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

2009/08/15

Order Guitar Hero 5 and get Guitar Hero: Van Halen for FREE


Activision
is giving away a free copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen when you buy Guitar Hero 5.

Also included is
a $5 Amazon MP3 credit good toward the music tracks from the game and $5 Amazon MP3 music downloads credit.

Guitar Hero 5 with Free Guitar Hero:Van Halen and More at Amazon

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Direct2Drive Video Game Deals- Trine at 25% off


Trine is now at 75% of its original price. I've looked at this game, and I wouldn't actually mind playing it myself. It looks quite good, and reminiscent of some older games like the
Lost Vikings or something.

Trine-25% off
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2009/08/14

The Joy That is Remastered Video Game Soundtracks

Okay, so I lied when I said that I wouldn’t cover anything more to do with John Romero. But one of his latest tweets has this to say, and this continued into a conversation with George Broussard of 3D Realms which I thought I would include in this post:

“Listening to Duke 3D soundtrack while working......oh yeah....”

"The Duke3D soundtrack mp3s? I listen to them a lot. In fact, last week i had the whole 42 song collection on repeat/shuffle."

I like to listen to music sometimes when I write or just when the mood strikes me, and I also enjoy listening to video game soundtracks; among those, Duke Nukem 3D’s. But the old midi tracks from the nineties only bring me so much joy. True, it does bring a retro, nostalgic feeling to mind, but where it’s really at is when old video game soundtracks are remastered by fans or even sometimes the games’ composers.

What I like is Mark McWane’s Duke Nukem 3D tracks- remastered mp3 versions of the old midis. They are also available in OGG format, and most of them are excellent and faithful covers or interpretations of the old tracks.

He also has the Blood soundtrack on his site as well, remastered, naturally, as well as a few tracks done on request, which include some from Shadow Warrior, Wolfenstein 3D, and Witchaven, among others. Mark has been doing these for years, but he was mostly actively involved in 2004 and 2005, and since then seems to have other things preoccupying his time. I have contacted him before to tell him “good job”, and I hope that he continues with these projects. I wish he or somebody else would try to remake all of the game soundtracks from the nineties.

Some modmakers even have plans to use the remastered Duke Nukem 3D tracks of his in their source ports for the game. I can’t remember which one, but EDuke32 is the best in my book bar none, along with the HRP pack, Polymer and DukePlus. An astounding combined effort. If only paid game developers worked so hard, especially to revive older (classic) games…

I’ve also come across many attempts to cover songs from Doom and Doom II on the internet. Most of these are at DoomWorld, although some are hosted elsewhere. Likely some of the best covers were found at hellonearthsound, where Neurological and Sonic Clang featured many songs which had proper guitars and drums playing, and perhaps the odd piano twinkle. Sadly this site seems to have been closed.

Sonic Clang’s tracks were featured in the Classic Doom mod for Doom 3, and they can be found at DoomWorld as far as I know.

I contacted Neurological about HOES it and he claimed that he may or may not reopen the site at a later date. I also asked him if the tracks were archived anywhere, and he replied that to his knowledge they weren’t anywhere else on the net. When I informed him that I had pretty much all of his Doom and Doom II tracks, he told me I had his permission to host them somewhere. He added that those tracks were mainly cr@p, and that he’s working on newer and better ones, at his other site- he’s modest too.

I should either look for those tracks again on the net to save myself time and effort or upload them myself sometime (the hard way).
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Apocalypse Then: Motocross Madness



Developer: Rainbow Studios

Publisher: Microsoft Games

Platform: Microsoft Windows

Genre: Racing, Sport

Release date: August 14, 1998

On this day in gaming, in 1998, Motocross Madness was released.

It was the first of two games in the series, and obviously as the name suggests puts you in control of a motocross rider on a bike, taking on numerous obstacles, many of which you can make with the included course editor.

What I thought was funny is that some claim the game is known for its realism, and yet in the game there is a complete lack of any foliage, like trees of bushes. These were hastily added in the sequel, Motocross Madness 2.

Apart from that it was good fun, and the crashes were quite hilarious too, and some of them would likely lead to paralysis or death in real life.

You can pick up
Motocross Madness if you want to play a classic. Otherwise you can also try Motocross Madness 2.

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2009/08/13

Apocalypse Then: Alien vs. Predator



Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Produced by: Gordon Carroll, John Davis, David Giler, Walter Hill
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner
Studio: Davis Entertainment
Distributed: by 20th Century Fox
Release date: August 13, 2004
Running time: 101 minutes

On this day, in 2004, the movie Alien vs. Predator was released.

It was the first of two films so far that have covered the famous rivalry, thought up back in the eighties in comics after the original movies Alien, and Predator- initially two separate series, and later made into video games, between the terrifying Aliens or Xenomorphs and the legendary Predators, hunters of the galaxies, and the humans stuck in the middle of the conflict.

AvP is a sequel to the Predator films and a prequel to the Alien series.

The cast was mostly all new and unknown except for Lance Henriksen, who played the android "Bishop" in the Alien series, specifically Aliens and Alien 3.

Despite a generally poor reception with critics and fans alike, the film was a financial success, and prompted the making of a sequel. If AvP was bad, then AvP 2 or AvP- Requiem was even worse, in my opinion.

James Cameron liked AvP though, surprisingly, although his initial reaction upon hearing about the project was bad. He ranked it as his third favourite “Alien film” out of the entire series. The first is likely Aliens- his film, which many regard as the best and one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.

Ridley Scott, director of the first film, Alien, was quite indifferent, and Sigourney Weaver, who played Ellen Ripley in the Alien series, hated it. Arnold, who played "Dutch" in Predator, was too busy being the Governator of Cauliflower to notice.


I’ve watched the film a few times, and I thought that quite a lot of work went into it while filming, after reading up about it online. The story and some of the elements in it sort of made sense, but the end result of the film just didn’t win me over that much. Among things that I didn’t like were not many well-known or good actors, the “friendly” predator (the Predator should have killed the woman at the end- that would have caused a bit of shock and restored his edge and ruthlessness that we’ve come to know), and bad lighting.

You can pick up Aliens vs. Predator here. Otherwise you can also try Aliens vs. Predator- Requiem.
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2009/08/12

Direct2Drive Video Game Deals- Call of Duty: World at War


Over at D2D this week, there are some nice deals, and one of them is a major deal on Call of Duty: World at War!

Call of Duty: World at War is available for 50% of the usual price, World of Goo, an indie title, is on sale for 50% off this week, on both PC and Mac, The Witcher Enhanced Edition Director's Cut is on sale for 30% off its normal price and Death to Spies: Moment of Truth is on sale for 20% of its normal price.

Below are direct links to the games' pages where you can get these deals, and there are new links at the top of the page which reads "Deals on Direct2Drive" as well.

World of Goo- 50% Off
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World of Goo- 50% Off- (Mac Version)
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The Witcher Enhanced Edition Director's Cut- 30% Off
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Death to Spies: Moment of Truth- 20% Off
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Call of Duty: World at War- 50% Off
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2009/08/11

Fallout 3 gave me Tinnitus

It was sometime this year. I’d gotten Fallout 3 the year before and had been playing it for a while, maybe a month or so.

I was wondering around the D.C. Wasteland and just as I was enjoying my scenic jog, I encountered one of those Super Mutants. You know, the green, ugly b@stards that look kind of like the Incredible Hulk, except they’re bald, and have an affinity for assault rifles.

I went straight into V.A.T.S. mode and targeted him with my Laser Rifle.
I opened fire and watched as the flashes hits the monster and disintegrated him. At this point, the sound that was generated and came through my new headset that I’d gotten for Christmas was excruciatingly loud and painful.

It turns out that actions, and therefore sounds, in V.A.T.S. are slowed down considerably, and that sound lingered for perhaps too long.
For the next week or two, I had a strange feeling in my left ear, which lingers to this day somewhat. It felt blocked, and if I whistled, it created a strange feeling and sound. At night, when I tried to sleep, that ear became very sensitive, and picked up every sound; crackling and buzzing, whistling and whining. I figured it must have damaged my ear somehow, perhaps the ear drum. Maybe I had tinnitus.

Whatever the case, I kept it to myself and never saw a doctor.
Fallout 3 damaged my ear. I came to the conclusion that if you use V.A.T.S., and you have a laser or plasma weapon which characteristically, and usually, melts or disintegrates enemies, turn down the sound on your speakers or headset.

Thank you. Of course I still play the game.
biggrin
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Apocalypse Then: System Shock 2



Developers: Irrational Games, Looking Glass Studios
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Designers: Ken Levine
Composer: Eric Brosius
Engine: Enhanced Dark Engine (Thief)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast (cancelled)
Release date: August 11, 1999
Genres: First-person shooter, Action RPG, Action-adventure, Survival horror

On this day in gaming, in 1999, System Shock 2 was released. Today marks the tenth anniversary of this classic game.

