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Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012

  

Star Citizen Passes $3.5M

The Roberts Space Industries Website announces Star Citizen has surpassed $3.5 million in funding, saying this makes the upcoming space simulation the second most successful crowd-funded game to date. They offer details on the three major unlocks this threshold triggers, while ambitiously setting their sites on the remaining $700K they need to raise to take the crown for highest crowd-funding total for a game ever.

Two for One FORGE Next Month

Dark Vale Games announces that FORGE will be released on December 4th via digital distribution, and that all customers will receive two copies of the third-person shooter with their purchases, a sure way to help boost the population of a multiplayer-only game. "Several months ago, we promised the PC gaming world a unique proposition: an incredible AAA-quality multiplayer fantasy game at an amazing indie price, and that’s just what we’ve delivered," said Tim Alvis, COO/CTO of Dark Vale Games. "As players of some of the best multiplayer PC games ourselves, we understand that these titles are all about the community. That’s why we’re offering the best of both worlds – a great price point and a free copy that purchasers can give to their guild- or clan-mate or anyone else they would like to have fighting by their side. The more people we have playing FORGE, the more fun it will be. We truly believe that and we’re putting our money where our mouth is to prove it." They celebrate the news with a new trailer showing gameplay from the beta. Continue here to read the full story.

Next Call of Duty Tidbits?

Siliconera has purported details on the next installment in the Call of Duty series, saying their source for this information is the same one who provided reliable advance information on Sleeping Dogs back when it was True Crime: Hong Kong. There's nothing that spoilery or earth-shattering revealed, just plot points based on dialog recording for Ben Burke, a character in the game who is "a battle hardened veteran in his mid-thirties with a nihilistic point of view."

Crysis 3 Trailer

This trailer offers a preview of single-player play in Crysis 3, Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "The unnatural power of the Nanodome has transformed the train yards of New York City into a grassland teeming with wild vegetation & opposing CELL artillery. Prophet and Psycho must venture through the heavily guarded Field to meet up with the rebel insurgency. Prophet's use of the Nanosuit and alien weapons will be critical to to [sic] get through the sandbox of the Fields level -- but how will you choose to play Crysis 3?" Thanks VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website has an updated list of server-side hotfixes applied to Blizzard's MMORPG since the release of the new version 5.0.5 patch (thanks Ant). A majority of the changes center around dungeons and raids.

Hardy to Star in Splinter Cell Movie

Splinter Cell movie has a star, as Variety reports that Tom Hardy has signed on to play Sam Fisher, the stealthy bane of many terrorists' existence. The project also has a writer, Eric Warren Singer ("The International"), but neither a studio nor director yet.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Grand Theft Auto V Trailer

Rockstar Games now offers the promised second trailer from Grand Theft Auto V, an NSFW look at the game's take on urban renewal, friendly strangers offering directions, borrowing a buddy's car, domestic bliss, youthful hijinks, modern slang, puppies, skydiving, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

Origin Accounts Hijacked?

Eurogamer reports that account holders on EA's Origin service are receiving emails confirming they have successfully changed passwords and/or email accounts, in spite have not making any such request. They say this has affected one of their own, Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter, and point to a thread on NeoGAF with similar stories. They also show an indication this may be originating from somewhere in Russia, and say they have contacted EA for a response.

Ships Ahoy - Port Royale 3: Dawn of Pirates

Kalypso Media now offers new Dawn of Pirates DLC for the Windows edition of Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants, the seafaring simulation. Here's word on the new campaign and game mode this introduces:

Dawn of Pirates offers you a whole new single-player campaign in which you get to stir up trouble in the Caribbean -- as a pirate. Your aim in this DLC is to become the most notorious pirate in the Caribbean by raiding and plundering unsuspecting cities and poorly guarded convoys on the high seas. A new pirate-themed campaign offer players the chance to enjoy Port Royale 3 from the view of one of their most challenging foes! Arrr matey, what are you waiting for? Set sail!

Features of the Dawn of Pirates DLC:

  • A new pirate-themed campaign with adjusted interface and gameplay
  • Ironman-mode challenges you to play through the campaign without save-points
  • An online ranking-system with a global high-score-list for Normal as well as Ironman modes

Miner Wars 2081 This Month, MMO Testing Nears

An official release date for Miner Wars 2081 is now posted on the Miner Wars Website, where they say the six degrees of freedom shooter is expected on November 28th through Steam, GameStop, Gamersgate, Desura, and www.minerwars.com. The story, taking the form of a note to journalists, also offers new logos, videos, and art from the game. Those interested in the game but not interested in waiting can prepurchase the game and start playing the beta right now. Looking to the future, on their FAQ they say the MMO version of the game to follow will begin public beta testing sometime this quarter.

