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Friday, October 21, 2011

Aspyr Media Updates Website, Begins iPad 2 Contest
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has announced the launch of the new website, with increased functionality, new user interface and updated content browsing.  To celebrate the launch of the new site Aspyr is also offering visitors to the new site the chance to win an iPad 2.

New Features

The newly revamped site brings much to the table, including a completely overhauled interface that will make navigating the site much easier. New improvements and features include:

  • New homepage – The homepage is designed to be more visually appealing while providing all the latest news on Aspyr and Aspyr’s games
  • Quick links to top franchises – Now finding information on top Aspyr games, including Civilization, Call of Duty, and Star Wars, is easier than ever
  • Enhanced search and browsing – Finding games and news articles is much easier with a new tagging system
  • New game product pages – New game pages present information in an easy-to-read format on a single page; find screenshots, game descriptions, system requirements, news, and more

Win an iPad 2

Aspyr is conducting their own hidden object contest for a chance to win an iPad 2.  Five specially altered images, all featuring the face of Aspyr president Michael Rogers, are hiddne on different game pages. In order to be entered into the drawing to win the iPad 2 entrants must search for each of these images while noting the game pages each image can be found on. Entrants must then submit a list of each of the games where the special images were found in the submission box found on the Aspyr iPad 2 Contest Site.

Entries are being accepted through Sunday, October 23, 2011 (11:59pm CST). A single grand prize winner will be chosen at random from all qualified entries on Tuesday, October 25, and notified via email. Terms and conditions may be found on the Aspyr iPad2 Contest site.

Click over to the link below to check out Aspyr's new site.d

Aspyr Media

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CCP Refocuses Efforts On EVE Universe, Lays Off 20% Of Staff
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a new blog post CCP Games has revealed plans to refocus its efforts on development of its sci-fi MMO EVE Online and the Dust 514 console tie-in. Unfortunately, part of the refocusing will result in the lay off of approximately 20% of CCP's staff, and a reduction in the size of the World of Darkness MMO development team.

We understand how an announcement such as this can be perceived by our community and industry peers. We feel it is important to clearly address two questions that might arise.

First, EVE Online is in good health. Our subscriber numbers are higher today than they were a year ago. Unlike many other MMO's on the market, we have continued to grow year-on-year since launch in 2003. However, over the past two months, our subscribers have gone down from their peak this summer. We attribute this to our own mistakes and poor communications with our players. We are correcting that now.

Second, World of Darkness lives on. Its concepts are revolutionary. CCP continues to believe that it will alter the landscape of the MMO as significantly as EVE has done but we need more time to continue to develop them before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market.
Read the full post at the link below.

EVE Online: CCP Focuses On EVE Universe
CCP Games
EVE Online

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City Of Heroes Issue 21 Special Update Media Blitz Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have released some new information about the upcoming Issue 21 Special Update: Media Blitz for the company's comic book hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The patch will give VIP players the opportunity to enjoy a new Incarnate Trial as well as new abilities for Alpha, Destiny, Interface, and Judgement Incarnate slots.

Why Media Blitz? No, there won't be a Journalist Power Set with this update. No assailing your opponents with Ad Attack or mesmerizing them with Paparazzi Befuddlement.

With the second part of Issue 21, we will be giving our VIP players the opportunity to play through a brand new Incarnate Trial: the TPN Campus!

As a continuation to the Underground Incarnate Trial, you will be able to infiltrate the TPN Campus and battle against a mighty adversary whom you will want to keep an eye on: Maelstrom will certainly make you work for it!

A second Incarnate Trial will also become available as part of Issue 21 Special Update: Media Blitz but it will come at a later date. We'll tell you more about it closer to its launch!

But that's not all, you will also be able to unlock brand new abilities for your Alpha, Destiny, Interface and Judgment Incarnate Slots and become even more powerful and ascend even higher on the Incarnate path!

Head over to the site below to learn more.

City Of Heroes: Issue 21 Announcement
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes

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TransGaming Brings Skylanders Spyro's Adventure To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

TransGaming has announced that Activision’s innovative new game, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure has been brought to the Mac platform using TransGaming’s "Mac enablement technology." The cross platform title interfaces with a line of toys which connect with the game and record the characters' progress.

Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure allows kids for the first time to bring toys to life in a videogame by using the magical Portal of Power™.  Players can collect over 30 different characters, each with their own personality, powers, and upgrades.  These innovative, highly collectable toys also have brains, allowing them to remember their level-ups and experiences as they progress through the game.  Additionally, the toys are cross-platform, which gives kids the ability to play their leveled-up toys across multiple game systems.  Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure introduces a completely new way for kids to play with videogames and toys by combining them in a way never before seen. 

TransGaming’s Mac enablement engine is used by many of the world’s leading gaming publishers to bring some of their most popular titles to the high growth Mac market. It allows publishers to quickly and cost-effectively release Mac versions of their existing games, expanding the market reach.

