September 2011 Archives

Mark Jacobs (co-founder of Mythic Entertainment) and Andrew Meggs (who worked with Bethesda, Mythic and Troika) have announced City State Entertainment, a new development studio focused on making games for mobile phones, tablets and social networks.
KalypsoKalypso has released Air Conflicts: Secret Wars for the Xbox 360 and PC to stores in North America. This arcade-style flight combat game has players battling aerial combat through seven campaigns spanning both World Wars.
Russian publisher 1C has released Off-Road Drive for the PC as a download through major portals. This racing game simulates off-road racing in worldwide off-road racing competitions such as the Russian Trophy and Thai Trophy races.
Publisher 505 Games and Reverie World Studios have launched Dawn of Fantasy, a real-time strategy game with role-playing game elements set in a persistent world. Set in Mythador, players can participate in story-driven quests across three campaigns or battle against and ally with other players online.
Publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Cyanide have released A Game of Thrones - Genesis for the PC to retail stores and as a download through portals such as Valve's Steam service. Based on George R. R. Martin's novels, this strategy game has players using diplomacy, economic pressure and military might to participate in the intrigue between the leading families of the Kingdom of Westeros.
The Binding of Isaac is now available as a PC download. The game is a shooter with role-playing and Rogue-like elements that explores themes that range from the uncomfortable to the extremely bizarre.
NIS AmericaNIS America has released Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Alrand for the PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This Japanese-style role-playing game from the Atelier franchise has players leading a team of adventures through turn-based strategic combat while helping a young alchemist grow beyond her origins in a small fishing village.
Trion's has launched the latest major update for its massively multiplayer online game Rift, called "Ashes of History." The update allows players to advance past level 50 through the game's "Planar Attunement" system that offers elemental upgrades, adds dungeons that can be completed by pairs of (properly equipped) players and a new player-vs.-player warfront in which players race to control Dwarven secrets.
Team 17 Software has released Worms: Ultimate Mayhem as a download for the PC. Also available today for the Xbox 360, the game can be downloaded to the PC for $15. This latest Worms game includes missions from both Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem, giving players an extended campaign in this turn-based strategy game, alongside plenty of online competitive modes.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released three more downloadable games through the Xbox Live Arcade program for the Xbox 360. This week's slate includes a game of annelid combat and a mercurial puzzler. Read on for the full list and more details...
UbisoftUbisoft's game Driver: San Francisco, previously released for consoles, is now available for the PC in stores and as a download. The game has players using more than 100 cars to battle San Francisco's crime lord Charles Jericho by racing other talented drivers.
NCSoftNCSoft's massively multiplayer game, once known as City of Heroes (and as City of Heroes/City of Villains) is now, officially, City of Heroes: Freedom. The preview period is over, and the game is now free for everyone to play. That means there's a cash shop allowing players to purchase access to much of the content and player archetypes piecemeal, or players can purchase the "VIP" subscription and get everything just like when the game was... well... subscription-based.
Sony has released a new slate of downloadable games for the PlayStation Store, and while most releases nowadays are for the PlayStation 3, there are several PSP Minis available, too. This week's PlayStation 3 releases include a Castlevania game, a Resident Evil game, a gravity-bending platformer and a mercurial puzzler. Read on for the full list and more details.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Child of Eden for the PlayStation 3 is now in stores in North America. Released in June for the Xbox 360, this is a surreal puzzle-action game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi (the fellow behind games like Rez). Dubbed a "multi-sensory shooter" by Ubisoft, the game has players removing a virus from an attempt to recreate a human personality, using visual and musical cues to battle the viral invasion. The game supports the PlayStation Move controller.
UbisoftUbisoft has released the Splinter Cell Trilogy for the PlayStation 3. This is a compilation of the early Splinter Cell games remastered for HD-quality graphics. The compilation includes Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, allowing PlayStation 3 owners to play all three stealth/action games.
KalypsoKalypso's game Dungeons: The Dark Lord is now available in physical stores and through download portals. This sequel to Dungeons has players designing dungeons, attracting heroes to their doom. Starting at the bottom of the hierarchy of evil, players must defeat ranking dungeon lords to stand as the supreme evil.
KonamiKonami has released Pro-Evolution Soccer 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America, meaning that the two top Soccer franchises are both in stores this week. Other platforms will also receive versions of this latest installment in Konami's soccer franchise in the coming days. This latest Pro-Evolution Soccer game features improved team AI and collision detection.

