Coming soon: for the week of May 30th to June 5th

Tobe’s Hookshot Escape WP7 (online) Secret Base May 30, 2011

The Sims 3 Generations Mac EA May 31, 2011

The Sims 3 Generations PC EA May 31, 2011

Burney iP (online) KDS Investments May 31, 2011

Danny Danger Mob (online) Inlogic May 31, 2011

Hunted: The Demon’s Forge PC Bethesda May 31, 2011

Ice Tales iP (online) Widget Revolt May 31, 2011

The Rockin’ Dead PC Viva Media May 31, 2011

Catch the Candy iP (online) Bulkypix May 2011

F.E.A.R. 3 PC Warner Bros. May 2011

Garshasp PC Just A Game GmbH May 2011

Jewel Time Deluxe PC O-Games May 2011

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game PC Disney May 2011

Mojostreet iP (online) Mojostreet May 2011

Mojostreet Mob (online) Mojostreet May 2011

Naval Warfare PC Just A Game GmbH May 2011

SBK 2011 PC Black Bean May 2011

Soon Serenade Mac (online) Ransom Binary May 2011

Soon Serenade PC (online) Ransom Binary May 2011

The Night Flier iP (online) PageNet May 2011

Warm Gun iP (online) Emotional Robots May 2011

Warm Gun PC (online) Emotional Robots May 2011

Zombie Ball iP (online) Hindarium May 2011

A New Beginning PC Lace Mamba Global June 3, 2011

Icebreaker Hockey iP (online) NaturalMotion June 2, 2011

Hellgate PC (online) HanbitSoft June 3, 2011

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Portal 2

By Sean McQuillan

Developer: Valve Corporation

Publisher: Valve Corporation

Distributor: Valve Corporation (Online), Electronic Arts (Retail)

Platform: PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Genre: Puzzle-Platform, Science Fiction

Modes: Single-Player, Cooperative

 

Rating:  5/5  First Prize in Potato Science!

 Portal 1’s silent protagonist, Chell,  wakes up to find herself back in the bowels of Aperture Science.  She has been in stasis for many years as the facility has succumbed to encroaching nature without GLaDOS to maintain the facility.  She is greeted by a personality core, Wheatley, and must work to escape the facility together.  Along the way GLaDOS is reawakened, and testing can begin anew.  Chell must escape a new and deadly set of puzzles and obstacles that will take her from the bowels of the facility, to a final showdown with the psychotic intelligence running the tests.

With this second outing into the world of Aperture Science, Valve takes every opportunity to flesh out the world and its characters.  While we had GLaDOS as our main source of interaction in Portal 1, this game introduces us to Wheatley, a bumbling and endearing construct helping you escape. Cave Johnson is also introduced as the eccentric founder of Aperture Science.    The voice acting in Portal 1 by GLaDOS’ voice actress Ellen McLain was beautifully enchanting, and Portal 2 doesn’t disappoint.  Ellen is back as GLaDOS and the turrets, but we also get wonderful performances from Stephen Merchant (Wheatley), and J.K. Simmons (Cave Johnson) who many would know as J. Jonah Jameson from the original Spiderman movies.  While there’s no shortage of amazing lines from all of them through the game, you’ll find yourself wishing there was more.

The wonderful Aesthetic of Portal 1, with the well polished test tracks, and the abandoned industrial areas behind the scenes, gave the game as much characterization as its voice acting.  With Portal 2 we see it really come alive. From the lowest levels where we see Aperture’s humble beginnings to the madcap testing tracks as the facility becomes unstable; we see an organic facility that shapes and molds its story over time.

The platforming sections the coined the phrase “Thinking with Portals” was perfect in Portal 1, it’s hard to think where they could go from there.  The guys at Valve brought in the team from Independent Games Festival-winning DigiPen student project Tag: The Power of Paint to incorporate their game’s paint mechanics into these new gels.  While these 3 new gels are a blast to play with, especially the orange Propulsion gel, the Valve team were no slouches themselves.  Introducing Faith plates, Light bridges, Thermal Discouragement Beams, and the gravity defying Excursion Tunnels, Portal 2 is at no shortage of new and interesting ways to challenge the player.

