Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Finally! PopCap has announced a brand new Plants vs. Zombies. Unfortunately, it's not the sequel we've been clamoring for. Instead of offering us a brand new game, PopCap has announced a spin-off app featuring the game's zany zombies.

"PvZ Presents: Talking Zombatar" is a free-to-play app for smartphones and tablets. Essentially a virtual pet simulator, Talking Zombatar will let you carry around your own zombie, dress him up as you'd like, and take photos of you and your zombie together.

Being a free-to-play title, of course, there will be a variety of accessories on sale at Crazy Dave's store. For example, you can buy sunglasses, hats, shoes, or buy full outfits to turn your zombie into an astronaut or a samurai. In addition to photos, you'll also be able to shoot videos with your zombie, and hear him repeat your words "in zombese." Finally, you'll be able to share all this stuff via Facebook and "other social channels that don't get mentioned as much." (Myspace integration, anyone?)

The app should be available "later this year."

Announcement - Valve
The Steam Summer Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store!

Today's Daily Deals Include:

Don't forget to check back for a new Community Choice vote every 8 hours and new Flash sales throughout the day! You can also grab the Steam mobile app to make sure you never miss any great deals while you're on the go!

Complete information on all the savings, Flash Sales, Community Choice Votes and more may be found on

Announcement - Valve
Save 75% on Plants vs. Zombies during this week's Midweek Madness!

Zombies are invading your home, and the only defense is your arsenal of plants! Armed with an alien nursery-worth of zombie-zapping plants like peashooters and cherry bombs, you'll need to think fast and plant faster to stop dozens of types of zombies dead in their tracks.

PC Gamer
diablo 3 classes
The PC Gamer Word Dungeon hasn't stopped echoing the phrase "What Diablo class are you playing?" for months. It's a constant inquiry. We talked about it at length at the end of last week's podcast. A few of us still haven't made up our minds. With precious time left to make a decision (and hopefully helping you to relieve the same burden), we bugged some developers. We asked Notch, Runic Games, Blizzard themselves, and others: what're you rollin'?

Barbarian - Jay Wilson, Diablo III Game Director
“Because no one in Diablo III breaks things better! Being a Barbarian is leaping into the thick of the fighting, being tough enough to take as good as you get, and never being afraid of anything.“

What classes are other Blizzard devs rolling? Read here.

(creators of Torchlight II)
Witch Doctor - Max Schaefer, CEO, Runic Games
"I'm rolling a Witch Doctor because it's the weirdest class. I usually end up just wanting to mash things, so I'll go Barbarian eventually, but my first will be a Witch Doctor for sure."

Barbarian - Travis Baldree, President, Runic Games
"I was going to say a Wizard, but who am I kidding. I'm going to have to take a Barbarian out first time. Smashing things until they aren't things anymore is a special pleasure, and I really, really like axes."

(creators of Minecraft, duh)
Demon Hunter - Markus "Notch" Persson
"Surely the best way to fight the hordes of hell is to not even get close to them? Thankfully loot is individual, so I might actually get some equipment this time."

(creators of PlanetSide 2, EverQuest)
Monk - John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment
“I’m going Monk. I love the hand-to-hand combat and getting up close and personal. I’m also going to see how many hours I can stay up and play! I’ll be on at midnight for sure!”

(creators of Solitaire Blitz, Plants vs. Zombies, rainbows)
Monk - John Vechey, PopCap Co-Founder and Franchise Studio Director
"I am the Monk. Why? Because monks are the most fun in any RPG. They're all like 'I PUNCH ZEN THROUGH YOUR S$&*!'"

Barbarian - Jeff Green, PopCap Editorial and Social Media Director
"My go-to in Diablo 2 was the Necromancer, who had his undead minions do the killing for him while he sat around and counted his money. I was part of the Diablo 1%. But, like John, I too like hitting things, and the Barbarian in Diablo 3 has a satisfying bone-crunching fury to him. Honestly, though, I'll play the game all the way through with every class, because I'm just that sad."

Monk - Dan Amrich, Social Media Manager
"I loved the Amazon in Diablo II, so the Demon Hunter looks great...but since it's a female avatar and my wife likes her characters to be representative, she's probably going to claim that instead. So I'll probably go for the Monk—I play rogues in WoW, so this matches well with my preference for fast, devastating melee attacks. And who knows, maybe I'll finally learn how to heal."

(creators of Super Monday Night Combat)
Monk - Chandana "Eka" Ekanayake, Art Director and Executive Producer
"I gotta go with Monk for his lightning quick reflexes and bare-knuckled-spirit-powered fists of whoop-assness. Playing Monk is the closest you can get to experiencing the soul glow power of Bruce Leroy. It's the proper choice."

Wizard - John Comes, Creative Director
"I'm going to play a Wizard because I like money, and power, and he's got both. And you know it."

(creators of Dungeons of Dredmor)
Witch Doctor or Wizard - Nicholas Vining, Technical Director, Lead Programmer
"It's a toss-up between Witch Doctor and Wizard. On the one hand, I'm a sucker for voodoo references; on the other hand, there's a lot to love about time manipulation. The ideal solution is that the game industry stops discriminating against voodoo practitioners and gives them access to time manipulation magic, but until that day comes we'll have to make tough decisions."

(creators of Age of Empires Online)
Barbarian - Chris Taylor, CEO and Founder
"Sadly my answer is Barbarian, because you have to be a Barbarian in real life to raise 4 boys. When I was in the beta, I played Barbarian too. You’d think I would want to reach out, try something new. My experimentation years are behind me now; I just want to smash monsters in the mouth and grab the loot."

(creators of Tribes: Ascend)
Demon Hunter - Scott Zier, Lead Designer, Tribes: Ascend
"I'll start with the Demon Hunter. I'm a big fan of the agility and speed, and ranged DPS is kind of my thing."

Wizard - Joe Rougeux, Senior Software Engineer, Tribes: Ascend
"Definitely gonna start out with a Wizard, stacking MF to get geared up for Inferno!"

Wizard - Sean McBride, Art Director, Tribes: Ascend
"The Wizard. I love the utility that the class brings to the table in a group setting. Her awesome ability to nuke huge groups of enemies at once also is a big draw for me."

Monk - Adam Moore, Sr. Artist, Tribes: Ascend
"The Monk. His combination of both agile DPS and support abilities make him a cornerstone of the group play."

All photographs courtesy of interviewees.
Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

As one of the most recognizable casual game brands on the market, it's a surprise that this hasn't happened any sooner. PopCap has announced that it has finally finalized a number of licensing deals that will bring its properties to the non-digital world.

The first products to come out of this agreement will represent Plants vs Zombies. Bejeweled and other franchises will be adapted next year.

Jazzwares will create a series of plush toys, figures and "electronic accessories" including headphones, speakers, and device cases. Seen above: PvZ plushies.

Bioworld Merchandising will create apparel, headware, bags, and accessories. Pictured above: a PvZ wallet.

Trends International is developing calendars and posters. In addition, Walls360 will offer custom wall graphics. Funko! will be creating their own PvZ Pop! vinyl figures, and MjC International will create PvZ-themed adult sleepwear and boxers.

Shacknews - Garnett Lee

Queue the dramatic orchestral music. God of War is back, this time in a brand new prequel for the PS3: God of War: Ascension. Then, it appears Prey 2--feared to be canceled--has been delayed. But is there more to this story? Finally, everyone's favorite horticulture combat game gets a significant update.

Check out today's episode of Shacknews Daily.

Announcement - Valve
This weekend save 80% off Plants vs. Zombies!

Zombies are invading your home, and the only defense is your arsenal of plants! Armed with an alien nursery-worth of zombie-zapping plants like peashooters and cherry bombs, you'll need to think fast and plant faster to stop dozens of types of zombies dead in their tracks.

Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

While the titular plants and zombies of PopCap's Plants vs Zombies may get the most attention, Crazy Dave holds a dear place in our hearts. No longer content with selling over-priced seeds and fertilizer, Dave is pursuing a new career: rapper. (And given the economy, who can blame his moonlighting?)

PopCap has released his "first single" on iTunes today, and promises that all proceeds from the sale of the song will go to charity.

"Wabby Wabbo" is now available to download for 99 cents. It goes a little something like this:

All proceeds from the music purchase will go to Concern Worldwide, "an international humanitarian organization dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world's poorest countries." The website lets you contribute directly--if Crazy Dave's tunes don't necessarily invoke your charitable ways.

PC Gamer

PopCap are going head to head with the X-Factor this Christmas. Crazy Dave aka. Cray-Z is the talent behind Wabby Wabbo. It's available to buy through iTunes now. Purchases registered between December 18 and December 24 will count towards Wabby Wabbo's Christmas chart rankings. PopCap mention that "approximately 55p of each 79p purchase" will go to the Concern Worldwide charity.

PopCap point out that Wabby Wabbo "is believed to be the first hip-hop single ever released to feature a yodelling solo by a Yeti zombie." It may also be the first hip-hop single ever released to contain just five real words ("heeey, gonna eat your braains"), and is probably the first to be performed by an animated character wearing a saucepan on his head. The official music video is above, which means you've probably heard it by now. What do you think?
Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Of course Plants vs. Zombies was coming to the PS Vita. Considering PopCap's penchant to port their games to every platform imaginable, the addictive game developer needed to have a game ready for the Vita launch in February.

Plants vs Zombies will be distributed via PlayStation Network for Vita, and apparently it looks just like the SOE-ported version for PlayStation 3.

Of course, unlike the PS3 version, PvZ will feature touch screen controls in addition to the standard button controls. There's also Vita-specific online leaderboards. Otherwise, IGN reports that you're getting "more of the same," adding "not that there's anything wrong with that."

Given the straightforward nature of this port, it's unsurprising that other Vita features aren't being taken advantage of. It appears that there's no cross-compatibility between the PS3 and Vita versions: no transfarring, no cloud saves, and sadly, no single purchase for both versions. The Vita version may offer one bonus, however: a Platinum trophy, which the original PS3 version lacked.


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