Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Sorry, but can't bring myself to write BIG in capitals every time.

“What did you do during the great bundle wars of Winter 2011, daddy?”“I posted about them, sweetheart. I posted about them all. I… I’ve seen so much. I’ll always carry that with me.”

We already know about pay-what-you-want charity bundle LittleBigBunch, but until 2pm today we weren’t able to so much as look at its website. Now we can, for it lives and is live. It’s a grand old package of PC games – Frozen Synapse, Explodemon, Serious Sam Double D, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and New Star Soccer 5. A pleasantly varied package, I’d say. (more…)

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The various Humble Bundles have gained attention for offering PC games to support charity and indie developers, but the idea is spreading. The Little Big Bunch now offers a pay-what-you-want set of five PC titles to benefit GamesAid, a UK children's charity. Distribution is being handled by GetGames.

The bundle includes DRM-free versions of Explodemon, Frozen Synapse, and Munch's Oddysee, a Steamworks version of Serious Sam Double D, and New Star Soccer 5.

The default amount starts at $10 with a 50/50 split between the charity and developers, but you can give as much as $100 or as little as free, if you're cheap. The site notes that there will be a small processing fee as well. You can grab the games for yourself on the Little Big Bunch site.

GamesAid primarily helps UK-based children's charities, with some support given to foreign charities for education, housing, health, and social welfare. It spreads the wealth among various small or mid-sized causes.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

MAKE IT STOP. But in a way that remains beneficial to charity.

Today I feel like the Sisyphus of games blogging. “You believe you have completed your trial of posting about a pay what you want indie games bundle, mortal? You fool. For now you must immediately post about another one! Ahahahahahaha. Yes, there are worse circles of hell to be in, but I trust you’ll agree this one is slightly annoying.”>

Oh well, c’est la news-vie, non? LittleBigBunch – due next week – ups the charity factor, as it’s orchestrated by sterling industry philanthropists GamesAid. And it’s got some pretty cracking contents. Frozen Synapse! Explodemon! Serious Sam Double D! Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee! New Star Soccer 5! (more…)

Kotaku

Can you spot the bugs in this trailer for the HD remake of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for the PlayStation 3?


That's right, they're hanging out in the ammo slots for Stranger's critter-launching crossbow, one of the greatest first-person shooter weapons of all time. It shoots insects, chipmunks, small fuzzy ball creatures, and more, and it's never looked as good as it will once the game hits the PS3.


And when will that be? Redeveloper Just Add Water says they're in beta now, having completed updating all 83 characters in the game, tweaking the user interface, and overhauling most of the environmental textures and some of the geometry. They've even added some easter eggs and unlockable extras to sweeten the deal.


I love the original game like a fat kid loves ice cream (speaking from experience). With its stunning new look, Stranger's Wrath HD could be the most delicious bowl of ice cream ever, bugs and all.


Debut Trailer for Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD for PS3 [PlayStation Blog]



You can contact Michael Fahey, the author of this post, at fahey@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
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Eurogamer


Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning has accused EA of "sabotaging" 2005 action game Stranger's Wrath.


The US game making legend blamed the Xbox exclusive's lack of sales on EA's failure to put enough money behind marketing.


"Stranger was a major achievement," Lanning told Eurogamer at the GameCityNights event in Nottingham.


"I'm thrilled EA did such a crappy job distributing it back in the day. It's a title that hasn't been exposed to the world.


"My personal feeling is Stranger was the best game we ever made.


"It was sabotaged. When you see a big game coming out, just ask what the marketing budget is. If you decide as a publisher not to give it a marketing budget, you decide its fate.


"As soon as we understood there was no marketing budget, we had zero expectations. We had zero incentive to build another game for them, either.


"Our story is not unique. This is common in the development community. Business decisions are made and the developer's faucet is turned off as a result.


"In the case of Stranger, it didn't perform because it wasn't exposed and it wasn't distributed and there wasn't the number of factors that go to what you need to have success on the shelf today as a boxed product."


Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath released to critical acclaim, but failed to find commercial success. Eurogamer's Stranger's Wrath review turned up a 7/10.


Stranger is a bounty hunter who captures outlaws in order to collect bounties. The live ammunition system allows players to fire ammo made from living creatures.


UK developer Just Add Water is remaking the game for launch on PlayStation 3 this summer. An Xbox 360 version is currently the subject of discussion between Lanning, Just Add Water and Microsoft.


Lanning, with Just Add Water, has embarked on an Oddworld revitalisation in recent months, and given the go-ahead to the development of a number of Oddworld-related games.


"Abe on PSN sold hundreds of thousands of units last year," Lanning continued. "No marketing. No advertising. Just people telling their kids to play it, saying, 'I played this when I was a kid. I loved this game. I want you to play it here.'


"There's a whole new generation of people who are picking up on that. I see that's going to happen with Stranger, too. That's just a question of us making sure it's on the right platforms.


"On the digital distribution landscape, when that game is offered at a much lower price on the PlayStation 3, people will really enjoy it. It'll get this second wind of life, where it will be easily accessible and not governed by if Wal-Mart decided to stock it or not.


"Anyone who wants it can log on and get it. If you have a PSN account you'll be able to get it. That's a huge game changer."


EA declined to comment on Lanning's accusations when contacted by Eurogamer.

Eurogamer


Just Add Water is yet to decide which Abe game to remake in high definition.


The choice is between Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus – both iconic PSOne platforming games.


But an outside bet is that JAW will create an entirely new Abe game.


Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning announced in January that Abe's Oddysee was set for a HD remake with JAW at the helm.


But a decision is yet to be made, JAW boss Stewart Gilray told Eurogamer at the GameCityNights event in Nottingham.


"We want to do something, at least Oddysee or Exoddus-based because we have the design for those games," he said. "We have all the original 3D models for those games. We've got all the models behind what was pre-rendered. All the animations. All the environment models.


"What we're coming up with, people are going to like. But we're still in pre-production. We haven't decided if we're going to go with a full Oddysee remake or if we'll take parts of Oddysee, parts of Exoddus and parts of new stuff. We'll see."


All that is decided at this stage is that JAW will create an Abe HD game, it will be 2.5D, and it will launch for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


A decision will be made in the summer, with production due to begin in August.


"If we do a brand new game it's going to be two years away. If we do a remake it's going to be a year away," Gilray revealed. If it is a remake JAW hopes it'll launch by next Christmas.


"If we do a remake we could use it as a test bed. It's all well and good the fans saying, we want another Abe game. But, will only the fans buy it, or will we introduce new fans to it? The reason for doing Oddysee is that we can appeal to kids who weren't playing games 13, 14 years ago when it first came out and introduce Oddworld to a new audience that way.


"The businessmen say that's the sensible way to go. The creative says, no! Let's do new!"


1997 platformer Abe's Oddysee introduced playable character Abe, a Mudokon slave working at the RuptureFarms meat processing factory on Oddworld. Abe's Exoddus followed in 1998, again on the PSOne. Both games enjoyed such critical and commercial success that Abe became something of a PlayStation mascot.

Eurogamer


Oddworld developer Just Add Water will premier a new game at this month's GameCityNights event in Nottingham.


CEO Stewart Gilray will unveil Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD and premiere a game Eurogamer has been told is the revival of a shelved title from the nineties.


Gilray will then lead a talk by Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning, who will discuss the much-loved series.


Stranger's Wrath was an Xbox first-person shooter Eurogamer awarded 7/10 in 2005.


JAW's HD remake adds 720p visuals, more character detail, normal mapping, self-shadowing, re-mastered dialogue, Move support and other undisclosed bonus material.


It is the first Oddworld game for PlayStation hardware in over a decade - Munch's Odyssey and Stranger's Wrath were both originally Xbox games.


