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Updated: 2017-06-22T06:49:00Z


Dynasty Warriors 9 looks like the biggest upgrade in quite a while


In addition to a new trailer, Koei Tecmo sent over some info for the upcoming Dynasty Warriors 9, the first true open world game in the series. Traversal options like climbing mountains and using grappling hooks are re-confirmed, as well as a new combo system that weaves in multiple mechanics like triggers, flows, and finishers. We also get the first real look at the universe in motion by way of this new trailer.

Dynasty Warriors 9 has an unknown launch date for PS4 (recent comments suggest 2018 at the earliest) and is confirmed for a western release. Other platforms could be unveiled in the future according to Koei Tecmo.


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New Mazinger Z film trailer debuts


A new trailer for the upcoming Mazinger Z anime film was recently added to the official website for the movie. The new trailer contained footage that was shown off at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France. A new key visual was also shown off as well.

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Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid is NHL 18's cover athlete


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The drought is over! After a grueling one-year absence from the cover of EA's hockey video game, a young Canadian man is once again the athlete on the front of NHL. (Not to be confused with a Canadien man.)

At tonight's NHL Awards, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was named the cover star of NHL 18. McDavid is coming off a 100 point season in which he won the Art Ross trophy for being the league's leading scorer. Although he's only two years into his career, McDavid is already considered a generational talent by many -- the kind of superstar that comes around maybe once a decade. He was probably bound to end up on NHL's cover sooner or later.

As for Canada's return to cover athlete prominence, NHL 17 featured Russian-born Vladimir Tarasenko. Before that, NHL 10's Patrick Kane was the last time a non-Canuck (not the team) graced the cover. Between 2011 and 2016 the athletes were, in order: Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Martin Brodeur, Patrice Bergeron, and Jonathan Toews again.

Canada has good luck getting on the cover of NHL games; too bad it doesn't have the same luck winning the Stanley Cup.


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Friday the 13th has a wonderful throwback skin, and it's free


Watching Freddy vs. Jason was the best thing I've done to unwind post-E3. What a good decision.

It had been years since I'd last seen the movie -- long enough to forget how stupid, and good, and stupidly good it is -- and I caught the last half hour on TV. That was the exact right time to show up.

I was a few drinks in at that point and quickly began rooting for Freddy. His goofy-ass theatrics won me over big time. But then it dawned on me: this gimmicky battle could only end one way. They'd want to leave room for a sequel. Sure enough, Freddy winks at the camera despite, uh, being beheaded.

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Still, "The overwhelming evidence is that Jason [won]," per IMDB, "as Freddy has been reduced to a severed head which can only wink suggestively at the camera. With Jason X, we know that there is another Friday the 13th film, but no more Nightmare on Elm Street sequels, the 2010 film being a remake of the original. So this is finally the end for Freddy Kruger, his body destroyed and his soul burning in hell."

This is all a long-winded way of saying that Jason is apparently the best (or at least better than Freddy Krueger), and the best Jason, I'd argue, is his vividly-colored Friday the 13th NES incarnation.

Jason's purple outfit is now available in Friday the 13th: The Game as a swappable skin for "Jason, Part 3" thanks to the game's most recent update. That content has come to PC, PlayStation 4, and now Xbox One as of today, following a short hiccup with a certification failure. It's free, to boot.


There's also a double XP event, from June 23 to June 25, along with a 13,000CP bonus.

Friday the 13th Game [Twitter]


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Hand of Fate Ordeals is bringing deck-building to adventure card games


With Dominion going on ten years now, deck-building is fairly old hat. Once the concept was released upon the world, it blazed through the tabletop scene. Thunderstone and Ascension took the idea to the (yawn) fantasy swords and magic killing monsters theme, and at this point it seems like every big nerd franchise has got a deck-builder. There's Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Alien, and more. Some games slightly tweaked the formula to be dice pools rather than decks of cards, but the central progression remained the same.

I say all this to illustrate a point: these days it can take a lot for a deck-builder to get noticed. It has to bring something new to the table (hyuk hyuk) and that thing had better be good.

So on the heels of the more recent phenomenon of adventure card games (like Pathfinder or Warhammer Quest), Hand of Fate: Ordeals intends to meld the two mechanics into one smooth game. It does all right.


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Ramadhan Blues: A Muslim Gamer's Woes


[It's always great to get someone else's perspective on the world, and to see how things you or I might readily and easily enjoy may encumber others' ways of life. Ricky Namara gives us great insight into his experiences as a Muslim gamer trying to enjoy his favorite hobby during the holy month of Ramadan. It's not only personal, but it's funny as heck - the part where he first asks his religious instructor about a particular move from Street Fighter might be the funniest thing I've ever read! Wanna see your blog on Destructoid's Front Page? Blog about something, ya jerk! - Wes]

Part of growing up where I live is to have a religious teacher (really an "instructor," if you want to be technical) come to our house every afternoon to yank me away from my precious gaming time to learn whether I'm going to the nice place where all the nice people go when they die, or to the not-so-nice place where the not-so-nice people get a pitchfork shoved up their bums.

One particular afternoon my teacher set me aside and told me all about Ramadhan fasting, a grand tradition that only comes once a year where all of the bad things I did for that whole entire year will be forgiven by Allah, The Top Dog, The Big A Himself, for the low, low price of having my breakfast moved up from 6 AM to 4 AM. It's called a "Half-Day Fasting," and it was a very popular method of introducing children age ten years or younger to this annual event.


