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Thursday, 1 October 2020

Bethesda nukes Fallout 76 weight bench Strength glitch

The West Virginia Wasteland has had a sudden inflex of bodybuilder-type survivors who look more keen to fight off body fat than radiation sickness. Alas, Bethesda has squashed all their sweet gains.

The last couple weeks of Fallout 76 has seen an easily-repeatable glitch at the weight bench that has left everyone completely jacked. Using the weight bench grants a temporary +2 to Strength. The problem is that Bethesda accidentally allowed for the perk to stack. 

It stacked a lot, too. The Strength would stack up to 8 times (for +16 STR), and the duration would effectively stack for how many ever extra reps you performed. When seeing those kinds of immediate gains, it's easy to keep pumping iron. (Although, to be fair, Bethesda disabled use of the weight bench a while ago; so it hasn't been easy to keep pumping iron.)

However, after the newest patch, it's now capped at the intended +2 STR and will only buff once from the most recent use of the weight bench. It was nice while it lasted. You can safely go back to ignoring your physical fitness.

The other major part of the update concerns the new One Wasteland feature that scales enemy level to player level. In short, a lot of the mid-level creatures were too tough. So, Bethesda has "smoothed out the difficulty curve."

Here are the full patch notes for Fallout 76 Update 1.4.0.23

Bethesda nukes Fallout 76 weight bench Strength glitch screenshot

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Ghost of Tsushima is $45 in PlayStation's Games of a Generation sale

The PlayStation Store is running a Games of a Generation sale until October 14, and if you've been waiting for a discount on the digital copy of Ghost of Tsushima, here it is. $45 is a more-than-fine price.

I just wrapped up the story this week and I'm making a renewed push to finish every last morsel – even that annoying five-standoff-kills-in-a-row trophy – before the co-op Legends mode comes out. Aside from far too many "follow the footprints" moments, Ghost of Tsushima has been an utter delight.

A case could be made for waiting until the PS5 is out to dive into this game, but it's smooth as is on PS4. Sucker Punch Productions' unusually fast load times are invaluable. The samurai action is cool, it's fun to become OP after feeling so weak early on, and the horseback exploration never loses its magic.

As for the rest of the sale, given that there over a hundred games, they can't all be generation-defining experiences, but on the whole, there are plenty of tremendous titles to consider picking up. Just make sure you don't inadvertently buy anything that's on the upcoming PlayStation Plus Collection list.

For all of the current anxiety surrounding the PS5, Sony sure ended the PS4 on a high note.

Ghost of Tsushima is $45 in PlayStation's Games of a Generation sale screenshot



Your Xbox One external HDD will immediately work on Xbox Series X

The past few weeks have been rife with riveting Xbox Series X storage stories. First we found out that the proprietary external SSD will be rather expensive, nearly half the price of the console. But, maybe it's not a huge deal because some transfer time tests revealed that the Xbox Series X is pretty quick about moving installs from an external HDD to the internal SSD. Maybe you can manage.

For people planning on the latter option, here's some good news: The external HDD that you use for your Xbox One will immediately and automatically work on Xbox Series X. Just unplug it from the old machine and plug it into the new machine. Xbox's Major Nelson confirmed this on Twitter: 

Your Xbox One external HDD will immediately work on Xbox Series X screenshot

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Godfall unveils its ass-kicking intro cinematic

Gearbox Publishing has released the intro cinematic to its epic fantasy hack 'n' slash title Godfall, preparing its players for their upcoming quest to save the kingdom of Aperion from devastation at the hands of unchecked powers from above.

Titled "The Fall," the near three-minute CGI movie details the war between the Order of Valorian Knights and power-hungry god Macros. We see Godfall's protagonist as they try - and fail - to defeat Macros in the wake of a devastating ground war, only to rise once again, determined to save the kingdom from the deity's insufferable thirst for conquest. It's a very nicely done cinematic, sure to get Godfall fans' hype-fires stoked.

Godfall unveils its ass-kicking intro cinematic screenshot

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The My Nintendo Mario pin set shortage situation was just plain weird

Earlier this month, Nintendo revealed a new promotion that would allow people to grab a free Mario pin set for purchasing Mario 3D All-Stars and doing a few easy tasks. That's good!

But as soon as the promo actually went live, it crashed the site, the entire Nintendo store and sold out in minutes. That's bad!

So what went wrong? A lot of things.

The My Nintendo Mario pin set shortage situation was just plain weird screenshot

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Transformers meets XCOM in less than a month

October is a packed month for sudden launches of B-tier-looking video games based on pop culture from your childhood. First, we got word of a new G.I. Joe game. Then, we learned that there's a Cobra Kai beat-em-up tie-in with the Netflix show. The most recent one might be more than meets the eye.

Transformers: Battlegrounds is a new tactical strategy game in the vein of XCOM. Yep, developer Coatsink (Esper, Jurassic World Aftermath) isn't going the route of open-world action destructathon. This one's more cerebral, as you send you Autobots scrambling to positions where they'll have a tactical advantage. It also has cooperative multiplayer.

Here's the official description of Transformers: Battlegrounds: "As evil Megatron closes in on the Allspark, Bumblebee and the Autobots need a new commander to help save Earth -- you! Assemble your squad and roll out for a battle that will rage from Central City to Cybertron... and even to the local multiplayer arcade!"

Transformers: Battlegrounds is rolling out on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One on October 23. It's certainly a different take on Transformers. We'll find out soon enough if the formula works or if it's nothing more than scrap metal.

Transformers meets XCOM in less than a month screenshot



Focus Home Interactive teams with Flying Wild Hog for 'ambitious' mystery title

Flying Wild Hog, the studio behind the Shadow Warrior series, has entered into a partnership with publisher Focus Home Interactive to develop a title that the studio claims is its most ambitious project to date.

While no details were offered regarding the mysterious new title, Flying Wild Hog spoke of its excitement for the project, as well as its partnership with Focus Home, who were recently responsible for solid AA releases such as Greedfall, A Plague Tale: Innocence, and Vampyr.

