• Throwback Thursday: Bad Mojo

    Good day NAG denizens, and welcome to the first instalment of a new weekly column. In Throwback Thursday, we’ll be delving into the past and examining random bits of…
  • NAG Magazine: May 2014 issue

    HACK THE PLANET! We can’t resist a good Hackers reference, so we’ve unashamedly used that one twice in the span of a single issue of this magazine we do. Except…
  • Five awesome things to come out of PAX this year

    PAX East has come and gone (a couple of weeks ago, to be honest), but I can’t help feeling like maybe we neglected the poor expo a little this…
  • Five amazing gaming documentaries you need to watch (now)

    I’ve been on a bit of a documentary binge lately. As part of that binge, I’ve become obsessed with video game documentaries. There’s something endearing, exciting and completely fascinating…
  • Review: Infamous: Second Son

    Infamous: Second Son is the first big exclusive game PS4 owners can use as a weapon and shield against advocates of the other systems in the ongoing circus-act that…
  • Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2

    Editor’s note: Seeing as this review concerns a piece of DLC, it may contain things that could be considered spoiler-ish. If you haven’t played Infinite or the first Burial…

Gamespy

Back in 2000 IGN acquired the Gamespy network and added it in to its portfolio of stuff that they own and spent money on. For over a decade Gamespy provided a valuable and necessary service to game developers who needed a multiplayer matchmaking and hosting service on the internet and for much of my gaming life I’ve seen this logo on game boxes and in game installations that use Gamespy. But back in February 2014 IGN’s Ziff Davis announced that many of IGN’s secondary sites will be closing down, including the Gamespy network, on 31 May 2014, as a result of the service’s acquisition by game developer Glu.

Earlier today I reported that 2K Games was looking into migrating their more popular games to Steam to avoid the service disruption. Thanks to the power of the internet, Reddit users have also completed a list of titles that are going to be affected by the Gamespy shutdown. Hit the jump for more info.

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2K Games logo

If you’re wondering what’s going to happen to the games that still use Gamespy servers for online multiplayer and will have their servers shut down, 2K’s recent announcement might clear that up for you. The game publisher recently announced that a large swathe of its games that previously used Gamespy servers for online multiplayer and matchmaking will be shutting down their multiplayer components. Some of 2K’s most popular games will, however, transition to using Steamworks. For the rest, the future isn’t so rosy. Hit the jump for more info.

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badmojo1

Good day NAG denizens, and welcome to the first instalment of a new weekly column. In Throwback Thursday, we’ll be delving into the past and examining random bits of classic gaming; sometimes noteworthy, sometimes obscure, sometimes good and sometimes bad. We’ll get things started with this gross-out experience that was doing the rounds back in the mid ’90s, aptly named Bad Mojo.

Cockroaches aren’t the sort of fauna to win any awards for endearment. Being part of nature’s clean-up crew, they’re dirty and repulsive and outnumber us a million to one. Still, if you happened to be transformed into one – by, say, a magical locket – you might feel somewhat different about things, and that’s the premise behind the game in question.

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skylanders_trap_team_trap

There are few games that make me wish I was about 20 years younger; Skylanders is one of them. And if my longing for an outlook drenched in juvenility wasn’t strong enough already, the new Skylanders game, subtitled Trap Team, has reminded me that this is one franchise that I would have loved the stuffing out of when I was a kid.

In Trap Team, the Skylanders series is adding a new element to the already established mechanic of importing plastic toys into a digital game. This time, that mechanic is being turned on its head: players will be able to trap bad guys and suck them into new crystals that attach to the Portal of Power. I guess it’s kind of like Pokémon in that sense. The neat thing is that the new peripheral that connects to the existing Portal of Power has a built-in speaker, which means players will be able to hear whatever creature it is that they’ve trapped inside the new collectible crystals.

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project cars formula ford screenshot

2014 is a good year to be a racing fanatic. We’re getting five hotly anticipated titles all in a single year and there may not be enough time or money to give each one the attention they deserve. Ubisoft’s foray into the racing genre starts with The Crew, launching towards the end of the year for the PC, Playstaton 4 and Xbox One.

Then we have GRID Autosport, Codemaster’s love letter to their fans asking for their support back after many weren’t impressed with the direction that GRID 2 headed in, which felt a lot like the rumblings of Shift 2, the last serious racer in the Need for Speed series before it went back to being completely arcade-ey. On the simulation side, Assetto Corsa is also looking really, really good. At some point Sony will unleash Drive Club onto the Playstation 4.

Utter madness. And today we have a new trailer for Project Cars, with Slightly Mad Studios showing people how it should be done. I hope Polyphony Digital is watching and taking notes. Hit the jump to start the drool.

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destiny1

Following a significant update to the game’s official website, Destiny developer Bungie has also released a number of new screenshots and trailers for the highly anticipated shooter. Naturally, these new goodies include a wealth of information about the game so hit the jump for a full breakdown.

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windows phone remote desktop

One of the things I’ve wanted to see implemented in Windows Phone is a remote desktop client. This was already possible for the longest time on Android and iOS devices using clients like Teamviewer for Mobile, but it was never really the kind of experience that made it an easy thing to work with, especially if you were logging into an operating system that didn’t really like touch controls. Later iterations of these apps and services made the experience much better and when Windows 8 came around everything became much easier but it was plainly obvious that this was a market that Microsoft had completely missed out on.

Well, thankfully someone in the Windows Phone department finally vetted through a proper remote desktop client for Windows Phone 8.1. This isn’t a half-baked attempt at support, mind you – it’s the real deal, complete with support for gestures in Windows 8 and server 2012. If you’re a Windows admin and don’t want the weight of a tablet or laptop to be carried around with you, you can now do this all on your phone. Hit the jump to find out more.