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Watch 14 minutes of Ace Combat 7 footage with no sappy story


I was a bit dismissive with my last post about Ace Combat 7. The trailer released for E3 was pretty bad, in my defense, but I jumped to some conclusions based on having only played a small selection of the previous titles (6 and Assault Horizon). From the looks of this trailer (and what I was told by fans of the series), the games have a richly detailed back story mixed with some realistic gameplay mechanics that blend together to create a surreal universe.

At least this trailer ditches the melodrama for a more focused look at what Ace Combat 7 will be doing to differentiate itself from the more polarizing entries in the series (ironically the two games I've played). I love the touch of you having to retract your landing gear, but I also dig the developers talking about design decisions and their hopes for the title. Hopefully the game doesn't go full-on stupid like Assault Horizon did.


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I squeezed a rubber duck to make girls wet in Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash


I've got to be honest with you all here. I may have extensive experience with the Senran Kagura series since I'm addicted to Dynasty Warriors-like hack and slash games, but I've never fully gelled with its, uh, packaging. I've got a preferred pick here and there (I'm not immune to anime), but once I found out Marvelous was steering further into the fan service skid with its boob water shooter Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash I worried I'd never be able to play it without feeling super embarrassed about it. 

After getting some hands-on time with these soaking wet anime girls at E3 while a very, very enthusiastic fan of the series watched on and offered commentary, I figured out that while Peach Beach Splash is competent enough to keep me entertained for an afternoon, it offers enough material to keep that guy going for the rest of his life. 


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Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 is coming in August


Up until this morning, I had no idea that a sequel to Cook, Serve, Delicious was in the works. I'm always down for more burger-flipping, salad-slinging restaurant management. It looks like Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 has all that and more. I think they call that "the works" over in the food service industry.

Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 is set to release on August 24. While the core gameplay -- managing customer orders and serving up delectable meals -- looks similar to the first game, the sequel's bigger in every way imaginable.


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Outreach, a story-driven historical thriller, was the best game I saw at E3 2017


Outreach got lucky. It's a Gone Home-like on a Russian space station set during the Cold War, and features no science fiction elements. I like Gone Home quite a bit, I love alternate history fiction, and I just started watching The Americans, which is just as good as everybody said it was. So you've got a narrative-driven historical thriller that reminds me of my new favorite TV show, and it's being shown away from the crowded E3 show floor. Of course I would be all about that. Of course I have a mountain of personal preference to overcome. Of course this game looks fantastic despite my own inclinations.

Much like the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion, the execution is just as good as the core idea. The space station feels as lived-in as you could expect from a game that has to work within the constraints of period technology, the dialogue flows well between protagonist Dimitri and the voice of Mission Control, and the space sequence where Dimitri leaps from handrail to handrail unmoored on the outside of the station was ass-clenchingly thrilling.

In Outreach, a Russian space station goes dark, so they send up a cosmonaut (you) to find out what's going on. Producer James Booth insisted – multiple times – that Outreach was not a science fiction game; it's a "historical fiction" game. I like the idea that good old human error is at fault here, so if any aliens or Mars ghosts show up, thanks for making a fool of me in public, Booth.


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It's worth giving Snake Pass another look on Nintendo Switch


Nintendo Switch owners have a reason to revisit Snake Pass this week. A new update introduces time trials and online leaderboards, bringing that version of the game in line with the rest.

Sumo Digital also has a number of platform-wide fixes, covering things like broken achievements, exploits, and Noodle's unreliable tail grabs. The latter has my attention more than anything.

I'm bad at this game -- bad enough that I don't care to test myself with a time constraint -- but I'm still glad I bought it, all the same. I like supporting original games like this. I wanna see more of 'em.


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For better or worse, Fortnite seems like a real time sink


At E3, I was reunited with Fortnite, Epic's long-in-development-but-almost-there game about gathering resources, building out fortified bases with traps, and gunning down and/or slicing up the incoming zombie horde. This was my third time playing the game at an event. This will also be my last.

Fortnite is going to be free-to-play eventually, but before that day arrives, the co-op action/shooter will first go through a paid early access period on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. That'll cost $40 -- a not-unreasonable price for this type of game for early adopters -- and it's coming July 25.

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The game has been significantly refined since I last went hands-on -- and that polish can and does make a world of difference -- but the core remains the same. I went through a new tutorial that 1) served as a good refresher to Fortnite's easily-graspable but numerous moving parts and 2) injected personality and even some story that had previously been missing. My takeaway? It feels really good.

Epic hopes to hit that "AAA free-to-play" sweet spot, and to my mind, the only other vaguely similar rival (and a game the team seems deeply familiar with) is Warframe. That's good company to be in.


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Review: Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood


After a rocky weekend of early access Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood opened up its main story quest gating bug and everyone got to see what I've been experiencing since an hour after its early access debut. Since then, I've been playing it quite a bit.

So much in fact, that I'm already raid-ready, having cleared the highest level content at the moment -- Susano EX and Lakshmi EX 10 times each.

I still love this game.


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Fable Fortune is a very fun card game chained to a very dead franchise


I remember a surprising amount about the plot to Fable III, considering that I stopped actively thinking about it once the credits rolled some seven-odd years ago. I remember you were a prince, and your brother was the king, but he was a mean king. You had to put together a scrappy gang and overthrow your evil brother, only it turns out he was being a despotic ruler because he needed to save money to defend Albion from some generic evil threat. I think the morally ambiguous guy from the last game showed up. Then you leave your Xbox on for like three days while money just kind of accumulates.