"Focus Home Interactive is the perfect partner for Flying Wild Hog," said Flying Wild Hog CEO Michal Szustak. "We both share a love for creating unique, exciting worlds filled with crazy gameplay. We also deeply care for quality and creativity. Focus's team supports us not only with great trust for our vision, but also helps us to forge that vision into an outstanding game. We are sure that our partnership will bloom into an amazing experience for players around the world. Fans of original action games can expect quite a surprise!"

Focus Home Interactive responded with equal praise and enthusiasm. "We at Focus have a directive to bring exciting and innovative games to the market, and with their upcoming title we know that Flying Wild Hog will reach the objectives we have on all of our projects, in terms of both quality and originality," said Focus COO John Bert. "We're enthusiastic to be working with this professional team, who are masters in the art of creating spectacular, action-packed games."

We'll be sure to keep you informed once either party is ready to announce this exciting new project.

Focus Home Interactive and Flying Wild Hog announce partnership [MCV]

Focus Home Interactive teams with Flying Wild Hog for 'ambitious' mystery title screenshot



It's gonna be a real beach sifting through Xbox's new big sale

If the newest Xbox sale were a movie, it'd probably by Deep Blue Sea. Or Open Water. Or maybe the best name would be Ocean's 48.

Xbox is unwavering in its commitment to the theme of the Deep Sea Discounts sale. It's 48 games that are purely aquatic one way or another. For some, it's the nightmares that lurk below the water. For others, it's just a whole lot of fishing. Maybe you'll catch a nightmare!

This one runs through October 5. Here's everything included in the Deep Sea Discounts sale:

It's gonna be a real beach sifting through Xbox's new big sale screenshot

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Final Fantasy XIV's Naoki Yoshida talks project management, 'small but big surprises' and 'planning years in advance'

Years ago, Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida quietly changed the perception of Final Fantasy XIV.

I was there at E3 when XIV debuted. I saw the grimacing faces of press and players alike, and witnessed the rocky launch. I was also there when it was quite literally "reborn," and experienced the drastic upgrade myself. Years later I would come to learn that Yoshi-P's light touch (alongside of his team) was responsible for the revival, and it seems like Square Enix noticed him too; as he's one of the developers heading up Final Fantasy XVI.

But before we shift some of our focus to XVI, I sat down with Yoshi-P to talk XIV: which still has plenty of life left in it.

Final Fantasy XIV's Naoki Yoshida talks project management, 'small but big surprises' and 'planning years in advance'  screenshot

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Free Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot update will add Card Warriors mini-game

Bandai Namco has announced a free update headed to Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot this fall that will add a new card-fighting mini-game to the open-world anime RPG. The "Dragon Ball Card Warriors" mode will allow players to build a deck of notable DBZ characters and abilities, before challenging each other in casual and ranked online battles and monthly Budokai tournaments.

Free Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot update will add Card Warriors mini-game screenshot

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You don't have to start Zombies mode with a pistol in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Treyarch is bringing Zombies mode back for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and along with a first look at the mode's 1980s Dark Aether storyline (that conveniently involves a World War II bunker), the studio also confirmed that Zombies will support cross-platform co-op. That's what we like to see.

"We finished a story [in Black Ops 4], but we're still in that same universe, and this is the next chapter," said game designer Kevin Drew. The new Zombies crew in Cold War is a CIA-backed team, Requiem, that's led by Grigori Weaver from Black Ops. A rival Soviet squad, Omega Group, is also in the mix.

One of the bigger structural changes is that you won't have to start hunting undead hordes with a pistol this time – player progression in Zombies is hooked into the wider Black Ops Cold War multiplayer experience (including the Battle Pass), and you can bring your Gunsmith weaponry over "via loadout."

Treyarch says that "any weapon in the game" can be "sustainable in later rounds" through a new weapon rarity system. More than anything else, I like the sound of an exfiltration option that lets players get to a chopper if things are looking grim. If you escape, you'll come away with "some rewards."

We'll see how these changes go over with long-time players. Perks, including Juggernog, are coming back (without a usage limit), and Treyarch also plainly teased Dead Ops Arcade 3 on Twitter.

You don't have to start Zombies mode with a pistol in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War screenshot

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Get a free copy of Overwatch on PC

Still holding out on checking out the most popular hero shooter in the world? Sometimes the late bird gets the worm.

Overwatch League team Boston Uprising is giving away copies of Overwatch on PC. All you have to do is fill out this form. Then you should get a code to redeem on Battle.net within a few days. Overwatch is still priced at $20, so this deal is hardly something to thumb your nose at.

Maybe more interesting is that this promotion has been running for nearly a month. The rules page indicates that the Boston Uprising have been giving away Overwatch since September 4. It just seems that the internet at-large hadn't noticed until today.

Anyway, go get yourself Overwatch if you don't already have it. You have plenty of time in the sense that this giveaway runs until January 31, 2021. However, you don't have plenty of time in the sense that supplies are limited and awarded on a first come, first served basis. So, these will probably go quickly. Blink like Tracer and they'll be gone.

Get a Digital Copy of Overwatch for PC! [Boston Uprising]

Get a free copy of Overwatch on PC screenshot



Vergil has his own theme for Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, listen to it here

What are some of my favorite moments in any game, ever? Well, Devil May Cry 3 steals away multiple slots for me.

The rush of figuring out that a second player can pick up and play Vergil alongside of Dante in that pivotal moment near the end of the game? Priceless. The humanoid confrontation with Vergil at the very end that showcases some of the best aspects of Devil May Cry's combat? Also classic.

So when Vergil shows up in any Devil May Cry as a playable character, I perk my head up. He was a blast to play in the third game's special edition, and epitomized the "stylish" mentality of the series. He was also arguably the best part of DmC: Devil May Cry when he entered the fray via DLC, and the combo videos for Devil May Cry 4's Vergil appearance can get pretty crazy.

We now know that he's set to re-appear in the special edition of Devil May Cry 5. At that time, we also got a brief glimpse of his new theme: "Bury the Light." Since then the song has been widely released on multiple marketplaces, including Spotify. Give it a listen!

Although Vergil is coming to the current generation in the form of DLC, the special edition is one of the few "next-gen console exclusives" in terms of visual fidelity and mechanical enhancements. I'm stoked to play it.

Vergil has his own theme for Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, listen to it here screenshot

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Peter Parker has a new face in Spider-Man Remastered

Insomniac shared more details about Spider-Man Remastered today, and apart from visual upgrades across the board and a Performance Mode targeting 60FPS, there's a big surprise: Peter has a new face!

People liked how he looked before, so why go to the trouble of changing his appearance now for PS5? According to community director James Stevenson, the team "loved working with John Bubniak on the original game; however, to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal's facial capture, we have cast Ben Jordan to be the face model for Peter Parker on the PS5 console."

It'll take some adjustment, but it's doable. For a direct comparison, check the gallery.

"It's my face's fault," said Lowenthal. "The stupid stupid bones in my face. Blame my bones."

Here's some extra fluid footage of Spider-Man Remastered running in Performance Mode.

As far as specific remaster enhancements, this version has improved models and materials, ray-traced reflections, ambient shadows, spatial 3D audio, photo mode quality-of-life features like swapping your suit mid-shot and placing lights in the environment, and "higher fidelity skin, eye, and teeth shaders" along with "individually-rendered strands of hair." This is Insomniac Games, after all. They're going for it.

Also, even though there's "near-instant loading," you can still toggle on the old fast-travel scenes.

All in all, it's looking like a fantastic way to play a great game. My only hangup? The fact that it won't be available as a standalone game (at least not at launch). You need to get the $70 Ultimate Edition of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which I just don't see myself doing. Then again, there are three new suits...

Peter Parker has a new face in Spider-Man Remastered screenshot

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Breakers Collection sees the niche '90s fighter return for one more round

In surprising but thoroughly welcome news, developer QuByte Interactive has announced that obscure '90s fighter Breakers is getting set to see re-release on PC and consoles in 2021.

Developed by Visco Corporation and originally released in 1996 and 1998 respectively, Breakers and Breakers' Revenge are 2D fighting titles which captured the audio/visual and gameplay style of SNK's classic one-on-one fighting games such as Fatal Fury and King of Fighters. The new Breakers Collection will include both titles along with new content such as the all-important Online VS. mode.

Breakers Collection sees the niche '90s fighter return for one more round screenshot

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A Zelda Gerudo Valley song cover in Stardew Valley? Sure, why not

You can find a cover of a Zelda song on pretty much any instrument, or anything that will allow it. Here, let's try a little experiment.

I randomly Googled "Mario Maker Lost Woods." Yep, there's an app for that.

"Epona's Song on a flute." Yep.

"Zelda's Lullaby on a fiddle." Well, close!

"Ballad of the Wind Fish on drums." Close again!

You get the picture. If you didn't know that Stardew Valley was capable of this kind of musical wizardry, you do now! YouTuber NetWarrior FM managed to recreate the classic Gerudo Valley theme in-game, and the fruits of their labor are below.

I guess you could call it..."The Ballad of Stardew Gerudo Valley?"

A Zelda Gerudo Valley song cover in Stardew Valley? Sure, why not screenshot

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Trials of Mana Version 1.1.0 update will include bunny slippers

Square Enix has announced that it will release the latest update for fantasy adventure Trials of Mana on October 14. Version 1.1.0 will add two new difficulty settings along set to test the mettle of the most hardened adventurers.

The new update will offer access to the new "Very Hard" and "No Future" difficulty settings. The former can only be selected in New Game+ mode and will offer a greater challenge than Trials players have faced to date. No Future, however, is a whole other bag.

This new mode will not only return the player to level one, but will also increase the strength of all enemies and boss characters, will add a time limit to each fight, and will limit the usage of items and certain special abilities, making this a true test of skill for Trials of Mana experts.

And your reward for conquering this relentless, bloodthirsty challenge? Bunny slippers.

Trials of Mana Version 1.1.0 update will include bunny slippers screenshot

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Need for Speed Payback and Vampyr are the next PlayStation Plus games

Sony has announced the latest PlayStation Plus lineup, and prepare to be "whelmed."

Starting on October 6, you can pick up Need for Speed Payback and Vampyr on the service, both of which are PS4 releases. You have until November 2 to claim them, at which point they'll be cycled out for something else.

Need for Speed Payback came out in 2017 and is currently the second-most-recent Need for Speed title, preceding Need for Speed Heat. Vampyr is from 2018, where the Dontnod action RPG was released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It's slated to arrive on Switch late next month. Both of them were released to a semi-middling reception, so I understand if folks aren't super jazzed about PS Plus next month.

As a reminder, you have until October 5 to log in and claim PUBG and Street Fighter V. I suggest you do that! Street Fighter V has come a long way since launch, and even the base version is worth trying.

PlayStation [Twitter]

Need for Speed Payback and Vampyr are the next PlayStation Plus games screenshot



Jump Rope Challenge on Switch isn't getting nuked today, will stay free 'until further notice'

Jump Rope Challenge was all set to go "poof" today, just like Super Mario All-Stars 3D will in 2021. It is...the Nintendo way.

Except this time, a game was spared from the "vault" treatment, at least for now. Announced on Twitter in the dead of night last night, Nintendo of America explained that they had a change of heart. Jump Rope Challenge, having reached a "2.5 billion jump" milestone, will remain on the eShop.

How long is it staying? Well, it seems like a threat. Nintendo notes: "As new jumpers are joining, the free download will be available until further notice and will not be removed from the Nintendo eShop on 9/30." Until further notice eh? Well if you haven't picked up this free app yet, you may as well do it now.

No reason was given for the change of heart, but it could have been a marketing stunt all along. I'm just the messenger!

Nintendo of America [Twitter]

Jump Rope Challenge on Switch isn't getting nuked today, will stay free 'until further notice' screenshot



Wooden train game Tracks comes to Switch this November

Ever since I first spent a month with Train Sim World, I've had a hankering for more games featuring trains. They're just so serene, and in 2020, serenity is something we all could use a bit more of. The Train Sim games are great, but the title I've really had my eyes on for the past two years has been Tracks.

