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Hang out with Destructoid at PAX Prime 2015

Aug 28 // Steven Hansen
The general schedule of funsies is as follows: THURSDAY Join the Destructoid staff and community for some pre-PAX drinking and arcades at Gameworks (1511 7th Ave). Meet new folks, catch up with the homies, play Taiko Drum Master, and let me coax you into drinking strange liqueurs (round of Fernet? Round of Fernet) Let's say folks roll in around 8PM allowing time for dinners (find people to dine with!). FRIDAY Nothing "official" planned for today, but you've made so many new friends last night at Gameworks that you'll have no problem coming up with some great plans, eh? SATURDAY Elephant & Castle, it lives! Located in the Motif Hotel (formerly the Red Lion, 1415 5th Avenue), it's a fake English bar to remind you of home. You're all from England, right? Let's plan for typical convening around 8PM, but note that this joint does food, too. SUNDAY Our yearly picture, days into the show, when when we look near our worst, but new and old friendships have had time to ferment and everyone has that glint in their eye, probably from all the sex. (No one is allowed to have sex, this is a family website - Ed.). Be ready for your close up at 12PM at Pike St in front of the convention center. MONDAY I'm leaving. I probably should get home and feed my cat. But elsewise, to quote the much better at this Andy Dixon, "Monday means sad goodbyes to friends you don't see nearly enough, and as always, we'll be meeting up at Rock Bottom (1333 Fifth Ave) about 8pm." - Plans can always change. Stay frosty. Keep friends in the loop. Use any means of communication you got. Take pictures. Get hugs. Give hugs. Say no to drugs. Let's have a lovely weekend.
PAX Prime 2015 plans photo
THAT MEANS YOU

PAX Prime is this weekend. It's a yearly, consumer-focused gaming convention held in rainy Seattle, Washington that always has a large turnout of Destructoid folks. And I'm not just talking about us writerly jagoffs, though we'll be there in force. I'm talking the lovely community members that make this site a great place to work at everyday while actually being mostly naked and at home. 

So let's hang out! All of us. We'll huddle under limited umbrellas because it's meant to rain all weekend, but that will just make us closer and wetter.

If you're making the trip, there are a number of ways to get coordinated with future besties, including a Facebook Messenger group that everyone is encouraged to join (figured it might be easier than GroupMe or similar group chat apps). Getting the Facebook Messenger app on your phone is recommended, but it also works with the regular site/app. Anyone in the group can add you, holler if you need in, or physically handcuff yourself to someone in the group and have them serve as your liaison.

Let's roll 50 deep into every establishment so it takes an hour to get your McDonalds order.

For newbies, Andy's old How to survive PAX post is full of advice I endorse fully. Note that on the staff end, the following jagoffs are in attendance: Steven Hansen, Jordan Devore, Kyle MacGregor, Brett Makedonski, Zack Furniss, Alissa McAloon, Alessandro Fillari, Myles Cox, and Mike Cosimano.

As an aside: Captain Merica is doing a fab job rebuilding out the regional groups registrar in his PAX Prime community blog...even if you're not going to PAX, there may be dtoiders closer than you think!

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Friday Night Fights - Chicken parts and PAX farts

Aug 28 // 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 starts in the forums, where community members sign up to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, etc.). Then, every Friday, reminder posts go up in the community blogs thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, and I recap it all here 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 Streamers: Add yourself in the comments if you are streaming! All games marked with * below, will be streamed. Click on the game title to be taken to the respective channel. Here's the up-to-date Streamtoid schedule. Wanna join in the fun? Send us an email! Tonight's Games:  Sign up to host in the comments below! Check the XBOX FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Rocket League  (PS4) Host: Honey Nanaboo (PSN: Nanashi707) Time: 530pm PST | 830pm EST Payday 2: Crimewave Edition (PS4) Host: Two balls and a stick (PSN: Nanashi707) Time: 830pm PST | 1130pm EST Check out the PS FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: I'm too lazy to be witty Host: I'm too lazy to change the link this week too. Time: I don't know who I am anymore.  Check out the PS FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Super Smash Brothers Host: StriderHoang (NID: StriderHoang) Time: 9pm PST | 12am EST Check out the Nintendo FNF blog for more info! Tonight's Games: Smurf is at Pax smelling like a da fish. Host: 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: 68.232.163.42:27015 Time: 5pm PST | 8pm EST Team Fortress 2 (Late Game) Server: 68.232.163.42:27015 Time 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 in the comments below! Sunday:  Sign up to host in the comments below! Check out the Weekend Warriors thread for more info! Sunday -Aug. 30th Zombi/Until Dawn Player: TheDefenstrator TwitchID: http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator
Friday Night Fights photo
Game with the Dtoid Community!

