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The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

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Modern Combat 5 cracked, pirated by contest winner

Pirated copies of the mobile first-person shooter Modern Combat 5: Blackout flooded torrent websites this weekend, reportedly originating from a copy of the game distributed by the developer as part of a contest.

Gameloft held the giveaway recently, inviting players into the game early. "One of the winners cracked and uploaded it," Touch Arcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp tweeted. Thousands of players are already online, he added.

"As you can imagine I am really pissed off," Gameloft community manager Florian Weber wrote in a message on a Modern Combat Facebook group HUB page. "To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them? Anybody which is talking to me and shows in some way that he already has MC5 will get an instant ban."

In a separate statement, Gameloft said it has activated its anti-piracy measures in the game and that all "illegitimate users on a non-official version have been incapacitated." Modern Combat 5 officially launches for iOS, Android and Windows 8 devices on July 24. "We will continue to stay alert and respond adequately to all hacking attempts," Gameloft further promised.

[Art: Gameloft]

Overkill 3 shifts to third person shooting on mobile devices


Overkill 3 pulls back from the series' fondness for staring down gun sights, focusing on third person, cover-focused gameplay. Developer Craneballs Studios released the above teaser this week, giving fans snapshots of the locales, infantry and vehicles they'll riddle with bullets on their Android and iOS devices in Q3 of this year.

Serving as Craneballs' first project developed with Unity, Overkill 3 will spread more than 50 unique levels and a dozen boss fights across 10 environments. There should be a noticeable uptick in visuals too, as Overkill 3's opposing forces have "6-10 times more polygons" than the targets found in its predecessor.
[Image: Craneballs]

More than 1 million sales are comin' round Monument Valley

Monument Valley, an Apple Design Award-winning game that twists player perspective like an MC Escher painting twists stairs, has surpassed more than one million sales. We're not sure what that number means to a game that cares nothing for the laws of physics, but developer ustwo seems pleased enough to start planning for post-release content.

Producer Dan Gray told TechCrunch that the team plans to double the average gameplay time of 90 minutes with additional "lost scenes" for the game. Gray wasn't sure if these scenes would be sold or free to download, but either way they'll take place outside of the main story. Ustwo is aiming to release the extra levels sometime in the fall.

If you're not sure what all the fuss is about, Monument Valley - along with its fellow Design Award winners - is on sale in the iTunes store.
[Image: ustwo]

Europe wants better safeguards on in-app iOS purchases

It appears the European Commission isn't thrilled with Apple's slow movement to provide more safeguards from accidental in-app purchases made on its devices. The administration issued a press release today discussing joint action from the firm and member states to enforce better protection for consumers in regards to incidental purchases, praising Google's proposed solutions to the issue.

"Although, regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation," the European Commission wrote, noting that Apple said it will address the issues in due time, though it did not provide a time-frame for the changes. An Apple spokesman told Reuters that "over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked," and that it will "continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns."

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper relives the series' battles for mobile

Square Enix revealed Final Fantasy Record Keeper today, a new mobile game that remixes memorable battles from the popular RPG series. The game is in development by DeNA for iOS and Android, and has players clearing dungeons that represent individual games in the Final Fantasy series.

The game stars Deci, a worker in Dr. Mog's history department, according to Siliconera. Thanks to Dr. Mog's magical abilities, Deci is able to dive into paintings to clear the 16-bit-style dungeons from games in the series, eventually unlocking characters from those games, such as Final Fantasy 7's Cloud. After unlocking the familiar heroes, players can bring the companion of their choice into other dungeons, equipping new weapons and abilities along the way. Final Fantasy Record Keeper will launch this summer for free in Japan, and will support microtransactions.
[Image: Square Enix]

Hyper Light Drifter dev debuts Scrabble/DDR hybrid Alphbeats


Hyper Light Drifter developer Teddy Diefenbach has launched Alphabeats, a stylish word puzzler for iOS featuring Dance Dance Revolution-styled rhythm gameplay.

In Alphabeats, players slide a paddle across the bottom of the screen that grows in size as it catches falling letters. Captured letters can be strung together to form words, which translate to points tallied at the end of each track. Fez composer Disasterpeace and Threes' Big Giant Circles headline Alphabeat's electronic soundtrack, with additional songs available via in-app purchases.

Alphabeat is priced at $1.99.

[Image: Rad Dragon]

Free-to-play Assassin's Creed Memories announced for iOS

Ubisoft revealed today that a new free-to-play entry in its Assassin's Creed series is coming soon to Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in collaboration with mobile publishers GREE and PlayNext.

