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Cat-and-mouse: Arguing the case for Vita homebrew

Related Topics – Sony, Vita, Editorial, Homebrew
Cat-and-mouse: Arguing the case for Vita homebrew

A week ago, headlines hit the web claiming that the Vita was hacked--thereby restarting the devastating cycle of piracy that had plagued Sony's last handheld, the PSP.

Of course, that wasn't exactly true. Yifan Lu claims to have discovered an exploit--one that would allow homebrewers to run native code on the system. (Vita currently can run PSP homebrew.) However, while Lu has discovered the exploit, much more work will need to be done to enable bootloaders and the like.

Read more: Does Vita need homebrew? »

"You mean the one literally no one used unless they were building a supercomputer cluster on ..."
- ossprey    See all 9 comments

Editorial: Assassin's Creed needs more than Fassbender

Editorial: Assassin's Creed needs more than Fassbender

Video games and films are not generally on good terms. Hollywood has tried to crack the nut over and over, but the infamously terrible examples of adaptations continue to mount. Producers still haven't figured out what makes a successful video game to film adaptation, but we have a pretty good idea of what doesn't. And as much as I enjoy the work of Michael Fassbender, his name alone isn't enough to inspire confidence in the Assassin's Creed film project.

Read more: The script's the key »

"But... but Ben Kingsley was all it took to make Bloodrayne a good film! I couldn't even type ..."
- kallanta    See all 2 comments

Editorial: Diablo 3's poorly planned end-game plays to addiction, not fun

Editorial: Diablo 3's poorly planned end-game plays to addiction, not fun

I've tried to stay engaged in Diablo III, I really have. I got my monk to level 60. I played into Act IV of Hell mode. I created a Demon Hunter for a change of pace. I've even tried playing the AH game to make some money. But in the end, the game offers the same trap as World of Warcraft: Grinding for gear and leveling up alts is more of an addiction than it is enjoyable game play.

Blizzard has finally caught on to its end-game problem publicly, admitting in its forums that it knows the game does not have a "long-term sustainable end-game." Community manager Bashiok said they are working on lots of fixes and changes in patch 1.0.4 as they move toward PvP arenas in 1.1, but any further changes are still only a distant work-in-progress:

Read more: Not much planned beyond PvP patch »

"I agree there. Problem is all these wow annual pass freebie peeps think its supposed to be an ..."
- drac01    See all 373 comments

Counter-Point: Vita should be the greatest PS3 accessory ever

Related Topics – Vita, Editorial
Counter-Point: Vita should be the greatest PS3 accessory ever

This editorial is a response to Steve's piece, Vita needs less imitation, more augmentation

In his editorial, Steve argued that Vita was following the footsteps of its predecessor, focusing too much on me-too ports of console games. "I don't really want a portable PS3," he said. "And looking at the stumbles of the PlayStation Portable, I'm not sure the market does either."

I disagree. I think what Vita needs to be is the best peripheral to the PS3 ever. Vita's current shortcomings are the result of Sony's inability to fully embrace that philosophy.

Read more: Seeking cloud-based success »

"I'm worried about Vita. I can't see developers wanting to expend the same about of resources it ..."
- Peanut Fox    See all 7 comments

Editorial: Vita needs less imitation, more augmentation

Related Topics – Vita, Editorial
Editorial: Vita needs less imitation, more augmentation

This year was Vita's coming out party. Despite Sony's odd silence at its E3 press briefing, the company showed off 25 games for the device. More importantly, a significant chunk of these games pack cross-platform functionality or otherwise imitate their console counterparts. From PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale to Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time to the newly released tracks for Wipeout, Sony is aiming to make the Vita a portable PlayStation 3. Third parties are lending a hand with projects like the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (complete with transfarring) and Street Fighter X Tekken's cross-platform play.

The only problem? I don't really want a portable PS3. And looking at the stumbles of the PlayStation Portable, I'm not sure the market does either.

