Review: Broken Age: Act 1

Review: Broken Age: Act 1

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Play Games. Heal Kids. Extra Life 2010.

Play Games. Heal Kids. Extra Life 2010.

I just want to share with everyone that tomorrow, well, actually in about eight hours, I’ll be partaking in a 24 gaming marathon. This isn’t just for fun though, it’s part of the Extra Life charity benefiting local children’s hospitals around the world. My hospital of choice is the Riley Hospital for Children in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

I urge everyone to check it out. Whether you can donate, or just spread the word, or even game yourself, there’s plenty to do for everyone interested. The average income for each additional gamer is $100, so even just recruiting your gamer friends to participate is fantastic.

I’ve met my personal goal, which is great, but please don’t let that discourage you from donating. My goal is an arbitrary number I plucked from the sky; the money is still going towards helping sick kids. Also, while I do apologize for the late notice, it’s far from too late to get involved. Next Saturday (the 22nd) is “make-up” day for anyone with previous obligations preventing them from participating tomorrow. Additionally, to give people time to get money in late, mail-in checks through snail-mail, etc., the foundation is accepting donations through November 15th.

So, game, donate, tweet, anything! In the meantime check out my profile page about what I’m doing or to get involved, in addition to a few ways to contact me. I’ll be available on Skype the entire time, so feel free to give me a call and join in on the gaming! Video explaining more after the jump!

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BioShock 2 Reviewed

BioShock 2 Reviewed

BioShock 2 is an intriguing beast. On one hand, it feels much like the original with few changes to graphics, location, or gameplay. On the other hand, the first title is a fantastic game. So, when it’s all said and done, is the sequel worth the full price of admission? Continue on good reader, for your answers lie in the depths below.

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Portal “Transmission Received” Achievement Walkthrough

Portal “Transmission Received” Achievement Walkthrough

Portal received one of the most cryptic game patches in history today, simply stating in the changelog “Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations.” Your first thought, like mine, is likely “what the hell?” Well, some gamers quickly noticed an associated new achievement with the patch, titled “Transmission Received.” I’m not going to go into the huge effort to decode all the stuff coming out of this patch, including viral videos, encoded images, and lots of hints at a new Valve game, possibly Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Portal 2. That’s being dealt with elsewhere (as well as the hard work behind this walkthrough), so here I just plan to provide an easy to follow game guide to walk you through how to obtain this new achievement and unlock a little of the mystery.

To begin, this achievement deals with 26 radios scattered throughout the game. All you have to do is find each radio and bring it to a certain point of the associated puzzle, such as the exit to the next area of a big red button so often used to unlock something. When you do, the radio will cease playing music and begin playing…something else. Sometimes it’s Morse code, other times it’s images encoded using the fax protocol. What exactly the radios are playing is what all the fuss in the above Steam forum thread is about, but for our purposes here, that’s when you know you’re near your goal. Typically by that point you’ll unlock a part of the achievement.

Got that? Find radios; carry them to a goal of some kind; profit. Sure sounds easy. Of course, this is Portal, so we can expect some twists.

Finally, I want to thank everyone in the original forum thread mentioned above as well as everyone who left a comment below for all your help, corrections, and hints at polishing this howto.

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StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Beta – Day One

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Beta – Day One

Well, I am one of the lucky few (I haven’t seen Battle.net break 1,500 players yet) who got into the StarCraft II beta yesterday. I figure it’s the right thing to do to brag (haha!), share my experience, and of course put up some beautiful screenshots.

Obtaining the Beta

First off, how in the world did I get into the beta? The short is answer is I don’t know and luck. The long answer is more interesting.

To start, I have a long history with Blizzard. I doubt this came into play at all, but who knows? I was in the Diablo II and World of Warcraft betas among others, and retain active accounts on a number of Blizzard games. I don’t know what records Blizzard keeps or for how long, but I’m sure this didn’t hurt me.

This history idea also extends to the new Battle.net service, which unifies all Blizzard’s games. I got an account incredibly early to gain access to the Blizzard Authenticator (then the physical token and now the iPhone app), so I’ve had an account for some two years now, long before many other players were forced to by the mandatory WoW account merger. With my Battle.net account creation I connected it to my WoW account and, here’s the important part, opted-in to all future Blizzard betas. So, since at least the summer of 2008 I have been waiting for the SCII beta. The fact I have the Blizzard Authenticator may also play a role, as support is built into the beta client.

I’m also sure my computer doesn’t hurt things. While Blizzard is sure to get a few super low and high-end systems, the majority of the systems they want will be “average,” and I fall right into that category. My system was high-end maybe four years ago, but by today’s standard it’s just so-so. It’s important to realize that, at least from a beta perspective, having a super high-end system can work against you since you represent such a small percentage of gaming rigs out there. So again, I say haha to you!

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