RETRO: Microsoft Retires the Zune, Finally

On November 15, 2015, Microsoft made the decision to finally retire all Zune-related services. This announcement comes long after the decision to retire the Zune hardware itself in October 2011, with the urging for users to transition to Windows Phones.

Maybe our readers might have a more pressing question, though: what the heck is the Zune? You might have heard of it, but it’s just as likely that it flew directly under your radar, being that its popularity peaked nearly a decade ago and it existed solely as an obscure Microsoft-branded counterpart in an already niche market. Like Icarus, Microsoft tried to fly on wings of feathers and wax; unlike Icarus, they simply crashed into the sea.

After the jump, we’ll get into a brief history of the Zune and exactly why it failed as it did.

Read On…

NEWS: Psychonauts 2 Confirmed In Development, With Crowdfunding

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If you haven’t played Psychonauts, the magnum opus of Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Studios, please stop reading this article. Instead, go purchase a copy of the game, begin playing it, and do not come back until you have beaten in it in its entirety.

Caught up? Good, because if you finished Psychonauts you’ll be already chomping at the bit for a sequel. We have good news for you: Tim Schafer has confirmed at The Game Awards on December 3, 2015 that Psychonauts 2 is in development.

Once you’re over the shock, we’ll go into detail after the jump.

Read On…

NEWS: Nintendo’s Play Station Confirmed Real, Can Play Games

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We blogged about the Nintendo Play Station back in July when it was first discovered, and now a new development has occurred in its mysterious appearance. Now, on November 6, 2015 a new development has occurred courtesy of Engadget: the console is definitely real, and still in partially working condition!

For those who are not aware of the history of the Nintendo Play Station, it was a prototype-only console made by a partnership with Sony and Nintendo to bring CD-ROM based gaming to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

This story also details new information with regards to the Play Station’s discovery. The console was first owned by Olaf Olafsson, a former CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, who came to work at the Advanta banking corporation after leaving Sony. When Advanta went bankrupt 2009, a large amount of its physical assets were boxed up and auctioned off to liquidate. A Mr. Terry Diebold had attended this auction and, having packed some of the boxes himself, bid on items that he wanted. What he hadn’t expected, however, was to find one of Olafsson’s personal items in that box: the Play Station itself.

From there, the Play Station found itself in an attic for some time as Terry was not able to find any information on just what his new boon was. It wasn’t until his son Dan Diebold found a post on the website Reddit about the Play Station that the Diebolds got out the message about their find.

Now, four months after the discovery was spread to the internet, we have unequivocal proof that the Play Station is the real deal. It’s even in working order, although the acclaimed CD drive was not function for reasons unknown. For what it’s worth, this Play Station is the real deal.

NEWS: Nintendo’s Play Station Discovered by Chance

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Just last night (July 2, 2015), a practical unicorn has been discovered in the world of retrogaming. Nintendo’s Play Station, once thought to be long lost in the famous squabble between Sony and Nintendo, has been discovered in a box of junk.
Originally posted on Reddit, this massive discovery was presented as a mere accident: Dan Diebold (Reddit user analogueboy) claimed that his father was given a box of items intended to be thrown away. Amongst computers and PA systems was the legendary console, in surprisingly good quality despite its yellowed plastic.

What exactly does this mean for gaming history? Read On…

GAMING: Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – It’s Still… well actually it’s here now

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Scott Cawthon has announced that Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is finally out! Once again, Scott pulls through with a surprise release, dumbfounding those who had tried to come up with date predictions.

Out of consideration for those who haven’t played the game (it literally came out today), we will not be posting any more details about the gameplay, plot, and its twists.

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 can be purchased for $7.99 on Steam.

GAMING: Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – Trailer

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Get ready for… whoever this guy is!

Scott Cawthon has released the trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3. It features what appears to be a new character, contrary to popular assumption that it would star the Golden Freddy seen in the first and second game.

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Not pictured: the fan has also made a reappearance.

The story takes place thirty years after the closing of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. A haunted house-style attraction based off of the pizzeria’s gruesome history has opened up, determined to recreate the experience for patrons.
The new building that the game takes place in is a linear haunted house, with a single entrance and exit. The interior is full of the Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza animatronics, both the decrepit originals and their scrapped redesigns. Although the original animatronics are only hollow shells of their original states, the owners of the attraction have made a shocking discovery: they’ve found a working animatronic.

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Even killer animatronics remember to floss!

Currently, there is no confirmation on if the old animatronics will actually reappear as more than just background cameos. All current evidence states that the animatronic featured in the trailer and screenshots is the only functioning one.

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Finally tackling the “foul odor” claims.

The Steam Greenlight page is full of screenshots revealing new gameplay elements, such as a monitor that displays a “system restart menu” that appears to control audio, camera, and ventilation systems.
The graphics and animation look to have once again been vastly improved from the previous games.

Scott Cawthon has confirmed that the game still has a ways to go before it’s finished. It’s best not to assume that any rumored dates are true.

GAMING: Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – It’s Still (Almost) Here


It’s still me!

Scott Cawthon seems to have held true to his teasing: hot on the tail of the New Year, he’s updated his website again.

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Oh boy, here we go…

With an image of what appears to be Golden Freddy, the text “I am still here”, a small 3 in the corner that only appears if you brighten the image, the filename “fnaf3.jpg”, and meta tags stating “I remain” (presumably a reference to the previous tags, which stated “only one remains”), it’s not hard to see where this is going.

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This is great news, but it’s important to remember to not harass Scott Cawthon himself over the new game. He’s a busy man with a family, and just because he made Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 in such a short amount of time doesn’t mean he can do it again. If he does, it’ll be a great surprise, but it’s not something we’re entitled to.

