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Comet owner OpCapita has reportedly bought GAME.

The Daily Telegraph and the BBC both report that OpCapita has secured the bulk of GAME's UK business, which amounts to 333 shops. An announcement could be made tomorrow morning.


The Telegraph believes OpCapita has bought GAME for a nominal £1, which brings the retailer out of administration. But it has taken on the group's £85 million debt.


No deal for GAME Group's international business has been made, however. Hilco and GameStop are said to be interested.


The BBC claimed the deal will keep open GAME's 333 stores and save 3100 jobs.

GAME went into administration last Monday after failing to pay its £21 million rent bill. Shortly after administrator PwC closed 277 shops and let go over 2000 staff across the UK and Ireland.


The Royal Bank of Scotland, which reportedly blocked a bid from OpCapita before GAME went into administration, was thought to be ready with its own bid. That has now fallen by the wayside.


GAME Group collapsed after a catastrophic Christmas and the loss of credit insurance. It then found itself unable to stock some of the biggest games of the year, including EA's Mass Effect 3, and was forced to cancel pre-orders.


PwC said GAME Group suffered from its expansion overseas and the close proximity of its stores in the UK.

Eurogamer
'Game of the Week: Ridge Racer Unbounded' Screenshot gotw


Amongst all the doom and gloom this week - GAME's administration, THQ cutting more development jobs it can't afford, SEGA cancelling titles and "streamlining" its business, Raspberry Pi's delay, rumours of Prey 2's cancellation, not refuted, the lovely Yoshinori Ono's horrible health scare, the government charging us more to drink and smoke, and the threat of more industrial action in the UK (now abated, but only because of PR gaffes, panic-buying and mass safety concerns) - it's been hard even for resilient gamers to look on the bright side.


Against that backdrop, perhaps we should commend the release of Konami's Silent Hill: Downpour as astute timing, capturing the public mood, rather than a presumably random shuffling of keys and percentage points on a spreadsheet in an office building in Japan. Either way, it's a game that sounds every bit as gloomy as its contemporary surroundings, judging by Chris Donlan's review.


Sadly though that's not a compliment. The dull thing about Downpour is it's not very scary, which Donlan (we're not being formal - all his friends call him Donlan) puts down to the suspicion the game is laying it on a bit thick, trapping you in... a scary mine! Or a horrible old church! "In part, I suspect it's familiarity, too," he continues. "You know what you're in for in a Silent Hill game by now, and if a developer takes too many risks, the fans get annoyed. The problem, there, though, lies with the fact that predictability - even when it involves barbed wire and head injuries - inevitably becomes warm and comforting, and warm and comforting things aren't that useful when you're trying to scare peoples' pants off."


At the end of the rainy day, apparently it's "a stoically acceptable video game". If that doesn't capture the mood of a nation then I don't know what does. (And if that wasn't enough Silent Hill misery for one week, here's Silent Hill HD Collection cocking it up and getting kicked even harder.)


Elsewhere on the shelves - wait, there are no shelves - there's Naruto Shippeden Something-or-other, a review for which probably won't be forthcoming, while the digital domain welcomes Wrecked: Revenge Revisited, a driving game that we're reviewing on Monday and - spoiler! - we think is a bit rubbish. Here's a preview of Dan Whitehead's review: "The game itself is riddled with problems and flaws, but in among all the irritations there's a kernel of classic entertainment that makes itself visible enough that the game doesn't feel like a complete waste of time." It's still most of one though.


Our Game of the Week isn't a story of a potentially good racing game gone bad, however, but a very good racing game that I almost mistook for a terrible one.

Ridge Racer Unbounded

Eurogamer


I've been playing this Pickford Brothers' BAFTA-nominated puzzler on and off for months now - not that you'd be able to tell by looking at my scores - but it wasn't until very recently that I realised what it reminded me of. In both its reappropriation of a classic pub game and its light-hearted, parochial charm, it's the game equivalent of '80s TV gameshow Bullseye.


Like host Jim Bowen, it makes a big fuss of even the most mundane accomplishments (indeed it's a lesson to all iOS developers in how it presents Game Center rewards) and the regular praise for 'cool' and 'mega' shots, not to mention the cries of "marvellous", could just as easily be replaced by a "smashing" or a "super".


