Saturday, 28 July 2012

Official Game Titles For WCG 2012 Announced

One big question arises every year as the annual WCG (World Cyber Games) comes closer to date - What would the official game titles be for the year? For the norms, Dota (now Dota 2) have always been on their list for the past few years, and it would probably be one of the most highly-popular title during the annual tournament too, or well at least, for me.

Likewise, Dota 2 is officially one of the games to be celebrated this year, and was also the first game to be confirmed in the list of titles. But recently, the officials of WCG has unveiled the rest of the games, as follow:

Official Game Titles:

  • Cross Fire
  • Dota 2
  • Starcraft 2
  • Warcraft 3
  • Fifa 12

Promotional Game Titles:

  • Counter-Strike Online
  • Dota Allstars
  • World of Tanks

Personally, the games announced are pretty much expected, besides the fact that League of Legends have been mercilessly taken out, leaving Dota 2 standing centre-front. But what's your thought on this? What games do you think should have been included? Drop your comments below!

5 Awesome Free-to-Play Online Games for Girls

"You play like a girl." The line commonly used as an insult is soon to be obsolete in the online gaming world as studies carried out by Trendstream and Lightspeed Research have come to a conclusion that when it comes to online games, women spend more time playing them than men. What a wonderful discovery to shatter long-standing stereotypes of the almost nonexistent female gaming community.

However, it will still take a while before game publishers actually start to produce games that are more catered towards the female population. Don't get me wrong; there are really girly online games out there, one of them being a Hello Kitty themed game that will please many Hello Kitty fans while the rest of us look on in bewilderment.

On the PC, as free-to-play online games are increasing at an amazing rate, it becomes slightly difficult for the average, casual gamer, let alone a female one, to navigate the vast world of online gaming. So let's take a look at some of these free games that are appealing to the casual female gamer.

Dragon Nest

Dragon Nest is a 3D fantasy MMORPG developed by Eyedentity Games and originally published by Nexon in Korea in the year 2010.The cute anime visuals coupled with an amazing fast pace combat system is a deadly combo when you are in the mood for kicking some monster asses while looking adorable.

The graphics in Dragon Nest are vibrantly colorful with visuals of anime-style cuteness or chibi-ness. It is a nice refreshing change from the normal, gritty fantasy games that are available which in this case, may appeal more to the female gaming community.

As the player, you are given 4 different classes to choose from (note that the classes are gender locked), each with a set of 2 more specialized sub-classes that you will have access to once a certain level is reached. These classes are pretty basic, consisting of: the warrior, archer, cleric, and sorceress each with their own specific set of skills.

There is nothing new in the MMO style of the game where you have several towns and dungeons to carry out quests. With multiple difficulty settings for each dungeon resulting in better loot and higher experience gained the more difficult the setting.

The combat system is what truly shines in this fast paced anime themed MMORPG. It's flexible and dynamic with no targeting. This means that you have total control of your avatar to aim your attacks and to dodge your enemies.

Wizard 101

Calling fans of the Harry Potter series and all things magical! Wizard 101 is a unique MMORPG where players can take the role of a student wizard enrolled in Ravenswood Academy, a school for aspiring witches and wizards. While the graphics of this game may appear to be more geared towards the younger population with its cartoony graphics and bright, vibrant environment, its attractive and easy to learn gameplay has its appeal for older gamers and fans of MMORPGs.

Character customization is simple with limited choices of choosing your avatar's appearances. Players are sorted into their respective schools of Magic through a series of personality questions to determine their right fit for the schools. There are 7 Schools of Magic to be placed into with unique elements. There's the fire, ice, and storm school which are predictable but there are also the life, myth, death, and balance schools which adds an interesting edge to the playability of the game.

