• Mod Showcase: Portal: Prelude

    Ever since George Lucas decided to retcon the Star Wars continuity, prequels have been all the rage. Some attempts have been more successful than others: compare Star Trek: Enterprise…
  • Review: Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion

    Admit it: the name alone perked your interest. I mean, how can you ignore a game with “flatulent rebellion” in its title? It has the potential to be a…
  • Today I learnt about a game called Wings of Saint Nazaire

    Oh hi! I kind of enjoy these little features despite them being sporadic by nature; they’re also really a means of getting the word out on some games that…
  • NAG Magazine: July 2014 issue

    In the July issue of NAG, RedTide uses half a puppy, a wet rag and a bag of elastic bands to create a flying submarine which has no business being…
  • Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II

    The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II takes place in Borgovia, a land where gothic meets geek and dark creatures are met with darker puns. It’s an action RPG in the tradition…
  • Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted

    Early Access. Now there’s a concept I’ll never understand as it relates to video games. Okay, I get the logic: you buy the game before it’s finished so the…

ram-modules

DDR4 memory is coming with the Intel Haswell-E launch in September/October 2014, but there hasn’t been much in the way of price indications for computer enthusiasts looking to upgrade their high-performing rigs to the latest cutting-edge stuff. Although there have been reports of DDR4 selling in some Taiwanese shops, you absolutely can’t use it at all. Now, though, a Norwegian online retailer has listed the first consumer-bound ECC kit of DDR4 memory and things are already looking very promising.

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windows 7 desktop

Gaze upon yonder picture, little ones. It may be the last time that you ever see a fresh install of Windows 7. Microsoft very quietly and very sneakily ended retail sales of Windows 7 last year, warning users that stock of the OS licenses on shelves would be returned on 30 October 2013, despite it being officially the most popular desktop operating system on the personal computer.

Now it’s time to remind you that 2014 is the year that Microsoft kills it off in the consumer space for good.

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league_of_legends_faceoff

League of Legends! You might have heard of it. It’s this little MOBA game that about a bajillion people play every day. At last count, Riot Games said that League of Legends has around 67 million active players a month. Dota 2, for comparison, has just shy of 8 million monthly players according to Valve. That 8 million is a month or two outdated by now, so after the recent International it might have increased slightly.

Fun fact: I know absolutely nothing about League of Legends other than it’s a BIG FREAKIN’ DEAL and that it’s made by Riot Games. Also, I know that it has about 7 trillion different characters to choose from and that it also has one of the most toxic player communities on the planet, which one could argue comes down to the fact that when you have 67 million monthly players, you’re bound to find a few more rotten apples than with a MOBA of around 8 million monthly players.

Anyway, while my League of Legends knowledge is definitely lacking, I can recognise an amazing game trailer when I see one. Enter “A New Dawn” – a stunning new CG trailer for the world’s biggest MOBA. You’ll find it after the jump. Watch it, even if you have no idea what a League of Legends is.

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SC2

Hi StarCraft II fans! This morning I was contacted by a chap named Matt McCracken who told me that he’s organised a South Africa (represented by Veneration E-Sports) vs. New Zealand StarCraft II show match this weekend. The matches will start at 11pm on Saturday and can be watched live on Australian DUCKVILLELOL’s Twitch.tv channel.

The line-up is as follows:

eCKia `Enak (Kane B) vs. VnR Gangrel (Ivan Williams)
King Sejong Station LE, Merry Go Round LE, Deadwing LE

VoxMightyKiwi (David Gore) vs. VnR Static (Nathan Anderson)
Overgrowth LE, Merry Go Round LE, Foxtrot Labs LE

RooTPetraeus (Mackenzie Smith) vs. VnR Drager (Edwin Williams)
Nimbus LE, Catallena LE, Overgrowth LE

fray `Crimson (Ben Mcdonald) vs. VnR Cort (Nick Steere)
Foxtrot Labs LE, Merry Go Round LE, King Sejong Station LE

In the event of a tie, a 2 vs. 2 will be played on Avalanche (best of 1).

