project sunburst

We reported on Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst being pulled from the Marketplace just recently--a shock to many because even though the game had a few issues, it was still quite playable (and other games have the same or worse issues).

The trend of pulling troubled apps/games and then re-submitting them once they are fixed is becoming and unfortunate trend of late and there was no reason not to expect Project Sunburst to return at some point (heck, Twin Blades was gone for months...).

Unfortunately, it looks like the developers of Crackdown 2 have had enough and are throwing in the towel. From their Facebook page:

"As many of you know, Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst has been removed from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on Windows Phone. If you purchased the game in the past 60 days, you will receive a refund credited to your account. Please note: with the removal of this game from the Marketplace, we will be discontinuing this page on Wednesday, July 27."

Ouch. This is a first for an Xbox LIVE game and quite a shame. Project Sunburst was the first game to feature asynchronous gameplay and use GPS/Bing Maps as the playboard--in other words, it was completely unique and imaginative, something that really stood out (even if gameplay was a bit boring after awhile). We really hope that this turns around but it sure doesn't sound like it. Sorry for the bad news folks, we're a bit crushed too.

Thanks, northernpipeman

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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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This morning the v1.1 update of Crackdown 2 was posted in the Marketplace.

We, being the curious bees we are, wondered what exactly had changed and were wondering why no change log was posted with the app description. In short we reached out to Karl Stricker of Microsoft who sure delivered on what was updated/fixed in the game and now we know why they didn't list it....the list is huuuge

So huge in fact we have to list it after the jump.  So if you want on all the deets, click on.

Thanks Karl, much appreciated!

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One of the top games in the Marketplace is Crackdown2: Project Sunburst (see review). Although kind of gimmicky, it's can still be quite fun for many, even addictive.

Nice to know then an update is coming up "shortly" for the title. No word on what the improvements are, but we can imagine general bug fixes and hopefully some performance enhancements as well. Also, those GUI controls could use some refinement.

Keep an eye out or follow us on Twitter @wpcentral for when it goes live.

Update: It's up. Seems to load faster, not much else is known yet. Find something, lets us know in comments.

Source: @KarlStricker

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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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We told you last week that Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst was due for release on this day and sure enough, here it is. Fetching for a very reasonable $2.99, the Xbox Live app looks to bring geolocation and asynchronous gaming (aka turn-based multiplayer) to Windows Phone. Very exciting, indeed. (See a video discussion with the developers + footage here)

Overall, we like what we see and you can give it a spin from the Marketplace yourself. Hit us up in comments on your thoughts of the game!

Grab Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst here (opens Zune).

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The long awaited and highly innovative Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst, which utilizes Bing maps, geolocation and asynchronous multiplayer support for some good old tower defense, is finally coming to our phones this month. Specifically, December 15th, according to Karl Stricker who works for Microsoft on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone7.

For many, this game should really show off some hitherto unseen gaming support on Windows Phone 7, bringing a new level of creativeness to mobile gaming. This will be one of the first games to highly interact, by way of achievements, with a console game on Xbox 360 (Crackdown 2: Deluge). No word on pricing.

Source: Twitter

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Although no release date is given (curses!), Channel 9 interviews Justin Robey and John Noonan who both worked on the Crackdown 2 game (one on the console version, the other on Windows Phone 7).

The interview is mostly an overview of both games and the future of Xbox Live services, especially with the advent of mobile gaming on Windows Phone 7. Near the end they discuss how Project Sunburst will feature "asynchronous multiplayer" gaming which basically means that your Xbox friends can jump in on your map and help defend your base while you're say, taking a nap. Sounds like a great way to start that synchronous mobile multiplayer gaming that we know is coming down the road and it's also a great way to gain points and achievements too.

Combined with the Bing maps & Geolocation integration, we have high expectations for Crackdown 2 and we hope the timing of this interview indicates it's near release.

Source: Channel 9

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