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Thursday, Nov 18, 2010


Din's Curse: Demon War Announced

Soldak Entertainment announces Din's Curse: Demon War, the first expansion for Din's Curse, their action/RPG. They say this is planned for release for Windows and Mac OS X before the end of the year, though they allow for the possibility of delays, saying: "however it will be released when it's done." Here's how this is described: "Din's Curse is a single player and co-op multiplayer action RPG for Windows and Mac PCs with 141 class combinations (196 with the expansion), infinite number of dynamically generated towns, real consequences, and a dynamic, evolving world."

FINAL FANTASY XIV Free Trial Extended

Square Enix has once again extended the free trial subscription that's included with the purchase of FINAL FANTASY XIV, adding another month of free play to the month the game comes with and the first additional free month they added in October. Word on the FINAL FANTASY XIV Website is this will give players the chance to check out the two upcoming patches meant to address the numerous problems that have plagued the MMORPG since its launch. Word is: "This month's version update, tentatively scheduled for November 25, marks the first step in bringing about significant improvement to FINAL FANTASY XIV, guided in large part by the feedback you, the players, have provided. We are adamant that you should be given the opportunity to experience these changes firsthand before deciding to fully commit to the game. We encourage everyone to view today's post, as well as the previous Topics post from November 11 outlining the development team's roadmap for the coming months. Further details regarding payment options and future version updates will be posted as they become available." Thanks PC Gamer.

Dune 2: The Golden Path

A new version 1.1.08 of Dune 2: The Golden Path is now available, updating this multi-platform, freeware game based on the original Dune 2, the seminal real-time strategy game. Here's the explanation of this project from its developer: "This is my attempt to recreate the original Dune 2 from the ground up, using completely original code and incorporating modern-day RTS features (and compatibility with Windows XP/Vista/7, Linux and Mac), with a focus on the multiplayer experience. The only things taken from the old Dune 2 are the graphics, sound, and gameplay style." Thanks Ant.

Darkspore Video Diary

A new 'Loot Collection' Diary from Darkspore features some of the developers at Maxis explaining how loot collection will work in Darkspore, as well as the types of loot that will be available in the upcoming action/RPG. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Scott Adams Interview

Matt Chat 81: Questprobe and More with Scott Adams is a very cool interview with the old-school adventure game designer (rather than the cartoonist) about his views on games both vintage and current. Included is an anecdote of how Ken and Roberta Williams got into game design, how he got Marvel to give him subscriptions to every one of their comics when he was designing for them, thoughts on competing with Infocom, and other interesting tales from the early days of game design. Thanks Ant.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Thanks Ant.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 60 Years of Television's Most Memorable Catch Phrases in 146 Seconds. Live long and prosper. Thanks Ant via Neatorama.

Portal 2 Delayed Again

Valve sends the perhaps inevitable announcement that Portal 2 has succumbed again to Valve Time, and the release of the puzzling sequel is now planned for release the week of April 18th, 2011.The game was previously expected on February 9, and Valve notes this makes this the shortest delay in Valve history, though of course, the game was already delayed once from this holiday season, and at three-or-so months, that was probably their previous shortest delay. They feel this represents a trend, saying: "This two month slip not only marks the shortest delay in Valve's proud tradition of delays, it represents the approaching convergence of Valve Time and Real Time. Though this convergence spells doom for humanity, it will not affect the new Portal 2 release date."

Operation Flashpoint: Red River Trailer

A teaser trailer on offers the first clip promoting Operation Flashpoint: Red River, the upcoming military shooter sequel in the works at Codemasters. This does not offer gameplay; the clip is actually mostly live-action, though the exterior shots of the helicopters are CGI, with audio from the man in black himself. Thanks TaczBr.

