Category Archives: Gaming

Steam Wallet is Out on Public Beta

I can totally see one fine day when this happens:-

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings releases on Steam for a blowout pre-order price an offer that lasts just one day. I do not have any money on my PayPal account or on my debit card, and I desperately want that game yes more than food or the other bare necessities (I’m a fanatic gamer, you know?). So, do I run around begging people for money for a game (instead of for sustenance) or do I invoke the power of the almighty god [insert supremely powerful Entity name here] and somehow put in money into my bank account? Neither! Being a well prepared gamer, I put in money on Steam’s Wallet (around $50 should cover it, am I right?) and merrily click on the Buybutton and all is well.

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Steam Wallet? Yes pre-paid wallets like what they get on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. Instead of using your credit/debit card, you put in some currency to Steam’s Wallet and let it ferment there (without interest, of course) until your favorite game is released. It can also be made into a gift cardfor those of us who are not old enough to pay for themselves. Let the flame barrage begin!

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You can either add funds via the web link or directly from your Steam client. While you’re at it, could you send some funds along my way? I just opened my Steam wallet and a couple of moths flew away from it…

LOTRO Joining the Free-to-Play Horde

The moment there is a Lord of the Rings in the title, you know that the word hordehas to be around here somewhere, don’t you? Joining its predecessor MMO’s footsteps, Turbine Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings Online has decided to go the free to play way.

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This means, like Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, you can play the Tolkien-based online game for free. All you need is a free account at official site then you can download the official client and start questing around and about Middle Earth!

Featuring an epic storyline and gorgeous landscapes that any self-respecting Tolkien fan would keenly compare with the original map of Middle Earth, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) also features a unique PvP (Player vs. Player) design called Player vs. Monster Player in which players control Orcs and Uruk Hai from the world of Tolkien’s imagination.

Although the main game is free to play, several quest packs and other premium content can be purchased for a fee. Players also have the option to opt-in for a paid VIP membership that unlocks all the paid content for the duration of the membership.

So, gamers, do you think this is a successful business model?

Portal 2 Co-op Screenies!

Do you have a thing for robots? Specifically robot cuddling? No? Well, Valve does (click for more screenshots!). After releasing quite a few Portal 2 videos Valve has decided to tease gamers a bit more by releasing screenshots of the upcoming game’s cooperative gameplay-ish-ness.

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While the original Portal was, simply put, a puzzle first person platformer, Portal 2 wishes to ante up the awesomeness bar as a sequel by introducing more psuedo-physics-based gadgetry and newer gaming modes to keep interest levels high. Cooperative play was a much desired addition to the Portal series and Valve has showered their fans with this goodie-goodie multiplayer mode to their much touted sequel.

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The robots in question are the Personality Core endowing robot along with a Sentry Gun robot (or so it seems) and each carries one half of the Portal gun. Players take control of either one of the robots while their pal controls the other and they have to work together to leave the room. I can already see myself dying over and over and over at the hands of my co-op partner. Sigh.

So, what do you think, gamers? Will Portal 2′s cooperative multiplayer increase the longevity of the game, or will it just bring down the sequel entirely?

Duke Nukem Forever Re-Announced. Gearbox Pitches 2011 Release Date

I did not want to write this post because, of all the things, I’m superstitious of this video game’s release. What if this post jinxes it? What if a rearranged word here ripples out and somehow topples the balance of this game’s release? Nevermind that, and brace for the following bold, italicized and underlined sentence in all caps:-

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DUKE NUKEM FOREVER IS FRIGGIN’ REAL!

Now that that little formality is done with, here are the quick facts about this long, long awaited sequel to the 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D.

The game is being finished by Gearbox Studios, based on now-defunct 3D Realms’ original code. The game will be released in 2011for the PS3, Xbox 360 and, of course, the PC.

Gearbox’s president Randy Pitchford revealed a bit of the plot to the Wall Street Journal:-

“Aliens come and say they’re going to be our friends, and Duke knows this isn’t going to work out. Duke once again is in the pivotal spot and it’s up to him to save the world.”

Plots? Who wants plots in a first person shooter? Not I!

This game is every young gamer’s sweetest dream come true. Will Gearbox deliver? More importantly, will the game actually be released? Find out in a few months’ time!

Telltale Tell All With New Poker Game

We had already posted about a mystery Telltale game that apparently has an all-star cast. Well, the developer has unveiled the name of the game and confirmed the list of characters, but little else about the game.

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Titled Poker Night at the Inventory, the game is, er, about poker. Sitting around the table are the Max (of Sam & Max fame), Heavy (the Russian heavy weapons guy from Team Fortress 2), Strong Bad (the antagonist of the Homestar Runner series of web cartoons and the main character of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People) and Tycho of Penny Arcade. I believe the inventorymight refer to the Team Fortress 2 inventory with the characters wagering the stuff within in. Perhaps Natascha will make an appearance? The game’s descriptive blurb has very little to say about the game but that:-

Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. In Poker Night at the Inventory, you’ll deal with Penny Arcade’s clever, cunning Tycho, Team Fortress 2′s hulking Heavy, Homestar Runner’s self-proclaimed awesome iconStrong Bad and the hyperkinetic rabbity-thingfrom Sam & Max. These characters come together in ways some never thought possible, in a setting few would have predicted. You’ll experience a new style of poker, particularly when hands don’t go the way of the other fiery competitors at the table.

It is available as a pre-order on Steam as well as the developer’s own website, slated for a fall 2010 release. Will you, or won’t you purchase this poker game with a [pretty obvious] twist?

Company of Heroes Open Beta is Online!

