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Saturday, 21 November 2020

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Sat Nov 21 08:00:00 UTC 2020
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Review: Demon's Souls (PS5)

It's hard for me to imagine a better introduction to the PS5 than Demon's Souls – or a more unlikely one. As I said in my review-in-progress, Bluepoint's remake of a once-cult classic feels like a gift.

Tracing back the history of Demon's Souls and thinking about the way From Software has snowballed over the past decade, it's wild to think that a firing-on-all-cylinders remake from Bluepoint was greenlit and given the resources it needed to succeed as an early defining game for a new PlayStation console.

There are plenty of other worthy things calling my name Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Astro's Playroom, Bugsnax, and a few PS4 games I either want to revisit (like Sekiro) or start for the first time (like Days Gone) now that they're better on PS5 – but every one of them will have to wait. At most, I'll only dabble.

I'm calling it now: for the rest of the year, I'm going to be obsessed with Demon's Souls. That seems like a safe bet. Once is never enough with this series, and the only reason I'm pumping the breaks on my New Game+ run is so that I can get this review written before I tumble further down the rabbit hole.

Review: Demon's Souls (PS5) screenshot

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Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

Duck and cover, folks. The new generation is now officially underway. While some territories had to hold off for an extra week, both Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X hardware are now officially out in the wild, ready to rock, ready to roll, ready to break. I hope that those of you who bagged a pre-order have received your shiny new boxes, and I hope you're spending more time with yours than I have with mine:

I've just been really busy... and plagued with sinus headaches. But this morning is the morning I'll finally bust it out, umping straight into brand new games like Rainbow Six Siege, Mortal Kombat 11, and Streets of Rage 4... Look, it was a good idea I purchased this, alright? No, I don't care that it's actually too big to fit in my entertainment unit...

While I pull out a calculator and try desperately to work out my budget for the coming months, I'd like you to dive into the comments and sharing your own recent gaming experiences. Whether you're all over new-gen gaming or not is irrelevant. It's all gaming and it's all good. So whatever you've been playing, we'd love to hear about it.

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

Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot

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Contest: Win Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and a Zelda prize pack, courtesy of fun.com

In today's contest you can win a Switch copy of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and a Zelda prize pack from fun.com!

If you're going to sell licensed merchandise, board games, puzzles, and a whole assortment of nerdy trinkets, I think fun.com is a pretty apt name for your company. It's all about fun!

I keep making friends left and right, and my buddies over at fun.com wanted to spread some of their namesake onto you guys: They gave us a copy of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and a whole mess of Zelda themed merch to give away! They're really living up to their name on this one.

Contest: Win Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and a Zelda prize pack, courtesy of fun.com screenshot

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Pikmin 3's final boss is top-tier Nintendo game design

[There's no other Nintendo series quite like Pikmin, and this blog from Sam van der Meer illustrates that point well with an admittedly very late-game example plucked from Pikmin 3. It's our hope that Pikmin 3 Deluxe – a seven-year-later Switch remaster of the Wii U original – can help rekindle the elusive-as-ever Pikmin 4. Other underappreciated Nintendo series were able to reach wild new heights on Switch, and Pikmin should be next in line. It's finally time, Miyamoto. -Jordan]

Pikmin is very near and very dear to me. It was, basically, the first video game I remember getting, saddled with my Christmas Day GameCube (whose delivery was in itself a theatrical, magical, holly jolly charade pulled by my parents and our former tenants in the house). It's a real dollop of molasses-grade nostalgia for me, and venturing forth into Pikmin 3 Deluxe, I was maybe slightly concerned that my memories of the series were what sustained its lofty prestige in my mind. I'd played about two-thirds, three-quarters of Pikmin 3 back on Wii U, but never beat the thing, and outside of my very recent Hey! Pikmin tribunal, I hadn't played the series since.

Pikmin 3 is a masterpiece. The ways in which Nintendo prompts the player to multitask, controlling three Koppaite explorers with a particularly-relatable obsession and passion for fruit, are incredibly interesting and thoughtful, and absolutely satisfying; directing one troupe of pikmin to build a bridge and sending another to move in the direction of a sweet treat while you focus on battling some Garden of Earthly Delights-lookin' monstrosity is an exercise in time management prompted by Pikmin 3's ever-ticking clock.

Pikmin 3's final boss is top-tier Nintendo game design screenshot

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Their PS5s were stolen but at least they got cat food

Big bummer for some folks in the UK; great news for felines and Charlie Day who uses the stuff as a sleeping aid. Some people have found their PlayStation 5 order to contain cat food rather than a new console.

The Guardian reports that there are stories going around the UK of Amazon customers getting heavy non-PS5 items inside their expected PS5 shipments. Stuff like bags of rice, George Foreman grills, and cat food is showing up. No one's too stoked about it.

Their PS5s were stolen but at least they got cat food screenshot

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At last, Katamari Damacy Reroll is playable on PS4 and Xbox One

Katamari Damacy is one of those games I don't mind buying over and over again. In other words, it's a classic. If you're of a similar mind – or you're simply in the mood to play something very different – then consider nabbing Katamari Damacy Reroll now that it's out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $30.

If you already bought Reroll on Steam or Nintendo Switch, watch this trailer anyway – it's a fun surprise.

The quirky action-rolling collectathon is a one-of-a-kind gem, it absolutely holds up in 2020 in gameplay and tone, and while I'm not convinced Reroll is bringing publisher Bandai Namco any closer to greenlighting a sequel (or heck, even more remasters), its ongoing success certainly couldn't hurt.

At the very least, a touched-up version of the original Katamari Damacy is playable on all of the current platforms, and that's a beautiful thing; I wish the same could be said of more games that defined the early 2000s. I'm also pleased to see that creator Keita Takahashi is cooking up something at his studio.

At last, Katamari Damacy Reroll is playable on PS4 and Xbox One screenshot



The Last of Us TV show is all systems go at HBO

A terrible outbreak has ravaged the United States, and that also happens in The Last of Us. Despite the ongoing pandemic, Naughty Dog's magnum opus presses onward in TV form.

Back in March, news broke that the Last of Us movie had been adapted into a television script and picked up by HBO. It was literal days before the COVID-19 outbreak shut everything down, and that could've easily derailed this whole project. It persisted.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that HBO is moving forward with The Last of Us, going from an in-development phase to active production and planning to air it. The cadence of TV and movie production can be frustratingly slow, but this step seems to indicate that the project will almost certainly happen.

The show will be written by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, and The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann is attached as a co-writer and executive producer. No casting has been announced yet. Given that it'll tell the events of the original game (and possibly elaborate on some details and lore), nailing the casting seems absolutely paramount.

'The Last of Us' Series Gets HBO Green Light [The Hollywood Reporter]

The Last of Us TV show is all systems go at HBO screenshot



Bungie is offering a jacket if you beat the new Destiny 2 raid by December 1

Another expansion, another Destiny 2 raid.

Although I've bowed out of the excitement a bit of new Destiny raids these past few weeks for multiple reasons, Bungie is still doing their "world first" streamer-focused events; the next of which kicks off at 10AM PT on Saturday. At that time, the first major raid (Deep Stone Crypt) of the Beyond Light era opens up.

We'll find out who wins whenever the first raid is completed on Twitter, with a congratulatory post scheduled for Monday. For Destiny 2, this has taken anywhere from less than an hour to 19-ish hours after their launch. As usual, the first fireteam of six to complete it will get a world first wrestling belt title, while anyone who finishes it with Contest Mode on by 10AM PT on November 22 will get a unique "first-ish" emblem.

The real prize (and by that I mean real-life item) is a "Bungie Deep Stone Crypt Raid Jacket," which you'll be able to buy if you clear it by 9AM PT on December 1: a much more reasonable deadline for folks who have work or family obligations over the weekend. Just know that for the jacket you also need to claim your reward code by 9AM PT on December 31, then buy it by the end of that day.

Good luck! Even if I was raid-ready I probably wouldn't be going for a quick clear on a weekend.

This Week at Bungie [Bungie.net]

Bungie is offering a jacket if you beat the new Destiny 2 raid by December 1 screenshot

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GabeN goes SpaceX, sends a gnome to space because he can

Gabe Newell and I have lived very different COVID-19 quarantines. I've been chained to my desk blogging about games for the 105th consecutive month. Newell went to New Zealand because it seemed nice, became so enamored that he lobbied the government to let him move Valve there, and then got bored enough to blast a gnome into space.

The gnome, colloquially known to you and me and Gnome Chompski, got there safe and sound. Partnered with Rocket Labs, Valve's favorite lawn ornament hitched a ride to space as part of the "Return to Sender" mission. Oh, and by "safe and sound," I mean he's definitely dead (or will be soon). The rocket is designed to reenter the atmosphere and burn completely. No passengers will survive.

For anyone simply wondering "Why?" there are two good answers. First, it's the real-life reenactment of a legendary Half-Life 2: Episode 2 achievement where players unlocked "Little Rocket Man" by arduously carrying Gnome Chompski all the way through the episode before finally placing him in a rocket. It's, to put it mildly, a giant pain in the ass. Gnome Chompski also makes cameos in Half-Life: Alyx and Left 4 Dead 2. Valve likes him a lot.

(Actually, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 got a new Steam achievement as part of the Rocket Labs launch. It's called "Gnome Alone" and the description reads "If you are reading this achievement, Gabe Newell has successfully launched Gnome Chompski into space. If you did not also receive the achievement 'Manufacturing Ascent.' Newell has abandoned his plans to shoot Noam Chomsky into space." The achievement art is pretty ace.)

The second answer affects people still on this planet. Newell pledged to donate $1 to the Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand for every person who watches the launch. Right now, that tally sits around 225,000. If you want to help the kids and watch a gnome go all Sally Ride, click that video up top. Hell, refresh it a few times. Gabe's good for it.

GabeN goes SpaceX, sends a gnome to space because he can screenshot

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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity got a day-one patch to fix some bugs

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is out, and I'm pretty excited.

I mean, I already finished it, and then some! I'm just jazzed to hear from everyone else with the spoiler shield removed, and how they feel about some of the story choices. But before then, there's some housekeeping with a small day-one patch.

No, it doesn't overhaul the framerate (it's not the Warriors way!): rather, it shores up some game-breaking glitches, while adding Spanish audio. According to the patch notes, there were multiple scenarios that involved not being able to "proceed further," when certain conditions were met. One of them was with the use of two-player mode, and two others had triggers of changing characters and "defeating an enemy with a certain procedure."

Well then! Good thing those were cleared up before someone had to halt their progress and wait on a future patch. That patch just came!

As a reminder, Nintendo just put out a physical My Nintendo reward for Age of Calamity that's basically a Breath of the Wild tchotchke.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Updated [Japanese Nintendo]

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity got a day-one patch to fix some bugs screenshot

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PlayStation Store's Black Friday sale has cross-gen PS5 games and lots of great PS4 deals

The PlayStation Store Black Friday sale began today, and while the best discounts (and frankly the best games period) are still on PlayStation 4, there are cross-gen PS5 deals. Not many, but some.

On the PS5 front, there's Watch Dogs: Legion ($40.19), No Man's Sky ($29.99), Maneater ($25.99), Borderlands 3 ($19.79), WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship ($24.99), Madden NFL 21 ($34.79), and FIFA 21 ($35.99). In the case of Madden and FIFA, you'd be buying the PS4 editions (which are playable on PS5 with backward compatibility) ahead of the "PS5 version" upgrade releasing on December 4.

As for PS4 Black Friday deals, I kind of don't know where to start – tons of good picks.

We know that some of these games – like Nioh 2 and Control: Ultimate Edition – are getting PS5 upgrades in 2021. I hope that even more of them take that extra step. Either way, I can tell I'm going to spend a lot of time over the holiday break with PS4 games on my PlayStation 5. The PlayStation Plus Collection has already gotten me to dive into the Crash Bandicoot series for the first time. (It's... tough.)

A few other odds and ends: one-year subscriptions to PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now are $44.99 (25 percent off); the European sale is listed here; and the Black Friday sale lasts until November 30.

This is our first Black Friday using the new PlayStation Store web layout, and I'm not thrilled about it.

PlayStation Store's Black Friday sale has cross-gen PS5 games and lots of great PS4 deals screenshot



Here's all the info you need to play World of Warcraft's new Shadowlands expansion

World of Warcraft's next expansion is coming on Monday. For some people, this is basically how they're going to be spending a lot of their free time in the next two years. For the rest of you, you can probably roll your eyes right now or get semi-excited at the prospect of jumping into a new expansion, then leaving.

For everyone who is playing, Blizzard just put out a new "survival guide" for Shadowlands, and it's actually pretty informative. Clocking in at just under five minutes, the clip serves as a quick rundown of what to expect from the expansion. The big draw is the quick recap of the "Covenants": a mechanic that you'll encounter at max level that lets you pledge to certain in-game lore organizations.

These grant abilities, access to specific locations, and the soul binding system: which is basically a revamp of the same expansion-specific "skill tree" thing we've seen for a while. It also briefly hits on the adventure challenge dungeon angle: which seems a much more expanded island expedition system from Battle for Azeroth that got old fast.

Expect our review in progress a little after the expansion hits!

Here's all the info you need to play World of Warcraft's new Shadowlands expansion screenshot

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GTA Online gets a new Heist in December, and you can solo it if you're good enough

Almost a year to the day since its last Heist, GTA Online embarks on its newest foray into large-scale larceny. On December 12, 2019, we got to rob The Diamond Casino & Resort. On December 15, 2020, we keep our eyes trained on the resort angle but ignore the Ocean's 11 stuff.

