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Monday, 16 November 2020

Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse shows off its revisioned gameplay

Compile Heart has released an extended gameplay video for Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse - the incoming PS5 remake of... erm... another remake, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 Plus, which first launched on PC and PS Vita in 2018.

Go! Go! 5 Jigen will offer a remade re-tread of the original fun-packed adventure, that went on to spawn the cult Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise and its many spin-offs. Players guide a party of characters including Noire, IF, Vert, Blanc and Nep-Nep herself as the battle to save the realm of Gameindustri from the impending "Console War."

The remake will feature a revised and re-balanced battle system, new mini-games, an expanded party, and the opportunity to play the entire cast from the get-go. While Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse looks to be a good jumping off point for those new to the franchise, it's undeniably disappointing to see Nep-Nep's first next-gen release is merely a remake of a remake.

Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse launches in Japan on PS5 December 17. Compile Heart is yet to announce a western localization.

Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse shows off its revisioned gameplay screenshot


Fall Guys' PC sales are crown-grabbingly good

Fall Guys was extremely en vogue for a month or so, a tour de force that knocked out all other competitors for Video Game Everyone's Talking About. That's bound to happen when you're a high-profile PlayStation Plus freebie. We saw it with Rocket League back in 2015, and Fall Guys perfectly replicated that formula in 2020.

As it turns out, giving your game away on one platform can be a boon to sales on other platforms. In Unity's third-quarter financial report, the game engine company revealed that Fall Guys netted 10 million sales on PC. Assuming a price of $20, that's a maximum revenue of $200 million. That's a monumental achievement for a new property from a small team.

It was similarly popular on PS4, but we have no specifics in terms of paid or free downloads. However, Unity said that Fall Guys went on to become PS Plus' most-downloaded game ever. No one denied that Fall Guys was a smash hit, but now we have a little more context for its success.

In the months since its August release, developer Mediatonic has been grappling with how it can maintain momentum. Fall Guys was shot out of a cannon, white hot at launch and absurdly popular. Its Season 2 update was underwhelming, but a mid-season 2.5 update reworked certain levels to make them way more chaotic. Everyone knows Fall Guys is at its best when it's high chaos and comedy. That's what made Fall Guys the success it is; that's what'll keep Fall Guys from being more than a flash in the pan.

Unity Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results [Unity]

Fall Guys' PC sales are crown-grabbingly good screenshot

Assassin's Creed Valhalla beats Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to the top of the UK Charts

In the first major shakeup in months, the UK Charts welcomed a fistful of brand new releases into its ranks, all vying for the coveted number one spot. When the dust had settled, in what could be seen as something of an upset, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla beat out Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to become the best-selling physical launch of the week.

Ubisoft's head-cleaving open-world adventure debuted at number one, with the rockin '80s Cold War settling for number two. In third place was Sony's pseudo-sequel Spider-Man: Miles Morales. PS5 releases Demon's Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and Godfall also debuted at numbers six, 13, and 16 respectively. Quite a feat considering the new hardware hasn't even launched on these shores yet!

Once we are past the typically lucrative holiday period, things may start to get a little tougher for the physical sales charts. With a year-on-year shift toward online sales; cheaper, disc-less hardware, and the ongoing string of high-street lockdowns, 2021 and the ninth console generation are set to very much be the era of the digital download.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla beats Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to the top of the  UK Charts screenshot


Nintendo's Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. device is a collectible first and foremost

Nintendo is going hard on Mario's 35th anniversary. We've already gotten Super Mario Bros. 35, Mario 3D All-Stars, and Mario Kart Live, but there's more to come.

This past weekend Nintendo just released the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. handheld, in fact, and we put it through the paces for a bit. $50 is a lot to spend on two NES Mario titles, a classic Game & Watch minigame, and a clock: but collectors will likely cherish it.

Nintendo's Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. device is a collectible first and foremost screenshot


Review: Assassin's Creed Valhalla

About 35 hours into Assassin's Creed Valhalla, I unlocked the "Silent Viking" achievement for killing 10 consecutive enemies without alerting anyone. It really drove home how different this Assassin's Creed is from all the other Assassin's Creeds. In previous games, maybe Origins or Odyssey, I would've methodically dismantled entire fortresses and earned that same achievement within the first few hours.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is indiscreet and inelegant. It's a brash spectacle that's more interested in glorifying the toils of war than with quietly subduing and destabilizing the enemy. It's more Viking than assassin, so much that Valhalla feels out of place in the Assassin's Creed lineage. It's a wayward-growing branch on the family tree.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey was the Least Assassin's Creed Game Ever two years ago to great effect. Valhalla strayed too far to its own detriment.

Review: Assassin's Creed Valhalla screenshot


Blood Bowl 3 closed beta will kick off on PC in early 2021

All fans of the gory grid iron have reasons to celebrate, as Cyanide's violent sports title Blood Bowl will be returning in 2021, once again bringing all of the violent action of Games Workshop's classic tabletop title to both PC and current and next-gen platforms.

While there is no official launch date for Blood Bowl 3 as of yet, publisher Nacon has announced that anyone pre-ordering Blood Bowl: Second Season Edition on PC will bag themselves access to a Blood Bowl 3 closed beta, expected to launch in the early months of 2021. The publisher teases that there will be other ways of gaining access, but is yet to reveal them.

Blood Bowl 3 closed beta will kick off on PC in early 2021 screenshot


Very Quick tips for the Demon's Souls PS5 remake

Demon's Souls was always the best Souls game. I'm tempted to turn off the comments so you can't "at" me! I mean, I'm not going to do that, but I'm tempted.