FIFA Soccer 12 Reaches Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game FIFA Soccer 12 is now available in stores in North America and should reach stores worldwide by the end of the week. The game is being released on 12 platforms (including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, Mac, PlayStation 2, 3DS, PSP and others) in 18 languages across 51 countries. This latest game in EA's soccer franchise offers changes to the AI and dribbling engine.
Take-Two Interactive2K Games, part of Take-Two Interactive, has released the Civilization V: Game of the Year edition as a download for the PC. This latest version of the PC strategy game released last year includes the civilization and scenario packs released to date.
THQTHQ's Gameshow Fun Pack for the Wii is available in stores in North America. The Gameshow Fun Pack is a compilation that includes the previously released Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy games.
Xseed GamesXseed Games' title Solatorobo: Red the Hunter for the DS is now available in stores in North America. Developed by CyberConnect2, this game is the "spiritual successor" to Tail Concerto, a role-playing game released on the original PlayStation console. This RPG takes place in the Shepherd Republic, a group of floating islands in the sky inhabited by bipedal cat-like and dog-like creatures aided by robots. As expected, players will have to save the world while engaging in side-quests and mini-games.
Lionsgate has optioned the film rights from Deep Silver to Dead Island, meaning that there's a chance Lionsgate might someday think about making a movie about zombies at an island resort. Most of the interest appears to be focused on the game's teaser trailer rather than on the game itself, so don't expect to see actors hunting through containers for new weapons on the big screen anytime soon.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has released Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii to stores in North America. This, the latest of the Cabela-themed hunting games, is available as both stand-alone software and bundled with the "Top Shot Elite" gun-style peripheral. The game promises the opportunity to hunt big game around the globe using gear purchased from an in-game Cabela store.

Post-Apocalyptic Lead Belly

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Fallout: Nuka BreakYet another installment in the Fallout Nuka Break fan film, set in the universe of Fallout: New Vegas, is now available. Episode Three continues to keep those of us here at FI strangely fascinated. As we expected, Caravan doesn't play nearly as cleanly in the wild as in the games. We suppose all those wastelanders are too busy surviving to head to the nearest post-apocalyptic hobby store in search of a slightly-irradiated play mat. After the break, watch Episode Three...
TurbineTurbine, part of Warner Bros., has launched the Rise of Isengard expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online. This is the first major expansion since The Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play. Rise of Isengard raises the level cap to 75 and adds a legendary 24-player raid. It also adds three new regions, including Isengard, where one of the Two Towers stands in a valley desecrated by Saruman the Betrayer.
SonySony has released the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection for the PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. As the title suggests, this compilation includes two amazing games: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, both remastered for 1080p graphics, 7.1 sound and support for PlayStation Network trophies. The disc also includes interviews with creator Fumito Ueda.

X-Men Destiny Reaches Stores

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Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has released its game X-Men Destiny to stores in North America. Developed by Silicon Knights for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, the game allows players to take control of three mutants new to the Marvel universe. Players decide the course their lives will take, fighting alongside or against famous Marvel characters, ultimately siding with either the X-Men or the Brotherhood. The DS version of the game is similar in concept, but developed independently by Other Ocean.
InterWave Studios has released its game Nuclear Dawn as a download for the PC through Valve's Steam service. The game mixes aspects of first-person shooters and real-time strategy games by allowing players to command an entire force or duck into the action to help either the Empire or the Consortium as they war over a post-apocalyptic landscape.
RailWorks 3: Train Simulator 2012 from is now available as a download from Valve's Steam service. The core game of this sequel to RailWorks 2 features 16 locomotives ranging from steam engines to modern locomotives and eight different routes to drive.
UbisoftReleased almost two years ago for the DS, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is now available as a PC download. This strategy game with role-playing game elements developed by Capybara Games and published by Ubisoft is designed as a prequel to Heroes of Might and Magic V.