Grand Theft Auto V Hype Gearing Up

With a new Grand Theft Auto V trailer due momentarily, Rockstar Games points way to coverage of the game from various outlets that have been able to play it (don't tell Robert Florence). They point to a Guardian preview as well as GTA V Week on IGN where they gush: "One thing’s for sure, the most exciting aspect of GTA V is not just the way it promises to shake up the open-world genre, but also the freedom and flexibility it promises… Grand Theft Auto V could be the benchmark by which all other games – not just open-world games – will be judged against." Also, GamesIndustry International has word from writer Dan Houser on how the best games come at the end of a console's lifecycle.

Ubisoft Pitching CliffyB?

Cliff Bleszinski tweets about a gift from Ubisoft that implies they are interested in ending Epic's former design director unemployment: "Hotel called my room. A package for me? Inside? A fully charged phone with one # programmed and the Ubisoft logo on the backdrop. Now what?" Seems the answer would be to call the number, but maybe this is a trick question. It's nice to hear that Ubisoft is doing well enough that they've replaced business cards with working cell phones. Thanks VG247.

The Secret World Issue #4 Details

This trailer unveils some of the secrets in an upcoming update #4 for The Secret World, which developer Funcom says is the "biggest update yet" for their conspiracy-themed MMOG. The trailer is narrated by Game Director Joel Bylos who introduces new content and gameplay mechanics in the update, which is titled Big Trouble in the Big Apple. Word is: "He will reveal many of the features you can enjoy in Issue #4: such as the Raid in New York, a big boost to PvP, the Albion Theatre, a new Auxiliary Weapon – the Chainsaw, a new set of Missions, Reticule Combat and much much more." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA XPG Xtreme Series 2x8GB DDR3-2133MHz CL10 Memory on ocaholic.
  • Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD on HARDOCP.
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H-WiFi on Overclockers Club.
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition on PCMag.com.
  • MSI GEFORCE GTX 660 HAWK 2GB Video Card on TweakTown.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Patriot Gauntlet 320 on APH Networks.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II Android Superphone on MEGATech.
  • Sapphire HD 7770 FleX Video Card on TechwareLabs.
  • Sharkoon X-Tatic Pro Gaming Headset on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

Following the power cutting on and off with the recent storms, I decided it was finally time to replace my UPS, as its battery had reached the point where my machine would go to sleep after even slight power dips. I found a big 1500VA unit at Best Buy for $139, and while it turned out it was mismarked, they agreed to charge me that instead of the proper $209 since it was their mistake. Nice, right? We then stopped on our way home at Marshalls to see what sort of bargains they had there and I found a Le Creuset crock for holding spoons and such for all of $12.99, but the blue one I wanted had no price tag. I told them the price up front, but they insisted on a price check, and ended up charging me the $7.99 listed on a cheaper crock. So it seems yesterday I was surrounded by some sort of magic forty-something percent discount field... Too bad I wasn't in a position to buy some resalable commodity and profit wildly from this.

Discount Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Evilgeddon: Spooky Max.
Links: I am Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and How to destroy angels. AMA. Thanks nin.
Stories: Janeane Garofalo Unwittingly Married for 20 Years.
Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots. Thanks Slashdot.
Don't Even Think of Eating at Guy Fieri's New Times Square Restaurant.
Science: Rare complete solar eclipse captured on film in Australia.
Man in coma uses his thoughts to tell doctors, 'I'm not in pain'.
Images: Ollie the Gamer. Thanks Morris.
The eyeball in this guy's sink is one of the best optical illusions we've seen in ages.
Media: Disney Princess Leia - Star Wars Disney Princesses.
World War Z with Pee-wee Voices and PEE WEEs Big Inception.
All Time 10s: Common Science Myths. Incorrect corrections? I know #3 is false.

Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012

Ships Ahoy - LEGO The Lord of the Rings

WBIE and the LEGO Group announce the release of LEGO The Lord of the Rings, saying the Windows and console editions of TT Games' latest brixilated action./adventure adaptation can now be found in North America. Those interested in sampling the game can check out the recently released demo. Here's an overview:

Based on The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, LEGO The Lord of the Rings takes players on an epic journey through Middle-earth as they take the form of their favorite members of the Fellowship and relive momentous events from the films.

Family members of all ages will enjoy playing together in easy drop-in, drop-out co-op gameplay, as they partake in the iconic Helms Deep Battle, explore The Shire, escape the fiery pits of Mount Doom, and battle against Shelob, the Nazgûl, and the Ringwraiths, all while solving puzzles, and collecting and using a variety of weaponry and magical items, including the Light of Eärendil, Elven rope, swords, and bows.

