Xbox Live for Windows Phone is great. Unless you like playing compelling games

“Batman has the Lumia 900” said Shauna the sales assistant “its Batman’s phone”. “What will he do if I buy it then?” I asked churlishly “surely I’d get in the way of, nay hinder, his important work?” “It has the logo on the back, that’s all”. “Then I definitely don’t want it” I said “I imagined Batman would have a more exciting phone, I’ll just take the regular one please.” This was how my adventure with a Windows Phone began. How I embarked down a road I, and seemingly very few people, had travelled before. A journey that was set to be thrilling and fascinating in equal parts; one that would almost certainly be as full of games as it was excitement and the unknown. It had Xbox Live on it after all.

6 tips for improving your Trials Evolution times

Trials Evolution, the greatest motorcycle platformer since Trials HD, is finally out. Since Wednesday, I've been spending most of my nights taking my rightful position at the top of the leaderboards. In that time, I've sharpened my skills and gotten better at some of the insane obstacle courses that you'll find in this gem from developer RedLynx. Let me help you.

Coming Soon! 2/6/2012

When did the video game industry decided to use February as a sort of video gaming floodgate? January had zero releases. But come February and everything comes out faster than you can say “But I’m not done with Skyrim.” You better be! Because this week, another reportedly 100 hour RPG hits store shelves. If that’s too much, maybe a sequel ought to a four-year-old shooter with demonic tentacles ought to do it. No? Fine, go play the Resident Evil 6 stop gap then.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Review (X360) – Inviting. Tedious. Short. Pricey.

In the lead-up to its release, many had likened the elaborately-named Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (ITSP) to classic platformers such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Metroid Fusion. In terms of concept, I believe the comparison to be accurate enough; as the game gradually introduces new weapons and equipment that allow for players to explore parts of the play area that were previously inaccessible. In terms of execution however, there is very little left to go back to, and the expanded arsenal doesn't necessarily need to be implemented in combat. Striking visuals aside, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet doesn't have the depth to be mentioned in the same breath as a quality "Metroidvania" title.

A Sort of Sword & Sworcery EP Review for Artistic Consideration and Platform Debate and Intelligent Discourse

Before we begin, give yourself a pat on the back for owning an iPad. Feels good, amirite? Our day of reckoning has come. Sword and Sworcery EP is great, but I hesitate to call it a great “game”. It’s swo much more than that and deserves a better classification. Allow me to get academic with you a moment. It’s a great “art-thing”, yeah, let’s go with that. I feel much better now. Problem solved.

A salute to cannon fodder

Hey there guys and gals and welcome to yet another review… Hey wait second (*reads through the article a second time*). This isn’t a review. It seems that I have written a Top 10 list. I guess this must have something to do with Bitmob’s call for Top 10 lists. Well then let’s see what we have here shall we?

MySpace steps out of Facebook's shadow with "social entertainment" redesign

VentureBeat readers already saw screenshots of MySpace’s leaked redesign last week. But now the fading social network’s millions of U.S. users will be able to experience the site’s new beta version, unveiled today. It’s focused less on social networking — friend request denied! — and more on what it’s calling “social entertainment” to attract younger users.

My Life as a Necromorph: Dead Space 2’s Multiplayer

Yep, you read that title right: Dead Space 2 has multiplayer. Before you start angrily clack-clacking in the comments about developers shoe-horning multiplayer into games that don't need it, listen to this: It's actually pretty fun. It won't cause you to snap in half your copies of Halo: Reach or Modern Warfare 2 in a spontaneous act of jubilation, but it will extend the life of Dead Space 2 and provide you with a nice little diversion from the frights of the single-player campaign.

Video Game Zombies: Different yet Exactly the Same

Editor's note: I'll admit that I find something alluring about zombies — that creeping death now only a shell of its former self intrigues my imagination. I'm not alone, either, since so many developers work the walking undead into their games on a regular basis. Jordan demonstrates just how diverse their characterization can be. -Rob

Depth in Games

Things have been changing in the video game industry since Wii started crowning back in late 2006. Nintendo had the creative vision to break the mold of iterative technical upgrades with a system so unassuming and Apple-like that it ushered in an age where games are again for the whole family. In many ways it was the final catalyst for this superficial schism of demographics: supposedly every game now serves one party or the other, either the “hardcore” demo or the “casual” demo, elitists versus populists. A game is either brimming with dialogue-trees and branching complexity to serve us vested old-timers, or it’s covered in cheery swatches of green and blue and was made for your aunt to enjoy. Rarely is there crossover between the two because we don’t want any crossover – we at the helm of the industry equate “casual” with watered down depth, with an inferior experience. Our journalistic rhetoric supports that theory and asks readers to do the same.

Know Your Role – Anakaris, The Enigmatic Pharaoh

I’ve written before about my love of the Darkstalkers series of fighting games and its outrageous cast of characters. Drawn from classic horror movies and mythology, the roster was unlike anything seen in other games at the time. I was in college when the original Darkstalkers was first released in the arcades and I played it religiously to the point that I felt confident in my ability to win with all of the characters.

Fog of War — Two.Can Play’s First Editorial contributor Michael Rousseau issued a challenge to the Bitmob Community for the month of May to improve the readability of our posts. Using a series of algorithms to calculate readability, we could either write a new article or improve an existing one. I chose to improve upon the first editorial I ever wrote on my blog, which you can find after the jump. On page two is the revised article, readability results and my observations on the exercise. Enjoy!

