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Updated: 2016-12-02T20:00:00Z


Zelda: Breath of Wild, 3DS, and Wii U games 15% off at Target


Everyone knows Nintendo games rarely, if ever, go on sale before release. But the good news is that it's the holiday season and retailers wants your fat cash. This week, Target launched a 15% off code slashing game prices pretty much across the board. Amazon is price-matching many of these discounts and doesn't require you to plug in a coupon.  For the most part, games listed at full price are not worth a measly 15% off, especially since Black Friday and Cyber Monday just came and went with many of those games seeing discounts around 50%. Having said that, almost any newly released console game and just about anything Nintendo is an excellent deal with this sales event. (If you're a REDcard holder you can get another 5% off). Finally, the best and most surprising part of this code is that it works on upcoming games. That means titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are getting an ultra rare pre-order discount. Our top picks of the sale are listed below. PS4/Xbox One New Releases Final Fantasy XV (PS4, Xbox One) — $50.99  (list price $60) Steep (PS4, Xbox One) — $50.99  (list price $60) The Last Guardian (PS4) — $50.99  (list price $60) Wii U The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U) — $50.99  (list price $60) Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U) — $50.99  (list price $60) Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) — $14.44  (list price $20) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) — $14.36  (list price $20) 3DS Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS) — $33.99  (list price $40) Pokemon Sun (3DS) — $33.99  (list price $40) Pokemon Moon (3DS) — $33.99  (list price $40) Mario Party Star Rush (3DS) — $28.89  (list price $40) Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (3DS) — $25.59  (list price $40) Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS) — $25.59  (list price $40) Super Smash Bros. (3DS) — $22.09  (list price $40) The Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes (3DS) — $16.99  (list price $20) Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) — $13.59  (list price $20) [...]

Hearthstone's new expansion takes some cues from story updates


I've been playing Hearthstone regularly for about a year now, and I've seen the game change pretty significantly during that time. Hearthstone is Blizzard's most popular game by a large margin, and it's not hard to see why. Streamlining the esoteric rules of Magic: The Gathering is something that probably needed to happen, and Blizzard's made their fortune by making hardcore formats and genres accessible to the masses. Furthermore, giving you the first hit of dopamine for free is a proven business model, and it works just as well in card games as with less savory products. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Earlier this year, Blizzard changed Hearthstone's rules, rotating out some of the older cards to make way for new ones, and updating many that they felt were too far off the power curve. It looks like that's what they plan to do well into the future, rotating out older sets as new ones become available. Hearthstone expansions come in two different formats. There are story-themed expansions like One Night in Karazhan that you can pay cash for or unlock with in-game gold. Playing through one of these unlocks the same cards for everyone, and they're the best place for new players to begin earning powerful cards. The newest set is the other kind, with randomized packs which can be earned through Arena play or bought with gold or cash. The cool thing about the most recent update, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, is that it takes some cues from the story expansions. When you load up the game client right now, you'll be introduced to a two-headed ogre, a representative of Gadgetzan's Grimy Goons faction. (By the way, if he's not being voiced by John DiMaggio, it's an incredible soundalike.) Each of Gadgetzan's factions works with three of Hearthstone's nine hero types, and has some special cards that any of the three classes can use. The ogre will ask you to win three games as any of the heroes his faction works with, and doing so will win you a couple of free packs from the newest expansion. Once that's done, you're introduced to representatives from the Jade Lotus and the Kabal, who represent other sets of three heroes. The Gadgetzan expansion plays to the wackier side of the spectrum, with Goblin mobsters, Troll alchemists, and Walrusman police officers fighting over territory. Every new expansion includes a new game board to play on, and Gadgetzan's includes several references to Overwatch, including Junkrat's Rip-Tire, Genji's Dragonblade, and a Pachamari doll hidden in the corners of the play field. Once you've completed the quests for all three of Gadgetzan's competing factions, you'll unlock six of the new packs, which will contain 30 new cards. It's not as good as unlocking all of the cards from one of the story expansions, but it's a good place to start. Each of the factions has a different theme to build a deck around. The Goons work with Hunters, Warriors, and Paladins, and can give stat buffs to creatures that are still in your hand. The Jade Lotus are aligned with Rogues, Druids, and Shaman, and their theme involves summoning Jade Golems that get more powerful each time you play one. The Kabal is a group of Warlocks, Priests, and Mages who gain huge bonuses if their decks don't have any more than one of the same card. I'm not sure if there's ever a right or wrong time to jump into Hearthstone, and I'm well aware it's not for everyone. It's free to start and has marvelous production values, though some people will be turned off by the randomness of the cards. It is possible to play without spending any money if you're patient. Eventually you'll be able to work your way towards some of the more powerful cards, though Blizzard does their best to make whipping out the credit card an attractive shortcut. For me, it scratches the itch I get when I'm not able to play Magic: The Gathering in person, but your mileage may vary. I've had a lot of fun with it though, an[...]

Sonic the Hedgehog's latest release is on Japanese commuter trains


Sonic the Hedgehog has been Sega's mascot since his creation in 1991, and he's one of the most recognizable game characters around. So it's no surprise that he appears to promote formats other than his own video games, but I've gotta admit this is a new one on me.


It's not terribly uncommon for game characters to cross promote with other formats, but usually they show up in other media. It's much less often that you see a game character promoting a form of transportation, though it does happen occasionally; the Pokémon jets flown by All Nippon Airways come to mind. But to my knowledge, this is the first game character to promote a train line.

The Keikyu corporation's "Blue Sky" line are electric commuter trains that service Tokyo, and you may have ridden on one if you've ever taken a train from Tokyo's airport. They aren't nearly as fast as the Shinkansen or "bullet trains," but Wikipedia notes that they can reach speeds of up to 120 kph (75 mph). This of course pales in comparison to the blue blur himself, who can canonically reach speeds in excess of Mach 5.


Sega sent out a mascot to help promote the trains' new livery, and pointed out that the Otorii stop is Sonic's home station, since it's closest to Sega of Japan. if you'd like to ride the trains yourself, they should look like this for the foreseeable future.

Sonic the Hedgehog [Facebook]



Through the eyes of madness: Your avatar talks to me


[An avatar is a funny thing. For some people, it says something about their likes or interests. For others, it's an extension of their personality. Our resident Avatar Whisperer, ZombZ, hears the deepest and darkest secrets of avatars throughout the community. What does yours say? - weslikestacos]

Hello and welcome. It's community time!

This silly little blog deals with something I wanted to get off my chest for a long time. When I look at many of your avatars, I always imagine them literally talking to me. It's only by pure coincidence, if what an avatar says matches the personality of the user. Almost nothing here reflects my thoughts about the users, so don't take it personally.

Also, this is more a string of 50 comments than a proper, coherent blog. You have been warned.


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We should try Battlerite for free this weekend


A bunch of people have had kind things to say about Battlerite, the team-based arena brawler from Stunlock Studios. And would you look at that! It has a free weekend event on Steam right now.

The idea was to strip down the MOBA experience, whittling away concepts like lanes and creeps to focus instead on harrowing, fast-paced team fights, and that concept has resonated with players. Battlerite has done very well for itself on Steam despite being in Early Access, with 400,000+ copies sold and 95% positive user reviews. I'm not so sure a weekend is long enough to get a true sense of the ins and outs of a meta-heavy game like this, but it'll certainly give you an impression.


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PewDiePie promises to delete channel at 50 million subscribers


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Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, the most successful of the YouTube multi-millionaires, is disgruntled. In a histrionic video titled "DELETING MY CHANNEL AT 50 MILLION." Mr. DiePie echoed a tweet from a few days ago wherein he "decided [he's] deleting [his] channel at 50 million [subscribers]." He notes, "I won’t quit YouTube, I’ll just delete the channel," in order to "start fresh with a new shitty channel probably."

In the video he rails at YouTube itself, saying, "YouTube is trying to kill my channel." Mr. DiePie cites changes to the YouTube landing page, which show "trending" videos ahead of videos users actively subscribe too, and the need to click an additional button beyond "Subscribe" to actually get all channel notifications. Mr. DiePie also claims subscribed users -- not just his own -- are being unsubscribed from channels, a claim echoed by other top YouTubers, but denied by the company itself. Mr. DiePie points to some of his videos that are receiving less than two million views as evidence that something is wrong, given his typically higher numbers stemming from his near 50 million subscribers.

There is some irony, too, in Mr. DiePie railing against "clickbait" videos that "has nothing to do with personality" and "just has a really great title, and a really great thumbnail" (in the highlighted instance, a hot bikini woman's ass and back) finding wild success on the platform (10 million views in 6 days, in this instance of low-hanging fruit). The new multimedia that served as an alternative to new online media that served as an alternative to mainstream/print media is seeing itself struggle to compete with junk content that could just as easily be made infinitely, en masse by computer AI.

It is possible as his content and style change -- for example, releasing a 10 minute video bitching about the problems of being a YouTube multi-millionaire -- people are tuning in less. Or it could be that changes to YouTube's system of alerts and prioritizing which content is shown (including low-hanging "clickbait" style videos) are affecting his viewer counts.

Regardless, Mr. DiePie is upset, and says he will delete his wildly successful channel when it reaches 50 million subscribers. He is currently near 49.4 million subscribers, so it would be a weird publicity stunt with the target goal so close in range (as opposed to, say, deleting at 69 million). Rather than a completely calculated stunt, the sentiment could just as easily be an off-the-cuff expression of his current despair that, when the time comes, Mr. DiePie fails to honor. We'll let you know either way when the fateful day arrives.



The new Zelda amiibo grant rupees, meat, fish, and plants in Breath of the Wild


It's a banner day for amiibo as the Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary line of figures -- 8-bit Link, Ocarina of Time Link, Toon Link, and Wind Waker Zelda -- are now available. (Are you still on the hunt?) They look darn cool in their own right, regardless of their usefulness in-game, but Nintendo has also explained what these specific amiibo will do in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

  • 8-bit Link will reward you with a random number of barrels. You might find rupees inside too!
  • Ocarina of Time Link will reward you with a random amount of meat.
  • Toon Link will reward you with a random amount of fish.
  • Wind Waker Zelda will reward you with a random selection of plants.

Those poor fish!


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Musou Stars trailer features musou and stars


With the DLC for Hyrule Warriors finally complete, I now look forward to finding and becoming completely engrossed by my next musou obsession. Dragon Quest Heroes didn't quite tickle my fancy the way I thought it would, but if this trailer is any indication, Musou Stars will succeed where it failed.


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Space Hulk: Deathwing looks like one of the better Warhammer 40K adaptations


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Streum On Studio is onto something cool with Space Hulk: Deathwing, its squad-based shooter adaptation of the Space Hulk board game. There's a sense of weight and intimidation to the hulking Terminator armor that other games have sorely missed, and I love those sudden, surprising bursts of speed. And yes, it's true: I'm also partial to a good Genestealer explosion. Lots of that here.

This extended footage comes after a recent beta, and right before the game's rapidly-approaching PC release. "We haven't been waiting until the end of the Beta to start fixing the issues you've reported and optimizing the game," wrote the developers. "We've already made huge progress, and are dedicated to working around the clock until the last minute to make the Emperor proud of our game on December 9th! We're aware that some of you have experienced major technical issues - it's our number one priority to deliver a smooth experience at release."

I doubt my PC will be able to handle this especially well (the game is running on Unreal Engine 4, for what that's worth), but there are also Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports coming as well.



A PaRappa the Rapper game has been rated in Korea


Whenever there's PaRappa news, our own Jonathan Holmes is on it -- and I'm grateful. I love this series, but Holmes seems to have his own personal radar for it.

There have been rumblings for a new iteration for a long while, but the Korean Game Rating board has actually rated a PaRappa the Rapper game for an unspecified platform. Now, let's unpack this a bit. PaRappa and Umjammer have been re-released in various PSN and portable forms over the years, so it stands to reason that this "new thing" (if it comes to fruition) is a remake (it wouldn't be too difficult to retouch the first and maybe add a song) or another re-release.

Either way I'm anxiously awaiting more news. Paraphrasing the flea market frog -- "I've been waiting since my mama was a baby."

PaRappa the Rapper [Korean Game Rating Board via Gematsu]



Our first good look at Full Throttle Remastered


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Double Fine is bringing Full Throttle back into our lives with a remaster, and I am so thankful for that. I've somehow only partially played this beloved point-and-click adventure, so I'll happily take this as my chance at redemption. The music at the end of the trailer just feels so damn right.

"Players will be able to switch back and forth between classic and remastered modes, and mix-n-match audio, graphics and user interface options to their heart's desire. Also included is a concept art browser with work from Peter Chan, and a commentary track with the game's original creators.

Full Throttle was the first game with Tim Schafer as sole project lead, and a much beloved cult classic! This special edition has been lovingly restored and remade with the care and attention that can only come from involving the game's original creators. It's headed to PS4 in 2017."

I don't mind the new visuals at all, but I'll stick with the original art, which still holds up in my eyes two decades later. It seems that Double Fine has found a way to reliably balance putting out all-new games alongside these remasters of old favorites. What are you hoping to see next?


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ZeniMax Media is targeting a Doom fan game


The lasting legacy of Doom shouldn't only be attributed to the quality of the main game. Creator id Software had such a lax approach to fan creations that it eventually bought a few for a full retail release (Final Doom) as well as licensed a fan's Linux code for Quake. Those guys loved seeing people enjoy their game and modify it however they saw fit. Boy have the times changed.

ZeniMax Media, the parent company behind Bethesda, has recently issued a takedown notice to the creator of Doom: The Roguelike. For those unaware, this fan game has been around for about 14 years and the first release predates ZeniMax's acquisition of id Software by seven years. While that isn't exactly grounds to base a legal defense on, it does beg the question of why the fan game is only now being targeted.

Kornel Kisielewicz, the creator of Doom: The Roguelike, is also questioning why Brutal Doom 64 received endorsement from ZeniMax and was even nominated for an award at The Game Awards. For all intents and purposes, that title violates copyright laws just as much as Kisielewicz's creation.


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Toys"R"Us claims it will get more NES Classic stock this weekend


It has gotten to the point where CNBC is talking to Toys"R"Us about NES Classic stock. Nintendo of America, you done screwed up!

Straight from the horse's (or rep's) mouth: "On Sunday, we're launching our Great Big Christmas Sale (Dec. 4 thru 10) and the catalog, which is arriving in homes in the coming days, features Hatchimals and NES. Our stores are receiving shipments of both holiday must-haves to support and we expect that when stores open at 8 a.m., they will sell very quickly."

By "very quickly," they probably mean seconds flat. I've been to a Toys"R"Us toy rush many times, getting various Elmo, Transformers, and other hot items for cousins (or myself), and the scene is not pretty. Good luck if you're heading out on Sunday!

Toys R Us to stock Hatchimal, Nintendo Classic toys on December 4 [CNBC]



Nolan North: developer performances 'matter more than mine'


Renowned voice actor Nolan North won the award for Best Performance for his role as Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4 at the Video Game Awards on December 2, 2016. The bigger story is what he had to say during his acceptance speech. 

Voice actors have been on strike, using the hashtag #performancematters on Twitter in attempt to emphasize the importance of their role. Nolan North, arguably the biggest name in video game voice acting, does not seem to agree despite taking part in the strike with fellow union members. In an interview with Kotaku, Mr. North says he has not experienced any of the problems that other voice actors report, "I can't speak for everyone else but I've personally never felt coerced to continue a session when I'm not feeling well, and I've never been mistreated by the people I've worked for."

After thanking his wife, family, friends and several members of Naughty Dog upon receiving the award, he gave special praise to the developers including programmers and animators. In response to #performancematters, North states "It does. The performance of every designer, every programmer, every artist, every hard-working, talented person...That performance is so important...Their performance matters more than mine...Without their performance, my performance would not only not matter, it wouldn't exist."

I've never known much about North as a person, but it appears he is dedicated to his work and the developers that provide it, closing with the reassurance that "I will continue on if they will continue to keep bringing the things I do to life. I'll be there for them."


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Dust off your rollerblades, On a Roll is bringing inline skating back


Rollerblading is like movie rental stores and the Olsen Twins. They're all relics of '90s culture that I assumed just vanished once 2000 rolled around.

Turns out I was wrong about blading, though, because there's an aggressive inline skating game in development as we speak called On a Roll.


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Best Buy leaks Dragon Quest Heroes II western release


Not yet officially announced by Square Enix for western release, Best Buy accidentally listed Omega Force's Dragon Quest Heroes II for PlayStation 4 along with the game details on it's web store, including an April 25, 2017 release date. The first Dragon Quest Heroes, a spin-off of the mainline RPG series features combat similar to Dynasty Warriors.

DQH1 released in North American and Europe six months after its initial Japanese release, so considering DQH2 launched in August, 2016 in Japan the timing fits. 

I've never played any of the Dragon Quest games but I feel obligated to try given how insanely popular it is in Japan. 

Best Buy lists Dragon Quest Heroes II for PS4 [Gematsu]



Hideo Kojima's last months with Konami may have been worse than we thought


We all heard the horror stories about how Kojima was treated at Konami in his final months, but Geoff Keighley confirms the worst in a recent interview with Glixel regarding The Game Awards.

While other award shows are afraid to make big statements and are even pulling games at the behest of publishers, Keighley is enjoying his newfound freedom with his award show, like when he made a public statement supporting Kojima last year -- when the creator found out mere days before the show that Konami had forbidden him from attending. That all came full circle this year with a big comeuppance for the publisher, where even Guillermo del Toro is getting in on the fun, saying "Fuck Konami" on Twitter, and Kojima, allowed to attend, received his "Industry Icon Award."

Yet, according to Keighley, Konami allegedly treated Kojima worse than we thought, stating, "The fact that he finished that game under those circumstances is just amazing. He was locked in a separate room on a different floor than his development team for the final six months of development. He couldn't even talk to them – he had to talk through someone else. That's how that game was finished."

On a different floor? That's cold man.


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Overcooked is getting even better with free festive DLC


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My love/hate relationship with Overcooked and the blessed/poor souls I play it with continues.

Ghost Town Games is expanding its frenzied arcade-style co-op cooking title with the free Festive Seasoning DLC, a pack containing eight new winter-themed levels, a snowman and reindeer chef, the stew and turkey dinner recipes, and a flamethrower with which to light 'em up. That's all coming on Tuesday, December 6 across PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. I'm genuinely surprised it's free.

Just this week I dug into the Lost Morsel DLC, and while I haven't mastered it yet, part of that is just me trying to savor it. I don't want it to end! Knowing there's more content on the way now, though, I'm running out of excuses. Here's hoping for more (and a sequel). If you've yet to play Overcooked and you're on the lookout for a good local cooperative game, look no further. Your search is over.



Did anyone else want to be a Nintendo Power Line Counselor?


With the release of the NES Classic, many older gamers are there are reliving the era that they first started gaming in -- that is, if they can actually find the damn thing.

And while Nintendo did have a cute little pre-recorded homage to the "Power Line," where folks could call in and ask how to beat certain games or get specific tips, it's not the same as the real thing. To preserve that bit of history VICE sat down with David Young, one of the original Power Line counselors, to shed some more light on the program's history.

In this brief interview that aired on HBO in November, Young recounts how they initially started out small with a "brand new phone line," but eventually ramped up to "400 calls a day."

As I've said before I've called the line once myself for Mega Man 2. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get past this one area in the first Wily stage before the dragon, even though I was using the right items. As my mom was on hold on the phone while the counselor was looking up how to do it, I ended up getting through.


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Newest Halo Wars 2 trailer features the brutal villain Atriox


The first Halo Wars might not be everyone's favorite entry in the Halo franchise, but it was a nice enough introduction to strategy games for folks that don't normally play them. If 343 Industries feels strongly enough about its sequel to put this much effort into the cinematic trailers, I might have to pull the trigger on it as well. 

This newest trailer features the leader of the Banished (the new enemy faction), Atriox, with his super gruff beard and overall cool look. I'm hoping he'll be as cool within Halo Wars 2's isometric perspective, but I'm sure it's going to be hard to miss such a big guy. 

Also announced at The Game Awards is Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, an enhanced version of the 2009 release for Xbox One and Windows 10 complete with improved graphics, new achievements and all released DLC. If you pre-order the digital version of Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition, you'll get early access to the remastered original starting December 20th. 

Halo Wars 2 is currently slated to release February 21st for Xbox One and Windows 10. 

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Danganronpa 1*2 Reload will be coming to PS4 in March


Back in October, NIS America announced that it would be bringing the the PS4 ports of both Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and its sequel, Goodbye Despair, to the West sometime in early 2017.

With 2017 inching ever closer, NIS America has finally announced a release date for Danganronpa 1*2 Reload. This compilation of both Spike Chunsoft-developed Visual Novels will be available on the PS4 on March 14 in North America, with a European release happening three days later.

Sadly, this collection doesn't include Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girlswhich will come out on PS4 at a later date.

While the ports of the Visual Novels aren't really going to offer anything new to the table in terms of additional features or gameplay innovations over their PS Vita and PC counterparts, it does make sense for the company to bring these games to Sony's home console platform. After all, the next iteration in the franchise -- New Danganronpa V3 -- is also set for release on both PlayStation consoles.

I do still think that while the PS Vita is a far better platform for Visual Novels simply due to its sheer portability, it's pretty awesome to see these games become playable to a wider audience on a far more popular console. Alongside Steins;Gate and its rather excellent sequel, I really do regard the Danganronpa franchise to be some of the best games in its genre, or at the very least, out of the games that have been localised into English.

Then again, I really do need to try my hand at the Zero Escape series.


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Finally, our first look at Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay


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It's here. It's finally here. After being formally revealed at E3 2015, we have some Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay at long last.

To be fair, it wasn't much of a surprise. We've known for a few weeks now that The Game Awards would mark our first look at how Andromeda plays. We were told that on N7 Day when BioWare released a cinematic trailer that, while entertaining in its own right, still didn't show most people what they wanted to see.

Good things come to those who wait, though. This trailer delivers. It shows the quieter side of Mass Effect on a Citadel-like hub that's populated with familiar races. Then it shifts to an all-terrain vehicle called The Nomad for exploration and traversal. Other aspects show up like a scanning and analysis tool, environmental hazards, hostile wildlife, and the mention that the player needs to "find, steal, or craft" to fend for themselves.

However, it's the combat that most people will be most interested in. From the clips shown, Andromeda seems like it'll have more of a movement bent than a cover-based emphasis. The video shows a nice mix of biotics and gunplay that make fighting seem fast and engaging. Unless I'm mistaken, there isn't any footage of allies.

Now that the cat's out of the bag, we can probably expect EA and BioWare to ramp up the marketing cycle for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It's currently set for a first quarter release in 2017, and that's right around the corner. It took a while but it's great to finally know what to expect.



Telltale's The Walking Dead: A New Frontier has a two-part premiere


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Announced at The Game Awards, Telltale's season premiere for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier ended up becoming "a little too big to fit in one episode." So, naturally, we're starting off with a two-parter!

This new episodic adventure series kicks off December 20 with two episodes on the same day.

Season 1 and Season 2's Clementine is back for this run and looking like a hardened survivor, but first, we're introduced to A New Frontier's unfamiliar face, Javier, and his dear family.



Nintendo previews a new jungle area in Zelda: Breath of the Wild


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Two new Zelda: Breath of the Wild videos in one night? Everything's coming up us!

Eiji Aonuma couldn't make it to The Game Awards, but he delivered a "we're busy finishing this game!" message and handed it off to a video of Nintendo Treehouse playing through a previously-unseen jungle area. Come for the accordion-playing parrot man, stay for Bill Trinen's Great Failure.

Nintendo is sticking to its vague "2017" release target for Breath of the Wild on Wii U and Switch, and with the way this footage looks performance-wise, I am unquestionably going for the latter platform.



This is our first look at Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment


Need more Shovel Knight in your life? The second expansion, Specter of Torment, is coming out next Spring, but there hasn't been a whole lot to see yet. Thanks to the Game Awards, there's finally a trailer so you can see the Specter Knight in action.

It's been a while since I played the original, but Specter Knight was one of my favorite bosses and I look forward to bein' a spooky ghost.

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Have a look at some new Prey gameplay footage


At The Game Awards 2016, Bethesda released a new gameplay trailer for Arkane Studios' upcoming shooter, Prey.

For the most part, the trailer is intended to show off the game's combat, as well as some environmental exploration and puzzles solving. That's not to say that it's completely devoid of story elements, as there is a brief bit of exposition before the trailer cuts to the combat. This is probably for the best, as before this reveal, we really didn't have much of an idea as to how the game would play out.

Alongside the trailer on show at The Game Awards, which you can view below, Bethesda has also released 9 minutes of Prey gameplay on Game Informer's website.

Prey will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC sometime next year.


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Dauntless sounds like it could be PC's Monster Hunter


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A cooperative action role-playing game where you slay giant beasts is a formula that has worked before. Capcom has found great success over the years by applying this to its Monster Hunter series. Now a new developer aims to capture the essence of that idea for a PC audience.

One of the reveals out of tonight's Game Awards was Dauntless. It's the debut title from Phoenix Labs, a studio led by industry veterans who have worked at places like BioWare and Riot. In Dauntless, players assume the role of Slayers who are tasked with killing Behemoths.

While we don't yet know much about Dauntless' setting, Phoenix Labs has shared a broad overview with us. The developer describes it in a press release as such: "The world of Dauntless has been shattered by a cataclysmic event, creating a vast array of uncharted and majestic floating islands. Behemoths, as cunning as they are vicious, consume the land, and it's up to the Slayers to hunt them down before they destroy what remains of the world. Slayers will explore an ever-changing frontier, brimming with verdant flora and unique wildlife."

Along with world-building, we also know a bit about gameplay details. Dauntless, like Monster Hunter, is a cooperative action RPG. It can be played solo or with a party of up to four people. Armor and weapons can be crafted with the rewards that are dropped from successful hunts. It's free-to-play and is seemingly only coming to PC.

Although the parallel to Monster Hunter is obvious, Phoenix Labs says that it's drawing from other sources too. The developer lists Dark Souls and World of Warcraft as other inspirations for Dauntless. That's certainly a trio of renowned games.

We shouldn't have to wait too long to see if Dauntless scratches the same itch as its inspirations. It's eyeing a 2017 release. If everything goes according to plan, that free-to-play co-op Behemoth slaying is coming sooner rather than later.


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Telltale's Marvel project is confirmed to be Guardians of the Galaxy


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We had a hunch a few weeks ago, and that hunch proved true. Telltale's Marvel project that has been in the works since April 2015 will be based on Guardians of the Galaxy.

Like most Telltale titles, Guardians of the Galaxy is coming to PC, consoles, and mobile platforms. This story will be told in five parts, and it's "coming soon" -- sometime in 2017. That's all we know for now, but there will surely be more details in the very near future.


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New Death Stranding trailer stars Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen, is absolutely nuts


Kojima Productions' next title, Death Stranding, looked friggin' bizarre when it was announced at E3, what with the naked Norman Reedus and dead crabs and all. A new trailer shown at Geoff Keighley's Game Awards proves that we should never underestimate Kojima's propensity to out-weird himself.

After starting with more dead crabs, the camera follows a man in a suit as he comes upon a mostly-destroyed city. Turns out the man is none other than Guillermo del Toro, looking terrified and determined!  As he hides under a bridge overpass, a nasty biomechanical tank, soldiers, and inky-looking jets pass by overhead. Del Toro produces a portable baby incubator from his jacket and the baby winks at the camera. This all of course leads to soldiers with weird ink tentacles coming from their legs emerging from a sewer. One of the men removes his helmet to reveal that he's Mads fuckin' Mikkelsen.


What the hell. I really want to see what the game is gonna play like, but for now I'm content with feeling deeply uncomfortable whenever a new trailer comes out.

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Hideo Kojima got his Game Award at last


A year later, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has accepted an award at The Game Awards 2016, this time for being an "industry icon." His acceptance kicked off this year's show, with a very emotional Geoff Keighley recounting his failed attempts to hand him the winged trophy.

"Last year, I thought I lost everything," said Kojima, referencing his messy split with long-time employer Konami post-Metal Gear Solid V. "But I didn't lose anything, thanks to all of you."

And thank you, Kojima, for whatever the sweet hell Death Stranding is shaping up to be.



A stunning new Zelda trailer kicks off The Game Awards


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Nintendo took to The Game Awards early to show off The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Part cinematics and part gameplay, we get a look at a trailer called "Life in the Ruins."

There's not much new to say about this, just a lot to marvel. We didn't have any reason to believe differently, but Link's next adventure still seems like it's coming along swimmingly.



Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC in April


At The Game Awards 2016, Randy Pitchford announced that Gearbox Software will start publishing titles by smaller studios under the Gearbox Publishing label.

The first title to be released under this label is the People Can Fly-developed port of 2011's Bulletstorm. Titled Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, this enhanced port will offer 60FPS gameplay on Xbox One, PC and PS4. The latter two platforms will also offer what has been advertised as 4K visuals.

It will also have a playable Duke Nukem as a pre-order bonus.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition will be released on April 7 next year.


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Rocket League takes to The Game Awards to show off its new Halo-like arena


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Every Rocket League match starts with a kickoff, and the car soccer game was one of the titles to kick off this year's Game Awards. The half hour-long pre-show segment was more full of announcements than you might expect, and developer Psyonix took this opportunity to reveal its next content update.

On December 7, Rocket League takes aerials to a new level by bringing the game to space. A new map called "Starbase ARC," which is a sort of futuristic industrial complex, will release for free. Psyonix calls Starbase ARC octogonal and semi-standard. Most impressively, each goal comes with a laser show.

Punctuating the update is the release of a new car called "Vulcan." If history serves as any indication, this will be priced at the nominal fee of a couple of bucks. The playground's free but the cooler tools will cost you.



Come watch The Game Awards with us


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It's December. Normally, I don't like this because December means cold weather and I prefer it to be warm when I do all of my not-going-outside. It's okay this time, though. Without going all hyperbolic "Worst. Year. Ever." internet person on you, I'm kinda ready for 2017. December means we're getting close to that.

December also means that it's time for The Game Awards, the MTV Music Awards of video games. It's a lot of sizzle and flash, marketing and hype. There's still a Most Anticipated Game award, and that says a lot about this show's nature. But, for all the advertising, it's also a sincere look back at the past year in games (and here are all the nominees).

If you plan on watching The Game Awards tonight, do so with us. Click play on that stream and hop in the comments to share your every thought. It starts at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific, but the pre-show is a half-hour earlier. If you're not keen on YouTube, there are plenty more options. The Game Awards is also streaming on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and from the home screens of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

And, if you can't make it, fear not. We'll be breaking out all the coverage of The Game Awards on the front page. You'll hear about everything that happened one way or another. If you've got time to kill before the show starts, listen to the new episode of Podtoid where we predict all of tonight's winners.



GOG Winter Sale: free Neverwinter Nights Diamond, cheap Witcher 3


The first PC gaming winter sale to arrive this year is at The DRM-free and proud retailer has dozens of titles on sale with a handful of new lows to boot and matching the lowest-ever prices on titles like The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition. For the first 48 hours it's even more intense, with a 100% free copy of Neverwinter Nights Diamond. No strings attached, just a free game for checking out the sale. The GOG sale runs from now through December 11 next week. Sure it's a winter sale which technically doesn't actually take place during winter months, but who cares you're getting a free game out of it! Below you'll find our top picks for day one of the sale. A full breakdown of the deals can also be found here. Top Deals The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year — $29.99  (list price $50) Shadow Warrior 2 (DRM-Free) — $29.99  (list price $40) Dying Light: The Following Enhanced (DRM-Free) — $29.99  (list price $60) Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced (DRM-Free) — $19.99  (list price $40) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DRM-Free) — $19.99  (list price $40) Build Your Own Square Enix Bundle: Pick 15 (DRM-Free) — $17.99  <- link fixed, sorry Project Highrise (DRM-Free) — $16.99  (list price $20) Tropico 5: Complete Collection (DRM-Free) — $13.99  (list price $40) Planetbase (DRM-Free) — $12.99  (list price $20) SOMA (DRM-Free) — $11.99  (list price $30) Firewatch (DRM-Free) — $11.99  (list price $20) Age of Wonders 3 (DRM-Free) — $7.49  (list price $30) We are the Dwarves (DRM-Free) — $6.29  (list price $25) Victor Vran (DRM-Free) — $4.99  (list price $20) Braid (DRM-Free) — $4.99  (list price $15) This War of Mine (DRM-Free) — $3.99  (list price $20) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced (DRM-Free) — $2.99  (list price $20) Hybrid Wars (DRM-Free) — $2.89  (list price $10) The Witcher: Enhanced Director's Cut (DRM-Free) — $1.49  (list price $10) Neverwinter Nights Diamond (DRM-Free) — FREE  (list price $10) [...]

Pinball FX2 is even better than expected in VR


It feels like it's been years since I've last played a Zen Studios pinball game. I mean, my goodness! The list of tables available for Pinball FX2 stretches on and on. Where do you even start at this point?

For as much fun as I've had with that game and Zen's earlier work, I'm no pinball wizard. Those feelings of leaderboard inadequacy had me hesitant to try my hand at Pinball FX2 VR, which is out this week for PlayStation VR and HTC Vive following the Oculus Rift version that launched back in March. In the end, though, I'm glad I went for it. Pinball translates really well to virtual reality.


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Nintendo just overhauled the My Nintendo site


Nintendo just put a new coat of paint on the My Nintendo website, providing a little bit of Miitomo magic to the whole thing. Instead of clicking on a loose coin to gather it your Mii chases it around, and there's a few extra animations for your avatar like painting and flying around on balloons. It's really cute, and really reflects Nintendo's signature charm. You can also set up a unique User ID for Club Nintendo (find this by clicking the top right icon, then settings, then edit your basic info, and click "User ID" on the left), and enable child accounts.

Yet, there isn't much on the actual content front still. Most of the rewards are still from November, and the only recent addition in the US is a Samus theme, which is basically the only thing the publisher has done to celebrate the Metroid anniversary. This could be a really cool place to chill one day and interact with for worthwhile rewards, but not today, Zurg.

Hopefully the Switch will breathe new life into it.

My Nintendo [Nintendo]



Battlefront seems to be ending its season pass on a high note


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Here's a look at Rogue One: Scarif, the fourth and final expansion for Star Wars Battlefront, ahead of its release this Tuesday for season pass holders. As usual, DICE sure knows how to put together a trailer.

This DLC follows the same formula as before, doling out four maps on the tropical planet Scarif, two playable characters (hero Jyn Erso and villain Orson Krennic), the U-wing ship, a pair of blasters, and a blinding, armor-lowering "Sonic Imploder" grenade. There's also the new, multi-stage Infiltration mode with on-foot and in-space combat. If it follows a structure similar to Death Star's Battle Station mode (the one with the Star Destroyer assault and the trench run), that could be good.

It's hard to get a true sense of Scarif based on DICE's vague descriptions of the new maps and mode, and having not seen the Rogue One movie, I don't know these characters all that well. But a chance to play as virtual Ben Mendelsohn? And a breezy beach-side location? Yeah, I'll take it.



Capcom Vancouver talks Dead Rising, makes me want to vomit


I'm mad. I'm so peeved reading the interview between Capcom Vancouver and I don't even know where to begin. How about a series recap? Dead Rising was an amazing Xbox 360 exclusive title that came out of nowhere in late 2006 and became an instant classic.

I remember going over to my friends house before I even had a 360 to not only play it, but get all 1000 Achievement points that weekend. The idea was so simple but so fun. Walk around a mall like Dawn of the Dead and use anything and everything to ward off zombies, including boxer shorts and beam swords you unlock in the fun survivor mode (which I didn't get to keep because my game froze upon letting a zombie kill me after spending 14+ consecutive hours getting the 7 Day Survivor Achievement). The best part is the humor they imbued the game with. When so many games try so hard to be so serious all the time, it was refreshing to have something goofy to just mess around in. The humor wasn't in-your-face and obnoxious, but subtle: mall music, silly costumes that showed in cutscenes, the eating animations, and Frank West's quippy one-liners. 


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Predictions for The Game Awards


The Game Awards are tonight, so last night the usual crew got together to make some predictions on it. Will Uncharted 4 sweep the show? Will Pokémon Go actually win something despite that it's a piece of garbage? Is Dark Souls III a role-playing game?

These questions and more are addressed in this episode. It's probably better than actually watching The Game Awards.

Of course, we round out the podcast with listener questions, a predictable SATPOTPAQ given the current state of the world, and a Hot Dish wherein the handsome puzzle creator dropped a letter from a 2016 video game title to make a new one. Give it a listen!

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or download it here.


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Is No Man's Sky a Russian plot to distract from election tampering?


The United States is the gold standard for democracy, also known as a "representative democratic republic." It's why we are the freest country in the world and why we have almost 800 military bases abroad to make sure others are doing democracy right. If they aren't, we can find someone who will for them, like a Yellow Pages or temp agency of democracy. The hundreds of billions spent maintaining these installations is a testament to our philanthropy, so that we may bring our freedoms around the world. However, our democracy is under attack -- at home. Last week the Washington Post dropped a nuclear bombshell: the Russians flooded us with fake news (or, "propaganda") to elect Donald Trump president. The Post cites a mysterious, newly-established group (it joined Twitter in August) called PropOrNot which has identified 200 news outlets that are Russian plants, unwitting or otherwise. Some of them are even well-respected organizations that have been around for ages! PropOrNot put these non-mainstream media outlets on "the list." When some in the media argued "the list" smacked of Joseph McCarthy-era paranoid smearing and red-baiting, PropOrNot's "collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds" responded with a now-deleted tweet, "Awww, wook at all the angwy Putinists, trying to change the subject - they're so vewwy angwy!!" So the Washington Post, based on PropOrNot's blacklist, has definitively proven that Russia got Donald Trump elected. Case closed. But what happens next will shock you. Just one day after the Post's Watergate-sized breakthrough, Hello Games broke months-long radio silence on one of the biggest releases of the year, No Man's Sky. Tellingly, the so-called "Foundation Update" was announced with a short, sparse blog post that had almost no detail. It took another two days before Hello Games could cut a trailer detailing the changes. The timing here is interesting. If Hello Games was trying to reinvigorate its fan base, why break a long period of non-communication to drop news of a huge update to one of the hugest games of the year on a Friday, the day most companies use to drop bad news they want swept under the rug? Why not wait until you have a post ready that actually details the changes, or the video, which is bound to get more excitement than text? Could it be that the Foundation announcement was meant to distract from the Post's brave reporting on Russian influence in our supposedly-fair-and-democratic election? As the experts at PropOrNot point out, some of the Russian propaganda arms don't even know it; they're known as "useful idiots." Hello Games might not be taking money directly from Vladimir Putin -- though they definitely might be as well! -- but rather the company is being manipulated in a 12th-deminensionla chess move it isn't even cognizant of. Gamers represent a large voting bloc. It would make sense for Russia to orchestrate a move to try and distract the bloc given their Manchurian[...]

You can stuff your own Sonic the Hedgehog thanks to Build-A-Bear


Sonic the Hedgehog has been many things: Werehog, knight, spinball, hover boarder, kart driver, and even a Super Saiyan. But he's never been a buildable stuffed toy. Thanks to Build-A-Bear and Sega, in celebration of Sonic's 25th Anniversary, you can now stuff your own Sonic for $35.

A limited, online-exclusive bundle comes with the 17-inch stuffed Sonic, a gold ring accessory, and a print drawn up by Sonic Team. If you just want Sonic himself, or a pre-stuffed version of his pal Tails (which runs for $15), you can also wait until the toys are available in stores starting December 3 (and March 2017 for UK, Denmark, and Ireland Build-A-Bear locations). Finally, you can choose to insert a sound chip featuring the "Special Stage" theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, for that little bit of extra goodness. 

I've always been a little wary of buying stuffed animal toys, but Build-A-Bear has quality work that usually makes up for the price. I'm going in on Tails, at the very least. 


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Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is getting an 'Endless Eclipse' mode


Just in case the idea of adding in the "Eclipse" (a major spoiler event) for Koei Tecmo's Berserk game was a ballsy enough move, they've doubled down and announced that a new "Endless Eclipse Mode" is coming to the game.

It'll be added in by the time the localized version launches in February (for PC, PS4, and Vita), and will support every character in the game. It'll provide "new challenges and missions," and will feature a graduating difficulty -- if you conquer an undetermined amount of enemies, you can bring extra rewards back into the campaign.

All told on a tougher difficulty setting outright, this sounds like a great way to master each character's intricacies. While I'm not sold on the gamification of an otherwise poignant moment in the original manga/anime's story Berserk as a whole is perfect for translations to other media, and I trust Koei Tecmo to do right by it.


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Transformers: Forged to Fight is 30 years in the making


When I first saw the trailer for the upcoming Transformers: Forged to Fight I thought it looked kind of bad-ass. When I got the end and saw that it was for mobile, I still thought it looked kind of bad-ass, but would rather have a straight up Transformers fighting game on consoles. You know, like this one.

From Kabam and Hasbro, Forged to Fight lets you play as Autobots or Decepticons in what the press release is calling a "high-definition, action-fighting and character collection mobile game." Not only will it feature some pretty damn good looking one-on-one fights, but you'll be able to collect characters from every era of the Transformers franchise, including the cartoons, comics, movies and action figure lines.

If all that sounds awesome to you, cool. For me, it reminds me too much of one of Kabam's other games: Marvel: Contest of Champion, an app I had installed on my phone for all of two hours.


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Gears of War 4 is trying out PC vs. Xbox One crossplay this weekend


The Coalition is running a multiplayer experiment for Gears of War 4 this weekend, and you're invited to play and help the studio see if crossplay is viable for the game's competitive modes.

PC players will be able to directly compete against Xbox One players in Versus (outside of private matches) with a temporary playlist. It'll run from Friday, December 2 to Monday, December 5.

  • Playlist Type: Social
  • Modes: Team Deathmatch, Dodgeball, King of the Hill
  • Maps: All (including Checkout and Dry Dock)
  • Win XP: 1500 (up from 600)
  • Loss XP: 750 (up from 100)
  • Maximum Squad Size: 5

It's unclear what'll happen next, and The Coalition is entirely up front about that fact.


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Square Enix president coming to Final Fantasy XV as DLC


Prior to launch, Square Enix streamed a special promotional cut of Final Fantasy XV which ended in a boss fight versus Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda. Game director Hajime Tabata confirmed in a stream that it will be available as DLC at some point. I wonder if he will get an English voice over. If so, who could you imagine doing it? For comical reasons I would enjoy Wallace Shawn or Richard White

Tabata also briefly talked about the free Holiday DLC that will add New Game Plus and a "Level Cap Creation Feature" before the end of the year. Does that mean you can cap your character level for a Nuzlocke-like challenge?

CEOs appearing in games as optional bosses is a trend I like. Now I'll be disappointed if Gabe Newell isn't a superboss in Half Life 3. Who else would be interesting to fight?

Final Fantasy XV ‘Yosuke Matsuda Boss Battle’ planned as downloadable content [Gematsu]



Pokemon Go expanding its 'nearby' feature to all of US and Europe


Previously, Niantic's "Nearby" system for Pokemon Go (hey! Something that was in at launch, then removed for months on end while independent versions were getting people banned), was limited to San Francisco, but according to a blog post they're moving it up in the priority list. It's expanding to all of the US now, as well as all of Europe, which is a tall order for a game that bugs out and crashes on a regular basis.

The developer will "continue to monitor" feedback through this process, and hopefully won't pull the plug on it, then not tell us why, or when it's coming back. It's like clockwork! In the future, I hope that they can use the millions they've raked in to hire some more people. Go has so much potential, but so much of it is wasted given that they're way over their heads.

Maybe Game Freak, Nintendo, or The Pokemon Company can divert some resources? I don't know, something, anything at this point, since there's no trading, battling, or basically anything that was in the launch trailer yet.

Pokemon Go [Twitter]



Goosebumps director Rob Letterman signs on for Detective Pikachu


All that talk about an upcoming live-action Pokémon movie hinged on a walkin', talkin' Pikachu wasn't a fever dream. It's moving forward, and we now have a slightly better idea of what to expect. As reported by Deadline, Legendary Entertainment has locked in Rob Letterman to direct Detective Pikachu, with Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls) penning the script.

Letterman's prior credits include Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Shark Tale, so, yeah. He's also directing an adaptation of Captain Underpants, a movie whose existence I'm only now learning of (though I suppose it was only a matter of time before that property made it to the big screen).

Detective Pikachu has my interest, but it's more morbid curiosity than genuine enthusiasm for family-friendly entertainment. That said, knowing who's writing the screenplay, there could be something here.

Rob Letterman To Direct Pokemon Film 'Detective Pikachu' For Legendary [Deadline]


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Nintendo Download: Super Mario Maker 3DS


So uh, there isn't much here to go around this week.

On Wii U, you're getting Advance Wars: Dual Strike on the Virtual Console. That's all she wrote. The 3DS is a bit more cheery, with Super Mario Maker 3DS, and a reminder for Swapdoodle since Nintendo didn't want just two things on their newsletter.

At the request of a dear reader, I'll withhold from making "everything is on hold because of the Switch" references. Even though I kind of just did. Sorry dude. But really, I haven't seen the eShop situation this dire since the launch of the 3DS, where they've barely even have Virtual Console releases.

At least I have Pokemon to tide me over for months.


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Steep pre-order deals available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One


Ubisoft's open world ski/wingsuit/snowboard/paraglide (*takes breathe*) extreme sports game releases later this Friday, December 2 for the standard $59.99 entry fee. You are reading this post because discounts are available on all platforms!

Steep Deals

On PC you'll want to head over to Green Man Gaming where an 18% discount to $49.29 exist for the Standard Edition. There's also a similar price cut on the Gold Edition to $73.79. You'll have to login or add the game to your cart before you can see the discount.

GMG is known to be sending out keys instantly after purchase. This gives you the chance to plug in for pre-load, which is live on Uplay.

On both the PS4 and Xbox One, Amazon will grant you a 15% discount to $51, which is a solid price break from the largest online retailer. It's even better if you're a paid Amazon Prime member, where they'll grant you a further discount to $47.99 (20% off).

Why the discount on the PS4/Xbox One? Target is currently running a 15% off coupon for all things video games, and we think Amazon's price robot is now price-matching.