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the perfect woman

First, have a gander at Perfect Woman, coming September 14th for the Xbox One and Kinect. Yes, Kinect. It’s not technically dead yet. Did you get a good look at players trying to fit into the roles of being a perfect woman? (Get it?) Great! Now, check out Dead or Alive Xtreme 3‘s new virtual reality update coming in October which adds functionality for PlayStation VR. Bounce physics and up-skirt VR camera angles.

Both games feature players contorting themselves into pretzels to participate. Both games seem to put the gameplay secondary to the pander. If there’s a lesson here, it’s probably lost between the goofball antics and generous cheese.

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no_man_cry

No Man’s Sky had one of the best launches on the PlayStation 4 since the console was released. It sold almost a million copies on PC in preorders and the first week of sales. It’s an unqualified sales success. Less than a month later, refund requests are in such volume that Valve has posted a special notice on the Steam store page. What happened? How did the indie darling go from being one of the most anticipated games of this year, to a swirl of controversy? Between accusations that Hello Games and Sean Murray lied about the game’s content, and a public debate about the merits of marketing, there is No Man’s Sky – a title that’s become the new poster child for an industry of hype.

After the jump, it’s the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning! Continue reading →

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snake_bikini

Metal gear Solid V, the definitive Hideo Kojima experience, is being bundled up by Konami into Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience. The full package comes with The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes, the multiplayer, and all the DLC. This includes all the goofy costumes like Naked Snake, (hur hur) chicken hats, and alternate Mother Base staff uniforms. That’s a ton of stealth gameplay in one convenient box. Sneak around, snatch people up with balloons, and marvel at the ways Kojima’s psyche worms its way into the narrative in unexpected ways. Bikini dance-off time!

Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 11th.

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Twilight_Struggle_2

Quarter to Three is hosting a Twilight Struggle tournament with actual prizes donated by publisher GMT Games. As far as I’m concerned, that makes it the Official Unofficial World Championship. You might want to consider getting a sponsorship or two if you enter. Maybe Raytheon. The Project for a New American Century think tank. The Casper Weinberger Foundation. Get a T-shirt made with the various corporate logos for your sponsors, or maybe just a big picture of William Kristol on the front. There’s no reason Twilight Struggle can’t be like NASCAR.

To enter, first you should be good at Twilight Struggle. Which I am not, so you’re on your own. Second, you should own a copy of the superlative port of the seminal boardgame. Third, you should post a message in the comments section for this article. Once registration closes, further instructions will be posted and you’ll be matched with your first opponent! Good luck, comrade. I mean, fellow defender of liberty, free commerce, and whatever the Independent Reds card does.

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Phantasmagoria

Among today’s Steam releases are a handful of unexpected blasts from the past: Phantasmagorias 1 and 2, a couple of Gabriel Knights, a bundle of Police Quests and another of Quests for Glory, and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magicka Obscura. Remember when Arcanum was unique for having a steampunk aesthetic? And you can’t beat that subtitle.

Activision has been making some of their older games more readily available lately, which is probably wise because how far can you get on Call of Duty, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders? Always have a fallback plan.

I’ve been playing the Playstation 4 re-release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 recently, because I recall those games being great. And they still are. There’s an endearing pre-Disney obliviousness about how much you can nickel-and-dime Marvel fans, so here’s everything in one great big overflowing bag. The Avengers weren’t even a gleam in any studio’s eye and Joss Whedon was just some guy doing a silly cheerleader show. So it’s really cute that Thor isn’t yet an Australian surfer dude, Maria Hill is just another SHIELD lackey, and no one’s ever even heard of Black Widow, so she sits off to the side somewhere, entirely un-Johanssoned. Heck, the Fantastic Four weren’t even a joke yet and you could have X-Men running alongside Avengers because they hadn’t been exiled to Fox yet. Those were the days. Marvel was a free-range property that hadn’t been hooked up to the milking machine yet.

Which reminds me, does anyone want to buy a whole mess of Disney Infinity Marvel characters?

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mankind_spacebar

Adam Jensen is hunkered down behind a convenient desk. Heavily armed guards patrol back and forth. I could have my Jensen, my stealthy silent assassin cyber-augmented Jensen, stay crouched behind cover and stealthily take each guard out with long-range abilities, but my ninja Adam Jensen is a dumbass. He wants to scurry out into the open because that’s what happens when you load from a save while in cover and have to hit the spacebar on the PC version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The button to confirm the load is the same as one to vault over objects while in cover, which means save-scumming presents its own form of punishment with each reload. Pop! Up comes Jensen! “Hey guys!” I imagine the look of surprise on the guards faces as they mow Jensen down.

