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Left 4 Dead DLC Pack: Survival Mode

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Left 4 Dead DLC Pack: Survival Mode

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Unless you’ve been (un)dead for the past year, Left 4 Dead should be nothing explosively new to you.

Valve’s zombie-shooter for PC and Xbox 360 puts you and three other survivors against horde after horde of those delightfully infected humans. And your only objective is to survive. Although Left 4 Dead was released back in November 2008, it’s obvious that the game is still freshly consuming gamer brain after gamer brain, especially after Night Zero’s L5D photo shoot. Valve has recently released the first official DLC pack, Survival Mode, this past Tuesday, April 21. Unlike most DLC packs, it was surprisingly released free of charge.

Survival Mode is unlike the Campaign and Versus modes, where you and your team must battle through legions in order to reach the level’s designated safe zone. Instead, you are placed on an enclosed area, a modified version of a campaign stage, fighting swarm after swarm of zombies as you attempt to hold out for as long as you can. Areas like the Warehouse from the Blood Harvest scenario and the Airport Terminal from Dead Air have been converted into arenas for a zombie battle royale.

So go ahead, zombie. Make my night.

There are 16 survival maps in total, 15 of which are modified versions of areas from the campaign, such as the church from Death Toll. The 16th map is brand new, made specifically for Survival Mode called Last Stand, a lighthouse arena, which is quite impressive. Aside from the Survival Mode, the DLC pack also includes Versus Mode versions of the Death Toll and Dead Air scenarios, which were previously only available in campaign mode.

One minor complaint when it comes to weapons and ammunition is the placement of the extra ammo. Your only weapons cache is found around the center of the stage, the ammo surrounded by a hunter’s rifle, an M4 carbine and an automatic shotgun. During the planning stage, it’s simple to take your time and stock up on ammo if need be. However, in the heat of combat, it is quite simple to change weapons on accident, costing you time that you don’t really have. This isn’t an issue in Campaign, where most weapons caches are usually found in safe houses where there are no zombies. It isn’t really a glaring issue and can be resolved by managing your ammunition and taking advantage of the pistol’s unlimited ammo.

Left 4 Dead is a game that is clearly intended for a multiplayer experience. While the friendly AI is definitely a competent ally in single player, more enjoyment comes out of coordinating an attack with friends. The enemy AI is no slouch either, offering relentless, unpredictable attack patterns, thanks in part to the main AI, dubbed The Director, which controls enemy and weapons spawn points based on player progress and performance. As such, the game play retains a fresh edge for each experience. In addition to regular infected humans, you have the special zombies, such as the brutish Tank, the bulbous Boomer, the passive but deadly Witch, the rabid Hunter, and the Smoker, named for the cloud of smoke it leaves behind.

Left 4 Dead definitely mixes up the survival horror genre, offering gameplay that is both pulse pounding and relentless. The new Survival Mode is definitely a welcome addition, adding to the pulse pounding nature of the game. If you’ve shelved Left 4 Dead and moved onto other things (shame on you by the way), you might want to consider resurrecting your copy and giving Survival Mode a go. It’s relentlessly brutal and bound to keep you on your toes for a while. Let’s just hope the next DLC pack (if there is one), lives up to this.

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Pirate Bay Trial – the Plot Thickens

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Will they sail free?

Will they sail free?

The Local is reporting that one of the Pirate Bay’s lawyers has called for a retrial after reports that the judge Tomas Norström, is a member of the same copyright protection organisations as several of the main entertainment industry representatives. I’m not sure of the legal ramifications this could have on the verdict and sentancing handed down to the four PB operators but it is known that one of the jurers selected for the trial had to be dismissed as they were found to be a member of said copyright protection organisation.

Peter Althin, Sunde’s laywer is quoted as having said,

‘In the autumn I received information that a lay judge could have similar connections. I sent these to the court and the judge was excluded in order to prevent a conflict of interest. It would have been reasonable to then review this situation as well.’