This wooden train sandbox game doesn't have the sim elements of those Dovetail Games titles. Instead, it taps into those early-childhood Thomas the Tank Engine train sets, allowing players to construct their own tracks and the villages, towns, and cities that sprout up around them.

The game released last year on Steam, but in just a couple of weeks, it's making the jump to Switch, and it's bringing along all of its DLC for Tracks: Toybox Edition.

Wooden train game Tracks comes to Switch this November screenshot

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Nintendo is revealing the next Smash Ultimate fighter tomorrow morning, watch it here

Thanks random retail advertisement! You were right.

As fans speculated, a retailer display that showcased the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter's Pass had an interesting proviso: it would be changed out on October 4 for a new leaflet. Hey! That could mean an imminent Smash DLC reveal. And so it is.

This morning Nintendo spilled the beans and gave us a heads-up for yet another surprise "Direct-like" stream: they will announce the next DLC fighter on October 1 at 10AM ET. Typically, this involves Sakurai giving us a dramatic reveal trailer, followed by in-depth gameplay footage and developer commentary. This video will allegedly be "three minutes long, followed by a brief message from Sakurai."

As Sakurai showed off back when Min-Min was announced, he has a full setup to 'cast from his home, so everything should be good to go. As far as a release date goes, Smash DLC typically is released a week-ish away from the reveal. So the new fighter could enter the fray as soon as October 8.

I hope it's not another Fire Emblem character! Just joking, I won't jinx it.

Nintendo of America [Twitter]

Nintendo is revealing the next Smash Ultimate fighter tomorrow morning, watch it here screenshot

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Check out this amazing C64 port of Another World

Another World, one of the most ported video games of all-time, could soon have another format to add to its ever-growing list of platforms. Homebrew programmer Eric Majikeyric has released in-progress footage showing the seminal fantasy adventure running on the humble Commodore 64.

The video features the entire intro from the 1991 Amiga classic, scaled down to fit the C64's ultra-humble 8-bit processor. We then see various moments from the adventure replicated in Commodore form, including Lester Chaykin Knight's arrival in the strange new dimension, his first meeting with "friend," as well as a glimpse at the game's somewhat bleak finale.

Check out this amazing C64 port of Another World screenshot

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Nintendo urges Switch owners to 'charge their devices once every six months' to avoid an 'unchargeable battery'

Batteries...they're a pain, am I right?

Just recently we were reminded about the dangers of the PSP's battery, now, Nintendo is giving us tips on how to maintain a healthy Switch console. The gist? Charge your Switch once every six months.

This past week, Nintendo of Japan's customer service Twitter account shared a helpful tip: "please charge [your battery] every six months." Simple, right? Nintendo says that the battery baked into the Switch "may become unchargeable if it has not been charged or used for too long."

You might be thinking "well I keep my Switch docked all the time!" And you'd be right: you're good. But if you ever get a second Switch and retire your original unit to storage, or upgrade to a Switch Pro and do the same, you might want to keep this tip straight from the horse's mouth in your back pocket.

The dangers of having a big collection of hardware! One tip I've heard from another game preservation expert is to schedule reminders every six months or so to take an inventory of all of your old systems and either charge them or inspect their batteries. As a kid, I used to experience that battery leakage/rot in my old Game Boys. Never again!

Nintendo Customer Service [Twitter]

Nintendo urges Switch owners to 'charge their devices once every six months' to avoid an 'unchargeable battery' screenshot



Mistress of the lewd, Plumeria, is Fire Emblem Heroes' newest Mythic Hero

As if Fire Emblem Heroes didn't already get its fans hot under the collar with its expansive array of male and female stunners, the newest update to Nintendo's mobile battler teases more saucy antics with the arrival of its newest mythic hero: "Lewd Dream" Plumeria.

An original Fire Emblem Heroes character, Plumeria is a Dökkálfar who resides in Dökkálfheimr, where she reigns as the overseer of "lewd dreams." Despite her charming and gracious appearance, Plumeria seems to have developed a deep dislike of humans, going as far as to consider them vulgar and disgusting. Given her vocation, these views seem completely fair and understandable.

Mistress of the lewd, Plumeria, is Fire Emblem Heroes' newest Mythic Hero screenshot

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The fall update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for download

Nintendo is keeping Animal Crossing: New Horizons fresh in our minds with its seasonal updates that are slowly introducing new and returning features to the hit title. After two fantastic summer updates, it's time to get ready for autumn with ver. 1.5. Available for download right now, the update will introduce pumpkins you can grow to craft new, seasonal items. There are also new skin tones available and candy for purchase at Nook's Cranny that you can give out when Jack arrives on Halloween night.

The fall update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for download screenshot

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Contest: Win Cyber Hook for Steam and get your synthwave Spider-Man on

In today's contest, you can win trippy swinging game Cyber Hook for Steam!

If you don't know me by now, you will never never never know me. I'll be simply red with anger if you don't understand how much I love '80s neon and synthwave. Angry! Upset!

But you do know me. And you know stuff like Cyber Hook is my exact jam. Come win a Steam copy from us, or I swear I'll start crying again.

Contest: Win Cyber Hook for Steam and get your synthwave Spider-Man on screenshot

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Mind Scanners is an unnerving 'retro-futuristic' job simulator

Mind Scanners is a point-and-click simulation game about "treating" the populace of a retro-futuristic megacity built in a crater, and it's worth watching if you've been meaning to fill the Papers, Please void with something fresh. At a glance, two things about this low-key creepy game stood out to me.

The first – as shown throughout the trailer – is that your physical interactions in the world are playful and tactile in a way that looks fun. You're using "arcade-style devices" to treat patients in The Structure.

Second, Steam has a few intriguing bullet points about how you can report or join a resistance group, and how you need to "gain the trust of The Structure if you want to see your daughter again."

There's some cool stuff brewing in here. The Outer Zone is aiming for an early 2021 release of Mind Scanners, but before then, the team will have a limited-time Steam demo on October 7.

"Welcome to The Structure, get to work" is such a 2020 mood.

