• 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…
  • NAG Magazine: August 2014 issue

    Hi! Sorry we’re late. Had a spot of car trouble. Plus, RedTide took forever to decide on an outfit, and he kept complaining that he simply couldn’t get his hair to…

“You think that’s air you’re breathing?”

Some days, you just want to take in some minimalistic architecture with windy autumn leaves rustling in the background while drinking a cuppa, and this is one of those days. Given that I’m shackled to my desk at the moment, however, I’ll just have to make do with these incredible Unreal Engine 4 videos. User koola on the Unreal Engine forums decided he wanted to put the engine’s lighting through it’s paces, and the results are nothing short of stunning. According to koola, it takes “10 minutes” to prepare the lightmaps, but otherwise runs at 50-60 fps in real-time on a GTX 760.

Hit the jump for the videos below, then quote Bohemian Rhapsody.



You might recall the trial of ex-Bungie composer, Marty O’Donnell, who was fired without apparent reason from Bungie in April this year. Having played a significant role in the creation of the Halo and Destiny soundtracks, O’Donnell was found have been wronged and received $95,000 in damages due to unpaid leave and wages.

However, Venturebeat is now reporting that unpaid leave and wages wasn’t the only outstanding issue between Bungie and O’Donnell, and this one has particular relevance given the nearing release date of Destiny. In a separate case, O’Donnell was also suing Bungie for the loss of his shares within the company, some 336,375 of Series B-1 Preferred Stock and a further 48,000 common stock.

This was linked to his contractual agreement with Bungie, which stated that he relinquished his unvested stocks upon voluntary resignation, a point O’Donnell obviously disputed. O’Donnell was able to prove, through an arbitration claim, that he “demonstrated substantial likleihood” that he was one of the seven founders of Bungie, and has had his stocks reinstated.

According to Bungie’s lawyers, if O’Donnell’s shares were restored, he would be a “bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company,” an issue that arbitrator retired Judge Sharon Armstrong appears not to have had much sympathy for. His rights to the stock have been restored. It will be interesting, now given O’Donnell’s influence at a shareholder level, how this saga plays out in the future.

Source: Venturebeat

Intel Devils Canyon header_edit

So Intel’s Haswell-E launch is just around the corner and there’s been some price indications for the first batches of DDR4 memory, but nothing on the processors. Well, that is until now. Some pre-launch prices for the Core i7-5820K and Core i7-5930K have popped up on the local market thanks to Wootware. Haswell-E also comes with the X99 platform which will be just as expensive as these puppies. Hit the jump to see the screenshots.


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Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s most recent ex-CEO, announced yesterday that he would be retiring from his duties on Microsoft’s board of directors. Ballmer’s motivation for leaving were for personal reasons and other commitments he has made to other pursuits, notably lecturing at various colleges, studying in his spare time and running a basketball team called the Los Angeles Clippers. Ballmer announced his resignation from Microsoft as CEO in 2013 and has previously said that he’d only ever leave the company completely once his children were off to college. Ballmer is currently the biggest individual shareholder in Microsoft’s stock and has a net worth of around US $15 billion.

“Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Ballmer said in his letter to current CEO Satya Nadella and the rest of the board.

Source: Microsoft


Remember Twitch Plays Pokémon? It caused an online sensation that was shortly overshadowed by Fish Plays Pokémon. It is said that on the day Fish Plays Pokémon launched online, the entire Internet gave up and went home because they knew that nothing else would be as awesome as that. Turns out something is as awesome, and hell… it might even be awesomer.

This is Fish Plays Street Fighter II, in which two goldfish have portions of their communal tank mapped to the various buttons required to play Street Fighter. Whichever quadrant they swim into is translated into an in-game button press. It’s exactly the same as Fish Plays Pokémon, but now there are two fish and they’re beating the crap out of each other.

We’ve embedded the madness after the jump. You know you want to watch Aquarius take on Robert the Bruce in a gold goldfish versus black goldfish tournament smackdown! God bless you, Internet.


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Gather around! Gather around, children, because there’s nothing like starting your morning off with 35 minutes of “HOLY BALLS!” inducing gameplay footage for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This is the footage that CD Projekt RED has shown off during E3 and the more recent Gamescom in Cologne. We got to attend this hour-long presentation last week and it was, barring some terrific Evolve hands-on time, the highlight of the show. Funnily enough, the highlight of E3 last year was also The Witcher 3. Huh, I think we’re onto something here.

Anyway, the lovely blokes at CD Projekt have sent across this 35 minute gameplay video. In it you’ll get to see the largest city in the game; some super-awesome hair effects on the head of a griffon that Geralt has strapped to a horse; really neat water ripple effects; and some of the greatest character model design towards the end. Those were my personal highlights from the presentation.

In addition to the footage, CD Projekt sent some cool stats: 15,000 members of the public watched this gameplay presentation live at Gamescom; just over 1,000 journalists visited The Witcher 3 business booth; CD Projekt dished out 12,000 T-shirts. Yowzers.

Coffee get! Jump hit! Enjoyment glean!  Go!


co-optional cast

As you may have seen around these parts, Wesley Fick, Delano, Rick de Klerk and myself have been hosting the NAG Online podcast, with special guests as well as our “team on the ground” reminding us when we screw up or whispering insightful things to us.

We’ve been having a blast with it, and if you haven’t checked them out yet we’d be much appreciative if you did.

