Blog Archive

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Genshin Impact hits 17 million downloads, could score $100 million in revenue by the end of October

Genshin Impact seems to be a huge success from studio miHoYo, having already cleared the 17 million download mark according to mobile industry tracker App Annie.

17 million downloads is a feat all on its own, but according to analyst Daniel Ahmad (whom a lot of you know as "ZhugeEX"), the game is "on track to gross more than $100 million across all platforms by the end of this month." Ahmad says that the game is most popular in the US, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, and that "over 300 people" worked on the game across the span of four years, culminating in a $100 million budget.

The free-to-play RPG greatly benefits from a laid back microtransaction and gacha structure, which essentially allows players to run through the game's entire multi-chapter storyline without spending any money (with the option to run gacha pulls for new characters and weapons). While gacha is enough to scare away droves of people, Genshin Impact is getting high praise from a lot of folks within the industry, leading to a long tail via good word of mouth.

For more information on Genshin Impact you can read our review; or listen to our own CJ Andriessen's thoughts on the latest episode of Podtoid around the 14-minute mark.

Genshin Impact [App Annie via Twitter]

Genshin Impact hits 17 million downloads, could score $100 million in revenue by the end of October screenshot



This Yakuza: Like a Dragon trailer is absolute madness

While no-one can ever accuse the Yakuza franchise of not having its fair share of off-the-wall moments, (suplexing a bull? underground castle? anybody?), the newest entry in the JRPG franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, looks to dial the chaos up to eleven and yank off the knob.

Sega has released a new trailer for the incoming sequel, titled "The Quest Begins", which sees new hero Ichiban Kasuga and an army of friends, associates, and hangers-on engage in a cavalcade of craziness across the iconic city of Kamurocho. Knights in shining armour, mad phone skills, high-speed food delivery, baseball bat attacks, angry lobsters, heavy metal performances, and goat-headed cinema patrons are among the insane sights appearing in this 100-second montage. You have to see it to believe it.

This Yakuza: Like a Dragon trailer is absolute madness screenshot

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Sony's Jim Ryan expects PS5 to have a more successful first fiscal year than PS4

Speaking in an interview with Korean outlet Naver, PlayStation President and CEO Jim Ryan has stated that Sony is confident that its upcoming next-gen platform, PlayStation 5, will have a more successful first fiscal year than that of current gaming platform, PlayStation 4.

Launching in November 2013, the PS4 console would go on to sell around seven million units by the end of its first fiscal year, April 2014. Ryan's comments suggest that Sony is confident that it will exceed this number between the launch of PS5 in November 2020 and the end of its first fiscal year in April 2021. While that suggests a staggering amount of units of a very expensive piece of hardware, no doubt Ryan will have taken global pre-order estimates and Sony stock numbers into account before making the bold statement.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ryan also defended the controversial rise in video game prices, which will see some PS5 titles retail for around $70 in the U.S. and a comparatively higher £70 in the U.K. Ryan placed an emphasis on both "value" and the next-gen capabilities of PS5 games as a fair trade-off against the increased price-tag.

"It is difficult to talk about the overall game market or other game consoles, but I think the value is obvious in the case of the PS5," said Ryan. "We'll excite fans around the world with the best exclusive games on the market today and deliver a truly next-generation device experience that will captivate them."

At £70 a pop, you'll be captivating me when the sales hit.

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

Sony expects PS5 to sell more than 7m units by April [GamesIndustry.biz / Naver]

Sony's Jim Ryan expects PS5 to have a more successful first fiscal year than PS4 screenshot



Contest: Win Ys Origin for Nintendo Switch

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

I think the title of this one is misspelled. I could be wrong, but it looks like it's missing a letter in there. I'd fix it, but management told me to stop pestering developers with my unsolicited advice, so I guess I'll just sit here and suck it up.

Ys Origin recently hit Switch, so win yourself a copy of this classic RPG!

Contest: Win Ys Origin for Nintendo Switch screenshot

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Crash Bandicoot 4 is almost certainly coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X

Crash Bandicoot 4 is ripping a hole in the fabric of time and launching on next-gen consoles. Probably. Also, that's vastly overselling the situation.

The long-awaited Crash Bandicoot 4 released last Friday on PS4 and Xbox One. Given the proximity to PS5 and Xbox Series X launches, it left some wondering why Activision didn't just wait and get next-gen versions out too. That's almost assuredly going to happen at some point.

