Blog archive

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

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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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



The floodgates have opened: Assassin's Creed Valhalla confirmed for November 10 alongside of the next generation

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.

The floodgates have opened: Assassin's Creed Valhalla confirmed for November 10 alongside of the next generation 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' 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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With Xbox Series S and Game Pass, Microsoft has finally convinced me to buy into Xbox

Here is a true story about my first interaction with the Xbox brand.

It was my freshman year in college, and my dorm room was the most popular place to be. Not because people liked me -- they didn't and most still don't -- but because I was the only person on the floor with a GameCube. People would come by and we'd spend hours playing Mario Kart: Double Dash and Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was a dope time.

One day, my roommate asked if I had any first-person shooters. I didn't, but I said I'd go to GameStop and pick one up. So I hopped on the bus to the next town over and moseyed on down to the mall looking for something that could be like Halo. I asked the sales representative if there was an FPS for the GameCube that would suffice. I walked out of that store with a copy of Turok: Evolution. Two hours of that shit-stain of a game was all it took to convince my roommate to go buy an Xbox.

That's actually been how I've experienced most Xbox titles; I've just had a roommate who owned the system themselves. A few years later, a different roommate would bring home the Xbox 360, and the two of us spent many weekends racking up kills in Call of Duty 2 and Gears of War. As it was his console, I didn't get a chance to play some of the 360 titles I was most interested in, like Alan Wake and Viva Piñata. Instead, I just picked up a Wii and a copy of WarioWare: Smooth Moves. That was enough to get me through the rest of the school year.

As much as I have enjoyed the time I've spent gaming on Xbox consoles, there hasn't been anything to convince me I needed yet another system in my entertainment center. Spending $40 to $60 per game is expensive enough as it is supporting Nintendo and Sony. But with the reveal of the Xbox Series S and the continued growth of the Xbox Game Pass service, I'm ready to become a three-console household.

With Xbox Series S and Game Pass, Microsoft has finally convinced me to buy into Xbox screenshot

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Lords of the Fallen 2 is back as CI Games starts a new studio just for Souls-like games

It was real touch-and-go with Lords of the Fallen 2 for a long time. The first game was developed by Deck13, but that studio moved onto making The Surge for Focus Home Interactive. So, publisher CI Games tabbed Defiant Studios for the sequel. That didn't go well, as CI Games ripped the game away from Defiant after "inadequate execution" of a vertical slice of gameplay; Defiant went on to say it "categorically [disagreed] with the portrayal."

Sounds like enough to kill a project, right? Lords of the Fallen 2 might have fell down, but it got back up and dusted itself off.

CI Games has opened a new two-city studio that will work on Lords of the Fallen 2. Named Hexworks, this team is located in Barcelona and Bucharest. Hexworks was created with the explicit purpose of focusing on fantasy action RPGs.

As for Lords of the Fallen 2, a few things have changed. Hexworks is appealing even more to the Souls-like sensibilities, saying that the sequel will be even more challenging than the original. There's a tonal shift too, as the developer describes this game as leaning more into dark fantasy rather than power fantasy. Lastly (and this may seem obvious now), Lords of the Fallen 2 is slated for PC and next-gen consoles; if everything had gone to plan all along, it probably would've been a current-gen game that had released by now.

Lords of the Fallen 2 is back as CI Games starts a new studio just for Souls-like games screenshot



Review: Paradise Killer

What the heck was Killer7 even about? Japan being on the brink of war with the United States? Political parties being infiltrated by terrorists? Brutal assassinations being carried out against key political figures? It sounds like a Tom Clancy novel, and I don't mean that as a compliment. So why is it that I now have an urge to play it again?

It certainly captured my imagination when I was younger. Cool characters, bizarre graphics, and cryptic dialogue, all presented in a heap reeking of weirdness. It was the ultimate style-over-substance game. Forget whether or not the gameplay was good, there was nothing like it at the time, and arguably, there still isn't.

