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Archive | December, 2014

FTC finalizes privacy settlement with Snapchat over ‘deceived’ users

31 Dec

Few expected any obstacles, but the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling its charges against Snapchat that will see the popular ephemeral messaging startup held to stricter privacy policies over the next 20 years. The original complaint, revealed in May, accused Snapchat of deceiving its millions of users "with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through the service."

The FTC was displeased after it was discovered that sent snaps and content included in them could be recovered in certain circumstances or with third-party tools. That ran counter to Snapchat's underlying, fleeting concept: most consumers think everything they send off to friends will vanish once the preset counter runs down. The...

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Sony execs used old BlackBerrys found in a basement after getting hacked

31 Dec

With its computer systems crippled worldwide, Sony executives did what any of us would do: turn to simpler technologies to get them moving again. According to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, that tech included notepads, a manual paycheck machine, and also a stash of BlackBerrys found in Sony's basement. The BlackBerrys were handed out to Sony executives, who used them to start emailing once again thanks to the fact that the BlackBerrys were still set up to use their own server, rather than Sony's hacked one. They were also used to send out updates to the company's staff over text messages, which made their way down through the organization over a phone tree that was thrown together.

Sony executives initially saw the hack...

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7 Amazing Story Scenarios for Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode

31 Dec

Telltale Games has carved a pretty awesome niche of delivering quality stories within other media’s licensed universes, but December marked the announcement of Telltale’s greatest challenge: a Minecraft Telltale game.

Here’s what we know about Telltale’s foray into the Minecraft universe: the game is called (at least for now) “Minecraft: Story Mode.”

That’s it.

And while Minecraft has a lot of interesting elements — like a big giant dragon, strange creatures such as creepers and endermen, and a hellish otherworld called the Nether — there’s zero narrative threading between them right now. That means Minecraft: Story Mode could be about absolutely anything.

Turns out, “absolutely anything” is GameFront’s specialty! We’ve asked our staffers to let their minds wander through potential Telltale-like stories set in Mojang’s voxel world. Check out the results below, and feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments.

Man in the Mountain
By James Heaney

Steve’s friend has fallen ill after an encounter with a witch and doesn’t seem to heal properly. He thinks the answer is to build a level 4 Beacon pyramid in hopes that the regeneration will restore his health. But where will he find 164 block of obsidian?

Well, legend has it… past the the Dark Oak Jungle, deep in the Lapis Lazuli Caves, there is an old man with the powers to create an endless amounts of obsidian. Steve sets out on a quest to save his friend.

(Spoiler: it is not magic, the old man has built an Obsidian Generator)

March of the Enderman
By James Heaney

After hustling and bustling for longer than anyone can remember, the Endermen have stopped their tireless work.

They seem to march to the north, but for what reason? Are they headed somewhere, or fleeing something? While having the Endermen leaving do make the hiss safer at night, Steve can’t shake this sick feeling in his stomach that something bad is happening. The mystery slowly unfolds around him.

The Great Minecraft World Siege
By Marshall Lemon

Steve and his friends have come together for a massive project: reshaping an entire continent to match the map from a popular fantasy series.

But when copyright wizards discover what’s happening, they unleash a spell, causing zombies, spiders, and skeletons to attack with the fall of each night. Then the creepers will stick around at dawn to blow up their work!

This cannot be abided. Steve and his friends have until sunset to craft armor and fortify their defenses before the enemy swarms their humble server. But can they build enough torches to keep the darkness at bay?

The post 7 Amazing Story Scenarios for Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode appeared first on GameFront.

Kid Calls 911 About Lizard Squad’s PSN/Xbox Live Hack

31 Dec


A young gamer tried to call 911 over the weekend in response to the recent PSN/Xbox Live outage.

The call took place in the Palm Beach, Florida where, according to a Tweet, a child called the local emergency line to inquire about the status of the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. “Do you know what’s going on with [the PlayStation 4 and Xbox] network being down,” they asked.