Whether you started up this weekend and threw your case across the room in frustration, or you're aiming to go for your second playthrough this week, here are a few tips. These are battle-tested with the remake in mind from a clear this past weekend.

Very Quick tips for the Demon's Souls PS5 remake screenshot


Fire Emblem Heroes adds a classic quartet from The Binding Blade

It must have been at least 15 minutes since a new set of warriors joined the mammoth roster of mobile battler Fire Emblem Heroes. Fortunately for all you orb-hoarders, Nintendo has dropped a new trailer, announcing four more characters just dying to fill out your mammoth list of allies.

All hailing from 2002 Game Boy Advance release Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, the Princess of Bern update sees the coming of Captain of the Guard, Melady; muscle-bound mercenary, Dieck; traveling merchant, Merlinus; and finally - the Princess of Bern herself - Guinivere.

Fire Emblem Heroes adds a classic quartet from The Binding Blade screenshot


The Demon's Souls PS5 remake has a new door that Bluepoint seemingly added in

Folks are tearing through the Demon's Souls remake and lo and behold, just like Bluepoint's Shadow of the Colossus re-release, there's an added secret.

Read on for very vague minor spoilers on the whole debacle.

The Demon's Souls PS5 remake has a new door that Bluepoint seemingly added in screenshot


SpellForce 'TimeSplitters 2 remake' reference is just a joke, says THQ Nordic

THQ Nordic set tongues wagging this weekend, after an Easter egg in RPG SpellForce 3: Fallen God appeared to hint at an incoming Timesplitters 2 remake. The publisher has since peed on the parade, however, confirming that the reference was just a cheeky joke.

Players journeying through the continent of Urgath came across a particularly shady merchant who, among their wares, is willing to sell you the highly wish-listed remake of the classic 2002 shooter sequel. The same merchant also sells you "canceled" games such as Gothic and BioMutant - both of which have had lengthy development periods at THQ Nordic.

This didn't stop fans on the internet from proclaiming the appearance of the hypothetical remake as an official confirmation, which is apparently not the case at all. Speaking to Eurogamer, THQ Nordic has confirmed that the Timesplitters 2 reference is "just an innocent Easter egg" notably available from "a character known especially for not telling the truth."

Of course, this doesn't mean a Timesplitters 2 remake sometime down the line is impossible. Just that fans shouldn't read too deeply into this particular hope-hyping appearance. The dream continues...

THQ Nordic pours cold water on Timesplitters 2 remake tease [Eurogamer]

SpellForce 'TimeSplitters 2 remake' reference is just a joke, says THQ Nordic screenshot

Yakuza producer says he wants to work on an out-there Sonic game

Yakuza: Like a Dragon just arrived, and naturally, series producer Daisuke Sato worked on it.

He's a busy man, having worked on the series as a designer from the very start (2005!), and is still with Sega to this day. To that end, Sega recently interviewed him in video form, which led to all sorts of interesting discussions regarding the Yakuza series, as well as...Sonic?

In the video below, Sato notes that he'd love the chance to work on a Sonic game, but would want it to be "completely different" compared to what has been released so far. He says he'd like to "try it" because the brand is so synonymous with Sega as a whole, but wants to put his own spin on it. So, a Sonic Adventure 3 with an open world and Yakuza-like minigames?

Here's the full statement, which starts at roughly 5:45 into the interview:

"It's an IP that I haven't come to before. In the sense that I want to try it...well, Sonic. After all, when you hear Sega you think Sonic. I'd like to get involved once at least. But for me, the so-called Sonic is, well, if I were to do it, I wouldn't do Sonic as it was. I would like to make a completely different Sonic."

Yeah, I can see it. Not only can I see it, I want to see it. Sega doesn't really know what to do with the Sonic series as a whole, yo-yo-ing between really great experiences like Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania, to subpar adventures such as Sonic Forces and Sonic Boom. Sato could be part of the team that gives Sonic a fresh new start.

If you're remotely interested in Sega as a company, or the Yakuza series (probably both?), the whole 25-minute video is worth a watch. Although it's a fairly soft Sega-produced interview, we get some insight into Daisuke Sato's history with the company, as well as some interesting design philosophies.

Yakuza producer says he wants to work on an out-there Sonic game screenshot


Frustrating desync bug causing havoc for PS4 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players

Activision has launched its newest entry in the billion-dollar Call of Duty series. Black Ops Cold War is, unsurprisingly, a high-gloss, expensive-looking, and punchy action-adventure but its PS4 edition is causing chagrin for a battalion of wannabe war criminals.

In what we'll dub the "Fractured Jaw" glitch, Cold War's PS4 players are finding that the console will randomly de-sync the controller and kill the in-game sound entirely. The game continues to play, but players cannot re-sync their controller, and must force a reset in order to continue playing.

The game-breaking bug seems to be most prevalent in the single-player campaign's third mission (the titular "Fractured Jaw"), although some players have experienced the issue during Multiplayer, Zombies, and even the previously held beta. Personally, I have experienced the issue every single time I've played Fractured Jaw, but not once in any other mode. It's hugely frustrating, and here's hoping Activision will release a fix very soon.

In the meantime, some players are suggesting that going into the PS4's device manager and switching the "Communication" option from Bluetooth to USB in the controller sub menu offers a workaround, though some players have still commented that this did not eliminate the issue for them.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is available now on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Look out for our full review coming later this week.

Frustrating desync bug causing havoc for PS4 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players screenshot

Developer apologises for the disastrous state of the XIII remake

Publisher Microids and developer PlayMagic have issued an apology for the launch state of first-person adventure XIII. The remake of the classic PS2, Xbox, and GameCube release arrived on PS4, PC and Xbox One last week, only to disappoint fans with a myriad of technical issues, a drastic visual redesign, and sub-par gameplay.

In a joint statement, the developer and publisher offered an apology to fans for the final product, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as having impacted the game's development in numerous ways, while promising multiple fixes and free in-game content to arrive down the line.

"We hear loud and clear the legitimate criticism and disappointment," begins the statement. "First and foremost, we would like to offer our most sincere apologies for the game's technical issues. In its present state, XIII does not meet our quality standards and we fully understand players' frustrations."

"The pandemic has impacted the game's production on many levels. Pivoting to home working for the teams has added unexpected delays in the development schedule and the QA process. We hoped we would be able to provide a Day One patch fixing all the issues but the development of this update is taking more time than expected [...] We are aiming to please all the XIII fans and we'll work relentlessly to achieve our goal."

The team asks players to stayed tuned to the Microids website for updates regards incoming fixes, and suggests sending newly discovered issues to Microids support team.

Developer apologises for the disastrous state of the XIII remake screenshot


Review: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has been a long time coming, and even though it's dropping in a super crowded release week, I'm thrilled to see this spunky rice-growing action-RPG platformer finally come out.

As a laid-back agricultural sim with monster-whacking side-scrolling action bits, it's a pretty chill game, one you can throw yourself into for 20 hours or slowly but surely complete over a few months.

I had high hopes coming in – maybe too high? – but there's still a lot to like here. Especially the rice.

Review: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin screenshot


Review: Bugsnax

Playing Bugsnax while starting a diet is probably not the ideal way to enjoy the game. I'm sitting here doing my best to not think about food and the Grumpuses of this island keep asking me to chase down grinders with googly eyes or cinnamon roll snails. Or fiery bowls of ramen. Or Bungers.

God I could go for a Bunger right now.

Review: Bugsnax screenshot


I want a Sonic & Sega All-Stars rhythm-action game

[Destructoid user Ninjaspeed is here to remind you just how fantastic some of the soundtracks for Sega games are and make a case for a rhythm-based Sega All-Stars revival. They definitely sold me on the concept.

I hate karaoke in real life, but if you don't absolutely adore Yakuza 0's wonderfully over-the-top karaoke minigame, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you will probably never truly be capable of experiencing love. It's amazing, and the absurdity of seeing a dangerous killing machine let loose and bust out the trusty old air guitar after a few drinks is something legitimately special.

If Sega could tighten up the actual gameplay into a full-fledged rhythm game starring Sonic and the cast from the many other delightful games published under its name, while still opting for the fun visual delivery in Yakuza, we could absolutely be looking at a total banger. - Kevin]

In 2012, I was beyond hyped for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The tracks, characters, and game mechanics looked amazing. I had a blast playing it, and I wasn't sure how the developers at Sumo Digital could surpass the quality of this game in a future installment. I suppose Sega felt the same way, since the Sega All-Stars series has been on hiatus ever since.

I want a Sonic & Sega All-Stars rhythm-action game screenshot


Yo, what's up with the faces in Watch Dogs: Legion?

We're on the cusp of a new generation of consoles, and Ubisoft has three(!) massive open-world games coming over the span of just a few weeks. And while the environments the developers there create just keep getting better, the same can't be said about the faces of the people who populate these places.

That's just one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Dan, and Charlotte come together to talk Watch Dogs: Legion, Bugsnax, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, PS5 storage space, and Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. All that, plus adorable White House dogs, on Podtoid Episode 466.

Yo, what's up with the faces in Watch Dogs: Legion? screenshot


Here's a giant list of all of our next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X coverage

If you haven't noticed...we've been busy!

These past few weeks we've all been working on various projects, from (now) current-to-previous-gen, and it's time to celebrate the fruits of our labor...with a big list! Below, you'll find all of our coverage so far, including hardware rundowns and individual reviews or impressions pieces. As more games are covered in the coming weeks, we'll add them to this list.

I know the world is crazy right now, but I hope that through the comments section and our quickposts/community blogs, we can continue to connect and make sense of it all, together. Whether you've picked up a console already...or you're waiting for yours to ship...or you aren't getting one until 2021...or you're waiting for me to stop talking about new safe out there!

[The platforms in parenthesis in the below lists denote the platform we tested/covered.]

Here's a giant list of all of our next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X coverage screenshot


Cblogs of 11/7 to 11/13/2020: Bubble Bobble, PS5 love, and the 8th generation

Cblogs Recap: Week 46

-Ctg867 looks back at the games that defined the 8th generation of consoles for him.

-Kerrik52 reviews Resistance: Fall of Man as part of his Traveller in Playtime reviews series.

-Exber shares his list of Top Ten Wii games.

-Council of the Lost discusses the latest updates of Genshin Impact.

-Darrenhupke discusses the launch love for the PlayStation 5.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Donkey Kong Country and '80s synth music.

-Riley1sSpook defends the cause of Amon in The Legend of Korra cartoon show.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between some Bubble Bobble tunes and early 20th-century pop music.

-TheBlondeBass reflects on the blog projects he completed this year.

-ChronoLynxx is back with another TGIF open forum for open community discussion.

Cblogs of 11/7 to 11/13/2020: Bubble Bobble, PS5 love, and the 8th generation screenshot


Konami classic Gradius II is this week's Arcade Archives release

Hamster Corp. continues in its ongoing efforts to deliver a weekly string of classic arcade titles to modern platforms. This week's release is one of the coolest shmup titles from Konami's golden era, Gradius II, now available to download on Nintendo Switch.

Hitting arcades in 1988, Gradius II (or "Vulcan Vulture") is the sequel to one of the most iconic and influential space shmups of all-time. Once again, the swift and super-powered fighter, Vic Viper, takes to the skies to battle the remnants of the once-defeated Bacterion Empire. Combining elements of the original Gradius and its 1986 spin-off Life Force, Gradius is another slick, action-packed shmup, still holding its own decades later.

Konami classic Gradius II is this week's Arcade Archives release screenshot


All-women's GDQ event Fleet Fatales kicks off tomorrow

The record-smashing folks over at Games Done Quick are at it again, as another awesome speed running event is scheduled for this week. Dedicated video game fans will once again be blitzing through a host of titles, old and new, in a worthy effort to raise money for a good cause.

Fleet Fatales is slightly different in concept to GDQ's typical marathon events, however, in that it specifically boasts an all-women squad of runners. Born out of GDQ community Frame Fatales, the week-long event will see expert players burn through a list of rad titles, old and new. The schedule includes modern releases such as Hades, Celeste, Resident Evil 2, and Cadence of Hyrule, alongside classic entries from the Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Legend of Zelda series.

As with all GDQ events, Fleet Fatales will feature bidwars, challenges, and interviews alongside the fundraising action. 100% of the proceeds donated throughout the week will go directly to The Malala Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing every girl's right to safe, free, and high-quality education, regardless of background, status, and economy.

Fleet Fatales kicks off tomorrow, November 15, and ends on Saturday, November 21. The event will run from 13:00 PT / 16:00 ET until 21:00 PT / 00:00 ET each day, so be sure to tune in to the GDQ Twitch channel, check out some great speedrunning action and, of course, donate if you are able.

All-women's GDQ event Fleet Fatales kicks off tomorrow screenshot

Review: Astro A03 In-Ear Monitor

Having a decent set of earphones isn't really something I've ever considered to be important to gaming. When I have played my Switch, 3DS, Vita, or smartphone on the go, I'd just use whatever set I had lying around. Usually, it was the same set I'd wear to the gym, all crusty from my sweat.

Clearly, I should have been taking it a bit more seriously as mobile gaming platforms are home to some dynamic soundtracks and sound effects, something made perfectly clear with the Astro A03 earphones.

Review: Astro A03 In-Ear Monitor screenshot


Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes to life in this incredible fan animation

Animal Crossing and creativity have always gone hand-in-hand, as Nintendo social sim continually brings out the best in its community of artists, musicians, model-makers, and designers. Case in point: This simply gorgeous fan animation, independently created by Chilean animator and Animal Crossing fan Gabriel Salas.

Designed as a fake teaser trailer for a hypothetical Animal Crossing TV series, the short video is the result of hours of painstaking work for Salas and their team, and sees everyone's favorite hard-working doggo, Isabelle, dutifully preparing for a day at the Resident Services office - complete with dusting, plant-care, and a trusty cup of Joe.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes to life in this incredible fan animation screenshot


Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

Well, the shit's on now, right? November has already been quite eventful, not in the least bringing about the launch of the ninth generation of gaming. As somebody who was somehow breathing when the first generation was underway, it's been a trip. Everything always seemed like the ceiling, like games "couldn't get better." While some might argue that they haven't, the undeniable fact remains that the technology behind the incoming wave of modern classics is a step up from Gun Fight. Buckle up, it's gonna be a wild ride.

We've all been super busy at Destructoid the past couple of weeks, which has left very little time for personal gaming funsies. I did dive back into the Gothic splendor of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night once again, and made some serious progress from my previous meanderings. I also said hi to the divine Bloodless, who was recently added to the platformer as a playable character. Nice. Once Bloodstained is wrapped up, I can get back onto Control, as promised to you, our beloved community.

Speaking of which, you know the score by now, drop into the comments below and let us know what you've been playing, or have lined up, for the week. Maybe you're the proud owner of a brand new console, or maybe you're more than happy with your current backlog, thank you very much. Whatever your gaming plans, please share them with us below!

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

Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot

Contest: Win this Dragon's Lair x RepliCade fully-functional mini arcade cabinet

In today's contest, you can win this officially licensed Dragon's Lair x RepliCade 1/6 scale arcade cabinet!

So, how many of you remember pumping quarters into Dragon's Lair just to die, over and over and over again? I remember seeing it in arcades, but never got around to playing it, myself. Guess I saved my parents quite a bit of spare change!

New Wave Toys have taken the classic arcade cabinet and shrunk it down to just a foot tall -- but don't worry, as it still plays the original arcade ROM. This beauty runs on a working mini laser disc, comes complete with little tokens, and best of all, can be plugged into a TV! Fan of the original or not, this is a really awesome collector's item that you can win totally free from your pals here at Dtoid!

Contest: Win this Dragon's Lair x RepliCade fully-functional mini arcade cabinet screenshot


Review: Astro A20 Wireless Gen 2

As of this week, I'm officially living in a three-console household. With the arrival of my Xbox Series S, I'm about to expand my gaming horizons and experience those treasures I've missed for the last two decades. Or I'll just download Apex Legends and play nothing but that.

Either way, a new console means more controllers, less space on my TV stand, and having to go back to a wired headset. I don't mind wires, but the past several months of using my Astro Gaming A50 headset has let me really enjoy the freedom of a wireless experience. That's a great headset, but I'm not really in the mood for buying another wireless headset just for my Series S. Wouldn't it be perfect if there was a wireless headset that could easily switch between a PlayStation and Xbox?

Yes, it would be. Just a shame this ain't it.

Review: Astro A20 Wireless Gen 2 screenshot


Review: Godfall

I've played a lot of insane action games in my time.

No, not "whoa that backflip into a shotgun blast was wild!" kind of insane. Like, "how was this even made?" insane. Godfall doesn't quite fit under that latter umbrella as there's a clear vision here, but I can heartily say that the amount of people I can recommend it to is a niche at best.

I also really enjoyed my time with it when it wasn't actively fighting me.

Review: Godfall screenshot


I hate Nioh 2's Valve helmet so so so so so much

It's a busy day for Nioh news, all of it good. Scratch that. Almost all of it good.

Both Nioh games are coming to PS5 with 4K and 120fps support on February 5, 2021. (That's good.) Also, Nioh 2's complete edition is launching on Steam on the same date. (That's also good.) Lastly, everyone who buys Nioh 2 on Steam will get an exclusive Valve helmet. (That's good in theory but hideous in execution.)

RockPaperShotgun reported on the Valve helmet and called it "an affront to the eyes" and "upsetting to behold." I'm inclined to agree! I can't tell what I hate more: The RGB keyboard wrapping around the head or the godawful Valve poking out the back. That red hexagon is all you'd see for 50 hours, like your character grew an umbrella out the back of their head.

Anyway, almost a flawless day for Nioh fans. But, anyone who plays these games knows that you're inevitably going to take some damage. Sometimes RGB stands for "Really Gross (and) Bad."

I hate Nioh 2's Valve helmet so so so so so much screenshot


Japan gets a Final Fantasy VII Remake action-stealth escape room-style game

You could leave the eco-terrorism to Cloud and the rest of the Avalanche crew. Or, you could take it into your own hands -- provided you can get to Japan one way or another.

Japan is getting a real-life Final Fantasy VII Remake experience at Tokyo Mystery Circus in Shinjuku. It's a quest to blow up the Mako Reactor, as up to three people sneak around the Shinra compound casting Materia spells and dodging soldiers. There's a 30-minute time limit but getting shot by Shinra will subtract from the time.

It's an escape room-type thing, but with more emphasis on stealth and action than on puzzles. There may still be some mind-benders as the description on the game's site says players need to "break through gimmicks and traps while hiding themselves from the enemy." It's officially called a Real Infiltration Game.

The Final Fantasy VII Remake Real Infiltration Game debuts on December 9. Pricing is sort of all over the place (there are a lot of tiers and options), but it seems like three people can play for about $90. A small price to pay for saving the stars.

Real Infiltration Game x Final Fantasy VII Remake [Tokyo Mystery Circus]

Japan gets a Final Fantasy VII Remake action-stealth escape room-style game screenshot

Review: The Falconeer

Look, I'm a simple man: I see a flight sim with an animal in it, and I'm immediately game.

The Falconeer caught my eye a while back with its dazzling Panzer Dragoon style approach, but after playing it, I can say that it doesn't quite have the same appeal on multiple levels.

Review: The Falconeer screenshot


Stardew Valley's 1.5 update won't keep us waiting much longer

It's almost time to go back to the farm to chiiillllllll. It won't be a whole lot longer until we can reap what Eric Barone has sown. 

After spending most of 2020 working on Stardew Valley's massive 1.5 update, Barone says it's nearly ready. Everything is in the "home stretch" as the update is content complete, and there's only some bug-squashing and polishing left:

Stardew Valley's 1.5 update won't keep us waiting much longer screenshot


Review in Progress: Demon's Souls

I'm feeling exhausted yet weirdly energized this morning, and that can only mean one thing: I stayed up too dang late with a new Souls game. My inability to tear myself away from this series – to responsibly call it a night well before I take "just one more peek" at that cool area up ahead – is as potent as ever.

For a remake of a deeply-played game like Demon's Souls, that's no small feat. It's impressive how much Bluepoint is able to evoke a sense of intrigue and excitement for long-time fans while still staying overwhelmingly true to From Software's flawed but way-ahead-of-its-time source material.

Whether it's the so-short-you-hardly-notice-them load screens, the grand orchestrated score when a boss enters the room, the stunning visual details in the distance (Stonefang and the giant towering heart in Latria), the revamped characters (oh my god, Patches!), or the freaky new sound design (you aren't ready for the Man Centipedes, or heck, even just an accidental exploding pot you strolled into in the dark), there's so much to take in, even for familiar players. First-timers are in for such a treat.

Review in Progress: Demon's Souls screenshot


Earth Defense Force: World Brothers shows off more cute bug-bustin' action

One of the quirkiest looking releases on the horizon has to be Sandlot's cute voxel shooter Earth Defense Force: World Brothers. This spin-off title to the popular EDF franchise will take the series' typical monster-mashing action and stylize it with adorable voxel visuals.

As EDF: World Brothers' Japanese release approaches D3 Publisher has launched a new weekly video series, that will offer overviews of a variety of elements found within World Brothers' colorful, insect-infested universe.

The first episode, which you can check out below, focuses on the arsenal of weapons, items, and gear available to your pint-sized party of agents, as they do battle with ants, wasps, and the most adorable giant spiders you ever did see. I think it looks an absolute blast, but perhaps a little too slow-paced.

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers launches in Japan on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on December 24. Fret not, a western localization has already been confirmed, expected to arrive in early 2021.

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers shows off more cute bug-bustin' action screenshot


Spider-Man: Miles Morales has a truly next-gen photo mode

Photo modes are a great tool that developers create so players can leave their own artistic mark on a game. Sometimes it's the simple ability to take a snapshot of the in-game action. Other times, it's far more nuanced.

