarily because I can never pass up a good 2D beat 'em up, especially one that's being developed by The Behemoth. Factor in Dan Paladin's drop dead gorgeous art and the notion that you'll be able to play the game online with 3 of your closest buddies, I think Castle Crashers could easily become the king of Xbox Live Arcade. Either that, or Frogger 2 will outsell it and Jeff Minter will laugh maniacally while trying not to spill the llama's blood from his chalice.  9) Mercenaries 2: World In Flames  My love for simulated bloodshed is topped only by my adoration for large-scale destruction, and it pretty much goes without saying that Mercenaries 2 will not disappoint in that respect. If it wasn't for a lengthy delay, we'd all be tearing up a virtual Venezuela by now. Assuming that the extra time is put to good use (and there's no reason it won't be), we'll end up with a more polished and enjoyable experience than was originally set in stone, and a sequel that will hopefully live up to its predecessor.  8) Brütal Legend  A Tim Schafer game starring an axe-wielding metal band roadie (voiced by none other than Jack Black) who's fallen into an alternate history chock-full of demons and other bizarre-looking creatures? If there's a cooler videogame premise already in existence, I haven't heard about it. While only a few screenshots and a CGI video have been released thus far, the guys at Double Fine have already proven themselves with the sublime Psychonauts, so we needn't be too worried.  7) Prototype  What happens when you combine The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Grand Theft Auto, and Riki-Oh? You get Prototype, an open-ended sandbox game that has you fighting an elite government organization in a viral-infected New York City. As one of the infected, you'll not only have super-human abilities, but you can also shape-shift and, should you find it absolutely necessary, punch straight through your victim's torso. If that fact alone doesn't put a sinister grin on your face, Prototype isn't going to be your cup of tea.  6) Ninja Gaiden II  Not even the painful memories of Ninja Gaiden's harsh difficulty will prevent me from anticipating Mutilationfest VI: The Bloodening Ninja Gaiden II. Ryu Hayabusa is back, and he's developed the insatiable desire to chop his enemies into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and then slice those pieces into even smaller pieces until there's nothing left but the smell of dried blood and über man-sweat. I can't speak for the rest of you, but as a gore-loving action junkie who's mentally prepared himself for another virtual roundhouse kick to the face, that sounds like a mighty good time.  5) Soul Calibur IV  I was already overly-excited to control revamped versions of Voldo (don't hate!) and Yoshimitsu in Soul Calibur IV, but when Yoda was announced as a playable character for the Xbox 360 version of the game (and Darth Vader for the PS3 version), my anticipation rose to startling new heights. While such a fighting scenario may seem a bit unusual to some, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you about Soul Calibur's female's nonsensical breasts that are so epic in proportion, you'd be risking your very life to enter the 10' radius that surrounds them. In short, this is one of those games that doesn't need to make a lick of sense to be fun.  4) Resident Evil 5  It isn't known for sure whether or not Resident Evil 5 will be out in 2008 (I've heard rumors of a possible Nov. - Dec. release), but that doesn't mean I can't anticipate it anyway. While little footage and info surrounding the game is available, we do know that RE5 centers around Chris Redfield a whopping 10 years after the events of the original Resident Evil. Additionally, Resident Evil 4's aiming scheme will be used, heat will affect gameplay in some way or another, and while the enemies do possess more intelligence than ordinary zombies, they aren't Ganados. If there was ever a way to build upon the sheer badassness of RE4, I think Capcom can pull it off.  3) Grand Theft Auto IV  A high-definition Grand Theft Auto with more realistic gameplay opportunities than previously thought possible? Count me in! Even after the unwanted controversy surrounding the series and GTA IV's delay, my anticipation for the game has yet to waver. Every so often we see a supposed groundbreaking new game that inevitably falls short of the unrealistic hype it receives from its legion of fans. Grand Theft Auto IV is not going to be one of those titles.   2) Fallout 3  Fallout 3 makes my list because while I could never get into the previous Fallout games, I still found their source material highly intriguing and want to see how Bethesda adapts it. Actually, I really just want to try out the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System for myself. If you're unfamiliar with V.A.T.S., it's basically a turn-based alternative to standard gunplay that lets you pinpoint your foe's specific body parts and watch them explode in great detail upon using your weapon of choice. The "Burnout with body parts" quote used to describe the system has been etched into my brain ever since I first heard it, and it'll remain there until I can get my hands on Fallout 3 and experience V.A.T.S for myself.  1) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed  The Force Unleashed combines Havok, Euphoria, and Digital Molecular Matter to bring us some of the most advanced gameplay mechanics we've ever seen from this generation of consoles. But what exactly does all of that jargon mean? It means the ability to create some truly hilarious situations involving Stormtroopers and those generic metal boxes that future civilizations will apparently carry in large quantities. Above all, Force Unleashed has wood that actually splinters like real wood. Tell me, is your mind blown too?What about you guys and gamer girls? What Xbox 360 games are you looking forward to the most this year? 
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A little over a year ago, Grim and I assembled top ten lists for our most anticipated Xbox 360 games of the year. Looking back, we both laughed about a few of our picks. For starters, we both picked Huxley, which still isn't ...

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Rumortoid: The Force Unleashed now has achievements


Apr 06
// NO LONGER WORKS AT DESTRUCTOID
With all of the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed news and videos hitting the web and TV this week, it is really hard to imagine that even more is available for a game as far off as September. Thanks to a faithful tipster, ...
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The Force Unleashed gets a release date


Apr 03
// NO LONGER WORKS AT DESTRUCTOID
Look, I drink...... and from time to time I watch Star Wars like it is was the cure for my disease. So to say this translates over to my gaming habits is almost a no-brainer. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a game that some...
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Del Rey is looking to satiate your Star Wars: Force Unleashed hunger pangs


Feb 20
// SRVSLPS
While we're chomping at the bit for the game to arrive this April, Star Wars: Force Unleashed fans will be able to make do with a little background reading instead, courtesy of Del Rey publishing.  Both the graphic novel...
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Vader unleashed: Play as the Sith Lord in latest Star Wars game


Feb 06
// Jim Sterling
Star Wars: Force Unleashed is shaping up to be a fantastic action title with its impressive physics and brooding story revolving around Darth Vader's secret apprentice. Today we've just had a new drop of news that's sure to m...
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CES 2008: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed


Jan 08
// Dale North
LucasArts was kind enough to invite me out to their private suite to see the latest build of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Unfortunately, they weren't kind enough to give me some hands on time, but the game looks amazing, s...
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The latest Star Wars: Force Unleashed trailer goes public


Jul 12
// SRVSLPS
After getting one of those stellar tips from Joe Burling that Entertainment Tonight would have the world premiere of the latest Star Wars: Force Unleashed on their show this evening, I was beyond stoked. Since I couldn't...

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