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Take Two Acquires Irrational Games
news | 01/10/06 | Shawn Rider
Word comes that Take Two, whose publishing label is now 2K Games, has acquired Irrational Games, creators of such amazing titles as SWAT 4, Freedom Force, and the classic System Shock 2. Irrational was also lauded this week with the \"Best PC Developer\" award for 2005 from IGN (for SWAT 4). In addition, the team was cited by Gamespot for \"Best AI\" in a game (also for SWAT 4), and both SWAT 4 and Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich were included on GameSpy\'s top 10 games of 2005 list. Get more on the acquisition here.
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Half-Life 2 Review
game: Half-Life 2
review | 01/09/06 | Shawn Rider
One of the great things about Half-Life 2 was the way it scaled to different levels of machine. On a high-end PC it was amazingly beautiful, and on a more regular rig it was still very enjoyable. So you\'d think that the Xbox port of Half-Life 2 would be pretty much awesome: At least as good as the mid-range PC experience. And, for the most part, you\'d be right, as long as \"awesome\" includes a gazillion load screens and the stickiest doorways we\'ve seen in ages. How does it all turn out? Check Shawn\'s review for the details.
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Fight Night Round Three (Hype round two)
game: Fight Night Round Three
preview | 01/05/06 | Tristan Mayshark
Hot on Xbox Live this week is a free demo of Fight Night Round 3, EA\'s highly anticipated boxing title. Fight Night Round 3 has gotten a lot of press lately as a PS3 launch title, and the demos EA have shown us are incredible. So how does the Xbox 360 version compare to the teasers we\'ve seen for PS3? Pretty much the same. The graphics are amazing and the action looks like it holds up nicely, given the limited demo. Check out Tristan\'s preview, and then go download it to your Xbox 360!
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Get Your Xbox Live Diamond Card
game: Xbox Live
news | 12/24/05 | Shawn Rider
Microsoft has announced a new perks card for members of their Xbox Live Gold service. Gold level members now qualify for a free \"Diamond\" card, which is an actual, real gamercard you can carry in your pocket. Now you can show off your Xbox geekiness even when you\'re away from your console. And wait, it doesn\'t stop there: The Diamond card qualifies holders for special deals and discounts at an array of retailers. If you\'re a Gold level member of Xbox Live, sign yourself up.
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Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Review
game: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
review | 11/16/05 | Jeremy Kauffman
Tony Hawk\'s American Wasteland marks the third incarnation of the immensely popular series. Is it a worthy successor to THPS and THUG? Well, do BMX bikes and the French sport of freestyle walking, aka Le Parkour, turn you on? They should. And does a seamless recreation of Los Angeles help? It might. And what about online multiplayer for Xbox owners? It\'s about time. Veteran skate punk, Jeremy, put thumb to controller to give you this review.
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Redefine the Grind: Sociolotron and the Atypical Gamer (Part Two)
game: Sociolotron
feature | 11/14/05 | Shawn Rider
Last week we published the first part of Shawn\'s in-depth look at the twisted world of Sociolotron. Billed as the ultimate adult MMORPG, Sociolotron features unprecedented levels of player freedom and sexual gameplay. But Shawn found that, much like novels by the Marquis de Sade, the bizarro sex quickly becomes banal and the real meat of the game lies in the ways players build their characters and live out alternative lives within the game. In Part Two of his feature, Shawn talks to senior citizen male prostitutes, lesbian lovers, and a wheelchair-bound mafioso who commands four in-game sex slaves. He also talks to Patrick Lagny, who has created Sociolotron almost single-handedly, about what motivates him to make such a game.

Needless to say, this article features explicit language and frank descriptions of adult and sexual themes. Reader discretion is advised.
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Kameo Backstory Revealed in Podcasts
game: Kameo: Elements of Power
news | 11/09/05 | Shawn Rider
Each week for the next two months, Rare will release a chapter of the Kameo backstory in podcast format. Get your podcatchers all tuned up and point them to the feed, which you\'ll find at http://www.kameo.com posted up for your free download and enjoyment. Kameo, of course, is the long-awaited fantasy action game from legendary developer Rare, which was first seen on N64, moved to GameCube, and will finally see a release as a first-party Xbox 360 launch title. In Kameo you play a shapeshifting faerie who morphs into different tough guy fighters as needed. Check out our previous coverage for more, and get the podcast for the complete backstory.
