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Piss off your neighbors by singing Fall Out Boy's 'Centuries' (and 16 other Rock Band 4 songs)

Aug 03 // Zack Furniss
Newly Announced Tracks: 4 Non Blondes - "What's Up?" The Black Keys - "Fever" Disturbed - "Prayer" Duck & Cover - "Knock Em Down" Eddie Japan – "Albert" Fall Out Boy - "Centuries" Halestorm - "I Miss The Misery" Heart - "Kick It Out" Heaven's Basement - "I Am Electric" Lightning Bolt - "Dream Genie" Rick Derringer - "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" Rush - "A Passage To Bangkok" Scorpions - "No One Like You" Slydigs - "Light The Fuse" Soul Remnants - "Dead Black (Heart of Ice)" System of a Down  - "Spiders" White Denim - "At Night In Dreams" Previously Announced Tracks: Aerosmith - "Toys in the Attic" Avenged Sevenfold - "Hail to the King" Benjamin Booker - "Violent Shiver" The Cure - "Friday I’m In Love" Dream Theater - "Metropolis -  Part 1 "The Miracle And The Sleeper"" Elvis Presley - "Suspicious Minds" Fleetwood Mac - "You Make Loving Fun" Foo Fighters - "The Feast and the Famine" Jack White - "Lazaretto" Judas Priest - "Halls Of Valhalla" The Killers - "Somebody Told Me" Live - "All Over You" Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - "Uptown Funk" The Outfield - "Your Love" Ozzy Osbourne - "Miracle Man" Paramore - "Still Into You" Queens of the Stone Age - "My God is the Sun" Scandal - "The Warrior" Spin Doctors - "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" St. Vincent - "Birth In Reverse" Van Morrison - "Brown Eyed Girl" The Who - "The Seeker"  
Rock Band 4 photo
Or just be really good at singing, jerk

More Rock Band 4 songs! With music tastes as varied as they are, it's hard to say whether you'll all be excited by the new songs that Harmonix is teasing this time. Personally, I'll enjoy crooning "Fever" by The Black Keys and butchering Fall Out Boy's "Centuries" in equal measure. Steven's a huge Scorpions fan (seriously, talk to him about that in the comments, and do it often) so I know he'll get a kick out of "No One Like You".

We're now at 39 tracks for Rock Band 4, which is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One on October 6. Brett had good things to say about it here.

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Bloggers wanted: Challengers wanted

Aug 03 // StriderHoang
But character loyalty isn't unique to fighting games, especially now. In anything competitive, you will inevitably develop a favorite of sorts, whether it's a fighting game, a MOBA, a choice in an RTS game, or even a puzzle game. For this month's bloggers wanted theme, we were wondering if you have character loyalty that you'd love to describe to us. For fighting games, I ruined Nic Rowen on Persona 4 Arena with Kanji Tatsumi. On Injustice, I pestered Chilly Billy and SuperMonk4Ever with Green Arrow (also, hype pig). I've played Jigglypuff in all iterations of Super Smash Bros. much to Corduroy Turtle's dismay. I'm calling you out CT In fact, keep that in mind when you put your idea out there. This isn't about fighting games, even though all my examples are fighting games. Whether you identify as Terran, Janna, Medic, or Faceless Void, as long as you stick by your character through thick and thin, buffs and nerfs, we want to hear your stories of attachment, your stories of victory, your stories of trials and tribulations. We want to hear about the character you're passionate about when it comes down to you against everyone else. So start a blog about your favorite character in a competitive mode. Title your blog "Challengers wanted: [your title here]" and tag your community blog with bloggers wanted before publishing, and maybe you'll see your stuff on the front page!
Bloggers wanted photo
Now! Fight your rival!

Do you guys remember EVO? You know, EVO? Big fighting game tournament?

KaneBlueRiver was the first Chilean to take home an EVO title with his low-tier hero team of Hulk/Haggar/Sentinel. It speaks a lot of the player's skill to win with a set of characters that goes against so many expectations.

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New Killing Floor 2 weapon microwaves Zeds

Aug 03 // Zack Furniss
But we're all here for the microwave gun, yes? We've seen similar weapons before, like theX-43 MIKE in Crysis. What Crysis didn't have, however, is Killing Floor 2's ridiculous gore system. Get ready for some nasty. [embed]297119:59779:0[/embed] Oh, and there's a new character for players who also own Red Orchestra 2: Anton Strasser, a soldier of the German Wehrmacht. But he's not a microwave gun, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  
Killing Floor 2 photo
Just like pizza rolls

We're approaching Killing Floor 2's Incinerate N' Detonate content update (I've been saying this for too long, but it's closer every day), and Tripwire Interactive has shelled out a few more details for us.

The forum post Lighting Up the Night explains the returning Firebug perk's passive boosts and skill tree. Perk weapon damage, reload speed, fire resistance, personal fire resistance, and starting ammo amount will increase as you level up. The skill tree will include choices such as increased range or splash damage and more damage over time or a chance to make your enemies stumble.

