If you have already heard our nostalgia-fueled PWNcast from last week (and if not, go rectify that mistake right now) you will be aware that one of my first proper forays into strategy gaming, and specifically the 4X genre, was K240. It was one of the standout titles from the days when the Amiga 1200 ruled my computing world, not only being one of the better looking games but one of the most challenging experiences to best. For those that have no clue of what I am talking about, the best way to describe it in one sentence would be to say “It’s kind of like SimCity on asteroids, but with aliens that like nuking everything you hold dear.”
Set in the distant future in the titular sector of space, players were tasked with building up a base on an asteroid before constructing fleets to colonise other chunks of space rock in the hope of finding valuable resources. Meanwhile, an alien race of the players choosing would be competing with them in a fight to the death. Peace was not an option in K240 and that meant things got ugly fairly quickly, but with a strong defence, a powerful fleet, and copious amount of missiles, there was always a way to take it to the enemy as long as you had the credits.
Click here to read more...
Here at Dealspwn we're all about getting the best games for the least amount of financial effort, and we often tend to forget that some of the most addictive offerings out there are completely free. With that in mind, welcome to Click To Play, a weekly feature where we'll be hunting down the best browser-based games each week so you don't have to. Check in with us every Monday to spice up your coffee breaks for the week!
This week: Asteroids (HTML5)
Occasionally here on Dealspwn we get picked up on not mentioning that a video or picture has been circulating for a month or so, with that in mind let me assure you that I haven't gone mad and I'm not trying to pass off Asteroids as a 'new' game. However, this particular version of Asteroids potentially encapsulates the future of browser based gaming. You see this version of the classic retro blaster has been developed using HTML5.
Quick bit of background info, you see the reason people are suddenly getting pretty excited about HTML5 is that this upgrade is promising to make a whole bunch of plug-ins such as Flash unnecessary. Furthermore, the development of the Canvas element - a tool which allows for real-time drawing and animation of shapes - means that online games could well become Flash-less. This might not mean much to us comfortably laptop-bound folk, but Apple are making big noises about it because their wonder gizmos - the iPhone and MaxiPa...iPad - don't really do Flash.
Enter Doug McInnes, who's proved that HTML5 is robust enough to recreate a gaming classic. The animations are smooth, hit detection is perfect and the controls are pleasantly responsive. Sure, the graphics are primitive, but they work! Hurrah! Asteroids returns relatively unchanged, zoom around with the cursor keys and shoot things with the spacebar. Forgetting that the game's entire control system revolves around inertia, it didn't take me long to realise that although the years have rolled on a bit...I still suck at this game. Doesn't stop it being any less addictive, though.
Ironically, of course, this game requires a keyboard to play, rendering it unplayable on Apple's devices. And Internet Explorer...although that's because it doesn't support Canvas yet.
More details regarding the plot of the upcoming Asteroids movie are revealed in today’s news roundup. In other news a new Xbox 360 model is potentially revealed, and more details are given on the incredibly ambitious Mass Effect 2.
An Asteroids movie has been confirmed for a while, and now a few plot details have emerged. Lornezo di Bonaventura, producer of the upcoming film said “it's funny because people say there's nothing in the game, but that's not entirely right. I was attracted to Asteroids, plain and simple, because I think what it tells you is that there's going to be this big thing in space”.
Bonaventura went on to say “We've crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing. Without divulging too much about it, it's two lead characters -- two brothers -- who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop”. Deep indeed. Bonaventura also wants to honour the fun of Asteroids by making sure the movie better have “some guys in spaceships blowing stuff up”. Making sure to honour the hardcore fanbase that doesn’t even exist. [IGN]
A recent news blog on Graphics programmer Ryan Geiss’ website has lead to speculation on the confirmation of a new Xbox 360 model. "I can finally disclose that I'm one of the core developers of the human-tracking algorithms for Project Natal, bringing full-body motion control the Xbox 360+” said Geiss in his post.
That tiny little + sitting next to Xbox 360 is apparently proof that a new model of the 360 is on its way, titled Xbox 360+ or plus. The plus could easily be written off as a typo, but unlikely considering the shift key needs to be held down for a +. More details are sure to follow. [XboxEvolved]
Lead producer of Mass Effect 2 Casey Hudson explained in a bit more detail how much decisions, both big and small, made in the original Mass Effect can affect your adventure in Mass Effect 2. "When you're playing the first game, everything that you do is setting a variable so that as the story progresses we know that you did a certain thing on a certain planet, and then internal to the game, we can reference those things," explained Hudson. "Your Mass Effect save game contains all of that information. When you import it into Mass Effect 2, now we can continue mining all that information”.
Hudson went on to further explain “Anytime we have a plot or a character or situation in Mass Effect 2, we think about what you did, potentially, in the first game that might affect said plot or character or situation in the second”. It all sounds incredibly ambitious, choices can affect choices that affect other choices, relationships with other characters can depend upon seconds of dialogue in the first game, and if Bioware can pull it off it will be something pretty incredible. [PCWorld]
Thursday's news tells us of more games adopting the 'Hero' name in their title, new Zelda perhaps not being what we expected, Gears Of War 2 receiving a new update and ancient arcader Asteroids hitting the big screen
VPT Technologies has trademarked both the names Fitness Hero and Workout Hero, drawing attention due to the names obvious resemblance to the Guitar Hero series. VPT Technologies specialize in voice-activated fitness equipment, but have recently announced their decision to develop a “web-based video game system” connecting users in a safe global network, with fitness most likely the primary aspect of the game.
They haven’t confirmed Fitness Hero or Workout Hero as this game yet but given the circumstances it’s pretty likely this is the case. Slapping ‘Hero’ on the end of their titles seems like a shameless attempt to sell more copies but judgment should be reserved until the game is actually played. Speculation looks at where the ‘Hero’ name is headed next; Zelda Hero? Or how about Halo Hero? Maybe even leave out the game title altogether calling it Hero Hero? Time will tell... [1UP]
Paramount Digital Entertainment has planned to release a DS and Wii adaptation of 1978 movie ‘Grease’. As Grease is unlikely to make a great First Person Shooter, Paramount have decided to opt for a party game aimed at the causal and family gaming market. Working with 505 Games they plan to take full advantage of both consoles capabilities allowing you to sing and dance with Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson. [Gamestop]
To celebrate release of the Gears Of War 2 Title Update 4, Epic Games will be promoting a double experience points weekend starting this Friday. Title Update 4 has introduced experience points in multiplayer mode and playing this weekend will give you the chance to receive 500 extra experience points for being on the winning side in an online ranked match.
To make this party even more exciting horde matches now feature extra waves of Tickers to join in on the fun. Yay? [WorthPlaying]
Shigeru Miyamoto briefly mentioned the new Zelda game at this year’s E3, as well as causally dropping hints throughout the year at how he would like to create completely unique Mario and Zelda games taking advantage of the Wii’s technology.
After getting Zelda fans frothing at the mouth with excitement, he then slammed them back down to Earth stating in Nintendo Power "I don't think it's going to be that radically different”… Damn. [1UP]
Universal must have made their New-Year's resolution to pick the hardest things in the world to make a movie out of. At the moment they have Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott working on a movie adaption of the board game Monopoly, and have recently acquired the rights to base a film on Atari game Asteroids.
Asteroids may be a popular game, but this isn’t because of a dramatic plot or great cast; it doesn’t even have one you see. All Universal have to go on is a set of dots firing dots at other dots…. Here’s hoping! [HollywoodReporter]