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Thursday, Sep 24, 2009

  

Darkest of Days Patch

A new patch for Darkest of Days is now available on the Darkest of Days Forums, updating the history-altering first-person shooter to version 1.04. The new version adds support for mouse buttons 4 and 5, adds support for num pad bindings, adds a mouse-smoothing option, and includes new PhysX software. The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

DCS: Black Shark Patch

The Digital Combat Simulator Website now offers a new patch for DCS: Black Shark, updating the helicopter combat simulator to version 1.0.1b. The complete change list outlines what's different, and the patch is also available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

DiRT 2 DirectX 11 Interview

Dirt 2: Best graphics on PC due to DirectX 11 features on PC Games Hardware looks at what DirectX 11 support is bringing to DiRT 2, Codemasters' racing game that's coming to PCs this December. Topics include their game engine, technical aspects of developing for DirectX 11, data streaming, optimizations for multiple CPUs and GPUs, physics, DX11 advantages, Windows XP support, and more.

Dragon Age Origins Trailer

A new clip from Dragon Age Origins introduces the Zevran, one of the characters in BioWare's upcoming action/RPG. The clip is available on FileFront and GameVideos, and here's a description:

The Antivan Crows are the most infamous guild of thieves and assassins in all of Thedas, even counting members of royal houses among their numbers. The organization’s fearsome reputation is often as effective as the exotic poisons they have developed - letting them all but rule their homeland through terror. Zevran, born to an elven prostitute in the capital of Antiva, was sold to the guild at a young age. Although he resisted the Crows’ brutal training methods at first, he eventually accepted his lot, then began to excel. Zevran rose through the ranks to become one of the Crows’ most promising assassins, specializing in both seduction and stealth. Brash and ambitious, he has accepted his most dangerous commission yet: A target in far-off Ferelden, one that may bring him unimaginable rewards.

Singularity Trailer

A new Singularity trailer on GameTrailers.com offers part 3 of their walkthrough of Raven's upcoming 4D first-person shooter. The new installment is called "Time Is Your Weapon," demonstrating how your enemies taking cover is not so effective when you can age what they are hiding behind into dust or what they are hiding under into rubble.

Making of Risen Trailer

Deep Silver offers a new video interview with Piranha Bytes, discussing the development of Risen, the fantasy-themed RPG due for release next month. In the clip project director Björn Pankratz and game designer Mike Hoge "explain some details about the background story, the concept of free exploration in a game world, the cultural localization of the English version, and why the hero remains nameless in the game." If you speak German, the subtitles will be an annoyance, but for those of us who speak English, they will be vital to following what's going on. The clip is available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

  • Age of Booty on Impulse Driven. Save 50%.
  • Aion on Newegg. Only $46.99.
  • All EA Games in the UK on Steam. Save 10%.
  • ArmA II on GoGamer. Save 30%.
  • Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway on Newegg. Only $7.99.
  • Capitalism II on Impulse. Save 53%.
  • City of Heroes Architect Edition on GoGamer.
  • East India Company on Impulse.
  • Fairy Tales - Three Heroes on Impulse. Save $10.00.
  • Fallout 3 on GoGamer. Save 44%.
  • Fallout 3: Collector's Edition on GoGamer. Save 50%.
  • Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage and Pitt Expansions on GoGamer. Save 25%.
  • F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin and F.E.A.R.2: Reborn DLC on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Halo 3: ODST on Newegg. Save $9.00 with coupon code EMCLXNR55.
  • Halo 3: ODST on GoGamer. Save 18%.
  • Hearts of Iron 3 on GoGamer. Save 38%.
  • Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim on GoGamer.
  • Naval Combat Pack on GoGamer. Save 60%.
  • Red Faction II on GoGamer. Save 70%.
  • Scrapland on Impulse. Save 30%.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky on Newegg. Only $9.99.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Newegg.com.
  • Tom Clancy's End War on Newegg. Only $7.99.
  • Unreal Complete Pack on GamersGate. Save 62%.
  • The Wheelman on Newegg. Only $7.99.
  • Wolfenstein on Amazon. Save 40%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
     
  • Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Assassin's Creed Director's Cut on Direct2Drive.
  • Celtic Kings: Rage of War on GoG.com. Save 25%.
  • Complete Strategy First Catalog on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Dark Void Preorders on GameStop. Outlines the preorder bonus.
  • Drakensang: The Dark Eye on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Elven Legacy on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Eve Online: Apocrypha on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Madballs on Steam. Save 20% plus a free Guest Pass.
  • MDK on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • PlanetSide: Aftershock on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Risen on Gamestop.com. Save $10.00. Thanks Big Download.
  • Spellforce Platinum on GOG.com. Save $2.00.
  • Titan Quest Bundle on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Tropico 3 Pre-purchase on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Unreal Tournament 3 Black Steam. Save 60%.
  • Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition on Steam. Now $1.99.
  • Unreal Deal Pack on Steam. Save 60%.

