Author Archives: Sean Bowman

Activision Announces First Multiplayer DLC for Black Ops

cod-firststrike-logo-tilt

Activision and Treyarch announced that the first DLC for Black Ops called Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike will be arriving February 1st for the Xbox platform as a temporary “timed” exclusive for 1,200 points or $15 USD. Other systems will get the expansion approximately a month later.

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"Super Meat Boy is a mercilessly difficult platformer, but provides an extremely enjoyable experience to the right audience."
- Sean Bowman

Super Meat Boy Review

Super Meat Boy - Fire

Forged from somewhere in the bowels of hell comes a game that is relentless and unforgiving, testing not only your skill, but your patience. Here there are tons to do and discover, but it comes at a price. If you’re a bad enough dude, maybe you can stand proud and hold your controller high, for there are three hundred levels you’ll need to conquer and an evil fetus to vanquish. By a couple of dudes at Team Meat, welcome to the world of Super Meat Boy. Enjoy your stay, but it may take a few years off your life expectancy.

Meat Boy, the cute squishy little cube you fill the role of, must venture through a number of worlds, suffering through grueling levels chock-full of deadly devices in order to rescue your girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the clutches of the villainous Dr. Fetus. The story’s narrative is thinly veiled and the premise is a simple one because it doesn’t really need anything more to Meat Boy’s frantic adventure. It seems Dr. Fetus’s abandonment issues cause him to be jealous at what you and Bandage Girl have, so he kidnaps her. All of this you learn right in the introduction following booting the game.

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Super Meat Boy for Steam, Achievements and More

Super Meat Boy Screenshot

The PC release is nigh with a planned debut sometime in the month of November and Steamworks support is go. While Super Meat Boy on Xbox Live Arcade, like most, is capped to twelve achievements with a total worth of two hundred Gamerscore. Team Meat announced on their Twitter feed that the PC version will support at least a whopping thirty achievements. It’s also confirmed that the Wii version will not have any achievements.

SuperMeatBoy: the steam version will contain 30+ achievements and possibly a little something extra for steam fans.

If that isn’t enough, the PC version will also be getting a level editor shortly after the game’s release, so keep an eye out.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Will Support Steamworks

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Fire

Valve announced that the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops being developed by Treyarch will have full-on Steamworks support. With that, it will add a lot of snazzy little features like unlockable achievements, auto-updating and the support for the Steam Cloud system that will allow you to save via Steam’s servers.

For those who already purchased the game via Steam should be able to start preloading the game now and will gain access when the game releases November 9th.

Source: [Valve.com]

Interplay Discovery Announces “Death and the Fly”

Death and the Fly - Shot 1

As a part of Interplay’s expanding Discovery program, where the publisher seeks out promising indie games and makes them available on the mainstream market, announced another addition. The game is called Death and the Fly and will be a colorful and “gothic” 2D puzzle platformer where you must navigate through various traps and puzzles to reach the end of a given level. It’s being developed by “Independent Programmist Group” or PIG and will be playable during the second quarter of 2011.

You control two characters, Death and the Fly, hence the name. Each character has a unique abilibity that will be required to complete the levels. They assure that there are “many interesting ways to die”, which could be an implication that death will be unavoidable by design, similar to that of Limbo or Super Meat Boy.

You will also be able to upgrade your abilities throughout via some sort of in-game shop. You can follow the development from their blog.

Source: [Interplay.com]

PopCap Unveils Bejeweled 3 Coming This December

PopCap Unveils Bejeweled 3

The developer behind many addicting 2D casual games announced the official third installment of Bejeweled which will be seen slamming into PopCap.com on December 7th, just in time for the holiday season.

The game will feature the modes of Bejeweled 2 with improved graphics and sound, packing an additional four “secret” games, such as Ice Storm and Poker as PopCap has mentioned. Also included will be a quest mode that features eleven mini-games, along with variations of Bejeweled gameplay, totaling forty quests.

Source: [PopCap Press Release - November 1st, 2010]

What To Know About the Fall Xbox NXE Dashboard Update

NXE Fall Minispot

With the new Xbox NXE Dashboard update around the corner, here’s what you need to know about what’s coming. It looks like this update isn’t quite the departure NXE was from the Blades dash, but it does do some significant graphical and performance tweaks.

After the Xbox reboots upon completing the update, you’ll be greeted by what I have to say is a pretty slick looking redesigned Xbox intro splash screen, featuring a series of thick green lines that swirl around and merge into the X of the trademark Xbox spherical icon, clearly coinciding with the new branding artwork on Xbox retail games.

Fall NXE Beta 3 Fall NXE Beta 7

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World of Warcraft Reaches a New Milestone

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Box

World of Warcraft still exhibits no signs of diminishing, not even the least bit amount of fatigue. Whether the large player base is the indirect result of unworthy competition in the MMORPG market or simply a testament demonstrating how solidly built the game is, Blizzard Entertainment is celebrating a new milestone; the subscriber base has surpassed 12 million players worldwide. For those seeking a job in the game industry, the press release goes on to mention that they will be hiring to compensate for the increase in activity.

The third World of Warcraft expansion pack, Cataclysm, is right around the corner and will be seen hitting store shelves on December 7th. New features in Cataclysm to name a few will consist of a couple new playable races, an increase on the level cap bringing it to 85, and some redesigned locations in the world as part of the progression in the backstory.

Source: [blizzard.com]

Jade and the Gang Are Back in Beyond Good & Evil HD

Beyond Good & Evil - Crouching Jade

Ubisoft finally attempted to invigorate new life into the tragically ignored, Beyond Good & Evil. While over the years it has certainly garnered some attention from word of mouth by critics and gamers alike, Ubisoft has announced that they would put a remastered high definition version of the game up on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, equipped with updated graphical and audio game assets and supporting up to a 1080p resolution. This is good news to anyone with a modern operating system as they may no longer be able to play their original copy.

You play as an investigative reporter named Jade in this varied and imaginative platformer as you get to explore, solve puzzles, play mini games, and combat an invading extraterrestrial force all in a fully featured story campaign, and all while dealing with the existing problems and shady politics plaguing your home world.

Beyond Good & Evil, originally released in 2003, is slated for its re-debut in 2011. Unlockable trophies, achievements and leaderboards will also be included. The Beyond Good & Evil 2 sequel is still currently in development.

Source: [Ubisoft Press Release - 9/30/10]

10/4/2010 – Hardtoast Podcast #1

Austin Moves

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After quite a disaster, we get into it again and talk about H.A.W.X. 2, Halo: Reach, Move, Kinect and much, much more.

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