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Lord British returns with blank slate

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368w ago - SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Lord British is back, only this time he's wielding an energy cannon instead of a sword. Oh, and you can call him General British now.

Richard Garriott, the acclaimed game designer who pioneered the genre of massive multiplayer online games, has finished his latest work, "Tabula Rasa," a science fiction-themed title he reckons will alter the way such games are played.

Massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, are so called because they allow thousands of players connected through the Internet to explore a virtual world at the same time.

Garriott's "Ultima Online," launched a decade ago, was one of the first MMOs to feature rich graphics and is credited with leading the way for popular games such as Sony Corp's "Everquest" and Blizzard's "World of Warcraft."

In fact, "World of Warcraft" has amazed the gaming industry with its ever-growing global legion of loyal fans -- 9 million active players and counting.

Yet Garriott was troubled by the dedication "Warcraft" and other online games demanded of players, who must devote dozens of hours to building their in-game characters.

"'Tabula Rasa' really is a fresh approach to MMOs," he said. "Some of the design changes we've put in 'TR' will set the standards for next 10 years."
 

Well-crafted 'Metroid' is sure to please fans

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368w ago - Hardcore gamers were beginning to wonder if Nintendo had forgotten them

Hardcore gamers were starting to wonder if Nintendo had forgotten about them. The company likes to crow about the smash success of its DS and Wii machines – and about how its expanded the gaming audience to include people like your grandma.

"Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" is proof positive that Nintendo still loves those that stood by them during the leaner GameCube years. This is an extremely well-crafted rollercoaster ride featuring one of the most beloved figures in Nintendo's mascot menagerie, bounty hunter Samus Aran.

In this first-person perspective game, sci-fi heroine Samus must take on an array of space pirates, alien nasties, and ultimately her shadow, the evil Dark Samus. Samus comes packing – she's equipped with a giant multi-purpose cannon attached to her left arm.

Over the course of the game, players will accumulate an arsenal of weapon power-ups like ice missiles, grapple lassos and the deadly screw attack. Samus' suit transforms into a perfect sphere called a Morph Ball at the press of a button, allowing her to roll through tight corridors and slip through narrow openings.

The "Corruption" subtitle comes from Samus' ability to utilize dark matter (called Phazon) to temporarily...
 
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