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The last news mash-up came like a real bad hangover right after new years. This one is somewhat of a hangover, if you’re the type to drink on a Wednesday (on which I pass no judgment; I’ve been there). Let’s begin, shall we?

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Dragon Age 2 is building up quite a bit of lore both on and off the consoles (or PC if you’re so inclined). Here’s the story as it stands:  a gamer named Bastal posted a thread on Bioware’s SocialNetwork entitled Bioware Neglected Their Main Demographic: The Straight Male Gamer. He claims DA2 neglected its core audience by making homosexual romance just as prevalent as heterosexual romance, an unjust ratio in his view.

This prompted Bioware’s senior writer, David Gaider, to tactfully respond in defense of the non-straight male gamer, straight females and homosexuals a.k.a. everyone else. He stated that romance is there for all, and no gaming audience should be neglected whether they’re the base or the minority. Instead of getting + 1′s for inclusion and cultural sensibility, however, he got a gay gamer appalled and petitioning for his being fired. Are either of these reactions justified?

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Mobile. Social. A couple of words thrown around when you hear the mainstream talk about the future of gaming. It has people seeing Facebook as the new blue, the iOS as the new engine that drives the culture. Understandably, this has hardcore console and PC gamers seeing red and their voices roaring. The good fellows over at Kotaku frame a good bit of this argument well.

We’re seeing legends like John Romero (Doom, Quake) and Brian Reynolds (Civilization II, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) switching sides to develop the next line of cutesy Ville-games on the social network. Yet, we’re also seeing the core striving with the likes Bulletstorm and the soon to be released L.A. Noire. With tunnel vision, these are the only sides you can pick from. You’re either a  traditional console/PC gamer, or you’re on the ‘Avant-guard’ of gaming’s social and mobile invasion. That’s rather confining, if you think about it. Gaming can do so much more. This is where Gamification comes in.

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Picture Epic Games as a senior at NCSU taking the semester off to backpack through Europe. Spain was fun, but not his style. No, he’s more into northern Europe, up where it’s colder, up where it snows.

Epic has been on a Eurotrip for quite some time, and we finally received a postcard from his stop at Poland. “Wish you were here,” Epic scribbles on the back of a picture of him and his good friend Dicktits (the loving nickname he gave his pal People Can Fly), having fun next to a monumental sized plant monster. And this is great, because vicariously through Epic and People Can Fly, we enjoy Poland.

“Next stop, Sweden,” Epic says. He has to see about a Coffee Stain, and such an epic Coffee Stain it is.

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You can buy food and water with money. Food and water are good things because they keep you alive. Or, you can buy video games. Video games are a good thing, too, in our opinion.

Although, when you’ve popped that disc in, it’s close to heartbreak and hand wringing when you find your $60 have been wasted on unbearable gameplay, horrendous graphics and a wet-paper-thin storyline. It has become common practice to take the game back to GameStop (or now Best Buy) to get your money back. What’s even more aggravating, however, is the knowledge that you’re only getting a fraction of what you paid, yet they’re going to turn around and sell it at near-new prices.

Gamestaq feels your pain. Instead of sticking it to you, they only charge a $1-2 stipend, letting you pocket the money made on the sale (a good thing, we’ve established). All is well until you dig a little deeper to find that there is a perpetual dark cloud hovering over this re-sale oasis.

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Two weeks ago, Gamer Limit got its hand on the latest The Next Big Thing teaser from Spain’s Pendulo Studios, showcasing the alluring-yet-strange leading vixen Liz Allaire. As it was in Spanish, we translated the damned thing only to shake our heads when they later released the English version.

Straight from the newswire in Paris, Pendulo has a new video for you, this time trumpeting the leading man, Dan Murray, along with some new screenshots showcasing Pendulo’s always sharp, hand-drawn style. As you’ll notice, we do not have to translate this time. Shucks.

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[correction: After some Twitter back and forth with Brenda Brathwaite herself, it was made clear that the engine for Ravenwood Fair was indeed NOT developed by the folks who worked on Wizardry. In actuality, it was coded by a one Sean Cooper, who, according to Moby Games, is behind many EA titles like Populous, Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper Gold. One must note that Brenda Brathwaite herself is behind Wizardry, the title noted in this feature.]

The first SF Game Developer’s Workshop (SFGDW) of 2011 gave us a tremendous surprise as legend John Romero, designer of such highly regarded titles as Doom and Quake, took the podium to give a post mortem of his latest title Ravenwood Fair. Now, here’s the surprise: it’s a Facebook social game.

Several hundred people gathered in a hot room at the San Francisco Art Institute Tuesday to learn how Romero and Lolapps creative director Brenda Brathwaite (just as legendary) created a game that has earned more than 10 million monthly average users (MAU) since its release in October. Ultimately, they came to learn how the game changes the way we view the social space, as it essentially marries AAA qualities with that of the viral.

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Say you love MMORPG’s and retro games? Up until now those two categories have been mostly mutually exclusive. No longer. Today Silk Games launched NEStalgia, an online multiplayer RPG that features a retro 8-bit visual style and aesthetics. Hit the jump for more information and a trailer. Read more… »

Depicted above is the splash page to the updated website promoting Hybrid, 5th Cell’s latest title. It gives you the choice between siding with the Paladin or the Variants. Depending on your choice, you will click through to either a depraved, boarded up room or a stylishly sleek, high tech chamber, both replete with several goodies. Among the goodies are journals revealing a bit of the story for either side, brand new screens and the trailer.

“God didn’t create hell, the Variants did,” says the voice somewhat gaudily in the trailer. Yes, the teaser may sample a bit of the melodramatic, and also those new journal entries, but the game itself is guaranteed to be bold for several reasons.

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The news-o-sphere, blog-o-sphere, Twitter, Facebook, etc. were lit ablaze last week when the latest L.A. Noire trailer, announced to be released Monday, was leaked. Fervor over the official date, plot line  and the always stunning visual flair mounted. Albeit with just as much fervor, Rockstar Games and Team Bondi pulled the trailer before it had a chance to really explode upon the world. Needless to say, their PR strategy was dealt a blow.

For all those who have missed it, and all those who caught a glimpse but want to relive that magic moment without the particular feeling of having bitten into a forbidden fruit, Gamer Limit has the trailer and wants to know what you think.

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Apparently, it’s The Next Big Thing. While upcoming titles are resting on the laurels of legacy and countless years of hype (see Duke Nukem Forever), or new technology, publisher prestige and leaked trailers (see L.A. Noir), this game boldly tells you upfront, claiming to have transcended into greatness with little more than a few flashes of style. Offering gameplay in the vein of point-and-click adventures, Pendulo Studios promises “a story that will force you to use your brain power thanks to hundreds of puzzles. You will be titillated by its movie-like action sequences, and you will go into hysterics during the countless moments of sheer comedy.”

Read further and judge for yourself.

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As it nears its February release, the Bulletstorm tentacles are now stirring up the ire of some gamers. Exclamations have begun to follow the title like the wake of a destructive, yet increasingly legendary, water monster. While they may not be as grand as “holy, maelstrom!” exclamations, they are definitely curt ones like “dammit!”.

The ire comes from last Friday’s press by People Can Fly, Epic Games and EA. The announcement has the Bulletstorm demo releasing on XBox LIVE Marketplace Worldwide and Playstation Network North America on January 25. Plastation 3 owners in Europe will have to wait a day. That day of waiting is not the problem, however.

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