Blog Archive

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Cblogs of 9/26 to 10/2/2020: Persona 5, The Outer Wilds, and gaming annoyances

Cblogs Recap: Week 40



-LaTerry details this month's Band of Bloggers prompt which focuses on the theme of "Darkness" in videogames.

-Goemar details five MINOR annoyances he faced in all his years of gaming.

-Black Red Gaming thinks that The Outer Wilds is one of the best gaming experiences he ever had.

-Kerrik52 reminisces about how relatives and classmates unwittingly supported his gaming hobby.

-LaTerry responds to September's Band of Bloggers prompt about waiting for game by detailing his wait for Persona 5 (Should have waited for Persona 5 R).

-Shoggoth2588 shares with us his September gaming journal.

-Black Red Gaming shares his list of most anticipated games to be released in October.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the music of Super Mario Land and the music of Jacques Offenbach.

-Dinosir compares the ubiquitous cheap earbuds and Raycons buds.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Fatal Fury and the music of Robert Miles.

-Agent9 wants us to stay safe in these hard times, and he will start a daily short journal in October. Here is Day 2.

-MeanderBots is open for any Art Commissions by the community, check it out if you are interested.

-ChronoLynxx is back with yet another TGIF open community forum.

Cblogs of 9/26 to 10/2/2020: Persona 5, The Outer Wilds, and gaming annoyances screenshot

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What in the blue hell is Ben Bero Beh?

Every week, I drop a short article letting you beautiful people know what Hamster has pulled out of its retro sack for the Arcade Archives range. Very rarely is it a game I haven't played, but today it's a game that has never even entered my frame of reference: Taito's Ben Bero Beh.

Released in arcades in 1984, this early single-screen platformer sees players guide Ben - a self-styled superhero - through a burning building in a frantic effort to rescue his girlfriend Beh, who is trapped within the apartment complex. Armed with only a fire extinguisher and a goofy costume, Ben must bob-and-weave his way from floor to floor, putting out the flames and dodging other hazards such as rotting floorboards, loose electrical cables and... a giant face that attempts to eat Ben. Of course.

Check out the obscure title below, courtesy of YouTuber Old Classic Retro Gaming.

What in the blue hell is Ben Bero Beh? screenshot

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amiibo for Banjo-Kazooie, Fatal Fury's Terry, and Fire Emblem's Byleth are coming next year

Saturday's "Steve & Alex" presentation on the next DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate certainly had a lot of interesting moments in it. I personally think the way Sakurai incorporated the Minecraft bunch into the game is outstanding. Of course, my favorite moment was seeing Travis Touchdown finding his way into the game, even if he is just a Mii Fighter costume with no music.

Now, if you're still collecting those amiibo -- *cough* Chris Carter *cough* -- another highlight for you came at the tail end of the presentation. Sakurai brought out the next set of Smash Bros. amiibo, showcasing Banjo-Kazooie, Byleth, and Terry. The three figures will hit store shelves in 2021, bringing the amiibo line up to date with the first fighters pass. Unfortunately, it does not look like we're getting an alternate version of Byleth as has been done in the past for fighters like Corrin.

These fighters will join a few other amiibo already announced for 2021, including those for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury and Monster Hunter Rise. Fun fact: Did you know Nintendo refers to the Super Mario Cereal as "Delicious amiibo?"

Nintendo of Europe [Twitter]

amiibo for Banjo-Kazooie, Fatal Fury's Terry, and Fire Emblem's Byleth are coming next year screenshot

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Bomberman and Travis Touchdown among the new wave of Mii Fighter costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

As part of this morning's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation, producer Masahiro Sakurai revealed the next incoming run of Mii Fighter costumes, which will arrive in the Switch brawler on October 13.

The new selection of fun cosplay outfits are based on popular characters from cutesy party classic classic Bomberman, old-school RPG Tower of Druaga and - in keeping with Smash Bros. Ultimate's newest DLC character - a trio of characters from the best-selling video game of all-time, Minecraft, including the terrifying Creeper. Spooky.

Also appearing in the set is a skin for Travis Touchdown, hero of irreverent adventure series No More Heroes. This latter reveal has understandably disappointed some fans, who had been hoping that Mr. Touchdown would be joining the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster proper. No More Heroes creator Suda51 has taken to Twitter to celebrate the reveal.

You can check out the six new Mii Fighter costumes in the video below, ahead of their October 13 launch. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now on Nintendo Switch.

Bomberman and Travis Touchdown among the new wave of Mii Fighter costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate screenshot

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Minecraft Steve is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 13

Nintendo has announced that the next DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Steve from Minecraft, will be available to purchase on October 13. Smash fans can pick up Steve as part of the $30 Fighter's Pass or can pick him up individually for around $6.

Steve's landing date was announced as part of a special weekend broadcast by Nintendo, where Smash Bros. producer Masahiro Sakurai gave us our first in-depth look at the dig-happy boy in axe-tion. Steve will come bundled with a new stage, seven music tracks, and alternate forms that let him transform into fellow Minecraft alumni Alex, Zombie, and Enderman.

If you missed the presentation, then it available to watch in its entirety below.

Minecraft Steve is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 13 screenshot

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The one where you ask your Podtoid questions

Fall is finally here and the Podtoid crew is ready for the cooler weather to come and settle in. They're also ready to answer more of your questions on next week's show. What do you want to know as we head into the haunting season? Ask away in the comments. Trust me when I say we feed off your questions. We can't live without them. I can't live without them. Daddy needs his medicine so ask us something below so he can ride those question rails.

The one where you ask your Podtoid questions screenshot



Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

As the old adage goes: "There's not many a problem a bicycle to the face doesn't cure," and one man who took this ancient proverb to heart was Yakuza protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. While one of gaming's finest ever heroes - mostly due to his stoic nature, sense of pride, and selfless defence of his friends and loved ones - Kazuma's tendency to break the two-wheeled conveyance over the heads of all and sundry cannot be underestimated as his best quality.