While the campaign mode is certainly a rich experience, the Co-op play is the perfect complement to it.  With the introduction of the not quite silent protagonists Atlas and P-body, you’ll go through quite a gauntlet of puzzles strictly designed for two people.  It’s an exercise in trust and often good-hearted frustration.  While the puzzles are great, the experience is also related to the main storyline, with the most engaging moments coming when the pair have to go “off the rails” and into the facility’s abandoned areas.  While it can be frustrating to replay this mode with someone who hasn’t solved the puzzles, with the new Authoring Tools you can look forward to new puzzles from the community.

If you are  wondering if Jonathan Coulton, the wonderful Singer/Songwriter behind Portal 1’s “Still Alive”, has a new entry for this outing, the answer is a happy Yes. There’s also another great bonus to be had for those who complete the Story mode.  You’ll just have to beat it and see.

With cake, companion cubes, wonderfully dark humor, and the wonder of picking up your first portal gun, it’s hard for a sequel to catch the same magic as the first Portal game.  Luckily Valve succeeds masterfully and fans of the first game should all love this new chapter in the Aperture Science story.

New releases for the week of May 16th-may22nd

Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition PC (online) Square Enix May 16, 2011

Illyriad Web (online) Illyriad Games May 16, 2011

Imperion Web (online) Travian Games May 16, 2011

Legend of Galasia PC (online) CilyGame May 16, 2011

Creeper World 2: Redemption Mac (online) Knuckle Cracker May 17, 2011

Creeper World 2: Redemption PC (online) Knuckle Cracker May 17, 2011

Last Dynasty PC (online) Mail.Ru May 17, 2011

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings PC CD Projekt May 17, 2011

AI War Alien Bundle PC (online) Arcen Games May 18, 2011

Ballistic Bonbon PC (online) XINK Games May 18, 2011

Football Referee Web (online) Footballtainment May 18, 2011

Jollywood Web (online) TECMO KOEI May 18, 2011

Asda 2 PC (online) Gamescampus May 19, 2011

Brink PC Bethesda May 20, 2011

Fable III PC Microsoft May 20, 2011

Garbage Truck Simulator PC Excalibur May 20, 2011

Clones PC Lace Mamba Global May 20, 2011

Death and the Fly PC (online) Interplay May 20, 2011

Alter Ego PC Iceberg Interactive May 20, 2011

DC Universe Online

 By Maurice Lewis

Published by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Developed by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Number of Players: MMORPG (online) or 1 Player

Release Date: January 11, 2011

MSRP: $49.99 PC/ $59.99 for PS3

Rated: T for Teen

For: Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence

Also Available On: PC/PS3

Rating: It’s ok.

 

DC Universe is a MMORPG, but don’t be fooled by the genre;  it has certain elements that may surprise you. As most MMO style games, you start off at the character creation screen.  You have the choices between being a superhero or a villain, which in a sense is choosing a faction. Character creation actually gives you templates of your favorite hero or villain, such as Superman, Batman, Joker, Catwoman etc…  I personally created my superhero to look like Magneto (I know taboo !).

When it comes to choosing factions I think DCUO lacks certain characteristics that made choosing factions a big part of your mmorpg experience.  There is a neat little option where you’re able to choose your characters personality. This determines your characters idle stance (animation your character does while you just stand there). The most part in character creation is choosing your mentor. He/she is esentially your quest giver. So choose wisely.

After choosing your character’s looks, you can choose its abilities and characteristics. You can select from a variety of things, such as having your character have frost abilities, fire abilities, mental, nature abilities etc… You also have secondary abilities, such as being strong physically with punches/brawler guns, kungfu, and even gadgets.  You can also duel wield certain weapons.  I really believe Sony did a good job implementing all of these abilities, giving you control of making your character balanced and well rounded.  Time to choose your super human ability.  Your choices are, flying/Superman Acrobatics/Batman, super speed/Flash, these are your modes of transportation.  Hey it beats riding the bus right?

