World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2009/01/31

Worthwhile PC games coming out in February 2009

February 10, 2009 - F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

This is the sequel to F.E.A.R., and it should be a cracking good game. I’m not too sure about the release date (R.D.), because in some magazine adverts, it states ‘end of February’.

February 19, 2009 - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II 

For those who are fans of the Warhammer series. I’m not particularly one of them.
   
February 20, 2009 - The Sims 3 

February 20, 2009 - The Sims 3 Collector's Edition
   
For desperate housewives, wannabe interior decorators and architects everywhere.

February 24, 2009 - The Godfather II

The first one was boring, unimaginative, and smelled of a cash- in. I hope this one is better. It’s likely they’ll bring out a Godfather III to match the film trilogy, unless this one bombs.

February 24, 2009 - ShellShock 2: Blood Trails

I saw the trailer for this game, and it looks pretty awesome. I didn’t play the first game though. They’ve made the switch from third person to first person shooter, and it looks tons more exciting.

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On This Day: Final Fantasy VII, Silent Hill

Two games that were released on January 31st in gaming history are Final Fantasy VII and Silent Hill, in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

Final Fantasy VII is regarded as one of the best games in the series and of all time, and it eventually came over to the PC after nearly a year and half later. Silent Hill is the progenitor of the now famous Silent Hill horror franchise that includes several sequels and a movie. It was never released onto the PC, although there is an unofficial conversion.


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2009/01/30

Fallout is spreading

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage has been released as of the 27th of January.

In the pack, there are new enemies, allies, weapons, and perks among other things.

According to IGN, Fallout has taken over the charts with the top ten being occupied by:

Fallout 3 at no.1,
Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage at no.2,
Fallout 3 CE at no .3,
Fallout 3 (Survival Edition) at no.4,
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel at no.6,
Fallout at no.7,
and Fallout 2 at no. 9

There are two more DLC packs for Fallout 3 coming soon, including The Pitt in February and Broken Steel in March.


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2009/01/29

When it’s dumb: Duke Nukem Forever



There’s been a new wallpaper pack released for Duke Nukem Forever recently, and I got it off the NAG cover DVD.

As you can see from left to right, they are: What looks like a Battlelord, the Octabrain, an Enforcer, a Pig Cop, Cycloid Emperor and what looks like an alien trooper. It looks kind of goofy, in my opinion.

This was apparently released just in time for Christmas. I wish instead of this, they’d released the actual game. Think about how many sales they would have made. It would have overshadowed practically any other title on the market.

2009 marks twelve years since DNF was officially first announced in April 1997, although 3D Realms claims that actual development only began later. Promotional media for the game was released in one form or another in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007, and 2008.

Remember the trailer in 2001 from E3? The game looked awesome with the Unreal engine, and for the time, I thought it would have been an excellent game. Just think, they could have released it, brought out a sequel by now, and possibly even started on a new game.

I will try my best to hold back my venom when I play the game and write one of my RRR articles for it, when and if it is actually released. It won’t be perfect, even though Joe Siegler claims that’s what they were aiming for all along, and I will think long and hard about deducting 10 points out of a hundred right off the bat for taking so long with it.

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On This Day: Duke Nukem 3D


On this day, January 29, back in 1996, Duke Nukem 3D was unleashed on the world. 

Duke Nukem 3D was the third title in the main series of Duke Nukem games, preceded by Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II.

Duke Nukem 3D was featured in many compilations and was one of the most ported games in history, arriving on many different consoles. It also received several expansions, an atomic edition upgrade with a new episode, and massive level packs. Other Duke games include Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project and the elusive direct sequel, Duke Nukem Forever.

The first time I ever got my hands on it was back in 1996 towards the end of the year when my friend was given it as a reward for a good school report (he was a bit of a dunce). For the next three years, I played it to death.

It is still very much alive to this day, with many fan sites and communities still active across the net, and modding teams dedicated to developing new and improved features like source ports, high resolution packs, and fan mixes of the iconic soundtrack, especially the theme song, Grabbag.

