Trawling through blogs can be time consuming, so we thought we’d make it even easier by rounding up the hottest headlines, ripe reviews and fantastic features each week in a handy, low-fat look at the previous seven days.
- Newell: 'Draconian DRM Systems' Push People Away, Piracy Not Necessarily About Pricing: He's said it before, and he's saying it again. Price (or lack thereof) isn't necessarily the largest benefit of pirating a game. Instead, a developer/publisher's lack of localisation, maintenance, or incentive to buy a game are much bigger issues. 'Draconian DRM Systems' simply exacerbate things, according to Mr Newell. It's hard to disagree.
- Alan Wake PC Version Breaks Even... In 48 Hours: He's taken his sweet time arriving on desktop rigs the world over, but it seems that Alan's tardiness hasn't dampened public appetite, clawing back every single dime Remedy spent on developing him in just 48 hours.
- Full Downloadable Vita Launch Lineup Confirmed, Priced: We've got the full list of downloadable Vita launch titles for you, along with the amount they'll cost. Break open that piggy-bank and start counting your coppers, you're going to want to look at these.
- Sony UK & US Pitching In To Develop The Last Guardian: After Team ICO's Fumito Ueda resigned, things were beginning looking grave in the Last Guardian camp. Now though, Sony UK & US have sent in reinforcements to ensure that the game can finally be freed from its nightmarish development cycle. It's a bit like the climax to the nerdiest feelgood Hollywood movie ever.
- GAME: "We Can't Stock Absolutely Everything": Over the last couple of weeks, we've heard plenty of worrying stories about GAME having to pull titles from shelves, as well as massive lay-offs, and even pre-orders being refunded. Is the game retail giant on its last legs? Marketing Director Anna Marie-Mason is keen to dismiss the notion, stating that GAME simply can't stock everything. Make of that what you will.
- BioWare: Mass Effect 3 DLC Developed Post-Game: Another day, another dev having to defend day-one DLC. This time, Bioware have come under fire for their From Ashes pack for upcoming sci-fi RPG Mass Effect 3. They insist however, that it was developed after the main game was finished.
- Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Confirmed For October: Rumours of Danger Close's second attempt at resurrecting the long-dead Medal of Honor franchise turned out to be true this week, when Warfighter was outed in the pages of OXM. Slated for an October release, it'll be running on DICE's stunning Frostbite 2.0 engine.
- Killzone 3 Multiplayer Releasing As Free "Standalone" Download:Killzone 3's multiplayer mode will be adopting the level-cap method of reeling you in by offering the first few hours absolutely free. Available as a standalone PSN download, you'll be asked to make a one-off payment of $14.99 if you wish to advance further. As Jon points out, the full retail title isn't far off in terms of price, but it serves as an extended demo if nothing else.
- SEGA Teases Jet Set Radio For PSN & XBLA: Twitter was once again set alight with the news that Jet Set Radio may well be hitting downloadable services on Sony and Microsoft's home consoles. SEGA released a teaser for the game, and we put two and two together.
- Microsoft: Mass Effect 3 Shows Kinect Can Be "Integrated Into Core Games": Kinect marketing's Michael Johnson has praised Mass Effect 3's use of Microsoft's nifty-but-expensive piece of tech because it isn't forced into the experience. I'd argue the point of having Kinect integration in there at all, but something tells me he's not the man to raise that question with...
- Scoregasm Review: It's no secret that Jon is a fan of the 'Bullet Hell' variety of Shoot 'em ups, and as such has set about reviewing 'Charlie's Games' latest title, Scoregasm. Packed with variety and as responsive as you'd expect, Scoregasm is let down only by the technical strain of having three billion projectiles being fired at your face simultaneously.
- Little Deviants Review: Brendan continues his quest to work through each of Sony's Vita launch titles, settling this week on Little Deviants, which pleases in small doses, but frustrates thanks to a few rehashed challenges and overly complex control schemes.
- Dear Esther Review: Having played the original Source mod (and thoroughly enjoyed it), I was keen to see this reviewed. Thankfully, Jon has done the honours, and produced a score that satisfies. Dear Esther is a breath of fresh air that will utterly captivate throughout its admittedly short span.
- Everybody’s Golf Review: Another Vita title courtesy of Brendan, and one that's a little more successful in providing a sensible control scheme, despite a sudden spike in difficulty. A solid arcade golf title, if you can overcome the challenge. Seems it really is for everybody. Except sissies.
- Alan Wake's American Nightmare Review: In this sort-of-spin-off-but-not-really, Alan faces off against original title antagonist Mr Scratch in this 'kooky' and far more action-oriented experience. Mostly abandoning any notions of horror, American Nightmare might leave some fans feeling blue, but for those looking for something a little different, it's a worthy addition to the IP, and the XBLA marketplace.
- Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition Review: We've done golf, we've done, erm, deviants, and now we're doing tennis. Or rather, Brendan is doing tennis on the Vita thanks to Virtua Tennis 4, which provides a solid experience, but comes in at a significantly higher price than its home console counterparts.
- Dillon's Rolling Western Review: From one handheld to another now with Dillon the armadillo making his triumphant debut in 3DS exclusive Dillon's Rolling Western. Jon finds a surprising amount of depth to this good-looking creature caper, though some areas do succumb to technical pitfalls such as compartmentalised battles. Nevertheless, this brand new IP impresses enough to warrant a purchase.
- Escape Plan Review: And in our final Vita review of the week, Brendan delves into Escape Plan, which brings a beautiful black and white aesthetic to Sony's new handheld. Unfortunately, there's little beyond its looks; its slow pace and frustrating trial-and-error gameplay serve to hamper what could have been a worthy experience. Not terrible, but not as good as it should have been.
- Top Ten Tuesdays | The (Anti-Guinness) Top Ten Videogame Endings Of All Time: In response to Guinness's frankly embarrassing verdict on the greatest videogame endings of all time, Jon gives us a list full of genuinely classic codas.
- Game Buzz | First Fail For The Vita? The Carnival Of Digital Pricing: Matt takes a look at the financial workings behind Sony's new handheld, or rather, its failings. Why are we paying so much for digital copies of games Sony? Why? WHY?
- Xbox Live Indie Game Of The Week: Jon dishes out the praise in this week's XBLIGotW (got to find a better acronym for that...), with the award going to a zombie shooter that's a lot deeper (and better) than its title suggests. Uberzombie USA is worth every penny of the asking price.
- Platformines Interview: Jon sits down with Magiko Gaming programmer Bidus, and design extraordinaire Ludo Tex to discuss their biggest project to date: Platformines.
- PWNCAST | Season 1: Episode 3 – The Dealspub: And finally, some of the Dealspwn crew get together once again to discuss everything gaming in episode 3 of the Pwncast.