Video Games

Could a Star Wars The Old Republic Collector’s Edition Be the Big Announcement
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At San Diego Comic-Con that officially starts tomorrow, there will be a panel for Star Wars: The Old Republic, the much anticipated MMO from Bioware and EA. And during that panel, there was to be a huge announcement about the game. But a polish game store website named Empik placed in their store a TOR collectors set that it was taking pre-orders. Could this be what they were going to reveal?

The shop talked about the details of this set, giving the added features you will get over the lowly droids that just buy the regular game, such as a CD of the TOR soundtrack, of course a fancy box for which it all comes in, a map of the Old Republic galaxy, the game discs in metal cases, a Darth Malgus statue, a custom Security Authentication Key (which we aren’t exactly sure what it opens) and a journal by Master Gnost-Durai with notes by Satele Shan (who we are sure will have relevance in the game).

The set also features in-game enhancements, which is interesting...
Firestorm Brews on News of Star Wars Galaxies Shutdown
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As you can imagine, there is nothing like a game player scorned. The surprise announcement that Star Wars Galaxies is shutting down in December has rocked the gaming world and message boards across the internet. The game’s Facebook page has been aflame with new postings referring to the petition to keep the game going, as well as their discontent at the plan.

At last count, around 2100 had signed the petition to Sony Online to request that the game stays open, but rather than business as usual, their request is for Sony to go to a free to play model making their revenue by selling virtual goods and reducing the number of servers. This move is not unprecedented. Other companies have kept their MMO’s based on popular franchises such as Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings open for free, while still gaining users and revenue, sometimes even five fold. But unlike those other games, they didn’t have a major competitor for the same market breathing down...
Star Wars Galaxies to Shut Down in December
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The original MMO and trading card game from George Lucas, Star Wars Galaxies, is being shut down at Sony Online in December.

While no one at Lucas will come right out and say it, it’s not difficult to see that the upcoming opening of The Old Republic no doubt had a lot to do with their decision, which both sides say was a mutual one. Galaxies had been waning over the years and recent events have not helped matters. The hacking of Sony’s servers caused all of their networks to be taken down from the internet while they underwent a massive scrub down. They brought the servers back up and offered extensions to the subscriptions, but the damage had already been done.

This and a couple of controversial updates such as the one that opened up the Jedi class to everyone had ruffled feathers in the game world. But at the time, it wasn’t like there was an alternative to go to, and so most players just learned to live with it. The free character transfer, while...
Razer Creates Star Wars The Old Republic Peripheral Package
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Razer, who is known for its PC gaming mice, keyboards, and peripherals, announced at E3 that in conjunction with Star Wars: The Old Republic, they will be introducing a new package which will contain everything you need to play the game in style.

First off is the keyboard, which is light grey and has either a red or blue backlight which you can choose based on your alignment (Sith versus Galactic Republic) or whichever you think looks really cool, and the symbols can be changed as well. The chiclet type keyboard, which is not wireless, is generally a standard keyboard, but without the numeric keypad. In its place are ten programmable keys (set up in two rows) and a touch screen. There is also five extra keys on the left. The SW:ToR keyboard will set you back around $199.99, which is pretty steep, but should be out about the same time as the game, which we believe will be in late December.

The mouse is the part that really shines. The design looks like...
Star Wars The Old Republic E3 2011
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Bioware is putting the finishing touches on the most anticipated game of the holiday season, but calling it a game is probably not doing it justice. Star Wars: The Old Republic, which we’ve talked about here, was on display at the E3 convention, which is the gaming industry’s biggest week. The show, which is where all the companies show off their latest games, is being held in Los Angeles and EA was one of the big players eager to show off their expansive world, which is set in the Lucas universe thousands of years before the film.

Story, one would argue, is the most important part of the Lucas film, even though some would criticize that the new ones excelled in this regard, but that sense of story above all else is what Bioware was very dedicated to in bringing this to life. Even in the limited play that we saw at EA’s booth, it was quite obvious that the narrative would guide the player’s actions even if they weren’t aware of it. But instead of making you...
Kinect Star Wars Shown at E3
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At the largest game industry convention, E3, where all the entertainment companies are showing off their latest, Microsoft used part of their press conference this morning, to show off Kinect Star Wars. It was presented with a wide range of other games for Kinect and not for Kinect, but all for the Xbox 360. I know that it would have interrupted the proceedings, but part of the fan in me, really wanted to see at least one Star Wars character hit the stage during this portion. Oh well.

