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


Vuzu Adverts Sound Conspicuously Like GLaDOS From Portal

Glados I was quite amused the other night while on Vuzu [Channel 123 on DSTV] to hear a type of voice I found recognisable: GLaDOS from Portal. It wasn’t exactly the same, and it lacked the usual dark humour, but the way it sounded was more or less the same.
Have a listen. Then listen to GlaDOS.
I mean, I can’t really think why they would do this other than trying to be funny or creative. There are gaming shows on the channel, like PlayR, The Verge, and more recently, the new additions like The Ginx Files and GameFace, originally British shows, presented by Julia Hardy.
But the strange GLaDOS-sounding voice was talking more about entertainment this time.
Maybe Portal had more of an influence than I thought. Maybe I’m just paranoid. Yes, probably.

Hydrophobia Coming to PC and PS3 in Addition to Xbox 360

Hydrophobia Hydrophobia was once thought no too long ago to be an XBLA exclusive title. But Dark Energy Digital, the developers, confirmed recently that the game will also appear on PS3 and PC sometime, after the Xbox 360 “exclusivity” wears off.

Both retail and digital distribution versions of the game are planned for Xbox 360, while the PS3 will only get it via PSN.

Pete Jones of Dark Energy Digital:

“Hydrophobia is of a production quality that only the best at retail can match and yes it is of a comparable gameplay length to an AAA retail game."

"We produced the engine principally because it conveys a massive productivity benefit - basically it allows a small team like ourselves to produce a big budget game."But it had a spin off effect of producing a game to an impossibly small file size. Impossibly small meaning under 1GB."My bizarre analogy for this is Viagra. It was developed as a heart drug but had an interesting side effect."

"Size matters. Not sure that the industry has quite grasped this one yet. All of a sudden everyone talks about downloading games. But this bright digital future has a big elephant sitting in their virtual room. Until developers produce games with IW or its equivalent it will remain a dream."

I’ve seen the trailer for Hydrophobia not too long ago on The Verge, and the latest NAG cover DVD, which came out on Thursday the 29th, also had it on there. It looks like a cross between Dead Space and BioShock. It’s a third person game set on some vessel that’s flooded with water – hence the name hydrophobia: the irrational fear of water.

Interesting fact: hydrophobia is a symptom of rabies.


Source: Hydrophobia release and platforms clarified [IncGamers]


DSTV Competitor, Top TV, Starts Today

Worker’s Day [Labour Day]

Today marks the day that MultiChoice and DStv finally gets a competitor, in TopTV.
On Digital Media, which launched TopTV, a new pay-TV station, offers decoders, hardware installation, and channel bouquets at cheaper prices than MultiChoice [which some refer to as “MonoChoice” - until today anyway].

And of all people, Al Gore’s production company, Current TV, will supply content for TopTV.
“Competition forces organisations to re-think their business models. This is what makes the launch of TopTV so important for South Africa.”
I’ve read that TopTV is going to offer channels like Kerrang!, Discover Science, and Fox Movies – which DStv doesn’t, as far as I know, seeing as I have DStv.

MultiChoice has reacted to all this by dropping some of their bouquet prices as well – as low as R20 for the most basic setup. MultiChoice has denied that its doing this because of the TopTV threat, instead offering an explanation: it’s because of the 2010 World Cup, which starts in about forty days.

Jackie Rakitla, general manager at MultiChoice said:
“The improvement of our DStv offering is ongoing  and we always look for opportunities to improve our services. We want to give our subscribers more value and choice We would like to contribute to the experience [of the World Cup] by providing access to great sporting entertainment.”
Nice save.
Competition is good – don’t you think?

Source: War erupts over pay-TV [Weekend Argus]


Apocalypse Then: Redneck Rampage

Redneckrampage On this day in gaming history, in 1997, Redneck Rampage was released.

It’s a title developed by Xatrix entertainment, which later became known as Grey Matter, then absorbed into Treyarch – the “B Team” when it comes to Call of Duty games, such as World at War.

