The Weekly Byte for 8/30/2010

New Releases

8/31/2010

  • Ghost Pirate of Vooju Island – $19.99 -Puzzle/Adventure game
  • Serious Sam HD – $9.99 – Boxed copy release of this classic remake

News Bytes

PC Gamers run over by light cycles. Am I the only one that thinks it ironic that a game/movie franchise centered around being pulled in computer systems has just thumbed it’s nose at gamers who prefer that platform?  Tron has announced a December 7th release date, for it’s new game, Tron:Evolution, and alongside that a nifty Collector’s Edition.  The CE comes packaged with a model lightcycle, forged by the master craftsmen at Sideshow Collectibles, complete with a pretty cool looking display case, that even has a compartment to store your Tron game case.  Sadly, just like many other cross-platform releases, the CE will only be available for 360 and PS3 fans, PC gamers get left out in the cold.  So the Wii gets a bonus, with the Epic Mickey CE, for a reasonable $59.99, but PC gamers get dropped off the grid with this $130.00 version of Tron—-I personally think that’s a little pricey, but it would have been nice to have the consideration.

Neverwinter……Days? Many of us, including myself, were excited to hear that there would be a new Neverwinter game.  I was also among the group of people who misunderstood this announcement, so I’d like to clarify things here.  This is NOT going to be Neverwinter Nights 3, rather a new IP, based in the Neverwinter universe, featuring gameplay, best described along the lines of Torchlight II’s co-op model.  Cryptic Studios, the game’s developer, has stated that the game will be more of a co-op action rpg as opposed to a standard MMO.  From reading descriptions and interviews, this game will be more of an interactive tabletop D&D experience, rahter than a WoW competitor–even including a ‘Forge’ option, that allows players to customize their own experience.  Essentially, to me, that sounds like Cryptic will give you the toolset of the game to allow you to pick a friend as a DMM, and let him/her play that role within the confines of the game universe—-a pretty attractive idea!  The big ogre in this dungeon is that pricing has yet to be announced.  They are still considering all facets—from a Guild Wars style free-to-play all the way to a pay-to-play, subscription based model.  I have to be skeptical, they are going to have to throw up an obscene amount of constantly updated content to carry a subscription fee, while a microtransaction for premium loot model might appease both sides, more readily.  Still, the ability for hardcore D&D players to meet up online in ‘Forge’, and provide visual content to their D&D games, might be enough to draw out enough of a paid subscriber base.  It will be interesting to see more news on this, as Cryptic narrows their options.  Hopefully, it won’t be shooting themselves in the foot with a poison arrow.

Slow your Zerg rush! We all know Blizzard is awesome at balancing and adding content, well, Starcraft II players can expect the first major patch soon, with many rebalancing issues planned.  The new patch will address bugs, add mod features and provide support for the 3 people out there using Nvidia’s 3D technology(kidding!, I’m kidding!).  In addition, many multiplayer tweaks are being made, that I won’t detail fully here, suffice to say Terran Marine rushes will nosedive due to tweaking of barracks/marine/reaper build times, and the protoss zealots will see similar affects, taking longer to build and warp in.  Just reading the sitrep, detailed here, not only is it apparent that Blizzard is doing the most it can to preserve the balance and fun of the multiplayer game, it’s amazing to see how they listen to their community!  If you are a serious SCII player, and you have any constructive criticism for the multiplayer, I would encourage you to go to the SCII forums and hit them up!  Look for the patch sometime in September.

What do Tycho, Max, Strong Bad and a TF2 Heavy have in common? Well, I don’t know either, but I can’t wait to find out!  Telltale Games, maker’s of amazing episodic games, such as Sam & Max, Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People and Penny Arcade Adventures, have released a trailer with the above mentioned four silhouettes, teasing a team up, with more news to come on September 2nd.  Stay tuned to www.telltalegames.com this Labor Day Weekend to find out!

ATI secedes? Well, not quite.  Anyone who follows PC technology already knows that not only does ATI fall under the AMD banner, but that AMD is also working to fuse processors and graphics cards into one component.  From what I’ve heard, and don’t quote me here, this new Fusion technology will apply for netbooks, for now, but I can’t imagine AMD isn’t salivating at getting this working in a gaming capacity, to put the screws to Nvidia.  Well, in an effort to seem less confusing to consumers, AMD will now drop the ‘ATI’ brand name, on their GPU’s, and label them all under the AMD brand.  AMD plans to continue to carry the ‘Radeon’ and ‘Firepro’ brands, probably to continue familiarity with the brand names already in existence, but presumably, also the allow for easy differentiation between their GPU’s and the upcoming line of ‘Fusion’ Hardware.  The change takes place next year, and it will be interesting to see if AMD can keep the enormous upswing they’ve had, as of late, continuing, with these changes.

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