Blog archive

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Review: Nioh 2: The First Samurai

I had hoped – and even started to believe – that Nioh 2 was building up to a thrilling conclusion across its three DLC packs, but the final expansion, The First Samurai, is a bit of a letdown. It's not outright bad, and I'm just out here happy to be playing more Nioh, but this DLC surprisingly missed the mark.

If you're a Nioh 2 season pass owner, great – I think The Tengu's Disciple and Darkness in the Capital already proved their worth with compelling new weapon types, different-enough locales, and motivation to keep toiling away for the good of the grind. As a package deal, the bundle is priced fairly.

Taken on its own, though, The First Samurai lacks impact, originality, and excitement. It feels more like an obligation to get through rather than something you'd be genuinely stoked to dig into and explore.

Review: Nioh 2: The First Samurai screenshot

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Review: Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond

We are now in an era where impressive-looking VR games are somewhat commonplace; it's no longer a selling point all on its own. So when I heard that Respawn Entertainment was working on a new Medal of Honor for VR, my interest was piqued, but I kept my expectations in check.

Always trust your instincts.

Review: Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond screenshot

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A month and some change later, I'm really happy I went with the Xbox Series S

One thing I've noticed with the past few console launches, something that became quite evident the day I preordered my Xbox Series S, is that I no longer feel the excitement I once did when moving into a new generation. Even last week, when I managed to secure an all-digital PS5 just minutes after I swore to stop trying until next year, it didn't push me to jump for joy. I used to jump for joy picking up a new console. I remember being quite giddy standing in line at Walmart to buy the GameCube on a cold November morning.

Maybe it's because the promise of better technology has lead to diminishing returns over the past two console generations. Maybe it's because there are no launch titles for the Xbox Series of consoles or the PS5 that I "must play now." Or maybe, it's because gaming is so prolific now that it's really all about the games rather than the hardware you choose to play them on.

Whatever it is, I do miss the excitement that comes with anticipating a new console. But with my Xbox Series S, that feeling has been replaced by something that might be just as fulfilling: the satisfaction of knowing you bought quality hardware.  I love my Series S not because I managed to buy the "hot new thing" but because this console is built so goddamn good.

A month and some change later, I'm really happy I went with the Xbox Series S screenshot

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Review: Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red has the benefit of releasing a major game once in a blue moon to a roaring applause.

I was hooked from the very first Witcher (which is frankly still some of their best narrative work), and continued on through Geralt's journey into card game-dom. Now, we're fast-forwarding that old fantasy timeline quite a bit with Cyberpunk 2077.

While it's more than adequate at giving us a general look at a dystopian techno-future, a lot of the details are muddled.

Review: Cyberpunk 2077 screenshot

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Podtoid says goodbye with a look back at 2020

Well, here we are. Two and a half years ago, I got the crazy idea to bring back Podtoid after Steven Hansen left us to go join the Red Army. It would be a lot of work and I wasn't even sure it would be good or not. But I got Chris Moyse, Dan Roemer, and Occams to sign on, helping me revive the show nearly two years ago to the day. The first show wasn't so hot, but we got better, added Charlotte to the cast, and figured out a way to create some truly wonderful episodes in the weeks and months that followed.

As much as I've enjoyed the past two years, all good things must come to an end and today, this version of Podtoid takes its last bow before exiting stage right. On the show, the whole crew is here to look back at the great things from 2020 and some of the not-so-great things as well. We talk games, movies, books, and more as we say goodbye to this godforsaken year. Also, Moyse's Simpsons knowledge is put to the test with a trivia quiz. All that and more on Podtoid Episode 470.

Podtoid says goodbye with a look back at 2020 screenshot

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Cblogs of 12/12 to 12/18/2020: Cyberpunk 2077, Breath of Fire, and The Game Awards

Cblogs Recap: Week 51

-Lord Spencer wonders where The Hell is Breath of Fire? in this series retrospective for a very good RPG franchise that has been missing for years.

-Gamingnerd shares their thoughts regarding this year's The Game Awards show.

-Humantofu revisits Crytek's early current-gen releases.

-TheCooperators looks at the new Worms Rumble.

-Yuknuts reasonably thinks that CDPR should try and follow the No Man's Sky model of recovering from nightmare launches.

-MajinRotty unveils Gamespot's newest AI review system that is guaranteed to always agree with you.

-Chimpomagee responds to this month's Band of Bloggers prompt by taking down The Last of Us Part II a peg from being gaming's "Schindler's List".

-Shoggoth2588 concludes his decade in review blogging series by highlighting his top games of the decade.

-CoruptAI125 reviews Gears 5: Hivebusters.

-Virtua Kazuma shares the history of making the Virtua Fighter Takeover.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Final Fantasy IX and Celtic music.

-Osc updates us on the progress of his hobbyist game in the months of October and November.

-Whispering Willow is "The Gamers" and here is a direct plea to CDPR to fix its shit.

-PhilsPhindings discusses the similarities between the soundtrack of Yoshi's Island and pop music.

-Queen of Philosophy is back with another TGIF open community thread for you to enjoy.

-Gamingnerd wonders what "Gamers" represent for large corporations and is sad about it.

Cblogs of 12/12 to 12/18/2020: Cyberpunk 2077, Breath of Fire, and The Game Awards screenshot

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NES launch title Tennis is this week's Arcade Archives release

Publisher Hamster is heading back to the dawning days of the Nintendo Entertainment System for this week's Arcade Archives release, as the Vs. System edition of Tennis is now available to download on Nintendo Switch.

Originally released as a launch title for the North American and European edition of the NES in 1985, Tennis features incredibly (and understandably) simplistic over-the-net action, as one or two players rally back and forth in singles or doubles action. Tennis was added to Nintendo's "Vs." arcade range, appearing mostly unchanged in its coin-op form.

