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Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009

  

WAR Patched, Event Launches, & Issues

The planned Rise of the Tomb Kings launches in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning today, and Mythic's MMORPG has now been patched to a new version 1.3 for the occasion. As noted on the Warhammer Herald, however, it has not all gone perfectly, as some users are having problems with the automatic update:

We are currently aware that some players are experiencing errors when attempting to patch. We are currently investigating this problem and will update this message as more information is available. Users have reported successfully completing the patch by downloading the previously released Pre-Patch client, we encourage users experiencing this issue to attempt this method while we continue to resolve the patcher issues. Thank you!

Ubisoft Impulse Sale

Impulse announces the addition of games from Ubisoft to their digital distribution marketplace. They are celebrating the occasion by offering a 10% off sale on the following Ubi titles: Far Cry 2, Assassin's Creed, and Heroes of Might and Magic V.

Now on Steam

Another pair of additions are part of a busy day on Steam, where they now offer North American customers Ghostbusters: The Videogame as well as The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.

StarForce Revival Q&A

Interview- The Return Of... StarForce? on Gamasutra is an interview with Dmitry Guseff, Deputy Marketing Director at StarForce Technologies, about how their copy protection technology has evolved following consumer backlash over its intrusive behavior. While still defensive over the behavior of the old StarForce, Dmitry also admits that: "during several years we were constantly improving the protection reliability level to suit corporate clients’ needs as much as possible, but the end user was partly forgotten." He describes how they then created a division specifically to serve the needs of the end-user, and how StarForce has changed to remove direct hardware access and other features that caused problems to offer the user the choice of disc-based or activation-based protection. Here is his outlook on whether the new approach will help rebuild the company's reputation:

I think that new products, excellent customer service, and the right combination between publisher and customer needs will help. We have seriously worked on our errors and offered new solutions. Now we need to receive more feedback to be able to say something specific and continue with improvements. But based on our Russian and Eastern European experiences, both publishers and customers are very delighted with our new steps.

Evening Consolidation

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Midway Newcastle & San Diego Face Closure

The Battle of Midway on Guardian.co.uk reports that Midway Newcastle is facing closure as Midway's bankruptcy continues to play out, saying the Wheelman developer, which has a staff of 77, continues to work on an unannounced project, but will need to find a buyer to stay in operation past the end of this month. Midway San Diego, the other studio not acquired by Warner Bros., faces the same fate, according to the report. Edge Online (whose review of Wheelman scored it but 4 out of 10) quotes Midway Newcastle studio head Craig Duncan saying: "It may sound like a football cliché but this studio is too good a team to have to shut down – it would be a travesty." A report on Develop says the unannounced project is called Necessary Force, an open world action game using the Unreal engine.

Steam Sales

Steam News announces the release of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition on Steam along with the English-only Deluxe version of Oblivion that includes nine DLC items (yes, including the famed Horse Armor). Also from Bethesda Softworks they now offer The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition and a The Elder Scrolls Game of the Year Pack with both Oblivion and Morrowind, as well as Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. Steam News also announces four new Strategy First titles are now on the service, they are Ankh 2 - Heart of Osiris, Ankh 3 - Battle of the Gods, BC Kings, and Port Royale 2. For this week only, every title mentioned above is available at a 20% discount.

Return to Mysterious Island 2 Demo

A playable demo is now available for Return to Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fate, Microïds sequel to their Jules Verne-inspired 2005 adventure game (the sequel would be titled "Return to Return to Mysterious Island" if we had our druthers, but we lost our druthers in a card game). The demo can be found on this page, and here's a bit from the official description of the Windows game, which includes the ability to solve puzzles on the go using an iPhone: "But in this new installment, survival is not all! The player will also have to save the island from an environmental disaster. The scenario enhances ecological issues that were already shared by Jules Verne and that no one ever questions today." The 563 MB download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate DRM Limit Ends

The Ossian Studios Website announces Atari's removal of the three-installation limit imposed by the DRM in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate. They say the adventure pack can now be installed "as many times as you like on your computer." Further details and discussion of this can be found in the Ossian Studios Forums. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

East India Company Movie

A new movie shows off more gameplay from East India Company, the 18th century naval combat RTS being developed by Nitro Games. Word is: "The new gameplay video gives a first glimpse of what 'Fight, Manage and Rule' mean in East India Company. In this gameplay video, you will see trading, ship building and management inside ports as well as fleet operations at the strategic level and diplomatic negotiations. Naturally, there is also footage of the naval battles with fiery action: cannonballs whizzing around and ships sailing on impressive waves both in Realtime Strategy and Direct Command modes." The clip can be streamed via the YouTube, and it can be downloaded from AtomicGamer.

Tex Murphy on GOG.com

GOG.com now offers two installments in the Tex Murphy series of dystopian adventure games, updated with Windows Vista compatibility and no digital rights management. They kick things off with a bundle of Tex Murphy 1+2 and Under a Killing Moon, and say this about the future: "Thanks to the deal with Aaron Conners, one of the creators of the Tex Murphy games, GOG.com will offer the whole series including Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive and Tex Murphy: Overseer."