Lanning, meanwhile, has confirmed plans to create an HD remake of classic platformer Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.


"It's basically Abe's Oddysee being redone in a 3D physics engine as a 2D side-scrolling platformer," Lanning explained earlier this year.


The event takes place at Antenna, Beck Street, NG1 1EQ, from 6-11pm.

Feb 27, 2011
PC Gamer



In March, RTS players the world over will divide. Some will take up blades and form regiments with great historical accuracy, walking into battle in some very pretty armour. Yes, Shogun 2 will be epic. Tremendous as it is, some will share my personal preference for close combat with giant hammers that crackle with energy. In space. Take a look at the above video of Dawn of War II: Retribution to see why war in the 41st Millennium is truly the war of real men! (and Orks. And Eldar and Tyranids - let's not be racist!)

If Rich's climb up the StarCraft II league ladder inspired you to climb to similar great heights, it's time to start looking at how the professionals do it. Take a look at Husky's video from this week where he gives a good overview of Terran and Zerg tactics on the Shakuras Plateau map.

But when it comes to impressive gaming feats this week, nothing manages to topple the astonishing achievement of engineering student Terry Garrett, who despite being blind, has managed to complete both Abe's Odyssey and Abe's Exodus. Catch his interview here, where you can also see how completely flawlessly he plays.

The big reveal this week was without a doubt the first footage of Skyrim. Whilst many have 'oohed' and 'aahed' over the dual-wielding combat and the stunning vistas, what took me aback most was just how ferocious Bethesda have made the dragons. With these mythical beats being the backbone to Skyrim's story, Bethesda can't afford to get them wrong. Thankfully, it looks like we could be seeing a new age of dragon technology here (exceptionally poor pun intended).

Staying with new gameplay reveals, some new creepy monster-filled footage from Bluehole Studio's MMO Tera have been released. Tera claims to be an action-orientated MMO, but there's little bloodshed to be seen in this latest clip. Still the monsters look ugly, and who doesn't want to beat down an ugly brute?



We finally got a look at some in-game footage from Battlefield 3 this week, and it looks glorious. Explosions, bullets, soldiers cowering for cover and some lovely lighting effects made this look like one hell of a ride. It's been commented that the trailer looks a little Call of Duty-ish, but with DICE confirming 64-players on PC and the return of jets and prone, this feels like it could be the purest Battlefield game for several years.

In the run up to it's March 22 release, Crysis 2 is pumping out the trailers, and here we have a new story-based video explaining the campaign from Prophet's point of view. Less explosive than previous trailers, here we are provided into an insight into the controversy behind the Nano-suit.

For those who like their action open-world and OTT, rejoice that Prototype 2 will involve swinging helicopters by the tail boom and smashing them into tiny pieces.

The highly-anticipated Minecraft documentary hit the web this week, and it a real must-watch for anyone with an interest in the game itself and indie development.

Finally - and on a slight aside note - here's a little something to make you proud of being a PC gamer, and not one of those Nintendo Wii lovers. Take a look at Ubisoft's latest stunning title for the system: We Dare. It's a 'sexy, quirky, party game that offers a large variety of hilarious, innovative and physical, sometimes kinky, challenges' apparently. It's also rated 12 by PEGI, so it's sexy fun for all the family!
PC Gamer

Blind gamer, Terry Garrett has learned to complete Abe's Exoddus, navigating the game using nothing but sound and lots of quicksaves. You can hear an interview with him below, along with a video of him playing the game.

The 23 year old is a student at Colorado University, and learned to play games using sound when he went blind at the age of 10. His first step when playing a new game is for a sighted person to describe the menus, and whether the game is in 2D or 3D before heading to GameFaqs and walkthroughs for an overview of how the game works. Garrett says that Abe's Exoddus was one of the few games where a walkthrough was unnecessary, thanks to its dense soundscape that has an audio cue for every action. There's an interview with him on the Oddworld Inhabitants site. See him playing through the game below.



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