Category Archives: Gaming

Get Peggle Nights Free From PopCap

Peggle Nights has been a very popular game and at $19.95 it has to be, but now can get it for absolutely free courtesy PopCap. In a promotion for the PopCap Passport signup promotion, PopCap is offering users an opportunity to gift the Peggle Nights game for free to anyone with an email address, but with a catch, read ahead.

PopCap Compulsory Newsletter

Users who are looking to get the Peggle Nights game for free will have to signup for the PopCap Passport (signup page). However, once you sign up, you will have to subscribe to a compulsory newsletter from PopCap without which you cannot complete the signup.

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To get the Peggle Nights game for free, head over to the signup page and enter the details required to create a PopCap Passport account. Wait for the confirmation email and click on the link in it to confirm your account.

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Once you do that, head over to the Passport Offers page and scroll down till you see something like the previous screenshot in the right hand side and click on it. Enter and confirm the email address of the person you want to send the free copy of Peggle Nights to and click on the "Send it Free!" button. You can enter your own email address too.

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Not a bad deal at all, so have fun getting the game for yourself or gifting it to someone for free. You will only be able to gift one game per email address though, and the offer might disappear soon, so hurry while you can.

New Steam Client Opens for Public Beta

Steam is by far the best commercial digital distribution website around. It does have the advantage of being more visible than the other digital distributors and being Valve’s platform. That company makes games that can only be described in a word as awesome, and nothing else. The Steam client is the one portal through which you can play games that you have downloaded.

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Valve has apparently become bored of the original user interface (UI) and has decided to release a new UI. The result is like playing Counter Strike 1.6 and then switching to Counter Strike: Source. The revamped UI, though marginally slower than the previous, looks slick and functions very well. If you have the Steam client installed, you can click this link and choose 2010 UI Update’ under the Beta Participation dropdown menu.

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The UI update requires a restart of the client and revamps it entirely. The interface looks far more modern than the previous one, fitting with my Windows 7 decals. The store page itself looks far better than on the browser. The browser performance was marginally better than earlier (though I can attribute that to my faster connection today) and it looks really slick.

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The library can be sorted according to your wishes by grouping them into custom categories. This is especially useful when you have a really large collection of games on Steam.

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The game page is really cool. It shows you the number of friends currently playing the game, and all your friends who play that game. Recent news pertaining to the game is also shown below the friends section. Valve had always wanted to make the Steam platform social and it seems that they have come close to that.

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The in-game overlay has also been drastically changed, allowing you to access Steam in a more streamlined fashion.

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The news and community links have largely been left untouched (as they are merely web pages).

In all, Valve has launched a pretty decent update to their client. They will therefore be hoping for a positive reaction from most of the users and only time (involving a lot of gaming) will tell if they have struck gold. Nevertheless, I advise you to go ahead and switch to the new UI, it does look great!

Two Perfect One-Button Time Wasters

Flash games are the perfect way to waste your precious time. There are various reasons as to why that is so, namely:-

  • They are tiny, and they load within minutes(barring a few exceptions).
  • The controls are very easy to figure out.
  • They have a huge variety.
  • They are absolutely, without fail, FUN!

Now that the causalities of Flash games being fun is done with, how about a flash game that has a single button as the controlling element? Let’s make that two. Presenting two one-button games that will leave you wondering where the last one hour (or two) went off two to!

One Button Bob

Introducing One Button Bob, and his pixelated adventures. In The Adventures of One Button Bob, Bob jumps, throws boomerangs at bats, stops and runs with a single click of your mouse. You might be wondering how he does all that with a single button? The answer: not simultaneously. The mouse click’s behavior changes each level, and eventually you will have to fight a boss.

Die Bat!

How many clicks will it take you?

G-Switch

The second single-button shilly-shally software is G-Switch is a single concept taken to the extreme. You control a futuristic runner through a series of platforms. Sounds simple? Well, instead of jumping over platforms, you get to switch gravity. Here are a couple of screenshots that will make you understand better:-

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Here is when the runner is running on the flatbed Newton’s apple kind of gravity.

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And here is when you click the mouse and the gravity switches. And you keep doing this if you want to stay alive. Causes of death: the moving screen engulfs you or you drop into nothingness.

So, when you are waiting for something, or you just want to waste time, fear not for these games will come to your rescue!

Just so you know, I solely blame Digg for this.

