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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fate Of PS3 Sacred 2 Patch Seems Uncertain

While we love Sacred 2 here at Cathode HQ, there is quite a bit that we'd love to see fixed, not the least of which being to actually trade items with each other in offline coop. A European patch was rumored to have been released, but a recent post at the forums for the US publisher, CDV, indicates no release date and please stop asking since they have no control over it.

When I tried to contact Ascaron, the developer, on it, I got rather swift, possibly automated, and somewhat ominous reply:

Dear Customer

the support for this game will be terminated on the 29.05.2009.

Sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us. We have had a fantastic time, and could not have done it without all you.

Your Ascaron Technical Support Team

so long and thanks for all the fish ...

Since there is planned DLC for the PC version, I wonder if they dropped PS3 support.

Update: Looks like a patch was submitted to Sony. Ascaron maintains console patch status in a forum post (even if you can't them via email)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Futurama Voice Actors Being Recasted


Twentieth Century Fox, which is still producing the series even though new episodes will air on Comedy Central, is recasting the major voice roles for the show. That means no more Billy West (Fry, Professor, and Ziodberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, among others), or Tress MacNeil (Mom, and several others). Worst!

Fox released a statement saying "We love the Futurama voice performers and absolutely wanted to use them, but unfortunately, we could not meet their salary demands. While replacing these talented actors will be difficult, the show must go on. We are confident that we will find terrific new performers to give voice to Matt and David's brilliantly subversive characters."
-- 'Futurama' getting new voices for Fry, Leela, Bender, and others

I just don't quite see that working. Willing to give it a chance, but a lot of those voice actors were those characters.

Rundown of iVerse Comics on iPhone

With work as it is, I've had less time for actual gaming and more time for flipping artistically rendered panels on the iPhone. iVerse has been trying to push the digital envelope for comics and some of their titles are pretty interesting. I think at this point I've read through most of their library, so here's a quick review of each.

Atomic Robo
It's an interesting blend of old school comic plot structure with a great deal of humor and the occasional dose of humanity, played up well since the lead character is well, made of metal. First title to hook me into reading comics on the phone and well worth the read.

Proof is one part X-Files, one part fantasy and a dash of crime drama. You get your titular character - a Sasquatch adapting to life without Sasquatches helping a world inhabited by more mythical creatures (cryptids as they're called) than anyone realizes exist. It shares much of the same space for me as Atomic Robo with strong character design that feeds well into the plot. Definitely recommended.

Great art design, interesting premise of an alternate future where mankind struggles against an Earth where dinosaurs still roam. There's clearly a well thought out backstory here and the writing doesn't make the mistake of feeding it all to the reader all at once. It's action packed and a great read.

This may be my favorite title so far, which is a bit painful since only two issues have been released for the iPhone. The story is edgy but contrasted by the main character's complexities - Lucifer, the female thief of the comic, seems almost soft until she pulls some stunt with a demon or breaks a nose. Hopefully the next two issues will get released soon.

The Red Star
A fascinating blend of religion, technology and magic - The Red Star offers a great tale of a vicious war where tanks, fireballs and gods seem to clash into each other. Very unique, very well done.

Chance of a Lifetime
This two parter will surprise the reader. The cover lends to a kind of average Silver Age sort of read, but the story of a normal person being suddenly gifted with powers making him one of the first superheroes on the planet isn't entirely straightforward. There isn't a great deal of depth here, but the length of the two issues feels just about right, this isn't a typical hero plot - but a short story about a person in extraordinary circumstances.

White Picket Fences
A great blend of 50's sci fi and Cold War fears make Fences a very worthy read. It also has a great sense of humor and plays its child protagonists quite well. Great to see a title without capes or superpowers, a very excellent read.

Armor X
Armor X's saving grace is the internal conflict of the main character, a loser high school kid with more than a few sociopathic tendencies. Without this twist, it would be more of a "boy meets alien device, gets girl" affair, but the lead and his interactions with the world kick it up a notch. Not my favorite, but worth a look.

I didn't have much interest in Abyss as it seemed like a pretty standard hero setup, but the upside is that Abyss is actually pretty darn funny, walking a fine line between parody and homage to the genre that it plays off. It's not a great read, but it is certainly entertaining.

Update: Now that Abyss' is completely out, I should note it really pretty much sold me by the end. It sticks to this homage/parody line very well, and makes for - despite my earlier comment - a great read.

Dynamo 5
Pretty generic in a lot of ways, Dynamo 5 does at least use the premise pretty well. A squad of superheroes with only one thing in common - their now deceased superfather, tries to fight crime under the tutelage of his authoritative and manipulative wife. There's a lot of possibility here, so I certainly would like to see more than the two currently released issues.

Super Human Resources
A deeply funny parody of the superhero genre, SHR is punchy and entertaining. Combined with office jokes, the title might not appease the the hardcore comic reader - but should if they have a sense of humor.

Funny, not hilarious and often pretty sophomoric, SuperFogeys might tickle your funny bone and worth a try. I liked it and hope to see more out of the title, but didn't enjoy as much as SHR.

ShadowHawk and FX
It's not that these are necessarily bad titles, but they're really not for me. Fairly generic rehashes of Spider-Man in their own ways, these might be good for people looking for more standard superhero stories as reading material.

Wind Raider
There's something missing to Wind Raider's backstory to really make me suspend disbelief around a group of warriors who can summon the wind, but the post-apocalyptic landscape is well done if only marginally cliche. This is a title I'm hoping will pick up in future issues, but it has bit too much Fist of the Northern Star meets Mad Max for me right now. Course, that may be your thing.

Star Trek
I'm just going to lump all the Star Trek material together for brevity's sake. The prequel to the recent summer movie is certainly worth reading, but for the most part if you're a Trekkie, there's plenty to like here.

Flash Gordon
Better than I expected for a story which has been done and redone several times. The art is quite magnificent and the source material used extremely well.

Well, that's more or less it. I haven't read much of the manga and stayed away from the other TV adaptions (Ghost Whisperer and Eureka), but if iVerse doesn't get more material through the review process soon, I may give in there as well.

EA Hosts GLAAD Event

EA was kind enough to send this along:

This Saturday, EA is hosting an event for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization. GLAAD is facilitating a panel on Homophobia & Virtual Communities which will spotlight key issues and include the perspectives of both gaming companies and LGBT gamers. Discussion will revolve around the state of the problem in these communities, policy solutions that have been developed to address homophobia – what’s working as well as what’s not, plus challenges and opportunities.

Confirmed panelists include:

Flynn DeMarco (Alias: Fruite Brute), Founder of
Dan Hewitt, Senior Director of Communications & Industry Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
Caryl Shaw, Senior Producer in the Maxis Studio (Electronic Arts, Inc.)
Cyn Skyberg, VP of Customer Relations at Linden Lab
Stephen Toulouse (Gamertag: stepto), Program Manager for Policy and Enforcement on Microsoft's XBox LIVE
Moderator: Justin Cole, Director of Digital & Online Media, GLAAD

Event details are as follows:
WHAT: Homophobia in Virtual Communities - Highlighting the Problem and Working Towards Sustainable Solutions
WHEN: Saturday, July 18th, 2009, 11am-1pm
WHERE: Electronic Arts, 250 Shoreline Drive Redwood City, CA 94065

The event is free of charge and open to the public. More information can be found at:

Online registration is closed, see the link in the quote for more information reserving still. Event will be recorded, so it may be interesting to see it afterwards as well.