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This five-year-old found a major Xbox One password flaw

l33t hax0r
Apr 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
See that adorable little kid? That's five-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel, and he discovered a major Xbox One password flaw. Kristoffer's parents noticed that the young kid was playing games he wasn't supposed to be on his fat...
Hack The Gibson!
About this time last year, Watchdogs was looking like a major contender for my 2013 GOTY. However, here we are almost a quarter of the way through 2014, and I still haven't gotten my hands on the game, so I've been forced to...

Disrupt photo

Hack the planet: Disrupt is up on Steam Greenlight

Type 'cookie,' obviously!
Feb 18
// Darren Nakamura
Despite all of the art and design that goes into creating expansive worlds in an effort to create immersion, few games make the player actually feel like he is doing the things on screen quite like Uplink once did. Certainly...
GamePad photo

Streaming games from PC to the Wii U GamePad possible

Hackers have reverse engineered the device
Dec 30
// Jordan Devore
Hackers booto, delroth, and shuffle2 have reverse engineered the Wii U GamePad and the results are impressive. The group's findings were presented at the Chaos Communication Congress including a demonstration in which The Le...
Hackers photo

New consoles have brought a surge in hacking attempts

Europe's getting the worst of it
Dec 16
// Brett Makedonski
The gaming world isn't the only group of people that's excited by the recent launch of new consoles. It turns out that the hacker community's just as thrilled. Unsurprisingly, it seems that its intententions are far more nefa...
PS4 controller for the PC photo
PS4 controller for the PC

The DualShock 4 can be made to work on the PC

You just gotta grab some software
Nov 19
// Joshua Derocher
Thanks to some software created by InhexSTER, the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 can be used with a PC. The guys over at PC Gamer have tested it out, and they explain how you can get it working. Right now the wireless functions ...
FFVII photo

Final Fantasy VII NES restoration sees release

The clumsy bootleg becomes fully playable
Nov 14
// Audun Sorlie
It’s always impressive to see crafty modders making enhancements to fan-favorite games or allowing us to go zombie hunting in Russia, but I myself am more intrigued with the world of retro hacking. The endless imaginati...

Here's what that big-ass 2DS screen looks like

2DS cracked open to see the magic inside
Oct 15
// Dale North
Just a bit after its announcement, we learned that the 2DS screens are really just one big screen with some facing plastic and software doing the trickery. Those clever kids at Nintendo never fail to surprise.  Rose Colo...
Quadrilateral Cowboy photo
Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy trailer leaves me anxious for more

Still no release date for Brendon Chung's 20th century hacking game
Oct 07
// Alasdair Duncan
This new trailer for Quadrilateral Cowboy has reminded me how much I want to play that game. I got a brief taste back at PAX Prime in 2012 and was immediately hooked by its lo-fi hacking aesthetic, especially after playing B...
Ubisoft hacked photo
Ubisoft hacked

Change your password: Ubisoft online systems compromised

Personal payment info NOT affected by intrusion
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft has issued a security update warning that usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords have been obtained from the company's account database. "We recently found that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain ...
Newer SMB Wii photo
Newer SMB Wii

NEWER Super Mario Bros. Wii is available for free

Fan-made hack brings tons of new content to the Wii platformer
Jun 20
// Tony Ponce
If you are a Wii U owner and possess a copy of New Super Mario Bros. U, you've probably downloaded New Super Luigi U from the eShop already. That, or you are waiting on the limited edition retail release in the coming months...
EVE DDoS attack photo
EVE DDoS attack

EVE Online server taken down because of DDoS attack

Someone broke it
Jun 03
// Joshua Derocher
Yesterday EVE Online experienced some difficulties and was taken offline for most of the day. A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) was launched against the Tranquility server cluster and prevented players from loggin...
Gunpoint demo photo
Gunpoint demo

Gunpoint demo available now, releases next week

Stealthy hacky punch-that-guy game
May 28
// Patrick Hancock
Gunpoint, and indie game about hacking, sneaking, and knocking guys through windows, now has a demo available on the main site for you all to get your certainly-grubby mitts on. Pre-orders are also available, with the b...
CS:GO photo

Play Super Mario Bros. within a Counter-Strike map

Now this is the sort of crazy mod hack I've been waiting for out of CS:GO
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Sometimes you need to put down the AK-47, pause the terrorist hunt, and play Super Mario Bros. Using a server plugin, a clever modder that goes by the name skwumpy created the Sourcemod Entertainment System or SMES, which le...
Blood Dragon photo
Blood Dragon

uPlay workaround resulted in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon leak

Can this game just come out already?
Apr 09
// Jordan Devore
Although the leaked footage of Ubisoft's absurd(ly great-looking) standalone game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has been removed, it's too late; we've seen everything. One has to wonder, however, where the leak originated...
The War Z photo
The War Z

The War Z taken offline following security breach

User emails and passwords compromised
Apr 02
// Jim Sterling
It never ends for The War Z. While the controversial MMO was reinstated by Steam after addressing false advertising complaints, Hammerpoint's game is currently offline due to hackers making off with personal information. Acco...
Majora's Mask + Nic Cage photo
Majora's Mask + Nic Cage

Majora's Mask gains the mask-like face of Nicolas Cage

Tingolas Cage = Character of the year 2013
Mar 17
// Jonathan Holmes
First we have a hack of The Legend of Zelda that lets you play as Zelda. Now we have a hack of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask that features everyone as Nicolas Cage? It's feeling more and more like every game in 2013 cou...
Zelda photo

Legend of Zelda hack puts Zelda in the starring role

It's finally her legend
Mar 17
// Jonathan Holmes
In what seems to be a budding trend, an industrious hacker has whipped up some animations and palette swaps for the Zelda sprite in The Legend of Zelda and made her the playable character. This isn't the first time a remake ...
Donkey Kong photo
Donkey Kong

Three-year-old wants to play Donkey Kong as Pauline

Dad makes it happen
Mar 09
// Jonathan Holmes
Tropes vs. Women in Videogames has finally hit the internet, and people have been more snarky about it than Juno MacGuff at a "learn to write like Joss Whedon" script-writing seminar. All that snark wont change the...
Wii U Pro Controller photo
Wii U Pro Controller

Wii U Pro Controller can now be used on a PC / Mac

It's finally useful for something, am I right? Nyuck nyuck!
Feb 18
// Tony Ponce
Much in the same way that a music artist hasn't made it until Weird Al writes a parody based on his or her song, game hardware hasn't made it until a young hacker gets the console's controller working on a computer. The Wii ...

Sony fined 250,000 in UK over PlayStation Network hack

Regulators say Sony could have stopped it, Sony prepares appeal
Jan 24
// Jim Sterling
The infamous PlayStation Network hack may be a fading memory in the minds of games, but authorities have not forgotten, and they've claimed their pound of flesh. Claiming the hack could have been prevented, United Kingdom off...
EA Origin hacked photo
Recent wave of attacks hit hard
Origin has reportedly been hit by a series of security breaches, as users come to find their accounts have been cracked into and personal details changed. To make matters worse, Electronic Arts' own security measures ensure v...


Find out how you can get banned from Black Ops II

Anything from pirating to boosting
Nov 12
// Chris Carter
Ah, the modern gaming era. Day one patches, online passes, and of course, permabans on consoles. As we're nearing the launch of the sure to be mega-hit Black Ops II, Treyarch has layed out a few ground rules. Most of it is co...

Dad alters text in Wind Waker to turn Link into a girl

He wants his daughter to understand that girls can be heroes too
Nov 10
// Tony Ponce
Mike Hoye loves playing videogames and sharing his pastime with his three-year-old daughter Maya. Their game of choice is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Mike likes to read the text aloud so Maya can follow along. Bu...

Borderlands 2 player mischief prompts patch on Xbox 360

Hang 'em all, I say
Oct 26
// Fraser Brown
The Xbox 360 version of Borderlands 2 has been having a few issues with some rather cheeky players using an external application to sabotage the characters of other players and disrupt their experience, the scamps! Earli...
It's like that snake that's eating its own ass
I can't remember when, but apparently I challenged the Super Smash Bros. Brawl hack community to recreate the upcoming PS3/PS Vita title PlayStation Battle Royale All-Stars using the game that inspired it. I doubt my cha...


Scammers attempting to crack Guild Wars 2 accounts

ArenaNet warns users to create unique passwords
Sep 10
// Jim Sterling
ArenaNet has revealed that scammers have a list of usernames and passwords from other websites, and are systematically trying them all on Guild Wars 2. Ah, the fun world of MMOs.  The developer puts the responsibility on...

PS Vita hacked, homebrew a-comin'

It was going to happen eventually
Sep 06
// Jim Sterling
The PlayStation Vita has finally been cracked into like a big ol' nut, and homebrew is on the way.  Usermode Vita Loader is currently in the works (via NeoGAF) thanks to developer Yifan Lu. Based on a recently ...

Millions of Apple UDIDs compromised by alleged FBI hack

America, land of the incompetent violation of personal info
Sep 04
// Jim Sterling
Hacking group AntiSec has acquired millions of of UDIDs allegedly collected without permission by the FBI. The group claims it got into an FBI agent's laptop to get the data, which contains 12 million unique identif...

The joy of fan games, pt. 1

Aug 28 // Tony Ponce
The ill-fated Streets of Rage Remake Whenever a promising fan game is shown, there are always bound to be a few people who insist on spoiling the merriment with misplaced fears and concerns. Rather than appreciating the talent and ambition being poured into these projects, they worry that "these guys are going to receive a cease and desist," or insist that "they should use their talents to make original games instead of leeching off the ideas of others." To the naysayers, what do you think of fan art? Of music arrangements? Of web cartoons and movies that draw directly from major videogames? How are any of these in any less legal hot water than fan games? The harsh truth is, unless you have received express permission from the license holders, it's almost always copyright infringement. So why do fan games seem to catch more flack than any other derivative work? Obviously, it's because they exist in the same medium as the source material. By and large, however, fan games are of no greater concern to a publisher than any other fan-made content. Sure, you could point out the rare case of a company's flexing its legal authority, but there are likewise similar cases when it comes to productions in other mediums. Such instances are are so sporadic that they're not worth the concern. Besides, all that worry gets in the way of the fact that fan games are just another form of artistic expression. In fact, I believe them to be the ultimate form of fan expression, since they combine art, music, design, storytelling, and technical know-how in celebration of the game or series that inspired such dedicated effort. Catrap on Game Boy, my introduction to stage editing Just as games leave an imprint on gamers, gamers wish to leave their mark in turn. As a child, did you not fantasize about working on the next Mario, Sonic, or a dream Mario / Sonic mash-up? Have you ever played a game and thought of ways to improve it? Deep down, we all share a desire to shape our experiences beyond the traditional controller-avatar interaction. Mod tools and stage builders are always met with appreciation. Using a simplified template, gamers are able to realize their dream, even if only to a small degree. Full-blown fan game creation is merely the next logical step -- a means to make you favorite game or hero completely your own. There are no limits save for your own patience and skill. Not bound by the shackles of official game development, fan game makers are free to craft that sequel or genre spin-off they always imagined. The results aren't always pretty, and many promising fan games are ultimately shelved due to the frustrations of long development cycles, incompatibility with the developers' lives and jobs, or sheer boredom. But when that one jewel finally shines through, it is truly a marvel. There was a time when disgruntled gamers would piss and moan about missteps they saw in once-revered franchises, only to be chastised for not understanding the complexities of software development. These days, independent devs have the chops to do something about it. And since fan games by nature attempt to emulate the look and feel of older titles, they are the perfect means by which to showcase the superior skills of the indies. [embed]231514:44862:0[/embed] Recall Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, a ROM hack of Mega Man 4. Typically, "ROM hack" is associated which cheap, low-quality efforts that only slightly modify the originals' data, but none of that applies in this case. Developed by Japanese hacker PureSabe, MI throws out everything you know about Mega Man to the point where you forget that it was repurposed from an earlier game. The result is hands down the most creative and ambitious Mega Man -- official or not -- in the past decade. Such an infusion of fresh ideas really drives home just how safely Capcom has tread over the years. An entire company with