EA Hires Microsoft VP as CTO

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has hired Rajat Taneja as the company's Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Electronic Arts, Taneja served as a Vice President of Microsoft's Commerce Division. If that sounds unrelated, keep in mind that Taneja oversaw development and deployment of Xbox Live, among other technologies.
NGD Studios has released Bunch of Heroes as a download for the PC through Steam and GamersGate. This twin-stick arcade-style shooter has up to four players working together to fend off an alien invasion (that happens to be backed by a powerful zombie army, for good measure).
MicrosoftMicrosoft has added two more downloadable games to the Xbox Live Arcade program, a crashing puzzle game based on the Burnout series and an action-oriented swinging puzzle game. Read on for the details...
THQValuSoft, a division of THQ, has released Drakensang: Complete Saga for the PC to GameStop stores in North America. This is a compilation that includes The Dark Eye, The River of Time and Drakensang: Phileasson's Secret. This package allows PC gamers to enjoy the complete party-based role-playing game experience set in The Dark Eye universe.
SonyToday marks the release through the PlayStation Store of another slate of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP, including a classic coin-operated action game, the best part of the Burnout series and several previously released retail games. On the PlayStation 3, there's also a new (version 3.72) firmware update. Sony won't say what it does (other than improving "system stability" and "network services"), but it will delay you if you want to purchase any of the games below. Read on for the full list and more details...
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released Gears of War 3 for the Xbox 360 to stores in North America. Developed by Epic Games, this follow-up to Gears of War and Gears of War 2 has players once again taking Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad fighting on more than a year after the fall of the last human city. Gears of War 3 also features extensive multiplayer modes, refined from the last release.
AtlusAtlus has released its PSP game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin to stores in North America. This is the more-than-a-decade-old Persona game that never previously saw a North American release, now available for sale with improved visuals and a remixed soundtrack.

Supremacy MMA Reaches Stores

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505 Games has released Supremacy MMA for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. Supremacy MMA is an arcade-style fighting game featuring underground mixed-martial arts combat, and bearing the likeness of several professional MMA fighters.
KonamiKonami's game Frogger 3D for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This 3D take on the traditional Frogger-style traffic-dodging has Frogger visiting distant locations from New York to the Moon.
THQTHQ's game Barbie: Jet, Set & Style for the Wii and DS is now available in stores in North America. The game has players helping Barbie doing the hair and nails for clients. The game gives little girls a chance to play at being a stylist, and marketers a chance to use the word "HAIRtastic" a lot.
NatsumeNatsume's game Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns for the DS is now available in stores in North America. This latest combination simulation and role-playing game in the Harvest Moon franchise features two towns in conflict. Players must decide in which town to live and farm. By competing in festivals and developing a thriving farm, players even have an opportunity to reunite the municipalities.

F1 2011 Reaches Stores

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CodemastersCodemasters' game F1 2011 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is available today in North American retail stores. The PC version can also be downloaded through Valve's Steam service. This latest Formula One-licensed racing game has players take on the role of a new driver on the FIA Formula One World Circuit. The game includes 19 circuits on the race calendar and improved multiplayer supporting 16 human and 8 AI racers for a full grid of 24 drivers.
PlayStation 3Last week, resourceful users of Sony's PlayStation Network examined the updated Terms of Service for the PlayStation Network and noted that the new agreement forbids users (unless those users notify Sony, in writing, within 30 days of accepting the agreement) from participating in a class-action lawsuit against Sony. On the most obvious level, this is just Sony's legal department trying to protect the company from liability in case something happens such as when the PlayStation Network went down for nearly one month. Some commentators are up-in-arms arguing that the new terms-of-service are anti-consumerist. That's a moral argument. Here at FI, we want to make a practical argument. Business models have changed substantially since the PlayStation 3 console was launched, and constant changes to the PlayStation Network terms-of-service are doing material harm to owners of the console. Read on for a more detailed explanation...
NintendoNintendo's game Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 for the DS is available today in stores in North America. This sequel is another game that allows players to collect, train and battle monsters. Sound a lot like Pokemon? Indeed. But it's set in the Dragon Quest universe, so there's a lot more slime.
NetflixNetflix has announced that it plans to split its disc-rental service and streaming content service. That's a big deal, but somewhat tangential to gaming, so if you're interested in analysis, head over to this article on Wired. FI readers may be interested to note that the disc-rental service dubbed Qwikster (the streaming content service will retain the Netflix name) will be adding rental of Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii games for an additional monthly fee "similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray." This will put Netflix in direct competition with GameFly.

