Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 08, 2005

Outrun 2006 Revealed

This press release follows up on indications that an Outrun sequel is in the works (story) with a confirmation of the project, including news that a PC edition is part of the roadmap. Word is that Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast will come out for PC, PS2, and PSP in March 2006. Here's more:
The enchanting draw of the open road has never been so appealing with the choice of one of 12 fully licensed Ferrari models, including the all-new F430 and the dazzling Superamerica. Gamers will feel the throaty whine and that distinctive Ferrari exhaust tone as they power their way across 30 glorious stages from the best of the OutRun2 original and the new OutRun2 SP arcade game. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play with up to six players for a thrilling head-to-head journey.

Game Movie Mania

More On The Wolfenstein Film on Dark Horizons (thanks Tiscali Games) highlights comments from a recent Todd Hollenshead Q&A about the DOOM movie (story) that show id has further cinematic aspirations: "Our next order of business is to try to get Wolfenstein made into a movie; I think it could make a very interesting film. The game design for Return to Castle Wolfenstein is basically set up as a film script. Where we'd go from a movie standpoint would be to incorporate a lot of the elements from Return to Castle Wolfenstein along with what we're going to be doing in the next Wolfenstein game that we announced a few weeks ago. It will probably have a little more similarity in terms of the direction of the movie script to the upcoming game." Also, MTV Films Acquires Rights to Marc Ecko's Getting Up Contents Under Pressure (thanks Frans) has news that MTV feels graffiti culture has the same potential for movies as it does for games. Finally, the Silent Hill Movie Website is online (thanks Kennett).

Site Seeing

A new Commandos: Strike Force Website is online for the upcoming action installment in the Commandos series. The site features a new streaming trailer showing off the World War II shooter, and the clip is also available for download from the Eidos Interactive Website. Also, the Rainbow Six: Lockdown PC Website is now online (thanks Frans). Finally, a new The Sims 2: Open for Business Product Section is live (thanks Frans), offering some new screenshots from the upcoming people sim sequel expansion as well as a new gameplay movie.

Dear Diaries

Evening Q&As

  • Driver: Parallel Lines
    The Driver Parallel Lines question session on Gamesradar (thanks Mike Martinez) }discusses the upcoming wheelman sequel with developer Reflections: "We wanted something new and fresh. He's young and cocky. We also wanted to have a bad guy as the main character. Whilst he's not truly evil or anything like that, he is free from conscience and can do what he likes. He kind of falls in with the wrong crowd."
  • Weird Worlds
    Weird World’s Rich Carlson gives a tour of this fast-pace space vehicle on GameZone is a Q&A with half of Digital Eel about Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space: "At the beginning, the player chooses a ship type - military frigate, pirate corvette or a science vessel. As you play, you move your ship (eventually a flotilla of ships) from star to star while avoiding nebulae, supernova shockwaves and black holes. At each star, you'll explore a primary planet where an event of some kind will occur usually resulting in the acquisition of interesting items and lifeforms, which are then transferred to your cargo hold or installed on one of your ships."
  • Music
    RPG Vault's Peter Jackson's King Kong Game Music Q&A talks with Chance Thomas about his score for the game based on the monster movie remake: "Peter Jackson was adamant that the game offer a unique experience of its own, not merely a cut and paste retread of the film. Michel Ancel and producer Xavier Poix decided that one way to do this was to have an all-original music score for the game. This would give the game its own voice and add to the immersion of the experience for the player. This turned out to be a fortuitous decision since Howard Shore was released from the film project in October. By that time, the entire game score had already been completed."

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Batten down the hatches... it sounds like we're in for a big one! Every time I check the weather, a couple of inches of snow are added to the forecast. And just two weeks until winter. Eeek!

Batten down the links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Play: KakuroLive.
Samorost 2.
Sober Santa 2.
Link: Sasquatch Militia.
Stories: London to retire iconic double-decker bus.
Surfin' USA dealt heavy blow by factory closure.
Auction: eBayer pays £470 for photo of Xbox 360.
Media: Christmas Story in 30 seconds, reenacted by bunnies.

