Thursday, 10 September 2020

Contest: Win Hotshot Racing for Xbox One, PS4, or PC

In today's contest you can win Hotshot Racing for Xbox One, PS4, or PC!

Racing sims are for the birds -- arcade games are where it's at! If you disagree, find another contest, because this one is all about arcadey racer Hotshot Racing, which just hit PC and consoles. You know the drill, folks!

Contest: Win Hotshot Racing for Xbox One, PS4, or PC screenshot

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After all these years, The Unfinished Swan is on PC and iOS

Before the inventive family drama What Remains of Edith Finch, there was The Unfinished Swan – another exploration-driven first-person adventure game from Giant Sparrow. If you never played it and you've become a fan of the studio in recent years, it's a good time to go back with fresh eyes.

Almost eight years after The Unfinished Swan's original Sony-backed release on PS3, the game is now available on PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store (for $14.99) and also on iOS (for $4.99).

On PC, publisher Annapurna Interactive has a slight discount – to $13.49 – until September 24.

Bit by bit, you'll fill in a stark world with splashes of paint, and Giant Sparrow switches up the puzzle-solving formula in later chapters. The Unfinished Swan doesn't reach the same great heights as Edith Finch – what a perfect blend of narrative and mechanics – but it's worth having around for posterity.

As always, it's a pleasure to see older digital-only console exclusives find their way to PC.

After all these years, The Unfinished Swan is on PC and iOS screenshot



Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is an Epic Games Store freebie you need to pick up

Epic has been on an absolute roll for the past month or so. Anyone who's diligent about picking up free games has gotten Into the Breach, Hitman, A Total War Saga: Troy, and Remnant from the Ashes as of late. This week has another can't-miss game.

Americana folklore adventurer Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is free on the Epic Games Store this week. It has been, frankly, underappreciated ever since its 2018 release. It's a special game for people who care about storytelling in video games. 

There are trains in Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and there are trains in the other Epic freebie. That's the throughline, I guess. Transportation management sim Railway Empire is also free for the week. Pick that one up if you want the thrill of playing railroad tycoon (but not literally the thrill of playing Railroad Tycoon).

Next week, the lone announced freebie is Stick it to the Man.

Railway Empire, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine [Epic Games Store]

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is an Epic Games Store freebie you need to pick up screenshot



Re-up your Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription before the price doubles

Xbox Game Pass is the best value in gaming. That's not its official tagline, it's just a fact. We bring it up often because you're not going to find better bang-for-you-buck with any other subscription service.

However, anyone who's making use of Xbox Game Pass for PC exclusively will find their value chopped in half starting next week. On September 17, Game Pass for PC is doubling in price.

Re-up your Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription before the price doubles screenshot

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It's time to eat Taco Bell again in hopes of winning an Xbox Series X

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Microsoft is rolling out the red carpet for the new generation of Xbox in exactly two months. If you're not so bullish on shelling out $500 for a new console, you can buy a lottery ticket at the same fast food restaurant that has held Xbox contests for four years and running now.

Once again, Taco Bell and Microsoft are teaming up in the fall for an Xbox giveaway promotion. This one's a little more forgiving in a sense. You don't need to order some sort of $5 boxed promo meal for a shot at winning an Xbox Series X. That's usually what this collaboration is hinged upon. Instead, you simply need to buy a medium or large drink.

Starting on September 24, Microsoft is giving away approximately 4,000 Xbox Series X bundles that include a controller and six months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You can enter up to three times per day, and a winner is selected every 15 minutes. Although the contest begins in September, winners can expect to receive the Xbox Series X sometime around the November 10 launch.

Sip on some Baja Blast, win yourself an Xbox Series X. This is how kings live. (I imagine. I'm certainly no king, so please don't take my perspective on what it's like to be a king.) 

Xbox Series X [Taco Bell]

It's time to eat Taco Bell again in hopes of winning an Xbox Series X screenshot



Review: Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck

So far in 2020, there are two contenders for "most outrageous title."

Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck, and Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).

This roller coaster of a year isn't over yet, folks!

Review: Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck screenshot

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Mario Kart Tour goes retro with Super Mario Kart event

Mobile racer Mario Kart Tour is gearing up for its next in-game event, which this time around is an ironic reminder of far, far superior releases in Nintendo's genre-defining series.

The Super Mario Kart Tour, now live in-game, adds two drivers to the mix in the form of Donkey Kong Jr. and Mario himself, but now stylised in their classic 16-bit forms. Also being added to the loot pipe are a new pixelated kart and glider. In addition, a special Super Mario Kart glider is also available to purchase from the in-game store. You can check out the new content - showcased on Rainbow Road RMX - in the trailer below.

Mario Kart Tour goes retro with Super Mario Kart event screenshot

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Here's a recap of everything that happened during September's Ubisoft Forward stream

As everyone and their mother's mega-corporation adapts the Nintendo Direct style presentation in this post-E3 world, Ubisoft has rolled in with their second Ubisoft Forward stream today and dropped a few news nuggets on it. Of course, this is after that separate public statement regarding recent events at the company.

The second Ubisoft Forward stream of 2020 was pretty breezy and very straight-forward. The segments were fairly deep-divey, so if you didn't like the games being shown, you aren't going to like watching five to 10 minutes of extended footage on them.

As far as news goes, we learned that Immortals: Fenyx Rising is out in December, with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time remake following suit in January. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is coming back and is out at some point this holiday season (the highlight of the show) and Aiden Pearce plus his iconic cap are back in Watch Dogs: Legion — please clap.

We did get one new IP out of the show though: Riders Republic. Take a look at everything below! Thank goodness these are relatively short.

Here's a recap of everything that happened during September's Ubisoft Forward stream screenshot

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Riders Republic is an out-of-control extreme sports multiplayer game from Ubisoft

Today's Ubisoft Forward stream got amped up with a wild new open-world IP, Riders Republic.

