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Updated: 1 day 11 hours ago

Pokemon Home Going Down For Maintenance Ahead Of Crown Tundra's Release

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 05:45

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra DLC is almost here. The expansion goes live on Thursday, October 22, and ahead of its release, the Pokemon Home service will temporarily go down for maintenance as it receives its own corresponding update.

According to an in-app notification, the maintenance period will begin on October 22 at 11 PM UTC (4 PM PT / 7 PM ET) and is expected to run until 4 AM UTC on October 23 (9 PM PT on October 22). The service will be inaccessible on both Switch and mobile during the entire maintenance period.

The Pokemon Company hasn't shared any further details on what changes the Pokemon Home update will bring, but it is presumably making the storage service compatible with the new monsters coming in the Crown Tundra expansion. The notification notes that players will be required to update the app to version 1.3.0 to continue using it after maintenance concludes.

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Destiny 2 Update Patches Festival Of The Lost's Loot Issue

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 05:27

Destiny 2's Festival of the Lost has been tweaked this year to dish out a lot of extra loot. A new system requires you to earn special keys to unlock additional treasure in the Haunted Forest, but since the Festival's start, the loot coming out of the Haunted Forest has been a bit lackluster, dropping at the lowest possible Power level of 750. Bungie rolled out a new update to correct the problem via the October 20 weekly reset.

Hotfix 2.9.2.2 has extremely thin patch notes, making only two small but meaningful changes to the game. First, the patch alters the Haunted Forest loot that comes out of the caches you receive at the end of a run so that they'll drop loot at the proper levels. That should mean that legendary weapons and armor you earn from the activity will come out close to your Power level, all the way up to the Power cap of 1050. No more near-worthless 750 drops that you'll immediately delete--although if you're already over the 1050 cap, the loot still won't help you get any closer to the hard Power cap for the season of 1060.

The update also makes another small tweak to the recently released Interference mission that caps off the story of the Season of Arrivals. Apparently, voiceover was missing during the Interference mission featuring the boss enemy Nokris for Guardians playing in Korean. Hotfix 2.9.2.2 replaces it, which should make the story make a little more sense for players trying to experience it in that language.

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Ex-Blizzard Employees Form New Studio To Make Real-Time Strategy Games

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 05:20

Founded by ex-Blizzard employees Tim Morten and Tim Campbell, Frost Giant is a new company devoted to revitalizing the real-time strategy genre. Their goal, as the company's Twitter bio states, is to make the next great PC real-time strategy game.

Both Morten and Campbell have past experience in creating real-time strategy games. According to Gamesindustry.biz, Morten spent six years at Blizzard and was the production lead on Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. Campbell worked at Blizzard in the early 2000s and was the campaign lead designer for the Warcraft 3 expansion The Frozen Throne.

As pointed out by Alexander Lee for The Washington Post, RTS games have been comparatively overshadowed by the current era of first-person shooters, battle royale games, and multiplayer arena battles that dominate both esport circuits and public attention. RTS games established the very first esport competitions, and titles like StarCraft exploded into international popularity, especially in South Korea, in the late '90s to early 2000s. Even though RTS games still command a lot of attention in certain parts of the world, their popularity feels relatively static in growth.

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Among Us Players Are Playing As Security Guards

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 05:08

Among Us players are always on the lookout for impostors. Some take the game so seriously that they've started to role-play as security guards, watching over other players while they finish tasks and use the security cameras.

"You gotta love randoms," said Redditor Supermav27 about a random player who protected him as he monitored the in-game camera feeds. "This dude just guarded the doorway while I watched cameras the whole game."

Among Us security guards Credit: supermav27

A lot of players have started to take on security guard duties. They change their in-game name, buy the police officer skin, and then go to work. Sometimes they even ignore their duties when they're an impostor.

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Blaseball Is Taking A Break Following The Ultimate "Snackrifice"

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 05:06

Nobody really knows what Blaseball is, not even Blaseball aficionados. However, for many players, the deeply strange sports sim offered a lot of entertainment during these quarantine months, all the way through Season 11. Now, the developer behind Blaseball, The Game Band, says that it's taking a break to plan the next season and focus on other ventures.