Weirdness may not get you sales, but it definitely helps you stand out if you apply it to the correct areas. Paradise Killer is coated in the salve of abnormality, but will it cure the rash of the mundane, or is it just taking care of the itch? If I've lost you with these analogies, trust me, it's about to get more confusing.

Review: Paradise Killer screenshot

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Minecraft Dungeons' latest major DLC is out today

This past July, Minecraft Dungeons got its first major DLC with the Jungle Awakens pack. Now, it's headed to somewhere decidedly colder.

Creeping Winter is out today, which once again lightly continues the game's narrative while providing a new biome to explore and conquer. The title of the DLC is quite literal, as the theme is described as what I'm referring to as "spooky cold." Slippery ice, a classic gaming trope, is also a go. I think I'm in, folks!

The DLC also comes with an update, which provides some upgrades for free for all players. Daily Trials are in, which can net you four gear pieces as a reward. The game is also getting new merchants as well as new weapons and armor.

As a reminder, if you own the upgraded edition of Minecraft Dungeons, you'll net this DLC and Jungle Awakens for free. You can find the full patch notes for the update below.

Minecraft Dungeons Patch Notes [Minecraft.net]

Minecraft Dungeons' latest major DLC is out today screenshot

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Dirt 5 delayed once again, now launching November 6

Codemasters has announced that its upcoming racer Dirt 5 will not its secondary launch date of October 16. The mud-slinging sequel is now expected to launch November 6 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.

In an announcement on Twitter, the British developer thanked fans for their ongoing support and admitted that it "sucks" that Dirt 5 has been further delayed. Codemasters noted that it still expects the next-gen editions of the sequel to launch in 2020, with free upgrades to owners of the PS4 and Xbox One editions of the game. You can read the full statement in the tweet embedded below.

Dirt 5
launches November 6 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X sometime in 2020 and on Stadia in 2021.

Dirt 5 delayed once again, now launching November 6 screenshot

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Horizon Zero Dawn's 1.04 PC patch fixes...you guessed it, more crashes

The saga of Horizon Zero Dawn's PC patching continues.

Shortly after launch, Guerrilla Games aimed to squash some bugs with patch 1.01, but it seems as if it wasn't enough. 1.02 quickly followed suit, then 1.03. But some users, with some configurations, were still having issues. Now it's time for 1.04 to take a mean swing.

At least 10 different crash instances have been repaired, including ones related to menus, AI routines and even attempting to create a save file when every slot is full (that's a deep testing cut!). "General CPU performance" has been raised by 1-10% depending on your setup and camera cuts should be less jerky during cutscenes. HDR coloring should be smoother now across the board if your setup supports it.

What's on the menu in terms of known errors that Guerrilla hopes to eventually fix? "Out of memory" errors, HDR fixes, problems rendering Aloy's hair (haha), issues with "specific GPUs or hardware combinations." Nasty business! Optimization scavenger hunts remind me of that one time that a specific series of errors would cause Castle Crashers save data to delete itself.

Horizon Zero Dawn's 1.04 PC patch fixes...you guessed it, more crashes screenshot

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Lauren Shiba brings stylish swordplay to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid

nWay Games has released an impressive trailer for the next DLC combatant headed to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Hailing from 2012 series Super Samurai, Lauren Shiba brings her acrobatic agility and exquisite swordplay to the great tag-fighter on September 15.

The 18th head of the Shiba clan, Lauren Shiba took up the mantle of Red Samurai Ranger for the Super Samurai series. As you can see in the trailer below, Shiba's digital counterpart excels when attacking from the skies and in close-quarters, cutting the air with devastating and balletic sword swings. Shiba is also capable of launching a barrage of ornate, and mystical butterflies to distract and overwhelm her opponent.

Lauren Shiba brings stylish swordplay to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid screenshot

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Blizzard wants World of Warcraft players to choose the next mount design

World of Warcraft mounts used to be a badge of honor. In Vanilla, having a mount meant something: that you had earned the hordes of gold required to ride it. Slowly, over time, Blizzard started giving out mount rewards in-game like candy, while allowing players to buy them directly for real money.

