• Indie Showcase: Hexcells / Hexcells Plus

    I absolutely hate Minesweeper. That tiny piece of fluff-ware that seems to be bundled in so many operating systems simply irks me to no end. I feel this way…
  • Today I learnt about a game called Enemy Starfighter

    It’s rather embarrassing you see, because this game has been around for over a year already. I’m tempted to throw in an obscure Star Wars reference about ships this…
  • Impressions: Shadowgate

    Remakes have always been a touchy subject, but lately it seems as if the topic has ignited a whole new inflammatory debate, with all manner of sanctimony attached to every…
  • Gamescom 2014: Let’s chat to Bungie about Destiny!

    Yesterday at Gamescom we sat down with Jonty Barnes (the director of production for Destiny) and Jessie van Dijk (the lead concept artist) to talk about the recent beta,…
  • NAG Online reader survey

    They say change comes from within, but the last time we went digging around our insides we came out with handfuls of blood and squishy bits, and a free…
  • Gamescom 2014: Skylanders Trap Team goes SERIOUSLY mobile

    The Skylanders franchise is no stranger to mobile iterations, but to date those versions have been smaller spin-offs that have opted to play it safe. Eschewing full console ports…

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The Radeon R9 285 has only just been announced by AMD and already several specialist versions of it have been revealed. The R9 285 itself only launches on 2 September, so there’s enough time for AMD’s partners to steal the limelight before the launch to show off what they’ve been working on. Sapphire was the first out of the gate with a mini-ITX variant of the Tonga-based GPU and it’s called the R9 285 Compact.

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Bandai Namco, the publisher behind the longstanding Tekken series of fighting games, has collaborated with The Pokémon Company to develop a fighting game called Pokkén Tournament. The game sees players taking control of individual Pokémon in a typical fighting game setup.

The reveal is still very new, and so far the game has only been announced for Japanese arcades. Yep, no console announcements or even a Western release as yet. Japan’s arcades have always been streets ahead of anything one could hope to find Western countries, and it isn’t unusual for arcade-exclusive games based on popular franchises to appear in the country.

Whether or not this will make a jump to home consoles or even Western territories is uncertain, but the Wii U could certainly do with further drawcards. For now, however, you can check out the reveal trailer after the jump.

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The Crew E3 trailer gate break

With Ubisoft’s The Crew scheduled for a November 2014 launch, it’s all systems go at Ubisoft to prep the game for release. But though it’s enjoyed several successful Alpha and Beta trials on various platforms, one niggling aspect of the PC betas were that the game is locked to 30 frames per second no matter what hardware you’re running. This smells more like the same tactics used in Need for Speed: Rivals and the reason probably is because the game’s physics engine is tied to the frame rate. More info after the jump.

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Hexcells V0 2013-07-22 13-23-38-28

I absolutely hate Minesweeper. That tiny piece of fluff-ware that seems to be bundled in so many operating systems simply irks me to no end. I feel this way because, while there is some strategy involved, most of the gameplay boils down to blind luck. And when chance takes preference instead of direct influence over the outcome, I simply lose interest. With this bitter taste in my mouth, I was cautious when I approached Hexcells, whose description bears more than a passing resemblance to the infamous ‘sweeper. Thankfully, my prejudices weren’t realized and I found it to be a rather delightful puzzle experience.

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Jeepers. We’re just full of DVD giveaways these days, aren’t we? And here’s another one!

We’ve got three more films to offer you the opportunity to get your hands on for the mighty attractive price of Totally Free.

Move below the break for infor-mation-s.

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BioWare has announced plans to ship Dragon Age: Inquisition with a separate, four-player cooperative multiplayer mode. They’re likening this mode to the surprisingly successful multiplayer component that shipped with Mass Effect 3.

Hang on! Before you get all uppity that your endings for Inquisition will be influenced by your performance in multiplayer, know that the single player campaign is entirely separate from the multiplayer portion. The two will be linked in lore only: in the single player story, you’ll have access to specialists who send agents off on missions as part of your inquisition goals. In multiplayer you’ll play as those agents, with the specialists providing details on what your multiplayer mission objective might be.

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barbie dreamhouse party

I’m writing this column on my birthday. That means, when you’re reading this, my birthday would have been yesterday. So you’ve already missed it, nice job. Assholes. Anyway, luckily for me I had the day off, which means I spent most of my day playing video games (with four or five minutes carved out for this column).

All that gaming got me thinking on my previous birthdays – what was I playing then? Gaming has been a huge part of my life for the past 20+ years (I turned 27 yesterday, I’m basically Gandalf at this point), and there are very specific years that are partly defined by whatever game I was obsessed with that year.

So then, this list looks at 9 of those years from the past 20, and the gaming memory that I associate with that time in my life. Why 9, you may ask? Because I was too lazy to do 10, and I was worried Dane wouldn’t pay me if I only did 5. You can find my narcissistic indulgence, after the jump.

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The biggest news to come out of Gamescom 2014 was the fact that Crystal Dynamics had signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for 2013’s Tomb Raider sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider. During Microsoft’s press conference it was revealed that the hotly anticipated title would be coming “exclusively” to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One next holiday season. The Internet exploded shortly after that and Crystal Dynamics rushed to explain (as best they could at the time) their decision.

Once the dust had settled, and PlayStation and PC gamers had aired their understandable displeasure, it came to light that the game is (as we suspected) a timed Microsoft exclusive. How long that timed exclusivity is remains under wraps in order to protect Microsoft’s interests in the deal. Obviously, Microsoft wants to use the draw of Rise of the Tomb Raider to bolster Xbox One sales next Christmas season.