 Gameplay

You start off in the newbie zone which turned out to be confusing.  If I wasn’t a veteran MMO player I would’ve been stuck in Brainiac’s ship for hours.  Another question, Why do both factions start off in the same basic training mode?  Basic training consist of you learning your hotkeys and practicing your abilities. 

Time to quest.  After making it through your basic training, you meet up with your quest giver/mentor. For example, if you’re evil and you chose The Joker, you will be placed in your home city, which is Gotham.  You grab a quest or a few, then you’re on your way. You have your basic start up quest, Locate Mr X, or kill X amount of enemies.  I didnt enjoy questing at all. Every quest felt so cramped.  Many  people tagged my mobs on pure accident, not only that but some quest were bunched up right next to each other causing multiple NPC interference.

Targeting enemies was also a major issue for me.  The AI tries to auto-target mobs but it fails miserably and is only 100% accurate with mobs that are directly in front of you. The fighting system makes up for the lackluster questing experience.  You have so many combinations you can use, I found myself actually interacting, and having more character control than im use to.  If the going gets tough, you have tons of escape routes.  I found flying to be the best ability, because you were basically unable to be touched by acrobatics, and super speed. I’ve noticed after every long quest chain, you go into a dungeon, and you’re fighting enemies from that quest chain, sometimes fighting a mini boss that you may remember from certain DC comics. DCUO has an alert system, this takes the place of having a instance group.  Alerts are for groups of 4.  I tried giving the PVE another chance because I love doing group dungeons.  Doing this also felt like I was just doing one big quest chain, and the experience was also lack luster.

PvP is very entertaining; its a breath of fresh air pulling off lethal combinations leaving your enemies wondering what hit them easily makes world PVP exciting.  You feel like you’re in a comic book.  With all that said, leveling seems to be a breeze, my only gripe is the skill tree seems to be pointless, as I rarely saw any real benefits.  The level cap is 30, and you will quickly realize the game play was created with nothing but pvp in mind.

My final thoughts

Character Creation was my favorite part of the game, as its every childs dream to be a superhero and while you may not  actually be that superhero, you get to control one and interact with all of your favorite comic book heros.  The rest of the gave leaves a lot to be desired.  There is lots of room for improvement but right now it’s just a break from the monotony of another MMO.

Shuttle Introduces New Lifestyle, Performance and Extreme Small Form Factor PC Models at Computex Taipei 2011

Shuttle, a world-leading PC manufacturer focused on high-performance small form factor desktops, today announced that the company will be introducing new and upc oming Shuttle PC models at Computex held in Taipei, Taiwan from May 31 to June 4, 2011.

Shuttle will showcase new small form factor PCs with Intel “Sandy Bridge” processors and updated “Cougar Point” chipset hardware, new 1-liter and 3-liter slim PCs, and updated all-in-one PCs. Besides the new models, Shuttle will highlight the vertical markets, including digital signage and point-of-sale (POS) applications, in which the Shuttle models would make an ideal solution.

SHUTTLE BOOTH

TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall
Booth No. L1018 

SHUTTLE SHOWCASE

9:30AM — 6:00PM, May 31 — June 3
9:30AM — 4:00PM, June 4

Make-A-Wish FoundationR Receives $800,000 Donation from Blizzard Entertainment

The Make-A-Wish Foundation today announced a $800,000 donation from Blizzard Entertainment, a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software. The donation is based on 50 percent of the total sales during November and December 2010 of a special in-game pet, the Moonkin Hatchling, for Blizzard’s award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft®.

Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the donation on World Wish Day®, April 29, by granting the wishes of two boys at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Blizzard welcomed the two gaming enthusiasts and their families to enjoy an exclusive learning experience with the World of Warcraft development team, including an inside look at how the game is created.

World Wish Day is the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s global celebration of wish granting. The Make-A-Wish Foundation honored the day that sparked a global wish-granting movement by granting wishes in 41 countries that it serves. More than 250,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions around the world have received their fondest wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“We’ve had a long relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and are proud to help contribute to the great work they do for children,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re also proud of the spirit and generosity of our players – their enthusiasm for World of Warcraft and for supporting a good cause made this donation possible.”

