2012 September

September 29, 2012

Resident Evil Human Butchery

Now don’t say us Brits never give you anything! This weekend saw Smithfield Meat Market in the east end of London host a pop-up art installation sponsored by Capcom entitled ‘Wesker & Son Resident Evil Human Butchery’ as reported by Neatorama. The exhibition displays meat that has been shaped into edible human body parts available to sample and purchase. This exhibition has been set-up to promote the upcoming release of Resident Evil 6 and all proceeds from the sale of the meat on display will go to the Limbless Association, which provides support to those who have lost limbs.

This ran alongside a series of lectures at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Pathology Museum, which explored how the the game themes track and can be linked to the real world.

Unfortunately this exhibition is only running until Saturday 29th September, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing more like this in the future if it proves popular.

September 27, 2012

Carmageddon Max Pack Now On GoG!

 

Today GoG finally released their highly anticipated version of Carmageddon, the “Max Pack.” You can purchase it here on GoG’s site. Contained within is the original game, and the “Splat Pack” expansion, as well as the usual slew of works-on-Windows-7 features. The game can be yours for the small sum of $9.99. Those of you who pledged to the Carmegeddon: Reincarnation should have already received your keys in your email. These can be redeemed on GoG, though they seem to be time limited so it would be very wise to use them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, here’s some footage of the game from this new release:

 

September 18, 2012

Dead Space 2 Giveaway Winner!

 

666de666 had a good question, and sorry that it took so long to post the winner; which is you! Congratulations 666de666 you won a copy of Dead Space 2 for steam! Everyone had great responses. Doom 3 was definitely scary, I played it on the Xbox where there was no duck tape mod so shooting blindly into the darkness added some great tension.  I have heard great things about Amnesia and really wish I had the PC to run it. Thanks to every one for entering the contest and remember we have been giving games away every week and you can always enter in for a chance to win. 666de666 you will be contacted via the email you registered with. Again, congratulations and thanks to everyone that participated.

September 18, 2012

Gaming Community: SolidarityGaming

The world of video gaming is a place that let’s your imagination run wild, there are always new ideas and new ways of looking at things and what really attracts me to gaming is the way it can also bring people together and brings out the best in them. Sometimes when you just get trolls in forums and in-game it seems like no-one has the time of day it’s not fun which is why I think SolidarityGaming are brilliant. These guys are a group of friends with a shared interest in gaming, they are making some really good YouTube content doing what they love. They are passionate about gaming and they’ve covered a number of games so far, both modern titles and console classics, including: World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Minecraft, Modern Warfare 3 and most recently Team Fortress 2. The content is fun and you’re not going to feel like you’re being lectured on how to play the game – in fact you might find that it’s a great way of seeing a game from another angle.

SolidarityGaming have such a good outlook and community philosophy on gaming and that’s something I really appreciate. You can check out SolidarityGaming on their YouTube page, you can also follow them on Twitter @SolidarityCoUK and also like them on their Facebook page. If you appreciate what these guys are doing please do give them your support.

Here is their latest video for Team Fortress 2:

And if like me you’re gearing up for the release of Mists of Pandaria next week, SolidarityGaming are going to be doing a WoW exclusive tomorrow night, so go and take a look.

September 16, 2012

Black Mesa: A Half-Life 2 Re-Make

Players of the award-winning sci-fi FPS Half-Life 2, developed by Valve, would have been able to finally play the long awaited re-make of the game when it was released on September 14th 2012. Black Mesa, a free total conversion modification of Half-Life, began in 2004 being driven by a volunteer development team who are also fans of the game – the project came about due to the belief that Half-Life didn’t quite live up to the potential of the Source engine’s capabilities (used by the Half-Life sequel, Half-Life 2) and so they took the storyline and packaged it up into a new polished version which included work on new models, maps, soundtrack, voice acting and textures.

