Michael Larabel, founder of the Linux website Phoronix, was recently at Valve HQ, his Twitter account allegedly states. He is a well-respected member of the Linux community, and seems highly unlikely to disseminate inaccurate information, but we’re adding the question mark just in case.

He tweets that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Steam is indeed coming to the open-source Linux operating system. Now, it seems nice to write this accomplishment off for the hyper tech nerds only, but remember, Android is based atop of a variant of Linux, so further alterations to get it to run on the mobile OS would seem to be far less of an effort.

Of course, this is no way means that developers are required to port their games to Linux at all, and overall Steam game OSX support is still fairly low, but the future is just a tad bit brighter. Wait, no, it’s not getting bri…did you check the drivers? Okay, boot into kernel mode, we’re going to have to…

Oh, never mind.

Rayman Origins, the critically acclaimed yet commercially underperforming platformer, apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel. A recent Ubisoft survey confirmed the existence of a sequel, using the custom UBIart engine. From the survey:

“The sequel to Rayman Origins will feature brand new settings: legendary worlds filled with castles, vampires, ghosts, Greek Gods, or dragons.”

It also confirms the inclusion of the four-player co-op from the first game, which was a major selling point.

Now, if only we could get a sequel for another certain critically admired Ubisoft game…



For some, the greatest shock of the show wasn’t the Frankenstein-esque WiiU controller, or the incredible number of mouth-breathers at Microsoft’s E3 conference. Instead, it was the bombshell of a price on Playstation’s do-it-all new handheld, the Vita: only $250 USD for the base model, and $300 USD for the 3G enabled version (even if Americans would be tethered down to the worst possible carrier).
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The big one. What everyone was waiting for…the talk of the show, those massive lines (not that we had to wait in them). And here it is.

First, the primary point of note: the controller. As you’d perhaps heard, the controller is oddly light, and actually quite comfortable to hold, thanks to a perpendicular ridge on the backside about 60% up the controller’s width. However, where the back two triggers are comfortable, the top two “bumpers” are actually quite out of the way and difficult to hit without a hand readjustment…hopefully, these buttons will not be mapped to commonly used functions.
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(This post was written by Jonathan Jimenez, correspondent for Buttonmasher.)

One of the biggest problems with the Kinect, of course, is the fact that when a good game finally comes along, most living rooms simply aren’t large enough for an optimal Kinect experience. Knowing that I wasn’t the only Kinect owner suffering, I had hoped that Microsoft would address the issue during their press conference. They left me hanging, but luckily, Nyko rode in on their white horse with their new Kinect attachment: the Zoom.

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A Korean MMO, you say? Hah! How trite. Perhaps you’ll go play Maple Story, and then a nice bit of Lineage II.

I’ve always been a fan of the concept of MMOs, but rarely the execution. Turn-based battle systems with few dynamics, mostly, and worlds simply too large to support with enough content and interesting terrain.

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(This post was written by Jonathan Jimenez, correspondent for Buttonmasher.)

I just returned from Microsoft’s Best of Xbox Showcase at LA Live, where I was able to try Twisted Pixel’s up-and-coming retail game Gunstringer. The premise of the game: the player (an undead gunslinging marionette, ‘natch) puts on a spaghetti western play for a live audience. Our gunslinger was betrayed by his former posse, and seeks revenge in his undead state.

The controls for Gunstringer were innovative, and although I had a somewhat rough time with it initially, Gunstringer is a must-play for anyone looking to make use of their Kinect without having to rearrange their living room. The scene in the demo had me dodging incoming objects by moving left, right, and jumping over them using my left hand…the primary motion control for the game. My right hand acted as a my pistol, shooting former posse members, obstacles, and dynamite to clear paths. This doesn’t necessarily sound like a wonderful scheme, but in practice it was fairly entertaining.

Gunstringer was originally designed to be an Xbox Live Arcade game, but was apparently later expanded to a full retail game, consisting of four acts with four scenes per act. This seems a little risky; the game was incredibly fun to play, but being a full retail title could mean a higher cost than originally expected. Hopefully it launches at a fair price, because after spending a good fifteen minutes playing through the demo level, I was sold.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

We just got back from a lovely party over in downtown Los Angeles, which managed to nearly redeem the rather depressing Microsoft conference earlier that day. One of the Summer of Arcade 2011 titles, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, stood out.

An unbelievably beautiful Metroidvania title, perhaps most reminiscent to the indie title Aquaria (which I love). Michel Gagne (of Iron Giant fame) was there, the most non-jaded developer I’ve ever met; he was incredibly passionate about his title and the gaming industry in general, which he has only recently entered. Continue reading