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Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011

  

Ships Ahoy Major League Baseball 2K11

2K Sports announces the release of Major League Baseball 2K11 for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, PS2, and PSP. Here's word on the latest installment in the sports simulation:

Major League Baseball 2K11 features a revamped fielding system; Total Control Pitching, that enables pitchers to paint the corners with pinpoint accuracy; Dynamic Player Ratings, that mirror real-life player performances; improved My Player and MLB Today modes; and brand new player models, which provide authenticity like never before.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime This Month, Trailer

Atari announces a release date for Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, the upcoming action game based on Ghost Busters and its sequel, saying: "Blockbuster Franchise Makes Digital Debut on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360, PlayStation Network, and Windows PC Download on March 23rd." The news is accompanied by a new multiplayer trailer, which is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Wizard's Survival Kit for Magicka

Steam News announces the release of the Wizard's Survival Kit for Magicka, adding that Magicka four-packs are now also available. The $0.99 Survival Kit offers three items and a new Magick for Arrowhead Games' action/adventure game. The items are a Wizard's Hat, a Sharp Sword, and a Staff +1, and the new Magick is a Meteor Shower.

Steamships Ahoy - RISK: Factions

Steam News announces the availability of RISK: Factions. Here's word on the PC edition of the classic board game: "Wage war with five factions, each with unique abilities, in the original game of strategy and world domination! Play with classic rules or reign supreme with objective-based and world conquest scenarios as you command your army and take tactical gambles to win the day. Then challenge your friends in online multiplayer and see how you stack up on the leaderboards."

Realm of the Titans Trailer

Aeria offers the first in a series of character introductions for Realm of the Titans, their upcoming DotA-inspired, MOBA game. They introduce Samurai Spirit, the ghost of the powerful General Takeshi, described like this: "Takeshi was a noble warrior who died a dramatic battlefield death at the hands of his country’s greatest enemy, but not before he was able to transfer his essence into a deadly apparition. His arcane presence lives on as the Samurai Spirit." Here are some screenshots and here's a Samurai Spirit Showcase trailer, which is also embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Football Manager 2011 Patch

The SI Games Forums announce the availability of the Football Manager 2011 January transfer update and a new version 11.3 patch for the sports simulation. Word is: "Included as always are all the transfers and changes made within the world of football up to and including the January transfer window, so you can now see for example Andy Carroll strut his stuff at Anfield or Fernando Torres (maybe) score at last for Chelsea." The change list is shockingly long, all the more so, as word is: "not every single fix which has been made in this patch will be included in this changelist." Thanks Quboid.

Quote of the Day

Since I still see people refute this: "'gib' is derived from 'giblet', which is pronounced with a j sound." id Software Technical Director John Carmack (who should know).

On Sale

The Spring Break Sale on Direct 2Drive gives 20% off when you use the code "hangover" at checkout. The 5th Anniversary Sale on GamersGate offers a huge selection of games up to 75% off.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: WHERE THE HELL IS CAPSLOCK?! Thanks Ant.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution August Dates Confirmed

Eidos Montréal tweets a confirmation of the release dates for Deus Ex: Human Revolution posted earlier: "Yes. Deus Ex: Human Revolution has a release date. August 23 in the U.S. http://tinyurl.com/4q9g4ur August 26 in UK. http://bit.ly/hFzMIW."

Fallen Frontier Revealed

The Moonshot Games Website reveals development of Fallen Frontier, "a 2D sidescrolling shooter offering fast-paced tactical combat, vast interconnected worlds, and an original hard sci-fi universe," from these former members of Bungie. Word is: "Using firearms, grenades, and various special abilities, you’ll confront, confound, and conquer your enemies. Fallen Frontier features both single player and co-operative play and leverages the very best design principles learned in our years at Bungie." This trailer offers a first look at gameplay, and this post says the game is due in the first half of 2012, and explains their platform aspirations: "We’d love to release Fallen Frontier on Steam, XBLA, and PSN. That said, a final decision on platforms is usually made with a publishing partner. That’ll be the case for Fallen Frontier as well." Thanks Destructoid.

Celebrating 7 Million Battlefield Heroes Registrations

EA announces that Battlefield Heroes now has seven million registered players, and to celebrate the milestone they are offering seven days of seven-themed offerings in the free-to-play third-person shooter. Here's what they are giving away to player between now and March 15: "During this time, gamers from around the world will receive a pack including 77 bandages, 77 Battlefunds and 77 wrenches just by logging in." They are also offering a pack of seven-themed virtual goods for 777 space bucks: "The celebration doesn’t stop there! For a limited time, players can also take advantage of a cool store offer. For only 777 Battlefunds, players get a 7-day XP boost, a 7-day VP boost, a 7-day Sarge’s stamina boost and 777 tonics." Someone call Kevin Spacey.

