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343iBot last won the day on August 12 2021

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  1. I remember, quite vividly, when Halo first came out--though I suspect it might be for an entirely different reason than you. Prior to the release of Halo: Combat Evolved, I had the luxury of never once considering how my gender impacted my favorite hobby, which is both beautiful and hilarious in retrospect. I, quite simply, played video games. That's how it should be, right? I played everything from Harvest Moon and Banjo-Kazooie to MediEvil and Diablo. I longed more than anything to be like Tifa Lockhart and Lara Croft and slept in Pokemon pajamas under a Pokemon comforter in my Pokemon-themed room. As far as I was concerned, I loved video games not just as much as the next person, but even more so. However, around the time Halo came out was also when I learned there was a secret gaming hierarchy--and my position on it was significantly lower than I would have presumed. Though Halo wasn't the first "boy" video game, it was the first game that made me feel like a girl, which quickly became synonymous with "outsider." There was a shift in how my male friends spoke to me, as well as each other. A shift that, while perhaps mostly due to puberty, felt exacerbated due to the rise of the shooter genre. And after I grew tired of attempting to find the correct level of femininity--the proper way to present myself in order to be one of the guys while also being wanted by the guys--I decided the best way to navigate life was to simply resent the genre, along with any others that prided themselves on their gunplay, top-of-the-line graphics, or difficulty. After all, if you can't join them, beat them. Over time, it became incredibly easy for me to criticize games I knew only by name as shallow, devoid of emotion, and all style over substance purely because they were masculine. How did I know they were masculine? You can thank marketing for that. While it might have taken me some time to understand society had gendered video games, I was already well aware that the girls' aisle--the section I was meant to shop in--was pink. I knew that good girls played house, brushed hair, and imagined what their future husband might look like. And even if I, at times, resented being made to feel like I had to have those interests, I partook in the feminine rituals with some delight, hoping my Mr. Right might look a bit like Link or perhaps even Zelda. The boys' aisle, in contrast, was camo--hard to see but impossible to miss. It was filled with machines and weapons, complex devices that got things done and would mold complex men who got things done. The advertisements and box art for "masculine" games resembled the boys' aisle, with action figure-like men caked in dirt and sweat standing front and center. They were the ones doing things, while the women in these games waited for things to be done unto them--to be saved, kissed, or inspired to achieve greatness. Men killed aliens, women were alienated. Nintendo games and RPGs, particularly JRPGs, felt like neutral ground--a place where women almost felt equal both within the games and communities, even if the women who played these titles were oftentimes pushed to develop what you might refer to as a "pick-me" mentality. And I get that mentality; I've been there myself. It develops as a result of the constant praise you receive for not being "like other girls." This, of course, makes you feel special... until you realize not only is it often nice to be like other girls, you are like other girls--these girls just don't feel comfortable sharing these parts of themselves. Even as I grew older and began to care less about societal constructs while the games industry simultaneously made greater strides towards inclusion, this mental block regarding male-marketed games remained firmly in place. Until I played Mass Effect. Mass Effect's Commander ShepardThe first I heard of the series was while watching my boyfriend play it in college. I took one look at it and quickly dismissed it as a sort of Halo clone, which is hilarious in retrospect. However, my boyfriend insisted it was different. The first two times I tried Mass Effect, I set the controller down and scoffed. The third time, however, I got past Chora's Den and shortly after, something in me clicked. I beat Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 in about four days. I blew up an air mattress in front of my TV and was filled with glee each time an Achievement popped on my off-white Xbox 360. I was blown away by the characters, the combat, the stakes, the romance--I was a kid in a candy store, shoveling sugar into my mouth in disbelief that I had ever deprived myself of the substance. I fell head over heels for a seven-foot-tall dinosaur-like man who was, essentially, Batman in space--though, god, was Thane tempting too. However, beyond being enamored by these characters, I was enamored by these games. And I began to think maybe, just maybe, there might be something more to these "boy" games. So I played Skyrim. The Witcher. BioShock. Assassin's Creed. Resident Evil. God of War. Borderlands. Uncharted. Halo. Devil May Cry. Bloodborne. And, perhaps my favorite of the lot, I played Metal Gear Solid. Despite their appearances--and elements I'd be remiss to give a pass--all of these series had some beauty to them, and shocked me with how they defied my preconceived notions. In most of the above games, there is romance and moments of tenderness. Despite being "high-octane," there are moments of reflection and isolation. For being violent power fantasties, I found that in many instances, I had no control. I had to sacrifice, survive, and rely on others more often than not. In fact, in games like Gears of War and most multiplayer titles, companionship and teamwork are essential, and the rush of working together to succeed is unparalleled. Sure, not all of these games need to be perceived that deeply, but for those of us who elect to, there's a lot of magic to be