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Call of Duty: Black Ops III's Dead Ops Arcade II minigame is batshit crazy

Nov 05 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty photo
Chicken love
Just like the original Black Ops, there's a hidden arcade game locked within Call of Duty: Black Ops III. It's actually quite easy to access (just select the top-left icon in the video on the mission hub screen), and like its...

Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Surprise! Black Ops III looks not great on last-gen, turns tanks into vans

Most likely will not care
Nov 05
// Brett Makedonski
Activision's in the fortuitous position with Call of Duty where the fanbase is so large that they haven't all adopted current-gen consoles yet. But, that means it's mostly obligated to keep releasing games on legacy sys...
Ubisoft photo

Ubisoft reports PC sales are rising, current-gen console sales are dipping

Not enough people have upgraded
Nov 05
// Chris Carter
In addition to its brief mention of how Unity impacted Assassin's Creed Syndicate sales, Ubisoft has broken down sales numbers as it pertains to the PC and console platforms. Evidently, despite its Uplay system, the...
Showing some skin photo
Showing some skin

Cringey Resident Evil 2 Easter egg is an outfit in Resident Evil 0 HD

Who likes short shorts
Nov 05
// Steven Hansen
You can find this picture of Rebecca ready to hoop in Resident Evil 2's S.T.A.R.S office if you grab a little black film canister (remember that smell?) and actually go get the thing developed. Capcom's giving it a nod in the...
Bungie photo

Bungie: 'Microtransactions and expansions can co-exist' for Destiny

'Fans are hungry for more'
Nov 04
// Chris Carter
Well, nuts. Shortly after the release of The Taken King, rumors started coming out that Bungie would supplement Destiny's new content with cosmetic microtransactions, and would refrain from going back to the underwhelmin...
PS4 avatars photo
PS4 avatars

PS4 users can now buy hilariously bad avatars

Your old PS3 avatars will transfer soon
Nov 03
// Jordan Devore
I've got the little futuristic frog guy as my PS4 avatar, so I'm set for life. But not everyone is down with him or the other freebies. Somehow, it has taken Sony until now to lend a helping hand. As of today, PlayStation 4 u...
Surprise Black Ops fact photo
Surprise Black Ops fact

Three-year-old Call of Duty: Black Ops II still has 12 million players a month

Called to duty, never called home
Nov 03
// Steven Hansen
Want to feel old? Call of Duty: Black Ops II is three years old. Want to feel, I don't know, surprised? Impressed? That "huh" feeling when you learn a moderately interesting but not too interesting or at all valuable piece of...
Destiny photo

25 million people have played Destiny

We average three hours a day, apparently
Nov 03
// Vikki Blake
The Taken King has brought an extra five million players to Destiny, boosting the number of registered players from 20 million to 25 million. Activision confirmed the figures yesterday during its earnings report. "Day-one dow...
Metal Gear photo
Metal Gear

Kojima shows how he made Metal Gear Solid V's 'Nuclear' trailer

Behind-the-scenes video translated
Nov 02
// Jordan Devore
Few trailers rival the "Nuclear" video for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I must've watched it half a dozen times when it debuted last year at E3, and probably doubled that number leading up to the game's release in Se...
Final Fantasy XIV photo
Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV's patch 3.1 will once again feature Knights of the Round

Plus, a Pokemon-esque minion game
Nov 02
// Chris Carter
I haven't been playing Final Fantasy XIV as much as I'd like, mostly due to the content drought and other obligations. But that will change when patch 3.1 hits, which is set to bring a ton of new activities to the game. ...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: Assembly Required

