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Leisure Suit Larry Makes a Comeback in HD




Leisure Suit Larry is largely regarded as a pretty poor franchise by those who have only played the more recent entries in the franchise. Years back, it had its unfunny moments but was an extremely popular point-and-click adventure series. Nowadays it might be difficult to track down its better iterations, so Replay Games is hoping to revive them all for modern platforms.

Back in June, Replay announced it was working with Larry creator Al Lowe to bring the original Leisure Suit Larry to tablets, netbooks, and mobile devices. According to EGM, it now has plans to bring remastered, HD versions to an even wider variety of platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, OnLive, and more.

The first game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, was originally released in 1987 and then got a remake in 1991. This took the original 16-color EGA graphics (featured in the video above, which shows off the game’s first ten minutes) and upgraded them to 256 colors.

Should the new HD version do well enough, the later games in the series — there were six games released before Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust came along — could follow, complete with enhanced graphics, sound, and controls. Brand-new Larry games are also a possibility.

By Chris Pereira

Apple to Announce iPhone 5 on October 4 – Report

iPhone 4



The iPhone 5 will be revealed by Apple in less than two weeks, according to a new report.

October 4 is the date set for Apple’s next media event, reports AllThingsD. While the last three iterations of the phone were revealed during the month of June these past three years, this summer has come and gone with no official word on what’s widely expected to be the iPhone 5. There have been rumors for months about whether we’d see an enhanced “S” version of the iPhone 4 or a full-on iPhone 5, but the consensus has largely been for some time now that we’ll be seeing the iPhone 5 at the very least, possibly alongside the introduction of an enhanced, low-priced iPhone 4 model.

The event is likely to feature Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook. Steve Jobs resigned last month as he continues to battle health issue, leading to the promotion of Cook, who had been the company’s COO and Jobs’ right-hand man.

Following the October 4 event, the phone would be available “within a few weeks,” according to AllThingsD, but given how late in the year it’s launching, it could be even sooner. Fortune notes how much quicker the company has been to get new models of the iPhone and iPad out after announcing them in recent years; the original iPhone was announced 201 days before launch, whereas we only had to wait 11 and 17 days for the 3GS and 4, respectively. The iPad, similarly, had a 66-day gap between its announcement and release compared with just a 9-day wait for the iPad 2 earlier this year.

In addition to the announcement of the phone itself, the iPhone is expected to land on at least one new carrier. Sprint and T-Mobile are among those that have been rumored, and while the former seems very likely, T-Mobile’s Cole Brodman has shot the possibility down in an alleged internal memo where he wrote, “We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year.”

Rumored changes the iPhone 5 will see include an upgraded processor, a better camera, and a redesigned exterior. Exactly what’s right and what isn’t is hard to say; the new design seems to be backed up by an inadvertent posting for iPhone 5 cases on Case-Mate’s website recently, but it looks like we won’t have to bother with guesswork for much longer.

By Chris Pereira

Harmonix’s VidRhythm Lets You Make Music Video Mash-ups

More VidRhythm Videos



When word made it out recently that VidRhythm was coming to iOS devices, Harmonix was quick to correct those who called it a game. The Rock Band and Dance Central maker wasn’t willing to explain exactly what it meant by that, but it’s much clearer now.

IGN has word on what VidRhythm is, and it’s essentially an app that allows you to easily create a strange sort of music video. It’s almost like the iOS app I Am T-Pain that takes your singing and autotunes it. The difference is that VidRhythm throws in video and limits your contributions to very short clips that are then synchronized and put together to make a song.

“Multi-track a capella videos and other kinds of synchronized ‘video music’ can be really entertaining,” explained Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos. “It’s a young medium with a ton of potential, and there’s been a recent groundswell of creative activity in this area in pop culture. There are a lot of people out there now making video music, and some of the best videos have become big YouTube hits.

“But the problem is, making video music is difficult and labor-intensive; it requires special tools and expertise. So we decided to create an easy-to-use, lightweight app that automatically does all of the ‘hard stuff’ under the hood, so that anyone, of any age, with no technical or musical background, can just jump in and get right to the fun stuff.”

The app will ship early next month with 25 songs that you can pick from and various styles for the video. You’ll record six video clips that are then used to create the video, resulting in the sort of thing seen in the video above. The video can be uploaded to either YouTube or Facebook, or converted to a .mov file that’s treated like a video taken with the device’s camera.

Harmonix was definitely right about this not being a game. Games might be what typically dominate the App Store sales charts, but with the ease of uploading to Facebook and YouTube, this could turn out to be a big hit.

By Chris Pereira

Harvest Moon Boss Discusses His Company’s New Merger


Over this last weekend, Japanese outfits Marvelous Entertainment, AQ Interactive, and mobile dev LiveWare announced they were merging into a single outfit known as MarvelousAQL. It’s a merger that perhaps doesn’t have quite the blockbuster appeal of a Square/Enix or a Namco/Bandai, but regardless, it does bring together the producers of everything from the Harvest Moon series to hardcore RPGs like The Last Story into one company. (It should be noted that Marvelous is also the chief benefactor and main publisher for Vanillaware, whose last title — the PSP’s Grand Knights History (above) — is tearing up the sales charts in Japan.)

Yoshifumi Hashimoto, chief of the Harvest Moon series and head of production for the new MarvelousAQL, is upbeat about the benefits of the merger. “Marvelous’ main business was in publishing, working with outside developers on projects,” he told Famitsu magazine in an interview published this week. “AQI was stronger on the development front, so in that way, we’re covering the weaknesses of both companies here. Having a real development studio in-house gives us the experience we need to make better stuff. It’s really a forward-thinking merger.”

All three companies have worked closely with each other in the past — LiveWare, in particular, porting Harvest Moon to all kinds of mobile platforms in Japan. Along those lines, Hashimoto sees his new company’s future landing squarely in the realm of net-ready portables. “I think smartphones and other appliances like that will let us do what we haven’t been able to do with the Harvest Moon series yet,” he said. “I want to see a Harvest Moon where people who like the series and people who haven’t tried it can enjoy the game on their own respective levels. Grand Knights History was first planned out two and a half years ago, and we had to predict that network infrastructure would be more well-established by the time of release. With the Vita and 3DS out, net play on portables has become more accessible than ever before, and we’ll continue to actively pursue net-based play in the future.”

Does this mean that MarvelousAQL’s main focus will shift away from consoles? Yes, as Hashimoto honestly admitted. “I was interviewed by a few different overseas media outlets during the Tokyo Game Show, and one thing they nearly all asked was ‘Do you think Japanese makers even want to try making console games with the sort of big budgets Western studios have?’” he noted. “I certainly love console games and I’d like to make more, but what I’m more concerned about is the fact that the number of people who don’t touch games at all is rising. If you grow up without touching games, you’ll never return to them; you won’t be a gamer. At the same time, though, people who play games on feature phones or smartphones — they’re gamers.”

So far MarvelousAQL has announced three titles for the PS Vita, all action games or RPGs of one sort or another. For Hashimoto, it’s a good chance to carve out a new future for himself and his new outfit. “I always like looking ahead, doing new things that nobody else has done,” he said. “Nothing’s more fun for me than someone saying ‘There’s nothing like this game.’ I’ll be involved with more titles and it’ll be a challenge to see how much I can get involved with them and make them more fun, but I’ll try to throw my essence into them and just have fun working with my new co-workers.”

By Kevin Gifford

Xbox Live Gets an Official iOS App

My Xbox Live iOS app

Just a day after the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone was released, iOS device owners can now find the My Xbox Live app on the App Store.

The free app does what many hoped they could get from the variety of unofficial iOS ones released over the years: It allows Xbox Live members to access and manage their friends list, read and send messages, edit their profile, set Beacons, view and compare Achievements, watch select videos, and edit their Avatar. The Avatar functionality, when it comes to clothing, is limited only to what you already own; you’ll need to get on your Xbox 360 or Xbox.com if you want to buy that CM Punk shirt for your virtual Mini-Me.

My Xbox Live iOS app

As Major Nelson notes, My Xbox Live doesn’t include all of the functionality seen in the Windows Phone app, which allows users to search the Xbox and Zune catalogs to find games, movies, music, and TV shows. More impressively, the phone can act as a remote, launching certain content and then controlling it (pause, rewind, play, etc.).

The iOS app may seem gimped as compared with that, but the ability to communicate with friends alone is a welcome-enough feature that it isn’t such a big deal. Besides, it’s not as if you’d expect Microsoft to give away all of those features in a free app for a competitor’s phone. Still, it’d be nice if we see an update allowing the Marketplace to be browsed and downloads to be queued up.

This release comes just a day after the Xbox 360 fall dashboard update landed. It was delayed from its morning launch until later in the day, and since that time many 360 owners have been experiencing issues connecting to Xbox Live. Microsoft says it’s aware and is working on it.

My Xbox Live iOS app

By Chris Pereira

Last Year’s Steam Security Breach More Extensive Than Originally Thought

Last November, Valve revealed that hackers gained access to sensitive Steam user information, including user names, billing addresses, and encrypted credit card information. Via a message from company founder Gabe Newell, the Valve informed users of the security breach but added, “We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked.”


Steam


Nearly three months later Valve is still attempting to assess the damage, which, according to a second message from Newell received by Steam Users today, was more extensive than originally thought. “Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.” writes Newell.


While frightening, users shouldn’t lose any sleep over the news just yet. “We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised. However as I said in November it’s a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements. And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.” adds Newell.


The incident is just one amongst many high-profile security breaches to take place in the last twelve months. Last year’s disastrous PlayStation Network breach seemed to trigger a wave of similar incidents. As alarming as these cases can be, you shouldn’t worry too much about the breach. As Newell pointed out, Valve did not uncover any evidence indicating that the hackers have broken the encryption on the most sensitive information. That said, Steam users should take some extra time to double check their credit or debit card statements in the coming months. Just because these hackers didn’t break Valve’s encryption yet doesn’t make it impossible or prevent the criminals from selling the files to those who can.

By Ryan Winterhalter

Origin to Offer Game Center Style Functionality on iOS

OriginAt its Summer Showcase today, EA demonstrated iOS support for Origin, the name for the rebranded EA Store. If you’ve been wondering why EA hasn’t supported Apple’s official Game Center, here’s why: Origin on iOS will offer much of the same Xbox Live-esque functionality for EA games.

The demonstration centered around showing Origin on iPad. Your friends list shows not only friends on iOS, but also on PC, so you can see a friend playing Battlefield or any other Origin-enabled title on PC. Origin also allows you to launch iOS games from right within the app without having to jump back out to the listing of all your apps. The demo showed the ability to do this with Need for Speed: Shift 2, which will be available soon. Origin handles leaderboards and can send notifications to friends to alert them of things like a record-breaking time you’ve set in Shift 2.

As there are already similar services on iOS (Game Center and OpenFeint, namely), Origin means you’ve got another list of friends, high scores, and so on to manage. To encourage users to adopt Origin, one thing EA will do is offer Shift 2 players additional tracks and in-game money for using it.

Given how lackluster Game Center is, there’s plenty of room for improvement. However, the thought of yet another platform to manage a friends list on isn’t particularly enticing, although don’t be surprised if EA expands this onto other systems — possibly Wii U and its open-ended online setup.

By Chris Pereira

Vice City and San Andreas Could Follow GTA III to iOS

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Ask a group of people which is their favorite between Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, and you’ll likely see each game be chosen. Each one had its own very distinct story and setting, so even though they built upon what came before it (giving San Andreas the biggest game world and most variety in many ways), it’s not as simple as saying the most recent of the bunch was the best. Of the three, it’s Grand Theft Auto III being ported to newer iOS devices and a selection of Android phones to celebrate its tenth anniversary. There’s no official word on whether its successors will make the transition in its wake, but it’s apparently a possibility.

Speaking with Digital Trends, Rockstar suggested that bringing Vice City and San Andreas to mobile platforms would be a “technical challenge.” Both games were increasingly complex — especially San Andreas, which featured an enormous three-city environment to play in — but they were running on the same technology that powered GTA III. Perhaps because of that, Rockstar did say the mobile ports were “very possible” despite the challenges that might be faced in porting them.

It sounds as if controls will be somewhat of an issue for GTA III. There were plenty of complaints about aiming and combat on consoles, so one would think those will be even more abundant when players are forced to use touchscreen controls. Even so, the fact that you can play any of these three games — games that were groundbreaking titles no longer than a decade ago — on a phone should make up for having to deal with your finger slipping off a touchscreen analog stick every now and then.

Source: Joystiq

By Chris Pereira

Looking at the Future of Video Games

The 2012 Game Developers Conference is in full swing this week, sprawling across all three buildings of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. While lots of interesting things happen each year at GDC, we realize they’re often very dry and technical GDC is an swap meet where the people who make the games you love trade ideas, not a convention like PAX or a trade show like E3. In other words, you shouldn’t expect many huge announcements or in-depth hands-on with hot upcoming titles this week.

Instead, 1UP’s editors will each be tackling appointments, lectures, and interviews from their own individual perspective and reporting back to you on the angle they’ve each elected to explore. From the challenges of preparing for next-gen hardware to the role of narrative, we’re talking to the people who make games about the future of their work. What’s in store for them, and by extension, you? That’s what we aim to find out this week.


Can Games be Friendly to Women?

Unfortunate trends continue to make gaming hostile towards female players. Bob Mackey investigates what it will take to change this.

OP-ED: With Mass Effect 3, BioWare Snuggles up to Inclusivity

There’s much more to Mass Effect 3′s same-sex romance options than simply courting controversy.

Metanet’s Mare Sheppard Takes on Sexism in the Industry

The N+ developer explains why it’s easy to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying problem.

Harvest Moon Creator Yasuhiro Wada on His Game’s Cross-Gender Appeal

The farm sim vet shares his thoughts on winning over both sexes.

The Free-to-Play Minecraft-Style Kickstarter-Funded Future of PC Games

What do developers at GDC2012 view as the actual future for this most vaunted of platforms? Thierry Nguyen investigates.

MechWarrior Online Adds Depth to the Series

How the upcoming free-to-play game ends the series’ history with exploits.

We Finally See Sony’s Massive (and Free) MMOFPS Planetside 2

A quick look at the current alpha reveals a big shooter full of players, customization, and microtransactions.

Crazy Facts We Just Learned About Portal 2

Valve’s post-mortem on Portal 2 details random quirks like smoking mannequins to re-writing Garfield knock-offs to the Morgan Freeman Sphere.

What Can the Next Generation Learn from Gaming History? 

As we move into the next generation of consoles, Jeremy Parish asks how the classics of bygone days shape the new age of game design.

How Gravity Rush’s Designers Took the Third Option

As the American vs. Japanese game design rift widens, Sony proves it a false dichotomy.

Super Mario 3D Land: Game Design Before Fan Service

Why can’t Mario fly or stomp bad guys with Kuribo’s Shoe? Director Koichi Hayashida explains.

How to Resuscitate a Dead but Beloved Franchise

Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s designer on bringing a fan-favorite back from the grave

Square Enix Localization Looks to the Future

From spoony bards to mog clocks, how Square is tackling the translation needs of the HD era.

SimCity Returns as One Part Simulation, One Part Stump Speech

Maxis’ reboot goes all-in on the political commentary.

Keiji Inafune’s Charlie Sheen Moment

Ex-Capcom designer discusses his plan to restore glory to Japan’s games industry.

Let Me Tell My Own Damn Story

MyCheats editor Marty Sliva pursues his belief that games don’t need to tell a story, but rather supply the tools for us to create our own personal narratives.

Why Does Asura’s Wrath Not Trust Me?

The action spectacle stifles all user creativity in its aim to echo anime.

The Stanley Parable is a Crowning Achievement in Metafiction

How a Source mod moves storytelling forward in video games.

The Future of Indie Games

Managing editor Matt Leone spot-checks some of the most exciting small independent games and developers, then looks forward to what’s coming next.

The Prototypes Behind Journey

Thatgamecompany gives us an exclusive look at the prototypes they developed behind the scenes when making Journey.

Contrast: A Portal-Inspired Puzzle Game About Shadows

A new indie game centers itself on one mechanic — the idea that you can move in 3D or flatten yourself against walls in 2D.

Dyad Looks to be the Underdog of GDC

A musical slingshot tunnel racing PSN game mixes genres better than most.

Making Way for the Next Generation

It’s the year 2012, and we’re in the seventh generation of our current console cycle. Associate editor Jose Otero is convinced that this extraordinary period could be coming to a close soon, as rumors continue to point to the possibility of new hardware from Sony and Microsoft. Is it too soon to pull the trigger and move home consoles forward?

Next Xbox Rumored to Lack a Disc Drive, But is That So Shocking?

A new report suggests the 360′s successor will use solid state media in place of discs.

The Importance of Teaching Proper Game History

Educators argue games studies courses need to reassess the subject of game history.

Quantic Dreams’ Kara Demo Gives a Promising Glimpse Into the Future of Motion Capture Technology

The Heavy Rain creator’s latest tech demo showcases impressive results.

A Quick Look Back at Heavy Rain in the Shadow of Kara

Quantic Dream’s David Cage on if he’d change anything if making Heavy Rain again (nope), if he thinks the game would work on Vita (yep), and more.

Gaming's Vanishing Middle Class

As the industry polarizes toward insanely expensive blockbusters and free-to-play social games, Ryan Winterhalter asks if gaming’s creative, fertile middle ground is a thing of the past.

What Do You Want to See in the Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut?

Would smoothing over flaws destroy the charm of SWERY’s b-movie masterpiece?

How to Handle the Internet’s Worst Trolls

One developer explains how to make a deal with the devil.

The Radical Transparency of SimCity

Why Maxis’ new game is simpler, easier, and deeper than its predecessors.

How Saints Row: The Third Nearly Failed

Design Director Scott Phillips explains the lessons learned from the game’s development.

By 1UP Staff

Pokemon Game Headed to iOS and Android (Yes, Really)

Pokemon

A Pokemon game is headed to smartphones, and not by way of some unknown, foreign developer snubbing its nose at copyright laws.

The Pokemon Company recently announced on its website that Pokemon Say Tap? is coming to iOS and Android devices in Japan this summer. Besides the small graphic below, there are no images of the game as of yet, which sounds like a rhythm game that has you tapping on Pokemon cards. It’ll be available free of charge.

It’s a surprising decision to see Pokemon come to iOS, given that the iPhone and iPod Touch are arguably direct competitors to the DS and 3DS. (Many would even say they are cannibalizing the handheld games market.) Throw in the fact that the game is free — a model that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is not a fan of — and this is just bizarre. It’s not, however, the first time Pokemon have appeared on a non-Nintendo platform; remember that the Japan-only mobile application/game Pokemate was released in 2006.

Pokemon Say Tap

According to GamesRadar, the game will make use of music from the Black & White anime TV series. In other words, it doesn’t seem terribly likely that this is something that will ever be officially sanctioned for release elsewhere in the world. GR does point out it’s not especially difficult to make a Japanese iTunes account, so it might be possible to get the game in foreign markets without much effort.

The 3DS eShop launch brought with it the freebie Pokedex 3D. With the 3DS not selling as well as Nintendo had hoped, you would think it would do all it can to provide the system with more exclusive content. Giving away a game on smartphones doesn’t seem to make much sense even if it is something relatively small and insignificant.

Source: Kotaku Japan

By Chris Pereira

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