In a blog post, The Game Band notes that Blaseball was far more successful than the developer ever anticipated, and that it has blossomed from a side project to an "all-consuming endeavor." However, though the game is supported by Patreon, the developer says that Blaseball is not yet profitable, and it is introducing a $20 a month backer tier to help alleviate that. That tier will have access to a monthly Q&A session with the team behind the game.

The Game Band's first game, Where Cards Fall, is coming to PC and consoles in early 2021. It was previously an iOS exclusive due to an agreement with Apple Arcade. Blaseball Season 11 culminated with the game's playerbase defeating a risen peanut god following the conclusion of the playoffs.

Jamie Foxx To Star In Vampire Comedy For Netflix

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 04:43

With FX's What We Do in the Shadows a proven success and heading into its third season, there's clearly room for more vampire comedies. Fortunately, more are on the way: Netflix has just announced early details on the upcoming Day Shift, a comedy Jamie Foxx will both star in and executive produce.

According to Variety, Foxx will play "a hard-working, blue-collar dad who wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted eight-year-old daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool-cleaning job is a front for his real source of income--hunting and killing vampires."

The script comes from Tyler Tice--with revisions and punch-ups from Shay Hatten (John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum)--and will be helmed by first-time director JJ Perry. Tice's script won the 2017 Slamdance Writing Competition Grand Prize, which reportedly helped get it noticed and scooped up to be made.

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Snag This Classic Strategy Game For Free At GOG

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 03:01

PC games store GOG gives out free games regularly on its homepage, and the next freebie available for shoppers is Paradox Interactive's grand strategy game Europa Universalis II. To claim the game, simply head over to GOG's homepage and click the "Get it free" button on the banner at the top of the page. The game will immediately be added to your GOG account, and you can download and start playing the DRM-free copy right away. The giveaway is only running for a few days, ending October 24 at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET, so claim it now or whenever you have a chance.

Claim free game at GOG

Spanning the years 1419 through 1820, Europa Universalis II casts you as the leader of a country fighting for dominance. You'll command everything from military and political alliances to scientific development and exploration of the New World, and you'll also experience true historical events and people like Joan of Arc and Napoleon. Europa Universalis II also features expanded systems for diplomacy and trade, including the ability to demand gold, provinces, or diplomatic agreements as a result of peace, and its new tutorial makes the game far more approachable than its predecessor. The game received an 8.5/10 in GameSpot's Europa Universalis II review.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla DLC Roadmap Announced, Here's What's Coming

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 03:00

Like the Assassin's Creed games that came before it, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is getting a heap of post-launch DLC, some of which is free, and other parts are included with a $40 season pass.

The season pass includes two major expansions, as well as a special quest themed around Beowulf. The Legend of Beowulf quest focuses on the hero Beowulf, leading up to players uncovering the "monstrous truth" behind the character. This quest will be available on launch day for season pass owners, but Ubisoft did not say when or if the quest will be made available to everyone else.

DLC 1: Wrath of the Druids

The first of the expansions is titled Wrath of the Druids, and it's scheduled for release in Spring 2021. "In this new adventure, players will journey to Ireland and unravel the mysteries of an ancient and mysterious druidic cult, tracking and discovering their members," reads a line from the description. "Diving into Gaelic myths and folklores, they’ll need to fight their way through haunted forests and dazzling landscapes while gaining influence among Gaelic kings."

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Borderlands 3: Here's An Early Look At Amara And Fl4k's New Skills In The Designer's Cut Update

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 03:00

On November 10, Borderlands 3 will see the beginning of its Year 2 content with the Designer's Cut update. In addition to the new Arms Race mode, another big highlight from this new content drop are the new skill trees for each of the vault hunters, allowing them to use additional action skills and buffs to alter their playstyles even more.

