Dolphin emulator SVN r7613 released

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

Here’s the latest build of Dolphin, the ever-improving open-source Nintendo Gamecube and Wii emulator for PC. So what’s new in the latest update?

dolphin_nsmb2

 

Changelog:

    • The user Config directory in the dolphin emu distributed files is now an empty directory (since the portable file has been removed).  Hence that directory should be created and not copied.  This fixes a downstream packaging issue.  Downstream packages strip empty directories from the install.  So users of those packages will find that their settings are not saved.

       

      Developer’s note:

      Dolphin is a Gamecube and Wii emulator. Most games run perfectly or with minor bugs. Games are playable at HD quality, up to 1080p. This is a remarkable feature the actualGamecube and Wii consoles are not capable of. As an open source project everyone can commit improvements. The code is hosted on code.google.com. Dolphin is actively developed and almost every day new features are added and bugs fixed as well.

      System Requirements

      • Windows XP or higher, or Linux, or MacOSX Intel.
      • Fast modern CPU with SSE2. Dual core for a speed boost.
      • Any reasonable modern GPU with Pixel Shader 2.0 or greater. nVidia or ATI are good. Older integrated Intel chips may not work, newer ones should work fine.
      • For more information, see http://forums.dolphin-emu.com/thread-4.html

      Features

      • Runs the following types of games:
      • Gamecube Game Disc
      • Wii Game Disc
      • Wii Downloadable Games / Virtual Console
      • Triforce Arcade games
      • Action Replay Simulator
      • Xbox 360 Controller support, with rumble (KB Plugin)
      • Experimental NetPlay
      • Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering (OGL Plugin)
      • Save states
      • Memory Card Manager with GCI memcard export/import support
      • Real and emulated Wiimote support
      • Basic PowerPC Debugger and Log Window
      • DSP HLE and experimental LLE
      • Memory viewer and dumper
      • PowerPC Just-In-Time recompiler
      • WAD Support
      • Some support for Homebrew and XFB Emulation
      • Hi-Res Support, texture dumper, Free Look (OGL Plugin)

       

      Usage Notes

      • The GUI should be pretty much self-explanatory.
      • To use Action Replay codes, follow the examples in the Patches subdirectory. Use + in front of a cheat name to activate it. The cheats can be named anything.
      • To start in debug mode, pass /d (or -d) on the command line.

       

       

      Download: Dolphin SVN r7613 32bit

      Download: Dolphin SVN r7613 64bit

       

       


      *UPDATE*

       

      The Dolphin dev team has released the long awaited update of their emulator project, bringing it to version 3.0.

      Developer’s note:

      Yep, we really did it. Finally, after 20 days of string freeze and almost 3 months of feature freeze (totally worth it), we’re officially declaring Dolphin “it must new” 3.0 as released!

      As (something like) the release manager for 3.0, I’m proud of this release. It’s a lot more polished compared to 2.0 (especially the user interface) and should suffer from much fewer bugs. However, we of course still have a lot room for improvement, and for sure will further work on getting closer to perfect Gamecube/Wii/Triforce emulation

       

      Changelog:

      • Tons of bug fixes: This totally deserves to be a major point for this release. There’s been roughly 2500 commits between 2.0 and this release, so there are REALLY too many changes to mention. All kinds of stuff from strange UI behavior, crashes, graphical glitches and other sorts of problems were fixed. For example, many games which didn’t boot at all in Dolphin are working fine now.
      • Improvements to the user interface: The configuration dialogs were restructured in a more sensible manner to ease emulator usage for new users. The video config dialog received a complete overhaul and features a description panel for each option now.
      • Various feature additions: This release also features support for the Wiimote speaker, EFB format change emulation, a gfx debugger, audio dumping, and many other stuff
      • Low level DSP emulation: Thanks to numerous fixes to the LLE emulator engine, audio emulation in Dolphin is close to perfect now (provided that one has the necessary DSP dumps of course)
      • New API support: Added a D3D11 video backend and an XAudio2 audio backend
      • Removal of the plugin interface: The 2.0 release already had seen the introduction of plugin rewrites; the new plugins have been brought to feature parity and replaced them so well, that we decided to merge all plugins the Core. Further improvements are better suited as additions in the current infrastructure since this architecture allows for a much better integration with the other parts of Dolphin.
      • Translation support: Recently we introduced supporting for translating Dolphin into any language. However, due to a lack of well-done translations it was decided to only ship a set of eight translations (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish) with Dolphin 3.0.
      • Performance/Accuracy: There have been some performance optimizations (especially in the texture decoder), but generally speaking performance decreased in favor of more accurate hardware emulation.
      • Building Dolphin: The Windows build uses MSVC 2010 now, Linux users should use the new CMake build system. OS X people still compile Dolphin via SCons.