The gameplay and combat system of Wizard 101 is simple and elegant. Combat is in card-style format which is turn based and with each spell costing you different amounts of power points. Surprisingly addictive quests and mini-games are littered around the world of Wizard City that range from defeating boss mobs, to puzzles and simple shooters. All in all this game is fun and compelling, erring on the casual gaming side. A slight downside would be that you would have to pay for an account in order to have access to higher levels and areas of the game.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

WCG Asian Championship 2012 To Be Held In Malaysia For The First Time

Competitive gaming, or more professionally known as E-Sports, is gaining popularity and fan support  in Malaysia through recent years, which was especially accelerated in 2007 when the first WCG (World Cyber Games) Asian Championships was introduced to this part of the world.

This year, it is set for a huge change and would definitely heighten up the E-Sports scene in Malaysia as the WCG Asian Championships 2012 has recently been confirmed to take place at Kuala Lumpur. Or more specifically, from the 7th to 9th of September, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

After years of hosting the annual championships in either Singapore or Indonesia, the day has finally come for Malaysia to show what we got.

As depicted on the poster above, Dota 2 has been confirmed to be part of one of the official tournament games. However, that is all the information available and when the rest of the games are unveiled, we will be updating further. Stay tuned, for the largest gaming showdown in Malaysia yet.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

1st Dragon Nest Asian Cup World Tournament Announced

Shanda Games International, publisher of Dragon Nest SEA recently rewarded the first and fastest guild a whopping SGD10,000 for slaying the most challenging monster yet in the game, Serpentra the sea dragon. And now that the South East Asian version of the game is gaining its popularity, Shanda Games International has announced for the first ever Dragon Nest Asian Cup (DNAC) World Tournament to be held.

The finest of South East Asia's will be representing this part of the world in the debut DNAC world tournament, set to be held at the ChinaJoy exhibition and conference in Shanghai on the 26th of July. There, teams already pre-seleccted from qualifiers, being top teams from China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, will go all out against each other in a "best of three" system competition.

Exclusive to the tournament, they will also be able to use unique level 50 characters unavailable in the ordinary game version, and would strategically compete in the Lost Temple and West Village Ruins maps to ultiamtely win the grand prize of a 100,000 Chinese Yuan (est. RM50,000).

“It’s the first time we are organizing an Asian regional competition for the Dragon Nest SEA community, and the support shown by the players have overwhelmed us. I look forward to an exciting and fantastic tournament,” 
- Addison Kang, Vice president of Shanda Games International
 Also, in conjunction with the tournament, Dragon Nest SEA fans will also be treated for a show of the PvP debut of the highly-anticipated Academic Class during the DNAC tournament period.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Playing Skyrim on a PS Vita [Video]

Imagine the world of Skyrim, all in the realms of your two hand, at the sides of your fingertip, with you, beside you, all the time. Depending on your addiction level towards this game, you would either freak the hell get bored of it, or hyped all up and fus ro dah to joy. But anyway, made possible by some Youtube guy, who 'using the SDK and Vita Remote Client' had managed to somehow miraculously hosted Skyrim on the PS Vita, a platform which doesn't originally support the game.

What about the gameplay, smoothness, graphics and general quality of the game now that it is playable portably? Well, this ps vita version 'shows 26-33fps at 95% quality using the remote play like app', and 'you can see how it runs, but a control scheme needs to be figured out as the mouse control stick does not move the view in realtime'.

Bethesda, here's your guy you may want to hire for a PS Vita official release.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

[Dragon Nest SEA] Guild Rewarded With SGD10,000 For Slaying The Sea Dragon First

Photo credits: Official Dragon Nest SEA's facebook page.

How many online game publishers would actually reward you with cold, hard cash when you successfully defeat a single monster? Not many, I reckon. But then again, it’s not just any monster, when it comes to The Sea Dragon, Serpentra, of Dragon Nest SEA, which is by far the toughest monster yet on the game, rewards like a S$10,000 cold hard cash, is very much worth it. Or at least, that is what the publishers think so.

Dragon Nest SEA is a free-to-play MMORPG which actually follows the original DN based in Korea, where most of the most hardcore and avid gamers of the game are from too. Nevertheless, Dragon Nest is evidently gaining momentum and popularity in Singapore.

