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Preview: Destructoid


Updated: 2017-12-16T17:00:00Z


What's the last game that scared you silly?


I used to be a pretty big scaredy cat when it came to games (not so much with films, though – the interactive side to games really had the potential to freak me out). After toughing it out for a few weeks with REmake earlier on in the year, I think I made some good progress towards having a normal tolerance for spooky games. I would no longer flinch and switch my console off straight away at the first sign of a zombie, and I realised that I felt no fear whatsoever trying the original BioShock for the first time in October.

Of course, that doesn't mean I am now immune to blood, guts and gore. In fact, my jimmies were thoroughly rustled just last week by a game that appears innocuous on the surface but is designed to bury its way under your skin, like a rather nasty and persistent parasite. I knew the secret, I knew the surprise. But it still didn't prepare me for how tense I would be throughout pretty much the whole second half of the game.

This game I'm talking about is, of course, Doki Doki Literature Club.



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The Ballad of ASSBUTT; Or, Times We've Abused the Option to Name Our Own Characters


It happens every single time. I boot up a Pokémon game for my triennial let's-try-to-do-something-other-than-power-level-Magikarp-for-twenty-five-hours-before-quitting-again routine. I play the first several tense minutes where your mom tells you to get the hell out so she can watch her stories. I mosey over to Professor Oak/Elm/Xavier to learn the horrors of Pokémon cruelty that would make Barnum and Bailey blush. Then I run into my rival. That little shit. I don't know why he's my rival; all I know is that we hate each other, and the next two hundred hours it'll take to get from the opening screen to the final gym will be spent chasing and battling him.

If the designers were smart, they'd give him a name worthy of hate, like Chad or Skylar or Ajit Pai. But alas, they instead chose the Dark path, the path that allows me to name my rival. And me, being the 30-going-on-12 adult that I am, do the responsible adult thing each and every time.


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Bomber Crew releases its Secret Weapons DLC and free Winter Update


Very few games have sent me to a brilliant, firey death one mission outside the tutorial, and made me feel like it was entirely my fault. Bomber Crew, the title best described as, "FTL, if your spacecraft was a WWII bomber made of paper maché and dreams, then painted pink and filled with buffoons" is upping the ante.


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Dragon Ball FighterZ's Jump Festa trailer shows off Goku Black, Beerus, Hit, and cinematic scenes


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The trailer for Dragon Ball FighterZ revealed during Jump Festa 2018 is our longest and best look at the upcoming game yet. Along with showing off footage of the newly revealed Beerus, Hit, and Goku Black from Dragon Ball Super, this trailer shows off the iconic scenes that pop up during game play teased in V-Jump. 

If a player fulfills certain conditions then the game recreates iconic scenes from the anime such as Goku's first transformation into Super Saiyan, Goku's defeat of Kid Buu, Gohan's transformation into Super Saiyan 2 and defeat of Cell, and Goku's loss to Beerus. The pulls here are pretty great, and I'm pretty sure there's a lot more in the pipeline if Arc System Works went this far into recreating the series for fans. 

Now it's a matter of waiting on the first footage of the English dub, and figuring out if it can be a solid fighting game. Whether or not it holds up to close scrutiny most likely won't be a huge deal to fans seeing the service here. 



Review: Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs


Blizzard's Hearthstone has gone through some major changes in the last year. The biggest shakeup saw the game disallowing many of its older cards in the standard gameplay modes, moving them to a separate format called "Wild." The regular updates the game receives have also been changed. They used to alternate back and forth between campaigns and standard expansions, with the campaigns guaranteeing a specific set of cards for those who completed a series of puzzle battles. Over the last year, the development team has decided to move away from the story expansions, instead releasing just the standard expansions.

As a concession to those who preferred the old ways, the last two expansions have included a free mode similar to the older campaigns, though the reward has been randomized. The most recent freebie is some of the most fun I've had with Hearthstone since I started playing, but it doesn't hide the fact that the game has become a lot less friendly to those who aren't willing to pay for digital cards.