It's a "mass multiplayer" extreme sports game from Ubisoft Annecy in which players can go nuts together with bikes, snowboards, skis, and wingsuits in seven regions based on the US National Parks.

While racing, you'll be able to see upwards of 50 other players on next-gen consoles and PC – or around 20-ish on current-gen systems. There's a sponsor-earning career mode, co-op character customization, and a trick system, too. Steep never managed to scratch the SSX itch, but I'll keep hoping for the best.

Riders Republic is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 25, 2021. If you happen to end up with a PS4 or Xbox One copy and you want to upgrade, that won't cost anything extra.

Riders Republic is an out-of-control extreme sports multiplayer game from Ubisoft screenshot

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(Update) The floodgates have opened: Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion dates confirmed for next-gen

[Update: Ubisoft re-confirmed that Watch Dogs Legion is coming on October 29 with a recruitment video, which you can watch below. Stormzy will also get an exclusive mission in the game and Aiden Pearce will appear as a playable character, complete with his "iconic cap." 2020 y'all.]

This morning, Microsoft made it official following myriad leaks: the next generation, as far as they are concerned, is happening on November 10. Boom.

On that day the Xbox Series X and the Series S will release, and the floodgates have been opened for every other publisher to say "hey, our stuff is coming too." Ubisoft is one of the first to fire off that salvo, noting that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is coming on November 10 for the Xbox Series X and the Series S. It'll also launch on PC, PS4 and Stadia on that same date. The publisher boasts that the game will run at 60FPS "in full 4K resolution" on Series X.

Ubisoft also explains that Watch Dogs: Legion, which is still slated for a current-gen release on October 29, will be a "day one" Xbox Series X/S title on November 10, and will benefit from "hardware accelerated raytracing" on Series X/S. Oh, and the "Smart Delivery" system is still a go for both games. As a reminder, if you buy the game on Xbox One or Series X/S, you can play it cross-generation for free. Cross-save between Xbox One and the X/S is in too.

(Update) The floodgates have opened: Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion dates confirmed for next-gen screenshot

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Rainbow Six Siege's Shadow Legacy season is here and Sam Fisher is a blast to play

[Update: To celebrate the new season, an animated short was produced showing Sam Fisher putting the youngsters through their paces.]

I'm relatively new to the Siege community having only picked up the game earlier this year, but seeing as how this year feels like three, I'd say I've been playing in a hyperbolic time chamber of sorts. Despite me being new, I could tell by gauging the different communities that the upcoming Shadow Legacy season felt like one of the most anticipated in a long while. Not only does it bring back the legendary Sam Fisher as a new operative, but it also is bringing a ton of quality of life changes to the five-year-old game.

Earlier this morning, the new season started rolling out on the various platforms with most of the changes promised in tow. First and most importantly, Sam 'Zero' Fisher is available for season pass players with those who don't pay the extra money having to wait seven days.

I got a chance to play him briefly this morning and he's a stupid amount of fun. Sure it's not the stealth action that the character is known for, but just to be back in his virtual shoes again feels great. Zero's unique gun, the SC3000K has a really good firing rate and a nice tight recoil pattern. I didn't get to use his gadget too much, but from what I've seen, it's going to be a thorn in the side of defenders for a while to come.

Rainbow Six Siege's Shadow Legacy season is here and Sam Fisher is a blast to play screenshot

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition is coming this holiday season

For years, people have been unable to play Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game after it was tragically removed from digital storefronts. Those who were able to play it described it as one of the best brawlers ever created. This holiday, the rest of us will get to see how true that is when Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition releases.

The game will include the Knives Chau and Wallace Wells DLC, and will be available for $14.99 on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, and PC. The game will feature local and online co-op as well.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition is coming this holiday season screenshot

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Hyper Scape gets even faster with a limited-time Turbo Mode

Hyper Scape lives up to its name next week. Hyper hyper hyper, go go go.

As part of this afternoon's Ubisoft Forward stream, we learned that free-to-play battle royale Hyper Scape is getting a limited-time Turbo Mode. It starts on September 15.

The hook to Turbo Mode is making everything happen faster. There's only max level loot. Your health regenerates faster. The zone closes faster. Crown victories go faster. Faster faster faster.

Hyper Scape gets even faster with a limited-time Turbo Mode  screenshot



Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is out in January

It's nice to have an honest-to-goodness Prince of Persia adventure again, even if it is a retread.

After a couple of leaks, Ubisoft formally announced Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake for PC, PS4, and Xbox One during today's Ubisoft Forward stream. It's launching January 21, 2021 for $39.99. A few bonuses – an "original" outfit and weapons set, and a Classic Filter – are reserved for pre-orders.

Voice actor Yuri Lowenthal is back as the Prince himself, and the studio has enhanced "everything in the game from camera to combat, as well as the visuals," according to director Pierre-Sylvain Gires.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake was made "from the ground up" in the Anvil engine.

Sands of Time is a stone-cold classic, so let's do this thing (assuming the final build looks less... rough). The semi-budget price is a good starting point. I'll probably wait to see the tech tests, though.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is out in January screenshot

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(Update) Immortals: Fenyx Rising seems to be arriving in December, and it looks a lot less cartoony

[Update: During today's Ubisoft Forward stream, the game was fully re-revealed, with its new art style in tow and a confirmed release date of December 3. "Extra production time" has allowed the team to "add new experiences" to Fenyx Rising, a developer said on-stream. Zeus and Prometheus will narrate the tale of Fenyx, the hero of the game. You can get a closer look at the new style in the trailer below.

There's also going to be an exclusive Stadia trial for Fenyx Rising "later this year in all regions Stadia is accessible."]