In Dragon Nest SEA, Chronicles, a guild consisting of 2 Paladins, 2 Priests, and 1 Mercenary, Force User, Alchemist and Elemental Lord each, has successfully slayed Serpentra as mentioned above but what’s more impressive and what’s worth the cash reward was that they defeated that beast in less than a month, whereas the Korean gamers had to use about up to 3 months!

The members of the guild responsible for the first downfall of the Serpentra have received their prize of S$10,000 from Mr Addison Kang, Vice President and Producer of Shanda Games International on July 14, 2012.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Diablo III – Was It Worth All the Hype?

Let's throw around some numbers here. 3.67 million units sold. One of the biggest opening sales weeks in video game history. Multiple awards. And some Internet nerd-rage over what the finished product was actually like to play, and how it ended.

No, it's not actually Diablo III we're talking about, but Mass Effect 3. However, the parallels between the two are somewhat eerie, with both games built up by crazy amounts of hype that no game could ever hope to fully justify or fulfill. The amount of said hype can be qualified in both cases, as both are continuations of franchises that have become entrenched as part of the gaming landscape. Both made their fans wait for any additions to the series (3 years for Mass Effect, 11 years for Diablo). And both have been the subject of much critical and mass scrutinisation.

More importantly though, we're here to examine the answer to one question in particular, that can have ramifications on how we view the video game industry, and the relentless hype machine that seems to drive it:

Was it Worth It?

Diablo III seemed to take forever to materialize. In fact, it seemed as though Blizzard had forgotten about this most well-engineered of looting RPGs almost entirely, having focused so much of their attention on franchises such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft. Granted, they rolled in the bucks with those two (and managed to convince everyone that splitting one game – StarCraft II – into THREE was actually good for the consumer!). And yes, we should be thankful that the dollars and cents were well spent, seeing as how Diablo III is now a rip-roaring success.

But to even begin to answer this question, we need to look at a few things.

Just how do we judge the success of the game? Sales numbers? Metacritic scores? Fan reaction? Or that most indefinable of standards – appeal? Let's get to it.

For a game that was purportedly in development for over 11 years, (since Diablo II's release in 2000, and Diablo II: Lord Of Destruction's release in 2001), sales of 2.24 million for Diablo III since May 15th isn't to be sniffed at. That roughly equates to about 145 million dollars in terms of revenue for Blizzard. By that barometer, it certainly has been worth the hype, and certainly has been worth the anticipation. But is that the only measure by which we look at Diablo III?

We could go over critics' ratings and other reviews and scores. But that would be moot as it is almost universally agreed to be a very good game. Wonderful graphics, great storyline, involving quests and the requisite amount of RPG elements that allow you to tinker with your character in any way you see fit. All on the checklist for an RPG to be considered as worthy of any gamer's time. But we found ourselves asking the same question over and over again – is it really worth it?

Amidst all the love and adulation that Blizzard are no doubt currently basking in, and yes, this is indeed a combo-breaker, we will venture a contention that is unlikely to garner much support: Diablo III has been vastly overpromised and hyped.


To put it simply, it is not a groundbreaking game. It does not do anything that is game-changing, and it does not tinker too much (or almost not at all) with the formula that made Diablo II a part of the fabric of gaming history. Whilst it can be argued that Blizzard did not need to do anything to the template that brought such great critical and financial acclaim to begin with, there was an opportunity there for Blizzard to truly push the game and the genre forward (something which they did very well with the previous Diablo, and with StarCraft, which pushed the boundaries of the real-time-strategy genre).

This is not denying the simple fact that Diablo III is indeed, a rather good game. Brilliant, in fact. We've already mentioned the graphics and the gameplay mechanics. We're fans of the storyline and the fan service that Blizzard has offered up to Diablo-ians (or should that be Diablo-ites?).

However, it is seemingly a case of Blizzard making a game that they think the fans wanted, rather than a game that they wanted to do. This is natural, considering the following that Diablo II had (and still has). But not necessarily what they should have done. Like George Lucas with the prequel trilogy, the necessity of following too closely to a working formula is that you tend to be too safe and just stagnate in terms of what you could have achieved.

In Conclusion

Diablo III will probably go down as one of the best-selling RPGs of all time. It will certainly go down as one of the most anticipated, and also one of the most commercially successful. But was it really worth 11 years of waiting? Was the length of development time commiserate with the finished product?

Diablo III was not worth the hype. It was not worth the wait. It could have been so much more. To cut a long story short, it can easily be viewed as one of the biggest opportunities in video gaming history.

Do you play Diablo III? Is the game worth all the hype?

About our guest writer:
Syed Rafie is a wordsmith with an unnatural love for electronics, gadgets and video games. As a writer and editor for Lazada, the largest online shopping mall in Malaysia, he tends to favour pursuits that challenge his lack of physical refinement and his obvious intellectual deficiencies. Connect with him on Google+ today.

PS. Haven't played the game? Want to prove our guest writer wrong? You may want to get your copy here from Lazada.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Ubisoft Unveils Uplay App For Windows Phone

Probably known best for its Assassin's Creed and Ghost Recon  series, or maybe, just maybe, Just Dance, Ubisoft is undeniably one of the top game developers of this generation, and their games are, if not all, widely celebrated.

Uplay is their so-called 'companion app', just like how Xbox Live is to the Xbox 360; and in an attempt to allow Ubisoft fans who are also windows phone owners to not feel left out, Ubisoft has finally entered the Windows Phone marketplace with the Uplay app.

To those who are not familiar with Uplay it is Ubisoft's system which provides you with "a wide range of exclusive services and free content", and "rewards you for playing the games you love".

Ok, so basically, it is like a points, rewards and stats system.

Uplay Win helps you… win! It lets you expand your enjoyment of the games you play by redeeming great free content like extra weapons, new characters or additional maps.

• UPLAY Games
When the going gets tough, the tough get Uplay! The Games section gives you guidance and tips to enjoy Ubisoft games at their best.

• UPLAY Profile
Manage your Uplay Profile. View your Games, Actions, Rewards, Unit Balance and more!

• UPLAY Shop
Enjoy Ubisoft’s best games on your device! Uplay Shop brings together all Ubisoft mobile content into one view, readily available for you to download.

•Uplay Friends (coming soon...)
The ultimate realm to connect with your Uplay Friends. Share your own content, keep track of your friends’ activity and taunt them with your most impressive deeds!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Get a job interview by being a pro in Diablo

Are you a programmer? A fearless digital warrior? Can you contribute real-time teamwork with creative thinking under fire? Have a strong desire to crush the competition? And more importantly are you an expert in Diablo?

If you tick all the boxes, then you're headhunted! A certain Israeli ad agency is looking for exactly such a personality and if you are interested and would like to join their forces as a programmer, then remember to log in on Wednesday, 8pm Israeli time to face the CEO of the company Yossi Lubaton, or better known as, as "Yossilubaton#2572".

And guess what? Besides that job interview, Lubaton has also thrown in some 'goodies' for you if you win the level 60 Barbarian. You will get the legendary sword Warmonger, one million gold coins (Diablo coins) "and maybe a manager's insurance".

I reckon the CEO himself is one heck of a Diablo gamer, and being a CEO of an advertising agency, this method, is if not, very appropriate as an innovative force.

Latest Assassin's Creed 3 Trailer Tries To Touch Your Heart. Fighting For Freedom and Independence

As you may or may not know, Assassin's Creed 3 is set during the American Revolution which evidently, involved vast amount of massive damages and its fair share of pain sacrifices, for the sake of gaining independence, and for the other, to retain power.

Hence, behind and beneath many, many innocent deaths and valiant sacrifices, lies a deep, patriotic story in which every single soul and life is stalling their strength for the sake of independence. And in this latest trailer, effectively tells a simple, yet strong story sending a powerful message that Assassin's Creed 3, might just contain a very, very deep story with underlying affecting secrets, waiting to be unfold.

*Assassin's Creed 3 releases October 30th on the Xbox 360 and PS3