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How inevitable XCOM comparisons influence design decisions of turn-based tactical games


There's no getting around it: If you make a turn-based tactical strategy game, people are going to hold it up against XCOM. What other game is so dominant that it acts as a gatekeeper for the entire genre? Honestly, XCOM might stand alone in that regard.

So, when meeting with CreativeForge, a developer who specializes in turn-based tactical strategy, the comparison comes up. It has to come up. And the developer is intimately familiar with the standard-bearer.

We're playing Phantom Doctrine (full preview here) and talking with lead designer Kacper Szymczak about how his game is different than just XCOM with espionage instead of aliens. He doesn't mind the comparison. He relishes it, actually. He insists that being mentioned in the same sentence is an honor unto itself.


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Now you can unlock John Marston's revolver in GTA Online for eventual use in Red Dead 2


Rockstar has a new in-game item that ties its most recent, relevant, and popular games together (sorry LA Noire). John Marston's iconic sidearm is spanning across Red Dead Redemption, GTA Online, and the upcoming Red Dead sequel.

As of today, Rockstar has officially started a new treasure hunt event in GTA Online. It's for Red Dead's double-action revolver. Players can find it in GTA's Los Santos and use the gun to their heart's content.

Proficient use reaps more rewards, though. The revolver has a challenge associated with it for getting 50 headshots on anything. Anyone who completes the challenge earns $250,000 in in-game currency. More importantly, doing it unlocks the gun in Red Dead Redemption 2 on PS4 and Xbox One. (It seems as if everything's funneled through Rockstar's Social Club.)

There's no mention of this being a timed event, so it seems like you're free to wait on your six-shootin' as long as you want. But it'll help Marston's ghost rest easy knowing that you're thinking of him while terrorizing the fine citizens of Los Santos.

Uncover the Double-Action Revolver [Rockstar Games]


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Mount Your Friends 3D looks suitably ridiculous


I'm still cracking up at the full name for Stegersaurus Software's Mount Your Friends 3D: A Hard Man is Good to Climb. That wordplay is on point! The game itself is about what you would expect from a sequel. It's silly, beefy, super dangly, and still about climbing dudes, except now everything's in 3D.

Maybe don't watch the trailer in front of others.

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This is slated for a Q1 2018 release on Steam with support for local and online multiplayer.

Mount Your Friends 3D: A Hard Man is Good to Climb [Steam]



I love this fish-headed Shovel Knight statue


Shovel Knight lends itself really well to collectibles and fans of First 4 Figures will have a few options to consider this month. They won't be cheap, granted, but these statues look pretty dang slick.




First 4 Figures will ship its line of 15.5-inch Shovel Knight statues in Q3 2018, with pre-orders open now. There's a regular Shovel Knight ($300), an Ornate Plate Armor edition ($300), a two-pack ($550), and an Exclusive edition with an extra "fish head" based on the character ???? (also available in gold).

The fish face is the perfect combination of creepy and cute. I adore it.

Shovel Knight [First 4 Figures]


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Phantom Doctrine is like XCOM that trades aliens for spies and lies


It's nearly impossible to succinctly sum up Phantom Doctrine. "Turn-based tactical strategy game centered around Cold War-era conspiracy theories" is the closest I've gotten. That's still six (six?) adjectives and adverbs, and it doesn't get close to telling the whole story.

Pulling all the way back reveals Phantom Doctrine's most alluring promise. Developer CreativeForge is taking real events from the Cold War and repurposing them in an alternate history. In the game, you run a counter-intelligence agency called The Cabal who's out to expose the secrets of the world's most powerful agencies.


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Microsoft will bundle PUBG with Xbox One X next week


Microsoft will soon run a holiday promotion for the recently released Xbox One X and the even more recently released battle royale shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. From December 17 through December 31, in select regions, the game will be bundled with the console at no extra charge.

This is clearly less a showcase of the Xbox One X as a powerful gaming console and more about building on PUBG's momentum, especially while the game is only available on PC and Xbox One. According to Microsoft, the Game Preview version of PUBG had a million players in its first 48 hours.

To all of you who already jumped in and will miss this deal as a result, it seems you're out of luck.

Buy the World’s Most Powerful Console; Get the Hottest Multiplayer Game of 2017 [Xbox]



BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle adds BlazBlue's Iron Tager, Makoto Nanaya, v-No.13, and Es


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BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is slowly coming along, but this latest batch of additions is all characters I didn't necessarily expect to see. Hopefully this means the final roster will be a larger one than expected as well. 

BlazBlue's Iron Tager, Makoto, v-No.13, and Es join the previously announced:

BlazBlue: Ragna, Jin, Azrael, Rachel, Hazama, Noel.

Persona 4 Arena: Yu, Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko.

Under Night In-Birth: Hyde, Lynne, Waldstein, Gordeau

RWBY: Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee. 

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle releases for PlayStation 4, Steam, and Nintendo Switch sometime next year.



Next week's Monster Hunter: World beta won't require PS Plus


Dang, I wish I hadn't deleted my beta client for Monster Hunter: World! The beta returns next Friday, December 22 at 9:00am Pacific for all PlayStation 4 owners, not just those with PlayStation Plus, and that includes multiplayer. If you participated in last weekend's test, you're already good to go.

Further reading now that it's already too late.



EA thanks Ajit Pai for taking the heat off them (Fauxclusive)


Following weeks of negative press and irate consumers due to its recent business decisions, sources within EA say the company is quietly thanking FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for getting the internet to momentarily stop paying attention to the company’s string of scandals and instead focus all its attention on him.

“It’s been a rough couple of months for us, public relations wise,” explained one EA employee. “First we closed down Visceral, which pissed a lot of people off. Then everyone found out why we did that, which just made them angrier. And then of course there’s the whole Battlefront II loot box fiasco. That’s why we’re thankful to Mr. Pai for taking the entirety of the internet’s universal hatred of us and directing it all onto himself.”

Since Mr. Pai voted to repeal Net Neutrality, sources we spoke with say the number of emails sent to the company with the subject line “Fuck off and die” has dropped by nearly 50%. The number of Twitter accounts sarcastically mentioning microtransactions on every tweet it sends out is down 70%.

“We’ve been so hated for so long that I almost forgot what it’s like not to be the most reviled thing on the internet,” the source said. “It’s just a shame it’ll have to end next year when we shut down three more beloved developers.”

As a thank-you, sources say the company will send Pai a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and 80,000 unsold copies of Need for Speed Payback.



Payday 2 adds a Reservoir Dogs heist


Reservoir Dogs, a movie where some men argue about tipping and then almost all of them die, is the film that started Quentin Tarantino's ascent into prominence. Nearly 26 years later, a very popular video game is paying homage.

Payday 2 just added a free Reservoir Dogs-themed heist. The clowns and jokers of the Payday gang are headed to Tinsel Town to try their hand at robbing those banks. The add-on comes with a Union 5.56 rifle, an Alabama Razor melee weapon, and three masks.

But, and this is truly what's important, developer Overkill created Payday's version of the infamous ear scene from Reservoir Dogs:


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Nominees for Destructoid's Best Wii U Game of 2017


If future historians or whatever alien race eventually colonizes Earth and wipes out humanity – my money is on the Tollybex of Urutha XXI – look back on the brief but bountiful life of the Nintendo Wii U, they will no doubt point to this year, 2017, as its crowning achievement. Jam packed from beginning to end, the past twelve months have been without question the best year the Wii U has had on the market. It sold in the literal dozens around the world and introduced gamers to some of the all-time classic of the medium.

Who out there can say the Wii U wasn’t the absolute must-own console of the year? With its second-screen controller that you could take anywhere you wanted (technically) and its astounding graphics that rivaled the best PC (built in 2005), it was a behemoth the world has never seen. And as it conquered the world, the system was flooded with top quality first- and third-party games from all the best publishers. Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Atlus, Sega, 2K, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, and Capcom are all companies I can name off the top of my head. I think we all remember lining up for the midnight launch of that great EA game that came to the Wii U over the summer.

It truly was the gift that kept on giving every damn day of the year. That’s why for the Destructoid Game of the Year awards, this was the most difficult category to whittle down to seven nominations. After hours of infighting, death threats, and promises to perform unspeakable acts on each other’s mothers, the editors responsible for this year’s nominees finally came up with a list that was satisfactory of all. Here are the nominees for Destructoid’s best Wii U game of 2017:


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Get drunk with Satan in Afterparty, the next game from Oxenfree devs


Night School Studio's Oxenfree stuck with me throughout 2016. I couldn't get its unique story and tone out of my head for months. One of the things I loved most about it was its characters' irreverent attitudes in the face of total horror. They're stuck on an island where ghosts are pouring out of time rifts and one of their friends is missing, but they still manage to make dick jokes. Laughter is the best coping mechanism, which is why horror-comedy is so great.

Continuing in that vein, Night School Studio has announced their next project, an adventure game called Afterparty about partying in Hell and outdrinking Satan.


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Company of Heroes 2 is free through Humble


The folks at the Humble Store have been in a giving mood as of late and that trend continues today with yet another freebie. For a limited time, you can score a free Steam key (Windows, Mac, Linux) for Relic Entertainment's 2013 World War II real-time strategy title Company of Heroes 2.

Once you redeem your copy, it's yours to keep -- this isn't a trial or a "free weekend" offer.

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I've always been more into Relic's Warhammer 40K strategy titles, but this is worth nabbing.

Company of Heroes 2 [Humble]



Jesper Kyd Documentary - Bound to Sound


We've been hard at work at Gameumentary over the past few months getting a bunch of the docs filmed that were funded by our recent Kickstarter campaign with help from Destructoid's parent company, Enthusiast Gaming.

In October, we traveled to South San Francisco to film our documentary on Outpost Games, who are currently running a closed beta for their upcoming game, SOS. In November, we traveled to Austin, Texas to film our docs on Gunfire Games, Battle Chasers: Nightwar and of course, the Darksiders franchise.

With the opportunity we've been provided to do all this, however, we wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of us. Originally, we were going to have to do a Skype interview with Jesper Kyd if we wanted him involved in the doc on Darksiders as he wouldn't have been able to make it out to Austin during our filming dates.

Luckily, his PR guy got in touch with us during the campaign and invited us out to his studio in California, and so we ended up flying from South San Francisco to Burbank during our Outpost Games shoot to spend a day with Jesper and get the footage we needed for the Darksiders doc.

We ended up filming all of that, and a whole documentary just on him in the process, because why not? This doc covers Jesper's journey to becoming the composer that he is today. In our Darksiders documentary (out in early 2018), we go much more in-depth with him in regards to his time working on Darksiders 2.

Hope you enjoy the doc and if you wouldn't mind sharing it around, we could really use the extra help spreading the word! We'll have more details on our upcoming doc on Outpost Games to share with you very soon as well.

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Try Injustice 2 for free on PS4 and Xbox for the next four days


There were some pretty decent fighting games in 2017. At last week's Game Awards 2017, Injustice 2 was crowned as the best of them all. Now you have a chance to see what all the fuss is about.

For anyone who abstained from NetherRealm's superhero fighter, it's free to try for the next four days -- albeit in a somewhat limited capacity. Injustice 2 is free on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One until the end of the day on December 18. The whole main roster is available to play in an unlimited multiplayer mode; the story mode only has the first three chapters unlocked for free. It's probably worth noting that playing multiplayer requires a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription. 

Anyone who likes what they see has the opportunity to buy Injustice 2 at a significant discount. It's marked down to $30 during the trial period. But, even if you don't want to drop cash, it's still a good shot at playing one of 2017's better games. Free gameplay weekends are the real heroes.

Injustice 2 Free Trial Coming Soon [WB Games]



Destiny 2 is getting a free comic written by Ryan North


There aren't a whole lot of names in comics that will get me to turn my head, but Ryan North is one of them. He's been making Dinosaur Comics for almost fifteen years, he's released a few Choose Your Own Adventure-style Shakespeare retellings, and he's recently been absolutely killing it with Marvel's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Suffice it to say: I have a bit of a man crush on him.

So imagine my delight when I saw today's announcement that he's writing a comic about the origin of Destiny universe's infamous Warlock Osiris, namesake of the most recent Destiny 2 DLC. Wait, let me back up. I also really like Destiny. Okay, now imagine my delight.

Destiny: Fall of Osiris will detail his back story, putting to the page how Osiris went "from hero to traitor." It's "coming soon" for free on

While we're here, we should mention The Dawning, Destiny's now-annual winter celebration. While it doesn't look like there will be any Sparrow Racing League this year (my personal favorite), there will be snowball fights in the social spaces, a new snowball mechanic for actual combat areas (snowballs will stun enemies in Strikes), and Mayhem will be returning as a Crucible game mode (abilities recharge much more quickly). It's not clear if Mayhem is only going to be around during the Dawning, but considering how many complaints Bungie has gotten about ability recharge rates in Destiny 2 compared to Destiny 1, it seems silly for it not to stick around.

The Dawning also brings a real nice looking set of armor for each class. Of course, it's available through Eververse, the place where you can either pay real money or grind out currency slowly in-game. At the very least, every piece of armor will be purchaseable outright, rather than relying on the random gamble of a loot box. The Dawning runs for three weeks, beginning next Tuesday, December 19.

This Week at Bungie 12/14/2017 []
The Dawning []


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Nominees for Destructoid's Best Switch Game of 2017


What a year that was, right? Some bad stuff happened, but at least the games were good! Nintendo had a crazy first nine months for its new console, and the Switch has gone on to sell 10 million units despite having a "slow" start at launch. 

Basically anchored by Zelda, it's kind of nuts looking back and realizing there was at least one major Switch release every month since that March launch. In such a short time, Nintendo has bounced back after taking such a hit from the Switch's pilot run, the Wii U.

Wake up every morning, by the night they count stacks.

You a real one, Switch. 

Real one, real one. 

Here are Destructoid's nominees for Best Switch Game of 2017:



Hitman's Paris episode will be free for the holidays


Nothing says holiday cheer like killing people for money! In celebration of the upcoming season, IO Interactive is giving out a "Holiday Pack" from December 15, 2017 until January 5, 2018 for its hit assassination game Hitman. Along with a bunch of cool new goodies for previous owners, anyone without the game can nab the Paris episode for completely free. Paris is the first of five episodes and will get you started off nicely on your journey into 47's murky world.

This holiday pack will see the return of the "Holiday Hoarders" mission with the added bonus of you being able to unlock the Santa outfit for use on every mission. You'll also be given access to the professional difficulty setting and be able to play all future reactivated elusive targets on the Paris map. Not too shabby for free.

Happy Hitman Holiday [IO Interactive]



Fantasy Flight Interactive is all-in on bringing The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game to Steam


"If we just did a perfect translation of the physical game, it could work, until it doesn't," studio head of Fantasy Flight Interactive Tim Gerritsen told me in a phone interview. "We're inspired by the tabletop edition of The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game, with many nods, but we're not a one-to-one translation of it."

With some familiarity with the card rendition and the LCG concept, I could see that first-hand after viewing a developer demo. It's not exactly the same, but the entire core of the "living" concept, which involves buying pre-set cards and no blind boxes, is going to appeal to a lot of people.


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Nintendo Download: Yooka-Laylee Switch


It's another big day for the Switch (man this system), as it's hosting Enter the Gungeon, Yooka-Laylee, and Romancing Saga 2 (on December 15).

Also on Switch is Gorogoa, One More Dungeon, NeoGeo The Last Blade, Mutant Mudds Collection, Embers of Mirrim, Pinball FX3, Stern Pinball Arcade, Bleed, Poly Bridge, Black the Fall, Never Stop Sneakin, Mecho Tales, Hammerwatch, Unholy Heights, Unepic, Hiragana Pixel Party, Crawl, DragonFangZ, and Brawlout.

The 3DS is getting the sole release of Blok Drop Chaos.


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That Switch accessory that turns your controller into a dog is finally here


When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, the memes kept coming, and one of the biggest ones was the suggestion that the Joy-Con controllers inside the grip looked kind of like a dog. It's been a thing for a while with indie companies putting out stickers for your existing remotes, but manufacturer Hyperkin has gotten in on the craze with an upcoming controller attachment accessory.