I’ve recently written an article on Duke Nukem 3D under my Classic Games Resurrected series if you haven’t had a look yet. There are plenty of links to resources that will see you digging out your copy or perhaps buying it, and playing it again in awe.

Happy thirteenth, Duke!

Other notable games that were released this month in gaming history:

Ken's Labyrinth

January 1, 1993

Alien Trilogy

January 1, 1996

Diablo

January 2, 1997
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TTLG.com hanging by a thread

TTLG.com has run into a little trouble as of late. I’ve been a member of the site for about a year and a half and over the last weekend I couldn’t access it or thief-the circle.com at all. It looks like they're going cap in hand on this one. This piece should explain it all.

“Ok, here's the skinny.

The server has gone down, and I don't know why. Saam, who along with Digi, is one of the founders of TTLG and hosts the site on his business line for free. It's on it's own server, but because we have no income, it is little more than a standard PC, and for the last week or so it's been a bit flaky.

Anyway, Saam appears to have gone AWOL as of Wednesday, and the server went down on Thursday. It also appears that his cell phone is off. And to make matters slightly worse, I am on the other side of the planet.

Anyway, once Saam returns, gives the server a kick, TTLG should come back online.

We will then be looking for some donations (which I hate doing) to move TTLG to a commercial host along with all the other sites and stuff in the text file I wrote that someone posted earlier ( http://web.mac.com/davidcornish/stuff/ttlg.txt ) including giving the donators something in return. Email addresses, hosting, custom titles, FM Beta Forums, custom colourschemes - that sort of thing.

We may have some money in our account already, but Saam controls that and I don't know the status of it. I bought the recent forum upgrade myself as Saam wasn't around then, so it could be empty, or it may have a few bucks in it.

The hosting I am looking it is a dedicated server with root access, 4GB of RAM, 2TB of transfer on a shared 100mbps connection. Ideal for TTLG and my various plans. Or it would be if it wasn't for the £120 a month charge. Thankfully this i a good time to be buying UK hosting as the £ is doing so badly against the dollar and the euro it makes donating cheaper! £10 = €10/$13, whereas in 2007 £10 = €15/$20

Finally, the usual temporary forum is not up as I foolishly did not renew the hosting thinking I would not need it until I redid my own site, AwesomeExpress. What a stupid idea that turned out to be.

I know this sucks, and I'm terribly sorry. I find it incredibly frustrating to be sitting here in the UK utterly powerless to do anything to bring TTLG back.”- David

Update: It looks as though they've raised $ 4000! That's pretty good in only a few days. It just shows how much they appreciate one another's...erm, company on those forums.


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2009/01/28

Windows XP: The seven year itch is over

I read an article in the Techno Times supplement of the Cape Times recently, and apparently Windows XP is now being edged out slowly, and Vista's coming in. Microsoft allegedly gives each operating system about a ten year span. The first five years is for free guaranteed mainstream support, and that apparently comes to a close in April 2009. After this, it enters the extended support period which will last until 2014. If you add it up, it’s actually thirteen years since its release in 2001 to 2014, so XP has had quite a long run so far, and will continue for the next five years it seems, and software and hardware companies will have to continue supporting it for the duration.

If this is the case with every Operating System, then there’s little one can do. When Vista first came out, there were some very mixed reactions, with many judging that it did not differ so greatly from XP to merit it as a new OS. Even on performance benchmark tests, XP SP3 is on a level with and even outperforms Vista. Many have stuck with XP, and according to statistics, out of more than one billion computers worldwide, approximately 700 million of them have XP, with the remaining 300 million using Vista or another OS.

How desperate is Microsoft anyway? It’s a multi-billion dollar company; it’s not like they need the money.

It started off with Microsoft only letting Direct X 10 be compatible with Vista, boycotting XP users, and making them upgrade to Vista- and a new OS isn’t cheap. Then they come with this nonsense about now not having free support for us anymore.

I stuck with XP after I read and heard many arguments that Vista isn’t worth it, even one by John Carmack of id Software. In fact, I like playing classic games so much, and I’ve just got them working with XP, and I have everything the way I want it. I don’t need to switch right now, and most likely I won’t switch for the next five years until nothing supports it anymore, and I’m forced into it.

