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


Another Developing Craze: Formspring

logo_small First it was social networking sites like Facebook. Then along came micro-blogging with Twitter. Now another developing craze seems to be coming along with something called Formspring – which I’ve seen popping up in the last week or so.

And all ready I’ve noticed two legends in the video game industry on there, answering questions. Because that’s what Formspring is about. Apparently it’s a social networking site that allows people to ask a person questions, and then they answer them. It’s like a big open interview.

Those two legends I mentioned are George Broussard of 3D Realms, whom some cite as the failure behind Duke Nukem Forever, and none other than John “The” Romero, formerly of id Software, Ion Storm, and now Slipgate Ironworks, and creator of Daikatana and other greats.

Examples of some questions for John:

Q:Of all your cars, which was your favorite?

Q:Are you and Tom Hall still friends?

Q:Steve Jobs or Bill Gates ?

Q:Do you play Quake Live?

And George:

Q:Why wasn't there a sequel to shadow warrior?

Q:What happened to LevelLord?

Q:What makes Duke such a badass? And what's your favorite Duke quote?

Q:Why don't you answer all the questions you get here?

And of course, as you can imagine, George will answer anything… that isn’t about Duke Nukem Forever.

So, if you have any questions for these guys or anyone else, then head over to Formspring. Likely some other well-known industry vets will crop up there sometime, or all ready are.



Band of Brothers is Coming Back, Soldier!


I was so glad to see the other night on an advert for M-NET Action, which is channel 106 on DSTV, that the great series called Band of Brothers, is coming back next week, starting on the 6th of April.

If you haven’t yet watched it, Band of Brothers first aired years ago, back in 2001. I remember watching it on M-NET in 2003. The series is basically inspired by, and in some ways a continuation of, Saving Private Ryan, seeing as Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were involved in the project, like they were in the Oscar-winning film before it, as was Dale Dye, acting as military consultant.

And Band of Brothers likely went on to influence some other World War II genre FPS titles just like SPR did- like some Medal of Honor titles [I’m thinking particularly Spearhead or Airborne], Brothers in Arms [definitely], and Call of Duty.

The series tells the tale of D-Day – but not like in Saving Private Ryan, where you witness the GIs storm the beaches of Normandy. This time it’s the paratroopers who land on the 5th of June, 1944; the night before.

The main star would be Dick Winters, played by Damian Lewis in likely his most famous role, firstly a Lieutenant, as the series starts with American paratroopers going through basic training in the States, then preparing for the operation while they’re in England, right across the channel from Nazi-occupied France. And from there we see them dropping into Normandy under the cover of night, and embarking on their mission to not only soften up the Germans from the inside while the ground troops are on the beaches, but to continue on to make another drop in Eindhoven, The Netherlands to take part in the disastrous Operation Market Garden, as well as march in to Berlin, Germany.

It delves into some personal issues along the way, and the relationships that unfold between Winters and the rest of the paratroopers in his company, as he is promoted to Captain just before this invasion. And on top of that, the real stars, the actual veterans who took place in the war, appear and tell interesting little stories about their experiences in the war, and how they’ve never been able to forget the horrors they saw so many years ago.

All in all, if you’re complaining about nothing to watch just lately, then do yourself a big favour, stop whining, and tune in to watch this great WWII experience.

Band of Brothers starts on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 on Channel 106 [M-NET Action], DSTV, at 20:00. Two back to back episodes [two hours] will play for at least the first week. There are ten episodes in the mini-series all in all.


Dead Space 2 Demo Confirmed, Isaac Speaks!


Dead Space 2, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Dead Space, is going to receive a demo. And this time, they are going to make sure that it’s more punctual than the first game’s one. Supposedly the Dead Space demo arrived late, and cost the game some needed sales, which was what they really needed seeing as it was an original IP, and publishers are wary about those nowadays.

