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

2009/02/07

Games I want to see: Ultimate Survival

I was just watching a lot of programs on TV during the week, mostly Ultimate Survival, Bushcraft, and Survivorman, and I thought, what an interesting game that would make!

Think about it: you take Far Cry 2 with its graphics, along with the weapons and gameplay, and add an interesting story, but the emphasis of the game would be surviving in the wild. You would collect food, make shelters and learn how to deal with the harsh conditions of being out in the wilderness. You could travel to jungles, rainforests, mountains, deserts, and snow-covered wastes among other locales.

Perhaps the protagonist could be a special forces soldier or a mercenary going on missions that require adapting to the environment and conditions.

All I know is, if you wanted to take the game seriously, it couldn't star these people:

Ray Mears- too fat, and would exhaust the landscape of all natural food sources, killing all the local fauna. Speaking of which, it's his birthday today! Don't eat too much cake, tubby.

Les Stroud- too bald, and would waste too much time searching for a natural cure for hair loss.

Bear Grylls- too positive and happy, and would force players to throw him off a cliff and watch him fall to his death.

Mike Rowe- too in love with himself, and would insist that there are more FMVs with the camera focusing on his face.


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On This Day: Clive Barker’s Undying

On February 7th, 2001, Undying ripped its way onto out screens. It is still regarded as one of the scariest FPSs ever by those who bothered with it- I agree with this sentiment.

The story was shaped by the imagination of famed horror writer, Clive Barker, and kept me on my seat as I took on the role of Patrick Galloway, a paranormal investigator versed in the arcane, and explored catacombs, ancient monasteries, and strange, otherworldly places similar to ones portrayed in his books, like Imagica.

It’s a shame that not many people played it; it even won Gamespot’s “Best game that no one played” award.

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2009/02/06

Games I want: Half-Life 3

Okay, so the last in the series, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was released way back in October 2007 along with the Orange Box.

Now we’re still waiting for Episode 3 to come out. After Episode 3 comes out, Valve says that it will be up to us fans to decide whether we want Episode 4
, 5, and 6, OR Half-Life 3.

Okay, now I get to state what’s on my mind here. The source engine is going on five years old now, and in the industry, that’s quite a while. That’s old, to put it bluntly. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Half-Life 2 a lot, as well as the episodes, although Episode 2 had some frustrating bugs which gave me endless hassles. The graphics in Half-Life 2 weren’t even considered that good for its time, so now they look decidedly dated as far as new games go. Although this is true, everyone raved about the use of the technology over other games like Doom 3 that allegedly didn’t reach its full potential.

I’m not all about graphics though. Half-Life 2 has a great story and gameplay, and this is continued in the episodes. Valve was adamant, back in 2005 and 6, that episodic content was the way forward in games; that we would only have to wait a few months for the next installment to come out, and that it would be cheaper than a full game. Now it seems they’re uncertain, and so are we.

We waited nearly two years after Half-Life 2 until Episode 1 came along, and then we waited over another year until Episode 2 came out. It’s now been nearly a year and a half since then, and there’s no Episode 3. Where did the plan of the 3-6 month waiting period go? In the total time that has elapsed since the release of Half-Life 2, we could have had a proper sequel, Half-Life 3, by now. And as far as my memory serves me, it wasn’t much cheaper either, and The Orange Box, while some claiming was a good deal, was a hell of scheme to get us to fork out for all their other games that use the source engine, like Team Fortress 2 and Portal, as well as HL 2 and E1

By the time it takes to get to a possible Episode 6, where will we be, 2015?

It’s not like there’s a lack of material for a sequel to be made. What happened to Black Mesa? What happened during the time that elapsed between the end of Half-Life 1 and the beginning of Half-Life 2? Where the hell is City 17? Are there other cities like it? What happened to Adrian Shepard and the HECU unit from Opposing Force? What happened before Black Mesa? There are plenty of unanswered questions that Valve could use to fuel their next chapter in the series.

I think, as enjoyable as the episodes are to play, how much longer can it go? 

I know it may be a bit much to ask, I can fully accept that a game the caliber of Half-Life 2 needs full attention from the team, but can’t Valve just concentrate on Half-Life 3, and outsource the episodes to someone else like they did with Gearbox and Opposing Force and Blue Shift? Oh, that’s right- Gearbox is working on Aliens: Colonial Marines. Well, since Valve has a history of employing people who churn out worthy mods, why don’t they get the boys who are making Black Mesa Source to do it once they’re finished?

