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Review: Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires

Nov 26 // Laura Kate Dale
Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita [Reviewed])Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo KoeiReleased: November 24, 2015 (Vita)MSRP: $39.99  Much like past Empires releases, 8's release throws in a handful of new things for you to mess around with. You can get married and have kids, and make decisions about being a freelancer or a servant, but ultimately everything you do is in service of unifying China, usually by force. Right off the bat, you'll create your own hero to fight as, rather than the main entries' focus on fighting as a variety of different warriors. Pick their design, armor, and moveset from Dynasty Warriors 8 and set them off onto an adventure which will involve sticking with them long term, until they carve their own destiny out for themselves. [embed]322746:61270:0[/embed] A big part of the strategy involved in Empires comes down to deciding how to best spend your time. There is a menu-based system in place which gives you a series of options, with each available action taking one month to complete. After a certain number of months, you'll attend or host a war council meeting where your long-term objectives are set. The challenge here is working out how to balance your time. Initially, I sided with a much larger faction and piggybacked on their success. Every time a new objective was set, I had to decide how much of my time to dedicate to furthering the goals of my faction, and how much of the time to put toward working on my own personal goals. Every month I could avoid working on faction goals allowed me to grow slightly closer to independence. There was also the balancing act of working out how long to spend with that faction before going solo. The longer I stayed with them, the more resources I had at my disposal for personal growth, but the larger my faction grew as a potential threat. Knowing one day I would split off, I didn't want to put too much of my effort into beefing up a future enemy. Once you eventually break out solo, you have a lot more say over how to focus strategically. You can go fully diplomatic, violent, or a mixture of the two, but violence overall feels the most fulfilling route. You have to try and keep a mental handle on how thin it's safe to spread your forces, how fast it's safe to expand, how long you can stay put fortifying yourself, and how fast your enemies are expanding their influence. There were a number of things I constantly had to be aware of, but it never felt overwhelming or unfair. Combat is pretty much unchanged from Dynasty Warriors 8, which in my opinion is a good thing. The dual weapon switching, combos, and special attacks remain unchanged, with the main differences being tactical elements of how you engage in fights on the battlefield. Empires features a far more detailed map, with a higher focus on overall strategy when overtaking bases. You'll find a series of strategic bases, which need to be overtaken one after another to work toward the capture of the main base. The more detailed map allows for more strategy, but it also caused me some stress while trying to make progress across the map. Feeling like I had to always be aware of enemy movements and counters to my advance meant that where I would have powered forward in a main Dynasty Warriors game, here I often stopped and backtracked to keep the odd one or two people from slipping through my net. Ultimately, I came away from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires extremely satisfied. The tactical elements outside of battle were well balanced as to be challenging while fair, and the combat carries over the best elements from the main game. It's a bit of a specific niche it's catering to -- fans of Dynasty Warriors combat and long-term strategy elements -- but if those two things are your jam, then Empires should have you hooked. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dynasty Warriors photo
Plan to have an awesome time

Back in 2013 when Jim Sterling reviewed Dynasty Warriors 8 and called it a "return to form" for the series, I largely agreed with his review. From its large roster to complex combat system, it featured some of the best fighting-over-China gameplay in the series to date, and for fans there were very few complaints to be made. It was a rather stunning game, you know, for people who like this particular genre.

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires does what every Empires addition does for every core iteration before it, with a pretty similar level of success: take the combat from the last main entry, add some strategy elements, and repackage it into a new challenge. Thankfully, a really strong mainline entry in the series tends to lead to a really strong Empires entry, and this is no exception. 8 was a high point for the series, and this only builds upon that success.

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Thanksgiving's half over, here's all of Amazon's video game deals now

Nov 26 // Brett Makedonski
Xbox One bundle -- $299.00 and up ($50 off any regular price) PlayStation 4 Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection bundle -- $299.00 3DS XL with Super Mario 3D Land -- $129.99 Rock Band 4 guitar bundle (PS4, Xbox One) -- $97.49 10 percent off any PlayStation digital code on this page -- Price varies The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One) -- $29.99 Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4, Xbox One) -- $29.99 Bloodborne (PS4) -- $19.99 Assassin's Creed Syndicate (PS4, Xbox One) -- $34.99 Dishonored: Definitive Edition (PS4, Xbox One) -- $14.99 God of War III Remastered (PS4) -- $14.99 Star Wars Battlefront with steelbook (PC, PS4, Xbox One) -- $59.88 Animal Crossing amiibo three-pack -- $29.96 Western Digital 4TB external hard drive -- $99.99 Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4, Xbox One) -- $9.99 Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (Wii U) -- $29.99 PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset -- $69.99 Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (PS4, Xbox One) -- $14.99 FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One) -- $39.99 Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One) -- $35.00 NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One) -- $43.99 Far Cry 4 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One) -- $14.99 Also, make sure to keep an eye on the video game deals calendar for rotating deals.
Gimme dat turkey photo
You eat yet?

Maybe my memory fails to serve year to year, but Black Friday seems trickier this year than usual. In an effort to remain constantly relevant, retailers have stretched out their deals over a long period of time rather than saying "Here's everything we're got, go get it!"

So, we're caught in an awkward position of trying to figure out if we want to nab a certain offer or if a better one is going to come along mere hours later. It feels like you need to set up a spreadsheet to properly track everything you might want. Isn't that a bit excessive, all the name of "hot deals?" I guess it beats going to the store.

Thanksgiving's half over now, meaning that the correct half of you people have already done the whole Thanksgiving shebang. The weird, bad half of you are gearing up for delicious dinner soon. I'm doing Friendsgiving this year and am forced into the late crowd. I'm grumpy because I should already have turkey in my tummy.

We'll check in tomorrow with more Black Friday deals because, you know, it's actually Black Friday. Until then, let us leave you with the words that John Wayne spoke to the Pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving: "Happy Thanksgiving, Pilgrims!"

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The CronusMAX Plus V3 allows interchangeable PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U controllers

Nov 26 // Chris Carter
The first step is to connect the device to your PC, and load the latest firmware using the proprietary Cronus Pro software. It took me a little while to figure out why the dongle wasn't being recognized, as it needed to be plugged in by way of the side port on the device, not the obvious USB end output end. I also had to fiddle with the cables a few times before my PC recognized it, but after that it was smooth sailing. To really make use of the Cronus though, you'll have to research beyond the instruction manual and look into custom scripts and loadouts. With experience building PCs and fiddling around with hardware for over two decades, it's not so bad for me, but that prospect may turn off some people. For the rest of you, the fact that most of the work is done automatically by way of hardware emulation is a plus. The first thing I did was plug it into my PS4, and attach an Xbox One Elite Controller. In seconds, after connecting a Dualshock 4 to the device to authenticate (read: trick) the session, I swapped in the Elite, and I was booting up Destiny. When using a wired connection, it's amazing how great the latency is -- it's just like using a DS4 natively. Additionally, the Xbox Guide button triggers the PS Button prompts just fine. I had no trouble raiding in King's Fall Hard Mode with the controller, and none of my teammates even noticed the switch until I told them at the very end of the session. Note that if your controller times out you'll have to re-authenticate, but you can turn this option off in the PS4's system menu. You can also circumvent this issue by using a cheap USB hub. Moving onto other platforms, it works well for PC too. During my tests with the DualShock 4 and Wii U Pro Controller (Xbox is built into Windows so it doesn't require the Cronus anyway) everything was recognized, and I didn't have to authenticate like I did with the PS4. Unfortunately, wireless support for Xbox remotes requires the additional Gaming Receiver device, which is not widely available, and wireless DualShock 4 support needs a compatible Bluetooth dongle. Xbox One remotes will only work wirelessly on Windows 10 with the official device -- for now, at least. [embed]322562:61261:0[/embed] I had slightly more trouble using the Cronus device with the Xbox One, but I managed after a few minutes of messing around. The gist is that you need to change up your settings by way of the firmware, and remove the battery cover on the Xbox One controller, then attach the USB to authenticate. It's an extra step, but a relatively painless one. Personally, I wouldn't use any other controller on Microsoft's newest console as the Elite is my device of choice, but it's great that it works all the same. A mouse and keyboard can also be used for other platforms, but there's a massive caveat -- it requires a pass through PC or laptop. If you don't have a convenient laptop or netbook handy, you're probably out of luck. For those of you who are looking to primarily use this capability, I recommend picking up the Keymander instead. The V3 does not work on the Wii U, but you can use the Pro Controller, and it also has support for legacy systems like the PS TV (ha), the Xbox 360, and the PS3. If you own multiple devices and feel like consolidating your controller choices with a few caveats, the CronusMAX Plus V3 is a fine piece of hardware. It takes a bit of digging to really unlock its full potential, but after an afternoon with it, the basic plug-and-play concept isn't hard to grasp. [Hardware provided by the manufacturer]
CronusMAX Plus photo
I put it to the test

For weeks now, readers have been asking about the CronusMAX Plus. With its grand claims of using "almost any controller on any console," a lot of people wanted to know if it worked, especially given the pricey $50 price tag for what essentially amounted to a fancy dongle.

After some initial issues, it ended up taking me by surprise at how well it worked.

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Dragon Quest X photo


Another year, another lack of Dragon Quest X in the west.

Square Enix has added insult to injury recently too, as it just announced a new Japanese bundle that includes the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS versions of the game. So if you've been wanting to try it out, now is probably the time to do it. I really hope that "announced" NX version (that was subsequently denied by the publisher shortly after) is coming west eventually. I suppose that depends on whether or not the NX tanks.

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PC Port Report: Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Nov 26 // Joe Parlock
Rig: AMD FX-8320 3.50GHz Eight-Core processor, 12GB of RAM, AMD HD 7970, Windows 10 64-Bit. Framerate measured with Raptr. Game played at the “High” graphics preset. First things first, as a technical product Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is definitely one of the best of the series on PC. The graphics options are incredibly descriptive, so those who may not quite understand which ambient occlusion or anti-aliasing settings would be best for them aren’t left in the dark. I particularly like the little bar in the top-right corner that shows just how much of your video memory is being used, letting you tweak the game to be as high quality as your card will allow. The game supports 4K resolutions for people with absolutely monster rigs and big enough screens to run them on, as well as widescreen resolutions (up to 2560x1080) and borderless windowed mode for easy swapping between applications. However, there are also some important options missing, such as the ability to change the FOV. This is a third person game though, so it probably isn’t as big of a problem for the majority of people as it would be in a first person ganme. Some people do still suffer from motion sickness when playing third person games though, so the option to change it could have been beneficial. Also worth noting is that Syndicate features full and complete key remapping, adjustable mouse acceleration, and full controller support for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS4 controllers. Disappointingly, the menus suggest there is a way to remap controller inputs, but this doesn't actually appear to be possible. After spending so long playing Assassin’s Creed on PC, trying to play it with an Xbox 360 controller felt unnatural to me. The ability to tweak which button does what thing would’ve been nice. As I mentioned, Assassin’s Creed has never been known for its stellar PC ports. Assassin’s Creed III and Unity in particular suffered from poor optimisation, and I struggled to hit even a steady 30FPS on them with the rig described above. I’m not a framerate perfectionist who demands 60+ FPS in all things (even though I also understand people wanting to get what they’ve paid for out of their expensive hardware), but even then being able to get solidly 40+ FPS in Syndicate on the high preset felt like a breath of fresh air. Even in the most expansive or detailed areas I noticed very little drop in my framerate and considering how big the game is, that is a massive achievement. [embed]322674:61263:0[/embed] The only times there was a notable drop was on initially loading into the game (which is somewhat expected), and unfortunately during the carriage portions. Syndicate reintroduces drivable vehicles to the series, but whenever I picked up the pace or caused some carnage, the game would drop to around 20-25 FPS. This may be due to moving quicker through the world than it could load, but it was a bit of a disappointment none the less. Overall, I would have to say I’ve had a better time with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s port than with Unity or AC3, and it’s even arguably running better than the better games in the series like Rogue or Black Flag. When I played the demo at EGX, I came away feeling incredibly disappointed. At the time, it was just as buggy as Unity, without building on any of the mechanics introduced. It felt like one big rehash, and it left me worried for the future of the series. Now that I’ve been let loose on the final version, I can safely say that I was totally wrong. Syndicate is right up there as being one of my favourites in the entire series. It has its problems, but I can confidently place it alongside Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed 2 as being one of the series high points. Victorian London is recreated beautifully. The detailed streets, the steam trains barging down the tracks, the Thames chock-full of boats…the entire game feels like you’ve stepped into a Charles Dickens novel. One that involves lots of stabbing and the threat of naked hologram aliens, but a Charles Dickens novel none the less. Weirdly, I’d argue Syndicate borrows and improves on a lot from Watch_Dogs too with just how many moving parts the city has. Carriages, trains and boats make London feels a lot more dynamic than previous cities in the series, and at times can allow for some really cool getaways. A big problem I had with combat in Unity was how effective ranged weapons were against you. Almost every enemy carried a gun, and there was no way to counter against them, meaning armed enemies at range had a massive, massive advantage and frequently proved fatal. This problem was elegantly solved in Syndicate, where now you can simply dodge shots at any time. You don’t even need a human shield anymore. To balance it, melee combat is a lot trickier now. Gone are the days of simply countering everything and killing everyone all in one combo. Now you have to be smart, do damage when you can, and often running away to get an advantage later on is the better solution. It really helps encourage stealthier play, while also not being an instant death sentence should you decide to be a bit noisy. Speaking of stealth, Syndicate takes a lot of emphases away from the series’ cornerstone of “social stealth”. Instead, you now have a stealth button that will cause Jacob and Evie to crouch down and pull their hoods up. A lot of the creeping is based more around hiding behind walls and staying out of sight, rather than hiding in plain view as has always been the core of the series up to now.  Blending into crowds just doesn’t feel all that important anymore, and at times I actually found it almost impossible to do. For example, bumping into other people can cause crowds to break up just enough to leave you exposed, but when you want to close the gap on an enemy using the crowd as cover you’ll be bumping into people a whole lot more. I’m still not sure whether this change is good or not, as when you’re placed into environments designed for it the new stealth system feels involving and effective, but it does make the game feel a bit less Assassin’s Creed to me as well. The changes to player movement in Syndicate can be a bit of a mixed bag. I love the new line launcher that lets you quickly scale buildings, across entire streets, and opens up lots of new tactical possibilities in dealing with enemies. Being able to jump in, cause some damage, and then zip away again really made me rethink how to handle enemy encounters, as now the strategies I’d learned from the earlier games simply wasn’t the best way of dealing with things. On the other hand, the parkour system does frequently suffer from weird pathfinding issues.Syndicate adopts Unity’s system of having one button to move up and another to move down, but moving down often resulted in me getting caught up on bits of scenery and winding up heading in a totally different direction than what I was intending. While it’s certainly nowhere near the broken state of Unity, Syndicate does still suffer from some bugs. Aside from the pathfinding issue I’ve already mentioned, I’ve notice plenty of people teleporting around in crowded areas, random deaths when pinned against stationary trains, and enemies running around in tiny circles. It’s by no means a bug-free game, but they’re minor hitches in a massive game, so I personally could look past them. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate does have problems, but that doesn’t stop it from being the most enjoyable, interesting and different entry since Black Flag. The setting is great, and the changes to combat, movement and stealth mean you can’t play it the same way as every other game in the series. It’s a bit buggy, and there are some minor performance issues, but please don’t let that stop you from picking up Syndicate. For both ardent fans and those who are a bit tired of the formula, chances are Syndicate is what you were hoping for. [This PC Port Report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Assassin's Creed Syndicat photo
Let's 'ave a butcher's at the PC version

Assassin’s Creed has had a rough time on PC. Not only did the very first game control poorly, but later both the third game and the infamous Unity both had a glut of technical issues, bugs, and suffered with very poor performance on PC. As much as I love the series, its PC ports have been pretty arse.

