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  • The League of Super Evil and Dragon Age Origins Lead Today’s Coffee Break News

12th August 2009

The League of Super Evil and Dragon Age Origins Lead Today’s Coffee Break News

League of Super EvilVancouver – The official League of Super Evil site is now fully operational and ready to unleash its evilness on the unsuspecting world wide web from their secret headquarters, A.K.A. Nerd Corps Entertainment. Visitors can now sign up for an account and create their own evil avatars to “play games and earn Evil Points so you can dress to impress. Or blow stuff up, your choice. Then, fill your Lair with evil gadgets so after a long, hard day you have a place to call “home sweet home.” Okay maybe not sweet but you get the idea! And remember, the only way to win, is to LOSE!”

According to recon information gathered via YTV, which seems to be the source of their regular, animated transmissions, “The League of Super Evil (a.k.a. L.O.S.E.) follows four Super Villains who have set their sights on nothing less than total neighbourhood domination! L.O.S.E. is helmed by the diminutive Great Voltar, whose grandiose plans are generally miniscule and child-like and give new meaning to the term lowered expectations. Then there’s gadgeteer Doktor Frogg, whose evil genius is diminished only by his incredible bad luck. Bringing the muscle is fresh-faced former farm-boy Reginald “Red” Menace, who prefers to channel his energy into gardening, cute animals and bouncy castles. And we can’t forget the completely unpredictable Doomageddon, a pan-dimensional creature who brings the term “bad dog” to a whole other level. Between using a Shiruken anime robot to win a playground slam dunk competition, inventing a super-computer to protect Voltar’s sweet new evil BMX bike, or hosting a neighbourhood barbeque and not inviting ANY of the neighbors, L.O.S.E. struggles ever-onward to its goal of total mindless fun!

EA GamesDragon Age™: Origins Collector’s Edition and pre-order incentive program. The Collector’s Edition is a premium package available in limited quantities featuring exclusive Dragon Age: Origins collectibles including a unique steel case, a cloth map of the world of Dragon Age, a Making-of documentary DVD, a digital version of the Dragon Age: Origins BioWaresoundtrack, game trailers, wallpapers, strategy tips and a concept art video, plus three exclusive downloadable items that will provide special advantages to the player. The Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order today for an MSRP of $74.99 (console) and $64.99 (PC) in North America.
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11th August 2009

National News Briefs

PhasedGamesToronto’s Phased Games has released Snax Lite on the Xbox 360. Priced at 80 Microsoft points, Snax Lite is available on the Xbox Live Indie Games service. In Snax Lite, you’re the chef at your barbecue and all your friends are dying just to get a piece of the grill action! Cook up and serve your guests in a limited time frame. It’s a race against the clock and the grill! Snax Lite (Cooking Arcade Game) features 6 Challenging levels of fast game play action and a Massive 80 Minute Marathon Mode. Do you have what it takes to become the Master Chef?Klei Entertainment

Nexon has taken down the web site previously used to publicize Sugar Rush, a game developed by Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment. A spokesman from Klei thanked all of their beta testers, but there is unfortunately no further word regarding the future of the game, which was well received by the gamer community. Klei Entertainment, who owns the rights to the title, is actively seeking a new publishing partner.

Fit BrainsFit Brains has added a new game to their site. Paradise Island 2 is a word game designed to help with improving word stem recognition, deduction and concept formation as well as combining syllables and fragments. Just a few minutes per day spent with the games on FitBrains will help keep your cognitive abilities sharp – or even teach you a few new skills – all for free. Village Gamer highly recommends Fit Brains for everyone.

Three Canadian developed games are gracing the FAQ page of the new Xbox 360 Games on Demand site. The featured games are Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and Need For Speed: Carbon. Games on Demand is available for purchase on Xbox LIVE as part of today’s Xbox LIVE Update. You will be able to browse and purchase games through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web starting August 13. Village Gamer was selected to experience the preview of the Xbox Live, and so far we’re liking the additions, even though some of the Avatar Marketplace add-ons seem to be a bit pricey and I haven’t really seen anything in the Avatar Marketplace that I would like to purchase for my avatar. I’m not sure yet how I feel about being able to purchase new titles directly from Xbox, and I’m sitting on the fence as far as “the end of retail” models. I’m one of those people who will purchase Collector’s Editions for certain titles (like Assassin’s Creed 2), and I would hate to see those options disappear, even if it is far off in the future.

