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Jack Gardner
This week's Humble Bundle is one of the best deals on video games that you will ever see.
 
There are very few things in life that are better than being able to pay what you want for four games. One of those things is paying what you want for four games and knowing that some of that money is going to a good cause.
 
The Humble Bundle from Sega is made up of Alpha Protocol, Company of Heroes, Rome: Total War, and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit. "But wait," you say, "this article claimed the bundle was massive. That's only four games!" Ho ho, so the article did, discerning reader!
 
If you pay more than $5.99 you also receive Typing of the Dead: Overkill, Binary Domain, Renegade Ops, Sega Genesis Classics, and Medieval II: Total War and if you pay over $14.99 you'll also get Total War: Shogun II. That's ten games (most of them critically well-received) for a mere $15. Of course, people can always pay more than that, but this is cause for the frugal of the video game world to rejoice.
 
If any of these games seem appealing, head over to Humble Bundle and pay what you'd like!

Jack Gardner
The song that appeared in the credits of A House Divided, the second episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2 developed by Telltale Games, is now available to download for free.
 
"In The Pines" was arranged by series composer Jared Emerson-Johnson and performed by Janel Drewis, who also works for Telltale as an animator. The song is an adaptation of an Appalachian folk song dating back to the 1870s. 
 
The full soundtrack to Season 2 will release after all five episodes have been released. However, for those who can't get enough of the heartful music found in The Walking Dead games, there are several other tracks available for purchase from the Andadel Bandcamp page.
 
 
You can download "In The Pines" here.

Jack Gardner
Yesterday, CD Projekt issued an announcement to its fans and shareholders to explain that The Witcher 3 would be delayed into 2015, missing its expected 2014 release window.
 
After a short preamble detailing their commitment to excellence, the Poland-based developer addresses the delay:
 CD Projekt also had this to say to their fans:
While this is certainly a disappointment for gamers eager to get their hands on the highly anticipated RPG, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Often, delays are good for giving developers extra time to polish titles and assure their quality; not every delayed game turns into Duke Nukem Forever. And good on CD Projekt for owning up to the situation and apologizing instead of waiting for gamers to find out themselves, which is never pretty.
 
In the meantime, people will have to make do with Witcher comics and our coverage from E3 2013.

Jack Gardner
Sony has announced a new format of the Blu-ray disc, upping the storage capacity from 50 GB to 300 GB. 
 
Born out of a collaboration between Sony and Panasonic, the next generation of discs are expected to go into production and be available mid-2015. In addition, there are plans in place to improve the capacity of archival Blu-ray discs up to a full 1 TB of storage over the following years.
 
The goal of this new disc format is to provide a data archive that will be compatible with different generations of technology. This will ensure that information will be readable even as storage capacity increases.
 
Initially, this technology will be put to use in the film industry and in cloud storage centers that deal with large amounts of data storage. The impact this could have on the video game industry remains to be seen, especially given the expanding scope of digital distribution.
 
What do you think of archival Blu-ray? Is it something that might alter the video game landscape? Or will it come after most gamers have made the leap to digital downloads?

Jack Gardner
Giant mechs fall from the sky today as Titanfall makes its way into the hands of an eager public. Whether or not you are planning on picking up or downloading Respawn's next-gen FPS, be sure to check out this trailer for upcoming stories set in the Titanfall universe.
 
Yesterday, Respawn said it would be teaming up with the special effects team Playfight to do something Titanfall related. Today, YourTitanIsReady.com went live along with the video below.
 
 
Playfight is the group behind creations like Video Game High School and Operation Kingfish, the Call of Duty short. For an idea of what awaits in Titanfall, be sure to read our impressions from the beta.
 
The Xbox 360 version of Titanfall releases later this month on the 25th.
 
Planning on picking up Titanfall? Excited to see Playfight deliver on the promise in this teaser?

Jack Gardner
Halfbrick, the studio behind hit games such as Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, has announced Bears vs. Art... which is exactly what it sounds like: Amazing.
 
The premise is simple: players control a bear as it infiltrates various galleries and destroys the artwork. Unfortunately, sneaking through museums as a bear is a bit harder than one might imagine, what with all the spikes, lasers, thieves, security guards, and over 120 levels. What's a bear gotta do to rip some paintings?
 
The iOS title released today in Canada and Australia with a global release still up in the air. However, Halfbrick promises that eager gamers won't have long to wait and asks everyone to *bear* with them.
 
 
With the video game industry's obsession with dark, gritty games, it is nice to see developers like Halfbrick who are willing to take incredibly silly ideas and make them realities. What do you think about Bears vs. Art?

Jack Gardner
Over the weekend, Telltale Games held a panel at SXSW where they discussed a few tantalizing tidbits from their upcoming adventure series set in the Borderlands universe.
 
Tales from the Borderlands is set after the events of Borderlands 2 and will follow the two new characters shown in the reveal trailer. These newcomers, Fiona and Rhys, will tell the episodic story through a series of flashbacks centered around their adventures on the planet Pandora. Given that there are two main characters, players will be able to play through events from different perspectives.
 
 
Polygon has reported that designer Harrison Pink has confirmed that there will be some of the shooting that Borderlands fans have come to expect from the franchise, just that it will be done in a "Telltale way."
 