C&C 4 Going the Starcraft 2 Way, Will Not Have Dedicated Servers or LAN Support

The slow demise of LAN play is becoming a trend, much like the entire constant connection while playingbusiness. First, Blizzard’s Starcraft II decides to do away with LAN play, to the collective anger of many players around the world, notably from one small nation. Then Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 follows along, featuring the glaring lack of dedicated servers. Now, EA’s Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight has also removed LAN play and the support for dedicated servers, along with the annoying DRM protection of being constantly connected to the internet.

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Destructoid quoted lead designer Sam Bass who stated that the system integrated with the achievements and unlocked materials easily.

…across single-player, multiplayer and skirmish and all the information is stored in a server. So if you go to another machine — friend’s house, Internet café – whatever, you can login with your profile and all the stuff you’ve unlocked is accessible to you there. It all lives on a server so you can’t really do dedicated servers with that.

Though EA has revamped the multiplayer situation to such an extent that it is fluid, it still will never have the charm of clan matches and face-to-face battles between two players. Let’s hope that in the future, gaming companies find a better way to handle piracy than this. For now, however, we have to deal with this.

Annoying Assassin’s Creed II DRM: Needs Constant Internet Connection

You read the title right Assassin’s Creed II requires a constant internet connection while playing. If, in the midst of an intense battle, somehow your internet connection is broken, the game will pause as it tries to reconnect. If it cannot establish a connection to the Ubisoft servers, then the game will quit. The last save game is stored online directly for you to resume your workwhen you can reconnect.

AssCreed

This extreme anti-piracy initiative is a first from Ubisoft. The publisher has also provided an FAQ for this service which boils down to these points:-

  • Buy the game.
  • Make an account on Ubisoft.
  • Anywhere you have internet access, you can play the game.

Nevertheless, this system works on a cloud and you can install your copy in as many machines as you want. Your saves are synchronized to the server and you can resume your gameplay from whichever computer you have. It is like Steam and its related cloud gaming system Steamworks. Only Steam does not always need a constant connection.

Oh the sorrow of legal gaming/music/movies.

Sony Targets Used Games, Blocks Online Play

Sony hates the entire used-games business. They, as the publishers, get not even the slightest percentage of it; everything goes to the retailer. So they decided to make their own money from this business by targeting online play, the forte of many games including SOCOM US Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3. Bought a used copy of Fireteam Bravo 3? You need to dish out $20 to play online that is the price of the unlock code for playing online. Buyers of the UMD have to register their PSP over the PlayStation Network (PSN) with this code to be able to play online.

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So what prompted Sony to make this perfectly legal, yet absolutely lame and non-gamer friendly (when you do consider that most gamers are college students who need to save up money to buy games) move? In an interview with IGN, John Keller of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) says that this is an initiative to fight piracy on the PSP. Yes he just said that you, the used-game buyer, are a pirate.

Piracy continues to be an issue of concern for the PSP platform. SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform.

On the reception of this initiative, Keller stated this:-

From our research, this will be received quite positively. Remember, piracy affects more than just the creators of the game.

Sure, Mr. Keller, the used game buyers will be very happy with this initiative.

GOG.com caters to RPG lovers with Divinity Pack for $7.98

Now that Divinity 2 has been released, the best classic games digital distribution site is selling Divinity and Beyond Divinity together for $7.98. Kick-ass if you ask me, if this Game Central review is to be believed. This promo is only up for this weekend and will end on Monday, February 22nd at 11:59PM EDT.

Divinity

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Divine Divinity, the first game in this series is acknowledged by many as being one of the greatest action RPGs around. With a lot of customization possible such that the builds are different each time you play with either the Fighter, Mage or the Survivor. The game itself is massive anything between fifty to sixty hours of your life will be spent on this game and all its side quests. Now if you truly are an RPG fan, you know that the time spent playing an RPG is equivalent to reading a huge fantasy novel, watching its movie and being its hero/heroine all in one. So ignore the comment on the amount of time you would spend on the game and immerse yourself into it!

Beyond Devinity

Beyond Divinity however did not get as much praise as its predecessor did, nevertheless it is an action RPG and if you really liked Divine Divinity you must consider buying this one although it is not a prerequisite for Divinity 2.

I for one have never played the Divinity games, but now that this weekend promo is up on GOG.com, I am seriously considering buying these gems (at least one of them is) and adding them to my ever-growing queue of games I still have to play. Do let us know if you enjoyed Divine Divinity in the comments!

