Released in 2007, Team Fortress 2 was part of the Orange Box pack of games from Valve that included Portal 1, 4 years after, apparently didn’t make the game any less popular and now Valve has release the game as a Free to Play game.
Here’s some FAQ on the game for those who’ve bought it previously and those who’re planning to D/L it now:
I got this email from one of my friends in the industry, WD. They’re releasing some updated design for their Eco Friendly Green Hard Drives. Best Drives for those who’re budgeting on power use and being friendlier to the environment.
Expect these drives appearing at your nearest WD reseller.
WD® RELEASES WD® CAVIAR GREEN DRIVE 667 GB/PLATTER 3-PLATTER DESIGN Cooler, Quieter, Eco-Friendlier
Manila, PHILIPPINES – August 31, 2010 – WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, today announced that it is already shipping the 4th generation WD Green Series, the WD20EARS (2TB) and WD15EARS (1.5 TB) drives, the highest areal density in the industry at 667 GB/platter 3-platter design, 64 MB cache. As hard drive capacities increase, the power required to run those drives increases as well. WD Caviar Green drives make it possible for energy-conscious customers to build systems with higher capacities and the right balance of system performance, ensured reliability, and energy conservation. Low Power Consumption The new WD Caviar Green 2TB (3-disk) offers low power consumption than current 2 TB drives in the market. WD has reduced power consumption by up to 40 percent compared to the standard desktop drives with the combination of WD’s IntelliSeek™, NoTouch™, and IntelliPower technologies.
WD® is now shipping the WD® Caviar Green Drive 667GB/Platter 3 Platter Design
-IntelliPower. A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance. Additionally, WD Caviar Green drives consume less current during startup allowing lower peak loads on systems as they are booted.
-IntelliSeek. Calculates optimum speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration. -No Touch ramp load technology. The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.
StableTrac™ The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during and write operations (2TB model only). Helps enable eco-friendly PCs By using environmentally-conscious PCs with our WD Caviar Green drives on board, large organizations with many desktop computers can minimize their carbon footprint and save real money on electricity costs. WD Green Power Technology. WD Green Power Technology™ yields lower operating temperatures for increased reliability and low acoustics for ultra-quiet PCs and external drives. Perfect for external drives External drive manufacturers can eliminate the need for a fan in a high-capacity product with a WD Caviar Green drive, the coolest and quietest in its class.
WD® Introduces New My Passport™ AV Portable Media Drives
Advanced Power Technology
WD Caviar Green drives consume less current during startup allowing lower peak loads. Electronic components deliver best-in-class low power consumption for reduced power requirements and increased reliability.
Advanced Format Technology
WD is changing the way data is stored on the media by offering drives with new Advanced Format Technology. This technology is being adopted by WD and other drive manufacturers to increase media format efficiencies, thus enabling larger drive capacities. For more information on the WD Green Series WD20EARS (2TB) and WD15EARS (1.5 TB) drives, visit the WD website at www.wdc.com.
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems, and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and media products.
WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
Western Digital, WD, the WD logo and WD TV are registered trademarks; My Passport is a trademark of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies. One gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes. One terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.
And here’s another video: Age of Empire’s set to return to the PC, and now has integration in GFWL to enable online multiplayer matches.
Here’s an interesting tidbit in a form of a video:
Microsoft did fold up ACES studios last year, but seems it didn’t stop them from stopping the franchise all together. After Flight Simulator X in 2007, it should hopefully be a very worthy successor to its mantle (with even more accurate city layouts!). I think my Core i7 rig in the works will play with it nicely
After over a year since being released, Rockstar has released two episodes (Dowloadable Contents) first on the XBox 360, then PS3 and now on the PC. The episodes entitled The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony, covers characters and some of the plot holes left hanging in the original game.
In The Lost and Damned, we play as the biker Johnny Klebbitz, whom Niko worked with on several occasions and his own story with his club called The Lost. His story deals mostly with managing the club while the club’s president Billy Grey gets back from rehab, causing mayhem. His story intersects with the drug job with Niko, the kidnapping of Roman, and the jewelry heist for the mafia. Johnny being a biker, tends to perform better with riding bikes as opposed to driving cars (which normally ends up messy on police chases. His weapons range to mostly biker related weapons such as the sawed off two barrel shotgun.
Crossing over to the original game, he performed as an accomplice during the drug trade in Elizabeta Torres’ mission along with Niko. Another would be Johnny’s gang performed the diamond robbery which led to Niko picking them up. And working with Niko again during the diamond exchange at the museum. Johnny was also the one responsible for kidnapping Roman during the course of the game (and Niko saving him)
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, we play as the business partner of Gay Tony, Luis Lopez who tries to make things right for Tony’s crumbling Night Club empire. His primary work is the manager for one of Tony’s night clubs as well as his personal bodyguard. He normally helps out in some of Tony’s business dealings with the mafia as Tony has a debt problem.
