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Saturday, Nov 03, 2007

  

General British Interview

Richard Garriott on Tabula Rasa and Ultima on GamersGlobal is a Q&A with Richard Garriott that talks with the designer formerly known as Lord British about the old day of Ultima and his new role as General British in Tabula Rasa, the new science fiction MMORPG from NCsoft. The past, present, and future of gaming are all discussed, including the pros and cons of some competing games.

Saturday Previews

Saturday Screenshots

Saturday Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Saturday Game Reviews

Saturday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

So I'm on the road and someone enters ahead of me via an onramp seeming without looking, since they basically cut me off. In a rare fit of cosmic justice, the car was for sale, and had the owner's phone number on the back. Now I can't count the number of times I wished I could tell some inconsiderate driver what I thought of their behavior, so I wish I could say I actually worked myself up to calling to leave them a message telling them their antics were not appreciated, but I just let it go. Too bad, that could have been pretty funny.

Cut Off Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: 3D Logic II. Thanks Jay is Games.
Stories: Mama, I'm coming home (but first I gotta post bail). Thanks xXBatmanXx.
WGA: We're striking.
8-year-old Ohio twins gain fame for anti-wedgie underwear design using fabric fastener.
Science!: Digital magnetic map goes global.
Media: Crysis Baddies Can't Swim AND Curse. NSFW (or beach).
Godfather in 1 minute.
How to handle that annoying Bluetooth phone guy.

Friday, Nov 02, 2007

Need for Speed: ProStreet Demo

A demo for Need for Speed ProStreet is now available, offering a test drive of the next installment in the long-running, high octane series. Word is: "Now PC gamers can experience the power, aggression and rivalry that defines street racing culture through two distinct, exciting racing modes - Grip and the all-new Speed Challenge." The 796 MB download is available on 4players.de, ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FanGaming, FileFront, Fragland, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, Games32, Internode Games Network, and PixelRage.

Child's Play

Child's Play has opened this year's charity drive:

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child's Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children's hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child's Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

Sins of a Solar Empire Beta

The Sins of a Solar Empire Website offers details on the fourth phase of beta testing that's getting underway for Stardock's upcoming sci-fi Real-Time Strategy game. The new beta introduces a number of new features and technologies, and as before, a spot in the test can be secured by preordering the game.

Evochron Renegades Patch

The Evochron Renegades Website now offers downloads of a new patch to update this freeform space combat game to version 1.088. The patch is accompanied by the first version of the game's customizing and modification kit (direct link). Word is: "It provides information and several sample files that can be used to customize the game's graphics, sound, music, and text."

The Late Show

  • BlackSite: Area 51
    A new "AAA Friendly" trailer from BlackSite: Area 51 celebrates today's news the shooter is gold, the clip can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.
  • Alpha Prime
    A pair of new Alpha Prime trailers show off the improved graphics for the upcoming North American release of Meridian4's first-person shooter. The clips are available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.
  • Kwari
    A new Kwari trailer shows off Micro Forté's upcoming online first-person shooter where the game is free, but the bullets will cost you. The clip can be found on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Evening Q&As

Evening Previews

  • Fantasy Wars on GameZone.
  • Kane & Lynch: Dead Men on IGN.
  • Unreal Tournament III on IGN.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Gold - BlackSite: Area 51

Midway announces that BlackSite: Area 51 is gold (in spite of conspiracies to cover-up this information, no doubt), and the PC and Xbox 360 editions of the squad-based shooter will hit stores on November 12 with the PS3 edition to follow next month:

Midway today announced that BlackSite: Area 51™, the immersive and fast-paced action FPS title, has gone gold and is set to ship for Xbox 360 and PC in North America Nov. 12. A PlayStation 3 version is scheduled for North American release in December.

BlackSite: Area 51 gives gamers a chance to direct their living, breathing squad mates with a context-sensitive "One-Button Squad Command" control. Destructible environments can be reduced to rubble, creating interactive cover points that can be blown away with enough firepower.

Blacksite: Area 51 is set to ship to stores Nov. 12 for Xbox 360 and PC, with a PlayStation 3 version expected in time for the holidays.

Gamers can still download the BlackSite teaser demo on Xbox LIVE Marketplace to take to the streets in Rachel, NV, controlling their squad and blasting through fully-realistic and interactive environments using the latest in military weaponry. Another demo for Xbox Live is scheduled to be released soon, and a PS3 demo will be released later this year.

Visit blacksitegame.com or midway.com for more information.

Turok To Rock PCs

Touchstone announces that Windows PC has been added to the target platforms for Turok, the upcoming re-launch of the dinosaur hunter series, saying Aspyr is working on a PC edition for spring of next year:

Touchstone Announces Re-Imagined Story-Driven First Person Shooter to Be Released on Windows PC in Spring 2008

BURBANK, Calif. (November 2, 2007) --Turok, the epic, sci-fi first person shooter, will be released in Spring 2008 for Windows PC, Touchstone announced today. Touchstone previously announced that Turok, one of next year’s most anticipated games, will be available for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. Developed by Propaganda Games, Turok for consoles will be available at retail stores on February 5, 2008.

“First person shooters have a rich history on the Windows PC platform and are known for having enthusiastic, dedicated fans,” said Josh Holmes, vice president and general manager, Propaganda Games. “Turok will be an unforgettable experience ideal for the Windows PC platform when it becomes available in 2008.”

Turok is an epic, story-driven first-person shooter set on a dark, mysterious planet in the future. Players take on the role of Joseph Turok, a former black ops commando, now part of an elite special forces squad, known as Whiskey Company, which is on a mission to take down a war criminal – Turok’s former mentor, Roland Kane. Set on a planet inhabited by Kane and his Mendel-Gruman Corporation soldiers, Turok must use his elite military training to elude Kane’s well-trained army and the ravenous, unpredictable dinosaurs, huge insects and other massive creatures that populate the environment.

Brought to Windows PC by Aspyr Studios, Turok will feature an engaging, story-driven single player experience and multiplayer modes for up to 16 players per game.

Tabula Rasa Launches

NCsoft announces that Tabula Rasa is in stores, and the blank-slate MMORPG from Ultima creator Richard Garriott is now live. There's an article-format Q&A with Mr. Garriott on the New York Times discussing the launch and there's also a Q&A with UI designer Christofer Strasz on GamingHeaven. The announcement came yesterday (a day early) so here is an excerpt, carefully aged for timeliness:

AUSTIN, Texas, November 1, 2007— NCsoft®, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today that Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa®, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for the PC where players are thrust into an exciting intergalactic struggle, launches commercial service in North America and Europe on November 2, 2007.

“Now the fun begins! I can’t wait to join thousands of other players in this exciting galactic war,” said Richard Garriott, the game’s executive producer. “It is time for us to release Tabula Rasa to the players. I am eager to see player reaction to the game, and am ready to build on what we’ve started here. We’ve got plans for new features and expansions for the foreseeable future and I’m hoping the players will enjoy the game and get excited about what’s in store for them next!”

Tabula Rasa, one of the most anticipated PC titles of the year, is the vision of gaming legend Richard Garriott. The game combines a rich game world and deep storyline with military combat and fast paced action. Set in a near-future science fiction backdrop, players must fight to save humanity against hostile alien enemies trying to gain control of the universe.
[…]
The game introduces several innovative elements to massively multiplayer online games, including a Character Cloning System™ that allows players to explore different character classes without having to create a new character, and dynamic battlefields where players feel the frenetic action of combat in an ongoing war.
[…]
The standard edition box of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa will be available at major online retailers at an expected retail price of $49.99 and at the PlayNC® store (https://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl). Customers will be able to purchase the Limited Collector’s Edition box from major retailers at an expected retail price of $69.99. Both products include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

For more information about Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa go to http://www.rgtr.com. For more information about the Limited Collector’s Edition go to http://www.plaync.com/us/news/2007/08/ncsoft_reveals_2.html. For more information regarding NCsoft’s relationship with Dell go to http://www.delllounge.com/gaming/tabularasa/.

Report Hellgate Lag

Flagship Requests Lag Reports on IncGamers reflects information from the restrictive Hellgate: London forums where Flagship is requesting players experiencing lag-related issues let them know so they can track down what's going on in the just launched action/RPG. Symptoms of this lag include being ignored by NPCs and monsters, players running at unusual speeds, and periods of no chat activity that are occasionally interrupted by chat floods.

The Settlers: Rise of an Empire Hotfix

As noted (in German) on the Ubisoft Forums an hotfix patch for version 1.2 of The Settlers: Rise of an Empire is now available, addressing problems with online play. The download is mirrored on ActionTrip, FileFront, and The Patches Scrolls.

Mac & Linux EVE Online Nears

The EVE Online Forums have word that the version 2.3 update for EVE Online: Revelations is expected on November 6, and that this will bring "formal support for Mac OS X and Linux." Thanks Ant and LinuxGames.

Free Game for Voters

Laurion Studio is offering a free copy of Parhedros, their fantasy/RPG, to adults who promise to write their representative with the message "Video-Gamers Vote!" They seek to raise awareness of how many gamers are of legal voting age and to get out the vote from the gamer bloc. True to that, Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir is an adult game, containing mature themes.

New Half-Life 2 Fortress Forever

The Fortress Forever Website now offers a new version 1.1 of this Team Fortress-inspired modification for Half-Life 2. Users are warned to back up configs in advance, and there's also an advisory for server operators to take care not to run any of the accidentally included incomplete maps.

Sudden Strike 3 Trailer

A new trailer from Sudden Strike 3: Arms for Victory shows off the flags of our fathers with a depiction of Iwo Jima in Fireglow's upcoming World War II sequel. The game recently unveiled European release dates: the French edition is due November 23, the German edition on November 30, and the UK edition is expected on December 5. The Iwo Jima movie is available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Morning Q&As

Morning Preview

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A side effect of the minimal action we got on Halloween is that we have an extraordinary amount of leftover candy, in spite of the dent I made in our stash before the holiday. I guess my Cornholio days are not yet over.

Are you threatening me?

R.I.P.: Sign-language chimp dies.

Linkholio! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Stories: Heimlich-performing dog among ASPCA honorees.
Broken finger delays Zeppelin gig.
E. coli fears prompt recall of millions of frozen pizzas.
Science!: Humans will love, marry robots by 2050.
Lab creates 'long-distance mouse'.
How Dry You Are.
Images: Portal Costume.
Media: Awesome BioShock Halloween Costumes. Thanks FloridaHoudini.
Cyr Wheel Practice.
World Race-Walking Champ Attacked By Samurai -- Will He Run?
Follow-up: Shock Jock Don Imus Returns to Airwaves.



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