Monthly Archives: May 2014

Blizzard Suing StarCraft II Map Hack Creators

starcraft-2-hots-headerNot only do you hate people who use cheats such as map hacking to ruin your StarCraft II experience, Blizzard hates them just as much. The developer and publisher of the top RTS game on the market filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in California against the makers of the “ValiantChaos MapHack.”

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Amazon Patents “Photos Against a White Background”

amazon-dot-com-headerYou knew that the US copyright system was broke. You knew that the US trademark system was broken. Today, here’s proof that the US patent system is also broken.

Online retailer Amazon has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the company’s signature photos of products against a white background. Yes, you can patent that.

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Geek Links of the Week

The cost of developing games on the now current-gen consoles has been going up and we all knew that it would as developers pushed gaming forward. With the prices of games not going up, can or will developers try to keep costs from spiralling out of control? [Develop]

You would think that the next-gen remastered version of a game would an easy development task. However, Naughty Dog’s engine was custom-built for the unique architecture of the PlayStation 3. It’s a bit more work than expected to get it running perfectly on the PS4. At least they’re getting a warm-up for Uncharted 4. [Edge Magazine]

A while back, we mentioned that NASL closed up their doors. An investigation into the reasons for the eSports company closing turned up documents from an insolvency company stating NASL was over $1.6 million in debt when they closed. [eSports Heaven]

We’re used to hearing about how gaming is taking cues from the movies but movies are increasingly looking to video games for ideas. [The Guardian]

Ser Gregor Clegane, The Mountain that Rides, was a recruiting target of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. I’d hazard that he’d be pretty hard to tackle. []

Law & Order: Game of Thrones

If you’ve kept up with this season of Game of Thrones, you’d know why a Law & Order mashup would be very appropriate. The folks at Double Prizes cut together the Law and Order: SVU intro with Game of Thrones and even gave a little scene starting with the famous Law & Order thunk-thunk sound.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the last couple of episodes: spoilers.

Critics Corner: Wolfenstein: The New Order

wolfenstein-the-new-order-headerThere is little that gamers like more than old franchises. Reboots, remakes, sequels. These are the life blood of modern gaming. While people like new IPs, it seems like people go crazy over old IPs. And I wonder why I lament the death of creativity when the big money makers are sequels. I don’t count GTA in that because each GTA has little to do with the ones preceding it apart from mechanics.

I’ve actually played a little bit of Wolfenstein back at Fan Expo last August. I came away with a few impressions from that demo. First and foremost, I just can’t FPS to save my life and I really can’t without my mouse and keyboard in hand. The visuals weren’t spectacular on the early Xbox 360 build. The gameplay felt decidedly old school with limited regenerating health (from 1% to 25% health), picking up stuff off the ground rather than collecting it by walking over it and crouch jumping. I’d imagine that it changed a bit in the 10 months between when I played it and when you will.

But enough of what I think of Wolfenstein. Let’s see what the professionals think.

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Critics Corner: Transistor

transistor-headerI’m not saying that there haven’t been any noteworthy games released over the last few months but prior to this week, we hadn’t done a Critics Corner metareview of a game in two months. Transistor leads off an unusually packed late-May release lineup. You’ve got Wolfenstein, Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 leading the big budget productions while Transistor represents the indie contingent.

Supergiant Games had only one game under its belt prior to this week but having Bastion as its only title made it as close to video gaming royalty as one game will get you. Now, they’re back with Transistor. While the game tries not to be Bastion, it’s hard for reviewer (and gamers, I’d imagine) not to draw the inevitable comparison between Supergiant’s two games.

The game’s story and gameplay are a bit divisive with some critics absolutely loving how the story was done and the new style of gameplay while others just weren’t interested in what Transistor was offering. Everyone agreed that the art style and audio were absolutely fantastic.

But enough of my intro and summary. What did the critics think of Transistor?

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Man of Steel 2 Now Called “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-logoJust when you thought that Superman was back in a big way with last year’s blockbuster Man of Steel, DC Comics and Warner Brothers want to remind you who is on top of the DC food chain.

The sequel to the Superman reboot is not only not a Superman-focused movie but Superman doesn’t even get top billing. The Man of Steel sequel is now officially known as “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

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CVG, The World’s First Gaming Mag, Facing Closure

cvg-headerJust as the gaming industry grows with record revenues at the launch of a new console generation, the old guard of the gaming media whithers and dies. A BBC report says that CVG’s publishers, Future, are examining the future of the CVG brand and may shut the magazine down.

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Game Trailers Roundup for May 21, 2014

Just because this was a holiday weekend in Canada doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do the weekly trailer roundup. It just means that it’ll be a little later than usual.

To make up for the slight tardiness in this week’s video game trailers roundup, I have a couple of launch trailers for games that would have already come out by the time this post goes live. Yesterday was launch day for Bethesda’s FPS Wolfenstein: The New Order and Supergiant Games’ new Transistor which is the one that we should care more about. Also, ahead of next week’s release, Ubisoft has a lengthy video previewing Watch Dogs.

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Riot Unveils Fantasy LCS

fantasy-lcs-beta-headerGrowing up and even to this day, it seems as though more people are interested in their fantasy sport teams than their favourite teams and players. Loyalty is nice but nothing grabs people’s attention like competition with friends and random folks on the internet.

Riot Games are trying to cash in on the popularity of fantasy sports by launching their own fantasy eSport. Starting this summer and currently in beta, Riot is launching Fantasy LCS for summoners who might make a better team manager than team member.

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