Good luck guys!

super mario underwater

Last week I went over the five features that I think every game should have. You can see it over there, at the top of the Most Popular bar (take that, Miklos) *brushes shoulders off*.

This week I’m doing the Ying to that Yang with five “features” that every developer needs to cast aside immediately, locked away in the Jumanji box forever. With that obscure reference out of the way, let’s get to the list.

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dai_bfhl_delayed

Two of EA’s biggest upcoming releases have been delayed. The ambitious, open-world Dragon Age: Inquisition was set to release in October of this year, but has been delayed by a month. It will now be releasing for us in South Africa on 21 November 2014. The delay, according to the game’s executive producer Mark Darrah, comes down to needing more time for polishing the experience.

“This last bit of time,” Darrah explained on the Dragon Age website, “is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero’s choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you choose to play on.”

It’s actually one of the rare occasions when a delay might be welcomed by many gamers – October was already crowded with massive releases, so spreading things out a bit certainly makes our wallets and free-time feel a little happier.

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Next week is the first of a two-part Living World update for Guild Wars 2, which marks the last two updates before a short Living World break. Things are really heating up, now that the dragon Mordremoth’s tendrils have reached as far as The Black Citadel. The trailer shows a lot of exciting things happening across Tyria next week, including various members of Destiny’s Edge finally getting off their butts to do something. Be sure to log in next week to unlock the episode for free, and log in this week to unlock Entanglement for free.

Google Chromebook header

Google Chrome is known for being one of the faster and more fluid browsers out there, regularly showing up the more established competition like Microsoft and Mozilla. However this speed comes at a price and it’s been known for a while that Chrome is a system resource hog – it regularly chews up gigabytes of RAM on my system and it uses the GPU as much as possible to accelerate the UI and certain content shown in the web page. But according to Forbes, Chrome has long been a hog for a different reason altogether – they pin is as the source of a lot of unnecessary battery drain. Hit the jump to find out more.

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marty_o_donnell_halo_composer

Long-time Bungie employee, Marty O’Donnell, has won his case against the developer and its president Harold Ryan. In May of this year, O’Donnell, who was Bungie’s in-house music composer since the original Halo, was fired, according to court papers, “without cause”. O’Donnell took Bungie to court for unpaid leave, unpaid sabbatical, and unpaid time off.

O’Donnell’s case has been concluded, and a King County Superior Court judge has ordered Bungie to pay O’Donnell damages amounting to around $95,000.00, or just over R1 million. This amount is made up of $38,385.00 in unpaid vacation time, and another $38,385.00 because the judge awarded O’Donnell double damages. Bungie also has to pay for the legal fees.

O’Donnell is one of the industry’s top composers and was behind the now iconic soundtrack for Halo. At the time of his firing, he’d been working on the Destiny soundtrack, which looks set to become just as memorable and influential.

Source: VentureBeat
Via: IGN

If you’re keen on dropping some cash for The Last of Us: Remastered on the Playstation 4, make sure you do it on disc. GamePur reports that the game requires 50GB of drive space on Sony’s newest console and the download size applies to the digital version as well, although it’ll be possible to play the game while it’s still downloading after you grab most of the assets required for the beginning levels. The Remastered edition features the PS4 port of the base game, the Left Behind story DLC, all the multiplayer enhancements as well as improved audio, higher quality textures and a jump in resolution and detail for all the cut scenes, moving from 720p 30fps to 1080p 60fps.

The Last of Us: Remastered hits stores on 1 August 2014 with a recommended retail price of R699.90.

Source: GamePur

Just over a month ago, a modder (called TheWorse) located and reactivated a bunch of graphics settings that had been hidden inside the PC version of the Watch Dogs code. That resulted in said modder releasing a “mod” (really just a minor file tweak) so that all PC gamers could experience Watch Dogs the way it looked when it was first unveiled in 2012. This caused a bit of a scene and Ubisoft had to release an official statement. The graphics tweak stopped working shortly afterwards thanks to a Watch Dogs update. Good news then: TheWorse is back with a final build of the mod. It comes in two flavours: one with a built-in high-res texture pack (the work of a separate modder) and one without the texture pack. Grab the texture pack bundled option here (about 770MB) and the straight graphics mod option (about 125MB) here.