GTA Online's next Heist is called "The Cayo Perico Heist." It takes place on the private island of a drug kingpin, and you're headed to his home to soak up the sun. Also, to make off with all of his "art, gold, and drug money." It's rare that people come back from vacation with more money than they started with. Then again, most people don't end up with bullet wounds after vacation. Dicey tradeoff.

What's new to this mission is that you don't necessarily need a crew to pull it off. Rockstar says this is the first Heist that's designed for players to solo it if they want. Of course, you can also approach it as a squad of four like the other Heists.

Rockstar vaguely outlined some aspects of the Cayo Perico Heist by listing these features: New vehicles and weapons, new social spaces to dance and party in, new guest DJs, over 100 new songs, and a "very large, very versatile, and very heavily armed submarine HQ."

It all goes down on December 15. How quietly or how bang-bangy it goes down is up to you.

The Cayo Perico Heist: Coming December 15 to GTA Online [Rockstar]

GTA Online gets a new Heist in December, and you can solo it if you're good enough screenshot



Sakura Revolution introduces the Flower Division's femmes

Sega has released another new trailer showing off the mech-riding gals preparing to kick names and take ass in upcoming mobile title Sakura Kakumei: Hanasaku Otome-tachi - or Sakura Revolution.

This typically off-the-wall preview shines stage lights on the squad members that make up Sakura Revolution's Flower Divisions - talented artists, warriors, and scientists who like to take time out from their muses to battle inter-dimensional demons. A common lifestyle that we can all relate to.

With the help from the trailer's teeny-tiny English translations, the eight women of the Flower Division are identified as (in order of appearance) Moemi Washu, Sudachi Sana, Benishi Hijikata, Riho Oigawa, Uchika Tateyama, Tatsuji Takasaki, Mutsuha Mogami, and finally Mana Jujimachi. We also get a glimpse at each of the ladies' strange "Spiricle Dress" mech armor. I think my favorite is the piano-powered Tatsuji Takasaki. What say you?

Sakura Revolution introduces the Flower Division's femmes screenshot

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Someone 3D-printed Rainbow Road track for Mario Kart Live and is sharing the files

I'm still enjoying Mario Kart Live here and there.

As I noted in my impressions piece; the amount of fun you'll get out of it really depends on how much space and time you have for it. You're probably going to need a lot of space for this project.

As a "celebration of the 35th anniversary of Mario," 3D-printing manufacture BCN3D managed to craft the entire Rainbow Road track from the original SNES Mario Kart. According to them, it took "two engineers and 10 employees" to make this "ambitious" build, which actually accommodates the Mario Kart Live car.

BCN3D says that the track is comprised of "more than 4400 3D-printed pieces," clocking in at 5x5 meters. They've made all of the STL files available here at this Thingiverse landing page.

It is ambitious! I love that the track length is wide enough to fully fit the toy racer, while preserving the "hazard" of falling off. The sky really is the limit with this game, as you could theoretically raise the platform and put a soft surface underneath: penalizing drops and forcing the real-life racers to put the car back on the track.

Someone 3D-printed Rainbow Road track for Mario Kart Live and is sharing the files screenshot

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Darius Cozmic Revelation shows off retro shmup action ahead of winter launch

Taito has released a new trailer for its upcoming retro collection Darius Cozmic Revelation, which will launch in Japan on PS4 and Nintendo Switch in February 2021, with a western release schedule for the same window.

Darius Cozmic Revelation - a sequel of sorts to the previously released Darius Cozmic Collection - features updated editions of two later entries in the legendary shmup series. G-Darius HD is a remastered port of the original 1997 release G-Darius, which is renowned for successfully transitioning the franchise from 2D to 3D visuals.

Also included in the new double pack is 2010's Dariusburst EX: Another Chronicle +, a gorgeous and pulse-pounding entry developed by genre veterans Pyramid. The Darius Cozmic Revelation edition of this arcade and Sony PSP classic will also include some all-new features, details of which are to be expected in the coming weeks.

Darius Cozmic Revelation shows off retro shmup action ahead of winter launch screenshot

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Demon's Souls remake and Sony developers share their favorite boss fights: What's yours?

Now that the Demon's Souls remake is finally out, ushering in the new era of console gaming as the preeminent "next-gen" exclusive (that isn't available on previous generations), we can talk about it! And Bluepoint and Sony themselves are very keen on doing that; promoting the game through a recent article on their favorite boss fights that's worth a read.

For me, my "favorite boss" kind of shifts over time.

Initially, when I first played Demon's Souls sight unseen pre-release, Storm King blew me away. The soundtrack, the arena: all of it took me by surprise as I wasn't expecting that level of grandeur. Once you know the secret it's not super impressive mechanically, but the shock and the audacity at having to take down that Godzilla-esque behemoth was amazing.

Similarly, the Maneater fight was hilarious! I remember the first time playing it and struggling against it, before the surprise came out. Tower Knight is also a classy choice, as it kind of epitomizes the uphill struggle of Demon's Souls very early once you've picked off the relatively easy first demon.

Old King Allant is always good for a reliable tussle and remains one of my favorites. Since I probably have to pick just one, I think I'll go with Old King after playing through the remake.

Demon's Souls remake and Sony developers share their favorite boss fights: What's yours? screenshot

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Free-to-play shooter CrossfireX has been delayed to 2021

Developer Smilegate has announced that its military shooter CrossfireX will no longer meet its intended 2020 release date. Citing roadblocks caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the free-to-play Xbox One title is now expected to launch sometime in 2021.

"After much deliberation, and in consideration of the challenges faced by the Smilegate development team due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of CrossfireX to 2021," reads a statement on the official website. "Moving our release window will allow us to deliver the Crossfire experience on console our team set to create. We'll have more to share in the future."

Originally debuting during E3 2019, CrossfireX will see two private mercenary factions battle it out in well-worn multiplayer warfare. Siding with either private military unit Global Risk, or shadowy merc outfit Black List - both of whom sound shady as fuck - players will engage in what is described as "a variety of classic and innovative modes". Without trying to sound too negative, I don't know what CrossfireX can bring to a shooter market already swimming in releases, but hopefully we'll find out soon.

Free-to-play shooter CrossfireX has been delayed to 2021 screenshot

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Need My Nintendo Platinum Points quickly? Burn through Fire Emblem Heroes

As you may have noticed, Nintendo is adding physical rewards to My Nintendo at a rapid pace: almost on a bi-weekly basis.

Most of them are in the 500-1000 point range, which is no problem for folks who have been sitting on points for ages, doing nothing with them (because there was basically nothing on offer!). But now that the tables have turned and you've picked up one reward, you may need to stock back up. Your secret weapon? Fire Emblem Heroes.