300 Things You’d See at Sakura-Con

I'm still shocked that my previous article covering FanimeCon 2009 received so many views here on Bitmob. If that's the kind of stuff you guys want, well… have some more! I just finished up a fine weekend at the Sakura-Con anime convention in my hometown of Seattle. There were a ton of great costumes on display, many of which originate in the world of video games. I'd like to showcase those cosplayers to you in my usual format, which means an insane number of pictures. Please note that my knowledge of anime is limited, so I was unable to identify every character I photographed.

Star Trek Online: Seven Reasons Why You Should Care

Editor’s note: I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek Online when I played it during the open beta. If I had any free time, and it wouldn’t prevent me from playing other games, I’d be playing it right now too. -Jay

Natal? I Liked It Better when It Was Video Zone

Reading about Project Natal brings back a flood of precious memories of “childhood” me. Compensating for the loss of game time from Saturday morning cartoons by watching Nick Arcade in the afternoons and acting as though I were there. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I wished to be on that show. My excitement would build in anticipation of the shows zenith, the Video Zone!

Patch Note Previews (For June 7 – June 13)

This week is sports week in the video game world, but not your typical sports ala basketball, football or baseball. We have tennis, golf, and shape-shifting? Tennis and golf introduce “Wii MotionPlus” into its family with finer control and another peripheral to purchase. Thanks Nintendo. Here’s the 2nd week of June featuring MotionPlus excluding “Prototype”!Virtua Tennis 2009 (360, PS3, Wii) (June 9th) SegaIt’s been quite some time since we last heard from the “Virtua Tennis” series (2007), but they’re finally back. “Virtua” looks to be “Virtua Tennis 3” with slightly better graphics and some different tennis players like Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, and others. There will also be new mini-games like Pirate Wars and Block Buster. This could easily of been downloadable content with new mini games, players, and tennis courts, but maybe that’s why it’s not full-priced? Serve, volley, and slam your way to the stores on Tuesday for 360/PS3 for $49.99 and for Wii for $39.99. In the Wii version, “Wii Motion Plus” is enabled (sold separately), where players have better control when directing their shots using the wiimote. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2) (June 8th) Electronic Arts“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010” is back with its annual release for the golfing savants and people who don’t ever watch golf, but play this game. “Tiger Woods” has this mystical spell that entices us towards it, but most EA games do (Madden, that means you). This iteration introduces some new events like the U.S. Open and new courses like Torrey Pines. This isn’t “Hot Shots Golf”, so if this is your first time with “Tiger”, well, it’s pure golf. Check out the demo available on PSN and XBLA for your downloading pleasure. Drive those golf carts to stores on Monday for $59.99 on 360/PS3, $49.99 on Wii, $39.99 on PSP, and $29.99 on PS2. There’s also a Wii bundle including the “Wii MotionPlus” add-on for $59.99 which provides better control and a more “realistic” feel when swinging. Prototype (360, PS3, PC) (June 9th) ActivisionIn Radical’s “Prototype”, players assume the role of Alex Mercer as he wakes up with no recollection of why the military is inspecting his body and why he has certain powers in mutant freak capital of the world, New York. Your main abilities are shape-shifting and consuming enemies. With shape-shifting, players can transform appendages into searing blades, fortress-like shields, or whatever to aid in the fight against the military and the infected. With enemy consuming, Alex absorbs downed enemies to access memories, powers, and the ability to “become” them. “Prototype” looks enjoyable with its devastating combos and sheer chaos on New York streets, but it reminds some of Radical’s “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction”, which can be construed as good or bad. Alex can also run at 100 mph on command, so beg him to pick up a copy on Tuesday for $59.99 on PS3/360 and $49.99 on the PC.

What I’ve Been Playing: Loco Roco 2

I had to have something more casual after the grind fest that was Final Fantasy 3, so I popped in Loco Roco 2. I really enjoyed the first game. It was fun, quirky, and very entertaining. If you aren’t familiar with the basic concept, you control the screen by tilting it left or right with the L and R shoulder buttons, hitting both together to flick the screen and make your guy jump. You roll your little blob around the world, looking for orange plants to eat and become bigger. At any time you can hit the circle button to break up into individual blobs. Try to find all 20 of the plants in each level, and progress through the levels to the end of the game, that’s about it.Both games stick to that formula, but there’s more thrown in throughout levels to spice it up. So far I’ve experienced many objects that I can crawl into and then roll around in. You can also hold the circle button in the water to sink down and explore the depths. I’m glad that the game added new abilities like this to help break up the game play, but the implementation annoys me.In order to get most of these new abilities, you have to reach a certain level where you are greeted by a guy who shows you how to do them. Doing it this way quickly makes it into a Zelda type scenario where you can see areas the first time through the level that you can’t reach and you know you’ll have to come back later with some new ability in order to get there. I’m one of those people that play games obsessively, meaning with the first Loco Roco I would often play through a level over and over until I got all 20 plants, and then move on, so creating this artificial barrier to me completing the level 100% is frustrating.The game as a whole can be super annoying. You will inevitably hit some spike or something right before the end of the level, and have to do the whole thing over again in order to complete it with all 20. Even so, it always compels me to keep turning on the game and try levels again. The game can quite easily jump the line between quirky and kiddy though. It’s not really fun to collect stamps in the levels and then put them onto stamp cards to get new items, it just seems like a kids game in moments like that. Then there’s oddly adult themes. I’m not the only one who notice the boy roco and the girl roco’s little… uh, appendages would seem to fit together perfectly am I? I’ll leave you with some pictures so you can decide for yourself. If the yellow and pink ones go together, who gets the rest?Is this phallic?These have got to be phallic, right? This post as well as all my other writings on music, movies and more can be found first at