The Federal Government tonight announced as part of this year's Budget that it would cut $10 million of remaining funding to the Australian Interactive Games Fund, in a move which at least one commentator has already said will "destroy" Australia's video games industry.

Those of you with a long memory will recall that Australia’s video game classification systems hasn’t precisely always been without controversy. Well, in what looks like a good move on the surface, Australia appears set to join a new international system for video game classification.

Those of you who've been long-term fans of the excellent video games produced by Blizzard Entertainment (StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Diablo) will recall that Australians have been fighting for many years to get the company to set up local servers to service the multi-player aspects of its games. Well, Blizzard has finally cracked, and Diablo III is the first cab off the rank to get the local seal of approval.

Dark Souls 2 is challenging, but ultimately rewarding, and it stands as one of those rare examples of a frustration-free difficulty that encourages players to get better at playing the game, rather that putting them off ever trying again.

The debate over whether video games can be classified as art has been a long and bitterly fought one. To explore this issue in greater depth and champion the idea that games can have artistic merit, Australian gaming journalist Matt Sainsbury has started a Kickstarter project to fund the development of an in-depth, 200 page, premium quality hardcover book which will tie in conversations with some of the gaming industry's artistic titans.

Which console launch are you most excited about, and why? Am I right that the PlayStation 4 has most of the momentum at this point? Or is underdog Microsoft making a comeback with the Xbox One?

Whether Beyond is the kind of game that you would like to play a lot of or not is largely irrelevant to the objective quality of Cage's work. In terms of storytelling and technical execution there isn't anything out there better, and the fact that it is a different, more thoughtful experience than anything else produced by a major studio means it is worth experiencing.

In a nutshell, Grand Theft Auto V is nothing short of pure fun. There are some minor issues, but the game's strengths easily overshadow its tiny flaws. San Andreas is a large world to explore, and there are so many things to do and sights to see that will keep players hooked for a very long time.

Everyone knows that shooters are not my area of specialty, but as far as I'm concerned if a game of the genre can check the technical boxes and keep a healthy energy to it, then I'm pretty sure that it's achieved what the fans want from it. I'm fairly certain that Killzone has done enough that even the hardcore shooter fans will appreciate it.

Between the lick of paint and wealth of gameplay refinements, Wind Waker HD seems more like the actualisation of the concept Nintendo could not fully achieve in 2002 than the high-definition upgrade it is billed as.

Even though Killer is Dead's gameplay itself is a little too unrefined for its own good, the thematic strength of it is enough to make it an interesting curiosity to sit on any game library.

Disney Infinity is a giant love letter to everything Disney, a collector's dream and a parent's nightmare. It's expensive to own everything (though not necessary to buy anything beyond the starter set to enjoy yourself immensely), but it offers unbounded creativity and one of the finest and most accessible virtual toy boxes you'll ever experience in the games industry. The potential for this game to expand even further into the future is truly exciting.

I was really worried about this game. In an era where developers seem more interested in boiling every beloved franchise down to a cookie-cutter shooter, it takes real bravery to break out and do something different. Bringing a legitimate tactics structure into the third person shooter genre has given us a game that genuinely feels like XCOM, but is also something a little new to play and as such I really can't complain about this as I eagerly await the next "genuine" XCOM title.

Wayforward is really thriving in this era of digital distribution. Because its games are so marketable as cheap downloadable titles it's scoring all of the licensed titles and retro remakes that it wants. Playing DuckTales I could feel how much the developer team loved making the game. And that love is infectious.

While certain aspects of the game's artistic approach have started a healthy industry debate, it doesn't stop it from bringing the classic multiplayer beat-em-up gameplay that had us filling arcade cabinets with quarters many years ago back and better than ever. Vanillaware, I crown you the new beat-em-up genre victor.