Kirby Mass Attack Now in Stores

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NintendoNintendo's game Kirby Mass Attack for the DS is now available in stores in North America. This latest Kirby game allows players to control up to 10 copies of the heroic (and squishy) pink dude in this side-scrolling platformer. Kirby is questing to save the planet Popstar while also returning to his original form.
Southpeak GamesSouthPeak Interactive, publisher of games such as Two Worlds II, announced that it plans to file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to delist its registered securities. This means that SouthPeak's stock will no longer be listed. This is surely (in part) because SouthPeak's stock has performed so abysmally (sporting both a tiny price and minimal trading volume). This decision also spares SouthPeak from needing to publicly report on its finances or legal conflicts.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has released the King Arthur: Fallen Champions a "stand-alone expansion" for the King Arthur series of games that bridges the events of the original game and the upcoming sequel, King Arthur II, This PC game is available through many download portals. The game presents three different tales, that of the noble knight Sir Lionel, the enchantress Lady Corrigan and a shaman from the distant north.
PomPom Games' shoot-'em-up Astro Tripper, released last year for the PlayStation 3, can now be downloaded to the PC through Valve's Steam service. The game is a retro-style scrolling shooter that builds on PomPom's 2001 game Space Tripper.
MicrosoftMicrosoft added yet another game to the Xbox Live Arcade portfolio. Now, Xbox 360 owners can download Renegade Ops for the 1,200 points ($15). The game has players driving a variety of assault vehicles on behalf of a mobile commando unit to battle a madman who goes by the name "Inferno."
Splitfish FragFX Shark 360Splitfish AG has released the FragFX Shark 360, a two-part wireless controller for the Xbox 360 that mimics the feel of using a mouse, ideal for first-person shooters. The controller can be purchased through the Amazon store by North American gamers, and should be available in Europe early next month.
UbisoftUbisoft has released TrackMania 2: Canyon for the PC as a download from the game's site. This latest TrackMania racing game allows up to 200 players to race against one another on user-generated tracks.

Dungeons of Dredmor Review

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Dungeons of Dredmor Publisher: Gaslamp Games
Developer: Gaslamp Games

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Core 2 Duo/Athlon 64, 1 GB RAM, DirectX-compatible video card, 400 MB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

The once dread-lord (now lich) Dredmor was defeated and bound both physically and magically deep underground in a trap-filled dungeon. That was long ago. Dredmor has been slowly freeing himself from his bonds and is prepared to make his move against the land of the living – the surface dwellers. That means someone must venture into Dredmor's dungeon to defeat him. Sadly, that person is you.

How Many Caps is a Life Worth?

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Fallout: Nuka BreakThe Fallout: Nuka Break episodic fan film continues to warm the slightly irradiated cockles of our hearts here at FI, and as long as that keeps happening, we're going to continue pointing you to new episodes. Check out the embedded video of episode two after the break, and we're going to go pop some Rad Away...
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released two more downloadable games through Xbox Live Arcade: a freestyle motocross racer and a classic arcade shooter. Read on for the titles and more details...
MajescoMajesco announced its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2011. Read on for more details...
SonySony has released a whole set of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP to celebrate the arrival of yet another Tuesday. Games include previous big releases like Bulletstorm alongside branded racing. Read on for the full list and more details...
Hard Reset, a first-person shooter from Flying Wild Hog is now available as a PC download. The game is a single-player, cyberpunk experience in which players battle for the only remaining human city facing multiple grievous threats.
Aksys Games has shipped Bit.Trip Saga for the 3DS and Bit.Trip Complete for the Wii to stores in North America. Both packages are compilations of the six existing Bit.Trip games but with new difficulty settings and unique levels or challenges.
HudsonHudson, a subsidiary of Konami, has released its game Deca Sports Extreme for the 3DS to stores in North America. This latest sports compilation in the long-running series includes 10 sports (as the title promises) ranging from soccer and tennis to a snowball fight and blowgun championship, all for Nintendo's latest handheld console.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Puzzler: Mind Gym 3D for the 3DS is now available in stores. In the spirit of other "brain training" games, Puzzler: Mind Gym 3D contains a variety of exercises and puzzles intended to improve mental acuity.