Even when ignoring the port problems, last year’s iteration was a major low-point. On every platform it was buggy, Arno was a total prick, the combat was heavily balanced against you with an emphasis on ranged weapons that you simply couldn’t counter, and the co-op play felt like a complete afterthought just rammed on in there. I’ve played and enjoyed every single main game, and I did enjoy Unity as long as I forgot it was an Assassin’s Creed and could ignore people's faces suddenly going missing, but it was still ultimately a massive disappointment.

So how does the latest installment, Victorian-based Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, compare to its less than impressive predecessors? Surprisingly well on PC, as luck would have it.

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Chrono Trigger photo
We have to get a remake sometime, right


There's been a lot of Chrono Trigger talk recently, much to my delight. Between the recent Did You Know Gaming video and the Chrono-like Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, things have been pretty lively lately. YouTuber praetus has brought the conversation back, with a full recreation of the Millennial Fair in Unreal 4. I think it looks pretty great.

Whenever I hear that tune or even see that setting, it makes me want to play Chrono Trigger again. Between my multiple playthroughs and the time skipping mechanic, I've seen that area so many times, and it hasn't overstayed its welcome yet.

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Nintendo Download: Cyber Deals

Nov 26 // Chris Carter
If you missed last week's edition, here it is. As for what I'm getting, I think I'm going to skip out this week, again. For those who are interested, sales are going on for both the Wii U and 3DS.
Nintendo Download photo
Also, Konami Krazy Racers

Well, this is an awkward digital Thanksgiving dinner.

Nintendo sent over the main courses for the available 3DS and Wii U eShop downloads today, and they're rather paltry. Wii U will see Konami Krazy Racers and Cutie Pets Jump Rope, with the 3DS getting Pet Hospital. Yep, that's literally it today.

In the meantime, you can check out Nintendo's "Cyber Deals," which include 50% off in some cases. Nintendo sales are kind of weird, because I'd imagine that most of the audience would have bought its big releases at full price already, knowing that they hardly ever drop, even years later. There are a lot of gems on there though, like Pikmin 3 for $40 (the local co-op and versus modes are amazing), Return to Dreamland for $13, and Tropical Freeze for $35.

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Hyrule Warriors Legends photo


One of my most anticipated new features of Hyrule Warriors Legends, an expansion of sorts for the original Warriors, is Skull Kid. The new attacks shown in the video look amazing, and include moon abilities, as well as a fighting style featuring Tatl and Tael at his side.

As a reminder, if you buy the Legends 3DS edition that launches next year (January in Japan, March in the west), you can import Tetra, Toon Link, the King of Red Lions, Linkle, Skull Kid, and trident Ganondorf into the Wii U version.

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Pokemon Picross will launch on December 3

Nov 26 // Chris Carter
Pokemon Picross photo
In the west

Pokemon Picross was kind of announced out of nowhere on a recent Nintendo Direct, and it didn't have a set date outside of "December." Thanks to a recent site listing though, we now know that it will hit on December 3 on 3DS in North America and Europe.

It'll come packed with "over 300 puzzles," and players can catch Pokemon by solving them, which in turn make other levels easier to play. I usually skip out on every other Picross game or so, and I think I'm due for another one.

Pokemon Picross [Nintendo]

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Angry Video Game Nerd photo
December 10

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was a pleasant surprise for me, but unfortunately, Europe still hasn't gotten the Wii U edition of the game. It looks like it will finally hit on December 10, according to a listing at Nintendo. We reached out to developer Freakzone Games to confirm whether or not this is accurate, and it has confirmed it!

Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation is still in development for a release at some point, and I'm definitely interested to see if they address some of the issues with the first entry.

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures [Wii U eShop via Nintendo Life]

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Attack on Titan photo
On PS3, PS4, and Vita


By way of a new trailer from Koei Tecmo, we now know that Attack on Titan will launch in Japan in February of 2016. It'll be released for the PS3, PS4, and Vita platforms, but what's particularly notable is that this is the first time the developer has created a game primarily for the current generation. Instead of crafting PS3 first and upscaling, the opposite was done in this case.

While footage was scarce at launch, this new trailer gives us a good idea of what to expect. All of the usual suspects are here (including Levi), and there's plenty of Trost fighting, as well as forest battles and hub world activities.

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Destiny photo
But will they be fun?

After weeks of waiting, there's finally some info on Destiny's raid challenges. Apparently in early December, they will be available for normal and hard mode, and will buff a different boss every week with a new strategy to deal with. You'll be able to see the boss that has been altered before you enter the raid by way of a skull on the Director screen, which will impact both difficulties.

They aren't giving any details, but hint that the single-pool strategy for Golgoroth may not work out so well. I think I have an idea of what to expect here, I just hope the rewards are actually worth it.

Weekly Update [Bungie]

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Modern Mario photo
It's up

Recently, Walmart tried to tempt folks into walking into a store and picking up one of "at least" 21 Modern Mario amiibo, but don't do that -- instead, just pick one up casually online.

