22nd October 2009

Dragon Age Journeys In Browsers Everywhere

BioWare CorpEdmonton – The first chapter of Dragon Age™ Journeys, a free to play browser based game set in the Dragon Age world, is now available over the internet. From Bioware, Dragon Age Journeys puts players in the role of a hero exploring the underground dwarven kingdom of Orzammar. Players will uncover a dastardly plot that threatens to unleash a great evil that Dragon Age Journeyswon’t stop until it destroys all living things. Based on BioWare’s upcoming dark fantasy epic Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age Journeys, sets a new standard of quality for browser-based games with addictive combat mechanics and fluid gameplay. Players of Dragon Age Journeys will have the chance to earn exclusive in game content for Dragon Age: Origins on the day of its release.

The game is produced by a new browser-based production team at EA and an all-star team of independent development talent, with the goal of creating premium quality browser games. Dragon Age Journeys represents EA’s commitment to supporting talented independent developers.

“Dragon Age Journeys continues our mission of working with talented game developers and artists to create high quality games, blowing away expectations of what is possible in the browser,” said Mark Dragon Age OriginsSpenner, VP of Development, EA 2D. “We are honored to be working with BioWare to introduce the Dragon Age franchise to a wide audience of gamers.”

“Dragon Age Journeys sets the stage for Dragon Age: Origins,” said Mark Darrah, Executive Producer, Dragon Age: Origins. “The team has shown the Dragon Age Franchise in a bold new light and the release of this game allows a broad audience of players to discover our dark fantasy universe for the first time.”

Dragon Age Journeys will feature intense tactical combat, a compelling story and deep customization. Players can choose from one of six different origin stories, each offering a unique background that shapes the lens of how the player perceives the world and how the world will perceive them. The game will deliver an amazing experience to fans looking for an introduction to BioWare’s dark fantasy epic, Dragon Age: Origins.

Dragon Age: Origins will be released in North America in…..twelve….more…..days……….

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19th October 2009

KrabbitWorld Origins New Battle Modes Pwn in KrabbitSoft’s new release of KWO v 1.1

Krabbit OnlineSurreyKrabbitSoft’s Gothic Fantasy 3D Action RPG breaks the mold with Furious Fighter Style Game Play. A true Hybrid, RPG element defined as lite, Action/RPG/Fighter more accurately describes this game.Krabbit World

Hack n’ slash combat focused, KWO now includes Battle Modes for those too twitchy to satisfy with Story Mode. New dash attack and combat magic jump & multi-shoot level the playing field for earthbound and aerial battler alike. Not for the faint of heart, not for the weak in spirit, for you will be pwned.

Arcade Mode

Most profitable mode for gaining high level armor.
– 8 fights of three 2 min rounds
– choose comrade at start or between fights
– opponents are chosen for you (up to 24 opponents in groups of 5 depending on level)
– time remaining in Victory rounds is added to your XP
– to win a round you or your comrade must survive
– end of 3rd round player gets random loot
– end of 8th fight player gets special loot

Versus ModeSwordswipe

Potentially best mode for testing different comrades and practicing against various opponents.
– 1 fight consisting of three 2 minute rounds
– choose comrade at start
– choose opponent and opponent’s comrade
– time remaining in Victory rounds is added to your XP
– to win a round you or your comrade must survive
– at end of 3rd round player gets random loot drop

Survival Mode

Potentially the best mode for testing your skills. You must survive an onslaught of 60 opponents.
This mode is good for gaining a lot of XP. You can gain more loot than Versus plus you get special loot.
– 1 fight consisting of one 10 minute round
– time remaining in Victory rounds is added to your XP
– to win a round you or your comrade must survive

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16th October 2009

Start 2010 with Mass Effect 2

BioWare CorpEdmonton – Mark your calendar and lock in your copy of Mass Effect 2 now! Leading video game developer BioWare™ has announced that the epic Shooter/RPG Mass Effect™ 2 will be on store shelves in North America on January 26, and on January 29 in Europe. With its larger-than-life hero Commander Shepard, intense shooter action, nuanced characters and a rich storyline, the much-anticipated sequel to the original award-winning opus is one of the most anticipated titles of 2010. In support of the launch, BioWare is releasing unique Mass Effect 2 Terminus Gearpre-order incentives* at key retailers in North America and across Europe. Codes for downloading these items will be provided to players who have pre-ordered, usable when the game is released.