Red Orchestra 2 Available Today

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Tripwire Interactive's game Red Orchestra 2 for the PC is available in stores today and will be available as a download momentarily. This multiplayer shooter allows up to 64 players to battle on a series of maps that simulate the series of battles that led up to the Battle of Stalingrad from both the Russian and German perspectives spanning from July 1942 to February 1943. Red Orchestra 2 is closer to the simulation side of things than more arcade-like shooters, forcing players to deal with the inaccuracy of semi-automatic weapons and bullet transit that makes sniping a challenging activity.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Call of Juarez: The Cartel, released for consoles in July, is now available for the PC in physical stores and as a download. This third Call of Juarez keeps the Wild Western spirit of the previous games, but transforms this shooter franchise into a modern day tale of drug-related violence that spans the United States/Mexican border. The game also supports up to three players in an online cooperative mode.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released The Gunstringer for the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor. Developed by Twisted Pixel, The Gunstringer has players using the Kinect sensor and their own bodies to control an undead marionette gunfighter as he shoots his way through a variety of adventures in pursuit of puppet revenge.

NHL 12 Reaches Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game NHL 12 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores. This latest iteration of EA's hockey franchise (according to EA) features "more than 300 gameplay refinements" such as better collisions and dynamic goalies. New copies of the game will be able to play online (against other players or the AI controlled teams other players have created), while used purchasers will have to shell out for the EA Online Pass.
D3PublisherD3Publisher has released White Knight Chronicles II for the PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. Developed by Level-5, the game is the sequel to White Knight Chronicles: International Edition (a game that is also included in the package) and is a role-playing game of epic scope in which players must protect kingdoms from the reconstituted Yshrenian Empire as well as internal strife. Players can enjoy the extended single-player adventure, or take characters from the single-player campaign online into a multiplayer co-operative mode.

Nyko Zoom Reaches Stores

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Nyko's peripheral for the Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor, the "Zoom," is now available in stores in North America. The Zoom is a set of lenses in a frame that clips onto the Kinect sensor designed to shorten the distance at which the Kinect sensor works, making it better suited to smaller rooms and playing areas. The Zoom costs $30.
SonySony has released the God of War: Origins Collection for the PlayStation 3. These are remastered versions of the games God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta, both released for the PSP, but now supporting 1080p resolution.
MajescoMajesco's game Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures for the DS is now available in stores. This latest game in the extensive Mama series has the controlling Mama character helping players develop their DS stylus-based island survival skills through a series of challenges.
Take-Two Interactive2K Play, the casual label of Take-Two Interactive, has released Nicktoons MLB for the Xbox 360, Wii and DS. The game features animated Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Stimpy and Zim facing off against around 300 real Major League Baseball players in stadia ranging from Wrigley Field to the planet Zeenu. With a variety of play modes, the game supports the Kinect on the Xbox 360.
SegaIn early May, Sega (part of Sega Sammy Holdings) released Thor: God of Thunder for most platforms. Today, the game is also available for the 3DS. The game features an original storyline by one of the authors of the Thor comic and the voice and likeness of the characters from the recent Thor film.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive's game Sengoku for the PC is now available as a download through major portals. The game, from the same team that developed the Europa Universalis and Victoria games, brings a similar style of strategic play to Feudal Japan. In Sengoku, players take control of a family of great import and negotiate or battle to survive while managing the family holdings.

Six Gun Saga Review

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Six Gun Saga Publisher: Cryptic Comet
Developer: Cryptic Comet

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 1.2 GHz, 256 MB RAM, Video Card with 32 MB VRAM, 200 MB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

"This town isn't big enough for the both of us... or all four of us if we're playing a four-player game." I'm pretty sure Wyatt Earp said that. At least, he did in Six Gun Saga, a strategic card game in which up to four bosses (from a pool of seven) hire help and battle against one another to wrest control of a late-19th century town in the American Wild West for themselves.

Rise of Immortals Launches

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Petroglyph has launched its game Rise of Immortals, a game that Petroglyph calls a "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" game. Like many recent games, this online PC title is free-to-play but offers players many opportunities to spend real cash on in-game items. The game is set in the world of Graxia, 300 years after the events of the game Guardians of Graxia, allows players to advance any of the 12 launch Immortals and take them into battle against other players.
THQValuSoft, a label of THQ, announced that it has shipped Age of Enigma: The Secret of the Sixth Ghost for the PC to stores in North America. This is an adventure game set in an alternate version of the 1940s where paranormal activity is less "para-" and more "normal." The game features a medium investigating several ghosts trapped in the home of the missing Wendell family. The game should be available as a download in November.
TurbineTurbine, part of Warner Bros., has launched the Secrets of the Artificers update for its massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. This is the eleventh major update since Dungeons & Dragons Online went free-to-play. It adds a new class – the artificer – that is a mix between of the rogue and arcane classes, raises the crafting level cap to 150, adds a new high-level quest hub and a premium adventure pack with two new raids and three new dungeons.

Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse Review

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Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse Company: Logitech
Platform: PC

Windows System Requirements: USB port, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Logitech's G300 Gaming Mouse is as awesome a mouse as you will find for the price. At $40, it offers most of the options available on much higher-end mice, but without the hefty price tag. There are certainly finer gaming mice, and Logitech makes many of them, but all will set you back considerably more hard-earned cash than the G300.

Electronic ArtsLast week, Electronic Arts released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters for the PC. Keeping in mind that no one here at FI has personally played the game, community reaction is overwhelmingly that the PC version is complete crap. Players hoping for an updated version of the storied golf franchise (or at least a port of the latest console version) instead have reportedly received what is effectively a premium version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour: Online, a free-to-play online golf experience. Given that EA's marketing pages promised something like the console experience, EA is reportedly offering refunds to disgruntled PC golfers who contact customer support.

NYT Looks at EA's Tax Avoidance

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The New York Times is running an article on how tax breaks and loopholes in the tax code have helped to enrich video game companies such as Electronic Arts. The article is worth reading, not only because it speaks specifically to how Electronic Arts uses the tax code to avoid paying substantial taxes, but because it is an excellent example of how companies in general take advantage of tax incentives that weren't implemented for very different reasons. The article also mentions how Electronic Arts (and companies like it) pay lobbyists to fight for further tax breaks, accumulate profits offshore to avoid taxes, and even hire ex-treasury officials to ensure they receive the most favorable tax treatment.

Star Fox 64 3D Reaches Stores

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NintendoNintendo has released Star Fox 64 3D for the 3DS to stores in North America. This is a re-release of the classic game of space combat originally released for the Nintendo 64 that features new graphics, supports 3D viewing and adds a four-player dogfight mode. Once again, players can relive Fox McCloud's adventures as he battles the forces of the evil Andross.
Russian publisher 1C has released the latest strategy game from the Men of War franchise, Men of War: Vietnam. This real-time strategy game for the PC features two campaigns set around 1968, one for the combined U.S. and South Vietnamese troops and one for the North Vietnamese and their Soviet consultants. A variety of portals selling the game are indexed on this page.
NintendoNintendo was pleased to announce that after cutting the price of the 3DS on August 12, Nintendo sold around 185,000 3DS units during the rest of August, 260% more than approximately 70,000 units it sold during the comparable time frame in July. That's a nice increase, but it really emphasizes how badly the 3DS was selling before the price cut. Even after the price cut, the brand-spanking-new 3DS didn't sell the more than 190,000 units that the around five-year-old Wii sold in the same month. It's increasingly clear that the admittedly cool 3DS is a solution in need of a problem.
Electronic ArtsYesterday, Electronic Arts added Jay Hoag to EA's Board of Directors, as well as the Board's Executive Compensation and Leadership Committee. Hoag is a founding partner of Technology Crossover Ventures and also serves on the boards of eHarmony, TechTarget, Zillow and Netflix. In this capacity, Hoag will receive $57,500 per year, as well as the pro-rata portion of the 10,000 restricted stock units that were granted to directors at the last meeting that can be redeemed a little less than a year from now.
AtlusRock of Ages from publisher Atlus and developer ACE Team is now available as a download for the PC. The game has players helping Sisyphus escape Hades by battling a series of foes throughout time using a gigantic boulder as a weapon of mass squishing.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has released yet more downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live Arcade program, including BloodRayne's latest adventure a puzzle game for the Kinect and an aerial racing game. In particular, this week marks a serious contender with a free-to-play (but pay for fun) model in the form of an action/role-playing game. Read on for the full list and more details...

Valve Introduces Steam Trading

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Steam TradingValve has launched the "Steam Trading" feature for its Steam game service and portal. The features allows Steam users to trade Steam Gifts (games purchased for others) along with certain in-game items. So far, the only games that support the trading of in-game items are Team Fortress 2, Portal 2 and Spiral Knights. It's a particularly brilliant scheme as it helps part Steam users from even more money, while helping Valve capture a bigger share of the income stream. But then, Bill Harris said it clearly at much greater length.

