Archive | April, 2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines targeted by class action suit

30 Apr

Gearbox and Sega have been accused of false advertising in a class action lawsuit over Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Polygon reports the suit was filed in the Northern District of California court yesterday by Edelson LLC.

According to the suit, developer and publisher are in violation of several Californian civil and business codes because they presented trade show demos as “actual gameplay”. The suit hinges on this allegation and cites tweets from Randy Pitchford himself apparently acknowledging widely-discussed discrepancies between trade show demos and the finished product.

Edelson also argued that by holding review code and embargoing coverage until launch day, Sega and Gearbox conspired to keep consumers from learning of the differences between footage shown to date and the finished product. Those who purchased the game on launch day or pre-ordered it are thus eligible for damages, the suit suggested.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities/ Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone – consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters – that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers,” Edelson staff argued in the claim.

Sega has admitted that trailers for Aliens: Colonial Marines were “misleading”, after complaints were logged with the Advertising Standards Agency.

A claim of false advertising was brought against EA regarding Mass Effect 3 last year, but was dismissed.

Remember Me: score made of memories, “every cue is a part of Nilin”

30 Apr

Although players may not realise it, they won’t actually hear Remember Me’s musical theme until the very end of the game, when protagonist Nilin pieces together the fractured memories reflected by the score.

“There are actually many themes for Nilin. Remember Me is a rich world and she is a complex character. She is a strong female character but at the same time she is really confused and lost as her memory was erased. What people may not get is that every music cue is a part of Nilin,” composer Olivier Derivere said in a fascinating interview with MTV Multiplayer.

“Actually, the whole score is a reconstruction around Nilin’s memory and it’s only during the last fight of the game that you can hear the full main theme. This was what Jean-Maxime Moris, the Creative Director, wanted the music to reflect.”

Derivere said the biggest challenge with the score was creating a sound that is a reflection of the gam’e soncept – “the digitization of an organic form which is electronically manipulated”.

“I remember talking with JMax about the concept and telling him that we should record a live symphony orchestra and manipulate electronically this recording to create a second layer,” he said.

“I also remember that I really didn’t know how I could do it. It took me quite a long time to figure out how to achieve this sound.”

A gamer himself, Derivere said he know how annoying it can be when music isn’t right.

“In Remember Me, fifty per cent of the game is fight sequences, so we wanted to create a system that will provide a fresh experience for gamers. For instance, the music system is linked to the player’s actions, so depending on how you will fight, the music will support your moves. It adds a sense of support and, of course, reward,” he said.

Pat went to see Remember Me a few months ago and was pretty impressed by it, especially the audio. The Dontnod brawler is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on June 4 in North American and June 7 in Europe.

EVE Online Oculus Rift shooter sparks petition for full release

30 Apr

In response to a comment from a CCP staffer, PCGamesN has put together a petition calling for the release of EVR, the Oculus Rift-enabled dogfighting sim demonstrated at EVE FanFest this year. All signs indicate EVR is nearly as sweet as the throes of first love, so get on that. Check out a trailer for the 6v6 title through the break.

Dragon’s Dogma patch may corrupt save data

30 Apr

Back up your Dragon’s Dogma and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen save data. Now.

A PSA posted on Capcom Unity advises that the most recent patch for the action RPG has introduced a nasty bug.

“A number of users” have been affected by the issue, which corrupts save file data, making it impossible to save or load progress.

This is obviously quite traumatic given the game’s about 50 hours long if you want to do everything, so Capcom has asked users to back their save datas up to external storage or cloud devices as soon as possible, especially if they’re first-time players or are just starting Dark Arisen.

Capcom is investigating the issue but advises affected users to try playing offline until a fix is introduced.

The LeBrons season two to be an Xbox Live exclusive

30 Apr

A second season of animation The Lebrons will air as an Xbox Live exclusive. Shack News reports the cartoon returns on May 10, with new episodes weekly; check out a trailer on MSN. This on its own is not such earth-shattering news but it is indicative of Microsoft’s push to turn its platform into something like a cable box as well as games console; did you see the rumour that it’s trying to bring back Heroes?

