Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Abyssea Site Live

Posted by on May 18, 2010 - No Comments »

Square Enix has launched the official website for the first of the three upcoming add-ons for Final Fantasy XI, Vision of Abyssea. The site is pretty empty in terms of content, though Square Enix has told fans to bookmark the page as it will be updated with ‘promotional trailers and other exciting features’.

The website does contain two new images and states that the following add-on will be accessible upon the arrival of the next Final Fantasy XI update, scheduled for mid-June.

For more information on Final Fantasy XI: Vision of Abyssea, head on over to its official website.

Pocket Hound: Doodle Jump — Incredibly Addicting and Still Fun a Year Later

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - No Comments »

Pocket Hound is a new regular blog/video feature on that aims to point our readers to the best handheld games out there. Be they for iPhone, iPad, other mobile devices, Nintendo DS, PSP, whatever — if they fit in your pocket and can hold our attention, we’ll be letting you know. Drop us a note for any games you’d like to see featured.

For this inaugural edition of Pocket Hound, I have chosen to write about a game that is very near and dear to my heart. Although it’s been around for more than a year, Doodle Jump by Lima Sky continues to dominate my attention anytime I have a short interval to kill. Whether waiting in line at the grocery store or to get seated at a restaurant,  riding in the car (passenger side, of course), or waiting out the time that I’ve been put on hold during a phone call, it continues to be my micro-game of choice.

So just what is Doodle Jump? Well, many of you who either have an iPhone or regularly play a friend or loved one’s iPhone probably already know. As of a couple months ago, the game has been downloaded more than 3 million times and has dominated the top ranks of the app store in the US and throughout Europe.  The price certainly isn’t bad, though it isn’t free — $0.99 (£0.59) on iPhone. In March, it was introduced on the Android for $3.99 (£2.75).

But here’s the gist for the uninitiated. In this action game, you play the role of the Doodler — a short, green, four-legged creature who is jumping his way up, up, up through a maze of  platforms, aliens, power-ups and clever obstacles.

Read on for more on game challenges, features and updates.

Read more…’s Incredibly Short Story Contest

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - 17 Comments »

Voting is underway! Go choose the winner!

With the Celestial Steed Contest coming to a close shortly, we here at realized the need for a new contest. We wanted to select something that may perk the dwindling interest in World of Warcraft, but we also wanted to open your eyes to new frontiers, new experiences, new stories. Thanks to a helping handful from Tokyopop we’d like to introduce the Incredibly Short Story Contest.

The contest is quite simple, create a short story – 150 to 300 words – about why you believe the manga packages should be sent to you. The tales can be humorous, a sob story, an emo-filled introspective, a catchy tune, a soliloquy, a two-man comedy routine, whatever. Submissions must be in by Monday, May 24 at 11:59 PM PST, and they must be in English.  Please submit entries via e-mail to admin_at_lorehound_dot_com with Subject: Incredibly Short Story Contest. You can also leave a comment, but be sure to use a legitimate email address so that we can contact you should you win something.

After the submissions are in, we will create a post containing a slightly-pruned list of the selections. The community will then be tasked with voting for their favorite piece. Voting will continue until Friday, May 28. Winners will be announced May 31, the day before TOKYOPOP releases World of Warcraft: Mage and World of Warcraft Dragons of Outland Volume 1: Shadow Wing. If all goes well with mail, the prizes will be at your doorstep the day of release.

Third PrizeWarcraft: Death Knight, Mage, Dragons of Outland Volume 1: Shadow Wing and StarCraft: Ghost Academy (review)
Second Prize: Warcraft: Death Knight, Mage, Dragons of Outland Volume 1: Shadow Wing, StarCraft: Ghost Academy and all of Warcraft: Legends (5 volumes
A Winner Is You Prize: The entire TOKYOPOP Blizzard library (eleven Warcraft books and five StarCraft books)

And for the love of god, submit your story with a legitimate e-mail address to this post or we won’t be able to contact you!

Good luck!

Need For Speed World: Preview and Interview

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - No Comments »

EA  was interviewed by gaming website and released a Need For Speed World preview and video recently detailing many aspects of the game such as level progression and game modes.

Need For Speed World will feature three game modes: Race, Pursuit (everyone’s favorite cop chases) and Exploration. They’re will also be a single-player mode for players to test out their skills on before jumping in online if they choose.

The computer requirements will be on the low end of the spectrum: 3GHZ Pentium 4 and a 7800GTX.

Video of game producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon available here, reveals details about the RPG-like level progression in the game, how the social network will work within the game via facebook and much more.

Fantasy Earth Zero: PvP Arena Coliseum Preview and Interview

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - No Comments »

In a sneak preview before tomorrow’s launch of Square Enix’s latest free to play MMO, Fantasy Earth Zero, was given a demo of the game and an insider interview with developers GamespotUSA. The PvP Coliseum preview of Fantasy Earth Zero and interview showed a rather traditional MMO PvP setup with one twist that has been gaining popularity in recent games.