Running parallel to the other GTA IV games, Tony took the diamonds during the exchange deal at the museum, he also took part in the execution of Niko’s enemy, Ray Bulgarin. He was also present during the time when Niko and the Mc Reary brothers robbed a bank.
The nice aspect of the expansion games are: new weapons, vehicles, places, new mini games and an expanded storyline further building upon the main game.
Guns: The main downside with the expansions are that one cannot interchange guns from The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. TLD had the automatic pistol, sawed off shotgun, and a full auto shotgun, While TBGT have ‘advanced’ weaponry in the form of the 44 Magnum pistol, P90 SMG, Advanced Sniper Rifle, a gold plated UZI and an explosive shotgun (excellent for taking out vehicles). With that said, TLD guns are more suited for gang warfare whereas the TBGT guns are far refined, reflecting on the different backgrounds of the characters.
Vehicles: Both TLD and TBGT now feature the ‘unique’ Infernus car (the one which Bernie gave Niko) as a common road car, same with another mainstay in the game which was the Bullet GT. Additional motorcycles have been added to the games, for TLD more American styled choppers are available, while European/Japanese sportbikes are found in TBGT. Another nice bonus is that in TBGT, we get to steal/fly a more powerful attack helicopter called the buzzard.
Places: Some of the places in the original GTAIV have become more accessible/used. The Lost’s clubhouse is accessible, the prison has become accessible, the Driving Range has become accessible, and so is the Amusement Park in Firefly Island. Two of Gay Tony’s clubs: Maisonette 9 and Hercules are accessible. At Maisonette 9, Luis can work as the Manager/Head Bouncer, or drink / pick-up ladies / dance.
Mini-games: Gang Wars / Drug Wars were introduced to add some additional action to the games, as their storylines are short. And to those who play them completely, special game items get unlocked and can be obtained for free from the safehouse. Another mini-game would be the Driving Range in West Algonquin. For TBGT, while working as a manager at Maisonette 9, Luis can do some jobs for some of the disco’s most famous patrons (spoofed personalities from real life). Another would try BASE jumping in and around Algonquin.
For an expansion worth half of the original game, expect an additional month of so of more gaming goodness from GTA IV.
Now this is interesting, more games are becoming available at the GFW Marketplace.
There’s a mix of old and new. Splinter Cell Conviction, Assassin’s Creed 2, and the latest Prince of Persia game are some of the new ones. Even popular titles from yesteryear are available now like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Age of Empires III and STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl.
As a special offer, the Marketplace is selling several Prince of Persia games at a whopping 75% OFF! Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Warrior Within (no Two Thrones though).
Several titles were added to the Games for Windows Marketplace to Demo:
Resident Evil 5
Street Fighter IV
Unfortunately, the demo for Batman Arkham Asylum seems to have been removed.
Thankfully, Part III didn’t disappoint, and it will now be available to the PC this year. Read the statement below:
Fable III coming to Games for Windows — LIVE
Exciting news coming from Microsoft Game Studios and Lionhead Studios: Fable 3 is coming to Xbox and Windows! The Windows version will also be available for download exclusively on Games on Demand on Games for Windows — LIVE.
Epic “Fable III” Journey Expands to Windows This Holiday
Limited Collector’s Edition Includes Unique Memorabilia and Unlocks Additional In-Game Action
Lead a rebellion, start a revolution, and rule a kingdom in “Fable III.” Microsoft Game Studios and Lionhead Studios present the thrilling new chapter in the “Fable” franchise exclusively on Xbox 360 and Windows. Action, drama, adventure and humor propel the story as players choose their journey to become King or Queen of Albion.
“Fable III” will be available in Standard and Limited Collector’s Editions for Xbox 360. The Standard Edition will retail for $59.99/£44.99/€64.99, while the Limited Collector’s Edition will retail for $79.99/£59.99/€84.99. The Windows version will retail for $49.99/£39.99/€54.99, and will also be available for download exclusively on Games on Demand on Games for Windows – LIVE.
The Limited Collector’s Edition also offers unique collectibles that true “Fable” fans won’t want to miss, including downloadable content, also available for Windows users, as well as in-box items that come with the Xbox 360 version. Wrapped up in a distinctive box created in the likeness of a book from “Fable III,” the contents include:
“Fable III” sets the stage for an unparalleled action and adventure experience, in which you will be called upon to rise from revolutionary to ruler of Albion. The choices and sacrifices you make while fanning the flames of revolution, and then as you rule as King or Queen, will lead to an ever evolving world of consequences that will be felt across your entire land.
