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Heroes of the Storm 101 for new players

Sep 20 // Nic Rowen
General tips When you first start, focus on not dying more than getting kills. Heroes might not be as prone to hopeless snowballing as other MOBAs, but it can still happen if you have a teammate who is constantly feeding the enemy easy XP and free lanes. Don't be that teammate! Kills and #BigPlays will come with time, there is no need to dive towers and chase people all over right away. Play the objectives! Heroes is unique in that it has a variety of maps, each with a different gimmick. One may have you collecting gems or coins and depositing them in a central area to summon NPCs that will attack enemy forts, others may have you rushing to an area to defend, attack, or claim a certain objective for other benefits. It's almost always a good idea to prioritize objectives over pushing a lane or grabbing a mercenary camp or whatever else you might be doing (you'll learn when it's a good idea to break that rule with time). Watch the mini-map. The mini-map is your friend. The mini-map is life. The mini-map will show you where the objectives are on a map, where your friends are, any revealed enemies, any active merc camps, and so on. It's also the best way to quickly communicate in a random quickmatch (where you'll likely be cutting your teeth). Ping the map when you need your teammate's attention, pay attention when they signal for backup, and keep an eye on those sneaky, sneaky assassins who keep popping in and out of the fog. Play around with different characters. Try to make a point of touring every free character you can. Not only is this a great way to earn gold (as Chris pointed out, you gain a tidy sum for each character you take to level 5 and it's a fairly quick process), but it will also give you an idea of what each other hero is capable of. Important to know when sizing up a fight, and something that is much easier to learn by doing rather than just watching. Character tips Stick with Honest Jimmy. Jim Raynor is the tutorial character for a reason; he's super easy to use. That said, he's also surprisingly strong. He has a simple, but useful toolbox that lets him score high hero damage and push lanes while staying fairly safe. He's one of the cheapest characters to buy with gold as well as being included in the $5.00 starter pack if you don't mind making a small investment. You can learn the ropes, and the maps, with him and eventually move to more nuanced characters. Don't get too strung out about top-tier picks or “playing the meta.” You're new, the people you're going to be matched with will likely be new as well. Nobody in your cohort is going to know how to properly take advantage of the best characters anyway. Hell, I've been playing a ton of Gazlowe (supposedly one of the worst characters) and I've been topping the scoreboard for siege damage and team XP in most games (sometimes even hero damage!) Can Gazlowe hang in a competitive meta? Probably not. But down in the slums with all the other newbies, he plays just fine -- as does almost every other character. That said, you should probably stay away from the Lost Vikings, Abathur, and Chen. These are not bad heroes, but they're more complex and require advanced knowledge to properly use. Grow into them later (Murky has a rep for being a tricky character as well, but honestly he seemed pretty easy to use to me, so your mileage may vary depending on play style). Playing with others This is probably the most “duh” tip ever, but the game is much more fun when playing with people you know! You don't need to fill out a full five man team, even having just one or two wingmen can let you be a more complex and tricky with your teamwork, setting up coordinated attacks, or trading off lanes while someone heals or secures an objective. A little simple teamwork goes a long way! If you have a dependable partner or two, try to play complementary characters that can support each others efforts. Have a friend who likes aggressive melee characters like Thrall or Sonya? Try pairing up as the monk, Kharazim, who can heal nearby characters in melee range and deal respectable damage in his own right. You can be bash brothers chasing down foes together far more effectively than you would on your own. Diablo and E.T.C are walking meat slabs who can bully other players with multiple stuns and repositioning attacks when they roll together. It might not be complicated, but other new players will probably have trouble dealing with the pair. Even better if you have another friend playing a high-damage clean up character like Jaina to take advantage of the chaos. When all else fails, just play Li Li. She's dead simple to use and can drag otherwise hopeless teams through nasty brawls with her prolific healing. Hey, if you and your friends are all new, you might occasionally need a crutch to lean on as you learn. Again, these are fairly basic tips, but they might just make your entry into the world of Heroes and MOBAs a little bit smoother than it would have been. I've been completely blown away by how much I've enjoyed my time with Heroes so far and would encourage you to try it for yourself if you've been interested but haven't taken the plunge yet. Of course, if you have some more knowledge bombs new players should know, or some tips for more advanced players, please feel free to share!
HotS tips photo
By a noob, for noobs
As you might have read, I recently got into Heroes of the Storm in a big way. I'm super late to the party, and our own Chris Carter has already written a great list of quick tips you should definitely read if you're intereste...

More Quick Tips: Pokemon Shuffle Mobile

Sep 17 // Darren Nakamura
First things first: the time-sensitive stuff If you read nothing else of this guide, this is what you should take away. Enter the code 65607110 under Settings > Code for Lucarionite. This code expires on September 30, 2015. Lucarionite will let you Mega evolve Lucario, which is a huge help throughout the game. I'll explain why in detail later. Your first long-term goal should be to capture Groudon. Groudon is currently part of a special event set to expire on September 25, 2015. Opportunities for both of these are likely to show up in the future, but obtaining them now will be a great help for getting through the early, mid, and late game. Matches The game explains the basics of making matches, but leaves a lot of nuance for the player to discover. Moving a Pokémon on the board almost always involves swapping two Pokémon. On a board with few disruptions, you can frequently make matches on both ends of the swap. Taking the above into account, double-ended matches do not occur simultaneously. The Pokémon being dragged into place matches first, while the one swapped back by default matches second. This can come into play if you want to control how surrounding tiles fall. In general, by swapping from the bottom up, you can increase your chance of getting lucky as the dust settles. When matching a single Pokémon both horizontally and vertically, precedence is given to the larger match (for example, a match of four will clear before a match of three). When the horizontal and vertical matches are equal in size, the horizontal match will take precedence. This can be very important when matching certain Mega evolutions. Abilities Short descriptions of abilities are given, but some could use more explicit explanation. With a few exceptions, abilities are usually activated for only the first Pokémon matched in a single combo. Exceptions include powering up a Mega evolution and activating a Mega ability. These will occur no matter how far down a combo the match occurs. Power of 4 (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Kangaskhan, and more) will activate every time a match of four is made for the first match of a combo with the corresponding Pokémon. Most other abilities activate some fraction of the time, with bigger matches (fours and fives) increasing the chance the ability will activate. Before playing a round, take the time to familiarize yourself with your Pokémon's abilities. When making a double-ended match, it's better to take a chance on a random ability like Opportunist than waste a first-match-in-the-combo on Block Smash when there are no blocks around. Types The Pokémon Shuffle type chart follows the X/Y type chart. Here are some important notes. Unlike classic Pokémon, Shuffle has players building teams of four specifically to fight a single type at any given time. Instead of taking a team that covers a wide set of types, you want a whole team of Super Effective (double damage) Pokémon for the task at hand. Fighting-type is the only type Super Effective versus Normal-type. This is partially why obtaining Lucarionite for Mega Lucario is so helpful. Thus far, Lucario is the only Fighting-type that can Mega evolve. Ground-type is the only type Super Effective versus Electric-type. This is partially why capturing Groudon early is so helpful. With Groudon, you can build an all-Ground team after Stage 101. Without Groudon, you can't have an all-Ground team until Stage 136. All other types have at least two types that are Super Effective against it, so it is much easier to build an appropriate team. Some levels feature weak Pokémon as a fixture and are easier to complete if those Pokémon are brought along as part of the team. Togekiss is easier to beat with Togetic along. Milotic is basically impossible without bringing Feebas to the party. Don't forget this is an option; several stages use the trick. Mega evolutions Mega evolutions are a big part of Pokémon Shuffle, but strategy is key. Several of the early Mega evolving Pokémon (Audino, Kangaskhan, Lopunny) are Normal-type. They are not Super Effective versus anything. Due to its higher base attack power, Mega Lucario is preferable to the Normal-type Megas unless fighting Poison-, Flying-, Psychic-, Bug-, or Fairy-types. If you hit the Optimize button repeatedly when building a team, it will cycle through different Mega evolving Pokémon. It is up to you to determine which one is actually most appropriate for a given level. In shorter stages (10 moves or less), it is often advantageous to leave out a Mega evolving Pokémon entirely. Since it takes time to Mega evolve, it is generally better to bring a Super Effective regular Pokémon as opposed to a normal damage Mega. Sometimes it can even be better to switch a Super Effective Mega out for a different Super Effective Pokémon with a greater attack power. Mega abilities are not created equal. Mega Gengar is great for stringing together big combos, but terrible for taking out unbreakable blocks. Mega Aerodactyl is great for taking out blocks, but useless in stages without those disruptions. Don't just take what Optimize gives you. Grinding In general, you won't want to grind, but here are some tips for when you should. Usually, the path to greater power is to capture stronger Pokémon. A single Pokémon's power can increase up to 20 points by leveling up to MAX, but base attack power can range from 30 to 90. Capture Pokémon with a base attack power of 60 or above instead of grinding your 40s and 50s. You can reasonably make it up to Mega Glalie (Stage 120) without grinding or using items. If you haven't already, this is a good time to switch to Expert stages to catch some of the upper tier Pokémon. Moltres, Blaziken, and Entei would specifically help against Mega Glalie. Getting S ranks on Main stages unlocks Expert stages. I can be worthwhile to go back to previously completed stages in order to bump the ranking. Experience is awarded in proportion to the number of moves a level contains. Buneary (Stage 21) is the best stage for grinding experience until Ampharos (Stage 130). Snorlax (Stage 183) technically awards the most experience of any main stage, but it is much more difficult to complete than Ampharos. An uncompleted stage still awards experience, but it's less than if the stage were completed. Meowth (Stage 37) can be played repeatedly to grind for coins. You only keep the coins if you beat him, so you have to be able to balance matching coins and attacking, but not attacking too quickly. Spending You can still play Pokémon Shuffle Mobile without spending a dime, but you'll have to be smart about it. Check in every day for 500 coins. Make sure to play the Special stages during the weekends for Meowth's Coin Mania. When making coin matches, a match of three is worth 100, a match of four is worth 300, and a match of five is worth 500. It is more profitable to get one match of four than two matches of three. Patience is the greatest asset in Pokémon Shuffle. You will be tempted to use a Great Ball often, but it is almost always better to save those coins. Even something as low as a 10% capture rate means (on average) ten tries to get it, or five hours of waiting. A single Great Ball on Mobile costs 3500 coins, or seven days of checking in. One thing I keep in mind when going for captures with low percentages is a comparison to a standard six-sided die. If you have a 17% catch power, that's like rolling a 6 on the die. It's not exactly likely, but if you roll the thing enough times you're bound to hit it eventually. The best time to use a Great Ball is when it triggers Super Catch Power on a particularly difficult battle. If you can't consistently beat a stage and you get Super Catch Power, it's probably worth it. Save your coins for the competitive events. These are often the only ways to get certain Mega Stones, and they are only awarded to a fraction of participants. Attack Power+ is an easy way to make sure you're in that group. When you do spend your coins, spend them wisely. Some stages are only difficult because of disruptions. Use a Disruption Delay on these. Some begin with a huge obstacle but get easy once that is cleared. Use a Mega Start (and an appropriate Mega Pokémon) on these. Determine the main problem of a level and use the tool best suited to tackle that problem. For the Main and Expert stages, you should not need items at all until you start going for S ranks. Be patient with your captures, be smart with your matches, and wait for that one really lucky run. So there you have it. Now that I have this all written out, it might not really be a set of "Quick Tips," but you should now be better prepared to take on the addiction that is Pokémon Shuffle. Good luck!
Pokemon Shuffle tips photo
Let's diglett deeper
Earlier this year, Pokémon Shuffle released on 3DS and Chris Carter handed out some tips for success in the free-to-play match-three puzzler, despite the fact that he didn't care much for it. He's so magnanimous. Pok&e...

Very Quick Tips: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows

Sep 17 // Chris Carter
General tips: Although Plague Knight's explosion is mostly meant for horizontal movement, you can actually trigger an up-explosion as well. It gives you a lot more control and is generally a whole lot safer. Note your invincibility frames during your explosion attack. You can briefly avoid damage with the initial blast, but anything that hits you directly after is fair game. Don't recklessly use the explosion to avoid constant damage. Additionally, getting hit allows you to start charging an explosion, and since Plague Knight flinches quite a bit, you'll want to remember this. You can also charge during screen transitions and in-game animations. The best time to use health potions is either the start of a level you are confident with, or right before a boss fight. Don't waste precious temporary health slots on a blind run of a stage until you learn the layout. If you find a potion on the way to a boss and are at the maximum allotment, drink one to pick it up. Attacking mid-air delays your descent, but you'll need to attack more than once to cue the slow. You can also combo into more explosions to nudge over to a ledge or avoid enemies on the ground. Collect the Cipher coins -- seriously. If you avoid everything else, including cash, just get the Coins. They're vital to opening up more upgrades in the shop. Though the standard equipment is enough to complete the entire game, the host of options available might suit your personal playstyle better.
Shovel Knight tips photo
I can dig it...wait
Much like Shovel Knight, the Plague of Shadows expansion was pretty top-notch. Since the new anti-hero controls rather differently than the titular hero, I figured I'd share a few tips in regards to the changes.