“Our fans are in for a genuine thrill in the New Year with Mass Effect 2 – the second installment in the trilogy will be of amazingly high quality,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA. “BioWare’s fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this epic sequel, and we couldn’t be more excited to reward them for pre-ordering by delivering some awesome bonus content!”

In North America, pre-order bonuses (restrictions apply, see actual pre-order offers for details) include special-ops armor and weaponry that are designed to boost Commander Shepard’s skills and abilities. At GameStop, Terminus Gear is available with pre-orders, which includes the powerful Terminus Assault Armor and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon:

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15th October 2009

Bioware Updates, Xbox Preview and Best Buy Adds Game Trades

BioWare CorpBioware has announced that the first seven pages of the new Mass Effect 2 comic from Dark Horse is now available on the Bioware blog. Written by ME2 lead writer Mac Walters, the comic’s storyline is Dragon Age Journeysindependent of the upcoming Mass Effect 2’s story and follows Dr. Liara T’Soni on a dangerous and important mission to Terminus System in the Milky Way.

Bioware has also released more information about Dragon Age Journeys, a browser-based chapter of the Dragon Age franchise currently in development at EA 2D. According to Producer Ethan Levy’s blog post, “Dragon Age Journeys has been a collaboration between EA 2D, BioWare, and some of the hottest indie talent from the flash developer community. We broke ground on Journeys back in November 2008, and after so many months of blood, sweat and tears, we can’t tell you how excited we are to finally start talking about the game.”

“We have some big plans for Journeys. The first piece that we are currently building is a 3 chapter, single player, tactical rpg delivered in Flash. Right now we’re hard at work finishing the first chapter, Dragon Age Journeys: The Deep Roads”, continues Ethan. “The game will introduce you to the dwarven city of Orzammar and the Deep Roads surrounding it where the dwarves face a persistent threat from the darkspawn hordes. The Deep Roads features character classes, talent trees, sound effects, music and user interface taken directly from Dragon Age: Origins. Thanks to all these resources and input from the BioWare team, it will serve as a solid introduction to the world of Dragon Age.”

I started reading Dragon Age The Calling two nights ago. The Calling is the second book in the Dragon Age novel series penned by Bioware Lead Writer David Gaider – I highly recommend the titles to all of those who enjoy reading books in the Fantasy genre. The EB Games store where I regularly pick up all of my new addictions is already taunting those of us waiting for Dragon Age. They have two shelves of empty Dragon Age Online covers sitting on display behind the service desk. Want.

Xbox 360Microsoft is looking for gamers who would like a chance to preview the next installment of Xbox Live improvements and changes. Those who Silver or Gold XBL memberships are welcome to register – you will need some advance information when you fill in the form, such as your Xbox serial number, ID number, make and model of the TV hooked up to your Xbox, your router make and if you use wireless, the type of wireless connection you have. We participated in the last update preview, and have registered again for this one.

Best Buy Canada has joined the list of retailers who now accept game trade-ins. “Gaming enthusiasts are encouraged to bring in their previously played video games and trade them in for up to $40 in store Best Buy Canadacredit, which can be used toward anything in the store, including a new game!”

Have you braved the battle and won the war in Star Wars: Battlefront? Unsure of what to do with that copy of Final Fantasy collecting dust in your basement? Has your “Need for Speed” suddenly come to a grinding halt? “With Best Buy’s gaming trade-in program, gamers of all types can bring in previously played games to any participating Best Buy location*, where they will receive a Best Buy store credit based on the assigned value of the games.

“We have been testing this program in our Edmonton stores and it has been so highly successful that we decided to extend this offer across Canada, said Paul Fisher, Director of Merchandising, Entertainment, Best Buy Canada. “Gaming now reaches a wider group of Canadians, including women and boomers. This program will enable gamers of all types to trade in for other titles or new technology.”

