Ark: Survival Evolved is twice as nice on Xbox

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Ark: Survival Evolved is now an Xbox Play Anywhere title. The dino-taming survival game has launched on the Windows Store with Xbox cross-play compatibility and is part of the Play Anywhere program. Players that own a digital copy on their Xbox One can also play the game on Windows 10, and vice versa, for free. That’s two times the janky grinding and wood chopping for one price!

A Hat in Time is so good I’m gonna die

, | Game reviews

Everyone knows the scene in Despicable Me when Agnes sees the stuffed unicorn at the carnival booth. “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die,” she states simply. So the Steve Carell mad scientist character has to win it for her by blowing up the booth. As they walk away from the smoking ruin, Agnes clutches her newly won unicorn and snarls, “It’s so fluffy!” Her voice has dropped several registers. It is ragged with mad glee at the fluffiness of the unicorn, now locked in her fingers. It is so fluffy.

That’s how I feel about A Hat in Time. Not the precious cuteness of “it’s so fluffy I’m gonna die”. But the ragged mad glee once she gets her hands on it.

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Bomber Crew: missions 8-11

, | Game diaries

Mission 8: Doodlebug Blitz brings us our first outright failure. The mission, as stated by Wing Commander Biggins, was to bomb five V1 rocket launch sites before eight V1 rockets had been launched. He even counted the objectives out on his fingers so we’d get it. Unfortunately, Left_Empty didn’t get it, because he kind of spazzed out as we passed over the second site and dropped a rack of bombs on the AA emplacement just before the launch pad passed into his bombsight. To his credit, he quickly selected another rack and dispatched the launch site anyway, but when he took off his glove to count his fingers, he realized he still had three sites to bomb, but there were only two racks of bombs left. Boy, was Biggins going to let him have it back at the base! He sheepishly turned to Pilot Officer Brooski and told him the bad news, staying off the intercom so that RichVR, who was becoming known on board as kind of the wiseacre of the crew, didn’t make up some awful play on words involving his name. “I guess you sure left that bomb bay empty, eh Left_Empty!” He could at least wait until they got back to the barracks to hear it.

The only thing we got out of this mission was 2000 experience points, which was enough to level RichVR up on his pilot secondary skill and teach him how to Corkscrew. He’ll probably be bragging about that back at the barracks as well.
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There’s already a Red Dead Redemption 2 gun in the wild

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You can find a gun in Grand Theft Auto V’s GTA Online mode right now that can be unlocked for use in Red Dead Redemption 2. The golden Double-Action Revolver is up for grabs somewhere in the countryside of Los Santos. Players interested in the bounty need only answer the new message on the in-game smartphone and begin a multi-part scavenger hunt. Once you have the revolver, if you want to see it in Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One or PlayStation 4, you need to complete the headshot challenge. After all that, you’ll have your gun in the upcoming game, assuming the game releases while you’re still alive.

Bomber Crew: missions 1-7

, | Game diaries

Mission 1: Motor Factory at Zeebrugge. This almost ends in disaster as both the electrical and hydraulic systems go out pretty much on takeoff, then I get so absorbed in fixing them that I tag the first wave of fighters late, and then I compound it by not getting Left_Empty into the bombardier’s station fast enough to open the bomb bay doors in time to hit the target on the first pass. Plus, the port outboard engine gets set on fire. Fortunately, I get things together fast enough to swing back and hit the target, and RichVR does stellar work fixing the engine once the fire dies down and makes the engine kaput (shown). But we don’t get the optional recon photo, which I think is essential to building up your bomber quickly. I satisfy myself with woolen gloves and leather boots for everybody. I also protect everyone by buying Armored Fuselage 1 for the whole plane, because I’m a mensch.

One trick is to select each gunner (tail gunner, mid-upper turret, and nose gunner) and hit “R” right as you are taking off from England, as this will immediately send them to the ammo bay to get an extra ammo box while you’re still over Wessex. Er, Sussex? Whatevs. Continue reading →

Buy an Xbox One X and get ganked in Battlegrounds for free

, | Games

Microsoft is bundling PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with the Xbox One X. The hot as fire battle royale multiplayer game just launched as an Xbox exclusive and racked up over 1 million players in 48 hours. That’s a million players without a demo version. To celebrate, Microsoft is offering the game as a free bonus to all Xbox One X buyers until the end of the year.

Despite some widely reported technical issues, it appears Battlegrounds will be as big of a hit on consoles as it is on the PC. That’s a lot of chicken dinners.

Worst thing you’ll see all week: Beyond Skyline

, | Movie reviews

Beyond Skyline is a fitting sequel to Skyline in that the only interesting thing that happens happens at the end. I don’t mean the last part of the movie. I mean the end of the movie. The very very end. The moment when it’s over. In the case of the first Skyline, there was a body-swapping twist that made no sense, but was at least an intriguing premise. But then the credits rolled. Something similar happens with Beyond Skyline. By the time it’s over, it would have you believe you just watched the origin story for a Terminator style resistance to the alien invasion. The John Connor character is someone I would like to see in action. She reminds me of what brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner did in Wyrmwood: Road of the Damned. Bianca Bradey goes from a damsel in distress to unique zombie warrior. Is that what’s going to happen to the magical superbaby in Beyond Skyline?

