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Updated: 2017-02-21T21:00:00Z


The co-founder of Nintendo of America, Alan Stone, passed away last Friday


There are plenty of people who have helped create something far bigger than themselves and never received proper credit. Most of us associate Nintendo of America with Reggie Fils-Aimé, but there was an even bigger man behind Nintendo's expansion into the West: Alan Stone. He was the co-founder of Nintendo of America and made great strides in distributing its arcade cabinets into the United States.

Stone helped popularize such titles as Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. in the US market. He passed away on Friday, February 17, 2017 due to an unspecified form of cancer at the age of 71. Some other career highlights for Stone include forming Far East Video during the early days of Nintendo's Western expansion, being the CEO of Sega Enterprises during the '90s, and joining the board of directors for Nanotech in 2013.

If you'd like to read more on the man's life, you can check out InterGame's write-up on his life. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Al Stone dies [InterGame]



You can get Civilization III through V on the cheap in this Humble Bundle


While pretty much every main Civilization game is great, a lot of people prefer a specific entry. Be it III's refinement of the classic style of games to IV's jump to 3D, there are many different opinions about which game is the best of the bunch. I suppose having a series where everything is pretty damn good is better than one where certain entries are best left forgotten. Regardless, if you've been dying to get into the series, but have no idea where to start, why not just grab this latest Humble Bundle that includes Civilization III, IV, and V along with all of their expansions?

In the $1 tier, you'll received Civilization III Complete and Civilization IV Complete Edition. That is an incredible deal and everyone without the games should buy that. In the beat-the-average tier (currently hovering around $7.61), you'll get Civilization V, Gods & Kings, Brave New World, and the DLC collection pack along with a 20% discount on Civilization VI and 25% discount on Civilization VI Digital Deluxe.

Better yet, if you opt to spend $15, you can get everything above and Civilization: Beyond Earth with its expansion. While Beyond Earth wasn't exactly well-received by fans, spending less than $20 for four games is an awesome deal. Too bad I own everything else in the bundle, because I'm kind of tempted to get Beyond Earth.

Humble Civilization Bundle [Humble Bundle]



A neat look at what goes into animating Overwatch highlight intros


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What goes into creating a character's highlight intro for Overwatch? Far more than you might imagine.

This annotated video from Blizzard senior animator David Gibson shrinks about four days worth of animation work in Autodesk Maya down to a digestible four-minute recap. "Animating Mei's face takes the most time because of all the fine detail," he notes, "but it's the most fun."

According to Gibson, "This video was originally made and presented as part of the Overwatch Exhibit in Blizzard's Irvine Museum. I hope this video will be helpful to animation students or anyone that is interested in learning more about the computer animation process."

Speaking of, the behind-the-scenes peek at this Frosty intro led me to a related and much more in-depth talk that Gibson delivered at last year's Game Developers Conference called "Animation Bootcamp: Overwatch: How A Hero Is Mei-d." Even if you're less interested in the technical aspects of animation, this is still a fascinating watch for fans of Overwatch and Mei in particular.

[Via reddit]



Latest PS4 Pro deal comes with two free games, Slim with $70 value discount


Popular online retailer Newegg is offering up a decent offer on the PlayStation 4 Pro this week, moving beyond its usual PC hardware and accessories expertise.

Today on Newegg's eBay page, it has posted a PS4 Pro for the usual $399.99 but with two extra free bonus games: Dishonored 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Paying full price for each game would cost you $120. Newegg rationalizes this as $120 bonus value, but to be more accurate the street/online price for both titles adds up to about $70 in value. Still a pretty decent deal all things considered as the PS4 Pro doesn't receive enough deals like its little brother, sans holiday seasons.

PS4 Pro Deal

PS4 Slim Deals

Dell deals

Jet deals, use code: TRIPLE15

This week also marks the last week Sony is running $50 off for its current lineup of PlayStation 4 Slim bundles. Most retailers carry this discount, but the best offers on the table as of writing are at Dell and Jet.

Newly added to the mix, Dell is now offering a bigger discounted PS4 Slim Uncharted 4 bundle for $229.99 ($70 off) with a free copy of XCOM 2 (~$30 value) as an additional incentive. Other deals at Dell includes the current drop to $250 with a bonus $50 eGift Card, or a free bonus silver controller in lieu of the gift card.

If you're going for the outright lowest price, we'll still go with as the place to purchase. There you can apply a "first-time customer" code TRIPLE15 at checkout and snag the cheapest PS4 Slims of the year.

Given PlayStation 4 (and Xbox One S) prices are now approaching the $200 flat mark, it'll be interesting to see how much of a headwind the Nintendo Switch will face as the console makes its debut in less than two weeks.



Weird science: play DOOM on a Porsche 911


There's thunder and lightning flashing outside as I write this, which adds a nice bit of punctuation to the mad science that I'm writing about. I would have never believed it could be so easy, but apparently the onboard computer in the Porsche 911 is capable of running the 1993 classic, DOOM. YouTuber Vexal has posted a simple, three step hack that will allow anyone who drives a Porsche 911 to run id Software's original first person shooter through the in-dash computer. 

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Amazingly, all that's required is a physical copy of the game's disc, a USB flash drive, and the car itself. As you can see if you watch the video, it took less than five minutes to get the game running. If you happen to own all of these items, try toasting some demons on your next outing.

Thanks to Tony for the tip!

Vexal [YouTube]



Sony is holding a 'Critics' Choice' PSN sale along with a $15 back offer


If you're keen to get some new games on the cheap for your PS4, you needn't look further than the PlayStation Store. Sony has you covered with some pretty decent deals in its "Critics' Choice" sale.

Highlights include Doom for $35.99, Titanfall 2 for $29.99, Rocket League for $15.99, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience for $29.99. There is an additional 10% discount for PS Plus members, if you happen to be one.

