Gaming News January 2008

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Sins of a Solar Empire PC Preview
Tweak Town :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
TTGamer have today posted a hands-on preview of Sins of a Solar Empire for the PC. This game may not be the biggest discussion point for the PC in early 08, but perhaps it should be.

Bleach: Shattered Blade 
Bona Fide Reviews :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Luckily there’s a game coming to the US in October that will do just that: Bleach: Shattered Blade. Unfortunately, for fan and skeptic alike, this game is also an anime based fighting game. Can Bleach: Shattered Blade live up to or outdo its pseudo predecessor Budokai Tenkaiichi 2?

PC requirements for Turning Point – Fall of Liberty
YouGamers :: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
“Just another quick message to let you know that Codemasters UK dropped us a note about the PC requirements for their forthcoming WWII-rewritten shooter, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. Fortunately, these specs are quite sensible!”

rFactor review
You Gamers :: Saturday, January 26, 2008
“rFactor’s authentic feel is due to the painstaking attention paid to physics – the heart of any serious racing sim. ISI’s iMotor 2.0 physics engine provides one of the most accurate racing experiences available on the PC. The physics engine samples variables many times a second and performs the necessary calculations to determine a car’s position. This complex physics modeling takes such details as tire wear and engine torque into consideration, and the result is a faithful representation of real-world driving physics. Damage also plays a role: lose a rear wing in a crash, for instance, and downforce is reduced, resulting in less traction at the rear wheels.”

Endless Ocean (Wii) Review
Driver Heaven :: Saturday, January 26, 2008
To enhance the writing of this article, I have The Little Mermaid Disney movie playing in the background and I am sitting in front of my computer in full snorkling equipment. It is rather hard to type, but I feel we reviewers need to really get into the game, yes even live it, so to speak. This is how I would imagine actors like Dustin Hoffman would introduce this review, however at the risk of ruining the atmosphere I have just created, I am in fact sitting in a pair of Homer Simpson shorts with pizza stains down the front of my Iron Maiden t-shirt.

Supreme Commander Benchmarking Guide 
Tech ARP :: Saturday, January 26, 2008
“Benchmarking using Supreme Commander is very easy. The creator, Gas Powered Games, has conveniently included a built-in benchmark that allows you to run a time demo with four opponents battling it out. At the end of the time demo, you will be given a SupComMark composite score as well as a large bunch of benchmark data, the most important of which is the average frame rate.”

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party for the Wii
Futurelooks :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
Left, right, up, down. Left, right, up, down. Left-hand shake, right-hand shake. You’ll find yourself developing your own “Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party” mantra, in this fun to watch, fun to play game from Konami. If you’ve been locked up in a shell somewhere then you won’t know what I’m talking about. The swarms of crowds at the local mall arcades awaiting the next epic battle between two dancing foes. The slip-up from one competitor because the stabilizer dance bar just got too sweaty. This is a classic depiction of the infamous dance competition that will determine the swift footed champion, from the two left footed reject.

Quake Wars Threaded Renderer
Phoronix :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
“Accompanied by an updated Windows release, last week id Software had released its Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.4 update for Linux. We have previously shared most of the details surrounding this major ET: Quake Wars update with the same changes as the Windows build. One of the most interesting features, however, is the new threaded renderer for improved multi-core performance.”

Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3)
Driver Heaven :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
Burnout has been a success due to the great control system, sense of speed as well as the ball busting damage system. Criterion haven’t sat on their asses however and have decided to tweak the new title to keep die hard fans interested as well as hopefully attracting a new crowd to the Burnout world. Burnout Paradise actually boasts some of the biggest changes to the franchise with almost everything in the game being tweaked or altered to some level. I can’t say everything has changed for the better, but at least Criterion are taking some risks. It seems Axl and Slash are due to make yet more money as no one could have missed the ad campaign on TV recently for the game …. “Take me down to the Paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty” yep, this is pretty much the games theme song courtesy of the long disbanded Guns N’ Roses.

Geometry Wars: Galaxies (Nintendo Wii)
Driver Heaven :: Thursday, January 24, 2008
It is hard to believe that Geometry Wars started life as a hidden minigame in Bizarre Creation’s Project Gotham Racing 2 then received an extra lease of life as a $5 download on Xbox live Arcade for Microsoft’s 360. The latest iteration of the game has now reached the DS and Wii in the shape of Geometry Wars: Galaxies.

Darth Vader Resigns from Empire and starts Rock Band
Techware Labs :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“Let’s face it, being the dark lord of the sith really must rock. Of course leave it to Darth Vader to drag one of the Storm Troopers into being his backup guitarist and really kicking out the jam in Rock Band.

I hear his vocals are to die but in all honesty would you boo Darth Vader?”

The Witcher PC Review
Tweak Town :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
TTGamer have today posted a review of The Witcher for the PC. CD Projekt conjure up a spell and cast a solid RPG with their first in-house title ever.

Bounty Bay Online review
YouGamres :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“Contrary to what we are used to from other games, the player is a jack of all trades earlier on in the game, and can learn all available skills at the same time. Instead of having a single level representing how advanced the character is (such as in World of Warcarft), only the skills themselves have their own experience bars and levels independently. After reaching level 31 in a skill, the player can choose it as one of his/her master skills – something that can be done with up to 7 skills which can be developed further up to level 100. The gain in experience for each of these comes from doing simple things associated with the skill for extended periods of time.”