Since then, mounts have moved from a scarcity to a "gotta collect them all" commodity. Blizzard is swift to capitalize on this, providing "mount sales" and special limited-edition mounts tied to physical products. Now, they're allowing players to choose from one of five new mount concepts to appear in Shadowlands: but this one will be free for expansion owners.

Basically, head to the Blizzard forums from now until September 18 at 3:00PM PT, and you can have your say. Once a winner is chosen "every player with Shadowlands activated on their account" will get the mount: right now, the estimated completion time is the first quarter of 2021.

You can find all of the options below, and there's a good spread! At least one is magical, one is cute, another is sickening, the Nerubian Swarmer is probably scary and the Wandering Ancient sounds regal. My vote is for the Swarmer: the Nerubian race was one of my favorite aspects of Warcraft III.

Choose the next Shadowlands mount [Battle.net]

Blizzard wants World of Warcraft players to choose the next mount design screenshot

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Shadow Man: Remastered trailer embraces the darkness

Nightdive Studios, in association with developer Valiant Entertainment, has released a new trailer for the upcoming remaster of 1999 adventure Shadow Man, which is currently in development for PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

The new video features higher-res gameplay from the former PS1, N64 and Dreamcast release, while showcasing the remaster's new lighting engine and post-processing effects work. Shadow Man will be powered by Nightdive's own "KEX" engine, which was previously used to remaster System Shock, Turok 2, and Forsaken.

Shadow Man: Remastered trailer embraces the darkness screenshot

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Here's a few more quick looks at Super Mario 3D All-Stars gameplay

So we got a fair bit of Super Mario 3D All-Stars gameplay out of that initial salvo of announcements, but thanks to some more advertising materials, you can piece together a bit more.

It's hard to believe that 3D All-Stars is nearly here, and that it's set to go away early next year. But alas, that marketing strategy seems locked in at the moment, and it's paying off for Nintendo: as 3D All-Stars is currently (at the time of publication) the number one best-seller on Amazon's gaming list.

Here are a few fleeting looks at the game beyond the announcement video, which you can view above.

Here's a few more quick looks at Super Mario 3D All-Stars gameplay screenshot

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Marvel's Avengers beats out Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to take the top spot of the UK Charts

In the biggest video game release week in some time, Square Enix' Marvel's Avengers successfully beat out Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 and 2K Games' NBA 2K21 to take the number one spot of the UK Charts.

Despite receiving mediocre reviews, the superhero extravaganza sold enough physical copies in the UK high street to debut in the premier position, no doubt thanks to the extremely attractive and popular Marvel Comics branding. However, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Marvel's Avengers sold only a third of the launch numbers of the last major Marvel release, Marvel's Spider-Man, which hit the PS4 back in September 2018.

Elsewhere in the charts, CD Projekt RED's epic RPG sequel The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt saw a huge spike in sales, rocketing the 2015 release back up the charts to number 11. This is no doubt due to CDPR's recent reveal of a next-gen release for The Witcher 3, with free upgrades offered to players who own the PS4 or Xbox One edition of the game.

Marvel's Avengers beats out Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to take the top spot of the UK Charts screenshot

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Which Marvel's Avengers character is your main so far?

Now that the 10-ish hour campaign honeymoon for Marvel's Avengers is over, some folks have either started digging into the endgame, or have peaced out entirely due to the grind. Whatever the case might be, share who your current main is, or was.

What are your options? Well, look above! Or below! The top showcases all of them in their off-brand MCU glory (minus Ms. Marvel), with the bottom providing text options to lock in your vote.

As for me, I have to go with my boy Iron Man. It's a hoot to be able to fly around the battlefield and tower over everyone but Thor, and building into different weapon specs allows for some ranged variety: a great way to combat the homogenized feel of the melee system. Oh, and being able to cover up that aforementioned off-brand MCU mug with a helmet is a must.

Black Widow is also a close second, as her ultimate ability can wreck shop in a group tussle, but Hulk is also sufficiently Hulk-like to warrant a go every now and then. Pick your poison!

