Portal 2 Soundtrack: Free!

I don't know about you, but I thought the Portal 2 soundtrack was awesome! I'm just making a quick post today because I have been struck down with man flu so I haven't been on the computer too much.

Songs to Test by is the free soundtrack to Valve's Portal 2 (It's been a while since I made a Portal 2 post, okay?) and you can get it here.

There are 22 tracks of amazement on there, enjoy! If you haven't played the game, it might be worth a listen to the music to sway your opinion!

Dead Island Gameplay Trailer

The trailer that zombie enthusiasts have been waiting for since they saw the original cinematic trailer for Dead Island is finally here, and it's looking pretty cool.

The game gives me a Dead Rising 2/Left 4 Dead kind of feel, which should make it pretty fun! The environment looks a little like the environments from Crysis too, always good.

I can't really explain it better than the video itself though, so here it is:

Fable 3: Co op Error

Fable 3 has finally hit our PCs! Months after the Xbox 360 release and apparently rebuilt just for us. I've been ill these past few days, but I'm back, and just in time to play it.

The game itself so far is pretty fun, not the best RPG I've ever played but enjoyable. Then came the attempt at playing co-op.

My router is horrible at connecting to other people, especially if they're behind a router too, so I had tons of trouble as I expected.

The two main problems were not being on a static IP and having a weapons DLC that my co-op partner didn't have.

Your DLC is different: If you have the free weapons DLC, or your friend gets an error saying they can't join because of a DLC, you need to get rid of it. You can do that pretty simply by opening Games for Windows Live outside of Fable 3 and just deleting the content in the downloads section, it'll also disable any other DLC connected to it. You won't be able to load any of your single player games that you played using the DLCs until you reinstall it though, pretty annoying.

Network connection failure: If you're having network issues and either are you behind a router, it's a little more complicated. First off you want to get the obvious things out of the way, firewalls on your computer and router. If that doesn't work, you can do two things.

First: Make sure you're running a static IP off your router connection, you can find guides for that purpose here. This actually worked for us, and we could play without even playing with port forwarding.

Secondly: You can try opening the Xbox 360 ports, though you need to setup the static IP before that, you can find how to do that on most routers here.

Good luck setting up, guys.

Gog.com: Good Old Games

If you're a gamer into classics like Baldur's Gate and the Fallout series', Gog.com is for you. The site doesn't just deliver affordable nostalgia, it also uses a digitally distrubuted platform.

I only recently found about about Gog while trying to relive my childhood playing through some of the classics of my time. I'm surprised that it isn't a little more well known, but perhaps I'm just ignorant.

I actually still have my old boxed copies of the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games, but I was searching for the easiest way to play it co-op with a friend when I found the site. Tada, instant classics! I can't recommend the site enough because I'm so impressed that it offers some of the best RPGs ever made, and digitally - something that other legal outlets have been lacking. I don't think I could ever pirate anything in the Baldur's Gate series, that would feel way too wrong.

If you're a player of Mass Effect or Dragon Age and you're yearning for some great RPG gameplay and a rich storyline, I would urge you to play any of the Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale series'. You won't regret it.

I was actually reminded of some of the music in these games when I was looking at who was going to be composing the music for Guild Wars 2 (which looks pretty good, I'll have to post about it when I get time today or tomorrow). It's the same guy who composed the music for Icewind Dale and Oblivion. Awesome music:

Also I'm still really sad that I lost my post about Borderlands in the Blogger outage the other day, are they restoring all the posts? :(

A Look At L.A. Noire

If you're a fan of any of the Grand Theft Auto games, or in fact any of Rockstar's popular games, there's no doubt you've heard about L.A. Noire. In the past couple days I've seen some sneak peeks popping up all over, so I thought I would throw one here.

First thing I should say is, the video I'm going to post will have spoilers in it, so don't click it if you don't want that.

Sadly, L.A Noire is still console only, so if you're a PC Gamer like me, bad luck! However, with the development of this new engine, perhaps we'll see something coming to the PC, maybe even some of the older GTA games ported to the new engine... But that's just a thought. I'd love to see Vice City in this engine.

Overall, I just hope it comes to the PC at some point. It looks like it was a little stripped down for consoles looking at this Reddit post:
gripes23q: I know a guy who has worked on the game. He said they had to strip a lot of the facial animation data out to get it to fit on a disc for consoles and to avoid memory limits. In much the same way you have texture memory you also have animation memory, too much animation data constantly would slow the game down.
From what I recall he said the unstripped versions looked a lot better as you'd expect.
The game is coming this month (May), so look out for it if you're a console gamer.
I've replaced the video about 3 times now, since it keeps being taken off of Youtube. But this could be a more permanent link if the video below has been taken down again.

Portal 2 Authoring Tools

Another Portal 2 related post so soon, sorry! But this is an interesting development. If you've ever played with the hammer editor for Team Fortress 2, you might recognise this screenshot. 

