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Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012

  

Steamships Ahoy - Stacking

Steam News announces the release of the Windows PC edition of Stacking, the adventure game from Double Fine Productions set in the ultra-violent world of Russian stacking dolls. The game debuts at a 33% discount, or as part of a new Double Fine Bundle that's also a third off. Here's word on the release, which includes a free DLC pack:

From Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions, explore a vintage world inhabited by living Russian stacking dolls as you jump into more than 100 unique dolls and use their special abilities to solve a wide variety of puzzles & challenges. Play as Charlie Blackmore, the world’s tiniest Russian stacking doll, and embark on an adventure to rescue Charlie’s family from the nefarious industrialist known only as the “Baron.” This imaginative 3rd person puzzle adventure game will take you on a journey from a bustling Royal Train Station to a high-flying Zeppelin as you collect unique dolls and matched stacking sets to display in Charlie’s secret hideout, where you chronicle your adventures.

Continue the Stacking adventure with The Lost Hobo King DLC pack, included free in the PC version!

Continue here to read the full story.

Memento Mori 2 This Year

A product section is online for Memento Mori 2, revealing plans for this upcoming adventure game sequel, though it's not clear when this went online, as it seems to tout a release by the end of last year, which obviously didn't happen. This German announcement updates that, saying the psychological point-and-click adventure is due by Q2 of this year, and that new players will be able to enjoy it without having played the original. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav Delayed

Daedalic Entertainment and Deep Silver announce a delay to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, the adventure game they said was due in a couple of weeks less than a month ago. Word is the game is now due by the middle of this year. "The very high potential of 'Chains of Satinav' was confirmed by the very good first reviews we got throughout the media. However considering the few points criticized, as well as our own quality tests, we recognized that the performance of the game still requires some optimizing," explains Daedalic CEO Carsten Fichtelmann. "Since the quality of the game is our highest priority, we decided to extend the development phase of 'Chains of Satinav.' That way we can provide the best possible gaming experience to our players."

City of Heroes Patched

The City of Heroes Website announces that Issue 22 "Death Incarnate," is now live in Paragon Studios' superhero MMORPG. Word is: "With tons of new content, including the all new mid level trial Drowning in Blood, new Powersets, the new Olympian Guard costume set (free for all VIP subscribers), new low level missions found in Steel Canyon, and the much anticipated solo Incarnate Path in the newly revamped Dark Astoria, Issue 22: Death Incarnate is a great time for you to take to the skies in City of Heroes Freedom! So log in today and experience what's new to Paragon City!" Here are the complete patch notes, and there's also a new trailer showing off the new content.

Lifeless Planet This Year

Lace Mamba Global announces they will publish Lifeless Planet, an action/adventure in the works at indie developer Stage 2 Studios for release by the end of this year. The Lifeless Planet Website offers a trailer and other media along with details for the game, and here's the announcement, which outlines its unusual premise:

Brighton/San Francisco, March 06th, 2012 – During the Cold War, billions of Dollars and Rubles were pumped into numerous space missions, achieving extraordinary science milestones, and climaxing in the success of multiple moon missions. But was that really as far as mankind could reach? What if someone secretly and successfully sent a manned mission to a distant world? What if the Soviet Union achieved much more than we have been lead to believe?

Lifeless Planet is a new 3D PC action adventure, independently developed by David Board and Alaska-based Stage 2 Studios and to be published world-wide by Lace Mamba Global in Q4 2012. The game puts players in the moon-boots of a volunteer astronaut on a one-way mission to a life-bearing planet far outside our solar system. But after a rough landing, the promise of a new Earth soon fades with the discovery that the planet he was to explore is now barren and inhospitable.

Alone in this wasteland, his fellow astronauts missing and his oxygen tank leaking, the astronaut's situation turns desperate. He begins to explore the planet for his missing crew members...only to discover a deeper mystery: an abandoned Soviet-era laboratory. Was his mission a hoax? Is this really an extra-solar planet or has he been shuttled to a lonely region of Siberia as part of a deceptive propaganda stunt?

Continue here to read the full story.

A Game of Dwarves Video

A new video interview/diary offers a look at A Game of Dwarves: "Zeal Games CEO Robin Flodin unearths a little info on the pint-sized protagonists’ behaviors in-game, challenges they’ll face, and enemies waiting to be encountered in this newly released developer diary about the upcoming dwarf management game. Go ahead, dig into it already!" Continue here to read the full story.

The Walking Dead Trailer

Telltale Games' The Walking Dead Website has episode 2 of Playing Dead, Telltale's in-house talk show to discuss development of their upcoming episodic game based on the zombie comic series. This time out Sean Vanaman (Lead Designer) and Gary Whitta (Story Consultant and Writer for episode four) talk about expanding The Walking Dead world, how player decisions affect the story, and what Telltale calls a "tailored experience."

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Costume Quest on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Dead Horde on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Psychonauts on Steam. Save 50%.
  • The Sims 3 on Steam. Save 66%.
  • The Sims 3 DLC on Steam. Save up to 66%.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidations

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Argument Starter of the Day: The Top 15 PC Games of All Time. Thanks Ant.

Rayman Origins Standalone Demo

A standalone version of the demo for Rayman Origins is now available to accompany the demo for the platformer sequel recently released on Steam. The demo can be downloaded from AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell. Here's the short description of what it offers: "Discover the action packed jungle of Swinging Caves, fly on a mosquito in Aim for the Eel, and challenge a boss in Moray of the Deep."

Mass Effect 3 Ships; Review Roundup

Today marks the North American release of Mass Effect 3, culminating the Commander Shepard trilogy in this series of sci-fi action/RPGs. This page is where to find the previously released playable demo for the game, and Metacritic is beginning to aggregate reviews, showing a 93 metascore for the Windows edition from five critics, a stark contrast from the game's user score, which currently sits at 2.2. You can read reviews of the game on Ars Technica, AtomicGamer, Computer and Video Games, Destructoid, Edge Magazine, Eurogamer, G4tv.com, GameSpot, GameSpy, GameStar (in German), gamesTM, GamingXP, IGN, Joystiq, PC Gamer, and VideoGamer.

Ships Ahoy - MLB 2K12

Play Ball! 2K Sports announces Major League Baseball 2K12 is now available, offering the newest installment in this sports simulation series for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, PSP, and DS. Here's the deal:

Major League Baseball 2K12 features a new dynamic ratings system designed to enhance the battle at the plate; revamped throwing system that makes fielding more realistic; new hit distribution system that allows for more varied and realistic hits; and an enhanced My Player mode. Additionally, this year 2K Sports announces the all-new MLB Today Season Mode that lets players complete an entire season at the same pace as their favorite MLB team. Using the powerful MLB Today engine, fans can track and compare their stats and record to their real-life counterparts. Gamers can play through their team’s real schedule, one game a day, and see if they can play their way to a World Series title.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Trailer

2K Games now offers a new trailer with a "deep dive" into XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the upcoming counter-UFO strategy game revival. The clip features the developers discussing what's going into the project, along with glimpses of gameplay. Continue here to read the full story.

Operation Stormfront and Demo Released

Operation Stormfront is now available, offering classic real-time strategy gameplay for Windows, OS X, and Linux. A playable demo is available for all three platforms, and here's a bit on the game: "The game is a real-time strategy (RTS) similar to the classic 'Command & Conquer', and modern warfare played out over lush tropical archipelagos. The game includes 25 pre-defined campaign missions as well as unlimited randomly generated skirmish scenarios with a multitude of game options."

ROCCAT PowerGrid Announced

The teaser on the Isn't PC Gaming Dead website that surfaced a couple of weeks ago has resolved, as it now points to a page for the ROCCAT PowerGrid, a free application to allow you to connect to, monitor, and control your games and PC from a smartphone. This will allow you to manage online communication, monitor vital PC stats, control your PC's audio, and various customization options. They are now accepting applications for an upcoming beta test, saying this will require a PC and a smartphone with the latest iOS. The site also reveals the business model for all this, as ROCCAT will be producing the Phobo, "a stylish Smart Gear gaming assistant that connects your Power-Grid smartphone to your computer," and a keyboard with a phone dock described like this:

And once you’ve connected your Phobo and Power-Grid smartphone, you’ll never need to separate them. You can write any text message with the Phobo – on Facebook, Skype, TeamSpeak, you name it. It also lets you take voice calls with your gaming headset. And naturally the Phobo will charge your phone in case you do need to remove it.

