The Weekly Byte for 7/12/2010

New Releases

  • Disciples III – $39.99, turn-based action RPG
  • Don’t forget to download Phoenix Online’s “The Silver Lining”, first episode in King’s Quest fan fiction, FREE on PC only

News Bytes

  • Blizzard thaws out after heated Real ID debate. In a not so surprising turn of events, Blizzard has heeded the fan feedback, and abandoned the use of Real ID in it’s official game forums.  However, let’s not forget that the games will still using it—games such as WoW, Starcraft II and the upcoming Diablo III.  I would imagine that most player’s fears are kept at bay, knowing that only online game players and not just every forum troll will have access to our real names, but is this still a cause for concern?  We saw what forum posters were capable of digging up when a Blizzard Community Manager revealed his name on the thread debating Real ID’s implementation.  Granted, limiting our names to in-game use reduces the cause for alarm, but does it quench it altogether?  I would venture to say no, however it will not prevent me from using their products.  If you think differently, or you agree, stop by and vote at the poll we have here, and let us know what you think!
  • Team Fortress Engineer Update Goes Live! Yes, all the Golden Wrenches have been found and the update is automatically downloaded, if you haven’t logged in since it’s inception.  Included for the update are some new weapons and maps, highlighted below.  All the details for the update can also be found here.
  1. The Wrangler – Replaces the pistol, creates a shield and allows Engineers to control sentries
  2. The Gunslinger – New add-on that replaces the wrench.  It boosts heath 25%, adds a combo to the Engineer’s melee attacks, and allows deployment of Mini-Sentries
  3. Mini-Sentries – Requires less metal than full sized brethren, Builds four times faster and deploys with full health, however, they cannot be repaired/upgraded and deal significantly less damage than full sized sentries.
  4. Frontier Justice – New Shotgun, does not deal critical hits, but gains “Revenge Crits”.  Revenge Crits are critical hits acquired when the Engineer’s Sentries obtain kills or kill assists.
  5. New Maps – Upward, Hightower and Thunder Mountain
  • Spore blowing into San Diego Comic Con? A newly updated schedule for this year’s Comic Con has a spot reserved for a Maxis to unveil a new game.  One would think that this could be a new Spore game, and that seems to be a correct assumption.  What’s intriguing, is that the revel is supposed to be a Sci-Fi, action-RPG.  I’m not sure how optimistically we should look at this, especially since I drank the Kool-Ade and drowned with the Galactic Adventures add-on.  Either way, it’s an announcement I will be very curious to hear and see, onward true believers!
  • Dragon Age with a dash of Valve and a pinch of Sheppard? In an unexpected press release, Bioware has announced that Dragon Age 2 will be hitting store shelves in March of 2011(drawing a few L4D2 comparisons).  Also surprising, is the choice to abandon the many Origins of the first game, in place of a singlular, customizable, male/female lead.  The new character, known only as Hawke, will be a human survivor of the blight, and Bioware has promised the same mechanic of tough choices, we have come to expect from their games.  One must wonder how the success of Mass Effect coupled with the obviously tough undertaking of the varied characters from the first game has impacted this decision.  It is a shame to know that we won’t be importing characters again, a la Mass Effect 2, but we can’t help but wonder if this will be more of an action RPG without the punishing difficulty of the first.  It would appear that Bioware has figured out what appeals to us, and will stay true to that path, but only time will tell.

Geared Up

This week’s Geared Up is the sweet new Civ V Special Edition, recently announced.  The fifth installment of PC gaming god, Sid Meier, releases this September 21st, and the Special Edition of the game looks amazing.  Packaged in is a Behind the Scenes DVD, a whopping 176 page hardcover art book, 5 pewter figurines and a two disk soundtrack.  I’m not enough of a fan of the series to swallow the $99.99 price tag, but I can easily see the draw for the fans.  Yes, it’s pricey game goodness, but I think it more than delivers for the fans, so my hats are off to the Civilization V Special Edition Bundle!

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