Executive Producer Steve Papoutsis:

“Last time, I just heard a lot of comments like ‘The demo was way too hard,’ or ‘It kind of came out after the fact.’ We’re really putting an emphasis on making sure that we have something there so that new people can check it out. There’s a lot of people that seem interested and we just want to give them an opportunity to check it out and get into it.”

"It's a tricky line, right? There's some games you play a demo [of] and you never wind up buying it because 'I got my fill!’. It's our goal to deliver a game that not only after every single chapter you want to keep going, but we want the demo to be the kind of event where you play it and you go 'Holy shit, I'm going out right now, I've got to get this!' That's one of the goals that we're driving towards and I think we're going to nail that."

I didn’t even know Dead Space had a demo. I went out and bought the game though.

Also interesting is that Isaac Clarke will now speak in Dead Space 2, whereas people who have played the original game would have noticed that Isaac pretty much kept quiet the whole time, and most of the other characters did the talking.

“The voice thing is really just about making the game believable. So, the first game, there really wasn’t anybody around, there wasn’t anybody for him to talk to. And in the new game, c’mon, he’s just been through this horrific experience and there might be some people around, so it would make sense that he may actually speak. It was an evolution based around what the story required, and just the fact that it’s tough to stomach that some guy’s not going to talk for another however many hours Dead Space 2 is.”

Rich Briggs:

“Isaac is going to have some reaction to this. He’s going to see a lot of very terrible things, even worse in Dead Space 2, and we’ve gotta make him feel like a believable character. If you saw somebody rip their heart [out] in front of you, you probably wouldn’t just keep walking.”

Yes, we don’t want another Gordon Freeman.

Now I know all this sounds great. But for the minority out there [PC gamers], you should take into account that Dead Space 2 might not arrive on PC, the last I heard. It’s in consideration.



Dead Space 2 demo confirmed [TVGB]

Visceral explains why Isaac speaks in Dead Space 2 [TVGB]


Video Game Character Lookalikes: Dr Breen [Half-Life 2]

As you all know, and if you don’t I’ll repeat it here quickly: the voice behind Dr.Breen, actor Robert Culp, died last week.

So I’m not making fun of him here. Not at all. I just thought it would be the most appropriate time to compare the looks of some real life stars or people to Dr. Wallace Breen.

Let’s line ‘em up:

dennis hopper

This is him: Dr. Breen from Half-Life 2, who was the Administrator of Earth, and has his headquarters in City 17 during the events of the game.

Dennis Hopper Cannes 2008

Dennis Hopper – not bad, maybe a little less hair than Breen, and wrong colour eyes, but nothing a couple of contacts can’t fix. The beard is a little wrong though too. But if you want him to play Breen in a HL film or anything, you’d better hurry. The poor guy currently has cancer.


Bill Murray – Hang on. I know what you’re thinking. But listen to this. Not only does Bill have the look… sort of, but a similar,  calm sounding voice to Breen if I’m not mistaken, and not to mention he’d have no problem giving the odd laugh which Breen sometimes does too. And not to mention the charm. Just ignore the flowers on his beard here, and you’ll be more convinced.


James Coburn – Yes, I know, this guy died a few years ago now. But still, although a bit of a big chin, at least he looks better as an old guy than he did when he was young. The sort of role he played in The Nutty Professor demonstrates the sort of character that would be needed to play Breen as well.


Roger Guay – I saw this on the Half-Life wikia, and boy, if you thought that Dennis Hopper was good, then this guy is a dead ringer! That’s because Dr. Breen’s face was supposedly modelled on this guy’s.

Darksiders is Coming to the PC in June


Unusual this, but it seems as though the previously console only game called Darksiders, which was released in January, and raved about a hell of a lot this year so far, mainly because Mark Hamill form Star Wars did some of the voice acting I would guess, is coming to the PC.

I say unusual, because unless the game is released on PC at the same time as other consoles, say like Bad Company 2, the chances of a port coming to the PC is much less, in my experience.

I mean, how often do you see a hack ‘n slash title on the PC? God of War? Bayonetta? Dante’s Inferno? I rest my case. Those games are designed for some button mashing.