Mind Scanners is an unnerving 'retro-futuristic' job simulator screenshot



Elite Dangerous won't charge for its Horizon expansion anymore

If Elite Dangerous is the final frontier, then its Horizons expansion is the free frontier. Starting in a month, anyway.

Elite Dangerous is getting an update next month that rolls the Horizons add-on into the base game on all platforms. You could look at this and say it's permanently free. But, it might be more appropriate to say that Horizons is just part of the standard Elite Dangerous experience from now on. 

Whichever way you view it, Elite Dangerous is going to get bigger on October 27. For anyone who already purchased Horizons, they'll get Azure paint jobs that can be used on all ships in the game. Horizons will remain on sale until October 26, effectively only so people have a last chance to buy those Azure paint jobs. That doesn't seem like an amazing use of $30 but I'm not in charge of your personal finances.

Horizons is Elite Dangerous' only real content expansion, but this shrewd move is clearly a means of onboarding new players before 2021's Odyssey add-on. There's a lot to be excited about when it comes to Odyssey, as this is the expansion that'll allow you to ditch the spaceship and explore planets on foot. Developer Frontier is knocking down barriers to get deep into the Elite Dangerous ecosystem in hopes that it'll translate to Odyssey sales. It makes sense. When a game like Elite Dangerous gets its hooks in someone, it usually doesn't let up for a long time.

Elite Dangerous won't charge for its Horizon expansion anymore screenshot



The Binding of Isaac: Repentance, a 'sequel-sized final expansion,' is over 90% done

The Binding of Isaac: Repentance will give fans a ton more to chew on later this year. We still don't have a final date, but there's a Steam page and a blog post from Edmund McMillen with reassurances.

The DLC is "basically a sequel at this point" and it's "over 90% done," according to McMillen. For a more tangible frame of reference, Repentance is "bigger than Rebirth was to the OG Flash game."

"I've been working closely with the team [behind Antibirth] to ensure that this is the 'Sequel DLC' you've always wanted. The team has gone above and beyond and we're really proud of how the game is coming together and I have a feeling you're gunna shit your asses when you get your hands on it."

The Binding of Isaac is one of those everlasting games that will live on for many years even if – and I feel like it's still an "if" at this point – the official support comes to a close. It's such a passionate community.

"500 hours of new gameplay" almost sounds like a threat (I love it!), and big-picture, there's going to be "a full alternate path with brand new chapters and a new final boss and ending" to discover. Goddang!

We'll learn more about Repentance's chaotic new content with "quite a few" blogs in October.

The Binding of Isaac: Repentance, a 'sequel-sized final expansion,' is over 90% done screenshot

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Torchlight III launches on October 13 and a Switch version is coming later

Torchlight III didn't manage to get its hooks in me, so after the initial Early Access push on PC, I decided to step back and wait for big changes leading up to the 1.0 launch. Surprisingly, it's almost time.

Echtra Games is releasing the completed version of Torchlight III on October 13 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with further plans for Nintendo Switch penciled in for "later this year." It'll be $40.

From what I've seen, the studio has done a good job of listening to fans and making changes whenever and wherever it can. The story is finished with all three acts, there's an endgame and Contracts to grind, and equippable Relics were revamped to be a more meaningful and permanent part of character builds.

Is it enough? I'm not so sure. I'll want to start a fresh save with 1.0, but on paper at least, I'm expecting a more compelling and fleshed-out ARPG experience than what we got at the start of Early Access.

That said, Torchlight III is going to have a tough time living up to its name. Big shoes to fill.

Torchlight III launches on October 13 and a Switch version is coming later screenshot



Get your blob-busting back on with Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

At Tokyo Games Show this past weekend, Sega released a new trailer for frantic puzzler Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, which will bring its block-and-blob-busting hybrid gameplay to PC and consoles this winter.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will feature another goofy Adventure Mode, bringing together a cast of delightful and charming characters who find themselves befuddled by the collision of two all-time favourite franchises: Puyo Puyo and Tetris, naturally. The all-new "Skill Battle" mode will utilise character's specific abilities to give them an edge on the battlefield, while in-game Item Cards will offer various buffs and perks to help you out when things start getting a little to "busy" for comfort.

Get your blob-busting back on with Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 screenshot

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Sackboy's digital deluxe edition comes with costumes of four stars from recent PS4 exclusives

Sony says that Sackboy has more than 60 costumes to discover, providing all sorts of options for customization and snazzy dress. But, you'll need to shell out an extra $20 to outfit Sackboy in some of Sony's more iconic looks.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure's digital deluxe edition comes with a handful of pack-in goodies but none are more alluring than costumes for some recent high-profile PS4 exclusives. Buying the $80 extra-good edition comes with skins for Ghost of Tsushima's Jin, Death Stranding's Sam Porter Bridges, Detroit: Become Human's Connor, and Days Gone's Deacon St. John.

That's right -- if you think Sackboy should have awful facial hair, you can Hideo Kojima-fye him.

Sackboy's digital deluxe edition comes with costumes of four stars from recent PS4 exclusives screenshot

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Dragon Quest Tact headed west on iOS and Android

Dragon Quest devotees might be pleased to hear that Square Enix has confirmed an English localisation of mobile battler Dragon Quest Tact. Having previously launched in Japan this past summer, the strategic monster-scrapper is now headed west on iOS and Android devices.

Despite its moniker, Dragon Quest Tact has nothing to do with offering constructive criticism without committing a social faux-pas. In fact, it is a grid-based battle game which sees players gather up famous monsters and critters from across the fantasy RPG franchise, before sending them into battle, managing each of your minions' strengths and weaknesses to ensure victory.

Dragon Quest Tact headed west on iOS and Android screenshot

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla has a new story trailer for Eivor's English Excursion

"The Saxons hunger for Norse blood. Let's give them a taste, brothers." That's what Eivor says near the end of this Assassin's Creed Valhalla story trailer. It's some incredible spin considering it's the Vikings who are invading and colonizing England.

