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

2009/12/12

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Release Date, New Screens

Stalker: Call of Pripyat has all ready been released in Russia and parts of Europe this year, but for the US, and the rest of the world, so far the answer has been, “Q1 2010”.

Well, now another updated release date has been given by GSC Game World, the developers, and bitComposer Games, the publisher, and that is February 2010 – perhaps a little less vague than before.

Along with this announcement, there have been some new screens of Call of Pripyat put up as well.

So far, the reviews that have come from people who have played some of the other versions are positive. As I’ve posted about before, if you happen to get your hands on one of these version from abroad, there are a  couple of translation projects going on.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Coming in February


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2009/12/11

Thinking of What Games to get for Christmas

The other day I posted about getting the Operation Flashpoint: Game of the Year Edition for R50. But now I’m thinking about what I can get as far as new games go.

Seeing as I’ve seen headline after headline in my feeds about ‘Best of 2009’ lists, I thought this would be a good place to start. I also came across a thread over at the NAG forums which talked about people’s favourite games of the year. I find this to be more personal opinion than a lot of these lists which are made just to appeal to others.

I’ve narrowed it down, and I think I might run a poll on this too, to these games. These seem to be the best games of this year for PC, and I suppose I might pick up one or two:

Red Faction: Guerrilla – a good game but not brilliant apparently; good physics.

Fallout 3: GOTY (Fallout 3 with all 5 DLC packs: Operation Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, Mothership Zeta) – this has been on my mind for quite a while. I haven’t played the last three DLC packs yet.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition – some say it’s good, others say it isn’t. It’s been a while since I’ve played a SW game anyway.

Resident Evil 5 – I haven’t played a RE game in years either.

Batman: Arkham Asylum – This is surprisingly being referred to as one of the best of this year. I’ve never really been a fan of comics and superheroes (not for years anyway), but if they say it’s that damn good, maybe I’ll check it out.

L4D2 – more of a multiplayer fanatic’s game, but from what I’ve seen it might be a bit of fun. I still haven’t the original.

I’ve all ready got these games:

Borderlands – this is one of the breakout hits of this year, and I’ve all ready got it. It’s a bit buggy though, so I haven’t been able to finish it.

Modern Warfare 2 – I was somewhat disappointed with the rather short campaign, but I should expect this from a CoD game anyway.


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2009/12/10

Apocalypse Then: Doom

Dooma

So, November was certainly Valve Month, it seems as though December is id month, seeing as Quake III Arena and Quake II were both released in this month years ago. Another game that was released this month was Doom, on the 10th of December, 1993. The shareware version was available for free download on this day and featured the first episode of nine levels. The full version was available via mail order, as a retail version only became available in 1995 in The Ultimate Doom.

The first time I played Doom was when I got my first real computer back in 1996. The shareware versions of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, two of id’s most legendary progenitors in their respective series, were installed along with all the other software and such that was part of the setup cost.

Doom is one of id Software’s most successful franchises and even though it wasn’t the first First-person shooter (the term hadn’t even been invented then), it paved the way for the genre we know by this name today, and for years afterwards, games of the same nature were referred to as “doom clones”.

Doom was no doubt controversial, featuring a lot of violence and satanic imagery in its plot involving a demonic invasion of various locations surrounding Mars, and eventually featuring a trip to hell, which seems somewhat tame when compared to Doom 3, another game in the franchise that would be released more then ten years later. It also popularized multiplayer and deathmatch, a term coined by the game’s designer and co-founder of id, John Romero. Another thing that Doom introduced to the world was the infamous BFG 9000, which has appeared in other id games. Tim Willits recently said that some classic weapons from past id games would feature in Rage, their new IP (somewhat similar to Fallout 3 or Borderlands, at least in setting), and many are likely holding thumbs that the BFG makes an appearance.

Recently the man who made the Doom box art, Don Ivan Punchatz, passed away. His son, Gregor Punchatz, did some of the modelling for Doom and Doom II, especially the monsters.

Doom was followed by Doom II: Hell on Earth, The Ultimate Doom (essentially Doom but the retail version with a fourth episode), as well as Master Levels for Doom II and Final Doom. There was also Doom 64, not considered a true part of the series by some, and Doom was ported to many systems and not to mention its received thousands of mods, TCs, and such over the years.

Doom 3 came out in 2004 and many people were too chicken to play it, and there was an expansion for this in Resurrection of Evil. Doom 3 inspired the Doom movie with The Rock (now calls himself Dwayne Johnson), which was…quite terrible really.

Doom 4 is currently in development at id Software, and will be published by its parent company, ZeniMax Media, which bought id this year.


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The Doom Comic: Rip and Tear

sm01 Since it’s Doom’s birthday today, I thought I would post about this.

Recently I read the infamous Doom comic book called “Knee Deep in the Dead” (after the first episode in the game), also known as “Rip and Tear”, or simply “The Doom Comic”, after I was searching for comics based on video games.

DoomWorld originally posted scans of this limited edition comic book back in 2003, on Doom’s 10 year anniversary. According to the date, it was published in 1996, and although it’s been around for a while, not many people know about it. I think according to the people who have read it, they tried to bury it, forget it, and completely deny its existence, or so they say.

I’ve seen part of it and heard of it before, but only got to see the full thing the other day.

The illustrations aren’t too bad, could be better, even at the time, but the “writing” was rubbish. Anyway, if you haven’t ever read it, here’s your chance.

This space marine is on a quest to get the big gun, which is obviously the BFG 9000, and on the way, he kills all sorts of things including zombies, imps, something which I think is supposed to be a Hell Knight or Baron of Hell, with weapons like his fists (berserker mode), chainsaw, double-barrelled shotgun, chaingun, plasma gun, and finally after obtaining the BFG, he goes after the Cyberdemon. The only weapons seemingly left out here are the regular pump-action shotgun, and the rocket launcher.

I will say a few things, and you might notice these yourself:

  • The face of the marine, like the one above, looks similar to the guy from the cover of the Playstation version of Doom.
  • The stance of the zombie guy on the cover is similar to the one of doomguy on the cover of Doom II: Hell on Earth.
  • Seeing as this was published in 1996, there’s a line in there that not only pays homage to Army of Darkness, but possibly parodies Duke Nukem 3D, released that year: “Groovy!”

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Finally Reached 50 Hubs on HubPages

This week I was digging through some articles that I’d written long ago, and decided to post a couple in order to get to my 50 hub mark. I got a medal for that!

It wasn’t only to reach 50 hubs though – I also just wanted to get rid of these old articles, have them online and getting views instead of just sitting there gathering dust on my HD. So once I publish a few more of these old ones, I can focus on new ones entirely.

I also keep seeing a lot of people on HP with hundred of hubs and I thought, damn, I’d better start upping my game a bit, so I can get more page views and maybe earn some more.


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2009/12/09

Apocalypse Then: Quake II

Quake2box

The other day we all celebrated the 10th anniversary of Quake III Arena. Today is the 12th anniversary of its prequel, Quake II. On this day in gaming, on December 9, 1997, Quake II was released.

The first time I played this game was when I got the demo off of a CD from a friend in 1998, and I later got the full version in 1999, nearly two years after its initial release. It was the one Quake game I’ve likely played the most over the years. I would go to the computer academy at school and instead of working, we would fire up a LAN game of Quake II. This was a trend that continued in high school. It’s funny how schools always seemed to have Quake II on hand, and rarely Quake III Arena.

I still have the CD and I’ve got it on my PC right now, playing it with Quake2Max, a source port, although I’m thinking of switching to another one, and downloading the HRP some time.

Quake II is an FPS title developed by id Software, originally published by Activision, and released on many different platforms over the years. The game used the id Tech 2 engine, which used to be known popularly as the Quake II engine. This engine has been used for many other titles and mods over the years.

Quake II, although a sequel in name to Quake, did not continue the story of the original. Quake II was meant to be the first game in a new series, but due to id not being able to secure a new name for the title, they went back to using their working title: Quake II.  .

quake2aThe story of Quake II sees you take the role of a space marine who starts off in Texas, USA, on earth (in the manual), and makes his way onto a massive starship codenamed “Mother Goose” (in the opening cutscene) which is accompanied by “The Adrianator”, some sort of scout ship. The mission is to fire drop pods from the main ship and land troops on the surface of Stroggos, home of the Strogg, an alien enemy who has committed atrocities against the human race in the past. This is the invasion of their planet, Operation Alien Overlord.