Boasting gameplay that mixes "RPG, strategy and card battle elements," the upcoming Assassin's Creed Memories takes place across multiple eras featured in previous Assassin's Creed games, including Colonial America and Renaissance Italy. Memories offers detailed character customization mechanics, and features a single-player story mode in addition to a multiplayer component that supports up to 20 players per team.

A release date for Assassin's Creed Memories is not yet known.

[Image: Ubisoft]

Hearthstone's Naxxramas expansion begins July 22

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft single-player Adventure Mode, Curse of Naxxramas, will unleash the hounds on July 22. The 30 new Death Rattle-focused cards will be available over five weeks as sections of the game open.

The price per wing is 700 gold apiece, but there are also real-money options available. The expansion will go live globabally on PC, Mac and iPad. Are you prepared?
[Image: Blizzard]

Walking Dead S2 Episode 4 gets release dates, trailer

Telltale Games revealed this morning that the snuggle-huggle fest known as The Walking Dead: Season 2 will return later this month with episode four.

The current release schedule:
PC and Mac worldwide, PlayStation 3 and Vita in North America: July 22
Xbox 360 worldwide and PlayStation Europe: July 23
iOS: July 24

We've placed the spoiler-containing trailer for the latest comforting episode after the break.

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Tinker Bell and Stitch run wild in Disney Infinity 2.0

Image Disney Infinity 2.0 is getting two characters tiny in stature but big on charm: Stitch and Tinker Bell. A new trailer shows off Tink and Stitch's moves in the Toy Box, including motorcycles, gloves that shoot pink cat faces and guns that spew colors. [Image: Disney]... Continue Reading

First-person runner Fotonica premiering for iOS this summer

Santa Ragione's first-person endless runner Fotonica is coming to iOS devices this summer, building on its minimalist premise with a collection of new modes, levels, and online rankings.

You may recall spending some time with Fotonica following its initial launch via Kongregate in 2011. Since then, the game has grown in scope for a Windows and Mac release, with the upcoming iOS and Steam versions boasting a local multiplayer mode and five new stages in addition to three endless, procedurally generated levels.

DRM-free Windows and Mac versions of Fotonica are currently available for $4.99 via its official website. Fotonica was Greenlit last year, and buyers will receive Steam keys following its launch at Valve's online storefront.

[Image: Santa Ragione]

Space survival sim Out There goes multiplatform with Omega Edition

Developer Mi-Clos Studio's spacefaring resource management game Out There will soon hit Windows, Mac, Linux, Windows Phone and "an unannounced platform" with the upcoming launch of Out There: Omega Edition.

Omega Edition expands on Out There's initial iOS and Android release with new alien breeds, additional ships, and a collection of 50 text adventures that flesh out the game's otherworldly environments. Out There challenges players to survive in an uncharted and hostile section of the galaxy, finding and maintaining garden planets as they gradually become better equipped to take on aggressive alien forces.

Players who purchased Out There on iOS or Android will be able to upgrade to Omega Edition for free upon its launch. The PC version is currently up for vote at Steam Greenlight.

[Image: Mi-Clos Studio]

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Resident Evil's monsters invade Deadman's Cross

Card game / first-person shooter Deadman's Cross is about to get even more deader, thanks to an injection of Resident Evil's particular brand of horror. From now until July 27, players will be able to access Raccoon City as a special hunt area, where they'll be able to take down and collect some of Resident Evil's most iconic monstrosities. These include the Tyrant, gross zombie dogs, chainsaw dude from Resident Evil 4 and, of course, Nemesis.

Also, lest Resident Evil's Lickers give you the wrong idea, remember to never lick your mobile device. Deadman's Cross is available now on the App Store and Google Play.
[Image: Square Enix]

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Six retailers, six pre-order bonuses for Lego Batman 3

If you're planning to pre-order Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, you've got some homework to do. Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive is rolling out a bevy of pre-order bonuses, but all six are retailer exclusive.

In nearly alphabetical order: Amazon offers players a Lego Batgirl keychain, Best Buy hopes to pull in pre-orders with the official Lego Batman 3 digital comic book, while GameStop has a Lego Plastic Man minifigure and Toys R Us is promoting its pre-orders with a Lego Joker keychain. Target and Wal-Mart are the only retailers offering Lego minisets, a Lego Batwing for Target, and a Lego Tumbler for Wal-Mart.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is currently slated for release on nearly every platform (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Wii U, 3DS) toward the end of 2014.
[Image: WBIE]

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