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This Week In Gaming

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Hello again NAGatronics (thanks, Delano) and welcome again to This Week In Gaming. This week we got the soul-crushing low down on Watch Dogs minimum specs, Phil Spencer says something unexpected about die-hard Xbox fans, one such fan hacks the controller, gaming’s most evil company launches on the stock market, cheaters run amok, one game gets a long overdue patch and another game is just plain long overdue. An scandal gets uncovered and an ex-pro gamer attempts suicide, we get a first look at the new Diablo 3 character and the new not-quite-Megaman game, and there’s more news, videos and things you may have missed this week. Enjoy.

Console News

So PC gamers, if you’ve been waiting for a good excuse to upgrade, Watch Dogs is it. The (official) minimum required specs dropped this week, and they’re pretty demanding. You’re going to need:

Processor: IntelCore 2 Quad Q8400 2.66Ghz or AMDPhenom II X4 940 3.0Ghz
Memory: 6GB RAM
Video card: 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 Shader 5.0
Sound card: DirectX9
Hard drive: 25 GB

Keep in mind this is just what you need so the game actually loads and doesn’t look like a PowerPoint presentation. If you want it to actually look good, you’re going to need a lot more power than that. Better cancel all social engagements for the next few months and start stocking up on beans.

Mmmm, so many varieties!

Mmmm, so many varieties!

One might think that the likes of Phil Spencer, Microsoft Studios VP, would be all about his Xbox fanboys. One might be wrong.

In an interview at the South by Southwest Gaming Expo earlier this month, Spencer said, “There seems to be this natural faction that gets created around what console you own, and then this… I would call it ‘unhealthy dislike’ for people who own the other console.

“I love the fans that we have, but being a fan of Xbox doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of something else, or that you have to be an anti-fan of some other brand. I own a PlayStation 4. I play games on my PlayStation 4. I own and I play games on my Wii U. I learn a ton from what happens on those other platforms.”

Granted, the only part of this Xbox fanboys probably even heard was “I own a Playstation 4”; no doubt a petition for Spencer’s resignation is circulating the internet as I write this.

Speaking of the Xbox, remember how they’ve been promising to provide PC players with support for the Xbox One controller? Well, as is standard with these kinds of things, a modder beat them to it.

Yep, YouTube user Lucas Assis has uploaded a video detailing exactly how to do it, including a couple of freeware apps and something Assis coded himself. It’s a little bit of effort to get it up and running, but Assis assures everyone that it works perfectly. Head over here if you want to see how it’s done.

Sources: CVG, Gamespot, Eurogamer

Gaming News

Gaming industry supervillain and Candy Crush Saga “creator” King.com is launching on the stock market this month, with an IPO of up to $7.6 billion.

This will be an interesting one to watch, as those who bought into Zynga when it went public are no doubt bitterly regretting that decision.

Social gaming companies are just difficult to value right now, as there is seemingly no guarantee of continued success and mobile games tend to fall in and out of favour extremely quickly.

The IPO is on the 26th of March, and after everything we’ve heard about King, I’m not so secretly hoping it goes awfully.

Never forget.

Never forget.

SimCity developer Maxis continues to spit in the face of science and reality by working on their “just not possible” offline mode patch.

It’s been a year since the game’s disastrous launch, and the patch that modders managed to create within a week is apparently in the “final testing” phase. It’s not just being able to play without an internet connection either, as Maxis GM Patrick Buechner explains.

“Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of modders. They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the online game. Modding is a big part of our studio’s legacy and we’re excited to see what you guys create.”

Ugh, honestly I just find all of that enthusiasm a little hard to swallow. You can’t screw over your customers, tell them what they want is impossible, have it proven that it’s not, then release the damn thing a year later and pretend you’re so excited to see what the people who threw egg on your face before can do with it. Just, no. Sorry (not sorry).

So Titanfall dropped this week (still a sore subject) and it didn’t take long for aimbot losers to be found running rampant on the servers.

It was a relatively smooth launch besides, so Respawn have been actively rooting out the cheaters and giving them the mighty banhammer. Hopefully they have something in mind to keep the servers cheater-free in the future.

Honestly, I’ve never understood the point of aimbots; it has to be the least amount of fun you can have playing a game. Hell, if you want autoaim why don’t you just buy the console version? (SHOTS FIRED SHOTS FIRED)

I was only kidding. Promise. Please don't hurt me.

