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Tuesday, Jul 07, 2009


Ships Ahoy - Tales of Monkey Island

Telltale Games now offers online sales of the first chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, the episodic return to the beloved adventure series. Word is that for this week only, those who purchase the game will receive a bonus of one episode from one of Telltale's other offerings. On a related note, Back In The Water- The Monkey Island Interview on Gamasutra talks with Telltale's Dave Grossman about the project.

Wolfenstein Movies

A cinematic intro trailer from Wolfenstein is now available for Raven's upcoming supernatural shooter. The clip is posted on ActionTrip and AtomicGamer. Also, the first in a four-part series of clips promoting the game with an animated graphic novel is available on AtomicGamer and Filefront.

PC Bionic Commando Next Week

Eurogamer reports July 17 will be the release date for the Windows edition of Bionic Commando, GRIN's platformer remake. The PC edition will offer the gameplay of the console versions, with enhancements like improved visuals and remappable controls.

On Alan Wake 2 PC

A post to a thread called "Can we get a straight answer about the PC version?" on the Alan Wake Community Forums has a response to concerns on that topic from Remedy Entertainment's Markus Maki. The vagueness of his response is not very reassuring for PC gamers concerned they won't get to play Remedy's upcoming psychological thriller (which Remedy says is the first season of a bigger story), on their chosen platform:

Hey all,

I'm a PC gamer at heart (have a Core i7, Radeon 4890, 5.1 audio setup at home) so I do appreciate your concerns.

Unfortunately all I can say at this point is that we're focusing all our efforts on the 360 version and will be making comments in regards to the PC at a later in time.

Left 4 Dead 2 Details

The Left 4 Dead 2 Interview on offers a chat with Chet, talking with Valve's Chet Faliszek about Left 4 Dead 2, the upcoming multiplayer zombie-shooter sequel. The conversation covers the game, as well as the initial backlash that surrounded its announcement, which is also covered in a blurb on where Chet says that "I once joked that we could put $20 in a box and charge $10 for it, and someone’s going to complain." The article also offers hands-on impressions of Left 4 Dead 2, and a first-hand account of gameplay can likewise be found in the Left 4 Dead 2 Preview on IGN.UK. Finally, a blurb on IncGamers indicates Valve is toying with a fourth boss for Left 4 Dead 2, which will contain at least three new bosses, a post on GameDaily indicates Valve is looking at creating cross-game play between Left 4 Dead 2 and the original Left 4 Dead, and IGN unveils the cricket bat as a new L4D2 weapon, the second such Shaun of the Dead homage (after Hellgate London). Thanks Dagok.

AoC Expansion Reveal Next Month

Word on Eurogamer is that Funcom plans to reveal a new expansion for Age of Conan at GamesCom, the trade show scheduled for August 19-23 in Cologne, Germany, saying a dedicated team has been working on the add-on since the MMORPG went live. Details are not offered, but Erling Elllingsen, who is "really looking forward" to revealing the add-on, saying those who tune in are "in for a treat," and "I think players will be pleased."

Watchmen Part 2 Dated & Priced

This press release announces pricing and release date information for Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2. The PC part two of the movie-inspired brawler is to be released via digital distribution on July 29 for an MSRP of $14.99. Word is: "Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 1 takes place more than a decade before the film’s main story, delving into the partnership of urban vigilantes Rorschach and Nite Owl before the hero-banning Keene Act. In Part 2, the duo team up again as Rorschach contacts Nite Owl to help solve the case of a missing girl, Violet Greene."

Alpha Prime Patch

A new patch is now available for Alpha Prime to update this first-person shooter from IDEA Games to version 1.3. This is for the original international edition of the game, word is the edition from Steam is already updated, as is the North American DVD version which was released well over a year ago. The patch was spotted by The Patches Scrolls, where they offer it for download. A mirror can be found on AtomicGamer.