GameSpot had the chance to get some early hands-on time with the Designer's Cut, and we spent some time experimenting with the new builds for the vault hunters. Throughout this week, we'll be sharing details and gameplay showcasing the new skills vault hunters can utilize in combat. Starting off with Amara and Fl4k, we have new gameplay and a more detailed breakdown of their new skills below.

We've spent some time playing both characters and fleshed out their respective skill trees, so here's a quick rundown of some of their new abilities and how they can alter Amara and Fl4k.

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New Demos Let You Try Immortals: Fenyx Rising And 64-Player Pac-Man Stadia Game For Limited Time

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 03:00

Google has announced that all Stadia users will get access to a handful of demos over the course of this week, including Ubisoft's upcoming action-adventure game Immortals: Fenyx Rising.

Over the next three days--October 20, 21, and 22--Google will update the list of available demos Stadia players can check out. The demos themselves will be live for one full week.

The demos Stadia players can check out include Humankind, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle. Mega Tunnel Battle's demo is available to play now, while Humankind goes live on October 21 and Immortals: Fenyx Rising drops on October 22. Immortals: Fenyx Rising, previously called Gods and Monsters, is an open-world action-adventure game set against the backdrop of Greek mythology. It, along with Genshin Impact, have garnered a lot of comparisons to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

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Red Dead Online Celebrates The Spooky Season With A Halloween Pass

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 02:23

Like many games with an online component, Red Dead Redemption 2 is also preparing to celebrate Halloween. After a new October event that appears to be taking some inspiration from Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare was leaked earlier in the year, developer Rockstar Games has confirmed the existence of the Halloween Pass for Red Dead Online.

It'll cost players 15 gold bars to purchase, or if you haven't been saving your gold while exploring the old frontier, you can also pay $10 USD for 25 pieces of the in-game currency.

The Halloween Pass has 20 levels of rewards that can be unlocked through experience points gains, and each earned rank will give players items such as the skeletal Zavala machete, painted ram horse masks, and mystical variations of full weapons.

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Apple Is Removing App That Allowed Google Stadia Streaming On iOS

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 02:18

The situation for games streaming on Apple devices is dire. Whether you're an iPhone or iPad owner, there are currently no official ways to stream games with Google Stadia or Microsoft's Xbox Game Streaming. And very soon, the one unofficial way will be forced off the App Store.

Stadium is a third-party application that allowed streaming from Google Stadia on iOS devices by providing a web-based bridge between the service and your device. Essentially, Stadium was just a new web browser that was able to reliably run Stadia games, while supporting Bluetooth controllers connected to your iOS device. It turns out that last feature is part of the reason why Apple is kicking the app off its App Store, which isn't surprising to its developer.

Zachary Knox, the developer of Stadium, explained in a Reddit post that the app utilized extensions that allowed controllers to communicate with Apple's internal WebKit API (the backbone of all browsers on iOS). This is in violation of Apple's rules, which were cited as the reason for the app's removal. The functionality of the app, which allows game streaming despite Apple's own reservations over native streaming apps, was not mentioned.

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Seinfeld Co-Creator, Stars Reunite For Virtual Democratic Fundraiser

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 02:08

Even though it's impossible to imagine there is anybody left in the US who is still undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming election--upcoming, as in, it's happening in two weeks--fundraisers to help get the word out continue to pop up with increasing frequency in the home stretch. The Texas Democratic Party has announced it will be holding a virtual reunion of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Larry Davis--the stars and co-creator of Seinfeld--on October 23 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET.

The event, titled A Fundraiser About Something, will be hosted by Seth Meyers and "special guests" as they discuss their favorite Seinfeld episodes and dish on behind-the-scenes memories. A donation of any size, with $1 being the floor, is all that's required to gain admission to the event which will only be live-streamed exclusively at the scheduled time Friday.

The fundraiser comes at a time when the popular '90s sitcom has become a prominent meme of the moment in the election. Over this past weekend, Louis-Dreyfus and also Alexander signal-boosted a tweet by political action committee The Lincoln Project noting the similarities between President Trump and Elaine Benes' dance moves.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light Story Trailer Reveals The Power Of The Darkness

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 01:28

Destiny 2: Beyond Light will add plenty of new content to developer Bungie's sandbox, with one of the primary draws being the ability to finally wield the power of the Darkness. While Guardians can harness Stasis energies to wreak havoc on their enemies, they won't be the only life-forms capable of doing so.

