Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Risk of Rain 2 will keep growing with expansions and free patches

With Risk of Rain 2 now out of Early Access and the console release of update 1.0 on the horizon, Hopoo Games has shared a state-of-the-game blog post detailing what went right, what could've been better, and what the future holds for this surprisingly great 3D sequel to a beloved 2D roguelike game.

The team says that while its roadmap kept Risk of Rain 2 on track, compromises had to be made and some "cool but challenging" ideas had to be cut for time. That's to say nothing of longstanding bugs, incomplete lore entries, and "a passionate modding community that has no official mod support."

Now that Early Access is in the rear-view, Hopoo hopes to transition into a more "sustainable, creative development" strategy – starting with a final "thank you" content update on all platforms.

Following that update – and keep in mind, there isn't a timeline for this stuff yet – the developers want to expand the team and begin creating expansions for Risk of Rain 2 at a pace of one or two per year.

"These Expansions will most likely be themed – for example, we could have a 'Void Expansion' or an 'Imp Expansion' – with new content built around that theme," according to Hopoo. The idea is to deliver fresh content that's exciting and compelling enough to get players hooked all over again. Having more time to dream up fun ideas and let them coalesce makes sense, and I won't mind paying for DLC.

"Quality of life, bug fixes, and balance changes will still be free as patches to the base game."

Dev Thoughts #18 - The Future of Risk of Rain 2 [Steam]

Risk of Rain 2 will keep growing with expansions and free patches screenshot



Ooblets' spooky new region, Nullwhere, will be here in time for Halloween

As the seasons change, Ooblets is changing too. Err, growing actually. It's nearing a major update that will add the first new region since the game launched in Early Access in July.

This new area is called Nullwhere, and it's Halloween-themed. You'll need to overcome your fear of the fearsome because this is where you'll need to activate the next satellite to get the Oobnet up and running.

Technically, this is stuff that we already knew. Developer Glumberland shared this information last month when it released a roadmap. However, now we have some idea as to what Nullwhere will look like. Here's a gif that shows off the general aesthetic:

Ooblets' spooky new region, Nullwhere, will be here in time for Halloween  screenshot

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Review: Death and Taxes

It seems the most important shared experience of our lives is the one we know nothing about. None of us know, definitively, what happens after death. Certainly, many of us have our beliefs -- an afterlife, reincarnation, total oblivion, our souls harvested by an eldritch god to fuel their resurrection -- but no one has crossed the threshold of mortality to tell us what goes on after our hearts beat their last.

To some, this is chilling, to others, it's comforting. Some fear it, some revere it, some dwell on it, and others ignore it. Views on death are as individual as we are, and its mysteries may never be solved.

So put that out of your mind and get back to work!

Review: Death and Taxes screenshot

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the exact trip down memory lane we needed in 2020

I would be lying if I said I haven't spent a good part of 2020 reminiscing about the better days of the past. Every week of this goddamn year has been too much, so why shouldn't I get lost thinking about the past and all the fun games of my youth. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was one of the defining titles of teen years and with the recently released 1 + 2, it's taken me straight back to those weekends of Hot Pockets and Sunny-D.

That's just one of the topics we're covering on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Occams, and Charlotte are on hand to talk about skateboarding memories, Oxenfree, Super Punch Patrol, the Xbox Series S, and Microsoft's lack of significant launch titles. All that, plus just because you play a doctor in movies doesn't mean you are one, on Podtoid Episode 458.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the exact trip down memory lane we needed in 2020 screenshot

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You're gonna want to eat at Arby's just for these Cuphead toys

Sometimes the neatest promotions come to the places that you don't necessarily want to frequent. Cuphead continues on its march toward international conquest with a fast food crossover that'll leave you remembering that, oh yeah, you actually love curly fries.

Arby's kids meals now come with Cuphead toys. They're extremely thematically appropriate too, as they feature heroes launching projectiles at the big bad bosses. Here's what it looks like in action: 

You're gonna want to eat at Arby's just for these Cuphead toys screenshot

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Star Wars: Squadrons has a cool lead-in CG short to watch before you play

Whether or not you're in the mood for a Star Wars flight sim, this Star Wars: Squadrons short film – a seven-minute tale about the last TIE pilot left standing in the wake of a battle – is a cool watch.

The protagonist of this lead-in short, Titan Squadron leader Varko Grey (you gotta love unmistakably Star Wars names), is "one of the ace pilots who you'll be fighting alongside" in Squadrons.

This video was a collaborative effort between Motive, Lucasfilm, and ILM, so a not-insignificant amount of energy went into its creation. "Hunted" is a fun way to build up to the game's October 2 launch.

The mechanical foundation of Squadrons looks promising (and niceties like HOTAS support go a long way), but can the story stick the landing? I hope it takes some cues from 1994's TIE Fighter.

Fighter, Bomber, Interceptor, and Reaper – decisions, decisions.

Star Wars: Squadrons has a cool lead-in CG short to watch before you play screenshot



Review: Spelunky 2

It's been eight years since the non-freeware release of Spelunky, but those layouts are still fresh in my mind.

This was the early days of the modern roguelike. The kinks were still being worked out by myriad developers, but Derek Yu had a cohesive vision that married the cacophony of chaos and challenge in a way that just...sung.

Spelunky 2 thankfully continues that legacy.

Review: Spelunky 2 screenshot

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Marvel's Avengers retains the top spot of this week's UK Charts

Despite mediocre reviews, Square Enix's comic-book adventure Marvel's Avengers has had a relatively successful physical launch, retaining the top spot of the UK Charts, while fending off advances from Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 and THQ Nordic's remaster Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.