The folks from Bioware have departed for GenCon, with promises of cool stuff for Dragon Age: Origins fans, and then they’re headed for GamesCon in Germany. I guess we’ll just have to wait for PAX to see all the cool stuff for ourselves.

And in my final note for the morning, just a reminder for those of you who are thinking about going to GDC Austin – early bird pricing ends in two days.

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11th August 2009

Interactive Ontario Adds Canadian Dimension to Edinburgh Interactive

Interactive OntarioOntarioInteractive Ontario (IO) in partnership with the Ontario International Marketing Centre (OIMC) will be heading over to Scotland to team up with Edinburgh Interactive at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on 13th & 14th August 2009. Representing over 200 companies capybarawithin the Ontario interactive digital content industry, IO will be joined by Capybara Games, who are set to showcase two soon-to-be-released titles.

As a non-profit trade association committed to the growth of Ontario’s Digital Media/Video Game industry, IO represents content producers and distributors, as well as stakeholders from a range of industry sectors including e-Learning, games, mobile, television, online, social media, marketing and academia. The Ontario International Marketing Centre, based in London, UK, facilitates trade and investment between the UK and Ontario.

Critter Crunch PSN

Critter Crunch PSN

Joining IO at Edinburgh Interactive this year will be IO member Capybara Games. Starting out as an award-winning mobile games developer, Capybara Games have since successfully branched out into the development of iPhone, Nintendo DS and downloadable console games. Capybara Games is an independent games studio from Canada’s fastest growing hub of video game production.

Capybara Games will be showcasing two soon-to-be-released titles at Edinburgh Interactive this year; Critter Crunch and Ubisoft’s Might & Magic Clash of Heroes. Critter Crunch is set in a magical place filled with cute, colourful critters frolicking in the sun, smelling the flowers and eating each other! Winner of the 2008 IGF Mobile Best Games & Achievement in Audio Awards and IGN Wireless 2007 Best Puzzle Games & Biggest Surprise Game Awards, Critter Crunch is a PlayStation® Network arcade-puzzler, and will be released later this year.
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7th August 2009

Game Briefs

CanadaCanada – First, a shout-out to our readers over at DFAIT – Happy Friday everyone! Also best wishes to Monika and Michael for a life full of adventure and happiness – make sure you come back to Vancouver every so often for a visit. Our other local adventurers, Brenda and Eli have reached Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, where you can apparently buy a Wii at the RankinSnowbirds Inlet Co-op for only $799.00. Wow.

This weekend, Village Gamer will be at the Abbotsford Airshow. We’ll be at the VIP Chalet on Sunday, so if you’re on Chalet Row, stop in and say hi. We’ll also be visiting with our friends from the Canadian Armed Forces out on the static display field. Sadly, Captain Phil “Ritz” Smith and our friends from the US Air Force Strike Eagle demo team appear to be scheduled for a show in Ohio – but there is a flypast scheduled. Makes conversation difficult, though. Our favourites, though, will always be the Snowbirds.  Both Nintendo Wii and Microsoft 360 had a presence at last year’s airshow. We’ll be checking to see if they’ve returned to the static area as well.

The cavechild flew in one of Bud Granley’s Yak 11 planes yesterday – usually he flies with stunt pilot Ken Pietsch, but Ken was booked up with media types. Mike took video of the flight, but he hasn’t finished his editing yet so we can’t show you this year’s pre-show flight adventure. He was disappointed that they only hit a low G-force once or twice during the flight. Now he’s decided he wants his pilot’s license.

