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



The Black List 267

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 18 October 2014No Comments

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

SUNDAY NEWS Captain Toad wait extends into JanuaryCaptain Toad wait extends into January > As the saying goes, you win some and you lose some. Just weeks after Australian Nintendo fans rejoiced at the news that they’d be amongst the first in the world to experience the New Nintendo 3DS, they’ve discovered that they’ll be lagging behind when it comes to another first party offering. READ MORE

MONDAY NEWS WildStar content cancelled > The studio responsible for WildStar has revealed that some of the content planned for its fledgling sci-fi MMO has been yanked from the release schedule. In a post on the game’s official forums, Kristen DeMeza of Carbine Studios explained the reasons behind the cancellation of the Halloween and Christmas themed events. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Driveclub launch woes > In this week’s episode of “Which game totally stuffed its online launch?” we have Sony’s arcade racer Driveclub. In what seems to be almost the norm with new games Driveclub has hit some massive speed bumps during its launch window, which has resulted in no online connectivity and a lack of available features. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY NEWS Misogynists target Sarkeesian > The creator of acclaimed web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has cancelled a public appearance following an anonymous threat. Anita Sarkeesian was due to deliver a presentation at Utah State University, but elected to withdraw. According to the Standard Examiner and Kotaku, multiple university staff members received correspondence threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American History” if Sarkeesian’s appearance went ahead. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Halo: Spartan Strike > Remember Halo: Spartan Assault? No? Well, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. It wasn’t that memorable. Originally released for phones and tablets, it managed to be a perfectly competent twin stick shooter without bringing anything new or interesting to the genre, or indeed without expanding the Halo mythos in any particularly meaningful ways. READ MORE

FRIDAY JUST ANNOUNCED The Flame in the Flood > A new indie team boasting an all-star line-up of major studio talent has seen its first project successfully funded via Kickstarter. Massachusetts developer The Molasses Flood is now in a position to forge ahead with The Flame in the Flood, a survival game set in the aftermath of societal collapse. READ MORE



Take me to the river

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Friday 17 October 2014No Comments

Concept art for The Flame in the Flood.

A new indie team boasting an all-star line-up of major studio talent has seen its first project successfully funded via Kickstarter. Massachusetts developer The Molasses Flood is now in a position to forge ahead with The Flame in the Flood, a survival game set in the aftermath of societal collapse.

The new game will see you take on the role of a woman named Scout, and according to the developer you’ll travel “by foot and by raft down a procedurally-generated river as you scrounge for resources, craft tools, remedy afflictions, evade the vicious wildlife, and most importantly, stay ahead of the coming rains.”

With studio members having previously contributed the BioShock, Halo and Rock Band franchises, the new offering from The Molasses Flood was always likely to attract plenty of attention. The Kickstarter drive surpassed its US $150,000 target with the best part of three weeks still to run and the team is working to bring The Flame in the Flood to PC by July 2015.


Spartans return for another round of twin stick action

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Thursday 16 October 2014No Comments

“…and that’s why an ice-cold Fanta is every Spartan’s first choice.”

Remember Halo: Spartan Assault? No? Well, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. It wasn’t that memorable. Originally released for phones and tablets, it managed to be a perfectly competent twin stick shooter without bringing anything new or interesting to the genre, or indeed without expanding the Halo mythos in any particularly meaningful ways.

While it eventually made its way to PC, as well as Microsoft’s home systems, Spartan Assault’s microtransactions arguably attracted more attention than its gameplay. The commissioning of a sequel could, therefore, be considered something of a surprise.

As reported by IGN, the House of Halo (otherwise known as 343 Industries) is preparing to unleash a new instalment dubbed Halo: Spartan Strike. This arcade action sequel will take place in New Mombasa during the same era as Halo 2.

Halo: Spartan Strike is due for release on PC, as well as Windows phones and tablets, on Friday 12 December. While a version for Xbox One is yet to be announced, don’t be surprised if one bobs up down the track.


Increasingly desperate misogynists target Sarkeesian… again

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 15 October 2014No Comments

A still from an episode of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.

The creator of acclaimed web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has cancelled a public appearance following an anonymous threat.

Anita Sarkeesian was due to deliver a presentation at Utah State University, but elected to withdraw. According to the Standard Examiner and Kotaku, multiple university staff members received correspondence threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American History” if Sarkeesian’s appearance went ahead.

This is just the latest salvo in a seemingly relentless campaign of abuse and intimidation against Sarkeesian. While she is known to have shrugged off threats in the past, the prominent critic and feminist decided to withdraw from this engagement because local police declined to employ metal detectors or conduct pat downs. “To be clear,” she later wrote, “I didn’t cancel my USU talk because of terrorist threats, I canceled because I didn’t feel the security measures were adequate.”

Sarkeesian also revealed that one of the threats received claimed affiliation with Gamergate. This loose collective of largely anonymous industry observers claims to be lobbying for improved journalistic standards, but frequently devolves into misogynistic rhetoric.

The Black Panel commends Sarkeesian for her ongoing attempts to broaden the scope of the industry and make our hobby and art form more inclusive. We unequivocally condemn the ongoing threats and harassment that she and other prominent women in the industry are being forced to endure.

You can view the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series here.