Vs. Tennis is available to download now on Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8. Here's FORTY-FIVE MINUTES of action, courtesy of YouTuber Old Classic Retro Gaming.

NES launch title Tennis is this week's Arcade Archives release screenshot

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The Final Demo for Bravely Default II gives you just five hours to see as much as you can

Earlier this year, Nintendo and Square Enix dropped the first demo for their highly anticipated RPG Bravely Default II, the follow-up to two beloved games from the 3DS. It was our first chance to see how development was progressing since the game was first announced a little over a year ago. The demo was challenging, with the difficulty kicked up a notch and more-or-less forcing players to grind it out.

Following the demo, Square Enix opened up a survey allowing players to offer feedback that could directly affect the final product. Earlier this year, we found out just how many changes that feedback would bring, and with the new Final Demo released late last night, we can now see those changes in action.

The Final Demo takes place in the same region as the demo from this past summer. The desert kingdom of Savalon is slowly drowning as waters continue to rise, with no answers as to how. All of this takes place in the first chapter of Bravely Default II, which the demo will allow you to explore for as much as five hours. You'll receive hourly reminders that the clock is ticking down, and once you hit the five-hour mark, that playthrough will end. You can start a new file if you want to try and get further than you did on your first try.

The Final Demo for Bravely Default II gives you just five hours to see as much as you can screenshot

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Bleach's Yoruichi Shihouin teased in new Jump Force trailer

In a somewhat awkward bit of marketing, Bandai Namco has released the teaser trailer for Bleach star Yoruichi Shihouin, who will be joining the roster of anime crossover fighter Jump Force in early 2021.

I say "awkward" as Yoruichi has already joined the roster, albeit very briefly. Back in November, the seductive semi-cat gal accidentally went live in-game due to a technical mishap, before her inclusion had even been announced by the publisher. Removed from the roster in double-quick time, many fans had the opportunity to check Yoruichi out, months before her development had even completed! Still, for those of you who missed her, here's the mighty moggy in action.

Yoruichi Shihoin is the third fighter making up Jump Force's second character pass, alongside previous DLC characters Hiei from YuYu Hakusho, Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia, and Mereum from Hunter x Hunter. The final DLC fighter - also revealed thanks to the aforementioned glitch, will be Giorno Giovanna from the legendary anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

Bleach's Yoruichi Shihouin teased in new Jump Force trailer screenshot

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Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

I came to the realization just yesterday that we were exactly one week away from Christmas, (or at least for those of us who celebrate it). Time had completely gotten away from me, given recent events including the U.S. election, my birthday, the next-gen launch, a huge review season, and multiple IRL events. And just like that, 'tis the season, and I couldn't be less prepared.

But that's fine. The Holiday season for many of us is going to be a little different this year. A little more low-key, a little quieter and, hopefully, a little safer for everyone. And that's fine, this year is not normal and these times are not normal. There were Holidays last year and there will be Holidays next year. This year, it's up to us all to try and be a little more responsible in taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and others. Y'all know this, but it bears repeating. I hope your preparations are going well, and that you have a lovely week.

Oh yes, video games. I've been hitting a selection of standbys this week, such as Black Ops Cold War, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Street Fighter V. We also recorded the final episode of Podtoid, which was a happy (if a tad melancholic) experience. Please check it out. Before you do that though, don't forget to jump into the comments below and fill us in on the games that are filling your time this week/weekend. Better get cramming for your end-of-the-year lists, right?

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

Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot



Contest: Win Replica, a cellphone-based thriller, for Nintendo Switch

In today's contest, you can win cellphone-based thriller Replica for Nintendo Switch!

Everyone just stares at their phones these days -- it's nuts. Go to a restaurant, and like 90% of the people will be scrolling through apps instead of talking to one another.

Now, simulate real life on your Switch! Replica is a phone-based thriller where you have to solve a case using only clues from a cellphone. Neat! Win a Switch copy so you can check it out for yourself.

Contest: Win Replica, a cellphone-based thriller, for Nintendo Switch screenshot

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Diablo Immortal is surprisingly fun, I just hope microtransactions don't ruin it

Starting this week, Blizzard is running a "limited technical alpha" for Diablo Immortal. Yes, the "do you guys not have phones" game.

We got in.

It's not bad.

Don't @ me.

Diablo Immortal is surprisingly fun, I just hope microtransactions don't ruin it screenshot

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Miyamoto's heartfelt tour of Super Nintendo World is too jolly to miss

Shigeru Miyamoto is having the time of his life in this walking tour of Super Nintendo World.

The proud father's happiness knows no bounds in this special 15-minute Nintendo Direct presentation, and it's transferring to me right through the screen. It'll likely be a few years before I can visit this theme park – it's opening in Japan on February 4 but won't be accessible in Hollywood, Orlando, or Singapore until later – and I've accepted that for now. But once it does open, it's on. I've gotta go one day.

During his tour, Miyamoto covered multiple areas including the inside of a Warp Pipe and the gift shop, he previewed the Power-Up Band and phone app, and he showed an exclusive Tokotoko Mario toy.

Definitely watch the Direct when you get a chance. It's a fun one.

Miyamoto's heartfelt tour of Super Nintendo World is too jolly to miss screenshot

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Today's free Epic game is Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty

Odd world? You're preachin' to the choir, buddy! Ain't nothin' normal about it!

Oh, the video game? Yeah, sure. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is free today on the Epic Games Store. It's numero dos out of 15 Epic freebies comin' your way.