That summary was what I rattled off to the developers of Fable Fortune when they asked me if I've ever played a Fable game. It's a fair question! Anecdotally, people don't care about Fable – in part because the studio behind the series was closed last year and Microsoft cancelled that free-to-play co-op game. Fable isn't being scrubbed from the public consciousness because of any active disinterest, it's just that pop culture only has so much room for middling role-playing franchises. When I ask people about Fable, all they ever remember is "chicken chaser" in a bad Cockney accent.

So I'm not the only one who finds Fable Fortune – a Kickstarted card game featuring Fable characters and iconongraphy – extremely curious. The collectible card game (CCG) space is well-tread in video games, with Hearthstone tearing it up on just about every platform. You could make a play for that genre by stapling your game to an established franchise, like The Witcher and Gwent, which Fable Fortune is almost certainly trying to do. As a game, Fortune is nothing to sneeze at, borrowing from Hearthstone by keeping things simple while still making each deck fun to play. But that Fable name might end up being more of an albatross than anything else – at best it might evoke a franchise players forgot because it was too uneven to remember.


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Anthem, that new BioWare IP debuted at E3, could be a '10 year journey'


When it comes to Anthem, let's get the whole Destiny comparison out of the way first.

When Destiny was announced, Activision explained that they had a "10 year plan" to work with Bungie on the game, which led people to erroneously believe that Destiny, that one game, would be supported for that long. Well, if it was on PC and they could make major infrastructure changes, push patches instantly without dealing with platform holders, and upgrade the visuals over time (just like an MMO), that could probably happen. But on consoles? That's a pretty rare thing (even Square Enix is working around it by dropping PS3 support for FFXIV and leveraging the PS4 Pro for more power). No, that "10 year" thing was more of an outline for their partnership, which includes at least four games.

Anthem, revealed at E3, is probably the same for BioWare (except they're fully owned by EA, so they have to do whatever they tell them to). It was explained last week that they sort of have the same arrangement, and when Anthem hits next year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, it'll be part of a long term haul -- so get ready for more Anthem. More specifically, EA VP Patrick Soderlund stated, "I think it’ll be the start of a ten-year journey for us." However in this day and age, isn't that putting the cart before the horse just a 'lil bit?

Just look at Universal's The Mummy, which isn't expected to turn a profit given the monumental marketing costs and the low international box office take. They announced at least six films (!) in its "Dark Universe" before Mummy even debuted, and they even retconned (what might be the more successful) Dracula Untold out of it!

IP holders are so intent on MCU-ing everything with cross-media franchises, but the massive risk-reward factor is intense -- like, studio ruining intense. Let's see if BioWare can pull this off after their recent low with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Wouldn't it be killer if they were the first game to announce cross-platform play with Xbox One and PS4?


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Destructoid agrees to be acquired by Enthusiast Gaming


Nope, it’s not an April Fool’s gag. Big news today, folks.

Destructoid has agreed to be acquired by Enthusiast Gaming which is headquartered in Toronto. Yes, Mr. Destructoid is an honorary Canadian now (eh!). This means Papa Niero is no longer the owner of Destructoid, as I’ve traded in all shares of my LLC and taken shares in their company. One independent company joining another. 

This isn’t my resignation, though. I’m not going anywhere.

My decision to join Enthusiast Gaming was not an easy one, but a necessary one as Facebook, Google, and Apple continue to squeeze small publishers into their walled gardens. The web publishing business no longer resembles what I was able to once hustle on my lonesome. Sailing that crazy ocean with my team has been incredibly challenging and rewarding for us, but we’re happy to come ashore to an all-gaming focused network that is ten times our size. If Destructoid was a cute curiosity before then we’re going to be fucking adorable soon. Oh, you think I’d go corporate? Fuck that. We’re an even bigger indie now.


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Netflix is basically making a series of Telltale kids games


Taking a page from Telltale's recent book (where it's less of a puzzle adventure game and more just choosing things), Netflix is getting into the modern adventure racket. This just announced this week that they're starting with the children angle with two projects -- Puss in Book (coming June 20) and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile (coming July 14).

It remains to be seen if this is going to be an ongoing "thing," but for now, Netflix is getting games. Game...things. Maybe you don't consider Telltale games or some walking simulators "games." Man I don't want to have that conversation. Let's agree to disagree, that they're games.

Are we having that argument now? Okay they're games, it's settled.


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Assassin's Creed's pirate stuff was too good to let die and Skull & Bones proves it


Ubisoft's new pirate game, Skull & Bones, is a recycled idea. No one has delusions that it's wholly original, because its source material is so obvious. Ubisoft is borrowing from itself here, but not in a way that feels uninspired. Rather, Skull & Bones feels like the natural evolution and conclusion of a genuinely great mechanic.

Quick history lesson: The first iteration of Skull & Bones' pirating systems debuted in Assassin's Creed III. At the time, it was just a series of side missions but somewhere during development, Ubisoft realized it had a hook that could carry an entire game. The next series entry, Black Flag, was built around the ship stuff. People ate it up.

I have a minor confession to make. I didn't really like the naval direction of Black Flag (and Rogue, I guess). In a vacuum, I actually loved the sailing and sea dog combat. But, it wasn't what I wanted from an Assassin's Creed game. The emphasis on pirating stripped away too much of the running around large cities and jumping off tall things that I had come to mindlessly love.