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MGSV: The Phantom Pain for PC moved up, Metal Gear Online delayed

Aug 03 // Alessandro Fillari
With that said, the PC release seems to be in good shape. Over the last couple weeks, Konami has been conducting online surveys about what the PC audience would like to see, and the reception has been mostly positive. "We initially did not think it would be possible to get such an epic game out onto PC in time for launch alongside its console counterparts, but all involved have worked diligently to meet the demands of our PC consumers," commented Tomotada Tashiro, president of Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. "Now PC users will be able to explore the vibrant and beautifully-realised locations and set-pieces that elevate The Phantom Pain beyond all other action titles. We feel confident that Steam users will be satisfied with the contents we will provide for the Steam version." Given that the series has found its footing on PC with recent releases like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and MGSV: Ground Zeroes, releasing Kojima's swan song without an extra wait was totally the right move. Given the scope of it, this is definitely a title PC players will jump on.MGSV: The Phantom Pain PC Launch [Konami UK blog] 
Metal Gear Solid V photo
MGO on PC set for January 2016

With less than thirty days until Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's release, Konami has still been keeping things close to the vest. Which is amazing, considering that the recent extended gameplay demos and videos shown over the last two months have only scratched the surface of what players can expect with the game. It shows confidence. With the release steadily approaching, Konami has made another move to show its faith in the title.

The PC release for The Phantom Pain, which was set for the middle of September, will be moved up to the same day as consoles on September 1. Folks who pre-order the game on Steam will get a free copy of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and all Steam players "will receive a collector's video which reveals behind-the-scenes footage and a unique documentary, in addition to DLC in the form of a 'Venom Snake' emblem and Mother Base Staff."

Unfortunately, there is some bad news for PC and console players alike. While the core game and all its online components (including base building and invasions) are set for launch, the ever-elusive Metal Gear Online, MGSV's competitive multiplayer mode, has been delayed till October 6 on consoles. While that sounds fairly reasonable, Metal Gear Online for PC is coming much later: January 2016.

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Things I watched on the plane to gamescom

Aug 03 // Steven Hansen
Do the Right Thing. Paying careful attention to how that movie is shot, how close ups ping pong off one another for energy and New York is rendered in primary colors, primarily red, emphasizing the heat on a block that looks like it's a play. Ask why Mookie throws the can and you've missed the point. Vertigo. It's cool seeing San Francisco before even my mom came here from Italy. I'm writing 'here' from Germany because my go-to 'here,' my most constant physical state of being is in San Francisco. When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last year I watched from a hotel in Paris at 4AM. I pumped my fist to an indifferent Paris block. Travel is definitely the best part of this job, don't get me wrong, but that absence was so strange. First time not being there for a Giants World Series (the last few games, anyhow). I watched Vines of celebration in my city streets and they echoed in the quiet hotel. My friend lives down the block from a main setting in Vertigo. It feels like lesser Hitchcock, though, and it's not just the laughable instant romance between Jimmy Stewart (aged 50) and Kim Novak (25). They are subjecting the others to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Wet Hot American Summer. I have never been to a summer camp, nor known anyone who has, nor even had any evidence that such a system exists outside of American pop culture. Accordingly I assumed this movie not for me, but a friend insisted, and given the ratcheting of spoof and goof, I enjoyed it. The scene with the great tracking camera work as they inexplicably trash the office is probably tops, while some of the meta humor gets just an understanding nod. Easy Rider. I hadn't seen more than a few minutes of Easy Rider. Unless you are a white dad to an adult human, you will not enjoy it. It's indulgent. Obvious enough because Fonda and Hopper wrote it and the latter directed. Two friends have fun shooting a road trip movie, mime French new wave editing, and play victim to anti-hippie sentiment. Jack Nicholson is the lone bright spot. What is this in-flight film. I looked up for a second and it looks like pixie cut Miley Cyrus is a robot with a bunch of black tubes strapped to her back and she is in a glass cage opposing her clone (or she is the clone?) Please tell me that movie this is. Eight hours and I haven't stood up once, by the way. I am a saint. These pancakes are like eating barely congealed discs of Elmer's glue in both taste and texture. What have I done. Eleven or so hours and I've not gotten up, nor have I slept. It is 10AM, local time. Good morning, Germany.
Destructoid at gamescom photo
Love the smell of my boyfriend's Cologne

My standards go out the window while I ate the "pasteurized process cheese food" provided by United as an in-flight snack. If you have to designate your product as "food," there is a problem. It tasted like a cheesy Ritz without the satisfying ashy texture and in much too large quantity.

One chapter of Blood Meridian. My bookmark was a boarding pass from San Francisco airport to Frankfurt. That's what I am doing now, but it was for a trip earlier this year, and Frankfurt was just a layover. Here it is not final, either, but I will be allowed to leave the giant airport of mile-long walkways to embark towards Cologne by train. The point is that six months later I finished one of the early chapters of Blood Meridian [Note - I read another chapter and a half, haven't cracked 100 pages].

Glances at a movie I think is called Tomorrowland. George Clooney opened it talking into the camera and it looks very expensive.

For signs of empathy or humanity in the woman seated in front of me, who broke the airplane rule of reclining her seat all the way back into my outstretched book, sending it tumbling. [Note - she would keep it reclined all the way back for 9 hours]

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Dynasty Warriors photo
What's your favorite?

I still remember where I was when I discovered Dynasty Warriors. I was in a Blockbuster Video just perusing some games, and my friend shouted that I needed to hurry up so we could get to a meetup of some kind. So I kind of just found Dynasty Warriors 2 sitting there, and the rest was history --  I played it for three days straight, and since then, I've played nearly every major entry in the series, as well as a bunch of spinoffs.

Although technically a sequel to the first entry (which was a fighting game), Dynasty Warriors 2 turned the series into the powerhouse it is today, fostering tons of spinoffs and even more recently, a fully-fledged Zelda game. It was released in Japan on August 3, 2000 -- just 15 years ago.

You know what? It's probably still my favorite entry, too. Although I do enjoy the One Piece games and adore Hyrule Warriors, I'll never forget the multi-faceted campaigns of the second game, and my tireless efforts to max out every character. Really think about it (there's so many to choose from) and discuss your favorite below!

