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Some people like to betatest games, while others don't. Prior to the European Wrath of the Lich King Beta, I was proudly a member of the first half, but after that rentless mass murder of common sense, patience and last bits of humanity, I decided to take a break, keep my sweat inside and let it loose only when the actual game comes out.



But things are about to change. And not because it's yet another Blizzard game, but because Starcraft is one of those little jewels that made college life (ignoring retarded individuals, skipping exams and such) much more easy to bare. It seems that, according to Blizz's Paul Sams (chief operating officer), we'll be getting our Starcraft 2 Beta “in the coming months”, so stay tuned for that extremely lucky invite. Because I bet it won't gonna be easy to get it.

Ze Source.
What do we know about 2K Boston? Ah, well, nothing “much”. They are just the bunch of insane (and let me add, extremely talented) people who brought us Bioshock. You know, the game that rocked your socks (be it clean, smelling like Mr. Hanky, the Christmas Poo, or still stuck on your sealing) in 2007. Hell, that was a great game. I actually finished it, too.

So, what does one expect from such a company? Nothing bad, I guess. Maybe even something good (and that's the sad part). New job listings were recently posted for their oh-so-demanding team, listings that may speak – or may not speak – for themselves. Do you think you meet the qualifications? Let's take a look, see:
This position requires a high degree of creativity. You will be required to work with the single-player team to form a "vision" of the multiplayer experience and use that vision to inform your design decisions. From there, you will help build a multiplayer design team and be responsible to guide your team through the entire production cycle.
Prior experience designing first-person shooter games is an absolute must. Understanding of online persistence is preferred but not required. MMO design or production experience also preferred.
Extending and enhancing Unreal Engine 3 with proprietary networking tech to address gameplay, performance, platform, production, tools, and QA needs.
Interfacing with Microsoft, Sony, and other providers for matching-making and other services.

Multiplayer – seems that we have a new “word of the century” win here. Every game tends to involve a decent bit of one on one, three to three or one on over nine thousand lolis action – just for self preservation. OK, I will bite this. And I will swallow it too, if it turns out to be as good as any normal human being would expect.
Three new Need for Speed games were announced today by Electronic Arts, leaving the gaming world - or at least the part of it that still has some common sense - in a blissful indifference, at best. While some might find the idea of a NFS threesome quite exciting, we dare question how EA will be able to churn out three quality titles in less than a year, after years of pushing the franchise down a steady slope.



Well, no use trolling over spilt booze, so let's get on with the news. As they say in the announcement, "we listened to the gamers when they told us they wanted a wider range of experiences" (big mistake!), so they're now ready to pop the cork off their new NFS games: Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Nitro and Need for Speed World Online.

NFS Shift sounds like your run-of-the-mill racing game (think Race Driver: GRID for instance), and this first screenshot shows nothing spectacular, either. "A racing game built by racers for racers", "a level of realism never before seen in a Need for Speed title", "an incredible authentic and immersive driving experience", "a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit viewpoint", "an unrivaled sensation of racing at high speed" - the usual PR talk. The one true flicker of hope shines from the fact that it's being developed by Slighty Mad Studios, formerly known as Blimey (the guys behind GT Legends and GTR 2). NFS Shift is planned for release on the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP in autumn 2009. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Need for Speed Does A Threesome'...
Because you can't have an MMO in this day and age without expanding it during the first few months after release (and bug-fixing it throughout its entire lifetime), Warhammer Online, too, is set to receive its first live expansion soon enough. Titled "Call to Arms", it will be rolled out - for free - in early March, and will be running through the beginning of June. At which point, presumingly, another one of these "live expansions" might follow.



Copy-pasting from GOA's announcement, Call to Arms will introduce an array of new content for WAR players, including two highly anticipated new careers - the Orc Choppa and the Dwarf Slayer - and a new dungeon zone called "Land of the Dead", set in the desert realm of the Tomb Kings. It will also include 3 in-game live events, a new Realm vs. Realm (RvR) Scenario, added functionality to the Realm Wars section of the WAR website, the opening of the official WAR Forums, and a new free trial version of the game.

In the announcement, Mark Jacobs from Mythic refers to this huge new Tomb Kings dungeon as a "spiritual successor to the Dark Age of Camelot dungeon, Darkness Fall", and restates their commitment to keep on delivering a massive amount of free content "now and in the future".