There's a new ESRB rating for Crash 4 on Xbox Series X. It's perfectly legitimate -- all you have to do is search for the game or click the "recently rated games" tab. There's no listing for PS5 but you'd have to reasonably assume it's coming to Sony's console too.

Seeing as Activision hasn't yet confirmed the next-gen ports -- probably because the publisher is focused on getting current-gen launched before promoting another version -- we don't know what sort of enhancements Crash 4 will have on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There's a good chance it'll feature settings that prioritize performance or resolution.

That isn't even the extent of the ports that we're expecting to see. There's still a lingering rumor that Crash 4 is set to receive a Switch version. It all seems perfectly viable to be honest.

You can't be faulted for waiting, but you should check out Crash Bandicoot 4 at some point. It's evidently quite excellent, a true return to form for a series that has gone (mostly) dormant for far too long. Not all mascot platformers age this gracefully.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time [ESRB]

Crash Bandicoot 4 is almost certainly coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X screenshot



It's going to be very tough to get a Nvidia RTX 30 card before next year

Shortages of Nvidia's new RTX 30 series GPU are expected to last significantly longer than each card's launch window. It has been incredibly tough to get an RTX 3080 or 3090 at MSRP. That's not going to change anytime soon.

During a Q&A session with press (and as reported by Tom's Hardware), Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that he "[believes] that demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year." That means RTX 30 cards probably won't be widely available until sometime in 2021 at the earliest.

In an economics spin for the ages, Huang explained that "The 3080 and 3090 have a demand issue, not a supply issue. The demand issue is that it is much much greater than we expected -- and we expected really a lot." When supply can't meet demand and shortages ensue, it really seems like a supply issue.

Things don't look much better for the RTX 3070 either. Nvidia recently pushed that release back to October 29 in order to get more cards on shelves at launch. From a price-to-performance approach, the 3070 (which retails for $500) is expected to be the best value of the three 30 series GPUs. There might be more 3070s available at launch but demand will also be highest. That pesky "demand issue" will rear its head and cause shortages here too.

As expected it's not going to be easy to give Nvidia your money to adopt the Ampere architecture. Either you have to be lucky or you have to be patient. Or you have to fork over a ton of cash to scalpers. Don't do that last one. Just accept that you'll probably have to wait until 2021.

Nvidia CEO: GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 Shortages To Last Until 2021 [Tom's Hardware]

It's going to be very tough to get a Nvidia RTX 30 card before next year screenshot



Disc Room isn't just about staying alive inside arcade deathtraps

Disc Room is an action-survival game from a crew of talented indie developers, and for me, that would've been enough – but there's also a deeper layer to uncover. It's not just a bunch of rooms.

This narrated trailer is our best look yet at Disc Room, one that goes beyond the surface-level to show the game's secret sauce. I like the sound of obtuse puzzles and brainy exploration in an otherwise straightforward arcade game. It's a simple concept, but there's a chance to subvert expectations.

The map screen makes me hopeful. We'll see how it turns out for PC and Switch on October 22.

Disc Room isn't just about staying alive inside arcade deathtraps screenshot

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Podtoid kicks off October with Super Mario 35, the Monster Mash, and the beautiful Genshin Impact

October is here and that can only mean one thing: terrible novelty songs on the radio. There are several Halloween songs out there, but obviously, the most well-known is "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett. But is the song "Monster Mash" about a song called "Monster Mash" or a dance called "Monster Mash?" Or is it both? Or does it not matter because this is the type of argument you should only have if you're high?

That's one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Dan, and Occams come together to talk Genshin Impact, Super Mario 35, Inframan, granny getaway drivers, and Mafia: Definitive Edition. All that, plus we answer your listener questions, on Podtoid Episode 461.

Podtoid kicks off October with Super Mario 35, the Monster Mash, and the beautiful Genshin Impact screenshot

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All of Starbreeze's eggs are in Payday 3's basket

Payday 3 really needs to work out. If it doesn't, Starbreeze's years-long struggle to survive will probably end in tragedy.

The decline of Starbreeze has been well-documented at this point. A liquidity shortfall, organizational reconstruction, layoffs, some offloaded assets (like publishing rights and development studios) -- it has been a trying couple of years for the Swedish publisher.