Pikmin 3 isn't the massive game that we might have hoped for. It's a load of fun, and the charm is irresistible, but looking past that is a game that is part of a franchise that isn't quite in Nintendo's top-tier. That's not to take anything away from the game, because it is a lot of fun and comes recommended wholeheartedly, it's just not the killer app that some might have hoped it would be.

The Australian division of Japanese video gaming giant Nintendo has taken another staggering hit to its finances for the second year in a row, losing a further 36 percent of its overall revenue over the past year as its flagship Wii U console has flopped with consumers due to what is perceived to be a lack of quality games.

Will Dynasty Warriors 8 convert the kind of person who is inclined to dismiss a game without playing it first? Sadly, no. Is it the finest example of the series to date and does it deserve to be given a fair go by everyone? Absolutely. It's incredible.

Dream Team Bros. is a game that offers me nothing that I look for in a typical RPG, and perhaps that's precisely why I enjoyed it so much. It's pure fun; nothing more, and certainly nothing less.

According to Gizmodo, quoting the Classification Board, drug references have been removed from the Australian version of openworld zombie survival game State of Decay, allowing it to be classified under the new R18+ rating.

I really don't understand why PopCap and EA didn't simply say "here you go, dozens of hours of fun; give us your $10 please." It would have been a guaranteed hit at that price, and perhaps, just perhaps, it would have retained its soul.

Warhammer Quest belongs to the old school approach of dice rolls and with that comes the potential for hours of play only to end in failure due to some rotten luck. As well made as this game is, it really does struggle to break away from the feeling that this game belongs to a genre that we've all moved on from.

It's times like these that we have to wonder what the point of Australia enacting an R18+ rating for video games is, when the Classification Board seems intent on banning popular games regardless.

In a move which will be seen as a challenge to the efficacy of Australia's new R18+ video game classification category, the Classification Board yesterday revealed that it had refused to classify the upcoming title Saints Row IV, due to what the board said was implied sexual violenace and illicit drug use.

I just want to get this out from the start: The Last Of Us is an incredible game. Naughty Dog's finest title, to be sure, and if you're looking for buyer's advice, just skip the rest of this review and look at the score at the bottom. Suffice to say, the game is essential.

Following on from the news this morning that Microsoft would deliver a modest price increase on its Xbox One console to Australians, Sony this afternoon confirmed the local pricing on its PlayStation 4 console.

From the department of completely expected price hikes comes the news that Microsoft has opted to charge Australians substantially more to buy its upcoming Xbox One gaming console when it launches in November this year.

Look, I don’t know what y’all were expecting at this point. But if you’ve been reading Delimiter for a while, you may be aware that global technology giants do not always launch the same products in Australia that they launch internationally, they don’t always launch them at the same time, and they almost never launch them at the same price point. That’s why we’re not entirely surprised to find that some of the key features hyped this week as part of Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal won’t be available in Australia, at least initially.

There is an intensity to Soul Sacrifice that makes its minimalist plot and single-note theme feel more compelling than it has any right to be.

The only people who will look at Injustice and think to themselves “this looks good” are the fans of the DC Universe. And for those people I don’t think it will really matter that there are better fighting games out there - this plays well enough, and it rocks because it lets Batman beat the living bejeebus out of Aquaman.

Ni No Kuni is a genuine masterpiece and all-but guaranteed to be the best game released this year. That's a big call since it's still January, but that's how great this game is.

I don’t think that Gears of War does anything that we haven’t really seen in shooters in the past, but because it does do it so well and with such intensity, it still manages to be a rollarcoaster of a ride.

So, how do I rate God of War Ascension? It lives up to its franchise and escalates its key features over the previous title. The combo system is as fun and fluid as it ever was. And it can hardly be faulted for giving its fans what they’re probably working on. But by the same token I can’t help but shake the impression that things have gone too far with this game. Any sense of balance that the previous games have has been thrown out of the window here, and overall it is the weaker game for it.

