Blog Archive

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Kirby Fighters 2 gets a surprise release less than a day after it was first leaked

It was just this morning we were telling you about some internet sleuths spotted Kirby Fighters 2 on Nintendo's website, and now, it's available for purchase. The original Kirby Fighters, for those who don't remember, originally appeared in Kirby: Triple Deluxe before being spun off as its own release for the Nintendo 3DS. This sequel brings the action to Switch and features local and online play, a story mode, more than a dozen stages, and the new copy ability Wrestler.

Kirby Fighters 2 gets a surprise release less than a day after it was first leaked screenshot


Among Us is getting lots of new content instead of a sequel

Among Us is a fiendish friendship-wrecking game about sussing out imposters in your crew, and while it's almost two years old, it recently snowballed to climb the sales charts. It's the number-one best-selling game on Steam right now, and it had 360,000 peak concurrent players on PC today. It's a beast.

The team behind Among Us had been planning a sequel – a way to escape the "outdated" codebase and build fresh content – but in light of renewed interest in the game, there's been a change of plans.

"We have decided to cancel Among Us 2 and instead put all our focus into improving Among Us 1," Innersloth said today in a blog post. "All of the content we had planned for Among Us 2 will instead go into Among Us 1. This is probably the more difficult choice because it means going deep into the core code of the game and reworking several parts of it. We have lots of things planned and we're excited to bring new content to everyone as you continue to enjoy playing!"

The developer also outlined its newly-pivoted plan, including colorblind support, a friends/account system, a new stage themed after Henry Stickmin, and solving the current server issues.

Beyond those features, some of which will "definitely take some time" to implement, Innersloth says there are "LOTS of other things planned too, we just need to prioritize and organize all our plans."

They have their work cut out for them, but from a player's perspective, this is fantastic news.

Among Us is getting lots of new content instead of a sequel screenshot

Death Come True PS4 port delayed from October release date

The PS4 port of Izanagi Games' FMV murder mystery Death Come True will not meet its originally scheduled October 15 release date, and will now launch at an unspecified point in the future.

Speaking on Twitter, Izanagi Games noted that last-minute fixes made to the title have caused delays in Sony's QA classification procedure, thus pushing back the port's launch window.

"Due to an issue flagged up requiring a fix after passing the QA test, we are postponing the release," reads the tweet. "We offer our heartfelt apologies to everyone. We will provide an update when a new release date is confirmed."

Death Come True is a reality-bending thriller that follows the nightmarish adventures of an amnesiac young man trapped in a time loop. Awakening in an opulent but mostly empty hotel, our hero is tasked with recalling the truth behind his identity, clearing his name from a series of grim murders, and staying one step ahead of a terrifying hooded killer. You can check out my own thoughts on the strange and esoteric adventure in our review.

Death Come True is available now on PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms. It will launch on PS4 at some point in the future.

Death Come True PS4 port delayed from October release date screenshot

The Game Awards will close out this stream-filled year on December 10

Geoff Keighley is ending a drawn-out year of streams the only way he knows how: with The Game Awards. After reaching "50 million global viewers" in 2019, this year's show is set for December 10.

The Game Awards will be broadcast from audience-less studio locations in Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo, and these cities "will be digitally connected for an innovative celebration with live award presentations, musical performances, and spectacular world premiere game announcements."

Apart from that structural change meant to bridge fans, a greater emphasis on "interactive extensions on leading streaming platforms," and a new award – Innovation in Accessibility – the show will mostly continue down its usual path. Expect to see big game reveals, deals, and limited-time demos of upcoming releases. (More details about the sale and The Game Festival are coming in November.)

"Our team is working hard to deliver an innovative and thoughtful program that celebrates excellence, previews the future, and amplifies important voices that are shaping the future of this medium," said Keighley. After orchestrating a first-of-its-kind Summer Game Fest, I'm sure he'll pull it off.

I don't show up to The Game Awards to see who took the top honor or even to catch the trailers – above all, I'm there for the sense of camaraderie that arises when a bunch of us are in this together.

It's going to be a cathartic night.

The Game Awards will close out this stream-filled year on December 10 screenshot

Farah and Nikolai are finally headed to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone

Two of Call of Duty's finest characters - Farah Karim and Nikolai - will finally arrive as playable operators in Season Six of both Modern Warfare and its accompanying battle royale title, Warzone.

Farah made her series debut in 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. A passionate, fearless freedom fighter and founder of the Urzikstan Liberation Force, Farah has a deeply held and personal interest in seeing the toppling of the invading Russian forces. Farah is one of the highlights of the Modern Warfare campaign, and it is staggering that it has taken almost a year to see her playable debut.

A Call of Duty veteran, Nikolai has featured in multiple Modern Warfare releases. Nikolai is a Russian informant who has helped out Captain Price and his squad on numerous occasions when there was nowhere else to turn, often transporting himself right into the thick of battle at huge personal risk. Despite his common appearances in CoD lore, little is known of Nikolai's true past and identity.

Farah and Nikolai are finally headed to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone screenshot


Maneater has a 4K60FPS upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X on launch day

It's not going to top many (or any?) game-of-the-year lists, but I can't close out 2020 without remembering Maneater. It's not every day we get to be a shark, much less morph into an unstoppable terror with RPG-style upgrades, and beyond the cold-blooded chaos, I enjoyed tracking down all of those just-hidden-enough collectibles. Honestly, the region-based exploration was my favorite part.

Tripwire is going to jog my memory in November with a free next-gen upgrade for Maneater.

If you bought Maneater on PS4 or Xbox One, you'll be able to upgrade to a decked-out version on PlayStation 5 (starting November 12) or Xbox Series X/S (starting November 10). In other words, this is an unexpected day-one launch title for both systems. As for the lower-spec Xbox Series S specifically, the developer says that players will "benefit from increased graphical fidelity and frame rate."

Unlike other games that are getting a next-gen refresh, "this is not a different application/game, and where the platforms support it your stats, saves, and trophies/achievements will carry forward."

Beyond the upgrade, Maneater will have new physical editions on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The studio teased that "more Maneater" is on the way and said PC will get "visual enhancements" in 2021.

With free upgrades, I feel like some of these current-gen games can really stand out on PS5 and XSX. That's not to say there's nothing to play at launch, but once we're done with the big-hitters, games like Maneater will be calling my name. After all, I'm a few trophies shy of earning that platinum.

Maneater has a 4K60FPS upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X on launch day screenshot

Cyberpunk slice 'n' dicer Ghostrunner coming to Switch in October

Ghostrunner exploded onto the scene with a stupendous demo earlier this year and quickly became the second most anticipated cyberpunk game coming out in 2020. With sleek cyber-ninja action and a no-delay resurrection for when you ultimately die, it's looking to be a wonderful action accompaniment to Cyberpunk 2077.

