Author Archives: Mike Priest

2K Games to release Dubai-based First Person Shooter?

 

Our frag-happy pals at MEGamers posted a link to a mysterious new video of an FPS depicting Dubai as a sandy post-apocalyptic wasteland, complete with cameos of Emirates Towers, the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Dubai.

We’ve contacted our sources at 2K Games (who are allegedly publishing the game) for an official response, but as yet have received no word.

In the meantime head over to MEGamers to check out the video and wonder along with us what the PR implications for our fair city will be.

BlackBerry is watching you – UPDATED (15/07/09)

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Both the Blog and Twitter-spheres are buzzing today with talk of Orwellian conspiracies coming off the back of a recent upgrade to Etisalat’s BlackBerry subscription service. This “routine upgrade” left countless customers with quick draining batteries and even quicker draining patience yesterday.

The upgrade has since been pulled and Etisalat are investigating the matter – allegedly contacting customers who have experienced this problem. Stuff was luckily unaffected (probably due to our Ultra Update Laser Defense System) but found it odd that an upgrade for network performance would not be handled on the Phone Carrier side, so in doing our research we stumbled across this interesting piece on popular local blog Fake Plastic Souks that goes into some detail about the update possibly being cover for the implementation of a monitoring application by security company SS8.

Are Etisalat attempting to screen our text messages? Nothing is substantiated at this point in time but it did make us think about breaking out the tin foil hats.

UPDATE (15/07/09): It seems that a user created removal for the battery draining registration update has been created and posted (by user tibilsoft ) on the Blackberry Support Forums with the following instructions:

Download attached zip file. Unzip it. Connect your device to the computer. Run “Remove Registration.bat” file

This small batch file  removes the malicious registration update from the device, however as of this writing it is still unconfirmed if it works in all cases or whether it fixes the widespread battery draining problems people have been experiencing.

ONCE AGAIN: We have not tested this and in no way recommend you go out and try it unless you know what you are doing or are some kind of space-maverick. Stuff accepts no responsibility for whatever kind of silly buggers you decide to play on your phone.

UPDATE: In our ever endeavouring quest to get to the bottom of this we have sent emails to both Etisalat & RIM asking for their side to the story and are eagerly awaiting a reply. Stuff has also spent a good portion of the day trying to get a local SS8 representative to answer our phone calls but sadly to no avail. We will keep you posted on any developments.

UPDATE: For those interested in the tech side of this whole debacle (and we know you are) we recommend checking out this post on the official BlackBerry forums, it dives head first into what was contained in the ominous registration.jar update file.

UPDATE: Several users on twitter have come up with unconfirmed quick fixes for the problem including @reuven_p who suggests deleting the update. He sure is brave. We have no way of knowing whether this actually works and certainly don’t recommend you mess around with your phone’s settings.

Steamy upcoming Lucasarts re-releases

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To coincide with today’s release of the first Tales of Monkey Island downloadable episode (as well as a sexed up re-release of the original classic Secret of Monkey Island coming next Wednesday) Lucasarts announced yesterday that a slew of their classic titles will be available for download exclusively through Valve’s online gaming portal Steam as of Wednesday June 8th. Here’s the full list of what’s dropping and simultaneously making us salivate all over our keyboards:

Armed and Dangerous
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventure
LOOM
Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Wars Republic Commando
Star Wars Starfighter
The Dig
Thrillville: Off the Rails

Funnily enough no prices have been mention yet, but their twitter feed has promised that they’ll be cheap. And don’t worry, if you don’t see everything you want in that list this is apparently only phase one – bring on Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle we say!

inFamous demo impressions

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We recently got a chance to run through a hands-on demo of Sucker Punch‘s upcoming PS3 exclusive inFamous at the Playstation PR offices. inFamous is a sandbox 3rd person title a-la Grand Theft Auto that mixes superhero elements with a whole substation’s worth of electrically charged action. Although short, the demo showcased main protagonist (and bike messenger extraordinaire) Cole McGrath’s range of supercharged electricity based powers and fluid parkour prowess as we clambered about the post-apocalyptic Empire City zapping members of a hooded street gang known as the Reapers. Our play session culminated in Cole having to make a choice between sharing a rare food-drop with his fellow citizens or frying them to a crisp and keeping all the spoils to himself – either action affects your in-game karma rating (making Cole out as either a Thug or a Guardian) and ultimately shapes the outcome of the game. And because we are nothing but thorough here at Stuff we tried both and found a slight slant in favour of jolting unsuspecting starving folk in the name of fun and personal gain.

inFamous is set for release in the Middle East on the 29th of May 2009.

EA slash prices on top tier titles

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In what can only accurately be described as an “awesome” move (yes, we tried to go for another adjective but this seemed the most apt) for fans of electronic gaming the folks at EA have gone and shaved off some serious gold coins from the RRP of a slew of last years triple A titles.

Among the games getting the credit crunch treatment are Battlefield: Bad Company, Facebreaker, FIFA 09, Mass Effect, Mercenaries 2, Mirror’s Edge, NASCAR 09, Need For Speed Undercover & The Simpsons. PS3 & Xbox 360 versions of the aforementioned titles will set you back no more than AED119, PSP & Wii have dropped to AED99 and Nintendo DS & PS2 versions are only a cool AED69.

Definitely a good time to catch up on anything you may have missed during the Huge Christmas Games Rush of ’08.

LEGO Rock Band – Confirmed?

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Emerging from the aftermath of the 2009 Game Developer’s Conference is this interesting piece from Kotaku about a re-jigged PowerPoint slide that was omitted from Harmonix senior designer Dan Teasdale’s ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Design Lessons Learned From Rock Band‘ panel. The slide quite clearly shows their intentions to sandwich a LEGO SKU of their pseudo-band party game in between the upcoming PSP and Beatles versions – both due for release later this year. We’re curious as to what tunes people will get to rock out with their blocks out to, any guesses?

Clearance sale: Playstation 2 sub US$100

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Sony has finally gone and done it, putting the final nail in the coffin of its best selling system to date – and what a glorious, bargin-priced coffin nail it is. If you are not one of the 140 million owners of a Playstation 2 then now’s your chance to scoop one up for a song as Sony annouced today on its Playstation blog that the PS2’s MSRP will be dropping to a cool US$99. With close to 2,000 titles available for the system, that’s definitely nothing to sniff at, now we only wish they’d consider something similar for its hi-def sibiling.

UPDATE: The UAE price will be Dhs399, according to our sources. The good old Middle East distro premium strikes again.