It's priced at $19.99, and functions as a rechargeable battery for your Joy-Con. It also includes a battery status light (which doubles as a pair of eyes) and a curved grip. The actual dog faces are stickers, and there's three variants. It's out on December 21.

You know what, beyond the meme, that's not a terrible price for a Joy-Con charger. Nintendo is still charging $30 for their official version, so as long as this Hyperkin rendition doesn't explode it might be the better option, dog sticker or not.

Hyperkin "Pupper" Controller Attachment for Switch Joy-Con [Amazon]


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Rainbow Six Siege is still getting supported, 60hz servers incoming


Rainbow Six Siege was pretty great at launch, but Ubisoft's willingness to smooth it over and add to it over time has kept me playing it.

Now it's in its 4.1 patch, which brings about a long-awaited change for servers -- now they're 60hz on all platforms. What does that mean? Well, the tickrate has been brought up, which makes for a better online experience. 4.1 is in the process of dropping now on Xbox One, and has already been implemented on PC and PS4.

It's now exactly the same tactical-heavy action I grew up with on PC, but it has a lot of the same elements, and I'm happy to see the series still alive and well.

4.1 [Ubisoft]



Mega Man makes his debut in Super Robot Wars X-Ω


Since its release in 2015, the mobile game Super Robot Wars X-Ω has been chugging along, adding more and more franchises to its ever-growing cast list. Every so often, a new addition comes out of left field, such as Little Witch Academia or  Idolmaster. On Wednesday, the official twitter account for the game announced another one of these picks in the form of Mega Man characters.

Can't say anyone saw that coming, that's for sure.


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Wolfenstein II's first DLC episode is now available


This snuck right up on me, but the first DLC episode for Wolfenstein II is now available for download on all platforms. Season pass owners should already have the content, but if you want to purchase this separately it will set you back $9.99.

The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe sees the game take a more lighthearted approach as you occupy the boots of Joseph Stallion and utilize your years of football prowess to literally tackle Nazis to death. The setting also gets shifted to Chicago, which sounds like a whole heap of fun. Anything that lets you punch more Nazis can't be that bad.


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Nendoroid D.Va coming to fly around and blow stuff up


To all my fellow purveyors of cute things, the time has come to set aside cash for Nendoroid D.Va! She will be the sixth in Good Smile Company's pint-sized line of Overwatch heroes, joining Tracer, Mei, Mercy, Genji, and Hanzo.

As with the other Overwatch Nendos, D.Va will have articulated knees and elbows. And of course she'll have the extra faceplates and random accessories that we all love. Unfortunately, a full-sized Meka is not part of the package, but a little tiny one will be included.

D.Va is up for pre-order now for US$49.99 and is set for a July 2018 release. You can get her at the Good Smile Online Shop, Good Smile's partner shops, or from the Blizzard Gear Store.

Nendoroid D.Va [Good Smile Company]


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Disney is set to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion


After a lot of hemming and hawing Disney and 21st Century Fox have agreed on a mega-buyout in which Disney will acquire all of Fox's entertainment production assets, and subsequently become an entertainment behemoth the likes we've never seen. Disney will be taking over almost everything Fox owns except its news channel, broadcast network, and sports channel. This puts Disney firmly in control of some of the most popular movie and television shows out there (that they don't already own). There's the obvious ones that we can all jump on like X-Men finally coming back home to Marvel or Avatar. but did you know that Fox also makes Modern Family and This is Us? Disney will also gain ownership of channels like FX that pump out some of the most critically acclaimed television there is. And that's exactly what they want. This is their bid to stay relevant in a quickly changing entertainment marketplace where streaming rights, pop culture shows and cinematic universes are everything. Fox took a look at the landscape and decided they couldn't hack it and that's why they're selling. Disney looked and saw it needed something like Fox to further compete with Netflix, Amazon and Apple. And compete they will. Think about this: not only is Disney launching its own streaming service where we can presume they will house almost every movie they own the rights to along with a host of television shows they just picked up, but they now also control a majority of Hulu thanks to this merger. In a few years it is highly likely that Disney will easily beat out Netflix for streaming dominance. They're already dominating in the movie space as they'll now own every major cinematic universe outside of Harry Potter. I kind of wish the Dark Universe hadn't crashed and burned just so this wasn't true.  The deal must still be approved, but it doesn't look like regulators will stand in the way for any reasoning, meaning Disney will soon be bringing in $75 billion in revenue with nearly a third of it coming from Fox.  This will touch on video games as well. While Disney Interactive is pretty much dead, the studio now controls the rights to an insane amount of popular IPs that cross into the gaming world. While EA gets the brunt of the blame for screwing up Star Wars, it's Disney who let them use their IP like that, and it's Disney making money off of it as well. One wonders what they could strong arm out of game studios when they hold all these cards. Then again, maybe it isn't all doom and gloom. Disney currently owns Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, and all three of those studios have released quality, creator driven products under the company. I may not be a fan of the idea of the X-Men and Avengers sharing a cinematic universe (more on that in another piece), but I am a fan of Marvel being back in control of the films, especially if they take their cues from Fox with films like Logan and Deadpool while they figure out what to do with the X-Men series. Then again... again, it just can't be good for one studio to control so much of what we watch, even if that studio is producing fantastic content. Other studios are going to have to look for mergers now too if they even want to think about [...]

