Blog Archive

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Minecraft movie pushed beyond its 2022 release date

Given that it is pretty much the greatest-selling video game of all-time, it's no surprise to anybody that Minecraft was tipped to be adapted for the silver screen. However, it seems that Steve and friends will have to hold on for their cinematic debut, as Minecraft the movie has been officially pushed back.

The delay is part of Warner Bros. current conundrum regarding is movie release slate for the coming years. As is the case for all major studios, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with the production of several major motion pictures, sending release schedules and launch projections into chaos.

Originally slated for a 2022 theatrical release, Minecraft has now been taken off the calendar completely, as Warner Bros. attempts to reschedule production and release dates for a number of upcoming heavy-hitters, including The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Dune, Black Adam, and the fourth entry in The Matrix franchise.

While this news might be disappointing for Minecraft fans anticipating the world-building franchise's big screen adventure, they can at least take heart that the brand remains incredibly strong. Summer will see the recently announced "Caves & Cliffs" expansion added to the game, while sister title Minecraft Dungeons also has new DLC on the way. Add to that the anticipated appearance of Steve and Alex in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and things are looking pretty cosy for the residents of blocko-land.

The Batman delayed as Warner Bros. shuffles calendar [The Hollywood Reporter]

Minecraft movie pushed beyond its 2022 release date screenshot



Ubisoft hit For Honor is coming to next-gen consoles with a free upgrade and a full progression import

For Honor was released all the way back in 2017, but Ubisoft Montreal has been steadily supporting it since then, to the point where it's outlasted many other similar online games.

It's kind of Ubisoft's thing lately, a service they've also extended to long-running titles like Rainbow Six Siege. So it was kind of inevitable for them to announce that For Honor would come to the next-generation, and the transition is going to be fairly smooth.

Ubisoft announced the news on Twitch, noting that the Xbox Series S version of the game is targeting 1080p resolution, with PS5 and Xbox Series X hitting 4K. "Current-gen game owners on PS4 and Xbox One" will be able to play For Honor for free, with the option to transfer over "all of your purchases and inventory automatically." 60FPS gameplay is being targeted "for all next-gen consoles in early December."

These updates will be playable "at each respective console launch," so November 10 for Xbox Series S/X and November 12 for PS5. The unavailability of 60FPS gameplay right away isn't great, but it's probably a casualty of the current global climate. A month isn't that long to wait, especially if you're upgrading for free.

For Honor [Twitch]

Ubisoft hit For Honor is coming to next-gen consoles with a free upgrade and a full progression import screenshot



Check out the surprisingly hard rockin' intro to Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse

Compile Heart has released the intro movie to the next release to Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse, the next release in the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime RPG franchise, which also happen to be Nep-Nep's first foray into next-gen gaming!

To be honest, it's a little disappointing, consisting of no more than a bunch of hi-tech screen wipes and some standard character portraits. But at least our ears can enjoy the guitar-heavy vibes of title track "For Share!!", composed and arranged by araKEN and performed by Japanese techno-rockers Zwei.

Check out the surprisingly hard rockin' intro to Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse screenshot

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Capcom says Monster Hunter Rise is running on a regular Switch, is mum on the existence of a Switch Pro

I don't think it's unbelievable that Monster Hunter Rise is running on a standard Switch, but a lot of folks are skeptical. Well, producer Ryōzō Tsujimoto recently spoke to Eurogamer to clear the air on that.

According to Tsujimoto, everything we saw these past few weeks was running on a standard Switch. When asked about a potential Switch Pro, he stated: "Well, obviously we have no idea whatsoever what the plans would be in that direction, but even at the moment you actually have two different Switch hardwares you're targeting - you've got the the original Switch which has the docking mode, so that's something we've already borne in mind to make sure that the game isn't making any undue assumptions on the hardware owned by the player."

"That direction" that he's referring to is a Switch Pro. While it could happen at some point (or he's bound to an NDA), Monster Hunter Rise was in development for way longer than the Pro would have been in the works. Tsujimoto also clarifies that Rise has been in the works for "about four years," and the company specifically asked the director of Monster Hunter Generations to make a title "for the next portable," which would eventually be the Switch.

He cites porting the RE Engine to Switch as a "new challenge," but given that it is a first-party engine after all, the developers know those challenges inside and out and were able to adapt. Tsujimoto says that in the end, they hit a target of "a comfortable 30 frames per second."

So basically, it was tough to get working, but they did end up finishing the job. While that stable framerate is still up for debate in the final version, Capcom seems to have "figured out" the Switch at this point.

Monster Hunter Rise looks like it'll be the best of both worlds [Nintendo]

Capcom says Monster Hunter Rise is running on a regular Switch, is mum on the existence of a Switch Pro screenshot



GONNER2 launches on Nintendo Switch October 22

Art in Heart's beautiful-but-quirky roguelike GONNER2 has received a launch date for its Nintendo Switch release. The surreal adventure will hit the eShop on October 22.

GONNER2 launches on Nintendo Switch October 22 screenshot

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Sega vaguely mentions that we could eventually see a Dreamcast Mini and now we all want one

A theoretical Dreamcast Mini loaded with Sonic Adventure, the hard-to-find Power Stone titles, Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind Radio, SoulCalibur, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and more? It sounds like a dream come true.

Well, a lot of folks have been anticipating the march of more minis for a while, it's just a matter of when. And while Sega has mentioned the Dreamcast Mini by name, they've significantly moved the goalposts on "when."

Speaking to Famitsu (as translated by Nintendo Life), Sega creative producer Yosuke Okunari notes that in their quest of "considering" more concepts like the Genesis Mini, ideas like the SG1000 and Dreamcast have been brought up. Okunari also says that while the Game Gear Micro is "only available in Japan," the next mini project will have a "much greator" scope, and likely arrive worldwide.

This is all very "planning stages" stuff here, as Okunari explains that even if there was another micro-console, it would be at least another year out due to the "high cost and time" factors involved. So you're saying there's a chance?

Sega [Famitsu via Nintendo Life]

Sega vaguely mentions that we could eventually see a Dreamcast Mini and now we all want one screenshot



Mortal Kombat 11 owners will receive a free upgrade on next-gen konsoles

In addition to this morning's reveal of Kombat Pack 2, bringing Mileena, Rain, and John Rambo to the Mortal Kombat 11 roster. NetherRealm Studios has also announced that all current and new PS4 and Xbox One MK 11 players will receive a free upgrade to the respective next-gen platforms.

The next-gen version of Mortal Kombat 11 will feature various visual improvements, "significantly-improved" load times, and krisp 4K resolution. Kross-play will be supported between new and current gen platforms, so the playerbase will fortunately remain whole - a vital element of this endeavour.