I got re-associated with that quality last night, as I put a couple of hours into Yakuza Kiwami. Having played the first two Yakuza titles on PS2 back when they released in the '00s, I wanted to check out how those classic storylines, characters, and scenes played out in the optimised Yakuza engine. (If you haven't played PS2 Yakuza, every random encounter or scene switch necessitated a load screen. Yeah.) It was eye-opening to see iconic moments such as Kiryu's arrest and the funeral throwdown retold in glorious HD. The only negative for me is the new "Majima Everywhere" mechanic, which really subdues Goro's presence in the overall story. You didn't see Majima as a wacky, cheeky frenemy in PS2 Yakuza, he was a murderous, stone-cold psychopath.

Anyway, I'm gonna pass the mic to the murderous, stone-cold psychopaths in Destructoid's community. That's all a' y'all. Please spare a moment to drop into the comments below and fill us in on the games that have or will be taking up your valuable time this week/weekend. This article has been more popular in the last month or so than perhaps it has ever been, and I love you all for it, so let's keep the ball rollin'. And if you haven't yet, maybe check out our forums.

Oh, and have a safe and pleasant weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.

Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot



Contest: Win Let's Sing Queen for Xbox One, PS4, or Switch

In today's contest you can win Let's Sing Queen for Xbox One, PS4, or Switch!

I'm going to say it, and you're going to listen to it: Let's Sing Queen is the Dark Souls of singing games. Like, legit. Freddie Mercury has the absolute best voice EVER in rock, and probably outside of it, too. I'm nervous even thinking about trying to hit any of those notes playing this one.

Well, you can give it a shot! We've got some Xbox One, PS4, and Switch copies to give out, so everybody play the game!

Contest: Win Let's Sing Queen for Xbox One, PS4, or Switch screenshot

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Microsoft Flight Simulator is testing VR with Windows Mixed Reality and then 'additional headsets'

Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn't have VR support yet, but that's where you – or at least someone like you, who owns the right headset – come in. Asobo Studio is getting ready to run a VR closed beta.

You can run down the full requirements and sign-up over here if you qualify, but the important thing to note is that the first phase of the beta will be limited to Windows Mixed Reality, while the second phase will open up to encompass "additional headsets." Asobo says it will "only allow a select group of testers at any given time," so having the right setup and expressing interest won't guarantee that you'll get in.

It could be a while before we see footage of VR up and running in Microsoft Flight Simulator given that beta access comes with a non-disclosure agreement, but I'm expecting eventual greatness. This game has a bright future ahead of it – years upon years of content updates – and VR will push it even higher.

I look forward to maybe one day owning powerful enough hardware that can make the most of it.

October 1st, 2020 Development Update [Microsoft Flight Simulator]

Microsoft Flight Simulator is testing VR with Windows Mixed Reality and then 'additional headsets' screenshot



Gearbox sheds just a little light on Borderlands 3's newest game mode

Borderlands 3 has millions of guns and that often feels like a moot point. There are so many firearms but the vast majority just stay on the ground, as they're far worse than what you're already packing. Borderlands 3's newest game mode wants every gun to play a role.

In an interview with GameSpot, Gearbox shared a few early details about this dedicated mode that's called Arms Race. Creative director Graeme Timmins said "Our goal with Arms Race is to make the gun game in our game of millions of guns really matter." That nearly guarantees a gameplay loop that will feel unique to what Borderlands 3's core offers.

Arms Race will also take place on its own isolated map, and it'll serve as a standalone mode. While Gearbox stopped short of calling it a battle royale, Gearbox head Randy Pitchford described it as something that will appeal to fans of Call of Duty and battle royale games, but explicitly stated that it's "not a battle royale."

The full reveal of Arms Race is expected to take place sometime in October. Gearbox seemingly intends to hit the ground running with this one. During the recent Gearbox PAX panel (where free next-gen upgrades were confirmed), this new game mode was described as something that's coming "later [in 2020]." Borderlands 3 players should be thrust into an Arms Race before the year's out.

One Year Later, Borderlands 3 Has More Surprises In Store For Players [GameSpot]

Gearbox sheds just a little light on Borderlands 3's newest game mode screenshot



Nintendo is taking Pikmin Short Movies off of the eShop and uploading them to YouTube

Usually when something's delisted, it's generally bad news. This might be the rare exception to that rule.

Nintendo is delisting Pikmin Short Movies on October 8. It has been available on the 3DS and Wii U eShop following its debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014. That doesn't mean Pikmin Short Movies is lost to the ether, though. Nintendo plans to upload the film to its YouTube channel shortly after the delisting. 

In case you're not familiar -- and I wouldn't blame you because I forgot all about this -- here's the synopsis that Jordan wrote in 2014: "Pikmin Short Movies, is made up of three episodes: 'The Night Juicer,' in which Captain Olimar makes his favorite juice; 'Treasures in a Bottle,' in which Pikmin meet a strange treasure; 'Occupational Hazards,' a big adventure at a construction site." If that doesn't sell you, it's worth noting that Shigeru Miyamoto was attached as a producer.

Pikmin Short Movies disappears from the eShop on October 8. Usually, this is the part where we'd say "Last chance to buy it or miss out forever!" Not this time, though. This time, it's "Last chance to needlessly drop $5 before it's free and you can watch it on any of your devices!" Sometimes, rarely but sometimes, a delisting works out.

Pikmin Short Movies to be removed from the 3DS / Wii U eShops next week [Nintendo Everything]

Nintendo is taking Pikmin Short Movies off of the eShop and uploading them to YouTube screenshot



Review: Genshin Impact

Early on, Genshin Impact was met with a mixed reception due to how similar it was to Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Having finally played it, I can say that it's a lot more than a clone even if it doesn't fully live up to its inspiration.

