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IGDetail Blog

I Blew It, But I'll Be Upgrading

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Over the weekend something happened to my PC. I wasn't actually there to witness the cause but my screen was showing a strange psychedelic array of windows blue and red when I got back from my business trip. After removing my video card I saw that all the 'stacks' (I have no idea what they actually do) were blown out. Could this have been caused by the ultra-buggy Fallout: New Vegas I was 'trying' to play five minutes at a time? Nevertheless I am using this as an excuse to finally upgrade my PC to something that will actually play the games I've purchased off Steam. So far the parts I've ordered are: 1. LIAN LI Black Aluminum ATX Media Center / HTPC Case 2. Intel LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard 3. Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) Quad-Core 4. EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 5. CORSAIR 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 6. ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink 7. SONY Black Blu-ray Burner SATA 8. Thermaltake Black Widow 850W 9. Crucial 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 10. Microsoft Windows 7 I'm excited to see how the SSD will run windows and games. Hopefully I will forget what a loading screen is. And yes, I purchased an HTPC case. Eventually I will be connecting this system to a larger LCD than my 22" widescreen. Note: If you order an SSD for a PC you may need a 2.5" converter. I had no idea these drives were so small. I combined all the parts except now I'm waiting on the SSD mounting kit. Otherwise, the machine is running great on my older HDs.

McSteamy Deals

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I picked up Borderlands GOTY edition which includes ALL of the downloadable content for $7 USD off Steam the other day. How do brick and mortars even survive in this economy when Steam is practically giving away AAA games? Is anyone else in love with these Steam specials? It seems like there's a great deal on blockbuster games every week - I did the same with Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY a month ago. A game has to be super-duper good for me to even consider buying it new. Ten years ago I would have told myself that I'm buying it new because I wanted something physical to hold, but with a Steam account I can still (hopefully) play the game again in ten years if I wish. What are your reasons for buying physical games anymore? Does anyone else hope that one day consoles will go completely to a DLC format like this?

Accepted!

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How does one work full-time, go to school for their MBA, and still find time to game? I suppose I'll have to find out :)

Don't Make Me a Criminal For Playing Video Games

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Bill S. 978 has recently been introduced before the United States Senate. The legislation, if passed, would impose stricter copyright laws and penalties when it comes to streaming, playing, or reproducing copyrighted material. While we believe in the rights of copyright holders, this legislation's broad language would make criminals out of millions of Americans. People could face prison for up to 5 years if they: 1) Make or offer 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works; and 2) If the total retail value of the performances, or the total economic value of such public performances to the infringer or to the copyright owner, could exceed $2,500; or 3) the total fair market value of licenses to offer performances of those works would exceed $5,000 In plain terms this means that if you stream your game play to show your friends and it's viewed by 1 or more friends ten times or less, you could go to jail for up to five years. Yeah, really. Everyone is at risk. The vagueness regarding value leaves it to copyright holders to determine the possible costs to them. If they want to prosecute through that loophole, they can. A child playing piano of their favorite performer on YouTube, a video of a child dancing to their favorite songs and video game players showing off walk-throughs, speed trials and live streaming their games are all examples of items that'd be prosecutable under this legislation. There are already strong laws on the books for copyright holders to protect their intellectual property. We don't need this draconian measure that'd make criminals out of millions Americans who just want to share their enjoyment of their favorite entertainment. Follow this link to send a letter to your representatives.

An Unbelievable Silent Hill Memorabilia Item

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Video game music composer Akira Yamaoka is auctioning off the acoustic guitar (with signature) that he used to compose the music from the Silent Hill series of video games to help people affected by disasters like the recent earthquake in Japan, as well as countless crises at home and around the world. A simply awesome piece of Silent Hill history.

Childhood: Rebooted

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Awesome-est game news EVER. Telltale has plans to take us back to the kingdom of Daventry, confirming its King's Quest reboot is currently underway. "We have agreed to a multi-title, multiplatform deal to reboot the King's Quest franchise," Telltale SVP of marketing, Steve Allison, announced during a press event last night. "Much like we did with Tales of Monkey Island, we're rebooting King's Quest with all new episodic games and multiple series." He provided no details beyond that, but promised more would be revealed at E3 this June. King's Quest is one of the most influential and highly-lauded adventure series of all time, spanning eight canonical games (and a trivia game) throughout the '80s and '90s. The series is the brainchild of Roberta Williams, co-founder and former co-owner of Sierra Entertainment. Currently, the rights to the franchise are owned by Activision. Thank you Joystiq. Next suggestion: Hero's Quest (or Quest for Glory if you really, really must).