Insomniac has developed a photo mode for Spider-Man: Miles Morales that greatly expands on the photo mode for the original Spider-Man on PS4. The most impressive addition is light manipulation. Insomniac says "You'll be able to place and control up to three lights and adjust height, distance, color, light intensity, color intensity, spread and softness." There's also a setting for controlling the sun and ambient lighting.

Another feature that might spice up your photos is the ability to change suits from inside the photo mode. Of course, there are also new stickers and photo frames. Insomniac delivered one of my all-time favorite developer clapbacks via a sticker when it launched photo mode for PS4's Spider-Man:

Spider-Man: Miles Morales has a truly next-gen photo mode screenshot


Meet the demon-stomping ladies of Sakura Revolution

Sega has released a new trailer for Sakura Kakumei: Hanasaku Otome-tachi (or Sakura Revolution) a mobile spin-off from the tactical anime franchise, Sakura Wars.

Previously known as Project B.L.A.C.K., Sakura Revolution will once again see a team of performing artists take to powerful mech armor in order to fend off inter-dimensional demons hell-bent on ruining their opening night. The new video spotlights the eight members of Sakura Revolution's heroes: The Imperial Combat Revue B.L.A.C.K.

Taking the stage for this series entry are the previously revealed Prana Tosei, Meisa Akashi, and Kurumi Saimei. They will be joined by starlets Kurea Sekisho, Meju Kazayuki, Tenka Keburai, Miyabi Hanami, and lead gal Shino Sakura. In a novel twist on the Sakura Wars concept, each character's "Spiricle" mech unit will take the form of super-powered body armor, capable of taking down any nightmare being in brutal melee combat. You can check out the team below.

Meet the demon-stomping ladies of Sakura Revolution screenshot


Elite Dangerous will be free next week on Epic Games Store

It's hard to accurately convey what a game-changing, mind-blowing experience it was when Firebird's intergalactic, space-trading adventure Elite first hit home computers back in 1984. It wouldn't be amiss to compare it to the 2001 launch of Grand Theft Auto III, as Elite - for the first time - opened up the linear worlds of gaming's formative years, and instead of telling the player what to do, asked "What do you want to do?"

It's a mentality that is alive and well today in the form of Frontier's Elite Dangerous, which retains the exploratory instincts, and deep, open-ended gameplay of the original series, now dressed up in enticing and atmospheric modern-day visuals and sound. Since its initial launch in 2014, Elite Dangerous has grown into an epic inter-planetary adventure, hooking in new players with each passing update and offering endless hours of adventure.

If you are yet to blast off into the great unknown yourself, then next week could provide the perfect opportunity, as the base edition of Elite Dangerous will be given away gratis on PC via Epic Games Store. From November 19 through November 26, all you need do is log in to your EGS account and pick the game up, and you're good to go.

Who knows? Your next all-night gaming obsession could be a mere week away.

Elite Dangerous will be free next week on Epic Games Store screenshot

Kaladesh Remastered is out in Magic: Arena, and you can get a free pack now

Kaladesh is back, and with it, an endless supply of Blossoming Defenses and Gearhulks. Man, that set was wild, wasn't it? Well, sets, to be precise.

The 2016-2017 Kaladesh and Aether Revolt sets are now revived under one "remastered" banner in Magic: Arena, similar to how Wizards of the Coast handled Amonkhet. Out now, you can buy packs of the set to use in historic play (non-standard), but there are also going to be several events like sealed, traditional draft, premiere draft, and draft challenge modes.

You can get a free pack by entering the code "TRYKALADESH" in the store. Players can also nab a pack of free Kaladesh lands as a result of Wizards messing up the Zendikar land distribution: something I hope they keep doing indefinitely.

As for other Arena business, the way tokens work in Arena has been tweaked, so you don't time out waiting multiple minutes for your opponent's Scute Swarm to resolve. In short, Scute Swarm creates tokens, but can also clone itself if certain conditions are met: so it could clone into a clone, which could create more tokens. It can be chaos on certain PCs.

Other than that, a few bugs have been fixed, which is par for the course for Arena. Excuse me while I continue my Mythic climb with Mono-Red!

Patch Notes [Wizards of the Coast]

Kaladesh Remastered is out in Magic: Arena, and you can get a free pack now screenshot

We'll learn more about Cyberpunk 2077's Johnny Silverhand next week

As we bear down on the (latest) release date for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED has announced that it has another episode of its developer series "Night City Wire" scheduled for next week.

The new episode will focus on the sounds of Night City, taking a look at the music of the epic RPG and offering up new details on its resident guitar shredder Johnny Silverhand, as played by Hollywood megastar Keanu Reeves. If you want in on the hot scoops, then be sure to tune into the official CDPR Twitch channel on Thursday, November 19. The stream is scheduled to kick off at 10:00 PT / 13:00 ET / 19:00 BST.

Having pushed through a long development cycle and numerous delays, Cyberpunk 2077 is now expected to launch on December 10 on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Stadia. It is expected to arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X in early 2021.

We'll learn more about Cyberpunk 2077's Johnny Silverhand next week screenshot


Both Nioh games are coming to PS5 in 2021 in 4K and 120 FPS

It's incredible to see Team Ninja bounce back with the Nioh series.

After a string of mistakes (capped off by Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z) things weren't looking good for the studio, but Nioh brought them back into the collective consciousness again and reinvigorated the studio. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon, if today's announcements are any indication.

