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Capcom photo
'Never say never'

More than a decade after launching on PSP in Japan, Breath of Fire III will arrive on PlayStation Network in North America next Tuesday, February 9, according to the latest PlayStation Blogcast.

Back in 2013, Capcom's then-senior vice president Christian Svensson announced the company was looking into a North American release. While he referred to the possibility as a long shot, he promised to "never say never." Svensson is no longer with the company, but it seems someone kept the torch burning in his absence. It may have taken a long time, but it's finally happening.

Capcom says the title will be available for $10 and compatible with both Vita and PSTV.

PlayStation Blogcast 195: Stranger in a Strange Land [PlayStation Blog]

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Final Fantasy photo
Thanks to you

Every time I've written about Adventures of Mana, the new Final Fantasy Adventure remake, just about every one of you have clamored for Square Enix to localize the PlayStation Vita version.

In case you haven't been following this story, Square Enix released the role-playing game on mobile platforms across the planet earlier this week, but bizarrely kept the Vita port exclusive to Japan.

But it looks like that might change. Your rabble rousing may have forced Square's hand.

"We've been listening to your feedback," reads a note from the development team, "and because of your passion for the game, we're going to look into making a PS Vita version of Adventures of Mana for the West. We can't guarantee we'll be able to make this happen but we will see what we can do. We’ll let you know if we have any news, so watch out for future updates and thank you for your support."

The company suggests you leave a comment here if you want to see that Vita port come west.

Adventures of Mana released for iOS/Android [Square Enix Europe via Polygon]

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Contest: Win a copy of Nitroplus Blasterz

Feb 06 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]339227:62151:0[/embed]
Contest photo
Four PS4 codes up for grabs

The localization team at XSEED Games has generously given Destructoid four PlayStation 4 codes for the studio's excellent new fighting game Nitroplus Blasterz to give away you fine people. 

For a chance to win a digital North American copy of the game, leave us a comment below about either your favorite fighting game or XSEED-published title. The contest will conclude Feb. 8, 2016 @ 11:59pm PST. Winners will be chosen shortly after the contest ends. Good luck!

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Spicy weekend deals on XCOM 2, Doom, and Bayonetta 2

Feb 06 // Dealzon
Top Deals XCOM 2: Digital Deluxe (Steam) — $57.75  (list price $75)Use Code: DEALZO-NSAVES-23XCOM XCOM 2 (Steam) — $46.19  (list price $60)Login to see discount XCOM 2: Reinforcement Pack (Steam) — $16  (list price $20) Doom (Steam) — $48  (list price $60) Doom: Collector's Edition (Xbox One, PS4 - Requires GCU) — $95.99  (list $120) Doom + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $59.99  (list price $60) Bayonetta 2 + $15 eGift Card (Wii U) — $29.99  (list price $30) Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Gold — $37.99  (list price $60) Need for Speed Most Wanted (Origin) — FREE  (list price $20) Recent Releases 02/05: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (Steam) — $37.50  (list price $50) 02/02: Crusader Kings II: Conclave (Steam) — $12  (list price $15) 01/29: Lego: Marvel Avengers (Steam) — $20  (list price $40) 01/29: Bombshell (Steam) — $25.20  (list price $35) 01/28: Rise Of The Tomb Raider (Steam) — $39.59  (list price $60) Upcoming Releases 02/16: Street Fighter V (Steam) — $45  (list price $60) 03/08: Tom Clancy's The Division (Uplay) — $42.79  (list price $60) 04/12: Dark Souls III (Steam) — $48  (list price $60) 05/03: Battleborn (Steam) — $45  (list price $60) 06/28: Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Steam) — $32  (list price $40) PC Game Deals Fallout 4 (Steam) — $40.19  (list price $60) Star Wars: Battlefront Deluxe Edition (Origin) — $34.99  (list price $70) Dragon Age: Inquisition GOTY (Origin) — $29.99  (list price $60) Star Wars: Battlefront (Origin) — $29.99  (list price $60) The Sims 4 (Origin) — $23.99  (list price $60) FIFA 16 + Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (Origin) — $23.99  (list price $60) Battlefield 4 + Premium (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $50) Batman: Arkham Knight (Steam) — $18.72  (list price $50) Elite: Dangerous (Steam) — $14.99  (list price $30) Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition (Steam) — $11.99  (list price $60) Rocket League (Steam) — $11.20  (list price $20) Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (Steam) — $10  (list price $40) Battlefield: Hardline (Origin) — $9.99  (list price $30) Rust (Steam) — $9.99  (list price $20) Total War: Attila (Steam) — $8.99  (list price $45) South Park: The Stick of Truth (Steam) — $7.50  (list price $30) Counter Strike Complete (Steam) — $7.49  (list price $30) Spintires (Steam) — $6  (list price $30) Gauntlet (Steam) — $4  (list price $20) Batman Arkham Origins (Steam) — $4  (list price $20) Batman Arkham City GOTY Edition (Steam) — $4  (list price $20) Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY (Steam) — $4  (list price $20) Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition (Steam) — $4  (list price $20) Titan Souls (Steam) — $3  (list price $15) Goat Simulator (Steam) — $2.72  (list price $10) Goat Simulator: GoatZ (Steam) — $1.36  (list price $5) Console Game Deals Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege (Xbox One, PS4) — $39.99  (list price $60) Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4, Xbox One) — $29.99  (list price $60) FIFA 16 + PvZ Garden Warfare (PS4, Xbox One) — $23.99  (list price $60) Minecraft: Story Mode Season Pass (XOne, PS4, X360, PS3) — $19.99  (list $30) NHL 16 (PS4, Xbox One) — $19.79  (list price $60) Xbox One Guitar Hero Live (Xbox One) — $49.16  (list price $100) Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) — $33.64  (list price $60) Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition (Xbox One) — $19.99  (list $50) Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) — $16.64  (list price $40) Wolfenstein: The New Order (Xbox One) — $14.99  (list price $60) Accessories & Hardware Deals Samsung 850 EVO SSD 2.5" 2TB MZ-75E2T0B/AM — $569.99  (list price $700) PS4 Uncharted Bundle + COD Black Ops 3 + SW Battlefront — $369.99  (list $470) PS4 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Bundle — $329.99  (list price $350) Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle — $314.99  (list price $400) Samsung 850 EVO SSD 2.5" 1TB MZ-75E1T0B/AM — $289.99  (list price $350) Xbox One 500GB Console Only (Pre-owned) — $169.99  (list price $210) PlayStation Plus 12-Month Card — $42.99  (list price $50)
Deals photo
Something for everyone