Australian Android users will soon have an alternative source for sourcing paid and free mobile apps, but will they embrace it? Yes, if the first analysis of Amazon Appstore sales figures – which suggests the site is rapidly increasing its appeal to US consumers as a source of paid apps – is any indication.

Tablet makers are set to reap a windfall in coming years as gamers continue to shift their gaming dollars away from dedicated gaming devices and into the wallets of increasingly agile mobile-gaming developers, new figures from Juniper Research have suggested.

Overall Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is a better and more rounded game than the original attempt, and I would suggest that series fans who previously felt slighted should give this one a chance - it’s very much the entertaining game now.

If you’re a Monster Hunter fan, you know what you’re signing up for. A great game with a great online community. If you’re not sure if Monster Hunter is the right game for you, know that it will take you quite a few hours to begin to understand the game, and even longer for you to master it. But stick with it, you’ll be glad you did in the end. Even if you don’t have any friends afterwards.

Tomb Raider is an amazing game. It is a perfect way for the series to be re-introduced to gamers, as it depicts a very likable heroine who truly struggles to survive, emotionally and physically. The overall experience wanted me to jump straight back into the campaign the moment it ended. Lara is back!

Crysis 3 has a single player game that leaves the competition for dead, in both length and quality, and is a beautiful, cinematic experience with a haunting soundtrack and some of the best visuals on the PlayStation 3.

Western Australian man raised by the FBI and Australian police for releasing Xbox trade secrets.

Kotaku brings us news that the Sunshine State has has banned Kratos’ new blood-soaked romp, God of War: Ascension.

According to Gerry Harvey, one of "the great tragedies" of our modern age is that kids spend way too much time ... you guessed it ... playing video games. Wow.

Thanks to the new laws allowing R18+ video games to be sold in Australia, Valve is strongly investigating re-releasing its Left 4 Dead 2 game locally in its original gory form.

The Federal Government's Classification Board has revealed that it has classified its first video game under the new R18+ category, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, following the delivery of amended classification rules last year after a long community campaign to see the new adult-only category implemented.

Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you. Or perhaps they haven’t been able to hold your sustained attention. So why should you care now?

The organisers of the popular Penny Arcade Expo ('PAX') event have announced that the popular show will be held in Melbourne in July 2013 and 2014, in an event which will mark the first international version of the expo founded by the creators of the video gaming comic.

Videogames are already here, are already culturally and politically active, and have been for quite some time. We no longer need to debate if they deserve a spot at the cultural dinner table. We just need to recognise they are already there.

New guidelines for the classification of videogames have been released by Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and, despite being a step in the right direction, the revisions are largely disappointing and a missed opportunity.

Nintendo announced this morning that its new Wii U console would launch in Australia on 30 November this year, with several different pricing options available ranging from a "Basic Pack" at $349.95 to a "Premium Pack" containing a black model with more space for $429.95.

Amid the resurgent popularity of zombies in recent years – think The Walking Dead, I Am Legend, Shaun of the Dead and so on – the 2011 publication of Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies showed we might be able to learn something useful from the lumbering horde. In short, Drezner poses the question: how would we deal with a zombie outbreak?

The Australian division of Japanese video gaming giant Nintendo has lost a staggering 41 percent of its local revenue in one year, as diminishing interest in the company's aging Wii platforms and lacklustre launch of its 3DS handset console have slugged the company's finances hard.

Australia is shortly to play host to two of the biggest celebrities in the global StarCraft II competitive gaming scene, with commentators Tasteless and Artosis to arrive in Sydney in mid-August to host one of the nation's largest and lucrative tournaments in the local history of electronic sports.

Sydney-based children's entertainment company Bubble Gum Interactive has raised another $2.5 million to help fund the expansion of its Little Space Heroes online game, adding to an initial $1 million raised in mid-2011.

After a hard-fought campaign lasting several years, Australia's video game industry and community has achieved a major victory with the passing last night of landmark legislation which will introduce a new R18+ classification for video games in Australia.