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1UP Takes a Look at Gaming Webcomics: Forgets the TP
news | 11/08/05 | Shawn Rider
1UP.com has a good history of web comics dedicated to videogames. It walks through all the major players, from current videogame comic and freedom-fighting Juggernaut, Penny Arcade, to foundational titles like PvP and 8-Bit Theater. These mighty three have spun off entire genres in a fledgling industry, and many have made their rise side by side with the indy gaming website scene. Of course, there\'s no mention of Twoplayer, which has been recognized by sites like Joystiq as not totally sucking. Nevertheless, it\'s a good read and if any of the comics discussed are not on your webcomic radar, then you are really missing out. Check out the 1UP article here: Will Strip for Games: Gaming Comics Online
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Redefine The Grind: Sociolotron and the Atypical Gamer (Part One)
game: Sociolotron
feature | 11/07/05 | Shawn Rider
We published Shawn\'s preview of Sociolotron a year ago. Sociolotron is an adults-only RPG that plunges players into an anything-goes world of post-apocalyptic London. Sex, drugs, and occult rituals play prominent roles in the world, as does free agency, community service, and player-based self-governance. A year ago the game was in beta testing, and since coming out in a final version a few months ago Sociolotron has seen some refinement and enhancements, but remained essentially the same game, heavy on role-playing of all sorts. Rather than a review of Sociolotron, Shawn revisited the game and its players to take a closer look at the phenomenon that is Sociolotron in a two part series. This week we present the first portion, and next Monday we\'ll post the conclusion.

Please note: This article is not for the feint of heart or impressionable youths. Remember, Sociolotron is rigorously policed and not available for underage players.
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The Escapist Covers Women in Gaming
game: The Escapist
news | 11/01/05 | Shawn Rider
One of our most favorite new gaming websites (and we\'ve seen a lot of them) is The Escapist: http://www.escapistmagazine.com . The Escapist is a beautifully formatted PDF and Web zine available for free. They publish weekly, and have quickly risen to the top of the gaming journalism heap. Featuring incredibly smart and well-written articles from both well-known game journalists and newcomers, The Escapist regularly makes us really, really jealous. Their latest issue is up, and it deals with the timely topic of Women in Gaming: developers, players, etc. Check out the latest issue, and then browse their back issues for some of the greatest gaming coverage available.
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Far Cry: Instincts Review
game: Far Cry: Instincts
review | 10/28/05 | Chris Martin
Jack Carver\'s back and he\'s got an itch to hunt. With some additions here and there, and a mostly retooled single player campaign, Far Cry: Instincts is an ambitious project. And now, Ubisoft\'s and Crytek\'s PC port arrives on Xbox in a most surprising way. What makes it so surprising? Well, you\'ll have to read the review and find out, McCartney, this ain\'t no free ticket-to-ride.
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Kuma War Brings Saddam's Exploits to Life in Free Games
game: Kuma War
news | 10/22/05 | Shawn Rider
Kuma War is bringing Saddam\'s trial to virtual life. Just released is the first in a series of episodes featuring the events of Saddam Hussein\'s life which are under scrutiny in his trials. The first episode corresponds to the current trial, and is called \"The Crime of Dujail: Saddam\'s Revenge.\" In 1982, Saddam\'s motorcade was attacked, and Saddam is reported to have ordered the public executions of 143 villagers and the imprisonment of 1500 more Iraqis. Kuma War\'s recreation focuses on the motorcade ambush as players try to assassinate the dictator. And Kuma Reality Games believes these episodes to be so valuable as an educational tool that they are giving them away for free. Read more here.
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Nintendo Announces Free DS WiFi at McDonald's
news | 10/20/05 | Shawn Rider
Nintendo announced on Tuesday that they would partner with McDonald\'s restaurants to provide free wifi access for Nintendo DS owners. McDonald\'s already offers wifi connectivity in 6000 locations in America, but normally charges for internet access. The deal with Nintendo provides free access to gamers using the DS. The free access, coupled with popular wifi-enabled titles like Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing DS, could be a genuine attractor for kids, making McDonald\'s a popular hangout.
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Alone in the Dark Coming to Xbox 360
game: Alone in the Dark
news | 10/06/05 | Shawn Rider
Atari announced in Amsterdam (at Microsoft\'s annual Xbox showcase, X05) a next-generation version of Alone in the Dark. The original survival horror game will get a full makeover by Eden Games, who will do much more than rehash the old games. Alone in the Dark will feature a free-roaming environment, full real-time physics modelling, and a completely interactive environment. Plus, it should look real pretty. Check out the promotional art we\'ve got here.
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Strategy First Announces FREE Full Game Demos
news | 10/03/05 | Shawn Rider
Independent, and well-loved, strategy game publisher Strategy First has announced that they are offering free full game demos of their titles. Over 20 games are available now. Gamers can download the titles directly from http://www.StrategyFirst.com and will be able to play the full version of the game for three hours. After three hours, gamers can opt to buy the game, or can simply uninstall it. This sounds like a great plan to get some of the best gaming experiences available into the hands of more gamers. Head to the Strategy First website and be sure to check out some of our faves like Supreme Ruler 2010 and Jagged Alliance 2.
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