After last month's lull, it's weekend for games. New titles are launching left and right, like XCOM 2, which seems to be fairing well with critics and regular folks alike. If you're looking to pick it up, the best deal is a 23 percent off discount at GMG.

Surprisingly, the Digital Deluxe edition is outselling the standard package at the UK-based retailer. Perhaps the the discount has something to do with it.

Also at GMG, the new Doom is now available for pre-order. The latest entry in the storied FPS franchise was recently confirmation for a May 13 release later this spring. GMG's site-wide 20 percent mark down works on the game, and if you're so inclined, you'll receive an easy $12 off a Doom Steam key.

Finally on the console side, Bayonetta 2 is re-releasing on single physical disc in less than two weeks. Priced only at $30, this is one of most reasonably priced games we've seen since, well, forever. There is also a wicked pre-order deal for Bayonetta 2 via Dell, which is offering a $15 gift card with for pre-ordering the game.

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Fire Emblem Fates photo
English only

I woke up today to tons of emails and PMs, asking one simple question -- does Fire Emblem Fates have dual audio? So I quickly hopped over to the Extras menu, and found that no, it does not.

It's curious, as the option for Japanese voices was probably one of the best parts of Awakening, but alas, they're not here for all three versions of Fates. I reached out to Nintendo for comment to see if we have hope for a patch, but haven't heard anything back. Having said that, the dub isn't bad at all, even the Azura singing voice.

Expect more coverage on Fates in the next few weeks, and for now, you can see how the amiibo functionality works.

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Pokemon photo
Oddish too!

I've never been into gardening, but these Bulbasaur planters have convinced me to give it a shot.

The design is just too perfect; after seeing it, I had to snap one up right away. If you're interested in following suit, you should also check out this Oddish design from the same artist, Anqi Chen.

I wasn't as taken with that one, but maybe you prefer the Weed Pokémon to the Seed Pokémon.

Bulbasaur Planter [Esty via GoNintendo]

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Return to PopoloCrois gets March 1 release date

Feb 06 // Kyle MacGregor
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XSEED photo
At least in North America

Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale launches on March 1 in North America.

While XSEED will release the "farming-flavored" role-playing game in both physical and digital form across North America, Marvelous Europe is only planning it as a Nintendo 3DS eShop exclusive.

The crossover between the PopoloCrois manga series and Marvelous' Bokujou Monogatari games first released in Japan last June and sold more than 46,000 units in its opening week.

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The Legend of Legacy is out now in Europe

Feb 06 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]339490:62149:0[/embed]
ATLUS photo
Ribbit

The Legend of Legacy is now available across Europe, NIS America has announced.

I wasn't too fond of the role-playing game when it launched in North America last fall, finding it to be a repetitive experience without much to do besides explore and fight the local wildlife. But if you're a hardcore fan of the SaGa series and don't mind RPGs that are lacking on the story front, this one might just win you over with its pleasant visuals, soundtrack, and combat system.

Sound like your cup of tea? Maybe check it out. But if you don't love it, don't say I didn't warn you!

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Tomorrow Children photo
The only 'big game' I care about

I attempted to play the recent beta for The Tomorrow Children only to realize that, darn it, I was a few hours too late. After going through the brief tutorial section, I rode on a subway that was supposed to run to a town with other players where I could start my new life as a good citizen, harvesting enough resources from fallen beasts to one day buy a house and settle down. But the game's servers were only running during certain times, and this wasn't one of them.

Thankfully, Q-Games is about to hold another play session (and I didn't delete the app; if you did, head into your PS4 library to re-download it). A chance for redemption. We'll have a 24-hour window in which to try The Tomorrow Children starting on Sunday, February 7 at 1:00am Pacific.

Even in just the tutorial, this is a deeply strange video game. If you stay shrouded in darkness while digging out caves, your character, a doll-like girl called a "projection clone," will begin to Matrix out of existence. It's dangerous outside, too. Walk far enough into the vast nothingness, and you'll sink into the ground like it's quicksand. I must unravel your secrets, Tomorrow Children.

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Corgi gun photo
Thank you based mods

Shout out to the ravioli-date-owing boo Dalé and shout out to XCOM 2, which, damn, I want to be playing right now and shout out to JonTerp whose mod turns a gun into a cute-ass corgi. It fits fight up there with the three "official" XCOM 2 launch mods done by the Long War mod folks.

This game is making me so happy and I haven't even played it yet, if you couldn't tell by my manic fervor as I wrote about XCOM 2 just earlier in the afternoon while talking about skeleton cum and Ecto-Cooler.

Of course, there are some of us who feel JonTerp's mod does not go far enough, and that a total conversion mod worthy of the name Corgicom is still desired. Rome wasn't built in a day.

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Check out the beta

Just a quick note - we're launching a new version of our site soon, which you can preview at http://dev.destructoid.com. It still has a number of bugs to address before launch, but just wanted to give you an early head's up. (Note: You can't search on this URL.)

The update fixes some issues with iOS 9 and the new Facebook app (can't scroll!), as well as making it easier to get around some of our social features. A number of other improvements (like our blog editor) are still very much being worked on - this is just phase 1.

What's new: You can more easily browse a person's front page, social, and blog activity from simple counters on their signatures and blog headers. People who come here for the community can also enable "social mode" (chaos) which turns the homepage into a mix of staff and community content.

If you've upgraded to our ad-free version (pay whatever you want) you can also upscale the site beyond 1080p, which looks hella nice on large monitors. That's the version of Dtoid I wish I could give everyone, but hookers don't grow on virtual reality trees (we need your support to cover web hosting and event travel) so please subscribe if you can. Thanks!

I hope the new site will perform faster for everyone and not melt your devices. Also, ten years of Destructoid next month. Ten years! Madness.

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TrackMania Turbo hits PC and consoles in March

Feb 05 // Jordan Devore
[embed]339365:62143:0[/embed] This is going to be just wild in virtual reality (Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR).
TrackMania photo
Back on the radar you go

At some point during the past several months, TrackMania Turbo slipped off my radar. Which is a shame, because it looks super good. You can air-drop from a helicopter into a race and drive upside down on magnetic rollercoaster tracks. Uh, yeah, I'm on board with that.

The arcade-style racer was supposed to release last year, but it was delayed for another round of polish. It is now targeting March 22, 2016 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

This installment has 200 pre-built tracks spanning four themed environments: Rollercoaster Lagoon (which has been the focal point of the trailers), International Stadium, Canyon Grand Drift, and Valley Down & Dirty. You can also design your own devious tracks with the editor or, if you're feeling so bold, have the system spit out some procedurally generated ones.

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Community Replay: Bayonetta

Feb 05 // StriderHoang
This month's Community Replay is about Platinum Games' flagship franchise, Bayonetta! With her introduction in Smash Bros. and Platinum working on the highly anticipated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, it's time to brush up on one of the best character-action games of the past five years. The announcement of a new game is always an exciting thing, since Platinum usually promises and delivers on a few key aspects: blazing fast action at a steady 60 FPS, bombastic and over-the-top set pieces, and an easy to pick up combat system that will test the limits of how you improve yourself. Many of Platinum's games are well received examples of the oft-misconstrued character-action genre such as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Transformers: Devastation, and Wonderful 101 to name a few. But Platinum was arguably put on the map thanks to Bayonetta. The last Umbran witch, who's contracted to the demons of Inferno to hunt down the angels of Paradiso with her signature four gun setup (Scarborough Fair first, Love Is Blue afterwards). How else do you establish just where the action in your game is heading then by holding two guns in two hands and shooting two guns from two feet? While many say the story is convoluted, I always say why bother wrapping your head around it when you can simply enjoy the spectacle of traveling to Hell to personally drag your friend's soul back to her body and beating the demon holding said soul so mercilessly that you turn it into a pair of thorn whips? Get to blogging whatever your experiences and insights are and be sure to use "Bayonetta: [Your title here]" in your blog title. Additionally, be sure to apply "Community Replay" in the tags so I can round up these blogs easily. As for next month's prompt, we'll be going with a diverse selection of shooters for you to pick up on, partially in celebration of Doom's anniversary. Do you want to talk about Doom's legendary atmosphere and horror, GoldenEye/Perfect Dark's multiplayer shenanigans, or Halo's crazy lore and arena shootouts? Vote for next month and write for this month! Enjoy yourself some Bayo! [embed]339216:62144:0[/embed]
Community replay photo
Don't fuck with a witch

Welcome to Community Replay! Instead of offering up our usual Bloggers Wanted idea, which is a prompt to get you started, the Community Replay focuses on a specific game or game series in order to get you to talk about anything related to a beloved franchise. You can talk about its mind-blowing story, how much better its mechanics are than comparable games, obscure and debatable themes, or whatever else you want.

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Game Night at Giant Robot 2 Gallery

Feb 05 // Mike Martin
Event Synopsis:  The "interactive installation" that toured across North American art galleries, night clubs, and festivals can be enjoyed by anyone for the first time on Wii U or your mobile device with TWO new games! Dodge Club Party on Wii U is a frantic multiplayer free-for-all in an impressively micro 16x16 pixel arena! Gather your friends and dodge the fireball together! Will you mischievously sabotage other players to be the last one standing? Or perhaps you can all work as a team for the highest score of the night! Once the fireball is loose, anything goes! Operator is a training simulation for technicians specializing in operation of the Killigan Industries Extermination Satellite Console. Qualified candidates may make use of the provided telephone to contact our 24/7 customer support line. Killigan Industries is a small team of game developers based out of Los Angeles. Travis and Peter both come from the world of traditional game development having worked at companies like Naughty Dog, Bungie, Activision, Blizzard and more. They've been collaborating on passion projects for over a decade. Operator was featured as an Indiecade 2015 Official Digital Selection and will be on display at GDC 2016's alt.ctrl exhibit in San Francisco. Dodge Club Pocket on the App Store and Google Play is a FREE companion game! Practice dodging the red hot fireball solo in 64 unique pixelated challenges! You'll even unlock presents such as new characters, exclusive wallpapers, and bonus music!
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In LA tomorrow from 7-10pm!

Hey LA area Dtoiders! Looking for something to do tomorrow night? Why not head down to the Giant Robot 2 gallery? What's going there? Well check below (or hit the link to the left) for details silly!

