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Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

  

Battlefield 3 Patch in Certification

DICE's Daniel Matros tweets that the upcoming Battlefield 3 patch is now in certification for consoles, indicating the patch is probably coming soon to all three platforms. Thanks BF3Blog, where they say the last patch spent about a week in certification.

Ubisoft TMs 1666

THQ has filed a "video game software" trademark registration in the U.S. for 1666, reports GameSpot. They say the publisher did not respond to their request for comment on this, but note that 1666 was the year of the Great Fire of London.

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage Beta

Beta testing is now underway for Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage, offering the chance to test-drive this Windows combat racing game. The beta can be downloaded from FilePlanet, and here's word on the game:

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage is a fast-paced addictive combat racing game for the PC. The game is played from the "behind the car" camera perspective and features many different vehicles, weapons, upgrades, on-track bonuses as well as distinctive and astonishing environments. The player starts with a low-performance vehicle and gradually works his way up by earning money in a series of challenging races. With an initial amount of money, the player buys his first car without upgrades.

Ships Ahoy - Hard Reset: Extended Edition

Kalypso Media USA announces Hard Reset: Extended Edition is now available in stores in North America, offering an updated version of this sci-fi shooter. Here's the deal: "Hard Reset: Extended Edition is a classically styled sci-fi first person shooter that takes everything fans love about the genre and kicks it up a notch by adding more enemies, more levels and more of the frenetic turbocharged gunplay of the original game. Hard Reset: Extended Edition is now available for a Suggested Retail Price of $29.99 USD." Here's a feature list:

  • A haunting cyberpunk / dark sci-fi setting
  • Fast-paced, old-school shooter gameplay
  • Hordes of enemies to destroy
  • Epic boss fights
  • A deep, experience-based weapon upgrade system
  • High-fidelity graphics with full dynamic lighting
  • Extensive use of physics and dynamic environments
  • Exclusive in the extended edition: four new creature types, a new boss monster, five new campaign levels with a total of about three additional hours playing time as well as two new levels for the survival mode and an improved graphics engine.

New NVIDIA Reference Drivers

The GeForce Website now offers new version 296.10 WHQL-certified GeForce reference drivers for NVIDIA accelerators. They say: "This driver is a recommended upgrade for all GeForce users, especially those playing the latest hot PC games like Battlefield 3, Blacklight: Retribution, Diablo III, Mass Effect 3, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and more. These drivers come packed with GeForce-exclusive performance and quality enhancements and are Microsoft WHQL-certified."

Battle Academy Patch

Matrix Games now offers a new patch for Battle Academy is now available to update the strategy game to version 1.8.0. Here's the story: "The update includes a number of bug fixes and optimizations, as well as the addition of cross-platform support for those using the iPad version releasing on the 14th of March. The update comes just in time for the release of the iPad version of Battle Academy, marking the first foray into portable gaming for the franchise."

Time of Fury Patch

There's a new Time of Fury patch on the Matrix Games website, updating Wastelands Interactive's turn-based grand strategy game to version 1.01. Word is: "The extensive update covers a bevy of changes and fixes, almost too many to list!" Apparently that's accurate, as they don't list them, though they do offer some highlights.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box on Steam. Save 75%.
  • The Darkness II on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • L.A. Noire on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Orcs Must Die! on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Shank 2 on Impulse. Save 25%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Passes

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has news that free weekend trials for the Star Wars MMORPG will be offered starting Thursday:

Today we are excited to announce the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Weekend Pass Free* Trial. Now for a limited time, you will be able to live out your very own Star Wars™ saga with thousands of other players for free! With the Star Wars: The Old Republic Weekend Pass Free Trial, individuals who don’t already have a previously-active Star Wars: The Old Republic account will be allowed to see a portion of what the game has to offer, free of charge, with no payment method required, for up to four days!

Individuals who take part in the Weekend Pass will be able to experience the opening adventures of each of the eight character classes, exploring both their Origin World and their faction’s Capital World. Additionally, Weekend Pass players will have the chance to face off against other players in PvP Warzones, or join up with friends and play through a couple of early faction-specific Flashpoints in the game, The Esseles and The Black Talon.

