Author - Jennifer Paxton

Wargame Series Sells 1 Millionth Copy


July 24, 2014 — Wargame, the spectacular series of strategy games developed by Eugen Systems, has set a new benchmark in the RTS genre since the release of its first title in February 2012.

Wargame managed to attract a large player base, by offering radically different gameplay from other RTS games, featuring original mechanics, spectacular visuals, and a gaming experience of extreme realism and unprecedented tactical depth, with the series becoming richer and more ambitious with every new game. Today, the Wargame franchise reaches a major milestone with its millionth copy sold!

Faithful to their principles of consistent post-launch game support – notably with free additional content – Eugen Systems celebrates this event by offering to all Wargame Red Dragon players its first free DLC, fittingly named The Millionth Mile!

Focusing on the Eastern Bloc coalition, The Millionth Mile features more than 60 new units for Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East-Germany, bringing them into the 90’s and on an equal footing with Red Dragon’s main nations. The entire range of units are represented in the DLC: infantry, tanks, planes, troop transports, and of course helicopters.

But The Millionth Mile also introduces a brand new kind of unit, in the form of an AShM (anti-ship missile!) truck carrier. These units, whose main function is to engage ships over long distances from the land, increase the tactical depth of the game while redefining Wargame’s naval warfare!

Wargame Red Dragon players will find their game has been automatically updated with the DLC The Millionth Mile next time they launch the game. Reinforcements have arrived, the battle continues!

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Review

The Lords of Salem Facade

In Southern California, Halloween has become a very big deal. Orange County is home to Knott’s Berry Farm, the originators of the modern haunted event with their annual Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. Just north of that in Los Angeles County, you can find Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights as well as Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest. Additionally, a huge number of smaller scale pro-haunts can be found sprinkled throughout. When you’ve exhausted all those options, and your wallet, you can typically find homegrown amateur events in residential neighborhoods for miles in any direction. This all can make it rather hard to find enough elbow room to launch a new event. Leave it to someone as audacious as Rob Zombie to give it a go with his Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare.

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare is an all new haunted event debuting at the Pomona Fairplex for 2013. Pomona has hosted an event like this before, the “Pomona Fearplex”, which ran until 2008 – but nothing on the scale of what Zombie and event producer Steve Kopelman have in store for SoCal residents. In just ten short days (after waiting for the LA County Fair to close up shop) Kopelman’s team managed to create three mazes based on Zombie’s films: ‘The Lords of Salem’, ‘The Haunted World of El Superbeasto’, and ‘House of 1000 Corpses’. This was a huge undertaking and we got the chance to experience the final product on its opening night/media event last week.

Great American Nightmare takes place across two hangars of the fairground as well as the midway between them. All three mazes are packed into one hangar with the queue lines daisy-chained together. You’ll experience all three attractions in rapid succession. The other hangar is reserved for performance space for the various headlining bands that perform each night of the event. Between the two hangars, you’ll find vendor tents, food, alcohol, and some very impressive talent bringing various creatures to life outside of the mazes. This all lends to a very concert-like atmosphere with some Halloween tricks and treats thrown in for good measure.

The Lords of Salem is an Adult Maze

The Lords of Salem is an Adult Maze

Upon first entering the hangar housing the mazes was ‘The Lords of Salem in Total Blackout,’ where we were greeted by an impressive facade that spanned almost the entire width of the room. Bathed in red light on a raised altar was a woman playing Sherri Moon’s main character from the film which inspired the maze. She was struggling to free herself and asking for help while to the left a giant demonic skull protruded over the line of guests waiting to enter the maze. This did a great job of setting an exciting tone for the first maze.

Once we made it through the queue line, we entered a holding pen where two men in robes and skull like face-paint placed a black sack over each of our heads, insulting us and telling us that we were never going to make it through alive. This does a great job of building suspense and excitement as they shove you into the maze to navigate your way through without the luxury of sight.

