Go To Hell with Diablo 3 Open Beta Weekend

Diablo 3 open beta weekendDust off your killing sticks and strap on your boots: it’s time to go kill you some of dem demons this weekend. Blizzard announced today that anyone and everyone can play the Diablo 3 Beta this weekend, starting today at 12 PM PDT, which is 3 PM ET and 2 PM CT.

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BREAKING NEWS: Battlefield 3 Caspian Border Map Returns, High-Res Texture on Xbox 360

So the title pretty much says it all, but to clarify: for PC gamers, you have one more chance to play Caspian Border on Battlefield 3 before the beta ends. In this final weekend, Caspian Border will be available to play, no password-hunting required. The servers are up now (I’ve checked) so get on it!

 

More info after the bump!

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Morality Quickie: Big News in Little Videogame Town

Don’t think I haven’t been paying attention to the news, because I have. I’m like the freaking Eye of Sauron–ain’t nothing getting into my Mordor.

The biggest news, in my opinion, is that the unbreakable PS3 has been broken. That’s right, modders found away around this generation’s best anti-piracy protection. Known as PSJailbreak, the small USB device tricks the game into development mode, theoretically allowing homebrew and pirated games. In a weird twist, the code which has been released online removes the ability to play pirated software. Moralist pirates? Sure, why not!

Jack Sparrow Pirate

Jack Sparrow says, "Pirating be uncool, savy? Yar yar de yarp."

In other news, the iPhone just became awesome. Again. I’m not talking about the stupid iPhone 4, which follows Apple’s frustrating incremental annual updating strategy–I’m talking about Epic’s announcement of the Unreal Tournament 3 Engine for iOS. What does that mean? It means games on the iPhone are going to be a whole helluva lot more prettier than now–in fact, prettier than the DS or PSP could even dream of. This game is gorgeous. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture.

iPhone Project Sword

Still not convinced? If you have an iPhone, download the free tech demo now!

Finally, the Xbox 360 will be receiving a new controller. The new design features a D-pad that can be adjusted on the fly. By twisting the D-pad, you can raise the cardinal directions, allowing for a much easier use of the primary up, down, left, right buttons. My biggest gripe, though? You can only get this controller in a bundle for $65. Also, gray buttons? Personally, in quick-time events, I’m not even looking at the symbol; I’m looking at the color, since it’s much more obvious. Thanks for taking that away from me. P.S. Major Nelson needs to learn how to center a camcorder. (Just saying!)

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

Morality Quickie: The Week In Review

Nintendo

Nintendo announced a ton of release dates at Gamescon, while being relatively quiet on most other fronts. That’s fine though; between the hype surrounding the Nintendo 3DS and the most solid holiday lineup to come out of Nintendo in a long time, the House that Mario Built is finally worthy to pop back up on the gaming radar.

Mass Effect 2 PS3

Sony

Sony did something that I never saw coming: it shocked the hell out of everyone with its acquisition of Mass Effect 2 for the PS3. With promised “introductory” content to introduce PlayStation owners to the Mass Effect universe, it seems that Sony has scored a big victory in unexclusivizing (yes, I just made that up) another big Microsoft franchise. Rumors have also been circulating about a possible new version of the PSP (a true PSP2, not any of this incremental BS) that would feature touch controls on the back of the device. With the release of Move in just a few weeks, it’s an interesting time for Sony fans. Will the Move succeed or will it just be dismissed as another Wii clone? Only time will tell.

Microsoft

Microsoft Dog Poop

Microsoft really stunk it up this week. Relying on its heavy hitters, it didn’t really make any earth shaking announcements. In fact, with the announcement that the Mass Effect series was jumping the S.S. Microsoft, I’d say that Microsoft wished this week never happened.

By the way, Microsoft: your flimsy argument that the Mass Effect series is still best experienced on Xbox isn’t fooling anyone. We all know you’re crying inside, so let it out big fella. You got Halo Reach coming out in just a few weeks. You’re gonna be fine.

Master Chief

Big Daddy Halo gonna come and make it all better

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

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Morality Quickie: Big Love for Big N

At Gamescon, Nintendo announced a doozy of a holiday lineup. I mean, big time. Games just announced at E3 this year are seeing release dates in October and November. Either these games are going to be rushed, or someone can actually keep a secret at Nintendo–Sony, Microsoft take note, please.