The operator taking the call responded by telling them that the outage “wasn’t an emergency” and suggested they “try going outside or read a book.” The Tweet also reminded people that 911 is “only for emergencies.”

The call itself was predicated by the hacker group Lizard Squad’s recent DDOS attack against Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. The attack knocked both services offline for several days beginning on Christmas. Lizard Squad halted its attack after entrepreneur Kim Dotcom offered the entire group lifetime premium memberships to his storage service Mega.

The post Kid Calls 911 About Lizard Squad’s PSN/Xbox Live Hack appeared first on GameFront.

Capcom Trademarks Dragon’s Dogma Online in Japan and US

31 Dec

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Capcom has been spotted to have trademarked Dragon’s Dogma Online in both Japan and US through the Japanese Trademarks Office and United States Patents and Trademarks Office.

The trademark was apparently filed on December 2 for Japan and US and was only made public today. Mention of a trademark filing for Dragon’s Dogma Online also reached us at the start of the month where Capcom was noted to secure rights to the name in the European region.

The company however, has yet to unveil what it has in store for us. Hints and teases for a new Dragon’s Dogma game have been fluttering on the web for the past two months.

Many speculated it to be Dragon’s Dogma 2. However, the mention of an online component suggests that Capcom might be going for a more community-based raiding experience.

With the year drawing to a close and Capcom sitting calmly after having secured rights to its trademark in all three regions, we can expect the studio to announce whatever they have been hiding next month.

The post Capcom Trademarks Dragon’s Dogma Online in Japan and US appeared first on SegmentNext.

Final Fantasy XIV: Before the Fall Part 1 Releases Next Month

31 Dec

Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn

Part 1 of Patch 2.5, which is also being called as Before the Fall, will release for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on January 20.

The release date for the first part of this upcoming massive update was confirmed by Naoki Yoshida who appeared on the Dragon Quest X event as a special guest. He didn’t go into any details about the first part and neither did he mention any information about the next update.

Before the Fall – Part 1 will add a new raid and theme park, as well as multiple new additions such as mini games that include Chocobo Racing and Triple Triad. The new dungeons being brought in include The Keeper of the Lake, The Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep.

Part 2 is said to be on the same scale in terms of new content, where the developer also plans to introduce the Gold Saucer casino.

Before the Fall is expected to be the largest content update for the game since Heavensward.

Players into the last days of their vacations should marking their calendars for January 20, when it will be available worldwide for the PS4, PS3 and PC.

via NovaCrystallis

The post Final Fantasy XIV: Before the Fall Part 1 Releases Next Month appeared first on SegmentNext.

Final Fantasy XIV: Before the Fall Part 1 Releases Next Month

31 Dec

Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn

Part 1 of Patch 2.5, which is also being called as Before the Fall, will release for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on January 20.

The release date for the first part of this upcoming massive update was confirmed by Naoki Yoshida who appeared on the Dragon Quest X event as a special guest. He didn’t go into any details about the first part and neither did he mention any information about the next update.

Before the Fall – Part 1 will add a new raid and theme park, as well as multiple new additions such as mini games that include Chocobo Racing and Triple Triad. The new dungeons being brought in include The Keeper of the Lake, The Wanderer’s Palace and Amdapor Keep.

Part 2 is said to be on the same scale in terms of new content, where the developer also plans to introduce the Gold Saucer casino.

Before the Fall is expected to be the largest content update for the game since Heavensward.

Players into the last days of their vacations should marking their calendars for January 20, when it will be available worldwide for the PS4, PS3 and PC.

via NovaCrystallis

The post Final Fantasy XIV: Before the Fall Part 1 Releases Next Month appeared first on SegmentNext.

Steam Breaks Its Previous Record With Over 8 Million Users Online Simultaneously

31 Dec

Steam

Valve is switching gears to head into the new year. Its online Steam platform managed to break its previous record yesterday by registering over eight million users who were online simultaneously.