A new story trailer for the expansion has revealed that a gathering of Fallen has also been gifted with those dark powers.

Bungie has also posted character descriptions on its site, detailing the enemies and allies who you'll encounter, such as the new Fallen Kell Eramis, her lieutenants, and a few other familiar faces.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Getting Optimizations For Xbox Series X And Series S

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 01:14

With the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S just around the corner, Microsoft is continually adding to its growing list of exclusives that will be enhanced for its new consoles. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be included, too, with support for 120 FPS and up to 4K.

The collection will receive an update on November 17 (a week after the console launch) that will optimize the entire catalogue of Halo classics for the capabilities of the new consoles. That means 120 FPS support in both the campaigns and multiplayer, as well as up to 4K support and additional split-screen optimizations on the Xbox Series X, although the tweet makes has mention of the capabilities of the Series S version of the game. The update will be free, of course, as Microsoft includes it in its Smart Delivery program. The game is also included in Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, as well as Xbox Game Streaming on Android.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a staggering assortment of Halo titles, including the original Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. It does not include Halo 5: Guardians, and Microsoft is adamant it won't be added in the future.

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Best Buy Sale Discounts Amazon Devices To Prime Day Prices

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 01:03

While Best Buy continues to roll out early Black Friday deals, the retailer is also hosting a 60-hour promotion focused on Amazon-branded devices, including the Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Fire TVs. If you missed out on picking up these devices during Prime Day, you're in luck, as Best Buy is selling many of them at Prime Day prices. We've rounded up the best deals below, but you should know that more deals will be added to the sale tomorrow. The Amazon Savings Event runs until October 22 at 10 PM PT / 1 AM ET.

Echo Dot $19 (was $40)

The third-generation Echo Dot smart speaker is on sale for $19, matching its Prime Day price. The Echo Dot supports Alexa voice control and can serve as a hub for other smart devices in your home.

See at Best Buy Echo Show Smart Display $45 (was $90)

The Echo Show Smart Display is 50% off at $45. In addition to boasting all of the same great Alexa command features of the Echo Dot, it has a 5-inch display that can be used for video calls and watching content from streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

See at Best Buy Echo Studio Smart Speaker $150 (was $200)

The Echo Studio is one of Amazon's premium Echo devices and certainly one of the better smart speakers around. The Echo Studio features five speakers, which together create a 3D listening experience powered by Dolby Atmos. It's on sale for $50 off.

See at Best Buy Echo Auto Smart Speaker $20 (was $50)

The Echo Auto Smart Speaker is discounted to only $20 at Best Buy. This particular Echo product, as the name suggests, adds Alexa support to your vehicle while you're driving via Bluetooth. Alexa can even hear you talking when music is playing thanks to far-field technology.

See at Best Buy Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition $80 (was $140)

Amazon Fire Kids edition tablets are great for children of all ages. They feature curated age-appropriate content, including books, shows, games, and educational app. They also come with kid-proof cases to avoid damage from drops. An Amazon FreeTime subscription costs only $3 per month and grants access to thousands of apps that will keep the youngsters occupied. The 8-inch Kids edition tablet is on sale for $80.

See at Best Buy Ring Video Doorbell 3 $140 (was $200)

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a smart device that adds security and convenience to your interactions. You can see and speak with anyone at your door via the Ring app on your smartphone. It also has customizable motion detectors that alert you when activity occurs outside your home. It's on sale for $60 off right now.

See at Best Buy Toshiba 50-inch 4K Fire TV $280 (was $380)

Toshiba's 50-inch 4K Fire TV is $100 off at Best Buy right now. This LED TV has Fire TV smart functionality built-in, so you can watch live TV and your favorite streaming services out of the box.