New Releases

Newly released or re-released titles:

  • Aion on Steam. For Europe.
  • Puzzlegeddon on Steam.
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids on GameTap. For subscribers.
  • Realms of Arkania 1+2 on GOG.com.
  • Sacrifice on GameTap. Free for two weeks.
  • Tropico 3 on Steam. In Germany.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bateman On "Hancock 2," "Arrested" (thanks Ant).

L4D2 AU Ban Appealed

Valve announces the final ratings for Left 4 Dead 2 for all territories except the UK and New Zealand, where final ratings are expected in days. They also address the recent news that the co-op zombie shooter sequel is refused classification by the OFLC for sale in Australia by saying they have appealed that decision. Here is the rundown of Left 4 Dead 2 ratings as of now:

COMPLETED RATINGS
PEGI (continental Europe) - 18+
ESRB (North America) - M
CERO (Japan) -Z (corresponds to Mature in US)
IFCO (Ireland) - Approved the title for classification.
USK (Germany) - 18+
Singapore - Mature 18
FPB (South Africa) - 18+
KGRB (Korea) -18+

PENDING RATINGS
OLFC New Zealand - In progress.
BBFC (UK) - In progress.
OFLC Australia - Refused to rate on September 17. Appealed September 23.

Heroes Over Europe Patch

A new patch is now available for Heroes Over Europe to update the recently released World War II aerial combat sequel to version 1.1. Here's word, with special kudos for the "eliminated the decreased stability" part: "The patch 1.1 improves flight stick functionality and ability to unlock various missions to maximize the in-game battle experience. The patch 1.1 also increases stability on a minimum configuration with XP64, as well as eliminated the decreased stability after installing AMD dual core optimizer software." The patch is available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls.

Champions Online Retcon Resolution

The Champions Online Website says there was some confusion about their most recent "retcon," and as a result, they gave a free retcon to respec all toons rolled before last night's scheduled maintenance for Cryptic's MMORPG. As related here, they will also change how these retcons are handled in the future:

To remedy this, we will be giving all characters created before tonight's maintenance (Thursday, September 24th, 3AM PDT) a free Retcon. Remember that as always, Retcons do not stack, so anyone who currently has one will not receive another one. However, from this point forward, we will make sure that when we give out a free Retcon, the cutoff for who is eligible and who is not will always be the actual time when we give out the Retcon. We apologize for any confusion our messaging caused, and we hope this resolution is satisfactory to all of our players.

PC Ninja Blade Next Month

Noviy Disk subsidiary ND Games announce plans for a PC edition of Ninja Blade to be released next month, joining Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the action game released in April. Here are some screenshots from the PC editions, and here's the deal:

ND Games and From Software are happy to announce that PC version of Ninja Blade will be shipping in October, 2009. Critically acclaimed Ninja Blade was released by Microsoft on Xbox 360 in April 2009 and now it’s coming on PC. All PC gamers will be now able to enjoy epic ninja action game where Ken Ogawa and his team of skilled fighters battle a terrifying disease that transforms the citizens of Tokyo into an infected monster horde. Armed with an extensive arsenal of ninja weapons and abilities, including Ninja Vision and Todomé Attack, players confront grueling challenges in their mission to save humanity.

Enjoy a cinematic experience in Ninja Blade. Extreme ninja actions and high flexibility as well as action movie-like situations make you feel like you are in a movie. Perform high-speed extreme ninja actions in the realistic 3D world!

GAME FEATURES:

• Action game meets movie! The gameplay seamlessly connects to the quick-time events which provides an opportunity to directly interact with the overwhelming in-game cut scenes. You will feel like as if you are in an action movie!
• Free movement in all directions! Jump between walls and run on a wall vertically and horizontally. 3 dimentional ninja actions make for extremely exciting gameplay!
• Extreme battles in overwhelming situations! Vertical combat allows for different types of combat. Fight against enemies while you are falling down. • Special Ninja Skills! Use «Ninja Vision» to detect and analyze potential enemy weak points and hidden information within the environment. Enjoy Ninjutsu which features 3 different types of Shurikens and Plasma Shield protects the character from enemy attack!