All Aspect Warfare Demo Patched

The All Aspect Warfare Website now offers a new patch for the All Aspect Warfare demo, updating this sample of 3000AD's upcoming sci-fi combat game to version 1.18.20. The change log outlines the changes and mentions yet another updated version of the demo, which has been updated a few times since it was released.

Ships Ahoy - Ghostbusters

Atari announces the release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game in North America:

NEW YORK, NY - June 16, 2009 - Atari, one of the world's most recognized video game publishers, today announced that the highly anticipated, summer blockbuster title, Ghostbusters®: The Video Game is now available at retailers across North America.

Working closely with Sony Pictures Consumer Products and acclaimed development studios Terminal Reality and RedFly, Atari brings this completely all-new chapter of the blockbuster Ghostbusters saga to advanced gaming platforms coinciding with the 25th Anniversary celebration of the film's original theatrical release. Ghostbusters: The Video Game, based on the smash hit motion picture franchise, is penned by original Ghostbusters writers and stars Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd and reunites many of the original cast members. In addition, the game also launches today along with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's worldwide debut of the original motional picture on Blu-ray Disc™.

Featuring the unique blend of humor and fright that established Ghostbusters as a pop culture sensation, this new chapter of the blockbuster franchise is available at retailers across North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft ($59.99), Windows PC ($29.99), PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system ($59.99), PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system ($19.99), Wii™ ($39.99) and Nintendo DS™ ($29.99).

In addition to Aykroyd and Ramis, original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson, and new love interest, Alyssa Milano, lend their voices and in-game likenesses to the original story set two years after Ghostbusters 2, with Manhattan once again overrun by ghosts and supernatural forces. The player joins up as a new recruit with the original team, testing a variety of unique equipment and gadgets, to track, wrangle and trap a wide range of awe-inspiring phantasms in an all-new, funny and frightening battle to save New York City from its latest paranormal plague.

Wallace & Gromit Episode 3 Released

Telltale Games and Steam now offer digital distribution of Wallace & Gromit Episode 3: Muzzled!, the third installment in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures. Word is:

Introducing Monty Muzzle - charitable philanthropist or canine conniver?

Monty Muzzle, a newcomer in town, is holding a grand fundraiser to rebuild the local dog shelter. Gromit soon realizes that Muzzle's intentions aren't exactly charitable and he must foil the huckster's plot to save the town's investment and rescue his canine friends.

Muzzled! is the third of four episodes in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures. Learn more about the series.

A Murder of Crows Patch

Kerberos Productions announces the release of a new patch for Sword of the Stars: A Murder of Crows to update that space strategy expansion to version 1.67. This is an update to pave the way for the imminent release of the Argos Naval Yard expansion, described as "mostly a bug hunt." In addition to bug fixes the patch also has a few new additions and balance tweaks. The download can be found on Gamer's Hell and The Patches Scrolls.

Section 8 Preorder Bonus

GameStop is now offering an exclusive preorder bonus for Section 8, the first-person shooter slated for release this August (thanks Big Download). Word is: "Reserve Section 8 and receive GameStop exclusive Captain’s Armor for both Section 8 and their adversaries – the Arm of Orion. If you choose to play as a Captain of Section 8, you’ll proudly wear the Imperial Eagle of the USIF on your shoulder plate; as a Captain of the Arm of Orion, you’ll stand out with the rampant Lion of Orion emblazoned on your helmet and gold trim on your power armor. If only we could wear this to prom, we’d get all the ladies."

Wolfenstein Trailer

A new trailer from Wolfenstein called "The Assassin" is now roaming the tubes to show off more of the supernatural shooter sequel under construction at Raven Software. The clip including about a minute of gameplay revealing the mysteries of Nazi laser ninjas is available on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

DICE Interview

What's Next for DICE- from 1UP.com is an interview with Lars Gustavsson of DICE about dicey topics. They discuss evolving the Mirror's Edge concept, a bit on the Mirror's Edge prototypes they've mentioned, DLC, the impact of the economy and the competition on Mirror's Edge sales, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 1943, and more.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Hey look at that, it's MrsBlue's birthday today! I did some math on the age she's giving, and it turns out we got married when she was eight, but somehow I didn't realize this at the time. Anyway, best wishes to my clearly better half.

Birthday Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Turbo Cyborg Ninja X.
Circle the Cat ~ Grandma Faith's
Bot Racing.
Links: KeyJay, ultrainteractive KungFu Remixer. Thanks Digg.
June 16, 1959: George Reeves, Superman, Felled by Speeding Bullet.
The SNES PC Case Mod.
Stories: Prairie dogs return to Md. Zoo. Thanks Boing Boing.
Ewww! Seattle gum wall a top germy attraction. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: High-flying kites could power New York. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: The most random video on Youtube EVER!!! part 10.
Let's Go (Web) Surfing Now.
The Funnies: Get Fuzzy. Thanks brother19.



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