Rift Closed Beta Next Month

Trion Worlds announces their plan to hold the closed beta test for their upcoming MMORPG Rift: Planes of Telara from December 3 through December 6. The "Rise of the Defiant" beta event will feature the game's first 20 levels, the full starting zone for the Defiant faction and the land of Freemarch. Word is: "Players can tour the fortress-city of Meridian, and battle hordes of undead in the Iron Tomb dungeon." Those interest in participating should sign up for an account on the website and you can improve your chances of being selected by obtaining one of the VIP beta-keys that Trion will be giving away on the game's forums as well as its Facebook Page and its twitter feed.

Natural Selection 2 Closed Beta Tomorrow

Natural Selection 2 will transition from the alpha phase tomorrow, when closed beta testing of the upcoming action/strategy sequel will get underway, reports Joystiq. The Natural Selection 2 Orders Page offers preorders which will grant entrance to the beta (those who already preordered are already eligible, though according to Joystiq, only the first 10,000 customers will get in. Finally, they also have a gameplay trailer offering the first look at the teleporting Fade class. Thanks joao.

DRM-Free Witcher 2 Preorders on

CD Projekt's promised announcement indeed turns out to be the news that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be sold through, the first new title to be carried by the "good old games" service, and it will indeed follow the site's no-DRM policy. The game is now available for preorder with a "buy now, pay at release" policy, and preordering will earn some perks, including exclusive content and the choice of one of the following games for free: Gothic 2 Gold, Realms of Arkania 1 + 2, Realms of Arkania 3, Divine Divinity, or Beyond Divinity, and they add that "Gamers who have already purchased all of these titles from's library will be offered an alternative title instead." The game will also be what they call a "Fair Price Package," saying "EU and UK customers receive a store credit in USD for the price difference between their preorder price & the worldwide one."

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer

A new trailer from Deus Ex: Human Revolution shows some fast and furious gameplay from the upcoming action/RPG as teased in these screenshots. Update: The original version we posted was running too fast for some reason, the working version is now posted above, and embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect Online?

The recent tease from EA and BioWare widely thought to be for Mass Effect 3 may be from an online version of the sci-fi role-playing game, according to a rumor on Kotaku attributed to "a development source." They offer several other bits of evidence to build a pretty convincing case to support this theory, which should be tested soon enough, as the tease is for a revelation during the Spike VGAs, which will air live on December 11. Here's the video Spike VGA 2010 Bioware tease.

DRM-Free Witcher 2 on invites us to view a live stream of a presentation for their investors today on The Witcher Website, saying the conference will kick off at 12:30 pm EST, and that: "There will also be a special part with a surprise for all fans of good games!" Not content to allow them their surprise, Eurogamer lets the cat out of the bag, saying "sources" tell them that the news is the Witcher 2 will go on sale on on May 17, 2011, and true to the site's mission (besides the "old games," obviously), they say it will be "completely DRM-free." Thanks TaczBr.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Announced

Disney, TT Games, and The LEGO Group announce LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, a new LEGO game that may be the only way to make Johnny Depp seem square. The game is due in May of next year for Games for Windows LIVE, Xbox 36, PlayStation 3, PSP, and DS. Here's a bit:

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game will re-create the action, adventure and memorable moments of the Pirates of the Caribbean mythology in LEGO form, incorporating the humor of LEGO minifigures and fantastic worlds built from LEGO bricks and elements for players to explore. Players can take on the roles of more than 70 characters and experience the pirate adventure, irreverent humor and amazing creatures of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, through action-adventure gameplay and hilariously quirky LEGO cut scenes. Throughout the game, players will also have the freedom to explore environments from the highly acclaimed movie series in more than 20 levels. The game features two-player cooperative mode, in which players each control a character to experience the story together, and freeplay mode, which lets players return to levels to discover new items.