Ships Ahoy - F1 Race Stars

Codemasters announces the green flag has dropped on F1 Race Stars, and the arcade Formula One racing game is now in North American stores for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. There are new home shopping-style videos to promote the game on its YouTube channel, and here's word:

F1 Race Stars, from Codemasters Racing, features the full cast of FORMULA ONE stars as you’ve never seen them before in a chaotic sprint for the checkered flag on circuits littered with power-ups and featuring jumps, loop-the-loops and barrel-rolls! Designed to share the fun with four-player split-screen racing, which can be combined with 12 player-online play, racing fans of all ages will experience a new world of FORMULA ONE fun as they dodge a Truckosaurus, speed past Robo-Sumos and leap into a shark’s mouth on speedy circuits inspired by 11 iconic tracks including Monaco, Silverstone and the new Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas.

AMD for Sale?

AMD has hired JPMorgan Chase explore options, including the sale of patents, and possibly the sale of the entire company, reports Reuters. They attribute this to "sources familiar with the situation," but also have the following statement from AMD confirming the possibility of selling off technology, but stating the company itself is not on the market: "AMD's board and management believe that the strategy the company is currently pursuing to drive long-term growth by leveraging AMD's highly-differentiated technology assets is the right approach to enhance shareholder value. AMD is not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time." Thanks nin via Gizmodo.

AMD Catalyst Beta

A new AMD Catalyst version 12.11 beta 7 driver is now available for AMD/ATI graphics cards. The new beta adds CrossFire performance improvements for Call of Duty Black Ops 2, and word is: "This driver introduces significant performance improvements for many games across ALL 28nm AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series products: HD 7700, HD7800 and HD7900."

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Patch Adds Maps

The Sins of a Solar Empire Forums have details on a new patch for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, updating Ironclad's space strategy expansion to version 1.1. The new version includes bug fixes and balance changes while adding dozens of new maps.

Borderlands 2 Patched

Stream News announces a new patch is now automatically available for Borderlands 2 to update Gearbox Software's role-playing sequel to version 1.2.0. The lengthy list of changes follows: Continue here to read the full story.

Black Ops II Disc Mix-up Reward

The BioWare Blog has a follow up to word that Mass Effect 2 discs were included in some copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The first 50 users who can show this happened to their copies of the game, BioWare is offering the Mass Effect Trilogy: "If the universe thinks that you should be playing Mass Effect right now, who are we to argue? In fact, we want to help! The first fifty fans affected by this phenomenon to send us a picture holding their special disc 2 will receive a code for a FREE PC copy of Mass Effect Trilogy."

On Sale

  • Darksiders II on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Interplay Catalog on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Star Trek Online Starter Pack on Steam. Save 60%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Unbelievable War Machine Armor. Thanks Ant.

Ships Ahoy - Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Activision announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops II is now available worldwide for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, offering another chance to experience the Cold War as depicted in this first-person shooter sequel. The announcement also confirms that the Nuketown zombies bonus map that was a preorder bonus will also be included in the upcoming season pass that will bundle a bunch of DLC, saying: "Additionally consumers who purchase the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass will not only receive an exclusive in-game calling card, but also access to the Nuketown Zombies bonus map. Nuketown Zombies will be offered to Season Pass holders in December, releasing first on Xbox 360 with other platforms to follow." This release has not been perfectly smooth, however, as PC Gamer notes threads on Steam, Reddit, and the Call of Duty forums suggesting that some users have found the second disc in their package is for Mass Effect 2, rather than Black Ops 2, which is obviously a problem, as well as a puzzle, considering this puts an EA disc in an Activision wrapper. They say this only seems to impact a small number of users, who should be able to download the game from Steam using their CD keys. Back to the release, if you have a couple of hours to kill, here's the lengthy announcement:

The wait is over. The groundbreaking Call of Duty®: Black Ops II is now available at retail locations across the globe. The highly-anticipated sequel to the best-selling Xbox 360® and PlayStation ® 3 console game in history has been called "the most ambitious Call of Duty® ever," pushing the boundaries of the blockbuster franchise to new heights by propelling players into a world full of advanced weaponry, robotics and drone technology in the year 2025. Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which has shattered pre-order records set last year by Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3, is on its way to a historic launch, and is poised to usher in a new era for the 30-million Call of Duty fans worldwide with a host of new innovations to deliver the complete gaming experience. Providing great value to the Call of Duty community, starting today Activision's Call of Duty® Elite services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II are free, providing fans with deeply integrated features, including Clan Operations, Zombies Leaderboards and more.

Activision kicked-off the celebration overnight as eager fans lined-up at midnight across an unprecedented 16,000 retailers around the globe from Sydney to Dubai to Paris to Los Angeles to get their hands on Activision and their award-winning studio Treyarch's innovative new release. Anticipation for the title has reached a fever pitch and is expected to be the "biggest game launch of all time," as GameStop Tony Bartel recently noted.

