Author - Jerry Paxton

Supreme Commander Heading to Consoles

Joystiq is reporting that Gas Powered Games founder, Chris Taylor has revealed that PC RTS Supreme Commander will be heading to console systems. Which console systems specifically has not been revealed aside from the Xbox 360. Taylor echoes many developers sentiments in that the Xbox 360 is the easiest platform to port back and forth from the PC.

On the console control system, Taylor had this to say:
‘I use the football analogy. The first RTS game was the kick and then we had to take the ball a few more yards down the field every iteration. We’re getting closer and closer to that touchdown. We may be a few more iterations of the UI and interface before we get there.’

Portal Review

Portal is set sometime in the Half-Life universe at the Aperture Laboratories’ Testing Facility. It seems that the company has developed a technology for creating portals between two points from a gun-style interface. Testing the unit falls on your shoulders. Administering the test is the GLaDOS Artificial Intelligence unit. This AI has a very dry wit and is one of the central areas of fun in the game. Testing takes place over 19 levels of varying degree of challenge. If you can make it to the end of your testing the GLaDOS AI has promised you a party and cake. Is all as it appears, however?

Using the portal gun is easy enough, simply press the left mouse button to fire the ‘blue’ portal or the right mouse button to fire the ‘orange’ portal. The colors are there simply to help you determine which you have already deployed as the portals are 2-way lanes of travel. Throughout the levels you will find various obstacles in the way of your goal and you will have to be creative in overcoming them. Solving the puzzles takes a bit of patience and lateral thinking but they are not so difficult as to promote brain hemorrhages.

Sound design is adequate however the score is great. It really sets the mood of potential danger around every corner wrapped in sardonic corporate culture wit. Partially due to this score, you really expect to see some sort of bad guy run around the corner at any moment with the intent of killing you. This game makes you play it paranoid. The voice acting of the GLaDOS AI is just incredible. Delivered with a dead-pan style, actress Ellen McLain shines doing this voice-over work.

Graphics are built using the Source engine and are very crisp and clean, doing a marvelous job of creating the sterile testing environment as well as the seedier sides of Aperture Laboratories.

So what is really going on at Aperture Laboratories? You will just have to find out. Portal is bundled with the Valve Orange Box as well as a solo product on Steam.

From YouTube:

Mass Effect GOLD!

Announced today: Mass Effect has gone gold! The game is set to go retail on November 20th. If you pre-order the game you get a special pre-order DVD with a short documentary on the game as well as a demo of Blue Dragon and some videos of Halo Wars, Halo 3, and Lost Odyssey.

Also announced were the contents of the collector’s edition.

  • Book entitled ‘Galactic Codex Essentials’
  • Book entitled ‘A Future Imagined’
  • Bonus DVD

SanDisk to Unveil Video Service / TakeTV

MSNBC reports that SanDisk, one of the more successful manufacturers of USB flash drives, announced Monday a new service and product to further bridge the gap between the PC and television.

The Service – FanFare is a video service offering premium television shows for $1.99 per download. The site is in beta right now and the catalogue is small, but if the product (see below) is successful, count on it expanding rapidly.

The Product – TakeTV Video Player is a combination of gadgets including a USB harddrive, remote control, and television adaptor. Simply load any content (currently supports multiple formats including mpeg, DivX, and xVid), onto the USB harddrive, plug it in to the cradle, connect the cradle to the television (s-video, composite, & analog) and watch your content on the big screen. For those who do not have a Home Theatre PC, this is a very exciting product. The editors of GamingShogun are attempting to obtain a demo and hope to post a review shortly.

TakeTV is currently available in a $99.99 4gb model, and a $149.99 8GB model.

[edit – TakeTV is scheduled to be relased 11/06/2007]

Activision Announces Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Weekend and Demo

Activision has announced a Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock weekend and game demo release beginning Friday, November 2nd.

From the press release:
‘…fans 13 years old or older will be able to participate in a number of exciting activities online including a 72-hour Play & Win Sweepstakes where every hour winning axe shredders who register and play are awarded with special prize packages, such as a limited edition guitar faceplate signed by Slash, as they battle in a multiplayer showdown against the developers of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, as well as an exclusive Xbox LIVE leaderboard tournament to crown the top Guitar Hero player.’

Toshiba/Microsoft Prepping HD-DVD Drive Equipped 360s?

GameSpot is reporting on a rumor first heard from Australian tech site that Toshiba has partnered with Microsoft to begin production of HD-DVD drive-equipped Xbox 360s to combat the PS3’s built-in Blu-Ray drive.

From the article:
‘Now, if Smarthouse is to be believed, Toshiba is making another
move to increase the adoption of HD-DVD. ‘Insiders at Toshiba, owner of
the HD-DVD patents, claim that Microsoft is working on a brand new Xbox
that will incorporate not only a new HD-DVD drive but a larger hard
drive and new entertainment software that is a spin-off from its
struggling media center offering,’ the site claims. After
quoting a Toshiba executive saying ‘an Xbox with a built in HD-DVD
drive is critical,’ Smarthouse goes on to say the new 360 will also
have built-in Wi-Fi and true 1080p output–capabilities both versions
of the PS3 already have. Microsoft is also considering building in a
dual HDTV tuner, Tivo-esque program guide, and a new type of universal
MP3 player docking port.’

Online Poker Site Hacked by Employee

MSNBC reports that an employee of hacked the system to allow him to see other players’ hole cards. The employee purportedly went on a major winning streak earning somewhere between $400,000 and $700,000 in very short order.

Apparently he was too chicken to spend the money, and when he got caught, he said he was simply trying to prove a point; that it could be done. The parent compeny to is promising a full refund to anyone affected by this scheme.

Lost Planet Going to PS3 in Early ’08

GameSpot is reporting that Capcom has recently announced one Xbox-exclusive shooter Lost Planet will be arriving on PS3 shelves early 2008.

From the article:
‘Capcom stated that the PS3 version of Lost Planet will feature all the content from the 360 version, plus all subsequent downloadable content from Xbox Live, along with extras included in the PC version. These include additional characters, including Frank West from Dead Rising and Mega Man.

The PS3 version will also allow gamers to battle in cooperative or versus battles with up to 16 players. These include elimination mode, where it’s every man for himself, team elimination, where whichever team is wiped out first loses, and fugitive, where one player tries to achieve a series of goals within a time limit without getting killed by the other players. ‘

Boeing Demonstrates Hummer-mounted Laser Weapon

The Register is reporting that Boeing has succefully demonstrated it’s HUMVEE Laser Avenger system, which, according to the article ‘is a gyrostabilised automatic turret from Boeing’s
existing Avenger air-defence system. Avenger normally packs Stinger
missiles and/or a .50-cal heavy machine gun, but this year Boeing has
fitted it out with a 1 kilowatt solid state laser’.

It could be useful in destroying unexploded ordinance or IEDs from a distance, however real combat applications would need a higher powered system.

Perhaps this is just a stepping stone in Boeing’s long-term plans?

Soldier of Fortune: Payback Banned in Australia

Joystiq reports that Solider of Fortune: Payback has been denied classification by Australia’s Office of Film & Literature Classification. Essentially, this bans the game from the market there. According to The Melbourne Herald-Sun, ‘(The decision was based on) the different ways a player could maim and injure (other characters).’