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Friday, Sep 18, 2009


Arkham Asylum Free DLC Released

The promised first free DLC for the Windows edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum is now available, according to Big Download, who say the issues that hindered the release have been ironed out. The pack includes a pair of challenge maps for about a 110 MB download, which must be acquired through the Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace.

On Sale

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Family Guy Galaga Arcade. Thanks Ant.

Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack

The patch to update Call of Duty: World at War to version 1.6 and add Map Pack #3 to the Windows edition of Treyarch's World War II first-person shooter is now available. There's also a new set of mod tools updated to version 1.4 with support for the content in the new patch. The patch is available on AtomicGamer, Big Download, FanGaming, FilePlanet (registration required), Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. The mod tools are available on Big Download, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. Finally, there's a separate patch for the German edition of the game available on Big Download, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls.

Risen Gold, Rises Next Month

Publisher Deep Silver and developer Piranha Bytes announce the Windows edition of Risen is gold, and the fantasy-themed role-playing game will be released worldwide on October 2, with the Xbox 360 edition expected early next year:

Hermosa Beach, Calif. - September 18, 2009 - Deep Silver Inc., a publisher of interactive entertainment software and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, and the developer Piranha Bytes just announced that the RPG Risen has reached gold status for Windows PC and will be released worldwide on October 2, 2009. The game is expected to be released on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in North America early next year.

About Risen:
This epic role playing game is set in a medieval world on a volcanic Mediterranean island, The "Risen" story unfolds over four chapters and will offer multiple ways to develop the story by his own actions and decisions. An innovative and intuitive user control interface will support both casual and hardcore gamers. With full world streaming support, the player will have a seamless experience while playing in a fully simulated game world with authentic characters.

Aion Drops GameGuard, Adds Oceanic Server

The Aion Launch release notes have news that NCsoft is dropping the GameGuard anti-cheating software in Aion, addressing a major complaint from beta testers. The GameGuard software is being removed to "provide the best possible gaming experience," though they will "continue to pursue ways to effectively utilize GameGuard within Aion in the future." A separate update indicates another change in response to user feedback, saying they are adding an Oceanic server for the launch of their fantasy-themed MMORPG. This server is actually located in North America, but will have its time zone adjusted to GMT+10, and will be labeled as an Oceanic server in a future patch. Thanks IncGamers.

Need for Speed: SHIFT Demo

The Downloads section on the Need for Speed Website now offers the playable demo for the Windows editions of Need for Speed: SHIFT, offering a test drive of EA's racing sequel. The demo includes two tracks and five cars, and the download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, eXp Download, FanGaming, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Tiscali Games. Here's the deal:

Need for Speed SHIFT delivers the true driver’s experience with a stunning cockpit view, deep career mode and amazing car roster. You will be thrust into the loud, intense, and athletic experience of racing a car from the driver's perspective through the combination of perception based G-forces, the hyper reality of the cockpit view, and the all-new brutally disorienting crash dynamic. Prove your skill on two tracks – London River and the world famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps using one of 4 unlocked cars. Collect enough stars while you race to unlock the ultimate in performance, the Pagani Zonda F.

Bloodlines Patch

A new homebrew patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is now available, continuing support for Troika's action/RPG nearly five year's after the game's release, which coincided with its developer's demise. The change log outlines new changes for the "plus edition" in version 6.5, newly restored content, and bug fixes. Downloads of patches for either the English or German edition are available on the official exclusive home to the unofficial patch, The Patches Scrolls.

BioShock 2 to Surface Feb 2010

2K Games Announces a Global Street Date for BioShock 2, saying the well-hydrated shooter sequel will be available on February 9, 2010. Here's a bit from the announcement:

Currently in development for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows® LIVE, BioShock 2 will deliver two unique, yet intertwined experiences that form the perfect blend of explosive first-person shooter combat, compelling storytelling and intense multiplayer action.

Set approximately 10 years after the events of the original BioShock, the halls of Rapture once again echo with sins of the past. Along the Atlantic coastline, a monster has been snatching little girls and bringing them back to the undersea city of Rapture. Players step into the boots of the most iconic denizen of Rapture, the Big Daddy, as they travel through the decrepit and beautiful fallen city, chasing an unseen foe in search of answers and their own survival.