Pass it on, Rock the Vote!

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Next month, the Smithsonian American Art Museum will debut the Art of Video Games, an exhibit chronicling what the museum calls the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. Be sure to vote for the games that you think are visually spectacular or boast innovative design, not just for your favorites. Visit The Art of Video Games web site and sign in to vote.

Studio Ghibli creates Another World for the PS3 and DS

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Stumbled upon this today:

"Ni no Kuni, is a fan's dream, a collaboration between three popular studios, one of which is the venerated Studio Ghibli. Famous for its award winning animated films, Studio Ghibli has never been involved in a video game, until now. The next partner celebrates its 10th anniversary as a video game developer. Level 5, the creators of such major titles as Professor Layton, and the White Knight Chronicles, is dedicated to making something special with Ni no Kuni. With music from the talented Hisaishi Joe, this collaboration is yet another exciting and enchanting Studio Ghibli story of magical worlds and fantastic characters. But for the first time, delivered in a fun and intriguing video game, transporting the gamer into the mystical world of Ni no Kuni, which translates as "the Another World"."

For more on the game visit GhibliWorld.com or the game's website at Ni no Kuni: Another World.

Let's all hope for a translated version!

[video=6276315]

One Way to Ruin the Moment.

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I'm going to start by saying that Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is a good game. I'll probably even give it a high 8/low 9. Up to a point, I was enjoying it and was even "lost" in the game. As a developer, you want to suspend the belief in your players so that they can relax and absorb the amount of labor that was put into making such a triple-A title. Which is why it surprises me that Ubisoft decided to slip in a few political jabs at conservatives just when they had me going. Now I know that the first few titles in the series had a bit of disdain for Henry Ford, which I thought was silly, but it seems like Brotherhood wants to take it one step further and chastise any form of capitalism. Funny for a team of creators who survive off selling a game. it only took a little political opinion to seep into the moment that I lost a bit of the 'magic' that was Assassin's Creed. And the point was totally irrevelant ... a crack about the US health care plan that was slipped into a description of an old Roman building. Was it necessary? Not really, but it got me thinking as to what the team at Ubisoft was trying to tell me. Maybe this will tie more into the story later down the road, but it seems more to me like they're trying to use the game as a venue for personal politics. And this is coming from a game that believes corporations (which are really just groups of people anyways) shouldn't have any influence in politics. It all just seems a little fishy to me and I guess I'm not the only one. It's too bad that this had to happen but I don't think that it's the end of politics in games. I just always thought this would always be the place where all people, no matter their affliation, could get together and just have fun. I guess that I'm just being naive :) Maybe this is because game companies, themselves, are merging into large corporations that can influence young adults ... I'll let you decide on that one. Just remember that when people start pointing fingers, they're often trying to deflect attention from themselves.

When the Sideshow Outshines the Main Event

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Modern first-person-shooter players, you are weak. I don't care how long you've played, how many medals you have, how many unlocks you've earned on your weapons, or how many noobs you've fragged ... the truth is that we're all combat spoon-fed. Winning today's FPS is just a matter of time and dumb luck. Now don't get me wrong, I have been weakened too. I've forgotten how difficult a shooter can really be. Sure, we can crank CoD up to Hard but with a checkpoint every five minutes is it really that much more of a challenge? Trust me, after playing Medal of Honor: Frontlines on hard for a weekend, I have found what challenge really is. I forgot how madenningly frustrating it is to play a level for over an hour, carefully tip-toeing my way through the blocky streets of pre-next-gen rendered Germany (or Paris or Holland), only to be clipped by some sniper on a roof ten miles away and return to the beginning of the level. Yes folks, not at the last logical checkpoint ... like the meeting of an informant after 45-minutes of play, but at the beginning of the level. This, my fellow gun-jockeys, is a test of personal spirit ... of stone determination to put an end to a true enemy once and for all (with a deep sense of earned satisfaction if you must). In fact, I now blame the Germans of 1944 for my angry delirium as I recall the exact location of every enemy soldier in "The Golden Lion" because I have to play it for the fifth time. Come to think of it, when was the last time you remembered the name of any CoD level? After frantically tracing and retracing steps, MoH: Frontlines seethingly burns itself into memory ... and the strangest part of all in this? Frontlines was merely a freebie. The actual Medal of Honor I was supposed to be playing was beaten in a matter of hours. I've even forgotten who the hell I was supposed to be angry with on that one. .... totally random here, but I just noticed that I almost always blog on the 8th, 9th, or 10th of the month. I wonder why that is.