See at Best Buy Insignia 55-inch 4K Fire TV with HDR $320 (was $430)

If you want a Fire TV that's a tad larger, the Insignia 55-inch 4K Fire TV is on sale for $320. In addition to 4K resolution, this particular Fire TV also supports HDR.

See at Best Buy Toshiba 32-inch HD Fire TV $120 (was $180)

Those looking for a smaller TV can pick up the Toshiba 32-inch Fire TV for just $120. It only supports HD, but it's still a great value at this price.

See at Best Buy Samsung 82-inch 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV $1,400 (was $2,000)

Best Buy's sale also includes some products that aren't Amazon-branded, and we'd be remiss not to mention this Samsung 4K TV. If you're looking for an absolutely massive TV for your living room, this 82-inch Smart Tizen TV is on sale for $1,400. Though still pricey, that's $600 off its retail price. Just make sure you have enough wall space or a large enough stand before you buy.

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The Best Deals And Sales This Week

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon Trailer Shows Off Next-Gen Advanced Crustacean AI

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 00:28

Yakuza: Like A Dragon marks a milestone for Sega's long-running sandbox RPG, as this will be the first entry in the series that arrives on next-gen consoles as a launch game.

Featuring a variety of graphical enhancements on PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, the latest Yakuza game starring new protagonist Kasuga Ichiban also has a few other next-gen features that sets it apart from other next-gen launch games.

All of these can be seen in the trailer below, which features advanced crustacean AI, optimized protagonist optimism, and a slightly disturbing glimpse into the game's immersive role-playing.

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Xbox iPhone And iPad App Updates Let You Play Remotely

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 00:19

Microsoft has issued an update to its Xbox apps on iPhone and iPad, which enables remote play to stream games from a local Xbox One console to your mobile device. The feature supports Xbox One and will support Xbox Series X and Series S games, but doesn't work with backward compatibility for Xbox 360 or original Xbox.

This is similar to PS4 remote play on iOS, which was added via the PS4 Remote Play app last year. That's a separate app entirely, while the Xbox remote play functionality is folded directly into the main Xbox app.

This is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud streaming service, which is now offered as part of Xbox Game Pass. That feature streams games directly to your device from cloud servers. Microsoft has had some trouble getting that functionality on iOS due to Apple's policies, but the company is reportedly planning to bring the functionality through a browser app. That's also the method being used by its competitor game streaming service, Amazon Luna.

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Uno Is Going Sustainable And Ditching Cellophane With Nothin' But Paper Edition

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 22:00

Uno, the popular card game that's been around since 1971, is making a major step towards sustainability. Today, Mattel has launched Uno: Nothin' But Paper, a new edition of the game that ditches cellophane wrapping and is 100% recyclable.

This is the first Uno deck to release without cellophane, and it's going to become the standard going forward. In 2021, all of Uno's paper decks will ship without cellophane, as part of Mattel's on-going efforts to go 100% recycled/recyclable by 2030.

This new edition, which retails for $6, is available from today. Its cards feature a beautiful new design, which you can see in the images below.

Uno: Nothin' But Paper edition (all images courtesy of Mattel)

Uno is the most popular card game in the world, so while each deck only uses a small amount of cellophane, cutting it entirely should ultimately make a big difference.

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John Wick Is Getting A Licensed Roller Coaster

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 17:19

With three successful movies, two more on the way, a video game, and a number of spin-offs for both TV and cinema in the works, John Wick has been a hit for Lionsgate. Now, the company wants to turn its star franchise into a 10-story roller coaster for its Motiongate theme park in Dubai, Variety reports.

The "John Wick: Open Contract" ride, along with another coaster designed after the Now You See Me franchise, is due to open early next year in Dubai. Lionsgate have shared renderings of what both rides are expected to look like.

From the descriptions, it seems that most of the theming will take place in the ride queue. Riders will get to choose whether they want to help John Wick or hunt him, with each option taking them on a different route through the queueing area. It sounds like both options culminate in the same actual ride, however. The queue may end up being the best part for John Wick fans--it's designed after the franchise's iconic Continental Hotel.

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