Dead Island Arrives in Stores

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Deep SilverDeep Silver's game Dead Island is now available in stores for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. This horror game has players engaging in first-person melee combat in an effort to survive a tropical island resort overrun by zombies.
SonySony has released the Uncharted Double Pack, a greatest hits compilation including Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and a selection of downloadable content including a co-operative multiplayer game mode.
Sony has added yet more downloadable games to the PlayStation Store including the latest bloody adventure of BloodRayne, an aerial racing game and the opportunity to play rugby, along with several others. Read on for the full list and more details...
UbisoftUbisoft's game Driver: Renegade for the 3DS is now available in stores in North America. This Driver game takes place between the events of Driver and Driver 2 with players taking on the role of renegade cop John Tanner after he abandons his badge to fight crime in New York City. By racing.
THQValuSoft, a THQ label, has shipped Voodoo Chronicles: First Sign for the PC to stores and also released it through download portals. This is a hidden-object-style adventure game with a variety of associated mini-games that has players saving a city from a horrifying monster.
NIS AmericaNIS America's game Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten for the PlayStation 3 is now available in stores in North America. This latest installment in the Disgaea strategic role-playing game franchise has players leading a party into battle has a plot, but it involves words like "corrupternment," so we're going to leave it to the hardcore fans.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Driver: San Francisco for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii is now available in stores. The PC version should reach stores in a few weeks. The game has players using more than 100 cars to battle San Francisco's crime lord Charles Jericho by racing other talented drivers.
THQTHQ's game Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game has players taking on the role of one of the genetically augmented soldiers of the Imperium of Man, set to defending an industrial Forge World from an Ork invasion. This third-person shooter includes a competitive multiplayer mode, and will soon receive a co-operative multiplayer mode.
SegaSega, part of Sega-Sammy Holdings, has released Rise of Nightmares for those Xbox 360 owners who also have a Kinect sensor. The game has players battling hordes of the undead by dancing like a marionette for the Kinect sensor while wandering through a madman's castle.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters for consoles in March, but the game is finally available for the PC and Mac. The PC/Mac box (or download from EA's Origin) also includes a three-month membership to Tiger Woods PGA Tour: Online, a browser-based online implementation of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour experience. And whether or not you purchase the game through Origin, you'll have to install Origin to play. Then you can start to enjoy the golf.
THQTHQ has released The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns - Again! for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and DS. The Xbox 360 version requires the Kinect sensor and the Wii version requires THQ's uDraw tablet. The game has players working with The Penguins of Madagascar (the titular characters from the animated series of the same name) as they experience a variety of adventures, puzzles and mini-games.
SonySony has released Insomniac Games' Resistance 3 for the PlayStation 3. Following the events of Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2, Resistance 3 is a first-person shooter that follows the events of a nearly unstoppable Chimera invasion set against the backdrop of 1950s America.
Spirited Heart Girl's LoveWinter Wolves has released Spirited Heart Girl's Love, the sequel/expansion to Spirited Heart allowing players to engage in this romantic simulation, exploring heterosexual and lesbian romances with scantily-clad winged partners. The game is available for PC, Mac and Linux gamers.
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon Publisher: 345 Games
Developer: Backbone Entertainment

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

In a world where Man-Bird hybrids befoul statuary while shouting with what little English they learned from a New York cabbie, and where zombies take sexual fetishism to an advanced state that only prolonged undeath could allow, would anyone even notice the End of Days? There's at least one social worker at the Department of Integration who thinks that it's worth saving a few lost immigrants, Manhattan, the world and even possibly a few demon babies along the way.

Publisher Meridian4 and developer Octane games have released Wasteland Angel as a downloadable game for the PC. The game is available through a variety of portals and has player marauding in a heavily armored car through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This is a vintage-style twitch shooter that has players controlling Angel's dual machine guns through hordes of gangs, mutants and boss battles.'s tank-saturated massively multiplayer online game World of Tanks officially launched in April and has been online for a lot longer than that, but today has released a retail box to stores in North America. The World of Tanks box costs $20 and includes a T2 Light Tank (in-game – that'd be a good price for a real antique war machine) a one-week premium account and a bunch of in-game credits and gold.

Snowball Microphone Review

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Snowball Microphone from Blue Company: Blue Microphones
Platforms: PC, Mac and iPad

Windows System Requirements: USB port, 64 MB RAM, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Blue Microphones has re-released its prestigious Snowball Microphone, packaging an impressive balance between performance and price into a gorgeous spherical package that connects to a PC, Mac or iPad through a USB port.

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