Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Disintegration Open Beta Signups

Signups are now underway on this page for an upcoming technical beta for Disintegration, the sci-fi first-person shooter announced last year by Private Division and V1 Interactive (thanks DSOGaming). Word is this will be conducted in English for a limited time in certain territories on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. They also offer recommended PC specifications, warning that lower spec machines may harm the experience:
NVIDIA
CPU | i5 5TH GENERATION
GPU | GTX 970
RAM | 8GB
RESOLUTION | 1920X1080

AMD
CPU | RYZEN 5 1600
GPU | RX 480
RAM | 8GB
RESOLUTION | 1920X1080

Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Found

XSEED Games announces the release of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, a new installment in the venerable RPG series originated by Sir-Tech. This Windows game can be picked up through GOG.com, Humble Store, and Steam, with each store offering a 10% launch discount for the first week. Here's word: "In Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls players will recruit a party of six adventurers before venturing into vast underground dungeons, choosing between five different races and eight different classes to create a team with diverse skills. With over 100 unique enemy designs ranging from the traditional to the bizarre and dangers potentially lurking around every corner, players will need to remain vigilant and ensure that their party is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Staying true to the series’ roots, these dangers will be plentiful…and quite deadly." They illustrate the news with the Opening Cinematic and offer more details on the game:
In a faraway land 2000 years before the current era, the god Avrul created the Draguun, a race bearing the bloodline of the dragon gods. They excelled in the mystic arts and built a prosperous civilization, ruling over the world for many years. However, the Draguun were arrogant, and eventually fell victim to their own powerful magic. Their disappearance plunged the world into chaos until the empire of Darua, in the land of Athals, united the people once again. Thus began the age of Athals.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Political Machine 2020 Announced

Stardock celebrates another election year in the US with the announcement of The Political Machine 2020, a new installment in their election simulation. This is expected to arrive in the middle of primary season this spring, though the Steam Listing currently says winter 2020. The official website is now updated for the new version, offering screenshots and details. Word is: "The 2020 edition is a complete rewrite of the game with vastly improved graphics and a more sophisticated simulation that combines polling data, voter enthusiasm, and the most recent US census results to deliver a game that is both fun to play for casual players, and realistic enough for political wonks." Here's more on the game, which includes actual democratic candidates and a made-up republican field that includes a candidate ineligible to run thanks to the 22nd amendment:

Stardock announced its new political strategy/simulation game today, The Political Machine 2020. The PC strategy game allows players to choose a candidate and run for President against either a computer opponent or a candidate controlled by another person over the Internet.

Candidates include the current Democratic front-runners including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, as well as Internet favorites such as Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. Republican candidates include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Players can also design their own candidates to take on the campaign trail to win the hearts and minds of American voters.

"This game takes politics and brings them to players in a way that is fun and interesting," said Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. "We use current data to model the US and voters in the game. The game emulates some of the unexpected things a candidate might have to deal with -- natural disasters, national tragedies, economic crises -- and immerses the player right in the middle of the insanity."

The game now features unique ideology trees for the candidates. This allows each candidate to play very differently from one another.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Cats vs Zombies 2. The purring dead. Thanks Ant.

Obituary: WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, The Rock's Father, Dies at 75.

WoW Visions of N'Zoth Live

Blizzard News announces the Visions of N'Zoth content update is now live in World of Warcraft, their enduring premium MMORPG. A Visions of N'Zoth Survival Guide video can help you navigate what's new, which is described below:
The Old God N’Zoth has been unleashed from his titanwrought prison, and an ancient corruption has taken root across Azeroth, turning friends into foes and trapping warriors’ minds in nightmare visions of a hopeless future. As despair and madness consume the land, the heroes of the Horde and the Alliance will need to fight for their sanity—and the fate of their wounded world in this content update.

The Visions of N'Zoth content update is packed with new features, including two new Allied Races—the fox-like vuplera (Horde) and the crafty mechagnomes (Alliance); the introduction of Assaults and N'Zoth's Horrific Visions; new Corruption-tainted weapons and gear, a new legendary cloak to craft and upgrade—Ashjra'kamas, Shroud of Resolve; raid that takes you into the heart of the Black Empire— Ny'alotha, the Waking City; and much more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Shenmue III Battle Rally DLC Next Week

Deep Silver announces the Battle Ready DLC for Shenmue III is battle ready, and will race into the adventure game sequel on January 21st. Here's the battle cry:
Today Deep Silver and YS Net Inc. announce the release date for their first Shenmue III DLC “Battle Rally”.

“Battle Rally” offers fresh gaming activities in a race unlike any other, as contestants engage in head to head battles whilst racing their way through the course.

Furthermore, for the first time in Shenmue III players will have the chance to step into the shoes of another protagonist! In addition to playing the hero of our story Ryo Hazuki, players can also choose the treasure-seeking “Wuying Ren” and making her first appearance in this game, Ryo's sparring partner, "Wei Zhen".

Cross the finish line in first place to win some truly awesome items!

Hockey Manager 20|20 This Month

Publisher/developer netmin games announces Hockey Manager 20|20 will come to Steam, offering an ice hockey simulation that puts you in command of your own franchise. Here's a trailer you can check out, and here are more details:
In Hockey Manager 20|20 you can lead your favourite club in America and Europe, control the financial aspects of your team, train the players, and manage transfers, sponsors and merchandising.

Hockey Manager 20|20 includes 3D action-packed presentations with full control of your own team in real time. Transfers with the Community can be easily executed via the Steam Workshop.

Hockey Manager 20|20 features an editor so you can create any team in the world, including players, jerseys, sponsors and referees. Additionally, it contains the official licenses of the French and Spanish ice hockey leagues.

Project AETHER Next Month

Developer Sleepy Spider Studio announces a February 24th release date for Project AETHER, their crowdfunded twin-stick shooter. They celebrate the news with a new Announcement Trailer showing off gameplay in the bullet hell style you will aether love or hate. Here's word on the game, which will be released on Steam:
Project AETHER is a high-octane love letter to retro twin-stick bullet hell games, as well as the classic giant-mech genre of anime series.

When a mysterious alien force invades from the depths of space, players take control of the prototype AETHER mech unit in an attempt to fight off the advancing threat.

Featuring a customisable loadout comprising of a combination of the player's choice of two swappable ranged weapons and a melee sabre, any AETHER pilot will have the tools needed to take out enemies at both a long and short range. Truly skilled pilots will need to learn to harness the power of all of their available weapons to take down the enigmatic invaders.

Players will battle invading fleets and their giant boss ships across 9 levels, each with their own unique threats. Success will only be assured if quick reflexes and tactical thinking are used in combination with the unique abilities afforded by the AETHER unit.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! Early Access This Month

Early Access to Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is coming on January 29th, offering a renewed chance to test your simulated culinary skills without the chance of giving anyone actual food poisoning. This Window game will com to GOG.com and Steam while the full version will come to consoles as well when this comes in Q2. Here's an Early Access Launch Trailer, and Vertigo gaming serves up the following details:
Hit the road in this massive sequel and travel across war-torn America to participate in the Iron Cook National Food Truck Championships with your trusty robot crew Whisk — voiced by @negaoryx — and Cleaver — voiced by @havanarama. Set in the radically-changed USA of 2042, play through the all new story-driven campaign where you cook hundreds of foods — including many brand new to the series — across hundreds of levels in a new gameplay structure that has been completely redesigned to deliver fast paced action, or take it easy with the all new Chill Mode that can be toggled on or off at any time!

Play through the campaign via single player or with a friend in local co-op (with the ability to change on the fly), upgrade your food truck with dozens of gameplay-affecting modules, expand your food catalog, and race to the nation’s new capital in Nashville, Tennessee, to prove once and for all that you’re still the best chef in the world.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Following the age-old adage of never putting off until tomorrow what you can put off until the next day, I forestalled switching to Windows 10 for as long as possible. But inspired by yesterday's actual EOL for Windows 7 I decided it was time to make the move. The motivation for this was compounded by the fact that my system has been failing to install various updates over the past several months anyway, so I was only getting partial support for my OS while it was still being supported. I had concerns that whatever was causing this problem might impede my upgrade. Sure enough, trying to upgrade to Win10 cranks along until the first reboot, at which point it fails and reverts back to Win7. Here's the error message I receive: "0x8007001F-0x20006 The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during REPLICATE_OC operation." The good news is that there is plenty of advice on the internet on how to fix this, starting with deleting third-party antivirus software all the way through using third-party tweak utilities. The bad news is that none of these have helped me so far. So after trying the upgrade about a dozen times I put this aside. So this morning I had a message from Windows Update saying a new update would apply the next time I rebooted, so hopeful that it would actually resolve itself, I tried that. And proving things can always get worse this resulted in a BSOD. This persisted through a few reboots, but, thankfully, shutting down entirely and starting my system worked. As part of this process I tried using my Win7 install disc to repair my install, but that does not seem to offer this option as expected, it just wants to go ahead and do an install. I assume this is because this is an installer specifically "Intended for distribution with a refurbished PC." Anyway, I will probably just let it go ahead and do a fresh reinstall so I can get the Win10 upgrade going. The good news there is that more and more of one's data and settings are in the cloud and proper backups these days, so it should be easier to get back to where I want to be than if this was 20 years ago. But it's still a pain, to say the least, so wish me luck. Thanks in advance for the inevitable suggestions that I install Linux. =]

Upgrade Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Link: Cosplaying Politician Elected In Taiwan. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Stories: This year may finally fulfill the promise of private human spaceflight.
Billie Eilish Set For New Bond Film Song.
Science: Sex delays menopause, study finds. Acleacius.
Gene Tweak Can Extend Life 500% (But You Have to Be a Worm). Fair tradeoff?
Images: Is this what people mean when they say their dog is broken? Asking for a friend.
Media: Scottish reporter falls for Australian drop bear prank.
Sigtuna “Heavy Duty” U-Lock Picked.
Security Door.
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