Even though restraint isn't the Vikings' strong suit, you'll have to wait until 87 seconds into this trailer before something explicitly violent happens. (But that's only if you don't count that snowtop murder thing at the very beginning which is more of a sizzle reel effect and less about the arc of the trailer.) Don't bore us, get to the chorus! And the chorus is people getting thwonked upside the head with a knockoff Hammer of Thor.

All in all, this is a good trailer, though. It has me ready to play Assassin's Creed Valhalla in little more than a month. I can't wait to see if Valhalla can live up to the lofty expectations of being a next-gen successor to Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Those are some big shoes to fill.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla has a new story trailer for Eivor's English Excursion screenshot



Spider-Man: Miles Morales will let you transfer your PS4 save over to PS5

Will your save files carry over to PS5 in all cases? Unfortunately, there's not an easy or neat across-the-board answer to that question, and anxiety has only spread as developers share their specific plans.

We learned yesterday that Yakuza: Like A Dragon will not support PS4/PS5 cross-saves, but Spider-Man: Miles Morales – another prominent cross-gen game with a PS4 version and a PS5 version – will.

A fan posed the question on Twitter and Insomniac came back with a simple yes.

In other words, if you get Miles Morales digitally on PS4, you can move over to PS5 whenever you please. If you buy a physical PS4 copy, you'll just need to play on the PS5 model with a disc drive.

On a separate but related note that's probably worth reiterating right now, your progress in Spider-Man PS4 – as in, the 2018 game – will not carry over to 2020's Spider-Man Remastered on PS5. (Also, the remaster is tied to the Ultimate Edition of Miles Morales and that's a whole 'nother annoyance.)

Beyond shedding light on the save-file situation, Insomniac Games also opened digital pre-orders for Miles Morales today – if you pre-order, you'll get the T.R.A.C.K. suit, another bonus suit that hasn't been revealed yet, an "early unlock" of the Gravity Well gadget, and three extra Skill Points. Nothing wild.

The bonuses are similar to the ones in Spider-Man (2018), meaning you'll be able to get them in-game.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales will let you transfer your PS4 save over to PS5 screenshot

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Xbox goes all-in on the Halloween theme for October's Games with Gold

A lot of times, Microsoft misses the mark with Games with Gold. That's not in terms of the quality being crappy -- although that has certainly been a problem in the past -- but in terms of disassociating months from their biggest holiday. Everyone's in the mood so just give us what we're already vibin'.

That is not a problem for this October's Games with Gold. It is Halloweened to the max, with no time for anything other than scares and slayings. This is exactly how October should be. 

It starts strong on Xbox One as Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut is the first to die freebie. I actually wrote about this little gem a few years ago. It's a cutesy block-moving puzzle game where the goal is to murder everyone in any given scene. It's well worth a try. Also, its name is a nod to Sleepaway Camp which is my favorite camp slasher movie. Joining the festivities halfway through the month is Maid of Sker which certainly looks more the part of a traditional horror game.

On the backward compatibility side of things, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is available for the first half of October as an original Xbox game. Next up is Double Fine's Costume Quest which I unapologetically adore. It might be time for a replay of that one. It's breezy and light in all the right ways. This one doesn't even have a Hardcorn mode to trip you up.

Here's the full Xbox Games with Gold breakdown for October:

Xbox goes all-in on the Halloween theme for October's Games with Gold screenshot

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Demon's Souls is out here with a $90 Digital Deluxe Edition

If the $70 price tag for Sony's PS5 games didn't pummel your wallet enough, well, wait until you see some of these special editions. I would spend a lot on Demon's Souls, but $90 for a Digital Deluxe Edition with the soundtrack and around a dozen in-game items? Yeah, I'm gonna have to sit this one out.

PlayStation has opened pre-orders for Demon's Souls, and here's what the extra $20 gets you:

  • Legendary Hero Soul
  • Renowned Warrior Soul
  • Storied Warrior Soul
  • Red-Eye Knight Armor
  • Boletarian Royalty Armor
  • Ritual Blade
  • Hoplite Shield
  • Ring of Longevity
  • Preservation Grains
  • Phosphorescent Grains
  • Bearbug Grains
  • Large Hardstone Shard
  • Moonlightstone Shard
  • Original soundtrack

If you pre-order any edition, including the $70 standard version, you'll get the Reaper Scythe.

Essentially, most of these items are a head-start for the opening hours – nothing to fret over – with the exception being a pair of armor sets. It's unclear if the Red-Eye Knight and Boletarian Royalty armor can be earned in-game, but I wouldn't be particularly shocked to find out they're Digital Deluxe exclusives. For what it's worth, the official image only calls the Reaper Scythe pre-order bonus an "exclusive."

I'm also curious to find out what the deal is with these grains.

In brighter news, the store page has several new screenshots and they're delectable. I truly hope my Demon's Souls remake machine shows up at my house in time for the Demon's Souls remake.

Demon's Souls is out here with a $90 Digital Deluxe Edition screenshot

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Hades patched on Switch, cross-save estimated for 'sometime in October'

Hades is out on both PC and Switch following a lengthy Early Access period, and for the most part, all is well. There's just a few loose ends to tie up, most notably some errant bugs and of course: cross-save.

While Supergiant wasn't able to get the feature out on time for the cross-launch, it will be coming sooner than we anticipated. According to a new tweet from the company this week, the feature will apparently arrive "sometime in October." For now though, you can download a recent Switch patch that addresses "save data not loading properly," as well as "several other minor fixes and improvements."

Supergiant is also aware of several other known issues, like the fact that Achilles won't give the player the codex (in-game dictionary). That one sounds rough! As for me, I cleaned up my "true ending" runs and completed the final boss on Extreme Measures 4, so I think I'm good for a bit; maybe until I get the itch to finish the epilogue.

Supergiant Games [Twitter]

Hades patched on Switch, cross-save estimated for 'sometime in October' screenshot



Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty hits Nintendo Switch October 27

Oddworld Inhabitants has announced that its remake of classic PlayStation platformer Abe's Oddysee is all set to make its debut on Switch. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty will launch on the Nintendo platform on October 27 in both physical and digital download formats.

