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

2009/10/31

Apocalypse Then: Nocturne

It's Halloween!



Well, a lot of people have been going on about their favourite horror games and they've been making lists full of them too. I wouldn't say that Nocturne is my favourite, but it is the tenth anniversary of its release, so I thought I would post about it.

Nocturne is a third-person survival horror themed video game, which was released on the PC on the 31st of October, 1999. It was developed by Terminal Reality and published by Gathering of Developers.

It told the story of The Stranger, a solitary, serious individual who worked for The Spookhouse, kind of like a secret paranormal investigation agency, which may have had ties with the US army, and you play through four episodes, which take place during the 1920s and 30s, where The Stranger hunts down werewolves, vampires, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. He's sometimes helped by his fellow agents, despite not liking most of them much, especially Svetlana Lupescu, who is half-vampire, or dhampir.

It had prerendered backgrounds, horrid camera angles, and awkward controls, and yet it received mainly positive reviews, and I enjoyed it too.

There was supposed to be a Nocturne 2, but this hasn't happened, perhaps to due to somewhat poor sales. Instead, Nocturne was succeeded by semi-sequels, or spiritual sequels, also developed by Terminal Reality, like Blair Witch vol. I: Rustin Parr, and BloodRayne, which had characters from Nocturne. BloodRayne was meant to initially be Nocturne 2. If there ever is a true sequel, they will have to find another voice actor for The Stranger, since Lynn Mathis is dead.
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2009/10/30

Cracking Down on Piracy by Using Disk Sniffing Dogs

I watched something on the news the other day.

In Portugal or some place, they had a black Labrador going through bags as part of a demonstration for the cameras. Now this is a scene that you’ve likely seen before. When I was in high school, we were searched by cops and their drug-sniffing dogs at least two or three times. And all of a sudden when we were told that on that day it would be time for the search, several kids went pale and asked to go to the bathroom so they could hide their stash somewhere, probably.


But this time, on the news, it wasn’t drugs they were after. They were after pirated CDs, DVDs, and the like. The guy controlling the dog explained that the substance that they train the dog to look, or smell, for is polycarbonate, which is present in the disks. They say it takes several months to train the dogs to do this.

I was also just reading about a sniffer dog in Malaysia as well, after googling it.

Quite interesting.
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2009/10/29

Modern Warfare 2 to Have Third Person Mode

How long has it been since I played a FPS that has third person mode without having to type in a cheat in order to get it? Third person mode is fun to use in games like Oblivion or Fallout 3 to see what nice armour you're wearing. Well, when it comes to Call of Duty games, this is a first. A video on YouTube has shown this new feature, although it's been said that this is a leaked version of the game, being shown off by a pirate, although others say it's an Infinity Ward employee. Anyway, somebody played the game, and now community manager Robert Bowling has stepped in and confirmed that this new gimmick will feature in the game on release.

It may not be as practical as the feature which allows you to use two pistols simultaneously, but still, interesting.

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Modern Warfare 2 will feature third-person mode for playlists
Is Modern Warfare 2 Out Already?
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HubPages Gets Into the Top 100 Sites in the US

Ryan Hupfer over at the HP blog was only just talking about this the other day. He and the HP staff were betting on when this would happen, and Hup had money down for the 5th of November. Well, none of them were right, as it happened by the 28th of October as was revealed in another update. And they all had a celebration, complete with champagne.

It's at the 100 rank right now. Go look.

I'm glad that I'm part of HubPages right now. It's only a matter of time before it gets into the Top 50! To think- I joined possibly before it was cool!
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Published a new Article Yesterday

I know I should have posted about this yesterday, since that’s when I published it, but it was late, and it slipped my mind.

The article that I was working on for about the last few months has been published. I was happy enough with it. It’s got lots of pictures, and plenty of writing. It’ll mainly be for those interested in tourism or whatever, but anyway. It’s called Discover Kenridge: History and a Virtual Tour.

I will likely add more pictures to the slideshow, and more info to the text capsules as time goes by.

