Games Coming Out April 2010 For Console

Coming Soon sign
Coming Soon sign

Ah April, the time for taxes and looking forward toward the summer. It’s a good thing game releases don’t take spring breaks because if there is one thing a true gamer wants it’s the next great game to play.

I’m going to change things up this time and create two lists, the A list, meaning its worth your time and cash and the WTF list and if you don’t know what that means look it up. So without further adieu let’s do this.

The “A” List

Splinter Cell: Conviction: April 13th

DRM aside Splinter Cell has been a solid title for quiet some times and as seen in the trailer this game looks to continue that trend by bringing you the stealthy gameplay mixed in with enough action and story to keep you interested.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City: April 13th

What can I say it’s GTA and if you are a fan of the series then you have to add this game to your purchase list. It includes The Lost and Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony, two complete games in one package. I mean who can get enough of carjacking and hooker beatings?

Super Street Fighter IV: April 27th

It’s Street Fighter IV, but with more butts to kick! What else is there to say, SFIV was pretty awesome and if there is one thing Capcom can do besides make great games is milk them for all they’re worth. However, to be fair there are a ton of new characters, new level designs and features to this game and again, this is nothing new for Capcom or the Street Fighter series. Simply put, if you loved SFIV then you will be getting this game and the ton of downloadable costume packs that are sure to follow.

Dead to Rights: Retribution: April 27th

In my opinion Dead to Rights got it right with their mix of story and action when I played the original it completely drew me in and now with Retribution you get more story, more action, more characters and of course more brutal combat!

FIFA World Cup 2010: April 27th (PSP)

It’s called Football you American dogs! Okay so many of us Americans are not into Soccer, but it is the world’s game and FIFA has always done it right. If you are a fan then rejoice because this year’s version looks great with updated rosters and a new shooting mechanic all on the PSP. Yes, I said the PSP. People do own them!

The “WTF” List

Mean Girls: April 20th (DS)

Remember this movie, anyone? Lindsay Lohan is in it. By the way did you know that Lindsay Lohan tried to sue E-Trade over the baby commercial where they say the line; “and that milk-a-holic Lindsay wasn’t over?” You know from this commercial? Why is she suing? Because she thinks she is the Lindsay they are referring to as a way to make fun of her as if she is the only Lindsay on the planet. Why am I bringing this up? Because it is a hell of a lot more interesting than this game would be.

My First Dollhouse: April 27th (DS)

Oh look another DS game! Hey, check it out, you know how kids use to play with toys and have a real doll house? Well forget that BS if my child wants a dollhouse she can get one on the DS where I don’t have to pick up after her or trip over the new dining room table she got for it. The good thing about this game is at least your brother can’t break that realistic tea set your aunt got you for Christmas, or can he?

Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked?

Server is down
Server is down

Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked

Remember back in late February when we brought you the story about Ubisoft DRM? The idea was to combat piracy and provide a better gaming experience to its users so Ubisoft would require an always on internet connection to its servers so you can play their games? Well over this past weekend the DRM servers went down due to overload because of the recently released PC version of Assassin’s Creed II or at least that is what we thought it was.

ACII was one of the first games to utilize the new DRM policy and it has been plagued with many server issues. Posters on the ACII forums complained of connection outages and not long after the DRM servers went down not allowing anyone else to connect to them and play.

An official response on the Ubisoft forums stated:

“Due to exceptional demand, we are currently experiencing difficulties with the Online Service Platform. This does not affect customers who are currently playing, but customers attempting to start a game may experience difficulty in accessing our servers. We are currently working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience.”

At this point it looked as if Ubisoft had just underestimated how much traffic they would receive and was underprepared for the server load then this tweet appeared on the Ubisoft twitter page.

“Apologies to anyone who couldn’t play ACII or SH5 yesterday, servers were attacked which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time 95% of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors.”

So it looks as if someone or someone’s were not happy with the new DRM policy and launched an attack. Later an official gave a statement to IGN saying:

“All players with an open session during the attack were not affected. We also confirm that, at this time, no valid cracked version of either Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin’s Creed II are available.”

Well I am glad most of you fans of Assassin’s Creed were able to play but the fact remains that the DRM servers had issues before the attack. Simply put, people are not happy and I have seen more frustration than praise from the playerbase.

Ubisoft can boast about no cracked versions of their games being on the net, but what they should be talking about is how to make sure that the 5% who did not get to play will not have to worry about outages, connection issues and attacks in the future.

It’s gonna be a long road people.

Let’s hear your feedback ACII and SH5 players, how did playing on the Ubisoft servers fair you this past weekend?

Games coming out March 2010 for PC

Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander 2

Games coming out March 2010 for PC by Honorabili

A lot of people were interested in this kind of article so here are my picks for what might be good coming this March 2010, for PC.

Supreme Commander 2, March 2 for PC

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, March 2 for PC

Sam and Max 2 Beyond Time and Space, March 9 for PC

Assassin’s Creed 2, March 8 for PC, March 16 via Steam for PC

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising, March 11 for PC

Command & Conquer 4, March 16 for PC

Metro 2033, March 16 for PC

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening, March 16 for PC

Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom, March 23 for PC

Just Cause 2, March 23 for PC

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, March 30 for PC

Mount & Blade: Warband, March 30 for PC

Description/Feedback/Why do we care?:

Supreme Commander 2
I want to see what sort of influence Square-Enix will have on the development on this RTS game. I also wonder if I will need to buy another PC just for this one. ;-]

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Battlefield always competes (on PC) against Call of Duty. Will this take the crown from COD:MW2?