Just a few days ago we learned that the fun-sounding Gods & Monsters was torn to shreds and built back up by Ubisoft as "Immortals: Fenyx Rising." Now, thanks to a new Microsoft Store listing, it seems as if the game is getting a new look, too.

Thanks to the classic Microsoft Store leak, we know that the game is tentatively scheduled for release on December 3, and the new screens are decidedly (and sadly) less cartoony in nature. Oh, and it has a pre-order bonus quest (A Tale of Fire and Lightning): of course. We'll clearly learn more about the game and its release date on September 10 at the next Ubisoft Forward stream.

According to the listing, Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Stadia on December 3, while an Xbox Series X and PS5 launch are also planned. Ubisoft specifically calls out the Smart Delivery system for providing a cross-Xbox-One-to-Series-X copy, but does not mention the situation between the PS4 and PS5.

This seems to be a trend, and the new "all-in-one-entertainment-system" marketing move.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising [Microsoft Store via Gematsu]

(Update) Immortals: Fenyx Rising seems to be arriving in December, and it looks a lot less cartoony screenshot

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Annapurna Interactive's boxed PS4 collection is full of fantastic games

Not that we needed a fancy, pricey, wide-ranging boxed collection of PS4 games to remind us, but jeez, Annapurna Interactive sure has a stellar track record – its publishing lineup is arguably best-in-class.

The label has partnered with iam8bit for a limited-run $200 PS4 boxed set with eight physical (region-free) games called the Annapurna Interactive Deluxe Limited Edition. Not to downplay the sticker shock, but considering the number of unmistakable titles included, it's not that ridiculous of an ask.

There's Donut County, Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition, Outer Wilds, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Wattam, What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, and Telling Lies the last two of which haven't had physical PlayStation 4 versions before. Annapurna is also including "exclusive statements" from each creator.

Most of won't plunk down two hundred bucks on this collection, but it's fun to marvel at.

Pre-orders are open now ahead of a Q4 2020 shipment. That said, it's a limited edition of 2,000.

Annapurna Interactive Deluxe Limited Edition [iam8bit]

Annapurna Interactive's boxed PS4 collection is full of fantastic games screenshot

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Ubisoft CEO releases video statement addressing toxic company culture and offensive Elite Squad content

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has released a video statement addressing the stories of toxic culture and sexual harassment at the developer/publisher, which in recent months had led to intense scrutiny within the studio's walls, and the firing of several high-ranking employees.

In the near-four-minute video, Guillemot offers an apology to those affected and hurt by the company's toxic behaviour. "I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt," says Guillemot. "We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and code of conduct and we are working now to improve our systems and processes."

Guillemot goes on to state that Ubisoft will work harder to improve diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company, investing "one million dollars" into its Graduate program over the next five years, and creating more opportunities for under-represented groups "including women and people of colour."

Ubisoft CEO releases video statement addressing toxic company culture and offensive Elite Squad content screenshot

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Speaking of limited time Nintendo games: Jump Rope Challenge is leaving the eShop on September 30

Jump Rope Challenge surprised everyone back in June, popping up out of nowhere as a free app for the Nintendo Switch. And in true Nintendo fashion: it's going away soon.

While the app might be free, it's not eternal. A recent tweet from Nintendo of Japan (for a patch that added a special screen after playing for 100 days) reminded us all that the game was always a limited-time release. As the official site notes, the game is free "as a limited-time release" through September 30.

Want Jump Rope Challenge? Grab it here off the eShop listing before it goes away. If you've never used the site before, all you need to do is log in, click "claim," and you're good to go.

You may recall that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is also getting the same "limited-time" treatment. While it will be available in physical form and on the eShop later this month, it'll go away in March 2021.

Nintendo of Japan [Twitter via Nintendo Life]

Speaking of limited time Nintendo games: Jump Rope Challenge is leaving the eShop on September 30 screenshot



Master Roshi joins Dragon Ball FighterZ as DLC September 18

It's been well over two years and Bandai Namco's excellent tag-fighter Dragon Ball FighterZ is still going strong. In fact, a brand new DLC character will be made available next week: the Turtle Hermit himself, Master Roshi.

Master Roshi made his debut in the original Dragon Ball anime way back in 1986. As the trainer of such luminary characters as Goku, Gohan, Yamcha, and Krillin, he is a feared fighter, and known as The God of Martial Arts. Like so many "old man" characters in classic anime, he is also a colossal pervert.

As you can see in the trailer below, Roshi's age and small stature belie his galaxy-defying martial-arts abilities, tackling opponents with lightning-fast punches and kicks, while beefing himself up for devastating Kamehameha attacks. In a shocking finale, one of Roshi's super attacks sees the Turtle Hermit confine his opponent to a tiny bottle! Yikes!

Master Roshi will be made available to purchase on all platforms September 18. Dragon Ball FighterZ is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Master Roshi joins Dragon Ball FighterZ as DLC September 18 screenshot

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Nintendo Download: Hades

[Update: Nintendo has issued a follow-up statement to Destructoid to issue a "correction" for the Hades release date. It is now listed as "fall 2020."]

Are you ready for the holiday season yet?

If you're not picking up a next-gen system, you're probably looking to Nintendo for guidance. Super Mario All-Stars is going to be a hot commodity from mid-September through March 2021, as is the new Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild prequel, Age of Calamity. But before then, there's some indies to keep you covered.

The long-awaited Hades is finally coming out in 1.0 form soon (September 16), which includes a Switch version. Wintermoor Tactics Club is also out on Switch this week, alongside of Bake 'N Switch and Fight Crab. You're kind of spoiled for choice when it comes to weird/interesting games.