IUGO’s new game Spy Bot Chronicles has officially launched in the iTunes App Store with an IUGOintroductory price of $0.99 usd. Toy Bot has been kidnapped by Thief Bot, and he needs you to rescue him. Play through four different zones to find the hidden levels and collect all of the rewards while experiencing the high quality of IUGO’s game design.

UbisoftUbisoft Montreal is asking for gamer input on some of the achievements for Assassin’s Creed 2. You can vote for one of these four achievements, as well as leave your comments. If you are a member of Ubi’s community, you can vote here; if you’re on Facebook, you can vote here.

The four achievements to vote on are:

The taste of revenge – Kill X Brutes (heavy guard)
Weapon Master – Use all weapons at least once
Victory lies in preparation – Get all available upgrades for Ezio
Mighty traveler – Travel X kilometers within the game

My choice was Mighty Traveler, because putting on lots of in-game miles means taking a look at the scenery and taking in all of the incredible artwork which has been done by the artists and level designers.

Dingo GamesVancouver’s indie developer Dingo Games has just announced its latest project, The Three Musketeers: The Game. Closely following the story of Alexander Dumas’ original masterpiece, The Three Musketeers: The Game is a unique action-adventure game for Mac and Windows.
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6th August 2009

Rise and Ruin Goes to Open Beta

veil entertainmentTorontoVeil Entertainment and Spore Productions are pleased to announce the Open Beta of Rise & Ruin, an online, card-based, fantasy combat game ready to play through PC web browsers.spore productions

Rise & Ruin is an entirely new twist on the trading card game (TCG) genre. Players level up their own ideal avatar while assembling decks from an ever-growing pool of powerful attack, defense, magic, and specialty cards. Thrilling, cinematic 3D battles take place directly in a web browser allowing for fast and accessible game play.

“We’re excited to get the Open Beta launched,” says Geoffrey MacDougall, CEO of Veil Entertainment. Rise and Ruin“We’ve worked hard to build an experience that combines the best of our favourite genres to provide character-driven, fast-paced game play. The guys on our live team are also eager to start implementing the storyline and tournaments they’ve developed over the last several months.”

“Now that we’re in open beta the team can start to focus on polish, reacting to the player experience, and implementing new features, ” says Joe Wagner, R&R’s Community Manager. “It’s great to be live. Players can also join us every Friday at 7:30 EST for Friday Night Fights where organized chaos reigns.”

Rise & Ruin gives players the unrestrictive option to play for free, for as long as they wish, with opportunities to win additional cards through community events. Similar to other TCGs, players can purchase credits to acquire new cards and access additional perks and content within the game.

Rise & Ruin is produced through the financial support of Telefilm Canada, Administrator of The Canada New Media Fund, funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada.

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6th August 2009

Ubisoft News

UbisoftCanada – Congratulations to Ubisoft Montreal on Far Cry 2’s nomination for the Edge Award For Interactive Innovation, the only Canadian made game on the short list of nominees. The winner will be announced at next week’s Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

Ubisoft Vancouver has released a fact sheet of super moves for their upcoming title, Academy of Champions.Academy of Champions

Super tackle: Take the ball off your opponent’s toes in a blink of an eye with this lightning-fast slide tackle.
Helix Kick: Bamboozle the goalie with this insane corkscrew shot.
Banana Kick: Put extreme bend on the ball – the keeper won’t know which way to turn.
Chopper: A spinning tackle frenzy that will send anyone in your path flying – including your own teammates!
Unstoppable Rush: Release that pent up aggression by knocking over anyone that gets in your way as you charge towards goal.
Cat-like Grace: Glide through tackles and defense like a knife through butter.
Stealth Attack: When Sam Fisher turns on his night-vision goggles nobody can see him – ideal for getting through on goal undetected.
Eagle Strike: Altair’s assassin training helps him to launch into the air and unleash a lethal strike that will take out the keeper before it hits the back on the net.
Acrobatic Leap: Why go through the defence when you can just leap over it? The other team won’t expect that!
Plunger Shot: The Rabbid weapon of choice makes for a very potent shot at goal.
Photo Fanatic: Jade will use the flash of her camera to temporarily stun her opponents and make them lose the ball.
Perfect Dribble: Opponents will be stunned by Pele’s unbelievable ball skills rendering them unable to stop him.
Bicycle Smash: Mia Hamm’s stunning backflip bicycle kick makes her one of the best strikers around.
Speed Burst: An explosion of pace that will help you catch up to opponents.
Dodge Move: Jump over or go around players quickly with these cool and easy to use tricks.