Originally planned for a simultaneous release on October 27 for PC (Steam, GOG, and Epic), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, Ghostrunner will now also release on the Switch on the same day as all the other platforms. Announced today at the Tokyo Game Show, this new release is planned to be digital-only, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this end up as an LRG selection in a year or two.

It's going to be interesting to see how it performs on Switch as from the little I've played of the PC version, it feels that any dip in performance will be detrimental to the enjoyment of the combat. Still, that is what reviews are for.

Ghostrunner will launch on October 27 for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and now Nintendo Switch.

Cyberpunk slice 'n' dicer Ghostrunner coming to Switch in October screenshot

R-Type Final 2 will battle the Bydo Empire in spring 2021

Developer Granzella Inc. has finally revealed a release window for crowdfunded shmup R-Type Final 2. As noted in the latest edition of Weekly Famitsu, the interstellar action will blast off on PC and consoles in spring 2021.

R-Type Final 2 - a pseudo-sequel/remake of Irem's 2003 release R-Type Final - went into development in the summer of 2019, following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that raised almost double its initial target of $400,000 USD in less than a few days.

R-Type Final 2 will battle the Bydo Empire in spring 2021 screenshot


Newest Hearts of Iron 4 DLC focuses on the Black and Aegean sea

The main appeal of historical grand strategy games is to answer those gnawing questions that keep history buffs awake at night. What if the Germans had continued their full march towards Stalingrad instead of splitting off for Leningrad in an attempt for a moral victory? What if France and England, disregarding all human emotion enforced the Treaty of Versailles in the 1930s instead of following a policy of appeasement?

Hearts of Iron IV developers Paradox Development Studio understand these niche nerd desires and continue to develop DLC to help my people get some sleep at night. Their latest DLC, titled Battle for the Bosporus will focus its eye on the Aegean and Black sea powers of Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria.

With a focus tree for each of the three powers, Battle for the Bosporus will give you the choice of following history, or carving your own path. Along with new focus trees, there will be new voice-overs for the three powers, along with new unit art for the Balkan and Turkish armies.

Knowing full well that the Battle for the Bosporus is a smaller DLC, Paradox has priced it at $9.99/£7.19/€9.99 with plans for it to be released on October 15. As is the case with these smaller packs, there are no plans for any new features to be brought to the base game, so if you want to bring back the Ottoman Empire then you're going to have to pay up!

Newest Hearts of Iron 4 DLC focuses on the Black and Aegean sea screenshot

No Man's Sky just got way closer to being the game fans originally dreamed of

No Man's Sky is living its best life with the just-released Origins update. After Hello Games' Sean Murray promised this moment would mark "the beginning of something new," I came in with big expectations, but I'm still caught off-guard by the scope of what's included. The list keeps going and going.

If I had to roughly sum up Origins, I'd say that it pushes No Man's Sky within reach of many fans' wild hopes and dreams before the game launched. You know, back when the possibilities felt endless? Kinda like that. Update 3.0 aims to make the universe "stranger, richer, and more varied" across the board.

There are too many highlights to rattle off, but I'll try my best:

  • "New life has been breathed into every planet in the universe," including giant flying beetles, sandworms, roaming synthetic creatures, and infestations. Some species will "flock together."
  • There are new planets in "most star systems" and they can "generate much more varied terrain, including mountains four times larger than anything previously possible." You might also find towering vaults with "data, treasure, and directions to long-forgotten ruins."
  • Active volcanoes, firestorms, meteor showers, tornadoes, lightning storms, and gravitational anomalies will make surface exploration more dynamic and memorable.
  • "Black market traders, piloting their ships across planets, will now sometimes land on the planetary surface."
  • "The game's interface has had a total visual overhaul, including the boot flow, all in-game menus and screens, and the Analysis Visor."
  • "A local information guide has been added to the mission log. This guide displays detailed information about your current planet or star system, as well as tracking the progress of your discoveries."
  • "Portal interference for conventional portals has been removed. Players may explore freely."

Reading through the full patch notes (and knowing Origins isn't the end of the road), I feel like No Man's Sky has secured its future for another four years. I just can't see it becoming irrelevant anytime soon.

I'm especially curious to see what Hello Games can bring to the table on PS5 and Xbox Series X.

No Man's Sky just got way closer to being the game fans originally dreamed of screenshot

Nintendo Switch is finally getting Donkey Kong Country 2

[Update: DKC2, Mario's Super Picross, The Peace Keepers, and S.C.A.T. – yes, S.C.A.T. – are now on Nintendo Switch if you have a Nintendo Switch Online account. What are you playing first?]

Our pleas have made it to Nintendo and the king is finally about to return. Donkey Kong Country 2 will be playable on Nintendo Switch starting September 23 for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

It has consistently topped fans' most-wanted lists, and I'm right there with the crowd. I'd love the chance to reconnect with EarthBound, but DKC2 is my favorite game of all time. We made it, fam.

The SNES library is also getting Mario's Super Picross (a first-time release outside of Japan) and The Peace Keepers, a funky Jaleco beat-'em-up. On the NES front, it's S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team, a Natsume shmup. Imagine if these retro releases happened on a regular basis. That sure would be nice.

Anyone else going for 102% completion?

Nintendo Switch is finally getting Donkey Kong Country 2 screenshot

Heroes of the Storm lead muses on the success of the Gladiator's Medallion, the latest reworks, and Blackthorne

Heroes of the Storm is a beast of a game. It's survived multiple directorial shifts and countless MOBAs have come and gone since it was initially released.

It's also one of my most-played games of all time. Through thick and thin, the Heroes team has proven their dedication to the project with numerous balance patches, reworks, arenas, game modes, tweaks, and new characters.

I sat down with Brett Crawford, Lead Game Designer on Heroes of the Storm, to catch up a bit on how things are going in terms of a few recent releases and how things have changed.

Heroes of the Storm lead muses on the success of the Gladiator's Medallion, the latest reworks, and Blackthorne screenshot


Get a $10 Epic Games Store coupon when you add free-to-play Rocket League to your library

One of the best games of the past decade is going free-to-play today. As if that weren't incentive enough to check it out, Epic's upping the ante a little bit.

Anyone who claims Rocket League on the Epic Games Store will be gifted a $10 coupon that can be used on any game purchase over $15. It's that simple. Add Rocket League to your library before October 23, get $10 off of a game. These coupon events are always a big hit for a reason.