I've all ready had someone check it out and she enjoyed it a lot by the look of it!
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2009/10/28

It’s Your Birthday: John Romero

Small romero head
On this day, back in 1967, Alfonso John Romero was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He turns 42 today.

John Romero is a designer, programmer, and developer in the video game industry, and is one of the original co-founders of id Software. He’s worked on a number of their games like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, Doom, Doom II and Quake. He also worked as Executive Producer and Game Designer on Heretic and HeXen.


Other than id Software, he worked at or co-founded companies like inCider, Capital Ideas Software, Origin Systems, Inside Out Software, Ideas From The Deep, Softdisk, Ion Storm, Monkeystone Games, Midway Games, Gazillion Entertainment and Slipgate Ironworks. Slipgate Ironworks recently experienced some layoffs. Slipgate Ironworks is owned by Gazillion Entertainment, of which John is the Executive Vice-President and Creative Director. He’s also the Chairman of the CPL Advisory Board.


Interesting facts about John Romero:


  • He’s lived in Colorado, Arizona, California, and England.
  • John started programming games when he was 11 or so.
  • He is credited with coining the term "deathmatch", and is thought of as the “father of deathmatch competitions”.
  • John likes to make sound effects and taunt people while he plays games. There’s a song in Doom II, called “Waiting for Romero to Play”, because he was so electrifying and entertaining.
  • The pose of the space marine on the cover of the Doom box was taken from a photo of John Romero.
  • Daikatana is labeled as one of the worst games of all time.
  • John Romero was once killed but came back to life.
  • John is a big fan of wikis.
  • He refers to himself as “The Romero”.
  • John almost worked at Blue Sky Productions, eventually renamed Looking Glass Technologies. Looking Glass Technologies made System Shock, which was technologically superior to Doom and Doom II, but was overlooked despite this.
  • He once put his Ferrari up for auction on eBay. He seems to love them as much as John Carmack does.
  • He’s been married about three times, including his current wife, and has three children. 
  • His son works at Slipgate Ironworks.
  • He’s named after his father, Alfonso. His mother is Virginia, and he has a brother named Ralph.
  • John is often said to have the best hair in the industry.
  • John was the final boss, The Icon of Sin, in Doom II. He was presented as a head on a stick.
  • John likes listening to heavy metal music. This is why most of the music in Doom is inspired by metal bands, although the MIDI tracks were composed by Bobby Prince.
  • John likes being in the spotlight. John Carmack said so.
  • There’s a 95 % chance that John Romero will read this.
Quotes by John Romero

"I completely love playing and designing games and always will. I am so into games that I listen to game music all day. That may sound strange, but you can guarantee I'm a hardcore gamer and would never let you down by designing a crappy title." – Daikatana

"If you walk into CompUSA or Babbage's and see the vast array of game titles on the shelf, chances are that 95% of those titles are not worth playing." – Daikatana

"Daikatana will be the greatest game of all time"
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Duke Nukem Sounds like Bruce Willis When he Falls to his Death

I love listening to game sound effects and voices. I’ve often unpacked zip files, searched game program files, and downloaded them.

I googled to try and get some Duke Talk wavs for Duke Nukem 3D recently, because I’ve got the old VOC files which only work with WinAmp and not Windows Media Player, which I use more often. Yeah, I know I could just extract the contents out of the DN3D GRP file, but then I’d still have to convert them myself, so I took a shortcut. Besides, not all the VOC files work.


Anyway, I found a number of files that I haven’t ever heard before, which possibly weren’t used in the game. Among some of the best are the death screams, especially when Duke falls from a great height to his death. That one I have heard a lot and I’ve always thought that this one sounded like Jon St. John’s pretty convincing rendition of one of Bruce Willis’s screams, like in Die Hard. It isn’t too hard to imagine why, when you think that Die Hard and John McClane were both an inspiration for Duke's character. There are two scenes in the fourth episode of Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition- one where you see a plaque on the desk in the police station which has J. McClane written on it, and when Duke says the famous line from Die Hard:

“Yippee Ki-yay, Motherf@cker!”