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4th August 2009

Assassin’s Creed 2 Master’s Edition Announced

UbisoftI am so pre-ordering this package!

The Package

MontrealUbisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed® II Limited Edition: Master Assassin’s Edition will be on store shelves this November 17th. The Master’s Edition for PS3 and Xbox 360 has an MSRP of $89.99 and will include the following in a premium collectible tin:

*Ezio collectable statue (8.5 inches tall)
*Exclusive in-game map: Santa Maria Dei Frari – Limited Edition Exclusive
*Exclusive in-game map for Gamestop Pre-orders: Plazzo Medici
*The Art of Assassin’s Creed II hard-covered art book

Additional Bonus Disc which includes:

*Behind the scenes of Assassin’s Creed II
*Assassin’s Creed II soundtrack

…along with much more.

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3rd August 2009

Coffee Break News For August 3rd

Thank you to my friends, readers and colleagues for the many notes of condolence and support after the passing of my Grandmother, they are all greatly appreciated – as is your patience while I try to get back up to speed on thought processes and writing. Thanks to Scott’s place of employ, we were able to enjoy a nice distraction Friday evening with box seats at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2009 World Police and Fire Games at GM Place. The Opening Ceremonies were extremely well done and very entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the drumming and cultural dancers at the official start of the ceremony. All of the athletic events which are taking place around the Lower Mainland are free to attend, great family events, and if you get the chance I highly recommend them. The schedule of events can be found on the official web site.

For those who haven’t had enough of the recently-ended Toronto garbage strike and the mess in the city’s parks, check Q-kmbr Gamesout Q-kmbr’s free browser game, Trash Wars. Game play involves keeping the rats from taking over a garbage dump by shooting them. You have unlimited ammo and three available upgrades for your gun.

Fuel Games has released their latest mobile game for the iPhone and iTouch. Lifeboat’s gameplay has Fuel Gamesplayers frantically fighting to save passengers as they topple overboard from a rapidly sinking ship. It’s the player’s task to tilt them into the available lifeboats and try to save as many as possible. If passengers fall in the ocean, players will need to tap them to bring them back onto the boat before they drown, or worse, become shark bait.Lifeboat

Saving passengers will net players cash, which can be used to upgrade the experience for quicker controls, sturdier ballasts, and swimming lessons for the passengers. The game also makes use of OS 3.0’s customizable music feature, allowing players to play god to rhythms of their choosing.

Featuring both accelerometer and touch-driven casual gameplay, along with humorous original voice acting and incredible 3D visuals, Lifeboat is now live on the App Store at a limited introductory price of 99 cents.

IUGOVancouver’s IUGO Mobile Entertainment has also just announced a new iPhone – iTouch title from the Toy Bots universe Thief Bot, the greedy kleptomaniac, has Spy Bot Chronicleskidnapped Toy Bot, and plans to use him as a shiny, golden trophy. Enter Spy Bot, the only one who can rescue him! Take control of Spy Bot as he jumps, shoots, and hacks his way through a varied 2D world of fun and adventure. Find Thief Bot’s hideout, save Toy Bot, and recover all the other stolen goods Thief Bot has swindled throughout the galaxy!