Guild Wars 2 Flame and Frost guide released

30 Apr

The final chapter in Guild Wars 2′s first Living Story event kicks off today. If you haven’t been keeping up with this limited-time campaign, you’re missing out – it’s expected to have ongoing consequences for the MMO’s narrative. Never mind, you can still take part in Retribution; check out ArenaNet’s handy, spoiler-free guide to the schedule; how to access content; and achievements.

Thanks, Massively.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon video: the worst tutorial in the world

30 Apr

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is proud to boast of having the worst in-game tutorial in the world. It comes from a book for dummies and it bound to get the player angry. Enjoy yourself.

Guns of Icarus Online update adds new King of the Hill map, tutorials, and more

30 Apr

Muse Games has released another free content update for Guns of Icarus Online, bringing the post-apocalyptic airship combat game to version 1.2 and adding a bunch of new goodies.

Probably the most exciting bit is a new 2v2 King of the Hill map, The Labyrinth, which is “set in the burned out shell of a once great metropolis”. A teaser video below shows it off.

For beginners, Muse has added a series of scripted tutorials for every class, including the ability to set up targets and practise your aim. Newbies can also opt-in to beginner only matches with other level 1 pilots and carefully chosen coaches.

For those already au fait with combat, there’s a new set of achievements and a commendation system, and the level cap has been raised to 11.

On top of that there’s a bunch of new costumes because “you can never have too many hats”, and a graphics upgrade in the form of more particle effects for weapons, a new flare gun model, gun handles and “maybe a bird or two”.

The four-player game is due for a major expansion as Muse has successfully Kickstarted Adventure Mode, which will transform the game into a more MMO-like affair. The crowdfunding campaign is currently shooting for a stretch goal of $350,000 to develop an econo-political system.

Retro Studios reveal in “the not so distant future”

30 Apr

One of the most persistent mysteries surrounding Nintendo is just what the much-praised Retro Studios is up to. It looks like we might find out soon.

“I wonder what kind of game it is? I hope to introduce it to you in the not so distant future,” Nintendo’s Hiro Yamada told ONM.

We wonder too, man.

Yamada’s comment arose in the context of discussing why Retro hadn’t been chosen to develop Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, despite being responsible for the Wii version, in addition to Metroid Prime and Mario Kart 7.

“We wanted to use Retro’s development resource for another new title, so we talked to Monster Games about porting this title,” he said.

Retro was apparently very pleased with replacement developer Monster Games’ work.

“Their technical ability was at such a high level that Retro was also impressed, and although the frame rate had to be dropped from the Wii version’s 60 frames per second to 30 frames per second, almost all other aspects of the game were ported to the 3DS brilliantly,” Yamada added.

Thanks, Destructoid.

Mobile to be the primary gaming platform by 2016 – analyst

30 Apr

One research firm believes that in the next few years more gaming will occur on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than any other platform.

Juniper Research extrapolated from current trends to predict that consumers will spend $3.03 billion on mobile games in 2016, worldwide.

That’s a staggering figure, but not as eye-opening as the growth rate – the firm believes just #301 million was spent in 2012, suggesting the platform will grow ten times in terms of sales.

Most of the sales are expected in the Far East, China, and North America; these three major markets will make up about 86% of total spend in 2016.

Tablets are the real driver here, Juniper said; they’re taking over from dedicated hardware because they have 3G and 4G connections, and host more free-to-play titles.

It’s a bold set of predictions and sure to make mobile manufacturers happy, if perhaps nobody else.

Thanks, GamesIndustry.

Dreamfall Chapters now in full production

30 Apr

Red Thread Games has ramped production up on Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey. Development of the Kickstarted sequel to Ragnar Tørnquist’s classic adventures is now in full swing, and the studio is busy hiring new staff and looking for cast members. Hit the break to hear the crew chat about how it’s going so far; heretofore unseen portions of the game will be shown at a conference in June, so presumably the short answer is “quite well, thank you”.