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umiharakawase_01

Sayonara Umihara Kawase — the latest in a line of hard-as-nails 2D platformers, in contrast to its cute ‘n’ quirky appearance — will be releasing on the European Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS under its original title this week. It was released last year under the title Yumi’s Odd Odyssey in America, should you want to look for reviews on the title.

The game follows the titular heroine Umihara Kawase as you navigate a surreal fish-infested world using her trusty fishing line as a grappling hook. This hook is unlike any grappling hook you’ve probably encountered, and is the reason for both the series’ longevity and insane difficulty. The hook’s unique elasticity results in physics-enabled mechanics, having both momentum, adjustable length, and bounciness that requires precise manipulation to make your way through the world.

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watch_dogs_spider_tank

Two weeks ago I got to spend the morning playing Watch Dogs. The press embargo has now ended, which means I’m free to talk about the game.

Considering the deluge of media coverage and trailers leading up to the final hands-on press event, I went in expecting little in the way of surprises. Within minutes of starting the game I was proven wrong: there are a lot of treats waiting for us in Watch Dogs.

For me, the biggest surprise was the reveal of mini games, such as Spider-Tank. In Spider-Tank, you get to pilot a massive robotic spider around the streets of Chicago. Your goal is to cause as much chaos as possible, and that means blowing up cars, shooting down police helicopters, leaping from building to building, and smashing pedestrians in their stupid faces with your massive front legs. It’s glaringly silly in concept, but it’s the most comical fun I had during my hands-on with the game.

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Windows 8 success kid header

Windows 8.1 Update has barely been out for less than a month and already Microsoft is working on the next major update which will bring a number of features to all platforms, not least of which is the return of the Start Menu on desktop and laptop platforms where the owners elect to use it. Microsoft has not yet announced when this will be released but very early rumors suggest that this next feature update will launch in September of this year – right around the same time that the Xbox One launches in Japan. There’s more to it than that, though, as the rumors suggest a complete shift in the way that Microsoft changes tacks with how it develops Windows as a whole.

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HACK THE PLANET!

We can’t resist a good Hackers reference, so we’ve unashamedly used that one twice in the span of a single issue of this magazine we do. Except that’s not strictly true, because we do feel just a tiny bit ashamed. Then again, Watch Dogs. So the reference is entirely necessary.

In case you missed that, our May issue is lathered in Watch Dogs. There’s also other stuff in it! And most of the stuff in it has absolutely nothing in common with awkwardly awesome hacking sequences from the ’90s.

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Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force box

We’re about three weeks away from two things – one is the launch of Intel’s Haswell refresh processors and the 9-series chipset for LGA150 motherboards and the other is knowing which political party we’ll be complaining about for the next five years (if you’ve forgotten already, 7 May 2014 is election day). Intel’s launch seems much more appealing because the 9-series chipset brings some interesting features along with it as well as future support for Broadwell processors which will continue to use socket LGA1150 but likely won’t work in existing 8-series motherboards.

To drive up hype for the launch Gigabyte has revealed some of the high-end Z97 motherboards they’ll be unleashing in a few week’s time. Hit the jump for your daily dose of hardware porn.

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cod_sledgehammer_2014_soldiers_header

We might be getting ahead of ourselves, but it appears as if the first image of this year’s Call of Duty has answered a number of questions. For months now the Internet has been speculating whether or not Sledgehammer Games’ 2014 iteration of Call of Duty would feature people or badgers. If you recall, rumours regarding the prospect of militarised badgers snatching the starring role in this year’s CoD first started at last year’s EGX show in London. This first image of the game now leaves that rumour open to more fervent speculation: are these player characters, or are they enemy models that the badgers will be mauling?

It has also been confirmed that chin straps will form an integral part in soldier equipment. For years now the Call of Duty franchise has featured a wealth of historically accurate chin straps. However, it appears as if Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty will allow players to choose between the tried and tested chin-strap-and-helmet combo, or the more casual soldier beanie, which simultaneously imbues the player character with an air of roguishness and tendency to give safety concerns the finger. There have also been rumours of more powerful chin straps becoming available via Killstreak perks.

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gameboy_00

Nintendo’s gaming might has waxed and waned over its 31 years in the gaming industry — but there’s one category of gaming that it can say, with absolute confidence, that it has owned completely and utterly, and that’s the handheld gaming market.

That dominance would be born under the glare of an olive-green sunrise, with the arrival of the Game Boy on the 21st April, 1989 in Japan. It was, for many gamers, the dream personified — gaming was now possible anywhere. Admittedly, this was if you liked stomping on Goombas or piecing together falling blocks of various geometries, but it was a start.

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evolveevolve

PAX East has come and gone (a couple of weeks ago, to be honest), but I can’t help feeling like maybe we neglected the poor expo a little this year. Or I’ve just run out of things to write about, you decide.

Regardless, there were some pretty awesome things to come out of the expo this year, and in case you didn’t manage to catch everything, I’ve highlighted my five favourite; from hardware releases to awesome indies to a laptop so beautiful it brought me to tears. Find out what has me considering grand larceny, after the jump.

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Dragon Age Inquisition

And just like that, I think I might have to finally relinquish and get into the Dragon Age series, because this new trailer for Inquisition does an outstanding job of making the third game look very, very appealing.

BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts have released this new story trailer alongside the announcement that the game will launch on 07 October. That’s the only date provided so far, and it’s unclear whether that’s a worldwide release date or just the US date. We’ll update as soon as we know.

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