5th July 2009

72 Hours In Aion A Closed Beta Review

AionVancouver – No, that’s not 72 hours of straight playing. The long-awaited North American closed beta of NCSoft’s Aion began this past Thursday at noon Pacific time, and that’s when our resident PC game player, A.K.A. Cavechild, logged into the game – if he hadn’t been in need of sleep and food, he probably would have logged a straight 72 hours.

The Aion build used for this testing is version 1.0, the most up-to-date version available. Players are limited to level 20 and certain map regions – but with so much to do and explore even within in this limited area, players can remain very occupied for this test period.

When I interrupted Cavechild’s play to ask him about Aion, the first question I put to him was to name one thing he did not like about the game. There are only two things thus far that he doesn’t like in the game: the fact that this is not the full release, and thAione apparent inability to turn off announcements from player stores – the well-known WTB and WTS scenarios.  (For those unfamiliar with these acronyms – WTB is Want To Buy and WTS is Want To Sell).

According to the Lore of Aion, the shell world of Atreia was once connected by the Tower of Eternity but a great cataclysm caused by the Balaur shattered the tower, separating the two worlds of Atreia. One side of Atreia is now inhabited by the Asmodian faction while the other is populated by the Elyos. Players will be able to explore these worlds as well as regions made up of voids and floating islands. As with many worlds, the two factions have an intense hatred of each other, and there is constant warring in The Abyss, the area between the two shattered regions. While the races battle each other, they must also contend with the greatest evil of all, the Balaur, previously only known to the factions through their Lore. It would seem that the factions may have to work together against the Balaur in order for what’s left of their world to survive.
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30th June 2009

Maloof Money Cup Makes Its Videogame Debut in Skate 2

EA GamesBurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. announced today that starting July 9 gamers can download and compete in Skate 2’s Maloof Money Cup Pack, based on the largest pursed event in the history of professional skateboarding. The pack will be available in the PLAYSTATION® Store for $3.00 and on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for 240 points in North America.

“Skate 2 has been embraced by the gaming and skateboarding community across the globe, making it the Maloof Money Cupperfect stage for the Maloof Money Cup’s videogame debut,” said Joe Maloof, President of Maloof Companies. “Now players everywhere can experience the world’s greatest skateboarding championship and revel in the high-stakes excitement of the competition for themselves.”

Skate 2’s Maloof Money Cup Pack will feature separate gameplay events both online and offline – freeskate, single player vert and street contests that put gamers against world class pros, and an online mode in which gamers will be able to compete against their friends in new activities and challenges for bragging rights. Xbox 360 gamers get an added bonus as there are 250 achievement points up for grabs.
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26th June 2009

Bigs2 Demo Now Available on PlayStation Network and XBL

Blue Castle GamesVancouver2K Sports today announced a free demo of The BIGS 2, developed by Vancouver studio Blue Castle Games,  is now available for download through PlayStation Network, and a demo on Xbox LIVE ® Marketplace was released last week. The demo will support two players, local only, and offer fans the exciting opportunity to experience the new Batter’s Wheelhouse, thrilling power ups, and incredible player models in a three Bigs 2inning game as either the American League All-Stars or National League All-Stars. Fans will also have the chance to smash home runs into building windows and neon signs in the return of the hugely popular mode, Home Run Pinball, in an all-new Las Vegas venue.

The BIGS 2, available on all major video game consoles, has been elevated to new heights this season with amazing visual effects and a variety of newly added modes including the fan requested Season and Become a Legend. With improved player animations and pick-up-and-play controls, The BIGS 2 is guaranteed to deliver an action-packed MLB videogame experience. Scheduled to be in retail stores on July 7, 2009, the big leagues just got BIGGER with The BIGS 2.

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26th June 2009

Entryware Mobile Survey Software Broadens Reach and Functionality

techneosI see many valuable uses for this application and its updates – kudos to Techneos

Vancouver – A significant upgrade will soon be available for Techneos® Entryware™ mobile survey software, opening up new capabilities for mobile research. Featuring a new survey engine for Windows Mobile® devices, this July 8th release will also provide an enhanced user experience for conducting mobile surveys on Windows® 98/XP/Vista, Palm OS® and webOS™ devices.

The Entryware platform for mobile research handles long, complex questionnaires with ease, enabling sophisticated consumer feedback on mobile devices ranging from entry level PDAs to the latest Smartphones and Windows-based Netbooks. With support for over 200 languages, Entryware software is ideal for face-to-face interviews, mystery shopping and diary studies.

Building on the unique notification system and scripting language already used by some of the world’s leading research organizations, the new release of Entryware software provides new capabilities to support self-completed research such as consumer diaries. Photo support and “lockdown” mode, already available for Entryware customers on Palm OS devices, are now available on Windows Mobile as well, allowing researchers to turn a wide range of PDAs and Smartphones into personal survey appliances. Enhanced project automation is also provided to simplify the user experience for self-completed surveys.
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23rd June 2009

Projected No.1 Draft Pick Blake Griffin Named Cover Athlete of EA SPORTS NCAA Basketball 10

EA SportsBurnaby Electronic Arts Inc. and EA Canada announced today that Blake Griffin, former Oklahoma Sooner and the projected top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, will be the new face of EA SPORTSNCAA Basketball 10™ NCAA Basketball 10. Griffin has an explosive presence, exciting college stadiums with massive dunks, huge blocks, and aggressive rebounds, and was a natural choice to represent the college game as cover athlete for NCAA Basketball 10. Griffin is the consensus national Player of the Year, winning the Big 12, Associated Press, Naismith, Sporting News, and John Wooden Player of the Year awards, and led his team to an Elite Eight appearance in the 2009 March Madness Tournament, where they lost to eventual champions, UNC. The 2009 NBA Draft is presented by EA SPORTS.

