Thursday, 17 September 2020

Spelunky 2 guide: 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 guide: Tips I wish I would've known sooner screenshot

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Contest: Win MO:Astray for Switch or Steam

In today's contest you can win action platformer MO:Astray for Switch or Steam!

Not gonna lie, when they sent me this trailer I was like, man there's a lot going on, here. But my man Ray told me it's really dope, so let's roll with it!

We've got some Switch and Steam copies of MO:Astray to give away in today's contest, so check out the deets below and comment to win yourself a new game!

Contest: Win MO:Astray for Switch or Steam screenshot

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PS5 controllers, like the games, will cost 70 bucks

As recently as right before lunch, we were having a dread-filled conversation about how much PS5 controllers would cost. Thankfully, our fears – our worst-case scenarios – didn't pan out to be true. Sony confirmed the pricing as part of today's PS5 Showcase event and it's not the absolute worst.

The PS5 DualSense controller will cost $69.99 (€69.99) if and when you ever buy another one. In a world where the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con can go for $79.99, I'm reasonably okay with this.

Sony also confirmed the pricing for several other PS5 accessories like the DualSense Charging Station ($29.99 / €29.99), the Media Remote ($29.99 / €29.99), and the HD Camera ($59.99 / €59.99).

As a reminder, you won't be able to use your DualShock 4 to play PS5 games – just PS4 titles.

PS5 controllers, like the games, will cost 70 bucks screenshot



You don't need a PS5 for Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, or Sackboy

Sony is obviously in the position of trying to sell new consoles to as many people as possible. However, when the PlayStation 5 launches on November 12 (pricing and release date plans are outlined here), Sony's not requiring that you own the new hardware to play some of the most highly-anticipated games.

As part of a very beefy press release Sony sent immediately following this afternoon's PS5 stream, it's revealed that three games are coming to PlayStation 4 even though it wasn't necessarily expected. Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Sackboy A Big Adventure will all hit PS4 too when they launch.

Two of these will also serve as PS5 launch games. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy both release on November 12 on new- and last-gen consoles. As part of all the Spider-Man details we got today, it seems as though Miles Morales has cross-buy functionality between the PS4 and PS5 versions. So, anyone who isn't all-in on a PS5 right away can buy Miles Morales, play it on PS4, and then eventually enjoy all the enhancements down the road a bit when they end up nabbing a PS5.

Horizon is a bit more of an oddball case. Horizon Forbidden West won't launch until sometime in 2021. Still, it'll have a PS4 version even though Sony will be squarely focused on PS5 by then. Maybe this is a response to Xbox's policy that all its first-party games are cross-generational for the first few years? Whatever the logic, it's more good news for the non-early adopters.

You don't need a PS5 for Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, or Sackboy screenshot



Sony's PlayStation 5 launch games are as much as $70 a pop

Sony's showcase for the PlayStation 5 this afternoon ended up being "the big one." At long last, we have launch details. We now know which games will be available from day one on November 12.

Here's the lineup from SIE Worldwide Studios:

  • Astro's Playroom (Japan Studio) – pre-installed on PS5
  • Demon's Souls (Bluepoint Games / Japan Studio) – $69.99 / €79.99
  • Destruction AllStars (Lucid Games / XDEV) – $69.99 / €79.99
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games) – $49.99 / €59.99
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition (Insomniac Games) – $69.99 / €79.99
  • Sackboy A Big Adventure (Sumo Digital / XDEV) – $59.99 / €69.99

I'm in for the standard PS5 edition of Miles Morales – I'm fine skipping Spider-Man: Remastered bundled in with the Ultimate Edition – and Demon's Souls, for sure. Sackboy will tempt me too.

The next-gen hardware itself doesn't have sticker shock, but game prices sure do.

Sony's PlayStation 5 launch games are as much as $70 a pop screenshot



Ubisoft announces two games you want on a platform you do not want

It's always big news when Ubisoft announces a new Assassin's Creed game, even though that's more or less an annual tradition at this point. It's even bigger news when Ubisoft announces a new Splinter Cell game, a franchise that has been largely forgotten about for a long time now.

Yet, unfortunately, despite new installments in both of those series being unveiled today, it's not going to drum up a whole lot of excitement.

As part of the Facebook Connect event that kicked off today, Ubisoft revealed new Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed games for Oculus VR. They're both being primarily developed by the North Carolina-based Ubisoft Red Storm team. No gameplay details -- protagonists, plot, setting, etc. -- were mentioned regarding either game.

Ubisoft announces two games you want on a platform you do not want screenshot

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Here's a recap of everything that happened during Sony's September PS5 event

Well, Sony finally did it. They threw down the gauntlet in response to Microsoft's recent Xbox Series X price and date announcement. It's official: Christmas has not been canceled, the next generation is coming this November.

November 12, in most major territories, to be exact, for Sony. That's a mere two days after the Xbox Series X launch. This season is going to be a slugfest, especially when it comes to actually shipping these expensive boxes during the current global situation. By the way, some games are $70 and the DualSense controllers are $70. Begun, the price wars have.

As for the games, Sony wowed us with confirmation of Final Fantasy XVI, the first mainline Final Fantasy to be announced in many years. We also got a closer look at some previously known games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, as well as new announcements like Devil May Cry V: Special Edition and a new God of War tease for 2021.