The general exclusions apply here. The $10 can't be spent on pre-orders or in-game microtransactions. Also, it has to be used before November 1. Nothing too restrictive there.

Don't worry -- you're not being punished if you already own Rocket League and launch through Steam. You can claim a free copy of Rocket League through your Epic Games Store account and get the $10 coupon. I just did it. Then, just keep launching through Steam.

Here's some stuff you could put that $10 toward. It'd bring the price of GTA V: Premium Edition down to $4.99. You could get in on Rogue Legacy 2's Early Access for $9.99. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 would be $29.99. Or, you could pick up The Outer Worlds for only $19.99. The world is your oyster.

You shouldn't need a nudge to play Rocket League but Epic is giving you one anyway. Now you don't have any excuses for not checking it out. The 10 bucks off is just the icing on top.

Rocket League [Epic Games Store]

Get a $10 Epic Games Store coupon when you add free-to-play Rocket League to your library screenshot

Here's another look at the upcoming Destiny 2 expansion

While Destiny 2's Beyond Light expansion was initially set to debut this week, Bungie pushed back the release a bit due to the current global situation, and it kind of worked out for them. Now, kicking off on November 10, Beyond Light will have the hype of the new console launches to lift their wings a bit, as Destiny 2 is officially arriving on PS5 and Xbox Series X on those dates.

In the meantime, you can lament over the loss of some major bits of content when that switch is flipped and check out some of what makes Beyond Light tick every few weeks or so. Bungie has been laying the groundwork for the mechanical foundation of the expansion for some time, which includes this new trailer for Europa, the "frozen wasteland" environment that will be the focus of much of the new storyline.

This is one of the most revealing videos so far, as we get to see several big-deal enemies near the end, as well as a general look of some of the actual in-game environments: unfettered by cinematic representations.

Here's another look at the upcoming Destiny 2 expansion screenshot


Quantum Error is no longer PlayStation exclusive, now confirmed for Xbox Series X

TeamKill Media has announced that Quantum Error is coming to Xbox Series X, alongside its previously announced PS4 and PS5 editions. While the sci-fi horror title was initially a PlayStation exclusive, it appears that this is no longer the case.

Showcased during The Future Games Show, and later at gamescom 2020, Quantum Error sees a small rescue team dispatched to the mysterious Monad Quantum Research Facility, a clandestine operation located off-shore in California. Responding to a distress signal that a raging fire has broken out, team leader Capt. Jacob Thomas arrives to lead a search-and-rescue operation of the site. But it quickly becomes apparent that this is no standard operation, and most definitely no standard research facility.

Quantum Error is no longer PlayStation exclusive, now confirmed for Xbox Series X screenshot


Mighty Goose looks like Metal Slug with a robotic muscular goose

While big publishers are announcing new games out of thin air this year, indie developers have been hard at work unveiling their creations too: including this new eye-turning game from developer Blastmode/MP2 called Mighty Goose.

With geese being all the rage now it couldn't have come at a more perfect time; and the Nitrome-esque art style combined with the Metal Slug gameplay is going to be an instant sell for a lot of people. The gist is that you'll control the titular Mighty Goose (a buff creature with robot limbs) in a bid to take down the evil Void King.

The game boasts "screen-filling bosses," customizable upgrades, vehicle mechanics and a "synth-rock/jazz-fusion" soundtrack. You can check out the trailer below as well as the Steam page for more info. Publisher Playism has it pegged as arriving in 2021!

Mighty Goose [Steam]

Mighty Goose looks like Metal Slug with a robotic muscular goose screenshot


New Wasteland 3 update now live on PC and consoles

inXile Entertainment has released Version 1.1.1 for its post-apocalyptic strategy title Wasteland 3. The update, now live on both PC and console platforms, aims to improve overall performance while increasing stability for the sequel's multiplayer modes.

The biggest fix in Version 1.1.1 pertains to Wasteland 3's co-op mode, which has been known to delay during loading screens, sometimes requiring wait times of up to five minutes. The new update should reduce these instances somewhat, though loading times as a whole are yet to be fully optimised, and will be done so in a larger update down the line.

Additionally, the new update tweaks a selection of specific bugs relating to certain quests, NPC interactions, merchant sellers. Most notable, the Antiques Appraiser perk no longer activates on Scrap items, closing a loophole that allowed players to repeatedly sell and re-purchase scrap for profit. Sorry to all those wheeler-dealers out there.

You can check out the full patch notes over on the official inXile blog.

Wasteland 3 is available now on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.

New Wasteland 3 update now live on PC and consoles screenshot


Wizards is looking 'closely' at Magic: The Gathering Arena standard, which could mean an Uro ban

Magic: The Gathering standard is in a very weird spot right now thanks to the new rotation.

In the hundred plus games I've played since Zendikar hit, the vast majority of decks in competitive play err on the side of ramp. For those of you who don't play Magic, the concept of ramp is to literally ramp up your lands early on, so you can afford to play powerful game-changing cards. All you have to do is survive a few turns to do it, which is easy when you have things like life gain on your side.

Yes, I'm referring to Uro, which is not only a ramp and life gain card for a measly three mana; it's also a closer, as you can bring the card out of your graveyard. It's been a problem for a while, but now that the Landfall mechanic is in (which empowers players for playing lands), the situation is worse than before.

Landfall is an odd mechanic as lands that morph into other lands (Evolving Wilds, Fabled Passage) count as playing two lands. Once you're setup (which, for ramp, is a few turns in) you can create this landslide feeling where you're triggering tons of late-game effects very early on (the new Omnath combos nicely with this for some early absurdity, as do Lotus Cobras).

So what's the solution? I'm sure every player has their own way of handling it, but it looks like we could be saying bye bye to Uro as early as next week. Wizards of the Coast says that they are 'closely monitoring developments in standard," and will "provide an update on the format early next week." If you own several of the creatures above, know that their days might be numbered.

Magic: The Gathering [Twitter]

Wizards is looking 'closely' at Magic: The Gathering Arena standard, which could mean an Uro ban screenshot

Classic Metal Gear and Castlevania PC ports appear on Taiwanese ratings board

That masterful spoiler of video game announcements, the Taiwan Digital Game Rating Committee, is in full effect once again, offering up listings for a host of classic Konami titles, all of which have received fresh ratings for release on the PC platform.

Among this slew of new ratings are a trio of classic Metal Gear titles. 1998's Metal Gear Solid has been re-rated, as has its enhanced 2002 sequel Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. Also recipient of a new rating is the original Metal Gear, which first launched on the MSX2 way back in 1987.

Another listing suggests that a re-release of Konami Collector's Series is in the works. Originally available on PC back in 2002, this CD-ROM compiled the NES editions of Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, as well as arcade ports of run 'n' gun classics Contra and Super Contra.