Pokemon Crystal is coming to the 3DS next year with Bank support on day one


Nintendo and Game Freak are doing a great thing bringing classic Pokemon games into the fray on modern platforms. I've had many conversations with people who want to get into them but lack retro hardware, and now everyone can enjoy a piece of history together, with trading capabilities with modern games, no less.

To this end, Nintendo has announced that Pokemon Crystal is coming to the 3DS on January 26, priced at $9.99. Crystal is notable as the first "third version" to hit the west (to Silver and Gold), and because it lacks a DS remake. For those who are wondering, yes the Pokemon Bank will have support for Crystal day one. It'll also be able to interact with Red, Blue, and Yellow. Oh, and Celebi can now be encountered "in an event" after beating the game.

Yep, this is doing it right! If only Nintendo put this much effort into the rest of the Virtual Console.



Vs. Super Mario Bros. will be hitting the Japanese eShop soon


It's been awhile since we've heard about Nintendo's efforts to port the arcade iterations of its classics to the Switch, but we seem to be getting a second entry before the end of the year. Heading to the Japanese eShop on December 22, Vs. Super Mario Bros. will join the Switch line-up of games that make you wish Virtual Console was ready.

I've actually seen a cabinet in person before. One of the McDonald's a few towns over had one in the late '90s and I couldn't keep myself away. I occasionally go back and hope the machine is still there, but it seems the owners sold it off shortly after the turn of the millennium.


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Build-A-Bear Workshop is getting Mario-themed plushies


Starting today, you can grab the likeness of Mario and friends on Build-A-Bear's online store. The collection will begin showing up at stores in the U.S., U.K., and Canada starting this weekend. You can also grab them at the U.K. online shop here.

The full lineup includes a 16-inch Mario Bear complete with sewn-on overalls, mustache, and a Super Mario logo on his paw. The other full-sized plushies include Bowser and Mario's trusty dinosaur, Yoshi.  



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Pearl and Marina to perform 'Live' at Japanese Splatoon tournament


Splatoon 2's hosts, Pearl and Marina, have announced that they are to play a live concert in Japan, as their avant-garde collective; Off the Hook. The duo will take to the stage to perform all their latest (s)hits and I need to start saving up for a flight to Japan. Pronto.

Queen of the World Pearl, and her tag-along friend, will perform a live set at NicoNico Tokaigi to close out the Splatoon competition. You can expect all their Rap-Dance classics, from the crowd-pleasing "Ebb and Flow" to the more emotionally-evocative "Muck Warfare".

This gig follows in the footsteps of Squid-Sisters, Callie and Marie, who also performed several concerts when they were Splatoon's hosts. This was achieved through the power of projected imagery. Of course, Pearl and Marina are actual, real people, so I'm assuming no such technology will be necessary.

Off the Hook will be appearing at Makuhari Messe on February 17, 2018. It promises to be the greatest musical happening since that episode of Saved By The Bell where Zack and Slater formed a band.


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