Well, Darksiders is reportedly getting a PC version in June this year, as was announced by THQ.

Vigil Games’ David Adams:

“We are really excited to have the opportunity to bring Darksiders to the global PC audience. We feel that the growth of digital distribution and PC online communities creates a great environment for our game. We are working really hard to make sure that key features such as user-defined resolutions, interface and both keyboard and game pad control sets are all up to the standards for today’s discerning PC consumer.”

Travis Plane of THQ:

“We are delighted to be able to bring Darksiders to the PC. THQ is focused on bringing great product to the PC gaming audience so it was vital that we allowed Vigil the time to optimize the title for the PC platform.”

The game revolves around War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as he takes on angels and demons.


Source: Darksiders Decide To Side With PC [RPS]


It was Just a Joke! An April Fool’s Day Joke!

Like I has to explain last year, and will every year: the thing about Half-Life 2: Episode 3 was just a joke; an April Fool’s Day joke! HL 2: E3 is still is still in development, or development hell, as far as I know.

I just thought I’d send out a little note today after yesterday, seeing as that post got some attention – more than I thought it would.

You know, some people choose not to play April Fool’s Day jokes or pranks. They say it’s improper for a news outlet to do so. But then again a lot of other people do it. I think those who don’t and are all sour about the day should just lighten up, and actually take a look at the calendar, and realize that likely some things, or a lot of things are going to be false – all in the spirit of this fine day.

Anyway, you all know that AAA isn’t a news outlet. There are some news posts, but there is a lot of other crazy stuff as well.



Linkin Park Getting Their Own Game on iPhone

Years ago, while growing up and in high school, I heard about this group called Linkin Park. Of course I was so fanatical about spelling, the one thing that came to my mind was that the name was spelled incorrectly.

But as time went by, unlike others, I started to listen to the band. They became a hit with teenagers for years, won a couple of Grammys, and at one stage even got their own shoe with DC. I like their first couple of albums, Hybrid Theory and Meteora, but the later ones like Minutes to Midnight and Road to Revolution, I haven’t even heard, seeing as I outgrew that stage I suppose, and their sound changed too.

Now I’ve read that Linkin Park is going to get their own iPhone game, called Linkin' Park 8-Bit Rebellion. It’s obviously an 8-bit game as you can tell from the title, but the object of the game is to rise up against an evil corporation called PixxelKorp and stop them from turning the 8-bit world into something prettier.


Artificial Life CEO, Eberhard Schoneburg:

"It was a unique experience to work with Linkin Park to create one of the most innovative mobile gaming experiences to date. Our close co-operation with the band has led to a cool and fun game play, a great design and a groundbreaking app that pushes the limits of the iPhone gaming experience and sets new standards for music based games. Throughout production the band worked closely with our designers intimately contributing to the creative process for character designs, in-game artwork, mission structure and, of course, the music in the game! 8-Bit Rebellion helps fans get closer to the band by drawing them into the virtual world that they have helped to create as well as providing their global fan base with an exciting community experience. It's a must for all Linkin Park fans."

Vocalist Mike Shinoda:

"The collaborative process with Artificial Life was exceptional. They were able to turn my sketches and our creative ideas into a living, breathing world that we think gamers will thoroughly enjoy. This game is not just made for Linkin Park fans--anyone will be able to play and enjoy 8-Bit Rebellion.’ My bandmates and I grew up playing games like ‘Metroid,’ ‘Donkey Kong,’ ‘Zelda,’ ‘Space Invaders,’ ‘Mega Man’ and ‘Rygar.’ We wanted this game to have the feel of a vintage game, and a big part of it was the music."

Production on the game started more than a year ago, when the band partnered with Artificial Life, who started developing it. The game will have 8-bit remixes of their greatest hits, like “One Step Closer,” “In The End,” “Crawling,” “Faint,” as well as a new song called “Blackbirds”, which is unlocked after you complete the game.

There’s a trailer and some other stuff about the game at the links below.


