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Monday, Dec 20, 2010


Back to the Future Episode 1 Wednesday

Telltale Games announces we can expect the release of It's About Time on Wednesday, which is the first of five planned installments in their episodic Back to the Future game. They announce that preorders are still being conducted until the release, which will come with a free copy of Puzzle Agent, and that $1.00 of every preorder is being donated to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation. Here's a reminder on what the game entails:

Back to the Future: The Game brings the iconic 'Marty McFly', 'Doc Brown' and the DeLorean Time Machine together in a completely new cinematic adventure, which unfolds over five exciting episodes. Six months after the events of the third film, the DeLorean Time Machine mysteriously returns to Hill Valley. 'Marty' must go back in time and recruit aid from a resistant teenage 'Emmett Brown', or else the space-time continuum will be forever unraveled. Back to the Future: The Game features the likenesses of the original stars that made the characters of 'Marty McFly' and 'Doc Brown' legendary: Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd is voicing 'Doc Brown' for the full game series.

Minecraft Enters Beta

The Word of Notch has word that Minecraft has entered beta testing today, as promised. The update has details on what's new since the game left the alpha stage, and a subsequent update has word on a new version 1.0_01 patch that's now live, and promising another patch tomorrow to address these issues: "Thereís a serious problem getting the client started for some people (especially Mac OSX?). Iíve also heard about weird item duplication bugs with dropped items, and a severe performance reduction."

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Website

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Website is now live as a multi-language home to Snowblind Studios' upcoming Tolkien-inspired action/RPG. Here's word on the new site: "A place of fellowship and the definitive community destination, the website is a hub for in-depth information about the game and the development team. A gathering ground for the latest news from Snowblind's Middle-earth, visitors will find the site a haven of news, screenshots, story details and more to ensure they have the most up-to-date information about the War in the North. Dedicated forums provide the perfect venue for camaraderie and discourse."

Hunted: The Demon's Forge Trailer

The Bethesda Blog has a new The World of Hunted trailer, showing off Hunted: The Demon's Forge, the third-person co-op fantasy/action game in development at inXile Entertainment. The clip shows off the game's outdoor environments, and brief glimpses of gameplay.

Data Jammers: FastForward Trailers

The Digital Eel Website has a pair of new trailers for Data Jammers: FastForward, the upcoming action/arcade game from the indie developer. Each clip shows off a different track/level and different features of the game.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: So Long To Ya, 2010. Thanks Ant.

Steam Holiday Sale Begins

The Steam Store now reflects the Steam holiday sale, which will run from now until January 2, offering up to 80% savings on select titles, as well as daily and weekly specials on individual titles and compilations. They are also offering a daily special for those who already own a specific Steam game, kicking things off with an additional 10% off on Portal (which is already 75% off) for those who already own Half-Life 2. Here are some of the more than 1000 titles on sale, with individual titles from these various bundles and collections also available at discounts:

Humble Indie Bundle #2 Sells $1M, Now on Steam

The Humble Indie Bundle Website has word that this pay-what-you-want bundle with a charitable element has now surpassed $1,000,000 in revenue on more than 150,000 sales. For the curious, the average Linux customer chose to pay more than double the amount of the average Windows customer, with the average Mac purchase over 33% larger than the average Windows purchase. They also add that like the first Humble Indie Bundle the new bundle is redeemable on Steam, as well as Desura, though a couple of titles are not available yet: "On your download page, you can optionally get a key to redeem the games on Steam and / or Desura. Not all of the games are on Steam yet: Cortex Command and Revenge of the Titans will automatically be added to your library once they make their Steam debut."

Call of Duty: Black Ops Map Pack Plans

The latest episode of Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson Podcast has word that a new First Strike map pack will be released for Call of Duty: Black Ops on February 1, 2011, notes Joystiq, saying this will be a "timed exclusive," so this will not be available for other platforms right away. They say the pack will include a zombie map called "Ascension" as well as four competitive maps: "Discovery" set in an Antarctic research station, "Kowloon" set on the rooftops of Kowloon, "Berlin Wall" featuring a battle at Checkpoint Charlie, and "Stadium" set in an American hockey rink.