Review: Genshin Impact screenshot

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The Warhawk community has rescued it from the dead and brought it back online

Where there's a will, there's a way. The heart wants what the heart wants. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Those vague expressions could apply to many things, but right now they apply to Warhawk. Sony took the Warhawk servers offline in January 2019. However, game preservation group PlayStation Online Network Emulated got it back up and running recently. You can play Warhawk on your PS3 today if you want.

The Warhawk community has rescued it from the dead and brought it back online screenshot

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Review: Spellbreak

Have you ever had a game that just clicked with you right off the bat? You play one game, one level, one match, or one round, and its charms impress you enough that you're in, no questions asked?

Spellbreak is the first game in a long time to click with me like that. I decided to try it out on a whim and found myself ignoring the alarm on my phone that tells me to go to sleep just so I could get in another round or two. I was immediately and legitimately hooked. The battle system is spectacular, and I just wanted to keep playing until my eyes would refuse to stay open.

The more I played, the better I got, and soon enough, I realized this might be the perfect battle royale for me. And it really could be if everything else about it wasn't so goddamn dull.

Review: Spellbreak screenshot

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Fall Guys is doubling fame points before Season 2 starts on October 8

It's not too late to max out your Season 1 progress in Fall Guys before Season 2 starts on October 8.

After announcing that finalized date on Twitter, Mediatonic also said that Fall Guys will give out double fame points starting on Monday, October 5 – a chance to earn enough XP to hit level 40. Up until the last five or so slow-moving levels, I feel like I reached that point pretty effortlessly. It just happened.

I'm not sure I'll still be into Fall Guys enough to hit the Season 2 cap – we'll see how fun the medieval levels are and if Mediatonic can keep the game fresh in follow-up updates – but I'll give it my best.

While we're here, I'd like to formally request a Fall Guys level based on Don't Spill the Beans.

Fall Guys is doubling fame points before Season 2 starts on October 8 screenshot



Here's that chunky Amnesia: Rebirth gameplay trailer running at 60FPS

After publishing improperly-exported gameplay footage of Amnesia: Rebirth that ran poorly and had some of us feeling anxious about the fast-approaching October 20 release, Frictional Games has since released a 60FPS trailer with a look at "monsters, puzzles, physics, and creepy environments."

The setting is unfamiliar, and the protagonist comments on her surroundings more than expected – something I'm sure I'll get used to – but there's no mistaking it: this is classic first-person horror. Frictional also did something I want these trailers to do – it shows what happens when you eff up.

This footage was captured "over a month ago" and certain elements, like the tank, have since been updated. "So cool how your game always gets a massive quality boost near the end of development."

I can already tell Amnesia: Rebirth will be an exhausting, nerve-fraying romp. A fine game for 2020.

Here's that chunky Amnesia: Rebirth gameplay trailer running at 60FPS screenshot



Roblox Corporation is reportedly going public in 2021

As world-builder Roblox continues to expand upon its global success - having established an incredible user base on PC and mobile platforms since its 2006 launch - parent company Roblox Corporation is reportedly considering going public on the U.S. stock market in 2021.

According to a report on CNBC, Roblox Corporation is currently weighing up its options, considering whether to go public via a traditional initial public offering (IPO), or through a direct listing, which will prevent the selling of new shares and will disallow banks from weighing in on stock pricing. Previously valued at an amazing $4 billion USD, Roblox Corporation is reportedly confident it can double its valuation to a staggering $8 billion.

While not spoken about as frequently and in as large circles as Mojang's Minecraft (of which it is often inaccurately compared to), Roblox has built a similarly huge audience of younger players, with an estimated half of all under-16s in the U.S. sinking time into the mini-game party title. Roblox Corporation currently states that its app has around 115 million monthly active units, garnering around 1.5 billion hours of "monthly engagement."

U.S. gaming platform Roblox prepares to go public [CNBC / GamesIndustry.biz]

Roblox Corporation is reportedly going public in 2021 screenshot



NHL 21 gets an NHL 94 demake... but only as a pre-order bonus

One of the greatest sports video games of all-time is getting a roster update in about a month. Current NHL players are being dragged all the way back to the mid-'90s.

EA Sports has revealed NHL 94 Rewind, which doesn't involve Mario Lemieux and his 100 rating looking absolutely invincible. Instead, as EA Sports describes it, "it's today's teams and today's rosters with controls and graphics from 1994." Some of them, like Joe Thornton and Ilya Kovalchuk, might've been on the original NHL 94 rosters! There's no way to know.

NHL 21 gets an NHL 94 demake... but only as a pre-order bonus screenshot

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NHS staff can get a free copy of Surgeon Simulator 2

UK developer Bossa is offering free copies of Surgeon Simulator 2 to all NHS staff members. And if you do work for that excellent organisation, all you need do is visit this website before October 22 and register your official NHS email address to receive a PC key for the wild 'n' gory sequel.

"At Bossa, we've always envisioned Surgeon Simulator 2 as a valuable training tool for NHS workers to hone their healthcare skills!" said Bossa co-founder Henrique Olifiers. "The Surgeon Simulator 2 community is frankly rubbish at saving Bob, so we think our players need to be shown how it's really done."

NHS staff can get a free copy of Surgeon Simulator 2 screenshot

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Nintendo should really reconsider making Super Mario Bros. 35 a limited release

I brought my Switch with me to bed last night. No, it wasn't to check on my Animal Crossing villagers I haven't visited in over a month... It was to maliciously wreck 34 other players in Super Mario Bros. 35 by outlasting them and sending as many hammer brothers their way as I possibly could. Now that's what I call a fun time under the sheets!

I managed to rack up two more first-place victories last night in Super Mario Bros. 35, and I can't get enough of it. Nevertheless, regardless of whether I get bored or sidetracked by another video game, Super Mario Bros. 35 has a limited lifespan set in place by Nintendo. Why? I haven't the faintest clue. Perhaps they believe the skill ceiling could become too high? Maybe they plan on fully expanding this idea with a different and more fleshed out release (levels from World and 3 would be glorious). Maybe it's just Nintendo being Nintendo.