Sources: [trailer]

Linkin Park's Video Game Doesn't Look Nearly As Bad As It Should [Kotaku]


Half-Life 2: Episode 3 has been Cancelled [Shocker]

HL2-Logo Yes, that’s what it says, bright, wide-eyed readers. The third instalment in the Episodes for Half-Life 2, known also as Half-Life 2: Episode 3, has been cancelled. It was confirmed by Gabe Newell, head of Valve Corporation, himself recently.

Reasons as to why this has happened aren’t very clear, but Gabe Newell says that it’s not the end of Half-Life at all. The series will continue, but probably as the true sequel in the series: Half-Life 3.

“A lot has gone on in the last few years, since Episode 2 came out in 2007, and much of it we’ve kept under wraps. And it’s all for a good reason.

We here at Valve have been working on Half-Life 3 for longer than anybody else thinks, even while the episodes were in development. The episodes will end with Episode 2, but the series is far from over.”

Half-Life 2 was released in 2004, with Episode 1 following in 2006, and E2 in 2007. It’s been about two and a half years since then, and no sign of Episode 3, after many expected to see it at E3 last year. And it looks like now we’ll not see it at all.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the effort that has been put in to Episode 3 is not lost. It will just be incorporated into Half-Life 3… probably. Details of Episode 3 have been scarce over the years, with a news piece last year revealing details about a deaf character appearing in the game, which will be Alyx Vance’s long lost friend, and eventual lover. Apart from that and a few pieces of concept art: not much else.

hl2E32 hl2E31 


Although there was talk from Gabe recently who said he wanted Half-Life to return to the days of scaring people. Mission accomplished, after you read the headline of this post I suppose.

One thing that can be said about the whole situation, is that episodic content, a great idea years ago, seems to have failed after all, especially when applied to major titles, such as Half-Life 2.

I don’t know what Valve will do about HL 3 and the Source engine. It’s aging now, and I don’t really expect they can use it for much longer, especially not with HL 3. It might be time to say goodbye, and think of switching to a new engine. Unreal Engine 3, anyone?

Source: “Gabe Confirms Episode 3 Cancelled” [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]



Video Game Deals at Amazon: Wolfenstein [VGDs]

Wolfenstein coverThis week sees a few good deals at Amazon, including Wolfenstein for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions receive a price cut each, with over 60% off.

That’s the best known deals on at the moment. The biggest saving I could find besides that was Lair, which is about 60% off, for the PS3.

Just a quick mention here. Some analysts are saying that Amazon is set to broaden their digital distribution presence in addition to their retail one, after some spotted some wanted positions at the retailer. So, it sounds exciting: Amazon might be looking to compete with Steam, Direct2Drive, and the likes. GameStop tried, but I’ve read recently that they’re in trouble and facing a lawsuit. What’s new?…

Best deals:

Wolfenstein - $13.53 – Save $36.46 [Xbox 360]

Wolfenstein - $18.27 – Save $31.72 [PS3]

Lair - $18.87 - Save $32.00 [PS3]
Driver - $13.07 - Save $16.92 [Mac]

Armored Core 4 - $17.46 - Save $15.00 [Xbox 360]

SpongeBob's Truth or Square - $17.99 - Save $12.00 [Wii]


Ouba - $8.12 - Save $11.87
Wobbly Bobbly - $7.93 - Save $10.06

Iron Aces: Heroes of WWII - $11.79 - Save $8.20
Crime Stories - $7.52 - Save $8.17


Driver - $13.07 - Save $16.92


Wolfenstein - $18.27 – Save $31.72

Lair - $18.87 - Save $32.00


ModNation Racers - $29.99 - Save $9.97

[Xbox 360]

Wolfenstein - $13.53 – Save $36.46 
Armored Core 4 - $17.46 - Save $15.00
Mini Ninjas - $29.99 - Save $9.97

[Nintendo DS]

Zhu Zhu Pets - $19.99 - Save $10.00
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - $19.99 - Save $9.97
Build-A-Bear Workshop Welcome to Hugsville - $19.99 - Save $8.54
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized - $19.99 - Save $8.00

[Nintendo Wii]

Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - $17.59 - Save $8.00
Build-a-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley - $19.99 - Save $10.00
SpongeBob's Truth or Square - $17.99 - Save $12.00


Sources: Amazon - Nowinstock


NAG Online’s Website has Moved

NAGa Following an earlier post I made about NAG magazine’s website, known as NAG Online, I found out that the move has taken place. They are now at a new address, which reflects the magazine and company better I think.