These are the tools that Valve used to create Portal 2 and they're now available to everyone who has Portal 2 on Steam. The one thing I was slightly worried about in Portal 2 was the re-playability, especially in co-op. I have a few friends I wanted to play the game with, but after playing through co-op once or twice the puzzles are engraved into my mind, and there's no fun or challenge in waiting for someone else to figure them out while you sit around with your thumb up your ass.

So, we can make our own Portal 2 levels? So what? While Hammer is unfortunately hard to learn, we'll see community content now - some that will hopefully dwarf the campaign content in quality. In other words, replay value, especially if we can co-op user created maps.

Valve official post: here.

New Vegas: Malcolm the Molerat

Yes, that is a Molerat with a lawn chair attached to it's back, and yes, you can ride it. His name is Malcolm.

I wasn't really planning to post a lot about mods on this blog, with just the Fallout games and Oblivion alone, there is a metric ton of them. Plenty I've used myself too. But this one looked extra special!

Getting around the Mojave Desert can be a pain in the ass, that's where Malcolm comes in to help. He can be ordered around, carry your stuff and mostly importantly, used as a mount at 150% of your normal speed. Wow the ladies today!

You can find more screenshots here.

Also, bonus funny Fallout: New Vegas video:

Portal 2 Soundboard

It's pretty early in the year but so far I can easily say that Portal 2 is probably near the top of my list of  'Awesome games', it's hard to deny how fun the game-play and characters are. However, if you haven't played it... Stop looking at this and go play it. This contains spoilers.

More importantly though, if you've been longing for the ramblings of Wheatly, Cave Johnson or any of the characters, look no further.

This Portal 2 soundboard is a collection of lines from the game files - even some you didn't hear in the game! Again, if you haven't played the game, don't click the link. Go play it first!


Trailer for fun:

An Interview with Gabe Newell

Came across this today, thought it would be an interesting share for anyone that likes the behind the scenes type stuff. This is an interview with Gabe Newell of Valve Software (Half Life, Portal and the Left 4 Dead series' if you didn't know.)

The questions asked:

1. What is Valve up to these days?

2. With the addition of STEAM to the PSN is Valve planning on shifting development focus to consoles or are you going to remain developing games primarily for the PC?

3. How does Valve plan on differentiating the game from the very popular "League of Legends"?

4. How does micro transactions affect the future of Valve's business model?

5. Do you still plan on making single player games? (dispelling a rumour)

6. Do you ever get a chance to play games for fun anymore? If so, what games are you playing?

7. Do you plan on deviating from SOURCE or do you plan on indefinitely updating the current engine?

8. What games in the last decade do you believe have improved the gaming industry?

9. Will Chell from Portal and Gordon Freeman from HL be meeting?

10. Why are some of your most famous protagonists silent? How do you feel this affects the games as a whole?

11. What advice would you give to somebody aspiring to get into the gaming industry?

12. I read that you collect knives. How many knives do you own? What do you like about them?

13. What was your favorite game to work on?

How Gamers Helped Aid Japan

On Friday the 11th of March this year, Japan was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake and the after effects, needless to say, were extremely destructive. This date marked one of the greatest natural disasters in history. In an effort to support those affected by the devastation, a few game developers set up a way for you to donate through your favourite games.

Having a look back, I wondered how much those games raised to aid Japan because of gamers who wanted to help, and if there were any other games I missed out on - the results were impressive!

Team Fortress 2 players managed to raise $430,543.65 in the space of two weeks through buying unique hats that Valve put on sale for that time. There were three hats in total, all limited edition!

Extralives.org hosted a 37 hour Minecraft marathon that they put together very quickly in an effort to raise money as soon as possible. They managed to raise $9,099.33 through their stream and offering people slots on the server they were playing on.

Over 50,000 summoners participated in Riot games efforts, raising over $160,000 through the purchase of  the champion Akali and her nurse skin in League of Legends.

Play for Japan have raised money in a slightly different way, but are still very worth a mention.  As of the 28/4/2011 they've raised $116,941 by auctioning rare and unique gaming items, usually signed by game devs too. My favourite item sold has to be the Guitar played by Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.

There have probably been even more cases of gamers or game developers raising money for the cause, if you find any, feel free to add them in comments. Remember, never let anyone tell you games never helped anyone!

Mass Effect 3 Delayed

We knew undoubtedly that with so many releases this year, some of our most awaited were bound to take a hit, and it looks like we have our first: Mass Effect 3.

Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series posted this on Bioware's Facebook page a few hours ago:
Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012. The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations.
It looks like DICE has also been drafted in to help develop the game, although reportedly only to help with some of the in-game sounds.

So, do you think the delay is good or bad? Perhaps Bioware want to avoid another Dragon Age 2 type reception.

An amazing look into the Half Life 2 Universe

With the recent release of Portal 2, it's easy to forget the past accomplishments of Valve. So why not celebrate it with this piece of superb cinematography:

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