Along with this sale comes a "Spend $100, Get $15 Back" offer. The sale and promotion will be going on until February 28. If you manage to hit the $100 threshold, you should expect your $15 by March 14. The deals are below:


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Jim Sterling prevails in his lawsuit with Digital Homicide


[Disclosure: Jim Sterling is a former reviews editor at Destructoid.] Almost a year ago, we found out that Jim Sterling was being sued by indie developer James Romine on behalf of his studio Digital Homicide for damages in excess of $10.7 million. The alleged torts committed were 11 counts of libel. Today, an Arizona District Court judge granted the parties' stipulated motion to dismiss the case with prejudice. On his site The Jimquisition, Sterling details the outcome while peppering in some personal commentary. This paragraph probably sums it up best: "First of all, I'm obviously pleased with the result. We filed for dismissal, because this whole thing was an instant waste of time and money that could never be recuperated. Even if this went to court and we counterclaimed, what would we get out of it? A dismissal with prejudice is even better than the simple dismissal I'd originally aimed for -- this effectively means these ludicrous charges aren't coming back." In the Stipulated Motion for Dismissal, it's stated that both parties will bear their own attorney and filing fees. This is seemingly the sole loss Sterling will incur. Having looked through the history of the case's documents, we can state that a Notice of Settlement was never filed with the court. It's likely that this matter wasn't settled but rather that Romine opted to cut his losses. We've emailed Sterling to confirm that this is the case, but haven't received a response at time of writing. However, in Sterling's article, he explains that his attorney talked Romine out of proceeding. " I understand it, the agreement to drop the suit with prejudice was the result of Hartman's [Sterling's attorney] enviable reasoning ability. The plaintiff agreed to drop his case after my lawyer explained exactly what would happen if this went to court and how we would respond." In sifting through the case documents, it's clearly apparent that Romine was out of his depths from the beginning. At one point, the court almost dismissed the case because Romine improperly identified himself as the plaintiff. He tried to recover for Digital Homicides without listing Digital Homicides as a plaintiff. However, Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure state that an entity other than a sole proprietorship cannot represent itself (pro se); it must retain licensed counsel. The judge partially granted Sterling's Motion to Dismiss but allowed Romine to amend his Complaint. Similarly questionable is Romine's filing in Arizona District Court. Sterling is a resident of Mississippi and the alleged torts were committed in Mississippi. Romine seems to have propped up his argument by purchasing a t-shirt from Sterling, having it shipped to his home address in Arizona, and then asserting that Sterling does business in Arizona. Further, Romine contributed to Sterling's Patreon at a donation level of $1 per month for three months to assert that Sterling does business in Arizona. These are hoops that Romine jumped through to try to course-correct after not originally filing in the proper venue. It was a frustrating year-long venture for Sterling, one spent combating odd assertions and misplaced delusion. But, it's over now and it won't come back. The case being dismissed with prejudice means that the plaintiff is barred from ever re-filing for these same claims. Romine seemingly ended it all to no net gain. The critic had his day in court and he prevailed. A Statement Regarding Romine v. Stanton's Dismissal With Prejudice [The Jimquisition] Read more...[...]

Overwatch teases a new character


There's been a lot of speculation lately that Overwatch's next hero might be coming sooner rather than later. Fans were thinking that the 24th addition to the roster might be the legendary Doomfist, and there was plenty of evidence to lend that theory credence. Earlier this week, however, game director Jeff Kaplan threw some cold water on that idea. In a post on Blizzard's forums, he wrote, "24 is not who you think it is."


Cut to today, and a somewhat cryptic post on the Overwatch blog. The latest post is an interview with a young resident of Numbani, the African city in Overwatch that encourages humans and machine intelligences to work together in harmony. The interview with Efi Oladele discusses the young lady's work with drones and artificial intelligence, and her desire to make something larger to protect others. 

This is all speculation, but if Efi is indeed the next Overwatch hero, it sounds like she might be some sort of a pet class, relying on an AI companion to do most of her fighting. If you've played a Warlock or Hunter in World of Warcraft or Gaige the Mechromancer in Borderlands 2, you'll have some idea of how this character could work. If not, think something like Törbjorn, but with a mobile turret that would follow her around and might be able to take some basic commands.


Data analysis of the most recent patch on the Public Test Realm revealed that the transport for the Doomfist gauntlet in Numbani had been broken. Maybe Efi broke into it to give her robot a power boost? We'll probably find out when the next major patch goes live a couple of weeks from now.

An interview with inventor Efi Oladele [Overwatch blog]


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Square Enix forms studio for new RPG property 'Project Prelude Rune'


Role-playing game fans have a pair of new names to try and remember.

One is "Studio Istolia," a Tokyo-based studio recently formed under Square Enix, and the other is "Project Prelude Rune," the RPG intellectual property the group is creating. Former Tales series producer Hideo Baba is on board as both the studio head and the producer of Project Prelude Rune.

Per Square Enix Holdings, "The name Istolia originates from the Greek word, 'story' and is central to the studio's primary value. The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world."

Details on Prelude are minimal to non-existent, but in terms of setting or story, "The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale."

Given the brief announcement and job openings on Istolia's site, this all seems very far off.

Studio Istolia [Official site]


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Lightfield is a cyber-futuristic open-ended racer


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Racing games don't always have to be about who's the most skilled. Sometimes they can favor the most clever. It doesn't matter how quick your opponent is, you're winning that race if you can consistently nail the Rainbow Road shortcut in Mario Kart 64.

Lightfield is a new game that ratchets that mindset up a thousand notches. It's full of abstract environments in an open setting so that players can find their own optimal paths. Developer Lost in the Garden calls it an "omnidirectional version of parkour." It's part racing, part flying, part strategic maneuvering, and all Tron-like technicolor. You're probably best served by just watching the trailer.

