2012 October

October 31, 2012

Risen 2: Dark Waters Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our Risen 2: Dark Waters giveaway. The winners are:

– Darklurkr23 (The ARRRRRRRRRRRRREA 51)
– loozer (Dark Wings)
– unreal713 (The Flames of Atlantis)
– angiem32 (Lady of the Water)
– Greig spencer (The Jolly Podger)
– belinda3 (Bella)
– suewilly (The Ghoul­ish Galleon)
– Wadestark (The Wraith)
– Moby (The Crusty Lady)
– gingerjess13 (The Ginger Parrot)

We will be contacting each of the winners this week to get the game sent out. We hope you are having a great Halloween and please do look out for our next giveaway, coming soon!

Thanks once again to our friends at Koch Media for providing the prizes for the giveaway and also allowing us to interview Björn Pankratz, Project Direc­tor at Piranha Bytes.

October 30, 2012

The Staff has rounded up our Halloween Favorites!

 

 

If Hurricane Sandy has your Halloween plans washed out (saying that you have power)* or would rather spend all hallows eve playing a game or watching a movie in the dark with the surround sound cranked to 11, then we have a list a great games for you to enjoy while downing unhealthy amounts of sugary goodness.

 

TattooedKitty –  Guild Wars 2: The Shadow of the Mad King

In the battle for the best MMO Halloween content, Guild Wars 2 has really pulled out all the stops this year to become my top Halloween recommendation and something is definitely stirring across Tyria. The story goes that 500 years ago a tyrannical king was slain by his long suffering people and his spirit banished to the underworld. However, for one day a year he can return to our world – yes, that day is Halloween! The Halloween content runs from the 22nd October until the 1st November and is broken up into 4 acts that gradually feed in more activities, puzzles and events and come together on Halloween for the main event. As I write this, Act 2 has already been rolled out and we have already been able to go through the haunted doors into the Mad King’s realm, as you would expect there is some great work coming out of the guys at ArenaNet and the Lunatic Inquisition battleground is definitely not to be missed. The event story lines, in-game atmosphere, puzzles, community and depth of thinking that’s gone into this content all make this the perfect game to be playing this Halloween – I’ll be there, will you?

 

 

Brad “thsoundman”

I’ve got several recommendations for the holiday.  One of them is an oldie but a goodie.  The first recommendation I have for the holiday is System Shock 2… I consider that one of the classics for horror.  Sitll gives me the creeps.  The second reccommendation I have is Resident Evil 4.  While your running through the sewers.  I still consider it one of the most terrifying moments in video game history.  Some other games that deserve honorable mention are:

F.E.A.R
Quake 4
Dead Space *I refuse to play that again because of the dead babies*!

Joe “ScrotusKilmystr”

My pick for some great creepy horror gamming on Halloween would have to be Dead Space! You play Isaac Clark, an engineer sent to perform repairs on the mining vessel Ishimura when you get there you find a derelict hulk floating in space and suddenly find yourself trying to survive the crew that has mutated into something dark, something EVIL! Great scary atmosphere, fun gameplay with something wanting to end you around every corner this game has everything you need for a Halloweenin good time!   If you’re not into action Sci-fi horror games and you are looking for something that’s paced a little different but will give that scary thrill I might also suggest the original Resident Evil! Sure the graphics are dated and the dialogue is awful but this game so very delivers the scares! Both games are great but Resident Evil might be hard to get a hold of but Dead Space should be readily available on the cheap at your local gaming store or favorite digital download site!

Rick “CABXYZ”

What I am recommending may not be the scariest or most gruesome game out there but has such a Twilight Zone feel that leaving it off this list would be a shame; Alan Wake & Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. Both games are on sale right now on Steam and the latter is on sale on XBL. Both titles have a fantastic atmosphere and I can’t help but here Futurama’s Scary Door reference every time I boot them up. Since Joe and Brad took the rest of my recommendations, there are two games out there that still creep me out, Doom 3 and Condemned: Criminal Origins. Doom 3 just released the BFG edition, which I picked up. When I got home, I turned the lights out, cranked up the volume and prepared to jump quite a bit. I know it’s a series of monster closets and cheap scares but they still get me everytime. Condemned is just creepy from the start. The first time you walk into the department store to and feel the mannequins creeping up in your peripheral vision just makes me on edge.