Some of this stuff isn't coming this year though. So whether or not you buy a PS5 is mostly related to a few games.

Here's a recap of everything that happened during Sony's September PS5 event screenshot

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PS5 launches mid-November, priced at $499

After months and months of fevered speculation, Sony has finally revealed the launch dates and price points of its highly anticipated next-gen hardware: PlayStation 5.

The standard PS5 model launches November 12 in The U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, priced at $499 USD. It will follow in all other territories one week later on November 19.

A disc-free edition of the console, PS5 Digital Edition, will launch on the same dates, and will retail for a slightly cheaper $399 USD. The graphic below displays the price point in various global currencies.

PS5 pre-orders will open "starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers," so keep 'em peeled if you want to be first in line. The first-party launch lineup includes Demon's Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. On the high end, standard PlayStation 5 games will cost as much as $69.99.

PS5 launches mid-November, priced at $499 screenshot

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Sony teases a new 2021 God of War with the phrase 'Ragnarok is coming'

After mic dropping the price and date of the PS5, Sony had a "one last thing" for us today: the inevitable next God of War tease.

Shown off with a simple symbol (a Norse twist on the classic logo) and the phrase "Ragnarok is coming," we now know that the next God of War game is coming in 2021: presumably on PS5 (maybe PS4 too?). Santa Monica Studio is confirmed to return as the developer.

This is going to be so hard to screw up. Just do what you already did with the 2018 version, add some new bosses and extra hub zones, and I think you're pretty much good.

Sony teases a new 2021 God of War with the phrase 'Ragnarok is coming' screenshot

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A ton of great PS4 first-party exclusives will be free to play on PS Plus on your PS5

Sony added a tremendous perk to PlayStation Plus for anyone who plans on adopting the PlayStation 5. It's especially useful for those who haven't been entrenched in the PlayStation ecosystem for a long time.

Sony is making use of the PS5's backward compatibility functionality to offer up a ton of PlayStation 4 first-party exclusives (and a lot of quality third-party titles too). Anyone who has an active PS Plus membership will be able to access these games on PS5 for free at launch on November 12:

A ton of great PS4 first-party exclusives will be free to play on PS Plus on your PS5 screenshot

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The wait for Demon's Souls just got that much harder after seeing gameplay footage

Ever watch a trailer and have your brain short-circuit for a bit as you try to process everything? That's me right now with this Demon's Souls gameplay trailer from the PS5 Showcase event.

The screenshots did not, in fact, do enough justice. There's such a cinematic vibe to Bluepoint's take on this From Software classic. The backstab and riposte alone caught me off guard. It's a whole new world.

Demon's Souls will be a PS5 launch game on November 12 and cost $69.99. The original trailer ended with a note suggesting it's coming to PC and it will be a PlayStation console exclusive "for a limited time," but, according to a statement shared with Kotaku, that's incorrect – a "human error."

Officially, Sony maintains that Demon's Souls is a PS5 exclusive through and through.

The wait for Demon's Souls just got that much harder after seeing gameplay footage screenshot



Five Nights is back in PS5 form with Security Breach

In a more low key trailer sandwiched between two fairly big releases, a new Five Nights game made its debut during the PS5 event.

Security Breach seems to have moved into a bigger, more ornate setting, much like the grand halls of the arcades you frequented as a kid. I'm actually loving the playground/laser tag aesthetic. Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach does not currently have a release date, and will be handled by Steel Wool Studios.

Five Nights is back in PS5 form with Security Breach screenshot

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Oddworld: Soulstorm trailer includes some pretty demanding Mudokans

Oddworld Inhabitants has released a new trailer for its upcoming Oddworld: Soulstorm, the next release in the much-loved Oddworld puzzle-adventure series.

Oddworld: Soulstorm will see the series long-time hero Abe once again come to the rescue of his fellow Mudokans, while overthrowing the tyrannous regime looking to enslave Abe and his entire race. Much puzzle-platform action - all delivered with the series' typical tongue-in-cheek sense of humour - awaits.

Oddworld: Soulstorm is currently in development for PS4 and PS5.

Oddworld: Soulstorm trailer includes some pretty demanding Mudokans screenshot

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(Update) Devil May Cry 5 was good enough that it's getting a PS5 version too

Devil May Cry 5 was one of the best character action games in recent memory. So sure, it deserves to come forward a console generation with us. (As though quality is the only thing that dictates whether a game gets a next-gen version.)

Capcom has revealed that Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is a new PS5 version of the 2019 game. However, the reveal trailer didn't really tell us of any of the enhancements that'll make it superior on PS5 from a tech standpoint. From a content standpoint, it's presumed that Vergil will be playable like in DMC3: Special Edition.

[Update: Now that the stream is over, we've gotten some actual details. As expected, Vergil is playable. In terms of visuals and performance, players will have the option to turn on ray tracing and target 4K resolution at 30fps. Or, they can prioritize refresh rate and aim for 1080p at 60fps. There's also a High Framerate Mode which can hit 120fps (assuming you have a display that can achieve this).

There are a couple more additions to Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition. There's a Turbo Mode that has been a staple of DMC special editions. It turns the game speed up to 1.2x. There's also a Legendary Dark Knight difficulty which spawns "multiple times the enemies compared to the other difficulties. It does all the DualSense haptic feedback stuff through the controller.