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First Rise of the Tomb Raider PC patch mostly just makes sure you can go 'sploring

Feb 05 // Brett Makedonski
Startup issues: Fixed C++ runtime error showing up on startup preventing some users from running the game. Provided work-around for issue where the VC++ redist would not properly get installed, stopping the game from starting at all. Solved problem where the game would crash on startup when tools like Bins Taskbar organizer or Spacedesk are installed. Updated options screen: Independent mouse sensitivity control for aim and regular navigation. Mouse and Gamepad X axis inversion Option to disable keyboard button prompts. Option to disable mouse smoothing (very light mouse smoothing is present otherwise) Other fixes: A variety of fixes and improvements to UI including map, basecamps, and Remnant Resistance mode. New graphics option 'Specular Reflection Quality' to enhance resolution and reduce aliasing of specular reflections, at some performance cost. New graphics option to disable film-grain independently from 'Screen Effects'. Improved HBAO+ quality, including better occlusion for distant objects. Improved NVIDIA SLI performance. (Steam only) Fixed SLI glitches during water/snow effects. (Steam only) Resolution Modifier option that allows you to use a lower rendering resolution independent from window size when running in windowed mode. Performance optimization for situations where Razer Chroma features are enabled. (Steam Only) Improvements to Razer Chroma effects. (Steam Only) Fixed an issue that could rarely lead to an error on machines with 16 hardware threads or more. Fixed mouse cursor not always being hidden when using gamepad. Fixed major stuttering in Endurance mode. Fixes for Endurance leaderboards. Fixed Remnant Resistance missions occasionally not starting. Fixed rendering glitches on some objects on NVIDIA 6x0 and 7x0 hardware. Some issue do still happen and we are working with NVIDIA to resolve those in future patches or drivers. Warning messages for users turning textures to Very High or enabling SSAA to indicate high-end hardware is required. A variety of other smaller optimizations, bug-fixes, and tweaks. [02-05-2016] PC Patch notes for patch 1.0.610.1 [Steam]
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
And murdering too, I guess

Rise of the Tomb Raider is quite the good showing from Crystal Dynamics. Good enough, in fact, that we awarded it our Best Xbox Game of 2015. But, when we put it through its paces on PC, we found performance to be lacking, not up to the standard that the Xbox One version set.

Nixxes Software, the company handling the PC port, has released the first patch for Rise of the Tomb Raider. Although, it's not as much for people experiencing performance issues as it is people who are getting no performance at all. Nixxes says that startup errors and critical problems were the focus of this update, as a handful of them have been axed. This should get them performing their archaeological duties in no time.

That's not the end with regard to fixes, though. A laundry list of other tweaks is mentioned which is nice, but they're less important than the game-breaking issues that were hopefully resolved. There are even a few new additions to the options screen like the ability to have specific mouse sensitivities for both aiming and navigating.

Here's the full list of fixes employed in the first Rise of the Tomb Raider update:

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The Binding of Isaac photo
I, Zack, write about Isaac, on iPad

Oh, Edmund McMillen. Oh, Tyrone Rodriguez. You're both such teases. You always seem to have something new to show fans of The Binding of Isaac. Do you ever sleep? Is there perhaps a flying Twitter drone in your house that snaps pictures whenever something eventful happens?

This tweet showing McMillen playing Isaac on an iPad mini, with no caption, of course:

[embed]339338:62142:0[/embed]

I don't know how well touch controls would work with a precise game like Isaac, but I do know it would be personally dangerous to have the ability to play this literally whenever I want. If I ever stop posting on Destructoid, check and see if this game came out on iOS. If it didn't assume Brett killed me in my sleep.

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XCOM 2 cover: Cool or #darksiders2?

Feb 05 // Steven Hansen
Even original Doom guy had a sick ass crop top exposing his abs and a bunch of ankle-biting demons. And so we come back around to XCOM 2. It's a hell of a lot more interesting than Enemy Unknown's squad silhouettes and science-y blue. But I've been torn on it since the first time I saw it. It feels oddly like an artsy idea and less artful execution. The logos don't help, of course. The title typeface doesn't, either (but how do you make "XCOM2" look not stupid?). Does it look, I don't know, busy? Does the title up top draw away too much from the close-up symmetry of the design? Did you notice that the skulls have different facial expressions? Look close. This is decidedly Not How Skulls Work. There aren't supposed to be some mad eye sockets, some happy eye sockets. Granted, I've never seen my own skull and lived to tell about it (kills me every time) and I'm no bonologist, but it's kind of goofy. And, hey, goofy skulls otherwise intended for ominous portent? [Darksiders 2 comes sliding through the doorway on cue like Kramer] For those of you too young to remember, we had a glorious time with Darksiders 2 here at Destructoid. That game looked like a goth teen's middle school notebook. Handy might've had the definitive blog, counting all of the skulls in a small batch of screenshots (over 100!!!), but #darksiders2 continued as a hashtag ready to be loosed anytime a bleach-tipped, puka-shell-necklace-wearer finger blasted his girlfriend in a Chili's bathroom (thanks, Occams!). The hashtag still persists anytime something so specifically assaults the senses. Sometimes people use it to reference the game by the same name. That's where I'm at. I like the hustle on XCOM 2's behalf. I like the ambition. I like that it isn't boring as all get out. I can't say they nailed it. It looks a tad goofy, a tad off to me, but that's okay. Better than bland. The actual game has a lot more visual flair going on this time around too. PS: Someone count the skulls, please.
IS IT ART? photo
Good luck, Commander

While I would sell out any one of you reading right now to have spent the last week or two playing XCOM 2, our review copy must have been lost in the mail. It's out, probably dope as hell, and my guy Nic is on it working on the review.

And so it's been a while since we've talked about box art. I believe last time we came to the conclusion that only Japanese developers have a Hasbro's Clue® what the H-E-double-candlesticks-in-the-conservatory they're doing when it comes to box art. Just look at this Hot Package.

On the other hand, look at Bethesda's new Doom game. What's this baloney? At least it's closer to a popping yellow than brown and the "DOOM" typeface is cool, but, uh, look at this fucking Revenant art you could be using instead. The current Doom box art is smug, confident, "I can handle that, no biggie" space marine. That Revenant art has fucking neon laser beam Mountain Dew eyes, flaming jetpacks and screams ARE YOU READY TO PLAY SOME FUCKING DOOM!?!?!? while kicking you out of an airplane, into hell, armed with only a shotgun to break your fall.

Look at those lightning Ecto-Cooler eyes and roaring, salivating mouth; this fucking breakneck skeleton has just cummed the best cum of his life and he's ready to FUCK. YOUR. SHIT. UP. It is adrenaline ground up with tree pulp and Four Loko and pressed onto paper. Or it should've been, if fucking assholes weren't in charge of everything.

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H1Z1 photo
'King of the Kill' and 'Just Survive'

Daybreak plans to split up its multiplayer zombie survival game H1Z1 on February 17, 2016.

It's becoming two titles: H1Z1: Just Survive, an apocalyptic open-world experience with the usual scavenging and crafting, and H1Z1: King of the Kill, a "large-scale" multiplayer shooter. The former will be on Steam Early Access "through the end of the year," while the latter hopes to come out of Early Access this summer with a full PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One release.

The idea here is to appeal to "two distinct communities," according to Daybreak CEO Laura Naviaux. The split-apart games are even being made by separate internal development teams.

Current H1Z1 owners and anyone else who nabs it before February 17 will get King of the Kill and Just Survive at no additional cost. Otherwise, they're going to be $19.99 a piece.

With all that out of the way, I think some King of the Hill Photoshops are in order.

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Content has changed photo
Steven Universe x Regular Show collab

How many Adventure Time games has WayForward done now? Thirteen? Twenty-seven? It makes sense. Its original anime like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Steven Universe are hits. But why have someone else make the games when you can get the milk for free? Adult Swim Games is at least publishing games like Rick and Morty: Pocket Mortys (and dope stuff unrelated to its programming, like Jazzpunk).

Well, Cartoon Network has turned everything on its head by creating a new, in-house video game that isn't based on any of its established cartoons (though it's pretty dang similar), OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo.

It started life as an animated short, a pilot called Lakewood Plaza Turbo from Steven Universe’s Ian Jones-Quartey, co-produced by Regular Show storyboard artist Toby Jones. You can watch it online. But instead of becoming a 'toon, it became a game. It's an experiment in world-building according to Cartoon Network's chief content officer Rob Sorcher, who told Wired, "We're no longer just about creating TV series, we're really about creating animated worlds."

"OK K.O. is part of a concerted effort to reinvent our process of content creation," Sorcher said. "It's the expectation of a younger emerging audience that characters and worlds are there to be engaged with, commented on, built upon, contributed to, and interacted with. The world is no longer linear to a young audience. So why would we continue to create content that way?" Go ship wild, then.

Best news out of all this, far as I can tell? Cartoon Network's money people are aware that individual artists' idiosyncrasies, deliveries, and visions are dope as hell in creating interesting cartoons. Foster more folks like Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack) -- you'll get more money, and we'll get better anime.

Here Come Cartooniverses! Cartoon Network Is Moving Beyond TV [Wired]

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Friday Night Fights - Snuggie time

Feb 05 // Mike Martin
New to FNF? Read this! Each week, a bunch of us Dtoiders get together to play videogames online! It's a 100% community-run event, so feel free to join in or even host something yourself! The planning for FNF used to start in the forums, where community members signed up to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, etc.). Now, every Monday, posts go up in the community blogs where you sign up and it's all kept up thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers. I then recap it all here on Friday, on the front page to give it a bit more exposure. To join in, simply send a friend request to the match host! If you'd rather host something yourself, sound off in the comments section below! Tonight's Games: Witty Title Based on a Theme Only I KnowHost: Mr Andy Dixon (GT: Mr Andy Dixon)Time: 8pm PST | 11pm EST Check the XBOX FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Call of Duty: Blops 3 (PS4)*Host: GrumpyDad813 (PSN: SgtFuzzyFace)Time: 6pm PST | 9pm EST Joke about your mother (PS4)Host: Nanashi (PSN: Nanashi707)Time: 7pm PST | 10pm EST Check out the PS FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: NerdHost: Solar Pony Django (PSN: KAMaxamillianK)Time: 3pm PST | 6pm EST Check out the PS FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Smash Bros. (Wii U)Host: Shade of Light (NID: ShadeOfLight)Time: 3pm EDT | 8pm UCT Check out the Nintendo FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Maybe playing SmashHost: Smurfee McGee (NID: 4828-3774-2570)Time: 7pm PST | 10pm EST Check out the Nintendo FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Team Fortress 2 (Early Game)Server: 68.232.163.42:27015Time: 5pm PST | 8pm EST Team Fortress 2 (Late Game)Server: 68.232.163.42:27015Time 9pm PST | 12am EST Check out the PC FNF Blog for more info! Free this weekend? Why not sign up to host something for Weekend Warriors?! It's like Friday Night Fights all weekend long! Sign up in the comments or Forum thread if you're interested! Saturday: Sign up to host below! Sunday: Need for Speed (PS4)Host: Mike Martin (PSN: MickGuerrera)Time: Off and on. Check out the Weekend Warriors thread for more info! Want your channel featured here? Sign up in the Monday blog!  Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat (Every week) - Games (PS4) Host: GrumpyDad813 (Youtube, NOT TWITCH)Time: 4pm PST | 7pm EST (Mon - Wed) - Fri: 7pm PST | 10pm EST - Sat: 6pm PST | 9pm EST I think Thursday & Saturday I'll do Agar.io streams if ya'll wanna join those. This War of Mine: Little OnesHost: Def (Twitch: TheDefenestrator)Time: 1pm PST | 4pm EST Remember folks, hosts with a * by their name are streaming! Click the game title for the link
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Game with the Dtoid Community!

I feel like hot garbage. Woke up just... blech. I feel like the inside of Andy's asshole after a NARP. Heavy, floppy, and grossly wet. Anyway, games. We should play them. I still have to drag my carcass to work, so I won't be on until late, but... I don't even know. Bah, play games, make love. Eat chicken soup. *falls over* 

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GameStop is publishing a game AND 'not trying to be a publisher'

Feb 05 // Steven Hansen
Oh, and GameStop, which is not trying to be a publisher. Well, Stanley, might you folks go on to publish more games? "We will listen to what the game community has to say about this game, and go from there," he said. Stanley! No! Fuck! If you aren't trying to be a game publisher, leaving open the option of publishing more games is the second last thing you should do. Fuck! GameStop: 'We're not trying to be a publisher' [MCV]
WHAT!? photo
Got peas on my head don't call me a pea

Hahaha.

The new hotness from Insomniac (aside from the Ratchet and Clank tie-in) is Song of the Deep, a 2D, underwater metroidvania. It's $15 for PC, PS4, Xbox One. And GameStop, the retailer, is publishing it. But don't call GameStop a publisher.

GameStop's Mark Stanley told MCV, "We are not attempting to be publishers here." Well you fucked up that one! Publishing a game is the last thing you should do if you don't want to be a publisher. This is like when I have to scream-splain to the Target cashier that I'm not "trying" to make a scene. 

"We are simply taking a great opportunity to collaborate in a non-traditional way, and trust that the combination of all these great ingredients we have put in make for a great experience." Yawn. "GameStop has worked closely with all publishers for many years, and our store associates have been instrumental in growing triple-A franchises. That will not change. We are simply taking an opportunity to do something different." Yawwwn.

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Steam Chinese New Year photo
8,910 games on sale all week

Steam has a massive new sale going on through next Friday, February 12, in honor of the Lunar New Year (known 'round San Francisco as Chinese New Year). You can get hits like Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 for only $90! There are also a lot of games in languages you're more likely to understand, like English, for cheap.

There's a nice landing page to get yourself situated with highlights. Maybe you're tantalized by 75-83% off the XCOM franchise and then open it to find XCOM 2 is still full price (fair). Maybe you're into the 75% off the Tomb Raider franchise and then open it to find Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC) is still full price (fair). Maybe you missed every other day when the Fallout series has been on sale, or you just want Fallout 4 for...$40! (finally!)

But if you want to be truly comprehensive, a deals-sniffing maven, you'll want to go through each of the 8,910 games on sale to find your Huckleberry.

Ryse: Son of Rome is only $7!

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Review in Progress: XCOM 2

Feb 05 // Nic Rowen
XCOM 2 (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Firaxis GamesPublisher: 2K GamesReleased: February 5, 2015MSRP: $59.99 I'm a sap. A total and complete sap. If a game has an option to individually customize characters, I will always engage with it to the exclusion of everything else until I'm happy with what I've done. Even more so in a game like XCOM where the stakes are high and characters run a high risk of dying a horrible, and permanent, death. What better way to make that loss feel real? When a squadie gets flayed by an alien soldier wielding a rail gun in my game, I'm not just out a decent Ranger, I've lost one of my friends. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who does this, because Firaxis leaned into the character creation element hard in XCOM 2. Before you even begin fighting the alien menace, you can hop into the character creator and start making your dream squad, filing them away to show up organically in your game as fresh recruits and VIP extraction targets. As I said, I know I'm a sap, but that didn't stop me from being positively giddy when I found a grizzled rifle-toting version of my brother in my first randomized squad. Unlike XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which had fairly limited customization options, there are tons of small, silly, character-establishing quirks to fiddle with in XCOM 2 when you should be plowing through missions and writing a review. Sunglasses, tattoos, cigarettes, scars, camo patterns, accents, all sorts of small ways to make your squad feel like yours. It does make me wonder why there are only a handful of possible faces to round out all these options, but that is a minor quibble. XCOM 2 seems harder than Enemy Unknown, but in a satisfying way. Whenever a game builds up a reputation as punishing, there is always a risk that the developers will take it too far in the sequel, ramp up the difficulty in ways that don't seem fair. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case. The challenge is stiffer, but it comes from a more varied and tactically interesting set of options and enemies than a brute force buff to enemy stats. While the aliens have always outnumbered the XCOM force, the imbalance is even greater here. Even in early missions you'll run into stacked odds. This is mitigated by the new concealment mechanic which allows your squad to move freely in stealth to setup a devastating ambush before the fight begins in earnest. Play your cards right, and you can trap the aliens in a crossfire straight out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's almost unhealthy how satisfying it feels to drop three aliens on your very first turn of combat. Not that you'll always have time to get that ambush in motion. Timed missions and pressure conditions are more common in XCOM 2, urging you and your squad to overextend and take stupid risks in an effort to beat the clock. In these situations, trying to set up that ideal ambush situation can hamstring you in the end when you run out of turns to complete the mission. You have to get a feel for when you need to rush and when you have time to get cheeky. I've already managed to lose a couple of squad members (including Jane Kelly, the named tutorial character with spoken dialog; hope she's not supposed to show up in more story stuff later on!) and I expect they are far from the last. Despite playing hundreds of hours of Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within, XCOM 2 has done enough to change up the formula to make fighting the aliens an unpredictable, surprising, and scary experience. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm going to need more time to beat the game, test the other difficulty options, and try out multiplayer before I'll be able to issue a final verdict. (2K Games only provided us a copy on the day before launch for some reason so unfortunately we're playing catch-up. Sorry!) So far, though, XCOM 2 is an impressive feat. A total improvement to a game that I already thought was pretty damn close to perfect. I've yet to pull out its guts, but if the first few hours are any indication, this is going to be one hell of an alien autopsy. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
XCOM 2 review in prog photo
Welcome back, commander

I've only had a few hours with XCOM 2, Firaxis Games' follow-up to its 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown and I can already tell it's a different beast. At its core, it is still the same isometric turn-based strategy game it has always been, but a darkness has been cast over every element of the game. The story is darker, set 20 years after humanity knuckled under to alien oppressors who now control the media and government and “reward” loyal citizens with inhuman gene splicing and mind control. The tactical edge is keener, crueler. XCOM is no longer a military powerhouse, it's a guerrilla insurgency and it operates like one, striking from the shadows, picking off the easy meat. The alien force isn't a sloppy invasion effort, it's an entrenched and fortified establishment, and it wastes no time throwing specialized units at your squad to demonstrate why they're the conquerors of the world.

It's a whole new world for the XCOM team, and I can't wait to tear into it. Every mission so far has brought something new to the table, some interesting twist on the original formula. I keep pushing for “one more mission” because I can't live in suspense about the next surprise, the next twist of the knife. I've had to tear myself away from it just to write this impressions piece.

It makes me almost regret that I spent my first hour with the game systematically creating future-soldier versions of all my friends to show up as squad mates in the game. Almost.

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GDC awards photo
Directed Fallouts 3-4, Oblivion, Skyrim

Hot on the heels of Fallout 4, Todd Howard, director of later The Elder Scrolls and Bethesda's Fallout 3 and 4, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th annual Game Developers Choice Awards in March. Fallout 4 will also be up for several Game Developers Choice Awards including Game of the Year, Best Design and Best Technology.

Howard follows last year's lifetime achievement award winner, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. He also joins "Father of PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi, BioWare co-founders Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka, not-retired Peter Molyneux, John Carmack, and Hideo Kojima. A whole lotta folks.

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Humble Monthly Bundle has 70K subscribers

Feb 05 // Jordan Devore
Graham says subscriptions are at a point where "we can make meaningful deals with game developers to secure great content, we get to write our featured charity a $30,000+ check, and, because we can predict revenues fairly accurately, we've even started funding some small gaming projects, Humble Originals, that you won't find anywhere else and that our subscribers will get to play first." Supporting charities is a big part of the company's identity, whether it's giving back ten percent of proceeds from the Humble Store, five percent from Monthly subs, or left up to the user to decide in name-your-price bundles. I asked how they arrived at that amount for this service. "It's always tricky to craft a new business model," said Graham. "When we launched Humble Monthly, we had to do a lot of guesswork about the best way to frame everything so that we could get the product off the ground. By giving ourselves more flexibility with which we can use to pay for game content, I think we have helped the product be more successful and more sustainable, which I believe will actually mean more money for charity in the long run." Today is the first Friday of the month, which means February's games are unlocked for existing members. The full lineup is Alien: Isolation, Titan Souls, Broken Age, Volume, Penarium, Dropsy, Elephant in the Room (one of the "Humble Originals" made specifically for subscribers), and a "sneak peek demo" of Planetoid Pioneers with custom content. The early unlock for next month's bundle is Ark: Survival Evolved, that open-world game with ridable dinosaurs. Folks who sign up now will get immediate access to the title, but it's too late to secure February's offerings.
Humble Monthly Bundle photo
February's games revealed

Last year, Humble began a new monthly bundle service. The basic idea is that on the first Friday of each month, subscribers receive a batch of undisclosed PC games. One of the featured titles is always announced and made available for download ahead of time, so prospective patrons have something to go on, but otherwise, it's essentially a $12-per-month digital blind box.

Some people are way into these sorts of programs. I can't say I'm among them, whether it's video games or geek merchandise or whatever else, but I was curious to hear how things were going for Humble Monthly so far. Speaking to Destructoid, Humble Bundle co-founder John Graham shared that, as of today, there are more than 70,000 subscribers.

"There was a fair amount of churn for the very first month in November," he told us via email. "Because consumers have to prepay for their monthly bundle without knowing what games lie in store, I think the first month had a bit of friction where some customer expectations diverged from what we were actually planning for our product.

"Now that Humble Monthly has been out for a few months and we can showcase the awesome content from past Monthly Bundles, I think we are hitting our stride and it's become way easier to make customers comfortable."

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Pokemon Nendoroid photo
Gary was here, Ash is a loser!

It's getting hard to keep up with all these awesome and adorable Nendoroid figures! Coming soon are new figures for the Pokémon trainer and his rival from Pokémon Red and Blue, as well as Mew. As with all Nendoroids, I can't get over how freaking cute they all are.

So far, the only Nendoroid I've purchased is Teddie from Persona 4 which I have proudly displayed on my bookshelf, but I'm always tempted to buy more. I would love to add Gary Oak to my collection. Despite being a huge jerk, he's still awfully suave.

The set will be available July 9, 2016 for 7500 yen (about $65). Smell ya later!

Link [Pokemon.co.jp]

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Review: Tachyon Project

Feb 05 // Chris Carter
Tachyon Project (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Eclipse GamesPublisher: Eclipse GamesReleased: July 15, 2015 (PC, Xbox One), Jan 19, 2016 (PS4)MSRP: $9.99 Tachyon, as the name probably suggests, is housed upon a foundation that involves a cheesy cyberpunk hacking plot. Players are placed into a dystopian future of sorts, hacking police stations and corrupt governments by way of a tiny ship. In a way, it's kind of like the setup for the Sly Cooper spinoff Bentley's Hack Pack, but a lot more serious. And really, there is a bit of charm there, especially if you dig the cyberpunk aesthetic. I commend Eclipse Games for trying something other than the "menu to shooting" approach, and it helps ground the campaign a bit and give the whole affair meaning. Some light commentary during missions also helps make things interesting while you're blasting away. The soundtrack, like the story, has a muted, chill feeling to it, which I dig. While Happy Hardcore songs during bullet hell dodging is great, I like the low key electronica soundtrack here, as it meshes well with the game's dark hues and not-too-bright neon visuals. Gameplay-wise, Tachyon operates on a twin-stick control method, with two sets of power-ups mapped to two buttons. That's all you really need to know, and once you start progressing on your journey, more options will open up. The shooting bits in general work well, and I like how using your normal cannon has a recoil effect (but not jarringly so) -- forcing players to course correct and get to know their ship a bit better. Players can also min-max stats by choosing a new chassis to suit their own style of play. I'm more of the defensive health-conscious player myself. Levels primarily stay engaging because of interesting enemy types. It's mostly stuff you've seen before, but black holes that suck up bullets, kamikaze ships, and generally aggressive AI will keep you on your toes. It's also easy to tell everything apart and identify its logic, so you don't have to constantly guess what a specific enemy type is. Tachyon Project isn't a remarkable shooter, but it's well-designed on several levels. There's no multiplayer to speak here, but with a decent campaign, lots of customization, and New Game+/Endless modes, you'll be perfectly fine going at it solo. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Tachyon Project photo
Hackin' like Jonny Lee Miller

While the shoot 'em up genre isn't the king it once was, more and more gems are coming out every passing year. New development studios are taking to Steam and mobile, and even Cave is coming out of the woodwork to become relevant again. It's a great time for shmup fans if you know where to look.

I hadn't heard of Tachyon Project when it arrived in 2015, but a recent PS4 release spurred my interest.

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Tekken 7 photo
Oh and Akuma has an EX meter

Bandai Namco has provided a ton of new screens for Tekken 7 Retrbution, their update of sorts to the base game, and it gives us a few new looks at characters like Paul, Hwoarang, Devil Jin, Alisa, and of course, Fox. Interestingly enough, Akuma has an EX meter when he fights. If you want to yonder on over to the location tests next week in Japan, you can likely play him.

Fact: Tekken's Steven Fox hates it when you call him "Steve." Our Steven Hansen is the same way. Take note, PR.

Tekken 7 [Namco Bandai via Shoryuken]

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Dragon Ball photo
Europe was second

Europe may love its One Piece, but North America loves its Dragon Ball.

Bandai Namco has shared the sales statistics for Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and they clock in at a massive 3.13 million copies shipped. Shipped, sold, whatever the case is, that's pretty damn good. The publisher broke down regions too -- 1.78 million in America, 1.05 million in Europe, 230,000 in Japan, and 60,000 in Asia.

Very few properties last this long, but it makes me happy to see Dragon Ball still alive and well -- or at least, it validates that I wasn't such a weirdo for watching it back in the day.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse [Famitsu via Gematsu]

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Fire Emblem Fates photo
Robin, Ike, Marth, Lucina

I've been playing Fire Emblem Fates this week (Nintendo sent the Special Edition cart that has all three versions) for review, and I've had a chance to test out the amiibo feature. To my surprise some folks didn't even know the game had that functionality, so I figured I'd dish a bit on it.

In short, it's a small heaping of fanservice. Currently supported amiibo include Robin, Ike, Marth, and Lucina, who eventually join your roster, and also make cute little appearances in your home base, dubbed the "My Castle" system. Once you've reached the forked path at Chapter 6 you'll technically unlock the mechanic, but it's not until Chapter 7 or so that you can really start using it.

Basically, tapping a figure to the bottom screen of your New 3DS (or the accessory) will warp that character into your castle. Initially players can go up to them and chat a bit (they'll spout a few lines of dialogue at a time), some of which break the fourth wall and allude to their appearance in Super Smash Bros. You'll also get to acquire items from them like Marth's Tiara or Lucina's Butterfly Mask, and on their third meeting, you can fight them, after which they'll join your cause. Figures are locked to one use per Chapter, so you'll have to queue up another battle before interacting with them again.

I really like the feature, as it's an extra way to spend some downtime in your castle while you're doing other things like interacting with party members and collecting crops. Is it "$13 per figure fun" though? That depends on how much mileage you get out of them, and if you also use the toys for their Super Smash Bros. and Code Name: Steam capabilities (along with tertiary functionality in Chibi-Robo, amiibo tap, Captain Toad, Mario Party 10, Super Mario Maker, and Yoshi's Woolly World).

Since the Roy and Corrin amiibo aren't actually out yet, support for Fire Emblem Fates has not been confirmed. You can probably bet that they'll be added in the form of a patch though.

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