Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008

Crysis Patch Imminent

The Crysis Weekly Update #6 offers word that the version 1.2 patch has been given a final seal of approval, and they expect a worldwide release sometime in the next few days. There is word that the new patch will offer improved anti-cheating protection, and that they are prepping a guide on how to make best use of the game's cheat prevention technology. There is also a mention of an exploit that has been crashing Crysis servers they are working to address, saying a hotfix patch will likely appear soon.

Ziff Davis Filing Chapter 11

This Press Release has word that Ziff Davis will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the failure of "good faith negotiations with certain of its subordinated unsecured noteholders," leading to an agreement with an ad hoc group of noteholders to reorganize under Chapter 11 (thanks Neutronbeam and Word is the owner of PC Magazine, 1Up, and ExtremeTech has filed a number of what are called "customary 'first day' motions" to allow them to continue paying employees and vendors while reorganizing.

UBO Becomes Cal Ripken's Real Baseball

Netamin announces Cal Ripken's Real Baseball as the new title for the MMO sports game formerly known as Ultimate Baseball Online (though the game is no more "real" now than it was before the title switch). The hall-of-fame shortstop is the new spokesperson for the game, which has been in beta testing for three years now. Word from Netamin's Andy Wang is: "We are very excited to partner with Cal in an effort to make our website and video game even better for baseball lovers across the globe. We strive to make Real Baseball the most authentic baseball video game it can be, and adding Cal to our team not only strengthens our brand, but connects us with a baseball legend that will take our video game and community to the next level."

Preserving the History of Video Games

This Sydney Morning Herald Article is about the arrival of the Game On exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, where it will run through mid-summer (or mid-winter in down-under terms). The article outlines what they describe as the "race" that's underway to preserve the history of video games, which is falling more and more on museums and libraries, rather than individual enthusiasts. This includes the difficulties in maintaining aging hardware, and the perceived importance of preserving such culturally significant artifacts in their original form, rather than relying on emulators to play games on newer systems.

New Platinum Arts Sandbox Beta

A new beta 2.1 of the Platinum Arts Sandbox is now available, offering an update to this OpenSource game development platform described as "easy enough for kids to use but also powerful enough for full game projects."

The Late Show

  • Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath
    The Command & Conquer Website offers a new single-player trailer from C&C 3: Kane's Wrath in HD along with HD version of other recently released (story) movies from the upcoming RTS expansion. The clip is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.
  • X3: Terran Conflict
    A new X3: Terran Conflict teaser trailer offers a look at the upcoming continuation of Egosoft's X series of space combat games. The clip is located on the Egosoft Website and mirrored on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, and Gamer's Hell.
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
    A clip showing off The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is online, giving a feel for just how enhanced this updated version of CD Projekt RED's action/RPG will be. The 46 MB trailer is on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.
  • Sam & Max
    A second Sam & Max 204 Chariots of the Dogs Trailer shows off the coming episode in Telltale Games' comedic adventure series. The movie is posted on the Sam & Max Website and mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.
  • Arctic Stud Poker Run
    A new Arctic Stud Poker Run trailer offers a look at this unusual racing/combat/card game. The clip is on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Evening Q&As

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

New ATI Catalyst Drivers

The ATI Drivers & Software now features the promised release of new version 8.3 Catalyst reference drivers for ATI graphics cards. These release notes outline the changes, the most significant of which, such as quad Crossfire support, were detailed yesterday (story). The drivers also offer performance increases for several games, and clear up a number of issues under Windows Vista.

Sims 3 Info Soon is online, offering a preliminary home to the not-yet-announced next installment in the lifestyle simulation series (thanks Tiscali Games). That unannounced part may be rectified soon enough, as the teaser site says "More Information Coming Soon*!" The footnote connected to that asterisk provides the date when this info can presumably be expected: March 19, 2008.

38 Studios Gets Unreal for their "OEE™"

38 Studios announces they have licensed the Unreal Engine 3 to power the client end of their upcoming MMORPG, not long after announcing BigWorld Technology middleware will be used on the server end (story). Thus the body of knowledge about the tech being used by Curt Schilling's development studio continues to grow in the absence of details about the game itself. There is a blurb in the announcement about the game, which will apparently be enough of an "Online Entertainment Experience" that they've trademarked the term OEE:
Led with the artistic vision of Todd McFarlane and the enthralling storytelling of R. A. Salvatore, 38 Studios is developing an original IP made up of fantastical elements, settings, characters, creatures, rules, and experiences. The IP will encompass multiple media forms including a massively multiplayer online game that is currently scheduled for release in late 2010. The company is utilizing a combination of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 toolset and BigWorld’s server-side technologies to meet its requirements for achieving an unparalleled OEE™, the premier Online Entertainment Experience.