Lastly, we found out that Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is $40 at launch. Check out the write-up on the PlayStation Blog for all the details first-hand.]

We'll find out soon enough. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition will be available digitally when PS5 launches.

(Update) Devil May Cry 5 was good enough that it's getting a PS5 version too screenshot



Arkane's Deathloop has eight wacky targets to bring down

Deathloop looks like a playful, energetic, verging-on-out-of-control stealth-action game from the makers of Dishonored, and if you're in the mood for a colorful world of assassins, you'll dig its vibe.

During Sony's PS5 Showcase event, Arkane shared a new gameplay-focused trailer with more details about your role in this wacky time loop: to bring down eight targets with "grand plans for eternal life."

Following a recent delay, the new release plan is still Q2 2021 on PC and PS5.

Arkane's Deathloop has eight wacky targets to bring down screenshot



Here's another look at the rad and creepy Resident Evil 8

Resident Evil Village knocked that debut out of the park, didn't it? Well this follow-up footage is also sufficiently creepy. Capcom, you're selling me on this.

Today we got a new look at the game thanks to the PS5 event, and the 2021-bound title now has a bit more lore on the game's titular village setting. The Chris Redfield drama, the inhabitants and an extra fairy tale tidbit are what you're getting out of this.

I have never been more intrigued by Chris' antics than I am now. I'm sure he has his reasons!

Here's another look at the rad and creepy Resident Evil 8 screenshot

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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War brings a dose of radio-controlled death to the battlefield

During this afternoon's PlayStation 5 Showcase event, Activision and Raven Software showed off the first full gameplay video for '80s-themed military massacre-thon Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.

The suitably bombastic footage saw series regular Frank Woods lead a small squad of mercenaries onto a Turkish airfield, before kicking off an explosive, lead-flinging firefight. The brief confrontation featured new melee executions and the ability to use foes as human shields, before Woods and pals took down a huge freight plane with the aid of everyone's favourite Killstreak, the RCXD.

To round out the presentation, Raven Software announced that the PS4 community can check out Cold War's multiplayer via an alpha demo this weekend. Pre-load begins tomorrow.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War launches this holiday season on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War brings a dose of radio-controlled death to the battlefield screenshot

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All the Harry Potter leaks were correct, Hogwarts Legacy is coming to PS5 next year

The third game shown in this afternoon's PlayStation 5 showcase was technically a reveal but it didn't really feel like one. Rumors have been swirling for a long time now that Avalanche Software is working on a Harry Potter game for PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Abracadabra, that's exactly what we have.

Hogwarts Legacy is set in the late 1800s, about 100 years before the Harry Potter books took place. As the trailer puts it, Hogwarts Legacy is about "adding your own story to these hallowed walls." It's literally about forming the legacy of Hogwarts.

This is the part where you should get a load of the reveal trailer. There's a lot more action than you might expect. In a press release, we're told that Hogwarts Legacy is also an RPG. So, an action RPG based on one of the most popular media franchises of all-time. This could shape up nicely.

Hogwarts Legacy is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X next year. School's back in session.

All the Harry Potter leaks were correct, Hogwarts Legacy is coming to PS5 next year screenshot



Miles Morales is making the PS5 launch and Spider-Man: Remastered is along for the ride

Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks fluid, frantic, and fantastic – not that we were expecting anything less from Insomniac's follow-up. We saw our first full electrified combat sequence – set a year later, in Harlem, as the Tinkerer leads an army – during this afternoon's PlayStation 5 Showcase event.

Miles Morales will be a $50 purchase on PS5 and PS4 (you only need to buy it once), and on PlayStation 5, Insomniac is also releasing Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered with all of the DLC included.

According to the team, "art assets have been completely updated to take advantage of the PS5 console's horsepower. You'll see better-looking characters with improved skin, eyes, hair, and facial animation (including our new, next-generation Peter Parker). You'll also see ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows, improved lighting, more pedestrians and vehicles stretching further into the distance, and the same optional performance mode offered on Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, allowing you to finally play the game at a targeted 60fps frame rate. We'll be supporting near-instant loading, 3D audio, and the DualSense controller's haptic feedback. Lastly we're adding three amazing new Spider-Man suits, new photo mode features, and even new trophies for those of you looking to Platinum the game all over again."

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition comes with the PS5 remaster of Spider-Man (2018) and it's $70. Miles Morales will be out in time for the PS5 launch on November 12, 2020.

Miles Morales is making the PS5 launch and Spider-Man: Remastered is along for the ride screenshot



Sony kicks off the PS5 stream with the 'console exclusive' Final Fantasy XVI

Sony is once again doing things right with their PS5 stream, kicking off with big-name games.

The first drop? Final Fantasy XVI, a PS5 console exclusive (Square Enix says it has "no further information on the game releasing on other platforms"). It looks heavily focused on classic Final Fantasy summons of old, as well as the traditional medieval setting and the crystals as a backdrop. I think people are going to really love this first look based on the gritty feel of the debut trailer alone; on top of the many appeals to nostalgia.

Get a look at the logo below. A new Final Fantasy mainline announcement! It's been too long. For reference, XV was officially announced in 2013. Technically, it was revealed as "Versus XIII" in 2006.

Sony kicks off the PS5 stream with the 'console exclusive' Final Fantasy XVI screenshot

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It's time! Come watch the PS5 showcase event with us

It's time to learn how much the two PS5 models are going to cost, when they're releasing, and what the wider "here's why you gotta upgrade" game lineup looks like this holiday season and beyond.

