Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.



The Black List 268

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 25 October 2014No Comments

Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Children of Morta > Game development has a pretty steep learning curve these days, and although Texas based Dead Mage’s first game Garshasp: the Monster Slayer hit with a whimper, they bounced back, first with Shadow Blade for iOS and now with the announcement of Children of Morta. Described by the developer as a “rogue-like hack and slash game”, Children of Morta sees you play as characters in a family seeking to heal the corruption spewing forth from Mount Morta and kill the monsters that are threatening their home. READ MORE

MONDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Infinifactory > Have you ever imagined what it might be like if you were an imprisoned scientist using your knowledge of chemistry and programing to serve alien overlords while avoiding becoming a workplace hazard statistic? If the answer to that question is, “Yes! How does The Black Panel read my mind so accurately?” we suggest you keep an eye out for Zachtronics’ new sandbox puzzle game, Infinifactory. READ MORE

TUESDAY REVIEW Skylanders: Trap Team > Another year and another Skylanders game appears to steal the hearts of children and the bank balances of parents. The actual game is a tight platforming experience with wonderful characters and some entertaining mini games. However with this iteration the money grabbing elements are more aggressive than ever. It’s still a lot of fun, but be prepared to say the word “no” a lot if you buy Trap Team for the little ones. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY REVIEW The Evil Within > When horror “master” Shinji Mikami makes a new game, players listen. The Evil Within embraces all the tropes of the genre, presenting an experience that is as dank and disturbing as it is awkward and frustrating. This amazing looking game finds itself tied to an over encumbered campaign that wears out its appeal long before the credits. READ MORE

THURSDAY NEWS Indie developer apologises for threatening Gabe Newell > Surely there is no more depressing trend in gaming than the recent proliferation of death threats against prominent industry figures. As reported by PC Gamer, the latest chapter in this grim saga occurred this week when an indie developer threatened to kill Valve founder Gabe Newell. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS Local servers for WoW and Xbox One > Blizzard Entertainment this week revealed that it will be rolling out local servers for its decade old MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft. As reported by Lifehacker and Kotaku, Microsoft confirmed just days earlier that it will be activating Azure servers in Melbourne and Sydney, a decision that stands to benefit all Xbox One games involving an online connection, but particularly those involving competitive multiplayer. READ MORE



Local servers for WoW and Xbox One

Posted by Erin Marcon On Friday 24 October 2014No Comments

The local WoW servers really look the part.

As someone who has often been decimated by players on the other side of the world, local servers constitute something of a holy grail for me.

Earlier this year, I was reminded of the huge difference that this highly coveted feature can make when I found myself enjoying dozens of hours of lag-free Titanfall. This Xbox One exclusive from EA and Respawn added local servers post release, enabling me to compete on a blissfully level playing field. How could I possibly consider going back to the status quo after that? A couple of recent announcements suggest that I may not have to.

Blizzard Entertainment this week revealed that it will be rolling out local servers for its decade old MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft. As reported by Lifehacker and Kotaku, Microsoft confirmed just days earlier that it will be activating Azure servers in Melbourne and Sydney, a decision that stands to benefit all Xbox One games involving an online connection, but particularly those involving competitive multiplayer. The servers will reportedly come online next week. I’m crossing my fingers that this eventually becomes the standard for all major console and PC releases.


Indie developer apologises for threatening Gabe Newell

Posted by Erin Marcon On Thursday 23 October 2014No Comments

Just the latest target of online abuse.

Surely there is no more depressing trend in gaming than the recent proliferation of death threats against prominent industry figures. As reported by PC Gamer, the latest chapter in this grim saga occurred this week when an indie developer threatened to kill Valve founder Gabe Newell.

Code Avarice co-owner Mike Maulbeck issued the threat after becoming frustrated by the listing of his game, Paranautical Activity, on Valve’s industry leading Steam platform. Maulbeck took to Twitter to express his anger the game continued to be listed as an ‘early access’ offering even after it had been approved for final release.

His diatribe culminated in a death threat against Newell, which he has since described as sarcastic in nature. Valve withdrew the game from Steam shortly thereafter. Maulbeck has since apologised, noting that that the threat was something “I obviously didn’t mean, but was regardless completely unacceptable”. Maulbeck now intends to sell his stake in Code Avarice and quit the company in an attempt to help the studio repair its relationship with Valve.

Earlier this year, a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley was the target of a bomb hoax. Just last week, an anonymous miscreant threatened to shoot up a university campus unless an appearance by feminist filmmaker Anita Sarkeesian was cancelled. Is this the new normal for the games industry?


The Evil Within Review

Posted by Dylan Burns On Wednesday 22 October 2014No Comments

Available on PS4, XBO, PS3, 360 and PC l Published by Bethesda Softworks l Developed by Tango Gameworks l Classified R18+ l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > When horror “master” Shinji Mikami makes a new game, players listen. The Evil Within embraces all the tropes of the genre, presenting an experience that is as dank and disturbing as it is awkward and frustrating. This amazing looking game finds itself tied to an over encumbered campaign that wears out its appeal long before the credits. Read the rest of this entry »