But I digress: the reason Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint is App of the Day when it's been out for the best part of nine months (and already reviewed by Kristan Reed) is that the Pickfords have released a wonderfully generous update, all of which is free to those who purchased the in-app Skeleton Key that unlocks everything.


For starters, you get more of the beardy Pickfords themselves, who pop up to offer tips and advice. As a similarly scruffy Northerner, I find their appearance rather comforting, though your mileage may vary - the new app icon has already been described by one startled player as "the scariest icon on the App Store", programmer John's unkempt mane and wide-eyed stare making him resemble a surprised horse.

'App of the Day: Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint' Screenshot 2

The patterns on the balls have also been adjusted for colour-blind players - a considerate touch.


There are 40 more tables to tackle, too, described pretty accurately as Tricky and Fiendish. They introduce Pegs, balls which lie in a fixed position, forcing you to play around them. Struts, meanwhile, connect balls together from the start, adding another layer of strategy to a game already bursting with tactical opportunity. There's an option to replay your last shot if it was a particularly good one, any record-breaking shots (for Bounce, Buzz and total shot score) are automatically saved for posterity.

Eurogamer


Microsoft is investigating claims made by a university research group that hackers can easily access credit card data stored on secondhand Xbox 360s.


As reported by Kotaku, a team from Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, claim to have ripped bank card numbers from a pre-owned Xbox using basic modding tools downloaded from the web.


"Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information, but they don't do a great job of protecting the user's data," said researcher Ashley Podhradsky.


She went on to recommend that anyone getting rid of a console should use a sanitisation program like Darik's Boot & Nuke to ensure their system's hard drive is completely wiped clean. Just reformatting it doesn't do the job, she argued.


"I think Microsoft has a longstanding pattern of this. When you go and reformat your computer, like a Windows system, it tells you that all of your data will be erased. In actuality that's not accurate - the data is still available... so when Microsoft tells you that you're resetting something, it's not accurate."


Microsoft has since issued a formal response to the claims, insisting it's carrying out a full investigation.


"We are conducting a thorough investigation into the researchers' claims. We have requested information that will allow us to investigate the console in question and have still not received the information needed to replicate the researchers' claims," Jim Alkove, general manager of Microsoft's security of interactive entertainment business, told Joystiq.


Alkove moved to reassure customers that Drexel University's findings seem "unlikely".


"Xbox is not designed to store credit card data locally on the console, and as such seems unlikely credit card data was recovered by the method described. Additionally, when Microsoft refurbishes used consoles we have processes in place to wipe the local hard drives of any other user data," he said.


"We can assure Xbox owners we take the privacy and security of their personal data very seriously."

Eurogamer


Microsoft is investigating claims made by a university research group that hackers can easily access credit card data stored on secondhand Xbox 360s.


As reported by Kotaku, a team from Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, claim to have ripped bank card numbers from a pre-owned Xbox using basic modding tools downloaded from the web.


"Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information, but they don't do a great job of protecting the user's data," said researcher Ashley Podhradsky.


She went on to recommend that anyone getting rid of a console should use a sanitisation program like Darik's Boot & Nuke to ensure their system's hard drive is completely wiped clean. Just reformatting it doesn't do the job, she argued.


"I think Microsoft has a longstanding pattern of this. When you go and reformat your computer, like a Windows system, it tells you that all of your data will be erased. In actuality that's not accurate - the data is still available... so when Microsoft tells you that you're resetting something, it's not accurate."


Microsoft has since issued a formal response to the claims, insisting it's carrying out a full investigation.


"We are conducting a thorough investigation into the researchers' claims. We have requested information that will allow us to investigate the console in question and have still not received the information needed to replicate the researchers' claims," Jim Alkove, general manager of Microsoft's security of interactive entertainment business, told Joystiq.


Alkove moved to reassure customers that Drexel University's findings seem "unlikely".


"Xbox is not designed to store credit card data locally on the console, and as such seems unlikely credit card data was recovered by the method described. Additionally, when Microsoft refurbishes used consoles we have processes in place to wipe the local hard drives of any other user data," he said.


"We can assure Xbox owners we take the privacy and security of their personal data very seriously."

