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Beyond Co-Op, August 15th to August 21st
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Beyond Co-Op, August 15th to August 21st

Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.

The stories for this week:

- Dates, Dates and More Dates
- Mass Effect 2 Coming to PS3 in January
- Microsoft Unveils Age of Empires Online, Chaos Ensues
- My First Book, Growing Up 8-Bit, Now Available!
- Mafia II and Elemental Highlight Releases

Dates, Dates and More Dates

With Gamescon going on in Germany, a lot of companies decided to unload some dates. I may not catch everything, so please forgive me. Where appropriate in parenthesis there will be US/EU release dates:

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows (Oct. 5/Oct. 8)
Portal 2 (February 11, 2011)
Wii Party (October 3)
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (October 17)
Donkey Kong Country Returns (November 21)
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (September 12)
Dragon Age 2 (March 8, 2011)
Crysis 2 (March 22, 2011)
Rage (September 13, 2011)…yes, 2011

Those middle games starting with Wii Party and ending with the good Professor will be on Wii, Wii, Wii and DS respectively.

Source: The cavalcade of PR e-mails sent my way

Mass Effect 2 Coming to PS3 in January

Of special note at Gamescon was the announcement that Mass Effect 2 would be coming to PS3 in January 2011. There will be some sort of story catchup since PS3 players never got the chance to play the original game. Not sure how they are going to settle the choices made from the first game though, you kind of lose that whole process on the PS3. No word on if the upcoming Mass Effect 3 will be out on all systems simultaneously or not, but my bet is there is some deal with Microsoft and EA for some level of exclusivity.

Source: Colony of Gamers

Microsoft Unveils Age of Empires Online, Chaos Ensues

Microsoft showed off Age of Empires Online at Gamescon this week and I was surprised to see such anger in response. The game is being made by Robot Entertainment, made up of a lot of people formerly with Ensemble and a few others. People still can’t get over the dissolving of Ensemble I guess, but I think the game looks neat. I also think the more “casual” look to the graphics doesn’t help the game much either.

Robot has come out to say that there is at least 25 hours of play without paying a dime. To me that is a full game for free pretty much. They also are saying it won’t be microtransaction, but more macrotransaction where you buy a package of things if you’re so inclined. The game is supposedly due out in 2011.

Source: Colony of Gamers

My First Book, Growing Up 8-Bit, Now Available!

I try not to pimp personal stuff much on here. Nick was nice enough to take up posting for a couple Saturdays while I was vacation and now that I’m back I can unveil this. I’ve written a book called Growing Up 8-Bit where I talk about the games I played from my birth in 1976 to 1990. There will be more books covering successive decades and the second one is still in the writing stage. Along with talking about games you will also get some insights into my life and my upbringing. Nothing sordid or anything, but just an added layer to the games and how they affected me.

The book is available for Kindle on Amazon. The beauty is that you can read those even without a Kindle. You can download clients for the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android phones and purchase/read the book. Here is the link. Part of the money will also go towards helping both Co-Optimus and Colony of Gamers through our Amazon Affiliate program. Thanks very much and enjoy reading and sharing your thoughts.

Source: me

Mafia II and Elemental Highlight Releases This Week

Mafia II is easily the biggest release this week, but Stardock’s Elemental should satisfy all the 4X fans out there. Can I just say I haven’t been very impressed by Mafia II from the demo. Everything seems to move like molasses when compared to other 2K games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption. Maybe it is just me though.

Source: me