Which Marvel's Avengers character is your main so far? screenshot

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Here it is: The final lineup of Amazon Prime Gaming's SNK freebies

Today, SNK and Amazon have announced the final eight games headed to their Prime Gaming suite, and they saved a few of the best titles for last.

Those new additions are: The Last Blade 2, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Metal Slug 3, Samurai Shodown V Special, The King of Fighters '97 Global Match, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match and Shock Troopers.

Although Garou is widely available at this point it's easily one of the more prolific fighters in SNK's catalog, as is the often missed Last Blade 2. You're also basically collecting every major retro King of Fighters game ever made at this point too, with three of the eight games on offer today hailing from that franchise. As of today, there's 22 SNK games available for Prime Gaming members.

Oh, in case you forgot, and are wondering why I'm calling it "Prime Gaming" instead of "Twitch Prime," Amazon re-branded the service last month. Basically, they're trying to ensure that it's uniform with Amazon Prime benefits for more marketing penetration, rather than directly linking it to Twitch; a seemingly separate service. Ostensibly, nothing has changed.

Loot [Amazon Prime Gaming]

Here it is: The final lineup of Amazon Prime Gaming's SNK freebies screenshot

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This Doom Eternal horde mode mod looks like it's to die for

Doom Eternal felt like a pretty complete experience solely as a single player game, but if you want, there's more DLC on the way. Or if you're fortunate enough to have it on PC, there's plenty of mods: and knowing the Doom community, there will be plentiful mods for years on end.

Speaking of mods! Proteh has just released a full version of Doom Eternal: Horde Mode, which is fairly self-explanatory in that it adds the modern classic gametype in. It's very traditional in that it takes place during a "series of rounds," which will focus on multiple locations that ramp up in difficulty.

You'll start things off with a shotgun and both of its weapon mods, then build from there. As you complete rounds, you'll net upgrades from just about every corner of the game that you can apply as you see fit. It's a pretty well-rounded, fully-featured mod: and frankly, sounds better than a lot of official horde modes.

To boot, it features "places you have never fought before in Doom Eternal," and there are no checkpoints until the final round. Good luck! One proviso: to get the mod to work, it replaces the "Exultia" stage of the game. So if you have the mod installed, you can't play that level in the meantime.

Horde Mode [Nexus Mods]

This Doom Eternal horde mode mod looks like it's to die for screenshot



Hong Kong distributor briefly lists Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PS4 and Switch

Game Source Entertainment, a Hong Kong software distributor, briefly hosted a listing for a Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, supposedly coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch platforms in 2021.

While the listing was swiftly removed, fast-thinkers over on ResetEra were able to capture a cache of the product page, which notes that the compendium bundles 2007's Ninja Gaiden Sigma, 2009's Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and finally 2012 release Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge.

According to the listing, the trilogy is scheduled for release in March of next year at a price point of around $40. We will keep you informed if there is any official word forthcoming from Ninja Gaiden publisher Koei Tecmo.

Hong Kong distributor lists Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PS4, Switch [ResetEra / Gematsu]

Hong Kong distributor briefly lists Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PS4 and Switch screenshot



Nintendo surprise-announces Breath of the Wild-focused Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity for Switch

Have you had a good summer? If you're waking up to all sorts of crazy new game announcements, you might be!

Today, Nintendo revealed Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity for Switch. What is it?! Good question!

According to the publisher, it's a "a new story set 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." Essentially, you're seeing the Great Calamity, the catastrophic event that sets up Breath of the Wild's narrative, first-hand, through the beat 'em up Hyrule Warriors lens. It's basically a spinoff of Hyrule Warriors and a prequel to Breath of the Wild at the same time. Wild!

Playable characters include Link and Zelda to start, with "more popular and fan-favorite" cast members to be announced: the box art (in the gallery below) should clue you in on a few of them. Local co-op multiplayer is in, "Dozens of gripping cutscenes" will also help make this feel like a true prequel, Nintendo contends. If you digitally pre-order, you can net a "Lucky Ladle" item. It's out on November 20 and you can find the official site here.