*We hope that everyone is safe and hope for the best to everyone that is in Hurricane Sandys path. Hopefully everyone will get to enjoy the holiday that goes bump in the night. Be safe!
*Halo Pumpkin designed and carved by Patrick Mounts, image used under permission.

October 26, 2012

Boldly going where no Star Trek fan has gone before

Artemis Game Logo

Let me introduce you to Artemis, the starship bridge simulator where you get the chance to captain your own starship along with your very own crew. There are 6 possible roles: captain, helmsman, weapons officer, engineer, science officer and communications officer – everyone but the captain (who is issuing the orders) gets their own screen and you all need to work together in your respective roles to complete the mission. Artemis is not an official Star Trek game, but it’s every Trek fans dream, just choose your role and get started.

How it works?

Whoever hosts the game is the captain, everyone else then connects to the captains computer via the IP address, and although the game creator designed the game with all members of the crew being in the same room (like a real starship bridge), version 1.1 added a server option that lets you adjust the network update speed, so Artemis plays across the internet as well and you can link up with your crew over voice chat. The game can be downloaded from the Artemis website here: https://sites.fastspring.com/artemis/instant/artemisspaceshipbridgesimulator and costs £26 – but one copy of the game is enough for a 6-person crew, this copy is onto each of the crew PCs.

There is a demo version of the game, but this only gives you the helmsman and weapons officer stations. Also, to play the full version you can just have a helmsman, weapons officer and captain, so a 3-man crew is possible.

What do you need to play?

A Windows PC (although you can get it to work on a Mac using various methods of course) running DirectX 9 and a crew.

Check out the You Tube video below for a great example of the gameplay:

For more information about Artemis visit the website: http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

October 25, 2012

XCOM a Refreshing Deviation From The Mainstream

First I must say that I am sorry that I have been gone so long.  Between work and school I have had absolutely no time for anything.  Thankfully things are starting to trim back a bit for me so I should able to start bringing you guys quality articles again.  Thanks for sticking with me and a big thank you to Cat and Cab to keeping things lively around here.

I finally got some time to game the other day and decided to pick up XCOM: Enemy Unkown.  Funny thing is that I had no idea what to expect with this game.  I actually expected an FPS and what I got was something completely different.  It’s actually a turn based strategy game and I didn’t expect that at all… and that’s refreshing in itself.

I’ve noticed a trend lately with games and it’s following… over the top action, monotony, and gameplay that is so easy and guided that a zombie could do it.  Speaking of which there are some of those in XCOM but thats another story.  This game actually makes you think when you play.  You cannot just send your squad into the fray and then expect to come out unscathed with kittens and unicorns singing your praises.  There is a solid finality to the game, especially if you play in the games realistic mode which does not allow you to save.  Once you make a decision it is final and it can be heart breaking.  You lose an experienced of your squad and it can be detrimental to your game.

The maps are varied so your stragegies always have to plan out your attack.  The combat is ever so exciting and some of the dialogue is very amusing.  So far I am really enjoying XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC) I would recommend picking this gem up.

How many of you have had a chance to play XCOM so far?  What do you think?

October 21, 2012

Star Trek 2013 at Destination Star Trek London

TK and Sy at DSTL 2012Today saw the close of Destination Star Trek London (DSTL), there was something for every fan with all five captains in attendance: William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula. The new Star Trek game which is due for release in early 2013, showcased at both E3 and Gamescom, was also at DSTL where they again showed the 3D trailer – complete with some pretty cool Nvidia battery powered 3D glasses. Although it was the same trailer as seen at Gamescom, this time Namco Bandai Games who were presenting it had added a developer commentary which was a bonus for the fans and helped to explain some of the gameplay and dynamics which included the modified phaser used by Kirk which is a custom weapon for that character.