       

      Download: Dolphin v3.0 32bit

      Download: Dolphin v3.0 64bit

       

      And while your at it, don’t forget to explore our DL page to grab hold of the latest brews from all around the scene.

       

       

      Via [Dolphin]

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      Minecraft Modders Make Epic Tribute in Zelda Adventure

      /* Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 8:56pm [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Video Games    */

      Minecraft modder Gary520 has released a trailer to show off what is perhaps the blocky game’s most ambitious creation yet: an epic, 10-hour adventure based on The Legend of Zelda.


      wireduk
      It’s called Zelda Adventure and manages to squeeze the franchise’s most iconic elements — including a boomerang, a magical ocarina and an old man with a beard — into millions of polygonal blocks and boxes.

      Like other, more legitimate, games in the series, you’ll have to traipse through eight puzzle- and enemy-filled dungeons on your quest. You’ll scout through forests, snowy villages and endless deserts to find imposing fortresses, underground lairs and secret caves.

      You also get to go hands on with Link’s arsenal of items and weapons. You’ll get to grab distant rupees with a boomerang, warp around the world by tooting on your ocarina, blow up creepers with pixel-art bombs and defend yourself with a Kokiri shield.

      It’s all rather lovely and exquisitely well-made, with the only disappointment being that it’s not called The Legend of Zelda: Blockarina of Time. Gary520 is still working on the game, but you can grab an early release, with about five or so dungeons available, from the Minecraft forums.

      If you’re interested, though, best get it downloaded quick. Nintendo doesn’t take kindly to fan games and has quickly shut down fan-made content in the past. The Japanese firm killed off a homemade Zelda-inspired movie in 2010.

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      Modern Warfare 3 Treads Familiar Ground

      /* Posted June 22nd, 2011 at 2:55am [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Video Games    */

      Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, scheduled for release this November, looks and feels quite a bit like previous games in the shooter series.
      Image courtesy Activision

      LOS ANGELES — In a small, dark room hidden away in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 executive producer Mark Rubin pilots a SEAL delivery vehicle through a web of sunken cars and floating corpses.

      A massive enemy submarine passes overhead. This is his target. He slowly approaches the craft, plants an explosive and retreats to a safe distance. Boom. Rubin rises alongside the ailing sub, surfacing to see a New York City skyline under assault.

      This is the beginning of “Hunter Killer,” a Modern Warfare 3 campaign level shown behind closed doors at the E3 Expo earlier this month. The presentation started out with some unique moments — in 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, such underwater segments weren’t player-controlled — but quickly reverted to familiar territory.

      The 20-minute demo was full of high-octane gunplay and flashy explosions, but there was no hiding the fact that Modern Warfare 3 is the same old Call of Duty wrapped up with a shiny new bow.

      Modern Warfare 3 development began at Infinity Ward, but after much of the company’s creative talent jumped ship to Respawn Entertainment, Activision brought on internal development group Sledgehammer Games as backup. With such an upheaval in the development process, it seems the two teams have decided to play it safe rather than roll the dice on any risky new concepts.

      Nearly every moment in the demo was ripped straight out of an earlier Call of Duty title: Progress through highly linear environments, watch a scripted event, kill a few bad guys. Later in the level, after blowing up the submarine’s command center door with a few pounds of C4, players engage in a slow-motion firefight with the guards. You may remember these action sequences from Modern Warfare 2. They play precisely the same here.

      Don’t get me wrong: Modern Warfare 3 seems to be a phenomenal game. The gunplay is fast and furious, the pacing unrelenting and the visuals top-notch. This game also brings a more ambitious scale to its urban environments. As Rubin hops in a getaway boat, enemy forces pummel New York City in the background. Jets scream overhead as missiles batter the buildings, motorboats speed toward the city skyline and helicopters pester defending forces with machine gun fire. It’s quite a sight to behold.

