Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trine 2 Review

Trine 2 is a unique side-scrolling puzzle game that tries to be different, and succeeds in such a manner that all the games in this particular tight niche cower in fear. There aren't many games like it, and the ones that could compete are not even close.

Frozenbyte is a Finish developer with a long experience in making arcade games with a twist. I'm not really sure, but I believe they were the first to make a proper isometric shooter, to the likes of Crusader No Remorse, back in 2004.

Looking at all of their titles, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds Survivor, and Trine, it's easy to see a pattern emerging. It's clear there's a lot of talent involved and everything they build turns into an instant hit.

As usual, it takes a Humble Indie Bundle in order for the Linux platform to receive some great games, although we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, as the first Trine was ported to Linux in 2009, before any Humble Bundle initiative.


Frozenbyte, the developer of Trine 2, provides a .run file that can be simply installed by double clicking it.

The installer is clear and users will just have to follow some simple steps. Keep the mind that the game is quite big, as it has 1.6 GB in size.
Gameplay and Story
The story is somewhat related to the first game, so we’ll try to explain it a little more. In the first game of the series, our heroes, Zoya The Thief, Amadeus the Wizard, and Pontius the Knight, live in a kingdom where the King has died and an undead army has started to attack.

The Trine is a powerful artifact that seems to have a life of its own and that can hold three people at once. Moreover, the artifact actually binds their souls together. This means that the player has access to three different characters, each with particular attributes.

In any case, the heroes of the story track down the source of the undead, during their search for a way to be set free, and they end up facing the former dead king in a final fight.

In Trine 2, the three characters are once again reunited by the Trine artifact and they are sent in a mysterious journey. They will be facing goblins, an angry forest, and even a mighty dragon.

The catch of the game is pretty simple. Every level is constructed in such a way that the players will need all the characters to make it through.

Zoya The Thief is nimble, jumps really high, has a bow right from the start and can shoot a rope to get a grip on other objects. Amadeus the Wizard is slower but he has telekinesis abilities, and he's able to conjure mechanical cubes that can be used in a variety of ways. Finally, Amadeus the Wizard is strong, has a shield to protect him from damage, a sword, and can lift heavy objects.

Now imagine the complexity of the levels by combining all these attributes. Get past the falling ceiling with the knight by holding the shield above your head, jump over a great chasm using the thief and its grapple, and finally make the intricate mechanism work with the help of the wizard and his powers.

There are a lot more variations, as the developers have tried to keep everything fresh. If this is not enough, then you should know that the heroes gather experience during their adventure, which is translated in points that can be placed in a skill tree, granting them more abilities. Interestingly enough, the points can be used on either character, even if it was gained by another.

As for the engine, the game looks twice as beautiful as the first Trine. The backgrounds used for the levels have distracted me more than once, and all the effects are incredible. The physics is top notch, especially because it’s an integral part of the gameplay.

The Bad

Trine 2 is a side-scrolling game and no matter how many details you put in the background, I expect it to run flawlessly on a high-end PC. I tested Trine on an Intel Core i5 CPU, with an Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT video card and 4GB of RAM. On the highest resolution, it ran really slowly.

It also lacks a window/fullscreen option, which I believe it to be necessary on a system that has Unity (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS). Maybe I’m waiting for an important email or I’m using a messenger to conduct a conversation with someone. The option should be there!

The Good

The variety of levels will keep the players on edge, and the gameplay fresh. The ever changing scenarios and the beauty of the levels makes this a great pastime experience.

Trine 2 is a puzzle game, but it doesn’t torment the players with really hard puzzles. Sure, some are difficult, but the solution will be almost evident, even if you realize it will take a bit of work.


Trine 2 is a game that keeps hope alive for all Linux users. Maybe someday a unification will take place, and developers will start treating the Linux platform as a hole and as a market. It's worth every penny, no matter the platform, but it’s even most precious because there are so few good games for Linux.

Crysis 3 preview Cd Key , KeyGen

Crysis 3 preview  
This preview originally appeared in PC Gamer UK Issue 240
Rasmus Hojengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, on the genesis of the idea for Crysis 3: “We wanted to do something with some kind of dome, over some kind of city.”
Well, this is Crysis, so the dome had better be a nanodome. And they just made all of New York for the last game, so that might as well be the city.
It’s 20 years after you shot all the aliens invading NYC in Crysis 2. Everyone’s given up trying to work out whether or not you’re Prophet, whose memories and voice you mysteriously took on after his death in the last game, so you are. And instead of having his voice in your ear for guidance, as you did in Crysis 1, you have the cockney lilt of Psycho, who you played in Crysis Warhead. It’s such a jumble of stuff from the previous games that it almost feels like a remix. The good news is that when you remix New York City with a densely jungled island, the result looks awesome.