Trade-in is available on more than 2,500 current game titles and games from the following consoles: Nintendo DS & DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. As part of program, Canadians can also purchase previously played titles in-store for less than the cost of a new version of the game.

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14th October 2009

Unique Text-Based RPG Advances Through Beta Phase

Kiko GamesSt. CatharinesWhiskey Mountain Wars is an online game based on the whiskey running of the 1970’s. If you ever wanted to become a whiskey runner but cannot afford the jail time for bootleg whiskey, now is the chance to do it safely in the comfort of your own home. The highlight of which is the addition of true turn-based player versus player battles within a text strategy game. This feature is a unique aspect within text-based role playing game’s (RPG).

Updated and new features added to the game include:

Player versus player (PVP) solo battles – Players can challenge other players to battle in the new PVP Arena, The Scrappin’ Yard. Players may choose to accept or deny the challenge. Prior to battle, players pay a small arena booking fee with in-game currency (shiny’s). The winner will earn experience but the player’s willpower is not affected.

Players may now set default weaponry, equipment and clothing; freeing the player from having to set those features each and every time players enter a run down quest.

A new feature called Whiskey Running enables players to transport and bootleg their illicit whiskey at various locations. The amount of whiskey the player can carry varies throughout the game based on the type of vehicle the players owns, limiting the amount of money players can earn for each whiskey run.

A new Trading Post has been upgraded and expanded to include an Arms Dealer for purchasing in-game weapons, a Pawn Shop to sell items for in-game money, and a Whiskey Wicket where players can sell whiskey for income. A General store has been added allowing players to purchase game coins to further enhance game play.

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8th October 2009

BioWare’s Dragon Age: Origins to Feature Premium Downloadable Content at Launch

BioWare CorpEdmontonBioWare™ has released details about special bonus content crafted for Dragon Age™: Origins to be released on launch day. The award winning developer will release several packs of downloadable content (DLC) for the highly anticipated RPG including The Stone Prisoner, the Blood Dragon Armor and Warden’s Keep. Dragon Age Origins

“BioWare is dedicated to delivering at high quality for our fans, and we’ve created something quite special here, some really cool new downloadable content. A brand new party member, fresh adventures and environments to explore, plus powerful new items and abilities – together these will enrich and extend the core game experience, and enable our fans to dive even deeper into the dark, heroic fantasy universe of Dragon Age,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare and the Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group at EA.

In Dragon Age: Origins, players take the role of a Grey Warden, one of the last of an ancient order of guardians. Now, as a rising evil threatens to destroy all life, it is up to players to unite the shattered lands and slay the corrupted dragon known as the Archdemon. To restore peace, players must make ruthless decisions and be willing to sacrifice their friends and loved ones for the greater good of mankind. On this journey, players will need to make critical choices that affect the various members of their party.

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2nd October 2009

Dragon Age Origins Updates

BioWareEdmontonBioware has announced that they will be releasing the Character Creator from Dragon Age: Origins on the 13th of October. This will give players three weeks to experiment and get their Player Character just right before launch of the game on November 3rd – 6th. While this feature will only be transferable to the PC version of the game, those of us who are console gamers can still download the Creator and preview the different character choices.Dragon Age Origins

Downloadable as a separate application, The Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator will allow gamers to create numerous different characters before launch and experiment with the different classes, races, and create multiple faces for the six Origin stories and save them to their hard drives for safe keeping until the game is released. The Character Creator will be available for download from the Dragon Age: Origins web site and will be available in English, German, French, Polish and Russian, as well as in Czech, Hungarian, Italian and Spanish with English Voice Over.

Bioware’s Community Coordinator Chris Priestley also announced that “we are extending the BioWare community with a new social community site for Dragon Age: Origins. The great news is when we launch the Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator we will also be launching an open beta of the new social community site. You will be able to log into the new Social community site with your existing BioWare forums account name and password, and update it to the new social site account. Characters created with the Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator can also be uploaded to your account from within the Character creator. Once logged in to the social site, one of the first things you will be able to do is use one of your uploaded characters as your social website avatar for your profile on the new social website forums.”