Sam and Max 2 Beyond Time and Space
More Sam and Max insanity and humor, which most adventure gamers crave.

Assassin’s Creed 2
Will Ubisoft remove the online only DRM that they claim to have implemented on this PC release? We’ll see. That will dictate on whether I will buy it or not. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising
I’m looking forward to this expansion pack making up for all the downfalls of the first game that many purists of DoW1 complain about. I have no beef with DoW2 so if they don’t, I’ll still probably enjoy this.

Command & Conquer 4
The C&C series is a money maker for EA. Let’s see if they will have the action of the first game. I didn’t like C&C 3 that much. I find the Red Alert titles more fun.

Metro 2033
Stalker, Fatherland, and Iron Storm come to mind when I saw the trailer for this game. Let’s see if it will blend the atmosphere of those movies and games correctly.

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening
I didn’t like the first game because I found the dialogue to drag on and the A.I. to literally be annoying and retarded. However, a lot of people like this game. Just giving you a heads-up on it and maybe, just maybe, the A.I. will be fixed on this one.

Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
People in the States don’t know Settlers much but this is a huge series of classic RTS games that are very popular in Europe. I’ve played the original on Amiga a lot and Settlers 2 and 3 a lot back in the late 90s.

Just Cause 2
More GTA clone with a Tropico/Mercenaries 2 twist to it? Sign me up.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Kind of sad that this is finally coming out for PC but since I didn’t play this one on console and a lot of people like it, it might be good.

Mount & Blade: Warband
A ton of multiplayer functionality and more has been added to this expansion pack for Mount & Blade.

Ubisoft DRM: Q & A

DRM RIP
DRM RIP

So if you haven’t heard software maker Ubisoft are unveiling a new DRM that would require an always on internet connection as part of their DRM and online services platform. This means those of you without internet or when your internet is down, you are out of luck.

In an interview with PCGamer Ubisoft answered many of the questions from the gaming community on what is being called a “heavy handed” approach to security.

In the interview the Ubi spokesperson stated about piracy; “It’s a huge problem – you know it, I know it, other people know it. It really is a very important issue that all serious companies need to address,”

Ubi did state that with the new always online approach gamers will no longer need a disc to play and can install the game on as many PC’s as you want as many times as you want and with the ability to save your games to the Ubisoft servers.

So let’s say you are playing a game and your internet goes out, here is an example of what can happen, keep in mind that every game may function differently. “In Assassin’s Creed, if your connection cuts out, you’ll be taken back to the last checkpoint. With Settlers, your game will resume exactly where you left off,”

Now let’s talk maintenance and downtime. As any MMO player knows having to wait hours to play due to server maintenance can be a pain and in the past you could at least play your single player games, now, maybe not.

In the case of a server failure their games will be taken offline, and you’ll be unable to play them. “The idea is to avoid that point as much as possible, but we have been clear from the beginning that the game does need an internet connection for you to play. So if it goes down for real for a little while, then yeah, you can’t play.”

Like everything else this is a test run. As companies grow larger and merge they know they have the upper hand and will make more changes to move closer towards their vision. I am not saying this move is bad (thought I don’t like it) but the key is players will have less and less say in what happens and less choices on what else to do and in other games to play. Hopefully this will not be a major inconvenience to gamers, but it is another step forward toward the end of PC gaming at least in the way that we use to know it.

Not So Jolly Roger

anti-drm

Piracy is once again back in the headlines, for several reasons. The latest DRM for PC games from Ubi Soft has been heavily satirised by the web cartoonists. The industry has also released figures showing losses accumulated due to game piracy. Then there was the million-dollar fine for the Australian accused of illegally uploading a Wii game.

Let’s deal with Ubi Soft’s DRM first. Producers have a right to protect their content. After all, they have invested a lot of money in getting it to market. However, as soon as that starts to make things inconvenient for a legitimate user, then the balance is wrong. While the new system does allow unlimited installs – handy for the PC fanatic who constantly upgrades their hardware – and “Cloud” save data online, the reliance on a permanent Internet connection is less welcome. You have to be online to play, and any interruption in your connection will cause the game to stop abruptly. Progress since your last save will be lost, forcing you to go back to the last checkpoint or whatever the game has. One cartoon characterised the software as being like a stalker or jealous partner, calling and harassing you, particularly if you “move on” to another game.

We can all probably tell stories of difficult to install software, or long and boring anti-piracy messages that cannot be skipped. Surely there must be some way to detect a legitimate copy and jump past those messages, and force the pirates to watch them? Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint from a few years ago was clever enough to work out that it was an illegal copy and gave the illusion of continuing to run properly but gradually disabling features.

The sad truth is, the current generation of consumers has got used to the idea that virtually all the entertainment they want can be found for free. The one thing they haven’t grown up with is the moral judgement on whether they SHOULD get the music, TV or games they want in an illegal manner. But on the other side of the argument, software companies touting figures of a “$300 million loss” have missed the point. How many of those people illegally downloading would not have bought the game anyway? From my experience of people who pirate, the increased consumption rate that illegal activity gives them also means a shorter attention span. And while many of those who download music are also big legal consumers as well, using downloads to find potential new purchases, the higher price tag of games would seem to mitigate that effect.

The car boot sales and market stalls may be heaving with pirate games and DVDs, but the vast majority of console owners still buy their games (albeit many of them second-hand). The target of the authorities should be those dealing in thousands of illegal copies and not the individual caught with a few. In the long term, piracy hurts us as consumers more than the companies.