The staggering numbers dictate not only the popularity of Steam, but also how PC gaming is evolving with each year. According to the statistics posted on Steam’s website, 8,156,455 Steam users were online yesterday.

The game with the highest number of players was Dota 2, with over 800,000. That was followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 273,934 players, Team Fortress 2 with 71,807, Football Manager 2015 with 62,448, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with 45,461 and Sid Meier’s Civilization V with 38,646 players.

Valve would be pretty happy to see the top two slots being filled by their own games. Whereas someone should inform Bethesda how Skyrim is still popular and that we need another Elder Scrolls title.

via IGN

The post Steam Breaks Its Previous Record With Over 8 Million Users Online Simultaneously appeared first on SegmentNext.

Nothing to see here

31 Dec

In a future fueled by hacks and leaks, will we be sedated by our own transparency?

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Tekken’s Katsuhiro Harada Teases Two New Games for 2015

31 Dec

tekken 7

Katsuhiro Harada, Chief Producer of the Tekken franchise, is currently working on two additional games besides Tekken that will be unveiled in 2015.

Speaking with Famitsu, the veteran developer teased with a cryptic message that the community can expect at least two new announcements from him in the next year. One title “can’t be imitated anywhere else,” while he labelled the other title as something he “can’t talk about.”

There isn’t only the game for head mounted display “Summer Lesson.” There’s also a title that can’t be imitated anywhere else! In addition to that, there’s also that title I can’t talk about.

Any guesses to what Namco Bandai will be announcing and what are the chances that it has something to do with Tekken X Street Fighter?

Tekken 7 will be released in Japanese Arcades by February 2015. There’s still no word on the console release but we do know that the developing team is using the power of Unreal Engine 4 to steer the game into 1080p/60fps territory.

A PC version is also still unconfirmed. You can visit Harada-san’s Twitter to see how badly he’s spammed with PC requests.

The post Tekken’s Katsuhiro Harada Teases Two New Games for 2015 appeared first on SegmentNext.

Aliens vs Predator 2010 Pulled from Steam Without Any Announcement

31 Dec

Aliens vs Predator 2010

Steam has pulled Aliens vs Predator from its library today, an action which many are supposing is due to a licensing issue.

There’s currently an ongoing discussion over the matter on the Steam forums. You can go through that while we’re waiting for an official statement.

Developed by Rebellion and published by Sega, Aliens vs Predator was released in February 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game featured both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer component, the latter of which supposedly died out soon with the passing of the first couple of years.

The game gave players the freedom to play as either Predators, Aliens or the Colonial Marines. Each came with their own set of tools, as well as own set of perspective. The Aliens in particular could scale walls and had high mobility. Predators looked more technical in their hunting attire and were able to cloak themselves. The Colonial Marines looks the same as that of any standard first-person shooter.

Upon release, Aliens vs Predator was received with mixed reviews. One half praised Rebellion’s efforts while the other half expressed disappointment.

It however, debuted at number one on the UK all formats chart and was the fastest selling game of 2010 in the region. In May 2010, Aliens vs. Predator had sold over 1.69 million copies worldwide.

The post Aliens vs Predator 2010 Pulled from Steam Without Any Announcement appeared first on SegmentNext.

Mirror’s Edge 2 Will Feature Better Controls and “Remove Frustration”

31 Dec

Mirror's Edge

In a recent interview DICE shared its design philosophy for Mirror’s Edge 2, one that is quite different from what we normally see.

Rather than setting a deadline and proper schedule for the game’s development, EA is offering DICE as much time as it needs to create the perfect sequel for the free-runner.

Speaking with Eurogamer, CEO Karl-Magnus Troedsson said that the game is being worked on by a small group that has been told to spend as much time as needed. “We realized this is going to take some time for us, so we basically said, let’s take the time and perhaps have a little bit of a smaller team over a longer period of time.”

He further shared that DICE is attempting to “remove a bit of frustration” from the first title, one of which were the clunky controls. Mirror’s Edge 2 needs to carry forward the fun factor, without the frustration latching on to it.