Nintendo should really reconsider making Super Mario Bros. 35 a limited release screenshot

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Bungie is bringing back Destiny 2's spooky Festival of the Lost

Destiny's Festival of the Lost event has always been one of the more wholesome seasonal goings-on in the series. Back when the original Destiny was devoid of content it was over far too quickly, but as time has gone on and the Destiny universe has become more full, it's a nice way to spend a few minutes each week.

The gist was that (which has blossomed into more perks and activities in recent years) you'd go around the Tower hub and go trick or treating for cosmetics: but now it's a little more involved. In Destiny 2 you can complete Triumphs in the Haunted Forest, which will grant you rewards like a mummified Sparrow, ship and Ghost. Just know that you need to be at Power Level 750 to get into the Haunted Forest (which most characters should be at this point).

Also, there are some known bugs with the event, so be aware of them going in. You can check them out below, as well as the debut trailer. The event kicks off on October 6 and will run through November 3!

Bungie is bringing back Destiny 2's spooky Festival of the Lost screenshot

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Apex Legends will be testing out cross-play next week

The explosive sci-fi world of Apex Legends is getting set to open the doors to a helluva lot more wannabe Legends, as developer Respawn Entertainment has announced that it will be launching its cross-play beta on Tuesday, October 6.

The new feature will allow battle royalers (royalty?) on PS4, PC, and Xbox One platforms to all thrown down on the World's Edge. Players will be able to add or invite their friends on other platforms, before dropping in for a bout of bombastic action. It should be noted that, due to the mouse-and-keyboard advantage, PC and console players will automatically be kept separate when searching for games, but PC players can invite willing console players into the PC pool.

Apex Legends will be testing out cross-play next week screenshot

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Nvidia has delayed the RTX 3070 launch to avoid stock issues

After an overwhelmingly popular launch of its newest graphics cards, which saw people and possibly bots snapping up everything available, Nvidia has made the decision to delay the launch of the last card for its 3000 series in order to avoid stocking issues.

Originally scheduled for October 15, the new launch date for the RTX 3070 is now October 29.

The 3070 is the "budget" model of this year's impressive 3000 graphics cards series. Despite being the weakest card of the three, the RTX 3070 - which will go on sale for $499 - boasts a better performance on paper than the RTX 2080 Ti that launched with a $999 price tag. It's a huge step up in regards to "bang for your buck" and Nvidia is expecting high sales numbers, so it listened to its fans and pushed the launch back to make more units available.

Speaking in a press statement, Nvidia said:

Production of GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards are ramping quickly. We've heard from many of you that there should be more cards available on launch day. To help make that happen, we are updating the availability date to Thursday, October 29th.

We know this may be disappointing to those eager to purchase a GeForce RTX 3070 as soon as possible, however this shift will help our global partners get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers on launch day.

Those who were hoping to get their new 3070s before the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 better get their F5 fingers ready for October 29, because it's looking to be a close shave in the lead up to the fall releases.

Nvidia has delayed the RTX 3070 launch to avoid stock issues screenshot



Silent Hill 4: The Room now available via GOG

Konami's ultra-unnerving survival horror sequel Silent Hill 4: The Room is now available to purchase on PC from classic game retailer Good Old Games (GOG). You can pick up the nightmarish adventure, DRM-free, for $9.99 USD.

Originally released in 2004 for PC, PS2, and Xbox, Silent Hill 4 sees the body-horror action relocated from the titular town to the fictional locale of Ashfield. It is here that everyman Henry Townshend finds himself suddenly unable to leave his metaphysically labyrinthine apartment, locked down by a terrifying, unknown menace.

Eventually leaving his room, Townshend begins a truly disturbing journey through multiple alternate realities, encountering numerous characters who will offer our protagonist help or hindrance. But in the horrifying world of Silent Hill, what and who do you trust, especially when almost everything exists outside of the realms of both science and sanity?

Silent Hill 4: The Room is available now on PC via GOG.com.

Silent Hill 4: The Room now available via GOG screenshot



Nintendo unveils new details for Mario Kart Live, like its 24-race Grand Prix mode

Mario Kart Live is out very soon, and I know some people are still confused as to what it even is, so I'll break it down.

In short, it's an AR-based real-life toy that has a giant camera attached to it, which links up to your Nintendo Switch to simulate a digital racetrack. You'll scoot the actual toys around the floor of your house while you watch the screen: which divines all sorts of magic like imaginary question mark blocks and other CPU racers.

Effects like getting hit with an item will spin you out in real-life and the game, and you create the course yourself by placing "gates," and the app will take care of the rest. The kit is $100 per kart and at launch, you can bring Mario or Luigi onto the track for solo or multiplayer experiences. Assuming it all works, that's it. The video above explains it visually.

But beyond that basic rundown, Nintendo also had a few extra details to share with us today. First up Nintendo recommends you have an area of roughly 12' x 10' as a "recommended" play area, which can be restrictive for a lot of people. The "main" mode has also been revealed: a Grand Prix consisting of eight cups and 24 different races, which will feature themes such as "underwater, volcanic and retro."

As the above video points out, the speed classes include 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and 200cc, which directly impact the speed of your real kart. There's also a metagame to chase, in that coins you collect will grant you customization options and costumes for your digital kart.

More modes have been revealed too, like custom race (add hazards and items to your liking), time trials (compete against other people asynchronously without buying two karts) and mirror mode, which warps your real-life setup. Nintendo says that "up to four players" can race as long as they have their own karts and systems.

Nintendo unveils new details for Mario Kart Live, like its 24-race Grand Prix mode screenshot

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Baldur's Gate 3 will have cross-save and cross-play, but you need to make a Larian account to do it

The highly anticipated Baldur's Gate 3 is finally heading into early access very soon (October 6). Right now, developer Larian Studios is planning on releasing the game on Steam, Stadia and GOG, but there might be some light at the end of the tunnel thanks to information from a forum post today.

