Category Archives: Gaming

EA’s Coupon Code Goof Up Results in Free Games Bonanza

Last night, Electronics Arts(EA) decided to be a little generous and offered few select people a coupon entitling them to $20 off, if they would complete a survey on Origin, EA’s digital distribution service. The coupon made it’s way across the Internet, went viral on Reddit and as a result, a lot of people were able to get the $20 off on few games which were retailing at $20, essentially giving them the game for free.

Origin Logo

Now the catch was that the coupon code was supposed to be one-time and applicable for one game — except EA forgot to put in the one-time check. Woops. Few enterprising souls discovered that they could use it multiple times. EA’s servers essentially didn’t bother to validate if the user had applied the code or not. Result: A lot of people got a lot of games for free. The list of games that could be purchased via the coupon code included

  • Battlefield 2 Complete Collection
  • Bulletstorm
  • Crysis and Crysis: Warhead
  • Dragon Age II
  • Dead Space 1 & 2
  • Mass Effect 1 & 2
  • Shank 1 & 2
  • The Saboteur

The exploit was patched nearly 18 hours after the coupon code was live, by means of making the coupon code as invalid. There were fears that people who made use of this exploit might face bans, but EA Community Manager rep confirmed that “they will honor all sales made with the coupon code.”

Game4u to Hold Midnight Launch for FIFA 13 Across India

FIFA 13, the latest game of EA Sports’  FIFA franchise is all set to launch in India on the 28th of September, 2012. In light of this, Game4u  is set to hold a midnight launch party at various cities across India. The launch is scheduled to happen on September 28th, 2012 with the launch party starting half hour early, at 11:30 pm on September 27th, 2012.

FIFA 13 Boxart

The first customer to purchase FIFA 13 will get a “First to Own” certificate from Game4u.

Here’s more details on the event:

Date: 27 September, 2012

Time: 11:30 PM onwards

Venue:

  • Game4u, Mega Mall, Oshiwara, Mumbai
  • Game4u, Infiniti Mall, Malad, Mumbai
  • Game4u, MGF Metropolis, Gurgaon
  • Game4u, VIVA Collage, Jalandhar
  • Game4u, MBD Neopolis, Ludhiana

Mass Effect 3 Leviathan DLC Now Available Across All Platforms

BioWare’s action RPG game, Mass Effect 3, just got its second paid DLC. The DLC, titled “Mass Effect 3 Leviathan” is available on Xbox LIVE for 800 MS Points and on the PSN and EA’s Origin service for $9.99.

Leviathan brings in two extra weapons, the AT-12 Raider shotgun and M-55 Argus assault rifle — though pre-order customers would have no extra weapons since these were already available as part of their pre-order bonus.

Mass Effect 3 Leviathan gives a glimpse of a creature powerful enough to destroy a Reapers.  Catch the description and the game trailer below.

Something lurks in the dark corners of space, something powerful enough to kill a Reaper. Shepard must discover the most closely guarded secret in the galaxy before the Reapers silence it forever.

Mass Effect 3: Leviathan expands upon the events of Mass Effect 3, with gripping and emotional storytelling, compelling new characters, and powerful weapons and upgrades. Discover more about the origins of the Reapers as you race across the galaxy to find the Leviathan. Travel to new systems, wield the AT-12 Raider Shotgun and M-55 Argus Assault Rifle, and unravel the dark history of the Reaper Race before it is too late.

Blizzard Rolling out Massive Patch for Diablo III, PvP Still Not in Sight

If you pay a casual trip to Blizzard’s Diablo III forums, you’ll find whole lot of people whining about lack of things to do once they’ve hit the level cap. In an attempt to address this and to encourage people to try out more diverse character builds, Blizzard is currently rolling out Patch 1.0.4 — quite probably the biggest patch yet in terms of adding new features and balancing various characters.

One of the biggest complaints has been the level cap — beyond 60, your character stops growing and for a RPG game, character growth is quite possibly one of the biggest motivators in keeping you hooked onto the game. To combat this, Blizzard has unveiled what they term as the “Paragon” system.