Throughout all of this backwards and forwards between real exclusive and timed exclusive, developer Crystal Dynamics has been getting a lot of heat from angered fans. They have now, finally, responded to the way the deal was announced during Gamescom.

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Dun da dadadadada, dan da dadadadada, dan da dadadadada dan. DAAAAN DAAAAN DAAAAN DAN DA DAAAAAAN, DAAAN DA DAAAAAAN. DAAN DAAN DAAAN DA DADAAAN DAN DADAAAN. DUUN DUUN DUUUN DA DADADA DUN DUN, DA DADADA, DUN DUN DUN DA DAAN, DUN DA DAAAAAN. Yeah, you know that this is the new hotness edition of the System Builders Guide. Jump in and see what I’ve got in store for you! If you’ve got a pile of money burning a hole in your pocket and want a new rig, this is a good place to be right now.

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If you still haven’t ditched Windows XP – and really, you should – you might be interested to know that some generous souls on the Internet have compiled what is essentially a new service pack for the antiquated operating system.

It’s a compilation of various hotfixes and updates that have been released since SP3, including some for .NET. While Microsoft officially stopped rolling out updates for XP back in April of this year, they are continuing to support their POSReady systems which are compatible with the XP base. This new patch includes a hack which will allow POSReady updates to be installed indefinitely.

The good news is that it can be applied on installs that are still running SP1, but this comes at the price of a much beefier download: 827MB for the whole package. You can get it here, but it would be irresponsible of us not to issue the disclaimer that upgrading your OS is better than hacking an old, unsupported one. Have fun, but use at your own risk.

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Stay a while and hey! Listen! Or something like that; I get confused trying to keep track of all the RPG quotes these days.

When we say “Seasons” are coming to Diablo III, we’re not talking about seasonal changes in weather being added into the game like it’s some sort of The Sims expansion. We’re talking Leaderboard Seasons – it’s kind of like what’s currently keeping Hearthstone fans constantly progressing their public ranking in order to unlock unique card backs each month. However, because Diablo III is about a bajillion times more complex with intricate systems and massive scale, the Seasons heading to the game are a little more in depth than what you’d find in Hearthstone.

Over the next few days, Blizzard will be releasing update patch 2.1.0, which will add seasonal challenges into the game. Seasons have been in the pipeline for a while now, but by this week Friday they’re going to officially kick off. Get ready to lose yet more time to Diablo III.

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There are many positive side-effects surrounding the distribution of games in the age of Steam and other content-delivery platforms. A lack of shipping costs means that the product is generally cheaper and no shelf space helps us all to embrace a more environmentally-friendly business model. Still, a lack of physicality can be a downer, particularly for all you rabid collectors out there. Well, let your mind be relieved at the fact that one company is making the effort to turn digitally distributed games into boxed products.

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Towards the end of July, website Venturebeat incorrectly reported that Google had bought game streaming service Twitch. That purchase was, according to Venturebeat, a done-deal with Google forking out $1 billion.

Turns out that Venturebeat was incorrect, because online retailer Amazon has in fact purchased Twitch for $970 million. That deal is super official and finalised; press releases and everything. The actual take-over is scheduled to be complete “in the second half of 2014”.

Incidentally, this now makes all the upset towards Google (caused by the news that Twitch was now blocking copyrighted music from archived videos) entirely unfounded. At the time, everyone (including us) assumed that this new Twitch rule was thanks to Google’s buyout, seeing as similar things happened on YouTube, and Google owns YouTube as well. Silly us.

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Remember PlayStation Home? I’m sure about seven of you will, but for those who have no clue: it’s Sony’s attempt to create an online virtual lifestyle system kind of like Second Life, just without all the weird stuff that makes Second Life so intriguing.

PlayStation Home is free to anyone who owns a PlayStation 3 console, as signing up for the PlayStation Network automatically gets you a PlayStation Home account. What exactly you do in PlayStation Home is open for speculation because I think I spent about 15 minutes with it before uttering an audible “¿qué?” and nuking it from orbit. (High-fives for mashing together an obscure Aliens reference with Fawlty Towers. I’m here all week.)

Anyway, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has seen fit to end the long-running oddity; it began a beta version in 2008. As of March 2015, the service will end in Japan and other Asia territories. The rest of the world (i.e. Western territories) will get to continue WTF-ing as PlayStation Home will live on in Europe and the US. That being said, Sony might decide to take the old gal out back for Western territories as well. Maybe they should; just put it out of its misery.

Source: SCEJ
Via: Game Informer

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For those of you who have been under a rock for the last month, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has swept throughout the internet, with celebrities and big brands promoting a drive to secure donations towards research into a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or Motor neurone disease. Celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Taylor Swift, Conan ‘O Brien have taken part in the challenge as well as others like Phil Spencer, Bill Gates, Markus Persson, Playstation USA’s Shawn Layden and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Aaaaand now we’re getting into game characters nominating other game characters. The new twist in the trend begins with Warframe.

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It’s the oldest and most heinous crimes a gamer can commit. But who can claim to having never encountered the inexorable pull, when in a heated multiplayer battle of wits with friends in close proximity, to let their eyes wander — with feigned casualness — beyond their range of view? Or perhaps you were ignited with righteous fury when your friend’s almost prescient awareness of your positioning planted the seed of accusation in your mind, that they were committing the basest of gaming sins… screenwatching.

Spit and curse their name forevermore, a plague upon their mouses, etc.

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