Crysis 3 preview
Technically the Crysis games always have, but this time the appeal isn’t just technical: this is a cool, visually imaginative place.
The (cough) nanodome the evil Cell corporation have built over (sigh) New York artificially accelerates plant growth, in order to (er) ‘cleanse’ the alien ‘pollution’. Look, I’m not Cell Public Relations, I don’t have to justify their science. I just have to tell you that Chinatown is a swamp now, and six other districts of New York have been spliced with six other natural environments to make this a more interesting place.
The mission I’ve seen starts in a Chinaswamp subway, lousy with creepers and glistening wet. It’s night. Outside, Crysis 2-era aliens are finishing off injured Cell troops, and prowling the waterlogged streets. Argon lights blare from a nearby Cell tower, one of the completely scientifically logical devices that sprinkle a dash of Crysis 1’s jungles in Crysis 2’s cities.
Crysis 3 preview
It’s a tight environment: Prophet has a little space to stalk his prey before attacking, but in minutes the mech-like aliens show up in overwhelming force and he resorts to a straight firefight. After the plasma’s cleared, Rasmus tells me there are more open levels than this: it’s not as sandboxy as Crysis 1, but not as tightly directed as Crysis 2. Like some kind of remix. Their plan is to alternate between the two styles, for pacing. The seven visually distinct zones of their overgrown New York make a good excuse to do that.
Rasmus explains that linear play is more popular in the mainsteam, while sandbox is a hardcore thing. That’s not much comfort to those of us who live entirely in the hardcore camp, and were half hoping for a return to Crysis 1 expansivity.
One addition does suggest some playfulness, though: the nanosuit can now hack alien gun emplacements to attack enemies. It’s a simple click-to-subvert interaction, but it opens a few more doors.
The main new weapon, a bow, is also promising. It’s a backwards step in technology, of course, but Crytek are keen to feed the hunter fantasy that made Crysis 1 exciting. And it does have a practical advantage: because of science, and nano, you can fire it while cloaked without revealing your location. If it’s ever bothered you that your enemies sometimes have the chance to fight back when you invisibly kill their friends, this is an appreciated boost to your already ridiculous power. It’s limited only by the scarcity of arrows, and a new enemy: Half-Life 2-style scanner bots, whose inquisitive beams can pull you out of cloak and zap all your suit energy. You’re safe if you kill them first, but when they show up in large numbers, that tactic clashes badly with arrow economy.
Crysis 3 preview
The bow also fires exploding arrows, but you’re rarely short of a weapon that can make things explode. Prophet’s nanosuit has been modified to use alien weaponry, but it’s not exactly exotic to the experienced shooter player: two of the weapons I saw lobbed exploding projectiles, the third had two fire modes: assault rifle, or shotgun. Crazy aliens.
I ask Rasmus if they even considered doing away with the aliens entirely, given that players overwhelmingly prefer human opponents. An immediate “no”. He couldn’t estimate a proportion of human combat versus alien fights, but says the city is crawling with both.
I think Crysis 3 is going to be great to explore, in a way that Crysis 2 wasn’t. I’m not convinced it’ll be any more fun to play. Whether you call it consistency of vision or self-destructive stubbornness, Crytek are never going to stop trying to make a mainstream sci-fi blockbuster in favour of the freeform predator sim they’re capable of. They’re good at making weapons feel nice, and their shaders look shiny, but you can always see that more ambitious, more interesting game struggling to escape the Halo straitjacket they shove it in.
If you enjoyed Crysis 2, this is bound to be better. If you’re still pining for the first game, though, Crysis 3 is only willing to meet you half way.

Lightweight Portable Security 1.3.5

Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) version 1.3.5, a Linux live CD with a goal of allowing users to work on a computer without the risk of exposing their credentials and private data to malware, has been released. What's new? "Updated Firefox to 10.0.5 ESR; updated Firefox extensions HTTPS Everywhere to version 2.0.5 and NoScript to version 2.4.6; updated Thunderbird to 10.0.5 ESR (Deluxe only); updated Flash to, including fixing the library support issue noted in release 1.3.4; updated Encryption Wizard application to 3.3.4; Updated OpenSSL to 0.9.8x; minor bookmark updates, including adding check for updates to major bundled software components; fixed problem with iPhone tethering introduced with iOS 5.1 update; updated Java to 6u33." Here is the complete changelog. Download links (MD5): LPS-1.3.5_public.iso (175MB), LPS-1.3.5_public_deluxe.iso (382MB).

Awesome Wallpapers HD Linux

FreeNAS 8.2.0-BETA4

Josh Paetzel has announced the availability of the fourth beta release of FreeNAS 8.2.0, a specialist FreeBSD-based operating system which provides free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services: "The development team is pleased to announce FreeNAS 8.2.0-BETA4, available for immediate download. We've done a complete re-factoring of the plugin networking stack to allow greater flexibility and functionality. We've added the ability to upgrade plugins, as well as the plugin jail itself. There have been numerous bug fixes and improvements over previous beta releases. The GUI upgrade format changed in 8.2.0-BETA3 from xz to txz. What this means is that if you are attempting to do a GUI upgrade to 8.2.0-BETA4 from 8.2.0-BETA3 use the .txz version of the GUI_Upgrade file. If you are upgrading from any previous version use the .xz file." Read the rest of the detailed release notes for more information. Download: FreeNAS-8.2.0-BETA4-x86.iso (153MB, SHA256), FreeNAS-8.2.0-BETA4-x64.iso (163MB, MD5).

Mandriva Linux 2012 Tech Preview

Per √ėyvind Karlsen has announced that a technical preview of the upcoming Mandriva Linux 2012 is now ready for download and testing: "As several might have noticed, I already (unofficially) released ISO images for this release a few days ago, but we hesitated a bit about making it official quite yet. As no big blunders have been reported and the feedback has been pretty nice in general, I've now pushed the release to the public mirrors and now consider it as official. This also means that people may now start pushing more experimental stuff to the Cooker again." Here is the brief announcement. The release is built on top of Linux kernel 3.4.1 and includes KDE 4.8.4, GNOME Shell 3.4.1, Xfce 4.10, LXDE 0.5, LibreOffice 3.5.2, Firefox 12.0 and the usual range of open-source software applications. Download the installation DVD images from here: mandriva-linux-bernie-lomax-2012-i586-DVD.iso (4,156MB, MD5), mandriva-linux-bernie-lomax-2012-x86_64-DVD.iso (4,214MB, MD5).