Diablo III Installer

With the Paragon system, players level up to 60. Post that

  • Any further experience earned killing monsters will begin to count toward Paragon levels
  • There are 100 Paragon levels
  • Every Paragon level results will reward the character with:
    • Core stats such as Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Vitality in amounts similar to what you’d gain from a normal level
    • 3% Magic Find and 3% Gold Find
  • A border will surround the character portrait in the in-game party frame to denote the Paragon progression. A new frame will be earned after every ten levels

Diablo III Paragon system

Besides the Paragon system, the patch brings in a lot more changes including:

  • Magic Find and Gold Find is now capped at 300%
  • Health of normal monsters is increased by approximately 5%-10% in Inferno. Health of Champions and Rares is reduced by 10-25%
  • The likelihood that normal monsters drop magic or rare items is increased by a factor of four
  • Minion monsters are no longer invulnerable
  • Legendary items are improved, both in terms of damage done and bonuses offerered as well as their ingame animations
  • Lot of changes for all characters — Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter and the Witch Doctor
  • Auction house improvements: Auctions can now be cancelled at any time, provided there are no active bids on them, allowed number of “Preferred Stats” per search is increased from 3 to 6.
  • Nephalem Valor now grants +15% Bonus Experience per stack, as well as +15% to Magic Find and Gold Find
  • Magic Find is no longer averaged among all players in a multiplayer game

You can review all the changes the patch brings in from the patch notes. Patch will be applied at approximately following times, across different server regions:

  • The Americas: 3:00 a.m. PDT to 1:00 p.m. PDT (8/21)
  • Europe: 8:00 p.m. PDT (8/21) to 6:00 a.m. PDT (8/22)
  • Asia: 11:00 a.m. PDT to 11:00 p.m. PDT (8/22)

Despite all these much welcome changes, the PvP system is yet to come, and is expected to arrive in Patch 1.1, whenever that gets released. We’ll keep you posted on other major patch changes as and when they occur. Drop a comment  if you think the patch changes will improve your Diablo III experience.

Diablo III Starter Edition Now Available to All

If you always wanted to check out Diablo III to see how the game looks and plays like, Blizzard has offered Diablo III Starter Edition. However, the Starter Edition could be checked out only with a Guest Pass – which was available to only those who had purchased the boxed pack in retail.

Diablo III Installer

That was until now. Starting from today, however, Blizzard has made available Starter Edition as downloadable by all. To download the Starter Edition, you’ll need to create a Battle.net account, or login to Battle.net if you already have an account. Once you’ve logged in,

  1. Click on the  Click the Play for Free link for Diablo III Starter Edition on the account summary page
  2. Enter the BattleTag of your choice, then click Create your BattleTag.
  3. Click Get Starter Edition.
  4. On the Diablo III License page, click Download Game Client for Windows or Mac.
  5. Once the game is fully installed, you may log in with your Battle.net email and password to access the Starter Edition

You’ll have to remember that the Starter edition comes with restrictions

  • Content wise, Act I up to the Skeleton King is available
  • Characters have a level cap of upto Level 13
  • Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players
  • No Auction House access (Real Money or Gold)
A word of advice: the Starter edition content may be small but probably is enough to get you hooked on to Diablo.

 

Codemasters Announces Grid 2

Codemasters, the UK based game dev studio, known for their immensely successful series of racing games — Grid, Dirt, Colin McRae Rally series among others have announced the sequel to their arcadish-sim driving game, Race Driver:Grid. Grid 2 is set for a summer 2013 launch and will be available for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PC.

Grid 2

With a minute-long trailer, Grid 2 showcases the 2 new locations — Paris and Chicago and the furious pace of racing that is known to Grid veterans. With over 2 years of pre-production and development, Grid 2 will feature the newest version of Ego game engine and a new TrueFeel Handling System to achieve car handling which hits the sweet spot between arcade and simulation.

Grid 2 will feature tracks from the United States, Europe, and Asia, with cities including Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Miami. Multiplayer wise, Codemasters will bring in a RPG-style progression system with customization and integration with its online community portal, RaceNet.