Who knows, because now the credits are rolling and there was never any of the Aussie ingenuity, sass, and glee that made Wyrmwood so good. Instead, there was a blue blur of unimpressive special effects, some awkward practical monster costumes, a misguided attempt to science the shit out of the alien invasion, and a painfully generic raucous rock track with the lyric “I’m a fuckin’ American!” or something that sounds like that. The first movie mainly took place in someone’s apartment on Wilshire Boulevard, because shooting out on Los Angeles locations is expensive. The sequel would have you think it’s going to splurge on downtown Los Angeles locations, but then it literally crashes onto an Indonesian fight movie, complete with the guy from the Raid movies. So it turns into that, with lots of fight scenes for no good reason. Beyond Skyline even decides to do a little kaiju in the ruins because the ruins are here, so why not? Frank Grillo is gamely on board as leading man. Betty Gabriel, the mesmerizingly mesmerized maid from Get Out, has a thankless role, once again literally losing her mind. A cool Australian actor named Callan Mulvey plays Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now. There are also some other people in the movie.

The best part of Beyond Skyline is the handful of outtakes that play over the credits. When one of the stuntmen in an alien suit can’t quite finesse what he’s supposed to be doing with his dumb alien claw gloves and an alien plasma bomb, Frank Grillo affectionately teases the poor guy. “You’re the stupidest fucking monster I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says, laughing. “I’m just saying, you’re gonna blow us all up.” Grillo turns to the camera, grinning, holding a fake baby in one arm because there’s a plastic alien battle doo-dad attached to his other arm. He’s having the time of his life and for the briefest of moments, I’m glad I’ve seen Beyond Skyline.

Bomber Crew: meet the crew

, | Game diaries

The Avro Lancaster had seven crew. The Boeing B-17 had ten. Keep this in mind when anticipating the price point of the inevitable B-17 DLC or standalone expansion. Since I’m flying this crate, I am the pilot (Brooski), but that leaves me with six crewmembers to assign. I am going to randomly choose names from the Quarter to Three thread about the game, entitled “Bomber Crew – FTL + WWII,” even though it is totally not like FTL in any way except that in both games you are running from the Galactic Federation. RichVR was kind enough to gift me the game, so he gets to be the next crew member on the list, which is the engineer. Going down the list of crew members from there, we get fishpockets as the navigator, Eric_Majkut as my radioman, Mr_Bismarck as the tail gunner, Dan_Theman as the top turret gunner, and Left_Empty as the bombardier. Crewmembers who don’t, er… progress through a mission will be, um…subbed for by another random selection from the thread.

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You ain’t got time to bleed in Ghost Recon Wildlands’ new event

, | News

That’s the Predator in Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. The Predator special event kicks off today and runs through early January. Like the Day of Skulls or El Yeti events, the Predator missions feature some light scavenger hunting and a battle with a boss enemy, in this case, the movie monster with the dreadlocks. Track and kill the baddie in solo or co-op modes and you’ll unlock a nifty mask with Predator-vision. If you want to hunt in style, there will also be a DLC pack to purchase that will give players movie-themed weapons, cosmetic bits, and the deadly wrist-blades. Sorry, match-up fans. There’s no sign of the xenomorphs from Aliens yet.

Pinball FX3 gets Carnivals, Legends, and an awkward switch to another platform

, | Game reviews

I have some good news and some bad news on the Pinball FX3 front. The bad news is the Nintendo Switch version. The frame rate hitches are a real poke in the eyeball, especially given the loading times. There’s no comfortable way to control the flippers while using the screen vertically, which is one of the selling points for playing on the Switch. And most importantly, more than half of the tables are missing. None of the Marvel or Star Wars tables are available. Ouch. You’d think Disney has it out for Nintendo. Even the Bethesda tables are missing. How odd that I can play Skyrim and Doom on the Switch, but I can’t play the Skyrim and Doom pinball tables on the Switch.

But the good news is that Carnivals and Legends, the latest pair of tables for Pinball FX3, adds something good and something great to the roster of 70 tables. Or 30, if you’re playing on the Switch.

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It’s time to be naughty in Killing Floor 2’s holiday event

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The Krampus is here! Running until January 9th, Killing Floor 2 is running a free Krampus Christmas Seasonal Update featuring the yuletide terror of zombie elves, killer snowmen, and the new Abomination boss monster as the Krampus. Players will also get the chance to explore the Krampus Lair map, which is a bit like Santa’s workshop with chainsaws and blood. You’ll yearn for the days when fruitcake or socks were the worst gifts you could expect under the tree.

Ten great gifts for 2017 gamers

, | Games

Christmas is coming! If you still have a gift to get for that special gamer gal or guy, Quarter to Three is here with ten holiday suggestions. These are all items for sale now, (no pre-order hooey) and they’re all affordable. We’ve done our best to pick items that are easy to get as well, so you won’t have to stand in line for hours or scour the hidden recesses of eBay for rarities. Any of these gifts are sure to please!

Check out Santa’s list after the jump! Continue reading →