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Kinect Sports Game Guide – Table Tennis

Kinect Sports Table Tennis is probably the event that attracts the most competition on Xbox LIVE, and this has resulted in some players being seemingly unbeatable. That is, until we decided to unleash one of our testers to show you how to play different shots, return smashes, and basically give you all the advice you need to beat other players and the game itself on Champion difficulty.

You’ve watched the video, on to the tips…

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Mini-Scribes: March 10, 2011

Let’s join forces, we’ve got our guns and horses
I know you’ve been burned, but Mini-Scribes is a lesson learned…

Q: Dear Scribes,
   I want to introduce my nephew to the wonderful world of Banjo-Kazooie. As he’s only ten months old, he’s a little bit too young for the games. I set about searching the internet for some kind of soft/plush toy but managed to find nothing. Did any Banjo-Kazooie soft toys exist at any point, and if so is there any way I can get my hands on one?
   Dean Jones

A: There were definitely plush toys at one point – at two points actually, once with Banjo and Mumbo Jumbo to support the original N64 Banjo games, and again featuring the Nuts & Bolts Banjo model a couple of years ago. Not sure whether the latter was widely released, and the Nintendo-licensed N64-era ones are relegated to the eBay circuit nowadays. If we had some gathering dust at the back of our tat cupboard, we’d send one your way… but nope. We did find some out-of-date, slightly runny Chewits if you want those instead.

Q: Dear Rare,
   Are there plans to make a new platformer/adventure game some time soon? Similar maybe to Conker and Banjo, but something new? That’d be cool beans.
   Alexander Van Broeck

A: Why do you hate Conker and Banjo so much, man? Suggesting we make a game that’s basically the same as the ones they were in, but refuse to let either of them be in it. So cold. Well, it’s all academic for now – with us ‘doing’ Kinect at the moment, we’re content to sit back and let other developers supply the required market share of platforming jiggerypokery.

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The Kings of New York

The invention of Table Tennis must come high on the list of Britain’s greatest achievements, sandwiched somewhere between the discovery of penicillin and the Harrier Jump Jet. It started life on the middle-class dining tables of Victorian England, and has since been exported to just about every country in the world.

We like to think that Kinect Sports Table Tennis is bringing the game of paddles and pongs back into the home. It’s become a real hub of social activity for many, especially the organisers and participants of the BackSpin 2011 Tournament. This event brought the brightest stars of New York’s technology industry together for a big night of beer, bats ‘n’ balls and charity fundraising.

BackSpin 2011 was the brainchild of TechiesGiveBack, a group founded by Adam Gillman and Simon Kirk to raise money for charities like CampInteractive, City Harvest and Child’s Play.

“We try to combine giving back with having fun. In a little over one year in operation, we have raised over $50,000 for the various charities we’ve supported,” says Kirk.

Around 150-200 people attended BackSpin 2011 from across the New York tech community, including developers, founders and even a few CEOs. The New York Times, Google, Foursquare and AOL were just some of the teams shooting for glory on the virtual nine by five.

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Kinect Sports Game Guide – Boxing

Kinect Sports Boxing is not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, that’s how winning is done… or something like that anyway.

In this third instalment in our series of Game Guides, we show you exactly how to prove the critics wrong and become a raging bull inside the boxing ring. While flailing about can help some players win, true fighters know that blocking allows you to deliver the biggest hits and ultimately win the big fights… in Russia or Germany or anywhere else for that matter.

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February Twitbook Frenzy

It’s that time. Twitter and Facebook round-up from the Rare frontlines! Don’t miss it, we talk about burgers and crabs and we get some funny emails and everything.

Before we get to that, we have to give a shout out to our BAFTA and MCV award nominations picked up this month for Kinect Sports, in the Family game and New Game Brand categories respectively. Always nice. The Smithsonian Museum is also putting on an Art of Video Games display and asking punters to determine the exhibits, with Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye and DKC thrown into the mix from Rare’s side. Add these things together and we feel almost respectable.

Site updates highlighted this month were all blog all the time, and best left to Mike’s monthly news round-up. Some Sports-related things that didn’t make it to full feature stories but were worth mentioning included updates on our UK chart position, US soccer star Brandi Chastain showing up in a ‘quirky’ Kinect promotional video, and Ben’s hot tip on the hot dog man derived from good use of a free-roaming devkit camera. By the way, that Volleyball location is massive.

Perfect Dark got a look in a few times, with official XBLA figures for 2010 putting PD in the top three Arcade titles, news that select XBLA titles are to be sold at retail in branches of Game, a proud placing in the Top 10 Video Game Crabs and a couple of spontaneous PD code giveaways ending in claims of various people buying it on launch day but not quite getting around to playing it yet. Shocking behaviour.

Elsewhere Star Fox Adventures made a stand in GamePro’s rundown of the best dinosaur games, and we tried to improve ourselves with some random edumacation after lowering the tone with cake photography, trips to the pub and a stomach-tightening deep fried food debate. As always there was plenty of typically excellent email through to the website inbox – oh yes. We also discovered which well-known names signed up for Twitter on the same day as us, while the gaming world sadly lost another well-known name. But to end on a high note, February did bring us an unexpected present and at least one Valentine’s Day vote of confidence. Marvellous.

Cling deliriously to our Twitter and Facebook presences (Sports is on Facebook too) to be drip-fed all the breaking news as it happens. Or soon after it happens. Within a few days… usually.