That's why it's impossible (or at least negligent) to talk about Payday 3 without mentioning the stakes. But, Payday 2 was -- and still is -- so successful that Starbreeze secured funding for Payday 3's development without the need to rush it out the door. In fact, this is the first official update about Payday 3 in a long time:

All of Starbreeze's eggs are in Payday 3's basket screenshot

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Knight Fever could top Slime Climb as my favorite racing level in Fall Guys

Knight Fever is one of the new Season 2 levels lined up for Fall Guys. It's a meat-grinder of a race with swinging axes, rolling spike-covered walkways, and drawbridges that have a mind of their own.

It's in the spirit of my favorite Fall Guys levels – Dizzy Heights, The Whirlygig, and the all-time cruel Slime Climb – so I hope to see it pop up a bunch. While other game types tend to have downtime once you learn the ropes, the thrill of hoofing it with a floppy horde hasn't lost its initial excitement.

The little victories matter too. If you take first place in a race, regardless of how poorly you fare in future rounds, you're gonna feel great in that moment. Surviving as a group is nice, but it just isn't the same.

Along with other new levels, Knight Fever will begin appearing in Fall Guys on October 8.

Fall Guys Season 2 Exclusive: New Level Knight Fever Revealed [IGN]

Knight Fever could top Slime Climb as my favorite racing level in Fall Guys screenshot



Godfall won't let you play offline in single-player

Even if you're playing Godfall alone, without a co-op assist, you'll still need to be online – hopefully your connection is stable and the servers aren't hammered into submission during the PS5 launch window.

The online-only caveat was spotted on a PlayStation listing and confirmed by Counterplay Games.

Not that I've been paying much attention to Godfall – I really, truly haven't – but this detail could be easily missed by players who want another early PS5 game and land on this one. It's worth highlighting.

Other action-RPGs have forced players to maintain an internet connection to keep things fair for everyone, but in this case, where players are fighting the AI with decked-out character builds in PvE battles instead of facing each other in PvP skirmishes, it's hard to accept. It just feels limiting.

I do like the note that Godfall isn't a "service game," though – nice little bullet point.

[Via VG247]

Godfall won't let you play offline in single-player screenshot



A look at Cyberpunk 2077's map shows that last year's leak was accurate enough

All this time, we've been gettin' jazzed for Cyberpunk 2077 without knowing the lay of the land. Sure, it's all in Night City, but what's where and who's why were all complete mysteries. We had more questions than Linda Ellerbee (three of you will get that one).

Now, on the day that Cyberpunk 2077 went gold, we finally have a confirmed glimpse at the map of Night City. It's not all that detailed, only providing major roads and the general outline of the city. And it's not all that interesting, as the names of regions don't do anything to tell us what makes those areas special. But damnit, it's a map!

Bask:

A look at Cyberpunk 2077's map shows that last year's leak was accurate enough screenshot

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Guess who's back on top of the UK Charts?

Death, Taxes, and Crash Bandicoot being a smash success in the UK. Yes, of no surprise to anybody, Activision's Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time has debuted in the top spot of the UK Charts, dethroning Nintendo's retro compendium Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

The mad marsupial just pipped Electronic Arts' Star Wars: Squadrons to the number one slot, with only around 1,000 physical copies between the two new releases. Never bet against Crash, as many of you will remember when Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy ruled the roost - for what seemed like forever - back in 2017.

Elsewhere in the charts, 2K Games double-whack of Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia Trilogy still hold Top Ten places at numbers nine and ten respectively, while Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons have captured numbers eight and seven. Nintendo's social sim Animal Crossing: New Horizons sits comfortably at number four, having retained its Top Ten standing since its initial launch back in March.

Guess who's back on top of the UK Charts? screenshot

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Japanese PS5 players will have to get used to hitting the X button to 'confirm'

Sony is making a profound user-experience change to the PlayStation 5 in Japan, the kind that will bug the absolute hell out of players who have gotten used to things being a certain way since the PS1.

Unlike its predecessors, the PS5 will default to the Circle button being "cancel" and the X button being "confirm" in all regions. That's fine for Western players – no change here – but in Japan, where the functionality of the two buttons is being swapped after decades, it's going to be such a nuisance.

As reported by Kotaku, a representative of Sony said this control change for PlayStation 5 is meant to keep button settings consistent across all countries and also make things easier for game developers.

It's going to take a while to unlearn years of muscle memory, but personally speaking, I've adjusted to some bizarre controls in my time. Just don't make me play with an inverted camera and we're good.

We haven't yet seen the PS5 UI or settings – frankly, there's still a ton we don't know about this console – and it's unclear if Sony will offer a system-level option for players to remap the controls. I'd hope so.