“Seeing myself on the cover of NCAA Basketball 10 is such a great tribute to my time at Oklahoma,” said Griffin. “I loved playing in front of passionate fans and competing against some of the best schools in the country. Now I am looking forward to competing at the next level against the best players in the world.”
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22nd June 2009

Chicago Blackhawks Star Patrick Kane the New Face of EA Sports NHL10

EA SportsBurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. today revealed that 20-year-old scoring phenom Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks will be the new face of the EA Canada developed NHL® 10 videogame from EA SPORTS™. Kane is the youngest player ever chosen for the cover of the NHL franchise and his image will be on the front of all packaging when NHL 10 is available in North American retail stores this September.NHL 10 Cover

Having emerged as one of the most skilled players in the NHL in just two seasons, Kane won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in 2008 and this year led the Blackhawks to the Western Conference Finals. He has scored more than 20 goals and registered more than 70 points in each of his first two seasons.

“It’s exciting to be on the cover of my favorite videogame after playing just my second year as a professional,” said Kane. “When you look back at some of the great players who have had this opportunity, it’s an honor to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a game I’ve been playing for more than 10 years.”

EA SPORTS also announced that it has signed Canadian junior hockey scoring sensation John Tavares, expected to be the top pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, to promote the release of NHL 10. Tavares will join Kane, the first overall draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, as spokespersons for NHL 10.
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19th June 2009

2K Sports Announces Free Demo of The BIGS 2

Blue Castle GamesVancouver – With the MLB All-Star Game right around the corner, 2K Sports today announced a free demo of The BIGS 2, which is being developed by Blue Castle Games,  is now available for download through Xbox LIVE Marketplace, and a demo on PlayStation Network will follow shortly. The demo will support two players, local only, and offer fans the exciting opportunity to experience the new Batter’s Wheelhouse, thrilling power upThe Bigs 2s, and incredible player models in a three inning game as either the American League All-Stars or National League All-Stars. Fans will also have the chance to smash home runs into building windows and neon signs in the return of the hugely popular mode, Home Run Pinball, in an all-new Las Vegas venue.

The BIGS 2, available on all major video game consoles, has been elevated to new heights this season with amazing visual effects and a variety of newly added modes including the fan requested Season and Become a Legend. With improved player animations and pick-up-and-play controls, The BIGS 2 is guaranteed to deliver an action-packed MLB videogame experience.

Scheduled to be in retail stores on July 7, 2009, The BIGS 2 will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, and Wii™ home video game system from Nintendo.

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18th June 2009

Rugged Waterproof Fanless PC for Extreme Environments Released By Stealth Computers

Stealth ComputerTorontoStealth.com Inc. (Stealth Computer) a leading ISO 9001 manufacturer of industrial rugged computers and peripherals has released the new Model WPC-500F, a waterproof rugged, small footprint, fanless computer for environments where ordinary computer hardware won’t survive.

WPC-500F

WPC-500F

The new Stealth WPC-500F is a rugged PC that is completely water-tight, surviving liquids, chemicals, dust and dirt intrusion, meeting IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications. Designed without cooling fans the internal CPU is cooled through advanced heat pipe technology. The rugged aluminum chassis also acts as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat and provide noise free operation.

Stealth’s WPC-500F extreme environment PC offers tremendous power in a tiny package that measures only; 7.51″(W) x 11.37″(D) x 2.97″(H) or (191 x 298 x 75.5 mm) yet surpasses the performance of most industrial and embedded PCs available today. Systems utilize Intel’s latest Atom processor technology for maximum performance and power efficiency.
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18th June 2009

Meridian4 Links up with 2DEngine on Chains

Meridian4MontrealMeridian4 is thrilled to announce that they have signed an agreement with independent developer 2DEngine.com to digitally distribute their challenging and addictive puzzle game Chains.

“Working with Meridian4 is an excellent opportunity to gain the right exposure for our game which would not be possible otherwise. Most conservative casual portals would not appreciate how Chains is so Chainsexpressive and different from other puzzle titles.” Said Ivan Traykov, Lead Designer and Programmer at 2DEngine.com.

“We were instantly addicted to Chains the moment we played it and instead of getting no work done, we decided to sign the game so we had a legitimate reason for playing it. We also saw a great, challenging independently-developed game that needed to get exposure to a wide audience. This is one of those ‘just-one-more-level’ games that will have you playing for hours.” said Andy Sher, CEO at Meridian4.

Chains will be available in the coming weeks on most digital distribution channels. Village Gamer has reviewed this game – and recommends it for some challenging fun.

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12th June 2009

Bioware To Take Dragon Age Origins On A Summer Tour

BioWareEdmonton – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., will bring Dragon Age™: Origins to the San Diego Comic-Con, GamesCom, Gen Con, Fan Expo Canada and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) over the course of summer 2009. This summer consumer show tour gives fans the chance to experience the game’s dark and gritty world of violence, lust and betrayal first-hand, before it hits stores this fall on the Xbox 360® videogame and Dragon Age Originsentertainment system, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and PC. Dragon Age: Origins promises gamers an epic adventure as a Grey Warden where they set on a course to defeat the Archdemon in a dark, stunning world. Dragon Age: Origins offers an engrossing story, unprecedented player choice, and bone-crushing, visceral combat, making it one of the most highly-anticipated releases of 2009.

“Dragon Age: Origins is the biggest, most ambitious BioWare game to date, and we will be delivering that great experience simultaneously on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, CEO and co-founder of BioWare and General Manager and Vice President, Electronic Arts. “Whether you’re a PC or console gamer, Dragon Age: Origins reinvents the fantasy experience, combining a great story with raw emotion and brutal action. We’re excited to share it with gamers before it ships this fall.”
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