Last week also saw a physical release for Xbox Game Studio's Minecraft Dungeons, which debuts at number six after a slew of Nintendo Switch sales. Minecraft Dungeons is a cheerful, Diablo-like take on the mega-popular block-building title Minecraft, which itself has been a mainstay in the Top Ten for several weeks now.

The remainder of the Top Ten is filled out with chart stalwarts such as Take 2's Grand Theft Auto V, and Nintendo Switch releases Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Ring Fit Adventure, as the high street waits for the inevitable influx of major holiday releases.

Marvel's Avengers retains the top spot of this week's UK Charts screenshot

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Xbox Game Pass is getting five more solid games

Xbox Game Pass keeps getting stronger. The next couple of weeks see five worthwhile additions, and the headliner is up for debate based on your personal interests.

Bungie has the best chance of capturing your playing time, as two of its games are prominently featured in the newest round of "Coming Soon to Xbox Game Pass." All of Destiny 2 is being added (base game and expansions); eventually when the Beyond Light DLC drops in November, it'll also be on Game Pass.

Likewise, Halo 3: ODST is joining the Master Chief Collection on PC next Tuesday. Bungie's quirky Master Chief-less 2009 game is well-regarded as a good Halo campaign, but its legacy is in introducing the Firefight cooperative mode. You've gonna have fun mowing through waves of Covenant. 

If Bungie shooters aren't really your thing, there are more entrees at the buffet. Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Night in the Woods, and Company of Heroes 2 all come to Xbox Game Pass in the next couple of weeks. They're all special in their own way.

Also, one minor side note, it's kinda weird seeing most every Game Pass listing come with an "Android" designation. That's a near-universal platform now that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Project xCloud have merged. Basically, almost every new Game Pass title can be played on your Android phone via game streaming from this point forward. Or, you can just stick to the PCs and consoles you know.

Here's what Xbox Game Pass is adding over the course of the next ten days:

Xbox Game Pass is getting five more solid games screenshot

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Fist of the North Star RPG coming to mobile platforms in Japan

Koei Tecmo has announced a new mobile RPG based upon the uber-violent anime/manga series Fist of the North Star. Shin Hokuto Musou Mobile will launch in Japan later this year on iOS and Android platforms.

Some attractive splash art for the new mobile title features Hokuto no Ken series protagonist Kenshiro flanked by allies Rei and Mamiya, the latter of whom has forgotten her pants it seems. The trio stand in the shadow of Kenshiro's dictatorial brother, Raoh. You smell it? That's the smell of death.

Fist of the North Star RPG coming to mobile platforms in Japan screenshot

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Godfall releases action-packed trailer, details multiple special editions

Gearbox has released a new trailer for its dazzling action-RPG Godfall, showcasing the powerful Valorian Knights as they tear through armies of otherworldly enemies in a stunning and luminescent fantasy universe.

The trailer focuses on the combat mechanics of Godfall, featuring a myriad of ranged and melee attacks, as well as acrobatic and lightning-quick evasive maneuvers and devastating finishing blows. Godfall will offer five different classes, an arsenal of death-dealing weapons, and customisable "Valorplates" - Zodiac-inspired armour that will offer new skills and benefits to its bearer. It all looks quite cathartic and equally as appealing visually.

Godfall releases action-packed trailer, details multiple special editions screenshot

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Here's a more detailed look at Dragon Ball FighterZ's Master Roshi DLC

It's up for debate whether or not Arc System Works uses their DLC powers for good or bad; but the publisher very frequently supports its games for a lengthy period of time. That includes Dragon Ball FighterZ. It's insane that FighterZ arrived back in January of 2018, and it's still getting season passes.

This very season just added Ultra Instinct Goku and Kefla to the roster, with the recently revealed Master Roshi slotting in on September 18. But before he actually arrives, Bandai Namco and Arc System Works put out a fairly detailed trailer that showcases his moveset and his general vibe.

Roshi looks as formidable as ever, capable of projectile attacks and the ability to power up with his "Max Power" form. He's also going to maintain that goofy old man shtick, as seen near the end of the trailer. While it could be argued that Roshi should have been added to the game way earlier, he looks like a blast to play.

You can take a look at his cosmetic options, as well as the aforementioned video, below.

Here's a more detailed look at Dragon Ball FighterZ's Master Roshi DLC screenshot

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 will be another online event

Unsurprisingly, the Awesome Games Done Quick team has confirmed that their first event of the new year, AGDQ 2021, will be an online-only affair, as the world continues to be rocked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Much like last month's SGDQ 2020 event, the week-long charity speedrun marathon will features players from across the globe showcasing their amazing gaming prowess from the safety of their own homes. Viewers on Twitch will be able to check out seven days of speedruns, while entering prize draws and, most importantly, donating money to a worthy cause.

Despite eschewing the usual haunt of the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Minnesota, SGDQ 2021 still managed to raise a very impressive $2.3 million for global medical network Medecins Sans Frontieres. All of the streams from the summer event can be found bookmarked over on the GDQ VOD website.

AGDQ 2021 will take place between January 3-10. Game submissions will open on September 24. Additionally, an all-women's speedrun event, Fleet Fatales, will take place between November 15-21. For more info on all events, visit the official GDQ website.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 will be another online event screenshot

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The next big Marvel's Avengers patch will 'address hundreds' of issues

If you've played Marvel's Avengers, you might have recognized the "hundreds of smaller quality of life issues" that the game is dealing with right now. Well, the good news is that Square Enix is seeking to address a ton of those shortcomings in the next patch (V.1.3.0). But will it fundamentally overhaul the core loop of the game? Not likely.