“Fable III” is not yet rated by the ESRB.
Are you ready to return to Albion in Fable 3? Tell us in the forums!
<start rant>I got Assassin’s Creed 2 over a month ago and have played around with it since. The price of the game didn’t cost much, being sold around $31, however, this leads to a bit of a disappointment to the player’s part — the need to have constant internet connection in order to play the game. Ubisoft, with all of their wisdom and knowledge, decided to use a new Digital Rights Management that requires players to log-in to their servers while playing one of their latest games (the other game would be Splinter Cell: Conviction, also available now). And in a country with not the best internet service, it won’t be smooth gaming for everyone. <end rant>
Assassin’s Creed 2 continues from the point of Assassin’s Creed’s ending, where Desmond Miles, a descendant of the Assassin Altair was being subjected to a machine by the Templars called the Animus to relive his ancestor’s past. This time, with the help of other assassins, Desmond was able to escape and continue to uncover his past and train to become an assassin under another ancestor: Ezio Auditore.
As Ezio Auditore, the player experiences life in 15th century Italy as the son of an Italian Nobleman, and starts off as just having gang fights, going up ladies’ balconies at night and racing with his brother along rooftops. Little did Ezio know that his family’s connected to the bloodline of Assassins that are secretly battling against the Templars, a group trying to seek world domination. He would then don the robes of the assassin and take the fight. Along the way he would meet other assassin personalities, famous some of them famous Renaissance figures, as well as Leonardo da Vinci.
It’s a cliche storyline, but along the way, Ezio/Desmond would be able to pick up clues left by ‘Subject 16’ which would explain ‘The Truth’. Ezio will also collect Codex pages which would reveal the locations of the artifacts that the Templars are looking for, and that these pages would also contain new tools and weapons that he would use in performing his work as an Assassin.
The currency system has been improved wherein owning a castle/villa will incur revenue (aside from doing missions) as long as improvements have been made. In the beginning, the villa would be run down: broken pavements, shuttered shops, few people, weeds/vines growing all around. By investing in new shops, improving old shops, as well as collecting Codex pages, weapons, armor, and paintings affect the villa’s revenue (and Ezio’s pocket). Upgrading/adding improvements effect an improvement on the villa: pavements are fixed, new buildings are opened, more people flock and the entire place will have banners all around making it lively.
As far as we’ve enjoyed playing the original, Ubisoft listened to the comments of the first game, now the game is varied, there’s a lot of things to do on assassination objectives, some requires stealth, while others require the use of unique devices or even assistance from your allies in order to fulfill the objective. There are new assassination tools/techniques to pull off: hidden kills, air kills, hanging kills, dual hidden blades, poison blades, smoke bombs and the compact gun. These will provide Ezio the creativity to execute the needed assassinations of his target.
There’s more to collect as well: feathers, Assassin Seals (which has its own Indiana Jones/Mission Impossible style of objective) to get Altair’s Armor, and glyphs to learn more about ‘The Truth’. If you’re wondering why Altair suddenly has an armor, we’ll also collect the Codex Pages left by Altair, explaining the Apple that he received from the previous game. He also wrote down plans for new weapons (including his armor), new assassination techniques and thoughts about life as an assassin.
Another new feature with Assassin’s Creed 2 is the Assassin’s Seals, these are optional missions that require us to infiltrate tombs/palaces/churches in search of a particular assassin’s sarcophagus which contains a seal that will unlock the special armor found in the villa. Some tombs have puzzles, others have guards to evade/take out, and some would require dexterity in moving from one high ledge to another.
The game is awesome, but the new DRM may be a problem to those without stable internet connection. The AI sometimes isn’t perfect and sometimes they don’t react as accurate as they should. It’s a really good buy, one that can have hours of fun and experimentation.
Pros: Ubisoft listened to the gamers and added VARIETY, added puzzles, more weapons, swimming
Cons: The DRM, long load times, AI
I’ve been to Datablitz recently to pick up my copies of GTA IV Episodes and Assassin’s Creed 2, and I’ve noticed that some of the earlier EA Games titles are now priced with a wallet friendly Php 450.00. Some of these titles include:
a.) Command and Conquer: The First Decade (a real bargain)
b.) Medal of Honor: Airborne
c.) Battlefield 2 Deluxe Edition and more
Good thing EA has decided to sell their older titles at a lower price, coz really, 5-10 year old games should start being sold at a lower price. The downside’s the loss of the manual, but that’s ok as less paper <-> less trees get cut down.