Top Ten Community Games league table and Race for Favourite Game of the Year explained.

Monthly table:

  • Every reader can send one entry per month.
  • Games are given points from 1st = 10 points to 10th = 1 point.
  • Points are tallied through the month.
  • You can change the order of you favourite games from month to month.
  • Developers can vote for their own game.
  • You do not need to send in ten games for your votes to count. You can send in any number of games. See below to see how points are calculated.

Race for Favourite Game of Year

This is a little more complicated.

The race is calculated thus.

The current month is added to previous months, but previous months are not worth their full points.

For example the previous month is only worth 11/12 of its points, 2 months before are only worth 10/12 of it’s points right down to 11 months ago being worth 1/12 of it’s points.

If you send in a list of less than 10 games the points are given out accordingly. For example if you send in 9 games the number one game will only get 9 points. If you send in 6 games your top game will only get 6 points.

The minimum score your favourite game will get is 5 points. For example, if you send in a list containing three games the points will be allocated 1st. 5 points, 2nd 4 points, 3rd 3 points.

There are currently no prizes for sending in your top ten, this is for fun and to give consumers an idea of what games to try.

XboxHornet’s decision is final.

 

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Nick’s top 10 XBLCG video

This week to celebrate the 10th episode of XNA Roundup, Nick looks at his top 10 favourite Community games.

So in the same spirit her are XboxHornet’s top 10;

1. Miner Dig Deep

2. Easy Golf

3. ZP2K9

4. Word Soup

5. Bowling X

6. Zoomaroom

7. Poker Squares

8 Cavein Miner Rescue

9. Blow

10. Carneyvale Showtime

What are your favourite XBLCG?

Check out what other users are saying here;

http://www.xnaratings.com/xna-ratings/menu/order:rating/page:1/limit:50/

XboxHornet interview with Easy Golf course designer Shake N Baco

Other XboxHornet exclusive interviews;

https://xboxhornet.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/interview-with-david-webb-creator-of-xbox-live-game-hexothermic/

https://xboxhornet.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/intereview-with-stephen-bennet-creator-of-xbox-live-game-poker-squares/

easygolfboxart

Welcome to the first in a series of articles on XboxHornet, looking at the courses available in Easy Golf Course Architect. Today we will be looking at Desert Oasis designed by Nicholas (gamer tag Shake N Baco).
Desert Oasis comes with the latest update of Easy Golf, so if you haven’t got this course available, you need to re-download the game as community games do not have automatic updates.
Later in the series we will be looking at some of the courses available to download for free from the Easy Golf community, a feature that will keep you coming back to Easy Golf again and again.
Nicholas was kind enough to answer some questions for XboxHornet, first off we asked where he got the idea for the design of Desert Oasis?

“The reason why I wanted to create a Desert Theme course was because of the Mario Golf series to be honest. I loved the Mario Golf series throughout the years, and something they always had was a Desert Course. Desert Courses where something really challenging to do, but luckily thanks to some new improvements to the Easy Golf editor, it was a breeze to make. Personally, I wanted to create my course with a lot of sand dunes. I love the idea, of having to hit around these giant monstrosities of nature (Or over the dunes on the second par 5). I felt like it added a lot to the starting 6 courses, showing players you can do “theme” courses”
Having only dabbled so far with the course architect, we thought we would ask the expert if he had any tips for aspiring course designers?
 
 
 

 

“I think one of the biggest mistakes when using the course editor is making the greens. I notice many users create greens, and they are near impossible to putt on. I suggest setting a certain height marker, and place about 10-20 markers all around and throughout your green (All the same height of course). Now if you want to make a few hills, grab the existing markers and slightly change the elevation. After this test the green with several putts. Make sure you don’t roll all the way off the green, because that is no fun for anyone. Of course, everyone has their own way of doing things, but I like to put a lot of markers especially on my greens.
My second tip is: Be creative, have fun and design what you want.”
We would have to agree with Nicholas that making the putting too hard is no fun for anyone, we love the way that his courses challenge you to get to the green in regulation, then reward your effort with gettable putts. Gettable, but they have some very subtle inclines that can catch you out!
Our last question to Nicholas was how it came to be that his courses were included in the final version of Easy Golf?
 