Vicious Engine 2 Adds “Lesser Consoles”

This was expected, considering the fact that Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond was a not-so-graphically-intense 2D Contraption of a game for the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and later the PlayStation Network (PSN) as a download-only game. Vicious Cycle Software, the developer has announced that they will be supporting the lesser consoles the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) and the PlayStation 2 (PS2), Joystiq reports. By supporting, they mean that their Vicious Engine 2 (Ve2) will be used to develop games for these three consoles in addition to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and the Xbox 360.

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Vicious Cycle Software, a premier developer of interactive entertainment and game development technology, today announced that support for the Nintendo Wiiâ„¢, PlayStation ®2, and PSP ® (PlayStation ®Portable) platforms is coming to Vicious Engine 2 (Ve2) in early 2010. Ve2 currently supports both the Xbox 360 ® and PlayStation ®3, and the expanded cross-platform support will make Ve2 the most complete solution for next generation development on the market.

Vicious Cycle has experienced its fair share of ups and downs with the ups being not so high, and the downs being fairly depressing. Dead Head Fred, for example was released when Monster Hunter practically ate up everything else around it and the company admitted that they did not anticipate the abrupt change of audiences in the market. Nevertheless the turn of events seems to suggest that a graphically satisfying game will be up in the near future for these consoles.

Shattered Horizon Free to Play This Weekend

Futuremark Games Studio took the not-so-novel concept of the First Person Shooter and eliminated Newton’s meddling altogether in this fantastic multiplayer-only game. With the familiarity of the firmness of land beneath you eliminated altogether, the coldness and haunting of space encroaches upon you in Shattered Horizon. However, you have intuitive controls and intense 32-player action around you to forget all that and just press on the attack! Steam is selling the single-user game for $9.99, while the Clan Pack is available for $29.99! But, of course you cannot judge all that by the screenshot itself, so Steam is offering this game for free this weekend.

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Shattered Horizon will test your agility, reflexes as well as a general sense of direction in a brilliantly built environment. This comes at a price this game is DirectX10 only. Yes it does require a DirectX10 capable video and Windows Vista or Windows 7 running on your computer apart from the other requirements to play. Yes, fighting in zero gravity has its price. Nevertheless, feast your eyes on the eye-popping visuals below:-

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If your computer can support this game, you have the money to spend and you have a decent internet connection, not to mention if you are a fan of FPSs, grab this game off Steam before the weekend is up. If not, just download it and play it over the weekend (1262MB Download).

NecrovisioN: Lost Company Available for Pre-Purchase on Steam and Impulse

When NecrovisioN, the original game featuring shocking horror mixed with First Person Shooter (FPS) elements, was released it received mixed reviews; the game was mostly praised for its run-and-gun nature and criticized for its relative lack of anything more complicated. Nevertheless, it was priced well and told the story of a young American soldier during the Great War. As Simon Bukner and his men were pushed deeper and deeper through a series of dark trenches on a particularly bloody battle, they discovered that war truly was hell. Combining magic, demonic powers and the good old Springfield .30, this game kept several players happily occupied especially because it was cheaper than quite a few other games out there.

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NecrovisioN: Lost Company aims at recreating that spectacle of gore, magic and vampires in a prequel to the original. However, the perspective is switched you play a German soldier who discovers and fights the monstrosities from underground. You will lead troops from every country as they are gathered around in the front on a massive assault against these evil beings until finally you succumb to the evil powers and become the first Necromancer who opposes Bukner from the original.

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With ten new levels, fifteen new characters and quite a few special upgrades in addition to six new weapons, this one will definitely appeal to all those who enjoyed the original.

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NecrovisioN: Lost Company is available on Steam and Impulse.

Bonus for Steam buyers: Those who preorder Lost Company get a free copy of the original NecrovisoN if they pre-order! This offer ends on the 20th of February! Hurry!

God Eater Japanese Demo Now Available for Download

If you really enjoyed (or are enjoying) Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite, the Japanese master-blaster when it comes to PSP action RPGs, you are definitely going to love Namco Bandai’s God Eater which has done quite well in Japan towering over Square-Enix’s Dragon Quest VI. In this game you take control of God Eaters’, pretty much monster hunters in the modern world who fight huge monsters in expansive environments. Sounds familiar? Well, here’s the catch: they fight with Jinki, huge magical weapons that transform into a beastlike form when they are powered up. Sounds kick-ass if you ask me!

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Joystiq reports that D3 Publisher, Namco Bandai’s subsidiary publishing house, has taken it up to publish God Eater in the West. Q3 2010 has been demarked for the publishing of this demanding game for the PSP system.

