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Best of iOS news: From Spy vs. Spy to The Walking Dead

[Gamasutra rounds up the latest news in the world of App Store gaming, featuring standout releases like The Walking Dead, Spy vs. Spy, Blazing Star, and Manos: The Hands of Fate.] – Computer Gaming Classic Spy vs. Spy Goes Mobile “SPY vs SPY is based on the original, multi-million unit selling, break out hit on the Commodore 64; Apple // series; and Atari 400/800 computers by First Star Software, Inc. It features online and local …

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Test Chamber: The Last Story

The Last Story, the latest game from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, comes out on August 14. This Japanese role-playing game features a unique action-focus battle system, and a classic fantasy tale involving warring nations, giant monsters, and androgynous dudes. Joe Juba and Dan Ryckert joined me for a look at The Last Story's opening sequence. See how long it takes before the main character is walking around in his underwear!

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Another one bites the dust: SWTOR goes free to play

Joining the likes of Rift and DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be adding a free to play option starting this fall. Players that choose the free option will be allowed to reach level 50 with only miminal restrictions. Bioware has not stated what these restriction will be.

The standard $ 14.99 a month subscription will still be in place and will give players “Cartel Credits” to buy gear and other assorted items. These “Cartel Credits” will also be available in micro transitions to free players.

This moves comes with some disappointment to EA and Bioware. Both companies were hoping that The Old Republic would enjoy similar success to MMO powerhouse World of Warcraft, but subscription numbers have been decreasing since earlier this year. The free to play option will hopefully generate much needed buzz and revenue.

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Orcs Must Die! 2 review: Co-op and then some

Orcs Must Die! 2 review Coop and then some

Somehow, they’re through. Despite my spike traps, acid sprayers and brimstone, a small contingent of the orc horde is now within hugs-n-kisses range. The blunderbuss shotgun smears some of the frontrunners, but their numbers are simply too great. With my life bar on its last pixel, an orc, axe raised high overhead, prepares for the final strike. Then my smarmy buddy steps in and blasts that sucker into oblivion, because this is Orcs Must Die! 2, and co-op is glorious.

Considering the unanimous cry for multiplayer in Orcs Must Die!, Robot Entertainment could have merely added the two-player co-op and a few minor additions, packaged it up, slapped a “2″ on the end, and tossed a relative regurgitation to the hungry mob – especially given the small 10-month gap between games. But to the developer’s great credit, Orcs Must Die! 2 is more than that. While the changes and additions fall short of revolutionary, nearly everything – save for the meager, repetitive soundtrack – has been enjoyably enhanced and/or refined to the level of sufficient sequel justification.

Continue reading Orcs Must Die! 2 review: Co-op and then some

JoystiqOrcs Must Die! 2 review: Co-op and then some originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 31 Jul 2012 18:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spec Ops, Max Payne 3 underperform for Take-Two

Take-Two Interactive’s two biggest hopes for the three months ending June 30, Max Payne 3 and Spec Ops: The Line, both sold fewer copies than the company anticipated, CEO Strauss Zelnick said Tuesday. The underperformance of these games was the primary driver of the company’s $ 110.8 million loss for the quarter, on revenues of $ 226.1 million. This fell below Wall Street analyst expectations, which averaged around $ 255 million. “As a hit-driven entertainment company, not every …

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Borderlands 2 Preorders Third-Highest In Take-Two History

2K Games parent company Take-Two said today that Borderlands 2 is currently the third-highest preordered game in the company's history behind only Grand Theft Auto: IV and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Developer Gearbox Software said earlier this month development of Borderlands 2 is complete and will now focus on creating download content. Borderlands 2 releases on September 18 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. – The Feed

Lights, Camera, Party! Moves to PSN on August 28

Lights, Camera, Party! Moves to PSN on August 28

If you’ve been waiting for a new mini-game collection for the PlayStation Move, you won’t have to wait much longer. Sony has announced Lights, Camera, Party!, a mini-game collection apparently so zany that it warrants an exclamation point right there in the title. The game stars the Funzinis, “a family forced to compete in an array of wild game shows to win a new home after the TV station’s satellite crash lands in their living room.”

Lights, Camera, Party! features 50 different mini-games, and only requires one Move controller to play. The main story mode supports up to 4 players, while certain modes go all the way up to 8. The mini-games seem playful enough, though cat bowling may be the most reprehensible thing we’ve heard of since we discovered cat juggling.

