2010 June

June 29, 2010

Shadow of the Colossus Remake! Colossal!

Several retailers have listed HD remakes of popular ICO games including Shadow of the Colossus(SOTC).  This is a very intersting development as SOTC is one of my favorite games of all time.  The collection is due out next June according to Amazon France. 

While this isn’t an offical confirmation of the HD release the president of SCE Worldwide Studios  Shuhei Yoshida stated at E3 that SCE Worldwide Studios would be releasing HD versions of several of it’s popular Playstation2 games. 

We will keep you updated as we find more information!

June 25, 2010

Steam Offering More Insane Deals

Right now Steam is running it’s Independence day special.  You can get games from almost every publishers at highly discounted rates.  Some of the games include Bioshock II $14.99, The Witcher: Directors Cut $6.99,  Counter-Strike:  Source $6.99 and many many others.  I’m glad to see that Steam is helping to fight against piracy by offering so many great deals.  Steam is also offering specials on not only the games but publish packs.  Right now you can get the THQ complete pack which includes all of the Dawn of War series, Company of Heros series, Stalker, Metro 2033, and several others for only $50? 

I have bought several games already at these low prices.  Steam tends to hurt my bank book quite often.  I suspect that over the next few days that they are going to have even more amazing specials.  We will keep you updated on the new specials!  You can head on over to steams website and check out some of the deals by clicking here.

June 20, 2010

Eve Online: The Most In Depth Online Universe Ever?

We have been playing EVE online for over two months now and the game just keeps getting better.  On the surface the games looks like your standard sci-fi MMO fare.  However, once you start to play the game you soon realize this couldn’t be further from the truth.  I should point out that eve is not meant for everyone.  Eve has many facets of play within in.  You can focus completely on combat, construction, economy, mining, planetary mining, research, etc.  There are so many things to do within the game.

The thing that really sets eve apart from the rest of the herd is how it progresses the player.  Most MMO style games have the grind formula.  The player has to kill a mouse 5000 times to increases his characters level so he can increase his characters stats so he can compete on a higher level.  This can really put the casual gamer at a big disadvantage unless he sinks the same amount of time into the game.  Eve, instead of having the grind and repeat formula uses a “skill” based system.  Everything within the game requires a certain skill to use.  Skills have 5 levels and for every level it will increase the efficiency at which that item is used.  Skills can take anywhere from 8 minutes to 60 plus days to complete.  Skills train even if you are not online.  While this skill development path can turn some off saying it’s to slow it actually provides a side benefit of helping you learn everything you use and teaches you how to use it well.

Combat in EVE can very much depending on what you want to do.   Engagement can range from 2 v 2 gangs to 1000 vs 1000 fleets engagements.  As you might guess the tactics you can employ very greatly depending on the situation.  Eve as a whole has a much slower and methodical feel to it however during combat it’s quite the opposite.  All ships within EVE are player created and purchased.  Your ship(s) do not respawn when you die and some ships in EVE are extremely expensive.  Loosing a ship can be both devastating and heart breaking.  So being careful in engagements is extremely important.   Ships in EVE are completely customizable you can change everything on them include the weapons, weapon ammunition, power and CPU modifications, shield and armor modifications.   This makes how you approach combat entirely up to you.

EVES economy is almost 100% player driven.  Everything from the materials to the ships used within the game are made and sold by players.  Very few things within the game are provided by the game devs themselves.  The economy works just like a real world economy.  Prices are set and made depending on market demand and volatility.

Another interesting aspect of eve is peoples character and reputation.  EVE tends to emulate what people will do in real life to get ahead of one another.  Danger lurks around every corner and you can wind up being betrayed over night by the people you called friends.  Everything within EVE is based upon player choice and decision.  A simple decision can plunge an entire region of space into war costing billions of in game money.  You reputation will follow you and if you have sided with the wrong people at one time you can find yourself with a bounty on your head and being hunted everywhere you go.

Eve is separated into three parts.  HiSec which is safe space where you can roam around in relative safety (unless your corporation is at war with another).  Low sec which is less safe then high sec but as long as you don’t wonder off  to explore to much by yourself you should be fine and finally Null Sec.  Null Sec is where the game really becomes enjoyable.  High Sec and Low Sec space are NOT owned by players.  They are owned by the in game races (Caldari, Minmatar, Amarr and Gallente).  In Null Sec everything is owned and controlled by players, corporations and alliances.  Wars are fought over politics, resources and greed.

EVE is a fantastic game.  It is one of the few MMO that I myself actually enjoying every time I play it.  I can find myself sitting down to play EVE for hours at a time and not even realize the time has passed.  I personally had around 1 year of actual play time in EVE and I am still learning new things about the game every.