Once the player, known as Bitterman (who later appears in Quake III Arena), is launched in his pod, he is clipped by another marine, and his control over the pod is lost. He misses the LZ, and ends up crashing. Most if not all of the other pods, although supposedly invisible to detection by Strogg defences, were shot down by EMP blasts, and therefore, most of the other marines you encounter in the game are either dead, captured and tortured, or processed to make more Strogg soldiers at the factories.

enemy_groupshotThe gameplay was similar to most FPSs, although slower than Quake, and introduced some new weapons, like the Railgun, Hyperblaster, and a bigger, badder version of the BFG, the BFG 10k. The enemies you’ll use the weapons against are remorseless, relentless killing machines; cyborgs made of human parts and metal and machine.bfg

Quake II’s soundtrack was mainly composed by Sonic Mayhem, but with tracks also contributed by Bill Brown. This soundtrack was praised by some and hated by others. One thing is for sure, they don’t make video game soundtracks like this anymore.

Quake II has received a number of expansions, both official and unofficial, over the years, was succeeded by Quake III Arena in which Bitterman, the main protagonist from Q2, was a playable character (he was horribly mutated from undergoing Strogg experiments), the story of Quake II was continued in Quake 4, and a prequel took place in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which told the story of how the Strogg initially invaded Earth.

There have been rumours of a some more Quake games coming in the future, and this is certain to take place seeing as it is one of id’s greatest franchises next to Doom. One thing seems certain: that it may well continue the story started by Quake II, and perhaps not Quake.

You can pick up Quake II here if you want to play a classic.


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How to Install Quake 2 on Windows XP

Since it’s the 12th anniversary of id’s Quake II, I thought I would install this classic on my system, along with all my other 90s games. The first time I tried, the installer has some message about not being able to run on my OS. I’m currently running Windows XP SP 3 (I still haven’t switched to Windows 7). Now I remember a few years ago I installed Quake II on XP, but I was using SP 1. That seems to make a big difference.

Then I came across a site after using good old Google where I found some easy to follow steps in order to install Quake II on XP manually, without using the installer, but instead the command prompt.

I’m going to reproduce it here, with a few amendments, but I can say that it does work as long as you follow it to the letter:

1) Click on START / Run / and type “CMD” and press enter.

2) In the DOS Session type the following:

cd\ (press the Enter key)
md quake2 (press the Enter key)
cd\quake2 (press the Enter key)
xcopy d:\install\data\*.* /s/e/v (press the Enter key) (if you’re using another drive like I did, the E: drive, then it would be xcopy e:\install\data\*.* /s/e/v, etc.)

3) After it's done copying the files, type "Exit" and then press the Enter key. You should now be back in Windows.

4) Now Double-click on the My Computer icon, then your C: drive and then the "Quake2" folder.

5) Right-click on the file called: Quake2.exe from the menu that pops up, choose "Copy" (or “Create Shortcut”).

6) Now close all the windows and right-click on the Desktop of Windows and select "Paste Shortcut" (or drag the shortcut to the desktop).

10) To run Quake 2, double-click on the "Shortcut to Quake2" icon.

thanks in part go to wireplay.com/.

Another step that I did on my own was copying and pasting the quake2 folder to another destination. You don’t have to worry about it not working, because it still does afterwards. I like having all my classic games in one folder, under separate folders for each game, of course.

Right, now you can either run the game vanilla style, or you can try out some of the many ports and HRPs for Quake II, to give it some flavour. See here for some of them. At the moment I’m running it with Quake2Max, but it’s an outdated version, and I’m looking at downloading a later one as well as some High Resolution packs with updated textures or something.

I’m not sure if you’d be able to use the above method of manual installation for Windows Vista or Windows 7, but you can use Google, or maybe if I find out, I’ll put some links here.


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Duke Nukem Myth: 3D Realms Closed Down

3drealms That article that I read about on Slashgamer claims that “the original developers, 3D Realms,has shut their door for good.”