“We really want to continue doing that but removing a bit of the frustration that came with that in the first game,” Troedsson said. “We’re focusing on first-person combat this time around, to make sure we bring that experience into something that is really fun and accessible.”

Additionally he also talked about experimenting with virtual reality gear like the Oculus Rift. The team is indeed pondering over integrating its support in the game. However, right now it’s still an idea and in reality might not be feasible.

“There’s a guy who did it and he says it himself: after a while this is a bit overwhelming,” Troedsson remarked. “You have vertigo and first-person movement. How many people of the population out there wouldn’t throw up when they played that?”

The post Mirror’s Edge 2 Will Feature Better Controls and “Remove Frustration” appeared first on SegmentNext.

Yahoo Classic Games is Now No More

31 Dec

Yahoo Pool

Today marks the last day for Yahoo Classic Games, as the company begins removing its in-house titles from the website.

According to a statement passed on to VentureBeat by a company representative, the remaining games – Poker, Pool, and Bingo – should be completely pulled by tomorrow.

The decision is an attempt by Yahoo to shake the ladder a bit and refine its focus. In a new blog post, it writes that the removal is a part of their efforts to “streamline” their offerings and make way for better development on “Yahoo’s core experiences.”

However, the pulling of Yahoo Classic Games has nothing to do with Yahoo’s Games Network – which will continue on and not shut down alongside. “Players can still enjoy the hundreds of games built by third-party developers through the Yahoo Games Network,” said the company.

Those who have been part of Yahoo’s online free games for the past decade, will surely be a bit disappointed to see its closure. I myself had back then invested quite a few hours into online Yahoo Pool. It was a good clean experience.

The post Yahoo Classic Games is Now No More appeared first on SegmentNext.

GF Podcast 54: Our Big Disappointments of 2014

31 Dec

Welcome to the final GameFront Podcast of 2014!

We’re looking back at the last year, and of course, we’re talking about a few of our biggest disappointments. As we all know, there were quite a few of them in the last year, and our own Mitchell Saltzman was nice enough to boil down those “meh” titles into a single Top 5 List video.

We also discuss a few games that flew under the mainstream radar that are definitely worth your attention, as well as what little news is coming out of the holiday week — like the Halo 5 collector’s editions recently announced that you can preorder today, even though there aren’t really any details about what you’ll actually be getting.

You can find everything we discuss in the links below. You’ll also want to subscribe to the GameFront YouTube Channel and the GameFront Twitch Channel for more coverage of Destiny and lots of other stuff, as well as all our other daily streaming shows, guides, and whatnot.

Feel free to hit us up with any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions and hate mail at podcast@gamefront.com.

This week’s podcast team is:

Ron Whitaker, Managing Editor | Follow him on Twitter!
Mitchell Saltzman, Video Producer | Follow him on Twitter!
Phil Hornshaw, Senior Editor | Follow him on Twitter
James Heaney, Video Producer | Follow him on Twitter

And here’s everything we discuss on the podcast:

343 Announces $250 Halo 5 Limited Collector’s Edition

7 Great Game Soundtracks from 2014

Let’s Get Rid of Pre-Order Bonuses

The Talos Principle Traps Pirates in an Elevator

Mitchell’s Top 5 Most Disappointing Games of 2014 (VIDEO)

Thief Review: Sticking to the Shadows

The Sims 4 Review: Sims on Casual

Destiny Review: Safe, Conservative, and a Little Boring

Destiny: The Dark Below DLC Review: Crota’s Grind

Titanfall Review: Fun That Falls Short of the Hype

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review: Not So Revolutionary

Watch Dogs Review: Press Q to Hack Planet

Watch_Dogs: Game Front’s E3 2013 Best Of Show

Watch Mitch and James Play Secret Ponchos with Developers Today!

