Black Prophecy Free to Play MMO Now Live

Another Free to Play MMO went live today and every time I think one looks cool I’m later told it was all a ruse and the trailer makes the game look a lot better than it really is. Is that the case with Black Prophecy? No idea, but that trailer does look pretty nice for a F2P MMO. It’s basically a action-oriented space combat game with a lot of MMO elements built in from skills, crafting, clans, etc.

You can learn more at the game’s homepage here: http://www.blackprophecy.com

From the FAQ:

Player vs. Player combat will play a big role in Black Prophecy. You will be able to engage other players in different kinds of PvP missions and battlegrounds. Player vs. Player combat will also be an essential part of the game’s endgame content.

Captain America: Super Soldier Fact Sheet

Sega today released the official fact sheet for its upcoming action game, Captain America: Super Soldier where you get to play as Cap and beat the crap out of a lot of nameless soldiers as well as Red Skull, Iron Cross and other people Cap doesn’t play well with on July 19th on every platform but the PC.

On with the PR!

Product Description

Become Captain America™, the ultimate Super-Soldier, in the darkest days of World War II as you face the Red Skull and his army in this epic third-person action adventure.

Wield Captain America’s legendary shield to take out multiple enemies at once, deflect incoming fire back at your enemies, solve puzzles, and scale walls. Above all, hurl yourself shield-first into the fray, with the superior force of the world’s first Super-Soldier at your fingertips (as Captain America).

Engage in free-flowing combat and acrobatic platforming to infiltrate Hydra’s massive and mysterious castle complex and battle the infamous Iron Cross, the forces of Hydra, and a host of nefarious enemies serving the Red Skull in an all-new Captain America story and adventure.

The completely original story for Captain America: Super Soldier is penned by noted comic, film, and TV writer Christos Gage. The primary writer for the Marvel’s Avengers: The Initiative series of comics, Gage has written numerous books for major Marvel characters, including Siege: Captain America, Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man, Civil War: House of M, and Union Jack.

Product Specifications

* Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS
* Release date: July 19, 2011
* Genre: Third-Person Action Adventure
* Rating: Pending (Expect T on console, E10+ on DS)
* Website: www.captainamericagame.com

Bastion Looks Kind of Neat

I didn’t know anything about this game until I was editing Justin’s new article at Gameshark about some of the best looking Indie games on the floor.

Bastion certain qualifies.

I think this looks incredibly charming. The development team is made up, in part I believe, by members of the Command & Conquer franchise which I find incredibly weird because this looks nothing like C&C and I thought most people in this industry were of a one track mind. Proven wrong, once again.

Some PR:

The goal of the game is to construct a safe haven in the wake of the Calamity, a cataclysmic event that shattered the world into a series of floating islands. As players journey into the wild unknown in search of survivors and supplies, they will confront strange beasts, forge an array of customizable weapons, and gain new powers from specially-brewed spirits. The entire play experience of Bastion is narrated, gradually revealing a rich backstory as the narrator reacts to the player’s actions in real time.

(Yes–not even indie games can escape the strike through. Still. Sounds cool, eh?)

You can learn more about Bastion at http://www.supergiantgames.com

Writing About Talking: Jumping the Shark Podcast #61

No High Scores
Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Danielle is back in the hizzy for this week’s episode of Jumping the Shark, and it’s a darn good thing given our topic segment is devoted to the goings on at PAX East and she’s the only one of us to go to the big show. This week also takes Brandon off the leash to talk about what he’s been playing (Bulletstorm and Homefront), I chime in with some further refined thoughts on Dragon Age 2 (I’ll be posting more on it this week), and Bill analyzes Shogun 2 and why the Oda clan can’t seem to stay alive.


iTunes Link
Direct Download

I’ve written before in this space about the importance of redundancy in recording. This week turned out to be a perfect example of why since my audio, as recorded in Audacity, flaked completely out about 45 minutes in. It was very strange. I was editing the show as I always do, moving right along, when out of nowhere every time I spoke it sounded like a half second of noise and then nothing. The next 30 minutes were all dead silence, only returning to normal with about ten minutes left in the show.

My first thought was to panic that something had happened to my mic and all of my audio lost. Of course, since everybody else could hear me throughout that couldn’t have been it. I clicked to unmute the recorded Skype track, which I keep synched with the individual tracks while editing, and sure enough my audio there was intact, making it possible for me to switch to the Skype track for the second half of the show. Crisis averted. That said, if you notice a change in audio quality after the first break, that’s why.