Nov 02 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: Assembly Required (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: October 27, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit The one big risk Telltale took with this episode was hinted at the end of The Order of the Stone. Depending on whether players choose to side with Olivia and seek out Ellegaard or to side with Axel and look for Magnus, the entire first act of the episode will play out totally differently. On the one hand, it's a bold step forward for Telltale, which is often criticized for touting its choice-based gameplay while delivering roughly the same story to everybody regardless of the decisions made. With the choice of Ellegaard vs. Magnus, the consequences were immediate and impactful, affecting a huge chunk of this episode. The final outcome might not be any different, but the journey certainly is. On the other hand, it provides for an experience uneven among players. The first half of the episode takes about 40 minutes to get through, and most people will only see one of the two segments. It stings a little because I chose to find Ellegaard, but was later led to believe that the Magnus section is the more entertaining of the two. If nothing else, it might convince me to start up a second save file just to see what I missed. [embed]318431:60938:0[/embed] Speaking of Ellegaard and Magnus, both characters are fairly unlikable. Ellegaard is haughty and aloof and Magnus is snide and combative. It creates a conflict between the two that might serve a narrative purpose in the future, but mostly just makes me wish I could have chosen neither of them right now. That turns out not to matter much, since both make an exit not long into the collective journey and bring the group back down to the core members again. Just when Story Mode threatens to feature a real, interesting human moment, the action leading to the episode's climax starts up, postponing the good stuff until a future episode. The cast continues to perform adequately. Each of the characters has his or her own distinct personality, and the actors deliver well enough. The writing is still falling flat for me. Things are happening, the narrative is progressing, but it's just not especially good yet. None of the jokes made me laugh. None of the drama made me think. After two episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode, I find myself struggling to care. It's a story and I am experiencing it, but that's the best I can muster. It's not bad enough that I'm dreading having to play three more episodes, but it's not good enough that I'm looking forward to it either. It could cease to exist and I would be utterly unfazed. There is some hope for the future of the series, as Assembly Required has planted some interesting seeds of what's to come, but it's not quite there yet. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
The story is building...
Telltale fans have grown accustomed to a two-to-four month wait between episodes. So when the studio surprise launched Assembly Required just two weeks after The Order of the Stone, it caught everybody off guard. Even though ...

PS4 detective game photo
PS4 detective game

PS3, PS4 thriller Dead Secret asks you to solve a murder

Or you're next!
Nov 02
// Steven Hansen
Just in time for next Halloween, Dead Secret is coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 (with cross-buy) next year, January 2016, and will later be compatible with Sony's virtual reality hat, PlayStation VR (formerly Morph...
Tomba 2 photo
Tomba 2

Tomba 2 is back on PSN this week (Update)

This time in English
Nov 01
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: MonkeyPaw Games tells us "those who have the Japanese version will be able to upgrade to English.] Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return is making a comeback this week on PlayStation Network. The sequel wound up being Tomba...
PS+ November photo
PS+ November

PlayStation Plus has a modest set of free games in November

PS3 has the best showing
Oct 30
// Steven Hansen
It's November, which means it's the month to gives thanks for all the "free" PlayStation Plus games released all year. Next month, in the spirit of Christmas, you can be greedy about the offering. And hey, this month ain't ba...
Matchmaking photo

Introducing Game With, a new matchmaking service

'Game With makes online play better'
Oct 30
// Vikki Blake
Need new pals for the Destiny raid? Got the Battlefield blues? The Metal Gear Online malaise? A new matchmaking service, Game With, wants to help you connect with your ideal co-op team.
Destiny photo

This guy solos Crota's End...on a Rock Band drum-kit

I don't even
Oct 28
// Vikki Blake
While Crota's End never quite duplicated the challenge of Destiny's very first raid, The Vault of Glass, those of us familiar enough with the second raid know all too well that it's the end that's the tricky bit. But then this guy comes along and solos it not just on the hardest difficulty, but also using a Rock Band drum-kit and wtf I don't even. Marvel at this:
The Phantom Pain photo
The Phantom Pain

You really do need to save Kaz in three days

Metal Gear myths
Oct 27
// Jordan Devore
Early on in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you're sent on your way to find and rescue a familiar face, Kazuhira Miller, who is being held prisoner in Afghanistan. You're told he's vital to your quest for revenge, and that he has at most three days left to live. I should've known that wasn't an understatement. What a tragic cutscene.
PlayStation Network photo
PlayStation Network

We're in week two of PSN's Sale of the Dead

Lots of Resident Evil
Oct 27
// Jordan Devore
PlayStation Network's Sale of the Dead continues with more deals on horror games. This week, there's a whole lot of Resident Evil and not much else. It's a good time to play the HD remake, so I'm probably going to do that ton...
Alien: Isolation photo
Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation gets a Game of the Year edition, but it's named correctly

Alien: Isolation - The Collection
Oct 27
// Brett Makedonski
Xenomorphs are resilient little buggers. One year removed from the release of Alien: Isolation, we thought we had done away with the titular alien. Nope. It comes back to haunt us today because a flamethrower isn't hint enoug...
Telltale photo