First off, let's thank the amazing crew handling the new Friday Night Fight blog. You guys are amazing and I appreciate you all stepping up to the plate on this. As some of you may know, I haven't been going through the best of times. In fact, unless I can figure something out, this might be my last FNF post, as I'll be forced to resign (not by anyone here, but I can't hold a job if I can't do said job). Let's set sad shit aside though. It's Friday, let's play some games together.

Before we get to gaming though, check Steven's (he's so dreamy) Dtoid PAX guide here and also take a peek at Captain Murica's (I'd hit it) community meetup/PAX meetup guide here. Captain has the deets on avatar adoption as well.

Oops! Forgot to give a shout out to our newly launched Twitchtoid as well! Twitchtoid is a cabal of Dtoid streamers, using their personal channels, but organized under one banner. If you're interested in becoming a community streamer, please shoot me an email. I'll be doing my best to promote you guys and in some cases, provide games to stream.

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PAX gallery photo
Hardly any carpets (or sexy cosplay)

We're in Seattle chillin' out, maxin', PAX'ing all cool. Remember that if you, too, are in Seattle, you should come hang out with Destructoid staff and community members. We even managed to stake out an entire sports table last night dedicated to laughing at Florida sports teams (and, you know, other people were playing Street Fighter 3rd Strike, and stuff).

Anyways! We're running around doing work, but I wanted to take some pictures for yous guys. And not just the one of a Bullet Bill's butthole. I didn't take any pictures at last night's meet up because I was drinking and didn't have this fancy borrowed camera I clearly am an amateur at using, but there's a bunch on the web.

The Gungho logo (purple) looks like a g-spot vibrator.

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FATALITY photo
All that DLC you'll miss out on

Warner Bros. has finally officially canceled Mortal Kombat X for PS3 and Xbox 360 after delays and months of silence.

"After months of development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has come to the regrettable conclusion that we cannot release Mortal Kombat X for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  Please know our teams worked diligently to meet the quality standards set by the current-gen versions of the game.  We were not able to get the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions to the quality expected of a Mortal Kombat game and are very sorry for not being able to deliver the products as originally planned."

So there you have it, Warner Bros. couldn't get the quality it expected out of the game, so it did the right thing and canceled it instead of releasing a broken product. Good on you Warner Bros. and sorry to those who had wanted to play it on last generation consoles. 

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BREAKING photo
Live on scene at PAX Prime in Seattle

Venerable Super Mario villain Bullet Bill (really, villain? He just a bullet, he goes where he is shot, he has no say in the matter!) is most often seen in profile thanks to his 2D leanings.

However, if this official character mock up provided by Nintendo at its PAX Prime booth answers that age-old question: what does a Bullet Bill's butthole look like?

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Odin Sphere photo
A Vita pouch and a charm

Although it's only been announced for Japan so far, Amazon has a pre-order listing up for Odin Sphere package for 3,298 yen, and it looks great. In short, it comes with a PlayStation Vita pouch, lens cloth, and a material (potion) charm. It's important to note that this does not include the game, and is merely an extra.

I hope we get to see cool extras like this overseas -- it's been so long since Odin Sphere's release, and wouldn't mind picking up some of this stuff. The actual game will be released on January 14, 2016 on PS3, PS4, and Vita, and later in the year in the US.

Odin Sphere [Amazon.jp]

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Guilty Gear photo
Following BlazBlue

Back in July, BlazBlue invaded Phantasy Star Online 2. Now, Guilty Gear Xrd is getting a turn. Costumes for Sol, Ky (both male and female), Millia, May, and Elphelt are available as of the next update, scheduled for the fall.

I love these sort of wacky crossovers, I just wish the US would get an official Phantasy Star Online 2 client. Having played the original for years, I have dabbled with some workarounds, but a lot of my friends refuse to play it until it's officially released. C'mon Sega!

