, | News
splattter

Splatoon is getting a major free update in August. Nintendo’s Ink-tastic update to their multiplayer ink-shooter on the Wii U will bring the level cap up to 50 from the current limit of 20, adds private battles for just you and your friends, a squad battle mode for easier team joining, and opens up 40 more pieces of clothing gear like a sushi-chef costume. The update will also add two new weapons to the mix. The Slosher is a bucket-like apparatus that allows players to hurl ink in big globules. The Splatling (pictured above) has a high rate of fire and has the option to charge shots for more impact. If you’re going to be spraying squid ink at people, why wouldn’t you use a Gatling gun to do it?

Splatoon’s Ink-tastic update will be released on August 5th. Nintendo promises that further updates are coming that will add more content to the base game for free.

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, | Movie podcasts
71_podcast

You probably missed Yann Demange’s ingenious thriller ’71 during its limited theatrical release. Your loss. But once you’ve seen it in the comfort of your own home, here is our podcast for your listening pleasure. At the 1:20 mark, we get retro with contemporary movie scenes obsoleted by technology.

Next week: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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Techland posted the puff-piece video above to crow about the level of support they’ve given their game since launch. Not only have the developers worked on patches and DLC included in the Season Pass, they’ve added freebies for all the regular owners of the game. Gold tier weapons! Special events! Costumes! New Modes! It’s all good stuff which is a nice reminder that CD Projekt RED aren’t the only guys giving away free updates to their games. The interesting part of the video comes right near the end when Techland teases what appears to be a dune buggy idling near some wilderness. Dying Light is already the best zombie parkour game ever. Can it become the best zombie parkour 4×4 game?

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cs_cheaters

Whether or not mainstream media takes competitive videogame playing seriously, the world of e-sports is about to get more legitimate. Following the revelation that members of Cloud9, a high-ranked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, was using the drug Adderall to enhance their reflexes during tournaments, the Electronic Sports League will begin testing their players for drugs. That’s right, videogamers. Performance-enhancing drug scandals in electronic gaming are here. We’re one step closer to getting our own HBO documentary about the rise and fall of a cyber-athlete hero.

As recently as April, Michal Blicharz, managing director of the ESL denied that drug abuse in his company’s tournaments was widespread enough to warrant action despite all evidence to the contrary. Although almost all official gaming organizations ban drugs and alcohol during their competitions, the ESL will be the first to take the issue seriously enough to screen players before matches.

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, | Game reviews
Marco_Polo_review_1

From the moment I started playing Voyages of Marco Polo, I knew I would like it. And the more I play — I’ve played at least 20 games in the short period of time it’s been out — the more it climbs its way into my favorite games of all time. Today, it may very well be among the top five. It does about a dozen things I look for in a boardgame and it does them all spectacularly well. How do I love thee, Voyages of Marco Polo? Let me count the ways.

After the jump, look out, China! Here I come! Continue reading →

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The Sniper: Ghost Warrior games have been largely forgettable affairs. They sit squarely in the space between modern Call of Duty games and Rebellion’s Sniper Elite franchise. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 was just a bland sort of me-too game that didn’t really stand out in any way. CI Games says they’ve taken the criticism to heart and are going full-out on the third game. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is in an open-world setting with side quests, crafting, Witcher/Batman vision, and skills to upgrade. In the E3 developer commentary video, CI stresses that they’re really going to make something special.

You play as the titular Ghost Warrior roaming the Georgian countryside making life miserable for Russian bad guys by taking out key personnel. You also get to control drone strikes. It’s an open-world RPG shooter mixed with Tom Clancy’s morality. Wait. That sounds familiar.

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, | News
StarCitizen_shooter

What’s going on with Star Citizen? That seems to be the question du jour for many. On the surface, everything seems to be fine. Cloud Imperium Games has raised over $85 million to make their everything-in-space game. The project status looks to be on-track with the largely cosmetic hangar module and ship against ship “Arena Commander” module released to backers. So where is the doubt coming from?

After the jump, an internet urban legend rises against Star Citizen. Continue reading →

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, | Game diaries
Massive_Chalice_GD_7_chalice

It’s been 300 years. I started with ten territories, but I’m down to five. One of them has the Standard where my kingdom trains children. The other four have keeps for my noble houses, including the caberjacks of House Wayne, the hunters of House Gaffney, and the alchemists of House Flink. The Flinks actually have two keeps. They’re just that good. Everyone else, everyplace else, has crumbled into the sea, devoured by the Cadence.

While my land holdings might seem dire, the more accurate picture of how I’m doing is my list of available heroes. I’ve got over thirty and most of them are level eight or nine without ever having seen battle. That’s just how powerful their parents and teachers have been.

