By Eli Green
October 31, 2007 - 23:59
Welcome to another edition of Video Game Bits. We'd like to extend a Happy Halloween to our readers, those that celebrate it at least. Halloween has been the perfect time for movie studios to release their horror and suspense/thriller movies for some time now, and now game studios are getting in on the act too, with Rockstar releasing Manhunt 2 yesterday, and EA and Namco Bandai releasing their own horror game today . Here is today's Video Game Bits.
Electronic Arts and Namco Bandai announced the release of Hellgate: London today. The horror, action RPG, developed by Flagship Studios, has released just in time for Halloween and is now available at retailers across North America and Europe. Set in 2038, in a London overrun by hordes of demons, players must set out to save the once-great city. Players begin by creating their own unique hero, choosing one of six character classes, each of which features distinct gameplay styles. The game offers a deep storyline and hours upon hours of gameplay, especially if you replay the game using a different character type each time.
Hellgate: London also lets players connect online, joining up with other survivors on a secure, client-server environment and playing the entire story-driven campaign together for free. Flagship is also offering a subscription service for $9.99 per month, which will give players access to constantly updating content, including new quests, character classes, demons, items and more. Hellgate: London is available now for PC for $49.99 USD and CAD, or $59.99 USD and CAD for the Collector's Edition, and is rated M for Mature.
Tomorrow, Ubisoft, the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and Meredith Baxter will kick off a nationwide contest, called the “Great American Word Challenge”, in celebration of National Family Literacy Day (November 1 st ). National Family Literacy Day is an annual event created by the NCFL to illustrate the importance of family literacy. As part of the day's celebration, Ubisoft will be announcing the launch of its new vocabulary-building game, My Word Coach , which is set to release next week for Nintendo DS and Wii.
My Word Coach is the type of game that anyone can play to improve their vocabulary and increase confidence in verbal expression. The game features six different training exercises, four “Coach” personalities and a database of over 15,000 words. The game is the latest addition to a series of games created by Nintendo and its third parties that not only entertain, but also improve the lifestyles of its gamers. Ubisoft developed My Word Coach with the help of linguist Dr. Tom Cobb of Montreal-based McGill University, creating the game to provide a fun and engaging way for individuals, friends or families to increase their personal communication skills. The game can be played alone or with teams and encourages players of all ages to engage in a healthy and fun activity.
Along with tomorrow's announcement for the launch of My Word Coach , Ubisoft will begin the “Great American Word Challenge”, an online contest th at will run from November 1 st until January 31, 2008, and pits cities against one another to measure their greatness by the depth of their vocabularies. People across the United States are encouraged to compete by playing an online version of the My Word Coach video game for the chance to establish their hometown as the city with the best vocabulary in the country. The winning city will receive a donation from Ubisoft of Nintendo DS systems and copies of My Word Coach to local NCFL learning centers. Also, every person who participates in the contest will be entered to win a grand prize trip for two to Washington, D.C and have the chance to win one of two Wiis awarded each month during the duration of the contest. For more information on the “Great American Word Challenge”, click here. My Word Coach will be available for Nintendo DS and Wii next Tuesday, November 6 th .
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced today that, through the participation of Playstation 3 users, Stanford University's Folding@home program has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the most powerful distributed computing network in the world. The record was initially set on September 16 th , as the program surpassed one petaflop, a milestone that had never been reached before, even by a distributed computing network. In addition to this, just a few days after the record was set, the collective efforts of Playstation 3 users alone have brought the Playstation 3's power on the network to the petaflop mark, on September 23 rd .
“ To have Folding@home recognized by Guinness World Records as the most powerful distributed computing network ever is a reflection of the extraordinary worldwide participation by gamers and consumers around the world and for that we are very grateful,” said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead. “Without them we would not be able to make the advancements we have made in our studies of several different diseases. But it is clear that none of this would be even remotely possible without the power of PS3, it has increased our research capabilities by leaps and bounds.”