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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010


StarCraft II Bans has word on a new round of bans in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty as Blizzard continues to police their real-time strategy sequel. Word is:

We recently issued a new round of account suspensions and bans to StarCraft II players who were in violation of the Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair competition that’s essential to play on, cheating and hacking can lead to stability and performance issues with the service. As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and secure online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on and take action as needed.

Bad Company 2 Maps Tomorrow

The Battlefield Blog has information on the release of both Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIP Map Pack #7 and the Vietnam expansion for the military shooter sequel. They confirm today's news that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is due on December 18, but add that this is the release date for copies purchased through Steam and the EA Store, while other versions are due on December 21 (December 22 for PS3 in Europe). They also announce that VIP Map Pack 7 is expected tomorrow, saying: "This is your chance to relive the awesomeness of fan favorite map Oasis, plus three more maps never before available in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 multiplayer. For a complete rundown of everything VIP Map Pack 7, here are some posts we prepared earlier." They also offer a Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIP Map Pack 7 Gameplay Trailer.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Preorders & Augmented Edition

The Deus Ex: Human Revolution Website outlines the preorder bonuses available to those who purchase Deus Ex: Human Revolution before the release of the action/RPG sequel early next year (currently listed as March 8, 2011 by various retailers). The bonus is one of two tactical packs (depending on the merchant), which offer exclusive weapons, a bonus mission, and in-game currency. Eidos also announces plans for an "Augmented Edition" of the game to sell at a $10.00 premium over the vanilla version. The Augmented Edition will include a 40-page art book, a DVD on the making of the game and more, premium packaging, and a "motion graphic novel."

Steamships Ahoy - nail'd

Steam now offers digital distribution of nail'd, the off-road racing game, which is on sale for 10% off through December 7. Here's word on the game: "Constant sensation of ultimate speed is the players companion throughout the game. Lightning-fast reflexes and tactical skills are what stands between victory and defeat. Breakneck rides on near vertical mountainsides with up to 70-degree slopes - feel your heart pumping!"

City of Heroes Patched

The City of Heroes Website announces the launch of Alpha Strike, the Issue 19 update for Paragon Studios' MMORPG. Word is: "This latest free Issue for City of Heroes® continues the Going Rogue experience. Get ready for the Alpha Slot (the first part of the new Incarnate System available to Going Rogue players), two new Task Forces that advance the Praetorian storyline, alternate animations for character powers, and much more!" The Official Issue 19 Release Notes have all the details, and there's also an official launch video offering a look at all the newness. The new release also includes a free respec token, and they say another will be released next week, and since they do not "stack," you should use the first one in the meantime.

S4 League Patched

A new patch 24 is now live for S4 League, Neowiz's free-to-play online third-person shooter. The new version includes fixes and changes, as well as new events that will award in-game pets as prizes. There's also a new map called "Office," which provides the opportunity to do battle through the cubicles and hallways of a workplace.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Get Your Very Own Street-Legal Tron Light Cycle. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Venetica in NA in January

The Venetica Website announces plans for a January 2011 North American release of Venetica, Deck13 Interactive's role-playing game that's been available in Europe for some time now. Here's word:

Atari, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment in conjunction with Rombax Games, today announced the North American release date for Venetica, the visually stunning role-playing game. With a cryptic storyline and mix of action and adventure, Venetica will make its North American debut on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC in January 2011.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Next Month

There's now a Steam pre-purchase page for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam that offers a release date for the upcoming military shooter expansion. According to the page, the add-on will unlock on December 18, 2010, and it carries the promised price of $14.99. Thanks Watcher95.

Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead Expansion and Patch Released

The Arma 2 Website now offers a new patch for Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead to update Bohemia Interactive's military shooter sequel to version 1.56, among other things adding a "lite" version of Arma 2: Private Military Company, a new expansion that's also now available. The new version also includes a new "multiplayer armory," to allow you to sample the game's weapons and vehicles in dynamically generated environments. The patch is available on this page and it is also mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. Meanwhile, this page has details on Arma 2: Private Military Company, a new expansion that's now available for £7.99/€8.99/$9.99. Here's word on the new add-on:

We are pleased to announce the continued reinforcement of the Takistan mission - with the deployment of Private Military Company providing the security for a UN investigation team as they seek to piece together information regarding Takistan's abandoned nuclear weapons programme! Next in the line-up of military simulators, Arma 2: Private Military Company - a huge downloadable addon for Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, released this summer - deploys today.

EVE Online: Incursion Launches

CCP announces that deployment of version 1.0.0 of the new Incursion expansion for EVE Online is now underway, which introduces the latest round of free new content for their science fiction MMORPG. They say: "It includes a long list of changes, many of which were prioritized and added with the help of the Council of Stellar Management, a representative group of EVE players elected by the playerbase to interact on their behalf with the CCP development team since 2008." Not content with that, they also announce plans to launch EVE Online: Incursion version 1.0.1 on December 14 to "couple the removal of learning skills with another holiday gift for EVE players." They look beyond that further still, announcing version 1.0.2 will go live in mid-January, saying this will offer their new "stunningly realistic" character creator along with an upgrade to the EVE Gate social networking platform for EVE players, and the following week: "a vengeance-fueled Sansha’s Nation will invade the EVE universe, causing chaos as pilots join together in twenty to forty person fleets to beat back the new 'Revenant' supercarriers, their fierce fighter bombers and the fleets at their command. Victors against these 'incursions' will reap tremendous rewards for their bravery." There is also an interview on Ten Ton Hammer discussing the add-on with CCP's Noah Ward.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Patch

The Battlefield Blog has word on a new patch that's now being deployed for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, a whopping 2.6 GB patch that paves the way for the upcoming VIP Map Pack #7. The patch should now be available via Steam as well as the in-game auto-update function, and they say we can expect manual patches as well. There's also a warning to "make sure you run PBsetup.exe after updating to the latest version of the game." The PC patch notes, which follow, are pretty short for such a large update. Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield Play4Free Closed Beta

Closed beta testing of Battlefield Play4Free is now underway, offering the chance to check out this upcoming multiplayer military shooter for free before it goes live, when you will have to pay nothing. They offer a warning that loose lips sink ships, as an NDA is in place, so blabbing will earn you a dishonorable discharge. There is still the opportunity to sign up to participate, and the game's Facebook Page says they will slowly ramp up the number of beta testers over the coming months.