This latter rating is particularly bizarre, given that all of the above games are already available on PC via the far superior Contra and Castlevania Anniversary Collections. We will keep you updated once official word of any of the above titles is forthcoming.

Metal Gear and Konami Collector's Series rated for PC in Taiwan [Gematsu]

Classic Metal Gear and Castlevania PC ports appear on Taiwanese ratings board screenshot

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

[Update: Make sure you grab this one! This is one of your last warnings. Find it here!]

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]

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

Xbox Game Pass subscriptions have surged in the past five months

Xbox Game Pass has seen a huge increase in users in the past five months. The paid subscription service has been bolstered by a 50% increase of its user base, boosting its total subscriber count from 10 million to 15 million in less than half a year.

There are several factors that contribute towards this surge in Game Pass interest. Firstly, gaming revenue in general has increased as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps much of the global populace indoors. Secondly, as we approach the dawning of a new generation, there will be gaming fans who are buying into the Game Pass service ahead of time, securing their subscription as they await the launch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S hardware. Third, a lot of people jumped on board once the news hit that the introductory price was being "retired."

But perhaps simplest of all, Xbox Game Pass is just a very attractive prospect. The Gold version of the service offers a huge catalogue of great titles, for both PC and console, at a relatively modest price. This service includes major releases and fan-favourite titles such as Resident Evil 7, Bloodstained, Crusader Kings III, Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, and many more.

Given the recent news that the EA Play catalogue is to be added to the Game Pass service this holiday season - at no extra charge - it almost seems a no-brainer for PC and Xbox owners not to jump on-board, giving themselves access to a ready-to-go library of great games for a low monthly cost.

Xbox Game Pass subscribers leap by 50% in five months [Eurogamer]

Xbox Game Pass subscriptions have surged in the past five months screenshot

Kirby Fighters 2 for Switch pops up on Nintendo site

It looks like Nintendo's cutest, friendliest hero is getting set to crack some skulls once again, as a listing for Kirby Fighters 2 on Switch unceremoniously appeared on the Nintendo site.

First spotted by folks over at ResetEra, the supposed sequel to the cutesy brawler that featured 2014''s Kirby: Triple Deluxe materialised in the "Game Finder" section of the Nintendo site yesterday evening, with no actual fanfare offered from the publisher itself. Perhaps the title is due to receive its official reveal during the Tokyo Games Show, which starts today.

Kirby Fighters 2 for Switch pops up on Nintendo site screenshot


Contest: Win The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk for Steam

In today's contest you can win The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk for Steam!

Disclaimer: I can't pronounce the name of this game. My PR buddy who sent it to me sent me a phonetic guide, but I still can't. I have an English degree, for eff's sake! I should be better than this.

Regardless of how it's pronounced, The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk can be yours for F-R-E-E if you win our contest!

Contest: Win The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk for Steam screenshot


It's a big Bungie day on Xbox Game Pass

Two of Bungie's most popular games join Xbox Game Pass today even though they launched about a decade apart. It's a union of new and old, with the throughline being that they're both beloved.

Let's tackle this chronologically. Halo 3: ODST is available (get ready for the prepositional phrases!) on Xbox Game Pass as part of the Master Chief Collection in conjunction with its launch on PC. This addition is only a recent development for PC. ODST was already on Game Pass on consoles.

However, what's new is the inclusion of Firefight. This cooperative venture was one of the first to help popularize horde modes in the Xbox 360 era. New Halo vanguard 343 Industries brought Firefight back for the PC port, and it'll be included as a free update for the console version too.

You should play ODST. This spinoff started as a small project that kind of snowballed into being one of the better Halo games despite not starring Master Chief. It still gets a lot of love, which is why people have been eyeing this particular Master Chief Collection PC entry for a while now. If Xbox Game Pass isn't your thing, ODST is a $5 standalone purchase on Steam or part of the $40 Master Chief Collection. Both are pretty great deals.

The second game is much more relevant and much hotter and will be downloaded many more times. Destiny 2 and its expansions (including Forsaken and Shadowkeep) hit Xbox Game Pass today on Xbox One. When the Beyond Light expansion launches in November, it'll also be a day one addition to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft is certainly doing its damnedest to wrestle the title away from PlayStation as the place where you go to play Destiny on consoles.

It's a big Bungie day on Xbox Game Pass screenshot

It kinda seems like this was the only wave of Xbox Series X pre-orders before launch

Did you get an Xbox Series S or Series X pre-order today? Chances are that, no, you didn't. As Chris pointed out this morning, even though everyone knew exactly when these things would go up for sale, it really didn't go any smoother than the PS5 pre-order debacle. There's just too much demand and not enough supply. That only leads to retailers getting hammered and a lot of frustrated would-be consumers.

There might be some more bad news for anyone who was unsuccessful this morning. It sort of seems like those were the last of the Xbox Series X pre-orders until launch. Maybe I'm reading too much into this tweet:

It kinda seems like this was the only wave of Xbox Series X pre-orders before launch screenshot


Chip's Challenge is free on Steam and nostalgia just hit me hard

Three decades after its original release, Chip's Challenge is free to keep and play on Steam.

Depending on your age and upbringing, the mere mention of that name will bring back a flood of memories, or it won't – though I'd be super curious to see what someone who never solved these tile-based puzzles before thinks of this iconic game in 2020. It doesn't take long for it to push back.

One glimpse of the erratic ants, and it all came back to me. The ever-present timer slips me up.

It's an incredible year for video games and I've lost count of all the stuff I could be playing right now, but catching up with Chip's Challenge over a lunch break brought out some warm and fuzzy vibes.

@ChucksChallenge [Twitter via Polygon]

Chip's Challenge is free on Steam and nostalgia just hit me hard screenshot

Mike Bithell of Thomas Was Alone and John Wick Hex fame debuts his new game

Mike Bithell has endeared himself to fans of indie games ever since he exploded onto the scene with his story-focused platformer Thomas Was Alone. Since then he has continued to make narrative the central part of every game he puts out, even taking his talents to the world of movie tie-ins with John Wick Hex. As of late, he has been doing shorter games that are based around a single concept and theme.

Announced today, The Solitaire Conspiracy is Bithell's latest entry in his "shorts" catalog. The indie game elevator pitch goes a bit like this: what if you were to take the game of solitaire and mix it with a cyberpunk conspiracy FMV game? Sounds neat, especially since it uses a variant of solitaire that isn't widely known. (Also, card games are so in right now.)