 

 

“Let’s just say I was a dedicated fan, and it was my lucky day.
I was always a huge fan of Mario Golf, and other golf games, and something I always wanted to do was create my own courses. I had to settle for Sid Meier’s Sim Golf to satisfy this craving for the longest time. When community games came available, I quickly notice a golf game, and to my pleasant surprise it had an editor. Let’s just say, I played Sim Golf for several years, but I will be playing Easy Golf for even longer.”
So now let’s take a look at Desert Oasis and see what Nicholas has designed and how it plays.
 
 

 

 

 

screendesert1

As the name would suggest, sand, cacti, palm trees and the occasional watering hole are the order of the day.

Hole 1: Paradise

With this long par three, accuracy is the key. The small green is surrounded by sand and water and if you want to stay out of the drink pay close attention to the wind and make sure you hit the sweet spot in the hitting zone.

Hole 2: Hot Dog Leg Right

This par four is a dog leg right with massive dunes to the right of the tee. You can hit over these, but it is unlikely that it will be to your advantage. Head for the corner and you have a good line into the green, if you can cut some of the corner off by going over the end of the dune, you’ll have an easier shot in. The green has no rough round it, so don’t worry too much about missing it.

Hole 3: Hot Sun

A tough par four, if you are not accurate enough to hit the tiny patch of fairway on the left of the huge dune it’s going to be difficult to hit the green in regulation. You can take the right hand route, but this has a lot of palm trees to contend with. When you add to this the fact that the green is protected by sand and rough, getting par here is a good result.

Hole 4: Overheating

This Par five is a definite birdie opportunity, but first you have to avoid the two huge dunes with your tee shot (not easy). A little bit of fade will help and with a little luck you’ll have a long second shot into the green, although the fairway is loaded either side with palm trees so make sure you hit that sweet spot.

Hole 5: Toast is also Hot

As long as you don’t hit the well placed tree in the centre of the fairway on this par four, you’ll have a good line into the small green which is surrounded by sand, good luck staying out of it.

Hole 6: Deep Fried

This par four looks harder than it is – if you take a little power off and play safe by making sure you hit the fairway you should have an easier shot into the green.

Hole 7: Over the Dune

If you want to reach the green of this par five in three, you’ll have to make sure that you hit the fairway with your drive. You then have the choice of trying to hit it over the dune or onto the small patch of fairway on top of it. When you play your shot into the elevated green make sure that you hit the back of it to avoid rolling down onto the fairway.

Hole 8: Hole 8

To get to this par four green in regulation, make sure you hit the left hand side of the fairway, otherwise you’ll find yourself having to lay up or trying to take on the massive dune to get to the elevated green.

Hole 9:

With this very long par three be careful to take the wind into account if you want to stay on the wide but shallow green – some backspin may help too.

Overall impressions:

Desert Oasis is a course that despite its desert nature is very scenic thanks to the huge dunes and palm trees.

It’s a challenging course with not too many birdie opportunities, but with practice it’s very rewarding. We liked the fact that you have to make subtle use of fade to leave yourself in prime positions on some of the holes.

Desert Oasis gets the thumbs up from the XboxHornet blog and it is a course that we have found ourselves coming back to time and again.

Nicholas has two other courses on the full version of Easy Golf: Robot Retreat and White Mountain C.C., just look out for those designed by Shake N Baco.