Guilty Gear [4Gamer]

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Hover photo
Now in Alpha 3.0

[embed]308218:60175:0[/embed]

Even though I backed Hover: Revolt of Gamers back when the campaign launched, I didn't really dig into it until last month -- and man was it worth it. Now the development team has updated the game into the 3.0 alpha build, and the improvements are looking great.

If you're into the Jet Set Radio series, you owe it to yourself to at least watch the trailer.

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Mega Man Tribute photo
Reprint is on the way in December

The Mega Man Tribute artbook is a pretty wonderful little tome, and it's getting a reprint later this year. You can check out the awesome new cover art above, compliments of the amazing Hitoshi Ariga, and Jeffrey Cruz.

The re-release will be a hardcover edition, and will be sold for $44.99 on December 10. If you're into Mega Man art, I recommend it, but be warned -- all it basically has is art.

Mega Man Tribute HC [Amazon]

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Review: One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Bandai Namco GamesRelease: August 25 2015MSRP: $59.99 Pirate Warriors 3 is a reboot of sorts (within the confines of the Pirate series that is), taking us all the way back to the beginning. Players will get a recap of Gold Roger the Pirate King, and how his death sparked the search for the great One Piece treasure, ushering in the Great Age of Pirates. After briefly showing us a Young Luffy, stoked by the fires of adventure, the game jumps 10 years into the future as our hero begins to gather his crew, starting with the ruffian Zoro. It's ambitious, starting over like this, but it's a great starting point for players who enjoy Warriors games, and have no prior knowledge of One Piece's narrative. You'll even get all caught up with the Dressrosa arc, the most recent bit of story (albeit with a different ending). With all that in mind, this is a very brief recap indeed, with entire arcs condensed to a single mission. In that way it spreads itself thin in many ways, not to mention the odd design choice of starting all over on the third game in the series. Battles still follow the same Warriors beat 'em up formula you know and love, with light and heavy attacks that can be chained into combos. What's crazy this time around though is the introduction of the Kizuna system, which lends itself well to One Piece's insane over-the-top style. Here, you'll be able to call out teammates for attacks on a constant basis, as well as unleash gigantic supers with multiple crew members, culminating in an explosion that usually kills hundreds of people at once. It's a mixed bag though, because while said explosions look really cool, they're ultimately all the same despite what crew members you have in the mix. So while it's entertaining for the first 100 times, it loses its luster eventually. Also, the regular Kizuna attacks are a bit clunky, as there's a half second delay for your party members to jump in and do their thing. It's not a huge deal, but it definitely could have been handled better. [embed]308138:60166:0[/embed] As for the rest of the combat mechanics, they're rather on point, and as usual, I like to make the point that the system is much deeper than the "button mashing" scheme non-fans accuse the Warriors series of. For instance, Luffy, your first playable character, starts with 14 combos, all of which have a purpose when you're playing on higher difficulty levels. Plus with nearly 40 playable characters in all, the amount of variety on offer is nothing to sneeze at. You'll want to play on a higher difficulty too, because without it, the actual story scenarios will likely start to wear on you. Without a local partner to play with enemies tend to blend together throughout stages, and despite the mixing up of themes (military, rural), they all function basically in the same manner, with the same types of weapons. The dialogue is also poorly written at times, and doesn't do a great job of drawing you into the world beyond the out-of-mission cutscenes. But hot damn, is that world beautiful on PS4. The only time I ever saw a framerate hit was when Kizuna moves were being done in local co-op, but other than that, it's silky smooth. No matter how many enemies are on-screen the game is relatively stable, and it's easy to dash around an entire map and lay waste to hundreds of enemies at a time. While the mission objectives aren't innovative in any way, they nailed the hectic feel of the anime. The story follows the typical Warriors format of roughly 15 hours of gameplay, with 50 or more to try to max out every character. Of course, there's more modes available, including free play, and "Dream" mode, which is basically a remixed version of the story. The latter sees you jumping from island to island, fighting off enemies in unique scenarios and gaining new characters and bonuses in the process. As a note, online play is only available for story mode, but local co-op is enabled for every game type. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, from a gameplay standpoint, is simply "more Pirate Warriors 2." It doesn't really do anything new outside of the slightly different Kizuna system, and veterans will likely favor the Dream mode instead of the retreading story. Despite its Frankenstein-esque shortcomings, Pirate Warriors 3 is a beautiful game, and still a lot of fun to play locally.
One Piece review photo
From Straw Hat to Dressrosa

I haven't kept entirely up to date with One Piece, but I do read the summaries, and have caught most of the earlier arcs. It's a daunting task (the series has been running since 1997) in terms of the anime, and there's lots of filler involved, but the characters, for the most part, are interesting enough to watch. Plus, there's always the chance that we'll finally learn what the "One Piece" really is (it's going to be "family" isn't it?).

Thankfully, the games tend to side with brevity in favor of more action-oriented affairs.

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What other indie amiibo would you like to see now that Shovel Knight is confirmed?

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
Here's something to get you started: [embed]308237:60178:0[/embed]
amiibo photo
A Binding of Isaac amiibo would be rad

Now that the Shovel Knight amiibo is officially official, the floodgates have presumably been opened for other indie collaborations. While we aren't 100% sure that he'll appear in Super Smash Bros. as a guest character, I seriously doubt that Nintendo will stop at just one third-party mashup.

Personally, I'd love to see a Binding of Isaac amiibo. Sure it probably wouldn't be flea-ridden and gushing with blood, but the standard Isaac model would likely make it past the approval process. Plus, what better way to incentivize the 3DS and Wii U editions of the game than a tiny amiibo bonus?

Another game ripe for an amiibo is Runbow, whose standard character model is iconic enough on its own, not to mention open for plenty of variants. Plus, as a Wii U exclusive, it has plenty of wiggle room to negotiate with Nintendo.

How about you?

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Mighty No. 9 photo
Four levels, six challenges

As you may have heard, Mighty No. 9 was delayed recently into 2016. As an apology of sorts, backers will be able to access an "exclusive trial," which will run from September 15, for a full month on PC. It will include four levels, one of which hasn't been playable before, and six challenge mode stages. Additionally, the previously displayed stages will have new enemy placements, on top of a visual upgrade.

"All relevant cutscenes" are included since the single player is "basically done," as well as a variety of voice and subtitle options. Dialogue boxes can now be toggled, in addition to an 8-bit soundtrack mode. Finally, all backers will get a free code for Mighty Gunvolt on Steam.

It's a nice little gesture, but it probably would have been better served right at the announcement of the delay.

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XCOM 2 delayed into 2016

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
XCOM 2 photo
Well, it was just announced...

Welp. Just a few months after XCOM 2 was announced as a PC-exclusive bound for a 2015 release, 2K Games has relayed the news of a delay. It is now coming worldwide on February 5, 2016.

The reason for the delay? According to developer Firaxis, "more depth, replayability, and more investment in your soldiers, " as well as mod support. So, basically the core principles of an XCOM game. That all sounds good, and I'm completely ok with this. It'll be interesting to see if lightning can strike twice for Firaxis, and whether or not they'll bring it to other platforms.

XCOM 2 [XCOM]

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Metal Gear Solid V photo
I know, screw Konami

[embed]308215:60174:0[/embed]

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is less than a week away, but for now, you can enjoy a really strange commercial involving a cardboard box wedding. It's more like an homage to the series, showing touching moments throughout multiple games, in addition to an advert for Phantom Pain.

Note! In the process of showing past clips from the series, it spoils a part of Metal Gear Solid 4. Then again, why haven't you played Guns of the Patriots yet?

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Mario Maker photo
The 'World' style still rocks

[embed]308214:60173:0[/embed]

Nintendo is still feeding us information for Super Mario Maker, and this time, it's a quick look at the different styles available. As most of you know by now, the game has the original Super Mario Bros. 8-bit theme available, as well as Super Mario 3, World, and U.

The bad news is that a lot of the cool features (like the amiibo costumes) only work in 8-bit form. Expect our review next week.

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Borderlands movie photo
Can it top Tales from the Borderlands?

Borderlands is Gearbox's star property. Though The Pre-Sequel was kind of a letdown, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Tales from the Borderlands have all been critical and/or commercial successes. Of course 2K and Gearbox would want there to be a movie. Of course.

Lionsgate (The Hunger Games, Divergent) will be heading up production, but past that there isn't much known. Will it be live action or CG (I'm hoping for the latter, personally)? Will it take place before, during, or after the current events in the series? Will it star the Vault Hunters we already know and love or introduce a new set of characters? Will it actually be good (god I hope so)?