Nintendo Download: Hades screenshot

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Pac-Man Geo is another inventive take on the classic coin-op

Despite - or perhaps because of - its simplistic design, Namco has always found new ways to reinvent video gaming's golden hero, Pac-Man. With Pac-Mania, Pac-Land, DX Championship Edition, Pac-Man 256 and many other spin-offs, our favourite ghost-gobbler keeps on returning to the forefront of gaming in intriguing new ways.

Case in point: Pac-Man Geo, newly announced by Bandai Namco and heading to mobile platforms in the very near future. In Pac-Man Geo, Pac-Man and his ghostly pals will escape the confines of their neon mazes and break out into the real world, as the streets of world famous locations become new and unique stages for classic coin-op action.

Pac-Man Geo will use information from Google Maps to turn the city streets into new mazes, dotting the avenues and alleyways with pellets and power pellets before allowing the player to enjoy a typical game of Pac-Man set within New York, Tokyo, Paris, or perhaps even their own neighbourhood. Some early screenshots in the gallery below offer an impression of how this new and inventive take on Pac-Man will work.

Pac-Man Geo is expected to launch sometime this fall on iOS and Android devices.

Pac-Man Geo announced for iOS and Android [Gematsu]

Pac-Man Geo is another inventive take on the classic coin-op screenshot

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Nintendo gives us a more in-depth look at that fancy new Game & Watch device

Nintendo won't have a next-generation console for us come mid-November, but it'll have a few other goodies to peddle for the holiday season.

In addition to Mario 3D All-Stars and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity dropping that month, the publisher is also releasing a special Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. system. The main gist is that you'll be able to play the original Super Mario Bros. + The Lost Levels on the device, as well as operate a clock app (with "35 little touches to discover") and play the original Ball Game & Watch minigame.

The new video below gives us a quick look at the device, and confirms that it has an LCD screen and a rechargeable battery with a USB connector. The official site also confirms that the handheld weighs .15 lbs and lasts roughly eight hours on a full battery charge.

Nintendo gives us a more in-depth look at that fancy new Game & Watch device screenshot

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Daemon x Machina to receive a new update for its first anniversary

It's been a whole year since the release of Marvelous' post-apocalyptic mech fighter, Daemon x Machina. To celebrate 12 months of robo-bashing action, Marvelous is getting set to release a new update for the game, adding several new goodies for your next jaunt into The Outer Rim.

The new update, which will go live on PC and Nintendo Switch in November, will include a "Grossfeiern" Arsenal skin, a "Grandemon" pilot suit, three new Arsenal decals and three new Preview backgrounds. A new order is also incoming, "Eclipse RT: Omega Destruction Strategy," which will see hardened players do battle against a super-powered Immortal known as "Eclipse Q."

You can get a sneak peek at the new content in the gallery below. Daemon X Machina is available now on PC and Nintendo Switch.

Daemon x Machina 1st anniversary update launches in November [Gematsu]

Daemon x Machina to receive a new update for its first anniversary screenshot

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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake leaks on Russian Uplay

Ahead of today's Ubisoft Forward presentation, a previously rumoured remake of 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has been leaked via the Russian version of Ubisoft's Uplay store.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake leaks on Russian Uplay screenshot

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(Update) Pocky & Rocky set to return in all-new KiKi KaiKai sequel

[Update: Taito has released the first trailer for KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo, which is tentatively titled Pocky & Rocky 2021 for its English localisation. You can check out the new trailer at the foot of the article. It looks pretty radical.]

Here's a fun bit of news for retro gaming fans: Taito has announced that it is teaming with Natsume Atari to develop a brand new sequel in the KiKi KaiKai series, better known to western gaming fans as Pocky & Rocky.

As reported in this week's issue of Famitsu, KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo will be a direct sequel to the action-packed top-down shooter KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Mantle, which launched on the SNES way back in 1992. The new sequel will be developed by Tengo Project, who was previously responsible for the excellent remasters Wild Guns: Reloaded and Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors.

The new KiKi KaiKai is no mere remaster, however, promising to be a brand new adventure housed within a modern engine. Fear not, retro-fans, as Tengo Project has noted that it will feature a style reminiscent of the original 16-bit release, albeit with significant visual, audio, and gameplay improvements. If you want to get a taste for the franchise, then the original 1986 arcade version of KiKi Kai Kai is available on the Arcade Archives range.

KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo is currently in development for Nintendo Switch.

KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo announced for Switch [Gematsu / Ryokutya2089]

(Update) Pocky & Rocky set to return in all-new KiKi KaiKai sequel screenshot

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No More Heroes 3 won't be powering up its beam katana until 2021

Of all the delays we've seen this year due to the pandemic, this one somehow felt like the most inevitable. Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 have confirmed the highly anticipated Switch-exclusive No More Heroes III will not see release in 2020. According to the message posted by the developers on Twitter, COVID-19 resulted in work delays on the title, and rather than rush it out, Suda wants his team to prioritize quality as development gets back on its feet.

No More Heroes 3 won't be powering up its beam katana until 2021 screenshot

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This PlayStation VR sale has some essential games

My PlayStation VR library has slowly but surely filled up thanks to PlayStation Store sales, and while I'm anxious to hear the particulars of Sony's PS4-to-PS5 transition for virtual reality, I can't resist jumping on good deals when they pop up. Many of these games, while fun, are too fleeting to buy at full price.

Sony is running a PlayStation VR sale with around 150 deals lasting through September 23, 2020.

I wouldn't recommend all of these games for every type of PSVR owner, but here are my quick picks:

(No, Beat Saber isn't on sale. Sorry! That said, it's worth the money.)

Of this list, I'd say Superhot VR, Tetris Effect, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission are essential. For everything else – especially the older titles that are several bucks each – try to see what you're getting into first.

This week, Sony is also highlighting upcoming VR games on the PlayStation Blog including Minecraft's PSVR update and Twilight Path. When's the last time you used your headset? It's been a bit for me.