Today's live-streamed PlayStation 5 Showcase has to be the moment for these elusive details... right? Sony can't wait any longer, don't you think? In truth, I'm willing to believe anything this year.

The 40-minute show starts at 1:00 p.m. Pacific and it's expected to last "around 40 minutes."

With the Xbox Series X coming in at $499 and the Xbox Series S going low at $299, I'm curious to see where Sony will land – especially with the (cheaper) all-digital PS5 model. My budget is malleable.

You know the drill for these streams. Let's chat and react. Hope you're hanging in there.

It's time! Come watch the PS5 showcase event with us screenshot



Tellstones: King's Gambit is a new tabletop League of Legends spinoff, and a fun bluffing game

In case you missed it, Riot Games dove into the world of tabletop gaming several years back with Mechs vs. Minions, and it kind of ruled. It wasn't just that it had a pretty decent strategic foundation: it was also cleverly designed to provide all sorts of RPG-like progression mechanics, as well as fun envelopes and boxes to open along the way.

Although Tellstones isn't nearly as ambitious, it's a reminder of how the tabletop division of Riot is always ready to rock.

Tellstones: King's Gambit is a new tabletop League of Legends spinoff, and a fun bluffing game screenshot

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YuYu Hakusho's Hiei is giving Jump Force the evil eye this fall

It might not be the best or most popular fighter on the market, but Bandai Namco remains loyal to its star-studded release, Jump Force. Almost two years since launch, the publisher continues to provide fans with new content for the anime-crossover slugfest.

As revealed by Bandai Namco and developer Spike Chunsoft, the next hard-hitter headed to the Jump Force roster is the "Master of The Evil Eye" Hiei, whom anime fans will recognise from popular detective/fighting franchise YuYu Hakusho.

YuYu Hakusho's Hiei is giving Jump Force the evil eye this fall screenshot

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Left 4 Dead 2's last update, The Last Stand, gets one last trailer before launch

Last last month, we told you about the final add-on for Left 4 Dead 2. It's not your usual DLC, though. This isn't Valve-developed, but rather Valve-sanctioned. It's a fan-made update, but it also has gotten the blessing (and promotion) from Valve.

Now, little more than one week out, we have an official trailer for this add-on that's called The Last Stand. According to the trailer, here's what's new: Over 20 new survival maps, new and reworked animations, the inclusion of previously unused voicelines, new melee weapons (hello, pitchfork!), PvP fixes and enhancements, 30 new achievements, and two new mutations.

All this goes down on September 24 when The Last Stand launches. It's a free expansion -- probably the last Left 4 Dead 2 will ever get -- so there's no need to budget for this. Just see if you can get the old crew back together for one more job. It has been nearly 11 years since this game first released. Rounding up all those friends is a more daunting task than surviving the zombie apocalypse. Sorry for leaving you depressed about being an adult.

Left 4 Dead 2's last update, The Last Stand, gets one last trailer before launch screenshot



Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse is actually a 'definitive edition' of the franchise' first entry

Compile Heart has revealed that its recently announced PS5 release Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse is not a brand new entry in the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise, but is in fact a "Definitive Edition" remake of the first title in the series.

As reported in the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu, Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse will be an enhanced edition of previous remake Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 Plus, which launched on the PS Vita and PC platforms in 2018. Go! Go! 5 will feature several new and reworked elements, including improved balance, the option to take four characters into battle, a completely unlocked cast, revised stats and skills, and a new fishing mini-game.

No release date, nor a western localisation has been announced for Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse, but it will retail in Japan for ¥7,600, or roughly $70. Pre-order customers will receive a download code for a copy of last year's cutesy retro shmup Neptunia Shooter.

It has to be said, it's a little disappointing that the first Neptunia title to arrive in the next generation will be, essentially, a second remake of a now decade-old game, at full price no less. Here's hoping we'll see all-new adventures from Nep-Nep, Vert, Noire and pals soon.

Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse details [Gematsu / Ryoukutya2089]

Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse is actually a 'definitive edition' of the franchise' first entry screenshot



This modder created a 'fully functional custom dungeon' for Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Modders have been going hog-wild with Zelda: Breath of the Wild for several years, doing anything from changing characters into humorous new models or creating new content for the game. Intrepid modder Waikuteru is currently working on crafting an entire dungeon in the Breath of the Wild engine.

While re-creating existing Zelda content has been done before (by this same creator, no less!), Waikuteru is boasting a full-scale project that involves Skyview Temple from Skyward Sword. They call it a "fully functional custom dungeon," with "custom backgrounds and battle music in shrines" as part of a 3.0 update of the mod, complete with HD textures.

You can get an extensive 4K look at this feat in the video rundown below, where the creator spends close to an hour walking you through the dungeon and its various locations. I think at this point everyone is hungry for expansive traditional dungeons in Breath of the Wild 2.

This modder created a 'fully functional custom dungeon' for Zelda: Breath of the Wild screenshot

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American Girl's Courtney doll is a rocking '80s Pac-Man pro

Premium doll company American Girl has revealed a new arcade game-lovin' gal as part of its "Historical Characters" range. Courtney Moore is described as a "total '80s girl" who grew up in the sun-soaked streets of California's beautiful San Fernando Valley. Not only that, but she's like, totally the best at Pac-Man... Fer sure!