Lords of Salem challenges you to navigate while almost completely blind. Feeling your way through the darkness proves to be very disorienting at first which can give way to a feeling of anxiety, but after a few minutes of walking down empty hallways plus the fact that some light bleeds from above the maze walls allowing you to navigate, the intensity quickly wore off. At that point, the hood seemed like more of an annoyance than anything scary. The maze features gags such as a short stretch of shifting fun house floors and wall panels that would give a small shock if touched, but they were rare and didn’t seem to relate to the maze’s theme. The talent was also sparse and seem to be going for scares as much as they were aggressively grunting ushers pushing you in the right direction. This maze would have greatly benefited from more texture on the walls, a shorter maze length, or perhaps low lit scenes that would be slightly visible through the hood to connect a story to the maze. As it is, the only connection I could find to The Lords of Salem is the maze’s facade. Unfortunately, this one fell very flat after the opening moments.

Winds of Plague Front Man Jon Cooke

Winds of Plague Front Man Jon Cooke

As we rounded the corner, after having our hoods removed, we were greeted by a neon mural announcing ‘The Haunted World of El Superbeasto – 3D’. 3D glasses were passed out and we quickly headed into the most adult-themed claustrophobia hallway I have ever experienced, a reverse-birth if you will, which is the perfect way to start off this homage to the raunchy film of the same name.

If it wasn’t made clear before reaching this maze there is no doubt that this is absolutely an adult event and is not meant for children. Sexual innuendos abound and some scenes are very forthcoming in their filth. If you are a fan of the El Superbeasto film, then you will be happy to see that this maze is not watered down in the slightest.

Just as in the film, the maze follows El Superbeasto, an exploitation film director/actor/masked wrestler and his sidekick Suzi-X in their quest to prevent world domination by the evil Dr. Satan. Many citizens of Monsterland make cameos throughout the attraction. There is an impressive level of detail in the many custom made latex masks and some of the best 3-D work we have ever seen in a haunted attraction. It truly feels like you are in the middle of an animated film brought to life.

This maze was alive with energy and captured the essence of the film. The talent was outstanding in their performances and, although not overly-scary, the maze was definitely a mature, manic good time.

Last up was ‘Haunt of 1000 Corpses.’ The maze deviates slightly from the standard route of re-telling the story of the movie it’s based on. Instead, you’ll find yourself walking through the infamous ‘Murder Ride’ staffed by Capt. Spaulding and the Firefly family.

This maze boasts absolutely the best visual design of any of the three attractions, and some of the best design of any haunted attractions we’ve visited this season. Scenes flow seamlessly from one to the next, even though they’re not necessarily completely related. You’ll find yourself visiting vignettes of some of the most storied serial killers of history, from H.H. Holmes to the Manson Family all ending with a face to face meeting with Capt. Spaulding and Dr. Satan himself.

Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie

Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie

Each and every talent in the maze was fully committed to their roles. We saw inbred maniacs humping away at anything they could get their pelvises close to. We saw cannibals doing less than moral things to female corpses. We saw Capt. Spaulding berating passersby while threatening them with phallic balloons. Once again, just like El Superbeasto, this is a very mature maze and definitely not suitable for kids. It, in a very unapologetic way, hits a very hard R-rating and it couldn’t have pleased us more.

If there’s any drawback to the way the event is organized it would be the daisy chaining of the mazes. All three are in the same hangar and lead right into each other with no breaks. There were no restrooms along the queues so if you have to pee definitely do so before entering. Because of the layout of the attractions, all guests are limited to one trip through. To avoid having a massive pile-up at the entrance the event is using a number system. Wait until your number is called to get in line, but while doing so you can shop the vendor tents, catch a classic horror movie on their outdoor projector screen, and watch the talent outside go to work. The outdoor talent was incredibly active, imaginative, and we never saw them drop character once. From the carny who let guests use real staples to pin dollar bills to his torso to the creepy undead children, the outside talent never disappointed.

Overall, Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare was very impressive – especially for its first year. While a little annoying, the queue system makes sense due to needing to move guests through the attraction and on to the concert venue. ‘The Lords of Salem’ has a lot of work cut out for it if it is to return for a second year but the other two mazes do a lot to make up for what the first one lacks. Also, with bands like Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Winds of Plague, and Rob Zombie himself performing, if you pick a night where an act you care about is onstage you really can’t beat the $30 entry price for a concert plus an impressive freshman haunt attraction. If you live in the SoCal area this is one haunt to definitely keep your eye on.