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Bioware also recently released a new video introducing story character Zevran, an Elven assassin who was sent by the Antivian Crows to kill the player in Dragon Age: Origins. Luckily for the player, he had a change of heart and now fights with the Grey Wardens. At least, until the Crows come along to investigate about the apparent good health of the player.

I just finished reading the first novel in the Dragon Age series, The Stolen Throne, and I was very impressed with the story. In my opinion, David Gaider’s writing is easily on a par with that of David Eddings and Robert Jordan. The Stolen Throne had me hooked by the end of the first chapter, and while IDragon Age: The Stolen Throne binge-read the whole book, I didn’t want the story to end. Thankfully the next installment in the series, The Calling, is due for release on October 13, so I don’t have long to wait. Bioware has placed the first chapter of The Calling on the Dragon Age: Origins web site, but thus far I have resisted the temptation to read it. I haven’t even peeked. Yet.

As an added bonus, I realized after getting The Stolen Throne home, that the book had been signed by the author. Out of curiosity, I went back to my local Chapter’s store to check and see if the other volume on the shelf was also signed, and it wasn’t. This is when I am grateful for being left-handed and picking the one copy of Dragon Age: The Callingthe two available that was signed. I have tried searching the web to see if there was any significance to the randomly signed copies, but couldn’t find any information. If the writing in the novel series is anything to go on, I think that Dragon Age: Origins the game is going to reward players with an amazingly deep and highly developed world full of lore, something that I know many of us who RPG really appreciate.

The only area I am confused about in this pre-release period is the Pre-Order and Collector’s Edition bonuses. For those keeping track of what I have on pre-order, yes, I have Dragon Age: Origins Collector’s Edition for the 360 on pre-order. The Bioware forums do impart information about the bonuses, but they speak of pre-order codes, and I didn’t receive any type of pre-order bonus information from our EB Games outlet. Hopefully I can get some type of confirmation from Bioware about the different bonuses and how to obtain them – otherwise I will have to try to glean the information from the 110 pages of Collector’s Edition discussion on the Dragon Age forum.

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1st October 2009

Ubisoft Game Shorts

UbisoftUbisoft Montreal has released another Game Dev video walkthrough for the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed 2. This video highlights several new game play components, such as the weapons dealer and new weapons like the smoke bomb, as well as Ezio’s ability to swim and use gondolas. I’m grateful for the new Ezio at the Arms Dealerswimming ability, because in Assassin’s Creed 1 I seemed to spend a fair amount of time falling into the water and drowning. Also new to AC2 is the hiring of thieves and other unsavoury characters to do some of the dirty work like distracting guards. According to the new video, which was created for the Tokyo Game Show, the missions are extensive and somewhat unpredictable. One of my favourite components of AC1 was game environment exploration. Players can look forward to an even more rewarding system for exploration in AC2, as Ezio hunts the city for treasure which will help him upgrade his armour and weapons. Slated for release in mid-November, this is one title that will be in hot contention in the Village Gamer household. Thankfully, I am the one with the vehicle and the ability to pick up our pre-order at the store – and the “your order is in” call goes to my cell – thereby enabling me to beat The Cavechild to the game.Battle of Giants: Dragons

In other Ubisoft news, Battle of Giants™: Dragons has hit store shelves. Battle of Giants: Dragons is the very first DS game that will allow young gamers to play with the most impressive creatures they have always dreamed of – Dragons.

Developed for younger gamers by Ubisoft Quebec, players can feel the adrenaline rush of creating, controlling, customizing and battling with their very own fierce creature. Combat of Giants: Dragons offers a full immersion into the fantastic and mysterious universe of magic Dragons. Feel overwhelmed by exciting combat views and realistic fighting scenes! Battle of Giants: Dragons is rated E10 by the ESRB.

Key Game Features:

* Realism of fight as a key for immersion, pushed by a real-time innovative and intuitive combat gameplay.
* Customize your creature to make it your very own: 4 elemental dragons within their natural land, 5 different attack possibilities per Dragon, up to 125 different gems find and choose from!
* Land exploration through ground seeking or aerial traveling!
* Multiplayer: organize duels or tournaments, up to 4 players, to see which dragon will be the strongest of all.

