Fairy Bloom Ultra Encore Released & Some Freesia Logic

By Ben Barrett on October 24th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Ah, understandable naming conventions, may you never spread to the shores of Japan. Fairy Bloom is a freeware Japanese indie game from 2005 about defending a giant plant from evil red versions of yourself. All the fun of a button-mashing action platformer without any of that payment-requiring plot, progression or 3rd dimension. It’s alright and still available if you’re into that.

Fairy Bloom Freesia was released in 2012, taking the basic concepts of Fairy Bloom, particularly that enemies could be hit into each other, and adding to it. It removed the plant and made your character the target, adding a block button and more complex play area as well as unlocks and more complex combos. The newly released Ultra Encore strips all that away again, being an HD version of the original game. The right direction? Well, no.

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Every Death You Take: Perma-Permadeath in DayZ

By Christopher Livingston on October 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 pm.

This town is, frankly, big enough for the two of us It's DayZ. It's huge.

Games with permadeath — wherein you start over completely when you die — provide certain stakes to a gaming session. Rather than reloading your last save after you die, you lose all your gear, you lose all your progress, and you essentially lose all the time you’ve spent playing up to that point. For a while now (a couple years, to be honest) I’ve been thinking about a way to up those stakes, to go a step beyond perma-death: perma-permadeath, where dying means you don’t just lose your stuff, you lose the game itself. Forever. Survival Week on RPS seems like an apt time to finally give it a try.

So, today I’ll play DayZ, and if I die, I won’t simply start over. I’ll stop playing DayZ, and I won’t play it again. For the rest of my life. For real.

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Week in Tech: The PC Is Dead, Long Live The PC

By Jeremy Laird on October 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

My desk drawer, yesterday

You know the one about the New Scientist editor and his philosophy for the magazine, right? Science is interesting and if you don’t agree you can bugger off? It comes second hand via the shy, retiring figure that is Richard Dawkins and, for all I know, it’s probably apocryphal. But it’s at least in broadly the same ballpark as my feelings about the computer industry. It’s just had such a huge impact on the way we live. And none so much as the PC, even if the image of the poor old thing being devoured alive by a swarm of vicious mobile devices gets repeated so often, nobody really bothers to check if it’s true. And yes, we’ve been here before, kinda.

But in recent weeks it’s all become more baffling than ever. Try this for size: Record revenues for good old Intel, AMD laying off staff while another bit of what used to be AMD is paid $1.5 billion to take away what’s left of IBM’s chip production facility – deep breath – tablet sales tanking, PC sales taking up the slack, an Apple iPad chip with more transistors than an eight-core Intel PC processor, graphics chip vendors stuck on 28nm while Apple pinches all the 20nm production capacity…I’m not sure what to make of all, especially in terms of, ya know, simply playing games on PCs. But one thing is for sure, it’s interesting. And if you don’t agree… Read the rest of this entry »

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Night Of The Living Devs: 3D Realms Relaunches

By Alice O'Connor on October 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

From what sacrifice does this blood flow?

Names have power, oh names have a terrible power. Names define and names bind, names create and names destroy. No name can ever truly die. Utter those syllables by chance or by mischief and the name returns, just like that, hungry to reclaim its power. When we instinctively shush a burbling baby, it is a primal terror that they might speak a forbidden name. From the mouths of babes, indeed.

But hark, why do the cats wail so? From whence does this gale blow? You press your hands to your ears but cannot keep in the gushing blood nor block out the howling winds and the name they carry:

3D REALMS

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The Lost Cartographer: Surviving The Long Dark

By Duncan Geere on October 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

It’s grim up north. The northern parts of Canada portrayed in early-access survival adventure The Long Dark, that is. We sent Duncan Geere to explore its icy landscapes for Survival Week, and he came back with a tale of a single day in the life of a lost cartographer, trying to map the wilderness as it slowly kills him.

The first sensation is one of bone-chilling cold. I open my eyes, and I’m blinded by bright light from all directions. What is this place? Am I dead? If I’d known that heaven would have been this chilly, I’d have brought a thicker jumper. But no, after a few seconds the whiteness fades into shapes. Shapes of trees and mountains. Slowly, the memories come back.

I was on a plane – a plane flying into the far north of Canada to study an odd geomagnetic anomaly that had appeared close to the magnetic pole. My skills were needed to map the affected area – I’ve been a cartographer for fifteen years. But while in flight, the anomaly grew larger and the plane’s navigation systems failed. In vain, the pilot hunted for a safe landing site, but when the fuel ran low we were forced out of the door with a few basic survival supplies and a parachute. Now I’m somewhere in the Canadian wildernerness in the worst possible state for a cartographer to be. Lost.