Redneck Rampage was a title which used the build engine, famous in the 90s for use with several games, such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Blood. These titles became known as the big four of build games.

It followed the story of Leonard and Bubba, two country hicks and brothers, as they fight hordes of alien creatures. Along the way you pick up many inventive, original weapons, as well as powerups like alcohol and pork rinds which give you health, but drinking and eating too much can have adverse effects.


One of the best features the game had was the soundtrack. Contrary to what many games in the mid nineties and even in 1997 had, which was mainly MIDI, or E-MIDI in the case of Shadow Warrior, RR had a proper soundtrack by well known Psychobilly artists like The Reverend Horton Heat. You might know them for “Psychobilly Freakout”.

Redneck Rampage was followed by an expansion, Rampage: Suckin' Grits on Route 66, a sequel in Redneck Rampage Rides Again, and a spin-off title in Redneck and Redneck Deer Huntin'.

The licence for the series was purchased from Interplay by Vivendi, and then sold to Blizzard last year. There’ve been rumours ever since suggesting that another Redneck Rampage title might be in the works, and it might be an MMO, seeing as that’s one of the genres that Blizzard loves so much. Otherwise, like some of the other classics from the 90s, like Duke Nukem 3D, it might well be that the series will be released on Xbox Live Arcade or another platform.

For more on this game, check out my hub on HubPages.


F.3.A.R. Box Art Revealed, Sketchy Details Revealed


I wasn’t so sure about all this, but I came upon some details in a F.E.A.R. 3, or F.3.A.R. “preview” in the local Techno Times lately.

It claims that you play as a “telekinetic trooper who can lift foes off their feet and bash them into walls, while spraying gunfire.”

This mini-preview got some details right – about the co-op mode that will be featured in the game, the new cover system, and so on. But something else that the preview mentions is that the subtitle, once thought to be “Project Hades”, could be “Revelation”. It also says that the possible release date could be October 7th, possibly referring to this year.

Some of this is correct, but about the telekinetic bit – that’s more Paxton Fettel than Point Man, so it’s probably referring once again to the co-op mode where Paxton can use some of his powers. Something else seen in the trailer that was released not too long ago also showed Paxton was able to freeze enemies in a sort of stasis.


But then again, Paxton didn’t ever carry a weapon, so how’s he going to spray gunfire? Usually Pointy does all the shooting.

About the release date. I haven’t read anything official, but there was word that it would come out this year. All I’ve read so far is that it’s scheduled for a Q3 release, which is June - September. The logo also doesn’t look like the official one.

Like I was saying: sketchy. Take it with a grain of salt.

By the way, I seemed to have missed it a few days ago, but I saw that the new box art for F.3.A.R. has been released. See it above.


Source: The Independent - Techno Times



Red Faction TV Movie Coming, Possible TV Series to Follow

RFl I’ve been playing the latest Red Faction offering, Guerrilla, for the past week or two, and enjoyed it so much I decided that this little piece of news was worth covering.

Reports say that THQ, the publisher of the Red Faction games, has made a deal with the SyFy channel to produce a two hour, direct to TV movie based on the Red Faction series of games. If this gets a lot of attention, it could mean a full on series.

SyFy Ventures senior VP Alan Seiffert:

"It is the kind of content that fits our genre. It is a great fit for a big Syfy Saturday movie, and if it really works, it is a great back-door pilot."

"Both 'Ghost Hunters' and 'Red Faction' are great examples of how we are absolutely committed to gaming, and it is going to be more than just taking the name, it is going to really be part of the overall experience.”

In addition to all this, it’s been said that SyFy will be involved with the next Red Faction game, possibly as a co-developer with SyFy Games, rumoured to be titled Red Faction 4.

