With Christmas on the horizon, the difficult task of buying gifts becomes obvious. Being the well-skilled shopper that I am, I find buying gift for my game-orientated friends the worst. It’s like buying shoes for someone without knowing their size.

So in the spirit of the up-coming season, I give you my guide to buying the perfect gamer gift.

Gift cards are the easiest solution for the picky gamer or someone you don’t know very well. Your friend can pick what they want without the risk of buying something said gamer already has or don’t want.

Games are a great gift if you know what your friend plays. Steam has a ‘wish list’ system that is a fantastic indicator. Games are ranked in the order that your friend wants them and they show up-to-date prices. If you’re buying a game for the console user, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network Store and the Wii store offer a range of games that be purchased using a credit card or a point-system.

This year also bought a new generation of consoles to the market. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will cost you $549 and $599 respectively and that’s just for the consoles alone. Although, both consoles come with a great range of launch titles like FIFA 14 (PS4, XB1), Ryse (XB1), Knack (PS4), Dead Rising 3 (XB1), Killzone (PS4) and some excellent games on the horizon (Watch Dogs, Titan Fall), etc), these consoles may be something to invest in for your gamer.

If your nerd has a game in mind, but it hasn’t been released, offer to buy the pre-order for them. Some pre-orders are quite cheap and you still get some decent loot with it. If they already have a pre-order organised but haven’t paid it off yet, offer to pay the rest off. Some collector’s editions can be upwards of $150 price wise, so buying it or paying it off is always a good idea and who doesn’t want a shiny new Batman statue for Christmas?

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People can be pretty cool when it comes to helping others in need. So, when Typhoon Haiyan touched down in the Philippines, it wasn’t too long before people started figuring out how they could help. The guys at Atomic and PC & Tech Authority are doing it the only way us gamers know how; 24-hour LAN party.

On December 7th, Atomic headquarters will be become home to a team of gamers playing PC games, console games, mobile games and they say “even the odd card game” in order to raise money to donate to World Vision Australia’s Typhoon Haiyan’s emergency appeal.

According to abc.net.au, the revised death toll in the Philippines has risen to over 4,500 people, leaving families broken and without supplies to keep themselves alive. Atomic and PC Authority hope that for every hour they play, donors will donate $1 or give what they can. Hoping to hit $24 an hour, their goal is $10,000 to donate to World Vision which will be used for short-term and long-term relief.

24-hours of gaming is a pretty big feat when you’re trying to raise money for a good cause. A lot of people see the devastation on the television and want to help, but aren’t sure how to. Atomic and PC Authority are giving people a way to combine their love of gaming with the human need to help our fellow people. I know I’ll definitely be tuning in to watch and donate some money to help people in need.

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preview-first-look-at-the-joker-in-batman-arkham-origins-and-moreI really want to like you, Batman: Arkham Origins. We’ve had such a wonderful relationship and your Collector’s Edition had me weak at the knees. But you’ve changed. I think it’s time we just go our separate ways.

It’s not me; it’s you. (more…)

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MetalDeadOne of the greatest things about going to PAX was going to meet all the developers who made some of my favourite games. Although, if you’re in the Indie area of the expo hall, it’s about meeting all the people who could potentially become fans.

When I was walking around the expo hall during that rainy PAX weekend, I met the guys at Walk Thru Walls who were demoing their new game Metal Dead Encore. I had a great chat about their point-and-click zombie game with the heavy metal soundtrack and the Steam Greenlight project they’ve got going on.

After the PAX Pox and PPD (Post-PAX Depression) set in, I received an email from Liam from Walk Thru Walls with a handy little link to their previous game, Metal Dead and thus, this review was born!

I have to apologise to the guys at Walk Thru about how long this has taken. Not long after PAX ended, I got horrendously sick (pretty sure that I was carrying some kind of new plague) and then Uni started. So yeah, sorry. (more…)

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Okay, that’s it. Games community; you need to sit your arse down, shut the fuck up and listen for two fucking minutes.

No, really. Shut the fuck up.

Alright, I suppose I’ll give you some context. Grand Theft Auto 5 came out last week? Week before? In the last month and it’s been unbelievably successful that I imagine the Rockstar office’s look something like this:

scrooge-skiing-460x250

It’s also getting 9/10 kind of reviews from websites better known than this one. One of the FEW complaints this game is getting is that it’s sexist or misogynistic. Which yeah, it is. It’s what you expect from a GTA game from 5-years ago, but maybe not one now, where almost half of the people who play games in this modern age are women. Gamespot let one of their female journalists review the game and it was met with the same level of maturity I would expect from a year 6 sex-ed class.