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Blizzard signs two year deal with Twitch, which mostly impacts pro play


Blizzard has been playing the field when it comes to eSports. While at least one Overwatch tournament has aired on TBS, they've also dabbled in YouTube and Facebook live for various eSports events for games like Heroes of the Storm. But that all changes this week as the company has inked a two year deal with Twitch. So that's why we all got free stuff yesterday, with more to come.

What does this mean? Well, all tournaments will air on Twitch (or official channels like Blizzard's site). So the HGC (Heroes of the Storm Global Championship) that was previously aired on YouTube? It's Twitch now. The same goes for Hearthstone, Starcraft II, Overwatch, and WoW arena championships.

The battle of broadcasting rights is so weird now that many folks are pulling the plug on cable. While you used to be able to get sporting events over the air for the most part (for free), now they're incentivizing all sorts of perks like Twitch Prime and YouTube Red in an effort to monetize us all. It's a brave new world.



Project CARS 2 is coming at the king, it best not miss


Over the course of all the E3 appointments I've attended in my six years covering the show, I don't think I've ever heard someone place equal emphasis on their game and why it's better than the competition. Project CARS 2 creative director Andy Tudor did this. It was half sales pitch and half obnoxious truthering. After thinking about it for a bit, I can't say I blame him.

"The first truth is that we still have the largest track roster of any console racing game," Tudor started out. "And it is great that other games have only just added dynamic weather because we had that in Project CARS 1," he continued. There's no lapse between these statements; these sentences are literally said back-to-back.


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That Dragon Quest XI Nintendo Direct had nothing Switch related in it


When it was announced that a Japanese Nintendo Direct would air regarding Dragon Quest XI, and "mostly," deal with the 3DS edition, we expected some Switch news. I mean, we haven't seen it in action yet, and although it's slated for 3DS and PS4 next year, we don't even have a Switch launch window yet. Well, it turns out "mostly," was "all 3DS all the time."

If you're interested in that version (you should be, it looks rad), you can watch the entire Direct below. It's roughly 15 minutes long and shows off a bunch of mechanics like the world map, minigames, the old school 2D art style that's exclusive to the 3DS (and an 8-bit mode that triggers around 10:30), mounting, and some battle footage.

I really wish I had the option of buying into 3DS and Switch next month in the west -- but none of those things are happening at the moment. It's yet to be officially unveiled on Switch or confirmed for the west (but they'll probably happen at the same time, possibly next year).


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Destiny 2 feels so good on PC that I might actually get hooked this time


If there's one thing I'm awfully good at, it's putting off PC upgrades.

If there's a second thing I'm also really dang good at, it's buying Destiny around launch, playing it for like two hours, and then never touching it again, instead selfishly focusing my energy on tempting die-hard players like Darren into picking up games I'm into, like Overwatch, and then failing to make ground.

After playing a bit of Destiny 2 on PC at E3, I need to rethink both of these life choices.

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I can't speak to the sequel's intricacies, because they were lost on me as an unfamiliar player who was in a decent hurry to finish up and make it to his next appointment on time. But I can say this: it feels fluid and crisp. The gunplay is wonderful. And the first mission, Homecoming, made for a far more arresting opener than what I remember of the original's (which, again, failed to grab me).

I played on mouse and keyboard, and after glancing at the standard E3 demo control leaflet that's always nestled safely under the screen, I was pretty much good to go. Everything just worked and made sense. More important than that, I was having a grand old time. Now, don't go telling Darren or doing anything rash like that, but I'm staaarting to think I can get down with this whole Destiny thing.

It's a shame I'm going to need a new PC to make it happen, but, counterpoint: it feels so good.



Review: Transformers: The Last Knight


Transformers: The Last Knight is proof that Andy Kaufman is alive.

When the first film arrived it was a classic Michael Bay film. Yes it was dumb, and full of stupid, but it had awesome action, and Optimus Prime, so it worked. Since then the films have spiraled out of control, but before The Last Knight I would've believed they were just making bad movies because they made a lot of money. The only way this latest installment could have been made is if the entire franchise was just one long Kaufman joke.

A series of films getting progressively worse while destroying the childhood nostalgia of an entire generation. A comic punchline so terrible, and awful, it could only come from Andy Kaufman himself. A comic pastiche of everything wrong with blockbuster Hollywood slowly played out over decades. It has to be a massive joke, right? I cannot explain it any other way.

Andy Kaufman is alive and has played the greatest joke in the history of mankind. 


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Two PC summer sales rolling out before Steam's sale on Thursday


