- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
We’ve been waiting for Virgin Galactic to begin ferrying passengers to the edge of space for what seems like forever, but now it looks as if we might be getting close. CEO George Whitesides has announced that test-flights of the SpaceShipTwo are…
Online harassers in the UK may soon face much harsher consequences for their scare tactics. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling tells the Daily Mail that a newly proposed measure will let magistrates send cases of internet abuse and threats to crown…
When I reviewed Huawei’s Ascend W1 last summer, I was surprised at how much I liked it, considering its bargain-basement price. Microsoft clearly deserves plaudits for getting Windows Phone 8 to work on such low-power hardware, and Huawei made a real…
Tech aficionados have been flocking to Seattle’s Living Computer Museum for the past few years to get up close and personal with relics from computer technology’s past. For one night earlier this month, though, I got a chance to peek at its possible…
If you were in any doubt that Final Fantasy XIV would be expanding over time, er, don’t be, because as of this weekend it demonstrably is. Heavensward is the first, and as FF expansion/add-on names go, it is a little disappointing. FFXI brought us A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode of Life Bestowing, and A Moogle Kupo d’Etat: Evil in Small Doses, for example. Regardless, Heavensward will add a new race, new classes, allow players to build airships, and increase the level cap from 50 to 60, among other stuff.
Square Enix revealed FFXIV’s first expansion at the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival at Las Vegas this weekend, and Kotaku has the details. Along with the additions mentioned above, we can expect Heavensward to bring new jobs, raids and dungeons, plus new areas including the Northern city of Ishgard. The story has something to do with the Dragonsong War and the Wyrmking, who I’m sure is an entirely pleasant individual. There will be more details at the next FFXIV event, which takes place next weekend, but here’s a very brief teaser trailer in the meantime.
See, I told you it was brief. It’s a good time for Final Fantasy XIV info, it seems: a couple of days ago we brought you this massive trailer for the game’s 2.4 patch, which is due out later this month.
Outbreaks of lethal viruses like Ebola are bad enough by themselves, but they’re made worse by having to send in aid workers — these people can quickly become victims, no matter how careful they are. To eliminate that risk, both the White House and…
Impressions of the Battlefield Hardline beta weren’t entirely positive, and it’s this wealth of feedback that caused Visceral to ask EA for some extra time to develop their game—that’s according to this interview with Visceral’s Steve Papoutsis over on VG247. He also revealed a few of the changes that have already been made, including newly faction specific weapons and the option to stow special weapons in a vehicle’s boot.
The two factions of the game—cops and criminals—will now boast their own specific guns, a change requested by the community that I think will better suit Hardline’s underlying premise. But there are other, equally big changes being made. RPGs and mines will no longer be quite so easy to attain: it seems they’ll now be pickup item that both sides will have to find before they can use them. Here’s Papoutsis explaining the new systems in more detail:
“The other big change is more around explosives and some of the heavy duty weapons. Obviously with Battlefield you have this really solid foundation of rock, paper, scissors gameplay. The heavy weapons counter the vehicles, etc. There’s a great balance that the team has created over the years. We wanted to include RPGs and mines – and we did – but people felt that it took them out of the fiction a little bit; that you could just load up a character and equip an RPG. So that wasn’t an easy thing to get rid of because it’s part of the balance.
“The design team came up with a cool ideas based on that feedback. One is to have some of those more powerful weapons be pick-ups so it creates a secondary objective. Some of the modes, like in Hotwire, the RPG cache is one of the objectives. If you control that cache your team has access to the RPG. And that creates more interesting gameplay. We also came up with the notion of ‘junk in the trunk’ – what if we allowed players to equip special items to their vehicle instead of their inventory loadout. It goes back to movies where bad guys pop open the trunk to grab something big. When you play the game, if you set up your vehicle loadout to have a specific weapon in the trunk and you control the vehicle you can use that item. So now you want to get a vehicle to get access to a specific weapon, which also fits the fiction better.”
Visceral and EA recently blew the bloody doors off Hardline’s Hotwire mode, which is pretty much Need for Speed but with rocket launchers. Here’s a video of it in action.