Mortal Kombat 11 owners will receive a free upgrade on next-gen konsoles screenshot

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Mileena, Rain, and Rambo confirmed for Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, also coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X

NetherRealm Studios has revealed the existence of Kombat Pack 2 for its spine-ripping fighter Mortal Kombat 11. The new DLC bundle will see the return of MK veterans Mileena and Rain, alongside a very different kind of "veteran", action movie legend John J. Rambo.

John Rambo, star of the hyper-violent Rambo movies will be joining fellow action movie legends The Terminator and Robocop in MK 11. A new trailer reveals that NRS has secured both the likeness and the voice of Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone. I can't help but smile at this ridiculous addition, even if many in the MK faithful - myself included - are bored of MK 11's lame love affair with guns.

Mileena, Rain, and Rambo confirmed for Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, also coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X screenshot

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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories writer currently pitching a sequel

Sam Barlow, the writer and designer behind 2009 Silent Hill entry Shattered Memories, has quietly revealed that he is currently in the process of pitching a follow-up to the mind-fucking horror title.

Speaking on Twitter, Barlow mentioned that he was asked about the possibility of a Shattered Memories follow-up during a recent interview, but was unable to answer the question as he is in the process of pitching that very idea. Barlow also notes that this pitch is not his upcoming "Project A" title, currently in development at Half Mermaid Studios, which is a different game entirely.

Of course, Barlow pitching a sequel  does not guarantee that a sequel is getting made, but it will sure raise the hopes of the Silent Hill faithful, who have been very frustrated by the lack of news from Konami in recent years, despite numerous rumours and whispers within the industry. Shattered Memories is certainly one of the more tightly held entries within the Silent Hill franchise, and a follow-up, from the original designer no less, would be a grim delight.

In the meantime, don't forget that Silent Hill 4: The Room is now available on PC via GOG.com

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories writer currently pitching a sequel screenshot

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Those wonderful Pikmin short movies are now on YouTube

The recent Nintendo Treehouse Live deep dive into the upcoming Pikmin 3 Deluxe really sold me on picking up the title for Switch even if I still have it for Wii U with most of the DLC. The local co-op, advanced control options, and playable side stories are more than enough reason for me to jump back into it. I l adore the original on the Wii U enough to drop some cash on the three short animated films Nintendo produced to promote its release.

As we told you a few days ago, Nintendo is delisting those videos from the eShop. Thankfully, unlike items that get delisted from other Nintendo digital distribution platforms, these are more readily available now that they're finding a second life on YouTube.

Those wonderful Pikmin short movies are now on YouTube screenshot

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Pre-ordering Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity comes with this Guardian keychain

Although not really a mainline Zelda game, Nintendo is kind of pulling out all the stops when promoting Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. There's a bonus where Breath of the Wild save data grants a special training sword. There's amiibo support because Nintendo doesn't miss opportunities to sell these physical add-ons. Now there's a physical pre-order offer that might be too cool to miss out on.

Pre-ordering Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity from GameStop will get you a Mystery Guardian keychain. Here's what it looks like:

Pre-ordering Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity comes with this Guardian keychain screenshot

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Mafia gets a lot more stylish and moody with its new noir mode

Mafia starts with protagonist Tommy Angelo spilling his guts to a detective in a diner. It feels so wonderfully 1930s that it's almost a crime the scene has any color. Mafia has a mood about it, and sometimes vibrant hues aren't in service of the overall vibe.

That changes today as developer Hangar 13 has pushed an update to Mafia: Definitive Edition that adds a noir mode. Switching to noir mode simply turns the gameplay and cutscenes black-and-white. Just as Ghost of Tsushima paid homage to Kurosawa, Mafia will pay tribute to the likes of White Heat and Double Indemnity. It's important to look up to someone.

This first update brings about a few other quality of life changes. There are new HUD options where you can switch the objective marker off, turn enemy markers off on the mini-map, turn in-world and mini-map navigation features off. There's also a Minimal HUD option that hides pretty much every piece of guidance. Lastly, Hangar 13 added some content to the Free Ride mode but declined to detail what's different. It seems as though some cars have new hidden features.

This free update is available now on all platforms. It doesn't, however, address the impossibility of the big chapter 5 race on classic difficulty. That's by design though because it's meant to be frustrating just like in the 2002 game. Throwing it into noir mode will probably switch things up as you fail time and time again. Variety is the spice of life. 

The First Post-Release Update for Mafia: Definitive Edition Adds Noir Mode, New HUD Options, And More [Mafia] 

Mafia gets a lot more stylish and moody with its new noir mode screenshot

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Does your PC have the firepower to run the Black Ops Cold War beta?

Sun's out, guns out. Beta's out, PC minimum and recommended specs out. Not as catchy, twice as important.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War open beta is nearly upon us and that means it's time to figure out if your rig can handle the rigors of war. Activision has revealed the beta's minimum and recommended specs (which should serve more or less as the full game's final specs with the possible exception of storage space).

Here's what's needed to just get the Cold War beta running:

Does your PC have the firepower to run the Black Ops Cold War beta? screenshot

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Steam Game Festival returns with way too many demos to play before Tuesday

Steam Game Festival is quickly becoming one of my favorite facets of PC gaming. The limited-time showcase returned today on Steam with hundreds – and they do mean hundreds – of game demos to sort through, download, and try to play before they go away on Tuesday, October 13 at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Like finding fresh games in general, it can be overwhelming to figure out what's worth your energy. That was true for prior festivals and it's still true for this week's Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition.

Aside from leaning on your friends (and maybe some in-the-know Destructoid readers), it's worth running through your wishlist and skimming the Most Downloaded list for ideas. This time, the criteria for applicable games is slightly stricter – they're all "set to be released within the next six months."

These are my Autumn festival highlights:

Some of the picks aren't "new" so much as they're "new to Steam," and some of them probably aren't worth anything more than a morbid-curiosity-fueled demo playthrough, so keep that in mind.

Let us know if you see anything else worth downloading. I'm sure there's plenty!

Steam Game Festival returns with way too many demos to play before Tuesday screenshot

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Marvel is publishing a Spider-Man: Miles Morales prequel

When it comes to Marvel's Spider-Man, developer Insomniac isn't the only one writing Miles Morales' story. This PS5 launch game is getting a prequel to provide some backstory.

Marvel has revealed that it's teaming up with Titan Books to publish a prequel novel to Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Titled Wings of Fury, this arc is being written by Slay author Brittany Morris. Here's the description: "Wings of Fury features Miles Morales coming to terms with what it means to be Spider-Man. A mix-up with the law leaves Miles questioning everything and when Vulture and his accomplice Starling unleash experimental tech on Marvel's New York, Miles must decide what kind of hero he wants to be."

But words are hard and reading is for nerds. Maybe the officially licensed art book is more your speed. Spider-Man: Miles Morales -- Art of the Game is a hardcover coffee table book that includes "concept art and in-game renderings including characters, locations, tech, gadgets, Spider suits and much more." Much easier on the brain.