found. Metal Gear Solid in particular shocked me, as the camo-clad hero Solid Snake led me to believe the game championed war, while discourse about the series' female characters left me rolling my eyes. However, Metal Gear Solid is an incredibly tender series. At its core, the games are pacifistic and inquisitive. They also establish that true patriotism--true heroism--is when you are dedicated to people, not institutions. They touch on the idea of determinism and rising above what was intended for you, and examine love--most notably whether it can bloom on a battlefield. Even the series' silly movie references come from a very sincere and emotional place. Don't get me wrong, I still think there is very valid criticism to make about these games, but there is also an abundance of good to be found. Metal Gear Solid's Solid SnakeNearly all games cater to our fantasies--particularly those fantasies associated with power. But I've come to realize so many of the games we label as "feminine" often offer players a great deal of power, choice, and control. And, interestingly enough, the games we consider "masculine" often focus on the opposite: self-sacrifice, teamwork, and connection. At first, this realization seems shocking, but it very quickly makes sense: These are concepts each group is often deprived of, despite every living person, regardless of their gender identity, craving them. It's safe to say that, much like in real life, the way we perceive the gendering of video games is a construct, manufactured through marketing and socialization. For years, so much time and effort was spent perpetuating the idea that boys liked Video Games™ and girls, well, they liked Animal Crossing. Or Farmville. Or something else with pastel colors, doe-eyed characters, and little physical strain. Something we could easily dismiss as lesser, regardless of the amount of work developers put into making them, the amount of joy they brought audiences, or the individual meaning players got out of them. But in both instances, the outer layers of these are often a facade in order to be more palatable--to allow these games to act as a vehicle that delivers these deeper messages and fulfill subliminal desires. In life sims and dating games, I can be the perfect woman and have it all. I can explore my sexuality and express feelings without worrying how others might perceive me. I can control how I am treated and the behavior I accept. In these games, we are given the space to shape our environments to make ourselves feel welcome and carve out our own space--to add some beauty to the world. And I firmly believe everyone would benefit from playing them. But similarly, I think we all would benefit from playing "masculine" games, too. The recurring idea of forging connections as a means of survival found in "masculine" games is universal and apt. After all, as the world grows more worrisome, and we, more weary, many of us find it is our bonds to others that keep us going. There is also something particularly inspiring about how these games celebrate resilience and boldly proclaim that one person can make a difference. While there may be some issues in regards to how these games deliver these messages--with the heroism at times misguided and the representation lacking--the attempts these games make, and the emotions they inspire, are largely genuine. The presentation of these games is meant to hit a target demographic--but they don't have to be limited to that. We can embrace things that we might think are not meant for us in an effort to learn and find meaning--even when we've been convinced by ourselves and others that there is no meaning for us to find. We can play these games and seek to understand people, places, and ideas we might not otherwise be exposed to. The world is filled with so much to be fascinated by to be restrained by gender or arbitrary binaries. And if you get anything from this piece, I hope you know you have the freedom to explore it all. View the full article
  2. Someone has broken their NDA, as evident by an hour-long Hyenas gameplay footage uploaded to YouTube. It's likely from Hyenas' July alpha and is splashed with watermarks all over the screen. The leak first begins with a tutorial section, a guide that includes how to heal and revive downed teammates and how to hold the "getaway zone." The character menu also shows that each Hyena comes with a primary and secondary weapon--and some of them look unique to each individual character. Hyenas was first announced on June 22 and is a collaboration between Sega and Creative Assembly. Its gameplay skews towards battle royale PvP with PvE elements. In a single match, there are five crews with three "hyenas" each competing for merch. Win conditions are filling your merch quota--whether through finding it or ambushing other crews for the merch they have--and escaping with it. Once a team's quota has been met, they need to protect it until the teleportation zone is available to use. Hyenas looks to be a very colorful game, and the tutorial's narrator is very, hm, bombastic in tone as well. For those looking to try the game--you can still sign-up for the Alpha, as the application form on the Hyenas website is still open. View the full article