If you're new to Oddworld, this is a fine place to start. New 'n' Tasty is a remake of the original, meaning that you'll be primed to continue the series if you like what you see. Also, it's an obvious choice for one of the free games, as Oddworld: Soulstorm will launch in spring 2021 and be Epic-exclusive on PC.

The comprehensive list of Epic freebies thus far is Cities: Skylines and Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. Gather under the mistletoe with us tomorrow as we smooch to another free game.

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty [Epic Games Store]

Today's free Epic game is Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty screenshot



Sephiroth is here to stay in Smash, and he brought banger music tracks

When I saw that trailer for Sephiroth in Smash, my first thought was "they can't kill Mario, can they?!" Well, they didn't: no, the beloved plumber was not gored by one of the biggest bads of all time.

Sephiroth probably isn't murdering anyone anytime soon, but he's kicking a lot of ass already.

Sephiroth is here to stay in Smash, and he brought banger music tracks screenshot

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Xbox players can close out 2020 with a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 trial

As someone who just got Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 the other week and has been even more hooked on it than I was expecting, let me just say, it's a great note to end 2020 if at all possible. I figured I'd max out a skater or two at most before moving on, but I'm feeling the call. I can't put this remaster down.

If you're in the mood for high-scoring antics on classic levels set to a warm-and-fuzzy nostalgic soundtrack – if you're in the mood for pure and good video game vibes in general – then you might want to make some room in your weekend plans for the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 trial on Xbox One.

The trial is one hour long, and it will be downloadable until January 4, 2021. That time is gonna fly.

Plenty of you already picked up THPS 1+2 over the past few months since launch, and plenty more of you are planning to get it when the time is right, but if you need more convincing, demo it.

As with most of you, I'm ready for THPS 3+4 to materialize.

Xbox players can close out 2020 with a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 trial screenshot



CD Projekt Red has started paying for Cyberpunk refunds out of its own pocket

Already in unprecedented territory, we're moving further and further into the uncharted. Hell, we're moving further and further into The Twilight Zone. Shit is downright bizarre right now.

On the heels of Sony and Microsoft both offering full refunds for people who bought Cyberpunk 2077 digitally, there have been two new developments. First, Best Buy announced that is would process refunds for people who have physical copies of the game, even if they're opened. It's a special exception that Best Buy is making considering the state of everything. That offer is good through December 21, so it's something you need to take care of this weekend.

More shocking, CD Projekt has committed to helping expedite retail refunds by reimbursing people out of its own pocket:

CD Projekt Red has started paying for Cyberpunk refunds out of its own pocket screenshot

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Stadia is on iOS now, here's how to access it

In case you missed it, Apple really doesn't want studios selling individual games on their own cloud service apps. It's impacted both Stadia and Microsoft xCloud, among other outfits, but those service providers are working around it.

Just this week, Stadia released their iOS solution: just use Safari. Here's how it works.

Stadia is on iOS now, here's how to access it screenshot

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You can't miss the Bloodborne and Shadow of the Colossus special outfits in Ghost of Tsushima

You already look stylish when you're slicing and dicing in Ghost of Tsushima, doubly so when you're hacking away in black-and-white mode. Add to the aesthetic by infusing your samurai warrior with Kratos, just as Kurosawa intended.

Sucker Punch has brought some of PlayStation's all-time great games to Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, the co-op focused multiplayer mode (that's surprisingly really good). Until January 15, you can unlock outfits from Bloodborne, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Shadow of the Colossus. Images of all four are in the gallery below.

Each costume is tied to a different class; complete a single story or survival mission to unlock the costume of whichever class you played as. For example, clear a mission as the Hunter to earn Aloy's outfit. Kratos is the Samurai, Aloy is the Hunter, Shadow of the Colossus is the Assassin, and Bloodborne is the Ronin.

New looks from some of PlayStation's heaviest hitters. It won't be long until future games get Ghost of Tsushima skins. It's that good. It's just a shame that Sucker Punch couldn't find a way to shoehorn an inFamous outfit in. I'd play as Delsin, the beanie-wearing samurai.

@SuckerPunchProd [Twitter]

You can't miss the Bloodborne and Shadow of the Colossus special outfits in Ghost of Tsushima screenshot

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Spend your Holiday week playing Call of Duty: Cold War Black Ops with free multiplayer trial

If you're lonely as fuck like me, then maybe you might be feeling like you don't have a whole lot to do this festive season. Well, provided that you have access to a platform that carries Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, then you can celebrate the season with non-stop multiplayer mayhem, free of charge. My kind of Christmas party.

As of today, anyone can jump into Cold War's multiplayer action simply by downloading the game on your respective system. Players can then enjoy a multitude of modes - including the recently added Raid the Mall, Nuketown Holiday 24/7 and 2v2 Gunfight - right up until December 24, when you'll have to pull the trigger on a full purchase if you wish for continued mayhem.

Spend your Holiday week playing Call of Duty: Cold War Black Ops with free multiplayer trial screenshot

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Walking Dead's Daryl, once again without Merle, appears in another video game crossover

There was a time when Merle and Daryl (otherwise known as Merlin Derle) were a united front.

They appeared in games together! But now that truce is broken. Norman Reedus is just too popular and it's been a long time since Michael Rooker exited the show (ain't got time to bleed when you're in the MCU!). It's still very much Daryl's time. The newest crossover? Fornite.

As the newest pair of skins, Daryl is joined by another fan-favorite: Michonne. This is sort of incorporated into the story, which is currently dealing with the aftermath of Galactus' destruction of the Fornite world, as the main powers-that-be search for "hunters" to aid them. So far, the Mandolorian has entered the fray, along with Kratos and Master Chief.

That hunter theme, and the partnership between both Sony and Microsoft respectively, has folks highly anticipating a Nintendo crossover. The most obvious choice is Samus (otherwise known as the crawling "Metroid"), but Nintendo could also just not participate at all. We'll see!

