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There are several lucky people out there who didn’t have to get up and go to work on Monday, January 3rd — 2011′s first official business day. Those much envied few instead had the luxury of staying in bed, sleeping off the extra two days of partying that the rest of us didn’t get to enjoy. Perhaps they used Monday as yet another day of getting down.

Nevertheless, the hangover may have just set it. The world is spinning. The stomach has now begun on its long and arduous journey back to normalcy. For those of you who missed it (no matter if you were dozing at work or if you just drank your last martini like the guy above) 2011′s first Monday was an eventful day in the gaming world. Part hangover cure and part video game, Gamer Limit brings you the New Years News Mashup designed to ease you back into the gaming world one step at a time.

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Anyone who uses Valve’s Steam service is probably familiar with their killer sales. Well, today Valve kicked off their biggest sale event of the year: the annual Holiday Sale. Running until January 2, this year’s holiday sale features savings on almost everything on Steam. Aside from jaw dropping deals on singular titles (which rotate every day), this years sale also features some ludicrously low prices on publisher complete packs. For example you can get every Bethesda game on Steam (including Fallout: New Vegas) for $69.99. If that doesn’t impress you, how about every Square Enix title + DLC for $74.99, a savings of $275.

To see the whole list of today’s daily sale, hit the jump.

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Playdead, most notably known for developing Limbo, was at the Indicade Festival in Culver City, California.  CEO Dino Patti teased Playdead’s new project, saying they are working on a new intellectual property. “I can’t tell much, but I can tell you that if you liked Limbo, it’ll definitely be for you,” Patti said to Joystiq. “The gameplay style you’ll really like. You’ll feel it’s the same team who made it, but everything will be changed.”

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For those still recovering from Gearbox’s shock announcement this week, I urge you to take a deep breath and brace yourselves. That’s right, it has just been announced that the Texas-based studio have purchased the full property rights to the Duke Nukem franchise from the now-defunct 3D Realms. Duke’s alive baby, and he’s back to kick some ass and chew a rather substantial amount of Wrigley’s Orbit.

Not only does this give the much-acclaimed developer full control of the IP, but it also gives them the opportunity to make good ol’ Dukey relevant again. The game has been in development hell for countless years, with the ever-notorious 3D Realms constantly changing every aspect of the gameplay in an attempt to reach an unprecendented level of perfection.

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The purpose of a review is to evaluate a game by providing a critical statement that is indicative of the title’s merit or lack thereof. As much as some may try to provide an objective opinion, leaving personal feelings, interpretations and prejudices at the door, providing an unbiased opinion based merely on facts is nearly impossible. Even if it were done, it sure as hell would not be very interesting.

The preconceived opinions, attitudes or feelings that make up our prejudices influence how we think about what we perceive. It is because of this that two individuals can come to entirely different conclusions about the exact same experience. One person’s terrorist is another’s vision of a freedom fighter. Similarly, one person’s idea of a perfect game could leave another wanting.

Reviews not only contain bias in order to formulate a subjective opinion on a product, but also within the structure of a review itself. The majority of videogame reviews are rated on a scale of zero to ten. However, it seems the prejudices formulated by the academic background of reviewers and readers have influenced both the use and reception of this scale, giving rise to complications and creating grave inconsistencies in the process.

Our personal biases and life experiences certainly affect who we are and are a crucial part of formulating our opinions. The blending of the academic and critical mindset in ten point reviews does not make a lot of sense and is something that needs to change.

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Microsoft announced the Xbox Live titles for Windows Phone 7 today at Gamescom 2010, all of which will be arriving in time for Christmas. Just as I was considering asking Santa for an iPad.

Microsoft Game Studios is promising “an incredible line-up” of titles, with a companion to the Halo: Waypoint hub and Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst named on the docket already. Other recognizable titles include Assassins Creed, Castlevania, and Splinter Cell: Conviction. You can check out a full list of launch titles here. Read more… »

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iPhone Graduation Day
By: | August 16th, 2010


Prior to the purchase of my first iPhone, I did not take it seriously as a gaming platform at all. In fact, I actually recoiled at the idea conceptually. I’ve also never been one to subscribe to the hardcore gamer tendency of dismissing social games and so-called “casual games.” On the other hand, I couldn’t look at the iPhone and consider it in the same category as my Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, or PC. Those are all “platforms.” The iPhone, however, was “a phone with games you can play on it.”

My wife won her iPhone two years ago in a raffle, and fell in love. She’s a blogger and social media junkie, which is what she mostly used the phone for. When I discovered the existence of Mass Effect Galaxy, being a junkie of the franchise, I ordered the game up on her phone and gave it a whirl.
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When I asked Mark Lamia of Treyarch at E3 whether we’d be seeing zombies in the studio’s highly-anticipated next chapter in the Call of Duty series, he gave me the same answer that Activision and Treyarch have given everyone: “No comment.”

I distinctly remember Mark having a smirk on his face when he said it, however. It’s being reported that a Best Buy listing for the Hardened Edition of Black Ops read that it will feature “Four Zombie Maps Pack made famous from COD: World at War.” This information has since been pulled from the Best Buy site.

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Last week Sega producer Takashi Iizuka made the bold claim that Sonic Colors would not fall victim to the dreaded Sonic Cycle. With an exciting trailer, gameplay seemingly ripped straight from the brilliant Sonic Unleashed daytime stages, and a bright, cheery aesthetic reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy, it was easy to believe Iizuka’s words. However, maybe someone at Sega should quiet the guy down before his mouth jeopardizes the title’s success.

In a recent interview Iizuka told British retailer GAME that Sonic Colors is not for core gamers, and has some pretty interesting ideas about who plays Sonic titles. His startling words await you after the break.

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The Grand Theft Auto series is often credited with the popularization of the open-world genre. For over a decade, Rockstar’s infamous series has been at the center of the evolution of sandbox games. The most recent major title in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV, is currently the highest-rated title on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time.

With such a stellar reception, one may be forgiven for thinking that Grand Theft Auto IV is the pinnacle of the genre, a shining example so near to perfection that developers looking to make open-world games would do well to look to it for inspiration. Sadly, that is not the case. Grand Theft Auto IV has a myriad of problems.

One may think that a game that largely revolves around stealing cars, crime, and random acts of violence would at least have competent driving and shooting mechanics. It doesn’t. However, Grand Theft Auto IV and the countless other open-world titles that look to Rockstar’s flagship franchise for inspiration and guidance  have a flaw far more substantial than such superficial problems – poor mission design.

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Assassin’s Creed 2 could be off limits to 17 year olds

Should it be illegal for retailers to rent or sell violent video games to minors? That could soon be the case in California, where an overturned 2005 law is being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Attorney General, Jerry Brown, recently submitted a preliminary written argument to pass a law banning the sale of violent video games to anyone under 18.

That doesn’t sound so bad does it? Little Timmy shouldn’t be playing excessively violent games and heaven forbid his parents should have to actually pay attention to what their children are playing. The motivation behind the law is understandable, but the execution has more wrinkles than Jabba the Hutt after liposuction. Read more… »

It’s quite clear that Sonic has been going through a bit of a rough spell lately – his transition to 3D has arguably been less than successful and the essence of the series has been completely lost in translation due to poor design choices and dodgy engine mechanics that lack the sense of speed the franchise was famous for.

However, while both Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors look like a return to form for Sega’s beleaguered mascot, series’ creator and gaming legend Yuji Naka is still set on playing with new ideas.

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