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As they developed and updated Prison Architect, Introversion co-founders Chris Delay and Mark Morris regularly posted videos in which they showed off what they’re doing. They’ve got the easy rapport you’d expect from any two guys who’ve been working together for fifteen plus years. And English accents, to boot. Those videos come to a halt today. With the last update to Prison Architect, they’re signing off for the time being. But before they go, they’ll give you a look at what might be Introversion’s next game. Scanner Sombre and Wrong Wire are design prototypes that, like everything else Introversion does, is nothing like what Introversion does.

If you’re so inclined, you can vote for your favorite here. I picked the one that didn’t require any knowledge of wires and voltage.

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forging_forward

Back when Microsoft first announced that Halo 5: Guardians’ Forge map editing utility would be coming to Windows 10 as a free download, the creative community was excited by the possibilities. That excitement was tempered by PC gamers wondering yet again why the latest Halo game was not going to actually be playable on their preferred platform, especially in light of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere strategy. Forza and Gears of War are coming to PC, so why not Halo?

Fret not! Along with map editing, the ability to play custom multiplayer matches is coming with Halo 5: Forge on Windows 10. Forgers (that’s what I’m calling them) will be able to host games with up to 16 players. Like Bethesda’s mod system on the Xbox One and Steam versions of Fallout 4, Halo 5’s community content browser will span across both platforms.

Halo 5: Forge will be available on September 8th for Windows 10 PCs. A related Halo App will also be available at that time.

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The Ashes of Ariandel DLC for Dark Souls 3 is coming. Besides snowy locales and new armor sets, weapons, and magic, the DLC offers a gentle welcome to new players. It appears to be meant for kids or Pokemon Go fans. There’s some guy with a magic wand. Another with a big cup. Everyone looks like they want to give the player a hug. But really, what can one expect from a game with such an easy difficulty in the first place? This is a game that almost plays itself, trying to “git gud” at being a challenge. How cute!

Ashes of Ariandel for Dark Souls 3 launches on October 25th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

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ceres_rocks

Offworld Trading Company, Mohawk Games’ genius take on martian mining and economic strategy, is leaving the surly bonds of Mars in its latest DLC. The Ceres Initiative takes venture capitalists to the largest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Besides a palette shift to grays and blues, the new location brings with it new challenges that will force players to change their safe strategies. Since resources can diminish over time on Ceres, companies must be prepared to either modify their manufacturing chains as shipments deplete, or they must seek out new sources of raw material. Wind turbines are not possible on the dwarf planet, meaning that an early source of easy energy is denied. Ceres also presents opportunities in the form of a new building, the nuclear power plant, and newly discovered pockets of uranium.

The Ceres Initiative is available on Steam or through Stardock’s site.

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uncle_monopoly

PlayStation plus is about to get more expensive. On September 22nd, the console subscription service is going up in price by $10. That’s $59.99 for a year of membership. Sony says you’ll still get all the stuff you’re currently enjoying on PlayStation Plus, just at a slightly higher premium.

This marks the first time that PS Plus membership prices will increase in the U.S. and Canada since the launch of the service in 2010. The new pricing reflects the current market conditions while enabling us to continue providing exceptional value to our members.

Although you can usually find a better deal for subscription codes by scouring the usual sites on the internet, you can count on even those discounts going up a bit when the official change kicks in. The good news is that if Sony follows the precedent, the next price increase won’t happen until at least 2024.

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spicy_titan

That image is something you may see in your Titanfall 2 multiplayer game. Buffalo Wild Wings will be offering codes for exclusive in-game “nose art” to decorate your mechs. Amble over to your local wingery starting on October 28th to November 30th and you can grab some cosmetic DLC with your bourbon honey chicken wings. Oh, but the cross-promotional fun doesn’t stop there!

In addition, Buffalo Wild Wings will feature Titanfall 2 branding and game imagery on takeout boxes, napkins, as well as a co-branded Mountain Dew, Buffalo Wild Wings Collector’s Edition 32 ounce takeout cup.

Finger licking! Titanfall 2 launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on October 28th.

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