Wings of Fury will launch on November 10, just a couple of days before the game. The art book is slated for February 2021. Images of both covers can be found in the gallery below. Swing on down there, that's a Spider-Man pun.

Two New Companion Books Announced for 'Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales' [Marvel]

Marvel is publishing a Spider-Man: Miles Morales prequel screenshot

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John Wick Hex brings its beautiful ballet of murder to Switch

Two rules, everyone knows 'em: No killing in the hotel, and all good games have to come to Switch. Follow those and everyone stays happy. Deviate and we're gonna have problems.

John Wick Hex is getting ported to the major platforms it isn't already on. Developer Mike Bithell just announced John Wick Hex for Switch and Xbox One. It's also breaking free from its Epic Games Store exclusivity and coming to Steam. All this action goes down on December 4.

For those who missed it a year ago (tomorrow is its one-year anniversary), John Wick Hex is a smart adaption of the stylish action that made the movies widely beloved. Rather than straight mimic John Wick's gunplay, Hex turns it into a strategy game. It's not turn-based, though. Instead, time is the resource, as each action takes a preset number of seconds. Spend too much time on anything and you're likely to catch a bullet. It's a wonderful dance.

Just like when it launched on Epic and PS4, John Wick Hex will be $20 on Switch, Steam, and Xbox. You're not an assassin, so gold coins won't get you anywhere. You gotta pay with straight cash, homie.

John Wick Hex brings its beautiful ballet of murder to Switch screenshot



Save $10 on a custom Xbox controller before Design Lab disappears

Xbox Design Lab was quietly one of the neatest offerings of the Xbox One generation. Microsoft built a portal where users could create their own controllers and every component's look could be customized. No longer restricted to official models on store shelves, players could design a controller to look however they wanted.

Design Lab is going offline for a bit. On October 14, Microsoft is temporarily pulling the plug on the whole Design Lab service and it won't return until sometime next year. Presumably, it's a shift in production so that Microsoft can sell the new slightly-revamped Xbox Series X controllers.

Microsoft is sending off the old Design Lab with one last bang. If you're fine with the old model of Xbox controller (which will still function perfectly fine on Xbox Series S/X), you can get $10 off a custom controller. There's no need for a coupon or anything; the discount automatically applies on the Design Lab site. The offer is good until October 14, which is when Design Lab disappears for a bit.

If you're on the fence about current- and next-gen controllers, here are the upgrades for the Xbox Series X's gamepad. It has: A hybrid D-pad instead of the cross design, a dedicated share button, rubberized textured grips around the back, and a USC-C charging port. It's mostly minimal stuff, which is why Microsoft isn't raising the prices for controllers on Xbox Series X.

So, go get yourself $10 off a custom controller if aesthetic is more important to you than minimally-improved functionality. Or, just put that $60 toward the new Shock Blue Xbox Series X controller. That thing has aesthetic for days.

Xbox Design Lab [Microsoft]

Save $10 on a custom Xbox controller before Design Lab disappears screenshot

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Mario Kart Tour reflects on its first year with new anniversary tour

Believe it or not, it's been one whole year since the launch of Nintendo's pocket-sized racer Mario Kart Tour. Widely criticised on release for its lackluster gameplay and heavy microtransaction and stingy gacha mechanics, Mario Kart Tour has nonetheless been a modest hit for Nintendo, still pulling in millions of dollars in revenue.

To celebrate its first full year of release, Nintendo has dropped the green flag on a special "Anniversary Tour" event, which is live in-game right now. This event sees the return of five of Mario Kart Tour's most-popular courses, along with a slew of returning racers, specially selected from events held over the past 12 months.

The Anniversary Tour will also features multiple login bonuses, extra ruby rewards, store discounts, and special "Coins Aplenty" challenges to be held every Tuesday and Saturday for the entire duration of the event. You can check out some of the returning content in the trailer below.

Mario Kart Tour is available now on iOS and Android devices.

Mario Kart Tour reflects on its first year with new anniversary tour screenshot

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Star Wars: Squadrons won't have any post-launch content

Ironically enough, you have to go all the way to the hard vacuum of outer space for this breath of fresh air: Star Wars: Squadrons isn't trying to be a live service game. That's right, an entry in a major media property from a major publisher isn't trying to monopolize your time with an endless roadmap.

In an interview with UploadVR, creative director Ian Frazier explains how EA took an "old school approach" to development on Star Wars: Squadrons. "Never say never, so to speak, but as far as our philosophy goes we're not trying to treat the game as a live service," Frazier says. "We don't want to say, 'It's almost done!' and then dribble out more of it over time, which to be honest is how most games work these days."

Frazier elaborates that the message behind Star Wars: Squadrons is "You've paid the $40, this is the game and it's entirely self-contained. We're not planning to add more content, this is the game, and we hope you understand the value proposition."

My, how far we've come that this constitutes an old school view of big market video game consumerism. It's nice to start a game knowing that truly experiencing it won't require making it a part of your weekly schedule for years to come. Sometimes no DLC is a thousand times more enticing than three years worth of DLC.

Don't think even for a second that this isn't an edge case, though. If this weren't a semi-budget title in a semi-niche genre (with the neatest version being on a mostly-niche platform), it'd have just as much post-launch content as Battlefront 2.

EA Has 'No Plans For Star Wars: Squadrons DLC, New Modes, or Oculus Quest Port [UploadVR]

Star Wars: Squadrons won't have any post-launch content screenshot

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Desperados III releases second DLC mission 'Five Steps Ahead'

THQ Nordic and Mimimi Games have released the second part of Desperados III's DLC expansion, Money for the Vultures. Part two, titled "Five Steps Ahead," is available to purchase now as part of the strategy title's season pass.

In Five Steps Ahead, John Cooper, Doc McCoy, and the rest of the gang travel to Louisiana to reunite with Isabelle, following her wedding day shenanigans. There, our hombres will reunite to visit a brand new locale in the Bayou, aiming to take down the latest dirtbag charged with leading the DeVitt family.

Desperados III releases second DLC mission 'Five Steps Ahead' screenshot

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The Walking Dead's 'Derl' is coming to Brawhalla, but where's Merle?

In case you haven't noticed, Brawlhalla is still trucking along since its original 2017 release, with tons of Ubisoft-bankrolled corporate synergy to boot. It's hosted characters from the Hellboy universe, as well as WWE, Adventure Time, Tomb Raider and Shovel Knight. Now it's welcoming another gargantuan property into the mix: The Walking Dead.

Like the Magic: The Gathering cross-promotion before it, this tie-in is clearly modeled after the characters from the AMC show. Daryl ("Derl"), Rick and Michonne are all coming to the party, as crossover skins for Ember, Barraza and Koji respectively. All of them also have Magic cards, no doubt a sign of how popular they are in the television series (particularly Norman Reedus' Daryl, who will probably be the last human standing in this universe). Sadly, this brother Merle is left out in the cold: as he has been for some time now. I can't believe we're seven years removed from the Merlin Derle game.