Why are these such a big deal? Well, they were previously exclusive to a Wii U console bundle, meaning you needed to buy a whole new system to get one in the US. In Japan and other countries they're fairly common, and importing them will only run you $15 to $20 or so, max.

Either way, they're here officially in the US now.

Modern Mario [Walmart]

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Deals photo
Seriously it's not Black Friday yet

Update: Deal is now live! Looks like they've added in more stock as quantity sold is now at 65% instead of 90%.

If you've been eyeing the Black Friday priced $299 PlayStation 4 Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Bundle, the deal is already live early at retailers such as GameStop, Walmart, and Amazon.

But if you really want that extra savings (because its Black Friday after all), you can knock another $10 off plus save on sales tax for most states if you purchase from Antonline at eBay, where the same PlayStation 4 Uncharted bundle is going for only $289.99.

The deal won't be live until 11/26 at 6AM Pacific, about two hours from writing.

If this all seems familiar to you, this is because the deal is from the same retailer that offered up the head-start Black Friday price last Thursday. And as with last time, there will be 2,500 units available at the reduced $289.99 price tag. Problem is, now that we're in Black Friday frenzy mode (yes we know it's still Thanksgiving Thursday), the deal will most likely sell out fast within an hour or two.

As Antonline is an authorized Sony retailer, you'll be receiving the full PS4 warranty. Shipping is of course free and sales tax is limited to only California and Georgia, presumably where Antonline have physical locations and warehouse. Your best bet in grabbing a unit is to pre-fill your payment details in your eBay account (plus getting your PayPal account sorted out).

If you're looking at this post much later in the day and the deal looks to be sold out, apology in advance. But you can still try one of the many retailers above for the $299 price, or I duno, wait for some magical Cyber Monday deal which will blow all of our brains out because the savings are so amazing. Or not.

Black Friday game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.

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SCE UK photo
Warwick Light will be replacing him

[Update: Gara has now been appointed as "Director of PC" at Amazon, according to MCV]

Sony Computer Entertainment UK’s boss Fergal Gara has stepped down from the position, so he can “pursue a new professional venture,” according to MCV UK.

Since becoming the vice president and managing director of SCE UK in 2011, Gara has been responsible in part for the success of the PlayStation 4 in the UK, which is currently the leading console in the country.

SCE Europe’s CEO Jim Ryan spoke of Gara highly:

“Fergal is an extremely talented leader, and in his four years managing the UK business has significantly strengthened the brand and made countless contributions to our success…

He has also served as a key member of the European Executive team, helping to steer PlayStation to even greater heights. We are extremely grateful for his dedication and for the legacy that he leaves…

I have complete confidence that Warwick [Warwick Light, general manager of the Nordics, East and South East Europe at SCE, who will be replacing Gara starting August 10] is the right person to replace Fergal in the UK role, and his 20 years of service to Sony has been marked by outstanding performance.”

In talking about his own departure, Gara said:

“I have had a fantastic time leading the PlayStation business in the UK and Ireland over the past four years. I am very grateful for having had this opportunity and I want to thank my team who have been amazing and, of course, Jim, for his support along with the wider PlayStation family who have helped make this period as successful as it has been…

I wish Warwick every success as he takes on the UK and Ireland business at this exciting stage.”

SCE UK boss Fergal Gara has resigned [MCV UK]

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Here are Amazon's Black Friday game deals

Nov 26 // Vikki Blake
Thursday, November 26: Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Jet Stream Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Stealth Stinger Character Pack Forza Motorsport 6 – Xbox One Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Starter Pack – Wii U, PS3,X360, Xbox One, PS4 Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Burn Cycle Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Shark Tank Character Pack Mario Kart – Wii U Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Crypt Crusher Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Sea Shadow Character Pack Farming Simulator 15 – PS4, Xbox One Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Dive Bomber Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Vehicle Sky Slicer Character Pack Little Big Planet 3 – PlayStation 4 The Sims 4 – PC / Mac Transformers Devastation – PlayStation 4 Persona 4: Dancing All Night- PS Vita Persona 4 Arena Ultimax – PlayStation 3 Persona Q- Nintendo 3DS New Super Mario Bros. 2 Evolve – Xbox One. PS4 Friday, November 27 Guitar Hero Live – Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, iOS, PS3, X360 Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Standard Edition – Xbox 360, PS3 Mario Party 10 Nintendo New 3DS XL Black Nintendo New 3DS XL Red Transformers Devastation – Xbox One Mortal Kombat X – Xbox One, PS4 Destiny: The Taken King – Legendary Edition – PS3, X360, PS4, Xbox One FIFA 16 – Standard Edition – PS4, Xbox One The Last of Us Remastered Call of Duty: Black Ops Combo Pack – Xbox 360 NBA 2K16 – Xbox One, X360, PS4, PS3 DeadPool – PlayStation 4 Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – Xbox One, PS4 Gears of War – Ultimate Edition – Xbox One WWE 2K16 – PS4, Xbox One Super Smash Bros. – Nintendo Wii U Power A Legend of Zelda Adventurer Pouch NHL 16 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One EA Sports NHL – Legacy Edition – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Saturday, November 28 LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – PlayStation 3 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 – Standard Edition – Xbox One LEGO Jurassic World – PlayStation 4 Standard Edition Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 – Standard Edition – PlayStation 4 Need for Speed – PlayStation 4 Animal Crossing: New Leaf  Need for Speed – Xbox One LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes – Nintendo Wii U Freedom Wars – PlayStation Vita Call of Duty: Black Ops Combo Pack – PlayStation 3 Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers High Volt Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers Fiesta Character Pack Until Dawn – PlayStation 4 Snoopy’s Grand Adventure – Wii U Gran Turismo 5 – PlayStation 4 Minecraft – platform unspecified The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – PlayStation 4 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Xbox One Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets – Nintendo 3DS Standard Edition Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers Shark Shooter Terrafin Character Pack Watch Dogs – Xbox One Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers Stormblade Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers Dive Clops Character Pack Skylanders SuperChargers: Drivers Smash Hit Character Pack Mad Max – PlayStation 4 Mad Max – Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Rogue – PC Madden NFL 16 – PlayStation 4 Madden NFL 16 – Xbox One Madden NFL 16 – Xbox 360 Dragon Age Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition – PlayStation 4 Dragon Age Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition – Xbox One Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition – Xbox One Standard Edition Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition – PS4 Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker – Nintendo 3DS Thief – Xbox One No, I'm not paid to tell you about this. No money or gifts have been offered nor received. Just sharing good deals as I find 'em, particularly as the holiday season is coming! (although some links that point to Amazon or whatever shopping site may directly support our site). Amazon Black Friday deals schedule for video games [VG24/7]
Amazon photo
Looking for a bargain?