Honestly the whole pitch for this game is genius. Breath of the Wild has sold 18.6 million copies on Switch alone, so there's a built-in audience there. Plus, you're re-using the system of an already existing beat 'em up, so you don't need to build a whole open world RPG from the ground up. It's a win-win for Nintendo.

Nintendo surprise-announces Breath of the Wild-focused Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity for Switch screenshot

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Official Sega ad claims that Sonic is getting 'new games' in 2021

A while back we heard about some sort of Sega announcement window that would give us more Sonic news, but current events have been pushing all that back. Now, thanks to an advertisement in an internally distributed trade resource (that went public this past weekend), we know when all of that might actually come to fruition: 2021.

According to the Licensing Source Book Europe (which boasts about the $6 billion in franchise revenue to date), there will be a huge blowout 30th anniversary for Sonic in 2021 that will function as a "year of celebration." It will entail "new games, digital content, events, major announcements and a tailored licensing program." 

Now, don't get too excited. "New games" could mean "one new 3D Sonic game" and one or more mobile runners. Or, multiple mobile games. Or, it could bring us a 2D Sonic, or a proper follow-up to Sonic Mania: who knows! Either way I hope there's a follow-up to Sonic Forces soon that gets the 3D formula back on track.

Sega, take your time, and blow everyone away with Sonic Adventure 3. I know you said a few years back you weren't interested, but that was right before Sonic Forces came out.

LSB Europe Summer 2020 [Issuu via Tails Channel]

Official Sega ad claims that Sonic is getting 'new games' in 2021 screenshot



Onee Chanbara Origin brings bikinis and buckets of blood to PS4 and PC this October

What started an entry in the budget-minded Simple Series of games in Japan has blossomed into one of developer Tamsoft's most well-known franchises. Onechanbara, the zombie-killing hack 'n slash series that stars beautiful bikini-clad girls, has blossomed since its 2004 debut with multiple sequels spread across several consoles, but next month, it's taking the series back to the beginning with Onee Chanbara Origin.

Like the recently released Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2, Onee Chanbara Origin -- and yes, that is the proper spelling of the series now -- is a remake of the first two games in the franchise that released as part of the Simple Series in Japan, and apparently in Europe as Zombie Hunters. To give you an idea of what it'll play like, check out this totally metal trailer.

Onee Chanbara Origin brings bikinis and buckets of blood to PS4 and PC this October screenshot

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Xbox Series S officially revealed, priced at $299

[Update: A full 90-second trailer for the Xbox Series S has leaked on Twitter, courtesy of user @_h0x0d_. The video confirms Xbox Series S specs and capabilities, as well as a "November 2020" launch date. You can check out the trailer at the foot of the article.]

Microsoft has officially confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S console. The lower-powered, more affordable edition of next-gen Xbox hardware will launch later this year for $299 USD. In the UK, the console will retail for £249 GBP.

Microsoft's hand was seemingly forced after leaks sprung up on both Windows Central and tech site Thurrot, showing off the Xbox Series S and announcing the price point. This was swiftly followed by an official announcement from Microsoft on Twitter, with promise of further details in the very near future.

Xbox Series S officially revealed, priced at $299 screenshot

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Podtoid talks Marvel's Avengers, Moon, and why we're not digging the idea of limited-time Mario games

September has arrived, and in any other year, this would be the kick-off to a monster release schedule rolling into the holiday season. But in the year of COVID, so much is still up in the air. We don't know the release dates or prices for the next-gen systems, we don't know if Nintendo has a trick up its sleeve for November, we don't even know if the games we're looking forward to over the next 12 weeks will be hit with a last-minute delay.

But we do know there is still so much to talk about with the industry, and on this episode of Podtoid, CJ, Chris, Dan, and Charlotte get to chatting about Marvel's Avengers, Moon, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and speaking German. All that, plus we answer your questions, on Podtoid Episode 457.

Podtoid talks Marvel's Avengers, Moon, and why we're not digging the idea of limited-time Mario games screenshot

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Which game would you like to see made in a different franchise's engine?