Standing 18 inches in height, Courtney is rockin' a slew of '80s fashion staples such as a side-ponytail, a stone-washed denim skirt, a rainbow Walkman, and neon-coloured bangles, bum-bag and hair scrunchie. American Girl is also taking pre-orders on a fully-working, doll-sized Pac-Man cabinet, so Courtney can take on that Mitchell kid everyone's talking about down at the mall. Gag me with a spoon.

American Girl's Courtney doll is a rocking '80s Pac-Man pro screenshot

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Get ready for the next big Magic: The Gathering rotation in Arena

Just ahead of the new standard rotation for Magic: The Gathering, the Arena team has posted a "state of the game" blog to give folks a heads-up on what to expect in the near and far future.

As a reminder, rotation is a yearly event that serves as a fairly big shakeup for the competitive standard community, in which several sets are cycled out of the game and are no longer "standard legal." So as of tomorrow; Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark and Core 2020 are out. In the wake of that shakeup, Throne of Eldraine, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Theros: Beyond Death, Core 2021 and Zendikar (which is out the day of rotation) will remain.

Zendikar really is the big focus here, as 280 new cards are plopping into Arena. Along with the set, Arena is also getting an emote customization system, more keywords to juggle, Zendikar events and renewal gifts (for players who have accounts active before the latest set actually arrives). As for future content, the mobile version is still "coming," Kaladesh Remastered is in development, another historic anthology set is on the way and UI rework and deck sharing mechanics are in "concept" stages.

Now just shore up the mastery pass system and most of Arena's issues will have been solved at this point.

MTG Arena: State of the Game [Wizards of the Coast]

Get ready for the next big Magic: The Gathering rotation in Arena screenshot



Urouge is the third member of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4's 'Worst Generation' DLC

Bandai Namco has revealed the third and final character headed to One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 this fall. Urouge is the latest member of the feared faction known as the "Worst Generation" to join the musou-like's huge roster of fighters.

Known to his friends and foes as "The Mad Monk," Urouge is the captain of the Fallen Monks and is known for his insane and massively unnerving grin, which is rarely - if ever - wiped from his face. Like many members of the Worst Generation, Urouge is a mammoth of a man, standing literally stories above your average pirate.

Urouge is the third member of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4's 'Worst Generation' DLC screenshot

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Here's how all of the new Switch controls work for Super Mario 3D All-Stars

With three classic Mario games coming to a brand new console via Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a lot of folks are probably wondering how they control.

Here's a full breakdown of the control schemes for each title, as well as a few short notes for how they work.

Here's how all of the new Switch controls work for Super Mario 3D All-Stars screenshot

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Hearthstone's Book of Heroes adventures are a great reminder that the game isn't always about chasing packs

In all of the years I've played Hearthstone (about six years now), the free bits and the adventures are the portions I've enjoyed the most. There's something so relaxing about hunkering down and solving a single-player puzzle, engaging in a free weekly brawl, or chilling out with battlegrounds that keeps me coming back far more than the constantly adjusted and sometimes pricey standard play.

My jam just got another shot in the arm this week, as the Book of Heroes just went live yesterday. In short, it's a free series of quests that "retell" the stories of the game's current default heroes. The first wing is open now and provides a truncated tale of how Jaina came to become such a powerful mage. It's a simple eight-boss run with some story sprinkled in, and like previous adventures, is heavily framed around puzzle-like encounters.

Naturally, it's tied to a separate monetization scheme. If you want, you can pay 10 bucks for a new Jaina hero, as well as five mage card packs as part of a bundle. Blizzard will presumably do this for each hero that enters the "book" and makes their debut. For now though, you can earn a pack just by beating their questline.

While my interest in standard waxes and wanes with balance and the sheer amount of cash required to build a competitive deck, I'll always come back to these sorts of Hearthstone experiences as long as the game exists.

Who Dares Enter the Forbidden Library [Battle.net]

Hearthstone's Book of Heroes adventures are a great reminder that the game isn't always about chasing packs screenshot



Panzer Dragoon: Remake takes flight on PC September 25

Fans waiting on ports of rail-shooter Panzer Dragoon: Remake will be pleased to hear that we finally have a release date for the PC edition. The ground-up remake of the Sega Saturn classic will arrive on Steam and GOG September 25. A price was not announced.

Panzer Dragoon: Remake takes flight on PC September 25 screenshot

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Nintendo is planning more than just the Mario movie from the Minions studio

Nintendo likes to play things close to the chest, but every so often the company will give us little kernels of info to either create excitement: or excite their investors.

We know that Nintendo is ready to take on cross-media projects with a renewed gusto, as evidenced by their partnership with Illumination (Minions, Despicable Me) for a Mario film. But thanks to a corporate management policy briefing this week, we know that it's just one prong of their aggressive strategy.

While the Mario film is due in 2022, Nintendo says that they have "already embarked on multiple other visual content expansion projects," and are "pursuing further opportunities." Nintendo also clarifies that "visual content expansion initiatives may not be limited to film," opening up the door for say, a Mario TV show on a streaming service. Nintendo says it will "continue to invest in these entertainment expansion initiatives."

All of this is in addition to their usual gaming strategy, as well as the theme park expansion initiative (no further details were provided for that venture), more merchandise (of course), a bigger retail location footprint and additional mobile expansions.