So one of the hardest things about fighting the final battle is deciding which five heroes to bring. Actually, it’s not that hard. Three of my heroes have relics as weapons. A relic is incredibly powerful once it’s leveled up, and these relics are well and truly leveled up. You can bet they’re going into battle. Etlanta Flink with a thrower called Gatekeeper, Matt Gaffney with a crossbow called Division, and Margaret Gaffney with a crossbow called Honor. That’s an alchemist and two hunter classes. I round out the team with another alchemist named Mako Flink and my best caberjack, Yuloria Wayne, for tanking.

After the jump, I’ll spoil the finale of Massive Chalice, which you should play for yourself instead. Continue reading →

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, | News
alex-morgan-fifa-16

If you follow soccer, (Europeans call it “footyballz”) you’ll be familiar with Alex Morgan, a forward on the Portland Thorns FC, and one of the star players on the US Women’s National Soccer Team in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Add another bullet on her resume. She’ll appear on the cover of Electronic Arts’ FIFA 16. She’ll share the coveted honor along with Lionel Messi. With EA spending so much time on getting their hair just right, it makes sense to have a female grace the cover of the long-running sports game.

Canadian soccer fans will have Christine Sinclair representing the Canada Women’s National Team on their copies of FIFA 16 instead. Australians will get Stephanie Catley on their boxes. The cover appearances of this trio will mark the first time females represent the FIFA videogame. FIFA 16 will launch on September 22nd.

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That’s Tremor, the new dirt-powered fighter in Mortal Kombat X. NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment unveiled the trailer for the “kombatant” during the Evolution Championship 2015 event. If you have the Kombat Pack, you’ll be able to access him in-game today. He’ll also be available as a separate piece of DLC on July 28th. This is the first time that Tremor will be available to gamers as a playable fighter. He was previously seen in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces and the PS Vita version of Mortal Kombat.

In related news, Jamie Lee Curtis and her family went to Evo 2015 in costume. The scream queen attended the tournament as Vega from the Street Fighter series. That’s one way to rack up some fighting game fans on social media.

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signs

Female player models are coming to Rust. In an interesting twist on character creation, Facepunch Studios is not letting players determine their avatars’ gender. Like the penis size on the male models (no, that’s not a joke) whether someone will be male or female in the game will be determined by a player’s Steam ID. The player will have no input on the matter.

To clear up some confusion, when we it does go live you won’t get a choice of whether you’re female or male. We’re not “taking the choice away” from you. You never had a choice. A man’s voice coming out of a woman’s body is no more weird than an 8 year-old boy’s voice coming out of a man’s body.

Additionally, Facepunch shared their plans for Steam Workshop integration, as well as their strategy to allow trading and creation of loot. They aim to model their system on Team Fortress 2’s current implementation. People will be able to submit their creations for review, and once vetted, they could show up in random loot drops that will appear in players’ inventories after a few hours of play.

Rust is currently available in early access on Steam.

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, | Game reviews
Splendor_review

I first heard about Splendor in connection to its Spiel des Jahres nomination last year. “I got this new game called Splendor,” my friend told me, displaying a box that promised adventures in jewelry. “It’s up for the Spiel des Jahres!”

So we played it exactly once and were slightly dismayed to discover a little math puzzle. We shouldn’t have been surprised, since “spiel des jahres” is German or Portuguese or something for “boardgame themes are pointless exercises in appeasing people with no imagination, but we’ll barely attempt them to disguise the fact that we’re just making math puzzles”. I am paraphrasing, since I don’t actually know German or Portuguese. The shorter translation is “Eurogame”. Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, and Ticket to Ride — all games I’ve owned, played, and no longer own — have all won top Spiel des Jahres honors.

After the jump, so why am I playing an iPad port of Splendor? Continue reading →

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Porsche_911

Players can now download two free Porsche cars for their collections in Forza Horizon 2. Microsoft is giving everyone the chance to own the 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS and the 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo via the Forza Hub app on the Xbox One. Although the two cars in the Porsche Bonus Pack are meant to entice racers to purchase the recently released Porsche Expansion for Forza Horizon 2, owners of that DLC may want to grab these free cars anyway since they aren’t part of that pack.

The Porsche Bonus Pack will be available until July 24th, after which it will be “gone for good.”

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, | News
dai_DLC

Dragon Age: Inquisition is now partly free-to-play. Electronic Arts has announced that they now offer a free six-hour trial of the single player portion of the PC version of the game. Per the details, if a gamer later decides to buy Dragon Age: Inquisition, his or her saved progress will carry over to the full game. The publisher has also made the multiplayer portion of the game fully free-to-play. This includes both multiplayer expansions, and special weekend events. Presumably, the purchase of microtransaction packs that are available for sale in multiplayer will support that part of the game.

According to the site, the trial is “for a limited time only” but no specifics are offered.

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