While being designed and written by Bithell, The Solitaire Conspiracy also boasts a flashy cast and crew for such a small game. British comedian Inel Tomlinson will star in the FMV cutscenes alongside Kinda Funny Games' Greg Miller. Jon Everist, of BattleTech and Shadowrun fame, will score the soundtrack.

Outside of my distaste for his stealth puzzle game Volume, Mike Bithell has never truly steered me wrong. His "shorts" are always nice little escapes from the longer games on the market so definitely look forward to The Solitaire Conspiracy when it launches on Steam on October 6.

The Solitaire Conspiracy [Steam]

Mike Bithell of Thomas Was Alone and John Wick Hex fame debuts his new game screenshot

Count Switch out for the Mass Effect trilogy remaster

There's already a platform casualty for a highly coveted remaster that isn't even announced yet. The Mass Effect trilogy remaster --which, and I can't stress this enough, isn't even officially a thing yet -- won't be coming to Switch. Can't romance everyone, I guess.

This comes via GamesBeat's Jeff Grubb who has been at the forefront of all the Mass Effect trilogy rumors. He revealed on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast (and as reported by VGC) that EA doesn't plan to bring the remaster to Switch. Grubb said "EA has multiple games coming to Nintendo Switch and Mass Effect is definitely not one of them. Not yet, anyhow. If that happens, it won't happen in that one-year window that they talked about in their last shareholder meeting."

This, paired with the news that the trilogy was scheduled to launch in October (but will very possibly slip back), makes it most likely that this is a content-complete bundled remaster for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. That's kind of what was expected all along, but the prospect of all these games on Switch was tantalizing. That idea seems to be more or less dead now.

There's one more less-noteworthy chunk of news associated with this. The remastered trilogy will allegedly be called Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. It has a better ring to it than Mass Effect: Please Forget Andromeda Edition.

Mass Effect's remaster is reportedly called 'Legendary Edition' and won't release for Switch [Video Games Chronicle]

Count Switch out for the Mass Effect trilogy remaster screenshot

The Shock Blue Xbox controller is a stunner and it's up for pre-order

Microsoft is prepping three Xbox controller colorways for a busy November launch.

Apart from the standard Carbon Black and Robot White gamepads that come bundled with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, respectively, there's also a vibrant Shock Blue controller that really pops.

All three gamepads are available for pre-order (they're $60 each except for the blue boy, which is $65) and there's also an optional new $25 Xbox Rechargeable Battery + USB-C Cable play-and-charge kit.

I'm not looking to part ways with my Elite controller (even though the A button has started to make a mildly annoying noise when I press and release it), but if I were? Shock Blue all the way. It's a beaut.

In case you missed it, the controller-customizing Xbox Design Lab is "going offline temporarily" with a hiatus lasting until 2021. When the program returns, you can expect to see its "next evolution."

I've spent entirely too much money on controllers over the past decade. It's my secret shame.

The Shock Blue Xbox controller is a stunner and it's up for pre-order screenshot

Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds brings the anime RPG franchise to mobile

Japanese video game publisher Level-5 has dropped a teaser trailer for its upcoming mobile RPG Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, which is headed to iOS and Android platforms in Japan later this year.

Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds will see players in the role of a young beta tester, who has been hired to check out a new virtual reality-style title known as "Soul Divers." It soon becomes clear, however, that Soul Divers is far more powerful than your average VR title, featuring a huge - and seemingly very real - kingdom which is under siege by armies of monsters.

Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds brings the anime RPG franchise to mobile screenshot


Fortnite's Battle Bus is coming to Rocket League, and we should've seen that one from a million miles away

I'm almost a little ashamed to admit this but among my many predictions for Rocket League after the Epic acquisition, it never crossed my mind that Fortnite's Battle Bus would become a playable vehicle. There's exactly one iconic vehicle in all of Fortnite and it soars high above the clouds. Rocket League is all about cars doing cool shit in the air. This should've been obvious.

Next weekend, the Battle Bus joins the Rocket League roster. It's the final reward as part of the Rocket League free-to-play inaugural Llama-Rama event. Psyonix has never given a new car body away as part of an in-game event, so this is about the most significant one of these has ever been. Usually it's stacks of event currency that can be traded for some limited cosmetics.

Llama-Rama is also the most involved a Rocket League event has ever been. Progressing through it requires completing (reasonably easy) tasks to earn rewards and unlock new tasks. It's not just confined to Rocket League either. Completing challenges in Rocket League will unlock rewards in both Rocket League and Fortnite.

Here's the full breakdown of challenges and rewards:

Fortnite's Battle Bus is coming to Rocket League, and we should've seen that one from a million miles away screenshot


Super Mario 3D All-Stars tops this week's UK Charts

Nintendo's retro-compendium Super Mario 3D All-Stars has predictably debuted at number one in the UK Charts, dethroning Square Enix's comic-book adventure Marvel's Avengers after the latter spent two weeks in the premier position.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which launched for Nintendo Switch on September 18, features upscaled remasters of classic adventures Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. The trilogy has received praise from critics and fans for its timeless gameplay, but was chastised for its bare-bones contents and time-limited release window.

Elsewhere in the charts, 2K Games' mediocre brawler WWE 2K Battlegrounds debuted at number six. Tellingly, it appears that media outlets were not given review codes for the microtransaction-heavy wrestlefest. Also debuting in the Top Ten this week is Konami soccer title eFootball PES 2021, just squeezing into the premier league at number nine.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars tops this week's UK Charts screenshot


The Last of Us Part II has 'exciting things' lined up for September 26

In a tweet this morning, Naughty Dog promised to share "a lot of exciting things" for The Last of Us Part II on Saturday, September 26. This community-centric date was formerly known as Outbreak Day, but going forward, the developer is swapping over to The Last of Us Day branding in light of COVID-19.

Are we going to see the multiplayer reveal on Saturday? I'm feeling hopeful.

As relayed in September 2019, the studio prioritized wrapping up the story. It came to the realization that the planned "evolution" of Factions had grown "beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single-player campaign." At the time, Naughty Dog said that players would "eventually experience the fruits of our team's online ambition, but not as part of The Last of Us Part II."

In August 2020, a rough but unmistakable clip showed leaked multiplayer footage.

There are a ton of unknowns about Factions – when, where, and how much? – but I like the movement and gunplay enough in Part II to want to face off against other players, and The Last of Us Day seems like the right place to lift the lid. Weaving through the grass, getting the jump on someone – I'm in.

Factions was terrifying and thrilling in The Last of Us and that's what I'm hoping for again.