  3. Thymesia, a challenging new soulslike, is available at a discounted price for the next few days. If you’re planning to pick up ths action-RPG, you’ll want to take a closer look at Fanatical’s promotion, which is listing the game for $19.49 and giving you a 5 percent off voucher for your next purchase. You’ll also get a second voucher as part of the ongoing Summer Sale, which is worth up to $50. Thymesia is regularly $25, so this is a pretty good deal. Buy Thymesia at Fanatical Fanatical is offering Thymesia as a Steam key, making this an easy way to add another great title to your ever-growing library. You’ll also find the game available directly on Steam, although it’s only discounted to $22.49--and doesn’t come with any of the additional vouchers found through Fanatical. Thymesia launched today (August 18), and the game is already impressing players with its great combat system that makes meaningful changes to the usual soulslike gameplay. For example, you can make use of a unique raven form while fighting to pelt enemies with daggers, interrupt their attacks, and swiftly move around the battlefield to improve your positioning. The story is just as bleak as you’d expect for the genre, with you stepping into the shoes of Corvus, a character that’s trying to save the kingdom by collecting fragmented memories and unraveling the truth about its collapse. Our Thymesia review gave the game an 8/10, noting its intense combat and a unique talent system that lets you change your play style on the fly. “Thymesia, a 3D action game that draws heavy influence from some specific From titles, manages to strike that balance successfully, creating a Souls-like that taps into the same rewarding moments provided by its biggest inspirations,” wrote critic Phil Hornshaw. “The game's fast combat works exceedingly well, finding the same tough-but-rewarding cadence of both Sekiro and Bloodborne.” View the full article
  4. Ahead of Destiny 2's Season 18 launch next week, Bungie gave players a preview of seasonal Artifact mods they can apply to their gear. With Arc 3.0 arriving with the new season, the news post discussed ways these mods will be compatible with the new subclass upgrades. "We’ve got a lot of love for Machine Guns, and with the weapon meta featuring them heavily with the new Season", the TWAB post says. It explains how the quick-paced Arc 3.0 meant including mods such as Holster, Scavenger, and Loader available earlier in the seasonal Artifact. Players will also see new mods such as Bad Amplitude, Hype Train Conductor, and Trace Evidence that work with the new Arc abilities--the mod description will make more sense after seeing the Arc 3.0 Aspects and Fragments. The entire list of Season 18 Artifact mods includes: First row for the Arms: Overload BowsUnstoppable Pulse RiflesAnti-Barrier Scout RiflesAnti-Barrier Auto RiflesUnstoppable ShotgunsSecond row after two perks: Scout Rifle Loader for ArmsSword Ammo Scavenger for LegsMachine Gun Holster for LegsScout and Sniper Targeting for HelmetBottomless Bounty 1 for Helmet: This improves two Origin traits.Third row after four perks: Glaive Loader for ArmsFocusing Strike for Arms: Dealing damage with the melee ability gives class ability energy.Combo Arc + Solar Resist for ChestMachine Gun Ammo Scavenger for LegsBottomless Bounty 2 for Helmet: This improves two Origin traits.Fourth row after eight perks: Overload LMG for Arms: The TWAB explains, "Uninterrupted fire from equipped Machine Guns will stun enemies with a beam that delays energy regeneration and reduces enemy damage output. Strong against Overload Champions."Anti-Barrier Snipers for ArmsBad Amplitude for Class item: Dealing damage to a Champion with Arc abilities causes that Champion to become jolted.Surge Detectors for Class itemInferno Whip for Class itemFifth and final row for the Class item after 10 perks: Thunderous Retort: While critical or amplified, Arc Supers will deal more damage.Hype Train Conductor: This stacks +2 seconds to the amplified timer.Trace Evidence: Landing precision shots on Arc debuffed enemies generate Ionic Traces.Lightning Strikes TwiceSundering GlareBungie's cosmic Twitch Drop emblem called Starbirth.Along with the new seasonal story, mods, and subclass changes coming next week on August 23, Bungie's Destiny 2 showcase is set for that day, too. Besides getting a downpour of information, players can also obtain a new free cosmic Starbirth emblem by watching the live showcase on Twitch. To get the emblem, log in to your Bungie profile and connect your Twitch account. You'll need to tune into at least 30 minutes of the stream to get this Twitch drop. Meanwhile, check out everything we know so far about the upcoming Season 18 changes. Also, head to the H.E.L.M. for Season of the Haunted's final story bit and reward if you haven't already. View the full article
  5. At QuakeCon, Arkane Austin shared new details and footage about the upcoming open world, co-op vampire slaying game Redfall. The video contrasts concept art, development footage, and gameplay with commentary panel featuring Redfall's lead creative staff. Studio director Harvey Smith begins the video by claiming that Redfall is an expansion of the Arkane studio signature style into co-op and open world modes, though the video emphasizes that people who wish to play alone will be well served. Redfall aspires to have a lived-in feel, with patrol routes that change with day-night cycles, weather systems including fog and rain, and randomized spawn points. Art director Karen Segars emphasizes the game's spooky, rather than horrific, tone. "There's no jump scares..." she says, "but there is still that edge, there could be anything right around the corner." Players can even encounter odd cultic structures or vampiric pocket dimensions, giving a strange bent to the game's mundane setting. As for plot, Redfall is a bombastic, science fiction take on Salem's Lot. It starts with a tech start-up, Aevum Laboratories, buying property in the titular town and doing research into life extension. They eventually turn themselves into vampires. With this otherworldly extension of their worldly power, they take over the town. To free Redfall, players will face vampire gods and underbosses, "bootlicking cultists," and other supernatural creatures. Players will be able to choose from four heroes, shown off in previous marketing material. The video emphasizes two of the four heroes: Jacob Boyer can turn invisible and specializes in long-range weapons like sniper rifles. Devinder Crousely uses various gadgets and area-of-effects abilities as a means of fighting back the vampiric hordes. Each character has a unique skill tree and aren't easily mappable to pre-set roles like "tank" or "healer." If you are playing co-op, many abilities provide useable benefits for your allies as well. Weapons come in a range of high tech security rifles to homemade stake-launchers to passed-down family heirlooms. You can also petrify vampires with UV light and append stakes to regular weapons like a bayonet. Back in 2021, Redfall was announced with a cinematic trailer and a 2022 release date. The game, along with Starfall, was delayed until 2023. If you are looking for more information about the upcoming title, check out Jordan Ramée's interview with the devs and learn everything we know about the co-op shooter we know thus far. View the full article
