Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!

Steamships Ahoy - STCC & Far Cry 2

Steam now has the release of STCC The Game, SimBin's racing expansion that's the official game of the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Word is: "Race against up to 25 players online, across 25 tracks, and in 11 different classes. Also includes classes such as Camaro Cup, WTCC, Formula 3000 and much more..." STCC requires RACE 07, and is available by itself, or as part of a complete bundle including RACE 07. Steam also offers a playable STCC demo that was released last month (story). Also, Steam now offers North American customers online sales and distribution of Far Cry 2, Ubisoft's open-world first-person shooter sequel set in Africa. There has been controversy over the game's use of SecuROM DRM (story), but even though Steam includes its own DRM, it is also noted the third-party DRM is also present: "SecuROM™ 5 machine activation limit."

Ships Ahoy - Spectromancer; Demo Released

The Spectromancer Website now offers the release of this fantasy-themed online virtual card strategy game. Here's the skinny on Spectromancer, which was co-designed by Magic: The Gathering’s Richard Garfield and Alexey Stankevich: "In Spectromancer, an online fantasy card game, players participate in a magical duel against other mages by strategically summoning creatures and casting spells. Each mage uses five magical elements during a duel - Fire, Water, Air and Earth, plus a fifth related to the specific mage type. There are six mage types in the game: Clerics use Holy power; Mechanicians use Mechanics; Necromancers use Death; Chaosmasters use Chaos; Dominators uses Control and Illusionists use Illusions. Players are able to duel against the computer or against other online players live." A playable demo is also available, this can be found on the Spectromancer Website and Greenhouse, which also offers online sales of the game. The demo is also mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

E3 Revamp Explained

ESA Talks E3 Re-revamp on Edge Online talks with Entertainment Software Association president Michael Gallagher about the revelation that E3 2009 will be a larger event than the scaled-down version of the trade show seen over the past couple of years (story), which has now been officially announced on the E3 Website. Michael outlines the attendance requirements for the "smarter" version of E3 they are planning, but stresses that the show will remain closed to the general public: "Consumers will absolutely be the targets for the output of the show through the eyes of the media. But the key is that the attendees have the environment they need to do their business. ... E3 has never been a consumer show. We're not competing with PAX or Comic-Con."

Sacred 2 in November

This press release announces a North American distribution agreement between cdv and Atari. Included is an update on North American release plans for Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, the action/RPG prequel that earlier indications suggested would be out already (story). Now we learn the PC edition of the game is due on November 11, while console versions are expected on February 17, 2009.

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2 Next Week

Wednesday, October 29 is the release date for Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two, announces Hothead Games, saying the Windows, Mac, and Linux editions will come out that day on Greenhouse, while the Xbox 360 edition will be release via Xbox LIVE. Here's word on the second installment in the episodic adventure/RPG based on the Penny Arcade webcomic: "The madcap Penny Arcade experience continues in Episode Two of the RPG-Adventure romp! Rejoin Gabe and Tycho and go crazy in a whole new episode with more puzzles, areas to explore and levels to gain, all while moving ever closer to solving the sinister mystery hidden deep in the heart of New Arcadia. Players can jump right in with a fresh character and new customization options or carry over their looks and stats from Episode One. Plus, new difficulty settings allow gamers to play it safe or go insane, battling bigger and badder enemies than ever before." Three new videos from episode 2 are available on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Call of Duty: World at War Interview

Treyarch talks about Call of Duty: World at War on Big Download interviews Treyarch community manager Josh Olin about the coming shooter sequel. World at War marks the return of the CoD series to World War II, but they feel they are still offering a good degree of newness: "New enemies, new locations and new tactics – we take players to the Pacific theater, a story that had never been told before, at least not in the Call of Duty way. We learned early on the Japanese tactics were unlike anything we had ever faced before. It only seemed natural if we were going to throw you into a new conflict with Imperial Japan, we'd re-write the Artificial Intelligence from the ground-up to accommodate the use of a new enemy. So, the guerrilla tactics: hiding in bushes, waiting in trees, feigning death, booby traps – these are all ambush scenarios you'll encounter repeatedly through the Pacific campaign of our game. Ultimately, it will influence the way you traverse the terrain throughout the rest of the game."

