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



Major gaming networks besieged

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 25 August 2014No Comments

The Playstation Network is a little worse for wear.

In a development that has revived memories of the great PlayStation Network calamity of 2011, Sony’s online infrastructure has again come under attack.

Sony has issued a statement advising that “the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.” This is commonly referred to as a distributed denial of service attack.

While this has again resulted in severe service interruptions, it differs from the 2011 incident in so far as confidential data does not appear to have been compromised this time around. “Although this has impacted on your ability to access our network and enjoy our services,” the statement reads, “no personal information has been accessed.” Sony later updated its page to indicate that the issues had been resolved.

As reported by Shacknews, a group referring to itself as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility not only for the network issues, but for a bomb hoax targeting a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

Several other major online games such as Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft and Riot Games’ League of Legends have also experienced downtime over the weekend, and it appears that the Xbox Live network could be next on Lizard Squad’s hit list.



Assassin’s Creed and Wii U go their separate ways

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 24 August 2014No Comments

Shay doesn’t look happy about it either.

Though some previous chapters of Assassin’s Creed have bobbed up on the Wii U, Ubisoft’s latest public utterances suggest that future instalments won’t be making an appearance. This is certainly of true both of current gen showcase Assassin’s Creed Unity and past gen offering Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

Why are Nintendo fans going to be missing out? “It’s very simple,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told Game Informer. “What we see is that Nintendo customers don’t buy Assassin’s Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers.”

While a previously announced Watch Dogs port is still scheduled to make it’s way to Nintendo’s first high definition console, it sounds very much like Ubisoft regards the Wii U as a destination for more casual offerings. “What we see is that they are very interested in Just Dance, very interested by other kinds of games,” Guillemot said.

While the Wii U enjoyed a decent number of third party offerings during its launch window (Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City and Ubisoft’s own ZombiU spring to mind), support appears to have dried up following the arrival of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.


The Black List 259

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 23 August 2014No Comments

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

SUNDAY NEWS Gamescom Roundup: The Rest > Zombie slasher Dead Island 2 was shown in greater detail and looks to be displaying more promise than the two games that came before it. A tonal shift towards dark humour, a refined combat system and amazing graphics may improve on the mediocrity of the past. The only problem I have is it is set in California, which last time I checked, isn’t an island… READ MORE

MONDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Life is Strange > Given the lukewarm reception received by French developer DONTNOD Entertainment’s ironically titled Remember Me last year, it’s not surprising to hear that they’ve parted ways with publisher Capcom and have instead struck up a deal with Square-Enix to deliver their upcoming “episodic narrative experience” Life is Strange. READ MORE

TUESDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Shadow Realms > Shadow Realms, the new announcement from BioWare, is a 4v1 action RPG set for release on PC in late 2015. It takes inspiration from old school pen and paper role-playing games by having one player take on the role of the Shadow Lord, placing traps and enemies around the map and four players as heroes tackling their creations. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY TEST TUBE Metro Redux > 4A games first hit my radar with the release of Metro 2033 in 2010. Based on the bleak post apocalyptic novel of the same name it was a depressing yet appealing ride through a nuclear wasteland Russia. It was let down however by some dodgy game mechanics and more bugs than I could poke a stick at. 4A took this on board and with the cult success of 2033 meaning they had a bigger budget to work with, fixed the problems with the sequel Metro: Last Light. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Wild > Wild Sheep Studio has announced its new PS4 exclusive sandbox game, tentatively titled Wild. Having just watched the debut footage, I am quite certain that I don’t know what it is about. It looks big. It looks beautiful. It appears to star humans, animals, giant animals and humans, and even a skeleton. Wild Sheep founder Michel Ancel has described Wild as being, “the size of Europe, with dynamic weather and seasons, and filled with interactive opportunities that feel endless.” READ MORE

FRIDAY TEST TUBE Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition > Way back in 2012 I had plenty of problems with Diablo III. It had a lot of issues that made it quite a chore even though the addictive gameplay was still there. Log in issues created by an always online game as well as a broken auction house and some inconsistent loot drops made Diablo III a game I couldn’t get behind. But to Blizzard’s credit, they have listened and since that initial disastrous release they have patched and patched and patched until Diablo III became the game is should have been at launch. READ MORE


Welcome to Test Tube. Not to be confused with our full reviews, these ‘two hour test’ articles see us tackle remakes, ports, expansions, mobile games and other titles of interest.

Available on XBO, PS4, 360 and PS3 l Published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment l Classified MA15+ l Supports 1-4 players

Way back in 2012 I had plenty of problems with Diablo III. It had a lot of issues that made it quite a chore even though the addictive gameplay was still there. Log in issues created by an always online game as well as a broken auction house and some inconsistent loot drops made Diablo III a game I couldn’t get behind. But to Blizzard’s credit, they have listened and since that initial disastrous release they have patched and patched and patched until Diablo III became the game is should have been at launch. Now that the game is up to snuff Blizzard have put together what may be the best version of their now excellent ARPG and brought it to the new consoles on the market with the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition. Read the rest of this entry »