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CS:GO’s Halloween Will See You In Hell, Mothercluckers

By Philippa Warr on October 23rd, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Valve's calling it Murder Most Fowl

Tis the season for games to get some kind of pumpkin-flavoured update (or to prompt outrage by dealing in precisely zero pumpkins/ghosts/costumes). In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Hallowe’en means Valve will have done something utterly adorable to their map chickens. And by map chickens I don’t mean those losers who mill about accidentally falling victim to my friendly fire*, I mean the actual chickens.

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The Resident Evil Within

By Rich Stanton on October 23rd, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Shinji Mikami, the director of The Evil Within (TEW), directed both Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4 when at Capcom. It was always clear from TEW’s title that this in some way marked a return to those roots, but about halfway through I started thinking that someone at Capcom had really pissed Mikami off. This is not just a loose reinvention and homage to Resident Evil, but one that absolutely goes for the throat in the latter stages, offering up parallels so stark the comparison is direct rather than implied. So what’s Shinji saying?

Click to once again enter the world of survival horror.

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Survive With A Society In Primitives

By Ben Barrett on October 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Well done, traveller, you’ve almost made it to the end of survival week. And you’re still capable of rational thought and reading! Truly you are an immortal of our time. I’ve got a reward for you. Primitives, a student game by seven final year-ers at the Queensland University of Technology, starts in a similar fashion – chop down a tree, make a campfire, get some stone, try not to eat your own face off in hunger. The twist comes when you start building huts, causing AI compatriots to arrive and turn the game into more of a third-person RTS. It’s also totally free and available in a beta state now. Trailer and some thoughts below.

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Have You Played… A Dark Room?

By Adam Smith on October 23rd, 2014 at 3:30 pm.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Is A Dark Room a survival game? It’s a browser-based resource management game, which wears the uniform of an ‘idle’ experience but is about far more than accumulation over time. Perhaps it doesn’t quite fit the survival theme because it’s impossible to fail but it repositions the language and grammar of survival for its own sweetly sinister ends.

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Into The Night: Insurgency Adding Dark, Dark Co-op

By Alice O'Connor on October 23rd, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

I can seeee youuuu.

Darkness in multiplayer shooters is a tricky one. In theory, it demands new ways of moving, more attention and more caution, but opens up new tactics and opportunities. In practice, people bump their brightness high enough to make the darkness pointless so you do it too because they’re essentially playing a different, easier game and then it’s all just pointless and everyone’s looking at an ugly, ugly game. Few games manage fun, uncheatable darkness.

Military FPS Insurgency is having a crack at darkness in its next update, named Nightfall. Along with spooky night-time maps, it’ll bring a new co-op mode about sneaking around in the dark.

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Into The Hollow: Dark Souls 2 First Person Mod

By Adam Smith on October 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Some things were never meant to be seen up close and personal. Take the Mona Lisa – Da Vinci’s elaborate smiley isn’t kept behind bulletproof glass for its own safety, it’s locked up to maintain a secure distance from onlookers. Get within a few inches and the familiar smile ceases to draw the eye – instead, you’ll be unable to ignore the painter’s self-insertion, an image of himself mooning the model, reflected in the sparkle of her eye.

With the release of a Dark Souls 2 first-person mod, it’s now possible to see the buildings and beasties of Drangleic up close and personal, but do you really want to? Take a look.

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This Game’s Name Has A Different Meaning When Red:Out

By Graham Smith on October 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

One day there’s going to be a videogame inspired by Wipeout and it’s going to a turn-based, ragdoll physics obstacle course inspired by the TV show of the same name. Until then we’ll have to settle for those reviving the future-racing of the beloved PlayStation 1-era game, which is where Red:Out‘s allegiances lie. It’s being made by a small team of Italian developers and there’s a couple of pre-alpha videos below which will let you know exactly how close it veers to the source material.

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Business: Former EA CEO Riccitiello Now Unity CEO

By Alice O'Connor on October 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

He's very insistent that he wear this mask as 'the new face of the company.'

Thursday is, as ever, Business Thursday here at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. We’re wearing ties, playing Footsie, and folding that pretty pink newspaper into paper planes. It’s 12 o’clock, which means it’s now time for the RPS #business#noonblast brought to you by Millson’s Tie Clip Polish. Millson’s! Don’t let tarnish tarnish your reputation.

Business is afoot at engine makers Unity. Co-founder David Helgason has stepped down as CEO, and up has jumped former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello. He’d already been on the Unity board for a year, and an insider tells me his appointment comes after nailing a sikk nollie 720 gazelle nerdflip. “What does this mean for Unity?” Helgason asks rhetorically. “Not too much …”

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