And that post was written just the other day. This was reported all over the net back in May, and it’s not true. It was later clarified that the DNF team was let go, but the company is still running.

Funny to see that all these months later, people have still been misled. When I first read about 3DR closing down, I was shocked and sad, mainly because I thought that I would never ever see DNF…not that we were close anyway.


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More Duke Nukem Promises on Facebook

I was just reading on N4G.com, an article submitted from Slashgamer talking about the ongoing promises over on this Facebook page supposedly belonging to either Scott Miller or someone else at 3DR.

Even though duke4.net claims that it’s genuine and that Scott is involved, part of me just thinks it’s someone having a laugh.

The latest message is:

“Duke Nukem  says it's gonna happen, and when it does, shock and awesome.”

Not really news, but fun anyway.

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http://www.facebook.com/pages/Duke-Nukem/186028571601?ref=nf

http://www.slashgamer.com/2009/12/06/possible-new-clue-points-to-a-new-duke-nukem-game/comment-page-1/#comment-4809

http://www.n4g.com/pc/News-439330.aspx


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2009/12/08

Black Mesa Source Delayed Some More

An interesting mod that I’ve been following for years, Black Mesa Source, was destined for a 2009 release. Big Download posted recently news that the mod has been delayed into 2010, after reading a forum thread over at the website’s forums.

Black Mesa Source, if you’re not in the know, is a mod for Half-Life 2, whereby using the  source engine, the original Half-Life is being recreated. Nicer graphics, better physics, better gameplay, and some cool weapons if you check out the screens in their media section.

“We come to you once again with an update. It's now the end of 2009, and we know many of you have literally counted the days down until this fateful month. We are floored by the level of support you have given us and are very excited we're so close to reaching our goal.

Unfortunately, to our great disappointment, Black Mesa will not make a 2009 release.

Once again we apologize for what has to be very disappointing news. We placed a 2009 deadline on ourselves to motivate us and bring this 6 year project to a close. And while we didn't quite make it, we have come very close, and you can expect a complete, polished game to hit your hard drives in the near future. We'll be sure and update if anything changes. Until then, hang tight, it's coming!”

6 Years! That’s longer than the Dark Mod which recently saw a beta release. Some people are all ready re-naming this mod “Half-Life Forever”. Yes, there’s a full 20 pages of b*tching over at the thread if you’re interested.

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http://forums.blackmesasource.com/showthread.php?t=2416

Sorry; no Black Mesa Half-Life 2 mod in 2009


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Wolf and a Half: Wolf 3D mod for Half-Life 2, Demo out now

e4m30000 I read about this on Bluesnews as well as N4G.com. I had a change to have a look at it today, this Wolfenstein 3D mod for HL2.

There’s not a whole lot of detail, certainly not as much as you’d expect from a mod built in the source engine, but it does retain a kind of Wolf 3D feel to it, when I look at the screenshots. And I like that, because I’ve always liked Wolfenstein 3D.

I’ve heard of this mod before, and now this time the big news is that a demo including 5 maps has been made available for download.

Also, this guy is in need of some new team members for his mod company, S.D.A., so if you know something about modding, help him out.

So there’s a Wolf 3D mod for HL2, but I also know of a Wolf3D mod for Doom 3, which looks even better, I think, although this mod, the last time I read about it, was “put on ice”.

wolfd3-02

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http://www.moddb.com/mods/sda

Wolf3D in Half-Life 2


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Laughter Over New Medal of Honor Box Art

mohboxart1202pc

Since the latest Medal of Honor game, the reboot which will come out next year, has been officially announced, all anyone has bothered to comment on is the box art of the game.

Apparently the bearded man featured on the box is real person, a real soldier, and people have gone to great lengths to make fun of this guy. Allegedly, his nickname is “Cowboy”, and he was a Special Forces Operative in Afghanistan.

Yes, well, make fun of this guy as much as you want…online, but you’d never say anything bad to his face, unless you want a knife through your throat.

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http://gamesblog.ugo.com/games/meet-the-real-life-hero-behind-medal-of-honor-in-afghanistan

http://www.life.com/image/1373470

Medal of Honor Box Art Soldier is a Real Person?


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New Medal of Honor Available for Preorder

You’ve been hearing about the new Medal of Honor title coming next year, I take it? Well, a release date has been given: it’ll be out Autumn (Fall) 2010, and it’s available for preorder now, for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

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CVG


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Medal of Honor: The Selected Few – a mod for MoHAA

 

00326692 I read about this on N4G and Strategy Informer. This mod makes visual improvements to the ageing game, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (from 2002) with some new textures and models.

Recently the 0.1 Beta version was released, which means what you see is only just a fraction of the work that still needs to be done. This is visible in the shots. Some of the redone uniforms look better (there are sleeveless shirts like the one in the screen to the right), but overall00326705 I felt underwhelmed.

It’s obviously still a work in progress, and a new mod at that, so it’ll hopefully get better with time. Don’t know if I’ll download it and try it myself, seeing as if it’s one game I played to death years ago, it was MoHAA. I especially liked the Omaha beach level, which was essentially the game’s version of the opening beach battle in Saving Private Ryan. Still cool though.

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http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/medalofhonoralliedassault/mod/34054.html

http://www.n4g.com/pc/News-439770.aspx


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2009/12/07

Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft to get her own Street

As if having a palatial mansion with a training course and butler wasn’t enough, in Derby, UK, the city council is trying to get a couple of names for a new road, and one of the choices in the poll they’ve set up is “Lara Croft Way”. You don’t have to be a UK resident or in the UK to vote.

The other choices are Eagle Way, Griffon Way, John Flamsteed Way, Mercian Way
Merlin Way, Sorocold Way, and Steve Bloomer Way.

Two of these choices will be used for two stretches of the road, so Lara already has quite a good chance of at least getting one of them. We all have until January 31st, 2010 to vote, so get to it. The poll is bottom right on the page.

Who did I vote for? Who do you think? Lara’s all ready got 97% of the vote, so it’s pretty much a given right now. 22730 people have voted so far, most of them for Lara. 1% voted for Merlin Way. There’s all ready a Merlin Way in Derby, and Merlin might not refer to the Wizard, but rather Rolls Royce Merlin. HAHA!

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http://www.derby.gov.uk/
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/news/Lara-Croft-makes-road-shortlist/article-1561225-detail/article.html
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Michael Jackson Helped With Sonic 3’s Soundtrack

It’s been a long standing myth that Michael Jackson, while still alive, helped do some composing on Sonic 3’s soundtrack, but just like in the famous episode of The Simpsons, “Stark Raving Dad”, he chose to not have his name credited. This is what a fellow musician, Brad Buxer says.

"And if he is not credited for composing the music, it's because he was not happy with the result sound coming out of the console. At the time, game consoles did not allow an optimal sound reproduction, and Michael found it frustrating. He did not want to be associated with a product that devalued his music.”

People often thought that Michael was the inspiration for the Sonic the Hedgehog character as well because of the white gloves, one of which sold recently for a few hundred thousand pounds. He apparently has close ties with SEGA.

Ken Horowitz of Sega-16.com however says that Buxer’s claims are unfounded.

Now, I don’t know about Sonic, seeing as I only ever played one of those games in my time but I’ll tell you something. I’ve often thought that work inspired by his music cropped up elsewhere as well. The song “Billy Jean” for instance – I’m quite convinced that part of this song inspired one of the tracks for Rise of the Triad, a shooter long forgotten, but now facing a reboot.

Maybe Lee Jackson, the guy who was credited with doing most of the soundtrack, was actually Michael Jackson. Hmmm…and so a new mystery begins.

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Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Michael Jackson: So it was true.

Original Sound Version

Michael Jackson was a composer for Sonic 3 soundtrack


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Mod Watch- Terminator 2 Judgment Game for GTA: San Andreas

I was just looking through Mod DB, and saw this mod for Grand Theft Auto: Sand Andreas, called Terminator 2 Judgment Game (instead of Judgment Day).

It’s a one man gang working on this mod which includes cinematics based on the iconic movie, 25 missions as well as textures and models of characters and things from the film too.

Anyhow, the latest news on this mod is that there is a new trailer up. the author, Samuel, says that the game is being delayed, even though it was set for a December 6 release.