I’ve no idea what happened to my Audacity recording, but as it has in the past, the backup recording was there to save the day and our year+ streak of not losing a show to technical difficulties continues for another week. Whew!

Closed Beta Sign Ups for Pirates of Black Cove

First the PR:

Paradox Interactive and Nitro Games have today announced details on how to sign up for the limited Closed Beta for their upcoming RTS/RPG Pirates of Black Cove. So prepare for The (game takes place in the) 16th century, (and there are) the golden era of pirates!

But no booty without the duty! (ok….)

Sign up for the Pirates of Black Cove Closed Beta now at: http://beta.paradoxplaza.com

Avast! Sign up before midday on Thursday, 31th of March.
If you are selected for a place in the Closed Beta, you will receive a confirmation e-mail before the 7th of April.

Game Features:
- Roam the open World with your Pirate crew and pick up missions as you sail the seas.
- Battle it out with the forces of Black Cove and other colonial nations on both land and sea
- Gather infamous pirates to your crew, but be sure to keep them happy or they’ll side with your rivals
- Select your character from several different Pirate Captains, each with their own unique skills and features
- Varied units and weapons allows you to carry out the battles as You see fit

Shiver me timbers! Pirates of Black Cove is set to launch in Q2 2011.

Aaaaaargh! (Ok that was me.)

This is a different approach for Nitro. This is the same company that tried its hand at the more serious trading sims East India Company and Commander: Conquest of the Americas, both receiving lukewarm receptions and Pirates of Black Cove is certainly a lighter game so I’m genuinely curious to see if Nitro knows this is its niche or if this just an attempt to find it. They certainly love this era.

Might & Magic Heroes VI Coming in June

Confirmed by Ubisoft’s UK Forum Manager the game will be released on June 21st in the states and on the 23rd in Europe and now the game’s homepage has the updated release date as being official.

I’m going to be doing an interview with a member of the development team before launch. As much as I have enjoyed this series over the years, and will undoubtedly play this one too, you have to wonder if the gameplay has run its course. Looks pretty, though.

(Thanks Gamers Hell)

Calendar Man – Week of 3/21

No High Scores

Welcome to Calendar Man where I outline all of the games you can spend your hard earned cash on. Shooterpalooza Year continues with the release of Crysis 2. Hope your video card is ready.

You’ll notice that the links are a little different in this week’s column as now they’re fancy new, Amazon associates link which means if you go to Amazon via this link and buy the linked product, we get a little scratch to help keep the lights on. As a result, the links are a little wordier. I guess Amazon wants you to know the product I’m linking to rather than have you rely on my crazed ramblings. They may be on to something. I think this whole online store thing may work…


This week sees the release of Crysis 2 on various platforms, all of which have no “significant” difference between them, according to Crytek. Technically, there’s no significant difference between me and George Clooney in that we’re both human males. I guess the devil truly is in the details.

If you never got in on the whole Raving Rabbids thing, here’s your chance. The Raving Rabbids Party Collection has all of the Raving Rabbids games in one convenient location for all of your insane bunny needs.

If you like budget racing games with a fair amount of smashing around and 3D support, feel free to check out Mayhem 3D. It also has “splite screen” racing, whatever that is.

PS3 fans get the Tomb Raider Trilogy treatment this week, allowing you to chart the exploits of gaming’s favorite twin pistol packing heroine.

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, the sequel to Final Fantasy Dissadia drops this week, allowing you to live out all of your favorite Final Fantasy character brawling dreams.

On a similar note, Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive, also for the PSP, also featuring dudes beating on one another, comes out this week. This time their ninjas though, so there’s that.

The Lego Star Wars juggernaut continues with Lego Star Wars III: Clone Wars. I’m a little interested in this one as I’ve never watched Clone Wars so this would be the first Lego Star Wars game I’ve played where I didn’t know the story already.

Man, there are a lot of expansion pack for The Sims. Oh look, another one! This time you can come see the violence inherent in the Sims system with The Sims Medieval – Limited Edition. Help, help, they’re being oppressed!

Deals
Toys R US – Free ten dollar gift card with purchase of Lego Star Wars III for PS3, 360, Wii or DS.

Target – Free wireless controller with purchase of 360 4GB Slim, free ten dollar gift card with purchase of Crysis 2, CoD:Black Ops on sale for $49.99, CoD MW2 on sale for $39.99, Halo Reach and Fable 3 on sale for $39.99, Dragon Age 2 on sale for $49.99.