Will we see this in SA? Seeing as Ghost Hunters airs on the M-Net Action channel on DSTV [Channel 106 – previously known as Action-X], Red Faction will likely show up on the same channel some time. I’m thinking that a Red Faction TV series could work. Then again, so could a Half-Life 2 one. They’re more similar than you think.


Source: Broadcasting & Cable


NAG Magazine May 2010 Issue Out Now

The May issue of NAG magazine should be out in SA today. Like I’ve said before: the last Thursday of every month.

Subscribers should all ready have it. I don’t subscribe. I actually leave the house every now and again and happen to buy it.

What’s in this one? Big features include two on Red Dead Redemption, which made the cover this month, as well as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Other previews include Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, as well as Splinter Cell: Conviction, even though it’s all ready out. The review will likely be next issue or so.
Reviews take a look at Stalker: Call of Pripyat, Assassin’s Creed II for the PC, C&C 4, Just Cause 2, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

The Cover DVD has demos of Just Cause 2 [will only work on Windows Vista and Windows 7 – not XP, just like the full version I imagine], as well as Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom. Plenty of game trailers as usual.

Seems like quite a lacklustre DVD compared to last month’s, so far.
Source: NAG May 2010 issue [NAG Online]


Sony Doing Away With Floppies by Next Year

3.4 inch floppy disk Remember the days of the 3.5” 1.44 MB floppy, that ironically some of us called a stiffy, which you would slip into your drive [the A: drive]? That little device is going out of business finally, as Sony, one of the companies that still makes them, is going to cease producing them in March of next year.
“Sony, one of just a few companies that still produce the archaic computer storage media, has announced plans to end production of floppies in March 2011.”
I still have a few of these lying around, but the bigger 5.25” floppies are rarer to come by. I still have an A: drive despite not using it that much at all, if ever [mostly never]. At school, years ago, we mainly used stiffies, or floppies, for distributing naughty things.

For the last few years most of us have been using flash drives, external hard drives, in addition to CDs and DVDS. And not to mention filehosting where a person can upload something to the internet for other people to have a look at.
Source: The once ubiquitous floppy finally being axed by Sony [Ars Technica]

Techno Times Competition: Win an XBOX 360 with GTA IV

GTAIV_Logo Yesterday was Freedom Day in SA, and the Cape Times failed to have the Techno Times insert inside. But today when I looked, there it was.

Sometimes the Techno Times doesn’t arrive because of holidays or else someone steals it out of my copy of the Cape Times. So I decided for those who don’t buy it or don’t have the TT, I would post this here.

Last week there was a competition for a PS3 with God of War III up for grabs. There’s a new competition offers up an Xbox 360 along with GTA IV for the winner. All of it’s worth R3000 in total. Quite an old game, but not a bad one at all, so I hear.

To enter all you have to do is SMS “XBOX” sans quotations to 34445. SMSs cost R2. The competition ends on May 7. Winners will be notified via phone.


Source: Techno Times



Direct2Drive Spring Sale - Week 3: X-Com Complete Bundle, Brothers in Arms Bundle

direct2drivejuly15 The Spring Sale at D2D is still on, with week 3 kicking off yesterday. I forgot to post about then, but I’m doing it now.

There’s another twenty games where you can save on, mainly from 30% upwards to about 75%, including the following:

Civilization 4: The Complete Edition - $9.95
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - $14.95
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI - $9.95
Battlefield 2 Complete Collection - $14.95
Star Trek Online - $29.95
The Saboteur - $14.95
Caesar IV - $4.95
Sid Meier's Railroads! - $4.95
Torchlight - $9.95
X-Com Complete Bundle - $4.95
NBA 2k10 - $9.95

East India Company Bundle - $19.95
BioShock - $9.95
IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 - $4.95
Brothers in Arms Bundle - $19.95
Dawn of Discovery: Gold Edition - $34.95
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Special Edition - $14.95
Tom Clancy's HAWX - $9.95
EverQuest® II Sentinel's Fate - $19.95
Cities XL Limited Edition - $14.95
Altitude - $4.95

I found it quite appropriate that an X-Com bundle is on sale seeing as a new XCOM game is on the way. Other games that appeal to my interest include Battlefield 2 and The Saboteur. And there’s BioShock and a Brothers in Arms Bundle, which has all the titles in the series in one.