The post itself deals with cross-save and cross-play capabilities, which will henceforth be linked to a Larian account. Yes, another account. The post states: "It's early days, but signing up now helps us stress-test the service as we roll out more features. It's entirely optional (you don't need an account to play Baldur's Gate 3), but in the future it'll be the account that links your adventures together. For example, your account will be how we facilitate cross-saves for Baldur's Gate 3 across Steam, Stadia, and GOG, as well as potential future platforms if and when released."

There's two key takeaways here. If you're content with playing Baldur's Gate 3 solo (or with someone on the same platform) and on one device, you can ignore this account entirely: which is a step up from some major publishers. Also, the "potential future platforms if and when released" is very telling, as Larian seemingly is waiting to announce console editions in the near or far future.

Either way, this is something to be aware of going forward. No one likes to make new accounts on a weekly basis, but this seems like it's one of Larian's only options to facilitate cross-save, at least.

Introducing the new Larian Account ahead of Early [Larian Studios Forums] Thanks Jeff!

Baldur's Gate 3 will have cross-save and cross-play, but you need to make a Larian account to do it screenshot



Plans for Minecraft's Steve to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate go back as far as 2015

Yesterday, Nintendo revealed that Minecraft avatar Steve will be the next DLC character joining the star-studded roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While the news may have come as a surprise to some fans of the uber-popular crossover fighter, it seems that plans for Steve to join the Smash Bros. party go back as far as five years ago.

Speaking on Twitter after the reveal, former Mojang business developer Daniel Kaplan claimed that talks between Nintendo and the Minecraft developer began "at least" five years ago. This would suggest that Nintendo was considering a Smash x Minecraft crossover around the time of SSBU's initial conception, perhaps even envisioning Steve as a base roster character.

Whenever it comes to the cross-fraternising of licences, there is always much red tape to sift through, and given that both Minecraft and Smash Bros. are two of the biggest franchises in gaming, no doubt the road to securing Steve's arrival was a long one. Still, this only makes Steve's ultimate appearance all that more astonishing, and arguably the biggest reveal the Smash franchise has had since Snake made his debut way back in 2006's Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Minecraft's Steve (not forgetting Alex, Zombie, and Enderman) will join SSBU as paid DLC in the near future, available as an individual purchase or as part of the Smash Bros. Fighter's Pass. More detailed information is expected from Nintendo tomorrow.

Plans for Minecraft's Steve to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate go back as far as 2015 screenshot

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I'm going to die way too much in Overcooked 2's free Moon Harvest levels

I like to start Overcooked 2 levels with a "practice run" – a chance to see where the ingredients are, how we're meant to flow around the room and navigate obstacles, and who should be on top of each duty.

I can already tell the very temporary (and very narrow) lily pad walkways in the Moon Harvest update are going to be trouble for me. The free Overcooked 2 update went out earlier today on all platforms. On the bright side, mooncakes. We'll be whipping up cute fruit-filled treats for the ravenous crowd.

Like other recent updates, this one can be accessed from the Seasonal Updates option in Extras.

With the PS5 and Xbox Series X getting Overcooked: All You Can Eat, this might be one of the final updates for Overcooked 2. It's been wonderful! (Aside from all the times I pissed off my girlfriend.)

I'm going to die way too much in Overcooked 2's free Moon Harvest levels screenshot



Fan imagines a world where Stardew Valley celebrates your birthday

Stardew Valley is such a watershed game, that absolutely any small addition can get fans to salivate.

Banana trees? The internet goes wild. Moving your bed? I need to carve out time in my schedule when 1.5 hits just for this. It's crazy how developer Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone can get nearly 60,000 likes when tweeting out something as simple as rearranging furniture. But then again, I perked up when I saw this fan-made birthday mechanic mock-up.

Held at The Stardrop Saloon, Redditor hoethegrandma (what a name) imagines what it would look like, adorned with banners, balloons, gifts and good company. I'm just thinking of all of the gifts the townsfolk could possibly give: make sure that it's that one thing I need to finish the Community Center. It's also adorable to see the Mayor and Marnie hanging out together in public.

As they point out, there is an actual mod for birthdays in Stardew Valley. It's been downloaded 120,000 times. If ConcernedApe wanted, they could probably keep working on this game forever.

Imagine the gifts! [Reddit]

Fan imagines a world where Stardew Valley celebrates your birthday screenshot



This Keanu Reeves commercial is gonna sell so many more copies of Cyberpunk 2077

People who frequent this blog probably already know how they feel about Cyberpunk 2077. Many of you have been excited for years. Some of you likely aren't on-board with the recent revelation that CD Projekt employees are subjected to "mandatory crunch" until the game ships. Regardless where you fall, you probably have an opinion.

But for people who have no idea about Cyberpunk 2077, this new Keanu Reeves-led advertisement is going to sell a lot more copies. This commercial aired during the NBA Finals last night, and it just feels cool, flashy, and badass in all the right ways. It has mass appeal, and that's even before you consider the inclusion of global sweetheart Keanu Reeves.

This game is gonna sell so many goddamn copies it's gonna be stupid.

This Keanu Reeves commercial is gonna sell so many more copies of Cyberpunk 2077 screenshot



Despite Blizzard's insistence that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands won't be delayed, it has been delayed

"Shadowlands will arrive in the fall, even if we have to ship it from our homes." That take hasn't aged well! One a few months ago, World of Warcraft executive producer John Hight insisted that nothing is going to stop Shadowlands from launching on time. As it turns out, something -- a whole entire pandemic, to be clear -- has stopped Shadowlands from launching on time.

Once set to release on October 27, Blizzard has been forced to delay World of Warcraft: Shadowlands to sometime "later this year." There's no new date given, but it'll have to be in November or December if Blizzard wants to make good on this new window. At this point, it wouldn't be unreasonable if Shadowlands fell back into 2021.