On Red Alert 3 Cut-Scenes

EA producers Amer Ajami and Greg Kasavin are the subjects of an interview on Gamasutra titled Red Alert 3: Why The Actors? The topic is the reasoning behind continuing the live-action cut-scenes, which, while a long-time signature element of the RTS series, have generally fallen out of favor since the last Red Alert games. One interesting point made is that creating the 60+ minutes of cut-scene footage would actually cost more using CGI than it did using a cast of familiar professional actors.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Ships Ahoy - NA 1701 A.D.: The Sunken Dragon

Aspyr's GameAgent Online Store now offers online purchase and download of 1701 A.D.: The Sunken Dragon, the 18th century strategy/simulation expansion previously only available in North America as part of the 1701 A.D. Gold Edition bundle (story). The add-on can now be purchased separately, but they are also offering a 10% discount for those who purchase 1701 A.D. and The Sunken Dragon add-on together.

World of Warcraft Patch Plans

The World of Warcraft Test Realm Patch Notes have been updated with info on a new World of Warcraft version 3.0.3 update that's now being tested prior to going live in Blizzard's MMORPG. As always, these notes are fairly extensive, but the folks at WorldOfWar.Net have excerpted some of the most noteworthy bits for examination and discussion.

American McGee's Game Pitch

American McGee’s Blog outlines plans for BaiJiu Racer, a game proposal from McGee's Spicy Horse Productions and its Chinese publishing partner ICEE that they've decided to pitch over the internet to solicit western publishers (ICEE is "locked in" to publishing the game in China). The game is described as an "MMO-lite racing game concept with China as the core theme," that hopes to fill the dream of a "'Mario Cart' or 'KartRider' killer." There is a piece of concept art with the pitch and more in the expatriate American's Flickr Account and a concept video on his YouTube Channel. Here's a bit on the game and its eastern focus: "For one, it’s the first Chinese cart racing game developed with an authentic and original Chinese art style, set in real-world locations, and featuring some of the funkiest racing vehicle designs the world has ever seen (inspiration coming from actual Chinese vehicles). We’re focusing on semi-realistic (and fun) physics-based racing dynamic, going light on the power-ups, and throwing in a lot of visual action."

Four Sins of a Solar Empire Add-ons Planned

Kalypso Media Announces their involvement in publishing upcoming add-ons for Sins of a Solar Empire in Europe, revealing there are three unannounced expansions to follow the first one due later this year (Entrenchment, which is not mentioned by name in the announcement). There are no specifics on these additional add-ons for the 4X strategy game, which are mentioned in passing here: "Kalypso Media have today announced they will be publishing 4 Add On packs for the hit space strategy PC game Sins of a Solar Empire. The first of these Add On packs will be published in Q4 2008 for £7.99 and available via download from Impulse."

DX3 Dev: Deus Ex was "Kinda Slow"

Edge Online highlights a couple of quotes from Deus Ex 3 lead game designer Jean-Francois Dugas from an interview in the next issue of Edge Magazine, set to go on sale tomorrow in the UK and in other territories within a week. Dugas opines that the original Deus Ex was "kinda slow," elaborating on his opinion of the critically acclaimed action/RPG created during Warren Spector's incarceration at ION Storm by saying: "There weren’t enough exciting, memorable moments. It was aimed more towards a simulation rather than a game experience." The other quote they excerpt looks to reassure gamers that Eidos Montreal is focusing on the PC experience, even if they create console ports: "At this point we don’t know exactly which platforms we’re going to be out on. The PC, we’ll be there for sure. But for us, console-isation isn’t about dumbing down features. If we’re to go console we will want to keep the complexity alive. We want the menu interface and controller to feel simple without risking any of their potential."

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War -- Soulstorm Patch

A patch is now available for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War -- Soulstorm, offering the overdue (story) and delayed (story) first update for Relic's sci-fi real-time strategy expansion. The version 1.1 patch is available from, where it is described in brief like this: "The patch contains a number of technical bug fixes, balance changes, and a fix for a bug that allowed a trainer to work in multiplayer games." A more complete description can be found in the (age-gated) Patch Changelist, and the downloads of some of the localized patches are mirrored on Gamer's Hell and The Patches Scrolls.