If I ever made a list of my favourite games of all time, System Shock 2 would be somewhere near the top, probably even ahead of BioShock.

System Shock 2 is a hybrid between an FPS and an RPG, and is the sequel to System Shock, released in 1994. Commercially it wasn’t a huge success, but has generated a cult following over the years. Critics regard it as one of the greatest games ever made. It has influenced other games such as Deus Ex and Doom 3, and has spawned a series of spiritual successors in BioShock and BioShock 2.

Rumours have been going around for a few years as regards a third title in the series, after the trademark on the name was renewed.

The game places the player at first on earth where he undertakes basic training before joining one of three branches of the UNN, a military organisation- the marines, the navy, or the OSA. After this, the player is launched into space where, for three years, he undergoes advanced training, one year at each post. This eventually ends up in him being transferred to the Rickenbacker, a ship which is escorting the UNN Von Braun, an FTL (faster than light) starship which is undertaking its maiden voyage into the unknown reaches of space. Aboard the Von Braun after receiving illegal cyber upgrades, the player awakes in the cryo recovery area of the Med/Sci deck, and quickly discovers that things have gone awry aboard both ships.

You can pick up System Shock 2 here if you want to play a classic. Otherwise you can also try System Shock, the prequel.



Resources:

Apocalypse Then: System Shock
Classic Games Resurrected: System Shock 2

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2009/08/10

Half-Life 2: Episode 3- Left 4 Deaf

After many people were disappointed at the lack of a showing by Half-Life 2: Episode 3 at E3 in June, now, it's been revealed that the game is still alive, and may well add a deaf character in to the mix, who will be a long lost love interest of Alyx Vance. And I thought she was only interested in Gordon Freeman. Oh well, I never liked that little Halle Berry wannabe anyway. razz

But to see sign language and deaf people and stuff implemented in a game. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of that before.

Other funny comments on this story:

"So, now they are going to have Alyx teamed with a deaf and a mute."

Sources:

Half-Life 2: Episode 3 to include deaf character?
Valve to implement sign language in Half-Life 2: Episode 3

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Off Target: Feeling Sick

For the last month, I've had a cough that doesn't seem to go away. Today however, was the worst. Coughing, headaches, sneezing, sniffles, sore throat, nausea- you name it, I felt it. sad

I have a lot of great post ideas, but feeling this way makes me feel demotivated and I just feel too tired, miserable, and fed up to be bothered to sit down and write much. I did tonight though, in the end.

I've mainly been playing Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage and The Pitt for the moment. I got the retail pack with both included on Saturday. I'll likely try and get a couple of reviews for them on my HubPages profile soon.

I hate being sick! It's my brother! It's his fault! evil
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Video Games Coming out This Week in August 2009: 8/09 - 8/15


PC 360 PS3 PS2 PSP DS Wii

PC

All Aspect Warfare (Digital Distribution- Steam)
Angle of Attack (Digital Distirbution- Steam)
Joint Ops: Combined Arms Compilation (Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising, Joint Operations: Escalation)

PlayStation 2

Madden NFL 10

PlayStation 3

Madden NFL 10
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (PlayStation Store)


Xbox 360

Madden NFL 10
Trials HD (Xbox Live Arcade)


Wii

Active Life Extreme Challenge
Groovin' Blocks
Madden NFL 10
Monster Mayhem: Build and Battle
Real Heroes: Firefighter


Nintendo DS

C.O.R.E.
Fossil Fighters
Imagine: Soccer Captain
Monster Mayhem: Build and Battle


PSP

Madden NFL 10

Source:

Shacknews

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2009/08/09

Ultimate Unofficial Duke Nukem Forever Media Collection

A few months back, after the whole 3D Realms situation, where people though that the company had closed but had actually just let go of the DNF development team, lots of content started to leak onto the internet- a hell of a lot more than had been revealed in twelve years.

If you want to find all of that stuff in one place, then duke4.net has it- their Unofficial DNF Media Collection. The page consists of links to all of the posts which dealt with the unfolding situation, instead of one big page with stuff that would likely take way too long to load, and be very messy. You can also download the entire collection in a zip file if you don't yet have any of it (it's 164 MB).

Pretty cool! biggrin

By the way, the links to Scott Miller's Facebook page, RealDukeNukem, don't work anymore, which may mean that the page has been taken down- no surprise there.

Unofficial DNF Media Collection
http://www.duke4.net/news.php?item.309.2
http://www.duke4.net/page.php?86
http://www.duke4.net/download.php?view.74
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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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