Of course, this is definitely not news to any Half-Life fans who have been eagerly awaiting this mod for some time, but when I actually saw the transformation of the old game to the new one I must admit that I was totally blown away and was kicking myself for not having played Half-Life sooner. So much effort has gone into this that I’d challenge anyone not to be impressed with the results, take a look a the example below from the Black Mesa website:

In this release fans are able to play in single-player mode only, Black Mesa have confirmed that co-op play would potentially arrive after the release of single-player but that the development of this part of the game would not be delivered by the Black Mesa team. Also, in this release you will be playing from the chapter ‘Inbound’ (where our main character Dr. Gordon Freeman starts his day riding a tram headed to the Sector C Test Labs) until Lambda Core (when Gordon finally arrives at the Lambda Complex, an advanced teleportation research lab where the remnants of the Lambda team have taken refuge), the Black Mesa re-vamp of the game ends here when you jump in the portal to Xen. The second part of the single-player release will add the Xen chapters and will be done in the form of an update to the game.

What do you need to play it?

1. You must have a source game. You cannot use the free Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost coast or any demos.

2. The 2007 Source SDK. You can install this from the Library > Tools menu in Steam.

Access your Steam games library.
Click the dropdown beside the Search bar and select Tools.
Find Source SDK Base 2007 in the list and select ‘Install game’.
Once installation is complete restart your computer to ensure all files update correctly.

3. The Black Mesa mod. Which you can download from the Black Mesa homepage.

If you are like me and haven’t played Half-Life then why not download a copy from Steam where Half-Life 2 is only £6.99. Black Mesa is a great piece of work and an amazing achievement for the development team, I’ll definitely be adding this to my library.

September 15, 2012

Rapid-Fire Controller Review

The world of modding in the console gaming industry is a vast and eclectic culture of hardcore hobbyists. From aesthetic alterations like aftermarket buttons, cases and lighting, to more practical improvements of functionality, the possibilities are nearly endless. One of the most popular of these mods is a programmable rapid-fire function.  So I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about for myself.

 

This is the SPS – X1 Rapid-Fire Controller, crafted with love by the folks over at GamerModz. It also happens to be sporting an entirely aftermarket look—including the shell, trim pieces, sticks, and every last button. The appearance isn’t particularly relevant, as you can mix and match every piece to your liking when you order, but let me set something straight. One of my largest concerns with third-party controller parts is always the quality. Let me assure you that not only are all the individual aftermarket parts of this controller top notch quality, the entire thing is also assembled quite well. It has the smooth operation and tight feel of any factory-fresh Microsoft controller. I was impressed, despite being as relentlessly picky as I am.

 

Another major concern I had was the application of a rapid-fire mechanism. I was worried about how difficult it would be to configure, and didn’t see how it could be practical. Luckily, I simply did not understand. Once familiar with the process of reprogramming the rapid-fire rate, I was able to do it on-the-fly with little difficulty.

 

This leads me to application. Before I tried this, I was under the mistaken impression that the goal of these mods was to circumvent the max fire rate of any given weapon to give the player an edge. This is, of course, impossible with a great many games. More often than not, a gun’s fire rate is not only limited by the player’s input speed, but also by properties like recoil and a maximum rate of fire programmed into the game.

 

The use of a rapid-fire mod is nothing so dishonorable, anyway. I, for instance, had some fun experimenting with various semi-auto weapons. I experimented with various fire rate settings, trying to nail down the ideal balance of speed and spread. Basically, it was an easy way to handle the weapon to the fullest of its potential. It made me feel like a seasoned soldier, handling my weapon with the vigilant precision and efficiency that only comes through long years of experienced combat… But I could do it while simply holding down a trigger with a stupid grin on my face.

 

So let’s sum this up. If you head over to gamermodz.com right now, you can order a controller that looks any way you want. Moreover, if you want a great rapid-fire mod installed to boot, the finished product would look no different. The entire mechanism makes clever use of a controller’s sync button, adding nothing visible to the façade of the controller itself. And since you can program it on-the-fly, it could even be your little secret. Combine all of that with truly top-notch quality construction and materials, and it’s a no-brainer. So let me make this simple for you. Here’s the link for their website. http://www.gamermodz.com/ I’d input your card info for you too, if I could, but this is as easy as I can make your way to a custom controller. I won’t force you, but I will say this: all the cool kids are getting custom controllers.

 

September 13, 2012

What’s on at Eurogamer Expo 2012

This year’s Eurogamer Expo, running from the 27th – 30th September in London, is the second major trade fair in Europe since Gamescom back in August. Although it doesn’t draw as large an attendance figure over the 4-day event, which last year drew 34,500 visitors, the organizers are proud to welcome some of the world’s most talented developers and feature some of the most anticipated games which are coming up for release this year and into 2013.