  6. Apex Legends' monthly Prime Gaming loot drop arrived today, unveiling a trio of cosmetics for Season 14's debut legend, Vantage. The loot drop is only available to Prime Gaming subscribers with an active subscription who have connected their EA and Prime Gaming accounts. August's Apex Legends Prime Gaming loot drop contains the following cosmetics: Troop Leader Vantage character skin (Epic)All Patched Up Vantage banner frame (Rare)Overachiever Flatline weapon skin (Rare)The cosmetics all share a scouting theme, featuring achievement patches similar to those earned by Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts for completing various challenges, many of which revolve around survival skills. Given the fact that Vantage's official character description is "Survivalist Sniper," it's no surprise her Prime Loot bundle was designed with an outdoorsy theme in mind. While many of the patches on Vantage's Troop Leader skin reflect skills taught in real-life scouting organizations--like bonfire-building, first-aid skills, campsite set-up, compass navigation, and plant identification--there are several unique badges you will only ever see in the Outlands. These include a patch depicting a golden crown (generally indicative of finishing an Apex match as the champion or kill leader) and a patch featuring what appears to be the silhouette of a Leviathan. Leviathans are the gentle giants lurking in the waters surrounding Kings Canyon, and the Habitat 4 Arenas map is set right in the middle of their nesting ground. Vantage seems to know everything there is to know about Outlands wildlife, and is known for frequently imparting animal-related trivia mid-match. Interestingly, her childhood diary (penned at age 13, five years prior to her joining the Apex Games) mentions she hoped to one day kill and eat a Leviathan. One can't help but wonder exactly what kind of challenge she completed to earn that Leviathan badge. August's Prime Gaming loot drop won't be around forever, so make sure you snag Vantage's cosmetics bundle before it disappears next month. If you don't already have a Prime Gaming subscription but still want to get your hands on this month's cosmetics, try out a 30-day free Amazon Prime trial, which will give you Prime Gaming benefits (including access to monthly loot drops) until the trial period ends. Apex Legends is free to play on console and PC. A mobile version of the game, Apex Legends Mobile, is available for download on Android and iOS devices. View the full article
  7. Cursed to Golf is the latest roguelike on the market, but instead of arming you with swords and spells, you have a trio of clubs and a deck of cards. If you’re looking to play this quirky and delightful new game on PC, the best deal available right now is at Fanatical , which is offering the game for $18 along with a free 5 percent off voucher for your next purchase. See at FanaticalSince the Fanatical Summer Sale is still running, you’ll also be eligible for a second voucher that’s worth up to $40. This deal is exclusive to the PC version of Cursed to Golf, and Fanatical is offering the game as a Steam key. You’ll also find the game listed directly on Steam for the same price, although it’s lacking the two vouchers mentioned above. If you’re not playing on PC, you’ll have to pay the full $20 price on the Xbox Store, PSN, or Switch eShop. Cursed to Golf is a charming roguelike that sees you playing as the Cursed Golfer--an unfortunate character that’s been trapped in Golf Purgatory. You’ll need to fight your way out by playing through an ultra-challenging 18-hole course. If you fail to complete a hole at par or better, you go back to the beginning. Luckily, you have Ace Cards up your sleeve that help you conquer the sprawling levels. It’s not an easy game, but our Cursed to Golf review gave it a 9/10 for clever and compelling mechanics, intricately designed levels, and friendly roguelike systems. “Every aspect of Cursed to Golf comes together to form a truly special and unique game,” wrote critic Steven Petite. “With its simple hook, brilliantly designed levels, huge suite of dynamic abilities, and a finely balanced roguelike structure, Cursed to Golf is a constant delight.” If you’re looking for another great roguelike, consider checking out Cult of the Lamb, which is also on sale over at Fanatical. View the full article
  8. The first patch for Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered for PC is out now, bringing multiple fixes and improvements to the action game. A second, more substantial patch is coming later. The August 18 patch for Spider-Man fixes crashes related to ray-tracing and adds visual improvements to HBAO+. The update also fixes visual glitches and improvements stability. What's more, the patch addresses an issue that could cause the game to freeze during cutscenes. Insomniac and Nixxes also provided a list of known issues, including ray-tracing options not being available, despite players having supported hardware. The studios are also continuing to look into problems related to the Spider-Hack mission, along with an issue preventing players from taking a picture of the Empire State Building. This is just the first patch for Spider-Man Remastered on PC. Insomniac and Nixxes are already at work on the next patch, which the team said will be "more substantial" than the first. It will have "bug fixes, improvements, and additional features" based on feedback from fans. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is headed to PC in the fall, as part of PlayStation's wider push to release more games on PC to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Spider-Man Remastered PC August 18 Patch NotesRelease Notes Fixed various ray-tracing related crashes.Improved Windows version check, to prevent false positives.Visual improvements to HBAO+.Fixed the issue where ray-traced reflections in stainless steel were rendered distorted.Various visual improvements to NVIDIA DLSS.Fixed an issue that could freeze the game if the player would switch between graphics presets during cut-scenes.Fixed an issue where the Side Mission popups would be stretched when playing in a widescreen resolution.Improvements related to stability issues when using Alt-Tab.Fixed various visual glitches.Known Issues Ray-tracing options may be unavailable in the menu, even with compatible hardware. Ray-tracing is disabled when hardware or drivers are not compatible, or when the DirectX 12 Agility SDK is not functional. We have seen some reports of users that indicate this SDK is not working for them. We are investigating this issue.Some players cannot progress during the Spider-Hack Mission. This is a frame rate related bug that only occurs when well above 60 FPS. While we work on a fix, we have a workaround in place. Restart the latest checkpoint, go to the Graphics Menu, set the game to Exclusive Fullscreen and the Refresh Rate to 60Hz. You should now be able to progress. Afterwards you can switch back to your preferred settings.Some players cannot take a picture of the Empire State Building. Some players have reported being unable to take a photo of the Empire State Building, blocking progression. So far, we have only been able to reproduce this on Intel GPUs. Intel is investigating this issue.View the full article
  9. Call of Duty Season 5 is titled Last Stand, and the content will launch on August 25. Activision confirms Last Stand is the final season for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific, and the roadmap includes Warzone events themed around Caldera's volcano and details the final Zombies map. New battle pass, operators, and weaponsAs expected, Season 5 will include a brand-new battle pass to level for Vanguard and Warzone. Five new weapons are also being added. The EX1 prototype energy rifle and the RA 225 submachine gun will be within the battle pass tiers, and three additional weapons will arrive later in the season. Vanguard is stepping further away from a grounded World War 2 setting in this final season, as Last Stand will introduce operator bundles for classic antagonists from past games. Black Ops 2's Raul Menendez, Khaled Al-Asad from 2007's Modern Warfare, Gabriel T. Rorke from Call of Duty: Ghosts, and He 'Seraph' Zhen-Zhen from the Black Ops series are all set to arrive sometime during Season 5. Season 5 roadmap for Vanguard and WarzoneWarzoneNew LTM and seasonal eventCall of Duty's returning villains are sabotaging Caldera, which is the storyline that themes the upcoming LTM and special event tied into this final season. Arriving with the launch of Season 5, the Operation: Last Call is a limited-time mode for the Caldera map. Activision says the LTM inspired by multiplayer's Search and Destroy mode, and players can choose to defend Caldera by defusing bombs around the island, or sabotage it by detonating the explosives at designated bomb sites. The seasonal event is a community effort called Heroes vs. Villains, where players must choose their side and lead them to victory. Players will collect Villain or Hero Tokens in all game modes by eliminating opponents and scavenging supply boxes. The winning team's unique weapon blueprint will be given to everyone following the event. Players will also have the chance to earn other exclusive rewards like an animated calling card, weapon charm, melee weapon blueprint, a watch, and more. Caldera's PeakPOI changes and new Gulag for CalderaCaldera's Peak is on the brink of eruption, creating landscape changes in and around the point of interest. Players will need to avoid the lava flowing and watch for molten rocks shooting down from the volcano. The Gulag is finally getting a new design. This is described as a new volcanic-themed Gulag inspired by an old favorite. Based on the one image shared by Activision, it's possible this is a reskin of the original Gulag Showers from Verdansk. New featuresSeason 5 will also add a few new features to spice things up on Caldera with Doomsday Stations, Rage Serum, and new ways to call in a UAV. The new Doomsday Station will be a seismic device found only within Caldera's primary game mode. Triggering the device will cause enemy helicopters to surround the station, deploying soldiers to attack the area. Defending the Doomsday Station will reward powerful items for the match. However, only one Doomsday Station will appear per match, and players will also need $10,000 to activate it. The Supply Box UAV Killstreak will give players a way to track down loot. It will mark nearby unopened supply boxes on the player's Tac Map for around 15 seconds. The Supply Box UAV Killstreak will be found in supply boxes or for purchase at a Buy Station. Personal Supply Boxes will let players grab their loadout and get an XP boost, but these new boxes are extremely rare. Rage Serum is a new field upgrade for Caldera, which allows players to become violently unstable, resulting in a viciously effective boost to close-quarters fighting. This includes buffed melee damage, increased lunge distance, and enhanced stun power while fighting with melee weapons or fists. However, those using Rage Serum will become louder and has more of a negative reaction while stunned or flashed. Vanguard MP and ZombiesVanguard's final season includes two new maps. Beheaded is a map arriving at launch, which is described as a small, war-torn Times Square setting built for fast action. Fortress will be the final map arriving later in the season, which is a medium-sized Mediterranean map featuring close-quarters interiors with rooftop access. Zombies will conclude the Dark Aether storyline with The Archon, which is a brand-new round-based map set in the Dark Aether. Activision says Treyarch will reveal details about the map and main quest at a later date. Though the bundles haven't been detailed yet, Activision's blog post seemed to vaguely confirm the previously leaked operator skins for Hazel and Cha-Cha from Netflix's Umbrella Academy. More details on the collaboration will likely come closer to launch. View the full article