Source: Direct2Drive


Top Gear Test Track to be in Gran Turismo 5

Top gear pályatérkép Top Gear is a big favourite of mine. In fact it’s a big favourite in SA. I reckon Jeremy Clarkson is one of the funniest men on television, and without him, the show would be very different.

Those of you who’ve seen the series know that the current format, with the current hosts, has been running since 2002 or so, but the original series went much further back.

We’ve all seen Stig race around the Top Gear test track in the most amazingly quick super cars, and we’ve laughed while witnessing the likes of stars and legends such as Michael Gambon [who has a corner on the track named after him] come a cropper while giving it a go in a much more modest vehicle.

That Top Gear test track is going to appear in Gran Turismo 5, it turns out.

Kazunori Yamauchi:
“We had a helicopter taking aerial photographs of the circuit, and had ground crews taking photos and measurements of the track all the way around. It took about three to four days to finish the whole thing”.
“I tried driving it myself, but it’s really hard to find the driving line. It’s so wide that it becomes difficult to find markers and visual points. It was only after I sat with the Stig as a passenger that I finally realized where all the turn-in points and the correct driving lines were”.
I doubt I’ll ever get the game, seeing as don’t really go for games where racing is the main element. I don’t mind titles like GTA where you can get out the cars and do other stuff, and driving just complements the game. Still, it’s cool to see Top Gear featuring in a video game.

There was talk about a Top Gear game coming sometime in the future as well.

Sources: Top Gear

NAG Doing an Interview with GOG, Come up with Questions Please

Freedom Day [SA]

             Copy of NAG VS. GOGA

GOG stands for Good Old Games. It’s a digital distribution service that started up a couple of years ago, and has gone on to become quite popular since. Their aim is to provide classic games, like the newly added Blood: One Unit Whole Blood, which are DRM free, and guaranteed to work on modern operating systems like Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. They’re also cheap, with most games going for $5.99. It saves you a lot of money having to go to places like Amazon and pay through the nose for these old classics, that usually cost as much if not more than new games because of their rarity or other factors that “justify” the price.

NAG, or NAG magazine, is going to do an interview with the people over there soon, and want you to come up with questions. If you’re a reader of the magazine or visit the website from time to time, this is your chance.

“We're soon going to do an interview with the fine people over at, and I thought I'd put forward the option for you guys to contribute to some questions. No "when is my bestest most favourite game coming?" questions, please.

So, what do you want to ask GOG?”

I’m not completely sure if this will feature on the website or in a future issue of the magazine, or both, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. All I know is that these open interviews where people can contribute questions can work quite well, instead of one person having to do all the work.

So far we have these questions:

“How much of a factor is the Wishlist facility when they decide which games to give the GOG treatment? It's clear they don't just start at the top and work their way down.”

“Many of the games on GOG are pretty unheard of and some aren't even that old, what criteria do they look for when adding a game to the GOG list?”

“How often has do publishers say no when asked to publish a game on GOG?”

“Have any publishers/developers approached GoG to say, "Hey, here's our old game; add it to your catalogue please"?”

“Since is a download-based service, how does it work with your catalogue being completely DRM-free? Is it solely based on trust?”

“Do they love a lot of ponies?” [Likely won’t make it into the interview]


Source: Ask [NAG Online Forums]



Video Game Deals on Amazon [April 28, 2010 Edition]: BioShock 2, Just Cause 2

BSR2 BioShock 2’s Special Edition has been reduced for both PC and PS3, and plain old BioShock 2 for the PC gets a price cut as well. Just Cause 2 receives a price cut for Xbox 360 and PS3, saving you 25%. Call of Duty: World at War for PC is nearly 33% off. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare GOTY for 360 is more than half off. Other good deals include Your Shape for Wii, and… well, the list below has the rest.