In the critically acclaimed video game Dark Souls, there is a mysterious character known as Solaire of Astora who has developed something of a global cult following which may give us some insight into this human existence.

Video game giant Blizzard is currently facing a tsunami of complaints from Australian gamers frustrated that the company's lack of Australian servers is making its new Diablo III unplayable for locals.

Pre-ordered hit Diablo III from dying Australian video game retailer GAME? Frustrated that you won’t be able to play this year’s biggest game when it launches at 5PM today, as GAME has been blocked from selling Diablo III? Worry no more. Blizzard’s got your back.

The Australian division of embattled video game retail chain GAME Group has gone into administration, video game media outlet Kotaku reported this morning.

Electronics retailer Dick Smith has kicked off a new sale on video games and accessories, to mollify customers miffed by a poorly handled sale last week which saw thousands of customers lining up in front of stores for deals, only to walk away empty-handed.

Investment firm says it will retain remaining 333 UK retail stores and safeguard 3,200 jobs

An online game of Team Fortress 2 in late February became the unusual setting for Internode web site manager Taryn Hicks to propose to her long-time boyfriend Derek Adams.

Fears for 6,000 UK jobs as troubled retailer's shares are suspended and it admits its business is worthless

Video game company needs to secure new financial backers by end of month to avoid painful restructuring

Video games specialist appeared to have been handed a lifeline after owner of Comet emerged as white knight buyer

Game Group shares, which have already lost more than 95% of their value over the past year, crashed a further 65% this morning

The Australian branch of the Pirate Party has expressed its dismay about the continuing delay over the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games, in a statement issued last week.

Gaming giant Sony's latest handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, has gone on sale in Australia and is now available in stores across the country, marking Sony's fifth major console hardware launch locally.

The battle for an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia has been something of an epic, but the journey’s not over yet. There are still plenty more rocks and potholes to navigate before we start seeing R18+ games in local stores.

Jason Clare, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, yesterday introduced legislation to create an R18+ category for computer games.

While there are obviously plenty of opportunities to develop a sustainable video game industry in Australia, the key appears to be an ongoing dialogue between industry and policy advisors at a state level, and an association such as the GDAA.

Australia’s interactive games industry is upbeat and prospects remain bright as consumption of games continues to thrive, according to a media release from Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA). The sentiments come despite latest data showing that there was a significant dip in ‘traditional retail’ computer and video games sales in 2011.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword takes its time to warm up, but when it does, there's a lot to like about Nintendo's last serious hurrah on the Wii.

Struggling video game retailer announces £18m loss for the year – but reaches new agreement with lenders

Frenetic combat and perpetual dungeon-delving are compromised by a clumsy interface and inconsistent gesture recognition in Infinity Blade II, a hack-and-slash RPG for iOS. If you can handle the repetitive content and temperamental responsiveness, an enjoyable, if grating experience lies beyond.

Video games giant EA has confirmed news broken by Kotaku yesterday (further reports at Ausgamers, Kotaku and Gamespot) that its reboot of the classic Syndicate game being planned for next year has been refused classification in Australia and won’t go on sale.

Vodafone and Sony Computer Entertainment this week announced a partnership that will deliver Vodafone preferred provider status for 3G connectivity for the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) handheld console in Australia.

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia announced yesterday in Sydney, the pre-order details for its next generation portable gaming and entertainment system, PlayStation Vita, launching in stores across Australia on February 23 next year. Pre-orders for PS Vita will be available through select Australian retailers including GAME, EB Games and JB Hi-Fi.

Several high-profile members of Australia's technology and gaming industries have written directly to the Seven Network, alleging the television station's report last week into a call to have the video game Grand Theft Auto banned in Australia did not represent fair coverage of the issue and made incorrect statements about gaming in general.

NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has unexpectedly called for the popular Grand Theft Auto video game series and other violent games to be banned -- not just classified R18+ as suitable for adult use.

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