The trio will come to Brawlhalla on October 14, which is coupled with an in-game event that essentially works as a horde mode, but you're fighting walkers. The prison map from seasons 3 and 4 of the show (man they dragged that locale out) is also in. At this point there are more than 50 characters to choose from in Brawlhalla.

Brawlhalla [Twitter]

The Walking Dead's 'Derl' is coming to Brawhalla, but where's Merle? screenshot

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PlayStation Now welcomes the Halloween season with MediEvil, Days Gone, and Friday the 13th

PlayStation Now is getting into the creepy Halloween spirit - SPIRIT, LIKE A GHOST - with the reveal of several horror-themed titles, available right now as part of the cloud gaming service.

The first title set to give you the willies is SIE Bend's survival horror title Days Gone. Released in 2019 and receiving far more success than anyone had given it credit for, Days Gone sees players in the role of very-sad drifter Deacon St. John, as he searches for his missing wife in what remains of post-apocalyptic Oregon. Using his wits, crafting skills, and any handy blunt instrument, St. John must traverse the miserable landscape while keeping one eye out for the mutated populace known as "Freakers." No, really.

PlayStation Now welcomes the Halloween season with MediEvil, Days Gone, and Friday the 13th screenshot

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Today's Nintendo Treehouse Live is all about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Nintendo streamed a fresh Treehouse Live segment today with a "deep dive" into Pikmin 3 Deluxe and a gameplay showcase for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. If you want to watch the extended broadcast above, you're free to do so, but I've split the news up for each Switch game if you just want a recap.

What's new for Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Nintendo confirmed optional motion/gyro control support for Pikmin 3 Deluxe along with an Ultra-Spicy difficulty mode (with a cap of 60 Pikmin in the field and other "challenging elements"), the creature-tracking Piklopedia, and Side Stories with Captain Olimar and Louie. The level shown on-stream was Day 4: Tundra in Olimar's Assignment, a treasure-collecting time trial with local co-op support.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Side Stories

As a reminder, the main story is fully playable in co-op and there's also a head-to-head Bingo mode.

Players who clear the eShop demo of Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be able to start the full game on Ultra-Spicy. This might go without saying, but your save data from the demo will transfer. Look for it tonight.

What's new for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

So help us, there are hidden Koroks to track down in Age of Calamity. No more Gold Skulltulas.

Nintendo showed off the world map, too. In between main missions, you'll be able to jump to a bunch of locations across Hyrule to level up characters, strengthen weapons, and unlock other "things."

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity map

Across the map, merchants and side-missions are your chance to earn and spend supplies – a major facet of Hyrule Warriors and the reason I'm going to dump hundreds of hours into this game. On-stream, Link gave materials to a "youth from Hateno Village" to unlock a Two-Handed bonus combo.

Amusingly, Nintendo reassured everyone by saying that weapons don't break like in Breath of the Wild. Instead, you'll fuse weapons into each other to improve stats at the Blacksmith. Swords, spears, sledgehammers, and the almighty Soup Ladle ("it actually packs quite the wallop") were shown today.

Age of Calamity Hinox

The stream also demonstrated a fight against Hinox with Impa. Is she the best or is she the best?

Unlike the Pikmin 3 segment, which was a lot of old ground if you're even remotely familiar with the series, the entire Age of Calamity showcase is worth watching. Urbosa and Zelda had time to shine.

The last Nintendo Treehouse Live presentation – the one with Paper Mario: The Origami King and Bakugan of all things – struggled with frequent technical hiccups and cross-talking. There was undeniable room for improvement. As far as today's games go, Pikmin and Hyrule Warriors are a nice duo. I want 'em both. That said, the quality of today's Treehouse showcase was also rocky at times.

These aren't system-defining titles by any means, but I'm stoked to have them this year. Given that they're releasing on October 30 and November 20 respectively, I hope Nintendo doesn't hold back.

Remember Nintendo Direct days? I miss their succinctness.

Today's Nintendo Treehouse Live is all about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Pikmin 3 Deluxe screenshot

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Smash Ultimate's next big balance patch will arrive with the new Minecraft additions

Although we generally assumed it to be so, it's nice to have confirmation that Nintendo will deploy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version 9.0.0 on the same day that Minecraft's Steve and Alex are entering the fray.

Revealed via a tweet, the patch will usher in "fighter adjustments" (read: balances), and screw up your replay data, as usual, unless you convert them. Nintendo of Europe notes that the date is October 14: which is October 13 in the US, given the time zones of when Nintendo deploys evening Smash Ultimate patches.

Over the weekend, Nintendo put up a detailed 45-minute rundown of what the patch will entail, which you can view below. It's insane how much work Sakurai and his team did to ensure that Steve/Alex fit the Smash universe. So many animations look like they were straight-up lifted from Minecraft proper, and Sakurai seemed to really care about how these characters fit in this universe.

While a lot of the breakdown below is more inside baseball for hardcore fans, it really is worth a watch if you're curious to see how the blocky character was adapted for a fighter.

Nintendo of Europe [Twitter]

Smash Ultimate's next big balance patch will arrive with the new Minecraft additions screenshot

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Fire Emblem Heroes gets spooky 'n' kooky in Halloween update

It's never like Fire Emblem Heroes to miss a seasonal celebration, and Halloween is no exception. Nintendo's mobile battler will be releasing its newest update later this week, bringing a quartet of costumed fools to the gacha title's massive roster of warriors.

The Dragon's Harvest update will see the arrival of Awakening's Robin, Mystery of the Emblem's Xane, Path of Radiance' Dheginsea, and finally Harmonized Heroes Tiki & Ninian, all of whom are sporting very cute Halloween costumes. Dheginsea makes for a formidable vampire, and Xane is a colourful trickster, while the girls also look great as... umm... these things... a werewolf, I guess? And a ghost and a devil?

Fire Emblem Heroes gets spooky 'n' kooky in Halloween update screenshot

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Here's a full rundown of World of Warcraft Shadowlands' Pre-Patch, coming October 13

Big changes are coming to World of Warcraft, and they're happening before the Shadowlands expansion. On October 13, actually, when the pre-patch hits.

The most important thing to note is easily the "level squish," which is bringing level 120 players down to 50, to make progression more meaningful (read: leveling will grant you new abilities and talents).

You can also change your gender and appearance at the barbershop at will, which grants you more customization options, like tattoos for dwarves and less/more bone exposure for undead. Corrupted gear will be cleansed when Shadowlands hits and season four will end.