This PlayStation VR sale has some essential games screenshot



These Demon's Souls screenshots won't tide us over, but they're something at least

We're no closer to finding out the release date for Demon's Souls today, but vigilant fans have flushed out something else worth sharing: a pair of new screenshots for Bluepoint's PlayStation 5 remake.

One image shows an alternate angle for the Vanguard boss, whose appearance was overhauled for PS5, and the other is a moody environmental shot to help sell the foreboding scale of Boletaria. The screens were spotted on Amazon Australia along with a generic bulleted summary, but the listing was pulled.

There's also some gnarly placeholder box art to check out. I hope the final version – maybe a special limited edition, or even a simple flip cover – can echo the original PlayStation 3 art for Demon's Souls.

On the other hand, I kinda love the idea of the Fat Official making the box. Show some dang respect!

[Via ResetEra]

These Demon's Souls screenshots won't tide us over, but they're something at least screenshot

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Here's a handy cheat sheet for comparing Xbox Series X and S specs

Okay, you've finally wrapped your head around the naming convention. Maybe it came naturally to you, maybe it took a little bit of time. Xbox Series S is the affordable entry-level model, Xbox Series X is the creme de la creme. You've internalized which one is better.

But what does that really mean? Aside from not having an optical disc drive, how much of a downgrade is the Series S from the Series X? Microsoft correctly predicted that people would need some context. That's why it came up with this handy comparison sheet:

Here's a handy cheat sheet for comparing Xbox Series X and S specs screenshot

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Review: The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

The Outer Worlds is a kooky sci-fi world I want to explore more of, and while I think (and hope) an eventual sequel could be a home-run, for now, Obsidian Entertainment is expanding Halcyon with DLC.

The first of the two story expansions is Peril on Gorgon, an intriguing corporate mystery set on a semi-abandoned asteroid that begins with an unexpected delivery. Because this is The Outer Worlds, you don't just get a simple invite to Gorgon – you're sent a detective's severed arm with a recording.

I didn't expect to have this easy of a time slipping back into this feel-bad universe.

Review: The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon screenshot

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AMD will reveal its next generation of video cards at the end of October

After the proverbial mic-drop presentation that Nvidia had last week concerning its GeForce 3000 series cards, all eyes have been on AMD to see what it would do next. As it turns out, we'll have to wait quite a bit to see what the return volley looks like from the lead competitor in the PC graphics card war.

AMD announced that it will air a presentation for its next line of video cards on October 28. The conference will cover both the RDNA2 chip architecture as well as the Radeon RX 6000 series of cards.

It's already known that the RDNA2 architecture will be used in the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox One S/X, with both of the systems having different proprietary cards in them. With the release date for the Xbox One S/X confirmed to be on November 10, it seems that this will be a good look into the more technical side of the upcoming console releases, just before their launch.

It will be interesting to see what AMD has in store for the PC side of things as bagging the two console hardware contracts for a second generation in a row could be seen as a win in any book, but no one can deny that PC gaming is on the rise. With the GeForce cards looking to be well priced for the tech that's inside them, will AMD be able to win over enthusiasts with a more impressive offering of cards?

We'll find out on October 28.

AMD will reveal its next generation of video cards at the end of October screenshot



Gears Tactics emerges on Xbox Series X on November 10

November 10 might be a date that you've heard thrown around a fair bit today. That's because it's the day that the next generation of Xbox kicks off. It's when Xbox Series X and Series S both launch. It's also when some high-profile games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon will simultaneously debut.

However, that's also when one of the year's finest games finally gets its console port. Gears Tactics, which I was smitten with back in April, comes to Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X on November 10.

Gears Tactics emerges on Xbox Series X on November 10 screenshot

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer beta starts October 8 on PS4

Activision and Treyarch lifted the lid on the multiplayer side of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War this morning, and apart from a tightly-edited "reveal trailer" with Duran Duran (always a pleasure) and more meaningful recorded gameplay impressions, the companies let out the beta dates and start times.

There isn't a singular start – Sony made deals – so let's break it down.

October 8-9

  • PS4 early access for players who pre-order Black Ops Cold War on PS4 or PS5.

October 10-12

  • PS4 open beta.

October 15-16

  • Xbox One and PC early access for players who pre-order Black Ops Cold War on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or PC.
  • PS4 open beta.

October 17-19

  • PS4, PC, and Xbox One open beta.

The beta is expected to start at 10:00 a.m. ("with exact timing to be decided"). Activision also says that Xbox Live Gold, Battle.net, and PlayStation Plus "in some territories" will be required to play.

As for what's new, my big takeaway is Scorestreaks – you'll keep your streak going even if you die. To compensate for the lack of a hard reset, the better rewards will be pricey, it pays to stay alive and play the objective if you can, and Scorestreaks have specific cooldowns to keep players from "spamming."

You can get an overview of the maps (like the ship-hopping Armada), modes (like the new round-based VIP Escort), and loadouts (Create-a-Class and Wildcards are back with tweaks) in this official blog post.

That said, there's nothing like hands-on time. Hopefully the beta is generous with content.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer Revealed [Activision]

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer beta starts October 8 on PS4 screenshot



What price were you expecting for the Xbox Series X?

At long last, Xbox's next-gen pricing is in our rearview mirror. Thanks to revisionist memories, everyone's an accurate industry expert in moments like this. "That's the price I was saying all along!" Yet it's Pachter, not you, who gets all the respect.

(In case you somehow missed the news, the Xbox Series X is launching on November 10 and priced at $500. The lesser-powered Xbox Series S was also formally unveiled yesterday and will be priced at $300 and launch on the same day.)