It's going to be extra jarring for players jumping from backward-compatible PS4 games to PS5 games.

Sony Is Changing The Confirm And Cancel Buttons In Japan And Folks Aren't Happy [Kotaku]

Japanese PS5 players will have to get used to hitting the X button to 'confirm' screenshot



Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer gets you reacquainted with your plant pals

Nintendo has released a cute new trailer for its upcoming Switch release Pikmin 3 Deluxe, offering series newcomers a crash course in identifying the strange, plant-like, do-gooders.

The short overview spotlights the adorable little rascals as they follow the perpetually surprised Alph on his escapades throughout PNF-404. As explained in the video, Pikmin are a colourful species that are plucked from the undergrowth by our heroes before being directed to perform a number of tasks - from gathering sources and removing barricades, to building bridges and even cultivating more of their kind.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer gets you reacquainted with your plant pals screenshot

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The next big Minecraft update is Caves and Cliffs, here's some details

Minecraft Dungeons isn't the only title in the series that will see big changes in the future, as this past weekend's Minecraft Live stream confirmed that the original classic is getting a fairly massive update.

Although the next Minecraft patch has been in the works for a while, it now has an official name: Caves & Cliffs, and it does exactly what it says. Both caves and mountainsides will get significant biome upgrades, with the former seeing multiple new varieties (lush/dripstone). Crystals, telescopes, bundles, sculk sensor blocks and a new warden mob are all part of the update as well.

As for the mountain enhancements, we're getting a new mountain goat animal, on top of copper (which will turn green over time to sort of "age" your game). The axolotl and glow squid mobs will also be added at some point.

For those of you who regularly play Minecraft, a few components of Caves & Cliffs are fairly huge in nature. With more variety in the map overall, it adds a ton of replay value in terms of endlessly exploring and recreating adventure maps. I'm most excited about the lush and dripstone mechanics given my penchant to endlessly dig as one of the first things I do in any new map.

Minecraft Live The Recap [Minecraft.net]

The next big Minecraft update is Caves and Cliffs, here's some details screenshot

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What do you think of this Monster Hunter movie teaser?

It has been well over two years since Sony officially announced it was producing a motion picture based on Capcom's legendary Monster Hunter franchise. Since that announcement we've seen stars Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa added to the cast, a plot outline, and even a whopping great sword. But we've yet to see any actual monsters... until now.

Sony Pictures has released a very brief teaser trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson's Monster Hunter, which gives us our first glimpse of action as Lt. Natalie Artemis and her non-specific military squad encounter the frightening horned giant known as the Black Diablos. Deciding that negotiation is not an option, Artemis and crew throw a little lead in harm's way, ending the preview. 

What do you think of this Monster Hunter movie teaser? screenshot

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Minecraft Dungeons is getting 20 new difficulties and cross-play

Minecon isn't happening live in Orlando, Florida this year, but it did happen this past week in livestream form. In addition to revealing a bunch of new developments for Minecraft proper, our old dungeon crawler friend Minecraft Dungeons got a few updates: several of which should help people get back into the game if they're on a break.

First up, cross-play is finally coming in November. While it's been teased for some time since it released this past May, we finally have a window for when it'll be arriving. When it does hit, it'll be free for everyone. The feature was dramatically shown off on the aforementioned stream, with the below image indicating players signified with red for Nintendo Switch, light blue for PC, dark blue for PS4, and green for Xbox One.

Following that, a December update will add "Apocalypses Plus" into the mix, which adds "20 new difficulties" as well as "new enchantments and items." In tandem with that free patch, you can also opt for the Howling Peaks DLC, which adds the Tempest Golem boss into the game as well as the icy mountainside biome. I still come back to this one from time to time, so a combo of DLC and free updates should help suck me in even further.

Minecraft Live Recap [Minecraft.net]

Minecraft Dungeons is getting 20 new difficulties and cross-play screenshot

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered coming to PC and consoles next month

One of the most popular entries in the Need for Speed franchise is getting ready to excite road-racers all over again, as Electronic Arts and Criterion Games have finally announced that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is coming to PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in November.

Originally released back in 2010 on PS3, PC, and Xbox 360, NFS: Hot Pursuit takes the gloss and sheen of the long-running racing franchise and applies it to a super-dramatic knock-down, drag-out road rager. Players can choose to hit the tarmac in a selection of high-performance roadsters, while others chase them down and take them off-road in several souped-up police cruisers, armed with a bevy of hi-tech gadgets and weaponry.

