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Bastion Ventures to iPad Tomorrow

If you haven’t adventured with the Kid yet, or you just have a thing for gaming on mobile devices, Bastion from Supergiant Games is landing in the App Store for iPad tomorrow, August 30. This release of Bastion will include Stranger’s Dream (DLC for PC and Xbox 360), retuned weapons and Proving Grounds, Retina compatibility, and options for either gamepad-style controls or touchscreen controls.

You can check out the trailer after the break.

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Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime

I won’t be at PAX Prime in Seattle this year, but if I were, I could tell you exactly where most of my time would be spent. 10 games will still be showcased in the PAX 10, but no longer will other indie video game developers be confined to the peripheral tables wedged between vendors selling trinkets of dubious quality.

The Indie Megabooth will host 30 developers displaying 32 games, including Super Time Force, Mark of the Ninja, Snapshot, Yata, Chasing Aurora, Guacamelee!, Monaco, and Antichamber. If you’re heading to PAX and you get the chance to try out some games at the Indie Megabooth, let us know what you think. You can find a full list of games and developers at the Indie Megabooth website.

Calendar Man – Week of 8/27

It’s the last week of August, which means preseason football is wrapping up here in the States and Madden is on the horizon. I remember a time when the release of Madden was a big deal. At one point, EA made these sick day scripts you could use when calling in sick on Madden’s release day. Nowadays, the release of Madden doesn’t seem all that important. Granted, it was never important, just hyped more. The times, they are a changin’.

In other news, Guild Wars 2 comes out, Sony  releases collections of a bunch of their first party titles and Mass Effect 3 has some underwater DLC tomfoolery.

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Madden 13 Early Hours Impressions

I have had a retail copy of Madden 13 for about a week now and while my time has been limited of late I have managed to play about 10-12 games and fiddle a little with the Connected Career mode.

So, below are some rapid fire style impressions, certainly not a “review” as I’m not ready to write that yet.

My impressions thus far are based solely on All-Pro level, no slider adjustments.

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Empty Dungeons

Legend of Grimrock - a brilliant game in an empty setting

My current gaming time is being spent entirely on indie dungeon-crawler Legend of Grimrock. It’s a sadly neglected genre which done right (as Grimrock is) is capable of delivering a sublime mixture of puzzle solving, twitch combat and the addictiveness of RPG item and level collecting. Almost all games in the category belong to utterly generic fantasy worlds which they spend little or no time elucidating. So far, five levels down, Grimrock seems no different.

Indeed the wider world of fantasy computer and board games boasts relatively few examples of any settings other than boilerplate ones. Given that perhaps the most wondrous thing about fantasy is its potential for open-ended, imaginative worlds, this seems a sad and unfortunate state of affairs.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown “Casualties of War” Trailer

More footage from XCOM…and this is still firmly in the “gotta play” category.

Oh, yes, I do have Dark Souls…which I am about to play right now. I’ve also had a retail version of Madden 13 for a few days and will offer up some thoughts later as today is embargo lifting day.

The Case for Guild Wars 2

On Jumping the Shark #139, while talking about upcoming releases, we rather clumsily stumbled around next week’s release of Guild Wars 2. I say “clumsily” only because none of us have really paid enough attention to the mechanics of the game to really know what it’s supposed to be all about. We know it’s an MMO, and in a time when most of the big MMO’s are barely modest derivations of every other MMO/WoW, what else is there to know? The game not having a monthly subscription model isn’t remotely reason enough to buy it. So, Garion333 helpfully posted this link in the podcast’s comments section. It leads to a page loaded with Guild Wars 2 info written for people who aren’t familiar with Guild Wars. This one might really be different, folks. Watch the video above and check the site if you want details that are actually detailed.

For me, here’s the thing – I’m not sure it’ll matter…

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Dishonored Shows You the Ropes of Stealth

If you’ve played anything in the stealth genre, or any stealth levels of games in the past, oh, I don’t know, ten years, then you won’t learn anything from the latest Dishonored trailer. What’s that you say? Stick to the shadows? Don’t make noise? Truly groundbreaking stuff here.

I’m kidding, of course. The video does show some neat touches to the Stealth-o-vision power, namely how sound ripples will show up if you’re moving too quickly. Shadows are easy to detect but sound can be tricky depending on how sensitive your enemies’ ears are. Oddly enough, the trailer doesn’t show one of the key aspects of stealth, namely hiding the bodies. One of the things I liked the most about seeing the game at E3 was the ability to grab a body and then use the short range teleportation power to hide the bodies above the patrolling guards. No more searching for broom closets! Just chuck those corpses up in the rafters and be on your way!

Transformers: Animated Is the Best Transformers Line Ever

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron dropped this week and while I have not had time to start the game yet, due to an overabundance of children’s activities and an under-abundance of disposable income, I plan on tearing into the game this weekend or, quite possibly, as soon as tomorrow. Still, we can’t let a release as momentous as this go without celebration, so instead, you get this post about Transformers: Animated.

Simply put, Transformers: Animated is the best Transformers line ever created. Hands down. End of story. If you don’t agree, you are a doofus. Yes, that’s right, a doofus. Allow me to explain myself and then you can throw off the yoke of doofusness and enjoy some hot toy action.

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Up Front FINALLY Getting Reprinted

You may know Curt Schilling primarily as the Winston Cup-winning rookie quarterback for the Cincinnati Cubs or as a wildly successful video game tycoon, but he also runs this company called Multiman Press. He’s kept Advanced Squad Leader in print for years. And up until recently, he sat lethargically on the rights to Avalon Hill’s classic Squad Leader card game Up Front doing nothing with it. At one point, they were saying it was “in development” to be re-released as…Up Front 2000.

Anyway, the rights have been sold and I guess Mr. Schilling flushed that money down the 38 Studios toilet. But the good news comes to us from Torben Sherwood at Valley Games:

Valley Games is very excited to announce that we have been offered the opportunity to produce Up Front. In association with the original designer, Courtney Allen, we will reproduce this classic title with improved and enhanced rules, new artwork and new graphic design. We will use Kickstarter to fund the project with a planned launch date of December 2012. More information to come as we get closer to the launch date.”

Aw man, Kickstarter? Damn it. Maybe one of the “stretch goals” will be an improved rulebook, or a T-shirt with ol’ Nazi Hans up there on it. Keep your eye on this one, it’s one of the best and most innovative games ever published and it will be good to see it on shelves again.