Amid a heap of patch notes for version 1.2.5 (which went up this past week), the team teased that version 1.3.0 will be the "largest" update yet and will further shore up existing bugs. Currently there's no timeline for the patch, but the team is "rigorously testing" it.

Naturally, the microtransaction store also got an update, adding a new takedown, an emote and a new suit for Iron Man. Square Enix reminds us that it's using the Fornite FOMO style of marketplace, with "rotating weekly" items.

This game is in such a weird spot! It feels like it's cribbing from multiple live service games, but forgot to be its own thing. Whether Marvel, Square Enix, or Crystal Dynamics itself decided to make it a live service game is irrelevant at this point: I can't help but think how this could have turned out with a more focused vision akin to an open world Tomb Raider joint.

Avenger's War Table Weekly [Square Enix]

The next big Marvel's Avengers patch will 'address hundreds' of issues screenshot

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UK retailer cancels Super Mario 3D All-Stars pre-orders after receiving 'woefully short' stock allocation

UK retailer Base.com has been forced to cancel all of its customer pre-orders for the upcoming Super Mario 3D All-Stars after receiving what it referred to as a "woefully short" stock allocation for the highly anticipated release.

"We have just been notified of our allocation of Super Mario 3D All-stars (Nintendo Switch) and it is woefully short," reads a Base.com customer email, posted to Reddit by user Greebos. "This is very disappointing and it is with great regret that we have to inform you that we will be unable to fulfil you [sic] order on the day of release... Further, as Nintendo and their UK distributers [sic] are unable to give us any reassurance that more stock will become available after release, we have taken the regrettable decision to cancel all orders".

While many Nintendo fans were understandably excited for the announcement of the Nintendo Switch title - which compiles classic releases Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy - some have been left frustrated by its "limited time" release, which implies that the triple-pack will only be available for purchase, both physically and digitally, between September 16 and March 31.

The news has, inevitably, led to a mild form of "panic-buying" as fans, (and no doubt scalpers), rush to pre-order the title for release day. Rushes such as these are likely part of the problem faced by Base.com and other retailers when hoping to receive adequate stock. In fact, this is nothing new, as in my own experience of retail work, the allocation of Nintendo products was often a dice roll, particularly when it came to holiday releases. Add to this the distribution issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and you have a particularly sticky situation.

It's important to note that, as of this writing, Base.com is the only UK retailer that has chosen to cancel its confirmed Super Mario 3D All-Stars pre-orders.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars launches September 16 on Nintendo Switch.

UK retailer cancels all Super Mario 3D All-Stars pre-orders [Eurogamer]

UK retailer cancels Super Mario 3D All-Stars pre-orders after receiving 'woefully short' stock allocation screenshot



Here's a fresh look at the Zelda: Breath of the Wild-inspired Genshin Impact

As we inch ever close to Genshin Impact's release (after an extensive testing period that's lasted over a year), developer miHoYo is gearing up for the launch with a deluge of information. The latest clip showcases Keqing: a new character that wields the power of electricity and an elegant sword to maintain order.

Her playstyle seems to center around quick strikes and dashes, culminating in a very anime-like "samurai cuts everything and watches it all collapse" ability. It's a very brief clip, but it gets the job done in terms of showing ups what Keqing is all about, and how her stoicism seeps through to her fighting style.

In case you missed it, the studio also showed off Mona the magician over the weekend, who sports that classic witch look and caster look. Her element is water, which she can use to hold enemies in place with a stasis-esque effect. Pretty much every character in this game looks fun to play.

Genshin Impact is out on September 28 on PC, iOS, Android and PS4. It'll come out at some point on Switch, but miHoYo hasn't even given us a window for that yet.

Here's a fresh look at the Zelda: Breath of the Wild-inspired Genshin Impact screenshot

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Live-action Crash Bandicoot returns in unnerving Japanese commercial

Long-time Crash Bandicoot fans will be pleased to see that publisher Activision has produced a brand new, live-action commercial to promote the release of the upcoming Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, which launches in October on PS4 and Xbox One.

In the new Japanese ad, Our boy Crash imposes himself on a family, essentially forcing them to perform a dance to the ear-worm that is the "Crash Bandicoot" song, which featured in similar commercials back in the 1990s. Crash and the family perform the dance at home, in the woods, by a stream, and in the high street, with the family's father seemingly losing all sense of sanity as the advert progresses.

And who can blame him, that moment at 1:20 is the stuff of nightmares.

Live-action Crash Bandicoot returns in unnerving Japanese commercial screenshot

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Oculus Quest 2 will have controller free hand tracking for some games, Facebook leak confirms

The Oculus Quest is a rad piece of tech. Facebook was very smart to anchor their entire future to it, as the tetherless system that does not require any other hardware is one of the most accessible ways to enter the VR space to date. A follow-up to the Quest has been expected for some time, and now it's been fully revealed: a little sooner than expected.

Thanks to a leak from Facebook's own site, we have all of the details ahead of the Wednesday unveiling. You can get an extensive look at the headset via the videos below, but the upgrades themselves are fairly substantial in nature. In addition to full hand tracking (for select games), the headset will also sport 4K video (2K in each eye), with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor.

Facebook also boasts that the Oculus Touch remotes (which are already a feat of engineering) are upgraded, in addition to 3D audio for the standalone headset (which does not require headphones, like the original Quest). The link cable will still be an option for folks who want to hook up their Quest to their PC for extra power.

