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Monday, May 13, 2013

  

Metro Last Light FOV Locked; DX9 & Aiming Workarounds; Reviews; Sale

Metro Last Light is due for release in North America tomorrow, and reviews have started showing up for 4AGames' first-person shooter sequel. The PC version currently boasts an 82 metascore based on 24 critic reviews (naturally there are no user reviews yet). There's still a chance to get the preorder bonuses (the Ranger Mode DLC pack, a digital comic, and a copy of the Metro 2033 novel) and Dealzon has a coupon code for the game on Steam by way of Green Man Gaming that brings the price to $37.50, a 25% savings. Finally, there is a post on DSOGaming explaining how to force the supposedly DirectX10/11 title in DirectX 9 and how to turn of auto-aim, which is on by default even in the PC version, with no menu option to disable it. They also note that there seems to be no way to change the game's default Field of View. Thanks Acleacius.

Metro: Last Light Beta GeForce Drivers

The GeForce Website has new beta version 320.14 GeForce drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards, saying these are the drivers to use with Metro: Last Light, the first-person shooter sequel that's due in North America tomorrow. Here's word on what they do for the game an on the accompanying Metro: Last Light Graphics Breakdown & Performance Guide: "Boosting single-GPU and SLI performance in the eagerly anticipated sequel by up to 10%, the 320.14 beta drivers also ensure maximum system compatibility when battling the monsters of Last Light's post-apocalyptic world. For an in-depth look at the game's technology and GPU performance check out our new Metro: Last Light Graphics Breakdown & Performance Guide." Thanks Iggy.

Take-Two Financials

Take-Two Interactive Software announces results for their Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2013, calling the numbers "strong." Here's the outlook for the year:

For fiscal year 2013, GAAP net revenue was $1.214 billion, as compared to $825.8 million for fiscal year 2012. Non-GAAP net revenue was $1.222 billion, as compared to $825.8 million for the prior fiscal year. GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $31.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, as compared to $107.7 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the prior fiscal year. Non-GAAP net income was $33.1 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, as compared to a Non-GAAP net loss of $59.4 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, for the prior fiscal year. Both GAAP loss from continuing operations and Non-GAAP net income for fiscal year 2013 include the $15 million negative impact from a one-time contractual obligation, which was recorded in fiscal first quarter 2013.

The largest contributors to net revenue in fiscal year 2013 were Borderlands 2, NBA 2K13, BioShock Infinite, Max Payne® 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, XCOM®: Enemy Unknown and Red Dead Redemption. Revenue from digitally delivered content grew 148% year-over-year and accounted for 22% of Non-GAAP net revenue, driven by offerings for Borderlands 2, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, NBA 2K13, Sid Meier’s Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

The Lord of the Rings Online Updated

The Lord of the Rings Online Website announces that Update 11 is now live in The Lord of the Rings Online, bringing the joys of the housing bubble to Turbine's MMORPG:

Vacant houses. They take up space and make it hard for folks to find a home close their friends. In preparation for some cool housing updates later this year, it’s time to clean up those old homes and get them back on the market.

Here’s the skinny:

With Update 11, if you own a home that has been locked for more than 180 days you will be issued a final foreclosure warning. At that point you’ll have 60 days to get your finances in order and pay down the upkeep or your home will be foreclosed and put back on the market. All your items that were stored in the house will be put into escrow. These items in escrow will stay there indefinitely but you will need to clear out your escrow before you are allowed to buy a new home.

Later this year we will likely shorten the grace period but seeing as this foreclosure business is new to a lot of players we figured we’d give some extra time when the feature goes live.

The hope here is that by putting all of the long-dormant homes back on the market current players will find it easier to build close-knit communities with their friends. We’ll have more info on future improvements to the housing system down the road a bit!

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Anodyne on Steam. Save 33%.
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Critical Mass on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Hitman: Absolution on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Hydrophobia: Prophecy on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Magicka on Steam. Save 75%.
  • The Mayhem Bundle on Indie Royale.
  • Postal 2 Complete on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Zombies vs Aliens Indie Game Bundle on BundleStars. Four games for USD$0.99.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: LEGO Casino Royale Opening.
Also: Harlem Shake Goes Horribly Wrong... Or, the Three Stooges Fire Company. Thanks nin.

R.I.P.: Popular psychologist Joyce Brothers has died.

The Witcher 2 Mod Tools Beta

CD Projekt RED now offers the open beta of their REDkit, a set of mod tools for The Witcher 2 they say allows us to "create RPG adventures and do it CD Projekt Style." A new trailer show off the power of these tools, and here's word from the announcement: "The editor gives modders of all skill levels the tools, they need to tell non-linear tales full of branching plots, believable characters and far-reaching consequences for player actions. Without learning to program or wrangling with opaque editors, game creators can use the top-quality art and assets from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings or import their own, as well as intuitive tools for environment creation, to craft their own unique role-playing adventures." Continue here to read the full story.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Video; Previews