Continue here to read the full story.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm in March 2013

The StarCraft II Website announces that the release date for the Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft 2 is now set as March 12, 2013, this news coming just a week after the news that the RTS add-on is due in the first half of next year. In the meantime, a StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Presale FAQ has details on the content of a planned Digital Deluxe edition, which will include bonuses for other Blizzard titles. Here's what this will include:

The Digital Deluxe version of includes a digital copy of the expansion along with the following exclusive in-game bonus items for StarCraft II, World of Warcraft®, and Diablo® III:

  • Three StarCraft II Swarm-themed Battle.net portraits
  • StarCraft II Zerg Ultralisk “Torrasque” skin
  • World of Warcraft Baneling Battle Pet
  • Diablo III “Blade Wings” item – Queen of Blades-styled wings for Diablo III heroes
  • Diablo III Zerg banner sigil

Players who purchase the Digital Deluxe edition will receive their World of Warcraft and Diablo III in-game bonus items immediately. The StarCraft II bonuses will not be available until Heart of the Swarm is released.

Ships Ahoy - RIFT: Storm Legion

The RIFT Website announces the new Storm Legion expansion for RIFT is now available, adding a bunch of new content to Trion's MMORPG. Here's word:

Storm Legion™, the highly-anticipated first expansion to the award-winning MMORPG RIFT®, launches today in North America and Europe. Veteran Ascended can now travel to the ancient continents of Dusken and Brevane where their skills will be put to the ultimate test as they face off against the dragon lords Crucia and Regulos, ultimately determining the fate of plane-ravaged Telara.

Tripling the size of the game world with two new continents, the capital city of Tempest Bay, seven dungeons, and three raids, Storm Legion is one of the deepest MMO expansions ever. An epic questline will open up new adventures, increasing the level cap to 60 and propelling players into massive new zone events and heroic content. Additional features include four new souls (RIFT’s classes), player housing Dimensions, capes, new rift types, and much more.

“Storm Legion is a labor of love, and we dedicate it to our incredibly amazing players.” said Scott Hartsman, RIFT Executive Producer and Trion’s Chief Creative Officer. “Their feedback and critique throughout the expansion’s development really pushed it over the top, making it a truly special experience. Thanks to them, Storm Legion is huge, dynamic, and incredibly fun to play.”

Cities in Motion: London Next Week

Paradox Interactive announces Cities in Motion: London, a new expansion for their European mass transit simulation. Players will probably not mind the gap between this announcement and the release, as word is this will be available through digital distribution next week:

London, one of the world’s busiest cities, requires an effective and substantial transport system capable of meeting the high demand of the millions of commuters going about their daily business and tourists visiting its famous attractions alike. Introducing three new scenarios, new vehicles including the famous London Underground and world-renowned landmarks such as Tower Bridge, players will put their civic planning prowess to the test as they attempt to serve the transport needs of the great metropolis.

From navigating the narrow, meandering streets with the iconic red buses to crossing the banks of the mighty Thames, Cities in Motion: London provides a new set of challenges and obstacles for the savvy urban planner to overcome.

Cities in Motion: London will release November 20th 2012 on digital download portals for $4.99/€4.99/£3.99.

GTA5 Trailer Countdown

Rockstar Games offers a countdown to the release of the second trailer for Grand Theft Auto V as an aide for those concerned they might not be the first to see new footage from the upcoming open-world action sequel. The timer is at a little over 24 hours, as the clip is to be released tomorrow at noon Eastern Standard Time.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Felix Unger Day!

Well, we may be on the verge of another of our version of a free weekend here, as I've gotten a couple of reports from users attempting to visit and being redirected to MySpace, of all places. It's possible we've opened a temporal rift that makes your browser think it's 2007, but it's more likely this is coming from an ad here. The trouble is that the redirect may make it difficult to pin down which ad is the culprit, so all the ads may need to be removed to make this stop, so that may be what happens this morning. I want to offer a big apology to anyone who has been inconvenienced by this: Obviously you are all at an extreme end of the tech-savviness scale, and would not find it challenging to block the ads here, so it pains me greatly to abuse your willingness to support this site and your trust. Hopefully a quick resolution for all of this can be found.

MyLinks: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mushbits.
Links: James Bond: 50 Years of Impact in Cinema.
Gummy Python Weighs Nearly 27 Pounds And Packs 36,000 Calories.
Stories: The Top Ways We Injure Our Genitals. Thanks nin.
Science: Human intelligence peaked thousands of years ago.
Scientists use quasars to probe dark energy over 10 billion years in the past.
Perception of harmonicity, not beating underlies perception of dissonance?
Media: Another 10 bets you will always win.
Overly Attached Computer. Commercial.
SoundWorks Collection - The Sound of Skyfall.
Follow-up: Autism Linked To Fever And Flu During Pregnancy, Study Finds.
Invisibility cloaking in 'perfect' demonstration.
Killzone Intercept - fan film by Beyond Black Mesa director.



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