Facebook is expected to give us full details on Wednesday, but given that their own site spilled the beans, it may come earlier. Right now the rumors point to a $300 entry point, with a $400 possible price for the 256GB model that was unveiled via the leaks.

Given how impressive the original Quest was out of the box, this one should be even more enticing. I can't wait to try it out: particularly the new controllers.

Meet Quest 2 [Facebook via VG247]

Oculus Quest 2 will have controller free hand tracking for some games, Facebook leak confirms screenshot

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Spelunky 2 tips I wish I would've known sooner

30 hours into Spelunky 2, I've beaten the game exactly once – and come close countless other times.

While much of that time was admittedly spent exploring potential branching routes and figuring out what's up with certain elusive NPCs, straight up, I didn't see the credits until my 400th or so run.

Coming in, I knew I'd be rusty at spelunking, and I expected a long period of acclimation before I could quickly, reliably, efficiently carve through the sequel's procedurally-generated deathtraps, but goddang! This game is brutal. Not just for novices, who are in for a world of hurt, but also those of us who put dozens of hours into Spelunky, toppled Olmec, and survived the trip to hell. The struggle is real – again!

We'll be uncovering secrets in Spelunky 2 for years to come, but for now, here are my tips. I've ordered them based on the stages I've seen – in the order they appear – but I'm missing several in my journal.

The further you scroll down, the more spoilery it'll be – including a pic of the boss at the bottom.

Spelunky 2 tips I wish I would've known sooner screenshot

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Cblogs of 9/5 to 9/11/2020: Hyrule Warriors, Xbox Series S, and game delays

Cblogs Recap: Week 37



-Kerrik52 reviews Ape Escape as part of his Traveler in Playtime blogging series.

-ModSquadLeader talks about three great pixel-based indie games.

-Black Red Gaming reviews Borderlands 3 on the PC.

-Shoggoth2588 responds to this month's Band of Bloggers prompt regarding game delays by focusing on a few games that were better because of it.

-LaTerry is running wild with speculation about the new Hyrule Warriors game.

-Dinoracha shares his initial thoughts regarding Paper Mario: The Origami King.

-Ctg867 argues that there is no way that the Xbox Series S is going hold back game development despite being weaker than its higher-end competition.

-TheBlondeBass shares his thoughts on Celeste in this blogging series focusing on games with a lot of heart.

-Taterchimp is asking the community to submit ideas regarding a community based monthly streaming contest.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Xenogears and Country-Rock music.

-Joel Peterson who previously worked in Dtoid is back for a brief hello which I think has a lot of good advice in it.

-ModSquadLeader reviews the movie #Alive as his first movie review.

-Gaming Sheepy joins the Dtoid blogging community with this introduction blog.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Trials of Mana and the music of Hank Williams.

-ChronoLynxx is back with another open TGIF community thread.

Cblogs of 9/5 to 9/11/2020: Hyrule Warriors, Xbox Series S, and game delays screenshot

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Review: The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

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

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

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

Review: The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon screenshot

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The indisputable and scientifically correct Fall Guys round rankings

[I almost never care even the slightest bit about whatever flavor-of-the-week video game has taken the world by storm, but Fall Guys is different. It speaks to me on a primal level, and you can bet your ass that I have strong opinions about which rounds reign supreme. There's not enough space here to fully get into it, but let's just say that I absolutely, 100%, do not agree with all of Dango's choices here in this blog ranking each round. Still, he makes some really great points, and I'd love to hear what y'all have to say on the subject! - Kevin]

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has been a godsend for those of us who grew up playing platformers, because it finally gave us a chance to use our experience in an online competition. While games like Rayman Legends give us ghost modes and weekly challenges to master, Fall Guys throws us straight into the arena to fight toe-to-toe with several other players. There has been grabbing. There has been tripping. There has been blood.

The indisputable and scientifically correct Fall Guys round rankings screenshot

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Take to the skies with Arcade Archives classic Gemini Wing

This week, retro publisher Hamster added yet another old-school shmup to its expansive Arcade Archives range, as Tecmo's Gemini Wing is now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Released in arcades in 1987, before seeing huge success with a series of home computer ports, Gemini Wing is a vertically scrolling shmup which pits one or two players against armies of strange fantasy enemies, including scaly cycloptic serpents, weird tentacled skulls and giant Venus flytraps.

Check out the action below, courtesy of YouTuber World of Longplays.

Take to the skies with Arcade Archives classic Gemini Wing screenshot

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Review: Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck

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

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

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

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

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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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Review: Fight Crab

I like crabs. Do you like crabs? I keep a small group of hermit crabs as pets, one has been with me for over a decade now. So, my first question when going into Fight Crab was, "can I play as a hermit crab?"

The answer is no, sadly, but you do have the option of piloting a coconut crab, which is essentially a giant hermit crab. They grow up like hermit crabs -- hiding their soft, delicious butts in gastropod shells -- but eventually become too big and tough to use them anymore, so they just go naked. They're the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world and are known for being mischievous.

That's probably the most intellectual thing I'll say in this whole review, because Fight Crab is an immensely stupid game, and I mean that as lovingly as possible.

Review: Fight Crab screenshot

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Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will bring back adventure mode, is coming to basically every system

In case you missed it, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, a sequel to the incredibly fun puzzle mashup game from 2017 (in the US, at least) was quietly announced as part of a packed surprise Nintendo Direct Mini stream a few weeks ago. Due out in December, this thing is hitting basically every platform known to man: PC (this is the only version not coming this year), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch.