Although not many details about the game are known, Codemasters’ interview with Eurogamer mentions that Grid 2 will no longer feature the in-car cockpit view – triggering an avalanche of angry reactions. A playable version is expected to available during this year’s Eurogamer Expo, from 27th to 30th September. Till then, enjoy Grid 2’s debut trailer.

Path of Exile Beta Open to Public This Weekend for Stress Testing

If you’re an action RPG fan and want to take a break from those long hours of Diablo III sessions, then you’ll be pleased to know that Grinding Gear Games will be opening up Path of Exile beta to everyone this weekend as part of their stress-test program.

Path of Exile will be open for public on July 27, 2012 5pm PDT and the stress test will go on till Sunday, July 29th, 2012 11:59pm. To participate in the beta, you’ll need to create an account. Once created, download and install the game client.

You’ll be able to preload the game content so that you’re ready to start hacking and slashing once the beta stress-test window opens.

Grinding Gear Games mentions that during the stress-test weekend, the content available for play includes two acts repeated over four difficulties (about 69 levels worth of content), end-game Maps, Default and Hardcore leagues, six character classes, approximately 70 active skills, 40 support gems and hundreds of types of items.

You can sign up for Path of Exile’s public stress-test by visiting the game’s Official Website.

Zapak Gets into the Olympic Games Mood; Launches Zapak Gaming Olympiad

The 2012 London Olympic Games start tomorrow. In light of this, Zapak Digital Entertainment is all set to launch Zapak Gaming Olympiad.

London 2012 Olympics Clock
London 2012 Olympics Clock (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Zapak Gaming Olympiad aims to become an online destination for live updates from London 2012 and offers people a chance to participate in a virtual Olympic event.

Zapak Gaming Olympiad features specially created game titles that allow most people to experience a sport competition as big as the Olympics. Set over two week timeframe, the Zapak Gaming Olympiad features the following online games:

  • Field Hockey
  • Hurdles Run
  • King of the Ring ( aka Boxing)
  • Table Tennis

The Olympiad will be available on the Web at Olympics.Zapak.Com and on Mobile Web as well.

Commenting on the Olympiad event, Mr. Deepak Abbot, Head Product, Reliance Entertainment Digital said

We wish to give our users a virtual experience of the Olympic Games on their PCs and mobile phones. Not all Olympic enthusiasts have the luxury of time and place to see the match. We are the first ones to bring this experience in India.

It was also mentioned that the winner of each of the four competitions in the Zapak Gaming Olympiad will be awarded with brand new motorcycle.

HTML5 Based Classic Snake Game

If you are someone from the early era of mobile adopters, you might be familiar with the classic Snake game which came preloaded on mobiles starting in 1998.

Snake HTML5 Game

I remember spending hours and hours playing the game on the cellphone beating records and scores alike. In the years that followed, there were several iterations and enhancements of the games and the mobile gaming market exploded with the introduction of games like and others. However, the classic version still remains favorite of many users.

If you are nostalgic about playing the Snake game on your mobile and don’t have it on your latest smartphone, you can relive those old days by playing a version of the game online.

The classic version of the Snake game has been recreated in HTML5 using JavaScript and CSS. The game is not only fun, but also goes on to show the power of the next generation of HTML. If you are someone who is looking to relive those old memories, you can also  play the Snake game online.

Have you played the Snake game on your mobile? If so, do let me know your thoughts on what you thought of the game back in the days.

Also See: Microsoft Releases HTML5 Version of Cut the Rope for Free

Valve Quietly Rolls Out Steam Badges

Not quite content with introducing gamification in games using Achievements, Valve has quietly rolled out badges in their digital games distribution platform, Steam.

The badges are retroactively applied, though certain badges will require that you redo the action, even though you’ve already done them before — for instance — launching a game or publish a screenshot. You can see the badges that you’ve unlocked from your Steam profile

Steam Badges

Clicking on “All Badges” brings up a detailed listing of all badges.

List of all Steam Badges

With the Steam Summer Sale on, Valve seems intent on making people do more than just play games — Valve wants people to share their images, videos and essentially build up a small social networking community within Steam. And the results of the badges being introduced can be seen right away, as Jerwin so eloquently puts it.