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Genius GX Gaming Maurus X Mouse Review


Genius has released their Maurus X gaming mouse and we were lucky enough to check one out. The Maurus X was designed with first-person shooter gamers in mind, and says so right on the packaging. Genius has clad the Maurus X mostly in black plastic with red accents and the mouse features a nice, rubberized sides to hold on to. Genius GX Gaming has also given the Maurus X some red lighting to accent the overall look of the mouse, and the pulsation and intensity of this lighting can be adjusted in the included software.

The mouse has a moderately-sized footprint and ambidextrous layout, and I found that “palm” PC gamers should have no problem using it. “Claw” gamers will have to work a bit to get used to the added weight of the mouse, but I digress… Speaking of weight, the Maurus X is hefty, with an additional 50G of metal weight built into it. The nice thing about this weight is that it makes the Maurus X very precise and stable. It smooths out the mouse’s movements and won’t jump around as much as lighter mice do when the player does things like breathe or cough.



Official Specifications

  • Professional 6-button FPS gaming mouse
  • Over-clocking SGCi: dpi in 800/1600/2400/3200/4000
  • Instant DPI switch button with minor adjuster function
  • Response within 1ms; 8-times quicker than standard response
  • Scorpion Gaming User Interface with five profile settings
  • Metal weight to enhance hand grip and feel
  • Onboard memory to prevent game block
  • 1.8 meter braided cable with gold-plated USB connector
  • Enlarged length and rubber finish grip for total control


The Maurus X also features six mouse buttons which can be programmed and assigned macros via the included Genius GX Gaming control software. Additional accessories include another set of mouse feet to replace the existing ones on the mouse when they get worn out. It is a nice bit of added value that will extend the lifespan of the Maurus X quite a bit. At the heart of the Maurus X is an Avago ADNS3090 optical sensor capable of up to 4000DPI in 800DPI increments and a 32-bit processor.

Using the Maurus X, I was continually impressed by how precise it was. Moving and shooting in games like Battlefield 3 and Arma 3, I found the mouse to definitely enhance the overall experience. Some reviews have claimed that the Maurus X felt rough when sliding across a mouse pad. I did not find this to be the case. It should be noted that the packaging also claims that the Maurus X was designed with MMOs in mind. With its macro capabilities and precise movement, I can see why and had no problems using the Maurus X in EverQuest (it’s the only free to play MMO I have on my PC right now).

The biggest detriment to choosing the Maurus X is that, for slightly more than its $61 dollar price point, there are more robust mousing options on the market. Features like lift-off height, more or less than 800DPI increments of adjustment, etc are not to be found on this mouse and more advanced players may want them.

Overall, the Genius GX Gaming Maurus X gaming mouse is a fine choice for fragging your enemies with. If I were a pro RTS or FPS player seeking additional customization and sensitivity options, I would probably select a different mousing solution. However, for the casual to mid-level FPS or MMO players, you will be very happy with the Maurus X. The Genius GX Gaming Maurus X mouse retails for about $61 dollars and is available at online retailers now.

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2013 San Diego Comic-Con Photo Blog #3


Here is the third installment of our San Diego Comic-Con Photo blog posts – enjoy! Also, a special thanks to Adrianne Curry for her continued ferocity in bringing characters to life through cosplay.


State of Decay Review (Xbox 360)


A feral zombie had been sighted near my base camp. A series of choices open up in front of me; Take a car or head out on foot? Machete or shotgun? Stock up on painkillers or travel light in case I find prize loot? Every option must be carefully weighed, lest I find myself unprepared should my car attract a horde or my weapon break at the least opportune moment. This is the balancing act that State of Decay walks masterfully.

State of Decay, premiere effort of newcomers Undead Labs, offers a different gaming take on the zombie apocalypse. Yes, we’ve had zombie games come before. Left 4 Dead got our adrenaline pumping with its run and gun blood fest. Dead Rising gave us a playground of insanity in which to wear cheerleader outfits and wield electrified chainsaws. The Walking Dead wrought tears as we risked it all to protect Clementine in one of 2012’s best gaming story lines. None of these, however brilliant they are in their own light, has come close to evoking the terror of barely surviving to see the next day of undead hell in the way that State of Decay presents.

Before I go any further, let me make this perfectly clear: BUY. THIS. GAME.