Read more: Some games aren't meant to be cross-platform »

"I think it's perfectly fine if the content is actually new. We're getting a lot of old ports, ..."
- Shai-Tan    See all 9 comments

Editorial: EA's response to FIFA 12 'money laundering' on Xbox Live, part two

Editorial: EA's response to FIFA 12 'money laundering' on Xbox Live, part two

Last night, Shacknews detailed a hack that has been plaguing Xbox 360 users for a few months. Some players have seen their Xbox Live accounts hijacked and--with the use of EA's FIFA 12--charges have been made to purchase content that can be traded to other users.

Hackers go in, purchase the content, transfer it to a "front" account, and sell the content for real world money. Microsoft is aware of the issue, but says the situation isn't widespread. EA on the other hand, has not issued a statement regarding the Xbox Live attacks--until now.

Read more: EA 'working directly with Microsoft' to combat FIFA 12 hacking »

"Ironically, my xbox live account was hacked from December 29th through January 1st, while I was ..."
- elmay61    See all 26 comments

Editorial: How FIFA 12 is at the heart of an Xbox Live money laundering scam, part one

Editorial: How FIFA 12 is at the heart of an Xbox Live money laundering scam, part one

On December 20, my Xbox Live account was hacked. The breach was sophisticated, more so than Microsoft wants to acknowledge, but at the heart of it is EA's popular sports franchise FIFA.

This breach isn't a new, hip hack that is sweeping the net, it has been happening for quite some time. My Xbox Live account housed over 3,000 MS Points and in one fell swoop, my balance was wiped clean.

Utilizing FIFA 12, players can purchase and trade digital cards with other Live members. Though this feature is also available in games like Madden NFL 12, the worldwide popularity of FIFA 12 has made it a breeding ground for criminal scum. Players get into Xbox Live accounts, purchase card packs, trade them to other accounts, and later sell the content for real money. Xbox Live breaches are not new, but the FIFA 12 hack is putting everyone on Xbox Live at risk in a new way.

Read more: Detailing the problem with Xbox Live and FIFA 12 »

"Sorry, "StepTo" is full of shit. My account never left my control, and it took 30 days to get ..."
- Jenkinss    See all 43 comments

Game Installations and the NXE: The 120GB Question

Related Topics – New Xbox Experience, Editorial

Now that the New Xbox Experience is here, and has blown our minds with its transplendent introduction film (I hear there are also some new features), the software side of the Xbox 360 has never looked better. But this free upgrade also presents a question of whether to boost the box itself.

As it happened, I was the last to learn that I needed a new Xbox 360 hard drive. I mean, my current hard drive works fine. Sure, it's only a measly 20GB in size, but that's enough for some Police DLC, and a few episodes of the Batman Animated Series. What more does a gamer really need? Read more »

"$100 for 120gb lol what? You can get a 160gb 7200rpm drive on Newegg for under $70 and free ..."
- phinn    See all 83 comments

Losing Faith: Nintendo's Ignorance of the Hardcore

Related Topics – Nintendo, Nintendo Wii, E3 2008, Editorial

Like many, I was utterly bewildered by Nintendo's E3 2008 press conference. The missing "core" game announcement was disappointing, but not quite as

unsettling as the unshakable notion that I was ultimately wrong about Nintendo's intentions towards gamers who've stuck with it since the beginning.

And as I walked out, I had the concentrated sense that as a longtime Nintendo fan, I was being forgotten, or at best, misunderstood. Read more »

"The sad thing is I see the video game industry looking like what the current film industry has ..."
- Jiggyful    See all 134 comments

Our Favorite Vacation Games: Shack on Holiday

Related Topics – Editorial

With summer in full swing and the 4th of July holiday rapidly approaching, it's likely that many Shackers are gearing up for getaways to the world's most exotic destinations. But you can't risk third-degree burns on hot vinyl car seats without a little insurance--namely, a ready supply of excellent games to play on the road.

As such, your Shack Staff has prepared a rundown of our favorite on-the-go gaming experiences to better prepare our readers for that long-awaited dream vacation to Scranton, New Jersey, or wherever your travels may take you. Read more »

"i've played all of the advance wars, this latest game is really quite incredible. i really ..."
- dextius    See all 31 comments

Take Cover: How a Cover System Spoiled Uncharted

Related Topics – Naughty Dog, Editorial

Be forewarned: the following includes spoilers of the late-game elements of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

Last week I finally bit the bullet and purchased a PlayStation 3 along with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. That game is undoubtedly the prettiest belle at the ball and quite a joy in the gameplay department, so much so that I'm actually finding myself drinking Sony's Kool-Aid, waving a banner for the HD revolution and preaching about set-top boxes and such. Read more »

"I agree. I think cover systems are great and should be implemented more. However, designers ..."
- AhmNee    See all 107 comments

The Unraveling of GameSpot's Ironclad System of Editorial Integrity

Related Topics – Editorial

The firing of Jeff Gerstmann from GameSpot, allegedly due to his Kane & Lynch, has been so widely reported at this point as to have gone past the point of oversaturation. Nonetheless, you should take a look at this blog post by 1UP editor-in-chief Sam Kennedy. He starts of with a reflection on the event itself, which you can safely skip; the more illustrative part is the middle bit, starting after the first blocked quote.

Soon after the initial reports, information started to come out about the management changes at GameSpot parent CNET that were leading to a shift to a slightly softer, friendlier GameSpot--a change from the site's reputation as one of the toughest review sources around. Kennedy's post goes into specific detail about the personnel changes, starting with the departure of GameSpot founder Vince Broady in 2006 and continuing to the ascension of marketing whiz Josh Larson to GameSpot's chief editorial position. Read more »

"On the contrary. I would say that if reviews are being targeted for people to encourage good ..."
- Zhaneel    See all 8 comments

Editorial: BAFTA's Games Awards Have Failed Us

Related Topics – Editorial

Last year, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or BAFTA, announced it would from 2006 onward consider video games of equal importance to both film and television. In prior years, BAFTA had hosted fairly minor video game awards of some form, alongside their flagship British Academy Film Awards and British Academy Television Awards. As stated in the auspicious announcement, this would make the British Academy Video Games Awards "the most independent and valued awards in this arena." It was an encouraging move from one of the most well-known recognizers of the world's art, lending legitimacy to the artistic merits of video games, merits long-deserved by an industry filled with terrifically imaginative world-builders and artisans of the highest degree. This makes it all the more disappointing that in only their second year of supposed platform parity, the Video Games Awards have become a joke. Things looked up after the 2006 awards, as the increased significance they gave the game industry's works with a televised ceremony and a unified awards show trumped BAFTA's previous attempts at honoring the art form. Sure, some of the nominations seemed to lack legitimacy--Ubisoft Paris' Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter snatched the Best Game award from contenders like Criterion's Black, Nintendo's Brain Age and Traveller's Tales' Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. And pretty much the same pool of six games were in contention for each award. But as an industry advocate, it was tough to be too critical on BAFTA's newly revitalized recognition of the gaming industry. Ostensibly, wouldn't we want them to continue, despite being less than ideal? My opinion changed after this year's awards, which made obvious the superficial nature of the ceremony. I don't want the BAFTA Video Games Awards to continue. Not in their current form, at least. Looking at this year's list of nominations as well as the official rules for eligibility on BAFTA's site shows how the game awards have quickly become a sham. Eight of the titles nominated for awards this year had not yet been released in Europe, with seven of them unreleased in any territory, making it highly improbable that each of the category juries made up of seven to nine developers and publishers had played or even seen a significant portion of these games. The reason for this is actually built into the eligibility process, as any video game released in the U.K. between October 6, 2006, and December 31, 2007, is eligible to be nominated for an award. This contrasts with the eligibility requirements for BAFTA's film and television awards: nominated movies must have been shown for at least seven consecutive days in British theaters during the year prior to the awards, usually held in February, unless a private screening has been set up with academy members beforehand. For the TV awards, held in April or May, a television program must have aired during the previous year to be eligible. Juries similar to the ones appointed for narrowing down the nominees and deciding the winners of the Video Games Awards act on each of the categories for the film and television awards as well, but it's assumed the TV and film juries have actually viewed their respective artworks. In fact, it's a requirement for the film juries, as stated on BAFTA's site: "It is the responsibility of jury members to see all five nominated films (three for Animated Film and Short Animation) and, prior to the commencement of discussion, the chair will ensure that this requirement has been fulfilled. If not, the member(s) concerned must stand down." To assume this same standard is upheld for the Video Games Awards would be ludicrous, considering the unreleased state of several of the nominated games. This fundamental difference, an unstated double standard between the judging of video games and other art forms, steals all legitimacy from these supposed "honors." Because if a game isn't judged on its actual merits, as seen by a member of these juries, upon what is it judged? It becomes a popularity contest on par with the hideously obnoxious Spike Video Games Awards, but it's actually even worse because the Spike awards have never claimed to be "the most independent and valued awards in this arena." The Spike awards are a pitiful exploitation of their target demographic, using video games as a backdrop, but that's exactly what they aim to be. It's fortunate that none of the seven (or eight for Europe) unreleased games came away with awards. But the issue remains that they were allowed to be nominated. It also doesn't make sense that unreleased titles would even need to be chosen, as there are plenty of titles released prior to the awards that would make much more fitting choices. The unreleased Kane & Lynch: Dead Men from Io Interactive somehow made it among the six titles to be nominated for Best Game. Nothing against Io, but I have played Kane & Lynch, and it will definitely not be the best game of the year when it eventually comes out. And what happened with Bungie's Halo 3? Sure, it came out just a month ago, but I'd say the judges should have had plenty of time to play with the most anticipated Xbox 360 title since launch. Not only did the game not receive a single nomination, but it didn't even get nominated for its phenomenal multiplayer, a category with Realtime Worlds' Crackdown and Harmonix's Guitar Hero II in its ranks. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas, another eligible shoo-in for multiplayer released last holiday season, also failed to receive a nod from judges in this area. Though the title was curiously nominated--along with Wii Sports--for the Strategy and Simulation award. And Wii Sports ended up winning that category. It would be foolish to think BAFTA would be able to force judges to play each nominated game all the way through before making a decision. But it certainly wouldn't be foolish to assume BAFTA could require jury members to at least play the games a bit and watch videos of them prior to making their decisions. If this isn't possible, perhaps the academy should call on knowledgeable parties with the time to experiment with and judge a multitude of video games--game journalists, perhaps--rather than designers and publishers busy with creating their own works of art. The eligibility requirements could and should be changed, making only games released prior to the start of the judging process eligible for nomination. The fact that unreleased games are delayed all the time--as seen by this week's multitude of release setbacks--would make it even more ridiculous if an unfinished game were to win an award, and then not hit retail for several more months. It would certainly be disappointing to see BAFTA discontinue the Video Games Awards, but it would be more disappointing to have them continue as they are today, a marketing charade with little respect for actual accomplishment. If video games were scrutinized in the same way as TV or film, more people would become privy to the fantastic worlds they make manifest, the indescribable sensations they unlock within the mind. Game designers and gamers alike would benefit from the Video Games Awards being a product of legitimate competition, a mark of true achievement. Because that's what great games are, and sometime soon, everyone will know.

Read more »

"You do like you do for a print mag with a six-week lead: play it with a list of known bugs from ..."
- ostrichboy    See all 48 comments

Top Games

  1. Resistance 3
  2. Kerbal Space Program
  3. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  4. ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead
  5. Broken Age
  6. Sniper Elite 3
  7. Hearts of Iron IV
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  10. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Most Anticipated

  1. Kerbal Space Program
  2. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  3. Hearts of Iron IV
  4. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  5. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  6. DayZ
  7. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  8. Hegemony Rome: The Rise of Caesar
  9. Wolfenstein: The New Order
  10. Batman: Arkham Knight

Top Rentals

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Beyond: Two Souls
  3. Batman: Arkham Origins
  4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. NBA 2K14
  8. Diablo III
  9. Madden NFL 25
  10. The Last of Us