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2009/02/05

Games I want this year: Duke Nukem Forever

"I can't take all this sitting around any more! What are you waiting for? Christmas?"- Duke

I recently posted something concerning the Duke Nukem Forever Wallpaper Pack that was released just before Christmas last year, and how I was kind of let down when I downloaded it. They could have at least put different ones in there, but in total, there were six of the same wallpaper, just at different resolutions.

So, this is the first game on my “Games I want this year” wish list.

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for ages now, and I think they should just bring it out this year, even if they sit around a table and George Broussard or Scott Miller announces, “Listen up people, we’re bringing out DNF for Christmas this year.” For once, they should actually have something called a ‘deadline’.

They should just stick with the engine they have, stick with the main plot and features and all that, and just work as hard as possible and finally GET IT OUT. It doesn’t matter if the game isn’t perfect; what do you think patches are for? Other development studios aren’t worried about releasing a half-baked game like S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky for instance, and look how many patches they’ve put out. Let’s see, we’re up to 1.5.08, I think? Some games have patches and other updates released for years afterwards, and so there’s reason that they could released DNF, and put out the odd patch out every now and again, while working on whatever they have lined up next (they do have something else in mind, right?).

It’s not that hard 3D Realms, and don’t say it is. You’ve had over ten years, and half my life I’ve waited for this game. I'm not the only one either.

If you wait any longer, then Jon St. John’s Duke Nukem impression will sound really limp and old. We don’t want an old Duke Nukem.

And if the game isn't as perfect as you wanted and sucks in the end, then won't you feel better that you wasted only twelve years and not twenty?


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Incredible donation

For the whole of February, Incredible Connection is having a trade-in special.

If you bring in your old keyboard, mouse, monitor and other stuff, you can get a discount on a newer model.

I went down there myself and traded in an ancient Acer CRT monitor and got R 400 off of a 19” Acer LCD screen! That’s nearly a 25% discount, and in addition to this, they give you a seven day swap period, where if your purchase doesn’t work, they’ll give you another model. You also get a three year warranty on monitors.

Incredible Connection states that it will give the old trade-in hardware to schools and other institutions that need them.


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2009/02/04

Ruffian Games

There's a new game development Studio by the name of Ruffian Games in town- in Dundee, Scotland of all places apparently.

The team is comprised by veterans that have worked on games like Fable 2, Crackdown, Moto GP and Grand Theft Auto. So, that's a lot of experience with cars, bikes, crime, and fantasy; interesting.

Their website is still under development with the homepage still quite empty, but they are looking to fill positions too.

http://www.ruffiangames.com/


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On This Day: The Sims

On the 4th of February 2000, The Sims was released and created a huge cult following.

One would assume by the gameplay that only desperate housewives and the like would play it, but there was a wide demographic who took great joy in playing god. 

Several of my friends had the entire collection, including all the expansions and add-ons that were available.

In 2004 there was a sequel, aptly named The Sims 2, and this too had many expansions and add-ons of its own.

Sims fans rejoice as The Sims 3 is due out this month- the 20th of February to be exact, so fingers crossed! In addition to this there will also be The Sims 3 Collector's Edition.

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2009/02/03

PC Games released today- Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

February 3, 2009 Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

According to IGN, the latest in the series of Burnout racing games is now available on PC.


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Jesper Kyd’s birthday today

Jesper Kyd turns 37 today! He was born on February 3, 1972. 

Who is Jesper Kyd, you ask? Well, he is a famous game and movie music composer. I first found out about his work while playing the Hitman series of games, and I especially like the soundtrack to Hitman: Blood Money.

Here is a rundown of all the projects he’s worked on and accolades he’s received:

Games

2008 - The Chronicles of Spellborn
2008 - The Club
2007 - Assassin's Creed
2007 - Unreal Tournament 3
2007 - Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
2006 - Hitman: Blood Money
2006 - Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
2006 - Gears of War (concept music)
2004 - Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX 2 (songs .59 -remix-, Istanbul café, and Red Room)
2004 - Robotech: Invasion
2004 - Hitman: Contracts
2004 - Todd McFarlane's Evil Prophecy
2003 - Freedom Fighters
2003 - Brute Force
2002 - Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
2002 - Minority Report: The Video Game
2001 - Shattered Galaxy
2001 - The Nations: Alien Nations 2
2000 - Hitman: Codename 47
2000 - Messiah
2000 - MDK2
2000 - Soldier (unreleased)
1999 - Time Tremors
1996 - Scorcher
1996 - Amok
1995 - Adventures of Batman and Robin
1994 - Red Zone
1993 - Subterrania
1993 - AWS Pro Moves Soccer
1989 - USS John Young