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New Stalker: Call of Pripyat Videos

Speaking of Stalker- after a while, Stalker: Call of Pripyat now has three new videos to show off. These don't seem to be official trailers, because they aren't on the official site, but they are on IGN, seeing as IGN seems to have a "hands-on" feature on their site, and these videos complement the article.
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STALKER? No- it's Metro 2033

Last night I watched The Verge, a local TV show about gaming and such. It was an Uncharted 2 special, but in amongst all that stuff, there was a trailer for this game, slated to come out next year.

It looked like Stalker, played kind of like Stalker, had a narrator with a Russian accent. I thought it must be Stalker: Call of Pripyat!

But it wasn't... after the screen went blank, the title came up: Metro 2033.

And what was so weird was that this game seemed to have slipped under my radar, seeing as I hardly knew much about it. Perhaps I read something about it, but apart from that, this was the first time I really paid attention. Judging from what I've read lately, it's experiencing some renewed interest after being "known about" for 3 years all ready.

It used to be called Metro 2033: The Last Refuge, but THQ, the publisher, removed it.

I was partly right about it's Stalker look though, seeing as Metro 2033 is being developed by 4a-games, which has ex-Stalker guys on its staff. The game is based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033, which also has a sequel in Metro 2034. Both are free to read online, along with the books that you can buy.

The game is set for release next year for the PC as well as Xbox 360. No PS3, although this was originally planned but dropped, it seems.


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http://www.4a-games.com/
http://www.metro2033game.com/en
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2009/10/27

Airwick Elephant 3D: I Don’t Have Time



I know this will be weird, but that’s what I’m like after all.


I always see this advert on the TV that has this elephant in it, advertising Airwick Freshmatic, this air freshener product. But what’s so funny to me is that the first line that this elephant utters includes the phrase, “I don’t have time”, which automatically triggers this memory in my brain about the line that Duke Nukem says in Duke Nukem 3D when you press the use key on the Duke Nukem II pinball machine in the first level of L.A Meltdown, “Hollywood Holocaust”:


“Hmmm. Don’t have time to play with myself”.

Weird. And it sounds just a bit like Jon St. John, except more feminine.
Or Maybe that's my imagination.
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Man Kills his son Over a Missing Videogame

Have you read the news lately? Basically, a family argument got nasty, and a father ended up shooting his son.

The long story: In Houston, Texas, this past Sunday at about 4:15 in the morning, a forty-year-old man, Ofelio Antonio Otero, was drunk and pretty angry.
He was having an argument over a missing videogame with his wife, when his son joined in (perhaps he borrowed it). Things got hairy when the father pulled out a gun and started loading it. The 17-year-old boy, Ignacio A. Otero, tried to knock the gun out of his dad’s hand and after apparently failing to do so, turned away and tried to run. The father pointed his gun and fired, the bullet striking his son in the back of the neck, killing him.
As his son lay there, the man fled the scene and continued on for a couple of miles to an apartment building, which was followed with a few hours of sit, wait, and talk with Dallas SWAT. He eventually surrendered, turning himself in before noon the same day.


Now a murder charge will be added to Otero’s existing criminal record, a DWI charge. His bail is set at $100,000. No info on what the missing video game was in the first place, and whether it was worth killing over.

To the media: it isn’t just kids who play games that kill people, adults do to. rolleyes

But I think that the alcohol had a lot to do with it. I mean, if he wasn’t drunk, would he really have gotten into an argument at that time in the morning over something so trivial, if he were sober?

I think it’s disgraceful in any case, and he deserves whatever the hell he gets.

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Police: Houston dad killed son over video game
Dad Kills Son Over Missing Video Game [Violence]
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Is Bethesda Really Going to Buy Valve?

Speaking of Bethesda, there’s a rumour going around that Bethesda, or more appropriately, its parent company, ZeniMax Media, is going to buy Valve. That’s right- the developer that’s responsible for the epic Half-Life series as well as Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, among other games and acquired mods over the years, like Portal and Counter-Strike.