  10. The wait is almost over--Splatoon 3 is set to release for Nintendo Switch on September 9. If you know you’ll be picking up a copy on day one, consider checking out this new preorder deal from SuperShop that lets you snag the game for just $49 when using promo code GSNSPTN. See at SuperShop This deal applies to the physical version of Splatoon 3. Free shipping is included with your purchase, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The promo code will remain active until September 15, so you can wait for reviews to pour in before making a decision. But considering the game hasn’t even launched yet, saving $11 is a solid deal. In fact, this is the only preorder deal for Splatoon 3 we've seen so far. Splatoon 3 continues the ink-blasting chaos of the first two installments. You’ll venture across the Splatlands and fight against a variety of new enemies in the solo campaign, or you can dive into chaotic multiplayer matches that see you inking up the opposition. The cooperative Salmon Run mode is also returning, so this will be the most expansive and well-rounded entry in the series yet at launch. To get the most out of Splatoon 3, you’ll want a Switch Online membership. This will give you access to its various multiplayer modes. Your best bet is to snag a full year membership for $20, which offers the most bang for your buck. Also, don't forget that Nintendo is releasing a special-edition Switch OLED with a Splatoon 3 theme, a Pro controller, and a carrying case. While they aren't available to preorder, you should bookmark our guide with the retailer listings. View the full article
  11. To celebrate the start of QuakeCon 2022, a slew of classic Bethesda and id Software titles have been added to the PC version of Xbox's Game Pass subscription service. Iconic id Software shooters like Wolfenstein 3D, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and the Raven Software-developed Quake 4 have all been added to the service. For Elder Scrolls fans, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard and An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire have also been added. In addition to the titles above landing on PC Game Pass, a number of additional games are now entirely free to download via the Microsoft store. Those games include The Elder Scrolls: Arena, The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, and the already free-to-play Quake Champions. Game Pass subscribers can unlock all of Quake Champions playable, uh, champions, via a new Game Pass Perk. Many of these titles, especially the classic Elder Scrolls games, have been free before, with many having been previously given out via Bethesda's now-defunct launcher. Given the PC-focused nature of QuakeCon, it makes sense that these announcements revolve around the PC side of Microsoft's games business. However, Quake 4 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, in particular, would be great additions to the console version of Game Pass as well, as Quake 4 released as an Xbox 360 launch title and Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a fan-favorite on the original Xbox. If none of the free game offerings are to your liking, Bethesda is also hosting a huge QuakeCon sale, with steep discounts on games like Deathloop, Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and more. As for what to expect from QuakeCon, the show is once again virtual-only this year, with Bethesda stating it is committed to hosting an in-person event for QuakeCon 2023. This year's show will include new glimpses at Redfall, a look at what's next for Fallout 76, panels on how to build a gaming PC, and various competitions. View the full article
  12. This week's Nintendo eShop has a couple of charming indie additions, including Cursed to Golf, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, We are OFK, but otherwise--there's no big, shiny titles in the new roster. Cursed to Golf is a combination of golfing and the roguelike genre, an intriguing premise. You play as a golfer trapped in golf purgatory, and in order to resurrect, need to play across 18 dungeon-like levels without dying. In GameSpot's Cursed to Golf review, Steven Petite rated it a 9/10. "Every aspect of Cursed to Golf comes together to form a truly special and unique game," Petite said. "With its simple hook, brilliantly designed levels, huge suite of dynamic abilities, and a finely balanced roguelike structure, Cursed to Golf is a constant delight." We are OFK is an "interactive narrative" and follows five friends trying to make it in the LA music scene. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, is another indie title, with a unique hand-drawn art style. In it, you play as a young boy exploring the RPG he created in his handwritten journal. Zelda-like Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince follows protagonist Lily as she tries to defeat the Minotaur King. For a limited time, Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members can also try Pokken Tournament DX--the Pokemon fighting game--for free. The free trial lasts until August 24, and if players are interested in purchasing, Pokken Tournament DX will be discounted 30% off until August 31. Available Now, August 18ALUMNI – Escape Room AdventureAmazing Pets BundleArcade Archives GUN & FRONTIERBreak thru the wallBlossom Tales II: The Minotaur PrinceCar Racing Highway Driving Simulator, real parking driver sim speed traffic deluxe 2022ChameneonCyber Protocol PrologueDyna Bomb 2EXTREME BIKE XFashion GirlsHero WheelsHobo: Tough LifeHome Deco PuzzlesHot Sento Girls and loveIrresistible MistakesJapanese Escape Games The Fortress PrisonKartoon Racing: Singleplayer Multiplayer RacingKnight’s Castle – Medieval Minigames for Toddlers and KidsLight Fairytale Episode 2Litguy AdventureMarmosetMy Divorce StoryPretty Girls Four Kings SolitairePunchMan OnlineSecrets of Magic 5: Back to SchoolShadowverse: Champion's Battle Legendary EditionSlaycation ParadiseSuper Glow PuzzleThe Room TwoThymesia – Cloud VersionTreehouse RiddleViki Spotter: SchoolWe Are OFKZumba GardenAvailable August 19Arenas Of TanksPROJECT : KNIGHT 2 Dusk of SoulsStrike Buster PrototypeSweet Bakery Tycoon Extended EditionAvailable August 23Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?Yars: RechargedRITEAvailable August 24Blob QuestIsletsKid Ball AdventureView the full article