Now that you have some idea about what this is, there are some important details about what it's made up of. Lost in the Garden says that its debut game has seven tracks and four different environments. It supports four-player local and online multiplayer. The two game modes are classic racing and time trials.

Even though Lightfield was just announced, it's not far away. Lost in the Garden says that it's eyeing a summer release on both PS4 and Xbox One. Before then, it'll be at GDC next week in San Francisco where we'll probably check it out. This one found its way to the finish line before we ever even knew it existed.

Announcing Lightfield for PS4 and XB1 [Lost in the Garden]



Resident Evil 7's Banned Footage DLC is out for Xbox One and PC


After a window of timed exclusivity on PlayStation 4, Capcom has now released Banned Footage Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 for Resident Evil 7 on Xbox One and PC. They're priced at $10 and $15, respectively.

My thoughts on Banned Footage Vol. 1 fall in line with Zack's, which you can hear more about in his full review. In short: "Bedroom" is a nerve-wracking escape-the-room puzzle scenario with Marguerite that I loved but likely won't play again, the survival-centric "Nightmare" is surprisingly loads of fun, and "Ethan Must Die" is too damn punishing for me to want to try and make more headway.

As for Banned Footage Vol. 2, I've only just dipped my toes in so far. There's a Baker family prequel story in "Daughters," a silly arcade mode about feeding daddy called "Jack's 55th Birthday," and a Saw-like game of Blackjack with Lucas that is real messed up if you're playing in VR, let me tell ya.

Some of this DLC is good, some less so. Get it if you're dying for more RE7, otherwise, hold off.



Narita Boy looks like an '80s-inspired fever dream


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Narita Boy drew me in with its aesthetic and, to be frank, that's still the aspect of the game I'm into the most. It looks wild. The further into this trailer you get, the crazier the effects and animations become.

I don't really understand most of what I'm seeing here -- and the story is densely layered, to say the least -- but the feeling it evokes is special. Can the game possibly be this cool? That'd be something.

Creator Studio Koba describes Narita Boy as "inspired by retro pixel adventures (Castlevania, Another World, Double Dragon) with a modern touch (Superbrothers, Sword and Sorcery) and an 80s plot homage (Ready Player One, He-Man, The Last Starfighter), accompanied by the retro synth touch of the old glory days." Also it has "Boy" in its name, and I'm all about that.

Narita Boy [Kickstarter]


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New Civilization VI update brings Australia DLC and Steam Workshop


One of the most-requested features for Civilization VI will soon be upon us. In an upcoming free update, Steam Workshop support will be going live alongside some new team options and the Australian Civilization DLC. While I've sunk more time than I care to admit into the core game, finally having official mod support will be huge for the longevity of Civ VI. It did wonders for Civilization V, which I still occasionally play to this day.

As for the new DLC, this marks the first time Australia is officially in a Civilization game. Australia will feature John Curtin, Prime Minister of the country during World War II. Firaxis also detailed some of the unique units and buildings that Australia will have, including "The Digger" and "The Outback Station." Looks pretty neat.


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Maybe don't watch this spoilery Zelda: Breath of the Wild video


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There's a lot going on this Japanese television ad for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Too much, probably! You're not going to want to see it if you've held out this long and remained relatively spoiler-free. Stay strong, and also be careful on Nintendo of America's Twitter feed, as well.

I'm one of those maniacs who doesn't mind seeing cool things ahead of time that will almost certainly still seem cool to me once the game is out and I know the context of the situation. Weird, right?

If nothing else, try listening to the video in a separate tab -- the first 15ish seconds are totally safe, and the ensuing music will hit you like a jolt of energy. We're so close now!



You can pretty much skip load times with this Street Fighter V mod


Apparently some people were taking issue with the load times present in Street Fighter V. Color me surprised, because I've often heard other issues that relate more to the lack of content than anything wrong with the game code.

Still, one modder has taken it upon themselves to virtually eliminate load times with a new mod. Basically, it increases the framerate of the user interface at the character select screen and that somehow gets you into a match almost instantaneously.


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The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is no longer a launch title for the Switch


The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ was going to be one of the many ports that the Switch hosted on its launch day, but that's not happening. "Issues beyond our control" have been cited by Team Meat and Nicalis, and although it's been pushed back, it will arrive sometime in March.

There is a silver lining though, as the package will include a 20 page color manual, something Nintendo hasn't been providing as of late. So while most Switch cases seem blank so far, there is the opportunity to stuff something in there if you want. Right now the exact date isn't known, but Best Buy is currently listing March 17.

What's in the Box?2?! [Binding of Isaac]


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John Cena will be demoing the Switch with some YouTubers


Even with the Switch launching in roughly nine days and with a public preview event still scheduled for two cities, Nintendo is going to be demoing the Switch in a few more places with some twists.

This time, they are bringing a mock living room to three entirely different locations to simulate how people can play the console. John Cena is also going to be at the California event, hopefully stumbling into the room and holding up the title belt, along with some YouTubers. The details are below:


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As Dragon Quest X dies on the Wii, it's born on the Switch this year


Much like Square Enix got rid of the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIV so it didn't hold the others back, Dragon Quest X is suffering the same fate.

The publisher announced this week that the Wii version is ending service completely, but there will be an opportunity to go to the Switch edition. A port, by the way, that's coming somewhere between the beginning of summer and the end of fall.

It's not exactly the most descriptive announcement, but at least you can plan accordingly if you happen to play it. I'm still pretty jealous that I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, but the moment it comes west I'm creating an account.

Dragon Quest X [Hachima Kikou]



Review: Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin


Not that you need any more reminders, but dang, it sure has been a while since the first Psychonauts. More than a decade later, Double Fine's funny psychic-power platformer has stuck with us, thanks in part to re-releases and also the uplifting fact that a full-on sequel is in production at the studio.