Black Ops Sales Record

Activision announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops has set a new entertainment industry record for five-day worldwide sell through in dollars, with $650 million in sales. This exceeds the $550 million taken in by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though all of this is based on "internal Activision estimates," as we're not sure anyone has ever focused so on sales for a five-day period. "Call of Duty has become the first entertainment property in history to set five-day launch records for two consecutive years across all forms of entertainment," said Robert Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard. "The title’s success illustrates the mass appeal of interactive entertainment as millions of consumers are choosing to play Call of Duty: Black Ops at unprecedented levels rather than engage in other forms of media. The number of people playing online and the number of hours they are playing demonstrates how online gaming has become a mainstream form of entertainment and certainly validates Activision Blizzard’s leadership role in online entertainment."

Plague of Heroes: Point of Orifice Announced

The Conceptual Reality Website announces development of Plague of Heroes: Point of Orifice, an UDK/Unreal-engine cooperative online role-playing game "where you use your unique hero abilities, items and gadgets to save the world from an oppressive corporate regime." They offer work-in-progress screenshots on the game's product page, and say a release date is TBA.

FlatSpace II Patched

A new patch for FlatSpace II is now available through Impulse to update Cornutopia Software's top-down space simulation to version 1.05. Word is: "The new update includes over 20 gameplay changes and enhancements including a new Scarrid character class, the Nomad, new backdrops, nebula opacity settings, slightly changed heads up display, and lots of other changes to improve the gameplay experience and general system compatibility." The complete patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

IGN - Why Don't We Finish More Video Games?
With video games more expensive than ever, you would think that gamers would squeeze every last second of play out of them before moving on to the next adventure. But that's not always the case. Earlier this year, Bioware released some fascinating statistics about Mass Effect 2, but the stand-out figure was the revelation that only 50 -percent of players actually finished Commander Shepherd's mission to stop the Collectors.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Blue's News. Teaser for an upcoming trailer.
  • DC Universe Online on PC Gamer.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Thanks Ant.

Hardware Reviews


Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

I mentioned how bad Hudson the wonder dog's allergies have been this season, which got so severe that I took her to the vet this week, who gave her some antihistamines for her itchiness, and antibiotics for the infection she developed from chewing at herself. I decided to adopt a bold strategy for the trip, and left the Gunnar-man behind to make for less hassles in the vet's relatively small office. This made for basically the first time he's been left alone without either myself, MrsBlue, or at least Hudson for company, one of the benefits of him living here in the BlueTower while I work. He was not at all happy at being abandoned: He tried to sneak out with us, threw himself at the door after it closed, and barked wildly as we got in the car. When we returned all of 45 minutes later I was greeted with a big pile of poo in the middle of the floor, and urine puddles in no fewer than four different locations, so he obviously took the opportunity to express his displeasure as best he could. Hudson wasn't happy either, as she was a little whiny on the drive, obviously a little disturbed at the separation as well, even though she was an only dog until she was about five. Them being so inseparable is very touching, but this is not an ideal situation going forward, though it will not be easy to remedy, if that's even possible. On the bright side, the medications have done Hudson a world of good, though her coat around her backside is not going to grow back properly for quite some time.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Desert Rifle 2.
Hostage Crisis.
Blow Things Up.
Links: 7 Real Car Chases Way Crazier Than Anything in the Movies.
Celebrating cinema’s greatest long takes. Thanks Slashdot.
Stories: Burger King Manager, Worker Fired Over 'F--- You' Receipt. Ain't that some s***.
Neil Young's Green LincVolt Hybrid Ignites a Not-So-Green Inferno. Ouch.
Bristol Palin dance leads man to shoot TV, authorities say. Thanks Roger.
Science: Antimatter atom trapped for first time, say scientists. Mr. Spock to the engine room.
US sex robots headed to UK. Thanks Cutter.
Eye scans will help keep better track of suspects, NYPD says. Thanks
Images: London World Record Panoramic Photo. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Media: Ghostbusters Return. NSFW.
Cowboys & Aliens Trailer: Wrist Cannons and Rough Justice.
Parkour Unleashed. Yup, it's dog Parkour.

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