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Demo footage of ‘Firefly Online’ released

- October 16th, 2014

As part of a New York Comic Con panel last week,  the creators of Firefly Online revealed some test video for its upcoming massively multiplayer online game.

Firefly Online

“Firefly Online.” (Supplied)

As the developers explain in a post on the game’s site, this is not actual cinematic game footage, but simply a demonstration of the Firefly Online 3D Environment Engine:

“This brief ‘walkthrough’ of a procedurally-generated derelict ship should give a sense for the level of detail Firefly Online will offer in both encounter maps and player avatars.”

And you do get to hear Mal and Jayne chatting in the background – and they are clearly voiced by Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin who played the characters in the one-season Fox show and follow-up Serenity film. (It was announced back at San Diego Comic Con, that the original cast would provide their voices for the game.)

Firefly Online is a strategic online role-playing-game that lets you fly around in the universe of the TV show:

“In Firefly Online, players assume the role of a ship captain as they hire a crew and seek out adventures, all the while trading with and competing against the millions of other players to try to survive in the Verse: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.”

According to io9′s coverage of the panel, the game will include a Cortex app that will allow users to manage their account from anywhere. And as a special feature, this app will include 14 cast interviews. These interviews consist both of original cast members, such as Fillion, Baldwin and Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra), and new game cast members, such as Michael Dorn (best known as Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and former model-turned-actress Kelly Hu (Dr. Rae Chang from Sunset Beach).

The game will be available for PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices. Users can register for for a Firely Online now but there is no firm release date for the Cortex app.

Sigourney Weaver back as Ellen Ripley in ‘Alien: Isolation’ DLC

- July 9th, 2014

Ellen Ripley and the rest of the Nostromo crew are back in video game form.

While the upcoming Alien: Isolation takes places 15 years after the events of the original 1979 Ridley Scott film, there are two missions starring the original cast that will be available if you pre-order the game, Sega has announced.

Last Survivor

“Last Survivor” DLC for Alien: Isolation. (Supplied)

Sigourney Weaver, who played Ripley in the film, told The Associated Press:

“It was eerie how quickly it happened. Honestly. I had to start with this sort of sign-off, ‘This is Lieutenant Ripley of the starship Nostromo.’ You know, that paragraph. I felt like no time had passed. It was really strange, actually. If anything, it was more affecting to me to read it again 35 years later.”

But not only does Weaver return to voice Ripley, her co-stars Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and Ian Holm are also returning to voice their film characters, according to the game’s IMDb page.

In the so-called Nostromo Edition, the first mission picks up after Kane (John Hurt in the film) and Brett (Stanton) have been killed. You can play as Ripley (Weaver), Captain Dallas, (Tom Skerritt in the film, whom AP says also reprises his role) and Parker, the chief engineer (Kotto).

Crew_Expendable

“Crew Expendable” DLC from “Alien: Isolation.” (Supplied)

Though since Ripley and the cat are the only two that survive, it seems kind of foolish to pick anyone other than her.

It’s the first time Weaver has provided her voice for an Alien game. However, it’s not the first time she was asked.

She told AP:

“The ones I turned down — I remember one of them, anyway — was shoot the alien, shoot the marine, shoot anything that didn’t move. That didn’t make any sense for my character. Ripley was more interested in protecting life than annihilating it. It just didn’t make any sense for me to be part of that.”

But she found reprising her role here an “interesting idea.”

The main plot of Alien: Isolation focuses on Ripley’s daughter Amanda who is briefly mentioned in James Cameron’s 1986 sequel.

Weaver added in the AP interview:

“I feel like they followed through. Emotionally, what would Amanda want? She’d want to find her mother. She’s drawn to the same line of work. There are a lot of things that were arresting to me. I have no idea what the game is like. I hope it’s creepy and suspenseful and engaging in a way that other games are not — an experience.

