Archived News:

Monday, Jul 26, 2010

StarCraft II Midnight Launch

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty goes on sale at midnight, a rolling worldwide launch for Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel that's already underway in some territories. The redesigned StarCraft II Website offers some global launch photos, There's a first-impressions video on New Zealand-based Gameplanet, there are a bunch of screenshots on UGDB, and Gamer's Underground has photos of the launch party in Brisbane Australia.

Natural Selection 2 Alpha Tonight

The Natural Selection 2 Website has details on the Alpha for the RTS/FPS sequel that should be getting underway right about now. They explain what preorder customers of the special edition should do, and attempt to lower explanations for what is still pre-beta gameplay. Word is: "This is the beginning of a long and rewarding journey, and tonight, we all take the first step together. We hope you enjoy playing as much as we do making it. See you tonight!"

More on Mytheon's Delay

The Mytheon Forums have some further details on the recently announced delay to Mytheon, Petroglyph's online action/RPG. After a clarification, word is the game is due to launch in Q3/Q4 of this year, and: "The Early Play Access date is expected to remain 4 days out from the launch so that the benefits of your Champions Package is [sic] preserved." They are also offering a reward: "To thank you for your patience and loyalty, we will deliver a bonus pack, at no additional charge, to all Champions, which includes an extra 5% off Coin purchases, exclusive stones and gear at the launch of Mytheon." Thanks Big Download.

GameStop's Facebook Game

A new Facebook game called Gangsta’ Zombies is now live, allowing players "to take the role of an undead Gangster in your quest to become the top Zombie Don in your city." This free game offers the chance to win free games, as word is: "To join in the fun, pick up free promotional game cards at all U.S. GameStop stores on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, $10 pre-paid cards are available allowing gamers access to premium in-game content along with a competition code that unlocks an exclusive in-game Gangsta’ Zombie avatar with a face only a mother (or zombie) could love. A companion consumer sweepstakes running through Aug. 21, 2010, offers a grand prize of free video games from GameStop for a year (value $1,000)."

Valve Un-Bans Players, Offers Freebies

Valve's anti-cheat technology ran amok over the past couple of weeks and started banning Modern Warfare 2 players for no reason. Valve has now corrected the problem, and has un-banned these players. To compensate, they are offering a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to play and another to gift to a friend. A letter from Valve's Gabe Newell reproduced on Kotaku explains the problem, and the L4D2 deal: "We have reversed the ban, restoring your access to the game. In addition, we have given you a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2 to give as a gift on Steam, plus a free copy for yourself if you didn't already own the game."

Ritual's Cancelled Legacy of Kain Game?

NeoGAF has materials on what they believe to be a Legacy of Kain game that was in development at Ritual Entertainment before Eidos cancelled the project in 2004. They offer the information they were able to find or deduce about the game, along with concept art, model renders, and screenshots. They believe the game was titled either Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy or Blood Omen III. Thanks Destructoid.

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: It's a trap? NO..... Thanks Ant.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Demo

The promised playable demo for the PC edition of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is now available through Steam, where they are also offering a 10% discount for those who pre-purchase IO Interactive's third-person shooter sequel. Details are not provided, but presumably this is the same as the Xbox 360 demo, which offers a sample of the single-player game as well as the Undercover Cops and Cops & Robbers multiplayer modes. Thanks Frans.

Gratuitous Space Battles Patch

Steam now offers an automatic patch to update Gratuitous Space Battles, and presumably the patch is also available through other digital distributors for Positech's space strategy game. The new version includes two balance tweaks, outlined below. Continue here to read the full story.

Natural Selection 2 Alpha Tonight

By tomorrow eager players will finally be playing a highly anticipated science-fiction strategy sequel; speaking, of course, of Natural Selection 2, the RTS/FPS hybrid from Unknown Worlds. Tonight a playable alpha will be released via Steam for those who have preordered either the standard or special editions of the game, which can be done through the Natural Selection 2 Website. Time is running out, however, as after today the special edition will no longer be offered, the price will go up on the standard edition, and preorders will no longer carry an invitation to play the alpha.

New ATI Catalyst Drivers

The ATI Graphics Drivers & Software page is where to find new version 10.7 Catalyst reference drivers for ATI graphics cards. There are new drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Linux offering Eyefinity - HydraVision enhancements, enhanced pull-down detection, CrossFireX support for rotated displays, and GPU acceleration of VLC 1.1.1 media player.

PC Warhammer 40k: Space Marine Announced

THQ announces that Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is coming to Windows PCs after Relic's third-person shooter was originally announced only for consoles, saying we should expect the game for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in early 2011. "The loyal PC audience is incredibly important to us here at Relic so we are delighted to be able to announce the PC version of the game," says Relic Entertainment General Manager Jonathan Dowdeswell. Adds Vice President of Global Brand Management Travis Plane: "Delivering great content the fans want to play is the key goal in the core games division at THQ so we are pulling out all of the stops to make this the best possible game for PC and console audiences alike." Here's word on the game: "Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal."

Commander: Conquest of the Americas Demo

The Commander: Conquest of the Americas Demo Page is now serving downloads of a playable demo for Commander: Conquest of the Americas, the now gold naval combat strategy game from Nitro Games. Here's the description of the demo from publisher Paradox Interactive: "The demo offers gamers a free chance to take charge of one of the many European powers and attempt to conquer the New World. Founding new colonies and then making them thrive is key to success. In order to accomplish this, players need to manage and optimize resources and production in their colonies, before transporting the goods to other colonies or back to Europe." Additional demo mirrors are available from AtomicGamer, FanGaming, Gamer's Hell Strategy Informer, and WorthPlaying.

