Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Acclaim gives the green light to free-to-play Chronicles of Spellborn

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Go grab a calendar and put a big bright red circle around November 27th.  From here on out November 27th will be officially know as the North American Chronicles of Spellborn release date.

The Chronicles of Spellborn is an impressive free-to-play MMORPG in which players enter a world containing the remnants of a destroyed world.  Players delve into a fantasy world where they must collect powerful shard fragments before the forces of evil do.  Powered by the Unreal engine 2.5, Chronicles of Spellborn promises a highly developed playing environment with stunning graphics, spectacular effects, and numerous fine details.  One of Spellborn’s unique features is a rotating Skill Deck that allows players to refine and enhance their skills in real time.  In addition to a well developed Player vs. Player system, Chronicles of Spellborn also features a wide variety of nasty little creatures just waiting to be crushed, and intelligent hostile factions that can react to players abilities and known combat techniques, thereby providing a ‘smart’ battle scenario.

Naturally, coming out of the Acclaim stables in North America, Chronicles of Spellborn will be a free-to-play adventure BUT: the game will only feature a starting area that is 100% free.  The best way to think of it is as an open trial in a limited area.  If gamers like what they see, and want to continue further with their adventure, they can purchase a premium service that will unlock additional game content.  This premium service is slated to offer a wide variety of payment options.

“I’ve been playing and testing the game, and I’m having a fantastic time. The only thing that’s missing is our gamers! I can’t wait until November 27th to greet them all in the amazing world of Spellborn,” says David Perry, the US Director for Spellborn.

Acclaim is set to release details regarding the opening of Spellborn’s closed beta test in the upcoming weeks.  This closed beta is scheduled to feature several upgrades an enhancements in the class system, fame system, combat, and the quest structure.  If you’re not a resident of North America, no worries, as Acclaim is also making The Chronicles of Spellborn available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Players can sign up for the beta at http://spellborn.acclaim.com/

Having seen and played TCoS personally at the games convention in Leipzig, I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on this one again.  Sure, there are overtones of another MMORPG involving fantasy and classes that you might already be familiar with, but The Chronicles of Spellborn truly does have some unique features that help it to stand out from the crowd.  Think of Spellborn as a blender.  Take a dash of this MMO, a slice of that fantasy RPG, two scoops of this shooter, a pinch and a half of the Unreal Engine and blend to perfection.  The Chronicles of Spellborn features some of the best parts of a wide variety of popular MMOs, blends them all together, adds it’s own touch of originality and packs it all into an exciting new MMORPG.

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Second Life shows strong growth in the UK

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

According to new Nielsen Online figures, Second Life scored a strong third place when measured by total minutes spent engaged on/in a web activity/website.

Neilson Online tracked Facebook and YouTube as numbers one and two, but a surprising third place was won by Second Life.  Second Life clocked in at an impressive 125 minutes of total usage from the Queens dominion in May 2007, but showed a 137% increase to 296 Million minutes in May 2008.  Maybe living on an island with an 80% chance of rain, beer with no foam, and bad food leads perfectly to wishing for a Second Life?  Who knows…but either way Brits are Mad for Second Life.

Disney’s Club Penguin clocked in in ninth place with a growth of 23 million minutes in 2007 to 42 million minutes in 2008, an 82% increase.

It goes without saying that it’s a bit ‘odd’ that Nielson Online would rank Second Life as a ‘game’ but either way…clearly Linden Lab is on the right track by engaging more and more fans of colours, humour, and organisation.

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Apple announces Gaming selections for iPhone

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Steve Jobs and company are having themselves one heck of a party in San Francisco right now. Amongst Jobs’ exciting announcements in his keynote speech yesterday was the unveiling of what we’ve all been waiting for: Hot games on a hot phone!

Developers are free to set their own prices for games, and keep 70% of all revenues generated. You’ll be able to purchase games from the iPhone itself, provided that the file size is less than 10MB (please keep this in mind publishers). If the game file is over the 10MB limit, you’ll have to grab it via wi-fi or iTunes on a PC. This policy falls in line with all other iPhone downloads/installs.

A number of publishers were on stage with Jobs in a horse and pony show, obviously trying to 1-up the other. Without further adieu, fatfoogoo proudly presents:

The holy worldwide developers conference Steve Jobs keynote speech guide to the gaming grail. (Pics courtesy of Engadget’s outstanding coverage of the event).

Sega brought out and old favorite for iPhone: Super Monkey Ball. While initially previewed at the SDK launch, the perennial favorite with those incredibly maddening tilt levels that you had to clear through to get to the mini games. Right. Now just imagine that on the iPhone. The iPhone version of Super Monkey Ball will have more than 100 Levels. Oye vey!

Loopt is a location aware social networking tool. For those that can’t get enough of their 15 minutes of fame, Loopt allows you to broadcast, and likewise see, pinpoint locations of where you and your Loopt friends are on a map. User profiles can show a daily track of where you’ve been. Along with the Big Brother technology, Loopt also makes it very easy to mobile blog, send a photo, text, or make a call to friends, all within the app.

Pangea Games came to town ready to rock. They brought the noise with 2 titles ready to go for iPhone. First up? Enigmo. Enigmo is a pure physics based game (no mom, I’m working on improving my grades) and takes advantage of the use of iPhones touch controls as well as iPhones smokin’ processor power. The concept is simple enough with water droplets bouncing around and successfully porting them to another location.

The second title is Cro-Mag Rally, a caveman racer. Cro-Mag also uses the tilt controls, has nine tracks and ten cars. Racers are certainly not new to handheld gamers, ‘phones’ even, but….have you ever seen graphics like this on your phone?

Digital Legends brought it’s best via a rather complex looking 3D fantasy battle game. Think of it as a mishmash between God of War and Tomb Raider. Word on the street is that it only took them 2 weeks to program it. If the Digital Legends name rings a bell….yes, it’s the same folks that are pushing ONE for N-Gage.

And finally…while technically not a true ‘game’, I personally think this might be the most entertaining t-bone steak on the table: Band. While technically not a full blown version of Apple’s GarageBand, an independent developer, MooCowMusic from the UK has developer an app fro iPhone that has a virtual Piano, Drums, a 12-bar blues (ummm) “Instrument”, and a bass. Band allows you to arrange and rearrange original tunes and record them. I’m waiting for the next Guitar Hero vs. Band live battle contest.

All titles are scheduled to be available for the Apple App Store’s launch in July for $9.99.

All in all a tasty roundup. I’m not sure how many of these titles will actually make it to my iPhone, but I’m certain there’ll be that annoying long wait for the next train where impulse shopping will get the best of me.