Friday, July 29, 2011

Tech Brief: Finding Your Product Keys

Ok gents, I've run into many cases where fellow gamers are setting up on a shiny new PC, but have lost their product keys for the various important things they need to reinstall.  If you are lazy and poor like I am, you're not about to buy a new copy of Windows while you have a perfectly good license intact on the old heap you're replacing.

Behold, free programs to retrieve those elusive license codes so you don't have to dive the registry for them:

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder - Yes the name is unusual, but it works great
Nirsoft's ProduKey

Friday, July 15, 2011

Boatmurdered: A Dwarf Fortress Tale

"So the merchants arrive to see blood and vomit everywhere, us hauling corpses en masse to the graveyard, a couple rampaging elephants..."

Dwarven safety regulations are lax.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

L.A. Noire, Or, How My Life Meant Nothing

(This article includes spoilers, including the game’s ending.)

Rockstar and Team Bondi’s L.A. Noire has been this year’s go-to game for advocates of the idea that video games can be serious artistic works. The game was shown in the form of a film at the Tribeca Film Festival, and has been widely applauded for its excellent acting and face capture technology. It is almost impossible to argue that the game is not a through and through technological feat worthy of praise. I would be thoroughly surprised if L.A. Noire did not win at least one game of the year award from a major reviewer.

So... what’s the problem?

L.A. Noire, while absolutely one of the most enjoyable games I have played this year, is, in my opinion, not really a game.

Stick with me here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Comic: Pika-Pissed

Click for full size

Scott handpaints each of these comics with watercolor. If you like his unique style, check out his hilarious George W. Bush approved book, (no, really!) on called "101 Dumb Dog Deaths" and swing by his deviant art page at

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bungie's Farewell to Halo

Bungie issued its official farewell to the Halo series and fans on Friday.  The developer is putting all its resources towards its new project, which the rumor mill says is an MMOFPS.  Clearly this project is in its infancy, but it's something to keep an eye on, especially since it's being backed by Activision-Blizzard's infinite gold coffers.  Stay tuned folks.

"...we'll be going dark on our studio’s next major endeavor – the creation of a brand new universe."

Planetside 2: Musings of an Auraxian Veteran

For those living under rocks, the big news of the past weekend was the unveiling of the first serious batch of info on the sequel to Planetside.  As the definitive Massively Multiplayer First Person Shooter, Planetside allowed hundreds of players divided into 3 factions to fight each other for control of entire continents.  It had its flaws, but the game was fun, ambitious and addictive.  Rather than just summarize the released info, I'm going to evaluate it from the perspective of someone who invested thousands of hours into the original game.  Watch the video, then hit jump for more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

BioShock Infinite E3 Demo Out Today

UPDATE: Full 15 minute demo added after the Jump!

Bioshock Infinite, the champion of E3. This is the real deal, folks. It won over 75 awards at E3 and captivated the hearts and minds of those lucky enough to catch the full 15 minute video demo.

The full 15 minute demo is out now! Hit the jump for the video and the latest interview with Ken Levine by EGMi.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nathan Fillion Shoves a Hairdryer In His Pants For Swamp Ass Awareness

Swamp ass is a real gamer problem. Watch and learn as Nathan Fillion teaches us how to resolve this terrible condition.

I have nothing more to add to this, but I do know that once my wife sees this post I'll likely have difficulty locating her hairdryer. Honey, this is no laughing matter. Now teach me how to turn it on cool mode.

Indie Game: The Movie

And here we have the trailer for an indie film about indie developers making indie games. It's so indie!

But in all seriousness, this splendid documentary is currently in development by Blink-Works Media, and is being funded by their Kickstarter page. It contains interviews with a wide variety of indie game developers such as Team Meat of Super Meat Boy, Jonathan Blow of Braid, Phil Fish of the upcoming 2D/3D platformer, Fez and more.

Even with the melodrama, who-can-go-longest-without-trimming-their-beard contests and comparisons to concentration camps, it looks incredibly honest and well made. Not to mention the music is being done by Jim Guthrie. It certainly has my attention. Hit the jump for the 3 minute trailer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sanctum Gets 4 Player Coop

It is with much satisfaction that I can say that Sanctum, the previously two player cooperative first person tower defense game, has received an update that expands the multiplayer to four player cooperative.

To all of the negative nancys who said it wouldn't happen, behold the power and value of independent developers who actually pay attention to their audience. And only three months after release! Good on you Coffee Stain Studios!

If you haven't played Sanctum, and enjoy tower defense, first person shooters and have friends that are like minded, make it so. As someone who has logged a few dozen hours of playtime, I can happily suggest it as a fun, addictive, time-sucking romp of a good time. It's the best time I ever spent building towers, upgrading towers, shooting monsters, upgrading towers, falling off the map by accident and  upgrading towers. But I mean that in an extraordinarily fun way. Not only that, but it's 33% off right now (10 bucks!) when you pick it up over at the Steam Summer Camp Sale. For the full list of update notes, hit the jump.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Limbo Coming To Steam, PSN Soon

Shan't be long now, my fellow impatient interneters. Limbo, the award-winning 2010 indie game, will be making it's way to PC and PSN soon. Dino Patti, the CEO of Playdead, has confirmed that “Limbo is in production for Steam and PSN, and is coming very soon." So how long? Soon. How soon? Very soon.

Limbo is a "trial-and-death" puzzle platformer that was released exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade in July, 2010. Post-release, it has found itself at the core of many of "Are video games art?" debates and has received generally high praise. Limbo did take flak from critics as being too short a game to justify the price point but the overall consensus is: buy it when it comes out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Everyone, Chill the Fuck Out about Call of Duty

(So yeah, this one got long. My apologies.)

So Infinity Ward recently announced Call of Duty XP, a convention for fans to gather, compete in a 32-team bracketed tourney, get a chance to play some Modern Warfare 3 early, play paintball on a course modeled after Scrapyard from MW2, and even “a full-scale, playable recreation of The Pit,” which I choose to interpret as they are just letting people run around shooting guns because what else could that possibly mean. Oh, and the whole thing is for charity, with 100% of proceeds going to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit that provides support services to returning veterans. Essentially just BlizzCon but for Call of Duty. And charity.

So this is clearly a terrible thing, and the insane, reactionary corners of the internet wasted no time telling everyone so, as they do for any piece of news with the words “Call of Duty” in it, without doing any research or simply stopping to use their brains for a few moments. This is getting to be something of a trend; for another example we need to look only as far back as early June, when Activision announced Call of Duty: Elite. Call of Duty: Elite, for those who don’t know, is a new website/social platform that Activision has announced to tie into its Call of Duty games. It will include in-depth stat tracking, heatmaps of multiplayer levels to show where players are dying most often, and other things that could only possibly be of interest to the hardest of hardcore CoD player. It’s simply a way for those who take Call of Duty very seriously to be able to dig deeper into their experience Oh, also, there’s some stuff in there that costs money, something about clan support maybe, we don’t really know yet, but it’s definitely not the ability to play the game online or to do anything else that we have previously been able to do for free because they’ve said that many times.