Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008

BioShock, Civ MMOGs?

The Bank of America SmidCap Conference, always a hotbed of gaming news (thanks FiringSquad), has a series of slides from a presentation by Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick on EA's attempt to purchase Take-Two. Included along the way is a slide showing they feel BioShock and the Civilization franchises could each spawn MMOGs, and that they also can see the value in pursuing a film adaptation of BioShock.

Far Cry 2 Delay, Movie

The Far Cry 2 Developers Blog has word that Far Cry 2 is delayed until fall of this year (thanks Gamer's Hell). Ubisoft's sequel to Crytek's first-person shooter was announced with a spring 2008 release date (story), but a new video blog reveals the new date while offering some new gameplay footage as a consolation prize. Accompanying word is: "The game will ship simultaneously on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and will be polished on all platforms so the quality and features of each will be top-notch."

Team Fortress 2 New Content Next Month

Shacknews reports by way of Valve that new content for the PC edition of Team Fortress 2 is slated for release during the week of April 20. The update for the multiplayer shooter will include new unlockable Medic weapons and the new Goldrush map that will feature Episode Two-style cinematic physics.

Turok Dated

Touchstone announces that the console editions of Turok have sold over one million copies, and that tomorrow will see the release of the Velociraptor Pack on Xbox LIVE and PSN. They also reveal the PC edition of the shooter revival is due on April 22:
Touchstone also announced an April 22, 2008 release date for the Windows-based PC version of Turok, the sci-fi first person shooter. Developed by Propaganda Games, the Windows-based PC version has been optimized for PC by Aspyr Studios. The game will give PC fans the opportunity to experience the engaging, story-driven single player experience and multiplayer modes for up to 16 players. The PC version, which will enable both the mouse and keyboard or a game controller, will be available for $49.99. The new downloadable content for the console versions will be available for Windows-based PC soon after that version’s release.

Ships Ahoy - Stranger

Fireglow Games announces that the North American edition of Stranger is now available in stores, for some unexplained reason, a few weeks after the March 3 release date announced when the game went gold (story). Word is:
Cary, NC, March 26, 2008 – Today Fireglow Games is pleased to announce that Stranger has shipped to North American retail. Stranger is a hybrid RTS/RPG that has gamers playing as three mysterious heroes lost in a strange fantasy world. Stranger features a deep magic and enchantment system, and a rich world populated by more than a hundred unique monster types. Players can take control of three main characters and their henchmen and enjoy a single-player campaign lasting more than 30 hours, while also being able to take their game online in eight-person Internet multiplayer matches. For more information about Stranger, visit the official Web site at http://stranger-game.com.

It’s a fantasy come true: Epic role-playing adventure and real-time tactical confrontations collide in Stranger, a sprawling saga of sword and sorcery mayhem set in a world beyond your wildest imagination!

As one of three battle-hardened heroes, explore a hostile surface kingdom and mysterious subterranean realm, growing your combat skills and magical abilities. Blade and spell streak across the screen in a dizzying dance as you duel with slavering beasts and mutant monstrosities, using intuitive enchantment and melee systems or ruthless mercenaries’ help to defeat opponents. Gather not just your courage, but also wits and resources before proceeding… From recruiting ultra-powerful allies to going face-to-face with the blackest evil and amassing a mystical arsenal capable of seeing you safely through this epic tale, you’ll need all to meet the challenges which lie within.

Take-Two Rebuffs EA

Take-Two Interactive Software Board Rejects Electronic Arts' Offer as Inadequate has the latest news in EA's attempted hostile takeover of Take-Two. The board is recommending to shareholders that EA's $26/share offer be rejected, but of course, if they didn't it would not be a hostile takeover. The board also adopted a number of measures, some of which are presumably related to this proposed deal. Here's a bit on their plans going forward:
The Board also confirmed that it will explore alternatives to maximize value for stockholders, which may include a business combination with third parties or with EA, remaining independent, or other strategic or financial alternatives that could deliver higher stockholder value than the current EA offer. The Board has commenced a process for considering strategic alternatives in order to be prepared to engage in discussions with any parties, including EA, interested in a strategic business combination following Take-Two’s release of Grand Theft Auto IV, scheduled for April 29, 2008.