Rumor has it Thursday, June 22 is the Steam Summer Sale. Granted, it's just a rumor and not confirmed, but ahead of its speculative launch date both GamersGate and GameStop have summer sales of their own with several hot PC games at aggressive pricing. At least on some titles, you don't need to wait until Thursday to take advantage of deep publisher discounts. GamersGate's sale fired up earlier this Sunday, and while hundreds of games are on sale, the best of the bunch are from Ubisoft. Everything Assassin's Creed and Fry Cry is at summer sale price levels with new low prices on Assassin's Creed Syndicate Gold, Assassin's Creed Rogue, and Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy among others. The GameStop PC Game Sale is technically not a summer sale, but they do have a handful of titles that rarely go on sale. Namely Bandai Namco games like the lowest price ever on Dark Souls III and its Deluxe Edition (which includes the game + Season Pass). We've waded through the hundreds of deals in the sales and come up with a list of our top picks. GamersGate PC Gaming Summer Sale Ubisoft Titles Assassin's Creed Syndicate Gold Edition (Uplay) — $31.50  (list price $70) Far Cry: Primal (Uplay) — $22.50  (list price $50) Far Cry 4 (Uplay) — $12.60  (list price $30) Assassin's Creed Rogue (Uplay) — $8.80  (list price $20) Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy (Uplay) — $11.25  (list price $25) Far Cry 3 (Uplay) — $5.98  (list price $20) Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Uplay) — $4.49  (list price $15) Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (Uplay) — $4.45  (list price $10) Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India (Uplay) — $4.40  (list price $10) Far Cry 2 Fortune's Edition (Uplay) — $2.99  (list price $10) Far Cry (Uplay) — $2.96  (list price $10) More Starpoint Gemini Warlords (Steam) — $23.36  (list price $35) Killing Floor 2 - Digital Deluxe (Steam) — $16.16  (list price $40) Killing Floor 2 (Steam) — $12.12  (list price $30) Meridian: Squad 22 (Steam) — $5.28  (list price $15) Starpoint Gemini 2 (Steam) — $4.32  (list price $35) Bridge Constructor (Steam) — $3.64  (list price $10) Skullgirls (Steam) — $2.50  (list price $10) Meridian: New World (Steam) — $1.33  (list price $7) The Binding of Isaac (DRM-Free) — $1.15  (list price $5) Obulis (Steam) — $0.95  (list price $5) Space Trader (Steam) — $0.95  (list price $5) Dark Matter (Steam) — $0.95  (list price $5) GameStop's PC Game Sale JPRGs Dark Souls III Deluxe Edition (Steam) — $42.49  (list price $85) Dark Souls III (Steam) — $23.99  (list price $60) Tales of Berseria (Steam) — $29.99  (list price $50) Tales of Zestiria (Steam) — $12.49  (list price $50) Valkyria Chronicles (Steam) — $4.99  (list price $20) The Sims 4 The Sims 4 (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) The Sims 4 Get Together (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) The Sims 4: City Living (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) The Sims 4: Vampires Pack (Origin) — $9.99  (list price $20) More NBA 2K17 (Steam) — $35.99  (list price $60) Grand Theft Auto V — $29.99  (list price $60) The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (DRM-Free) — $23.99  (list price $40[...]

Sega Forever is poised to be the ultimate retro trip


Nintendo isn't the only company with an extensive back catalog of retro classics. Sega was also hot during the '90s and their portfolio of titles is nearly as ubiquitous with retro gamers as the Big N's. While Sega has never shied away from porting these tiles (how many platforms is Sonic the Hedgehog on?), their newest initiative seems like a bold move to get people playing.

Enter Sega Forever, a push to make the entirety of Sega's back catalog available for free on mobile. I'm sure most of you have tuned out after that word, but Sega promises to bring controller support along with a small fee ($1.99) to eliminate advertisements in each game, should you wish to flat out own them. They are also not limiting the selection of titles to Genesis games, making mention of Dreamcast in the press release (Dreamcast games will be ports instead of emulation).


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Nintendo insists that there's no possession of any kind in Super Mario Odyssey


After the E3 debut of the Super Mario Odyssey trailer, all of us couldn't stop using the word "possess." "Cool, so Mario's hat is basically a possession mechanic, it's very spiritual, we all said." Well, Nintendo pushed its glasses way the fuck up on its head and just told us, "actually, it's not."

In an official tweet directed at a fan theory that Mario possesses his victims, Nintendo noted, "Um, actually he's been 'Captured' by Mario." So there you have it. Any head cannon that Mario is praising any supernatural forces (possibly the hat) for his powers are now unfounded.

He merely "captures" his prey in a friendly manner.


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Best Buy has a CyberPowerPC with Radeon RX 580 for only $679


If you're spotting fewer deals in recent days on GPUs, particularly of the GTX 1070, RX 480, and RX 580 variants... you're not imagining things. Cryptocurrency mining is all the rage with skyrocketing prices on Ether, Bitcoin, et al. and they are inadvertently driving up demand and stock of these high/mid-range GPUs as well.

Today, Best Buy is offloading two CyberPowerPC gaming desktops, one of which is incredibly attractive in pricing. The now $679.99 Gamer Ultra Desktop comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 1400, a Radeon RX 580 (rebranded higher-clocked Polaris GPU), 8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD, and plenty of ports and outputs you'd expect from a new desktop (USB 3.1, DisplayPort, even an ancient PS/2 port (uh what) are included.

Considering the Radeon RX 580 is currently selling for over $400 on eBay, this is a pretty good deal - whether you keep the GPU or part it for inflated value thanks to the mining craze.

CyberPowerPC Desktop Deal

Conversely, Best Buy is also offering a FX-4300 equipped desktop with a RX 460 as a budget gaming machine. It's not a bad price but we think you'll get a much better bang for your buck by going with the $680 Ryzen 5 + RX 580 combo.


Supplies appear to be limited, but in general, if you live in a major metropolitan area you should be able to order online and pick-up in store - that's our recommend step to secure a unit before it goes invariably out of stock.


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Pen Pineapple Apple Pen guy leads first real world Layton puzzle


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To help promote the upcoming Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and The Millionaires’ Conspiracy for 3DS, Level-5 teamed up with SCRAP (real escape games) to make a "puzzle-solving event that challenges users around the world to solve 50 puzzles that appear on the internet and in special locations in 10 countries, including Japan, the U.S., the U.K., South Korea, and Australia" from June 20 to September 21, 2017.

The first puzzle is about the viral video PPAP (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen). The event has already begun and you can get started from the Layton World website. There was also a regular ole game trailer showing off the game's story and some puzzle gameplay. It looks more interesting than the original Layton games, and not only because it features a talking bloodhound (but that may be one of the larger reasons).


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The new Bubsy better suck or I'm quitting video games forever


[Normally I'd pooh-pooh someone hoping for a game to be bad, but Manchild makes too damned strong of a case for Bubsy being butt-garbage that I can't make a reasonable argument against him. If you're going to revive a series, why change what it's all about? So sit back and take in all the shitty platforming nostalgia! Wanna see your work on the Front Page? Write a Cblog, dang it! - Wes]

I've been waiting my entire adult life to write an article about a new Bubsy game. I just never knew it until today.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. If the new Bubsy doesn't suck ass, I'm quitting video games forever.


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Days Gone's dynamic world sets it apart, but I need more convincing


You probably know Days Gone as "the game with the absurd zombie hordes." Me too.

That was the big talking point a year ago, during last E3, and we covered it in-depth. This year's show brought another hands-off demo opportunity and a different angle. Literally!

Behind closed doors, Sony Bend Studio showed the same mission you saw during the on-stage presentation (embedded below) but played it during a different time of day, with different weather. Those changes had far-reaching repercussions on the mission's ebb and flow and its overall pace.

This year's talking point? The game's dynamic weather isn't just for show (though it does look great).


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New study claims that gaming affects the penis in two different ways


You're gonna want to stick your dick in the popcorn for this one: A new study published in the Medical Journal of Sexytime Medicine suggests that people who "chronically abuse" videogames are less likely to bust a groove prematurely, but overall these guys will crave less sex than their non-gaming bros. In an interview with Vice, the lead researcher (who is a gamer) believes the stress caused by intense gaming makes us less likely to want figure out the vaginal pythagoras after emerging from the man-cave. Hmm.

The study was conducted by scientists in Italy, who definitely know about these things because Sex and City taught us that those guys can fuck like magical ligers. They surveyed a few hundred men who responded to two respected online survey methods, where the findings were then correlated for causation. Here's a data bloop from the study:

From June 18, 2014 through July 31, 2014, 599 men 18 to 50 years old completed the questionnaires. One hundred ninety-nine men reported no sexual activity during the previous 4 weeks; four records were rejected because of inherent errors. The remaining 396 questionnaires were analyzed, with 287 “gamers” (playing >1 hour/day on average) and 109 “non-gamers” providing all the required information. We found a lower prevalence of premature ejaculation in gamers compared with non-gamers (mean PEDT score = 3.57 ± 3.38 vs 4.52 ± 3.7, P < .05, respectively). Analysis of the IIEF-15 showed no significant differences between gamers and non-gamers in the domains of erectile function, orgasmic function, and overall satisfaction. Median scores for the sexual desire domain were higher for non-gamers (median score [interquartile range] 9 [8–9] vs 9 [8–10], respectively; P = .0227).

Interquartile Range sounds like where Squirtle and the fam go on hay rides.


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Agents of Mayhem feels like a boiled down Saints Row


I've been hooked to Volition's Saints Row series ever since it underwent a major tonal reboot with Saints Row: The Third. The series may have been a victim of diminishing returns as of late -- you can only jump over the proverbial shark so many times -- so I was hoping the spin-off, Agents of Mayhem, would be the boost this formula needed. 

Reading Steven's preview a few months ago, I was excited to play the game myself during E3. After spending an hour with it, my excitement has tempered a bit. Despite the admirable reach of its gameplay, Agents of Mayhem feels like an insular experience. 


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Get a free Golden Overwatch box on Twitch Prime


Starting today, Overwatch aficionados can claim a free golden loot box if they're signed up for Amazon Prime. As part of Twitch's Prime Loot program, anyone who's linked their Twitch and Amazon Prime accounts together can claim the loot box, which is guaranteed to contain at least one Legendary cosmetic item for Overwatch.

To claim the loot box, you'll need to click the crown icon on your homepage at Twitch.Tv and click "Get Code." You'll then need to head to Blizzard's code redemption page and log into your Blizzard account. If you're attempting to claim the code for PS4 or Xbox One, you may need to link your console version to The golden loot box is only available for a limited time, though I wasn't able to find a hard end date.


This isn't the first time a Blizzard game has been part of Twitch Prime's promotion, as the program launched with a HearthStone cosmetic item. Twitch's blog page promises that eligible members will also receive five free normal Overwatch loot boxes in both August and October, and additional promotions for HearthStone and Heroes of the Storm are in the works. Unfortunately, the gold loot box won't contain any seasonal items, but I noticed mine didn't have any duplicates for a change. Good luck!


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Put some trust into sci-fi horror Distrust


It's hot in the UK, right now. Damn hot! So even though this is the third wintery game I've played already, right after Kona and The Wild Eight, I'm actually okay with it as long as the illusion keeps me cool.

Luckily, Distrust also happens to be a neat concept that has kept me entertained for hours. Even in its current demo form, Distrust's mix of This War of Mine survivalism and FTL's forceful progression makes for an interesting B-movie horror game.


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Retroid records episode 3 tonight


Hey everybody,

We're rolling along, matching colors and fighting gravity in this week's episode of Retroid. Tonight's topic will be puzzle games, stuff like Tetris, Columns, Puyo Puyo, Dr. Mario, Bejeweled, basically anything where blocks or blobs are shuffled or falling into a container. 

My guests this time are Alex Ryan, Topher Cantler, and Jonathan Holmes. We'll also be talking about some of the retro remakes that were revealed at this year's E3, including Shadow of the Colossus, Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, and Metroid: Samus Returns.

If you'd like to leave us a question you can do so below in the comments or send them via twitter @RetroidPodcast. And please let us know what other topics you'd like us to discuss, as this week's show topic was suggested by a listener.



Crash Bandicoot mascot suit returns in goofy new workout trailer


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Remember those Crash Bandicoot TV advertisements in the 90s, the ones where a guy wears a Crash Bandicoot costume? I do, and so does Vicarious Visions who decided to take a nostalgia trip in the latest advertisement for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy,  

As many times as I saw those commercials, I never actually owned or even rented Crash Bandicoot when I had the original PlayStation. I mostly used it play 2gether and WWF CDs and occasionally played Spice World and the first level of PaRappa the Rapper (because I couldn't beat it). Some part of me wants to say "they're just doing it as a gimmick to get more press" but sometimes it's best to stop being so cynical and just enjoy things.



Black Mesa suffers another delay, Xen to be added in December


The development path of the fan made Half-Life remake, Black Mesa, has been rocky. Being greenlit on Steam years before actually appearing on the service, Crowbar Collective, the dev team behind the game, has been promising to add the infamous "Xen" levels from the original title for almost as long as the mod has been in existence. While they are still dedicated to doing that, it looks like we won't be getting them during their originally planned summer window.

According to a post on the Steam community forums, Black Mesa's final content update should arrive sometime in December. The devs shared some screenshots of their work in progress and made note of a few updates coming to the game today.

Most of that is relegated to better lighting and some color correction to unify all of the different chapters of the game, so its not the most exciting read. Its still wonderful that Valve has allowed this game to exist when so many other companies are insistent on shutting down fan projects. Hopefully for Crowbar, they can finally put an end cap on their tribute to one of gaming's most influential titles.

Summer Media Update [Steam Community]



Discord is interested in working with Nintendo on Switch chat


Any MMO or hardcore MOBA player is probably aware of, or has used, some form of third party voice chat like TeamSpeak or Discord at some point. It seems like every new raid group I jump into has a preference, and Discord is one of the programs that I see pretty frequently.

As you may have heard the Switch voice chat situation is a bit of a mess right now, and Discord wants to step in to provide an app for the system. When asked by a fan a rep responded " I hope so," and that they want users to upvote the concept on their feedback forums, presumably to show Nintendo for leverage.

That said, the idea of having any sort of third-party chat program on the Switch is slim at best given that Nintendo wants people to pay for the service. Yes you read that right, chat options are spliced into their paid online system that's set to go premium sometime in 2018.

For now you can probably just stick to using a third-party app on your smartphone anyway.

Discord [Twitter]



South Park's E3 demo was somehow the most ridiculous one yet


Last September, I hit rock bottom as a games writer. Against my better judgment, I let Ubisoft strap a fart machine to my face for a demo of South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Bad call. Terrible. Just awful, really. Deals are not my art form.

I saw South Park again last week at E3. This time proved to be less invasive but somehow entirely more ridiculous. When I say that, I mean it kept with the trademark South Park humor in a perfectly on-brand way. "Yeah, Classi with an I and a little dick that hangs off the C which fucks the L out of the ASS." You know, that kind of stuff.


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Could the Switch end up being a shmup machine? Danmaku Unlimited 3 is coming for it


I don't know if I'm being selfish when it comes to what I want to see on the Switch. The fact that so many indie developers flocked to the Wii U and not enough big studios is what ultimately led to its demise (among other Nintendo related reasons). The Switch is off to a much better start so it's way too early to predict how the market will go, but for now, there's a healthy mix of both worlds.

Another genre is set to make a mark on the system soon -- shoot 'em ups (shmups). Developer Doragon Entertainment has announced that Danmaku Unlimited 3 will arrive on the Switch sometime this year, sporting 60fps visuals, an ultra-wide mode, and everything else from the PC edition that's currently on Steam.

Would you believe that Doragon is a Canadian-based operation mostly consisting of one individual? It's crazy how far indies have come, and how well westerners have co-opted genres typically reserved for Japanese studios.


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Frostpunk lets you put kids to work to keep society happy


I've never been too fond of simulator games since I tend to ruin everyone's virtual lives in The Sims, or set out to create death coasters in Roller Coaster Tycoon. God games never quite have enough of an emotional draw to keep me invested for more than an afternoon, so I'll check out completely once I've pushed the game environment to its extremes. 11 bit studios' Frostpunk aims to change that. 

When the virtual environment is already dealing with extremes, Frostpunk asks whether or not you'll get attached enough to care about the remnants of society. While I'm still not sure about that yet, what I did glean from my hands-off time with it at E3 was that I really dig the idea of a game letting me write all sorts of new child labor laws. 


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Hitman's Prologue can be yours for free


If you've been dying to try out Hitman, you'll now get the chance to do so without dropping any cash. IO Interactive has announced that the Prologue chapter will be going free to celebrate their newfound independence. You'll be able to grab it on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, so if you own some form of gaming console or a competent PC, you're in luck.

The CEO of IO, Hakan Abrak, had this to say: "I'm proud to announce that our first hello as an independent studio is to invite all gamers to play the beginning of HITMAN for free. There is a lot of love out there for HITMAN and with this offering we hope that many more will fall in love with the game. We believe that this is Hitman at its best. So jump in and give a try."


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Review: The Mage's Tale


VR is such an untamed wild right now, and a lot of people don't want any part of it.

Where else could you find a first-person dungeon crawler that takes place in the same universe as Bard's Tale, and sort of bridges the gap between the third and upcoming fourth iteration?


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Konami is holding a massive PSN flash sale right now


Konami might not be the same company it once was, but it went out with a bang with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: A Hideo Kojima Game.

It's also currently half off (now $9.99) as part of a Konami PSN flash sale, which also includes a few other gems like the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (or all three entries broken up into bits), Zone of the Enders 2 HD (PS3), Metal Gear Rising, and Hard Corps: Uprising.

Among all of the other big budget stars I feel like I need to pitch Hard Corps, which was developed by Arc System Works (and helmed by the great Daisuke Ishiwatari). It's one of the most beautiful 2D shooters I've played in years, and deserves to be in the general gaming conversation more than it is.

Konami [PSN]



Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX announced for PS4


The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu has revealed Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX for PlayStation 4.

Currently set to be released in Japan for November 22, the game will be receiving a physical release, and will contain the songs and modules from Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone along with additional new content.


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The Talos Principle VR shows that Croteam gets virtual reality


Lots of people who I just know would dig The Talos Principle slept on it. Whenever puzzle games come up in conversation, I try to sell them on the idea of a philosophical first-person puzzler about AI and eternal life, and the words never seem to flow correctly. They don't quite get the appeal, and I don't blame them. It's one of those games you kind of need to discover for yourself, of our own accord.

I'm hopeful The Talos Principle VR can win over new players. The calm, contemplative, non-linear nature of this game is an inherently good fit for VR, and it's also quite long. We could use more substantial virtual reality titles. Based on my hands-on at E3, things are headed in the right direction.


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Diablo III will finally get the Necromancer next week


While initial fan reception to Diablo III wasn't exactly glowing, people seem to have come around to the game after the release of its expansion, Reaper of Souls. Much to my surprise, the Necromancer class wasn't added to the game for that expansion. How do you leave out such a pivotal player from Diablo? That just feels wrong.

Thankfully next week, on June 27, players will finally be able to raise the dead with Diablo's prematurely greying corpse re-animator. The Necromancer will be priced at $14.99/14.99 € and will require the Reaper of Souls expansion on PC to play (PS4 and Xbox One players don't need to worry about that bit). The pack will also grant access to additional character slots, some new stash tabs on PC, a portrait, banner, sigil, accent and pennant, a brand new pet and some cosmetic stuff for your pets.


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Major Nintendo Switch update adds fixes, new features


Ah, system updates. The great flood of "miscellaneous fixes and improvements," that essentially boil down to "we fixed a security exploit." But not this time. No, Nintendo has a real live update for the Switch in the form of version 3.0.

Now you can sign up for a news channel for a specific game (Miiverse is back in an undead PR type of way!), better friend list concessions, a "find controllers" option, more user icons, external audio options, and a fix for a pesky HDMI input change bug.

Take a gander at the full patch notes below if you're not satisfied. As for me, I mostly just want the Virtual Console, a better, faster eShop, and true folders.

Version 3.0 [Nintendo]


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The Crew 2 feels like a do-over in the best possible way


Ubisoft is doing some genuinely cool, surprising things with The Crew 2. As someone who dug the heck out of the flawed but rewarding free-form original, I couldn't be more pleased. For instance: that world-bending Inception shit from the cinematic trailer? That's actually in the game! (In a limited capacity, as shown in the embedded video starting at 2:53.) width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Not only can you drive cars, bikes, boats, and planes, but you can also freely swap between them at any point without pausing or losing your momentum. This sequel's potential as a sandbox built for goofing off with friends or strangers is ridiculous. In terms of story progression, there are headquarters for street racing, pro racing, off-road, and freestyle. You won't need to do them all. At one point, I flew my plane over a highway, morphed into a car, and went for a sick landing. Things did not go well for me. But they could have! That's the beauty of a game like this. You can get dumb with it. I went hands-on with the open-ended racer at E3 and it made a great first impression. It's still set in the United States (albeit a redesigned US), and you can still roam from coast to coast with other players, but everything's so much prettier, more fully realized, and faster. It felt like a do-over. The zoomed-out map looked familiar at first, but closing in on New York City brought out new details with a 3D cityscape to browse through. Picking a spot and then teleporting to it took no time at all. It's a substantial step up. There's an across-the-board feeling that you're always on the move, with little to no downtime between exploring, events, setting up a crew, or swapping out vehicles. My main takeaway from 15 minutes or so with The Crew 2 is that this is the game fans originally wanted along with some extras they didn't know they needed sprinkled on top. There are still ways it can all go wrong -- nailing the vehicle handling across all the disciplines won't be easy, and the last game's loot system and story weren't too hot -- but man. Man. I'm looking forward to playing this in a real-world setting, because even Ubisoft's "guided tour" style hands-on demo was great fun. There are a lot of other racing games due out between now and early 2018, but I kinda just want to hold out for The Crew 2. I can't see myself having anything other than a good time with it. Read more...[...]

Watch real life 'scientists' battle in the new Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow trailer


I still have no real idea what Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow is actually going to play like, but I will continue to write about it since publisher Jam City keeps putting out awesome trailers for it.

In this latest one, we get to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Stephen Hawking and George Takei get in an argument over how important they are to the series. Oh, there is also a release date of June 29, but I'm more jazzed about new Futurama animation.


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