Strategy First & Steam

Strategy First announces they've signed on with Valve's Steam network for future game distribution:
Strategy First Signs With Steam For Game Distribution

Strategy First, the publisher of PC games such as Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Galactic Civilization, has signed up with Valve to distribute future games on the company's Steam digital distribution service. The deal will cover multiple forthcoming PC games, including Strategy First's next title, naval combat title S.C.S. - Dangerous Waters, due for release this month.

The move represents the first step Strategy First has taken to rebuild U.S. distribution channels since its bankruptcy in 2004. Earlier in the year, the developer, now owned by Silverstar Holdings, partnered with Lago srl for European distribution, but had announced no plans for the American market until now.

"Digital distribution is an exciting, effortless and dynamic delivery method to bring Games and Gamers together in a real-time experience," said Strategy First product manager Emanuel Wall. "We are excited to be working with Valve and the opportunity to bring our top quality titles to their Steam delivery platform. We believe Valve's delivery system is one of the best methods of connecting gamers to top software titles as do millions of gamers worldwide. We believe our robust portfolio of gaming titles coupled with Valve's recognized market acceptance are a winning combination for both parties and gamers alike."


ATI Customer Care now offers downloads of new version 5.12 CATALYST reference drivers for RADEON accelerators running under Windows XP. Several game-related fixes and performance improvements are listed among the release notes, and word is: "The Catalyst® 5.12 software suite introduces dual core support for CPU bound cases. This feature provides improved graphics performance for DX 9 supported graphics adapters installed in systems running the Windows XP and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition operating systems." As noted here (thanks Ant), the Tray Tools edition of the drivers are no longer available, and the CCC edition is now required.

Serious Sam 2 Patch Plans

Seriously! has posted the changelog for the upcoming version 2.066 patch for Serious Sam 2. The list outlines a bunch of changes and fixes, including the addition of dedicated server support. Word on this update is that it's coming soon.

On Human Head & RUNE 2

A post to the Forums called 'So, If We Did Do Rune 2...' (thanks RuneGame and Frans) is written by Tim Gerritsen, who offers a timeline history of Human Head Studios while addressing the possibility of a sequel to RUNE, their third-person Unreal-engine melee combat game. While he stresses that the possibilities for a RUNE 2 hinge on the success of Prey, he does also hint that a little grassroots support is in order, and towards that end, a Create Rune 2 Petition is online. Here's a bit:
At the moment we are really concentrating on Prey. We are well aware that if we mess this one up, any hope of a Rune 2 ever will be pretty much be a pipe dream. Therefore we're doing our best to make sure we get it right. We have our fingers crossed that the playing audience will find that our efforts were well worth it. So far so good. Hell, we got to go through the hell of learning next generation content long before anyone else had to, and that alone gives us a huge leg up.

If you really want a Rune 2, though, you need to tell it to the publishers. We want a Rune 2 some day. We've always said that. It is the pubs you need to convince. They see a game with a so so meta critic score and a devoted, but smallish audience and sales that were good but not great. Of course you and we know different. Rune was a major labor of love, and I believe firmly that anyone who actually plays the game for more than an hour can see that (after the water level and all those crabs in caves, of course...) =]

Seriously, though. Make your voices known to the publishers. If we say, 'Rune has a truly fantastic following, even now, five years on' they just look at us like "Sure, five people, right?" If we show them forums, they just shrug. If this wonderful group of hard core, dedicated fans were to all shout at the publishers, however, that speaks volumens. If they know that people are stoked, that Rune really was an overlooked gem, and, most importantly, wallets would open at the sound of Rune II on a shelf, then they would listen.