Need My Nintendo Platinum Points quickly? Burn through Fire Emblem Heroes screenshot

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Tetris movie officially in the works, will star Rocketman's Taron Egerton

Following on from video game adaptations such as Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark - and more recently Monster Hunter and Uncharted - Apple has officially confirmed pre-production has started on a film retelling the incredible story of one of the most iconic video games of all-time: Tetris.

As reported by Deadline, Tetris: The Movie (surely they can't be running with that title) will tell the incredible story of the classic puzzle games conception, as well as the flammable legal battles fought by Russian creator Alexey Pajitnov, and Dutch designer Henk Rogers, who ultimately secured the console rights to the multi-million dollar franchise.

Directed by Stan & Ollie's Jon S. Baird, Tetris will star Taron Egerton as Rogers, with several other roles yet to be cast, including the all-important role of Pajitnov himself. Egerton, of course, won worldwide acclaim for his portrayal of musician Elton John in 2019 biopic Rocketman. A joint collaboration between Apple and production studios Marv Films and AI Film, Tetris is expected to begin shooting in December.

Apple boards Taron Egerton-starring "Tetris" movie [Deadline]

Tetris movie officially in the works, will star Rocketman's Taron Egerton screenshot



Doom Eternal for Nintendo Switch will be a digital-only release

As Nintendo Switch owners eagerly wait to Rip 'n' Tear through Doom Eternal, new information from publisher Bethesda suggests that the hellish shooter sequel's physical edition may have been canceled.

Flags were first raised after Gamestop started automatically refunding all customers who had pre-ordered a hard copy of Doom Eternal for Switch. Gaming news site IGN then received the following statement from Bethesda.

"While Doom Eternal is 100% on track for an imminent digital-only release on Nintendo Switch, the absence of a physical release at retail resulted in cancelled pre-orders. Affected customers will receive full refunds and should contact their preferred retailer for more information."

Bethesda also noted that "more information" would arrive later this month. We'll have to wait and see whether the publisher just means an official announcement of the cancellation, an actual release date, (finally), or other plans for the bloodstained adventure's arrival on the Nintendo platform. Either way, Doom Eternal is tentatively expected to launch on Nintendo Switch late 2020.

Doom Eternal for Switch has not been canceled but is now digital-only [IGN]

Doom Eternal for Nintendo Switch will be a digital-only release screenshot



Sony boss on a PlayStation response to Xbox Game Pass: 'There is actually news to come'

Microsoft has absolutely killed it with Game Pass, what was then dubbed the "Netflix of games." Since then it's evolved a bit, offering up games on PC as well, creating an entire ecosystem for Microsoft. It's their golden goose: one of the big things that sets them apart from Sony.

But Sony could, at any time, create their own version of Game Pass and bake it into PlayStation Plus. If they really wanted, they could get coy and call it "PlayStation Plus Ultimate." At the moment, Sony does have PlayStation Now (which offers a limited arrangement of downloadable games), as well as the "PlayStation Plus Collection" on PS5. But that could change.

Speaking to Russian outlet TASS, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan strongly hinted at a direct competitor for Microsoft's Game Pass program. When asked about how Sony will respond to Game Pass, Ryan noted: "There is actually news to come, but just not today. We have PlayStation Now which is our subscription service, and that is available in a number of markets."

"There is news to come" is very nebulous, but it's a far cry from the "we have nothing to announce at this time" executive speak. As we know, Sony is the king of shock. While Microsoft has been slowly improving upon their strategy and infrastructure quietly over the past generation, Sony loves its "hey we have the Final Fantasy VII Remake" panache.

They're absolutely capable of throwing in to eat Microsoft's lunch, but that probably isn't coming anytime soon. For now they have a global console to launch amid a pandemic: a task Ryan notes in this very same interview, is a gargantuan one.

PlayStation's Jim Ryan: 'I wouldn't recommend another console launch amid a pandemic' [Tass]

Sony boss on a PlayStation response to Xbox Game Pass: 'There is actually news to come' screenshot



Yakuza anniversary live stream to announce 'future developments'

This December, Sega's RPG-cum-brawler series Yakuza will be celebrating its 15th anniversary. That's 15 years of skull-crunching, karaoke-singing, key-finding, slot-racing action - from the initial Yakuza release on PS2 in 2005, all the way to this year's Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

To celebrate the series, Team Yakuza will be hosting a special live stream presentation, looking back at the series and the violent, often bizarre journey that has led Kazuma, Haruka, Majima, and Ichiban to this point in time. Guests announced for the stream include Kazuma and Ichiban's respective voice actors Takaya Kuroda and Kazuhiro Nakaya.

Most teasingly of all, Team Yakuza has announced that the stream will also "announce future developments." Last time we thought we were going to see new titles, it turned out to be a bit of a bust. But here's hoping that Sega and Team Yakuza has something cool up their sleeve this time around.

The live stream will take place December 8 at 20:00 JST. That's into the wee small hours in North America, but fret not, as we will be sure to cover any exciting news out of the stream.

Yakuza anniversary live stream to announce 'future developments' screenshot

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The secret Demon's Souls door was unlocked and it's guarding a cool item set

After a new-to-the-remake secret door was found in Demon's Souls, the community scrambled to find answers that might lead to a key. We knew there was something juicy inside – players peeked through the wall using photo mode – and Bluepoint only added to the excitement by playfully calling out folks.

Today, after the recent discovery of a new Ceramic Coin item, the madmen did it. They got inside.

The process involves playing Demon's Souls on Fractured Mode, a new "mirror mode" Bluepoint created that flips the world. You can initiate the mode with the statue in the Nexus by spending 25,000 souls. From there, it's a matter of getting your World Tendency status to Pure Black and/or Pure White and scouring the land for Ceramic Coins in specific hidden locations, as summarized in this Reddit post.

These coins are a finite collectible per playthrough, and to get the key to the secret door, you'll need to accumulate 26 of them, so it'll take at least a couple of New Game+ runs with the same character. (They can't be given away to other players or duped, so don't even bother trying.) With a stockpile of 26 Ceramic Coins, you can then trade them all with Sparkly the Crow in the Shrine of Storms for the key.

Here's the reward as depicted by speedrunner Distortion2 (with more screens here):

The fated secret door is guarding the Penetrator boss armor set, including a helmet, cuirass, gauntlets, and greaves. Here's the on-stream moment when Distortion2 first picked up the Penetrator set.

Some fans worked themselves into a frenzy this week over what the door could be teasing – I even saw speculation point to future Bluepoint remasters, among other ideas – and they might be a bit disappointed. The mystery itself was entertaining to me, and I think this is a suitably cool reward.

For now, that's it – the case is closed. Actually earning the armor ourselves will be quite the endeavor.

The secret Demon's Souls door was unlocked and it's guarding a cool item set screenshot

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Contest: Win three months of beta access to Dual Universe

In today's contest you can win three months of beta access to Dual Universe!