Multiwinia Testing Sign-ups

This post on the Introversion Forums (thanks Gamer's Hell) puts out the call for beta testers for Multiwinia, the upcoming multiplayer game based on Darwinia:
We will start the process soon with a small number (around 50) of testers running a non-playable "Hardware Test" build. This build will pit 4 AI players against each other and will report back to us with frame rates, hardware stats, problems etc. During this phase we're looking at hardware compatability problems, frame rate issues etc. After this we'll start rolling out playable versions for the testers to break, gradually adding applicants to the test group in batches of 50 or more.

Chronicles of Spellborn Delay

The Chronicles of Spellborn Website has word of another delay, saying Spellborn International's MMORPG is now due in the second quarter of this year (thanks Gamer's Hell). The last official release date for the game was Q1 2007 (story), a horse that obviously long ago left the barn, as word in late 2006 (story) was "Depending on the feedback during the last closed beta phase we will reveal final dates for open beta and release," which is basically the same thing they are saying more than a year later:
We have recently started the final tests for The Chronicles of Spellborn.

Beginning of last week, a new phase within the internal beta phases has been initiated with a brand new version of the game. Up to now these tests have performed very satisfactory, so that they can be expanded pretty soon to larger participants groups like enlisted community members. Server stress tests have been successfully completed by our team in Autumn already.

Thus we expect a release of The Chronicles of Spellborn in the second quarter of 2008. Based on the test results of the next weeks and the upcoming series of Closed Beta tests, we will announce the beginning of the Open Beta and then specific release dates for each territory.

To conclude, I’d like to remind you to make sure the email address you used to register on our website is working and not full, for, who knows, there might a nice little email coming your way.

Crime City Demo

As announced here, Crime City is a real-time strategy game where the player controls police patrols to chase down and capture criminals to take the namesake crime out of the city. The game is now available, as is a playable demo, a 45 MB download that's mirrored on Gamer's Hell and PixelRage.

Auto Cross Racing Demo

A new demo for Auto Cross Racing is now available on the KJM Software Website, offering the chance to test drive this rally racing game, and it's self-described "touchy" controls. A write-up on Game Tunnel gives a feel for the game, and the demo is mirrored on Gamer's Hell and PixelRage.

WhiteMoon Dreams Formed

This Company Fact Sheet reveals the formation of WhiteMoon Dreams, a new independent development studio focused on console games. The company has a strong gaming pedigree: It is co-founded by Scott Campbell, designer on the original Fallout, and Jay Koottarappallil, who once worked at Looking Glass Studios. Develop Magazine reports WhiteMoon Dreams already has a console publishing deal with an unnamed Japanese company.

Company of Heroes Patch

The RelicNews Forums have news that new patches is now available for Company of Heroes, updating the various localized editions of the Word War II RTS game to version 2.202. Here's the description of the sole change offered: "Increased version for CoH Gold Edition Release. Unlock both products with one key!" The multiple downloads are mirrored on Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and PixelRage.

SimCity Societies Patch

The SimCity Societies Website offers a third patch for SimCity Societies, updating the sociable urban planning game to version 1.02.119. Word is: "With this update, we are adding performance improvements, a variety of user interface enhancements, and the UFO Attack!" Hopefully Jeff Goldblum is available to infect the alien computers with a virus. Downloads of the patch are mirrored on ActionTrip, FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, PixelRage, and Strategy Informer.

Heavy Duty Movie

A new Heavy Duty trailer is available, showing off some third-person aerial combat from the upcoming science-fiction action game. The clip is available on the Akella Videos Page, and mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

The Three Most Important Moments In Gaming?

The Three Most Important Moments In Gaming on MTV News gets Sid Meier's thoughts on that topic. I haven't given much thought to what my own such list would be, but I don't think it jibes at all with his, which consist of the IBM PC, Sim City, and Nintendo's Official Seal of Quality.

Morning Q&As

  • Valve
    Rock, Paper, Shotgun Interviews Valve’s Chet Faliszek talking with the Valve writer with a focus on Left 4 Dead, the upcoming multiplayer zombie shooter. The conversation also covers working with Turtle Rock, playing Team Fortress 2, Alyx's potty mouth, other games, and more.
  • Red Alert
    The mysterious origins of Red Alert on PC Gamer hears from Petroglyph's Adam Isgreen and Frank Klepacki about developing the original Red Alert game when they were at Westwood. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.
  • State of the RPG
    The State of the RPG on Gameplayer offers a roundtable discussion with developers like Lionhead, Square Enix, Bethesda, and Mistwalker about role-playing games, calling 2008 "the year Xbox takes control of the RPG." The article concludes with links to some related Q&As.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

"March madness" is almost upon us, the annual event where it takes extra effort for me to ignore college basketball than the remainder of the year. There are certainly enough folks who feel otherwise, though, so for you, enjoy your madness.

Mad Links!: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Canyon Defense.
Links of the Morning: Phase III Case Mod.
Stories: Makers of Airborne Settle False-Ad Suit With Refunds.
Science!: New twist in Hobbit-human debate.
Image: Nestography. Re-captioned 8-bit game screenshots. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: Legend of Zelda: The LEGO Version.
Top 10 Mike-Era MST3K WTF! Moments.
The Onion Movie Coming to DVD. Thanks Digg.
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