So that's all of the housekeeping stuff. In terms of content, you're called into action to combat an undead invasion in Icecrown. It's confirmed as a "limited time event" with special rewards: aiming to end around when Shadowlands launches. Par for the course! I hope that the "tee-up" pre-patch questline has some meaningful beats.

Shadowlands Pre-Expansion [Battle.net]

Here's a full rundown of World of Warcraft Shadowlands' Pre-Patch, coming October 13 screenshot

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Resident Evil movie reboot reveals cast and plot outline

Constantin Film has announced its intention to create a brand new Resident Evil movie, one that will seemingly ignore all of the events of previous films past to adapt an all-new cinematic story based on the legendary survival horror series.

Written and directed by 47 Meters Down's Johannes Roberts, the new movie will see the action return to the iconic locale of Raccoon City, retelling the events of one grim night in the Spencer Mansion. Constantin Film has unveiled a cast of characters, including Upload's Robbie Amell as Chris Redfield, Maze Runner's Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield, Avan Jogia as Leon Kennedy, and Hannah John-Kamen - who you will remember as Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp - in the heralded role of Jill Valentine. A real all-star set of Resi heroes right there.

Speaking to Deadline, Roberts said of the project "I really wanted to go back to the original first two games and re-create the terrifying visceral experience I had when I first played them whilst at the same time telling a grounded human story about a small dying American town that feels both relatable and relevant to today's audiences."

The new film will be produced by Robert Kulzer, who was also the producer for the 2002 Resident Evil movie, as well as sequels Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, thus the new film may not entirely eschew the style of its previous cinematic universe - for better or worse.

Resident Evil is currently in pre-production at Constantin Film.

Resident Evil movie reboot reveals cast and plot outline screenshot

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Super Nintendo World is opening in Japan in 2021, but a Mario cafe and store will debut next week

The world is pretty crazy right now, with some theme parks open and some...not so much. But Nintendo and Universal are still moving full speed ahead with Super Nintendo World of Japan, having gotten back on the construction horse earlier this year.

Now the fruits of their labor are seemingly ready to be unleashed, as Nintendo has just announced officially that Super Nintendo World will arrive in Osaka City in the spring of 2021. But before that grand opening, Nintendo will cut the ribbon for the Mario Cafe and Store, which is scheduled to be unleashed on October 16.

At that point guests can buy various Mario merch, as well as "Super Mushroom Drinks" (in a collectible cup) and fruit cream sodas (with mustache straws). Mario and Luigi cap cookies will also be on sale, and the tagline that the store is going for is "Whose Cap?" Cheeky. We know who owns that cap.

There is still no real timeline for when the other two Super Nintendo World theme parks will be finished (CA, FL); but given the restrictions in California, that park is in for a bumpy ride if it intends to still open in 2021.

Super Nintendo World will open in the spring of 2021 [Nintendo]

Super Nintendo World is opening in Japan in 2021, but a Mario cafe and store will debut next week screenshot

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Sony is ready to teardown the PS5 and show us what's inside

The PS5 is nearly ready to launch, and Sony is giving is the teardown video to prove it.

Just this morning the publishing giant gave us a full seven-minute rundown of the innards of the PS5, breaking it apart piece by piece. As Sony notes: you probably shouldn't try this at home without a technical background of some sort.

For the most part, this clip is for gearheads, and tells us a lot of what we already know. The PS5 is equipped with an x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU, AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine GPU, GDDR6 16GB of memory and liquid metal cooling. Sony is also sporting a Wi-Fi 6 antenna as well as USB-A and USB-C.

That look from Yasuhiro Ootri (VP, Mechanical Design at Sony) at the end is so satisfying. It's huge "bring it" energy.

Sony also shifted gears from a software standpoint, and took the opportunity to explain how trophies are changing over on the PlayStation Blog. In short, trophy ranges are going from 1-100 to 1-999. Once the update hits it'll automatically reconfigure your level (the example given is "12" will go to "the low 200s"). Platinum trophies will now be "more valuable" and "count more toward progression," and there will be a trophy level icon on the PS5 UI. All of this will shift over "later tonight."

Simple stuff, but exciting prospects for trophy hunters. The next generation is just over a month away at this point.

Sony is ready to teardown the PS5 and show us what's inside screenshot

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Destructoid wants to know: What's your dream gaming contest prize?

Questions for you. Let's say, you know ... hypothetically, Destructoid will be giving away a $3000-$5000 giveaway this holiday season.  What would the ideal prize be?

Does your tender heart lust for an RTX 3090 (or is that just a crazy CPU bottleneck), or a full-on PS5 with every accessory and launch game, and/or the new Xbox Part Deux X? Maybe one of those newfangled LG 120Hz 4K TVs?  Or if you are outside the continental US, take the whole prize pot as cash (or have the option to decide later and pay down your college loan out of guilt?). Would you rather see us give away something else instead?

Are contests where one-winner-takes all more interesting to you, or are you more likely to care if there's 20 winners and the prize is less fabulous but easier to win?

What would you be willing to do to win it? Inquiring marketing lords want to know! 

Holler. Especially if you participated in another contest somewhere else recently, what advice would you give a person in the position to potentially make one person's wildest dreams come true?  WHAT MOVES YOUR LOINS, MAN?

Destructoid wants to know: What's your dream gaming contest prize? screenshot

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Report: Activision-Blizzard is set to close its France office

According to a report by Bloomberg, Activision-Blizzard is in the process of dissolving its office in Versailles, France, following what is described by the news outlet as "two years of turbulence."

Originally operated solely under Blizzard, the Versailles office's 400-strong staff were hit with hugely controversial layoffs in 2019, as a restructuring of Blizzard by Activision resulted in the loss of around 130 localised jobs. A long and drawn-out severance dispute with the government then left the office's staff and operations in a degree of limbo. Complicating matters, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reportedly put an end to Blizzard's plan to relocate half of the Versailles team to London, and now it seems that the French headquarters may now be closed in its entirety.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Activision-Blizzard neither confirmed nor denied the report. "In the context of our Versailles office, the management of Blizzard France has informed its employee representatives of a proposed project to reorganize its activitie," said a spokesperson. "Supporting our employees through this process is our number one priority. We are working through various processes related to this and a CSE meeting is scheduled for October 13th and 14th. Until then, as there is a prescribed legal process, we cannot provide further comment."

Staff members are expected to receive more concrete information regarding the future next week.

Activision-Blizzard closing France office - Report [GamesIndustry.biz / Bloomberg]

Report: Activision-Blizzard is set to close its France office screenshot

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Is the graphical difference between NBA 2K21 on PS4 to PS5 worth the $10 extra cost to you?

Another generation, another attempt to sell you on expensive hardware.

I mean, I'm always there. I've been there since I started shoveling snow and working at 15 years old to partake in the newest games. But some generational leaps are more exciting than others. The jury is still out on this coming gap, in part due to the $10 price hike on a lot of software.