Features Include:

* Innovative hack ability allows Spy Bot to change the world around him
*4 different zones (content is equivilant to TBD 1,2,3 COMBINED)
*Hidden levels to find
*35 unique collectibles
*Over half a dozen characterful enemies
*Distinct music for each zone and major challenges
*Interactive animation and art

IUGO’s latest release, Star Hogs is currently available for an introductory price of 99 cents (USD) in the Star HogsApp Store. Rig up your hogs, strap yourself in, and head out into orbit for the fiercest turn-based battles this side of Uranus. Obliterate the competition with a Cruise Missile or close in for some potshots from your Vulcan gun. Not your style? Don’t worry, you’ve got more than 20 ways to kill someone. Nuke some asteroids for an extra payday, but remember, they’re the only thing protecting you from a re-entry hangover you won’t wake up from. Take out some chumps and unlock heaps of new gear in 32 campaign levels, or ride into the online arena to face curly tails from all over the universe. But remember, in space no one can hear you squeal.

Features Include:

* 32 levels for hours of gameplay
* Loads of weapons and customization options
* Global online leaderboards
* 3 game play modes: Freeplay, Campaign and Multiplayer mode
* Gorgeous 3D graphics
* Elegant, intuitive HUD and UI

Upcoming Event Reminders:

Society of Graphic Designers of CanadaThe BC Chapter of the Graphic Designers of Canada will be holding their annual free barbeque in partnership with New Media BC, Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications, National Advertising Benevolent Society, and the British Columbia Industrial Design Association. Members of these participating associations are encouraged to RSVP for this event, which will be featuring burgers, socializing, games and more for the whole family at Trout Lake Park in Vancouver on August 27.

BCIC has announced that tickets are now on sale for Connect 09, which takes place on October 19th in Vancouver. Early bird pricing is in effect until August 28th, and every early bird ticket offers a chance to win one of two seats in the Strategic Sales Leadership course offered by the Sauder School of Business. Tickets purchased before August 28th are $40.00 each, after August 28th the price increases to $50.00. Internationally recognized technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author Leonard Brody will be presenting a featured keynote, and there will also be a showcase of many “must-see” technologies developed at several BC academic institutions. Tickets also include the BCIC Awards and a stand-up buffet.

Just a reminder that if your Canadian organization, school or studio has news, we’ll be happy to post it on Village Gamer for you, all you need to do is send in the information to news.at.villagegamer.net

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29th July 2009

Ludia to Develop The Bachelor & The Bachelorette Videogames for WB Interactive

LudiaMontrealWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Ludia Inc. today announced a deal to create and distribute videogames based on the hit reality TV dating shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, from Warner Horizon Television and created by Mike Fleiss. The worldwide licensing and distribution arrangement will launch the videogames across multiple platforms following the conclusion of The Bachelor’s 14th season in 2010 on the ABC Television Network.

“The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are extremely popular on television and we are looking forward to bringing the properties into the videogame space,” said John Quinn, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Operations, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “These games are meant to engage fans of the show and the wider public beyond television, enriching the overall entertainment experience around the brand.”

“The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are first-rate licenses in reality TV’s dating genre, which is a hugely popular category with television viewers,” said Alex Thabet, Ludia’s founder and CEO. “We see great potential for the segment within the context of video games, and look forward to our collaboration with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to deliver a true-to-show game experience on a wide variety of platforms.”
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28th July 2009

Ubisoft and Universal Pictures Partner for Scott Pilgrim vs The World Game

UbisoftMontrealUbisoft® has announced the development of a video game based on Universal Pictures’ upcoming action-comedy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Co-written and directed by genre-smashing filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), the film stars some of Hollywood’s leading young talent, including Michael Cera (Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldSuperbad), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four series), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Mae Whitman (Nights in Rodanthe), and Jason Schwartzman (upcoming Funny People). The game is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal through a licensing agreement with Universal Partnerships & Licensing and is expected to launch worldwide with the film’s 2010 release.

The live-action Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film is based on a series of award-winning graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The series has earned numerous awards including: Entertainment Weekly’s Independent Comic of the Year, Wizard’s Indie Book of the Year and the Harvey Award for Humor in Comics. Published by Oni Press, the sixth and final volume in the series is set to debut in 2010—also timed to the film release. In the film, Scott Pilgrim (Cera) has just met the girl of his dreams (Winstead), but the only catch to winning her is that her seven evil exes are coming to kill him.
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