Edmonton – It would be only natural to begin with the biggest game release news of the day – Bioware’s  Mass Effect 2  hits store shelves across the nation today, and already the title is getting raves from every corner of the continent. I will be picking up my Collector’s Edition today, and I am really looking forward to the awesome goodness that I know will be contained in that special tin box. While EA did send an advance copy to Village Gamer, it hasn’t yet arrived (watch it be sitting in the post office box today), and while I certainly appreciate the opportunity the publisher is trying to extend to me, I never receive the titles they send until after the games have been released, and as I like to log a number of hours in a game before writing a review, well…gotta love our postal system. Not. 
Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA commented on the launch of Mass Effect 2 saying, “Rich, immersive worlds, compelling characters and stories, and intense action are some of the hallmarks of BioWare games, and Mass Effect 2 truly raises the bar in every area. I’m incredibly proud of our team, who worked passionately to deliver a very high quality game for our fans. This epic sequel in the stunning Mass Effect universe is an extraordinary accomplishment, one which we can’t wait to get into the hands of a world-wide audience!”
The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will once again step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding their crew of some of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, space exploration and emotionally engaging character interaction, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience.
Gamers who purchase a new copy of Mass Effect 2 will also be able to activate the ‘Cerberus Network’, an in-game portal in Mass Effect 2 that will keep fans engaged with the Mass Effect universe through downloadable content (DLC) and news at no extra charge. The first piece of DLC is available today, featuring a new mission around the Normandy crash site. For players who do not buy the game new, the ‘Cerberus Network’ can be unlocked through a one-time, in-game purchase of an activation code for 1200 MS points on the Xbox 360 and $15 on the PC. BioWare will release additional news on future ‘Cerberus Network’ content in the coming weeks. Activation is tied to a specific EA Online account and is non-transferable. Mass Effect 2 is available for the Xbox 360 and the PC and is rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB
Vancouver – Vancouver Film School  (VFS), Canada’s premier entertainment arts institution, and Pixologic , maker of the award-winning 2D/3D sculpting, texturing, and painting application ZBrush, today announced an official partnership agreement  to provide VFS with full access to educational licenses for Pixologic’s cutting-edge software, ZBrush.
The partnership is the first of its kind for Pixologic in Canada. The agreement will primarily benefit students of VFS’s Animation & Visual Effects programs, respected worldwide for their graduates, including District 9 director Neill Blomkamp among many others. VFS students will have access to the latest innovative tools available in ZBrush, upgrades and technical support.
“Pixologic enthusiastically supports education and is committed to providing artists with the most innovative cutting edge tools of their craft,” says Pixologic Chief Operating Officer Jaime Labelle. “From illustration to animation and visual effects to game design, we at Pixologic recognize the standard of excellence that comes from the entire VFS community and are thrilled to partner and support them in their creative process.”
ZBrush’s place within the Animation & Visual Effects curriculum means that students are provided with skills and experience in a tool that is widely used on top films like Avatar, Watchmen, and District 9, and games like Gears of War 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, all properties on which VFS Animation & Visual Effects graduates have worked. The partnership gives students at VFS a crucial advantage as they begin their careers.
“This partnership really allows us to take advantage of what Pixologic brings to the table with their products,” says VFS’s Managing Director Marty Hasselbach. “It also allows Pixologic to benefit from what VFS does, and that is create fantastic work using their cutting-edge software, ZBrush.”
Vancouver – Mobile game developer IUGO  has announced that their latest title Escape , which we announced a few days ago, will be going to the BlackBerry platform before it becomes available for the iPhone, with pricing to be revealed upon launch. This newest puzzler promises the following features:
*Endless levels and gameplay
*2 additional unlockable difficulty modes introduced through DLC (iPhone only)
*Simple controls for all ages
*Minimalist graphics for maximum appeal
*Unique cerebral game play complimented by relaxing audio and visual effects