NBA 2K21 was one of the first games to be announced to buck that trend. It's going to be $70 on newer consoles, with is chalked up to more visual polish, says its publisher. But now that it's really getting down to the wire and we have ample footage of both the PS4 and PS5 editions of the game, it's time to compare and contrast.

YouTuber BBallCreator 2K put up a really useful and quick video that does just that, which you can view below. It's interesting, as some of the different character models look great on PS5 just because the PS4 ones look fairly poor, but overall there's a ton of detail in the former version. You can also see a drastic upgrade in terms of lighting when the camera shifts to an aerial view around 30 seconds in.

Like most things, they need to be seen in person to be believed. Hopefully the PS5 version is actually technically sound, and can hold these visuals with a proper framerate. With some games seemingly making us choose, these upgrades might not be as enticing. Also, does anyone else think 'Bron and the boys will take it on Friday?

Is the graphical difference between NBA 2K21 on PS4 to PS5 worth the $10 extra cost to you? screenshot

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Contest: Spoop your pants with Darksburg on Steam

In today's contest you can win horror roguelite title Darksburg for Steam!

It's finally October, which means I get to feature lots of fun Halloweeny titles all month long! Or until I run out. Whichever comes first.

Today, I've got a fun one! Meet Darksburg, a fun roguelike Gauntlet-esque title which just launched out of Early Access. We've got some Steam copies available, so start off your Halloween season with a bang!

Contest: Spoop your pants with Darksburg on Steam screenshot

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What's in your wallet? It could be Razer's light-up card

Razer is no stranger to making products that are mobile. Its line of gaming laptops is highly regarded. A few years ago, Razer introduced its own smartphone. The newest venture will fit right alongside the phone as something people use all the time.

Razer and Visa have partnered up to introduce a prepaid payment method called the Razer Card. It functions just like any other prepaid card, in that you load it up with cash in order to use it. There are three versions of the Razer Card: a digital version that makes use of a Razer cash app; a physical standard card; and a physical premium card that features a light-up Razer logo.

Because you're all wondering (and because the easy reference is there): No, it's not RGB.

There's incentive to pick up the Razer Card outside of general brand allegiance. This card offers 5% cash back on items purchased through Razer's store, and 1% cash back on all other purchases (uncapped). There's also the opportunity to earn rewards (and this is very vaguely phrased) "based on tasks and everyday transactions." It's more aggressive for beta members, as they get 10% back on store purchases along with the chance to earn $2,000 worth of Razer gear.

It's not the best card on the market, but it's not aimed at adults with established credit. Razer's Fintech arm is trying to establish the world's first global youth bank and the Razer Card is a major part of those plans. With that in mind, unlimited 1% cash back on a prepaid debit card is about as good as it gets.

However, this isn't something most of you can just jump into -- at least not yet. The Razer Card beta is currently only available in Singapore and only open to 1,337 participants. The beta is expected to last three months before the program becomes more widely available. That being said, there are no firm indications when (or even if) the Razer Card will expand outside of Singapore. It's your best bet if you really need an ostentatious card in your wallet, though.

Razer Fintech and Visa Unveil New Prepaid Card to Transform Digital Payments Experience for Youths and Millennials in Singapore [Razer]

What's in your wallet? It could be Razer's light-up card screenshot

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You can play Overwatch for free next week with Nintendo Switch Online

If you've had your fill of Super Mario Bros. 35,  heads up: Nintendo is rolling out another one of its infrequent Nintendo Switch Online membership perks. For a limited time, Overwatch will be free to play.

To partake, just grab Overwatch from the eShop and play as much as your schedule allows between October 13 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific and October 20 at 11:59 p.m. This Nintendo Switch Online Game Trial contains the "entire game," so you'll want to set aside 12GB for the download. Progress carries over.

I imagine most of us know how we feel about Overwatch by now, but if you're curious about the game at large – or you just want to see how the Switch version in particular handles itself – go do your thing.

It's honestly bumming me out how disconnected I feel from Blizzard right now. I hope Diablo IV is good.

@NintendoAmerica [Twitter]

You can play Overwatch for free next week with Nintendo Switch Online screenshot

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Watch Dogs: Legion has a BattleBots-like robo-spider deathpit mode

There are about a dozen possible takeaways from Ubisoft announcing Watch Dogs: Legion's post-launch content plans. Maybe you'd like to focus on the fact that some is free and some is paid-for. Or, you might zero in on the fact that the protagonists from the first two games show up in the story DLC.

Me? I'd like to shine that spotlight on the unlicensed BattleBots multiplayer mode.

Soon after launch, Watch Dogs: Legion is getting a PvP mode called Spider-Bot Arena. It's an eight-player deathmatch where everyone takes control of a mechanical arachnid. Hop, shoot, and destroy. What a tangled web we weave.

That's just one reveal in this very detailed video. Let's tackle the rest in bullet-point style:

Watch Dogs: Legion has a BattleBots-like robo-spider deathpit mode screenshot

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Former Borderlands and Torchlight devs establish studio for next-gen RPG

ProbablyMonsters, a company that scouts and establishes game development studios, has announced that it is in the process of putting together a brand new team. This as-yet-unnamed outfit is staffed by developers who have previously worked on popular franchises such as Borderlands and Torchlight.

Among the key players included in this new venture are Runic Games founders John Dunbar and Marsh Lefler, Borderlands level designer Patrick Blank, and former Perfect World developer Allen Fong. As a unit, these four individuals had instrumental roles in the production of 2009 fantasy RPG Torchlight.

The new studio is the third company to be established under the ProbablyMonsters umbrella, following Cauldron Studios and Firewalk Studios, and is already in the early stages of preparing its first title: a co-op RPG developed for next-gen platforms. ProbablyMonsters states that the new studio already has a workforce of over 150 people. The team are planning to move into new headquarters in Washington once it is deemed safe to do so, given the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

ProbablyMonsters establishes third studio [Gematsu]

Former Borderlands and Torchlight devs establish studio for next-gen RPG screenshot

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You'll need to wear headphones for PS5's 3D audio

3D audio isn't at the top of my mind for PlayStation 5, but a PlayStation Blog post today reminded me about Sony's push for more immersive audio, and there's an important note worth touching on.

As Sony Interactive Entertainment's Isabelle Tomatis explains it, "you'll be able to experience [PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech] with the headphones that many of you already own, either through USB connection to the [PlayStation 5], or by plugging your headphones into the DualSense wireless controller's 3.5mm headset jack." Put another way, you won't need to buy the new Pulse 3D headset.

Beyond supporting headphones, Sony is "in the process of working on virtual surround sound through speakers that are built into TVs." This feature won't be ready in time for the November 12 launch, but "engineers are hard at work on bringing it to PS5 in the future" and they're "extremely excited."