You know what sucks about our universe? Everything! With all the political bickering, rampant viruses, and overall sucktitude of this joint, wouldn't you like to just start over?

Well, you can try in Dual Universe. This unique world-building MMO is in its beta period, so we're giving away keys to get you into the action.

Contest: Win three months of beta access to Dual Universe screenshot

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Borderlands 3's new event guarantees Legendary drops

The critical path turns into the golden path for two lucrative weeks inside Borderlands 3. Gearbox has a new mini-event with plenty of incentive to run and rerun those story missions.

In the Borderlands 3 Golden Path Mini-Event, Gearbox guarantees Legendary items will drop as rewards for certain campaign missions. It's only the critical path stuff. No side missions or DLC get the same treatment.

During the most recent Borderlands 3 state of the game stream, Gearbox explains that the intent behind this event is for new players playing cooperatively on next-gen split-screen to get a quick start on loot. It'll be great for them, but it'll be great for everyone else too. No one's arguing with Legendaries.

The Golden Path Mini-Event runs November 19 until December 3. It should make the grind a little easier... until you start reaching new Mayhem levels and just have to regrind all the gear all over again anyway. 

Load Up on Legendaries During The Golden Path Mini-Event! [Borderlands]

Borderlands 3's new event guarantees Legendary drops screenshot



The Nioh 2 PS5 remaster loads fast as hell

One of my first takeaways with the Demon's Souls PS5 remake was how much less prickly the experience can be when load times are quick. That sentiment will also go for the PS5 remasters of Nioh and Nioh 2. When these games launch for PlayStation 5 on February 5, 2021, they'll be fast as hell.

Team Ninja shared a pair of gameplay clips that show how Nioh 2 handles load times on PS5.

"A few seconds or so" is a substantial improvement over what we're used to for Nioh and Nioh 2 on PlayStation 4 not just for reviving after a death, but also for loading into missions.

This series is built on a foundation of grinding for gear, perfecting routes, and doing it all again in New Game+ runs, so every little bit not spent waiting around will add up in a meaningful way.

I don't think I have it in me to revisit the first Nioh ever again (sorry, William!), but being able to upgrade Nioh 2 for free and bring over my PS4 save data? Yeah, I'm down. Give me those high frame rates.

[Via Gematsu]

The Nioh 2 PS5 remaster loads fast as hell screenshot



Elite Dangerous is free on the Epic Store this week and MudRunner is coming next

This week's Epic Games Store giveaway mixes the familiar with the new.

Until next Thursday, November 26, you can nab Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door. If you've always thought about trying your hand at exploring the vastness of space but you never found the right time – or should I say enough time – for Elite Dangerous, it's a good opp, especially if you're set up for VR flights. Frontier Developments is still supporting the game with ongoing expansion content, too.

I had never heard of The World Next Door, and I figure that goes for most of you. It's part visual novel, part action-puzzle-battler. Interesting combo! The plot centers on Jun, a teen trying to return home from a magical world "before time runs out," and there are dialog and relationship choices to fuss over.

I'm more excited about next week's pick-up, MudRunner, for its out-there factor. I'd never buy an all-terrain vehicle simulator, but I would absolutely check one out for free. I've heard good things.

While filling in the tags for this post, "Elite Beat Agents" popped up and I got real sad.

Elite Dangerous is free on the Epic Store this week and MudRunner is coming next screenshot



Mario Kart Tour's newest update asks: Mario or Luigi?

The quiet feud between two of gaming's greatest siblings has built to a head. Nintendo's best brothers, Mario and Luigi, have now taken their fussin' and feudin' to the racetrack, and will be decided in the new "Mario vs. Luigi" tour, now live in mobile racer Mario Kart Tour.

The new update adds a new "Team Rally" mode, which asks players to party up as a part of Team Mario or Team Luigi. As racers whiz around various circuits, they will gather up special tokens for their chosen Team Captain, in a bid to prove who is the most Super of the Mario Bros. At the end of the rally, the winning team will be awarded with in-game items and an exclusive title screen, proudly emblazoned with the winning sibling's 'tasche.

Mario Kart Tour's newest update asks: Mario or Luigi? screenshot

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon became an RPG after the April Fools' Day reaction, says Nagoshi

In an enlightening documentary video from Archipel, Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi spoke about how the turn-based Yakuza: Like A Dragon was originally an action game. Now you might be thinking, "Yeah, sure. It started that way and before long they branched out to try something new."

But the way Nagoshi tells it, the shift was even wilder – it happened in the last year of production.

"After working on the six numbered titles, I had somehow reached a limit," he said. "As I was thinking of how to follow the events of Yakuza 6, I wasn't too confident on the margin of progress I could make."

"At first we said half-joking how about we make an RPG," Nagoshi recalled. "We released an April Fools' video. Many people were assuming that we were already making an RPG at that point. Actually, it was really something only made for April Fools' Day. It was still an action game at the time. From there, the video was positively received, we suddenly fully changed directions. We started making it an RPG."

"Hurrying to make things is sort of a characteristic of the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio," Nagoshi explained.

"Nobody said that it was too late to shift to an RPG, that it was impossible or that it wouldn't please the players," he said. "It was more coming up with ideas to make it happen. In my experience, when you have to stop a brainstorm because too many ideas are flowing, you're on the right direction."

The shift from brawls to JRPG battles doesn't align with every Yakuza fan's interests – I'm open to a refined RPG sequel even if I prefer real-time punch-outs – but in retrospect, the swap makes sense. As Nagoshi says in the interview, "surprise" is the "keyword [he values] the most in entertainment."

This news only makes me more excited about the improvements we might see in Ichiban's next outing.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon became an RPG after the April Fools' Day reaction, says Nagoshi screenshot



Right on cue, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity just got a physical My Nintendo reward

Called it!

Just recently I noticed the trend of Nintendo releasing a first-party games, then dropping physical My Nintendo rewards for them on us after launch. It happened with belated drops for Animal Crossing, Paper Mario and Xenoblade Definitive Edition: with more timely arrivals for Mario Kart Live and Pikmin 3. So it would have made sense for Nintendo to deliver at least one Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity reward. They did.

It is just one reward, but it's sweet: for 600 Platinum Points, you can grab a memo pad themed after Age of Calamity. I mean, technically it has the Age of Calamity name on it, but really, it's an extension of Breath of the Wild merch with stylized drawings of Urbosa, Revali, Mipha, Daruk, Zelda, Link, and Hyrule Castle (which are done in the style of the flashback sequences in both games). The memo pad measures in at 8.5"x5.5, and it's 50 pages. I already got one to put with the rest of my Zelda collection.

As a reminder, if you need help scrounging up some quick points, look to our Pikmin website promo guide (100 easy points), make sure you sign into the Wii U or 3DS eShop this week, or check out Super Mario Run for a hot second. 600 is in the middle of the road for physical rewards this year, so make sure you really want it before dropping all those points on it.