Here's a trailer from GamesHQMedia with a look at footage from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, the upcoming third-person shooter that was formerly a first-person shooter. This is called a gameplay clip, but its almost entirely game cinematics. There are also some informational screens, but they have fun with the covert nature of this installment in the UFO series with redactions, so the kind of background we get is "August 1962 - researchers find _____ in the _______ mine in ______" (our guesses in this game of Mad Libs included "Klingons" and "Uranus"). And since nothing makes it harder to keep up with assorted impressions of a game like a good embargo, there is now an overwhelming assortment of previews of the game on Computer and Video Games, Destructoid, Eurogamer, games.on.net, IGN, Joystiq, Kotaku, NowGamer, Polygon, Shacknews, and Strategy Informer. Finally, there are interviews about the game on Strategy Informer and VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

More Watch_Dogs Footage

Here's a new trailer from Watch Dogs/Watch_Dogs showing off more open world gameplay from the upcoming sandbox hacking game, without the benefit of informative journalist exposition explaining what you see. The clip runs about six minutes showing our protagonist engaging in a little electronic mischief and then shows an action-oriented escape when his cover is blown. Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

The GfK Chart-Track Chart of the top 20 bestselling, full-priced PC games in the U.K. is now updated for the week ending May 11th. Football Manager 2013 sits on top after swapping places with last week's number one, The Sims 3. Their write up accompanying the charts returns, and reading it showed that while the PC chart is divided into a full-priced chart and a budget-priced chart, the all platforms chart has a combined all prices chart with more perspective, and this is what is covered by their blurb:

‘Dead Island: Riptide’ goes one week better than its predecessor by holding on to No1 for a third consecutive week, despite a 55% drop in sales.

‘Bioshock Infinite’ is the only other title so far this year to record three consecutive weeks at No1. Competition for top spot comes in the form of an unexpected familiar face, ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ (+60%) which climbs 4 places to No2, boosted by strong retailer price promotions only 2 weeks after dropping out of the Top 10 for the first time. ‘Tomb Raider’ (-17%) clings on to No3 for a second week, while ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ (-36%) falls from No2 to No4. ‘FIFA 13’ (-19%) is still making its presence felt despite slipping one place to No5, keeping it ahead of ‘Bioshock Infinite’ (-10%) at No6. Recently budget-priced ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ (+25%) is back in the Top 10 at No7 meaning that all Top 7 titles this week are former No1’s. 3DS title ‘Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins’ (-24%) is stuck at No8 for a third week, ahead of this week’s highest new entry ‘The Walking Dead’ from Telltale Games and Avanquest - now available on disc after previously being a digital-only title released episodically through Xbox Live, PSN and Steam.

‘Luigi’s Mansion 2’ (-12%) at No10 keeps this week’s only other new entry out of the Top 10 with PQube’s critically acclaimed ‘Persona 4 Arena’ having to settle for a debut at No11.

Square Enix's "Extraordinary" Losses

Apparently extraordinary times can lead to "extraordinary" losses, as this is what Develop says Square Enix is reporting in their financial results for their fiscal year ending March 31st. Here's word on the losses and their fallout:

Square Enix has posted an expected "extraordinary" net loss of £88m for the year ending March 31st.

The anticipated financial results come as the publisher reveals that net sales actually rose more than 15 per cent year-on-year to £946 million.

Operating income however fell to £39 million, while recurring income more than halved to £28 million.

In an effort to combat falling revenues, the publisher said it would be changing its development policy, as well as redesigning some of its business models and some organisational reforms after its major titles had underperformed in North America and Europe.

Son of Nor's Brain Computer Interface

This video shows off elements of Son of Nor being controlled by a brain controller called Emotiv EPOC, "a revolutionary personal interface for human computer interaction; a Brain Computer Interface (BCI). The partnership will allow players to control character actions, such as telekinesis, terraforming and magic with the power of their minds." The clip shows one of the developers from Still Alive Game Studio using the controller to perform game functions, which delights him to no end. They have added a $300.00 tier to their Kickstarter to include an Emotiv EPOC headset. Continue here to read the full story.

Ethan: Meteor Hunter Demo

Seaven Studio announces Ethan: Meteor Hunter, a platformer coming to Windows and PS3 this summer via digital distribution. They offer a work-in-progress trailer and a playable alpha demo to support their Steam Greenlight campaign. In the game you play as a telekenetic mouse named Ethan. Here's the one-line pitch: "Following unknown events, Ethan got touched by meteorites giving him the power of telekinesis: moving objects around while the world is on hold."

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We had the greatest time with Mr&MrsKawfy and our godkids yesterday. They are exceptional parents, and the kids are just a joy to be around... Hudson the wonder dog is a little too old to enjoy the company of children, but the Gunnar-man was in heaven playing with them, and didn't mind at all when at one point he was decorated a couple of times from nose to tail with dried pine needles like sprinkles on a sundae.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Dragon Boy 2.
The Twitter Spelling Test Quiz - The Oatmeal.
Links: 'Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' First Look. Thanks nin.
Stories: Flying car crashes near elementary school in Canada. How overly sensational.
Science: Revealed: Big Pharma tested dangerous new drugs on unknowing Germans.
Study claims marijuana tied to lower bladder cancer risk.
Dreams of your significant other can predict your relational behavior.
Media: Cdr. Hadfield Last Transmission From The Int'l Space Station.
Chick Magnet.
April 2013 Fail Compilation.
Follow-Up: OJ hoping for new trial in return to Vegas court. Too bad they can't retry the first one.



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