The Verge reports to get the first mission “Crew Expendable” you simply just have to pre-order the game. But to get the second mission “Last Survivor,” you specifically have to order the game through GameStop.

Alien: Isolation will be released Oct. 7 on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

‘Super Mario Bros.’ beaten in under 5 minutes

- June 28th, 2014

You’ve been playing Super Mario Bros. wrong your entire life.

Okay, maybe not your entire life. I mean, the game only came out in 1985. But I doubt you’ve ever played it like this.

YouTube user LordSaradoc posted a video of himself breaking the speed run world record for the Nintendo classic.

Super Mario Bros. world record speed run

“Super Mario Bros.” world record speed run. (Video Screenshot)

If you are not familiar with speed runs, they are exactly what they sound like. The point is to beat the game in the shortest time possible. The score is irrelevant. LordSaradoc, or Blubbler as he’s known on the Speed Demos Archives Forum, managed to beat the game with a time of 4:57.69. (The previous world record time, according to Kotaku, was 4:58:09.)

The player, of course, got this low time in part due to skipping over levels. As is largely known among Super Mario players, you can warp to world 4-1 from 1-2 and to world 8-1 from 4-2. (The record for not skipping levels in 19:12.)

But also key to the run is the player didn’t concern himself with getting coins or killing minions. He completed the game with a score of 102,150 but only collected a measly 25 coins and killed a paltry eight baddies – nine if you count King Koopa (aka Bowser).

He also took advantage of a glitch in world 8 that allowed him to run over a few short gaps, instead of jumping. Also in world 8-2, another glitch saved him a second or two, as Mario didn’t have to run from the flag to the castle. (As these programming errors, taking advantage of them is not considered cheating.)

All in all, it’s a pretty impressive feat. You can watch the run below.

How am I supposed to drown my Sims now?

- June 26th, 2014

In an announcement on Thesims.com blog Wednesday, Sim Guru Ryan confirmed that it will not be possible to build swimming pools in The Sims 4 when the game launches in September.

In addition, the game will not include toddlers. This development I am less concerned with as, ultimately, the toddlers were just a nuisance that interrupting my Sims’ partying. (Though apparently you can create teens and babies, so I’m not sure why toddlers are out.)

The Sims 4

“The Sims 4.” (Supplied)

Read more…

Most of Xbox’s 45 new entertainment apps not available in Canada

- June 4th, 2014

In an attempt to boost the entertainment side of its Xbox experience, Microsoft has announced 45 new TV, movie and social media apps for the Xbox One and 360 that will launch before the end of the year.

This will bring its total number to 225 Xbox apps available worldwide, the company said in a blog post.

Unfortunately, only 10 of these new apps will be available in Canada.

It’s understandable that many of the TV channel apps, such as Comedy Central, ShowTime Anytime and HBO GO would not be available here, as these channels either don’t exist in Canada, or have secured broadcast deals for their programming with Canadian networks.

But the crux of the announcement seemed to adding Twitter-TV integration to the Xbox One.

As Xbox Live’s director of programming Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) explains in the above video, Twitter will be built into the One’s TV guide apps so you can see what TV shows are trending and lets you favourite and retweet tweets  about the show you are watching from your own Twitter account.

But for some reason, Twitter is also one the apps not available here.

Similarly the video app Vine, which is owned by Twitter, will also not be coming to Canada. At least, not anytime soon.

In fact, the only app featured in the blog post, that will be coming in this country is the Xbox One version of the Major League Gaming app,  which had previously launched for the 360.

In addition to the MLG app, Canada will get apps for the Anime and Asian drama channel Crunchyroll, Filmbox Live, the Korean drama channel KDrama, a GoPro video channel, NBA, NHL, Sky News, TuneIn radio and the music video channel Vevo.

Most of these apps are not exclusive as they are already available for other platforms, such as the PlayStation, Android, many smart TVs or online.

So I’m not sure this will drive many Canadians to buy an Xbox One if they don’t already have one.