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Just in case you weren't put off by the lack of any kind of mention of Valve Software, advance warning of the game's arrival or the complaints demanding their money back, if you see a game called Counter Strike on the App Store, don't spend $2 on it.
Unless you enjoy being ripped off by fraudulent scamsters. In which case, who am I to tell you how to spend your money?
Counter Strike [App Store, thanks unexpect3rd!]
It's a question proper athletes face all the time. What do you do when you hang up the cleats/boots? Well, if you're Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger, former pro Counter-Strike player, you make the move from video games to online poker.
Which sounds a little random, seeing as one involves furious mousework and fast reflexes while the other relies on cool heads and a honed bullshit reflex, but apparently it's a natural progression.
"I used to be a professional gamer", Benger tells PokerListings. "I played Counter-Strike for a living, so I transitioned into poker because it has a lot of the same skills, mostly being able to sit in front of a computer for long periods of time."
"But it's a pretty natural transition and a lot of people were doing it. Once I got into poker I became really obsessed with it. It's really one of those games where there's always room to get better, and that was one of the problems with Counter-Strike, I got to a point where I couldn't really get much better."
That...actually makes sense. I mean, I'm sure the fact there's a ton more money in poker helps, but the ceiling's got to be a lot higher for getting to the top of the food chain.
"Surfing" is a strange little quirk that's long been available in the Counter-Strike series. Those wondering if it'll make the jump to the latest version, Counter-Strike: GO, yes, it has made the jump.
Player MitchellS has ported venerable CS map surf_greatriver_remix to Global Offensive, and has made it playable for those in the beta. You can see it in action in the video above.
"Surfing" dramatically changes the way you play the game. Join a surfing server and the corridor shooter you're used to playing disappears, replaced with something much faster and chaotic.
Port of the classic "surf_greatriver_remix" to Global Offensive [Game Banana, thanks Moskeeto!]
After asking Valve Software boss Gabe Newell a bunch of questions about the Half-Life games on the new Seven Day Cooldown podcast, an interviewer finally cut to the chase:
"My final question and the question in the back of all your fans' minds and everyone has been waiting to ask you for a long time: When can we expect the release of Ricochet 2?"
Valve fans know, that that is not the question all of Gabe Newell's fans are waiting to ask him.
Replace "Ricochet 2" with "Half-Life 2: Episode 3" or "Half-Life 3," the either/or sequel that's been missing in action from Valve for a very long time.
Gabe Newell answered the question. It's up to you to decide if he was really talking about Ricochet 2.
"In terms of Ricochet 2, we always have this problem that when we talk about things too far in advance, we end up changing our minds as we're going through and developing stuff, so as we're thinking through the giant story arc which is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you're saying something is surprising us in a positive way and something is surprising us in a negative way, and, you know, we'd like to be super-transparent about the future of Ricochet 2. The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we're going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what's happening next."
Probed further by the hosts on current staffing levels for the project and whether there's been a slowdown on the project, Newell replies "No, everybody who has worked on Ricochet 2 continues to work on Ricochet 2 [laughs]."
For the record, Ricochet was an official multiplayer mod for the original Half-Life and was released by the company in 2000. Our own Luke Plunkett is a bit more up on the mod than I was and tells me: "If you haven't played Ricochet, or even heard of it, I'm going to pull you up now: it was shit. So shit, in fact, that on Valve's site the company likes to pretend it never existed."
You should listen to the whole podcast. It's great. Jump to the 21:05 mark if you want to hear the tones of voice from the part quoted above.
Episode 001 – The Tangy Zip of Gaben (April-16-2012) [Seven Day Cooldown, at the 21:05 mark]
Knife surprise! [Reddit]
Valve has been keeping track of the people currently playing the beta for Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Not just who's winning and who's losing, but really interesting stuff, like where everyone is standing when they pull the trigger.
The result of that kind of data-tracking is this glorious map (of de_train), showing exactly where players were when they decided to up and shoot somebody. As you can see, some spots are relatively tranquil. Others, well, they're battlegrounds. Or, to be more correct, since this is tracking where people were standing, campsites.
In a press release explaining very little about how this will be different than older Counter-Strike games, the publishers write:
Counter-Strike Online 2 will offer enhanced graphics, more realistic gameplay and powerful impact sensations powered by an enhanced version of the Source engine. The game will also feature various game modes enhancing its original game experience with new and improved environments, weapons, equipment customization and more.
The game will be published in Japan, Korea, China and other areas in Southeast Asia, Nexon said. We've asked for clarification on how this will be different than the first Counter-Strike Online and whether it will be connected to Valve's upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
A round of Counter-Strike at an internet cafe in the Philippines capital of Manila turned deadly on Monday, when a member of the losing team was murdered after an argument over the payment of approximately seven dollars in winnings.
According to authorities the friendly wager of 300 pesos took a decidedly unfriendly turn, with a full-blown argument breaking out at the cafe over payment of the relatively meager sum. The dispute was eventually resolved, but one member of the winning team wasn't happy with the outcome, following losing team member Eric Cristobal to his home and stabbing him to death.
Police investigator Noel Ibanez said that Cristobal was not responsible for starting the argument; merely an unfortunate victim. Police took the suspect into custody yesterday.
Man murdered in video game row [City Press]
You're going to have to wait a tad longer for the next Counter-Strike. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be a summer game, instead of a spring game, Valve's Doug Lombardi told me today. The game is still coming to Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac, but Valve needed a little more time to get it to the state they want you to enjoy it in.
Valve has some new screenshots for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the new reimagining of the popular Half-Life mod that has turned into a phenomenon over the years, selling 25 million (!) copies, according to the publisher.
Counter-Strike: GO will be out this summer for Xbox 360, PC, Mac and PlayStation 3.