Multiplayer in BioShock 2 will provide a rich prequel experience that expands the origins of the BioShock fiction. Set during the fall of Rapture, players assume the role of a Plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions, a premier provider of Plasmids and Tonics in the underwater city of Rapture that was first explored in the original BioShock. Players will need to use all the elements of the BioShock toolset to survive, as the full depth of the BioShock experience is refined and transformed into a unique multiplayer experience that can only be found in Rapture.

The Witcher 2 Leaked Trailer

A video clearly marked "confidential video - internal use only" has been leaked onto the YouTube (NSFW), showing footage from an alpha version of The Witcher 2, CD Projekt RED's upcoming action/RPG sequel. The over five minute clip includes narration from Marcin Iwiński and other members of the development team. They reveal "Assassins of Kings" as the game's subtitle and show off the game's graphics, a new dialog system, how the player's actions impact the game world, independent NPC activities, their use of Havoc physics, the addition of QuickTime Events (everyone's favorite), and more. Thanks Dave via Kotaku. There's now a comment about this on The Witcher Website:

“Of course, we can’t and won’t try to deny the facts. The movie that appeared on the various sites yesterday presents our newest project, The Witcher 2, which we’ve been working on for some time. We made something about half year ago, to present the first playable version of the game.” said Adam Kicinski, CEO of CD Projekt RED. “Currently we are looking for a potential publisher (or publishers) for this title, and this leak is an uncontrolled side effect of that process. For today, we are not commenting on anything that concerns the game itself.”

More information about The Witcher 2 will be unveiled alongside the official announcement.

Diablo III Skill Trees offers a set of graphical skill trees for the four announced Diablo III characters. There are fan-created, but based on the build of the game shown of at last month's BlizzCon. Word is: "Blizzard has never released these images, and these are the only comprehensive source of information on all of the skill names, locations, tiers, and prerequisites."

25 Years of Elite

Frontier is celebrating the 25 Year Anniversary of Elite, as their seminal space combat simulator was first released in September 1984. Word is: "Join us to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Elite with a series of events, competitions and media. We have brand-new wallpapers, Elite midi music and screenshots in the Anniversary Media section. During the anniversary we’re inviting you to chat to David Braben in a Twitter and Forums Q&A session, take part in contests and read others’ fond memories of the Elite universe - and we’d love to hear your own, whether they are ‘mostly harmless’ or ‘dangerous’..." It's also been over ten years since Elite IV was first brought up, or maybe not as a recent post on quotes David Braben saying: "There is absolutely tons of stuff about Elite online." The Frontier boss goes on to say: "Hardly any of it's true! Some of it is, but I'm not going to say which. We are working on it and it's very exciting."

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Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits


Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today is the anniversary of the sad day I lost my mom back in 2003. The thought I had about this last year still appeals to me, which is to urge you to call one or both of your folks if they are still around, and give them a hug if they are within hugging range. That's a sentiment that would have made my mom happy, and contemplating that makes me happy, which is a pretty good twist on the whole thing. Also, sundown tonight marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, so things will wrap up a bit early today so we can have dinner with my step-family, and of course, here's wishing a sweet new year to all who are celebrating.

Sweet Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Battle Gear 2.
Cake Pirate.
Links: Says.... Thanks Fletch.
10 Humiliating Reasons People Have Been Arrested.
Terrifying huge breakfast is free if you eat it in 20 minutes.
Stories: World's tallest man over 8ft high.
Science: Virtual reality used for blind to map real world.
'Giga Galaxy Zoom' offers tour of Milky Way.
Images: Jupiter’s Magnetic Moon Generates Spectacular Light Show. "That's no moon."
Tron Light Cycles in LEGO.
Shocking Photos of Normandy from D-Day and Today. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: The marshmallow test.
Weed Card: New Garfunkel And Oates Song! (NSFW VIDEO). Thanks Acleacius.
Auctions: Gene Roddenberry's Mac Plus Is Coming Up For Auction.
Follow-ups: The US Government's bizarre obsession with Janet Jackson's nipple.

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