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 2 stealth launches today

Wow, that was fast
Oct 27
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: While we were initially told by a Telltale staff member that the EU release of episode two was being held until Friday, it now appears the digital EU release date is in fact today.] In an unexpected surprise mov...
Deception photo

Tecmo's Deception returns next week on PSN

It's a trap!
Oct 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness is being re-released on PlayStation Network next week in North America, according to the latest episode of the PlayStation Blogcast. Ahem. Before we go any further, let me just warn y...
Destiny Hard Mode raid photo
Destiny Hard Mode raid

Destiny's Hard Mode raid is pretty much the same, and that's mostly okay

It was a solid base
Oct 23
// Chris Carter
When designing the King's Fall raid in Destiny, the developers noted that they created Hard Mode first, then went to Normal. It makes sense, then, that the two would basically be the same. I just have mixed feelings about the loot system.
Destiny photo

It turns out that Destiny's terrible Iron Banner loot was due to a 'bug'

Oct 23
// Chris Carter
Last week, Destiny players everywhere were frustrated that the Iron Banner PVP event, a game mode they put hours of work into, yielded really poor loot despite Bungie's claims that it would be worth playing. Well, according t...
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir photo
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir

The new Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir trailer will melt your eyeballs with how pretty it is

Prettier than Trine 2? Just maybe
Oct 23
// Joe Parlock
Just in case you missed it, Atlus announced Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir a few months ago. A full HD remake of its popular (and beautiful) action JRPG, Leifthrasir will also feature some tweaks to the combat system, and making s...
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 photo
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 last-gen release put on indefinite hold

"WHAT A SHOCK!" said no-one ever
Oct 22
// Vikki Blake
As Activision grapples with the issues facing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5's current-gen versions, the publisher has decided to put the release of the last-gen versions on hold. In a statement to Eurogamer, Activision didn't spec...
Game of Thrones photo
Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Episode 6 dated, Episode 1 available free now

Winter is coming in Winter. Or something
Oct 21
// Vikki Blake
The final episode of Telltales' Game of Thrones series, The Ice Dragon, will release on November 17, 2015.  To celebrate, Episode 1 - Iron from Ice - is available for free on... well, everything (PlayStation 4, Play...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

PSN's Sale of the Dead doesn't do much for me

There are a few standouts, though
Oct 20
// Jordan Devore
Overall, can't say I'm feeling this October-appropriate PlayStation Network sale. Many of these deals aren't all that noteworthy, but on the bright side, it is only week one (of two, presumably) and the sale does bring Grim Fandango Remastered down to $8.99 (PS4 and PS Vita).