There is plenty to see and do on the show floor and this year gives you the chance to play a range of games including:

Assassins Creed III
Borderlands 2
Call of Duty Black Ops
Castlevania
Crysis 3
Dead or Alive 5
Dishonored
Dead Space 3
Doom 3
Halo 4
Resident Evil 6
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tomb Raider

There is a full list of all the games being featured at Eurogamer 2012 on their website.

There are also developer sessions which span the entire event, these sessions kick off on Thursday 27th September with Frank O’Connor, 343 Industries Creative Director, talking about Halo 4. You will get a chance to hear exclusive updates and also raise your own questions to the faces behind the games.

If that’s not enough you can also check out the games industry fair which takes a look at how you can get develop a career in gaming, play in the indie games arcade, or attend one or more of the various social events that are going on over the 4 day event – whether you want tournaments, meet-ups or cosplay there is something for you at Eurogamer 2012.

If anyone happens to be going along do let us know, I should be there on Friday 28th September. Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I booked Eurogamer and then my sister asked me to go to a wedding fair on the same day. But it turns out that both are happening at Earls Court (different exhibition halls)… I’m taking this as a sign!

September 13, 2012

Wii U Price and Date Announced! [Update]

 

This morning in NYC, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage and got the big questions we had out of the way. The console will launch on November 18th here in the states. There will be two different skus for the console. The first will be white and priced at $299.99, and the second which is black that will be priced at $349.99. Listed below are what each sku comes with.

 

$299.99 – Basic set                                                                           $349.99 – Deluxe set

Wii U console (white)                                                                     Wii U console (black)

Game Pad (tablet controller)                                                      Game Pad (tablet controller)

AC Adapter                                                                                         AC Adapter

HDMI cord                                                                                          HDMI cord

Sensor Bar                                                                                          Sensor Bar

Game Pad AC Adapter                                                                   Game Pad AC Adapter

8GB of storage                                                                                  32GB of storage

Game Pad Stand

Game Pad Cradle

Console Stand

Nintendo Land game

 

The $50 upgrade to the deluxe edition seems worth the extra cash considering it has a full $50 game thrown into the package. Now they did not go into the price of an extra Game Pad, the console does support up to two of these, it will be interesting to see what the price will be. The console stand that comes with the deluxe edition is something I wasn’t expecting since Nintendo has said before the console could not be turned on its side, I guess things have changed. Personally I would opt for a vertical console over a horizontal configuration; it just gives a presence on an entertainment center. The launch line up was hinted at, but stated that they are in talks with publishers to nail down dates. They went into detail about Nintendo TVii, no it is not a misspelling that is how it is branded. Nintendo TVii will be the consoles entertainment hub. You will have services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and complete control of your DVR as well. The Game Pad will be the one controller for all, you can add favorites, posts reviews, and manage your streaming queue straight from the controller. Nintendo TVii will be right out of the box on both versions of the console. So what do you think of the price and what is included with each console? Once we learn of any more information or what the launch lineup will look like, we will let you know.

[Update] Kotaku is now reporting that Nintendo has told them the price of the games will match those of the 360 and PS3 and will be $59.99. Seems only right, but lets hope Nintendo is more willing to give games price drops years after their releases.

September 12, 2012

Wii U Weigh In

 

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. EST, Nintendo will hold a press event all about the Wii U. It is rumored that the price point, launch date, and launch titles will be announced at this conference. You can watch the press even here and I will be reporting on  it tomorrow morning as the event unfolds. Below editor Joe “ScrotusKilmystr and myself hit some important questions surrounding the launch of Nintendo’s new console. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if our predictions were accurate or completely talking out into the wind.

 

First and for most price; what will be the price, will they have different models, how much for the tablet controller, how much for the standard controller? Will the games hit the 59.99 mark the ps3 and 360 have set this generation?

 

Joe – I’m thinking no less than $299.99 maybe even $349.99 as a special ed with 2 controllers and a release title (not a tech demo) in the range of $349.99 to $399.99 as for the controllers, I can’t see the tablet going for less than $99.99 being that it’s the center of the system as for other controllers I’m thinking $49.99 as for the games I do think at least $59.99 because of the new tech and comparable graphics  and a list of high end core gamer titles.