You can check out a cheesy-ass trailer, that doesn't feature nearly enough gameplay footage, below.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered coming to PC and consoles next month screenshot

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Here's a link to old Mario 1 maps so you can win at Super Mario Bros. 35

Having played Super Mario Bros. 35 quite a bit this past week, I was thankful that I had already grown up on the original Mario Bros.

Not only are you required to win on pure skill in Mario 35, but it also helps to understand the various nuances of the game's battle royale format; on top of the layout of the maps themselves. Which, mind, are modeled after the NES originals. That's where this particular site comes in handy.

Created by Rick N. Bruns, these maps not only showcase hidden power-ups (by displaying which blocks hold which items), but pipelines as well: so you can judge which path is more strategically sound in the heat of the moment. Do you need coins? Or perhaps a bit more time from clearing out enemies? The choice is much easier if you actually know where the beaten path leads.

Give the site a go if you're having issues finding clutch fire flowers!

Super Mario Brothers Map Select [NES Maps]

Here's a link to old Mario 1 maps so you can win at Super Mario Bros. 35 screenshot



Netflix already making plans for a third season of The Witcher

Though we are yet to receive the second season of Netflix hit TV series The Witcher, it seems that the streaming service is already preparing further seasons of sexy-slaying action for Geralt and chums.

The Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence has noted a recent listing on the Writer's Guild of America West database, which suggests that a third season of the book and video game adaptation is on the cards, with a (very) tentative release window of 2020-2021. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich is also on board to continue her work on the smash hit series.

Netflix already making plans for a third season of The Witcher screenshot

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Ghost of Tsushima's wild free co-op mode and New Game+ are out in just a few weeks

We've seen it teased, and now it's a reality: Ghost of Tsushima's Legends DLC is coming on October 16.

When it hits the PS4 it'll be free, coupled with version 1.1, which also ushers in the long-awaited New Game+ mode. Sony says that the idea of Legends' co-op functionality went hand and hand with the motif of "warriors standing together, ready to fight as a team" from old samurai cinema. Legends will be playable in both "story mission" form for up to two players, as well as a four-player survival mode. Sony is also teasing a "raid" in the "weeks following launch," that's described as an "epic three-part adventure that will require excellent teamwork and communication."

Accessing the mode is as easy as talking to a new NPC: Gyozen the Storyteller. From there, you'll select a Legends-specific character and class up, just like a classic RPG. There's Samurai (sustained melee), Hunter (ranged), Ronin (support) and assassin (burst melee damage). Cosmetics are confirmed and are "all unlocked through gameplay without any microtransactions." New Game+ teases a new Ghost Flower item, which can be given to another new NPC for extra armor dyes and vanity gear exclusive to New Game+.

Honestly, Ghost felt complete as-is, but this is really taking the cake. A free raid? I'm so in. This is the sort of stuff that live-service games often fumble with: but as free DLC for a premium title, it feels like a welcome extra.

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends and New Game+ out October 16 [PlayStation Blog]

Ghost of Tsushima's wild free co-op mode and New Game+ are out in just a few weeks screenshot



Inti Creates says that Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon sold 600,000 copies, with 'more than 50%' sold on Switch

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is pretty good! So is the sequel. But as it turns out, Inti Creates says that the first game sold pretty well too.

Speaking to Nintendo Everything, Inti Creates has confirmed that the game has sold "over 600,000 copies." Studio CEO Takuya Aizu explains that the boost is "in part powered by the release of [the sequel]." Aizu also states that "more than half of those sales" are from the Switch edition. Quite the feat given that it was also released on every other major platform.

Note that Curse of the Moon came out in mid-2018, so it has some long legs if it's just now reaching that milestone. While it was available on PC, 3DS, PS4, Vita and Xbox One in addition to the Switch, the sequel shored up some of those platforms, only appearing on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

It makes perfect sense that if there is more of a global saturation of Switch users in 2020, folks who picked up the second game on the platform would mosey on over to the original.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 1 has sold over 600,000 copies, more than 50% on Switch [Nintendo Everything]

Inti Creates says that Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon sold 600,000 copies, with 'more than 50%' sold on Switch screenshot



ShopTo is the latest retailer to state it will not be able to fulfill all launch day pre-orders for next-gen consoles

Online retailer ShopTo has contacted a segment of its PS5 and Xbox Series X/S pre-order customers to inform them that they will not receive their console of choice come launch day.