Natural Selection 2 Gameplay Trailer

There's a new video on the Natural Selection 2 Facebook page with the first look at gameplay from Natural Selection 2, Unknown Worlds' upcoming strategy/shooter sequel. The video is 25 second s long, and word is: "This video shows a test game we played today with gorge pwning a marine base!" Thanks joao.

DC Universe Online Release Date, New Trailer

A new DC Universe Online Trailer offers a cinematic look at Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming PC and PS3 superhero MMORPG. The clip showing many of the game's heroes and villains locked in combat features a back-to-the future storyline, impressive CGI, and voice-acting that leaves no bit of scenery unchewed. On a related note, Newsarama reports from Comic-Con that the game's previously announced November release window can now be pinned down to November 2. The embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

More on StarCraft II Preorders

Americas Preorder Chart on VGChartz has the latest preorder numbers for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in the Americas, according to their methodology. The item of interest is #1 on the list, where StarCraft II now shows just shy of 800,000 orders in advance of the launch of the real-time strategy sequel tomorrow.

BioWare Assisting on Darkspore

GameSpot reports on a Comic-Con panel for Darkspore, EA Maxis' upcoming action/RPG, that concludes with a tidbit on who is collaborating on the project, saying: "Maxis has been receiving help on Darkspore from fellow EA studio BioWare, which has its own established reputation in the action-RPG genre." Thanks Big Download.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines VTMB2010

Planet Vampire now offers downloads of VTMB2010 for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, which combines the following mods for the action/RPG: CompMod version 1.4, Clan Quest version 2.0, and Camarilla Edition version 1.3. This simplifies the process of playing those mods, though this will also require first installing the UP7.0 Plus edition of the unofficial version 7.0 patch for the game from The Patches Scrolls. Thanks Acleacius.

Blacklight Tango Down FAQ, Maps

ITV Ignition has distributed a new Blacklight Tango Down FAQ addressing no fewer than 37 questions about the multiplayer military shooter. If that's not helpful enough, they also now offer this set of blueprints of each of the game's maps for your navigating pleasure.

38 Studios Interview

Q&A with 38 Studios Founder Curt Schilling on Hooked Gamers tosses a few softballs at the former hardball pitcher, asking about 38 Studios' two upcoming games, working with Todd MacFarlane and R.A. Salvatore, competing with World of Warcraft, and more.

Game Collection Profiled

The Alex Aguila profile on Obsolete Gamer offers words and videos to chronicle the gaming obsession of the co-founder of Alienware, who shows off an extensive collection of game hardware and software, much of it rare, and most in pretty complete condition. Alex also has a pretty complete arcade room with vintage systems, a MAME cabinet, and a number of pinball machines. It is all very impressive, and sure to inspire pangs of nostalgia and jealousy from old-school gamers.

Op Ed

Gamasutra - News - Analysis- Is The Game Industry A Happy Place?
It’s the Men In Suits, after all, who make the decision to treat their studio staff as expendable. They’re the ones who determine that it’s time to clamp their lips shut when the media wants information, who manipulate an often young and inexperienced press corps with shameless ease. They’re the ones who make the decisions to charge for incremental content, to gently nudge up the prices of console titles over the years based on what they think gamers will tolerate.

Hooked Gamers - 9 reasons why PC gamers are more hardcore.
Unless he is gaming with a disability (Disabled gamers are hardcore to the max, respect!), a PC gamer doesn't want help playing his game. Whereas console game developers have devised numerous ways to help overcome the shortcomings of gaming with a gamepad, PC gamers have always preferred the raw, unaided versions of their games. The timeless 'mouse and keyboard' method has proven to be the most accurate way to control a game. If a PC gamer really wants to immerse himself, he will buy a joystick or racing pedals to make it more -not less- realistic. Seriously guys, 'auto-aim' is a joke.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

A story on the radio this morning reminds me that it was one year ago today that MrsBlue and I were eyewitnesses to the immediate aftermath of a traffic accident that made international news when an allegedly drunk and high woman caused a head-on crash that resulted in eight fatalities by driving the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway at a reported 85 miles per hour. The chilling site of the minivan on the median engulfed in flames with smoke pouring into the sky is not one I'm likely soon to forget.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Yin Finds Yang.
Freeway Fury.
Waterfalls 2.
Links: Play Snake on Youtube. Thanks Digg.
The Burger Lab- The Ins-n-Outs of an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-Style.
Screaming Scenes without Al Pacino.
Stories: Raw food- Raid on raw-food grocery store highlights a hunger.
Superman Comic Saves Family From Foreclosure. Thanks Digg.
Science: Deep space probe finds hundreds of new planets.
Every black hole may hold a hidden universe. Thanks Neatorama.
Images: Guitar Hero 3 - Worth1000 Contests.
When You Win You Get Syrup.
World Energy Problems = SOLVED! Thanks Digg.
Follow-ups: Solar-powered process could decrease carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels in 10 years.
Dark matter hunt eyes deeper home.
Shackleton's whisky: headed to a glass near you?
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