Review: Tales from the Borderlands: The Vault of the Traveler

Oct 20 // Darren Nakamura
Tales from the Borderlands: The Vault of the Traveler (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: October 20, 2015 (Mac, PC, PS3, PS4)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit [Editor's note: there will be no major spoilers present for the episode reviewed here, but events in previous episodes may be discussed.] At the end of the previous episode, so many questions were left unresolved. What happened to Felix? Where is Vaughn? How is Rhys going to deal with Handsome Jack? Who is the Stranger who kidnapped Fiona and Rhys to get the whole thing started? All of those questions get answered. The story of the Stranger is particularly well done. Over the course of the series it has become clear he was a known character. I had a couple of guesses, some of which were shot down along the way as people died. When it was finally revealed, it caught me by surprise, but doesn't feel like a cheap copout twist. Some hints were there on the way. The other big question looming over the series over its duration centers on Gortys. Most of the story takes place via flashback narration in which the perky robot is happy and healthy, but the present-day bits have had Rhys, Fiona, and the Stranger collecting her pieces all over again. What happened to her? [embed]315774:60751:0[/embed] It's a question I personally fretted over because Gortys has become my favorite character in the entire Borderlands universe. Her unrelenting optimism and childlike demeanor are so refreshing on the cutthroat planet of Pandora, giving her best lines that much more comedic weight. Gortys delivers several laugh-out-loud funny lines this time around, but a sad effect of Telltale design is that some players might never even hear them. My favorite came as a response to one of the dialogue choices. It almost makes me want to play through again just to see if there were any great lines I missed out on. This episode gives another substantial reason to warrant a second play through. Getting ready for the final confrontation, the usual gang of suspects has to put together a team, pulling from the supporting cast reaching back as far as episode one. In a move Telltale ought to adopt for all its series, it spells out exactly who is available and why or why not based on past choices. I covered for Athena when Janey was suspicious after the chase in Hollow Point, so she would be willing to fight with me again. I was hesitant to call myself a Vault Hunter, so Zer0 never took much notice and was unavailable. Not only would I have to replay this last episode if I wanted to see Zer0 in action again, I'd have to basically start from the beginning. Given how good this series is, I'm not upset about that. I doubt the final outcome of the fight with the Traveler is any different depending on which characters join in, but the battle itself is customized depending on who is there. It's intrinsically cool to see each character in action given the circumstances of the encounter, but I am reluctant to spoil the specifics. One of the aspects of this series that amazes me is just how impactful it can be on the Borderlands universe. What started out as a story about a middle manager and a lowly grifter has irrevocably altered Pandora as a whole. While The Pre-Sequel worked within the confines of the existing lore, providing back story for Hyperion and Handsome Jack, Tales builds new stuff on top, setting up for the inevitable Borderlands 3. Thinking of the future, there are a few open-ended plot points in this last episode. Though a lot of past choices were highlighted and their effects were explicitly shown, the choice that puzzled me the most is given to Rhys as he is describing his struggle with Handsome Jack. As far as I could tell, nothing in this series was affected by it despite its potentially huge consequences. Additionally, there's the very end. After the climactic battle with the Traveler, as the group is celebrating and grabbing loot, there's one final scene that might be setting up for a whole new adventure starring Rhys and/or Fiona. Whether that becomes Tales from the Borderlands Season Two or part of the mainline series, I don't know. But it will definitely get Borderlands nerds excited considering the possibilities. I cannot recommend Tales enough. Borderlands fans will love the fresh take on the dark comedy universe. Telltale fans will love the smart writing and callbacks to choices made throughout. People who don't fall into those categories might still love it because it is just that great. This last episode maintains the action, drama, and comedy present throughout the series. It ties up all the major loose ends while leaving just a hint of room for more to come. Most of all, it solidifies Tales from the Borderlands as Telltale's best series to date, a pinnacle of modern adventure gaming. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Borderlands finale review photo
Your journey ends here
[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.] What a...

Review: Life is Strange: Polarized

Oct 20 // Brett Makedonski
Life is Strange: Polarized (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One[reviewed])Developer: Dontnod EntertainmentPublisher: Square EnixRelease date: October 20, 2015MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) To this point, Life is Strange's greatest strength has been in the Arcadia Bay that developer Dontnod created, which is a place that we experienced mostly on our own. We'd walk around, observe, converse -- whatever we could do to learn a little more about the town. Great depth was added simply by letting us look at everything. It's no coincidence that Max told us early on in episode one that she's "always looking." In Polarized, she isn't always looking. Instead, she's quickly pulled from scene to scene with little time to take in her surroundings. Life is Strange's most poignant bits are often the ones where Max is allowed to reflect, to slow down. The last episode put less of an emphasis on this, but it still worked. Pulling the same trick twice in a row doesn't fare as well, as this doesn't quite feel like the same game that we meticulously pored over for four episodes. More damaging than the quick pace is the manner with which Polarized treats Life is Strange's characters. So many of them were flawed yet sympathetic in some way. There were very few that existed outside of a moral grey area -- even the ones who seemed like they should be pure evil. Unfortunately, this chapter mostly does away with that nuance. Too many characters are revealed to be straight-up heroes, villains, or pawns. We were conflicted about these people in the past. Now we're essentially told how to feel about them. It takes away a lot of the heart-string pulling and leaves you numb to their arcs. [embed]316331:60781:0[/embed] As often as Polarized deviates from the Life is Strange formula, it's not always a detriment. Some parts are the strongest sections of the episode. These are the moments when Life is Strange is at its most Twilight Zone, which is a side that Dontnod has largely abstained from. There's an entire backward scene where everyone walks and talks in reverse; it's a real joy. Earlier, there's a conversation with an antagonist where Max has no dialogue options but to offer sincere admiration. It's weird and uncomfortable enough to make your skin crawl. While that forced interaction worked, others aren't as successful -- especially when they come at critical junctures. Apart from one very notable occurrence, much of Polarized gives the player very little agency over Max's choices. That's a problem when the four previous episodes thrived on it. Actually, Polarized goes so far as to retroactively render some previous decisions moot, sacrificing a major game feature for narrative good. Despite finding issues with this chapter at every turn, I found myself more or less fulfilled with the conclusion -- although, I firmly believe that's an enthusiasm for Life is Strange as a whole as opposed to this installment alone. I think Dontnod discovered that it created a world that sprawled a little too far, and it wasn't sure how to bring it all to an end. So, it went with the easiest option. Or, as an art critic in this chapter phrased it, it took the path of least regret. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] (Previous Life is Strange reviews: Chrysalis, Out of Time, Chaos Theory, Dark Room)
Life is Strange review photo
The path of least regret
It's perfectly fitting that Life is Strange's final episode is subtitled Polarized. I can't think of a more apt word to describe my mindset right now. Life is Strange's conclusion left me satisfied, but not for the same reaso...