For now you can get Daryl, Michonne, and various bits and bobs of realistic looking weaponry for V-Bucks.

Daryl Dixon and Michonne Join the Hunt [Epic Games]

Walking Dead's Daryl, once again without Merle, appears in another video game crossover screenshot

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Monster Hunter Rise continues its celebration of head-mashers with the Gunlance and the Insect Glaive

If there's one thing to be said for Capcom's upcoming Switch release Monster Hunter Rise, it's certainly not sending you into battle without a decent loadout. Following on from previous videos looking at the Hammer, the Lance, the Dual-Blade, and the Bowgun, the publisher has dropped two more trailers focusing on further weapons in the Hunter's arsenal, namely the Gunlance and the Insect Glaive.

Combining the best of both mid and long-range capabilities, the Gunlance is a deliberate but powerful weapon, capable of letting loose with explosive firepower, while doubling up as a heavy-hitting melee tool. While not the most agile of weapons on offer, the Gunlance allows hunters to pick at their prey from a distance, before moving in for the kill when the tide of the battle swings their way.

Monster Hunter Rise continues its celebration of head-mashers with the Gunlance and the Insect Glaive screenshot

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Xbox follows PlayStation's lead with no-questions-asked refunds of Cyberpunk 2077

Late last night, Sony made a massive unprecedented business decision. It pulled the trigger on offering full refunds for anyone who bought Cyberpunk 2077 through the PlayStation Store. That might happen with some low-profile indies, but it doesn't happen to games that are as globally popular and drive as much revenue as Cyberpunk 2077.

You had to think Microsoft would follow suit in due time. Sure enough, Microsoft announced this morning that it's also issuing no-questions-asked refunds for anyone who bought Cyberpunk 2077 through the Microsoft Store.

Xbox follows PlayStation's lead with no-questions-asked refunds of Cyberpunk 2077 screenshot

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Bethesda recalls all its 2020 Fallout 76 accomplishments and improvements

Fallout 76 has been through a lot. A rocky launch. A complete 180 on whether or not game-impacting items would be sold as DLC. Bugs. More rocky update launches.

But in 2020, it made a ton of strides to feel less like a wasteland: in the mechanical sense. It's supposed to be a wasteland. Wastelanders added actual NPCs to the game, which made it feel ever so closer to an actual Fallout title. Then came the Steel Dawn update, which made the world feel even livelier.

Bethesda is reminiscing about this year too on their official blog, providing a "2020 in review" rundown of all they've accomplished. It's a lot! From the early 2020 testing periods to further save the game from its late 2018 launch state, to the two aforementioned expansion launches, to the inclusion of the seasonal system.

So what's next? As previously stated, quality of life updates in early 2021. But Bethesda also shared that there's some seasonal events coming in February, and season four is slated for a March 2021 release. You can also find that tease in image form in the gallery below.

You can also check out the infographic below, which showcases a lot of useless marketing stats among a few cool tidbits. The "top five most popular quests/events" is particularly important, as the high ratings for those could inform future quest design for Fallout 76, or subsequent Fallout games.

Year Two in Review [Bethesda.net]

Bethesda recalls all its 2020 Fallout 76 accomplishments and improvements screenshot

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Super Baby Vegeta 2 is headed to Dragon Ball FighterZ this winter

Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball FighterZ has proven itself one of the most enduring fighting titles of the last generation. To date, DBFZ has shifted over six million physical and digital units since its release in January 2018, while retaining a strong and engaged global community of players, despite fierce competition from a string of great fighting titles.

And the slick anime scrapper isn't done yet, as developer Arc System Works has revealed (via Famitsu) that it has more content and characters in store for DBFZ across 2021. The next fighter to join the sky-fighting roster will be Dragon Ball GT antagonist Super Baby 2, an inadvertent fusion of the malicious Baby and Dragon Ball protagonist Vegeta, blending the power of mankind with the latter's Saiyan strength. He could take your dad, is what I'm saying. Super Baby 2 will arrive as part of FighterZ Pass 3 sometime this winter.

In celebration of the series' ongoing success, all DBFZ players can expect a few free goodies in the near future, including Gogeta SSGSS and Bardock (Super Saiyan) lobby avatars, and a new color variation for Vegeta in his non-mega-baby form.

Dragon Ball FighterZ DLC character Super Baby 2 announced [Gematsu / Ryokutya2089]

Super Baby Vegeta 2 is headed to Dragon Ball FighterZ this winter screenshot



Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is STILL getting new characters

You can believe there are three games that are still being actively developed for in the Dragon Ball Z series? Such is the power of those balls.

In addition to FighterZ and Kakarot, Xenoverse 2 (which came out in 2016) is still getting DLC! At this point, the roster is insanely impressive and expansive, dating back to nearly every era of the show. You have your stock big ones like Trunks, Goku, and Gohan (all shapes and sizes!), but they also delve into minor or tertiary baddies like Zarbon and Lord Slug.

You can add Pikkon to that list now too! According to Weekly Jump in Japan, Pikkon is headed into the arena in spring of 2021. Yes, we're coming up on five years of active development for this project. It's good to be a Dragon Ball fan, as there's always something new to enjoy.

I still remember playing Dragon Ball Z: The Legend on the PlayStation for the first time and being blown away with just how many cast members it had; compared to the SNES fighters I had experienced before it. Sometimes there's something magical about stepping into the shoes of a character that's relatively obscure, but you're big on.

