• 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…

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Internet-connected cars of the future have a particular problem in that they have an open avenue for hackers to exploit loopholes or backdoors left in the car’s operating system, giving them access to the hardware and allowing them to get into it and going within sixty seconds (Randall Raines couldn’t possibly do it today). At the SyScan & Qihoo 360 hackathon held in Beijing, China this past weekend, some super-smart geeks were able to bypass the car’s security and do a number of fun things with it.

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We already know that Microsoft is embarking on a job-cutting rampage now that new CEO Satya Nadella is at the helm of the company. Last week we saw these job cuts resulting in the closure of the just-opened Xbox Entertainment Studios and the ending of Xbox Originals planned TV series. Now, however, the job cuts have hit across the pond from Microsoft’s US home.

Website MCVUK is reporting that Microsoft will be axing 75% of their EMEA workforce. For those perhaps unfamiliar, Microsoft’s EMEA teams look after the company’s presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The remaining 25% of the jobs available to EMEA teams have been vacated, with those applicable staff members being asked to reapply for those positions.

Most of the time the EMEA teams are the companies the local gaming media deals with when heading overseas for assignments. Insofar as consumers are concerned, a Microsoft spokesperson has said that these cuts will not affect the release schedule for the Xbox One in EMEA territories.

Source: MCVUK

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Those familiar with the original DotA will no doubt have their own tale to tell of one of the game’s most beloved/reviled heroes, the Goblin Techies. More trolls than goblins, the Techies relied on both hidden bombs and their ability to suicide for kills, ensconcing themselves as a character fit for tricksters of the highest order.

Their absence in Dota 2 has long been a point of contention, but no more. During The International’s All-Star Match — featuring players voted for by the community — Artour “Arteezy” Babaev of Evil Geniuses got a surprise when he picked Sniper, only to be dealt a sudden draft of Techies. Hit the jump for the crowd reaction (the one guy is seriously happy about Techies showing up) and some screenshots of the Techies in action during the All-Star Match.

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With the rise of the internet and the fall of free time everywhere, we realise that not everyone has the time to sit around and read articles and go into long-winded arguments over the internet whether “Most t-bag crouches in a multiplayer match” is a valid world record attempt or not. Sometimes you just want to play your games or lie back and relax and listen to the peaceful sound of people talking about games and occasionally hardware.

Well, now you can! This is the first-ever NAG Online podcast starring myself, Rick de Klerk and Delano. This is the first time any of us has ever done this and it’s also not a bad run. With any luck, this’ll turn into a regular feature on Wednesday nights at 7PM and, for now, you can even listen and interact with us as we record it live. How cool is that? Hit the jump for the podcast list so you can follow what we’re talking about and download the audio-only version of the same that you’ll see on the Youtube video embedded below. Give it a listen and let us know what you think!

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Hello again NAG.. people (sorry, long week) and thanks again for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This week we had some rather interesting (and somewhat scandalous) news regarding YouTube content providers, a household name in hacking scores a cushy job, and Microsoft addresses concerns regarding the resolution capabilities of the Xbox One. Then on the gaming side we have a new game that seems trying hard to pretends it’s something other than what it is, a cult classic makes a comeback on the Wii U, Google Play makes some big changes to the way they distribute games and Alien Isolation‘s designer reveals something quite interesting about the game. Then of course there’s a whole crop of videos and highlights from the week you may have missed. Hit the jump!

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It’s been a long time coming and I never thought that this would ever get really going again. While the System Builder’s Guide has been relatively straightforward to lay out, the mobile market is a different beast altogether. There’s a distinct lack of choice when it comes to which vendor to support and the minefield of laptop OEMs with their own ideas of what a ultraportable, or an ultrabook or a gaming laptop should look and feel like makes this a much more difficult subject to consider. Throw in the convertible tablets and tablets and you have a recipe for disaster as you try to wade your way through 40-plus tabs of options with anything between 3-5 open looking at slight variances of the same model from the same name brand.

The desktop market is sensible, clean and doesn’t put you in a box as much. Still, a lot of NAG Online readers do so from a mobile device and it’s time to get back into helping you figure out what you need to buy and what needs to be prioritised when you finally get to deciding what notebook or tablet you need to buy. Head on in for the first episode of the Laptop Buyer’s Guide in over a year!

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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 money magnet that every kid will want to get just to offend their parents, whilst the older of us indulge our inner juveniles. It’d be great if there was a great game to go with the toilet humour, but as you’ll soon see, our expectations have been somewhat flushed.

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The Tooth Fairy's exposed breast made the child uncomfortable.

The Tooth Fairy’s exposed breast made the child uncomfortable.

Friday! Friday is Friday. Friday is today. Today is Friday.