The reason for the delay is that Blizzard is having some trouble tuning the balance of the endgame. The content (story, zones, quests) is complete, but there's need for polish and balancing.

Even though there's no firm date on when Shadowlands will arrive, Blizzard's releasing the pre-patch relatively soon. That will go live on October 13, and it includes "level squishing" which revamps how character leveling works. (Read all about the pre-expansion patch here.) You'll have more time than expected to get used to the changes in the patch.

An Update on Shadowlands [World of Warcraft]

Despite Blizzard's insistence that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands won't be delayed, it has been delayed screenshot



Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Crash Bandicoot is a legend in my household.

As a kid, I couldn't get enough of the 'lil furball, whether it was via the classic platforming series or Crash Team Racing. When I met my wife, as luck would have it, we would both share a love for Crash-related games, and spent much of our early dating years toiling away taking turns with the trilogy or engaging in late-night Crash runs.

Witnessing the series slowly slip away from Sony's grasp and into the state of irrelevancy was tough. That all changed in recent years with the N. Sane Trilogy and now Crash 4 thanks to the tireless efforts of developmental stewardship from Vicarious Visions and Toys for Bob.

Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time screenshot

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GOG will soon let you buy games from other storefronts like Epic

Perpetually frustrated by Epic's strategy of securing a bunch of high-profile exclusives? Over the fact that the Epic Games Store still doesn't have a shopping cart? There's something of a workaround in the pipeline.

GOG has revealed that it's revamping its store so that people can purchase games from other storefronts through GOG:

GOG will soon let you buy games from other storefronts like Epic screenshot

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Nintendo Download: Super Mario Bros. 35

A first-party Nintendo game is out today! As long as you're okay with battle royales. And micro-eShop games that have limited windows. And...have Switch Online. Wait, come back!

Yep, Super Mario Bros. 35 is definitely the headliner today, and time will tell if it becomes the next Tetris 99. You better believe that if it does catch on, Nintendo will walk back that "limited time release" nonsense and give it some paid DLC, just like Tetris 99 did.

As far as other big releases go, Rogue Company is out today in full, having enjoyed a paid early access period. Ys Origin is also out on Switch, which is going to be a big deal to some people.

Nintendo Download: Super Mario Bros. 35 screenshot

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Unlike the Xbox versions, Dirt 5 on PS4 won't transfer save data to PS5

Bringing our save files from PS4 over to PS5 isn't something we should have to wonder about – it should be one of those invisible "it just works" features – but that's not how things are shaping up.

Dirt 5 is another game that will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 but will not let players transfer their progression from one console to the next when they freely upgrade to the PS5 version.

"Currently on Xbox, all progress can be carried over between generations," Codemasters said in response to a question on Twitter. "On PlayStation, your Playgrounds creations can be carried over, but other game progress (Career, currency, saved liveries) cannot. If that changes, we'll let you know!"

We're still making sense of how widespread this issue will be for PlayStation fans hoping for a smooth console transition, but for now – with Spider-Man: Miles Morales supporting PS4-to-PS5 saves and Maneater and Yakuza 7 proactively announcing otherwise – it's very much a case-by-case basis.

I'm curious to hear specific details about the transfer process for Miles Morales "closer to launch."

[Via VGC]

Unlike the Xbox versions, Dirt 5 on PS4 won't transfer save data to PS5 screenshot



This simple Devil May Cry 5 mod does one thing: It gives Vergil a plastic chair throne

The Devil May Cry 5 modding scene has been vibrant ever since it was released, and these past few weeks have been no exception.

It all started with a series of tweets that eventually became a mod: the idea of Vergil's decadent endgame throne getting replaced by those scrape-prone plastic lawn and garden chairs. It's such a small touch, but when it plays out (like in Franctastic's video below) it perfectly fits the otherwise dour mood that the scene otherwise exudes.

This is partially why so many folks are up in arms about the lack of a proper PC port for Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition. I want to see 4K60FPS mods for the "armies of enemies" mechanic. Maybe a 4K lawn chair? At the very least, previous platforms are getting Vergil as DLC.

So you can just imagine the chair and get all of the Vergil benefits.

Vergil Chair [Nexus Mods]

This simple Devil May Cry 5 mod does one thing: It gives Vergil a plastic chair throne screenshot

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You can play three Yakuza games for free until Sunday if you have Xbox Live Gold

With Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon shaking things up and Xbox Game Pass bringing first-time players into the fold, it's another great year for curious players to see what the cherished Yakuza series is all about.

I won't lie, it can be intimidating – and super easy to put off as a seemingly huge and potentially years-long undertaking. But one step at a time is all you need to see if Yakuza's street-brawler action, cozy city vibes, larger-than-life personalities, and wacky side-stories and mini-games are your sorta jam.

As a limited-time trial offer, Sega is letting Xbox Live Gold subscribers play as much Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 as they can possibly squeeze in from October 1 to October 4.

These games are way too long to finish during that free window, so I'd start with Yakuza 0, a prequel that's often cited as the most accessible and intriguing for all-new players. I'd also try to prioritize reaching Chapter 3: A Gilded Cage sooner than later. You've gotta experience Majima's introduction.

It's risky to hope something lasts forever, but I'm kind of at that point with Yakuza.

You can play three Yakuza games for free until Sunday if you have Xbox Live Gold screenshot



My Nintendo has a Dodo Airlines bag and a few other physical rewards for Animal Crossing fans

Those Mario pins went stupidly fast, but maybe there's hope for My Nintendo's newly-stocked Animal Crossing rewards. (Yeah, right. Every cool item with limited quantities is a nightmare to get this year.)

My favorite of the bunch is the Dodo Airlines shopping bag because of the color and understated logo, but there's also a Leaf bandana, a Tom Nook keychain figure, and a Nook shopping bag. These items range from 600 to 1,000 Platinum Points each and, as usual, Nintendo is charging a shipping fee.

