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News Blips: Star Wars: The Old Republic free this weekend, Wasteland 2 Kickstarter is live, and Jet Set Radio HD’s soundtrack

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You know how sometimes your neighbor gets a puppy, and it's all cute for a while, but then it grows up into a big dog that never barks, especially when they leave their balcony door open and have company over and you're trying to write News Blips?

Neither do I.

News Blips:

If you weren't sure if Star Wars: The Old Republic was the time sink you were looking for, you can try it out for free this weekend. Publisher Electronic Arts announced today that starting at 12:01 a.m. this Thursday, new players (i.e., those without existing SWTOR accounts) can play BioWare's Force-ful MMO for up to four days at no cost. The "Weekend Pass" allows access to all eight character classes, player-vs.-player content, and co-operative missions "The Esseles" and "The Black Talon." Those of you already playing The Old Republic can look forward to a 400 percent increase in jumping noobs. To sign up for the Weekend Pass, spend your Wednesday night refreshing this page like crazy.

Developer inXile has opened its bid on Kickstarter to fund Wasteland 2. As of this writing, the project has received almost $400,000 of its $900,000 goal, and backers can chip in at the Kickstarter page until April 17. Like the first game, Wasteland 2 will be a top-down, party-based RPG, and most of the first game's development team is involved (including Executive Producer Brian Fargo and designers Alan Pavlish and Mike Stackpole). “This is a chance to move the power back to the developers, allowing us to make genres of games that publishers just will no longer support,” said Fargo. The project, perhaps encouraged by the success of Double Fine Adventure (which has just ended its own crowdsourcing drive with an impressive $3.3 million total) has already outlined the additional features the final game will receive if it raises more than its initial goal, including additional maps, "more divergent stories," and Mac OS X support.

Sega's upcoming HD re-release of Jet Set Radio will only contain 16 of the original's 30 music tracks. In an interview with Joystiq, the developer said that despite its best efforts, price and availability thwarted its attempts to re-obtain the full soundtrack. This only affects the licensed music, however; composer Hideki Naganuma's work will make the transition intact. More good news: B.B. Rights' "Funky Radio" is also returning.