Yes, while I was checking my news feeds today after updating them last night, I noticed that an unusual number of new posts were labelled as “new” or “unread”. That’s when I checked the web address from where the feeds were updating from, and it was not longer

It’s officially now just Just in case you were wondering. It’s funny, because in the past, if you entered in into the URL space in your browser, it would claim it was going to redirect you to Now it’s the correct address, and if you go to the old one, it doesn’t work at all. Confusing? Oh, well…


Source: NAG Online [new address]



Stalker Silliness [Screenshots]

Here are some screenshots I took from Clear Sky last year and more recently Call of Pripyat while playing them. The screens are accompanied by captions too. Why did I do this. I don’t know…


“There’s an emission going on outside? Damn right. There’s one going on in here too!”


“Ooh! We’ve never done it by a train station before!”


“Why the hell did you stick the grenades to the bottom of the crate?”

“To stop them rolling about.”


“Teddy?! I sleep with my rifle motherf*cker!”


Makin’ Magic with Magic Set Editor

imageI know – a lame title there. But it’s something I’ve been messing around with lately, and that is Magic Set Editor. I first heard about this when I was reading the latest issue of NAG magazine the other day, where someone created a card using NAG’s badger mascot [sometimes called The Badginator], and decided to go online and look for it. I came across a sourceforge project page which allowed me to download either the lite or full version of the program. Naturally I opted for the complete download, which has all sorts of extras in it.

I was inspired to do this after playing a little game called Magic Gauntlet Karathin-Din the other day, which I also downloaded. I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with Magic: The Gathering as well, even though I’ve never really been able to get a hold of the cards. Back in those days at school, I didn’t have the money, although I will admit I did once purchase a pack of Pokémon cards.

Anyway, I went about working with this MSE and creating some cards just for fun.


As you can see, I’m a big fan of the old classic games.

You can get Magic Set Editor here. Currently it’s at version 2, or 0.3.8 Beta, but it’s from about a year ago. The program began development in 2007 by Twan van Laarhoven. It’s fun to just play around with and create some card with some great artwork that you can make or “borrow”.

Right now I’m just working on making cards that contain characters, protagonists from games, monsters, lands and other things all from video games.





VGD Alert: BioShock & BioShock 2 for $50 at Amazon

     BS1 + BS2

                                                  = Save!

This isn’t the first time such a package has been put together. For a while now, a deal has been on at Direct2Drive, which will let you get your hands on BioShock & BioShock 2… but at a price of $62.95

Now Amazon has a similar deal going on, but other than it being the retail versions and not the digital ones, the price tag is considerably less, at $50. All you have to do is add both games to your shopping cart, and you basically get BioShock for free, or one cent, if you’re really counting.

The conditions are that you can only do this with the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions, not the PC ones, and the Limited Editions don’t count either.

I haven’t yet played BioShock 2, but my brother says it’s good. I have played the first game, and I can say it’s one you shouldn’t miss.

Get both BioShock and BioShock 2 for $50

Source: Deal: BioShock 1 & 2 for $50 on Amazon [Joystiq]


Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Screenshots, Details

A bunch of screenshots for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier hit the net recently. Thanks go to The Lost Gamer for originally having them up. You can check them out at the bottom of the post.

As you can see in some of the pictures, and in the trailers for the game released recently, the game will feature cloaking or optical camouflage. In Official Playstation Magazine, this was explained further by Studio producer Adrian Lacey:

“People always say, ‘It doesn’t exist’. It’s existed for about five years; we were looking at it for previous Recons.

