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Archive

Archive for February, 2010

The Best of Big Download: February 22-28

February 28th, 2010 No comments

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Holy crap! This month has certainly flown by, hasn't it? It's almost as if the month had ... fewer days or ... hey, wait a minute! There are fewer days in February! Sorry about that. To help make it up to you, we've got Big Download's past seven days lined up for you below and after the break. Enjoy!:

Exclusive features
  • Boot Disk: Our retro games feature checks out the classic RPG Vampire The Masquerade Redemption.
  • All You Need To Know: Our 411 game feature this week gives you the info on Supreme Commander 2.
  • Freeware Friday: Our look at free games this week checks out the recently free RTS game Command and Conquer Tiberium Sun.
  • Contest: Want to try out the upcoming online action-RPG Mytheon? We've got a bunch of beta keys to give away.

Continue reading The Best of Big Download: February 22-28

JoystiqThe Best of Big Download: February 22-28 originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ubisoft inspired by Left 4 Dead's multiplayer

February 28th, 2010 No comments

Ubisoft inspired by Left 4 Dead's multiplayer screenshot

Now that you know all about Splinter Cell Conviction's multiplayer you're probably wondering if it's actually going to be any good. If you have faith in the quality of games that inspired by other games then you should have faith that the multiplayer co-op in Conviction is going to kick some major ass. Ubisoft is saying that the took a lot of inspiration for it from Valve's Left 4 Dead.

When asked what influenced the creating of the game Patrick Redding discussed the earlier Splinter Cell games before describing how the co-op came about. "A lot of my own personal feelings about co-operative play in Conviction were strongly influenced by the campaigns in Ghost Recon, Gears Of War 2 and Left 4 Dead - it's just trying to find ways to encourage players to work together without necessarily forcing them to by making them jump through the bottle neck," he told CVG.

Those are some pretty big names to be tossing out there. Hopefully he isn't just tossing them around to garner a headline and some press and they actually took heed to what works so well in the co-op in those games.

Valve inspires Splinter Cell: Conviction [CVG]

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Japanese hardware sales, Feb. 15 – Feb. 21: Stationary Year edition

February 28th, 2010 No comments
[Image via mlive]
We think we can all agree that Leap Years are like, the best thing ever. It's an extra day! An extra 24 hours you can spend doing whatever you want, unless it falls on a work day, in which case, you'll probably spend it working. It augments the month of February, changing it from a truncated, dissatisfying calendar partition into a slightly less truncated, dissatisfying calendar partition.

We had planned out a ton of Leap Year-related activities for tomorrow, but were recently crushed to learn that tomorrow is plain ol' March 1. We thought we'd memorized the time-old mnemonic device: "February 29 will join your collection, in all years including a mid-term election." Apparently, it ends with "presidential election," with optional addendum, "unless the year is divisible by 100, in which case, it's not a leap year, unless it's actually divisible by 400, in which case, it is a leap year." Man, what a stupid mnemonic device.

- PSP: 32,796 6,497 (16.53%)
- PS3: 32,130 7,319 (29.50%)
- Wii: 31,652 5,849 (15.60%)
- DSi LL: 24,388 3,198 (11.59%)
- DSi: 15,380 2,702 (14.94%)
- DS Lite: 5,053 606 (10.71%)
- Xbox 360: 2,453 975 (28.44%)
- PS2: 1,883 14 (0.75%)
- PSP Go: 1,371 23 (1.65%)

[Source: Media Create]

Read: The mnemonic archives

JoystiqJapanese hardware sales, Feb. 15 - Feb. 21: Stationary Year edition originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Activision shuts down fan-made King’s Quest sequel

February 28th, 2010 No comments
After successfully fighting a cease and desist order by Vivendi Universal five years ago, the unofficial continuation to the King's Quest series has been shut down for good. In 2005, fans successfully convinced Vivendi to allow the indie team behind The Silver Lining to continue development, thanks in part to a letter writing campaign. The original deal would see the game's authorized release as part of a non-commercial fan license; however, current King's Quest IP holder Activision has decided (after "talks and negotiations") it is not interested in entering a similar agreement with the indie team. In 2008, Activision said it didn't have any immediate plans to utilize the classic licenses (including King's Quest) it received in the infamous $18 billion merger with Vivendi.

What concludes is eight long years of development by a dedicated fan base. On the fan project's official site, a letter from the development team thanks fans for their continued support and shares its disappointment in the decision. It's always difficult when hard work goes unnoticed and we wish everyone involved the best of luck.

[Thanks, Chris]

JoystiqActivision shuts down fan-made King's Quest sequel originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Final Fantasy XIV PC beta to launch March 11

February 28th, 2010 No comments

Final Fantasy XIV PC beta to launch March 11 screenshot

We just told you that Final Fantasy XI was getting some brand new content, but who wants to play an old game like that? Old games are so old. New games are where it's at. The problem is that you can't play a new Final Fantasy MMO at the moment. However, the wait appears to be very short as Square Enix has announced that the beta for Final Fantasy XIV will be launching on March 11.

The announcement was made at VanaFest 2010, which is sadly not a festival dedicated to Vana White, but one dedicated to Final Fantasy XI players. It's a closed beta available to a very limited number of invitees that were selected from the pool collected in December. It will be expanding, however, as the beta progresses. For now the beta is simply PC, but that will change as well at some point in the future.

Anyone know that they're in?

The breakdown of Final Fantasy XI's VanaFest 2010 announcements [Massively, via Joystiq, via 1Up]

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Gratuitous Space Battles gets new expansion, trailer

February 28th, 2010 No comments
A second expansion pack for Positech Games' Gratuitous Space Battles is on its way from one-man dev powerhouse Cliff Harris. "The Order" adds 11 ships along with a new species that shares the $5.99 expansion's name. The expansion also adds four new weapon types and two new scenarios (one on a normal map and another in the game's survival mode). Haven't seen the epic battles of GSB? Check out a new trailer featuring the expansion after the break.

[Via BigDownload]

Continue reading Gratuitous Space Battles gets new expansion, trailer

JoystiqGratuitous Space Battles gets new expansion, trailer originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PSN is down, some titles experiencing game-crashing errors [update]

February 28th, 2010 No comments
A wide rash of game-crashing errors is spreading among the PS3-owning community at the moment, most of which can be chalked up to a 8001050F error code. This has led to a variety of unfortunate side-effects for those affected, including corrupted trophy information and an inability to access the PSN. When combined, those two issues prevent players from launching certain games, such as Heavy Rain, without being kicked back to the XMB.

We've contacted Sony to find out what's causing the issue, and when we can expect to get back to chasing down the Origami Killer. He might just be able to make a clean getaway while we suffer through this downtime.

Update: Sony has acknowledged the issue, and is "looking into it." We've yet to hear an official word on what the problem is, though it seems to be a bit larger than just the PSN. Owners of PS3 Phats are reporting that the date on their console has reverted to 12/31/1999, which is likely the cause of the data-corrupting errors. Some Phat-owners have reported receiving the errors while their console was offline, which is upsetting, to say the least. We'll let you know when we hear official word from Sony.

JoystiqPSN is down, some titles experiencing game-crashing errors [update] originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 20:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SOCOM cheater convicted in grand jury investigation for crashing Sony’s site

February 28th, 2010 No comments
There's a few valuable life lessons in the following story, so pay attention: A Pittsburgh news station recently reported on a 17-year-old boy who was disqualified from a SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals tournament after it was discovered he was cheating. In retaliation, the young man hacked into the official PlayStation site, and crashed it for 11 days back in 2008. Sony re-retaliated by opening up a federal grand jury investigation into the "cyber attack," which led back to the aforementioned boy, who is now in a whole heap of trouble.

The teen pleaded guilty, and was convicted on four felony charges: Unlawful use of a computer, criminal use of a computer, computer trespassing and the distribution of a computer virus. He'll be sentenced later this year. The moral of the story? Don't cheat while playing online games, and don't crash the web sites of gigantic corporate entities. If caught, you could end up being branded a cheater. Or, you know, a felon.

[Via Kotaku]

JoystiqSOCOM cheater convicted in grand jury investigation for crashing Sony's site originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PS3s Suffering From Global Network Lockdown [Psn]

February 28th, 2010 No comments

All around the world, PlayStation 3 consoles simply aren't working like they're supposed to, with an error preventing people from not just going online, but from playing some PS3 games offline as well.

From Europe to the Americas to, well, my house in Australia, users (mostly of older "Fat" consoles, those released before 2009's "PS3 Slim") are complaining that upon booting their consoles up, they're unable to sign into their accounts, check their trophies, use dynamic themes or access the PlayStation Network. That's fine, Sony say there are PSN connection problems, and that they are "looking into it".

Problem is, the error does more than just prevent you from going online. It prevents you from playing certain games offline as well. Even for some consoles that aren't connected to the PSN, like debug units. The screen above is what I was greeted with on a retail console when attempting to play Heavy Rain, and pressing out of it simply reboots the PS3, returning you to the main menu screen. It's the same story for other games that feature dynamic trophy support.

PSN games are no different; I tried to boot up "Flower", only to be greeted with a similar message about failed copyright protection, and it was right back to the XMB.

Sony say "stay tuned" for updates on the problem. In turn, we've emailed Sony for comment and will update if we hear anything more.

While theories abound that this has something to do with the calendar on older PS3s (some users are reporting their date/time settings have been reset), bear in mind Sony has redesigned its PlayStation website over the weekend, so it could be the result of some tinkering under the hood for the PlayStation Network. Then again, if consoles not connected to the PSN are also affected, it could be something else. Who knows!

Whatever it is, though, you have to wonder at the design process that turns a network outage into something stopping you from playing an offline, singleplayer title.

UPDATE - Sony has updated on an update, saying "We're narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all. Updates as soon as we have them."

UPDATE 2 - A mass story-telling session on internet gaming forum NeoGAF points towards the issue potentially being related to a calendar bug in older PlayStation 3 consoles, not the PlayStation Network as was first suspected. Bear in mind this is mob science, however, and is by no means official confirmation on the cause of the problem.



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WarioWare DIY was in planning since the DS was called ‘Iris’

February 28th, 2010 No comments
In an Iwata Asks interview about the upcoming WarioWare DIY, Nintendo president and expert interviewer Satoru Iwata revealed a previously unknown codename for the system that would become the Nintendo DS: Iris. "Iris was the codename of a next-generation device we were exploring to succeed the Game Boy Advance-in other words, before development of the Nintendo DS," Iwata explained. "Eventually, it became a two-screen device with the codename Nitro, which went out into the world as the Nintendo DS. So, broadly speaking, Iris was the foundation for the Nintendo DS."

And surprisingly, Software Planning Development's Gorou Abe had been thinking about a WarioWare microgame creator since the DS was called Iris. WarioWare DIY has been a long time coming. Elsewhere in the (fascinating) interview, it's revealed that some of the included microgames were made by debuggers during the QA process, who made microgames as part of testing.

[Via Siliconera]

JoystiqWarioWare DIY was in planning since the DS was called 'Iris' originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 28 Feb 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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