Before then, Sega is content giving us another quick glimpse into the world of the second game, confirming today that Ringo and Tee are returning for another go in adventure mode. The sequel will feature a new map and the Dimensional Parasite antagonist, who merges both the Puyo and Tetris worlds together. Mystery and intrigue are promised on top of the normal puzzle-solving gameplay.

This time around there's a bigger variety of missions, including skill battles (EXP can level up your stats): with the addition of more RPG elements as a whole like extra optional stages via the world map and more items. Sega re-iterates that the game will support the Smart Delivery initiative on Xbox One -> Series X, with a vague "PS4 to PS5 upgrade path "at no extra cost when the game launches," if you buy it "from the PlayStation Store or a physical version from a retailer."

Sony's lack of an easy solution for cross-buy must be pissing off a lot of studios!

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will bring back adventure mode, is coming to basically every system screenshot

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Borderlands 3 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, and existing console players get free next-gen upgrades

For a series predicated on mayhem and wackiness, Gearbox and 2K are taking quite the reasonable and straight-forward approach to moving onto next-gen consoles. There are no Control-like shenanigans to be found here.

As part of its digital-only PAX West panel, Gearbox has announced how it's shifting Borderlands 3 onto PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. It's quite simple. It's expected that there will be a new SKU for next-gen, possibly one that will include all DLC to date.

However, anyone who already owns Borderlands 3 on current-gen consoles won't have to worry about that. Owning a current-gen version of the game will grant you a free upgrade to the next-gen version (within the same console family, of course). So, someone with Borderlands 3 on PS4 will get entitlements for the PS5 upgrades when they play on PS5. It's the exact same for Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

Early adopters into next-gen won't be dinged in terms of the time they've already put into Borderlands 3. Gearbox says "You'll be able to bring everything over to the new console generation." That means it's completely cross-save compatible. You won't lose any progress. Also, all purchased content (including DLC) also moves over seamlessly.

What exactly do these upgrades entail? Gearbox is aiming to get Borderlands 3 running at 4K and 60fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There are also two new local co-op features. Gearbox is implementing four-player split-screen on next-gen machines. It's also including a vertical screen option in two-player co-op. (Actually, the vertical screen will also be added to PS4 and Xbox One versions.) Gearbox didn't mention performance targets for these beefier co-op features.

This all sets the table as a way for Gearbox to usher Borderlands 3 into the future. As we've noted before, Borderlands 3 is becoming more and more like a platform than just a one-off game. We've liberally predicted that Gearbox isn't ready to move onto something new anytime soon.

We were more or less right. Gearbox also announced plans for new content that's coming to Borderlands 3. Don't expect something akin to the four story add-ons that made up the season pass (which just wrapped up with Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck). Whatever's releasing in the short-term will be some sort of new game mode and a new additional skill tree for each Vault Hunter. That's slated for "later this year." Maybe 2021 will bring more narrative-focused expansions.

Gearbox had one more tease for the future, though. It seems as though crossplay will be implemented in Borderlands 3 sometime next year. Hopefully that's cross-platform and cross-generation. It'd be nice to keep the friends around who won't immediately leap to buy a new console.

Borderlands 3 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, and existing console players get free next-gen upgrades screenshot

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits delayed to early 2021

Developer Ember Lab has announced that it has delayed the launch of its gorgeous looking spiritual adventure Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Previously scheduled for launch this holiday season, Kena is now expected to arrive in early 2021 on PS4, PS5 and PC.

In a statement on Twitter, Ember Lab cites the difficulties of working within the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered Kena's production, and led to a slower development schedule than was originally planned. The team also thanks fans for their ongoing support for the intriguing adventure, which first turned heads during the Playstation Future of Gaming event in June.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits launches in 2021 on PS4, PS5, and PC via Epic Games Store.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits delayed to early 2021 screenshot

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Serious Sam 4 system requirements announced ahead of its impending release

We're a little less than two weeks away from the release of Croteam's Serious Sam 4 and the developer has announced the specs that you will need if you want to run the game when it releases September 24. The base and recommended specifications are as follows:

Minimum:
CPU: 4 cores Intel or AMD @ 2.5 GHz
RAM: 8 GB
GPU: NVidia GeForce 780/970/1050 or AMD Radeon 7950/280/470
VRAM: 3 GB
OS: Windows 10 64-bit (1809/1903)
DirectX 11

Recommended:
CPU: 8 cores Intel or AMD @ 3.3 GHz
RAM: 16 GB
GPU: NVidia GeForce 1080/2060 or AMD Radeon Vega64/5700
VRAM: 8 GB
OS: Windows 10 64-bit (1909)
DirectX 12 or Vulkan

The specifications were announced in the official Croteam Discord, along with a message about the types of performance you can expect with your rig. The team reiterated that the minimum specifications were based on 720p at 30 frames-per-second, with the recommended performance based around 1080p resolution. Those wanting "4K resolution and/or high framerates" will need better than the recommended. The developers also made it clear that they will be framing the game so that any piece of hardware above minimum should help performance.

Serious Sam 4 will release on September 24 for PC and Google Stadia, with a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release planned for sometime in the new year.

Serious Sam 4 system requirements [Croteam Official Discord]

Serious Sam 4 system requirements announced ahead of its impending release screenshot



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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PlayStation 5 Showcase confirmed for September 16

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that it will be holding a special PlayStation 5 Showcase live stream next week on Wednesday, September 16.

While no specific details pertaining to the 40-minute show's contents have been offered. It seems an inevitability that Sony will finally reveal both the release date and the all-important price-point for its next-gen hardware, following similar announcements made by Xbox earlier this week.