SEGA on Aliens Colonial Marines Status

SEGAbits has a recent excerpt from Game Informer Magazine where SEGA's Alan Pritchard talks about plans for Aliens Colonial Marines, the upcoming Aliens shooter in the works at Gearbox Software. Pritchard explains why they've been so quiet about this project, but that they plan on telling us more soon (thanks Ant via IGN). Here's word:

Colonial Marines is still on. We've been working closely with Gearbox behind the scenes, and we'll be able to tell you a lot about that in the next couple of months. It won't be November 11 [as previously reported]. We haven't announced a date yet. This was kind of a pick up for us, with Activision acquiring Vivendi and us having the Aliens license. With the state of the code available to us with Aliens vs. Predator from Rebellion, that kind of forces us to slightly alter our Aliens roadmap and strategy. It made sense to release that first.

English Trapped Dead Plans

Iceberg Interactive announces having secured the rights to publish an English edition of Trapped Dead, the zombie-themed survival/horror real-time strategy game announced by Headup Games earlier this year. They explain the deal covers an English version for the United Kingdom, Benelux, Scandinavia, and Australia/New Zealand. This helped us find an announcement we missed a few weeks ago that Meridian 4 will be bringing the game to North America sometime next month.

Battlefield 2142 Beta Patch

The version 1.51 patch for Battlefield 2142 first announced over two years ago is still painstakingly working its way through its development cycle. As outlined on the Electronic Arts Forums, the patch is currently running on beta servers, and they plan to run the beta through the middle of next month when it will be determined whether it is ready for prime time. When it finally does go live, the new version will remove DRM from the BF2142.exe, add the Northern Strike expansion as a free release for all, and include a bunch of new maps including Strike at Karkand 2142 and Operation Blue Pearl. Thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield.

Crysis 2 Trailer

A new Crysis 2 Be the Weapon trailer shows off some fast-and-furious gameplay from Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. The clip features combat set in the ruins of New York City and shows off the enormous capabilities of the game's nanosuit.

Op Ed

Antiherogaming - Why Regenerating Health Is Slowly Killing Gaming. Thanks Joker961 via reddit.
Secondly I believe regenerating health impacts the skill factor involved in gaming. Unless the game in question has particularly gifted A.I there is nothing to stop the player from hiding behind the nearest solid object and slowly picking off the opposition. I would much rather know that after I get shot a couple of times, Iíve either got pull off a massive win and cap the last two guys without dying or make a dash for that health kit. It does not enable the sort of player development that I found crucial five Ė eight years ago as you can literally wait each fire fight out. I find that in order to make games for difficult the Ďhard modesí of todayís main stream games just propose to throw more and more bodies at you, and you succumb to the fact that too many people are shooting at you at one time, in an attempt to sap your super human powers.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II on PC Gamer.

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Suffering with the pain of being a Giants fan today, but what can you do, amazing and unpredictable outcomes are part of the joy and the pain of sports, and sometimes you get the worst of it, but man, that was pretty bad. At least our chili turned out completely awesome: I generally add a few odd additional spices and flavors towards the end of the cooking process, and this batch seems especially tasty as a result. A total lunar eclipse is going to happen in the wee hours overnight tonight, which should be visible from North and South America, something to keep in mind in case it can get you out of a jam, Christopher Columbus-style.

Eclipsed Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Hum vs Zerg.
Mining Truck 2: Trolley Transport.
Data Worm. Thanks Sharon.
Science: Probable carcinogen found in drinking water of 31 U.S. cities.
Media: Life Isnít GTA FAIL.
The Plumberís Tale.
Best Jeopardy Categories Ever.
The Funnies: Virtual Shackles: Fits The Profile.
Making a List - Savage Chickens.
Follow-up: "24" Movie On Hold, Tony Scott May Direct?

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