Square Enix Europe

MCV reports the formation of Square Enix Europe (working title), an outgrowth of the Square Enix takeover of Eidos. According to a spokesperson: "Square Enix Europe (final name TBD) will include Eidos’ global network of studios and combine the Square Enix and Eidos European sales and marketing businesses to create one efficient and powerful structure for game publishing." An unfortunate side effect of this is the loss of an undetermined number of jobs in both Europe and North America. "We are hoping to minimise this wherever possible and offer support and advice to any employees directly affected," is the official statement about that.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Evening: “Stayin’ Alive” Saves Another Life. I have Meet Dave on in the background, and Eddie Murphy sang this song just as I pulled up that story. Weird, huh?

New Runes of Magic Class Plans

Frogster America announces two new Elf classes will be included in The Elven Prophecy, the upcoming chapter two expansion for Runes of Magic, their subscription-free MMORPG. The Runes of Magic Website has details on the new Wardens and Druids that will become part of the game, and here's the general overview: "Both are classes of the Elven folk and their abilities are rooted in the forces of nature. Placed on their own the Druids and Wardens are excellent warriors. In the group context they use their use their abilities to support their allies and so simultaneously pit themselves against the adversary."

Mechs Education

Voodoo Extreme has three video clips teasing an upcoming game announcement. It's all very mysterious, and the nature of the game is hard to figure out because these giant MechWarrior-style robots get in the way of all the action.

Namco Bandai Partners

Namco Bandai Partners Announced has word that Namco Bandai's takeover of Atari's PAL-fulfillment arm is complete. This distributor, which operates in 50 countries out of 17 offices, will henceforth be known as Namco Bandai Partners. With the announcement, Atari is now officially a US-only company.

Battlefield 2 Beta Patch

A new version 1.50 beta 3 patch for Battlefield 2 is now available, continuing the ongoing testing of this update, which has been unusually deliberate, especially for a Battlefield game. The beta patch is a whopping 1.2 GB download, which is available from AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. The new version tweaks handling of J10 jets, improves hit detection for low-ping players, tweaks balance, and addresses a number of bugs. The patch comes with a warning to install this over version 1.41, and not to install it over the previous beta patch.

Ships Ahoy - Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV for Windows ships today in North America, and should be hitting stores now. And for those looking to kick some ass without getting off of theirs, the game is also available via digital distribution from Direct2Drive, Impulse, and Steam. The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club, but fortunately, this isn't fight club, so here's word on Capcom's fighting game sequel: "Street Fighter IV brings the legendary fighting series back to its roots by taking the beloved fighting moves and techniques of the original Street Fighter® II, and infusing them with Capcom's latest advancements in next generation technology to create a truly extraordinary experience that will re-introduce the world to the time-honored art of virtual martial arts."

Sacred 2: Ice & Blood Announced

Ascaron Entertainment announces Sacred 2: Ice & Blood is the title of their upcoming expansion for Sacred 2, making good on their stated intention to continue to develop the RPG series in spite of their bankruptcy filing and the sale of some of their assets. There are some preliminary details on this and some screenshots on PC Games Hardware, where word is the expansion will include a new Dragonmage character, two new areas, new quests, and new items for each character.

Ships Ahoy - BioShock/Oblivion

2K Games and Bethesda Softworks announce the North American release of the promised bundle of BioShock and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, saying the shooter/RPG combo deal will be released internationally in "mid-July," which seems to mean any day now. Word is:

New York, NY – July 7, 2009 – 2K Games and Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, announced today that the BioShock® & The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Bundle is now available at retail outlets across North America for a suggested retail price of $39.99 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and $29.99 for Windows PC. The bundle will be available internationally in mid-July.

Creating a value-rich package, the BioShock & The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Bundle combines 2006 Game of the Year winner The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with 2007 Game of the Year winner BioShock - two games with a combined bounty of more than 80 Game of the Year awards from the industry’s top publications. In addition to having achieved critical success and Platinum Hits status, both games rank among the bestselling titles on Xbox 360.

Global Agenda Beta Dated

The Global Agenda Website narrows July 24 as the tentative start date for this month's closed beta testing of Global Agenda, Hi-Rez Studios' upcoming MMOTPS (thanks Mike Martinez and MMOCrunch). There's still time to register to be a tester on this page, and here's word: "In order to participate in the Beta, players that receive an Invite must RSVP by visiting the Global Agenda website and following the instructions in the invitation. Each invitation will include a date by which a player must confirm their participation prior to the invitation expiring. Once a player confirms their participation, additional information will be sent regarding the test program."