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Jonathan Holmes vs Jed photo
Holmes vs Whitaker / Nipples vs Weiners

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Get your tentacles ready, there is about to be another Splatfest in Splatoon for those of us in North America and this time the theme is marshmallows versus hot dogs. Jonathan Holmes and I decided to debate why our side is the best on video in hopes of swaying some of you to choose our side. Watch us debate above and tell us whose side you're on in the comments.

Olivia Munn, eat your heart out. 

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tri-Ace photo
I'm interested

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Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, the newest project from tri-Ace and Spike Chunsoft, looks pretty great. Now, compliments of for latter part of the collaboration, we have a gameplay trailer that shows us a bit more in regards to how things will actually play out.

In short, it looks like there's plenty of JRPG combat to be had, as well as some sleek-looking platforming. While it's just coming to Japan later this year on PS4 and Vita, I hope that it gets localized eventually.

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Review: Submerged

Aug 03 // Jed Whitaker
Submerged (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Uppercut Games Pty LtdPublisher: Uppercut Games Pty LtdRelease Date: August 4, 2015 (PC / PS4 NA), August 5, 2015 (PS4 EU), August 7, 2015 (Xbox One)MSRP: $19.99Rig: Intel Core i7-3930K @ 3.2 GHz, with 32GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Windows 10 64-bit An immobile young boy with a gash on his abdomen and a young girl arrive on a boat to what looks to be a very tall church surrounded by water and the peaks of skyscrapers; the girl spots a parachute on the top of a skyscraper in the distance and decides to investigate. Upon hopping back in the boat and making her way to the structure without issue she slowly climbs to the top and finds an emergency ration that conveniently has just what she needs to help her brother.  Instead of scaling back down the skyscraper a cutscene plays showing the girl arriving back at the church and standing over her brother applying bandages. She then takes a nap before waking up and spouting off some random thing she needs to find to help her brother recover from his ailment, and sets off to scale another skyscraper. This cycle happens nine more times over the course of around four hours before a very predictable ending as unceremonious as the beginning. Maneuvering the boat between the top most portions of skyscrapers through the glistening ocean underneath you as dolphins, whales, stingrays and other wildlife make themselves known is awe-inspiring at first; then you realize everything kind of looks the same. The main buildings where rations are located have their own unique architecture from afar, but when scaling up them they all seem rather similar. [embed]297002:59765:0[/embed] Driving the boat isn't exactly thrilling and at times can feel rather clunky especially when trying to fit through tight spaces and bouncing off surroundings. A boost button gives one a bit of extra speed at the cost of making it even harder to control, but it isn't that useful as the game is open and exploration of basically the entire world is necessary. A map and periscope are provided to make exploration a bit easier; the map fills itself in while exploring, and the periscope can be used to locate rations, drawings and boost upgrades. Any items spotted with the periscope are marked on the map for easy locating. These tools combined make finding most everything rather easy, though they aren't exactly hard to locate to begin with. Climbing up buildings is the other main activity in Submerged, and it couldn't be more dull. Close-up views of cement walls of the girl shimmying along randomly placed ledges just to climb up and find another ledge to shimmy and climb; it is one of the utmost boring gameplay mechanics in any game ever, and it makes up a majority of time spent in Submerged. Occasionally there will be a drain pipe to climb while enduring an extremely annoying clunk sound each time the character's hands hit it, as if she were holding stones in her palms; luckily a minute climb up a ladder on the side of a crane at one point is more bearable. There are branching paths while ascending buildings where 60 collectable drawings can be found that tell the story of how the city came to it's watery demise. Each building that houses a ration will have a few of drawings, mostly on their own little side paths that are easy to spot. If a drawing is passed while ascending and the ration box is located you'll have to make the call whether or not it would be worth it to backtrack, as grabbing the ration will take you back to your brother automatically and  you'll have to re-scale the building otherwise. Since there are no fast travel points and the ration boxes can't be reused to go back to your brother it leads to tedious backtracking no matter which option is chosen, there just may be more or less of a trek.  The rest of the city story drawings can be spotted in small buildings tucked around the city. These small buildings are nearly identical to each other and just require climbing up one or two easy to spot ledges to get to drawings, and have clearly been used as an excuse to extend the length of a still short game.  Overall collecting all the drawings easily took more time than gathering all ten rations, and those who don't care about the story of the city will surely be able to complete the game in around two hours or less. I personally collected all the drawings and I still don't know exactly what happened to the city; the drawings equate to colorful cave paintings and leave a lot to interpretation. In hindsight, I'd recommend not fretting too much about collecting them at all. The main story is also told through similar drawings displayed with no real contextual in-game reason after collecting rations and going back to your brother. What little story here is so predictable and trope-ridden that it was hard to care about; a troubled family with an alcoholic adult and a protective older sister. I'm all for playing as a female character, but a girl in a post-apocalyptic world whose only trait is that she takes care of her younger male sibling just isn't interesting or original. The story has been done a million times over, and really the only thing original Submerged has going for it is the setting.  Within under ten minutes time you'll have experienced all the game has to offer; boring boating, equally dull scaling of buildings and peering out a periscope to find the next white and green building to climb. There is no failstate, no urgency, no combat, just moving from point to point and monotonously collecting shit. The story isn't interesting, the gameplay is boring, everything looks the same aside from a few landmarks, and the whole ordeal is over in no time. You're better off saving your money instead of sinking it on the titanic failure that is Submerged.
Submerged review photo
Drowning in monotony

Sometimes games take concepts from other popular titles and combine them into a beautiful mix -- this is not one of those games. 

Was boating your favorite part of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker? Do you play Uncharted and Tomb Raider games for the parts where you shimmy along and climb ledges? Surely most of you answered no, but if you answered yes to those questions, this is the game for you.