Before Psychonauts 2, though, we're off on an excursion with Rhombus of Ruin, a first-person puzzle-adventure title created for PlayStation VR. This game is meant to bridge Psychonauts and its forthcoming sequel, but don't let that timeline deter you if you haven't yet played the original. Even though existing fans who already know (and probably love) these characters will be at a clear advantage to get more out of Rhombus of Ruin, it works as a standalone experience. Quite well, I might add!


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Rime will take around eight hours to beat, more if you do everything


Whenever a new puzzle platformer come out, I worry about padding. Having secrets and Easter eggs packed in is fine, but when you're asking me to collect hundreds of trinkets of Donkey Kong 64 proportions to see a good chunk of the game, I start to foam at the mouth a little bit. That isn't going to be the case for Rime, it seems.

Speaking to WCCF Tech, developer Tequila Works explained that players could beat the game in eight hours or less, but if they want to "take [their] time and collect all the secrets [on the island]," it could take up to 10. There is one definitive ending, but said secrets provide "a deeper understanding of the story." No additional content is planned, and if you have a PS4 Pro, you can expect a framerate boost of roughly 5-10 FPS, while the base game is targeting a minimum of 30.

That all sounds fine to me -- we're getting the complete experience, and with any luck, it won't have a ton of fat on it to wade through. Rime will hit the PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One in May.

Tequila Works Talks Rime PS4 Pro Enhancements, Game Length and Much More [WCCF Tech]



A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV is going to be a free download as of next month


What was once a pre-order bonus is now a fully-fledged free game.

Square Enix has announced that A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV, the retro beat 'em up that serves as a prequel of sorts (it's an embellished tale from Noctis' father, with some half-truths), will be free for all on March 1. That's for both the PSN and Xbox Live -- you'll be able to grab it without the requirement of a season pass, or even owning FFXV proper.

Even if you have no interest in playing the newly minted brodown JRPG, King's Tale is self-contained enough, and has an understandable degree of beat 'em up charm to appeal to anyone. Once March 1 hits, go download it for a rainy afternoon.



Review: Berserk and the Band of the Hawk


Watching the original Berserk anime for the first time had a profound impact on me. I had seen bleak or otherwise violent films like Starship Troopers before as a youngster, but gazing upon Berserk was the first time I had felt like I had been truly taken hold by a grimdark, hopeless world of despair.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk misses out on some of that in its effort to provide a Warriors hack-and-slash power fantasy, but it succeeds all the same.


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This year's DICE Summit will feature a game dev Quake tournament


The DICE Summit is an annual get-together for game developers to discuss ideas for new games and emerging technology within the industry. While it doesn't hold much for the mainstream gaming public, it looks like the executives in charge of organizing the event have decided to shake things up for 2017. This year, a one-on-one Quake tournament will be held and streamed at the convention for all to see.

The contestants include a lot of game industry professionals with the likes of Sean Dunn, Ted Price, Tim Willits, and Randy Pitchford participating. There doesn't seem to be any prize, just a chance to see developers at play (and possibly a smug sense of superiority when they suck). I'm pretty sure Tim Willits would win, seeing as how he works for the company that created Quake. The full lineup is as follows:


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PSA: You can select your Nintendo ID before the Switch comes out


It doesn't seem to be common knowledge, but sometime over the last couple of days, Nintendo opened up the section of their website that allows you to select your online name. You can change your user ID any time, and it will be attached to your Nintendo account. For some reason, you won't automatically be assigned the name already associated with your Nintendo Network ID (NNID). Fortunately, it's not too difficult to set it up, so I'll walk you through it using my own ID as an example. 

If you haven't set up a Nintendo ID and/or My Nintendo account before to use the Wii U or 3DS, you'll need to do that first. After that's done, head to, and look for the "User ID" section. Click the Edit button, as shown.


If you've set up 2-factor identification, the website will send a verification code to the email address on file. It may also require you to change your password if you haven't logged in for a while. Once you've entered the verification, you'll be returned to the screen above and will be able to request your desired username. Usernames have to have at least six characters, and as you might expect there are filters in place to prevent usernames from having any slurs or profanity in them. 


Once you have your desired name in place, it will show up on this page, and will presumably be shown underneath your chosen avatar icon on the Switch's version of a friends list. If you're unhappy with the name you chose, you can always come back and change it later. That's all there is to it. What name will you be going by?


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Former NBA player Rick Fox explains why he invested big in eSports


Los Angeles Laker almost-great Rick Fox isn't spending his retirement like most former players do. He's the owner of the eSports team Echo Fox, an umbrella with eight teams and 35 players under it. That's a noteworthy investment from a former professional athlete, a class of people who are incredibly likely to disregard the notion that competitive video game players are also athletes.

Fox's venture was profiled on The Players' Tribune today. Normally, The Players' Tribune's pieces are of little value. It's a collection of ghostwritten softballs, a place for Derek Jeter to say "baseball's a part of my family" or for Carson Wentz to say "We play a special brand of football up in North Dakota." The kind of stuff that makes you reflexively pantomime a jerkoff motion. But, for as obnoxiously filtered as it all is, there's usually a good anecdote or two.

The piece starts with Fox describing a raucous arena. The reader is meant to think it's during a college rivalry game or an NBA playoff series. It's not. It's during the League of Legends championships. Fox says this is the moment when he knew he had to invest in eSports -- both as a smart business opportunity and as a chance to bond with his son.

The rest plays out like every Players' Tribune article plays out. It inflates Fox's purpose while also portraying him as personable and relatable. But, there are some highlights that are worth pointing out.

Maybe the thing that would most surprise non-eSports followers is this quote from Fox:


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Here They Lie won't require PlayStation VR after the next update


I played a little of Here They Lie during the PlayStation VR's launch period last year, but never felt compelled to return and wrap things up. I might just have to do that soon -- the horror game is being updated with better head tracking, sharper visuals, and a chapter select on February 21.

That's the least surprising piece of news here, though. On that same day, Tangentlemen is also making the game accessible for folks who do not own a PlayStation VR. From that point on, you'll be able to play on PS4 or PS4 Pro with the new "Standard" version of Here They Lie. What's more, current game owners will have access to this VR-less option in the aforementioned free update.

"Here They Lie is also getting an insanely juicy PS4 Pro patch on the same day! That means 4K (users need a 4K display device to view in 4K) / HDR support for the Standard version of the game, and an all-around higher quality render-mode for PS4 Pro on PS VR. Better shadows, post-processing effects, dynamic flashlight shadows, and ambient occlusion!"

Realistically, it might be too late for me and this game after Resident Evil 7, but this is a great move for VR and non-VR players alike. The developers easily could've moved on to a new project by now.

Here They Lie Updated with PS4 and PS4 Pro Support on February 21 [PlayStation Blog]



You can pre-load this week's Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta


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Impressions out of the Ghost Recon Wildlands closed beta haven't been all that encouraging, but I did see some people say they were thankful for having tried it anyway. The early hands-on time told them what they needed to know about the open-world shooter, which is that there's something to its co-op sandbox, but ultimately, it falls short of reaching its potential. Maybe it'll get there one day.

If you're curious to see what if anything Ubisoft has changed going into the open beta, you can start downloading the game client now. It's available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Uplay, and the open beta is scheduled to run from Thursday, February 23 to Monday, February 27.

Pre-loading has become fairly common, but it's not always a guarantee, so this is nice to see.

Ghost Recon [Twitter]



Best Presidents Day gaming laptop deals: Alienware, Lenovo, HP, and more


Finally thinking of retiring ye ol' current gaming laptop? Struggling to play the latest titles at non-blurry graphics settings? This Presidents Day we're spotting some decent and great gaming laptop deals from major manufacturers, from more-reasonably-priced Alienware laptops to HP and Dell budget rigs. In the best value-vs.-performance department we have two sub-$800 gaming laptop picks: Dell has an Inspiron 15 7000 series gaming laptop at $782.49 after a $50 coupon (SAVE50). It comes with a Quad Core i5-7300HQ Kaby Lake 7th-gen processor, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, and a 256GB SSD. Over at HP, they are discounting the Omen 15t with Quad Core i7-7700HQ and GeForce GTX 1050 to only $799.99 (no coupon required). Both of these machines will run modern games without a sweat at medium or high settings. The straight-up value champion from the list of 15 laptops below? HP's Pavilion 15t which sports a Quad Core i5-7300HQ 3.5Ghz Kaby Lake 7th-gen processor along with a GTX 1050 for only $689.99 (use code LIBERTY17 for $10 off). It's very similar spec-wise to the Dell 15 mentioned above, but you're looking at a non-Ti GPU (slightly lower clock), plus a regular hard disk drive compared to the SSD found in the Dell.  In the pricier and today-only department, all the Alienware machines are at a steeper-than-usual discount, but the deals are fairly limited in terms of time frame. The new Alienware 15 R3 with Core i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1060 is "only" $1,299.99. While pricey, this model comes with a sexy 300-nits IPS panel with G-SYNC enable -- a rare feature in a laptop. The deal is today-only, won't stack with coupons, and is currently 84% claimed as of writing. *Note: Deals with an asterisk are today-only and will expire after tonight. Alienware Use code: SAVE50 Alienware 15 Core i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, 8GB, 300-nits IPS G-SYNC 1080p — $1,299.99  (list price $1,550)* Alienware 13 Core i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060, 8GB, 256GB SSD, 300-nits IPS 1080p — $1,322.99  (list price $1,669) Alienware 17 Core i7-7700HQ, RX 470, 8GB, 300-nits IPS 1080p — $1,322.99  (list price $1,500) Alienware 15 Core i5-7300HQ, GTX 1060, 8GB, 300-nits IPS G-SYNC 1080p — $1,175.99  (list price $1,350) Dell Use code: SAVE50 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB, 256GB SSD, GTX 1050 Ti — $782.49  (list price $900) Dell XPS 15 Core i7-7700HQ, 8GB, 256GB SSD, GTX 1050, 1080p InfinityEdge — $1,259.99  (list price $1,400) HP Use code: LIBERTY17 HP Envy 17t Touch Core i7-7500U, 16GB, 512GB SSD, 940MX, 1080p Touch — $939.99  (list price $1,500) HP Omen 15t Core i7-7700HQ, GTX 1050, 1080p IPS, 8GB — $799.99  (list price $900) HP Pavilion 15t Core i5-7300HQ, GTX 1050, 1080p IPS, 8GB — $689.99  (list price $850) Lenovo Lenovo Y900 Core i7-6820HK, 16GB, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD, GTX 980M — $1,549  (list price $2,500) Lenovo Y700-15 Touch Core i7-6700HQ, 4K Touch, 16GB, 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD, GTX 960M — $1,249  (list $1,780) <- Code: PRESWKDEAL14 Lenovo Y700-15 Touch Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB, 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, GTX 960M, 4K UHD — $1,059  (list $1,500) <- Code: PRESWKDEAL3 Lenovo Y700-14 Core i5-6300HQ, 8GB, 1TB HDD, R9 M375, 1080p — $649  (list $1,050) [...]

Rogue Legacy developer's next game aims to make you 'rethink what a brawler could be'


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If there's a genre of games that doesn't require much thinking, it's brawlers. Those games typically ask that you punch and shoot everything on the screen, and then move forward to do it again. Subtlety and nuance and strategy are not its fortes; finding a baseball bat and then hitting someone with it is hardly a mentally-tasking gameplan.

Cellar Door, the developer of 2013's Rogue Legacy, has a take on brawlers that it says will make you "rethink what a brawler could be." That's Full Metal Furies, a game that supports four-player cooperative play both locally and online. It's coming to PC and Xbox One sometime this year.