Champions Online Specs

The Champions Online Official Site now outlines minimum and recommended system specifications for Champions Online, Cryptic's superhero MMORPG, which is expected on September 1. Here goes:

Minimum System Requirements
OS:Windows XP/Vista
CPU:2.5GHz Single Core or 1.8GHz Dual Core
Memory:1GB RAM
Video:NVIDIA GeForce 7800 / ATI Radeon X700 or HD / Intel Graphics with Dual Core
Sound:DirectX Compatible Soundcard
HDD:5GB Free Disk Space
Network:ADSL / Cable Modem
Driver:DirectX 9.0c

Recommended System Configuration
OS:Windows XP/Vista
CPU:2GHz Dual Core or Better
Memory:2GB RAM or Better
Video:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or Better / ATI Radeon HD3850 or Better
Sound:DirectX Compatible Soundcard
HDD:5GB Free Disk Space
Network:ADSL / Cable Modem or Better
Driver:DirectX 9.0c

Two Worlds II Not Temptation

Joystiq has an explanation that the recently announced Two Worlds II is not actually a reworking of Two Worlds: Temptation, the add-on that was subsequently called a sequel. According to Zuxxez PR director Joerg Schindler Temptation was axed because it was outdated: "The Temptation had been canceled due to technical outdating [sic]. We use a complete new engine for Two Worlds II."

Op Ed

Ars Technica - The pillars of PC gaming- why StarCraft 2 LAN play matters.
Blizzard was so loved because it was a gamer-friendly company that gave us more than we asked for, and surprised us with things like a free online service and the spawned installs. Now, if you want to hook up a few computers in your basement without an Internet connection, you may not be able to play against each other at all. The LAN party is a dying thing in the world of built-in voice chat and high-speed Internet connections, but it's not dead yet... especially among those who grew up playing StarCraft.

IndustryGamers - The Implications of DLC.
The bottom line is that while PDLC has been welcomed with open arms by consumers, there exists a threat to both retailers as well as competing publishers. Albeit the threat is minimal in the short-run, but with the pace that this industry moves we could see some struggles a year or two down the road, and once troubles begin for the retailers, they might not end. The downside is especially concerning for retailers that rely on second-hand markets, because they are hit twice by the effect; once for consumers delaying other purchases and another time for consumers delaying trading their game in.

Significant Bits - The greatest collectible of all time.
Collectibles seem to speak to the kleptomaniac side of our personality, encouraging us to take all that we see. In console RPGs, it’s common to break into people’s homes, rummage through their belongings, and generally pillage the entire world that you’re trying to save.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits



Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

We got a little clarity on the slowly ongoing process of figuring out how to keep our basement dry. We had a guy come out this morning to look to see what was going on in the one area where our gutters drain underground. He used a remote camera (which was neat) to look through the pipes to see what was up, and determined that we have a series of old-fashioned clay pipes down there with leaky joints every few feet, all running about a foot from the house. It was pretty obvious why it seemed like the way to go when they did it that way, and it is equally obvious now why this is a problem. Fixing the pipe that runs under a concrete driveway is not going to be a very practical job, but the good news is that it should be pretty easy to fashion a workaround that bypasses this broken underground drainage anyway.

Drained Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Thunder Devil.
Links: Fall Out for Real. Thanks Digg.
The Team Fortress 2 RPG (Unofficial!). Thanks Digg.
Dangerous Carnival Rides, Roller Coasters and Attractions. Thanks nin.
Story: Harrison Ford Back for Fifth Indiana Jones in 2011? Talk about grave robbing.
Science: Public Utilities Group Confirms -Sewer Monster- Is Real, But Doesn't Know What It Is.
Spider builds life-sized decoys. Thanks Neatorama.
Images: A Virtual Tour of Michael Jackson’s Arcade Room. Thanks Digg.
Media: Don't Copy That 2 - COMING SOON! Thanks Digg.

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