Godspeed. The site didn't break for me and my order went through. I hope you have the same luck!

[Thanks, Neronium]

My Nintendo has a Dodo Airlines bag and a few other physical rewards for Animal Crossing fans screenshot

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Mystic adventure The Pathless is a PS5 launch title

Publisher Annapurna Interactive has announced that lavish looking adventure title The Pathless will launch alongside PlayStation 5 hardware in November. It will also be available to purchase on PS4, PC via Epic Games Store, and on iOS via Apple Arcade.

Developed by ABZU creators Giant Squid, The Pathless will allow players to explore a beautiful open-world environment, ranging from icy tundras and deep forests to dank caves and peaceful meadows. As "The Hunter," players must travel this mythic universe on a quest to rid the land of an ever-growing corruption. Aided by a faithful eagle companion and equipped with amazing archery and acrobatic skills, The Hunter must chase down and eradicate the evil spirits that plague the land.

Mystic adventure The Pathless is a PS5 launch title screenshot

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Fallout 76's underground shelters look rad, but parts of them are gated behind Atoms or Fallout 1st

It's kind of strange to log into Fallout 76 these days and see how far the game has come since the ignoble mess of a state it launched in.

We've gotten multiple free expansions and improvements: most notably a ton of bug vacuuming and quality of life upgrades for both solo and multiplayer modes. It can feel like a completely different game at times. A still flawed Fallout experience, but something new all the same.

Bethesda has been teasing a completely new customization option for a while, but now we actually get to see the fruits of their labor. "C.A.M.P. [I hate typing that out] Shelters" are going to be a thing, which, roughly translated, allows players to build underground instanced homes. Because it's in a completely controlled space, it allows both players and the designers to have more freedom in terms of what is allowed to happen.

These spaces are going to be added "near the end of this year," and will allow for three different sizes: the "Utility Room," the "Vault Lobby" and the "Vault Atrium." The former room will be unlocked after a short quest titled "Home Expansion," but there are provisos. The lobby is going to be free for Fallout 1st members, after which it'll cost an undisclosed amount of Atoms (currency). The Vault Atrium, described as the "largest" room, "will be available for Atom purchase immediately on patch day."

You can get a good look at the underground aesthetic below: it slots nicely into the look of vaults in some previous games. From October 1-4, Bethesda is encouraging folks to enter the PTS (public test server) to try out the changes. If you do, you'll earn a "PTS Pennant." You'll also be able to build to your heart's content in the PTS as material requirements are temporarily removed.

It's standard operating procedure at this point, as Bethesda opened up the PTS to everyone who owns the game on PC and runs it via the Bethesda launcher. They could have stood to open this testing concept up months before launch so it didn't launch in the state it did, but them's the breaks.

Inside the Vault [Bethesda.net]

Fallout 76's underground shelters look rad, but parts of them are gated behind Atoms or Fallout 1st screenshot

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Review: Oculus Quest 2

Budding tech industries move quickly and often leave prior products in the dust: it's the nature of the business.

I've said this a lot having covered every major gaming-oriented headset since the first consumer version of the Rift was released in 2016, but: "buyer beware." Not only are headset manufacturers constantly on edge, but developers are closing down VR studios in recent years after the expected VR boom didn't match their expectations.

Even still, VR is in a very good spot at this point from a consumer standpoint. So many studios (defunct or otherwise) have contributed to the landscape in a positive way, to the point where we are spoiled for choice when it comes to quality VR games.

The Oculus Quest was one of the most ideal ways to experience that newfound glory, especially if you count the option to tether your headset to your PC for extra juice. The Oculus Quest 2 reaffirms what I said last year about the Quest: this is looking more and more like the future of VR, now.

Review: Oculus Quest 2 screenshot

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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles patched on Switch, multiplayer fixes still up in the air

Back in late August, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition arrived with some unfortunate multiplayer issues. Square Enix has since apologized for it, vowing to fix the connection problems among other lingering bugs. The day has come for one of those things to be quelled further.

Version 1.0.2 has launched (initially for Switch, then PS4), which fixes several hangups beyond the connection woes. You can now skip boss and Myrrh drop cutscenes, which were exceedingly annoying when they all added up and you were seeing the same things over and over again (all remasters should make basically everything skippable).

It also ironically fixed a multiplayer bug that allows certain players to see hidden locations if they were in a game with someone who already found them. It also crushed an infinite item dupe bug and contains "various bug fixes."

So if any of those things were annoying you, they should be better now. As for the sweeping multiplayer alterations, that is likely still to come. The decision to region lock multiplayer is still mind-boggling: you'd think with cross-play and cross-regional capabilities, a lot of these "can't find a player" issues would solve themselves.

Version 1.0.2 [Square Enix]

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles patched on Switch, multiplayer fixes still up in the air screenshot



Earth Defense Force: World Brothers looks a hell of a lot of fun

D3 Publisher has released a lengthy Japanese trailer showcasing new footage of EDF: World Brothers, an upcoming spin-off entry in the bug-busting Earth Defense Force franchise.

Previously revealed back in June, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers will capture all of the frenetic, pulse-pounding, monster-squishing action of the EDF series, but stylised in a super-cute voxel world. As is the franchise wont, World Brothers will see players tacking an army of ants, wasps, spiders and other skyscraper-sized critters as they lay waste to some of Earth's most beloved locations and also Parliament.

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers looks a hell of a lot of fun screenshot

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Here's a supercut of a ton of great Zelda: Breath of the Wild combat tips

My wife is finally starting her The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild journey for the first time, and it's like watching a kid in a candy store.

I get to relive the whole thing over again as she wanders the world of Hyrule searching for Koroks and shrines, and I couldn't be happier. One day, I'll replay it again on Master Mode among all of the other Zelda games I revisit over the course of my life.

For now, you can live in the moment too with the below combat technique montage from Redditor RinHara5aki. "How many of these combat techniques do you know?" is such a simple challenge, but an effective one.