Jerwin commenting on my uploaded image

Whether the comments and other such activity will be sustained, remains to be seen. For now, you can start acquiring your badges!

 

PSA: Steam Summer Sale is On

Few days ago, I had posted about the Steam Summer Sale being imminent. Well, you no longer have to wait, for the sale is live on Steam Store now.

Steam Summer Sale

The sale will run from today, July 12, 2012 through July 22, 2012. As previously mentioned, the Indie Bundle 1 is up for sale, indicating that all predicted game bundles will be up for sale as well. In a new addition, you also get to vote which game should be the next featured deal.

Steam Store’s currently under heavy load and was quite unresponsive while I tried to load, it should stabilize in couple of hours’ time.

Today’s deals include:

  • Terraria (75% off, $2.49 instead of $9.99)
  • Total War: Shogun 2(75% off, $7.49 instead of $29.99)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (50% off, $29.99 instead of $59.99)
  • Legend of GrimRock(60% off, $5.99 instead of $14.99)
  • Indie Bundle 1(75% off, $9.99 instead of $39.99)
  • Might & Magic: Heroes VI(50% off, $24.99 instead of $49.99)
  • Ridge Racer Unbounded(50% off, $24.99 instead of $49.99)
  • Portal 2(75% off, $4.99 instead of $19.99)
  • Crusader Kings(75% off, $9.99 instead of $39.99)

Now that you’ve read what’s on sale, you might want to head over to the site and grab some sweet deals. And do leave a comment mentioning what you’ve purchased.

Game Collection Sold for 1 Million Euros on eBay

eBay is definitely a place where you can snag a good deal on anything and everything. In fact, people also list their countries on sale there (See: Greece for Sale on eBay, Iceland as well). However, looks like someone put their game collection on sale at eBay this time and it fetched a bomb of a price.

Biggest Game Collection Sale eBay

The sale listing, which went with the title “BIGGEST COLLECTION EVER? 22 SEGA / NINTENDO / PC ENGINE FULLSETS,FACTORY SEALED!”, managed to sell for 1 million Euros or approximately $1.23 million. All this for a set of 7000 games.

The buyer of the product is a proud owner of all the games ever released on the Nintendo home systems, Sega systems and NEC systems. The entire package consists of 22 sets consisting of game cartridges, GameCube sets and more. You’ll find descriptions of the products included here.

Million Euros/1.2 Million Dollar Games eBay

The game collection sale is not the most expensive item ever sold on eBay though, but would beat the $1.2 million Honus Wagner baseball card sold in 2000 yet not as expensive $140 million yacht sold in 2005  according to Yahoo. The buyer might also have to pony up some additional fees and a 1000 Euro shipping charge and can expect to see his booty in 6-9 business days.

While the games are definitely something worth keeping, but would you pay 1 million Euros for it? Is the person who bought it crazy or just a passionate collector of games? You let me know.

(h/t Reddit)

Steam Summer Sale Looks Imminent; List of Games on Sale Revealed

By this time, most gamers would be waiting with baited breath — for it’s time for Valve to unleash their annual Steam Summer Sale. Traditionally round about this time we expect Valve to announce their annual Steam Summer Sale. This year, however, it’s been a little bit quiet — 10 days into July and still no whisper of the sale.

Till now, that is. An enterprising Redditor(via Eurogamer) took it upon himself to keep monitoring Open Steam Works’ database and discovered that the list of bundles have been uploaded.