Announced by way of the PlayStation Blog, Nioh and Nioh 2 are coming to the PS5 on February 5, 2021. It's not going to be a port dump either, as Koei Tecmo says that the PS5 editions (which are available piecemeal or as part of a collection, so long as you get the "Complete" version of Nioh 2) will offer "4K resolution," as well as "120 FPS gameplay" for those that can support it. Naturally, faster SSD load times are also in, as well as save transfers from PS4. There are upgrade paths for current Nioh 2 owners, which are detailed below. No upgrade details were mentioned for the original Nioh.

In non-PS5 news, Nioh 2 is also coming to PC on February 5, 2021, via Steam. Plus, Nioh 2: The Complete Edition will also debut on PS4 on that same date. The third and "final" DLC for Nioh 2, The First Samurai, is also arriving on December 17 of this year.

It's a great day for Nioh fans! This thing has pretty much become the new modern Ninja Gaiden.

The Nioh Collection [PlayStation Blog]

Both Nioh games are coming to PS5 in 2021 in 4K and 120 FPS screenshot


There are a handful of PS4 games that currently don't work on PS5 and aren't on Sony's list

As of right now, there's a small list of games on Sony's "PS4-only" backward compatibility list for the PlayStation 5. But running through my library at launch, I uncovered a bit more.

Several aren't that surprising (Battleborn), but a few of them are. Here are a few games from my library that currently give me a "playable on PS4" notice.

There are a handful of PS4 games that currently don't work on PS5 and aren't on Sony's list screenshot


Nintendo Switch sold over 730,000 units last month, marking its best October since launch

While much of the gaming industry is chatting excitedly about the NKOTB - PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X - Nintendo has quietly seen continued success with its Nintendo Switch hardware, still smashing targets nearly four years into its lifespan.

Over the course of October 2020, Nintendo's hybrid console shifted 735,926 units in the United States, which is an amazing 136% increase on sales for the same period in 2019. The impressive figure also represents the second-highest October sales for any game console. Nintendo's own Wii hardware still holds that particular record, having shifted 807,000 units in October 2008.

"Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite continue to provide one-of-a-kind gaming experiences on the TV or on the go, allowing holiday shoppers the choice of a video game system that matches their lifestyle," said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. "Seeing encouraging sales growth like this in the fourth October of Nintendo Switch proves to us that the system has many more years and great games yet to come."

Nintendo Switch currently holds a 23-month streak as the most purchased console in the United States, a record that is in jeopardy given the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S hardware in recent days. One thing is for sure, with 68 million global sales, and no sign of slowing down, the Switch has no need to fear obsoletion in the wake of the new generation, and has carved a niche out for itself for 2021 and beyond.

Nintendo Switch sold over 730,000 units last month, marking its best October since launch screenshot

(Update) Mythical Pokemon Zarude will be distributed outside of Japan

[Update: US plans have been announced, and thankfully, they do not seem to involve going to GameStop. The official site for the Zarude distribution notes: "Sign up for the Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter, opt in to email marketing by November 20, and then watch for a special email with a password to add the Pokémon to your game."

If you're in a different region, scroll all the way down the bottom of the page and click the little block that shows "United States." Change it to your country and you will get different instructions.]

It's been around nine months since Zarude was announced for Pokemon Sword and Shield, but getting him has been troublesome. No doubt the current state of the world put the kibosh on distribution events: including the very event that it was supposed to debut at.

Yep, the "Rogue Monkey" was originally going to be a bonus for the next Pokemon film, but that event was further delayed. The good news is that Europe is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, which means that North America can't be too far behind. has uncovered the next distribution event for Sword and Shield, which involves Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This time around you'll need a TCG code from the Vivid Voltage set: a promotion that is going on from November 13 to December 13. Hmmm, "going to GameStop," or dealing with TCG code distribution? What's more ideal?

I got it! Just make it a mystery gift that everyone can pick up in the safety of their own home and end this madness.

Pokemon Sword and Shield []

(Update) Mythical Pokemon Zarude will be distributed outside of Japan screenshot


So, is there a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S now sitting in your homestead?

For many, at least for those in North America, the next generation of gaming is officially underway. The past week-and-some-change has seen the launch of Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S hardware, while yesterday saw the coming on Sony's PlayStation 5, with both consoles wasting zero time in winging their way into homes across the nation.

It promises to be a particularly close race this time around, given that the PS5, Xbox Series X, and modest PC hardware are all relatively similar in technology and power - more or less. Here's hoping that the coming years provide us all with plenty of joyous new games, engaging digital experiences, and few hardware faults. Vagrant Story 2 wouldn't go amiss either.

I'm yet to receive my PS5 - it isn't out on these shores yet and the only people in this country to have received one are popular game journalists. But that's fine, given that the first thing I'll play on the ridiculously sized behemoth is likely Street Fighter V, Rainbow Six Siege, or Huntdown. Besides, I already own the Lone Wolf and Cub and Female Prisoner Scorpion #701 series on Blu-Ray, so to be honest I'm set for life.

Still, that doesn't mean that many among you, our beloved community, have not got a shiny new box propped up in your packed-out TV unit. So if you're fortunate enough to have grabbed a new console this week, or even if you have zero intent on owning either. Jump into the comments below and share your thoughts and impressions.

And Welcome to the Woooorld of Tomorroooow.

So, is there a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S now sitting in your homestead? screenshot

Contest: Win a Switch copy of Yes, Your Grace from Super Rare Games

In today's contest, you can win a Switch copy of kingdom management sim Yes, Your Grace from Super Rare Games!

Super. Rare. Games. These are all words to describe the limited-stock releases from physical media pioneers Super Rare Games. You could probably use a whole lot more, but these just seem to fit so well!