To a lot of learned Breath of the Wild players, things like arrow-aiming slow-mo dodging and elongating the parry window are second nature. The same goes for frame-perfect parrying. Guardian flipping? Not so much unless you're keen on watching stunt videos. But what this video showcases most of all, is how invincible you can feel after you nail pretty much every aspect of this video.

That's in part where Breath of the Wild really ran away with the Game of the Year trophy for so many people. It's appealing in the sense that it gives you the freedom to explore, but it also has a level of complexity for hardcore Zelda fans. Not everyone loved it, but it's plain to see why it's so beloved.

Here's a supercut of a ton of great Zelda: Breath of the Wild combat tips screenshot

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Pikuniku is free right now on Epic Games Store

If you're yet to check out Sectordub's charming and hilarious indie hit Pikuniku then you might be pleased to hear that it is currently available on PC, free-of-charge, via the Epic Games Store.

Originally released by Devolver Digital in January 2019, Pikuniku sees players guide an odd-looking armless fella - "Piku" - through a simplistic and colourful world, solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles with the aid of some lateral thinking and a swift kick in the backside. A co-operative multiplayer mode sees a friend step into the gangly legs of Piku's orange pal, Niku, with the duo using the teamwork to pick/kick their way through the game world.

Pikuniku is free right now on Epic Games Store screenshot

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Fall Guys season two teases nameplates and '600% more crowns'

As we approaching the anticipated second season of madcap battle royale title Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Mediatonic has teased that - along with the previously revealed new games and skins - season two will offer unlucky beans the opportunity to bag up more of those elusive crowns.

"We've heard all of your feedback loud and clear," announced the official Fall Guys Twitter. "Winning crowns in Fall Guys against 59 other beans can be a little challenging. For season two, we've added over 600% more golden crowns into the Season Awards... FEATURED COSTUMES FOR EVERYONE."

No specific details were offered as to how these new crowns would appear in season two. Maybe they'll be in-game objectives, perhaps they'll just be level grinds, but it seems the evasive prize of the every-bean-for-themselves battle is perhaps going to be a little easier to come by. It's been argued by some players in the comments that this motion will lessen the impact of actually outlasting your bean brethren, but we'll see.

Further on the in same Twitter thread, Fall Guys appeared to tease a "very spicy" new way that season two will be rewarding its "most competitive" players, before going on to suggest that "nameplates" are also in the works, to be revealed in the coming days. So better get back in training, as the race to the top of the mountain is far from over.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is available now on PS4 and PC.

Fall Guys season two teases nameplates and '600% more crowns' screenshot

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Whoa! Minecraft's Steve is the next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter

Today during the dramatic Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character presentation, Minecraft's Steve and Alex were presented as the next DLC fighters. They'll be accompanied by the classic DLC suite: a new level and music (seven tracks) for $5.99, or as part of the $30 Fighter's Pass.

After the reveal, Sakurai affirmed that "the most popular game in the world" is coming to Smash, and that in this case, someone at Nintendo suggested that they put Minecraft in the game. He mentions the "wizardry" and the difficulty of porting Minecraft into the Smash world and that he was ready for the task. "Stages needed to be reworked so blocks would fit in them," Sakurai muses, going over the design process on the "completely different" Steve/Alex models that were tough to design to slot into the current engine.

That's all he had to say today. More info is coming at 10:30AM ET on October 3. I'm here for it! I mean there are probably a ton of anime characters a few of us wanted first (Dante), but Minecraft is a global phenomenon and this will actually attract people to Ultimate in a way some DLC characters haven't in the past. It might have been a coincidence, but as soon as the news hit, Twitter literally broke. Four more to go!

It's also a watershed moment for Nintendo, having buddied up with Microsoft previously for the play together initiative, which threw serious shade at Sony; who at the time, was hesitant to embrace any form of cross-play.

Whoa! Minecraft's Steve is the next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter screenshot

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Battle royale Super Mario Bros. 35 is out now on Switch for free, if you have Switch Online

The day has finally come for another free Switch download.

Buried within the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct, we got wind of a battle royale themed around the classic NES Mario Bros. The idea is that you duke it out with other players by running through classic platforming stages, throwing hazards their way. The last surviving Mario wins. Simple, right? It's kind of like Tetris 99, but 35...and it's Mario instead of Tetris.

Well it's not just a dream anymore, as it's fully out on Switch. So long as you have Switch Online, you have access to the game: just hit the eShop. Oh, and don't forget that this is another "limited time" dealio. Nintendo reminds us that it will "only be playable until March 31, 2021."

Maybe around that time we'll get a Jump Rope Challenge-esque extension?

Battle royale Super Mario Bros. 35 is out now on Switch for free, if you have Switch Online screenshot

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The Wii Sports theme is still a complete banger, and this video proves it

Wii Sports was an utter phenomenon.

Your grandma played it. Your neighbor probably played it. All in the before times of course: no I'm talking about when everyone's Wii was hooked up! 2006 was a wild year for Nintendo, when their plans for living room domination were finally realized. When Wii Sports and Wii Fit were crushing it, and the Wii would go on to be their best-selling home console of all time.

This video from willyj1234 brings up back to those simpler times: when we'd leave the game running to hear a Wii theme (or the eShop music!). "The band writing the 'Wii Sports' theme song and knowing it's a banger," is all you really need to know going into the below vided.

My Wii U is perpetually hooked up, so I'm game to go back and at least listen to the theme myself in the near future. That's right, I still use it! I'm not sure when I'll ever pack it in, even as the next generation arises.

[Thanks Bob!]

The Wii Sports theme is still a complete banger, and this video proves it screenshot

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(Update) Nintendo is revealing the next Smash Ultimate fighter soon, watch it here

[Update: It's Steve/Alex from Minecraft!]

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]

(Update) Nintendo is revealing the next Smash Ultimate fighter soon, watch it here screenshot

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