Here’s the list of bundles which are likely to be present for the sale

Indie bundles

  • Day 1: Anomaly Warzone Earth, The Baconing, Cave Story+, EDGE, Lone Survivor.
  • Day 2: Botanicula, E.Y.E, Oil Rush, Splice, Universe Sandbox,
  • Day 3: Bit Trip Beat, Braid, Bunch of Heroes, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Runespell Overture,
  • Day 4: A Valley Without Wind, Atom Zombie Smasher, Blocks that Matter, Sanctum, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP,
  • Day 5: Audio Surf, Gemini Rue, Greed Corp, Tiny Bang Story, Ys: The Oath in Felghana
  • Day 6: Awesome, Defcon, Space Chem, Ticket to Ride, Trauma
  • Day 7: Avadon, Dungeons of Dredmor, Qube, Vessel, Zombie Driver
  • Day 8: Demolition Inc, Hoard, Sol Exodus, Swords and Soldiers HD, Wings of Prey,
  • Day 9: Capsized, Jamestown, Revenge of the Titans, VVVVVV, Zeno Clash
  • Day 10: All Zombies Must Die, Beat Hazard, Bit trip Runner, Eufloria, Machinarium
  • Day 11: Hydrophobia, Orion: Dino Beatdown, Star Ruler, Waveform, World of Goo

Other bundles and packs:

  • 1C Collection Pack
  • Adam’s Venture Complete Bundle Retail
  • Anno 2070 Pack
  • Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City and Batman Gotham City Imposters Bundle
  • Bethesda Collection (BRINK, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Hunted)
  • Bioshock Franchise Pack
  • BIT.TRIP.BEAT Bundle
  • BIT.TRIP.RUNNER Bundle
  • Carpe Fulger Bundle (Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, Chantelise, Fortune Summoners)
  • Civilization Collection
  • Command and Conquer Franchise
  • Dawn of War Franchise Pack
  • Dead Island Complete
  • Duke Nukem Bundle
  • Foreign Legion Bundle
  • Kalypso Collection (Tropico, Jagged Alliance, Airline Tycoon, etc)
  • Majesty Franchise
  • Paradox Collection (Magicka + dlcs, Mount and Blade, etc)
  • Pendulo Adventure Pack
  • Railworks 3 – Summer Sale Collection
  • Red Orchestra Franchise Pack (ROW)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Bundle
  • Saints Row: The Third Franchise Pack
  • Sniper Elite Franchise Pack
  • Square Hit Collection (Hitman, Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2, Deus Ex, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Quantum Conundrum, Thief)
  • Stardock Collection Pack
  • Strategy First Complete Pack
  • Sword of the Stars Franchise
  • THQ Collection (Dawn of War, Warhammer, Stalker, Nexuiz, Darksiders, Metro 2033, etc)
  • Total War: Shogun 2 Pack
  • Victoria Franchise
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Pack
  • Wings of Prey

Now here’s hoping that the sale goes live soon, while I still have some cash in my wallet.

Thanks to @1starArchie for bring this to my notice!

 

Sony Corporation Acquires Gaikai for $380 Million

Gaikai, the cloud-streamed video game service, has been bought by Sony for a sum of $380 million. Gaikai was something we were all interested in for quite a while, with some extremely impressive list of tech demos that pretty much floored quite a bunch of people with its ease of use for playing games on low-end systems. Thus, the acquisition by Sony makes us a little uneasy.

Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House said that the service will bring about revolutionary change with Sony’s video games – with several of them available for play off the cloud on different Sony peripherals such as Sony TVs, the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita.

By combining Gaikai’s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE’s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences. SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.

However, knowing Sony and how it treats things it acquires, it will not be inconceivable to consider that Gaikai will no longer be fee-free and it may be one of those premium services offered on the PlayStation Network.

So, sure, on one side it helps bring about some great change in the way video games are played… but at what cost?

Radical Entertainment Shuts Down After 21 Years Of Developing Games

It is a sad day when an old stalwart of the video game industry is forced to shut down. Radical Entertainment, the developers of Prototype and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction among other well known titles has been forced to draw its shutters and pack up, leading to a reduction in most of the staff. While I personally was not a big fan of its games, it is still a huge blow in that several talented people have lost their jobs and a company that has been around for almost as long as I have been around on this planet is no longer a part of it.

 

The city of Vancouver is now devoid of one of the biggest names in the industry. On the flipside, this also means that there are a bunch of people with the skills to make great games. But will they get jobs and the like? We will never know, would we?

The official response from Activision, Radical Entertainment’s parent company is given below:-

Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward.