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Jim Sterling Takes on Adblock

By Jeff Buckland, 3/7/2014 11:12 PM

Jim Sterling and his Jimquisition show have taken on the topic of Adblock (with relation to games media). Long time coming, I'd say, and I do like Jim's conclusion, which is basically threefold: 1) Advertisers can do some very scummy things and a good chunk of blame goes to them, 2) Getting mad at those who use Adblock solely because they use it is silly, and 3) Anyone who goes out of their way to directly tell a content creator that they're blocking the way they make money deserve nothing but contempt. (There's a vast gulf of difference between the people in 2 and 3, that's for sure.) But I've got some more thoughts on it that I'll humbly put forth:

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Tropico 5 Beta Signups Begin

By Jeff Buckland, 2/26/2014 6:49 AM

Kalypso Media has announced that a beta test for their upcoming city-management game Tropico 5 will begin soon, and you can sign up now.

Or, well, you will once Kalypso's poor site comes back online. Everyone's hammering it as of this writing.

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Let's Not Be Mad About Pillars of Eternity's Delay

By Jeff Buckland, 2/9/2014 7:20 AM

Obsidian's Josh Sawyer told Eurogamer this week that their upcoming Kickstarter-funded RPG Pillars of Eternity isn't going to make it out in April-ish as originally planned, and instead will come in the last half of this year (as an estimation, at least) - and it's mostly because of all the money that rolled in and all the features that the developers added as stretch goals. Those who know Obsidian Entertainment's history and how the video game business should know, however, that rushing Obsidian does not go well... for anyone.

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Thief Preview Video with Actual Critical Commentary

By Jeff Buckland, 1/24/2014 12:50 PM

Maybe it's because the guy doing the preview isn't the guy that was playing, but this Thief preview wound up being refreshingly critical of the game, pointing out both good and bad things about it. With all of this said, I do believe that most of the complaints that the speaker has are related to the Medium difficulty, which is not remotely intended to reproduce the feel of the original games. Whether higher difficulty modes actually succeed at that or not is up to question, but I believe that was the intent. Nevertheless, check out the footage:

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4K Monitors for $700, But Are we Ready?

By Jeff Buckland, 1/9/2014 6:35 AM

Are you a hardcore PC gamer? If so, you might have heard that monitors are coming within the next month or two that support 4K resolution (that's 3840x2160, or the pixels of four 1920x1080 monitors in a 2x2 grid) at relatively reasonable prices. Dell's going to be offering a 28" 4K monitor for $699, and Lenovo will have a similar offering. But are PC gamers ready for 4K?

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Next-Gen Console Progress Report: December 2013

By Jeff Buckland, 12/2/2013 6:22 AM

Video game news is relatively quiet for what seems to be the first time in a year. Steam's got their autumn sale going on, both new consoles are now out in as many countries as Sony and MS are able to get to this year, and all of those games are now on shelves. The news is quiet as these companies simply now produce hardware and release software... and just wait for people to buy. The buzz is there for all of this new stuff, so the buying is definitely happening, but is gaming healthy right now?

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Gran Turismo 6 Infodump

By Jeff Buckland, 11/9/2013 11:32 AM

Polyphony Digital has released a bunch of info (plus car list and track list) on their upcoming current-gen final hurrah, Gran Turismo 6. While my PC gaming buddies enjoy some really cool visuals and physics, this game is going to have 1200 cars (including all with in-cockpit view this time) and a ton of features. Here's one I thought was really cool:

Course Maker
This feature, available at a later stage through an update, will allow you to create your own custom tracks that can be driven in the game. Additionally, in another update we will add the possibility to generate a track by capturing the GPS coordinate data of a mobile app while you are driving that course. This GPS-generated tracks will be available in the game as playable content.
There's plenty more to see at the links above. Cool stuff for racing game fans!

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New Nvidia Drivers Released: Shadowplay Included

By Jeff Buckland, 10/28/2013 11:09 AM

Nvidia has released some new drivers today, just in time for Call of Duty Ghosts and this week's Battlefield 4. There's also a new, major feature in here: Shadowplay.

Shadowplay is a video recording system that works on the GPU and uses fewer resources than many other similar programs costing quite a bit of money. You can leave it running in the background and tap a key to save the last X minutes of your gameplay to disk as a video, or you can use it like FRAPS and the like to purposely record big, long sessions of gameplay with a key toggle. Recording video of your gameplay isn't exactly revolutionary, but early users have said that it can record up to 1080p 60fps footage at quality that's much better than YouTube can handle with little-to-no impact on their frame rate. Anyone who's tried recording 1080p60 video with FRAPS knows that that's quite the achievement.

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EA Sports & The Dreaded Focus Test

By Jeff Buckland, 10/25/2013 8:55 AM

GamingBolt has word that the upcoming EA Sports UFC game will run at 1080p resolution on PS4 and Xbox One, but only at 30fps. The developers go into how focus tests tell them that this will be better... but of course, focus tests generally pull in "average" gamers, not enthusiast gamers, and I'm just not sure that these kinds of decisions should be made by way of focus tests. But there's more here, too...

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Sony Celebrates All of PlayStation With New Ad

By Jeff Buckland, 10/21/2013 6:37 AM

Sony has released a new ad below that I really like. What I really appreciate about their advertising and promotion over the last few years, or at least since they threw out the Department of the Weird (anyone remember their very bizarre ads for PS2 & PS3?), is that they celebrate gamers in a way that no one else does. Sony's proud of their legacy, even with the issues they've had, and look back on the entire PlayStation era with fondness - and have many times spoke out in favor not just of PlayStation gamers, but as gamers in general. This latest ad comes from the UK, and it takes us through a gamer's 18-year journey. Pretty cool stuff.

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PSA: Halo 3 Free for XBL Gold Users

By Jeff Buckland, 10/15/2013 9:50 PM

Microsoft has made good on their promise to start giving away the odd game to Xbox Live Gold users. The biggest one to date, for sure, is Halo 3, which is playable online and offline - and for my money, it's one of the most entertaining cooperative games on Xbox 360, period - and it's the Halo game I enjoyed the most. If you got into the Xbox 360 ecosystem a bit late, it's definitely worth a try.

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BioShock Infinite DLC: First Five Minutes

By Jeff Buckland, 10/8/2013 7:24 AM

Irrational Games has released footage of the first five minutes of their Rapture-themed BioShock Infinite DLC. Check it out below if you don't mind getting spoiled on what a non-crazed, more "normal" Rapture looks and sounds like.

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A New Sleeping Dogs is on the Way

By Jeff Buckland, 10/7/2013 5:22 PM

United Front Games has announced that, yes, the new game they're working on is in the Sleeping Dogs universe. That doesn't say much, but I doubt it's going to be a top-down shooter or something. The likelihood is that it's another open-world action game, so if you were a fan of the original and want more, then you should be happy about this.

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Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition on 11/15

By Jeff Buckland, 10/7/2013 5:15 PM

PCGamesN has a story up about the release date that's finally been set for the Enhanced Edition version of Baldur's Gate II: November 15th. It'll be on the Beamdog client worldwide on that day and will include four more characters to add to the party with their own quests, a new version of the Black Pits arenas to wade through (as a separate mode away from the main game), and retouched graphics.

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Capcom Restructuring?

By Jeff Buckland, 10/7/2013 5:11 PM

Videogamer has word that Capcom Europe is facing big layoffs as the company restructures. The thing is, though, that it seems to me like this is only a symptom of a bigger problem, of leadership in Japan making poor choices on games - by both squandering some of their biggest franchises with too many mediocre games, and leaving many nostalgic gamers behind by refusing to make games in others. I recall at some point a few developers, both Japanese and not, saying that Japanese game development was in trouble because of the types of games they made. But honestly, I don't think that's the case. The leadership are the ones making mistakes over there; the people making the games aren't at fault to me.

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Battlefield 4 Beta Tonight: Get Drivered

By Jeff Buckland, 9/30/2013 10:14 PM

Welp, I don't think I've seen this in a while. In anticipation for the upcoming beta launch of Battlefield 4 (which is largely an exclusive for BF3 Premium members and for those suckered into that last Medal of Honor game), AMD and Nvidia have both released new beta drivers to support the BF4 semi-release. It's still kind of crappy that this is how this has to be done - a full driver install every time new support for some game is released - but hey, it's zero-day support from the companies that can and do make your bleeding-edge games run faster.

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Thoughts on Steam in the Living Room

By Jeff Buckland, 9/29/2013 10:52 PM

Steam announced all of their things. Yay! So we've got a whole new Linux distribution that's centralized around gaming, standards for hardware that allow for open creation of "Steambox"es by basically anyone, even you as long as you buy hardware that Valve considers worthy to be a part of SteamOS, and a controller that, well, well...

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nVidia Suddenly Wants to Improve Linux Drivers!

By Jeff Buckland, 9/24/2013 8:58 PM

After years of refusing to help Linux developers with anything but basic, crappy drivers, all of a sudden they're now willing to help make open-source Linux drivers. And yesterday Valve moved forward on creating an entire new gaming platform by unveiling SteamOS... anyone else think that's just a coincidence? Because I don't. But fine, gamers will benefit and developers get what they wanted. Still, I doubt Nvidia was doing this out of the kindness of their hearts or a sudden desire to cater to the niche Linux community. Seems much more likely that they want to get started on pulling in the much bigger Linux community that'll exist if SteamOS gets big.

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Valve Introduces SteamOS

By Jeff Buckland, 9/23/2013 9:50 PM

Welp, Valve has just announced SteamOS, which will go along with future hardware manufacturers' movements into the living room. SteamOS is a Linux-based alternative to running games on Windows or Mac (or a console, for that matter), but specialized for games with the similar kinds of game-oriented architecture improvements that consoles have included for years. You'll be able to stream Windows- and Mac-based games to SteamOS in the way that Nvidia Shield or PS Vita Remote Play does for PC to handheld, but in this case it'll be from one open platform to another. If it works well, this is a great foundation for Gabe Newell to make inroads for Steam as a gaming platform for all, not just for PC gamers.

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League of Legends Developers: Ragers Lose More Often

By Jeff Buckland, 9/12/2013 1:30 PM

Eurogamer has the story on a video that Riot Games, creators of League of Legends, made to demonstrate - with statistics - that those who get extremely angry at losses in the game lose more often than those who don't. Some would say that maybe they've got it the wrong way around - that losers rage more often, not that ragers lose more often - which isn't a very insightful thing to say, right? But I think the statistics Riot used show that yes, this true, and in my experience, they're right. When you're angry, you're not learning or improving. And if you're playing public games, there's only one big thing that's common to all games you play, that's consistent between every game you're involved in: you. Improve that one thing, and you'll win more games, and that might mean having to help teammates that make poor choices rather than screaming at them.

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