The hook to Full Metal Furies seems to be that it leans on asymmetrical play from its four heroes as a means to methodically attack the opposition. For instance, some enemies might have barriers that one hero needs to eliminate before the others can join in the fray. That's hopefully an overly simplistic example, though; it's hardly an original idea.

Another major bullet point is that two characters can be selected for solo play. They can be switched out on the fly, to make use of different combinations of abilities. Also, one can revive the other if they go down.

Other systems in Full Metal Furies are: RPG mechanics for leveling up the heroes, blueprints to further customize their style of attacks, and secret puzzles (we don't yet know the point of these). Cellar Door says that it's probably 15 to 20 hours in length, and about as difficult as Rogue Legacy.

The rest of the game's broad outline can be seen on the Full Metal Furies page of Cellar Door's site. We'll have to wait to see if this is the sly subversion that it's said to be. Right now it seems like a stylish brawler with some neat mechanics -- but probably not something that will make us rethink a genre that hardly requires any thinking in the first place.

Full Metal Furies [Cellar Door]



Look for Nioh's free PvP update and first DLC in April


You know that feeling when you get a new game and you become deeply, terribly invested in it as if it's some sort of curse you have to take with you to the grave? A week in, you pause for a rare moment of reflection. You wonder how you could've possibly spent dozens of hours in this game, count your blessings that your wrists aren't irreversibly shattered (yet), and continue on. That was Nioh for me.

Thankfully, Nioh is literally and figuratively out of my system right now, but I know I'll be back. Team Ninja has plans for DLC and updates, some of which were made clear on a Koei Tecmo live stream.


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Yoku's Island Express looks like pure fun


There are some combinations that just make sense and are easy to see: chocolate and peanut butter, phones and cameras, Sonny and Cher.

Then there are those combos that you didn't know you wanted until some brave soul put them together: bacon and donuts. Frisbee and golf, Metroidvania and pinball.

Metroidvania is perhaps my favorite game genre and I will play any pinball game that comes across my path, yet I never thought of mashing the two of them up before I saw this trailer for Yoku's Island Express.


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Chroma Squad coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in May


Although Chroma Squad is a game that lets you simulate your own tokusatsu (essentially the "person in rubber suits" genre) show with influences drawn from Japanese shows like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, Behold Studios ran into a bit of legal trouble with Power Rangers licensor Saban and now has to add in an "inspired by Saban's Power Rangers" into every mention of the game. I'm glad they were able to sort through all of that craziness, and after being announced last year, Chroma Squad's console release now has release window. 

After coming out two years ago on PC, Bandai Namco confirms Chroma Squad will come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in May. And only to those two consoles. Bandai Namco also confirmed the Vita version in the works has been cancelled. 

It's a shame since this would've been the perfect game to play on the go, too. RIP Vita. 



8-4 won't be handling Xenoblade Chronicles 2's localization


It's a bit weird for me that we're getting a new Xenoblade Chronicles game in the first year of the Nintendo Switch. Barring any unforeseen delays, we'll be returning to this wonderfully expansive sci-fi world once more before the end of 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed the original game on the Wii and was fascinated by Xenoblade Chronicles X, but I know with the latter game there was a lot of frustration with the localization.

If you were one of the people who didn't care for X's translation in the west, know the team behind that job, 8-4, won't be doing it for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. On Twitter, company co-founder John Ricciardi told a fan who was hoping 8-4 would be localizing the game that his company is "busy on other stuff."

There is currently no word on who will be doing the localization this time around.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2's Localization Will Not Be Handled By 8-4 [Siliconera]



Man, Nintendo Switch game cases sure do stand out


Seeing the Nintendo Switch in person at a tradeshow was all the proof I needed that the concept worked. Sure the Joy-Con might not be as comfortable for some games as a Pro Controller, but as a whole, the system is sleek and I came away impressed.

That includes the game cases, which are a blast from the portable past -- well, the not so distant past of the PSP. Note that they basically don't have any flair, and are the polar opposite of the UMD and instruction manual-stuffed PSP cases. Nope, just a tiny little cart and no literature. It works for me, but I will miss those little Club Nintendo inserts (RIP).

The system, also unlike its counterparts, doesn't vie for living room attention. It's small, and begs you to take it on the go, even if it's upstairs for a quick Zelda-in-bed session (oh, it's happening). Although I can't really say much more right now, you can take a look at some comparison shots in the gallery below.

Expect our full hardware and Zelda impressions to come shortly before launch.


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Nioh's William joins the cast of Musou Stars


The last time I wrote about Musou Stars (an anniversary musou drawing from many Koei Tecmo properties), community member Enou wondered if we'd see Nioh's William Adams added to the roster. I figured they'd be correct, but wasn't sure if William would be lucky enough to be part of the initial character line-up and instead relegated to DLC. But I'm glad to be wrong in this case.  Announced on a Nioh live-stream (and caught by Gematsu), Koei Tecmo announced William as the final character. Here's the full Musou Stars line-up:  Tamaki (Original character) Shiki (Original character) Setsuna (Original character) Zhao Yun - Dynasty Warriors Wang Yuanji - Dynasty Warriors Ouka - Toukiden Sophie - Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Yukimura Sanada - Samurai Warriors Ryu Hayabusa - Ninja Gaiden Hajime Arima - Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Kasumi - Dead or Alive Millenia - Deception Plachta - Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book Mitsunari Ishida - Samurai Warriors Horo - Toukiden Darius - Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Opoona - Opoona Marie Rose - Dead or Alive Honoka - Dead or Alive Rio - Rio Zhou Cang - Dynasty Warriors Lu Bu - Dynasty Warriors Naotora Ii - Samurai Warriors Nobunyaga Oda - Samurai Cats Laegrinna - Deception Tokitsugu - Toukiden Ayane - Ninja Gaiden Arnice - Nights of Azure Christophorus - Nights of Azure William Adams from Nioh Musou Stars releases in Japan March 30th for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Fingers crossed for a Western release sooner rather than later.  Musou Stars adds William from Nioh [Gematsu] [...]