State of Decay packs more ambition than any game I can think of in recent memory and by and large it pulls it off. If there’s one secret to State of Decay, it’s this: State of Decay is an RPG. Microsoft Studios certainly has been burying the lead there, with a trailer that sets it up as more of GTA: Zombies. Make no mistake, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to play this game. Choosing your favorite gun and setting out on the open road to be a one man slaying machine? Enjoy not having any fun at all. State of Decay is about the choices that come with the risk and reward inherent in every single decision you make, and boldly going forward as a one man army is about the worst decision you can make in this game.

Everything in this game has its pros and cons, the likes of which lead to a very interesting emergent storytelling. The loud stopping power of a gunshot versus getting in close with a silent melee weapon or risking the noise of driving a car versus the vulnerable stealth of moving on foot, everything is a careful choice to be made. Sure, Fallout and your Mass Effect present a series of options leading to a choose-your-own-adventure style of storytelling, but the Mass Effect and Fallout games have never made me consider things like packing for my trip. If I have to travel across the map to an unexplored area I might do things like pack extra health, bring a gun, or choose a quieter car. The last thing I want to do is try to find supplies if I get overwhelmed, have a weapon break on me, or attract a horde of zombies with the loud rumble of a truck, especially being miles away from any safe zones.


These choices are important due to the overwhelming fear of death in this game. Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead never really left me feeling threatened by the undead and The Walking Dead didn’t kill anybody unless they had to die for the story to progress. State of Decay features permanent death for your characters. That means that if Marcus, my heavy weapon expert with the cardio of a marathon runner, goes down in the middle of a fight, there are no reloads, no extra lives, no do-overs unless I start the game over again. Marcus is dead, along with all of his skills and experience. The game will instantly save and drop you behind the controls of another survivor in your group. Now, hopefully this survivor won’t be woefully under-powered as the game does encourage the development of everyone in your party. While you only control one survivor at a time, that survivor will eventually fatigue, forcing you to choose the danger of continuing in their shoes or letting somebody else take over for a while.

[quote_left]…overwhelming fear of death…[/quote_left]

Danger lies around every corner in this game. Almost every building, save for some smaller shacks and trailers that cannot accommodate the camera, can be entered. There is always something to explore and loot, and that being said, can be a potential death trap. Scouting a building before entering and having an escape route pre-planned takes importance above all and no matter what you do, never ever call a scout out to loot a building far away from home as they travel on foot and can fall victim to a horde without you there to protect them.

While there is much to be excited for, there are some shortcomings. The game suffers from frequent screen tearing and clipping issues. Zombies get stuck in fences, or worse, occasionally teleport through doors. The frame-rate is capable of dropping during heavy action and there is a noticeable amount of draw distance fog and pop in textures; I once crashed my car directly into a firetruck that hadn’t visually rendered in time for me to avoid it. That being said, this is a $20 downloadable title, a measly 1.6 GB in size, and Undead Labs submitted title update 1.1 within days of the game’s release.

[quote_right]Danger lies around every corner…[/quote_right]

State of Decay is one of the most ambitious titles I have ever played. There are some graphical issues and the story and voice work leave a little to be desired. But absolutely none of this gets in the way of the immersion and fun you’ll find once you start playing. I should have had this review done days ago but I couldn’t, in good faith, leave my survivors to their own devices. I want these people to live to see another day and I can’t wait to get home each night to jump back into the fight with them as I sneak around town finding those rare stashes of medicine so I don’t have to euthanize any more friends who have succumbed to the Black Fever.

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Omerta – City of Gangsters Demo Out Now


Ridgewood, NJ, January 24, 2013 – Kalypso Media is pleased to release a new single-player demo forOmerta – City of Gangsters today. The free demo, available at the mirrors listed below, features two levels from the upcoming Prohibition-era gangster game that mixes city conquest with tactical turn-based combat and heist planning. Grab the demo today to get a taste of Omerta, the game where it’s up to you to put together a crew of criminals and take over the city, block-by-block, through whatever means necessary.

Download the demo- 

Omerta – City of Gangsters is a simulation game with tactical turn-based combat. Taking the role of a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant, with dreams of the big life, the player will work his way up the criminal hierarchy of 1920’s Atlantic City, New Jersey. Starting with small jobs, his character recruits a gang and expands his empire by taking territory from other gangsters. Eventually he establishes his own crime syndicate and becomes the de facto ruler of Atlantic City.