With the Switch as big as it is, now is the time to strike: Nintendo is enjoying their largest sales push since the height of the Wii craze.

Corporate Management Policy Briefing [Nintendo]

Nintendo is planning more than just the Mario movie from the Minions studio screenshot



Nintendo says Switch Online now has 26 million paid members

Today during a semi-enlightening corporate management policy briefing from Nintendo, we got an updated figure for Switch Online membership: 26 million "+" paid members.

Nintendo says that subscriptions "continue to rise," and that they have reached that figure thanks to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The numbers originally started to jump after Smash Ultimate, followed by a surge with Pokemon Sword and Shield, then New Horizons. It's very clear that Nintendo intends on tethering more functionality to first-party games in the future.

The publisher states that "going forward, [they] want to further contribute to consumer satisfaction while ensuring the long-term vitality of [their] platform with attractive titles that "enrich the Switch Online service." If you recall, they were around 9.8 million in April of 2019, then 15 million in January of 2020. Of course, Nintendo isn't actually breaking down how many people in that figure are lumped in with the family plan: which could count up to eight members per family subscription.

I really hope that "consumer satisfaction" bit doesn't actually involve carving out more previously free features for the paid service; and actually translates to a more stable online infrastructure. The negatives so far have outweighed the benefits, especially if Nintendo isn't going to steadily give subscribers free games anymore (or new games, for that matter).

Corporate Management Policy Briefing [Nintendo]

Nintendo says Switch Online now has 26 million paid members screenshot



Review: Super Mario 3D All-Stars

We all have our favorite Mario game.

Maybe it's a classic entry you played during your childhood. Maybe it's a newer one that blew you away. Me? It's kind of a mix of both, as Super Mario World still rules the 2D roost as far as I'm concerned, but Mario Galaxy 2 and 3D World definitely fit into that latter category.

I'm sure everyone is going to have opinions on which Mario is "best" to include in a Super Mario 3D All-Stars compilation, but the ones Nintendo actually gave us are a decent selection.

Review: Super Mario 3D All-Stars screenshot

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Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase coming tomorrow, September 17

Nintendo has announced a new Nintendo Direct Mini presentation, which will take place tomorrow, September 17, at 07:00 PT / 10:00 ET / 15:00 BST and will focus entirely on incoming Switch releases from Nintendo's publishing partners.

As is the case with previous Partner Showcase streams, that means we're unlikely to see any froth-developing major announcements, but we will likely receive a whole host of updates regarding rad-looking titles from third-parties. Be sure to tune in over on the official Nintendo YouTube and Twitch channels and check out some of the latest games vying for your hard-earned moolah.

Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase coming tomorrow, September 17 screenshot

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(Update) Sony reportedly scaling back production of PlayStation 5

[Update: Reaching out with a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony said today that "While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false. We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production."]

According to a report from Bloomberg, Sony has been forced to scale back the production of its next-gen hardware, PlayStation 5, due to ongoing issues surrounding a specific component in the console's infrastructure.

The Bloomberg report claims that Sony has not been able to produce its custom-designed system-on-chip to target, with a production yield somewhere in the region of 50%. As such, the manufacturer has been forced to slow down PS5 production, which is expected to reduce the PS5's launch numbers by some four million consoles.

Ironically, just back in July it was reported that Sony had made efforts to boost its output for the PS5's launch months. If the July numbers are to be believed, then even with this low production yield, Sony is still expected to produce around 11 million PS5 units in the fiscal year, a higher number than the tech giant had initially planned.

PlayStation 5 launches worldwide later in 2020. An online showcase, scheduled for tomorrow, is expected to reveal the new console's price and release date.

(Update) Sony reportedly scaling back production of PlayStation 5 screenshot



Nintendo Switch is finally getting Donkey Kong Country 2

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

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

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

Anyone else going for 102% completion?

Nintendo Switch is finally getting Donkey Kong Country 2 screenshot



Contest: Win Niche, a genetics survival game, for Nintendo Switch

In today's contest you can win Niche for Nintendo Switch!

If you've ever wanted to explore animal husbandry in a video game based on real life genetics, then you're in luck! Niche is a different little title combining turn-based strategy, evolution, and survival, and you can win a free copy for Switch!

Contest: Win Niche, a genetics survival game, for Nintendo Switch screenshot

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Ubisoft changed Gods & Monsters' name because it violated Monster Energy's trademark

Ubisoft's Gods & Monsters recently underwent some rebranding, switching its name to the demonstrably-worse Immortals Fenyx Rising a few weeks ago. It has gone over like a lead balloon. In fact, it had our team wondering if we should just refuse the new name and stick with the old one!

As it turns out, Ubisoft had some taurine, some guarana, and 160mg of caffeine forcing its hand.

As uncovered by TechRaptor, Monster Energy opposed Ubisoft's trademark for the title "Gods & Monsters." The logic goes that Monster has enough of a presence within video games that Ubisoft's use could reasonably cause confusion among consumers.

The proceedings didn't get too far. After Ubisoft answered the Complaint, the two sides filed a pair stipulated motions for extensions of time, presumably telling the court that they were attending mediation to try to sort it out without the court's involvement. A third motion for extension was filed last week, but that's well after Ubisoft unveiled the new name Immortals Fenyx Rising. It'll likely be followed with a stipulated motion to dismiss shortly thereafter.