If you backed the game, check in with the Kickstarter campaign; TRed Thread has signed on with Backerkit, a service that lets you keep your address and pledge details updated.

Thanks, Siliconera.

Kentucky Route Zero: Act 2 release delayed by “a couple weeks”

30 Apr

Cardboard Computer has said the second act for Kentucky Route Zero has been delayed a couple of weeks, which would put its release around mid-May. Originally slated for a late April release, the team got behind on development due to trouble shooting for “a larger number of players than we anticipated,” along with participation in the Independent Game Festival. distribution. The developer promises to keep people updated act 2′s progress through Facebook and Twitter. You can see a new screengrab though the links. Thanks, Shack.

Iwata touts Nintendo’s digital, free-to-play, and subscription-based plans

30 Apr

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has told investors that around 10% of Japanese consumers are willing to opt for digital versions of title available on Nintendo systems.

Speaking with the investors after the release of the firm’s yearly financial report, Iwata used the success Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Tomodachi Collection: New Life as examples.

“We are already seeing changes that would have been inconceivable, say, about a decade ago,” he said. “In consideration of the fact shown in my presentation that, once people have chosen a download version, they tend to choose another download version the next time they purchase software, I still feel that the digital ratio will change dramatically in two or three years’ time, as I did when I initially made this remark.

“We think that digital distribution of packaged software is only the first step in expanding our digital business. We will not simply change our existing packaged software distribution channel. Rather, we might have many other types of business models in addition to packaged software.

“For example, we might see more games that are similar to free-to-play games, games that cost much less or games that require a monthly subscription fee. Digitalization allows for greater flexibility, whereby having more ways to make payments, both software developers and consumers have more options. And Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have flexible systems to handle such trends, so it is now a question of putting these ideas into action.

“I can definitely say that Nintendo will make new offers that go well beyond simply replacing packaged software with digital software. And I feel that the possibilities may go beyond simply charging our consumers a certain price at the time of download.”

Iwata also reiterated the ability in the future to payments on Wii U using an e-money card which would allow users an easier way to pay for products and services such as Wii Street U powered by Google, add-on content for games or pay-per-view options in Video on Demand.

“I feel that there will be more ways for consumers to take advantage of these options,” Iwata said. “I think that those who already own a Wii U system are starting to understand the advantages of having a game console that is connected to a TV as well as the Internet and, together with a device with touchscreen controls that you can hold in your hands, integrate to form one system. As a platform holder, Nintendo anticipates that as the system becomes increasingly convenient for consumers, the number of business opportunities taking advantage of these features will grow.

“We do not do business under the concept that “digital business” equals simply replacing packaged software with digital software, or, put another way, changing our distribution channels.”

Nintendo said its eShop sales more than doubled in FY 2013, year-on-year.

Games for Change 10th annual festival dated, tickets on sale

30 Apr

The Games for Change festival will be held this year June 17-19. Tickets are now on sale. A schedule of panels for the 10th annual new York event, which focuses the “positive social impact of games,” can be found here. General admission will run you $550 for the entire event, but non-profit and government employees can get a discount. Thanks, Polygon.

Mother 4 would be “impossible,” says Itoi

30 Apr

Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi has splashed cold water on anyone’s hope that a fourth installment in the series will be released in the future.

According to a tweet from the man himself when asked, he said it was “impossible.”

A rather simple and to the point answer, with nothing else said on the matter or an explanation as to why exactly it would be impossible.

Fans will have to console themselves with Earthbound – or Mother 2 – on Wii U through Virtual Console later this year.

Thanks, Nintendo Life.

Nintendo aware of hackers’ claim to have “reversed the Wii U drive authentication”

30 Apr

Hackers have claimed to have “completely reversed the Wii U drive authentication, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation key”.

According to a report on CVG, these are the same hackers which made one of “the many Wii mod keys available,” but it has been unable to confirm it has indeed cracked Wii U.