Today is not only a landmark moment for forward-facing console war marketing strategies (at least for one side), but it's also the conclusion to what we've been blindly stabbing at for nine months. "The things it wants to accomplish are impressive for a console, but how much will it cost?" Now we know, and now we can start making some purchasing decisions.

So, it's time for you to own it -- not necessarily the console, but your past opinion. Where did you think the Xbox Series X was gonna fall? Personally, I think I remember boldly venturing it'd be $400 before I was sure the Series S existed. This was mostly predicated on Phil Spencer saying Project Scarlett "[would] not be out of position on power or price." I thought Microsoft was will to take a significant loss on every machine sold in order to really start this generation on the right foot.

But, now that two models have been confirmed, $500 seems like the obvious price. It always felt like $600 was too high, as no one wants to relive the 60GB PS3 launch debacle. So, $300 and $500 feels like the sweet spot. One device is for introduction to the Xbox ecosystem, the other is for those who are looking for the most out of their console. Putting $200 worth of space between them intrinsically communicates the gap in horsepower.

What were you expecting? Less? More? Also, this seems like as good of a place as any to formally chime in with your PS5 pricing prediction. That way, if you claim to have been right all along, we can check the comments here and call you a filthy liar. Unless you actually were right -- in which case, refer back to my Pachter comment in the first paragraph.

What price were you expecting for the Xbox Series X? screenshot



Fall Guys will beef up its anti-cheat efforts in the 'next couple of weeks'

There's always more work to be done to shut down cheaters, and as we inch toward Season 2 of Fall Guys in October, Mediatonic increasingly hopes to stop pesky players from ruining everyone's fun.

In a tweet, the studio apologized for the "cheating problem" in Fall Guys and promised that steps would be taken this week to "expand" the existing detection system before a "BIG" update goes even further.

That larger update coming in "the next couple of weeks" will implement the same "anti-cheat used by games such as Fortnite," according to Mediatonic. Easy Anti-Cheat can do the heavy lifting.

I like to think I'm on a hiatus, and when I come back for those sweet Season 2 rewards, hopefully the state of the game is in a better place on multiple fronts – motivating-killing cheaters included.

I feel for you, PC players. I had to switch over to PS4.

@FallGuysGame [Twitter via Engadget]

Fall Guys will beef up its anti-cheat efforts in the 'next couple of weeks' screenshot



Nintendo is restocking the four Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champion amiibo for Age of Calamity

Can you believe that the four Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champion amiibo (Daruk, Urbosa, Mipha, Revali) came out in November of 2017? It's true, we tracked it all here!

Since then getting restocks has been a pain, like most figures more than a year out, with individual Champions going for upwards of $30 or more each on the secondary market. Thankfully, Nintendo has been periodically restocking amiibo throughout the years, and they've publicly announced a Champions reprint set for later this year.

Come November 20, which is right alongside of the launch of the new Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game, all four figures will be available once more. While those four characters have not been officially revealed to be playable, the box art heavily implies that they are.

In that same vein, amiibo functionality may work similarly to how it operated in Hyrule Warriors proper.

Nintendo of America [Twitter]

Nintendo is restocking the four Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champion amiibo for Age of Calamity screenshot



Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is getting a free 4K, 120FPS next-gen update

With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X around the corner, we're bound to hear publishers' plans for updating their PS4 and Xbox One games so they can hit the ground running on next-gen consoles.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom will eventually get an "update for next-gen consoles to support native 4K/120fps signal via HDMI 2.1," according to FDG Entertainment. There aren't currently any plans for a new physical release on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the PC version already has 4K support.

If you bought it on Switch, well, you might want to consider double-dipping down the road.

The longer Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom sticks around, the better – it's one of those great but underappreciated games that people might discover in a sale, impulse buy, and fall in love with.

I'm super pleased with the recent-ish Wonder Boy revival in general. Such great vibes.

@FDG_Games [Twitter via Gematsu]

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is getting a free 4K, 120FPS next-gen update screenshot



EA disables UFC 4's in-game ads after player backlash

Electronic Arts has removed a series of Amazon-sponsored flash ads from its MMA simulator UFC 4, following a huge backlash from fans on social media and Reddit.

The offending feature would cause adverts for Amazon TV show The Boys to appear on-screen between rounds and replays. In a video uploaded to Reddit by user Ydino, the ad even popped up as a part of the U.I. mid-match. While this sort of heavy on-screen advertising is authentic in regards to UFC's televisual style, fans were fuming to see the same kind of advertising appear in-game, particularly as the ads were activated one month after UFC 4's launch, and thus were not previously referenced in any of the game's reviews.

In a statement to Eurogamer (later appearing on Reddit), EA announced that it was disabling mid-match advertising: "It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome. The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced."

"We realize that this should have been communicated with players ahead of time and that's on us. We want to make sure our players have the best possible experience playing EA Sports UFC 4, so ad integration in the Replay and overlay experience will not be reappearing in the future. Thank you for your continued feedback on EA Sports UFC 4."

EA responds to fan backlash to in-game ads in UFC 4 [Eurogamer]

EA disables UFC 4's in-game ads after player backlash screenshot



Stardew Valley creator needs to decide what the 'next step' is after update 1.5, which could be more updates or a sequel

I remember when Stardew Valley came out. I was preoccupied with a lot of work at the time, but vowed to get to it as quickly as I could: bearing a lot of fond memories for the Harvest Moon series.

The minute I booted it up, I knew that I wouldn't let it go anytime soon. My wife and I ended up playing it side by side across two platforms, eventually meeting in the middle when the multiplayer update was released. We plan on playing it with our kid one day. We love it that much.

But all good things must come to an end. When? That depends on how creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone feels after update 1.5 arrives. We already know that they are working on several side projects, but the base Stardew Valley game could end up becoming something else entirely: or get a new 1.6 update.