The player strategically manages his business and his minions in a real-time format, slowly but steadily increasing his influence over the city. The player sends his henchmen out on missions ranging from assassinating an informant, to raiding a warehouse, springing a friend from prison, robbing a bank or attacking a rival gang’s hideout. Nobody is above the law in Atlantic City, so it always helps to have a little cash handy to bribe a policeman or pay off a politician.

The turn-based combat in Omerta – City of Gangsters focuses on the tactical command of “The Boss” and his henchmen. Cover and stealth are essential parts of any shootout in the game. Finding the best vantage point to gun down an enemy, while taking cover from a hailstorm of bullets, can be just as satisfying as sneaking quietly behind a foe and taking him down.

For more information about Omerta – City of Gangsters, please visit, or follow us on facebook at and on twitter via @OmertaGame.

U.S. Court Grants THQ Dissolution and Sale


Looks like the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved the plan to sell-off studios which make up the now-bankrupt, gaming super-publisher, THQ. THQ’s various studios have been auctioned to various other video game developers and publishers, a full rundown can be found over at our original story of the auction from early yesterday.

Full Press Release

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — THQ Inc. (OTC: THQIQ), a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has granted a motion to approve a sale of the majority of THQ’s assets to multiple buyers. The company expects the Court to enter a formal order tomorrow.

The Court approved the sales of three of THQ’s owned studios and games in development, as well as Evolve, a working title under development at Turtle Rock Studios, Homefront 2Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Under the terms of the agreements with the successful and approved bidders, the THQ estate will receive approximately $72 million, making the total estimated value of the estate $100 million including certain assets and other intellectual properties which were excluded from the sale.

The Court approved the sale of Relic Studios to Sega Corporation for $26.6 million; the sale of Volition Inc. and Metro: Last Light to Koch Media GmbH for $22.3 million and $5.9 million, respectively; the sale of Homefront 2 to Crytek GmbH for $0.5 million; the sale of Evolve to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. for $10.9 million; and the sale of THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft LLC for $2.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Excluded from the sales were the company’s publishing businesses, Vigil Games, and certain other assets and intellectual properties, which will remain part of the THQ estate and will continue in the Chapter 11 process.

Brian Farrell, Chairman and CEO of THQ, noted, “While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. It has been my pleasure to work alongside this great group of people, and I am proud of the imaginative and artistic games that our team has created. Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry. For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition.”

Jason Rubin, President of THQ, added, “I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I’m disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel. When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company’s games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way.”

The new owners have not articulated their plans for the assets, or their intentions to extend employment to THQ employees included in the sale. THQ expects the new owners to extend employment to most employees and to continue development of the games they purchased that are currently in development. The assets that are not included in the sale agreements will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. THQ will continue to seek appropriate buyers, if possible.

THQ will continue to employ a small number of headquarters staff beyond January 25 to assist with the transition.

Qualified bids received by January 22 were reviewed by the company and the creditors committee. Through an auction process that lasted 22 hours yesterday and today, the successful bidders were determined, and the hearing to approve the sales took place this afternoon. Ten bidders participated in the proceedings, including bids for the entire company as well as for individual assets. The sales are expected to close tomorrow, January 24.

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. had submitted a “stalking horse” bid for substantially all of THQ’s assets in December 2012. In accordance with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the Court supervised an auction to determine the highest and best bid(s) for the company’s assets in accordance with the bid procedures approved by the Court. Clearlake will receive a break-up fee of $1 million, as stated in its stalking horse asset purchase agreement.

THQ and its domestic business units filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Dec. 19, 2012. The Chapter 11 case will continue for THQ.

For additional information about THQ, please visit For information regarding the Chapter 11 case, please visit

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Demo News and Release Date Confirmed


Capcom has announced that their upcoming Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be released on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS platforms come March 19th, 2013 in North America and March 22, 2013 in Europe. Additionally, game demos will be available on both platforms starting February 21, 2013.

About Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, players take on the role of a hunter sent to explore a settlement within the Monster Hunter universe, completing quests on their journey to seek and slay monsters while improving their skills and earning equipment upgrades. With many challenging monsters and over 200 quests, the latest addition to the series is set to be the most expansive offering to date. The game can be played alone, online (up to four players) on the Wii U system, or locally using up to four Nintendo 3DS systems or a combination of up to three Nintendo 3DS systems and one Wii U system.