Earlier this year, ZeniMax Media bought the legendary id Software, and so started all the jokes involving “Bethidsda”, and “identity crisis”.

Now although this would be a major acquisition, I’m about 90 to 95 % sure that this is bogus. Why would this happen anyway? Would Gabe Newell really consider this? I think it’s untrue, but I guess we'll see soon enough.

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Rumor: Zenimax/Bethesda Looking To Buy Valve/Steam?
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2009/10/26

Elder Scrolls V Revealed in Novel Blurb…Briefly

Over the past few days, I’ve been busy with other stuff, and so my feeds have been building up, most of them unread. This is a nightmare when it comes to Kotaku, because their feeds mainly contain a lot of inane rubbish (worse than my stuff), and pictures that clog up the whole process of wading through it.

Anyway, I did come across something interesting on there recently. Kotaku noticed a blurb for the Elder Scrolls novel, Infernal City, at waterstones.com, which read as follows:

“A novel that takes places forty-five years after the Oblivion Crisis, which is the story of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion game and the expansion pack Shivering Isles. It partly bridges the gap for the next game, which is set 200 years after the Oblivion crisis.”

This text has apparently been taken down since then, and in these cases, even though it may just be a rumour, it seems to confirm the situation, since it happens on sites like Linkedin all the time. Someone posts some sensitive information, and later it gets taken down, or the person’s profile is deleted.

This is the new synopsis:

"Four decades after the Oblivion Crisis, Tamriel is threatened anew by an ancient and all-consuming evil. It is Umbriel, a floating city that casts a terrifying shadow - for wherever it falls, people die and rise again. And it is in Umbriel's shadow that a great adventure begins, and a group of unlikely heroes meet. A legendary prince with a secret."

There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be another Elder Scrolls game, although there are concerns that this game might be an MMO.

Infernal Sky will be published in 32 days, late November, as of the time of writing.

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Kotaku
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Off Target: My Trip to Simon’s Town

Well, like I posted the other night, I went to Simon’s Town yesterday with my brother to check up on some construction site. He’s a civil engineer.

I took my camera with, naturally and snapped a few pictures of the harbour, the patrol boats, and other stuff; even though I was told I might be arrested for doing so. Then we went to the naval museum, because my brother has wanted to go there for some time, and I snapped a few shots here too.


But by far, the funniest part of the whole trip was when we were leaving Simon’s Town, and some cyclist on the side of the road fell off his bike, and my brother swerved out of the way in time, otherwise he would have run him over. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic; otherwise we would have been in an accident.


What was so funny was the way that this guy fell. I know, I’m a sadist, but you had to be there. He was wearing the typical Lycra outfit or whatever, and after a major battle with trying to stay on his bike, he fell and he slid across the road face first, with his arms at this side. He looked as though he decided to just lie down and have an afternoon nap right in the middle of the road.


I LOLd, for sure.
lol

The worst part of the trip was that I hadn’t had any breakfast, and despite a plan to stop off and get some food, I practically starved until I got home. I only managed to pick up a bottle of sprite and a packet of these cr@p tasting chips.

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Small Updates to Hubs Today

Well, today, in addition to uploading some more pictures for my latest, and still to be published, article, I also added some new small changes to the Classic Games and RRR hubs on my HubPages profile.

There's a new Amazon capsule that will be updated every now and again, which has my PotW in it. This week it's Borderlands. I'll update it every now and again, if there's actually something that I want to put in it.

I also updated the link list on the sidebar of each hub, which has links to all the hubs in their respective series.

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2009/10/25

Video Games Coming Out in October 2009: 10/25 - 10/31



Picks of the Week: Borderlands, Painkiller: Resurrection

Okay, so the console versions came out last week, and now this week it's the PC's turn. Borderlands should be out this week. I saw a mini-review for the game on The Verge the other day, and it looks pretty damn good, I must say, despite the different art direction. And the other PotW is
Painkiller: Resurrection. I haven't played a Painkiller game for years, since the first one in 2004. This is a sequel to that game, a great deathmatch mainstay at one stage, and it hasn't even received that much marketing hype. It's just quietly slipped in here.