Parks are still trying to figure out how to deal with Pokemon Go


If you played Pokemon Go during its peak, you probably saw how a lot of institutions, both public and private sector, reacted to the game.

Some embraced it, encouraging folks to petition to add them as a Pokestop, and had deals for players. Others were cautious, posting rules and regulations for folks who didn't typically visit places like public parks -- things like "make sure you respect the wildlife." Others reacted negatively, and didn't want anything to do with it, asking Niantic to remove their locations as Pokestops.

While everyone has their own prerogative on how to cope with the phenomenon, the Associated Press is reporting that in Milwaukee, one park is signing off on a proposal that requires all AR (augmented reality) games, not just Go, to get permission before adding any areas as hotspots. Others are aiming to get expedited removal in the case of protected areas.

This is all still relatively new, even if Pokemon Go launched roughly eight months ago.

Milwaukee to 'Pokemon' monsters: Get a permit to enter parks [AP]



Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC is still 'in development'


Although Nintendo has been embracing DLC more and more in recent years, and even had adopted the season pass model several times, fans are still pushing back. The latest battle is over the Zelda: Breath of the Wild season pass ($20), which includes two expansions of sorts, with a Cave of Trials challenge, new hard mode, "an additional map feature," another story, extra challenges, and another dungeon.

Sure, putting DLC in a hack and slash (Hyrule Warriors), fighting game (Smash Bros.), or racer (Mario Kart 8) is easy to digest, but a new mainline Zelda title is something else entirely. To defend the decision, Marketing Manager of Nintendo of America Bill Trinen appeared on the IGN Nintendo Voice Chat podcast, and provided a few insights.

In addition to finding it "tough" to even announce (probably due to backlash), he also noted that "it would be a waste to just make one game and have that be it." He also explains that the content is still "in development," and not launching the "day or the week after" (I'll remember this if Nintendo ever does decide to start doing that).

Most of this is marketing speak (from the marketing manager no less!), but I do find it funny that up until recently, folks were just fine with "playing one game and having that be it." Speaking solely of the massive legacy of Zelda, "it" was generally weeks of exploring the open world with a fine-toothed comb, only to find new secrets years later that encouraged constant replays throughout my lifetime. Like most DLC I'm willing to give it a chance, but don't sell the old formula short, Bill!

Bill Trinen [YouTube]



Review: Horizon Zero Dawn


Horizon Zero Dawn came out of nothingness and delighted thousands. Born on a lark as the "most risky" concept from a Guerilla Games pitch session, the aesthetic of meshing tribal warfare with high-tech creatures is intriguing all on its own before one even picks up a DualShock remote.

It's also a compelling reason why Guerilla should be working on new IP.


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Here's what you'll look like to other Switch players


Ever since consoles began connecting to the internet, choosing an avatar for your online persona has been part of the experience. While prior Nintendo consoles made you create Miis as your online representation, it looks like the Switch will also let players choose from a number of preset options in addition to Miis. 

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You can see the premade icons below. As you can see in the video, you'll be able to customize the background color of these icons, and choose the facial expression and pose of your Mii if you choose to use it as your online avatar. There's a wide range of familiar Nintendo avatars available.


We're less than two weeks away from the Switch's launch, and it's hard not to be at least a little excited about getting to try out a new console. I'll probably be using one of the Inklings as my avatar, for obvious reasons. There are lots of options here, though I admit I was surprised not to see Kirby or any Pokémon. I suppose the icons are limited to first party Nintendo titles exclusively, though there's nothing saying more can't be added at some point down the road. Which is your favorite?

Here's The User Icons You Can Use on Nintendo Switch [MyNintendoNews]
MoldyClay64 [Twitter] 
Japanese3DS [Twitter] 


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Real life Splatoon guns exist, and they shoot ink


Last weekend at the Toy Fair 2017, toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific unveiled new Splatoon-themed toys, and they look to bring back the glory days of Super Soakers. Allegedly releasing this year they're based on the designs from the games, and shoot officially licensed "ink" (a slime of some sort).

As long as the slime tanks can be refilled easily with water, I'm down to get at least one of these. Let's see if lightning strikes twice for Splatoon 2 later this year -- wouldn't it be crazy if it outsold the Wii U edition early into the Switch's lifecycle?


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Blizzard will be ceasing support for Windows XP and Vista this year


Windows XP was the defacto operating system for a very long time. I remember immediately upgrading in 2001 and not really thinking about changing until I eventually tried out Windows 7 in 2010. The removal of MS-DOS was pretty big, but the legacy support and general stability made up for some missing features. Surprisingly, a lot of people are still running XP, despite Microsoft ending support for the operating system eight years ago!

It looks like Blizzard is now following suit as they have announced that their newer games will be dropping support for Windows XP and Vista sometime this year. The games affected will be World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. To be clear, anything not mentioned in this list will still function normally on any OS.

Blizzard issued a statement over the weekend that explains their decision behind this:


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Here's how much space Nintendo Switch games take up


You're going to get access to roughly 26GB of the Switch's 32GB onboard space, so if you aren't planning on buying a memory card and want to go digital, pay attention to the file sizes of each game before you buy them (or better yet, spring for a card).

That's going to be a lot easier as of this week, as Nintendo's Japanese Switch site just obtained a bunch of new information, which thankfully confirms that many games are only going to be in the 1GB range.

That includes Snipperclips (1.60GB), I Am Setsuna (1.40GB), and Puyo Puyo Tetris (1.09GB). A few are on the higher side, like Dragon Quest Heroes 1+2 (32GB), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (7GB), and Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence (5GB). As a reminder, Breath of the Wild is 13.4GB.