 

Rick – I think we are looking at somewhere of a range of $249.99 to $349.99. I think they will have multiple sku’s but I can’t see it topping $349.99. The tablet controller will hopefully be under $79.99. The original Wii had a Nunchuck ($19.99) and a Wii Remote ($39.99 to $49.99 depending on Motion Plus and when you bought it) so you were looking at $60 to $70 for a complete controller. $99.99 may be a little steep, but the system can only handle two of them so a $99.99 price point may not hurt that much. I can see titles staying at $49.99; it could potentially undercut the other consoles that are running the same title.
Nintendo has typically launched games and consoles on Sunday, do you see this being any different and when will that date be?

 

Joe – Yeah Sunday will be the day and it will be during a hot week maybe sometime in November maybe even the week of COD and after much hyping that should be starting within the next few weeks I would think.

 

Rick – I say Sunday as well. I see the console launching sometime late November. I see it coming after the major triple A titles just in time for the Christmas launch. November 18th is my prediction.

 

After seeing all the games including the re-releases of some core titles (arkham city, mass effect 3) will the Wii u have the power to pull in the hardcore that the Wii potentially segregated? (At launch)

 

Joe – I think at first the hard core gamers may hesitate, except for the Nintendo fans, because I’m thinking (myself included) wants to see how these high end games work with the new tech.

 

Rick – If they can provide interesting scenarios with the tablet controller than I see it being a viable “core” console. If developers half the controller and add it on via the “Wii Waggle” it could be dead in the water. It needs the core titles the Wii never had, yes Nintendo had great first party support, but they also continued the lackluster third party support. They need support from top developers.
Will the Wii u hit that must have tech fad that the original Wii created? If so how long will it last, the last one hit a 4 year stride then started to taper off.

 

Joe – I don’t think they will with the new tech and possible high end pricing I don’t think it will be a hit will the casual crowd like the 1st Wii did (low price, cheap titles with huge selection) especially with phones grabbing up the casual market.

 

Rick – No, I don’t see it happening. I see the Wii U positioning it’s self like the GameCube and N64 did. I see Nintendo returning to the “core” audience and seeing what they can do with the controller tech and how they can push that to bring unique gaming experiences. Although Nintendo had some fantastic games on the Wii, none of them really took full advantage of the controller outside of Metroid Prime 3.
If you were an average gamer/consumer what haven’t they shown yet (outside of price or launch titles) that you would want from this console?

Joe – I haven’t seen that got to have title that isn’t a Mario game, something to use the tech and knock my socks off!

 

Rick – I want the backward compatibility to up the resolution of Wii games. Take the Dolphin emulator and put it on the hardware or something equivalent so that the games can have that 1080p resolution that is sorely needed.

 

September 10, 2012

Weekly Giveaway: Dead Space 2!

Hello everyone!  We are back for another edition of the weekly giveaway!  This week we are going to be giv­ing away a copy of Dead Space 2. This is a Steam copy of the game and you MUST have a Steam account to claim this prize.

The Dead Space series has been good at mixing action with some thrills and chills. This week I want you to name the game that has made you unnerved and you may have just had to sleep with the lights on for a night. The Silent Hill series has always maybe watch over my shoulder at night. I always felt uncomfortable and uneasy but could not stop playing. So just enter in the comments below. This con­test will be up from today 9/10/2012 — 9/16/2012. Won a prize from us before? No prob­lem! You can play and win as many times as you like! To qual­ify for the con­test do the following:

1. Reg­is­ter for an account (if you’ve already done so go to step 2)

2. Like us on Face­book (if you’ve already done so go to step 3)

3. Tell us what game scared you the most and why!

That’s it!  You’re qualified!

Good luck and game on!

 

System Requirements:

Processor: 2.8 GHz processor or equivalent

Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 2 GB RAM (Vista or Windows 7)

Hard Disk Space: At least 10GB of hard drive space for installation, plus additional space for saved games

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better (7300, 7600 GS, and 8500 are below minimum system requirements), ATI X1600 Pro or better (X1300, X1300 Pro and HD2400 are below minimum system requirements), 256MB Video Card and Shader Model 3.0 required

DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c

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