News Blips: Dragon Age 2 demo bonus, Enslaved flops, PS Plus gets Stacking free, and more

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I'm not a religious man. If there is a heaven, I hope it is a courtroom where every anonymous troll from the Internet is brought in and made to face their loved ones as a lawyer presents every vile and harassing word they've every posted online. I'd love to sit in the gallery for that. 

News Blips:

Complete the demo of Dragon Age 2 — available on February 22 for PS3, 360, and PC — and get a special weapon. That's right, a demo-finishing bonus, which is several notches better than a pre-order bonus. The weapon is called Hayder's Razor, a dwarven blade which will increase health, mana, and combat abilities in the final release. The demo itself will take players through the prologue and into a new location named Kirkwall. Once there, the game will introduce Isabella, a smuggler and "love interest" (read: fantasy booty). Dragon Age 2 will be available across all platforms on March 8. 

Namco Bandai's Enslaved only sells 460k copies. It isn't that hard to judge success in this industry. The publisher usually sets a prediction and either a title meets that expectation or it comes up short. Enslaved was predicted to sell 800k by its publisher, but according to a financial report filed by Namco Bandai, that mark was missed by 340k. What is hard is determining the alchemy that makes a successful game. Enslaved received an 81 on Metacritic and sold less than a half million. Meanwhile, Kane & Lynch 2 sold over a million with a 65 score on Metacritic. One excuse could be that Kane & Lynch 2 had a fairly large marketing budget, and Enslaved didn't see nearly the same kind of push. 

PlayStation Plus subscribers get Double Fine's Stacking for free and exclusive downloads. For the normies, Stacking will be available on February 8 for $14.99, but PS Plus subscribers will get it without charge. In addition, the service will provide exclusive, early access to the Killzone 3 and Yakuza 4 demos. If PS Plus starts providing the coolest downloadable games for free each month, it may easily justify the $49.99-per-year price. 

Blog catalogs messages from men to women on Xbox Live and the results aren't pretty. It is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The fact is that a huge portion of the people who play games online are awful. The reasons have been elaborated on before — people, when given an audience and anonymity, will act upon their worst impulses. However, understanding it academically doesn't make it any easier to see in black and white. The messages range from insulting and disrespectful to violent and threatening. It begs the question: What is Microsoft doing about these animals? Whatever policing policies they have in effect, it isn't enough if the aggressors are still on the service.

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