The PlayStation 5 Showcase will broadcast live over on PlayStation's official YouTube and Twitch channels. The action kicks off September 16 at 13:00 pt / 16:00 ET / 21:00 BST.

PlayStation 5 Showcase confirmed for September 16 screenshot

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(Update) Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

[Update: The winning title is Control, with about 40% of the votes, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy came in a strong second. Thanks to everyone who voted! We'll do this again soon, and don't worry, the runners-up will get their day!]

Friends, I'm not sure if I played anything this week. That's pretty wild, but I did have a lot to be getting on with, both on-site and in the weird technicolour mess that is my real life. I dropped into a few regulars - Street Fighter V, Streets of Rage 4, Rainbow Six Siege, etc - but I think I need to start something completely new, something that I can bash through in a week that will stand far and away from my usual haunts.

And that's where you come in. For the first time in this article's short history, I wanna ask all of you which of these "currently installed but never touched" PS4 games you think I should play next week. At the end of today, I'll see which title got the most votes, and will jump straight into said game within the next day or two. Yes - this weekend - YOU can control my life... or at least one really minor aspect of it. Be gentle with me.

Oh, and once you've voted, be sure to visit the comments below and let us know what you've been hitting this past week. Maybe you're grinding Marvel's Avengers, or maybe you're literally grinding Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2. Are you out on the links in PGA 2K21, or out on the gridiron in Madden 21? Whatever it is that you're playing, old or new, fill us in on the action!

Have a wonderful weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.

(Update) Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot

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You can't bring your Hades save file over to Switch until sometime after 1.0 launches

With Hades about to hit its coveted 1.0 milestone on PC – and the Nintendo Switch version right around the corner with a "fall 2020" window – Supergiant has announced a change to cross-save support.

Save data transfers are still a part of the plan, but Hades won't offer cross-saves until after 1.0. As explained in a tweet today, the studio "encountered some setbacks in the final testing of this feature."

Rather than push back the 1.0 release, Supergiant Games is delaying the cherry-on-top feature until later this year, "after Hades V1.0 launches this fall." It's unquestionably the right call. If long-time Early Access players struggled with buggy save transfers on day one, that could botch the whole launch.

Hades is a fantastic roguelike action game from a talented studio firing on all cylinders. Be excited.

@SupergiantGames [Twitter]

You can't bring your Hades save file over to Switch until sometime after 1.0 launches screenshot



You'll have to break the Xbox Series X's stand if you want to take it off

Jordan wrote about a PlayStation 5 box art .jpg earlier today and included the sentiment "File this story under 'Mildly interesting next-gen fluff for a Friday afternoon.'" At this rate, I might as well make that an official tag.

The Xbox Series X comes with a circular stand for vertical orientation. That, apparently, is permanently affixed. Microsoft has sent the console shell to a few outlets, and IGN's Ryan McCaffrey has confirmed that the stand can't be removed:

You'll have to break the Xbox Series X's stand if you want to take it off screenshot

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Terraria got a Switch update for two-player split-screen co-op

In our continuing "Does it have split-screen co-op?" adventures, here's an update on Terraria.

The Nintendo Switch version – which is pricey and not ideal but good enough for plenty of families – now has two-player split-screen support. That said, the feature only works when your Switch is docked.

Here's how to access it (after downloading the patch):

  • Player 1 first needs to start their game normally and enter their world.
  • Player 2 can turn on their controller and sign into a (free) system-wide Switch account.
  • Player 2 can then select their existing Terraria character or create a new one.
  • That's it! Both players can zoom in and out by hitting pause and using ZL or ZR.

Two-player co-op is better than no-player co-op, that's for sure.

Today's update includes "a solid handful of bug fixes," so solo adventurers are also in luck.

Splitscreen Terraria Launches on Nintendo Switch [Terraria Community Forums]

Terraria got a Switch update for two-player split-screen co-op screenshot



CD Projekt Red introduces us to the gangs of Cyberpunk 2077 next week

Night City is full of tough hombres who have no problem murdering anyone who gets in their way. Next week, we'll go around the classroom, and all of them will introduce themselves and say something that makes them unique and interesting.

CD Projekt Red has carved out a time for the third episode of Night City Wire, the video series that introduces us to various aspects of Cyberpunk 2077. Last month, we learned more about the three different Lifepath roles. This time, it's the city itself and the gangs that call Night City home.

CD Projekt Red introduces us to the gangs of Cyberpunk 2077 next week screenshot

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You can use a flight stick for Star Wars: Squadrons on PS4 and Xbox One

From the outside looking in at least, Star Wars: Squadrons continues to be a pleasant surprise.

It's a flight sim through and through, and that full immersive vibe is even extending to consoles. After noting that Squadrons is going to support HOTAS controls on PC, Motive Studios confirmed today that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will also have throttle-and-stick control support. It's locked in.

In a tweet, creative director Ian S. Frazier said the HOTAS patch for PS4 and Xbox One "will be available the moment the game goes live" on October 2, 2020 – not your average day-one update.

The team needed "a bunch of extra hours and problem-solving to make this happen in time for launch."

I don't know how many of you have a Thrustmaster or Hori setup, but I bet the effort is appreciated.

@tibermoon [Twitter]

You can use a flight stick for Star Wars: Squadrons on PS4 and Xbox One screenshot



Going forward, PS4 games can have a 'PS5 Upgrade Available' badge on their box

How do you know if a PlayStation 4 game has a PS5 upgrade? Look for the badge on the box (maybe).

Looking over the box art for Immortals Fenyx Rising, Ubisoft's take on Breath of the Wild-style open-world adventuring, the game has a "PS5 Upgrade Available" badge – the first I've seen of its kind.