The Weekend Pass Free Trial opens Thursday, March 15th, 12:01AM CT / 5:01AM GMT and ends on Monday, March 19th at 2:00AM CT / 7:00AM GMT. To learn more, visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/weekendpass and come back on March 15th to create your account, download the game, and begin your free trial! Have questions? Visit the Weekend Pass FAQ.

Be sure to check back to www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, as well as our Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates!

Double Fine Kickstart Ending; Wasteland 2 Kickstart Beginning

Double Fine Adventure by Double Fine and 2 Player Productions Kickstarter Campaign will conclude today, offering the last chance to earn supporter rewards (thanks nin). They passed the $3 million plateau last night, so the game's $400,000 budget seems pretty covered. In other Kickstarter news, the promised Wasteland 2 by inXile entertainment Kickstarter Campaign is now underway to fund the $900,000 budget for the post-apocalyptic RPG sequel. They offer their own set of supporter rewards, and the following outline of the project:

For Wasteland 2, we’re getting the band back together again!. Brian Fargo who Executive Produced both Wasteland and Fallout will be heading the team. Alan Pavlish and Mike Stackpole—the original game’s primary designers—are coming back to put the project together, and we’re rounding up as many of the other designers, like Ken St. Andre, as we can. On top of that, we’ll have music by Mike Morgan of Fallout 1 and 2 fame. The storyline for Wasteland 2 was written by Jason Anderson who was the co-creator of Fallout. We have also enlisted the help of the amazing concept artist, Andree Wallin to help craft the Wasteland 2 world.

Guild Wars 2 Pre-Purchases Get Beta and Early Access

NCsoft announces details of the pre-purchase program for Guild Wars 2, their upcoming MMORPG sequel. Word is an advance commitment to any of the various editions of the game will earn players entree into all the game's beta events and a three-day head start when Guild Wars 2 goes live:

NCsoft, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), today revealed the Pre-Purchase program for Guild Wars 2, the most anticipated online role-playing game scheduled for release in 2012. Starting April 10, players who pre-purchase the Guild Wars 2 Collector’s, Digital Deluxe, or Standard Editions will receive guaranteed entry into all beta weekend events and a three-day headstart prior to launch, giving them the opportunity to be among the first to secure their character and guild names. As a bonus, players who pre-purchase any edition will also receive an exclusive Hero’s Band, which will provide their characters with a broad range of power boosts as they venture into the world of Tyria in Guild Wars 2.

The Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition offers fans an unparalleled collection of physical content that goes beyond the game. The centerpiece of the Collector’s Edition is a detailed, hand-painted 10-inch statue of the bestial warrior Rytlock Brimstone wielding his signature flaming sword. Along with the Rytlock statue, players will receive a custom frame along with five stunning Guild Wars 2 art prints from world-renowned artists, a 112-page Making of Guild Wars 2 hardback book, a Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD by award-winning composer Jeremy Soule, and five in-game items, including a Mistfire Wolf that will fight alongside players and a miniature Rytlock who will accompany them on their travels through Tyria.

The Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition will retail at $149.99 MSRP, the Digital Deluxe at $79.99 MSRP and the Standard Edition at $59.99 MSRP. Players may also pre-order Guild Wars 2 at select retailers, allowing them to reserve their copy of the game at launch. Players who pre-order Guild Wars 2 will receive a one-day headstart prior to launch.

For additional information on the pre-purchase program or Guild Wars 2, visit www.GuildWars2.com.

Gratuitous Tank Battles Preorders Get Beta Access

Positech announces that Gratuitous Tank Battles has entered beta testing, and that they are now accepting preorders for this tower defense variant described as "alternate history World-War-1-with mechs." These two bits of news come together, as those who preorder will gain immediate access to the beta. The game can be purchased through this page, here's a new gameplay trailer, and here's word:

GTB differs from conventional Tower Defense in many ways. Firstly, you can play either side (attack/defense), secondly all the units are customised both simulation-wise and visually. Thirdly, the game has a built in map-editor and map-sharing feature to encourage widespread custom-map-making. Fourthly, GTB lets you save out your own attacking decisions, then play against them as defender. And lastly, the game also features optional 'adaptive' AI rather than just pre-scripted waves of enemies (although these are available as well).

Set during an alternate future where world war one never ended, and continues to be fought with mechs and laser-tanks, GTB blends hardcore strategy gaming with a light-hearted sarcastic sense of humour. The war has raged for 200 years, but our superior officers are convinced it will all be over this Christmas, however many poor beggars have to be crushed into the dirt to make that happen.

Battlefield 3 Close Quarters Trailer

A new trailer shows off Battlefield 3 Close Quarters the recently announced expansion for the military first-person shooter (thanks BF3Blog). The clip shows off gameplay, and more about the add-on an be learned in a new Close Quarters preview on Eurogamer.net.

Mass Effect 3 Unlocks Relocking

The BioWare Social Network has a thread that began a few days back about how some players are finding they've lost access to kits they've unlocked in Mass Effect 3 either through gameplay or microtransactions in the action/RPGs. There are suggestions on ways to possibly avoid this. BioWare says they are continuing to investigate the problem, and there are posts suggesting this is still occurring as of a couple of hours ago. Thanks PC Gamer.

Op Ed

The Bitbag - Video Game Journalism Needs An Enema And I’m The Doctor.
What went wrong with game journalism? I stated early on twitter that I wanted to take it back to its roots. I mentioned Ed Semrad, Arnie Katz and Dave Halverson as just a few editors who I respect in this business. They wrote real stories and because of print media, they didn’t rely on other outlets to generate content. They wrote with passion and integrity. Now, because of the web, everyone is farming for traffic.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

Well, the annual NCAA basketball tournament gets underway today, so everybody is caught up in "March Madness." Well, almost everybody: I'm certainly not, as I have never been a big fan of college athletics. So for those of you who are into it, enjoy your madness, but consider my bracket pre-busted.

Unbusted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Tech and Magic.
Links: Music FAILS- The Paparazzi Will Get It Right Eventually.
25 Inaccurate Depictions of NYC in Film and TV. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Next Chinese Mission Might Include Some Women. Thanks TDW Geeks.
Flight attendant on plane rants about crashing. Thanks Boing Boing.
Science: Ed Boyden: The brain is like a computer, and we can fix it with nanorobots.
Drugs target pathogens' split-second vulnerability.
The Most Astounding Fact About The Universe, As Told By Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Images: No, That’s Not A Birdbath!.
I Think It’s Probably Best Not To Enter.
Media: "You Get Nothing" - (Willy Wonka Mix). Thanks nin.
CONFRONTATION MOVIE MASHUP. NSFW.
Denis Leary - Coffee. NSFW.
Follow-up: Japan activists go to court to block reactor restart.
Red Meat Linked to Cancer and Heart Disease. Thanks j.c.f.

Monday, Mar 12, 2012

Dishonored Trailer

The Bethesda Blog points the way to a number of articles around the world about Dishonored, as they recently hosted a group of international gaming journalists to show off Arkane's upcoming first-person stealth/action game. This coverage of the game includes this trailer, titled "Stealthy, Gruesome Murder," which features Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith discussing the project. Here's the accompanying description: "In Dishonored you play a supernatural assassin capable of sneaky stealth takedowns, animal possession, and balls-to-the-wall destructive carnage. Which will you choose?" Continue here to read the full story.

Spec Ops: The Line Trailer

A new trailer from Spec Ops: The Line is now available showing off gameplay and cinematics from the upcoming third-person shooter. Word from 2K Games is the trailer was "made exclusively for the community," which may say something, as some of the imagery is quite disturbing. Continue here to read the full story.