Source: TheWorse Blog

The-Sims-4

Developer Maxis has released a 20 minute gameplay walkthrough of upcoming The Sims 4. This is the same game content that was shown off to attendees at E3 in June of this year. Maxis cautions that this is beta gameplay that is at least a month old already. Still, it’s looking good.

The video is introduced and commented on by producers Ryan Vaughan and Graham Nardone – both waste no time in showing off the new features you can expect to see. The new emotion-based gameplay is front-and-centre for most of the video, but what’s more interesting are the new Build Mode features that appear in the last half of the video. They’ve added some nice new tools and tricks, including the much requested ability to change foundation and wall height on the fly. At last!

Despite the neat glimpse at some fun-looking gameplay, the video has caused some online controversy, which is unsurprising because EA. This time the fuss is thanks to a glimpse of the game’s UI at around the 13:00 minute mark, when a prompt to sign up for a Sims 4 Premium Subscription appears on screen.

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dota2_theinternational_newbee

Team Newbee raising the Aegis to a sold-out stadium at The International 4.

Last night, The International’s Grand Finals played out with teams Newbee and ViCi Gaming battling for the largest monetary prize in eSports history to date, a massive US$5 million. In a stadium packed with fans eager to watch this clash between the two Chinese teams, any fears that the showdown would be a repeat of last year’s largely reviled Alliance versus Na’Vi match (partly because of the strategy employed by The Alliance — which favoured split-pushing and avoiding direct confrontation — but mostly because Na’Vi were the favoured sons in that bout, yet went on to lose the match) were eradicated early, with the balance of play shifting completely to risky gambles and game-winning engagements.

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world_of_warcraft_elves

Research team SuperData has published its latest findings on the state of subscription-based MMOs. They’ve ranked the top 10 MMO titles based on the amount of revenue generated from subscriptions and in-game transactions. These statistics are based off the earnings of each game throughout 2013, which is why you’re not seeing recent entries like Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online, both of which only launched this year. The latter reportedly has 772,000 subscribers as of June 2014.

Unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft remains the undisputed king of the MMOs; it’s still managing to generate over $1 billion in revenue per year. The closest behind that? NCsoft’s Lineage 1, which barely manages to generate a quarter of what World of Warcraft does. Still, that’s an MMO from 1998 that’s managing to generate a quarter of a billion US dollars a year – impressive indeed.

NCsoft owns 40% of the top 10 spots on the list. Interestingly, EA and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is sitting in fourth place with an annual turnover of $165 million. That game introduced freemium membership options less than a year after launching as a subscription-only MMORPG.

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screenshot23 (1)

Don’t bother him with details.

Ever since George Lucas decided to retcon the Star Wars continuity, prequels have been all the rage. Some attempts have been more successful than others: compare Star Trek: Enterprise and Hannibal Rising to, say, Smallville, and it quickly becomes apparent that prequels are a hit-or-miss affair. On the gaming side of things, The Legend of Zelda is the biggest culprit when it comes to endless retconning, but fans can hardly fault the series since they love it so much. With regressive storytelling being so risky, it’s no wonder companies like Valve opted to ditch prequels entirely and mainly resort to exploring backstory to flesh out their scenarios. It’s therefore been up to fans to take up the mantle of fully imagining a pre-GLaDOS Aperture Science facility in the aptly-named Portal: Prelude.

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last_of_us_left_behind

The Last of Us was easily the highlight of 2013 for any Playstation 3 owner. It’s a magical and simultaneously depressing experience that puts Naughty Dog firmly in the hot seat moving forward and I doubt that there’s any other AAA studio today willing to take the same risks and bring a story as heart-wrenching as Joel and Ellie’s to gamers. In case you missed the announcement, Sony and Naughty Dog are bringing The Last of Us Remastered to the Playstation 4 and it’ll come with the Left Behind story DLC as well. Hit the jump to see the glorious pixel quality.

Also, SPOILER ALERT!

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