Geek Links of the Week

In a big win for the internet, a Swedish Court says that they can’t force ISPs to block The Pirate Bay. []

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks, anti-encryption supporters are coming out of the woodwork. If they start gaining traction, we’re all in trouble. [Info World]

What was it like to be a Nintendo game play counsellor? [The AV Club]

Steven Moffat originally wrote Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor into Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special. [Digital Spy]

I hope you’re not looking forward to a Fantastic Four sequel. Fox has already pulled it from their release schedule. [Comic Book]

Overwatch Closed Beta Impressions: You Got MOBA in My Shooter

overwatch-beta-headerLast weekend, Blizzard let a bunch of people into the Overwatch closed beta for a stress test on their servers. With the game’s launch no more than seven months in the future, it might be a little early to tell what Overwatch will be like when the game is released to the public. However, a lot of big names in the gaming world have been sinking a lot of time into the latest IP out of the house that Warcraft built.

Since I’ve probably spent far too much on StarCraft and Heroes, I was able to get into the three-day Overwatch stress test. I may not be much of an FPS gamer but I certainly didn’t feel too out of place in the game.

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eSports Weekend Calendar: November 27 – 29, 2015

This weekend, the world of eSport descends on Jonkoping, Sweden. The little Swedish town becomes the home of competitive StarCraft, Dota, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm as it’s the host city of DreamHack Winter 2015. StarCraft II, Hearthstone and HOTS all have their own tournaments that started earlier today and will continue through to Saturday. Dota 2 and CS:GO have ongoing leagues that are concluding their seasons in Jonkoping.

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Kotaku, The Blacklist and What’s Left of Games Journalism

fallout-4-please-stand-byIt’s not an uncommon occurrence for a gaming news outlet to be blacklisted by a publisher. You can hear Jim Sterling talk about blacklisted regularly on The Jimquisition. Destructoid was blacklisted by Konami. At one time or another, EGM was reportedly blacklisted by numerous companies including Sony, Midway and Ubisoft. Jeff Gerstmann infamously lost his job at GameSpot over a poor review of Kane & Lynch that resulted in Eidos Interactive threatening to pull ads from the site.

The latest publication to take their blacklisting public is Kotaku. Editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo took to the site to reveal that the company had been cut off by the PR branches of both Ubisoft and Bethesda. While some in games media are standing up for Kotaku, those content consumers that Kotaku are supposed to be producing content for aren’t on their side. When you’re as divisive as Kotaku, there isn’t much sympathy for the devil.

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There Are No Daily or Flash Sales During the Fall and Winter Steam Sales

steam-sale-wallpaperThe 2015 edition of the Steam Fall/Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale is just underway. For gamers, it’s kind of like early Christmas. You can get deep discounts on those games that you wanted to buy at $60 but held off knowing that this day would come.

There will be a change for this year’s fall and winter sales that you might have already noticed. Last week, Valve sent notice to publishers that there would be no daily deals or flash sales during the sale. Instead, the discount they set will be fixed for the duration of the sale.

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Game of Thrones – Episode Six Review: Next Time on Game of Thrones

game-of-thrones-episode-six-headerIt’s interesting how well-received that Game of Thrones is in print and on TV but the ASOIAF/GOT franchise has never been well-received in the gaming world. Unfortunately for Telltale Games, so far, the critics have said the same about their take on a Game of Thrones game.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones series came to an end with the sixth episode. Perhaps the extra length beyond the standard Telltale fare was unnecessary. The series had been good but not the greatness that we were used to from Telltale. Unfortunately, Episode Six: The Ice Dragon did nothing to change that perception.

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StarCraft II: The Honest Trailer

What does the honest trailer for the last surviving game in a near-dead drama look like? Even the folks on Reddit are willing to admit that the Honest Trailer for StarCraft II is both funny and sad because it’s true. Watch as the trailer takes you from the campaign to the multiplayer dominated by David Kim to the competitive scene that is even farther beyond your skills. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll become a part of you.

The Dollars and Cents of Star Wars (Infographic)

Last week, someone pointed out to me that we’re under a month to the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Putting the biggest movie franchise in the world in the hands of one of the hottest sci-fi directors who happens to be a noted Star Wars fan has The Force Awakens expected to be one of the biggest movies of all-time. Analysts are expecting Episode VII to top a $1 billion gross, a half-billion dollar opening weekend and maybe even beat $2 billion at the box office.

For more on the money made by Star Wars and the money spent to make that money, we have a handy infographic for your perusal.

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Game Trailers Roundup for November 23, 2015

As I am wont to do to start a new week, Monday ends with a roundup of all the noteworthy trailers from the past seven days. I say noteworthy because there were some DLC and “accolades” trailers that I left out here. I don’t understand the accolades ones especially. There was one for AC Syndicate but how can anyone say with a straight face that it’s the best one in ages when its aggregated review score is about 10 points less than AC4 from two years ago?

Anyway, this week’s roundup has nine trailers for four games. It’s mostly indie releases in the roundup this week with Just Cause 3 as the triple-A representative this week, including their 4K trailer. I asked Square Enix for details on what was needed to run Just Cause 3 in 4K at max settings. I’m still waiting on an answer but I would guess that it’s more power than most could afford.

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Doctor Who: Face the Raven Review

doctor-who-face-the-raven-headerWhat happens when the inevitable happens when you least expect it? I think that was what Steven Moffat was going for in putting together this season. He mixed that in with another of his favourite tropes this week when The Doctor’s past actions came back on him in a way he didn’t expect. This week’s episode was a memorable one but I’m not sure that I’d call it any good until the final ten minutes.

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