Ships Ahoy - Warriors Orochi

KOEI announces the availability of the PC and PSP editions of Warriors Orochi:
Burlingame, CA -- March 26, 2008 -- KOEI, recognized worldwide as the premier brand of strategy and action games, announced today that Warriors Orochi™ for PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system, and Windows-based PC is available now. Warriors Orochi for PSP is in stores, while the Windows-based PC version is available exclusively through digital download. For more information, please visit koei.com and www.koei.com/whoisorochi.

About Warriors Orochi for PSP
Warriors Orochi for PSP boasts the massive seamless battlefields of the console versions, while previous games in the series for handheld platforms had combat taking place on battlefields divided into smaller "cells". The handheld release includes all 79 playable characters, and features 2-player co-op play via wireless (ad-hoc).

About Warriors Orochi for PC
Warriors Orochi for Windows-based PC features enhanced graphics (for PCs meeting the recommended system requirements) Players can adjust the anti-aliasing, textures, dynamic shadows and lighting, and even set the character count. More enemies means more KOs!

PC Gamers can get a taste of the excitement and prepare for battle by downloading KOEI's Warriors Orochi System Checker. This is a free tool that will analyze your PC and let you know if it meets the game's minimum requirements. The System Checker will also show you how the game will actually look on your PC and the frame rate at which it will be running. Gamers can visit KOEI.com to learn how to download the free Warriors Orochi System Checker.

Strategic Command 2: Weapons and Warfare Patch, New Demo

Battlefront.com now offers downloads of a new patch for Strategic Command 2: Weapons and Warfare, updating the military strategy expansion to version 1.03, offering "AI enhancement, bug fixes and game play balance improvements." The new features are reflected in an updated version 1.03 demo, which is also now available.

The Settlers: Rise of an Empire Patch

A new patch for The Settlers: Rise of an Empire updates the strategy/management sequel to version 1.5. The patch offers bug fixes, gameplay improvements, and three new single-player maps in exchange for your 161 MB download. The patch can be found on the Ubisoft Website and mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot, The Patches Scrolls, PixelRage, and Strategy Informer.

Sam & Max 205 Details, Trailer

Telltale Games has details on Sam & Max: What's New Beelzebub, saying the fifth episode in Season Two in the adventure series will be released on April 11. A new trailer shows off gameplay from the episode, along with a satanic recruiting pitch (on VHS?) from the upcoming episode five in season two of the Sam & Max series. The clip can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Avernum 5 Postmortem

RPG Vault's Avernum 5 Wrap Report provides thoughts from Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software for a look back at the creation of Avernum 5, their "old school, low-budget, high-fun indie RPG."

Evening Q&As

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

WoW Bot Battle

Legal battle over Warcraft 'bot' (thanks Mike Martinez) describes a legal battle that's unfolding in a US District Court over sales of WoW Glider, a program that automates many of the (presumably super-fun) functions in World of Warcraft, including combat. According to plaintiff Blizzard, the program infringes on their copyright, and violates the MMORPG's EULA, while defendant Michael Donnelly argues that since no copy of the game is used, it does not violate any copyrights. Word is both parties are now waiting for the court to issue its summary judgment. Here's a bit outlining both positions:
In its legal submission to the court last week, the firm said: "Blizzard's designs expectations are frustrated, and resources are allocated unevenly, when bots are introduced into the WoW universe, because bots spend far more time in-game than an ordinary player would and consume resources the entire time."

'Infringed agreement'

Blizzard argued that Michael Donnelly's tool also infringed the End User License Agreement that all parties have to adhere to when playing the game.

More than 100,000 copies of the tool have been sold, according to Mr Donnelly. More than 10 million people around the world play Warcraft.

Mr Donnelly said the first time had had been aware of potential legal action over his program was when a lawyer from Vivendi games, which publishes Warcraft, and an "unnamed private investigator" appeared at his home.

In his legal submission, he detailed: "When they arrived, they presented Donnelly with a copy of a complaint that they indicated would be filed the next day in the US District Court for the Central District of California if Donnelly did not immediately agree to stop selling Glider and return all profits that he made from Glider sales."

"Blizzard's audacious threats offended Donnelly," according to the legal papers.

Mr Donnelly says his tool does not infringe Blizzard's copyright because no "copy" of the Warcraft game client software is ever made.

Blizzard has said the tool infringes copyright because it copies the game into RAM in order to avoid detection by anti-cheat software.

Enemy Engaged 2 Patch

Strategy First is now serving up a new patch for Enemy Engaged 2, updating the helicopter combat sequel to version 1.02. The read me describes the new version, which does not require installation of the previous patch. The 53 MB download can be found mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot (registration required), and The Patches Scrolls.