Sword of the Stars A Murder of Crows Patch

The first patch for Sword of the Stars: A Murder of Crows is now available, updating the 4X strategy expansion to version 1.6.3; tweaking a couple of features, adding AI improvements, and addressing a handful of bugs. Downloads and complete details on the new version can be found on the Lighthouse Interactive Website.

Gold - EU Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches

Lighthouse Interactive announces Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches is gold for European territories, though no release date is included in the announcement. Word is: "This mythological Adventure game is based on the gripping tales of the Mabinogion, a collection of eleven prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. Rhiannon is deep rooted in Celtic mythology and follows the present day haunting of a lonely teenage girl named Rhiannon, as she unwillingly enters a world filled with supernatural phenomena, magic, and legend." The game is already available in North America (story), and those looking for a sample can check out either or both of its two playable demos (story).

Amazon Buys Reflexive

Reflexive Entertainment (Wik and the Fable of Souls) announces it has been acquired by, indicating this deal is about their distribution platform and casual gaming: "As I'm sure you can all imagine this is a very exciting day for us at Reflexive. It means we'll be able to expand our distribution network to include Amazon's amazing distribution channel. With Amazon we will bring a huge new group of customers into play. At Reflexive we have always prided ourselves on maintaining good relationships with everyone in the industry, and are excited that Amazon shares that philosophy. We intend to provide the best distribution platform anywhere, and to continue working openly with all the participants of the casual games space. Together it is our priority to continue this inclusive attitude going forward."

Mythic on The Old Republic

WAR State of the Game Interview with Mark Jacobs, Part Two on Ten Ton Hammer concludes a conversation with Mythic's Mark Jacobs about Warhammer Online and related topics. The conversation took place prior to the official announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic (story), but Mark welcomed the game with open arms: "I obviously know what the title is - and have known for quite awhile. You've got a great bunch of guys working on this title. My respect for Bioware runs VERY deep. I've said this before in a number of interviews that they are absolutely one of the premiere developers in the industry. I have also gotten to know Ray and Greg better since they've been a part of EA and my respect for them has only grown. I think that given their expertise and talent - and all the guys that are involved with it, whether they're in the North or South studio - I think the game is going to be a good thing no matter what they announce it as being. In this industry, we need more successful games. The more successes we can have, the more the industry will expand. It doesn't matter whether it's a fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or whatever they are, we need more successful titles period. I really look forward to what they're working on."

Team Fortress 2 Update

Steam News has word on a new version of Team Fortress 2 that's now automatically available through Steam. Several fixes are in the new version, including a few that close off exploits. There is also a new version of the Steam client.

Spore Downtime Today

The Spore Website warns there will be scheduled downtime later today for the servers. Word is: "The servers will be down for maintenance on Wednesday , October 22nd, at 10AM Pacific Time (5PM GMT). They will be down for approximately three hours. Players will be unable to log into their games and the website will be inaccessible during this time."

Frontlines Patch Plans

The Frontlines: Fuel of War Website has a status report on the upcoming version 1.3.0 patch for the PC edition of Kaos Studios' military shooter. The update will include four new maps, two new vehicles, a new weapon, and more. They say the release of the patch is expected sometime next month.

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

More tweaking to the site here courtesy of Frans, who is, as I've pointed out before, is the Man, with a capital "M." The menu on the left now features the return of the "New on Blue's" section to find local copies of screenshots and such, and we also now have an insert showing upcoming events from our LAN Party List. Additional thanks go out to 2 too (yeah, I couldn't resist), as he cooked up the new menu headers for these sections.

To 2 Too Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Hunted Forever. Thanks Jay is Games.
Links: Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies.
Body Ladder.
Stories: Fox gives full order to 'Sarah Connor'. Thanks
British burglar says 'sorry' with flowers.
Freedom’s Curse.
Science: American Dream a Biological Impossibility, Neuroscientist Says.
Does Nature Break the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Thanks j.c.f.
Fossil Find May Document Largest Snake.
Image: Art of the Gamer Generation. Thanks Kotaku.
Media: The Most Ridiculous Hack Glitch Exploit Run of Mario 64 Yet.
Referee tackles college quarterback.
Screensaver racetrack across 15 screens.
The Funnies: Sinfest: Banktron.
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