The Coliseum was described as reminiscent of ancient Roman structures.  Outside, there were vendors, barbers, couriers to send a message and a banker. As you might expect, the Coliseum is a circular building, high stones walls, finely crafted columns, your basic Arena Battle 101 setting. There are 2 aspects of the game players can compete in at the Coliseum.

Firstly, there’s your standard PvP deathmatch battles. You check in with the arena master and sign up as a participant. Every time you want to fight in the arena, it will cost you some cash, or Arb Rings, the game’s currency.

A max group of 4 gets in line for a quick, ten minute brawl, first to 10 kills, normal deathmatch with anywhere from 2v2 to 7v7 players a side.

The second part of battle in the Coliseum, the Challenge of Rohm (pronounced, Rome) is a little different, a trend MMO’s are starting to catch onto. Instead of a player on player battle, the second aspect groups 4 players together against mobs of enemies, working together to quell wave after wave of bad guys. You’ll stop mini-bosses along the way until you reach the boss, or “Beast King.” This tactic has been used before in console games for decades, but more and more we are starting to see it in MMO’s and Fantasy Earth Zero is no different.  Although it’s level-based, players are advised to try this aspect of the Coliseum after level 20 due to its difficulty.

Fantasy Earth Zero’s level cap will be set at 40 which will be the height of the intense 100 vs. 100 PvP battles the game boosts as its strongest selling point. GamepotUSA opened up to giving some insider details about their industry and what we can expect from Fantasy Earth Zero.

When asked what sets FEZ apart from the growing number of other free MMO’s out there, GamepotUSA answered, “Our gameplay. I could cite other areas, like our music, the strong art style, the dynamic, player-affected game world, but in the end, it comes down to 100 player PvP with fast-paced action, twitch aiming and RTS elements. There is no game like FEZ on the market–here your skill trumps everything. Level 20 or 40, you have the same HP. You cannot buy your way to victory–a skilled player will always beat you. So the game play is what makes FEZ unique–the rush of battle is great fun.”

Talking about the new Coliseum level being in direct response for players demand for a smaller arena in which to have more intimate PvP battles and more to do, GamepotUSA said, “…the Colosseum was already developed, however, our player base has clamored for additional activities to do in-game. So, when the time came to decide which update to implement, we chose to give the players something they’ve asked for–PvE content and a pure PvP mode.”

GamepotUSA was then asked an interesting question about the difference, if any between what Japanese gamers want from a game and what American audiences want. GamepotUSA responded with, “We see intriguing differences in the fighting styles across countries. In Japan users are really quick to make a front, where a distinct line is made for each side. In America users are more fluid in their formations, instead focusing on flanking their opponents. Our North American users also show greater attachment to their countries–I’m constantly amazed by their forming and breaking of alliances.”

Finally, GamepotUSA was asked about the future of classes and races, their response: “Heh, well, other races is not on the agenda for now, however new classes will find their way into the game. Right now we are waiting until the community has fully adjusted to the core gameplay before introducing new elements. We also want to make sure that the classes are properly balanced before we implement them.”

The game launches tomorrow, May 18th 2010, and its free!

WoWFlix: WoW Meets Portal

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - 4 Comments »

In honor of Steam’s newfound availability on Macs, and for Portal being free until May 24th, we are going to feature Portal related WoW videos.

First up, the classic video “The Device has Been Modified”, made way back in 2008 when “the cake is a lie” and Rick Roll were still funny.

I attribute the popularity of that song to the machinima wholeheartedly. For those who get addicted to the remix, go ahead and give it a free download.

The Device has Been Modified will undoubtedly go down as one of the most well-known WoW machinima of all time. While many recent machinima have been of much higher quality and production value, this one was top notch for its time.

Check out more videos that follow this same theme after the cut.

Read more…

Eve Online Tyrannis Delayed

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - No Comments »

More bad news today, Eve Online’s Tyrannis expansion has been delayed with exactly one week. Instead of the original release date – May 18th, the addon will now come out on May 26th, and that market seeding of Planetary Command Centers is pushed back to June 8th. The reason – server stability issues which means the EVE Online team needs more time to reform the code and for further testing.

Mortal Online Goes Live on June 9th

Posted by on May 17, 2010 - No Comments »

The popular MMORPG, by Swedish developer Star Vault,  Mortal Online  is going live on June 9th. The open beta will end today, May 17tj as testing comes to an end and the team make final server changes. Mortal Online has always been much anticipated by the MMOCrunch team, even going as far as making it into our list of most anticipated MMORPG’s for 2010. Anyone interested in purchasing the full game can visit the official website.