Indie Royale Preorders

Indie Royale is now offering preorders of their Saint Patrick's Day Bundle at your own price point (minimum USD $3.99). This is a "semi-blind" preorder, so they offer a hint and an incentive:

You can now semi-blind pre-order Indie Royale's St. Patrick’s Day Bundle at a recommended €/£/$10 or €/£/$5 USD contribution and a minimum of $3.99 USD.

The Bundle is headlined by an explosive FPS with a future-leaning setting, available on Windows as a Steam key, Desura key and DRM-free download. Next up the flagpole is a jaunty Windows and Mac adventure game, available on Steam, DRM-free, and on Desura, arrr. Also featured - a brainy Steam-enabled Windows and Mac title 'dispensing' RTS action. Rounding out the bundle is an Indie Royale exclusive Windows/Mac debut (DRM-free and Desura) for an acclaimed satirical platformer, plus a bonus DRM-free Windows RPG overhead shooter from the same creator.

Those who pre-order the St. Patrick's Day Bundle receive a retro bonus: the NES-inspired 15-track album O.S.T from Daniel Capo, available in FLAC and MP3 file formats. Those who pay over the minimum while the bundle is live will also receive the bonus.

The St. Patrick's Day Bundle will launch fully later this week at $3.99 USD and up - watch our Twitter feed or Facebook page for immediate notice at launch time.

Gatherings & Competitions

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

There's a big week-long sale on Origin, where many titles are 50% off.

  • inMomentum on Steam. Save 50%.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Two Year Old Playing FPS Games.

"Spectacular" Crytek Announcement Next Month

Crytek plans to announce a "spectacular" PC and console game next month, reports Computer and Video Games, who learned of this during an interview with Crytek's Nick Button-Brown, who promises "the best of that kind of project we've ever done" in revealing the game like so: "You know about Homefront, you know about Ryse. We are working on another project... [laughs] all three of which are looking really good." Here's more on this mysterious third project:

It looks spectacular, the team are doing really, really well and it's just really nice to see the team really enthusiastic about what they're doing. They're really happy.

We're going to carry on doing those games. We like doing mobile games, we like doing free-to-play, but we also like blowing things up in a visually stunning style

The Boondock Saints Game Official

The potential for a game based on The Boondock Saints first mentioned at last year's SXSW festival is apparently on its way to being made. Joystiq has word that the game was officially announced at a panel at this year's SXSW. There are no details yet on when the game will be released or for what platforms; the only concrete detail is that Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and David Della Rocco will voice their roles from the film, and will contribute to other aspects of the creative process.

U.K. Sales Charts

The list on GfK Chart-Track of the 20 bestselling full-price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending March 10. Mass Effect 3 makes its debut at number one and The Sims 3: Showtime joins the chart at number two. Mass Effect 3 also joins the full-price all platforms chart at number one, where Street Fighter x Tekken enters at number three and The Sims 3: Showtime is the new number six.

Morning Previews

  • Max Payne 3 on IGN.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Still missing that damned hour (*shakes fist at DST*) though last night's 7:00 pm sunset was pretty awesome. What's also awesome is that it's supposed to be about 70 around here today and tomorrow. March used to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb around here, but I'm afraid the new paradigm is in like a lamb and out like mutton.

R.I.P.: Ozone pioneer Rowland dies at 84.

Muttony Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: The Love Letter.
Stories: Orchestra brawl: Fistfight in elite seats stuns symphony patrons. Thanks Boing Boing.
Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Venus and Jupiter to pass in the night sky.
Astrophile: The rock that sprayed 'fairy dust' on moon.
Sign language 'turned into text' by Aberdeen scientists.
Images: Goggie ob teh Week FACE OFF.
Media: Hardly Working: Leaked Nude Photos. NSFWish.
Plane crosses the sun. Thanks Jim.
Fruit Jedi.
Back to the Future II Quadrocoptor.
The Funnies: Dangerous Games Cartoon - Savage Chickens.
Show Her You Care.
Follow-up: 2012 Doomsday Scenarios Debunked By NASA Scientist. Easter bunny next.



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