I was only kidding. Promise. Please don’t hurt me.

Hey, remember The Last Guardian? No, neither do I.

Apparently it was some PS3 exclusive about giant cuddly animals that was supposed to be released a few years back. For the die-hard fans who are still clinging to hope, I have news for you: they’re still working on it.

Yup, that’s it. Is it coming to PS4? No idea. Who’s developing the thing? Wouldn’t you like to know. Release date? LOL. This is what you’ll get:

“[We]re] not going to announce what platform it’s coming on, who’s working on it, who’s involved. But that is still a title that’s absolutely in the mix at Worldwide Studios. That’s the most you’re gonna get.”

I can’t help but feel like this has to get a PS4 release; the world has moved on. Didn’t we all decide The Last of Us was the PS3’s swan song? I thought I got a memo.

Don't look at me like that, it's not MY fault.

Don’t look at me like that, it’s not MY fault.

We finish things off with a healthy dose of scandal. In South Korea, video games are serious business. So much so that people actually go to elaborate schemes to set up matchfixing for big windfalls.

That’s exactly what happened to Korean League of Legends pro Cheon Min-Ki, who got selected for a team that turned out to be designed purely to throw games for its manager.

Min-Ki became an accomplice to the whole thing after the manager told him that should he not cooperate, he would be banned forever from competitive LoL play.

The scandal was exposed, Min-Ki’s career was ruined and he was shamed by his peers. Now the ex-player is in critical condition after a serious suicide attempt.

“Thanks to these events my professional career was over. After practising to my best for a year, all I had left was a feeling of emptiness,” the player wrote.

This is the level of competition video games have risen to in Asia; is it only a matter of time before we see this kind of thing in the West? It’s impossible to argue that eSports isn’t growing year on year, it may be sooner than we think.

Sources: Joystiq, Polygon, CVG, IGN, Eurogamer

Videos

The big drop of the week was Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm finally reaching alpha phase, making its way onto Twitch.tv almost immediately. The highly anticipated MOBA has gotten a pretty mixed response from fans of the genre thus far. Since it’s all public now anyway, Blizzard also dropped this video, which is a pretty extensive walkthrough of the game.

Legendary developer Kenji Inafune is working on a “spiritual successor” to the Mega Man series, titled Mighty No. 9. In this video you can get your first glimpse of the game, still in its early stages.

Diablo 3 has been reenergised by the new patch which has overhauled some major aspects of the game, and with the removal of the evil auction house and the expansion just around the corner, things are looking to get even better. If you’re not convinced yet, this video will probably push you over the edge – a look at the Crusader, a brand new character introduced in Reaper of Souls.

While Titanfall is occupying the limelight at the moment, Bungie’s Destiny is still not far off, with the beta launching later this year and an official release date of September 9th. In the meantime, check out this brand new gameplay trailer.

Best of NAG

Indie guru Delano took on an interesting one this week, Race the Sun. It plays a bit like one of those oldschool infinite space runners, but the strangely beautiful, blocky graphics become somewhat hypnotic as you soar through implacable landscapes. Honestly, I’d give this one a try.

Wesley Fick discussed a dilemma we can probably all relate to this week – what the hell phone should I buy? More importantly, what operating system? Wesley looks at all the various ecosystems out there, from iOS and Mac to Android to everything Windows, and weighs up the pros and cons. What was his conclusion? Click here to find out.

This week I used my column space to discuss the controversial decision of EA’s to cancel Titanfall‘s release in South Africa. They gave reasons, but were they justified? Did they make the right call, and is our own anger and frustration misplaced? Head over here to see what I thought.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Titanfall, I’d feel remiss not to link you all to this, a legal and simple way in which you can take the decision into your own hands and have access to the game in South Africa. No VPNs or complicated workarounds, so if you really do want to play it, this is the best way.

  • Delano

    My PC specs are slightly above the minimum requirements for Watch Dogs, but honestly, I just can’t get excited about it. I dunno why. It looks like it could be a good game and all, but there’s just something about it that fails to flip my switch. So it looks like I won’t have to live on beans just yet, and I’m certain that my friends and colleagues are quite relieved about that.

    I’m pretty excited about Mighty No. 9, though. I’m an old-time Megaman fan, so it looks set to be a swell little treat for my kind.

    TITANFAAALL. ’nuff said.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

      All the cool kids play Titanfall.

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