Blizzard Drops the Great Banhammer, Removing Almost 320,000 Warcraft, Diablo Accounts

Posted by | April 28, 2010

A giant number of Battle.net accounts woke up last week to discover themselves on the wrong side of a 30-day ban. The move came because Activision Blizzard had become bothered by the amount of game exploits running rampant in their now almost 10-year-old game series between Diablo II and Warcraft III.

Account abuses generally take the form of game mechanic exploits or users running third-party programs designed to advance one’s own statistics or steal information from other users.

"These types of activities can severely impact the stability of our servers, and we’ll continue to aggressively monitor Battle.net in order to protect the service and its players from the harmful effects of cheating," said Blizzard on its official forum.

Chances are good that Blizzard is not banning players for exploiting already present features of the games themselves; in fact, from their


Reappearance of RapeLay on CNN prompts world of stupid

Posted by | April 26, 2010

Horrifying as it is, to defend freedom of expression and the freedom to access expression one must often discover themselves defending the expression of the indefensible. In a culture that horror and fantasy games garner a great deal of attention sometimes truly scary, socially worrisome games emerge.

And then people get stupid.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a member of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre is using the reconfirmed existence of Rapelay as a means to justify Internet filtering for the whole country, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Karen Willis “absolutely” believes in Internet filtering and told the paper, “While I don’t think that playing games causes people to go out and


Grand Theft Auto in the classroom?

Posted by | April 18, 2010

UK Police and victim support groups have been putting together a curriculum that will give younger student’s at school a chance to declare a difference between the “real” and the “unreal” using clips and slides from video games. One game in particular is the controversial Grand Theft Auto series.
Stills from violent video game Grand Theft Auto are being used to teach primary school children about violence.

The 18-rated game is being used as part of a police-backed pilot scheme in primary schools in Merseyside to deter youngsters from aggressive behaviour.

Under the scheme, 10 and 11-year-olds are shown stills from the games, which allow players to beat up prostitutes.

These are used alongside real-life images to prompt a discussion on what is good, bad, real and unreal.
The article appears a bit terse in the department of child educational psychology (or totally lacking.) There’s certainly some commentary about children having short attention spans, but …


Heavy Rain exceeds one million sales

Posted by | April 16, 2010

Mystery thriller Heavy Rain has exceeded one million in sales, according to Quantic Dream co-CEO David Cage. The game became a sure-hit sensation due to its effective and emotional storytelling that well mimics contemporary television drama, with twists, turns, and gut wrenching moral decisions.
Heavy Rain is not a videogame anymore in my mind because it breaks with most of the traditional paradigms, but it’s fully interactive,” Cage said ahead of the title’s release, also noting: “If the format becomes successful we will probably have to find a different name for this type of experience.”

Last month he also suggested that Heavy Rain’s commercial success had sent “a strong message to the game industry”, proving that publishers should take more risks with experimental projects.
The first comment, however, hits us as both silly and wrong. Heavy Rain is not “fully interactive” and it is still a video game because we haven’t redefined video …


FEAR 3 by Warner Bros contains some interesting enhancements

Posted by | April 14, 2010

It’s hard to recall if we reviewed the first installment of this video game series, but FEAR does fit into the atmospheric horror first-person-shooter pretty well. However, we found ourselves quickly bogged down in the tirelessly moronic AI and other elements that didn’t really let us feel our way through the game. The scary bits, however, if memory serves did tend to prove pretty jump-tastic.

The additional enhancements FEAR 3 will see is something we’re actually intrigued by: co-op play with two different main characters.

In a break from previous installments, F.E.A.R. 3 features two-player co-op. Players have their choose between the super soldier Point Man or the powerful psychic Paxton Fettel. Each has their own special set of abilities, allowing for two distinct play experiences. There’s no mention of competitive multiplayer features.

Other enhancements included could also be noted in


StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition details released

Posted by | April 12, 2010

If you’re like us, you have intermittent emissions from Amazon.com glowing about fantasy novels, new audio-visual recording equipment, and oftentimes video games. Recently, we saw a fun little mote appear from Amazon.com about the upcoming release of StarCraft II. Possibly one of the most anticipated Blizzard games since—Diablo II. Ever since it’s announcement we have been pouring over YouTUBE videos detailing game play and offering up chunks of information we could digest, however, we’re still not satisfied.

At a price point of around $100 the collectors edition is going to be prohibitively costly to those of us penny-pinching gamers who have been hit hard by the economic recession, but details have been released about what will be in it.

Included in the Collector’s Edition will be items such as a StarCraft issue #0 comic book, an Art of StarCraft: Wings of Liberty 176 page book,


Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess coming out Apr. 22

Posted by | April 10, 2010

…has awesome pipe organ music! See the totally amazing trailer below the quote from Joystiq. The graphics remind me of Castle Crashers from the Xbox, but the game play reviewable looks a lot like a scroller going upwards.

Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess, the PSP Mini about unfortunate anti-monster racial profiling, has been given a release date of April 22 — which publisher Mediatonic has confirmed is worldwide. The game, playable on both PSP and PS3, stars the Duke, who goes on an ill-researched quest to rescue his princess, jumping endlessly upward through vertically scrolling levels, and beating up every presumed guilty monster he sees (hint: all of them).

 


If you see this, we’ve changed servers

Posted by | April 1, 2010

Vox ex Machina is currently in migration. This post is visible on the new servers. Wish us luck!