The contribution will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, which serves children in the United States and its territories, and Make-A-Wish Foundation International, which serves children outside the United States in 40 countries.

“Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players around the world are helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation again this year to improve the quality of life for children with life-threatening medical conditions through this generous donation,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. “Children who have their wishes granted feel stronger, more self-confident and are more willing to fight their conditions. Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players are giving an incredible gift to these courageous children.”

“The global nature of Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players makes this collaboration incredibly special. It’s supporters like Blizzard and its players that give our organization the ability to grow our wish-granting efforts around the globe,” said Jon Stettner, Make-A-Wish Foundation International president and chief executive officer. “The continued support of Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players has allowed for hundreds of children around the globe to have their most cherished wishes granted by the Foundation. Thank you on behalf of the Foundation and the children we serve.”

UBISOFT UNSHEATHES ASSASSIN’S CREED REVELATIONS

Today, Ubisoft announced the development of Assassin’s Creed® Revelations, the fourth installment in the critically acclaimed and immensely popular video game franchise. Developed and led by Ubisoft Montreal with the support and expertise of Ubisoft studios Annecy, Massive Entertainment, Quebec, Singapore and Bucharest, Assassin’s Creed Revelations presents the most immersive experience available in the series to date and the culmination of Ezio’s adventure. The game is set to release on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC this November.

Initially launched in 2007, the first three Assassin’s Creed® games have sold more than 28 million units worldwide, and the franchise is now established as one of the best-selling series on next generation consoles. Recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry, Assassin’s Creed has transcended video games, branching out into other entertainment experiences such as comic books, Facebook, novels, short films and more.

In Assassin’s Creed Revelations, master assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of his legendary mentor, Altaïr, on a journey of discovery and revelation. It is a perilous path – one that will take Ezio to Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilize the region.

In addition to Ezio’s award-winning story, the acclaimed online multiplayer experience returns, refined and expanded, with more modes, more maps and more characters that allow players to test their assassin skills against others from around the world. The latest chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga also includes revolutionary gameplay, allowing players to manipulate the construct of Desmond’s memories and the Animus to decipher the mysteries of his past and gain insight into the future.

“Delivering the final chapter of the Ezio trilogy is an important milestone in the Assassin’s Creed franchise for us and for our fans,” said Alexandre Amancio, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal. “Assassin’s Creed Revelations includes lots of new features and some significant surprises. We can’t wait to show our fans what we have in store at E3 this year.”

For more information on Assassin’s Creed, visit: http://www.assassinscreed.com and http://www.facebook.com/assassinscreed.

First Developer Diary for Dawn of Fantasy Now Available for Download

505 Games and Reverie World Studios have released a new developer diary that details the development of their upcoming MMORTS, Dawn of Fantasy. In the first dev diary, Lead Writer and Assistant Producer Gordon Farrell details the one of the game’s many modes, Stronghold Defense.

Stronghold Defense, the defensive counterpart of the Lay Siege skirmish mode, gives players the opportunity to practice defending a prebuilt stronghold in a quick-paced skirmish. Defensive players have an impressive array of tricks available to set up before the invading army reaches their walls; set up spike traps or plant man-eating plants outside your gate to destroy your attackers, position cavalry outside of your walls to trample enemy units, and construct ranged siege weapons and dozens of other wall-mounted siege defenses.

Be prepared to fight off ruthless attacks from the moment you spot the enemy on the horizon. Repair your damaged walls and buildings after every wave, and keep peasants nearby, ready to put out potentially-devastating fires caused by enflamed enemy arrows. The first wave is easy, the second… not so much. By the third, your king begs for mercy as the enemy breaks into the inner keep.

Dawn of Fantasy is proud to offer some of the most elaborate and bloodiest siege combat seen in the RTS genre to date – do you have what it takes? Stay tuned for more video diaries as Dawn of Fantasy nears completion