As a general rule, it's smart to have around 600-800 points to use on something you really want, in case it sells out quickly. A few items have been restocked, but thus far, the most expensive item (a 1000 point Tom Nook keychain) is still sold out.

Hyrule Warriors Memo Pad [My Nintendo]

Right on cue, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity just got a physical My Nintendo reward screenshot

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Bethesda made a really good lore video to explain Fallout 76's Brotherhood of Steel

Strap in, you're about to get 500CCs of straight lore injected right into your veins.

Stitching together all the details of the Fallout universe wasn't particularly easy in vanilla Fallout 76. There were no NPCs, thus there was no one to tell you stories. It was a never-ending trail of holotapes and terminal entries, and you were left to mentally filter and retain all the important stuff. It wasn't very good storytelling.

Ahead of the free Steel Dawn update, Bethesda felt it pertinent to explain how and why the Brotherhood of Steel is in Appalachia. This eight-minute walkthrough covers Lt. Taggerdy's gang and their transition from the Army Rangers to the Brotherhood. It goes into their affiliations and struggles in West Virginia, ultimately culminating in Operation Touchdown in the glassed cavern (which is the Belly of the Beast mission where we see their fate firsthand).

It doesn't, however, really get into why this new wave of Brotherhood of Steel is making their way west from California to Appalachia. The video simply concludes by saying "Now, eight years later, the Brotherhood's First Expeditionary Force is on its way from their headquarters in New California to assess the situation, re-enforce, and re-establish contact between the two sides. Unknowingly heading into a very different Appalachia..."

Anyway, I'm into these lore videos and I hope Bethesda makes more of them. It would've been nice if the storytelling in the actual game was up to snuff, but it wasn't and that's life. There are certainly plenty of people who didn't get all the details inside Fallout 76 and can't be asked to pore through tons of wiki pages. Ad victoriam and also ad lore videoam.

Bethesda made a really good lore video to explain Fallout 76's Brotherhood of Steel screenshot



Review: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge

As Disney continues to throw a ton of Star Wars stuff at the wall to see what sticks, some of it is landing. The Mandalorian and the recent season of The Clone Wars are really resonating with people, in part due to the efforts of Dave Filoni: who should be the Kevin Feige executive equivalent for the property.

In the meantime, Disney is content with trying new stories and cashing in on nostalgiaTales from the Galaxy's Edge tries a bit of both, but comes up short because of it.

Review: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge screenshot

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The list of PS5 non-backward compatible games just got a little smaller

Officially there were 10 PS4 games that wouldn't be able to make the transition to PS5 via the magic of backward compatibility. (Although, Chris and other people found their own examples of additional games that weren't functional.) "Were" is the operative word in that first sentence because the official list has now been pared down to nine.

Chair Entertainment has patched Shadow Complex Remastered so that it's now backward compatible on PS5:

The list of PS5 non-backward compatible games just got a little smaller screenshot

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Will Cyberpunk 2077 be the most screenshottable game ever?

I had one recurring takeaway during this five-minute Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay trailer, even though it's something that has been at the forefront of my mind ever since CD Projekt Red's fantastic showing at E3 2018. Hell, I'm sure you've been thinking it all along too. "Fuck, this game looks so unique and beautiful."

Every three-or-so seconds, the trailer cuts to a new scene in Night City, and it's almost always a visual feast. The art and design just seems so immaculate. It's a city that you're going to want to constantly photograph. Cyberpunk 2077 will have a photo mode, hopefully it's a robust one. Some people are going to forget to play this game in favor of capturing it.

The other thought that crossed my mind is "How are we going to end up in all of these situations?" The trailer shows so many different settings and scenes that it seems impossible to experience them all. It's so diverse that it almost looks like the content is endless even though we know it isn't. Like, how do we get to a talk show where a double-amputee gets bionic arms? I just can't imagine a scenario where there's a pause from all the gang-busting and corpo-infiltration to go watch The Ellen Show 2077.

Rollercoaster riding, skinny dipping, punk rocking, blowing up Terminators in the desert, Keanuing -- it's all a part of the Cyberpunk 2077 experience. At some point, you'll find time to smuggle this brainchip and topple capitalism, or whatever's going on here.

Will Cyberpunk 2077 be the most screenshottable game ever? screenshot



Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp might be worth reinstalling now that it has AR capabilities

I uninstalled Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp from my phone well before New Horizons hit the Switch, and I really haven't seen any reason to go back to it. It's still the cute game I remember from when it launched, but it's shackled to fortune cookies and a subscription service I just don't want to deal with.

If anything, I was good and ready to forget all about the app until I found out today Nintendo has added AR functionality to it. That...might be enough to change my mind. As you can see in the trailer below, the new AR feature will allow players to bring their favorite campers into our world, and we'll be able to go into Pocket Camp to visit our friends in our cabins.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp might be worth reinstalling now that it has AR capabilities screenshot

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Void Terrarium Plus announced for PS5 in Japan

Nippon Ichi Software has revealed that an expanded edition of its charming but dour adventure Void Terrarium is coming to PS5 in early 2021. Void Terrarium Plus - or to give it it's full name void tRrLM(); ++ver; //Void Terrarium Plus - will feature all of the content of the original PS4 and Nintendo Switch edition, alongside additional new features.

Void Terrarium is set in a grim, post-apocalyptic world, and puts players in the role of a beat-up service droid, tasked with protecting a vulnerable young girl, Toriko, from the highly toxic environment. Players guide the little bot through a series of dungeons, searching out food, medicine, and resources in efforts to keep Toriko healthy while offering her some form of comfort in this dark and miserable world.

Void Terrarium Plus announced for PS5 in Japan screenshot

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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will have eight new dungeons at launch

Both Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft are both getting big updates by the end of the year, especially the latter: who is hosting a major expansion for the first time in two years. As detailed over in the game's blog, Blizzard has explained how the dungeon system works, which will entail eight new locales: four for leveling and four as max-level activities.

The first one comes at level 51 (The Necrotic Wake), right near the start of the expansion: accompanied by normal, heroic, and mythic difficulty settings. Then there's one at level 53 (Plaguefall), then 55 (Mists of Tirna Scithe), and 57 (Halls of Atonement). All the dungeons are spread across the Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth zones.

This sort of info is pretty useful when leveling, as you'll know exactly when you're supposed to head into a dungeon (if you haven't already) and start leveling quicker and acquiring better loot. While you can typically hit max level (now 60 in this upcoming expansion) by heading through the critical path main story quest, sprinkling in dungeons can make everything faster.

Truth be told, the start of an MMO expansion is one of my favorite gaming activities, full stop. The unknown feeling of it all (barring the collective of guides from the alpha and beta periods, which I ignore) is thrilling: diving into a whole new expansion world all alone. I can't wait to see what Shadowlands brings to the table. In all, I just hope it brings back that meta-magic from Legion. Battle for Azeroth was fun, but the general positivity around Legion made it a much more fun expansion to play on a macro MMO level.