In celebration of all this Friday, we’re giving away four DVDs drenched in delicious movie-flavoured dressing, which we’re sure you’ll enjoy watching with the parts of your face used for seeing.

Click them buttons for more-ness.

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The first part of upcoming Hearthstone expansion “Curse of Naxxramas” will be available on 22 July 23 July (as pointed out by R4mzy in the comments below). We realise that that previous sentence was entirely superfluous considering the headline of this article. In fact, the rest of this article is pretty unnecessary as well. So, yeah. This is awkward. A three-headed monkey would be great right about now.

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There’s a major shake-up currently underway at Microsoft. New CEO Satya Nadella is wasting no time in making changes to the company, and this is resulting in the loss of 18,000 jobs over the next twelve months. Yikes.

One of the first listed casualties is the newly formed Xbox Entertainment Studios. Cast your minds back to the initial Xbox One reveal and you’ll remember the massive song-and-dance Microsoft made about the future of TV on Xbox. They were planning on heading down the same path that Netflix has in developing their own TV content that would then be made available exclusively through Xbox LIVE. To aid that, at the beginning of 2013, Microsoft set up Xbox Entertainment Studios under the leadership of ex CBS Television executive Nancy Tellem.

Xbox Entertainment Studios was poised to develop a collection of original TV series collectively known as Xbox Originals. Both the studio and Xbox Originals are now dead.

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In just another cautionary tale from the list of Kickstarter sagaramas, popular YouTube group Yogscast have cancelled their upcoming game Yogventures, sending backers Steam keys for another title while delivering a somewhat iffy missive.

Yogventures raised almost $570,000 for its open-world multiplayer capers in 2012, but after two years in development the game has ultimately been grounded. In an email to backers, Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley stated that, “As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures – but this is actually a good thing,” a spin which suggests he was engaged in high-speed pirouettes at the time of writing.

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Doom 4 has just been unveiled to attendees at this year’s QuakeCon, but it’s simply called Doom and can also be seen as a reboot of the venerable franchise. No media has been released at all as the reveal was exclusive to QuakeCon attendees. It’s likely that will change in the coming weeks; possibly even before or during Gamescom in August.

The good news is that various journalists were present at the reveal, so we have some information on the new Doom thanks to tweets and write-ups. Id seems to be getting back to what made the original Doom and Doom 2 so successful: fast-paced combat with hordes of enemies. Attendees got to see two live gameplay sessions running on a PC, and during each there was plenty of running and gunning, and a lot of strafing to avoid fiery projectiles and plasma attacks from Hell Knights.

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Xbox One without Kinect

As of the 9th of June, Microsoft started selling the Xbox One without Kinect – the motion tracking peripheral that never quite managed to grab the attention of core gamers. With the removal of the once obligatory Kinect came a price cut of $100. This has obviously levelled the playing field in terms of competition between Sony and Microsoft.

The new, cheaper, Kinect-less Xbox One console has resulted in Microsoft seeing sales figure double from May to June. In May 2014, Microsoft reported Xbox One sales figures of around 76, 000 units. Thanks to the price drop, they’ve doubled that figure for June.

“Over the past month,” an official Microsoft statement reads over on Xbox Wire, “we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double in the US, compared to sales in May.”

Source: Xbox Wire

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Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, is taking Activision to court over his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Noriega, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Panama, announced that he is suing the game’s publisher for the unapproved use of his name and likeness. The lawsuit described his appearance in the game as “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain.”

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Almost a year ago, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, along with partner Brian Kelly and Chinese company Tencent, formed an investment group and purchased majority shares of Activision Blizzard from French parent company Vivendi. That purchase has put Kotick and pals in the driving seat of Activision, however the way his investment team got there has ruffled shareholder feathers.

Activision investor Anthony Pacchia, along with another unnamed investor, filed court documents against Kotick and his group in June of this year – they’re claiming that Activision’s board of directors allowed Kotick and Kelly to purchase the majority shares at a discounted price that was below market value. They’re also claiming that directors allowed Kotick and Kelly to gain a massive financial windfall as insiders. Vivendi officials are also being sued for failing to protect minority shareholders’ interests. A court has allowed the documentation to pass, which means that Kotick and company will need to face the charges.

While that in itself is interesting, what’s even more interesting is how close Kotick came to being fired in May last year.

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Season 2: Episode 2 of the Living World in Guild Wars 2 launched yesterday, continuing and expanding upon the events started in Episode 1: Gates of Maguuma. Log in within the next two weeks to unlock this free and permanent access to the story content, which gets added to your Story Journal.

The newly discovered town of Prosperity is under attack by Mordremoth’s vines, new areas have opened up in Dry Top to explore, and two new weapon sets have been added to the game. The Ambrite set, crafted by finding Unidentified Bugs, and the Leyline set on the Black Lion Trading Post.

You can read the full patch notes here.


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