Weekly Jump [Viz via Gematsu]

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is STILL getting new characters screenshot



Ruin the day as a cardboard cloud in Rain on Your Parade

Every once in a while, a game trailer will come across my path that grabs me by the neck and doesn't let go. Untitled Goose Game did that, Gnosia did that, and last night, the trailer for Rain on Your Parade did it as well. From developer Unbound Creations, this asshole cloud simulator lets you channel your inner Gi as you soak your way through various puzzle stages in search of the fabled land of Seattle.

When I saw this game pop up on my Twitter feed, I knew I had to give it a try. A demo is available for download right now on Steam, and it offers a sampling of the different puzzle concepts players will encounter in the final game. Stages come in a variety of sizes with their own unique objectives. Small stages will ask you to do one or two tasks, such as ruin a wedding by soaking the bride and groom and all their guests, or protect a bomb by soaking those who would defuse it. Larger stages can put more on your plate, forcing you to search every nook and cranny to complete the checklist. Hands down, my favorite stage is a city-block location that lets me go HAM until the time limit runs out.

Ruin the day as a cardboard cloud in Rain on Your Parade screenshot

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Dan Hibiki will rock the Street Fighter V roster in February

Capcom's Shuhei Matsumoto released a state-of-play video message yesterday, in which the Street Fighter V producer announced that DLC character Dan Hibiki will join the SFV roster in February 2021.

The goofy Saikyo-style practitioner is the first of what is expected to be SFV's fifth and final season of content, with Street Fighter veterans Rose and Oro, Rival Schools' Akira, and an as-yet-unrevealed character also joining the fight as 2021 progresses. The timing of Dan's release date reveal coincides with what would have been The Capcom Cup, had this year's Pro-Tour not been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the video, Matsumoto - who steps into the role of Street Fighter producer following the departure of Yoshinori Ono - spoke of the difficulties the team has encountered working during the pandemic, but noted that all work on Street Fighter V's twilight year will continue to a high standard befitting the brand.

Dan Hibiki will rock the Street Fighter V roster in February screenshot

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You can now buy Spider-Man Remastered separately on PS5

Spider-Man Remastered has been one of the most confusing remaster rollouts in recent memory.

First, Sony muddled its messaging (along with what Miles Morales was), not making it clear whether or not a remaster was coming alongside of Miles Morales. Then, it wasn't getting save exports...until it did. Now, the remaster has suddenly appeared as a full separate download on the PSN: a month after launch. Go figure!

Here it is! For $39.99, you can get the remaster on its own, with its enhanced visuals/load times, and adaptive trigger/haptic feedback controls. Or, you can still opt for the Ultimate Edition of Miles Morales for $69.99, which comes with the remaster as-is. Note that Miles is $49.99 as a standalone download.

Both are worth playing on their own merits, and are interconnected. Remastered offers a lead-in to Miles Morales' story and a bit of background; but you wouldn't be completely lost if you just head into the second release.

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered [PSN]

You can now buy Spider-Man Remastered separately on PS5 screenshot



Control: Ultimate Edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X launches February 2

505 Games, alongside developer Remedy Entertainment, has announced that Control: Ultimate Edition will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X in a digital capacity on February 2, it will then be followed by a physical release a month later on March 2.

A short teaser video showcases the 2019 physics-defying adventure running on PlayStation 5, where the release will offer a 60 FPS "Performance Mode" and a 30 FPS "Graphics Mode" - the latter of which features ray-tracing support and heightened textures, lighting, and other visual effects. Control Ultimate Edition will include the base title along with its two expansion packs, photo mode, and endgame content "Expeditions".

Control: Ultimate Edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X will be offered as a free upgrade for players who already own Control: Ultimate Edition on PS4 or Xbox One. In a notable controversy, it will not be offered to those who purchased the original release of Control and/or its DLC expansions separately.

Control: Ultimate Edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X launches February 2 screenshot

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Over 8.3 million viewers tuned into The Game Awards 2020

Last week saw the coming of that menagerie of adverts, prizes, recognition, and more adverts, The Games Awards. And it appears that the 2020 iteration of Geoff Keighley's annual shindig was more than a little successful, having drawn the eyes of 8.3 million viewers worldwide.

This incredible viewing figure -proudly tweeted yesterday by Keighley himself - represents a viewership increase of 83% over last year's event... and that's without a Fast & Furious game reveal. Viewers on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming saw Sony's The Last of Us Part II run off with several gongs, with other winners including Supergiant's Hades, Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Among the trailers featured in the somewhat loooong event included sneak peeks at Turtle Rock's Back 4 Blood, BioWare's Dragon Age 4, and Microsoft's Perfect Dark reboot. Also featured was the reveal of Sephiroth as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character and a host of great looking indie titles. Ultimately, the success of The Game Awards reflects well on the popularity of the industry itself, and as such bodes well for this, the formative days of a brand new generation of gaming.

Over 8.3 million viewers tuned into The Game Awards 2020 screenshot

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Sony pulls Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store, will begin issuing refunds

The saga of Cyberpunk 2077 continues to move in new and unexpected directions as Sony has announced it is pulling the game from the PlayStation Store and will begin issuing refunds to people who purchased a copy directly from Sony. The announcement comes days after developer CD Projekt Red said it would offer refunds on PS4 and Xbox One without any clear direction on how unsatisfied buyers were supposed to go about getting their money back.

Sony originally told people looking for a refund to wait for a future patch but has now reversed course and is offering refunds to those who purchased the game through the PlayStation Store. Anyone interested in getting their money back can visit the Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds page and fill out the request form. While the game is no longer available on the PlayStation Store, anyone who bought it and wants to keep will still be able to access their purchase.

[Update: Since this post went live, the link to the refund request form has been removed from the Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds page. If you are interested in a refund, I suggest you contact the @AskPlayStation Twitter account as it seems to be assisting people.]

[Update #2: The link is back and working. Click it to claim.]