“More and more leading publishers and developers are looking to the Mac platform for a largely underserved base of gaming consumers,” said Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming, Inc. “We are proud that TransGaming’s Mac enablement technology is a top choice for publishers such as Activision to bring groundbreaking titles such as Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure to a new audience.”

More about Skylanders:
Skylanders are action figures with brains

The Skylanders are so powerful that they remember their in-game experiences and upgrades as they explore the mysterious world of Skylands, battle menacing creatures and collect treasures.

It doesn't matter what gaming system your friends have at their house, the Skylanders work on and across all major video game systems. You can take your Skylanders over to your friend's house, drop them on their Portal of Power and your Skylanders will come to life in the game!

Put two Skylanders on the Portal of Powerand battle with your friend as a team. Or pick a Battle Arena and go head-to-head against your friend to see who is the best Portal Master. It's a fight to the finish!

Use your character collection to battle KAOS and his minions. Each of your Skylanders has special abilities and powers. The more you play, the more powerful they become!
Discover more adventures,

There are different challenges and mini-games waiting throughout Skylands. Jump in a turret to fend off enemies and solve challenging puzzles to find secret areas and earn cool in-game rewards.

Each Skylander comes with a unique secret code. Show off your collection to your friends and play fun new mini-games!

Pick up an Adventure Pack. Each one includes an exclusive Skylander, 1-Location Piece and 2-Magic Items. Place the Location Piece on the Portal of Power to explore exclusive new worlds and embark on new adventures and challenges!

More information is available at the links below.


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Diablo III Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Gaming Vault has posted a new preview article focusing on Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming Diablo III action RPG sequel. Diablo III will return players to the war torn world of Sanctuary, where they must once again take up arms against the forces of hell.

So instead of removing customizability, like it initially felt like, they have pushed it from selecting where to put points individually, to selecting whole skills that compliment each other. Every time I leveled up and unlocked a new skill, I carefully considered if I should exchange one of my current skills with it, or maybe I should even “respec” and use it with a different set of skills.

This got convoluted pretty quickly, so let me provide an example. When I was trying out the Wizard, I was playing him as a typical long range damage dealer, with Magic Missile, Arcane Orb and Electrocute. However, after a while I switched from a wand to a dagger, and I switched my spells to things like Spectral Blade, Ice Armor, and other skills designed for closer combat.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that while I was doing this, I got the same little joy I get from placing points in the traditional RPG leveling system. I was reading the description and stats carefully, weighing one skill against each other, thinking about which one went well together.
Read more at the link below.

The Gaming Vault: Diablo III Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Disney Universe Power Up Bonuses Explained
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Disney Interactive Studios has revealed some new information about power up bonuses in Disney Universe, a fast-paced multiplayer action adventure game currently in development. In the game players will have the chance to play as Disney and Pixar characters and engage in quests, battle enemies, and solve puzzles in a universe populated with worlds inspired by the company's animated and live action films.

Power-ups are bonuses given to the player by the game’s helper AI, known as VIC (Virtual Information Cube). They take the form of a blue cube that floats around the arena, and when picked up, give the player a special ability for a short time. Some of these powers include giving the player boxing gloves, a ray gun, or a medusa head, allowing them to turn enemies to stone.

In addition, there are also negative power-ups, called curses, that are sent by the game’s villain, Hex, to hinder players in their progression. Curses take the form of red ‘Hex’ cubes and chase players around the arena for a limited time before despawning. If a player comes in contact with a curse, they are afflicted with a negative effect like being turned into a chicken or having their head transform into a ticking time bomb. Many curses can be passed from player to player and encourage ad hoc competition and mayhem.

Click over to the link below for more information.

Disney Universe

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Halloween In City Of Heroes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have posted a new Intrepid Informer article detailing features available in its super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. This time the Informer focuses on the challenges designers faced when creating this year's Halloween events for the MMO.

A big issue that arose in creating and tuning the Halloween event was the challenge of the encounters contained within. Freedom is bringing a fresh batch of players into our game and because the event is available to players at level 15 we needed to provide an experience that is accessible to new players but isn't a cake-walk to experienced players. The Abomination at the end of the event has been especially emblematic of this issue. Balancing him around the various skill levels present here in the studio has been difficult and required multiple adjustments in his mobility and attack strength. We didn't set out to create an Incarnate level challenge so, ultimately, we decided to err on the side of accessibility. To address these concerns though, we have included a bonus objective for the Abomination and, as well, there is an elite boss hidden in the event as an Easter egg. We included these extras in hopes that people who are looking for that extra challenge will feel incentivized to do so, but those that just want a fun, casual experience will get just that.
Head over to the page below to read more.

Intrepid Informer Issue 14
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes

Mac Games News for Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jeff Vogel: Why You Can't Have Every Game For A Dollar6:00 AM
Nancy Drew: Alibi In Ashes Available From MGS6:00 AM
The Sims 3 Pets Reviewed6:00 AM
Toki Tori 2 Coming To Macs In Spring 20126:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 20, 2011 on one page

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