Speaking to Game Informer, Barone says that they are "not willing to commit to Stardew Valley 1.6," but they also "don't think [update 1.5] will be the end." Despite the lack of commitment, Barone says that they "would not be surprised" if there was another update in them, or "multiple updates," or a true sequel. After 1.5 ships, they'll "decide what the next step is" for the series, also throwing in a "who knows?" qualifier.

It's vague; but hey, when the bulk of the work has been done by one person, you can definitely see where they are coming from. Hey Barone: a break is also on the table if you want to take it! You've earned it.

How Stardew Valley Keeps Building On Success [Game Informer]

Stardew Valley creator needs to decide what the 'next step' is after update 1.5, which could be more updates or a sequel screenshot



(Update) Yakuza: Like a Dragon is out on November 13, will arrive on Xbox Series X 'day one of its release'

[Update: Sega has confirmed that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will launch on November 10 on Xbox Series X/S. It also slyly hints that "release information on all platforms (read: PS5) in the coming weeks." We might have a timeline for Sony's big PS5 date/price reveal, if not sooner.]

We are about to enter new territory when it comes to the Yakuza series, and we're all going to be doing it together: On November 13.

Today, Sega has announced that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on that very date, with vague promises of when the next-generation versions will hit. Sega has clarified, and say it with me now, that the Xbox Series X edition will be available "on day one of its release," with the PS5 port coming "at a later date."

Sega is celebrating the news with a trailer titled "How Will You Rise," which showcases more RPG elements of the game and our hero Ichiban Kasuga. This is a very rapid-fire clip, showcasing "20+ unique jobs" and some of the wackier elements of Like a Dragon in just under two minutes.

It's entirely possible that the Xbox Series X is actually out on November 13, and "day one of its release" is just third party PR talk for "Microsoft is the one that gets to announce its console release date."

(Update) Yakuza: Like a Dragon is out on November 13, will arrive on Xbox Series X 'day one of its release' screenshot

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CD Projekt reaffirms 'zero microtransactions' for Cyberpunk 2077 single-player

CD Projekt RED has double-downed on its previous promise that Cyberpunk 2077 will feature no microtransactions whatsoever in regards to its single-player campaign.

The Polish developer made the affirmation after discussing in-game purchases attached to the RPG's multiplayer component - a separate commodity expected to launch sometime in 2021 - during a financial earnings call. This led some fans and news outlets to report that CDPR was going back on its earlier statement that Cyberpunk 2077 would be microtransaction free.

CDPR clarified that this was not the case. "Nothing changed," reads a brief statement on Twitter. "Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player game with zero microtransactions. One single purchase. No tricks. Don't believe the clickbait... Cyberpunk multiplayer/online, which is a separate project, will have some microtransactions, but we said that a year ago already. Like always, expect us treating your money with respect."

Cyberpunk 2077 launches November 19 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It will arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X at some point in 2021.

CD Projekt reaffirms 'zero microtransactions' for Cyberpunk 2077 single-player screenshot



Undertale anniversary celebrations to include free concert stream and new merch

Believe it or not, it's already been five years since the launch of Undertale. A blend of visual novel, RPG, and retro arcade action, Toby Fox' labour-of-love won over an army of fans with its emotional narrative, iconic cast of characters, and great chiptune soundtrack.

To celebrate five years of Flowey, Papyrus, Undyne, Sans and pals, Fox and Fangamer are teaming up to present a free online "concert stream," with select tracks from Undertale's great OST being performed live by MUSIC Engine. The concert is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, with festivities kicking off at 19:00 PT / 22:00 ET. Fans can watch the concert on the official Undertale website and YouTube channel.

On the same day, a selection of new Undertale merchandise will also be released. The new range will include a "Stay Determined" shirt, among other items. Proceeds from merch sales will be donated to the United Way COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

Undertale is available now on PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Undertale anniversary celebrations to include free concert stream and new merch screenshot

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Rumor: Nintendo is asking developers to make '4K-ready' games, hinting at a Switch Pro

Ready for another Switch Pro rumor? Lets-a-go!

Wait Switch Pro?! Yeah, about that. Every few months or so an insider will remind us that an upgraded version of the Switch exists in the planning stages, and Nintendo may or may not release it within a broad window of time: usually a year or two. It's the Nintendo insider way: vague strokes. But this time we may have another kernel of information as to what that Switch Pro could entail: 4K visuals.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is not only upping their Switch hardware production by 20% (which ups their fiscal year goal to 30 million Switch units sold), but they're also "asking developers to make their games 4K-ready." Bloomberg states that these comments came from "several outside game developers speaking anonymously." HDR capabilities are not mentioned at all in this report.

You know the drill here. This story is labeled as a rumor multiple times over, but there will come a time where Nintendo eventually plays ball and splashes onto the 4K scene. Given that a few of their older games still trounce over most of their competition (Galaxy 2 is still gorgeous), Mario in 4K is going to be a trip.

Nintendo Boosts Switch Production by Another 20% [Bloomberg]

Rumor: Nintendo is asking developers to make '4K-ready' games, hinting at a Switch Pro screenshot



Xbox Series X launches November 10, priced at $499

Microsoft has officially announced the price and launch date of its new next-gen hardware. Xbox Series X will launch on November 10, priced at $499 USD. It will retail for £449 in the U.K.

Xbox Series X launches November 10, priced at $499 screenshot

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New Kingdom Hearts project in the works for 20th anniversary

According to creative director Tetsuya Nomura, the Kingdom Hearts team is already hard at work on a brand new title in the beloved RPG series, with the goal of launching the mystery title in 2022 to coincide with the franchise's 20th anniversary.

