crackdown

Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst is an Xbox Live title that can’t seem to catch any breaks. Sure, when it debuted we gave it a positive review. After all, its ability to use both a phones’ GPS locations and satellite photographs to create in-game maps is quite innovative. But even at launch, the game’s online servers (required to use many of its features) performed sporadically at best. A series of patches that should have fine-tuned its performance instead introduced new issues. It got so bad that one of Project Sunburst’s Achievements became unobtainable for new players, necessitating its inclusion in our Broken Achievements exposé.

This week, Project Treadstone, I mean Sunburst was pulled from the Windows Phone Marketplace without explanation. We haven’t received a comment from Microsoft yet, but it’s safe to assume that the game’s ongoing problems and customer complaints resulted in the pull. Given that the game started out semi-broken and never became 100% properly functional after several updates, it’s possible that the development team just can’t get it fixed, but that’s a worst-case scenario. Hopefully Microsoft Game Studios cures what ails Project Sunburst and gets it back on the Marketplace soon. In the meantime, people who own the game should not delete it from their devices as they won’t be able to redownload it until it officially returns to the Marketplace.

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Broken Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone

For many gamers, Xbox Live Achievements are the Windows Phone platform’s main selling point. They provide primary and secondary goals to strive for in games. They also make it easy for other people to see what you’ve accomplished. Earning Achievements contributes to GamerScore – an overall score that quantifies a person’s accomplishments across Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Games for Windows Live games. It’s a brilliant and addictive system.

Except when something goes wrong. Despite the apparently rigorous testing that games undergo during the Xbox Live certification process, sometimes a game is released with one or more with unobtainable Achievements. We call an Achievement broken or glitched when it is impossible for gamers to unlock through any means.

Why are glitched Achievements a big deal? As I said, people get addicted to earning Achievements. Obsessive compulsive types eat them up. People who really buy into the Achievement system sort of calculate the full 200 GamerScore into a game’s purchase price. They feel ripped off if they can’t get the full 200 no matter what they do. Even for less compulsive gamers, it can be frustrating to go through the effort to satisfy an Achievement’s unlock conditions and find that it didn’t unlock.

Head past the jump for the full list of broken Xbox Live Achievements and what’s being done to fix them.

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Last week we covered a flurry of updates for Xbox Live titles, including The Harvest, ilomilo, and iBlast Moki. We had some trouble digging up release notes for Crackdown: Project Sunburst’s version 1.2 update though. At last, the contents of the update have been revealed.

Crackdown: Project Sunburst v1.2.0.0 changelog:

  • Overall connectivity is more stable and reliable.
  • Fixed an issue where players who moved phones were not able to play the game.
  • Fixed bugs related to Friends’ bases not scrolling or displaying properly.
  • Improvements to the My Bases screen to make it more clear what things do.
  • More consistent integration of player’s overall GPS settings.
  • Added a FAQ link in Help and Options that links to the Facebook page.
  • Numerous other small fixes.

Sounds good, right? Brace yourself… We’ve heard rumblings at the game’s Facebook page and other places that this update is causing some users to lose their save files, destroying hours of work. The Slumber Party Achievement has also become unattainable for some people, presumably forcing them to sleep by themselves, which is never fun. Project Sunburst is an innovative game, but it’s disheartening to see that after several months of release it still doesn’t work quite right.

Don’t let me scare you away from trying it out, though. Crackdown: Project Sunburst is a unique tower defense game that integrates with Bing maps to allow players to defend real world locations. Our review found the gameplay quite addictive. Buy it for $2.99 or try the demo here (opens a link to your Zune software) on the Marketplace.

Thanks to Kathy Richardson at Microsoft for the release notes.

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Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst - Review

Microsoft Game Studios is offering Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst over at the Marketplace. If you like fast paced, busy-type action games, Project Sunburst is worth a try.

Project Sunburst is a tower defense game where you defend your base camp from mutant freaks. Base on the popular Xbox 360 game, Crackdown, the Windows Phone 7 game adds a local twist to it.

To see how Project Sunburst measured up, ease on past the break.

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