Ships Ahoy - PT Boats - South Gambit now offers online sales of PT Boats - South Gambit, the standalone expansion for PT Boats: Knights of the Sea. Though the first game in the World War II naval combat series is not required for the new installment, there is also a bundle of the two for a discount. Here's word: "WWII naval warfare is back! With more campaigns, more combat aircraft, new ships and even more fascinating gameplay, PT Boats: South Gambit is setting the bar even higher for WW2 era naval combat simulations. 'PT Boats: South Gambit' is a full-blown naval simulation, and more: combining key elements of a strategic, tactical and action simulator, the game allows the player to control each crew member separately - or command whole groups of ships in a strategic layer!"

Pirates of the Burning Sea Goes Free

The Pirates of the Burning Sea Website has word that this seafaring MMORPG from Flying Lab Software is now free-to-play. Word is: "Premium content will be available for purchase through the in-game store, Treasure Aisle, or through a Captain’s Club membership, available for US$14.99 per month (plus applicable taxes). Click here to compare features included with free-to-play accounts, Captains Club memberships, and Premium accounts. If you are a returning player you’ll discover that a lot has changed over the past year. Click here to see a list of highlights." Thanks Massively.

Lylian Episode One Released

Pixelpickle Games is excited to announce that Paranoid Friendship, episode one of Lylian is now available, a side-scrolling action game featuring a child who can control her environment using her imagination. The debut installment in the series is available from the Lylian Game Shop and GamersGate (where it is being offered at a 25% discount), and here's a bit on what to expect: "Lylian is an episodic 2D side scroller action game initially for the PC. The player controls Lylian's imagination which can change the world and its inhabitants. With unique attack abilities, humorous enemies and original bosses, the game is a mix of fast action set by a storyline with great pacing in stylised rendered environments - It brings something fresh to the genre. An Arcade style of play will also be available, with a cooperative mode of up to 4 players planned for later episodes."

Amnesia Postmortem

Creating Amnesia on IGN talks with Thomas Grip of Frictional Games about Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the well-received survival/horror game from the creators of the Penumbra series. Some of the content will be spoilers for those who have not played the game, but the conversation concludes with word from Grip on the company's future plans: "It's in the early phases still and we're trying to go new ways... For example, we're checking out other platforms. Nothing's been decided yet, we have to check out how everything works. We don't have any experience with putting a game on Xbox for example, but we're going to check that out and see what platforms we can release our game for next. We're hoping for expanding."

EA on Mirror's Edge

Develop has an excerpt from their interview with Frank Gibeau, president of EA Games. Frank is frank about the shortcomings of Mirror's Edge, DICE's parkour game. "First-person parkour across buildings is fun, but to be blunt, Mirror's Edge's execution fell short," he tells them. "There were issues with the learning curve, the difficulty, the narrative, and then there was no multiplayer either. The key learning from us was that if you’re going to be bold with that kind of concept, you need to take it as far as it can go in development."

World Supremacy Patch

The World Supremacy Product Section now offers a new for World Supremacy to update this turn-based strategy game to version 1.01. Word is: "This patch fixes the Map generation lockup at 94%, and includes several other fixes and changes." The full patch notes (Adobe Acrobat format) follow. Continue here to read the full story.

UFO: Alien Invasion Patch

A new patch for UFO: Alien Invasion is now available, updating this freeware strategy game to version 2.3.1. The new version addresses some bugs, but does not break compatibility for existing saved games. The download is available from and the game's website, where they offer a full changelog and highlights of the new version, which follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

With Thanksgiving fading in the rearview and the last day of November upon us, it is time to face the fact that the holiday season is here, and true to that decorations and holiday-themed commercials have already started popping up all over, and tonight is the lighting of the famed tree in Rockefeller Center. Not only is the holiday season upon us, but the holidays as well, as I see that sundown tomorrow marks the beginning of Chanukah, which is about as early in the year I can recall that happening (though I don't generally pay that close attention). So there, time to bust out the eggnog and gear up for holiday shopping, or maybe time to bust out even more eggnog and avoid the whole situation.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Helix Defense 2.
Rolling Tires.
Stories: Staggering Picasso trove turns up in France.
University of Maryland Students Start Competitive Eating Team. Thanks Slashdot.
Fruit company plays Mozart to bananas. That's bananas. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Mercury Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Thanks Randall.
Robots, the Military’s Newest Forces. Thanks j.c.f.
Researchers get trapped photons to act like massive particles.
Media: Capitalist Holiday Brings Out Best In Humanity.
Otter Attack Captured on Video. I would have deleted that one.
NOW over 9 MINUTES of infomercial bloopers! BILLY MAYS too.
Follow-up: Climate change will cost a billion people their homes, says report.
San Diego drug tunnel had railcar, tons of pot.

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