Playing armchair attorney, this seems like something Ubisoft probably could've won, no? My guess is that it has less to do with whether or not Ubisoft cared to spend the money on this legal battle, and more to do with just getting the game out on shelves. Immortals has been delayed already, and its sales factor into Ubisoft's fiscal year that ends in March 2021. Fighting a protracted trademark infringement case would further delay the game. Going ahead with the name Gods & Monsters would result in an injunction. Ubisoft may be in the right, but it doesn't have the time to prove it.

Gods and Monsters Trademark Fight With Monster Energy Caused Name Change [TechRaptor]

Ubisoft changed Gods & Monsters' name because it violated Monster Energy's trademark screenshot



Overcooked: All You Can Eat will let you stop orders from expiring with a new option

Well-meaning accidents are all part of the fun of the Overcooked series, but an option to tone down the stressful recipe time limits sure sounds pleasant. In the upcoming Overcooked: All You Can Eat for PS5 and Xbox Series X, there will be an Assist Mode for players who want a more laid-back co-op session.

This trailer runs through the list of accessibility options for the Overcooked + Overcooked 2 remaster.

Assist Mode will let players stop recipes from expiring, meaning you'll never fail an order because you were too slow or overwhelmed. You don't have to, but the option's there and it could be useful for practicing trickier stages. Otherwise, by default, Assist Mode raises the "round timer" for each level, it gives out more points, and it increases how much time you have to make and deliver meals.

Beyond that mode, All You Can Eat also has accessibility features for color-blindness, dyslexia, and a text size scaling. You'll be able to pump up the subtitles, level descriptions, and other wordy bits.

Another thing I'm excited about: "seamless navigation between [both] games and [all] DLC."

Overcooked: All You Can Eat will let you stop orders from expiring with a new option screenshot

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Marvel's Avengers has a long road ahead

From the moment Marvel's Avengers was first showcased at E3 (in what feels like forever ago), a lot of people had their doubts about the game based on what we saw at the time. Well, now that it's finally here, it's a clear-cut example of a game that should have been left to cook for a lot longer.

Whether it was Marvel and Square Enix attempting to get it out of the oven before the new consoles arrived or just too much feature creep (or both), it's all conjecture for now.

However, the road ahead for Marvel's Avengers has plenty of content in store. Crystal Dynamics claims it plans on supporting the game for years to come, and data miners have discovered a list of new characters coming in the future. But, before they start dropping content, there are plenty of ongoing issues in the base game as it is, and that's what we're going over today on Impulse!

So, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Justin and myself (now in 4K!) sharing our experiences and issues we've encountered this past week while playing Marvel's Avengers.

Marvel's Avengers has a long road ahead screenshot



Dontnod's Twin Mirror gets real weird with it in December

Twin Mirror is nearly ready to show us what it has up its Twin Peaks-inspired sleeve. Dontnod's most bizarre game yet (probably, hopefully) is officially slated to launch before the end of the year.

Revealed via this new gameplay trailer, we learn that Twin Mirror has a release date of December 1, 2020. We also see more of protagonist Sam Higgs' Mind Palace, a place where this journalist goes for crime scene recreation. This sort of thriller-style storytelling seems like it might be right up Dontnod's alley.

Although Twin Mirror is launching in December, it's not getting PS5 and Xbox Series X versions that come with any sort of enhancements. Instead, Twin Mirror is releasing on PC (via the Epic Games Store), PS4, and Xbox One. However, it'll still be playable on next-gen consoles via the backward compatibility that both systems feature.

Dontnod's Twin Mirror gets real weird with it in December screenshot



Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 teases its 'extreme long-range' shots

It's time to check your wind-speeds all over again, CI Games has released a new teaser trailer for its scalpel-precise shooter sequel Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, which launches later this year on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.

The short video focuses entirely on one of the key elements of Contracts 2: "Extreme Long-Range shooting." In the video, our patient protagonist - ominously known as "Reaper" - successfully completes a shocking 1506-metre shot, hitting his mark from almost a full mile away. The video's intent is to spotlight Contracts 2's heightened realism and pin-point weapon accuracy.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 teases its 'extreme long-range' shots screenshot

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The ninja action game Ghostrunner is getting another demo before its October 27 release

The fast-dashing cyber-ninja action game Ghostrunner is releasing on October 27 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store). It'll be a nice little cyberpunk taster before we feast in November. The launch price – $29.99, with discounts available if you pre-order – reflects that status.

This trailer out of PAX 2020 reiterates that the heart of this game is jumping, dashing, wall-running, grapple-swinging, and doing everything in your power to quickly close the distance on your foes.

My favorite part? Fast reloads. Death isn't a pace-killing setback.

If you haven't sliced and diced fools in Ghostrunner's limited-time demo, an "updated" build is coming back to Steam on September 29. There's also a private beta sign-up if you're that into these vibes.

I appreciate having a mid-priced, straight-to-the-point action game as we gear up for next-gen.

The ninja action game Ghostrunner is getting another demo before its October 27 release screenshot



Review: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Back in August, I wrote up a preview of Vanillaware's 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim that focused on the prologue to the full adventure. In my post, I said I'd written down several notes to keep track of everyone in the game and the respective years they traveled from to reach Japan circa 1985.