Explore the Dungeons of Shadowlands [Battle.net]

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will have eight new dungeons at launch screenshot



Marvel's Avengers is getting Kate Bishop on December 8 and Maestro is showing up in early 2021

Every bit of new Marvel's Avengers content has the potential to bring players back (and keep persistent fans feeling good), especially significant updates with new story missions and playable heroes. With that in mind, Kate Bishop's delay did some real damage and there are still a few weeks left to go.

The (first) arrow slinger is coming to the game for free on December 8 with the Taking AIM mission.

Nick Fury is missing, Super Adaptoid is on the scene, and time travel is afoot. Cue Kate as Hawkeye. Apart from her character trailer, there's also a new pre-recorded War Table Deep Dive video.

Beyond her bow, Kate has a sword and is "equipped with repurposed AIM tech that uses quantum energy to power her rapid movements around her enemies," according to Crystal Dynamics. "Her intrinsic attacks teleport her around enemies and deal increased sword damage. Her Blink skills lets her double jump, air dash, and traverse ledges via short-range teleportation. Kate can also parry enemies with Quantum Shift, which teleports her away from the attack to return and strike from behind."

The second slice of this story, Future Imperfect, revolves around Clint Barton, and it'll mark his debut as a playable character (to say nothing of big old Maestro). That update will be released in "early 2021."

It's a shame the timetable got all messed up for Avengers. Just watching any given moment of gameplay footage in these videos, it's clear the PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrades can't come soon enough.

Marvel's Avengers is getting Kate Bishop on December 8 and Maestro is showing up in early 2021 screenshot



Review: Overcooked: All You Can Eat

Overcooked: All You Can Eat probably won't be anyone's first, second, third, or even fourth pick-up on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S, but if you get around to it – when you have enough controllers on-hand – you're in for a fun, funny, maddening time. This is the best-feeling and most convenient way to play Overcooked 1 and Overcooked 2 along with their respective DLC packs and free level updates.

All told, there's a couple hundred levels to tackle, seven of which are new to Overcooked: All You Can Eat. They're a welcome challenge even for experienced players, but they won't last too long.

It's worth stressing that upfront. Games aren't getting any cheaper this gen, and even though I adore Overcooked – it's possibly my favorite co-op series... ever – All You Can Eat won't speak to everyone.

Review: Overcooked: All You Can Eat screenshot

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Nintendo Download: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

The time has come! It's another first-party Nintendo game release! Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is out on November 20, serving as a prequel for the beloved modern classic Breath of the Wild.

Now that it's finally being unleashed upon the world after the time-traveling antics of the demo confused everyone thoroughly, I'm looking forward to seeing what the general public thinks. It's going to be docked for the framerate issues and the narrative is likely going to be polarizing, but I'm jazzed to finally be able to talk about it. But it's not the only big release this week.

Sniper Elite 4 is also coming to Switch, as well as the Serious Sam Collection. And some other stuff too!

Nintendo Download: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity screenshot

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The last major raid of Final Fantasy XIV's Shadowbringers expansion is coming in December

Final Fantasy XIV's Shadowbringers expansion is winding down soon, at least as far as hardcore content comes.

In December (exact date not nailed down yet, as is customary for big patches), 5.4 will arrive, which will bring more main story quests (MSQ), another wing of the Eden raid (Eden's Promise), another dungeon (Matoya's Relict), a trial (Castrum Marinum), and extra sidequests (The Sorrow of Werlyt). The Eden raid is the big deal here, which brings the hardcore race for world first alongside of weeks or months of learning raids for casual players. The 24-person NieR storyline is expected to conclude next patch, which will help soothe the wait for the next unannounced expansion.

In terms of other housekeeping stuff, Blue Mage is getting an update, there's more Ishgardian Restoration shenanigans, another unreal trial is coming, and a bunch of ancillary modes will get new content. Oh, and New Game+ mode is getting more stuff. It's a typical "big" FFXIV patch that basically transforms the game.

A lot of this will be detailed later, either through a producer stream or via future posts. Square Enix likes to keep a lot of Final Fantasy XIV patch info close to the chest for multiple reasons (economy balance and spoilers).

Patch 5.4 [Final Fantasy XIV]

The last major raid of Final Fantasy XIV's Shadowbringers expansion is coming in December screenshot



An easy mode was considered for Demon's Souls PS5, but scrapped

Since...2009, when Demon's Souls was originally released, some players have been asking for an "easy mode" for any given Seki-Souls-Borne, and so far, From Software hasn't budged.

It's an interesting topic! I think it's perfectly okay if a designer's vision isn't for everyone, as not every person needs to finish a Souls game. But the concept reared up again with the development process for the Demon's Souls PS5 remake, when porting studio Bluepoint Games toyed with it.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Bluepoint creative director Gavin Moore (who has been rather chatty this past year!) confirmed that they "discussed an easy mode," but "ultimately decided it wasn't [their] place." Moore says that they were "merely custodians" for the game, and if they added that, it would "fundamentally alter its balance."

Instead, they opted for accessibility advancements that wouldn't directly impact the vision of the game, like aesthetic sliders and tips videos that work outside of the confines of gameplay. As Moore observes, Demon's Souls is "actually very fair," but the tips clips should help push some players along.

While alternate, optional modes are great, I'm glad that Bluepoint went with their gut here. If From Software decided to add an easy mode that's one thing; but I bet director Miyazaki and his team would have wanted the PS5 remake to represent the core of the original. To me, it has.

'Demon's Souls' devs considered, and ultimately left out, an easy mode[Washington Post]

An easy mode was considered for Demon's Souls PS5, but scrapped screenshot



These new Monster Hunter movie trailers are a little more convincing

Sony International has released new Chinese and Japanese trailers for its upcoming Monster Hunter movie adaptation. The 90-second, fast-paced previews give fans a new look at some of the characters, locations, and beasties that will feature in Paul W.S. Anderson's fantasy epic.

Alongside multiple shots of protagonist Cpt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) in action, we get our first footage of Tony Jaa's hardened hunter as he stalks an unseen prey and cooks up a meaty feast. Also featured in the trailers is Ron Perlman's seafaring Admiral, another one of the mysterious allies who will help Artemis as she picks her way through the vast and hazardous new dimension. There's even a Palico! At last!

These new Monster Hunter movie trailers are a little more convincing screenshot

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Asian retailers list Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers for February 2021

Multiple retailers in Asia have posted listings for an English localization of Atlus' Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers, all of which reference a launch date of February 23, 2021.

Originally released in Japan on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, Persona 5 Scramble sees the famous Phantom Thieves embark on a cross-country tour of Japan, stopping along the way to take names and steal hearts. While all recent Persona releases have traveled west in relatively swift fashion, Atlus has yet to announce an official localization date for this latest venture.