God, I love these stupid The Phantom Pain tricks

Sep 13 // Nic Rowen
Saving time: It's a smart idea to return to Mother Base every once and awhile for a shower. Not only does it wash the blood and stinky murder mess off Snake, but it refreshes his max HP and reaction time when spotted. But if you don't want to make a trip to Mother Base, there is another way to get a quick refresher while in the field! Find a shallow pool of water, get prone, and roll around left and right. After a few spins, Snake will be clean and refreshed. If you're anything like me, you probably need to resupply your silencers and C4 packs at least once or twice a mission, but you're also shitty, impatient, and hate waiting the minute or two a supply drop takes. Fortunately, you can skip that wait and go straight back to sabotage and murder. Simply call a supply drop directly on top of Snake's position, whip out your Phantom Cigar, take a single time bending puff, and seconds later you'll be hit out of the time skip by a supply crate landing on your head. I wish I knew about this one sooner -- If you're looking to extract, and have the fulton upgrade that lets you steal cargo, check and see if there are any large supply containers in the area. Hop on top, slap on the fulton, and look for the button prompt to grab on. You'll be sucked out of the combat zone along with the cargo. No waiting for Pequod to bring in the chopper. Fun with the cardboard box: As you probably know, the cardboard box is ridiculously elaborate in The Phantom Pain. But, aside from using it as a method of quick travel, slapping distracting pin-up girls on the side, and generally sneaking around, it has a few undocumented uses. For example, you can also use it as a ghetto sled! Find a nice big hill, stand up with the box on, take a quick run, and hit the dive button. Snake will belly slide down the hill wearing the box. It looks stupid as hell, but it's actually a pretty great way to quickly infiltrate an outpost after scouting it out at the top of a hill! Did you know that the cardboard box also confers a very small amount of armor? Getting shot while wearing it will flash the armor/vehicle hit warning instead of direct damage to Snake. Obviously it can't take much punishment for you, but if you're on the brink of death and can't afford to hide and wait for your health to regen, it might just make the difference! The box will also soak up the effects of a stun grenade. Toss it front of you, put on the box, and Snake won't even blink when it goes off. It may look dumb, but you can use this to incapacitate groups of enemies at short range -- just the thing if they're just about to creep up on your position. 'Useless' equipment: The water pistol seems like a stupid gag item, and it mostly is. However, there are some not so obvious uses for it. You can silently disable electronics with the water pistol, super handy if you're out of C4 or don't want to raise a ruckus while you take out enemy coms equipment. But who the hell is going to wander into a war zone with just a squirt gun? The water pistol can also extinguish fire pits and other pesky light sources, which is actually surprisingly handy during a night op. Speaking of electronics, did you know you can use power lines to zap fools? Shooting out a line so the live wire touches a trooper will fry them, you know, if you wanted to make it look like an accident. Snake should be able to take out an insurance policy on individual troops before each mission, that would be a fun way to fund Mother Base. There are other ways to kill guys while making it look like an accident. You probably know that you can hold guys up and tell them to lie down with their hands on their heads, but have you ever tried it in some shallow water? The poor bastards will lie down as instructed and if you don't fulton them away or otherwise reposition them, they'll drown! Yay, humor murder! Ever wonder what you're supposed to do with those small 10-15 second sound clips you sometimes find while looking for '80s synth pop? Turns out, lots of things! If you turn the speaker on so enemies can hear, there a few tricks you can pull. Turn on the farting/pooping soundtrack while hiding in an outhouse to turn away suspicious guards, while playing one of the lullabies will put nearby soldiers to sleep. I'm sure there are more secret uses for these tapes, so experiment with them! The more I play The Phantom Pain, the more I'm impressed by the attention to detail and thought that went into every part of it. I'm sure this list just scratches the surface of the weird little tricks to be found. If you've discovered anything interesting, useful, or just plain stupid, be sure to share in the comments!
MGSV tricks photo
Russian soldiers hate them!
So, Chris Carter already provided a handy list of quick tips alongside his review of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. These are essential, life saving tips that will let you complete missions easier and build the le...

Very Quick Tips: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Sep 01 // Chris Carter
[embed]307495:60220:0[/embed] General tips: Use night vision often when you're searching for a human target, even if it's daytime. The core reason is because it's hard to see in-game models at times, especially with the dynamic lighting engine. Using night vision will highlight humanoid character models with a bright hue, allowing you to extract them with ease. Always upgrade your Fulton device as soon as you can -- it will help you for core and side ops alike. Pick a favorite weapon, upgrade it constantly, and remember it. You can use the loadout system (similar to Call of Duty) to set your preferred gear. It's easy to get overwhelmed and forget that you're using one of eight rifles, then go into battle with the wrong one. If need be, you can call for entire loadouts to be dropped in mid-mission. Once you get to R&D level 17, buy the flare grenade. It allows you to instantly call chopper support under duress, without having to use your iDroid. Since the game doesn't pause while looking at your device, it can get sticky. When you start Mission #5: Over the Fence, the wolf pup near the first objective marker on the hill is of the utmost importance. He's easy to miss, but if you tranq and Fulton it, he'll grow up to become an entirely new buddy for you to use. You can lock in your crew with the L2 button when assigning Mother Base operations. Use this method to prevent your preferred squads from down-leveling after shifting people around using the auto-sort option. As a general rule it's important to spread the wealth, but favoring R&D for tough missions so you can acquire new tools is never a bad idea. When searching for a target that has a wide circular array on the map, create multiple marks on your iDroid to set your own perimeter. In other words, "draw" bits of the outside of the circle with multiple letters, so you can clear the entire surface area. Marks will automatically erase when you reach them, so you'll know where you've been. Spend your cash upgrading the main stations of Mother Base, first and foremost. Construction takes a long time, but they pay dividends, and you'll want to start working on them as soon as possible. In the same vein, make sure you grab every resource you can on the field to ensure that you can constantly grow Mother Base -- don't just rush past open doors. Go back to the open world often! Fulton everyone you find and actually do those Side Ops. They're not necessarily required, but they'll reward you with tons of new weapons to use in the story, and your backup will be that much more advanced. As a last resort, press triangle while prone. This will bring you into a special "play dead" stealth mode, and you can even avoid being seen if the enemy is right next to you at night. This is especially useful in the "no alert" missions. You can change the type of support called with the R1 menu while using your binoculars. Along with the flare grenade mentioned above, you'll be able to instantly call in your chopper for everything but extraction. It's particularly useful during some boss fights to instantly call in a bombardment after locating an enemy. Play with headphones if possible! Listen for hit songs playing in the background, and follow the noise to the tape. Don't be ashamed of using the chicken hat sometimes if you need it. Some missions will checkpoint you right before a particularly difficult part, and there's no need to bang your head against the wall over and over. Much like The Witcher 3, calling your horse while it is not in sight will cause it to "teleport" to your side. Try to swing the camera away from it before you call it for instant access. In Side Ops #144, the target is laying on the ground in the open in the large base. This one took me forever to find, as I kept going inside, expecting it to be there. Without spoiling anything, to unlock the true ending, you'll need to complete all available main missions after the story seemingly ends abruptly -- yep, all those retread ones with higher difficulties. Alternatively, I have spoken to people who have unlocked the ending with a combination of story and Side Op mission completions. Try to beat all the core ops you can, and if some are outright frustrating you, switch to Side Ops.
Metal Gear Solid V tips photo
Kaz Be Not Proud
Metal Gear Solid V, from a gameplay standpoint, is one of the most complex titles in the series. While it was fairly easy to understand the limited amount of gear you were provided with in past entries (everything was basical...

Very Quick Tips: Mega Man Legacy Collection's Challenge Mode

Aug 25 // Chris Carter
General Challenge Mode tips: When you're playing Challenge Mode, pause the game with the select button instead of start -- the latter will still run the timer. In Mega Man 1, never forget the Magnet Beam -- it can severely cut down on your times, and instantly skip most platforming pit sections. Try to look at what games are featured in a specific playlist, and remember that any entry from 3 on has the slide ability, and 4 on has the charged shot. If you need help remembering what game you're playing, turn on screen borders -- the artwork will clue you in. Memorize the locations of items within the menu. Selecting a subweapon takes time, and you can shave off seconds on a constant basis if you remember where everything is. Make flash cards if you're serious about going for the top spot! Did you die early on in a challenge? Press select and restart -- the timer doesn't reset on its own. In megamixes featuring multiple areas, memorize the last section after completing it once, so you know when you can rush and not worry about losing health that you may need for the next area. Additionally, remember that subweapon energy replenishes after each zone. Sometimes getting hit is okay, and it may even allow for a quicker clear time. If you're looking to not die, getting hit by a bullet is generally less damaging than a collision -- so get hit by a projectile, then use the subsequent invincibility frames to run through enemies. The best times will be posted by players who don't die once. The Mega Man 1 pause glitch still works, you just need to use a different button (L1, LB) to initiate the in-game pause rather than the Mega Man Legacy-specific menu.
Mega Man tips photo
Mega Bustin' makes me feel good
People often cite the Mega Man series as an example of "difficult" retro games, but there's an astounding amount of rhyme and reason to the level design therein. With a few tips you'll be breaking down time trial record walls like it was nothing.

The sexiest way to play Curses 'N Chaos

Aug 19 // Patrick Hancock
Curses N Chaos Guide photo
So really, it's the only way
While reviewing Curses 'N Chaos, I've come across a lot of different strategies. Ultimately, though, only one proved useful. So before you go out trying to kill monsters like a n00b, please watch this pro-level video from the top player on the pro circuit, me.

Life is Strange: Episode Four Achievement guide

Jul 28 // Brett Makedonski
Dark Room: Finish Episode 4: Dark Room This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. Just finish the fourth episode. Easy peasy. Ambient: Take optional photo #1 in Episode Four: Dark Room The first photo op takes a while to get to. It's available as soon as Max has control of her camera again. Take a picture of Chloe while she's working hard at her computer. Time-Lapsed: Take optional photo #2 in Episode Four: Dark Room Fortunately, we don't have to wait as long for the second photo as we did for the first. Once in step-douche's garage, go take a gander at the bird's nest that's hiding behind the plank. Move the plank to the side and take a picture for Max's Arcadia Bay Wildlife Series. Make sure to move the plank back when you're done; drill sergeant David doesn't like people messing with his stuff. Balance: Take optional photo #3 in Episode Four: Dark Room You know that ominous totem pole in the corner of the Blackwell Academy courtyard? Well, now there's an ominous pile of stones in front of it. Go ahead and take a picture of the "Blair Witch" rocks for this episode's third Achievement. Rangefinder: Take optional photo #4 in Episode Four: Dark Room This one's also in the Blackwell courtyard. Go talk to Samuel -- he's sitting on the bench -- about animals, squirrels in particular. He'll throw a nugget of food, which attracts one furry friend. Use the box of food next to Samuel to lure another squirrel over. When they're snacking together, take a picture of them. Gamma Value: Take optional photo #5 in Episode Four: Dark Room Once in the boys' dorms, take the hallway to the right and look out the window. There are some footprints that Max finds photo-worthy. Dioptic Power:Take optional photo #6 in Episode Four: Dark Room Before long, you'll end up on the beach. This episode's sixth photo is the third beached whale from the right. Snap a picture for some of the saddest Gamerscore you'll ever earn. Fisheye: Take optional photo #7 in Episode Four: Dark Room This one requires some quick reflexes and possibly a rewind or two. Off to the left of the barn is a bird posted up on the fence. Take a quick photo of it. If our feathered friend flies away, reverse time until he sits still long enough for a picture. Manually Exposed: Take optional photo #8 in Episode Four: Dark Room The next one's owlfully easy to find. There's an owl hanging out in the corner of the loft in the barn. Once you're up there, do what Max does best. Slideshow: Take optional photo #9 in Episode Four: Dark Room This one's inside the End of the World Party. Go around the outside of the pool and up to where the VIP booth is. Go into the unmarked door. When in there, take a photo of Justin at the sink with his lower half lined up with the skeleton graffiti. Tripod: Take optional photo #10 in Episode Four: Dark Room In the pool area of the End of the World Party, move off to the right side and look up and out the windows. Find a place where you can line up a nice double moon shot. Wait. Double moon?! Shutterbug: Take all optional photos in Episode Four: Dark Room This one will unlock as soon as you pick up the last optional photo. Two Achievements for the price of one!
Life is Strange photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
We're inching ever-closer to the conclusion of Life is Strange. As we get nearer to knowing what the narrative holds for Max and Chloe, we find a bit of familiarity in the Achievements. Like always, episode four Dark Roo...

Very Quick Tips: Heroes of the Storm

Jun 05 // Chris Carter
General tips: Regeneration globes drop from the mage minions in each creep wave. It took me forever to realize this, but you can use it to your advantage with characters like Kael, and the Mana Addict skill. Do you see the eye above your character when you're hidden? If it turns red, you've been spotted by some source. You do not need to kill creeps to get XP for your team, nor do you need to last-hit them for more rewards. You just need to be near them. Likewise, you don't always have to go after objectives, even though you should in most quick matches where you can't communicate. For instance, it's advantageous to lane for the first tribute spawn on the Cursed Hollow map, and have one player poke the enemy team while everyone else lanes. That way you're outleveling your opponent's team, and giving up one tribute isn't a big deal. Tactics like this require communication however. Ever wonder what the "Bribe" statement is for neutral mercenary camps? Only certain heroes can do this if they buy that ability when leveling up or at the start, like Falstad and Brightwing. Right clicking  on your profile in the top right-hand corner of the main menu can yield a ton of information that's worth reading, like win rates on certain maps and your affinity towards specific heroes. Additionally, you can sometimes locate hidden heroes that haven't launched yet in the Hero Collection screen. Abathur can  be tricky when controlling a stealthed unit. Almost nothing will actually break the cloak, but any ability, including the shield, will sort of show their location to enemies. Any skillshot or AOE can take a unit out of a cloak, and you can see said cloak a bit by way of a shimmering effect. Likewise, Rehgar's chain heal can jump to an "empty" spot -- be aware of every ability that can expose a stealth character. If you see someone with a flaming health bar, it means they're on a killing spree. Depending on that character's build, they may have the skill that adds ability damage for consecutive kills. Death with reset some of this progress. You can swap your active abilities (the bar right above your core Q through R keys) by holding down left click and dragging them. Destroying a keep (the big fort) in a given inner base will spawn super minions (catapults) in that lane. If you hold alt while left clicking, you can bring up an extended ping menu with options like "on my way" and "need assistance." If you want an idea of who top players use, check out the Heroes of the Storm Logs website. Players often use this to decide "tiers," but it's just one piece of data to use when choosing a main, or a new character to try. Want to try out a hero you don't own? Go to the shop, click a hero, and hit "try." For a better shop view, click the hero while in the "Play" section of the game to get an easier, bigger layout with gold and real money prices. "Random" may also grant you access to a hero that you cannot play yet due to your rank. On Quick Match, players will often fight over the "vision" points on maps at the start (especially in Blackheart's Bay). Be aware of this meta-skirmish and plan accordingly -- get behind your warrior/tank and be cautious. If your team looks like they're going for it, think about helping them out, or go to the very bottom and just start laning to get a head start on XP. Laning isn't always sexy, but it pays off, especially if you're outleveling the opposing team. Be patient when buying heroes. Buy ones that cost very low amounts of gold, and level them up -- levels one through five are extremely easy to do. You'll in turn have more chances to earn gold with those cheap character levels, which can buy you more characters as you level up your player level. Before you know it you'll have tons of gold. Exercise restraint and only try to buy heroes on sale with real money. Eventually, they will all go on sale. Speaking of XP, when you hit player level 10, you'll get a free 7-day Stimpack that boosts XP gain. Think about hitting this landmark when you'll have more free time ahead of you -- in other words, if you're about to go on vacation, don't pull the trigger on level 10 just yet. If you're redeeming the retail Starter Pack, redeem your Ronin Zeratul skin first, as it will unlock the Zeratul character. You can give your other unlock to a friend.
Heroes of the Storm tips photo
Make Uther proud
Heroes of the Storm might have some streamlined mechanics when it comes to the MOBA genre as a whole, but it's anything but "dumbed down." While I'll refrain from educating players on MOBAs as a whole (the 15-minute tutorial does a good job of that), here are some tips I've compiled over my long sessions of play.

Life is Strange: Episode Three Achievement guide

May 26 // Brett Makedonski
Chaos Theory: Finish Episode 3: Chaos Theory This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. Just finish the third episode. It shouldn't give you any trouble at all. Parallax View: Find optional photo #1 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Break into Victoria’s room after finding out that she snuck off campus. She has a glow-in-the-dark action figure sitting on her desk. Shine your flashlight on it for a few seconds, then take a picture of it. Lenscrafted: Find optional photo #2 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Awww, it’s our little squirrel friend again. He’s sitting on the bench to the right after exiting the dorms. Coming close will cause him to scurry away, but rewind time to get him to pose for a picture. The Reflex: Find optional photo #3 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory After meeting up with Chloe and entering the school, take a quick detour to the science room. Max wants a photo of the fish, so turn on the light in their tank and snap a quick pic. Histogrammar: Find optional photo #4 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory While you’re still in the science room, let’s grab another photo. Head toward the back and take a picture of the skeleton with a cigarette in its mouth. Smoking kills, kids! Bokeh: Find optional photo #5 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory In the principal’s office, take a picture of Chloe behind the bronze hawk. It’s not easy to line everything up; it pretty much has to be arranged exactly like this screenshot. Pinholed: Find optional photo #6 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory After getting dressed in Rachel’s clothes, stop off in the upstairs bathroom for a quick selfie. RAW Strength: Find optional photo #7 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Just like the squirrel, our bird friend is back too. Before eating Joyce’s breakfast, scare the bird from the top of the cabinet, off of the fireplace, and out the window. Then, it’ll land on the fence in the backyard. Go take a picture of it. Viewfinder: Find optional photo #8 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Try taking a picture of the big rig across the street from the diner. The trucker standing outside will stop you. Talk to him, rewind the conversation, and casually bring up the make and model of his semi. He’ll be so impressed that he’ll let you take a picture for real, as long as you also bring up Rachel Amber. Cross Processing: Find optional photo #9 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Immediately after the last photo, move around the side of the diner. There’s an unfortunate birdie being swarmed by a million ants. Snap a picture of the carnage. Flash!: Find optional photo #10 in Episode 3: Chaos Theory Toward the end of the episode, Max will discover that her abilities range beyond what she previously thought. After a bit of revelatory dialogue, pick up the camera on the kitchen counter and snap this episode’s final picture. Camera Eye: Find all optional photos in Episode 3: Chaos Theory This one unlocks as soon as you nab all ten photos. Bonus Achievement!
Life is Strange guide photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
We're at the halfway point of Life is Strange, and while the story is moving right along, the Achievement lists remain similar. Ten optional photos to snap in every episode, and Chaos Theory is no different. This guide s...

Very Quick Tips: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

May 19 // Chris Carter
General tips: If you come across a bulletin board, always take all of the quests. They don't force you into completing them right away, and most of the notices highlight extra points of interest on the map. There's no real downside to it. Save often. Death can mean loading up a recent checkpoint, which is often fair, but I've encountered a few 10-15 minute losses before. Try to keep at least 3-4 saves handy with different tiers -- like when you enter a dungeon, keep at least one save available before you head into it. Sometimes calling your horse, Roach, can be a pain. Keep calling it by double-tapping the left analog stick and try turning around. Often times that's all you'll need to get it "unstuck" as turning will allow it to teleport. If you look straight at it, it won't break the rules of the game to get to you. Take lots and lots of food. If you use an auto-inventory slot on a certain food item it will automatically replace it with something else. Get in the habit of buying food bits often on the cheap. If you're not sure which sword you're using (steel or silver), remember that the empty scabbard will match up with whatever you have equipped. Remember, steel is on the left, and silver is on the right. It's confusing at first but you'll get the hang of spotting it. [embed]292348:58570:0[/embed] Mutagens are an easy way to buff existing abilities. The simple way of looking at it is to line up the color of the Mutagen with abilities. Red is for melee, blue is for Signs, and green is for alchemy. If you have that color correspond to each skill in a quadrant of the skill tree, you'll add a bonus effect. Meditate often if you aren't playing the top two difficulties that remove the healing bonus. It will save you tons of gold, not having to heal using items or food. Seriously -- even if you are only missing a tiny sliver of health, just meditate for a few seconds to pop your bar back to 100%, so you're always read for what's next. Don't forget your Signs (spells). Even if you don't use them often, try to always have Quen queued up and use it to shield yourself before (and during) every fight. Actually do the quests you come across. You'll need to level up to complete the campaign, and your gold will slowly drop over time if you don't complete tasks. This can lead to some disastrous results if you don't have enough cash to repair your gear or buy healing items. In combat, you can dodge out of stuns pretty easily. Don't just sit there and remain reeling after a hit -- try to hit the Circle (B) button often to cancel it out and get your bearings.
The Witcher 3 tips photo
Geralt can't catch a break
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an improvement upon its predecessor in a lot of ways, and despite the fact that it's a tad more streamlined, there is a learning curve involved. Here's a few quick tips to get you started.

NERO collectibles guide part two: The Hospital and The Desert

May 14 // Brett Makedonski
Chapter Three: The Hospital Piece 1: This chapter's first piece is down the stairs at the beginning. It's right next to the text "He needs his mom. He needs comforting." Piece 2: This is the first collectible in the game that NERO really makes you work for. It's locked behind a door that can only be opened by solving a puzzle. This room's off to the right after entering the hospital. The puzzle is completed by lining up the three holes in the bookshelf and throwing a light orb at the activation switch. Piece 3: Now that we're properly in the hospital, we see that there are a ton of optional rooms to go into, and even multiple floors. We'll tackle everything on the ground floor first before moving upstairs. Keep an eye out for signs denoting rooms, as it'll help you find the right place for collectibles. The third piece is pretty simple. It's in the left side of the restaurant. The restaurant is right by the words "Work needs me. We have bills to pay." Piece 4: Move past the open courtyard to find a receptionist's desk. The fourth piece is behind it, by the phrase "There is nothing, nothing left to be done. What's the point?" Piece 5: Staying on the lower level, you'll find a room marked "Pharmacy" which is near "I try to be collected, to not cry when he looks at me for strength." Piece number five is in the pharmacy. Piece 6: This one's in the men's bathroom, which is a bit past "I try to be collected, to not cry when he looks at me for strength." Piece 7: Now we've cleared out the ground floor and can move upstairs. I took the stairs by the restaurant, but there are many paths leading up. The next collectible is sort of near the text "Tell David not to fear, I will be there waiting for him in a better place." But, it's kind of off on its own without anything too describable nearby it. Piece 8: Find the room marked "Women's Ward" and move through it to find the eighth piece. Piece 9: Here's another that requires some work. This one's also in the Women's Ward, and it's locked behind another door. Solve the puzzle to be granted access to the ninth piece. Piece 10: Still on the upper floor, there's a room called "Supervised Observation" that houses this piece. Piece 11: Make your way around the upstairs to the Men's Ward. Work your way through here to find a side room with the penultimate piece of the puzzle. Piece 12: After opening the gates, go down the stairs to find the final piece resting in the room that also contains the chapter's final puzzle. Chapter Four: The Desert Piece 1: At the beginning of the level, there's an anchor made of rock to the right. The first piece is up against it. Piece 2: Continuing down the path from the rock anchor, veer a bit to the left to find this piece in plain sight across from the giant glowing artifact. Piece 3: Now get close to the artifact, as the third piece is right alongside it. It's near the text "I never meant for any of this to happen. I'm so sorry." Piece 4: Moving forward, there are some monkey statues that are covered in moss. The next piece of the puzzle is right in front of the central one. Piece 5: You'll eventually come across the words "It's all my fault. I should've seen it coming." The fifth piece is a bit beyond that down a short path to the left. Piece 6: You don't have to go far to get to the next collectible. It's just beyond the fifth one, and it's in between the trees with glowing cracks in their branches. Piece 7: This one has quite the picturesque view! It's on the cliffside immediately behind "I could have done better. I should have done better." Piece 8: The eighth piece is hard to miss. After crossing the rope bridge, it's just waiting right on the other side, ready to be collected. Piece 9: After opening the gate, this one's right on the other side by the words "It wasn't meant to end like this." (I redacted some text from the narrator on this screenshot that could be considered a spoiler. I did this on the last image too. Although, if you've made it this far, you probably don't care much about spoilers.) Piece 10: We're getting awfully close to the end. The tenth piece is up the path and to the left of the previous one. It's a little ways before "Why should the ending be more important than the moments leading up to it?" Piece 11: Before going inside the lighthouse, this piece is just beyond the stone ramp leading up to the entrance. Piece 12: Finally! The last piece! As you're ascending the lighthouse's spiral staircase, this one will be about halfway up out on a balcony. Pat yourself on the back for finding all 48 pieces and putting together all four puzzles. In case you missed it, here's part one of the NERO collectibles guide, which covers The Caves and The Desert.
NERO guide photo
Let's put together a jigsaw puzzle!
Well, we have 24 of NERO's puzzle pieces in the bag, which means there are 24 to go. The second half of the NERO collectibles guide features The Hospital and The Desert.  No sense wasting any time; let's jump right into it. If you don't know the drill, part one of the guide has all the details.

NERO collectibles guide part one: The Caves and The Forest

May 14 // Brett Makedonski
Chapter One: The Caves Piece 1: In a house off to the right at the very beginning. The text near the house reads "These brigands had dozens of hideouts scattered throughout the oceans." Piece 2: Off to the right of the first puzzle. It's behind an orange plant and a tree with three branches coming out of the ground. Piece 3: Shortly after the first puzzle. Right in front of the text "small waterfalls and underground rivers kept the caves humid for mushrooms to fluorish." Piece 4: In the room where you get the light ability. Down the right-hand path from "One of those contraptions was blocking the passage in a dark room filled with crystals." Piece 5: Shortly after the text saying there are two paths up ahead. It's to the right of the multi-tiered waterfall. Piece 6: Take the left-hand path. The sixth piece is directly behind the text that reads "A giant torso of an ancient god made of stone was crying water to the lower room." Piece 7: This one is in the room with the three monkeys puzzle which is necessary to progress. It's off to the right side of the door. Piece 8: You'll soon come back out to another empty village. The eighth piece is in the house with the words "An opening in the rocks gave enough light and several ponds of fresh water served the brigands well." You have to go around the side of the house, though. Piece 9: There's a ramp leading down to a puzzle with nine circles. The next piece is right on the other side of the ramp. Piece 10: Just to the right of "Long and dark was the road David walked to meet his fellow brigands, but the sense of love they felt for each other helped." Piece 11: The eleventh piece is up on the balcony under the text "There was something magic about that place, something romantic about the songs the brigands sang in the evenings." Piece 12: The Caves' last piece is in a puzzle room where the far wall has three circles with rotating dots on it. This piece is to the right of that behind a large stone. Chapter Two: The Forest Piece 1: This one is right at the beginning of the level, behind and to the left of the words "In a remote area of the world, existed a place filled with wonders and beauty." Piece 2: This piece is a bit in no man's land. It's far out in the field behind the text "Right in front of the tree, David had decided to found the village." It's nestled among three giant glowing mushrooms. Piece 3: After opening the gate, you'll see the words "They already gave their assessment, they won't save him, so I will at least try to." It's in the nook behind this and between the buildings. Piece 4: Shortly after the last piece, walk to the base of the waterfall to find this one. If you're having trouble, it's behind the words "It is taught that even today those glowing animals are still lighting those houses, giving the village a sense of false life." Piece 5: This one can be found while walking through the village. It's behind the text "The villagers built an elaborate stone bridge in order to cross the small river ending at the waterfall." Piece 6: After a mandatory puzzle that opens a gate, there's a clock puzzle a bit ahead and to the left. Along the left-hand side of the clock puzzle will be a little nook containing the next piece. Off in the distance is the text "That site had a strange attraction and for the villagers it was also connected to something even darker." Piece 7: After the words "That site had a strange attraction and for the villagers it was also connected to something even darker," follow the path under an arch. Hang a left before the words "He's sounds asleep, how long have you kept watch?," and the next piece is resting in a field. Piece 8: This piece is right behind a very large tombstone puzzle. The text in front of the puzzle reads "He asks for you, you know. He wants you to read him the giant jellyfish story this time." Piece 9: From the last piece, keep walking directly backward from the giant tombstone. This piece is at the entrance to a canyon which leads to another puzzle. Piece 10: After the tree falls, the tenth piece is just to the left of the text "The treatment just needs more time." Piece 11: Eventually, you'll find yourself in a cemetery. Take the right-hand path by the text "A statue representing a goddess was placed beneath the open mausoleum, it is said that the ghostly figures would gather there by night," and the next piece is hiding in an open stone structure. Piece 12: Progress just a bit further through the graveyard until you see the words "Strange to say and to see, the mausoleum was the only bright and lively part of the cemetery." The Forest's last piece is directly behind this text in another stone building. Good job! That's half of the game in the books. Here's the guide to the second half -- The Hospital and The Desert.
NERO guide photo
Let's put together a jigsaw puzzle!
NERO is an experience in exploration that beckons for the player to scour every inch of its world. Scattered across the game's four levels are 48 puzzle pieces, and they're hidden in every nook and cranny imaginable. Parts of...

The Destructoid Wii U Game File Size Guide

Apr 30 // Chris Carter
GameFile Size 1001 Spikes 122MB Affordable Space Adventures 1GB Armillo 1.7GB Art Academy: SketchPad 524MB Assassin's Creed III 17GB Batman: Arkham City 19GB Ben 10 Omniverse 2.8GB Bayonetta 11GB Bayonetta 2 14GB Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 966MB Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 1.2GB Castlestorm 294MB Citizens of Earth 3.7GB Darksiders II 9.3GB Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut 13GB Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 10GB Dot Arcade 83MB Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two 7.3GB Dr. Luigi 108MB Edge 110MB Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Revenge 2 15GB Hyrule Warriors 7.6GB Kirby and the Rainbow Curse 2.8GB Lego City Undercover 21GB Mario Kart 8 6.3GB Mario Party 10 3GB Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games 9.7GB Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars 418MB Metroid Prime Trilogy 6GB Mighty Switch Force! HD 330MB Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 6.0GB Mutant Mudds Deluxe 31MB Need For Speed: Most Wanted 6.1GB NES Remix 387MB NES Remix 2 100MB New Super Mario Bros. U 2.3GB Scram Kitty and his Buddy On Rails 89MB Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge 5.3GB Nintendoland 2.7GB One Piece: Unlimited World Red 11GB Pokemon Rumble U 537MB Pikmin 3 4.5GB Punch Out!! 4GB Pushmo World 507MB Rush 175MB Shovel Knight 173MB Splatoon 1.8GB Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 5.7GB Steamworld Dig 89MB Super Mario 3D World 1.6GB Super Mario Galaxy 2 1.6GB Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 15.7GB Tank! Tank! Tank! 1.5GB Tekken Tag Tournament 2 16GB Toki Tori 135MB Toki Tori 2 536MB Wii Party U 5GB The Wonderful 101 10GB ZombiU 5.6GB
Wii U File Size Guide photo
From MB to GB
With the rise of digital distribution, hard drive constraints are becoming more problematic than ever. It's never fun purchasing a game only to find out you don't actually have space for it. Here is a constantly-updated list ...

The Destructoid Xbox One Game File Size Guide

Apr 29 // Brett Makedonski
GameFile Size 1001 Spikes 235.82MB Alien: Isolation 24.41GB The Amazing Spider-Man 2 9.89GB Angry Birds Star Wars 1.81GB Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition 267.8MB Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China 3.25GB Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 22.29GB Assassin's Creed Unity 39.36GB Battlefield 4 37.1GB Battlefield: Hardline 45.33GB Blue Estate 4.14GB Boom Ball for Kinect 506.32MB Borderlands 2 23.34GB Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel 13.84GB Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 48.97GB Call of Duty: Ghosts 42.21GB CastleStorm 641.14MB Chariot 2.69GB Child of Light 2.31GB Contrast 1.94GB Costume Quest 2 1.11GB The Crew 15.97GB Crimson Dragon 6.83GB D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die 8.81GB Dance Central Spotlight 1.4GB Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin 12.2GB Dead or Alive 5: Last Round 9.4GB Dead Rising 3 26.9GB Defense Grid 2 1.44GB Destiny 24.2GB Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition 31.55GB Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved 5.88GB Disney Infinity [2.0] 9.61GB Divekick: Addition Edition 3.6GB DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition 20.09GB Don Bradman Cricket 2.26GB Dragon Age: Inquisition 41.96GB Dragon Ball Xenoverse 9.89GB Duck Dynasty 8.93GB Dying Light 20.78GB Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires 23.16GB EA Sports UFC 17.74GB The Escapists 323.88MB The Evil Within 34.14GB Evolve 26.61GB Far Cry 4 26.6GB Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game 319.84MB FIFA 14 9.82GB FIFA 15 12.67GB Fighter Within 11.05GB Final Fantasy Type-0 HD 22.35GB Flockers 5.86GB Forza Horizon 2 38.21GB Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious 15GB Forza Motorsport 5 40.54GB Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 1.1GB Funk of Titans 1.71GB Game of Thrones - Episode 1: Iron From Ice 2.56GB Game of Thrones - Episode 2: The Lost Lords 1.55GB Game of Thrones - Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness 2.35GB Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved 260.5MB Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Director's Cut 2.35GB Goat Simulator 878.25MB The Golf Club 3.9GB Grand Theft Auto V 46.76GB Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition 816.86MB Halo: Spartan Assault 2.49GB Halo: The Master Chief Collection 59.11GB Hand of Fate 4.22GB Happy Wars 1.7GB How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition 3GB #IDARB 402.78MB The Jackbox Party Pack 1.47GB Jet Car Stunts 351.24MB Just Dance 2014 22.81GB Just Dance 2015 15.8GB Kalimba 2.66GB Kickbeat: Special Edition 859.59MB Killer Instinct 19.02GB Killer Instinct Classic 441MB Killer Instinct 2 Classic 581.09MB Kinect Sports Rivals 10.88GB LA Cops 1.2GB Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris 2.58GB The Legend of Korra 2.9GB Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham 7.33GB Lego Marvel Super Heroes 6.48GB The Lego Movie Videogame 6.85GB Lego The Hobbit 8.76GB Life is Strange - Episode 1: Chrysallis 2.91GB Life is Strange - Episode 2: Out of Time 2.58GB Limbo 212.46MB LocoCycle 13.21GB Lords of the Fallen 5.95GB Madden NFL 15 15.07GB Madden NFL 25 12.52GB Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 1.2GB Max: The Curse of Brotherhood 3GB Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes 4.79GB Metro 2033 Redux 7.85GB Metro: Last Light Redux 9.24GB Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 28.43GB Minecraft 668.64MB Monopoly Deal 744.68MB Monopoly Plus 1.03GB Mortal Kombat X 34.66GB Murdered: Soul Suspect 11.83GB NBA 2K14 43.89GB NBA 2K15 46.61GB NBA Live 14 9.37GB NBA Live 15 14.88GB Need for Speed Rivals 16.58GB Never Alone 2.92GB Neverwinter 10.5GB NHL 15 21.25GB Nutjitsu 261.89MB Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty 7.51GB OlliOlli 533.62MB Ori and the Blind Forest 7.68GB Outlast 3.68GB Peggle 2 2.55GB Pier Solar and the Great Architects 2.29GB Pinball Arcade 3.83GB Pinball FX2 420.03MB Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 17.5GB Pneuma: Breath of Life 10.47GB Pool Nation FX 12.03GB Powerstar Golf 4.09GB Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 22.2GB Project CARS 18.13GB Project Spark 2.86GB Pure Pool 599.75MB R.B.I. Baseball 14 1.12GB R.B.I. Baseball 15 4.86GB Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show 14.22GB Rayman Legends 3.4GB Resident Evil 14.68GB Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 1 6.96GB Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2 4.05GB Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 3 3.69GB Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4 3.82GB Riptide GP2 203.8MB Risk 2.79GB Rocksmith 2014 5.68GB Roundabout 2.97GB Rugby 15 2.76GB Ryse: Son of Rome 36.96GB Saints Row IV: Re-Elected 12.07GB Saints Row: Gat out of Hell 6.65GB ScreamRide 4.41GB Shadow Warrior 6.78GB Shape Up 7.4GB Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments 12.45GB Shiftlings 2.3GB Shovel Knight 243.11MB Sixty Second Shooter Prime 292.45MB Skylanders: SWAP Force 15.72GB Skylanders: Trap Team 19.08GB Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition 17.83GB Sniper Elite III 23.18GB State of Decay: Year-One 3.91GB Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones 396.68MB Stick it to the Man! 1.78GB Strider 3.09GB Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut 1.81GB Styx: Master of Shadows 6.48GB Sunset Overdrive 26.06GB Super Time Force 930.45MB Tales from the Borderlands - Episode 1: Zer0 Sum 2.53GB Tales from the Borderlands - Episode 2: Atlas Mugged 1.41GB Terraria 503.66MB Tetris Ultimate 498.3MB Thief 19.25GB Thomas Was Alone 465.46MB Threes! 331.28MB Titanfall 19.73GB Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition 14.47GB Tower of Guns 1.15GB Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark 11.19GB Trials Fusion 8.44GB Unmechanical: Extended 986.44MB Valiant Hearts: The Great War 1.32GB Volgarr the Viking 291.15MB The Walking Dead: Season One 4.65GB The Walking Dead Season Two 4.48GB Warframe 6.98GB Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate 19.61GB Watch Dogs 14.44GB White Night 1.83GB The Wolf Among Us 4.95GB Wolfenstein: The New Order 43.27GB Wolfenstein: The Old Blood 37.14GB Worms Battlegrounds 1.88GB WWE 2K15 21.84GB Xbox Fitness 390.76MB Zombie Army Trilogy 10.25GB Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition 1.62GB Zoo Tycoon 2.64GB Zumba Fitness: World Party 24.15GB
Xbox One File Size Guide photo
From MB to GB
With the rise of digital distribution, hard drive constraints are becoming more problematic than ever. It's never fun purchasing a game only to find out you don't actually have space for it. Here is a constantly-updated list ...

The Battletoad fight in Shovel Knight Xbox One is so much better than the PSN's Kratos

Apr 28 // Chris Carter
[embed]290962:58324:0[/embed] Unlocking the Battletoads is as simple as following the exact same unlock method for Kratos in the PSN version of the game. Just follow my instructions here or watch the recap video above and you're good to go. Now, onto the fight. Spoilers, obviously. [embed]290962:58325:0[/embed] My God, I was not prepared for this. I thought it was just going to be a single battle with Rash, Zitz, and Pimple, but it's so much more than that. It's a three-tiered adventure that takes you through multiple elements of the classic NES game, including, yes, that infamous underground racing section. Oh, and it has a tiny little hub zone that you can return to in addition to an armor reward. I mean, Yacht Club Games just went above and beyond with this Battletoads cameo. Kratos was a cool fight that paid proper homage to the character but it was over very quickly. Having these dudes linger here like they're part of the game's world is amazing. You can go back and chill with them, enjoy a few Easter eggs, or replay a minigame! Unfortunately, it's tough to recommend the Xbox One version over the PSN one overall due to the fact that the latter hosts Cross-Buy and Cross-Save functionality. You're literally buying three games for the price of one on Sony platforms, which Microsoft can't really compete with at the moment unless they really kick it into gear with Windows 10. Still, this is basically the same exact game, so it does top the Wii U, 3DS, and PC editions due to the new ass-kickin' Battletoads boss battle. Maybe Nintendo can get a Fire Emblem character involved? Who knows, but seeing as how Sony and even Microsoft were willing, it would be disappointing to see them go silent on the matter.
Battletoads Shovel Knight photo
Watch it here
Shovel Knight is the gift that keeps on giving. It was already pretty loaded for a digital release, packed with secrets and replayability, but Yacht Club Games has been busy with other stuff too. For starters, the PSN ve...

Here's how to unlock Kratos in Shovel Knight, and a look at the full boss battle

Apr 21 // Chris Carter
The unlock:  [embed]290778:58265:0[/embed] Basically, you'll need to access the Hall of Champions first on the world map -- you can get there in roughly 30 minutes, and it essentially marks the mid-way point in the game. Go up the first ladder, and head all the way to the right. Blow through the false wall, go to the end of the corridor, and use your downward strike. The scroll to unlock Kratos is in that room. The fight: [embed]290778:58266:0[/embed] The phrase "epic" gets thrown around entirely too often these days, but this is one badass boss. I may have beaten him on my first attempt, but I had a decent loadout and he put up one hell of a fight. I wouldn't exactly call it a system selling encounter, but it was really fun. He also gives you a special item that you can see at the end of the video. The reward: [embed]290778:58267:0[/embed] If you take the item back to the blacksmith in the second town, he'll forge it into a special armor called the Armor of Chaos. It's a brand new set of armor that allows you to use Kratos' Blades of Chaos in-game.
Kratos in Shovel Knight photo
Progression spoilers
You've seen the teasers for Kratos' reveal for the PSN version of Shovel Knight -- no surprises there. But how you actually unlock him is another beast entirely, so beware of spoilers ahead for a rather cryptic meth...

One crucial tip for locating the new boss in Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

Apr 07 // Chris Carter
Spoilers: The Dark Souls II re-release features a new character and boss, Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin. In order to face him as an encounter, you must have defeated Vendrick before you fight Nashandra, who can be considered the former "final boss" of the base game's story. If you don't kill Vendrick first, you won't get to see the new boss -- period. You'll have to replay the game to find Aldia. I actually made it all the way through and expected to face him, only to find out that I did it wrong. Alternatively, you can use a bonfire ascetic to restore the checkpoint [credit to community member Stairmasternem. Just tried this out and can verify. You will, however, have to fight the Throne Watcher & Defender again, as well as Nashandra and Aldia one after another. Due to the effects of the ascetic they are harder, so it's not recommended]. Killing Vendrick is much easier if you acquire any number of Giant Souls, four of which can be readily found in the world, and one of which needs to be obtained from from the Ancient Dragon, one of the toughest fights in the game. My advice? If you can't kill the dragon just get four -- Vendrick's attacks are easy enough to dodge.
Dark Souls II tip photo
Don't miss it
It goes without saying that there are minor spoilers involved (mainly just names that don't have any context) for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin herein. This tip is mostly for returning players who want to experience the new content -- I don't want people to miss out on it for making a simple mistake.

Bloodborne photo
Not even gravity can stop him
This guy. This guy right here. It was late at night and I was already on edge in one of Bloodborne's unnerving Chalice Dungeons. I had hoped to quickly find the lever so I could proceed to the boss, get my ass kicked a few t...

Here's the full rundown on all the Wave 4 amiibo madness today, including GameStop's plan

Apr 02 // Chris Carter
GameStop rundown: So you may have heard that GameStop will be putting everything up online at 3PM EST today. Based on a memo I've obtained from a source (in the gallery below), that isn't going to happen exactly as planned. At 3PM EST, web-in-store will go live. What does that mean? Basically, you can go to a local GameStop location, give them your information, pay-up-front, and they'll order it for you. According to this memo online orders will not go live at exactly 3PM, and employees are instructed to direct people to stores. Sleazy as all hell, I know. Online orders will go live "sometime after that," but an exact time isn't given. A source has estimated "4 or 5 PM EST." For convenience and quick ordering, a $77.94 pack will be provided that includes all of the standard figures, sans the Splatoon 3-pack, which will retail for $34.99 as a separate purchase. As an added tip some stores have Wario listed in their systems for in-store pickup -- this is the only amiibo so far in Wave 4 that has this option. It may be a common figure, but it doesn't hurt to call your store and ask, as you might be able to lock him in before the flood gates open at 3PM EST. Ordering tips and potential rarity: You can pre-order them by way of web-in-store or online, both of which ship to your house. According to the memo there will be no "traditional" in-store pre-orders (outside of Wario), it will all be online. I don't have confirmation on the stock and I don't know if it will sell out in minutes, but it never hurts to be prepared. So here are some words of wisdom for online orders. Log into now and check your account. Make sure you don't need to take the time to reset your password (I had to today), your default address is correct, and if you want, store a payment method in the system. This last bit isn't recommended but it can get you checked out faster if you want to try to grab more stock after you order your favorites. You can not only try the default link, but the mobile site as well if anything goes out of stock. You can try it on your phone or manually bookmark It's weird, I know, but Shulk and the New 3DS XL were showing on up on mobile with working links after they sold out on the core site. Because Ness is exclusive, aim to get him first if you are "quick-ordering" before they sell out. You could always trade him for someone you want. Based on Japan availability, Robin and Lucina are the next rare ones in line. This also lines up with the fact that past Fire Emblem figures were already rare, and since they both work with Codename S.T.E.A.M., there will be some sort of demand for them. I haven't heard any substantial rumors about the rarity of other figures. As for other stores, it's all up in the air but we'll keep you posted. Word is that Amazon will be going live today and there's always Best Buy, Target, and Toys"R"Us. For more tips follow this guide.
amiibo wave 4 tips photo
Read carefully if you're pre-ordering online
[Update: I went in-store to scope the situation out and see what I could get at GameStop. I waited two hours as the fourth person in line. The first two got the $77.94 Smash amiibo bundle. The third only got th...

Bloodborne farming photo
I get by with a little help from my pigs
Depending on how far you are into Bloodborne, you've probably come to realize that this late-game area, accessible using the "Mergo's Loft: Middle" warp from the Hunter's Dream, is one of the best spots to quickly earn Blood...

How to locate the final hidden boss in Bloodborne, and achieve the true ending

Mar 26 // Chris Carter
[Read this for basic tips, and this for an advanced walkthrough of all the other optional bosses in the game.] Spoilers below for the video and the text: [embed]289570:57927:0[/embed] You'll need three umbilical cord items to trigger the ending. To my knowledge, there are four in the game. The easiest one to get is from the Wet Nurse boss near the end of the main story. You'll encounter this boss as part of the normal progression loop. You can snag another one from the Old Workshop, by watching this video. A third can be obtained from the NPC in the clinic. The first three minutes of this video will show you the route. When you reach the end of the line the NPC should be lying on an operating table, talking about a great deal of pain. Kill the character and grab the cord. If the NPC is not lying on the table do not attack or kill them -- come back later after defeating more bosses until they are in the right location and not hostile. The last known cord that I can confirm is from another NPC. Find Arianna in the Cathedral Ward and tell her to return to the chapel. Later in the game she will give birth down the ladder behind the lamp -- you can get a cord here. Contrary to what I've seen online in the past few days, you do not need the Yharnam Stone from the Chalice Dungeons to trigger the true ending. You only need to consume three cords before you fight the boss in Hunter's Dream, after defeating the Wet Nurse. Make sure you refuse the final choice. Here's how to obtain the other two endings: All you have to do to initiate the other two endings is either accept the final choice (a cutscene plays) for the first ending, or deny it without consuming the umbilical cords and defeat the boss for the second. Note that with all three endings the game will automatically start a New Game+ -- you have been warned.
Bloodborne secret ending photo
Spoilers, obviously
It's been quite a week since I first obtained Bloodborne. I'm currently on my fourth playthrough and I'm finding out that I missed quite a bit on my first run. Specifically, there's multiple endings, one of which involves a c...

Life is Strange: Episode Two Achievement guide

Mar 25 // Brett Makedonski
Out of Time: Finish Episode 2: Out of Time This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. Just finish the second episode. It shouldn't give you any trouble at all. Field of View: Find optional photo #1 in Episode 2: Out of Time Simply take a photo of the bunny in Kate's dorm room at the beginning of the episode. Full Exposure: Find optional photo #2 in Episode 2: Out of Time In the courtyard right outside the girls’ dorm, there’s a garbage can with food in it. Take it out for a squirrel to eat. When the squirrel scurries over, take a picture. Processor: Find optional photo #3 in Episode 2: Out of Time This one takes a bit of placement. Position yourself by the fire hydrant outside of the Two Whales Diner, and look up at the giant sign above the building. Move around while looking at the sign until the prompt to take the picture pops up. Image Stabilizer: Find optional photo #4 in Episode 2: Out of Time Go around the far side of the outside of the diner so that there’s a fence between you and the ferocious dog. Snap a picture of the puppy from the safety of the chain link. Compressed: Find optional photo #5 in Episode 2: Out of Time Someone wrote “Firewalk with me” on the mirror in the diner’s bathroom. Snap a photo of it. Pixelated: Find optional photo #6 in Episode 2: Out of Time This is another slightly obscure one. There’s a school bus in the middle of the junkyard. On top of it is the number 142. Move toward it and a bit to the left until the prompt comes up to take the picture. Dynamic Range: Find optional photo #7 in Episode 2: Out of Time While on your junkyard beer bottle fetch quest, a doe will cross Max’s path. Follow it just a bit into the woods and take a picture of it. Colorized: Find optional photo #8 in Episode 2: Out of Time After again proving your superpowers in the bottle shooting gallery, take a picture of Chloe as she aims her gun at the heavens. Meter Made: Find optional photo #9 in Episode 2: Out of Time In the science room, talk to Warren about his science mixture. Neither Potassium or Sodium are the right answer; go up to Ms. Grant to find that out. Return to Warren and tell him to add Chlorine. Snap a picture of him with his new pink concoction. Resolution Revolution: Find optional photo #10 in Episode 2: Out of Time As you walk into the photography room, Alyssa will be standing in front of the window. Just like the last Achievement in episode one, take the final picture behind someone as she peers off into the distance. Lab Master: Find all optional photos in Episode 2: Out of Time This one unlocks as soon as you snap the last optional photo. Click, pop, Achievement unlocked!
Life is Strange guide photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
The second episode of Life is Strange has an Achievement set that falls right in line with the first episode's. Again, exploration is key, and taking some quirky photos will earn you some easy Gamerscore. The rules and p...

How to find all of Bloodborne's hidden optional bosses

Mar 25 // Chris Carter
Keep in mind there are obvious spoilers involved if you want to find the locations yourself. However, I did make a point to skip any cutscenes and all of the videos do not actually show the bosses themselves. The only boss that isn't covered here is the alleged secret final encounter, which I believe no one has found yet. [embed]289531:57909:0[/embed] [embed]289531:57910:0[/embed] [embed]289531:57911:0[/embed] [embed]289531:57912:0[/embed] [embed]289531:57913:0[/embed] Spoilers ahead for Cleric Beast's location: You can't miss this one but since it's optional, I'll provide directions anyway. Head out of the starting area and into the main road with the villagers. At the end of the line you'll find a bonfire and a bunch of enemies congregating in an open area. Hug the left wall, loop around to the right and head up the stairs near the wolves. Go straight down that path on the bridge and you'll find your first optional boss. You can't miss it, and will probably stumble across him in the first 15 minutes. Spoilers ahead for Darkbeast Paarl's location: This boss will either be found late-game when you stumble upon the area, or mid-game by randomly encountering an enemy in the Cathedral region. Said enemy will have a sack over their shoulder -- when you see one of them, get killed by it to revive in a new area and locate the Darkbeast on a straight-forward one-way path. Read here for a walkthrough of how to locate the final hidden boss and secret ending
Bloodborne advanced guide photo
Spoiler-free, other than location information
[Update: I've located the hidden boss, with instructions below.] Bloodborne is officially out, and I've already seen a lot of discussions brewing about the game. Some sentiments are positive, some are negative, but a gre...

Very Quick Tips: Bloodborne

Mar 23 // Chris Carter
General tips: Once again starting classes ("backgrounds" here) do not matter outside of the obvious last handicap option. Pick whatever you want. Health and stamina will help your survivability, and the attack and arcane stats will help your damage and utility. Note there is a downplay on magic in Bloodborne -- there are only a few spells, though most of them are useful. Be cautious: look around for potential ambushes. They’re always the same if you die and repeat a level, with the exception of Insight changes in Bloodborne, which may slightly alter layouts as you progress with the game. Without a shield you'll have to be more vigilant, so always have your finger on the dodge button. Speaking of dodging, Bloodborne is an action-oriented game. Stamina is more plentiful, and there is no "weight" stat -- you'll always dodge at the same speed the entire quest no matter what items you have equipped. Get used to dodging often early, and make use of the slight invincibility frames it bestows. The shield has some uses, but it's mainly a joke item. Try to use a gun in your off-hand, as it essentially replaces riposte. You can fast-climb or descend down ladders by holding the Circle (run) button. Suicide loot runs are still a thing, and are more effective than ever. Since dying doesn't give you a "spirit or Hollow" form that reduces your health in Bloodborne, you can engage in suicide dashes to pick up as much loot as possible more often without reprisal. Likewise, you can often pick up items as you're dying, so if you've had a bad suicide run, mash that button and don't give up after death. The starting shop (the fountain near the spawn point) will sell you pretty much everything you could want, and more items will be stocked as you encounter them in the game world. It will scale with your level and become more expensive over time. "Regain" is a new mechanic that can work in your favor. After taking damage, you can heal a portion back by doing damage within a window of a few seconds. This applies even if you've taken damage from another source, like falling. Keep in mind that most enemies will actually have an "active" corpse even after death, so keep attacking to regain a few more slivers of health if you need it. This last bit is pretty crucial as you can use this tactic every 30 seconds or so. Pick a weapon and stick with it. Try not to upgrade anything above +5 until you find out your favorite loadout -- then get it to +10 as quickly as you can. There are far less weapons in general in Bloodborne so it pays to specialize. Always trigger shortcuts, including elevators, first. Bloodborne has a huge emphasis on shortcuts (more than any game before it), so prioritize opening them up before anything else. 90% of the time elevators go to past areas and are generally safe zones. Wondering what to spend your money on? Try to increase your level as much as possible, and use the rest of your cash on blood vials. In Bloodborne, any items you acquire past your maximum equipment limit (in the case of vials, 20 by default) will go to your storage, and upon death or re-entry to the hub, you'll automatically restock using said storage. It pays to overstock vials as you may be using 10-20 per boss fight -- if you have a ton of them saved up you won't need to farm for more and can keep progressing. Bloodborne tips (gameplay/progression spoilers): Farm enemies early on for vials, and try not to waste too many of them before the first boss fight. Learn a big fight and the mechanics of each attack before burning through your supply. Keep in mind that the Cleric Beast is the second big foe you should fight if you're having trouble with him. It seems like Cleric should be first since you encounter him first, but Priest Gascoigne is actually linked to progression. Lost? Here's what to do, eliminating any non-required bosses. Go to the chapel after defeating Gascoigne and defeat the boss there at the summit. You'll acquire a password that you can use in the main terrace (with all the giant enemies) right outside of the chapel checkpoint, near the large staircase that leads up to the main summit. For easy directions, just head down the large stairs, go through the gate, and turn right.Head down into the Forbidden Woods, defeat the trio boss, then further into the path you'll find the spider boss. From there, you can go back to the chapel checkpoint (inside, where you fought the boss), head down the stairs, go left, and into the door previously blocked by the big enemy. After the spider you'll be teleported there anyway. It's self-explanatory from there, as the last major hub is just ahead. The Forbidden Woods is a great place to farm for mid-to-endgame. Go to the Woods lamp, head across the bridge, down the hill, and kill 10 or more villagers. Repeat. You should earn enough money for a level-up per run depending on your level, or a large stock of vials to use on bosses. Chalices you place will carry over with New Game+, so don't be paranoid about restarting your progress. Also, keep in mind that when it feels like the game should end, saying "yes" to a question in an extra zone in the starting hub will end the game instantly and save a New Game+ clear. You have been warned.
Bloodborne tips photo
Spill the wine, not your blood
Bloodborne can get pretty rough at times. All Souls games can. To help you ease from the frustration to the fun zone, here are a few tips to help you on your way. General non-spoiler tips will be frontloaded at the top, but the progression-spoiler ones will be in the second section. Note that no bosses or story elements are spoiled, just navigational tidbits in case you get lost.

Very Quick Tips: Ori and the Blind Forest

Mar 09 // Chris Carter
General tips: You don't actually need to grind in Ori, but it never hurts to top off your experience bar to the next level if you're approaching it. Most enemies will respawn if you move off the screen. It actually is worth getting the life and energy upgrades. If you ever see them on-screen, make an effort to track down their location and grab them. Need to make sense of the three skill trees? The bottom one focuses on attack, the middle is location based, and the top-end is utility and movement. You do want to spread around your skills and not focus on just one tree at first. Get all of the "level 1" skills, then start to focus to get the most out of one tree next. My suggestion is to go all out for the top tree, as the triple jump and shield are two of the best abilities in the game. Don't underestimate the charge shot on bosses. It can rock a quarter health per shot on lower levels. Use it if you're having trouble for bigger fights. Save often and do not forget that you have the power to save in your hand manually. If you're full on energy, you may as well save if you haven't for a few minutes. When you get to what feels like the final area of the volcano, don't interact with the object if you want to further explore the world. After the ensuing finale, you won't get to replay your current game.
Ori tips photo
Save the trees
Ori and the Blind Forest may not be the most complicated metroidvania in the world, but there are a few tough decisions to make from time to time. Here are a few quick tips to ease you in.

The Destructoid Guide to Community Podcasting

Mar 05 // Stephen Turner
For your podcast, you will need: 1 Skype 1 Microphone/Headset 2 Recording Apps (CallBurner or Pamela) 1 Editing Software (WavePad, Vegas, Adobe, etc.) 3-4 Human Beings 1 File Storage Platform As you can see, you don’t need to go overboard with your equipment, and a good podcast always boils down to great chemistry. Let’s look at that list in a little more detail: Getting a Skype account is easy. If it’s not built into your Windows, go to the website. Podcasting is, simply put, talk radio done over the phone. It’s a group chat edited into a listener’s digest. Most community podcasts are done over Skype – it’s a bit of a rarity for everyone to be in the same room – so obviously you’ll need a quality headset. Something comfortable in the £20/$25 range will do just fine. MY PRO TIP: Console headsets are no-no; too cheap and nasty. But if you’re on a shoestring budget and looking to reduce the popping effect on your mic, the foamy bit from an old 360 headset is well worth salvaging. A bit of a “No Shit, Sherlock” but you’ll also need a Skype recording app. Different podcasters use different recorders, e.g. Radio Destructoid uses CallBurner and Scary Granules uses Pamela. I’m sure audiophiles will tell you one is better than the other, but they’re both solid, accessible recorders for first timers. LAURA KATE’S PRO-TIP: Always have at least one guest recording the whole call with one of those Skype recorders. They've saved my life more than once when someone's local recording broke. The amount of people on your show can vary, but four is the golden number. More experienced podcasters are lower in number because they’ve built up a rapport. If you have a whole gang, then some voices tend to get lost. I find four is the best because you can tag in and out without interrupting the flow, like them wrestlers on TV. Editing software is the real deal breaker here, since that’s where the real work begins. For Menage-A-Toid, I used a free version of WavePad Sound Editor; very newb friendly and it comes with video tutorials. STRIDER HOANG’S PRO-TIP: Before Fapcast's hiatus, I actually used Vegas to edit my podcast on my old laptop. After the hiatus I had been using a new laptop and didn't have Vegas anymore. So I managed to use Adobe Audition which works great. Best of all, you can shell out for the modern version or simply download an older version for free. I believe Audition is currently version 5 but I found version 3 for free. Lastly, you’ll need a file storage site for streaming and downloading. Mediafire, Soundcloud, iTunes, all good platforms. YouTube’s also an option, but that’s really more for VODcasts like the awesome OSW Review. As anyone who’s podcasted before knows, getting the band together is the worst part. Lots of group emails, lots of scheduling, lots of last-minute cancellations. It’ll either be smooth sailing or plain frustrating, but always be mindful of other people’s time. Eventually, you’ll all come together for a show bigger than 10 Super Bowls! Now I don’t want to oversell it… KYLE MACGREGOR’S PRO TIP: Record at a decent hour. We record Podtoid in the early afternoon on Sunday and I'm so much more coherent than when we record Radio Dtoid (late at night). Look, don’t jump in, half-cocked. ALWAYS BE PREPARED. One time, when I was in the Cub Scouts, we didn’t heed our own famous motto. Several of us were mauled by a bear, and we lost another group to a time loop in the woods. Hell, two Cubs didn’t even bother showing up. So use this quick prep to honour those poor, poor souls: Test your equipment an hour before recording. Always call Echo/Sound Test Service on Skype. No feedback means a loose lead/Hardware & Sound problem. When all else fails, Skype has its own comprehensive troubleshooting guide. It’s pretty damn useful. Make sure those call recorders are activated. Fire it up along with Skype. It’ll auto-record all calls, including that “Meow Meow Meow” song you sung to the Echo lady. Remember: sound files are found in the designated recorder’s folder, not Skype. Group Call, test, test, 1, 2, 1, 2! Your first group call is a rehearsal. Here’s where you’ll iron out any sound issues. Don’t just say everyone sounds okay. If someone’s quiet/loud, let them know. They can cap the levels in Call > Audio Settings tab. End the call and play the audio file back. If it sounds fine, you’re ready to go. Remember: A small delay is nothing, so figure out the kinks before you all get settled in. You’ll be surprised how many mishaps occur before you go live. DARREN NAKAMURA’S PRO TIP: Have everybody record locally and stitch the audio together in post. It helps to easily silence background noise coming from one person, and gets rid of any latency effects (robot voice). With switches flicked and dials reading normal, the next group call will be The Big One, the ol’ “live in five.” Don’t worry, without fail, every podcast starts off with a lot of rambling and someone saying, “Are we ready yet?” Professionalism, huh?! This is the part where you’re probably thinking, “Oh, great, now they’re going to tell me how to make my show!” To which, I’d say, “No! Make whatever you want, just be original and fearless about it! If you’re not having fun, we’re not having fun!” That said, uh-oh, it’s best to have a structure. How Did This Get Made? is a great show, but bloody hell, it’s a mess at times. You could’ve seen Sleepaway Camp twice in one night and still have trouble following their time-skip observations. If you want to keep the listeners around, there needs to be a sense of direction. MIKE MARTIN’S PRO TIP: Having an overview/structure laid out helps immensely. Don't script things, unless you are really great actors. It comes off unnatural. Let conversations flow naturally. You can always remove rambling later, but you don't know what gem might pop up in off topic conversations. DARREN NAKAMURA’S PRO TIP: Don't ever think that "let's get drunk and record something" is an original idea or a good one. It almost never is. ANDY DIXON’S PRO TIP: Yeah, drunkenness is A-OK as a by-product of having a good time podcasting. It just shouldn't be the reason for the podcast :) Sure, have a drink, but don’t go nuts. Two beers are more than enough to calm your nerves and wet your whistle throughout the entire show. As the de facto host, it’s your job to introduce the show, the guests, and the topics, steer the conversations, and end it on a bang. Your presentation style is yours and yours alone.  You’re the Dungeon Master, the Conan O’ Brien, even the Awesomely Bearded Captain of the Titanic. The key is to be assertive once in a while. Also, make sure you write up a “Things to Say and Do” list in Word. So for structure, let’s look at Menage-a-Toid’s second episode. As you can see, it runs on a simple magazine format; an easy fill for 75+ minutes. It doesn’t even have to be this rigid.  As long as you know your A to B’s, everything else is a lovely scenic detour. *drives innocently away to the rocky valleys of The Hills Have Eyes* So how exactly do you converse with an audience in mind? Be engaging for one, but if you’re the de facto host, be sure to keep these tips in the back of your mind: Introduce the topic, along with your own opinion, before passing the buck along. Always keep things on the move. You know, like that infamous football scene in The Room. If anybody goes quiet for a while, bring them back in by asking for a thought. Conversations always go off on a tangent. Still, be mindful of the original point and bring it back to some conclusion before things get exhausted. Skype Messenger a valuable and silent tool. Write down your directions and queries there, as not to interrupt the conversation. If the topic is running dry, wrap it up. It’ll save you from dead air and repetition. Listener Questions are always welcome. Get the word out early and be sure to remind everyone again before recording. More interaction means more empowerment for your audience, which means regular retention for you in the long run. As a guest, it’s your job to be a lovable smart-arse like our very own Occams. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but ALWAYS BE ENGAGING. Popular podcasts pride themselves on a strong cross-section of personalities. Someone will always have you covered with trivia, gags, opinions, and general buffoonery. And no doubt, you’ll be covering their arses with own brand of wit, guile, or plain old sensibility. There aren’t any real no-no’s to podcasting, just some easily tamed bad habits. Here’s some I’ve encountered in my time: No snacks while recording. Drinks are fine. Snacks are for pre-production only. No distractions like clickable nibs. Trust me, even a crappy mic will pick up your fidgeting. *whispers*Sorry, Secret Moon Base guys*whisper* Brevity is the soul of wit. Rambling is bound to happen, but don’t hog the mic. The key to keep things snappy. Sure, you might have to explain the mechanics of something, but you don’t need to go into the exact specifics. People tend to zone out if you’ve been talking for 10 minutes straight. Don’t turn the conversation into a “schmohz.” Nobody likes a messy pile up… of noise. It’s an early evening bar conversation, so be polite in addition to being fun, and be mindful of the listener. It’ll also save the editor a headache or two. CONOR ELSEA’S (BAD) PRO TIP: Helps to live near an airport and leave your windows open. No matter the show, you’re looking at a three-hour recording session at most. Make sure you have a break in that time. Remember to have fun with the content and say everything you need to say. Nobody cares if you suck or not. Plus, there are plenty of chances at Destructoid to hone your craft. Just ask around! Editing eats up your time like nobody’s business. But stick with it because this is where your well oiled vision comes to life. Whatever you have planned: Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings. Guests will say a lot, but not all of it will make the cut. Some jokes work, some don’t. Some get to the point, some take longer. It’s all clay, baby. If you’re confident enough, you can even shave off seconds of dead air. Don’t worry about hurt feelings. Find a balance of voices, and do what’s best for the listener. Even out those sound levels. Sometimes, someone or something will be louder than the rest. You can actually reduce the decibels and keep everyone audibly in-line. Sure, it’s more time in the editing process, but you’ll end up producing a higher quality show for it. Music is a useful punctuation. Cues break up your topics and keep the listener engaged. No need to play an entire piece. Learn to fade early on for the maximum effect. Always make notes. As you continue to edit, something important at 1:30 will end up at 1:26. It’s a no brainer. Keep some sticky notes at hand. Treat milestones like separate save games. Overwriting’s fine for minor changes, but for the end of a session, it’s advisable to save your work as separate audio files.  That way, if anything irreversible comes up, an older edit will be close at hand. Send a rough cut to your guests. They don’t need to hear all of it, just the intro.  Everybody’s their own worst critic, so shake them down for good advice. Once you’ve nailed the opening half-hour, you won’t need any hand-holding for the rest. After you’ve uploaded your final cut, write a community blog with all the relevant links.  Don’t just say, “Here’s our podcast, listen to it.” Sell it to us in 200-300 words. If you want to promote yourself further, then by all means, make a trailer and send a message to our Community Manager/Podcast Recapper. Who knows? You might even get up getting a radio spot on another community podcast. It’s all about that networking, baby! Oh, and don't forget to check out the Podcast boards in our forum! Always remember: great podcasting comes with experience. You know, like that thing your mum and the milkman talk about on the sly. Well, you’re on your own now. Hopefully, this guide has either given you a shot of confidence to give it a try or it’s helped to refine your skills. Maybe you’ll think, “Wait, podcasting doesn’t sound so scary after all. In fact, it’s a genuinely great way of getting involved with the Destructoid community. Gee Willlikers, Mr. Turner! It’s just like being in a knife-fight gang down by the beach!” And I’ll look at you and say, “It sure is, Billy. It sure is.” We look forward to give you a spin. In my case, while doing the shopping. Or photoshopping myself into Sarah Koenig's "started off great then lost the plot" Serial. What about that Jay fella, huh?
Podcast Guide photo
The call is coming from inside the house!
So you wanna be a podcast superstar? And live large, a big house, five cars, you're in charge? Comin' up in the world, don't trust no body, gotta look over your shoulder constantly? Well, it probably won’t happen unle...

Binding of Isaac: 10 tips for making The Lost playthrough easier

Feb 28 // Corduroy Turtle
This character, known as 'The Lost', is a ghost. He can fly right off the bat and his stats are all pretty normal except for one tiny, little detail: he has absolutely no health. This means that not only does he die in one hit, but a bunch of the items in the game have no effect on him or will kill him if you try to use them. As you can imagine, the idea of beating the game multiple times with a character who can die from something as small as a fly was not only daunting; it was terrifying. Long story short, I did it. It wasn't easy, it wasn't fun and to be completely honest, I don't recommend it! But if you're like me and you just have to do it, I guess I have some tips for you. These by no means will guarantee your success but hopefully they'll shed a little light on the long, depressing road that lies ahead of you. 1) Do everything else first There's a ton of stuff to do in Rebirth, and almost none of it requires playing as The Lost, so focus on all of that first. Seriously. Enjoy the game. Beat the Cathedral and Sheol paths with every other character on Hard. Complete all of the challenges. Fully upgrade the shop by plopping 999 coins into the donation machine. Unlock every possible thing you can before doing this. Not only will it allow you to get comfortable with the game, but you're going to want every possible item in the mix if/when you decide to tackle this nightmare. 2) The Lost does have some advantages Wait, The Lost isn't a total piece of shit? Well, sort of. As I mentioned earlier, he can fly, which is a huge help. This allows you to grab any items you can see on-screen without worrying about spikes, pits or rocks that would normally block your path. You're going to want every bomb, key and chest you can get your hands on so this is huge. You also won't have to worry about the damaging effects of "creep," which is the poison trail that some enemies leave in their path. This also means that you can "hide" from certain enemies and attacks by hovering over rocks. This tactic is absolutely necessary for survival but just keep in mind that there are enemies that can also fly, and there are plenty of attacks that are unaffected by rocks, so you're by no means invinsible. A somewhat pleasant side effect of having no health is it grants The Lost free admittance to all Challenge Rooms. Though they can be a huge risk, Challenge Rooms can have free items inside which are always nice. Plus, if you're carring a card or pill that allows you to teleport, you can grab the free stuff and immediate get the fuck out of there without having to survive the impending battle. However, the biggest advantage The Lost has over the other characters is that he gets free Deals with the Devil. Devil Rooms will sometimes open up after boss fights and usually you have to sacrifice precious health to gain the items inside. But since The Lost literally has no health, everything is free! There are some really great Devil-exclusive items so grab what you can. Damage ups are a definite. Items that cause fear are also nice. Just be careful and remember that not all Devil items are helpful. The Razor Blade actually hurts you when activated, which will obviously kill you before you can enjoy the increased damage. The Dark Bum, who is normally a welcome addition to any run since he can spawn soul hearts, offers no help to The Lost. In fact, since there's a chance he could spawn a enemy spider instead, he's actually a huge liability. Trust me. 3) Play on Hard at all times Here's the thing: most of The Lost's items can be unlocked by beating the various end-game bosses on Normal. BUT, if you truly want to unlock every item in the game, you need to realize that one of those items is called Godhead and it requires that you beat all end-game bosses with all playable characters... on Hard. Since you definitely won't want to play as The Lost any more than you have to (trust me), you might as well knock out Hard mode right from the start. It's not as bad as you think. Playing as The Lost is already hard as fuck so you probably won't notice anyway. 4) Be wary of champion enemies Since you'll presumably be playing on Hard, champion enemies will be more common. More often than not, these guys will have more health, as well as added quirk that can really be a pain in certain situations. Dark teal enemies will explode upon death, but light blue ones release an 8-way tear shot when killed. These two version have killed me countless times so it's good to keep your eye out for them so you can act accordingly. 5) Abuse the donation machine If you followed my earlier tip of donating 999 coins to the Donation Machine, you can thank me now. Not only do fully upgraded shops offer more items to choose from, but certain extremely helpful items will only spawn in fully upgraded shops. Also, you can use the Donation Machine as an ATM when you're low on cash, as long as you have the bombs necesssary to make a withdrawl. I used this tactic so often that my savings went from 999 coins down to a measly 22 cents by the time I finally completed my Lost playthroughs. Not going to lie, I was scared. Anyway, here are a few shop-exclusive items that can help you out big time: Black Candle - A passive item that prevents/removes curses for the rest of that run. Some curses cast darkness over entire levels, hide the map, or even disguise items as question marks until you pick them up. Since these happen randomly and are always a pain in the butt, the opportunity to avoid them completely is lovely. The Candle, Red Candle - These are space bar items that can do massive damage if your aim is true. They also recharge every few seconds which means you can use them multiple times per room. They absolutely chew through bosses. Stop Watch - A passive item that slows down all enemies in every single room. Need I say more? This obviously gives you more time to react to certain attacks but also slows down and shortens the range of enemy projectiles. It's somewhat rare but one of the best items in the game. There's also a Broken Watch item that sometimes grants the same effect, but also has the chance of actually speeding up the enemies in a room. Yikes. Maybe think twice before picking that one up. Blank Card - A space bar item that mimics the effect of any card or rune you are currently holding. Though I wouldn't recommend this 100% of the time, it can be amazingly powerful under certain conditions. For example, if you're holding the Chaos Card, you now wield a throwable projectile that can kill any boss/enemy in the game immediately, and it recharges every four rooms! Insane. There's Options - This item will let you choose from two items after defeating a boss, instead of being stuck with one. This is sort of a big deal when you consider that a lot of items offered after defeating a boss are just simple health upgrades, which do nothing for The Lost. It's nice to have options. 6) Guppy items are your friend Collecting any combination of three Guppy items will cause you to transform into Guppy himself, which makes you super powerful. As Guppy, you spawn tons of blue flies as you do damage. Not only will blue flies follow you from room to room and kill enemies for you, but their damage scales to your current power level. As you get stronger, so do they. No matter who I'm playing as, I'm always fantasizing about transforming into Guppy. It's awesome. Here are the items: Dead Cat, Guppy's Collar - Extra lives! These are basically necessities when playing as The Lost. No matter how powerful or prepared you are, certain rooms or difficult bosses will take you by surprise and all it takes is one small mistake to ruin a promising run and send you back to the main menu with nothing. You'll want the insurance of a few extra lives to save your ass in a crisis. Guppy's Head - A space bar item that spawns two to four blue flies per room. It's far from being the best space bar item but if you have nothing else in that slot, it's certainly nice to have. An important sidenote is that it counts as one of the three Guppy items needed for the transformation regardless if you keep it on you or not. Just picking it up once is good enough. Nice. Guppy's Tail - Drastically increases the number of red chests you come across, thus greatly improving your chances of seeing other Guppy-related items. The Left Hand trinket does sort of the same thing. Red chests can be risky, since they can also have troll bombs or spiders inside but that's just a risk you have to take. Be prepare for anything to jump out! Guppy's Hairball - Arguable the least attractive of all the Guppy items. This lump of wet hair gets flung around your body and can damage enemies, growing in size with each kill. It's more of a distraction than anything, in my opinion but it's not totally useless. It can also sort of block projectiles sometimes. Guppy's Paw - Nope, I was wrong. This one is almost totally worthless. For a character with health, Guppy's Paw can turn one red heart into three soul hearts. Pretty cool. For the Lost, it just gets him one step closer to the Guppy transformation which I guess is just fine. Remember, just like Guppy's Head, you don't have to carry this around forever. Just pick it up and put it right back down if you want to. 7) These can make your life a lot easier Not all items in Rebirth are created equal. In fact, some are stupid good, especially when playing as The Lost. Besides the aforementioned Dead Cat which grants you with nine precious lives, here are a few items that can really take a run from "ok" to "OMG this could be the one." Brimstone - This item turns your tears into a full-screen beam that can clear entire rooms in less than a second. Sure, it needs to be charged fully before it can be shot, but you can negate that a bit by charging it before you enter a room. Plus, it passes through all obstructions which means you can just point and shoot without worrying if things like rocks are in your way. Combine this with Spoon Bender (homing tears) and, holy lord, you don't even know. Daddy Longlegs + Gnawed Leaf - Yeah, I know I said "single-handedly" earlier but if you're lucky enough to stumble upon this combo, you've won the lottery. Daddy Longlegs is really good on his own since he seeks out enemies for you and stomps the shit out of them. But combine that with the protection of Gnawed Leaf, an item that makes you invulnerable as long as you don't move, and you can basically clear rooms by doing nothing at all. I'm going to be honest with you, I've never actually gotten this combo myself, but I've read about it and I'm jealous. Holy Mantle - This passive item negates one hit per room. It doesn't seem like a lot but when that's all it takes to end a run as The Lost, it's a really big deal. I can't tell you how many times I've been hit by a boss mere seconds before I could deliver the final blow. It's heartbreaking. If you come across the Holy Mantle, thank your lucky stars. Mom's Knife - The ultimate killing machine. On its own, it's already a force to be reckoned with, but when you combine it with damage upgrades (like Polyphemus) it has no equal. It absolutely obliterates bosses and can make your life a whole lot easier. It also has the added advantage of doing damage to anything it touches without having to be shot. Obviously you don't want enemies to get that close to you, but if they do, all you gotta do is carefully poke them to death. Trinity Shield - This item protects you from enemy shots in whatever direction you aim it. It makes certain boss battles, like Mom's Heart, a lot less stressful. In all my hours of play, I've only seen it pop up twice, so don't hold your breath for this one. 8) Please don't pick these items up This feels like it should go without saying but, y'know, I'm gonna say it anyway. Certain items are what I call "run killers." Others, while not necessarily the worst thing in the world, will definitely hurt you more than help. To clarify, it's okay (recommended, actually) to pick up any and all space bar items you come across since it will remove them from the pool of items that can show up later. Plus, these can be dropped when you come along something better. What I'm referring to here are passive items which have a permanent effect on your character after being picked up. To do this properly, you're going to need to know what every item looks like, whether they are passive or not, and what their effects are. It's not easy. I've played these games for hundreds of hours and I still get Ipecac (explosive shots) and Chemical Peel (damage increase) confused from time to time. Here are some that I learned through painful trial and error to avoid completely when playing as The Lost. Ankh, Judas' Shadow, Lazarus' Rags - These items cause you to transform into another character upon death, which is bad. For example, if you die and respawn as Lazarus, then go on to complete the game, you obviously won't get credit for beating it as The Lost. Also, don't quote me on this, but I think they can even take priority over the 9-lives item, meaning you would transform into another character and be stuck as them before you start dipping into your extra lives. Bad news. Basically, they offer absolutely no advantage to The Lost so don't pick them up! Ipecac, Fire Mind, Dr. Fetus, Bob's Brain - These are items that change your tears into explosives, or in the case of Fire Mind, cause random explosions. Explosions are powerful but incredibly dangerous. Seeing as how the game is already hard enough when playing as The Lost, why add the constant threat of blowing yourself up? Take my advice and ignore these items. The ONLY situation in which it might be okay to pick one of these up is if you luck out and pick up Pyromaniac beforehand, which makes you immune to explosive damage. Even still, explosions push your character around and could possibly push you into something that could hurt you so,... just don't pick them up. Eve's Mascara, Ludovico Technique, Number One, Soy Milk, Strange Attractor, Tiny Planet - Maybe I shouldn't be lumping these tear modifiers all together but they've all single-handedly ruined decent runs for me in the past. The problem with these items is the disadvantages outweigh any advantages they might offer. Eve's Mascara, for example, increases damage, but slows down your tears so much that it's hard to hit anything. Same with Ludovico Technique, which gives you one massive tear that you can steer around on its own, but very slowly. Tiny Planet is just a total disaster of an item, and Strange Attractor actually makes your tears magnetic, which is terrifying. Maybe you don't hate these as much as I do but you have been warned. Pick these up at your own risk. Bucket of Lard, Tarus - These items reduce your movement speed. Not a great idea since you want to be able to dodge attacks as quickly as possible. Even though Tarus can grant you a few seconds of invincibility after a certain amount of time, it's just not worth the overall decrease in speed. Leo, Thunder Thighs - These items grant you the ability to crush rocks, pots and mushrooms that you come in contact with. Usually, this is a really handy, but as The Lost, this actually removes the ability to hide within those items to avoid damage. On top of that, bomb rocks and some mushrooms can actually cause immediate damage, which will end your run. Not smart. Guillotine, Isaac's Heart - To be completely honest, I avoid these items no matter who I'm playing as. The Guillotine causes your characters head to float around their body, which can make it hard to aim your tears accurately, and also makes it sort of difficult to keep track of where your body is exactly. It's weird. Isaac's Heart makes your character immune to damage (cool...?) but forces you to protect a heart familiar that follows you around. Anything that touches the heart will do damage to you, which will kill The Lost immediately. Definitely not cool. 9) Take your time This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you, besides #10 I suppose. There is no reason to rush so make sure you're taking your time when you play as The Lost. Be patient. Wait for openings. Don't just bum rush everything and hope for the best. I had plenty of promising runs get cut short because I stopped paying attention to the little things and got careless. If you're going to do this thing, you need to be focused the whole time. 10) Don't die Hahaha, yeah, that's not going to happen. You're going to die A LOT. Over and over. It'll feel like there's no hope. Just keep in mind that all it takes is one good run. Well, two if you want to get technical about it. No matter how badly you just did or how close you got, victory could be just around the corner. I had no idea when I picked up Sagittarius (piercing tears) in the first floor of the basement, after hundreds of attempts, that I would be claiming victory in the Dark Room less than an hour later. You really never know. Maybe this collection of tips will help you capture the elusive Godhead item and you too can feel the immense sense of relief wash over you as you realize you'll never have to play as The Lost ever again... ...until Afterbirth comes out, that is. Fuck.
Promoted blog photo
It's still really f*cking hard, though
[Dtoid community blogger Corduroy Turtle offers some strategies for achieving 100% completion in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. What a guy! --Mr Andy Dixon] The concept of difficulty is likely different for everyone. Personal...

Very Quick Tips: Resident Evil: Revelations 2's Raid Mode

Feb 24 // Chris Carter
General tips: This isn't obvious, but Raid Mode is fully playable via split-screen. Instead of selecting it from the main menu just like the campaign, you'll have to press start in the main room, then select co-op. Online play will not be enabled until roughly the final episode launches. Don't be so hasty to exit the level. You'll want to clear every enemy first to get the "clear" medallion, so hang out before you go through each key gate to see if you missed anyone. At the end when the exit medal is at hand, make a last stand to clear out the remaining enemies, and punch it if you get into trouble -- at least you'll get a completion. To conserve ammo you'll want to get head or legshots and follow up with a powerful RT (R2) attack, then a possible ground attack. These do massive amounts of damage can can equal an entire clip of early handguns. Try your hardest to never use herbs by playing cautiously. You'll want to get that full clear medallion every time, which is only possible if you don't use herbs and kill every foe. Always identify items. The sell price 90% of the time exceeds the cost you put into it. Likewise, sell doubles of weapons that are inferior, with one exception -- if you happen to play lots of split-screen co-op, then you'll want to keep extras for your partner, as they share your weapon pool and can't use the same items as you. Don't waste your gold on buying weapons or attachments -- at least early on while you're in the first episode's selection. Instead, spend your money on replenishing your items and ammo at the store (the phone). Remember that the B (Circle) button dodges. If you're backing up while aiming, you can press back and B to duck backwards. Try to legitimately do the daily missions whenever you can. They give you a massive gold boost in case you get the itch to actually buy something.
RE Rev 2 Raid Mode tips photo
It's pretty deep this time around
I'm thoroughly impressed by Capcom's efforts with Resident Evil: Revelations 2's Raid Mode. It's much deeper compared to previous efforts, augmented by a sleeker interface and a seamlessly integrated mini-story. Because of that it may take a little bit longer to acclimate, so here are some tips.

Very Quick Tips: Pokemon Shuffle

Feb 19 // Chris Carter
General tips: Do not feel compelled to spend money. The game will always be there if you decide to wait and come back. There are multiple mechanics meant to entice you to spend cash on the spot, like the Great Ball and the "just five more turns for one Jewel" prompt after a failed level. Resist, and know that any stage is doable with a lucky combo. If you're going to spend money and can't help yourself, buy Jewels and cash them out immediately for Hearts if you want to play a long session. Don't be tempted buy Coins -- you do not need them unless you really want a specific Pokémon and have tested whether or not the catch percentage is high. As a general rule you are only going to want to spend Coins on the time extender (Moves +5), priced at 800c. Since you get 100 Coins per win, the way the game is paced is that you'll do five or six manageable levels before getting to a tougher encounter -- perhaps something that limits you to only three turns, or a foe with tons of health. On that note... If you encounter a really tough stage, give it "two tries" before you spend any Coins, Gems, or further Hearts on it. What I mean by that is within two attempts, you should be able to assess the situation and decide the best course of action. Are you close to beating it? Buy the 800 Coin turn extender for that session. Do you need more firepower? Go catch some Pokémon in previous stages and return. There's no need to waste five Hearts brute-forcing a tough level. When you match, try to look for combos, but if you aren't that advanced yet just look for "swap matches." What I mean by that is look around at the space where the piece you are swapping starts and try to see any potential matches. That way when you switch the piece, it will create two matches in one turn. Mega Evolutions are a huge deal in this game. They can clear out entire lines and eliminate obstacles like steel or wooden blocks in an instant. For stages where enemies have powers, try to get your Mega Pokémon buffed up at the start. Enemies generally throw out their nastiest powers later in the round, and if you're ready early, you'll have a defense. Speaking of Mega Evolutions, at first it can be confusing as to which Pokémon actually triggers it. It's always the first in line in your party, but you may not always remember that. Unless there's a weakness involved, always use the same Pokémon to differentiate the icon. I personally always have Mega Sableye out, because I remember his creepy gem-eyed face. "Check in" daily by hitting the button at the bottom left of the screen. You'll get a small currency bonus.
PokÚmon Shuffle tips photo
Or, how to not get screwed as badly by microtransactions
Pokémon Shuffle has an under-handed microtransaction system that heavily relies on making you wait to play, unless you pay. But for some of you, casually picking up five games per day will be enough, and there is some fun to be had when you wade through all the nonsense. Here are some tips to help you stay free.

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