I’m such a fan of Terminator 2. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time, and I actually picked up the DVD for Christmas recently, as well as the first film. I still think the T-1000 played by Robert Patrick is one of the scariest enemies from any film.


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2009/12/06

Video Games Coming out This Week, 12/06 – 12/12, 2009: The Saboteur

Saboteur

Pick of the Week: The Saboteur

Well, some are saying that this week is a dry one, and it is. The only big release that everyone’s been tracking so far is The Saboteur, another World War II game. No hang on, don’t go just yet! It’s different from other run-of-the-mill WWII shooters. For one, it’s got a noire look about it – the art direction is pretty good on this one, from what I’ve seen. It’s a third person stealth adventure game. Also, the main character, Sean Devlin, is Irish. I’m part Irish. The last time I remember an Irish guy in a WWII game was the Green Beret in the Commandos series.

The game has received good reviews, but nothing stellar. It came out in Europe and Australia a couple of days ago all ready, and the rest of us will get it on the 8th, this week, on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Other than that, there’s not much to talk about. DiRT 2 is another game that some might go for, but driving games aren’t really my thing. Jenny McCarthy comes to the PC with Your Shape. The only thing in it worthwhile is likely Jenny McCarthy.

PC

DiRT 2
Tales of Monkey Island - Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God (Steam)
The Saboteur
Your Shape Featuring Jenny McCarthy
Hello Kitty Online
East India Company: Battle of Trafalgar
Playmobil 2 Pack

PlayStation 3

The Saboteur
PixelJunk Shooter

Xbox 360

The Saboteur

Wii

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God
Flowerworks
Rec Room Games

Nintendo DS

Bookworm DS
Puzzler World
Salon Superstar
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

PSP

Avatar: The Game

iPhone

UDF: 3D Tactics

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Shacknews

Gamespot


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Another Wrestler Passes Away: WWE’s Umaga

Umaga en Chicago
I just learned today that Umaga, whose real name was Eddie Fatu or Edward Smith "Eki" Fatu, passed away on December 4th, 2009, a couple of days ago.

I found this out on Twitter and since then I’ve read about it on WWE.com.

The wrestler will mainly be remembered for portraying Umaga in WWE although he did wrestle in other promotions. He was let go from WWE earlier on this year. Umaga was of Samoan descent and was related to Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock), Rikishi, Afa and Sika of the Wild Samoans, and Tama. They are one big wrestling family - the Anoa’is.

"The Samoan Bulldozer" died because of a heart attack. He suffered one, which landed him in the hospital, and then a second heart attack claimed his life.

RIP Eddie, and my deepest thoughts go out to his family.
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Went Christmas Shopping, Got a Good Gaming Deal

Well, the Christmas tree has been put up, and of course now it’s all about the last few weeks before Christmas…and that means Christmas shopping.

I’ve been going through a lot of brochures lately looking for some good local game deals, and I did see a few which interested me.

So, off I went to the local mall, Tygervalley, and I was looking at some classic games. A lot of them have are available at between R49,99 and R99,99, and not just “old” games - games like BioShock, Mirror’s Edge, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and Resident Evil 4, good games that were released in the last two or three years.

I was looking at some of the good old games and I was tempted to just take them all (the mall, get it?) but I was looking for some games in particular; ones I hadn’t played before. I came across a good deal in Operation Flashpoint. It’s the full game, plus the two addons, Cold War Crisis and Resistance. A 3-in-1 deal for R49,99. I played the demos of these games years ago, but I haven’t yet played the full versions of these games after all this time. After being kind of disappointed with Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, I picked this up and bought it. I’ve read that the original is better than OFDR.

I still think that it was an odd choice, but I mean, at R50, if it doesn’t turn out to be so good, it’s no real loss to me.

I was also looking for a copy of Thief: The Dark Project, seeing as my disc isn’t working anymore, and I also want to get a hold of Deus Ex, ever since I saw it on Destructoid’s list of Top 50 games of the decade.

You know, I disagree with most of that list, but that’s life, huh?

I actually want to go back there with my brother or even on my own again, just to see if I missed anything, and perhaps pick something else up.


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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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