  13. Seasons, live events, paid cosmetics, and a battle pass are all coming to Diablo IV, and will not in any way be pay-to-win, Blizzard has confirmed. The news comes in Blizzard's latest Diablo IV quarterly update, where the developer dives deep into its post-launch plans for Diablo IV and attempts to assuage players' fears over microtransactions. Diablo IV's seasons are modeled after seasons in Diablo III, and will regularly introduce new content and gameplay features to keep the experience fresh. Game director Joe Shely states in the blog that the game's first season will begin shortly after launch, with the team aiming to bring "up to four seasons a year" to Diablo IV, with each new season including "major new features, questlines, enemies, legendary items, and more." To play as part of a season, players will create a new seasonal character from scratch, and from there will level up, hunt down items for their build, and experience newly-added seasonal content. As associate game director Joe Piepiora explains in the blog, seasons are about introducing new ways to play and changing the game in "meaningful ways." "We feel it [Diablo] is at its best when you get a clean slate to start from in a season, picking a class, customizing your build, and chasing down items that support it along the way," Piepiora writes in the blog. "This affords us several advantages and chief among them is that we can really shake the box of Diablo IV with each season, creating unique experiences with each of our quarterly releases." When diving into a new season, Piepiora writes players should begin to experience the new gameplay features "within the first hour of play," and that Seasons will be an opportunity to reveal more of the world of Sanctuary through seasonal questlines which will "introduce new characters or revisit old ones." Seasons will also afford Blizzard a chance to continue improving the core Diablo IV experience based on feedback and make changes to the game's meta. In addition to seasons, Diablo IV will receive limited-time live events, which will appear throughout each season and offer "new adventures and unique rewards." Going hand-in-hand with Diablo IV's seasons is the game's seasonal battle pass. Given the reaction to the free-to-play Diablo Immortal, which also offers a seasonal battle pass that rewards various pieces of gear, gems, and crafting materials for spending money, some fans of the franchise have been concerned that a similar system could appear in Diablo IV. Blizzard makes clear in this quarterly update that won't be the case, emphasizing multiple times that there will be no way to pay for power in Diablo IV. Diablo IV will offer various cosmetics through an in-game shop and a season pass that will include both free and paid reward tracks, with a goal of adding "value to players' experience of the game," according to Kegan Clark, director of product for Diablo IV. "The scale of Diablo IV seasons is much more ambitious than what we've done in the past on Diablo III, with a large development team dedicated to seasons after launch," Clark writes. "Diablo IV will be supported by an army of developers for years to come. With all the exciting plans we have for seasons, we want them to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of whether they buy anything from the shop." Gallery Diablo IV's season pass is progressed through playing, leveling up, and completing Season Journey-objectives. The free reward track "will provide gameplay boosts to all players--things which make the journey of leveling up a fresh seasonal character faster and more streamlined," Clark writes. The Paid reward track will be "focused on aesthetics," offering cosmetic skins tailored around the season's theme, as well as premium currency that can be used in the game's cosmetic shop. A core part of the free season pass are Season Boosts, which are sprinkled throughout the season pass and will speed up players' progress over the course of the season through increased XP gains. Though players can purchase season pass tiers to instantly unlock rewards, this can't be done to instantly acquire Season Boosts, as certain leveling milestones must be reached in order for the boosts to become active. "In other words, there's no way to shortcut getting Season Boosts by buying tiers; they must be earned," Clark writes. When it comes to Diablo IV's in-game shop, Clark writes that Blizzard wants buying cosmetics "to feel good--before, during, and after the purchase." Blizzard also wants to ensure players don't feel like they have to purchase the optional skins and that players know exactly what they are getting when making a purchase. Clark notes that it was a goal of Blizzard to ensure that all the best-looking cosmetics aren't exclusive to the shop, and that purchased cosmetics can be mixed and matched with those found through playing for "endless customization options." Diablo IV is scheduled to release in 2023, and will support cross-play and cross-progression between platforms. Blizzard's previous Diablo IV quarterly update took an in-depth look at the fifth and final class for Diablo IV's launch, the Necromancer, with recent leaks giving players a closer look at how the game's difficulty settings and character creator will work. View the full article