PS5 Upgrade Available on the Immortals Fenyx Rising box art

Publishers are pretty much all doing their own thing with respect to cross-gen graphical and performance upgrades – whether or not they're free, or paid, and for how long – and this badge is one way of delivering a heads-up that there is an upgrade, and that you'll need to hit up Google for details.

In this specific case, Immortals will use Smart Delivery on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S as a free perk, and the PS4 version of the game will grant access to the digital PS5 version at no extra cost.

File this story under "Mildly interesting next-gen fluff for a Friday afternoon." Cool?

Here at Destructoid, we're debating whether we should refuse to call Immortals Fenyx Rising by its new (and weirdly colon-less) name in favor of using the original, far less divisive title Gods & Monsters.

PS4 box offers first look at 'PS5 upgrade' branding [VGC]

Going forward, PS4 games can have a 'PS5 Upgrade Available' badge on their box screenshot

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NieR Replicant is all set for a big Tokyo Game Show special presentation

It seems as though the Taiwanese rating board leaks were, in fact, a precursor to some imminent NieR Replicant news. Square Enix is using the remake/remaster/"upgrade" to make a splash at the biggest video game trade show in its home country.

NieR will get its own livestream program during Tokyo Game Show in a couple weeks. Sticking with the odd-but-excellent naming conventions, this presentation is called "The 'We Have a Decent Amount of New Info' Special." I'm no medium or soothsayer, but I predict there will be a decent amount of new information pertaining to NieR.

This isn't just NieR Replicant either. NieR Reincarnation, the mobile game coming to iOS and Android, is also expected to be there. And, the YouTube thumbnail shows 2B, so maybe we'll get something pertaining to NieR: Automata? You probably shouldn't hold out hope for that last one, though.

It all goes down on September 24 at 6am Pacific. The special has English subtitles, so we won't be left waiting for translated secondhand details. All we know is that we can expect a lot of NieR and we can expect a decent amount of new information. If nothing else, we'll probably find out if we're left waiting until next year for NieR Replicant or if Square Enix is able to actually make the original target of releasing in 2020.

NieR Replicant is all set for a big Tokyo Game Show special presentation screenshot



Remember Roller Champions? It's finally coming next year

Roller Champions has had a fairly interesting development cycle.

It was revealed last E3, with a demo available immediately following the show. But after that, it kind of dropped off the map. Well, it's back now! Although it wasn't part of the Ubisoft Forward stream yesterday, Ubisoft Montreal has confirmed through a new developer diary video that Roller Champions is slated for release in early 2021. The PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch platforms are still a go.

As a reminder, this is a 3v3 game based around capturing a ball while racing around a track; with elements of custom character creation. Like many other Ubisoft titles the development team is taking a "community-centric" approach, with voting for activities being teased; more info is coming in October.

Remember Roller Champions? It's finally coming next year screenshot

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Is there really a third unannounced next-gen Xbox model?

Readers, you'll have to let your intuition do the heavy lifting on this one. This is the type of story where I feel equal parts good and bad about it. It's the kind of rumor that's completely plausible yet the evidence is rooted in nothing firm. I present this to you as a grand "What if...?" more than anything else.

Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft has a third Xbox Series model in store. It'll be the exact same as the more-capable Xbox Series X but without the disc drive. Word of this all-digital console popped up via this tweet and was then reported by GamesRadar+:

Is there really a third unannounced next-gen Xbox model? screenshot

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Hearthstone just got three new battlegrounds heroes, with more events on the way

I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone lately thanks to the release of the battlegrounds game mode. It's such an easy way to jump into the Hearthstone system without having to strictly worry about the meta, or buying into new pricey decks. You just suit up, select a hero, and roll.

So whenever Blizzard has updates planned for battlegrounds, I perk up. That includes the three new heroes that just popped up in the mode, based off of the new Scholomance expansion. Lord Barov is a gambler, who allows you to guess the winner of the next combat for a net gain of two coins. Jandice Barov lets you swap a friendly non-golden minion with a random one in the tavern: which is similarly risky. Forest Warden Omu gives you two gold after upgrading Bob's tavern, which allows for fairly strategic mathematical turns.

Right now, Jandice and Omu are performing very well; within the top five winrates for all heroes on some ranking sites. Maiev is still dominating as she has for some time now, followed by Jandice and then The Lich King, who saw an uptick after his ability cost was changed to "0" in an August patch. As Bob would say: "good luck out there!"

In terms of other Hearthstone news, the Book of Heroes mode is coming on September 15, which gives us an all-new story led by Jaina Proudmoore. It's billed as "free single player content over the course of the next 12 months," with "stories for all 10 core heroes." On September 23, the competitive tavern brawl mode will re-enter the fray.

The free stuff sounds good to me!

Who dares enter the Forbidden Library [Battle.net]

Hearthstone just got three new battlegrounds heroes, with more events on the way screenshot



One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 releases trailer for The Massacre Soldier, Killer

Bandai Namco has released the first gameplay trailer for Killer, one of the upcoming DLC characters for One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, further expanding the madcap brawler's huge roster of scallywags.

Spoilers for the One Piece manga follow

One of the Supernovas from the feared "Worst Generation" faction, Killer does not take his monikers of "The Massacre Soldier" and "The Murder Machine" lightly. An incredibly dangerous martial-arts master, the masked meathead spells doom for almost anybody foolish enough to stand in his way, cutting down all opposition with his trusty hand-scythes.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 releases trailer for The Massacre Soldier, Killer screenshot

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Bethesda gives us a deep dive on Fallout 76's daily ops rework

Bethesda has been teasing big updates coming to Fallout 76 for some time, and now daily ops are nearly upon us in the upcoming Update 22 patch.

