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Archive for September, 2010

Not Closed! Changes to GOG.com

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

During an online press conference, details were released on what changes are coming to GOG.com, provided by two “monks” asking for forgiveness on the heels of the recent “closure” of the classic games download site.

  • Playing a “game” with old school gamers; many hints in their closure statement.
  • Confirmed that they are coming back with a new website; had to re-write a bunch of code to get it running 10x faster and many more simultaneous users.
  • No DRM or download client; still independent (not purchases by a larger company)
  • Announced new features for GOG.com: free games available for new users; streamlined sign-up process; new sorting and browsing options for games by genre, best sellers, etc.; instant search bar (like Google); digital versions of all the “extras”; full Windows 7 compatibility for the games (with a few exceptions that are still being tested);  Facebook “like” button; user recommendations.
  • Baldur’s Gate The Original Saga announced for $10.
  • Launch date of the new site: 1:00PM GMT on Sept.23/10.
  • Long term, they want to match Steam (or at least be an alternative), but still be different in offering the old school games.

Square Enix Announces “Dissidia 0012[duodecim] Final Fantasy” (PSP)

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Today Square Enix announced that “Dissidia 0012[duodecim] Final Fantasy” will be available in North America sometime in 2011. It’s being “developed exclusively for the PSP® (PlayStation Portable) system” and is a “follow-up to the smash hit DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY marks the return of the ultimate portable fighting experience.”

Check our review of Dissidia Final Fantasy or read a little more about 0012[duodecim], which probably could have just been labeled “Dissidia Final Fantasy 2″:

The battle between good and evil continues: The action-packed world of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY is back in full-force, now with new game modes, story missions, items, alternate costumes and combat features. Soar through expansive environments and participate in gripping combat, all while enjoying RPG-based character development that adds a rich layer of depth to the story behind the clashing forces. (more…)

New “BioShock Infinite” Screens

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Alongside the fact that Irrational Games has released the “gameplay demo video of BioShock Infinite on Xbox Live and Xbox.com” the company has released a handful of new screen shots. Considering how long we’ll be waiting for BioShock Infinite to hit our gaming machines, the game’s looking pretty nice. [Click the pic for a larger view!]

Jeff Green Now Gainfully Employed by PopCap

Friday, September 17th, 2010

The Armchair Empire has learned that Jeff Green, formerly of EA.com, 1UP.com and Computer Gaming World/Games for Windows: The Official Magazine has found gainful employment with PopCap Games as Director of Editorial and Social Media. He’ll still be in Berkeley, and probably hang out at the San Francisco office with Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan, but he’ll be making regular trips to PopCap HQ in Seattle.

Ahead of the official announcement Jeff had this to say about the opportunity:

I’ll be doing all the things people expect of me in a public forum, but am looking, too, to contribute as much as I can to the games themselves in any capacity that they’ll let me.  It’s an awesome, great, talented, hilarious group of people, and feels like exactly the right fit I’ve been hoping to find in the gaming industry.  I’ve championed PopCap games for as long as they’ve been around–it’s no secret that I love them.  I wrote a Greenspeak column on my Peggle addiction years ago in Computer Gaming World, and was also instrumental, way back in the day, in having Bejeweled inducted into CGW’s Hall of Fame. On Area 5′s show a year or so ago, I argued, upon the release of Plants Vs. Zombies  that it was time that PopCap be treated and thought of in the same terms as Blizzard, Bungie, and other AAA game companies who consistently, unfalteringly make games of the highest quality.  PopCap never stumbles, and with PvZ you can see that they’re just getting better and bolder. (more…)

“Shadows of the Damned” Announced

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Electronic Arts and Grasshopper Manufacture have announced a partnership to bring us “Shadows of the Damned.” that will put gamers into “the role of Garcia, a hard-as-nails, leather-clad, motorcycle-riding professional demon hunter who finds his true love kidnapped by vengeance-seeking demons.”

The release notes include a quote that could have been directly lifted from EA’s own “Dante’s Inferno”:

“With Shadows of the Damned, gamers will fight for love in the most difficult arena imaginable … hell,” said Shinji Mikami, Creative Producer of Shadows of the Damned. “Players will find themselves surrounded by demons set on destroying their heart and soul. Only the strong will survive.”

It looks like a 3rd person action/shooter, but with Grasshopper Manufacture at the helm it could turn into a wild ride.

Some more information: (more…)

Blue Castle Games Now “Capcom Vancouver”

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Dead Rising 2 developer Blue Castle Games is now the property of Capcom and has been branded “Capcom Vancouver.”

The purchase was announced at Tokyo Games Show by Keiji Inafune.  It was also revealed that the downloadable Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (exclusive to Xbox 360) has sold in the neighborhood of 500,000 copies. That’s a massive success any way you slice it and obviously Capcom liked the results well enough to think that Blue Castle would be a good fit with Capcom’s effort to produce games with  ”Japanese and Western flavours.”

If that weren’t enough, Capcom teased a downloadable epilogue to Dead Rising 2, this one titled “Case West”, (again, exclusive to Xbox 360) which would appear to feature a two-player experience featuring everyone’s favorite photographer from the original game, Frank West.

Read our hands-on preview of Dead Rising 2 and be sure to tune in for our review of Case Zero.

Halo: Reach Midnight Launches in Canada

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Halo: Reach is launching tomorrow. 12:01AM to be exact and to accommodate rabid fans, many retailers have midnight openings planned. For a full list of Canadian stores, check the locations right here but here are few highlights:

Toronto (Ontario)

Best Buy – Bay & Dundas
65 Dundas St. West, Toronto
416-642-8321

Vancouver (British Columbia)

Best Buy – Cambie St.
2220 Cambie St., Vancouver
604-638-4966

(more…)

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS) Arrives

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Everyone’s faorite top-hat puzzler is back for a second time in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. This third game in the series, there’s a decided focus on Time.

“In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Professor Layton’s apprentice, Luke, gets a letter from himself – from 10 years in the future. Future Luke explains how London has fallen into disarray, and requests the aid of Professor Layton to set things right. By solving more than 165 puzzles, riddles and brain teasers, players must help the pair solve the mystery. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future includes more voice acting and more animated sequences than any game in the series.”

Professor Layton is a great series for a number of reasons, but personally it’s because they’re the only video games that my wife will play from beginning to end before I even get my hands on them.

Portal 2 Co-Op Video Released

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This was clip of Portal 2′s co-op was rolling during the Penny Arcade Expo demo last week, but it’s now widely available. Besides showcasing the puzzle potential with the Laurel and Hardy robots, the writers seem to have upped their game, sorta speak.