Other Shake N Baco courses available to download via course sharing are Green Pines, Robot Dunes, Red Club, Joe Joe Heights, Apple Crest, Pro Open, Mountain View (Front & Back 9) and Sea Resort (Front & Back 9)

If anyone out there has a course that they would like to share with XboxHornet and the world please email us at:

 

Xboxhornet@gmail.com

 
 
 
 

 

To download a free demo of Easy Golf Course Architect directly to your Xbox click here;

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/games/media/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025855011c/

Related articles;

https://xboxhornet.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/easy-golf-how-low-can-you-go/

https://xboxhornet.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/nometetcom-interview-with-easy-golf-creator/

Xbox Live Snake 360 adds two new modes

Snake 360 on the XBLCG has had an update-listed below are the new features;

“Version :

1.1.0       
– New 2-player mode added: Competition Mode! Choose any unlocked course and face off against a rival. You will play one life on each stage. If you survive the stage you’ll receive the time bonus. Win or lose, you’ll go to the next stage, and continue until all 10 are played. Highest score at the end wins.


– New 1-player mode added: Practice Mode! Choose any unlocked course, and pick a stage for practice. You can only select a course’s Extra Stages if you’ve at least reached the first.


– Marathon Mode now awards a bonus for lives left upon clearing stage 60. The value depends on the difficulty you’re playing: Easy: 100000. Normal: 125000. Difficult: 150000. Expert: 175000. Master: 200000. I have decided NOT to clear the leaderboards.


– USB keyboard support added. ENTER = Start, ESC = Back, arrow keys/WASD for movement. To use the keyboard, press ENTER during attract mode. Multiplayer is disabled while using the keyboard.


– “Cheat” debug menu added. Hold buttons (which? it’s a secret!) as the intro screens end (”Aaron Teplitsky Presents”). Instead of attract mode, you will see a menu fade in with two functions: Unlock All (self-explanatory), and Disable Profiles, which disables loading/saving and prevents players from having to sign in. This mode is ideal for party settings.


– fixed bug where “how to play” window for first-timers would re-appear if the game was paused.


– Occasionally, the game would crash while trying to save profiles in multiplayer modes, because it believed that the player had signed out and the save could not occur. Now, If this situation occurs, the game will put up a notification saying that the save failed, but will continue running. If you encounter this, I recommend that you quit to the main menu, then sign in all players again before continuing. If you still encounter this error often, you are encouraged to use the Debug Menu cheat and activate Disable Profiles.


– Normal is now the default difficulty, not Easy.


– Changed color of some of the text in the “How To Play” screen for first-timers, to help point out that the face button control method is best.


– Rich presence strings (AKA spy on your friends) are more accurate than before.


– Target appearance in the “How To Play” attract mode demo was slightly wrong and was fixed.

 

The latest version is 1.1.0, released on February 27th, 2009.

 

To upgrade, download Snake360 from the Game Marketplace again. There is no “auto-update” feature for Community Games. For best results, delete the old version first (go to System Settings > Memory > Hard Drive > Community Games). Delete only the game itself, easily identifiable by its size. Leave the save files, as the new version should recognize them without issues.

You can check what version you have by looking in the bottom-left corner of the screen during Attract Mode. You will see the string “XBLCG VERSION x.x.x,” where x.x.x is the version number you’re currently running.

Note: There is only one difference in scoring between 1.1.0 and earlier versions. It affects Marathon Mode only.”

You can download the update here;

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/games/media/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025855011b/

Tomato Blaster

In Tomato Blaster you will have to collect all of the coins and make your way to the exit but in doing so you will be presented with a number of puzzles to solve including Bombs, Gates, Cannons and an evil Mango! Or make your own levels using the game builder.

Tomato blaster looks like a solid puzzle game, if you have bought it we would love to here your opinions. You can email us at xboxhornet@gmail.com

Download the game here;

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/games/catalog.aspx?d=7

Have your say and read user reviews here;

http://www.xblaratings.com/xna-ratings/menu/order:rating/page:1/limit:50/

Xna round up, Zoomaroom

On this weeks Xna round up nick takes a look at Zoomaroom

Nickthedude Xna round up Gravity Effect and Ark X

This week Nick looks at two of the latest games to hit XBLCG – Gravity Effect and Ark X