Movies

2008 - Staunton Hill
2008 - Year Zero
2007 - La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928, new score)
2006 - Sweet Insanity
2003 - Night All Day
2002 - Pure
2002 - Death of a Saleswoman

Short films

2006 - Virus
2006 - Impulse
2003 - Cycle
2002 - Pure
2002 - Paper Plane Man
2002 - Day Pass
2001 - Going with Neill
2001 - The Lion Tamer
2000 - Organizm

Trailers

Assassin's Creed TV Launch Trailer
Assassin's Creed Cello TV Trailer
Gears of War E3 Trailer
V For Vendetta (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Hitman: Blood Money TV Trailers
Hitman: Contracts TV Trailers
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin TV Trailers

Awards and nominations

2008 ELAN Awards - Best Video Game Score Winner
2007 GameSpot - Best Video Game Score Nomination
2007 3 G.A.N.G. Nominations Including Music of the Year
2006 MTV Video Music Awards - Best Video Game Score Nomination
2006 IGN Best Original Score Winner
2006 Golden Joystick Awards - Best Game Soundtrack Nomination
2006 4 G.A.N.G. Nominations Including Music of the Year
2005 BAFTA - Winner Best Original Music Award (British Academy Award)
2005 G.A.N.G. Winner Best Music for Cinamatic/Cut Scene
2005 PSE2 Editor's Choice GOLD - Freedom Fighters Soundtrack CD
2004 Billboard Awards Best Music Nomination 2004
2004 IGN - Best Soundtrack Nomination
2004 3 G.A.N.G. Nominations
2004 PSE2 Editor's Choice GOLD - Hitman Contracts Soundtrack CD
2003 GameSpot - Best Soundtrack of the Year Winner
2003 Game Reactor - Best Original Soundtrack Winner
2003 PSE2 Editor's Choice GOLD - Hitman 2 Soundtrack CD
2002 Games Agent - Best Original Soundtrack Winner
2002 GameSpot - Best Original Soundtrack Of The Year Nomination
2002 X-Sages - Soundtrack Of The Year Nomination
2002 IGN - Best Sound Nomination
2002 Action Vault - Outstanding Achievement In Music
2002 Bolt Games - Bolt Games Music Award

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On This Day- Unreal II: The Awakening

Six years ago, Unreal II: The Awakening was released. Although the name suggests that it is the sequel to Unreal, the game itself offers little in the way of continuation of the original. The only real remnant from the first game is the Skaarj, those funny lizard-like creatures with blades coming out of their hands, a total rip-off of Wolverine.

Despite this, it is a great game to play, and I must have played and clocked it a few times. Aida, the intelligence officer, was certainly a motivator in this regard.


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2009/02/02

Groundhog Day!

PC games released today:

February 2, 2009 Pristontale 2: The Second Enigma 

Apparently this is a free MMORPG. It's free to download, free to play- just plain free!


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2009/02/01

Current Gaming Trends: Nacht Der Untoten

What the hell is this Nacht Der Untoten that people are going on about lately?

Well, Call of Duty: World at War, the latest title in the COD WW II shooter series, features a bonus level that has this name, which translates from German into ‘Night of the Living Dead’. The level is unlocked once you finish the main campaign as far as I know, since I’ve played the game.

It can be played in both single-player and multi-player mode, and it entails human players as soldiers taking on German zombies. It’s only one map though, and yet so much fuss is being made over it. It plays similarly to Counter-strike, with money being awarded for doing certain tasks and you are able to open up certain areas of the level and buy weapons and other equipment with your hard-fought-over cash. It could also be compared to Left 4 Dead, another game with zombies released lately.

You progress through rounds that get harder as you go, with stronger zombies that also grow in number and are faster.

NAG magazine has really taken to this map lately, even producing a strategy guide and a custom made wallpaper. It seems to obviously be an office favourite when they’re slacking off as usual, and nearly missing deadlines.

Oh well, we’ll see how long it lasts, unless there’s a map pack full of zombie missions released.
Perhaps an original title like 'Tag Der Untoten' would be fitting.
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What does AAA stand for?

It's not an abbreviation of anything. It just means the best of the best... 

"Well, now you know the truth: Apocalypso's Atomic Arcade!"

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