The quietly enormously ambitious Stardew Valley has been given a new trailer detailing some of the Harvest Moony life sim’s many, many activities. Activities like farming, battling monsters in procedurally generated caves, fishing, popping to the shops, and standing moodily on a dock looking out to sea. Not pictured: marriage, co-op, archaeology, cooking, crafting, or the other things mentioned on this About page.
Stardew Valley is one of the few PC life sims, and it’s shaping up to be a timesink of gigantic proportions. I mentioned it before, nearly two years ago now, but it seems to have come on a fair bit since then. Starbound developers Chucklefish are publishing, which seems entirely apt to me: there’s a similar sense of scale and ambition to the more earthbound Stardew Valley. As you can see here:
No release date yet, unfortunately, but while we wait, the game’s website is full of interesting development titbits. Titbits like this one:
“Now, about Joja Corporation [the Walmart-like chain store featured in the above trailer]… I’ve decided not to impose a time limit on players. Here’s my new Joja concept:
“JojaMart already exists when you arrive in town. In fact, Joja’s presence is the reason the community center has fallen into disrepair, and why the local mom and pop businesses are suffering. Some townspeople long for the old days, when local businesses were thriving and the town had a strong sense of unity. Others welcome the convenience and affordability of the JojaMart.”
You’ll be able to affect JojaMart’s influence on the town, by revitalising the community centre and putting Joja out of business, by expanding the mega-chain and demolishing the community centre for good (you monster), or by abstaining from the decision process and letting things run their course. Interesting stuff!
Prepare to serve the empress in With Those We Love Alive, to serve the whims of gravity in The Gears Don’t Grind, and to be served a meal of slimy treats in Hugo’s House of Horrors. You’ll be doing a lot of reading, walking, shooting and jumping in this week’s roundup, so be sure to outfit yourself appropriately.
The gears don’t grind, but your teeth might while you’re playing this super-hard minimalist platformer. Compared to other super-hard minimalist platformers, Gears most closely resembles VVVVVV or Fred Wood’s Love, thanks to its iconic, simplistic art style and retro colour palette. The gravity mechanic recalls Tez Cavanagh’s game as well, although it works a little differently here. Every time you leap or fall from the side of the screen the gravity shifts – one moment you might be walking on the wall, the next you’re dancing on the ceiling. (Oh what a feeling.) The functions of the left and right cursor keys are frequently reversed, often necessitating a spot of neck-craning to maneuver yourself about.
Dr Love is a twin-stick shooter because, well, what else could it be? I suppose it could be a match-three puzzler like Dr Mario, or a fictional London GP like Eastenders’ Dr Legg, but I’m happy with the shooty Dr Love game we got. The twist here is that you’re shooting blocks, most of the time, blocks that drop from the sky to either a) crush you like a love pancake, or b) get in your motherlovin’ way. Blocks have differing properties, and it’s not long before jerk enemies introduce themselves as well. The way the game progresses seems a little random for my liking, but this is a fast and furious and pretty enough shooter that maybe that doesn’t matter all that much.
The figure of the empress looms over this sumptuous, destabilising bit of sci-fi that filters childhood trauma through a pulp sci-fi/fantasy lens. Porpentine’s vocabulary, turns of phrase, and mastery of Twine continues to impress, but it’s Neotenomie’s lush, embracing soundtrack that ties everything together. As an indentured servant in the palace of the brutal Empress, you’ll construct strange armour, ethereal ornaments, and gruesome weaponry, as your subsumed past slowly creeps back into your life.
Sometimes you need a virtual island to retreat to and saunter about on, and Andrew Dawson’s Orthoclase is better than most. There’s nothing to do here but stroll, and look, and absorb, and appreciate, and it’s a good way to unwind if, for some reason, you don’t own your own private island in real life. I was a bit disappointed to find that I couldn’t swim off to that distant landmass over there, but what can you do? *Starts furious e-petition demanding that Dawson add it in*.
A wonderfully cheeky bit of interactive fiction that takes David Gray’s 1990 adventure game Hugo’s House of Horrors and adds new writing over the top. It’s a little like a game version of the brilliant Bad Lip Reading YouTube series, which uses clips from shows like The Walking Dead and implements new, hilarious dialogue that matches the lip-syncing perfectly. Robot Parking’s poetic, silly, and sweary new words complement (screengrabs of) the original’s pixel art rather well – I like to think that they’ve never even played it, and that they’re improvising a new scenario on the spot.