Assassin's Creed 2 PC Delay

Ubisoft Tweets about a delay to the PC edition of Assassin's Creed 2 until the first quarter of next year, subsequently tweeting that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions are still on track for November 17 in the US, and November 19-20 in Europe. Here's word on the PC delay: "Assassin’s Creed 2 PC has moved to the first quarter of 2010. A bit more time for the dev team to deliver the best quality game to you."

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Gold, Demo Delay

Codemasters announces Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is gold, and the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 military shooter is on track for its planned release on October 6 in North America, October 8 in EPAC territories, and October 9 in the UK. The announcement is accompanied by a new "Eagle Offense Mission" trailer on the YouTube and a batch of new screenshots. Also, though a playable demo was promised before the game's release, a post on the Codemasters forums (thanks Big Download) from about a week ago now says: "The demo plans now are that we will now be releasing a single player and co-op demo on PC only post launch of the full game." Here's a bit from the announcement:

The violence, ferocity and carnage of war is brought to life as troops on both sides attack in authentic formations, use cover realistically and engage in ranged, close-quarters and vehicular combat. USMC forces fight through the airfield’s perimeter before infiltrating the Control Tower, eliminating enemy targets with rapid, ruthless aggression. The Marines then assume defensive positions in readiness for the PLA counter-attack. A Chinese WZ-10 attack helicopter is spectacularly blown out of the sky by a shoulder-launched surface to air missile, before the conflict culminates with PLA armour advancing across a battlefield surrounded by mortar fire and strewn with burning wreckage. This flashpoint is still white hot…

Splinter Cell Conviction in February, 2010

Ubisoft announces a release date for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, specifying the stealth/action sequel will ship for Windows and Xbox 360 on February 26th, 2010. Here's an under 50-word explanation of the game: "Combining innovative gameplay features with a high-octane, no-holds barred storyline, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction arms the player with the lethal skills of an elite operative, and invites them into a dangerous world where justice means making your own rules." GameTrailers.com has a new "release date" trailer from the game.

MS Denies EA Buyout Rumors

MarketWatch has a denial from Microsoft of yesterday's rumors that the Redmond computing giant is planning a takeover of Electronic Arts (thanks MCV). It's quite straightforward, as they quote an MS spokesperson saying: "We have no plans to acquire EA."

OnLive Interview

Network World's Steve Perlman interview is a chat with the CEO of OnLive conducted during a tech conference where he discusses more of their plans for a cloud-based gaming service. The article quotes Perlman saying: "In a lot of ways we've solved cloud computing," though there's no follow-up question about which ways it is not solved. In addition to the conversation, the article outlines the current state of the service's beta testing.

Final Fantasy XI & XIV Trailers

A new trailer from Final Fantasy XIV Online was unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show, offering another look at the upcoming PC and PS3 MMORPG in the works at Square Enix. The clip runs about two and a half minutes, mixing CGI and gameplay footage to show off the game's setting and environments as well as some combat. You can find the trailer on MMORPG.COM. There's also a new trailer from Final Fantasy XI showing off the other MMO installment in the RPG series on GameTrailers.com.

Op Ed

Crispy Gamer - The 60-Buck Dilemma.
But whether through blind luck, dark magic or something more insidious, videogame console prices have stayed relatively lockstep generation after generation. While gamers once paid $40 for a top game in past generations, now $60 remains the ironclad rule of game pricing. It makes sense to wonder: Why $60, and not some other random number?

The answers fall into three broad categories: sensible greed, consumer stupidity or evil conspiracy. Which explanation fits the fact? That depends on how you look at the facts.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well I spoke with the doctor about the back pain side-effect of my Protonix, and was told it should subside, and sure enough my back didn't start hurting until the middle of the night, so hopefully that's getting better. As for caffeine withdrawal (which is a perfect match for being up part of the night with a backache), this has not been as bad as most are implying, since I spent a couple of weeks reducing my prodigious daily coffee consumption to a single cup before cutting off, and I only suffered a headache the first evening. On the other hand, I'm not sure my brain is as adjusted as my body, since I've made a couple of odd errors over the past couple of days, but I'm sure that will

Withdrawn Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Higher.
Bubble Quest.
Link: 18 Superheroes Built out of LEGOs. Thanks Digg.
Story: Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Satellite to begin gravity quest.
It's Official: Water Found on the Moon.
Stem Cell Snorting Holds Promise For Treating Brain Disorders. Studio 54 meets Area 51. Thanks Acleacius.
Images: Into The Pixel 2009 Concept Art. Thanks BeefJerky.
A Rather Depressing Gallery of Fat Superheroes.
Media: Jetsons Theme Song Extended. NSFW.
Follow-ups: Arctic Ice to Last Decades Longer Than Thought? Thanks Glen.



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