As usual, the links will take you to the detail page for each game at Amazon, Gamestop, D2D, Steam, etc.

PC

Borderlands
CSI: Deadly Intent
League of Legends
Painkiller: Resurrection
Press Your Luck: 2010 Edition
The Stronghold Collection
Torchlight (Steam)
World of Zoo

PlayStation 2

Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
Dance Dance Revolution X2
DJ Hero
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day

PlayStation 3

DJ Hero
DJ Hero Renegade Edition - Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem
Fairytale Fights
Madagascar Kartz
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Tekken 6
Tekken 6 Limited Edition Wireless Fight Stick Bundle

Xbox 360

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Game Time
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
CSI: Deadly Intent
DJ Hero
DJ Hero Renegade Edition - Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem
Fairytale Fights
Forza Motorsport 3
Limited Edition Forza 3 Racing Seat
Forza Motorsport 3 Limited Collector's Edition (GameStop Exclusive)
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Expansion (Xbox Live)
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Madagascar Kartz
SpongeBob's Truth or Square
Tekken 6
Tekken 6 Limited Edition Wireless Fight Stick Bundle

Wii

101-in-1 Party Megamix
All Star Cheer Squad 2
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Game Time
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
CSI: Deadly Intent
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3
DJ Hero
DJ Hero Renegade Edition - Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem
Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter
Hasbro Family Game Night 2
Madagascar Kartz - With Wheel
Monster 4x4: Stunt Racer - With Wheel
Mountain Sports
Nerf N-Strike Elite
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day
Press Your Luck
Remington Great American Bird Hunt
SimAnimals Africa
SpongeBob's Truth or Square
World of Zoo

Nintendo DS

100 All-Time Favorites
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Game Time
Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple
CSI: Deadly Intent -The Hidden Cases
Diner Dash: Flo on the Go
Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter
Dream Salon
Hasbro Family Game Night
Madagascar Kartz
Petz Dolphinz Encounter
Press Your Luck
SpongeBob's Truth or Square
Sushi Academy
The Backyardigans
Disney Fairies: TinkerBell and The Lost Treasure
World of Zoo

PSP

Adventures To Go (GameStop Exclusive)
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
Petz Dogz Family
Petz Hamsterz Bunch
Petz Saddle Club
SpongeBob's Truth or Square

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Shacknews

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Keen Dreams: Redneck Rampage, Doom, Thief, and stuff

This is a new feature that I’m debuting here on AAA, and you might think it’s weird, but it’s kind of cool too. And you watch others copy me, because I’ve all ready seen that happen before. Okay, so I’m not the first to have a dream about games and so on, but it’s something I never if rarely ever see on any blogs about gaming. So, you know I haven’t copied it from any place.

It’s about video games in dreams- my dreams to be exact. Yeah, I get a few hours sleep from the early hours of the morning onwards. How do I know they are about video games? Well, because they usually feature guns and other stuff that you would only find in games, like treasure and stuff falling off a bad guy after he’s been killed.


This morning I dreamed about an FPS game that saw me using an AK47 (I’ve been playing Redneck Rampage a lot lately) to gun down some creature. It looked like one of those zombies from Thief (if only you could use guns in Thief!). But he kept getting back up again, because he's undead and bullets don't affect him, and so I had to blow him up like in those aforementioned games (in Thief you can use fire arrows, and RR you use dynamite). After that the skeleton dropped some treasure and an MP5, which I scooped up, kind of like in Hellgate: London, or something, and then I heard a noise, as a door opened, unlocking other parts of the level, and all these big mofos came running out. So I opened fire with my gun, and after that, I don't know, it went blank.


Then it was revealed that this game was actually the new Doom, Doom 4, and that the doomguy actually does have a name. He has these initials: L.B.A., which actually stands for Lawrence (or Larry) Bambus Anderson. That’s weird, because I always thought that doomguy had a bit of hick or hillbilly in him.


Too much playing Redneck Rampage. Although, I haven’t touched it in a few days now…

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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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