JoystiqLights, Camera, Party! Moves to PSN on August 28 originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 31 Jul 2012 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EA misses revenue estimates, but remains optimistic in Q1

Newsbrief: Major game publisher Electronic Arts fell short of its revenue estimates for its fiscal first quarter, though the company believes that things are looking up despite its financial hiccups. For the quarter ended June 30, 2012, EA saw revenues of $ 491 million, and suffered an overall loss of $ 130 million. That’s compared to the $ 524 million in revenues and the $ 124 million in losses the company saw during this period last year. On average, …

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Hands-on With Damage Inc.

Mad Catz, a company many recognize for making gaming accessories and peripherals, brings you its first video game offering with a WWII flight combat simulator as well as a pretty sweet flight stick.  

We played the first mission of Damage Inc. using the packaged flight combat stick, the AV8R (also made by Madcatz). After clicking through the title screen, which is nicely reminiscent of a WWII-era propaganda poster, a convincing voiceover explains our upcoming assignment on the mission select screen. We had a limited selection of aircraft to choose from, but it appears that as players progress through the missions in the full game, they can unlock more planes and upgrade previously purchased aircrafts. 

The mission starts with a brief cutscene that abruptly cuts to the player’s character, known as either “Reaper Squadron’s leader” or “pilot,” preparing to take off. Aside from the water, which looks decent, the visuals are a bit rough. 

The mission begins upon a surprisingly geometrical aircraft carrier. After taking off and listening to a bland radio conversation, Reaper Squadron’s leader proceeds to fly right through the Japanese planes guarding the small Pacific island and blows up their radar tower. 

The Japanese aircraft on the ground attempting takeoff are the next target. Apparently, those people are disposable, because the Japanese planes patrolling the skies don’t seem to care that the island is under attack by three American planes. Reaper Squadron then takes out all of the Japanese anti-aircraft emplacements, which conveniently aren’t used until after the Americans have taken out numerous aircraft and ground facilities. 

Protecting a group of bombers as they make their way to the island gives us our first real taste of Damage Inc.’s combat. The targeting reticle moves slowly and is difficult to control, even with the flight stick. In the end, we struggled with the controls more than our battle-hardened enemy pilots. 

The sluggish aiming was a problem when we were targeting enemies on the ground, but it became frustratingly difficult when facing adversaries capable of movement. The plane either reacted very slowly or overreacted to control input with no warning, allowing the enemy planes to evade us for sometimes over ten minutes. 

Damage Inc. has two options to help players avoid these problems. The first is the addition of what amounts to a nitro boost to help planes move from point A to point B much faster. The second is the ability to slow down time to facilitate aiming. While speeding up the aircraft does cut down on the time spent in transit, slowing down time to hit targets helps, but not enough to appease the fickle controls. 

Damage Inc. wouldn’t be an aerial combat game without a duel against an enemy ace, would it? Unlike average enemies, the ace specifically targeted our plane, was better at evading attacks, and had more health, as represented by a health bar. These changes led to a wonderfully lengthy game of ‘follow the enemy plane and hope your bullets eventually hit him’. 

There were a few things we enjoyed about the game. The water and smoke trails look nice, pilots eject from destroyed planes with a satisfying pop, and the flight stick controls as well as the game allows.

It’s worth reiterating that the version we played was a demo build and not the full game, so the textures and graphics may be improved and the controls could be fine-tuned. With some work, this title might pique some interest with the packaged flight stick, which works great with other flight combat games like Ace Combat.

Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII will be released August 28 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in both a bundle with the flight stick for $ 99.99 and without the flight stick for $ 49.99. 

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Intro video released for The Grinns Tale, maximum cuteness achieved

“The Grinns Tale? What’s that?”

Those were the words that came to my mind when the press release hit my inbox, and I’m betting it’s the same words that hit your mind when you read the title.

Created by Nexon, The Grinns Tale is an adorable (and trust me, I don’t use the word adorable unless it’s deserved) gothic art-styled RPG for Facebook. Players build up their village similar to other Facebook games, while leveling and gearing up their heroes by traversing various dungeon floors and collecting materials and items. The game is filled with cuteness and little nifty integrated Facebook features.

I dare you not to fall in love with the intro, below. If you didn’t, you have no heart (just kidding).

Facebook users can experience all the adorableness for themselves while waiting for their friends to comment back.

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