Life is Strange: Episode Five Achievement guide

Oct 20 // Brett Makedonski
Polarized: Finish Episode 5: Polarized This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. All you have to do is finish the episode. Incandescent: Take optional photo #1 in Episode 5: Polarized Once you're back in the classroom, go talk to Kate Marsh once you have control of Max again. Comfort her. Afterward, take a photo of her. Night Vision: Take optional photo #2 in Episode 5: Polarized Max will eventually find herself in an art gallery. From the point where you gain control of her, walk forward and to the right until you can go down some stairs. There's a woman staring at some photos and there's a camera behind her. Feel free to borrow it to take a picture of her from behind. Framed: Take optional photo #3 in Episode 5: Polarized We're back in a familiar place. Rewind time after Mr. Jefferson attacks an investigator. Ask Jefferson for a final photo to unlock this Achievement. Camera Obscura: Take optional photo #4 in Episode 5: Polarized Max has to think quick to keep the Two Whales Diner from a'sploding. After that's done, turn around and take a picture of the very dead whale next to the restaurant. Blowup: Take optional photo #5 in Episode 5: Polarized This photo is immediately after the previous one. Turn around from the whale and check out the car on top of the roof. You have to find the right angle for this prompt to appear. Try working your way around the left of it. Iris: Take optional photo #6 in Episode 5: Polarized We're right back at the etching in the classroom that started it all in episode one. Look at it once and watch it change. Look at it again. Third time's a charm and that's when you'll be able to take a photo of it. Sensor: Take optional photo #7 in Episode 5: Polarized Everything's getting mega trippy. You'll find yourself in a hallway maze. After briefly becoming Victoria, you'll transform back into Max. When this happens, take a right toward the showers and snap a picture of the giant squirrels. That's right -- giant squirrels. On Display: Take optional photo #8 in Episode 5: Polarized This might be the weirdest optional photo in the entire game because you don't actually hit the photo prompt. When in the backward hallway (you'll know what I mean), don't go into the bathroom. Instead, walk past it and up to this skeleton in the corner. The "Journal" button will appear, so hit that. That's what unlocks this Achievement. Light Meter: Take optional photo #9 in Episode 5: Polarized This one is very easy to miss. It can be found in the dreamworld flashlight section. It's during the locker area. Sneak past everyone and go to the part where Samuel's searching for you. Head down his row of lockers and take a right. Somewhere over there is Warren's locker -- his incredibly creepy locker. Snap an unsettling picture. Silhouettes: Take optional photo #10 in Episode 5: Polarized Time for the last one...bottles?! "This might be hell," as Max so eloquently puts it. So, go around the junkyard section of the flashlight dreamstate and collect bottles. There are five in total and they aren't too tough to find. After grabbing all of those, you need to take a picture of them all lined up on the workbench. The workbench is at the opposite end of this area, so just work your way through it. It kind of sucks. Selfie Awareness: Take all optional photos in Episode 5: Polarized The penultimate Achievement will unlock as soon as you nab your last optional picture. All that's left to do for full Gamerscore is to wrap up the episode!
Life is Strange photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
Here we are, friends. It's time for the conclusion to Life is Strange's five-episode arc. I'm writing this prior to playing, and I have no idea what to expect. Well, that's a half-truth -- I expect to be an emotional wreck by...

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