GAMING: Five Nights At Freddy’s 3 – It’s Still A Mystery

In yet another surprising and somewhat baffling move from Scott Cawthon, has been updating over the last few days in ways that aren’t immediately visible or apparent.

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November 16 update (brightened)

On November 16, Scott had shut down his website, displaying only the header image and – in the center of the page – an image with the word “offline” printed on it. Brightening the image in an image-editing program revealed small text in the corner bearing the words “until next time”. (Many have noted that the alt-text on the image is “soon”, but every image on his site has had that alt-text attached for years now.)
There was a long lull in updates, wherein the fandom exploded with speculation: would this be another Five Nights at Freddy’s, or a new sequel to one of his older and less successful games? Would it be something new entirely? Was it even anything of note, or was it legitimately just Scott taking a break?

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December 6 update (brightened)

On December 6, the site finally got updated again. The offline image had been changed to display a large “3” in a corner, which was once again only visible if you brightened the image. In the page source, the meta tags had been changed to the words “five, nights, at, freddys, 30 years later, only one”.

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December 9 update (brightened)

Today (December 9), the offline image has been updated once again. The “3” is gone, but now (once again, only on brightening the image), you can find the words “Merry Christmas!” underneath the offline text. The tags have been changed to “five nights at freddys, taking a break, Merry Christmas everyone! :)”

We can’t know for certain if this really does confirm a Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, and we certainly can’t get too excited for the prospect of finding a Freddy Fazbear under our tree. But knowing Scott’s track record so far, we can look forward to quick and timely answers to our questions.

GAMING: Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 – Getting Ready for Another Five Nights at Freddy’s

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I’m not ready!

To the surprise of many, Scott Cawthon has released Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, the sequel to the beloved indie horror hit of Fall 2014. Although a demo was slated to be released on November 11, 2014, the full game has made an unexpected premature appearance. It can be purchased on Steam for $7.99.
The demo is still being released, for those interested in trying the game before they buy it. You will be able to download it from Indie DB. The demo will be two nights long, and some Let’s Players on YouTube have received extended versions, lasting for three full nights.

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Boy, I wish I could turn that fan off. [Five Nights at Freddy’s, PC]

For those unfamiliar with the original game, Five Nights at Freddy’s was a point-and-click survival horror game developed by indie developer Scott Cawthon. It was released on the digital distribution service Desura on August 8, 2014, and two weeks later got greenlit for a Steam release.
The gameplay is simple enough: you’re hired as a night watch security guard for Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (a pastiche of family entertainment centers such as Chuck E. Cheese’s). You’re given security cameras to watch, which run off of a limited battery supply – if your battery runs out, the power in the pizzeria will shut down. Intruders and burglars aren’t your main worry, though; instead, you have to focus on the malfunctioning animatronics, which roam the restaurant at night. There are five levels in the game, each one corresponding to a night of work. Your shift lasts from midnight to 6:00 AM, which is heavily sped up, amounting to about 9 minutes of real-time gameplay (5 minutes for the mobile port).

FNAF 03 the cast

From left to right: the party-loving Bonnie is rocking out on his guitar. Freddy Fazbear, the star of the show, sings up front. Chica, on the other hand, is more concerned with the cupcake she’s holding offscreen. [Five Nights at Freddy’s, PC]

The story, however, is more complex than it seems at first glance, which is part of what has gained the game such a large following.
The game starts with you receiving a call from a previous employee, who instructs you on the gameplay mechanics, and warns you very ominiously that your job comes with a tangible risk of death. His explanation is that if the animatronics see you, they will mistake you for an animatronic without its costume on, and they will try to shove you into a Freddy Fazbear suit full of crossbeams and electronic devices. However, the further you delve into the game, the more mysteries arise about the true nature of the pizzeria.

The open-ended questions and unsolved secrets has left players wanting more, and Scott delivers in the form of Five Nights at Freddy’s 2.

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Still waiting on a switch for the fan… [Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, PC]

This horror-packed sequel takes place after the closure of the pizzeria of the first game. An unknown amount of time has passed, and a new Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza has opened in a new location, with new and improved animatronics, and new child safety features. Even the guard you play as is a new character!
The gameplay at its core is very similar, involving watching over the animatronics and making sure that they don’t get you. There are a few gameplay changes, however. Perhaps the most controversial is the lack of closable doors, which makes hiding a much more intense experience. On the subject of hiding, this time around, you’re given a Freddy Fazbear mask to wear in order to convince the animatronics that you’re one of them. You’ll need it, because in addition to the new animatronics, the old cast comes back, and they’re still insistent on stuffing you in a suit.

FNAF 05 the new cast

New, improved, and out to get you! [Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, PC]

The redesigned cast looks gorgeous, with all of the character designs paralleling the real changes that have been made to family entertainment centers to make them more kid-friendly. They’re sleeker, brighter, and generally less worn-looking overall. If we didn’t know any better, they could almost be described as friendly-looking!
Though that’s the most prominent change made, there should be props given to Scott for the work done on revamping the designs for the old animatronics. The apparently higher budget has allowed for the broken-down robots to be much more frightening-looking, with more detailed texture work and more complicated models. The game has received a massive graphical overhaul overall, with a greater focus on detail, including animated rooms, characters appearing in the same room simultaneously, and more sophisticated lighting.

The story still has plenty of mysteries to be found. We’ve already discovered a great amount of new content, but we don’t want to spoil it for you!

Markiplier and Dlive are just a few of the YouTube community members working on Let’s Plays of the game. If you want to check out the game yourself, there’s plenty of places to watch it being played online, and the demo will be released in a few days. But if you can, please consider paying the $7.99 for Scott’s brand new game – it’s worth it!