all its millions churns out carbon-copy sequels with little variation in style and format, yet a single guy is able to evolve the franchise in a direction that retains the core of what made the classics so great while also challenging our expectations of what Mega Man can be. [embed]231514:44861:0[/embed] For a similarly extensive hack, take a look at Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix. A total modification of the first Sonic the Hedgehog, Megamix has been in production since at least 2005 -- Destructoid even discussed an early build way back in January 2007! Since then, it has undergone a drastic transformation. In the beginning, Team Megamix rearranged the zones of Sonic 1, expanding the each area's map and switching up the game flow for a more Sonic CD flavor. The levels were tweaked further as items from Sonic 3 were incorporated and characters such as Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, and even Mighty the Armadillo were made playable. Eventually, the team decided to move all development to the Sega CD to make use of the additional capabilities -- the side benefit is that you can easily download the hack's ISO file, burn it onto a CD, then play it on actual Sega CD hardware! From the most recent build, it's still obvious that Megamix was once Sonic 1, but that soon will change. The team is in the process of replacing all the old stage objects with completely new assets, adding new bosses, and composing an original, CD-quality score. New production footage reveals a game that is a far more proper Sonic CD follow-up than Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II ever was. [embed]231514:44867:0[/embed] It's been a while since we've heard news of Project AM2R, the fan remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. According to developer DoctorM64, the game is still coming along, so hopefully we won't have to wait much longer for a new trailer or demo. AM2R fills two particular roles. First, it's a remake of the least lauded (not counting Other M) entry in the Metroid franchise. Personally, I'm a very big fan of Metroid II, and it disappoints me that others can't see the game's value. A well executed remake can address the shortcomings in the original while introducing the spirit of Metroid II to a new generation. Second, AM2R is a 2D Metroid in a landscape begging for a new 2D Metroid. The Prime series was fantastic in its own right, and Other M was ... well, the Prime series was fantastic, but we haven't had a traditional Metroid since Fusion in 2002. Ever since sweeping Metroid Dread under the rug, Nintendo has been tight-lipped on any future 2D romps. Hell, the company couldn't even be bothered to celebrate the franchise's 25th anniversary! AM2R is just picking up Nintendo's slack. [embed]231514:44868:0[/embed] Let's not forget about Super Mario Bros. Crossover, the brainchild of Jay Pavlina. The concept is so simple -- take the classic Super Mario Bros., but give gamers the option of playing as other NES stars such as Ryu Hayabusa, Mega Man, Contra's Bill Rizer, Simon Belmont, and others! And as of version 2.0, you can alter the music and tilesets to emulate other NES, SNES, or Game Boy games. Could such a game ever exist in the professional sphere? A few cross-company cameos in Super Smash Bros. Brawl or PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is one thing, but there is a reason you don't see more of such collaborations. Each party involved has to be willing to play ball and consent to their characters' use in scenarios that they weren't designed for. For instance, you will never, ever see a Mario game in which Contra heroes shoot up the place -- not on retail shelves, at least. [embed]231514:44869:0[/embed] And then there's the big daddy: Mushroom Kingdom Fusion. The concept is similar to that of Super Mario Bros. Crossover, only taken to the extreme and beyond. In fact, it's so ambitious that it would be a miracle if the damn thing ever got completed. It's a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, and I fear that its massive scope could be its undoing. Nonetheless, even in an unfinished state, MKF handily puts other fan games to shame. --- It would be foolish to try to list every notable fan game in existence, so I'm not going to, especially when there's so much else left to discuss that a single article couldn't possibly contain my enthusiasm! Tomorrow, I'd like to share the stories of two heroes from the fan game community, people with such skill that game companies had no choice but to acknowledge their talents. For now, I'm sure you'd like to discuss your favorite fan games in the comments. Which did I miss?

Nearly four years ago, when I was but a fresh-faced Destructoid community member, I submitted my very first feature-length article in response to that month's musing assignment. I wrote about fan games, unofficial software ba...

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