The big hitters for Wii:

Wii Party – October 3

NBA Jam – October 5

Kirby’s Epic Yarn – October 17

Donkey Kong Country Returns – November 21

Goldeneye – TBA November

Epic Mickey – Holiday

For DS:
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future – September 12

Final Fantasy the Four Heroes of Light – October 5

Mario vs. Donkey Kong – Mini-Land Mayhem – November 14

Super Scribblenauts – TBA October

And of course, SUPER MEAT BOY comes out this Holiday for WiiWare. That game is going to be epic. I’ve always wanted to be a pile of meat sliding around and dodging large chainsaws.

So this list is huge, and they are all buzz worthy games. Furthermore, Metroid Other M comes out in just two weeks (YES!!), which is another exciting title, and you can expect the next generation of Zelda to appear sometime either this holiday or early next year. NBA Jam will always hold a place in my childhood heart, so I hope that’s going to be awesome. I’m not as sold on Kirby as apparently everyone else in the gaming media–for some reason, their pencils get a little bit stiffer every time new details get released. Don’t even get me started on Goldeneye — if they mess that up, I swear I’ll… I’m gonna… argh, I’m gonna be pissed!

Wii Goldeneye release date

Nintendo must have realized that there are other franchises other than Mario for it’s little white box.

And here I was thinking I could get through this holiday season without buying too much….

Also, the opening cinematic for Epic Mickey was on display at Gamescon, and let me say, it’s pretty…. epic. I’m not gonna lie, I thought this game was over hyped, but I should’ve had more trust in Warren Spector. That man can seemingly do no wrong.

Here’s the video for those interested

What games are you most excited about? Sound off below!

Source: IGN

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

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Morality Quickie: Teabagging was soooo 2005

All right Halo fans, here’s a little love just for you. For those of us who played the Halo Reach beta, we all remember the awesome assassinations. What better way to taunt your enemy than by shanking them in the side and letting a long animation play out? It was the best way to establish who-was-whose bitch.

So it makes me happy to say that Bungie announced more news on the assassinations: apparently, we only saw the tip of the iceberg in the beta. There will be over 40 assassination animations, although some of them are campaign only (and I gotta say, I don’t think the campaign’s AI is going to rage quit). Even better, though, is that assassinations are going to be weapon and context sensitive. If I’m standing to the right of an enemy, it’s going to look (presumably) different than if I just stood right behind the enemy.

Halo Reach Assassination

Bungie also revealed a more complete list of objects for us in Forge mode. The new mode is going to be awesome and is basically going to give Halo Reach a near infinite lifespan. For those who don’t know, you can now float objects (thank god), set dedicated angles for pieces (hallelujah), and Forge remakes of old maps appearing in multiplayer hoppers.

Also, landmines in racing gametypes, which are making a comeback from the days of Halo: Combat Evolved. Yes, landmines—the awesome kind that blow up and are a true hallmark of any real racing experience.

Halo Landmine

Personally, Halo Reach is near the top of my must-have list for 2010. Say what you want about the community—admittedly, I’ve said a lot about the community that I stand by—but Bungie knows how to craft an epic gaming experience, and Halo Reach is shaping up to be the definitive Halo experience.

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

Source: Bungie.net

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Morality Quickie: Bioshock Infinite Announcement

Irrational Games announced today the identity of “Project Icurus,” which turns out is Bioshock 3—err, Bioshock Infinite. What? The Bioshock series is returning? Who would’ve ever though it, he wrote sarcastically.

In all seriousness, this is a cool trailer, especially because it plays with your expectations: you think the game’s going to be set in another underwater location, but then suddenly, you realize that it’s a trap ruse. The trailer takes to the skies quite abruptly. The short clip introduces a new enemy—something akin to the BigDaddys, but this time with gripping action! That’s right: there’s no sign of a drill hand this time around, but rather a creepy looking, mechanical hand. This ain’t no oversized GI Joe, though, and the character is quickly thrown out of the window by the giant monstrosity.

Apparently, the game takes place in the early 1910s before the other Bioshock games. That doesn’t make much sense to me—it seems to me that it would be harder to make a city fly than to sink it, but hey, I’m no civil engineer. What do I know?

So Bioshock To Infinite (And Beyond) looks like it’ll take place in the sky. That could be really cool, but then again, as disappointing as Bioshock 2, I’m not ready quite yet to return the FPS crown to the Bioshock series just yet. There’s a part of me that’s worried the developers are just going to rely on a new setting to carry the game. It’s too early to tell, so I’ll try and keep an open mind. But, as a certain scoundrel once said, I got a bad feeling about this (WTF is up with all the Star Wars references!?)

-Josh “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke