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2:00 PM on 07.30.2014

How to stop sucking at The Last of Us multiplayer

Have you played The Last of Us yet? Maybe, maybe not. You probably should, though. It's really a lovely game. And it's now on PS4, which means there's an actual reason to use that thing as something other than a Netflix deliv...

Kyle MacGregor




GameStop to roll out a credit card with a really high interest rate photo
GameStop to roll out a credit card with a really high interest rate
by Brett Makedonski

GameStop has a reputation of upselling customers at the cash register. As annoying as incessantly turning down pre-orders and protection plans can be, though, it's child's play compared to what the brick-and-mortar videogame retail giant is expected to start pushing soon.

GameStop is set to offer its own credit card to customers that ties directly into the company's PowerUp Rewards program, according to anonymous sources. We obtained photographs that outline the details of the card showing that the primary incentive for signing up is 5,000 bonus points for PowerUp Basic members and 15,000 bonus points for PowerUp Pro members. Also noted are exclusive offers to cardholders.

The finer (and more important) terms of the GameStop credit card is that it will come packaged with an interest rate of 26.99%. Currently, the market average seems to be in the neighborhood of 13%. It's worth noting that the more prominent marketing materials specify that there are "special financing offers," so there may be an introductory period during which there are significantly reduced rates.

It's unconfirmed at this time, but our sources were told that all PowerUp Rewards members are already pre-approved for the card. While it's unknown when GameStop intends to introduce this program, it's likely to be in the near future, given the fact that the marketing materials have already been created. Whenever it is, just make sure to proceed with caution -- tacking some bonus points onto your GameStop rewards account is an alluring prospect, but if you aren't confident in your financial situation, there are much more attractive credit cards with far fewer potential long-term repercussions.

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/26] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/26]
by Steven Hansen

Let's get away for the weekend, just you and me. I know this little place on the coast. Nice restaurant, view of the water from the cliff side. We could probably sleep in the car in the parking lot and hang out on the beach all day.

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

 

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Review in Progress: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas photo
Review in Progress: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas
by Chris Carter

When many Warcraft fans hear the name Naxxramas, it conjures up memories of late nights and pizza, while taking on the tough-as-nails raid in World of Warcraft (or as I know it, Naxx). It was one of the most enjoyable areas of the franchise lore-wise, as it focused on some of the more nefarious villains in the series' realm.

Archlich Kel'Thuzad returns as the big bad in Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas, but you won't be able to fight him right away. Yep, that's right, each "wing" of the DLC will unlock over the course of five weeks, and although the first wing is free, each wing will cost in-game currency or real money.

It's an interesting way to deliver DLC, and so far, it's more than enough to get me back into Hearthstone.

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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins
by Chris Carter

The last episode of The Walking Dead was probably my favorite one yet -- and that's including all of Lee's tale from the first season. Clem has made the switch from tough to full-on badass depending on your choices, and it's clear that she is fully a part of some of the horrific life-or-death choices in the world.

Clem can no longer hold onto her innocence and fall back on her young appearance -- at this point, many decisions have been made that cannot be taken back, and the rest of the group is starting to notice it. That hook right there is what makes Amid the Ruins such a great tale, even if it doesn't have the same wow factor as its predecessor.

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Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King
by Chris Carter

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than both), but having played it prior to launch without any hints or guides, I heartily enjoyed getting lost in its labyrinthine tunnels and deadly arenas.

The Crown of the Sunken King DLC expands that goodness by about five to ten hours depending on your skill level, and even if it's one of the less remarkable levels in the game, it's still worth playing.

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Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty photo
Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
by Chris Carter

One of the first games I ever played on PlayStation was Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. I remember opening up the jewel case, adorned by a creepy looking creature with his mouth sewn shut, with no idea of what to expect. Over the course of the next few weeks I became acquainted with that creature called Abe, and slowly made my way through the difficult puzzle platformer at a slow, but steady pace.

2014's New N' Tasty is basically a recreation of that same experience from 1997, for better and for worse.

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Now's a nice time to buy a Wii U: Here's everything you should know photo
Now's a nice time to buy a Wii U: Here's everything you should know
by Steven Hansen

Even if you must play all the Hot New Games, you don't need a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One to do so until 2015. Enough of them are still releasing on PS3 and 360 this fall. The rest, on PC (and, for some of us, handhelds). 

With the recent release of Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros., you might consider buying a Wii U, though. 

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Smash Bros. 4: Hopes, Fears, and Predictions photo
Smash Bros. 4: Hopes, Fears, and Predictions
by Jonathan Holmes

When it comes to writing about Smash Bros, I'm a control freak. If Destructoid goes more than a day without posting about the series, I get impatient. Smash Bros is actually a big reason why I got started here. Back in 2007, the great Adam Dork hosted a weekly Smash Bros Dojo contest where readers were invited to guess what the daily Smash Bros news would be for the day.

Those were simpler times. No responsibility, no accidentally enraging thousands of people by having opinions about game design, no accusations of only working for Dtoid for the fame and fortune, or of being a being hipster who only writes about videogames to impress women who wear wooden glasses and ride bicycles made of hemp. While I'm happy to be where I am today, there's definitely advantages to being "just a fan" and not a "a videogame editorialist" (whatever that means). 

Patrick Hancock and I decided to approach this article from strictly a fan's perspective. We love Smash Bros. We think about it everyday. Getting those thoughts out of our brains felt good, and we hope it feels good for you to read about them.

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Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3) photo
Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)
by Chris Carter

The last time we left off in our assessment of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 2.3, I had experienced most of the tertiary level content, ready to face off against the big boss Ramuh himself in his true form, alongside of playing more Frontlines PVP and of course, more hunting.

Over the past week and a half I've tried just about everything there is to try, and I found that overall, it's getting people to do a diverse array of content -- as opposed to 2.2 which generally funneled people into a few venues. It's not the most balanced patch, but it adds a ton of stuff to do other than grind out end-game tokens, and I'm sure that makes a lot of former subscribers happy.

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To dye for: Invisible Inc. is my kind of strategy-stealth game photo
To dye for: Invisible Inc. is my kind of strategy-stealth game
by Steven Hansen

A chasm in stealth games tends to be player skill and the supposed skills of super sleuth avatars. You're often eased into the situation, your lack of skill assumed, or you just fumble your way through -- especially with the recent trend of stealth-optional games -- feeling like Mr. Magoo. Or you're good at stealth games. It's one of the reason's they can hold up to replays. Coming back with mechanical knowledge and slinking through areas like the pro you're meant to be is exhilarating. 

Invisible, Inc. is meant to be replayed, but that familiarity and advance knowledge is not where you get your sense of empowerment, as everything is procedurally generated and, thus, different each time. 

Klei's founder Jamie Cheng sat down with me and showed me how "active stealth, by moving and doing rather than waiting," is a great fit for a turn-based system. 

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First look at Tecmo's new Fatal Frame for Wii U photo
First look at Tecmo's new Fatal Frame for Wii U
by Kyle MacGregor

Koei Tecmo unveiled the next entry in the Fatal Frame series, Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko, today during a NicoNico Live event.

The Wii U horror title, which Siliconera translates as Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden, will be summoned to Japan starting September 27, 2014.

Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko is set against the backdrop of a cursed lakeside manor in the mountains, where themes of water and hydrophobia will feature prominently.

The Wii U GamePad also figures to be a core part of the experience. Koei Tecmo asserts the title will make use of the controller's unique qualities to mimic the trademark Camera Obscura, allowing players to spot things that might otherwise go unseen by the naked eye.

「零」シリーズ最新作/「零」メディアミックス 発表会 [NicoNico, 4Gamer]

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EVO 2014 recap: Here's who won photo
EVO 2014 recap: Here's who won
by Jordan Devore

And just like that, another EVO has come and gone. What a weekend.

Despite not playing fighting games much myself, I'll never miss watching the year's big tournament. The audience's energy, the drama that unfolds on stage -- it never ceases to amaze.

If you missed out on the grand finals for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultra Street Fighter IV, or any of the other featured games, look no further.

You're gonna want to watch that BlazBlue final.

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Those new Smash Bros. mystery characters are Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem photo
Those new Smash Bros. mystery characters are Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem
by Chris Carter

Today, Nintendo was set to tease a "New Fighter Intro Video" at 7AM PST, and tease they did. The new fighter was revealed to be none other than Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening. But wait, there's more! Robin from Fire Emblem is also in, and he has a female gender swapped costume! Chrom was revealed as well, but it isn't clear if he is a playable character or just a skin/assist trophy/Final Smash, but all signs point to the latter.

Finally, Captain Falcon was revealed as a returning fighter. That's three confirmed characters with two new additions and one returning character (we'll see what Chrom is soon enough). Sakurai noted last week that they were "nearing the bottom of the stash" in terms of new announcements, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot more.

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I'm going to miss tripping in Super Smash Bros. 4 photo
I'm going to miss tripping in Super Smash Bros. 4
by Jonathan Holmes

[Art by Fallen Party]

[Update: Some of you are pretty upset about the article! Sorry about that.

Also, a few people pointed out a couple of mistakes I made. First, I wrote that you can block in the air in Smash Bros. Looks like I "tripped" up! I meant to say "dodge." Sometimes when you type too fast, you put down the wrong word, and it may not get caught in the proofread. My apologies.

Also, there is some dispute over if "L-canceling" is an "unintended abuse" of the game's system, or something intended by the developers. My guess is that it's both -- that "L-canceling" was intended by the developers, but players learned to exploit it to a degree that Sakurai and the gang didn't intend, which could be why it was removed from Brawl entirely. It's hard to say for sure though, as Sakurai hasn't made any comment on the subject that I know of. Either way, you should know that "L-canceling" may be an intended mechanic in Melee and Smash Bros on the N64. Hope that helps, and if you find any other mistakes, you can let me know on twitter- @tronknotts. Thanks everybody!]

[Update 2: I asked Michael "Mr Bean" Molinary to write a counterpoint to my point and it's really good.]

There's a Smash Bros. tournament going on tonight at a local comic book store. The creator of Catlateral Damage and I were planning on attending, but they changed the game from Brawl to Melee at the last minute. We both backed out, resigned to the reality of the situation, but still disappointed. It's totally understandable that the majority of competitive Smash players prefer the increased level of fast and precise character control that Melee offers over Brawl, but as diehard Lucas, Olimar, and Squirtle fans, Melee isn't worth the $15 entry fee. 

I figured I'd get over it by watching some Melee at EVO, and I quickly found myself feeling frowny. It seems like the longer the game is played, the less high level competitors try new things. Most of the matches were just a high-speed poke and fake contest. The only times things got really interesting was when a character is in the clutch, trying to recover from being knocked off the edge, but those mechanics are just as fun to watch in Brawl or even the original N64 Smash Bros

I wondered how much more interesting it would be to watch some aggressive play in Brawl. Yes, even though it has tripping. Especially because it has tripping. 

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/12] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/12]
by Steven Hansen

You should watch Ping Pong: The Animation. It's why Lebron James realized he needed to go back to Cleveland, true story. But be warned, watching other anime after will be hard because it leaves you extra acutely aware of how mediocre and awful most anime is. Sorry, Beck.

There's only two World Cup games left to occupy yourself with, anyway. What else are you going to do?

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

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