The Last of Us Part II has 'exciting things' lined up for September 26 screenshot

The Bright Memory prologue will arrive on Xbox Series X for launch

As work continues on shiny sci-fi shooter Bright Memory: Infinite, Studio FYQD has announced that the previously released demo/prologue Bright Memory will be made available to purchase on Xbox Series X come the console's launch day.

As a quick refresher, Bright Memory is a slick, fast-paced action title that blends intense melee combat with Devil May Cry-style gunplay, all from a first-person perspective. Bright Memory follows cyber-skilled secret agent "Shelia" (real name Hannah Grace) as she investigates a terrifying, time-warping, inter-dimensional anomaly that is threatening to engulf the entire planet.

The Bright Memory prologue will arrive on Xbox Series X for launch screenshot


Minecraft VR is playable with PlayStation VR thanks to a free update

VR is an amazing way to explore Minecraft, and today, PlayStation VR is also supported. Rather than charging for a revamped port, this is simply a free update to the existing PS4 version of Minecraft.

How is it? Some players have struggled to even launch the game due to persistent crashes, but others have had no such trouble getting in. "There are a good amount of settings for VR, smooth turning, and movement with options for snap," said Reddit user MCalchemist. "I feel this is a kind of game you want to play seated for longer sessions, so I imagine that is why they went with an untracked [DualShock 4]. Your HMD is the only thing being tracked (and you can turn off look based movement if you want)."

To be clear, you'll have to use a gamepad for Minecraft VR – there's no PlayStation Move option.

"Everything that you can do in Bedrock Minecraft on PS4 you can now experience in 3D on PSVR," according to Minecraft console producer Damian Finn. Beyond the full-fledged Immersive Mode shown in the trailer, there's also a "training wheels" Living Room mode where you see a flat screen in a 3D space (sort of like you've "teleported your living room into Minecraft to sit on a couch there to play.")

Some players have had issues flipping between the two modes, and if that happens to you, check your control bindings in the settings – that seems to be the culprit. (It should be up on the D-pad or L3.)

As much as the platform is showing its age, it's been a good year for PlayStation VR.

Minecraft gets PlayStation VR support [Minecraft]

Minecraft VR is playable with PlayStation VR thanks to a free update screenshot


Humanity is under siege, and only Serious Sam can save us now

In just a couple of days' time, macho-maniac "Serious" Sam Stone will be making his video game comeback, when Serious Sam 4 launches exclusively on PC and Stadia September 24.

Publisher Devolver Digital, in association with developer Croteam, has released one last trailer to get fans in gear for another bombastic adventure packed full of vicious aliens, explosive weaponry, and more than a handful of cheesy one-liners. Serious Sam 4 sees Planet Earth on the brink of complete annihilation, as the invading forces of Mental begin to dominate each and every nation. With only a small army of rag-tag mercenaries at his side, it's up to our unlikely hero to pull humanity back from the brink of extinction, one homing missile at a time.

I have to admit, when Serious Sam first launched way back in 2001, I honestly thought it was a fly-by-night release - and completely destined for obscurity. But today, with four mainline entries and a whole host of spin-off releases, the shades-wearing super-dude has since proved me very, very wrong.

Serious Sam 4 launches on PC and Stadia September 24. It will arrive on consoles sometime in 2021.

Humanity is under siege, and only Serious Sam can save us now screenshot


My Nintendo celebrates Super Mario 3D All-Stars with new wallpaper

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is out, and now everyone can argue about the merit of each individual game all over again.

I've seen all sorts of "I'm coming around on Sunshine" testimonials (along with plenty of "I still hate Sunshine" takes), as well as the same polarized reception around Mario 64. Yes, I vividly remember some people not liking Super Mario 64 at launch: wild, right?

Now it's time to celebrate the launch, as well as the 35th anniversary of Mario himself. To that end, Nintendo just provided a new My Nintendo reward: a digital wallpaper for 3D All-Stars, featuring art from each game. It's available now for 50 Platinum Points.

For reference, you can find 50 Platinum Points in the digital couch cushions of My Nintendo. You get 30 points for logging into the service. As a reminder, you can also get the pin set now if you were lucky enough to redeem your code in time.

Wallpaper [My Nintendo]

My Nintendo celebrates Super Mario 3D All-Stars with new wallpaper screenshot

We had notice, but trying to pre-order an Xbox Series X also sucked

Remember the magical phrase "plenty of time to pre-order" in the context of PS5 presales? Ha, good times. It feels like a distant memory.

As you probably know by now, the PS5 pre-order situation was a mess. Sony explained that folks would have lots of time to grab a pre-order the day after their big PS5 stream, but mere hours later retailers opened the floodgates and sold out in minutes. Many prospective buyers were completely asleep when they went up in the dead of night. What is this, a Target exclusive amiibo?!

Thankfully, Microsoft had the chance to take the high road and give us plenty of advance warning on their pre-order system. "September 22 at 11AM ET" was the target, and in theory, should go smoother than Sony's non-plan.

In theory.

We had notice, but trying to pre-order an Xbox Series X also sucked screenshot


World of Warcraft's pre-Shadowlands patch preview explains the new 'level squish'

Huge changes are coming to World of Warcraft; and like any game that's existed for over a decade, change can be scary. Or downright buggy.

A lot of players are hoping that's not the case when the Shadowlands pre-expansion patch hits, in which case we'll get to test out the changes before they actually hit the expansion proper. The biggest alteration that's on the horizon? Level squishing.

From now on, level 120 (the current max) boosts will turn into level 50 boosts. Level 110 character boosts (the max for the prior Legion expansion) will change into level 48 boosts. It's...a little confusing, especially if you've been playing WoW since the start.

Item levels are also going to change all over the map. Currently a 120 level piece of gear will morph into 25 for Shadowlands. There's a handy chart that breaks down every gear level just so you can properly plan for it. Blizzard also reminds us that Exile's Reach is coming: which is an all-new area that allows you to learn the ropes of the game before you get dumped into the open world.

You'll mess around in Exile's Reach until level 10, at which point you'll join the world proper. Or, you can skip Exile's Reach altogether and enjoy the classic level one experience. The game is also getting a "newcomer chat," which will feature learned players as guides to help you on your quest (to apply to be one, you need to be level 50, have completed 3,000 quests and have an account "in good standing").

Also, and this is important, you won't need to pay for cosmetic changes going forward when the pre-expansion patch hits. Here's the full details: "With the release of the pre-expansion patch, players will be able to seek out a Barber Shop for a variety of character-customization options, including the ability to change your character's gender, hair, facial features, and more. Due to this upcoming new in-game option, the Appearance Change service for Shadowlands will be retired from the Blizzard Shop prior to the release of the pre-patch."