It's still a few years away, but the potential of Unreal Engine 5 to define the next generation of gaming is very real. The demonstrations for it so far have been impeccable, and with some talented art directors, we could see some truly astonishing looking games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Or, we'll see the same crap they're making with Unreal Engine 4.

Either way, a game's engine is a part of its identity. Sadly, some franchises are in the midst of an identity crisis. While I understand why it's ideal for developers to work with one engine over many years, there often comes a point where the age or limitations of an engine hinders the potential of the series. Sometimes, to save a series, you have to make a change.

Thankfully, there are many options available for developers looking to revitalize a franchise. That's the basis of this Destructoid Discusses post was prompted by Brett Makedonski, who got the idea when Jordan Devore brought up the fantastical prospect of a new Dead Rising game made with the Resident Evil engine (Psst...Capcom, you should do this). That led me to ask the rest of the Destructoid staff to name a game they'd love to see made in another franchise's engine.

Which game would you like to see made in a different franchise's engine? screenshot

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Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition shows off its remastered cutscenes

Work continues on the remaster of Westwood Studios' 1997 point 'n' click adventure Blade Runner. A newly released video from developer Nightdive Studios gives fans their first look at the classic adventure's spruced-up cutscenes.

While the late '90s character models are present and correct, Nightdive has seemingly done a good job in making the FMV sequences crisper from a visual standpoint, with smoother edges, higher resolution, and added fluidity to their animation. Though it must be said that the shading has lost its nuance. Scenes featured in the video include the opening pet store massacre, and Rep Detect agent Ray McCoy traveling through Los Angeles circa 2019... Yeah...

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition shows off its remastered cutscenes screenshot

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Nomura: Kairi was the 'best choice' to star in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

I'm fairly predictable when it comes to Square Enix rhythm games: I see one, I play it. I even have a Japanese 3DS that I primarily use to play Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. But when Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory came along, it spoke to me in a way that few other rhythm offerings have from the publisher.

Recently, I sat down with Ichiro Hazama (producer), Tetsuya Nomura (director) and Masanobu Suzui (co-director) to have a quick chat about the upcoming project.

Nomura: Kairi was the 'best choice' to star in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory screenshot

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Kingdoms of Amalur is back with the Re-Reckoning remaster and I couldn't be happier

Kingdoms of Amalur slaps. That is all.

Wait you want more? Okay fine.

Kingdoms of Amalur is back with the Re-Reckoning remaster and I couldn't be happier screenshot

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'Can it Run Crysis?' is a real setting exclusive to the PC version of the Crysis remaster

Just a little while ago, we did indeed learn if your PC can run Crysis, as Crytek provided the actual minimum and recommended specs. But can your PC actually run Crysis? We'll find out soon enough.

It seems as if the company is embracing the pop culture phrase directly into the game, as evidenced by a tweet over the weekend. "Exclusively on PC," the game will sport a "Can it Run Crysis?" graphics setting, which will "demand every last bit of your hardware with unlimited settings." Yes, this will end well for everyone involved.

Crytek also provided a screenshot, which you can view and heckle below. Given that this is a remaster and not a remake, I'd say they did a decent job of bringing out the colors and detail of the island; to the point where it excels upon concepts the original was never able to achieve. Of course if you're a fan of the dour, less saturated look of the 2007 version, you might not be a fan.

'Can it Run Crysis?' is a real setting exclusive to the PC version of the Crysis remaster screenshot

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Fire Emblem Heroes gets classy 'n' sassy in latest update

Nintendo has released a new trailer previewing the next update for mobile battler Fire Emblem Heroes. Arriving tomorrow, September 8, the newest summoning event will see a selection of heroes donning their most ostentatious finery before heading off into battle.

Special Heroes being added to the mix include valiant princess Lachesis, noble healer Ethlyn, loyal crusader Quan, and finally a new dual-hero in the form of Sigurd, who is accompanied by his wife Deidre. As devoted Fire Emblem fans may have noticed, all of the above characters starred together in 1996 Super Famicom release Genealogy of the Holy War

Fire Emblem Heroes gets classy 'n' sassy in latest update screenshot

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Streets of Rage 4 balance patch now live on all platforms

DotEmu has released its previously announced balance update for awesome scrolling brawler Streets of Rage 4. The new update has made substantial balance tweaks to the title's roster of heroes and villains, while improving the fluidity of online play and stamping out several bugs.