"I'm working hard towards the 20th anniversary," said Nomura in an interview with Famitsu. "I myself have already switched to thinking about the next work, and the Kingdom Hearts team has already started working on something new. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory came just before we started working on the next title, so the main staff was able to assist. When we're able to announce something in the future, I think it will be full of surprises, so please look forward to it."

New Kingdom Hearts project in the works for 20th anniversary screenshot

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RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is getting a Nintendo Switch port on September 24

I scream, you scream, we all scream forever. In a year as exhausting as 2020, it'll be nice to chill out with a comfy, familiar, cathartic theme park management sim game like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

Developer Frontier (through its new Frontier Foundry label) is bringing RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition to Nintendo Switch on September 24, 2020, for a kinda-pushing-it $29.99. A PC re-release is also popping up on Steam (it's been MIA for new buyers) and the Epic Games Store on the same day.

Apart from the Soaked! and Wild! packs (I always dug the straightforward naming), RCT3: Complete Edition will have "new controls designed to help you build the ultimate theme park" and "widescreen for the first time, with full 1080p resolution and increased compatibility for new PC hardware."

RCT3 never clicked with me to the same extent as the Chris Sawyer classics, but I appreciate having a chance to plop this onto my Switch on a lazy afternoon. Time to start dreaming up demented rides.

Do our virtual park-goers deserve to suffer? Probably not! But it's tradition.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is getting a Nintendo Switch port on September 24 screenshot

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Breath of the Wild 2? More like 'Don't hold your Breath of the Wild 2!'

There was some high-profile The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild news today. It didn't have anything to do with the sequel, though; it had to do with an unexpected prequel.

Out of nowhere, Nintendo announced Age of Calamity which serves both as a Hyrule Warriors spinoff and a Breath of the Wild prequel. However, this attention paid to Zelda doesn't mean anyone should expect to hear anything about Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 anytime soon.

Series producer Eiji Aonuma nipped that in the bud right away. In a detailed Age of Calamity trailer breakdown, Aonuma says "We mentioned in the June 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation that we had started development on the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Many people around the world are still playing Breath of the Wild, so I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Everyone, thank you so much. Regarding the sequel, in order to make the vast world you've enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development. So, you'll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates."

The Breath of the Wild sequel is in "It's ready when it's ready" territory. Nintendo, like every company, has had its share of production struggles because of COVID-19. Given how the original turned out to be a masterpiece, Nintendo clearly isn't going to rush the sequel out the door. We'll just have to wait to hear more. In the meantime, Age of Calamity is here in November. Get your Zelda fix that way.

Breath of the Wild 2? More like 'Don't hold your Breath of the Wild 2!' screenshot



Contest: Celebrate Star Trek Day with Discovery items for space MMO CSC

In today's contest, you can win Star Trek: Discovery content for space MMO CSC!

I honestly didn't know there was a such thing as Star Trek Day, but here we are! Space MMO CSC just hit its 1.0 patch, bringing along new content and a sweet new collab with Star Trek: Discovery. We're giving away some free content for the game, as well as some deluxe Star Trek bonus items -- read below to find out how to win!

Contest: Celebrate Star Trek Day with Discovery items for space MMO CSC screenshot

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Tawna is back in Crash Bandicoot 4, but you might not recognize her

Tawna exists in Crash Bandicoot as a character that Crash 4 developer Toys for Bob isn't entirely comfortable with. She is Crash's girlfriend in the first game, and really only serves to fulfill a damsel-in-distress role. She's a buxom bandicoot and she needs saving -- that's more or less the extent of her character development.

In Crash 4, Toys for Bob is using the thematic time-warp hook to reimagine Tawna. She's getting a punk rock makeover and a lot more autonomy. 

Joining the roster as a playable character in Crash 4, Tawna is described as "an experienced adventurer" and "a daring, driven, and confident hero." The edgy punk aesthetic reflects that, as Toys for Bob tries for a look that conveys independence and toughness.

Tawna is unique in more than just appearance. She has a unique moveset that's highlighted by a hookshot ability for speedy traversal. She also has a wall jump ability. Toys for Bob says that it aimed for a fast and fluid feel for Tawna's platforming.

All of that is on display in the video that's embedded above. If you'd rather get the words straight from the horse's mouth, Toys for Bob outlines everything about Tawna over on the PlayStation Blog.

Tawna Gameplay revealed for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time [PlayStation Blog]

Tawna is back in Crash Bandicoot 4, but you might not recognize her screenshot



My Nintendo has new physical rewards for Xenoblade Chronicles and Splatoon

Club Nintendo – at least to those of us who fondly remember Club Nintendo – was one of Nintendo's finest fan initiatives. If you stuck with the rewards program during its heyday, I'm sure you still have cool physical collectibles propped up on a shelf or tucked away in storage somewhere for a rainy day.

Nintendo isn't revitalizing that plan anytime soon, but the current program, My Nintendo, has gotten a trio of physical rewards for Splatoon 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition in the United States. It's almost like the old days! Except for the fact that you'll need to cover a shipping fee.

The three rewards are a Xenoblade Chronicles Monado phone ring holder (500 Platinum Points), three Xenoblade sticker sheets (300 Platinum Points), and a Splatoon 2 postcard set (400 Platinum Points).

There's a September 30 expiration date and a limit of one of each item per account while supplies last.

To earn points, you can see which missions are up for grabs on this page. At the bottom of the list, past the game-specific goals, you'll find a bunch of generalist objectives that you can earn in a browser, for free, without much fuss. Don't forget about those (even cooler) Super Mario pins, too.

Physical items are so much more meaningful than the average digital trinket, and as much as I appreciate Gold Point discounts, I'd love to see this stuff become a recurring perk for My Nintendo.

[Thanks, Inquisitive Ravenclaw]

My Nintendo has new physical rewards for Xenoblade Chronicles and Splatoon screenshot

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