      It’s just all so derivative. If this is your first entry in the series, you’ll think it’s a strong contender for game of the year. But if you’ve played the last few Call of Duty games, you’ll be considerably less impressed. The presentation was filled with moments of déjà vu: The sub infiltration looked exactly like the opening moments of Call of Duty 4, when Soap McTavish raids and escapes a sinking cargo ship.

      “[Modern Warfare 3] is our chance to bring back characters you’ve known and loved in the past to new levels with epic urban warfare, 60 frames a second, and smooth, cinematic action,” says Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey.

      In other words, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer didn’t want to stray too far from the game that outgrossed Avatar. The environments are fresh, as are a few of the weapons, but ultimately the gameplay experience seems to be a carbon copy.

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      PlayStation Store US Update

      /* Posted June 21st, 2011 at 8:56pm [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Video Games    */

      Here’s your weekly dose of US PlayStation Store goodness. What’s new this week? Check out the list of contents down below.

       

      psstore_banner

      PlayStation Plus

      Discounted Games

      • 3 on 3 NHL Arcade (PlayStation Plus price $3.00, regular price $9.99)
      • Madden NFL Arcade (PlayStation Plus price $5.00, regular price $9.99)
      • Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters Eagle Pack (PlayStation Plus price $20.99, regular price $34.99)

      Featured Themes Avatars

      • Growing Garden Dynamic Theme (Free and exclusive to PlayStation Plus subscribers)
      • Mega Man Legends 2 – 18 Avatar Bundle (Exclusive to PlayStation Plus subscribers for $1.99)


      Price Updates

      • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 – Sale (PS3) (now $9.99, original price $14.99)
      • Bionic Commando: Rearmed – Sale (PS3) (now $4.99, original price $9.99)


      PS3 Contents:

      Downloadable Games

      • Alien Zombie Mega Death ($7.99)

      Game Demos (free)

      • Virtua Tennis 4 PS3 Move/3D Demo

      Add-on Game Content

      • ModNation Racers Moon Colony Props Pack ($4.99)
      • Killzone 3 From The Ashes Pack ($4.99)
      • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Ressurection ($9.99)
      • Record of Agarest War Zero – Additional Costumes and Packs (free – $7.99) (x14)
      • Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds – Shadow Battle 10 ($0.99)
      • Cars 2: Add-ons ($0.99 – $2.99) (x4)
      • Mortal Kombat – Warrior Skarlet ($4.99)
      • L.A. Noire: “Nicholson Electroplating” Arson Case (Free with purchase of L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass) ($3.99)
      • YOU DON’T KNOW JACK: Jack Pack 4 ($4.99)
      • F.E.A.R. 3 – F.E.A.R. Pass ($9.99)
      • Yoostar 2: various scenes ($1.99 – $6.99) (x13)
      • Rock Band 3
        • “Blurry” – Puddle of Mudd ($1.99)
        • “Control” – Puddle of Mudd ($1.99)
        • “She Hates Me” – Puddle of Mudd ($1.99)
        • “Misery” – Maroon 5 ($1.99)
        • “This Love” – Maroon 5 ($1.99)
        • “Won’t Go Home Without You” – Maroon 5 ($1.99)
        • Maroon 5 Pack 2 ($5.49)
        • Puddle of Mudd Pack 1 ($5.49)
      • Rock Band Network V2.0
        • “Chameleon Carneval” – Andromeda ($1.99)
        • “Deception – Concealing Fate Part Two” – TesseracT ($1.99)
        • “Half Crazy” – Jukebox the Ghost ($1.99)
        • “Veil Of Illumination (Part 1)” – Andromeda ($1.99)
        • “Veil Of Illumination (Part 2)” – Andromeda ($1.99)

        Bundles

        • Killzone 3 Map Pack Bundle ($9.99)
        • Buy Marvel Pinball – Get ZEN PINBALL FREE ($9.99)
        • Cars 2: The Video Game – Undercover Character Bundle ($2.99)
        • Sonic’s 20th Birthday Bundle Sale ($19.99)

        Avatars

        • Prinny 2: Phantom Thief Avatar ($0.49)