Dragon Age: Inquisition Review: Bioware’s Triumphant Return

Dragon Age: Inquisition Doesn’t Care About Telling A Story

The post GF Podcast 54: Our Big Disappointments of 2014 appeared first on GameFront.

Palm could be coming back to life — as an Android phone from Alcatel

31 Dec

There was a time in the last 15 years when the main mobile device people used wasn't an iPhone, or made by BlackBerry. Palm was the company changing the lives of people on the go with its line of popular PDAs. Palm's Treo smartphones were well regarded, but by the time the smartphone revolution was in full swing, it was falling behind. It ended up making an earnest run with WebOS — but a botched sale to HP finally sealed the company's fate.

The company as we knew it was put down by HP back in 2011, but Palm's trademark may be gracing smartphones in the near future. If you head over to palm.com, you will be redirected to a new site, mynewpalm.com, which carries the slogan "smart move." According to documents unearthed by the Palm...

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Apple sued for shrinking storage space on 16GB devices thanks to iOS 8

31 Dec

Apple's caught plenty of flack for continuing to sell iPhones and iPads with just 16GB of storage in 2014, and just as much for the amount of storage needed to upgrade to iOS 8, two things that a pair of customers from Florida are suing the company over. In a legal complaint filed yesterday in California, Miami residents Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara say that the 16GB iPhones and iPads they purchased had less than that amount of usable space, something Orshan contends was further reduced after upgrading his iPhone 5S from iOS 7 to iOS 8.

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You can now buy the Moto X Pure Edition with 64GB of storage for $599

31 Dec

Are the Moto X's storage limits keeping you from buying Motorola's flagship smartphone? If so, those concerns may have just dissolved. Today the company announced that it's now offering its unlocked GSM Pure Edition Moto X — which ships free of carrier cruft and bloatware — with 64GB of storage. That's a new option to go alongside the 16GB and 32GB variants that've been available since the second-gen Moto X launched earlier this year. Going with the Pure Edition is pretty much the only way of getting that much space for your apps, music, movies, documents, and whatever else you cram onto a phone; Motorola doesn't offer the "regular" model with 64GB through any US (or international) carrier. We really wish Motorola would take after...

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Looney Tunes Dash! Review: This is What’s Up, Doc

31 Dec
dashfeat

Nearly everyone I know grew up watching the Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings. The timeless antics of Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and all the rest of the Looney Tunes gang remain a centerpiece of my childhood experience. Surprisingly, Bugs Bunny and friends have not had an (official) presence within the modern mobile games scene until just recently, when Zynga launched Looney Tunes Dash! for Android and iOS devices.

Looney Tunes Dash is an auto-runner game that features all of the main Looney Tunes characters (and even a few obscure ones like Gossamer) set in their natural environments. The game is broken apart into zones and each zone has it’s own theme; the first zone is Bugs Bunny running from Elmer Fudd, naturally this zone takes place in a forest. The second zone is set in the orange desert that is instantly recognizable as the lair of Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, in which, you guessed it, players control the Roadrunner as it runs from Wile E. Coyote.

tunes2

If you ask me, a Roadrunner vs. Wile E. Coyote endless runner should have been a thing a long time ago. So it’s with open arms I welcomed the duo to my touch screen.

Other Looney Tunes characters make appearances throughout the levels, usually haphazardly making things a bit more difficult for you in the process. For example, the Tazmanian Devil will swirl out in front of you and accidentally knock over a tree that you quickly must leap over. Or Marvin the Martian will zoom down in his U.F.O. and summon Instant Martians down onto the road. Daffy Duck makes appearances from time to time, running ahead of you to steal your loot. Don’t worry though, if you manage to catch up to Daffy you can slide-tackle him to take back what is rightfully yours.