I don't think I can name a quicker fall from grace than what CD Projekt has done this week, but I hope this will serve as a wake-up call to the industry and to consumers that this type of behavior shouldn't be tolerated, excused, or brushed off anymore.

Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds [PlayStation]

Sony pulls Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store, will begin issuing refunds screenshot



Contest: Win Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition - Signature Edition on PS5 from Signature Edition Games

In today's contest you can win Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition - Signature Edition from Signature Edition Games!

Have you heard of Spirit of the North? I hadn't until the kind folks over at Signature Edition Games gave me a copy to give away! Win yourself a PS5 copy in our first ever next-gen contest!

Contest: Win Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition - Signature Edition on PS5 from Signature Edition Games screenshot

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Subnautica: Below Zero will cost $10 more starting January 5, 2021

Not to get your hopes up, but Subnautica: Below Zero is still in early access. It's close to the finish line – close enough that Unknown Worlds is about to raise the price by $10 – but it's not quite there.

That said, if you loved Subnautica and you're down for more alien ocean expeditions, Below Zero is a pretty safe bet at this point, even if you have no intention of playing it until the 1.0 update goes out.

The deadline to remember? January 5, 2021 – that's when Subnautica: Below Zero will jump from $19.99 to $29.99. On the same day, the original Subnautica will go from $24.99 to $29.99.

Should you play it now? "As of the Relics of the Past update, Below Zero is now playable from start to (almost) finish. While we will continue to polish the game up until its 1.0 launch, all creatures, biomes, vehicles, and items that are currently in-game represent what will be there in the final version."

As a reminder, Below Zero is not an expansion – it's a new, separate game – and if you buy or already own the early-access version of Below Zero on Steam or the Epic Games Store, you'll "receive the 1.0 release, as well as all future patches," when the time comes. Consider this our official heads-up.

Subnautica: Below Zero Price Increasing on PC Storefronts [Unknown Worlds]

Subnautica: Below Zero will cost $10 more starting January 5, 2021 screenshot



Sephiroth is officially out on December 22, but you can unlock him early in Smash Ultimate

In a fun twist that feels straight out of Sakurai's "anything goes" playbook, if you settle your score with Sephiroth in a one-on-one showdown in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you'll unlock him early – as early as today, even. The Final Fantasy VII fighter isn't officially releasing until December 22, 2020.

To play the Sephiroth Challenge (and unlock him, the Northern Cave stage, and nine sweet tracks ahead of schedule), you'll need to have paid up. If you got the $30 Fighters Pass Vol. 2 or you have the piecemeal Challenger Pack 8, you're squared away. You can put him in his place. Watch out for Meteor.

We've also got several iconic Mii Fighters lined up for next week, including dear old Geno.

If Nintendo goes ahead and puts Super Mario RPG on Switch Online, I'll call it even.

Sephiroth is officially out on December 22, but you can unlock him early in Smash Ultimate screenshot



Sackboy: A Big Adventure now has online co-op and a PS4-to-PS5 save transfer

Will I make it to the end of the year without buying Sackboy: A Big Adventure? I'm not sure I can wait for a sale as originally planned. It seems like too jolly of a time for me to miss this during the holiday break.

Helping resolve my on-the-fence-ness, with today's update, Sackboy has online multiplayer support and save-file transferring between the PS4 and PS5 versions (look for an option in the Extras menu).

That's important! Ten of the levels are specifically co-op only, and while there's already local multiplayer in this game (for all types of levels), that's obviously not going to work for everyone in all situations. If you ever hop online with friends or strangers, "your progress will be carried over to your local game."

Another cool thing I always appreciate: online multiplayer is cross-gen, and that should help fill the ranks. I imagine plenty of people got Sackboy on PS5 despite having only one DualSense controller.

Astro's Playroom seriously put me in a platformer mood, so it's just a matter of time.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure update adds online multiplayer today [PlayStation Blog]

Sackboy: A Big Adventure now has online co-op and a PS4-to-PS5 save transfer screenshot



Pumpkin Jack gets a Christmas update because there are no rules anymore

Halloween isn't just a day, it's a way of life. It's 365 and one more on Leap Years. That means when Christmas rolls around, it's also Halloween.

Pumpkin Jack is all about that life. Eight days from Christmas, this jack-o-lantern-headed mascot platformer gets a winter update. There's a new Christmas outfit that brings snow whenever it's worn. There's also a new batch of collectibles, as each level has five gifts hidden away; finding all five in any given stage unlocks something special.

With a little seasonal shakeup, Pumpkin Jack has a little more life. Stay tuned for the Presidents' Day update where Jack's gourd is replaced with the stone Mount Rushmore heads.

Pumpkin Jack gets a Christmas update because there are no rules anymore screenshot



Among Us can check 'Come to Xbox via Game Pass' off its list of tasks

A couple days ago, news that Among Us is coming to Switch led Chris to wonder aloud "Why not put it on everything at this point?" That timing's pretty sus, bud.

On cue, Among Us is getting ported to other consoles. Microsoft has revealed that it's coming to Xbox and will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch:

Among Us can check 'Come to Xbox via Game Pass' off its list of tasks screenshot

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Grindstone is still a fantastic puzzle game on Nintendo Switch

If you've played Critter Crunch or Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, you don't need to be convinced that Capybara is capable of making great puzzle games that'll creep into – and slowly take over – your headspace. With that in mind, I'm here to remind you that 1) Grindstone exists and 2) it's fantastic.

More importantly, it's no longer locked down to Apple Arcade. You can get Grindstone on Nintendo Switch as of this week, and if you're an early buyer, you'll save five bucks. $14.99 is the sweet spot.