People though that her glowing-nine-out-of-ten review of their beloved game was so terrible, they started a petition to get her fired.

Guys, this kind of behaviour isn’t acceptable. (more…)

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After yet another date pushback on the Australian release of Saints Row 4, the rumour mill is in overdrive. Media outlets are reporting that Volition, Deep Silver or Steam (Valve) have enabled region-locking on digitally downloaded copies of Saints Row.

This could mean that if you try to avoid the Australian ‘low-violence’ version of the game, Steam will convert your full-game key to an Australian key.

Not only does this mean you’ll get the MA15+ version of the game, you could lose the ability to play with your non-Australian friends.

I’ve contacted Volition’s social media team with a support ticket to write in the morning. I’ll update you as soon as I know anything.

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WADWADLargeIt’ll cost you a million pounds and you can go into space. Who wants to lend me some money?

 

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The Saints Row 4 saga continues with the publishing team behind the game Volution Inc. releasing an announcement on the official SR4 Facebook page today.

For the game to be classified in Australia, an optional mission had to be removed to conform to the rules of the classification board. Because this mission is no longer in the game, the Australian version of the game isn’t compatible with other copies. In other words, Australians can’t play co-op mode with their international friends.

While we are very proud of all our different missions, we do feel that Saints Row IV on the whole remains largely the same without this single optional mission, and we also feel that you deserve to know what you are getting in Australia. Due to the changes we were forced to make, this version is different than the version rated by rating boards like the ESRB, USK, and PEGI, which is why it will be incompatible with those versions in co-op.

Australian gamers have taken to the Internet to voice their outrage with many saying they’ll cancel pre-orders through Steam or at their local game shop and look to buy the game overseas to make sure they have fair access to the co-op campaign mode of Saints Row 4.

Late last week the game was given an MA15+ rating in Australia, allowing people 15 years and over access to the adult video game. Gamers are asking why they campaigned so hard for an R18+ rating when games that have been rated R18+ by other boards are censored and given inappropriate ratings here in Australia. People at the development company were upset to hear that the game had been given an MA15+ rating as they feel their game isn’t appropriate for anyone under the age of 18 years.

Personally, the whole thing is turning into a joke. I’m incredibly disappointed that Australian fans who buy the Australian version of the game won’t be able to play with their friends, that the Australian Classification Board gave this game an MA15+ rating when it’s clearly intended for adults and that the whole issue has become so drawn out. Australia, we really need to grow up.

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Call of Duty is one of those games people take seriously. Sometimes; way too seriously. In this case, it’s the latter.

CoD developer David Vonderhaan patched Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 recently to make the game a little more balanced. In the patched, he nerfed the stats of a sniper rifle, changing the fire time from 0.2 seconds to 0.4 seconds and the rechamber time from 1.0 seconds to 1.1 seconds. Point one of a second, people.

When the patch went live and the notes went up on the Cod:BO2 site, players reacted appropriately with constructive criticism and thanks… No, wait. That’s not right. They reacted the way you expect your typical Call of Duty fanboy to react; with threats of violence, death and cancer. I shit you not people. Some minor code was changed and these people act like the game was changed from Call of Duty to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

As pointed out on the Gamer Fury tumblr, Call of Duty fanboys used their vast knowledge of the English language to voice their anger over these changes.

hey can you un nerf THE FUCKING SNIPER U FUCKING CUNT WTF WHY DID U DO THIS IM GOING 2 KILL YOU! DICK HEAD FUCKING DIE!!!!!

– FeedMeCreate

omfg you fucking fat cunt i hope you die in a fatal car crash you fucking twat also your nan has cancer

— NeronV2

you are a prick messing up the snipers on BO2 and if u don’t sort it out am gonna rape your family ….. BITCH !!

— SwizzoM8

I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL YOU FUCKING COCKSUCKER AND I HOPE YOU GET RAPED AND GET AIDS AND DIE IN THE BIGGEST PAIN IMAGINABLE

— DJVAHNCOCKSUCKE

And not proper use of a punctuation mark in sight. I’ve had some anger when it comes to nerfing abilities in games, but it’s to balance the game and make it more fun, it’s not a personal vendetta against you. It’s also not worth threats of rape, violence, cancer or death. This kind of behaviour is why the gaming community and the industry at large has such a bad reputation in the mainstream media. Don’t feed the trolls, guys. Report them and move on.

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PAX-Australia-is-in-Melbourne-next-July-1091663

It’s almost here! The first (hopefully annual) Penny Arcade Expo in our lovely Australia and I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that I’ve learnt from going to conventions (see: one) and things I’ve learnt from others. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we? (more…)

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