Amazon has detailed what games will be discounted during its upcoming Black Friday promotion.

While prices have yet to be disclosed, what we do have is a list of the games that will be on offer over the course of today, tomorrow, and Saturday, as well as other hardware and peripherals. 

To check out the details, head on over to the New deals will be added throughout the day, and do note that the deals last only as long as quantities do. 

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Rocket League photo
Here comes a Snow Day!

Psyonix has confirmed that from December 14, you'll be able to jump into the Winter Games event, Snow Day, in Rocket League.

The ice hockey-inspired playlist (well, it's a puck instead of a ball) replaces the Mutator Mashup and will run until January 4, 2016. 

In-game drops will be appropriately themed and include an Xmas Rocket Trail, Blitzen Topper, Christmas Tree Topper, Sad Sapling Topper, Santa Topper, Candy Cane Antenna, and Holiday Gift Antenna. Your chances of snagging one will be rarer than 

As with all Rocket League, this DLC - and the Chaos Run pack - will be free. 

Rocket League’s December event has ice hockey playlist, Santa hats [VG24/7]

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Killing Floor 2 photo
Guess who's back, back again...

The final boss of Killing Floor was an utter nightmare. Called The Patriarch, he was a giant mutant armed with a minigun and a rocket launcher, and if that weren't enough, he could also turn invisible, run away and heal himself. While I’ve been killed by him more times than I can count in the original game, up to now he hasn’t made an appearance in the early access sequel, Killing Floor 2.

Finally, Tripwire has detailed the next major content update for Killing Floor 2, and with a name like Return of the Patriarch it’s probably pretty plain to see what’s going to be included.

Yeah, the Patriarch is back. He’s a bit bigger and a bit more mutated, but he’s most definitely back.

Alongside the Patriarch, the update will bring: 

  • Two new maps, one of which is set in and around a farmhouse.
  • A new perk.
  • Six new weapons.
  • A character that can be unlocked by joining the game’s official Steam group.
  • Steam workshop support for maps and mods.
  • Various bug fixes.
  • The controversial Trading Floor microtransaction system, that has gotten a bit of flack recently.

That’s a pretty damn substantial update.

As much of a bastard he is, it’s nice to see the Patriarch make a return to Killing Floor. He’s one of the more iconic baddies of the series, and his absence has felt kind of weird up to now. Poison-thrower Hans is great and all, but nothing can beat the giant minigun-wielding mutant guy. Plus having a 50/50 chance of either boss appearing will certainly shake things up a bit.

Return of the Patriarch will be added to the game in December.

Killing Floor 2’s next boss revealed: the Patriarch is back [PC Gamer]

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Fallout photo
"You're a hero... and you have to leave"


There are plenty of people who’ve been introduced to the Fallout series thanks to the recently released Fallout 4. That means there are also plenty of people who might like to go back and play the older games to see how far it’s come. Let’s be honest, though: Fallout 1 is a very difficult game to get into these days. It came out 18 years ago after all, and it's nothing like the more recent releases.

Well don’t worry, as Fallout: The Story is a mod for Fallout New Vegas currently in development aimed to recreate Fallout as accurately as it possibly can while retaining the modern gameplay of Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4.

Usually when these mods are announced, we have to wait years and years for there to be any sign of progress. This time it seems as though they’ve already made quite a fair bit of headway in the project: two of the Vaults are 100% complete, and work is progressing on other settlements like The Hub, Necropolis and Shady Sands.

They’ve even managed to port the navigation system of the older games into New Vegas. Fallout wasn’t a continuous open world back then. Instead, there was an overworld map and nodes indicating major settlements. The Story includes this system as well as the random encounters and events it included.

The video up top shows the very early portions of the game, where the Vault Dweller must leave Vault 13 to find a replacement water chip. The voice acting is uh… not great (thanks, copyright laws), and making an isometric map explorable in first person feels kind of weird, but otherwise it seems like a pretty dang faithful recreation of the Fallout I remember.

Best of all, this mod only requires New Vegas. You can pick that up in the currently running Steam sale for dirt cheap. And you can get the original Fallout too if you want to compare it to the mod. You might need a bit of jiggery-pokery to get it to work on modern systems though.

You can follow the development of the mod over at Nexus, or on the developer’s Youtube channel, which shows way more of the mod than just Vault 13. Right now it isn't available for download, but considering how much work has already been pumped into the project I wouldn't expect an incredibly long wait.

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Deals photo
Probably the best Xbox One deal?

Update: More bundles selling out! The ones striked-out below are no longer in stock. No word if they'll return for Cyber Monday next week.

If you want an Xbox One, you better be ready at the stroke of midnight Thursday (yep, not Friday). Forget Black Friday because all the good stuff happens on Thanksgiving Thursday.

We talked about this briefly last week and as mentioned, most retailers will have a $299 Xbox Ones Gears of War bundle on tap, but we also suspected Microsoft Store will throw in bonuses such as $50 worth of Xbox credit - well turns out we were wrong, they're throwing in $60 worth of Xbox gift code, slashing all bundles by $50, plus giving you a free copy of Assassin's Creed: Unity game of your choice!

$299 Bundles:

$349 Bundles:

$449 Bundles:

The above two bundles are our best guess on the "select" bundles getting the $50 savings + $60 Xbox gift code + AC Unity. We're pretty sure some of the 1TB bundles along with select Kinect bundles will also receive the deal, but the preview sneak peek makes no mention of this, so we'll find out in a few hours what Microsoft Store has uh... in store. (Update: Well Microsoft exceeded our expectation).

Black Friday game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.

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Deals photo
Walmart strikes first blood

Update: Deal is now live but Walmart servers are being hammered. FYI, Target's similar deal is available in store only.

For those unaware, Walmart will be selling the popular Black Friday Wii U Deluxe bundles with Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon for $249.99 as early as Thanksgiving. While the brick & mortar stores will open up and deals become available at 6PM on Thursday, the bundle will already be available at 12:01AM midnight Pacific time.

The $249 Wii U deal accidentally showed up early this morning on Target's eBay storefront, but lots of users were having trouble adding the bundle to their cart and completing the transaction. So your best bet for grabbing a unit at the $249.99 price tag is to wait for Walmart's deal tonight.

As with usual, Walmart's online inventory will most likely sell out within the hour -- so if you really want to pick a unit up, we highly suggest you set up a Walmart account and prefill your payment information to quickly complete the transaction once the clock strikes midnight.

For those interested, Nintendo's big eShop Wii U and 3DS sales event is now live too. Check out the full list here.

Game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.

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Oh my gosh, this Fez vinyl!

Nov 25 // Jordan Devore
My wallet is already dead. [Via Renaud Bédard]
Fez photo
The game has a new limited edition, too

I was checked out for the day when I saw this vinyl set for Fez, or so I thought. It's so dang good!

Disasterpeace is one of my favorite musicians working in games right now, and the Fez soundtrack is among his best work, easily. To have it on cool-looking vinyl? Mmm, that's mighty tempting.

Polytron also has a fancy new limited edition of the game. Keeping in line with the note-taking spirit of Fez, it's a hardcover notebook, and the package includes downloads for the Windows and Mac versions plus the soundtrack. Pre-sales are now open with a December 18 ship date.

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Rally 'round the family with Runbow and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Nov 25 // Jonathan Holmes
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!


[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, many of us here in the U.S. of A. are gearing up to navigate through social/emotional minefields that have been years in the making. Many of us are really tempted to call uncle Gary out on his bullshit tomorrow, but we know Gary has really low self esteem so confrontation will only make things worse. Even more of us have totally given up on Mom, because no matter what we do, she'll never love us as much as she loves Larry. If it were up to her, it wouldn't be called "Thanksgiving". It would be called "Thankslarryyouaremyfavoriteboy". God damn it Larry, you've never even had to work for it. 

Video games are one potentially healthy way of dealing with those complicated feelings for Larry and the rest of your Thanksgiving party. If you've got a big family, Runbow may be a the perfect choice. With 9 player co-op and/or competitive play, only the largest of get-togethers will end up with anyone left out. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime doesn't allow for quite as many people to jump in at once, but it works great as a spectator sport, sort of like watching two serious in-laws try to pass wet egg between their mouths without using their hands. Oh the humanity!

If you want to know more about these games, or just want to get to know the people who made them, we've got Sup Holmes reruns with the developers of both Runbow and Lovers right here. These handsome Toronto men are a true pleasure to engage with. Thanks to Alex, Matt, and Jaime for being on the show with us, and be sure to tune in this Sunday when we welcome Thomas Grip (Soma, Amnesia) to the program. We've also got a special mid-week Sup Holmes planned for next week with one of the developers of Just Cause 3.

To quote a great personal friend of mine, "What a country!" 

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Ramza photo
Great to see Tactics represented


Square Enix is set to launch Dissidia Final Fantasy in arcades this week, and they've gone over the initial fourteen characters at launch, representing each main series game. Well, they're also doing an Apple-esque "one last thing" too, by way of teasing Ramza Beoulve from Final Fantasy Tactics.

We always knew that he was going to be in the game, but this tease from NicoNico gives us a better look at the hero. Expect a full reveal trailer as early as tomorrow.

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System Shock photo
First images appear

Night Dive Studios sure is keeping itself busy with the System Shock property.

The company touched up the iconic Looking Glass title earlier this year for an Enhanced Edition release on PC and, as we recently learned, there are also plans for a full-on remake. Amazingly, there could one day be an honest-to-goodness System Shock 3. But let's take a step back.

Polygon has the first screenshots of the System Shock remake, complete with those oh-so-fun image comparison sliders. I wasn't sure what to expect, going in, but I've come away feeling good.

According to Night Dive CEO Stephen Kick, they've been "in contact with members of the original System Shock team." Whether it's new games in the series or big updates to existing ones, Kick says the hope is to be "very true to the spirit of the originals."

It's cool to think that a whole new audience is going to experience this game.

System Shock is being reimagined, and we've got the first look [Polygon]

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Jack the Ripper photo
Achievement lists light the way


It has only been a month since Assassin's Creed Syndicate launched, but the first add-on might be lurking in the shadows, ready to strike any moment. The compelling Jack the Ripper DLC is the biggest expansion that has been teased and it also appears as if it'll be the first to release. The indication that it's closer than expected is anything but official, but has a solid track record.

Earlier today, an Achievement list showed up for the Jack the Ripper add-on. Typically, these are only discovered once a game or expansion is nearing release. For comparison's sake, last year's Dead Kings DLC, the first and largest for Assassin's Creed Unity, launched in the middle of January. However, Ubisoft was dealing with a plethora of post-release issues that likely delayed it.

Interestingly, the descriptions of these Achievements present questions as to the player's role in Jack the Ripper. Originally, it seemed likely that the player would be in a position to hunt down the famed murderer. Achievements that read "Frighten 200 enemies" and "Scare an enemy and make him kill someone else by mistake" leave the possibility open that Jack himself is the playable character.

We've reached out to Ubisoft for clarification on these matters, but we honestly don't expect confirmation or denial. Publishers like to control the timing and message of reveals like this. We'll update this post if and when we hear back.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper Achievements [Xbox Achievements]

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Animal Crossing photo
Keep these amiibo stocked!

I haven't really gotten into Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, but this new update that's on the horizon may sway me a bit. According to Tiny Cartridge, gaming items are coming, including kiosks for newer and retro Nintendo systems, 3DS and Wii U game racks, and even an amiibo display, complete with a TV screen.

This is literally a giant advertisement, but I can't look away. I'm really tempted to recreate the store in the header above. Right now these items are set to debut in Japan next month.

Someone’s Happy Home is a game store [Tiny Cartridge]

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This is the best Battlefront brawl I've seen yet

Nov 25 // Jordan Devore
[embed]322556:61256:0[/embed] The fight could have ended early had either player simply tossed a grenade, but they decided to "have the ultimate showdown like true galactic gentlemen," as Nick puts it.
Star Wars photo
And it doesn't involve Luke or Vader!

Star Wars Battlefront isn't quite what I hoped it would be, but I keep coming back to it for a chance to see moments of pure, unscripted delight. It usually doesn't take long.

This hilarious encounter captured by YouTube user Nick Nixon is a great example of just how goofy this game can get.

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Level-5 photo
Go go Yo-Kai Watch

Level-5 is no stranger to Nintendo platforms. While they got their start making fantastic games like Dark Cloud and Jeanne d'Arc, they shifted over to the DS with Professor Layton, and saw great success there for many years. But they haven't really developed much for Nintendo's console line, only peppering in a few Inazuma Eleven games for the Wii, and a Yo-Kai Watch spinoff on Wii U.

When asked by IGN, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino seems to be more hopeful in terms of their future on Nintendo consoles. Hino noted that he would "proactively consider" both consoles, and that he's interested in the NX in particular, stating that "[I want to] bring Level-5 games to as many kids as possible."

The developer is still working on Yo-Kai Watch 3, and if the NX really takes off, I can easily see a fully featured follow-up in the future.

Yo-Kai Watch developer open to bringing franchise to Wii U, NX [IGN]

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Dying Light photo
Season pass to the rescue

In a surprisingly transparent moment, Dying Light developer Techland has decided to be upfront about raising the price of the game's next add-on, The Following. Back in August, it was originally announced that the DLC would cost $15. Now, the cost has been pushed to $20.

Techland insists that it has justification for the price hike. In a press release today, the developer says that the scale of the expansion has grown significantly since the studio started working on it. "It could be a stand-alone title," Techland comments. As such, it felt necessary to raise the price.

There are a couple things here that people might take issue with. Most obvious is that Techland went back on its word. But, a hidden complaint is that this single add-on now costs as much as the entire season pass.

To rectify this, Techland is also raising the price of the season pass. It's going to soon cost $30 instead of $20. Those who already own the season pass will get The Following and everything else at no additional cost.

But, for those who plan to buy The Following, now's a prime opportunity to actually buy the season pass. Techland isn't raising the price until December 8, meaning that you can pick up all of the game's DLC at a $10 discount. Another way to look at it is that for two weeks, The Following comes packed with all of Dying Light's add-ons.

It finally happened. Under this very specific set of conditions, we've finally advocated for the purchase of a season pass.

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