They're back at it, this time putting Yes, Your Grace on a Switch cart. If you're into playing king for a day, then this one should be right up your alley. Come win a copy, knave.

Contest: Win a Switch copy of Yes, Your Grace from Super Rare Games screenshot


Half-Life: Alyx now has three hours of commentary waiting for you

In-game commentaries are synonymous with Valve, but due to the rough year we've all been through, Half-Life: Alyx wasn't able to launch with the Developer Commentary fans have come to expect.

Almost eight months later – and just in time for game-of-the-year discussions to begin in earnest – Valve has added the commentary feature to Alyx with a free update released today on Steam.

There are caveats – as Valve admits, the team had to use "closets and blanket forts" instead of its "comfortable high-quality recording studio" due to COVID – but there are over three hours of behind-the-scenes tidbits. The commentary touches on "art, animation, rendering, sound, and more."

Basically, it's perfect for your inevitable next replay – just start a new save with Developer Commentary toggled on. According to Valve, there are subtitles for English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Russian, Polish, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

I always appreciate sincere, meaningful commentary tracks, but there's something extra special about the hands-on nature of Valve's narrations. In this case, there are 147 "points of interest" to find.

Commentary Update [Steam]

Half-Life: Alyx now has three hours of commentary waiting for you screenshot

Phil Spencer has a Halo Craig meme t-shirt

Xbox head Phil Spencer has been making the rounds as of late. That's bound to happen when you're in the middle of launching a new generation of hardware. We've learned stuff like: He's played a good chunk of Elden Ring and is evidently impressed by it; he's not going to disclose console sales numbers anymore; and, contrary to earlier reports, Xbox isn't actively pursuing any Japanese studios.

This update is far less important than any other tidbit to come out of those chats. As part of the lengthy GameSpot interview, Spencer revealed that Xbox employees made Craig t-shirts following the July 2020 showcase. Craig is a brute in Halo Infinite who achieved meme status for all the wrong reasons. He became the literal face of the "Halo Infinite's visuals seem bad" crowd.

Spencer says "We actually have these t-shirts, I didn't wear it today, which is Craig's face. I love that the team embraced that, it was just so funny. Yeah. I think Craig will be around for many, many decades in the Halo lore. You'll find his pictures all over the place. Yeah. Probably in games somewhere."

Craig will live on in games but also emblazoned across Phil Spencer's chest. Show us the Craig shirt, Phil. Wear it to the next E3 press conference. Go Full Peter Moore and get it tattooed on your arm. If you can't laugh at yourself...

Phil Spencer On Xbox And Japan, Halo's Future, Playing Elden Ring, And More [GameSpot]

Phil Spencer has a Halo Craig meme t-shirt screenshot

Review: The Pathless

When Abzu came out in 2016, I blew through it in a day. While it had its limitations in terms of storytelling, I mean that more as a compliment, as studio Giant Squid clearly had a knack for creating beautiful worlds worth exploring.

Four years later, and The Pathless feels like an extension of all of that groundwork.

Review: The Pathless screenshot


You don't want to miss picking up The Textorcist for free this week

You can choose to look at the weekly Epic freebie as a glass half-full or half-empty situation this week. On one hand, we're only getting one free game. That's how it went last week too, when we only got Dungeons 3. Looking a gift horse in the mouth and all, we've been trained to expect two!

But, on the other hand, it's a damn good freebie. Typing-action meets bullet-hell in The Textorcist. Use your WPM to fight off your demons, use your arrow keys to keep from catching an evil spell with your face. The Textorcist is certainly unique in the way it makes you swap between typing and moving, but it probably won't do your typing technique any favors.

Epic has another niche game on deck for next week, it's just a much more expansive niche. Elite Dangerous will be free on the Epic Games Store starting on November 19. Now that the Horizons expansion is permanently part of the base game, anyone who picks this up will more or less have the complete Elite Dangerous experience. It's a smart way to expand the userbase before the Odyssey update arrives in 2021.

We're back to two games next week, as Elite Dangerous is accompanied by puzzle battle/visual novel hybrid The World Next Door.

The Textorcist [Epic Games Store]

You don't want to miss picking up The Textorcist for free this week screenshot

Review: Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Oh hey, didn't notice you there: I was too busy picking up my Sackboy: A Big Adventure co-op partner (read: my wife) and throwing her into the abyss.

How did everything go after that was all said and done? Pretty good actually!

Review: Sackboy: A Big Adventure screenshot


A whole lot of you are playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Just like Phil Spencer and the new Xbox, Ubisoft isn't interested in talking sales. Assassin's Creed Valhalla came out Tuesday, and Ubisoft says that it already has twice the number of players that Assassin's Creed Odyssey launched with.

Even then, we have no firm numbers. Ubisoft only confirms that Valhalla doubled Odyssey's launch day player count, but doesn't mention what that number is. It's data that's seemingly positive but impossible to draw any real conclusions from.

The reason Ubisoft isn't giving sales specifics is because a good chunk of Valhalla's players probably didn't buy the game. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is available on subscription-based streaming services Google Stadia, Ubisoft+, and Amazon Luna. We don't know how many people are playing on those platforms.

But then again, it's very feasible that Valhalla has outsold Odyssey to this point, just not two-to-one. When you factor in that Valhalla's one of the most highly-touted next-gen games during a console launch and an active pandemic that's keeping people indoors, it seems like a formula for success. 

I guess the takeaway is that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is doing fine. We won't know how fine until February when (and if) Ubisoft gives sales figures as part of its third-quarter financial report. But, given this vague and incomplete information, Valhalla's doing fine enough.

A whole lot of you are playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla screenshot

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