Eurogamer


Disgaea developer Nippon Ichi has announced its bringing three JRPGs West exclusively for PlayStation 3.


First up is internally-developed action RPG The Witch and the Hundred Knights, which sees you deploying the titular army for either evil or noble ends, depending on your whim.


Exactly how it all works hasn't been detailed, but the screenshot gallery below should give you an idea of what's in store. It's due out in early 2013.


Secondly, there's turn-based adventure MugenSouls, due out in the Autumn. Again, details are thin on the ground other than that it's developed by Hyperdimension Neptunia studio Compile Heart. There's a seizure-inducing trailer below.


Finally, Legasista is a top-down roguelike due out on PlayStation Network in August. You'll form a team of three characters and set off to explore the Ivy Tower's randomly-generated dungeons. See the last screenshot gallery beneath the story for a closer look.

Eurogamer


Acclaimed PC strategy game Anomaly: Warzone Earth migrates to Xbox Live Arcade on 6th April, developer 11 Bit Studios has announced.


It will set you back a relatively modest 800 Microsoft Points.


That's pretty good value considering the quality on offer - the original PC release's blend of real time strategy and straightforward action won it a handsome 8/10 from Eurogamer back in April 2011. See our full Anomaly: Warzone Earth review for details.


The XBLA version is exactly the same game with six new Tactical Trials added.


Rather peculiar launch trailer below.

Eurogamer


Worms Revolution, yet another iteration of the aged strategy series, launches on PC and consoles this Autumn, developer Team 17 has announced.


Judging by the brief teaser trailer below, it's the same tried-and-tested side-on gameplay, though the developer promises a brand new game engine and "exciting new features and challenges". However, "old favourites such as the Super Sheep and Holy Hand Grenade" will return.


There's no word yet on whether it'll be a full retail release or a digital download.


It's the first game in the 17-year-old series since PC/PSN/XBLA effort Worms: Ultimate Mayhem late last year - which was essentially a touched-up re-release of 2005's Worms 4: Mayhem.

Eurogamer


The Vita version of 2011 franchise reboot Mortal Kombat launches in Europe on 4th May, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive has announced.


It's essentially the same game released on consoles last year, with a handful of new features thrown in.


As well as touchscreen-enabled fatalities, there's an all-new Challenge Tower mode offering 150 Vita-exclusive missions.


There's no cross-over play with the PlayStation 3 version, but you will get all the DLC characters added to the original release.


Its big screen brother won a solid 7/10 from Eurogamer's Matt Edwards upon release.


"The series has always ridden in the wake of its own spectacle, but after years of unfocused deviation, we finally have an evolution that demonstrates clear progress," read his Mortal Kombat review.


"It's the best 3D game in the series by a long way, and that's because it embraces the 2D heritage which always made Mortal Kombat its own kind of game."

Eurogamer


Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian will co-develop RPG sequel Wasteland 2 as long as Brian Fargo and inXile Entertainment can raise $2.1 million on Kickstarter in the next 17 days.


Its current Kickstarter total rests at around $1.66 million, so there's a way to go yet.


As reported by Rock Paper Shotgun, Fargo explained that Obsidian's expertise will help streamline development as well as bringing in additional talent with close ties to the franchise.


"I have a history with the guys at Obsidian that dates back to the days of Interplay's Black Isle studios," he explained.


"Together we created some of the greatest RPG's of all time, from Fallout 1 & 2 to titles like Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. It is great that we now have a chance to reunite on a project like Wasteland 2.


"Obsidian has an incredible library of story, dialog and design tools that they have used to create hits like Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and of course, Fallout: New Vegas," he continued.


"Regardless of the tech we use to develop the game, experience with these tools will help us efficiently design the game without wasting time and resources on the tools needed for development."


Obsidian's Chris Avellone explained that he "jumped at the chance" to work on a sequel to "one of my favorite RPGs of all time".


"While I've worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, getting the chance to work on the spiritual successor to the Fallout franchise is a honor," he added.


Earlier this week, Fargo leaped to Obsidian's defense over controversy surrounding New Vegas bonus payments from publisher Bethesda.


Obisidian was recently forced to lay-off staff and cancel projects, though work continues on its South Park RPG for THQ.

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