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Newsbriefs:  Alien Hominid HD  Updates,  Luxor 2  XBLA, UsabilityOne

Newsbriefs: Alien Hominid HD Updates, Luxor 2 XBLA, UsabilityOne

April 4, 2007 | By Staff

April 4, 2007 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC

[UPDATED: 3:30pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include 100 new PDA levels for The Behemoth's recent Alien Hominid HD and MumboJumbo's Luxor 2 hitting Xbox Live Arcade, and the hiring of playability expert Keith Steury to Australian firm UsabilityOne.

- Via the weblog of staffer Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb, Microsoft has announced the release of new downloadable content for the recently released Xbox Live Arcade version of The Behemoth's cult shooter favorite Alien Hominid HD. The most interesting of this content comes in the form of 100 new levels for the game's 'PDA' platforming minigame, available for 150 Microsoft Points. In addition, two separate picture packs containing 5 gamer pictures each are also available for 100 Microsoft Points each. Alien Hominid HD is currently available for purchase for 800 Microsoft Points ($10).

- As part of its regular Wednesday updates, Microsoft has released MumboJumbo's popular casual puzzle game Luxor 2 over Xbox Live Arcade. The game includes 88 levels, 15 different power-ups, and four levels of difficulty. This version of the game also includes a new gameplay mode called Pharaoh's Challenge, described as "a fast-paced arcade-style version of the game, where the user employs the Pharaoh's Dagger exclusively to eliminate the approaching spheres." As the latest game to be released over Xbox Live Arcade, Luxor 2 carries a price of 800 Microsoft Points ($10), and offers players the usual 12 achievements and 200 Gamerscore points.

- Australian usability firm UsabilityOne has announced the appointment of US 'playability expert' Keith Steury, to join the firm's Games User Research Group. Playability, the company notes, is "the ease with which users can negotiate their way through video games and interactive media; making the technology better for the user and driving sales for the publisher." Prior to Steury's hiring, he worked on over a dozen Microsoft games, including the the company's Halo series.
Said UsabilityOne director Shefik Bey, "Keith is a huge coup - not only for UsabilityOne but for the Australian market as a whole - especially as the games market grows and interactive media becomes more and more sophisticated," he said. "He brings a rare skills-set in game playability to Australia that is respected throughout the world."

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch take a look at the upcoming debut of documentary King Of Kong, a discussion on just who should be reviewing fl0w, and an interview with Rod Humble about his experimental game The Marriage.

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include news of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's new game related undergraduate degree program, and a feature by DigiPen professor Stephen Schafer on the power of premise in storytelling.

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include a new serious game to teach chemistry developed by Purdue University, a discussion on using World of Warcraft as a language tool, and coverage of a 2007 Serious Games Summit presentation by alternate reality game creator Jane McGonigal.

- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Blizzard Entertainment, Datascope Recruitment, Destineer, Disney Interactive Studios, Hothead Games, LucasArts, Midway Games, Radical Entertainment, and Telltale Games.

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