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2009/01/27

Where has all the music gone?


I originally sent this as an e-mail to NAG magazine recently.

I’ve been playing through all the Doom games lately along with the Doomsday sourceport that makes playing them on XP a cinch. 

While I was doing this, even though some are catchy, I laughed at the MIDI songs blasting out of my speakers, but after a while I realized something.

Games sure have become quieter, haven’t they?

Most developers go for atmospheric sound and music, maybe with the occasional flare up of dramatic music when the mood strikes, but beyond that they are a lot quieter. Gone are the days of the 1990s when you had a soundtrack playing all throughout the level. True, it did get irritating after a while, but look at how Sonic Clang pulled it off with their songs that accompanied the Classic Doom mod for Doom 3.

Doom 3 itself didn’t even have a soundtrack apart from the main menu music, and probably the last games that did were Quake 2 and Quake 3. Quake 2 still has one of the best OSTs ever, IMO.

Some people have even taken to remaking the old songs from Blood, Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, because they like to relive the good old days.

Wouldn’t it be great if more games had a proper dark, broody soundtrack with guitars and drums, and not this dramatic techno or classical stuff playing? Think of how it would sound nowadays compared to the original Doom games.

Here are a couple of sites where you can find more modern mp3 versions of old game OSTs.

http://www.neuro-lab.net/music/main.html

http://www.markmcwane.com/
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2009/01/26

Looking for game resources?


Have you ever been dying to find resources for your favourite games? Have you ever browsed through forums or tried to search the net unsuccessfully? Of course you have, and still do, and you will for years to come!

That’s why I decided to come in with my Classic Games Resurrected project on HubPages.com.
My plan is to write an article for as many games from the 90s as I can, detailing what it’s like to play the old games as they were when they were first brought out, or as near as possible, and what is available on the net today to revitalize them a bit.

I’ve also got another project on there that covers the newer games that have come out, like
Fallout 3 for instance.

It’s not entirely true to call it a review; maybe a retrospective ‘then-and-now’ is better. I set them out similarly to Wikipedia, but with more in the way of external links and resources. I’ve read that some people call it an informational resource, which I can live with.

I try to google as much of the information as possible, or sometimes I have to use a bit of ingenuity and follow trails of certain sites that have suspiciously disappeared. I make a habit of checking my links to see if that site is still in existence.

If you ever need something for a game, then try out my articles. The write up includes the ‘then and now’ approach to the game in question, like Doom
for example, and then there is a plethora of links at the bottom of the page as well. So there, problem solved, and I do all the searching for you!

Here’s what I try my absolute best to find on the net:

Demos, patches and other updates, mods, maps and add-ons, prequels, sequels, source ports, high resolution packs, sound, music, pictures, screenshots, wallpapers, videos and trailers, cheats, Easter eggs, FAQs, trainers and walkthroughs, desktop themes and other websites of interest.

That’s quite a list, and it usually takes quite a while to find it all.

In addition to all that, there are also pictures, videos, the game’s box image, developer and release information, a list of every game in the that game’s franchise, as well as links to Amazon, where you can pick up the games and other extras and collectibles that you want to get your hands on.


So don’t forget to check out http://hubpages.com/_10i99ywqqk5ny/profile/ANDR01D regularly. I try to put a new page up every now and again.

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2009/01/25

Recent Release Reviews



Another project that I have going on HubPages.com, is taking a look at new games as well as the classic games.

There are also plenty of pics, vids, and links to sites that have something to do with the games.
I’ve written articles for Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway, Call of Duty: World at War, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3. In fact Fallout 3 was part of the inspiration for the theme of this blog.

Anyway, here are the games I’ve worked on so far, and hopefully more will follow during the year:


http://hubpages.com/hub/Brothers-in-Arms-Hells-Highway
http://hubpages.com/hub/Call-of-Duty-WAW
http://hubpages.com/hub/Fallout-3-game
http://hubpages.com/hub/Red-Alert-3
http://hubpages.com/hub/Far-Cry-2-game

And of course, here’s the homepage where you’ll find them:


http://hubpages.com/_10i99ywqqk5ny/profile/ANDR01D
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