Space Empires V Patch

The Strategy First Downloads Page offers a new patch for Space Empires V, updating Malfador Machinations' 4X strategy sequel to version 1.71. This small 7 MB download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot (registration required), and The Patches Scrolls.

Warhammer Online Delayed - Special Edition Revealed

VideoGamer.com has details on plans for EA Mythic to offer a special edition of Warhammer Online, the upcoming MMORPG based on the Games Workshop game. The SE will include an art book, a hardcover graphic novel, some miniatures, as well as in-game goodies, including bonus quests, rewards, and titles. They also say those who preorder will gat open beta access, a head start on the live game, and additional bonus items. This will be a limited edition, they say 55,000 units will be released in Europe for an 80 Euro MSRP, leading to the age-old dilemma of deciding if you love a game enough for this sort of commitment before you've gotten to play it. On a related note, Eurogamer reports the game has suffered yet another delay, it had been most recently slated for release first half of this year (story), which was confirmed just a month ago (story). They now report attending a press conference in France where producer Jeff Hickman indicated the game is now expected in the fall of this year.

Draft Day Sports: Pro Football Announced

Wolverine Studios announces development of Draft Day Sports: Pro Football, an upcoming addition to their raft of sports simulations. The new game focuses on football of the American variety (the one where the ball is seldom actually kicked). Word is:
Michigan, March 26, 2008. Wolverine Studios, a developer of sports simulation games, is proud to announce a brand new title, Draft Day Sports: Pro Football is now in development. Gary Gorski, developer of Draft Day Sports: College Basketball, Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball and Total Pro Golf 2 will serve as lead developer with Tim Plum taking on the role of Associate Developer for this exciting new title.

Draft Day Sports: Pro Football will give you the opportunity to play one or multiple roles within a professional football organization as you scout and draft players, make roster decisions and coach your way to championship glory. Draft Day Sports: Pro Football will feature a 2D game display, play editor, interactive and entertaining draft experience, robust almanac for rich historical stat tracking, dynamic player and team personalities and interactions, customization options such as multiple league sizes, multiplayer league capabilities and much more.

More details and discussion about the game will be available from Wolverine Studios’ company website at www.wolverinestudios.com.

Red Alert 3 Beta Registration

The EA Support Forums announce the Red Alert 3 Beta Page is online, and now accepting registration from those who have received a beta key in their copy of the just-released Kane's Wrath expansion for Command & Conquer 3 (thanks Ant). Registrants will gain access to the beta on a first come, first served basis depending on when you registered your information, but word is: "You are guaranteed a chance to play the multiplayer Beta before Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 releases if you registered successfully before September 15th, 2008."

Harpoon 3 – Advanced Naval Warfare Patch

Matrix Games announces the release of a new patch for Harpoon 3 – Advanced Naval Warfare to update the naval strategy game to version 3.90. According to the accompanying blurb: "The new update brings scores of improvements and new features in addition to a few major changes to the Harpoon 3 system. Major improvements to the game include an augmented and more realistic land damage model, a revamped electronic counter-measures system, and new rules for ship to ship fuel transfer." The 215 MB download is available on this page.

World of Warcraft Issues

The World of Warcraft: The Unofficial Site outlines a brief list of issues that have been identified in World of Warcraft following yesterday's version 2.4 patch. They are also looking to compile a list of undocumented changes, but none of those have been identified as of yet.

Wednesday Game Reviews

Wednesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • Fireglow Games now offers A-B-O-O, their entry in the crowded match-3 puzzle game scene…

Out of the Blue

I have an interesting combination of below-average coordination and above-average balance that leads to some wacky moments. Yesterday I was walking upstairs carrying a snack when I basically tripped over my own feet, leading to me stumbling up the entire flight of stairs without quite ever falling. I did, however, manage to spill iced tea on every single stair along the way. It's all cleaned up now, and who knows? Maybe they will look better after all that and I will begin to market some funky sort of tea-based furniture polish.

Spilled Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Link of the Morning: Top 10 EA Classics That Deserve Updates.
7 Jobs That Are Better In Video Games Than In Real Life.
Stories: Stowaway Rattlesnake Bites Virginia Man.
D.B. Cooper's parachute possibly found. Thanks nin.
Science!: Western Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses.
U.S. researchers create protein map of human spit. Plug that into your GPS.
Why gorgeous girls are happier with plain guys.
Image: A system call that should never fail has failed.
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