Morning Q&As

  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
    The Mathieu Girard Q&A on discusses the next installment in the Ghost Recon series: "We chose the first person view because it is the most consistent with the controls on PC. We still want to have the player 'feel' that he is Captain Mitchell; this is also why we have developed body awareness. We will go more into that below. Our objective is basically to provide the most realistic first person view possible. You will benefit from a realistic freedom of movement, and your virtual body will react just as real ones do."
  • Valve
    The Valve Software Q&A on Computer Games sits down over a cappuccino with Mike Dunkle, Valve Software's Director of Café Operations: "Well, we don’t have yet any plans for next-gen titles. Regarding Steam on Xbox 360, it’s an interesting idea, but right now Microsoft has the very robust Xbox Live and all the new content that is to be distributed online has to go through Xbox Live. So right now we can’t do anything about that, since Microsoft hasn’t specified anything about letting 3rd party distribution systems run on Xbox 360. So it’s really up to Microsoft if Steam will ever be available on Xbox 360."
  • Auto Assault
    The Roadhouse Happy Hour - "Detour" on Ten Ton Hammer recaps a recent phone interview with the folks at Netdevil and NCsoft with a complete transcript of the whole shebang.
  • DropZone
    Gamecloud's DropZone Q&A talks with Clay Fowler of TBG Software about DropZone, their upcoming tank combat game: "DropTeam is the game that we've always wanted to play. We've been programming and playing games since the days of VAX and Sinclair home computers, so we've watched the industry's steady slide from innovative titles with interesting gameplay down the slippery slope into slick, glitzy, graphically amazing, but brainless and unoriginal titles. We've found ourselves playing games less over the past few years because we're tired of playing the same first person shooter with a new 'hero' and some new bump-mapping effects, or the same RTS click-fest game where somehow new military units 'pop out' of buildings and the player who builds the most wins. We wanted something better."
  • Games In 2005-2006
    Gamecloud's Games In 2005-2006 Q&A with Jeff Morris continues their forward-looking year-in review series by talking with the Epic Games producer: "Probably the industry’s transition into next gen console development. You’d be hard pressed to find a year with more acquisitions, closures and start-ups that 2005, and I’d hazard many were fueled by the new platforms. There was so much fast moving change this year, you head would spin trying to keep up with who went where. Hopefully this industry wide reorg will allow game makers to continue the strong stream of titles that 2005 was blessed with."

Updated Bonez Adventures Demo

The Bonez Adventures Website (thanks Frans) now offers downloads of an updated version 1.1 demo for Bonez Adventures: Tomb of Fulaos, the RPG adventure game where you can raid a few lost arks. Word is: "This version is MAJOR improvement. Better controls and playability, new videos, fixed bugs."

Morning Preview

  • TOCA Race Driver 3 on IGN.

Morning Screenshots

The Mod Squads

Idle Thumbs' Minerva Q&A talks with Adam Foster about the Minerva modification for Half-Life 2: "It's my own little reaction to a problem which currently seems endemic with a lot of free game modifications... People think too big, and choose tasks even full-time game development studios would struggle with."


Thursday Game Reviews

Thursday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Amid our holiday shopping yesterday I managed to find a present for myself, a replacement for the space heater in my office. The one I had been using was one of those quartz dealies that glows bright red and puts out enough heat that the wood floor in front of the heater began to warp slightly. Besides not wanting to further damage the floor (much less have it catch fire), the intensity of the old heater was also too much for MrsBlue, as when she hangs out up here with me her seat is closer to it than mine. The new heater has it all over the old one... there's a thermostat to offer more fine tuning, an oscillation feature to keep it from overheating the same spot, a pedestal to further protect the floor, and a remote to adjust it from the comfort of my chair. Naturally, the new heater was about half the cost of the old one...after a rebate it was all of $40. It's certainly warming the cockles of my heart.

Warm Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Stories: Liverpool, NYC remember Lennon.
Science: Trees May Be Bad for You (registration required).
Cyborg Suits Strut the Catwalk. "I am a mech, you know what I mean..."
Wrap Up a Holiday Hack.
Auction: A Really Old Can of Franco-American Beef Gravy. Thanks crazyfool.
Follow-up: Zip proves reluctant crasher. Thanks Brian.
Teh Funnies: ActionTrip Comic Strip.
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