It certainly was not the game for me.

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Nathan Drake photo
'Handful of stickers'

Sony has revealed its special edition set for Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection in Europe, and it's pretty meh. It comes with a 48-page Art of Uncharted Book, a steel case, and "a handful of stickers." Haha, stickers.

Of course, the actual games will be included as well, with 1080p visuals and 60fps, as well as "exclusive access" to the Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta. It will launch on October 7 in Europe (October 9 in the UK specifically).

I don't think I'll be getting this, as the only Uncharted game I really like is the second.

Your first look at the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Special Edition [PS Blog]

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Halo photo
Infection!

Man, Infection is great. I remember when my group of friends used to manually play it before it was officially a "thing," and when it became a thing, we played it even more. 343 Industries has confirmed that it may return to Halo: The Master Chief Collection. I wonder how long it'll support this game -- a long while, I hope, since it's basically the marquee Xbox One title at this point.

In other Halo-related news, it seems as if we'll learn a bit more about Halo 5 this week at gamescom. Halo Halo Halo!

B is for Bravo [Halo Waypoint]

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Vega photo
Mask on or off?

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Capcom has officially confirmed that Vega will be joining the Street Fighter V roster. He will be playable at gamescom today, in addition to Necalli, the newest character to join the franchise. Evidently Vega has a new moveset here, with two styles at his disposal -- "claw" or "no-claw." The latter will allow him to use command grabs, and toggling between the styles is key to really tapping into his moveset.

Yep, this all sounds pretty great! I never really mained Vega at any point in my Street Fighter career, but he's a good go-to for me.

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Guitar Hero Live photo
A better look at the in-game festivals

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Guitar Hero Live could end up being a pretty neat experiment, and if Activision sticks to its word of not annualizing the franchise, I'll be happy. You can get a look at the in-game festivals (Rock the Block and SoundDial) in the video above, as well as more info on Guitar Hero TV.

Also, singing is confirmed now, if that's a thing you like to do. I prefer to stick to the guitar myself, though I do stray from time to time (RIP Rock Band's keyboard).

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Red Ash photo
Maybe we'll hear some Mighty No. 9 news

Yes, you read that right -- there are two Kickstarters currently underway for Red Ash -- one is for an anime, and the other is for the game. While the latter is now funded by way of an outside publisher for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, the former project barely made its goal of $150,000 earlier this morning. So yeah, there's a Red Ash anime now, and the "extra content" play for the game has decidedly failed, hovering at roughly $500,000 of its $800,000 goal with just a few hours left.

I wonder if Comcept will spill the beans on the possible Mighty No. 9 delay. People keep citing one response by way of a backer forum, but that was an unrelated issue last week. Comcept has yet to comment on the newest development, and publisher Deep Silver has even declined to comment entirely on the matter.

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Review: World of Tanks

Aug 03 // Brett Makedonski
World of Tanks (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: WargamingPublisher: WargamingRelease Date: July 28, 2015 (Xbox One)MSRP: Free-to-play (with microtransactions) Really, World of Tanks treads the line uneasily that all massively multiplayer online titles do: How do you make a game like this rewarding and nuanced for experienced players, yet inviting and engaging enough for a new audience? Extrapolating from that (and more importantly): How do you convert both Group A and Group B into dollar signs? Wargaming doesn't always do a great job of it, as its intentions often seem paper-thin. That aforesaid selfishness is where the moneymaking lies though, and it can come at the expense of the experience. World of Tanks on Xbox One gives people no reason to press forward except for personal gain. Being killed in a match means it's the end of that match as far as you're concerned. Sure, one could theoretically watch the rest of the round through the cameras of other players, but literally no one will do that. Instead, they'll head back to the garage, hop into another tank, and try again in a different match. This was my exact experience for much of my time with World of Tanks. After several hours of playing (but possibly more spent in loading screens), I checked my stats to see that I had a victory rate of just about 50 percent. That's not bad at all, but I had no idea. Worse yet, I didn't really care. I only cared about the currency dripfeeding into my account at the conclusion of each match. That's all World of Tanks wants us to care about. [embed]296821:59762:0[/embed] The last statement is made obvious by the way which Wargaming organically introduces players to some later-game content. During matches, it's not completely uncommon to come up against an opponent that seems literally invincible. Your ammunition will do next to nothing to it; it will dispose of you with the disdain of a Midwesterner swatting one of a thousand mosquitoes on a humid July night. That is your goal -- you want to be that guy. Make no mistake about it: World of Tanks is a continual left-to-right surge through a spiderweb of tanks you don't yet have, but might have very soon. Those first few come relatively quickly and the progression feels real. After that, everything gets slower. Each match contributes, but less so than before. Looking ahead through that web, some of it seems unattainable (or at the very least, extremely far off). World of Tanks wants your time or your wallet -- pick your poison. Fortunately, giving it your time isn't the worst option. World of Tanks can be rewarding. Every hit landed on another player is satisfying. Blowing them up is exponentially better than just damaging them. Surviving the entire match, destroying several on the other team, and/or capturing a base might just make you feel like you're General Patton. You start to think "I'm getting better. If I keep playing like this, those end-game tanks will be mine in no time!" These are the immutable highs of World of Tanks. It's simply enthralling when you set off on a literal warpath and cut down everything in your way. This is the meat of the game, and it's a prime cut. Excelling at tank-play against other humans feels very, very good. At this point, imminent defeat in the next match is all but assured. That's where World of Tanks is at its worst. Barring the progression frustrations, it's all too often that you'll feel like your opponents know something you don't. Their death machines are probably superior to yours, sure. Still, they'll angle their tanks in such a way that they never expose the weak part of the armor that you didn't even know was weak. They're really good, and you're not sure how to get to that level. The game doesn't teach you, and it doesn't seem like you'll ever learn on your own. It's very unintuitive. For everything that might appear impossible, what you do pick up on your own is invaluable. It isn't long before rushing in looks like a fool's game. Flank, hide, proceed with caution. These vehicles may be harbingers of destruction, but you can't treat them as such. Each minute movement actually means something when you're in the thick of it. These are the times when you'll feel a strategic sense in World of Tanks. Suddenly, things aren't so bad again. Everything seems possible, at least. And, that's what World of Tanks thrives on -- a cyclical mindset between frustration, slight progression, and back to frustration. There are intermittent spurts of elation peppered in occasionally in the event of an outstanding performance. Otherwise, it's right back to not quite understanding why others know more than you do. Which poison did they pick? Time or wallet? Or, heaven forbid, both? Anyone who truly appreciates World of Tanks won't need a review to guide them. They're already well beyond the long barrier to entry. Everyone else will likely find themselves similarly on the outside looking in. There might be something special to World of Tanks, but it's not something that's immediately apparent; it's something that only shows itself after a significant investment. The gameplay can be rewarding at times, but most won't have the patience (or the money) to ever get to that point. Thus, World of Tanks won't ever be more than a quick detour on the way to something that's easier to comprehend.
World of Tanks review photo
Pick your poison

World of Tanks is a selfish game. It acts selfishly in that it hides information from its players, expecting them to figure out any and all intricacies on their own. Similarly, it asks its userbase to roll into combat as a team, but only concern themselves with individual performance. Selfishness permeates the spirit of this game.

Though, I suppose we shouldn't expect any different from World of Tanks. Simple as the premise may be, real tank conflict would be undoubtedly difficult, and these types of titles tend to skew toward realistic to a degree. All's fair in love and war(gaming).

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FF XII remake photo
'The term remake was used in error'

This past weekend, composer Arnie Roth started chatting up a "Final Fantasy XII remake," much to the delight of the Internet rumor mill. This morning though he took to Facebook to put down those rumors, noting that "regrettably, the term ‘remake’ was used in error during one of the announcements that took place from the stage during the concert."

I think Square Enix probably has an HD remaster in the works (or even just a PS2 classic release on PSN), and asked him to clarify his statement, as "remake" would imply new assets of some sort.

Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY [Facebook]

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Ultimate Edition photo
Gears 1-4

Microsoft has announced that if you purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you'll be able to unlock the entire Gears Collection by way of backward compatibility, and now we have a few concrete details on the matter. If you play Ultimate on Xbox Live from August 25 until December 31, you'll be eligible to unlock the collection this fall when it hits. That includes Gears, Gears 2, Gears 3, and Judgment.

When said collection does arrive, anyone who owns it by way of the Xbox 360 will also be able to play their copies, and the original Gears will evidently drop later today for Xbox One preview members. Having played them all, I don't think I particularly want to replay any of them again without a couch teammate.

“Gears of War: Ultimate Edition” Comes With Entire “Gears” Collection For Free [Xbox Wire]

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Gunjack photo
For the Samsung Gear VR

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CCP has another new game up its sleeve -- Gunjack. While the trademark was filed quite some time ago, now we have a solid gameplay trailer to look at and judge. It will apparently be an arcade shooter for the Samsung Gear VR platform, and the plot seems to involve mining operations and pirates. It will be set in the same universe as EVE and Dust 514.

The "Samsung Gear VR platform." Great, I can't wait for all these expensive headsets to duke things out with exclusive games.

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Gears of War HD is fine, but why wasn't active reload its legacy?

Aug 03 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297093:59771:0[/embed] Fergusson calls Ultimate Edition "the first at its best." The team didn't want to update the gameplay to reflect every change brought about by the second and third sequel. It's a "balance between modernization and breaking Gears 1." You still can't move while downed, for instance, but you can spot enemies. Still, the ten-year-old game could use some cleaning up. Fergusson has talked about the slapdash putting together of the original. He noted that, "When you look at Gilligan's Island today, it's a terrible show that should never be watched." That it isn't really funny, "but Mary Ann was hot." This comparison doesn't make a ton of sense because Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a tech overhaul. It's a shot for shot, line for line remake, like that Psycho with Vince Vaughn. An HD, visually remastered Gilligan's Island would still be Gilligan's Island. I played some Gears Ultimate last week in San Francisco. For shock value, they had Xbox 360s set up to play one round of multiplayer in the original. It is gritty and monotone. Characters feel appropriately like tanks and I struggle to discern between human and alien bug ground monster. This problem didn't go away completely when we switched over to Xbox One, but we can chalk that up to me being not particularly great. I think my team only lost one round, though the win piles were not me carrying folks. Here's a more important question: why is the gruff marine third-person cover shooter the thing that feels most copied from Gears and not active reload? Active reload is still so fucking good. It engages the player when they'd otherwise be waiting for an animation to finish, it has practical advantages, more button presses (in repeatable timing instances) makes for more rhythmic and fluid play. Why didn't everyone do this? The rest of it is still fun, too. The insult of walking patiently up behind a sniper and casually chainsawing them dead. The hulking movement and exploding heads. That one level with a killer train in between halves. And there are new additions like TDM, differing "competitive" and "social" matchmaking, 4K displays if you buy it on PC, additional content if you never played the original PC release. Playing Gears Ultimate will net you the previous Gears games when Xbox One sorts out its backwards compatibility, too, and you of course get early access to Gears 4 down the line.
Hands-on preview photo
Hands-on with the rebuilt Gears of War

Gears of War was not alone in ushering in an era of grimdark, of repetitive third-person cover-based shooting, but it ground our faces deepest into the dirt and grit.

At one point an officer yells at prison-broke Marcus Fenix, "you're not fit to wear that uniform," yet the army had no qualms about leaving him conveniently locked up in jail in that same armor. Why? The newly redone cutscenes don't answer this. The dialogue is all the same, but story segments have been otherwise re-directed, re-edited. None of this props up what is a lacking story and unintentionally funny characters, but I'm sure the people who made Gears of War: Ultimate Edition had fun making the original entry look its best.

Well, Rod Fergusson did. I can't imagine too many studio members of The Coalition, formerly Black Tusk, took a particular nostalgic pride in completely re-doing over 3,000 art assets after the studio canned the original IP it had been working on for near two years. They get to make Gears 4, at least.

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Review: Rare Replay

Aug 03 // Chris Carter
Rare Replay (Xbox One)Developer: RarePublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: August 4, 2015MSRP: $29.99 From the moment I booted it up, Rare Replay was not only charming, but welcoming as well. I love the carnival style menus with old timey posters, as it's a nice little touch that clues us in on how much work went into it. The menu is very clearly defined and every game is detailed in a straightforward way, from the number of players to the release year. In addition to 10,000 achievements, there's also a "stamp" system that works as an internal record keeper of sorts, which unlocks various video extras. Said videos are basically miniature documentaries, ranging from takedowns of Rare, to existing games, to cancelled projects, and are very well done. I was really surprised by how interesting these clips were; even the more drab ones are filled with lots of new information. The menus are responsive as well, and after clicking a game, it takes roughly five seconds to load. It's crazy how much Rare thought of, as Replay includes built-in instruction manuals, auto-save functionality, and three save slots per game. There's also emulator-esque tools at your disposal, like quick saving in older games, cheats like instant rewinding (conveniently mapped to the left trigger), a toggle for infinite lives, and even a CRT monitor filter. All in all, it's a wonderful package presentation-wise. As for the games themselves there are 30 in all, 15 of which can probably be considered "retro" even by older gamers' standards, dating before 1994. That includes staples like the incredible Battletoads and Snake Rattle 'n' Roll, as well as a handful of more obscure games like Gunfright and Underwurlde. My time with a lot of these titles has been rather mixed, as some of them are too dated for their own good, but most of them absolutely hold up as arcade-like experiences. [embed]296727:59711:0[/embed] Having said that, the "Snapshots" mode (basically a challenge gametype with bits and pieces of select titles) is an excellent way to become acclimated to some of these games. Tasks range from typical score attack sessions to beating specific areas with specific limitations, to survival challenges. The best part? You can score over the goal and test your might by way of leaderboards. There are 16 games in all with Snapshots, and six more challenging multi-game playlists. As you start to move into the mid-'90s, more of the "classic" Rare fare starts to shine, like Blast Corps., Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini. All of the games that had multiplayer enabled still have it within the ports themselves, and it was incredibly easy to just turn on another Xbox One controller and go at it with another player. One game I didn't expect to love was Battletoads Arcade, which was never released on a home console before Rare Replay. On the other hand, if I had to pick the worst game in the package it would probably be Killer Instinct Gold, which is a bare-bones version of the second game. It kind of makes sense though, as Killer Instinct 1 and 2 already exist on the Xbox One in the form of Killer Instinct 2013 bonuses, so Gold's inclusion is still unique. The modern games are pretty much all great, including Viva Piñata, one of the best zen garden simulators to date, and Jetpac Refuelled, a standout game on the Xbox Live Arcade, even today. Kameo, which was not a great full retail price launch title all the way back in 2005, is a great little extra in Replay, and is worth playing. At the end of the day the selection of games is superb, and one of the only missing games I wanted was GoldenEye. In case you're wondering, yes, every game that supported online play still does so in Rare Replay, though I wasn't able to test out this extensively before launch -- we'll provide updates if there are any issues after launch. For clarity on a few technical things, all of the Xbox 360 games are provided as separate installs by way of the disc (Banjo Kazooie, Tooie, Nuts & Bolts, Perfect Dark, Zero, Viva Piñata, Trouble in Paradise, Jetpac Refuelled, Kameo), but have full Rare Replay's features, and holding the start button still conveniently brings you back to the core menu. There's a wonky little first-time setup on the Xbox 360 side of things, but once it finishes you're all good. Since a lot of these games are still at least $10 on the Xbox Live Arcade, $30 for the lot (and more) is a great deal. Rare Replay is a new milestone for compilations. A great deal of care was put into the project, and 30 games is enough meat to ensure that everyone will really enjoy at least half of them. I sincerely hope this is the start of a revival of the classic Rare we know and love.
Rare Replay review photo
From the Stamper garage to Microsoft

The first Rare game I ever played was Snake Rattle 'n' Roll in 1990, but the company has been around for quite some time. Vs. Slalom was technically Rare's first title. Tim and Chris Stamper, the heart and soul of the company until their departure in 2007, created their first game called Jetpac, in 1983.

Although Rare isn't the powerhouse it once was, Rare Replay is a testament to its storied history, and a beacon of hope for the future.

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Results for the first ever Dtoid Smash Bros. tournament

Aug 03 // Jed Whitaker
Rules:8 minutes3 StockNo itemsSudden Death offMii Fighters onCustom Fighters on (please don't use equipment) Most wins at the end of the tournament is the champion  The tournament officially starts 8/3 at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT and ends 8/9 at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT. You can sign up right away to guarantee yourself a spot! And as always, no Johns.
Dtoid Smash Bros. photo
A new one starts soon!

Our first ever Super Smash Bros. for Wii U online tournament just ended and the results are in and we have a tie! Congratulations to Edgar (NNID MexiBoy51) and Jaydubious (NNID Jaydubious) both having 9 wins. Also an honorable mention goes to third place coming in with eight wins Jed (NNID DimmuJed) (me!), as I'm not pushover at competitive Smash Bros..

I know a lot of you missed out on the previous tournament, so we are changing this one up a bit. To join look for the tournament called Destructoid.com under Tourney ID 58072273828685 and enter password Dtoid. The tournament is limited to 100 participants, and you can participate in up to 25 battles per day. 

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Pac-Man wants to eat your diapers

Aug 03 // Kyle MacGregor
Poor Pac-Man photo
Also, trash, sanitary products, etc.

Pac-Man reminds me of a child actor whose star burned too bright. Much like that cute kid from that one movie, Pac-Man fell on hard times after his crippling meth addiction landed him in rehab.

Nowadays, the poor guy can been seen eating out of diapers, and has even stooped so low as to make a cameo in a recent Adam Sander production, a cruel reality that should deeply sadden us all.

Get well soon, Pac-Man. Or at least go devour soiled garments somewhere out of the public eye.

John Rowlandson [Twitter]

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Konami photo
Run Kojima, run!

Growing up, Konami was one of my favorite companies in the world. Now, it's a shell of its former self. But according to a report by the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, it's even worse off than we could possibly imagine.

The report is walled behind a pay portal, but sites like GematsuPepsimanGB, and Kotaku have done a decent takedown of it. In summation, the corporate culture sounds pretty scary, as internet access is cut down at Kojima productions (now Number 8 Production Department), and only internal messaging is enabled. If you're late coming back from lunch, you are publicly shamed, and cameras in nearly every hallway constantly monitor employees.

Evidently staff don't even have real email addresses outside of PR, and email addresses are randomly changed at different intervals. The worst part though? If you're deemed "useless," you're reassigned to work like security or cleaning staff -- this includes "big producers," and incidents like these have already been confirmed in the past to lead many workers into a state of depression.

One damning bit involves the fact that after an employee mentioned leaving, Konami monitored everyone who "liked" his status, and reassigned those individuals. And that shift to mobile games? That happened all the way back in 2010.

We've reached out to Konami for comment, but don't expect to hear anything back. If true, this is some pretty horrific stuff.

コナミ、ほころび始めた「上月王国」  [Nikkei]

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League of Legends photo
Surprising absolutely zero LoL fans

If you're a League of Legends player who enjoys playing Gangplank, you likely noticed very quickly when the character was completely removed from the game last week. During Bilgewater: Burning Tides, a huge story event for League of Legends, Gangplank was murdered by his rival and rendered unplayable for everyone. Yep, even those out there who spent money on him.

Taking a playable character away from people who spent money on them seemed a very odd choice for the developers to make. They also refused to give people refunds for Gangplank-related spending and told them to wait a few days before asking for a refund again.

Unsurprisingly, these signs pointing to the character maybe not being permanently dead were today proven true.

In an epilogue released to the story event, it was revealed that Gangplank is still alive, but one of his arms is a little worse for wear and has now been replaced. Players who prefer his original design can still get it as a free skin according to a statement made by Riot.

Since this is the first time we’ve done something so dramatic with story and theme, we’re commemorating the event with the Captain Gangplank skin depicting the dread pirate from before the events of Bilgewater: Burning Tides. All players who own and play (or have already played) an entire matchmade game as Gangplank during the event will receive the Captain Gangplank skin for free.

Captain Gangplank reflects a simpler time, when one uncrowned reaver king ruled over Bilgewater with an iron cutlass and a fearsome love of scrimshaw. While base Gangplank has been irrevocably changed by Miss Fortune’s masterful scheme, the Captain Gangplank skin hearkens back to before the pirate’s bloody fall.

So, are you a Gangplank fan? I'm certainly not complaining about seeing him back in League of Legends.

Gangplank returns and the event end draws near [League of Legends]

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Microsoft photo
Not 'core' to Xbox strategy

Paying for third-party exclusives isn’t part of Microsoft's long-term strategy, says Xbox boss Phil Spencer. 

Talking to Chinese site Gamecores during China Joy 2015, Spencer said that in the future Microsoft will focus on more first-party content rather than third-party exclusives, such as upcoming timed-exclusive, Rise of the Tomb Raider.

“My strategy is more around our own first-party franchises, and investing in franchises that we own. I want to have strong third-party relations, but paying for many third-party exclusives isn’t our long-term strategy,” said Spencer.

“It’s great to have Tomb Raider as part of our line-up, but investing in first-party -- you’ll see more of that at gamescom next week -- is really core to our strategy.” 

Here's the full ten-minute interview, courtesy of ZhugeEX. (Tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that the venue of this interview looks shady as feck.)

[embed]297090:59769:0[/embed]

Microsoft recently acknowledged that it "must do better in Europe," with Spencer confirming that "mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on."

Xbox is kicking off Gamescom festivities one day early with a press briefing tomorrow on August 4 (4 pm CEST/10 am Eastern). On August 4 and 5, it'll also hold a Fanfest, a community event where fans can play upcoming titles without going to the full gamescom show. 

Does it matter if Xbox games are first- or third-party to you? What do you think Microsoft must do to catch-up with Sony's PlayStation 4?

Less third-party deals and more first-party exclusives in the future for Xbox, says Spencer [VG24/7]

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Driveclub photo
No, that doesn't include PS+ copies

We've bought over 2 million copies of Driveclub.

Game director Paul Rustchynsky tweeted about the milestone on Twitter and shared an image of a snazzy award thing. 

[embed]297088:59768:0[/embed]

It's thought the game reached the milestone in the eight months before the PlayStation Plus edition was released.

"Driveclub is fast and easy to get into, nice to look at, and it has a lot going on in the background to keep you connected and competitive with your club members and other individuals," we said in our review. "But that doesn't change the issues in the foreground. Its approachable and enjoyable racing is marred by AI cars that love to unfairly bash and crash on the single-player side."

Were you an early adopter who paid for the game on release, or did you wait until Driveclub hit PlayStation Plus before taking it for a spin? Tell me: was this game worth the wait? 

Driveclub Sales Surpass 2 Million Copies [IGN]

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The Long Dark photo
[Obligatory penis joke goes here]

[embed]297085:59767:0[/embed]

Since The Long Dark was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in 2013, we haven’t really heard much about it. A small update here, a little preview of what’s to come there, but other than that Hinterland has been quietly chugging away at the snow-based survival game.

Some of what the developer has been working on has been unveiled in the latest update video, and basically every system has been changed and tweaked to make the game a bit easier to understand. Changes to campfires, sprinting, foraging for materials, and major HUD changes are all included in the update.

There are a lot of changes, so Hinterland have released a video which you can view above, and the full change list is available on its website.

The Long Dark is currently on Steam Early Access, should you want to freeze to death.

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Terraria photo
Also Terraria 2 and mod support?

In an interview with PC Gamer, Terraria’s lead developer Andrew “Redigit” Spinks announced that going forward, there will be more frequent but smaller updates to the game.

Talking about the recent 1.3 update, Spinks also announced this will be the last update he works on before passing the game over to the rest of Re-Logic:

This will be the last update that I work on personally so it is hard to say what the future holds. That decision will be left up to the team that continues to work on Terraria. We like the idea of switching to smaller more frequent updates moving forward.

The interview also confirmed that Terraria 2 is planned alongside the upcoming Terraria: Otherworld, as well as a hint that mod support might be coming to the original game at some point in the future.

So Terraria’s still not done with after four years of post-launch support. It’s also coming to 3DS and Wii U soon too, so don’t think Re-logic is anywhere near done just yet.

Mod support and more frequent updates are coming to Terraria [PC Gamer]

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You aren't the hero in this RPG

Aug 02 // Kyle MacGregor
A Healer Only Lives Twice isn't a typical RPG by any means. Instead of putting the player in control of the prototypical hero, they actually have to defend him. After a light introduction, a warrior and the eponymous healer venture into a dungeon teeming with all sorts of dangerous monsters. The goblins, slimes, and other beasts advance toward the duo in rows, the leaders of which attack the "tank," while the rest wait their turn until a gap opens in the ranks. The only power players have over the tank is suggestion, telling him which row to attack while you see to his defense. The tank, despite his name, might as well be made out of glass and relies on the healer to vigilantly mend his wounds and cast various sorts of defensive buffs to reduce the effectiveness of oncoming attacks. You'll also be crafting items and learning skills on the fly to make your party more effective, which means you'll never be without something to do in the heat of battle. If the tank and healer don't succumb to their enemies, the healer's torch will eventually go out, at which point the journey will begin anew after allowing you to spend the experience you just earned on a myriad of different upgradeable attributes. This makes your quest easier at the outset, allowing you to go progressively further each time, as you learn more and become increasingly powerful. It's a really enjoyable little game that I'm glad I managed to pick up before it disappeared with scores of others when Sony turned off PSM's taps last month. Thankfully, A Healer Only Lives Twice is aptly named and won't be gone forever. Its creator has plans for the game in a post-PSM world. A Healer Only Lives Twice is primed for a Windows PC release sometime this summer, ensuring that a larger audience will have an opportunity to play this cute roguelike RPG if they so choose.
Doujin Dojo photo
But playing second fiddle isn't half bad

Doujin Dojo is a weekly column dedicated to spotlighting independent games from Japan and the people that make them.

Every time I talk about PlayStation Mobile, someone inevitably mentions it's the first time they've ever heard of the (now-defunct) service. And there's a reason for that. Sony never really supported the platform, which was another one of those good-in-theory projects that the company lost interest in as soon as it was born, leaving it to fend for itself like a small child abandoned in the wilderness.

Essentially Sony's take on Xbox Live Indie Games, PlayStation Mobile was an open platform that allowed virtually anyone to release games on PlayStation Vita, Xperia phones, and Sony tablets. 

It was a wonderful idea, giving independent creators a place to sell their wares on a console without restrictions like the certification process. But it wasn't without its drawbacks. Before the marketplace shuttered last month, the Wild West-like outlet was rife with shovelware and shameless clones.

But buried amidst bullshit like "Luminis" and "Flappy Birds" were a few hidden gems, such as the topic at hand today, A Healer Only Lives Twice, which I have fittingly buried further with this lede.

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Exist Archive photo
Introducing Exist Archive

Oh hey, I didn't see you there. I was just reading about Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, a new role-playing game from Star Ocean studio Tri-Ace and Spike Chunsoft of Danganronpa fame.

Revealed in the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu, the new PlayStation 4 and Vita title follows the exploits of a young man who, after being caught in a mysterious explosion, awakens on an alien planet where he and eleven others soon find themselves wrapped up in a war between the gods.

The collaboration is coming to Japan later this year. No word yet regarding a western release.

スパイク・チュンソフト×トライエースの新作RPG『イグジストアーカイヴ』詳細公開! それは神に死を弄ばれる若者たちの群像劇 [Famitsu]

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