  14. If you're looking to add a particularly rare Pokemon to your collection, now is a great time to grab the V-for-Victory pocket monster Victini. Available in Pokemon Sword and Shield, all you have to do is enter a code in the game and the little legendary will be all yours. As spotted by Serebii, the code you'll need to enter is W0RLD22V1CT0RY. In case you missed it from the spelling, you'll need to substitute the letter "o" with "0" and the letter "I" with "1" to get your Victini. Here's a detailed breakdown of what you need to do. Mystery Gift is easy to find on the menuGallery Open the Pokemon Sword and Shield menuSelect "Mystery Gift"Select "Get a Mystery Gift"Select "Get with a code or password"Enter the code "W0RLD22V1CT0RY"Once that's done, you'll have a Victini sent straight to an open spot in your Pokemon box. You'll have until August 21 to redeem the code, and the Victini you earn comes with a solid moveset and the Brave nature trait. Even if you already have a Victini, grabbing a spare is worthwhile as cute critter is very rarely distributed. As a hybrid Fire and Psychic-type, Victini also has access to some powerful moves that make it terrific for dealing with Ghost, Steel, Fighting, and Grass-type Pokemon. As the Pokemon World Championships continue through the rest of the week, fans can also tune in for news on Pokemon Scarlet and Violet during Sunday's closing ceremony. The Pokemon Company revealed the Terastallize gameplay mechanic recently--which transforms a Pokemon into a crystal version of itself with boosted stats--and the adorable pure-bread pocket monster Fidough. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is set to release on November 18 for the Nintendo Switch. View the full article
  15. Apex Legends' recently revamped leveling system has a lot of players excited, as the long-awaited change allows players to finally progress beyond the game's initial 500-level cap, collecting more rewards and greatly increasing their odds of receiving Heirloom Shards when opening Apex Packs. Unfortunately, over a week after the launch of Season 14, the new feature still isn't functioning properly, and although a fix is on the horizon, the game's developers say it's unlikely to be released this week. As is common with Apex's large seasonal updates, the Hunted patch introduced a few new bugs to the game. Compared to some of last season's bugs, most of the new ones are relatively benign (and rather amusing), but the leveling rewards issue is notably frustrating, especially given the amount of hype that began building once it became clear the level cap was finally getting a much-needed update. Respawn first acknowledged the bug on August 10, the day after Season 14's launch. But over a week later, the issue still persists. The good news is the game's developers believe they have identified the cause and are aiming to push out a patch to resolve the bug. The bad news? There's no ETA on when this patch will arrive, though Respawn has stated it hopes to release it sometime next week. Shortly after Apex Legends launched in 2019, the level cap was increased from 100 to 500, allowing players to accumulate a total of 199 free Apex Packs by the time they reached level 500. Players also received 600 Legend Tokens (used to unlock new characters and redeem recolored cosmetic skins) each time they leveled up. Once players hit level 500, they would continue receiving Legend Tokens each time they gained enough XP to level up, but no longer received Apex Packs for their efforts. This left dedicated players with more Legend Tokens than they knew what to do with, and little incentive to continue playing once a season's battle pass was completed. Heirloom Shards can be used to redeem Heirloom weapons and Prestige skins from the Mythic Store.Players are guaranteed one pack of Heirloom Shards for every 500 Apex Packs they open. With this in mind, it's easy to see why fans are frustrated--once it's working properly, the new leveling system will allow players who reach level 500 (and then work through the remaining 1,500 "prestige" levels) to gain an additional 345 free Apex Packs. This brings the grand total of free Apex Packs received from simply playing the game to 544 for players who complete all 2,000 levels, thus guaranteeing these players at least one set of free Heirloom Shards. When you factor in the additional Apex Packs received from free event reward tracks and battle passes, the possibility of some players receiving a second set of Heirloom Shards increases. Many players have yet to see their first set of Heirloom Shards, while others who got lucky and received a set early are disappointed they unlocked an Heirloom weapon when there was only one: Wraith's Kunai knife. Wraith's Kunai was the only Heirloom weapon in the game upon launch, and maintained that status until late August 2019, when Bloodhound's Raven's Bite axe was released. Recently, fans have begun asking developers to give Wraith's Heirloom a little TLC due to the fact that Wraith's Kunai is relatively underwhelming compared to more recent Heirloom weapons, which feature a multitude of unique inspect animations. Some players have even taken matters into their own hands, creating new concepts for better Kunai animations. Newer Heirlooms feature more varied animations, leaving many players craving another set of Heirloom Shards.Re-animating a pre-existing Heirloom weapon's animation set is probably pretty low on Respawn's priority list at the moment, so it's not hard to see why players are so frustrated that a new feature--one which will essentially guarantee them a shot at snagging one of the newer, more complex Heirloom weapons that have been released over the years--is currently bugged. While there's currently no specific ETA on when next week's patch will arrive, Respawn has vowed to keep players up to date on the issue via the official Respawn Entertainment and Apex Legends Twitter accounts. Apex Legends is free to play on console and PC. A mobile version of the game, Apex Legends Mobile, is available for download on Android and iOS devices. View the full article
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