Gamers Force Microsoft To Reverse Course on Xbox One Policies

Microsoft just learned the hard way that they shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them.  The mega popular Xbox is due for an upgrade later this year and with it, Microsoft saw the new upgrade cycle as a way to lock down the new gaming console; a move that turned out to be very unpopular with the people they want to sell the new system too.

The Xbox One, the follow on produce to the current generation console known as the Xbox 360, was to have a “call home” feature that would check in with Microsoft’s servers daily.  While a version of this feature has been in recent versions of their Windows desktop and server operating systems, this was the first time the “feature” was to be included in the Xbox operating system.  Similarly, Microsoft was hoping to tamp down game piracy, and customers ability to lend, share, trade, and re-sell their games, by seriously limiting or removing the ability to use a previously registered game, depending on who’s version of the truth you subscribe to.

But that’s to the gumption of gamers around the world, Microsoft has decided to reverse the controversial components of the Xbox One system software.

On their website, the Wall Street Journal wrote:

“The Redmond, Wash., software company said it would no longer require its Xbox to connect to the Internet each day, nor would it restrict how its video game discs are traded, resold or rented.

“We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds,” Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft’s entertainment division that houses the Xbox, said in a statement.”

Nice job, Internet!

[Via WSJ.com…]

Karateka Returns to Delight a New Generation of Heroes

Back in the mid-1980’s I was introduced to the Apple //e and a I fell in love with computers and technology.  The first real game that I played back in 1984, after Apple Presents…Apple, was Karateka.

For those of you who don’t remember, or may not have been around back then, Katateka is game focusing around an evil warlord who has captured the princess and the tasks falls on you to save her.  Pretty straight forward.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Karateka has been reborn on the iOS, PlayStation, XBox Live, and Steam.  The game has been updated to run on today’s popular gaming platforms and looks amazing all the while staying true to it’s 8-bit Apple //e roots.

This time around, you must still save the princess, however, you are given three warriors with which to save her: the warrior, the monk, and the brute.  You battle your way into the warlord’s fortress, fight his minions, battle his hawk, and then fight him to save your true love.

After finding Karateka on the Apple iOS App Store, I immediately purchased the game and started playing on my iPhone until the battery died.  Then I picked up my iPad and kept playing.

Gameplay is simple and easy to learn.  In combat, you have two moves: block and attack.  The controls are pretty easy to master.  You tap the screen to block an attack and you tap the screen to attack.  New in this version of the game there is the ability to double-tap the screen to use a special move that allows you to stun your opponent and unleash a powerful combo attack that shaves a good amount of hit points off his health meter.

I found the new Karateka true to it’s 1980’s original.  Yes, the game has been updated with new graphics and new characters, but at it’s core, it’s still the same game that I loved as a boy.  Personally, I think that it’s a tribute to the care and detail that went into remaking Karateka.  I have played some other ‘reboot’ games on iOS this year, and with all of them, I came away longing for the originals.  No so with Karateka.

If you’ve played Karateka before you will find this version familiar and fun to play.  If you are new to Karateka, hopefully, you will have found a new game to play that is fun to play.

Karateka is available now from the Apple iOS App Store (link) and sells for $2.99.  Karateka for iOS is a universal application and will play on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  Before you buy, make sure you have a supported device as the game only plays on the iPhone 4S and newer, iPad 2 or newer, including the new iPad mini, and the iPod touch 5th generation.  Karateka is also available now on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and Steam.  The console editions sell for about $9.99.

For more information about Karateka, check of the game’s website.