King’s Bounty – The Direworm Has Turned

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Time has come to join the dark side. Take a trip to the other side of Teana, to the part of the world that has yet remained unseen to the royal bounty hunters.

One day we’ll get a sequel to King’s Bounty, but until then we can content ourselves with an endless stream of expandalones. To be fair, these do add significant new content and let me pour even more of my precious life-seconds into the game, but they aren’t sequels damnit.

Still… the latest not-a-sequel looks interesting. Due this summer King’s Bounty: Dark Side has you taking the part of the ‘bad guys’. Yes, in previous games you could load up your army with Orcs and lead a ravaging horde of greenskins leaving nothing but death in your wake, but now you can do it as a demon, orc or vampire.
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Half-Life done quicker

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If you charted the current best time for speedruns of popular games over time I’m not sure you’d get an exponential decay but certainly there’d be something analogous to a half-life. In this case, the time for Half-Life has just decayed to 20 minutes and 41 seconds thanks to a monstrously feat of research, planning and bunny-hopping by a team of players. 317 segments, two-thirds of which are fewer than 5 seconds long.
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Game music: Tower of Guns

The problem with working under a post buffer at least a month long and being too lazy to reorder things to make them more sensible is that when I post the soundtrack to a game I’m playing it makes much more sense at the time. Hence Tower of Guns which came out over a month ago but is still wonderfully fresh and new at the time of writing – game and soundtrack both.
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Game music: Morrowind

Morrowind OST CoverWith Skyrim and Oblivion taking the Elder Scrolls series to the masses, it’s common among longtime fans to declare that Morrowind was the high point of the series. Wrongly, obviously, Daggerfall being – for the time – a staggering game that made everything that followed look small and samey. But I won’t deny that Morrowind was one of the most imaginative and interesting game worlds yet created, and the music takes me instantly right there.
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The letter ‘V’ 0.06 times

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Remember about a year ago I mentioned a speedrun of VVVVVV, where someone beat the game in under 14 minutes? And compared that to the tool-assisted run of under 13 minutes? And then I said something almost prescient…

Barring a disruptive new glitch or strategy, that run is an indication of the theoretical fastest possible time that can be achieved, by a computer or a human.

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The sound of Alien: Isolation

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When you’re hiding in the dark what you can hear may just be the key to your survival

Al Hope there, creative lead of Creative Assembly, adroitly summing up the entirety of how you do sound design for a survival horror game. The more we learn about Alien: Isolation the more I look forward to it. The recently released video discussing the sound design for the upcoming game is ticking all the right boxes – a dynamic music engine, use of the original assets and processes, audio as an integral aspect of gameplay, and even some of the musicians from the first film.
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Game music: Homeworld

Homeworld BoxWhen it comes to space-based strategy games nothing comes even close to the Homeworld series’ mastery of the genre. From humble beginnings shuffling about a handful of ships to the epic climax seeing you in command of a mighty fleet of capital ships, Homeworld remains unmatched to this day.
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Microsoft thinking about planning the possibility of maybe trying to design a 360 emulator for the Xbox One

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Microsoft’s Mattrick says he doesn’t think compatibility is really a problem. He said only 5% of customers play older games on a new videogame system anyway, so spending time and money to develop technology to allow them to play older games isn’t worth it.
“If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards,” he said.

» Wall Street Journal, May 2013

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Are there plans for an Xbox 360 emulator on Xbox One?
SAVAGE: There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself.

» Build Developer Conference, April 2014

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And the 2014 award for “Most Generic Fantasy Trailer” goes to…

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Elder Scrolls Online!

It was kind of inevitable really. By all accounts the game is a mediocre MMO and an awful Elder Scrolls game, and the marketing has been less than effective. That the cinematic trailer would fail to inspire is unsurprising, but the level of mediocrity exceeds expectations.
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Game music: Serious Sam 3 BFE

Serious Sam 3 BFE OST CoverThe original Serious Sam games hold a special place in my heart – I’ve never been much of a multiplayer gamer but some of my fondest memories of of ad-hoc, jury-rigged LAN parties – Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, Age of Empires 2, Rune and Serious Sam 2. Serious Sam 3 was a worthy successor and it’s time the soundtrack got some love here.
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