Any fan of World War II based games will definitely know Company of Heroes (CoH). Relic Entertainment’s real time strategy (RTS) opus featured magnificent tactical controls laced with a terrific storyline and gameplay experience. Leading either the Able Company or the Fox Company of the US Army, players were promoted to the rank of field commander to lead their men to victory. The standalone expansion packs Tales of Valor and Opposing Fronts also added tremendous replay value in terms of new armies as well as new multiplayer modes.

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Now, Relic has opened its door to beta participants for Company of Heroes: Online. This free-to-play take on the brilliant RTS series apparently allows you the same amount of action and strategic control along with a touch of personalization that is common among online games:-

Choose from six different combat doctrines, each with its own strengths and combat styles. Customize your army and enter each conflict with your own unique set of battle-tested Heroes, unit upgrades, and devastating Commander Abilities.

Since this game will be free-to-play, the beta is also free-to-play. Which means you can dive into the game right this instant!

Quite coincidentally (not), Steam has put up a sale of all the CoH titles for $12.49. That’s 75% off, number-crunchers! So, which one will it be today for you?

Green Man Gaming Sets Up Double-Money Weekend

Remember Green Man Gaming? Yes that oddball new digital distributor that allowed you to trade-in your played games for cash-vouchers that could be used to buy other games? Well, they still seem to be alive and kicking.

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They have started off with a double-money weekend. Simply put, if you trade in your games before Sunday, the 5th of September, you will get double the cash value for the trade in. As they say in their flyer:-

Trade-in any of your existing Green Man Gaming titles this weekend and get double the trade-in value for the game!
Build up credit on your account with our exclusive Double your Money on trade-ins offer, and treat yourself to one of the many new releases that will feature on Green Man Gaming in the lead up to Christmas.

Still confused? Well, mostly every game on Green Man Gaming has a trade invalue that is specified before buying. It’s usually around half the price of the game.

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Once you finish playing the game, you can choose to trade it inas if it it was a physical medium. Trading it in adds the trade-in value to your account from where you can choose to buy more games. This weekend, every trade-in that you do effectively doubles which basically means that you get your entire initial amount back. How is that beneficial for their sales? I have no idea. Especially since they are stocking what are effectively Steam gift codes.

Their website is a little lacking in presentation and their business model seems kinda lossy. Nevertheless, they stock some pretty good games that are worth the buy. Do check the GreenManGaming sale today!

Impulse Charity Sale is Live

Stardock’s Impulse digital distribution website has always been one of the premier sites to buy games and other software content provided by Stardock and a variety of other publishers online. Like most other digital distributors, Impulse also caters to a wide audience of gamers and provides special discount sales now and then to boost sales. These sales usually comprise of one or two games or publishers over the weekend or so.

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However, since the 30th of August, Impulse has over a hundred games on sale with several publishers lined up in its sale queue. The reason being that this is no ordinary sale! Stardock has partnered with Child’s Play Charity an organization that provides toys and games for sick children in over 60 hospitals in organizing this charity sale called Play for the Cause. A portion of each purchase you make on Impulse between the 30th of August and the 10th of September will go to Child’s Play Charity. The Humble Indie Bundle was also organized along with Child’s Play Charity, if you remember.

The Dragon Age Bundle, King’s Bounty: Gold edition and the THQ Ultimate Bundle are all available for cheap on this sale! Among the publishers are EA, Meridian4, Paradox Interactive, Kalypso Media, the 1C Company and THQ.

So which game will you be buying in the Impulse + Child’s Play Charity sale?

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Announced for the iPad

The Grand Theft Auto series of video games from Rockstar Studios has always been a cash cow for the studio. Giving people the opportunity to play the bad guy for once, the series exposes a criminal underworld of a fictitious city (such as Vice City or Liberty City) based on a real-world location. With lots of action, car chases and an open world to roam about, the game is the epitome of clever game design as well as an immersive world with a strong storyline. Originally available for the Nintendo DS, the game was later re-made for the Sony PSP and the iPhone/iPod Touch. Now, Rockstar has announced an HD version of Chinatown Wars for the iPad.

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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was one of the most successful handheld games in quite a long time. First released for the Nintendo DS system, the game garnered a bunch of great reviews. Sometime later, Rockstar re-made the game for the Sony PlayStation Portable and quickly reached to the top of the Metacritic rankings, followed quickly by an iPhone version. While the recent versions of the Grand Theft Auto series featured third person action, Chinatown Wars adopted the top-down 3D perspective for better visuals on the handheld devices this has translated well for handheld gamers who want a quick game with relatively less lag on the go.

The iPad version called Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD will have more than 50 missions, lots of side-quests, customizable music, and much more to romp about Liberty City as Huang Lee. Chinatown Wars HD will be available in the Apple App Store from September 9 for £5.99 ($9.99 in the USA)

Open Source PS3 Jailbreak Released

Right now, you would not want to be one of those PS3 security programmers. For years the console remained dormant without any major breakthroughs in the homebrew scene. Where its little cousin, the PSP was the hackers’ favorite, the PS3 remained in the throes of Sony’s unbreakableconsole category.

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That changed with the Australian PS Jailbreak USB dongle that was released a couple of weeks ago. The gaming world was equally divided between skeptics who questioned the feasibility of the hack and enthusiastic gamers who wished to legally backupgames and run homebrew (unsigned code that otherwise cannot run on the console).

No sooner had word escaped of the PS Jailbreak dongle’s success than the internet community was rocked with the news of an open sourceimplementation of the PS Jailbreak. PS Groove is the open source world’s answer to the PS Jailbreak. Passionate hackers have released this mod in the wilds minus the ability to run backed up games or ISOs promoting on free homebrew and not piracy.

PS Groove requires a USB development board such as the AT90USBKey that is available for around $30. Following the instructions in the git repository anyone can utilize the jailbreak at home.

Rejoice homebrew community, rejoice! I personally cannot wait to get a PS3 to try all this out!