Telltale is clearly aiming to have a new episodic venture with a bit more of a lighthearted tone. Tales from the Borderlands seeks to capture some of the spirit from Tales of Monkey Island and set itself apart from grim and  gritty worlds of The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead.
 
 
What do you think? Are you guys ready for a Borderlands adventure game or do you think that it is better left as a gun-filled loot fest?

Jack Gardner
The critically acclaimed iOS indie adventure title Year Walk by developer Simogo is now available on PC and Mac via Steam. Adventure game aficionados and fans of creepiness, rejoice! Year Walk thrusts players into a beautiful, disturbing world set in Sweden during the 1800s. The protagonist is on a vision quest through a dark wood to get a glimpse of the future. Mythical monsters, confounding brain teasers, and bizarre sights await.
 
 
The PC version boasts a few improvements over the mobile version. Some of the graphics have been overhauled and improved, new puzzles have been added, and a map now graces the game. Most importantly, the companion app that was meant to be downloaded and used along side the game to help work through the puzzles and decipher the myths and legends is now integrated directly into the game. 
 
Have any of you Extra Lifers out there played Year Walk? Planning on picking up the Steam version?

Jack Gardner
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of weeks, chances are that you have heard someone in the video game community mention Twitch Plays Pokemon. What exactly is this internet phenomenon all about?
 
Twitch Plays Pokemon works by receiving input commands via the Twitch chat system. There are two modes that this input mode can be on at any time: Anarchy and Democracy. When Anarchy is in effect, all chat commands are applied if possible. When Democracy activates the most numerous input command during a 30 second period is the next character action.
 
With this system, it took thousands (at times tens of thousands) of users a little over 16 days to conquer Pokémon Red. During that tie, new memes were generated, artists created their own renderings of in-game events, comic strips came out of the woodwork, and allegiances were formed. Those who favored the Anarchy system turned the Helix fossil into their symbol with mock reverence. The users who were in favor of Democracy united under the Dome fossil and called for order to make more in-game progress.
 

 
I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure I quite understand the attraction to actually participating in the livestream, but I do find the jokes coming out of it to be pretty entertaining. I expect that this is only the beginning, as Twitch Plays Pokemon has now launched a new game of Pokémon Crystal, the revamped version of Gold and Silver on the Game Boy Color.
 
 
What are your thoughts on Twitch Plays Pokemon? Have you participated in the chat? Let us know if you are for the Helix or the Dome (or the Old Amber)!

Jack Gardner
Starting now, you can share your Steam library with up to five other Steam users on up to ten authorized devices.
 
There are a few rules and exceptions to this library sharing business, so keep the following in mind if you are planning on opening up to your family or close friends. You must be online to play games that have been shared with you. There is no pick-and-choosing what you want to make available, your entire library must be shared. Due to third-party restrictions like codes or subscriptions, some shared games will not be accessible to those borrowing from a family member's library. Most importantly, both the lender and the borrower cannot play from the same library at the same time. The account holder will have unrestricted access to their own games, but the borrower will be given a few minutes before being kicked from their game if the lender decides they wish to play. Also, region-locked content will remain region-locked.
 
With those caveats, this still sounds like a great step forward for digital content. In a way, this might recapture the feeling of taking a beloved game over to a friend's house to let them give it a try. It isn't exactly the same, but it is better than having your account locked to one or two computers.
For instructions on how to enable sharing, refer to Valve's announcement:
 
"To enable Family Library Sharing, first be sure you have Steam Guard security enabled via Steam > Settings > Account in the Steam Client. Then enable the sharing feature via Settings > Family, (or in Big Picture mode, Settings > Family Library Sharing,) where you'll also authorize specific computers and users to share."
 
PC gaming crowd, what do you think of Family Sharing? Will you be making use of this feature?

Jack Gardner
For the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition later this year, developer BioWare has decided to give the vocally-talented (and the not-so-talented) the opportunity to voice a minor character in the world of Thedas.
 
From now until 12:01 a.m. on March 24, Dragon Age and BioWare fans will be able to submit a recording of themselves reading one of two scripts for bit parts in Inquisition. Prospective voice actors and actresses will have the option of reading the lines of an unnamed villager or seneschal to demonstrate your vocal talents. A panel of judges from within BioWare will then review submissions and decide the winner.
 
Keep in mind if you decide to enter that the panel will be judging based on the following criteria: 40% voice quality, 40% performance quality, and 20% vocally fitting with the Dragon Age style.
 
 
The winner of this contest will be announced on April 14 and be flown out to a recording studio to contribute their mouth-words to the Inquisition. If this sounds pretty cool or interesting, just record yourself and email it to takeyourplace@BioWare.com.
 
Interested in throwing your hat into the ring, but feeling a bit self-conscious or nervous? If I can do it, so can you! You've got nothing to lose, so just have fun! Who knows, you might be the next Troy Baker.

Jack Gardner
Starting next month, people will be able to access a revamped version of the 1984 text adventure of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
 
With a script written by series author Douglas Adams and a storyline at times both difficult and bizarre, the BBC has decided to release the award-winning text-based game online. This updated classic will feature new visuals in high-definition. Additionally, the 30th anniversary edition will allow users to share their achievements with friends via the official Twitter feed.
 
People will be able to play the latest version on the BBC Radio 4 Extra website beginning March 8.

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