Best Buy – Save ten dollars on all de Blob 2 for PS3, 360 and Wii, Buy Crysis 2 and get a free $10 gift card as well as save $20 on the following games: Dragon Age 2, Bulletstorm, NFS: Hot Pursuit, Fight Night Champion, Dead Space 2, FIFA Soccer 11. Free wireless controller with purchase of 4GB 360 Slim, save $30 on a 360 Slim HDD, Xbox Live Gold membership on sale for $44.99.

Steam – They’re not out yet, but you can save $5 on both Witcher 2 and Portal 2. See all of the Steam sales on their specials page.

Impulse – All of the Infinity Engine BioWare games (except for Planscape Torment) are on sale for $7.49. Stock up on classic RPG awesomeness. Other stuff is on sale too.

Go Places with The Conduit 2

This new trailer for The Conduit 2 shows you a smattering of places you’ll visit in the game, some real, some not so much, unless there’s a city called “Fountain, China.” Oh yeah, Fountain? Sure! Head out towards Tree, then take a left at Rock and it’s just a little past Park Bench. If you get to Dustbin, you’ve gone too far. I quite liked the original Conduit and am looking forward to this one. Plus, with everyone ditching their Wii’s, I’ll probably end up reviewing it. Yes, Barnes, you go ahead and trade in that Wii. Papa needs a new pair of shoes.

Sunday Time Waster: Want to Buy Some Boots?

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Come on, who doesn’t like boots?

You may have noticed that the blog has been infiltrated by spam about buying some boots or jackets or other such nonsense. I have been diligent about deleting these posts and blocking the “users” which I assume are bots. Danielle is Queen Drupal so I’m going to put her on the case to try to fix this. We’re not going to stop allowing user comments regardless and I want to make posting comments as easy as possible. I despise those “type in the wavy letters you can’t read to log in” interfaces so I hope we don’t have to do that. I just don’t know enough about it to fix it myself so if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.

We do have a few other ideas peculating about the site, though…and I discovered Email!

The Google banner ads, I think, are about as non-intrusive as we can make them. I don’t even notice them, honestly, tucked down at the bottom of the pages as they are.

I want to thank everyone for sending in comments about ads, banners, and the like. It helped us a great deal. We are planning on creating a static “we recommended you buy this stuff” page which will be full of Amazon links. Brandon signed us up for the Amazon Affiliate Program. Of course you guys are free to shop wherever you want but we’ll try and pepper that page with items we all personally recommend and not random “buy some boots” links. Boardgames and PC games and console games of all stripes will be there and since it’s going to be a separate page, it shouldn’t get in the way of the front page content, which is very important to all of us. The front page of No High Scores will never be crammed with ads and buy it links. I hate that crap as much as you guys do.

We are discussing the idea of making a Cafe Press or Zazzle page, as well. If for no other reason than I’d like a No High Scores coffee mug.

Ah yes, my email discovery. Woo hoo!

For the longest time I have been checking my NHS email, thinking it was my own but instead it has been our Admin email. Upon discovering this I:

1) Felt stupid
2) Felt relieved that I may have more email than bounced back failed registration messages

Turns out that was the case. I’m going through the email this week and will reply to everyone that sent messages. Sorry about the delay — I wasn’t ignoring you.

Additionally, if you tried to register for the site and never got a password email in return it is likely in my admin Inbox. I helped one user this week fix this so if you are having issues send me an email and I’ll send you the needed password info. At last count I had about 10 of these.

Finally, we have another contest coming this week. I’m not sure how much you’ll LIKE this one, but it’s still free stuff so stop your complaining!

Finally for real this time, I want to thank everyone for sticking around these past 30 days. The site is proving more successful out of the gate than we ever expected, and while the outside referrals from sites like Penny Arcade, Dubious Quality, Flash of Steel and Quarter to Three have helped immeasurably, we have retained a lot of those users which is pretty rare in Internetland and I cannot express to each of you how much I personally appreciate that. We are steadily building a cool community here and that means a lot to each of us.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Choose Your Own Adventure Trailer

One of the best things about Deus Ex was the ability to accomplish your goals via stealth or violence or technical trickery. Other RPG’s have tried since, but it usually comes down to doing the mission with unspeakable violence with a sprinkling of hacking or sneaking around. This latest Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer, courtesy of GameSpot, shows a level being played three different ways, in line with their “multi-path, multi-solution gameplay.” Obviously it’s easy to build one level that shows well and isn’t exactly indicative of the final product, but at least there’s hope for an RPG experience that caters to people like me who choose to let the turrets and roaming DeathSentries do all of their dirty work for them.

Seen at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.