June 9, 2010

Battleground Europe 1.31 Graphics Rehaul Released

After almost two years in development the team at Cornered Rat software has released the much anticipated 1.31 release for Battleground Europe.  Battleground Europe (World War II Online) has been running on the Unity I graphics engine since it’s release.  The engine features no physics and is over 11 years old.  The engine has been heavily modified over the years to add some more appealing graphics but that could only take the game so far. 

The new graphics update features the addition of physics, weather and updated capture mechanics for towns.  The update also features updated models and textures for buildings, vehicles, and infantry and helps everything to look more realistic.  The game has a whole new feel to it that is quite refreshing.  You can read the full list of updates here

I’ve played Battleground Europe ever since it was open beta back when the graphics were cardboard box style.  The game has seen many changes over the years and provides one of the most authentic and tense World War II experiences out there.  The game caters to those who like to work in groups and achieve objectives.  It also provides one of largest assortment of player vehicles, classes and deployable structures to date.    If you have played this game or have thought of trying this game you will not be disappointed. 

You can check out Battleground Europe by  going here.

June 6, 2010

Supreme Commander 2 for 10.99 on Steam

During this weekend on Steam you can pick up Supreme Commander 2 for for 10.99.  This is the follow up sequel to Supreme Commander which was an amazing game itself.  If you are interested head on over to steam and pick it up there.

June 3, 2010

The Linux Project

I am currently in the process of learning how to setup a linux box to do everything from hosting to playing games to hosting files, DHCP, DNS and SAMBA.  I am currently documenting everything I am doing within our forums.  While this is not related to gaming directly I think those of you who game and are in the IT field will enjoy this.  For those of you who have been looking for a good tutorial on a simple linux box this should be an interesting read for you.   In this project I am going to be attempting the following things:

  1. build a dns server (bind or named)
  2. build a sql/apache server
  3. build a gateway/router server (iptables)
  4. compile a kernel to include all drivers into the kernel
  5. compile a kernel to exclude drivers (build and use kernel modules instead)
  6. build a fileserver and incorporate it with windows (samba)

As I do the following things I will link them to our forums.  If you guys like what you see please feel free to comment or give suggestions!  Thanks guys!

June 2, 2010

Valve Has a Surpise for Us?

Valve sent a rather odd email to Toms Hardware the other day.  It announced that it would be ditching it’s big Portal 2 announcement at this years E3 event.  Instead it plans to announce something much bigger.  The mysterious email they received is here:

Dear Subject Name Here,

Aperture Science is pleased to inform you that we have partnered with Valve to announce the gala CANCELLATION of the June 14 Portal 2 event at the Regal Theater. The event will be replaced by a surprise. And even though the cancellation of the event certainly counts as a surprise, we are pleased to further announce that the cancellation of the event is not THE surprise. However, per International treaties regarding the definition of the word “surprise”, of which both Aperture Science and Valve are signatories, the time, date and content of the actual surprise will only become available as you experience the surprise.

If you’d like to ask fruitless questions about the E3 Portal 2 surprise or, more fruitfully, schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve’s Special Envoy to Surprises.

Thank you for <<RECORD SCRATCH!!!>>

PS: The surprising record scratch is also not the surprise.”

Does this mean that we will finally be getting the Half Life: Episode 3 everoyne has been waiting for?  Or perhaps will we be seeing the announcement of Half-Life 3 or CounterStrike 2?  We will see during E3.  What do you guys think it is?

June 1, 2010

StarCraft II Beta Extended Until June 7th

While July 27th may feel like an enternity away there is some good news for die hard StarCraft fans that have been dreading the end of the StarCraft II beta.  Blizzard announced yesterday that it would be extending the beta for StarCraft II until June 7th. 

The game will be taken down and be made unavailable for some  time as they go into the final phase of testing.  During this downtime blizzard will be making final hardware and software tweaks.  The beta will be put back up two weeks prior to the release.  The offical statement follows below:

“We previously announced that the first phase of the StarCraft II beta test would be coming to a close in all regions on Monday, May 31. In order to prepare for the final phase of beta testing, we plan to extend the current phase in all regions until Monday, June 7. After this date, the beta test will be unavailable for several weeks while we make some hardware and software configuration changes for the final phase of the beta test and the release of the game. We plan to bring the beta test back online for a couple of weeks prior to the game’s launch to complete our testing. We’ll have more details to share about when this final phase will begin at a later date.

We’d like to thank all of our beta-test participants for your enthusiasm, dedication, and valuable feedback during the beta test, and we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the StarCraft II beta test as the game’s July 27 launch approaches”

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