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Has anyone noticed I’ve sort of eschewed the whole “intro” thing and gone straight into the news and reviews as of late? Huh…what’s up with that?

Well, another week, and another set of downloadable goodies on the Wii and Xbox Live Arcade. Today on the Wii, we’re offered up three more oldies but goodies, SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 (NES), ECCO: TIDES OF TIME (Genesis) and DRAGON SPIRIT (Turbografix 16). On XBLA this Wednesday, we have the classic MISSILE COMMAND to look forward to, just in time for Independence Day. Kinda says something, doesn’t it?

Also in the world of downloads, Tom Clancy fans may have noticed that the RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS map pack BLACK EDITION was offered and subsequently pulled, both last Wednesday. It seems it was mistakenly offered both too soon and for too much. As that was the same day that R6: VEGAS hit the PS3 (and, also offered the BLACK and previously offered RED EDITION maps included for free on the game’s disc) it’s timeliness and price were a bit of a hit to the fan’s hearts and wallets. Well Ubisoft didn’t want to hurt the Xbox loyal fans who already were playing the game to feel like the PS3 version got any perks over theirs…and thusly offered it again Saturday for the excellent price of FREE (much better than the previous 800 Microsoft points…$10 US). Apparently, this was their original intention. Not only that, but the previously offered RED EDITION will be dropped to the low, low price of FREE as well, next Saturday, July 7th. Not too shabby…

For those couch-bound rockers waiting for the next fret-filled entry into the GUITAR HERO series to hit multiple consoles, PS2 fans are getting a bit of an add-on with the expansion game GUITAR HERO ENCORE: ROCKS THE 80’s. While not a sequel in anyway, this expansion offers the same modes from GHII but with more spandex and lip-liner than any “Just Say No” generation kid can handle. The latest tracks announced are as follows:

  • Caught in a Mosh (as made famous by Anthrax)
  • Balls to the Wall (as made famous by Accept)
  • Electric Eye (by Judas Priest)
  • Los Angeles (as made famous by X)
  • Police Truck (as made famous by Dead Kennedys)
  • We Got the Beat (as made famous by The Go Go’s)
  • (I Think I’m) Turning Japanese (as made famous by Vapors)
  • Seventeen (as made famous by Winger)
  • Because, it’s Midnite (by Limozeen)Previously announced tracks include:
  • Hold On Loosely (as made famous by .38 Special)
  • No One Like You (as made famous by Scorpions)
  • Only a Lad (as made famous by Oingo Boingo)
  • Ballroom Blitz (as made famous by Krokus)
  • The Warrior (by Scandal)
  • What I Like About You (as made famous by The Romantics)
  • Wrath Child (as made famous by Iron Maiden)
  • I Wanna Rock (by Twisted Sister)
  • I Ran (by Flock of Seagulls)
  • Round and Round (as made famous by Ratt)
  • Metal Health (as made famous by Quiet Riot)
  • Holy Diver (as made famous by Dio)
  • Heat Of The Moment (as made famous by Asia)
  • Radar Love (as made famous by White Lion)
  • 18 and Life (as made famous by Skid Row)
  • Bathroom Wall (as made famous by Faster Pussycat)
  • Lonely is the Night (as made famous by Billy Squier)
  • Nothing But a Good Time (as made famous by Poison)
  • Play With Me (as made famous by Extreme)
  • Shaken (as made famous by Eddie Money)
  • Synchronicity II (as made famous by The Police)Personally, as a fan of 80’s music, I’m looking forward to this more than the new GUITAR HERO III.And lastly today, following the European launch of HOT PIXEL, Atari today announced the release of a playable demo of the mini-game title for PSP, available for free download now www.yourPSP.com. The HOT PIXEL demo is the first demo from another publisher ever to be made available on the site. HOT PIXEL features 200 riotous mini-games taking inspiration from old school gaming and the new school digital lifestyle. The player guides his skate geek character through an “average” day in his pixilated digital world, taking on a series of increasingly weird and comic quick-fire mini-games ranging from the subtly eccentric to the wildly outrageous, borrowing some choice moments from Atari’s colorful video game past along the way. According to Atari, the demo features “one full episode of HOT PIXEL comprising 10 mini games and a boss battle featuring tasks thrown at the player include catching marshmallows, skateboard odd-one-out and staying on a diet in the face of an onslaught of hamburgers.” Let the craziness ensue.
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