After reviewing the original iOS version in 2019 and truly loving it – only to let my Apple Arcade subscription lapse a while later and miss out on a few big content updates like Daily Grind modes – I'm happy to be reunited with this gnarly monster-mashing, color-coded-path-tracing puzzler.

Grindstone is still a fantastic puzzle game on Nintendo Switch screenshot

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Cities: Skylines is the first of Epic's 15 free games

Fortunately, digital files don't take up any room in the stocking. Otherwise, that thing would be stuffed half a month from now. They only take up space on the hard drive.

You're going to build an entire goddang city today. Epic is giving away one free game per day until the end of 2020. The first is Cities: Skylines. You're certainly not getting shorted on content with the first game.

This is also the start of Epic's holiday sale which is noteworthy in itself -- these things always have decent discounts -- but it ushers in another round of the ridiculous self-replenishing $10-off coupons. You'll get a $10 discount on anything that's priced $14.99 or above (pre-orders excluded). Then, once you use it, you'll get another $10-off coupon in its stead. They're limitless.

Anyway, claim Cities: Skylines, check out the holiday sale, take advantage of those coupons. The sale ends on January 7, so you have plenty of time to get after it. We'll be back tomorrow with another post about the second freebie and a partridge in a pear tree.

Cities: Skylines [Epic Games Store]

Cities: Skylines is the first of Epic's 15 free games screenshot



Latest Mario Kart Tour event focuses on Best Gal Rosalina

Nintendo's mobile racer Mario Kart Tour is winding up the year with a celebration of one of the Super Mario franchise's most-popular princesses. The Rosalina Tour offers players a new opportunity to bag previously released skins for the starry-eyed regal. Remember how hard it was to get her amiibo back in the day? Craziness.

The tour's first week sees the festive Fire Rosalina return to the gacha pipe, followed by the witchy Halloween Rosalina, the summery Swimwear Rosalina, and finally the exquisite Aurora Rosalina in week two. In addition, the Apple Kart, Poison Apple Cart, Comet Tail, and Blue Sodakarts are making a comeback, as are the Butterfly, Wicked Wings, and Luma Parafoil Gliders. Naturally, Rosalina's Ice World is the themed track for this event.

You can check out all of the above content in the trailer below. The Rosalina Tour is underway right now and will end on December 29.

Latest Mario Kart Tour event focuses on Best Gal Rosalina screenshot

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Harvest Moon: One World may not be the return to form you're hoping for

Since it split from the Bokujō Monogatari franchise back in 2014, Natsume's Harvest Moon series has had a tough go keeping itself relevant in the surprisingly competitive video game farming genre. Story of Seasons, the current western moniker for the Bokujō games, has been doing quite well, and it seems like every month we're getting a new farming title in at least one of the storefronts.

Harvest Moon's next shot at reclaiming its former glory will come early next year with Harvest Moon: One World. The key feature of this title is the ability to completely move your farm to new areas of the world. Crops have disappeared from the world, and it's up to you to find the Harvest Wisps who hold the key to the different crops you'll grow on your farm. There are five areas to explore, as well as five bachelors and bachelorettes to marry.

All of that sounds fine, but I'm not really sure this new trailer is doing the game any favors. Something about it just looks so...empty.

Harvest Moon: One World may not be the return to form you're hoping for screenshot

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Tales of Arise is nearing the end of its development cycle

It has been a mighty long wait for fans of the Tales series, eager to get their anime-adventure loving mitts on the next entry in the long-running franchise, Tales of Arise. According to comments to series producer Yusuke Tomizawa, development has markedly picked up pace on the PC and console title, which is now expected to ship sometime in 2021.

Tales of Arise was first announced at E3 2019 with a dramatic trailer, telling the tale of two close planets - Dahna and Rena - and the complex issues that develop between their respective civilizations. While the RPG was initially scheduled to launch this year, a desire to create a truly ambitious series entry - along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic - put several hurdles in place, pushing the release date beyond 2020.

In recent comments to Famitsu, Tomizawa noted that development has picked up in recent months, with the team recovering from the work delay caused by the pandemic. The producer notes that more specific information will be coming soon, stating that Tales of Arise is going to be a title that fans around the entire world will be extremely proud of.

Tales of Arise development in the final stages [Gematsu / Ryokutya2089]

Tales of Arise is nearing the end of its development cycle screenshot



Monster Hunter Rise brings the hammer down with latest weapons trailers

Capcom is keeping the beat(down) rolling with two more weapon trailers for its upcoming Nintendo Switch release Monster Hunter Rise. Having given us a look at the finesse of the Dual Blades, the poking power of the Lance, and the long-range firepower of the Bowgun, it's time to get down and dirty with the head-pounding Hammer, and the battle-tested Sword and Shield.

More so than any other weapon in Monster Hunter Rise, Hammer-wielders are all about blunt force power, dropping devastating and highly damaging blows on their prey's bonces with reckless abandon. Almost entirely lacking in artistry and agility, the Hammer is a relentless, no-questions-asked full-frontal assault on the opposition. Please hunter, don't hurt 'em.

Monster Hunter Rise brings the hammer down with latest weapons trailers screenshot

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Overwatch 2 will allegedly show at BlizzCon Online, hopefully we'll get actual info on it

Amid a recap of a "crazy 2020," as Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan calls it, is a kernel of info on Overwatch 2. Or rather, a later date in which we'll actually hear more about it.

In addition to Diablo IV, Overwatch 2 will also be making an appearance at BlizzCon Online in February. "We will be talking about [Overwatch 2] more in February with BlizzCon Online coming up," he notes in the below video at roughly the 30-second mark.