Allied race recruiting (read: new races to play) also do not require the sometimes grueling requirement of exalted reputation (which can result in weeks of gated grinding). Now, all you need to do is complete the required story quests or achievements. Most of these changes are great! Hopefully Shadowlands is more Legion than Battle for Azeroth (despite liking both).

Explore the Updates Arriving with the Shadowlands Pre-Expansion Patch [World of Warcraft]

World of Warcraft's pre-Shadowlands patch preview explains the new 'level squish' screenshot

Crash Bandicoot 4 trailer prepares the mad marsupial for his big return

We are still a couple of weeks away from the release of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, which arrives on PS4 and Xbox One on October 2, but that hasn't stopped publisher Activision from dropping a launch trailer for the upcoming adventure.

A little less bizarre than the previous video, the new trailer sees the legendary platforming star awaken from a lazy slumber for a brand new odyssey that will take Crash and his friends quite literally through time and space. With major assists from Coco, Tawna, and Aku Aku, Crash will once against face up to the nefarious Dr. Cortex, journey through colourful worlds of chaotic platforming action. It's all looking pretty snazzy, that's for sure.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time launches October 2 on PS4 and Xbox One.

Crash Bandicoot 4 trailer prepares the mad marsupial for his big return screenshot


Insomniac confirms that Spider-Man PS4 save data will not transfer to PS5

The mixed messaging on Spider-Man: Miles Morales has been a bit of a mess.

First it seemed like a full-on sequel when it was presented, only to be walked back to a micro-adventure akin to an Uncharted spinoff. Then, Game Informer broke the news that the PS5 edition would feature a remastered version of the original Peter Parker tale on PS4: only to have radio silence from Sony on the matter for months.

Well, now, thanks to an unceremonious SKU listing on Sony's site, we now know that the "Ultimate Edition" of Miles Morales comes with the PS4 remaster, but there are a few provisos. Seemingly able to finally tell the public what's up, the Insomniac Twitter account clarified some things.

Firstly, PS4 save data will not transfer to the PS5 remaster, so you'll have to start all over. Next, the physical version of Miles Morales will not include the remaster on the disc. Instead, the remaster will be provided via a voucher download code. There are "no plans" to release the remaster in physical form at this time.

That's a whole lotta bad news! This last one is either good or bad depending on your perspective: the trophy list is separate. Oh, and the remaster is a completely separate icon/game on the PS5's UI. They could have clarified all this a while ago!

Insomniac Games [Twitter]

Insomniac confirms that Spider-Man PS4 save data will not transfer to PS5 screenshot

Former Lab Zero employees form independent studio Future Club

A team of former Lab Zero Games employees have come together to form a brand new, independently owned studio. Future Club has been born out of the ashes of the Lab Zero controversy, which saw a huge exodus of staff after multiple accusations of sexual harassment and toxic behavior against Lab Zero head Mike Zaimont.

Future Club is headed up by CEO/Producer Francesca Esquenazi, who will lead a team comprised of creative director Mariel "Kinuko" Cartwright, senior animator Jonathan Kim and game designer Earl Gertwagen. In all, Future Club's staff consists of 15 former Lab Zero employees, some of whom worked on 2012's excellent fighting title Skullgirls and 2019's aesthetically fantastic RPG, Indivisible.

Former Lab Zero employees form independent studio Future Club screenshot


Xbox gave Todd Howard 1,000 Achievement points for being Todd Howard

Most of us have to play our games to get our Gamerscore. It's tough work but it's an honest living. Todd Howard, however, just has to exist to earn Gamerscore.

Alongside this morning's bombshell news that Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, renowned game developer Todd Howard shared a letter that details his partnerships with Xbox have meant to him over the last 20 years of his career. It's a lot of talk about shared visions and perspective changing.

However, it ends on a cute story about GDC 2016 where Howard was given a lifetime achievement award. It's worth hearing straight from the horse's mouth, so here's the anecdote in full:

Xbox gave Todd Howard 1,000 Achievement points for being Todd Howard screenshot


Sega's 60th anniversary eShop sale includes Atlus 3DS favorites

As part of Sega's ongoing 60th anniversary celebration, the company is hosting a sale right now on the Nintendo Switch eShop and the 3DS eShop. It's sticking around until October 5 at 8:59 a.m. Pacific.

You'll immediately see a trend when you glance down at the two game lists. These deals are mostly centered around classic re-releases under the Sega Ages banner, a handful of Sonic titles, the Atlus 3DS catalog – including Shin Megami Tensei, Etrian Odyssey, and Persona Q – and a few assorted oddities.

Nintendo Switch

  • Catherine: Full Body ($34.99)
  • Citizens of Space ($4.49)
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix ($27.57)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games 2020 ($39.99)
  • Puyo Puyo Champions ($3.99)
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris ($14.99)
  • Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Alex the Kidd in Miracle World ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Fantasy Zone ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages G-Loc Air Battle ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Gain Ground ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Ichidant-R ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Out Run ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Phantasy Star ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Puyo Puyo ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Puyo Puyo 2 ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Shinobi ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Space Harrier ($3.99)
  • Sega Ages Thunder Force AC ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Virtua Racing ($5.99)
  • Sega Ages Wonder Boy: Monster Land ($3.99)
  • Sega Genesis Classics ($14.99)
  • Shining Resonance Refrain ($11.99)
  • SolSeraph ($4.99)
  • Sonic Forces ($9.99)
  • Sonic Mania ($9.99)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD ($23.99)
  • Team Sonic Racing ($19.99)
  • Two Point Hospital ($23.99)
  • Valkyria Chronicles ($17.99)

Nintendo 3DS

  • 3D After Burner II ($2.99)
  • 3D Altered Beast ($2.99)
  • 3D Ecco the Dolphin ($2.99)
  • 3D Fantasy Zone ($2.99)
  • 3D Fantasy Zone II ($2.99)
  • 3D Galaxy Force ($2.99)
  • 3D Gunstar Heroes ($2.99)
  • 3D Out Run ($2.99)
  • 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master ($2.99)
  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog ($2.99)
  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($2.99)
  • 3D Space Harrier ($2.99)
  • 3D Streets of Rage ($2.99)
  • 3D Streets of Rage 2 ($2.99)
  • 3D Super Hang-On ($2.99)
  • 3D Thunder Blade ($2.99)
  • 7th Dragon III Code: VFD ($14.99)
  • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars ($9.99)
  • Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight ($9.99)
  • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ($9.99)
  • Etrian Odyssey Nexus ($19.99)
  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl ($9.99)
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth ($14.99)
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX ($9.99)
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth ($19.99)
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ($9.99)
  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology ($19.99)
  • Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure ($9.99)
  • Sega 3D Classics Collection ($9.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV ($9.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ($14.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers ($9.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker ($9.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked ($9.99)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux ($19.99)
  • Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal ($9.99)
  • Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice ($9.99)
  • Sonic Generations ($9.99)
  • Sonic Lost World ($9.99)
  • Stella Glow ($9.99)
  • The Alliance Alive ($15.99)
  • The Legend of Legacy ($9.99)

Basically, if you were super into 3DS RPGs and you still have some gaps in your Atlus library, you probably have some considering to do. Otherwise, we've seen a lot of these games and prices before.