The Borderlands movie is set to be produced by Avi and Ari Arad, who are best known for working on superhero comic movies like Iron Man.

'The Hunger Games' studio Lionsgate is making a Borderlands movie [VentureBeat]

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Final Fantasy XIV photo
Lasts until September 7

Starting this week and running until September 7, 2015, Final Fantasy XIV will run the "Rising" event, complete with rewards and a few "guest appearances." The items include two minions, and celebratory fireworks.

The event is being held to "reflect on the Calamity" (an in-game event), and to fend off the festivities from a "terrible insect infestation." It will be held in Ul'dah, the Steps of Nald, at the coordinates 10, 10.

Again, I love that Square Enix holds events like these, and heavily injects lore into them -- it's a good excuse to get back into the game.

The Rising [Final Fantasy XIV]

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Lost Reavers photo
Still looks up in the air

[embed]308208:60171:0[/embed]

I could go either way on Project Treasure, which has recently had a name switch into Lost Reavers. Shooting mummies with machine guns in a dungeon crawling format looks awesome, as do the Souls-esque boss fights, but the free-to-play scheme still has me worried.

This announcer though -- he's getting me more excited! Watch the trailer to see what I mean. A beta is coming if you happen to live in Japan.

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LawBreakers trailer photo
Gameplay trailer shows four classes

Two days ago we got the first reveal for Cliff Bleszinski's new arena shooter LawBreakers. Today we get a brief look at the gameplay and if I had to describe it with one word, that word would be "motion."

Each of the four classes shown has its own unique movement ability. Kitsune the Assassin has a grappling hook, which she uses to swing over the Grand Canyon. Breacher the Gunner has a floaty jump (and possibly a double jump -- it's hard to tell) and the ability to blind fire behind him. Maverick the Skirmisher is equipped with a jet pack and can ground pound for kills. Cronos the Titan is the only fighter shown rocket jumping.

Each of those have been done on their own, but typically arena shooters put everybody on the same playing field in terms of movement abilities (as with Tribes). The asymmetry here might be LawBreakers' big selling point.

[embed]308229:60176:0[/embed]

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amiibo photo
Grab 'em

[Update: looks like most of them are gone. Try accessing them on a mobile browser or through the Target app.]

Still collecting amiibo? You'll find the Classic 30th Anniversary Mario, Dr. Mario, Olimar, Ganondorf, and Zero Suit Samus up at Target.com right now. Select amiibo like Rosalina and Jigglypuff are available as restocks.

As a note, Dr. Mario is exclusive to Target, and there's another variant for the 30th Anniversary Mario -- the "Modern" color. For a recap on every current amiibo that's been announced, check out our full listing here.

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Review: Disney Infinity 3.0

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
Disney Infinity 3.0 (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Avalance Software / Ninja Theory / Studio Gobo / Sumo Digital / United Front GamesPublisher: Disney Interactive Studios / LucasArtsRelease: August 30, 2015MSRP: $64.99 (Starter Pack) / $34.99 (Play Set) / $13.99 (Characters) As is tradition in my toy-to-life reviews, let me break down how everything works. For $64.99, you'll get the Starter Pack, which includes the Twilight of the Republic campaign Play Set, the game, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures, and a USB base. You're basically getting the 10- to 15-hour Republic story on top of the creation-centric Toy Box feature that the series is now known for. Rise Against the Empire and Force Awakens Play Sets are going to arrive at a later date, and Inside Out's Play Set will be available at launch. This review is only assessing the Starter Pack, but look out for coverage of other Play Sets in the future. Phew! With that out of the way, let's move onto the content actually included with the base game. At this point, it's safe to say that the collective of developers involved with the project has figured out how to craft a meaningful combat system. To prevent people from mashing buttons, delayed combo attacks have been implemented, as well as mechanics like juggling, and a launcher that's initiated by holding down the attack button. You can also launch an enemy with a lightsaber and juggle them with a blaster, then when they land, use a combo. [embed]307321:60117:0[/embed] In other words, it's easy for kids and parents alike to both enjoy themselves -- the more skilled party will be able to dig deep enough into the ability system and customization elements, and the other party can mostly just wing it. It's a much better balance than the LEGO games, which tend to be just family-friendly. In Disney Infinity 3.0, "hard" mode is akin to a normal setting in most action games, and "Extreme" can be rather tough at points, though artificially so with gigantic life pools for regular enemies. The characters themselves feel fresh, especially the force-wielding ones like Yoda and Anakin, who have access to force push and pull maneuvers on top of their unique super abilities and powers. For instance, Yoda can knock an enemy up in the air, use his super to instantly dash to someone across the room, combo them, and then dash back to catch the other foe. It's not as advanced as other top-notch action games, but it does feel like a marked improvement. As for the story pack, Twilight of the Republic takes a more traditional turn, compared to the one-map sandboxes of past Play Sets. Here, you'll fly between different hubs with your ships, consisting of individual planets like Naboo, Tatooine, Geonisis, and Coruscant, as well as the vast expanse of space in Star Fox-esque sequences, complete with barrel rolls and quick turns. I really dig the variety on offer here, because while the current Star Wars characters can't move about as freely as say, Iron Man or Spider-Man, the hubs all feel unique in their own way. Additionally, Disney is boasting that all Star Wars characters are compatible with all Star Wars Play Sets, which helps (albeit partially) solve the issue of having a bunch of toys that don't work, similar to how the Marvel worlds functioned. You still have to earn tokens to unlock the use of other characters, but they're more easily accessible, and you only need to find one rather than a series of them. Having said that, it's a bummer that the base game didn't come with more than just Star Wars. It would have been great to see a fully fledged Disney property (like Mickey's Toontown) since 1.0 was heavily Pixar-infused, and 2.0 was a Marvel joint. If you're keen on playing with every toy though, the Toy Box is still available. Not only can you create levels on your own with various setups like racing, adventure, and arena action, but you can also easily find stages online to play with one of the best hubs in the business. What makes Disney Infinity so great is that Disney curates content for you in addition to all of the usual fixins, and provides easy access to top-rated creations -- so it takes very little effort to find the "good stuff." I had access to a limited amount of levels pre-launch, which includes a Gravity Falls level with a log ride and roller coaster, as well as a rhythm memorization minigame, a seek-and-find puzzle, a stealth sequence, and of course, classic platforming levels. If you pre-order the game, you'll also net the Toy Box Takeover Play Set, which really should have been included in the base package for everyone. It's essentially Diablo, Infinity style, and you can use every character in the game. It's far more fun than "Escape from the Kyln" in 2.0 as it contains a procedurally generated dungeon in it as well as a host of fixed story levels, and will last you roughly three hours. Some purists are probably seething at the idea of fighting Darth Maul to the tune of Gitchee Gitchee Goo, but I'm completely okay with it, and I assume your kids will be too. Just like its predecessor, Disney Infinity 3.0 feels a bit limited by the lack of variety in the Starter Pack, but the good news is that the studio is still on track with its core mission to create an action game for all ages. Twilight of the Republic is still a fun way to spend your time, and the Toy Box Mode should keep you busy even if you don't intend on buying any more pricey add-ons. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. All current Star Wars figures were provided as well for testing.]
Disney Infinity review photo
Use the toys, Luke

It's only been two years since the release of the first Disney Infinity, which managed to become a massive hit before venturing into Marvel territory in the second game. Now, Disney has tapped the Star Wars market, and its monolithic influence is set to destroy the wallets of parents everywhere.

This would be a bigger problem if the games weren't all that great, but thankfully, Disney Infinity 3.0 maintains the same level of quality as the last entry, with a few minor iterations. Did I mention it has Star Wars in it?

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Until Dawn photo
Working on a fix

It was odd, to say the least, to see Sony directly blocking Until Dawn archiving on Twitch, but according to the publisher, it was a mixup.

I reached out to Sony, who responded with the following note: "We are currently working on a fix that will enable archiving of Until Dawn Twitch streams as this feature was unintentionally disabled. We are humbled by the community reception of the game and are excited to see fans sharing experiences on Twitch and YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide an update as soon as the issue has been resolved."

I mean, the move kind of made sense. It would be similar to streaming a movie that just released on Blu-ray -- the game is basically an interactive film, even more-so than a lot of other recent adventure efforts.

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DestrUKtoid photo
The tube is a scary place

The UK, it exists and Destructoid now has writers there. Great British Pounds. Eastenders. Steptoe and Son. The Destructoid UK Podcast (DestrUKtoid).

This week UK Editor Laura Dale is joined by Joe Parlock and Vikki Blake to talk about Gravity Ghost, Brighton amiibo news, Zombi, and our regular selection of terrible dad jokes.

Have a listen on iTunes or direct download.

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Review: Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

Aug 28 // Laura Kate Dale
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PS Vita)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: NIS AmericaReleased: September 1 (North America), September 4 (Europe)MSRP: $39.99 So, let's start with where Ultra Despair Girls departs from the previous Danganronpa games on Vita. Instead of investigating crimes scenes for clues, the bulk of your gameplay time in Ultra Despair Girls will be spent as Komaru Naegi shooting robot Monokuma bears with a techno-megaphone. The megaphone, which apparently acts as a "hacking gun," shoots lines of "code bullets" to effect the robots you come into contact with. Break Bullets act as standard damage dealers, but your gun also has less typical ammo types, such as Dance Bullets that cause enemies to stop on the spot and dance, allowing you to put distance between them and yourself. Much of the core gameplay loop feels like you're playing a zombie-themed third-person shooter. Enemies tend to be slow and rambling, take time to kill, and deal large amounts of damage if they reach you. While this is fine in theory, claustrophobic environments, an overly close camera, and numerous invisible walls make this core gameplay at times more frustrating than it needs to be. The idea of a code gun shooting robotic enemies is cool, but the gameplay hiccups -- as well as the infrequency of acquiring interesting new code bullet types -- meant I rarely got excited. Oh, there's also a melee sword combat-focused playable character, but their use is limited by a meter. That's a real shame, because a second gameplay style available to switch to at any time might have helped keep the mechanics from becoming stale this fast. So, does the narrative save Ultra Despair Girls from death at the hands of one of Monokuma's elaborate devices? Well, yes and no. It rescues the game from death, but still gives it a mild case of public torture. [embed]307925:60156:0[/embed] In Ultra Despair Girls, we find ourselves in a city overtaken by murderous young children bent on seeing adults torn to shreds. This gang of prepubescent killers, the Warriors of Hope, have amassed an army of youngsters to control robots that are utilised to kill from safety. Playing as the younger sister of the first game's protagonist, who has conveniently been locked away in her apartment for a year and not noticed that the world has gone to shit around her, you escape with the series running split-personality serial killer and attempt to take back control of the city. Thanks to the shift in narrative focus from confined drama to city-sprawling mission, there's a lower frequency of plot twists than in previous entries. The twists and turns in the narrative are among the strongest in the series, but they feel padded further apart. The cast of characters introduced in Ultra Despair Girls are just as over the top, memorable, and well-written as any characters introduced to date in the series, which is one of the areas the game continues to shine. General moment-to-moment dialogue and character interactions are superb and were the driving force that kept me invested through to the end. The biggest problem: narrative pacing. The game felt like it was probably five or six hours too long. It's worth noting that both the enemy designs and narrative in Ultra Despair Girls are some of the darkest, creepiest, most unsettling to date, and that says a lot for this particular series. From horrible mutated creatures to themes I would hesitate to subject adult characters to let alone children, the game gets pretty unnerving in places. That's not a complaint by any means -- Ultra Despair Girls pulls it off perfectly. Ultimately, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls just didn't click for me the same way previous games did. Sure the narrative still has some strong moments, but it's punctuated with third-person shooter gameplay that doesn't enhance my engagement with the narrative the same way the first two visual novels did. If you're a series fan, there's a good, text-heavy, hands-off narrative to be explored here, but the gameplay sections really dragged it down for me. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Danganronpa review photo
Great story, odd gameplay loop

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair have been some of my favourite Vita games in recent years. A pair of murder mystery visual novels, the games melded puzzle solving, courtroom drama, and murdered school kids picking each other off into a beautiful combination. Earning an 8.5 and an 8 here on Destructoid, I was excited to see if the third Danganronpa game would hit that same sweet spot the previous two entries had.

Unfortunately, I don't entirely know what to make of Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. While much of the polished writing and narrative presentation is still intact, the new set of mechanics the story is wrapped in rarely left me fully satisfied. While Danganronpa made a great murder mystery visual novel, it's not as impressive as a third-person shooter.

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Metal Gear Solid photo
Check your contents carefully

Ordered the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Collector's Edition on PS4? Check your contents carefully.

Some reddit and NeoGAF users (who have got their copies incredibly early) are reporting that the Day One DLC codes and the Collector's Edition-exclusive codes are missing from the packs.

At the time of writing, it would appear the issue is currently affecting just PlayStation 4 editions.

If you are missing codes? Don't panic. According to a retailer who forwarded the issue to publisher Konami, the codes will be sent on to retailers, who'll then distribute the codes to the customers on September 1.

In our review, we said that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain "feels like a simultaneous celebration of the series, and a decidedly new chapter. It's equal parts tough and flashy, and it's fitting that if this is Kojima's last Metal Gear, he goes out on a high note."

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is out on September 1. 

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Vive photo
Most of us will have to wait until Q1 2016

Valve's virtual reality headset, Vive, will only be available in a "limited quantity" when it launches later this year.

"Larger quantities" will be available from Q1 2016. 

"Vive developer kits have been available for free since May." said Valve's recent press release. "To date, HTC and Valve have received over 10,000 dev kit inquiries and over 80 VR titles are known to be in production for the Vive."

If you're heading to PAX Prime, HTC and Valve will be "showing off" two new titles, Fantastic Contraption and Final Approach

In your opinion, which company is winning the race for VR? 

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Shovel Knight Amiibo photo
Hey I'm Knight, I'm not so Knight

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Laura (and the rest of the internet since it was leaked yesterday) was right! Nintendo has confirmed that there is an Amiibo coming for Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight.

The amiibo will unlock an exclusive co-op mode for the Wii U version of Shovel Knight, while on the 3DS and Wii U versions it’ll unlock new customisation options and new abilities.

Talking about being the first indie game to get an official amiibo, Yacht Club Games said:

It’s been a great honor to work directly with Nintendo, creating a Shovel Knight amiibo that sits beside their most beloved characters… We are elated to expand the world of Shovel Knight, and to keep developing unique game-play experiences on Nintendo’s platforms.

Not only that, but the trailer up above features YouTube channel Game Grumps doing well… what it normally does really. Which is great, love me some Grimble Gramps!

There’s no confirmed release date for the Shovel Knight amiibo, but retail versions of the game will be available in North America this October. If yesterday's retail info leak is to be believed, which it really should be, the amiibo is releasing in November, at least in the UK.

It's interesting to note that the amiibo doesn't have the standard base, but the black and gold ones that come as part of the Smash Bros. set. Interesting...

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Humble photo
Buy a game, do a good deed

Way back when Humble Bundle started, there were three things they emphasised: pay what you want, DRM-free, and that part of the proceeds went to charity. Over time, two of those points have been flexed and changed to varying success (the Origin DRM bundles were great, the Namco one… less so).

But the one thing that’s never changed is the charity angle. Humble has now announced it's allowing Humble Store customers to choose which charity their money goes to from a pool of over 35,000 different organisations.

What’s impressive is that it isn’t just big, well-known charities, but there are tons of smaller and potentially more local ones that would otherwise get very little exposure. It’s definitely worth looking through the list and finding a charity you want to support the next time you buy something on the Humble Store.

Are there any charities in particular you’d recommend?

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Unsolicited video games photo
Play Unsolicited for free now!

Lucas Pope -- the creator of critical darling Papers, Please -- just released his new game Unsolicited that he created for the Ludum Dare 33 competition in just 48 hours, and you can play it for free!

You work for a corporation dedicated to sending out unsolicited junk mail, your job consists of filling in the blanks on templates and getting them in the mail. At first you start by sending out donation requests for charity at a leisurely pace before eventually rushing to send out collection notices, timeshare offers, and sweepstakes to be able to meet your quota for the day. 

Unsolicited does a nice job at humanizing the employees behind sending out all the junk mail we hate receiving and fits Ludum Dare 33's theme of "You are the Monster" perfectly. If you liked Papers, Please you'll probably enjoy Unsolicited, I know I am.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 photo
Working towards a million

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Earlier today, the Kickstarter for Divinity: Original Sin 2 debuted, and it's already exceeded it's goal of $500,000. In fact, as of the time of this writing, it's catapulted into the $750,000 range, and is eyeing a cool million in the near future.

Stretch goal info should be coming soon if you're interested. Given how good its predecessor was, I'm anxious to see how this will turn out, though I'm not excited enough to fund it myself.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [Kickstarter]

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