We still don't know much about this game beyond the initial cinematic reveal in November of 2019. Oddly, it seems like it's a pseudo-expansion of the original Overwatch with new PVP maps and a bonafide PVE component, but a lot of players are confused about what the phrase "redefining what a sequel means" actually entails. We could speculate all day, but near the end of the video (5:30) Kaplan manages expectations again, noting "we still have a ways to go."

Overwatch is still seemingly doing well, and overarching development is spilling over into both games it seems. Kaplan says that in their efforts to ramp up production, they hired a "really amazing level designer named Morton," who created a new map called Kanezaka. The team decided to bring it into full production right away, with Easter eggs and "lore payoff" (heavily focusing around Genji and Hanzo). It even has a cat cafe!

Kanezaka will be out this month on the PTR (public test realm), and fully out in January 2021.

Overwatch 2 will allegedly show at BlizzCon Online, hopefully we'll get actual info on it screenshot

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I can't stop thinking about Gnosia

Unlike with most of the past Nintendo presentations, this week's Indie World showcase really didn't have a lot for me. I'm moderately interested in Among Us and I guess I should probably get around to playing Spelunky, but really, only one game from that show spoke to me and I can't get it out of my head: Gnosia.

The game originally released for the PlayStation Vita in Japan and earned a certain level of notability when it scored a 10/10 from IGN Japan. It plays out like an intergalactic game of Werewolf. Gnosia aboard a drifting spaceship are replicating humans, and you have to deduce which of your fellow passengers isn't who they say they are. Each round is relatively short, and once you've won or lost, the story resets with a revolving set of characters and shuffled roles. As you repeatedly loop through the story, more of its mysteries will be revealed.

I can't stop thinking about Gnosia screenshot

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Nintendo Download: Super Meat Boy Forever

There's a few third-party releases left in the eShop!

Super Meat Boy Forever just got a release date recently, and thankfully, the Switch will join the PC with a December 23 launch. Beyond that, it's a very low key week for the Nintendo eShop, with mostly indies, and a Switch port of Grindstone, which earned the respect of many Apple Arcade users in late 2019.

Also buried in this sea of mid-December releases is Turrican Flashback, which had a big re-announcement party recently. Also available on PS4, this collection reassembles Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican, and Super Turrican under one roof. Given that so many people have forgotten about this series, it warms my heart to see it make headlines again.

And don't forget Calico, the cute indie release announced during yesterday's stream, as well as the Switch port of Among Us, which was confirmed later to support cross-play.

Nintendo Download: Super Meat Boy Forever screenshot

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Multiple mobile games pulled in $1 billion in revenue this year

2020 was some year for mobile gaming. While the pocket-sized platform has always been a lucrative prospect for developers and publishers, this year has seen a staggering amount of money spent on mobile games and their respective microtransactions.

As noted by the statisticians over at Sensor Tower, five particular titles raked over one billion dollars each in total revenue. Tencent's PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings amassed a bewildering $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion respectively, while Niantic's Pokemon GO continued its steady success, raking in $1.2 billion in revenue over the course of the year. Bringing up the rear are kids' favourite Roblox and the super-popular Coin Master, both of which scored around the $1.1 billion mark.

While all of the above titles have proven to be popular and highly successful releases in their own right, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly bolstered each titles' bank balance, as global lockdown legislation kept people across the world indoors and on their mobile platforms. In all, the mobile market increased profitability by 19.5%, and while experts suggest 2021 will see a slight decline in mobile spending - assuming with all hope that the world starts to return to more precedented times - publishers are very unlikely to turn away from the mobile market anytime soon, ever again in fact.

PUBG mobile tops list of billion-dollar mobile games [Sensor Tower / GamesIndustry.biz]

Multiple mobile games pulled in $1 billion in revenue this year screenshot



Developers can no longer scum eShop charts with free games

This story requires a bit of background, so let's get into it.

A few months back, a number of indie developers called out the state of the Nintendo Switch eShop for myriad reasons. Stating that it was falling into a collective state of mobile-like chaos, these studios shed some light on some of the storefront's shortcomings, as well as the art of chart-scumming.

In short, studios who place their games at 80-100% off had a chance to reach the "top-seller" charts, as the store ranks games by raw units sold. In other words, you could completely dominate the charts with abandonware by cycling games in and out for free. Why am I bringing all this up again? Well, you can't do that anymore!

According to game developer-centric newsletter GameDiscoverCo (which Destructoid has since gained access to), that practice is now dead: at least for "100% off" promotions. As the letter points out, other discounts still work, so you can still game the charts with other percentages. Like all things Nintendo, it's a start. It's baby steps toward a much bigger problem. GameDiscoverCo argues that a longer-term solution would be to change the charts to rank revenue in real-time, just like Steam.

As the newsletter notes, nothing was made public: that's how Nintendo rolls sometimes.

Newsletter [GameDiscoverCo via MCV]

Developers can no longer scum eShop charts with free games screenshot



All I want for Christmas is Fire Emblem Heroes' Santa Bernadetta

Nintendo has released the latest update for its mobile battler, Fire Emblem Heroes. In keeping with the spirit of these festive times, the newest in an endless line of in-game events sees a quartet of warriors don their Holiday finery to celebrate Chrimbo is style. 'Tis the season, after all.

Joining the Orb-greedy pull pipe from today are Path of Radiance's Sephiran, Three Houses' Hilda, and a new Harmonized Hero in the form of Radiant Dawn's Altina and her daughter, Path of Radiance's Sanaki - all of whom are rocking their best Santa Claus duds. Best of all is Three Houses' Bernadetta, who has single-handedly made me believe in the spirit of Christmas with her baffling new "log cabin winter storm" attack. Bless her heart.

All I want for Christmas is Fire Emblem Heroes' Santa Bernadetta screenshot

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