[Thanks, Inquisitive Ravenclaw]

Sega's 60th anniversary eShop sale includes Atlus 3DS favorites screenshot

Have you ever forgotten how to play a video game?

A few years ago, I was visiting my brother's family when my oldest nephew invited me to play a game of Madden. "Oh," I thought, "your father and I used to play this all the time." So I joined him for a game of football only to have him shut his PS4 off less than two quarters in as he had trounced me well enough to invoke the mercy rule. It turns out, when I don't play sports games, I completely forget how they work.

That's just one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Occams, Dan, and Charlotte talk forgetting games, WWE Battlegrounds, Final Fantasy X, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and the PlayStation 5 date and price reveal. All that, plus even the trees are out to get you in Australia, on Podtoid Episode 459.

Have you ever forgotten how to play a video game? screenshot


Microsoft isn't jacking up the price for Xbox Series X controllers

As we barrel toward the next generation of Sony and Microsoft's consoles, we're faced with the looming threat of raised prices around all corners. There has been persistent talk that games will increase from $60 to $70 soon enough. Last week, we learned that PS5 controllers will cost $10 more than PS4 controllers.

At least we know that Xbox controller prices will stay level for now. As part of an extremely busy news day for Microsoft, it was revealed that Xbox Series S/X controllers will be $60. That's what they cost on Xbox One too.

Of course, as part of Microsoft's grand cross-platform strategy, these new controllers will be compatible with Xbox One. Also, it's not really surprising that the new gen doesn't come with a bump in accessory prices because there isn't any significant new tech. Series S/X controllers have a dedicated Share button, a revamped D-pad, and a USB-C port but that's about it.

Microsoft took this opportunity to show off its third color of Xbox Series S/X controller. We've already seen black and white, the two most basic options there are. Now there's a Shock Blue gamepad which Microsoft calls "a vibrant new hue, not yet seen on any of our previous controllers."

Microsoft isn't jacking up the price for Xbox Series X controllers screenshot


BlizzCon returns in February 2021 with BlizzConline

After scrapping its plans for an in-person event this year due to COVID-19-related "health and safety considerations," Blizzard hopes to "channel the spirit of BlizzCon into the form of an online show." As we now know, the replacement event is called BlizzConline, and it's running from February 19–20, 2021.

Currently, details are light outside of the event's Community Showcase, which is pitched as "an opportunity for cosplay crafters, artists, and other community creators to participate in the show and put their talent on display through a mix of world-class competition and exciting exhibitions." If that aspect of BlizzCon is in your wheelhouse, you'll be able to read the rules today and get cracking.

As for upcoming game announcements and development updates, Blizzard hasn't had much to say. "We still have a lot of planning to do, and it'll be some time before we're ready to share more details."

Today's post is just a date confirmation and "a heads-up on how you can be a part of the online fun."

Save the Date for BlizzConline February 19–20 [BlizzCon]

BlizzCon returns in February 2021 with BlizzConline screenshot

You can now order those Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary pins from Nintendo

I can't convince my brain that I don't need those limited-edition Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary pins, and so here I am, fighting to get my order accepted now that I've gone through the My Nintendo steps needed to claim these things. Are there enough to go around? We'll find out soon enough.

To get yours – or see what the rest of us are up to out of sheer morbid curiosity – you can head to this My Nintendo page, click "claim reward" (if you're eligible), copy your user-specific promo code, bounce over to this store page, add the pins to your cart, and enter your code to continue the checkout.

There's a limit of one pin set per account, they're available while supplies last (a phrase that has taken on new meaning in 2020), and shipping is $5. If you're still in, the pins will ship in "late October."

I like how the pin for SMB2 is so full of rage. Are you enjoying 3D All-Stars? Was it worth it?

You can now order those Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary pins from Nintendo screenshot

Xbox revamped its sharing feature so that it's much easier to, you know, share content

Xbox has a bottleneck when it comes to sharing gameplay clips. It's easy enough to capture content, but it's a pain posting those captures to social media. Case in point, here's my order of operations for sharing a clip to Twitter: Hit the guide button and press Y to capture video, wait for the clip to upload to Xbox live, use the Xbox app on my PC to download the clip from Xbox Live, open the local captures folder to finally post it.

A next-gen focus for Microsoft is streamlining that process. The new Xbox Series S/X controllers have an additional button right in the middle that's dedicated to capturing gameplay. Pressing it once will take a screenshot; holding it will capture a video clip. 

Here's where it gets much better. Those clips upload to Xbox Live and then you can either share them from your Xbox or your phone. They'll push to the Xbox app, where you're able to edit the clips and then send them out to social media. Phones are where everyone posts to social anyway. Sharing through mobile is going to be the best version because the platform is already optimized for it. 

This is going to be a big quality of life feature for next-gen but it actually arrives today. This update pushes to Xbox One today. In the video below, Major Nelson talks to an Xbox program manager about all the finer details and logic that went into revamping content sharing on Xbox.

Xbox revamped its sharing feature so that it's much easier to, you know, share content screenshot


If you're in the mood for Freedom Fighters, it's now on Steam and GOG

IO Interactive's resistance-building 2003 shooter Freedom Fighters has gotten a modern PC port.

The new digital release of the game costs $9.89 during its launch-week discount period, it includes Jesper Kyd's original soundtrack (along with two bonus tracks), and there's a delightfully of-its-time PDF of the PC manual (featuring "tips for closing background applications on Windows 98") for you to skim.

If you're in the mood for a squad-commanding, base-capturing, Soviet Union-toppling shooter from 2003, it's time to put yourself in the shoes of "hard-working plumber" Chris Stone once again. The game is available now on Steam and GOG. An Epic Games Store version is aiming for "this week."

I can't say I have any particular love for Freedom Fighters – there's some cult-classic legacy appeal – but having it around on PC without jumping through a bunch of hoops? That's cause for celebration.

IO has Hitman, Kane & Lynch, Mini Ninjas, and this. It's an important title in that context.

Freedom Fighters [IO Interactive]

If you're in the mood for Freedom Fighters, it's now on Steam and GOG screenshot

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