VGDs feature on AAA once or twice a week with deals at least $7.00 [R50] or more making the big list. Deals which are $10 or more, and well-known games, make the best deals list.

Best Deals:

BioShock 2 Special Edition - $72.98 - Save $27.00 [PS3]

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year - $18.54 - Save $21.45 [360]

BioShock 2 Special Edition - $72.98 - Save $15.68 [PC]
Bioshock 2 - $34.99 – Save $15.00 [PC]

Just Cause 2 - $44.98 - Save $12.01 [360]
Call of Duty: World at War - $18.68 - Save $10.94 [PC]


BioShock 2 Special Edition - $72.98 - Save $15.68

Bioshock 2 - $34.99 – Save $15.00

Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life [Game Download] - $6.99 - Save $13.00
The Club - $7.61 - Save $12.00
Call of Duty: World at War - $18.68 - Save $10.94


Pro-Evolution Soccer 2010 - $19.99 - Save $9.00


Just Cause 2 - $44.98 - Save $8.01
BioShock 2 Special Edition - $72.98 - Save $27.00
Buzz! Quiz World - $22.98 - Save $13.89

[Xbox 360]

Just Cause 2 - $44.98 - Save $12.01
Def Jam Rapstar - $59.99 - Save $10.00
Guilty Gear 2: Overture - $21.46 - Save $10.00
Pro-Evolution Soccer 2010 - $29.99 - Save $9.97
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year - $18.54 - Save $21.45

[Nintendo DS]

Elite Forces: Unit 77 - $14.04 - Save $11:00
Squeeballs Party - $8.96 - Save $11.00

[Nintendo Wii]

Def Jam Rapstar - $49.99 - Save $10.00
Your Shape - $19.99 - Save $20.00
Squeeballs Party - $8.96 - Save $11.00


Sources: Amazon - Nowinstock


Ubisoft Wants To Get Rid of Game Manuals

I have such good memories of game manuals. Whether it was Unreal, Half-Life: Opposing Force, No One Lives Forever – I could spend hours reading and re-reading these little booklets. Some of them were huge, like that of Homeworld. Didn’t enjoy that so much.


The manual for Red Alert 2. The guy pictured reminds me of my Geography teacher in high school.

First Ubisoft created waves with their new DRM methods. Now they want to do away with game manuals. Their excuse is that they’re going green and want to stop printing game manuals. All fair and well I suppose. I mean, a lot of games have manuals in PDF format on the game’s DVD nowadays anyway. And they’ve been doing that for years as far I remember.

"No more manuals? Ubisoft announced last week that they will be ditching the trend of printing instruction manuals for new games under the 'green' initiative.”


Source: Ubisoft Says No More Game Manuals [Slashdot]


Ubisoft DRM Assassinated: Playable Assassin’s Creed II


                                                 “HAHA! Your turn!”

I have it on good authority that there is a playable, pirated version of Assassin’s Creed II. Only afterwards did I read online on multiple websites that  the hacker group known as Skid Row has cracked Ubisoft’s controversial, “unbeatable” DRM.

They even left a message:

"Thank you Ubisoft, this was quite a challenge for us, but nothing stops the leading force from doing what we do. Next time focus on the game and not on the DRM. It was probably horrible for all legit users. We just make their lives easier."

There’s a modified exe file and crack which allows a player to play the game without a constant internet connection. This all on torrent sites worldwide, and has been since last week. It took less time than even I suspected.

It’s not the first time that Skid Row tried. They attempted it a while back but Ubisoft denied that it had been cracked. There were also some attempts by hackers to attack Ubisoft’s servers which caused further complications and downtime for legitimate players. Not sure if this was Skid Row or not.