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However, those really interested can download a Japanese demo. This 140MB demo aims to get people talking and picking up copies of the game from stores, so you can expect it to be action-filled and making you want more from it! The webpage has mostly Japanese directions, but the images and some words are in English, so it will not be hard to understand. Download the demo and have fun!

Plants Vs. Zombies for Linux

Have you heard of the famous Plants Vs. Zombies game? If not, it is an awesome game which takes you through varied levels of adventures to protect your home from Zombies who are trying to “eat your brains”. The primary defense mechanism for your home is implemented through plants who protect the house with their powers.

The zombies get more evolved with each stage and the plants get more powerful against the zombies. There are a good number of constrains like number of plants you can use and the time interval between which you can plant the same twice. This is again determined by a factor of items collected. These items are called suns in the game and you are supposed to maintain a number of suns to be able to plant each plant. In short, it is a resource management game like one of those strategy games. You have to maintain defences and protect your home. The levels are intriguing and the game-play is sheer fun. The game is suitable for all age groups and three of us authors at Techie-Buzz here love the game already.

The good news though, is that the game was available only for Windows all this long but now, you can play the game on Linux too. Simply head over to this official site to download the game. You can also play it online if you wish. Playing from the desktop has advantages like full screen support. The game is provided as a Flash game and requires no Internet connection to save scores and stages. Enjoy.
Download link goes here.

StarCraft II Beta Program Is Underway: Let The Downloads Begin

Earlier we at Techie-Buzz had reported about StarCraft II closed beta program starting soon. For those eagerly waiting, well wait no more ( or perhaps, just few more days). StarCraft Legacy reports that many people   have started the beta client downloads for the most eagerly anticipated RTS title.

StarCraft II Installer
StarCraft II Installer

While it is not certain as to what is the criteria for folks getting the beta download links, it is certain that beta invites are being sent out in batches. StarCraft Legacy also points to a new beta portal where beta testers can get information about the patches coming out and provide feedback on the game.

While you’re waiting for those invites, you might want to check out some interviews G4TV has posted with some core members of the StarCraft II team.

So are you amongst the lucky few who have got access to the beta ? How’s the experience been ? Do share your views in the comments section!

Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Released for Free

The Command & Conquer series of games have always been pet games of the strategic gaming crowd. Truth to be said there was nothing more satisfying than a sneaky and stealthy Nod victory over those bumbling GDI forces (although I have had my share of defeats in the hands of berserk GDI commanders who eliminated my long-range guns before I got to build my SAMs). Ah, those were the days! However, you can now indulge in the nostalgia of three great C&C games downloaded straight from EA’s website! Yes, while Red Alert was launched for free to mark the 13th anniversary, and Tiberian Dawn was released a few years ago for free as well, as of yesterday the 12th of February 2010, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun has become free to download from EA’s website! And did I mention that you will be getting the Firestorm expansion free as well? I guess I did not!

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Without further ado, here is the sort of intro you would get behind the boxes if you had picked it up a few years ago:-

THE BATTLE FOR THE FUTURE HAS BEGUN!

Set in the early 21st century, Tiberian Sun once again pits the Global Defense Initiative against the Brotherhood of Nod in a struggle for control of the planet. With an epic storyline that unfolds as play progresses, players learn the reasons behind the worldwide outbreak of Tiberium and what happened to the notorious Nod leader Kane, who was presumed dead at the end of the first Command & Conquer.

KANE IS DEAD. A NEW ENEMY HAS EMERGED.

It’s time to head up the Firestorm task force. Nod’s experiments have unknowingly released a horde of cybernetic nightmares upon the world. As GDI and Nod scramble to save themselves, they realize their only salvation lies in the unthinkable.

All of this makes me want to act like Invader Zim and let out an evil laugh of world domination!

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As Kane would say: The Tiberian Sun has risen!

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Download Tiberian Sun and Firestorm from EA’s website and make sure to follow the installation instructions!

Steam Offering 4 Free Games to NVIDIA Gamers

Having a good display card can give you the ultimate gaming experience, however, owning a NVIDIA graphics card could give you some more surprise goodies. For a limited time, Steam is offering 4 free games to all NVIDIA gamers. The games that will be given away for free include Portal: First Slice, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and Peggle Extreme.

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If you are a NVIDIA card owner, you can download these games for free by simply creating a Steam account, no purchase is required for downloads. Excited already? Then go ahead and create a Steam account, or login to Steam using your existing account and then visit http://www.steampowered.com/nvidia/ and follow the instructions to get your free game downloads.