        Game Videos (free)

        • Top Spin 4 – Playstyles Trailer #4: All Around
        • Call Of Duty: Black Ops Escalation Multiplayer Preview Trailer
        • Fallout: New Vegas – Honest Hearts DLC Trailer
        • Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2: Heroes’ Trailer
        • Call Of Juarez The Cartel Gameplay Trailer
        • Storm – Winter Trailer
        • Operation Flashpoint: Red River Trailer

        PS3 Themes

        • Armageddon Riders Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
        • PlayStation Move Ape Escape Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
        • American Pride Dynamic Theme ($2.99)

        PS3 Wallpapers (free)

        • Armageddon Riders: Wallpaper 2


        PlayStation Store for PSP

        PSP minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

        • Brick Breaker ($3.99)
        • Labyrinth ($3.99)
        • Solitaire ($3.99)

         

         

        Via [US PlayStation Store]

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        Watch: Shadows of the Damned launch trailer

        /* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */

         

        Shadows of the Damned will be hitting retail shelves in both North America and Europe this week. To celebrate the game’s upcoming release, developer GrasshopperManufacture has sent out a launch trailer. Watch it below.

         

         

        Created by renowned developers Suda5, Shinji Mikami and music composer Akira Yamaoka, Shadows of the Damned combines visceral, grindhouse-style action with a psychologically twisted setting to provide a truly one-of-a-kind vision of hell.

         

        Playing as professional demon hunter Garcia Hotspur, gamers must harness the power of the light to save Paula – the love of his life – from the Lord of Demons. Manipulating this balance of light versus dark gameplay in different settings and scenarios, gamers can discover new ways to defeat vicious enemies and solve mind-boggling puzzles.

         

        Along this hellish adventure, players will be aided by Johnson, a former demon with the ability to transform into an arsenal of upgradeable, supernatural weapons, giving Garcia the power to rip apart the forces of the damned and ultimately protect what he loves most.

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        Hands-On: My Friend Is My Enemy in Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

        /* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */

        Ratchet Clank: All 4 One is the first game in the series built for cooperative play.
        Image courtesy Sony

        LOS ANGELES — The latest Ratchet Clank is all about cooperation. And competition. At the same time.

        I played the PlayStation 3 title alongside a member of the Insomniac Games development team at E3 Expo earlier this month. The two of us had a hell of a time jumping and shooting our way through Ratchet Clank: All 4 One’s well-designed platforming levels. While we chased the monstrous Z’Grute beast through the city, we engaged in (somewhat) friendly competition to see who could collect the most Bolts, the game’s form of currency.

        Ratchet Clank: All 4 One, which Sony will publish Oct. 18, can support up to four players at once. After Ratchet and Clank themselves, your third and fourth players will be series co-stars Captain Qwark and Doctor Nefarious. The health meters of the enemies you encounter will be raised or lowered based on the number of players.

        Players can team up and compete with one another both locally and online, and you can expect to frequently shift between screaming and hugging, depending how much you secretly hate your friends.

        Though the idea is to get together and take on levels as a team, it’s more fun to think of All 4 One as a race to see who can get the most points. In order to collect those precious Bolts, you’ll have to break crates and kill enemies before your partners beat you to them. (This push-and-pull between cooperation and competition is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a GameCube title that Nintendo will release for DSiWare in September.)

        You’ll have access to a variety of weapons along with a grappling hook, which can be used to latch onto your friends and environmental objects. This allows you to leap gaps and swing across chasms in satisfying fashion.

        Though you might be screaming at your friends to stay away from your Bolts, certain parts of the game require cooperation. For example, after hitting a certain checkpoint and buying a certain Combuster gun, you and your team will start encountering bigger, badder enemies and obstacles that require simultaneous shots to destroy. In order to proceed, you’ll have to rhythmically tap the Fire button in harmony with your friends.

        You’ll also have to work closely with your partners while steering the game’s vehicles, some of which will require you to shift your weight by moving back and forth in tandem as you fly across pits of spikes or electrical fields.

        We dove and leaped through a series of platforms and levels, all finally culminating in a battle against the Z’Grute beast that required nothing but good old-fashioned teamwork. Once we used our Combuster guns to knock out the Z’Grute, the demo ended.

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        Review: Ocarina of Time 3D Reminds Us Why Zelda Is Best Game Ever

        /* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */

        Promotional artwork from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which Nintendo will release for 3DS on Sunday.
        Image courtesy Nintendo

        With a stellar soundtrack, thoughtful level design and a deceptively massive feel, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time proved to be the picture of polygonal perfection when Nintendo released it in 1998.

        One of Nintendo’s first 3-D adventure games, it’s considered by some to be the best-rated videogame ever.

        A gorgeously remastered version of Ocarina of Time hits Nintendo 3DS this Sunday. All the exploration, dungeons, puzzle-solving and story sequences remain identical to the 1998 game, but the graphics have received a colossal overhaul. Whether you’ve played Ocarina before or somehow missed out the first time, if you have a 3DS, you already know you should buy this.

        Playing the 3DS version triggered a nostalgia trip for me and for Wired.com writer John Mix Meyer. I was 18 when The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time appeared on the Nintendo 64; Meyer was 6. Despite our age difference, we were both addicted to Ocarina, and to this day rank the game among our all-time favorites.

        Like college buddies reminiscing about old flames, Mix and I wrote back and forth to each other, sharing our decade-old memories of Ocarina and discussing our thoughts as we’ve been playing the 3DS remake.

        As we await Sunday’s release of Ocarina of Time for 3DS, join us on this trip down memory lane. We invite you to share your own recollections in the comments below about one of the greatest videogames of all time.


        Mix,

        I was your age when Ocarina of Time came out, two months into my freshman year of college. For many gamers like me, Ocarina was pretty much the second 3-D action adventure they’d ever played, the first having been Super Mario 64. (We had to wait a long time between Nintendo games back in those days.)

        Since it was still one of the earliest open-ended polygonal games, I didn’t have the perspective to describe why Ocarina was so well-designed. All I knew at the time was that it was great; retaining the intricate, vast gameplay of previous Zelda games but doing it all with the new quantum-leap technology of 3-D. I rarely if ever replay lengthy single-player games, so I never touched it again in the ensuing 12 years.

        Playing Ocarina on the 3DS has given me a new appreciation for the game’s design. This is remembered as one of the best games of that early era, and the 3DS version makes clear why that is more than just nostalgia talking. It’s been pointed out in the past that because designers of early 8-bit games had so few pixels to work with, they had to wring as much meaning as they could out of each one, which is why those games could feel so well-designed compared to the more bloated, showy games that would come later.

        The same held true for early polygonal games like Ocarina: The reset button had been pushed, and suddenly designers were shackled by a new set of restraints, triangles instead of pixels.

        Image courtesy Nintendo

        The best game designers of the moment — and I think it would be difficult to argue that director Shigeru Miyamoto and his crew were not, in 1998, the world’s best videogame design team — clearly thought long and hard how they could use the paucity of triangles that they could render with the Nintendo 64 to create a vivid, lifelike world.

        On 3DS, Ocarina has received a thorough graphical overhaul, but the design of the world remains untouched. This contrast emphasizes the specific design choices that make Ocarina feel so much bigger than it is — it looks like it should be a modern game, so you can see when it’s not designed like one.

        Everyone always talks about how “big” the central Hyrule Field is. Hyrule Field is a tiny little piece of game geography, relatively speaking, trivial to create in a rudimentary 3-D system like Nintendo 64’s. But it feels huge when you traverse it, because it tricks you. The way the hills roll up and down constantly creates situations where you’re staring at a horizon, masking the actual size of the “room” that you’re in. It’s just big enough that traveling somewhere feels like a journey but actually doesn’t take that long.

        Miyamoto and crew didn’t have enough polygons or draw distance to have enemies roam the land, so they had skeletons crawl up from underground at night. These weren’t things one really noticed in 1998, lost in thrall to this game.

        What was your experience like as a kid? –Chris


        Chris,

        I was 6 years old when Ocarina of Time hit store shelves. It was my first Zelda game and, like you, my second 3-D action title after Mario 64. Its vast, vibrant world and colorful cast of characters captivated me at a young age. Here was a game far beyond even the greatness of Mario.

        Ocarina of Time established many mechanics that we see in modern 3-D action games. In 1998, camera controls weren’t as refined as today. So Miyamoto and the gang designed a superb lock-on system that would keep you focused on enemies and other things as you moved about. This has since influenced pretty much every 3-D game ever made.

        But, as you point out, it’s the limited resources Miyamoto’s team had that pushed them to make Ocarina of Time as timeless as it is.

        Atmosphere was hard to pull off back then. If you wanted the player to feel scared, you weren’t able to add a thick layer of fog and put in a few flickering lights. A lot of effort was put into making the different areas feel as real as possible, even with the limited processing power. One of the game’s final dungeons, the Shadow Temple, is a foreboding place with haunting music and rooms filled with macabre torture devices. This dungeon scared me so much as a kid that I had to have my older brother play through it for me.

        Ocarina of Time was a game of heroes and adventure and it came at the exact time I needed those two things most. I was born with severe pulmonary hypertension, so I was in and out of hospitals a lot as a kid. And when my increasing medical complications became too much to cope with, it wasn’t a dark corner that I fled to but rather the wide and fantastical world of Hyrule.

        It’s only 12 years (and about as many playthroughs) later that I can articulate these feelings. That’s mostly thanks to the 3DS remake. It’s an incredibly thorough overhaul — Nintendo left no stone unturned when improving the game’s visuals. But for me, the best part is how they touched everything up just enough that all the rooms are recognizable and none of the classic atmosphere is sacrificed.

        In doing this, Ocarina of Time 3D made me think more about my childhood than I have in years. –Mix


        Mix,

        You briefly mentioned the music, which is something I wanted to touch on. Especially after playing this remake, I would defy anyone to tell me that Ocarina of Time doesn’t have the best integration of music ever seen in an adventure game.

        You’re constantly using your ocarina throughout the game, playing little musical phrases on it to make things happen — turn night into day, open up secret passages, etc. What’s so brilliant is that composer Koji Kondo built the game’s big, faux-orchestral soundtrack out of these six-note snippets of sound, integrating these little bits of gameplay into grander pieces of music. The soundtrack isn’t just the backdrop for Ocarina’s action, it’s the very pulse, the lifeblood of the world. It’s the pinnacle of action-game soundtracks.

        The greatest joy of going through this remake after all this time has been listening to those old tracks in their proper context again — the up-tempo castanets and flamenco guitar in the Gerudo Valley gypsy camp, the reverent basso profondo in the Temple of Time. It’s superlative stuff, and it’s kind of a disappointment that even the Zelda team never did anything nearly as thoroughly integrated in its later games.

        Ocarina of Time is the music. Looking at the graphics in 3-D is actually quite nice, but the music is the thing that really pops. –Chris


        Chris,

        You’re exactly right; no other game uses music like Ocarina does. When you think of an area in the game, the music for that area always pops into your head. It’s the music that propels the game from memorable to unforgettable.

        Image courtesy Nintendo

        My older sister and I would ride Link’s horse Epona into Gerudo Valley just to listen to the music together. Sometimes we would manipulate their movements to make them look like they were dancing. That’s a memory I never want to forget, especially now that my sister has graduated from college and we don’t see each other every day anymore. That’s why I was thrilled to discover that the 3DS remake didn’t tweak the music except for a beautiful orchestral piece during the credits.

        I think the greatest thing about Ocarina of Time 3D is this sense of restraint. Even with the 3DS version’s substantial upgrade, I feel like the developers had a keen sense of what made the original game special. They didn’t paint over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel — they just filled in some of the cracks. –Mix

        WIRED One of the best games ever, remastered; looks fantastic in 3D; improved controls.

        TIRED It’s the same game you played 12 years ago and remember exactly how to beat.

        Rating:

        $40, Nintendo

        Read Game|Life’s game ratings guide.

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        Sony: We’re not sure what Wii U is, but it’s interesting

        /* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 2:54pm [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */

         

        NintendoWiiU_logo

        Sony president Shuhei Yoshida is intrigued by Wii U, but he isn’t quite sure what it is.

         

        “I was surprised to see the final product for what Nintendo was showing. It’s pretty close to what was being rumored,” Yoshida told IGN. “Lots of media had different interpretations of the rumors, and something I thought Nintendo might be doing was like a giant DS in your house. I was expecting them to do some demos, like Nintendogs coming from the big screen to the small screen where you can then pet the dog on the tablet controller.”

         

        “And finally they are going to HD graphics, which must please third-party publishers judging from what they were saying at the press conference. It’s interesting.”

         

        Yoshida continued, “We still don’t know much about the Wii U. It seems like the controller can only work with one console. When they show multiplayer they are using the Wii remotes. How games will be developed for that console we still don’t know. As I understand, the Wii U remote has to be in proximity of the console so it’s not a true portable device in a sense that you can bring it with you outside the room or house.”

         

        “I still can’t get my head around what it is.”

         

        Wii U has EA’s heads spinning. Find out why here.

         

        via IGN

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        Sega Pass service hacked, taken offline

        /* Posted June 17th, 2011 at 2:54pm [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */

        As you may be aware, the SEGA Pass system has been offline since yesterday, Thursday 16 June.

         

        Over the last 24 hours we have identified that unauthorised entry was gained to our SEGA Pass database.

         

        We immediately took the appropriate action to protect our consumers’ data and isolate the location of the breach. We have launched an investigation into the extent of the breach of our public systems.

         

        We have identified that a subset of SEGA Pass members emails addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords were obtained. To stress, none of the passwords obtained were stored in plain text.

         

        Please note that no personal payment information was stored by SEGA as we use external payment providers, meaning your payment details were not at risk from this intrusion.

         

        If you use the same login information for other websites and/or services as you do for SEGA Pass, you should change that information immediately.

         

        We have also reset your password and all access to SEGA Pass has been temporarily suspended.

         

        Additionally we recommend you please take extra caution if you should receive suspicious emails that ask for personal or sensitive information.

         

        Therefore please do not attempt to login to SEGA Pass at present, we will communicate when the service becomes available.

         

        We sincerely apologise for this incident and regret any inconvenience caused.

         

        We are contacting all our members with these recommendations.

         

        If you have any further questions please contact SEGA customer support on
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        Measure Up, the Best Wii U Game Nobody’s Talking About

        /* Posted June 17th, 2011 at 2:53pm [Comments: none]    */
        /* Filed under Video Games    */


        Measure Up: Wii U

        Nintendo didn’t show Measure Up at its press conference, didn’t give us a sneak preview of the game and didn’t release any screenshots or video, either. So naturally, it turned out to be the most fun Wii U game at E3.

        Hardly anyone played Measure Up during the annual videogame expo. Why would they? After waiting in line for however many hours, any E3 attendee was going to gravitate toward the Legend of Zelda or Mario demos in Nintendo’s cordoned-off area for the upcoming game console with the touchscreen controller.

        After being escorted upstairs to a hidden area in the company’s sprawling E3 booth (where we found rapper T-Pain), Wired.com played Measure Up, a two-player game for Wii U with a simple yet devious challenge: Can you prove you know how long an inch is?

        Measure Up, as shown at E3 in its early form, is a game for two players. On the television, we see a challenge; for example, draw a circle with a diameter of 2 inches. Each player takes the Wii U tablet controller in turn and attempts to freehand just such a drawing, using the stylus. After both players have taken their turns, the television displays everyone’s answer, then dramatically draws a perfect answer bit by bit, eventually showing who came closest.

        Then it moves on to other, more difficult challenges, like drawing an angle of a certain size or drawing a long, looping line around the tablet that measures a total of 12 inches long.

        I played several other multiplayer Wii U games at E3, but I didn’t feel nearly the sense of competitiveness during those sessions as I did while playing Measure Up. You really, really don’t want to screw this up — who wants to be the person who doesn’t know how long an inch is?

        This game will be hilarious, because it shows the gap between what you think you know and what you don’t, then compares you to a friend (or, following a Measure Up session, quite possibly an enemy).

        Unassuming and ignored (by both Nintendo and by the press) as it may be, Measure Up has everything that a good Wii U game needs. It’s simple, easy to jump into, would never work without the next-gen console’s tablet controller and is a great deal of fun.

        I’ll go on record right now as saying that whatever package of mini-games this software ends up in will be one of the bigger Wii U launch titles. If Nintendo can come up with more ideas like this one, Wii U will be significantly better received the next time it is shown.

        All photos: Jon Snyder/Wired.com

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