What does it sound like, though? Back in September, several game developers spoke about 3D AudioTech, and across the board, they cited better "situational awareness" as one of the leading perks.

"It's almost as if 3D AudioTech was made specifically with horror games in mind," said Resident Evil's Jun Takeuchi. "It used to be that in order to get that spatial audio, players would have to invest a lot of their own time and money. Now, just putting on a headset, they can get a full 3D audio experience."

"Audio is a key feature to really push the next-gen experience."

Experience PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech with compatible headsets at launch, TV Virtual Surround Sound coming after launch [PlayStation Blog]

You'll need to wear headphones for PS5's 3D audio screenshot

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Blair Witch in VR is gonna be a big nope nope nope nope hell nope from me

It's tough to imagine a pop culture adaption for VR that's better suited than The Blair Witch Project. A movie seen entirely through a shaky first-person perspective fits perfectly into VR's wheelhouse of immersive shaky first-person perspectives. It's a match made in heaven, but only if heaven has abandoned hell cabins full of ritualistic murder. It probably doesn't.

Bloober Team's Blair Witch is being brought to the new Oculus Quest later this month. Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition is an adaption that adds a bunch of VR functionality to last year's game. Bloober goes so far as to say it's "rebuilt."

Here's the list of bullet-pointed new features from the press release:

Blair Witch in VR is gonna be a big nope nope nope nope hell nope from me screenshot

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Microsoft seems to be bundling a bunch of Bethesda's best games together on Xbox Series X

Microsoft has owned Bethesda for two weeks now -- at least that's how long it has been since the announcement -- and we're already seeing the effects of the new leadership. (In actuality, maybe Bethesda does some or all of this on its own, but it's too tempting to ascribe all developments as Microsoft's mandate from up high.) It seems like one of the first moves, apart from getting Doom Eternal on Game Pass, is to group together a bunch of last-gen games into high-value bundles.

Thanks to another ESRB leak (and this is really too easy lately with the "Recently Rated Games" tab), we've learned of two upcoming Bethesda bundles for Xbox Series X. One is The Arkane Collection which features four games. The most likely candidates are Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and Prey.

There's a similar situation with MachineGames' recent projects. There's a Wolfenstein Alt History Collection which also bundles four games. Those have to be Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Young Blood.

Assuming a $60 price point, that's a whole lot of video game in each collection. Or, thinking optimistically, maybe Microsoft is bundling these to add to Xbox Game Pass all together. None of this has been formally revealed yet, so we'll have to wait to find out what Microsoft's intentions are. But, as misguided as Bethesda has seemed with properties like Fallout, the games mentioned in these lists make up some of the publisher's best efforts over the past 10 years or so. They're fine candidates for the bundle treatment.

The Arkane Collection, Wolfenstein Alt History Collection [ESRB]

Microsoft seems to be bundling a bunch of Bethesda's best games together on Xbox Series X screenshot

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PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom will take several hours to beat

Astro's Playroom may very well be the first PlayStation 5 game I end up playing.

Not only is the breezy vibin' platformer free, it's coming pre-installed, so while some of us are waiting for Demon's Souls or Spider-Man: Miles Morales to finish downloading, it'll be calling our names. On the flip side, won't it just be a fleeting experience? After all, it's a pack-in meant to demo the DualSense.

In an interview with Famitsu, Astro's Playroom creative director Nicolas Doucet said there are four worlds with lots of collectibles and it should take players around "four to five hours" to finish the game. If you're looking for more mileage, there's going to be a time attack mode with online rankings, too.

Doucet described Astro's Playroom as a PlayStation homage and said some of the references might go over younger players' heads. I'm expecting a decent-sized feel-good adventure. Sounds great!

My only question: can we get a PS5 sequel to Astro Bot Rescue Mission for the new PlayStation VR?

[Via @Nibellion]

PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom will take several hours to beat screenshot

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Monster Hunter Rise has separate solo and co-op quests, and cutscenes can be skipped

I've liked pretty much everything I've seen of Monster Hunter Rise so far (not that we've seen that much yet), and after a recent round of press interviews, my optimism still feels warranted. A cool, distinct, modern Monster Hunter game designed with Nintendo Switch in mind? It'll complement Iceborne well.

We learned a bunch of details about Rise today, a handful of which I wanted to recap.

Speaking to Eurogamer, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said that Monster Hunter Rise has been cooking for "about four years in total." Monster Hunter Generations director Yasunori Ichinose had "a bit of time off" before Capcom tasked him with devising the next portable Monster Hunter title, and Capcom needed to get its "ducks in a row" with the RE Engine, "which at the time [pre-RE7] had not yet been released."

In an interview with IGN, the duo said that story cutscenes in Rise can be skipped (a longstanding thorn in Monster Hunter: World players' sides), and instead of blending everything together for solo play and co-op like in World, there will be separate single-player and multiplayer quests similar to prior Monster Hunter games. In other words, there are going to be different village quests and gathering hub quests.

As far as game-feel, "there are elements from Generations and from World, but, [Rise is] going to have its own unique, new things as well. Some of which we are not allowed to talk about yet."

Speaking to RGJ, Ichinose confirmed that Rise "will have scaling based on the number of players," and players "will not be required to reach a certain progression in the story in order to play quests together at the gathering hub." Tsujimoto also noted that event quests will be downloadable "using the same classic system" as Generations Ultimate "since not everyone will be online all the time" on Switch.

Lastly, the same 14 weapon types are back again and there's motion control support for aiming.

Monster Hunter Rise looks like it'll be the best of both worlds [Eurogamer]
Monster Hunter Rise's Skippable Cutscenes and 8 More New Details [IGN]
Monster Hunter Rise Q&A: Devs talk separate campaign, gear designs and more [Reno Gazette Journal]

Monster Hunter Rise has separate solo and co-op quests, and cutscenes can be skipped screenshot

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Lock 'n' load for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta

Activision has dropped a rat-a-tat-tat trailer for the incoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta, which will be unleashed on PS4, PC, and Xbox One over the next two weekends.

The beta will give CoD fans the opportunity to check out the newest entry in the billion-dollar shooter franchise. This year's entry sees the action relocated to the 1980s, as a shadowy CIA unit attempts to track down an alleged soviet spy known only as "Perseus," whose actions could bring about death and destruction on a global scale. (As opposed to the actions of your characters, who will bring about death and destruction on a more localised scale.)

Lock 'n' load for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta screenshot

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(Update) Mortal Kombat 11 passes 8 million sales mark, news teased for this week

[Update: NetherRealm Studios has released a short teaser video ahead of its announcement. The video features a Tarkatan running through a forest in panic, which then cuts to an October 8 date. The video is accompanied by the succinct message "They Are Koming". You can check out the tweet at the foot of the article.]