Darksiders II Preorder Upgrade

THQ announces that all customers who preorder Darksiders II will receive an automatic free upgrade to the Limited Edition of the upcoming fantasy sequel. Word is: "The Darksiders II Limited Edition will include the standard retail game along with a unique code allowing the purchaser the opportunity to download the game’s first single player downloadable content pack, Argul’s Tomb for free once it becomes available."

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Cross-Platform Play Dropped

Based on beta testing of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve is dropping plans to support cross-platform play in the upcoming multiplayer shooter, reports Joystiq. "The beta has proved we want to update not just the beta, but the game itself post-launch frequently on the PC," Valve's Chet Faliszek tells them. "To do that we need to separate the platforms so one doesn't hamstring the other. So for that, we have removed the idea of cross-platform play -- essentially make all platforms stronger by not mixing them."

Ships Ahoy - CM: Battle for Normandy - Commonwealth Forces

Battlefront.com now offers the release of Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy - Commonwealth Forces for Windows and OS X. The module adds new "meticulously researched and historically accurate" units, new scenarios, and more. Word is: "A free updated demo will be made available for download in the next 7-14 days. A free v1.10 patch for 'Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy' will also be available within 7-14 days."

Tribes Ascend Beta Patch

This page offers details on a new patch that's now live for the open beta of Tribes Ascend, Hi-Rez Studios' upcoming multiplayer shooter revival. They have notes for version 0.1.809.0 as well as a version 0.1.811.0 hotfix that followed. The new version adds badges, new perks, a new deathmatch map, and more.

Line of Defense Interview

An interview on Gaming Nexus talks with Derek Smart about Line of Defense, the MMOFPS in development at 3000AD. The conversation covers the pitch for the game, how it connects to 3000AD's Battlecruiser games, what makes a great FPS, who he considers his competition, how to get the game noticed, customization, and an explanation of their dual business models: "Neither option has a monthly subscription. It is Free To Play for as long as you like. I wanted to cater to both sides in terms of how players perceive games in this emerging market. You can start off with the free client and just pay as you go along depending on what you want. And yes, the paid client does have some advantages but that’s the choice you the player gets to make depending on how you feel about the game."

PCGA Report

This press release announces a new report for members of the PC Gaming Alliance on industry trends. Here's a bit:

“The PC Gaming juggernaut continues unabated, across the industry and geographic boundaries. While reports of Gaming sales at Retail show signs of struggle, the impact hasn’t been as great for PC Gaming, which had an earlier adoption of newer formats, business-models & delivery with: Digital Distribution, Free to Play, and Subscriptions fueling PC Gaming’s strong global growth. For example: Valve’s market-leading Steam digital distribution service now reports over 40 million users, and traditional retailers are following suit by investing in this space more heavily such as GameStop’s acquisition of the Impulse digital distribution service,” said Matt Ployhar, PCGA president and Intel analyst. “Not only investment dollars, but real revenue and profits, are now being generated solely from purely digital business models, formats, and delivery.”

The report concludes that the PC game business will continue to grow a total of 37% to approximately US$25.5 billion by 2015. This growth is driven by growing access to broadband connections and the increasing ease of digital distribution delivery solutions and payment methods on a global basis.

Ships Ahoy - The Sims 3 Showtime

EA announces it's show time for The Sims 3 Showtime, the new expansion for The Sims 3, also announcing the availability of the, yes, The Sims 3 Showtime Katy Perry Collector’s Edition Expansion pack. Here's word:

The Sims 3 Showtime offers more fun for everyone. New to the game is the option for players to fully customize their own performance stages. Fog machines, spotlights and confetti are just a few of the stage props available for players to enhance their Sims’ performance stages. New, extensive areas are ready to explore in the town of Starlight Shores, where players can watch their Sims succeed or epically fail as they transition from one venue to the next. Using new on-stage objects, players are able to further experiment within the performance careers to catapult their Sims to success or bestow the deadly grim reaper upon their fate.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Wow, the news is all about today being "Super Tuesday." I had no idea the mainstream media was so filled with Mass Effect 3 fans.

Super Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Papa's Pancakeria.
Links: Recast Great TV Shows.
Stories: Fox Cancels Terra Nova. Got cancelled here during the pilot.
Science: DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
NASA’s robotic Project Morpheus aims for the Moon.
Fear Of Doctors Leads To Thousands Of 'Avoidable' Cancer Deaths.
Media: 10 Minutes Of "John Carter" Online.
Men In Black 3 - Trailer 2.
Follow-up: Brevity.
The myth of the eight-hour sleep.



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