Operation Flashpoint: Red River Trailer

Codemasters announces a new trailer from Operation Flashpoint: Red River showing how soldiers in their upcoming military shooter sequel must adapt to an ever-changing combat environment: "The 'Shifting Focus' video shows how the mission for the Marines in Tajikistan turns into a far more dangerous flashpoint than they could have imagined. After initially embarking on a campaign to quell a destabilizing insurgency that threatens American interests, they must now take on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China which seeks to stake its claim as 'the preeminent military authority in the region'." Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

MS on Improving GFWL

The Games for Windows LIVE service will "continue to get better," Microsoft's Kevin Unangst tells Computer and Video Games, attributing its "rocky start" to it being "designed originally as a partner to the console service more than the PC service." He also cites the available catalog as a further problem: "We also didn't back it up with the most important thing, which is doing fantastic games to take advantage of the service. A network by itself isn't valuable - there needs to be great games to take advantage." He lists three upcoming games that are using developer input to boost GFWL like "Halo did for Xbox Live," Bulletstorm, Age of Empires Online, and the PC edition of Fable III. "The Age of Empire team has got a lot of great input and the same can be said for Lionhead, who said 'we're going to build Fable 3 on the PC' and know what they want out of the service," he tells them. "We're also seeing developers get back to development. Epic did a great job of promoting Live with Bulletstorm. They're pleased with the platform and the service is going to continue to get better over time."

Defenders of Ardania Trailer

A new trailer from Paradox Interactive shows off gameplay from Defenders of Ardania, the upcoming "next-generation" tower defense game that uses the fantasy setting of the Majesty series. Here's a big bunch of new screenshots, and the embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Crysis 2 PC/Xbox 360 Graphics Compared

This trailer offers a side-by-side comparison of the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo on the PC and the Xbox 360, showing how the same scenes appear on each platform. These show various environments, rather than gameplay, to give the opportunity for a proper comparison, with the PC graphics on the highest possible settings. Thanks Ant via the inCrysis Forums. The clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Theatre of War 3: Korea This Month

1C Company sends word that Theatre of War 3: Korea will be released on March 24, offering the third installment in this military RTS series that first explored World War II before moving on to its new setting in the Korean War. Word is: "Replay the events of the first hot war of the Cold War era, the Korean War, also known as the Forgotten War. Players will be involved in two campaigns, both set in the 1950’s: the North Korean (June 25 – August 20) and the American (September 15 – October 8). In this title tactical engagement experts can test their skills on a new strategic level. Move your forces over the entire Korean Peninsula, managing reserves, as well as the fuel and ammo supplies. Tactical battles in Theatre of War 3: Korea are generated based on the strategic situation." Here's the launch trailer from the game, and it is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution in August?

Following closely on word that a release date announcement is expected this week for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, we have indications the action/RPG prequel will come this August. Computer and Video Games notes a tweet by EB Games Australia saying the game will be released down under on August 25 and an announcement on GAME.co.uk that the game's release date in the U.K. will be August 26. Going along with this, GameStop now lists the game for release in North America on August 23.

Dragon Age II and High-Rez Patch Released

Today is the North American release day for Dragon Age II, BioWare's role-playing sequel, which will be available in Europe on Friday. In addition to the retail edition, the game is also available online from the EA Store, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse, and Steam. Also, the BioWare Social Network offers a high-resolution texture pack for the game. Here's word on the 1.08 GB patch: "Using high-resolution textures requires a graphics card with at least 1024MB video memory. Most of the benefits from the Hi-resolution textures will only be seen if you are able to run the game in DirectX 11." For those interested in sampling the game, a playable demo was released last month.

Crysis 2 MP Demo Patch

MyCrysis now offers a new patch for the recently released multiplayer demo for Crysis 2, Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. The version 1.2 patch should automatically install the next time you launch the demo, and AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer have a manual version of the patch, which should also be available shortly on Steam. The new version addresses a couple of issues, including the consolized "press start to begin" message that vexed many PC gamers. The full patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Saints Row 3 Details

The NeoGAF Forums (thanks VG247) and the GameFAQs Forums (thanks Computer and Video Games) have details from the promised Game Informer cover story on Saints Row 3, Volition's upcoming open-world life-of crime action game sequel. Readers comments mention details like the removal of deathmatch (though co-op remains), upgradeable weapons, the removal of eating; drinking; and drugs, weapon details, enhanced character customization and RPG elements, nut shots for all weapons, the addition of an "awesome" button, and more.