Axel fans will be pleased to hear that your boy now has an improved walk speed and improved recovery on certain actions, while Floyd fans will be dismayed to hear that his infinite has been fixed. Difficulty has been increased for certain higher-level boss characters, while particularly frustrating attacks - such as Estel's Police Backup assault - have been made a little easier to evade. Even the retro characters have been given a tweak or two.

Patch notes detailing each character's individual buffs and nerfs are available for viewing over on the official DotEmu blog. The publisher also noted that owners of SoR 4's PS4 physical edition may have difficulty applying the update, but that the team are looking into the situation and expect a fix soon.

Streets of Rage 4 is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Streets of Rage 4 balance patch now live on all platforms screenshot

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WWE reportedly bans stars from third-party engagement, potentially ending Twitch streams

It is being reported that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has decreed that its stars must cease all "detrimental" third-party deals/engagement, which is presumed to include live streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and other social media platforms.

In a letter obtained by Wrestling Inc. and clarified by industry insider Bryan Alvarez, WWE CEO Vince McMahon ordered WWE stars to terminate all ongoing third-party activities within 30 days, or face the possibility of fines, suspension, or termination at the company's discretion. While the letter references activities that are "detrimental to [the] company", the non-specific wording at what constitutes "detrimental" has reportedly left some talent confused and frustrated.

In response to online criticism from both fans and current and former WWE stars, the company has since issued a second statement reaffirming the decision.

In recent years, many top WWE stars have used platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and Cameo to connect with their fans. Wrestlers Dakota Kai, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Mia Yim, and Asuka are among those who frequently stream video games, hold charity marathons, or simply converse with their followers. Such activities have increased during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact those within the pro-wrestling industry, causing a drop-off in all-important merchandise royalties and ticket sales, while devastating the independent scene.

As all WWE wrestlers are designated "independent contractors", (a phrase that has long been a source of major controversy within the business,) it remains to be seen whether this new "third-party" decree can or will be upheld from a legal perspective. It is believed that WWE will further expand on this ruling to its talent at this week's TV tapings.

Vince McMahon threatens to punish talent engaging with third parties [Wrestling Inc.]

WWE reportedly bans stars from third-party engagement, potentially ending Twitch streams screenshot



Review: Marvel's Avengers

After some time with the live version of Marvel's Avengers, I realized that it had a lot to prove.

Now that I'm finished with most of the content that the "1.0" edition has to offer, it still has plenty to prove.

Review: Marvel's Avengers screenshot

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Review: Moon

I came into gaming in a time when Japan was king. All the biggest and best games created in the '80s and '90s came from development studios and publishers operating across the Pacific. This is back in a time when Mega Man was a top-tier franchise for Capcom, and Konami hadn't yet discovered pachinko machines.

And yet despite Japan's near-complete domination of the industry, there are many games from the era that have existed only as folklore to those of us in the west. These unlocalized titles, supposed gems that "western audiences just wouldn't understand," became the stuff of legend to the dweebs and geeks of the time who hit up gaming chatrooms on AOL.

We didn't have Xseed or NIS America or any of these other small publishers that cater to the whims of niche audiences the way we do now. We had to make do with what was given to us and daydream about what wasn't. And there is no game I daydreamed more about than Moon: Remix RPG Adventure. This game has been such a long time coming, I knew I shouldn't do this review alone. So I asked Adzuken to help me see if this un-RPG was worth the love I had given it from afar for so many years.

Review: Moon screenshot

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Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater left its mark on history...I want to say...within minutes of its release in 1999.

It didn't matter if you skated or not, it was a cultural touchstone, a sign that skating had arrived. While it's faltered through the years (Tony Hawk himself dates it around 2006, when Project 8 was released), it's back now: for real this time.

Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 screenshot

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Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition

Previously, on this review of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, my Clavat caravaner completed his fourth year of travels, meeting some new friends and enemies along the way. And while his caravan is capable of holding three other adventurers, he completed his journeys alone. But riding solo on the road can get lonely, so for the second half of his quest to rid the world of miasma, he wanted to find a friend he could travel with.

Oh, if only it were that simple.

Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition screenshot

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Cblogs of 8/29 to 9/4/2020: Fall Guys, Wild Hearts, and August in review

Cblogs Recap: Week 36

-Amburger reviews Catherine: Full Body which is on the PS4 and Switch.

-BRAV0 F1VE reviews the deck-building game Monster Train.

-Queen of Philosophy ranks the main characters of Death Stranding.

-Exber reviews Persona 5 on the PS3.

-LaTerry responds to this month's Band of Bloggers prompt discussing inferior sequels with a look Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.

-Shoggoth2588 shares his August 2020 gaming journal.

-Taterchimp shares his early thoughts on Warframe.

-Black Red Gaming discusses his five most anticipated games to be released in September.

-Nior shares his thoughts on A Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen in this retrospective blog.

-Dango ranks the various rounds of Fall Guys.

-ModSquadLeader discusses the obvious fact that Marvel's Avengers isn't great.

-Grethiwha discusses how Sayonara Wild Hearts reinvents the music game genre.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Xenogears and the music of Freddie Hubbard.

-Julc3 reflects on the daily conflict we see online as the presidential elections come to a close and how it's affecting his enjoyment of his hobbies (The American presidential system is broken and puts the fate of all Americans in the hands of 6-8 states).

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of the Illussion of Gaia and the music of Amilcare Ponichelli and others.

-ChronoLynxx is back with another TGIF thread for community discussion.

Cblogs of 8/29 to 9/4/2020: Fall Guys, Wild Hearts, and August in review screenshot

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Konami's legendary Contra is this week's Arcade Archives release

Hamster have pulled out a genuine classic for this week's Arcade Archives release: Konami's genre-defining shooter Contra is now available to download on Nintendo Switch.

Originally unleashed on the arcade scene in 1987, Contra is a side-scrolling platformer/shooter that sees one or two players don the headbands and 'roided body frames of commandos Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, as the musclebound duo run 'n' gun their way through a full-on alien invasion. What can I tell you that you don't already know? It's Contra.

Konami's legendary Contra is this week's Arcade Archives release screenshot

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Limited Run reveals special editions of Shantae's original adventures

As announced during Limited Run's July live stream, the physical media manufacturer will offer a re-release of the very first titles in WayForward's adorable adventure series Shantae. Not only are the original 2002 release and its 2010 sequel coming to Nintendo Switch, but the original Shantae will also receive a fresh run of Game Boy Color cartridges!

Limited Run reveals special editions of Shantae's original adventures screenshot

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A Shenmue anime adaptation is coming to Crunchyroll and Adult Swim

Sega's cult RPG series Shenmue is to receive an anime adaptation. The series - a joint production between Crunchroll and Adult Swim - was announced during yesterday's "Virtual Crunchyroll Expo 2020" event.

The Shenmue anime will run for 13 episodes and is being produced by Japanese studio Telecom Animation Film. The anime will be a re-telling the video game's narrative, following the adventures of young martial artist Ryo Hazuki, who embarks on a long and hazardous journey to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the sinister Lan Di.  Shenmue creator and Ys Net head honcho Yu Suzuki is on board as executive producer.

"The first Shenmue video game was released more than 20 years ago and we are excited to work with Adult Swim again to bring this franchise to life through the anime series," said Crunchyroll's Sarah Victor in a press release. "We look forward to showing our fans more of this action-packed adventure series".

No date was announced for the anime's premiere, which will launch on the Crunchyroll and Adult Swim streaming networks. For more information, be sure to follow the anime's official Twitter account. In the meantime, Shenmue III is available now on PS4 and PC.

A Shenmue anime adaptation is coming to Crunchyroll and Adult Swim screenshot

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