Below you'll find the full schedule of the Call to Arms live expansion, (...)

>  Continue reading 'Warhammer Online Expands With Call to Arms'...
All those Halo Wars trailers not detailed enough for you? Well then, have some jumbo-sized screenshots exposing more detail than you'll ever see on any TV, HD or otherwise - rendering them rather useless. In this latest batch issued by Microsoft, we see a Vulture fight set alight by pink laz0r pewpew, a besieged Covenant stronghold, and a highly unimpressive pose of a Warthog caught in mid-jump.

The release of Halo Wars on Xbox 360 is still set for February 27 in Europe, and March 3 in North America.


A couple of months - hopefully no more - after its Japanese and North American releases next month (on February 19 and 24, respectively), Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope will also be released in Europe and other PAL territories. In a super-standard press release today, the European branch of Square Enix promised to release this Xbox 360 RPG prequel in spring 2009, though they have yet to pinpoint a more precise date.



They did however come well prepared for the occasion, unloading this plump piece of artwork above, along with plenty of screenshots that you can see below - granted they're still from the Japanese version. There was also that new Star Ocean 4 trailer we posted a few days ago, and updated yesterday with a high-res version. Yeah, it's no Final Fantasy XIII, but it'll have to do, for now. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Star Ocean 4 Gets PAL Release This Spring'...
Gayspot, the website that fires senior editors for not sucking the small dicks of sponsors (feel the Kane and Linch review, if it is still on), reports on a Q&A regarding Elemental: War of Magic, which we have announced some time ago.

As they say, the game will draw its purpose from several franchises, such as The Lord of the Rings, Master of Magic and Civilization, BUT FAILING hard at getting elements from the only TBS that really matters. I'll let you guess which one that is. It starts with “Heroes”. And it ends with " Might and Magic 3".
And here we have Square Enix's official Q1 2009 lineup, thanks to the guys at The Stick of Joy. Console owners, beware, your shopping spree just got a bit bigger. And also, translated into ENGRISH!
* Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP / 6 Jan.): Being the remastered portable version of the interstellar -- and considered by some to be just plain stellar -- sequel. Features new voice work, new cutscenes and people crying in space.
* Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS / 17 Feb.): Being the hitherto unlocalized entry in the venerable RPG series. Yes, Dragon Ball Z guy designed these characters too.
* Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360 / 3 Mar.): Being tri-Ace's long-awaited continuation of the science-fiction franchise. The subtitle implies that this is a big deal for the Xbox 360 in Japan.
* Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (DS / 17 Mar.): Being the third instalment in the respected Valkyrie Profile series. If you're looking for an explanation of the title, we're afraid you're plume out of luck.
And they say world wide economy is going down the drain. What a bunch of horse bullshit. Take a look at this, it seems that Gears of War 2 sold, probably as expected, no less than 2 millions copies in the first weekend since its launch. Which isn't THAT bad, really.



Other than that, LIVE was also targeted and bombed by 1.5 million players who logged in to kick some ass in Gears of War 2, totaling some 15 million hours of game-fucking-play, unlocking 19 million GoW 2 achievements. How's that for a freaking console exclusive game? And I also heard it is actually good.
Since subscriptions are running wild in World of Warcraft, and Battle.Net is still free of charge (for now), Blizzard has decided that it would be a good time to ban some more cheaters from its incredible awesome servers. Very, very good. Cheaters are bad. They do nasty things and smell like polar bears. I wonder if they will ever do something about that gold selling thing, it's really getting nasty.
As part of our continued effort to ensure a fair and fun online experience for all Battle.net players, we have expanded our efforts to remove cheaters from StarCraft and Diablo II. We have identified and closed over 350,000 StarCraft and Diablo II accounts which were found to be using third-party hacks.

The Diablo II CD keys associated with the closed Diablo II accounts are now restricted from playing on Battle.net for approximately 30 days. Repeat offenders will have their accounts closed and their CD keys permanently banned from Battle.net. As a reminder, we reserve the right to close the accounts and ban the CD keys of players who are caught cheating on Battle.net. Cheating ruins the game experience for legitimate players, and we will not tolerate it.

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