Homefront Campaign is Five Hours?

PSM3's Homefront review says the single-player campaign in Kaos Studios' upcoming first-person shooter runs about five hours, reports Computer and Video Games. They offer a quote from the review to put this in context: "That short, short length of the main story may seem like a major sticking point, but it isn't as significant as you might fear. Homefront is relentlessly brutal and constantly puts you in new, unusual and memorable scenarios, varying the pace to keep things interesting."

WAKFU Open Beta Next Month

Square Enix's Ankama announces open beta testing of WAKFU will commence on April 27, offering all comers access to this Windows, Mac, and Linux Tactical MMORPG. A new gameplay trailer and this enormous set of screenshots and concept art accompanies the announcement. Word is: "From the belligerent Iop to the benevolent Eniripsa, from the Rogue (thrower of bombs) to the Masqueraider (thrower of fits), choose from 14 classes and become one or more characters who will help to rebuild the World of Twelve after the destruction caused by Ogrest’s chaos. Turn-based tactical battles and cataclysmic humour are just two things to look forward to in this universe which evolves based on its players’ actions." The trailer us also embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Miner Wars 2081 Gets Investment

Czech developer Keen Software House announces they have secured a 1,000,000 euro investment to aid in completion of Miner Wars 2081, their "six-axis space shooter featuring entirely destructible environments." They say "the fund-raising phase of the company is finished," and that: "The team is now able to focus entirely on the development of Miner Wars, the VRAGE engine, and other projects yet to be announced." They offer their thanks for everyone's support and a new medal for their die-hard supporters: "To all you die-hard Miner Wars fans a very warm Thank You! We couldn't have gotten this far without you, so while we're in SUCH a good mood, we would like to share it by introducing a new Medal just for those who have supported us thus far: EVERY REGISTERED MEMBER on the forums will receive the First Adopter Award! This will be a special level of distinction among the future generations of Miner Wars players, and all shall know your awesomeness!"

Lord Of Ages Begins Thursday

LeKool announces that Lord Of Ages will launch on Thursday, offering an MMORTS game they say are "similar to games such as Caesary and Evony." Word is: "Lord of Ages is set at medieval ages and it has simple and addictive gameplay."

PCGA Interview

There's a PC Gaming Alliance interview on Big Download talking with the organization's fairly new president Matt Ployhar about the departure of founding members Microsoft and NVIDIA, their recently published study saying the PC gaming industry continues to grow, and their plans for a new Technical Advisory Board. There's not that much to sink one's teeth into on those topics, but he does talk optimistically about the future, saying, "I have two other things I'd like to get in place for 2011 but will have to save that for a later conversation," and, "2011 will obviously be a very big year for us as we start tackling some of the other things that have been on our to do list for the past couple of years."

Op Ed

Develop - Shouldn't big games adapt to busy life.
I'm not proposing that games are too difficult. Like I said, it's pretty likely that people complete games nowadays. What's a problem for me (and according to the 30-something-as-average-gamer stats, I am the norm), is that I'll follow the difficulty curve of a game, building on what I learned yesterday; perhaps delving slightly deeper into a more complex control system, only to put the game down for a week (because us 30-somethings have things to do, ok?), and be faced with the nightmare challenge of being inserted back into the game at a point way above my skill level. Actually, I'm not just talking about the difficulty curve, it's the story, orientation, familiarity with the sheer availability of options open to me, and even more on a game-by-game basis.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

The king is dead, long live the king.

etc.

  • Armoured And Dangerous is now available from Phantasm Games, offering a casual tank strategy game. A playable demo is also offered…

Out of the Blue

Today is Fat Tuesday, or as the French would say, Mardi Gras. This is traditionally a night of celebration and heavy eating before fasting for Lent, though I think far more people engage in the celebration than the fast. If you are partying for the occasion, here's hoping you have a fun, safe time.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Fat Warrior 2.
Star Splash.
Power Fox 4.
Links: Schwarzenegger Considers 15 Projects. T5, Predator 3, Twins 2...
Diesel, Twohy Video Talk A Third "Riddick".
Cramped Efficiency: Inside a Submarine.
Stories: Wikileaks, Internet get Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
Massachusetts voters can now register as ‘Pirates’.
Subway Passes McDonald's.
Science: NASA space priorities; can it carry them out?
Images: Gamer Bingo.
Media: Saturday Night Live - Duh! Winning! Cold Open.
Jerry O'Connell Channels Charlie Sheen at Audition.
Towing Fail. NSFW.



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