At first all the character interjections and obstacles seem random, and the effect is fantastic as you truly feel like you’re experiencing the wacky Looney Tunes universe. But as soon as you fail a level and must repeat it (or pay a fee and resume slightly before where you wiped out), you will realize it’s not as off-the-wall crazy as you believed it to be. In fact, it’s all planned out: the levels here are static, not random.

tunes1The lack of randomly-generated levels turned out to be both a negative and a positive. For one, it makes learning the levels possible and each time you fail at least you know what to expect the next time you approach that portion of the level. This is great simply because the game limits your consecutive runs (one additional run is added every fifteen minutes, with up to five runs total accumulating over time), so by learning the level’s layouts you become more efficient with each attempt.

The downside of no randomly-generated levels is obvious: repeating content is boring and annoying. Most of the time it wasn’t the actual level itself that defeated me, but my inability to complete the objectives that ultimately caused me to fail a level. Some levels have objectives that require you to destroy X-amount of items, or collect Y-amount of collectables. While I was an ace at dodging falling trees, Wile E.’s traps, and martians, I seldom completed objectives on my first run-through, as I simply did not know where the clusters of objectives would be that I needed to meet the requirements.

looney3So say I’m playing and I run by a solid rock wall that reveals (as I pass by it) collectables behind it. The only way I would be able to get them would have been to know to activate a switch I previously passed in order to raise up a jumping platform that allowed me to leap onto the cliff side, down onto the top of a truck, then off the truck’s roof to collect the power-up which gave me the strength to bust through the rock wall and collect the pile of objectives.

Silly me for not being prepared to do that on the first run through.

Looking at the big picture, this is a mediocre grievance at best. Graphically, the game looks so good that I  didn’t protest a second run-through of a level (though third and fourth run-throughs quickly wore on me). It would have been nice if each level run was as surprising as the first time I played through it, but I suspect that the dependable obstacle placement will help many players tackle the more difficult levels. Considering this is a Looney Tunes game, I am positive the target demographic is kids, and by keeping the levels predictable the game is teaching kids to utilize pattern recognition in a fast-paced environment. Which is pretty cool.

Looney Tunes Dash! successfully utilizes the franchise’s iconic characters in exciting ways which keep the gameplay lighthearted and fun. Though replaying a level quickly gets dull thanks to strict objective requirements, the levels as a whole are diverse enough to have kept my interest as they perfectly adhere to the styles one would expect from a Looney Tunes game: fast-paced, looney, fun.

The post Looney Tunes Dash! Review: This is What’s Up, Doc appeared first on Gamezebo.

Watch Mitch and James Play Secret Ponchos with Developers Today!

31 Dec

Watch live video from GameFront on www.twitch.tv

Happy New Year’s Eve, GameFronters!

To celebrate the end of 2014, we’re firing up the GameFront Gauntlet with a multiplayer title we’ve been enjoying for quite a while now: Secret Ponchos.

We played a little Secret Ponchos earlier this year on Steam, and we’re returning to it in honor of the title being free on Playstation 4 for Playstation Plus subscribers. We’re joined by a couple of developers from Switchblade Monkeys who hopefully won’t school us too much — but not promises.

As always, hit up the GameFront Twitch Channel at twitch.tv/gamefront at noon PST / 3 p.m. EST today, or tune in above!

The post Watch Mitch and James Play Secret Ponchos with Developers Today! appeared first on GameFront.

The Endless Test Puzzle Map 1.8.2/1.8.1/1.8

31 Dec

The-Endless-Test-Puzzle-Map.jpg

Welcome to The Endless Test! Your goal is to reach the end of the map. Sounds obvious right? Well, things aren’t always as they seem. It is compatible with any resource pack.

Let’s Plays:

Notes:

  • This map was designed for single player.
  • No breaking blocks or using creative mode. Also, use common sense!

How to install:

  • Download the map.
  • Extract file.
  • Go to %appdata%.
  • Go to .minecraft/saves folder.
  • If the “saves” folder does not exist you can create one.
  • Drag map folder into it.
  • Start minecraft.
  • Enjoy and play.

Download Links:

For 1.8

http://www.files2.9minecraft.net/index.php?act=dl&id=1420040440

http://www.dl6.9minecraft.net/index.php?act=dl&id=1420040446