Archived News:

Sunday, Feb 20, 2011

Valve: Portal 2 "Finished"

A Video Conference with Gabe Newell has the Valve managing director addressing a Sports/Entertainment marketing class about the game business. The clip runs about 40 minutes and covers Valve's history and their work. One noteworthy moment is noted on Computer and Video Games (via GamerZines), where they highlight Gabe saying development of Portal 2 is complete, even though the first-person puzzle sequel is not due for release until the week of April 18. "We just finished Portal 2," Newell told the students. "It's pretty much put to bed and we're just waiting for final approvals and to get the discs manufactured."

StarCraft II Patches

Though it's not noted on's StarCraft II Page, new patches are now available for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty to update the various localized versions of Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel to version 1.2.2. The patches are available in this FTP directory, and the StarCraft II Patch Notes explain the single change in the new version, which addresses an issue that prevented the loading of in-mission campaign saves created while patched at version 1.2.0, which they note means in-mission campaign saves created under version 1.2.1 will no longer be usable. Thanks Martin.

Battle: Los Angeles Game Plans?

The Australian Classification Database offers an indication that a video game is in the works based on Battle: Los Angeles, a science fiction movie due in March featuring a Marine platoon facing off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles, according to IMDb. The website lists the game under "Computer Games (Multi Platform)" with an MA15+ rating and shows it being published by Konami and developed by Saber Interactive (Will Rock and TimeShift). Thanks Big Download via GamerBytes.

Dead Island Film Rights *Not* Sold

Contrary to reports that the film rights to Dead Island were sold a couple of years ago, publisher Deep Silver says no one has purchased the film rights to Techland's upcoming zombie game, according to a report on Joystiq. "We are looking for quality above all else for a movie based on Dead Island," says Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Deep Silver parent Koch Media. "We want to do it the right way as film realizations of games (or vice versa) usually fail to deliver what the fans were looking for." Kundratitz went on to tell them their goal is to: "work with someone who already has a proven track record with blockbuster movies."

Why There's No Bulletstorm Co-op

Bulletstorm developer interview on the Telegraph talks with "Clifford" Bleszinski, asking the artist formerly known as CliffyB some questions about Bulletstorm as Epic prepares to launch the first-person shooter they co-developed with People Can Fly (thanks Computer and Video Games). One question asks why there's no campaign co-op, and Clifford explains that they found that it made the game into a "downhill skiing simulator," saying:
First off, it was in there at one point and it actually worked, but we found that the game shifted from being this kind of puzzle shooter into essentially this downhill skiing simulator, where people were seeing how fast they could get to the bottom of the mountain. Really the game just broke down, and it was a situation where people would race through the game, ignoring the vistas and they wouldn't set up as many skillshots. So when we made the decision to go straight campaign, it gave us the chance to put in one-offs that could only be controlled by one player, like the giant robotic dinosaur, where you don't have to worry about Player 2, or slow motion one-offs that could only occur in a single player game.

Op Ed

Thanks Ant. - Bulletstorm: Censored in Germany, Coming to America. first exposed Bulletstorm on Feb. 8, warning that the game ties ugly, graphic violence into explicit sex acts: "topless" means cutting a player in half, while a "gang bang" means killing multiple enemies. And the experts spoke with were nearly universally worried that video game violence may be reaching a fever pitch.

IGN - Why Superhero Games Fail.
Superhero games continually fail to recognize the power of the personal drama these characters face. The new MMO DC Universe Online enables you to create your own hero so you can run around a world full of supers. While there's some good customization to create your own unique character, DCUO has no recognition of a superhero's alter-ego. You don't create your own unique history, have no ties to any regular folks, and exist in a world focused on beating the crap out of villains. It's fun, sure, but it misses a big part of the superhero mythos. Without having an alternate world to exist within, the heroes are shallow, known only for their look, silly name, and powers.

The Bygone Bureau - Fear and Gaming- Being and Nothingness and “Minecraft”. Thanks Boing Boing.
Another morning in Minecraft and with the help of fan-made survival manuals I am now equipped to survive the nightly night of the demons. Safety ensured, I must climb my pyramid of needs toward Minecraftian self-actualization. But what is that, exactly? What do I do now? In Minecraft, as in Sartre, existence really does precede essence. There is no goal, no point, no reason at all in this godless universe for playing Minecraft. But then, there is no point to playing with blocks either. There are things you can do with blocks. There are things you can do in Minecraft. You can find an elusive saddle in an underground monster lair and use it to ride a pig. But you don’t get anything — no badge or narrative or points to spend at an online store — for riding a pig. Pig riding is an end in itself. When you have accomplished it, that is simply how you chose to live your Minecraft life. Quit to title. You are your life and nothing else, pig rider.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's list of the ten bestselling games for the week on Steam:

  1. Portal 2
  2. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  3. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
  4. Magicka
  5. Crysis 2
  6. Square Enix Complete Pack
  7. Just Cause 2
  8. Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition
  9. Test Drive Unlimited 2
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops

On Sale

Direct2Drive offers 20% off all titles with the code "hailtothechief" on checkout.

  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary on Steam. Save 75%
  • Tomb Raider: Legend ON Steam. Save 75%.
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld on Steam. Save 75%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Sunday Previews

Sunday Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

The never ending war with the squirrels continues (naturally, since it is never ending). This morning I found that not only had they once again dislodged one of my suet baskets from where it hung in a tree, but they actually broke the lid off in order to get at the fatty goodness inside. There's a recently opened store nearby that sells bird feeding supplies, and I'm going to see what they have in the way of squirrel-proof suet feeders.

Warlike Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Interlocked.
Submachine 7.
Links: Ikea Stonehenge. Thanks Neatorama.
Story: Man's dog worst friend in E. Oregon police stop. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Hudson River Fish Evolve PCB Immunity. Thanks reddit.
Milky Way Stuffed with 50 Billion Alien Worlds. Thanks [H]ard-OCP.
Images: Article Juxtaposition FAIL.
Judge Judy gifs. Thanks Boing Boing.
Media: Guitar Hero Eulogy Of The Day. Brilliant.
Hot Track Of The Day.
Greatest Skateboarding Tricks 2011.
Follow-up: Gulf Oil Spill Update: Scientist Finds Gulf Bottom Still Oily, Dead.
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