Imagine a suit covered in cameras. It films what’s around you and projects it back on your suit. You don’t disappear. You’re not invisible. It disturbs your perception, breaks up your silhouette.”

Also, soldier exoskeletons and shoulder-mounted rocket launchers are some other gadgets that will be in the game.

The game will be out later on this year for PS3, 360, DS, PSP and Wii, with a PC version probably coming afterwards, at some other time.



Sources: The Lost Gamer - VG247


Call of Duty 7 Called “Black Ops”, Coming November, Details

COd It seems the new Call of Duty destined to arrive this year, as is the case every year, is rumoured to be named Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The game will not only take place in Vietnam as was suspected for many months if not a year or more, but will take place in operations that span from World War II to the present day, including The Cold War, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, South America, and supposedly even one in London, which would be the infamous SAS mission that took place at the Iranian Embassy in 1980 – which nearly went south very quickly, with some botch-ups of note, from what I’ve seen on the History Channel.

The game is also said to have support for dedicated servers for the PC version of the game, where Modern Warfare 2 didn’t, and will bring back the Zombie mode from World at War, seeing as this title is also being developed by Treyarch, as was WAW.

The game is said to be arriving in November, 2010, as is customary or even traditional by now. Although one particular retailer, GAME, states that it might be October.

I can say that even though some, or even most, of these are rumours, it sounds exciting. Travelling through time, and playing with different gadgets and weapons. It’s going to be like every Call of Duty you’ve ever played crammed into one. Awesome.


Source: Rumour – Call of Duty 7 called Black Ops, gets zombie mode and dedicated servers, more [VG247]



Mafia II Box Art Revealed, Release Date Confirmed

MafiaIIa Mafia II gets a bit of news lately, as the box art for the game has been revealed, which you can see to the right.

Some say the Mafia I cover art was better.

Anyway, the game has been scheduled for an August 24, 2010 release date in North America, and August 27 in other countries worldwide.

It will be available for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, and there’s all ready talk of DLC packs after release, as is the case with many games post-2008.


Source: VG247


Video Games Coming out This Week [03-28 – 04-03, 2010]: DSi XL, Prison Break


Prison Break: The Conspiracy is one of the major releases this week. But we all know it’s not going to be that good of a game when it’s played. I just don’t see it being a critically-acclaimed title. Most games based on movies and series aren’t. Fans of the series might well enjoy it though.

Besides that, a new console comes out this week: The Nintendo DSi XL – and some aren’t happy about another handheld entering the market.

A good pack to pick up as far as classic PC gaming goes, is the Commandos Complete pack, which has every Commandos game ever made in it: Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, Commandos: Beyond The Call of Duty, Commandos 2: Men of Courage, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin, and Commandos: Strike Force. I can recommend anything up to Commandos 3, but Strike Force I haven’t played, and I’ve read it’s not that good.

Available links go to game detail pages at Amazon, etc.


bittos e

Commandos Complete
Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm
Mount & Blade: Warband
Mortal Online

Xbox 360

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Stimulus Package
Mega Man 10 [Xbox Live Arcade]
Prison Break: The Conspiracy
Samurai Shodown SEN
Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition


Prison Break: The Conspiracy


Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love Premium Edition
SingStar 2009 [Stand Alone]


Dead or Alive Paradise
Mimana: Iyar Chronicle


Cabela's Monster Buck Hunter - with Gun Peripheral
Dance Sensation!
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love
Sushi Go Round
The Secret Files: Tunguska
WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase [WiiWare]


Nintendo DSi XL [Bronze]
Nintendo DSi XL [Burgundy]
America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking
Brave: Shaman's Challenge
Mahjong: Journey Quest for Tikal
Monster Rancher DS
Obscure: Dark Aura
Learn Science
Sky Pirates of Neo Terra
T.A.C. Heroes: Big Red One
The Secret Files: Tunguska
WarioWare: D.I.Y.




Sources: Shacknews – Gamespot


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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