NetherRealm Studios head Ed Boon has proudly announced that the latest entry in the super-gory Mortal Kombat franchise has sold over eight million copies since its spring 2019 launch, making Mortal Kombat 11 the latest in a series of MK releases to set sales ablaze.

"After 8 million (and kounting) MK11 games sold we're not done yet," said Boon on Twitter. "Stay tuned to see what's next for MK11 this week! #KombatKontinues"

The tease will definitely perk up the dedicated MK 11 community, who have been voicing frustration with the bloodstained one-on-one fighter. While nobody can accuse MK 11 of lacking in DLC kontent - given the first Kombat Pack and the Aftermath expansion - MK 11 still suffers from a slew of irritating gameplay issues, from the continued lack of a Wi-Fi filter, to erratic hitbox problems and instances of unreliable links.

While the loudest of the MK kommunity clamour incessantly for the return of the villainous Mileena, MK 11's dedicated players, still grinding away at Kombat League and entering various online tournaments, are more concerned about MK 11 on a base level, and are hoping to see changes made to the actual gameplay itself as the title enters the new year.

It's not impossible, however, that this news will simply turn out to be the announcement of a next-gen port announcement (especially given that "#KombatKontinues" hashtag). If so, would Warner Bros. Games have it in them to offer free upgrades to the kommunity? Given the amount of money dedicated fans have poured into the title over the past year, I'd hope so.

Whatever the intriguing news, we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear.

Mortal Kombat 11 is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

(Update) Mortal Kombat 11 passes 8 million sales mark, news teased for this week screenshot

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Review: Super Mario Bros. 35

Super Mario Bros. for the NES wasn't my first game, but it was the first cartridge I ever owned. I treated it like a sacred talisman.

In between Duck Hunt bouts, I made it my mission to memorize the ins and outs of each and every level. Eventually, I got to the end. That simplicity couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life.

Games have changed a lot in the last 35 years or so, which makes it tough to really dig into Super Mario Bros. 35's streamlined veneer. But it sure is fun in short bursts.

Review: Super Mario Bros. 35 screenshot

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Absolute legend and Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma muses on how he 'tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice'

I still hear Hideki Naganuma jams randomly in my head to this day. While the first Jet Set Radio was an absolute classic, I can't tell you how many hours I spent playing Jet Set Radio Future. I have that entire game memorized.

Hideki Naganuma would go on to score and work on several more marquee Sega games before leaving the publisher in 2008 (but still occasionally freelancing for the House that Sonic Built). But as it turns out, he had big plans to make his mark on Nintendo: plans that didn't pan out.

Amid recent calls on Twitter that Naganuma should have worked on the Splatoon soundtrack (which takes many cues from the composer), the man himself addressed the situation fairly plainly, stating: "To tell the truth, I tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice in the past, after I left Sega. But I didn't pass. They said that there's no position that I can display my ability to the full. That's the reason why Splatoon didn't need my music, lol."

Could you imagine that team-up? Still, Naganuma seems to be leading his best life if his lively Twitter account is any indication, and is working on a Jet Set Radio-like game at this very moment.

Hideki Naganuma [Twitter] Thanks, Frank!

Absolute legend and Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma muses on how he 'tried to be an employee of Nintendo twice' screenshot

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Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition

This story takes place a long time ago and most video games don't age like fine wine. The rare, great ones do but most don't. The ones that are merely good have a shelf life before they turn. Playing an open-world shooter from 2002 leaves about the same taste in your mouth as chewing the bubblegum that came with 1950s baseball cards.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is a prime example of how those good games can have great foundations. A lot of all-timers like Final Fantasy VII, Link's Awakening, and Resident Evil 2 have gotten the remake treatment lately, and no one is surprised when they're excellent the second time 'round. Mafia, which had to live in GTA III's shadow back in 2002, gets its first chance to be truly excellent in 2020. 

Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition screenshot

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Danganronpa's Kazutaka Kodaka reflects on his crazy creation in 10th anniversary interview

One of the wildest, weirdest, and most bizarrely morbid gaming franchises of the past decade has, without a doubt, been Spike Chunsoft's Danganronpa series. As celebrations continue for the visual novel/RPG franchise's 10th anniversary, the man behind the madness - Kazutaka Kodaka - has shared some of his thoughts on his cute culling creation.

In a new video interview, curated by documentary makers Archipel, Kodaka discusses some of the influences and ideas behind the creation of Danganronpa and its many sequels and spin-offs. Kodaka talks of his love of Koshun Takama's notorious novel Battle Royale, as well as his appreciation of the works of film director David Lynch. Checks out so far.

Danganronpa's Kazutaka Kodaka reflects on his crazy creation in 10th anniversary interview screenshot

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Your Game of Thrones digital board game session will probably have a better ending than the show

Game of Thrones is still a phenomenon, even if the show and the extreme delay of the book series has sullied its good name a bit.

There will probably be endless amounts of board games as long as that license is floating around, and it would be wise of any of those properties to downplay similarities between the show and play up the literary universe. That's exactly what this new digital board game is doing, due out today from Asmodee Digital. They're even proudly advertising it as "based on the novels."

The gist? You'll muck about for 10 rounds with both options for "diplomatic and combative" strategies, attempting to claim as many structures as possible: a sort of more-violent Carcassonne. It's an adaptation of the popular 2003 board game from FFG, which is now in its second edition (released in 2011).

Although the player count has waxed and waned with expansions, the digital edition is aiming for six players simultaneously, with matchmaking and AI components. You can get a load of the gist via the trailer below.

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game - Digital Edition [Steam]

Your Game of Thrones digital board game session will probably have a better ending than the show screenshot

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Nintendo reminds us that Diddy's Kong Quest is one of the sneakiest titles in gaming history

In the...oh I want to say, hundreds of hours I played and replayed Donkey Kong Country 2, I never gave its subtitle a second thought.

"Diddy Kong's Quest." Yeah, that sounds right. Perfect actually. No one corrected me. Not my cousin that was visiting from out of state, during our eight-hour session with the game. None of my friends or family members, either. Years later I would come to recognize that it was "Diddy's Kong Quest," a clear play-on-words for "Diddy's Conquest," given that he was the new star of the sequel.

Our own Jordan Devore and I periodically muse on how amazing Donkey Kong Country is and still, to this day, joke about how this tripped us up at one point in our lives. So why am I bringing this up decades later? Well, Nintendo just released the game on Switch, and they had a fun little time tweeting about the aforementioned phenomenon.

At this point, the correct title has safely entered "Sinbad Genie Movie" and "Berenstain Bears" territory. I doubt many people are going to die on that hill anymore: knowingly pronouncing it incorrectly. But it's fun to see Nintendo poke fun at it, years later, now that we know the truth.

Nintendo UK [Twitter]

Nintendo reminds us that Diddy's Kong Quest is one of the sneakiest titles in gaming history screenshot

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