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You’re never too experienced to screw up the audio in a podcast. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. The heat pump that kept our intrepid podcastronauts warm on this cold night was the same one that unfortunately blew inappropriately on the microphone. If you brave the sketchy audio quality however, you will hear conversations about Thrones, and a game involving them, “actresses” and wrestling legends, and weird website registrations!

Bad things are going down in the Australasian games industry. Overworked and underpaid appears to be the ongoing pattern. Not only have we had ex-employees come forward from Team Bondi in Sydney, but now other developers have come out of the woodwork. One such disgruntled employee comes from a relatively new Gameloft studio, based in our very own city of Auckland. Some weeks ex-employee Glenn Watson would be working 100-120 hours in a never-ending crunch mode. He even cites an instance where a junior programmer worked for 24-hours straight.

Read the Games On Net article where former Head Studio Programmer, Glenn Watson describes his harrowing experience working for Gameloft Auckland, and why he decided to leave. It’s a sad state of affairs for the games industry that’s for sure. Let’s hope that by informing the public and bringing these issues to light, game producers will finally begin to clean up their acts.

EA’s support site has released a list of games that are about to be ‘retired’ from multiplayer. The site says “The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy.  The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired.” but interestingly doesn’t mention the difficulty of making the design decision to have these games dependant on the EA servers for the multiplayer to function at all. I imagine that wasn’t too hard, since businesses want to be spurring consumers on to the newest titles. But maybe I’m being overly cynical, a list of the titles to lose multiplayer on August 11 (possibly August 10 in NZ) is past the break. Continue reading

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You might have some preconceptions of what Journey is based on prior experience with Thatgamecompany’s other works, namely flOw and Flower. The latter managed to be pretty divisive, with many detractors claiming that something so simple can hardly be considered a game, while the other side felt that it made a definitive case for the pro- “games as art” idea. Journey represents perhaps an offering to the critics, going for more conventional mechanics, but maintaining the beauty, style, and sense of wonder that will ensure fans aren’t alienated.

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Sony NZ has released a video that shows the contents of the “Survivors Edition” of Resistance 3, which will be available on the 8th of September to people who have pre-ordered it. Along with the usual fare of some in-game content and appropriately thematic items like a satchel, playing cards, hip flask and journal, it also includes a Chimera-shaped firing range target, and some old school style plastic army men. I might not have a sand pit to play in anymore, but I did just get some nostalgic flashes right now. The video can be downloaded here.

dnfbannerOh, the review of Duke Nukem Forever is late? How delightfully droll!
In a way, it’s almost a sad thing to have Duke Nukem Forever finally see the light of day. I wasn’t just the constant “long time coming” that we’ve lost; DNF represented a huge well of mystery: What could delay something so much? What would it be like to play, at any of the points in development? How do you recapture something as innovative as it was in a genre that has evolved so much in twelve years? Well, for better or worse, the mystery is gone, and that’s not a genie that’ll go back into the bottle, so all that’s left to do is talk about its merit (or lack of) and avoid the “was it worth the wait?” lines. Continue reading

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Gar’s been relegated to the status of “Critical Listener” again due to a severe case of cooties, which may or may not have come about due to his exposure to a windy balcony. Of course, James, Paul and I are still around to talk about what it means to be “teh harcorez”.

As revealed some time back by our Aussie friends, Burnout CRASH! was today finally revealed to be Criterion’s latest project. Coming to PSN and XBLA (with Kinect support) at the end of this year. Not much is known about the game, but Criterion are promising a revamped Autolog system from their recent work on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit.

Burnout Crash! develops on their much beloved Crash mode introduced in the past Burnout games. If you’ve been living under an upturned bus these past few years, in Crash mode your aim was to drive into a busy intersection and rack up as much damage as possible. Nothing like a bit of terrorist activity to brighten your day!

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It means no worries, for the rest of your days. And no podcast is less carefree (facts? What are these ‘facts’ you speak of?) than the ButtonMasher Podcast. This weeks image placement was brazenly stolen from Gar’s friend that has impersonated Jackie Chan on at least one occasion.