Nintendo has said it’s aware of the claims, but so far it has received “no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode.”

“Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products’ security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy,” the firm said in a statement.

Nothing is fully protected anymore, is it?

Guardian analysis of top 50 games sold in 2012 found “more than half contain violent content labels”

30 Apr

The Guardian has posted a graph and a video, which shows information the site compiled through research regarding guns and violence in games. According to the site, an analysis of the top 50 video games sold in 2012 found that “more than half contain violent content labels,” and “one-third have weapons that depict real-life firearms.” According to the firm’s analysis, 68% of the games looked at contained violence while 32% contained none. Realistic firearms were found in less than half of of the 50 games of 2012, with 38% having guns in general. 62% having no guns. You can watch the video and run your mouse over the interactive chart through the link.

Alan Wake has sold over 2 million copies

30 Apr

Alan Wake has sold over 2 million copies, according to Remedy’s Oskari Häkkinen.

Speaking with CVG Häkkinensaid the game is now considered a “cult classic.”

“We’ve moved over two million copies – that’s including PC,” he said. “So after a slow start it’s turning into something really positive. It’s definitely had legs. I think narrative experiences just have a tendency for that.

“Alan Wake’s like a cult classic if you like. People who have played and enjoyed the story feel the urge to tell their friends and other gamers out there that they need to try this experience, they need to play it.”

Häkkinen went on to say the series has a future, as it’s very “close” to the firm’s heart.

“It’s our IP – we own it. It’s not something that we’re going to forget very easily,” he said. “After Max Payne we could’ve literally gone, the whole team, and sat on a beach and sipped cocktails for quite some time. It’s no secret that the Max Payne franchise was sold [to Rockstar, Take-Two] for $45 million.

“That put us in a really promising situation, but at the same time our hearts are in making video games and not in sipping cocktails on the beach.”

American Nightmare was the last entry in the series, and it’s been rumored for ages the firm has “Alan Wake 2″ in the works, possibly for next-gen.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes sneak peek video and pre-order information available

30 Apr

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has a sneak peek video available, which shows a few comic heroes ready to face off against some rather adorable Marvel villains. The game is now available for pre-order, and a list of goodies along with the video are below.

Pre-ordering from select retailers in North America will net you the following in-game goodies from today:

Walmart: An ultra exclusive Iron Patriot mini-fig when pre-ordering the console version. Will be available once the game releases.

GameStop: A Spidey keychain when pre-ordering any version. Power Up Rewards members who pre-order through the retailer also receive the DLC pack for free (PS3 and X360 only).

Amazon: $10 games credit automatically applied to Amazon account.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes releases on 3DS, DS, PC, PS3, Vita, Wii, Wii U and Xbox 360 this fall.

Video courtesy of Evil Avatar.

IronPatriot Created by MDKGraphicsEngine - Licensed to LEGO System A/S

EarthBound Creator Says Another EarthBound is “Impossible” – News

30 Apr

Unfortunately for EarthBound fans, there won't be another game in the series.

According to these Japanese archives, a fan recently asked creator Shigesato Itoi to consider making Mother 4 (the Japanese title of EarthBound). Itoi's response was a very simple, "Impossible." So, alas, it looks like we won't be seeing another instalment in this charming yet tragic RPG series.

Why not? Who knows - but the fact that Mother 3 spent a legendary amount of time in development hell, with work beginning in 1994 for the SNES and being released over a decade later on the Game Boy Advance may have something to do with it. Maybe Itoi-san doesn't want to spend that long developing a game again. Or perhaps he's just decided that it's time to move on with his creative life and do something else.

It's not a huge surprise, though, as this isn't the first time he's declared a lack of interest in making Mother 4. When he revealed last December that he was working on something related to the franchise he stressed, “It’s not 4! We’re trying to get Mother working again right now. I still can’t mention any details, but I have to make clear that this isn’t ‘4’!”

This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - EarthBound Creator Says Another EarthBound is "Impossible" - News