The retailer sent out the emails, (as seen by Eurogamer), to a selection of its customers in the last few days, explaining that the company had received its shipment allocation for the much sought-after hardware, with an allocation number lower than the total number of registered pre-orders.

"We have received the allocation details from Sony and, unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we will not be able to fulfil your pre-order on day one/release date," reads the email. "Sony may notify us of additional stock with extra allocation for day one and you have already reserved your place in the queue. Some customers may cancel their pre-orders and that may allow yours to be next in line." A day later, VGC reported that a similarly worded email had been received by some Xbox Series X/S pre-order customers.

ShopTo is not the only retailer to warn next-gen customers that their respective orders might not be filled for launch day, as retail giant Amazon has also contacted some shoppers with similar stock allocation issues, following the frenzied and chaotic pre-order process that took place for both platforms.

While this situation has proven inevitable with almost all next-gen hardware launches over the past two decades, it's still a frustrating scenario for parents and those hoping to give the consoles as holiday gifts. From my own experience in console retail, management has always taken the stance of "Just take all orders possible and we'll sort it out later." It seems that the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X is set to be no exception.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch November 10. PS5 launches November 12 in The U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. It will follow in all other territories one week later on November 19.

ShopTo is the latest retailer to state it will not be able to fulfill all launch day pre-orders for next-gen consoles screenshot



Call of Duty: Mobile rakes in $480 million in first year of release

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the launch of Call of Duty: Mobile, a look at the statistics for the pocket-shooter show that, even in its handheld form, Activision's bombastic franchise still succeeds at pulling in the punters.

Call of Duty: Mobile rakes in $480 million in first year of release 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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Genshin Impact could use a few adjustments on mobile

Genshin Impact spent most of its time leading up to release as that game people couldn't talk about without mentioning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Now that it's out, the similarities and differences between the two titles have become clearer. Genshin Impact has a similar scope to Breath of the Wild, a similar if-you-can-see-it-you-can-climb-it open-world, gliding mechanics, recipes, stamina meter, and fast-travel towers, to name a few. However, it's the differences between the two titles that really illustrate how Genshin Impact is not just a Legend of Zelda clone. 

Spend a few hours with Genshin and you'll understand how the two titles differ. That feeling of freedom that permeates throughout Breath of the Wild just isn't here, as Genshin Impact follows a more traditional, story-driven path forward. It has multiple characters you can switch between on the fly, each playing a bit different than the next. And, of course, the biggest difference between the two is Genshin Impact is free-to-play and available on mobile, which is how I've personally been enjoying the world of Teyvat.

Genshin Impact could use a few adjustments on mobile screenshot

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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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The World Begins with You

[The media we consume can often affect us in subtle ways, but every once in a while, something will come along that leaves a substantial and lasting impact. Pretty much everyone has a song, album, movie, or TV show that really resonated with them for one reason or another. For Nior, that was a video game called The World Ends With You. – Kevin]

Adolescence is the strangest thing. It's that confusing period between childhood and adulthood where you're expected to act more like the latter but can't enjoy any of its perks. At the same time, you can't fall back on the antics of the former either. For many, it's a confusing period where it's all too easy to get lost in between finding out who you want to be, versus what you are expected to become.

The World Begins with You screenshot

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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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Significant arrests made as Nintendo's piracy investigations continue

The Department of Justice has announced that three prominent members of long-time hack-maker Team Xecuter have been arrested, as Nintendo continues its fight against the selling and re-selling of "jailbreak" devices for its range of hardware.

Canadian Gary Bowser, Chinese national Yuanning Chen, and French National Max Louarn were apprehended by the F.B.I. in September. The trio face a total of 11 felony charges for the creation and distribution of Switch hacking devices such as the SX Core and SX Lite. Louran will be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial, while Bowser - who was deported from the Dominican Republic - appeared in a New Jersey federal court on Friday.

This news follows a successful lawsuit which saw hack seller Uberchips ordered to pay $2 million in damages to Nintendo for stocking Team Xecuter's devices. Nintendo are currently investigating at least eight other retailers for similar offences, but due to the underground nature of the piracy market, the publisher is still to ascertain the identities of the store holders.

You can read the Department of Justice's full report on the recent arrests right here.

Two members of piracy group Team Xecuter have been arrested
[MyNintendoNews]

Significant arrests made as Nintendo's piracy investigations continue screenshot

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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 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



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

[Update: The event is set to go live today.]

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!

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

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