Originally released in 2014 on PS4, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is a ground-up remake of the first puzzle platformer in the Oddworld series, as put-upon Mudokan Abe embarks upon an epic quest to free himself and his brethren from RuptureFarms, where the Mudokans are set to be turned into delicious treats for the nefarious Glukkons.

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty hits Nintendo Switch October 27 screenshot

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Balan Wonderworld creator says that this is his 'one chance' to prove himself to Square Enix

It's been a bit since we've heard anything substantial about Balan Wonderworld, but Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka recently sat down with IGN Southeast Asia to hammer out some of the game's details and explain his design philosophy.

To frame the conversation a bit, Naka is all-in on Balan, citing this as his "once chance" to prove himself to Square Enix as a developer. He says that Square Enix "has an RPG image," so he is humbled by the fact that he's able to make a marquee action platformer for the publisher. There's even going to be a novelization in Japanese and English that will help add to the lore of the world. He's so all-in, in fact, that he formed the studio "Balan Company," which he hopes will continue on with the genre after Balan Wonderworld

Naka says that since players can use costume powers (the game's core mechanic) whenever they want (instead of designing levels around restricted abilities), a lot of different strategies are possible. It seems like some of these more intricate moves will be more graceful on next-gen hardware, as Naka confirms that the game will run on 4K at 60FPS on those machines: as well as make use of haptic feedback.

Well, it sure looks like Balan Wonderworld is getting plenty of chances to succeed, if the spread of platforms is anything to go by. Square Enix is releasing it on just about every system under the sun, including all current and next-gen consoles, on top of a PC port. I just hope it's good! It seems delightful.

Balan Wonderworld's Next-Gen Features Discussed by Sonic Creator [IGN]

Balan Wonderworld creator says that this is his 'one chance' to prove himself to Square Enix screenshot



Super Mario 3D All-Stars holds off Mafia double-hit to retain top spot in UK Charts

Nintendo's retro compilation Super Mario 3D All-Stars is celebrating a second week in the top spot of the UK Charts, having fended off not one, but two of 2K Games' Mafia re-releases.

Both Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia Trilogy debuted in the top ten at numbers three and six respectively. Recent releases such as Square Enix's Marvel's Avengers and Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 have continued to hold onto steadfast positions in the premier league. The rest of the top ten is rounded out by chart veterans such as Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto V, and regular Switch sellers Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Minecraft.

As we head into October, the heavy-hitters will start arriving on store shelves, vying for holiday cash. This week sees the launch of Activision's Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, and given the UK's incessant love affair with the mad marsupial, it seems almost a given that the sequel will be rocketing straight into the number one spot

Super Mario 3D All-Stars holds off Mafia double-hit to retain top spot in UK Charts screenshot

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Uro has been banned in Magic: The Gathering and Arena, but is it enough?

Last week Wizards of the Coast said that they were "monitoring" standard play for Magic: The Gathering Arena, and would report back with any potential bans to smooth out the meta. Well, they did: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is now banned from standard (best-of-one and best-of-three) and singleton play.

Uro was released with the Theros set in January of this year and caused all sorts of problems due to its power level. In short, it did too much, offering players three life, card draw, land ramp and the ability to be recalled later as a powerful creature that recurred all of the aforementioned abilities again. The concept, in theory, was that he would be tougher to cast: but with an obscene amount of ramp in the game (Goose and recently, Cobra), it was extremely easy to cast Uro on turn two and outpace most aggro decks.

Here's Wizards' decision in their own words: "In order to weaken these post-rotation ramp strategies, we're choosing to ban Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath in Standard. Our goal is to bring these decks down to a level where they are still appealing and competitive, but where natural metagame forces are enough to keep them in check. In general, we prefer this approach to overshooting the mark and removing an archetype from viability. However, we've certainly noted this weekend's strong results for the Four-Color Omnath deck and will continue to watch how that strategy and the overall metagame adjust in the coming weeks."

You may have noticed Omnath in there: that one, another dominate card that benefits from extra ramp (like Uro), is still legal, as is Lotus Cobra. Right now, Omnath/Cobra/Uro decks comprise around 38% of the competitive meta, which is an obscene figure that's roughly 13% higher than the average (even with 3-Feri was running wild). It's a good first step, but hopefully if Omnath is still crushing standard they don't hesitate further.

As folks have pointed out, Cobra and Omnath are both brand new cards: so there might be some hesitation to ban them quickly. Very few cards (Oko comes to mind) are banned from a freshly minted set for myriad reasons. With Uro out of the way things should be smoother, but Omnath still has plenty of ramp to help propel players into a quick game-ending Genesis Ultimatum.

Banned and Restricted Announcement [Wizards of the Coast]

Uro has been banned in Magic: The Gathering and Arena, but is it enough? screenshot



Zynga's legendary FarmVille to close after a decade of success

Zynga has announced that its era-defining Facebook app, FarmVille will be closing its barn doors for good in December, following almost 11 successful years of operation.

Zynga revealed the news in a statement on its official website. "We're aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over the years who've enjoyed this game just as much as we have," said the developer. "For that we say thank you."

Originally launching on the hellish social media site in 2009, FarmVille immediately attracted the attention of millions of players, with the user base rising to a staggering 84m active farmers during its 2010 peak. But with Adobe's plans to stop distributing Flash Player in 2021, Facebook will no longer be supporting flash games, spelling the end for the flower-growing, crop-arranging time-filler. FarmVille will close on December 31, 2020.

While most assuredly the end-of-an-era, the closure will not affect the FarmVille franchise in the bigger picture. FarmVille 3: Animals is set to launch on iOS and Android platforms later this year, thus pocket-croppers will still have no problems cultivating private worlds whilst hidden away in the office toilets.

Zynga's legendary FarmVille to close after a decade of success screenshot



Live A Live 26th anniversary live stream promises a 'surprise'

Square Enix has announced that it will be holding a live stream this weekend to celebrate the 26th anniversary of quirky Super Famicom RPG Live A Live.

Originally released back in 1994, Live A Live shook up the RPG scene by infusing several unique gameplay ideas. These include the concept of guiding multiple characters through wildly disconnected scenarios, as well as showcasing adaptive gameplay that changes up the battle system and other mechanics as the story progresses.