Spotted by fan site Persona Central, eastern retailers including Indonesia's PS Enterprise and Singapore's Qishan and Toy or Game are among a handful of outlets who have posted the unconfirmed date, giving Persona fans fresh hope that Joker, Lady Ann, Morgana and chums will return to North American and European territories within a matter of months. While this date remains unconfirmed, we will inform you should any official word be forthcoming.

Asian retailers list English version of Persona 5 Scramble [Persona Central]

Asian retailers list Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers for February 2021 screenshot



Nomura says to expect 'good news' for the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary in 2022

Good news, everyone! Kingdom Hearts is continuing on after Kingdom Hearts III. Wait, that's not good news? You want the series to end? Well too bad!

I for one welcome more of this radical and insane series, especially after that bonkers ending of the latest game. Now, series custodian Tetsuya Nomura is teasing more, right on cue.

Speaking to Dengeki Online (as translated by Gematsu), Nomura says that while the story "reached an end" with the third main entry, he needs to "tie up remaining story loose ends." Series big bad Xehanort seems done done, as Nomura notes specifically that you will likely not encounter him directly, even if his choices and ripples will be felt throughout (which doesn't count out a flashback).

As for how Nomura operates, he tells Dengeki that he "typically plans one sequel ahead" of what he's working on, and although he was sure he wanted a "new protagonist" back when Roxas became a reality, it wasn't necessarily Roxas. But what about a PS5 or Series X Kingdom Hearts? Nomura muses on that too, saying it would "be released after many other companies have already released their titles," so that they could compete.

To that end, he teases that 2022 is the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts, so we should "keep an eye" on him until then. I'm sure some people will: under intense scrutiny!

Kingdom Hearts [Dengeki Online via Gematsu]

Nomura says to expect 'good news' for the Kingdom Hearts 20th anniversary in 2022 screenshot



Project 007, a new James Bond video game, announced by Hitman developer IO Interactive

IO Interactive has revealed that it is beginning work on Project 007 - a brand-new video game set within the dapper and deadly world of Ian Fleming's legendary secret agent, James Bond.

The Danish developer announced the exciting news this morning, accompanied by a teaser trailer featuring the famous 007 gun barrel sequence. Project 007 will feature an original origin story, and will see Mr. Bond embark on a mission to earn his "00" status that - in this case - will probably not include beating a man to death in the bathroom of a cricket ground.

"It's true that once in a while, the stars do align in our industry," said IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak, "Creating an original Bond game is a monumental undertaking and I truly believe that IO Interactive, working closely with our creative partners at EON and MGM, can deliver something extremely special for our players and communities. Our passionate team is excited to unleash their creativity into the iconic James Bond universe and craft the most ambitious game in the history of our studio."

Given the tense, stealth-action gameplay, deep comic-book lore, and decadent, globe-trotting opulence featured in the studio's string of excellent Hitman titles, the partnership of IOI and Bond is an absolute no-brainer. Given IOI's pedigree, Project 007 could well turn out to be the title the studio was born to make, one that will leave fans shaken and stirred.

Project 007, a new James Bond video game, announced by Hitman developer IO Interactive screenshot



GAME warns UK pre-order customers that they may not receive their PS5 console on launch day

Today sees the big launch of Sony's PlayStation 5 hardware in Europe and the UK. Of little surprise to anybody, this major retailing event is not expected to pass without hitch, and retailer GAME has already begun warning some customers that they might not receive their new consoles on launch day.

The retailer sent out emails to some of its pre-order customers, citing that one of its contracted couriers - Yodel - is responsible for delaying the delivery of multiple orders.

"Our aim has always been to ensure that as many orders arrive on time for release date as possible," reads the email, as received by Eurogamer. "therefore we have had to secure multiple couriers to help try and achieve this... However, for reasons beyond the control of GAME, Yodel has informed us that not all orders due to be delivered by them will be delivered on release day. This is due to capacity issues in their delivery network."

Unsurprisingly, Yodel is none-too-pleased at having the buck passed to it this way, and as such has released its own statement regarding the "in limbo" deliveries.

"Yodel does not work directly with GAME," stated the courier. "Our client is GFS, a fulfillment business who work in partnership with GAME. We have been consistently clear on the order volumes we are able to carry for them and it is deeply disappointing that Yodel's name has been incorrectly used in an email to customers on the status of orders. There are currently no delays within our network, and any issues regarding delivery capacity is a matter for GFS and not Yodel."

"The safe, secure and timely delivery of each of these parcels is our utmost priority, and we are committed to ensuring customers receive the excellent service which we stand for."

While GAME assures its customers that their pre-orders will be filled, the situation will leave many eager PS5 owners waiting nervously by their front doors for the day's duration. Ultimately, console launch days blues are nothing new - there are a lot of deliveries to make and only so much manpower available - but if you are one of the many sat waiting for the doorbell to chime, here's hoping that you receive your PS5 soon.

GAME warns pre-order customers that not all PS5 consoles will be delivered launch day [Eurogamer]

GAME warns UK pre-order customers that they may not receive their PS5 console on launch day screenshot



(Update) Jingle is coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and he's bringing the gift of save data transfers

[Update: The free winter update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is now available. Download it today to start hoarding more junk in your storage!]

Having always lived in areas of the United States that didn't see a traditional fall or winter, right now is the time I most enjoy getting into Animal Crossing. Seeing the autumn colors of the trees slowly transform to the marshmallow world of winter never ceases to bring me joy. I remember in New Leaf, I'd make it a point to go get a warm beverage from Brewster before just walking around my island and taking it all in.

With the holiday season upon us, Nintendo is ready to release a new update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons that'll bring the festivities to your island paradise. Included in the update will be Franklin to prepare your Turkey Day meal and Jingle, who needs your help handing out presents for Toy Day.

But that's not all. This update is also bringing with it some new hairstyles and new reactions, including the ability to sit on the ground. From the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn't enjoy a good sit? You'll also be able to expand your in-house storage and, in perhaps the biggest addition, save data transfers are coming to the game. Players will be able to transfer non-island-representative residents individually to a new Switch console with most of their belongings intact, or they can transfer the entire island to a new Switch in a one-way transfer.

(Update) Jingle is coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and he's bringing the gift of save data transfers screenshot

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Contest: Win a Neverwinter Pack of the Carmine Bulette set for PC

In today's contest you can win a Pack of the Carmine Bulette for Neverwinter!

MMOs are off putting to me because of one simple thing -- the "massive" part. Way, way too many people for me and my anxiety to deal with! I stick with single player games out of necessity.

That's good for you, though, because that's one less person who can win this Pack of the Carmine Bulette set for Neverwinter! Though that ghost companion is pretty tempting...

Contest: Win a Neverwinter Pack of the Carmine Bulette set for PC screenshot

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