Rock Band (Xbox 360)
Gaming Heaven :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The legendary Guitar Hero, now in its third iteration, was the game to change all this, we could all prance around our bedrooms in our underwear while hammering out tasty licks to many a classic rock song. Rock Band takes this a stage further with the aspirations of allowing you to play with your buddies. Guitar, Bass, Drums and even vocals are the name of the game and with developer Harmonix already having plenty of experience with Guitar Hero they should on paper deliver an awesome multiplayer gaming experience.

Crysis Benchmarking Guide 
Tech ARP :: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“At this moment, Crysis is the toughest test you can subject any graphics card to. It requires so much graphics processing power that it humbles even new graphics cards like the GeForce 8800 GT and the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB graphics card. As such, it serves as a great benchmark for graphics cards (as well as CPUs).”

Saitek X52 Joystick Review
Gamepyre :: Monday, January 21, 2008
The Saitek X52 has more buttons then my Jeep (no kidding). It will be extremely hard to run across a flying game that is not compatible with this joystick. Even a game made in 1997 worked great on the X52. Another amazing feature of the X52 Flight Control System is the ability to program different games on different profiles. Thus the X52 is large-family-friendly as well: one joystick with multiple profiles for multiple games, so what more could you want? Whether it is just for your or even if you have to share, the Saitek X52 Flight Control System is a “must-own” for any flight enthusiast. This really is a great product.

Wii Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 Review
RB Mods :: Monday, January 21, 2008
If you’ve read some of our past video game reviews, you’ll remember that we enjoyed one odd game in particular, Rayman Raving Rabbids, for its unique game play and quirky story. As with most popular games, the gang is back for a sequel. Will Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 for the Wii continue the streak of solid games for this series? That’s what we’re here to find out in this video game review.

The 2008 Guide to Gaming PC Specs
YouGamers :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“PC gaming is always going forward. While a new console generation takes years to arrive, PC hardware evolves in much faster cycles, with new generation of hardware popping up every 6 to 12 months. Vendors naturally want to sell you their latest and greatest toys – preferably every six months – but if you are a gamer that purchases a computer based on what games actually need, there is actually little reason to follow a six month upgrade cycle. In addition to the hardware cycles, the PC side has the software development mixing things up: Windows Vista and DirectX 10 have been around for a while now, but do you really need DX10? What about Vista? What do games really need from a PC today? And how does the future look? We try to answer these questions, and give practical suggestions outlining a gaming PC worth buying today.”

Performance Improvements In Crysis 1.1 
Tech ARP :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“Seriously, Crytek can claim they have the most graphically-advanced game in the world, but frankly, we think they could have done it without forcing everyone to upgrade. They should take a leaf out of 2K Games’ book. Look at how well they did BioShock. It had amazing graphics, as beautiful as Crysis, we dare say; and yet, BioShock didn’t require the kind of crazy hardware that Crysis needed just to run at all.”

Universe at War (PC)
Driver Heaven :: Monday, January 21, 2008
Certain games scream cliché from a mile off. Games like Command and Conquer or Crysis. The moment the game starts you know exactly how things will pan out and except for perhaps the occasional twist along the way nothing surprises you. Universe at War suffers from the same malady, at least on the surface. But beneath the predictable storyline and “generic aliens invade earth scenario” lies a hidden depth that just might pull the game out of the grim waters of mediocrity. That is if certain design blunders don’t make it fall short!

Frontlines (PC) preview
YouGamers :: Monday, January 21, 2008
“Effective communication is the key to winning matches, but the scale of the game (with support for up to 64 players in the final release) makes this a daunting task. There’s a certain amount of fumbling around, particularly when the situation becomes dire and the frontline is closing in. The depth of the class/role system will likely favor teams who can invest many hours in practice sessions. Additionally, it takes time to become accustomed to the various vehicles and unmanned craft. Ultimately, the intricacies of classes and roles encourages specializing, but the game begs for well-rounded players who have no problem switch classes and roles on the fly. This is a strange conundrum, and one that will frustrate those who enjoy having a set identity in multiplayer games.”

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance (PC)
Driver Heaven :: Monday, January 21, 2008
Earlier last year, Gas Powered Games released Supreme Commander, the spiritual successor to the revolutionary RTS game Total Annihilation. SC’s reception was kind of a mixed bag, due to its rather unforgiving, newbie slaughtering game-mechanics, monstrous system requirements and flood of issues. SC capitalised mostly on catering to players who want to control grand armies, and coordinate lengthy, well planned combat manoeuvres, compared to the micro-management that we are accustomed to from games such as Company of Heroes or Command & Conquer 3. Supreme Commander’s expansion, Forged Alliance, aims to enhance this in every possible way.

TimeShift (PC) review
YouGamers :: Monday, January 21, 2008

Crysis 1.1 patch performance with Multi-GPU testing
Tech Spot :: Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Let’s assume for a second that anyone reading this article owns a copy of Crysis or has at least played the game. Then you should all know how potentially good the game is and how impressive its visuals can be with the proper hardware. Then again, since its release last November it’s been a minority of players that have been able to play the game from beginning to end in all its visual glory.

Just last week Crytek released a highly awaited first patch for Crysis which weighed in at 139MB and carried a number of rather large promises. While it was claimed that SLI/Crossfire performance would improve with this patch as well as the overall rendering performance for all graphics cards in DX9 and DX10, they never stated by how much, so they did dodge a bullet there.