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We've had access to mods before, that's nothing new. But Valve's Steam Workshop completely streamlines the process of adding them in, making the ability to have smarter AI, new weapons and newly skinned enemies an easier process than ever before. And databased, too!
So what's out there now, roughly four days after its official release? Here are a few that caught my eye.
You may remember that, nearly four years ago, Australia's classification board refused to classify Left 4 Dead 2, effectively banning it from sale in the country. At the time, Australia's ratings system for video games topped out at MA15+, which basically means suitable for teenagers. Valve released a highly sanitized version of the game just for Australia, disappointing many and calling attention to the country's insufficient ratings policies.
Well, in the three-plus years since, Australia has gotten its act together. On Jan. 1, a new R18+ rating went into effect (Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge was the first to claim it.) Fans down under are wondering if Valve is keen to revisit the subject with a fully unedited Left 4 Dead 2. Writing on Valve's official forums, Chet Faliszek says yes.
"We have been exploring the options here and what we can legally do," he said.
"We will have more information on this when we understand the issues fully and how we are moving forward."
The game was submitted and refused, the decision was appealed, and the appeal was denied. It sounds like Valve isn't yet certain if Left 4 Dead 2 is eligible for a re-review under a new rating, or if an old decision is final no matter what.
Still, any expense of resubmitting Left 4 Dead 2 for classification "doesn't worry us," he added. "This is something we want to do."
Some people might tell you that Donkey Kong 64 is an awful game. According to 10 year old me (my age the last time I played that game), they'd be wrong. But, hopefully everyone can agree that the Donkey Kong rap is fantastic?
Now, take that catchy tune, and add the Left 4 Dead zombies. What do you get? This amazing thing by YouTube user EdbotnikThe's.
Keep an eye on the witch.
L4DK Rap [EdbotnikThe's]
Halloween is on its way, and while ghosts and ghouls may have been the undead horrors of decades past, here in 2012 it's all about the zombies and their ilk.
What better way to get in the mood for spooky doom than with this weirdly lovely, thoroughly instructive image from Left 4 Dead 2? See zombie, apply flamethrower. Now that's useful advice for the ages.
Click the image to expand to its full hi-res gory glory.
Open Up [Dead End Thrills]
Brothers Colin and Connor McGuire wanted a Left 4 Dead movie... so they made one.
The home project took them the better part of two years, including 3000 hours of editing. The final product is about the length of an "hour" long television show, clocking in around 40 minutes, and looks at least as good as several TV shows I've seen.
Talking today in a Reddit IAmA, the film's director Drew Goddard said we almost got a lot more than that: If MGM hadn't gone bankrupt, we would've gotten a downloadable Left 4 Dead expansion pack based on the movie.
Cabin In The Woods Spoilers Follow.
We actually were going to do a downloadable L4D2 expansion pack, where you'd fight in the Cabin world, but then MGM went bankrupt so the delay squashed it. But the people at Valve were still cool enough to let us use some of their monsters to fill the cubes in the background (I had a lot of cubes to fill.)
By the way — the game was gonna be amazing. You were gonna be able to play in both the upstairs "Cabin in the Woods" world and the downstairs "facility" world with all the monsters. Believe me, I HATE all video games based on movies, they always suck, but porting Cabin into Left For Dead felt like the right fit. It pains me that it didn't happen.
I already think that Cabin in the Woods had a lot of fun playing with video game tropes, so it hurts my heart that we almost got to take a four-player run not only through the cabin but through the monster-filled facility underneath. I wonder if there would have been a merman? Or if Sigourney Weaver would have been the final girl-boss?
I guess now we'll never know. But we can always imagine.
Skin Pack #2 is out for the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft today. It'll run you 160 Microsoft Points and come with the following skins, via Microsoft:
1. Enderman Man – Minecraft
2. Pig Man – Minecraft
3. Sheep Man – Minecraft
4. Naked Sheep Man – Minecraft
5. Spider Man – Minecraft
6. General Akamoto – Skulls of the Shogun
7. Otus – Owlboy
8. Meat Boy – Super Meat Boy
9. Agent Cobalt- Cobalt
10. Zapp – Gamma Bros
11. Buzz – Gamma Bros
12. Glorg – Glorg
13. The Player – Retro City Rampage
14. Spelunky Guy – Spelunky
15. Green Knight – Castle Crashers
16. Orange Knight – Castle Crashers
17. Blue Knight – Castle Crashers
18. Red Knight – Castle Crashers
19. Marcus Fenix – Gears of War 3
20. Skorge – Gears of War
21. Anya Stroud – Gears of War
22. Damon Baird – Gears of War: Judgment
23. Joanna Dark – Perfect Dark
24. Joanna Dark (dress) – Perfect Dark
25. Joanna Dark – Perfect Dark Zero
26. Elvis – Perfect Dark
27. Juno – Jet Force Gemini
28. Vela – Jet Force Gemini
29. Lupus – Jet Force Gemini
30. Horstachio – Viva Piñata
31. Pretztail – Viva Piñata
32. Fizzlybear – Viva Piñata
33. Bill – Left4Dead
34. Louis – Left4Dead
35. Francis – Left4Dead
36. Zoey – Left4Dead
37. Hunter – Left4Dead
38. Boomer – Left4Dead
39. Witch – Left4Dead
40. Agent Level 5 – Crackdown 2
I like the sound of Meat Boy. And Elf.