All posts by etcspectre

Why I Like: Skylanders

We all know Activision is well-known for milking a cash cow until they die (see the history of the Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk franchises), and that might be the fate of the extremely popular toy and video game crossover title, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, but can’t we enjoy it while its new and still good? Something as innovative and well put together as this deserves some positive attention, and it’s just not fair how many people are immediately writing it off as just another attempt to cash in on needy children and the parents willing to spend anything to make them happy. In reality, it’s a good game with a great premise that happens to suffer from being under Activision’s greedy control.

Continue reading Why I Like: Skylanders

What Makes a ‘Game of the Year’?

With TheSpeedGamers’ Community Game of the Year voting underway, I’m taking the time to address an issue that has aggravated me with previous claims of “Game of the Year.” Some sites, news sources, awards shows and the like merely look at the sales figures and rationalize that the Game of the Year is merely the game that sold the most copies. Still more don’t know enough about games to decide for themselves, and just listen to the loudest, most obnoxious fans who demand that their favorite game be declared the winner.

Is it sales figures, the most dedicated fans or something more that should be weighed in for considering the Game of the Year? What I’m asking is, what makes a great game?

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Trenched (Iron Brigade) Review

Trenched, or Iron Brigade as the original title was changed to (it’s still called Trenched in the US until November 30th, when it releases in Europe), is yet another stylized title in the portfolio of developer Double Fine Games. It takes the third person shooter genre and tilts it on its ear, adding in strong tower defense elements as your mechanized mobile armor, called a trench, stands guard against waves of various televised monstrosities, the pawns of two altered geniuses locked in battle with the fate of the world on the line. So is their arcade offering a blast, or is Iron Brigade shooting blanks?

Continue reading Trenched (Iron Brigade) Review

Retailer Premiums: Something More or Something Less?

A common trend for new games as of late is that of retailer-specific premiums; content for your game that can only be obtained if bought from one certain location. For example, retailer A might have a special weapon for the game that you want while retailer B has an extra mission, and online store C might have a different game mode entirely. Practices such as this change the consumer’s choice of where to buy their game from one of convenience to that of finding the store which has the best bonuses.

Continue reading Retailer Premiums: Something More or Something Less?

Under the Radar for Q1 2012

With so many games coming out all the time, it’s easy for some good ones to get lost in the sea of marketing hype and extra attention given to the biggest blockbuster titles. This entry is meant to help shine some light on a few games coming out in the first quarter of 2012 that might not be getting as much attention as they deserve.

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No Online Play for Monster Hunter Tri G

Capcom’s done it again- in their campaign to garner as much hatred as possible from their fanbase through alienating them little by little, they’ve decided to remove one of the most popular features of their Monster Hunter series from the 3DS port coming soon.

As for online features for the mostly online-based RPG, the portable rendition of the Wii version will be limited to quest downloads, with the series’ defining co-op limited to local Wi-Fi only.

(Source: NintendoEverything)

Mojang Wins First Battle in the “Scrolls” War

Following up on our previous coverage of the ZeniMax(Parent company of Bethesda) v Mojang lawsuit over the rights to use the word “Scrolls” in a video game, an interim injunction filed by the party of the first part(ZeniMax) against the party of the second part(Mojang) to prevent use of the word in question, “Scrolls”, until the settlement of the lawsuit has been denied by the courts.

ZeniMax can still appeal, and the actual lawsuit hasn’t even begun, but here’s hoping that they take the hint and drop the case, diverting the time and money wasted by this mockery of the justice system into more profitable outlets(like Fallout 4, Skyrim DLC, etc.)…

Continue reading Mojang Wins First Battle in the “Scrolls” War

PSA: PSN and SOE Attacked AGAIN, Better Go Change Your Password

Sony just can’t catch a break: Late last night/early this morning, hackers attempted to compromise the accounts of Playstation Network and Sony Online Entertainment users through an unsophisticated brute force attack, simply attempting to match login credentials(i.e. usernames and passwords) obtained from other hacked websites.

This attack was far less successful than past hacking attempts, only compromising the accounts of around 93,000 users, which is less than one tenth of a percent(0.1%). Nonetheless, better safe than sorry- and as a word of advice I’d recommend changing your passwords again, which is also recommended by new Sony Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger:

We want to let you know that we have detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment (“Networks”) services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database. These attempts appear to include a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources. In this case, given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks. We have taken steps to mitigate the activity.

Less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of our PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected. There were approximately 93,000 accounts globally (PSN/SEN: approximately 60,000 accounts; SOE: approximately 33,000) where the attempts succeeded in verifying those accounts’ valid sign-in IDs and passwords, and we have temporarily locked these accounts. Only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked. We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorized access, and will provide more updates as we have them. Please note, if you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk. We will work with any users whom we confirm have had unauthorized purchases made to restore amounts in the PSN/SEN or SOE wallet.

As a preventative measure, we are requiring secure password resets for those PSN/SEN accounts that had both a sign-in ID and password match through this attempt. If you are in the small group of PSN/SEN users who may have been affected, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will prompt you to reset your password.

Similarly, the SOE accounts that were matched have been temporarily turned off. If you are among the small group of affected SOE customers, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will advise you on next steps in order to validate your account credentials and have your account turned back on.

We want to take this opportunity to remind our consumers about the increasingly common threat of fraudulent activity online, as well as the importance of having a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites. We encourage you to choose unique, hard-to-guess passwords and always look for unusual activity in your account.

So if your account was affected they’ll let you know, and if they almost hacked into your account they’ll make you set a new password, though once again, it’s recommended that all users change their password for security’s sake.

(Source: PlayStation Blog)

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter Review

With the DS getting killed off by its 3D-capable big brother, it’s becoming harder and harder to find new titles for the original system that are more than mere shovelware. With this game being the spiritual successor to a cult classic and hidden gem of the PSX, as well as being a decade in the making, is Solatorobo: Red the Hunter a well nurtured developer’s dream or is it a little too aged to stand on its own against the competition? Continue reading Solatorobo: Red the Hunter Review

New 320GB 360S HDD Coming Next Month

Bought a new 250GB Slim model 360 only to be outclassed by your buddies and their shiny new limited edition consoles, rubbing their larger hard drives in your face?

Well, put your jealousy to rest later this month when Microsoft makes that same hard drive available to buy for a measly $129.99! And to make it even more tempting, they’re throwing in a free download of LEGO Star Wars III!

And considering that’s currently the price point of the 250GB hard drive, it’s more than likely the smaller option will get a reduced price soon as well.

(Source: Destructoid)