As detailed in a new blog (and a video below), daily ops are described as "instanced, randomized, repeatable encounters." The gist is that each time you play, you can jump into a "different location" and complete a series of objectives. Uplink is the first gametype, which sees groups grabbing intel to track down specific creatures.  Alongside of the prime directive, you'll also be facing down various mutations of existing enemies, much like a challenge mode or modifiers in a game like, say, Destiny's Nightfalls.

They are meant for groups of four, and although you can spam them, "certain rewards" will only be doled out once per day. They're also timed, with bigger rewards for players who finish these in under eight minutes and the upper ceiling being 16 minutes: which gives you an idea of how quick these daily ops are. The first group of locations that you'll be diving into involve The Burrows, The Burning Mine, Valley Galleria, or Vault 94, with Super Mutants, Blood Eagles or Robot faction enemies.

This whole shebang comes with a recommended level of 50+, but given the upcoming multiplayer XP scaling changes, it is possible for "lower-level characters to have an impact" on daily ops.

Inside the Vault [Bethesda.net]

Bethesda gives us a deep dive on Fallout 76's daily ops rework screenshot

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Ninjala reveals fun Sonic the Hedgehog crossover gear

GungHo Online Entertainment has raised the curtain on the incoming collaboration between arena battler Ninjala and Sega's legendary franchise Sonic the Hedgehog. Going live in-game September 23, the limited time event will offer up a selection of specially themed Sonic gear for purchase.

Said gear includes costumes for your favourite Ninjala characters, which feature shirts, shoes, and cool headpieces stylised around Sonic favourites Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Robotnik and, of course, the blue blur himself. A selection of themed Ippon decorations, Gum Utsusemis, and stickers will also be available from the in-game store.

Ninjala reveals fun Sonic the Hedgehog crossover gear screenshot

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The latest Heroes of the Storm event combines Starcraft and Warcraft into one metal mix

No, "Craft Wars" is not the latest hit reality show featuring dueling teams of art majors: it's the newest Heroes of the Storm event.

It means exactly what it says, in that it combines Starcraft and Warcraft into one game, something Heroes does quite well already. Don't get too excited though, as Craft Wars is basically a cosmetic event. You'll need to buy the skins featured in it with shards (in-game currency) or gems (premium), but there's a few great ones on offer here, as well as some badass art.

Death Knight Mei is a standout, as well as SCV Pilot Gazlowe and King of Blades Arthas (what a crossover). The event comes hand-in-hand with complete reworks for D.va and Gazlowe, which have had opposite reactions from the playerbase thus far; with folks enjoying a (potentially overtuned) D.va while wanting some of Gazlowe's changes to be rolled back.

Another huge change: everyone gets a self-cleansing item at the start of the game with a huge cooldown, and Brawl has been eliminated in favor of making it a full-time ARAM mode. So far this update has been a wild ride, and has injected a fair bit of life into the game following a staggered lower-impact balance patch cadence.

The latest Heroes of the Storm event combines Starcraft and Warcraft into one metal mix screenshot

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Rainbow Six Siege console players will receive free next-gen upgrade

During yesterday's Ubisoft Forward presentation, it was revealed that twitchy multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six Siege will be offering free next-gen upgrades to its current playerbase.

Anyone currently stalking the corridors of Siege on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to upgrade to PS5 or Xbox Series X gratis. The Rainbow Six team has previously noted that it is currently working on transitioning player accounts from generation to generation, so players can take all of their content and hard-earned Renown with them into the next gen. The next-gen editions of Rainbow Six Siege will feature 4K visuals and will run at a juicy 120FPS.

Rainbow Six Siege console players will receive free next-gen upgrade screenshot

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The Zelda: Breath of the Wild Hyrule Warriors prequel is getting a deluxe edition in Japan

Just recently, we learned that there's going to be a prequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That's good! It's also a hack and slash and part of the Hyrule Warriors franchise. Depending on who you ask, that's either bad or good! And it's getting a deluxe edition that's exclusive to Japan for now. That's mostly bad!

Although Nintendo merely teased the special edition of the game when they revealed Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, thanks to a new product site we actually know what it entails, how much it costs and what it looks like. In short, it's going to run you 16,720 yen, which is roughly $150 US.

Dubbed the "treasure box" edition, the main draw is a Paraglider blanket (designed after the Breath of the Wild item), with the actual game (always good for collector's editions to have the game in them, right), an art plate and a metal charm of a Guardian in tow. You can import it if you want, but you probably should only do it if you're a huge Zelda and Hyrule Warriors fan.

You have to wonder how this game is going to turn out, and how much is borrowed from previous Hyrule Warrior iterations. I hope it's a mostly fresh experience.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity [GameCity]

The Zelda: Breath of the Wild Hyrule Warriors prequel is getting a deluxe edition in Japan screenshot

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Limited Edition Fortnite Switch coming to Europe and Australia

Nintendo is collaborating with Epic Games to release a limited edition of its Nintendo Switch hardware, slickly stylised after the latter's phenomenally selling battle royal title, Fortnite.

The Fortnite-branded Switch - currently confirmed for release in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand - features a themed docking unit, emblazoned with the faces of popular Fortnite characters and Joy-Con daubed in exclusive shades of yellow and blue... as "exclusive" as colour shades can be, I suppose.

Limited Edition Fortnite Switch coming to Europe and Australia screenshot

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