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Friday, April 24, 2009

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Second Life To Introduce Adult Content Filters
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

Linden Lab recently announced that upcoming additions to Second Life will give players the chance to filter adult content. The three tiered system will separate the game's content into Adult, Mature, and PG regions. Adult oriented content will be moved to a new continent within the game world.

Linden Lab defines the Adult rating as regions that host conduct or display content that is sexually explicit or intensely violent -- depicting, for example, death, torture, dismemberment or other severe bodily harm -- or involves illicit drug use, according to a tentative policy document on its Web site.

The company's definition of Mature content can, for example, include dance clubs that feature "burlesque" acts, according to the Linden Lab Web site.

To back up the ratings Linden Lab will also implement a new account verification system. Users that want to access Adult regions and search results will have to authenticate their accounts by having payment information on file or by using Linden Lab's age verification system.
Read more about the changes at the Macworld page listed below.

Macworld: Second Life Adult Ratings
Linden Lab
Second Life

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Geneforge 5: Overthrow Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Honest Gamers has posted a new review of Spiderweb Software's Geneforge 5: Overthrow. The fifth game in the fantasy RPG series brings the saga its conclusion, allowing players to determine whether the Shapers or the rebellion will achieve victory. Honest Gamers gave the game a score of 7 out of 10.

From the review:

Overthrow is the final instalment in the Geneforge saga, which has delivered an average of almost a game a year since its inception in 2002. While the gaming world has radically changed during this time, Geneforge's internal climate has remained consistent. It's still isometric and visually primitive - though the presentation in Overthrow is vastly improved - but such matters lay outside Spiderweb's focus. This is about interactive, non-linear storytelling of the finest quality. And while its approach may be somewhat familiar to those who obsessed for weeks over the likes of Planescape: Torment, it's hugely refreshing to play something with a similar feel all these years on.

Despite being the fifth in the series, Overthrow assumes no prior knowledge of the bitter conflict between the Shapers, the Rebels and the game's various other factions. The scale of the mythos is certainly a little overwhelming to begin with, but concepts are drip-fed tantalisingly into the narrative on a regular basis, meaning even newcomers will feel right at home. Plus, any confusion makes some sort of awkward sense, given the game's setup. In a particularly cliché-ridden introduction, your character wakes to find himself the victim of terrible, crippling amnesia. It'd have been nice to see the story introduced in a different way from the seven million other RPGs that offer this opening, but at least it allows for something of a clean slate for players who've never picked up a Geneforge title before.

The writing is just lovely. Delectable passages, poetic dialogue and vivid description more than compensate for the lack of graphical detail or voice acting. Even in the narrative's blander moments, the script serves to keep you engrossed in this rich universe. Unfortunately, it's a richness that's not always conveyed in the explored locales. Even the more densely populated settlements commonly feel lifeless and artificial. This isn't a criticism of the technology, either, since similarly low-grade engines have managed just fine. The towns and villages are often clumsily designed, with little logic to the blueprints; and the majority of the citizens are faceless nobodies with nothing of interest to say. When the less derivative characters do crop up, they're fabulously portrayed - but it leaves you aching for more, and Geneforge 5 doesn't always deliver.
Check out the full review at the link provided below.

Honest Gamers: Geneforge 5 Review
Spiderweb Software
Geneforge 5
Buy Geneforge 5

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Kivi's Underworld Character Profiles Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Soldak Entertainment has added a new set of entries to the Characters page for Kivi's Underworld. The list showcases some of the 20 playable characters in the company's action RPG title. The page currently shows sixteen of the playable characters and will be updated with more in the future.

There are over 20 different, playable characters in Kivi's Underworld. We are going to slowly reveal some of them here.

SPOILER ALERT: you only know about Kivi the Warrior at the beginning of the game, so reading about any of the characters below might be minor spoilers.
Visit the page below to learn more.

Kivi's Underworld Character Page
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld

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StarCraft II: Dustin Browder Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Starfeeder has posted a new Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Q&A with Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The questions cover a range of topics related to the game's units, interface, and eSports features. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

2. There has been a lot of concern, that ZvZ (Zerg vs Zerg) could become a roach micro contest as roaches do double damage to biological, are tier 1 and have high regeneration. Is this true? If not, how can one counter a roach rush in ZvZ?
[Dustin Browder] Zerg versus Zerg games has been one of our most challenging matchups to balance. With regard to Roaches versus Roaches, all I can say now is that we are still balancing and several things have already changed that will affect how the Roach will do, including bringing Hydralisks back down to a Tier 1.5 unit and having a more standard ranged attacker role.

3. How has island map matches been like so far in StarCraft II internal testing? Could you describe basic sample builds and/or tactics in island games?
[Dustin Browder] StarCraft II races have arguably become more mobile than the original StarCraft with the introduction of the Viking and Medivacs, as well as having a more easily usable Nydus Worm, and Warp-In. With these new mechanics, there will be several new ways to invade an island position, keeping the game fast paced and exciting. ‘Turtling,’ will be a bit harder to do in StarCraft II because of these mechanics as well.

5. Are any new units yet to be revealed? ie: Zerg heavy air unit?
[Dustin Browder] Zerg has a new flying heavy assault unit known as the Brood Lord. This one is buff! Much more intimidating than the Guardian and will still be morphed from the Mutalisk. This unit will be replacing the previously seen Swarm Guardian and will have new art as well. This unit currently has 350 hit points and a large range of 9, doing 25 damage and spawning a Broodling upon each attack, which will live for a few short seconds, doing minor melee damage.
Head over to the page below to read the rest.

Starfeeder: StarCraft II Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Thursday, April 23, 2009

IMG Reviews Be a King!7:44 AM
Apple Games Features Shaun White Snowboarding6:00 AM
Majesty 2 Previewed6:00 AM
Platinum Arts Sandbox 3D Game Maker RPG Released6:00 AM
Vogel's Discussion Of Underpricing Indie Games Continues6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 23, 2009 on one page

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