This means that the boys behind TPB are more likely to get an appeal and this accusation could have a significant impact on the power of the prosecutors case. Whatever this means, it can only be good for the convicted outspoken anti-copyright TPB. It’s crucial to the recording industry bodies globally that this case remains in their favour as a dismissal or a let off could infer that it’s ok to pirate digital media even though it’s against international copyright law. Whatever the outcome this certainly complicates things for both parties.

[Via The Local]

The Pirate Bay Going to Jail

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Is the ship sinking?

Is the ship sinking?

What with all this talk about pirates of a different kind you could be forgiven for forgetting about The Pirate Bay, but the four man strong ‘team’ behind the worlds most notorious torrent tracker site have been sentenced to 1 year of prison and a £3m ($4.5) fine. What this means for The Pirate Bay website is unclear at this time. What is likely is that the ISPs supporting the traffic to it and it’s hosting company will be forced into a corner using the ruling. The court case is however far from over in this stage, an appeal and escalation will be under taken, however it’s an important stand for the media industries striving for the conviction as a defeat in the court would give the impression of ‘green lighting’ piracy (of the virtual kind).

The four men, Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde, denied the charges throughout the trial using the usual defence of linking but not actually host any files. They also made reference to the fact that a search engine like Google also links to potentially illegal files, however it is not the target of the wrath of the recording industries. What repercussions this ruling, if it stands up to appeal, will have on search engines and other sites that link to potentially illegal files is currently unknown. However the difference between most ‘file sharing facilitators’ and The Pirate Bay is that TPB was out right in it’s intentions of fighting against the current copy-right laws for digital media. TBP was originally started in 2003 by anti-copyright organisation Piratbyran but since then has been run by individuals which the prosecution labeled as a ‘team’, something the defence were keen to dismiss. Peter Sunde, when asked about the fine and his conviction said, “We can’t pay and we wouldn’t pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn’t even give them the ashes.” That there is fighting talk if ever I see any.

Check out the BBC coverage for more on this story and it’s implications.

Hulu's New Commercial with the hot Eliza Dushku

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Hulu's New Commercial with the hot Eliza Dushku YouTube Preview Image

Complete with bouncing boobs, Hulu keeps your eyes glued to the TV long enough to advertise themselves.  Then, at the end of the commercial, you wish YOU were that straw. I’ll admit, Hulu’s new alien campaign is really working for me.  Every time I see one air, I just have to stop what I’m doing and watch it.  Including Seth’s commercial.

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Good job Hulu.  Can’t wait to see more commercials from this campaign.

VEOH Not Joking Around on April Fools Day

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Not to bring the internets spirits of humor and joy down, but we have just been informed that the economic crisis does not joke around. Even on April Fools day. Many employees at VEOH.com had to pack up their things and leave VEOH due to a massive layoff today. I wish this was a joke since one of my very good friends was part of that layoff.

Good luck former VEOH employees. Keep you heads up and get some emotional rest.

Confirmed: Skype Available in AppStore Tuesday

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Big news iPhone and iPod Touch owners!  The free VoIP (voice over IP) server, Skype has announced that sometime Tuesday, thier App will be available.  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • App will be available for download this Tuesday
  • You can chat and use the VoIP if connected on WiFi
  • You can only use the chat If connected via Edge or 3G
  • Taking a photo with the app is only for setting your avatar
  • iPod Touch owners need to have earphones with a built in mic
  • You cannot start a conference call, but you can be invited to one

Here are some features not yet implemented:

  • SMS
  • Start a conference call
  • File Transfers
  • Skype voicemail

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Mirrors Edge DLC Delayed Till February

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Mirror’s Edge producer, Tom Farrer, greeted all his Mirror’s Edge fans with news that the DLC won’t be available until February.  Yes, February is just around the corner, but what are we going to do for this weekend? We, the Mirror’s Edge fans, had hopes and dreams of jumping, sliding, wall-running in our heads.  Oh, well.  There must be a good reason for it.

If you’re a PS3 owner, then you don’t have to fret.  There is 1 map you can download now: