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Rash in Killer Instinct is a cameo done with love

Aug 17 // Patrick Hancock
What I love: Rash plays like he's ripped right out of Battletoads. He can grow ram horns and headbutt his opponent, turn into a wrecking ball, kick with a giant spiky boot, and even call in the infamous speeder bike. While these sounds completely ridiculous, it never feels out of place or strange. I mean, this is a game with robo-dinosaurs and flame cats. Rash has a ton of mobility around the stage. He can zip around the screen using his tongue, though it won't do any damage if it hits the opponent. An added benefit to the tongue is that it will eat projectiles, which in turn helps Rash build meter! The wrecking ball move can also be used to get around the stage, making Rash able to zip and zoop around the screen to keep the opponent on their toes.  My favorite moment so far has been against an Orchid. We were both very low on health, so she starts spamming her fire cats across the stage. Since Rash doesn't have a projectile, I just decided to keep eating hers. Eventually she ran out of Instinct and I was able to use the Shadow version of the Wrecking Ball to seal my victory! The animations and sound prove that this isn't just some ham-fisted nostalgia-fueled cameo done for the money. It's clear that a lot of care was taken when re-creating Rash for the modern era. Going back and forth between Rare Replay's Battletoads and Killer Instinct's Rash is way too seamless. Players can even button mash while fighting to perform a combo, though this isn't super useful. [embed]297480:60011:0[/embed] What needs to change before he's finished: The biggest thing that irks me about Rash is that he only has one linker move, Battering Ram. Every other character has more than that and I expect Rash to by March as well. Rash's trailer seems to have a second linker in the form of a traditional Russian dance, so perhaps we'll see that come March. Other pieces are missing as well, like an actual Ultra, but that's a given for his final version. His throw demonstrated in the reveal trailer has Rash picking up the enemy and moving with them, just like in the original Battletoads, but this is not implemented in the current version.  Rash feels like a great addition to the Killer Instinct cast. If this is how all future cameos are done, then I am all for adding in more. I have a feeling I'm going to go through some intense withdrawal between September and Match without having Rash on the roster.
Rash in Killer Instinct photo
Just give him like, one more linker?
Battletoads is an interesting entity. It's really hard, and everyone knows it. It garnered a big following long after its release and has become more and more infamous over time. Then, the characters appeared in Shovel K...

Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

PSA: Metro: Last Light and How to Survive are now on Xbox Games with Gold


Until September
Aug 17
// Chris Carter
This week sees the changing of the Xbox Games with Gold guard, with new games in tow. Now, you'll be able to snag Metro: Last Light, and How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition, in addition to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes,...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Want to play 50+ new, unreleased games pre-PAX? For free?


Microsoft invites you to the next pre-PAX Open House
Aug 17
// Vikki Blake
More than 50 games will be playable at Microsoft's ID@Xbox Pre-PAX Open House, including eight as-yet unannounced games and "several first playables", including Inside, Playdead's anticipated follow-up to the delightfull...
Kim Wu Killer Instinct photo
Kim Wu Killer Instinct

Kim Wu will be joining the cast of Killer Instinct in Season 3


Remember her?
Aug 14
// Chris Carter
Kim Wu entered the Killer Instinct arena in the second game in the series, and now she'll be returning for the Xbox One and PC editions for Season 3. Set to drop in March of 2016, Rash and Kim Wu are the only ones confirmed s...
NPD photo
NPD

July NPD: PS4 rolling, squids gone and dinos rise


Top ten continues to look samey
Aug 13
// Robert Summa
There weren't a ton of surprises this month for the July NPD report. Even though Splatoon players might be a little sad their beloved paint shooter is no longer in the top ten, you gotta admit, it had a good run with the big ...
Deals photo
Deals

$50 off Xbox One 1TB bundle deal shows up midweek


Sell all the Master Chief bundles!
Aug 13
// Dealzon
Update 8/15/15: Good news for those that want a 500GB model because its on sale for only $300 with free ship. Tax in NY only. No need to wait for the holiday season for a deal on a 1TB Xbox One. The console got its first $50 ...
Rare Replay photo
Rare Replay

Rare Replay is Rare's first UK best seller since the '90s


First top spot since Banjo in 1998
Aug 10
// Laura Kate Dale
Rare Replay has hit number one in the UK games charts, making it the first Rare game to do so since the late '90s. The last Rare game to hit number one in the UK chart was Banjo-Kazooie on the N64, which was released all the ...
Halo 5 leak photo
There's a hole in my beta, dear Liza
The theme music from Halo 5: Guardians and shots of multiplayer menus (including Warzone, the new 12-on-12 mode) have leaked online following a recent update to this winter's now-defunct beta. Despite having concluded m...

I'm a big teen now! photo
I'm a big teen now!

Halo 5 first game in series rated T for Teen


Teen friendly, mother approved!
Aug 07
// Jed Whitaker
[Header image from DeviantArt artist Lazeedog.] Great news, teens: you can buy Halo 5: Guardians without an adult as the ESRB has rated it T for Teen, making it the first core game in the series not rated M for Matu...
Microsoft on GFWL photo
Microsoft on GFWL

Microsoft: 'Our goal right now isn't to do anything else other than support Steam'


Haha Games for Windows Live
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
Speaking to PC Gamer, Microsoft had a bit to say about the ol' Games for Windows Live and Steam feud. After shuttering the former down in favor of not screwing over its consumers with a bad service, they quickly shifted gears...
Xbox Elite App photo
Xbox Elite App

The Xbox Elite controller's app lets you customize everything


But when will we get sexy colors?
Aug 06
// Jed Whitaker
At around 38:33 in the video above, we get our first in-depth look at the Xbox Elite's controller app, and it looks awesome. The app allows you to configure your controller in basically every way imaginable from stick sensit...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Seagate's 2TB external Xbox One drive works like a charm


It's also not outrageously priced
Aug 06
// Chris Carter
Yesterday, Microsoft announced its first official HDD for the Xbox One in the form of a Seagate 2TB external. Although most units around that storage capacity are priced at $80 or so, the $110 pricepoint isn't too bad, especi...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

'When you fail, it means you're pushing the boundaries of what's expected,' says Xbox's Phil Spencer


First-party exclusives 'more difficult'
Aug 06
// Vikki Blake
In a frank exchange with GameSpot, Xbox boss Phil Spencer acknowledged that experimentation with new IPs inevitably resulted in a "higher fail-rate." "When you're starting new games, in terms of new ideas and mechanics, your&...
Backward compatibility  photo
Backward compatibility

The reality of Microsoft's backward compatibility ad is less impressive


Haha
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
Microsoft unveiled a giant ring of backward compatibility for the Xbox One, but something is amiss. Look closlier. Now, look more closer. Do you see it? There's a number of duplicates in there. Game Informer has done the...
Xbox One HDD photo
Xbox One HDD

Microsoft announces first official 2TB external HDD


From Seagate
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
The Xbox One's onboard 500GB limit is woeful. After Wolfenstein hit, games reached the critcal mass of 40GB for the average AAA title, which cleaned out my space in seconds. Publishers are now expanding upon their planne...
Battletoad KI photo
Battletoad KI

Here's the rundown on Battletoad Rash's appearance in Killer Instinct, with a catch


It's a timed test right now
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Today, Microsoft announced Season 3 of Killer Instinct, set to debut next year on PC and Xbox One. But wait, there was another tidbit too -- Rash from Battletoads will be playable today! Unfortunately, the reality is a l...

Everything that happened at Microsoft's 2015 gamescom conference

Aug 04 // Chris Carter
New Quantum Break trailer has a hobbit and military violence Microsoft debuts Crackdown 3 gameplay at gamescom Scalebound gameplay trailer reveals four player co-op, coming Holiday 2016 Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date Xbox One DVR functionality coming in 2016 Killer Instinct Season 3 coming March 2016 on Xbox One and PC Bloodstained will feature Microsoft crossplay, new character revealed Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad Xbox One backward compatibility comes to everyone in November Ark: Survival Evolved adds giant spiders to its dino-fest Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 We Happy Few is coming to Xbox One first, my fair lady Cobalt, that arena battle game, is still an Xbox exclusive Thimbleweed Park has an Anthony Burch doppelganger Homefront: The Revolution is doing an Xbox One exclusive beta 'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals Halo 5's new trailer has an excellent sliding kill Microsoft announces Halo World Championship, special 1TB Xbox One New Just Cause 3 trailer looks like silly, explosive fun Rainbow Six Siege scmhoozes gamescom with German counter terror unit Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain Halo Wars 2 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, coming in 2016 Tremble in fear at our first look at Dark Souls 3 Cities: Skylines will arrive on Xbox One first on console
gamescom 2015 photo
Lots of non-exclusives
Hey, you know what? I actually enjoyed Microsoft's gamescom conference for the most part. Sure it had a lot of non-exclusives in there, but it wasn't a train wreck. I mean, when your heavy-hitter is Halo Wars 2 you know it's not all that exciting, but again, it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I know a lot of people who actually really dug Halo Wars, so I bet they're happy.

Halo Wars 2 photo
Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, coming in 2016


Creative Assembly is involved
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Although they haven't given out any real details, Halo Wars 2 was confirmed today at Microsoft's gamescom conference. It will be coming to the PC and Xbox One in fall 2016. The trailer above gives us a quick look at the...
Halo photo
Halo

Microsoft announces Halo World Championship, special 1TB Xbox One


I wonder how well it will do
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has unveiled a new Halo tournament, dubbed the Halo World Championship. It'll feature one million dollars in prizes, and will focus around Halo 5: Guardians. Additionally, the publisher revealed a new 1TB limited e...
Xbox One chatpad photo
Xbox One chatpad

Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad


Function, not form
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
I mean, hey, it works. Anyone type enough on the Xbox One that they're picking this bad boy up when it launches in November?
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Bloodstained will feature Microsoft crossplay, new character revealed


Dual sword wielding demon hunter shown
Aug 04
// Laura Kate Dale
If you buy Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Xbox One or Windows 10, you'll be able to interact with your friends on other Microsoft-owned platforms. Revealed at Microsoft's gamescom press briefing, we also got our first g...
Killer Instinct photo
Rash from Battletoads is confirmed
Microsoft announced today at gamescom that Killer Instinct will be getting a Season 3, which will debut in March 2016. That goes for the Xbox One and the upcoming PC version, and Xbox One fight sticks and controllers will work on PC. Also, Rash from Battletoads will debut in the game today, which is pretty awesome. I'm up for a Season 3, as the core game has been excellent so far.

Quantum Break photo
Quantum Break

Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date


Time moves slow
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft kicked off its gamescom press conference by bending time and slowly shoving bullets into bad guys. That's Quantum Break -- part third-person cover action game and part television show. We still don't have a goo...
Crackdown 3 photo
Crackdown 3

Microsoft debuts Crackdown 3 gameplay at gamescom


Destruction-centric multiplayer
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Microsoft gave us a bit of info on Crackdown 3, which is starting to take shape. It takes place in a new city which was once a "glistening metropolis now filled with crime." It's described as an ecosystem where you have more...
Xbox bares it all!!! photo
Xbox bares it all!!!

Watch the Xbox gamescom 2015 press conference


Microsoft Xbox One and PC presser
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft is kicking off gamescom 2015 in Cologne with its Xbox briefing in 15 minutes. That's 7:00AM (PDT), 4:00PM in Germany.  You can watch it live streamed here, or through your Xbox One, Xbox 360, or Windows Phone. ...
HoloLens photo
HoloLens

Microsoft's HoloLens will feature Xbox Live and ID@Xbox support


Four platforms to rule them all
Aug 04
// Laura Kate Dale
With Microsoft's gamescom press conference mere hours away, little bits of news are starting to pop up here and there that it didn't deem worth making part of the main conference. From the looks of it, some additional HoloLen...
Backward compatibility photo
Backward compatibility

Shadow Complex playable on Xbox One for preview members


As is Gears of War
Aug 03
// Jordan Devore
I'm using my Xbox One more than ever now that Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is playable by way of Rare Replay. Gotta catch 'em all. Backward compatibility is a huge deal for people like me who have an extensive Xbox...
Ultimate Edition photo
Ultimate Edition

Entire 'Gears of War Collection' unlocked on Xbox One by playing Ultimate Edition


Gears 1-4
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
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...

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. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
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...

Microsoft photo
Microsoft

'Paying for third-party exclusives isn't our long term strategy,' says Xbox's Phil Spencer


Not 'core' to Xbox strategy
Aug 03
// Vikki Blake
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 Micro...

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