Jim Sterling of Destructoid summed it up perfectly:

“Ubisoft has absolutely no sympathy from me, and if this hack truly works, then it only stands as proof that excessive anti-piracy measures never work. All it does is give the publisher a power trip over the more loyal consumers while pirates just sit back and wait for the latest way around the restrictions. Ubisoft bred a lot of bad blood with customers over this stupid idea, and now it runs the risk of previously loyal gamers, as well as hardcore pirates, screwing with its games.

I am certain we'll see a lot of retaliatory piracy in this case too. Ubisoft has nobody to blame but itself.”

So then, it’s up to you: buy the game and play it legally with all the difficulties that come with it, or pirate the game and get the crack so you can play it offline as intended.

I of course do not condone that sort of thing, and ask you to please spend hundreds of Rand on the game, and be frustrated because you can’t play it due to having an insufficient connection, or no internet at all.

Come on. Be legal. Deal with it. At least you bought the game and supported the developers and publishers, even though you can’t play it.


Source: Ubisoft's controversial 'always on' PC DRM hacked [CNET]



Allied Marine Squadmates for Doom 3 [Post-Apocalypse, Old News]

93363_18 What the hell. It’s my blog, I’ll post about whatever on here.

Are you too scared to play Doom 3 all on your own? Then you might want to check out Allied Marine Squadmates: a mod for Doom 3.

This is a mod released back in 2008 for Doom 3 which I stumbled across yesterday while searching for something about the Doom 3 marine. Basically it allows you to play with bots that will back you up in the singleplayer campaign. You can mix and match them with different uniforms and such to tackle the demons, zombies, and other nasties.

“When looking for a little back-up in an un-forgiving world... "=AMS= United Forces" reports for duty!”
"With all Major Bugs Fixed ... Extra Features ... and New Marine Styles Added!"
"Squadmates are Back with a Vengeance! ... Locked, Loaded and Ready for Action!"
“Squadmate Update: Prepare for "Allied Marine Squadmates v.7.1.ufo" .."United Forces: Official"
“Allied Marine Squadmates UFO is a one of a kind "Special Edition AMS" mod offering!”

It almost makes me want to install the game again. Maybe I will.



Source: FileFront


Video Games Coming Out This Week [April 25-May 01, 2010]: Super Street Fighter IV



AAA’s Targets of the Week: Splinter Cell: Conviction, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, Super Street Fighter 4, Dead to Rights: Retribution  

A pick up in things this week as there are quite a few good titles releasing within the next several days. There’s the PC version of Splinter Cell: Conviction. The 360 version came out two weeks ago, and the PC one was delayed until now.

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is a high-definition remake of the 2nd game in the series from years ago. SSFIV is also out this week. That’s basically a special edition of SSIV, and reportedly the last in the series for some time. This is for consoles only so far. There are rumours for a PC version, but nothing official.

There’s Dead to Rights: Retribution, a remake of another DTR title from years ago.

And another game out this week is 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa for multiple platforms. I would have put this on my most wanted list but for a few reasons, one of them being I have very little national pride, and in real life the 2010 FIFA World Cup is going to be a disaster on so many levels. The game will probably suck anyway.

Available links go to game detail pages at retail and digital distribution outlets at Amazon, Steam, etc.

Remember to check out my Amazon aStore where you can see what the latest and greatest games out this year are.


Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West [Steam]
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter [Steam]
Splinter Cell: Conviction
The Whispered World

[Xbox 360]

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Dead to Rights: Retribution
Record of Agarest War
Super Street Fighter IV - Super Street Fighter IV Peripherals
Tecmo Bowl Throwback [XBLA]

[PlayStation 3]

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Dante's Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia
Dead to Rights: Retribution
Record of Agarest War [PSN]
Super Street Fighter IV
Tecmo Bowl Throwback


2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley
PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe

[Nintendo Wii]

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Free Running
Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans



The Video Game Release List of 4/25 - 5/1 [Shacknews]
New Releases Week of Apr 25, 2010 [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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