The stream will feature guest appearances from original Live A Live team members, including director Takashi Tokita, artist Kazuyuki Kurashima, composer Yoko Shimomura, and battle director Nobuyuki Inoue. Most notably, Square Enix promises a "surprise," which is likely connected to the new trademark filed by the publisher back in July.

The Live A Live stream will take place Saturday, October 3 at 20:00 JST, which is a bleary-eyed 04:00 PT / 07:00 ET. You can check out the presentation on the official Square Enix YouTube channel. We'll be sure to keep you informed of any reveals right here on Destructoid - so maybe just have a lie-in instead... And remember yer boy's working for ya.

Live A Live 26th anniversary live stream set for October 3 [Gematsu]

Live A Live 26th anniversary live stream promises a 'surprise' screenshot



Brutal Legend and Doom Eternal headline October's Game Pass offerings

Xbox Game Pass continues to get better. As Brett pointed out recently, Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda is a boon for the service, as Doom Eternal was announced mere days after the news. We knew it was coming on October 1, but there's more than just Doom arriving in October.

This morning, Microsoft unveiled the full October 2020 Game Pass lineup. Doom Eternal will be joined by Drake Hollow on October 1: so far, so good. On October 8, we'll also get Brutal Legend, Forza Motorsport 7 and Ikenfell. Talk about a spread!

Man, seeing Brutal Legend in any context again brings back a rush of memories. I remember how stoked everyone was about the demo (a playable Jack Black metal game with Tim Curry as the villain? How could you go wrong?!); and how polarizing it was after people realized that it was actually part (janky) RTS. What a whirlwind of discussion that game was.

Now we can relive it all over again with a new generation! And race some cars and go on adventures together at the same time. Game Pass is going to be killer once the new generation hits. Speaking of!

Electronic Arts has announced today that EA Play is coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on November 10. Hey, that's right when the next generation starts!

Xbox Game Pass [Xbox Wire]

Brutal Legend and Doom Eternal headline October's Game Pass offerings screenshot



Here's how to get your free Ash's Pikachu in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Today during this morning's special Pokémon stream, The Pokémon Company unveiled a new promo for Sword and Shield. Naturally, it involves Pikachu.

From here on out, special Pikachu will be distributed for Sword and Shield, tailored around the idea of it being "Ash's Pikachu" with eight different hats. The first one is available today, with more coming later "through various means." If history is anything to go by, codes doled out during tournament streams and the like are a safe bet.

To get the initial rat, enter "P1KACHUGET" into your copy of the game.

To unlock the second version, use: "1CH00SEY0U."

There's even going to be a full website for it! It's not live at the time of publication, but The Pokémon Company says more info will be available here. You can also take a look at the array of hats below.

Here's how to get your free Ash's Pikachu in Pokemon Sword and Shield screenshot

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Here's a new look at Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra

This morning, The Pokémon Company showed us a rather lengthy trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield's upcoming Crown Tundra expansion, which includes a ton of new Pokémon and locations. It'll also open the Galarian Star Tournament, complete with familiar faces (past gym leaders, Hop, Isle of Armor trainers). You can "form a dream team" with these trainers.

The gist involves a person named Peony, who will send you on an adventure through the new region. The Pokémon Company reminds us that "every legendary" is up for grabs in this expansion. Dynamax Adventures are also in, allowing you to team up with up to three trainers and battle Pokémon in the depths of caves. Pokémon Go functionality with Pokémon Home is imminent ("before the end of the year"); linking them will grant you a special Melmetal that can Gigantamax.

Crown Tundra is out on October 22, and a physical "all in one bundle" is out on November 6: it'll include the expansions.

Here's a new look at Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra screenshot

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Take-Two and WWE face lawsuit over WWE 2K's replication of tattoos

WWE and Take-Two Interactive could be headed to court after a tattoo artist filed suit over the replication of her artwork being featured in numerous titles in the WWE 2K series.

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, artist Catherine Alexander is asking for remuneration after several tattoos she designed and inked for pro-wrestler Randy Orton between the years of 2003 and 2009 have repeatedly been featured on Orton's in-game character model. The six tattoos in question include a dove, a skull, a bible verse and several tribal patterns.

On Saturday, Illinois judge Staci Yandle offered partial summary judgement on the case. Yandle ruled that while WWE and Take-Two did copy Alexander's work in-game by recreating her art on Orton's character model, it would be up to a jury as to whether this move qualifies as copyright infringement. The outcome of this lawsuit could set an industry-changing precedent for tattoos and their representation going forward.

Take-Two and WWE face lawsuit over WWE 2K's replication of tattoos  screenshot

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Contest: Win a World of Tanks Blitz prize pack to celebrate its release on Nintendo Switch

In today's contest you can win a key to unlock premium in-game contest for World of Tanks Blitz!

Whenever a game hits a new platform, I usually get PR reps shouting out to me to help promote it by giving away free stuff. Since I like free stuff, and you like free stuff, I pretty much always say yes. Free stuff!

In today's free stuff bonanza, we're giving away in-game goodies for any platform of World of Tanks Blitz to celebrate its recent release on Switch. That's right -- this hit Switch, so now everyone who plays can win!

Contest: Win a World of Tanks Blitz prize pack to celebrate its release on Nintendo Switch screenshot

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You'll get a free Xbox Series X if you can become an Xbox Hall of Famer

Plunking down $500 isn't the only way to get ahold of an Xbox Series X this holiday. You could get lucky and win one from Taco Bell. Or, you could become such an elite video game player that Microsoft feels compelled to give you an Xbox Series X.

Microsoft has a new Xbox Hall of Fame promotion where it's "celebrating gamers who've achieved excellence on Xbox One." Over the course of the next couple months, Microsoft is inducting 8 people from 13 regions (104 total winners) into the Hall of Fame for various short- and long-term accomplishments. Your shot at some of them is long gone, but maybe you can give some other competitions the ol' college try.

Here are the eight competitions for the Xbox Hall of Fame:

You'll get a free Xbox Series X if you can become an Xbox Hall of Famer screenshot

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