We’ll have more information about this game on the blog as it becomes available as being a big fan it’s a game that’s going to be close to my heart. In the meantime check out these game trailers here, second one thrown in to show the main game antagonists, the Gorn.

October 21, 2012

Gaming in Stereo: Nintendo Anniversary Edition

 

This is a group of songs I have wanted to feature for a couple of weeks now. The Zelda 25th Anniversary CD has been lying around my desk for a while and it’s on every MP3 playing device I have but I have never seemed to feature it. This was the CD that came packaged in with Skyward Sword and the concert series followed to celebrate the 25th anniversary. The second song and the bonus track are from the Kirby 20th anniversary collection. I was really surprised with the Kirby collection, the game assortment, the book, and the CD were better in my opinion than the Mario 25th anniversary; but Mario got his own special edition Wii. (Just think if Kirby had a special edition pink console, I’d trade my Mario one in for that.) The pink puff ball is one of my favorite Nintendo characters and one of my favorite fighters in Smash Brothers and finally getting to feature some of his tunes is a great honor.

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The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement

Ocarina of Time is my favorite Zelda, but Wind Waker comes in at a very close second; though, Wind Waker has the superior soundtrack. I could sit for hours and listen to the music that is played while sailing around the hub world (around the 2:14 mark and then again around the 4:50 mark). The lower strings just made sailing such a delight; I guess I’m one of the few people that really enjoyed the sailing aspect of the game. There are two other spots in this arrangement I wanted to point out. One is at the 6:05 mark and is an epic fanfare followed but a sweet and subtle rendition of the main Zelda theme that just makes the Zelda nerd inside scream for joy. The other is at the 9:13 mark which has an old sailing tone to it and closes the arrangement out in fantastic style. It’s quite a long tune but well worth your time to listen.

 

Kirby’s Dream Collection – Green Greens: Epic Yarn

Kirby is awesome. The pink puffballs first outing on the Wii was a departure both in game play and in the visual department. Epic Yarn was a visual masterpiece and had Kirby changing shape instead of getting power-ups from the inhaled enemies. The soundtrack was just as cheek pinching cute as the game itself. This was a new rendition of the classic Kirby theme Green Greens. It starts with a soft piano and eventually grows with more instruments joining the theme. If your ever in a bad mood this song is guaranteed to make things right.

 

Bonus Track: Kirby’s Dream Collection – Vegetable Valley

Kirby’s Adventure was my first Kirby game. My parents still weren’t sold on the SNES and I continued with the NES for a while, Kirby’s Adventure was a NES title that shipped after the SNES hit the market. This song holds a special place in my gaming heart. Dueling with Meta Knight, a handful of fun mini games, and this was the first title to feature Kirby’s copying ability, just made the whole game magical in my young eyes. When I bought the Kirby Dream Collection for the Wii Kirby’s Adventure was the first game I fired up, and it is still awesome after all this time. To see Kirby dance after the end stage mini game brought a tear to my eye. Kirby you can have this dance; enjoy!

October 21, 2012

Halo 4 Video Blowout!

 

343 has finished Halo 4 and now the marketing machine has primed the ignition and all thrusters are go! The wonderful web series “Forward Unto Dawn” is on it’s third episode and Microsoft has released the launch trailer for Halo 4, which almost gives the chief’s face away, but those sly boots only tease; his face is still a mystery. Below is a culmination of the videos that have come out since the beginning of October. There is the three episodes from “Forward Unto Dawn” and the launch trailer dubbed “Scanned”. I have befallen the hype train, being the local Halo nerd, all these videos are a really strong tease and November 6th can’t get here fast enough. Any preview track I receive from the soundtrack I listen to on repeat constantly, Neil Davidge has done a phenomenal job at creating something that sounds like the old Halo/O’Donnell score but comes off as something new and really holds it’s own. I’ll stop letting my inner fanboy talk and leave you with the videos. Halo 4 is out on November 6th.