Turns out, most of those notes were useless. They were a waste of paper really, because no matter how close I paid attention in that prologue, how much I studied the review guide I was sent by Atlus, nothing could prepare me for what this game had in store.

Review: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim screenshot

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Doom 64 comes rip 'n' tearin' from Limited Run Games

Get that trusty chainsaw oiled and that Super Shotgun locked 'n' loaded, as the physical phanatics over at Limited Run Games have announced a special edition for the 2020 re-release of Doom 64.

Doom 64 comes rip 'n' tearin' from Limited Run Games screenshot

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Bethesda has uncapped the microtransactions for Fallout 76 Season 2

It took exactly 77 days. That's how long it took for Bethesda to reverse its reasonably feel-good approach to microtransactions within Fallout 76's seasons.

Today marks the start of Fallout 76 Season 2, and Bethesda has announced that you can immediately pay to rank up through the new Armor Ace S.C.O.R.E. battle pass. It costs 150 atoms (approximately $1.50) to advance a single rank, and the season has 100 ranks. Obviously, you can earn ranks by playing and completing challenges.

But this is a stark contrast to the approach Bethesda took in Season 1. For the debut season, Bethesda wouldn't let people buy ranks for two weeks. It seemed to come from a position of parity, like it wanted everyone to be on equal footing throughout the first stages of the battle pass. Now, in hindsight, it seems as though Bethesda didn't want the conversation around the first season (at least in the early going) to be "It's too grindy and designed to make you pay." The governor has been removed.

It wouldn't even be surprising that microtransactions are immediately available if Season 1 weren't framed the way it was. Most every other battle pass (all?) will let you buy tiers right from the get-go. This is the natural conclusion, but it's also what was expected all along. 

Season 2 is just a part of the sweeping changes that come via Fallout 76's Update 22. Appalachia is getting a glow-up of sorts, through new features like "One Wasteland" and changes to Daily Ops. We've detailed both before (hit those links!) but here's the overview: One Wasteland makes it so every enemy scales to your level even if you're in a party with much higher level players; Daily Ops are team-based challenge encounters that are meant to be run daily for big rewards -- especially if you're able to complete it quickly.

There is a ton in the Update 22 patch notes. An overview of Season 2, detailed explanations of these new features, the addition of Legendary Perk cards for players who are level 50+, a bunch of quality-of-life changes, and the requisite bug fixes. Check it all out over on Bethesda's site. If you just want to see all the Season 2 rewards -- including a playable foosball table -- we've got that too.

Fallout 76: Update 22 Patch Notes -- September 15, 2020 [Bethesda]

Bethesda has uncapped the microtransactions for Fallout 76 Season 2 screenshot



Rocket League going free to play next week, will be delisted from Steam

Back in July, Psyonix announced that its wildly popular socc-car game Rocket League would be going free-to-play. At the time there was only a vague "in the future" release window. Today, Psyonix announced on Twitter that the go-live date for the free-to-play changeover would be September 23.

In the week leading up to the F2P launch, there will be an update that will officially change all active accounts over to legacy status that will bring with it multiple benefits. The most tantalizing perk will be the gift of all previously released Rocket League branded DLCs as thanks for being an "early" adopter. The full details of what legacy status will entail can be found on the official site.

This week, users can begin merging their accounts through an Epic Games account. There's also going to be an event called Llama-Rama to celebrate the F2P launch, but details, for now, are being held.

As expected, this move to F2P will also spell the end of Rocket League being listed on the Steam storefront. Steam users will still be able to launch the game through Steam but starting tomorrow, no new PC users will be allowed to download the game outside of the Epic Games Store. The update will go live tomorrow morning so if you're continuing to avoid the Epic Games launcher then you have only a scant few hours to get it on Steam before the listing is gone.

Where we go from here, no one knows. It has been a long road that led to this and while I have my problems with some of the more toxic bastions of the community, I still love Rocket League with all of my heart. It will be interesting to see how the meta evolves in the F2P era and how many of us old geezers will be left in the dust.

Rocket League is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and starting tomorrow exclusively through the Epic Games Store on PC.

Rocket League going Free to Play September 23 [Psyonix]

Rocket League going free to play next week, will be delisted from Steam screenshot



Amnesia: Rebirth will be a hell of a way to celebrate Halloween

October 2020 has its big-ticket horror game. Amnesia: Rebirth, the long-time-coming sequel to 2010's Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is out on October 20 for PS4 and PC (Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store). It's launching at $29.99, and there's a 10% discount for early birds and PlayStation Plus.

Rebirth is set in the Algerian Desert. Playing as Tasi Trianon, you'll have to make sense of your eerie surroundings and your "shattered past" while managing limited "physical and mental" resources.

As Frictional Games puts it, Amnesia: Rebirth couldn't be a "side-project" and risk getting "lost in the crowd." During its production, it went from "a game with a small scope to being the biggest and most ambitious game we have produced to date." With SOMA forever etched on my mind, I'm stoked to see what that means – well, as "stoked" as anyone can be when vile creatures are scurrying out of sight.

"This sort of change in scope wasn't without issues, especially as we were working on another, currently secret, project at the same time," the studio added. "But, finally, we got through it, and created a game of the quality we wanted."

It'll be tough to top the legacy of The Dark Descent. If they're excited, I'm excited.

Amnesia: Rebirth will be a hell of a way to celebrate Halloween screenshot



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