I’ve been a podcast nut for a while now, particularly since it makes my long commute something to look forward to every day rather than dread. There’s a podcast out there for almost any interest, and if you haven’t already you absolutely should start listening to them – it’s a great way to pass time when doing other things. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of six gaming podcasts I think you’d enjoy. Check it out, then give me your favourites/suggestions in the comments.




It’s the mid-range System Builders Guide for this week and we’re now seeing something rather strange, namely hiked-up GPU prices on the AMD Radeon camp. That presents a few problems with the smaller budgets and it’s a real headache when it comes to the high-end GPUs. Is something on the way? Is it Tonga? Is AMD preparing price drops? Who knows. All that I know is the price movements have forced another readjustment on my R11,000 build (which never stays in one piece) and on the higher budget which needs to stretch your wallet a bit. Hop in and see what your money could get you this week.




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 small not having cloaking devices, and then liken Enemy Starfighter to the Millennium Falcon, but in explaining that analogy I have inadvertently obviated its need. So let’s carry on then!

Enemy Starfighter is another upcoming space simulator that’s gleefully riding atop the crest of the genre’s resurgence. I for one welcome our new space sim genre overlords because they remind me of my youth when I’d while away the weekends playing Wing Commander and X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter. I’m waiting for EA’s inevitable realisation that space simulators are a thing once again, and for them to go on and announce a new Star Wars space simulator. That distant shrieking you’ll hear shortly after that announcement will in all likelihood be me as I spin around in circles, get dizzy and puke from excitement.

Enemy Starfighter, however, is not big budget. It’s nowehere near as gargantuan a project as Star Citizen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s something that should be ignored. Allow me to put this game firmly on your radar (assuming you were, like me, fast asleep and completely oblivious to its existence because we’re terrible, terrible human beings) by describing it as such: it’s pretty much Homeworld but you fly the space ships as well. OH GOOD GOLLY BUT IT HAS MY ATTENTION NOW.



Every time there’s an update on the mountain of money that Star Citizen has gleaned for its development, I like to call up its original Kickstarter page and laugh in disbelief at its paltry $500,000.00 goal. I mean honestly… how adorable. They’ve now officially got 100 times more than they initially requested, which means that through the process of obviously, the game is going to be the best thing ever made. Obviously.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with Chris Robert’s glorious return to the space simulator genre, the original Star Citizen Kickstarter has been subsidised to the extreme via the game’s official website. On said website, players can buy a copy of the game, which comes with a standard ship. Alternatively you can fork out wads of money to buy even cooler ships, which has obviously resulted in the quaint little $500,000 starting goal bloating itself into $51,075,243.




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 side’s argument. Our very own Chris Kemp decided to tackle this controversy recently, and suffice to say things weren’t exactly rosy. It becomes even more of a problem when you’re dredging up a really old game like Shadowgate, giving it a new paint job and trying to simultaneously appeal to both a new generation and old fans alike. Is this modern remake of a 30 year-old classic up to the task?




EA Access banner

We can’t really fault Electronic Arts from trying to do something different. The company’s latest invention, EA Access, gives subscribers early access to games before they become available on launch day and it allows you to trial new games and see if you want to own them or not. After all, once the trial period is up the game will either stay on your hard drive for you to purchase later and pick up where you left off or it’ll delete itself when you don’t take up the offer to buy it outright.

EA announced on Twitter finally what the trial period length could be, starting with a grand total of six hours for Madden NFL 15. Hit the jump for more info.



At the special Gamescom 2014 event by Konami in Cologne, Germany which consisted mostly of a live play-through of the first hour of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the company dropped the announcement that the game would be heading to Valve’s Steam store and in boxec retail versions at an undisclosed date. It’s been hinted at in previous months that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima would like to return to development on the PC, as he “started out there, and would like to return to that challenge” again. There’s no telling what exactly Kojima’s team are cooking up for the PC versions of Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain but I clearly remember having a lot of fun on the PC version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.

Source: Konami UK

So if you’re updating Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 today, make sure you untick and hide MS14-045, a which is a group of security updates that patch a few vulnerabilities inside Windows to improve multi-language support and/or security. This applies to KB2982791, KB290228, KB2975719 and KB2975331, all updates that appear on Windows 7 as well. Once installed, a large number of users have reported seeing blue screens and occasionally a corrupted installation. In the case of KB2982791, uninstalling it fixes one of the blue screen errors. If you encounter issues with any of the other updates, this may require repairing Windows using a disc or, in some severe cases that I’ve seen online in several forums already, a complete reformat.

Microsoft says they are working on the issue and hope to have an update soon about the situation. In the meantime, it’s probably better to hold off on automatic updates for now.

Sources: Computerworld, Microsoft Community, Microsoft Support

DirectX 12 header

 While AMD carries on their work with Mantle, Microsoft’s engineers are toiling behind the scenes to complete work on DirectX 12, the company’s first attempt at a low-level API for the desktop market. DirectX 12 may be the biggest shift for Microsoft since DirectX 10 forced everyone to install Vista and they’re being very careful of how they handle this launch to ensure that more customers don’t shy away to other platforms.

In the past Intel has approached AMD about the Mantle specification in order to optimise their chips for it because it brings a big boost to battery life and performance in thermally constrained environments. Today, we get to look at some of the benefits that Intel is hoping to bring to the Windows platform with DirectX 12-compatible hardware.


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