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Friday, Jan 02, 2015

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, coinciding with a 75% off sale on Stardock's standalone strategy expansion. Here's word on why the Enchantress has fallen, and can't get up:
The Fallen Enchantress seeks to destroy the civilizations that have risen from the ashes of the Cataclysm. Fortunately, your fame has spread and great heroes have been drawn to your banner. With your new champions, you will confront new horrors like liches, brood hunters, banshees, and the dreaded hergon.

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is the new standalone expansion to Stardock’s turn-based, fantasy strategy game. Players will forge a new empire in a world sundered by powerful magic, fight against terrible creatures, complete quests and rediscover lost secrets in their bid to rule the world of Elemental.

Another Steam Concurrent User Record

Steam's Game and Player Statistics page shows another new record of 8,466,441 concurrent users, just a couple of days after setting the previous record at 8,357,541. The accompanying chart indicates the record came at around noon PST yesterday.

Elite Dangerous Issues

Some server side issues in Elite: Dangerous popped up last night, according to a thread on reddit talking about missing cargo, missing funds, and in some cases, huge influxes of capital. This older forum thread has posts about the new problem, and there is widespread speculation that there are delays in dealing with this because the developers are on holiday. However, there is also this thread asking where things currently stand that has a number of reports saying everything is back to normal. Thanks Massively.

Roberts on Star Citizen in 2015: "No Finish Line"

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website gives a new year update from Chris Roberts of Cloud Imperium along with some thoughts on Star Citizen, their upcoming space combat game (thanks 88fingers). Chairman Roberts explains that when he will "just smile" when he sees expressions of doubt that the game will live up to expectations raised by its extremely successful ongoing crowdfunding campaign. "Because with the community we have and the passionate and talented team of developers I can’t imagine us 'flopping' as a few bloggers have predicted," Roberts explains. "Not because we’re better than everyone else, but because building a game this way, in total lock step with your community, means it’s pretty hard to fail in the long run. Will we build everybody’s dream game? Of course not, that would be impossible! But with this level of engagement and iteration I think we’ll build something special that people can happily lose themselves in even if it doesn’t have every feature they dreamed of." He also talks about what this year holds for the game, saying: "Star Citizen isn’t a sprint, it isn’t even a marathon. There is no final finish line the way you would have with a traditional retail game. Star Citizen is a way of life for as long as the community is engaged by it." Here's word on plans for 2015:
This coming year will be an even bigger year than 2014 – the FPS module will go live to backers, we will be giving our first drops of the Persistent universe, starting with the Planetside social module, the multi-crew Arena Commander and the first Episode of Squadron 42.

2015 is where the game will be shaped. And it will be shaped with your input. So get in the game and let us know what works and what doesn’t for you!

It’s going to be a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and I couldn’t imagine doing it with a better group of people than group of developers working on the game and the amazing Star Citizen community.

On Sale

  • Carpe Fulgur Collection on Steam. Save 80%.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Crazy Aerial and Skydiving Fails. Thanks nin.

Not Even One "M" in Square Enix MMOGs

Square Enix can't even claim a total of one million subscribers across three different MMORPGs, reports Polygon, saying the publisher's latest annual report (Adobe Acrobat format) reveals an unimpressive user-base for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy XI, and Dragon Quest X (thanks Polygon). This does not seem to be a causing them concern, however, as they state this leaves the games with "a solid revenue base." Here's word: "Three major MMO titles—'FINAL FANTASY XIV: A REALM REBORN,' which began operation last August, 'DRAGON QUEST X,' which was launched in August 2012, and 'FINAL FANTASY XI,' which has entered its thirteenth year of operation—maintain nearly 1,000,000 paying subscribers all together, and have established a solid revenue base." Japanese financial reports have a different tone than their western counterparts. Here's a moment of Zen from the management guidelines that lead off the report:
Everything in the world interacts to form a massive system. Nothing can stand alone. Everything functions with an inevitable accord to reason. It is vital to gain a proper understanding of the constantly changing tides, and to take advantage of these variations instead of struggling against them. We shall continue to work towards harmony and serve as an integral part of this ever-fluctuating system.

Chaos Ride Begins

Desura now offers digital distribution of Chaos Ride, a fast-paced, futuristic racing game for Windows with optional support for Oculus Rift VR headsets. A launch trailer offers a look at the game's Unity Engine graphics and science fiction sensibilities. Here's word on what they call the "fastest racing game ever made":
Chaos Ride is a futuristic arcade racing game, influenced by all the insanely fast arcade racers of the early 00's - Wipeout, Extreme G, Ballistics, Outrun 2 et al. Players pilot their neon hover-cycles through nine different locations at speeds of up to 800mph.

Set entirely inside tubular-shaped tunnels, the game uses a unique method for navigating the tracks. Racers primarily build speed by gaining momentum, which they acquire by angling their vehicles at optimum trajectories as they race. As with any other racing game, it’s all about finding the best racing lines to shave seconds from your lap times – only in Chaos Ride, this happens at jet-engine velocities while things explode around you. Imagine piloting a rocket-powered bobsled, while avoiding and competing against nine other rocket-powered bobsleds, at 800mph, and you have a rough idea of the core gameplay experience.

Based on the series of mobile titles of the same name, the game includes 18 tracks, 90 events, a vehicle customisation system, a 15-hour single player campaign, split-screen multiplayer for up to four players, and full support for the DK2 Oculus Rift.
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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

There do not seem to be nearly as many sites to track NFL playoff picks as for the regular season, but the PoolTracker site we used last year worked well enough for the few who participated, so here's a Blue's News Playoff Pool with the same settings as last year. Good luck to those trying to wrest my playoff crown.

Had a fun evening in front of the TV last night, as TCM ran a mini-Marx Brothers marathon. I actually have these on disc, so it's probably emblematic of what a cord-cutter I am not that a broadcast could inspire my viewing, but what can I say? Captain Kangaroo taught me well. Hope 2015 has been equally enjoyable for you so far.

I thought there might be enough news to post an evening roundup last night, but I was wrong. I may be equally wrong about this evening, we'll just have to see.

R.I.P.: Mario Cuomo, former New York governor, dies at 82. The man who would be king.

Broadcast Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Stick Squad 2.
Cody And The Chocolate Factory.
Links: District 9 director reveals concept images of the Alien movie he was secretly working on. Thanks nin.
The world’s fastest model kit.
This Guy Solved the World's Hardest Rubik's Cube In About 7 Hours.
Stories: "Taken" Scares Americans Away From Europe. Scares me from theaters.
Science: Robots are starting to break the law and nobody knows what to do about it.
Meteorite from Mars reveals further clues about atmosphere’s history.
Belize's Famous 'Blue Hole' Reveal Clues to the Maya's Demise.
Images: Computer Science.
Media: The Tediousness of Stop Motion Animation.
Girl Selfie Pranks Her Brother The Same Way Over A Whole Year. He Falls For It Every Time. NSFW.
Kid Destroys A Dollar Store. NSFW.