 

October 18, 2012

Elite Services for CoD Black Ops 2 will be Free

Activision Blizzard have announced that the Call of Duty Elite Services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be made free. Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg said in a statement “What we have realized is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community. So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”

As a free service for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the Call of Duty Elite platform includes new and enhanced features such as:

Player HQ
Clan HQ
Zombies Support
Call of Duty Elite TV
Social Sharing and Notifications

The worldwide launch is set to be the 13th November 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Fans can find more information at http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2, on facebook at www.facebook.com/codblackops or on Twitter by following @Treyarch.

October 17, 2012

10 Reasons I Love Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Concept Art

Balancing GW2 and WoW game time is a fine art, which I have to tell you I haven’t yet mastered! Of late I’ve been playing a hell of a lot more GW2 and jumping on my soap box telling everyone why I’m enjoying it so much, so I thought I’d actually put text to editor and run through what makes GW2 such an amazing game for me.

1. It’s all about grouping and playing together, you aren’t forced together but form a natural alliance that allows you to achieve your objective, grouping is so easy in GW2 and it makes the game so much more enjoyable. It’s inclusive rather than exclusive, bringing people together rather than pushing some people out because they have done the endless gear grind.

2. There are no ‘kill 10 mountain lion’ quests, GW2 is all about dynamic events that unfold as you travel around the world, you really feel engaged in the story e.g., repelling a bandit attack on a village, rather than focusing on the number of targets you have to eliminate.

3. You don’t need a dedicated tank and healer to form a group and everyone has the ability to resurrect a fellow player.

4. High and low level players can play the game together, the high level player is just scaled to the level of the area, this means it’s not a walk in the park for the higher level player and keeps it interesting. You still do a bit more damage, but the mobs are still a challenge, and more importantly the quests give you loot that is appropriate to your level.

5. There is no subscription fee, meaning that I don’t need to worry about multiple subscriptions running at the same time and not getting value from each one of them – you can stop playing and not have to worry about cancelling any subscription. You can even come back in a few months time and pick it up again, as if you’d never left, your character will be sitting there, just like you left it. And who cares if your friends are all level 80? They can come play with you and be dropped down to an appropriate level so you can all enjoy the game together.

6. The addition of vistas to locate and view is a fantastic idea, some of them definitely get you thinking and once you get to the location you’re rewarded with amazing views of the landscape. The art of GW2 is stunning and comes alive with detail, it’s quite simply a sight to behold and you can’t fail to be in awe of it – one amazing job done there.

7. Really engaging story lines for your character with the ability to stop and start the storyline whenever you want, e.g., when you want to focus on events or professions instead. You play the game how you want to play it, exploration is a key part and scouts in each area point out areas of interest that you can choose to go an investigate.

8. The GW2 community is really friendly and helpful and Arenanet are constantly updating and fixing the game to ensure optimal gameplay.

9. I can carry a whole range of weapons and each weapon that I use has it’s own abilities which are unlocked as you get more experience. As well as wielding an impressive arsenal I can also swap weapons during combat which changes all my abilities.

10. You are no longer separated from the rest of the world on your server, if you don’t like your community then you can play in another one, simple.

October 16, 2012

Rocksmith Released for PC!

For anyone who has been to Steam’s front page today that statement goes without saying. The “new releases” list with DLC turned on looks like so:

 

 

There’s about three or four pages of the initial release, and DLC songs and song packs. But regardless, the game has finally hit the PC a year after it was supposed to following a demo released a week or so ago. Included with it is the entire bass DLC package, allowing you to play both guitar and bass guitar with your PC. For obvious reasons it does not include the cable required to connect your guitar/bass to your PC and play the game, but it can be ordered from Ubisoft’s own store or many other online retailers, as well as brick and mortar stores like Best Buy. Cables from the 360/PS3 version will also work for the PC version as I have tested this out myself in the PC demo. Also allegedly included are numerous fixes and features that I lamented over in my two brief hands-ons with the game, both of which you can read here, and here.

 

Rocksmith will set you back $49.99 on Steam, and the cable will cost approximately $20-$30 depending on where you purchase it.

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