With a sizeable card, it seems as if it's not going to be as bad as a lot of other systems, where first-party releases approach 40GB. Not yet, at least.

Nintendo Switch [Nintendo]



SNK teases new characters for King of Fighters XIV


As I've said before, King of Fighters XIV deserves more credit. Look, I get it if you were hesitant because of the art style. The pixelated visuals of the last few games were gorgeous, and eliminating it feels like a betrayal of sorts for SNK -- it's part of the reason why they're having trouble onboarding people.

But hopefully, over time, those people will come, and new DLC might help. On February 23 SNK will start adding more content, including stages, costumes, and characters. Classic Iori will hit on that date, followed by more DLC and the big stuff at a later date.

At the moment you can speculate on who will be arriving into the ring with the teaser below. As long as Rock Howard makes it in at some point I'm good.


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Final Fantasy XV's promised 60FPS patch is finally out, exclusively on PS4 Pro


Months ago, Square Enix noted that a PS4 Pro Patch was in the works for release shortly after launch that would bring the game into the 60FPS fold. But weeks passed without any sort of news, and even after reaching out to the publisher, they basically told me that "it would be done when it's done." Well, it's done!

You can now download version 1.05, which will allow for a max cap of 60FPS (read: it will not always reach this goal) on PS4 Pro systems, as well as add some hunts, a higher level cap to 120, more camera roll capacity (to 200), a Chocobo music player, and the end of the Moogle Chocobo Carnival.

Now that most of the rough edges have been smoothed over, it's onto the content patches. Coming up soon is the first Gladiolus DLC, followed by some changes to Chapter 13 and other tidbits. This is going to be one mean GOTY edition.



Overwatch's Mei and Mercy will also become Nendoroids


Tracer will be the first in the Overwatch Nendoroid line, but she won't be alone for long. Good Smile Company revealed, via a poster at Toy Fair New York, that Mei and Mercy will be joining her!


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Persona 5 figures are coming to steal your heart


A magical event called Wonder Festival took place this weekend, and toy collectors all over the world looked sadly at their wallets as they realized they had some tough financial decisions to make. Count me in that group, especially after seeing these goodies for the upcoming (or already-released if you're in Japan) Persona 5.


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PREPARE TO FRIENDSHIP: Dtoid's Master Gaming Contact List


[Seriously, something about 2-week schedules really throw me off. But hey, look at those cute hats! The List will be updated into perpetuity -Panda]

Good morning/afteroon/tomorrow, my friends/robots/Gardevoir

It has been made aware to me that, just perhaps, you all enjoy video games. It might even be said that you... like to game with others? Now now, don't be that way, I don't mean to lump you into some sort of box. You're all just such lovely folks, it pains me to watch you, struggling in vain to connect with each other, striving to engage in...


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What is your favorite multiplayer map?


As I've gotten older, I've found myself drawn towards online multiplayer games. For me, it's one of the only ways I can get together with friends and family who live hundreds of miles away. Most of the people in my life are into gaming, so it's always easy for us to find an hour each week to sit down and have a go at it in the various amazing spectacular games we play. With my nephew, I mostly play Star Wars Battlefront, with my friends it's usually Mario Kart 8.

When I do play private matches with them, we always find ourselves returning to the same levels, the same tracks, the same multiplayer maps. We all have our favorites, and that's what I wanted to know from the Destructoid staff this week. So I asked them what multiplayer maps, from any genre that isn't racing (I'll save that for a future post), is their absolute favorite. There was a bit of fighting over who got to write about one specific level, but as you'll see below, the is quite a wide array of great multiplayer levels from throughout the years.


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Where Cards Fall tackles teenage angst


There's a certain sense of longing that comes with being a teenager. Every moment feels larger than your youthful existence; each thought a piece of the puzzle called growing up. Adolescence is the waking limbo of human life, where the transition from childhood wonder to the grind of adulthood is a trial in and of itself.

Where Cards Fall aims to capture the whimsy of teenage life. The narrative-driven puzzler challenges players to navigate the fragile bonds of youth by building houses of cards from character interactions and pointed memories.


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Pewdiepie apologizes for offensive jokes, claims media bias against him


There's a pretty interesting Youtube video about how "the marketplace of ideas" is a load of crap powerful enough to help get an unthinkable candidate elected president. It speaks to the idea that "The Discourse" in today's social media trickles down to what people talk about and think about in real life as well, leading them to prioritize whatever issues are propped up by celebrities and media talking heads at that time. Most people want to be heard, but unless you are talking about what everyone else is already talking about, no one is going to listen. Case in point, the current kerfuffle between The Wall Street Journal and millionaire Lets Play personality Pewdiepie. After being celebrated by several Neo Nazi groups for some of his "shock humor" jokes, based in Anti-Semitic words and images, Pewdiepie was dropped by Disney and Youtube Red as a partner, though Pewdiepie's main Youtube channel remains relatively unchanged in the face of the "scandal".  In the video below, Pewdiepie alternates between taking responsibility for the situation and blaming the Wall Street Journal for it. He feels that their attacks on him have been personal, and are out to try to damage his career. My guess is that this isn't the case. The Wall Street Journal has to know that this whole thing is going give both them and Pewdiepie a bump in viewership for as long as it lasts.   It's also likely that the writers in question at the The Wall Street Journal just honestly believe that Pewdiepie has been insensitive to the seriousness of the growing normalization of Anti-Semetic and KKK/Nazi-themed messaging in the world today, and has played a part in normalizing them. The fact that Pewdiepie takes the time here to complain about how "The Media" tends to focus on how much money he has, and not how "cool his story is" speaks to why the WSJ writers may feel that way. This is all despite the fact that the media has, in fact, spent plenty of time talking about how cool his story is. For an apology video, Pewdiepie spends a whole lot of time painting himself as the victim here.  Read more...[...]