What did we find out? Not much that we didn’t know already. What they did show is one actual working scene which has a Jedi Knight fighting his way through the Cloud City from Empire Strikes Back. One thing that Star Wars fans will really like is the amount of realism in the scenery and characters. They looked just like in the movies, including the Carbonite freezing room where Leia admits that she loves him. We’ve seen a lot of scenery in various Lucas games, but these...
Star Wars Toy News
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Hornby PLC, which is a leading provider of model kits for builders, just scored a major contract as big as the empire itself. When the movies are rereleased in 3D, they will have the exclusive rights to make the models that will go along with the film. We assume this means things like the Death Star, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing and Tie Fighters, etc. In the past Hornby has had major problems with their suppliers in China and severe weather at their London manufacturing plant had caused a demand issue, which frightened their stockholders. But upon hearing the news of the acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Scaletrix Star Wars models, their stock has climbed back up. They also received the rights to Cars 2 and the London Olympics. It probably will be a bit before we actually see these on the shelf, no doubt they will wait until the first film is out in theatres which is in 2012...
Star Wars The Old Republic Sith Inquisitor Class
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We haven’t talked much lately about the Star Wars MMO set to premier late this year, but Bioware has caught our attention once again with the description of the Sith Inquisitor Class in the Old Republic. It seems like the introduction of this particular faction of the game has brought new light into what was shaping up to be a Star Wars version of World of Warcraft, something that the company is trying desperately to avoid.

The Sith Inquisitors are masters of the dark side of the force and yield what they consider to be the ultimate power, but what makes them particular dangerous is that they are treacherous. They don’t worry about what is right and wrong, which can be fun to play. But what makes this class interesting is the choice the player will have in whether or not their character becomes a Sorceror or an Assassin. The former will use their knowledge of the secrets of the Force to destroy their enemies, while the latter will use their powers by...
Star Wars Galaxies to Allow Free Server Transfers
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In an announcement that I’m sure will make many lonely players happy, having suffered on a particular server away from their friends who are on the new server, their prayers and letters have been answered. Starting April 26th after 4am PDT (7am EDT), they will be able to transfer their characters to the server of their choice for free, the only limitation being that the Starsider characters can be transferred out, but not into the Starsider server. Once you have completed the transfer for free, you must leave that character on that server for at least 90 days before trying another one.

And there are some simple limitations, but we doubt that these will affect very many who currently play. For one, the account has to be in good standing and not behind in payment or suspended. The character itself must be at least 90 days old on the current server. Oh and one more thing. When you transfer it, your in game personality must be on one of the ten original ground...
Star Wars Game News March 29 2011
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For those of you who like THQ’s Star Wars games for the iPhone, you may want to consider picking up whatever you still want very quickly. A developer for THQ has spilled the beans that the iTunes store for games will be dropping all Star Wars related products very soon. The reason is that the licensing agreement that THQ has with Lucas is nearing its end. Because they are wireless games, the contracts work differently than in regular games where the development is what is included in the license, not the sales thereafter. Instead in wireless apps, the licenses have to keep being renewed and apparently THQ has decided not to do so if this person is correct. So get them quick if you want them.

PS: Games purchased now will still run fine, but THQ will not be able to provide updates through the iTunes system as they have in the past with no license to release Star Wars related products.

In other gaming news, Star Wars: The Old Republic, which we’ve talked...
Star Wars The Old Republic Scams
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A few days ago we talked about how Star Wars: The Old Republic is signing up beta testers for the soft opening of their massive multiplayer world based on the Star Wars of 1000 years ago. The game is already got 1.5 million interested. But anytime there is huge demand and limited space, the scammers see an opportunity, one that Emperor Palpatine would no doubt approve of.

People always try to make money by selling some intangible object that is not real and is filled with false promises. In this case, a typical ad will try to sell a beta tester invite (or beta key) to an unsuspecting, but eager game player. But like the magic beans, these “tickets” aren’t real. But once you purchase them, you have nothing, but they have your credit card and your personal information. They can then use this to purchase more stuff on your VISA or to steal your identity. There are no tickets for sale by Bioware to beta test their game. So if they are trying to sell you...
Star Wars Game and Video News
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Everyone is awaiting the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which has been marketed quite a bit before its release on December 31, 2011. But right now, they are soliciting beta testers and have already gotten 1.5 million, which is a good start to the game’s success. Execs at Bio-Ware and EA have a lot riding on this huge undertaking and have been quite careful to keep the public involved. For instance, they recently put up a section of their site where guilds can be formed in anticipation of the game.

They hope to get at least a few million to be able to be profitable and compete in the marketplace with Worlds of Warcraft. To do this, they know that they may have to introduce the idea of MMO to people who’ve never played WoW or any other MMO, but are interested in Star Wars. This will involve not only good marketing and communications, but less intense and easier entry systems in the game itself. In other words, discouraging players with instant kills...
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