eSports Weekend Calendar: November 28 – 30, 2014

This week see the return of the eSports weekend calendar from a brief hiatus and it’s a busy weekend on the calendar. That’s because this weekend is DreamHack Winter 2014 in Jönköping, Sweden.

At DreamHack Winter, there are big tournaments for League of Legends, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and CS:GO running under the DreamHack banner. The Asus ROG Dream League is also running an event this weekend in Jönköping at DreamHack too. Basically, if you want live eSports action this weekend, you’re at or streaming DreamHack.

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Steam Exploration Sale: November 27, 2014

steam-exploration-sale-2014-header-nov-27So we’ve reached the second day of the Steam Exploration Sale and we’ve learned some things about the new Steam sale format. First, there are no Community Picks or Flash Sales. Second, there are two sets of daily deals each day, one running for two days and the other running for just 24 hours. That means that yesterday’s two-day deals are still active today.

While there were a lot of new games in yesterday’s deals, today is a lot of the standard Steam sale fare. You’ve got your BioShocks, Kerbal, Payday, Deus Ex, Max Payne and more. In terms of newer games, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is the highest profile new game in today’s offerings but it’s still new so it’s pricey. You should always be sure to keep your budget in mind if you’re buying more expensive games.

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Sony Looking to PlayStation to Shore Up Finances

sony-logoOver the last few years, quarterly financial results time hasn’t been Sony’s friend. The company has been hurting on the income statement and balance sheet thanks to underperformance from their TV and mobile device divisions. However, they have been buoyed by the sales success of the PlayStation 4.

Now, Sony is trying to turn back towards profitability and is putting the PS4 at the forefront of their plan.

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Steam Exploration Sale: November 26, 2014

steam-exploration-sale-2014-headerJust when you think that you can count on Steam to do something relatively normal with their sales, they’ve come up with a slightly ridiculous name and a new format for their fall sale. This year’s fall Steam sale is the Steam Exploration Sale. The big change is that the sale doesn’t have Flash Sales or Community Picks but they still have daily deals. It might just be a first day of the sale thing but there are two-day deals and one-day deals. I’d hazard that the two-day deals will roll to below the recommendations bar dividing the one and two-day deals.

A lot of the usual suspects are on sale today like CS:GO, Dead Island, Don’t Starve, and Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. However, there are a couple of newer games on sale that you might be interested in. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game I’ve heard good things about. The Long Dark and The Evil Within are newer and on for good discounts. Conversely, Watch Dogs, Civ: Beyond Earth and Lords of the Fallen are on sale but I’d hazard that they’ll get cheaper if you hold out a bit longer.

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Formula E Putrajaya ePrix: #SamBoost

formula-e-2014-putrajaya-bird-victoryThe following post was originally written for The Lowdown and is geared towards a motorsport audience. Most of the analysis is gear toward that audience rather than a tech crowd. Since I think that a major all-electric motorsports championship is kind of a big deal in the tech world and because this was a really good race, I thought we should continue covering Formula E with a look at the second ePrix.

For the second time, the FIA’s new green motorsport took to the streets in an attempt to show that motorsport doesn’t have to be all loud noises and high-octane to be a spectacle.

After a so-so first outing that was only highlighted by a massive accident in the final turn, Formula E returned with a trip to the streets of Putrajaya, Malaysia, that saw battles throughout the field. Well, except at the front where Sam Bird absolutely dominated the day’s running to win his first ePrix.

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Toybox Turbos Review: Outside the Box

toybox-turbos-headerAnyone that follows my writing over on etg. sister site The Lowdown Blog knows that I’m a racing fanatic. Two wheels, four wheels, even more wheels (European truck racing is surprisingly awesome), road courses, ovals, dirt, I can settle down and watch anything. So naturally, I had a lot of toy cars growing up and had a lot of toy car races.

This brings me to Toybox Turbos. While many people liken the game to a modernized callback to Codemasters’ Micro Machines, their first iconic racing game, I thought of Toybox Turbos to be just like the toy car races on the floor at home. But does a childhood call back, whether it’s to a video game or little plastic or die-cast cars, make a great game.

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Comic Book Pull List for November 26, 2014

steampunk-battlestar-galactica-1880-4You know, I haven’t been to my local comic book shop in about six weeks, I probably have a rather painful bill waiting for me when I pick up my file this week. I really should set a reminder on my phone to pick up my file every third or fourth week of the month. I know that you probably aren’t too worried about my comic buying habits but every little bit I can help you guys, I will.

Anyway, I have a few interesting selections from this week’s pull list but I’ve kept away from the big two. Let’s start with a couple of very odd takes on franchises. IDW has a mashup of Angry Birds and Transformers that might just be out of Michael Bay’s dreams in Angry Birds Transformers #1. If steampunk and sci-fi are your thing, you’ll probably want to pick up the finale of Dynamite’s miniseries with Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #4. And for fans of the new Planet of the Apes movies, Boom bridges the two reboot films starting with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1.

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Steam Updates Early Access Rules for Developers

steam-early-accessIt’s going to be a Valve news sort of week around here. I think that’s completely understandable with the Steam Fall Sale kicking off tomorrow. And today’s bit of news might be important to you when you see an Early Access game get a big featured discount.

Last week, Valve sent notice to developers that they’ve updated the policies and guidelines for Early Access games on the Steam Store. It’s unlikely to affect the current crop of Early Access games but might impact what you see launching in the future.

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Game Trailers Roundup for November 25, 2014

I slightly forgot about this post yesterday. I was scrambling until the last minute to write the Haven review yesterday and had to sacrifice this post in order to get a little sleep. It turns out I could have passed on that because my local city road works crew didn’t plow the roads so they were ever so slightly flooded because of rain and slush.

Anyway, we have nine trailers for you to watch today. On top of the list is a teaser for Telltale’s upcoming Game of Thrones and I’m not just doing that in hopes of getting review copy of both that and Tales from the Borderlands. In the recently released games ranks, there are trailers for LittleBigPlanet 3 and Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. And there are some pretty cool trailers for EVE and Goat Simulator.

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Hold on to Your Wallets! The Steam Fall Sale Starts November 26

steam-sale-wallpaperWith American Thanksgiving coming up this week, you knew that it wasn’t a matter of if there would be a big Steam sale this week but when it would be. An email from PayPal has revealed that this year’s Steam Fall Sale will start on Wednesday, November 26th at 1:00 PM EST.

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