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30th September 2009

Dawn of Heroes Official Web site and Trailer are Now Online

Wicked StudiosMontrealWicked Studios and Majesco Entertainment are pleased to announce that the official game trailer of Dawn of Heroes, the upcoming Strategy RPG for Nintendo DS, is now available on the game’s brand new web site.Dawn of Heroes

Dawn of Heroes – A new breed of SRPG

Brimthule is cursed, filled with malevolent characters, and separated into baronies. Cities have fallen, beasts of all weft and warp are becoming bolder in their attacks and the once beloved six Barons have become evil.

The once great Kingdom of Brimthule is in despair following the loss of its lord and champion. King Leroy sacrificed himself to entomb the great beast Ragnakore in a body of stone. Without its leader, the kingdom has split into baronies and is beset by curses, monsters, and misfortunes, with some believing Ragnakore, though trapped, is responsible. The time has come for new heroes to stand tall against the realm’s greatest foes; the time has come for the Dawn of Heroes.

Who’s going to clean this mess up? Heroes will!! Don’t they always? But where are they? Unwilling to deal Dawn of Heroeswith an old prophecy to save the realm, a disparate band of mercenaries will learn, through a hilarious adventure, that the reward of being Heroes cannot be counted in gold, jewels, or fame.

Dawn of Heroes features classic RPG concepts, character development, epic combat, quests and puzzle solving. Dawn of Heroes differs from other RPGs with hilarious dialogue, customizable parties, a variety of dungeons and items, and multiplayer features geared towards building a community of heroes all over the world.

• Travel through breathtaking 3D graphics whilst encountering a wide variety of characters from 12 different factions.
• Fight through over 60 missions with optional and hidden objectives.
• Experience a rich storyline filled with action, fun and humour.
• Select a team from over 25 playable classes.
• Test your strategies against other players and trade items through Nintendo DS wireless Play, or Nintendo WFC.

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25th September 2009

New Trailer For Warlock Of Firetop Mountain

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble has released a new game play trailer for their upcoming DS title Fighting Fantasy: Warlock Of Firetop Mountain. Due to be released this fall, Warlock of Firetop Mountain looks like it is going to be one of the best looking RPG games I’ve seen yet on the DS. I haven’t been looking forward to a DS game release in quite some time, but I am definitely looking forward to this one.

The artwork and detail in Warlock is of incredibly high quality, rarely seen outside of PC or console triple A titles. The game environment achieves just the right amount of spooky moodiness one would associate with a dank and dangerous castle keep, where enemies abound. With the ability to free roam through this side-scrolling adventure, the player can fully experience the high quality 3D world in which Firetop will immerse him – or her.

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About The Game:

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain follows a lone adventurer on his travels through the old Dwarven keep within Firetop Mountain. Now the residence of an evil warlock and hordes of foul creatures, the keep is a mysterious and dangerous place from which no one has returned in many years. As players guide the adventurer through the many passageways and dungeons, they develop the character’s abilities and attributes to suit their play style. Enemies will fall before the player’s brute strength with sword and axe, power of the arcane arts, nimble quickness or custom combinations of skills. A wealth of weaponry, armor, potions and enchantments are equipped through an intuitive drag-and-drop inventory system while helpful (or not-so-helpful) NPCs provide guidance, quests, trade goods and skill training.

About the Story Behind the Game:

The Fighting Fantasy book series launched in 1982 with the first title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Authors Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson created a revolutionary new idea for the fantasy genre: the reader would become the hero of his or her own fantasy adventure in a story that would be part book, part game. After each paragraph a decision must be made: which way to turn, whether to fight or flee, which mysterious character to approach, and what risks to take. Each choice sent the reader to a different page to discover the consequences of their choice, with each read-through ending either in disaster, or with the discovery of the ultimate goal. To date, the series has seen more than 70 titles published and more than 14 million copies sold worldwide.

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